Aside from the fairly recent mixtape explosion, hip-hop hasn't seen too many quality compilation albums recently. It hasn't been since the Ruff Ryders Comp.'s or the Soundbombing albums that someone has gathered a group of relatively diverse MC's and put together a hot album. With a title like "The Dopest MC's on the Planet," the Texas record label, Rainman Entertainment hopes that the "Curb Servin' Project" will reach back in time to grab the torch and run with it.
"Pop Da Clutch" sets the gears in motion with the catchy, Spanish-tinged guitar plucks over a bouncy beats. The MC, Crist Couture, pins the beat down with a nice flow and a confident delivery. Unfortunately, if sounding original is a virtue, then he fails by sounding almost exactly like Jay-Z, right down to the chuckle and the "Chea that's right." It could be worse though; he could sound exactly like ICP or MC Hammer. So needless to say, by sounding like the great Jay-Hov, his talent is there.
The next track, "Move" by Damani resurrects the most forgettable era of hip-hop to any lyricist, the bling era:
when I step out
I got something on my sleeve
A watch or a sick bracelet
So much hate in the air
You could probably taste it"
Other than the lyrics, and many might like them, these MC's have everything else in place from the flow, delivery, and the ability to make a catchy track that could bang in the club.
Things take a different turn with Big Sherm's "Keep on Movin." His conscious subject matter, intricate rhyme scheme and above par mic skills make this track stand out, as he spits:
"Watch the signs
Whether blind, broke
Livin' without hope
Never renounce—stay sane
Level it out
Whenever in doubt
The positive movement continues with Tracey Lee's gospel-inspired "Ready, Willing, and Able." His powerful voice resembles a thundering preacher and although he drops a relatively positive message, he doesn't sound the least bit soft or less credible to the streets.
Relm plays the role of state representatives with their song simply titled "Ohio." The upbeat song makes use of the same funky sample that made the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Roller Coaster of Love" a hit.
With other bangers such as Joe Black's "Who Can Stop Me Now" and Crist Couture's "Back to the Street," this album provides a nice mix of lyrics and beats that's sure to catch attention whether in the club, at a party, or in the headphones. With diversity on their side, Rainman Entertainment has made one of the more memorable compilations in recent years.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: January 25, 2005