DJ Rhettmatic :: Exclusive Collection :: Up Above Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

You may know DJ Rhettmatic best as a member of the world famous Beat Junkies. You may also know him from his popular underground collaborations as part of the duo Key Kool & Rhettmatic. Or maybe you don't have a fucking clue who I'm talking about, and you're wondering who the hell Rhettmatic is. Regardless of which way your mind is flowing at this point, suffice it to say that as props are to pasta, Rhettmatic would be the four-cheese lasagna of DJ's, with some of the best meat sauce and noodles ever baked up in a hip-hop chop-shop kitchen of turntable wizardry full of musically fresh ingredients to salivate for.

It's no surprise then that when Up Above Records made the choice to present a menu of choice cuts, Rhettmatic was called in to present the "Exclusive Collection" to the public. This presentation is actually a two disc excursion, with an a la carte menu on the left and the full blown smorgasboard on the right. You can select any of the tasty options on the first disc seperately, from Geology's "Communicate" featuring Sadat X and Talib Kweli, to The Omen's "It's Our World" with a flavorful Diamond beat, to Kool G. Rap's thumping blaxploitation-style "Bout That" to Dilated Peoples' "Bullet Train" and Pete Rock's "Collectors Item" among others.

While the a la carte menu is indeed fresh enough to enjoy all by itself, it's the "Exclusive Mix" disc of the "Exclusive Collection" that really gives you your money's worth. DJ Rhettmatic takes this pile of individually outstanding underground tracks and whips them up into a meal of many courses that just keep coming, never making you full but always leaving you hungry for more. It's his scratch interludes, seamless blends, and breakdowns with artist shoutouts that turn the "Exclusive Collection" into a mix of dopeness worthy of DJ Premier or Kid Capri's greatest mixtapes. Unlike most of the mediocre mixes you hear today that are usually star vehicles to blow up one artist, or full of half-assed gun clap songs by MC's who'd never get over on their own, Rhettmatic's mix is a non-stop course in how to be flavorful and inject your own creativity as a turntable wizard into the mix at the same time. Contemporaries like Q*Bert and Nu-Mark would upon hearing Rhettmatic's mix undoubtedly rank it three stars on the Michelin scale (and for you non-gourmets, three stars is the best ranking you can get).

DJ Rhettmatic's "Exclusive Collection" is truly a little bit of something for everybody. If you were so-inclined and had a CD turntable device of your own, you could take the first disc, burn a scratch copy to fade back and forth to, and create your own "Exclusive Mix." It wouldn't be hotter or more enjoyable than Rhettmatic's though, unless you were Rhettmatic himself trying to one-up his own creation. Up Above is to be commended for not only picking the best of the best underground songs available, but one of the best DJ's in the country to lace them all together. Try enjoying the songs individually first, and then treat yourself to the second disc "Exclusive Mix." Undoubtedly you'll hear Rakim's voice in your head saying, "This is how it should be done - cause this style, is identical to none."

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 9 of 10

Originally posted: January 11, 2005