The Legends of Hip Hop super group sets the pace with its stellar cast of emcees and DJs including Melle Mel, Flava Flav, Grandmaster Flash, Ice-T, Bambaata, Big Daddy Kane and Rakim turning "The Fifth Element" into a soul, funk and R&B soaked old school block party celebration. This is no mere collection of nostalgic party jams though with a variety of players proving that the hip-hop medium has always equally been about delivering a seriously liberating message.
Whether it's Doc Ice, Harry Balz and Flav's playful $ bill sell out satire ("Old School Ball") or Raheem, Grandmaster and Shinehead's staccato-beat state of the hip-hop nation address ("Be 4"), it's impossible not to be seduced by the authenticity of such streams of consciousness raps 'n rhymes. And just in case you'd forgotten sinuous sample celebrations from Run of DMC and Justine Simmons ("Praise My DJs") remind the listener of the turntable innovators pivotal hip-hop position. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Legends of Hip Hop project is not the absence of any guns 'n girls gangster posturing or throwaway "hot in herre" style club cuts. It's the fact that Eminem ("Bad Meets Evil" featuring Royce 5'9), Thug Nation, Speech and Kurupt ("The G") are the only members of the new school deemed worthy of getting an invitation.
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