DJ Kayslay Streetsweeper, Vol. 1 - Corporate (c)rap

2006-03-29 18:22
The CD boasts a "who's who" of major emcees, including Scarface, Raekwon, 50 Cent, Mobb Deep, Nas, Foxy Brown, Cam'ron, Eminem, Busta Rhymes and more. The prospect of listening to legends of hip-hop battling it out couldn't be more exhilarating. You'd think so, wouldn't you?

But no matter how skilful an emcee you may be, if the beats they ain't dope, then you gonna hang by your rhythmic rope! Crap faux rap apologies aside, the problem clearly lies with the fact that the beats on these 20 tracks had to be licensed, re-worked and re-packaged. Something that the underground bootleg scene that gave birth to DJ Kayslay never had to bother with.

Which means that there's hardly a mean street beat on offer, with a host of wannabe beat-boys watering down the raps into a piss poor dilution of sound bites. Exchanging rhetorical posturing for real rap drama, braggadocio gun-toting g-boasts and bling bling jousts are just plain boring.

Sure, there's a preponderance of familiar slow, sinuous and retro-funk hooks ("Too Much for Me") but the polished production sheen erases any underground edges from what should've been an innovative mix selection. But after all what else can be expected from any major label marketing tailored towards lowest common denominator mass appeal?

Bombastic mixtape DJ Kayslay earned his underground reputation as a purveyor of the finest in New York City street bootlegs splicing together a dazzling collage of rap icons strutting their skillz over basement reworkings of charting beats. So it was inevitably a matter of time before a major label caught the wake up call and decided to carbon copy his recipe, releasing The Streetsweeper, Vol. 1.

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