Album: Eastern Conference All-Stars 3
Label: Eastern Conference Records
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: DJ MF
Eastern Conference is back in the news once again, and no, I’m not talking about Cage versus that guy from Boston. I’m talking about the latest “All Stars” release from the indie label, following on the heels of last year’s “Volume 2”, with, you guessed it, “Volume 3”.
What you’ll notice first and foremost is that the EC crew have decided to return to their roots with “Volume 3”. Unlike the previous effort which featured a deluge of artists from outside of the EC camp, this joint has no outside artists (depending on if you think RA The Rugged Man is EC or not). And that’s a good thing.
Basically there’s something for everyone on this LP. From the amazing opener ‘Tame As It Never Was’, with it’s rumbling bassline and soaring soundtrack, to Copywrite’s double dose of battle lyricism on ‘Won’t Stop’ and ‘Jeah’, to every underground hip hop fan’s wet dream on the Weathermen track ‘5 In The Clip’, you won’t be skipping much on “Volume 3”.
There’s a couple of tracks that’ll REALLY stand out however.
The first is the Cage track ‘Ballad of Worms’. To put it as accurately as possible, this track is the most disgustingly beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Left off of “Movies For The Blind” for reasons unknown to me, it’s found a home here, and you have to hear it to believe it. First of all, a guitar sample that will make you want to cry. Second, a haunting sampled chorus. Third, some of the most twisted yet interesting rhymes you’ll ever hear from Cage. I’m almost positive that this is Cage’s take on ‘I Used To Love H.E.R.’ by Common. Just amazing. A contender for track of the year.
The second is ‘Brawl’ by RA The Rugged Man. Production by J-Zone. You could stop at that, and you’d know it’s dope. J-Zone laces another cartoonish beat, once again laced with a number of unique samples, and RA… well, he’s standard RA here. The love/hate flow and voice, and a third verse that made me laugh out loud.
Like I said above, feel confident grabbing this LP. If you love EC artists already, this should be heaven. If you’ve never heard of most of them, or you’re indifferent, you’ll still find much to vibe to on here. Plus, Eon and Mi have added an original version of ‘Last Hit’ featuring the one, the only, Eminem… which should guarantee AT LEAST an extra 700,000 album sales, if the “8 Mile” soundtrack is any indication.