Artist: DJ Rectangle
Album: Attack Of The Clones
Label: Out Tha Trunk Kutz
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Surely by now you’ve heard of DJ Rectangle? Warren G’s DJ (despite the fact that Mr G never really featured any crazy scratch routines laid down over the G-funk), turntable battle champ, and purveyor of some of the finest mix tapes and cd you’re ever likely to come across. Well he’s back in action with part 2 of his “Vinyl Combat” series – this one called “Attack Of The Clones”.
So what can you expect from a DJ Rectangle tape or cd? Well one thing is that his tapes usually have a little West coast bias to them… not surprising considering his position in the game. Yes he will throw on a few of the more popular joints from other areas, but for the most part you’re gonna get LA and the Bay represented to the fullest.
One of the major plus points in any Rectangle mix is the fact that with his close affiliation to Dre and the whole Aftermath clique, you’re always gonna hear some exclusives – this tape is no exception, featuring several new cuts from Dre, Icecube, and West Side Connection expertly sprinkled amongst other heavy hitters like Knoc-turn’al, Eminem and Ras Kass.
The East Coast is represented by the standard cuts that are blowing up clubs everywhere – Camron’s ‘Oh Boy’, Puffy’s ‘I Need A Girl’, and NORE’s ‘Nothin” all make expected appearances. The difference between this and other DJ’s tapes is the standard of mixing, cutting, and blending on display here – despite the fact that these songs are perhaps just a “little” overexposed, Rectangle manages to fit them into the mix amongst the other joints, without any sense of deja-vu becoming apparent. (Of course the fact that the joints DO actually bump like hell to begin with always helps.)
So anyway, these exclusives… ‘Crooked Cop’ by Dre is actually a bit of a plodder, featuring a repetitive piano sample, and the doctor in a rather unconvincing “fuck them cops” mode – however its just the right tempo to allow the excellent Scarface & Jigga track ‘Guess Who’s Back’ to be seamlessly blended into the mix to save the situation. Elsewhere, Funkdoobiest make a welcome return to the scene with ‘Wild Out’, a funk heavy Dre-sounding cut, which features the infamous Sondoobie running off at the mouth at Nelly and Master P, whilst paying homage to KRS, PE and MC Shan.
Highlights? Well, its not a FULL display of Rectangle’s skills – rather than coming off as another turntablist battle album, on this joint he seems more intent on producing something that you can just throw on and listen to all the way through. Yes, there are displays of his undeniable scratching skills between tracks, but for the most part the focus is more on blending tracks together to produce a smooth mix, rather than a display of truly deadly needlework. So with that in mind, when talking of highlights, its more important to focus on track mixing and sequencing, rather than cutting skills – there’s a fantastic sequence on the last third of the album, where Onyx gives way to Icecube, E-40’s ‘Automatic’ smoothly follows NORE, and the already-mentioned Puffy track melts perfectly into a remix of Truth Hurts’ ‘Addictive’. It all fits together superbly.
If you’ve already heard DJ Rectangle before then you’ll know what a high standard his mix tapes and cd usually reach – for those who are unaware, this is as good a place as any to get acquainted with one of the best DJs on the West Coast. Definitely go out and hunt this down.