REVIEW: Eastern Conference All-Stars 2

Eastern Conference All-Stars 2

Artist: Various

Album: Eastern Conference All-Stars 2

Label: Eastern Conference Records

Rating: 8 / 10

Reviewer: Gavin-X

The first volume of “Eastern Conference All Stars” was a much smaller affair, concentrating on simply a handful of people and keeping it almost all in-house. However, with volume two, they’ve definitely widened the net in terms of MCs, while Mighty Mi is still behind the boards on almost all the cuts. Since it is essentially a compilation, I think its probably more helpful to deal with each track individually, before saying something about the album as whole at the end…

1. ‘Leading Off’ – Copywrite
One of the very best introductions I’ve ever heard, put simply. An excellent beat from Milo and Copywrite spits a superb, minute long battle verse, showing once again that he is easily the most consistent and witty MC around at the moment. Not convinced? Peep this line: “Smoke the trees but still speak with ease/You’d think I was Lil’ Kim’s main squeeze the way I eat BITCH MCs”

2. ‘Red Light’ – Smut Peddlers
By now, most of you will have heard this track as it was the b-side to the last Smut Peddlers single. Its a sick beat from The Alchemist, as he continues to get better and better, while Cage and Eon kill it in their own distinctive styles. As good as anything off their “Porn Again” album, and if you’ve heard that, you’ll realise that this is praise indeed…

3. ‘Nickel Nine Is’ – Royce da 5’9″
Not outstanding, but the best thing Royce has done for ages. The beat (by Reef) is pretty good, but sounds a bit weak to me and Royce is still doing his “I’m a thug” thing. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still nice, but nowhere near his ’98 peak

4. ‘Pressure Time’ – (Mad) Skillz
Tight track; Skillz is a dope MC and its a nice beat from Milo, but the track is sort of ruined by a stupid chant-along hook

5. €˜Tonight €™s the Night €™ – High and Mighty
The beat sounds a bit similar to the last track for my liking, plus Mi €™s jacked a little piano sample from the Adam F/De La track. Still, its not a bad song, just nowhere near the standard of the rest of the album

6. €˜Crowd Killa €™ – Cage
Now this is more like it. Excellent dark beat from Mighty Mi, perfect for Cage and he really takes advantage of it, slyly dissing Eminem in the process ( €œSuicidal failure like Shady €™s ex-wife €) Although the first two verses are sick, the last verse isn €™t too great, despite containing a classic line: €œCage number nine on Billboard/Fuck/Now I €™ve got to set Kubrick on Lil €™ Bow Wow €™s nuts. € If this is an example of Cage €™s LP I can €™t wait

7. €˜Breadwinner €™ – Charlie 2na
One of the four songs released as a single and its a real love it or hate it track. Personally, I really like it, but then again I like J5. I love the simple, funky beat and even the sing-song chorus, plus Charlie €™s a tight MC with a very distinctive voice

8. €˜Moment I Feared €™ – Tame 1
Yes, its a re-make of the Slick Rick track and, for once, I actually like this more than the original. The beat €™s been tweaked and Tame 1 freaks the lyrics just as well as Ricky D, as sacreligious as that sounds

9. €˜EC Allstars €™ – Tame 1, Copywrite, J-Zone, Cage, Eon, Skillz, Camu Tao
The posse cut of the year with every MC coming off really well. Copywrite and J-Zone are the obvious standouts, each dropping incredible verses. Check this from Copywrite: €œBad boy with a long barrel/That €™s all narrow/SHYNE behind bars like Jamal Barrow € and J-Zone: €œInternet B-Boys want to know what race I am/Black, white or Spanish/You figure it out/But first learn how to rhyme off line and take that dick out of your mouth… UPS is hiring so close your trap because my old gym teacher ain €™t supposed to rap €

10. €˜Fuck Soundcheck €™ – Copywrite
Insane beat from RJ72 with Copywrite, again, killing it. I could quote the whole song, but just go listen to it instead

11. €˜Homecoming Queen €™ – Mr. Eon and RA Rugged Man
Evil, eery beat, perfect for RA and Eon €™s raspy voices from Milo. Its just basically both of them frying to screw, you guessed it, the homecoming queen who is charmingly described as €œJust out the cradle/Discovering Anal. € Still its good to hear tight new material from RA after a while keeping a low profile

12. €˜All Get By €™ – Pacewon
First Rawkus, now EC?! R €˜n €™ B choruses, what the fuck! Totally average track; routine beat and, I €™m sorry, but Pacewon is absolutely mediocre at best

13. €˜Emergency €™ – Evidence
Fresh beat from Milo although I would €™ve like to see him cut up the Iriscience sample a bit better ( €œEmergency, call the paramedics, light are dimming €) Evidence is OK here but it just doesn €™t sound right when he says stuff like €œI don €™t pay girls for sex/I pay girls to leave after sex € ( €œGet the Fuck out! €)

14. €˜Thats Whats Up €™ – Mr. Eon and Last Emperor
Fresh old school sounding beat, reminiscent of €˜Home Field Advantage €™ keep-it-Indie production. Last Emperor easily out-shines Eon in what is essentially just a fun party song

15. €˜Fake Thug Theme €™ – Mr. Eon and Lord Sear
Heavy drums and a sung reggae-sounding hook make for a nice change of sound from the rest of the album. Nothing really outstanding from Eon but the combination of rapping and Sear €™s singing works better than expected

16. €˜Jump Off €™ – Big Daddy Kane
Nice beat for BDK to spit over as only he can. He still has the presence from “Long Live the Kane” and with this, and the Alchemist white label €˜The Man: The Icon €™ it looks like his comeback might be successful after all. The singing here on the chorus doesn €™t work that well, but overall the song is pretty cool

17. €˜Thug or What €™ – Kool Keith
Nice piano lead beat from Milo as Kool Keith explores whether so-called thugs are real, or in fact gay. Sounds strange, but Keith is truely in his element, spitting many quotable lines, even if his singing is still awful

18. €˜The Struggle €™ – Pretty Ugly
Never heard anything by him before, but Pretty Ugly comes pretty well on this moody, string-lead beat that sounds like typical Achemist. The hook doesn €™t really work, but the song is still nice

19. €˜Look Into My Eyes €™ – Defari
Excellent beat again from Mighty Mi and Defari flows as usual. He €™s another €˜love or hate €™ MC, but personally I think he comes off much better here than his typical average performance

20. €˜EC Allstars €™ (Remix) – Tame 1, Copywrite, J-Zone, Cage, Eon, Skillz
A stroke of genius here from Mighty Mi; he places everyone €™s verses here over their own most well-known beats so, for example, you get Copywrite over a combination of €˜Holier Than Thou €™ and €˜Tower of Babble. €™ I can €™t really decide whether I prefer this to the original, but surfice to say, its an excellent track

So, there you have it. 20 tracks. I €™d say that about 16 are tight, while 5 of them are just straight fire and must be contenders for best track of 2001, which is pretty impressive considering the usual quality of compilations. It is definitely the best compilation since €˜Soundbombing 2 €™ and with the downfall of Rawkus evident, EC look like easily taking their place as the best independent label with releases from High and Mighty, Cage and Copywrite promised within the next 6 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *