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Westwood Uk Hip Hop 2002 Vol. 1 - Tim Westwood

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  • A lot of unknown acts people will have trouble remembering
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      01.10.2002 06:31
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      • "A lot of unknown acts people will have trouble remembering"

      TIM WESTWOOD – ‘UK Hip-Hop 2002 Vol. 1’ UK release date: OUT NOW [only available from trustthedjrecords.com or timwestwood.com] [apologies for squeezing this op into this section] There’s a school of thought that for all the coverage and compliments Tim Westwood receives for bossing hip-hop in the UK, the actual support he gives to homegrown acts is always under-serviced. Whether this internet-only LP is an answer to those critics or simply a logical progression from his previous two showcase albums, a fairer evaluation of his abilities to pick and champion a tune should be forthcoming from UK Hip-Hop 2002. Yet there’s still something missing in what you’d think would be a relatively easy translation from selection to CD. Westwood gets the nationality right but the attitude remains biased, that sort of thug-lite rabble rousing that usually makes up the bulk of his weekend stints on Radio 1. All the compilation needs is that explosion sound effect he hammers every two minutes and we could easily be listening to a collection made up purely of tracks from Jay-Z, Nas and company. Plenty of boastfulness, but very little else behind it once the big-ups to self are scraped away. 57th Dynasty’s ‘Hooligans’ is particularly galling, its enthusiastic name-checking of the compiler at the beginning and chorus acting as some sort of secret handshake of recognition between the two. The fact the track threatens Bloods and Crips should they be in the London region continues to leave a bitter taste in the mouth. And yet by the same means, is the soundtrack Westwood is probably always on the look out for. It’s not all doom and gloom, and certain inserts are praiseworthy, if not totally knockout, but show the UK’s ever-evolving maturity within the global rap scene. That may sound condescending but in a genre where heads will always go to US acts first, it’s great news t
      o see the Brits sticking to their guns and at times outshining their counterparts from across the water. DJ MK justifies his inclusion by providing an understated head knocker for Jehst, Kyza, Super T and Harry Love to declare ‘It’s All Live’, a cut merited on pure skills as all concerned turn in sharp performances. New Flesh’s reliability remains infallible on ‘Mack Facts’, and The P-Brothers farting basses on ‘3 Kings’ torture any speakers daring to try and combat its velocity. Outdaville (the punchy ‘Wishmaster’) and Psychic Phenomena (‘Slip Stream’, reminiscent of Big Punisher’s ‘Tres Leches’) also manage solid displays. The negatives though just seem to uphold Westwood’s own personal preference of rap style; brash, flashy, not really that clever and even less memorable. The steroid-powered rhymes on Fredi Kruga’s ‘Thug Date’ descend into belt-whipping women for sexual pleasure. Iceberg Slimm attempts to get away with paraphrasing the runaway pinball theme from Sesame Street on ‘Electrified’, and London’s New Delegates of Major Stars fail to realize the importance of their elaborate moniker with the lightweight ‘Foldinem’. Funky DL, who has long been coated for deliberate US twang adopting, refuses to ditch the habit of a lifetime while attempting to make the concept ‘Tangible’. In fairness, he’s no more culpable than sections of the company he’s keeping. Mike GLC, reviewed in some magazines as nothing more than a Tupac pretender, ends matters with a tearjerker recalling an uncomfortable background – very Shakur – as the anguished pianos of ‘My Life’ at least show a willingness to pursue a storyline. Labelling this as a missed opportunity isn’t really the right description to bestow upon Westwood’s hand pickings, but there’s a distinct fe
      eling that things have gone haywire somewhere along the line that you can’t seem to put your finger on. As good as it is to see the UK’s ‘main man’ dedicating himself to a project closer to home, the exuberance of UK hip-hop is at times replaces by inherited posturing and rhyming without really saying anything, exposed when placed next to the inclusions that do show genuine quality. It’s UK hip-hop in name, but in execution is an entirely different matter; fans of Westwood’s DJ style may also be tempted to stick with his round ups of the brighter lights given the relative anonymity of a number of acts. Make up your own mind whether you want to trust the DJ or not, but search around and the much better compilations will become that much more obvious.


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 F@*K aka Fredi Kruga - Thug Date
      2 Iceberg Slimm - Electrified
      3 The 57th Dynasty - Hooligans
      4 H&M - Envy
      5 Psychic Phenomena feat TY - Slip Stream
      6 Out Daville - Wishmaster
      7 Moorish Delta 7 - Extreme Speeds
      8 Mike GLC - My Life
      9 Funky DL - Tangible (L.U.C.Y.)
      10 Mud Family & Taskforce - Fuck a Concept
      11 DJ MK - It's All Live
      12 New Flesh feat. Ram-ell-zee - Mack Facts
      13 Blemish feat. The Frontline Soldiers - Let's Roll
      14 Ca$hino feat. DBlack - Subterranean
      15 The Mighty MPD Coup - The Battle
      16 London's New Delegates - Foldin' Em
      17 Firstman and DVS - Break Beats
      18 The P-Brothers - 3 Kings

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