Various Artists

Hip Hop, Vol. 2

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Hip Hop, Vol. 2 is a triple-disc set with a rather random track selection that spans all eras of rap music, with an emphasis on the mid- to late '90s. The early stages of the style are represented by Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" and the Sugarhill Gang's "Apache." It moves on to golden-age highlights like A Tribe Called Quest's "I Lost My Wallet in El Segundo" and Ice Cube's "No Vaseline," and then a small batch of G-funk, including Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Ain't Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang." There's a good deal of breadth; tracks from underexposed English rappers Roots Manuva and Skitz are a pleasant surprise and just might win over the unfamiliar who pick this up. Other tracks from Cocoa Brovaz, the Jungle Brothers, Jay Dee, KRS-One, Public Enemy, Pete Rock, and Afu Ra round out the set. If anything, this box works well as an impulse purchase. Despite its range, it's hardly an ideal representation of rap music.

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