Various Artists

MTV2 My Block: Chicago

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You want history? You gotta go watch the show because the audio companion to the MTV2 My Block: Chicago episode includes no liner notes past the song credits. Instead you get a good representation of the flavor of the Chicago scene, which finds room for everyone from the hard-ballin' Do or Die to the soulful Common. Plus there's Twista, Kanye West, and Lupe Fiasco -- all exploring different territories and making the Chicago sound all that more difficult to define. MTV2 My Block: Chicago the CD doesn't offer a definition, doesn't even come close to trying, but as a mixtape, it's pretty darn good. "Go" and "Overnight Celebrity" still sound fresh even after urban radio overexposed them, and Lupe Fiasco's two tracks represent the very 2006 heat he's brining. "Po Pimp" from Do or Die kicks it hard and old-school while Shawnna's "In tha Chi" is a slick and wicked Windy City anthem. While a Kanye West vocal track wouldn't have hurt, more up-and-comers would have made things more interesting, and a history lesson would have filled a void, the under-ambitious MTV2 My Block: Chicago still does the Second City proud thanks to plenty of high-profile highlights.

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