Various Artists

Take a Bite Outta Rhyme

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Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap examines rap's impact on the worlds of alternative rock and heavy metal -- or, specifically, on the most popular mainstream trends in those areas. That means the compilation is devoted primarily to alt-rock novelty acts and aggro rap-metal; the bigger names include Dynamite Hack, the Bloodhound Gang, and the Fun Lovin' Criminals in the former category, and Sevendust, Insane Clown Posse, and Staind featuring Fred Durst in the latter. A few of the songs, including Dynamite Hack's folk-rock cover of N.W.A.'s "Boyz-N-Tha-Hood" and the Bloodhound Gang's version of "It's Tricky," have been previously released. The main problem with the collection is that it isn't always the "tribute" to rap suggested in the title, since the frequent novelties tend to come off as smirky and ironic -- more send-ups of rap's aggression and the bands' own self-consciousness about their whiteness than the acknowledgment of a revered influence. Some of the more metallic artists also tend to lack the smooth, tight flow of true hip-hop MCs, but that won't really matter to fans of the style. The bottom line is that this collection is most at home in locker rooms and frat parties. Rap music has also affected rock in more artistically ambitious ways, but if you're just looking for a sampling of the more boisterous, testosterone-driven rap/rock fusion sound, this will do nicely.

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