Testing the waters of major-label mix-tape swapping is a natural progression for legendary West Coast radio show pioneers Sway and Tech. While Funkmaster Flex originated it and DJ Clue reinvented it, the Wake Up Show duo of Sway and Tech, up to this point, are the undisputed champs at it. The bi-coastal coalition "The Anthem" merges a bevy of lyrical assassins into one tightly knit assemblage of unity. The list of MCs assembled is enough to satisfy anybody as RZA, Eminem, Xzibit, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Pharoe Monch, Jayo Felony, Chino XL, Tech 9ne, and Sway all play hot potato with the mic. Guru of Gang Starr uses his monotone vocals to rough up MCs on the enticing "NY Nigus." Bringing nothing but "Underground Tactics," Heltah Skeltah, Planet Asia, and Crooked Eye breathe life into one of Sway and Tech's crisp staccato tracks. Eminem was supplied with a less than stellar broken Casio keyboard track, but his neurotic deviant wordplay saves "Get You Mad." Ill Advised and Rasheed team up with the Roots, Black Thought, and Malik B for a Bomb Squad-like rendition of "1986." Jurassic 5's stock continues to rise, and their chemistry is exquisite on "Improvise." Juice Crew affiliates Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap team up with the MC that other MCs love to hate -- Chino XL -- on "Three to the Dome." A hungry and upstart Dirty Unit gives a rhyming-in-the-park element to "Clientele," which features a well-placed Nas voice sample. Digitized chants signal RZA's entrance on the sonic "Belly of the Beast," while the Dilated Peoples build with fellow Likwit crew member Defari on "Dilated Remix." Supervising the LP's ambiance, DJ Revolution admirably blends and cuts up sets of old school and contemporary favorites that would keep any dancefloor packed. Sway and Tech have little trouble getting the best out of their hired hands of proven vets and thirsty underground talent, keeping them one step ahead of their competition.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway
feat: King Tech
feat: Eric B. & Rakim
feat: King Tech