Various Artists

Too Legit for the Pit: Hardcore Takes the Rap

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The conceit behind this album is just too irresistible: A bunch of (mostly obscure) hardcore punk bands take on the giants of (mostly 1990s) hip-hop. The interpretations end up being surprisingly diverse: Candiria's rendition of "Deep Cover" (originally recorded by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg) is a sludge-funk grind; the Movielife take Public Enemy's "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" and strip it to the bone, building a new version out of a bass, funky drummer, one-note guitar obbligato, and a very quick sample. E-Town Concrete sounds an awful lot like middle-period Defunkt on its rendition of Nas' "The World Is Yours," while the Hoods bring the death with their shredded interpretation of the LL Cool J hit "Mama Said Knock You Out." But the class of this album, hands down, is Throwdown, which delivers an absolutely hilarious version of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back," complete with one of those Satan-voice guys roaring "baby got back" and "shake it shake it shake it." This is the best novelty album in years.

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