20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Rap & Hip Hop, released in Canada, is a scattered but ultimately satisfying compilation that rummages through Universal Music's archives from the '80s and '90s. Beginning with Kurtis Blow's "The Breaks" and ending with the Roots' "The Next Movement," the disc includes tracks from just about every period in between, with a noted emphasis on the late-'80s/early-'90s golden age (Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype," Slick Rick's "Children's Story," LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full"). The inclusions of Mary J. Blige's "What's the 411?" and Blackstreet's "No Diggity" demonstrate how hip-hop infiltrated R&B to the point where distinguishing between the two genres often became impossible.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman