Various Artists

Boom Box Flava

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Rap collections are very hard to put together, no doubt because many of the varying styles that the genre has to offer are often not compatible. Boom Box Flava, one such collection, attempts to mix several different styles into one fairly consistent album. Jumping between eras from song to song, this reflects the genre's evolution from old school boasts (Kurtis Blow's "If I Ruled the World") to minimalist street anthems (Slick Rick's "Children's Story"), from poppy new jack dance hits (Heavy D's "We Got Our Own Thang") to hardcore gangsta rap (Onyx's "Slam"). The addition of EPMD and Eric B. & Rakim to the album is a major plus, and almost every song is solid. The only exceptions are the tracks from Father MC and MC Brains, which haven't aged gracefully compared to the rest of the album. For anyone seeking a collection of old school rap that offers variety without sacrificing quality, Boom Box Flava is a fine place to start.

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