Various Artists

Cali Connected

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The three Los Angeles rappers who comprised the West Coast supergroup Westside Connection in the late '90s -- Ice Cube, Mack 10, and W.C. -- are spotlighted on Cali Connected, a 12-track compilation from the Priority vaults that includes many of their more notable individual songs from the '90s. Of the three, Ice Cube certainly had the most hits, though the ones compiled here ("You Know How We Do It," "Steady Mobbin'," "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate," and "My Summer Vacation") aren't necessarily his biggest ones. Even so, they're all excellent inclusions, and "You Know How We Do It" opens the compilation well with a laid-back Cali-sunshine vibe. On the other hand, the Mack 10 and W.C. (the latter performing also as both W.C. and Maad Circle and Low Profile) inclusions are indeed their biggest hits, including "Westside Slaughterhouse," which brings all three rappers together for a fine performance that initially set the stage for the subsequent Westside Connection album. It's curious that Priority didn't make a more overt reference to the Westside Connection association here on Cali Connected. The album's packaging makes it seem as though this is a compilation of various Los Angeles rappers, but that's certainly not the case, as the usual suspects like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre are nowhere to be found here. While most fans will probably already have many of these songs, as none of them are rare or exclusive, the collection itself is still worth seeking out, as it's sequenced and compiled well. If anything, Cali Connected is a bit brief relative to most rap albums, yet this is a minor issue and probably for the better in the end since the playing time doesn't drag on to tiring lengths.

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