Various Artists

Coast II Coast

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AllMusic Review by

Coast II Coast brings together 11 different artists from various underground scenes around North America, offering a unique view of hip-hop with an eye on alternative rap. This disc covers it all, from the esoteric scatting of Them to the high school beat poetry of MC Paul Barman. Although it leaves off countless MC's and groups, Coast II Coast is still a great place to begin searching out the bright spots of the independent rap scene. Several scenes are represented, from the Anticon Records crew to El-P's Def Jux posse, but the common thread is a sense of adventure that is sorely lacking from most hip-hop groups. Cannibal Ox starts things strong and smart with the excellent "Iron Galaxy," setting the tone for the record with an ethereal-yet-brash example of their numerous talents. Mr. Lif showcases his production skills as well as his rhymes on the next track, easing listeners down and delivering a solid set of beats. Elsewhere, Atmosphere offers an intelligent set of personal raps that displays their unique Midwest sound, while Obscure Disorder teams with Non Phixion for the hardest hitting entry on the record. Other contributions are equally impressive, but overall this record is easier to take as a whole because the track order is complimentary to the concept of a showcase record. Although many underground hip-hop fans will probably own the material they would want from this disc, this would make a good sampler for someone outside of the indie rap scene. Sharp and focused, these songs preview the future of hip-hop effortlessly.

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