Conjoined by forces as varied as lyrical progressiveness, underground status, New York, and the production/A&R resource that is label-chief El-P, the artists making up the Definitive Jux crew come together on this 2002 compilation Definitive Jux Presents, Vol. 2. Featuring tracks off their respective label releases, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, the Weathermen, RJD2, and El-P himself all drop tracks that through their fairly visible profile expose more unknown artists like Camu Tao, Rob Sonic, Masai Bey, Yak Balls, and Atoms Family to the judicious hip-hop listenership. In an industry climate too frugal and impatient for real label-brands to develop, El Producto has managed to put together a stable of some of the most poignant and gifted musicians that are both similar enough for intermingling, while maintaining a collective movement boasting innovation, intelligence, and individuality. Highlights include cuts off the upcoming El-P full-length, RJD2's expansive beats on "I Really Like Your Def Jux Baby Tee," the Weathermen's "Same As It Never Was," and Mr. Lif & Murs' "Sneak Preview." The result is easily the most legit hip-hop compilation out in 2002 on the label most important to watch.
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AllMusic Review by Nic Kincaid