Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez

Hip Hop Forever

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The first of the three discs in this set from BBE is an ace set of mostly golden-age hip-hop tracks mixed by Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, who rolls through classics like Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's "Ill Street Blues," Jeru the Damaja's "Come Clean," Ed O.G. & da Bulldogs' "I Got to Have It," EPMD's "You Gots to Chill," and Method Man's "Bring the Pain." With 19 cuts presented in just over an hour, Gonzalez can allow the bulk of each track to play out before switching to the next one. The mixing, the selections, and the sequencing leave little to be desired. Apart from an pseudo-ominous voice that comes in every now and then to announce "Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez," it's a smooth, uninterrupted ride. Just as remarkable, discs two and three allow each track from the mix to be presented in full, free of mixing. As a bonus on top of that, a handful of tracks that aren't on the mix are also present, including the Basement Khemists' "Everybody," Sunz of Man's "Shining Star," Common's "Resurrection '95," and Xzibit's "Los Angeles Times." Just like Gonzalez' similarly formatted Disco Heat set (also on BBE), Hip Hop Forever can be either nostalgic or educational to the listener, and it's undeniably fun regardless.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:00
2
feat: Kool G Rap
3:27
3 4:00
4 4:58
5
feat: Redman
3:20
6
3:16
7 4:29
8
feat: Special Ed
3:26
9
feat: Black Moon
3:46
10
feat: Gang Starr
3:38
11 3:11
12
feat: Punisher
2:24
13 2:14
14
feat: EPMD
3:39
15
3:33
16
feat: YZ
4:02
17
feat: Black Sheep
3:46
18
feat: Sunz of Man
3:34
19
feat: Method Man
3:37
blue highlight denotes track pick