DJ Jazzy Jeff

Hip Hop Forever III

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

For a DJ, one of the best ways to show off your skills is through a mixtape, which is pretty much exactly what Jazzy Jeff did with Hip Hop Forever, Vol. 3, an album whose 23 tracks he compiled and mixed, moving through the pieces expertly and easily, blending the beats together into one seamless hour-long set. His scratches throughout the album (check out his work in Marley Marl's "Droppin' Science" or the Black Sheep's fantastic "The Choice Is Yours") give it a very immediate, live feel, but he's careful to make sure it's mostly about the music, and allows the songs to spread out and carry themselves, giving the listener more than just the hook. Unsurprisingly, Jeff chooses a great selection of songs, moving from old-school to Native Tongues to modern underground. The Pharcyde gets two tracks on the record, as do Little Brother and Large Professor (one as Main Source), while DJ Premier is honored with a trilogy of Gang Starr songs ("The ? Remainz," "Mass Appeal," and "Full Clip"). Mostly the East Coast is covered here, but Jeff, as any self-respecting hip-hop fan/musician in 2006 is nearly obliged to do, also pays tribute to the late James Yancey (aka Jay Dee or J Dilla) with a Slum Village track and a Jay Dee track as well as one he produced for fellow Detroiter Phat Kat. Hip Hop Forever, Vol. 3 is a successful mixtape because it puts well-known songs with lesser-known ones, draws out and scratches the beat when appropriate, and shows off Jazzy Jeff's talent without taking away from the actual music. It's intelligent, fun hip-hop spun by a DJ who knows his place -- both as a presenter behind the turntables and also as an artist -- which means he ends up with something pretty enjoyable.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:05
2
feat: The Pharcyde
2:38
3
2:32
4
2:50
5
3:27
6
feat: Mr. Complex
1:37
7
1:54
8
feat: Big L
2:24
9
feat: Saukrates
2:13
10
feat: Slum Village
3:05
11
feat: The Pharcyde
3:41
12
feat: Jay Dee
1:22
13 3:47
14
feat: Marley Marl
2:47
15
feat: Gang Starr
2:03
16
feat: Gang Starr
2:32
17
feat: Gang Starr
2:12
18
2:32
19 2:25
20
feat: Phat Kat
2:52
21
feat: Mobb Deep
2:43
22
feat: Black Moon
2:02
23
feat: DJ Kool
1:09
24
feat: Black Sheep
3:40
25
feat: Main Source
3:14
26
feat: J-Live
4:18
blue highlight denotes track pick