DJ Whoo Kid

Hood Radio, Vol. 1

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Amid the innumerable DJ Whookid mixtapes flooding the streets during 2003, 50 Cent's right-hand DJ did release one over-the-counter mix, Hood Radio, Vol. 1. Released by Full Clip (the same label that released 50's semiunderground compilation, Guess Who's Back?), Whookid's official debut certainly sounds much better than his street mixes, which sometimes sounded like umpteenth-generation recordings cut-and-pasted together ad hoc. The mixing here is fairly seamless, and Whookid never interrupts with shoutouts à la DJ Kayslay (though gunshots rattle by every so often). Furthermore, pretty much everything here is exclusive, as most of the tracks are freestyles (e.g., Jae Hood spitting over Nas' "Destroy and Rebuild," G-Unit over tha Eastsidaz's "G'd Up") while others are unreleased productions (some by Red Spyda). The lineup is heavy on East Coast hardcore brass -- 50, LOX, Mobb Deep, Nas, Noreaga -- though, for the sake of variety, there are a couple non-New Yorkers, including Daz Dillinger, B.G., and Juvenile. The overall result isn't really that spectacular. Like Kayslay's major-label Streetsweeper mix, Hood Radio is simply an ordinary mixtape with top-shelf sound quality except sans the street-premiere singles. As such, it's not going to woo the mainstream -- or for that matter, anyone who isn't down with the streets in first place. Hood Radio is what fans have come to expect from Whookid, and while that in itself is perfectly fine for fans, it's not the major statement many had anticipated. Everything you'd expect to be here is here (improved sound quality; more-focused mixing; talent and freestyles aplenty) -- everything, that is, except something truly extraordinary. As is often the case with these sort of major-label mixtapes, it seems like the rappers are holding back their best efforts (and hooks) for their own albums, dishing out half-thought-out, off-the-cuff freestyles instead and leaving the DJ with nothing but scraps to work with.

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