Original TV Soundtrack

Oz

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Featuring a broad ensemble of rap artists from all three coasts, the Oz soundtrack is far from consistent in terms of style. In fact, very few of the 17 tracks feature many similarities; one moment Snoop Dogg is getting funky to Meech Wells' West Coast beats, followed by Pharoahe Monch representing classic New York hip-hop and then Master P getting rowdy to patented No Limit-style beats courtesy of Carlos Stephens. What makes this uncanny blend of differing styles and ideologies works so well is everyone's focus on quality. Rather than contribute leftovers and throwaways, most artists here drop tracks representative of their better material. Furthermore, opposed to most rap soundtracks, Oz featuring almost nothing but proven artists, some of the best from all coasts. With so many impressive artists and so much quality material, there are several highlights, of course, but perhaps the most noteworthy inclusions are Cypress Hill's "Can I Live" (top-notch production by Muggs), Three 6 Mafia's "War Wit Us" (what you'd expect from this underrated group), and Kurupt and Nate Dogg's "Behind the Walls" (two talented artists at their best). The same sense of variety that makes this album so engaging upon the initial listen ultimately ends up being the album's primary fault, though; not many rap listeners are going to enjoy all of the many offerings equally, making it an album that doesn't work well from beginning-to-end but rather as a wide-ranging sampler of rap music circa 2001.

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