The soundtrack to the 1997 hip-hop documentary Rhyme & Reason, released at the height of the hip-hop's coastal tensions, tries to pull together the genre's disparate strands. In an attempt to show that the regional and stylistic differences are nor nearly so great as they appear, East, West, South, and Midwest are all represented in one form or another. Taken individually, the performances are strong. Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip unite for the menacing "Wild Hot," Mack 10 and the Dogg Pound roll smoothly on "Nothin' but the Cavi Hit," while Guru and protegees Kai:Bee & Lil' Dap spread knowledge on "The Way It Iz." Rather than point out the similarities, the often jarring juxtapositions highlight the differences. KRS-One's booming New York hip-hop reminisces immediately precedes Master P's brutal New Orleans bounce. The contrast is profound and startling. Such uncomfortable moments characterize the album. The compilers of the Rhyme & Reason soundtrack don't come close to uniting hip-hop, but they do manage to bring together a host of strong (and mostly non-album) tracks from some of the genre's best. Most hip-hop fans will find something to like here.
AllMusic Review by Chris Witt