Tony Touch

The Piece Maker, Vol. 3: Return of the 50 MCs

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Hard to figure out why DJ Tony Touch calls these compilations Piece Maker when they feel like an all-out MC war, up to and including the idea that this Volume 3 is the bomb. Kicking off with a hand-raising anthem with Touch as gritty hypeman, Return of the 50 MCs storms through a whirlwind of hard-kicking hip-hop with old-school mixtape production standards, all of it mixed for maximum force and compression. Early highlights come from a proud and snide Angie Martinez (offering "foul coming out of my mouth like I'm a shock jock" during the "Ladies First Freestyle"), Busta Rhymes (leading a big crew on the infectious, boom-bap track "Hold That"), and Papoose ("Brooklyn's the Borough" features "I don't care about the name or your clothing designer/I'm fascinated by the attributes of Malcolm and Elijah"), while a kinetic Eminem (joking "Got an Oscar but I'm still a grouch" during "Symphony In H"), an Action Bronson and Kool G. Rap team-up ("A Queen's Thing" is so lush), and the spitacular trio of Erick Sermon, Method Man, and Redman ("Let's Go") help keep this one popping to the very end. Expect the usual swift mixing from Touch, just don't expect Joe Budden during the great "Slaughter Session," but the rest of the Slaughterhouse crew is here, and over a choice Just Blaze beat.

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