At the end of the 1990s, an interesting trend developed in underground hip-hop: the rise of British production teams working with MCs from America's east coast. The Creators, along with fellow Brits such as Unsung Heroes, Nextmen, and Herbaliser, gained international renown for their beat-making abilities but were not associated with any particular vocalists. Instead of joining forces with British rhymers, they decided to reach for more success by collaborating with Americans. This was perhaps the result of the relative lack of success for the great majority of British hip-hop groups, combined with the warm reception many little-known American artists found overseas. Many hip-hop artists such as the Roots launched their careers in Europe before finding success at home.
Whatever the reason, Simon Gilbert and Julian Baker assembled an impressive list of collaborators for their debut album, including underground heavyweights Lootpack, Dilated Peoples, and Black Star and old-school legend Craig G from the Juice Crew. These talented MCs obviously traveled abroad for a reason, and that reason is the promise shown by the Creators. The beats they produce are fresh and crisp with a melodic edge, and at their best rank with the cream of the New York underground, such as DJ Spinna. "Hard Margin," with Mos Def and Talib Kweli, has a rumbling reggae-tinged bassline, while "That's My Word" provides Craig G and Will Pack with a airy jazz guitar loop and simple drum kick to rhyme to.
Although it starts off with great promise and has a few very good songs ("The Music" featuring El da Sensai and "Heart Pound" with Evidence and DJ Babu from Dilated Peoples are two others), overall The Weight is disappointingly mediocre. Some of the guest stars, like Mike Zoot and Phil da Agony, do not deliver their best performances, while the choruses on other tracks border on laughable. Also problematic are the interludes between each song, which feature phone messages from various American rappers requesting a copy of the album, but are merely interruptive filler. This album suffers from problems that haunt many other collaborations between hip-hop artists who aren't familiar with one another. Songs become nothing more than beats and generic rhymes, with no theme or interesting territory covered. While fine for a single or two, when stretched out over an hour it becomes tiresome. The Creators would have been better off compiling their six best tracks and releasing an EP, because they are clearly talented producers.