Various Artists

We Came from Beyond

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Providing an alternative to the slick nonsense of contemporary rap radio, Mike N.'s We Came From Beyond radio show on college station KXLU in Los Angeles has been churning out an altogether different hip-hop groove for 13 years. Mike N.'s show is an MC-driven enterprise and among the finest guides to the vast universe of hip-hop that's ignored by commercial radio. But this compilation of unreleased, rare, and exclusive tracks isn't the best introduction to We Came From Beyond. There are a few dope tracks, but in general the record doesn't live up to the show's best moments, when Mike N. might drop six amazing songs in a row by artists no one has ever heard of. "Liquorland" by Mighty Casey is a goofy, fun song, as is "Doo Doo (In the Pot)" by Fat Hed & DJ Fred C, while "Unified Rebelution" is an early Jurassic 5 tune showcasing the L.A. act's talents. Mike N. also drops a fine remix of the Beastie Boys' "Pass the Mic." But Dilated Peoples' "Weed Vs. Beer (You Make the Choice)" is not one of their best tunes and selections from Eyedea, Pep Love, and Blackalicious are immediately forgettable. The feel of the record is totally underground hip-hop, though these aren't the best examples of that scene.

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