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Fashion Expo Round one: Tru Hip-Hop
Labrl: Syntax Records
Length: 36 tracks on two discs at 140 minutes plus
The title of the first cut
on this double CD could describe the project in one word, "Unique." Recording
veterans, Sackcloth Fashion put together the basic beats for the whole
record and then recruited the best in today's hip hop talent to come into
the studio and rap over the rough tracks. The acts picked from the assorted
music tracks already laid down by Sackcloth Fashion, then wrote and performed
their own rhymes. The pair of brothers that is Sackcloth Fashion took those
studio tapes and made the final songs, including
The impressive roster of emcee's and DJ's is one of the stories here. The roll includes Dirt, Future Shock, KJ52, Peace 586 of Freedom of Soul, Grits, Sup the Chemist, and Braille as well as up and coming names such as RedCloud, MarsIll and Sev Statikk, Diz Organ, and OmniPoetics. This double record is all new material so the album is more correctly referred to as a project then a compilation. But the big story is the masterminds behind Fashion Expo. To take so many elements and combine them so well is a testament to the production genius of Sackcloth Fashion. The flow and cohesiveness of the project is amazing, given the many aspects to the final outcome.
The styles are diverse, the
beats are myriad, the sampling is manifold, but the result is unified.
One of the comments on the promotional material explains that there was
a "No Chaff" policy in force while the production team was weeding through
the fuel for the record. And honestly I can't find an obvious weed in the
bunch. This is a solid two hours of head boppin', finger tappin' fun. Some
tunes are more muscular than others, but none are throwaways. Disc one
is strong with RedCloud, Absolute, Braille, and Mr. Tru
Music fans interested at all in hip hop, whether just testing the waters or already full on baptized in the genre, should be seeking out this record. It's the best of what's happening now.
Tony LaFianza 2/6/2001