Arista Records/BMG/Beat Factory
Ranking 5.5/10

The compilation album, ‘Rap Essentials 2000' provides a taste of 12 underground Toronto hip hop artists and 6 bonus uncorrelated tracks from bigger named artists. The unsigned artists sound professional, but they won't all generate hype. The 6 bonus tracks feature a couple of my favorite tracks from the summer: Black Rob's "Whoa" and Q-Tip's "Let's Ride." Both tracks are hot and are definite highlights for the compilation. The tracks tend to be more laid back, this is definitely gangsta rap. As well, all the songs are radio versions with the exception of Black Rob's "Whoa." This hurts the compilation because you don't get a true feel for an artists flow.

There were no undergrounds tracks that were blazin', but nonetheless impressive songs included: Brassmunk on "Live Ordeal," Madlocks' "Check Out The Bazaar," Citizen Kane's "Soldier's Story,"& Dan-E-O's "Corrida De Toros."

If you like supporting Canadian underground hip hop, then this album is a must get. However I know that there a much better underground tracks available out there. Perhaps this album would have been better entitled ‘Toronto-based Rap Essentials 2000' because all underground artists hail from that area. For what I was expecting from the album title, I only got an average album. If you're looking for a compilation of some of the hottest hip hop tracks, then this is not the album to grab. If you're looking to explore the underground Toronto hip hop scene, then I highly recommend grabbin' this album.


(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)

This review was written November 9, 2000