Various artists

By JAMIN WARREN  |  January 4, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars
Just seeing "Rawkus" and "classic" in the same sentence is telling: what ever happened to the label that made an entire generation of college kids feel good about hip-hop in an era when gangstas ruled the streets? The label that placed an educated Talib Kweli on a pedestal and made Mos Def a household name (or at least a Hollywood regular) and seemed poised to ignite some major-label goodness via MCA fell into the Iovine sinkhole, never, it seemed, to be heard from again. Well, the prodigal Rawkus has returned to reclaim some of its swagger, offering a handful of familiar tracks as Classic Cuts and acting as if the last two years had never happened. Nothing here’s going to win any new ears. Who doesn’t already have Kweli’s "Get By" or Mos, Q-Tip & Tash’s "Body Rock" on his iPod or a mixtape? And where is Pharoahe Monch’s "Simon Says," the track that single-handedly put Rawkus on the map? Why are there nine cuts with Mos and none from Company Flow, Skillz, or Sir Menelik? Classic Cuts is hardly a functional (or even accurate) anthology. But it does provide a taste of what was, if not what might have been. So don't call it a comeback . . . at least not yet.
Related: Interview: Talib Kweli, Nas rocks the bells, Reflection Eternal | Revolutions Per Minute, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular