Various Phat Artists
Party Mix 2

Get out the BBQ, find those boom box batteries, and roll down the soft top, 'cuz summer's here, and the party CDs are starting to roll in.

Party Mix 2 CDObvious from the title, Party Mix 2 delivers mean grooves, tight rhymes and the most hectic rhythms around, in a successful effort at keeping the musical vibe holy. In sum, this disc presents an entourage of underground-style psalmists who bring their flavas to the street.

The underheard Frankie Cutlass & The God Squad light things up straight off with "Y2J", slinging off worship prayer lyrics courtesy of Corey Rod and MC Precise ("He made the mackerel, orange and apple, if not for Him, there's be no Snapple."). The hip-hop track bumps along with bell-like effect and set the scene for what's to follow.

Track three brings a freely frantic "El Vive" from Brothers Inc. 4 Da Lord, the NYC crew that skillfully combine merengue and hip-hop in Spanish fashion, with a trumpet-finessed latin buzz. It's the album's trophy cut.

Other hip-hop samplings include Dove-nominated DELaRAY, who brings his future-shock Pacific electronica storytelling to "Test The Spirits", and Raiderz of Tha Lost continue their spillage with "Fire Starters".

New stage producer Louis Straker Jr. stakes his territory out on Party Mix 2 by working with newcomer June April. The track is "Tick Tock", and April showers a flood of jazz vocals in the style of Etta James and with the inspiration of Ecclesiastes 3:1-6.

Straker impacts again by combining with Mo Henderson to produce a steaming, hard reggae track from the dreaded side of versatile Florida rapper, Pettidee (see interview), "The Return".

The party buffet is topped up with an infectious soca jam from Sam, who certainly shows his Trini roots on "Salvation", some electronica drum & bass from J. Davis ("East Wes"), and some flat-out R&P smoothity courtesy Uncle Lou (featuring LaTonya) and also Bobby Soverall.

The grill won't be the only thing smokin' when the party is underway, should you dare to pop this gem into your audio enhancer!

Producers: Various
album release date: Spring, 2000
CMN Music

reviewed by Stan North

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