One thing rap doesn't have enough of is compilations. Sure, DJs have been putting out collections of their favorite tracks on mixtapes for years -- think of DJ Clue and Funkmaster Flex's legendary tapes, as well as DJ Khaled's seemingly yearly surveys of Bestness in hip-hop -- but it's rare that we get a true label-curated compilation experience, one that manages to tie in disparate regions and styles under a cohesive aesthetic.
That's why it's such a treat that the Chicago-based label Closed Sessions put out its second volume of the Closed Sessions mixtape series. Boasting NYC talent such as Action Bronson, Raekwon, Ninjasonik and Mr. MFN eXquire, the tape also features rappers such as Freddie Gibbs, Blu and CyHi The Prince.
The highlights of the tape come hard and fast, such as Gibbs' flip of Dr. Dre's "XXXplosive," eXquire's look at the transition from anonymity to fame in "Lost In Translation," and Rae's signature novelistic eye on "Keep It Politics." Most of these tracks feature a murky old-school feel, soul samples abound, with rolling drums and a warm feel. It's a charming tape, one that removes itself from time and simply functions as a very good set of songs that do what they do well, and remind us that in rap, it's fun to play nice with others.
Download the tape over at SoundCloud.