The Big Playback
The Soundtrack to Ego Trip’s Book Of Rap Lists
Rawkus Records

This is old-school remastered gems all compiled onto one listening unit for your pleasure. All the hits are on here, dutifully recorded from the old vinyl they were originally on. Artists include Divine Force, Lord Shafiyq, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Bizzie Boys, Grandmaster Caz, and a whole slew of other forefathers of modern hip-hop. Outstanding work, gentlemen.¿A.S.

Tony Touch
The Piece Maker
Tommy Boy Records

Puerto Rico, ohhh! Puerto Rico, ohhh! Tony Touch is the illest DJ in New York, no doubt. There’re so many amazing acts on this new compilation it’d be impossible to name them all, but here’s a few: Gang Starr, Tash, Defari, Xzibit, Wu-Tang Clan, Heltah Skeltah, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, and my personal favorite track, “Class of ’87” featuring Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and the one and only KRS-One.You’d be dumb not to get this one.¿A.S.

Black Rob
Life Story
Bad Boy Records

This album holds it down like “Whoa!” I’m sure most of you hip-hop heads out there have heard the “Whoa!” song on MTV or on your local radio station. It’s a hit, but the rest of the album is boomin’. Black Rob’s been around for a while, but now that he’s signed to Puffy’s Bad Boy Records we’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more of him sooner than you think. One word: dope.¿A.S.

White Pepper

Ween has been making obscure rock ‘n’ roll for a long time now. They have the most warped view of music, which comes through with pure brillance. On their new release, White Pepper, Ween returns to the studio to produce a gem of weird, melancholy rock. Ween’s not for everyone, but if you ask any fan, you’ll get an earful of praise. All the songs are like stories about who knows what, but if you can figure it out¿you’re definitely a freak. Don’t be scared¿check out White Pepper, you could realize that you, too, are a freak.¿C.C.Also see Ween’s interview on

Island Records

Supergrass is very popular in England. You probably don’t care, but you should because they rip. They have a crazy video on MTV where all the guys in the band are like puppets with their real heads attached. Anyway, this new self-titled album is a mix between The Beatles and The Stones, with some Oasis Brit pop thrown in. Very different and eclectic, Supergrass should be in your CD player right now. The CD’s first song, “Movin’,” is my new favorite song.¿C.C.

The Deadlines
The Death and Life of…
Tooth and Nail Records

The Deadlines hang out in graveyards and write awesome punk-rock songs about being dead and other creepy subjects. This album is good punk-rock along the lines of the Misfits and other early punk bands. The recordings are great, and all the songs are guaranteed to make you do a few rock ‘n’ roll headsnaps. I hate mosh pits, but if you and all your friends were dressed up like zombies, you could easily slam dance to this. Good songs are “Go-Go To The Graveyard,” “Murder Creek Road,” and “Death And Life In Rock And Roll.” The rest of the tracks will kick your dead ass, too. So go get this disc, you zombie vampire from outer space.¿C.C.

Fear of Flying
University Music/Interscope

This is the type of CD that girls listen to when they drive around. They all scream when the next song comes on and sing it at the top of their lungs. Mya was the lady who sang the hook to “Ghetto Superstar.” She’s very hot, but there’s no way she would ever go out with any of us¿she probably likes rapper dudes with icy watches. Most of the songs are about dudes and the rest are about girl stuff. It’s a good CD to listen to if you want to hear a hot girl sing. Mya is just as good as Destiny’s Child, and just as hot. Here’s a sample lyric: “nick knack paddy whack, don’t giva dog a bone, ’cause if you give it up, you gonna be alone.”¿C.C.

EElliott Smith
Figure 8

Elliott Smith is a musical genius. His heartfelt bittersweet songwriting style will tear you apart¿while at the same time making you feel good. You could say he’s a folk-pop master with song styles ranging from quiet acoustic ballads to spinning Beatles-esque orchestra rock songs. This is his second album on a major label, and I think he’s finally comfortable in a big studio. Figure 8 definitely lives up to the hype that Elliott Smith has received. If you give this CD to a lady, she’ll like you¿maybe even love you.¿C.C.

The Opposite of H2O
Ruff Ryders/Interscope

The Ss are replaced by Zs, and there’s the typical overuse of the F-word and the N-word. You know what’s really f¿ked up? Last night I had a dream where my beautiful girlfriend turned into a 300-pound rapper guy. I also lit my dad’s hair on fire and rolled him in his car down a hill into a gas station, blowing everything up¿I’m serious. But anyway, this CD, like last night’s dream, wasn’t pleasant. There’s a song called “Shaquita” where the lyrics detail a gangster burning baby cribs and beating up old people. It would be too easy to exaggerate and be sarcastic, so let’s just say I wanted to break this musical fart. Is this the decline of Western civilization, or just a depiction of some really terrible rap music?¿Josh McClure

Volcom Entertainment

If this disc could walk and talk, it’d get out of the CD player and kick your ass. The first couple of songs are tight, metal/rock songs that ooze with tight changes and brutal progressions. The next couple of songs are melodious rock/metal/indie gems the world has never heard. No one has ever really done a CD like this before, and thank god the guys at Volcom put this out so the world can hear CAMP. CAMP made the soundtrack for one of the best movies ever made, Camp Kill Yourself (CKY2K). If you haven’t seen that movie, you suck¿and if you haven’t heard CAMP, you suck even harder.¿C.C.

For information on CAMP, contact Volcom Entertainment at (949) 646-2175 ext. 262.

Boom Bip and Dose One
Mush Records

This is the first major release from poet/artist Dose One and electronic composer Boom Bip. There are some crazy songs on this record. I’d call it hip-hop-art-indie ‘core. There’re some weird background, bird calls, and some crazy rhyme styles. There’s some spoken word and some crazy flowing from Dose One. This is like no other hip-hop CD because it’s like a piece of art. No pissed-off gangsters here, just some new shit to freak your speakers with. Try it out¿it’s something new and different. Don’t be a little wuss.¿C.C.

Half Pint
Cornerstone Ras/Skunk

If you were to pinpoint the reggae capital of the United States, it’d have to be Long Beach, California. The reason¿Sublime. Another reason is the Long Beach Dub All Stars, who’ve pulled together with some bros to create a record label called Cornerstone Ras. Cornerstone’s newest release is from a man known as Half Pint. This disc, titled Recollection, is classic reggae with deep grooves and soulful singing. Half Pint is a new messiah who can send praises to Jah with his beautiful voice. All tracks stand out, so go to your local independent record store and buy it. Then go home, sit in a circle, and praise Jah.¿C.C.

Long Way Down
Volcom Entertainment

This band is a standard melodic-new-punk band. But hey,what’s wrong with that? If you like to listen to fast-ass guitars with the driving one-two punk beat, this CD will please you. Stranded is a good, tight, punk-ass punk-rock band that will not disappoint any fans of good clean punk. The best way to listen to this CD would be on a huge stereo at a dusty backyard kegger¿get all fired up and start moshing!¿C.C.