Hip Hop magazines know talent more than any other source in the industry, because they are working the beat constantly trying to bring light to the brightest stars that fans need to recognize; therefore, when a magazine puts out a compilation project it’s usually stacked with the hottest music, by the hottest artists that fans must not sleep on. XXL Raps Volume 1 brings the heat with eighteen of the best artists & music in circulation today.
Magazines are normally very critic minded as they analyze, and review music & artists on a continual basis – that’s what they do! This is a huge advantage when putting together a compilation project as you know what music fans want to hear, and what to avoid when achieving an absence of criticism from other media sources, and more importantly, the fans. In XXL Raps Volume 1, Razor & Tie Entertainment released the first-ever compilation from XXL Magazine, the #1 selling hip-hop magazine worldwide, published by Harris Publications Inc. XXL has a circulation of 315,000 and outsells Vibe, The Source, Spin, and Rolling Stone on the newsstand. XXL magazine is recognized, respected, and branded in the industry; however, XXL Raps Volume 1 is worth hard earned money, and undivided listening attention; unlike other branded products fans may purchase simply based on a name, and some associated clout.
Featuring an impressive, and drool inducing roster which includes Eminem, 50 Cent, T.I., Fat Joe, Common, and more this compilation serves up an appetizing buffet. The best songs featured on the compilation include “Evil Deeds”, “Ski Mask Way”, “My Life”, and “The Food”. The least appreciated track is “Bloody War”. All of the tracks are top quality; therefore, it’s hard to select a track as the least appreciated, but “Bloody War” trails the pack by a miniscule margin. It’s rare to find so many solid tracks on a compilation. The flow of the music is exceptional, and there is never a dull moment where fans fail to be entertained. The regional representation of the music is impressive hailing music from East, Southeast, South and even Chicago. Some critics critique the compilation for not featuring West Coast representation, and those same critics; hope to sink their teeth into some West Coast music on volume 2.
Some critics will critique this compilation for, as mentioned above, a lack of West Coast representation, the fact that most the artists are mainstream, and recognized (where’s the indie love?), and the lack of information on the artists inside the jacket (some fans love to read more about the music & artists). The lack of West Coast representation is simply choice of music, and if that’s an albums biggest disadvantage, then that’s not that bad at all. True some fans may feel like they were not represented well, but that’s more of a marketing decision. The lack of indie artists & music is more interesting, because one of the objectives of the compilation is to gain exposure for the featured artists, and who needs exposure more than talented indie artists. Take Cunninlyguists for example, they are ready, hungry, extremely talented, and would appreciate some real estate in the spotlight. It would add another dimension to the release, and give fans a deeper perspective into the music. The lack of more information in the jacket is minor, but when coupled by the fact that a magazine released this compilation, the thought of exclusive interviews, articles, profiles on the artists, etc., is tantalizing.
Considering the rather large investment that most likely went into this release, it’s of no surprise that the artwork is top quality, as are the beats, production, and sound quality. There are no disappointments in the quality, and presentation of the product. The compilation’s music flows flawlessly, it has great replayability, there are no cheesy interludes, only pure, non stop music, no annoying intro, and outro, and eighteen (18) tracks deep which shows fans love, and gives them a lot for their money.
XXL Raps Volume 1 is an incredible compilation that fans need to tune into. It features some incredible music by equally incredible artists. XXL Magazine knows their music extremely well, and this compilation is a gift to fans, and a testament to that fact. XXL Raps Volume 1 is mandatory listening material.
XXL Raps Volume 1 track listing:
1. Evil Deeds – Eminem
2. Ski Mask Way – 50 Cent
3. On Fire – Lloyd Banks
4. Bonafied Hustler – Young Buck
5. Live By The Gun – Tony Yayo
6. Ghetto – Fabolous
7. My Life – T.I.
8. Get Crunk – ‘Lil Jon
9. Trill – Paul Wall
10. Bloody War – David Banner
11. Whuteva – Remy Ma
12. Safe 2 Say (The Incredible) – Fat Joe
13. Set It Off – Young Gunz
14. First Last And Only – Memphis Bleek
15. G’s Up – Jim Jones
16. Food – Common
17. Wanna Know – Obie Trice
18. The Children’s Song – Trick Daddy