DJ Tony Touch – The Piece Maker 3: Return of the 50 MCs album review

DJ Tony Touch’s legendary 50 MCs mixtape series has sparked and supported the careers of countless MCs throughout the years. Where other mixtape DJs may clamor for whoever the hot artists are no matter their sound or content Tony Toca has stayed tried and true to the boom bap blueprint.

With that allegiance to the true school in mind he crafted Return of the 50 Mcs, a sprawling project that aims and succeeds in putting the listener in a 90s state of mind.

With a who’s who of legends from Kool G Rap, to KRS One, and even an Eminem freestyle, his support of a wide range of artists have definitely been reciprocated on the project. Whereas Funkmaster Flex’s recent double CD full of tracks flex his knack for networking, with nearly every radio name accounted for, Touch’s project doesn’t stray from his stalwarts of the gritty, no nonsense sound that’s so lacking today. From the plethora of “where has he been” features to the production this is the antithesis of the DJ Khaled/Dj Drama type of compilation, for better or worse.

Those looking for their fix of 1990s inspired hip-hop will thoroughly enjoy this project, but anyone looking to see some kind of bridging of the gap sonically should look elsewhere. Save an odd Lex Lugeresque moment with Thirstin Howl III the Beatnuts-helmed soundscape stays beholden to hard snares, thumping kicks, and choppy samples. It works best on moments like the sinister guitar chops on “Hold That” (featuring Busta Rhymes and Roc Marciano notably) or the now underused one note loop on BARS featuring the Lox. There are tracks though like “Double A” that leave much to be desired.

Lyrically, any project with 50 different people will obviously have a myriad of quality, and this project is no different. The overall theme for this album though seems to be active artists’ thirst for. From still active vets like Busta Rhymes, Nore (who may have the best verse on the album on “Questions”) and Twista to new school lyricists Slaughterhouse (sans Joe Budden), Action Bronson and Papoose, most of the artists who are still laying it down today seemed invigorated with the chance to spit over beats that remind them of a classic era they were apart of or missed out on. A moment like Black Thought’s aptly named “Thought Process” belies how some of the lyrical passion seems to almost be campaigning for a reintroduction of the boombap and lyrical sparring as standard.

Some verses felt like phoned in favors, while other vets seem like they should have perhaps stayed wherever they were, but nothing on the album is overtly wack. Weaker verses are usually carried by strong showings on the same song. If you’re fiending for boombap, the 25 song long album is meaty and has misses, but is a solid nod to a classic era by a classic DJ.

Busta Rhymes To Participate In Upcoming X-Box/Game With Fame Session

Busta Rhymes To Participate In Upcoming X-Box/Game With Fame Session

Legendary Hip-Hop artist, Busta Rhymes, fresh off the release of his eighth full-length album Back On My B.S., will play The Lost and Damned(TM) game add-on for Grand Theft Auto IV(TM) with Xbox LIVE® Gold Members June 2.

If you’re an Xbox LIVE Gold Member (if not, upgrade now here), and you want a chance to play with Busta Rhymes, send a friend request to the following Gamertag and be online half an hour before (6:30 P.M. ET) the Game with Fame session starts on Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 P.M. ET.

* BustaRhymes GWF

Following on the success of his 2006 album, The Big Bang, which went to number one, Rhymes gets back to basics with Back On My B.S. releasing May 19. The first signature song on the new album is “Arab Money,” produced by Ron Brows as homage to the culture of the Middle East, and he follows that up with songs including “Hustler’s Anthem 09” featuring T-Pain, and “Respect My Conglomerate” featuring past Xbox.com Artists of the Month Young Jeezy and Jadakiss. In fact, you may have already heard the “Conglomerate” song as it debuted in The Lost and Damned game add-on, which is the game to play in the Game with Fame.

If you want a taste of the sound of Busta Rhymes, we have five music videos available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace:

* “Arab Money

* “Arab Money” (Behind the Scenes)

* “We Made It

* “Hustler’s Anthem 09

* “Touch It

If you get a chance to play with Busta Rhymes, we want to hear about it! Send us an e-mail to xlmail@microsoft.com with the subject: “GWF – Busta Rhymes.” Be sure to include your Gamertag and home town.