Dope Bay Area Emcees Who Rip Mics
A Great Album Well Worth Peepin' Out
Who Says The West Coast Is All Gangsta Rap?

There wasn't too much fanfare when this album dropped.. I guess you kinda had to be in the loop to know what was happening.. Because they Bay Area's Hip Hop scene is so large and so diverse , it's hard to stay on top of everything..With that being said, one thing folks have to keep in mind is that here in the Bay Area, there are really two or three different scenes.. On one hand you got hip hop as defined by artists like E-40, JT Tha Bigga Figga, Too Short, Spice One, Celly Cel, Ant Banks, Dru Down, The Deliquents, The Luniz, Rappin' 4Tay, Richie Rich, 3X Krazy [now 2X Krazy] etc. Many of thse guys started off selling tapes on the streets.. and they basically sewed up the hood.. They have huge neighborhood followings.. and as a result they've been able to parlay that into commercial/mainstream success..

Many of these artists have a certain sound or vibe that is associated with them. Some people call it 'Gangsta' or 'Street' rap.. Others call it 'playa' rap.. Others say the music these artists do is not hip hop but instead rap.. Of course that's a fundamentally flawed definition.. Whatever the case such artist have come to define the Bay Area rap scene on a national level.. And while it's good the spotlight has reached us.. In a way it's been bad because it's completely overshadowed the Bay Area's other hip hop scene which is pretty substantial..That scene has been defined by artist like 'Mystic Journeymen', Various Blends, Latyrx, Heiroglphics, Saafir, Midnight Voices, Invisible Skratch Picklz, Bored Stiff and Rasco to name a few

. Many of the artists have garnered reputations of being skilled on the mic.. Many of them have focused on bringing forth a style of hip hop that is more in line with the style that had ooriginated from NY.. Lyrical ability has been a fundamental criteria. The Bay Area has gotten a rep that says nobody can rip mics.. Everyone is out to be a playa or a pimp... Well this new album called 'Rules Of The Game' squarely lays that whole misnomer to rest..

From start to finish the listener is treated to some dope rhymes and jazzed out beats that'll make you appreciate the diversity of the Bay Area hip hop scene. There are no gimmicks here.. No one is trying real hard to be 'real hip hop'.. It's some dope groups from around the way who've been puttin' it down for a while.. The only problem is they hadn't come together on a compilation album..

Stand out tracks include; 'So Much Soul' by a greatly improved Mystik Journeymen, Planet Asia and The Grand Visitor rip stuff up on their track 'Basic Training'.. The underrated Mystic puts forth some nice Vibes as she lets you know there are some female emcees on point who can also hold it down.. My favorit cut is 'Land Of the Lost' by Psychokinetics and DJ M.Mark..

One of the interesting facets about this album is how they included artists who have been associated with that street hip hop scene I described and let them rip verses.. I thought that was important because it lets you know that all this music is one and the same..Artists have different approaches and reasonings for expressing themselves.. In this case tracks to peep include; 'Strike First' featuring San Francisco based San Quinn and D-Moe.. 'Take The Game' shocases Richmond rapper Flii.. Also we have a slammin' joint with Bored Stiff and Andre Nikatina formerly known as Dre Dog called 'Blueprints Of War'

Overall this is a dope album.. and a nice change of pace from what people have come to associate with bay Area hip hop.. I think this will open doors and hopefully set a climate for the positive vibe these artists have created to spread.. I give this album a A-

Reviewed By Davey D

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