Classified While You Were Sleeping

Classified is 12 years deep in the game, and he has one of the largest rap discographies to prove it. So it’s about damn time he compiles his portfolio into one collection. But While You Were Sleeping isn’t a cut-and-dry greatest hits record; it’s better than that. It’s a record of songs deemed most important to his career — even the mediocre — personally handpicked by Class. From his parents’ house to the studio, the progress of skill is apparent, although it would be more effective if the album was sequenced chronologically. His babies "Life’s a Bitch” and "It Ain’t Over” show that his sampling was way ahead of the trends. While milestones like "Unpredictable” and "Heavy Artillery” highlight the change from basement to radio, and two new songs are nice additions, especially "Love the One You’re With” (with his little brother Mic and father Mike, Sr.), which is the freshest family affair since the Jackson 5. (Halflife)