Copywrite T.H.E. High Exhaulted: 8th Anniversary Edition

Coming out of the indie hip-hop boom of the late '90s, Columbus, OH rapper Copywrite was a vicious battle rapper with ultra-violent lyrics and a wicked way with words, similar to Eminem and ex-Weathermen compatriot Cage. Unfortunately, Copy signed to the High & Mighty DJ/producer Mighty Mi's label after he had left a sweet distribution deal with Rawkus, and then Eastern Conference didn't promote his album properly. But his career was pretty much ended after getting his ass kicked by the late Camu Tao (a former partner in Columbus group Mhz) and Philly rapper iCON the Mic King. So, eight years after the release of T.H.E. High Exhaulted, Copy attempts to make a comeback with the ever popular 8th Anniversary Edition. While he spits quite a few quotables and even flips his flow a few times (getting into double-time raps on "Ready, Aim..."), Copy's "holier than thou" battle raps wear thin long before the end, and it's a fairly elongated end, at that. Since Mi refused to allow the songs he produced to be re-released, eight new tracks are tacked on to the end. The harder beats and guest appearances by the likes of Motion Man, 2Mex and Vakill are a good attempt to replace the absent Mighty Mi music, but "Badabing" and "Tower of Babble" are sorely missed. Original highlights like "F_ck Soundcheck," "Seven Light Years" and "June" are still present, plus the star power of producer RJD2 may bring some renewed attention to the music. T.H.E. High Exhaulted, despite the problems with the title, is a good album best taken in small doses. (Man Bites Dog)