DJ Spinna The Beat Suite

Tireless NY producer DJ Spinna was once called "the nicest man in hip-hop" for his gracious personality, but the description could easily apply to his generosity in laying down tracks for countless underground NY wordsmiths. The Beat Suite similarly features Spinna hitting off a plethora of hungry MCs. Here he strikes a balance between the experimental vibe of his Rawkus Heavy Beats EP and the ear candy of his work on Polyrhythm Addict's Rhyme Related, posting satisfying nod factor readings. Early highlights include the bouncy Domecrackers entry "Take A Look," featuring Spinna, Joc Max, sounding uncannily like Large Professor, and Pete Rock's promising younger brother Grap Luva bringing conscious lyrical content, and the smooth excursion of Schoolz of Thought's "Things You Say To Me," produced by Bronze FM. Unfortunately, aside from the predictably crazed Eminem on Old Word Disorder's "3ree6ix5ive," few MCs stand out, even on the all-star "Lyrical Fluctuation," which is not helped by the inferiority of this version to the original, and things begin to get mired in a similar groove. For variety, Spinna enlists other producers and adds some instrumentals, like 88 Keys' notable "The Scott Steinway Trio," and adds a mix CD with the tracks in college radio bite-size chunks, breathing some welcome life into the assembled tracks. (Beechwood)