Jake One White Van Music

Opening with an encounter between a stranger and beatsmith Jake One, depicted as a street junkie addicted to "musical dope,” White Van Music establishes itself from the get-go as a celebration of dope-ness no matter the hip-hop subgenre. Smooth soul or hard gangsta rap, it explores every facet with an impressive cast that ranges from Busta Rhymes to Blueprint. Some peculiar collaborations include "The Truth,” which brings together beat-thrillers Freeway and Brother Ali, and "Glow,” where Elzhi’s smooth style meshes with Royce Da 5’9’s usual hype-ness. United by their hunger and lyrical talents, and the heat of a Jake One beat, the teamwork is perfect. But while the beats never falter some rappers do. Young Buck’s name on "Dead Wrong” will raise eyebrows but his performance is unexciting without surprise. MF Doom contributes to two songs, "Trap Door” and "Get Er Done,” the former being severely boring. Ultimately what it accomplishes (aside from a consistently and continuously good listen) is solidify Rhymesayers Entertainment as a serious label no longer limited to underground status. (Rhymesayers)