KRS-One The Mixtape

Apparently there's no creative elixir better for an MC than beef. It's something that LL Cool J knows all too well, and Jay-Z and Nas have elevated their recent levels of mediocrity through a battle of words. Battling is essential to honing a MC's skills, and despite his longevity in the game, KRS-One is still targeting relative new jacks. The centrepiece track on this mini-LP that clocks in at just under 25 minutes is "Ova Here," an invigorating track anchored by anthemic horns and a noteworthy verbal barrage directed at unashamedly pop rapper Nelly. Apparently, Kris took some offence to the St. Louis native's lyrics in "#1" and has been dissing him subtly and blatantly ever since. The other tracks here show a renewed hunger on the mic from KRS-One. "Down The Charts" is a clever yet simple track detailing the rise and fall of hip-hop celebrity, and on "Problemz," he assuredly breaks down some of the fallacies in today's hip-hop. As one would expect from the self-anointed "Teacher," KRS-One seems to have regained some of the passion for his rigidly didactic hip-hop platform and it is a welcome change from the unsatisfying ignominy of recent albums The Sneak Attack and Spiritual Minded. (Koch)