Molemen Ritual of the...

As one would expect from a compilation based around a producer (or in this case, a production crew), the beats basically determine if a song hits or misses. And though you will probably buy this album for any of the numerous underground superstars (Juice, C-Rayz Walz, Percee P, MF Doom and Rasco, to name a few), the above is still true of this collection from Chicago, IL, production trio Molemen. His-Panik has a bit of a difficult time matching beats to MCs on songs like "Get Outta Dodge," "Taste of Chicago (Original '97)," and "Persevere." Here, the MCs want to beat-down but instead the beats are just down. He does match Rasco up with a nice beat, but I've never found Rasco particularly interesting. His-Panik does come through with "Challenge Me" (featuring Mr Metaphor, Breeze Evahflowin' and C-Rayz Walz) and "Not Impressed" (with Qwel), and his instrumental solo is the best of the three. The odds aren't bad for His-Panik, though, considering his compatriots PNS and Memo produce only four tracks each, while His-Panic lays down 11, and a few of them are three or more years old. PNS gives a couple of good beats (but nothing fantastic) to Slug and the Sebutones, and turns out an all right instrumental and another all right posse cut featuring Vakill, Rhymefest and Percee P. However, PNS also contributes the beat to the best track on the compilation, "Put Your Quarter Up," featuring a dream team of Slug, Aesop Rock and MF Doom. Fantastic! Third member, Memo is responsible for the most consistent beats. All four of his songs are valuable contributions. In the end, however, Ritual of the... is like most other compilations: a couple of really good tracks, many average ones and a few bad ones. (Independent)