RDS Open Mic

RDS is the latest Prairies producer to present his perspective with a producer-backed compilation. Open Mic opens right with Heywoodjablome??’s scratch intro "The Recipe” and follows through with a number of strong songs: Gumshoe Strut goes for self on "Forever Strut,” Kay the Aquanaut dissects rich and poor on "The Divide,” DL Incognito and Moka Only come together for a "Good Combination,” and Cashmere the Pro — sounding like a more serious Humpty Hump — brags his way through "Throw Hands.” But then RDS takes it instrumentally with a jazzy little interlude and the second half of the CD becomes a little bumpier with fewer standouts: the positive messages of Def 3’s "Lookin’ Up” and Eekwol & Saratonin’s "Call Me Crazy” are welcome, while Virtue shows promise on his self-deprecating "The Truth” and New York’s Raks One stands out on "Move On Remix.” RDS’ laidback, chill production works well to bring the mostly positive vibe to the forefront, which makes Open Mic a good addition to the collection even if there’s nothing really mind-blowing about it. (Christal)