Various B-Sides Volume One: Blatant Battle Raps

For the most part, Blatant Battle Raps is just that - battle raps and hardcore party jams composed of side projects, freestyles, remixes and other unreleased material from Weightless artists Greenhouse Effect (Blueprint, Mr Inkwel and P-Dunbar) and Illogic. Along the way, some guests make appearances: Plead the Fifth and CJ the Cynic from Drown, Metro and Andrew Bagadoughnuts from the Spitball crew, Bah Daddy Shabazz of the Kommandoez, and Atoms Family members Cannibal Ox, Cryptic One, Alaska and Wind N Breeze all stop by to lend vocals. DJ Lozone (Drown) and DJ Drastic (Vinyl B-Boys) lay some cuts, while Blueprint allows some other production to shine on a Weightless release. With Greenhouse Effect's Up To Speed and Illogic's Unforeseen Shadows, Blueprint handled all of the production, but on B-Sides, he opens it up to Cryptic One and True Skills (Vinyl B-Boys). Cryptic One's posse cut, "Pen Relays," which features GE and the Atoms Family, is a good beat that loses steam before the end of the song. True Skills wins with "Yakety Smakety" and "Pandora's Box," and half-succeeds with "Figment of My Concentration (RCA Remix)," from Illogic. "The Third Degree" battle rap and "When I'm On the Floor" freestyle, with CJ the Cynic and Blueprint, are highlights, but there are a few skippable moments, too. The biggest of these is "The Third Degree (interlude)," which is long, convoluted and a necessary prelude only once. It was also difficult to fully enjoy this album until I programmed the CD player to skip the short musical interludes between nearly every track. Now it's all buttah. (Weightless)