Various Everything

Chicago-based EV Records delivers some serious goods with their showcase release, simply titled Everything, a collection of choice cuts by a mixed bag of underground warriors, mainstream survivors and hungry up-and-coming lyricists. Producer and label head Copperpot is joined by fellow beat smiths K-Kruz and Overflo for production purposes, with the threesome carving out a rich set of detailed, multi-layered cuts that snap hard even at their smoothest. A thick, doubling bass line and lazy, staggered backbeat plant the grooving "Speakeast” firmly to the floor, while the smooth flute melody and easygoing jazz vibe of "Nightshift” serve as a solid résumé for the rep building producer team. For their part, the tight cast of MCs does well in holding up their end, with two females leading the way, ANG13 and Psalm One. The former blazes through a list of things she just ain’t havin’ behind a cleverly chopped-up vocal line on "Ain’t Goin Down,” while the latter delivers a languid flow over a plodding "Otha Fish”-styled rhythm on "Things I Do.” One Be Lo and Longshot close things out with the soulful, Isley Brothers-influenced "Learn” on a record that shows some clear promise from the rapidly growing EV imprint. (EV)