Various A Piece of the Action

This compilation, which serves as the first release in Day by Day Entertainment's attempts at expanding into a hip-hop label, is good but could have been so much better. Before jumping into the highly competitive indie record market, Day by Day was managing critically acclaimed underground artists like MF Doom, MF Grimm, J-Zone and DJ Cheapshot. Except for four songs from Cheapshot's own Spytech label, three of them produced by him, none of the other artists that Day by Day represents made an appearance. Therein lies the reason A Piece of the Action could have been better - music from any of them could not help but step things up a notch. In fact, it's inexplicable how such an act did not occur. Still, there are some better-known appearances, like Moka Only, Themselves (Dose & Jel), Butta Babees and Takbir, from Styles of Beyond. And what's more, there are some pleasant surprises from Dept. of Rec, with their ode to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ("Gonzoe of Stimmulation"); from SLS and Jugga the Bully, with the bumping tracks "Raw" and "Corrupt," respectively, Paradigm with the politically-charged opener "Teribithia" and iCON the MicKing, with the album's eerie finale "The End." More than half the compilation is deserving of repeated listens and the rest fulfils the duty of pleasant album filler. It's just that as tough of a dumpling as Collizhun is, that still doesn't explain why this is the second compilation in as many months that has had the remix of Butta Babees' "Toe to Toe." (Day by Day)