Various Pugs Atomz Presents CTA Radio Chi City Hip-hop

Aside from high profile artists like Common and Kanye West, Chicago’s hip-hop profile is relatively low. Astute heads may be aware of production crew the Molemen and groups like All Natural, but very few of the artists from the city have gotten widespread recognition. However, with charming and witty MCs such as Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest due to break out this year, the timing on this compilation that features them both, couldn’t be better. Hosted by Pugs Atomz, this compilation is essentially a recreation of his college radio show, replete with transit stop audio carts, current events discussion and community announcements. Among the music itself there are several standouts. Ryan Officer and Akbar’s wizened flow on the appropriately named "Judge Wisely,” as well as "Within the Lines,” the accomplished slice of feel-good hip-hop from the Pacifics underline that quality is not the issue with hearing more about these acts. There is no specific sound being showcased here, the common thread — whether it is the blue-collar quirkiness of the Typical Cats on "Any Day Now” or the devastatingly ferocious freestyle delivered by off-the dome veteran Juice — is the impressive hunger and talent of all the artists involved. (Raptivism)