Various State of the World

Compilations that are built around phenomenal scratch DJs, though impressive, are sometimes hard to enjoy as a whole. Cutting records is a vital part to hip-hop, but constant flares, crabs and beat-juggling on a full-length can be taxing on your ears. Just imagine a rock record that was all guitar solos. State of the World comes correct in showcasing superstar DJs such as the X-Ecutioners’s Rob Swift and Total Eclipse but balances these turntablists with gifted MCs who accompany them on several tracks, making this scratch-heavy record more diverse and a far more entertaining listen. Cannibal Ox team up with the Rob Swift on "Cosmos” which isn’t as grand as an El-P production, but when Vast Aire takes the mic then you know you’re in for a serious verbal beating. The vocal champion of State of the World though is J-Live, as the lyrical genius tears through verses with Supa Dave on "Don’t Get it Backwards,” a steady thumping cut with a beat that runs in the opposite direction and is the compilation highlight. The overall feel of State of the World is a little bleak with many of the tracks coming across as dark and eerie, but the artists definitely don’t want to paint a false impression of the current affairs this planet is dealing with either. With all the tracks mixed together and just a handful of cats manning the project, State of the World is a rewarding listen and one of the most consistent scratch records in recent years. (Tableturns)