Various Tags Of The Times Version 2.0

Daamn, why can’t there be more compilations like this released in North America? It seems like other countries overseas are always beating us to the punch when it comes to releasing dope comps. And ironically, every track on this Japanese-released compilation is by American artists previously released in America and now licensed by Mary Joy. There are no bad tracks on here, but some are better. Among the best are J-Treds’ “Never Too Much,” where he restores the credibility lost on his last twelve-inch, this time rhyming “Plus my delivery makes people wanna order in”; Rubberroom’s Geto Boys-meets-Public Enemy track “Evil” sidles up real nice to Necro’s sick style; Mike Zoot’s “Bladerunners” featuring future sex rhymes courtesy of guest El-P and Big Jus, along with some remix production by El-P; and “2 Reasons Why?” by Murs and Aesop, and “What I Do” by the Grouch — two of the best tracks to find their way out of the Living Legend vaults, ever. Also worthwhile are tracks by El Da Sensei (“Bro’s Ain’t Got It”), Shing02 and DJ Bill (“Ecdysis”), and Talib Kweli featuring Makeba Mooncycle (“Lunchroom Classics”). This is one of a select few compilations in the slowly increasing area of important underground releases. (Mary Joy)