Various Year One

“America has become the second greatest power,” according the sample used by UK Kartel on “F.T.S.,” but supplanting America in the hip-hop world isn’t so easy, particularly with a few too many average or below average tracks on this comp. But there are a number of high quality tracks that prove that Britain is neither lacking talent nor only about trip-hop. The majority of tracks contain lacklustre production without any head nod factor or experimental beats. Styly Cee demonstrates the proper way to do an intro with “Here Comes SON,” an instrumental scratch fest that makes the majority of American intros seem bland by comparison. The posse cut “Deejays & Emcees” by Mad Doctor X featuring a whole showcase of talent is arguably the best track on the album. Sadly, the majority of them are not given the chance to showcase their talents on any other tracks, excluding Quakes and Voyager who rock hard on “Renaissance Man (Styly Cee Remix)” and “Neptune,” and “U Wack MC’s,” respectively. Def Tex also prove they have what it takes as veterans on the underground scene with “Poetic Speech Techniques,” one of two songs they contribute. On the freestyle tip, Mad Flow brings it off the top of the dome like the best on the aptly titled “Freestyle” while the best beat comes courtesy of Deadbeat for the UK Kartel’s “F.T.S.” that helps Britain move a few more steps closer to taking America out of the top spot on the hip-hop map. (Son Records)