X-Ecutioners Revolutions

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. After seeing Rob Swift demonstrate his turntable flare with Shannyn Sossamon for a Gap commercial it was only a matter of time before this legendary crew caved-in completely. Compared to the fantastic X-Pressions of 1997, Revolutions sounds like a disaster — a crew that is looking to bring turntablism to the masses and going about it all wrong. Sure there’s some hot jams such as the pairing of Ghostface and Black Thought on the album’s stand-out number, "Live From the PJs,” as well as some amusing skits and instrumentals that will make you reminisce about the days they rolled as the X-Men. But there’s also absolutely dreadful collaborations such as the unfortunate "Let Me Rock” with Start Trouble that comes off sounding like Limp Bizkit or "Like This” with Anikke, a Peaches wannabe that will make you reach for your stereo’s remote quicker than Roc Raida can beat juggle with his nose. Not even teaming up with Slug or Cypress Hill can save this record because the X-Ecutioners continue to opt for the rap/metal vibe over strict hip-hop, layering metal guitars over heavy beats. There’s some scratching mixed in there somewhere, but you’re not likely going to stick around to find that essence that made the X-Ecutioners important to hip-hop in the first place. We’re all for seeing hip-hop DJs get the respect and attention they deserve, but completely selling out and making commercial garbage that will only appeal to punk rock teenagers is not going to sit well with hip-hop junkies. (Columbia)