Blu Jemz / Various The Beat Machine

This record is here to represent the "post-Dilla" beat movement. New York DJ, producer and rapper Blu Jemz selects the compilation with artists representing the style, such as Flying Lotus and Dorian Concept. Established hip-hop DJ/producers like Waajeed and Ge-ology (who played the Beat Machine tour with Blu Jemz) also have songs appearing on the record. That they've worked with influential artists such as Q-Tip and Mos Def tips us off to their skills, and Jemz's work on New York's East Village Radio show Authentic Shit with Mark Ronson reveals a cutting edge, hipster vision. Still, the tracks on this record are missing something. Background music with generic synths needs something at the vanguard to balance it (like an MC). These beats are solid, but there is no artist being represented at the forefront of the tracks. You can put fudge and nuts in a cup but without the ice cream it's not a sundae. Still, if you are schooling as an MC and looking for some beats to rhyme over, this is your record. (Scion A/V)