Ken Starr / Various The Starr Report

Maryland’s Low Budget collective have been making a name for themselves over the past few years with the butter-smooth sounds of producer Oddisee making him the most prominent member of the crew. With this mix-tape being issued ahead of his Starr Status album, MC Ken Starr is hoping to raise his own profile as a member of the crew. Consisting of his various tracks and featured guest appearances over the past few years, The Starr Report weighs in at a hefty 27 tracks. Featuring production from the aforementioned Oddisee, the underrated Kev Brown and many others, Starr has no shortage of sonic heat to draw from. There’s also a strong Canadian presence on this tape with Toronto’s DJ L’Oqenz overseeing the whole thing. She’s joined by Canadian beat-smiths Tone Mason and MCs Theology 3 and Eternia. Starr has plenty of help in his cause but this is both a blessing and a curse. There’s no shortage of good music available on The Starr Report but Starr’s own style of delivering potent punch lines in a laidback demeanour leaves him open to being overshadowed by some of his guests, most notably Supastition who absolutely tears up his guest spots. Starr is at his best when displaying his narrative flair on tracks like "Guilty Pleasures” and "Neva Leave” and he should try to play to this strength to on his album to gain similar attention of his notorious namesake. (Halftooth)