Show/D.I.T.C. / Various Street Talk

D.I.T.C. stands for the digging in the crates crew, which translates to a sample-heavy East coast collaboration of semi-popular MCs (Fat Joe and M.O.P.) and their lesser-known counterparts (A-Bless, Milano, etc.). This is hip-hop stuck in the mud, its wheels tossing up the same old shit. Okay, so the gangsta life didn’t just up and walk straight outta Compton. But seriously, when the tales you tell tread the path much travelled it doesn’t matter how much you speed up the sample ("A Look at My Life” feat. Party Arty), it ain’t a hit. Calling on lyrics from dead MCs to bulk up the album seems like a smooth move, which it isn’t, even though it’s nice to hear Big Pun and Big L again. That this disc doesn’t kowtow to that "In Da Club” aesthetic is commendable, and while the overall monotony of being bludgeoned repeatedly with "bust your gat” and "I got a bitch” subject matter pains us all, it conjures to mind a period when witty lyricists spit rhymes over gritty beats, even if it fails miserably. (Upstairs)