Various The Mic Planet Sessions

The list of names that appear on this compilation is enough to lure in any hip-hop fan, but sadly this high-potential outing fails to really make a serious dent. With the likes of Kool Keith, MF Doom and Bahamadia on board it’s a wonder that The Mic Planet Sessions wouldn’t be anything but magnificent, but the majority of the cuts on this offering come across as throwaways. Still there are a few highlights that are worth repeated listens, like the Kutmasta Kurt-produced “Pop Quiz” with MF Doom and Iz-Real exchanging verbal lessons and a strong outing by Mystic, who flows viciously over a scratch-heavy arrangement. Styles of Beyond show up to bring this compilation to one of its peaks with the attention-grabbing “Atomic Zen” where the duo deliver a solid performance on both the lyrical and musical checklist. It’s a shame that more cuts aren’t like this; instead we get misogynistic lyrics from the dreadful Immortal Technique on “The Rebel” and lacklustre presence from Poison Pen on the boring and thugged-out “Raw Raps.” Still there’s enough on The Mic Planet Sessions that’s worth seeking out, but maybe wait and see if the stronger tracks make it out as singles, where they will surely shine brighter on their own. (Insomniac)