Various Prime Time

Without a doubt, Prime Time is one of those fabulous releases that catches you completely by surprise with its pure dopeness. The fact that it’s Canadian is besides the point. In fact, this is what Beat Factory’s Rap Essentials really should have been — and should still aspire to become! While there is some good production by various producers throughout, the majority of this project is produced by Brougham Records’ in-house producer Mo-B who is almost flawless in delivering the goods with his funky minimalist beats. Sure, there are a few bland tracks that nearly plead for the fast forward button (mostly created by other producers), but the majority of tracks range from decent to great. Toronto crews Citizen Kane and Monolith drop by to deliver an alright track each, “At The T.O.P.” and “Reality N’ Facts (Club Mix),” respectively. However, the majority of fans of Canadian hip-hop will probably already own (or at least have heard) both songs. The real jewels come courtesy of the Vancouver and Seattle areas. Land Mindz contributes two cuts, the best being “Rapid Fire (The Hot Shit)” featuring Checkmate. Crowned Royals also contributes two cuts, both good. On “Rapper’s Reply,” one of the best tracks on this compilation, emcees Cashimo, Ashes and Sites drop rhymes proclaiming their allegiance to true school hip-hop. Their “Connect” is also an important track to check with its hard Mo-B produced beat. Afterhours R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H represent with their “Y2G” track that was recently releases as a twelve-inch on Gameday Records, and BNB Construction brings the best track to the table with the lead-off “Lifetime Warranty.” All that said and done, the best moments on Prime Time are most often courtesy of Crowned Royals’ emcee Ashes who pops up not only on the two Crowned Royals songs, but also on Point Blank’s “Years To My Life” and BNB’s “Lifetime Warranty,” sounding at times like Camp Lo’s Cheeba. Hopefully, it won’t be long until Brougham Records drops a Mo-B produced twelve-inch from Ashes. (Brougham)