Various The Source Presents Fat Tape Vol. 1

The long-overdue winds of change at The Source magazine that finally (though rather meekly) rolled in with the ousting of lead pariahs Benzino and CEO Dave Mays are beginning to make their way to the hip-hop rag’s largely disposable CD series. While not straying too far from its traditionally single-minded representation of the culture, the magazine’s latest comp, Fat Tape Vol. 1, shows some pretty decent variety and gives love to a host of former big names currently with varying levels of diminished sheen. One-time Queensbridge luminaries AZ and Cormega lead the way — the former showing a maintained sharpness, the latter offering food-for-thought rhymes about the perils of street life — over two passable cuts by DJ Premier. Primo’s beat work continues with Royce 5’9” on "Ding,” a slow burning dedication to D12’s Proof that matches underground sensibilities with mainstream lyrical references in a way that momentarily erases hip hop’s chiasmic divide. Clipse, M.O.P, Scarface and Alkaholiks also jostle for shine time on a disc that, while certainly not spectacular, does offer a markedly better listen than past Source compilations while speaking to the slightly new direction taken by the magazine. (Koch)