Various Strength Magazine Presents Subtext

Strength magazine enters the world of compilations with another collection of quality tracks from some of the West Coast’s best underground artists. Freestyle Fellowship MC Aceyalone starts things off well, stating the position of many underground MCs: “It’s tight now, wait ‘til I iron out the kinks” on opening track “Rappers Rappers Rappers 12 4 10.” The beat is a nice head nodder and the lyrics prove once again why Aceyalone is considered one of the best of the West Coast MCs. Loot Pack comes next with their hard-hitting ode to wack MCs, “Bone Marrow.” Although Madlib’s flow is not really that interesting, Wildchild more than makes up for it with his lyrics and flow. Ice Cube’s little cousin, Del The Funky Homosapien, drops one of the best tracks to come from him in quite a while (and there’s been plenty of good songs in that time) with the future fantasy of “Cyberpunks.” A solid beat and a great flow makes for one of the best songs on the whole compilation. The only other song that gives “Cyberpunks” any competition for best song is “Eye Am,” featuring Mass Men members Awol One and Abstract Rude. The singsong vocals of both MCs flow nicely over the head nodding beat while the chorus is the catchiest yet to come from Awol One. Divine Styler (“Ghetto Supreme Being”), Kut Masta Kurt featuring Motion Man (“Clearing The Field”) and Dilated Peoples (“Strength”) all turn in some nice performances, exactly what you would expect from each. There are lows, but they are few and far between. Even the interludes are amusing. Subtext is mandatory listening for any hip-hop head interested in the West Coast underground scene. (Sire)