From popular demand, I'm running this one again. Luvin' this album. Check it out.
“This isn’t a mixtape” it’s not a compilation, it’s an album.” When DJ Revolution told me that while discussing his just released KING OF THE DECKS, I have to say I was pretty suspect.
Based on my own experience in the culture, it’s hard for DJs that aren’t affiliated with a specific group or artist to do anything but compilations, no matter how hard they try. Between all the singers and emcees and the various agendas and schedules at play, the most cohesive of concepts usually give way to “Yo, just gimme a 16 so we can wrap this thing up!”
Such is the life of the wax-wreckers for hire.
But after finally listening to King of The Decks in full, I gotta say that Rev actually pulled it off. From the opening intro by (the sadly underrated) DJ Jazzy Jeff to the last slice-n-dice ode to Rev by DJ Raid, KOTD maintains an actual concept: showing love to the DJ as the foundation of hiphop.
Every song manages to stick to the script of praising the culture, the importance of the DJ and Rev himself. Highlights include “The DJ” in which KRS-ONE checks his formidable ego at the door long enough to breakdown what it means to be a DJ. Too many quotables to count, but just remember: “A DJ is not an iPod,” and “don’t build your set from the PD’s playlist…” and “cuttin’ and scratchin’s like seasoning when you use it/rock it, but people wanna hear the music…”
Other standout cuts include the blistering Casualties Of Tour in which Rakaa shares the grind of being a blue-collar working emcee and showing luv to Rev. On The Big Top, Special Teamz take the hiphop clowns theme to new highs with a lyrical lashing of hiphop stereotypes, and industry nonsense. Invaders of the Sqratch features QBert reminding you why he’s one of the sickest and most innovative DJs ever. Simply put, the guy scratches like Hendrix and Miles Davis having a fight.
DJ Rev’s production is surprisingly cohesive on this. As much as it occasionally teeters on “compilation” mode due the overwhelmingly number of emcees, KOTD maintains the cohesion. It really feels like a montage of underground hiphoppers rooted in DJ. The samples and soundscapes are grimy yet organic. The whole project feels like everything was done on 1200s after some serious digging and months of sample clearing.
The gift and the curse of KOTD is its army of a cast. I lost count at 20 emcees and 5 other DJs, but there’s some of everybody’s down with the King on this one: Sean Price, DJ Premier, KRS, Guilty Simpson, Joell Ortiz, Rakaa of Dilated Peoples, Bishop Lamont, Strong Arm Steady, Royce the 5’9 and this list goes on… Because there’s so many emcees on this, you just hit overload about three-fourths through it. But if you can maintain your stamina, King of The Decks gives you enough lyrical love for DJs and hiphop to make up for the mainstream nonsense.
Check out these goodies and grab a copy when you can. KING OF THE DECKS is serious business. And ad DJ Premier said in his contribution, I’ve never heard anybody cut like him before.
Earpieces DL these!:
King Of The Decks Tracklist:
1.) Intro f/Jazzy Jeff
2.) King Of The Decks f/ Sean Price & Tash
3.) THE DJ f/ KRS ONE
4.) Do My Thing f/ Guilty Simpson & Royce Da 5'9
5.) LADJ (skit)
6.) Funky Piano f/ Bishop Lamont, Crooked I, Styliztik Jones
7.) For The Kids (skit)
8.) The Big Top f/ Special Teamz
9). Start The Revolution f/ Boot Camp Clik
10.) Scratch Nerds (skit)
11.) Invaders from the Planet Scratch f/ DJ Qbert
12.) EY! f/ Joell Ortiz and Termanology (Produced by DJ Revolution & DJ Numark)
13.) Casualties of Tour f/ Rakaa Iriscience (produced by Marco Polo)
14.) Damage f/ Blaq Poet & Bumpy Knuckles
15.) Willie Lynch f/ Styliztik Jones and KBimean
16.) The Biggest Up f/ DJ Premier (Skit)
17.) Blow Da Spot f/ Strong Arm Steady
18.) School f/ Planet Asia
19.) Spit Ridiculous f/ Defari
20.) Pro’s & Con’s f/ Evidence
21.) Calling Haul (Skit)
22.) Man or Machine
23.) The Set Up f/ Sway & King Tech
24.) The Re-Match f/ DJ Spinbad
(ALL SONGS PRODUCED, MIXED and ARRANGED by DJ REVOLUTION)