Various Artists - Survival Of The Illest      
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written by Hugo Lunny    
It seems that there are three labels, which need recognition regularly. Well three, which come out with the best material; Def Jam, Loud Records and Rawkus. Def Jam now recently released 'Survival Of The Illest' from the tour of the same title that occurred earlier this year. The one recorded was from 125 in NYC.

This CD features a few cuts by Cormega, a few by Def Squad, a few by DMX and a few by one of the best live groups, Onyx. The album also features Method Man and Foxy Brown.

'Survival Of The Illest' is a brilliant compilation of tracks from some of the artists mentioned above with a few sort of interludes having the artists interacting with the crowd.

Cormega does three tracks, the phenomenal 'Dead Man Walking,' 'Affirmative Action' with Foxy Brown which could only have been improved if Nas was present. And the average (brilliant beat) track 'Slow Down.' The thing that got to me though was Foxy Brown, she acts like such a whore on this live performance. She goes on moaning about men who don't do things to her correctly. By that I mean she moans about men who can't eat her pu**y out right etc. Cormega comes off well and Foxy sort of does but she comes across too much as Lil' Kim, number 2 which is not a good thing.

The next section of tracks belongs to the enthusiastic and hyped group Onyx. They make the crowd become hyped up and when they rhyme they manage to rhyme in a way that creates energy. They're brilliant. Onyx perform such classics as 'Slam,' 'Throw Ya Gunz' and 'Last Dayz' along with a couple of others.

The Def Squad follow with a so-called freestyle by Erick Sermon which he actually recited from his track with Too $hort. Their set is pretty good, 'How High' and 'Full Co-operation' are some of the tracks which stick out.

DMX. This man will never be the best lyricist but he comes off superbly on this. The interaction he has with the crowd and the enthusiasm he possesses in the tracks is enigmatic. 'Poem' is something that I have never seen DMX appear to have within him, one of the highlights of DMX's set.

For a live recording, 'Survival Of The Illest' is pretty good, however all it is in essence is a compilation with some people screaming. Good though.









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