After releasing a series of consistent singles, anticipation is undoubtedly high for Toronto emcee Saukrates' forthcoming solo CD, 'The Underground Tapes.' Surprisingly Sauk has decided to release six of these on an EP, also called 'The Underground Tapes.' In case you haven't heard of the talented MC, he sounds similar to Jeru Tha Damaja, and was responsible for last year's dope 'Ultimate Emcee Rush' cut with Heltah Skeltah. While I'd have preferred to be reviewing the full length album from Saukrates, this EP won't disappoint anyone who picks it up.
Although it is only a collection of six tracks (and two instrumentals), half of these feature another emcee joining Saukrates on the mic. Fellow Toronto native Choclair joins Saukrates on the Grassroots-produced 'Body Language,' and the two rappers fit together well over the nice instrumental backing them. Common pops up on the laid-back 'Play Dis (99 Sox Remix),' and the EP's finest moment, 'Keep It Movin,' is blessed with the talents of one Xzibit, who manages to fit together well with Saukrates. On the remainder of the record Saukrates goes solo, with the result being another three solid tracks.
Despite these good points, the EP has its setbacks. Most noticeably is its length, and with five of the tracks being under four minutes long you won't spend much time listening to this one through. The worst aspect though is that the full-length isn't far away, and while its nice to have, this EP will be rendered obsolete while you're still trying to get some rotation out of it. These points are fairly minor though, and the bottom line is that at the least 'The Underground Tapes' EP should make you keep an eye open for the soon to drop LP.