If you're experiencing slight deja vu, do not adjust your web browsers. Those will competent memories will have seen Saukrates' 'The Underground Tapes EP' reviewed earlier this month, and may wonder why it is seemingly being re-reviewed. Well, those with better memories will have remembered the EP being merely a prelude to this full-length release from the dope Canadian MC. So are the additions worthwhile?
Kinda. You see, my main criticism of the EP was the length, with only six new tracks on the record. For Saukrates fans this CD is in some ways worse, as there are only six more tracks here (plus an intro), with the majority being pre-released. 'The Underground Tapes' is less of an albums than a greatest hits of sorts compiling Saukrates' finest moments. It does manage to show his substantial skills though, and he holds his own amongst MCs such as Pharoah Monch and Common on some the albums tracks.
If you are unfamiliar with Saukrates though, this is a highly recommended release. The EP was solid, and with all six fine songs on here as well you have a second chance to peep dopeness on 'Keep It Movin' and 'Body Language' amongst others. And other fine previously released tracks, such as 'Innovations' with the aforementioned Pharoah Monch and the incredible 'Ulitmate Rush' with Heltah Skeltah make this worthwhile to check out. You still get the feeling though that if Saukrates would have put a bit more effort in and made a completely original album there would be a better result.
Essentially, Saukrates fans who own the EP and a lot of his material may want to pass this one up due to the fact that you find much new on here. But those who recognize good material no matter where its from and haven't picked up much from Big Saukrates may be missing out on a fine release by missing out on 'The Underground Tapes.' While I'd definitely recommend this over the EP, I wouldn't recommend them both.