Hip Hop compilation albums usually have a history of not turning out very successful. Most contain your average filler type tracks, which are part of the reason compilation albums have been on the decline over the past couple of years. However, East Coast veteran producers Da Beatminerz are here to change that with their debut release 'Brace 4 Impak.' Consisting of Evil Dee, Mr. Walt, Baby Paul, Rich Blak and Chocolate Ty; Da Beatminerz bring forth a sold Hip-Hop album that truly represents the culture. 'Brace 4 Impak' is a typical compilation album, putting artists from all sides of the Hip-Hop world together, over the Beatminerz rugged production. The album gears to satisfy all types of Hip-Hop heads, but mostly stays true to their East Coast roots.
The production on 'Brace 4 Impak' definitely brings out the best in each emcee featured on the album and helps carry them to them to the next level. Mr. Walt and Evil Dee, who are two of the most underrated producers in the game today, handle most of the production on the album. They have been responsible for some of Hip-Hop's biggest releases over the past decade, such as Black Moon, Smif & Wesson and the whole Boot Camp Click. The album definitely rekindles the fire from years past due to Da Beatminerz hard-core snares and drumbeats.
The album starts off with the title track "Brace 4 Impak," which features Royce The 5'9 and Lord Tariq spitting ferocious battle rhymes over a nicely laced Mr. Walt produced track. The song's raw energy brings out the best from each emcee and ends up as one of the albums highlight tracks. Royce particularly steals the show with his hungry lyricism. "You motherfuckers will get tore up, and re-torn by the walking bomb. That will blow up and reform, grow up to reborn".
"Bentleys & Bitches" pairs West Coast emcees Jayo Felony and lyrical master Ras Kass. Ras does his usual stellar job of tearing up the track with his sick metaphors and punch lines. "Spiritually elevate so high I could make drive bye's while I sky dive." Unfortunately, Jayo also does his usual performance, which is never a good thing. Mr. Walts' production helps the track carry out that West Coast feel we are all accustomed to hearing over the years. Black Moon's Buckshot also drops by to team up with ex Flipmode Squad member Lord Have Mercy on the banging "Devastatin'… That's Us". Buckshot lyrically rips the track with unseen hunger since we last witnessed Black Moon on Warzone, while Lord Have Mercy spits the repetitive hook.
'Brace 4 Impak' is filled with more of the same hard-core East Coast tracks, such as the reggae inspired "Extreme Situation" featuring The Cocoa Brovaz and Black Hearted Skavangers. Along with "How We Ride" by New Jersey native Heather B and the always controversial Freddie Foxxx. "Let's Talk About It (T.R.O.Y. Remix)" by underground emcee Krumbsnatcha is a beautifully produced track dedicated to all the loved ones that were lost in the struggle. Krumbsnatcha paints a vivid picture of deceased friends and loved ones that leave even the biggest thugs feeling sentimental.
However, Brace 4 Impak isn't filled without its downfalls. "Open" featuring Caron Wheeler & Pete Rock and "The Anti-Love Movement" by Total & Talib Kweli are both R&B tracks that seem out of place and are examples of unnecessary filler tracks. "Take That" by the Flipmode Squad is another lackluster group effort by the always-energized crew. Rah Digga is the only member to come off well, while the others stumble to find their grove on the track. Busta Rhymes is especially disappointing with his uninspired verse. More lackluster tracks include "Ghetto 2 Ghetto" by Tefelar Cordell, Naughty By Nature's "Thug Love" and "Shut Da Fuck Up" by Apani B. Fly & What What.
Nevertheless, 'Brace 4 Impak' is still a solid, but average release by Da Beatminerz. From the production to the lyricism, the album will satisfy listeners from all ranges, but becomes repetitive over time and does nothing to hold your attention for more than a couple listens. The albums main downfall is its own principal it's based on, a compilation album. It's rare to find a compilation album that can keep your attention throughout the whole album, which is never more evident than on 'Brace 4 Impak.' Unfortunately, some of the better material such as "Da Connection" featuring Ghostface, Cappadona & Kool G Rap, and "We Run NY" by M.O.P & Teflon were left off the final versions of the album due to record company politics. Brace 4 Impak had the potential to be one of the finer Hip-Hop compilation albums, but it seems that the album will fade into obscurity like all the rest.