Over the last year or so, hip-hop fans have been given various mixtape-like compilations of new songs, freestyles and old tracks. Unfortunately, most of these have been forgettable, with nothing better on them than your average soundtrack. After last month's excellent 'Soundbombing 2' though, you may be expecting more than usual from Wake Up Show DJs Sway and King Tech on 'This or That.' While it's not perfect, the large amount of quality tracks makes this at least worth considering.
One thing 'This or That' does give though is a large amount of dope posse cuts. The Wakeup Show Allstar's first single, 'The Anthem,' is proof of this, with strong performances from all nine emcees and Chino XL boasting of "Fucking up entire record companies like Harell did to Motown." The compilation also puts together Heltah Skeltah, Crooked Eye and Planet Asia on the dope 'Underground Tactics,' and the team of Big Daddy Kane, Chino XL and Kool G Rap on 'Three to the Dome.' Exclusive tracks like these are what makes this a dope compilation and better than the usual mixtape-style fare.
Unfortunately, a lot of the CD is bogged down with tracks you've already heard. While it's nice to hear Deck on 'Above The Clouds' and some of Eric B & Rakim's 'I Know You Got Soul,' the space on the disc would have been better used with new tracks, or ones like Bobby Digital's 'Belly of the Beast' which most people haven't heard. However, in some of these tracks you probably haven't heard, it's cut off too early, most notably on the remix of Canibus' 'Get Retarded,' (just the first verse) and Dilated Peoples 'Rework The Angles' (verses from Iriscience and Xzibit are missing).
There are other high points though. Canibus and Eminem fans will enjoy the tracks from each of them, which you won't have heard anywhere else. And most Roots fans will enjoy listening to Black Thought and Malik B collaborate with Ill Advised and Rasheed over the remix of '1986.' Guru also delivers a track, 'NY Niggas,' which is typical Gang Starr with the Gifted Unlimited rhymes Universal rhyming over a smooth Primo instrumental. While all of the artists have delivered better songs, they all keep the quality of the LP above average.
After being treated to the incredible 'Soundbombing 2' a few weeks ago, 'This or That' suffers in comparison, mainly due to the shortage of exclusive, unheard material. Though this stops it being immediately impressive, nearly every track on the CD is pretty good at the least, and you'll probably give it plenty of rotations before the next one of these compilations comes along. Not exactly flawless, but a worthwhile purchase regardless.