Living in Vancouver, having Muchmusic (a music TV channel) and basically being aware of what's "in" within the city's standards, everyone here is well aware of Swollen Members and the entire Battle Axe crew. From the ground up, Madchild created an independent record label which now receives the utmost amount of respect. Signing a variety of talented artists, Battle Axe records prove that they're a force to be reckoned with.
The compilation is eighteen tracks deep (including a bonus track) and few tracks don't conform to a high standard of quality. The majority of the material is already featured upon other Battle Axe releases, but for those who are unfamiliar with the tracks, this compilation works well as an expose of what the label has to offer.
Code Name: Scorpion (Abstract Rude, Moka Only & Prevail) are showcased perfectly above Rob The Viking's production. 'Smokin' In Here' is arguably my favourite track on the compilation as the trio effortlessly flow over the subtle beat and 'To Make Millions' featuring Madchild is another gem from the trio. Abstract Rude's tracks are unbelievably slick due to his overwhelming vocal confidence, but, Moka Only is the emcee featured the most on the compilation. Aside from the Code Name: Scorpion tracks, Moka has two self produced solo tracks, appears on the bonus track (under Perfect Strangers - him and Madchild) and is featured on the 'Fuel Injected Remix.' He performs excellently, with well fitting flows and creatively written rhymes. Plus his beats aren't bad at all either.
Son Doobie, who many are most familiar with for his alternate "antics" and his track on the "Friday" soundtrack, is showcased nicely with 'Por Amor,' 'Reinstated' and 'You Wit That.' Kemo creates a rowdy latino feel for 'Por Amor' and a cool, laidback one for 'You Wit That.' My only problem with 'You Wit That' is its hook, too predictable.
I was disappointed not to hear more of Swollen Members, and that the track they took from 'Bad Dreams' ended up being 'Pokerface,' one of my least favourite from the album. Unfortunately their contributions don't quite satisfy the apetite I have for Swollen Battle Axe contributions. 'Temptation' is a track which works really smoothly, but feels too short clocking in at just two and a half minutes. The remix of 'Fuel Injected,' featuring and produced by Saukrates, I don't feel is as good as the original. It's not a bad track, but not an improvement.
Buc Fifty's contributions I wasn't feeling mainly because I'm not a fan of his mic presence. His lyrics and voice don't do much for me, nor do his hooks. The Alchemist beat on 'Bangin' is the only attribute of his tracks that I enjoyed. However, 'Warpaint' by Mr. Brady which features Buc Fifty had me shocked. The Rob The Viking production worked nicely beneath him.
In essence, Battle Axe Warriors II is a great compilation for those unfamiliar with the label's offerings.