2002 has been a break out year for Eastern Conference Records. While they have seen continued success the past few years, this year has solidified E.C. Record's spot at one of the finest underground labels in all of Hip Hop. 2002 has seen nothing but great releases from E.C. such as Copywrite's "The High Exhaulted", The High & Mighty's "Air Force 1", Cage's "Movies For The Blind" and "Cage & Camu Tao "Nighthawks". Rivaling other independent labels such as Def Jux, Eastern Conference Records is on top of the industry right now. Looking to cash in on this years success and continue their streak of greatness the E.C. crew is back once again with "The Eastern Conference Allstars 3".
While vol. 2 saw a great mix of outside influence and home cooking, Vol. 3 sticks mainly to the family intact at E.C. records and doesn't offer a variety of artists like last times effort. Kool G. Rap and Eminem make guest appearances on the original "Talk Like Sex Pt. 2" and "Flyest Material", both of which fit nicely into the flow of the album. We even get a glimpse of the Eminem of old on "Flyest Material", which should excite some fans who haven't support his new direction the past few years. Other than that the rest of E.C. Allstars 3 is a family thing.
Of course The High & Mighty play a big part in the album, however some of the experiences end up a little lackluster such as "Not All There" and the Smut Peddlers collaboration of "Bart Burnt vs. Sherm Penn". However, "Rumble" and the basketball influenced rhymes of "And 1" see The High and Might rebound nicely, delivering some solid efforts. Tame One also comes through with some impressive material with the J-Zone produced "Tame As it Ever Was" and "Dreamz", building up a lot of hype for his up and coming release.
However, it's Copywrite and The Weathermen that truly steal the show on E.C. Allstars 3. While lyrically Copywrite won't amaze you with anything conceptual, his battle lyrics are by far one of the finest in the industry. The RJD2 produced "Won't Stop" is one of the better Copywrite tracks to be released this year, as the two blend together with perfect chemistry. "Jeah" is another solid effort from Copy, with some nice production by none other than DJ Mighy Mi. The finest moments on the album come from the two Weatherman joints "5 Left In The Clip" and "Gut You". Both are straight up vicious tracks with wondrous production from Dar La & Mighty Mi. Copy's verse on "5 Left In The Clip" is especially memorable as is Cage & Camu Tao on "Gut You".
While for the most part E.C. Allstars 3 is a solid album, there is a couple of disappointing efforts throughout the album. Cage really doesn't put forth his best efforts on the shock values of "Ballad Of Worms" and "Special Ladies". We have seen better from Cage, especially on "Movies For The Blind". And R.A. The Rugged Man's "Brawl" is another tedious effort, as R.A.'s unique style is either love or hate.
With a few bumps in the road, Eastern Conference Allstars 3 ends up as a good indication of where E.C. is going in the future. And the future is looking very bright for The High & Mighty and the whole E.C. staff, as they are poised to take over the industry. With the continued maturation of Copywrite and Cage, and new releases from Tame One and The Weatherman, 2003 could very well be even bigger than 2002. While it took awhile for E.C. to get to this stage, they have proved that no matter what they aren't going nowhere.