Following in the tradition of the previous two editions, “Fat Beats Compilation Volume Three” features a variety of true school emcees from both the underground and mainstream scene. The album definitely portrays that vintage Hip-Hop feeling associated with Fat Beats throughout the years. The album does a good job at mixing old school legends with new school talent, as “Fat Beats Compilation Volume Three” is one of the more satisfying compilation albums to come out in recent memory.
The albums highlights come from a variety of places, most notably from the Hip-Hop veterans such as Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, D.I.T.C. & Gangstarr. Big Daddy Kane strikes with a vengeance on the DJ Premier laced “Any Type Of Way”. Primo once again provides his usual trademark sound while Kane spits lyrical daggers similar to the days of old. “Do what we gotta, to enterprise with the dollar, create a different aura for the children of tomorrow. Therefore I kick styles, to make my cash come to me in big piles, then I’m out like six fouls”. The legendary duo of Pete Rock & CL Smooth come together for “Shine On Me” and thankfully the two haven’t lost a step even after all these years. Pete and CL once again put forth a soulful and melodic effort just like the days of old. We all know Pete’s production has stayed consistent as ever, but CL proves that he can still deliver lyrical gems no matter the layoff.
From one legendary group to another, D.I.T.C.’s “Day One” is another vintage Hip-Hop experience from the underrated crew. Big L’s standout verse is nothing short of amazing as it reminds you of the immense skill the man once possessed. Krumb Snatcha & Gangstarr’s memorable collaboration off of “Respect All Fear None” makes its way onto the compilation as well. While not one of Primo’s finest works, “Incredible” still manages to stay fresh even today.
And while the veterans make a strong appearance on the album, the underground representatives are not to be forgotten. J-Live once again puts forth an outstanding lyrical and conceptual masterpiece with “The Day I Fell Off”, where he paints a story of the rise and fall of J-Live the emcee. J-Zone offers another comical track “Alley Oop ‘04” where he foreshadows what’s to come in the 2003/2004 NBA season. Only Zone could provide such a hilarious track, as he takes shots at everybody from Keith Van Horn to Tim Duncan. “I gotta set it with my home town New York Knicks, otherwise known as the New York pricks. Fuck Keith Van Horn and the number nine draft pick, cause they could get Shaq and find a way to get their ass kicked”. 2003’s group of the year, Little Brother, drops by with “Tension”, yet another nice effort from the crew. Typical 9th Wonder production and verses from Phonte & Pooh always add up to nothing but heat.
“Fat Beats Volume Three” is one of the few compilation albums that won’t have you hitting the fast forward button every five minutes. Every track is as dope as the next, no matter the difference styles and various artists. It is one of the few compilation albums that manages to portray that vintage Hip-Hop sound from beginning to end. Whether you are a fan of underground Hip Hop or not, the album has something for everybody and there in lies the beauty of it.