Chicago's Community Service is taking it back to "The Essence" of Hip Hop with their debut mixtape release. The crew shines over 14 of DJ Premier's hottest instrumentals, and reminds us what this real Hip Hop shit is all about.
While most mixtapes these days feature an overload of wack freestyles and jacking for beats sessions, Community Service goes against the norm and offers a cohesive mixtape that not only pays homage to the legendary Primo, but also displays their ferocious mic skills. Consisting of Visual, Dism, Chances, Suspect Me, Rios and Nalij, the CS crew is starting to make waves in the Chicago underground scene, and rightfully so. Even though it's nearly impossible to distinguish each emcee on "The Essence", collectively as a crew they remain tight.
Freestyles over Primo's classic cuts such as "Skillz", Craig David's "7 Days", The Lox's "Recognize" and OC's "My World" are some of the mixtapes true highlights. While most of the freestyles are straight clinics in lyrical fitness, the Community Service does add some nice flavor to tracks like "Search For Change" by adding an R&B influence to the hook.
Even though the mixtape scene is oversaturated as it is, Community Service's "The Essence" is a welcomed attempt. With Primo's classic production, the crew has the perfect backdrop to work off of. While the true test is whether the group can provide original material, for now they get a passing grade with "The Essence Mixtape".