With the saturation of the mixtape scene, it is becoming extremely hard to find a quality release these days. While mixtapes used to be a platform for DJ's to display their skills as well as their record selection, in today's market mixtapes are only about exclusive material and nothing else. Even though vintage DJ mixtapes are becoming a lost art, DJ Sicari and Shareef are able to recapture that classic feel with their latest release, "Our Day In The Sun".
While Shareef and DJ Sicari may not be widely known in the mixtape scene, if "Our Day In The Sun" is any indication, that should change quickly. Shareef A. Hakim is the Hip Hop director and producer of the longest running underground Hip Hop show in Kentucky called "Black First Radio". DJ Sicari is a Detroit native who splits time as a b-boy and a DJ for a crew called 5 Elements. Together the two Hip Hop enthusiasts deliver one of the best mixtapes of the year.
The album will not dazzle you with precise X-Ecutioner style turntable skills, but instead relies on great music and song selection. The mixtape opens up with one of the years finest politically driven tracks, "Memorial Day" by The Perceptionists. The underground super group of Mr. Lif, Akrobatik & Fakts One takes some shots at the Bush administration by asking them, "Where are the weapons of mass destruction, we have been looking for months and ain't found nothing". Akrobatik & Lif play the role of a military recruit and the lies they are forced to believe. "I never thought of this the day I enlisted, that I would be dodging bullets, seeking weapons that never even existed. For someone else's personal beef, I risk my health, while the commander in chief would never come and fight himself". (Akrobatik)
From there the album flows smoothly, as Sicari's song selection and mixing abilities make "Our Day In The Sun" a strong mixtape front to back. J-Zone's belly aching tales of "A Friendly Game Of Basketball" is one of the albums best cuts. Zone takes shots at various NBA players and rappers, proclaiming, "If all of these NBA dogs could make CD's, then I can get up in the NBA and make some cheese". With 25 strong tracks it is hard to pick out all of the dope material, however, some of the standout cuts on the mixtape include Talib Kweli's "Peace Of Mind", Masta Ace's "Beautiful", "Food, Clothes & Shelter" by Dead Prez and "Terror Era" by the Terror Squad.
Even though Shareef & DJ Sicari are not one of the big players in the mixtape industry, that does not stop "Our Day In The Sun" from being one of the better mixtapes this year. It is one of the few mixtapes you can listen to without skipping a single track, which is a rare feat these days. In this day and age, it is great to see that vintage DJ mixtapes are not completely dead.