What can I say? There really is no sound quite like that of DJ Format and his trusty sidekick MC Abdominal. It's unique. The first official album release 'Music For The Mature B-Boy' was a masterpiece in original 'hip-hop' with Format providing a jazzy, funky, cheeky, down-tempo soundtrack for Abdominal to practise his unique rhymes over. 'If You Can't Join 'em....Beat 'em' is no different. In fact, I think it's better. What strikes me about this second album is how similar it sounds to the first and, unusually, this is no bad thing. All the cheeky samples are there alongside the jazz and funk in Formats beats and MC Abdominal returns in his ever amazingly witty and original form. There is no-one quite like him in the hip-hop world!! Again there is a nice funky track with guest vocals from Chali 2na & Akill (Jurassic 5) and another lovely haunting melody in the form of 'Black Cloud'. Standout tracks have to be the brilliant 'I'm Good', 'Rap Machine' and 'Ugly Brothers' all featuring Abdominal but the album has no fillers and the pair have also enlisted the help of another brilliantly original Canadian rapper called D-Sisive on tracks '3-Feet Deep' and 'Another One Of Those Songs'. 'Participation Prerequisite' is also another very clever track featuring Abdominal. Well, I think that covers most of it. Like I said, there really is no sound quite like DJ Format and if you like your hip-hop 'hip' and not gangsta then you will really appreciate DJ Format. If you like this try: DJ Format - 'Music For The Mature B-Boy'
DJ Format gives a royal and justified middle finger to the modern, material "hip-hop" rap scene with intelligent sampling and impressive lyrical work from guest MC's Abdominal, D-sisive and Chalie 2na. The sound is fresh, comical, hard-hitting and seriously funky, all at the same time and a real treat for the ears. Format and his entourage place many rap producers in their place and hopefully teach some valued lessons in the process...ladies and gentlemen, class has begun and it sounds both enthralling and highly impressive!
Came across DJ Format totally by chance watching MTV one night, the video in question being 'We Know Something You Don't Know'. Ever since then I've been totally hooked on his and Abdominal's funk-laced, soul-based, lyrically unsurpassed hip hop. I didn't think they could better Music for a Mature B-Boy, but life is full of surprises. This album is summertime for your ears - if you like your funk/soul/breakbeats/REAL hip hop and don't own these albums, get your act together and get 'em.
These days, rap seems to be about nothing but driving expensive cars, drinking cognac, wearing hugely unnattractive jewellery, glueing bits of metal to your teeth and demeaning women in just about every way possible. Thank goodness for "If You Can't Join Em... Beat Em", then - it's a hip hop album that puts fun at the forefront of its sound. Format's ear for a rhythm will get all but the most arthritic of heads nodding, while the lyrical dexterity of longtime partner Abdominal puts mainstream rappers to shame; elsewhere, the excellent guest spots from D-sisive, and another from Jurrasic 5 mainstays Chali 2Na and Akil, really shine. Funky, funny and refreshingly old-school. If DJ Format wants to beat modern mainstream rap, then I'm more than happy to be on his side.
A work of genius! If you dont love this album there is something seriously wrong...Format's first album (Music for the Mature B-Boy) was going to take some beating, (excuse the pun!) with classics like "vicious battle raps" "B-Boy Code" and "we know something you dont know"(...In fact, every track!-so if you havent got that yet, save me doing another recommendation and go get it!!!) But this album is a permanent resident in my CD player, i got it when it first came out, and im still finding new things to love about it!!! Favourite tracks - "rap machine" "3 feet deep" and "separated at birth"...although i could go on...! Just buy it and see for yourself!
DJ Format started out on the Hip Hop scene as Jurassic 5's van driver way back in 97, hanging out with the hip hop outfit has clearly paid dividends as Format's second album features the same brand of funk heavy sampling and production that Jurassic 5's Cut Chemist would be proud of. The talented Canadian MC's Abdominal and D-Sisive have have been drafted in to provide vocal duties which works well and of course Format's old pals Chali 2Na and Akil from Jurassic 5 add their weight to the album. But what really impresses with this album and underlines the quality of it's production are the excellent drum break heavy instrumental workout tracks that crop up on the album.