Ministry of Sound recently spoiled their reputation for well-assembled compilations with Anthems Alternative 80s - a record that was not in the least "alternative". In fact I was half-expecting there to be a Duran Duran single on "Hip Hop Anthems 2". OK so I am joking but at least this is something of a return to form for the label's non-dance compilations series.
The Ultramagnetic MCs make it on to the tracklist this time, having been previously omitted, but there's still no room for Stetsasonic, Mantronix, Ice-T or the Beastie Boys. Volume 2 contains more West Coast rap (I'm more of an East Coast man myself) than volume 1, so be warned: the uninitiated may well need to exercise their "hip hop muscle" before listening, as this one does drag a little in places for me. On the other hand, there are some real classics - "The Message" and "Rapper's Delight" to name but two, plus some good old skool selections, e.g. "Roxanne's Revenge". And, if you've never heard Biggie Smalls' arresting "Juicy" (sampling Mtume's "Juicy Fruit") before then you're in for a treat.
Since this is a Ministry of Sound release, there is inevitably a pop element (it certainly lacks the class of a Soul Jazz-type compilation) but it's so heavy-going (and not exactly "anthemic") in places that the newer poppier stuff (mostly to be found on disc 3) comes as something of a relief.
Once again, this 3CD set is an easy and good value way of getting some quality rap music in your record collection without having to dig too deep.
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