Spun: Various Artists

By Kyle Francis

What do you do when you want to burn a mix CD of all your favourite top 40 hip hop songs from the last couple of years but don’t have a burner or any blank CDs? Well, you could buy Ill Vibes from your local record store. This compilation from Universal Music features 16 tracks of the most popular radio and club hip hop hits to emerge over the last couple of years. Any track you heard on the radio or saw in heavy rotation on Much Music–from Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” to 50Cent’s “If I Can’t” and Kanye West’s “Through The Wire”–is on this ready made disc waiting to be copied when you actually do get a burner.

One advantage of this compilation over your generic homemade mixes is the individual tracks are mixed together producing a seamless flow of beats from beginning to end, worthy of any hip hop club or house party. In addition to 16 tracks we all know and love–and have heard a million times–there are also two new tracks from upcoming albums, namely Jelleestone’s “Hip Hop Song” from his album The Hood Is Here and the title track from Rochester aka Juice’s new album “A New Day”.

Included in the compilation is a DVD with five 60 second “A Day In The Life Of…” videos showing various artists going back to their respective ‘hoods and giving a very brief glimpse of the life they came from. There are also two other videos, including an interview with the members of Eminem’s pseudo-boy band D12 talking about their latest album and a behind the scenes look at the making of 50 Cent’s “21 Questions” video. To spoil the latter video, all you need to know is behind the scenes there was a lot of pot smoking and cursing.

None of the videos provide anything beyond what you’ll find on your everyday VH1 or MTV special, but the music will provide a good hour’s entertainment for hip hop fans with $15 burning a hole in their pockets.

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