All-Purpose DJs 

Pound fa Pound

A whopping 32 different artists contribute original verses to the All-Purpose DJs' Pound fa Pound, which zooms by in a rapid-fire flurry of verbal jabs, metaphoric uppercuts, and alliterative hooks. There's hardly any time to react to what was just said before the next battler enters the ring to try his hand over pimp-slap funk beats.

There's not much cutting or beat-juggling here, just plenty of lyrical bruising and bloodying by Yay Area representatives such as Pitch Black, Casual, Tajai, Gennessee, Tango & Kash, Rasco, Mistah F.A.B., Wisdom, Pep Love, and JC, to name a few. Ragamuffin toasters Collage and Lord Takim add cultural flavor and provide contrast to the rappers, who tilt more toward thug life than backpack bohemianism. Even so, there's no denying the lyrical heat generated from verses like Planet Asia's: "Keep it moving star, stay focused/I never look back or pray to ghost-es/Very strong man so play the solstice/Most precious and important ways and actions after days of fortune slaying swordsman/Changing courses off the chain behind my brain be launching."

With original production, a guest list of hungry rhymesayers (both established and on the come-up), and a couple of skits, scratch breaks, and bonus tracks thrown in, Pound fa Pound stakes its claim for heavyweight classification. The lack of self-reverential voice-overs, ad nauseam backspins, and flows that can be found elsewhere makes the CD more than a mere mix tape; it's a worthy contender in the DJ/producer division. Chalk up a TKO for All-Purpose's DJ Lex and True Justice for making a well-executed, highly conceptual banger, probably best suited for riding around town with the bass boosted until it knocks down your rear-view mirror. Yet Pound fa Pound passes the headphone test too, with flying colors if not a championship belt.

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