Various Artists - Reminisce (Hip Hop Soul Classics)

When you look to back in the day at all the people who said hip hop would never last and then look at the streets today you begin to realize just how out of touch most of the industry is. Still today people are looking for the great white saviour as if Elvis was the first rock & roll star and The Beatles are the beginning, the middle and the end of music as we know. On the streets from the US to the UK are a generation who's pop history may have started with the likes of Salt & Pepper or MC Hammer but soon progressed to classic Hip Hop joints like the ones featured on Reminisce.

Just looking across the track listing it's clear to see that this is not just another cash in compilation despite the fact that it features the original of "The Crossroad's" recently taken to number 1 by Blazin Squad and also "This Us How We Do It" and "Hey Mr DJ, originals by Montell Jordan and Zhane and more recently covered by Misteeq. It's just three examples are where hip hop has crossed over to the mainstream and when you consider that amongst pop kids today Westlife are considered something old and past it and each week the likes of Liberty X, 3SL and even Hear'say, god damn it, are launching their condensed version of R&B Hip Hop into the top 10. Even listening to Toni Braxton "You're Makin' Me High", a song from Braxton before she launched into power ballad mode and sounding not unlike the aforementioned Liberty X do a decade later.

These are tracks which still can be dropped on any dance floor across the UK and still get booty's shaking 10 years after they first hit the shops. The production crisp, the beats still hitting the mark and not a bad track between them. Blackstreet's "No Diggity" being as important to hip hop as the Beatles are to guitar music and Warren G's "Regulate", a classic joint out of the Dr Dre stable before he started wasting his time with a little known piece of white trash called Eminem. When you then consider that they've crammed in Jay Z, Brownstone, Ginuwine and Mary J Blige onto the disc you've got the makings of a steaming party.

Whether you just wanna "Reminisce" or you're digging the pop charts to day and want to check out where Blazin Squad and Misteeq get their props from - this is the essential album to start digging into some classic old skool joint!!!

Alex McCann

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