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"Hidden Darts Part Two" (DJ J-Love)

The mix-CD (still referred to as 'mixtapes') offers priceless exposure intended to serve the inner city streets as well as the suburbs. Do the artists receive compensation directly? Is every song approved for release? Who the hell cares - all that matters is making sure those CD-R's offer some hot shit for hip hop purists. It can serve as the renegade outlet for rappers who make a living selling millions of wack records to overweight white chicks; hell, some of the illest tracks 50 Cent and Cam'Ron have dropped has been courtesy of the mixtape.

Hidden Darts Part II opens with Ghost barking in DJ J-Love's phone and actually proves to be one of the more important elements within the overall mix. Rather than the awful, woofer-shredding howls from the mixtape host, J-Love uses snippets of the message, sprinkling them throughout the 30-track mix. It's a horrible hip hop habit most notably adopted by DJ Kid Capri back in the day, and most recently taken to new levels of annoyance by Funkmaster Flex as well as DJ Kay Slay, who also released another Ghost-devoted disc a few months back called No Pork on My Fork. But here J-Love shines the spotlight solely on the marquee attraction with a seamless yet versatile mix that offers nothing but the best from Tony Starks.

Run is a murderous opening track and couldn't be a more suitable street mix introduction, and lost B-sides like Drummer with Method Man, the reggae-tinged New Splash and Gorilla Hood should go down as some of Shaolin's finest. Ironman debut tracks Motherless Child and the grimy Marvel provides a nice wrap-up, as well as Thank You, the hidden track from The W. Set it Off '03 is a new lyrical twist on the old Big Daddy Kane classic, and Ghost offers street-meets-club cuts On da Radio and Afterparty, also featuring Meth. Were it not for that goddamn Ghostface track, which also happens to seriously hinder the official Pretty Toney release, Hidden Darts Part II could have been the best Wu-affiliated album since, well, Supreme Clientele. Check (or eBay of course) to scoop it. 9/10

Reviewed By Chris Conti
May 16th, 2004













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