Stimulated Vol. 1 | MUSIC: Soundbite | Indy Week

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Stimulated Vol. 1

Our critics' picks in new releases

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Where can you find De La Soul, Dilated Peoples, The Liks, Rah Diggah, B- Real, Del, Everlast and Prodigy on the same album? Stimulated Vol. 1 has got all the above and then some. Stimulated Records, whose mission is to "declassify" hip hop, is the nephew of Loud Records. Stimulated Dummies, aka Dante Ross (who signed such acts as Brand Nubian, ODB, KMD, The Leaders of the New School) alongside engineer John Gamble are Vol. 1's main producers as well as the force behind the project. With additional production from The Alchemist, Rockwilder, Evidence (from Dilated Peoples), DJ Mighty Mi and others mixed in with performances by De La Soul, B-Real, Sadat X, King Tee--all mature lyricists--Vol. 1 completes its mission. There are a few hooks delivered by vocalists N'dea Davenport, Jenny Fujita and Jimmy Cozier that could be overlooked and labeled as attempts to get commercial radio play, but these tracks are much different than major sellers like J.Lo and Ja Rule. Newcomers Hom and Raleigh's own V.O.R. bless the compilation with fine freshman cuts. "You Won't Get It," by Hom and Pretty Ugly and produced by DJ EMZ, has tight Pink Floyd samples and sharp lyrics, while V.O.R.'s "Beyond City Lights," produced by Dart La, "smacks you with a dose of reality rap over an ill piano loop," according to XXL. Although other songs lack V.O.R.'s impact, the album is a feast of fine flavors.

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