Artist: DJ Kayslay/Greg StreetTitle: The Champions: North Meets SouthRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios
In recent years it has become almost cliche that New York Hip-Hop is in the need of some resuscitation. Big Apple veterans that used to hold down an entire coast seem less and less relevant in the public eye. Some might equate the decline to the rise of the South. Atlanta and Texas in particular have shined the brightest with their Snap and Screwed and Chopped sub-genres, respectively. In the hopes of developing more unity between the two regions and squashing any rumblings of a possible civil war, New York’s own Kayslay hooks up with Atlantas premier DJ Greg Street. The Champions: The North Meets The South (Koch) meshes the Dirty Dirty with the five borough block huggers.
Jumping everything off is honorary Streetsweeper Busta Rhymes. Bus implements a laid back, double time delivery over rusty synth notes. With Kayslay directing the traffic on this album, it is no surprise that Papoose is heavily featured. On “The Hardest Out,” Pap, Hell Rell, and Remy Ma go in on a horn heavy Amadeus track. The mixtape phenom also steals the show from Paul Wall and Mike Jones on “Live From The Block” with his signature wordplay: “When I say I mic check, they cut the check on site/I just walk across the set with my checked on Nikes/The gang bangers throw up signs like they on strike/Your stage show I disrespect off spite.”
With any DJ led compilation some turbulence is to be expected. On the unbearable “Hood Drug Warz,” Three Six Mafia and BG are held back by a suspect hook and sub par lyrics. The shoddy track makes it seem that the Memphis boys got lazy after the Oscar win. Surprisingly, the self proclaimed Queen Of NY Remy Ma also drops a hot dud as well with the sappy “One And Only.” Her dedication to her significant other pales in comparison to her current radio burners.
Overall The Champions: The North Meets South has its moments. With a more focused effort by both Greg and Kay, they could of brought the drama for real.