Artist: Various ArtistsTitle: Hyphy HitzRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Melanie J. Cornish
One thing that can be said for TVT Records is that they are a label always willing to take a chance. Having been the driving force between the Crunk epidemic that infiltrated the nation in the early stages of the new millennium; they are now turning their hand to the Hyphy movement which may not have had the impact that the Bay area had hoped for nationally. Regardless, it has exposed many of its contributors beyond state lines.
Hyphy Hitz (TVT Records) is possibly an overdose of the highly energized music that has actually been prevalent in the Bay Area way before the matrimony of hyper and fly took it to the mainstream. Those who birthed the genre are out in full effect on this collection, names like Keek Da Sneak, Shake da Mayor, the late Mac Dre, E-40 and rising stars, Balance and San Quinn all mark their territory accordingly.
Tracks like “Super Hyphy” (Keak Da Sneak) and Mistah F.A.B’s “Super Sic Wit It” are possibly the tracks that give the listener a more “in-depth” understanding of just what the movement represents; particularly the slang that originated from the mouth of Hyphy’s Ambassador E-40. However it is actually the omission of 40 Water’s “Tell Me When to Go” that is cause for concern, as this was undoubtedly the track that encouraged Hyphy in its entirety to be pushed to the masses for either acceptance or ridicule on a mainstream level.
The out of towners who show up on Hyphy Hitz are kept to a minimum, but because their homestead can be affiliated to the phenomenon through label ties and the similarities to crunk, Atlanta’s Da Muzicianz are in effect on the aptly titled “Go Dumb” featuring Bay area band The Federation. Although the thought of non-locals jumping onboard the Hyphy bandwagon may be a little too much for the loyalists to appreciate at this stage of its infancy, the majority of beats as well as lyrics are provided by hometown heroes including Rick Rock, Droop-E and Traxamillian.
As one of the first major collections of Hyphy hits, the album serves its purpose for anyone fond of the ghost driving, dread shaking culture and educates those who may not have had the pleasure of any aural schooling on the beat based, slang driven way of life associated with The Bay.