Remember when DJs got their fair share of the Rap spotlight? DJs would often have their own set at shows and more importantly get a solo track to display their craft on their MCs albums. Now fast forward to the present, most have been reduced to playing the back as b level radio personalities and mixtape bums. One DJ that has always held his own weight is Babu.
Originally a founding member of turntablist crew The Beat Junkies, Babu would take his talents past battling as one third of Dilated Peoples and through his own individual releases. With the newest installment in his compilation series Duck Season Vol. 3 (Nature Sounds), its clear Babus aim is right on even from long range.
Babu handles all the production duties on the entire project leaving a line up of whos who in the underground sector to get busy in the booth. M.O.P. set things off with the gritty Dearly Departed. Their menacing Brooklyn hard rock delivery is ever present but yet contained amidst thick horns and DJ Premier style cuts.
Fan Mail finds Little Brother, and Joe Scudda putting their Hall Of Justus stamp on an arrangement of bass licks coupled with a humming soul sample. Singer Darren Brockingtons vocals on the hook makes the cipher complete. While MF Doom working with Sean Price seems like a dream come true for most, The Unexpected falls short due to a lackadaisical beat and halfhearted lyrics.
The album regains its pace with the AG assisted East West Connection. Babu utilizes a stingy bass line to set the stern tone as The Giant raises a flag for his hometown: Im from the Bronx, thats what I base my story on / Where Salatso got bodied by Michael Corleone / Where n****s got extorted by the late Calderon / I aint talking Reggaeton. Other noteworthy selections include the piano driven Guns Gon Blow featuring Termanology, and the Guilty Simpson solo Frozen.
While Duck Season Vol. 3 is burdened by an additional dull moment or two (That Aint Gangsta), Babu still crafts a respectable effort. His cuts and blends marry all the songs together making the even bumpy moments in this ride a tad bit more tolerable. Believe it or not DJs can still put in good work; those who just hit play button need not apply.
DJ Babu Featuring M.O.P.