Deep Crates 2

Diamond D said it best: “You’ve got to get your fingers dusty.” For anybody subscribing the Hip-Hop sub-culture of crate-digging, Deep Crates 2 (Beatdawg Films) is the sequel within an essential documentary series told by the most respected producers. Although the first installment covered ground with Premier, Madlib, Evil Dee and the aforementioned D.I.T.C. member, this go around Pete Rock and Marley Marl still draw in purists and novices alike.While Pete Rock expresses the love and passion for the craft of beat digging, Marley Marl appears apathetic, arrogant, and dismissive of the movement—despite claiming to be the first Hip-Hop to producer to sample. Instead, it is the 45 King that best represents the primitive era and the first wave of sampling, with candor and supporting claims from K-Def and J-Zone. While the documentary’s profiling of “Weapons of Choice” dissects the role of SP-12 and 1200’s in Hip-Hop history, the segment on Rane’s Serato software feels like a rehashed article from 2004. Although 45 King, Pete and Marley hold down the heavyweight duties this time, 88 Keys, Marco Polo and Jake One also fill in. The varying views on what to sample, and where to look for records is interesting. Equally, the film confirms firsthand the longstanding rumor that Japan is a digger’s paradise, from its segment with DJ Muro. Little splashes of controversy seep in, from Ced Gee claiming Boogie Down Productions absorbed too much credit from Criminal Minded, to K-Def’s loose definition as Marley’s “apprentice,” to Pete Rock calling out longtime friend Large Professor over the long-resolved controversy of the Tom Scott sample that would become “T.R.O.Y.” Perhaps Beatdawg took a page from QD3’s book, on how to keep viewers engaged in these fast-paced times. Deep Crates 2 works to educate viewers on what digging is, as well as speaks to the purist. For someone who has not seen the first volume, the sequel helps sell that as well. Although its handheld shots of The Bronx and misspelled transcriptions hint at an amateur quality, the rich content and intimate interviews of this disc make it one of the finer Hip-Hop docs in the last few years.