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DJ Rhettmatic - Exclusive Collection

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Artist: DJ Rhettmatic

Album: Exclusive Collection

Label: Up Above

Review date: May. 10, 2004

On his latest mix, Exclusive Collection, DJ Rhettmatic greets his listeners sipping cognac and puffing some seriously hot air. Such posturing is fine if the work is as regal as the man himself, but this double-disc is a hefty undertaking for a DJ known for shaking beats more so than stirring them to smooth perfection.

As a founding member of The World Famous Beat Junkies, Rhett established himself long ago as one of the godfathers of turntablism. After winning prestigious awards on the battle scene, he went on to form the Visionaries with five L.A.-based MCs. He also contributed to a Visionaries side project, Writer's Block, with MCs Zen and Dannu.

Thankfully, Exclusive goes down just fine. The songs chosen for this collection are prime cuts with which Rhett skillfully weaves a cohesive flow despite their dissimilarities. Jay Dee's "Fuck the Police" is the first to distinguish itself. The predominant flute loop lends a less-sinister attitude than N.W.A.'s infamous version. The lyrical highlight on the album belongs to the ever-articulate Talib Kweli, guesting with Sadat X on "Communicate," a minimal bass-heavy number produced by Geology. Relative new comer Noelle shares a “shoo-be-do” style number with Dilated Peoples on "The Craft," keeping the mix from hitting too hard. Doubling the RPMs, DJ Spinna follows up his single "Rock" with the infectious dance break sequel, "Rock the Grand Finale." Jurassic 5 keeps the positive vibe flowing with a new song, "Linguistics." Syncopated hand clap beats and rubber-band guitar riffs match the crew's classic lyrical delivery.

Rhettmatic plays both sides of the game by mixing some of his own projects into the collection before warping them with his beat-juggling wizardry. Songs from the Visionaries and Writer’s Block have been masterfully spliced into the Exclusive Collection mix, with Rhettmatic further reworking the beats he began doctoring for the Visionaries' "Hindsight", Writer's Block's "4U", and the Beat Junkies' own "Dividends."

So perhaps with all his intricate ties to the work on this album, DJ Rhettmatic should be poolside in a smoking jacket, basking in his accomplishments. If only he didn’t drop his name every couple of minutes – self-aggrandizement does have its limits.

By Emily Huffman

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