Classic Elements was the last great Northwest hip hop compilation. Dropping in '98 (on K Records, of all things), this record was frankly weaker than its predecessors. However, it wasn't for lack of talent: Classic Elements featured such greats as Source of Labor, Black Anger, Beyond Reality, Nomad, and a host of others. The reason this comp wasn't completely perfect was due to the fact that this time Vitamin D and Topspin weren't at the helm. In fact, for whatever reason Tribal Productions had a rather slim representation, with Ghetto Chilldren and Sinsemilla only. That being said, the new faces bring some serious heat. DJ Sayeed is the star of this show, producing bangers by Soulstice, Blak, Black Anger and Bedroom Produksionz. Mr. Supreme also steps up on Jace's "What's Ya Definition", as does Bitzo One and Brian Weber. It's an album that definitely stands up on its own, and acts as a fitting close to a great chapter in the history of Northwest music, while introducing the world to a bunch of new cats. On a personal note: This album came out while I was homesick and living in LA, and at the time the only reason I'd take Beneath the Surface off the player was to put this record on. It's that nice. Give it a listen.
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