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Various Artists / Life Before 40
Album:Life Before 40 Collection:Hip-hop
Artist:Various Artists Added:12/2005
Label:Low Life 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2005-12-04 Pull Date:2006-02-05 Charts:Hip-Hop
Week Ending:5 Feb22 Jan8 Jan25 Dec18 Dec11 Dec
Airplays:111151

 Recent Airplay
1.Feb 05, 2006:the perennial philosophy
City Of Industry
4.Dec 21, 2005:Deep in the Groove
City Of Industry, Life And Breath
2.Feb 01, 2006:Deep in the Groove
Jehst - CIty of Industry
5.Dec 14, 2005:Deep In The Groove
Jehst - City of Industry, Life And Breath, Rodney P - Big Tings We Inna
3.Jan 17, 2006:The Revolution Will Not Be Podcast
City Of Industry
6.Dec 13, 2005:The Panoply Christmas Special
City Of Industry

Album Review
Crystal Davis
Reviewed 2005-12-12 
Life Before 40 - Hip
Hop/Rap

Third time is the charm on this one…some of the best albums don’t grab you till you listen three times through thouch. This isn’t the best comp ever but it’s solid with some tracks that I’d buy in a second if I could get my hands on the 12”. My main gripe is with the mastering… could’ve been better and will probably hold digestion of the thing as a whole back a bit. Definitely worth checkin though… Favorite tracks: # 3, 4,
1. Life And Breath - 4:39 - Supa T, Lewis Parker & Braintax: This track is on the simple side… the beat is based around a harp riff so it’s automatically melodic with a warm bass giving it good space… the way the mc’s play off each other reminds me a little of the old Smif n Wessun style while the lyrics are existential and contemplative… nice underground track.
2. The Last Tune - 4:13 - Task Force: This song has all the potential of being a successful anthem but just doesn’t execute it well enough to pull it off. The hook is almost totally live…
3. City Of Industry - 3:21 – Jehst: Lovin it from the first four bars…The more I hear of Jehst the more I like his style… this track is actually not as funky as some others I’ve heard but the lyrics are more thoughtful and basically dope. The strings pull me in; they’re real and they’re raw. I’m keen on the production here. Play this track!!
4. Big Tings We Inna - 5:24 - Rodney P: Excellent use of a dub track… it’s so hard to find mc’s that can rock over dub without sounding slooowww. But this track bumps and the flow really gives the rythms extra kick. I think I love ‘em for his accent too – ha!
5. Showbitchness - 4:21 - Verb T & Harry Love: The beat is really really basic – warm and shaky… but Verb T & Harry Love totally draw you in with wordplay that I don’t even want to respond to (as a woman) but they bring up balanced examples of bitchness… in the industry and life – male and female… it’s catchy enough to wait out the warm keys that run through the rest of the piece… with muted horns in the hook giving it a jazzy feel, the beat is so smooth, it contrasts well with subject matter.
6. Mad Runningz - 5:30 – Ricochet: I always love the tango samples and get pulled in by these as well… the beat is so MPC and I can really hear the pads workin on this one, so it’s lucky it works and ends up giving the rhythm a good amount of swing… the lyrics aren’t really that mentally dynamic but they are descriptive and have good cadence (for redeeming qualities). I actually wish more mc’s would try to layer their lyrics and not try to get every verse in one take… it gives the vocalist a lot more creative flexibility. (Dirty)
7. You Know Who You Are - 3:33 - Rodney P, Farma G, Mystro & Braintax: The sample on the intro is drivin me nuts ‘cause I can’t remember where it’s from… now I’m going to have to go through my whole record collection. I think this is one of those tracks where there are too many cooks in the kitchen and the flavors get a little muddled. It’s still a decent track with redeeming elements in lyrical wordplay. The beat is a little flat. I think it could have been betta. (Dirty)
8. Money In The Bank (Ft. Jehst) [Original Version] - 3:25 – Asavior: Straight up Camp Lo baby (Luchini …whaaat?…) This might have been too cheesy if it hadn’t come from the UK… and the smooth neo soul undertones. The pieces are a little random from the samples to the mc lyrics but I like how it all comes together. It works. It’s not a classic but it’s a good track.
9. Tellin' You - 4:13 – Mystro: This track takes me back to some of the beats the Neptunes did for Brand Nubian on Foundation… the rhymes on first listen are pretty basic “I’m a sick mc” type ish but on the second listen I picked up where he’s droppin some socio-political-conscious knowledge. (Dirty)
*10. Straight Dirt - 4:00 - Kashmere The Iguana Man: This is one of my favorites… that organ riff is chopped to perfection and flipped just right. The lyricists mix so well that their wordplay and flow go together just right… between a bangin beat and mc’s that pull me into to their imagery… this track has got me. I wanna press repeat. (Dirty)
*11. Who ? Me - 2:25 - Skinny Man: A strong intro goes a long way and can make a song… in this case the intro is the hook and it’s pulls you into a strong flow over an even stronger instrumental. The beat is soulful and live… definitely a Motown throwback. A song should always leave you wanting more and this does just that. (Dirty)
12. Just Me - 3:31 – Braintax: This track reminds me of the UK version of Prozack Turner. It’s a solid beat and the I like the lyrics. They seem sincere and positive and I feel em. A lot of us don’t realize how lucky we are. Once again, no classic here but a solid track worth a playin.
13. On The Road - 3:17 - Braintax & Mystro: I love these underground club tracks… can’t get enough… the lyrics are fun… more of the positive – real and sincere… the chatty bits aren’t obviously fake or scripted and work with the song. The beat could be “in da wind part 3”. The hook is cute and the ending cuts out well… all clean. It all works… I want a 12” of this one.

Track Listing
 ArtistTrack Name
1.supa t, lewis parker & braintaxLife And Breath
2.task forceThe Last Tune
3.rodney pCity Of Industry
4.verb t & harry loveShowbitchness
5.ricochetMad Runningz
6.rodney p, farma g, mystro & braintaxYou Know Who You Are
7.asavior f. jehstMoney In The Bank
8.mystroTellin' You
9.kashmere the iguana manStraight Dirt
10.shinnymanWho ? Me
11.braintaxJust Me
12.braintax and mystroOn The Road