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Various Artists National Vinyl Association

Even though it's the heavyhitters-Mos Def, Blackmoon, Jurassic 5-that are gonna sell this badboy compilation, it's the deeper underground that smashes up the place. On "Classical Hit," Phil da Agony and Planet Asia, both in top form, deliver heavy verbal bombast over a thoroughly catchy beat, as the female hookstress croons, "getting passionate with some ol' classical shit." Ras Kass, another Cali vet, blazes a straight-up lyrical slugfest along a gritty, gothic piano loop on "Verbal Murder"-minimal underground militancy like the good ol' days. And when grimy Jon Notty looks to lovely Joni Mitchell for help on "The Girl in the Picture," the whole family's satisfied!

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