Various Artists EV Records Presents: Everything

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Everything is more than a mere label compilation. This 14-track collection from Chicago's rapidly ascending EV Records showcases how well its artists play with others-a tradition that in-house producer Copperpot sparked when he began working with London MCs years ago. True to the disc's title, there's an expansive range of styles on display here from EV artists and their collaborators. Fans of hardcore hip-hop will revel in Copperpot's sinister key-driven beat and Pacewon's cautionary street-level narratives on "Here We Go." Meanwhile lyric fiends will dig the metaphorical battle raps of Diverse and Illogic on the peculiar, Overflo-produced "Vintage." But EV's own LongShot proves to be the backbone of Everything, appearing on three standout cuts, including "Learn," an inspiring black-empowerment anthem featuring Michigan's One Be Lo. With more material like this, 'Shot and his brethren could very well rise to the top of the indie hip-hop ranks.