Swizz Beatz – “Hip Hop 50, Vol. 2” review

This is the debut EP from New York producer, “rapper”, DJ, songwriter, record executive & hype man Swizz Beatz. Emerging already a quarter of a century ago as the in-house producer for Ruff Ryders Entertainment, he later started his now defunct Full Surface Records in 2001 & dropped a decent compilation called G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories the following year on my 6th birthday. It wouldn’t be until 2007 however that he would try to officially go solo with 1 Man Band Man, a solidly produced album that was unfortunately weighed down by the lack of features & of course Swizz’ horrendous rapping on every song. He eventually took a backseat from the mic on the sophomore effort Poison over a decade later & is doing so on the Mass Appeal Records-backed Hip Hop 50, Vol. 2 following up the Hip Hop 50 EP that DJ Premier dropped through Nas’ indie label last summer.

“Runaway” by Nas starts off the whole thing with a soul sample & admitting that he’s still trapped in a box tryna clear his name whereas “This Shit Right Here” by Lil Wayne has a more celebratory vibe as Weezy F drops some fly braggadocio. “Take ‘Em Out” by Benny the Butcher, Jadakiss & Scar Lip goes into boom bap turf making it clear that it’s all about the calls prior to “City Sound Like” by Fivio Foreign & Bandmanrill dives into synth territory paying homage to the Brooklyn drill scene with Fivio stealing the show. “Say Less” by A Boogie wit da Hoodie & Lil Durk finds the pair talking about they ain’t squashing shit over a cinematic trap instrumental, but then “Khalas” by Jay Electronica finishes the album with a drumless loop telling y’all about himself.

The previous Hip Hop 50 EP that Mass Appeal dropped last summer is still my favorite of the 2 that we’ve gotten so far, but I’d still say that the new installment here is worth checking out if you liked Poison as much as I did. Even though a couple of the guests punched under their weight with their performances, most of them manage to hit the mark as they rock it over Swizz’ signature production style. Curious to hear as to who’s producing the next installment of this series celebrating this culture we all know & love.

Score: 3.5/5

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