Wild Style Wednesday Review: Slum Village, Fantastic, Vol. 2
I had another review planned for this week, but with the recent passing of Baatin this one feels a little more natural. Fantastic, Vol. 2 is another record that came very close to charting on my most influential albums list. Even though it wasn’t on my most influential albums list, this is another album that I can say would probably easily be in my top 20 favorite albums of all-time. The flow of this album is pure like water and yet it’s as melodic as heaven. Jay Dee’s production is so stellar on this album, that I’m fairly sure it will always withstand the test of time. From Jay Dee’s earlier Ummah sound, to the spaced out synth that he implemented later in his career, Fantastic, Vol. 2 has it all. Baatin, T3 & Jay Dee all sculpt to these tracks like clay and even though they aren’t the wittiest emcees in the world, this album is still utterly amazing.
From the get go on the track “Conant Gardens”, Jay Dee’s production smacks you in the face with the force of a cannon. The loud thumping bass line and rapid cymbal taps provide a great backdrop for Baatin, T3 & Jay Dee to spit over about the place where they came up. On the track “I Don’t Know” all three emcees declare that they are unclear as to why they are “fucking” with females in their lives, and the always legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff supplies some superb scratches for the track. On one of the many highlights of the album, Q-Tip joins Slum on the track “Hold Tight” to ride Jay Dee’s super-smooth Ummahed out beat with fantastic results (as to be expected). One track that I’m sure to play multiple times every time I listen to this album is “What It’s All About”. Dilla’s beat on “What It’s All About” is a combo of uptempo bass lines and spaced out synths that are sure to bobble your brain, not to mention Busta’s guest verse and presence only enhance the track. The Boy Wonder joins Slum Village and produces a beautiful track with Jay Dee on “Once Upon a Time” and it makes for one of my favorite tracks on the album, not to mention the cuts on this track might make you feel like you just got sliced.
My favorite track on Fantastic, Vol. 2 hands down is “Raise It Up”. Jay Dee’s sample of Thomas Bangalter’s “Extra Dry” is perfect, and the beat that Dilla crafts might be one of the best beats you will ever hear. The simple snare kick combo mixes with the hazy bleeped out synthesizer to create a beat that will make you dance out of your skin. “Raise It Up” is a track that ever person should listen to at least once in their life, if not for the lyrics, simply for the blistering beat.
There is really nothing negative that can be said about Fantastic, Vol. 2, it embodies the soul of Hip-Hop in it’s contents. We are talking about an album that was far ahead of its time nine years ago, and an album that will be ahead of its time for many years to come. If you claim to love Hip-Hop and you haven’t heard Fantastic, Vol. 2 I truly feel sorry for you.
9.5 Liquid Flows out of 10