Review: 20,000 Leagues Under the Street Vol. 1”

Various Artists
““20,000 Leagues Under the Street Vol. 1””
(Nu Gruv Alliance / Pockets Linted Entertainment)

On the intro to his “20,000 Leagues Under the Street” compilation, Rasco promises that the album brings you the “illest hip-hop heads that you know today.”  You might only know them if you keep a close eye on the California underground scene, but Rasco is right to call them the illest.  On this album, wordplay and rhyme skills are at a premium- the MC’s featured will have you playing songs over and over, studying lyrics.  Rasco, his Cali Agents partner Planet Asia, Encore, Grouch, and Likwit connector Phil Da Agony all bring dope tracks to the table.  Although Rasco’s solo joint “Gunz Still Hot” is easily the album’s best offering, tracks like “Stomp” by Flii and “Thank You” by 427 prove that the newcomers can match the more established names verse for verse.  The majority of the album is so strong that Zion I’s “Keep It Tight” and Saafir’s clever “Skanless” seem average by comparison.  Rasco has assembled a strong cast of MC’s and producers, and has made “20,000 Leagues Under the Street” a complete album that gets better with every listen.