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Hip Hop Lives 

KRS-ONE & Marley Marl

KOCH; Release date: May 22, 2007

The Deal: Maybe hip-hop isn't dead after all.

The Good: The infighting with hip-hop over whether it is alive or dead is like arguing over whether Tupac is alive or dead. In step hip-hop legends KRS-ONE and Marley Marl, like schoolteachers breaking up a fight between children during recess. Great production from one of the game's first super-producers who was one of the first to sample James Brown records in hip-hop's infancy, beats that will take you back but still be relevant, and very few guest appearances let "The Teacha" be the star. The album recreates the days of just a rapper and a DJ doing their thing. Hip-hop-seasoned vets will get a kick out of KRS doing an entire album with the man he said flat out sucks on his classic song "The Bridge Is Over."

The Bad: The entire album takes the tone of your parents' "Back in my day ..." speeches, which can be annoying and take away from solid production and the overall message of the album.

The Verdict: Chances are the young guys this album was made for will be too busy snapping and popping and will probably ignore the old heads and this album, even though it exemplifies the true hip-hop sound. The under-30 crowd still searching for real hip-hop will appreciate this album.

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