Whatever happened to the compilation? It seems as if no one does a compilation unless it’s a greatest songs album or one of those “Only Sold on TV” multi-CD sets. Now we are just butchered with thousands of mix tapes with no-talent-16-track using DJs, wack writtens portrayed as freestyles, and hosted by folks who have no business putting sentences together. There are a few mix tapes that are worth their weight in gold, but most are just useful for living room coasters. Sleeping Giant Music, a label that has recently celebrated its one year anniversary, has placed a good portion of their roster on their first release.
A wonderful thing about compilations is that it allows the listener an opportunity to test several flavors. Sleeping Giant does just that by presenting Miki Vale, Move.meant, Self Sounds, Aygee Cannibal, Brown Suga Poet, oneson, Jon Phenom, and Quayludes to the world. There is no gangsta posturing here or tales of incredible one night stands with exotic women of foreign locales we cannot pronounce. Almost each artist brings their own unique form of hip-hop music.
Miki Vale, an MC who happens to be a female, brings a much needed talent to the mic. Her rhymes are hard without being male and her writing is as complex as any. Her clever rhyme flow stood out amongst her Sleeping Giant Music peers. Self Sounds continues the tradition of pouring knowledge into our consciousness in the form of edutainment. Oneson brings that sing-songy form of MCing that only few get right. Instead of trying to get in your draws, Oneson discusses the ills of society. Move.meant brings a nice flavor to the overall picture but unfortunately are featured on only one track.
Of course, every album has their flaws. On “The Awakening,” the spoken word artist Brown Suga Poet seems very out of place. I will admit, what her writing is way over my head particularly when I am just looking for dope lyrics and head nodding beats. Throwing her into the mix was just enough to interrupt the album’s flow.
Sleeping Giant Music does a fine job of finding artists that represent the cutting edge of several genres. Hopefully, with enough push and clever marketing we will all hear more from these artists. Until then, this compilation is enough to keep us searching.