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TOM SHOWTIME: Your Word Against Mine (Bootlegs Vol. 1) (2013) Free download

It’s showtime again already. Tom Showtime that is – and he’s back between official releases to give the people what they want. And what they want, is quality emcees on decent beats. Hence a thriving market in hip-hop bootlegs since the demise of decent mainstream hip-hop which coincided with the rise of synth-driven, Guetta-esque, shite that has passed for 99% of mainstream hip-hop since the mid-2000s. Which is where TS’s Your Word Against Mine (Bootlegs Vol. 1) comes in.

While Nas’s Made You Look and the Beasties’ Intergalactic acapellas may have been rinsed to within an inch of their lives, the other eight acapellas that have been used on here have not. I’d say that was something of an achievement given the amount of hip-hop booties I’ve come across in seven years of MB. Showtime also demonstrates considerable production versatility re-imagining his chosen MCs in a range of ways. Jay-Z’s Encore here turns on an ATCQ-ish beat for example while Abdominal’s Radio Friendly becomes Latin F@#% (I’ll leave you to guess the influences on that one) while particular highlights include a take on Method Man’s Release Yo’ Delf which ends up sounding like RZA on a skeletal early Wu Tang beat and Missy Elliott’s Lose Control which is vastly improved by some Neptunes-like groove. That little summary should also indicate to you the breadth of rappapellas on this which run from the underground to the mainstream and from the ancient to – well – nothing really past the mid-2000s. There’s a reason for that – though that’ll be the underground’s word against the industry’s…

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