In terms of coming up with an all-star album of rappers, Kid Tsunami’s The Chase (HeadBop) has to be one of the best, although the hip-hop elite might tell you “but wait: these are old school rappers.” As if that’s a bad thing.
The premise of The Chase is that all of the guests on the album are rappers from the 80’s and 90’s, so this is meant to have that old school feel, not only by those who are rhyming, but in the way the instrumentals are made, from well known and worn samples to the productions, where sometimes the horn samples may not be in the same key as the rest of the song. As for those rappers, check out the roster here: Sean Price, Masta Ace, O.C., Prince Po, Bahamadia, AG, Kool G. Rap, Buckshot, Chubb Rock, Pharoahe Monche, Jeru The Damaja, Percee P, El Da Sensei, Craig G., Yesh, J-Live, Thirstin Howl The 3rd, and Sadat X, all delivering fine lines and verses. The one who completely takes the entire album away is the one and only KRS-One, who talks about being in hip-hop for a long time, where hip-hop is from and where it’s going, and why people will still pay for a ticket to hear him speak over funky music. Rap music today may not be where it’s at, but when it comes to KRS-One, it is where it’s at and always will be. When Craig G. makes references to Australia in “Worldwide Connex”, he is referring to Kid Tsunami’s home base in the city of Perth, Western Australia. While most of the MC’s on this album are of American origin, there was a time when hearing their music truly felt worldwide. A small part of me wishes that some of these guys would have rhymed over different styled beats, but I think it would have given the album a bit of an imbalance. Not that Kool G. Rap couldn’t do it, we all remember his verses in UNKLE’s “Guns Blazing (Drums Of Death (Part 1)”, but I think The Chase captures not only a vibe, but a time in history, when going for the paper chase was something you did while making an emphasis to create good music. If the sole hunger is money, the music will suffer, at least to me. Kid Tsunami pulls it off quite well.