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Built from Scratch

X-Ecutioners

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Album Review

Though it's a clever play on words, the title of the second record from the X-ecutioners is somewhat of an overstatement. The New York turntable crew reworks a few notable songs from rock and hip-hop's history (Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love" being the best known), while including several familiar sounds and vocals from the genre's early days. Still, Built From Scratch is a sharp ode to old school hip-hop that focuses on the roll of the turntable rather than the vocals of an MC. That has been the group's intent since the early '90s, and Built From Scratch provides a great showcase for the quartet's turntable skills. However, those skills are sometimes overshadowed by the many collaborations from big names such as Pharaoh Monch, Xzibit, Everlast, Inspectah Deck, and the seemingly out of place Linkin Park. That doesn't mean that these cuts are commercially friendly. These are nitty-gritty rap ventures that stay true to the X-ecutioners' roots and are free of any deliberate pop hooks. [The disc was also released with a bonus remix courtesy of Lo Fidelity Allstars.]

Biography

Formed: 1989 in New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New York-based turntable group the X-ecutioners were, along with San Francisco's Invisibl Skratch Piklz, among the first all-DJ outfits to sign a recording contract, and the first to release a full-length album focusing on the art of turntable tricknology. Formerly known as the X-Men (they changed their name, for copyright reasons, when they signed with the Asphodel label in 1997), the four-person group consists of Mista Sinista, Rob Swift, Total Eclipse, and Roc Raida; a world-renowned crew whose...
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Built from Scratch, X-Ecutioners
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