The Champions - North Meets South
DJ Greg Street & DJ Kay Slay
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New York DJ and mixtape legend Kayslay teams with Atlanta producer and DJ Greg Street for The Champions: North Meets South, an aboveground mixtape that imitates the underground mixtape almost perfectly, right down to Kayslay's overstuffing of tracks by his protégé Papoose. It's all good since Papoose provides plenty of reasons he's one of the most talked about rappers in 2006 with some stone-cold raps that have a sting in their tail. Overall the tracks are above average, surprising since labels are rarely willing to give up real heat to mixtapes on labels like Koch until well after they've gone stale. The key track has to be the update of Shaq's 1996 hit, "Can't Stop the Reign 2006," a hard, bragging roller that now features Bun B. and — no big surprise here — Papoose (the remix tacked onto the end of this disc is less satisfying and feels like a bunch of freestyles tacked on top of the beat). Also worth checking is "Pop the Trunk" with a very loose Yung Joc, Papoose again, and Chamillionaire, who nails his part despite sounding like he's got a wicked cold. A handful of Diplomats do fine on "Drama Gang" but the track would be just fair without Stay Gettin''s rickety yet hypnotic production. Remy Ma's "One and Only (My Boo)" is a wonderful combination of pillow talk R&B and hard Terror Squad attitude, Ghostface's "5 Deadly Venoms" could be his excellent "Run"'s little brother, while "Big Problems" grimes up Lil Jon, Lil' Flip, Lil Scrappy, and Lil Wyte and offers a truly street-feeling track from this Southern supercrew. While the East vs. South concept never really pays off, The Champions shoots off enough raw and inspired music at such a relentless pace it really doesn't matter. [The Champions: North Meets South, Rovi
Years Active: '00s