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Don’t Sleep

DJ Hurricane

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Album Review

In a year where the producer grew to a level of prominence increasingly closer to that of the MC, with Dr. Dre, Mannie Fresh, and Swizz Beatz getting substantial acclaim and other producers such as Muggs and Dame Grease crafting their own full-length albums, it's not surprising to see a DJ as prominent as DJ Hurricane getting the chance to release a full-length album. Like Muggs and Grease, DJ Hurricane recruits a large roster of MCs to bring some personality to his beats, and, again like Muggs and Grease, his album ultimately falls short with its number of lackluster MC performances despite the excellent beats. It's been said before: Not even the best production can overcome dull rapping. There are a few shining moments here, such as "Freeze the Frame" featuring a charged Public Enemy, "Make Things Better" featuring Talib Kweli, "Connect" featuring the near-but-not-quite gangsta charisma of Xzibit, and "Blow It Up" featuring the West Coast stance of Hittman. With 18 tracks, there are quite a few solid beats spoiled by mediocre rapping, and the inclusion of "We Will Rock You," a cover of the Queen classic featuring Scott Weiland, is a looming mistake. In the end, if you can look beyond the oft-poor rapping, there are some great East Coast neo-old school beats here; note though that De Roc and Swift C assist Hurricane with production on every track.

Biography

Born: Queens, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

One of New York's premier turntablists, DJ Hurricane fostered his skills alongside Run-D.M.C. in the Hollis, Queens, area of New York City before eventually hooking up with the Beastie Boys, with whom he made a name for himself as the group's DJ before going on to release his own albums. Born Wendell Fite, Hurricane began rhyming at age 11, eventually forming a group called the Solo Sounds and later the Afros. While serving as one of Run-D.M.C.'s bodyguards on the 1986 Raising Hell tour, he became...
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Don’t Sleep, DJ Hurricane
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