B-Ill: The Best of B-Ill: Chapter 1
Banga Bill, also known as B-Ill, is the second Baltimore hip-hop producer to release a double-disc compilation of his work in this year alone, following Darkroom Productions' Hamsterdam 2. But where Darkroom's mixtape was full of largely new material, B-Ill's operates like a highlight reel, running through his contributions to albums by Mullyman, Barnes, and tha Annexx Click. Those familiar tunes make for most of the CD's standout tracks, from the thumping, metallic percussion of Silowette's "Chicken Box" to the sparkling Isley Brothers sample on Mullyman's "Home of da Realest."
But B-Ill also nets a surprising number of national artists to spit on his tracks, from Joe Budden to Ghostface Killah and Lox protégé Jae Hood. Banga Bill's production style tends toward a classic East Coast thump, so it's not hard to see why he'd attract a number of New York rap luminaries. The Best of B-Ill: Chapter 1 really takes off toward the end of the first disc when he explores a surprisingly diverse range of sounds, from the cod-reggaeton of Young Fav's "Dale Duro" to the sleazy hip-house of AD's "Nasty Girl" and Silowette's "Oochie Pop." It just goes to show that if you give a hip-hop traditionalist a couple of hours to fill up, well, eventually they'll start tossing out some interesting curve balls.