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DJ Language: Real Music For Real People

DJ Language: Real Music For Real People

Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Jess Harvell | Posted 8/31/2005

This DJ Language mix has one strike against it before you even put it in the player: the title. Play Slim Thug directly afterward and it feels equally “real.” Realer, even.

But don’t let the snooty semantics put you off this sparkling mix of indie rap, broken beat, underground soul, and trip-hop. What Language means by “real” isn’t necessarily “nonmainstream”—Nas appears with “War,” a jazzy album cut from last year’s Street’s Disciple—but the even more nebulously defined “soulful.” These are R&B guys with sweaters and spectacles, and female rappers with baccalaureates.

Sometimes it gets too smarmy for its own good. D’Nell’s “I’ve Read About” is just pleased as punch about how many hip name checks it can cram into four minutes and 10 seconds, and it damn near kills the momentum of the mix three tracks in. But forgive Real Music’s faults—earnestness, good taste—and there’s some really amazing music within a narrow scope. Spacek’s “Slow Baby Dubb” is Isley smoothness in zero-gravity orbit. The Platinum Pied Pipers remake “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” as a bumping, buzzing Detroit hip-hop track. Bugz in the Attic’s “Booty La La” sounds like Bootsy and Pharrell jamming on a house track. You may want to watch an hour of MTV Jams afterward, but fakeness is an important part of a real person’s balanced diet.

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