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Various Artists

EV Records presents: Everything

(EV; US: 28 Nov 2006; UK: Unavailable)

There are two standard phrases in hip-hop that typically grab my attention because, usually (say, 90% of the time), they stand for confidence: (1) “And it goes a lil’ somethin’ like this” and (2) “And you don’t stop”. The first generally kicks off a rhyme; the second sometimes ends it. When I hear either of them, I get the feeling the rapper is convinced that the track is the bomb.  Well, EV Records presents: Everything opens a 14-track collection with a sample containing the first phrase (“And it goes, and it goes, and it goes a lil’ somethin’ like this”) and, while my little theory might not be a universal truth, it applies well here. EV, the independent and hardworking record label out of Chicago, Illinois, serves a platter of fierce but jazzy tracks coupled with snappy, polished rhymes. With an abundance of skilled underground emcees, the set takes a shot at showing literally everything the label has to offer. Wielding the microphone, you’ll find Royce Da 5’9, Longshot, Profound, Diverse, Illogic, Ang13, Modill, Psalm One, Pace One, Thaione Davis, Verb T, Finale, and One Be Lo. On the beats, you get Earmint, Overflo, Copperpot, and K-Kruz. As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. While it’s always a treat to sample a variety of styles and voices, numerosity may lessen the album’s cohesiveness. Still, you’ll love standouts like “The Mic”, “Nightshift”, and “Things I Do”.

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Quentin Huff is an attorney, writer, visual artist, and professional tennis player who lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In addition to serving as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Law, he enjoys practicing entertainment law. When he's not busy suing people or giving other people advice on how to sue people, he writes novels, short stories, poetry, screenplays, diary entries, and essays. Quentin's writing appears, or is forthcoming, in: Casa Poema, Pemmican Press, Switched-On Gutenberg, Defenestration, Poems Niederngasse, and The Ringing Ear, Cave Canem's anthology of contemporary African American poetry rooted in the South. His family owns and operates Huff Art Studio, an art gallery specializing in fine art, printing, and graphic design. Quentin loves Final Fantasy videogames, Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible, his mother Earnestine, PopMatters, and all things Prince.


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