Two of the most slept on, under the radar blend DJs in the game today; Simon Sez and Set It Off. This is an ill concept for a CD. I think it pushes creative boundaries while putting pressure on the DJs to use a somewhat limited resource (bangin’ dungeon beats) versus a somewhat endless resource (Tupac accapellas). With so many 2Pac verses out there what ones do you use? His lyrics emit a vibe that can go many ways; thugged out, conscience, pimped out, ect. How do two DJs capture a specific vibe and make a cohesive project that not only pays homage to a great MC but remains structured and not all over the place? Let’s find out…….
Just from the intro quotes right into the Simon Sez blend of “Dear Mama” you get a sense you’re in for something special. Cee Lo on the hook was crazy (no pun). He’s like an eclectic Nate Dogg or some shit. The little 2 Pac quotes throughout just add to the mix, it’s the seasoning man. DJ Set It Off came with the knocks on the Mary J assisted “Happy Home”. This is what I’m talking about when cats do blends and take hooks and make a whole new song. That Mary hook is potent along side that 2Pac track. As the tempos increase and 2Pac sticks his chest out “Um Dumpin” hits and Simon Sez flips the vibe to that realness. Kurupt sounds good alongside of Pac on “Still Ballin”. His verse got me open and the bass in that beat is subtle but thick as hell. The blend that had me ridin’ was Set It Off with “This Life I Lead” and “Fuck Em All”; both joints were a straight head nod. The same way Simon Sez brought the CD in on some next level shit, Set It Off ends it the same way. “Hold On Be Strong” with Stretch was errie man. Cats were ahead of their time on this track. The way the blend ends with that guitar slowed down you really feel like you’re getting closure on the project.
This is a different kind of blend CD people. It’s well thought out and very calculated. I thought they might stick with one certain vibe throughout the CD but shit switches up. You get that introspective Pac in the beginning, he’s got his heart on his sleeve. Next you get the shit talking, loud mouth Pac who will take on anyone and everyone. You also get a little bit of that sensitive Pac too. Never one to hide his real emotions on a record. Beat wise is where I give a hell of a lot of credit. I’m thinking it’s gonna be all hit record type joints but surprisingly the beats cater to the vocals almost perfectly. For a true 2Pac fan this is a must cop CD. The shelf life of this project is going to be crazy as well. If you truly appreciate the art of mixtapes you gotta add this to the collection. Truth be told I still got a little bit of a chill from the ending of the CD.