May 18, 2020

Rawkus Presents "Soundbombing II" (Snippet Tape, 1999)

Soundbombing II was reviewed in the August, 1999 issue of Vibe Magazine - Noah said: "Three years ago, the brains behind Rawkus devised a plan to nurture a crop of MCs just starting to blossom in New York City's underground hip hop scene. And now that the climate of hip hop is slowly beginning to shift away from the Puff-driven "ice" age, Rawkus prepares to reap the benefits of their harvest with the release of Soundbombing II. Unlike its predecessor, and especially the languid Lyricist Lounge Vol.1 (Rawkus, 1998), SBII illustrates the evolution of Rawkus's MCs from raw and unpolished to solid, skilled artists poised to give chart-topping rappers a serious run for their money. This newfound confidence and maturity is typified by the High & Mighty's "B-Boy Document 99" as well as Pharoahe Monch and Shabaam Sahdeeq's slamming collaboration, "WWIII." Both cuts bang with the up-tempo, high-octane power of Black Star's 1998 "Definition," the label's biggest hit so far. Even slower tracks, like Eminem's understated "Any Man" and the soulful title track by Dilated Peoples & Tash, maintain a high level of intensity. Rawkus has weathered the storm of R&B-infused, radio-friendly hip hop that has dominated for so long, and now the sun shines on more rugged styles. So pump up Soundbombing II and bask in the glow." In the Spin Magazine review (July, 1999), Neil Drumming adds "Rawkus's resident preacherman, Talib Kweli, strives to "turn jams into revolutionary parties," adding conscious-rap protein to the Reflection Eternal crew and on a duet with Bahamadia. The showstopper, however, is "Patriotism," by constant complainers Company flow, a clever, cacophonous slam of all things American... The cheerfully undanceable track and antiestablishment lyrics both reinforce Rawkus's rep as a label of originators and anchor Soundbombing II firmly at street level." Soundbombing II was released by Rawkus Records on this day in 1999, so revisit the original cassette snippet tape - mixed by J. Rocc and DJ Babu - below. 

Original promo sticker for Soundbombing II, colors have faded from storage.