Mental Giants/Cold Crush Brothers 12" (1995)
The gem on this record is the Mental Giants' "Hustler's Hymn." An ILL bassline runs the track, and Akbar's rhyme style is so tight here you'll wonder why you never heard (more) of him. The verses run into a chant-along chorus that works, and the lyrics take a conversational tone, observant of life in the city without the "finger-on-the-trigger" perspective so common in NYC thug shit. Highly recommended.
"Uptown Drifter" is much thicker...hard-rock head-nod material. "AK's Groove" is all about Akbar, with a simple break-based beat playing the background, as the cut opens via acapella. "Parker Lee's Groove" is an instrumental jam, that rocks a grimey break that sounds almost like a lost Easy Mo Bee beat.
On the flipside, you'll find the Cold Crush Brothers' "Can't Do Me Nada" (instrumental included as well). The only thing I can really praise about this cut is the Parker Lee beat; specifically, the sampled chorus. Yeah, and when you're rocking it, and someone asks you who the wack MC on the mic is, you can respond "you don't know Cold fuckin' Crush?" accusingly. Also includes "Ya Can't Fade Me" by Cold Crush as well.