Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Posted in ,,

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Veteran rhymesayers Scienz of Life visited the feel-good era of funk and soul for their most recent offering - a stylish 12-track sampler. If I.D. 4 Windz and Lil' Sci took a trip to 1970s New York to cull vintage funk for their 2007 full length, The Blaxploitation Sessions serves as a preliminary weekend jaunt to scout the scene.

Heavy, dull base thuds introduce opening anthem "Hood Stock (My People)", a quick back-and-forth that sets the stage for a return to classic hip-hop with mentions of Melle Mel and Leaders of the New School. The duo continues to pay homage on "Respect the Pioneers" showing respect for originals like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa ("a lot of blood, sweat, and tears/ took nearly 30 years to get it to where it is"). The rhythm softens for the album's soul-tinged cuts - highlighted by "Count On My Soul" and "Still Standing" - but the emceeing, for the most part, proves much duller than the livelier funk bounces.

I.D. 4 Windz and Lil' Sci hit their mark stylistically with production that channels the simple, pure 70s funk sound they aimed for. It's also refreshing to hear so much time devoted to the true pioneers of the form when so many artists skip forward to the late 80s to start paying tribute.

01. Hood Stock (My People)
02. Hip Hop Rwanda
03. Greatness
04. Soul To Soul
05. Dilla Forever
06. Exclusive Rights feat. Tiffany Paige
07. Respect The Pioneers
08. Top Contender
09. Eatin Watermelon
10. Y
11. Dear Zev (Never Give Up)
12. Renaissance Men
13. Represent People
14. Still Standing
15. Foreverness feat. Ta'Raach