Monday, September 22, 2008 | Posted in ,,,,

Jean Grae may be the most talented female rapper at large. Her penchant for merciless, R-rated flow both explains her inability to paddle into the mainstream and seems to fuel much of the anger girding her style. Nevertheless, she shovels volumes of fun for those with an appreciation for pure skills and/or the stomach for lines like "I’ll stab you in the aortic valve with a 12-inch blade and f***in’ rub salve in it." Despite the fact that The Orchestral Files was originally released in 2007, this deluxe, double-disc re-issue packs the real punch. Its second disc, "The Definitive Collaboration Collection," collects 18 tracks featuring Grae and such hip-hop notables as Masta Ace, Prince Paul, Diverse, and Talib Kweli (the energizing, marimba-laden "Power, Money & Influence"). The take-you-to-school-style highlight is the Herbaliser’s "Nah'mean Nah'm Sayin" (from 2005’s Take London). Herb’s robust horn section splits in two, with the low brass driving the riff and the trumpets piercing the resultant groove with the same percussive angst that Grae has taken as her modus operandi since her last name change, at least. What’s more, fans who have been scouring CDs--from labels like Ninja Tune, M3, 7 Grand, Decon, Up Above, Nature Sounds, BBE, Copter, Third Earth Music, Razor & Tie, and Def Jux--just for their Jean Grae tracks can finally shuck the whole pile and make some new room on the shelf.

Disc: 1
01. Trouble Man 5:03
02. Soul Clap 4:25
03. Mean 2:42
04. My Angel Is You 4:19
05. What Ya Gonna Do 4:03
06. The Story 5:28
07. The Band 3:40
08. Jean Experience 2:01
09. Break 4:43
10. It's A Wrap 3:26
11. It's Alright 3:19

Disc: 2
01. Intro Dj Kay Slay 0:22
02. Soda & Soap Ft. Masta Ace 4:13
03. Power, Money & Influence Ft Guru & Talib Kweli 4:13
04. The Jam 3:14
05. Nah'mean Nah'm Sayin Ft. The Herbaliser 4:02
06. Breath Of A Salesman Ft. Songodsuns (Aka 2 Mex) 4:07
07. Another Day Ft. Splash 3:52
08. Believe Ft. Vordul 3:16
09. Fall Back 3:16
10. Look Around 4:50
11. If You Close Your Eyes Ft. The Herbaliser 4:26
12. U... Me... All Of Us Ft. Da Beatminerz 3:20
13. The Darkest Night Ever Ft. Black Panther 7:42
14. Big Beat Walkthrough Ft. Songodsuns (Aka 2 Mex) 4:48
15. Controversial Headlines Aka Championsound (Pt 2) Ft. Prince Paul & Horror City 2:16
16. Pink Ft. C-Rayz Walz 4:25
17. Under The Hammer Ft. Diverse 4:05
18. Twice Around Ft. The Herbaliser 3:56

PhotobucketCD 1
PhotobucketCD 2