Sometimes it’s rough out there for underground hip-hop fans in Detroit. Despite all the up-and-coming talent emanating from Michigan, there are too few radio, video and club outlets to hear the newest and freshest independent, non-jiggy artists. And with seemingly everyone and their mother starting a record label and releasing singles, it’s tough to keep up. That’s where mix DJs such as Defiant come in, filling the void with tapes and CDs, showcasing only the cream of the crop. With his second mix CD on local label Silent Records, DJ Defiant has done the work for you, filtering out the mediocre and selecting only quality positive music. No song was picked because it’s new and hot. Instead, you get the feeling the DJ is giving a personal listening party for songs he really feels. The CD’s personality reflects its creator’s — low-key and down to earth, without obnoxious shout-outs, drops or pointless celebrity appearances. Rather, you get a whopping 32 tracks of pure music, dope scratches and cuts. Defiant has picked a nice blend of styles, mixing in soul, reggae and world music. It features artists from the East Coast (Reflection Eternal, J-Live), West Coast (Quasimoto, Krondon), Midwest (Phat Kat, Lone Catalysts, All Natural), South (Mass Influence) and Europe (Mathematik). It also includes older classics from the Roots, Fugees and MC Lyte. Unfortunately, there are no exclusives, but it does have plenty of overlooked gems that will have you scrambling to the record store. The Poverty Elite is a quality mix CD that will appeal to both underground fanatics and casual listeners who love Mos Def and Tribe.
E-mail Luke Forrest at firstname.lastname@example.org.