First Rate- Walky Talkyz

April 29th, 2005

This strong collection of DJ First Rate produced tracks begins with a really enjoyable intro which has some cool singing and a nice beat. That rolls into ‘Barfight’ which features Skinnyman. It’s a great story telling song with a bouncy fun production. It’s really good to hear Skinny rhyming about a topic such as this. As good as the social commentary is, this makes a welcomed change.

Red Eye features on ‘Bang On’. Again the beat is dope, comprising of some nice handclap/finger clicking sounds, a jazzy guitar and solid vocals which were surprisingly soulful and sung. ‘One Day’ features John Muculan. It’s got a laid back and chilled vibe to it, and is quite atmospheric. The vocals are also sung, which is nice to hear as it’s not often decent quality sung voices are included in UK hip-hop product.

The Procussions feature on ‘Freedom’. The American guys lace a nice beat which has KRS One sampled into its beginning, with some friendly, warm verses that get the feet tapping and shoulders swaying from side to side.

Sponge Crew feature on the instrumental, ‘The Practice’ which is a very appropriate track to put on when you’ve had a stressed day at work and need to unwind. It’ll have you chilled out and revitalised in no time.

‘The Cutz’ is a far more busy track, full of dope scratching by First Rate. There’s some samples in there, nice beats and all sorts of cool sound effects. It’s proof of First Rate’s ability to glide between different genre’s and types of sounds within them.

‘Hamburger’ by Blade should appear on the soundtrack to ‘Supersize Me’, if there is one. It’s an entertaining tale about one man and his burger. The beat has a really cool keyboard bounce between two notes, dope bass and a subtle but excellent use of drums. This was a track on a recent 12” from Blade.

‘Istanbul’ is a btg faster in tempo and begins with a quite basic drum loop. This is slowly and gradually built upon as some vocal samples are quietly added as well as jazzy laid back guitar. Things get a little faster half way in and an interesting dug record is sampled in. Not quite sure on why the track’s called what it is.

‘Loop De Loop’ is a really funky instrumental which sounds great at high volume. It’s the kind of stuff you’d find on a DJ Format album if he wasn’t so predictable all the time. There’s some cut in old records, sounds that sway from one side of the speakers to the other and a whole lot more.

Phi Life Cpyher are on ‘New Rulesz’. Following on from a couple of instrumentals, this sounds particularly energetic and loud. The guy’s rhyming styles are top notch as always. Their manor of getting tons of words into each bar is still impressive and results in a song with a lot of playback value, because for a while you’re gonna keep picking up on new lines each time.

‘Walk The Walk’ starts with two guys talking about how one of them started crying when they heard a particular Pete Rock record. It’s an example of a love and passion for music which is evidently inside First Rate too, as the awesome array of atmospheres and sounds on this CD demonstrate.

‘Something In The Way You Make Me Feel’ is an as usual, annoying beat boxing track, this time from Killa Kela. It’s not annoying because it’s crap. It bugs me because its ever impressive, and something I still can’t get my head around being possible. The song gets more and more layered along the way and builds up into a very enjoyable listening experience- as is the whole album.

‘I Wander’ which features Project Redemption, is an extremely positive, uplifting, soulful and inspiring track with a constructive message, some deep singing, head nodding drums and the upmost feel good factor. It’s a very appropriate final track.

This is a great collection of tracks, which a mixture of listeners will be able to enjoy. If you’re more into your vocal based stuff, you’ve got the likes of Skinnyman and Blade on there. If you like to chill out from the words once in a while, you’ve got some extremely high class instrumentals. Fancy a mixture of the two, and you have the Kille Kela track to combine voice and beat. Go get this, and whilst you’re at it- pick up a DJ First Rate action figure that’s pictured on the artwork too.

3 Responses to “First Rate- Walky Talkyz”

  1. Guy Says:

    Hi I think your review of the albam is quite fair, but was wondering if any of these trax freatured any work by mr thing or bombay monkey as it is not mentioned on the cover or any reviews,
    cheers guy

  2. Tee Says:

    Off the top of my head, I’ not sure mate. If it’s not on the cover’s track listings I’m guessing that stuff isn’t included. Don’t take my word for it though.

  3. Guy Says:

    cheers Tee,
    I think I will go to the source and find out why,