And that homey who I say is one of hip-hop's elite is DJ Muggs, who after several years working as Cypress Hill's DJ, and moonlighting as one of the most underrated producers in hip hop, came full-force with the 'Soul Assassins' compilation back in '97. With an excellent cast of MCs, including some of the best in hip hop, and Muggs' ominous, eerie, and stoned-out production behind them, you get exactly what you'd expect from this: a dark, morbid, and TRIPPY journey into the darkened heart of gangsterism.
There is no reason at all to downgrade this album. Not even the wide array of diverse artists including Dr. Dre, the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and GZA, KRS-One, Mobb Deep, Wyclef Jean, and Cypress Hill, makes for an inconsistent effort. Muggs' uniform production style succeeds in tying the album together perfectly. Most collaboration albums, like the dreadful Ruff Ryders compilations, end up being spoiled by the number of cooks, but that is not the case with 'Soul Assassins Chapter 1'. Muggs managed to do what Swizz Beatz still has not achieved with his posse albums, and that is to find a perfect balance in the wide array of artists, enough that all of them actually sound GOOD working together, and then use that to your full advantage with some bangin', in this case West Coast lowrider beats. This is something to blaze ganja to like Cypress Hill would, to bump in your car while you're rollin' tree'd out, or to get wild and jumpin' at a straight gangsta party with.
Unfortunately, 'Soul Assassins Chapter 2' didn't live up to the high standard that this one set. 'Course excellence can't really be eclipsed, but they couldn't done a lil' better. If you haven't copped this yet, you don't know what you're missing. If you bought 'Chapter 2' an' you heard how wack an' inconsistent it was, don't let that discourage you from inquiring 'bout this classic, 'cause it will keep your head noddin' fa' days.