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CD REVIEW: Famillite - "Fam Bam Compilation: Vol 2"
By Gian F - 11/21/2006 - 05:27 PM EST

Artist: Famillite
Album: "Fam Bam Compilation: Vol 2"
CD Review: Genre: Rap
Sounds Like: Various
Technical Grade: 8
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8
Commercial Value: 9
Overall Talent Level: 9
Songwriting Skills: 9
Performance Skill: 9
Best Songs: No Good Chick, Whiplash, Stuntastic, City Situations, Go Apes, Cocky, Shake
Weakness: ?
CD Review: I recently got a copy of "Famillite's Fam Bam Compilation: Vol 2," executive produced and supervised by the The Bay Unity Music Project (BUMP Records), which is part of an intensive after school media training program that takes place at (the San Francisco) Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), while conducting a song critiquing panel for California Lawyers for the Arts.

BAVC has been connecting underserved populations with new opportunities in media technology and providing leadership to the field with its innovative programs in training and media production. They believe that when young people are given the space, support, and skills to articulate how they see themselves and the world around them, they learn to think in new ways, learn to challenge dominant view points, and learn to interact with a world larger than the confines of their neighborhoods.

Sounds like a great mission...but can they create and deliver music that rivals the very artists that they listen to? The answer is yes!

The CD project contains 20 tracks by the programs participants who are aspiring music artists. They may be financially challenged, but they are rich with creativity and talent. From the opening track, "Fam Intro," they display flair, passion, and hunger. With the bulk of the production being handled by "Know It All," a name to remember on the Bay Area commercial music scene. The CD goes toe-to-toe with every compilation (mix-tape) that I've heard in recent years and features especially strong performances by Bracy, I.V., Sia, Turfed Out Twinz, Sean Bo, TK, Bracy, Chapp, and Simon T. They all combine their talents to create a copious and diverse hip-hop buffet.

The Bay Area "hyphy" favorite, "Stuntastic," is the obvious stand out and easily draws comparison to E-40's 2006 smash hit, "Tell Me When To Go," as does "Get Gone," but the less conventional, middle eastern flavored "Go Apes," offers a needed twist on the hyphy sound and grows on you with each listen.

So what are the potential break out hits on this lengthy project? Which artists brings and display the most commercially viable performance and tracks? That distinction belongs to "Whiplash," which has a radio-ready hook, and "No Good Chick," which is both performed and produced by Beat Rock who gets even more props if he's doing his own backgrounds. The track is included as a coy snippet to his own project and evokes memories of Too Short with his in-the-pocket rapping style.

Advice: Keep doing what you guys are doing! I look forward to receiving your individual projects.

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