Up next (no pun) is a mixtape, for a change. In the sea of mixtapes that is washing up on our shores, this one stands out to me for several reasons. Bostonite DJ Next has put together a mixtape of exclusive tracks and freestyles (with the exception of 3 previously released joints) that span the areas of backpackerish indie and hard-ass thuggery.

As an opener after the DJ Next intro comes the killer remake of NWA’s classic with Karma, Truth Elemental and Esoteric doing Straight outta Boston. Following immediately, Immortal Technique and Rok One rework Puffy’s Bad Boy for life tune into Fucked up for life. About a year before Immortal Tech blew up big over the underground scene, it was on this tape that I heard of dude for the first time ever. I have to caution you, though, his verse on Fucked up for life is seriously and appallingly brutal. Maybe a bit overdone, but that’s how “Technique” rolled back in the day. He seems to have developed a wider range of themes and approaches for his albums that were to follow, and that’s good for him.

Another joint a bit further down introduced me to Portland’s Lifesavas who get on a hot track together with Latyrx and Blackalicious.

So apart from the usual Boston suspects who abound on this mixtape, Next has a whole bunch of cats from across the country contributing to his “tape”, from Apathy to Guru, Slug, Eydea, Exile (as a producer) and many more. But one track – which was my main motivation for buying the thing in the first place – was an international team-up between Sweden’s Promoe (of Looptroop) and Switzerland’s Underclassmen who rep the city of Basel, but who also have ties to Beantown. This is quite likely the very first exclusive track any Swiss crew has landed on an American mixtape, so the excitement was huge.

Not going to talk about each and every single track here, you can check out the tracklist your own self – while listening to it…

01. Intro – DJ Next – Steaks On The Grill –
02. Truth Elemental, Karma, Esoteric – Straight Outta Boston
03. Rok One, Immortal Technique – Fucked Up For Life
04. Apathy, Romen Rok, Alias – Nextclusive Barbecue Sauce
05. Blackalicious, Latyrx, Lifesavas – Rhude Island Rhode Rage
06. Cella Dwellas, Etcetera – When Its Ova
07. Ed O.G. – Work For It
08. Baldhead Slick – Wheres Our Money
09. Interlude – One Phone Call
10. Kreemdotcom, Guru – Meet Me At The Next Spot
11. C-Rayz Walz, Breez Evahflowin, Stelf Index – DJ Next Up
12. Skit Pessimists (DJ Mek & Dusty Frazier) – James Earl Jones
13. Celph Titled – Inaudible
14. M.O.P. – Ante Up (Fakts 1 Remix)
15. Interlude – Potion #9 (Secret Sauce For The Garveys)
16. Birthwrite feat. Shiz – E-Z
17. Aesop Rock – Milkcrate Full Of Freestyle
18. Interlude – Persistance
19. Underclassmen, Promoe – My Hip Hop
20. Illin P – Dripledge
21. Alaska, Cryptic One, Vast Aire – Atoms Family Nextclusive
22. 8th Wundah, Signature, Roolette – Black Box
23. Greenhouse Effect feat. Blueprint – Soul
24. Outro Slug, Eyedea – Live (At The Barbecue) Freestyle
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DJ Next – Back to the grill again (2002)

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Peace, 9@home