Various Artists, 'Revenge of the Robots' (Definitive Jux)

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The Revenge of the Robots
Critical Mass
Label: Definitive Jux

by Chris Ryan

Independent hip-hop's preeminent label goes Hollywood with this double-disc CD/DVD package centering on a documentary of its 2002 get-in-the-van Revenge of the Robots tour. An all-you-can-eat multimedia buffet featuring stellar live footage from El-P and Mr.Lif, plus a mega-mix by house turntable whiz RJD2, the collection also shows off the lighter side of a scene often accused of blurring the line between "challenging" and "no fun at all." It's refreshing to watch the Def Juxelites kill time by arguing about the whereabouts of a PlayStation memory card, pondering whether or not to wear rubber gloves when shaking hands with fans, or clowning RJD2 about "being as big as DJ Shadow." This is spinal rap.

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