The X-ecutioners

If university music departments offered a survey course on the history of hip-hop, lazier students would be advised to use the X-ecutioners' new album, Built From Scratch, as their Cliffs Notes. More than a vehicle to showcase the quick hands of X-members Rob Swift, Roc Raida, Mista Sinista, and Total Eclipse, Built is a document of hip-hop's three dimensions of time. Tracks like "Genius"; the scratch reconstruction of the Tom Tom Club's highly influential "Genius of Love," featuring new vocals by Tina Weymouth; the remake of Marley Marl's "Marley Scratch"; and the Whiz Kids' "Play that Beat" contribute an important lesson in the hip-hop continuum traced on Built From Scratch. Hip-hop is built on its past, and no matter how much the art form evolves or how many emcees boast otherwise, serious turntablists like the X-ecutioners know that where you come from is just as important as where you're at.

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