Like Busta Rhymes said in the intro to this mixtape, “We salute niggas like these.” We salute Masters of Ceremonies like Run-DMC, KRS-One, Nice & Smooth, Gang Starr, Grand Puba and an army of other MC’s that laid the ground work for your favorite rapper to get on today. No matter how garbage that favorite rapper is, my favorite rappers from back in the day made it possible for him/her to be in your iPod. So salute these veterans. Salute them the same way I see y’all salute these women with big lips and booties: put that right hand over your right brow (with only the tip of your index finger touching you) and salute, fool! This mixtape is filled with hip-hop from 5 Star generals. And no, I don’t mean Birdman’s bird ass. I’m talking about the true OG’s of the game.

I’m talking about Naughty By Nature when they were encouraging infidelity ("O.P.P."). Talking about the history that A Tribe Called Quest and the Leaders Of The New School made when their collabo ("Scenario") shook the hip-hop world in a way that hadn’t been seen since Run-DMC linked up with Aerosmith. When Black Sheep had the whole hood pausing whatever they were doing just to rap along with Dres when he said “Engine,Engine number 9/on the New York Transit line/if my train goes off the track–pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!” ("The Choice Is Yours"). When Ice Cube painted what a perfect day in LA would be like ("It Was A Good Day"). This is the hip-hop I and a whole generation of Lil Wayne/T-Pain/Jim Jones/Mike Jones haters grew up on. The only Jones that we acknowledge is Nasir Jones. The only T Pain we care about was Tupac’s “Pain” joint off that Above The Rim flick (Didn’t make the soundtrack).

Word to everything, my nucca Guru would lyrically body anyone of these burgerducks y’all call “hot” today. Sure, they’ll have their moments and even some mixtapes (Can’t front on those Dedication joints), but they’ll never be as indispensable as their hip-hop forefathers were. Imagine we never had a Run DMC, Rakim, Geto Boys, Slick Rick or a Sugar Hill Gang record? Then we never would’ve had Biggie, Pac, Nas, Jay or Pun. Youknowwhati’msayin’. Who are today’s “hot” rappers setting up the game for? Yung Berg?! Tyga? Nucca please.

I feel for this generation that’s grown up or is now growing up on mediocre rappers and Auto-Tune R&B. You think Mary J. Blige needed any of that Auto-Tune computer crap to touch our hearts and be crowned the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul? She made baby making music and never once needed anything more than inner pain, a melody and a microphone. I love you, Mary. Her and Grand Puba literally made beautiful music together (Check It Out) on more than one occasion. They were the best of both worlds before Jigga linked up with Kells only to dump him for Beyonce.

They say you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. And if you want to know where the game’s gone, then take a listen to this mixtape and feel my pain. What was once the ghetto report turned into MTV Cribs on wax. Though the sound quality on a few joints is a little hurt, this music is still more priceless than anything you see dangling from these young singing birds necks. It’s just a shame that they were cut down to make room for every other song on this jump off.

Anyway, like Prodigy once said off that classic mid-90’s Infamous album, “I finished what I had to say. Y’all can continue on…”-The Infamous

Hottest Joint: "Mass Appeal" & "They Reminisce Over You"

Weakest Joint: NONE