Audio Mixer: Traxamillion.
Coming out of San Jose, California, hip-hop producer Traxamillion deals in the booming, bass-heavy sound of hyphy music, which he takes to a whole new level here. Key track "808 Re-Drum" is the sound of hyphy-rock being born as blink-182 drummer Travis Barker lends some crisp snares and punk rock attitude to Trax's impossibly low, startlingly loud beats. It's a keeper, as is the following bleeper "Boy," a sneaky, synth-dominated cut that features guests Clyde Carson and Ya Boy plus some robot music that must have been borrowed from André Cymone or "Cars" new wave man Gary Numan. Later there's the convincingly swaggering Paul Wall on the aptly titled "Everything Loud" plus the party starters "Work" (a restrained but certain banger sounding a lot like Lil Jon on downers) and "Start Living" (a cool, sliding track that's like early Prince and with Zion I member Zumbi on vocals). The closing "Yesterday" with superstar Yukmouth might be the most ambitious, challenging, and rich of the whole lot, capping off a hyphy experience that takes the genre far away from the tag of "limited." Recommended to Bay Area fanatics as well as hip-hop heads who think the genre lacks artistic merit, My Radio is one of hyphy's grand achievements. ~ David Jeffries