D.I.T.C. Essentials: Unreleased Classics, Rare, & Vinyl Only Rel
Label: Show Records
This collection of rarely heard tracks from the D.I.T.C. crew could serve as a textbook on the art of late-'90s N.Y.C. lyricism. Not to take anything away from the dark, crime-life tales of O.C., (a young) Fat Joe and A.G., but Big L's bopping flow and laser-guided punch lines are a thing of beauty -- as rewarding for hip-hop purists as 'Trane's solos are for jazzbos -- and the tracks he's featured on (particularly the monumental "Day One") are a reminder of what hip-hop lost when he passed in '99.