Live and Unreleased from

The stated intention behind may be the promotion of new acts, but this album of tracks culled from live performances is devoted almost exclusively to recent hits by rap and heavy metal acts. In fact, it easily could be renamed "Greatest Hits of Rap 2000 Live." After starting off with a reunited N.W.A.'s take on Dr. Dre's 1993 hit "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang," it includes a series of hard-edged rap songs that were hits in 2000: Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady," DMX' "Party Up (Up in Here)," Nelly's "(Hot S**t) Country Grammar," Mystikal's "Shake Ya Ass," Ja Rule's "Between You and Me," Eve's "Love Is Blind," Mya's "Case of the Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do)," and D-12's "Shit on You." Metallurgists are represented by Nickelback's rock radio hit "Leader of Men" as well as tracks by Limp Bizkit (with rapper Method Man) and Staind. A wildly enthusiastic audience cheers and chants along. New material doesn't start to appear until near the end of the disc, and then the most interesting discovery is ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead's "Richter Scale Madness," a hard rock track that quotes Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" in rap form. (New rock band Cinder has a hidden track, the corrosive "Soul Creation," prefacing an upcoming album.) Live & Unreleased From is a victory lap for 2000's most successful rap acts, and it should be welcomed by rap fans. (This "explicit" version of the album is littered with vulgar words. There is also a "clean" version.) ~ William Ruhlmann

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