WorkNameSort: The Mic Planet Sessions
If the packaging of "Mic Planet"f recalls the first "Lyricist Lounge" collection, it's probably not accidental. Like Rawkus (the once-rowdy New York label that nearly redefined contemporary hip-hop with the stellar "Lyricist" compilation), the Insomniac label (an offshoot of the Orlando-based magazine of the same name) is an enterprise concerned with progressive and impressive rhymers, rather than scene documentation or gratuitous bling. As the ever-phenomenal Mystic lays it down on "Current Events": "Only a few MCs got that thing." And "Mic Planet" brings together some of "the few" from across the country. From big names like Kool Keith, MF Doom, Bahamadia and Styles of Beyond to up-and-comers like Lexicon and Poison Pen (and, of course, some Rawkus alumni, including Thirstin Howl III), it's somewhat across the board stylistically, but it's all held together by an unswerving devotion to quality that pushes the "Sessions" well above the stultifyingly low signal-to-noise ratio that dominates hip-hop these days.