Compilation producers: Michael Anderson, Dean Babin.
Longtime hip-hop fans should give the track list a thumbs-up at first glance, but newcomers might need a little more convincing. Thug Nation doesn't concern itself with giving a fair overview of the hardcore rap scene, but it would be hard to come up with a better selection of tracks that have high production values, a touch of crossover appeal, and true hip-hop spirit without getting academic. With a perfect or nearly perfect track selection depending on your tolerance of Busta Rhymes' "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check," Thug Nation's biggest drawback should be no surprise considering it was originally an "As Seen on TV"-style release. Editing the vulgarities diminishes the punch of the LOX's "Money, Power & Respect," but elsewhere editing is ignorable or just not done. Unless you can dig up all the unedited originals yourself, Thug Nation is a good party mix for the faithful and a great way for novices to expand their knowledge past Biggie, 2Pac, Puffy, and Dre. ~ David Jeffries
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