Whose World Is This?
K-Salaam & Beatnick
VP Records-Groove Attack
July 29, 2008

Track list
  1. Whose World Is This? (Intro)
  2. We Gotta Take It feat. Papoose & Busy Signal
  3. Street Life feat. Buju Banton & Trey Songz
  4. Feel feat. Talib Kweli
  5. Sail On feat. Sizzla
  6. As We Continue feat. Kardinal Offishall & Solitair
  7. The World Is Ours feat. Black Ice
  8. Fallen Soldierz feat. Dead Prez
  9. Babylon (Must Be Mad) feat. Young Buck & Sizzla
  10. What Are We Fighting For? feat. Luciano
  11. Bad Mind feat. Saigon
  12. Vieques P.S.A. feat. Bobbito Garcia
  13. Never Let Us Down feat. Capleton
  14. Where I'm From feat. Rakaa Of Dilated Peoples
  15. Mission Complete feat. Jamelody
  16. The Truth feat. Outlawz
  17. Revolution feat. Anthony B.
  18. Refugees feat. Suheir Hammad
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Minnesotan (though now NYC based) producers and hook-, beat- and songwriters K-Salaam & Beatnick have teamed up with some of the world's most prominent hip hop, reggae and spoken word artists for their first album out of a 3-album deal with VP Records and as Iranian born K-Salaam puts it: "Whose World Is This?" as an album represents the idea that all people who have had our freedom, our rights, and our land stolen from us, must take back what is rightfully ours. In the making of this album, I wanted to create something that would serve as a voice for people who do not have one. However, I am aware that this album is available to anyone and everyone who chooses to buy it. So, to who ever is reading this, regardless of your religion, ethnicity, or economic background; we have to remember one thing: we all have a choice of whose side we can be on. The time is now for us to choose a side, no longer can we stand in the middle of the line. We are either part of the problem, or a part of the solution. If this album offends you, then I do not want your support, nor do I look at you as an ally. For the people who agree with my ideals, we all need to ask ourselves this question: How long will we allow the powers that be to spread their corruption, slavery, and rape? We have to stand up for ourselves at all times, but even more important, we must stand up for those who have it worse off than us. Only then will we be free.

With an extremely soulful intro with the album's title "Whose World Is This?" K-Salaam & Beatnick kick off this ambitious project, in my opinion getting the result they aimed for, as the tunes following truly combine the best of several worlds, with wonderful uncredited female soulful backing vocals lending even more power to the combination "We Gotta Take It" a.k.a. "To The Rescue" by Brooklyn rapper Papoose and Jamaican star DJ Busy Signal, followed by the wicked call for peace to gangsters "Streetlife" on which US hip hop-soul singer Trey Songz combines forces with Buju Banton across a hip hop-reggae relick of The Police's "Roxanne". Hip hop superstar Talib Kweli contributes the very strong "Feel" followed by Sizzla in absolute top-form over a riddim that could as easily have been one of Don Corleon's R&B-influenced backings for him, an absolute standout. Toronto's hip hop and dancehall icon Kardinal Offishall delivers the 'in your face' tune "As We Continue" alongside his long time Black Jays' colleague Solitair, before Def Poet Black Ice delivers the very convincing answer to the album title's question "The World Is Ours" bridging the gap between hip hop and poetry, with the great vibes being maintained by Dead Prez in their tribute to "Fallen Soldierz". Sizzla appears again, this time alongside Cashville rapper Young Buck for the very entertaining "Babylon (Must Be Mad)" that is not only dominated by their commanding deliveries but by the wicked Barrington Levy sample as well.

Next up is the very successful attempt at roots reggae by K-Salaam & Beatnick resulting in Luciano's very fine "What Are We Fighting For?", followed by the in my eyes still good but less impressive "Bad Mind" by Saigon and "Vieques P.S.A." by Bobbito Garcia. Then Capleton more than convinces with his magnificent "Never Let Us Down" followed by Rakaa from Dilated Peoples with the strong funky "Where I'm From" and smooth Trinidadion reggae singer Jamelody with "Mission Complete". Former Tupac protégés Outlawz impress with "The Truth" before Anthony B truly excels with "Revolution", a tune that truly grows and grows on you before this album is closed in very fine style by the female Palestinian-American Def Poet Suheir Hammad with the brilliant "Refugees". This album is a mighty cross-over effort, that will no doubt be bashed by hip hop, reggae, dancehall and R&B-purists, but in my opinion K-Salaam & Beatnick have released with "Whose World Is This?" an album that is undoubtedly one of the strongest efforts ever of this type and VP Records should be very glad they have signed a 3-album deal with this production-duo. As a bonus there's also a DVD included that however wasn't included with this promo-copy, so no review of the contents. But even when there wouldn't be any DVD included at all, do give this album a listen, you might very well find yourselves spinning it over and over.