You might be asking yourself where the title of this who”s who of hip-hop came from. In addition to being the name of this collection, We Came From Beyond is an influential hip-hop radio show in Los Angeles.

Paul Wong
Blitzstein (David Wolber), Eva (Carla Milarch) and Welles (Travis Reiff) contemplate a whole new world.<br><br>Courtesy of Daniel C. Walker/Performance Network

Mike Nardone has essentially been a talent scout, giving virtually unknown groups airtime. He is credited as being one of the first to put Cypress Hill and Hieroglyphics on the air. This compliation is a culmination of over a decade of giving a chance to new groups. It also shows that Nardone has made more than a few friends in his 13 years on the air.

For the most part Nardone is locale-biased. All groups (with the obvious exception of the Beastie Boys) are California born and bred. This unifies the album because they all have that tight sound that is so representative of the West. You really can”t blame him though. With all the wack rappers on East Coast, the West seems to be the only place where real talent is nowadays.

With his indie hip-hop connections, Nardone has put together a group of artists that are representative of everything good with hip-hop. Never before released tracks from Dilated Peoples, Blackalicious and Jurassic 5 give this must-buy status. And tracks from relatively unknown groups such as Count Bass D and AWOL-One demonstrates the commitment to underground scene that is the basis of his show.

In essence, that”s what this album is, a rehashing of the show. Whether it”s production (Nardone is a very capable DJ in his own right) or that feeling you get when you hear something on the radio for the first time that you”re sure none of your friends know about, it”s all there. Who knows, if you”re a fledgling DJ or rapper, send him your tape and you might be on the air.

Grade: B+

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