The X-Ecutioners (formerly the X-Men) are arguably one of the best DJ crews on the planet. If Built From Scratch is any indication this reputation should remain well entrenched into the future. In summary this album is X-cellent from start to finish.
“X-ecutioners Scratch,” “3 Boroughs,” “Feel The Bass,” and “Play That Beat” all serve up gargantuan doses of precise scratches and beat juggles. Battle DJ’s beware, listen to these cuts and you will know that the X-ecutioners aren’t a crew to be trifled with. Throughout much of the rest of the album the scratching is mostly limited to the hooks as the X-ecutioners handle portions of the production duties and hand the mics over to numerous prominent emcees.
The vastly neglected and underrated Large Professor makes a stellar appearance over a simple but banging beat on “XL” that is perfectly accented with lots of scratching. “The X” features an all-star lineup of Pharoahe Monch, Xzibit, Inspectah Deck, and Mad Skillz that sounds just as good as it reads. Big Pun makes another posthumous visit alongside Kool G Rap on the rapid fire “Dramacyde.” MOP brings their usual energy-enthused ruckus on the rock tinged “Let It Bang” which does just that. Everlast and Biz Markie also come through with solid performances on “B-boy Punk Rock 2001,” and “Genius of Love 2002,” respectively. The X-ecutioners also team up with colleagues such as DJ Premier, the Beat Junkies, Vinroc, Apollo, Shortkut, and Dan The Automator for some remarkable scratching, juggling, and beat making moments. On “Premier’s X-ecution“, Primo lays down a phat beat, as usual, over which the X-ecutioners go wild on the turntables. The one and only problem with this album: the skits, which are just as annoying as those you will find on any other Hip Hop CD.
True Hip Hop fans should make the X-ecutioners’ Built From Scratch part of their collection. This album has sounds for all seasons, and the replay value is high.