Various Artists: The T.U.C. Mixtape (Tucson Underground Cares) (Self-Released) 

When I think of Tucson music, the last genre that comes to mind is desert-grown, below-the-radar hip hop. That has now changed with the release of the Tucson Underground Cares compilation album, which features 20 tracks from local emcees.

There isn't a single wack track here, a rare feat for any comp, but especially for a charity CD. I hate to admit this, but whenever an album's selling point is community philanthropy, it makes me think the artists want to guilt me into buying a disc I wouldn't normally spin more than once. T.U.C. can be purchased for a minimum of $5 via the Bandcamp.com site of rapper Al Basics, but it's easily worth four times that, given all the killer jams included here.

Check out the Southwestern-style, horn-section-and-saloon-piano R&B anthem of DJ validation by The Natives Are Restless called "Not a Hobby," which brilliantly samples John Prine's "Saddle in the Rain." Or consider Post Script's cool, bebop jazz-kissed "I'm Different," featuring Basics, who boasts: "I conduct like Thelonious Monk / When I'm feeling this funk."

A University of Arizona grad by way of New York City, Basics assembled this comp and deserves credit for spotlighting Tucson's until-now-unknown poets—and for putting out a release from which proceeds will benefit Open Inn Inc., supporting homeless and at-risk youth and their families in Arizona.

More by Jarret Keene

  • Death on Two Rails

    Salvadoran journalist rides the deadly migrant trail
    • Jan 16, 2014
  • Daft Punk and Beyond

    Some of our critics' favorite albums of the year, part one
    • Dec 26, 2013
  • Thighs Like Us

    Ron Terpening's Cloud Cover reveals a sexy supporting character
    • Dec 19, 2013
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 26 Things To Do in Tucson This Week

Pastorela Laughs in the Mirror of 2017 Politics

Laughing Stock: Holly Jolly Edition

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Brilliant Disguise

    The Great Cover Up features local acts masquerading as some of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll, all for a good cause
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • XOXO...

    Xavier previews new shows, albums and other music happenings.
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation