Mix tapes are the coin of the DJ realm. They separate the wheat from the chaff. The litmus test of a good mix tape (or mix CD, as the case often is these days) will showcase not only the DJ’s skills on the tables, but originality, selection, and style. No matter if you’re talking about the classic mix tape format — interpolations and reinterpretations of other people’s records — or the modern variant, which might feature exclusive remixes, mash-ups, alternate tracks, or even tracks produced by the mix DJs themselves. The presence of guest MCs, both known and unknown, adds street cred and flavor, and it never hurts to be able to scratch, cut, transform, and beat-juggle. The best of the lot will have élan, personality, and bumpability. For the East Bay hip-hop contingent, the All-Purpose DJs’ Pound fa Pound satisfied most, if not all, of the above criteria. DJ Lex and True Justice took no shorts on this popular project, which already has sold more than three thousand units, enlisting the help of a plethora of hot-ta-death MCs (including Rasco, Gennessee, Tajai, Pitch Black, Mistah F.A.B., Pismo, Persia, Dolla Will, Casual, Planet Asia, and JC) and making original beats to back each and every one of them. You won’t find snippets of current hits, classic old-school flashbacks, or meticulous turntable routines here, just dope underground hip-hop, with lots of verbal energy and above-average music. Lex and True’s name recognition might not be on the level of nationally-known guys like Danger Mouse or Tony Touch yet, but Pound fa Pound not only shows they’re closing ground fast, but represents the Bay to tha fullest.