Between 2000 and early 2001, the superb production team known as Da Beatminerz (at this time also including Baby Paul and Chocolate Tye, who both supplies one track each) recorded and released their "solo" debut on Rawkus Records; a time when the label had started to go slightly down hill, but still held some clouth. Most people will of course know the original version of the album that was released on the label in late '01, but a few months prior to that drop, the team who had just completed, mixed and mastered the album sent out a bunch of promo copies for reviews "for the press only" as drops on this version constantly reminds journalists and other listeners of. I had heard of this release for quite some time, but never got my hands on it myself... Until now that is, much thanks to the second Lost Tapes main contributor ANT who has previously supplied the blog with plenty of hot, rare releases from InI, Ras Kass and some compilations that me and him have collaborated on. So all thanks to him for this one, it's appreciated brother and you know you're an integral part of this site!
This version is made up of 19 tracks rather than the 16 songs included on the final 2002 retail release, strangely leaving off some of the album's strongest material. Other changes include a few tracks being switched around, such as "The Anti-Love Movement" and "How We Ride" still appears back-to-back but rather as track #11 and #12 respectively. and a few others. But what is most interestingly is the inclusion of some absolute terrific material that for some reason didn't make the final cut. While Diamond D's "Best At That" and Last Emperor's "Hustler's Theme" (the latter is indeed missed) is not included we instead get several other standout cuts, that later became classics on white label 12"s, including M.O.P. & Teflon's "We Run NY", an interesting interlude from the late HeadQCuarterz, an outro, "Bentleys & Bitches" by Jayo Felony, Xzibit (and a short but ill musical interlude following the joint) as well as a heavy joint by Tash and Rah Digga entitled "Sumthin'". Another joint that seems to have been featured on this original sampler but is mysteriously missing from this bootleg is the excellent "Da Connection" by Ghost and G Rap, which appeared on the white label 12" which also featured the already mentioned "We Run NY". ANT is pretty sure this was the case when he first heard this back in the day, and I found two early articles on the album that confirms this - here and here. ANT believes it appeared right after track #7 "Bentleys & Bitches", unfortunately since I lost most of my files recently (which is why I can't give y'all re-ups at the moment) I don't have the track anymore. However if you got it please upload the mp3 for me/us in the comments section (whether it's the version with Ghost and G Rap also known as "Ghost & Giancana" or "Da Connection" that also features Cappadonna over a beat switch, since I'm not sure which version was included).
No matter what, while "Brace 4 Impak" is no masterpiece, it's an interesting album, and this version feels a lot more complete so be sure to check it out, and thank my man ANT (as well as upload the aforemention Ghost/G Rap joint if you have it) in the comments section. Download, tune in and TURN UP!!
01. "Intro/Live & Direct/Brace 4 Impak" (Ft. Lord Tariq & Royce Da 5'9")
02. "We Run N.Y." (Ft. M.O.P. & Teflon) [*]
03. "Devastatin' That's Us" (Ft. Black Moon & Lord Have Mercy)
04. "Hell Yeah, Oh Yeah" (Ft. Black Hearted Scavengerz)
05. "The Anti-Love Movement" (Ft. Talib Kweli & Total)
06. "How We Ride" (Ft. Freddie Foxxx & Heather B.)
07. "Bentley's Bitches" (Ft. Jayo Felony, Ras Kass & Xzibit) [*]
00. "Da Connection" (Ft. Ghostface & Kool Grap) [not included here] [*]
08. "Sumthin'" (Ft. Tash & Rah Digga) [*]
09. "Ghetto 2 Ghetto" (Ft. Teflar Cordell)
10. "HQ Street Reminder Pt. 1" (Ft. HeadQCuarterz) [*]
11. "Take That" (Ft. The Flipmode Squad & Vinia Mojica)
12. "Drama" (Ft. Shadez Of Brooklyn)
13. "Extreme Situation" (Ft. Cocoa Brovaz & Black Hearted Scavengerz)
14. "Shut Da Fuck Up" (Ft. Apani B Fly Emcee & Jean Grae)
15. "Beef On The Streets" (Ft. Billy Flames) [*]
16. "Thug Love" (Ft. Naughty By Nature)
17. "Open" (Ft. Pete Rock & Camron Wheeler)
18. "Let's Talk About It (T.R.O.Y. Remix)" (Ft. Krumbsnatcha)
19. "Outro" [*]