N.A.S.A., The Spirit of Apollo
Official release date: Feb. 17
The Verdict: We were certainly excited for DJ duo N.A.S.A.’s debut album back when we heard it would somehow feature every artist ever. But now that it’s leaked, we can’t help but wonder if that was such a great idea. Some collaborations don’t quite live up to their WTF potential (like the one with Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and Fatlip), and the patchy Apollo is never really more than the sum of its parts. Still, DJ Zegon’s and Squeak E. Clean’s off-kilter productions are almost as stellar as their Rolodexes, and there are plenty of highlights. We love the heavy Wu-Tang coverage (Meth, RZA, and Ghostface all drop by), and it’s always good to hear Kanye rapping again (even if it’s over a quasi-trance beat). But it’s crotchety old Kool Keith, in a characteristically oddball turn — “I was up there watching James Brown’s pockets stuffed with Jolly Ranchers / When the NFL had the Rams in Los Angeles” — who steals the show.