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May 01, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

In an age when blood-drenched gangsta rap still rules the charts, it’s refreshing that this collection benefits antigun violence charities. Pumped full of undeniable groove technicians like the Ultra Magnetic MC’s (coproduced by Dr. Octagon’s ill rhymer Kool Keith), Connected also deftly connects the dots between the diaspora of rhythmic styles — hip-hop, dub, reggae, drum-and- bass, even Middle Eastern — filed under ”urban.” Pick to click: AyCE International’s ”Wrok,” a turntablist revision of Herbie Hancock’s ’80s dancefloor bumper ”Rockit” that cuts a rug even deeper than the original. B

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