By EW Staff
Updated February 07, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

THE TIP In the summer of 2000, as Nelly was making the world safer for radio-friendly Midwest rap, Chi-town MC Reggie Codell sought to give edgier, underground, landlocked artists an outlet. With his local industry contacts, the 30-year-old opened the Tip, a North Chicago hip-hop hot spot that sells independent records alongside 106 & Park regulars. Codell prizes the production on the ”highly polished yet gritty” CWAL Ballaz gangsta-rap compilation currently holding the No. 2 spot on the Tip’s best-seller list and finds the content ”lyrically superior to most street rap nowadays.” As if booty bumpin’ could ever get old. — KR

1 GOD’S SON Nas (Ill Will/Columbia)

2 NATION CITY CWAL Ballaz (CWAL Mob Recordings)

3 IT AIN’T SAFE NO MORE, Busta Rhymes (J)


5 DAT’S HOW… Da Headbussaz (Hypnotize Minds)

6 GREATEST HITS PsychoDrama (Padded Room)

7 SO MANY PROBLEMS Grind Family (No Guts No Glory)

8 KINGS OF CRUNK Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz (TVT)

9 SNYPAZ Snypaz (Rap-A-Lot)

10 FREE AGENT Ric Jilla (Quicktabuss)

Week ending 1/21/03