Thursday March 30, 2017
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[More Life] Drake's "playlist."

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The (W)rap Up - Week of March 21, 2017

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Rick Ross' "Rather You Than Me" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Rather You Than Me] Rick Ross :: Rather You Than Me
Maybach Music/Epic Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"I would have to guess he means his INAUGURAL address after being sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Either way that's one hell of a fantasy for William Leonard Roberts II, better known as Rick Ross, and if there's one thing I've consistently enjoyed about Rozay over the year it's that he's a big dreamer. You wouldn't catch me calling him the best rapper alive (he's not top 25) or the best dead or alive (not even top 50) nor anywhere close to the most lyrical or most profound and thought-provoking. The fact of the matter though is that he's entertaining to me, to the point that his average albums still get rotation and his good ones get more than that. He's got two essential characteristics of a good rapper down pat over the last decade plus - a charismatic vocal delivery and the ability to weave a spell with the stories he tells. I'm a bit of a sample fiend so when I heard the lead single for "Rather You Than Me" I immediately flashed back to the first time I ever heard "Swan Lake" by Blackalicious. That's no surprise given that producers C-Gutta and J-Pilot looped The Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round." You may also know it from Heather B's "All Glocks Down," EPMD's "It Wasn't Me, It Was the Fame" or even the Westside Connection's aptly titled "Gangstas Make the World Go Round." Suffice it to say this is hardly an original break to make into a song but as the old saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it." Ty Dolla $ign provides the hook while Rozay spins his yarn about balling rich like only the biggest dreamers can."

AllttA :: The Upper Hand :: On and On Records 
as reviewed by Gevan Brooke-Harte

[The Upper Hand]"AllttA designates the collaboration between American Mr. J. Medeiros on the mic and Frenchman 20syl on production. The latter pulls double duty as both an emcee and producer in the French group Hocus Pocus, but he stays behind the boards for this project. In addition, there are no features over sixteen tracks, so Medeiros risks overextending himself. Luckily, Medeiros doesn't have to go alone because this is a true collaboration between the rapper and 20syl. In this way, AllttA is reminiscent of Hip Hop's Golden Age. Medeiros actually acknowledges this in the song "Kinsmen" when he namechecks and quotes the great Rakim: "Let's take it back to something that Rakim said / 'It ain't where you from, it's where you at.'" Even though AllttA's sound is far removed from Rakim's "In the Ghetto," I would argue that it's created in the same spirit."

Banks & Steelz :: Anything But Words :: Warner Bros. 
as reviewed by Jaroslav Lavick

[Anything But Words] "I've had a long-running debate with a friend at work about hip hop artists evolving versus those who stay in their lane. He's the open-minded one, the one who believes rappers have the right to do whatever they want musically regardless of what their fans think, as opposed to me, the purist, who perhaps selfishly wants my favorite artists to keep giving me more of what made me like them in the first place. Why my work buddy and I hold those views is a write-up for another day, but needless to say this has been a prevalent discussion in hip hop over the years; a discussion that has lessened in relevance in more recent times as today's hip hop tends to be very accepting towards the sounds of the genre moving in all sorts of directions, with the notion of "keeping it real" from a musical standpoint being close to redundant."

Lord Finesse :: The SP 1200 Project: A Re-Awakening (Expanded Edition) :: Bossmen/Slice of Spice 
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

[The SP 1200 Project] "If there was a nicer way to put it, I would. But out of all the Golden Age artists, none has pimped his vintage material as thoroughly as Lord Finesse. The voluntary recycling of a relatively tenuous discography has gone on for years. Never mind the disappointment that came from realizing that Big L's sensei had hung up the mic for good, his instrumental output, if it was new at all, seemed stuck in time as well. Still something about the title of "The SP 1200 Project: A Re-Awakening" aroused my curiosity. The E-mu SP 1200 drum machine/sampler still symbolizes everything that was musically great about early '90s East Coast rap (a down-to-earth sound the MPC would not naturally provide), and instead of a strangely out-of-time ('anniversary' aside) rehashing of his last studio album, 1995's "The Awakening," perhaps the new release might signal indeed a renaissance of rapper and beatmaker extraordinaire Lord Finesse. To cut to the chase, "The SP 1200 Project" is purely instrumental and does casually reference "The Awakening." Direct quotes can be found in "Galactic Soul," which incorporates a vocal snippet that also appears in "Hip 2 Da Game" and the melodic bubbles originally found in Jean-Jacques Perrey's "E.V.A." that he sampled for "Gameplan." "Gothic Thoughts" opens with the same hysteric horns as "No Gimmicks." Other connections are more circuitous. The drums are typically Finesse, intricate arrangements (at least for hip-hop) that proceed with a shuffling pace and sonically are made up of clunky kicks, hard snares and sometimes sleigh bells."
The Top 10 E-40 Videos

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[E-40 courtesy Wikimedia Commons]"Been a hustler since birth, mama sellin dinners for the church
Red-handed, caught me stealin money out her purse
Got branded, permanent whip scars on my back
Cause I used to get beat, with racing car tracks
But now me got wealth, holdin a conference call on my
hands free car telephone lookin like I'm talkin to myself
Shootin the breeze cuttin it up real smooth like
choppin it up like true business men
Talkin about it, by the way
B - what we doin' this week on SoundScan?"

1.) E-40 - "Hope I Don't Go Back"

2.) E-40 f/ The Click - "Captain Save a Hoe"

3.) E-40 f/ Keak Da Sneak - "Tell Me When to Go"

4.) E-40 f/ Leviti - "1 Luv"

5.) E-40 f/ K-Ci, Too $hort - "Rapper's Ball"

6.) E-40 f/ Kandi, T-Pain - "U and Dat"

7.) E-40 f/ Suga T - "Sprinkle Me"

8.) E-40 f/ Clipse - "Quarterbackin'"

9.) E-40 f/ Nate Dogg - "Nah, Nah..."

10.) E-40 f/ IamSu!, Problem, YG - "Function"

Editorial: Now That Trump Has Failed, Did He Learn Anything?

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Donald Trump courtesy Wikimedia Commons]Probably not.

As you've undoubtedly heard by now POTUS 45's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed, with the U.S. House of Representatives pulling the bill before it could even come to a vote on Friday. Why? Because a block of Republican politicians known as the "Freedom Caucus" had made it clear to Trump that if their views on the bill weren't heard and negotiations opened to change it, they wouldn't support the President's plan. In an act of political brinkmanship straight out of his book "The Art of the Deal," Trump stopped negotiations and told them "take it or leave it." Selling a bill to elected representatives isn't like selling real estate in New York and Atlantic City though, and the Freedom Caucus was not impressed. House Speaker Paul Ryan was forced to admit defeat and declare that the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare" as they like to call it) would not be repealed.

It didn't take long for our Spinmaster in Chief to immediately start putting out his own "fake news," though of course it's always real when HE says it. He tried blaming the Democratic party even though he was trying to repeal a signature piece of President Obama's legislation and few Democrats were going to go along with that. Even if any of them thought the ACA needed to be fixed and would have gone along with "repeal and replace," the cold shoulder from the White House meant there was no outreach to even TRY to get votes from the opposition. They simply counted on having a Republican majority in the house as being enough without realizing that even in their own party there were factions who would not endorse his plan because it either (1.) went too far or (2.) didn't go far ENOUGH. No one stopped to consider that Republicans wouldn't simply march in step behind their Commander in Chief, because in fact they aren't soldiers - they are elected representatives with their own beliefs AND their own constituents to answer to. Imagine that.

One might think that this humiliating defeat for Trump would be a lesson for him that running the country is not like running a business. In truth no one would have ever wanted him to run the United States like a business anyway given six of his businesses filed for bankruptcy. The reason Trump is such a master of spin is because he's always managed to market his brand above his failures, and so long as he kept up the image of being a successful brand, there was always another loan to be had and another deal to be made. Even if you don't respect him as a human being, you can actually (if begrudgingly) admire his ability to survive and even thrive in the business world, even if that was a duplicitous act which served to only enrich himself at the expense of creditors left to foot the bill.

It's for that reason that I don't expect Trump to have learned anything from his attempt to repeal the ACA, just as he didn't learn anything from his first "Muslim Ban" executive order and tried a second time, only to be slapped down by a Federal judge a second time. This means Trump will probably try again to dismantle "Obamacare" and will undoubtedly fail again as well. That's actually the lesson Trump has learned from six bankruptcies over the years -- keep failing over and over again as long as you can spin it to make yourself look good -- "bigly" good. Instead of learning that you might want to try working with the opposition instead of running over them, and instead of learning that you can't run government like a business, the unchecked arrogance of a man who bragged he could do anything he wanted to beautiful women will let him think he can grab government by the privates and take what he wants. It doesn't work that way. Prepare for 1300+ more days of the same hubris already on display.
The Hip-Hop Shop #419 - A Promise to Set It Off

It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #419 is called A Promise to Set It Off. We have new material from Wordsmith, K.tothe.A.Y, Endemic Emerald, Chuuwee and more! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Wordsmith - The Promise
* 3Bih3 f/ Peewee Longway - Cashington
* K.tothe.A.Y - In the Lobby
* Mpulse - Cool With That
* Endemic Emerald & Skanks f/ Ruste Juxx - Prison Riot
* Gmack the Bandman f/ Kevin Gates - Stop Snitchin'
* PLM I'm Him f/ Biggs - Set It Off
* Chuuwee f/ NIKO IS - For the Kids
* Stizzy Starks - Squad Goals

Video: @PlanetAsia x Junior Makhno - "Gunman" (@Effiscienz)

Video: Planet Asia x Junior Makhno - "Gunman"


Audio: Denzel Curry + BADBADNOTGOOD (@Biz3)

Audio: Denzel Curry + BADBADNOTGOOD

Biz 3: Coming off a slew of very strong SXSW performances that the New York Times raved about and with a Coachella performance on the way, Denzel Curry has dropped a re-working of his breakout track "Ultimate" as well as "Sick & Tired". With help from Toronto hip-hop jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD, Denzel brings fresh perspective to the two tracks that pin the Carol City, Florida MC's ferocity with BBNGs hazy instrumentals.

Audio: Konsequence Muzik - "Dark Emotions Riddim" (@koncQuenceMuzik @rRAPpromo)

Audio: Konsequence Muzik - "Dark Emotions Riddim"

RRP: Today, we're reaching out to you to share Konsequence Muzik's new project, Dark Emotions Riddim, featuring Starface, Don Andre, Laden, Jah Vinci, Braintear Spookie, Eyesus, and Chilando.

Video: Post Malone - "Congratulations" (@PostMalone)

Video: Post Malone - "Congratulations"

Republic: Multi-platinum chart-topping Dallas, TX artist Post Malone delivered a scorching performance of “Congratulations” joined by Quavo of Migos and super producer Metro Boomin on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. The three powerhouses lit the stage up with a live performance of the global smash anthem.
Audio: Pennjamin Bannekar - "Still Up" (@PennBannekar)

Audio: Pennjamin Bannekar - "Still Up" (@PennBannekar)

N.W.: The momentum keeps building as the singles keep releasing! Penn has released his newest single entitled "Still Up"! Bannekar has plans to release a 6 song EP this summer so stay tuned!

Lil Wayne Launches His Young Money Radio Station On Dash Radio (@LilTunechi @Biz3)

Lil Wayne Launches His Young Money Radio Station On Dash Radio

Biz 3: Lil Wayne announced via Twitter this morning that DASH Radio will be the home to Young Money Entertainment's newest online radio channel called Young Money Radio. The first show on the station will be debut Tuesday, March 27 at 5 p.m. EST with the world premiere of Young Money artist HoodyBaby's new album Kitchen 24: Slangin Off Key.

Tune in to Young Money Radio here:

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Welcome to for the week of March 28th, 2017!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got EIGHT new items: Bloody Monk Consortium's "Fully Automated Kill Unlimited," Drake's "More Life" (our featured review), a new editorial about the failure of Trumpcare, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #419 and Emmanuel Sanchez interview, Red Pill & Ill Poetic's "Instinctive Drowning (Instrumentals)," the Top 10 E-40 videos and Emanuel Wallace's (W)rap Up for March 21, 2017!

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