Tuesday February 09, 2016
Feature of the Week

[EVOL] Will you LOVE Future's EVOLution?

Future Review

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DMX Taken to the Hospital After Overdosing Monday Night

DMXDMX Taken to the Hospital After Overdosing Monday Night

If you feel like you've read this story before you're not mistaken. DMX (real name Earl Simmons) seems to almost literally veer from one trainwreck to another in his life, and the latest involves DMX lapsing into a coma after an overdose on Monday night.

Police in Yonkers, New York responded to a call about an unconscious male at a Ramada Inn after 6 PM local time yesterday - which was the aforementioned X - and found him not breathing with no discernible pulse. They administered CPR for a minute and he recovered, at which point he was transferred to the hospital. Witnesses reported seeing him "inhaling a white powder" before he passed out.

No charges are being pressed on Mr. Simmons at this time, but he's going to have a hospital bill to say, and a cop to thank for administering CPR to save his life.

Source: TMZ.
The (W)rap Up - Week of February 2, 2016

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including EarthGang's "Shallow Graves for Toys" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Shallow Graves for Toys]EarthGang :: Shallow Graves for Toys
Spillage Village Records

Author: Colin Finn

"Over the past year, the city of Atlanta has risen to the top of the hip-hop game.Future is everywhere; Young Thug is now heralded as one of the most unique and inventive emcees to ever grace the mic, with a meandering flow reminiscent of the Chattahoochee (which sounds like a word Thugger might use in one of his tracks). Yet, just as the Chattahoochee does in Georgia, we see Future, Thugger and their contemporaries finding their way into the wealthy suburbs of the United States. In fact, the "promethazinic" aura of "Dirty Sprite 2" has even found its way into a Robitussin commercial, so now Future is even in medicine cabinets. Indubitably, the blunted and sporadic deliveries of Future and Thugger, respectively, have secured their place in Atlanta's rich and diverse hip-hop history, which EarthGang, the centerpiece of the Spillage Village collective, hopes to add to. EarthGang, comprised of emcees Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, has been scratching at the surface since their 2011 releases "Mad Men" and "Good News". Johnny Venus presents himself as the more mellowed out, rational voice of the group. At times they can seem like they're operating on two completely different emotional and spiritual planes, but as the album progresses it becomes clear that the two are totally in sync, dealing with issues of generational development, or lack thereof, and their stoned nightmares. On their 2013 effort, "Shallow Graves for Toys", the two tortured spitters begin to show signs of frustration with their situation, a frustration unseen in hip-hop since Little Brother's underground classic "The Minstrel Show". "Minstrel" and "SGFT" differ in their frustrations though. Whereas in 2004 Little Brother had only expected their music to take off, perhaps satisfied with the other aspects of their lives, EarthGang still yearns for the most basic needs. The album's introduction ("Fort Knox") foreshadows what lies ahead for the listener, an album that is indeed, "HEAVY! HEAVY! HEAVY!" as DJ Fort Knox so delicately puts it."


Them That Do :: Them That Do :: HiPNOTT Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Them That Do]"Them That Do is the latest rap group to form around the nucleus of a skilled production wizard, and happily in this case it's the underappreciated Small Professor. I've said for years the only thing you could possibly say bad about Small Pro is that he needed to link up with some emcees and see how far his beats could go with the right rhymes. The gauntlet was thrown down and three men stepped up to meet the challenge -- Phat Hentoff, Chuck Daily and Jasper Brown. I'm going to nitpick a little bit about the term "supergroup" being thrown around in their bio, so if you don't care about semantics you can skip ahead one paragraph, but I feel that it needs to be addressed real quick. The root words "super" and "group" may in fact be accurate when it comes to the talent when it comes to Them That Do, but them that follow the hip-hop scene for a long period of time know a "supergroup" means individual talents already well respected on their own coming together in a previously unexpected collaboration. Example: Joe BuddenCrooked IRoyce Da 5'9" and Joell Ortiz were all dope solo, but when they formed Slaughterhouse it was a GROUP of rap SUPERSTARS who made each other better as they played off each other's bars and simultaneously tried to one-up their cohort's scene stealing performances. A "supergroup" should therefore have names that are already big in it. Would anybody have cared about the Damn Yankees if it was just four different musicians from bands nobody heard of before? Other than Small Pro, you won't know Them That Do going in, so let's pick a different word other than "supergroup" for it. One thing I picked up on right away on Them That Do's self-titled album is that Small Pro couldn't resist riffing on The Pharcyde for the beat to "No Better Blues," and I'm not mad at it at all. There's probably even an analogy to be drawn between the two groups, in terms of the individual members being talented but little recognized until they came together as a unit. The hook references Langston Hughes' "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and although the group's membership hails from Philadelphia, there's certainly another analogy to be drawn if you want to compare their home to Harlem. To get ahead in either environment is equal parts hard work, charisma, talent and a good break."


various artists :: Underground Hip-Hop Volume 9 :: URBNET Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Underground Hip-Hop Volume 9]"Seven minutes into "Underground Hip-Hop Volume 9" I had that old familiar deja vu feeling. It didn't take me long to connect the dots and realize I had just heard "Dear Lord" while reviewing Elaquent's "Less Is More" a couple of months ago, one of many beats that showed off his increasing prowess as a production wizard. Someday we may be putting him in the upper echelons of music wizards like Dr. Dre and Pete Rock, but for now he's still a young hungry Canadian producer on the rise, paying dues and crafting the kind of interesting soulful tracks that will make rappers flock to work with him. That's the point of "Underground Hip-Hop" compilations in general, dating back to the earliest editions we've reviewed -- a showcase for Canadian artists signed with or distributed by URBNET. Some are up-and-coming like Fortunato, trying to get to that next level of mainstream exposure and success. Others like Moka Only are long established veterans of the North American rap scene. If "Volume 9" is your first edition of the series let alone your first exposure to Moka, rest assured there is a plethora of material for you to explore, as Moka has one of the deepest hip-hop catalogues going. On this edition more than others, the more familiar artists stand out in an umistakable way. Swamp ThingSpacesuitsAnimal Nation and Myka 9/Factor turn this compilation into a "Greatest Hits" of sorts. I have to append the "of sorts" descriptive since I can't fully describe what a "hit" would be for a label that purposefully defines itself and its compilations as "Underground." These aren't songs you're likely to hear on mainstream radio, and might just barely find their way into rotation on satellite or college radio, but as songs like "Skyscraper" showcase the emphasis for this collection is to share what's interesting on the label no matter how big or small the impact."

Editorial: Cam Newton Didn't Do a Damn Thing Wrong

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Cam Newton courtesy Wikimedia Commons]Every part of an athlete's life is put under a microscope at all times. This is not news to those of us who follow professional sports, nor for me as someone who interviews athletes and covers fights on a weekly basis. The scrutiny comes with the paycheck. The more successful you are, the greater the focus becomes, and athletes are expected to "pay the price" with dignity and grace. It's as though the general public has this deep-seated conviction that athletes are lottery winners who don't deserve the money and fame they earned, even though they already paid the price through injuries that carry devastating life-long consequences.

It's something you'll see over and over again in all forms of entertainment though - we praise people on the way up, then condemn them when they finally crack under pressure, then cheering if they claw back up to the top only to secretly wonder if they'll fail yet again. For Cam Newton the story is much the same - called Superman when he dominates other NFL teams and called Super Sulk when he fails to deliver in the league's biggest game. The alleged controversy here is that Newton didn't feel like answering questions after a game that was widely expected to be Newton's coronation as the NFL's new king. Newton had an amazing season with the Panthers where he was named the league's MVP. He handed footballs to young fans in the stands after touchdowns, flashed a perfect smile in win after win, and seemed to be doing things on the field that no NFL quarterback had done at his level - a scoring threat with his arm and his legs. In every way he fulfilled what the public expects from great athletes - win AND be a role model - executing flawlessly in both areas of your life.

What we learned on February 7th, 2016 following Super Bowl 50 is that "Superman" is actually human, and he reacted the way a normal human being would to reaching the pinnacle of sporting accomplishment only to be shoved off the mountain top. The fall hurts both physically and emotionally, and to be honest I relate more to Cam Newton for being hurt by it than I would if he had faked his way through a post-game interview with smiles and snappy answers. I would suggest to those people who have been watching his press conference over and over again, picking it apart in their eagerness to tear Newton down some more, that they've missed the fact that he actually showed more grace than most people under such scrutiny. He was sacked six times, his body and mind were both reeling from the game, but he answered questions as best he could and eventually walked away rather than say something that WOULDN'T have been classy or dignified. How is walking away suddenly equivalent to being a "Super Sulk" anyway? The press would have loved to eat up him going on a foul-mouthed tirade about how much losing sucks, but in lieu of the real controversy that would have generated sports writers manufactured one anyway just to fill up newspaper columns and half hour talk shows.

For me it's clear that characterizing this as a lack of poise and grace from the NFL MVP can also take on an extra dimension of the old tired cliche that black quarterbacks don't succeed at the highest level, even though Russell Wilson and Doug Williams have both proved that theory wrong, both in recent memory and dating back to my youngest years watching football. Thankfully there are a few people who get the pressure Newton is under, not just to prove that he can be the face of a team and a league, but that he also has to be the face of all black athletes to lead a team who came before him or after him. Despite not succeeding at the moment he was expected to triumph, he's only 26 years old and ultimately has many more championship games in his future. Let's all gain a little perspective and take the lens focused on Newton to shine it elsewhere, and what seems like a big controversy about him "sulking" will in the end turn out to have been a very small thing after all. He'll still be "Superman" when the NFL comes back this fall and the Panthers make another playoff run.
The Hip-Hop Shop #362 - The (Big Game) Party's Over

It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #362 is called The (Big Game) Party's Over! Enjoy some new music from Sir Flame, Phacade, Mega Trife and Taiyamo Denku among others! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show - like The Drunk Train from Adam Bernard!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Goldini Bagwell - Classicool Pt. II
* Phacade f/ Cloudy, Peezy - Yes
* Mega Trife - Zones
* Taiyamo Denku f/ Kool G Rap, War Beyah - Stone Cold
* iLL Chris f/ Bryce Bowden, Sir Michael Rocks - Time of Your Life
* Breeze Embalm - Coin a Phrase for Change
* Sir Flame - Party's Over

Video: @Blak_Madeen @Blacastan - "Mic Divine" (@DiamondMedia360)

Video: Blak Madeen f/ Blacastan - "Mic Divine"

DM360: With their fellow New England Hip-Hop wordsmith at their side—Blacastan hails from Hartford, Conn.—the duo of AL-J and Yusuf post up on and around the famed Charles River. As the three deliver their verses of insight, wit, and bravado, the camera offers glimpses of what makes the area so unique.

Video: Mook - "What They Gone Do" (@MookTBG)

Video: Mook - "What They Gone Do"

LYM: Follow Mook on Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/mooktbg/ https://twitter.com/Mooktbg or SnapChat

Music video for What They Gone Do (Official Video) performed by Speaker Knockerz & Mook.

Audio: Cado f/ Eventide - "A:M" (@CadoSound)

Audio: Cado f/ Eventide - "A:M"

Cado: we're "Cado" a rapper/producer duo from Boston. We've been building our sound and fanbase for the past two years and are extremely proud of our newest up coming project "FREE WIFI"

@DizzyWright Finds a Renewed Focus on Wisdom and Good Vibes EP (@AudibleTreats)

Dizzy Wright Finds a Renewed Focus on Wisdom and Good Vibes EP

A.T.: The Las Vegas Rapper is Revitalized on His New Project, Which Releases Amid U.S., Canada Tour Alongside Logic.

The timing couldn't be better for Dizzy Wright, who today releases his Wisdom and Good Vibes EP, which finds the Las Vegas rapper revitalized with a renewed focus on life and learning. In the lead up to the EP release, Dizzy Wright shared video single “Plotting,” and after getting 1.8K RT’s he released the second single, “Work a Lil Harder.” Reflecting on the ways in which he's grown coming into adulthood, Dizzy Wright explores his progression and maturity while poised to take 2016 by storm. Armed with a renewed focus following the recent collapse of his former record label, Funk Volume, the release of his Wisdom and Good Vibes EP will precede an album that’s planned for later this year. Dizzy Wright is direct support for Logic on The Incredible World Tour that spans Canada and the U.S. through April.

“This is my most musical album, meaning we brought live instrumentation into the studio,” Dizzy Wright explains. “Despite everything that’s going on, I’m in a really good space right now and this project reflects that. This past year I’ve dedicated time to learning more about life and the business and everything around me. I’ve surrounded myself with good, smart people and we’re learning from each other. And I’m always about keeping it positive so that’s why I called this project Wisdom and Good Vibes.”

In 2015, Dizzy Wright cultivated his own marijuana strain, Dizzy OG. He's taken a hands-on approach to the process and creation of the strain, which is available in nine dispensaries - following interviews with Snoop Dogg's GGN and B-Real's Smoke Box, Dizzy’s advocacy of cannabis culture can’t be questioned. The nephew of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Layzie Bone, Dizzy Wright began rapping at just 8 years old. He released debut project SmokeOut Conversations in April 2012, peaking at #2 on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts, leading to him winning the fan vote for XXL's 2013 Freshmen Class cover. Following 2015’s The Growing Process and as 2016 comes into light, the captivating Las Vegas-based emcee is already making waves with his Wisdom and Good Vibes as anticipation builds for his forthcoming album.

Audio: @SoulKhan - "Shine" (@J57)

Audio: Soul Khan - "Shine"

SK: My new single, "Shine" is available now for sale everywhere through Tommy Boy Entertainment. I hope that y'all like it because it is a different approach from me. The song deals with a lot of the emotions and ideas I have grappled with in terms of fighting rather than contributing to the climate of stigma and alienation. And it's produced by J57 so you can obviously expect magic.

Video: @WizKhalifa Addresses Stolen Rolex with @DJWhooKid

Video: Wiz Khalifa Addresses Stolen Rolex with DJ Whoo Kid

Ryan: DJ Whoo Kid recently sat down with Wiz Khalifa over the weekend on his Shade 45 show, "The Whoolywood Shuffle". Wiz addresses the stolen rolex situation down in Brazil, how the Kanye situation got squashed, and hollers at Halle Berry to smoke weed with him. He also admits that when him and Travis Scott recorded "Bake Sale", that Travis sacrilegiously put the KK in a blunt instead of rolling papers but let it slide.

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Welcome to RapReviews.com for the week of February 9th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we're back with TEN NEW ITEMS for your perusal: Beat Bruisers x Ruste Juxx x Pawz One's "Def By Stereo," Da Mafia 6ix's "Watch What U Wish...," an editorial on Cam Newton, Future's "EVOL" (our featured review), Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #362, Kelela's "Hallucinogen," Mic Taylor's "Mansa Mic," a MMA Mania interview with Raphael Butler, Rihanna's "Anti" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for February 2, 2016!

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