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Tuesday September 16, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Dark Horse] Never coming in last.

Twista Review

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Editorial: Adrian Peterson and Ray McDonald Give the NFL Another Black Eye

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Adrian Peterson courtesy Wikimedia]The NFL can't seem to dig its way out of the hole they've put themselves in. The Ray Rice fiasco was just the tip of a much bigger iceberg, lurking beneath the surface all along, waiting to cause a Titanic PR disaster for the most popular and lucrative of all professional sports. San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald is being investigated for an August 31st incident where he beat up his pregnant fiancee, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to authorities in Texas after being charged with "recklessly or by criminal negligence cause bodily injury" - in effect beating his son with a switch badly enough to cause cuts and bruises.

It would be too easy to say the NFL has a problem with entitlement for their athletes - millionaires who think they are above the law - given that not every player has a lucrative contract with a lot of incentive clauses. Not every player gets the kind of endorsement deals a star running back like Adrian Peterson does either. A lot of NFL athletes are hard working journeymen, paid better than your average blue collar or white collar employee, but also incurring a lot more medical bills during and AFTER their playing days than said same lower or middle class workers will. It has always been a tricky proposition to make a living as a professional athlete, not just during your playing days but providing for your retirement given how short the average NFL career can be. Those who don't go broke have long hard roads ahead.

In short not every NFL player is the bad guy. Many of them simply show up every week and do their job - quietly and without controversy. They take their weekly salary and provide a nice home for themselves and their family, and maybe a few toys they can enjoy. Any running back gets beat up week after week by six foot, three hundred pound plus lineman probably SHOULD have a hot tub at home and a comfortable luxury car with reclining leather seats. The same goes for the defensive lineman who feels the pain from delivering hit after hit. Any editorial you read about the NFL's woes, including this one, you should keep in mind that this is not a league full of spousal abuser and child beaters. The Ray Rices and Ray McDonalds of the sport should correctly be viewed as the exception and not the rule. It's not a league full of sadists and thugs.

The problem for the NFL is that even the perception of a sports league that bends over backward to protect its athletes when they are accused of horrible crimes is not the public image the league wants to project. In doing so they brand even the innocent as guilty - leaving the public wondering what other skeletons in the closet have yet to be publicly revealed. The indefinite suspension of Ray Rice was already too little, too late (and it should have been a permanent ban anyway) and now two more NFL players currently on active rosters are accused of doing bodily harm - to not only their children but their UNBORN children. Adrian Peterson can try (and fail) to excuse whipping his son with a switch by saying it's how he was raised, but Ray McDonald can offer no such defense for beating up a woman pregnant with his child. If the allegations are true it's horrible, despicable, and unforgivable.

As we turn on the sonar and look deeper beneath the cresting waves, one has to ultimately wonder if the sport itself does deserve some of the blame. Concussion research is ongoing and even small contusions which don't result in a player getting dizzy or blacking out can lead to big problems in the future - memory loss, muscle tremors, violent behavioral changes, and so on. Every big hit affects not just the receiver but the giver, and as a fan of both combat sports and NFL football I wonder if there may come a day where we as a society decide that too many good men have been turned bad by being hit too hard. Some athletes are undoubtedly at greater risk for brain trauma than others - they may have slightly thicker skulls, or they may play with a style less prone to injury, but the NFL's black eye this week may be reflected in the black eyes of their athletes, long before a select few give those same black eyes to their wives and children.
The Hip-Hop Shop #291 - It's the Real or It's Whatever Man

It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #291 lets you decide for yourself - It's the Real or It's Whatever Man. You'll hear new material this week from CuzOH Black, MC Bravado, Black COAL and MidaZ the Beast among others! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new show.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Clif W.E.R.D. - Lousen Up
* MidaZ the Beast, Jamall Bufford & Dynasty - Collapse
* Rob Stashiz - Walk a Mile In My Shoes
* CuzOH Black - The Real
* MC Bravado f/ C-Nature, Soul Khan - Infinite/Finite (Man Comes Around)
* P.A.T. Jr. f/ Jeremiah Bligen, Church - Whatever
* Black COAL f/ C Dot Castro - Gold Gated Villa
* False Ego - Ethics

Audio: Cee & Dr. MaD - "Steps to the Peak (Deluxe Edition)" @FreshKils @TheMovementFam

Audio: Cee & Dr. MaD - "Steps to the Peak (Deluxe Edition)"

Movement: On September 13th 2013, Cee teamed up with Montreal based producer/DJ Dr. MaD to release their debut collaborative EP (and the first official EP either artist had dropped), 'Steps To The Peak' - an 8 track love letter to the 514. Seeing as we're about to celebrate the first birthday of the project, we figured there's no better time to launch the Deluxe Edition. Notion completely remastered the entire project, while Cee and Dr. MaD added two bonus tracks that were previously only available via the phyiscal CD - the aspirational 'Le Belmont To The Bell Centre' featuring Notion, and the bouncy, positive title track 'Steps To The Peak'.

Watch 'Another Day (Fresh Kils Nice Afternoon Remix)' on YouTube

Audio EP: FTK (Noise808) - "ESCLTE" (@FloydCheung)

Audio EP: FTK (Noise808) - "ESCLTE"

Cheung: Preceding the "Feelings" EP" showcase in Hong Kong at XXX Gallery - - we're releasing "ESCLTE", a 4 track taste of what's to come with NOISE808. Enjoy!

Video: @Ron_Slyda & Young Wild Panda - "Moving On"

Video: Ron Slyda & Young Wild Panda - "Moving On"

R.S.: Ron Slyda and Young Wild Panda drop another classic visual 'Moving On', the latest visual from Ron Slyda's critically acclaimed LP, 'Blue Summer: Recollections of a Poetic Drunk'. In this Young Wild Panda directed clip, Ron Slyda shares a glimpse of his real life as a father coming up in the rap game. Ron is currently working on his next project titled, 'Ruthless' set for release in the fall.

RuDee Sade Lipscomb - "AMPLIFY FERGUSON"

RuDee Sade Lipscomb - "AMPLIFY FERGUSON"

SmG: I hope you are all well. I wanted to let you all know about an amazing project SmG Music is now a part of. AMPLIFY FERGUSON is a community empowerment and media project led up by my dear friend RuDee Sade Lipscomb. The goal of the project is to facilitate and promote peaceful, action-oriented solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri. Amplify Ferguson is a group of concerned citizens from around the country.

As you all know, activism has always been a part of my music. What’s happening in Ferguson isn’t a black or white issue. It’s a human being issue. Empathy, discourse, love, and action are all necessary ingredients in not only creating awareness and but also ending systemic racism in this country. Race and marginalization aren’t easy to talk about but are nonetheless essential to our survival as a species.

I’m sending out this message to any of you who are interested in getting involved. SmG Music will be traveling down to Ferguson later this month. More specifically, we are looking for: (1) Artists to contribute art to raising awareness about the situation down in Ferguson, (2) additional project coordinators who are interested in working on the ground down in Ferguson, and (3) writers/editors interested in helping us get unfiltered, professionally done content onto platforms interested in publishing the truth of what’s going down in Ferguson.

I know this is a lot of information so if you have any questions please reach out to me. The days we are looking for volunteers on the ground are October 1st thru October 4th. Food and lodging will be provided.

We’ll be announcing a couple shows down in Ferguson with all proceeds going towards rebuilding that community.

Here is a link where you can check out the project: .



(A)ll (S)ongs (H)eard (E)cho (S)olidarity
Audio: @FarEastMovement f/ @YG - "Grimey Thirsty"

Audio: Far East Movement f/ YG - "Grimey Thirsty"

Greg: International superstars and platinum electro-hip-hop pioneers Far East Movement debut 'Grimey Thirsty' from forthcoming mini-album KTown Riot to be released October 28th on Cherrytree Records. The trap-infused song is produced by Central-American EDM powerhouse Rell the Soundbender and features Compton's chart topping rapper YG.

Audio: @MidaZ @JamallBufford @YaGirlDynasty - Deans List Cypher "Collapse"

Audio: MidaZ The Beast, Jamall Bufford & Dynasty - Deans List Cypher "Collapse"

Picocchi: The track is titled "Collapse" and features all three emcee's going in one after another with no hook. The object is to give fans an ear visual of what each artist is capable of lyric and style wise and to prove why they have what it takes to be a Deans List winner.

Video: @SoDrewski B-Day f/ @JimJonesCapo @MainoHustleHard @JoellOrtiz @CiphaSounds

Video: DJ Drewski B-Day Recap f/ Jim Jones, Maino, Joell Ortiz, Cipha Sounds

#TL: Watch as DJ DREWSKI of HOT 97 celebrates his official birthday concer in his hometown of Elizabeth NJ. THE ONLY DJ IN JERSEY THAT CAN BRING OVER 2K PARTY GOERS TOGETHER IN ONE NIGHT! Watch as Jim Jones, Cipha Sounds, Maino, Joell Ortiz, Ebro, Uncle Murda, and more touch the stage.

Video: @IAmBohemia @HajiSpringer @Raxstar - "Brand New Swag (Remix)"

Video: Bohemia x Haji Springer x Raxstar - "Brand New Swag (Remix)"

LostRocket: After the successful release of ‘Brand New Swag’ by legendary rapper Bohemia and Haji Spinger, they unleash the official remix featuring UK Asian rapper Raxstar.

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Welcome to for the week of September 16th, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have TEN new items for you: Amp Live's "Headphone Concerto," an editorial on Adrian Peterson, Ensemble Mik Nawooj's "Hip-Hop Orchestra," the "Illect Recordings: Mind the Rap Volume 3" compilation, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #291, Mirandom's "The Otherworld EP," Sonnyjim & Leaf Dog's "How to Tame Lions," Twista's "Dark Horse" (our featured review), Ugly Heroes' "Ugly Heroes EP" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for September 9, 2014!

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