FYE's personal story is both inspiring and remarkable. At 19, he built his own recording studio and set up Fire Boy Entertainment as a promotions company, bringing established rap artists such as Lil’ Wayne, Hot Boys, Mystikal, Field Mob, Ying Yang Twins to Florida to perform.
Roach Gigz returns with a new video for his latest single "Too Easy" premiered today by Noisey. The video, directed by Chris Simmons, is a gritty, hazy entry featuring shots of Roach in the San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts Exploratorium donning a gas mask. When asked about his direction for "Too Easy," Roach explained, "I wanted to bring the video back to the basics, just me and the camera and the song. No distractions or big productions just the essence. I shot it in San Francisco at night, which I felt captured the vibe I pictured for the music - street light yellows and dark skies - so thats what we created."
Audio: MidaZ The BEAST - "Cold Outside" (prod. IMAKEMADBEATS)
The New 52 is a weekly series conceived by HiPNOTT Records/Doxside Music Group emcee MidaZ the BEAST that will run the entire course of 2014. Taking its name from DC Comics' revamp and relaunch of their superhero books, each installment of The New 52 features a new or rare song from Doxside Music Group artists paired with an original illustration from DMG comic book artist Gift Revolver.
After linking up with former No Limit/RuffRyder soldier and current Jet Life associate Fiend for the first leak (“Yesterday’s Sativa”) from his upcoming mixtape, Friday at the Currency Exchange, Chicago spitta ATM now recruits Tabi Bonney for the second leak, “Sleep Walkin,” from his forthcoming project.
"As far back as I can remember, Necro always wanted to be Kool G Rap. G Rap's influence on the art of rap is immeasurable, but no one mimicked the pitch, the metrics, the attitude, even the lisp of the Golden Age great to the degree of Ron Braunstein. And yet he has, with Necro, created a character virtually second to none in rap music. Strictly sticking to the dreadful side of human nature, Necro has established himself as the foremost pulp rapper. He's made some interesting songs in the process, but his body of work is literally battered and bruised, leaving behind one long trail of blood. Despite this blunt characterization, Necro is also a successful DIY artist, which puts him in the position of being able to offer his idol a joint record. It's a shrewd way to align himself with rap royalty but an opportunity he doesn't quite seize. On one specific level "Once Upon a Crime" makes sense like few collaboration projects. For twenty plus years, Kool G Rap has interpreted the role of hard-boiled underworld figure with unique consistency. He doesn't flinch when it comes to depicting the gory details, and neither does Necro. The reason they have different aesthetics (and ultimately artistic standards) lies in the fact that they have chosen different genres. Cinematographically speaking, the master has specialized in mob and gangster flicks, the apprentice in horror and splatter movies. Their common ground is obviously violence, but what truly makes them brothers in arms is their thoroughly graphic approach. Both are experts at visualizing their threats and boasts, which lends some authenticity to even the most outlandish claims. Where most rappers drop references in a rather random manner, these two do not just have a vague understanding of what they're talking about. Serial killers, mob figures, anatomical details, etc. are all put to proper use lyrically. Heeding the call of the rhyme, they're also very keen to find all kinds of creative combinations of slang words and street terms. If Kool G Rap can feel flattered by Necro's career-long imitation, vice versa the Queens vet shows himself to be open to suggestions from the Brooklyn rep, at one point openly acknowledging their kinship: "We might bring it from different angles, but the same breed / Movie shit, you pay rental fees to hang with G." "
"Alterbeats are back again. The label imprint, the cover art, even the organization of the tracklisting gave this reviewer a serious case of the appropriately French phrase deja vu. It refers to the feeling that one has already experienced the exact same thing once before, even if the experience itself is entirely brand new. Seeing guest stars like Carnage45, Main Flow, Bekay and Shabaam Sahdeeq only heightens this feeling. All of the players are the same, the producers are the same, AND YET this is a brand new album with new songs. It's a real mind trip. "Stop It" will make listeners ask Alterbeats to skip the foreplay and get right to the fucking business of making a Shabaam Sahdeeq album. It's clear the two sides have chemistry and compliment each other, and after being overlooked and slept on for a couple of decades, Sahdeeq has nothing to lose by making a trans-Atlantic link-up. That's a familiar story for many of the artists though, including opening track rapper Verbal Kent on the song "Who's the Next?" He's one third of a group of Ugly Heroes who got a lot of nods for Best of 2013 yet still finds it necessary to explain who he is to listeners. One gets the feeling that "Who's the Next?" would be great rap music to play CastleVania to - something I'm going to have to try myself. "Gothic" is just one of the styles that Alterbeats does well.They make broad and dark music which mixes the best parts of a variety of production techniques. You can hear the Kanye West in "Fruit Punch," a brutal bruising bash featuring Guilty Simpson and Rockness Monstah. You can hear the DJ Premier in Carnage 45's "The Overview," with multiple layers of symphonics and the cut 'n scratched hooks. You can hear Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind on "Real Talk" featuring Skeezo, and you can hear Lil Fame on "The Unit" featuring Neek the Exotic and Satchel Page."
"Elaquent is a resident URBNET producer hailing from Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He's been slowly bubbling up from the underground for a while now - and much like a bottle of champagne he's just been waiting for someone to pop the cork and let out the goodness. His bio pours on more superlatives than this reviewer could though - calling him everything from "vibrant" and "ahead of the curve" to "infectious" and "catchy." That's bad if you're H1N1, but that's pretty damn good if you're making beats. Hyperbole and superlatives mean nothing though if you don't back it up when it's crunch time. I'm happy to report that Elaquent lives up to his hype - and in fact it may if anything be understated. It's too early in his young career and there's too little available material to gauge if he's going to be a flash in the pan or sustain at his current level, but "Green Apples and Oranges" suggests he's more than just your typical laptop producer with a free album on Bandcamp. "Aurora" is a revelation. Much like an aurora borealis is a ribbon of light in the sky, "Aurora" is a shimmering and beautiful instrumental, with only the faintest hints of the featured artist Esta breaking up the enchantment. That's typical of Elaquent's style. If "Alone at Last" is a soliloquy to privacy, lock me in a room with this track - it definitely speaks to me. Aside from the occasional "come on y'all, get live get down" from Common (Sense), it's just you and Elaquent. Elaquent doesn't tend to complicate things with emcees rapping over his beats. That would be a problem for most up-and-coming producers - after all you get known by getting people to flow on your shit, then other people want you to make them a hit. El seems blissfully unconcerned about this. "Almost There" features Budamunk, but he's not to be confused with Buddha Monk - he's a fellow producer sharing the music and vibes. You're not going to hear anything from Elaquent other than his unadulterated musical statement - so when he offers you "Closure" on the final track it's fitting."
June Marx :: Invisible Wars :: Torchbearer Records
as reviewed Grant Jones
"I reviewed a record from June Marx' colleague and fellow Twin Perils member Lone Ninja last year and wasn't particularly impressed by his apocalyptic record "Rogue Agent". June Marx's fourth album "Invisible Wars" fares a little bit better, but still sounds substandard considering how many records these guys have put out. The beats throughout this album are too loud compared to the vocals, which when you have all the charisma of a wooden spoon, means it can be hard to really take what June is saying seriously. Nevertheless, June Marx is a niche rapper and his lyrics do contain some vaguely interesting themes. "Renaissance Wars" and "Second Renassaince" aren't just similarly titled songs, but both follow the same formula; dope production, unremarkable rhymes. You could argue that the whole project is solidly produced, but the likes of "Reign of Fire" and "Code of Conduct" show an unfinished aspect that is mildly irritating. "Code of Conduct" in particular is close to being a gem but the drums are overpowering. Despite some strong production from Marx himself, this record still gives off a cheapness that is unforgivable. Only three tracks reach the three minute mark and every song is unfocussed ramblings that rarely leave you satisfied - more often confused if anything. That's not to say the album is a complete failure as "Cobra Gunships" shows June can make an impact when he decides to use an instrumental that doesn't blow him away, applying some adept lyrics to an ominously depressing backdrop that feels like one of those post-apocalyptic animes chock-full of robots."
"Everything goes in cycles, particularly in music. Fifteen years is a long time in hip hop, but it was that long ago that Ja Rule started taking over the airwaves with his gruff style of croon-rap that enabled him to save hiring vocalists for his radio singles. It was immensely popular, but then became unfashionable once 50 Cent was "chosen" to take hip hop forward - even though he ended up doing a similar thing with songs like "Candy Shop". You probably already know this, but I found it to be a useful reminder when fans complain about the abundance of rappers (led by Drake) that combine singing and rapping in their work. "My Own Lane" kicks off with every programmer's favourite message, "Hello World" - a song that's so nearly devoid of Ink's hip hop roots, almost as if it's been programmed to the hilt in order to fit snugly in to any radio playlist. Where most rap albums will feature at least one song that caters to those who don't just listen to hip hop 24/7, Kid Ink's latest release feels like a whole album of them. Yet as much as I expected to hate this record, I don't. Kid Ink is not going to be mentioned in the same sentence (other than this one) as your Pharoahe Monchs and Eminems, but he is certainly listenable. What sets Kid Ink back from really leaving a mark on the listener is the clear lack of character - this album is so safe in its execution that it feels like a smooth Chris Brown record rather than the first big hip hop release of 2014. It's no surprise to see Mr Brown feature on two songs with Kid Ink, the first being "Show Me" which has been released with a typically rebellious video set at a house-party inside a showhome."
"Moonshine isn't the dirty word it used to be. In fact the popularity of the Discovery Channel show that's (allegedly) about people making illegal liquor while staying one step ahead of the law has helped bring a term associated with rural i.e. "country" living to national prominence. It's also created a confusing milieux of "legal" and "illegal" shine in the marketplace, as distillers rush to bring out products labeled "moonshine" even though the very definition of shine used to be "that white lightning you can't buy in stores." Unless you bought it off the back of a pickup truck and it came in a washed out plastic milk jug, odds are it's not "moonshine" in any way but a marketing name. The plugs side is that it's probably safer to drink than that white lightning - after all some regulations exist for good reasons. The Moonshine Bandits have long used the implications of drinking hooch in their name to imply just how country they are. The fact they come from a city in California (Los Banos) bigger than the population of most counties where I grew up is not lost on me though, nor is the fact they look more like mechanics and truck drivers than what I associate with "country" - both from stereotypes and personal experience. The Bandits themselves seem to have realized people are getting confused as to what country IS and how country they ARE, so "We All Country" seeks to paint country with a broad brush. The chorus sums it up this way: "East coast, West coast, we all country/Dirty South, Midwest, it's all country." They go even further on "California Country," getting specific about how country where they're from is, and explaining the name of their new album in the process."
Retch :: Polo Sporting Goods :: DatPiff
as reviewed Emanuel Wallace
"A few months ago, Action Bronson dropped his Party Supplies-produced and highly lauded "Blue Chips 2." One of the project's songs, "Flip Ya" -- a track that masterfully samples Junior Walker's rendition of "Wishing On A Star." Overall, the song is a bit too short for my liking but it works. Following Action's verse that somehow manages to tie together driving gloves, Vanna White and a shihzu, another voice enters the stage. That voice is one of Retchy P the Lo God, or just Retch for short. He spit a verse that took him to a Yiddish luncheon, finds him hosting a party and having Steve Harvey (of all people) escorted out for stunting too hard. Hilariously dope stuff. On the heels of the buzz generated by that appearance, Retchy P dropped his latest mixtape entitled "Polo Sporting Goods." There has been a trend as of late among artists of recording entire projects with a single producer and I'm highly in favor of it. I feel like it brings a certain sense of cohesiveness to things. On "Polo Sporting Goods," Retchy has teamed up with Thelonius (not to be confused with Terrace) Martin for eleven gritty and grimey tracks. As is such, it's only right that things open up with "Graceful Jewelry Removal," a frantic tour through the streets where sights like dice games, drug use and bodies being dumped into the Hudson River are not an uncommon occurrence. "Marmalade Sky" combines drug dealing with a tale of espionage that would make James Bond jealous. Retchy's ziplining through windows, planting bombs, dropping elbows to the face, evading the cops and getting away scot free in the end. "Burgundy Windbreaker" is more of the same but this time Retchy finds himself in pursuit of some stolen diamonds aboard a ship with its sights set on the Cayman Islands."
"Sean Price is the consummate shit talker in hip-hop. He conveys an air of authority every time he spits, and few people personify the word "spitting" in hip-hop the way P does. His flow is mushy, slurry, blurry and drowns in saliva with every bar. One can picture a hazmat clean-up operation after every studio session when he's flowing, and that's not even taking into account the Bieber-esque quantities of soda bottles, empty baggies and spilled shreds of dried tobacco. P also personifies the "rude bwoy" hip-hop swagger as a result - he leaves a tornado of destruction in his wake without once looking back at the carnage. His uncompromising rap is like a Richard Sherman promo - if you don't shut your mouth when he's talking he'll be happy to shut it for you. P has typically been thought of as a Duck Down emcee, given he goes back to the founding days of the label, and the idea of him collaborating with his friends there is par for the course. He lives his life like it's a never ending version of The Eric Andre Show with the cameras always rolling, so it's not surprising that he shows up in crazy Duck Down videos and/or Red Bull releases on the regular. What IS surprising is that "Land of the Crooks" seems almost entirely divorced from Duck Down - they're not releasing it or promoting it and they aren't in the credits for it. This is definitely the "bigger picture" mentality Sean is talking about on "Murdah Type Thinkin," whether the original version with Roc Marciano, or the remix featuring Guilty Simpson. P and Coalmine Records have put together what they call a "double A-side" CD, with the other half being the already reviewed "Highway Robbery" album from Small Professor & Guilty Simpson. Of course it's still your option to download either one individually, but if you bought both together in this package you'd be getting a helluva deal - especially given that Coalmine is throwing in instrumentals for all of Sean's songs plus a "Crookapella" for the title track for good measure."
"A little background research before delving into "Too Hot to Bother" suggested to me Sexy Delicious is hard to define. Even interviewers had a hard time figuring out whether or not to call them hip-hop, which prompted this cryptic response from frontman Jamie Quinn: "We don't consider this a hip-hop project, although there are definitely elements of hip-hop all over the record." Okay Sexy Delicious - besides sounding like an overindulgent desert, what exactly are you? Well if you listened to "Dollars in My Pocket," you'd be pretty well convinced they are a Minneapolis rap group with live instrumentation.If your first exposure to Sexy Delicious was "My Guitar's a Woman" though, you'd think they were an alternative rock group. But wait - take a third turn with "Floating" - and you'll suddenly feel this is a R&B crew and Quinn is their crooner. What I can tell you after two-thirds of an hour has gone by is that "Too Hot to Bother" is impossible to pigeonhole, as is Sexy Delicious themselves. If they wanted to be strictly hip-hop, they'd come across like Gym Class Heroes, with Jamie as their Travie McCoy. If they wanted to be strictly pop rock, Jamie would be traveling down the Bruno Mars road."
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #256 is called Running With Nothing But Headies. Today's music is courtesy of Capeech, ill Clinton, Rook and Petter Jones among others! Remember - you can follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new show when it's released each Tuesday. All of our music is podsafe so feel free to share the show!
* LIVETODIEBIG - Death
* Capeech - Something
* Oppo & Johnny Chronic - Nothing But Headies
* The IGive & ill Clinton - Bastard Black
* Rook - The Maze
* Ryshon Jones - Three Kay
* Petter Jones - Moments