"Sacramento rap/noise crew Death Grips came on the scene last year with their excellent mixtape "Exmilitary" and a series of crazy videos. Somehow someone at Epic Records heard their music, which features MC Ride ranting about illegal drugs over illegal samples, and decided that it was the perfect money-making machine. Eazy-E was on Epic, so maybe they know a thing or two about turning offensive hip-hop into dollar bills. Still, I can't help but think there is heavy irony in the title of Death Grips' major-label debut, especially as it comes packaged with cover art of an S&M diva keeping a large-breasted gimp on a chain with the band name carved into the gimp's chest. That doesn't seem like the clearest path to making Jay-Z levels of cash, but it is a good way to totally freak out anyone over forty. Now that Ride and producers Zach Hill and Andy Morin have gone legit, the Jane's Addiction and Pink Floyd samples have gone out the window. Instead, they've come up with beats that don't require hundreds of thousands of dollars in sample clearances. Rather than looking to samples of metal and punk songs for inspiration, Hill and Morin channel noisy electronica and the sound of Roland TR-808 drum machines. "I've Seen Footage" sounds like "Push It" being played in Hell, with Ride shouting along to the beat. "Hacker's" beat sounds like a mix between Yello's "Oh Yeah" and Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)."
Calez :: Kid With Raps :: 2008ighties as reviewed by Zach 'Goose' Gase
"The absolute worst part of the "Internet age" is the vast amount of clutter that appears daily on rap blogs. There are so many rappers posting so many songs, it's nearly impossible to distinguish what's good and what's wack. This often leads me to just ignore almost everything, which in the past has led me to being a little late on some of hip hop's best up and comers, most notably Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar. And yes, when I saw yet another rapper on 2DopeBoyz that I had never heard of outside of the blogger world, I kept it moving, but when I received the press release for Calez's "Kid With Raps" album, I was intrigued. He addresses the same story on the album's intro track "Play First" when his 3rd grade teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up he put "rapper." After mistakenly pronouncing it as "raper," she advised Calez to have a plan B, which he replied "fuck that." As a 19 year-old Calez released his aptly titled LP "Kid With Raps" with the same kind of mentality. Calez's vocal delivery is very similar to Stalley, and his production style reminds me a lot of Tyler, the Creator's. Lyrically Calez is solid, despite his lack of range on subject matter. But his self-production (along with help from UG and Flosstradamus on a couple tracks) is Calez's top skill. He dabbles in the Neptunes/Odd Future style of synths and hard drums on tracks like "Play First" and "Middle Finger" and uses smooth samples on tracks like "Love Text" and "Plenty of Love." "
"The fugitives in question are Ellias Fullmore (a/k/a Burntface), Meklit Hadero and the author of one of my favorite albums so far in 2012 - Gabriel Teodros. His name was reason enough alone for me to check out CopperWire's "Earthbound," an album painting the trio as hip-hop Gallifreyans, gallivanting across the universe in a stolen spaceship which just COINCIDENTALLY has landed on Earth (funny how it always seems to work out that way). They're trying to blend into the populace as ordinary humans, but can't help but let their musical impulses out. Even though a lot of time and thought went into the packaging and marketing of CopperWire, including a short story written into the folds of the liner note by Nnedi Okorafor ("resident Naijamerican novelist alien sorceress"), I'm going to take the radically bold step of declaring it TOTALLY UNNECESSARY. That's not meant to be an insult; rather it's meant to convey that the music of CopperWire can simply exist, simply be enjoyed, without the extraterrestrial context to consider it in. The most telling part of the press kit may be in the opening paragraph: "When [CopperWire] met in the studio to see what happened, so many great songs tumbled out so far and the creative connection proved so strong, that the three knew there was no looking back."
"If you don't know who Danny! (aka Danny Swain) is by now, this is a good place to start. Back in 2004, Danny! gave the world his overlooked debut LP, "The College Kicked-Out." And yes, that is the same year another rapper debuted his college-themed album, but I'll do my best to not use said rapper's name in this review because lord knows the comparisons have been run into the ground. "College Kicked-Out" is the first setback of Swain's rap career of extensive series of unfortunate events. Sadly, Danny! is still a relatively unknown rapper who hails from Columbia, SC, as opposed to that other rapper who is one of today's most celebrated figures, whose luck just happened to be a little bit better than Danny!'s. While Danny! has certainly upped his game in essentially every aspect (production, flow, lyrics, storytelling, etc.) since dropping "Kicked-Out" eight years ago, it is still one of his most endearing albums in his fairly extensive catalog. For new fans who just got put on to Danny! from co-signs from ?uestlove and Jay-Z, everything you really need to know about Mr. Swain is in the first verse of the "Intro" track. Danny! spits his raw and continuously candid lyrics over his self-produced, lo-fi soul beats. And yes this production style was HUGE back in '04, which is what makes "Kicked-Out" so tragic. Somehow in the world of budding beatsmiths like 9th Wonder and countless others who heavily relied on the "chipmunk" sound, Danny! still managed to get overlooked. Tracks like "Movin' Out" and "Second Time Around" no doubt could've been rapped over by just about anyone in the Roc-a-Fella camp circa 2004."
"Those words echo down the corridors of time from World War II to the present day, where they wind up scratched into the intro of the song "B.A.P." by DJ Premier and Bumpy Knuckles, a fitting acronym for a boom bap hip-hop song. That's not the only thing fitting though - the title of "KoleXXXion" references both the nature of this collaboration (a collection of Primo's best beats and Bumpy's best raps) and gives a sly hint back to the "Konexion" album from 2003, back when Bumpy was better known as Freddie Foxxx. Coincidentally I'm the one who authored that review nearly a decade ago, so my own words echo to me across the years as I read what I wrote in the summary: "The great songs on this album can carry the listener through the mediocre ones." I've always loved the passion of Bumpy's lyrical delivery, but he hasn't always had production to match. The brassy horns and clever scratches of "B.A.P." are exactly what "Konexion" needed back then - but better late than never!! SALUTE. We must also note a hint of irony here - so many artists have tried to pick up Keith Elam's torch since his passing (including many he worked with while alive) but by creating an entire album of thumping hip-hop with Primo the Long Island native just lapped them all in the race. I'm not trying to be sacrilegious by declaring "KoleXXXion" the spiritual successor to GangStarr, but if Primo and Foxxx aren't then WHO IS? This is the album Guru would make with Primo if he were alive today to reunite and collaborate, although Guru's voice would have to get a lot more gravelly and angry. "
D-Nice :: Call Me D-Nice :: Jive Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
"Boogie Down Productions was one of those collectives that seemed to have a core along with a cast of collaborating role players that appeared and disappeared during the group's tenure. Some of these collaborators would include Heather B, Mad Lion, Channel Live, Harmony and Ms. Melodie among others. Most would agree that at the center of BDP were Scott LaRock, KRS-ONE and D-Nice. As most know, LaRock was killed shortly after the release of "Criminal Minded," what some may not know is necessarily why. The story varies some depending on who you ask and where you look, but when I read Brian Coleman's "Check The Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies" KRS-ONE recalled the incident stating that D-Nice was being targeted by some hood who had accused him of trying to talk to his girlfriend. Scott took D-Nice up to where the guy was staying in the Bronx River Houses and squashed the beef. Some people across the street started to shoot from a window, basically ambushing their Jeep and Scott was the only one hit. D-Nice called KRS to inform him of what was going on and he didn't believe it until D started cursing at him. After BDP's "By All Means Necessary" and "Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip-Hop," the multi-talented D-Nice decided to give it a go on his own with "Call Me D-Nice" in May of 1990, shortly before BDP's "Edutainment" would hit the streets. Powered by the timeless title track, the album peaked at #75 on the Billboard charts and showed the hip-hop community that he could thrive outside of the shadow of Boogie Down Productions."
E.S.G. & Slim Thug :: Boss Hogg Outlaws :: S-E-S Entertainment ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"In 1999 Houston rappers E.S.G. and Slim Thug set out to put the ongoing rivalry between South- and Northside behind their city when they collaborated on "Braids n' Fades," the title designating the division by preferred haircuts (braids = North, fades = South). After the song was met with a strong response, the two teamed up a year later for "Grippin' Grain." At the time E.S.G., a veteran of the H-Town scene, was signed to Wreckshop Records, while Slim Thug was a freshman at Michael Watts' up-and-coming Swishahouse. Convinced of their chemistry, they decided to put out a full album on their newly established label in 2002. S-E-S Entertainment stood for Slim Thug, E.S.G. and SIN, the latter being the album's main producer. "Boss Hogg Outlaws" was a focused record, featuring both rappers on all tracks with only a few guests. Its inoffensive subject matter and solid production indicated that S-E-S purposely intended to deliver something for the people. Nevertheless, the first couple of tracks also suggest that each rapper followed the urge to be his own master. Consequently, they literally appoint themselves to an executive position on "I'm the Boss" ("You can see E flow / just pay E the dough / cause he the CEO"), once more explaining what the Boss Hogg Outlaws are about, essentially portraying independent rap as a form of self-empowerment. With that point made, E and Slim are ready to revisit various staples of regional rap. Bun B assists them on a combination of late '90s verbiage and early '80s proto-boom bap, "Thug it Up." "
Kool Rock Jay :: Street Life :: Triad Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"In 1991 a young Bay Area rapper by the name of Spice 1 released his debut EP on Oakland-based Triad Records. The buzz it generated led to him being signed by Jive Records, where he became one of the West Coast's premier MC's. As Spice was releasing his first full-length in 1992, his former label put out an EP by Kool Rock Jay, who had just come off a deal with - Jive Records. After his LP with DJ Slice, the Rock continued independently and solo. Slice and unofficial third member Nate the Great are shouted out in the liner notes but seem to have given no musical input. Engineers Al Eaton and Chip Harris were still on board, so it wasn't a complete break with the past. For the most part Kool Rock Jay stayed true to the persona he established on "Tales From the Dope Side" - but there were some adjustments. The title track is a typical cautionary song but highly listenable largely thanks to the Barry White sample and the background singers' surprising Crusaders interpolation. Verses two and three work well as Jay tells a teen mom to "wake up and smell the orange juice / because you know you shouldn'ta been so loose," while a knucklehead is told, "Brother, you pulled the trigger all by yourself." But verse one makes little sense when fourteen bars detail a drug dealer's lavish lifestyle and then the last two suddenly state, "Next time you better think twice / because it's hard in that street life." "
"In recent years, Shady Records has gone through a major overhaul of its roster. Dubbed Shady 2.0, the new generation of Shady Records has launched with the recent releases of Bad Meets Evil and Yelawolf, along with the pending album of rap super group Slaughterhouse. Gone are Cashis, Bobby Creekwater, Obie Trice and key members of D12 such as the late Proof, along with Mr. Porter and Bizarre. Almost six years since his last solo album, the April release of "Bottoms Up" shows Obie Trice has decided to take matters into his own hands and reestablish himself with his independent label Black Market Entertainment. The opening track, "Bottoms Up/Intro," illustrates the Detroit-based emcee shouting out Shady/Aftermath Records and proving that there is no bad blood between him and the two labels. In fact, the song features Dr. Dre behind the boards with its thundering keys and bassline as Trice declares that he's a veteran in the game who raps with a chip on his shoulder. Hardcore tracks like "Going No Where" and "Dear Lord," showcase the emcee going on lyrical rampages as he sounds hungrier than ever and he makes it clear that he's ready to fire a few shots if challenged. As well, Eminem lends his production assistance on "Going No Where," which contains brilliant buzzy synths and hard drums as Trice takes his verbal dexterity to the next level. "
""Paranormal" is the long awaited follow-up to 2008's "Tales From the Sick," an album that received high praise from RR staff writer Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez. While admitting the hyperbole he heaped on Prozak might SOUND excessive, he nevertheless declared the following: "Prozak flawlessly weaves through a dark, but political, world of despair, hope, love, hate, consciousness, and insanity." The sound blasting out your speakers on "Paranormal" will suggest that DJ Complejo hit the nail on the head. Stylistically you might be tempted to compare him to fellow Strange Music compatriot Tech N9ne, but that would only be paying him a compliment while simultaneously understating his appeal. "End of Us" is the kind of song that completely turns rap music on its ear in a good way. Sid Wilson from Slipknot provides the scratching, while Brad Fielder & Joe Kotts play guitar, and Jason Arnold pounds out the live beat. Even though Pro's theme is darkness and gloom, the song is so energetic that jumping in a mosh pit and throwing caution to the wind sounds like fun. It's that juxtaposition of death and life intertwined that makes his rhymes so compelling. The song reminds me of the potential to reinvent hip-hop displayed on "Judgment Night" that so many people could have capitalized on, yet so few successfully did. "
Vintage Tux :: Hood Stories - A Tribute to the Trayvon Martins of the World :: Bandcamp as reviewed by Matt Jost
"The Trayvon Martin case raises questions that carry significance for the entirety of US society. Suddenly old wounds open and the country finds itself once more debating fundamental issues. To comprehend what might have happened on the evening of February 26th in Sanford, FL, pundits have made a variety of points. A minor but widely publicized one has been the 'hoodie' argument, as brought up by Geraldo Rivera, who on Fox News offered that many people associate hooded sweatshirts with criminal behavior and that simply by wearing a hoodie the young man made himself a target to an overzealous neighborhood watcher. As far-fetched as Rivera's claim that "the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was" is, it does highlight the state of paranoia America has watched and talked itself into where individuals can seemingly only act as stereotypes. Rap may be partially responsible for the proliferation of the hoodie in teenage wardrobe, and it has definitely reinforced negative stereotypes with its music aimed at that same demographic, but to those listening close enough rap has also been on the forefront of fighting stereotypes - unlike certain media outlets. As Bronx MC Lord Finesse put it many years ago: "To many I may look like a hoodlum / But I'm a rapper and a pretty damn good one." "
"This mixtape is all about being unapologetic. There's no justification for the lack of width in the content (smoking weed, being rich as fuck, hanging out with hella hoes), the heavy hands on the drum machine, and the interludes where Wiz speaks braggadocio in a blunted voice. If "Taylor Allderdice" represents the next step in Wiz Khalifa's development as an artist, it's a solidification of his status as an unrepentant successful man-child of the 21st Century. Wiz Khalifa represents how most dudes of our generation would act if they made it. Who wouldn't want to smoke inordinate amounts of weed, show off all the new cars and clothes, and kick it with other established celebrities like Juicy J or Rick Ross? Shit, I would. So if you're looking for an album that'll expand your mental perspectives on poverty, philosophy, politics, or other topics you'd find on college essay prompts, this is not the album for you. If you're looking for an album with technically sound rapping, bulletproof rhyme schemes and lyrical gymnastics in flow and delivery, this is not the album for you. Don't get me wrong, Wiz Khalifa is a talented MC with flexible flow and a penchant for the clever one-liner, but he's not one to force the issue to impress anybody, regardless if they're a fan or if they're a critic. "Taylor Allderdice" is almost "Grindhouse"-esque in how over-the-top it is, and like "Grindhouse", it's entertaining if you don't put any elevated expectations on it. This mixtape is half-kickback in your homie's apartment and half-night out in Vegas while dropping $30K, and a complete expression of the artist Wiz Khalifa wants to be known as."
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #172 is "Make It or Break It" Part 2! If you like the songs in this week's episode (from the likes of Illmaculate, Kool Keith, DJ Toure and Billy Woods) do nothing! We'll leave them in rotation. If you don't like a song, send your feedback to email@example.com or @RapReviews and we'll take it and break it! Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check it out every Tuesday on RapReviews.com! Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS newsfeed and follow us on Twitter so you never miss a new episode.
* Illmaculate f/ Sandpeople - One More Time * Kool Keith f/ The IMO - Extra Thoughts * Drumma SC - This Right Here * Nick Nemesis - Oldie * DJ Toure f/ B-Legit, D-Lo - She Like * Billy Woods f/ LWren - Blue Dream
Woah! Somebody’s putting on a comedy music festival in New York City! I hope they have better luck than I did with The Oddfest...
--== NY FUNNY SONGS FEST ==-- Comedy musician Jessica Delfino has put together the first annual New York Funny Songs Festival! The festival is taking place June 7-10 at various venues around Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
I will be performing at a comedy music showcase on Friday, June 8th along with Rob Paravonian, Carla Rhodes, and more. This is happening at Casa Mezcal at 86 Orchard St. I will also be doing one song on Saturday night as part of an event called 50 Funny Songs which is taking place at Tammany Hall at 152 Orchard St.
--== AWARDS I QUALIFY FOR ==-- I know, I know, it’s blatant and shameless and grammatically crappy but I refuse to nominate myself for these things, so that’s something, right?
The Logan Awards are now accepting nominations for the 2012 awards. These are the only comedy music awards in existence (that I know of). The 2012 ceremony will take place at DeepSouthCon (http://dsc50huntsville.com) and will be hosted by Dr. Demento. Any comedy song or video released in 2011 qualifies, and many of my qualifying songs have already been suggested, so I think I’m good here. But there’s also The Parsec Awards.
The Parsec Awards are also now accepting nominations. The FuMP won the Parsec in 2009 which was the first year they included a music category. There’s also a comedy category. So feel free to head over to http://www.parsecawards.com and nominate either The FuMP, The Funny Music Podcast, and/or Manic Mondays. I would really appreciate it.
--== BALTICON ==-- BaltiCon is a few weeks away now and I finally got some information about my concert that I can pass on to you good folks. I’ll be performing Sunday evening at 5:00 pm. I’ll be sharing a table with Rob Balder which I think is downstairs in Artist’s Alley this time, which is dangerously close to the con suite.
(New York, NY) – eOne Music and Knockout Entertainment announce a new worldwide deal with west coast group The FiNaTTicZ. The group’s first single, the hit track “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun,” is already making waves on west coast radio, with over 300 spins at KPWR in Los Angeles, CA.
Knockout Entertainment’s Ray J says, “I'm excited to get back to music by partnering with eOne on the FiNaTTicZ. I have enjoyed my greatest musical successes with this company and I look forward to the FiNaTTicZ having a big hit with their new single, "Don't Drop That..." I will be there with the full support of the Knockout team to make sure they go the distance.
Eastside LA’s latest underground rap groups, The FiNaTTicZ formed in 2009. Members Killa F, Jayarah the Truth, EZ the Great and Nyce describe their presence on the music scene as a representation of original west coast gangster rap with new school swagger and flavor. The energy at the dynamic group’s live performances has made them a local favorite.
About Entertainment One
Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,500 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
Video: Carnage45 - Alterbeats' "The French Revolution" Teaser
This is Carnage45. I'm happy to announce that I am a part of Alterbeats upcoming compilation album "French Revolution" dropping 6/26/2012. Alterbeats is a producer from France that I have worked with in the past. This album consist of many US and French hip hop artist. The teaser video is below. Enjoy!
I hope everyone has fully recovered from whatever Cinco de Mayo revelry they got themselves into over the weekend. I had a little fun, which was nice after yet another week of waiting for one specific interview to be set up. Thankfully I've managed to arrange and do five other interviews in the time it's taken this label to (not) set up one, so I still have plenty of content for you. Leading things off this week is my interview with Tough Love New Orleans' Miss Awkward, who talks about her early experiences on the show and some embarassing real life moments. I also have an explosive interview with David Banner where he dives deep into race in America and the value of urban music. Pop Shots is all new this week (and I hope you've been enjoying the new, more graphic heavy, format), and this week's Vid Pick is a great clip from one of Cali's finest, CookBook.
Miss Awkward Talks About Getting Some Tough Love
Of all the women on this season’s edition of VH1’s Tough Love, Melissa Schultz, aka Miss Awkward, seems to have struck a chord with the most people. The announcement to a boat full of men about her virginity, albeit an announcement not made by her, and her penchant for making the occasional goofy face, makes her a bit of a reality show anomaly - she’s unabashedly herself. While others routinely choose to try to present one aspect of themselves, whether that aspect is based in reality or not, Melissa let us know right off the bat that she’s a virgin, she’s quirky, and she knows she needs some help in the dating department.
This week, with Tough Love New Orleans hitting its stride, I caught up with Melissa to find out about some of her initial impressions when she arrived at the house, which cast member raided her closet, and the always important vaginal acoustics. Yes, I said vaginal acoustics. You must read on now.
David Banner just wants to borrow a dollar. OK, he doesn’t want to borrow it, he wants you to donate it to his latest project. He isn’t just asking for a handout, though, he’s hoping to create a new way of doing business, and in the process show the world that urban music, and the urban community, are valuable resources.
Banner is looking for two million people to donate one dollar, or more, so he can put out his next album Sex, Drugs & Video Games, on May 22nd, and the new business venture comes with a new look and a new attitude. Gone are a whole lot of pounds and the normal accessories sported by prototypical hip-hop artists. Instead Banner is being seen far more often in suits and ties. Although he’s always had intellectual endeavors, Banner is now putting his brainy side front and center, even speaking at Harvard University as a part of their LA Riots symposium.
This week, I caught up with Banner to find out more about how his project is about more than just music, why it’s still so hard to talk about race in America, and how he feels even comic book characters have played into all of this. First, however, Banner wanted to discuss a certain part of the female anatomy, and we would have been rude not to oblige.
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is hitting you with thoughts on everything from the latest insane protest against Lady Gaga, to my own protest of who’s currently topping the Billboard album chart, to a way to get people to not protest Rolling Stone’s recent top albums list, and since it’s Pop Shots you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
CTE and Anwhat Entertainment present the hot new street album "In 45 Dayz"!!! JW (CTE) and A Bay Bay deliver banging music and a powerful message to the industry that you will not want to miss. The album features 4 brand new tracks with production from Rico Love, Phat Boy Beatz, Billy Syn of VK Studios and S.Y.R.A.Q.U.S.E just to name a few.
01 Gotta See This (Young Jeezy ft. Freddie Gibbs & JW) [Prod. by Lil Lody] 02 JW - We Ready 03 JW - Like Me 04 JW - What You Gon Do (Ft. Trae Tha Truth) 05 JW - Do It Do It 06 JW - I Got A Bitch 07 JW - Hold Me Down (Ft. Mike Bless) 08 JW - Stars Are Out 09 JW - I'm The Shit 10 JW - We Taking Over 11 JW - So Amazing 12 JW - Turnt Up 13 JW - Vibin 14 JW - In Da Streetz 15 JW - Up (Freestyle)