" "Legendary Weapons" could properly be called a sequel to the 2009 release of "Chamber Music" for a whole variety of reasons, not the least of which is that this isn't a Wu-Tang CLAN album per se. That reality comes with the realization that in 2011, this may be as close as we're going to get to one. The core membership that made the Wu so vital in the early 1990's is increasingly fractured; they're more involved with promoting their own albums, movies, and projects from their proteges than they are in hitting the studio as one unified Clan. Now let's not exaggerate this to a great degree - the core Clan are obviously still friends and routinely make cameo appearances on each other's albums. With that said the unifying "all for one and one for all" force that kept them all together when they revolutionized New York/East coast hip-hop no longer exists. Nobody's starving out there on these streets when the Clan doesn't unite, and beyond their hip-hop bond of brotherhood many now have their own wifey and seeds to provide for, keeping everybody hustling. In short let's not cry over spilled milk that you're not going to hear all of the surviving members of the Wu (obv. sans the late great ODB) together on one track at one time any more. It's probably time to dead that issue. "
"Out of thousands of rappers on US soil Berner stands out to me. Why? There is something about the San Francisco representative that makes me relate to him on a personal level. It's not the hustle ethic. It's not the laid-back demeanor. It's not the skin tone. It's something purely trivial and accidental but maybe not entirely pointless. You see, I'm Berner too. Let me explain. The way someone who is from New York is a New Yorker, I am a Berner - a resident of the city of Bern, Switzerland. Counting the accompanying Swiss state of Bern, that makes one million of us. Berners, that is. In my language, citizens of the Canton of Bern have been known as Berner(s) for, well, about 500 years. In English you'd correctly call me Bernese, but it doesn't quite have the same authentic ring to it. After all, the Berner Muenster (cathedral), the Berner Zeitung (newspaper), the Berner Kantonalbank (bank), the Berner Sport Club Young Boys (football club), and the world-renowned Berner Sennenhund (Bernese Mountain Dog) are all part of where I'm from. What's more, a co-worker actually calls me Berner in jest since I identify strongly with my hometown. So naturally, as a born and bred Berner and also longtime rap fan, I considered it my duty to check out this rapping Berner - keeping in mind that I've heard dozens of MC's who have every right to refer to themselves as Berner by the definition given above. "
"Chosen Few Crew are Chaz and Epic 1, two MCs hailing from Sin City itself, Las Vegas. While the duo have been touring since 2008, "Scarlett Letter MCs" is their debut album. The duo do a combination of old school-leaning hip-hop mixed with more street-oriented rap, all with sincere, positive lyrics. The album opens up with "In My City," a track about the drama of Vegas that is decent but average. Things pick up on track two, "Turn Off the Radio," where the MCs advise listeners "If you love hip-hop, turn of the radio." It's both a celebration of real hip-hop and a criticism of the state of mainstream music. The song introduces a recurring theme of the album: the struggles of being an underground artist trying to make authentic music. Battle Ax joins the duo on the club friendly "Celebrate," which features a techno beat by Mozart Jones. "From the Streets" flips a piano loop, with the rappers boasting. Chaz and Epic 1 may be from the streets, but they aren't thugs. "Some carry heat, but we stick to beats," they explain. They don't swear, don't rap about sex, drugs, or partying, and keep things positive throughout. "Godfather," for example, samples the theme to the titular movie, but is about looking to God for guidance, not being a crime lord. "
"Keith Slack doesn't follow the literal meaning of his last name. He wastes no time on "Who I Am," the introductory track of "The Preincarnation," challenging any preconceived notions about him and why he should be "the animal locked in a cage" and law enforcement should be given free reign to gun down future civil rights leaders on video tape while "justice wasn't served but we still paid the cost." It's a strong start over a methodical beat with haunting and ominous overtones, letting you know K Slack is a serious dude and he wants you to take him seriously too. Though his bio says he made his musical debut "once he moved to Durham, North Carolina" in 1995 he routinely references West coast roots and even has two songs called "Cali" and "Goin Back 2 Compton." There are 10 songs here and almost as many different producers with only K Hill pulling double duty. While most of the producers and guest rappers are probably looking to get a name if K Slack blows up, the two involved in "Strictly Facts" are already well known - Ski (of Jay-Z fame) on the beat and Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan providing vocals."
"Peep this list of artists: Casual, Gift of Gab, N8 the Gr8, The CUF, and The Grouch. If you said or thought "West coast underground hip-hop" you're on the right track. In fact on Lostribe's "Sophie" could in some ways be considered a compilation album for all of these often critically acclaimed yet commercially overlooked artists. For many hip-hop heads, that alone would be a purchase point, but the truth is many compilation albums with equally impressive line-ups also tend to get overlooked and languish on store shelves. Agustus ThElefant and producer JustLuv have something different in mind for Lostribe. The latter is a fixture of California's rap scene who has a resume other Cali producers would be envious of, working with everybody from Mistah F.A.B. to Mac Dre to San Quinn. The former is an up-and-coming emcee from NorCal who first collaborated with JustLuv and another producer named MLB back in 2005 on "Sole Expression." They were buzzing at just the right time to get invited to score the Afro Samurai video game soundtrack. JustLuv produced eight tracks, and Agustus rapped on six. "
"Sean Strange hails from the Queens borough of New York City, but you won't be mistaking him for MC Shan, 50 Cent or Nas any time soon. He falls into that curious nexus of hip-hop where he's got a recognizable name among the hardcore heads, yet he's not considered "notable" enough for a Wikipedia entry, who will only acknowledge that he was a one time member of Necro's Psycho-Logical Records. Apparently he learned the DIY aesthetic during his tenure there, as he's the founder and CEO of his own label Cousin Pat Records, which put out his "Street Urchin" CD. While his Facebook page says dedicated fans tattoo his name on their arms, I've yet to meet anybody rocking his logo. I've rocked his songs before though, having discovered "Walk the Line" on YouTube a while ago. The self-produced track struck me as a good mixture of hard rock metal guitar and hip-hop beats. Strange's lyrics were an intriguing mix of punchlines and urban city dweller depression. I was immediately reminded of artists like Slaine and Vinnie Paz, and it's not hard to imagine that he would have fit in well on the Psycho-Logical roster (which makes it all the more curious he ultimately wound up leaving)."
"Well, they've got quite a few people to leapfrog over on their way to achieving that goal - the Hieroglyphics crew, the Project Blowed fam, Slug (and by extension Atmosphere), the Bone Thugs collective, KRS-One, Jay-Z, should I go on? Maybe they just felt burned that I wrote about how many years they went between releases. Nah, it's not about me. It's far better to set your sights high even if you can't reach them than to shoot for the lowest common denominator. Sweatshop Union have consistently been about raising the bar in hip-hop. Even if they sometimes approach the fine line between artistic and elitist, it's a devilish dance they're comfortable with, and one they don't avoid on "The Bill Murray EP" either. They have one request here - "Bring Back the Music". If that wasn't a direct enough attempt to get the point across, you only need wait for the chorus to end for D-Sisive to take things up another notch. But still, it's not entirely clear even with the explanation from their press kit - why do Sweatshop Union want to keep it "Bill Murray" on their new EP? Maybe they all like golf a whole hell of a lot. No, that's not it. Maybe they're out to not just be the most prolific group in rap but the funniest too. Nah, these guys are serious like cancer."
Wugazi :: 13 Chambers :: Doomtree as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"On the surface, the Wu-Tang Clan and DC post-punk band Fugazi have very little in common. The Wu rapped about how cash ruled everything around them. Fugazi sang "You are not what you own!" on their 1990 song "Merchandise," turned down a multi-million dollar offer from a major label, and have turned down ridiculous amounts of money to reform after their 2003 indefinite hiatus. The Wu loved their liquor and weed. Fugazi's frontman Ian MacKaye is the originator of the term straight-edge, meaning abstinence from drugs, sex, and alcohol, and one of the band's most powerful songs, "Shut the Door," chronicled a struggle with addiction. Fugazi spoke out against sexism and homophobia in song and in deed; the Wu, not so much. And yet both groups were pioneering, both groups helped reinvigorate their respective genres, both groups are considered elder spokesman, and both groups were at their most relevant in the early 90s. The Wu-Tang changed the sonics of hip-hop with the RZA's production and the crew's grimy but imaginative style, and Fugazi changed the sonics of punk with their experimental and emotional approach to the genre. Both groups pushed innovative business models, the Wu by signing all nine members to separate record deals, and Fugazi for keeping their ticket and album prices as low as possible. "
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #134 is called The S Is For Smooth Shit so watch how we move it with the likes Zero Star, Shane Eli, Shad and Shinobi Stalin among others! For compliments or feedback hit me on Twitter @angrymarks. Artists please send your podsafe music and advertising requests to email@example.com. 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 so you never miss a new episode, and don't forget to check out Prof. Mike Jordan on KABF on Friday nights when CLASS IS IN SESSION!
* Zero Star f/ Maggz - Bonus Track * Shane Eli - Who's Laughing Now * Shad - Flawless * Sean Hines f/ Jyshoun - Nancy Reagan * Quanstar - Step Up Your Game * Skillz x Nickelus F x Bravo - Reservoir Dogs * Shinobi Stalin x E.D.G.E. - Work Harder
Video: Nick Javas f/ Nicci Silva - "Material Girls"
Courtesy of Park Street PR.
You may remember Nick Javas from the excellent 'Opportunity Knocks' track that was produced by Hip-Hop legend DJ Premier, if not we have to say you really are missing out! Nick Javas injects an uplifting lyrical feel using clever wordplay and humour in a way that no one has done before, making him totally unique and diverse. This fact was probably one of the many reasons why DJ Premier signed him!
Here is the brand new video from Nick Javas which features the Nicci Silva on the hook reworking Madonna's 1980's classic 'Material Girls'. This is a breath of fresh air in an era of blinged out rappers talking about swagger. He's calling on the whole Hip-Hop scene here, asking for all the 'Material Girls' to please stop and bring back Hip-Hop to its essence. We love this and know you will too!
Nick Javas is currently planning a European tour and his management would love to hear from any promoters interested in booking him.
It's Friday, it's summer, and legendary producer Swizz Beatz has remixed Seun Kuti's single "Rise" from Seun's new album, From Africa With Fury: Rise. All things to be excited about, but it gets better. This remix and the original version are available for free download via the links below.
Rapper Rah Digga's Smartphone Battle Rap Application Straight Spittin' Now Available On All Platforms
Courtesy: Audible Treats.
Customizable App Allows Users to Select Opponents, Beats, Number of Rounds, Freestyle vs Written, & More
(New York, NY) Veteran rapper and former First Lady of Busta Rhymes' Flipmode Squad Rah Digga and Appalachian Apps are proud to announce a new smartphone application that allows users to battle rap each other, the first of its kind for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Nokia. Users all over the world can create profiles, buy beat packages, and earn the chance to even battle against bona fide rap celebrities.
Straight Spittin' is the only audio-based battle rap application that allows aspiring rappers to battle in either freestyle or written form, to select different beats, verse length, and the number of rounds. The application anticipates today's busy MC, giving them the option to schedule battles ahead of time, leave verses in their opponent's inbox or just hone their skills in rehearsal mode. One of the most exciting features of the application is the option for the public to vote for winners. As MC's win more battles, they advance from "Unsigned Hype " to "Gold " and eventually "Platinum" status, where they'll be scouted for global battle competitions.
According to Rah Digga, battle raps have and always will be an integral part of the hip-hop community. "As someone who prefers more aggressive rhyming, it's always refreshing to hear people rhyme like their lives depend on it," she explains. "Hearing battle raps can remind people of what a real lyricist should sound like...or not."
Having solidified her position in hip-hop as a gifted lyricist, Rah is now changing the world with her new app designed to give aspiring rappers a chance to show and prove themselves on a global stage at their convenience. Teaching aspiring rappers about the fundamentals of rapping and lyricism was the main catalyst for Rah's involvement with this application. She believes it's possible for someone to eventually get a record deal stemming from this app.
The application has been making great strides in the tech community. Straight Spittin' was recently awarded 1st place in AT&T Open Call Contest and was 1st runner up in Microsoft's Fast Pitch Contest. The app is also currently a finalist in Nokia's $10M Calling All Innovators Contest.
Video: DELS - "Capsize" f/ Roots Manuva & Joe Goddard
Courtesy of Audible Treats.
No rest for our boy DELS, even a few months after the release of his critically acclaimed and much loved debut album, GOB. The last time we saw DELS he was filming a mini documentary to show off the work that went into recording the track "Capsize", and now the Ipswich, UK emcee and graphic designer is excited to let fans in on the other side of the equation with a spaced out video for the single. As DELS spits his verses while standing among alien pyramids and marble mazes, satellites' spewing lasers and virtual organs pulsating aplenty, the chorus drops in with Joe Goddard singing "where is the heart and soul, we need to stick together", an effect that bring the tracks slew of different style and sounds together, creating something that sounds completely new and effortlessly different.
DELS wants to give back to the people that stuck by him throughout the release of his debut album. DELS is holding a contest, currently underway, which allows aspiring producers to upload their original music to the Big Dada website. At the contest's close, DELS, along with the Big Dada staff will listen to the twenty most popular tracks, as determined by view and play counts. Upon selecting the winner, DELS will rap over the instrumental, and Big Dada will release the song through their site. For more information, including rules and guidelines for entering the contest, head over to http://www.bigdada.com/dels-vocal/ .
This fall, DELS will also be hitting the road in support of GOB, performing throughout France and the UK. Tickets are on sale now and more information can be found here: http://www.seetickets.com/Tour/DELS .
Calling all Hip-Hop heads. whatever you are doing, please STOP!!! Here is something that you are going to cherish and adore. If you're real, then this is for you! This is two fingers up to the all the bubblegum & glossy rap out there. If you are hungry then this is good food. Okay, so what's the deal? Its simple, all you have to do it click the link below and you're a few minutes away from owning a copy of the brand new Knowledge Giving Birth release.
After the underground success of the jump off track 'Tradition', Pair-A-Dyce now returns now with his brand new EP. Featuring four brand new tracks this EP is already getting a lot of love from bloggers, DJ's and tastemakers in the industry both in the USA as well as here in the UK. We get some amazing production on this project, as well as a selection of solid tracks from this Florida born emcee who now resides in Dallas.
Pair-A-Dyce 'Portal EP'
1. Tradition - 4:00 2. Let It Fly - 3:28 3. Second Life - 4:16 4. MONEY Remix - 3:39
Also as a bonus Rediculus has made his deejay mix of the Masters Of Conversation release 'ReVerb' available. Mixed to perfection by the legendary Bronx DJ 'DJ Ready Cee', this is now available for FREE download! With contributions come from the likes of Doc Remedy, Proh the Problem, DJ Offbeatz, Rich Malone, Lewi Ldn, 72 the Sign, Capital R, Pair-a-Dyce, Brown Bag AllSstars, V.E.R, Prome, Dame, Kayser9soze and Nizm this is a must! If you missed it make sure you grab it now!