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The (W)rap Up - Week of August 21, 2012

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Sir Michael Rocks' "Premier Politics 1.5" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the the (W)rap Up!

[Premier Politics 1.5] Sir Michael Rocks :: Premier Politics 1.5
Dat Piff

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"RapReviews doesn't normally highlight free mixtapes in the weekly "featured review" you're reading right now, but Sir Michael Rocks' "Premier Politics 1.5" has a few things going for it. Many of you will already be familiar with Antoine 'Sir Michael Rocks' Reed as one half of the The Cool Kids, a group that sprang to fruition out of a chance meeting on MySpace with producer Evan 'Chuck Inglish' Ingersoll. Yes peeps - there was a point when MySpace was actually a relevant place for artists to connect and collaborate. It quickly became a fruitful Detroit to Chicago partnership, and by good timing or great providence their MySpace songs led to major labels and major names who wanted to sign them on the dotted line. Overnight they were opening for M.I.A. and recording songs for video games like NBA Live. That much success that fast tends to make people suspicious, and you can certainly find some harsh critiques of The Cool Kids online, but they were arguably part of a new wave of artists inspired by both golden age emcees like Rakim and more experimental ones like Pharrell. The result was a new breed of rappers like Kid CuDi and Childish Gambino. Sir Michael Rocks fits perfectly into this mold, which some people derisively refer to as "hipster hop." If you put the hate aside though, it's easy to see that Sir Michael Rocks isn't into aggressive hip-hop antagonism or male macho posturing, and there's no reason for a rapper or anybody else to pretend they're something they're not. As "Pajama Pants" proves, it's certainly not an impediment to getting laid. "

AWAR :: The Laws of Nature :: Lions Pride/Raw Koncept Media Group
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[The Laws of Nature]
"It wasn't hard to get excited about reviewing AWAR. Reading the back cover of the album was like a who's who of hip-hop production: The Alchemist, Jake One, Nottz, Vanderslice and M-Phazes just to name a few. The Albany, New York based rapper didn't get to the point of coalescing this much talent overnight - he's been recording and releasing material going back to 2005. It may simply be his bad fortune to hail from the 518, when most rappers that get pub out of New York come from New York City and its associated boroughs and projects. Clearly that hasn't stopped AWAR from hustling harder to get noticed, and it may be a sign of his confidence in "The Laws of Nature" that the album's front cover logo is printed with a reflective gold-colored foil. No one would pay the extra charge at the printing press for it if they couldn't sell it. And yet to hear AWAR tell it on the Alchemist laced "Tunnel Vision," money is the furthest thing from his mindset. It's not just that AWAR pulls great producers for "The Laws of Nature," he also pulls in highly recognizable names from the underground rap scene. Has-Lo joins AWAR on the Jake One banger "Stairsteps." California emcee and producer Evidence jumps on the pounding bars of "Never Break Me," but the Ev-esque beat is actually a Vanderslice work of art."

Block McCloud & DJ Waxwork :: Four Walls :: Disturbia Music Group
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Four Walls]
"If you like gritty, nasty, heavy and brutally beautiful East coast hip-hop, then you already know Block McCloud like the palm of your hand. You've heard him singing or rapping hooks on classics like "Mess You Made" by Sean Price and "Style Wars" by Jean Grae, you've heard him as part of the rap supergroup Army of the Pharaohs, he's been featured numerous times on songs with Jedi Mind Tricks and Vinnie Paz, and he even has a couple of underground albums of his own like "Spitting Image" and "I Was Drunk When I Made This." That's a hilarious title, but Block McCloud is no joke, as I found out firsthand when I interviewed him for RapReviews. "Four Walls" with DJ Waxwork is a "me and my homies" kind of album, which is both indicative of his musical generosity and his tendency over the years to let other people take the spotlight he deserves. It's hard to knock it given the quality of the collaborations he does. Take "True Lies" featuring Hasan Salaam and Vinnie Paz for example, one of the most haunting songs to come out in 2012. It's not just the violin backdrop that makes it eerie - it's the conspiracy theory lyrics from Paz that eat into your brain.Nearly every song has a similar cameo, and while not all of them upstage the talents of McCloud, it's not hard to see from this list the potential for them to do so."

Chin Injeti :: Peoples Mixtape :: Wandering Worx Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Peoples Mixtape]
"Chin Injeti is a man of many hats - he's an A&R for Universal Music Canada, he played bass and guitar on Eminem's "Recovery," he's a founding member of Juno award winning R&B group Bass Is Base and has produced everything from hard rock to country. Apparently there's nothing Injeti can't do, so why not add a hip-hop mixtape to that resume? The line-up of Injeti's "Peoples Mixtape" is decidedly eclectic, although it's not a surprise that Wandering Worx affiliates like Jasiri X and Sonreal are featured contributors. Still the real feature here is Injeti's deft touch behind the boards, bringing a variety of different sounds to a hodgepodge of artists and musicians. He crafts the music to meet their needs, such as providing over-the-top organs and clapping drums for David Banner on "Peoples 2." Banner clearly relishes the beat because he jokes around and has fun, rapping "I love big butts like Sir Mix-A-Lot" and "I stay gettin paid like walkin in AIG with a hand grenade." Then there's Omar Khan, a very quiet and soft-spoken AutoTuned singer, who Injeti carefully works around so as to not drown out his vocals on "What Am I Gonna Do Now?" Khan doesn't strike me as being that exceptional of a talent - in fact he's mediocre at best - but Injeti manages to work with what little he's given and make the song interesting."

Kool Keith :: Total Orgasm Mixtape :: Junkadelic Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Total Orgasm Mixtape]
"Ostensibly Kool Keith is giving away the "Total Orgasm" mixtape as a thank you to his fans for supporting "Love & Danger," the latest in a long series of retail and direct sale albums from one of hip-hop's most enigmatic and eccentric emcees. Don't take my word for it though - that's what the press release from his PR firm Audible Treats says. Apparently Keith found the time to record this album while touring everywhere from New York to Australia to the Gathering of the Juggalos. When I say record though, I don't just mean vocals. Unlike "Love & Danger" where DJ Junkaz Lou helped to tame Keith's wildness, "Total Orgasm" is a return to familiar territory for Keith. Over 50% of this mixtape's tracks are produced by Keith, and while his stream-of-consciousness rap often works in spite of itself, that's not necessarily true for his production techniques. Many of Keith's most inscrutable and insufferable albums have been when he handled both the beats and rhymes. At least out of 16 tracks, 7 still have someone else's touch, which helps temper the musical maelstrom he brewed up on "Total Orgasm" a bit. Unfortunately even the non-Keith tracks are at times problematic here. I have every reason to like "Acura" - DJ Junkaz Lou on the beat, legendary D.I.T.C. member Andre the Giant with guest vocals, and yet the production is a muddy mess. "

Mr. Boss :: The Landing Part II :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

[The Landing Part II]
"UK producer Mr. Boss dropped his first album, "The Landing," when he was just 18. Two years later he is following it up with "The Landing Part II." It's a 15-track collection featuring twelve British MCs rapping over Mr. Boss's beats. Boss favors moody beats with heavy low ends. While a lot of UK hip-hop producers experiment with dance music, Boss sticks with a more East Coast sound, using drums that might have come out of Primo's toolbox. He lays a combination of samples and live instruments over this, the end result sounding similar to Blockhead's melancholy beats. For the most part, the MCs match the mood. Sonny Jim starts things off rapping about having "one foot on a landmine/Looking like they found me at an alien crash site" on "Lemon Squeezy." On "Underrated," Freedom tells the story of being jumped for his chain. It's not all downtempo and morose, however. Ramson Badbonez uses a beat based around pounding pianos to spit some rowdy rhymes. The centerpiece of the album is Dirty Dike's accurately titled "Rant." It's three minutes of him spitting hate and frustration, and comes with an instrumental a cappella version for any aspiring producers who want to tinker with it."

Bill Ortiz :: Highest Wish :: Left Angle Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Highest Wish]
"True believers, when last we left you our hero Bill Ortiz was trying to survive a cold and desolate "Winter In America." Despite the perils he faced on his journey, the jazz/hip-hop fusion artist used the warmth of California rappers like Zumbi and The Grouch to survive the storm and emerge largely unscathed. His success fueled a desire to aim for a higher goal than a mere Extended Player - Ortiz wanted to bring forth a new LP unto this once harsh and unfriendly environment. This is no mere fleeting fancy for the jazz trumpeter renowned for his work with everyone from Souls of Mischief to Santana - this is in fact his "Highest Wish." And if you didn't catch the EP, fear not true believer, he's brought The Grouch back for a repeat performance. For many of you this concept will not be new, as the late great Keith Elam preached the gospel of "Jazzmatazz" for many years both inside and outside of his collaborations with DJ Premier. It's a fairly natural combination given the soulful urban roots of both artforms, which makes it all the more surprising some musicians like fellow jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis have such a scathingly negative view of hip-hop music and culture. Thankfully Ortiz has a more enlightened view, which allows for his natural musical collaborations on "Highest Wish." "

Slaughterhouse :: On the House Mixtape ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[On the House Mixtape]
"With "Welcome To: Our House" only a week away, it makes sense for Slaughterhouse to drop a free mixtape to get heads hyped up for their new album - or does it? Does Slaughterhouse need the extra hype? Their 2009 debut album put the world on notice that the concept of hip-hop supergroups was not dead. Each of the individual artists involved had been a success to some degree, particularly Joe Budden and Royce Da 5'9", but combining with Crooked I and Joell Ortiz elevated all four to a level they had never seen before. Their collaboration resulted in an informal rap game of "top this 16" in each song, and instead of causing consternation it created camraderie as the crew crafted memorably humorous raps over hella bangin' beats. Critical acclaim soon followed. There's little doubt a new full length album from Slaughterhouse is heavily anticipated by hip-hop heads. The best case scenario for "On the House" then would be that all of these songs are original, previously unheard, dope material somehow not good enough for the final album. DatPiff tags each song as an EXCLUSIVE in their description, and since the song titles don't seem to duplicate the Amazon MP3 tracklisting we will have to take their word for it. Just to be sure though I cross-refenced leaked songs that have been transcripted and didn't see "Hammer Dance" or "My Life" among others out of these 13 songs. So with NO repeats that begets a far more important question - why not save this material for a double disc, or use them as bonus tracks for an in-store exclusive? No one will turn down free Slaughterhouse songs, but for a group as admired and respected as they are, it's not like selling these songs would be that hard. "

Video: @PackFM West Coast Tour Dates (Aug. 31 - Sept. 9)

Video: PackFM West Coast Tour Dates (Aug. 31 - Sept. 9)

Courtesy QN5.

Finally, PackFM returns to the west coast. Performing brand new material from his latest release “Featured Material Vol. 4”, PackFM will be joined by fellow Brooklynite Jonny October promoting his brand new EP “Loosies“.

In true DIY fashion, this tour is 100% independently booked, promoted and funded. The success of this tour relies entirely on fan support, so don’t miss out!

P.S. Wednesday, August 29th at 10PM EST/7PM PST be sure to catch the exclusive Livestream chat with PackFM before he hits the road, right here at!


Friday, Aug. 31st – Greeley, CO @ A.F. Rays [FREE SHOW]

Saturday, Sept. 1st – Salt Lake City, UT @ Uprok

Sunday, Sept. 2nd – Boise, ID @ The Shredder

Tuesday, Sept. 4th – Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge [FREE SHOW]

Wednesday, Sept. 5th – Everett, WA @ Tony V’s

Thursday, Sept. 6th – Kingston, WA @ The Filling Station

Saturday, Sept. 8th – Pomona, CA @ MindClouder Fest 2012 (3pm)

Saturday, Sept. 8th – Los Angeles, CA @ Plush Lounge [PURCHASE TICKETS]

Sunday, Sept. 9th – Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar

See you there!

Facebook: PackFM || Twitter: @PackFM

Free DL: JR&PH7 "So Far, So Good" Mixtape (w/ Blu, @MegaRan)

Free DL: JR&PH7 "So Far, So Good" Mixtape (w/ Blu, Evidence, Torae, Oddisee, Elzhi + More)

German beat duo JR&PH7 have come together with The DJBooth to bring listeners their latest street release, the So Far, So Good mixtape. 

A precursor to the Cologne natives' junior set (scheduled for release in fall of 2012 via Soulspazm Records / Foundation Media), the project is a 23-track, 60-minute collection of unreleased remixes, B-sides, outside production and previously-released jams, hosted by Sacramento rhymesayer and DJBooth fave Chuuwee. Included is also their current single "Until It's All Said and Done" feat. Sean Price and Skyzoo.  

Providing guest vocals throughout So Far, So Good are BluEdo GElzhiEvidenceRandom AxeSkyzoo,OddiseeTorae and many more. All beats come courtesy of JR&PH7 with additional remixes from Brenk, Waxolutionists and DJ Flip.

* *

Video: @TY_1128 Houston Tribute "DJ Screw Ya" (@RapPublicist)

Video: T-Y's Houston Tribute "DJ Screw Ya"

Courtesy Nancy B.

DIRTY GAME RECORDS presents  a video of the debut single of Chi-town artist T-Y  "DJ SCREW YA"

@TheRealDwele f/ Phife Dawg - "What Profit Remix" (@IAmThePHIFER)

Video: Dwele f/ Phife Dawg - "What Profit Remix"

Courtesy Chris @ E1.

"What Profit" Remix Feat. Phife Diggy a/k/a Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest

Video: @MrAlexanderStar - "Overtime Grind (OG)"

Video: Alexander Star - "Overtime Grind (OG)"

Courtesy DJ Addition.

This is my real life, ya'll ☆

Video: Rob Fresh - "Follow My Fresh Ep. 1" (@FollowMyFresh)

Video: Rob Fresh - "Follow My Fresh Ep. 1"

Courtesy FRESH.

Rob Fresh releases the first episode of Follow My Fresh, a behind the scenes look into his daily hustle. In this clip, he takes us into his session at Quad Studios with Raheem Devaughn as they create "Got You."

MP3: Game f/ @WizKhalifa, @LilTunechi - "Celebration"

MP3: Game f/ Chris Brown, Tyga, Wiz Khalifa, Lil Wayne - "Celebration"

Courtesy M3W.

* *

Free MP3: F.Y.I. - "10 Worlds" (@IStillLoveHER @FYIpsalms)

Free MP3: F.Y.I. - "10 Worlds"

Courtesy Wanja Lange.

F.Y.I., also known to many as Foreshadow from Those Chosen, has released a new record titled, "10 Worlds". This pure 100% slap surely paints the perfect picture for listeners to delve deeper into the mind of the outspoken sometimes controversial emcee.

* *

Video: XO (of Diamond District) - "Occupy DC"

Video: XO (of Diamond District) - "Occupy DC"

Courtesy Mello Music Group.

Another beautiful visual from Uptown XO shot and directed by Ralph Lorenzo from the clctv . This is an important visual that reflects what XO stands for as an mc. "Occupy DC" will be on the upcoming mixtape and was based of the Occupy movement going on earlier in 2012.  The video asks viewers to imagine a universe where knowledge is truly dangerous.  It's a good glimpse of what's in store for XO fans.

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Welcome to for the week of October 25th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got TEN NEW ITEMS for you to enjoy: Brookzill!'s "Throwback to the Future," Danny Brown's "Atrocity Exhibition" (our featured review), Andy Cooper's "Room to Breathe: The Free LP," an editorial on Ten Hip-Hop Videos Starring Big Daddy Kane, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #398 and Hisaki Kato interview, Kool G Rap's "4,5,6," Rugged N Raw's "Anomaly Book 2," Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for October 18, 2016 and "Who Sampled It Better?" #5 - Das EFX vs. Lord Finesse!

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