All of a sudden this guy Shottie appears on the scene with a full length album called Delorean and a crispy new music video for his properly titled record "Legendary Shit" a hypnotic and soulfoul head nodder that reflects on his past as a juvenile. The video directed by Garcia depicts Shottie as youngster in Miami performing and rapping in the park and later as a young man breaking into his neighbors house to steal food. Not so surprisingly the house he breaks into is actually present day Shottie's. If you watch closely this video does a nice job accompanying the music produced by Brooklyn based TeV95.
"Immortal Technique is giving away "The Martyr" for free, so I have a suggestion as to what you can do with the dinero you saved downloading. The album samples dialogue directly from the movie "Network," and if you haven't seen it yet you probably should. Even though it's 35 years old now, it feels like it was just written and released yesterday. It's a brilliantly subversive satire that should in all honesty scare the hell out of you for how close it gets to the truth. Long before the 99% percent decided to protest on Wall Street, the protagonist Howard Beale was the original outcry of the disaffected who were "mad as hell and not going to take it any more." His protest was ultimately co-opted by the very corporations controlling our lives he was crying out against. Immortal Technique's artistic struggle is not unlike that portrayed by Peter Finch in this seminal film - trying to protest the culture we live in and the values of it while simultaneously being forced to use the tools of that system to put the message out. Despite the inherent danger that the system itself could corrupt his message, Tech has remained unrepentantly defiant, constantly flipping a middle finger at the U.S.A. and daring people to either love him or hate him. There is NO middle ground. His enemies would label him a communist or a Marxist, or a Che Guevara wannabe, without really having any understanding of who Che is or why he's inspired so many impoverished and disenfranchised people. I'm no expert myself, but the last time I checked the "Red Scare" was over, Joseph McCarthy had been dead for 55 years, and the 1st Amendment is still the law."
"Applejaxx is the a North Carolina artists who has been making club music about Jesus for the past seven years. He has released three albums and several EPs, and has just released his latest, "Organic." As with most of his previous albums, "Organic" is a concept album, built around the idea of returning to the pure, natural, and unadulterated. Applejaxx works the organic concept for all it is worth. "Original" has a bouncing Middle Eastern beat, which Applejaxx uses to compare his flow to organic food. The metaphor is pretty tortured, but the beat is banging. "Got Jesus" uses passing up pastries for whole food while grocery shopping as a metaphor for choosing God. "BlueBerry Slangin'" has a wicked Southern rap beat, and Applejaxx raps about accepting God, with blueberry slanging representing the fruits of his faith. The more Applejaxx tries to shoehorn his raps into the organic concept, the weaker his rhymes are. It's when he ditches the idea of being organic that he delivers his best rhymes. "Runnin'" is one of the stronger tracks. It's a slower song built around a gorgeous R&B hook with Applejaxx rapping about working hard to overcome the struggles in life. He ends the album with "Live Fresh," which has a bugged-out beat and some of Applejaxx's strongest rapping. "
B. Durazzo :: Beats Vol. 1 :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"Benjamin Durazzo is a 23-year-old hip-hop producer who teaches middle school kids music when he's not in front of his MPC. For those of you not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland is sort of what Brooklyn is to New York City. The cheaper rent and larger spaces has made it a haven for artists, hipsters, and anyone not working a full-time white collar job. The art scene has blown up in recent years, and Oakland is home to one of the most intense and active Occupy movements outside of New York. If you are a cool kid in the Bay Area, you most likely live in Oakland. Oakland also has a more vibrant hip-hop scene than San Francisco, mostly because more musicians can actually afford to live and record there. Too $hort, Tupac, Mac Dre and Del tha Funky Homosapien all called Oakland home at some point. This 16-track beattape from B. Durazzo is continuing Oakland's hip-hop legacy. Durazzo is a producer in the Blockhead vein of hip-hop producers. He uses samples from non-traditional sources and goes for a vibe that is mellow and melancholy instead of hyped up. It's about as far from mobb music or hyphy as you can get and still be from the same town. The backbone of all of the songs are crisp drums that sound live. "
Defari :: Focused Daily :: Tommy Boy Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Aaron Boyce
"I decided to revisit Defari's 1999 debut LP after I came across a couple of references to it on the site but without an actual review in the archives. I remember frequently bumping this album back when it dropped as well as a few times since and wondered whether it would stand up to scrutiny thirteen years later or if nostalgia was getting the better of me. Back when this was released the Likwit Crew had one of the strongest cliques in the game. With Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit, Lootpack, King T and Defari along with the closely affiliated Dilated Peoples and Strong Arm Steady, the Likwit Crew had a whole bunch of talented MCs and dope producers. Any crew that can call on in-house production from Madlib, Evidence and E-Swift as well as rhymes from Tash, J-Ro, Xzibit and Iriscience had some serious strength in depth. The fact that many of these artists have gone on to enjoy solo success away from the Likwit umbrella speaks volumes about just how talented this particular crew were. Defari's career sadly never reached the heights of an Xzibit or an Evidence but his story is well known. Complete with a bachelor's degree from California and a master's degree from New York, Defari spent many years as a teacher of both history and geography at Inglewood High School in California before his hip-hop career took over and he swapped the classroom for the studio. "
D-N.Y.C. & Yung Steez :: Under the Radar Mixtape :: Team C.A.M. as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"First and foremost I want to thank D-N.Y.C. & Yung Steez for taking the time to do an interview with me for RapReviews.com last week. They were not forewarned about the possibility ahead of time - they were there to be the local act opening for the Black Cloud Tour. Despite being caught off guard they took full advantage of the opportunity and delivered with a 15 minute conversation talking about their hustle, creating music with meaning, and even making some predictions about Nebraska football. After the interview they handed me a copy of this "Under the Radar Mixtape," which includes songs they were performing live that night. Now it would be easy for a grizzled reviewer like me to snark on the cover art, but I realize that as young up-and-coming rappers they don't necessarily have the budget to drop bills on a graphic designer. I can respect that because after all the music matters more than the artwork; the beats and the rhymes take precedence over having CD bling. It's definitely a homebrew CD-R affair, but again I applaud the hustle of them actually HAVING physical product at the show. So many times a local act opening for a national tour doesn't have the confidence to promote themselves or the moxie to bring their own merch. Since Yung Steez & D-N.Y.C. did, that puts them a half-step ahead of the rest. There are two stand-out tracks on the "Under the Radar" mixtape out of six songs total. When I ripped the CD to iTunes it actually had seven tracks, but the "Intro" doesn't really get into anything that you could call a song - it's just a shoutout to who they are and their ambition to be "Climbin' Charts" that's slightly over a minute long. As a set-up for "Underdogs (How I'm Feelin')" though it'll do fine since that's one of the aforementioned stand-outs. "
"Shabazz Palaces came out of nowhere two years ago shrouded in mystery. They released two solid EPs, and generated buzz in their hometown Seattle with their live act, no small feat considering it's basically two dudes fiddling with a laptop. Finally it came out that the man behind Shabazz Palaces was Ishmael Butler, aka Butterfly from 90s jazz rap group Digable Planets. Evidently F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't know what the hell he was talking about when he said "There are no second acts in American lives." I wrote a glowing review of one of Shabazz Palaces EPs. It was an excellent album that pushed hip-hop in interesting directions. "Black Up" came out last March and improved upon the template that Butler had laid down with their EPs. The album is produced by Shabazz Palaces, and it is blunted out and claustrophobic. Everything is soaked in a warm, throbbing bass, with tinges of melodies and an undercurrent of menace throughout. It's not totally unlike the Digible Planets' second album, but takes the dark funk of "Blowout Comb" and feeds it through an electronic processor, giving it a contemporary sound. "
"R.I.P. Anthony Williams. That's the second song I've heard throw him a shoutout in as many days, but even as we inexorably march toward the third anniversary of his passing, the tributes are welcome. We do tend to immortalize the ones who affected us, and I for one hope I won't have to do the same for Soul Khan any time soon. From the first time I heard him on a Brown Bag AllStars single, his voice grabbed my attention and refused to relinquish it. I understand it's a little froggy for some, but then the late great Guru had his detractors too. And like the Gifted Unlimited, Soul Khan uses his vocals to say something "About Something," making sure every word matters. Soul Khan enjoys being the unconventional emcee vocally and lyrically, and it shows on every track of the "Wellstone EP." On "Not Like That" featuring Akie Bermiss, he openly mocks men who are too macho to perform cunniligus, and so misogynistic they have to proclaim they "love no hoe" on every song. Quoth Khan: "It's obvious though! Cause if you did, you wouldn't be callin 'em hoes." Say word. He's not above being a braggart though, as you'll hear him say he can "swim through piranhas and shake 'em off" on the churchly inspired "Khangregation." On the title track of "Wellstone" he spits "I'm takin every shot 'til the buzzer beeps/and touchin every base 'til I stub my cleats." He's a multi-sport baller, and if you count hip-hop as a sport too that means he's up to 3. "
"Andre 3000 once famously quipped, "forever never seems that long, until you're grown." Well, for Meridian, Mississippi's own Big K.R.I.T. it seems like it's going to take forever for his major label debut album to see the light of day. It could be label politics over at Def Jam, it could be sample clearance issues. It's hard to say. I don't really know if it's bothering Big K.R.I.T. that much though, as he continues to do what he does best, gaining fans in the process of it all. Just shy of one year ago, Krizzle released "Return of 4Eva," the follow up to the critically (no pun intended) acclaimed "K.R.I.T. Wuz Here." The project did well and I even listed it in my top five releases of the year. It came in at number two, behind Killer Mike's "Pl3dge." Having the past as a reminder of what K.R.I.T. is capable of, the question becomes whether or not he can continue to display the talent that got him selected as one of XXL's Top 10 Freshmen in 2011. I'm pleased to report that Justin Scott doesn't appear to have lost a step with this project. Personal, heartfelt lyrics and soulful production have been key factors in K.R.I.T. building the following that he has amassed up to this point in his career, and this time around he's coming with much of the same. After the brief intro on "8:04AM," things kick off with "Wake Up." The track features Willie B on saxophone and hits on the oft-discussed topic by K.R.I.T. of waking up and actually making things happen...even if it's at the expense of missing a few phone calls because "being broke ain't fun" and the pity party he's thrown for himself starts to get a bit dull after awhile. "
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #165 has Absolutely No Theme Except Good Music. I tried a thematic episode last week but it didn't do the box office #'s I expected, so now I'm back to just giving you dope podsafe songs I like. Enjoy Reks, Soul Khan, Jon Notty, O.C., and more! 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.
Adam: "I'm a week late with this podcast, so let me begin be saying... It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you/without a strong show to step to/think of how many weak shows you slept through/time's up, I'm sorry I kept you. In-between playing my usual mix of fantastic hip-hop that's flying under the radar I fully explain why this show is coming to you a week late. As far as the music goes, this month I have a handful of artist debuts, some songs for the true school hip-hop heads, something for the clubbers, something for the potheads, and something for those who enjoy their music a little more experimental. All in all it's a great show and I hope you'll feel it was worth the wait. Follow me on Twitter at @AdamsWorldBlog or hit me up with feedback at AdamB@RapReviews.com." The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE so tell your friends to download ABX right here at RapReviews.com!