"Tyler, the Creator and his large rap collective known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or simply Odd Future for short) seem to have virtually taken over the hip-hop landscape in the last twelve months. This has caused confusion, consternation or admiration depending on what part of the hip-hop audience you consider yourself in. A lot of the older rap generation who never caught on to the social media phenomenon did not see Odd Future coming, as they developed their fanbase almost entirely outside the traditional print, radio and video outlets that made new rap stars in the past. They're also more well known for collaborating with each other than with long-established rap stars, so outside of their frontman Tyler chances are you've never heard a cameo on an album that would introduce you to them. What really seems to bother some people though is their lyrics - at times purposefully and artfully designed to be as offensive, bizarre and disgusting as possible. To be honest I'm not sure why that should be such a big deal to anybody who has been listening to hip-hop for more than ten years. I don't find Odd Future's to be any more crass than 2 Live Crew, any more explicit than N.W.A., or any more horrific than Gravediggaz. All of these artists caused similar amounts of concern from pundits who decried the decaying moral fiber of society, in disbelief that anybody could find such things (gasp) ENTERTAINING. "
Animal Nation :: The Basement Tapes Vol. 1 :: URBNET Records as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"You could call it a modern day "Jimmy" update, even though it has the sound and feel it could come from 1988. That's not necessarily typical of Animal Nation though, as "Wooden Roller Coaster" is a strange yet enjoyable hybrid of Gym Class Heroes and B.o.B ("I need a wish right now.") The "Party Animals Reprise" sounds like it wants to be a country banjo jam, which makes me wonder what the ORIGINAL was like before it got reprised. The cutting and scratching is pretty nice. They also eschew convention on an admittedly "strange journey" they call "The Lasagne Song," which cuts a rug over a big band swing song style, which is definitely not the average hip-hop track you'll ever hear. This EP blows by kind of quickly at just over 23 minutes, but that may be in part because it totally blew my expectations away. It's so easy for so many artists to claim they're doing original hip-hop and yet be the same old shit lyrically and musically that everyone else is, but I actually get the feeling Tall Man and Armadillo Slim lived up to their hyperbole by the end of "The Basement Tapes Vol. 1." "
""Inconceivable!" Yes, I hear Wallace Shawn in my head when I type that, but it's the only way I can react to E-40 dropping THREE albums at once. It's not as though 40 hasn't earned the right to. Earl Stevens is a 20+ year veteran of the hip-hop business who dropped his first EP in 1990, who subsequently made a splash in 1993 when Jive picked up his Sick Wid It label for distribution and made "Federal" available nationally. Ever since then hip-hop fans worldwide have gravitated toward his unique vocal tone, trendsetting slang, booming beats and Vallejo, California pride. So if he wants to drop three albums on the same day, sure! After all he dropped a double album all the way back in '98, and released the first two volumes of a four CD "Revenue Retrievin'" set on the same day in 2010. This is three albums though, all in one day, all at one time. "Inconceivable!" Supporters of E-40's hustle and grind don't come much bigger than me, but 60 songs worth of music (if you include bonus tracks) is just too much for me to deal with in one week, let alone one sitting. Therefore I'm going to tackle this the only way I can - one album per week - as though E-40 had released each of them separately over an extended span. We open the series with "The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 1." Actually by the time we get to the second and third volumes, there really won't be any point to the subtitles - unlike "Revenue Retrievin'" it doesn't change from one release to the next."
"Sooner or later the "music store" as we all knew it growing up is going to be obsolete. I'm not saying this as conjecture or speculation; I'm going on the record as saying it WILL happen sooner than later. I can personally attest to the fact that half of the albums I buy these days are downloads, another 30% are free download's like Game's new "California Republic Mixtape," and maybe 20% at most are physical compact discs. Even two years ago the ratio of physical to digital would have been 50/50, and five years ago it would have been 80/20. I still like the oversized cover art and needle driven analog sound of vinyl, but compact discs now seem like an unnecessary intermediary step between me and my MP3 player that takes up storage space. I bring this up largely because the audio input jack in my whip and albums like "California Republic" are largely what bring me to this conclusion. A CD player in the ride is still nice occasionally, but the proliferation of free downloadable mixtapes has all but made the idea of buying hard copies from a street vendor or retail store extinct. Even rappers who started their careers long before the digital revolution took over have caught on. They know you can have a hundred or more albums on your MP3 player, and it takes up less space in your ride than just a couple of CD releases do - and you can't put a CD in your pocket either (not without breaking it anyway) when you get out said vehicle. "
GT :: Windows to My Soul :: DatPiff.com as reviewed by Zach 'Goose' Gase
"Recently Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious) released a song title "Wack But Good People." On the track, the Oakland emcee raps about one of the most awkward situations in hip hop: how do you tell your friend to hang up the mic? As a writer, it's never fun to critique someone who is passionate about what they do, but it's a part of the job. While I don't know rapper GT personally, on his new album "Windows to My Soul" it is fairly clear that this is the type of dude Gift of Gab was talking about. GT bears all on this record, and he often raps about being a proud religious father and husband. But he just simply is not a good rapper. Lyrically he is competent enough, and it seems like his heart is in the right place when making songs about his personal life. But as far as skill and techniques go, GT is severely lacking any sense of microphone presence; it almost sounds like he's recording his verses in the basement while sitting down at his computer desk trying not to project his voice too loud. His flow is monotonous and unimaginative except on "Stampede," where he fails miserably at a double time flow. GT's rapping is fairly bad, but unfortunately it still manages to be "Windows to My Soul's" saving grace. The production on this record is unforgivably bad. Nydy NewSense did all ten of the album's soulless, anemic beats, and they all sound extremely amateurish. "
KB Jones :: Finer Things :: KB Jones Music as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"The one thing KB Jones profile doesn't tell me before reviewing his album is how he got there from his real name being Daniel Munoz. Wouldn't D-Money have been the logical moniker? Or maybe Dan Da Monster? There's got to be a good story behind the choice. Unfortunately that info doesn't seem to be on his official website either. What I can tell you for sure though is that KB started out as one member in a band called The Spoken Truth, and that when he went solo he released a free album called "The Honey on the Side." It's still available BTW, so if you want to hear a little of his music while you're reading the review, go ahead and click the link (it will open in a separate window). The first single off "Finer Things" is the provocatively titled "Fuck the Bullshit". As hip-hop tirades against mainstream mediocrity go, it's one of the better I've heard in a while, and KB Jones certainly delivers it with enough emotional intensity to have credibility. Even though he clearly resents the comparisons to Asher Roth, I can +almost+ see it. He's not as into frat boy topics or humorous punchlines as DJ Green Lantern's favorite rapper, but there's more than an iota of similarity in terms of their vocal tone. "
"Hot hip-hop import producer M-Phazes has long been associated with the Obese Records imprint, but you'll hear his beats banging behind top rap acts on a dozen different labels. The latest to join that growing list is Coalmine Records, who commissioned the maestro to make musical magic by remixing some of the top singles that have dropped from their roster. He's not alone in this endeavor though. Enter DJ Rhettmatic, renowned turntablist from the World Famous Beat Junkies. With M-Phazes revisiting old tracks to give them his new spin while Rhettmatic makes like Blendtec on the mix putting it all together, the result is a compilation all involved call "Phazed Out." After a two minute "M-troduction" featuring M-Phazes affiliate Emilio Rojas, things take a turn for the worse on a revisit of "The Raw" featuring Saigon, Bekay and Inspectah Deck. It probably doesn't help matters that I'm a fan of the grimy piano laced production of the original Street Orchestra track way back in 2007, but the Shade 45 deejay rewind and repeat of the Saigon phrase "On the average night, I'm likely to stab a fag with a knife" strikes me as an incredibly poor choice. As one line in an otherwise dope song it slides by, but put focus on it and an emcee I otherwise have high regard for come off like a hateful bigot. "
Vic Freeze x Madd Caesar :: Oakland, Ohio :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"Let's take a moment to celebrate technology. Thirty years ago, when the early hip-hop records were being made, artists had to scrape together enough money to rent a studio. Beats were programmed on clunky drum machines. Early samples were made by literally looping reel-to-reel tapes or constantly cutting between two records. Once you got your song recorded you had to find someone to physically press the album, which cost money, and then find someone to sell it. Labels would do this for you, but a lot of early hip-hop was DIY, sold out of record stores, barbershops, at swap meets, or from the trunk of a car. The whole process was tied to physicality. You had to physically be together in the studio to collaborate, and listeners needed to find a physical copy of your music in order to hear it. Fast forward to 2012. You can set up a decent home studio without having to spend a fortune. There are programs like Frooty Loops and Pro Tools that let bedroom producers do things that Grandmaster Flash and Eric B. could only dream of. A 17-year-old kid can become a famous producer by emailing his beats to rappers all over the world. People in completely different parts of the country can record an album together and release it themselves on Bandcamp. Anyone anywhere in the world with a computer and decent internet connection (which admittedly leaves out 70% of the population) can stream the music or download it. "
Louisiana rapper Mystikal, who was released from state prison in 2010 after serving a six-year term for sexual battery and extortion, will be returning to jail May 14 for three months. Mystikal's real name is Michael Tyler.
On Monday, state District Judge Tony Marabella added the extra time as a condition of the 41-year-old Tyler's five-year probation in the extortion case because he was arrested in February on a misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse battery.
Prosecutor Sue Bernie told The Advocate Tyler stipulated to being in violation of his probation, which called for him to remain arrest- and conviction-free.
Tyler's attorney said Marabella ordered Tyler to spend another 90 days in jail but is giving him credit for the nine days he was detained after his Feb. 22 arrest.
Music Submission: Bully Blinders - "Moon Under Eyelids"
Just wanted to let you know that our new album is out now and is available for FREE on our website. The album features: Pall Jenkins ( Black Heart Procession), Addiquit, Jared Armijo-Wardle (Marquez!), and JohnnyTen.
Press Release: Soulbrotha Interview on Praverb.net
I hope this email finds you in good health and great spirits. The good folks over at Praverb.net recently sat me down for a 21-questions styled interview with yours truly which turned out to be fun, and very insightful.
MP3: El Gant & Tek (Smif-n-Wessun) - "Say Hello to the Bad Guy"
You know that when a track opens with a quotable from Richard Kuklinkski, a/k/a "The Iceman," one of the most notorious and ruthless contract killers to which the world has ever seen, that the lyrics to follow are going to be nothing short of ruthless. On "Say Hello To The Bad Guy," MTV's four time Direct Effect Battle Champ El Gant, and Smokey Lah, a/k/a Tek (of Smif-n-Wessun) debut the Deejay Iron and D-Purpose produced leak off their forthcoming collaborative album,Gibson & Glover, just in time for Friday the 13th. "Say wassup to the bad buy, say goodbye, middle finger to the sky, live wicha hands high/ welcome to the wild side gutter, slapped by Gibson and the mother fu*#in' Glover." Stay tuned for more leaks off Gibson & Glover, scheduled to drop this summer!
MP3: Stretch Money - "Let's Get High" (prod. Nick Speed)
In promotion of Stretch Money’s forthcoming LP 25 Miles Per Hour, produced entirely by G-Unit affiliate beatsmith Nick Speed, the Detroit spitter drops the album’s first official single with “Let’s Get High.” The track reveals Stretch’s adoration for the green goddess and invites others to come along for the ride over Speed’s hypnotic drums and flute loop. “Gold medalist for the Swisher Sweet specialist, set that bitch on fire so devilish/ makin’ sure I stay fried I tried to quit, but why quit when the doctors’ prescribing’ it…” 25 Miles Per Hour becomes available April 24th through Hot Lava Records.
Chuuwee’s Crown Me King will serve as the prelude to his long-awaited official solo-debut, Wild Style, which will be released on 5-29-2012 via Amalgam Digital. Whereas Chuuwee’s previous efforts were hybrid sub-genres he created such as “neo-boombap” (neo-soul meets boom-bap) or “hooliganarism” which Chuuwee describes as Treach of Naughty By Nature meets Wakka Flakka Flame, Wild Style can be summarized as pure 90s Hip Hop, where he is taking the classic elements of the golden era with the look, sound and the feel and then applying them to the present day.
Inspired by Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Big L, De La Soul with even hints of DMX, Wild Style promises to be Chuuwee’s break-out project, one that will showcase him as being a frontrunner lyricist from Hip-Hop’s new school; while also paying homage and respect to the great pioneers of the 1990’s. “Wild Style is the album that’s going to eradicate weak rap off the face of the map. It is the return of real Hip-Hop. It’s pure and it’s not me trying to re-make it. It’s not me telling you its 90s Hip-Hop; it is 90s Hip-Hop” says Chuuwee.