If you missed any of the new reviews this past week, including the double feature reviews of Curren$y's "The Stoned Immaculate" and Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!
"Shante Scott Franklin b/k/a Curren$y has come a long way since starting out as a member of Master P's 504 Boyz group, a rather random collection of rappers from P's hometown area code. The group was thrown together at a point when No Limit Records was losing its luster and going through the first of several repacking and restructuring efforts. No matter how many times words like "New" and "Forever" have been added to the label's name, Percy Miller has not been able to recapture the glory days of the 1990's, where a new album came out seemingly every week and every round out the tank was a hit. Curren$y could have sank like the Titanic sized collapse that was No Limit, just another forgotten passenger on the list whose career froze in those iced out waters, but fortunately for him there was room on a lifeboat. His early origins have been mostly forgotten save for the writers of this website, and a series of successful mixtapes paved the way for his reintroduction to the general public with a major label retail album. The albums reflect one theme that has become predominant for Curren$y - in fact one could punfully say that his condition is CHRONIC based on the titles. Weed has definitely been good to Shante. Instead of sounding like a rapper 10 years older than his 504 Boyz debut, he sounds like a contemporary to other drug obsessed emcees like A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q and Smoke DZA among others."
"Originally conceived as a sequel to his album "Only One Flo (Part 1)," Flo Rida's new album "Wild Ones" was repackaged and retitled based on the runaway success of the single it's named after. The dominance the song has had on the pop charts, radio airwaves and mainstream outlets has reached the point where I hear my hip-hop friends bitching about it on a daily basis. I guess that puts me in the minority then because even when the soFLY, Nius & Axwell song peaked by being used as an official theme song for WrestleMania 28 I wasn't tired of it then, and I'm still not now. Sia's singing clearly plays a huge part in that, but in general it's just a bouncy and inoffensive bit of hip-pop that's easy to bop to.Generally speaking that's my opinion of Flo Rida (born Tramar Dillard) as a whole. Though his hip-hop roots and his imposing physique suggest a more thuggish persona, the songs he releases couldn't be further from hardcore. Most of his recent chart topping singles can be found here, including the Dr. Luke produced smash hit "Good Feeling". The album's newer tracks which have yet to chart fit perfectly into Flo Rida's pop rap formula. People tend to use that word like it's an indictment, as if being "formulaic" is inherently bad, but I don't find anything bad about the hard driving dance beat or Jennifer Lopez crooning of "Sweet Spot." "
"This is a review of the digital reissue of a 7" box set reissue of seven obscure funk singles from the seventies. It is also one of the first releases given to subscribers of Now-Again Records new subscription service on Drip.fm (drip.fm/nowagain). For fifteen bucks a month, subscribers get every Now-Again release two weeks before release date, plus lots of extras. Now-Again is an offshoot of Stones Throw, and is a labor of love from funk archaeologist Egon Alappat, who has made it his mission to find the rarest, most obscure funk and soul albums from across the world and give them proper reissues, as well as releasing albums by current artists. With that plug for Now-Again out of the way, let's get to the music. This set collects fourteen songs by seven funk and soul artists from the seventies. The artists are Ernie and the Top Notes, Inc., Booker T. Averheart, the Soul Vibrations, the Soul Seven, Bad Medicine, Billy Ball and the Upsetters, and the Soul Commanders. The only way you've heard of any of these groups is if your uncle was in one of them or if you are an obsessive rare music collector. They came from Dallas, Cincinnati, Syracuse and beyond. They released a single or two, played some local gigs, and then faded into obscurity. They hung up their tinseled jumpsuits and got regular jobs, giving up their dreams of making it big. Booker T. Averheart went on to build and airport and run a motel, among other enterprises. Collectors scrounged for their singles and sold them for beaucoup bucks, of which the artists saw exactly nothing. And then one day, a skinny white guy shows up at their doorstep asking if he could reissue their music. The result was the 2001 "Funky 16 Corners" compilation and this lovingly curated collection."
"URBNET compilations tend to be known for a relative insularity to their own label roster and to the Canadian hip-hop scene they rep - and neither of those things is to their detriment. When many of their American contemporaries seem trapped in paradigms of rap stardom that stopped working years ago, groups like Animal Nation are able to reinvent what hip-hop music has the potential to be, reminding us of the truly limitless potential of the art and culture so many of us grew up in love with. In my lighter moments I speculate on the reasons why this happens - maybe it's the socialized medicine, maybe it's the colder climate making everybody hustle harder, or maybe it's the quality of the beer eh? I kid, but there's no doubting songs like "Wooden Roller Coaster" are hip-hop's future looking forward.Frequent URBNET consumers have come to expect a certain group of names to be represented on these releases, and won't be disappointed to see they're here. D-Sisive's melancholic cover of Naughty By Nature on "Ghetto Bastard" is a treat, Moka Only answers his own question on the funky synthesized sounds of "The Why Song," and the latest Canadian dynamic duo of Perfeck Strangers (Dan-e-o and Promise) have some "Work to Do" on a superbly hype bouncy beat. So in short it's no surprise that the expected names like Kae Sun (singing his way through "When the Pot") or Wordburglar (going Scooby Doo like MF DOOM on the track "Fred Broca") come through, but there are also some pleasant surprises."
"The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 1995 Yukmouth scored the biggest crossover weed anthem ever with his partner Numskull, "I Got 5 on It." The song yielded a legendary 'Bay Ballas Remix' that featured a near-complete Bay Area all-star line-up. Fast forward to 2012 and Smoke-A-Lot still serenades Mary Jane, sharing the spliff once more with fellow Bay Ballas Dru Down and Richie Rich (completed by E-40 stand-in B-Legit). This time the smokefest is called "Airheads," the first song on "Cookies 'n Cream," the Oakland rep's collaboration project with Blanco and Cookin' Soul.Unlike Yukmouth himself the latter may need an introduction. Cookin' Soul are a production team from Spain whose beats get picked by a variety of US rappers, from Harlem's 40 Cal in '07 to Hollygrove's Fiend in '12. Blanco is a Berkeley, CA rapper who has been putting out mixtapes since '08, notably the Cookin' Soul-scored "Portrait of a Serial Killer" last year. It's certainly an interesting set-up - a rookie and a vet from the West Coast on the mic with Europeans behind the boards. The outcome, however, is fairly conventional. That's not to say that everything is business as usual. Even in an age where the topic of smoking is more popular than ever with rappers, "Airheads" is an exceptional piece, an epic 8-minute soul suite with five inspired rappers celebrating the virtues of dank and drank."
Clavius Crates :: 19 Years :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Clavius Crates from the Tree City crew got an immediate spin thanks to two different factors - one of which is that I haven't heard enough from them since The TreE.P. and the other is that I still have a soft spot in my heart for Ann Arbor having lived in Ypsilanti, Michigan over a decade ago. It's a really beautiful part of the country, and even though the cost of living there far exceeds the meager amount of dollars I pull in ad revenue and Amazon Associates album sales, I can honestly say I'd love to live there again. The hip-hop scene in Eastern Michigan still continues to be underrated and overlooked, even with the breakout success of artists ranging from Eminem to MC Breed (R.I.P.) and underground rappers still get heavily slept on. Speaking of those meager earnings, I'm glad "19 Years" was made available at a "name your own price" level. I admit I entered $0.00 and took the free download, but if I can be a hypocrite, my advice is to do as I say and not as I do. I'd offer him at least $5, because this is 15 tracks of quality hip-hop music, and that averages out to only 33 cents or so apiece - still an incredibly good deal. Crates self-produces a lot of these tracks and doesn't come incorrect in the process. "Classically Trained" featuring Silas Green is a wonder, changing up instrumental themes from verse to verse, while bookmarking the entire presentation with a symphonic orchestra sound. "Apocalypse" featuring Fowl is a bugged out sinister banger that musically and lyrically reminds me of Young Zee."
"For the past few months the rapper/producer team of Dem One and B.O.O.K.S. One have been hitting me up with promo videos and information to throw up on the RapReviews newsfeed. Now if I can "shoot" as the wrestlers say for a minute with you the reader, I get so many of these things that I often just regurgitate whatever gets sent my way without having the time to check out or appreciate the value of what I get sent. It's the curse of being self-employed with a large website and an inbox that's constantly flooded with people looking for attention or a review - you have to just keep shit moving before the next 100 e-mails comes in. Somewhere along the way though, I actually stopped to check out a video from The New Math though, and to my surprise they won me over right away. Personality makes a huge difference when you're trying to stand out from an overcrowded genre, and clearly Dem and B.O.O.K.S. had plenty. It probably didn't hurt that I was also amused by the title of their record label - Low Self Discipline. A sense of humor also helps to make you stand out from the crowd, and as emcees go Dem One is definitely wittier than the average. He's got more math in the book than just comedy though - he's got a strong braggadocious style I can get down with due to his confidence on "Vapor.""
Artists Get Educated at Atlanta's A3C Hip Hop Festival
In addition to more than 200 live performances, the annual A3C Hip Hop Festival October 11-13, 2012 provides extensive educational and professional development content. There will be close to two dozen panel discussions on topics including marketing, publishing, production, media, touring, legal and more.
A few of the confirmed panelists include industry professionals such as DJ Burn One, Wendy Day of Rap Coalition, Ray Daniels of R.A.Y.D.A.R. Ent., Steve Collins (Music & Film Clearance, Warner Brothers Ent.), Grammy-nominated producer Willy Will, Shawn Barron (Director of A&R, Atlantic Records), DJ Smallz and WillPower of SupaHotBeats.
Confirmed panels include “Where’s My Check?”, “Rags to Riches”, “Road Rules”, “What's the Hook?”, “I Rock a Mic but Don’t Rap”, “The Balance”, “The DMCA Took My Baby Away”, “Are Pub Deals Right for You?”, “I Probably Blew Out Your Speakers”, “What’s Your Spin on It?”, “Run That Back” and “Does Regional Sound Still Exist?”.
The “Where’s My Check?” publishing panel will address questions like how to get paid, what is a split sheet, establishing safeguards and how to create licensing opportunities.
Fashion is a critical component of Hip Hop culture. The “Rags to Riches” streetwear entrepreneurship panel will offer insight on the development process and tips from burgeoning entrepreneurs.
The “Road Rules” touring panel will point artists in the right direction on decisions like whether to hire a separate tour manager, how, when and where to book shows and suggestions for touring abroad.
Receive pointers on finding your niche from the “What's the Hook?” marketing and branding panel.
Get a pulse on the Hip Hop journalism industry in the “I Rock a Mic but Don’t Rap” print and digital media panel.
Discover the pros and cons of a consistent stream of free projects versus pushing one solid compilation in the “The Balance” mixtape marketing panel.
“The DMCA Took My Baby Away” panel on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act outlines the law and how to protect yourself.
“Are Pub Deals Right for You?” details the benefits and downsides of a publishing deal.
Gain insight on building a successful production career from the “I Probably Blew Out Your Speakers” producer panel.
The “What’s Your Spin on It?” DJ panel will reveal how DJs have achieved their own brand identity.
The “Run That Back” engineering panel will discuss current industry challenges.
From Bay Area hyphy to Texas chopped and screwed, this panel begs the question “Does Regional Sound Still Exist?” and what is next?
These panels are just a few of the events that will take during the 2012 A3C Hip Hop Festival in addition to performances from more than 200 artists including Twista, CunninLynguists, Gunplay, Hopsin, Phil Ade and a special appearance by Yelawolf.
Festival tickets are available on the A3C website and attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early. 3-day passes are $33 until July 31, 2012, www.a3cfestival.com/buy-tickets .
Specific showcase, panel, artists and event updates will continue to be announced on www.a3cfestival.com through the start of the festival on October 11, 2012.
“Presents: Vol. 1” is a compilation album consisting of collaborations with someof NE Florida’s dopest emcees, singers, poets, and DJ’s. If you like hip hop and soul music without modern gimmickry, this project might be for you!
ill Clinton is a producer, multi-instrumentalist and song-writer. As one of the premier soul and hip hop producers in northeast Florida, ill has produced music with many regional and independent artists. “ill” is also a team member at The Cypher, a bi-weekly spoken word open mic and soul music event. He also wrote and produced the film score for the independent erotic urban thriller, “Treacherous”.
Presentation: The Sexploitation Project is an instrumental album inspired by Sexploitation movies from the 60-70′s. Mr Stereo's first solo album. A project tribute to women. Inoffensive girls and women with guns, Vampiresses and superwomen, action and passion. An album "So adult one X isn't enough".
Following the success of his last Kid Bass produced single Ain't Nobody Like You, which gained support from Radio 1, 1Xtra, Capital, Kiss 100 and Choice FM. The 26 year-old rapper and businessman, Sincere, is about to stomp his way to the top in his famously large collection of awesome footwear (follow ‘Sincere’ on Instagram – we’re not joking!).
The summer is heating up worldwide with the release of the #626TAPE, which features an exclusive cut from Trek Life, "What Y'all Know?", produced by Jansport J.
The #626TAPE was a Top 10 feature on the Big Boy's Neighborhood (Power 106 FM) blog the week of it's release! Shoutout to Jason BR05KI for producing the #626TAPE series, which highlights tracks from artists local to the 626/San Gabriel Valley, CA.
In other Trek Life news...Trek will be rocking a special event out in Riverside, sharing the stage with Hip-Hop LEGENDS Coke La Rock (Hip-Hop's first emcee) & Chief Rocka Busy Bee. The Bronx Legends Tour touches down in the LA/IE area this week, don't miss a RARE opportunity to pay tribute to the architects of the culture.
After first adapting his skills as a deejay on turntables and CDJ's, J Fresh started off in the London UK Garage scene. Relocating to the South Coast, predominantly Bournemouth, he began to network and before long had two weekly radio shows on Bournemouth's leading FM + DAB radio station, Fire Radio. Fresh has networked his way into interviewing and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the world of music.
Now he drops his monthly mixtape series that is already receiving positive feedback from fans and industry members alike, as he continues to break and support new music whilst working closely with the key players in the UK and US music scenes. This well presented series is the ultimate urban music download and a perfect audio excursion into the world of urban music.
J Fresh is also known for playing at many events both commercial & underground, with his sets being known for being exciting with a track selection that always rocks a crowd. Now playing all over the UK, J Fresh also DJ's for a wealth of UK artists including MAC from So Solid Crew, Killa P & Rikodan from Roll Deep, Twin MC's, TCO and many more, and is the first choice deejay for any urban event held from Brighton to Bournemouth.
Tune into J Fresh on Fire Radio 107.6 FM + DAB www.fireradio.co.uk Wednesdays 21:00 - 23:00 and Friday's 00:00 - 02:00
J Fresh 'May / June Mixtape 2012' (Track-listing)
01 - Intro 02 - Drake - Hyfr 03 - Kayne West - Mercy 04 - Brandy - Put It Down 05 - Chris Brown - Till I Die 06 - Nicki Minaj - Beez In The Trap 07 - A$AP Rocky - Goldie 08 - Red Café - Let It Go Remix 09 - Gracious K - Best Part Of Me 10 - Travis Porter - Ayy Ladies 11 - Tyga - Bitch Better Have My Money 12 - Baby Cham - Whine 13 - Konshens - Gal A Bubble 14 - D'Banj Interview 15 - Maxwell D - Push 16 - Wookie - 2 Us 17 - Jammer - Big Man (J Fresh Edit) 18 - Teddy Music - Hoods Up Remix 19 - Rudekid - Get Busy - Jamie Grind 20 - J Fresh & Ibz Live Club 8, Portsmouth
G.Huff & Vice Souletric Release New EP Co-Signed By Pete Rock & Scarface
G. Huff and Vice Souletric have quickly become two of the most respected new hip-hop artists to emerge out the Midwest. The Ohio MC/Producer duo made waves in 2011 with their debut album, "Where Do We Go From Here?" which featured a who's who of talent such as Guilty Simpson, REKS, Termanology, and Ruste Juxx.
G. Huff is a ferocious emcee who hales from the gritty city of Youngstown, Ohio. A unique combination of musical talent, versatility and real life experience has G.Huff on the verge of being one of the greatest writers of his time! After years of perfecting his craft, former Bad Boy recording artist “G-Dep” took a liking to Huff's in your face rhyme style and labeled him the future of hip-hop. G.Huff has worked with recording artists such as G-Dep, Nature, Reks, Termanology, Guilty Simpson and others. Huff will also be featured on Moss'upcoming production album.
Vice has been producing full-time for the last four-years and in a very short time has built a very impressive resume of production credits. In the just the last few months alone, Vice has worked with some of the best artists in the hip-hop scene. After landing a placement on Busta Rhyme's protégé' Reek Da Villain's mixtape, “The Gift”, Vice hit the studio hard, and met G. Huff, which led to the release of "Where Do We Go From Here?.”In 2012, Vice will have production on upcoming albums from Scarface, Reek Da Villian, Slim Thug, Mysonne, KRS-One, and many more. While Vice has been in the lab with some of hip-hop's most esteemed lyricists, he is quick to point out that his partner brings out the best in him “Huff is the hungriest MC I have heard in a minute. It will only take you a couple bars to hear the passion from this cat. Press play and buckle up.”
As a duo, G.Huff and Vice are now set to follow up their debut with a new EP, "Are We There Yet?” a carefully crafted masterpiece packed with lyricism, soul, and energy. It's a recipe the duo is already well versed in! Not only do Huff and Vice receive the co-signs of hip hop legends Pete Rock and Scarface, they create their own lane with an original sound that is unique yet universal enough for all to enjoy! To receive the co-signs of two of hip-hop's most lasting and endearing artists is not an honor that is lost on G.Huff and Vice as Huff exclaims "Even though we are writing our own history, the support of Pete Rock and Scarface makes this project that much more special to us.”
G.Huff& Vice Souletric's “Are We There Yet?” finds the duo in a very comfortable place and ready to take the next step in their careers and let their music do the talking as they assert “You can tell when artists really put there all into etching out a real masterpiece. I hope listeners will appreciate music being made the right way. From concepts to lyrics, to production, we didn't overlook anything. The game is too competitive to only bring 99% to table. These days it's all or nothing.”
The group's single, “Feelzogood (Jheri Curl Theme Music),” is currently in rotation on Shade 45 after being featured on Sway Calloway's “Get In The Game” segment on the morning show.
Tracklisting and credits for G.Huff & Vice Souletric's Are We There Yet EP: 1.) Pete Rock & Scarface Intro 2.) “Are We There Yet?” 3.) “Practice My Aim” 4.) “Try Love” f/ Netousha Monroe 5.) “Feelzogood” (Jheri Curl Theme Music) 6.) “Adios” f/ City Da God& Hi Jinks 7.) “Tears In A Bucket” f/ JTronius & Alison Carney 8.) “Infatuated” f/ J Trip 9.) “Martin Garvey X” (Yellow Brick Road)