Sway returns in style with his brilliant new single ‘Level Up’ on 2nd April through 3 Beat Records. The track was Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World earlier this week as well as getting the seal of approval from MistaJam.
"It would be fair to call "Black Materia" the album so good we had to review it twice just to get it right. It would also be fair to say that if you're not among that hardcore gaming niche, the hip-hop head who visits Kotaku daily and downloads every new OC Remix that gets released, the album might not have been your cup of tea (or 40 of beer). The idea was intentionally and unapologetically geeky - take the best selling role playing game of all time and write rap songs about the plot set to the melodies of the game. The album should in theory have crossover appeal though, because the raps tell a great story which you don't need to have played the game to understand, and Lost Perception hooked up the melodies in a way that fit each song like a glove. If you are still skeptical about the whole hip-hop/gaming thing, give it a fair chance. "Black Materia: The Remixes" may be even more niche - after all this is flipping an album that was itself flipping Final Fantasy VII and releasing it a second time. This isn't just all about remixes though. There are brand new songs here which there just weren't enough time for on the original "Black Materia," and considering how deep that album was, that's a pretty astounding thought. Surely the digital download copies could have included a song like "Ninja Girl" - it's not like there are limits to how long a download album can be."
various artists :: Beat Street Soundtrack :: Atlantic Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"It's fall of 1984. I'm riding the school bus home from another day in the fourth grade. Two older boys pull out a smallish ghetto baster and start playing some music that is like nothing I have heard before. It starts with an ominous bell, and then a beat kicks in, joined by a synthesized funk track, all punctuated with cuts and scratches. The scratching acts like another instrument, chopping up the music and adding percussive elements. Then a man's voice comes on, sing-talking in a style that I would learn was called "rapping." That was my introduction to hip-hop and breakdancing, and I was hooked. I came to learn that it had originated in New York, and was supposedly a way for gangs to battle each other without violence. I had never been to any city, much less one as big as New York, but I immediately fell in love with this music. My siblings and I embraced hip-hop culture. I got fat laces for my converse, and a hoodie emblazoned with "Breakin'" in graffiti writing. We set up cardboard in our living room to breakdance, which was facilitated by my family's total lack of furniture. I wrote in bubble script all over my 4th grade binder. I learned how to windmill from the Hispanic kids at my school, who were were much more hip to what was going on. I was hooked."
various artists :: Raps United Nations - 1st Wave :: R.U.N. as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"As hip-hop compilations go, Billy Danze of M.O.P. fame is certainly attempting one of the more ambitious efforts in recent memory. "Raps United Nations" is nearly two hours of music in total at this early point in its development, though it's fair to say given this is a promotional copy that it may wind up being pared down before release, or even split in half with another group of tracks being the "2nd Wave." It's not the size alone that makes this project a big deal though. The one-sheet accompanying "Raps United Nations" notes that unsigned artists trying to get noticed by accident promoting themselves online is literally the equivalent of catching lightning in a bottle. His solution to this problem? Form what he describes as "an army of incredible artists from all corners of the globe to unify and raise awareness for them by creating projects which are loud enough to be heard by the masses." It's the old "strength in numbers" theory being put into practice for a new era of music distribution. After listening to this album, it occurs to me this idea may have been TOO ambitious. In the old days when you could bring a collective of like-minded artists together, cliques like Death Row and the Juice Crew had more than just their skills and a common producer or record label between them. Most of them also had geography, being the best their region had to offer, creating a cream of the crop for one locale which also had a distinctively unique sound endemic to that area. "
"Apollo Brown is a frequently dropped name here and elsewhere, but his 2010 collaboration with female rapper Boog Brown, "Brown Study," came and went largely unnoticed. A little more than a year later it's time for "The Brown Study Remixes," our chance to get (re-)acquainted with Boog Brown and "Brown Study" from a slightly different angle. The Michigan producer is still on board, for the new track and hometown anthem "Detroit." Boog Brown may have begun to take roots in Atlanta but she still has love for the D, as evidenced by her ode to "the pretty and the gritty, Detroit Rock City." The other new offering is "Growth," an optimistic manual for personal progress (best summed up by the line "Don't harbor ill will when it's time to build") set to a gingerly flourishing track courtesy of 14KT (of Athletic Mic League fame). The remixers generally turn in competent performances. Nick Tha 1Da opens the proceedings with etheral voices and soulful strings ("Shine"). MarvWon adheres to the Detroit school of production with his slightly abstract, avantgarde beat for "Friction," while Def Dee takes a cue from Black Milk with the bumping yet clean-cut "Blink." Georgia Anne Muldrow cuts a slice of obstinate but catchy funk for the regrettably short "My Love." Illastrate revisits the melodically rich days of late '90s/early '00s underground hip-hop with "Master Plan" and is given the playing time needed to build up his classy assortment of atmospheric sounds."
Dr. B and Mister :: Just So You Know :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Mike Baber
"There is something to be said for collaboration albums that feature a single producer working with an emcee and crafting the entirety of the beats, as it allows the two artists to develop chemistry and build off one another's talents. Of course, this is not always a recipe for success; one of the most common problems is that the album is simply too long and the producer is unable to provide enough variety to keep things interesting throughout. After examining the track list for "Just So You Know," though, I immediately knew length would not be an issue. Checking in at only five tracks, the EP from Detroit emcee Mister and British producer Dr. B promises "old-school melodic beats layered with the insightful rhymes" in the accompanying promotional material, and while I was initially skeptical of this all-too-common claim, my doubt would soon be erased. "Just So You Know" may not have the depth of an actual album, but from the moment I started listening, I could tell that Mister and Dr. B stayed true to their word. In order for a compilation album to really work, the beats have to complement and mesh with the emcee's flow, and this is evident from the very beginning of "Just So You Know." Mister raps with a straightforward, easy to understand delivery, rhyming about everyday issues in his life without adding any fluff or exaggerated claims, and Dr. B lays the foundation with sampled drums and other instruments without overpowering the lyrics."
"That desire makes K-Murdock a lot like the man he is paying tribute to on "Hero Muzik Vol. 1," Mr. Nobuo Uematsu. You'll never play a video game he scored the instrumentals for and hear a single word from him, but you'll be hearing his voice all the same. Uematsu's fame in the gaming world is well-earned and deserved because of his belief that a video game's score should be orchestral and cinematic. A good game becomes great when you can lose yourself in the melody of the world you are exploring, making you truly feel like you're part of this larger than life experience. Uematsu's attention to detail helps you to feel an emotional resonance with the characters on screen that text and graphics alone could never do. In choosing Final Fantasy VI for his first edition of "Hero Muzik," K-Murdock not only chose a cult favorite among gamers but one of the best examples of Uematsu's work. While Final Fantasy VII may be more well known and widely remembered, the distinctive songs he made for each hero in FFVI have stood the test of time and get an enjoyable update from the hip-hop producer du jour in charge. Celes' theme seems even more haunting as "Ballad of the Lone Warrior" with a little rearrangement and a backing beat, though it maintains the somber tempo and spirit of the original. "
"I suppose Moe Green was playing to my natural vices by releasing tracks like "Top Turnbuckle Lifestyle" and "Non-Title Match," then dropping an album called "Rocky Maivia." I run a wrestling and MMA website as a side business, something which long-time readers may know about and first timers just learned about (welcome newcomers). Now these days I'm more into the MMA part of the equation, but I still keep up on the world of "sports entertainment" on a week to week basis. Sometimes things click, as often as not they don't, but I still have a little smile on the inside when I hear any hip-hop artist drop a Superfly Snuka or Barry Horowitz reference. Wrestling isn't as cool in 2012 as it used to be back when Stone Cold and The Rock ran things on one network while Sting and Goldberg were housing shit on the other running head to head. Admitting you're a fan in this era is taking a risk, so wrestling fans who keep it on the down-low appreciate the shout out, while those who are open about it still appreciate someone being honest and proud about what they like. Rap heads who are wrestling fans even make and share lists of their favorite references that might have gone over the heads of non-fans - it's like a secret club with a password and a special handshake where rappers like MF DOOM let you in with a wink and a grin."
Spaceman Beaumonte :: From Me to You Enjoy :: Sportn' Life Records as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Demetrius Beaumonte a/k/a Spaceman and sometimes Spac3man is part of that next generation of new rappers like ScHoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky that have developed their following largely by word of mouth and website buzz. If I told you that you could find "From Me to You Enjoy" at retail anywhere I'd be lying. Hell I'm not even honestly sure where I got this EP from. I'm assuming his label Sportn' Life sent it to me, but there's no one sheet, bio, tracklisting or even cover art inside. That's why all you'll see on the right side of this review is the SL logo. That's alright though, because Spaceman has done enough interviews and released enough material that I can still tell you a little bit about him before we get to the meat of this five track EP. He hails from Seattle. His non-rap conversations live up to his name - like the dude seems to not be flowing at the same rate of 4th dimensional time as the rest of us. He doesn't declare himself as straightedge, but he doesn't drink or smoke either. If you're Spaceman Beaumonte though, why would you need to? The dude is seriously high on himself without pharmaceutical help, and that's not high as in egotistical, that's high as in "out there beyond the stars." He's happy to be weird. If one heard him do a mixtape with Tyler, the Creator it wouldn't really come as a shock."
RapReviews' podcast lineup brings you another epic show from Jeep Ward a/k/a DJ Halo in his Subways & Sidewalks series. This time it's Just In Time for Valentine's w/ HW. Thanks for listening and remember to tell a friend to check out of all the free podcasts right here on RapReviews.com. Be sure to visit halodoesntsuck.com too!
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #160 is called Six Podsafe Songs That I Like. I'll be honest - this is pretty much thrown together - I've had a second job this week covering UFC as a reporter for another website. Still you can enjoy some good songs by Arsun F!st, Moe Green, K-Murdock and Mirandom! 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.
Adam: "Variety is the spice of life. At least according to people who enjoy a variety of things. I'm hoping you're one of those people as this month's edition of The Adam B Experience features a wide range of music. I have a monster posse cut for you, a few collabs, some solo stuff from artists that are new to the show, a reggae joint, and a song that's a gumbo of genres that's the ultimate in funky. So kick back, turn up the volume, and enjoy. 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!
* Snow Tha Product - Holy Shit * Sketch Tha Cataclysm w/ Megabusive, Brzowski, Big Jess, Aeon Grey, Roc Doogie, Teddy Faley, Premonition, Rabbi Darkside, Piff PCH & Taiyamo Denku - Indie Rappers Do It For Gas Money * CookBook - Working Too Hard * Baxter P Wordsworth - Over Your Head * Joe Columbo - Try So Hard * Cris Cab w/ Mavado & Wyclef - Rihanna’s Gun * Coole High w/ K. Gaines - Ends * Kalil Kash - Payday * Gypsyphonic Disko - !Deldap vs MIA * Toussaint Morrison w/ Mayda - Freedom Cobra * Vinnie Scullo - The Omelette
For nearly half a decade Bondfire has been providing unforgettable moments, and a great proving ground, for music fans and artists alike, every last Tuesday of the month at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. The event, however, is going to end its four and a half year run on February 28th.
Much more than just another NYC open mic, Bondfire has been a unique artist-driven community, and its stage has witnessed the growth of many talented acts.
Raheem DeVaugh is back with EP full of new original music, Destination Loveland hosted by DJ Snoop A Delic, just in time for Valentine's Day. The self proclaimed, R&B Neo-Soul Hippie Rockstar, Raheem Devaughn pairs up with Snoop Dogg for the first single release titled, "Be The One". Destination Loveland features appearances from world renowned poet-Dr. Maya Angelou, Grammy Nominated J Records Recording Artist-Marsha Ambrosius, 368 Music Group Recording Artist-Phil Ade, and fellow peer and R&B crooner-Dwele.
Maino releases his latest music video called " CRIMINAL" which reflects on his days of a youth growning up in Bedsty Brooklyn. The Visual conecpt was brought to life by Kraze and team Industrymuscle.Maino one of New York's hot artist is schedule to release a new Album entiled " The Day after Tomorrow" which will hit stores Feb 28th 2012.