"Whether you are a fan of Aaron Yates aka Tech N9ne or not, there is no denying the man's work ethic. Despite a constantly crazy tour schedule which sees Mr Yates frequently cover the globe, "Welcome to Strangeland" is Tech's FOURTEENTH studio album since 1999. It's also his second release of the year, following hot on the heels of "All 6's and 7's", and this is the fourth instalment of his 'Collabos' series. It follows the format of its predecessors with Tech N9ne sharing microphone time with a host of guests and this time around it is his Strange Music family that step up. It is a concept album of sorts with Tech taking us on a journey through Strangeland and introducing us to his various labelmates along the way. "Stars" is a strong start to the album as Seven's twinkling and atmospheric track provides the perfect backdrop for Tecca Nina's stuttering, stop-start, rapid-fire delivery to describe his voyage to Strangeland. This leads straight into the title track where long-term affiliate Krizz Kaliko greets Tech and indeed the listener and welcomes them to Strangeland. "
50 Cent :: The Big 10 :: DatPiff.com as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"That's all the reason 50 Cent needs to drop "The Big 10" right now. Well that and the fact 50 feels the hip-hop community is taking him for granted right now. He doesn't waste any time getting his respect back on the album's opening track "Body On It." Over the menacing piano melody laid down by Jake 1, he marks "a decade of hot shit" with his spit, then uses the outro of said same song to REALLY make his feelings clear. It's probably better if 50 Cent feels doubted and disrespected right now. Whether he "fell off" or not shouldn't even be the issue - the real issue should be whether or not 50 is MOTIVATED. For more than a few years there the hunger 50 Cent had was fading, which is a natural and hard to avoid consequence of coming up from having nothing. When you get a little success it's hard not to be living lavish, enjoying the fruits of all your gold and platinum plaques, the franchise of artists under your wing and the deals for movies and video games that follow. The problem is that it's hard to have that same fire and passion you did when you had to hustle for every last dollar. Of course it wouldn't be a 50 Cent album, even a free downloadable one, if some of his fellow G-Unit artists didn't get in on the action. "
"The old saying "better late than never" has already shown to hold true in hip-hop at least once this year, with the release of Saigon's long-anticipated debut album "The Greatest Story Never Told" back in February. For most fans, the album proved to be worth the wait, and it garnered significant praise from both hip-hop critics and fans alike. "The Wonder Years" wasn't delayed quite as long as Saigon's debut, but dedicated listeners who have followed 9th Wonder from his days producing for Little Brother know that the album has been a long time in the making. Originally slated for a 2008 release, "The Wonder Years" finally emerged three years later, seemingly at an appropriate time in the hip-hop game given the recent release of fellow North Carolina native J. Cole's first studio album. The first thing that longtime followers of 9th Wonder's production discography will notice is that, although "The Wonder Years" still contains the vibrant and soulful feel that has become characteristic of his instrumentals, the album has more of an R&B feel than some of his previous work. While those looking for strictly rap may be slightly disappointed, most will find that this is by no means a bad thing, as the funk and soul-driven beats that 9th Wonder creates are often equally as suited for soft crooning vocals as they are for hip-hop rhymes. "
King Sun :: XL :: Zakia/Profile ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"Believe it or not, before EXTRA EXTRA LARGE came to represent our grandiose modern times, EXTRA LARGE was sizeable enough to stand out. Rapper King Sun had the bodily frame to match, cutting an imposing figure at 6'7", a height that lent some credence to the title of his 1989 debut album, "XL." It contains his most famous tune, the Art of Noise-sampling "Hey Love," released as a single back in 1987. On the sampling timeline, "Hey Love" (produced by Cutmaster DC and D-Moët) may very well hold a special place because of the seamless incorporation of a smooth sample at a time when the evolving technique mainly brought forth beats that were more on the rugged side. The title and theme of the track also suggest that it served as an inspiration for L.L. Cool J's "Hey Lover" (1995). This is noteworthy because Sun was obviously following L.L.'s own lead when he debuted with a love song. Once he began cutting an album, he was ready to demonstrate his abilities in other fields but still chose to end his first full-length with three relationship pieces, starting with "Hey Love," followed by the quasi-sequel "Do I Love You," where he gets to prove his love for the girl in question, and "Time to Go," chronicling a relationship that was destined to fail. "
"If you'll forgive the momentary segue, I really wish artists would remember to put one-sheets in their promo packages. The one-sheet has everything you need to know about an artist and their album from biographical data to song production notes. As often as not it also includes quotes from other reviewers, a healthy smattering of hyperbole praising the artist, and suggested songs you should listen to when reviewing the album. Sometimes the extra shit you get with what you need can be overkill, but trust me as a reviewer when I tell you this - more than you need is preferable to NONE of what you need. The term one-sheet became ubiquitous because it's so easy - just drop one folded up sheet in your mailing envelope and you're done. Nycest Emcee didn't include a one-sheet with "Arrival 'N Departure." Instead the back cover of his CD jacket suggests that you search for him on Twitter and Facebook. That wasn't very "nice" of him at all. I took his advice though and Googled his name hoping to find a bio. Reverb Nation was not helpful. They tell you who is featured on his new album (a fairly impressive list to be sure including Royce Da 5'9" and Rah Digga) but nothing about Nyce himself. Facebook was only slightly more helfpul. I now know that Nyce hails from Raleigh, North Carolina - and not much else. "
"As each hip-hop generation goes, a new one comes along to continue the traditions of their elders, while simultaneously presenting a new and unique perspective on the music and culture. We've got a hip-hop generation coming up right now who were born in the early 1990's, or at the very latest the tail end of the 1980's. For this group there has never not been a ubiquitous internet presence, and cell phones were never bigger than the bricks making up city buildings. They came after the Wu-Tang revolution, they have no fond memories of Yo! MTV Raps, and they don't remember the L.A. Riots or Rodney King's impassioned pleas. Their perspective is therefore unique to hip-hop, and we've seen that bear fruit from the likes of Lil B and Tyler, the Creator. Though they have their share of fans and critics alike, they're what's coming next, and hip-hop's intelligentsia ignores them at their own peril. Pavy's press release for "Middle Class Ignorance" describes him as coming from this same generation, and perhaps takes it a step further. It outright declares that by the time these kids started to come of age to appreciate hip-hop, Biggie and 'Pac were both long dead, and Ol' Dirty Bastard was already in rehab and one foot from the grave. That's harsh but it's certainly accurate - their heroes are not ours."
"I was one of many critics who loved Spank Rock's 2006 debut "YoYoYoYoYo." I was irritated by the lyrics on the 2007 EP "Bangers and Cash," in which Benny Blanco replaced Armani XXXchange as rapper Naeem Juwan's DJ/producer. That was almost five years ago. A lot has changed since then. Benny Blanco helped Katy Perry get famous. Spank Rock toured with hip-pop party acts LMFAO and Ke$ha and didn't release any new music. The economy fell apart. An African-American became president. Lil Wayne and T.I. went to prison. Kim Kardashian got married and divorced. In short, time passed, and it passed Spank Rock by. Is there still room in 2011 for a foul-mouthed MC who does dirty raps about sex and drugs over dance beats? The obvious answer is that, just like Jell-O, there is ALWAYS room for a foul-mouthed MC to rap about getting high and getting it on. The real question is whether or not Spank Rock will be that lucky MC. This time around, he's teamed up with German producers Boys Noize, who provide some electro Eurotrash beats. This is the first big weakness of the album. Spank Rock's previous producers were Americans who were able to put some funk up in their techno. Now he's working with two dudes from the land of Kraftwerk and tall blondes. Boys Noize try hard, but there is a Teutonic coldness to their beats that is a buzzkill. "
Tanya Morgan :: You and What Army? :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"Tanya Morgan first made a name for themselves with their excellent 2006 debut, "Moonlighting," and 2009's "Brooklynatti." In the meantime the trio of Von Pea, Ilyas, and Donwill have released numerous solo projects, and proved that their Lessondary crew was worth paying attention to. 2011 finds them half a decade in and down one member. Ilyas, now i-El, left because he saw God and realized he needed to go down a different path, all of which he lays out in a recent mixtape. Donwill and Von Pea have hunkered down and put out this EP as a way to show that they still have a stake in this rap game. Tanya Morgan's trademark has always been their loose, low-key approach to making music. Donwill and Von Pea are both talented rappers, but their delivery is almost always toned down and unpretentious. They sound like regular guys telling it like it is, albeit with above-average skills on the mic. This low-key aspect of Tanya Morgan makes them easy to overlook or take for granted, but they always deliver the goods, following the tradition of Native Tongue artists like De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest. "
"T-Pain has been taking his sweet time since 2008's "Thr33 Ringz" when it comes to putting out a new album. To be fair though it's not exactly like he's needed to drop one to stay relevant. He's unquestionably the voice of digital R&B hip-hop; in fact, if that was a category at the Grammy Awards, he'd be the sole nominee and annual winner each year. A lot of people have tried to duplicate his Auto-Tuned style with varying degrees of success, but if you really want your single to be a hit you put T-Pain on the original or the remix. Haters are quick to knock him as being a one trick pony, but this horse has been on a six year run now and doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. "rEVOLVEr" uses double entendre of the incredibly obvious variety in its title - implying that Pain gets it poppin' like a gun yet is offering something evolutionary and new in his 2011 style. I'm glad he came up with a cute concept, but to be frank (and this is not a negative) there is nothing new about T-Pain's style here. It's not as though his voice suddenly got deeper or richer. It's not as though he unplugged all the digital voice manipulators and went acoustic. It's not even a change of topic matter for the rapper turned singer - he's on that same shit he's always been about."
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #152 is Our 2011 Christmas Rap Special! Stop for a moment from buying your last minute Christmas gifts at Amazon.com and enjoy some holiday cheer courtesy of Random, Moka Only, Young Stroke and Phill Harmonix among others! 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.
* Random a/k/a Mega Ran - Wishlist * Moka Only - Morning Glory and a Blob * Dwank Mob - Crank Dat Santa Claus * Random f/ Phill Harmonix - Christmas Is Coming * Young Stroke - I'm Coming Home for Christmas * Moka Only - XMAS GWOP * Random a/k/a Mega Ran - My Christmas Prayer
Adam: "Everybody wants to the end year on a high note and I'm gonna help you do just that with this month's edition of The Adam B Experience. Over 45 minutes of music, some of it so high energy it may cause you to punch the person nearest to you in the face in excitement, and some of it so chill you may make a baby to it. Actually, you may make a baby to the high energy stuff, too. I don't know what goes on your bedroom/the backseat of your car. If that's how you get down, make it happen! Happy holidays and thanks for listening. 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!
* Homeboy Sandman - New York Nights * Bubble Geese - Long Live Long Island Girls * Sketch Tha Cataclysm - Kidney Stones * Jonny October - Hi Seas * PackFM - I F*cking Hate Rappers * Duece Bug - Kick Rrawks * Expertiz - Dynasty * Toussaint Morrison - Walk Thu The Wall * Bop Alloy - Ocean Dance (Arrival) * The Other Guys - Nowhere to be Found * Embryotik Flow - Igrushka * Rashid Amir - Epidemic
I know I just pestered you last week about my new Kickstarter campaign but I needed to jump in here and let you know I have a new song up on The FuMP!
"I Am The Doctor" is my latest song which is about Doctor Who, focussing mostly on the Matt Smith episodes since he's the current one, but there are some references to to Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant episodes as well. I know you've always wanted to hear me rapping really fast with an English accent. Well now's your chance.
And a quick update on my Kickstarter campaign. I'm up to $785! So I'm off to a good start but I still have a ways to go. If you missed my last update this is to fund development of a new iPhone game. I'll make an Android version later if the iPhone version is at least a moderate success. All the info about the game can be found at http://kck.st/sFIlTp.
With sass and flare KGB brings you an entirely unique sound. She's found a way to create pop music while breaking the mold and ignoring all of the rules. "I aspire to be the anti-pop pop icon", says the New York-based artist. Featuring Academy Award winning Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia, "Juicy" premiered on OnSmash.com raking in nearly 60,000 views in just over 24 hours. Her talent and presence are undeniable, and this is only the beginning.
Currently working with Timbaland Productions, Wizz Dumb, Mizzle and Grinehouse, Young Yonny who produced the Trey Songz smash "Say Ah", Omen, Cutt, Brass Knuckles, Mr. Beatz from Cashmoney and Kojak whose credits include Miranda Cosgrove and Flo-Rida have all added on the production side. Her reach is limitless and her music is fresh and engaging. Stay tuned for all there is to come of KGB!