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Friday October 31, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Run the Jewels 2] Don't cry.

Run the Jewels Review

Latest News Headlines
The (W)rap Up - Week of September 21, 2010

"What does Lawrence Franks Jr. need to be redeemed from? Perhaps it's from being released by Jive/Zomba after his first album "Notebook Paper," although in his own words "You might be telling the truth/but really I released myself." Maybe it's from being perceived as too junior to be taken seriously, given his first album referenced schoolwork and the cover saw him sitting at a desk with a blackboard in the background. Education certainly isn't his focus on "Retarded" though, as Huey takes obscene amounts of pride in being materialistically shallow, bragging "I look blind but this money make me see things ... I'm handicapped but this money make me walk straight ... I get my retarded on when it's about cash, I get my retarded on with my retarded ass." Maybe he needs to be redeemed from feuding with Nelly, because it doesn't seem like St. Louis was big enough for both of them. There's little doubt that if the careers of the two were measured side by side, Nelly's about 20 million albums ahead. "

Black Milk :: Album of the Year ::
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania
[Album of the Year]

"And that is what Black Milk has decided to do with "Album of the Year" – not a boastful, ill-advised title, but simply THE album of HIS year, describing his past 365 days. That it also happens to be the album of his career is a bonus, but AOTY is halfway between throwback and unique. The first couple of listens are bemusing, polarising and, to an extent, disappointing. However, persevere, dear Reader, and you will be rewarded with an LP that, through looking inward, almost faultlessly details the outside world that so many of us face right now. It is an album that feels like it could not have been released at any other point in the timeline of this illustrious genre. "Album of the Year" doesn't always work flawlessly, and one could strongly argue that it trades in thrilling one-offs in favour of consistency. For example, there isn't a single effort that matches the stunning sonic genius of a track like "Bounce" from his last LP, "Tronic." However, this time round, we are gifted a much more even listen, with virtually no peaks and troughs. "

Central Services :: Forever Frozen in Television Time :: Definitive Jux
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Forever Frozen in Television Time] 
"Right around the time RR was covering Camu Tao's final album "King of Hearts," the people at Definitive Jux decided to release a free EP in support of the album called "Forever Frozen in Television Time." The EP was the result of a collaboration between Camu Tao and his long-time friend El-Producto, which they had intended to release as a group under the name Central Services. For whatever reason, the EP got shelved and never worked its way to fans of either rapper/musician until this year - but better late than never as they always say - and besides it's free. Much like "King of Hearts," the Central Services EP features a side of Camu Tao which veers away from traditional hip-hop rhyming and jumps into heavily overproduced crooning, complete with echo effects, distortion and reverb up the wazoo."

Das Racist :: Sit Down, Man :: Greedhead Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Sit Down, Man] "Das Racist is a very polarizing group, and that's without even taking their name into account. Though the spelling might be considered a tribute to Das EFX, it's more of a play on the background of rappers Himanshu Suri and Victor Vasquez, who are probably hip-hop's first ever Indian-American meets Cuban/African-American duo. If they aren't, well they're certainly the first to ever get recognized in the mainstream, as evidenced by the success of their single "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell." No, I'm not joking, but you can never be quite sure whether these two emcees really are or not. Their last album "Shut Up, Dude" had listeners scratching their heads trying to figure out if Suri and Vasquez were serious about rap music or whether it was all a big goof by two Wesleyan students who grew up in Brooklyn and felt familiar enough with hip-hop to be able to mock it. "

Hired Gun, Rabbi Darkside, & Zajazza :: Skillz to Take Brazil :: Say Word Entertainment
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

[Skillz to Take Brazil] 
"Skillz to Take Brazil" is a collaborative effort from a group of very diverse people. Hired Gun and Rabbi Darkside are emcee/educators hailing from Brooklyn and handle most of the emceeing duties on the album. Zajazza is a French DJ/Producer who handles the production. The trio met up in Brazil for what originally was meant to be a tour. That tour led to late night recording sessions and collaborations with Brazilian emcees. Those recording sessions are collected here, a project born out of love for and exploration of the Brazilian culture. The album presents the age old question – Are other people's vacations really that interesting? "Skillz To Take Brazil" is filled with jazzy, head-nodding beats thanks to Zajazza. "Visas" is driven by a simple bass line and choppy piano sample. The combination isn't complex, but the result is dope."

Kam :: Made in America :: EastWest America/Elektra
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **

as reviewed by Pete T.

[Made in America] 
"It's no secret that West Coast rappers, in many cases, can trace their hip hop lineage like a family tree. In fact, gangsta rap's bloodlines have produced some of the genre's most celebrated collaborators—had Snoop Dogg's buddy Warren G not been Dr. Dre's stepbrother, who's to say to what extent the Compton and Long Beach connection might never have occurred? In that case, Snoop might never have had the chance to put on his cousins Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Butch Cassidy, RBX, and Lil 1/2 Dead, themselves forming a hall-of-fame hip hop clan. That said, rare is the superstar MC who hasn't at least attempted to hook up his friends and family in the record industry, and all too often the case is that the apple falls outside spitting range from the tree—need anyone be reminded of Nas' next-of-kin the Bravehearts or Master P's efforts with Tru's second generation, namely Lil Romeo? "

Lil' Prophet :: Versatile :: Real World Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"At first glance, Lil' Prophet's latest CD gives no indication it is in fact Christian or Gospel rap. The cover features Lil' Prophet in baggy T with a big platinum chain around his neck. The back lists songs with titles like "You Don't Want Me," "Stupid Crazy Crunk," and "Never Scared." An adventurous consumer might purchase the CD expecting the next big thing in southern rap; precisely the goal of Lil' Prophet and Real World Records. Everything about Lil' Prophet, from his presentation to his music, is made to mimic the current trends in rap music. To that end, "Versatile" is a resounding success, but whether that is a good or bad thing is debatable. Production on the CD is handled mostly by Pettidee, an established Christian rap veteran. The beats are for the most part the trunk rattling, crunk beats that have been popular for the last few years. K-Drama produces a slightly generic, but very bumping track on "You Don't Want Me." Hard hitting bass, stuttering snares, and a smooth guitar make for a catchy beat. "

M.O.N.E. :: Music Only Needs Ears Vol. 1 ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Music Only Needs Ears Vol. 1] 
"Jamaica, Queens rapper Vic Damone was apparently getting tired of being confused with the famous crooner of the same name. He changed his name up to Vic D but that still didn't solve his problems, as some people undoubtedly confused Vic D with one hit (to date) wonder V.I.C.. What's a young rapper to do to make his name stand out in the world of music? Well Vic finally found the solution and took the last syllable of his original name and flipped it - now he's known as M.O.N.E. pronounced like MOAN. According to his new mixtape from DJ OnPoint and DJ LGee, the acronym stands for "Music Only Needs Ears." That's true and (at least slightly) catchy too, so maybe M.O.N.E. can finally break out."


"If you're wondering how it could possibly be over ten years since the last Rah Digga album, consider that when she blessed us with "Dirty Harriet" in April 2000 Bill Clinton was president, Barry Sanders was on the cover of Madden, and Dr. Dre and Black Rob each had albums on the Billboard Top 10. At that time, the Newark native claimed affiliation with both the Outsidaz and the Flipmode Squad, but she would never be labeled either crew's token female rapper—in fact, her vicious rhymes and rugged technique made her a star of both outfits regardless of gender such that her Elektra debut was more heavily anticipated than any member of either collective not named Busta Rhymes. Nor did "Dirty Harriet" disappoint—both a commercial and critical success featuring production by Busta, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, Rockwilder, Mr. Walt, Nottz, and others, Rashia appeared to be on the path to a stardom that only few females before her had attained. "

Super Chron Flight Brothers :: Cape Verde :: Backwoodz Studioz
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Cape Verde] 
"There are a few things Billy Woods and Priviledge a/k/a the Super Chron Flight Brothers are familiar with - in no particular order they are video games, Saturday morning cartoons, hip-hop rhymes, super-sized helpings of marijuana (whether bong, blunt or joint) and pop culture TV shows. Their 2007 hip-hop debut "Emergency Powers" only hinted at the blunted adventures to follow. What could have been a sugar puff packed bowl of crunchy green goodness was according to RR contributor Arthur Gailes held back more by the beats than the rhymes. "The production is spare, metallic. Most of it is very good, very dark, and definitely unique. It's not quite bass-first, but it almost uniformly lends itself to big, booming speakers. As a quiet listen, it is much more underwhelming, even somewhat boring." It seems that S.C.F.B. took those words to heart on their sophomore album "Cape Verde." "

DJ Smallz ::
The Future of Alabama :: Southern Smoke
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 
[The Future of Alabama]
"The title of his latest mixtape "The Future of Alabama" caught my eye because I've always felt that the 'Bama hip-hop scene is a little slept on. Recently Gadsden, Alabama's own Yelawolf has been starting to blow up nationally, but before that you had
Rich Boy out of Moline, the group Dirty out of Montgomery, there's G-Side out of Huntsville, the list goes on and on. Gucci Mane is from Birmingham if you want to count him too - I don't but YMMV. ANYWAY talent runs deep in the heart of the South, in a state with well over 4.5 million people, one which has had the kind of tumultuous social and racial issues since its founding which for better or worse coincides with a strong artistic and musical culture. In other words Alabama has a lot to offer the world AND hip-hop music, and if DJ Smallz and his partner DJ Frank White want to shine a spotlight on that I say more power to them. "
The Adam B Experience (ABX) Podcast #38

Adam: "Fall is here, and with the new season upon us you need new tunes. I understand that, which is why I packed this month's 35+ minute edition of The Adam B Experience with nine songs, including three ABX artist debuts. There's also the usual amount of me being an idiot thrown in for good measure. It's good music and a good time all wrapped up in one podcast. Enjoy! Hit me up with feedback at" The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE so tell your friends to download ABX right here at!

Download Here (right click to save)

The 2010 Ohio Hip Hop Awards Recap

One week ago, the Dream Nightclub on the West Bank of Cleveland's Flats District was the place to be as the 5th Annual Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference's main event took place. The award show is designed to recognize and showcase the best of the best in Ohio hip-hop. The show was hosted by Big Eddie Bauer, Robyn Simone and City. Toledo's DJ One 1X TyMe held down his position as the house deejay.

By the end of the night, forty OHHA plaques had been handed out to recipients in various categories that touched all aspects of the culture. For example, 2 Live Music was the winner in the Best Retail Outlet category, while Skully's Music Diner won for Best Live Venue. Blessed Label came away with the hardware for Best Clothing Line and Jada Stacks won for Best Model. There were also awards given out for Best B-Boy/B-Girl and Best Turntablist, with Billie Bad Ass and Scratchmaster L walking away with the honors, respectively. The Daymon Mumford Humanitarian Award was given to Al Porter and TJ Chapman & DJ Lyte-N-Rod were both named as Lifetime Achievement Award winners. For a look at all of the winners, click here.

Aside from the recognition, some of the awards came with more than just an Ohio-shaped plaque. Take Machine Gun Kelly, who won in the Best Live Performer Category. In addition to his award, he also will receive placement in XXL Magazine, a write-up in The Source magazine and a $2,000 promotional package from Toledo's Cuntry won the OHHA Industry Showcase the following Sunday, and with that he also won a feature on the OHHA website, their newsletter and also the radio shows that are affiliated with OHHA such as "The Playa's Ball" and the "Go Gettas Show." He also gets trips to Atlanta and Detroit for a free recording session at HotBeats Studios and to attend the Red Bull Big Tunes producer competition.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Bizzy Bone also made a special appearance along with Portia "Lady Rerun" Berry. You can currently see her in a regional advertisement for Safe Auto Insurance.  There were also several performances from the likes of Ray Cash, Status Flo, Gotta Hustle, Erica P, Jola, Freeway Boyz, ADD, Desi, BCE, Mz Nikki, Freezy and Britni Elise. The show was closed out by a performance from Young Mook.

While a great amount of work goes into putting together an event of this magnitude, each year the execution of the Ohio Hip Hop Awards ceremony seems to be criticized and the show itself often negatively referred to as the "Cleveland Awards" since many of the artists that win are Cleveland-based. In its current format, once the categories are set and voting begins, people can vote for their favorites once per day for a nearly a month prior to the ceremony. In the world of social networking, this creates a torrent of "vote for me" action via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and any other platforms the artists feel will be effective.

At the end of the day, the OHHA committee just counts the votes and crowns a winner based on that. However, the approach that some refer to as a "popularity contest" has rubbed many people the wrong way over the years. Some have suggested that a change in host city might change the way the Awards are perceived, others feel like a change in the way winners are chosen may do the trick. In any event, what seems to get lost in all of the commotion is the fact that there is an entire weekend filled with activities to enrich and educate artists on the ins and outs of the industry. Too many get hung up on the pomp and circumstance of the main show that they fail to capitalize on the opportunities that are within their reach.

Only time will tell what the future holds for the Ohio Hip Hop Awards & Music Conference, and while possibly flawed, it still manages to motivate hundreds of artists to put large amounts of time and effort into their work in hopes of being recognized...and it's pretty hard to knock them for that.

Photos from the event can be viewed here and here

Hip-Hop Shop #92 - A Return to No Discernable Theme

Every weekend we air a new edition of Hip-Hop Shop on BlogTalkRadio like the one you're about to hear - Episode #92 - A Return to No Discernable Theme. Don't try to make any sense out of this one - it's as Random as the artists we feature this week including Pigeon John, Soul Khan and Tiff the Gift. Send your feedback, podsafe (RIAA free) music, and advertising requests to Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check out the replay every Tuesday on!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Pigeon John - Before We're Gone
* Soul Khan - Suck My Dick
* Hell Razah - Cinematic
* Tiff the Gift - Celestial Sunshine
* Thinktank - Badguys
* Random f/ Phil Harmonic - Look Around
* Marvell - We Don't Speak Americano (Marvell Remix)
* SL Jones - Turnt Up (No Expiration Date)

MP3: Josh Hurt - "Midnight Racer"

From M3W:

MP3: Josh Hurt - "Midnight Racer"

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Video: Dorrough - "Hell of a Night"

From Chris at E1 Music:

Video: Dorrough - "Hell of a Night"

Video: Sapient - "Universal Diorama"

From Sapient:

Video: Sapient - "Universal Diorama"

PR: Ghostwriting Bedroom Producers J-Punch And Dave Moonshine

From iFastFwd:

Ghostwriting Bedroom Producers J-Punch And Dave Moonshine Scientifically 'Engineer' A New Form Of Music Designed To Please All Audiences

Scientists warn: Exposure to new forms of music may induce feelings of euphoria.


Washington, DC. Sept. 27, 2010 /iFastFwd/ - Veteran House Music Producer J-Punch is constantly re-inventing what it is to re-invent one's self. After several years of thriving in the underground dance music community, having released multiple songs on various dance music record labels [System Recordings, Global Underground], and having spearheaded one of Washington D.C.'s most successful weekly house music events, Pulse, for over 100 weeks, J-Punch has enlisted the aid of his ghostly writing partner, Dave Moonshine and set out to scientifically engineer a new genre of music designed to please all audiences. Despite their controversial decision not to quit their day jobs, the project recently exceeded all their expectations after a late night engineering accident reduced both men to nothing but fuzzy bits of twisted wire. It was in their new stick figure forms that they finally had their musical epiphany.

They lovingly refer to their creation as "alt-tempo," or "down-rock."

In an effort to inspire interest in their project within the law enforcement community, rather than promoting their new album in the traditional “successful” way, J-Punch and Dave Moonshine have been mailing unmarked envelopes to various radio stations and music blogs with nothing enclosed except eerie photographs of stick figures and an unmarked compact discs.

The forthcoming 'Stick Figure Guy' album includes the singles 'Hours Late' and 'We Had It All.'

As described on the artists’ website,, 'Hours Late' is an "ironic homage to modern muses recorded in the hopes that it may ease the suffering of those destined to wait indefinitely for certain disappointment."

'We Had It All,' combines a chill-out sound-scape, analog beats, and a heavily auto-tuned vocal, with a chorus that is both explicit and ironic.

Stick Figure Guy' will be available everywhere digital albums are sold, on October 1, 2010.

PR: New Track From Swollen Members' Mad Child

From Kerosene Media:

PR: New Track From Swollen Members' Mad Child

* *

Swollen Members’ Mad Child has released the song “Rock Bottom” from his upcoming mixtape. Mad Child is preparing to release his solo debut “Dope Sick” in early 2011 through Suburban Noize. The album was inspired by Mad Child ’s ongoing battle with drug addiction and his descent into severe Oxycontin dependence.

Mad Child is currently on tour across Canada with Swollen Members and will launch a full US tour November 4th in Bellingham, WA.


Sept 24- Lethbridge, AB - Exhibition Park – Main Pavillion
Sept 25- Red Deer, AB - Urban Rodeo
Sept 27- Yorkton, SK - Ultra
Sept 28- Winnipeg, MB - Pyramid
Sept 29- Winkler, MB - Morden Complex
Sept 30- Saskatoon, SK - Tequilla Night Club
Oct 02 - Nelson, BC - Royal Hotel
Nov 04 - Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo House of Music
Nov 05 - Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
Nov 06 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Nov 10 - Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
Nov 11 - Fresno, CA @ Babylon Club
Nov 12 - San Francisco, CA @ The Rockit Room
Nov 13 - Stateline, NV @ Mont Bleu Casino Showroom
Nov 14 - Spark, NV @ The Alley
Nov 16 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Nov 17 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
Nov 18 - Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
Nov 19 - Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
Nov 20 - Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
Nov 21 - Steamboat Springs, CO @ Ghostranch Saloon
Nov 22 - Crested Butte, CO @ Lobar
Nov 23 - Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
Nov 24 - Park City, UT @ The Star Bar
Dec 13 - Big Sky, MT @ Big Sky Ski Resort

MP3: Nottz - "Blast That" featuring Black Milk

From Audible Treats:

MP3: Nottz - "Blast That" featuring Black Milk

Grammy Award Winning Producer Unleashes Latest Single, Announces New Release Date For You Need This Music

The Song:

Originally scheduled for an October 12th release, Nottz and his label Raw Koncept Media Group have announced a new release date for the album, October 26th. While his fans eagerly await You Need This Music, the Grammy winning producer/rapper is releasing a new single to appease fans' appetite over the extended wait. For the latest single, "Blast That," Nottz enlists the help of fellow acclaimed producer/rapper Black Milk, whose own project Album Of The Year is garnering a swell of buzz itself.

"Turn up this real hip-hop and turn that wackness down," says Nottz on the message behind his latest single, a track with Brash guitar licks laced over top the beat's heavy, trunk rattling drums. Collaborating with the aforementioned Black Milk proved to be a wise choice, as the track's staccato feel matches perfectly with Black's unique flow, while showcasing both as artists just as dangerous behind the mic as behind the boards. "I felt like Black Milk was the right person for the job for a real 'bring the boom bap back' type record. Something for the new generation to hear," remarks Nottz. Given the chemistry between the two – it took Black Milk only a day to write and record his verse for the song – it sounds like the two may be onto something.

Check out the latest single from Nottz 'Blast That" Featuring Black Milk
"Blast That": .

Nottz' You Need This Music will be available October 26, 2010 via Raw Koncept Media Group.

The Background:

Since 1998, some of Virginia-born Nottz' biggest records to date include, Snoop Dogg Ft R.Kelly "That's That," Kanye West Ft Lil Wayne "Barry Bonds," and Scarface Ft Trey Songz "Girl You Know." Adding to those credits, he has collaborated with artists such as Notorious B.I.G, Swizz Beats, The Game, 50 Cent, Dwele, and Murs just to name a few. These past few years he has built fan base and earned his stripes as a respected and talented artist and, this October 2010, he is set to release his self-produced debut, You Need This Music. All of Nottz' hard work has been, in his words, "to take over the world one day with my sound.

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Welcome to for the week of October 28th, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have TEN new items for you! Check out Black Milk's "If There's a Hell Below," Blu's "Good to Be Home," an editorial on Charles Barkley, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #297, Liotta's "Rap Music Heaven Is An Emcee's Hell," Logic's "Under Pressure," Rapsody's "The Beauty and the Beast," The Regiment x Random's "A Gamer's Anthem," Run the Jewels' "Run the Jewels 2" (our featured review) amd Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for October 21, 2014.

Be sure to check the RapReviews newsfeed for the latest news and updates. Subscribe to the newsfeed via your browser for daily updates like Cornell's Adler Hip-Hop Archive. also recommends The SmackDown RunDown from the AngryMarks Podcast Network. We appreciate your support and welcome any feedback you have. Thanks for visiting!!

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