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The (W)rap Up - Week of February 14, 2012

If you missed any of the new reviews last week including Bill Ortiz' "Winter In America" then be sure to check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Winter In America]

Bill Ortiz :: Winter In America
Left Angle Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Carlos Santana does not appear on this album. Just thought I'd get that out of the way at the start. Readers who know the name Bill Ortiz would recognize him as the funky trumpeter extraordinaire from Santana's jam band. What may be lesser known to those same Santana fans is that Ortiz himself is a hip-hop fan, and he goes deep in the genre. In fact if you go all the way back to the timeless hip-hop classic "'93 Til Infinity" by the Souls of Mischief, you'll hear Bill, and that's not because he was sampled. Ortiz is a progressive jazz musician in every sense of the word, and for my two cents, he's the anti-Wynton Marsalis. Besides rocking crowds with Santana, you can also hear his collaborations with everybody from En Vogue to Total, from Sheila E to TLC. As such it's really no surprise to me that Ortiz would want to drop a hip-hop CD. Ortiz himself puts it like this: "I've been really encouraged by some of the Bay Area hip-hop artists like Zumbi and The Grouch who make music with enlightened lyrics. We often celebrate ignorance in our society, so I wanted to celebrate consciousness."

Clams Casino :: Instrumental Mixtape ::
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
[Instrumental Mixtape] 
"In the beginning, there was the break. DJ Kool Herc discovered the magic of repeating the funkiest instrumental breakdowns from popular rock, soul, and disco albums of the day, turning five seconds of The Incredible Bongo Band's "Apache" into a irresistible sonic background that gave space for b-boys to breakdance and MCs to spit rhymes. As hip-hop progressed the technology around sampling breaks got more sophisticated, culminating in the complicated sound collages of the Bomb Squad and the Dust Brothers. Right about the time sampling hit its creative peak with "Paul's Boutique" and "It Takes A Nation of Millions," a series of lawsuits served put stifling constraints on the practice of borrowing seconds of another artist's music. Today the break is no longer king. It's too expensive to sample even moderately well-known stuff, and most of those songs have been mined to death already. While there are still producers who can flip a sample and make it sound interesting and vibrant, more and more beats based on old funk breaks sound nostalgic or old-fashioned. The past twenty years has seen hip-hop production straying from MPCs and Chic 12 inches, and instead turning to synthesizers and electronic music. Few producers have been able to balance electronic music and hip-hop as well as New Jersey native Mike Volpe, aka Clams Casino. "

DATGirl :: Slutstep :: DATGirl Media
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon


"Described in her one sheet as both "a visionary gearhead vixen" and "a cross between Princess Superstar and Sarah Silverman," DATGirl is doing her best to live up to all of the above on "Smack and Please." "Baby if you love me, shove me/honey if you want me, taunt me/sweetie if you need me, beat me." One could say it's DATGirl's self-produced ode to sadomasochism. It certainly seems like a song designed to titillate male listeners, but there are two inherent problems. The first is that not all of them are going to be into pain as pleasure, and the second is that those who really ARE would probably dish out more than the relatively PG fantasy that DATGirl dishes out. It might be erotica but it's far from hardcore whips, chains & bondage. Is that all DATGirl is about though? Her heritage is accurately and somewhat confusingly described as Iraqi-American-Jewish-Buddhist, and while she may or may not be bisexual her New York to San Francisco travels definitely make her bicoastal. She's had a lot of different gigs besides a musical career, as she's apparently "an experienced fire eater" and an expert at "mask performance and Balinese dance." I have to just be blunt with the readers at this point - DATGirl has been so many things it doesn't seem like she can settle on being any ONE thing. That's far from her biggest problem though. Being eclectic could win her fans, but bad parodies of Sir Mix-A-Lot definitely will not."

Iggy Azalea :: Ignorant Art :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Matt Jost

[Ignorant Art] 
"Iggy Azalea makes a very reasonable statement on "Ignorant Art": "My time will start today / Nicki paved the way." She quickly adds the names "Kim, Foxy, Eve," but Nicki Minaj is unquestionably the main reference point here. Iggy Azalea is a creature of the digital age, using the internet as a source of influence and as a tool to build her image and her fanbase. Her four videos of original material ("D.R.U.G.S," "Pu$$y," "My World," "The Last Song") are eye-catching compositions whose star may strike ubiquitous model and rapper poses but also exudes actual natural confidence. The visual element is an integral part of her performance, adding a dimension that just wouldn't be there if you only listened to the music. Looks and sounds have always been closely intertwined in pop music, but female artists tradtionally experience more pressure to project an image. Some have been able to take control and used the premise to look presentable to their own advantage, most famously Madonna. Stylish female rappers are nothing new either, but they usually didn't get very far. Which would corroborate the traditionalists who would like to believe that it's still mainly the music that excites people. "

Junior Toots :: A Little Bit of Love :: Crown of Fire Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[A Little Bit of Love] 
"It's a shame that "A Little Bit of Love" isn't available in stores today - after all it is Valentine's Day. I doubt Junior Toots will stay up nights worrying about it though - after all the "love" he's professing is the universal love for all mankind, born from the blessings Jah provide. He's already blessed Junior with excellent reggae genetics, being that he's the son of reggae legend Toots Hibbert, who you may know best from Toots and the Maytals. Then again you may NOT know, which is as good a reason for you to be reading this review as any. Junior's story deviates from his father's a bit. While both of them were born in Jamaica, the younger Toots has been living in the United States since the 1980's, first in Connecticut but ultimately in California. You will find Toots' roots definitely lend to the reggae format, while his accent has definitely gained a touch of Americanization given he came here at such a young age. There will no doubt be debate about whether or not this is for the best - for some ears he may be easier to understand than more traditional Jamaican artists, while some listeners may feel he's a pretender to a culture he was long ago uprooted and made apart from."

Magnificent Ruffians :: Spanglish Conquistadores ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Spanglish Conquistadores] 
"The Magnificent Ruffians have a fair claim to being "Spanglish Conquistadores" for two reasons - they constantly switch back and forth between two languages +and+ they have a producer named AGQ who hails FROM Spain. California to Spain? Now that's what I call some international zone coasting. If that wasn't enough to justify the title of their album, the Ruffians go out of their way to collaborate with famous hispanic hip-hop heads like Tony Touch and Thirstin Howl III. For my money though that's far from the best track out of the 34 minutes of "Spanglish Conquistadores." The ethereal reverberation of the title cut is a nice place to start, and the features from Blest One and Dkoldis are welcomed. The harmonizing and deadpan delivery of "Trust Issues" featuring Isayah Thomas works well too as does AGQ's bare bones beat. To get the party going you'd want to throw on the bass heavy "Ooh Wee" featuring Virush, and if you want to go horrorcore like the Gravediggaz you can hit your corner bodega and blast "3 Round Burst" until everyone scatters. "

OCD (Moosh & Twist) :: The Vestibule ::
as reviewed by Mike Baber

[The Vestibule] 
"As someone who has gone to college for the past four years in the Philadelphia area, I'm always keeping an eye out for up-and-coming local acts looking to add to the City of Brotherly Love's hip-hop scene. A little less than a year ago, I came across Moosh and Twist, at the time two 17-year-olds who collectively made up the duo OCD and had just released their first mixtape, "Up Before the World." With a handful of catchy songs, witty lyrics, and sample driven beats, the release was a quality effort despite the few lyrical shortcomings one would normally expect from a hip-hop album coming from a couple of high-school kids. It was apparent that Moosh and Twist weren't at all intimidated by their lack of experience in the hip-hop game, and their rhymes, while not the most complex, carried the energy and excitement necessary to ensure an enjoyable listen. Since then, I've periodically checked back to the group's website to listen to some of their new material, and given that the two now high-school graduates have recently put their studies to the side to focus exclusively on music, I figured it was an appropriate time to review their latest mixtape, "The Vestibule," released in January of 2012. "

Adam B's Doin' Alright 17 Photo Gallery

Adam Bernard: "Doin' Alright 17 at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC (Feb. 17th, 2012)."

The Hip-Hop Shop #161 - 6 MORE Podsafe Songs That I Like

It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #161 is called 6 MORE Podsafe Songs That I Like. Since last week's episode recorded while I was covering UFC was a surprise hit, so I've opted to come back on the same steelo and do the same shit! Enjoy some good songs by Tha Connection, Iron Solomon, A.Dd+, MUMBLS and more! Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check it out every Tuesday on! Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS newsfeed so you never miss a new episode.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Tha Connection - Shook
* BBU - Beau Sia
* Iron Solomon - Breathe
* A.Dd+ - Shit Got Grazy
* MUMBLS - Spellbound
* Mason Caine - Big Daddy Caine

Video: Mr. Green "Live From the Streets" feat. Rime (Jersey Joe)

Video: Mr. Green "Live From the Streets" feat. Rime (Jersey Joe)

Courtesy Mr. Green.

"This episode I made a beat out of footage that our boy Rime  took while he was in Miami for Art Basel.  It's the first time we've done anything like this (used someone else's footage) and we're honored that Rime asked us to do it.  This opens up a whole new world for us and our sampling... the possibilities are endless."  -Green

Mixtape: A-Mafia - "Under the Scope"

Mixtape: A-Mafia - "Under the Scope"

Courtesy BF Blasts.

Coast 2 Coast Mixtape Distribution:

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18.REAL LIVE PRO (clean) feat. 2 CHAINZ

Video: Prodigy's "H.N.I.C. 3" Mixtape Trailer

Video: Prodigy's "H.N.I.C. 3" Mixtape Trailer

Courtesy DJ Vlad.

"New mixtape from Mobb Deep's Prodigy drops 2/20/12."

Video: D.M.C. Predicts Future for Openly Gay Rappers

Video: D.M.C. Predicts Future for Openly Gay Rappers

Courtesy DJ Vlad.

"The legendary rapper gives advice to openly gay rappers wanting to break into hip-hop and the No H8 campaign."

Free Download: Dominique Larue - "From Ohio With Love"

Free Download: Dominique Larue - "From Ohio With Love"

Courtesy Reginald C.

Dominique Larue mini-bio:  Born and bred in Columbus, Ohio, Dominique Larue was influenced early on by Hip Hop legends to pursue a career in in the art. Over the years she's honed her emceeing abilities, and garnered recognition internationally with virtually every bar delivered. Having already released 6 projects to date, she's geared up for what promises to be a busy 2012 with 3 projects on deck beginning with the D/Will produced "Diem" coming in March.

Release info:  After days of deliberation, Dominique Larue has decided to re-release her 2009 debut, "From Ohio With Love", as a free download. The lushly produced project features production from the likes of Kev Brown, !llmind, J. Rawls, Lee Bannon, and more and guest verses from several independent hip hop stalwarts including Jon Robinson, among others. It also covers the gambit conceptually, showcasing Larue's rare barslinging abilities, while also giving the listener the emcee's prospective of life in her hometown, Columbus, OH.

Album Single: Okay (feat. Kim Joyce) (prod. by illmind)
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"From Ohio With Love" Track Listing:
1.) Intro (prod. by Ghost Rydah)
2.) Home (prod. Kev Brown)
3.) 1's Up (Part Two) feat. John Robinson (prod. by D.R.)
4.) So Severe (prod. by Severe)
5.) Okay feat. Kim Joyce (prod. by !llmind)
6.) Bang It Out (prod. by D/Will)
7.) Spanish Joint feat. Dav Julca (prod. by J.Rawls)
8.) The Struggle (prod. by drielb)
9.) Give It 2 Me feat. J.Osceola (prod. by Dub 00)
10.) Tonight feat. Kim Joyce (prod. by drielb)
11.) Rule The World (prod. by drielb)
12.) One Woman Man (prod. by Lee Bannon)
13.) Cipher feat. Hood Apostle, Cyrano Sinatra and Radius (prod. by Severe)
14.) Outro (prod. by Ghost Rydah)

Stream & Download the album in its entirety here for free:
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MP3: J. Dash - "Transformer"

MP3: J. Dash - "Transformer"

Courtesy M3W.

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Video: Girl Does a Dead On Nicki Minaj Impression

Video: Girl Does a Dead On Nicki Minaj Impression

Courtesy DJ Vlad.

"Girl impersonates Nicki Minaj."

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Welcome to for the week of March 21st, 2017!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got EIGHT new items: AllttA's "The Upper Hand," Banks & Steelz' "Anything But Words," an editorial on JonTron's problematic views, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #418, Lord Finesse's "The SP 1200 Project," Rick Ross' "Rather You Than Me" (our featured review), a new Top 15 Public Enemy videos and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for March 14, 2017!

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