"Here we are again with Mr. Daniel Swain, a talented recording artist whose travails in the tumultuous music industry we've been chronicling since he dropped "Charm" in 2006. At one point his stock had risen so high that indie imprint darling Definitive Jux signed him to a deal; ironically they could never give the rapper nor anyone else a definitive record release date for his album. "Where Is Danny?" was both the answer and a question, with his alleged label doing almost nothing to promote their signee, which ultimately led to a "Where Is Danny? 2.0" released in 2011 with new beats and a new distributor - Interscope Records. For fans of Mr. Swain's music, the news that follows will be no less frustrating - so I apologize in advance for having this advance. The press release contains a tentative January 17th release date, which has already come and gone, but you won't find this album for sale on his personal website nor at Amazon.com. For what it's worth the fact this album is now in my hands indicates Swain is as anxious to get it out to the press as to the public, so perhaps it's a sample clearance issue (even though he meticulously lists all usage in his press kit). The album looks and sounds complete though - "Payback" is 17 tracks clocking in at nearly 80 minutes total worth of music."
"Respectfully I'm going to defer the opening of this review to a statement of intentions and goals from the producers of this album. I'm quoting directly from the CASA House website here, which you can access yourself by clicking on the cover art for this release. "The 16 Songs for 16 Days Of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women project is funded under a grant from the Australian Government. It involves a partnership between CASA House, Melbourne Citymission and YWCA Victoria, with support from Obese Records. The project coincides with the International yearly campaign, 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women." "The project was developed as a means of engaging young people who were accessing housing support services around the issues of violence against women. This engagement has been undertaken through group work with young people (based at Melbourne Citymission) and the production of a hip hop CD which contains messages against violence and promotes respectful relationships." Now if one were to question whether such high-minded idealistic activism is worthwhile in this cynical age, one has only to look at the year 2011 in the news to see the powerful of activism put into action. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, activists made their voices heard loud and clear, often risking police brutality or a sniper rifle's bullet in the process."
"For me personally, there is a considerable difference between listening to hip-hop as a background track, whether it's at the gym or on the way to class, and listening while giving my full focus to the song or album. In the case of the former, I often find myself simply nodding along to the track, as long as the beat has some bounce to it and the emcee has a strong delivery. If my undivided attention is on the music, though, I dig deeper and focus more on the lyrics themselves, picking up wordplay that I would otherwise miss with a casual listen. This also makes it easier to distinguish between the artists that merely sound good over the track and artists who are true lyricists, and such is the case with Louie Gonz on his latest mixtape "Extras 3." After a quick listen through, Louie seems to hold his own on the mic, but a more careful examination reveals that, although there are a handful of standout tracks, his smooth flow overshadows the fact that he fails to really bring anything new to the table in terms of lyricism. Upon first glance, "Extras 3" may seem like a mixtape that's too long for its own good. Of the 26 tracks, though, only five of them are more than three minutes long, and the mixtape in total clocks in at just under an hour. Although "Extras 3" sees Louie flow over a number of instrumentals borrowed from other artists, many of the lengthier songs are produced specifically for the mixtape and feature a majority of the guest appearances."
Rick Ross :: Rich Forever :: LiveMixtapes.com as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez
"Me and Rick Ross, not the real Ricky Ross, have a love/hate relationship. I love some of his music, hate what he stands for. It wasn't always this way. When "Hustlin" first dropped I jammed the song like everybody else did and was actually impressed the pudgy rapper who used to do cameos in Trick Daddy and Trina videos had scored a hit of his own. As Ross piled up the hits I remained impressed, but still didn't consider any of his albums worthy of owning due to their rather shallow nature. Once his past as "Officer Ricky" was exposed I couldn't take the guy seriously at all. My issue has never been with the fact Rick Ross was a C.O. - I think him going to college and being gainfully employed is actually an example of the man's hustle and I commend him for that. My issue has always been the fact he denied his past and continues to push the glorified lie that is a drug dealer's lifestyle. Of course, the world doesn't revolve around me and as people have pointed out before - I may be taking rappers a bit too seriously. In Rick Ross' case, when you strip his music of any expectations and take it for what it is you can't deny that he continues to make catchy music with good beats that people like. "Rich Forever" is no different as the rapper cooks up another batch of ballin, blingin fantasies served over exquisite production. "
"In the wake of Barack Obama's election, Hua Hsu wrote an article that appeared in the Atlantic titled "The End of White America?" He wrote about the changing demographics of the country, and how the election of the first non-white president was a sign of the multicultural, mutli-hued future to come. "As a purely demographic matter..."white America" ... may cease to exist in 2040, 2050, or 2060, or later still, Hsu writes. " But where the culture is concerned, it's already all but finished. Instead of the long-standing model of assimilation toward a common center, the culture is being remade in the image of white America's multiethnic, multicolored heirs." In the face of these demographic shifts, a white person has two options: they can decide to feel besieged, overwhelmed and outnumbered. The wave of white rage that led to the rise of the Tea Party is one example, or the wave of Islamaphobia in recent years (contrary to what conservatives say, it is possible to have serious concerns about aspects of a religion without hating everyone who practices it). The other option is to go with it, and enjoy the unique meshing of cultures and traditions that comes with being an American. Enter the Ritmo Machine, a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-genre group combining the best elements of hip-hop, rock, funk, and Latin music. The two main co-conspirators are Eric Bobo, a percussionist who has worked with Cypress Hill and the Beastie Boys (speaking of white people embracing diversity), and Chilean DJ/turntablist Latin Bitman. "
"A couple of weeks ago Mike Baber reviewed Small Professor's "Gigantic, Vol. 0" - released as a prelude to his more official commercial debut that drops today - "Gigantic, Vol. 1." The Philadelphia based, self-described "progressive" hip-hop artist obviously and whimsically referring to the Large Professor of Main Source fame with his name, which is fine to me. As a producer there are few better people you could be inspired by, and although his rap career has been marked by long periods of inactivity, the albums he's part of have definitely made a lasting impact on hip-hop history.
The Small(er) Professor seems more inclined to stick to the production side of the game. As such he's working with his own all-star list of rappers he knows and feels on the mic, and if you are a regular reader of this site you'll be happy with a lot of his choices. Tanya Morgan member Von Pea blows up his self-titled track "P(ea) Gets Off." Perennial video game rap head Random drops the 8-bit in favor of a flavorful Small Pro loop for the heartfelt "Play It By Ear," pitching his affections to an unimpressed beauty who only sees $ signs in her eyes. The menacing "Spare Razor" features two of the deadliest rhymers on the underground - Guilty Simpson and Reef the Lost Cauze. "
Unique and Dashan :: Black to the Future :: Warlock Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
""Black to the future - what a funky concept," Def Jef pondered on his 1989 album "Just a Poet With Soul." The native New Yorker had found a label and some success out west in Los Angeles. That same year Brooklyn duo Unique and Dashan had the same inspiration and called their debut LP "Black to the Future." They raised the flag and sailed under the protection of the red, black and green. If that turn of phrase sounds somewhat familiar, it's because you've heard the late Professor X on X Clan's "To the East, Blackwards" and "Xodus." I may have been vaguely aware of Unique and Dashan and "Black to the Future," spotting these names on some collector's list or having seen the record itself many years ago. But I was completely unaware that this was in fact the starting point for the Blackwatch Movement. Only the 2011 Traffic Entertainment reissue enlightened me to the connection, the sticker on it calling it 'The rarest of X-Clan's Blackwatch Movement albums.' You don't have to wait long for Professor X to appear as his is the first voice to be heard on the album. He pops up seven more times, almost always with his trademark "Vanglorious / This is protected by the red, the black and the green / With a key / Sissyyyy!" Additionally, X (Lumumba Carson) and X Clan's Paradise (Claude Grey) are credited for the production, alongside a certain H. Kennedy. "
"Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania's review of "See Clear Now" in 2009 illustrates one thing - even Wiley's own countrymen find him befuddling. He came as close to describing him as any critic is likely to though, finding that his musical style was a mixture of "garage, drum n' bass and dub-step with hip-hop." Last year on "100% Publishing" I made my own attempt to figure the enigmatic rapper out, only to find a frustrating difference in quality between his beats and rhymes - the latter definitely being Wiley's strength. The genre he calls "Grime" is undoubtedly meant to be repetitive and harsh, but perhaps North American ears aren't meant for his melting pot mixture of music. If that's true then the prolific nature of Wiley's releases is going to frustrate music critics for years to come, because "Evolve or Be Extinct" is his SECOND album since "100% Publishing" in the last six months. If that's not mind-boggling enough, consider that "Evolve or Be Extinct" is actually a DOUBLE album, although thankfully the review copy I was sent was pared down to just 11 out of 22 tracks. Whatever else you can say about Richard Kylea Cowie, you can't say he's not a hard working chap from the Bow area of London. Being prolific can be a curse though - it can lead to overexposure (see Plies) or burning out too quickly (see DMX) if not both. "
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #158 is called Have the Time of Your Life. Why? Because that's the closing song this week courtesy Kid Ink. Host Steve 'Flash' Juon also brings you new songs from Brown Caesar, Rusty Redenbacher, Jamal Science and more! 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.
"To coincide with my interview with AshleyOutrageous.com regarding my albums with Reks, Co$$, Dynas, Knowledge Medina, J NiCS, J57 (and more) in 2012, I decided to revisit one of my favorite songs for a remix. "Last Time" was featured on my collaborative album with J NiCS entitled "Champion Rizla" and was the first song we recorded together. I took the original in a new direction, with elements of dub and blues to create a new feel for this track." - Numonics
Los Angeles rapper Malkovich and NYC producer/rapper P.U.D.G.E. proudly present Lethal Vice, a free three-song EP where the duo invoke the spirit of Lethal Weapon and Miami Vice's buddy-cop duos to tell some true L.A. stories. Vice is produced almost completely by P.U.D.G.E., who made his name alongside experimental beatheads like Dibia$e and Samiyam at L.A.'s Low End Theory weekly.
Coming through the ranks of the edgy and vibrant inner London reggae and bashment club scene comes Jimmy Screech. Over the last few years Jimmy has been making inroads through the underground, releasing singles, doing gigs and distributing mix tapes establishing his name as one of the finest MC's on the block.
With the release of his brand new album release 'The Remedy', Jimmy gives up this excellent free download, Volume Two of his 'Yard Food' series. 'Volume One' mixed by DJ MK is already a classic in the streets and this is sure to follow in its steps. A UK veteran and a emcee to watch!!!
Jimmy Screech - Yard Food Volume Two (Track-listing) 01. Early Mornin' Feat. Taz (Prod. by Taz) 02. Sky To The Ground (Prod. by Richie Rich) 03. Setting Trends (Prod. by Sermstyle) 04. Uptown Feat. G.O.L.D (Prod. by Jimmy Screech, Tom.C, G.O.L.D) 05. Good Man (Prod. by Phat Eddie) 06. First Date (Prod. by Richie Rich) 07. Sound Of My Wallet (Prod. by Freshold) 08. So Easy (Prod. by Jammy Git) 09. Hot Seat (Prod. by Blackmail Beatz) 10. Drift Away (Prod. by Sermstyle) 11. Police (Throwback) Bonus Track (Prod. Jimmy Screech, G.O.L.D, J-Prophit)
1.MORE DOPE 2.LETS GO BACK FT CARDI,CAZ,JARRON,717MILLZ 3.COLD-WORLD FT BROZ,LUCHI 4.HEADSHOT FT CARDI,BROZ 5.TRY GETIT FT LUCHI,JARRON,O-DOLLA 6.NIGGAS LIKE US FT O-DOLLA,CARDI 7.DOUR HOUR FT CARDI,O-DOLLA,BROZ 8.MORE HUSTLE FT JARRON,CARDI,CAZ,717MILLZ 9.JACKMOVES FT CARDI,LUCHI,BROZ 10.LOYALTYB4LOVE FT JARRON 11.SHAKE THAT FT KNS,O-DOLLA 12.PRETTY BROWN FT CARDI,O-DOLLA 13.I WANT IT ALL FT CARDI,CAZ 14.P.S.A FT CARDI 15.ROLEMODEL FT CARDI,LUCHI 16.NOTHING BETTER FT CARDI,O-DOLLA,JARRON 17.DOIN MY THANG FTJARRON,CARDI,O-DOLLA