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Saturday November 22, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Ruane Maurice] Dark and grimy!

Ruane Maurice review

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The (W)rap Up - Week of May 25, 2010

 Reflection Eternal :: Revolutions Per Minute
Warner Bros. Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"A decade ago Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek decided to take the world on a "Train of Thought." While the name Reflection Eternal already resonated through hip-hop thanks to the underground juggernaut that was Rawkus Records back then, releasing a full length album took it to a level even fans of Talib as a rapper or Hi-Tek as a producer couldn't possibly have imagined. Looking back on the review a decade later and a lot more jaded about the music industry, the enthusiasm shown for Talib Kweli's work seems almost TOO effusive - a level of praise that seems more personal than professional. And yet listening to "Revolutions Per Minute" I find myself falling into that same trap all over again, because as he has said so many times himself you can't spell "quality" without Kweli. Self-promotional as that punchline may be it rings true when listening to him rap over Hi-Tek beats. Quality. Quality in every beat. Quality in every rhyme. Quality in every topic and quality in the words of wisdom spoken ABOUT said topic. It stares you in the face regardless if you try to look away, and if you make eye contact for even a second you're transfixed by the beauty of what you now behold. Quality. "

various artists :: Midwest Block Starz :: Block Starz Music
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"One detail about these Midwest Block Starz that catches your eye when looking at the tracklist are derivative names: Fonz, Machine Gun Kelly, Slick Watts. The latter, crowned Best Midwest Artist at the 2009 Underground Music Awards and named after a '70s NBA player, sounds like a cross between Tech N9ne and Lil Wayne, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but without either rapper's intensity, he may just lack the characteristics that make Nina and Weezy the stars they are. Plus "Yada Yada Yada" creates a familiar conundrum when the rapper dismisses other rappers' chatter with his own. At least Slick Watts projects something to live up to: "I'm big ish talkin', I got big ish poppin' / Ohio don't make 'em like this real often." "

various artists :: Ragga Ragga Ragga 2010 :: Greensleeves Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"To be honest, I went years buying the Ragga Ragga Ragga series without ever really researching what exactly differentiates Ragga from regular dancehall. All I knew was that Ragga CDs tended to have harder, more hip-hop oriented Dancehall tracks, while traditional dancehall albums mixed both modern and more conventional dancehall sounds. As Greensleeves hit us up with their latest Ragga Ragga Ragga CD I decided to do some wiki research and found out Raggamuffin (Ragga for short) music was the term used for dancehall with electronic music and chatting/rapping deejays. Ragga doesn't mirror hip-hop strictly on a musical level, as Ragga artists also tend to touch upon the same topics rap artists enjoy. Ragga Ragga Ragga 2010 is a prime example of the similarities. The CD is bursting with 18 hard core Ragga tracks that range from gangsta, conscious, to club songs. "

various artists :: Set Mi Free :: Greensleeves Records
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"Judging by the "#90" affixed to this collection, it's easy to see Greensleeves has been doing their thing for quite sometime (unless they graduated from the "DJ Clue School of Album Numbering", which I know they haven't). In fact, both Greensleeves and VP Records have been churning out reggae for many, many decades. Previous releases in the "Greensleeves Rhythm Album" series include: "Sweat", "Inspector", "Ghetto Whiskey" and "Petty Thief", along with many others. This time around the riddim track is provided by Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor and producer Ricardo "Bibi" Gardener added his own touch to the individual songs. Over the course of the album's fifteen tracks, the features artists ride de riddim for what it's worth, with each performer putting their own twist on things. Some of the contributors include Elephant Man, Mavado, Jim Cro, Bramma and Mr. Vegas. "

Epsilon Project :: Audacity :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"While "Audacity" starts with an Obama quote ("Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely"), the DJ Vadim-produced "America" shows that the group hasn't been totally won over by Barack's "Audacity of Hope." "America" is a cynical, bitter song about corrupt politicians, greed, and how the pursuit of money takes precedence over everything else. They are a little more hopeful on the jazzy "In God We Trust," which musically references "The World Is Yours." The MCs take turns exploring religion, and the group uses their numbers as an advantage, with each MC giving their own point of view."

Gonjasufi :: A Sufi and a Killer :: Warp Records
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"That being said, whatever this album is, it's very very good. The strength of the record is the obvious chemistry between the Sufi MC and the Killer beatsmith. Gonjasufi's lo fidelity, high distortion half-melodic musings beautifully interweave themselves into Gaslamp's Far and Middle East-inspired static-laden backdrops. While the distortion of Gonja's voice is a bit too heavy on several tracks, such as "Kobwebz," "Stardustin'," and "DedNd," the LA duo's lo fi, internationalist aesthetic consistently creates a sense of intrigue and mystery (at the risk of sounding orientalist), which serves as a well-timed innovation to a West Coast indie rap scene so blessedly influenced by Mad Lib's trips to India. "

Kottonmouth Kings :: Long Live the Kings :: Suburban Noize Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"The Kings are neither the first nor the last group in hip-hop to dedicate their careers to the medicinal benefits of marijuana, but other than Cypress Hill they are probably the most successful to do so. As such I would have been disappointed had the color scheme of their tenth album "Long Live the Kings" been anything other than a tribute to their hazy legacy to date. The artwork is purposefully black and green. The inlay artwork under the tray is a blunted parody of the "Clockwork Orange" poster. Lighters are flicked and bongs bubble in the background of songs. The track titles on this 20 song long album let you know exactly what you're in for. When you roll with the Kings you "Let the Indo Blow" until you experience "Reefer Madness," at which point you turn into "Party Monsters" and "Stomp" to the beat, because everything's "Great When You're High" - at least until the cops show up to take your stash and/or arrest your ass. "

Little Brother :: LeftBack :: Traffic Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Little Brother is retiring? Say it ain't so Pooh, say it ain't so Tigallo. That's not the news hip-hop needs in 2010 - or for that matter EVER. Little Brother is that rap group you could always turn to when the radio mix was too banal, the music videos were too materialistic and the internet shows couldn't deliver you from the doldrums. From "The Listening" to "Getback," no matter how many years went between albums, every Little Brother release was a hip-hop treasure for the consumers. Their style and sound bridged the gap from the Native Tongue era to the modern day Carter era (Lil Wayne and Jay-Z) as perfectly as the two members complimented each other lyrically. Phonte plays the laid back intellectual who likes to have fun but takes his rhymes seriously, while Rapper Big Pooh is the down to earth North Cakalak' cat who quiet as kept drops gems and is underrated lyrically. If you needed a fix of funky, intelligent, provocative hip-hop LB could always oblige."

Tone Trezure :: My Destiny EP ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Tone Trezure stands both inside and outside of hip-hop, perfectly willing to be the square peg in the round hole or vice versa. She's not a rapper, she's not a singer, she's BOTH and you'll like it that way. One might immediately leap to Lauryn Hill for a comparison, but that would be unfair to both. Tone has a deeper voice than L-Boogie, ranging from T-Boz to Mary J. Blige in her delivery, capable of hitting a higher octave when needed but comfortable at lower ranges. She kicks it up a notch when singing her hooks on songs like the title track of "My Destiny," but the rap lyrics betray her naturally husky tone. As for her rap delivery, it falls somewhere between Bahamadia vocally and Jean Grae lyrically - not quite as dope as either one but certainly not an insult to either by comparison. "

Wally Boy Wonder :: Day of the Rising Tide :: Intolerance Records
as reviewed by Pete T.

"Just how bad is Wally Boy Wonder's sophomore effort "Day of the Rising Tide"? Let me see. Bad enough that I want a full refund despite the fact that the album was sent to me as promotional material free of charge. Bad enough that if I knew more about the legal process I might consider filing suit against Wally and his label for wages forgone and psychological damage incurred in the two hours I spent listening to it. Bad enough that I would refuse to even use it as a coaster because I have too much respect for my beverages. Let me back up a little. Wally Boy Wonder is a self-proclaimed renaissance man. The white guy from Akron, Ohio is a writer, director, and on at least two occasions, a rapper."

Moment of Truth: The Mystery Surrounding Guru's Untimely Passing

GuruIt has been over a month since Keith Elam, p/k/a Guru lost his battle with cancer. In an ideal world, Guru's passing would be the end of the story and the world could focus its attention on remembering the man and his various contributions to hip-hop history. Instead, we're left with a situation shrouded in mystery that seems to only become more bizarre as the days pass. For the benefit of those who haven't been following the stories of the past three months or so, I'll try to highlight (or perhaps lowlight) the most important dates and events.

On February 28th, the word started to spread on the net that Guru had suffered a heart attack and/or cardiac arrest and was in a coma. The following day, Yo! PR released an official statement confirming that the rumors were in fact true.

On March 3rd, a ten-minute video surfaced on YouTube from Justin Nicholas-Elam Ruff. In the video, he alleged that the man in control of Guru's personal affairs and any health decisions is Solar and Solar only. Ruff goes on to say that after the news of Guru's condition leaked out to the public, they [the Elam family] were cut off by Solar, forcing them to have to rely on Solar's Twitter page for any updates on Guru's health status. A few days later, through Yo! PR, Solar addressed the accusations of Ruff by calling them "baffling"

On March 22nd, another statement from Yo! PR said that Guru was not in a coma , but ailing from anoxia (a decrease in the level of oxygen). This release also included a statement purportedly from Guru himself saying "I am doing fine and I am recovering, I'm weak though" and also "Solar is the only person who has the accurate info on my situation. Any info from anybody else is false". The release goes on to say that Guru was expected to make a full recovery and was touched by the outpouring of support from fans and artists alike. As the month of April rolled in, yet another Yo! release stated that Guru was NEVER in a coma and went on to say that there would be documents forthcoming from Solar that would prove among other things that Solar never prevented anyone from seeing Guru and that Justin Ruff was lying in his YouTube video.

As fate would have it, on April 19th Guru would succumb to complications from his illness, described by his family as aggressive multiple myeloma. The family went on to say that Guru was in a coma from February until his death, contradicting the information coming from Solar. Adding to the confusion was a letter claimed to be penned by Guru that was to be read once he had passed. The letter spends a great deal of time harping on the work of Guru with Solar and also seeks to limit any would-be attempt by DJ Premier (listed in the letter as "my ex-DJ") to use Guru's name, likeness or anything else for tributes. Most in the hip-hop community feel that the letter did not come from Guru, but in fact it was something cooked up by Solar.

In early May, the email account of Solar was hacked. Consequently, the privacy of Solar's Twitter and MySpace accounts were also compromised. In the days that followed, several emails were released to the public. Many of which appeared to be attempts to mislead the public about what was going on with Guru. A decent amount of the emails contained drafts of items that were eventually presented through press release. Some of them gave explicit directions to post certain things as being from Guru. Other documents started to surface such as a power of attorney form allegedly filled out by Guru and also a note of sale of a home owned by Guru. The sentiment echoed by many seemed to be that things with Solar haven't exactly been on the up and up. In an interview with, when asked why the hacker did what that they did, the response was swift and simple: 

"I'm angry because [of the] things popped off on the Internet about Solar. There were rumors going on about Solar selling Guru’s house while Guru was in the hospital. So when people came forward like Solar’s baby mother, I was like, ‘Let’s expose this guy.’ So that’s why I did it."
That's not the end of the backlash. There are websites, such as and others that are dedicated and deeply driven to exposing Solar to be the person that they believe he is. The entire situation is a weird one, and perhaps one that will never be fully understood, but this is where it stands as of now. New articles, Twitter hashtags and Solar diss songs seem to keep surfacing, but perhaps a few lines from Keith Elam himself summarize things the best, as he famously once rapped:

"I never thought that you would crab me
Undermine me, and backstab me
But I can see clearly now the rain is gone
The pain is gone but what you did was still wrong
There was a few times I needed your support
But you tried to play me like an indoor sport
Like racquetball, tennis, pool, whatever
All I know is you attempted to be clever
Nevertheless, cleverness can't impress
Cause now you've been exposed like a person undressed"

-"Take It Personal", From 1992's "Daily Operation"
R.I.P. Guru
(July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010)

Hip-Hop Shop #76 - Vegas Hangover Edition f/ RIC ATARI

Every Sunday at 9:30 PM EST we air a live new edition of Hip-Hop Shop on BlogTalkRadio like the one you're about to hear - Episode #76 - Vegas Hangover Edition! And since he was in Vegas with us this weekend we're featuring the music of Ric Atari along with tracks from The A-Alikes, Dan-e-o, Eternia and more! Thanks for listening and remember this show is PODSAFE so be sure to share it with a friend and tell them to check out the replay every Tuesday on!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Ric Atari w/ Flyy Academy - Sex.Money.Drugs.Music
* The A-Alikes - Chronicology
* Drake f/ Ric Atari - All I Know
* Dan-e-o f/ Conwell - Last Minute
* Billy the Kid f/ Ric Atari - Your Mom's a Cunt
* Eternia - At Last
* Ric Atari - I Must Be Special

BURNTmd in Concert w/ Lil Kim, CL Smooth & More

From BURNTmd:

BURNTmd in Concert w/ Lil Kim, CL Smooth & More

Whats good?!

BURNTmd is at it again

This time performing at two events this week

Wednesday June 2nd
S. Burlington, VT
Higher Ground Ballroom
LIL KIM Live in Concert with BURNTmd

Thursday June 3rd
Brooklyn, NY

BURNTmd is supporting his new EP release, Lets Get ILL, 9 songs featuring DJ Green Lantern, ILLMIND, Krondon, Phil The Agony, Planet Asia,
Akrobatik, Copywrite, J. Glaze, Nastee, Reef Ali, Tha Professor, and DJ Grazzhoppa

Lets Get ILL is available on iTunes
BURNTmd is available on iTunes

BURNTmd - Not So Black & White LP due this summer!!!

stay up


GTD Entertainment is the company
Growth Till Death is the movement

Trae Tha Truth Tours w/ Drake & Drops 2 Mixtapes

From Nancy B:

Trae Tha Truth Tours w/ Drake & Drops 2 Mixtapes

Houston, TX - The past months have been extremely busy one for Houston representer extraordinaire, Trae Tha Truth. There's been the lawsuit against Houston's only Hip Hop station, 97.9 The Box and parent company, Radio One, the video to his lead single, Inkredible ft. Lil Wayne & Rick Ross, making MTV Jams' Jam of the Week and a myriad of show openers for rap's elite such as TI, Lupe Fiasco and Drake (for whom Trae has opened in many cities with more to come.) Nothing comes between Trae and the studio though and to prove it, Trae has 2 mixtapes coming to feed the streets, both dropping soon.

First up is the Evil Empire and DJ Folk-hosted Can't Ban Tha Truth. I could be wrong but me thinks there is a message hidden within that title. Hmmmm.........

On his second mixtape Trae gets his Barry White on with a little something for the ladies called Late Night King. Trae calls in 'hood romantic. This one is hosted by DJ Slim Chances and there are two offerings for your downloading pleasure  below.


Night Off: Drake ft. Trae Tha Truth & Lloyd - .

Quit Callin' Pt #2 - .

Last, but certainly not least, Trae and local community activist, Deric Muhammad, have called a town meeting at Houston's Shape Community Center, this coming Thursday, June 3rd. The topics will be our local radio station's alleged abuse of power and the tenets contained within our First Ammendment Rights. Both Trae and Mr. Muhammad will speak on the topic after which the floor will be opened up to the community. Media attendance is encouraged.

Coalmine Records - Wais P - "Run" (Freestyle)

From Coalmine Records:

Wais P - "Run" (Freestyle)

Here's the latest freestyle from from Wais P (of The Ranjahz).  Wais applies 
Ghostface's golden rule to his own Iceberg Slim tactics.  Although the story 
depicts a different crime, the outcome's the same....Run!!  "Kick my gators off, 
now I'm runnin' in my socks n' sweatin in my silk shirt, this is not pimpin".  Stay 
tuned for more leaks and freestyles from Wais P!!



View Dan-e-o's "Last Minute" "DVD" FREE!

From Dan-e-o:

View Dan-e-o's "Last Minute" "DVD" FREE!

The complete DVD edition of Dan-e-o’s "Last Minute" short film is out now!
Well, sorta...

The incredible Late Night Shooters-produced, online-only project includes
the short film itself as well as “DVD extras” which include two trailers
and behind the scenes footage (also known as the music video for "Locked"!)

Both "Last Minute" - which features future Toronto hip-hop superstar,
Conwell - and "Locked" are joints from Dan-e-o’s 2 in 1 album/mixtape,
"Dilla Pickles" – his tribute to legendary rapper/producer, J Dilla.

Download "Dilla Pickles" FREE HERE:

Watch the entire "Last Minute" “DVD” FREE HERE:




From K-Murdock:


Awhile back i announced the arrival of a new 1-stop shop website for all things "Neosonic", however, i wasnt satisfied with that design outcome and thus hired a professional, shouts to Aaron Mazade, to help craft what i always wanted... and needed!  So now, i proudly present to you all... the re-imaged OFFICIAL Neosonic Productions website...
This site comes on the heels of me finally getting my business right by incorporating my production company which will also serve as a label imprint for all my & Panacea's releases. 12 Step Program and my soon-to-be released collaboration with Random, Forever Famicom, will act as the kick-off albums for the label's launch. Aside from finding out about my latest releases, the site also offers prospective artists & labels ,who like my sound, a way to do business with me via the "Services" page.

Make sure you guys check it out, bookmark it & leave some feedback!  I will still be updating my blog as it allows me a platform to talk about more than just my music, but from here on out, i home you all make Neosonic Productions your new landing spot for me, K-Murdock. It's a new (neo) sound (sonic) yall...


Posted By K-Murdock to NEOSONIC Blog
Face Time with NY's The MC Faceman


Sometimes it takes doing something a little different to get noticed. The MC Faceman knows this, which is why at the last Bondfire he jumped on stage with a megaphone for his time on the mic. I’d known The MC Faceman for a little while, and knew he was a talented emcee, but in a sea of artists, it was the megaphone that made me remember him most out of all the amazing acts I saw that night. Earlier this month The MC Faceman released the free downloadable EP 2010: The Year of The Worker Bee, and this week I caught up with him to find out more about his music, how the internet helped give him his name, and why he’s much more interested in meeting contractors and lawyers than famous people.

Read the full interview at:

Free Music Friday: Whatchu Talkin 'Bout Willis?! Edition

Rest in peace goes out to Gary Coleman. I don't have any Diff'rent Strokes mixtapes here (unless they're coming soon, which they are surely), but I feel I should give Coleman the nod that he will be missed in this special edition of Free Music Friday.

DJ Drama & DJ Sense Presents Sean McGee :: My Life, My Story

[Staight from Ohio is a dude name Sean McGee who took notes of adding soul to his music that these two DJs', DJ Sense and DJ Drama, took notice of the talent. Check this out and you'll see why!]


Joel Venom :: Rugg!d

[Introdoucing to y'all is Joel Venom. He's currently working with Shadyville's producer Evo so this mixtape serves as the proper introduction to Venom.]


T.I. :: Fuck a Mixtape

TI - Fuck A Mixtape

[No explanation is even neccesary for this one. All I know is one thing and that's he's back! And wait, since this is called "Fuck a Mixtape," is this a free album? Hmm...]


Wes Fif :: It Ain't Hard to Tell

[We at got love for all types of music, especially the ones from the South. So anyone who feel like the South ain't gettin' no shine here can check out this Wes Fif mixtape that has the same title as Nas' classic Illmatic track.]


That's it for the "Whatchu Talkin 'Bout, Willis?!" Edition" of "Free Music Fridays." If you have any free music you would like to share with the world, please e-mail me at If you're an artist with your free mixtape/album shown on this page and you want to send me a link re-up, corrections, and/or questions, e-mail me at, as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy y'all! Two fangas, one love....

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Welcome to for the week of November 18th, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have ELEVEN new items for you! Check out Admiral Crumple's "Cryptkid," Donnie Propa & Scor-Zay-Zee's "Best of Scorzayzee Volume 1," an article on the ten rap songs with DOPE game samples coinciding with our interview with Random a/k/a Mega Ran, Kingpin's "The Initiative," Micall Parknsun's "I Should've Done This Time Ago," Ruane Maurice's "Ruane Maurice" (our featured review), Skrein's "The Eat Up," Verb T's "Verbs With a Vengeance," Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for November 11, 2014 and Jeep Ward's Subways & Sidewalks #24 w/ Uncommon Nasa.

Be sure to check the RapReviews newsfeed for the latest news and updates. Subscribe to the newsfeed via your browser for daily updates like R.I.P. Big Bank Hank. 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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