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T.I. Review

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The (W)rap Up - Week Of March 30, 2010

Meth * Ghost * Rae :: Wu-Massacre
Def Jam Records

Author: Guido Stern

Click here to find out more!

"I doubt I'm the only person who feels like this project was announced just last week (last September, in reality), nor the only one who's surprised the album is even coming out. Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" took roughly five years and forty-two fake track lists to finally hit shelves last year, and the Clan have never been prolific with their crew releases (six years in between "Iron Flag" and "8 Diagrams"). So when songs started to leak and ridiculously dope artwork was revealed, it seemed almost too good to be true. And unfortunately the haste to produce and release the album shows when listening; the thing is clearly rushed and even feels a tad opportunistic after the surprise critical resurgence of the Wu after the Raekwon-directed "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II." "New Wu," the trio's sole collaboration on that record, has more vigor than anything on "Wu-Massacre." "

Blood Type :: MIAliens :: Blood Type Music
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"Back in the summer of 1996, Atlanta's SouthernPlayaistic duo released their second album, "ATLiens." It was powered by the lead single, "Elevators (Me and You)" and scored a relatively large hit for Andre (sans the 3000 at the time) and Big Boi. Fast forward to the year 2009 and another southern duo, Chief and Stepson, collectively known as Blood Type are here to represent for the city of Miami with their debut mixtape titled "MIAliens". As one might expect, Blood Type trade rhymes over some memorable tracks from Outkast albums, including the aforementioned "ATLiens" and "Aquemini". Less expected but greatly appreciated is the inclusion of familiar beats from the likes of Dr. Dre, Eminem, A Tribe Called Quest and The RZA. There's also a healthy amount of original beats on the mixtape as well, handled mostly by group member, Stepson. "

Brotha Lynch Hung :: Dinner and a Movie :: Strange Music
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"Much can be said about Brotha Lynch Hung's latest album. Despite the fact Strange Music is technically an independent record label, "Dinner and a Movie" is easily Hung's highest profile album since his album debut "Season of da Siccness" over fifteen years ago. It is impressive BLH is still rapping, even more impressive he's releasing one of the most anticipated albums so far this year. That said, BLH's longevity isn't the most important element of his latest album or his career. Instead, BLH serves as an example of both the fickleness and loyalty of rap fans. That contrast is captured best by the industry mirrored in his latest album. "Dinner and a Movie" is presented as an audio movie. It is a collection of songs and skits put together to tell a story. It is meant to entertain and deliver a message at the same time. The problem is that it's a horror movie, and therefore despite all its successes, it will be judged first by its label, and then by its content. Movie fans in general tend to be fickle like that. Some might even call it snobbish, after all a good movie should be entertaining regardless of the content."

C Kane :: Farewell to the Flesh :: Long Range Distribution
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

"Long Range Distribution has been known for their horrorcore artists who turn rap music into shocking imagery with their main focus on horror-influenced motifs such as murder and death. Detroit rapper C Kane continued this trend of violent lyricism and style with his fellow members of the group 2 Sins up until his death. In a posthumous effort, C Kane's horrorcore antics are remembered in "Farewell to the Flesh." Horrorcore is a small sub-genre of hip hop that has a small, but loyal following and has even reached the more mainstream with Geto Boys and Gravediggaz which has only popularized the music even further. Recently, the sub-genre has even made the news because of a California horrorcore artist that in fact committed murders with possible influence from his music. With this in mind, for many, it's difficult to take in the descriptive, grotesque nature of some of the lyrics and at times many are left in awe. C Kane's lyrics are no different. "

Dirt Nasty :: The White Album :: Dirt Nasty Music/Shoot to Kill Music
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"What's funnier, someone known to play vaguely funny roles in vaguely funny TV shows and movies doing 're-interpretations of some of your favorite white-rappers biggest hits,' or Joaquin Phoenix announcing to give up acting for rapping and some people actually believing him? The free mixtape "The White Album" will tell. Dirt Nasty released a self-titled digital album in '07, and while he hasn't exactly taken the music world by storm, Simon Rex, the man behind Dirt Nasty, is enough part of the in-crowd for the character to appear on 'Paris Hilton's My New BFF,' where he acted as a decoy to see how far the candidates would go to please their idol. Rap, white and funny somehow seem to go together. Mel Brooks figured it out first in the early '80s with "It's Good to Be the King" and "To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)," which spoofed Louis XVI and Adolf Hitler, respectively. Tom Green could serve as an example of a rap contemporary who tried his hands at both hip-hop and comedy."
G-Side :: Starshipz & Rocketz :: Slow Motion Sounds
as reviewed by Guido Stern

"Like Paper Route Gangstaz, G-Side work extensively with super producers Block Beataz (the dudes behind Jackie Chain's "Rollin'"), and are effectively rapping in service of their huge, lysergic beats. ST and Clova are working entirely within the conventions of grass root Alabama and Georgia hip hop, putting together rhymes about being on the grind and the usual fascination with expensive cars. Clova delivers his verses from his viscera, eschewing semantic elegance but conveying a tangible sincerity. ST is the wordsmith of the twosome, particularly in his ability to switch flows and take some of the listener's attention away from the surround sound production. On "We Own Da Building," he raps, "And they say there's no honor amongst thieves // but honesty has never been a problem amongst G's // I follow the five P's: proper preparation prevents poor performance, and avoid informants." The volatility of his flow is enough to complement the track's runaway keyboard without trying to contend with it. "

Inspectah Deck :: Manifesto :: Traffic Entertainment
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"If any member of the Wu-Tang Clan can be considered "underrated," it would Inspectah Deck. Though the man has a history of stealing the show on Wu-Tang albums, his solo career has never reached the heights of other Wu members. Part of the problem came from the fact Inspectah Deck's first solo album came after the first series of critically acclaimed Wu-solos. While "Uncontrollable Substance" was a dope solo album, it came at a time when the Wu's popularity was declining somewhat and failed to reach the legendary status of albums like "Tical," "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx," "Liquid Swords," and "Ironman." The album sold gold, but that has been the height of Inspectah Deck's career as a soloist. Thankfully, the lack of commercial success has not affected Inspectah Deck's solo career or quality of music. "Manifesto" is Deck's fourth solo album and finds him as sharp as he's ever been. "

Kaigen21Meiso :: Root Is the New Leaf ::
Takaba Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"Kaigen21Meiso is a collaboration between Tokyo rapper Kaigen and Honolulu-based rapper Meiso. Both MCs have been active in the experimental hip hop scene, and "Root Is the New Leaf" is twelve tracks of glitchy, boundary-pushing hip hop in the vein of anticon. Former anticon affiliate Sole contributes production, as does K-The-!???,  Omid, Curse Ov Dialect, Michita, and Kaigen. Before you glance at the score, see a "5" and decide that this record isn't worth your time, let me explain something: they rap in Japanese, so I can't understand a word they're saying. It's totally possible that Kaigen and Meiso are dropping some serious knowledge, and I'm just too ignorant to understand. I'm all for hip hop in a foreign language I do understand, but with an art form that depends so much on the use of words, understanding the language is a prerequisite for enjoying the music."

Madlib :: Madlib's Medicine Show #3: Beat Konducta in Africa :: Stones Throw Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"If you don't know who Madlib is, here's a brief bio: born Otis Jackson, Jr., his dad is a musician and his brother is producer/rapper Oh No. He first made his name as part of the Lootpack crew in the early 90s before going solo later that decade. He's collaborated with J Dilla (2003's Jaylib album), MF DOOM (2004's Madvillain album), and produced tracks for Percy P, Guilty Simpson, Erykah Badu, and Talib Kweli. He has more aliases than a gun runner, rapping as Quasimoto, doing jazz as Yesterday's New Quintet, and doing collaborations with Brazilian artist Ivan Conti as Jackson Conti. He puts out several albums a year, and in 2010 is putting out one a month as part of his "Medicine Show" series. March's entry is his fourth Beat Konducta collection, comprised of beats made from African music. "

Skandal & Beat Butcha :: A Quick Snack EP :: 7Thirty Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Skandal's bio contains the usual amount of hyperbole for a new artist, including time-worn phrases like "top 5 artists to watch for in (insert year here)." Two things distinguish Skandal from falling into SOSS (Same Old Shit Syndrome) though - he's got Beat Butcha on the boards (one of Canibus' favorite producers) and he hails from the United Kingdom. He's made a little bit of a name already on the hip-hop scene with his underground banger "Kill 'Em Wit the Flow". The new digital-only "A Quick Snack EP" includes both the original and a remix with fellow scene veterans Klashnekoff and P Money. I appreciate the new spitters on the beat but the song that really wins me over on this short release is the bass-heavy "Home Economics""

Upcoming Checkmate Music Group Projects

From Candace Smart:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        

April 5, 2010                                                  



LOS ANGELES, CA – Music producer/engineer Riley Urick and singer-songwriter, Trevion “Tempo” Stokes have combined their talent to form Checkmate Music Group, a music production company poised to take the music industry by storm with the release of new projects from Romeo and The College Boyys, Lil’ Mama and Brandy.


Urick and Tempo formed Checkmate Music Group to provide Hip Hop, R&B, Pop and Rock artists, as well as media companies, with a one-stop shop for innovative music production, writing, mixing, and mastering. Since founding the company, the duo has worked with an impressive roster of clients that also includes Soulja Boy, Teyana Taylor, Tierra Marie, Casha Monet, Kurtis Blow Jr. and Araci.


Urick has built a stellar reputation for himself in the music industry as a recording, mixing and mastering Engineer alongside Grammy award-winning engineer, Eddy Schreyer at Oasis Mastering. He has worked on projects for Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, Akon and many more. The 28-year-old’s production skills secured him four song placements on a platinum-selling album overseas, and earned him a number one song on the CMJ Charts and Sirius XM Radio. Romeo recently called Urick “the best producer alive,” while working on his upcoming album. Urick’s music has also been featured on Everybody Hates Chris, King of Queens, Girlfriends and One on One.    

21-year-old Tempo has been surrounded by music all of his life so it comes as no surprise that he developed into a skilled songwriter and vocal producer. Growing up, nothing interested him more than music, so he focused all of his energy on doing what he loved. He joined the First AME church youth choir, regularly competed in talent shows and perfected his writing skills. Tempo’s hard work paid off. With Royalty Statement Publishing, he has written for a growing number of artists including Romeo (Next Generation), Lil Mama (Jive), Tierra Marie (For Reel/Warner Bros.), The College Boyys (Next Generation), Chantelle Paige (Kon Live), Casha Monet, K. Smith and Araci.

The partnering of Urick and Tempo to form Checkmate Music Group has created a writing and production powerhouse. Checkmate is poised to change the music game with placements on a number of high-profile albums slated for release in 2010. 


For Checkmate news and updates visit:

Audio: Kenn Starr - "The Notti Joint"

From Michelle at Audible Treats:

The Song:

Gearing up for the summer release of his newest mixtape, Kragenoff, Washington, D.C. emcee Kenn Starr is proud to leak the first single, "The Notti Joint." No stranger to the hip-hop scene, Starr, who in addition to his solo work, is 1/5 of D.C.'s Low Budget Crew alongside Oddisee, Kev Brown, Critically Acclaimed, and Cy Young, has been making waves in the hip-hop scene for quite some time.

With this single, Starr is excited to be newly collaborating with the likes of Dave Notti who handled production on the track: "‘The Notti Joint‘ is my first time working with Portland-based emcee/producer Dave Notti. We linked recently and I found his production to be the perfect backdrop to the brand of hip-hop I strive to create and maintain," says Starr. The track features soul sample splicing reminiscent of the late great Dilla, gritty low-fi drums, and a characteristically consistent smooth flow. "The Notti Joint" clocks in at just under 2 minutes but represents the mixtape as a whole quite well according to Kenn, saying, "I felt like this was the perfect straight-to-the-point introduction to what people can expect from my upcoming mixtape." Elsewhere, the Kragenoff mixtape features production from underground heavy-hitters Oddisee, Apollo Brown, M-Phazes, 14KT, Kev Brown, and more.

Furthermore, in addition to the song appearing on Starr's Kragenoff mixtape, you can also find it on Mick Boogie's latest mixtape celebrating his forthcoming Asia tour for Nike. It's based on their "Changemakers" campaign, and features a host of rising emcees bringing originality and quality to hip-hop.

Kenn Starr's forthcoming full-length album, Two Track Mind, will be available via Mello Music Group this fall.

"The Notti Joint" Prod. By Dave Notti:

The Background:

Hailing from Suffolk, Virginia, and currently part of the Washington D.C. hip-hop scene, Kenn Starr first released his debut album, Starr Status in 2006. Having already been a part of Low Budget Crew with Oddisee, Kev Brown, Critically Acclaimed and Cy Young, Starr was quickly living up to his namesake and becoming a star in his own right. Working with producers like Khrysis, M-Phazes, Illmind and more, his Starr Status album received widespread praise and attention while instantly becoming a DJ favorite. With extraordinary mic skills, the emcee's talents are on heavy rotation with many producers. Releasing his second mixtape, Kragenoff, this summer, followed by his sophomore LP, Two Track Mind, in the fall, Starr is on the rise.

About Mello Music Group:

Like Lao Tzu in hip-hop, Mello Music Group provides music for the soul, from the heart of American culture, opening the realm of the intelligent hip-hop experience through melodic evocations, beats that corroborate the truth, and voices that roar above the rising void and impose order on the terrible & triumphant moments of everyday life. This is the compelling sound of Mello Music Group. Industry newcomer Michael Tolle founded MMG in 2007 and is acting Director of Operations. MMG will be releasing projects from Oddisee, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kenn Starr, Finale, Trek Life, Dudley Perkins, Sareem Poems, and YU in 2010.

"The Notti Joint" Prod. By Dave Notti:

Bio, pictures, and streams available here:




Artist Site:

Label Site:

Kipling Color Jam Tour Dates

From Jackie O:


Tour coming to select MACY's retailers across the country!

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a DJ, here is your chance to "drop it on the one!" MACY's gets in the mix with Kipling USA to announce The Kipling Color Jam Tour featuring live appearances from The Scratch Academy's Top DJs.

Join young, hip, fashionistas at MACY's Kipling's stores across the country to learn the art of scratching and mixing from The Scratch DJ Academy, the world's leader in DJ and Music Production, while checking out the coolest handbags and accessories from Kipling's Spring & Summer line.

The tour kicks off this Saturday, April 10th @ Macy's Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ and travels to select Macy's across the country:

The Kipling Color Jam Tour Dates & Cities

Saturday, April 10 - 2PM        Macy's Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ) DJ - Djay Jung
Saturday, April 10 - 2PM        Macy's Santa Anita (Arcadia, CA)                DJ - Excel
Thursday, April 15 - 5PM        Macy's Herald Square (New York City)                    DJ - Vida Ventura
Thursday, April 15 - 5:30PM     Macy's State Street (Chicago, IL)               DJ - Dani Deal
Saturday, April 17 - 2PM        Macy's Woodfield (Schaumburg, IL)               DJ - Megan Taylor
Saturday, April 24 - 2PM        Macy's Florida Mall (Orlando, FL)               DJ - Dave Barona
Saturday, April 24 - 2PM        Macy's Union Square     (San Francisco, CA)     DJ - DJL
Saturday, April 24 - 2PM        Macy's Stanford Center (Palo Alto, CA)  DJ - Quantum

"       Live performances from The Scratch DJ Academy's top DJs.
"       FREE "Scratch & Burn Sessions"- Learn the art of scratching and mixing.
"       Free "Kiptinis" and "Minis"
"       Mini-manicures and makeovers from Kipling's stylists.
"       Cool prizes: Macy's gift-cards, Kipling wristlets, coin cases & passport holders.
"       A Free Gift of The Cimio 2.0 DJ Mixtape software to mix your digital music files like a professional DJ with any Kipling purchase of $50 or more.

Video: Trai'D - "Summertime"

From Alen Hitz:
HiTz Committee Entertainment presents...
The Summer Smash Hit !
Trai'D  "Summertime"



Video: Von Pea And Donwill Recreate "Ian's Song" + MASCHINE Giveaway

From Michelle at Audible Treats:

The Video:

Taking a break from a crazy week at SXSW, Von Pea linked up with fellow Tanya Morgan emcee Donwill as they recreated "Ian's Song," a track featured on Donwill's recently released solo effort, Don Cusack In High Fidelity. As one third of acclaimed Tanya Morgan, the producer/rapper has close ties to Donwill and his recent release. In the video, Von Pea remakes the beat live using Native Instrument's Maschine midi controller while Donwill handles the vocals as he and Von lightheartedly recant the song's verses track alongside input from Interdependent Media General Manager and A&R Dominic Del Bene.

Von Pea's solo album, Pea's Gotta Have It, drops this summer via Interdependent Media

Check Out Von Pea's Video For "Ian's Song" Here:

Having teamed up with leading sound software and audio production company, Native Instruments, Audible Treats is excited to be able to award one lucky winner with a free MASCHINE Groove Production Studio. To enter, contestants must simply email their name and address to One winner will be selected at random and announced Wednesday, April 14th, 2010. More info on the MASCHINE here:

The Background:

Tanya Morgan is back with their third project, Brooklynati, following the success of Moonlighting and The Bridge. Since Von Pea, Ilyas, and Donwill formed Tanya Morgan in 2003, they have received high praise from media elites such as Spin, The Source, XXL Magazine and a resounding seal of approval from the blogosphere. Considered by many to be our generation's torchbearers for De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, Tanya Morgan will once again put their skills on display with the unique hip-hop Americana sounds of their Brooklynati album this spring. Based on the fictitious city of Brooklynati, this release pushes the boundaries of a concept album by incorporating not only lyrical imagery but also cultivating a culture and mindset, which can be experienced through the City of Brooklynati Chamber of Commerce website: The sites, sounds, memories, and events of Brooklynati were unleashed via Bay-Area based record label Interdependent Media, the architects behind the funding and development of Brooklynati. Wanderlusts can feed their souls at

About Interdependent Media:

Founded in 2006 in the Bay Area by Evan Phillips, Interdependent Media has built unique strengths in the development, production, and marketing of recorded music via new methods of marketing and promotion. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of both traditional and emerging methods of marketing, iM has successfully created multi-faceted methods of raising awareness and interest in their projects. Industry veterans Ian "ID" Davis and Dominic Del Bene head operations at iM and are credited with discovering and/or developing artists such as 9th Wonder, Little Brother, Tanya Morgan, Blackalicious, Del the Funky Homosapien, the Hieroglyphics and more. In 2009, iM will be releasing multi-media projects from artists Finale, Canibus, K'naan, Truthlive, and Tanya Morgan. For more information, please visit

Map of Brooklynati:

Scarface Returns With Dopeman Music, Due May 4th

From Tonia Samman:

With over seven million albums sold, Scarface returns with his latest release Dopeman Music, a tribute to the streets. This is number twelve for the legendary Houston lyricist who had previously declared 2008’s Emeritus his final album.

With a career that started in the 90's, the former Geto Boy has worked with everyone from 2-Pac to Jay-Z to Miri Ben-Ari and has gained unmatched respect amongst his peers, as he has been dubbed The Godfather of the South. Dopeman Music is due out May 4th on Scarface’s own Facemob Music label, distributed by Deep Distribution Worldwide.

Scarface shed some light on the new album in a video piece, posted recently on

"I feel that I need to move on to another stage with the way I deliver my music to the public. I got a lot of sh*! and I'm using about 3 percent of what I know about music. I'm not using it all. I'm music. I can play that sh*! long enough for a real musician to catch it and feel me, where I'm going, and we make magic like that."

Watch Dopeman Music EPK
* *

He also released a four minute mix of Dopeman Music showcasing the album’s lyrics, street content and head bopping production.

Listen to Scarface’s “Dopeman music”
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For More Information:
* *
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Benjamin Hooks - Back for Some "Sole"

It’s officially spring, so your kick game better be on point. Benjamin Hooks knows a thing or two about sneakers, he’s a featured artist on the Know You Got SOLE soundtrack, and he’s leading off my Season of Sole series here at Adam’s World. Season of Sole is a monthlong co-promotion with Ope Entertainment where all throughout April I’ll be featuring artists from the Ope Ent. project, Know You Got SOLE, as Artists Of The Week. The album has three previous Artists Of The Week on it in Substantial, Fresh Daily and Loj, so you already know the caliber of the talent is high.

This brings us to Benjamin Hooks, who was actually the first artist signed to Ope Entertainment, way back in 1996. Credited with discovering Pack FM, Benjamin Hooks had an album ready to go in 2002, but it was completed just a little too late for him, as at that point he was ready to leave music, which he did. Know You Got SOLE brought him out of retirement and relit the fire in him.

This week I caught up with Benjamin Hooks to find out about the ups and downs of the game, how and when he discovered Pack FM, and how Q-Tip stopped him from buying a pair of Jordans.

Read the full interview at:

Additional Greenhouse Tour Dates Announced + Video Blog

From Blueprint:


Additional West Coast Tour dates added:

Wednesday March 31st – Palm Springs, CA @ Space120
120 South Palm Canyon. Palm Springs Ca 92262

Monday April 5th – Riverside, CA @ Mission Tobacco Lounge
3630 University Ave. Riverside, CA

Thurs April 8th =  Park City, UT @ Star Bar
268 Main Street Park City, UT 84060

Sat April 10th – Reno, NV @ Tonic
231 West 2nd Street, Reno, NV 89501-1207

Monday April 12th – Lincoln, NE @ The Bourbon Theatre
1415 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68508-3808

Greenhouse Tour Blog #1

And if you haven’t got to download the Electric Purgatory EP, check it out here:

Video: ScholarMan - "Hopes & Dreams"

From Soganic Music:


Check out the new ScholarMan video for "Hopes & Dreams," a track from his 2010 album Free Spirit of a Troubled Soul b/w "So Origi-NOW," a new track produced by Lagbara that will be on a new ScholarMan mixtape coming this Spring. This video features the lovely Karmia Berry and North Carolina producer Lagbara. It is directed by Marques Green of Que Films.

YouTube Link

For those new to ScholarMan, he is a Maryland based hip-hop artist and producer known for socially conscious and soulful music. For more information about ScholarMan or to contact us please visit or

Your support is greatly appreciated!

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Welcome to for the week of October 21st, 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 the 5 rappers to follow on Tumblr article, Akrobatik's "Built to Last," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #296, MarQ Spekt and Blockhead's "JustPlayWitIt," Saigon's "G.S.N.T.3. - The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard," Smoke DZA & 183rd's "Ringside EP," T.I.'s "Paperwork" (our featured review), Vince Staples' "Hell Can Wait," Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for October 14, 2014 and Ray West & O.C.'s "Ray's Cafe." Please note the Vince Staples review is the debut of new staffer Clara Wang. Big up Clara!!

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