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Tuesday September 16, 2014
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Audible Treats - King Most CMJ Mix / Wyatt Cenac & Che Grand


MP3: King Most - CMJ Mix / Wyatt Cenac & Che Grand Announced As Showcase Hosts      10.20.2009
More Exciting Updates From the Audible Treats CMJ Showcase '09


As if a loaded lineup (Souls of Mischief, Tanya Morgan, Finale, Oddisee, Trinity, Kam Moye and many more) and high quality freebies (see below) weren't enough, Wyatt Cenac and Che Grand have been tapped to host the Audible Treats CMJ Showcase '09. Cenac is a standup comedian, actor and Emmy-winning writer who is best known for his position as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Che Grand is a New York-based rapper who recently released the album Everything's Good Ugly.

Bay Area DJ King Most has created a special edition Megamix for the Showcase, giving listeners a taste of each of the featured artists in order to whet their appetites for Thursday night and beyond. The excellent Megamix and its track list are below.

DJ King Most - Audible Treats CMJ Megamix: http://media.audibletreats.com/King_Most-Audible_Treats_CMJ_09_Preview_Mix.mp3 .

Tracklist:
Tanya Morgan: "We've Just Arrived"
Illa J: "Are You Listening?"
Finale: "Motor City Music"
Diamond District: "Who I Be"
Show & AG: "Next Level" (Premier's Nyte Tyme Mix)
Sadat X: "Lump Lump"
Souls of Mishief: "LaLaLa"
Jern Eye: "Get Down"

The Showcase has a truckload of amazing sponsors, including a special collaboration with Onitsuka Tiger + tokidoki, who will be providing the first fifty attendees with a variety of great freebies. Lifestyle partners such as District 81 Clothing, Karmaloop, Aerial7 Headphones, Acrylick Clothing, Delicious Vinyl, Interdependent Media, and MYX Music Label will be providing free goodies as well.

As an official CMJ-sponsored showcase, up to 50 CMJ badge-holders will be permitted free into the show. Tickets, which can be bought at Fat Beats Records (406 Ave of the Americas in NYC) or at www.SPSounds.com, cost $5 in advance and $10 the day of the show.

The Details:

Thursday 10/22/09
Audible Treats CMJ 09 Showcase
Souls Of Mischief, Tanya Morgan, Finale, Oddisee, Kam Moye, Trinity ( AG, Sadat X, and DJ Jab), Jern Eye, and TRUTHLiVE. Showcase DJ: Keelay of Keelay & Zaire
Southpaw 125 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY‎ http://www.spsounds.com />8:00 pm
18 and up
Tix: $5 advance / $10 day of. Tickets available at:
http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=2781664 />and at Fat Beats Records, 406 Ave of the Americas in NYC.

If you're interested in attending this event, please contact Michelle. In-person interviews are available during CMJ with all of the artists on the bill.

About Audible Treats: Audible Treats is a Brooklyn-based entertainment marketing and publicity firm specializing in print and online media coverage. Working closely with the best record labels and lifestyle companies since 2004, Audible Treats creates customized, effective marketing and publicity campaigns for countless clients, ranging the spectrum from Grammy-winners to self-funded artists including T-Pain, Too $hort, K'Jon, Anthony Hamilton, Black Milk, The Pharcyde, and many more. By combining out-of-the-box creative strategies with industry know-how, Audible Treats plays a vital role in assisting clients to meet their goals.

About Our Lifestyle Sponsors:

Acrylick is an LA-based clothing design boutique that stands strong in always having meaning and purpose along with good aesthetics.
http://www.acrylick.net .

Aerial7 headphones were founded on the idea that sound can be combined with awesome, eye catching design. Their devotion to art, streetwear, action sports and DJ culture inspire their cutting edge style. http://www.aerial7.com .

Delicious Vinyl celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2008 and has been instrumental in the careers of Tone Loc, Young MC, The Brand New Heavies, The Pharcyde, Born Jamaicans, Masta Ace, & The Whoridas among others. http://www.deliciousvinyl.com .

District 81 was founded in Detroit in 2003 by Ty Hagood and has quickly transformed into a full scale boutique men's streetwear clothing line. http://www.district81clothing.com .

Karmaloop.com is an independently owned, online retailer that specializes in reaching the international underground fashion and lifestyle scene. http://www.karmaloop.com .

Onitsuka Tiger has joined forces with tokidoki, a Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand created by Simone Legno on an exclusive footwear collaboration that fuses Japanese culture and art. Onitsuka Tiger is celebrating 60 years of Japanese heritage and contemporary design. With humble beginnings, tokidoki has expanded to vinyl toys, skateboards, jewelry, watches, knitwear, accessories & footwear.http://www.tokidoki.it | http://www.asicsamerica.com/onitsukatiger .

Streams:

DJ King Most - Audible Treats CMJ Megamix: http://media.audibletreats.com/King_Most-Audible_Treats_CMJ_09_Preview_Mix.mp3 .

* http://www.audibletreats.com/download *
World Premiere of Dan-e-o's New Video "Break it Down"


You've already heard him on Hip-Hop Shop #52 and read our Dilla Pickles review, now it's time to take it to the next level and Break it Down! Here's a press release from Dan-e-o about his brand new music video, which you can also watch below.

YO!

The first music video from the forthcoming Dilla Pickles album/mixtape is
here! "Break It Down" is produced and directed by Kris Exconde of Late
Night Shooters.

CHECK IT OUT!:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlQWyTxt_90



Go to the Exconde Productions website (http://www.excondeproductions.com)
for more info on this new company.

And don't forget to download Dilla Pickles this Halloween!

Dan-e-o
"Dilla Pickles" mixtape 10/31/09!!
http://www.dan-e-o.com/
http://www.myspace.com/daneo10
http://www.facebook.com/donfaraldo
http://www.twitter.com/daneo10
http://www.thaoshow.com/

Buy Dan-e-o's music HERE:
http://www.maplemusic.com/dept.asp?dept_id=2316

Gucci Mane f/ Usher - Spotlight (Single)


Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Gucci Mane f/ Usher
Title: Spotlight
Label: So Icey Ent./Warner Bros.
 
Gucci Mane is back. Yay? "Bay-bay, okay ay/Where you wanna go today?/No she's not a prostitute/but if she was I'd have to pay/Say, lay, you can stay/I'll sex you a couple days/Tell your girl no need to fret/she want to par-ti-ci-pate." The flow, it annoys me/I wish that he'd quit it/I'm sick, of, hear-ing/how Gucci wants to hit it/his rap whack, his flow whack/his topics super-fi-cial/someone take him out/with a big SCUD mis-sile. The best parts of this song are Polow Da Don on the beat and Usher singing the hook - otherwise I'd have cut this song off before I even finished this paragraph. You can check the song out yourself below.

Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 Revisited - An Open Letter From Jay Soul


Blueprint 3 – The Aftermath
Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania - Twitter: @JaySoul

"You're playing it short when you should be playing it long..."

A few weeks ago my review of Jay-Z's latest album "Blueprint 3" seemed to create a few shocks in our little world of hip hop. It led to some affirmative backslapping from the Jigga haters, and some criticism from the diehard fans. That is perfectly natural – it is has proved to be an extremely divisive album, with the majority of hip hop fans either outright loving it or straight up hating it. As one of my esteemed colleagues pointed out, however, people should at least try to READ the review properly, and not focus on the score too much.

Before writing for the website, I genuinely used to read it every single week (since 2001, actually). Tuesdays was and still is "RapReviews Day" for me, and I know from the perspective of the reader when you anticipate a big album from a major artist. You're looking forward to it, want to go out and buy it first day and ENJOY it. Then some motherfucker tells you that, in their opinion, it isn't worth your money. It is kind of deflating, right? I've felt that way before, mentally cursing Flash for taking that experience away from me. But in the end, whether I agreed with the writers or not, I always appreciated what they were trying to say.

I've been the bearer of bad news on various albums since my time here, and I think some people – casting me in the clichéd role of Simon Cowell "British Villain" – think that I take delight in it. Not even slightly. When a major artist releases a sub-standard album, we are ALL losers! The artist, the record label (usually), the media, the fans. And nobody likes to lose.

But sometimes you must accept defeat in order to win big next time – if we are to improve, we must learn from our mistakes because life is a giant trial and error game that we play at for a while. Even some of the biggest egos in rap can accept this, and it is no coincidence that many of the legends in the game are the least delusional, the most willing to learn, progress, evolve.

Some accused me of bias, mainly owing to the last few lines of that now infamous "Blueprint 3" review. When I was stating that hip hop needs us now more than ever, I meant that it needs the STANDARD BEARERS – you, me, all of us with discerning taste – in order to maintain the quality level. It is all well and good having major artists releasing tons of music, but if none of us are listening to the entire albums a year later, it dilutes hip hop in general. There will always be MC's that can spit hot fire, producers that can make beautiful music – but someone has to put it together, and that is perhaps what is really going wrong right now. Albums are being dictated by focus groups, not visionary executive producers. That is why Rick Rubin is still legendary: he knows how to get an artist in the zone, get twelve great songs out of them, and sequence them with the right music. There are still hot singles being released, for sure – but whilst singles are hors d'oeuvres to whet your appetite, albums are the main MEAL. That is how you get to know the artist, how you connect with them.

There are a few times when I have over scored an album, for sure (LL Cool J and Eminem spring to mind). Hey, we all make mistakes and get overexcited... But just know that I do not UNDER score. In other words, you could read a review where I give someone an 8.5 and think "this motherfucker has lost his mind, over scoring this shit." But how many times have I given a genuinely great album, from front to back, too LITTLE credit? That means that if my opinion is that an album is disappointing, you should know that I have given it a great deal of consideration. Many of the emails about BP3 surprisingly said exactly the same thing – that they knew the album was poor but had been "brainwashed" into being unable to criticise a Jay-Z LP. I can completely understand that, but I pride myself on being able to see into the truth of something, ignoring the entourage of hype or history. That goes for positive and negative baggage – hey, I'm the guy that gave "American Gangster" full marks, the only time I've ever done so on this site.

As for the BP3 saga, I honestly felt that although it was a generally likeable and listenable album, there were glaringly obvious flaws. It was too long, for starters – something that has affected the majority of Jay-Z albums. The beats, around half of them, were listenable but substandard, whilst the rest were solid. Aside from the classic "Empire State of Mind," there are only a few tracks that I could honestly say I will listen to – and they pretty much come in the first five songs. His flow – yes, Jay-Z's FLOW! – is off... He just sounds lazy and unfocussed by his standards, aside from a few good moments – although I'm not a fan of "Venus vs. Mars" he does drop some clever lines. But the core truth is that Jay-Z really NEEDED a hit record, as he has run the risk of becoming a celebrity rapper that hasn't had a massive slew of singles from a big selling LP for six years. He needed to get back in the numbers game, and with the double-whammy of "Run This Town" and "Empire State of Mind," he has certainly achieved his goal – BP3 is shifting at an impressive rate. Assuming that "Young Forever" or "Off That" are hits, Jigga will be looking at his most commercially successful (singles wise) album since "The Black Album" and "Hard Knock Life." That is great for Carter, but with my reviews, I try to "play it long" as Prop Joe used to say – in other words, will we still be listening to this long play in the future? I've already stopped listening to BP3 (aside from a couple of tracks), and not out of spite but genuinely boredom. And if you've grown to really like it, that is fine too! We are all of this world, our opinions matter not one jot – because if you prize a piece of music, listen to it and love it unconditionally, whether somebody else likes/loathes it shouldn't really matter in the slightest.
Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania on Brit Hop 2009


Brit Hop 2009
Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania - Twitter: @JaySoul


The second half of this decade has been a somewhat special time for British music. Something had been stirring in the air and, for some; the tipping point (thanks, Mr Gladwell) came around the time that Amy Winehouse dropped her sophomore LP "Back to Black." Whilst it wasn't what you would call a true "critical darling," it nonetheless contained five mega-hit singles (well, six if you count "Valerie") and the album has continued to be in the Top 100 UK Album Chart for THREE YEARS now. The UK press has a hyperbolic history of heaping praise on undeserving souls, but Amy Winehouse smashed it. These are classic singles that will be played until you and I are old and grey. In fact, and please bear in mind that I say this in all seriousness, that no matter what happens now, Amy Winehouse has cemented her legendary status as "Back to Black" was her "Illmatic" and "Thriller" combined in one. She poured her heart into every note or lyric, and the key is that you actually BELIEVE her – combine that with stunning melodies, accessible music and a wonderfully individual voice, and it isn't a trick that will be repeated anytime soon by ANYONE.

Try telling that to the UK labels, though. As soon as Amy's success went stratospheric, the A&R's got busy in the lab, trying to clone her. Since 2006, it is fair to say that the twenty-something girls have completely ruled the UK charts. Regardless of genre, and counting the non-clones, you have Duffy, Adele, Estelle, the Ting Tings, La Roux, Florence & The Machine, the Sugababes, Girls Aloud, Lily Allen, Leona Lewis, M.I.A., Kate Walsh, Natasha Bedingfield, VV Brown, Kate Nash, Corinne Bailey Rae, Alesha Dixon, Lady Sovereign, KT Tunstall, Bat For Lashes, Pixie Lott, recent Mercury Prize winning rapper Speech Debelle... The list seriously goes on and on. Add the Stateside girls like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jordin Sparks, Fergie and all the other countless female soloists and you start to struggle for room to breathe (in a nice way). This truly is a golden age for the girls.

However, if you only knew one thing about the music game, it would be that things change. Trends come and go. How many out of that exhaustive list will be here in 10 years time? Only a few. They will forever be cemented in the "Now" compilations, and on "Remember the 2000's" type of throwback CD's, sure. But some will be dropped; others will quit the game; only those with iron strong determination to survive will make it through to 2020. There have been trends that pushed through with little warning, ruled the charts, then sank without a trace within three years. The Garage scene circa 1999 was incredible, with genuine talent selling units from literally nothing. The Britpop era from 1995 to 1997 was huge, and will forever be remembered – especially that classic summer of 1996. Those were the days...

Except that those WEREN'T the days. The Britpop era of music was TERRIBLE!! Seriously. I was one of the young morons responsible for buying into chunks of it, but frankly the Spice Girls created better music than 90% of the Britpop acts – I'm not even joking. Only Blur, Oasis and especially Pulp (plus a tiny handful of other acts) genuinely deserved credit. The SCENE was classic, but the music was certainly not.

Which brings us onto the Brit Hop in 2009. This year, more than any other in the history of the UK music scene, has given birth to a genuine combined assault from the hip hop world. In the past twelve months alone, there have been big selling albums from exotically named rappers such as Dizzee Rascal, N-Dubz, Taio Cruz (technically a producer/singer that sometimes raps), Chipmunk, Speech Debelle, Wiley and Tinchy Stryder, with albums to come from Sway, Kano and a few others. Aside from Dizzee, most of the big sellers have been debut artists – think Tinchy, N-Dubz and Chipmunk. They have captured the hearts of the youth, and the youth, for once, are actually putting their money where their mouth is. The results are on view for all to see, and it is a truly wonderful moment – this generation of rappers lie on the cusp of something really big.

Of course, this has taken years of preparation. N-Dubz are, to all intents and purposes, a manufactured band in the mould of the Black Eyed Peas. Tinchy Stryder's back story is so bizarre, it beggars belief (essentially a couple of super rich public school boys wanted to have some fun and moulded him into a marketable product – or so the story goes). Dizzee is, strangely enough, only 24 years old. Yet, "Tongue N'Cheek" (which, I will warn you in advance, will feature highly on my year end list), is his FOURTH album, with his first LP winning the Mercury prize when he was only 18. Sway signed Stateside with Akon, whilst Jay Sean (more of him in a minute) signed with Lil Wayne and co. These last three are in their mid-20's, yet have their own labels in the UK. It is fantastic to see.

Look at the Billboard Top 100 singles at ANY point in the last SIX MONTHS and all you would have seen was either "Boom Boom Pow" or "I Gotta Feeling" – both by the Black Eyed Peas. Ok, but go and look NOW. It says "Down" by Jay Sean, featuring Lil Wayne. Yes, the urban singer is from the UK, and not since Craig David has anyone British actually done something massive on the US charts, especially not a UK Asian. Except the whole of Britain seems to have collective amnesia – didn't M.I.A. do pretty bloody well with "Paper Planes" last year? Plus she is a UK Asian? I mean, her and Jay Sean were BOTH brought up in the very same place, Hounslow!

I recently had a debate with someone about this very issue – why has M.I.A. been almost completely ignored by the Asian community in the UK? He kept banging on about how Jay Sean is selling loads more records than M.I.A. in the States. However, that really isn't the case. Yes, "Down" is now Number One, and selling major numbers (over 1m in two months is an incredible achievement). Yet "Paper Planes" sold well over three million with a crap video and M.I.A. basically refusing to do any promotion for it. It also spawned T.I.'s "Swagga Like Us" which in turn led to a legendary Grammy night performance – and, incidentally, that was the heavily pregnant M.I.A.'s due date for giving birth. It featured on the "Pineapple Express" trailer, and, more importantly, on the soundtrack to the 8-times Oscar winning "Slumdog Millionaire" – as well as within the actual film, in a stunning scene that genuinely made me cry tears of pride and joy. The song has gone down in history, and another famous review site recently placed it within the Top 3 singles of ANY this decade (I concur).

Of course, Jay Sean has absolutely nothing to do with this side issue, and his chart-topping achievement is stunning, the culmination of 7 years hard work. If anything, he has provided this new generation of British urban stars in the making with a blueprint of how to crack America, if they wish to try. And when he releases his album back in his homeland, it is a pretty safe bet that he will be right near the top of the charts, alongside Dizzee, Tinchy, Taio, Chipmunk and N-Dubz. This really is an exciting time, but labels – and, more crucially, artists – would do well to learn from the previous super-fantabulous "scenes" in the UK that crash and burned after a couple of years. In fact, if I'm totally honest, they should look to their American forefathers of rap and study the best – the best rappers, singers, producers and, perhaps most crucially, labels. Not copy, but study and adapt. That is the best way to achieve sustained success, so the most vital foundation is a bedrock of GREAT music. If you can't find those producers who can help you step up to the next level, go and search them out, anywhere you can.

Britpop collapsed because the music was actually pretty shit, save for a few great bands. People wise up after a while, they move on if the scene doesn't move with the times. Brit Hop is at an exciting point, but it needs to create truly great music – and that doesn't mean that A&R's should clamber to sign the "next big thing" just for the sake of it. They should attempt to build a real and successful industry, not just a scene. Let's hope that it improves – at the moment, it is, essentially, a kind of dancey/Timbalandy/urbany with really soft rapping to girls over it. That is a clever place to start, but they won't be able to repeat that trick for the next five years – the music is fun, but not approaching greatness at a rate of knots. So enjoy the success, but progress and evolve. All of the rappers enjoying success in the USA owe everything to the previous generations, the ones that laid the really hard groundwork with classic ALBUMS as well as chart-topping singles. Let's hope that exciting times can translate into a continually enthralling era.
Baron Von Alias - Overload (Single)


Review by Matt Jost

Artist: Baron Von Alias f/ Foreign Beggars
Title: Overload
Label: Burn Block Beats

Hard on the heels of his "Timepiece" album, Newcastle's Baron Von Alias releases new material with "Overload." Steesh's beat is electronically wired but enough balanced and grounded in hip-hop to prevent a short circuit. Or maybe a jolt is what rap listeners would need every now and then? Either way this is still some degrees of separation away from commercial fare and really a solid slice of UK rap, Baron and guests Foreign Beggars delivering more complex than your average rhyme patterns in refreshing accents. It's hard to believe that small singles like this one truly can "give the whole rap scene a refresh," but for a lucky few it might just do the trick.

Hip-Hop Shop #52 w/ Dan-e-o (Dilla Pickles!)


Hip-Hop Shop 52 features a half hour interview with Dan-e-o about his new album Dilla Pickles and a variety of other topics, and then a half hour of hot new songs from Gift of Gab, Brown Bag AllStars, iLL-Literacy and more! If you would like to sponsor Hip-Hop Shop please send an e-mail to dj.flash@rapreviews.com for more information. Hip-Hop Shop features podsafe music, so distribute the show and tell your friends to check us out every week at RapReviews.com!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Dan-e-o f/ Famous - Check the Grind
* Dan-e-o f/ Conwell - Last Minute
* Gift of Gab f/ Del the Funky Homosapien - Dreamin'
* Brown Bag AllStars - Got it All (DJ Brace Remix)
* iLL-Literacy - The HereNow (iPod Version)
* Poison Pen f/ Immortal Technique - The 2nd Amendment
* Zilla Rocca & Has-Lo - Forever Freestyle Nike Run
* Komp'l - So Cold

Nyle - A Simplified Name for a Diverse Emcee


Anti-machismo, lonely stoner, and a post-Tribe/Pharcyde type of vibe are just three of the ways Nyle feels his work can be described. Most people who hear him rhyme, however, have found a shorter, one word, description for his style – dope. Nyle’s fan base has been growing steadily since his arrival in NYC from Philly a handful of years ago and he points to his content as one of the reasons for this, saying “the stuff I write about is easy to relate to.” Nyle also has a great range when it comes to his music as he point out his body of work includes everything from “straight rap jawns like ‘Gangrel,’” to “a T-Pain parody song called ‘Fuck A Nice Guy.’” No matter what he may be spittin about, Nyle has developed a reputation for always gettin busy on the mic and this week I caught up with him to ask him about making it in NYC’s crowded hip-hop scene, which kind of naysayers he loves, and why so many people know him by so many different names.

Read the full interview at:  http://adambernard.blogspot.com/2009/10/artist-of-week-nyle.html

The (W)rap Up - Week of October 13, 2009


Del the Funky Homosapien & Tame One :: Parallel Uni-Verses
Gold Dust Media/!K7

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"The year of hip-hop superteams continues. We've already had the all-star Slaughterhouse team, the New York dynamic duo of KRS-One & Buckshot, the Brooklyn to Boston duo of Masta Ace & Edo.G among others, and at long last it's time for Del the Funky Homosapien and Tame One to take their turn. Wait... Del and Tame? In terms of dusted, bugged out unconventional rap flows, there may not be any two rappers on Earth more well met than Tame and Del. Each one has cultivated their following over the years amongst the populace and their peers by doing shit their own way, sometimes in direct opposition to being commercially viable. No one has ever said "Fuck Del/Tame, all they do is bubblegum pop rap, that shit is garbage." These two rappers are creativity personified."

http://www.rapreviews.com/feature.html

DOOM :: Unexpected Guests :: Gold Dust Media/!K7
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"DOOM. The same word that excites a true rap head usually implies impending disaster in any other context, to the point that you might hear Private James Frazer in your head instead of a semi-intoxicated verbal pugilist. Nobody wants to be "doomed to their fate" unless their name is Daniel Dumile, one of the most popular underground rap icons of the last fifteen years. To become the mysterious man behind the metal face mask though Dumile experienced a lot of personal tragedy, but as he puts the metal mask on he transforms into the anti-hero who doesn't always do the right thing for the right reasons yet saves the day anyway."

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_unexpectedguests.html

Ill Mondo * Neal Rames :: Ill Mondo * Neal Rames! :: Ill Mondo Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"This write-up is either early or late. The featured artist is either Ill Mondo or Neal Rames. This opening paragraph is either inconclusive or completely on point. The MC on this album is either the second coming of the Beastie Boys or the rapping version of Neal Armstrong. The producer is either friends with the aforementioned rapper or one half of a well-respected Bay Area production team. The guest stars are either Percee P, Prince Po or Sean Price. The structure of this format is either irritating you or intriguing you more."

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_illmondo.html

J Dilla :: Dillanthology 3 :: Rapster Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"Honestly I think it's beginning to get a bit ridiculous. I miss James Yancey as much as any man alive. The news of Dilla's death on February 10th of 2006 hit me hard - possibly too hard. It made me miss living in Michigan. It made me miss Slum Village. It made me purchase a "J Dilla Changed My Life" t-shirt that I rock with pride every summer. I have every album he released while alive, and almost all that were released (or re-released) posthumously. There's no doubt that when to' up I've shed tears in Dilla's memory, and for me his memory looms as large as Biggie & 'Pac. Despite that I think it's beginning to get a bit ridiculous. How many posthumous compilations of Dilla do we need?"

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_dillanthology3.html

Jim Jones & Webstar :: The Rooftop :: E1 Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Chicken Noodle Soup with Harlem's American Gangster on the side? As odd as that collaboration might seem, both Jim Jones and Webstar are Harlem natives who love their hood, although Webstar might love his lunchtime special more - after all it's his only claim to fame thus far. At least lil' Webstar is all grown up now, because the last time out he was too young to even get a parental advisory sticker. Now he's got the R rating and a cell phone of his own, and as a result he and his crew (Young B, Young Deion, Rex & Ricky Blaze) have some advice for you: "Follow Me on Twitter.""

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_therooftop.html

Knine :: Robots Have Feelings Too :: {self-released}
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond 

"One my favorite quotes of all time is from the show King of the Hill. Hank, the show's matriarch, comes across a Christian rock band whose music is frankly pretty awful. He looks these guys straight in the eye and tells them "you're not making Christianity better, you're making rock and roll worse." In my years of reviewing music this has always been my feeling on Christian rap, with the exception of a soft spot I've still got for a few DC Talk record from back in my youth. Far too often these artists try too hard to walk the line between being a minister and a pop star and end up failing miserably at both. If you're giving all your glory to God you shouldn't be writing songs that sound like strip club anthems with the occasional shout out to the Lord. The fact that you don't swear shouldn't be the only reason people think you're Christian. And you sound like a fool talking about all your money when you're spreading the word about a dude who had contempt for the rich, who walked everywhere (even over water), and didn't charge for his live show"

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_robotshavefeelingstoo.html

QN5 Music :: Baby Blue For Pink :: QN5 Music
as reviewed by Guido Stern 

"Released in early February 2008 in anticipation of Valentine's Day, "Baby Blue For Pink" showcases QN5's clever lyricism and laidback production. A quickly rising label worthy of comparisons to Def Jux and Stones Throw Records, QN5's best-known artists include CunninLynguists and label founder Tonedeff. Rightfully so—as they are ridiculously talented artists—but QN5 is also home to a number of more unheralded talents"

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_babyblueforpink.html

Shortyo :: King of the Kounty :: Affiliated Entertainment Group
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond 

"After listening to Shortyo's "King of the Kounty" I'm well aware that talking shit on him will get m shot. He tells the listener quite a few times on track 16, "Boogie Picking Angelo." So in the interest of keeping myself from getting shot I'll follow my mother's advice about keeping my mouth shut if I can't say anything nice. So I would like to formally congratulate Shortyo for having some of the best ears in the rap game. From beginning to end "King of the Kounty" is one of the best produced rap records I've heard this year."

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_kingofthekounty.html

Skyzoo :: The Salvation :: Jamla/Duck Down Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor 

"Skyzoo is a Brooklyn MC who has released a string of mixtapes, including "The Power of Words" with Statik Selektah and DJ Drama. "The Salvation" is his debut album. If you look at the back of the album, you'll immediately notice that there are no other rappers on the disc. Zip. Zero. No features, no phone-in verse by Lil Wayne, no posse cuts, no verses by weed carriers or friends of friends. It's Skyzoo's show and Skyzoo's alone, barring Carlitta Durant's vocals on "Easy To Fly." It's a daring choice for an up and coming rapper to go at it totally alone, but it makes sense. "The Salvation" is an intensely personal album, so it's fitting that Skyzoo tells the whole story himself. He also has the chops to pull off 16 solo tracks."

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2009_10_thesalvation.html

Spice 1 :: 187 He Wrote :: Jive Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace 

"In the early 90's, the misogynistic and violent reality rap that was coming out of California was at an all-time high. In addition to the veterans like Too Short, Ice-T, and Ice Cube, it seemed like there was an influx of new rappers with rhymes to kick and stories to tell. Snoop Dogg was one of those rappers. DJ Quik was one of those rappers. Not as famous but just as revered was a rapper that was discovered by Too Short that went by the name of Spice 1. His first full length release was the self-titled "Spice 1" in May of 1992, which peaked at #82 on the Billboard 200 and featured two prominent singles, "In My Neighborhood" and "Welcome To The Ghetto". The following year, Spice was featured on the soundtrack to the coming-to-age film, "Menace II Society" with his song "Nigga Gots No Heart". A few short months later, Spiggedy Spice Wiggedy One was set to release his sophomore effort, "187 He Wrote"."

http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_spice187hewrote.html

 

 

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