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Saturday August 02, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Nobody's Smiling] Hope for Chicago.

Common Review

Latest News Headlines
Showing Up at Shows

Last week I attended two different shows and at those shows I met up with a lot of artists I know from the scene. At the Kosha Dillz album release party, in addition to Kosha Dillz himself, I ran into Homeboy Sandman, Creature, Sav Killz, J Ronin, Donny Goines, Yak Ballz and a host of other folks. At the Maiysha album release party I met up with Conscious, INF and some other friends. Obviously there was plenty of catching up going on, but as Conscious and I discussed later in the week, there are a host of other reasons artists need to be at as many shows as they can make it to, especially shows where they may have never seen many of the artists on the bill, or at least haven’t seen them in a while.

Read the full story at:

Ice Cube - Still Raw

The Hip-Hop Generation. It’s the label that’s been affixed to everyone who has grown up involved in hip-hop in any way, shape or form. According to Ice Cube, however, it’s a tag that was created with the intent to debase. “That’s a dismissive kind of label,” he says with aggravation, “it’s damn near like calling us rednecks in our own way. If they act crazy don’t worry about it, they’re part of the Hip-Hop Generation. If something happens that you don’t understand, don’t worry about, they’re part of the Hip-Hop Generation. You know, ain’t nuttin wrong with you, it’s something wrong with them.”

Read the full article at:

Nate Dogg Suffers Second Stroke

It's not looking good for the hip-hop crooner. I'm going to quote directly from for this one since I'm a little pressed for time today - their article on his condition appears below.


       Singer Nate Dogg is reportedly hospitalized in serious condition after
suffering another stroke, his second since December 20 of last year.

       Sources say the artist, born Nathanial Hale, is unable to breathe on his own.

       The crooner was already partially paralyzed on the left side of his body
as a result of the first stroke, although it didn't leave him with any major
brain damage.

       In June, Nate Dogg was arrested for allegedly making threats against his
former girlfriend as he followed her in another car on the
405 Freeway in Los Angeles.

Kidd Russell Pens Letter to School Shooters

Kidd Russell is an artist who first caught my ear in 2006 with his debut LP, Untied. Since then I’ve listened to him grow as an emcee, and after seeing the video for his latest single, “Dear Shooter,” which is off of his upcoming album, The Dash, I finally decided it was time to sit down with him to talk about his life and career. During our conversation Russell opened up about why he raps, the inspiration for “Dear Shooter,” and how The Dash represents life. This is an interview two years in the making and it’s safe to say it was well worth the wait.

Read the full interview at: 


Introducing a new feature here on RapReviews - Free Music Fridays! I would steal Funk Master Flex's logo, but I don't want to get sued. What we do is scour the internet on a weekly basis to find free music for you to peruse. It can be commercial, underground, singles, mixtapes, etc.. but no matter what, it'll be free and legal (can't get more legal than getting directly from the artist or label itself). If you're a fan, scroll down and enjoy. If you're a label, artist, or rep and want to be featured next Friday just hit me on my beeper - or if you lack a beeper (squares) then hit me up at djcomplejo @

Love, Peace, and Downloadssss...

First up this week is a single coming from Foreign Exchange. For those out of the loop, Foreign Exchange consists of rapper Phonte of Little Brother and producer Nicolay. The single off their forthcoming album is available here:

Next we have The Cool Kids. These Chicago hipsters have been getting a lot of buzz lately and you can find their song "Delivery Man" here:

Not to be outdone, producer Jake One gives you some free heat in the form of "The Truth" - the lead single to his upcoming album. Featuring Freeway and Brother Ali on the same track (you read that right), this song is a good sign of things to come:

Moving on up to the EP tip, rapper Supastition has been making a lot of noise lately (and for good reason I'd say). In order to wake up even the deepest sleepers, he's released a free EP under the legal name of Kam Moye. Check out 8 tracks of free dope here:

Moving deeper into the underground, literally, we re-visit the Windy City to check out the Molemen collective in the form of Decay. As an appetizer to his upcoming album he gives is "The Unlikely Villain" - a mixtape available for free here:

Rapper Torae's latest album was recently featured in a review on this site, but if the review didn't leave you convinced you can check him out for free in mixtape form here:

Speaking of mixtapes featured in reviews on our site, both Wale's "100 Miles and Running" and Rhymefest's "Man In The Mirror" got much love from RapReviews. Here they are for you (by way of Wale's Myspace page):

Man In The Mirror:

100 Miles and Running:

We prefer downloads on FMF, but when People Under The Stairs let you preview their latest album in it's entirety (The Om Years) we had to show them some love. For those waiting for your opportunity to peep The P - you've run out of excuses:

Last, but definitely not least, for all our readers who prefer their rap in Acid form, we have the latest podcast from For those out of the loop - is Esham's official page and outside of getting all the info you could ever want about the boogie man, you can also DL his podcasts which include a mix of of music and more:

That's it for this week, but check back next Friday and every Friday for more free music.

And remember, the best things in life aren't free, so buy the meal if you like the appetizer. Does this make me the online equivalent of the free sample lady at the supermarket?

Kanye West Arrested in L.A. Airport

CNN is reporting this afternoon that Kanye West was arrested this morning after getting into a skirmish with several paparazzi photographers at the Los Angeles International Airport. The incident  involved the rap star and his road manger slash bodyguard Don Crowley fighting with two photographers, and the cameras of the paparazzi were damaged in the altercation. West and Crowley were both arrested on charges of felony vandalism. Some sources incorrectly reported Crowley had also been charged with battery but police sources told CNN that was not the case. TMZ has video footage of the incident HERE. We'll keep you updated as more details become available.
Sadat X Readies New Solo Album

From Todd Davis:

*September 10th, 2008*

Sadat X Readies New Solo Album

Generation X*September 10th, 2008* -- The self-proclaimed Dot Father himself, Derek
"Sadat X" Murphy, has returned with his brand new, fifth solo collection,
the appropriately titled, *Generation X*. The Will Tell produced project, in
an exclusive deal with New York City's urban indie powerhouse, Affluent
Records, is being introduced by the set's hard hitting, lead offering, 'Never.'

Not having heard from X since '06's solid, but commercially panned, *Black
October*, Sadat is back in fine, rare form, showing that he hasn't missed a
beat since the days of old with his group-mates, Grand Puba and Lord Jamar,
of the legendary Brand Nubian collective.

Originally known as Derek X, the Brooklyn, New York, resident emcee made his
national debut in 1989 with the release of the group's premier single 'Brand
Nubian' b/w 'Feels So Good,' followed by their critically acclaimed, first
outing, *One For All*. The classic set spawned three additional hits 'All
For One,' 'Wake Up,' and 'Slow Down.' Inspired by the teachings of Islam, *One
For All* eventually sold over 350,000 units, nearly going gold, and won the
coveted 5 Mic rating in Hip-Hop magazine, The Source.

Sadat, who borrowed his moniker from former Egyptian president, Anwar
Sadat, eventually recorded and released his solo debut, *Wild Cowboys* [1996].
The stellar record contains superb production from some of the
industry's finest beat-makers; Buckwild, Diamond D, Minnesota, Da
Beatminerz, Pete Rock, Showbiz, and Dante Ross.

Three additional solo projects, and a pair of Brand Nubian efforts later,
and the "X-Man" is about to unleash, possibly, his most powerful opus
yet, *Generation X*.

With a career that spans nearly three decades, and possessing one of the
genre's most distinctive voices, veteran rapper Sadat X is definitely a much
needed, breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale Hip-Hop sound-scape.

*Generation X*, which features appearances from Twanie Ranks and Thirstin
Howl III, will be released digitally on September 30th 2008, followed by an
actual in-store date November 4th 2008.

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Sadat X is available for: Interviews, Show Bookings, Voiceovers,
Songwriting, Features & Hooks, DJ Show Commercials, Event Hosting, Radio/TV
Hosting, Acting & Commercials, and Public Speaking.

J-Zone GATOR$-n-FUR$ MIXSHOW for September 2008



Unless you have no standards or you're famous, you've been there. Stop lying. The cylinders just ain't clickin' ladies & gentlemen. That best of Sade CD (or nowadays your "midnight passion" play list on the ipod) ain't been used in forever.  Your hormones have you running through every number in your cel and emailing every loose strand you ever messed with (or never got a chance to mess with). Some people even go as far as to call up that ex fit for a Jerry Springer episode. Nightclubs are dead. So you join eharmony and after spending 3 hours filling out a profile, you're hit with a $20 per month fee to hook up with some hog named Ethel or some clown with 2 of his teeth left (and both are molars). It happens to the best of us, join the club. How do you shake a dry spell? Everybody has their own method, but check the September Gator$-n-Fur$ Mixshow (Dry Spell) and find out how Chief Chinchilla and I deal with it (this is the free download here)! Enjoy the show, this is the last one until December. Why??


As some of you know, Chief Chinchilla has finally completed his debut album (produced by yours truly) and it's called J-Zone presents...Chief Chinchilla: Live @ The Liqua Sto. Guests include Prince Paul, RA The Rugged Man, E-Swift (of Tha Alkaholiks), Louis Logic, Celph Titled and many more! The album is a collection of funky malt liquor advertisements (like the Old St. Ides joints) and it will be out in early October! The album took 2 months of intense work, so we're taking October & November off from Gator$-n-Fur$. Enjoy the album and support it when it drops (you WILL know when it drops because I will flood your inbox with reminders like a madman).

As anybody who knows me knows, I've never been a video guy. I don't like being on film, I'm scared of the internet and videos are a pain in the a*s to shoot. But this is 2008 and youtube is the new MTV. If it was up to me, I'd walk into a 7-11 and talk trash to the surveillance camera, pay the cashier for the tape, put some music behind it and that's my video.  I'm willing to meet you halfway. There will be 2 short video/trailers to promote this project. The first being a music video for "Can I Get A Sip??" from the album -I'm not in it, Chief took a Greyhound bus down south to do that one behind my back- and a trailer for the album in which I put my camera phobia behind me for the sake of promotion. We're filming at the moment, but as soon as editing is done in the next few weeks, we will get those to ya'll.

And finally, I've gotten emails about why Chief Chinchilla doesn't have any words in these updates. He doesn't like people, but we're both getting used to the 2008 way of thinking. I accepted the fact I need to provide some type of video promotion and he's stepped into the blogging world. He wants you all to know he's appreciative of the support, but he has some choice words for the haters that don't like him. The excerpt below was taken from his myspace blog. It's not for the faint of heart, I warned you.



"Yea what up myspace, this is Chief Chinchilla aka The Onion Ring Pimp aka PETA's worst nightmare aka The Furglar. I'm new to this myspace bloggin thang, so I'mma just speak my mind. My dude J-Zone posted up some info this week about this album Live @ The Liqua Sto on his myspace. In case you didn't know, thats my debut album. He produced it, but this is my muthaf**kin party and only the ladies, the 40 guzzlers and those that wear fur for no apparent reason in the August heat are invited. I wanna take the time to thank Prince Paul, DJ E-Swift Of Tha Alkaholiks, RA The Rugged Man, my dawg Al-Shid, Celph Titled, Poison Pen, Crazy DJ Bazarro, Breeze Brewin from The Juggaknots, Ammbush from Oakland, Creyesis The Jamaican MC and of course my homie Louis Logic. Lil kids think he's Lenny Kravitz when they see him in the airport, but thats my dawg. Of course J-Zone and everybody else that contributed to this work of art.

But I wanna address these haters that are comin' out the woodworks now that I'm boutta get a real album under my belt. Yall done f**ked up real bad. You let me in the game and gave me a chance to make some $$$ and be heard. When I start buildin White Castles in your hood with my royalties and money from my fast food and malt liquor endorsements, just sit down, shut the f**k up and let them bulldozers roll. Let em tear down that punk azz Starbucks that you used to love so much when you would sit in there on yo punk azz drankin tall lattes usin free wi-fi and panning J-Zone albums back in the day for some toilet tissue pseudo-cosmo wanna be innovative art fart hip-hop magazine you wrote for. Reverse gentrification is a mutha ain't it?! Go head and pan this album too, just because you have a degree in communications from NYU, doesn't mean you know music you dry sh*t shish-kebab. Payback is a b*tch and she's at that time of the month and just finished reading Superhead's book.. Good luck you Pabst Blue Ribbon drankin Son of a B*tch.

And all yall that are gettin bent outta shape bout this muthaf**kin fur I wear and represent...f**k yall. With all the problems in the world, you gonna throw the PETA game at me? Get the f**k outta here! I got "Fur Is Wrong" and all these people trying to add me as a friend on this punk azz myspace garbage. Back up off my line, everything I wear been done had a heartbeat at some point, so just make sure you fall back and let me do my fall shopping at the zoo in peace. Amphibians, reptiles, sea sh*t, hyenas...all that. Just go to the Gap and shut up.  No love lost, if you want the number to my dry cleaner, I'll put you on so you can press n crease that fur like muah.

And to the ladies. Ya'll been frontin on me. Its OK. The album drops in October, on the new Gator$-n-Fur$ mixshow I put yall in the flames for playin me and you gonna realize you done passed up this Onion Ring Pimpin for some Wedding Ring Simpin. You're pathetic and you will be a bullethole ridden White Castle burger in your next life, I pity you. You peasant.

But to all showin the Chief love...thank you! To all the Gator$-n-Fur$ fans and my Chinchillettes worldwide...I'll see you on American Idol!

Live @ The Liqua Sto coming soon. Get that!!!"


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Wu Music Group Jumps Into Digital Fold

From Kimberly Trick and The Orchard:

New York – September 10, 2008 – Fans of Wu-Tang Clan, and its storied members, will now be able to access the famed hip-hop collective like never before. The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD), a global leader in digital music and entertainment, today announced a comprehensive pact with Wu Music Group to distribute and market the label’s popular catalogue worldwide. In addition to forthcoming material, the catalogue includes 13 previous releases that have been unavailable digitally, including recordings by Wu Tang Clan, U-God, Wu-Syndicate, Killarmy, Shyheim, West Coast Killa Beez, Black Knights and others, and will be available worldwide beginning on September 23.

“The time is right to bring some older Wu material to the masses digitally,” said RZA, de-facto leader of Wu-Tang Clan, also known as “Bobby Digital”. “Our fans have been dedicated and patient, and they’re hungry to hear the music that has set us apart from so many others. Hip-Hop is alive in Wu Music, and with The Orchard, we’ve got a solid partner that understands our audience and is committed to doing all they can to help us reach the fans. I’m definitely looking forward to working with them to see what else we all come up with. There’s much more to come.” (To see a special video message directly from RZA, click here.)

Beginning today, fans can join the Wu Music Mobile Fan Club, powered by Mozes, to gain access to exclusive news updates, release information, contests and more by texting “WuMusic” to 66937.   The special Wu Music Tube, a designated Kyte TV online video channel, also launches today as a forum for the artists to communicate directly with their audience, preview exclusive video content and provide a sneak peek into the Wu Music world.  Fans are encouraged also to visit the newly re-launched website,, as well as the ad-supported Wu Music Group mobile website, developed by Faspay Mobile Technologies, for breaking news, tour dates and mobile downloads.

The campaign also includes newly available Wu Music Group content, such as album and single downloads, master tones and ringback tones, which are currently available exclusively to Verizon Wireless subscribers direct from the V CAST Music Store, and can be purchased worldwide from The Orchard’s ubiquitous digital network beginning September 23. In addition, Verizon Wireless subscribers can also text “WU” to 8912, enabling direct content purchases for SMS and MMS delivery with the option to be linked to the Wu Music Mobile Fan Club.

Beyond launch, The Orchard will embark on a substantial marketing campaign, bringing new digital releases of Wu Music Group’s entire catalogue of unreleased material, including important recordings from RZA and other Wu-Tang Clan members, as well as future and live releases from current label acts and new signings.  The pact includes the label’s full back catalogue of music videos, featuring artists such as RZA, Ghostface Killah, Kool G Rap and more. Adding to the partnership, The Orchard’s growing Brand Entertainment division will also draw from this large music and video catalogue of Wu Music Group for use by brands and ad agencies in innovative new marketing and promotion programs.

“Enter The Wu-Tang,” said Greg Scholl, president and chief executive officer for The Orchard.

Wu Music Group: .
Wu Music Tube: .

MySpace: .

About Wu Music Group

Wu Music Group was developed in 2005 by RZA, along with his brother and business partner, Mitchell “Divine” Diggs, to create the opportunity to make new deals, acquire and release past catalogue, as well as put out brand new music to the world, including original scores and movie soundtracks. Their goal is to reunite the entire Wu Tang family, whose 15 year legacy created a movement that changed the course of hip-hop, through corporate and artistic views. "Wu" the brand, is truly forever.

About The Orchard®

The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD) controls and globally distributes more than 1.3 million songs and over 5,000 video titles through hundreds of digital stores (e.g. iTunes, eMusic, Google, Netflix, V CAST) and mobile carriers (e.g. Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, Bell Canada, 3). With operations in 27 countries, The Orchard drives sales for its label, retailer, brand, and agency clients through innovative marketing and promotional campaigns; brand entertainment programs; and film, advertising, gaming and television licensing. A pioneer in digital music and media services, The Orchard fosters creativity and independence.

Hip-Hop Shop #3 With McFly - Kingpin, The Coup & Nicolay

I see you jockin McFly, jockin jockin McFly, but hold on as he gives you somebody new to jock on the third edition of Hip-Hop Shop! He's bringing through a good friend named Kingpin to the air though, and some great new hip-hop so you won't want to miss this show! You can check out Kingpin at and you can check out the Hip-Hop Shop every Wednesday night at 10 PM EST, 9 Central at - coming soon to our sponsor too. Enjoy the show!

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Welcome to for the week of July 29th, 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 your enjoyment: Common's "Nobody's Smiling" (our featured review), an editorial on Iggy Azalea and cultural appropriation, Illa Ghee's "Social Graffiti," Christopher Michael Jensen's "CM Cool J," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #281, Kid Sean's "Bona Fide," Lizzo's "Lizzobangers," Mighty Misc's "The Secret Lives of Hobbits," Skipp Whitman's "Whitman Can't Jump" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for July 22, 2014.

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