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Friday August 01, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Nobody's Smiling] Hope for Chicago.

Common Review

Latest News Headlines
Young Jeezy Arrested

Thanks to for this breaking news - Young Jeezy was arrested early this morning in his Atlanta hometown on a variety of traffic infraction charges. According to an inside source, Jeezy was locked up for driving recklessly under the influence and released on bail this morning. We'll have more on this story as soon as it's available.
8 Signs Your Management May Hate You

Finding a manager you can trust in the music industry is one of the most difficult tasks every artist has to deal with. A manager is supposed to be not only a person of extreme business acumen with a rolodex bursting at the seams, but also a confidant and even, when the relationship is good enough, a friend. An artist should be able to tell when that relationship is going sour as there have been career moves of many a famous person that have blatantly showed their management to have given up all hope on them. Today I’m taking at look at some of those moments in an effort to warn all the artists out there about some of the key phrases that, if they hear them, should have them shopping for new representation.

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Tha Carter III - Well, That Was Disappointing

It was inevitable. Nothing could live up to the ridiculous hype Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III received. Personally, I was already getting sick of Lil’ Wayne, an artist whose work I had actually enjoyed during his Cash Money Hot Boys days, and the obscene amount of hype surrounding his latest release. Ironically, all of those feelings actually worked to lower my expectations for the album. Even with those MAD TV-esque lowered expectations, however, Tha Carter III still ended up ranking as a major disappointment to me (message to Wayne; go crawling back to Mannie Fresh now, your beat selection without him is horrible). I’m not here to give a review of Tha Carter III, though, rather I want to put it in perspective with some of life’s other great disappointments. I’ve chosen five big ones, so let’s see how Tha Carter III stacks up, or I guess in this case… down.

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Nas' New Album Title and Free Mixtape Available to Download

Nas' upcoming album title became a highly controversal figure before it even made it on shelves. Nas naming his album Nigger has sparked the anger of the press, ranging from Fox News to NAACP. But according to, a Def Jam representative has confirmed Nas' upcoming album will no longer be named Nigger, but it will be self-titled instead.

Prior to the title change, Nas' album has seen many delays of being pushed back several times. When asked about the sudden title change while being interview on MTV, Nas has stated on the importance of being heard by the public. "It's important to me that this album gets to the fans," said Nas. "It's been a long time coming. I want my fans to know that creatively and lyrically, they can expect the same content and the same messages. The people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it." Nas is expected to be released in stores on July 15th.

While many fans are patiently waiting for his upcoming project, Nas has linked with Green Lantern to release the mixtape, known as The Nigger Tape, free and available to download here.
Rapper Numskull Got 5 On It...(And About 7 to 10 More on Felony Charges)

Former Luniz member Numskull, known for their 1995 group hit "I Got 5 on It", is going to trial on June 18th to face 12 to 15 counts of rape and sexual felony charge. According to, he is facing charges including two counts of sodomy, one count of rape of a victim incapable of consent, one count of oral copulation against the victim’s will and three counts of corporal injury to a cohabitant.

Numskull faces a minimum of 25 to life if convicted and would have to register as a sex offender in the state of California. He is currently in custody, as he has been since January 24th of this year, and his bail is set at $245,000.
The Most Underrated MC of All-Time

When people start talking about the greatest emcees of all-time the usual cast of characters is brought up. KRS-One, Rakim, 2Pac, Biggie, etc., all get mentioned. Older fans, like myself, will bring up Slick Rick and The Fresh Prince, while younger fans will point to Jay-Z, Eminem and Nas. There’s one artist that seemingly NEVER gets mentioned, though, and it’s someone who has long deserved to be in the discussion...

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Speedknot Mobstaz f/ Twista - Money to Blow Remix (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Speedknot Mobstaz f/ Twista
Title: Money to Blow (Remix)
Label: Koch Records

Even though S. Dukes of the Showtime Entertainment Agency is the producer of record on this track, it wouldn't come as a shock to me if someone presumed Pharrell Williams did the beat after hearing it. In fact the first time I played the "Money to Blow" remix I immediately thought of Snoop Dogg's "Drop it Like it's Hot," which makes me wonder if the ORIGINAL mix is in the same vein or completely different. A quick guess would lead one to think Twista's verse would be the only difference between the two but more careful though on the subject causes one to recall that the Speedknot Mobstaz are the Chicago crew that Twista's been trying to put on for years with varying degrees of success. While I dare say that Carl Terrell Mitchell has made enough scrilla in his career that he has "Money to Blow" getting his homeboys over, it's still painful to see how much more charismatic he is than these Mobstaz even over the most generic copycat Neptunes style beats. As much as I like Twista I suggest not blowing hard earned money on this single.
RZA as Bobby Digital - U Can't Stop Me Now (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: RZA as Bobby Digital
Title: U Can't Stop Me Now
Label: Koch Records

My feelings about RZA as both rapper and producer have changed wildly over the last 15 years. At times he's struck me as an unmitigated genius, and at other times he's come across as a sloppy hack who relies on other artists to seem more talented than he truly is. The truth is that Robert Diggs is all of these things and more. He's a man who you can truly argue encapsulates 36 chambers that each span 10 degrees of style, and in those subtle gradients lies the whole color spectrum of the Wu rainbow. RZA's "U Can't Stop Me Now" is if anything typical of his atypical wordplay, with slurred tongue flow and drunken monkey kung-fu delivery in full effect. "1200 sampler, and a Yamaha 4-track/The bass from the lab used to blow the fuckin door back/While Ghost was doin stick-ups, tryin to make a vic up/Waitin outside for debris truck to pick up/Nothin would work so we back to choppin nicks up/Givin grown-ass women two vials for a dick suck." Respect due pa, RZA does paint a vivid lyrical portrait with that familiar flow of his, and having Inspectah Deck co-sign by adding his own rhymes doesn't hurt this song. The beats to the rhyme are a straight 1970's blaxploitation funk throwback, too slow to tear up a club but too fat not to bop your head to. For those dying to believe RZA is still relevant in 2008 "U Can't Stop Me Now" offers that hope in spades and the B-Side "Drama" with Monk & Thea is type nice too.
Redrum - There's a Whole Other Side You Don't See (Single)

Review by Emilee Woods

Artist: Redrum
Title: There's a Whole Other Side You Don't See
Label: CDBaby/Redrum Hip-Hop

There is an awful lot of hip hop being made out there today. While I think the easy availability of equipment to produce and record rap music has on balance been an incredible boon to creativity within hip hop, sometimes shit is just straight mediocre and you have to call it that. Redrum's debut single features three songs plus two “radio friendly” versions, but, unfortunately, none of them is particularly compelling. The beats by Mekanizm are pretty Mickey Mouse, featuring very little in the way of musical complexity, and they all sound similar, with their distorted synth effects and straightforward drums. For his part, Redrum is mostly forgettable. He does flip multisyllable rhymes left and right, but they don't always have much meaning behind them, rendering them rather pointless. If I wanted to hear someone throw together random words purely for their acoustical properties, I'd listen to Cam'Ron. At least he does it with some personality. Redrum's voice is another liability, as he tends to jump up and down the pitch scale frequently, going from his normal tone to damn near squealing levels every bar or two. It makes his rhymes difficult to decipher, and once you've figured them out, you realize it wasn't really worth the effort. The most notable track here is “Redrum v.s The Mic,” where he (duh) battles his microphone. At the beginning of the song, he proclaims, “The concept is like…WOW.” I have to disagree, although there are a couple highlights, including the Canibus impression he uses to animate the mic and the following exchange: “[RR:] What would you do if I got another mic, boy? / [Mic:] What would you do if I got another white boy?” On the plus side, Redrum mostly abandons the vocal fluctuations on this song and strings together some moderately impressive lyrics, despite the awkward concept, and his rhymes actually carry some meaning since he's dealing with the hypothetical situation. Basically, he has proven that he can pen a decent written, but without more work on the production and delivery aspects, no one's ever gonna want to see that other side.

Muph & Plutonic - Size of the Soul (Single)

Review by Vern Pitt

Artist: Muph & Plutonic
Title: Size of the Soul
Label: Obese Records

The most honest emcee in Australian Hip-Hop is back with his old pal Plutonic behind the boards. It seems like none of the magic had been lost as this first single from their new album proves. A laid-back summery vibe which works perfectly if your in the northern hemisphere, although how it’ll work as the night draw in Melbourne is less of a given. Sweet horns and solid drums back Muph up as he spits an ode to doing-it-for-the-love. Muph’s style seems to have progressed a bit and got a little more abstract since we heard him last but its still firmly anchored in the everyday as he admits “few knew I sold small portions.” This sonnet to the soul bodes well for what’s to come.

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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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