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Thursday July 31, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Nobody's Smiling] Hope for Chicago.

Common Review

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'Dillathon' Release to Honor J Dilla's Memory

Coincidentally or not on the same day I added a J Dilla (Jay Dee) favorite artist page to OHHLA, I got this press release in the mail about a special 'Dillathon' tribute. Check it out!

"Dillathon" Release to Honor the Memory of J Dilla

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Loyal fans and avid listeners of J Dilla will be pleased to hear the legacy of the recently passed super producer producer living on through Rob Grimes' worldwide release of "Dillathon" on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. -- just weeks after Dilla's birthday.

James Dewitt Yancey, also known as Jay Dee, would have been 34 years old this year. His life was cut short on Feb. 10, 2006 after a tumultuous battle with lupus and an incurable blood disease. Often referred to as "your favorite producer's favorite producer," Dilla became renowned and loved for his beats and creative vision that became critical to the success of such artists as Madlib, Slum Village and Common, among many others.

"The mixtape is a showcase and a tribute," says Rob Grimes. "It's me going in and killing all my favorite Dilla beats."

Rob Grimes promises this mixtape is an "instant classic" that's sure to keep fans sitting on the edge of their seats and keep them hitting the play back button. One unexpected guest gracing "Dillathon" is Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli.

"Yeah, I just hit up Talib and he sent me back freestyles he had already did over Dilla beats, and I just picked one and went in on it."

The "Dillathon" mixtape will be a free download hosted by the World Famous DJ Ease. It's available at and guaranteed to be music to the ears of Dilla's followers across the globe.

To contact Rob Grimes for future performances or interviews, email
Rap vs. Hip-Hop - What's in a Name?

A few weeks ago I had HiCoup and DJ Halo on my radio show and the topic of Rap vs. Hip-Hop came up. HiCoup stated “I’m a rapper. I don’t say I’m a Hip-Hop artist. It sounds silly to me.” This sparked a very interesting conversation regarding what the music of the culture should be called (a link to where the full six and a half minute conversation can be heard is included at the end of this article). Personally, this is one of those very rare times I’m on the fence about a topic because I can find a way to agree with both sides.

Read the full story and share your thoughts at:
Prozack Turner Discusses the Indie Hip-Hop Scene

As a veteran of the music industry Prozack Turner knows the highs and lows that come with being an artist. The highs for him have included negotiating to sign deals with the likes of Grand Royal and Dreamworks Records. The lows have included both of those labels going under before he could do anything with them. Fed up with the way things were going the Cali native started his own label, Hunger Strike, and in 2006 he released a solo album, Bangathon!, to critical acclaim. Since it’s been nearly two years since that release I caught up with Prozack this week to find out how leading a double life as an artist and a label owner is treating him, what kind of impact he feels independent labels can make in today’s music industry, and the startling conclusion to his tale involving adult film star Adriana Sage.

Read the full interview at:
True Hustle

Jay-Z penned a song where he boasted about being “a hustla, baby.” Cassidy spit venom about the topic on “I’m a Hustla” (coincidentally, using a Jay-Z sample). How many artists are really hustling to make things happen, though? This past Friday I saw a shining example of what real hustle is, the kind of hustle only a handful of artists have, in the form of my good friends Hushh and their unreal trip across two states just to network.

Read the full story at:
Foxy Brown Arrested

Hip hop princess Foxy Brown was arrested near Miami, Florida last Thursday night, February the 15th. The twenty-seven year old femcee, whose upcoming album "Black Roses" is set to be her first release since 2001's "Broken Silence," scuffled with police officers and spat on an employee at a local beauty supply store.

After being told to leave the shop at closing time, Brown reportedly began throwing products at an employee, eventually spitting on him, and forcing him to dial 9-1-1. When leaving, Police asked Brown to return to the store for questioning, to which she violently refused and had to be forced. According to one officer's account, she could only be detained by using a takedown maneuver, though no one was injured.

After spending a night in jail, Brown was released on $1,500 bond, being charged with battery and resisting an officer with violence. The arrest may or may not have an affect on her sentence of three years' probation for a similar incident in New York in 2004.
Video - HiCoup Interview & Freestyle at WVOF

For more on HiCoup check out 

Trap Starz - Get it Big (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Trap Starz
Title: Get it Big
Label: Universal Republic

The beat on "Get it Big" is EXACTLY as close as one can get to imitating Lil' Jon without BEING Lil' Jon. At first you suspect this might even be intended as parody because ten seconds into the song you can hear a toilet flushing. Once the Trap Starz start rapping though you realize they're serious, which is a shame since as a send-up of the slow-flowing vapid rapping stylings of D4L and Dem Franchize Boyz this song would have been perfect. "She got a face like Mya, body like Trina/Her a nasty, you'll know her if you see her." Will I indeed! I honestly like the beat (it even gets a little crunker on the dirty version) but the Trap Starz seemed trapped by the cliches of their brethern and don't strike me as having star porential at this time.
Heavy Vee - I Don't Need a Hook (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Heavy Vee
Title: I Don't Need a Hook
Label: Razor & Tie Direct

Heavy Vee smiles at me from the cover, dirty hat turned to the side, pulling her stunna shades down her nose just a centimeter or two. "I'm the truth when I spit up in the booth/I never need a hook, yes I'm a good look." Vee that may be true but you're not letting us see you from the neck down - this is literally a hip-hop headshot single. Jokes aside Vee can't seem to make up her mind what her style is - she bounces from thugging like Remy Ma to speed-rapping like Twista to trying to be lyrically sexy a la Lil' Kim and never masters any of those styles. Vee sounds like she has some potential but her song is ultimately a contradiction - after hearing her say "I don't need a hook" over and over again where the hook should be to the point it gets on your nerves, you're forced to conclude she really DOES need a hook.
2 Pistols - She Got It (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: 2 Pistols
Title: She Got It
Label: Universal Republic

On the surface this single is as formulaic as they get. The beat is a slow-flowing J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League production, heavy on synthesized organs and bass. Crooner T-Pain provides a voice modulated hook designed to objectify women: "I know she got it cause she lookin at me like she want it/She droppin low, make me wanna throw some D's on it/Whatever it is, you cain't stop it/cause she get low, when she on that flo'/And that lets me know - she got it." 2 Pistols raps like a lost member of Cash Money Records; perhaps we can call him Birdman Jr. Jr. There's even an unknown by the name of Tay Dizm trying to ride 2 Pistols' coattails on the way to fame. Wait a minute - surface appearances be damned, this IS as formulaic as they get! It's a meaninglessly vapid song designed to chart, and solely on the strength of the beat and T-Pain's hook it will do just that, but as a rapper 2 Pistols leaves me totally flat.
Breez Evahflowin and Dirt E. Dutch Team Up for Album

How does a legendary MC step up his game and do something next level over a full decade after first wowing crowds? For Stronghold’s Breez Evahflowin the equation was simple, link up with one of his neighboring state’s hottest up and coming producers, Dirt E. Dutch. In January the duo released an album under the name Troublemakers (Breez Evahflowin and Dirt E. Dutch Are Troublemakers) and I caught up with both of them at their album release party at Cousin Larry’s in Danbury, CT. How did NYC’s Breez Evahflowin meet CT’s Dirt E. Dutch? I was wondering the same thing myself which is why I sat down with them to find out how they linked up, why their teaming works so well, and exactly what kind of trouble they’re causing.

Read the full interview at:

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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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