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Wednesday September 17, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Dark Horse] Never coming in last.

Twista Review

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GZA - Alphabets (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: GZA
Title: Alphabets
Label: Babygrande Records

Normally if a hip-hop artist decided to call their album "Pro Tools" I would think it's some kind of joke, but as GZA says himself on "Alphabets" he's the kind of rapper who can "compose like a symphony without a chorus" on every single song. I'm not sure produced the beat, but the simple piano and drum track is a pleasant throwback to the earliest and ruggest days of the Wu. GZA is clearly inspired, as he manages to go A to Z mathematically on the chorus before vowing "I brought butter for the popcorn, dips for the chips/an ego for your trip and some scripts for you to flip." WORD. When GZA vows that he's "a legend in my lifetime" he's not exaggerating, as he's still one of the most witty engaging and original lyricists in hip-hop over 15 years after the first Wu-Tang LP dropped. Don't sleep on "Pro Tools."


Gucci Mane - I'm the Shit (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Gucci Mane
Title: I'm the Shit
Label: Atlantic Records

There have been some monotonous thugged out hip-hop songs in the last year by the likes of Shawty Lo and Soulja Boy among others, but with "I'm the Shit" Gucci Mane is trying to upstage them all by being even worse. "Look at my neck - DAMN! Look at my wrist - DAMN! Look at my bitch - DAMN! Look at my fit - DAMN! I'm the shit bitch! I'm the shit bitch! I'm the shit bitch! I'm the shit bitch!" Well Gooch you were 75% right, but if you had dropped "the" from your chorus you would have been 100% right. He vows in this song to make anybody who fucks with him famous, but he's going to have a long list of people to see about that once this track leaks to a wider audience. 4 out of 5 shit MC's will claim their critics are haters, but hating this track has nothing to do with how much ice Gucci wears or pussy Gucci gets. Congratulations Gucci, you're living like a baller because you and your label have fooled enough naive people into thinking you really ARE the shit. Enjoy the champagne and caviar while it lasts because sooner or later people will catch on to the fact your raps absolutely SUCK.


DJ Khaled f/ Kanye West, T-Pain - Go Hard (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: DJ Khaled f/ Kanye West, T-Pain
Title: Go Hard
Label: Koch Records

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention right at the start that Auto-Tune effects in hip-hop songs are really starting to get played out. It was cool when T-Pain did it for song hooks, it was okay when Lil Wayne decided to sing with it, and now everybody and their momma feels the need to modulate their vocals. If you were already tired of this audio style you won't want to peep this track produced by The Runners. It's not just T-Pain doing the Auto-Tune this time - KANYE MODULATES HIS VOCALS TOO. Now that being said if you AREN'T sick of Auto-Tune yet, then this song is as fresh as Kanyeezy says it is: "Fuck you nigga, I know I'm dope!" Indeed you are Mr. West. To put this song in perspective, imagine if Kanye and T-Pain decided to remake "Good Life" except make it EXTRA HARDCORE and you'll have a good idea of what shit they're on this song. I'm not sure what part of the credit DJ Khaled deserves here, other than obnoxiously shouting "WE THE BEST" over the intro like he always does, but if this song is on "We Global" next month it'll be another good reason to buy it besides "Out Here Grindin."


DJ I-Dee f/ Jean Grae, Wrekonize - The Right (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: DJ I-Dee f/ Jean Grae, Wrekonize
Title: The Right
Label: Adiar Cor Records

We previously noted on the RapReviews newsfeed this single may never see an official release due to an uncleared sample, even though Jean Grae and Wrekonize cameo on the track and a fly video has been shot for the song. Honestly I don't think the previous blurb did justice to the inustice of the situation.. There are not many producers OR DJ's out there today who are mixing Final Fantasy samples in their songs, and if Square Enix are not smart enough to realize this promotes their games AND they can get paid off it to boot well that's their fault. It's certainly not Jean Grae's fault, who describes herself as a "verbal masochist" while simultaneously seducing hip-hop in his essence and reality. It definitely isn't Wrek's fault, even though he outright says "f-f-f-FUCK radio play" in his opening verse. It's strictly a beautiful presentation, set off not only by dope samples but by I-Dee showing some MAD FLEX on the wheels of steel. There just aren't enough hip-hop singles with this kind of turntablism skill these days, so if you want your fix of the best rap song to sample from a video game Smif-N-Wessun became the Super Cocoa Brovaz, pray the sample is cleared before I-Dee's album drops later this month.

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Lord Gang Worldwide Pay Tribute to J Dilla

Newark, NJ—Aug 13, 2008 /prbuzz/ --- Du “Do It All” Kelly (of
multi-platinum Hip Hop group Lords of the Underground), along with The
Jersey Boyz (of Alkatraxx) has just completed a new mixtape entitled
Dilla Gorillaz—a J-Dilla Tribute Album. Alkatraxx artists, The
Jersey Boyz (Cartel, Aktual, & Rouga) and Do It All pay homage to the
late James “J-Dilla” Yancey by spilling pure, unadulterated lyrics
over some of Dilla’s best tracks. This 29-track release is a
testament to the legacy Dilla has left behind and what he’s meant to
the world of Hip Hop, as evidenced by the passion shown on the
microphone by the Garden State-bred collective.

Kelly states, “I want to be sure to give credit where credit is
due, and show one of the greatest to ever do it behind the boards what
it would’ve been like to bless his beats. I also want to let the
world know that it’s necessary to pay respects to Ms. Maureen Yancey
(Dilla’s mother), and do what’s right by showing her that the Hip
Hop community cares by donating to the James Yancey Estate.”

Monetary gifts and donations can be made by wire or in person to:

Wells Fargo Bank of Los Angeles
c/o Ms. Maureen Yancey
132 Sycamore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

James “J-Dilla” Yancey—a Detroit native, was known for working
with a number of artists, including Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, A Tribe
Called Quest, and was a founding member of Slum Village (with Baatin
and T3). On February 10, 2006, J-Dilla died as a result of cardiac
arrest. The critically-acclaimed instrumental CD Donuts had just been
released on his 32nd birthday--3 days earlier.

Dilla Gorillaz—a J-Dilla Tribute Album (Lord Gang Worldwide,
LLC/Alkatraxx, LLC) will be available on various Hip Hop websites.

Audio Preview

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CD Download

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Art Work Links

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Check out the following Alkatraxx Records releases:

Rouga Live from the 908 mixtape (Alkatraxx Records 2007)

Cartel Growing Pains mixtape (Alkatraxx Records 2006) // Making of a
Monsta mixtape (Alkatraxx Records 2008)

Aktual Aktual Faktual mixtape (Alkatraxx Records 2005)

Also, check out Lords of the Underground House of Lords (Affluent
Records) in stores now!

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About Lord Gang Worldwide, LLC:

Du "Do It All"Kelly created Lord Gang Worldwide, LLC to give the
independent the knowledge and platform to make a difference in the
entertainment industry and local communities, while empowering, and
emphasizing the need for constant enlightenment.
P. Miller (Master P) Challenging BET

What's that you say? A hip-hop mogul unhappy with BET? Well instead of just complaining about it, P. Miller (Master P) intends to do something about it. In an article published on today, P announced that he is launching a new cable network called Better Black Television that will provide African American-themed fare geared towards the family. Miller assured Reuters that he still has "a great relationship" with Viacom and gave props to BET founder Bob Johnson, but clearly he is looking to knock Johnson off his #1 spot. Here's a proposed list of BBTV programming in the works for the network's debut.

* "Sunset and Vine": Video show hosted by Vyshonn Miller and Brittany Phillips that will showcase the top hip-hop and R&B acts as well as play classic videos.

* "One Shot Comedy Show": Comedy show hosted by Gary Johnson (a.k.a. G-Thing) featuring established and upcoming comedians.

* "Gee Gee the Giraffe": Children's educational show (will air Saturday morning on BBTV Kids).

* "Manage Your Money": Featuring financially successful people lending tips to promote financial literacy.

* "Close to the Starz": A behind-the-scenes show that takes the viewers up close and personal to their favorite celebrities.

* "Karma TV Show": Bilingual soap opera with an African-American and Latino cast.

* "What's Cooking TV Show": Talk show that covers wide aspects of entertainment and current events while cooking healthy, budget-conscious meals.

* "The Black List Movies": Film showcase featuring classic and contemporary movies, as well as original BBTV productions.

* "Hip-Hop Garage Show": Saturday show that will play new and upcoming music.
Stacy Epps "Awakens" A New Spirit In Hip-Hop

I have to admit, I haven’t found a lot of female emcees I can get into, which is why it was such a breath of fresh air when I came across Stacy Epps. She can rhyme, she can sing and she has a soulfulness about her that permeates through her work. Much like her music, Epps is a mix of things herself, being part black and part Japanese, and with her album, The Awakening, just being released online, the emcee / singer is about to embark on a month-long European tour. While the well-traveled purveyor of positive vibes was packing her bags for her trip I caught up with her to find out more about her life growing up as an army brat, what it was like working with the likes of MF Doom and Bahamadia, and how her law degree is just a backup plan.

Read the full interview at:

Official Press Release From DJ Vlad on Rick Ross Lawsuit

August 15, 2008


      On August 15, 2008, a multimillion dollar assault and battery lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York by DJ Vlad (Vlad Lyubovny) against platinum recording artist Rich Ross (“William Leonard Roberts II”) stemming from an incident that took place on August 10, 2008 at the Ozone Awards in Houston, Texas. In the complaint, it is alleged that Rick Ross orchestrated a brutal attack upon DJ Vlad carried out by his accomplices in retribution for media coverage of Rick Ross’ prior life as a correctional officer.

      The injuries alleged to have been sustained as a result of the assault include, 7 stitches below the eye, 3 fractures to the face, a corneal abrasion and possible permanent nerve damage. The complaint seeks $ 2,000,000 in compensatory damages and $2,000,000 in punitive damages.

The official complaint document can be downloaded here: .

I'm beginning to feel like a broken record, skipping and going back to the same beat over and over again. If Earl Simmons could stop getting arrested though, we could move the needle past this groove to sing a whole new tune. Natalie Finn over at Yahoo! News reports that the po-po gave it to X one mo' time, arresting him in Miami on an outstanding warrant for skipping a court date in Arizona related on pending animal-cruelty and drug-possession case. TMZ has mug shots HERE. The attorney for DMX appeared in court on his client's behalf Tuesday with documentation that his client couldn't make it because he was hospitalized in Miami but the judge opted to issue a bench warrant anyway and raised his bond to $25,000. We will of course keep you updated and also post again the next time he gets picked up by the cops.

Previous articles on this very subject --

* (June 28th)
* (June 24th)

GZA Drops New "Pro Tools" Album on August 19th

One of the most continually rGZA image courtesy Filterelevant hip-hop emcees of all time, GZA returns with his long awaited fifth solo album, Pro Tools. An original member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, GZA has established himself as a perennial force in hip-hop over the last two decades. With his distinctive wordplay and rugged drawl, he returns with his latest single, "Alphabets". Filled with finely crafted verses over a slick beat, GZA effortlessly keeps the rhymes tight and the delivery complex. Filled with witty rhymes and imaginative wordplay, GZA is effortlessly re-introducing the world to his lyrical genius.

"Alphabets" MP3: .

Pro Tools drops August 19 courtesy of Babygrande Music.

Artist: GZA
Album: Pro Tools
Label: Babygrande Music
Release: August 19, 2008

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GZA Tour Dates
21 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
22 Santa Cruz, CA – Moe's Alley
23 Petaluma, CA - Phoenix Theater
25 Portland, OR - Berbatis Pan
26 Seattle, WA – Neumo's
27 Vancouver, BC - Richards On Richards
29 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
30 Denver, CO - Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom

1 Dallas, TX - Palladium Loft
2 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
3 Austin, TX - Emos Alternative Lounge
4 Minneapolis, MN - Cabooze
5 Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College
6 Madison, WI - Willow Island (Southern Comfort Music)
7 Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
9 Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College
10 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live!
11 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
12 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
13 Boston, MA - Harper's Ferry
17 Tempe, AZ - Clubhouse
18 Flagstaff, AZ - Congress
19 San Diego, CA - Street Scene

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Welcome to for the week of September 16th, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have ELEVEN new items for you: Amp Live's "Headphone Concerto," an editorial on Adrian Peterson, Ensemble Mik Nawooj's "Hip-Hop Orchestra," Has-Lo and Castle's "Live Like You're Dead," the "Illect Recordings: Mind the Rap Volume 3" compilation, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #291, Mirandom's "The Otherworld EP," Sonnyjim & Leaf Dog's "How to Tame Lions," Twista's "Dark Horse" (our featured review), Ugly Heroes' "Ugly Heroes EP" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for September 9, 2014!

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