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Friday October 24, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Paperwork] No trouble this time, man.

T.I. Review

Latest News Headlines
The Necessity of Promo CDs

Ballin PR founder Nicole Balin interviewed RapReviews' own Adam Bernard last week to get his opinion on promo CDs, anti-piracy drops, album streams, and attempting to keep an artist’s work off the internet while still getting it reviewed in publications that have three to four month lead times. The feature has been published in two parts. Check it out!

* Part I of the Interview

* Part II of the Interview

PS – Nicole is awesome, so feel free to leave her comments!
La Coka Nostra Video Featuring B-Real

Press release courtesy of Kerosene Media.

La Coka Nostra Launches Video For “I’m An American”
Featuring Cypress Hill’s B-Real


Debut Album “A Brand You Can Trust” In Stores Early 2009 and Touring Alongside Kottonmouth Kings On Bring Tha Noize Tour

La Coka Nostra Consists of Everlast, DannyBoy, DJ Lethal, Ill Bill, Slaine and Big Left

La Coka Nostra have released the video for the track “I’m An American” online at the following location . The video was directed by La Coka Nostra's own Danny Boy O'Connor and features a guest appearance by Cypress Hill’s B-Real.

"I just wanted to create something different than what I have been seeing in hip-hop lately," commented Danny Boy. "I like the graphic novel look and decided to produce and direct my own for LCN-DB."

Founded on a new breed of rappers, but further injecting the mix with iconic veterans of the game the result is La Coka Nostra. Composed of members Ill Bill, Slaine, Everlast, Danny Boy, Dj Lethal and Big Left, La Coka Nostra is a breath of fresh air in these days of contrived airbrushed rap music.

La Coka Nostra will release their upcoming debut “A Brand You Can Trust” through Suburban Noize Records in early 2009 packed with collaborations by Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Bun B, Psycho Realm, Q-Unique, Immortal Technique and the Alchemist. The group will embark on the Bring Tha Noize Tour alongside Kottonmouth Kings, Blaze Ya’ Dead Homie, Big B, Potluck and Short Dawg beginning in late February through early April.


Feb 25 Petaluma, CA @ Phoenix Theater
Feb 26 Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
Feb 27 Portland, OR @ Roseland
Feb 28 Seattle, WA @ Showbox
Mar 01 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
Mar 03 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Mar 04 Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Mar 05 Rapid City, SD @ Rushmore Hall
Mar 06 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium
Mar 07 St. Paul, MN @ Myth
Mar 08 Fargo, ND @ Playmakers
Mar 09 Sioux Falls, SD @ Ramkota Exhibit Hall
Mar 11 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
Mar 12 Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Club
Mar 13 Detroit, MI @ Clutch Cargos
Mar 14 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
Mar 15 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
Mar 17 Mokena, IL @ Pearl Room
Mar 18 Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
Mar 19 Cheswick, PA @ Gravity Nightclub
Mar 20 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
Mar 21 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head
Mar 22 Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living Arts
Mar 23 New York, NY @ BB Kings
Mar 26 Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
Mar 27 Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
Mar 28 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
Mar 29 Sauget, IL @ Pops
Mar 31 Tulsa, OK @ Cains Ballroom
Apr 01 Kansas City, MO @ Beaumont Club
Apr 02 Wichita, KS @ Cotillion Ballroom
Apr 03 Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
Apr 04 Magna, UT @ The Great Salt Air


* *

T.I. Owes $8,000 In Attorney Fees in Custody Case

According to our friends at it seems T.I. is in some hot water over a legal bill. Lawyers for LaShon Dixon, the mother of T.I.'s sons, say the rapper owes an $8,000 attorney bill in a custody case. T.I. is scheduled to appear in Fulton County Superior Court to resolve the matter today. T.I. was ordered in September to pay more than $3,000 a month to Dixon as well as cover the boys' private school tuition, uninsured medical bills and expenses related to the children's extracurricular activities. He was also ordered to pay her attorney fees no later than November 19th. In the meantime T.I. and Dixon are still negotiating child support and custody of the boys, ages 7 and 8. He also has two sons with his fiancee, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, of defunct R&B group Xscape. Thanks again to for this update.
EPMD - Run It Remix (Single)

Review by Vern Pitt

Artist: EPMD
Title: Run It Remix
Label: Beyond Records

So a new EPMD release is in, about time for a few cash-in remixes I'd say. What better way to honour a classic, albeit fading rap group, than by injecting a bit of house into their back catalogue?

Well if that seems as nonsensical to you as it does to me then you may also want to use this disc as a coaster. Stripping any semblance of its original piano hook, original lyrics or original swagger Herve and Sinde use their bites of the cherry to strip the track of any listening pleasure. The former uses dull distorted bass and frantic hi-hats as his weapon of musical destruction while the latter resorts to a sub-par dub under tone.

Duke Dumont's take on it is a little more bearable retaining the basic idea that it's hip-hop but falls short with a bizarre and annoying choice of inserting squarks into the mix. Don't "Run It," just run from it.

The Adam B Experience (ABX) Podcast #9!

The Adam B Experience

Adam B: "This is a jam packed episode of The Adam B Experience. Not only am I bringing you the underground Hip-Hop goodness you can only get here, but this episode features the Skillz "Rap Up 2008" (you had to know it was coming) and all the information about “You Done F’ed Up Christmas – The Contest.” With this contest you can take home some great CDs for yourself, or the people you may owe something to after a December 25th debacle. As always, feedback is welcome, just hit me up at Enjoy the show!" The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE for listeners at so no worries about downloading or sharing this show. Tell your friends to check it out at!

Download Here (right click to save)

Hip-Hop Shop #16 - BurntMD, Staik Selektah, Termanology

The Hip-Hop Shop is the precursor to Kayfabe 4 Dummies every Sunday night, a 30 minute show of hip-hop tracks and talk. This week Big D and Steve 'Flash' Juon feature tracks by Statik Selektah, BurntMD and Termanology while discussing the NFL and possible hip-hop meets pro wrestling angles for 2009! Tune in every Sunday at 9:30 PM EST, 8:30 Central via and if you miss the live show be sure to look for the replay here on RapReviews or via our sponsor . The shows are 100% podsafe so distribute to your friends and tell them to visit Enjoy!

Download Here (right click to save)

Jav aka Rapmononov - An Emcee with a Classical Approach

A month or so ago I was at a show with former Artist Of The Week Deep of 2 Hungry Bros and he handed me a CD by Jav aka Rapmononov, recommending I give him a listen. The album turned out to be dope, which really shouldn’t have been much of a surprise. As a member of the AOK Collective Deep works with some of the best artists around, so clearly he knows what he’s doing when it comes to assessing talent. Of course, I wasn’t going to leave things at just a listen, I had to hit up Jav aka Rapmonanov for a feature. This week I caught up with the multitalented artist to find out more about the man behind the music, including everything from his inspirations, to why he feels his work will connect with people, to how a classical musician influenced his name.

Read the full interview at:

Mahogony Jones - "The Gathering" Mixtape

Heads all over the world, are you in the mood for free music? That's a dub and obvious question because I already know the answer's yes. But I can give you something better, a dope and free music from someone you've never heard. As y'all may know that the writers here in RapReviews doesn't just give away any free music from any type of rapper. This one here is from one of the nicest ladies in rap that we have ever seen in a while. Note that she is not only the nicest on the mic but she was also nice enough to present me a free mixtape to help spread the word.

Ladies and gentlemen, her name is Mahogany Jones - a fly rapper-ess to come from from East Pointe, Michigan. Her album "Morphed" is in stores now, but here's a mixtape to help give y'all a preview to what her style's about only for the price of free ninety-nine (Sorry, I had to steal that line, Pedro). Sit back, listen, and enjoy.


And here's her MySpace page:   
Remembering The Knitting Factory NYC

It’s 4:30am on Saturday, December 20th. Rakim and Black Thought are long gone as the final Hip-Hop show at the Knitting Factory in NYC ended nearly an hour earlier. Now the only people left are the staff, a few select friends, and me. Chaz Kangas and I decide to give ourselves the grand tour of every corner of the legendary club.

Read the full story at:

Hip-Hop Obituaries of 2008

Although 2008 is a year we can remember, it's also a year we can mourn the great losses of talented individuals of hip-hop. RapReviews would like to use this editorial to introduce the readers who may have heard or never heard of these artists/DJs who were gone before their time. We would also like to send our condolences to the families, friends, crews, and fans worldwide. Rest in Peace, we'll see you all when we get there.

Eric "O.G. Style" Woods (1970-2008)

Who is He: Eric Woods b/k/a O.G. Style is a Houston native who have been rapping since 1986. His first stage name was Prince Ezzy-E before he changed it to what the world would know today as O.G. Style. O.G. Style would form a group with the late producer DJ Big Boss while changing his moniker to Original E. The duo then signed to Rap-A-Lot Records to release their debut, and only, album "I Know How to Play 'Em," which had their hit single "Catch 'Em Slippin," in 1991. After DJ Boss left the group, Woods changed his name back to O.G. Style while releasing many solo albums and works until one week before his untimely death in January 2008. On January 2, Woods suffered from a sudden brain aneurysm and has passed away a day later at the age of 37. His recent album is still being completed by his son, Eric Jr., and a local rapper named Smurf. His influence in Texas is highly significant in rappers such as Bun B and other Houston artists. His memory and his music will be kept alive by fans nationwide.

Songs Recommendation: "Catch 'Em Slippin'," "Ain't We Funky," "Gangsta," "Steppin' On Toes"

Stephen "Static/Major" Garrett (1974-2008)

Who is He: Stephen "Static/Major" Garrett is one of the most talented artists in the music industry, being a protégé of DeVante Swing of Jodeci and a member of R&B group Playa. But Garrett is more known as a talented songwriter penning hits for artists such as Ginuwine ("Pony"), Aaliyah ("Are You That Somebody?"), Diddy ("Tell Me" featuring Christina Aguilera), and Pretty Ricky ("On the Hotline"). Static/Major also appeared on hits such as Jay-Z's "Change the Game," David Banner's "Crank it Up", and posthumously on Lil Wayne's "Lollipop." Static/Major was working on his debut album "Suppertime" early in the year until he felt ill for unknown reasons. He was then taken to his hometown in Louisville, Kentucky to a nearby hospital where he would eventually pass away at the age of 33 on February 25, 2008. The official cause of death varies from cerebral aneurysm to complications from a medical procedure, but Static's musical presence never changes as he is always remembered for his then-underrated flair that will be heard forever.

Songs Recommendation: "I Got My," "Bus Stop Breezy," "'Til The Wheels Fall Off," "Deeper," and "Your Valentine"

Kenny "KL" Lou (19??-2008)

Who is He: KL was a member of the Queensbridge, New York rap group Screwball. They were remembered for their hits "H-O-S-T-Y-L-E" and DJ Premier-produced "F.A.Y.B.A.N." from their album "Y2K the Album," released on Tommy Boy Records in 2000. Along with the other members, KL was known form rhyming aggressively that is rarely duplicated by others. The group followed with two albums between 2001 and 2004, "Loyalty" and "Screwed Up." They also worked with many legendary producers such as Pete Rock, the Beatnuts, Marley Marl, Ayatollah, and A Kid Called Roots.  KL continued recording until his asthma attack got the best of him as he passed away on March 28, 2008. The group members keep KL's name alive by continuing to release songs together or individually, further spreading the mission of unity for the late KL.

Songs Recommendation: "H-O-S-T-Y-L-E," "F.A.Y.B.A.N.,"  "Loyalty," "Seen it All," and "Street Life"

Tero "Camu Tao" Smith (1977-2008)

Who is He: Tero "Camu Tao" Smith is a rapper and producer who was signed to the Definitive Jux label. He was ½ of the S.A. Smash duo with rapper Metro, a part of the underground hip-hop supergroup The Weathermen, a member of the music collective Cardboard City, a member of the Central Services production team with El-P, a part of the MHz crew, who made one album during the three-day creative session, and was a solo artist, as well. On May 25, 2008, Smith died after a two-year battle with lung cancer. Despite going through such hefty challenge, Smith still kept rhyming and doing what he loves the most, making music. His name is remembered in the underground hip-hop community as his name is also introduced to those who are curious to hear his unique style.

Songs Recommendation: "Hold the Floor," "Oxycontin," "Wireless," "Homesickness," and "Magnetics"

Khia "DJ K-Swift" Edgerton (1980-2008)

Who is She: Khia Edgerton, a/k/a "Club Queen K-Swift," is known as the first Baltimore's female DJ and the first female mix show coordinator in America. K-Swift began DJing at the age of 11 and she would eventually catch the attention of Baltimore's 92Q Jams radio station as they offered her an internship position at the age of 18. She then began producing for radio shows such as "The Mark Young Show" and "Neke @ Night Show" Two years later, she became the first female DJ on the "Q," as she would play at all of the hottest clubs and parties in Baltimore. She created her own production and management company "Club Queen Enetertainment" while also selling mixtapes on her website and stores across America. On July 21, 2008, K-Swift was pronounced dead after she was found drowned in an above ground pool during a pool party she hosted. After her death, communities in Baltimore and nationwide mourned over her and also remembered the legacy she has made for their city and the history of DJing.

Isaac Hayes (1942-2008)

Who is He: Due to the inheritance Hayes has created in hip-hop music, I figure his music speaks for itself.

Songs Recommendation: "Walk on By," "The Look of Love," "Shaft," "Do Your Thing," and "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"

Johnny "J" Jackson (1969-2008)

Who is He: Mexican-born and Los Angeles-raised Johnny "J" was known as a talented producer, songwriter, and occasionally a rapper. J got his first taste of fame after producing the 1990 platinum single "Knockin' Boots" by rapper Candyman. Years later, J met up with the late rapper 2Pac and produced "Pour Out a Little Liquor"  for 2Pac's group Thug Life. He then produced on many of 2Pac's multi-platinum projects, including "Me Against the World," the majority of "All Eyez on Me," and the posthumous "Until the End of Time," carried by the title track single which he also produced. J also had time to create his solo album "I Gotta Be Me" in 1995. After 2Pac's death in 1996, J stayed close with his label Interscope and Death Row, producing unreleased tracks and remixes of the slain rapper's works. He later produced for numerous artists such as the Outlawz, Bizzy Bone, Tatyana Ali, Tyrese, and CJ Mac. On October 3, 2008, Johnny J died of an apparent suicide while serving a sentence for DUI in California. He allegedly jumped off an upper tier in prison and fell to his death. Although Johnny J. is physically gone, his music is still present today in airwaves worldwide. Johnny J. will be forever known as the talented producer who was gone too soon.

Songs Recommendation:
"Hit 'Em Up" (2Pac), "Knockin' Boots" (Candyman), "Get Away from Me," "Until the End of Time" (2Pac), "Thugz Cry" (Bizzy Bone)

Chris "Jax" Thurston  (19??-2008)

Who is He: Chris "Jax" Thurston was a protégé of the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg. Thurston was a well-respected rapper from the Atlanta underground hip-hop rap scene, as he was also a member of the group Binkis Recs, which included their famed member DJ Drama. On November 4, 2008, Thurston suffered a cardiac arrest and died while performing in Atlanta. Thurston isn't well-known on the mainstream tip, but is always kept in memory by fans and mainstream rap artists, as well.

Songs Recommendation: "Countdown,"  "Life's A Game," "Psycho Jax," "Jax Vorhees," "I'm Serious"

Eric "MC" Breed (1971-2008)

Who is He: MC Breed is known as the first commercially successful rapper from the Midwest. This Flint, Michigan-based MC is known for his 1991 debut album, "MC Breed and the D.F.C.," which spawned the hit single "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'." He is also known for his 1993 hit "Gotta Get Mine," featuring the late Tupac Shakur, off of his album "The New Breed."  He would go on to have a very extensive discography and an extended career that was at times successful, but he never fully broke into the mainstream. However, his impact in rap is deeply rooted in many rappers' influence, truly revering him as "your favorite rapper's rapper." On November 22, 2008, Breed reportedly died from kidney failure in his sleep at his friend's house in Michigan. Before his untimely death, Breed was said to be working on a documentary DVD entitled "Where is MC Breed?" and a new album titled, "The Original Breed: Swag Heavy," which is half-finished as of September 2008.

Songs Recommendation: "Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'," "I Gotta Get Mine," "This is How We Do It," "Guerrilla Pimpin'" and "Rule No. 1"

Party Arty  (1977-2008)

Party Arty is remembered for first appearing as a protege of A.G., of Show Biz & A.G., then appearing on many D.I.T.C. releases. He later released singles with his partner-in-rhyme D-Flow as Ghetto Dwellas on Get Dirty Records. Arty has worked with many well-known and legendary producers such as DJ Premier, Madlib, Show and Lord Finesse, as well as appearing on many albums by Fat Joe and O.C. Arty is the second member of the D.I.T.C. to have untimely passed away. The first is the late Big L, with whom Arty has appeared with alongside Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut, Y.U., Grand Daddy I.U. and Jay-Z on "Da Graveyard," from L's 1995 critically-acclaimed album "Lifestyles Ov Da Poor and Dangerous." He has passed away on December 4, 2008, from unknown health complications.

Songs Recommendations: "Da Graveyard," "Mott Haven," ""Everyday," "Shine My Way," and "Born to Live"

Other notable late non-hip-hop individuals:

Sean Levert
Bo Diddley
George Carlin
Andre Young, Jr.
Bernie Mac
Norman Whitfield

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Welcome to for the week of October 21st, 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 you! Check out the 5 rappers to follow on Tumblr article, Akrobatik's "Built to Last," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #296, MarQ Spekt and Blockhead's "JustPlayWitIt," Saigon's "G.S.N.T.3. - The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard," Smoke DZA & 183rd's "Ringside EP," T.I.'s "Paperwork" (our featured review), Vince Staples' "Hell Can Wait," Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for October 14, 2014 and Ray West & O.C.'s "Ray's Cafe." Please note the Vince Staples review is the debut of new staffer Clara Wang. Big up Clara!!

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