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The (W)rap Up - Week of November 17, 2009

Danny! :: Where Is Danny?
Definitive Jux
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Good question. Daniel Swain b/k/a Danny! has been releasing the best albums you should be kicked in the ass for not owning since 2004, featuring self-produced South Carolina soul with lyrics that are as interesting as they are introspective. It's arguable that Swain is either what Kanye West would be without the ego and the drinking problem, or that Swain is Kanye West with much better raps. For the uninitiated this may seem like absurdly high praise, but long-time RR readers will know we've been covering Mr. Swain since he first released "Charm" and that we've been consistently impressed by his efforts ever since."

50 Cent :: Before I Self Destruct :: G-Unit/Shady/Interscope
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace 

"Everyone knows that Curtis Jackson handles the business side of things. He does shows like "Power Lunch" on CNBC, he co-authors books with authors like Robert Greene, he makes investments with unknown companies that in turn, pay off big, However 50 Cent is the gun toting, crime committing ignorant bastard that will start a beef with anyone and in some cases, destroys careers. 50 is also the one responsible for 2003's "Get Rich Or Die Trying", the breakout album that was the perfect combination of beats, hardcore rhymes and the often-overlooked element of success...timing."

Amp Live :: Gary Is a Robot Remixes EP :: Child's Play/Terrorbird Media
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"At times like these I honestly don't know WTF to make of some of the music I'm sent. I'm an open minded guy, but it didn't even occur to me I was going to need to address that subject when I first read the one-sheet for this EP. Amp certainly had the hip-hop credentials I would need for me to like his shit - he's done beats for Akon and Zion I among others. Perhaps it's the "others" I should have paid more attention to, but even then I wouldn't have been TOO thrown off if Amp Live's "Gary Is a Robot" EP had sounded like MGMT or Radiohead - artists I'm at least familiar with even if I'm not huge fans of their work."

Canibus & Keith Murray :: The Undergods EP :: Sound Records & Entertainment
as reviewed by Sever

"For every hot album Canibus detonates upon his fanbase there are one or two total duds. I don't think Canibus has spit a single lyric since his 2005 release "Hip-Hop for $ale" that inspired, or energized me (although "Dreamzzzzz" off of "For Whom the Beat Tolls" is a sick track). I saw him perform live at Toad's Place in New Haven earlier this year, and although he tore it down I couldn't shake the realization that a man I idolized six years ago is only a shadow of his former self these days. He seemed mortal for the first time. Even though we're probably the same height he seemed small, ashy and docile. I looked at him not through the eyes of a huge fan, but as a fellow rap artist unsure as to whether or not I should humbly pay my respects or walk up to him with my game face on, stare into his eyes and start spitting my sickest bars at him and demand his respect."

Crown City Rockers :: The Day After Forever :: Gold Dust Media
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"Crown City Rockers did not send RapReviews their recent album, "The Day After Forever." They instead sent "The Day After Forever (album sampler)." I am not sure why one would send a music reviewer an album sampler. Music sites write for potential listeners, and people do not listen to album samplers, they listen to albums. I liked what I heard on the sampler well enough, but I only heard a 5 song, 16 minute tease, not a full record. For all I know, the rest of "The Day After Forever" is garbage. Or transcendent. Still there is some use in reading this review as 5 track reviews posing as an album review. So no more griping. Let's dig in to the 5 tracks Crown City Rockers really want you to hear"

D. Focis :: The Be Strong LP :: Facemusic
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond

"Producer/rapper D. Focis's new album, "The Be Strong LP," is available for free from the artist's blog ( It serves two purposes: to firmly establish D. Focis as both a rapper and a producer, and to offer a message of hope to anyone struggling to keep their head up in these hard times.D. Focis has a lot in common with Kanye West; both are producers-turned-rappers; both have focused their rhymes on their personal struggles and hopes; and both are deeply religious but outspokenly flawed. "I'm a Christian, but not a pastor," he raps, and throughout the album he is up front about his infidelities and his wayward past."

Rihanna :: Rated R :: Def Jam
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania

"Ladies and gentlemen, to those among you who are easily frightened, we suggest you turn away now. To those of you that think they can take it, we say ‘Welcome to the Mad House!'" That's what the intro says, and believe you me, it is true. Here it is, "Rated R" – Rihanna's own "mini-movie." After what must have seemed an eternity wrapped up in a mere nine months, Rihanna finally gets to return to her primary focus of actually releasing an album (fourth in five years, since you ask) – and here we have one more in line with hip hop than R&B or Pop, hence its unusual appearance on this site. Take one somewhat cinematic introduction, lashings of edgy production that sounds banging in your car, lyrics that occasionally approach rap-style levels of complexity and, above all, utilising the public/private clay of her own life."

Sean Price :: Kimbo Price :: Fat Beats/Duck Down Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"It won't be long before Sean Price has more alter egos than Kool Keith. Most of the hip-hop world was introduced to him as Ruck, one half of the Heltah Skeltah duo, but in the years that followed we've come to know him by multiple aliases. We've got two more names to add to the list today - Mic Tyson and Kimbo Price. The funny thing is that the latter is actually intended to be an introduction to the former, which can only be gleaned by reading the small print on the cover of this new mix CD. Of the two Kimbo Price is the more interesting concept."

Wyclef Jean :: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion :: R.E.D. Distribution
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond 

"Wyclef Jean has "fuck you" money. During his time with The Fugees he sold over 22 million records, enough records for every man, woman, and child in New York State to have a copy and still have three million left over. His first solo record "The Carnival" sold 5 million copies worldwide, and even got suburban soccer moms dancing with its hit single "Gone Till November." While his later records have never matched those insane sales figures, they never really needed to. Wyclef had his paper, and along with it the power to do whatever he wanted, be it charity work, production for other stars (both hip hop and pop), or the patience to bid his time waiting for Lauren Hill to stop taking crazy pills and make a new Fugees record."

Dope Hip-Hop in a Brown Bag

Everyone involved in NYC’s underground hip-hop scene has, at one point in time, rubbed shoulders with at least one of the members of the Brown Bag AllStars. The seven man crew consisting of (back row) KONCEPT, Deejay Element, J57, (front row) DJ E-Holla, Soul Khan, The Audible Doctor, and (not pictured) DJ Goo, have a huge bi-weekly showcase, Brown Bag Thursdays, and they’ve all worked at Fat Beats at some point in time. It was a host of after hours 40 oz. fueled rhyming sessions at the store that led the seven of them to decide to collaborate and form a group. Now that group they formed is one of the most respected in the scene and this week I caught up with all seven members of the Brown Bag AllStars to find out more about their music, the harsh realities of their responsibilities at Fat Beats, and how even being lost in the woods would be a musical experience for them.

Read the full interview at:

Free Music Friday: The Brakes Edition

A.K.I.R. :: The Secret

[Always Keep It Real, A.K.I.R. for short, has been making his marks major in hip-hop lately. Google his name and you'll see that his name is all over rap sites and this brand new DJ Static/Statik Selectah-helmed mixtape proves why you should check him out if you haven't yet. Don't let the title fool ya, this is the Secret you should holla to e'rrybody!]

Part 1:
1. The Secret (Inrtro)
2. A.K.I.R. Blog (Mayl 09)
3.Apocalypse (Remix) Ft. Immortal Technique & Pharoahe Monch
4. Epiphany
5. I Love My Life Ft. Bashir
6. Beatutiful Undressed
7. Far From Ordinary Ft. Ze & AR.chang.L
8. A.K.I.R. Blog (April 09)
9. Food 4 Thought...
10. Clock Ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq
11. BirthRite Ft. CF

Part 2:
12. Newport Sticks
13. Again Ft. John Legend (Unofficial Remix)
14. I Been Searchin
15. Diarreah
16. Lets Work It Out Ft. J-Ro (The Alkaholiks)
17. East Coast Collasal Ft. Ali Vegas, ENess & Spit Supreme
18. U Know
19. Blow In The Wind
20. Black Market Ft. Ras Fiyah
21. Recycle Ft. Mojo
22. The Secret (Outro)

Dominique Larue :: End of Regulation

[This one is especially dedicated to all those who complain that there aren't any real femcees out there anymore. Well, savor the last usability of your MC Lyte cassette no more! Dominique Larue comes with it as she brings true raps that are beyond the average titty-n-kitty raps. A diverse list of producers and rappers, including Wordsmith, who was interviewed on the Hip Hop Shop last week, co-signs her as they appear on the mixtape as well.]

01.) Epic Intro (Produced By Antman Wonder)
02.) The Best (Produced By Boonie Mayfield)
03.) Fall '96 (Produced By Ghost Rydah)
04.) Kill That Sh*t (Produced By Antman Wonder)
05.) Indian Movements (feat. Junclassic) (Produced By drielb)
06.) Where Are All The Female Emcees (Produced By Tye Hill)
07.) I'm In Love (Produced By Rashid Hadee)
08.) Take It 'Uh Over (feat. Prefyx) (Produced By Antman Wonder)
09.) Off It (Produced By Focus)
10.) Pose (Produced By Antman Wonder)
11.) Nothin To Me (feat. Wordsmith & D/Will) (Produced By Severe)
12.) He Got Me Like (Produced By T.Dragonette)
13.) Dope Sh!t (Produced By drielb)
14.) Longtime (feat. Cyrano Sinatra) (Produced By D/Will)
15.) Sassy (Produced By Rashid Hadee)
16.) You're A Star (Produced By Antman Wonder)
17.) We Keep It Movin' (feat. Savant) (Produced By drielb)

Hawdwerk & Jansport J :: High Power Moves


[Honestly, I don't know too much about the rap duo known as Hawdwerk & Jansport J. However, their music will be all the introduction you need for these two. Dope beats and rhymes that are on time are included here. Check it!]

1. Live From The 626
2. Rap Hustle 
3. Wow!
4. That Spliff feat. Poetik Force & El Prez 
5. All I Need 
6. She Smiles feat. J7 
7. Ride feat. The God Sincere
8. Throw The Bombs
9. Gremlins
10. High Power Moves
11. Believers feat. Prophit & Avi The Most Ill 
12. Hearin' Shit
13. Fly As Me feat. No One (Noni Spitz & Dae One) & Chevy Jones
14. Computer 
15. Change Your Mind
16. Season Finale


Although this mixtape is legally for free, they also have it for sale here:

No One (Noni Spitz and Dae One) :: The Pre-Substance

[Two young West Coast emcees, Noni Spitz and Dae One, decided to link into a group known as No One. As you might've guess, "The Pre-Substance" is the prequel mixtape to an upcoming 2010 album known as "The Substance." This mixtape includes many productions by Black Milk, J Dilla, Willie Brown, THX and others. Defintely something to check out!]
2. LIQUID SOUND feat. Shy But Flyy 
3. TURN'T UP feat. Geo Brown 
7. KEEP ON feat. Kes 
9. HOW DOES IT FEEL feat. Chevy Jones 
11. OUTSIDE WITH IT feat Balance 
12. OUTSTANDING feat Killa Krock & Alori Joh 
13. BE CAREFUL feat Mitchy Slick & Chevy Jones
14. WE DO IT 
15. ANYWAY feat Marleik
17. MICROPHONE MURDER feat Taje, Ace & Indef


Pill :: 4075 The Refill

[If anyone who thought that FMF would only include 'underground alternative backpack' rap is out they minds! Good music is good music and a dose of Pill to your hard drive won't turn it to a wackness overdose. If that wasn't enough, Pill was nice enough to give the DJ or non-DJ version of the same mixtape. Check it out!]

1. Intro
2. Hear Somebody Comin' (prod. Tha Bizness)
3. Pistol Packer
4. Trap Goin' Ham (prod. Grade A Muzik)
5. OK Dennn (prod. Grade A Muzik)
6. Pain in my Eyes (prod. Ced L Young)
7. Glass (prod. The Beat Chefs)
8. Run Up to Me (ft. Freddie Gibbs and prod. Ced L Young)
9. Pill Speaks
10. Gynastics
11. Dropped a Mick on Me
12. Afro-Sheen
13. Fossils (Tribute to B.I.G.)
14. Wreckage (Tribute to 'Pac)
15. Music (prod. Mick Vegas)
16. Lil' Shawty Dem (I Know Holmes)
17. Super Cool (prod. Ced L Young)
18. You're Nasty (prod. Ced L Young)
19. All I Can Say (prod. Ced L Young)
20. Let Me In (prod. Ced L Young)
21. Coastin' (prod. Mick Vegas)
22. Lil' Shawty Dem Pt. II (I Know Holmes)
23. Trap Jumpin'
24. We Outside (ft. Alley Boy and prod. Grade A Muzik)
25. Born With a Plug ft. Zay Cash (prod. J Plymp)
26. We Don't Even Know (prod. Illfonics)
27. Outro

DJ version:
No DJ Version:

Strange Fruit Project: M.A.S.K. (Making Art Sound Kool) EP


[In short, if you're a fan of Strange Fruit Project, this one is a must have. If you never heard of the Strange Fruit Project, then this will tell you why you should be the former.] 

1. M.A.S.K. Intro (prod by S1 & Caleb)
2. Crash feat. Thesis (prod by Picnic)
3. Home feat. Tre of Mojoe (prod by 9th Wonder)
4. Sepia Tone (prod by S1)
5. Day by Day (eat Supastition (prod by S1)
6. Fresh for Life feat Thesis (prod by S1 & Caleb)
7. Sunrays (prod by S1)
8. Why Does Summer Have to End (prod by S1 & Caleb)

Some of y'all are about to get ready for your Thanksgiving break this week. If not, these free music FMF got for ya will still be here. Check these out!

That's it for the "The Brakes Edition" of "Free Music Fridays." Check these out and let ya man know if they was fyah! If you have any free music you would like to share with the world, please e-mail me at If you're an artist with your free mixtape/album shown on this page and you want to send me a link re-up, corrections, and/or questions, e-mail me at, as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy y'all! Two fangas, one love....

New Videos From Saigon and Juvenile

50 Cent Addresses SoundScan Predictions

From UDub News:

Rapper 50 Cent says if his numbers from "Before I Self Destruct" is low then don't blame him. The Mr everywhere rapper addressed an early Soundscan prediction that his first week numbers from his album BISD will move a lowly 150,000 copies in its first week, far from the days when he normally pushed well over 500,000 copies in a debut week. Speaking to radio host Funkmaster Flex Fif declared "With the actual outcome of the project, once the record leaks from the international plant, what more can I do. I can't, I held the record long enough to get it to them, to mix and master it and for them to ship it and then it leaks from the plant internationally, I'm like come on, then that's it. They lost the ball. You know what I mean, if the numbers look funny to me, it's they fault."

Neosonic - Mega Trife & Nonsesnse "Whatever" (Neosonic Remix)

From K-Murdock:

This is a remix i did this past summer for the Boston/Orlando based Hip-hop duo, Mega Trife & Nonsense.  "Whatever" and a bunch of other remixes i have done (for both major and indie artist) will appear on a remix project i have planned for release next year!  Shouts to the homie Nonsense aka "Bob Dynomite" for putting this video together, and stay tuned for more collabos between Trife and myself...



Dan-e-o: Crushin' (Insomniac Funk Super Clean Radio Edit)

From Dan-e-o:

Rob@Insomniac Funk of Regina's The Queen City’z Urban Mental!ty Show on
91.3 CJTR has done the impossible and made a CLEAN version of the DIRTIEST
song from the official 2 in 1 album/mixtape "Dilla Pickles"!

Here is your FREE download for "Crushin' (Insomniac Funk Super Clean Radio

Download "Dilla Pickles" FREE right HERE:

Check out its first video, "Break It Down":


Eminem Plans to Re-Release "Relapse", 50 Cent First Week Sales

From Udub News:

Relapse: Refill 

Interscope Records plan to profit off an additional Eminem album before the year closes out one way or another. Em's label plan to re-release the lukewarm "Relapse" album next month, December 22nd just in time for Christmas. The re-jiggered "Relapse" album will feature seven brand new tracks. There's been no word if seven of those new tracks features the records that was due to pop up on a "Relapse 2" album mostly produced by Just Blaze. Just a few months ago MTV released their annual "Hottest MCs In The Game" project that omitted the highly praised rapper from the top ten.

Beginning Of The End For 50 Cent?

Or is this a sign of the times. Queens rapper and Soundscan bully 50 Cent's latest album "Before I Self Destruct" is expected to make a different type of splash on next week’s Billboards charts in a strong contrast from his previous efforts. According to hits daily double Fif's last contractual album on Interscope Records will move a staggering 150-160 copies in it's first week on shelves. 50 suffered a major setback when the album was leaked almost a month early forcing the rappers label to move the release date up with a unique offering: a digital release on iTunes followed by the albums full release one week later accompanied by the movie "Before I Self Destruct."

Black Sheep to Release The Prelude + Forever LuvLee Video

From Audible Treats:

Black Sheep To Release From The Black Pool Of Genius: The Prelude + "Forever LuvLee" Video      11.19.2009
Dres Of Black Sheep Drops EP In Advance of Spring 2010 Full-Length

(November 19, 2009- Brooklyn, NY) Dres, of the legendary Queens outfit Black Sheep is proud to announce the first of two brand new Black Sheep projects to be released in the next several months. The Native Tongues veteran is gearing up for his first full length since 2006, the forthcoming From The Black Pool Of Genius. Before the album is released in Spring 2010, Dres has decided to whet Black Sheep fans' appetites with From The Black Pool of Genius: The Prelude, a five song EP to be released on December 1st, 2009.

The Prelude finds Dres showcasing his extraordinary skills without appearing to break a sweat. He manages to sound effortless while walking a lyrical tightrope- wielding his uniquely bouncy flow while addressing serious, deeply thought-out issues. Dres, one of the most experienced and insightful voices in hip-hop today, is using the album as a means of communicating what he believes the meaning of hip-hop truly is. "I once heard a poet say that 'hip hop backward is 'pih poh (people)'- the way I see it, many artists are a lot more hip-hop than they ever realized. I would dare to say that any artist over time, regardless of genre, that makes music for the 'pih poh'... is hip-hop." This type of inclusive, outside the box thinking is a hallmark of Black Sheep's music and is very much on display on From The Black Pool of Genius.

As for the title of the album, Dres explains that, "'Black Pool' doesn’t refer to black people. It refers to the color black's unique ability to absorb light. This deep, vast pool of soul, of artistic insight; although it's not always understood, the light it reflects back to the 'pih-poh' is necessary."

Watch out for From The Black Pool of Genius: The Prelude on December 1st, and From The Black Pool of Genius full length in Spring 2010.

"Forever Luvlee" video: .
"Forever Luvlee": .

The Background:

It all began with a thundering baseline and an unmistakably classic phrase - "this or that." One of the most widely recognized songs in rap music history, the 1991 classic "The Choice is Yours" was hailed by VH1 in 2008 as one of the best rap songs of all time. The highly respected Queens emcee Dres, along with DJing partner-in-crime William "Mista Lawnge" McLean took the music industry by storm in the early 1990's as part of the groundbreaking collective Native Tongues. Penning such Billboard standouts as "Flavor of the Month" and "Strobelight Honey" for the duo's platinum-selling debut album A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing in 1992, Dres would continue to crank out the hits on the group's second release, Non Fiction. After a brief reunion with Mister Lawnge in 2000, Dres again set his sights on recording. He released the innovative online-only album 8WM/Novakane in 2007. Now he's back in the studio, writing the next chapter of his storied career. Dres' highly anticipated new project, From the Black Pool of Genius, out Spring 2010, promises to pair thought-provoking lyrics with astounding beats constructed by a corps of new and established beatmakers. They include Bean One, Showbiz, Tough Junkie, P. Locke, Urban Soul Music Group, and Willie Evans. He's also got an impressive line-up of guest stars, including De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Rhymefest, AZ, and Tough Junkie, among others. Leading up to the release of his next full-length, Black Sheep will be releasing a precursor EP, From The Black Pool Of Genius: The Prelude, available December 1st.


"Forever Luvlee":
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Bio, pictures, and streams available here:
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Official Site:
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50 Cent to Perform in NYC for MySpace Music's 50th "Release" Show

From Tito Belis:


To celebrate the momentous 50th installment of "THE RELEASE," MySpace Music will be hosting a special performance by the one-and-only 50 Cent on Monday, November 23 at Highline Ballroom in New York City in conjunction with Hot 97. This special concert for "THE RELEASE" will be a performance to celebrate the release of 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct, an album that debuted #1 on iTunes. Doors for the 21+ show will open at 8 p.m. and entry can be obtained by sending an RSVP to only.

For Before I Self Destruct, 50 Cent's fourth full-length album, he returned to working closely with Dr. Dre and Eminem as he did on Get Rich Or Die Tryin', his first official album. With Dr. Dre and Eminem producing and guesting, Before I Self Destruct is darker and harder than 2007's Curtis, as shown by the grimy single and video for "OK, You're Right" (produced by Dr. Dre), which was released earlier this year. In early September, 50 released the hit single "Baby By Me" produced by Polow da Don (Fergie, T.I., Ludacris). Before I Self Destruct continues 50 Cent's phenomenal rise from street culture hero to pop culture icon. For more information, tour updates and news, please visit 50 Cent's official MySpace Music profile: .

"THE RELEASE" is a live concert event where MySpace users are provided a chance to see the biggest urban music artists for free simply by responding to a series of blogs and bulletins posted from the program's official profile at Past events have included record release performances by Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas, Ice  Cube, T.I. (with Kanye West & Rihanna), Ghostface Killah, David Banner, The-Dream, T-Pain, Raphael Saadiq and 40 other top-tier artists. For additional info on MySpace Music's "THE RELEASE," please visit: .

Highlights from past performances for "THE RELEASE":

Jay-Z performing "Run This Town" (09/09/09)
The Clipse feat. Jasmine Solano (10/20/09)
Ghostface Killah feat. Kid Cudi, Jadakiss, Redman, U-God (09/30/09)
T-Pain feat. Diddy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes (11/10/09)
T.I. (with Kanye West & Rihanna) in LA, CA, (10/03/08)

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