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Wednesday April 23, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Keepers of the Lost Art] Sahdeeq injure your fleet.

Shabaam Sahdeeq Review

Latest News Headlines
Hieroglyphics Co-Founder @SmashRockwell Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary of "Fear Itself" With Tour & Instrumentals

Hieroglyphics Co-Founder Casual Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary of "Fear Itself" With Tour & Remastered Instrumentals

Courtesy Audible Treats.

Hieroglyphics co-founder, who is considered to be one of your favorite rappers' most respected rappers, Casual, is kicking off the 20-year celebration of his formidable and influential album Fear Itself by announcing a commemorative tour where he will perform the original album in its entirety. He is also releasing a digitally remastered version of the instrumentals. Respected and recognized as one of the most skilled and versatile rappers, his Fear Itself debut was responsible not only for introducing Casual's dizzying rhyme styles to the world-at-large, but also for strengthening the foothold of his crew in an age when few equated lyrical hip-hop with the West Coast.

Fear Itself is also widely-recognized for its richly-layered and jazzy beats, many of which were produced by Casual himself. The sample selection and arrangement led to the album being cited as one of the "Top 20-plus Hip Hop Albums of All Time from a Beat Fanatics Perspective" in a 1995 column in Rap Pages, which was one of the few hip hop magazines with nationwide distribution during that pre-internet era. Even with a coveted 4-mic rating in The Source and a strong debut at #104 on Billboard's Pop Album Charts, the label (Jive Records) never quite gave the album the boost it deserved to catapult Casual to the success many had predicted. Still, Fear Itself quickly gained a cult status to a wide range of hip hop enthusiasts, and was later ranked at #15 of The Most Slept-On Albums of All-Time in The Source in 2011. Casual's lyrical stylings kept listeners on edge with his never-predictable internal rhyme schemes, and many eventually associated the album with a freestyle battle on KMEL's "The Wake Up Show" against Saafir that is often mentioned among the most memorable battles in rap history.

Not long after finishing high school in 1992, Casual was able to showcase his already-polished talent to several label execs and A&Rs, and a bidding war ensued. Bypassing Elektra (where his co-hort Del Tha Funkee Homosapien was signed), he eventually chose Jive Records, which was not only where his Hiero crewmates Souls Of Mischief had signed, but was also home to Too $hort, KRS-ONE, and A Tribe Called Quest. The album was finished by February 1993, and the anticipation of the album would swell nationwide thanks to the lead single "That's How It Is," widely-traded freestyle recordings from Stretch and Bobbito's WKCR radio show in New York, and his appearances both rapping and producing on Del's No Need for Alarm and Souls of Mischief's 93 Til Infinity albums. Despite a tepid promotional campaign by Jive and numerous delays, Fear Itself would finally be released in June 1994.

In commemoration of the anniversary, Casual, joined by the rest of the Hieroglyphics crew, will host an official celebration in San Francisco at Brick & Mortar, Saturday April 19. A tour throughout the U.S. performing the album will follow in May and June, with a European tour coming in Fall 2014.

Fear Itself 20 Year Anniversary Tour Dates:

April 20th - @Brooktrails Lodge - Willits, CA
April 26 - @19th Broadway - Fairfax, CA
May 2nd - @Chrome Lotus - Santa Rosa, CA
May 3rd - @The Back Bar - San Jose, CA
May 4th - @The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
May 11th - @Crocodile Cafe - Seattle, WA
May 15th - @The Palace Lounge - Missoula, MT
May 17th - @Cervantes Masterpiece - Denver, CO
May 21st - @Pub Rock - Scottsdale, AZ
May 22nd - @Green Room - Flagstaff, AZ
May 23rd - @Plush - Tucson, AZ
June 13th - @Coopers - Nevada City, CA
August 9th - @Shambhala Music Festival - Salmo, Canada

Purchase Tickets here: .

Buy the Instrumental Album here: .
Video: @BlahzMartell "Best Of The Best" (prod. x Avenue Beats) @JoeBayer

Video: Blahz Martell "Best Of The Best" (prod. x Avenue Beats)

Courtesy Joe Bayer.

Formerly known as MC Out Loud of Blahzay Blahzay and widely recognized for his debut single “Danger” from the 1996 album Blah, Blah, Blah, the hip-hop veteran Blahz Martell has sold over a million units worldwide. Returning to the game after a substantial hiatus, Martell requites on how he feels about his position in the industry. It’s always great to see the passion continue in an MC after numerous years in the game and Blahz is able to fully embody that notion.

Audio: Writers Guild "Where Did They Go" (@dn30001 @MegaRan @MCPennywise @RoQyTyRaiD @MisterMiranda83)

Audio: Writers Guild "Where Did They Go"

Courtesy Random.

In light of Outkast's triumphant (depending on who you ask) return to the stage at Coachella, Phoenix AZ based rap collective WRITERS GUILD, consisting of Mega Ran, RoQy TyRaid, MC Pennywise and Mr. Miranda reflect on the absence of groups in today's rap scene, and if they too will suffer the same fate of so many of their peers and heroes on "Where Did They Go?"

Audio: AWKWORD - "Brighter" (@AWKWORDrap)

Audio: AWKWORD - "Brighter"

Courtesy AWKWORD.

One of only a very few non-album releases from AWKWORD for the rest of 2014, this one off the forthcoming Classic Corny Shit mixtape from Italian art crew — and World View art directors — Good Idea.

Video: Cut Throat Logic - "Stay True" (@CutThroatLogic1)

Video: Cut Throat Logic - "Stay True"

Courtesy RHPR.

Reaching Higher PR presents Arizona hip-hop group @CutThroatLogic1 with their official music video "Stay True". The self-directed film captures creative members JustUs and Deonte performing in downtown Phoenix, as they trade stories about the deception of glamour and fame.

Video: @MaLLy "City Of Fear"

Video: MaLLy "City Of Fear"

Courtesy Matt B.

The Colors of Black stands as testament to what might not have been had MaLLy not introduced himself to the audience at large, and came for his destiny hand over fist. It may be his strongest and most stark statement to date, as it daunts and details with several themes that exercise disdain of the current status quo in Hip-Hop and the world at large, but MaLLy stands above it all, seeing it from a birds eye view, and making sure the truth, seedy and grimy as it may be, is known to the rest of the populace, regardless of the consequences."

Video: @TheRealReks & @HazardisSoundz “Hold Your Applause”

Video: Reks & Hazardis Soundz “Hold Your Applause”

Courtesy Matt B.

Today, Reks & Hazardis Soundz release a new video for “Hold Your Applause,” which is featured on All Eyes on Reks and it will also be included on Reks forthcoming studio LP Eyes Watching God; look for an announcement soon on the release date for Eyes Watching God.

@REALDJPREMIER Presents "Bars in the Booth" - @DresBlackSheep

DJ Premier Presents "Bars in the Booth" f/ Dres (of Black Sheep) (Session 2)

Courtesy Matt B.

DJ Premier’s “Bars in the Booth” is for SERIOUS SPITTERS ONLY! Session 1 featuring Papoose verified as much! For the uninitiated, “Bars in the Booth” is a new series Preemo has started which revolves around titan emcees of all genres coming thru and being put to the test over a DJ Premier track!

Open @Mike_Eagle Announces "Dark Comedy" Album (@MelloMusicGroup)

Open Mike Eagle Announces "Dark Comedy" Album

Courtesy MMG.

The post modern poet and newest member of Mello Music Group, Open Mike Eagle, is announcing his debut record with the label. The new project, Dark Comedy, goes beyond sarcasm for those who might miss it otherwise.

Video: @DaMafia6ix Tour Vlo6 #5: More Midwest Mayhem in KY, IN, MI, OH

Video: Da Mafia 6ix Tour Vlo6 #5: More Midwest Mayhem in KY, IN, MI, OH

Courtesy Dove @ Tygereye.

Here is the latest Triple 6ix Sinners Tour Vlo6, spotlighting Da Mafia 6ix stops in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio!

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Welcome to for the week of April 22nd, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. Since last week's update ran late consider this a compendium of two weeks worth of material in one shot: Adam Bernard's The Adam B Experience #75, Blanco, The Jacka & Messy Marv's "One Hunnid," Chuck Inglish's "Convertibles," Grieves' "Winter and the Wolves," the "Hi Grade Ganja Anthems Volume 4" compilation, Jeep Ward's Subways & Sidewalks #21, Steve 'Flash' Juon's HHS #266 and Steve 'Flash' Juon: The Hip-Hop Shop #267 plus a Boondocks Season 4 editorial, MF Grimm's "Good Morning Vietnam EP," Nas' "Illmatic XX," Pharoahe Monch's "PTSD," Shabaam Sahdeeq's "Keepers of the Lost Art" (our featured review) and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for April 15, 2014!

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