Thursday April 26, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of September 15, 2009
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Sunday, September 20th, 2009 at 11:15PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Kid Cudi :: Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Dream On/GOOD/Universal Motown
Author: John-Michael Bond

"Whether "Man on the Moon" catches on with music listeners or is the biggest hype bomb since Canibus doesn't matter in the realm of art. Regardless of this record launches Kid Cudi into the stratosphere of hip hop royalty that makes him the next Kanye West or if he ends up hustling mix tapes on the corner in another two years broke as hell "Man on the Moon" is an artistic high water mark for a genre where musical evolution happens as often as Fox News says something nice about Obama."

Boo :: 48 Minutes :: 404 Music
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

"With his continuous exposure on R. Kelly's albums, Boo's popularization began to increase as he caught the attention of Jermaine Dupri and was featured on his single "Get Some." Subsequently Boo was then featured on Ja Rule's "World Wide Gangstas" and was soon offered a deal with Cash Money Records. After signing with them in 2001, Boo was featured on yet another single with Big Tymers on "Oh Yeah" and then decided to venture out on his own project with his close friend, Gotti. The two paired up for the Cash Money Records album, "Perfect Timing" which included the popular single, "Ain't it Man" which featured Lil Wayne. Despite all of his opportunities, Boo sought out his goal of releasing a solo album and turned to 404 Music while signing with Mob Boss Entertainment for his debut album "48 Minutes.""

Drake :: So Far Gone EP :: Young Money Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Originally released as a promotional mixtape earlier this year, Drake's release could have maintained that unofficial status had "Best I Ever Had" not blown up to a RIDICULOUS degree. Knowing that a full-length release was still a long way off but wanting to capitalize on the marketability of the song, "So Far Gone" was shortened to an EP containing five of the original mixtape tracks and adding two new songs - the Needlz laced "I'm Goin' In" featuring Lil Wayne and the DJ Khalil produced "Fear.""

King Cannibal :: Let the Night Roar :: Ninja Tune
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Dylan Richards a/k/a ZILLA has what might be called the prototypical background for an experimental house/techno/hip-hop/trance/dub artist - unsatisfied art school student by day with a side gig making music at night. His Ninja Tune bio sports phrases guaranteed to make his meteoric rise sound impressive, describing his sound as "the link between [the] party starting crunk of Lil' Jon and the dancefloor destroying sonics of The Aphex Twin." Surely this is high praise given the large number of records the artists named have sold, not to mention how their sound has shaped the musical landscape as we know it. In fact reading it one would hardly think this was his DEBUT album for Ninja Tune - you'd think it was the 10th in a series. ZILLA sounds like he's been using his revolutionary uptempo electronica to break people off on the dancefloor for years, and possibly break a few ankles too as people try to keep up in vain."

KRS-One & Buckshot :: Survival Skills :: Duck Down Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Buckshot and KRS-One are the latest in a long series of 2009 dynamic duos to drop an album together. To be perfectly fair they were one of the first to announce their collabo' and leaked out the single "Robot" to radio and mixtape DJ's well before most of the other all-star team albums came out. Whether music industry politricks or the relentless perfectionism of the two artists on "Survival Skills" are to blame for the delays is up for debate, but as the critic reviewing this album I choose the latter. The two artists involved are known more for their longevity in rap than for being in a hurry to do shit. Two albums in one year, or one album in four years, it doesn't matter. Whenever they drop a project, it's worth the wait to their fans, and "Robot" was the kind of song that told you "Survival Skills" wouldn't be a disappointment."

Lil Boosie :: Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz :: Trill Entertainment/Asylum/WBR
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Despite what previous reviews may have indicated, I don't hate Lil Boosie - I'm just totally underwhelmed by his releases. The Baton Rouge native does have a few things going for him including a very distinctive high pitched flow and Louisiana drawl that stands out in the commercial rap scene. He's also proven an ability to coin catchphrases, create chart-topping singles, and generally speaking when he makes a guest appearance on a track his 16 bars make it more interesting. Given all of those factors it's quite perplexing that Boosie's albums have been so boring. He offers nothing but tired platitudes to being the "Bad Azz" that he is nicknamed, proclaiming how hard and how real he is to the point I'd happily accept it at face value if he'd shut up about it."

Masta Ace & Edo.G :: Arts & Entertainment :: M3 Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"It's the season for supergroups and collaborations. We've already seen Slaughterhouse bring four popular underground rappers together for the better, Del the Funky Homosapien & Tame One will be dropping "Parallel Uni-Verses" in just a month, and in the latest development Masta Ace & Edo.G have joined forces to form A&E, short for Arts & Entertainment. Cleverly their name also implies their membership - Ace & Ed. Okay, perhaps that's not so much "clever" as it is "obvious," but it still beats the pants off Cool C and Steady B claiming to Count Endless Bank. The potential of the group is unlimited regardless of how the name is received. Both rappers have dropped timeless classics over the years, but have had a hard time achieving commercial success equal to their stature amongst hardcore hip-hop purists. Joining forces unites both their incredible talent and their loyal followers, so it would seem to be a no lose proposition"

various artists :: New Jack City Soundtrack :: Giant Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"In 1991, following in the footsteps of his famous father, independent film director Mario Van Peebles released his first theatrical film, "New Jack City". Considering the relatively small budget, the film was a box-office success making nearly six-times the production cost. For those too young to remember the movie or just never saw it for whatever reason, "New Jack City" starred Wesley Snipes and Ice-T in the story of a drug kingpin's rise to, and ultimately fall from power. Chris Rock, Allen Payne, and Mario Van Peebles also had supporting roles. The accompanying soundtrack contained original material from many of the stars of the era including Troop, Christopher Williams, and Color Me Badd. Much like the other urban films that would follow ("Boyz N The Hood", "Menace II Society", "Above The Rim", etc), members of the cast also contributed to the soundtrack. In this case, it was the aforementioned Ice-T, Christopher Williams, and also Keith Sweat"

Sunset Terr :: A Prelude to Sunset Terr :: Nightbreed Entertainment
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"Throughout Sunset Terr's debut, "A Prelude to Sunset Terr," this DC Metro hip-hop foursome, comprised of producer/rapper LK and MCs Tilden, Dexter, Jay Biggz, and Aapex, brag about the fact that they don't curse. I don't think anything is wrong with cursing. I fucking curse all the time. For no reason. Cock. Nothing's wrong with swearing. And usually, I wouldn't take well to this sort of petty moralizing. Just last week, I panned Khalil's debut for its self-righteous piety. The point is, I should hate this album."

Teleseen :: Fear of the Forest :: Percepts Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"When a critic is given material outside his/her comfort zone to review, they have four options: pretend like they know what they are talking about; trash the album for not sounding like what they're used to; write a cop-out "if you like this kind of music, you'll like this" review; or own up to their complete and total ignorance. I'm gonna go with option #4. This is not, so readers will have to forgive the fact that I know little about the genre that Teleseen is working in. Not that I'm totally clueless about electronic music; I've listened to my share of it. Still, it's hard for me to know where to start with an album like Teleseen's sophomore effort, "Fear of the Forest," which combines electronic music and dub."

Trick Daddy :: Finally Famous: Born a Thug, Still a Thug :: Dunk Ryder Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Unless I missed something, Trick Daddy Dollars was a famous rap star when he and only got MORE famous when he released his Book of Thugs album almost ten years ago off the popularity of songs like "Boy" and "Shut Up." Since then Trick Daddy has been an icon of hip-hop success, a legend in the Southern rap scene, and the stepping stone for a bevy of Floridian rappers from Plies to Rick Ross to Trina to get to the next level. It's fair to say that without Trick Daddy the entire history of rap in the 21st century would have to be rewritten. He's not "Finally Famous," he's finally BACK. After a three year hiatus and an unceremonious split from Slip-N-Slide, Trick Daddy has finally returned and it's good to welcome him back on the scene."

Time :: Naked Dinner :: Dirty Laboratory
as reviewed by Justin 'Tha Shiznute' Chandler

"The third album from the underground artist Time is a dark and brooding album that makes no effort in seeking commercial appeal. That's a statement most evident by the cover – a dead cockroach lying on its back atop a dinner plate... "Naked Dinner" indeed. Maniacally the album ensues with an ominous synth-driven beat on "End of the Fork." Guest Damon Jevon offers a melodic little bridge to Time's rhymes on the track, which is pleasant but completely abandoned as it continues forward until the very end instead of carrying it out as a chorus. The listener will quickly realize if Time for them upon hearing his choppy flow."

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