Monday April 23, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of September 22, 2009
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 3:15PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

M.O.P. :: Foundation
Blaze/E1 Entertainment

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Their 15 year history in hip-hop is one song after another that leaves bodies on the pavement, leaking more blood than a UFC fighter's face after being busted up with elbows. Some artists would risk coming off as a motion picture parody of urban warfare if they sported M.O.P.'s level of violence, but the Mash Out Posse has always walked the fine line between authenticity and absurdity to perfection. In between their shouting, posturing, and imitations of semi-automatic gunfire spray, Danze and Fame turn out to be adept lyricists who are often surprisingly introspective."

Dizzee Rascal :: Tongue N'Cheek :: Dirtee Stank
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania 

"And here it is, "Tongue N'Cheek," in all its glory. Six years after "Boy In Da Corner" shook the Mercury Awards up, success now surrounds Dizzee Rascal, and this here is his triumphant release. There are various ways one can go about celebrating, and he mainly focuses on three: pure bragging, rapping for the ladeez whilst reppin' his man dem, and sitting above the streets, narrating what is going on in society. For the most part, it works fabulously well. Whilst he may well have dumbed-down the lyrical complexity, it almost always suits the instrumental at hand."

Esham :: Boomin' Words From Hell :: Real Life/TVT Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond 

"It seems every young buck with a chip on his shoulder thinks he's a bad ass, but what really makes a bad ass kid? In 1990, at the tender age of 13, Esham set a template for how to terrify your parents, principles, pastors, and role models with his fiery debut "Boomin Words From Hell." While most rappers are at least a little full of shit when they craft their tales of street violence, one has to question what the hell was going on in this kids head with these sixteen tracks of bloodshed and violence. One thing is for certain, this child's debut meditation on evil and darkness set the template for a generation of underground rappers with their minds on morbid shit, from Tech N9ne to Eminem."

John Forte :: Stylefree EP :: Theory 7
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor 

"In 2000, John Forte had a promising career ahead of him. He had co-written some songs on the Fugee's blockbuster "The Score."  He had released a solo album and was working on another one when he got busted for drug trafficking and all of his dreams had to be put on hold. Ironically, the shady deal that got him thrown in jail was supposed to finance his career. He was offered $10,000 to get people to move what turned out to be 30 pounds of liquid cocaine from Houston to New Jersey. Forte swears that he didn't realize it was drugs, but he got 14 years, while the guy who set the deal up walked away without serving a day. Forte spent 8 years in prison before finally being pardoned by President Bush in 2008. "StyleFREE" is his first album of material since getting freedom back."

Krizz Kaliko :: Genius :: Strange Music
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez 

"His debut was exactly what it should have been, a heartfelt outburst of emotions from an emcee that had essentially been held silent for far too long. Thankfully, we do not have to wait another ten years for Krizz Kaliko to hit us with his follow up. The fact that his debut charted as high as #19 on the Billboard 200 certainly didn't hurt, but Krizz's ability to hold down an album showed Tech N9ne all he needed to see. While his debut felt like a therapeutic release, "Genius" shows us Krizz's more playful and diverse side. The album is still littered with deeper songs, but the focus seems to be partying."

MDDL FNGZ :: Smokin Wit Tha Enemy :: Perfecto Entertainment
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"See, while most groups can't resist the urge to follow at least one trend, MDDL FNGZ takes their name quite seriously and just makes music the way they always have. It's hardcore gangsta rap, the type that you haven't heard in years. It's straight forward beats, hooks with no R&B singing, and rhymes that are as honest as they are brutal. The group also has an air of authenticity in their music that is hard to come across. Every rapper brags about still hustling for their money, but MDDL FNGZ are believable in their declarations. Perhaps it is this honesty that attracts Bun B to the group. They are his crew, and despite failing to gain his level of notoriety, Bun B faithfully shouts out and supports them whenever they need it."

New Boyz :: Skinny Jeanz and a Mic :: Shelly/Asylum/Warner Bros. Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"If you've been listening to hip-hop for over 15 years or you're over the age of 35, it's hard to get down with the concept or the obnoxious "wah, wah, wah wah wah" chorus, let alone the words "YOU'RE A JERK" being looped, edited and repeated hundreds of times. If you've only been down with rap for a couple of years or you're under the age of 18, the simple beat and seemingly lackluster lyrical delivery on "You're a Jerk" fits perfectly into the context of what you know about hip-hop."

Nosaj Thing :: Drift :: Alpha Pup Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor 

"Like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing is an L.A.-based producer/beatmaker/musician/composer who is rooted in hip hop but works with more abstract electronic sounds. Jason Chung, the man behind Nosaj Thing, got his start dismantling his dad's computer when he was thirteen, and he knows his way around computer-generated sounds.  While he has produced songs for indie rapper Busdriver, his debut album "Drift" isn't quite instrumental hip hop. It has roots with IDM, minimalist techno, and other forms of stripped down electronic music. There is also a symphonic quality, resulting in something like Danny Elfman composing a soundtrack for a video game."

Pugs Atomz :: Roof Top :: SoFlo Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Pugs Atomz has been around the Chi-Town hip-hop scene for a minute, releasing albums dating all the way back to 2000, and in 2007 we caught the late pass by reviewing his "Conversations With a Chamelion" release. At the time the writer covering Pugs described his album this way: "a tasty backpack snack featuring a veteran who sounds like he's ready to move onto bigger and better things." It seems those bigger and better things have arrived in 2009, as his label is heavily repping the new album "Roof Top," and the accompanying press release promises an all-star roster of underground rap guests from Naledge to Primeridian and Sadat X."

Qwel and Maker :: So Be It :: Galapagos4
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"The point is, I tend to gravitate towards fringy hip-hop. I like my rappers wordy and abstract – preferably self-loathing college graduates with girl problems and psychological weed addictions. Qwel, on his second collaboration with DJ/producer Maker, "So Be It," fits the bill pretty well. And, at least from where I'm sitting, that's not an insult. Indeed on "So Be It" Qwel shines as both an adept writer and contemplative philosopher, tackling topics ranging from religion to politics to relationship with incredible depth."

Young Problemz :: Da Problem (How's My Rapping?) :: Asylum Records
as reviewed by Justin 'Tha Shiznute' Chandler 

"What do you expect from a quintet that hails from Houston, TX? It's not exactly a hotbed of wordsmiths, save for a few exceptions. No, this is dirty south music exaggerated to an almost comical level. Check the track names: Boi!, Bout Money, Ya'll Got Dimez, Got Me F'd Up, Knock Ha Dyne (LOL), etc. Side note: the "LOL" is actually in the title of the track, it's not me poking fun. There should be no surprises for listeners as they venture through this audibly aggressive disc."



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