Friday June 22, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of October 20, 2009
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Sunday, October 25th, 2009 at 6:30PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Brother Ali :: Us
Rhymesayers Entertainment

Author: Patrick Taylor

"I first heard Brother Ali last year on "The Truth" off of Jake One's "White Van Music." I had heard of him, but only knew that he was a white albino Muslim. Then I heard him rap and I was sold. "Hungry pacing in a bus station with my nuts hangin/But I never sold base, motherfuck Reagan/ Shit just wasn't in my upbringin!" he rapped, sounding like a combination preacher and boxer, full of righteous fury and ready to give you a verbal beatdown. From that verse, I knew I had to get educated about Brother Ali."

Cormega :: Born and Raised :: Legal Hustle/Traffic Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"As much as I was looking forward to reviewing this album, I'm honestly at something of a loss trying to write the intro here. I think back to all the things I've written about 'Mega for ten years and running and it's hard to avoid copying myself. Hardcore underground favorite? Check. Most underrated from Queensbridge? Check. Victim of record industry politricks and bullshit? Check. Love/hate relationships with rappers from his own project? Check. Dope albums with poor distribution? Check. Still looking to come up this year? Check. Check. Check. In the end it doesn't matter what I come up with though - it's all about what 'Mega Montana has to say, and after all these years he's still spitting verses that are emotional and personal. He never shies away from giving you the unfiltered truth"

Dan-e-o :: Dilla Pickles ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"Dan-e-o is a hip-hop legend to those who know, a complete mystery to those who don't, and often the only difference between those two groups is whether they are North or South of the Canadian border. That's unfortunate given Dan has over a decade of quality hip-hop music under his belt, including albums covered right here at RR like "See No Evil, Hear No Evil." As it turns out Dan's a very technologically savvy artist, so even as we were checking for him, he was checking for us too."

DJ Khaled & E-Class Present :: Live From the 305 :: Poe Boy Music Group/E1 Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"DJ Khaled has never really been the "producer" kind of DJ, and he has never been the "turntablist" kind of DJ either, so DJ Khaled's albums don't feature original beats or his superior skills on the 1's and 2's. Instead DJ Khaled uses connections made over the years as a Dade County radio personality to put his favorite artists from the three-oh-five on songs with the top hip-hop stars in the United States. The result has been one successful album after another and a half dozen or more chart topping hits that are billed to him, even though producers like Cool & Dre and The Runners deserve the accolades more."

Fly Gypsy :: The Vodka & Rum Mixtape :: Fly Gypsy Music
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace 

"Vodka and Rum? Hell yeah! When I first saw the cover for this mixtape, I thought this was going to be a collection of songs about getting hammered and living to tell the tale. Perhaps that's just my Absolut and Bacardi swiggin' twisted way of looking at things though. I shook off the thought and started going over the press release to read that Fly Gypsy is made of Jamaican-born emcee Kowboy Kom and Russian-born Alexei Jendayi. From there it seemed to click for me: Jamaican rum and Russian vodka. Resisting the urge to hit up the local liquor store for a few bottles of Appleton Estates and Stolichnaya, I hoped that the libations weren't necessary to listen to this mixtape"

Juice Aleem :: Jerusalaam Come :: Big Dada Recordings
as reviewed by Eric Sirota 

""Jerusalaam Come," the first solo album by former Gamma frontman, UK grime-MC, Juice Aleem, further expands hip-hops' embrace of myth and legend. But where the Wu uses Kung Fu and H.O.V.A. uses Scarface, Juice employs the myths of the ancients. Aleem sets his flows in a world where wandering Israelites are involved in constant tribal conflict ("The Fallen (Gen. 15.13)"), where God intervenes in human affair to strike down pagans ("Straight Out of BC"), and where the Mayans prophesize the Earth's demise ("KunteKinTeTarDiss"). Constantly interweaving his Before-the-Common-Era imagery with modern themes, Aleem creates a chilling commentary on our current state of affairs."

Junkyard Empire :: Rebellion Politik :: MediaRoots Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon 

"Junkyard Empire is another rap group following in the hallowed hip-hop tradition of Boogie Down Productions, Public Enemy, The Coup, Rage Against the Machine and yes even N.W.A. of questioning societal norms and political power at the same time. Listening to the seven songs of "Rebellion Politik" it becomes abundantly clear that lead rapper Brihanu believes freedom of speech means nothing if you don't use it to say something important. One of the dangers of such rebellion though is that you can fall into the trap of being smug and self-righteous - I speak for the people, I know what they want to say that's not being heard, and I understand the truth better than you do."

Royce Da 5'9" :: Street Hop :: M.I.C. One Records
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania 

"Big release, in more way than one. Outta jail, into the Slaughterhouse, and finally dropping "Street Hop" – with an executive producer called DJ Premier. Enough said. Well, allow me to gloss over the whole jail thing, because I'm much more concerned about the music. But the other points have relevance – the Slaughterhouse movement has, for better or worse, truly reinvigorated a whole branch of the hip hop tree. People are excited that four wordy MC's have got together, released an album made in six days and are truly starting to make a name for themselves without controversial interviews overshadowing their talent (too much). But if there was one MC out of the four that left me slightly confused as to why they felt the need to be a part of the group, it was Royce. I mean, Royce is a real GOOD solo artist, and he has the natural confidence/aura of a true giant – I can't recall him having sounded INSECURE before, ever."

Swag :: The Blueprint of a Hustler :: Warner Brothers Entertainment
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim 

"Initially living in South Central and later moving to West Covina, Swag became engulfed in the glorified gang life in the late 80s and by the early 90s, he was absorbed in a violent life unable to turn back. Without his mother, Swag was solely on his own, fending for himself amidst a life of turmoil. Faced with the realities of jail time, he embraced his love for hip hop and mastered the art of rhyming while locked up as it was the one thing that kept him sane. Deserting his previous life for a newfound image, Swag made moves to the Pacific Northwest, where his relatives resided, in search of a new persona."




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