Monday June 25, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of September 11, 2012
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at 12:30PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Slaughterhouse's "Welcome to Our House" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Welcome To: Our House]Slaughterhouse :: Welcome To: Our House
Shady Records/Interscope

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"A recent e-mail sent to my RapReviews inbox asked a short but straight to the point question: "Y NO RVW OF THE NW SLAUGHTER?" There are several reasons I hesitated to do it. One was the possibility I'm unfairly biased toward the album given their titular debut is one of my favorite albums of the last five years, one that I still listen to on a regular basis long after most people had put it on the shelf. Another was the fact I was underwhelmed by the free mixtape they put out a week before the new album, which led me to believe I might find the new CD disappointing. Last but not least is the fact I assumed so many writers on staff would be clamoring to do it that I wouldn't need to write it up myself. Everybody's tied up with their own projects to write about though, so it falls to me to put on some Hammer pants and do a "Hammer Dance" for the return of hip-hop's most Fantastic Four. One of the biggest changes since their debut album is the presence of Eminem, who is all but an honorary fifth member of the crew at this point. He has a production or co-production credit on 16 out of the 20 tracks on the deluxe edition (the only one worth buying), and makes vocal cameos on 3 of them: "Asylum," "Our House" and the current single "Throw That" on which he pulls double duty with the help of T-Minus. His presence is less dominant than one might think on this one though, since he sings the hook rather than rapping a verse, and just ad libs to punctuate punchlines throughout. The original foursome still remain the stars of the show. "

various artists :: Grandpa Funnybook's Mix-Tapingly Arranged Rapping Song Album 2 :: Hand'Solo Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
[Grandpa Funnybook 2] 
"In 2011 Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez reviewed the comical compilation "Grandpa Funnybook's Mix-Tapingly Arranged Rapping Song Album." At the time it struck me as the kind of one-off project that an indie record label can get away with, able to poke fun at the conventions of the mixtape genre while not insulting their core audience. For example: you'd never see a DJ Drama or DJ Khaled mix hosted by Grandpa Gangster or Grandpa Swag. Even though P's scores for the album only rated it "slightly above average" he did note that "the songs that do stand out are dope enough to warrant future spins," which for a free album is almost as much as you can ask for. Now to be clear "Grandpa Funnybook 2" doesn't have to be free - you can certainly pay for it if you're so inclined since they have a "name your price" option. If not they're conent to let you sample it simply because it's a sample of the various artists that Hand'Solo Records has signed or works with directly, and when you're a small imprint there's little shine that you can consider bad. As such it's not surprising that their most well-known artist Wordburglar features prominently on the album, appearing on a third of the hour's worth of songs."

Busta Rhymes :: Year of the Dragon :: Google Play/Starbus
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Year of the Dragon] 
So three years go by between "Back On My B.S." and "Year of the Dragon." I can only assume in the interim that Bussa Bus is doing well enough between singles, acting shit and paid cameo appearances on other people's hits that a new album isn't a big hurry for him. Then WHAM, Trevor Smith sneaks up and smacks me in the face with a Google Play release, which I must admit that I didn't see coming. That's aight though. If the 600 pound gorilla called Google wants to break him off some bread to hype up their cloud music service, I'm sure he's more than happy to take their money and break them off an album in return. As Lil Wayne and producer Andrew 'Pop' Wansel will tell you it's no problem because Busta Rhymes is so venerable he feels no "Pressure" at all. I almost think he should though. It's not that "Pressure" is a bad song, but I've noticed a trend in recent years for Busta Rhymes that he doesn't seem to hug a beat tight any more. Perhaps there was a danger of this all along when Busta was spitting "Gimme Some More" raps at amphetamine fast speeds, to the point one couldn't honestly blame him if he missed a beat here and there. The problem is that his tendency to always exceed his own previous performances was motivational and once he stopped competing with his best his lyrical delivery slacked a bit. Now I want to be clear ever since his Leaders of the New School days he's been a little bit ahead of the curve, so even if he lost a step he'd still be in step or a step ahead of most new emcees. That being said, there are a few times on "Year of the Dragon" where he seems to be going through the motions, and "Pressure" is one of those times. Fortunately the majority of "Year of the Dragon" meets my expectations for a Bussa Bus album. "

Kaye :: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Adam Radwan :: Sub Conscious Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

[Strange and Terrible Saga] 
"There are very few double albums that wouldn't have been improved by cutting them down to a single disc. Even the best double albums are sprawling, disjointed affairs: The Beatles "White Album," Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde," The Clash's "Sandinista!" Husker Du's "Zen Arcade," etc. Hip-hop has an even worse track record with double albums. Biggie's "Life After Death," 2Pac's "All Eyez On Me," "The Wu-Tang Forever" all would have been better pared down to a single album. The one exception is the Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below," and that is basically two solo albums sold together. So imagine my skepticism upon receiving Australian rapper Kaye's debut album. Not only is it a double disc, it is based on the writings of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson, along with Charles Bukowski, is responsible for mountains of terrible writing made by young men who think that all you need to be a good writer is be an alcoholic. Writing 32 raps wasn't enough for Kaye, however. He had to go and produce the entire thing as well. No one can accuse him of lacking motivation. The album is divided into two discs. Disc One is titled "Fear and Loathing in Lost-Pages," a play on Thompson's "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas." The songs here are more uptempo and light-hearted. Disc Two is titled "The Redrum Diaries," a play on Thompson's "The Rum Diaries." The songs on that disc are darker and more introspective."

Lloyd Banks :: V6: The Gift ::
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[V6: The Gift] 
"My review of "The Cold Corner" was as much editorial as review, and I'm willing to cop to that. I felt then as I do now that the availability of no cost albums online has reached a saturation point that's increasingly detrimental to hip-hop artists as a whole. For the consumer it may seem like a great situation to be in, when big rap artists like Busta Rhymes and Game now routinely give away free shit, but it also represents a dangerous devaluation of what hip-hop is worth. The fight for mainstream acceptance as an art and culture didn't just stop 5-10 years ago with a collective "we made it fam, it's all good now" because a few colleges teach some rap music classes. It's an ongoing struggle, and when rap songs become worthless, it hurts one of hip-hop's elements in a big way - one all the others lean on to some degree. Can you break without a beat? What would you scratch without lyrical heat? I'm not getting on my soapbox again though. I know it's a tough economy, but don't be too stingy. We may all find that if we don't feel rap music is worth paying for the next generation of talent may find it's not worth making - and all we'll be left with is free albums by poor imitations of Gucci Mane & Jay-Z. In the meantime Lloyd Banks continues to give away G-Unit albums that I once would have paid $7-12.99 for in stores. "

Read 888 times:: Subscribe to News by Email

©, a Flash Web Design Exclusive