Danny! :: Where Is Danny?
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Good question. Daniel Swain b/k/a Danny! has been releasing the best albums you should be kicked in the ass for not owning since 2004, featuring self-produced South Carolina soul with lyrics that are as interesting as they are introspective. It's arguable that Swain is either what Kanye West would be without the ego and the drinking problem, or that Swain is Kanye West with much better raps. For the uninitiated this may seem like absurdly high praise, but long-time RR readers will know we've been covering Mr. Swain since he first released "Charm" and that we've been consistently impressed by his efforts ever since."
50 Cent :: Before I Self Destruct :: G-Unit/Shady/Interscope
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
"Everyone knows that Curtis Jackson handles the business side of things. He does shows like "Power Lunch" on CNBC, he co-authors books with authors like Robert Greene, he makes investments with unknown companies that in turn, pay off big, However 50 Cent is the gun toting, crime committing ignorant bastard that will start a beef with anyone and in some cases, destroys careers. 50 is also the one responsible for 2003's "Get Rich Or Die Trying", the breakout album that was the perfect combination of beats, hardcore rhymes and the often-overlooked element of success...timing."
Amp Live :: Gary Is a Robot Remixes EP :: Child's Play/Terrorbird Media
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"At times like these I honestly don't know WTF to make of some of the music I'm sent. I'm an open minded guy, but it didn't even occur to me I was going to need to address that subject when I first read the one-sheet for this EP. Amp certainly had the hip-hop credentials I would need for me to like his shit - he's done beats for Akon and Zion I among others. Perhaps it's the "others" I should have paid more attention to, but even then I wouldn't have been TOO thrown off if Amp Live's "Gary Is a Robot" EP had sounded like MGMT or Radiohead - artists I'm at least familiar with even if I'm not huge fans of their work."
Canibus & Keith Murray :: The Undergods EP :: Sound Records & Entertainment
as reviewed by Sever
"For every hot album Canibus detonates upon his fanbase there are one or two total duds. I don't think Canibus has spit a single lyric since his 2005 release "Hip-Hop for $ale" that inspired, or energized me (although "Dreamzzzzz" off of "For Whom the Beat Tolls" is a sick track). I saw him perform live at Toad's Place in New Haven earlier this year, and although he tore it down I couldn't shake the realization that a man I idolized six years ago is only a shadow of his former self these days. He seemed mortal for the first time. Even though we're probably the same height he seemed small, ashy and docile. I looked at him not through the eyes of a huge fan, but as a fellow rap artist unsure as to whether or not I should humbly pay my respects or walk up to him with my game face on, stare into his eyes and start spitting my sickest bars at him and demand his respect."
Crown City Rockers :: The Day After Forever :: Gold Dust Media
as reviewed by Eric Sirota
"Crown City Rockers did not send RapReviews their recent album, "The Day After Forever." They instead sent "The Day After Forever (album sampler)." I am not sure why one would send a music reviewer an album sampler. Music sites write for potential listeners, and people do not listen to album samplers, they listen to albums. I liked what I heard on the sampler well enough, but I only heard a 5 song, 16 minute tease, not a full record. For all I know, the rest of "The Day After Forever" is garbage. Or transcendent. Still there is some use in reading this review as 5 track reviews posing as an album review. So no more griping. Let's dig in to the 5 tracks Crown City Rockers really want you to hear"
D. Focis :: The Be Strong LP :: Facemusic
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond
"Producer/rapper D. Focis's new album, "The Be Strong LP," is available for free from the artist's blog (dfocis.blogspot.com). It serves two purposes: to firmly establish D. Focis as both a rapper and a producer, and to offer a message of hope to anyone struggling to keep their head up in these hard times.D. Focis has a lot in common with Kanye West; both are producers-turned-rappers; both have focused their rhymes on their personal struggles and hopes; and both are deeply religious but outspokenly flawed. "I'm a Christian, but not a pastor," he raps, and throughout the album he is up front about his infidelities and his wayward past."
Rihanna :: Rated R :: Def Jam
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania
"Ladies and gentlemen, to those among you who are easily frightened, we suggest you turn away now. To those of you that think they can take it, we say ‘Welcome to the Mad House!'" That's what the intro says, and believe you me, it is true. Here it is, "Rated R" – Rihanna's own "mini-movie." After what must have seemed an eternity wrapped up in a mere nine months, Rihanna finally gets to return to her primary focus of actually releasing an album (fourth in five years, since you ask) – and here we have one more in line with hip hop than R&B or Pop, hence its unusual appearance on this site. Take one somewhat cinematic introduction, lashings of edgy production that sounds banging in your car, lyrics that occasionally approach rap-style levels of complexity and, above all, utilising the public/private clay of her own life."
Sean Price :: Kimbo Price :: Fat Beats/Duck Down Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"It won't be long before Sean Price has more alter egos than Kool Keith. Most of the hip-hop world was introduced to him as Ruck, one half of the Heltah Skeltah duo, but in the years that followed we've come to know him by multiple aliases. We've got two more names to add to the list today - Mic Tyson and Kimbo Price. The funny thing is that the latter is actually intended to be an introduction to the former, which can only be gleaned by reading the small print on the cover of this new mix CD. Of the two Kimbo Price is the more interesting concept."
Wyclef Jean :: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion :: R.E.D. Distribution
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond
"Wyclef Jean has "fuck you" money. During his time with The Fugees he sold over 22 million records, enough records for every man, woman, and child in New York State to have a copy and still have three million left over. His first solo record "The Carnival" sold 5 million copies worldwide, and even got suburban soccer moms dancing with its hit single "Gone Till November." While his later records have never matched those insane sales figures, they never really needed to. Wyclef had his paper, and along with it the power to do whatever he wanted, be it charity work, production for other stars (both hip hop and pop), or the patience to bid his time waiting for Lauren Hill to stop taking crazy pills and make a new Fugees record."
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