Thursday April 19, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of January 5, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Justin 'Tha Shiznute' Chandler

"Kanye West publicly made an ass of himself AGAIN. Gucci Mane broke through to the mainstream, which boggles me though I originally thought the same of Young Jeezy and have since altered my negative opinion. Most albums were good enough to keep my head nodding, but not good enough for multiple listens. Then, as in year's past, there were numerous albums that I was hoping for that never saw the light of day (Saigon, Lupe, Dr. Dre???). This is a constant reality in the industry that saddens me every time these year in reviews come down the pipeline."

Susan 'SusiQ' Kim 

"*9. Zion I "The Takeover"*

I always appreciate Zion I's work even if it's the sixth time around. Amp Live's unique production still persists as he incorporates a variety of beats that he is known for. MC Zion has changed his name to MC Zumbi, but it's all the same because even after ten plus years, the duo remains strong while still maintaining a rather ambiguous sound, in hopes of not being categorized."

Eric Sirota

"A lot of big names, both underground and mainstream, dropped albums and mixtapes in 2009 - Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, Wu Tang Clan, Raekwon, Lady Gaga, Wale, Clipse, Sage Francis, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Mr. Lif, Sole, and Themselves, just to name a few. I had high hopes for Eminem, but was let down when he decided to rap in a bad Jamaican accent for half of "Relapse." I have for years been determined not to like Brother Ali, but he dropped two real solid projects in '09. I could never get into MF Doom, the stoner, but DOOM, the existential polemicist, inspired me to revisit his past works."

CookBook & Uno Mas :: C&U Music Factory :: Just-Us/Audio Sketch Book Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"It's unfortunate that a full bio on the history of L.A. Symphony and the members of the California rap group would be longer than this entire review. Their role as pioneers and inspiration to fellow "left coast" rap artists who choose to make experimental and innovative rap music should not be diminished. In fact most hip-hop fans and students will rank them with the Hieroglyphics and Living Legends as crews whose influence extends far beyond the number of albums they sold as a group. Furthermore each crew has spun off numerous side projects, solo artists, combinations with other like-minded artists and enjoyably eclectic hip-hop music. Though they're currently on hiatus as a unit, the same thing can be said about L.A. Symphony's membership, as you can routinely find new projects from CookBook and Pigeon John among others making noise in a world of jaded rap fans. Please just take my word for it when I say L.A. Symphony is a great crew that should get much greater due."

DJ Mehdi :: Red Black & Blue :: Ed Banger Records
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"For many DJ's and music producers hip-hop has been the gateway drug to the world of deejaying, dance music or even music period. Biographies especially of European DJ's often mention a past as a hip-hop DJ. Whether they are still spinning or have moved on to producing music, professionally they have left the field of hip-hop behind and moved on to abstract, downtempo, techno, drum 'n bass, club, house, trip-hop, electro, and what have you. This is a known fact of several '90s key players in the United Kingdom (J. Saul Kane, Smith & Mighty, Massive Attack, Liam Howlett, DJ Hype, Nightmares on Wax, Coldcut, Goldie, A Guy Called Gerald)."

D.P. :: Bar Tab Blues :: Sosic Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Apparently Mister D.P. can't make up his mind whether to capitalize his name or not. When Guido Stern first covered "fortyeighthours" last May, everything including the album's title was presented in lowercase. I honestly get a little sick of these games, including Daniel Dumile's "ALL CAPS when you spell the man name" and the "let's show how unassuming, shy and nerdy I am" lower caps of mc chris. Don't even get me started on Kid Cudi - I refuse to play that shit and alternate it every other letter - that's fucking impossible to type. This is completely my own opinion and nothing to do with the review, but unless you've had a few platinum records and can be recognized on sight anywhere you go, you don't get to change your name to an eponymous unprounceable symbol, forcing everybody to refer to you as "The Artist Formerly Known As." If you're rich and famous, go ahead, be a weirdo. If you're an up-and-coming artist nobody has heard of, follow the damn rules."

Showbiz & AG :: Party Groove/Soul Clap EP :: London Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"For the sake of historical accuracy, the subject of this review should be the original "Soul Clap" EP on Showbiz Records. This would be the wax Show & A were, as legend has it, selling out of the trunk of the car. The ever-reliable Discogs database tells me it was pressed up in 1991, recorded at Jazzy Jay Recording Studios, Bronx, NY, engineered by Jazzy Jay and Skeff Anselm and mastered by Carlton Batts. But since I only own the extended 1992 CD release and all digital downloads available seem based on a 2006 Japanese re-issue of that CD, I decided to go with this later, more widespread version entitled "Party Groove/Soul Clap.""

various artists :: Soca Gold 2009 :: VP Records
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"First off, I'd like to offer an apology to the good folks over at VP Records for getting to this compilation so late. I've had it in my possession for a good while, but somehow it got pushed to the backburner's backburner. I realized this about a month ago and decided that when it got cold enough outside, I'd do a write up in hopes that it would bring a bit of warmth to our readers in locations that are brick cold right about now. On a whole, I'm not overly familiar with the soca genre, but I've listened to it from time to time. The term "soca" is a shortened form of the term "soul calypso", which is a form of music that originates in Trinidad and Tobago. In my search for more information, I ended up at the Holy Grail for all things that COULD be true...Wikipedia. I took a look at the section that listed some of the genre's notable artists and many of them have songs featured on the 2009 edition of "Soca Gold"."

TYPE 4 :: As Is :: World One Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"TYPE 4, I don't know if you heard of them. No scratch that, I'm convinced you haven't, unless by some freak accident you actually have or are so intimately familiar with our publication that you remember our review from a month back. TYPE 4 existed long before the latest rap generation ever picked up a mic. Originally a hip-hop duo in the early '90s, the outfit soon evolved into a full-fledged band that incorporated funk, rock and reggae influences. As they prepare to release a new album in 2010, they sent us their older material for review. "As Is" was released in 2008, 7 years after their second longplayer, "For Sale.""

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