Monday June 18, 2018

The (W)rap Up for 2012 - December [2 of 2]
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at 9:35PM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Slightly Stoopid :: Top of the World :: Stoopid Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Top of the World]"San Diego jam band Slightly Stoopid might seem an odd choice for us to review, but even the so-called free encyclopedia says on their Wiki page that "the band has also experimented with hip-hop on their more recent albums" and even collaborated with the late great Guru before his passing. It would not be that far of a stretch for the Stoopid dudes to reach out to hip-hop, since their sound already embraces reggae, funk, blues and punk among oher genres. They've even been called "psychedelic rock" by some observers - they're fairly hard to pin to just one sound. Take "Don't Stop" for example - if you didn't know anything about their history and heard this song as a one-off, you might assume that Slightly Stoopid were either from Jamaica or hang out with a whole lotta rastas. Less than four minutes later they're funking it up on the "Devil's Door," a song that could be the soundtrack to any 1970's movie or TV show. And yet just when you think you've got them pegged, the grooves of "Way You Move" will make you think of a 1990's alternative or rock act like Blind Melon or Blues Traveler. If you had to pick an overriding theme for the group though it would definitely be Carribean, and their collaboration with Barrington Levy on the song "Ur Love" certainly seems to back that up."

Substance Abuse :: Background Music :: Feed the Peeps
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Background Music]"Last week I denoted certain difficulties while reviewing the Liotta album I had been sent in the mail - chiefly in the area of Google searching for anything about him without getting sidetracked by unproductive "Goodfellas" references. In hindsight that was a cakewalk compared to looking up Substance Abuse. Even if you add keywords like "rap group" you get endless editorials decrying the abundant abuse of both legal and illegal drugs in popular music. Were it not for the helpful publicist who sent me both the "Background Music" CD, a digital copy and a link to their bio online, I would have been almost completely up a creek without paddles or even a boat. Thankfully they've also got a few videos on YouTube - "What It Takes" and "West Los" - and to make it easier on us all I've included both below so your search results will be more cohesive. Neither of these songs feature any guest appearances, but for Eso Tre and Subz that's almost the exception rather than the rule. The number of known and big name artists on "Background Music" is to say the least impressive - Tash from Tha Liks us on "Don't Get Us Wrong," KRS-One blesses "Rear View," Sadat X can be found on "Three Sheets to the Wind" and even veteran Compton rap legend MC Eiht shows up on "Flossin'." The group isn't shy about sharing the wealth though with lesser-knowns, as you can find Mawnstr on "Crew vs. Gangs," Hanif Hobbs on "Young Hollywood" and Waes One on the album's title track just to name a few. "Goon Hand" is a solo track that represents their vibe well."

Supreme General :: The Best of the Champions Mixtape :: DatPiff/Hustle Game Enterprises
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Champions Mixtape] "A little over a year ago RR contributor Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez reviewed Supreme General's "Supremacy EP," which for all intents and purposes seems to have been his national debut. Hernandez was non-plussed about it though writing "the kid could do something big because he has all the tools to succeed and charisma to spare, but with generic/played out topics, it's hard to really give Supreme General a recommendation." Fast forward to 2012 and Supreme General is back with a new free album available on DatPiff, though S.G. took the extra effort to send us a hard pressed copy on CD - respect for that. He also made sure to include a press kit, which for understandable reasons doesn't include any quotes from our less than glowing review. Amanda Miles says he posesses "an effortless execution of lyrical depth and vivid storytelling" while Lisa Ford wries that he "represented real life in Buffalo where all the soldiers march." Coming from the B actually helps S Geezy get a second chance, because having recently gotten up on Mad Dukez the idea Buffalo is an untapped hip-hop talent pool has been greatly reinforced. Periodically samples weave in and out of the "Champions" mixtape which tie S Geezy to a far more infamous Supreme - known to the federal penitentiary as Kenneth McGriff. This makes the choice to rap over the "Shook Ones" instrumental for what he considers a "Part 3" odd to say the least, though perhaps nobody involved stopped to consider McGriff was convicted of attempting to have Mobb Deep affiliate E-Moneybags murdered."

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