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The (W)rap Up - Week of January 26, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Themselves :: theFREEHoudini
Anticon Records
Author: Eric Sirota

"It is difficult to determine Themselves' target audience. On the one hand, their atypical style is a deliberate critique of traditional rap. As such, it is near impossible to appreciate Doseone and Jel, the MC and producer comprising Themselves, unless one has a deep appreciation for rap in the first place. On the other hand, if one truly loves rap for what it is, then something this far outside of the norm loses its appeal. Thus, this Anticon duo fills a strange niche; to consider Themselves innovative, you can't appreciate their innovations. "

Analyrical :: First Date :: Background Noise Crew
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"The production is strong throughout, Producers BMoC, Arsenic T. Larsen, Dmitry Killstorm, ECID Nineteen80three, Kattrah Quey, Spanphly, Orikal, and Vividend all contribute beats to the album. I was surprised to see so many different producers in the credits because all of the songs have a similar jazzy feel to them. Listening more closely you can hear that Arsenic's beats are both built around guitar lines and Katrah-Quey's beats both lean in an R&B direction, but the songs all work well together. It's a good sign for hip hop when you can have seven unknown producers on an album and all of them are making above-average beats. Their beats are the real strength of the album, carrying Analyrical's rhymes over fourteen tracks. "

Busta Rhymes :: E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event) :: Flipmode Records/Elektra Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"Remember Y2K? I think most of our readers are old enough to recall the frenzy that most of the world was in at that time. The entire planet seemed to be up in arms about an impending doom that so many had predicted would come down on the world. There were tons of films and television shows that raked in tons of earnings by playing the "world's gonna end" card, but in the world of music, no one did it better than Busta Rhymes. This may be due to the fact that he had a bit of a head start on everyone else. His solo debut "The Coming" was released in 1996. He then followed with "When Disaster Strikes" in 1997. By the time 1998 began to wind down, the rest of the world had hopped on the train to inevitable demise. "

DJ Signify :: Of Cities :: Bully Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

""Of Cities" by Brooklyn producer DJ Signify came out last year at this time, but I only heard about a few weeks ago from one of the many year-end lists floating around the web. I not only slept on his last album, I've slept on his entire career. It's not entirely my fault, however. There's not exactly a wealth of information about him on the Internet. His Wikipedia entry is two sentences ("DJ Signify is a hip hop producer from New York City. He is a member of the 1200 Hobos") and a discography that only goes up to 2005.  He has a blog at, but it hasn't been updated since October 2007, and his website,, is just a promo page for his record, with links to his Myspace page, which is also several years out of date, and his record label. "

Loose Logic :: Logistics :: Passion Play Productions
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Loose Logic is not to be confused with underground rapper and one-time Demigodz member Louis Logic. In fact they couldn't be more opposite geographically OR stylistically as Loose Logic hails from Los Angeles and cites Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik as his influences, while his similarly named East coast counterpart sat at the learning tree of Vinnie Paz (Jedi Mind Tricks) to develop his distinctive style and flow. Aside from the obvious differences, there's also an important one - Loose Logic has a new album out right now, while Louis Logic was last seen as part of the Spork Kills' "Beaches Love Us" EP in 2008. The metallic musical mashup got Louis some notice for creativity, but in terms of straight up rap music, Loose Logic may just steal his name and his spot on "Logistics." He's even brought back a blast from the past in the form of iconic Death Row rapper RBX on the track "Turn to Dust": "

Mowgli :: 93 :: Dodeca Records
as reviewed by Peter D'Amato

"Mowgli brings the same mysteriousness to the lyrical content of his debut album "93," an album that has been a long time in the works, being a mixture of tracks the British emcee recorded between 2005 and 2009. Throughout the length of "93," he spits without seeming to take a breath and delivers, in his own words, "speckles of gold action packed with meaning." The results are long chains of images hooked loosely together in stream-of-consciousness rhymes, with Mowgli supplying his visions at such a rapid clip that he often does not even bother to speak in complete sentences. In "Splinter," Mowgli jumps from one idea to the next, leaving a dense spider-web of symbolism. "

Red Pill :: Please Tip Your Driver :: Red Pill Rap
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Want to know how deep the rabbit hole goes? You already know how to do it - you take the red pill. If you were born yesterday this might not make sense, so without trying to steal Laurence Fishburne's shine, here's a brief synopsis for the know-nots: the life you're living may be an illusion you're not even aware of. In the blockbuster science film "The Matrix" the protagonist Neo has two choices - take the blue pill and accept the illusion, or take the red and dissolve the illusion to discover reality. East Lansing, Michigan native Red Pill is already awake and holds no illusions about the real world - he delivers sandwiches by day and struggles as a rap artist by night. "Please Tip Your Driver" isn't just the title of his album, it's his advice to hungry Michigan State students getting their footlong subs from him - don't be a cheapass. "

Requiem :: Grassroots Anarchy :: Minimal Aesthetics
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"With apologies to MC Requiem, this review was cursed. We assigned this album out several times for coverage and each time there was a snafu with getting it back for one reason or another. Requiem politely but passionately asked that RR write up this review before the end of January if at all possible, and personally provided me with a digital copy to replace the physical CD that had long since been lost. It's hard to say no when someone's been both that nice and that persistent, so I've taken up the torch of getting this long overdue review done myself so Req can catch wreck. That said Requiem's treatment shouldn't be considered "favorable" per se given there are some things about "Grassroots Anarchy" that are immediately accessible, and some that will stump even the most diehard of Aussie hip-hop fans outside of Australia. "

Evan Roberts :: Outta Here EP :: Anotha One Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Here's what we do know about Evan Roberts - he's a singer and songwriter from Orlando, Florida. He gained some degree of fame and notoriety for his contributions to the Birdman song "Written On Her" featuring Jay Sean and Mack Maine. Had the song not become a single he might have remained in relative obscurity, because "Written On Her" was only included on the deluxe edition of Birdman's last album. Since the song's success he has parlayed his fame into launching his own career as a singer, culminating in the "Outta Here" EP featuring production from Oddz.N.Endz (who produced "Written On Her") and Starkiller, along with cameo appearances from Ya Boy, Cory Gunz and DJ Khaled. "

Sadat X :: Wild Cowboys :: Loud Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"With the exception of early '90s Tommy Boy recording artist Apache, however, black rappers didn't identify with Native Americans to the point where they would have made certain characteristics part of their image. There's Cesar Comanche, but his identification pretty much ends with the name. I'd wager that as an icon, the cowboy left a bigger mark on traditional rap music than the red man, Redman the rapper notwithstanding. Maybe that's a reflection of cowboys being more present in the country's collective consciousness, maybe it's because rappers like to carry guns, too. And let's not forget Mario van Peebles' 'The Posse,' which pretty much legitimized the idea of black cowboys, translated to rap by Tragedy's theme song for the film, "The Posse (Shoot 'Em Up)." "

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