Dillon + Paten Locke :: Studies In Hunger
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Last time around, Atlanta resident Dillon served up a "Southern Scramble" mixtape to feed those hungry for rap with underground grit and a little bit more heat. He was on the right track but with limited distribution not many people got to savor the flavor, but as luck would have it his skills in the kitchen got him noticed by people in higher places. Enter Domination Records - perennially hungry for dope hip-hop and looking to showcase the best chefs in the underground. Dillon didn't necessarily need a partner to help him cook, but I don't think it hurts him to find a likeminded heat seeker looking to blow up the spot with food that's hot. Enter Paten Locke. What do you get when all of these forces collide? A new cookbook called "Studies In Hunger"
AC :: 9/11 In Retrospect - AC's Memoirs :: Rare Unlimited
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"AC's "New Soul Remix" came my way due to the recommendation of a good friend, and his reinterpretation of the Yael Naim song made famous by an Apple commercial struck me as witty and hip. AC even parodied various Apple promo materials in a Steven Tapia video based on the song. When I got back to my advice giving friend he recommended another AC download for me to check out: "9/11 In Retrospect - AC's Memoirs." Even though I went ahead and grabbed the zip file right away (why not the shit was free) I had a hard time with actually unzipping it to listen. To me it swung the pendulum too far in the other direction - I had just gravitated towards AC as a lighthearted, humorous rapper and here he was rapping about one of the most somber and shocking events of my lifetime. Even though after eight years I thought I was over it, the truth is, I'll never be over it. I stood right in front of the Twin Towers back in 1999, looking up in awe at the brash and bold statement they made not only for New York City but capitalism worldwide. Never did I imagine they'd pancake into a smoldering pile two years later with thousands of innocent people buried underneath. It will haunt me my entire life. "
Chosen Few :: New World Symphony :: Hiero Imperium Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"Chosen Few is a group made up of rapper Cold Showda, rapper/saxophonist Charles "Chop" Cooper, and beatmaker Unjust. All three are originally from Ohio, but came to the Bay Area separately to work and make music. After going at it solo for a while, they decided to join forces as Chosen Few. "New World Symphony" is their first album. Chosen Few are on the Hieroglyphics label, home to Souls of Mischief, Del, Casual, Prince Ali, and Opio. They are the conscious end of Bay Area hip hop, in contrast to the street rap coming out of neighboring labels like Thizz. Chosen Few continue the Hieroglyphics tradition with their jazzy beats and uplifting lyrics. They bring to mind Brooklynatti rappers Tanya Morgan, who also look to early 90s hip hop for inspiration. The beats are all provided by Unjust, but he mixes it up and the album never feels monotonous or samey. He knows how to keep it funky: he does Bay funk on "Heartbeat," space funk on "King Kong," and laid-back funk on ""Can't Stand Still." Chop contributes his sax skills to create some stellar jazz rap on "Few Are Chosen," "The People," and the instrumental "The People Reprise." Unjust also experiments with different sounds, doing some uptempo dance rap on "Knock Knock," incorporating rock elements on "Elevation," and building hook around an acoustic guitar on "Ride."
Komp'l :: Tunnel Vision :: Gemstars
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim
"A sense of style and a sense of passion lives through a solid rapper. NY's Divine "Komp'l Thomas has lived and breathed hip hop ever since he was young. Komp'l was fortunate enough to catch a break in a private show at the ever-so-popular Apollo Theater and caught the attention of Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaataa. With the support of friends and family, Komp'l only grew in his career through the years while taking into consideration his love for individuality and fashion. With this in mind, Komp'l has been featured in a Japanese Magazine for his fashion sense and fresh new look. Komp'l debuts with a fourteen track mixtape and features production from Gemstars producers Marv, Bobby, and Majestic. After long hours, countless re-recording of tracks, and cooperation from the whole team, "Tunnel Vision" attempts to defy the rules of hip hop and make an impression on the music industry. With his skills and production, Komp'l ensures his music "has the power to bump in the club as well as appeal to true hip hop fans because of the wordplay.""
RJD2 Mix (iPhone App Review)
Posted by Steve Juon at Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this articlePrint this article ::
"It should come as no surprise that more and more artists and record labels are embracing the iPhone and iPod Touch as a new means of marketing themselves to today's generation of heads who are either covertly or overtly electronic geeks. In December we took a look at the Delicious Vinyl DJ application, and now to kick off February 2010 we're taking a look at the RJD2 Mix application to see whether or not it's something you'll want to throw down $2.99 for! RJD2 Mix is a bit obtuse at the start, as you're offered the screen pictured at the right with no explanation what you should do next. Fortunately it's a loading screen so if you simply do nothing a menu pops up with one big blue button in the middle that says Start To Mix, and well below it you are offered three other non-game options: RJD2 on Twitter, RJD2 on iTunes and More Touch Mix - the latter being a whole series of iPhone app made by Future Audio Workshop similar to this one. In the press release accompanying this game FAW says that "RJD2's iPhone remix app finally (gives) fans and tinkerers alike the chance to experience a bit of what it sounded like in RJ's studio as he worked on upcoming LP The Colossus." That's a bit daunting given RJ has to have tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in his studio - how could a $2.99 touch screen app possibly even come close to reproducing that?"
Strong Arm Steady :: In Search of Stoney Jackson :: Stones Throw Records
as reviewed by Matt Jost
"Stones Throw makes it happen. A Strong Arm Steady album. Some would say another Strong Arm Steady album, but apparently the group regarded "Deep Hearted" more as a compilation than a proper album. Their long-intended debut "Arms & Hammers" still awaiting a release, "In Search of Stoney Jackson" it is, then. The initial idea behind Strong Arm Steady was to create a movement of MC's who wouldn't conform to industry stereotypes. Regardless of whether that notion was called for or not, or its implementation successful or not, the set-up of SAS remains the same. The core members seem to have been reduced to Phil Da Agony and Krondon, but other Strong Armers were readily available, among them Mitchy Slick, even tough he was expected to be a more active member. Think of them as a loose collective that reps the West Coast without any prefix to their brand of rap. "
Why? :: One Dark Eskimo Remixes :: anticon
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"I find myself in the odd position of reviewing an EP of remixes from an album called "Eskimo Snow" that I've not even heard. Perhaps that's for the better though as the artist in question ends up being a question with no good answer. WHY? There's no doubt Jonathan 'Yoni' Wolf is a creative and artistic individual, but his art really doesn't have any hip-hop appeal. He's not rhyming, he's not even singing rhymes a la T-Pain or Kanye West, he's just singing - singing weird folksy pop tunes that probably appeal to people who like Live, Blur or Incubus. If that's your cup of tea, fine. I'm not hating on your choices, I'm just stating (perhaps somewhat emphatically) it's not USUALLYAlopecia" was my ears. If you want to know how Why? got a second chance under the circumstances, I can honestly say I took this EP on for review for two reasons - the short length promised not to offend me (too much) and all of these tracks were specially remade by noted producer Amp Live. Now this too is slightly problematic because I was not a fan of Amp's "Gary Is a Robot" release, but his work for other artists like Zion I had been to my liking in the past." mine. Why? was marketed to me as an album from the anticon label's core, and that core was at one time hip-hop's bleeding edge. The only thing that bled when I listened to "
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