Thursday May 24, 2018

The (W)rap Up - Week of March 9, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

Ludacris :: Battle of the Sexes
Def Jam
Author: Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania

"Ludacris to me was always the new Busta Rhymes. Aside from making energetic club banger classics, and occasionally dropping stunning guest verses (his "Made You Look" verse is still worth checking for), there was also the flip side - I would never buy a Ludacris album. Seriously, never. Or a Busta one. They were always "Greatest Hits" dudes. But hey, Busta proved me wrong last year - I ended up making "Back On My B.S." my second favourite album of 2009, so it makes sense for me to give Ludacris an unbiased, fair crack at crafting a long play worth spinning on repeat. So how does "Battle of the Sexes" - which has almost infinite potential as a concept - manage to end up?"

Classified :: Self Explanatory :: Halflife/Sony Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"At we're always open to special requests. Last week I got one asking that we cover Classified's "Self Explanatory," which I was more than happy to answer. In truth I thought we already HAD covered it since he seems to drop at least one album a year and they generally get high marks. One music industry veteran recently told me "no internet artist has even gotten large without major label support" and Classified seems to simultaneously prove and disprove that notion. His albums routinely chart in Canada and he's up for three Juno awards this year (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy). He's the rap artist who put Enfield, Nova Scotia on the map AND he's highly regarded by the RR staff, yet I'm willing to bet 95 out of 100 hip-hop heads in the U.S. who don't read this website have never heard of this rapper/producer.  "

Count Bass D & DJ Pocket :: In the Loop :: Domination Recordings
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"This album is a collab between the Count and his friend DJ Pocket, a DJ who is expanding into MCing. I'm basing my review on a download, so I'm not sure if the Count or DJ Pocket are handling production, or if they trade off, Jaylib style. They trade off on the mic, or at least I think they do: they sound so similar that it's hard to tell them apart. Count Bass D's voice is a little deeper, and his rhymes are more out there, but it's easy to get them mixed up. As unpromising as the "producer-turnt-rapper" tag can be, both hold their own on the mic. Count Bass D has already proven himself as a rapper during his decade-plus career, and DJ Pocket shows that turning the knobs is not his only talent. "

Do or Die :: Headz or Tailz :: Rap-A-Lot/Virgin
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Pete T.

"In 1996, the label scored a surprise hit when Chicago trio Do or Die's debut "Picture This" scaled the Billboard charts, anchored by the irresistible singles "Po Pimp" and "Playa Like Me and You" as well as the Midwest anthems "Paper Chase" and "Money Flow." Sporting rapid, melodic flows, Belo Zero, N.A.R.D., and AK-47 painted grim pictures of the Chi-Town streets with bleak crime narratives, harmonized choruses, and more than your daily dose of common pimpery over rich production. Do or Die's debut was also noteworthy for introducing the world to the dark, mechanical Midwest funk of producer The Legendary Traxster, as well as two frequent collaborators: the haunting R&B vocalist Johnny P, and a certain like-minded quick-lipped MC from Chicago named Twista."

Dot Silly :: Silly City, Vol. 2 :: Clout Media
as reviewed by Pete T.

"Brooklyn rapper Dot Silly opens 2010 with a download mixtape, "Silly City, Vol. 2," an impressive fourteen-track listen from an artist who definitely appears to be on the come-up. "Silly City, Vol. 2" serves as a showcase for the 22-year-old MC featuring all new tracks and production. Dot Silly is not a conceptual rapper, but his charisma, swagger, and energy make "Silly City, Vol. 2" a memorable listen. A telltale mark of a successful New York rapper is an insatiable hunger at a young age, and Silly is dead-set on establishing his name and his music well beyond the five boroughs. With an aggressive, versatile flow, Silly comes armed with boasts and punchlines for days that the DJ Khaled set should find extremely appealing."

various artists :: Jovonn the Last Don & DJ Suss.One Present The New N.Y. :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Pete T.

"Most of the mix features gritty street rappers rhyming over simple, minimalist mixtape beats, although a few more established names roll through with appearances. Jadakiss aids Mysonne on the grimy opener "Try Your Luck," RedCafe abets Bravo on "I'm On," and Sha Stimuli has his own track, the rugged "Follow the Leader." Early highlights include "Go Hard," where Sweet Peezy smoothly rhymes over a mean horn-laced beat, and Sikai's mellow "Like a Star." After a series of banal autotune-heavy tracks, Shinobi brings some energy on "Do It Like." Karnell and A.P. come strong on their respective late songs "Calm Before the Storm" and "Sometimes I (Wonder).""

Masta Killa :: Live :: Gold Dust Media
as reviewed by Justin 'Tha Shiznut' Chandler

"Masta Killa has remained true to the raw image created by Wu-Tang's debut "Enter 36 Chambers." He surprised the core fans when he stepped up as one of the artists to hold down the Clan when they started to slip from the top of the rap game. While Ghostface drops an album full of ghetto love songs and Method Man teams up with Red for some bouncy, dope smoking, antics (not that this is necessarily a bad thing); Masta Killa released two rock solid albums in "No Said Date" and "Made in Brooklyn." Coming March 30th, 2010, we get an album of Live recordings from the Masta."

Rascalz :: Global Warning :: Figure IV/ViK Recordings/BMG Music Canada
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"Even if you weren't intimately familiar with Canadian hip-hop, in 1997/98 it wasn't hard to tell that "Cash Crop," the second album by Vancouver crew Rascalz, was a landmark release for the scene. The production was on a consistently high level and songs like "Solitaire," "Dreaded Fist," "Clockwork," "Soul Obligation," "FitnRedi" and especially the post-album, guest-heavy single that would be included in the album's '98 edition, "Northern Touch," determinedly pointed towards a brighter future for Canadian hip-hop, a fact that remains acknowledged to this day. The release also provoked the greater public to take notice when the group refused to accept the 1998 Juno Award for Best Rap Recording because it was presented to them during the untelevised part of the ceremony. A year later they won again for "Northern Touch," sealing their acceptance of the award with a live performance of the song. "

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