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The (W)rap Up - Week of March 23, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

 Snoop Dogg :: More Malice
Priority/Capitol Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Picking up right where "Malice N Wonderland" left off, Snoop Dogg's "More Malice" feels like a bonus disc that should have been packed in with the original and shipped to select retailers. Some reports even suggest that might be an option, although on my copy it's hard to see how since "More Malice" comes with its OWN bonus disc, a special "Malice N Wonderland" movie on DVD. If you're the consumer who buys all of your albums digitally, I've got good news - you'll get a copy of the movie for the video player of your choice. Sadly there is neither the time nor space to review the new Snoop Dogg flick here, and to be honest I'm a little leary of doing so after how wretched "The Adventures of Tha Blue Carpet Treatment" turned out to be."

Chalie Boy :: I'm Here ::
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"Chalie Boy as an artist, is a bit hard to classify. In essence, he's a younger version of Big Moe, the larger than life Texas legend who passed away in 2007. His size and propensity to mix singing and rapping make the comparisons easy. Chalie Boy will readily tell you he was influenced by Big Moe, but he is no cheap imitation. Grinding on the independent scene since 2000, Chalie Boy has used that time to refine and advance his style. Big Moe was the O.G., but Chalie Boy has taken the style to new heights. His singing is smoother, his rapping is more fluid, and his overall style is more appealing to a wider audience. That became apparent last summer when Chalie Boy experienced his first real hit with "I Look Good." "

Donwill :: Don Cusack in High Fidelity :: Interdependent Media
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"Back in 2000, there was a film released that told the story of a guy going through a mid-life crisis of sorts, brought on by the failure of yet another relationship. The movie was called "High Fidelity" and apparently Donwill of Tanya Morgan felt a strong parallel between his own life and that of Rob Gordon, played by John Cusack. According to Donwill, his album of the same name is about a year or so in his life and can be enjoyed whether or not the listener has any prior knowledge of the movie. Going even deeper, Donwill has cast supporting characters to parallel those in the movie. The album features Von Pea and Che Grand in the roles of musical moron twins Dick and Barry. Opio of Hieroglyphics fame portrays the villain, Ian Raymond and Nicky Guiland takes on the role of Marie De Salle."

Freddie Foxxx :: Freddie Foxxx Is Here :: MCA Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"Guest appearances come a dime a dozen in rap music. There are, however, a handful of artists who make themselves so rare and have so much to add with a cameo that each appearance is cherished by the fans. Bumpy Knuckles, formerly known as Freddie Foxxx, falls into that category. In the early '90s he added a string of reputable guest verses to his name. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's "Money in the Bank" ('91), Boogie Down Productions' "Ruff Ruff" ('92), Naughty By Nature's "Hot Potato," The Flavor Unit MCs' "Roll Wit Tha Flava" ('93) and The Almighty RSO's "One of Those Nightz" ('94) raised expectations high for what many people thought would be his solo debut."

Geto Boys :: The Resurrection :: Rap-A-Lot/Virgin Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Pete T.

"Although the original 1980s Ghetto Boys consisted of an entirely different lineup, by 1991 J. Prince had assembled the Houston trio we know and love of Scarface, Bushwick Bill, and Willie D for the monumental "We Can't Be Stopped," the group's best-selling album which featured the classic single "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" and an iconic cover photo of the group rushing 3'8" Bushwick Bill through a hospital hallway after he shot his right eye. Geto Boys became Rap-A-Lot Records' go-to act on the strength of "We Can't Be Stopped" and found international fame for their gruesomely violent content, sexual explicitness, militant anti-political rants, and funky southern-fried production. More than just controversial, Geto Boys proved themselves to be among rap's most compelling and indeed talented artists, spinning startling narratives with chillingly visual imagery as they took listeners inside the singular realm of their horrific ghetto fantasies. "

Hotbox :: Number Theory EP :: Hotbox Productions
as reviewed by Pete T.

"A few words I'd use to describe Hotbox's sound are upbeat, bouncy, and rich. There's lots of horns scattered throughout "Number Theory"'s nine tracks, but the effect is very un-jazz-like. What I like best about his production is the balance he achieves; despite his frequent employment of soulful instrumentation, dramatic string arrangements, and sped-up vocal bytes, his tough, rigid percussion patterns give his beats a driving, heavy quality. The effect is a steady boom bap sound, but it doesn't sound nostalgic—it's remarkably fresh and clean. There are a few samples here and there, and his soundscapes are marked by great spacing. "

Kyle Lucas :: It's Always Sunny In Marietta ::
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"Funny how things work out sometimes. Kyle Lucas is a member of the group Vonnegutt, which as of now is signed to Big Boi's Purple Ribbon label. If this a revelation to you, don't feel bad. Seeing Big Boi has trouble finding a home for his own solo, it's no surprise his roster has been on a the back burner for a while. The funny thing about all this is, it wasn't the Big Boi affiliation that got me to peep Kyle Lucas. Instead, it was the title, as being a big fan of the show "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" I couldn't pass up a mixtape from an emcee who shared the same interest. For those curious, the mixtape contains little for avid fans of the show. The theme song on the intro and a few audio clips scattered towards the end tie the music to the title, but there is nothing essential. "

Madlib :: Madlib's Medicine Show #2: Flight to Brazil :: Stones Throw Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"Otis Jackson, Jr., aka Madlib, aka Quasimoto, aka Yesterday's New Quintet, is nothing if not prolific. In late 2009 he announced his Medicine Show idea for 2010. Simply put, he's going to release an album a month. Odd numbered months will be original productions, and even numbers will be mixes from his TWO TONS of vinyl. He started the year off with remixes of Guilty Simpson, and his second entry in the series is "Flight to Brazil." The subheading says it all: "Brazillian Funk, Psych, Jazz, Mixed by Madlib." The album is divided into 9 tracks over 74 minutes, with each track clocking it at 5-12 minutes. I'm used to mix albums that either highlight a dozen or so songs, or blend a couple dozen songs to create a steady, coherent groove. That ain't Madlib's style. "

Richh J :: Profile :: CDBaby
as reviewed by Guido Stern

"Richh J (née Richard Jenkins) resides in Columbus, Ohio and loves late '80s/early '90s hip hop. That's about the extent of which I know about the guy from the CD case, the Internet, and the album itself. I challenge any reader to find another legit hip hop site that has covered the record; the fact is, this kind of obscure basement rapper is only going to get his fifteen minutes of fame on But you probably knew that, and I'm guessing that's one of the reasons you even bothered to click on the review of an album by a guy with a name like Richh J. Now and then we make a justifiable discovery and a Shad or a Roosevelt Franklin is introduced to a portion of the hip hop world. Most of the time, though, these acts are average or worse, either due to uncultivated talent or a lack thereof. "

Souls of Mischief :: No Man's Land :: Jive Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"Souls of Mischief came back with a vengeance in '95. But why? They came off a critically acclaimed debut, had been nationally present on one of the regionally most diverse record labels and must have enjoyed at least some of the perks that come with being a teenage rap star (all aged between 18-19). How does that translate to a harsh, dark, single-minded second album only two years later? There are battle raps at every turn of "No Man's Land." Roughly 90% of the content simulates some type of battle situation. You can identify this as Rap Rhetoric 101, or even dismiss it as the least common denominator for a group of MC's who had already shot their bolt. You can champion it as an attempt to shake stereotypes (think "De La Soul Is Dead"), or as judgement day for clones and copy cats (think Bone's "The Art of War")."

Saul Williams :: The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust :: Fader
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"Saul Williams is perhaps the world's most acclaimed spoken word poet. With his incredible talent, it should be easy for him to make a good album. He needs three simple ingredients: 1. his voice; 2. his words; and 3. beats he can play with. His lyrics are so profound and his investment in his message so apparent that he can effortlessly challenge his listeners. He just needs to talk. On "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust," produced largely by Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor and released for free in 2007 at, when Saul Williams just talks, he is brilliant. But there is far too little talking and far too much singing, edgy production, and general gimmickry for the album to properly zero-in on Williams' incredible talents as a poet. Put otherwise, instead of synthesizing their natural gifts, Saul and Trent try to do much too much. The result is a highly unfocused record which teases the listener with moments of bliss but ultimately never delivers. "

Ty Fyffe :: Ty Fyffe presents... The Pyrex ::
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"Southside Jamaica native Tyrone Fyffe may not have the celebrity profile of other producers, but his career is one of the steadiest in East Coast hip-hop. You'll find his beats on albums by 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, L.L. Cool J, Cam'ron, G-Unit, Redman, Method Man, Foxy Brown, Ja Rule, Fat Joe, AZ, Slick Rick, Canibus, Keith Murray, Craig Mack, Royce Da 5'9", Beanie Sigel, EPMD, or MIMS. Ty Fyffe learned the ropes from new jack king Teddy Riley, being involved in Wreckx-N-Effect's '92 album "Hard Or Smooth," most importantly its hit single "Rump Shaker." He still shared credits on MC Lyte's "Brooklyn," but would soon sign tracks like Redman's "Rock Da Spot" or L.L. Cool J's "Papa Luv It" solo. During the '90s he left the early funk fixation behind, hitting a commercial peak with A+'s classical-tinged "Enjoy Yourself," before steering towards a more dramatic sound with "Murdergram" and "It's Murda" for the original Murder Inc. (Jay-Z/DMX/Ja Rule). "

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