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The (W)rap Up - Week of August 10, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

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"Bun B's legacy as a hip-hop Hall of Famer had already been cemented when he released his first solo CD "Trill" back in 2005. As one half of U.G.K. the Port Arthur native had a decade+ of hip-hop classics under his belt, but his partner in rhyme Pimp C was doing a long stint behind bars. While some worried at the time that the dopeness of Bun's solo was the beginning of the end for the group, they promptly reunited once he was released from incarceration and returned at an all-time career high in 2007 with "Underground Kingz." A few short months later Pimp C was dead. To say this turn of events was perplexing is to say the least an understatement. The Kingz gave their fans what they had been waiting for so long while Pimp C was gone, and just like that he was gone again - only this time for good. The real fucked up twist to all of this was that Bun had already proved he could ride solo and succeed before his friend and confidant left this Earth. Would he even want to do it again? "

2 Hungry Bros. :: 8thW1 - No Room For Dessert :: Domination Recordings
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Combine, collide, move forward and don't break stride. That's the motto of all artists involved on this new CD, as one became two, then two became three. It all started when Deep and Ben Boogie were DJ's at the Nuyorican Poetry Club. Recognizing kinship behind the wheels and the production boards, the two linked to form a production crew called 2 Hungry Bros. Soon they were the sound behind a variety of East coast underground favorites - Vast Aire, Breez Evahflowin, Reef the Lost Cauze and Shabaam Sahdeeq just to name a few. With their credentials already established, the always starving artists got hungrier and sought out a new MC to shine the spotlight on. Enter the Browns Mills, New Jersey native 8thW1. He started bubbling with a debut album called "lovemoneyandmusic" but needed a winning team to take his rap to the next level."

D-Loc :: Made For Kings :: Suburban Noize Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"I feel like I'm reviewing one Kottonmouth Kings related album every 4-6 weeks. At the end of May I checked out the new group album "Long Live the Kings." In mid-July I covered Johnny Richter's "Laughing." Now the pace is picking up as D-Loc's solo album "Made For Kings" is on my desk just three weeks later. It seems clear to me this is supposed to be the summer of the Kings - perhaps they should be marketing the albums that way. If you're a long time fan of the group going back to the 1990's this is fantastic news. If you're a casual fan who respects their "Rip-Hop" hustle, it's good to see them on the grind. If you're a critic who is at times a little ambivalent about their output, you have to kick the feeling that you're overwhelmed with their material to the good and try to be impartial about yet another album on your desk. "

Felonious :: Live City :: onelovehiphop Music
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

"Although the group initially started in the 90s by Soulati and d.wolf as an a capella hip hop group called Felonious Punks, it has since grown into a massive assemblage consisting of Soulati on drums, Illin Ills on bass, KP on vocals and keys, Jon Monahan on guitar, and MC's d.wolf and Infinite who provide some unconventional lyricism. Exploring different avenues, the group has also ventured into theatrical hip hop productions as they wrote and performed "Beatbox: A Raparetta," one of only many they have pursued. With this unique experience and knowledge, their distinctive style of mixing the past and present in their music utilizes beat boxing, live instruments, jazzy tones, and unsurpassed lyricism. "

Gotham Green and Quickie Mart :: Haze Diaries Volume 3 :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"Rapper Gotham Green and DJ/producer Quickie Mart may smoke a lot of weed, but it hasn't cut down on their productivity. This is the duo's third album this year, and it's not like they are skimping. There are 18 tracks here, only one of which is a skit.  Three albums in twelve months is hardly the work of slackers. The duo are based in El-dot-ay-dot, but have been around the country. Green originated in New York, Quickie Mart in New Orleans, and they spent time in Austin. The different places they've lived shows up in their sound: some East Coast grit and boom bap, a little Southern flavor, and a healthy dose of West Coast stoner rap. "

Sergio Mendes :: Bom Tempo :: Concord Music Group
as reviewed by Daniel Oh

"There's a festive, tribal feel to the music that forces your muscles to move to the rhythm. I mean, it forces you to dance. This isn't just Lil' Jon yelling at you to shake your ass, this is subliminal musical command of your fuckin' body. The raps are sparse and are peppered in, but they do their job of giving the song depth and allowing the bass to settle in and do its work. I can't tell lyrically if they're good or not, because it's in Portuguese, but the flow matches that of the best reggaeton artists I've heard. It's not that much of a compliment, but I did like it when I started to hear spitting on the mic. "

The Qemists :: Spirit in the System :: Redeye/Ninja Tune Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"The lights are low. The music is loud. The cute redhead you've been hitting on all night long just offered you a drink. Someone walks by sweating profusely yelling to an unseen friend that this is the best night of his life. You wonder if it's going to be yours as well. You accept her offer of a drink and watch her shapely behind swish back and forth on the way to an overcrowded bar. Suddenly the DJ in the club throws on a record by The Qemists. Your feet start tapping. The cute redhead returns with a mojito, but you're in no mood to sip on a drink now. You ask her to dance, she says yes, you slam down the minty beverage and go out to the dancefloor to lose your mind. Soon you're both as sweaty as the random guy who walked by earlier. The redhead has better moves than you. You idly wonder if you remembered to put a fresh Trojan in your wallet. "

Shabazz Palaces :: Of Light :: Templar Label Group
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"The post-NWA, pre-Nas Nineties witnessed an epic battle between two polarizing styles of hip-hop: gangster rap and jazz rap. While Dre and Snoop were on some hardcore, forties and blunts shit over loops snagged from George Clinton joints, Q-tip and Phife were onto some playful, progressive shit, over John Coltrane hooks. Each form had its strengths and weaknesses. Gangster rap painted a more gritty and vivid, albeit disturbingly misogynistic, portrait of urban landscapes. Jazz rap was clever and politically savvy, albeit preachy. What makes Shabazz Palaces' "Of Light" so strong, is that it takes gangster rap's grit and jazz rap's political vigor, while mixing in more than a couple shots of Ish's down and out introspection and hyper-experimental production, the end result being an intriguing and unique, if not slightly oppressive, album. "

various artists :: Tendown :: Neferiu Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"In the recent years Neferiu Records has slowly morphed from obscure DIY Canadian record label I had never heard of... to obscure DIY Canadian record label I had. I keed, I keed. In all seriousness this British Columbia based label has a lot of good things going for it and a ten year track record of releasing albums based more on their artistic merit than their commercial marketability. Some would argue that's a surefire formula for bankruptcy, and yet the heads at Neferiu have not only carved out a niche, it appears to be a very successful one. On a short list of things the NR collective do right that hundreds of DIY labels that solicit our attention don't I'd include the following: a slick website that works right and has no broken links, professionally mastered and packaged CD's with custom artwork (no clip art or pop culture parodies), and most importantly a collective of artists who spend more time making interesting music than whining about how uncreative mainstream rap is and how they don't have any money. Kudos. "

Trek Life :: Everything Changed Nothing :: Mello Music Group
as reviewed by Pete T

"In case you've been living under a rock for the last five years, Oddisee has quickly become one of hip hop's best young producers. Recognizable for his low-key, organic sounding drum patterns, light bass, and sound influenced by D.C.'s go-go music, he defies most other characterization by actively seeking to work with artists from across the globe and musical spectrum to explore a wide range of styles and approaches. This creativity results in an amazing level of versatility, but what's even more impressive is the sheer volume of music he makes, dropping dozens of instrumentals a month via mixes and compilations in addition to his tracks on other artists' and his own LPs, somehow maintaining an astounding level of consistent quality and artistry. In assuming production duty on Trek Life's latest "Everything Changed Nothing," his challenge is to create a West Coast-sounding album for a rapper who proudly claims California as his own. "

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