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The (W)rap Up - Week of September 14, 2010
Posted by Emanuel Wallace at Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 12:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

"If you're arriving late to the "
Summertime Pool Party" that is Pigeon John, don't sweat it. Go shower and change, grab a towel off the rack, get a drink at the open bar and pull up a deck chair. You're only now getting comfortable, but the rapper/entertainer John Kenneth Dust already has been for years. The only downside to his career thus far is that he's always been a little ahead of his time. He was Lupe Fiasco before it was cool to "Kick, Push." He was Kid Cudi before he spent all "Day 'n' Nite" getting high. He was Lil Wayne before he decided to "Drop the World" and play rock music, and he was filled with "Magic" long before B.o.B took a page from Penn & Teller's playbook. John is the constantly self-effacing artist, mocking himself for being unconventional and fitting comfortably into rap stereotypes, while simultaneously making some of hip-hop's most interesting songs in the process. You never know whether he's going to rap or sing before you play one of his tracks; either way they are so good you could care so less. Perhaps the most interesting and apt label that's ever stuck on John and not fallen off is "consummate entertainer." His album titles may be humorous but his music's no joke, and as he's about to prove on "Dragon Slayer" he may be the only man in 2010 who can sing he's "So Gangster" and pull it off. "

Mic Crenshaw :: Under the Sun :: Focused Noise/Global Fam
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
[Under the Sun] 
"Mic Crenshaw got off to a good start as a soloist with his 2008 debut "Thinking Out Loud." He had already been bubbling up in the Portland underground through rapping with various crews and cliques, competing in poetry slams, and his well recognized charitable work helping refugees in war-torn countries like Rwanda. Once he broke out in his own though he earned praise from Patrick Taylor for his solo work: "Mic is a commanding presence - he's well over six feet and has a shaved head - and he has a commanding voice to match. He could have used this to scare the hell out of listeners with tales of murder and drama, but instead chooses to inspire us to think, not fear." Taylor's right. Normally when you hear a rapper is named "Crenshaw" you'd think he's hard as hell, although the Chicago born and raised rapper might have chosen "Cabrini-Green" for his name if he was inspiring fear. That's not to say Mic Crenshaw isn't a hard emcee, but his hardness is cut from the same mold that made Paris wage "Sonic Jihad" on the world."

Big K.R.I.T. :: K.R.I.T. Wuz Here :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
[K.R.I.T. Wuz Here] 
"I recently went down south to attend my family reunion in Choctaw County, Alabama. While we could easily head about fifteen miles east towards Butler to do some grocery shopping at the Piggly Wiggly or grab a burger at Hardee's, the real action is out west. The county is right on the state line so as you drive down AL-10 West, you cross the Mississippi border and is becomes MS-19 North. After passing through towns with names like Whynot (the birthplace of David Ruffin), Causeyville and Vimville, you'll wind up in Meridian, aka The Queen City, aka The King City, aka K.R.I.T. Kountry. This is where all the malls, resturaunts and all the entertainment are located. If you're really adventurous, you can keep going and you'll end up in Philadelphia...Mississippi, that is, where the casinos are. Not to mention that when you hit Meridian, you can finally get a 3G cellular signal. For those who are curious, K.R.I.T. is an acronym that stands for King Remembered In Time. He has been working on his music since around 2003 , including a trilogy of "See Me On Top" mixtapes. "

The Pack :: Wolfpack Party :: Pack Music/SMC Recordings
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Wolfpack Party] 
"It's no coincidence that there is more censored than their is visible on the cover of The Pack's new album. The faces of the young women partying with these wolves are digitally blurred out. Some phallic looking objects on the table in front are blocked out by neon colored melting candles (one might be a bong). A beer is strategically placed in front of a bottle of top shelf liquor so you can't see the label, and even the beer can itself has been digitally altered so that it has a generic label that reads BEER. I'm not sure anyone has ever gone to the store to buy BEER brand beer, but if you're the first then write back to me and say so. The bottom line is that this is all one huge in joke that may be over the heads of newcomers. Long time Pack fans will remember that MTV all but banned the video for "Vans" for being what they felt was a three minute commercial for footwear they weren't getting paid for. "

Pettidee :: Race 2 Nowhere :: Soldier Sound Records
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

[Race 2 Nowhere] 
"Florida's Dewayne Petty, also known as Pettidee, isn't a new face to the gospel hip hop industry. In fact, Pettidee is a veteran to the scene with more than ten years under his belt as he boasts Grammy and Stellar nominations to name a few. As both an artist and producer, he has gained fame in the Christian hip hop sector by working with various artists, starting his own record label, and self-producing his last four albums. Reflecting on his experiences as a father, husband, and artist, Pettidee takes this knowledge and translates it into music time and time again. Incorporating a new sound of the dirty south, hip hop, and rock or "Quad Rock" as he calls it, Pettidee maintains his Christian values and hip hop flair in his newest installation of "Race 2 Nowhere." Pettidee's inspiration for "Race 2 Nowhere" is said to have come from newscasts as he attempts to incorporate what is pertinent in society into his music. "

Propaganda Anononymous :: Squat the Condos :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Squat the Condos] 
"Prop is a long time member of the Mindspray crew out of New York City who reached out to RapReviews through our lead interview writer Adam B about a review of his solo CD. Never let it be said that who you know doesn't get you a foot in the door. Of course if Adam hit me with a hundred different artists who all wanted coverage it would be somewhat meaningless, but on those occasions he brings someone to to RR like Homeboy Sandman or Top $ Raz they tend to stand out - a signal reaching out through the sheer amount of noise from so many projects. As such I agreed to add "Squat the Condos" to our to-do list. A couple of weeks later I expected someone would have jumped at the chance to review Prop Anon's "Squat the Condos," but it seems I've beaten the rest of the staff to the punch on this one. Sorry team! Why did I beat them to it though? Well aside from Adam introducing me to Prop, Prop's pitch struck me as rather unique amongst the ones I normally receive. "

Rondo Brothers :: The Foreign Globester :: DMAFT Records/Oglio Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[The Foreign Globester] 
"What happens when you collide and combine the creative chaos behind the Rondo Brothers (producers Jim Greer and Brandon Arnovick) with the mental energies of Motion Man? The answer is "The Foreign Globester." It's the latest greatest hip-hop get-together in the industry, only there's a little twist - the Rondo Brothers probably aren't known best for their work in hip-hop. Sure they opened for Prince Paul on his Handsome Boy Modeling School tour, but they've spent just as much if not more time jamming with The Rapture and The Cure. They got their start as two relatively unknown but like-minded producers in San Francisco, got the chance to work with Dan the Automator on a jam band project, and since then have branched out far beyond the hip-hop genre - while keeping one foot in the pool via friendships with nerdcore artists like Beefy T and MC Lars. "

Street Sweeper Social Club :: The Ghetto Blaster EP :: Street Sweeper Social Club
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[The Ghetto Blaster EP] 
"In case you missed the Street Sweeper Social Club phenomenon last summer, here's a brief explanation: Boots Riley from The Coup and Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine decided to form a supergroup to express their musical and political frustration. As one might have expected from the two, their music managed to both inspire and outrage audiences, and their services were soon in demand at rock and rap festivals alike eager to cash in on the sound. It's not as though rap and rock collaborations are really anything new (we're going on a fourth decade of the shit now) but Boots has been called everything from socialist to a commie by right-wing conservatives, who have been no less vitriolic in their condemnation of Morello's group RATM fam over the years. As a result of their extensive touring and performing, SSSC have added two new cover songs to their repertoire which can be heard on "The Ghetto Blaster EP." Dare I say it? No one on the corner has swagger like Boots. "

Trunk Bound Regime :: Now You're All Fucked ::
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

[Now You're All Fucked] 
"Trunkbound Regime is a two man crew of Just Be and Mike Cooley broadcasting straight out of Dayton, Ohio. After a chance meeting in 2008, the two emcees decided to pursue their musical aspirations together. "Now You're All Fucked" is the result of their grind; an 8 track EP that runs the gamut of both style and quality. The duo is hard to describe upon first impression. Their artwork consists of a big middle finger on the front with a squid tattoo. The back shows a set of murders in the moonlight set to a gothic backdrop. The music is far from the horrorcore or hardcore rap music one would expect. "Gettin Mine" is set to a soulful croon that quickly flips into an energetic loop. Mike Cooley drops a verse about keeping it real in the rap game and Just Be follows in kind. The track is a perfect mix of confidence and energy and works well for the duo."

Billy Drease Williams :: Good Morning Amy :: DTR45
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

[Good Morning Amy] 
"Billy Drease Williams is a laid back, feel good kind of guy. That much is apparent from one glance at the cover art to "Good Morning Amy." On the front you see Williams standing in front of you with flowers and a dog. On the back, you find drawings of everything from puppies and turtles to thumbs ups and locks. Without any background, confusion is sure to abound. Who the hell is Amy? Why do I care about Amy? Is that a hard boiled egg flying through the air? Proper background is essential before entering the world of Billy Drease Williams. Williams will tell you that Amy isn't some long lost lover, but a "personification of one's goals, desires, and ambitions." In an interview with our own Adam Bernard Williams further explains Amy's name comes from Amy's Place, a coffee shop he frequented during the making of this album. Amy's Place embodied his own goals, desires, and ambitions, so he decided to try to create a universal Amy for us all to appreciate. Whether hip-hop fans will be declaring themselves to be on their "Amy" when they grind is yet to be seen, but William's infectious charm is undeniable."

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