"When John Singleton's landmark film, "Boyz n the Hood" was released, I was about a month away from entering my double digits of age. I wasn't old enough to comprehend everything that went down in the movie, but even at that young age, I knew I liked violence and profanity. It's a bit interesting, now that I look back at it, but nevertheless, I found myself attracted to the movie and soundtrack largely because of Ice Cube, who was the biggest rap star I had heard of back then. Somehow, I got my hands on the old NWA tapes and Cube's solo debut album, "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted," and went into a frenzy. I remember asking my mother to buy the soundtrack for me, and she did, without question. She never paid attention to the Parental Advisory labels, so usually when I asked for something, she'd go to Camelot Music and pick it up for me. I was never bold enough to ask her to pick me up a Too Short album, I wasn't that dumb. "http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_boyznthehood.htmlvarious artists :: The Life and Times of Abdullah the Butcher Soundtrack :: Blacktree Music
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"This CD came packaged as part of a DVD set of the same name sold by Wrestling Observer Shoots. As such the hip-hop tie-in might not be obvious at first until you learn that the executive producer is The Cancer a/k/a Ric Atari and some of featured artists on this soundtrack are from his Blacktree Music record label (namely Atari, Jai Black, Azar, Sam Freeze and Soto). It's worth noting that I don't think this CD can be purchased separately from the DVD either physically or as a download; furthermore if you're not a fan of the wrestler Abdullah the Butcher or what they call in the business a "shoot video" where they get wrestlers to break character you would never have come across this disc. That being said it's worth covering just because Ric Atari is one of Atlanta's most hustling hip-hop entrepreneurs. "
Absent Minded & Q :: Gem Cutterz :: L.O.D. Development
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"No stranger to fans of Chicagoland hip-hop or to the indie underground DIY aesthetic, cap D a/k/a Capital D has been steadily striving since the late 1990's to put out quality rap music. His membership in All Natural has only furthered those goals, leading to their independent record label of the same name and a wide variety of group and solo releases. If his respect among what often gets labelled the "true heads" were equal to mainstream exposure, cap D would be as well known as fellow Chicagoans like Common and Twista. The truth of course is that he's anything BUT as well known as the mainstream hip-hop successes coming out of the Windy City. That's not entirely a bad thing given cap D's obscurity comes from artistic integrity, refusing to pollute his All Natural sound with chemical fillers and create a pop soda sound that's all fizz and no real flavor."http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2010_10_polymath.htmlCapone-N-Noreaga :: The War Report 2: Report the War :: Ice Water/EMI Music
as reviewed by Mike Baber
"A lot has happened since Capone-N-Noreaga released their debut album "The War Report" in 1997. The group changed record labels several times, splitting up in 2005 after Def Jam released Capone. Both Capone and Noreaga pursued solo careers, with Noreaga, aka N.O.R.E., moving his focus from hip-hop to reggaeton, until the Queensbridge duo joined forces again and released Channel 10 in 2009. Now, a year later, Capone-N-Noreaga are back repping QB again with the sequel to their debut album. It's no surprise that Raekwon is the executive producer of "War Report 2: Report the War." Less than a year ago, Raekwon released Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II, combining the old-school grittiness that made the original Cuban Linx so successful with a slightly more polished, new-school sound. "War Report 2" follows the same path, and the result is a well-produced, surprisingly deep album that pays homage to the streets and to the lifestyle that Capone-N-Noreaga grew up with. "
http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2010_10_warreport2.htmlCurren$y :: Pilot Talk :: DD172
as reviewed by Matt Jost
"This is Boston emcee Dagha's vision for his latest EP, titled "Noise Is the Trigger", which pairs the longtime underground affiliate Dagha with New York producer Psych Major. Fresh off his 2008 album "The Divorce," which focused on his real-life relationship issues, Dagha continues to rap about his everyday experiences and observations on "Noise Is the Trigger". Checking in at only seven tracks, one of which is an interlude, the EP nevertheless offers an intelligent and surprisingly political look at the underground rap game. "Noise Is the Trigger" has more than a hint of old-school flavor that resonates throughout the EP, brought on not only by Dagha's gritty voice but also by Psych Major's unique producing style. Psych Major samples from a wide variety of music -- including 90's hip-hop, heavy metal, and even reggae – and uses live instrumentation to create a sound unlike most hip-hop albums in today's day and age."
http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/2010_10_noiseisthetrigger.htmlDood Computer :: Rap Sale $5 Vol. 2 :: Home Records
as reviewed by Daniel Oh
"This album cover conforms to almost every stereotype I hate about backpacking hip-hop. The first thing to greet my eyes was a shining sticker proudly labeling this album to be "The First Album in 2010 NOT to feature Lil' Wayne!" Superimposed in the front is an attentive-looking white guy with a lumberjack beard and a red flannel. Hell, even the title, "Rap Sale $5" just screams "I'm dope because I'm not mainstream!" Ugh. Nothing makes you look like an ass quite like jumping into a cliché to avoid the "mainstream." I mean, if you're going to be original, be original. Don't get me wrong, the album cover is the only thing I really dislike about this album. Dood Computer made me into a fan after the first few spins in the trusty Honda Accord. This album stays fresh even if it's not the most original album I've listened to. The production hits more than it misses, and Dood Computer can handle his microphone, and knows how to pick his guest spots to give the right amount of seasoning to the release. "
Dream Warriors :: And Now the Legacy Begins :: 4th and Broadway/Island
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Matt Jost
"What changed in Aaron Tyler's world between 1994 and 1996? Well, judging by "Death Threatz," not a whole lot. Sure, '94's "We Come Strapped" had been his most successful record to date, reducing the shell of Compton's Most Wanted to a supporting role as a veteran MC Eiht took the listener back to Compton aided by the masterful production of DJ Slip. Yeah, DJ Quik did record one of the most vicious diss tracks of all time, 1995's "Dollaz + Sense," in response to Eiht's "Def Wish" series, leaving fans on pins and needles waiting to see how Eiht would respond. And indeed, the West Coast spotlight remained largely focused on the g-funk phenomenon and the Death Row inmates up the road. But for the purposes of Eiht's second "solo" record, none of this was enough to make the CMW frontman slow his roll or break his stride, and "Death Threatz" picks up right where "We Come Strapped" left off. "
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