Check out my latest hip-hop commentary: THE CHEF
Good music all around. Hip-Hop ain’t dead. Word. Just my thoughts… Here’s what I’m currently rocking:
Schoolboy Q “Oxymoron“
“One of the best of the year. Word. No, I don’t feel it’s better than GKMC. It’s different. It’s gangsta. It’s lyrical. It’s quirky at times. Just a solid release. Love what them boys over at T.D.E. are doing. Keep it coming. Cop that! “
CyHi The Prynce “Black Hystori Project“
“I was late on this one. Dope mixtape. He has messages with some tracks, but there are other tracks that contradict those messages. Hip-Hop, unfortunately, can be like that sometimes. Still a dope release, and one of the best of the year. Word. Check for it. “
Isaiah Rashad “Cilvia Demo“
” This another one I slept on. S/O to the homey Ahk. Solid release. Dope beats and rhymes. His flow and confidence compliment the tracks well.I’m feeling the drive behind some of the young dudes in the game.”
Fabolous “Soul Tape 3“
” Still knocking this one from time to time. One can only hope that Fab’s next album, Loso’s Way 2, will be this good. Nice variety of tracks and well placed features on this mixtape. Check it out. “
The Alchemist “The Cutting Room Floor 3“
“Like I said before, these throwaways are better than dudes hard work albums. It just bangs from start to finish. Alchemist is a beast. Still going strong in my rotation. Get this! “
Damn shame a lot of “hip-hop fans” haven’t heard this album. It’s a damn shame that a lot of hip-hop naysayers haven’t heard this album. It’s the penalty for being the thing that people say doesn’t exist in rap music anymore. Watch the video and know that the album has an even greater message. This week’s Re-Release is Pharoahe Monch’s “Black Hand Side“.
“With the 2011 release of his third album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), rapper Pharoahe Monch halved the eight-year wait fans endured between his first and second efforts. This strong, satisfying, often stunning third release proves he can deliver the goods under this tighter release schedule, and when listening to lyrics that are topical for 2011 (“Calculated Amalgamation” is inspired by the recent Egyptian revolution), one begins to wonder if it’s been three years off for Monch, and then one very strong year back on. Whatever the process, W.A.R. is worth it, chock-full of those wickedly smart Monch lines (“Even my reflection disrespects you like a freshman during hazing”) and Armageddon productions from the likes of M-Phazes, Diamond D, and Samiyam. These beats seem generally as mad and driven as the man himself, although “The Grand Illusion” with Citizen Cope adds some alternative rock to the mix while the closer, ”Still Standing,” is as elegant and soulful as its guest, Jill Scott. The socially concerned singles “Shine” and “Clap (One Day)” make for a decent intro, even if they are best heard in context, as this conceptually sound album uses linking dialog and a sensible running order to guide listeners through Monch’s war story.” – Allmusic.com
Before there was Doom or M.F. Doom, there was K.M.D. A time in hip-hop when East Coast rap was all about flows and fun. Sometimes you miss this type of rap. Everyone wants to be taken so serious now. So take a trip down memory lane where rap videos were trendy and fun. This week’s Re-Release is K.M.D.’s “Who Me?”.
“The crew known as K.M.D. first came to be known in 1989 as affiliates of Def Jam Recordings’ highly talented trio Third Bass, an affiliation that would one day prove its irony. K.M.D. member Zevlove X contributed the concept and a compelling verse on the classic Third Bass jam, “The Gas Face.” The crew composed primarily of Zevlove and DJ Sub-Roc kept close ties with emerging talents Third Bass for a couple of years, then went on to record their debut Mr. Hood on Elektra Records in 1991. On Mr. Hood, K.M.D combined lighthearted humor with divisive political rhetoric, but the overall sentiment was one of youthful positivity. The album featured production from the Stimulated Dummies and a guest spot from Brand Nubian. “Peach Fuzz,” a tale of young romance, rippled momentarily, but the crew could not capitalize on their connections to 3rd Bass (even with a “Gas Face” reprise entitled “The Gasface Refill”).” – Allmusic.com
Some of you rap fans can be uptight standard junkies. So much so that you forget the days when dudes like Slick Rick told humorous stories. Devin is the same on every album. Weed smoking, goofy looking, story telling fool….and I love every bit of it. Look at this video. He’s say people be tripping on me…and then he has a person literally “trip over” him in the grocery store. I love it! Sure it’s silly but it beats the hell out of watching a million rap videos with the same broads, same chains, same cars. Variety people, variety. This is hip-hop whether you like it our not. WORD. This week’s Re-Release is Devin The Dude’s “What I Be On“.
“The AC/DC of trashy stoner rap, Devin the Dude had released a fat set of like-minded and like-sounding albums by the time he got to this 2010 release, but just like those metal gods, Devin’s redundancy is the reason fans keep coming back. They won’t be disappointed by Suite #420, which features the usual set of chilled-out weed anthems, sex jokes, and old-school R&B beats, along with those great oddball numbers the Dude uses to break each album up. Here it’s the new wave-flavored, heartbreak song “Where Ya At?” along with the crooked and appropriately titled “Funky Little Freestyle,” where Devin offers “I baffle the minds of workers at the Laundromat/They think my clothes have been worn by a walking ganja plant”. Best of the standard joints is “Still Comin’,” where producer Mirawge gives Devin a crip-walking beat over which he proves he’s still “got it” when it comes to out-sleazing the competition (including a “peach fuzz” reference that makes the phrase incorrigible). That’s what you pay for and that’s what you get in abundance, and without any guest shots from other artists. As the Dude would say, Suite #420 got it all rolled up, and you just gotta put a light on it. ” – Allmusic.com
Grand Puba Maxwell! Debut solo album. I wasn’t too happy about the initial Brand Nubian break up, but it did produce some classic Grand Puba solos. This one being the starter. This week’s Re-Release is Grand Puba’s “360 (What Goes Around)“.
“In a sense, Grand Puba really never was a genuine member of Brand Nubian. He was several years older than Lord Jamar and Sadat X, and had already recorded with the old-school crew Masters of Ceremony several years before finally hooking up with his younger mates. And even the mostly collective-minded One for All featured a couple Pubasolo joints. Based on the sophomore Brand Nubian outing, it is pretty clear that Grand Puba‘s carefree verbal play, completely unencumbered by ideology, tempered the more in-your-face manifestation of Jamar and Sadat X‘s radical politics since In God We Trust which, as thrillingly polemical as it could be, was also rather severe and uncompromising, even apocalyptic, in its outlook, and therefore off-putting at times. Likewise, based on this debut solo album, it’s clear that Brand Nubian created precisely the right context in which Puba‘s self-reflexive braggadocio could flourish without wearing thin because Reel to Reel, as much fun as it is, has little in the way of substance… ” – Allmusic.com
This is a Mos Def album (now known as Yasiin Bey) that everyone should check out. He returns to the emcee on this one. This wasn’t one of my favorite records but the video enhanced it for me. This week’s Re-Release is Mos Def’s “Sex, Love, & Money“.
“During the first several years of the 2000s, it wasn’t unreasonable to want Mos Def, one of the most dazzling living MCs, to make a rap album. After he released 2006′s True Magic, his first all-rap release in seven years — following the back-to-back instant classics Black Star and Black on Both Sides – it was easier to understand why he had been devoting much more time to acting and diversions like The New Danger. It was evident that he was not inspired, no doubt prompting a fair portion of his followers to think, “OK, maybe we should have been more specific: please make agood rap album.” On The Ecstatic, it’s not as if Mos Def makes a full return to the lucid/bug-eyed rhymes heard on decade-old cuts like “Hater Players” and “Hip Hop.” Instead, he comes up with a mind-bending, low-key triumph, the kind of magnetic album that takes around a dozen spins to completely unpack. Oscillating between cerebral gibberish and seemingly nonchalant, off-the-cuff boasts, it’s obvious that Mos Def is back to enjoying his trade. ” – Allmusic.com
Got a nice rotation going here. Just my thoughts… Here’s what I’m currently rocking:
The Alchemist “The Cutting Room Floor 3“
“Alchemist throwaways are better than some rapper’s blood sweat and tear records. Seriously. These tracks are dope. Some are old but that’s only if you listen to a lot of hip-hop like myself. It features music from the likes of Raekwon, Nas, Large Professor, Meek Mill, Planet Asia, and more. This should be in your collection. Word!”
DJ Kay Slay “The Rise of A City“
“This is me being a Homer. This mixtape goes hard, period. Doesn’t end as strong but for those who say NY needs to get back to form. Here is something to think about. Hopefully this is the beginning of a good year NYC. Check it out!”
Fabolous “Soul Tape 3″
“Sooo much better than the 2nd mixtape. This time around he combines the best of the first two Soul Tapes to create a dope release. Fab is still a force on the mic. Peep this one out for yourself.”
Black Milk “No Poison No Paradise“
“Still here, going strong. I just love the production on this album. Black Milk’s rhymes fit the mood perfectly. If you haven’t heard this one yet, it’s never too late. Support.”
Dom Kennedy “Get Home Safely“
“Yo, I’m saying. Sh*t is just a different vibe from everything else. It works for me when I’m in chill mode. No battle rap, ill similes, metaphor roars here. Relax playa.”