Friday, October 12, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod #10 AKA The Underground Giants Edition

Good morning, Vietnam! Yeah, good morning to all y’all knotty head readers. All you camoflauge large readers. Today I’ll review four new joints for you, namely NYG’s “Welcome To G-Dom”, Consequence’s “The Cons Vol. 5 Refuse To Die”, Ohmega Watts “Watts Happening” and a 12 song promo for Little Brother’s “Getback” album. Before we go any further let’s review my patented “Cop It Or Not” ratings system (by the way, I’m an Oh No fan and I’m not dissing him or his music in any way shape or form so please no more e-mails and Myspace messages cursing me out for dissing Oh No when that’s clearly not the case). Here it is:

Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever is dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maebe (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's in your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

I hit the Earth like a comet, invasion! © Nas

Let’s start out with DJ Premier’s group from his Year Round label, NYG’z. I have never been too impressed with these cats and I’m afraid that a full album by these dudes would probably bore me to tears. However, we all remember the magic Premo wove with the first Group Home album don’t we? I’ll reserve judgment on this album until I hear it.

The album opens with “It’z On” which is a headnodding track and “Ya Dayz R #’d” bangs as well. “3 Man Weave” is a disappointment complete with useless greasy talk from one the the NYG’z. I couldn’t quote you a line from this album so far. “Laundry Kings” features underground hero St. Laz and is clearly the standout track of this album so far. “Sufferin’” is just meh but “Get 2 Tha Point” is a banger. Other than St. Laz’s verse nothing stands out lyrically to me, provided that Premo has worked with other hardcore groups like M.O.P. and Screwball they were lyrically light years ahead of these cats. “G’z & Hustlaz” uses the same beat as the Dr. Dre classic and without bringing anything new to the table the track is just okay to me. “Welcome To G-Dom” and “What Kinda Life” get the project back on track but I’m getting kinda bored already.

“Giantz Ta Thiz” and “Bow Down” are both cool, but nothing special to me. Now the album begins a steady descent into hell (at least to me). “Broken Dreams” is boring as fuck. “Raps 4 U” does nada for me, “Bullseye” misses the mark and I wish “Black Buddafly” was an instrumental interlude instead of a song. “Strength” is the first listenable track since “Bow Down” and “Maybe” is thankfully the final track of this album. I think you all know where I’m going with this one.

Personally, I think this album was boring as hell and it all kinda sounded the same. The beats were okay but the NYG’z brought no charisma or swagger to the table and they ended up wasting the talents of several guest emcees like Blaq Poet, J.U.I.C.E. and Royal Flush. This album ended horribly and I wouldn’t play this shit again even if you paid me. With that said, I can’t speak for everyone and lyrics and flow just aren’t as important to other listeners as they are to me so this gets a hell no from me but a maybe for any/everyone else so you can make up your own minds.

The next project I’m reviewing is the new Consequence mixtape “The Cons Vol. 5 Refuse To Die”. Cons is coming off of his solid debut album “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” and setting up his re-up project. Lets play the CD.

The mixtape opens with the “Don’t Forget ‘Em Remix” where Kanye West and Consequence trade verses. “Breakfast Of Champions” is a cool track that clocks in at under 2 minutes and on “Q.U.E Another E.N.S” Consequence switches to the grimy voice and spits fire. The next track is a blend called “Close The Door” feturing a Nas verse. I tend to find those kind of blend/mixtape tracks annoying usually but ‘Quence pulls it off. The mixtape picks up steam behind the two best tracks on the entire mixtape, the Kanye West produced “Complications” and “Tic Toc” in which Cons displays his lyrical creativity (something sorely lacking from the NYG’z album).

Next come the dreaded blends/guest appearances...the Collie Buddz remix for “Blind To You”, the boring ass Mary J. Blige track “Dollar Bill”, “Make You Happy” with Musiq Soulchild and Cons rhyming over Beyonce’s “Sugar Mama” are all cool but nothing great. The Statik Selektah track “Express Yourself” features Termanology and Talib Kweli and we’ve all heard the single “Uncle Rahiem” by now. “Put A Record Out” is a quick joint and the Kanye West and Patti Labelle guested “Anything” is just okay. I was expecting something a do you say it? Oh yeah,” better”. My verdict is that this mixtape is too damn short to buy and I’d only give it a mos def if it had another 5 or 6 original tracks on it. If you find this for download somewhere go for it. The Cons Vol. 5 gets a maybe.

Next up is underground favorite Ohmega Watts. He’s made a name for himself by producing some innovative Hip Hop alongside his peoples Lightheaded, The Procussions, Othello, Braille and many others. His debut project “The Find” also drew him much critical praise. Let’s check out his new project “Watts Happening”.

The project opens with the dope “What’s It Worth” and goes seamlessly into “Triple Double” and “No Delay” before the interlude “Shorty Shouts”. Ohmega Watts relies on live instrumentation and soul samples mixed with some jazz for his sound and his flow is seamless. He’s not a punchline/battle rapper but he drops some nice verses here and there. While I’m not rewinding tracks because he’s spitting fire, I end up replaying tracks because their dope overall. “Model Citizen” and “Few & Far Between” are both nice joints where Ohmega Watts discusses why he doesn’t rhyme about certain subjects and avoids doing what “they” do.

The back to back bangers “Eyes & Ears” and “Roc The Bells” make for an enjoyable listen as it leads into “Adaptacao” and the kinda boring “Saywhayusay”. “Are You Satisfied” and “Dedicated” are two more nice tracks. “Memory Lane” is ridiculous and “Found/Cap On CapOff!” keeps the party live. “Work For Wealth” is okay but the instrumental track “The Platypus Strut” reminds me of those old Strata East records that my father had that I used to play when he went out on errands and “Freak Out!!” is along the same lines. The album closes with “Gone With The Wind” which is cool but this should’ve come before the previous tracks in my opinion.

Personally, I feel that this album warrants a mos def but I’ll give it a recommended maybe because I know that many people get just as bored listening to Ohmega Watts as I do listening to the NYG’z.

The final project I will review for you is a promo (?) I received last night for Little Brother’s new album “Get Back”. I have been patiently waiting to hear this album and I’m not sure if this the whole project or not as it has 12 tracks in total. Let’s begin the review:

The first track is “Sirens” and it opens with the same sample as Camp Lo’s “82 Afros” and features that familiar “Agent Orange” bass line (Monch’s not Cage’s). Phonte murders the track and addresses all of Hip Hop’s critics and detractors as well as putting the focus back on what’s really important in our communities. It’s like one of his blogs except it rhymes. “Can’t Win For Losing” is another banger where Phonte and Big Pooh discuss their ups and downs in the music industry and their own personal lives. The Lil’ Wayne featured “Breakin’ My Heart” is another banger in which Lil’ Wayne has another feature that fails to impress as he drops some more lazy ass punchlines. I guess he saves the heat for his own mixtapes, huh?

The banger “Good Clothes” follows and I have to play it twice. Next up is the sequel to “Life Of The Party” called “After The Party”. This one features voicevers from Phonte’s conscience as he tries to gets some love out in the parking lot after the club lets out to no avail. The next track is the banger “ExtraHard”. This album has beats that have your neck hurting and dope lyrics. It’s the best of both worlds without the pepper spray, annoying singing and underaged sex partners (allegedly)!

This albums continues to bang with “Step It Up”, a song about having to elevate your game in your personal and professional life and “Two Step Blues”. “That Ain’t Love” discusses the perils of personal relationships and “Dreams” just bangs. “When Everything Is New” is yet another addition to the ongoing bangathon. The album closes with “Life Of The Party”, the song that had everyone anticipating this projects release in the first place. Is this a bonus track, I wonder? I’ve talked to a couple heads that have promos of this album but this isn’t on it at all. I checked out my boy Eric @ When They Reminisce and he pointed out that the song"Time Of Your Life" was missing from the album, too. I completely forgot about that track until he mentioned it. I guess I got a different copy than he did, too. Oh well.

In conclusion, the project is going to be a beast when it does finally drop. There isn’t a dull moment on the album as the beats and rhymes are both fire all the way through. “Get Back” receives the lone uncontested mos def rating of the week. Cop it when it drops on October 23rd!

Singles File:

The Heart Gently Weeps-Wu Tang Clan f/Erykah Badu
Blue Magic-Jay-Z
Roc Boys (And The Winner Is..)-Jay-Z
Surviving The Times-Nas
Death Wish-Lloyd Banks
Sirens-Little Brother
The Radar (RMX)-Marco Polo f/Large Professor
‘Til I Retire-Pete Rock
American Dream-Bishop Lamont
Greedy-The Away Team
Dillagence (One 4 Jay)-DJ Spinna f/Phonte of Little Brother
It’s Over Now-Statik Selektah f/Termanology & A.G.
Keep It Comin’-Archetype
What Does It Stand For?-EMC
Dumb It Down-Lupe Fiasco

Time to turn in...but turn into what? © Holocaust AKA Warcloud



elgringocolombiano said...

Once again, great work Dart.

Dart, sorry that I keep saying this, but you should really join RYM.

If you do nothing else, perhaps you could keep a yearly 2007 list of the "Mos Defs", or perhaps "Mos Def" + "Maebes".

Travis said...

Yeah, I'm liking these reviews, although that dime piece is a mos def for me! The dirty things I'd do to her...mmm mmmmm

I really want to like that Little Brother, but I just can't seem to do it. I've gone through it five or six times and usually if I'm going to like something, its going to catch on by then. I do like that "Sirens" joint though

elgringocolombiano said...

Dart, listen to Funky DL 2007 The 4th Quarter.

An excellent jazz rap album. Definite Top5 album for 2007 IMHO.

Eric said...

Fuck that!!! Ohmega Watts' new joint is the SHIT! I catch your drift though Dart, great shit as usual! But, on the real, that Ohmega joint is incredible beatwise....I'm lovin' these reviews, I just hate when u get to em' before me, haha! Damn, u got an ecletic taste for music, I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't dig the same shit tho'
Take Care Dart!