Once again it’s on, family! Today I bring to you all three new releases to review, namely Kidz In The Hall & Mick Boogie’s iTunes mixtape “Detention”, prolific beatmaker Fat Jon’s new instrumental project “Hundred Eight Stars” and the long awaited new album from Cunninlynguists “Dirty Acres”. Let’s get into the reviews, but first I shall explain my patented three point “Cop It Or Not” ratings system below for the latecomers and new readers of this blog:
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.
Lil’ bit of Ghosts’ style mixed with Mos’ style, versatile I’m the Golden Child © Kanye West
The first album I’m reviewing is the iTunes album by Kidz In The Hall called Detention. This album was first available on iTunes back on the 25th but I couldn’t get an advance copy so I’ll just review the album after I bought it. It opens up with an intro and cuts to Naledge rhyming over Double O banging on a table in detention. For those of you unfamiliar with Kidz In The Hall they bring it the way it used t be done back in the days. Naledge spits some clever lines using punchlines, metaphors and similes and he’s also adept at spinning some ill stories over Double O’s soundscapes. This mixtape could be crazy.
The first formal track is “Lose Your Mind” and it leaves off right where the album “School Was My Hustle” ended, with Naledge spittin’ that raw over a hot beat. “Kickdrums Freestyle” features another hot verse from Naledge. “Never Forget” is a banger in every sense of the word, the beat’s crazy and Naledge murdered the track. “Get Busy Pt. 1: has Naledge rhyming over the classic “I’m Gonna Do Ya” beat made famous by the Jungle Brothers. Over “Work To Do” Kidz In The Hall show Vanessa Williams the proper way to flip the original track (although I think Dres and Mir. Lawnge of Black Sheep made that track for her). “Train Of Thought” is a smoothed out head nodder. “Clothes, Hoes & Liquor” is another banger and so far it’s the standout track on the mixtape. “Hush” is a smoothed out joint that changes the tempo up and “Real Life Isht” showcases Naledge’s ability to spit effective story rhymes. This kid is a beast on the mic.
“Slippery Shoes” is another nice story track that clocks in at just under 2 minutes and cements that Naledge is lyrically head and shoulders above many of his peers in this era. The next two tracks are okay (“Move On Up Refix” and “Keep It Movin””) but it’s “Feelin’ Good” that gets the listener back where they were earlier on in the mixtape. The final formal track is a feature from affiliate Nick Stylez called “The Wall”. The beat is dope but Nick Stylez fails to shine like Naledge does. The album closes out with a Naledge freestyle over Double O banging on a table again. In conclusion, if you’re a Kidz In The Hall fan or a fan of ill beats and dope rhymes than Mos Def cop this from iTunes.
The next review is of Fat Jon’s sixth overall release and his newest instrumental project called “Hundred Eight Stars”. This Cincinatti native is one of the most slept on beatmakers in the industry, let’s play the CD.
The album gets off to a promising start with the banger “Adhara”. Next up is the chilled out “Tara”, “Tara” is followed by “Chara” which I like better than “Tara” (for those of you scoring at home: Adhara>Chara>Tara). “Naos” is dope and “Kuma” is nice (plus it has the hardest drums on the album so far). “Atria” is a chilled out track. “Curs” is just okay and “Altais” is a dope track that is just below the opener as far as appeal. The next joint “Maia” is off beat and I’m not feeling it. “Diadem” is cool but the following track “Sirrah” bangs and has become my new favorite track on this instrumental album so far.
“Nashira”, “Vela”, “Mira”, “Turais” and “Rana” all seem to blend into each other and none of them seem to really stand out or give me the same feeling that “Sirrah” did. “Pleione” is an ill track and I swear I hear someone signing under the track. The project closes with “Sarin” another dope instrumental to nod your head to. The final verdict is that this album is mostly for beatheads and fans of laid back music. If you’re looking for break neck type bangers then this is not the project for you. I liked this album but it’s pretty much just chillout/background music to fall asleep and wind down to. I’m a Fat Jon fan and I’ll cop it but this one is too chillaxed for most heads and it that's why it gets only a maybe from me.
The final album I’ll review for this blog is Cunninlynguists new album “Dirty Acres”. It has already been reviewed by my boys Eric and Travis and they both agree that it may potentially be or is a candidate for “Album Of The Year” honors. I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve heard the whole thing. I can expect a full cohesive concept album from them as oppoosed to a collection of songs and a couple of tracks that will hopefully become a hit single. It’s the moment of truth...play the damn album.
The projects starts of sounding like an Earthtone 3 track and then I hear the familiar voice of Big Rube...is the Society Of Soul back together? This opening track sets the tone for the entire album. This will not be an able that you can skip through. You’re going to have to open your mind and listen to it...and I mean REALLY listen to it. “Valley Of Death” has me thinking that this can be what we fans expected from Goodie Mob...instead what we we got was “World Party”. “Dirty Acres” has me thinking that this is what I expected from the Dungeon Family album....instead what we got was “Even In Darkness”.
This album is exceeding my expectations so far, and they were pretty high based on Cunninlynguists earlier work. Next up is an interlude leading into the haunting “K.K.K.Y.” that tells the story of two Kentucky’s. One that is steeped in the old Jayhawk traditions of the past and a new one that is trying to escape from the shadow of it’s intolerant past. Shit, they get heated in Kentucky if a basketball team in the high school tournament has players from neighboring states like West Virginia and Ohio (90% of the time these players are Black...read into that what you will). “Wonderful” featuring Devin The Dude is the joint! “Yellow Lines” features Phonte of Little Brother and Witchdoctor AKA EJ of the Dungeon Family. This joint is crazy as hell...maybe Eric wasn’t exaggerating after all?
“The Park” is bananas and this album has me buggin’ out for real. This album feels like outtakes from “Aquemini” and unreleased tracks from Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown and Pat Murray circa 1998-2001. I haven’t even considered skipping a track, shit I replayed a couple right after they ended! “Summer’s Gone” is the perfect song for right now. In Boston, it was still in the 80’s until this morning...it’s 65º and there is a cool wind blowing. The summer is gone, I wish that joint was longer.
Another ill interlude leads into the track “Gun” featuring Sheisty Khrist...this is another ridiculous track about the proliferation of firearms in the country, especially down South. “Dance For Me” is a great track that you just need to listen to. “Georgia” tells the story of growing up in the great state from two different perspectives. “Things I Dream” is crazy and the final track “Mexico” features Club Dub and is reminiscent of an Outkast track produced by Sleepy Brown with him signing the background vocals. For the sake of the slow that means it’s good.
In conclusion, if you want to call this album a potential Album Of The Year candidate I wouldn’t fight you on it. I won’t go as far as calling it a classic just yet, though. Let me just say that I felt like I just heard the lost OutKast album and Kno is a fuckin’ beast for this one. If you didn’t know about the Cunninlynguists before “Dirty Acres” then hopefully you’ll get into them now. I heard that Kno will be producing Witchdoctor’s next album as well. Say word! This album gets a mos def from me...Cop the album when it drops!
Albums I’m Looking Forward To Cop When They Leak..I Mean Drop:
I’m Colonel Mustard with the speech, they ain’t catchin’ me © Lupe Fiasco