Friday, September 28, 2007

We Are The Champions! AKA 2007 Is The New Impossible Dream Season

The Red Sox have just clinched the AL East division championship. We are the champions. Now begins the regular Red Sox update blog series The Hunt For Red October. Hopefully, it will go for close to a month. The last time the Red Sox won the division I was 19 years old and fresh outta high school. What a great night for all of Red Sox Nation. The very next night they clinched the best record in the AL and MLB to assure themselves of home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. Oh yeah..ever since Billy Sunday @ XXL posted that blog about XXL being the Yankees of the internet I began posting these monthly responses. Check 'em all out here:

Boston Red Sox 96-66 ------
New York Yankees 94-68 2.0 GB

Alert to all members of Red Sox Nation, the magic number to clinch home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs (as of 12:00 AM EST 9.30.07):


Any Red Sox win and/or Cleveland loss results in one being subtracted from the magic number's total. After the next Red Sox win or Indians loss the AL East division champion Boston Red Sox will be assured of the best record in MLB and earn home field advantage throughout the entire postseason.

The Hunt For Red October Officially Begins Now!

ALDS Matchups:
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles-Anaheim Angels
Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees


Some Of My Favorite Videos That No One’s Seen Except For Video/Cinephiles Vol. 1

Here are a few of my favorite non Hip Hop videos (that for whatever reason keep getting taken off of YouTube) that us film fans and film school dropouts love for whatever reason. Mind you, this is only a small sample of what I really wanted to post but the overwhelming majority of videos I really wanted to post aren't available online and the others I intended to post have since been erased.

 I have them all on tape and once I get the means I'll post them up myself. This list makes me miss old shows like "120 Minutes", "Amp", and the early days of MTV and MTV2 when they actually played indie/cutting edge videos. The electronica movement of 1997-2000 was a big influence, obviously. If you haven't seen many of these videos before I wouldn't be surprised:

Poe-Angry Johnny

Matthew Good Band-Load Me Up

Unkle-Rabbit In Your Headlights

The Avalanches-Since I Left You

Lo Fidelity All Stars-Blisters On My Brain

Chemical Brothers-Out Of Control

Photek-Ni Ten Ichi Ryu

Tricky f/PJ Harvey-Broken Homes

Shea Seger-Last Time

The Streets-Blinded By The Lights

I'll post up the last 18 producers of the Poisonous Paragraphs series  "50 Producers On MySpace You Need To Hear Right Now" over the weekend. Look out for it!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tales From The Dark Side AKA Dartflix Edition #23

Leading into the month of October studios try to make some fare that will attract fans of gore and horror to the theater. This is when studios stockpile all of their scary movies and chillers so they can unleash them on the public in hopes of having a killer weekend or month. This is also the time that studios decide to release horror or scary films that they licensed from elsewhere and release them on DVD (like Tartan does with it’s Asia Extreme line of releases) or just to release different kinds of films as counter programming for those that don’t want to see any splatter or dismemberment. This is also the time that studios gear up for the dreaded holiday push and try to line up release dates in hope to beat the other studios to the punch/edge them out and break the proverbial bank.

With “Halloween” already out and “30 Days Of Night”, “Southland Tales”, “The Signal”, “Right At Your Door”, “Descent”, “Saw IV” , “Hatchet” and many other movies ready by the time the Halloween season rolls around studios can begin slotting in blockbuster films for the Christmas and New Year’s time frames like “Seeker: The Dark Is Rising”, “Beowulf”, “American Gangster”, “Cloverfield” and “I Am Legend”. I can’t wait to see it all pan out. On to the trailers and awards for September.

Apple Film Trailers Of The Rest Of September (9.16.07-9.30.07):

Iron Man


O’ Jerusalem

Great World Of Sound

Drillbit Taylor

Imdb Film Trailers Of The Rest Of September (9.16.07-9.30.07):

There Will Be Blood

Dante’s Inferno

Finishing The Game



Dart’s Director Spotlight for September goes to: James Mangold
He has made several films that some have termed modern classics (Girl, Interrupted, Identity, Walk The Line). He also wrote the screenplays for Girl, Interrupted and Walk The Line himself and he may very well have another one on his hands. His new film is the remake of the Western classic 3:10 To Yuma and it’s in theatres now.

Poisonous Paragraphs’ Independent Movie Of The Month Of September:

Nerdcore For Life a documentary by Dan Lamoureux

Check out the MySpace page for the film here:

Poisonous Paragraphs’ Short Film of the month of September: The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men) & Naomi Klein

The film is based on the subject of Naomi Klein’s new book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”. For more info check out (Source: Matt Mason @ The Pirate's Dilemma)

Here’s a list of movies I recommend for rental through Netflix:
Knocked Up
The Comedians Of Comedy Live At The Troubadour
The Kingdom
In The Valley Of Elah
Eastern Promises
Manda Bala (Send A Bullet)
The Ghosts Of Cite Soleil
The Brave One
Resident Evil: Extinction
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Good Night
Finishing The Game
Across The Universe
The Nines
Self Medicated
I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With
Little Manhattan
Ten ‘til Noon
The Patriot
Enemy At The Gates
Brotherhood Of The Wolf
Green Street Hooligans
Phantom Of The Paradise
We Are Marshall
Planet Terror
Death Proof
Superman/ Doomsday (animated)
Ultimate Avengers: The Movie (animated)
Ultimate Avengers 2 (animated)
The Invincible Iron Man (animated)
Doctor Strange-The Sorcerer Supreme (animated)
Justice League Unlimited (animated series)
Hellboy: Blood & Iron (animated)
Hellboy: Sword Of Storms (animated)

Dart’s Picks:
Green Street Hooligans- You just got kicked out of Haravrd for some shit you didn’t even do...what do you do? Where do you go? Would you say board a plane to England and become a soccer (Don’t call it soccer!) hooligan? Watch this flick, you won’t regret it.

The Kingdom-The FBI goes to the Middle East and encounters culture shock when trying to implement their tactics in a foreign land against an enemy like none they’ve ever faced in the past. Go see it.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford-I have been waiting on this film for damn near two years now (if you think I’m kidding, look up when they started post-production). It’s been delayed damn near five different times for multiple reasons. Let’s see the finished product.

The Hunting Party-So let’s get this right...a bunch of war journalists decide to get an interview with one of the most dangerous (and most wanted) war criminals on the planet to gain big fame and fortune back home in America. Instead, what they get is grief, grenades and mortar attacks...from their own government. See it.

Trade- The worldwide business of human trafficking is bigger and more prevalent then you’d ever imagine. I know quite a few cats that have parents and aunts and uncles that entered the country under odd circumstances and the things they faced just to come to America (or just escape where they were). This movie will open a lot of eyes.

Dart’s WTF?/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Feel The Noise- Omarion as a rapper from New York who runs to Puerto Rico rather than get bodied forms a reggaeton group with his half brother and reunites with his Puerto Rican father. Why am I not surprised that this guy has never written a script before? Fuck this “movie”.

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer-This movie sucked more than Karrine Steffans. ‘Nuff said.

What the future SHOULD hold for comic book movies:

Blade 4

Daredevil 2

The New Warriors

Winter Soldier


Alpha Flight

X Force

Dinosaurs For Hire



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why Are You 70’s Babies So Damn Salty? 2 AKA Electric Boogaloo

A few days ago my brother was on Just Blaze’s MySpace page watching behind the scenes footage of the making of “Why You Hate The Game”. While watching the video we saw Just Blaze trying to get the take just right as he added layers of organ and piano over a chorus and additional drumming to finish off the track. He stayed behind for hours trying over and over again to get everything just right, bringing in musicians and vocalists to make the track sound perfect. My brother Buctayla (not his real name, mind you) shook his head and said “How many producers now do you think would put that much work into a track?”. “He added REAL MUSIC to the track. What percentage of listeners do you think even appreciated how much that added to the song?”

We then proceeded to get into this long ass discussion about how technology has helped to impair the younger listening audiences attention spans (when you become a salty oldhead these are the types of things you find yourself doing more and more the older you get). When we 70’s babies were young we had to listen to Side A and B on vinyl or sit through entire 8 track tapes. When we did have cassettes, it would damage the cassette to fast forward repeatedly so that meant we would have to actually LISTEN to the music more and gain some music appreciation.

It also helped the artist out and the creative end to have a side A and a side B. Think about all of the old tapes you had and the themes that artists used to do. Sometimes, the album would be split in half and the listener would follow two different concepts that intertwined to make a cohesive album. In the digital age that’s not an issue, especially since you can just skip track if you don’t like it after the first 15-30 seconds. This is another problem in my opinion. Buctayla pointed out to me that a lot of times when he makes beats he likes to have a buildup to the beat, problem is that with listeners today if the beat doesn’t drop damn near immediately they’re not going to be patient enough to wait for it. If they did then maybe they'd have liked the beat and bought it.

“If the Beatles released the White Album in 2007 that shit would flop sooo hard!” my brother said. “They did about four different styles of music on that one album and three different guys wrote songs in completely different ways. That shit would NEVER fly now, who would sign ‘em?”. Issues like this tend to sour us older cats on the current music industry, all we hear is muthafuckas singing with that damn AutoTune/vocoder effects and nowhere near enough artists that make their own’s pretty damn discouraging.

It’s a completely different world to us oldheads. In our eyes, things have largely gone to shit. When the Reagan/Bush Administration was fucking everything up, the average American was more knowledgeable about what was going on in the world.We had the movement to abolish apartheid, nuclear arms summits, the Cold War, the Iran/Contra Affair, and the list went on and on. It seems as though this Bush Administration has been SO inept and corrupt that it's surprising to me that there isn’t outright rioting in the streets on a daily basis....that is if we could stop focusing on Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardasian and Vanessa Hudgens.

The media has been morphed into this big machine fueled by gossip and celebrity news instead of real journalism. How Fox News (which is cleary biased) is allowed to operate as freely as it does and the only alternative news sources that we have to combat them (that people will actually watch) are The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are completely beyond me. Edward R. Murrow must be rolling over in his grave, family.

I just saw ESPN do a segment on the Jena 6 this past Sunday. This was about a week after Cornel West and Mos Def appeared on Showtime with Bill Maher and they addressed the situation in Jena, LA. Mos Def challenged the other emcees in the game to show up in Jena for the sentencing as well. Sure enough, there was a march there. The thing that irked me the most was that bloggers (especially Hip Hop bloggers) have been reporting on this story for the longest and it took until recently for any reputable news outlet to report on this disturbing story. Back in the days how many Jena 6 songs would there have been with groups like Public Enemy, Brand Nubian, Poor Righteous Teachers, X Clan and the like in the scene?

You expect Soulja Boy to say something about the subject? Has BET done ANYTHING about the Jena 6 situation yet? I mean besides push back Rap City to an ungodly hour and stage specials about the media and Hip Hop when they’re actually part of the problem? You notice that no one’s even fighting BET on the issue? What does that tell you?

It’s scary that in a time when great music seems to be coming out weekly, people are still convinced Hip Hop is dead merely because none of these artists are on major labels. I could make a list of 50 excellent Hip Hop albums that have been released in 2007 EASILY and the majority of the buying public are convinced that less than 10 have come out strictly due to sales and the infrequent release of albums by major label artists. It looks like Papoose’s “The Nacirema Dream”, Saigon’s “The Greatest Story Never Told”, Raekwon’s “Only Built For Cuban Linx 2”, Joe Budden’s “The Growth” and Dr. Dre’s “Detox” albums almost look as though they’ll never come out. Remember Tru Life, anyone?

This is coming from a patient cat, mind you. Shit, I’m a 70’s baby! When I played videogames on my Commodore 64 the load times for my games took from between 10 and 45 minutes based on if I used a tape drive or a disk drive (and people bitch if it takes 30 seconds to load!). My brother used to play “online” games back in the late 80’s with his 400 baud (no, that’s not a fuckin’ typo!) modem. About 2 years later we got a brand new 1200 baud modem and it flew in comparison to the old one. I still remember typing out my school reports with a damn typewriter (can't forget the Liquid Paper!) and looking shit up in dusty ass old dictionaries and encyclopedias all night long.

How can we be in the Information Age and yet people are still as ignorant and misinformed as ever? Maybe it’s because now we can type in the word “ass” on YouTube and the masses can be entertained (or sedated) for hours. Ayo about the gift and the curse.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Man At Work AKA Workinonit

Once again I'm in the middle of writing multiple blogs (no, this isn't an excuse so I can play Halo 3...I don't own an X Box 360) so I can't post anything today. Not only am I finishing up a part 2 to my classic blog "Why Are 70's Babies So Damn Salty" but I'm also doing another album review, a TV/cable show review, researching for an upcoming two part blog about comic books and the oftentimes borderline racist depiction of heroes of color in the tentatively titled series "Black Like Me" as well as the long awaited conclusion to my list "50 Producers On MySpace That You Need To Hear Right Now" coming in the next week as I decide to post the last 18 spots as a two parter or a three parter with full write ups.

I'll be writing on both this computer and doing hella revisions on my trusty (but soon to be replaced) G3 iBook all throughout the night while yelling at the screen during the Red Sox/A's game. Y'all know how I do. Expect some brand new content tomorrow. 


Monday, September 24, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod # 8 AKA Songs By And About Girls

Hey fam! I will review three more albums today,’s “Songs About Girls”, Median’s “Median’s Relief” and R&B vocalist Chrisette Michelle’s “I Am”. Before I get started with the reviews first let’s take a look at my patented three point “Cop It Or Not” ratings system below:

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.

Some often ask “How can this n*gga molest the English alphabet in 100 words or less?” It’s not the Chronic, it’s all in the mind like Johnny Mneumonic © Ras Kass

Let’s start with's new album. Some of us know him as the cat from Atban Klann, other know him from back when the Black Eyed Peas were still an underground group (they still had a vocalist, though!), others didn’t pay attention until Fergie joined the group and they made the godawful song “Where Is The Love?” and everyone finally noticed that Will Adams (No, we ain't related. Just for the record I'm not related to Akinyele, either) wore calf high bright yellow socks and dressed like he was about to play croquet somewhere...if they’d been paying attention they’d have known he’s been dressing that way since 1998. The Black Eyed Peas sold a shitload of records and was an in demand producer, writer and arranger. Even though he came up as a battle emcee, B Boy, producer and a musician he’s been unfairly pigeonholed as “the yellow socks nigga” or a sellout. Others simply don't like him for different reasons. They are all valid arguments. Enough talk already, just play the damn record!

The album opens with “Over”, clearly the song about the end of a relationship. The arrangement of the instruments on this track is crazy. I’m not expecting Will to spit anything too fantastic on this project (if you’ve ever heard his BBE project or “Must B 21 Or Over” you’d know what I mean” so I’m going off the beat and how well he stays out of it’s way. He may sing a lot on this project...uh oh! The opening song is cool. The next track “Heartbreaker” sounds like “Sexy Back 2” which I thought was “The Way I Are”. I really hope Justin and Timbo got credited in the liner notes for that one. The lead single “I Got From My Mama” was clearly made for Fergie but Will throws another chick on there and it sounds dope. The breakdowns and arrangements are bananas. “She A Star” is okay but I was put off a little by gettin’ his Akon on a lil’ too much. Next up is “Get Your Money”, an ode to strippers...I’m not feeling this one at all.

“The Donque Song” wastes Snoop Dogg. This shit shouldn’t have even made the album. “Impatient” was okay but it sounded like a Todd Terry House track from 1989. “One More Chance” pretty much sucks...I heard it’s the next single, too. Not looking good so far. “Invisible” gets the album back on track but Will seems to be channeling K-Os on this track more than anything. “Fantastic” is just an okay joint..I guess Will has given up rhyming on the album as well by now. “Fly Girl” turns out to knock and is easily the best song on this album next to the lead single...that ain’t good.

The “Dynamic Interlude” is cool and “Ain’t It Pretty” is a fly song that decides to become T-Pain on. “Make It Funky” is a banger that sounds like it was a collabo with either Bassment Jaxx or Daft Punk (yeah, I listen to that shit, too!). It was clearly made for Fergie but it dope. The album closes with “S.O.S. (Mother Nature)”, this is a good song but Will once again got his K-Os on with this sounded like it was off of his “Exit” LP.

In conclusion, this album was just OK to me. I could’ve done without 1/3rd of this album easily. He should have rhymed more and had more guest appearances to spit verses. This album won’t be knocking any of the albums I currently have in my iPod out but it doesn’t suck. I give Mr. Yellow Socks a maybe.

Next up to bat is Justus League member Median’s latest offering “Median’s Relief”. I expect some soulful, mellow, laidback and introspective tracks on this project. Let’s press play on the iTunes and hear it. The project open’s with the smooth “Love Again”...hold up. Is this album gonna be a bunch of songs about girls, too? “Smile” suggests that it might be. This song is fly, though. “Collage” is dope as well. “Personified” is another fly joint. So far the songs are about everyday life, not a lot of battle rhymes or punchlines. Not one death threat has been made and no crack has been slung. Not one gun has gone off. The next track “Rize” is a great listen as is “What Would You Do?” which put the listener in different situations. I’ve been nodding my head and no one has referenced their ice or their rims. He hasn't even disrespected any women! Doesn’t he know this is supposed to be a rap album?

As I listen to tracks like “Powershift” and relax into a mellow state I realize why the Justus League are so popular. This reminds me of that old Hip Hop I used to rock to. I just need a banger or two, though. The next two songs are story joints. While they are both enjoyable listens, one clocks in at 5:08 and the other at 5:51. I love good music but damn! “Choices” is another ill Justus League track featuring Chaundon and Joe Scudda on guest verses. “How Big Is Your World?” is another winner. “Strides” is nice as well. I could just let this joint rock and do whatever to it. “Pardon Me Dude” is another headnooder. “2 Side Coin Rmx” runs too long at 5:42, even with the guest verses. “Personified Super Charged Rmx” is cool but I like the original beat better. The album ends with another dope track in “Comfortable”.

There wasn’t one throwaway track on the entire album. I could let this whole album play from beginning to end without event thinking of skipping a track (even though some ran long). This is another dope effort from the Justus League and the production on the album was tight from beginning to end. Median is far from wack on the mic but I don’t have any standout verses or quotables from him. I have to give this album a mos def because it doesn’t have any major flaws.

Last but not least, we have the album from Def Jam’s much heralded vocalist Chrisette Michelle. She’s sung on several Def Jam artists projects in the past and heads have been waiting on her album for quite a while now. It’s finally here (where’s the promotion, though?). Let’s hear it.

Chrisette’s voice is crazy. The opening track “Like A Dream” is fly joint that makes me miss singers like Adrianna Evans. “Work It Out” is dope as well. By the time we get to “If I Have My Way” it’s clear that Chrisette Michelle grew up listening to Whitney Houston, Anita Bkaer, Caron Wheeler, Phyllis Hyman, Vesta and all of the other great female vocalists of the late 80’s and early 90’s. It’s refreshing to hear someone that can SANG rather then barely carry a note but look good in a video (Rihanna! Cassie! I'm looking at you both...and now I'm imaging y'all both butt naked in a hot tub.). On “Best Of Me” she sings more subdued over a stripped down guitar track and “Your Joy” features Chrisette doing her thing and sounding like a classic R&B joint from the mid 90’s.

“Good Girl” has Chrisette killing it over an ill beat and Mr. Yellow Socks himself delivers her another banger and spits a guest verse on “Be OK”. “Mr. Radio” is another nice track. After “Golden” I begin worrying that this album is going to go unnoticed by the buying public at large...I honestly don’t know if it dropped on the 11th or the 18th or not. Def Jam can't promote shit unless it’s Jay-Z or Nas' album...I know THOSE release dates already! “Let’s Rock” is bananas, by the way and then she switches up her vocal style and sings sweetly over a piano track on “Love Is You”.

“In This For You” and “Is This The” are both sick. I even liked the bonus track. In conclusion, if you are a fan of R&B cop this album. You should have this and Keyshia Cole in rotation at the same time. “I Am” get a mos def from me.

I also wanna say thanks for the memories to my boy Eric whose sadly closing down shop @ When They Reminisce. Thanks for forcing me to step it up on a weekly basis because you blew me out of the water on many an occasion.Good look with all your future endeavors and God bless your family. I reminisce, I reminisce ! *Horn riff plays*

I gotta be thousand ! © Casual


Friday, September 21, 2007

The Hunt For Red October Continues...

After the Red Sox only managed to take one out of the three games in Fenway Park over the previous weekend things still looked good for the Sox. They had a 4.5 game lead with 12 games left in the season and the magic number to clinch was at 9. Joe Torre said to an interviewer in the locker room that it wasn't over and that the Red Sox could easily go on a four game losing streak while they start winning and they could be right back in the race. The Red Sox had not only a 4.5 game lead on the Yankees for the AL East division crown, but a 3 game lead on the Los Angeles-Anaheim Angels and the Cleveland Indians for the best record in the American League. This was before they landed in Toronto...then all hell broke loose.

The Red Sox lost three straight games to the Toronto Blue Jays thanks to meltdowns by the normally reliable bullpen and anemic offense due to injuries to key players Manny Ramirez (who has missed the last 20 contests), Kevin Youkilis (injured in the final game of the Yankees series), Hideki Okajima (hip) and Coco Crisp. The Yankees, on the other hand swept the Baltimore Orioles three straight games at home to close the gap to 1.5 games. The members of Red Sox Nation are panicked (what else is new?). The Evil Empire smells blood (what else is new?). The Red Sox need to win games NOW.

The Red Sox open up a three game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays while the New York Yankees have to play a tough four game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The first opposing pitcher they face is Roy Halladay as the Red Sox send staff ace and leading Cy Young candidate Josh Beckett out on the mound to hopefully secure his 20th win of the season and give the Red Sox a much needed win and keep the hated Evil Empire at bay for another night at least.

The standings atop the AL East appear this way (as of 12:00 AM 9.24.07):

Boston Red Sox     92-64 ------
New York Yankees 90-66 2.0 GB

The magic number to clinch a place in the AL Divisional Series is (as of 5:00 PM 9.24. 07):


Alert to all members of Red Sox Nation, the magic number to clinch the AL East Championship is (as of 5:00 PM EST 9.24.07):


Any combination of Red Sox wins and/or Yankee losses result in one being subtracted from the magic number's total. When the number reaches 1, after the next Red Sox win or Yankee loss the AL East division championship will be clinched and the Red Sox will be assured of a place in the postseason and their first division championship since 1995 or their first appearance in the postseason since 2005 when they were swept by the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox.

Edit: The Yankees magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 3 as of 9.24.07 5:00 PM EST


Thursday, September 20, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod #7 AKA From Boston To Philly

What up, humans? I’m back to review three new joints that’ll hit store shelves soon, Special Teamz Duck Down debut “Stereotypez”, Army Of The Pharaohs new album “Rituals Of Battle” and Hezekiah’s “I Predict A Riot”. Before I get into the reviews I’ll do lay down the groundwork by once agin explaining my patented three point “Cop It Or Not” ratings system below:

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 your lane or not.

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

You’re now listening to a different type of boss, abstract they cut him from a different type of cloth © Joe Budden

The first album I’m reviewing is the long awaited debut album by Boston supergroup Special Teamz. They consist of Boston legends Ed O.G (formerly of Da Bulldogs), Boston legend Jaysaun (formerly of the Kreators) and certified flamethrower Slaine (La Coka Nostra). These cats put out a track called “Get Ready” on Statik Selektah’s “The Champs Are Here Vol. 2” followed by “Special Teamz-The Mixtape” a while back (that means 2005) and the buzz was ridiculous. Now I finally hold the advance copy of the album in my hands. Import it to iTunes and on to the write up.

The album opens up with the banger “Get Down”. Jaysaun and Slaine murder the track and Ed bats clean up. “Three Kingz” is an ill joint that shouts out the hometown. “Stereotypez” is a kind of song that addresses racism and ignorance that I’d at first think is made for Bostonians but judging by some events depicted in Raven Mack @’s latest blog you can run into ignorant and racist idiots anywhere. “Boston To Bucktown” features Sean P. and Buckshot and I wish it were a minute and a half longer. Then comes another banger called “Classical” that I wish was a minute and a half longer. Lyrically these cats are murking shit all over the place. The following track is theDJ Premier produced “Main Event”. This song sounds as fresh to me as it did when I first heard it on before the mixtape dropped. My neck fuckin’ hurts now.

“Long Time Comin’” is the fly official lead single featuring Devin The Dude on the hook. I likes. “Home 2” is yet another song shouting out the hometown and features local lyricists Frankie Wainwright of Team 220 and Dre Robinson alongside Boston legends Akrobatik (of The Perceptionists) and Twice Thou (of The Almighty R.S.O. and Made Men). ‘Clap Your Handz” is yet another nice track. “Story Of My Life” is a fly joint with a sung hook that could easily be a single. It’s followed by a banger with a sung hook where Jay and Slaine kill it again. “One Call” is a another dope track with a crazy beat. “Fight Club” is a song about failed relationships...this is easily my least favorite song on the album so far.

“Dirty Money” features former Non Phixion frontman Ill Bill and it’s crazy track to keep your head nodding. “Pushaman” tells the tale of a cat slingin’ krills on the block. “Race Riot” is a banger that is the calling card of the group telling the story of each individual member’s experiences growing up in Boston. I love this track. The final track on this album is the bonus track “Gun In My Hand” featuring Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed on the’s meh to me. Not feeling it. It doesn’t suck but Jamey annoys me on the hook.

My verdict is that if you love hip hop and want to cop an album with bost beats and lyrics then cop this joint when it drops on September 25th. It gets a mos def from me.

Massive hip hop supergroup Army Of The Pharaohs boasts members from New York, Boston and Philadelphia. After last years release “The Torture Papers” the Army is back once again with a different lineup with “Rituals Of Battle”. Enough talk, I’ll play the record.

The opening track “Swords Drawn” is a banger that gets your head nodding from the jump. “Time To Rock” is nice and the emcees on the track spit some hardcore thugged out Five Percenter space hybrid shit. “Dump The Clip (Jet Jaguars)” is yet another banger. “Black Christmas” drones on for more than 5 minutes. The beat is subpar and this song is at least two minutes too long. “Blue Steel” gets us back on track and “Gun Ballad” is nice as well. “Strike Back” is just okay and now all of the songs are beginning to string together and sound the same. It’s like listening to a bunch of B and C team Wu Tang members spitting about the same themes over and over again.

“Frontline” is a nice track but I’m having trouble telling some of these cats apart as they spit their verses. “Through Blood By Thunder” is just okay...nothing really stands out or grabs me. “Murda Murda” is a banger! Those are becoming far and few between on this album. “Bloody Tears”, “Seven” and “Drama Theme” all seem to run together rehashing the same old themes and references. “Pages In Blood” is another banger that leads into the almost boring “D&D”. The project closes with the heat rock “Don’t Cry”. I will now make my judgement.

This album just didn’t do it for me at all. It all sounded the same to me after the fourth or fifth track. A Korean crime drama might be dope the first time you watch it but after seeing five more of them that are similar to the first you get kind of burned out on them and maybe it’s time for a (dare I say it) romantic comedy (No I didn’t just write that!). You CAN overdose on this kind of shit unless it’s done perfectly. It wasn’t so this album gets a maybe from me.

The last album I’m reviewing is Philly resident Hezekiah’s second album “I Predict A Riot”. For those of you unfamiliar with Hezekiah’s classic (yeah, I used the C word!) debut “Hurry Up & Wait” or his lead single “Looking Up” with Bilal. This album has all of the earmarks of a potential classic reup. I’ll press play and see if my suspicions are correct or not.

The project opens with “The Beginning”. What’s that I hear? Live instruments? Say word! Crazy ass arrangements and sick vocals open the project on a high note...I hope there’s no letdown coming. “Wild & Wreckless” doesn’t disappoint. Horns, strings and congas can be heard all throughout the track as Hezekiah disses the state of the current music industry. “If One Falls” is yet another ridiculous track with vocals on it. Freeway is featured on the banger “That Filling”. Where’s Freeway’s fuckin’ album? “Looking Up” is the smooth lead single and “Single Now” has Hezekiah telling all the girls on the road that he’s single and down to smash without sounding ig’nant.

“Let’s Get Involved” is yet another sweet sounding banger with vocals over it. “Bombs Over Here” is fuckin’ bananas! The horns are sick. This is some fly shit. y’all. Two short interludes bookend “I See Yaw” and the banger “Moments In Sometime”. I’m gonna have to go back and replay about 5 of these tracks before I continue this reveiw...Okay I’m back. It’s still heat. The title track “I Predict A Riot” is straight up fire. Next up is the smooth “Gotta Love It” which followed by the composition “Ghetto People” that’s dedicated to James Brown. It’s dope as hell and bangs in the headphones. The album closes out with another short interlude and an outro. This is what I originally imagined Mos Def’s “Tru3 Magic” would be like. The jury has finished it’s deliberation.

Do you like music? I mean REAL music. Do you like when you hear strings, horns or piano on Hip Hop tracks? If so, this album is for you. If not, avoid it like the plague because it’ll just sound like coffee shop/Def Poetry Slam/uber backpacker music to you. Hezekiah damn near killed it with this one. I can see this album spending quite a long stay in my iPod. I give “I Predict A Riot” a mos def. When this album drops, cop it ( that is, if you’re into that sort of thing).

And I'm out like shout! © Charlie Brown