Friday, February 8, 2008
What's New In Dart's iPod #18 AKA Fuck A Release Date!
What the deal, fam? For the first time in a while there were actually enough new advances out that I can make up a new review blog. The beginning of this week was disappointing for a variety of reasons but this one was much better. This week’s reviews will go in the following order: The Clipse & DJ Drama’s mixtape Re Up Gang “We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3: The Spirit Of Competition”, Nicolay and Kay “Time: Line”, Prodigy “H.N.I.C 2” and Justus Leaguer Chaundon’s new project “Carnage”.
I’ve been writing these for a while but there are still some new readers (really?) that aren’t familiar with my wacky take on album reviews. Not assigning an album a rating based on a numerical scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10? That’s nucking futs! Here's how my "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down 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.
Maeby (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.
The first review of the day is of the long awaited mixtape from The Clipse, Ab Liva and Sandman collectively known as the Re Up Gang. The mixtape “We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3: The Spirit Of Competition” first hit the net via the Re Up Gang’s very own blog during Super Bowl XLII and has now spread across the bloggerverse thanks to advances in technology that allow you to record digitally streaming music. Did I like it? My take is directly below:
Best Joints: “Re Up Gang Intro”, “Show You How To Hustle”, “Roc Boys”, “20K Money Making Brothers On The Corners”, “Dey Know Yayo”, “Good Morning”, “Rainy Dayz”, “Cry Now”, “Sand Solo”, “Liva Solo” and “Real Niggaz”
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: This mixtape is so good that it actually got me through the pain of seeing my beloved Pats drop the Super Bowl. The Re Up Gang are experts at making concise mixtapes considering that the first two installments are certified classics. It will take some time before the effects of Vol. 3 are fully realized but this joint does bang from beginning to end. It was about time someone did some justice to the “Dey Know” beat and considering how much I dreaded those old Swizz Beatz joints back in the day it’s interesting to hear different emcees over them and making the songs enjoyable for a change. I suggest you find this mixtape and one of the hundred spots you can download it from and do so. This mixtape gets a mos def.
I’ve been waiting for the new Nicolay and Kay project since the sampler first surfaced a while back on Okayplayer. Based on past Nicolay projects like “City Lights”, “The Dutch Masters”, the Foreign Exchange project and “Here” you know that it’s going to be quality material. Is this album going to be a potential classic like the sampler would lead you to think? I’ll let you know now:
Best Joints: “Blizzard”, “The Lights”, “Through The Wind”, “What We Live”, “I’ve Seen Rivers”, “Tight Eyes”, “As The Wheel Turns”, “The Gunshot”, “Grand Theft Auto”and “When You Die”
Hot Garbage: N/A (“Dancing With The Stars” was my least favorite song)
Dart’s Take: Damn this is good! You know when you’re listening to an album and after about the first three songs you get the feeling that it might be one of those joints that people use the dreaded “c word” in regards to (“classic” for the slow). This album is ridiculous from the very first track all the way to the very end (even though the final track was my least favorite). The production, lyrics, vocals and guest appearances all fit perfectly and melded together into one cohesive 12 track sonic gem.
This does drift into the category of “grown folks Hip Hop” so if you’re not into that kind of music that is conducive to you acquiring wrinkles in your brain then you may want to avoid this joint completely. I pretty much had to rewind each song on “Time: Line” after I played it as it was almost like “The Cool”x “Graduation”. It’s a concept album that follows that protagonist from his birth until his death in 12 beautiful songs. This gets a mos def easy. Buy this album!
Mobb Deep’s last project “Blood Money” was a big letdown for the M.O.B.B’s core audience as they wouldn’t stop talking about how much money that had and their lyricism suffered for it. Prodigy’s “Return Of The Mac” project was seen as a return to form and a rousing success. Now that Bandana P has taken a few L’s and is headed for an extended stay in the bing he’s decided to release his long awaited “H.N.I.C 2” project and travel from spot to spot performing said album before he gets tossed in the pokey. Is it worth buying? Find out below.
Best Joints: “Still Slaves”, “My World Is Empty Without You”, “I Know”, “ABC’s”, “Raining Guns And Shanks” and “Superstars”
Hot Garbage: “Bite Dust” (Hav and P deserve to get their asses kicked for even making this song in the first place. Shit sounds like an outtake from “Jock Jams”)
Dart’s Take: Holy shit! The album starts out with Prodigy dropping jewels and then quickly turns into an Ig’nant Fest. I swear that some of these songs were made by the writing staff at The Boondocks. I love Prodigy but his style is beginning to grate on my nerves after all these years. It sometimes seems like he’s almost trying too damn hard to come up with some “foulness” or to illustrate just how “ill” he is. It wasn’t even a question back in the days but now it’s almost like he really wants you to believe he’s as crazy as he claims he is on record...I’m not really feeling that. Just make some dope music and kill folks with pliers and acetalyne torches on your own time.
Needless to say, this album was just like Havoc’s...okay. It didn’t suck but I don’t see myself playing this too often as it makes me want to beat people with shovels for no reason and then cry in the shower as I wash the blood off of myself (graphic, huh?). This album gets a maybe because you (the reader) might be into that kinda stuff. I’d rather just watch a Korean horror flick myself.
The final album I’m reviewing today is Chaundon’s new joint entitled “Carnage”. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past 6+ years then you should be aware of the Justus League and their extended family of emcees and producers. Among the ranks of the Hip Hop version of The Avengers are emcees such as emcee/producer Oddissee, Kaze, Edgar Allen Flow, Sean Boog, Torae, Skyzoo, Vandalyzm, Median, Joe Scudda, Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte of Little Brother. Given that lately Little Brother, The Away Team, Skyzoo, Median and Torae have all produced high quality albums in the last 6 months could Chaundon keep the streak going? Find out directly below:
Best Joints: “The Greatest Warrior”, “Don’t Take It Personal”, “3 Kings”, “HPNY”, “Gone”, “Told You That”, “Can I Live”, “Carnage”, “Selfish”, “Submission” and “We Are Here”
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: Damn! The Justus League done did it again. “Carnage” is one hell of an album and it was just what I needed to pull me out of the doldrums Bipolar P’s album put me in. Good ol’ beats and lyrics. Punchlines, metaphors, similes, wit, humor and creativity are all in abundance along with several guest appearances from other League members.
The production on the album is excellent and there is very little on this project that wouldn’t impress you or hold your interest. This is head noddin’ satisfaction a la Karrine Steffans (but minus the book deal). Cop this album as soon as bloody possible if you want to hear some quality Hip Hop in the First Quarter of 2008. “Carnage” gets a mos def.
Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:
I'm Also Looking Forward To Reviewing The Following Projects:
Kidz In The Hall-The In Crowd
Jean Grae & 9th Wonder-Jeanius
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Jay Electronica-Act II