Those of you that are regular blog readers are familiar with my unorthodox ratings system already know what the deal is. 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.
Do you think that's air you're breathing now? © Morpheus
I’ll begin with the long awaited new album by hometown hero Akrobatik. Ak is the pride of Codman Square, a local emcee legend, a member of The Perceptionists with Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One and the author of mad classic tracks. “Absolute Value” is Akrobatik’s first album on Fat Beats after getting his PlayAktion label deal. Will “Absolute Value” stand next to “Balance” as a certified classic? Let’s find out below:
Best Joints: “A To The K”, “Soul Glo”, “Put Ya Stamp On It”, “Step It Up”, “Raw”, “Be Prepared”, “Absolute Value”, “Black Hell Breaks Loose”, “Kindred”, “Front Steps II (Tough Love)”, “Beast Mode”, “If We Can’t Build”, Ak B. Nimble” and “Back Home To You”
Hot Garbage: N/A (There isn’t a weak moment on this joint)
Dart’s Take: This album far exceeded my expectations and I was already anticipating it to be good. Ak really brought it lyrically and with his delivery. The guest appearances were all on point (B Real, Talib Kweli, Mr. Lif, Willie Evans Jr. & Therapy) and the beats are of that hard boom bap variety. This album does not disappoint in any believable facet. Ak has done it again...I give it a mos def.
Next up is the Valentine’s Day inspired QN5 EP called “Baby Blue For Pink”. If you’re not familiar with the QN5 team then you’ve easily missed out on some of the best Hip Hop music of the past decade, easily. PackFM, ToneDeff, Kno, Cashmere The Pro, Substantial and a gang of more heads have been recording and producing hella heat on the underground for a long time now. How does this stack up to their previous efforts? Let’s find out:
Best Joints: “Plucking Daisies”, “The Letter”, “Know I Do Remix”, “R Love Songs Gay?”, “Digital Video” and “Close”
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: The QN5 collective dropped this joint right around Valentine’s Day and it deals with relationships and issues surrounding them. This is material that the vast majority of folks don’t rock with for whatever reason. I get sick of hearing songs about crack, guns and bitches and it’s refreshing to actually hear song joints about “real shit”. Dare I say it again? It’s grown folks Hip Hop!
I loved every minute of this EP and tracks like “R Love Songs Gay?” are emblematic of why. How come dudes who diss females and hang with nothing but dudes and make songs for their boys on some Gangstalicious shit are considered “real” but a dude making a song about loving a female is considered soft or even gay? What kind of fuckin’ alternate reality/Bizarro World is this? I’ve been rocking this EP since I first got just less than a week ago. Cop it on iTunes or however else because this project is well worth it. It gets another mos def from me.
The final mixtape I have for you all is from UK rhyming sensation Sway (Dasafo). If you’re not familiar with his resume then I suggest you seek out his previous work like “This Is My Promo (This Is Not My Album)”, “This Is My Demo” and the “One For The Journey EP”. Sway is a talented producer as well (DCypha Productions) and his new album “The Signature” should drop in May. How did I like this mixtape? Let’s find out now.
Best Joints: “Know Yourself”, “New Skool”, “Black Stars”, “The Dotted Lines”, “More LDN”, “Feat Sway Part A & B”, “Sway On Air Part B”, “You’ll Get Over It”, “The Sky Is Falling”, “The World Is Filled” and “My Sword”
Hot Garbage: N/A (although I wasn’t really feeling “F UR X”, “Let It Go”, “The Story Has Just Begun” and “MC Charlie Boy (The Deportee Song)”
Dart’s Take: This is a cool mixtape for anyone that wants to get familiar with Sway’s work and didn’t know who he was before he was in the cipher on the BET Hip Hop Awards (that’s also included on the mixtape). Sway rhymes over Dizzee’s “Old Skool (Pussyhole)” track and Lily Allen’s “LDN” instrumental early on. You get to experience Sway’s gift for wordplay and his pride in being from Ghana.
There is also a segment where Sway Calloway calls in to Radio 1Xtra during the Tim Westwood Show and has an interesting exchange with Sway regarding them having the same name (spoiler alert: US Sway isn’t happy). Overall, this mixtape is definitely worth downloading but it’s nothing Earth shattering. It gets a recommended maybe because I’m a Sway fan...is it true that Kano got dropped? Some US label should scoop him up (hint, hint). Download this mixtape now off of Sway's MySpace page here.
Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:
I'm Also Looking Forward To Reviewing The Following Projects:
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Jay Electronica-Act II
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Jay Electronica-Act II
Atmosphere-When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold
Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (As Of February 19th, 2008):
Mr. Big Fizz-C.R.A.C. Knuckles (Blu & Ta'Raach)
2 For The Money-O.C. & A.G.
The Healer-Erykah Badu
Put Ya Stamp On It-Akrobatik f/Talib Kweli
Reasons-Co$$ AKA CashUsKing
Pray For Me (Suicide Note)-Reks
Freedom: Part 2-Fred Knuxx f/Crooked I
Be Aware-E.Dot & Darp Malone
Makin' It Hard-Devin The Dude
Arcade Fly-Both Nice (6th Sense & Wildabeast)
Good Love-Sheek Louch
The Sky Is Falling-Sway
Kilo Rap-Termanology f/Ghetto & Big Noyd
My Grandma's Kitchen-Blu
4 Walls-Joe Budden
The Best Secret-Pete Rock f/Lords Of The Underground
Collect Respect Anna Check-C.R.A.C. Knuckles (Blu & Ta' Raach)
Now it's my turn and they don't like that, kicko/cuz I'm a pain in da ass just like those Jigga intros © Chaundon