Friday, May 30, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #32 AKA The Review Blog About Nothing

The Lakers beat the old and decrepit San Antonio Spurs to win the Western Conference Championship in 5 games and the Boston Celtics are hoping to close out the Pistons in Detroit tonight. This past week we also lost one of the best emcees in the underground Hip Hop scene, Camu Tao (MHz, Weathermen). I can remember hearing Camu on some many of those great joints during the Backpack Era that it's hard to grasp that anyone that young could pass away. Cancer ain't no joke, people.

Technorati is all fucked up so my posts aren't getting picked up and my authority dropped from 87 to 60. I don't care about that so much...what bothers me is that Favorites are down so I have to go search all of my 165 favorite blogs manually...that's fuckin' ghey. What they hell is up with Technorati? It's been falling apart slowly all month long.

The four projects I'm reviewing today are as follows and will be reviewed in order of listing: Kaze "Block 2 The Basement", Craig G & Marley Marl "Operation: Take Back Hip Hop", Jean Grae & 9th Wonder "Jeanius" and Wale "A Mixtape About Nothing". For those of you new to the party, I don’t rate albums on a scale or assign them a numerical value out of 5 or 10, instead I merely answer the all important question of “Is it worth buying or not?”. 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.

I don't push the envelope/I push the whole post office! © Chino XL

Kaze is an associate of the North Carolina based collective The Justus League. He’s recorded a few projects in the past with 9th Wonder (Spirit Of ‘94 & several guest spots) and he released a different version of this mixtape before in 2007. Now it’s been retooled, extra tracks have been added and Rawkus is distributing it as part of their Rawkus 50 campaign. Does it still bang? Let’s see:

Best Joints: The Grudge, (Wolves In The Gutter), Silent Ones, Immaculate, Ride Wit Me, Paperwork, I Got Soul, You Call That Gangsta, You Don’t Know, Real Life, The Darkside, Dynasty, The Stereotype (Remix), I Was Raised On It (The 80’s), So Real, Black Man Worldwide, Genuine, Dear God (Trouble At Home), The Quickening, We Want It All

Hot Garbage: Burn It Up

Dart’s Take: With the amendments and it getting a proper release in stores and digitally this mixtape only got better. Kaze comes harder than the typical rappity rap cats you might associate with the Justus League normally. The production is solid throughout and lyrically Kaze doesn’t slack off. He varies it up and shows off his versatility as well witch tracks like “Real Life”, “The Stereotype”, “You Call That Gangsta” and “Dear God (Trouble At Home)”.

Tracks like “I Got Soul”, “Paperwork”, “I Was Raised On It (The 80’s)” and “So Real” are definite headnodders, the only misstep is “Burn It Up” which sound like Kaze and crew were trying too hard to make a club banger. This LP gets a mos def from me. Seek it out.

Last year, Marley Marl hooked up with KRS One and made an eye opening collabo called “Hip Hop Lives”. Can lightning strike twice as Marley Marl steps behind the boards this go ‘round with Juice Crew member Craig G as the Master Of Ceremonies. Will this project hold the attention of Hip Hop heads today? Find out below:

Best Joints: Reintroduction, Quality Work, Made The Change, Deep Down, We Gets It In, Just What I Need, All Seasons, War Going On, Open Ya Eyes, Regrets, Not A Word, Rock Dis

Hot Garbage: Skates, Stay In Ya Lane and Don’t Make Me Laugh didn’t do it for me. Actually, most of these songs were just okay.

Dart’s Take: This album is a’ight but it didn’t make me scrunch up my face once. My head wasn’t bobbing to many of these tracks, I was just listening intently and patiently on a banger, I didn’t replay one track on this entire project.

They were only about 4 solid tracks but the rest were just slightly forgettable background music, sorry to say (the Sadat X track was disappointing to say the least). It wasn’t wack but not too much stood out to me. I was a good solid 6.5 out of 10 all the way through...and I don’t rate on a numeric scale like that. I can’t do better than a maybe for this project.

Jean Grae & 9th Wonder’s long awaited collaboration “Jeanius” finally got a release date and a bunch of creative covers. Is it still as ill as I remember it being? Will Jean Grae call it a career and never release her highly anticipated “Phoenix” LP on Blacksmith/Warner? Will Rip Hamilton play in the game tonight with his hurt elbow? Find out below (except for Rip’s elbow, that is):

Best Joints: Intro, 2 32’s, Don’t Rush Me, My Story, The Time Is Now, Billy Killer, Think About It, 8, American Pimp, This World, Love Thirst, Desperada, Smashmouth

Hot Garbage: N/A (It sucks that this album took 4 years to finally get a proper release)

Dart’s Take: The first time I heard this album back when it first leaked in 2004 on I thought it was dope. I marvelled at how Jean Grae murdered every verse and made 9th Wonder’s production even better than what it was. I was looking forward to the proper version dropping and being viewed as a damn near classic project. Never happened...that was 4 years ago!

Now with rumors abound that Jean Grae wants to quit the game (she’s threatened to quit so many times over the past 10 years it’s hard to take seriously. Ask Mr. Len or Pumpkinhead for proof) and she’s supposedly heated that the “LoveThirst” video was released. I say “supposedly” because Jean is a reputed pratical joker, when she wrote her “farewell” blog in the picture she poster I swear it said “Sike” on her fingers.

With all that said, “Jeanius” is sheer genius. I thought so when I had shitty quality audio versions of the tracks and they’re 10x better now. I can’t give this anything but a mos def. Go forth and cop it now that you actually can.

Ever since it turned 2008 people have been waiting for Allido/Interscope signee Wale to drop his Seinfeld inspired mixtape titled “A Mixtape About Nothing”. His "100 Miles And Running" mixtape with Nick Catchdubs really opened the eyes of a lot of sleepers in 2007. Since it’s so heavily anticipated I won’t waste anymore time and I’ll just launch into it. My review is just below:

Best Joints: The Opening Title Sequence, The Roots Song Wale Is On (Rising Down), The Feature Heavy Song (Back In The Go Go), The Freestyle (Roc Boys), The Perfect Plan, The Kramer, The Crazy, The Vacation From Ourselves, The Remake Of A Remake, The Grown Up, The Manipulation, The Artistic Integrity, The Star, The Skit (Untz Untz), The Cliche Lil Wayne Feature (Nike Boots Remix), The BMore Club Slam, The Chicago Falcon Remix, The Hype, The End Credits

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Heads have been waiting for this mixtape for several months now and Wale does not disappoint the listener one bit. This is an excellent mixtape from top to bottom. I had to give “The Kramer” a couple of rewinds because it was so well executed (Nas, I’m looking at you!), I gave the following tracks a reload as well: “The Vacation From Ourselves”, “The Grown Up”, “The Manipulation”, “The Artistic Integrity (4x)”, “The Star”, “The Hype” and “The End Credits”.

Wale’s creativity and lyricism when matched with The Best Kept Secret’s production makes for a good combination like Positive K and LG. “The Mixtape About Nothing” gets a mos def. Download it here

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:

Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:

Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Joe Budden-Padded Room
Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Immortal Technique-The 3rd World
Blu-God Is Good
Termanology-Politics As Usual
Sean Price, Guilty Simpson & Black Milk-Random Axe
Platinum Pied Pipers-Abundance
Method Man & Redman-Blackout 2
Redman-Muddy Waters 2
B.O.B.-The Adventures Of B.O.B.
The Alchemist-Chemical Warfare
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Common-Invincible Summer
Omen-Be The Judge
Capone-N-Noreaga-Reporting The War
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
Heltah Skeltah-D.I.R.T (Da Incredible Rap Team)

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of May 30th, 2008):

I Was Raised On It (The 80's)-Kaze
City Lights-Bishop Lamont (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Desperada-9th Wonder & Jean Grae (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Girls Talk-Che Grand
I'm Coming-Chino XL (prod. by DJ Khalil)
The Artistic Integrity-Wale (prod. by Best Kept Secret)
Live Like I'm Dying-Sha Stimuli (prod. by Dao Jones)
Skeletons-Gemstones f/Sarah Green
E! Channel-Elucid f/Suzanne Vega (prod. by DNA)
I Keep It Gutter Like-Lupe Fiasco f/Stack Bundles
Lost In Transit-Currensy (prod. by Nesby Phips)
On A Cloud-Platinum Pied Pipers f/Karma (prod. by Waajeed)
We Gets It In-Craig G. & Marley Marl f/Talib Kweli (prod. by Marley Marl)
Gangstas Theme-Custom Made
Can We Hang Out Tonight?-Count Bass D (prod. by Count Bass D)
Say Goodnight-Reks (prod. by DJ Premier)
Get Off My Dick-Bishop Lamont (prod. by Tha Bizness)
Angel-Platinum Pied Pipers f/Coultrain (prod. by Waajeed)
Don't Rush Me-9th Wonder & Jean Grae (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Naturally-Mickey Factz f/Jade
Children Sing-Pace Won And Mr. Green (prod. by Mr. Green)
Paperwork-Kaze f/Royce Da 5'9"
Keep Comin'-K.Hill f/Shabaam Sahdeeq, Supastition, Torae & Tiffany Paige (prod. by K. Hill)
The Hacksaw Jim Duggan-Wale f/Skyzoo (prod. by Best Kept Secret)
Rock The Spot (All Star Remix)-Bash Bros. f/Sean Price, Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Reef The Lost Cauze, Verbal Kent, Motion Man, Charlie 2na (Jurassic 5) and Rapper Big Pooh (Little Brother)

Ubuntu! © Boston Celtics

Go Celtics! Close 'em out in the D tonight!


1 comment:

Olskool4real said...

Dart you cracked that Craig G Marley Marl album right in the head!! Only I felt that if I had've purchased this, and popped it in the car, and rode home, I would've probably hit I-95 heading to New York to fing both of these cats and smack'em!! Ohhhh was i dissapointed big time!!!You held back but I won't it was straight booty 4 real, and I got much love for both of them!!Just had no appeal I got nothing from it not boom bap or boom dip!!You just don't do that!!! Taking back hip hop well apparently not with these two!!!Thanks Dart