Yesterday, a three way deal went down that sent longtime Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez to the LA Dodgers and in return we got some dude named Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates that hit 22 HR's so far this year...in the NL. Too bad I can't get excited about losing a fan favorite and all time great player for an unknown quantity. Manny Ramirez played for the Boston Red Sox from 2001 until 2008 and in those years he cemented his place in MLB history as one of the best that ever did it.
Not only was he a tireless worker, great hitter/RBI machine/run producer and a clutch player but he helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years by being World Series MVP but he helped power them to another World Series championship last season. Talk radio jackasses and dickhead sportswriters liked to stir up shit and create stories about Manny Ramirez but the bottom line was he came to work and did his job better than 95% of the other players in Major League Baseball day in and day out.
I won't focus on how he left town, I'd rather focus on all the postseason appearances, clutch hits, great plays in the field and wins he helped the Red Sox get over his 8 seasons here. I'll also remember all the times he made me laugh during baseball games. Baseball is a kid's game played by men...you're supposed to have fun doing it. Here's to Manny Ramirez, one of the greatest Red Sox in history.
The order I'm reviewing new joints this week goes as follows: King Syze "The Labor Union", Inspectah Deck "The Resident Patient 2", Tame One "Da Ol' Jersey Bastard", Doomtree "Doomtree", Ras Kass "Institutionalized Vol. 2" and Vordul Mega "Megagraphitti". 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 signed with the Red Sox cuz I'm sick of the Yankees always winning every year....© Manny Ramirez, Dec. 2000
Best Joints: The Labor Union, The Best, Play Ya Part (P.Y.P), Creep Show, Love Vs. Hate, Cement Work, Mayhem, That's How You Rap, And Now, Pain, Sibling Rivalry and Reality Check
Hot Garbage: I hated Haters Beware. Too many of these tracks were just okay/meh to me.
Dart's Take: This album was typical AOTP fare. The beats were on point but King Syze's lyrics just didn't raise the bar and maximize my listening experience. I didn't rewind many tracks and while the album was far from wack it just didn't move me or stand out from the other LP's I heard this week. Give it a listen for yourselves. Best I could do was a maybe.
Best Joints: Monster, Feel Good, Streets, No Words At All, S.I, Everybody Ride, A Rebel, Wooden Soldier, What's It All About and Nobody But You
Hot Garbage: Queen, Y'all Niggaz, Who's Who, Gotta Luvit, Certified, U Know U No G, Monster 2, Hood, NYC, Do It 2 Def, Sometimes, How I Get Down & Swaggin'
Dart's Take: Why is Inspectah Deck rhyming over other people's instrumentals? Why is he doing 2 minute freestyles like he's a mixtape rapper or some shit? He's penned and produced Hip Hop classics so why is Resident Patient 2 a step down from his previous release? Did he forget how to work an MPC 2000? Did he lose his phone with all of his contacts? No one could float him a beat? No one was willing to give INS a budget so he can drop a real album for a change?
Presentation is everything and I don't wanna hear Deck rhyming over old Nas and Jay-Z instrumentals like he's some up and coming rapper trying to get on. The lyrics and flow are still there so why not holler at Babygrande or Nature Sounds and see what Ayatollah and Blue Sky Black Death are up to? You spit the verse that gave this blog it's name for God's sake! Don't even bother with this unless you're a super die hard Wu fan. It's damn near heartbreaking to even hear this shit. A thousand times no!
Best Joints: Ol' Jersey Bastard: Live & Uncut, Action Word, Against The Grain, Move, Haha Da Rah Rah, J Dilla Summer Camp Unplugged, Milk Of Magnesia, Supanatural, Catch Me, For You, The Night Cap (After The Jam) and Now
Hot Garbage: N/A (There's only 12 tracks)
Dart's Take: If you're a fan of the knotty headed terror from NJ and you've been fiendin' for some newnnes from the Boom Skwad general then this release won't dissapoint you. By collaborating with underground hero producer Parallel Thought Tame One blacks outs over 12 tracks where some of his bars will have you dying laughing and/or going for the rewind button/working your click wheel to catch what he said. I giving this joint a recommended maybe because of jams like "Against The Grain", "Haha Da Rah Rah", "Milk Of Magnesia", "Catch Me" and "The Nightcap (After The Jam)". Cop it.
Best Joints: Close Your Ears, Drumsticks, Gander Back, The Wren, Gameshow Host, Dots & Dashes, Game Over, Real Class, Last Call, Accident, Sadie Hawkins, The Walrus, Twentyfourseven, Let Me Tell You, Baby, Down The Line, Kid Gloves, Pop Gun War, Reintroduction, Liver Let Die and I'm Talking
Hot Garbage: I didn't like the final track Jaded. That was all.
Dart's Take: These cats are in the same vein as Atmosphere, Blue Scholars, Common Market or Cunninglynguists. They make what we would refer to as "grown folks Hip Hop" that is clearly influenced by cats from the Midwest and Northwest. Sometimes the music takes on a spoken word type feel but the bottom line is that it's dope Hip Hop music. If you give this a listen and joints like "Drumsticks", "Gameshow Host", "Twentyfour Seven", "Pop Gun War" and "Liver Let Die" don't grab you then you should just move on to something else. If you're a fan of the groups I mentioned at the beginning of this review then check for Doomtree.
Best Joints: Victory (We Shall Overcome), Eyes Don't Lie, I'm All That, Behind The Musick, Ironman Thug, John Is Real, B.I.B.L.E., Ups And Downs, Elevate, Try Me, What I Might Be, I Just and M.V.P.
Hot Garbage: We Go In was straight up basura.
Dart's Take: I'm a Ras Kass fan and this project was pretty much what I expected from him lyrically. Sonically, I was a little dissapointed. After hearing Ras kill it on so many other mixtapes and his affiliates projects I was really looking forward to this. I guess my expectations were just too high. The bangers on this joint were "Ironman Thug", "B.I.B.L.E.", "Try Me" and the two Namebrand solo tracks "I Just" and "M.V.P.". Check for Namebrand's new LP "Fligh Skool Bully" coming soon. The best I can do is give this a maybe cuz Ras Kass can easily come harder than this.
Best Joints: Stay Conscious, AK-47, Opium Scripts, Hattori Hanzo, Air Battery, Trigganomics, Broken Halo, Light, In The Mirror, Beautiful, Learn, Peanut Butter Up's, Keep Living, Imani and Megagraphitti
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This album was an enjoyable listen from beginning to end (because I'm a Vordul Mega/Cannibal Ox fanboy). If you're not a fan of Vast Aire, Vordul Mega or their affiliates then I doubt you'd be able to grasp the aesthetic of his style right off the bat. If you're one of those muthafuckas that type shit like "Scream Phoenix" in the comment section of blogs that post news about any thing Can Ox related then you should cop this LP yesterday.
After hearing (and rewinding) "Stay Conscious", "AK-47", "Opium Scripts", "Trigganomics", "In The Mirror" and "Megagraphitti" over and over before finally just letting the joint play all the way through it was a no brainer to award this LP the lone mos def of the week. Cop it now.
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):
Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:
Joe Budden-Padded Room
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
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
Omen-Be The Judge
Capone-N-Noreaga-Reporting The War
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
Royce Da 5'9"-The Bar Exam 2
Large Professor-Main Source
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Common Market-Tobacco Road
Statik Selektah-Stick 2 The Script
The Mighty Underdogs-Droppin' Science Fiction
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
Rapper Big Pooh-Rapper's Delight
Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of August 1st, 2008):
As We Continue-Kardinal Offishall f/Solitair (prod. by K-Salaam & Beatnick)
Back It Up-Buff1 (prod. by Ski Beatz)
What Now-Muneshine f/Sean Price & Termanology (prod. by M-Phazes)
Key To The City-The Alchemist f/Prodigy & Nina Sky (prod. by The Alchemist)
What's Up-Rhymefest f/Jadakiss & Chamillionaire
Opium Scripts-Vordul Mega f/Billy Woods (prod. by Bond)
Funky Piano-DJ Revolution f/Crooked I, Bishop Lamont & Stylistic Jones (prod. by DJ Revolution)
Did It Again-DJ Sepalot f/Saigon (prod. by DJ Sepalot)
Gunfight-The Mighty Underdogs f/MF Doom
Play Ya Part (P.Y.P)-King Syze f/Doap Nixon & Ill Bill
Give It Up-Muja Messiah f/Black Thought (prod. by Malik Worthy)
With You-Rapper Big Pooh (prod. by 9th Wonder)
What Makes A Man-Mikkey Halsted f/Teddy Cain Jr. (prod. by S. Choir)
Surrender-DJ Sepalot f/Blu (prod. by DJ Sepalot)
Milk Of Magnesia-Tame One (prod, by Parallel Thought)
Dripped In Champagne-CL Smooth
Going Nowhere-Mickey Factz (prod. by Precize)
Caught Up-Meghan Rochelle
How We Rock-Termanology f/Bun B (prod. by DJ Premier)
Try Me-Ras Kass f/Frankie Finch, Namebrand & Gift Revolver
Politics (Obama Is Here)-Ludacris
I'm a bad man! © Manny Ramirez