My week started out slow as I decided to do a new Revenge Of The 80's post about The ThunderCats. It was so long that I ended up posting it two days late and I still managed to miss some links I was supposed to add to it. My Thursday post this week is "Dart Adams presents Livications: Oh Word" and it's so ambitious and original (and long) that I have to rewrite it and then finish it on the weekend so look out for the finished post, it'll be well worth it (the Fat Tape/CD-R will be delayed as well for the fourth week in a row). I'll just go ahead and jump right into the reviews like I did last week...and the week before that.
This week I'll be reviewing eight new projects that leaked in the following order: Ayatollah "Drum Machine", Big Noyd "Street Kings", Sway "The Signature LP", The Primeridian "Da Mornin' Afta", The Mighty Underdogs "Droppin' Science Fiction", Cage "The Best & Worst Of Cage", Diamond D "The Huge Hefner Chronicles" and The Foreign Exchange "Leave It All Behind". 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.
If you're not parallel to my paragraphs...© Black Milk
Best Joints: Everywhere, In Orbit, I Gotta Rock, Uncivilized, Inside Of Him, Let Jah Be Praised, Supersonic, The Best Thing, I Love The Way You Love Me, Mass Transit and Brolic
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This is yet another well made instrumental album from Ayatollah. His previous release "Louder" was slightly better than this digital album in my opinion but if you're a beathead then you should definitely check this one out. Since it's kinda on the short side you really need to think about this one and maybe go and find a copy of "Louder" instead if you haven't already. Either way, Ayatollah gets paid. I give "Drum Machine" a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Yes, Make Me and Friends
Hot Garbage: Know What I'm Sayin', Up In New York, We Ridin', Family, Gangsta Niggaz, Hunger Pains, Rags To Riches, Love It Or Not, Is It Me, Wassup and Burn It Down
Dart's Take: Big Noyd completely failed to keep my attention and he proved that he can no longer carry a project by himself anymore. Pull the car over and hand the keys to someone else, fam. As an aside, this would've made quite a nice instrumental album because Noyd (nor Big Twin) didn't say shit worth retaining for the entire duration of this clusterfuck of an album. "Street Kings" (he changed the title!) gets an oh no from me. Are you really surprised about that?
Best Joints: Fit 4 A King, Say It Twice, Silver & Gold, F UR X, Jason Waste, Look After My Girl, Pray For Kaya, Walk Away, Upload, Stereo, End Of The Road and Special all ranged from meh to a'ight
Hot Garbage: Saturday Night Hustle, Letters To Heaven and Taxi
Dart's Take: I had a harder time than I anticipated getting into "The Signature LP". The attempts at singles ("Saturday Night Hustle", "Silver & Gold", "Look After My Girl", etc.) are way too obvious and it might take me a few more listens for it to catch on with me. Sway Dasafo is one of my favorite UK/Grime artists so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. I can't do better than a maybe right now, though.
Best Joints: Intro, Change The Meridian, Home To You, Bucktown (City Of Wind), Hang On (Nicolay Remix), Melodic Healing, Let's Go, Trust and Shoutro
Hot Garbage: High Noon Stank, Takuthere, Whistle While You Work and Mario Speaks are all meh
Dart's Take: I thought I'd like this album more as well but fell surprisingly short of my expectations. The Primerididan are one of my favorite underground groups from Chicago and All Natural and Kidz In The Hall raised the bar so high already this year that "Da Mornin' Afta" was often hit and miss with me. Tracks like "Change The Meridian", "Bucktown (City Of Wind)" and "Melodic Healing" stand out and the other standout track is a Nicolay remix of "Hang On". I don't know what happened but this album didn't blow me away like I thought it might. I still give it a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Monster, Hands In The Air, So Sad, Gunfight, Escape, UFC Remix, Want You Back, Aye and Victorious
Hot Garbage: Ill Vacation, Science Fiction, Laughing At You, Folks and WarWalk
Dart's Take: This album turned out to be the disappointment of the week for me. I had high hopes for this album starring my favorite Solesides/Quannum emcees but it just didn't do the job for me. Too many of the tracks were boring or too long or the beats just didn't knock enough. It's the same way I felt while listening to People Under The Stairs "Fun DMC", I was waiting for a track to get me hyped and it never came.
"Monster", "Hands In The Air", "So Sad", "Gunfight", "Escape", "Want You Back" and "Aye" were all alright and the closest we get to potential rewind material on this album are "UFC Remix" and "Victorious". Everything else I could skip over without regret. This album should've been so much better, I'm underwhelmed. The best I can do is a maybe for "Droppin' Science Fiction".
Best Joints: Holdin' A Jar Too, Among The Sleep, Summer In Hell, Stargate, Underground Rapstar, Escape To 88, Suicidal Failure, Cop Hell, In Stoney Lodge, Gimmesomedeath, Weather People, Dust vs. Ecstacy, Agent Orange, 54, More In Outs, Ballad Of The Worms, Keep The City Up, Too Much and A Crowd Killer
Hot Garbage: N/A (There are about 4 or 5 more tracks I would've added)
Dart's Take: This is pretty much a collection of all the Fondle 'Em, Bad Magic and Eastern Conference singles that Cage did with a few collabo singles added in. It's great to have tracks like "54" on this collection but I wish "4 Letter Word" and "Mersh" could've made this compilation as well. If you don't have all of these Cage albums already (like I do) then this is a good idea for a purchase although I'd add a few more Smut Peddlers, Leak Bros. tracks and Weathermen collabs. Mos def all the way.
Best Joints: U Can't Be Me, D-I-A-M-O-N-D, Don't Beg, Baby, I Getz In, Get Up, I'll Be Alright, Bad/Good
Hot Garbage: Good Tyme, When Ur Hot Ur Hot and I Wanna Leave are all meh
Dart's Take: This is Diamond D's version of "Pay Jay". He decided to focus on the rhyming aspect while producers like DJ Scratch and Nottz laced him with tracks. The result? "The Huge Hefner Chronicles' was an enjoyable listening experience from start to finish. I rewound "U Can't Be Me" and "D-I-A-M-O-N-D" right out the gate. The album was full of headnodding joints but it only clocked in at 11 total track with 3 being mehish. If the album was longer I could've gave it a higher grade but the best I can do is give it a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Daykeeper, Take Off The Blues, All Or Nothing/Coming Home To You, Wanna Know, House Of Cards, Sweeter Than You, Valediction, If She Breaks Your Heart, If This Is Love, Something To Behold and Leave It All Behind
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: The last Foreign Exchange LP "Connected" was a modern classic (yeah, I used the C word!) and Nicolay & Kay's "Time: Line" is an Album Of The Year nominee and based on the "Leave It All Behind" sampler this album could be a monster. After just one listen of this project it was clear that this was one hell of a concise album. I played so many tracks over that it took me more than two hours to listen to it all the way to the final joint, the title track. Needless to say after it was over, I played it all over again. "Leave It All Behind" gets a mos def, go and cop it from iTunes right this minute. Nicolay has yet another album in the running for Album Of The Year in 2008. Phonte Coleman is a beast.
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):
Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:
Kanye West-808's & Heartbreak
Illa J-Yancey Boys
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Mos Def-The Ecstatic LP
88 Keys-The Death Of Adam
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.
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Wiley-I See Clear
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of October 10th, 2008):
Shake This-Royce Da 5'9" (prod. by DJ Premier)
My Money Is My Bitch-Alchemist f/Mack Maine (prod. by Alchemist)
I Ain't Even On Yet-GLC
Attitude Problem-The Dogg Pound f/Cassidy & Swizz Beatz
Change The Meredian (Hard Rock)-The Primeredian f/No Mercy
Swagger Like Us Freestyle-Drake
Monster-The Mighty Underdogs (prod. by Headnodic)
Baby Back-Freeway (prod. by Blunt)
Upload-Sway (co-prod. by Terror Danjah & Scratcha DVA)
Illustrious-14KT (prod. by 14KT)
Lacey Duvalle-Charles Hamilton
Bring The Goons Out-Grafh (prod. by Cookin Soul)
A Milli (Live)-The Roots f/Lil' Wayne
5 Minutes-Wale f/Skyzoo
Young, Fresh And Fly-Emilio Rojas (prod. by Illmind)
Can You Feel It?-SeDrew Price
Something The Behold-The Foreign Exchange (prod. by Nicolay)
All 2Gether Now-Statik Selektah f/State Property (prod. by Statik Selektah)
U Can't Be Me-Diamond D (prod. by DJ Scratch)
Hollowman Meets Joell Ortiz- Giggs & Joell Ortiz (prod. by DJ Semtex)
Nobody Do It Like Us-Big Pooh f/Joe Scudda (prod. by Don Cannon)
Two Of The Best (Treacherous Remix)-Crooked I f/One-2 (prod. by Komplex)
Melodic Healing-The Primeredian f/Yaw
Cali Nights-Statik Selektah f/Glasses Malone, Mistah FAB & Novel (prod. by Statik Selektah)
The Layover-Evidence (prod. by Evidence)
Get Up-Ruste Juxx f/Lil' Vic
Bust Your Windows (Remix)-Jazmine Sullivan f/Skillz
Expect The Unexpected-Cassidy & Murder Mook
Less Than Enough-14KT f/AB & Zo! (prod. by 14KT)
Escape-The Mighty Underdogs f/Mr. Lif & Akrobatik (prod. by Headnodic)
Light Up A Fire-Busta Rhymes (prod. by Don Cannon)
Take Off The Blues-The Foreign Exchange (prod. by Nicolay)
Victory-Rosco P. Coldchain
Sooner Than Later-Drake
Stereo-Sway (prod. by Chops)
Beautiful America-Sene (prod. by Blu)
Can We (Chill Again??)-14KT f/Aloe Blacc (prod. by 14KT)
I'll Be Alright-Diamond D f/Novel
Victorious-The Mighty Underdogs (prod. by Headnodic)
Eight is enough! © Barack Obama