It's been an interesting week as far as Hip Hop goes, everyone's waiting to see what new albums are and aren't gonna drop this year. Several albums that were supposed to drop in the 4th quarter have been pushed back to 2009 so they'll flop next year rather than this one. Kanye West, Ludacris and Beyonce sold far less than they all expected in their opening weeks and the only things I got going this weekend are the Celtics/Blazers game and the De La Hoya/Pacquiao fight. The past weekend, I received the new Common, EPMD and Scarface albums. I'm a fan of all of these acts for their entire careera so I can't wait to review these projects.
This week I'll be reviewing three new projects that either leaked or recently hit store shelves in the following order: Common "Universal Mind Control", EPMD "We Mean Business" and Scarface "Emeritus". For those of you new to this blog, 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.
And I don't need no ratchet to reach yo' ass/I'm old school, I'll off you with a piece of glass! © KRS One
Best Joints: Gladiator (and even that was lazy)
Hot Garbage: Intro/Universal Mind Control, Punch Drunk Love, Announcement, Inhale and What A World were all meh. Make My Day, Sex 4 Sugar, Changes, and Everywhere all sucked ass.
Dart's Take: This album should've have come out this past Summer, that way it would've made some semblance of sense and I could've hated it and got this dissapointment out of my system early rather than suffer it all now. This album is crap, plain and simple. Common half assed this entire project on the lyrical side and he should've never picked about half of these beats to rhyme on. Let me be totally frank with you all.
"Punch Drunk Love" should've been a bonus track on "808's and Heartbreak", "Make My Day" should be totally scrapped or placed on a Cee Lo Green/Gnarls Barkley album so I can skip it, "Sex 4 Sugar" should've been given to Busta so he could murder it or LL Cool J so he could try to somehow try to make a hit. "Inhale" needs to be re-recorded with new verses that don't suck.
"Changes" should be given to Muhsinah or Santogold, "What A World" needs to be given to either Chester French, Kenna or become a N.E.R.D. song. "Everywhere" should be Martina Topley-Bird's song by herself. Common should've picked actual beats to rhyme on and then actually spit like he's capable of doing. This soft shoe bullshit is not getting the job done. Coming from a dude that actually liked "Electric Circus", this album is trash. I regretfully give "Universal Mind Control" an oh no.
Best Joints: Puttin' Work In, What You Talkin', Blow, Run It, Yo, Bac Stabbers, Never Defeat 'Em, Jane, Left 4 Dead, They Tell Me and Actin' Up
Hot Garbage: "Roc-Da-Spot" was meh and "Listen Up" just sucked.
Dart's Take: It was great to hear EPMD back together again. That being said, this album was pretty good but far from being a bangathon. While tracks like "Puttin' Work In", "Blow", "Run It", "Never Defeat 'Em", "Jane" and "Actin' Up" get your head noddin' the lone unadulterated banger on the album is the 9th Wonder produced "Left 4 Dead". Guest appearances from Raekwon, Method Man, Havoc, KRS One, Redman and Keith Murray don't oversaturate the album and perfectly complement EPMD. "We Mean Business" gets a recommended maybe from me.
Best Joints: Forgot About Me, Can't Get Right, Still Here, It's Not A Game, Who Are They, Soldier Story, Redemption Song, High Note, We Need You, Unexpected and Emeritus
Hot Garbage: High Powered was meh.
Dart's Take: Scarface's 10th album told me one thing, if he isn't considered one of the top 20-25 emcees of all times then there is something seriously wrong with the world. He hasn't lost it after close to 20 years in the game while several other emcees that were on top during the 80's and 90's have mostly fallen off. After hearing Face kill it on "Can't Get Right", "It's Not A Game", "High Note", "Unexpected" and "Emeritus" you begin to wonder whether or not Hip Hop will be dealt a serious blow with his absence. I give a "Emeritus" a highly recommended maybe.
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):
Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Royce Da 5'9"-Street Hop
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Mos Def-The Ecstatic LP
Royce Da 5'9"-Street Hop
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
MF Doom-Born Into This
Jadakiss-The Last Kiss
And to think, when the Celtics lost the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery I thought we would be stuck sucking for a few more years. Tonight the World Champion Boston Celtics play Oden for the very first time since he missed the entire 2007-08 season with an injury. Who would've thunk it?