Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Message To Record Labels: Stop Pushing Back Albums! AKA Cop It On February 30th Or Neveruary 7th! (Re-Up From 2006)

Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted on December 1st, 2006 on as part of my "State Of Hip Hop/Poisonous Paragraphs" blog series. I usually posted my blogs up at 8:00 PM on Fridays but I posted it at Noon and put [LEAKED] next to the title as was common practice with leaked albums in The Reason. Also "Hip Hop Is Dead" hadn't leaked yet so my inbox was full of requests for it. I didn't respond to any of them and it officially leaked the next week. Here we go:

This is a public service announcement to all record labels: Stop pushing back albums in hope of generating more of a buzz. The shit doesn't work! If it leaked...just say "Fuck it" and release it ANYWAYS! If you do anything then PUSH THE RELEASE DATE UP!

Everyone in the recording industry is concerned about album leaks and illegal downloading, yet few seem to actually be proactive in doing something about it. Let's all face facts, the the old way of releasing albums might be dead forever. If you think you can release a single and video and have that running for two entire months and THEN release the album then you're clearly out of your minds.

People have the means to get their hands on that material and they will use it, the industry is in the hands and ears of the audience now and record labels and corporations need to stop fighting this fact and come to grips with it.

By the same token, if they think that the answer to making money off of an album that leaked early is to hold it back for 4 more months, record more material for it, make another video for it and THEN release it again the result will be TWO VERSIONS of the same heavily bootlegged LP (as in the case of Lupe Fiasco).

There are several instances of albums that were never formerly released by the original label being bootlegged so heavily that they were released due to public demand. This happened with KMD's "Black Bastards" LP, UTD's "Manifest Destiny", InI's "Center Of Attention", Main Source's "Fuck What You Think" and more recently with Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine".

What's even weirder that there have been albums that have been so heavily bootlegged and requested by the public that record labels just refuse to release them. These include Large Professor's "The LP", Jungle Brothers' "Crazy Wisdom Masters", Foxy Brown's "Ill Na Na 2: The Fever", 2Pac's "One Nation" and Clipse's "Exclusive Audio Footage".

The question remains: What do labels gain by not releasing already bootlegged material? Pride? Get the fuck outta here! Isn't the whole purpose of singles and radio airplay to generate interest and create buzz for an upcoming project? By that same line of thinking then doesn't it make sense to release a product that the public is obviously clamoring for?

Once an albums release date is announced nowadays, fans immediately being doing something called "leak math" to determine when it will be available for download online through either a private source, torrents or a music blog (It usually falls between 7-14 days before it's release).

As soon as an album is available for download, posters on music messageboards announce the leak and visitors either receive links to the leak via PM's and inboxes or they perform Google and Blogger searches to find them on their own.

In some cases, if the downloader likes the album, they'll go out and purchase it when it actually comes out. In many cases, it will end up on a computer hard drive or in an MP3 player/phone/iPod. In other cases, it will get erased.

Regardless of which of the above happen, said album will be discussed ad naseum on internet messageboards. This online feedback, oddly enough ends up being promotional material that will affect whether a poster will go out and purchase said album for themselves or not.

Several albums have suffered saleswise due to labels pushing back their releases and putting out another single because of greed or bootlegging. The three biggest losers due to both reasons this past year were Busta Rhymes' "The Big Bang", Pharrell Williams' "In My Mind" and Lupe Fiasco's "Food & Liquor".

Had Busta's album dropped while either "Touch It" or the remix was STILL hot on the radio and the label didn't delay it and release the lackluster "I Love My Chick (Bitch)" sales would've been better...instead, it just set the album up for heavier bootlegging.

If Pharrell's album been dropped back when "You Want It Like That" still been hot on the radio it possibly would've sold better. Unfortunately, the label pushed it back and made the mistake of making "Number One" the next single and added some questionable elements to the video that alienated some potential buyers (close ya shirts, niggas!).

If "Food & Liquor" would've dropped while "Kick, Push" was still hot (even with the 2 month premature leak). I'm SURE it would've done better than Lupe did with his album being pushed back another 4 months and the initial leak still floating around the net along with his 1st & 15th mixtapes, "Lupe The Jedi" and "Touch The Sky" still in everyone's iPods.

The initial buzz had died down by the time "I Gotcha" dropped...besides, by then online heads had already heard "I Gotcha" and "Daydreaming" anyways.

All these "marketing strategies" succeeded in doing was assure that these albums would be heavily bootlegged and downloaded due to demand and overall interest. Even people that AREN'T fans or potential listeners can't wait for the leak just so they can download, listen and talk shit about it in person or on's become a sport now!

In conclusion, record labels need to realize that we fans don't need two entire goddamn months of the same song on the radio and THEN an album to drop, if the songs is still hot...DROP THE FUCKIN' ALBUM! Don't get greedy and try to squeeze out another single, it will only make people want to bootleg your shit even more.

It's a Catch 22 and the digital hole in the marketplace, public demand and the online community make it a game record companies cannot hope to win so just put the album out and promote it. Whatever happens from there happens!

The market has made it so that the following albums are going to be the next to be heavily bootlegged once they leak: Dr. Dre's "Detox", Raekwon's "Only Built For Cuban Linx 2", Redman's "Red Gone Wild", Joe Budden's "The Growth", Talib Kweli's, "Eardrum", Saigon's "The Greatest Story Never Told" and Papoose's "The Nacirema Dream" are all amongst the most anticipated upcoming projects in 2007.

Well, y'all get the idea...I'm off to listen to "More Fish", "True Magic" and "Hip Hop Is Dead...The N". I'll buy 'em all...I promise!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hip Hop Ain't Dead...Yet AKA Y'all Know I Got The Cal On Me! (Re-Up From 2006)

Editor's Note: I originally wrote this as the farewell post of my blog series "The State Of Hip Hop/Poisonous Paragraphs"on December 29th, 2006. A few days later, I started this very same blog. The following blog received moderate attention because few readers of's The Reason section were willing to read the entire thing. It got about 30 responses before it was buried and by the next week it was forgotten and I was blogging up a storm on here.

Funny story is that J-Zone posted a blog called "R.I.P. Rap...Is Hip Hop Dead?" on February 12, 2007 where he explained all of the things wrong with the Rap music industry. He touched on a lot of the same things I did with my blog back in December. Everyone praised his blog and posted it all over the internet. I remember reading it like "I said that same thing months ago!" 'Net heads were carrying J-Zone around on their digital shoulders and I was like "Damn!". That shit is just so funny to me now. Here it is:

History repeats itself. Heads have been crying "Hip Hop Is Dead" for damn near 30 years now and we've already lost Rock & Roll, Blues, and Jazz although for many different reasons (Lack of ownership in all aspects of the business and waning fan support/the youth became interested in other music forms like R& B/Soul and Doo Wop, etc.)

Either way, the music got away from it's roots and original purpose so much that the people who originally made the music and were the main consumers of it either slowly stopped listening to it or jumped to another musical form en masse. Could the same happen to hip hop? I pray to God, no.

That bring us to the question..."What is wrong with Hip Hop?" I do have to make the qualifiers that Hip Hop and it's 4 elements are very much alive and well, this term "Hip Hop" as it's used here refers more to the commercial side of Hip Hop...Rap music. I pinpointed 12 things that need to improve to ensure that there will be MORE generations of Hip Hoppers to come. Here they are:

1. Where are all of the real emcees? Not dudes that used to do something else and just said "fuck it" one day and picked up a mic. I'm talking about emcees that grew up studying the art of emceeing and basic human communication Saul Williams and Black Ice style. They then found their individual niches, evolved and started figuring out how to flip the English language while repping their region. How important is the issue of "street cred" if your ass can't rap in the first place?

As of right now there are too many thugs, hustlers, gangsters and trappers on the mic. There are also too many goddamn 5 syllable word, dictionary quoting, offbeat rhyming over sci fi movie sound effect "emcees" as well. On the real, there are too many goddamn rappers, period.

Anyone with access to a computer or recording equipment can be a rapper and put out slim case CD's with Photoshop inserts of themselves spittin' over industry's too goddamn bad you don't need any real qualifications to rap. It's not like a profession where you need to be certified to practice...then again, that's what partly attracts us all to it in the first place.

2. The music has become way too corporate/single based as well as becoming too clinical and clean sounding.Technology has made things too simple and in some cases too easy. Some of the best hip hop songs in the past had record pops, grainy samples and so many classic tracks were made by/started out as this ProTools era those kind of records are a thing of the past since they can be cleaned up and digitally "fixed". We have people digitally placing themselves on remixes with established artists and passing them off as official. Who stole the soul?

Battles aren't even what they used to be thanks to corporate interests, just look at Fight Klub which airs nationally on MTV2 now. Hip hop battles are supposed to be a spontaneous thing and only set up in the case of the settling of a grudge/battle for lyrical they happen with celebrity judges for a purse of cash, taped for a DVD audience, backed by record labels and different corporate sponsors and after the DVD gets ripped, posted all over YouTube and OnSmashTV.

3. Way too much whining about/focus on sales. I understand that sales are important, but regardless of if an album sold or not, it can still be a great album that underperformed. I'm sick of seeing people posting on messageboards or talking on the train about how someone flopped or "So and so lost" because they didn't move X amount of units...

We all know that everyone downloaded the shit instead of copping it at the store, right? That's why I hear The Clipse album playing in everyone's iPod but they're only hovering around 150,000 units sold...Keys open doors, but so do Rapidshare, Megaupload, Zshare, Sendspace, YouSendit and Filefront.

4. Keeping it real has gone wrong. There is no more space for creativity in hip hop. People value "street credibility" more than actual talent nowadays. Does he bust his gun? Does he have people locked up in the feds? Has he ever done time? Shit. I got some questions, too.
Can this dude spit 16 or more bars without boring the shit out of me? Can this muthafucka even spell the brands he's name dropping on this verse? Does he even write his own material?

Dudes take themselves so seriously that can't even smile in pictures or dance to their OWN SHIT in their videos. Cats can't even afford to lose a battle or their careers could be over, that's why cats snuff dudes out if they start stylin' on 'em...even if they might have the cal on 'em.

5. No sense of history of the culture. The youth don't have respect for the architects of Hip Hop...Why is that? I have to say it's partly my generations fault for not properly bridging the gap between the 2nd Golden Age (1992- 1996) and the post Telecommunications Act Era (1997-) . After Big and Pac died and Diddy started owning the radio with his shiny suits, I grabbed my backpack, a computer, some turntables, threw on my headphones and went underground like the Morlocks.

I thought to myself "I'll let this era go it's 3 to 5 years until it dies out and I'll come back later" and didn't even look back like I'd turn into a pillar of salt if I did. I fell back and waited for the Cash Flow/Bling Bling Era to end...that was back in 1997, it's 2007 NOW. My bad, y'all...But I wasn't the only one that did it.

6. Be original...or at least try to be (beatmakers). Every time somebody makes a soundalike or copycat beat, hip hop dies a little more. Now we have sites like and where "producers" are selling EXCLUSIVE beats for $20....are y'all fuckin' stupid? Value your material! If you are selling exclusive beats for $20 YOU ARE FUCKING UP THE WHOLE GAME FOR EVERYONE.

While we're on the issue, please stop making beats that sound like other producers styles and then market it as a "Neptunes/Alchemist/DJ Premier/Nitti Beats/Cool & Dre/Luny Tunes/Large Professor/Mr. Collipark/MF Doom/Mannie Fresh/ Madlib/Jazzie Pha/Just Blaze/Timbaland/ The Runners/9th Wonder/Dr. Dre/Pete Rock style beat".

Also, if you have a website, put your beats on your official WEBSITE and stop providing a link to your 39 beats on a Soundclick page...cut that shit out, please.

7. Stop looking for saviors in hip hop that are going to "save it". Hip Hop is thriving worldwide and it doesn't need saving. All that happens is that fans and the media alike hype and build them up and then drop them later to move on to another one and lather, rinse, repeat...Just ask Lupe Fiasco if you think I'm joking. FNF Up!

8. Too much division, not enough unity in hip hop...stop all of the goddamn finger pointing and let's get down to preserving hip hop culture for future generations. New Yorkers are heated because they feel they need to "come back". Cats on the West Coast are heated because they feel like they need to "come back".

Southerners are heated because the spotlights FINALLY on them and instead of everyone else enjoying the music the way they did back in the days when they had to wait their turn to be recognized all anyone's doing is crying foul, bitching and complaining. Meanwhile, the Midwest is like "What about us?"

9. Hip Hop is afraid of having it's artists grow up. When Andre 3000 started singing, heads were heated. When Jay-Z and Nas decided to squash their beef and conduct their business together on some grown man shit, heads were heated. When Jay-Z released "Kingdom Come", cats were expecting to hear the same Jay they heard on previous projects.

Some fans had forgotten that he'd been gone from the game for 3 years, heard the album and called it garbage because he was talking about adult shit from the perspective of a label president. heads were heated..Did y'all forget that he's 37 and a label president? It's a good thing to grow up, people. The only things that don't grow and evolve/change with age/time are already DEAD.

10. Hip Hop journalism/criticism is dead (Not really)....We need to do more serious introspective writing and less shock posting (Bol). Where are the next generation of great hip hop writers at? Are they all becoming bloggers instead of working for hip hop publications? Has hip hop blogging become the equivalent of the dude at the train station selling his Photoshopped insert slim case mixtape for $5 while claiming he makes that "crack music"? I fuckin' hope not.

11. Ageism in hip hop...There should be an age limit for rappers like Remy Ma said? She claims that no one over 30 should be allowed to rap...Oh word? Because in that case, she can go tell Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Ice Cube, Ice T, Jay-Z, Nas, DMX, Scarface, AZ, LL Cool J, Rakim, UGK, Ras Kass, 8Ball & MJG, Snoop Dogg, Daz, Kurupt, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, GZA, Method Man, RZA, Q Tip, Redman, 50 Cent, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Twista, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, Styles P, E 40, B Real, Common, Sean Price, Buckshot (Where is he now?), Pharoahe Monch, Camron and Jim Jones that they ALL need to hang it up. Sounds pretty damn stupid now, doesn't it?

12. Where are the ladies at? The lack of prominent female voices in hip hop is helping to contribute to the problems in the genre. Back in the days we had Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Salt N' Pepa, etc. I can name a hell of a lot of female emcees, but none of them have a had a real impact on the game in years. This generation barely has any female emcees that male audiences are feeling...that's a serious problem, son.

Labels don't want to put money into female artists unless they fit a certain that few hip hop fans are willing to take seriously, leaving female emcees in a weird Catch 22. At least Jean Grae's still around.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Dart Adams presents Please Listen To My Demo! © EPMD

I've mentioned it quite a few times but back in the days I used to be an emcee. I was actually kinda nice with it and I used to regularly win impromptu freestyle battles at several train stations all over the Boston Metro area (Orange, Green and Red Lines) and Downtown Crossing between the years of 1989-1996.

I was like a Hip Hop monk, constantly studying and listening to different styles to try to perfect one of my very own. During my formative years, I often began to sound a bit too much like my influences leading me to try to come up with an unfuckwittable style that would make me go down in emcee history. I filled up notebook after notebook with rhymes.

My younger brother, Buctayla was in a group that was really huge in Boston between 1993-1995 called Relentless. They had several songs on the radio, did shows all over and they even opened for the Wu Tang Clan when they did that infamous Strand Theater show in Boston.

Labels didn't want to sign them because they wrote their own rhymes (and knew what publishing was), produced their own beats (and knew what the going rates for production/budgets were) and they wouldn't go for having the A&R's tell them to go for a different look or sound.

After several labels courted them and passed for different reasons over the years, they broke up and some members went solo. In 1996, Buctayla and Nasarok formed a new group called the Realm Organization (Relentless Everlasting Analyzing Life's Meaning) and I came back from Morgan State and decided to stop bullshitting and try to "get signed".

We pooled our resources and formed an indie label called Xtensive Nterprises Recordings (so as not to be sued by Hasbro or Sunbow Productions) and recorded our own tracks. Buctayla and Cardi both did production and we cranked out hella 4 track recordings between the years of 1996-1999.

After I got my "severance" pay from Tower Records, we upgraded our studio setup again and Buctayla had bought a DAT machine and a new sequencer. We had that setup for a while before the vote against rent control and gentrification ran us out of our home of 24 years.

We bounced around for a while before settling in to the home we have know. Our crew splintered and several of them moved to other spots. By 2002, it was just myself, Buctayla and Cardi. I retired from trying to be an emcee back in 2006. I missed my chances back when I actually could've got on and when the indie/Backpack Era was kicking I was busy working 100 hours every two weeks at Tower Records.

After 9/11 happened I knew that my career would never really jump off. I did the ghostwriter thing for a while but I got bored with writing ignorant shit for dudes that didn't know there was only one "z" in the word "Uzi".

Whenever I spit shit that I thought was ill, it went over people's heads. Whenever I spit some shit that sounded like the mixtape bullshit that pervaded the market that's when people loved it. I was completely confused as an emcee between the years of 2002-2006. I had NO idea what was going on. I was fed up with the game and hoping people "got" my rhymes or "caught" the obscure references in my rhymes. I was on some real "John L." shit (see Purple Rain if you don't get it) for a while.

I sent out my tracks to several DJ's and compilations and I kept getting responses like "Damn, this is dope!" You can spit!" "Unfortunately, it doesn't fit the format of our compilation". I got sick of being told "You got some rhymes, son!" which is "niggaspeak" for "You make that backpacker shit that I don't listen to!."

I got so sick of being that dude that was posting up his tracks on different Hip Hop messageboards (and reupping them constantly when no one commented) that I realized that I was part of the problem with Hip Hop myself. I quit posting up my songs everywhere and retired from emceeing.

The second I stopped trying to critique everyone because I was "better" than them things began to get better for me. I started writing on different messageboards and bridging gaps between people rather than trying to convince them to listen to my new freestyle.

Here are a couple of Muxtapes I made up from some of my old ass demos and some of my favorite tracks produced by my brother from the same era in which I was working overnight and as a manager at a local CVS wondering why I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life:

Dart Adams' Old Demos (as Poisonous Dart) (1999-2006):

Buctayla's Demos (Hellsenda Productions) (2002-2006):


Friday, April 25, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #27 AKA Rising Down And Rising Up: The No Justice For Sean Bell Edition

This past week several albums hit the ‘net and I’ll be reviewing the following albums in the order that I’m listing them here: Ayatollah’s latest instrumental opus “Louder”, Keith Murray’s “Intellectual Violence”, 9th Wonder & Buckshot “The Formula” and The Roots long awaited album “Rising Down”.

Given that we live in a country where even though a group of policemen that are obviously guilty of taking a human life for no good reason at all (on the day of his wedding no less!), but due to the fact that they have a certain profession the same laws don’t apply to them that do to every other citizen (?) I decided to just launch into the reviews today. This bullshit has got to stop, people.

For the uninitiated, 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. swift as the bullet that killed King and Kennedy/you know that the battle is on for Infinity!.. © Black Thought of The Roots

The very first project that I’m reviewing today is legendary beatsmith Ayatollah’s new instrumental project “Louder”. I’ve been waiting for this to drop for almost a year and it’s finally about to drop after a bunch of delays. How does it measure up to his previous projects? Let’s see:

Best Joints: Circulate, Louder, Other Worlds, Into Space, Naturally Born, Chariots Of The Gods, Music To My Ears, Eye Pod, Pound Cake, A Soul Prayer, Coonskin, In Time My Brother, Charlie Is Brown, Nature Sound, Baisley Park, A Cold Feelin’, Give The Woman A Chance

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Cop this shit now! If any of you so-called emcees out there are looking for some serious heat your boy Ayatollah got it. If you haven’t copped any of his previous material then I suggest you start out with “Now Playing” and then look for his older material and after that cop “Louder”. For the beatheads, I don’t really have to make a case because they know what he brings to the table as far as beats go. This is perfect for the iPod and your jaunts in the whip or the Iron Horse. Support this man. Buy his music and stop bullshittin’.

Keith Murray decided that we all didn’t suffer enough after hearing his last album “Rapmurrphobia” so he went back into the lab and cooked up some more raw for the Rap fiends worldwide. Read my take on “Intellectual Violence” below:

Best Joints: Talk Dat Shit, Hey Ladies, 2 Niggaz, Def Squad, Pen Life, Anger and Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful

Hot Garbage: Run For Ya Life, U Ain’t No Gangsta, Got Our Own Thang, I’ll Go Crazy, What Is Trouble, Blokka Blokka, Rat Hunters

Dart’s Take: No! For the love of God, no! I don’t ever want to hear another L.O.D. track ever again for as long as I draw breath into my lungs or live on Earth. This album has all but closed the book on any future full length Keith Murray projects for me. This album was just so damn uninspired and hit and miss that it actually made me mad.

Was Murray even focused on making solid material with this go ‘round? The best song on the entire album by far was the final track “Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful” and the “Def Squad” track sounds like it’s from 1999. This album was lazy as hell and boring. I love Keith but this gets an oh no. Avoid it like the plague. people.

The re-up to 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s modern classic “Chemistry” has finally hit the ‘net. “The Formula” is 13 more tracks of heat from the legendary Buckshot of Black Moon and NC’s finest, 9th Wonder. Does this duo still have it? Find out below:

Best Joints: Intro, Ready (Brand New Day), Be Cool, Go All Out (No Doubt!), No Future, Hold It Down, Whassup With U, Only For You (Big Lou), Just Display, Here We Go, Throwing Shade, Shinin’ Y’all and Man Listen (Cause Ummm)

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Goddamn! I say goddamn! © Mia Wallace. I’ve been listening to this album ever since Small Pro made a post about it on Okayplayer over the past weekend. I was listening to other albums I had just acquired and I’d made my mind up that I was gonna hold this off until Monday. After reading some reactions to Small Pro’s post I decided to stop playing Atmosphere’s album for a second and throw on “The Formula”, shortly afterwards I let out a Ric Flair “Wooo!”.

Usually there’s a letdown from a classic first album but there was absolutely none in this case according to my brain, ears and neck. I put the beats, rhymes and vocal performances from “The Formula” on par with “Chemistry”. I don’t know how you can not be sucked in by tracks like “Be Cool”, “No Future”, “Whassup Wit U”, “Just Display”, “Here We Go” or “Throwing Shade”.

The singing complemented the tracks rather than taking away from them which is something that a lot of producers seem to screw up on but 9th and Buck have things down to a science and it makes for enjoyable listening. This LP gets a mos def from me, be ready to cop it when it becomes available for purchase on April 29th.

Last but not least, the review you’ve all been waiting for since it leaked: The Roots “Rising Down”. I don’t need to write an explanation or a lead in for this group nor their new release. Just do the knowledge to the meaning of the album's cover art and think about this upcoming election. Now read my take on this project below:

Best Joints: Rising Down, Get Busy, @ 15, 75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction), Becoming Unwritten, Criminal, I Will Not Apologize, I Can’t Help It, Singing Man, Unwritten, Last Desire, The Show, Rising Up, Live At WPFW, 1994, The Grand Return and Birthday Girl

Hot Garbage: N/A (The Pow Wow & The Pow Wow 2 aren’t official songs)

Dart’s Take: Much in the vein of Atmosphere’s new album and Erykah Badu’s new project, this LP is a product of our present spot in world and American history. If you aren’t even just a little bit angry, bitter, concerned, scared or even downright livid at what’s going on right now then you’re either too young or dumb to grasp what’s going on or you’re fuckin’ in devoid of a pulse or brain activity. If Black Thought’s lyrics aren’t affecting you and the theme of this album evades you then you (sir or madam) must’ve been born without a soul.

I don’t know how any artist could be unaffected by the current state of world affairs or let them somehow seep into their art in some way, shape or form. The legendary Roots crew completely embrace that fact and deliver a powerful album that will forever preserve in amber the mindset of and worldview of many with “Rising Down”. It’s driving, dark, aggressive, slightly paranoid, introspective, angry and celebratory all at the same time. This is yet another example that musicians that care enough to make real music still exist.

The Roots won’t be making another “Illadelph Halflife”. Nor will they be making another “Things Fall Apart”. Stop wanting them to do anything other than to continue to grow and explore new terrain and push the boundaries. Given the events that have transpired today, this album is all the more relevant. I give it mos def, make sure to purchase this album on April 29th.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

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

I'm Also Looking Forward To Reviewing The Following Projects:

Rhymefest-El Che
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Joe Budden-Padded Room
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Soul Assassins III-DJ Muggs vs. King Madallions (Planet Asia)
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Scram Jones-Untold Scriptures
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Snowgoons-Black Snow
N.E.R.D-Seeing Sounds
Termanology-Politics As Usual
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
Giant Panda-Electric Laser
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of April 25th, 2008):

Lyrically Inclined-Skyzoo f/Wale (prod. by Illmind)
The Eye Of A Needle-Pace Won & Mr. Green (prod. by Mr. Green)
Taste-Pacific Division (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Criminal-The Roots f/Saigon & Truck North
TV Land-Vast Aire (prod. by Melodious Monk)
Eye Pod-Ayatollah
Trapped On The Island-AC f/Trife Da God (prod. by Mental Instrumentals)
Fire-Elzhi (prod. by Black Milk)
Cock Blockin' Problem-Spec Boogie
Supreme Song-U-N-I (prod. by Ro Blvd)
Breathe.Something/Stellar Star-Flying Lotus
What U Want-D. Rose & DJ Cozmos f/Damien & Donwill of Tanya Morgan
Comin' To Kill-Sav Killz f/Sean Price & Rustee Juxx
Be Cool-9th Wonder & Buckshot f/Swan (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Pain-The Game f/Keyshia Cole
Another Star-Mickey Factz f/Peter Hardar
Be A Nigger Too-Nas (prod. by Salaam Remi & Big Jack)
Save Ya-Elzhi f/T3 (prod. by T3)
SexSlaveShip-Flying Lotus
From Now Til Then-Jadakiss (prod. by Alchemist)
The Poem-Wale
Shinin' Y'all-9th Wonder f/Buckshot f/Arafat Yates & Big Chops of M1 Platoon (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Magic Spells-Euclid
Singing Man-The Roots f/Truck North & Porn
Pound Cake-Ayatollah

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer...© Paul Atreides

Rest In Eternal Peace, Sean Bell. You are clearly in a better place. God bless your friends and family.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Don't Mess With Boston

Mike Bibby has made an error of epic proportions, he disrespected the Boston Celtics' fans. When Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins were first informed of Mike Bibby's statements they were pretty dismissive of them. In actuality, they were seething with anger. Mike Bibby said that the Celtics had fairweather fans and that most of them were bandwagon jumpers.

He (Mike Bibby) based this on what he saw in the crowd last season when he visited TD Banknorth Garden as a member of the Sacramento Kings. I have to do a little clarification about what it was like to be a Celtics fan last year first.

The Celtics lost 58 games last year. At one point in time they lost 18 games in a row and Paul Pierce was injured for a huge chunk of the season. The Celtics had to field a team of young players that couldn't fully grasp the concept of team defense and perform the way Doc Rivers hoped they would.

Add to that the fact that the Red Sox and Patriots were dominating as they usually do, of course the Garden wasn't packed every game! Sure it would be 85% to 90% full on certain nights based on who the opponent was, but in Atlanta it's hard as hell to get that place between 85%-90% capacity regularly even when the Hawks are winning!

The game started with Kevin Garnett receiving the Defensive Player Of The Year Award (an honor he shares with his entire team) and the Hawks looking to be more aggressive and physical in hopes of taking it to the C's. Early in the game, Paul Pierce was fouled hard by Josh Smith and tweaked his back sending him to the locker room early.

"The Truth" was then replaced by the multi-talented swingman James Posey. The game was touch and go due to the fact that the Celtics kept getting called for cheap fouls and it put Atlanta in the penalty early. At the end of the 1st period the game was close, Boston led 24-20.

The Celtics tightened up their defensive intensity and moved the ball very efficiently, leading to several easy baskets. Last night, the Atlanta Hawks were fired up and had nothing to lose. They committed to playing a physical, aggressive, hardnosed type of game against the Boston Celtics lineup because they were convinced that it was the best chance they had to win. Let me run down what ended up happening instead:

The Hawks aggressive play (and some bad refereeing) gave the Celtics 33 total personal fouls to Atlanta's 22. This gave Atlanta a distinct advantage at the free throw line as Atlanta shot 31-40 from the charity stripe. Boston went 19-26 at he free throw line, giving Atlanta an advantage of +12 points.

The Hawks, one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA were outrebounded 45-35 by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics also took the all important edge in offensive rebounds 13 to 5.

The Celtics racked up 23 assists while the Hawks only managed 10 all night.

The Celtics came up with 15 steals as a team to Atlanta's 4 while forcing the Hawks into 21 turnovers.

The Celtics defense once again held the Atlanta Hawks to 38% shooting as a team and prevented them from making a three point shot all night (0-5) while shooting 7-18 from deep themselves.

The Celtics bench (James Posey (9 pts 5 rebs 2 ast 1 stl) Sam Cassell (10 pts) and Glen "Big Baby" Davis) completely outplayed the Hawks bench.

Even though Kevin Garnett had a horrid shooting night (6-19 and 2-10 in the 2nd half) he lead the Celtics with 19 pts 10 rebs 3 ast 2 blk and 2 stl. Ray Allen (15 pts), Paul Pierce (14 pts), Rajon Rondo (12 pts 6 reb 8 ast and 4 stl) and Kendrick Perkins (8 pts 9 reb in 23 minutes) held it down as the Celtics stomped the Atlanta Hawks 96 to 77 in front of a packed arena that included Bruce Willis. Everyone in "The Jungle" got to see Gino again so it was a good day.

For some reason that has yet to be determined, Al Horford and Josh Smith were jawing back and forth with Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. Those are two of the guys on the team you should NEVER get mad...Perk is known as "The Hulk" around these parts (did anyone notice that Josh Smith and Al Horford were pretty much neutralized for most of the game?). The other guy you shouldn't piss off is named Paul Pierce. Ray Ray just doesn't care, he'll bury you either way.

Game 3 will be in the ATL on Saturday, April 26th @ 8:00 pm EST. They will face an angry Celtics team with a pissed off Paul Pierce in tow. I think that Mike Bibby should be happy he won't have to come back to Boston this far in the playoffs he's 4-17 for 17 points, 2 assists and 3 turnovers in 2 previous games.

Oh yeah, the Atlanta playoff games aren't sold out. I guess they don't have fans of ANY kind.