Last night my beloved Celtics got their asses beat in an overtime game on their home court by the hated Lakers. The Celtics used to manhandle the Lakers and punked them on the boards (Hulk, I'm looking at you!). They would out tough them every single chance they got and usually won the hustle plays. When the Celtics shoved, the Lakers cowered...this isn't the case any more as the Lakers have swept the season series and now hold the coveted tiebreaker should they both finish with identical records.
The Celtics now have the difficult task of regaining the best record in the NBA, fending off the Cleveland Cavaliers and adding much needed bench help to bolster their ranks and ensure an NBA Finals showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers. All of the other shit doesn't matter, just who wins the game. Tonight, the Celtics are engaged in a tight game against the New York Knicks. Everyone wants to see someone score a shitload of points but the Celtics don't care about that, all that want is to leave Madison Square Garden with a win and to start another streak.
This week I'll be reviewing six new projects that either leaked or recently hit store shelves in the following order: Bobby Valentino "The Rebirth", Braille & Symbolyc One "Cloudnineteen", Cesar Comanche "Die In My Lap", Esoteric (7L & Esoteric) "Serve Or Suffer", Lily Allen "It's Not Me, It's You" and Nico The Beast "Dinner Is Served". 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.
Best Joints: The Rebirth, Make You The Only One, Hands On Me, My Girl, Butterfly Tattoo, Just Me & You, 3 Is The New 2, Make You Say, Be My Love, Dance The Night Away, On The Edge, You're Not Alone, Stay With Me, Another Life and Give Me Your Heart
Hot Garbage: Beep! (This song is an epic fail in every sense of the phrase)
Dart's Take: This is a pretty damn good R&B album seeing as how the first single was godawful (and featured Young Joc) and the second part of the album was beginning to sound like songs that Day 26 would've begged for on their album. Bobby Valentino even managed a couple of rewind worthy tracks in "Make You The Only One", "My Girl" the Raphael Saadiq assisted remake "Just Me & You", "3 Is The New 2" or "Make You Say". The raunchy R&B genre won't be going away any time soon and Bobby Valentino's latest effort is worth purchasing although: "Ryan Leslie">"The Rebirth".
Best Joints: It's Nineteen, For Life, Broken Heart, That's My Word, Fill It In, Skepticold, Heart Of Cold, Found Her, From The Pulpit, Megaphone, Work That Way, Hardrock, Stay Together, Parachutes and Frankenstein
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This album will probably end up being one my favorite for this year seeing as how Braille and Symbolyc One of Strange Fruit Project are among my favorite emcees and producers on the underground Hip Hop scene today. Braille's "The IV" and S1's "Music Box" were both damn near Top 50 picks on this blog and I had high expectations for this project already...my expectations were easily met and exceeded by the duo on "Cloud Nineteen".
If you see this album and you love Hip Hop then be sure to at least listen to it. If you're a fan of S1's music and Braille's lyricism and delivery then cop it when it drops. The combinations on ridiculous production and top notch rhyming makes for one of the best releases so far in this young year. Trust me on this, I'm giving "Cloud Nineteen" a mos def. Seek it out now.
Best Joints: Don't Be Afraid, Die In Your Lap, Choose, Mercy, Ghetto World, Shame, Hands High, What's Wrong, Lamb To Lion 2, Guf 2, Eveything & Reborn (Dana)
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This Cesar Comanche LP is full of familiar sample sources but it's a more than solid album from beginning to end. Tracks like "Die In Your Lap", "Choose", "Ghetto World", "What's Wrong", "Lamb To Lion 2", "Everything" and "Reborn (Dana)" are all bangers and it's a shame this LP is destined to fly under the radar. Comanche's easy flow and deft lyricism help "Die In My Lap" to a highly recommended maybe. Be on the lookout for it.
Best Joints: Yellow Beat, Shay's Rebellion, Shalla Bal, Moogie Howser, MC, 1989, Whole House Freeze, Hal Jordan, Swords To A Fistfight, Silence Is Golden, Goblin's Horse Tranquilizer, Galactus Trilogy, Basement Bw Comics, Go Ask Malice, Time Is Running Out and One Day As A Ryan 10.04.08 (technically, I couldn't hate it because it's a baby making noises).
Hot Garbage: Let The Theo Out, Steve Rogers, Swing It Baby, Hero's Plight, Hot Punk, Vermont For Nothing, Milk, Milk and Boba Fett Thrills Me Still all ran the gamut from "Hurry up and end already!" to meh.
Dart's Take: This collection of instrumentals was really hit or miss to me. Some instrumentals got my head noddin' and others just did absolutely nothing for me. If you're a die hard 7L & Esoteric fan then cop it but if you're looking for just an instrumental LP I'd pass on it for other available projects on the market. "Pterodactyl Takes Tokyo" instrumentals would be a better choice.
Best Joints: Everyone's At It, The Fear, Not Fair, 22, I Could Say, Back To The Start, Never Gonna Happen, Fuck You, Who'd Have Known, Chinese, Him and He Wasn't There
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Nothing on this album came close to sucking, but for the same token nothing on this album grabbed me like the debut Lily Allen LP did. Songs like "Everyone's At It", "The Fear", "Never Gonna Happen" and "Fuck You" are all unmistakably Lily but this project is lacking a "LDN", "Smile" or "Friend Of Mine" in my opinion. This album has sonically drifted to a more Pop sensibility with some Techno-ish elements thrown in but the album doesn't really stick out to me. The best I could do is a maybe because other people may not feel that this album is a slight step down from "Alright, Still" like I do.
Best Joints: When The Guns Come Out, Beast Is Coming, Underground Kings, Nights On Broad Street, Changes Made, My Piano Freestyle, Pimp vs. Rockstar, I Ain't Lying, Life In A Bottle, Fight to Survive, We Don't Play Dat, Can't Fight The Feeling, Nowhere In A Hurry, Bigger Than Your Life, World Win, Watch Out, Sinister, Knock Em Dead, Duck My .45, My Man Streets, Promised Land and Requiem Of A Beast
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Beat Garden Entertainment has once again showed the entire industry how to properly make a mixtape! Last year's excellent "Bring Me The Head Of Zilla Rocca" cemented that fact. Nico The Beast LP's "No Beast So Fierce" was a Poisonous Paragraphs favorite last year and this was an excellent follow up featuring the usual suspects, Zilla Rocca, 2ew Gunn Cizz, M.O.G., MAGr, Ethel Cee, Nex Millen, Side Effect, Reef Tha Lost Cauze, Planetary and others...it's an East Coast Overdose, if you will.
If you can manage to make it through "Beast Is Coming", "Underground Kings", "Nights On Broad Street", "Changes Made", "My Piano Freestyle", "Pimp vs. Rockstar", "We Don't Play Dat", "Can't Fight The Feeling", "Nowhere In A Hurry", "World Win", "Watch Out", "Promised Land" or "Requiem Of A Beast" without your neck hurting then chances are you're a corpse. I give "Dinner Is Served" a mos def. Go download it now.
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):
Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop in 2009:
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
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
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
MF Doom-Born Into This
Cage-Depart From Me
You play to win the game! © Herman Edwards