It's been another crazy week seeing as kids are all out of school so my brother and I have become the default watchers of the children. Thank God the kids are old enough that they don't need nonstop supervision...they still need constant supervision. When it's too quiet? Stay in my immediate line of sight supervision. They're at the age where my brother Buc and I stick in educational stuff in all of the "fun" things they do so they end up doing math problems during their Wii matches and not allowed to watch Nick until they spell a gang of words right first. Is it any surprise that both of 'em are entering advanced classes soon?
This week I'll be reviewing four new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: B-Real "Smoke N' Mirrors", Havoc "Hidden Files", Joe Budden "Padded Room" and K' Naan "Troubadour". 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: Smoke N' Mirrors, Gangsta Music, Don't Ya Dare Laugh, Everything U Want, 6 Minutes, Psycho Realm Revolution, Fire, 10 Steps Behind, Get That Dough, Dr. Hyphenstein, Stackn Paper, 1 Life, Dude vs. Homie and When They Hate You
Hot Garbage: When We're Fucking
Dart's Take: Was this album wack? Not by any stretch of the imagination as B-Real hasn't lost a step after 15+ years of emceeing (Ice Cube, I'm looking at you). With that said, there just wasn't that head nod factor I usually look for on this album. I wasn't getting many quotables and I didn't feel the urge to rewind tracks and play 'em again after I initially heard 'em. If you're a B-Real fan than support him and buy his new Duck Down LP when it drops, though. The best I can do is a maybe for "Smoke N' Mirrors", though.
Best Joints: Can't Get Touched, I Clap 'Em Up, Watch Me, Heart Of The Grind, You Treated Me, My Life, That's My Word, The Hustler, The Millenium, Walk Wit Me and On A Mission
Hot Garbage: This Is Where It's At and Don't Knock It Til You Try It were both meh. Tell Me More was straight up basura
Dart's Take: This album is much better than "The Kush" was. That project had two bangers and a gang of filler. This LP is pretty solid and many of these tracks are reminiscent of later Mobb Deep material circa the "Murda Muzik" era. Some of the beats sound similar to some previous memorable Havoc tracks but there isn't the smash like "Be There" or "I'm The Boss". While this album grated on my nerves significantly less than a Prodigy solo album it couldn't climb the mountain lyrically and sonically so the best I can do for it is give it a maybe. It was close to a recommended maybe but the lack of reloads and the final three tracks sucking ultimately did it in.
Best Joints: Now I Lay, If I Gotta Go, Blood On The Wall, In My Sleep, Exxxes, I Couldn't Help It, Adrenaline, Happy Holidays, Do Tell and Pray For Me.
Hot Garbage: The Future, Don't Make Me, Angel In My Life and Family Reunion were all just meh to me.
Dart's Take: What. the. fuck. happened. here? This album was just...there. I heard it and it went in one ear and out the other. Where was the heat? Where were the bangers at? Why am I still not in the mood yet? This was a huge disappointment given how much I enjoyed "Halfway House". How come "Halfway House", the PRE ALBUM/MIXTAPE was so much better than the main draw is beyond me. Couldn't we get "Onslaught" or another Slaughterhouse track as the bonus track instead of "Family Reunion"? I can't do better than another fuckin' maybe *Goes into iTunes, scrolls down to "Halfway House" and plays "The Soul"*
Best Joints: T.I.A, Dreamer, I Come Prepared, Wavin' Flag, Somalia, America, Fatima, Fire In Freetown, Take A Minute, 15 Minutes Away and People Like Me
Hot Garbage: ABC's, Bang Bang and If Rap Gets Jealous were all meh to me.
Dart's Take: While I liked "T.I.A", "Somalia" and "America" this album suffered the same issues that I had with The Knux LP that the songs that I liked really worked but the ones that I wasn't feeling I wasn't feeling. Some tracks sound like a mix between Akon and Wyclef Jean ("Wavin' Flag", "Somalia", "Fatima", "Fire In Freetown", etc.) and others sound like the alternative shit that made my ears bleed off of that last N.A.S.A. clusterfu..album ("Bang Bang" & "If Rap Gets Jealous"). I just didn't love this album but I thought it was OK...hence the fourth straight maybe. I even delayed this review blog in hopes something else leaked or I 'd change my mind on one of 'em. Didn't happen.
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
Damn, it was all good just a week ago! © Jay-Z