It's been nuts since I now have a toothache that's kicking my ass off & on. I was going to get this wisdom tooth yanked outta my skull back on Friday but didn't go anywhere near early enough. By the time I got there, a throng of people were packed into the waiting area like it was a slave ship/crowded city bus. There were no chairs left...it's a hospital, mind you. There used to be HELLA chairs. I said "Fuck it" and decided to go early Monday morning. I had to do this review blog in installments when the pain had subsided. I almost made my own damn mixtape called "Anbesol & Ibuprofen" this week.
This week I'll be reviewing four new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Emilio Rojas "Recession Proof", MarQ Spekt & Lex Boogie "Guilty Party", The Dream "Love Vs Money" and J Holiday "Round 2". 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: Intro, Keys To The City, On The Ave, Just One Night, Young, Fresh, & Fly, Here I Am, Let It Out (Bounce), Don't Go, 585 Remix, Murder, 10 Player Commandments, Way She Moves and Free
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Emilio Rojas murder this mixtape from beginning to end verbally, the beats are all bananas, the guest spots are handled by cats like Fashawn, Donny Goines, Hassan Mackey, Stat Quo, etc. and Mela Machinko lends outstanding vocals over a few tracks (Here I Am, Don't Go & Murder). Overall, the "Recession Proof" mixtape is unadulterated headnod material. Bang this in or iPod or Zune (really?), I give it a mos def. Download it here
Best Joints: GUILTYLUDE1, Guilt Scott, The Shine, BangLaDesh, Bobby Wo, Dusk, Homocide Written, GUILTYLUDE1.5, Jetlag, Guttersniping, GUILTYLUDE2, Dissident Factions, Unborn, GUILTYLUDE3, DirtyDrums Birthday Party, Black Soul and Out
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This MarQ Spekt & Lex Boogie mixtape reminds me of the collabo mixtapes I used to get back in the 90's, especially around '95-'97. It had that same gritty sound of raw Hip Hop beats over hard rhymes with nice lyrics. If your head doesn't nod to this you must be paralyzed from the neck up or some shit. This was a perfect soundtrack to Tekken 5, Street Fighter IV or even Killzone 2 sessions (yeah, I have a PS3!). Marq Spekt & Lex Boogie have earned another no brainer mos def from me this week. Download it here and peace to Broady Champs and Backwoodz Studios!
Best Joints: Rockin' That Shit, Walkin' On The Moon, My Love, Put It Down (R. Kelly is that you?), Sweat It Out, Take U Home 2 My Mama, Love Vs. Money, Love Vs. Money: Part 2, Fancy, Right Side Of My Brain and Kelly's 12 Play
Hot Garbage: Mr. Yeah was meh to me. Let Me See The Booty (really? Lil' Jon? Is it 2004 again?) was straight garbage to me.
Dart's Take: The Dream relies far too much on effects and his music sometimes sounds like it's made by robots. Other times he sounds too much like other people/contemporaries but you can't deny that he's making jams. I'm so sick of hearing "Radio Killa!...R&B Gorilla!" at the beginning of these tracks but this album is undeniable and the things that annoy are far outweighed by the positives. I give "Love Vs Money" a highly recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Intro, It's Yours, Fall, Don't Go, Wrong Lover (even Rick Ross couldn't fuck this up), Run Into My Arms, Sing 2 U, Lights Go Out, Make That Sound, Forever Ain't Enough, Fly, Homeless and I Tried
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This album was a lot more straight up R&B like I prefer versus what The Dream makes. J. Holiday sings with far less effects and his album falls into the more traditional category. While The Dream seems to be branding his shit and making singles, J. Holiday is making songs. For those reasons and many more I ended up liking "Round 2" a little bit more than "Love Vs Money". I never once uttered the words "This sounds like..." or "Will this dude shut the fuck up and sing already?" during this album, just smooth ass R&B. I give "Round 2" a highly recommended maybe as well, but a slightly higher rating than The Dream's.
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, Son Of Chico Dusty
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
Eminem-The Relapse & Relapse 2
Cage-Depart From Me
Statik Selektah & Saigon-All In A Day's Work
On Twitter, J Rocc of the World Famous Beat Junkies got the finished LP of "Born Like This" from DOOM himself and said it was 17 tracks of heat (Angelz?). It's coming out after all. Hopefully, by next week Joe Budden will have apologized to Boston and all will be forgiven. Joe's one of my favorite emcees and it would suck for him to have to wack his back in the MA/New England area.