Those of you that have been following me for years know that I used to be a baller and later on a coach (those who can't do...) and I love basketball. I've learned life lessons from every discipline I've been involved in over my 33 years of life but basketball has seeped into so many other facets of my life. In any event I've been wrapped up in this March Madness like many other people across the globe. Last night, the Memphis Tigers dropped another big game during tournament time but to make things easier to bear the hated Duke Blue Devils got bodied by the Villanova Wildcats (shout out Eric @ WTR and Zilla Rocca @ Clap Cowards/Clean Guns/Beat Garden). I had Memphis in the Final Four so my whole bracket is done in Dallas Penn's Pick Em' Pool. Too bad I couldn't get tickets to see Duke lose in person.
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: Flo Rida "R.O.O.T.S.", Pac Div "EP", Rapper Big Pooh "The Delightful Bars" (Candy Apple iTunes Version), Stoupe The Enemy Of Mankind "Decalogue" and UGK "UGK 4 Life". 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.
Every time Duke loses an angel gets his or her wings © Dart Adams
Best Joints: Finally Here, Jump, R.O.O.T.S., Never and Rewind
Hot Garbage: Gotta Get It (Dancer), Shone, Be On You (you wasted Ne-Yo), Mind On My Money, Available, Touch Me, Sugar (you wasted Wynter Gordon and then used Eiffel 65's "Blue"? That's grounds for execution right there) and Right Round
Dart's Take: If I were a teenaged White gir from the suburbs that was a cheerleader or on the Pep Squad then this would be my shit right here. Unfortunately for Flo Rida I'm not. This album sucks but I can imagine hearing certain songs in the club or in NBA arenas or at cheerleading competitions for years to come ("Jump" featuring Nelly Furtado, I'm looking at you). I give R.O.O.T.S. an Oh No but we already knew that was gonna happen, didn't we?
Best Joints: Mayor, Taste and Shut Up
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: We need an album from these cats yesterday. The full length called "Grown Kid Syndrome" is due later this year and the EP is available on iTunes for only $2.49 so you really can't go wrong listening to some ol' boom bap shit from some of the freshest cats to jump on the scene in recent memory (What up Swiff D!). Support real Hip Hop (whatever the hell that is) and cop it now. I give the Pac Div EP a mos def.
Best Joints: The Release, Power, The Comeback, Radio, Hands Up, On The Real, Nothing Less, Move, Roll Call, The Life and Rear View Mirror
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: What's the recipe for an excellent project? It comes down to solid lyrics and production in most cases. You have to engage the listener and make their heads nod. Rapper Big Pooh did that on "Sleepers". He did it again on his "Rapper's Delight" mixtape last year and he's succeeded again with the iTunes version of "The Delightful Bars". With production from Khrysis, Illmind, 9th Wonder, Oh No, Young RJ and Phonix and guest spots from Chaundon, Joe Scudda, Roc C, Jozeemo, O. Dash, Jay Rock and others there's no way for Big Pooh to lose. I can't wait for the other version(s) to drop. Cop this LP now from iTunes. It gets a mos def.
Best Joints: Allison James, When The Sun Goes Down, Evil Deeds, The Truth, That's Me, The Torch, Speakeasy, Transition Of Power, Independence Day and Find A Way
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: I've been a fan of Stoupe The Enemy Of Mankind (I say the whole thing, just like A Pimp Named Slickback or A Tribe Called Quest)'s prodction going back to the early Backpack Era (1997-2002) when I used to cop 12"s by Superegular Records with Icon The Verbal Hologram and Jus Allah on 'em coming outta Philly. After the classic Jedi Mind Tricks LP " Violent By Design" dropped in 2000 it was official, Stoupe The Enemy Of Mankind was a beast and a force to be reckoned with in Hip Hop.
After more than 12 years in the game Stoupe drops a concise 10 track project called "Decalogue". There are no throwaway tracks on this project. The beats bang and such underground luminaries as M.O.P., Saigon, Joell Ortiz, Reef The Lost Cauze, Block McCloud, Jus Allah, Supastition (Kam Moye), Slaine, Outerspace, King Magnetic, etc. all drop verses. If you're an AOTP, JMT or Outerspace fan or just a fan of Stoupe's production this purchase is a no brainer. Due to length the best I can do is a highly recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Intro, Still On The Grind, Everybody Wanna Ball, Feelin' You, The Pimp And The Bun, She Luv It, 7th Street, Swishas And Erb, Purse Come First, Used To Be, Steal Your Mind, Texas Ave., Da Game Been Good To Me and Outro
Hot Garbage: Hairy Asshole (you have to put your foot down somewhere) and Hard As Hell (Akon, you ruined yet another song. Take a bow)
Dart's Take: I honestly can't imagine living in a world without anymore UGK albums. Bun B and Pimp C aren't that much older than me. They recorded their first projects back when I was in high school. If you never hear "A Pocket Full Of Stones" or "It's Supposed To Bubble" back in the days or remember a gang of Southwestern and Southern emcees imitating Pimp C and Bun B then I feel for you. UGK were/are legends in every sense of the word and this album cements their legacy as one of the greatest Southern (or otherwise) Hip Hop groups ever. I give "UKG 4 Life" a highly recommended maybe. Rest In Eternal Peace, Pimp C and peace to Port Arthur, TX *Chunks the deuce*
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
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
Statik Selektah-The Hangover
Cage-Depart From Me
I hate Duke with a passion. I have been a fan of some individual players they've had in the past but overall I just hate the program. It all started when Duke beat my beloved UNLV and Kentucky squads back in the days. Maybe it's the way the media fellates them every chance they get? Maybe it's because so many of their players are overrated? Danny Ferry? Christian Laettner? Bobby Hurley? Johnny Dawkins? Cherokee Parks? William Avery? Jason Williams? Shavlik Randolph? J.J. Reddick? The list goes on.
Maybe it's because Dick Vitale, Billy Packer, Jay Bilas and so many other college basketball analysts and color commentators love them so much? Nah. It's because I prefer North Carolina and Duke just gets seems to get in the fuckin' way all the time and they're chock full of soft ass dudes with no heart or toughness year after year. Either way, fuck Duke and welcome to Boston.