By now I'm sure you've all heard the news that Aftermath/Interscope has dropped Bishop Lamont from the label. That being the case...who the hell is still left on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope? Obie Trice? Hot Rod? Ca$his? Spider Loc? Mazardi Fox? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Jimmy Iovine thinks that all he needs to do is sit on the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, 50 Cent and then...Dr. Dre's "Detox" and he'll be back on top. He's so wrong. Eminem doesn't need to do the same ol' formulaic bullshit single like he did in the past. That being the case why'd he make that shitty lead single then? I Love College>>>>We Made You...and I abhor Asher Roth (but I love college *Hey!* I love women *Hey!*). Someone tell Jimmy and Dr. Dre to stop bullshittin and make better music...or better yet just release some!
This week I'll be reviewing six new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Day 26 "Forever In A Day", Diz Gibran "Soon You'll Understand", Jon Hope "Somekind Of Wonderful", Newham Generals "Generally Speaking", Ras G 'The Brotha From Anotha Planet" and Rhymefest & Scram Jones "The Manual". 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.
No more bitchassness! © Diddy
Best Joints: Just Getting Started, Imma Put It On Her, Shawty Wats Up, Think Of Me, Stadium Music, Bipolar, Perfectly Blind, So Good, Girlfriend, Babymaker, Then There's You, Need That (Shaddup JD!), Reminds Me Of You, Your Heels and Truth Is A Lie.
Hot Garbage: Too many songs that anyone else could've made (J. Holiday, Bobby Valentino, T. Pain, Ray J, etc.). Too much AutoTune and extra vocal effects. Are people supposed to fuck to this on the Space Shuttle or something? What's with all the futuristic effects? *Looks around*
Dart's Take: This album is far from wack...it's just too damn overproduced to me. There's too many damn vocal effects and this album sounds too much like Timbaland/Danjahandz/The Clutch/The-Dream/T-Pain influenced the sound of it. My favorite tracks are the ones where it sounds like humans are singing ("Think Of Me", "Perfectly Blind", "Girlfriend" and "Reminds Me Of You"). Either way, there are plenty of songs for the radio and the club and this album could easily reach #1. It's not fuckin' with the better recent R&B albums that dropped in my opinion though (The-Dream annoys the fuck outta me BTW). I give it a maybe.
Best Joints: Welcome, Once Again, The Hardest Word, Exactly, Just Me, On It, The Greatness, Stereo, Impossible, Capital D, Run Around, City Lights, Morning Light, Calypso Flow, Truly Yours, New Religion and The Reunion
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Goddamn! I say "Goddamn!" © Mia Wallace. This Diz Gibran mixtape is ridiculous from beginning to end production wise (shout out to Moonshine) and lyrically. There were a couple of tracks that earned early Song Of The Year consideration ("The Greatness" & "Impossible") and this album fell into the "I can't believe they gave this away for free" category along with the U-N-I & Ro Blvd LP from last week. If you haven't downloaded this mixtape yet and put it into your iPod or Zune *snicker!* then stop bullshittin' now and do so. This is one of the best made and most cohesive projects of this young year, I give Diz Gibran & Moonshine's "Soon You'll Understand" (please don't make Blu comparisons) a mos def (Shout out to Crooks & Castles!). Download it now
Best Joints: The Commencement, Better (AutoTune?), Utopia, Starbucks, Can't Turn My Back, What U Lookin' At and The Most Important Song Of My Life
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Providence's own Jon Hope has been on my radar for minute given that he's from New England. He was first brought to my attention by D. Scribez and Statik Selektah years ago and I liked what I heard. Jon has since relocated to NY (hasn't everybody?) and released this free EP that sounds he's close to recording a full length album. He spits a lot of introspective lyrics about life, his experiences, the overall state of Hip Hop and his struggles in the industry coming out of Providence. He's nice with the wordplay and the flow and the production was on point with a lot of instrumentation and vocals (that means there's a fair amount of singing). I loved the whole jawn and I'm hoping his debut LP is dropping soon if this is a taste of what it will sound like. I give "Somekind Of Wonderful" a highly recommended maybe. Download this EP now.
Best Joints: Just Movin', Head Get Mangled, Dat's Normal, Supadupe (Ooah Ooah), Violence, Things I Do, Heard You Been Smokin', Mind Is A Gun, Douchebag and Haters
Hot Garbage: Bell Dem Slags and Pepper are both annoying as hell. Hatred was meh to me.
Dart's Take: For those of you that are completely unfamiliar with the long history of the Newham Generals (legendary Grime emcees D Double E and Footsie) that goes back to 2003. They've been on Dizzee Rascal's Dirtee Stank label since 2006 and it's been a three year plus wait for a proper album release (although they've dropped a gang of mixtapes and 12"s...even lost a member that became a Born Again Christian in Munk since). The time has finally come and the 13 track 45 minute opus is here. The sound is far more Grime than Dizzee Rascal's last disappointing release and the best tracks are the DnB circa '97ish sounding "Head Get Mangled" and "Mind Is A Gun". The more traditional Grime sound is prevalent on "Just Movin'", "Dat's Normal", "Supadupe (Ooah Ooah)", "Violence" and "Haters".
If you're unfamiliar with Grime than you should give this a listen or hit up any of the many Grime speciality sites online and check out the old pirate radio shows or live performances at clashes or raves to get an idea of why this album was so anticipated amongst Grime heads. I give this album a maybe but definitely check it out on iTunes or however way you find possible.
Best Joints: Dishwater, Earthly Matters, Penny's Confession, Shinelight, Eunice In White, Sun Behind the Clouds, Astrohood, Nothing But Change, In Coming, Come Down (2 Earth), Desert Fairy, Return From the Great Unknown and Alkebulan
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Yeah, you know how I said that modern R&B to me often sounds like "space music"? Well Ras G's production ACTUALLY does sound like space music. Some people call it "spacebass", I try not to give it a name...I just like it. If you're not a fan of cats from the Brainfeeder/Soundclash/Beat Culture circuit than chances are this instrumental project will sound like noise to you and you'll be waiting for the "beat" to start half the time. I have his previous releases "Ghetto Sci Fi" and "Beats Of Mind" already so if you're a fan you should definitely pick up "Brotha From Anotha Planet" as well. If you're curious as to what Ras G's music sounds like, check him out online and especially YouTube. If you're not completely confused by what you've seen or heard check out one of his releases. I give this LP a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Coolness, Native Tongue Medley Pts 1, 2 & 3, Deal's A Deal, Rhymefest vs Big Daddy Kane, Think About It!, Tender Thug (LMFAO!), SuperSonic, Pulls Me Back, Party 4 Free, Overpaid Lover, Exodus 5.1, Goin In' (Who wrote La's verse?), Memory Lane, Rhyme Slow, Rhyme Quick, Prove Myself and RNQ
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This is a ridiculous mixtape from Hip Hop veteran Rhymefest with a mix of new music and rhymes over classic beats (shout out to Scram Jones). I recommend that you download this mixtape from wherever you can find find it immediately. You'll smile, you'll laugh, you'll nod your head and you'll be waiting for "El Che" to finally drop (hopefully in June). I give "The Manual" a mos def. Download it now
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept...myself included):
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
See! Everybodies in the comic book/graphic novel game now! How long before the Ray J comic book comes out called "Beware Of Danger"? Joe Quesada @ Marvel said earlier this week (via Twitter) that they've been completely inundated with writer submissions and the best way to get noticed by them or DC/Vertido, Top Cow, Dark Horse, etc. is to pretty much self publish your own comics or graphic novels and use them rather than submit pieces to them. Thank God for Twitter, huh? (When it's working, at least)