This week was pretty damn exciting on the musical front. First, Asher Roth's album leaked and shortly afterwards so did Rick Ross'. The other huge news was the Diamond District LP was available online and Print's "Comic Books: Unlimited" mixtape finally dropped. I remember back last year when my boy Yellow Rebel first put me on to Print. The NBA Playoffs start tomorrow afternoon and the Celtics are minus Kevin Garnett so a gang of fairweather fans are selling their tickets...you assholes are the worst!
They're playing the goddamn Chicago Bulls, people...Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman will NOT be in the starting lineup on Saturday! I hope you all contract colon cancer or the Ebola virus. Congrats to the Bruins...too bad I don't even know when you play until I hear people celebrating when they leave the train station!
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: Asher Roth "Asleep In The Bread Aisle", Bloody Monk Consortium "Forged In Blood EP", Diamond District "In The Ruff", El Michels Affair "Enter The 37th Chamber", Print "Comic Books: Unlimited" and Rick Ross "Deeper Than Rap". 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.
I played the new Asher Roth CD in my car and my friend asks me "Is this the new Eminem"? © Cannot find original quote on Twitter. Hit me up for credit
Best Joints: Lark On My Go-Kart, Blunt Cruisin', La Di Da, As I Em, Lion's Roar, His Dream and Fallin' (borderline)
Hot Garbage: I Love College (I hate this song *Hey!*), Be My Myself (meh), She Don't Wanna Man (meh), Sour Patch Kids (meh) and Bad Day (formulaic as fuck!),
Dart's Take: This album does not suck...far from it. The tracks that work are well made and the production for the most part is on point. The problem lies in when the album obviously tries to appeal to a certain market and get "cute" or non threatening. Those tracks failed worse than Young Berg when he gets on Twitter...or leaves the house...or wakes up in the morning (I'm sure you all get the picture).
Your head will be nodding on one track and and on the next one you'll be making a stinkface...the BAD one. The "what the fuck is this?" version. Then you'll be back to the head noddin' until you get to another skippable track. This is NOT a classic LP while it might be to some on 4.20 (being high impairs your judgement, after all). I give this album a maybe. It's good enough to earn a spot in my iTunes, but I'll be playing Diz Gibran instead.
Best Joints: Choose Your Destiny, Enter the Shogun Executioner, Forged In Blood and Say Goodnight
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: If you went back to 1997 took the Wu Killa Bees, Jedi Mind Tricks, RA the Rugged Man and put them all in a time machine and brought them to 2009 with CA producer Lex Luger production to spit over this'll give you an idea of what to expect from this project. Raw beats, rough rhymes and tracks that all float around 3:00 of straight up verbal murder. I give the Bloody Monk Consortium "Forged In Blood" EP a recommended maybe. I'm looking forward to hearing more in the near future. Check out their MySpace page here
Best Joints: Intro, Streets Wont Let Me Chill, Who I Be, Back To Basics, I Mean Business, Get In Line, In The Ruff, The Shining, The District, Make It Clear, Off The Late Night, Let Me Explain and First Time
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Diamond District consists of some of the rawest emcees from the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia), namely Oddissee, X.O. & YU. The production was handled by Oddissee and each track is perfectly crafted and the trio murder each track. This jawn bangs hard [II] and there isn't a weak moment to be found on this entire project. I played it 4x in a row after I first downloaded it. It's looking like a potential early contender for Album Of The Year...I give "In The Ruff" a mos def. Download it now
Best Joints: Duel of the Iron Mics, C.R.E.A.M., Mystery of Chessboxin', Can it All Be So Simple, Uzi (Pinky Ring), Glaciers of Ice, Cherchez La Ghost, Criminology, Heaven and Hell, Bring Da Ruckus, Protect Ya Neck, Incarcerated Scarfaces and Shimmy Shimmy Ya
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: El Michel Affair is a well known and highly regarded Hip Hop band/ensemble that creates gorgeous and lush instrumental arrangements that emcees spit on and vocalists have blessed since 2001/2. If you've never heard any of their excellent previous work you need to at the very least find their classic 2006 release "Sounding Out The City". As far as this project goes, it's not a straight note for note replay of RZA's classic works as that would be cornball. They instead use the beats as a skeleton and reinterpret them through instrumentation. The result is one hell of a walking around album for your iPod/Zune or MP3 player of choice.
The El Michels reworking of classic jawns like "C.R.E.A.M", "Glaciers Of Ice", "Criminology", "Protect Ya Neck", etc. made me wanna skydive from a plane in transit directly into shark filled waters armed with nothing but my wits and a fork. If THESE tracks are on repeat, I guarantee you I'd make it out alive and unscathed. I give "Enter The 37th Chamber" another mos def.
Best Joints: Unlimited, Jor-Els Song, Live On Arrival, Who Am I, First Edition, Lana Lang, Superman Is Alive, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Ridin' High, Save the Cheerleader, Save the World, Metropolis Gotham, Harlem River Drive, Super Friends, Lois Lane, Phantom Zone, Heroes Tale, Red Kryptonite, Lite Speed, Bizarro World and New Kryptonite
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: I first heard the early version of this mixtape entitled "Comic Books: Book I" through my fellow blogger Yellow Rebel who shot it to me a while back. I thought it was crazy already but Yellow Rebel told me that Print was gonna go back into the lab and rework it then he was gonna tweak it and re-release it in Spring 2009. I was like how much better can you make it? Well, it did go from crazy to ridiculous so well done, Print.
Sometimes his flow is reminiscent of mixtape era Lupe Fiasco and the way he takes the themes and storylines of comic books (in particular Superman) and relate them to real life, humanize them and make concise songs out of them is admirable. "Super Friends" is a 10+ minute posse track featuring some of the best underground emcees in the game today taking on superhero identities that they rhymed as...bananas! (no Miss Rissa). I give "Comic Books: Unlimited" a highly recommended maybe. Download it here
Best Joints: Mafia Music, Maybach Music 2, Magnificent, Yacht Club, Usual Suspects, Rich Off Cocaine (what an ig'nant ass song title...Fuck you Rawse!), Murda Mami, Gunplay, Valley Of Death and In Cold Blood
Hot Garbage: All I Really Want, Lay Back (WTF is this bullshit?), Bossy Lady (WTF is THIS bullshit?), Face (This is bullshit!)
Dart's Take: Rawse stepped up his bars on this album and his production was pretty impressive but him rapping about being rich as fuck off of selling cocaine just irks the fuck outta me. It's a recession and people are broke and losing their homes and jobs everywhere you look...think it's a good idea to rap about material wealth, Maybachs and yacht clubs, Rawse? Really? Then again, why do I care? The beats were ridiculous and that's all that matters!
The formulaic songs were all fails like Cassie trying to read a teleprompter. What really irked me about this album? If Rawse is capable of tracks like "Valley Of Death" and "In Cold Blood" then why make watered down bullshit like "All I Really Want", "Lay Back" and "Bossy Lady"? All in all this album is a perfect major label release and it's primed to move units. Too bad I took the red pill and that bullshit doesn't work on me, though. I give "Deeper Than Rap" a maybe because it's obviously not wack...it'll prolly last another month or so in my iTunes before I erase it.
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
Fuck! © Taylor Negron