This week was action packed. The Celtics bounced the Bulls then split the first two games in Boston, the Red Sox swept the Yanks in New York, then the Bruins went down 2-1 against Carolina. On the music front, a gang of things happened. Cam'ron and Eminem's LP's both hit the 'net, the Vibe 50 Hottest Rap Blogs List disappointed some and infuriated others and Cassie Ventura along with the female national Panamanian Cricket team caused a lot of computer screen across the country to fog up (is that even possible?). "Star Trek" opens in wide release tonight plus the Celtics play a Skipless Magic in Orlando. Busta Rhymes "Back On My Bullshit" is also expected to leak sometime this weekend as well.
This week I'll be reviewing eight new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Bobby Creekwater "B.C. Era Duece", Busta Rhymes & DJ Scratch "I Bullshit You Not", Cam'ron "Crime Pays", Don Cannon & Cool Kids "Gone Fishing", De La Soul "Are You In? (Nike + Original Run)", Eminem "Relapse", DJ Absolut & Raekwon "Blood On Chef's Apron" and Random "Mega Ran 9". 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 recently revised "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down below:
Opinions be damned. This particular project has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and should come with a Surgeon General's warning and/or a biohazard sticker. It should only be handled by hazmat teams or bomb/demolitions squads. To quote Common & Canibus, this album is your worst nightmare squared.
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.
Damn! It was all good just a week ago! © Jay-Z
Best Joints: Hey, Throw Da Deuce, Dreamin', Spaceship, Ridin' Muzik, Tryin' To Make It, B.C. Era and Make Believe
Hot Garbage: Winner was meh
Dart's Take: This was a nice free EP from Bobby Creekwater even though it was a little more low energy than what I'm used to regularly. Creekwater spits something nice on this collection of rider music over laid back soundscapes. Guest appearances from Bohagon, Sandman & Stat Quo also help add to the overall quality of the product. "Throw Da Deuce", "Ridin' Muzik" and "Tryin' To Make It" were the standout tracks to me. I give "The B.C. Era Deuce" a recommended maybe. Shady/Interscope needs to release some product from this dude and stop bullshittin'. Download it here
Best Joints: Fate Of The World, Director's Cut, Let's Do It, Foreign Currency, Piano Man, Death Wish, Try Your Hand, The Game Room, Victim, Give A Damn, Bounce Back and Feel My Pain
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: If you've been on Twitter following the interactions between Busta Rhymes and DJ Scratch during the creation of the mixtape (which incidentally was named by the fans on Twitter) you knew that it was gonna be bananas once it finally hit the internet & bloggerverse. DJ Scratch's production combined with Busta Rhymes' kinetic energy and bars results in a ridiculous mixtape from beginning to end.
There isn't a weak moment on this entire jawn...I bullshit you not. Even Uncle Muder and Maino didn't annoy me. Show Money, Reek and Spliff Star blended in seemlessly with Bussa Buss over excellent production that will have your head noodin' and your neck hurtin'. Hopefully, "Back On My Bullshit" is more like this than a somewhat watered down major label album. I give it a mos def, download it here
Best Joints: Crime Pays Intro, Cookin' Up, Curve, Who, Spend The Night (bordeline!), (I Hate) My Job, Homicide (bordeline), Got It For Cheap, Get It Get It and Bottom Of The Pussy
Hot Garbage: Where I Know You From, Never Ever, Silky (No Homo) (Is this even a beat?), Get It In Ohio, You Know What's Up, Woo Hoo, Chalupa and Cookies N Apple Juice
Dart's Take: I hate Cameron Giles...everybody knows that. I hate DipSet even more. At one point in time I used to be a Cam'ron fan but somewhere along the line Cam got lazy and started rapping like he didn't care any more. That's a sin to me. Then he started propagating the whole ignorant ass kufi smacker image and DipSet had kids across the country dressing like assholes and acting like 'em, too. Once I realized that Cam'ron and his cohorts were having a widespread negative effect on the youth as well as the culture it became real. The fact his bars completely regressed to being laughable compounded the situation.
"Purple Haze" was the final straw for me. It took forever to drop and when it finally did it was ass. Cameron Giles forgot what it was to be an emcee and was lost in his image/persona and DipSet drama. With each album it becomes more and more apparent he 'll never get it back or even attempt to. This album was full of laughable bars and even worse beats at times. Hooks ranged from mind numbingly juvenile to half assed. Some songs were so goddamn bad I can't believe they were passed into Asylum...I take that back. These are the same assholes that have Mike Jones (Who?) on their roster.
I wish I could've done every single "Fuck Cam" interlude on this album...they would've been 3-5 minute songs featuring me going in on how ass this album is. I'm offended this dude tried to pass this off as an album. Fuck Cam. Fuck "Crime Pays". Fuck me for even giving this album a chance so I could have my ears bleed and wake up out of my sleep over the memory of trash like "Woo Hoo", "Never Ever" and "Cookies N Apple Juice" *shudders*. Oh no. Do me a favor, Cam...go bungee jumping without a bungee cord. Killa! *Gives the middle finger*
Best Joints: Introduction to Ice Fishing, Hammer Bros., Champions, Gold Links, Cinnamon, Premium Blends, Jump Rope, The Last Stretch, The Art of Noise, The Light Company, Popcorn, Pennies (the updated rosters remix), Broadcasting Live, Takin' a Break (cut it up), Tune Up, Weekend Girls, Summer Vacations and Knocked Down
Hot Garbage: Step Back (yawn!)
Dart's Take: The Cool Kids previous efforts have all received maybes from me because they didn't vary their sound enough and their rhymes were downright boring and low energy to me. They usually lull me into a general state of malaise and ambivalence...then I just stop giving a fuck altogether. I was hella close to taking Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks and dragging them both to the iDon't Give A Fuck folder in my iBrain before Don Cannon laced them on this mixtape and saved them from ending up in Dart Limbo.
Tracks like "Gold Links", "Cinnamon", "Jump Rode", "The Light Company", "Popcorn" "Pennies", "Broadcasting Live", etc. all had me open enough to rewind them. Previously on "The Bake Sale" and their earlier mixtapes my favorite Cool Kids tracks was still "Black Mags". If these cats vary their sound up more, moke some higher energy tracks and step their bars up they won't bore the fuck outta me when they finally release an album. I give "Gone Fishing" a highly recommended maybe. Check it out here
Best Joints: Morning Rise, Good Morning, Big Mouf, Attack of 'The Stet' (borderline), Pick Up The Pace (Run), Poetic Greed (feat. Gina Loring), Greedy Man (feat. Greedy Man) and Forever
Hot Garbage: We O.D. and Victory Laps
Dart's Take: This is an iTunes only LP De La Soul made in association with Nike made specifically for going on runs/workouts with. A couple years ago Aesop Rock made one that was well received and since De La Soul haven't released any product in a minute a gang of people were thirsty for ANY new material they may have made. I decided to review it and it's a damn good 45 minute collection of upbeat, high energy material. I think they worked with the Flosstradamus cats as opposed to Supa Dave West for this project but it's still dope.
A few tracks were ear bleed material but this project was made for a much wider audience than just De La Soul fans so it's understandable. Tracks like "Morning Rise", "Good Morning", "Big Mouf", "Greedy Man" and "Forever" are more than enough to convince a De La Soul fan to cop this off of iTunes and make it your workout soundtrack. I give "Are You In?" a recommended maybe. Check it out here
Best Joints: 3 AM, My Mom, Insane [II], Bagpipes From Baghdad, Hello, Same Song & Dance, Medicine Ball, Stay Wide Awake (don't turn this into a single, Jimmy), Old Time Sake, Deja Vu, Beautiful (3 minutes too long) and Underground
Hot Garbage: We Made You, Must Be The Ganja and Crack A Bottle (yawn!)
Dart's Take: It about goddamn time Marshall showed up to the party. This album is everything I expected it to be given that it's a major label album engineered specifically to break the cycle of subpar sales numbers and move mad units. It's good to hear Em get back on that ridiculous spittin' shit like he did before he got complacent on "Encore" and dropped all of those steaming piles on the same project.
How did I feel about Em's usage of different accents and voices? Didn't bother me at all. I was an emcee for 25 years of my life and when I'd mastered my style and got my flow to where I wanted it to be I used to rhyme in different voices and personas in order to step up another level of difficulty to my bars. Eminem not only does this, but he NEVER breaks character and he manages to merk the track each and every time. That's even more impressive then him doing it in his normal voice in my expert opinion.
"3 AM" "My Mom", "Insane", "Hello", "Stay Wide Awake" and "Underground" are pretty much strictly for fans that wonder if homie still has it and can murder verses like he used to. He still can and that makes me smile. We lost Cam'ron but fuck him...we still have Shady! There were quite a few tracks I could've done without and beat choices that made me roll my eyes but I'm a backpacker so my opinion doesn't matter. If it were up to me Nas would be rhyming on Black Milk, Lab Techs ,9th Wonder, Illmind, Khrysis and Oddisee beats. Given all the obvious attempts at appealing to as wide an audiences as possible rather than just spittin' I give "Relapse" a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Blood on Chef's Apron Freestyle, Cake Baking, Dedication Freestyle, Beauty, The General, Cocaine Blunts, Whips & Kicks, Stick Up Music, Fortune and Fame, A Bigger Gun, Bird Chirp, Gutterman Music, What Do I Do?, Trenchmen, On The Fly Note, Flashback Memories and R.I.P.
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: If you loved the Vatican mixtape series and you're anticipating "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2" dropping on August 11 then you definitely need to be rockin' this jawn right now. Some tracks are under 2 minutes and there are a few full length jawns like "Beauty", "A Bigger Gun", "What Do I Do?", "Flashback Memories" & " R.I.P. with guest appearances from Joell Ortiz, Busta Rhymes, B-Real & The Game. If you're feeling real Rap then you need this in your iPod or whatever music player you currently use. Find it and rock to it. I give it a highly recommended maybe. Download it here
Best Joints: The Opening, uKnowTheName, My Love, MegaLude 9, Run N Gun, Endless, Get Equipped, Outro
Hot Garbage: 8 Is Enough, Splash Woman, The Bailout, Boss Battle: Jewel Man and Splash Woman (Reprise) were all just meh to me
Dart's Take: I dig 8 Bit instrumentals and the DiBiase EP from earlier this year was one of my favorites of the so far. "The 8th Day" was a slept on piece of work but I could not really get into "Mega Ran 9". Maybe it was the love songs about video game characters and the repeated references to Mega Man characters...I dunno. I wasn't really feeling this project that much so maybe I wasn't the best cat to review this project. I give it a maybe because it was hit or miss to me although I love that new Random jawn he has on Okayplayer about supporting the artist's and their music. I'll review "TeacherRapperHero" when it drops, too.
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
Statik Selektah-The Hangover
I know Doc said I was out for the playoffs, but if we can smack these Orlando fools and advance again I'm gon' try to suit up and help y'all against that futuristic cyborg LeBron. We shut homie down last year, Truth! We're like the Resistance...this whole shit is Terminator: Salvation for real! Let 'em be a witness to that shit!