What a terrible week this was! First off, let's begin with that bullshit ass "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" flick. It had a couple of twins in it that were the 2009 version of Jar Jar Binks. That was the tip of the iceberg on what was a horrible movie overall. Next, was the recurring news about the possible trades of Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in light of the 2009 NBA Draft which stands to be another huge bustathon. The Celtics only had a 2nd round pick and I didn't watch the draft too closely because it was boring as all hell. Let us not forget that Charles Hamilton's album "This Perfect Life" wasn't released for the second Tuesday in a row. His "fans" are livid.
I've watching my niece and nephew a fair amount this week since school just ended. This week I learned that this has been the rainiest June since 1903 in Boston at the typing of this sentence this would be only the 7th day of sun in the 26 days of this month so far. The Red Sox played almost every home game in fear of being rained out. I've also become the newest associate of the brothers over @ Nerd With Swag so expect some of my posts to land over there for the forseeable future on the weekends. Then Ed McMahon died. The next morning Farrah Fawcett died after a long battle with Cancer. Michael Jackson passed away after a heart attack a few hours later.
This week I'll be reviewing seven new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Blaq Poet "The Blaqprint", DJ JS-1 "Ground Original 2: No Sell Out", DJ Spinna "Sonic Smash ", Grand Puba "RetroActive", Tame One "Acid Tab Vocab", Wale & 9th Wonder "Back To The Feature" and Wu Tang "Chamber Music". 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.
I'm coming home! I'm coming home! Where I belong...© Michael Jackson
Best Joints: I-Gititin, U Phucc'd Up, Ain't Nuttin Changed, What's The Deal?, Legendary Pt. 1, Hood Crazy, Voices, Sichuwayshunz, Stretch Marks & Cigarette Burns, S.O.S., Let the Guns Blow, Don't Give a Fuccc, Rap Addiction and Never Goodbye
Hot Garbage: Hate
Dart's Take: The production was on point throughout this album. Blaq Poet was Blaq Poet. He spit a bunch of street level, thugged out semi gnorant shit about street life selling drugs, shooting muthafuckas, other muthafuckas getting shot and slapping the shit outta wack rappers. Unfortunately he forget to spit bars nice enough to make his album stand out from those some wack emcees he dissed all over the album. This album wasn't very rewind worthy and the instrumentals might move more. I was bored...why lie? I give it a maybe.
Best Joints: Intro, Like This, Clear N Present Danger, Murder, Nuthin', Karma Killerz, Ridiculous, Runnin' This, I Don't Mind, On The Map, The M.O.B., Bang Da Underground, Original G'z, Too Easy, What's Happening, Rock Steadily and Brainbender
Hot Garbage: Some Rap Shit, No Comparison and I Knew A Girl
Dart's Take: Yeah..this was just OK. A few standout tracks but not one of your top choices to throw into the car and ride to with all the excellent albums that droped recently. There isn't a bunch of wack material on here or wack beats but it's all just OK. There are a gang of emcees that spit some nice bars but Jak D appeared on this LP in 3 different songs and failed to spit anything niceon any of the tracks. I wasn't getting my head nod on much, just listening intently and waiting for that jawn that grabbed my attention.
This album is chock full of guest spots from notable emcees but it doesn't meld into a concise album that's more than average. I'm giving "Ground Original 2: No Sell Out another maybe. Check it out and give it a listen first at least.
Best Joints: Elemental, Lyrics Is Back, Lights Out!, New York, Call Me Senor, Get On Down, Making Your Way In The World, Guaranteed, More, More Colors, Melody, Still Golden and Outro
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Do you remember those old Beyond Real compilations that DJ Spinna used to put out? Remember all those classic tracks Spinna produced over the years? I could name a laundry list of bangers this dude made and the saga continues with "Sonic Smash" on High Water Music. This album features appearances from Phonte, Sputnik Brown, Torae, John Robinson, Senor Kaos, Jigmastas, Dynas, Tiye Phoenix, Elzhi, J-Treds, Breezly Brewin, P. CASSO, Homeboy Sandman, Fresh Daily, etc. and it's ridiculous.
The head nod factor will be in effect, you will exercise your rewind button, you may keep a few joints on repeat as well. Bottom line is "Sonic Smash" has met and exceeded the necessary requirements in order to attain a mos def. Cop it when it drops on June 30th!
Best Joints: I See Dead People, Hunny, It Is What It Is, Get That Money, How Long?, Good To Go, Same Old Drama, Go Hard, Reality Check, Cold Cold World, Smile and
Hot Garbage: This Joint Right Here (this jawn right here needs a remix), This Joint Right Here Remix (Wow..the same beat but this time it's longer with the other Brand Nubian brothers on it? *Facepalm*)
Dart's Take: Grand Puba's last solo album "Understand This" was a solid effort but it came out so long ago (2001) the overwhelming majority of music fans have forgotten about Grand Puba's greatness even though Brand Nubian has steadily released albums throughout the 00's. This album was a surprise in the greatest sense because I had no expectations going in. The production and bars were on point for the duration of the project with the exception of one track that could've left off. I'm gonna have to give "RetroActive" a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Molly, Anxiety Attacks, Ooops, Hip Hop Action Figure, Suede Adidas, Dips, Ghetto Gutter Gillaness, Press Rewind, Bitch, Kik Rox and Go Away
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: The newest Tame One project on Amalgam Digital dropped on Tuesday. It checks in at 12 total tracks but only 10 actual songs all produced by Parallel Thought who also did last year's "Da Ol' Jersey Bastard". If you're a Tame One fan like I am there's no reason to not cop it. I've been playing it for just more than a week now (thank God for advances) and I still rock it. I give "Acid Tab Vocab" a recommended maybe.
Best Joints: Wordplay, Cyphr, Chillin (Catch vs 9th), Tito Santana, 5 Minutes, Life's A Bitch, Night Life, Sweatin Out Weaves, Hot Shyt, Wonder Why, Pot Of Gold, Sharp, Warwick Avenue, The Sun, Rather Be With You (Vagina Is For Lovers), Goodbye, Say It Again, Talkin Shyt, Nothing To Worry About, Rhyme N Reason, Um Ricka and New Soul
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: There isn't a weak moment on this mixtape and it's exactly what we've come to expect from Wale over the past couple of years. You take Wale, add 9th Wonder and a gang of guest appearances from artists like Currensy, Playboy Tre, Young Chris, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Joe Budden, Skyzoo, Talib Kweli, Joell Ortiz, Bun B, K'naan, Peedi Peedi, Black Thought, Royce Da 5'9, Jean Grae in addition to a bunch of others. It's a no brainer. Download it yesterday. Mos def, easy. Here's the link
Best Joints: Kill Too Hard, Harbor Masters, Radiant Jewels, I Wish You Were Here, Ill Figures, Sound The Horns, NYC Crack and Evil Deeds
Hot Garbage: Unfortunately Redemption, The Abbot, Sheep State, Supreme Architecture, Wise Men, Fatal Hesitation, Free Like ODB, Enlightened Statues and One Last Question are all just interludes and not actual tracks
Dart's Take: You take RZA, you add his production genius and have him supervise the soul band The Revelations then bring in Masta Ace, AZ, Cormega, Sean Price, Havoc, Kool G Rap, M.O.P. & Sadat X then what you have is arguably the best Wu Tang related project since Think Differently Music's excellent "Wu Tang Meets The Indie Culture" from 2006. I give it a highly recommended maybe. Look for it when it drops on June 30th.
Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):
Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop in 2009:
Fashawan-Boy Meets World
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
Royce Da 5'9"-Street Hop
Pac Div-Grown Kid's Syndrome
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Drake- Thank Me Later
Sean Price, Guilty Simpson & Black Milk-Random Axe
Alchemist & Oh No are Gangrene
Eternia & MoSS- At Last
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
Rest in eternal peace, Michael Jackson. Hopefully you, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Rick James & Ray Charles are having a hell of a lotta fun up in Heaven.