This week kicked off with the 4th Of July holiday and I decided that it was time to go at a few less than impressive sites and blogs on the internet. The site that drew most of my ire lately was Russell Simmons' Global Grind. I can feel my brain cells screaming in anguish if I spend more then 3 minutes there at a time. I also went to my favorite place on Earth...Fenway Park. The Red Sox got their asses handed to them by Oakland with Nomar Garciaparra and Orlando Cabrera had huge games. I don't think Julio Lugo has been on the field since that game. The Celtics are playing in the Orlando Summer League. It just makes me miss the old Shaw's Summer League in Boston all the more.
The big event that happened yesterday was the Rasheed Wallace signing and press conference in Boston. Homie received the #30 jersey that Len Bias would've rocked in 1986. The last cat that rocked #30 was lame ass Sebastian Telfair. The Celtics are also going after Grant Hill (as are the Suns & Knicks) and looking to re-sign Glen "Big Baby" Davis. The Cleveland Cavaliers brought in Shaquille O'Neal & signed Anderson Varejao.
Detroit signed Ben Gordon & Charlie Villanueva. The Lakers brough in Ron Artest. Dallas re-signed Jason Kidd & traded for Shawn Marion. The Memphis Grizzlies signed Allen Iverson. The Toronto Raptors acquired Hedo Turkoglu. With Richard Jefferson & Antonio McDyess both signing with the San Antonio Spurs this isn't free agency...it's a goddamn arms race! 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.
This week I'll be reviewing five new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: La Coka Nostra "A Brand You Can Trust", Major Lazer "Guns Don't Kill...Lazers Do", Maxwell "BLACKsummers'night", Moka Only "Lowdown Suite 2: The Box" and Royce Da 5'9" "The Revival EP". 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.
Whatever I can do to contribute to the team...The bottom line is winning © Rasheed Wallace
Best Joints: Bloody Sunday, Get You By, The Stain, I'm An American, Brujeria, Once Upon A Time, Choose Your Side, Hardcore Chemical, Gun In Your Mouth, Nuclear Medicinemen, That's Coke and Fuck Tony Montana
Hot Garbage: Cousin Of Death and Soldier's Story were both meh to me
Dart's Take: This is a damn good album that's been years in the making from a supergroup consisting of Everlast, Ill Bill, Slaine, DJ Lethal, Big Left and frequent assists from Soul Assassins, Psycho Realm & Q-Unique. I think I first heard "Fuck Tony Montana" back in 2006 and it still has the same impact as the 1st day Slaine let us all preview it on BostonRap.com back in the days. If you're looking for some hardcore Hip Hop based on beats and rhymes than I recommend checking out La Coka Nostra's "A Brand You Can Trust".
Best Joints: Hold The Line, When You Hear The Bassline, Can't Stop Now, Lazer Theme, Anything Goes, Cash Flow, Bruk Out, What U Like, Keep It Goin' Louder, Pon de Floor and Jump Up
Hot Garbage: Mary Jane and Baby
Dart's Take: Major Lazer consists of Mad Decent's in house production team of Diplo & Switch. Their tracks have made M.I.A & Santigold household names and they've crafted quite a few gems, album tracks & remixes over the years. This project is more of a dancehall project reminscient of last year's Diplo/Switch/Santigold mixtape but featuring a gang of Reggae/Dancehall superstars collabborating with Mad Decent artists & affiliates.
The end result is a damn good album (provided that you actually like listening to Diplo & Switch's production or enjoy Dancehall at all). The only tracks I didn't like were some weird minute long track ("Baby") and some jawn I couldn't vibe with for whatever reason. I give "Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do" a recommended maybe. As far as picking my favorite tracks that's kinda tough to do.
Best Joints: Badhabits, Cold, Prettywings, Helpsomebody, Stoptheworld, Loveyou, Fistfuloftears, Playingpossum and Phoenixrise
Hot Garbage: N/A (I wish it were longer)
Dart's Take: If you love R&B. REAL R&B minus any AutoTune effects with just music and vocals with lyrics that were written by the actual singer (and not The-Dream, NeYo or Keri Hilson) then buy this album yesterday. I'm not exagerrating when I say that this is one of the best R&B albums in recent memory that wasn't recorded by Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton, Dwele, Coultrain, Jesse Boykins III or Bilal. I wish this jawn was longer, though. I have no choice but to give it a mos def. Please don't play this album in a confined space with nothing but dudes around. It's really not made for that...
Best Joints: Do Work, Hardly Say (Remix), Syrup, Lemon, Fried Rice, Stained, Funky, Drip Drop, Boohoo, Clap Yer Feet, Trudgin (Instrolude), Mothballs, Isn't Over, It's Lowdown, Bored, Be Alright, Riverside and Rock The Yacht
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: I love this album, too. Moka Only subscribed to the same school of recording that MF Doom, Count Bass D, and old Soul singers did by keeping many of his tracks below 3 minutes. What that ends up doing is having you replaying damn near the entire album again after you hear it. That's a good thing. If your album is 45 minutes long and it takes 2 hours to listen to all the way through then you did your job.
From the opening of "Do Work" all the way to the time "Riverside" fades out you'll be nodding your head. I don't have any other option but to give "Lowdown Suite 2: The Box" another mos def. Find this and cop it if you're a Moka Only fan (or if you actually like Hip Hop).
Best Joints: Gun Harmonizing, Count For Nothing, Warriors and Street Hop 2010
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This entire Royce Da 5'9" EP is ridiculous but the crown jewel is the Slaughterhouse jawn "Warriors". Find it, get it. Mos def all the way. I can't wait to hear the Slaughterhouse LP, "Street Hop" or "The Bar Exam 3". Neither can you.
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
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
There hasn't been much sun so far this Summer in Boston but I'll damned if Danny, Doc & The Big 3 (4) didn't just make it hot! C'mon, Grant Hill...roll with the winners (no Clipse). Let's get a ring in '10!