This was quite an eventful week coming off of the Memorial Day weekend. In the NBA those Nike LeBron & Kobe puppet commercials were in danger of repeating the 1992 Reebok Dan & Dave campaign. I got hella backed up writing this week hanging out with my brothers and friends rather than living the focused get up every morning and write lifestyle I've become accustomed to (Cublunk, it's coming this weekend, I promise!). Drake set the internet, bloggerverse and Twitter on fire...as did my boy Chris Foxx by spearheading the whole #unfollowDiddy movement. Also, some hellbound asshole stole Houseshoes Macbook out of his truck during the Dilla show in Detroit a while back. I hope they catch Swine Flu.
I spent yesterday yelling at the TV during the Scripps National Spelling Bee as well as the Cavs/Magic game. Now the series is 3-2 Magic with Game 6 coming up in Orlando. Hopefully the Denver Nuggets can tie the series with the Lakers as well. Quite a few highly anticipated projects hit the 'net and are hitting stores and iTunes come June 2nd. Judging by the amount of ill promos I've recieved lately it's gonna be a hot summer! Also, to all you cats working in the music industry and at music magazines that I'm making look bad every week please sleep well knowing that I'm doing your jobs for you for free.
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: J Dilla "Jay Stay Paid", Nadsroic & Hudson Mohawke "Room Mist EP", Roc C & IMAKEMADBEATS Are The Transcontinental, Snowgoons "A Fist In The Thought", Tiye Phoenix "Half Woman Half Amazin'" and Torae & Marco Polo "Double Barrel". 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.
Me fallin' off ain't never happenin'/I could win the Pulitzer Prize for some shit I scribbled on a napkin! © Chino XL
Best Joints: King, I Told Y'all, Lazer Gunne Funke, In The Night/While You Slept (I Crept), Smoke, Blood Sport, CaDILLAc, Expensive Whip, Kaklow (Jump On It), Digi Dirt, Dilla Bot Vs. The Hybrid, Milk Money, Spacecowboy Vs. Bobble Head. Reality TV, On Stilts, Fire Wood Drumstix, Glamour Sho75 (09), 10,000 Watts, 9th Caller, Make It Fast (Unadulterated Mix), 24K Rap, Big City, Pay Day, See That Boy Fly, Coming Back. Mythsysizer and KJay & We Out
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: The final (not including the many beats that friends of Dilla still have on their hard drives and the unreleased MCA LP "Pay Jay") Dilla album will be out June 2nd via Nature Sounds. It's overseen by Pete Rock & Ma Dukes with assists from DJ Premier. The lineup of guest emcees is impressive, boasting a collection of the illest emcees around: Black Thought, Raekwon, Havoc, DOOM, Blu, Lil' Fame, Phat Kat, Danny Brown, Illa J, Que D, Frank Nitt & Diz Gibran. All of them spit over top flight Dilla! Dilla! Beats! Beats! Beats!.
If you're already a beathead, Dilla fan or just a Hip Hop fan in general this album will have your head nodding like crazy. Hopefully one day the remaining beats or "treats" CD's can see a proper release and his estate will be resolved and his little girls and Ma Dukes will see the monies they should. Go out and cop "Jay Stay Paid" June 2nd and stop bootleggin' his shit!
Best Joints: Room Mist, All Hot, Leopards, Step Back, Chemical and Step Back Instrumental
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Let me tell you first off that this isn't for everybody. If you aren't already a fan of Hudson Mohawke's production (yet another alumni of my 100 Producers You Need To Hear Right Now) or atmospheric Pop music like Nadsroic makes then this will be an enjoyable listen to you. If not, it'll merely sound like some chick trying to imitate/emulate Uffie. This jawn first dropped on LuckyMe Records back on May 11th but I didn't get it for review purposes until Memorial Day weekend. I give the Room Mist EP a recommended maybe. Check it out on Nadsroic's MySpace to see if it's something you can rock with or not first as it drops worldwide on June 29th.
Best Joints: Still Here, Just A Man, Warrior, Ox To Ozone, The Official Smash Mouf, Imagine That, All I'm Asking, By Any Means, Struggle, Whisper Music, Won't Fall, Hit The Floor, The One You Love and Imagine That (Punpee Remix)
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: Roc C is familiar to those of you that cop Stone's Throw releases and rock with those from The Ox (Oxnard, CA) like Madlib, Oh No or Kan Kick. Roc C teamed up with New York producer IMAKEMADBEATS AKA Nemo to make a collaboration called "The Transcontinental". Roc C steps up his bars significantly from his previous releases on this project and on the sonic side of things your neck will be hurting halfway through due to the on point production. Add to that guest appearances from Rapper Big Pooh, Chino XL, Oh No, Rakaa Iriscience, Prince Po and Wildchild amongst others raise the stakes that much more.
This is one of the first releases on the former Koch Records and it's damn good one. I give "The Transcontinental" a highly recommended maybe. If you see it in stores don't hesitate to cop it. *Scrolls back to "The Transcontinental" on iTunes*
Best Joints: Who Are You, Get Down, Platoon Goons, At War, Knuckle Up, One Shot, Pray Hard, South Carolina Struggle, Planetary Takeover and Been Fighting Devilz
Hot Garbage: Michael Nobody aka Poetic Death, All in Your Mind, Capital City Streetz and Snakes were all meh to me
Dart's Take: I don't exactly know why but the Snowgoons LP's have gotten progressively more predictable and the beats are starting to all sound the same. I understand that they're on Babygrande but their tracks all sound like outtakes from Jedi Mind Tricks/Army Of The Pharaohs after a while. Lord Lhus and Savage Brothers carry this album and it's pretty underwhelming. It's just OK and if you played this album in the background it could pretty much get ignored due to the fact it all sounds like the same track.
Even guest appearances from Sean Price and Reef The Lost Cauze can't overcome the mehness or the boredom of some of these tracks. Nothing really caught me or screamed for a rewind and as far as the bars were concerned the only memorable quotables were provided by Sean P & Reef even though Lord Lhus certainly tried his hardest. I give "A Fist In The Thought" a maybe and hope they can get back the the form they exhibited on their 2007 debut "German Lugers" soon.
Best Joints: TIYEtanium, The Award, Stop Right There, Just Go, Master Plan, Half Woman Half Amazin', Bless Me, Revolving Door, Killin' Everybody, Go Even Harder, Shinin' Star and Too Late For Us
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This album opens with high energy in the form of "TIYEtanium" and never lets up. I often get frustrated by albums that are hit and miss or up and down where the artist doesn't grab and hold your attention and keep it. I also get pissed off when production doesn't match up with lyrical content and vice versa. I am glad to report that NONE of those things happened on this project.
You want beats and bars that make you wanna rewind the track or verse back? Tiye got it. You want enough variety in the album so that you don't get bored? Tiye got it. You want a concise, tight album that you don't feel like you got shortchanged or gyped for buying it? Don't worry! Tiye got you! There really isn't a weak moment on this project as I spent a lot of time making the stinkface and getting my headnod on. This has been a damn good week so far because I have no other option but to give Tiye Phoenix (also another alumni of my 100 Producers You Need To Hear Right Now List) a mos def.
Best Joints: Double Barrel, Party Crashers, Smoke, Lifetime, But Wait, Rah Rah Shit, Danger, Stomp, Coney Island, Word Play, Hold Up, Get It and Crashing Down
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart's Take: This album grabs you by the throat and never lets go. This album is loaded from beginning to end with bangers courtesy of Marco Polo (ever heard "Port Authority"?) and Torae (ever heard "Daily Conversation"?). This album also features Lil' Fame, Rock, Guilty Simpson, Masta Ace, Sean Price & Saukrates killin' shit like they had the spread gun in NES Contra. This album also opens with DJ Premier giving the co-sign so you know it's that official headnod, smashmouth, Timberland boots on pavement shit.
This album will dominate the plays on your iPod or Zune once you put it on there. This album doesn't have a weak moment on it and it keeps with the theme of this being a great week for Hip Hop albums. This album will go on sale June 2nd so go out and support that live quality Hip Hop when it drops. This album also gets a no brainer mos def from me. This album is STILL getting played by me as I type the final line of this review blog!
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
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Drake- Thank Me Later
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
There's a bidding war raging right now over which logos get to be splashed across Drake's "Thank Me Later" LP due 4th quarter 2009...that's when labels actually drop albums. Stay tuned, readers!