Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod #2 AKA Ya Boy Is Back At It

This segment received such an overwhelmingly positive response last time that I decided to bring it back and maybe even make it a regular segment on my blog. For the uninitiated I will again explain my three point "Cop It Or Not" rating scale 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's dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maybe (Maebe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

It's time to begin again © Mobb Deep

Swizz Beatz-One Man Band Man

I might not be the best person to give a review of this album but fuck it, I’ll try anyways. I was one of those backpackers that thought Swizz Beatz was a big part of what was wrong with the Rap industry when he first appeared on the scene at age 16 making “beats” out of Roland demos and flooding the radio with keyboard based production minus samples. His erratically placed hi hats, bells, whistles and claps made my ears bleed from 1998 until now. He has become one of the most successfull producers on the planet of the lastdecade, earning himself his own label, Full Surface. He also commands six figures for beats that will become potential hit singles. His first solo album “G.H.E.T.T.O Stories” has been used in landfills and occassionally for skeet shooting targets. I have cooled on my hatred of Swizz’s production in recent years due to the fact that I’m older. I have low expectations for this album but if it turns out to surprise me I won’t hesitate to say I was wrong and give Swizz his proper credit for carrying an album on his own. I’m not expecting him to be Large Professor, Diamond D, Pete Rock, J Dilla or DJ Quik...I know better than that. Let’s get started:

“Product Man” is the album intro where he inforrms the listener that he is, in fact the product man and he has that product. Apparently he gets “it” in and he has a bunch of material items and he’s sold 100 million albums. What he doesn’t have is a dope flow, any lyrical talent or creativity (although he’s convinced
himself that he does). The next song is the lead single “It’s Me Bitches” and the song is basically one annoying repeated chorus behind a beat with more horns and bells than a kid’s toy. “Big Munny” is about what else, big money. The song is pretty much just a chorus and after the first 1:45 of the song is over there is no more rapping on the song...which is a good thing cuz Swizz wasn’t sayin’ shit anyways. On the plus side, the beat is kinda nice. On “Bust Ya Gunz” Swizz resurrects a couple of old choruses before he spits a lack luster verse, thus making some of my feelings of hatred for his previous work rear it ugly head. Thankfully, Drag-On shows up and spits a verse that almost does the beat justice (why didn’t you write some verses for Swizz?).

Of course, my brother Buc points out something that I wouldn’t have caught right away. He said “listen to the layering of those drums...he didn’t produce this track. Swizz’s drums never sound like that, his drums are mad weak.” Sure enough, Needlz produced it. Damn shame cuz it would’ve been two beats Swizz Beatz made that I liked in a row. The streak stopped at one. The next song is called “You Know Your Boy Did That”, Swizz didn’t do the beat on this track either (which you wouldn’t know by hearing it). The song is almost 5 minutes, making it about 2 minutes too long in my opinion. Why is Swizz half rhymin’ for almost 5 minutes on a song by himself? Where’s the quality control? Next thing you know he’ll try to kick one of those personal joints and try to get introspective...you know, overreach his bounds. Next track we come to is called “The Funeral”...Uh oh! It’s the moment I feared.

This song is a fuckin’ trainwreck from thestart. The beat is nice but Swizz really should have hired a ghostwriter for this track (God knows he can afford it!). Lyrically, it’s all over the place and I really can’t believe that no one stopped this track from making the album. It’s really that embarassing, I’m not exaggerating. “Take A Picture” uses the “Lovely Day” beat that has been used a hundred times before with some more lame lyrics. This track is skippable. “Top Down” has a dope beat and wack lyrics, if Diddy has the common sense to have his people write his verses, then why doesn’t Swizz get Cassidy to write him some bars? It’s beyond me. “Money In The Bank” is the album’s second single and it’s essentially an annoying ass 3 minute hook. I hate this track. Next up is “Part Of The Plan”, the beat drives you towards an introspective story type song...oh shit, here we go again!

“Part Of The Plan” is another shitstorm execution wise. At one point Swizz actually says “I wish I could fly away on a unicorn”. A unicorn, nigga? There wasn’t ONE fuckin’ nerd around that could have told your dumb ass that unicorns have the one horn in the middle of their heads and the horse with wings is called Pegasus? Not the engineer? Not an A & R at the label? No one? Fuck this song. Next up is a skit where Snoop Dogg calls Swizz. It does nothing to enhance the album whatsoever so why is it the second to last track? God only knows. The final track is a clusterfuck of a remix to a song I already hated, “It’s Me..” featuring Lil’ Wayne (homo thug), R. Kelly (pedophile with bladder issues) and Jadakiss. Of course, Jadakiss only rhymed for the last 30 seconds of the track..and on the C.R.E.A.M. beat. I guess Jada was like “I’m not rhyming over this bullshit excuse for a beat”. Am I wrong for thinking that a remix should have a different beat? Why is it that remixes nowadays consist of a ProTooled version of the same fuckin’ track with 3 more trash people rhyming on it?

In conclusion, this album is a 12 track farce of a real hip hop album. Without substance in the actual track, a catchy hook can only get you a hot single. Now, if you try to do that for an entire album it’s going to get old really quick and backfire. The lyrics on this album were pretty weak, this is a time when you NEED multiple guest appearances and Swizz foolishly decided to go it alone with disastrous results. If I had aim like Bullseye (pictured below) I’d throw this bullshit CD at Swizz like a ninja star to ensure that he never gets the chance to make another wack ass solo album. Stay in your lane, kid!

Make hits, scream out annoying hooks and show up in other peoples videos. I’m using this jewel case for another CD, cleaning beneath my finger nails with the liner notes and using the CD itself as a coaster.

Boot Camp Click-Casualties Of War

This Boot Camp Click album is made mostly of track that didn’t make “The Last Stand” and were recorded in session after the albums completion. The BCC crew can get open on any beat and make it an event so that adds to listening experience. “The Hussle” is typical BCC shit, it always feels good to hear Rock’s voice on a track. “What You See” features the crew over a familiar beat while Sean Price spits another fierce verse. “BK All Day” features the return of the 5 Ft. Excellerator over a fire beat. The Marco Polo produced “My World” is a banger in every sense of the word. It gets followed some slick 9th Wonder production on “I Need More” where everyone on the track comes off but Sean Price once again steals the show. “Jail Song” features Rockness once again sending a message to his brother Lidu Rock from The Reprasentativz. So far on this project we haven’t heard too many contributions from O.G.C., I’m wondering where Starang is.

“A Yo” is typical Boot Camp shit, dope beat with Buckshot playing point throughout the track. “Casualties Of War” is a story/introspective track over a nice beat that works well with the rest of the album. “I Want Mine” showcases the BCC and some of their affiliates over another ill Marco Polo beat. “Everyday Shit” just bored the hell out of me. “Words From Tek” is pretty much a mixtape track/interlude that bring us to the album’s finale “Yesterday”. The song is cool but this project is missing something.

In the end, you could tell this wasn’t a cohesive album like “The Last Stand” was. There wasn’t enough of a presence from Sean Price, Rock or O.G.C. (especially Starang). I heard Buckshot, Tek and Steele all over the project as well as Supreme but not enough of the other members of the Great Eight. This album is far from bad but it doesn’t measure up to the previous excellent Duck Down releases of the last 3 years. If you’re a die hard Duck Down fan you’ll cop it anyways, otherwise just wait for the upcoming Duck Down releases. This one gets a maybe from me.

NBS- Evolution

Ever since NBS’ track “Spazzin’” first took over the Boston airwaves back in 2004 and played on 88.9, 94.5, and 97.7 and became one of the few groups to acheive the radio“Triple Crown” the New England area knew that NBS was a force to be reckoned with. Natural Born Spittaz are one of the best groups from the Cambridge/Boston scene and they have recently released a mixtape full of 38 NBS tracks spanning the last few years that showcases the evolution of V Knuckles and E Flash. They have enlisted the production help of the illest producers from the area. Being that I’ve been listening to these dudes joints for years now I’m looking forward to hearing some Hip Hop in which the lyrics and beats are of the highest quality. Let’s go!

IroQ of IroQ & John D.O.E. provides the heat for the intro and Neomatrix did his thing on the heat rock “Clapped”. V Knucks and E Flash spit nice verses back to back over some original sample based production (take notes, Swizz...THIS is how a beat should sound!). The “This Is How We Do” freestyle leads into the WMS The Sultan produced “One” featuring Lady Repo. This joint is hot as well. “Frozen Hearts” sounds like some classic hard Hip Hop the way it was intended to be made. The classic “Spazzin’” still sounds as fresh as it did the first time I heard it years ago. The Stu Bangas produced “Move” sounds like that hood anthem fight music that’s been lost in this single based commercialized Rap era. How did we let Mobb Deep sound like a damn boy band? This shit is like a breath of fresh air to me, fam.

There are 38tracks on this mixtape featuring hot production from heads like J. Cardim, Cyrus Tha Great, Stu Bangas, WMS The Sultan, IroQ, Gas Smiley, Zach Johnson and Sicknature. These cats live up to their names and bless the listeners with lyrical hardcore street shit (trust me A & R’s and record label presidents, it actually exists!), something that is sorely missing from the landscape of the Rap industry today. NBS has put up this mixtape of their past material up for free download on their website. This is just a taste to get you all wet for when the album drops. Meanwhile, visit their MySpace and download this mixtape right fuckin’ now.

What I’m looking forward to coppin' in the near future when it leaks...I mean drops:

Kanye West-Graduation
I will buy as many copies as I can without putting myself in financial trouble. I need to have my internet, cable and Netflix covered every month but if one of those gets cut off it’s worth it if it means that 50 Cent retires from the Rap game.

DJ Muggs Vs. Sick Jacken f/Cynic-The Legend Of The Mask & The Assassin
I have been hearing tracks from this project for more than a month. This album just might become the underground surprise album of the Fall based on the joints I’ve heard so far.

Special Teamz-Stereotypez
Boston legends Ed. O.G. and Jaysaun team up with everyone’s favorite crazy white boy, Slaine (at least in Boston, that is) for their long awaited debut album on Duck Down Records. After hearing the mixtape, I’m really looking forward to full length.

I'll be back with another one of these before the week is over. Believe it.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey 50 Cent fans! I found this cool new site where you can listen to him for free!