Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's New In Dart's iPod #6 AKA Dreams, Kush And An R&B Chick

What’s the deal, fam? I‘m back to review three more new joints droppin’ soon. First off, 9th Wonder’s “”The Dream Merchant 2”, Havoc’s solo offering “The Kush” and the new Keyshia Cole project “Just Like You”. Before I give you my opinions on these album let me take the time to explain to you all my patented three point “Cop It Or Not” system:

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.

Maebe (Maybe)! 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.

I fear no man but God, mattafact dude I am the God! © P Body AKA Sean P

I will begin this journey into rhythm by first reviewing the long awaited 9th Wonder album “The Dream Merchant 2”. I offered the first Dream Merchant album as a download on this blog a long ass time ago and 9th Wonder is famous/infamous for his production aesthetic. He also helped to sell a shitload of FL Studio units indirectly (you know why). He was once a member of the celebrated (and hated) crew Little Brother but now he’s off on his own. Play the damn CD already, man!

The intro is smooth and it brings into the opening banger “Shots”. Big Dho has no doubt earned a spot on the album for shopping 9th’s beats for the last 4 or 5 years, but why did he have to open for Sean P who just shut shit down? Banger. “Mercant Of Dreams” is so dope and each emcee spits so ill that I wanna take a blowtorch to Kia Shine and make him “Krispy” for real. “Brooklyn On My Mind” AKA “Crooklyn Dodgers 3” is another banger thanks to the fact that Bleek kept his verse short. “Sunday” features the vocal talents of Keisha Shontelle and it reminds me of those old school Leschea tracks when Ase would do the guest verse. Dope! The boy Big Treal made a certified classic with “Baking Soda”...think he knows? “Reminisce (Take Time)” is yet another fly joint. I just relized that I haven’t heard of mad folks on this album...I’m an underground sublevel to the Devil cat so that’s surprising to me. 9th’s joints are so dope that it really doesn’t matter who’s on it as long as they hold their own.

“No Time To Chill” is a regular Little Brother track, nothing groundbreaking. “It Ain’t Over” is nice, too. “The Last Time” features three of the Midwest’s lyrical giants, Royce The 5’9”, Naledge and Vandalyzm (the nicest emcee I ‘ve heard come out of the Lou since Ebony Eyez). This joint makes me wanna track down Young Joc and stab his in the jugular with a freshly sharpened #2 pencil. To quote the God Rakim “this is how it should be done”. “Saved” features Saigon and Joe Scudda. I know when Saigon recorded this track and it’s a damn shame this album will drop before a proper single for Saigon’s album will.

“Milky Lowa” is a quasi remake of LL Cool J’s “Milky Cereal” but the question is who the girl rhyming at the end of the track over the last 45 seconds? “Backlash” is a dope collabo between Sean Boog and the Boot Camp general Buckshot. “Thank You” and “Let It Bang” both knock hella hard through your headphones! Who knew that Ness was still alive (and signed to Bad Boy)? ‘What Makes A Man” is typical 9th Wondra funk.

The album closes with the “Special Remix” featuring Strange Fruit Project and Median (cop that mixtape!) and the banger starring Cambridge, MA’s own Natural Born Spittas (download the Evoultion mixtape now!) “You Wanna”. In conclusion, this album is chock full of the soul music, boom bap Hip Hop sound that we’ve come to expect from 9th Wonder. No matter who’s on the track the outcome is a dope song. I give this joint a mos def. Cop that disk!

The next album I’m reviewing will be the long awaited Havoc solo project. I’ve been a Mobb Deep fan since they were the Poetical Prophets back in 1991 and I have all of their albums (“Blood Money “ made Black Baby Jesus cry). That being said I hope that this album lives up to my expectations. The album only comes in at 12 tracks which might be a blessing in disguise because I don’t expect the subject matter on this album or the wordplay to stray from the normal gutter Queens thug shit. Let’s begin.

“NY 4 Life” is a nice opener. Ill beat and alright lyrics. “I’m The Boss” is the dope lead single featuring the “Luck Of Lucien” beat from the first Tribe album. “By My Side” features 40 Glocc who I never really got into because he’s generic as hell. The beat is dope as is the chorus. After “One Less Nigga” I’m already feeling like “Uh Oh!”. This album is getting boring already. Somebody needs to step it up lyrically quickly. Pus, this song rhymes “nigga” with “nigga” in the chorus and it about killing snitches or whatever. Another dope beat but I may need to listen to some Jay Electronica after this. “Ride Out” is yet another nice beat with NYCE featuring on the track not saying anything impressive at all. If you’re gonna be a thug rapper at least spit some fly shit. I heard all this shit before. “Balling Out” features Un Pachino and is the one song on this album I straight up hate so far. Un’s boring and ths beat is straight trash. C'mon Hav! You're killin' me right now...

“What’s Poppin’ Tonite” gets it right back on track. This is the type of joint I was expecting to hear. “Class By Myself” sounds like an Alchemist track and it features Nitti of Infamous Mobb. It’s back on now! “Set Me Free” has Prodigy come through as spit a hot verse, then NYCE comes through and pisses on the fire. Raw beat, though. “Be There” is far and away the standout track of this album. The problem with that is that I heard this song damn near 3 months ago anticipating more shit like THIS. No dice, Lord. “Hit Me Up” features Un Pachino again. The beats okay but Un Pachino damn near put me to sleep. The album closes with another banger, “Get Off My Dick”. In conclusion, this album was a dissapointment. I didn’t expect Hav to turm into Lupe or Elzhi but the guest appearances didn’t enhance the album at all. Instead they brought it down. The shit sounded too repetitive while the Mobb seems to vary their joints up more. This album gets a maybe from me because I just expected more.

Lastly, I got my hands on the new Keyshia Cole album “Just Like You”. Last album slowly went Gold and then Platinum. She had a reality show on BET (which has been renewed) and mad guest appearances. Now comes her highly anticipated reup. How will it compare with her 1st album? Let’s find out.

The album opens up with the lead single “Let It Go” featuring Missy and Lil’ Kim. That’s joint’s okay but I’m looking forward to the album tracks. “Didn’t I Tell You” features Too Short and begs the question “Is Shorty The Pimp the dude you wanna take relationship advice from?”. This is made strictly for the clubs in the Bay. “Fallin’ Out” is the joint! This reminds me of when R&B was about lyrics and singing. “Give Me More” is fly but it sounds like a mix of “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” and “Need You Tonight” from Amerie’s 1st album (you’ll find out what I mean). “I Remember” has me cursing Young Jeezy’s name because he gets to smash that and scream out “Ayyyyyy!” while doing it. Lucky, lucky bastard.

“Shoulda Let You Go” is a cool joint featuring Keyshia’s own artist Amina who first appeared spittin’ on an episode of her reality show. She does alright on the track but she’s nicer than she came off. “Heaven Sent” is another fly track to chill to. The ‘Same Thing (Interlude)” leads into “Got To Get My Heart Back”, this joint needs to be a single in my opinion. I’m sure that the next song “Is It Worth It?” will end up one instead even though you can’t go wrong either way. “Just Like You” is the solo track that lets her listeners know that she is just like them and she’s been through many hardships (that she is still dealing with today). She’s almost like a slightly better adjusted Mary J. Blige for this generation.

“Losing You” features Anthony Hamilton and has an old 70’s soul feel to it vocally. I likes. “Last Night” found it’s way onto this album as well. I liked this song (Diddy was smart for staying in his lane and letting Keyshia do the work). “Work It Out” is another fly joint where Keisha sings without using that damn Vocoder/Auto Tune effect on her voice (damn you T-Pain!). It all finishes with the “Let It Go Remix” feturing Missy, T.I. & Young Dro...it’s basically the Atlanta club version of the lead single. It’s a’ight.

In conclusion, if you want R&B sang by a real singer without effects and your sick of seeing Rihanna’s ass all over the place (I can tolerate Rihanna provided I muted the TV) then please cop this album when it drops on September 25th. This gets a mos def from me. I’ll be back with three more this week.

Dart's Late Pass: Clean Guns "Living In Harmony Mixtape"

How the hell did I sleep on these cats for this long? My boy Zilla Rocca who you probably know from his guest blogging stints on my boy Flood’s spot Floodwatch Music and from his recent posts about Will I. Am sucking (I disagree) and Jay-Z being better than Nas (I wholeheartedly disagree again) on Passion Of The Weiss and his co-d Knowledge form the crew Clean Guns. They put heir heads together and made the dope mixtape “Living In Harmony” over some bangers that the average Hip Hop head will be familiar with. This is a nice listen from beginning to end (I even got stickers and a poster with mine).

They use clever wordplay and nice flows over 26 tracks (Many styles! Many styles!) with their fellow 215 affiliates Rowdy Black Giants, So-S@y, Prof. Anarcy, ASK, S.U.P., Black Russian, DAME & M.O.G. Preview it on iTunes and visit the Beat Garden Entertainment MySpace to download their new 7 song EP. Treat yourself to some real Hip Hop for a change dammit!

What I spit and I write is real, cuz my life is real © Mos Def



Anonymous said...

Whaddup Beantown!
Great minds think alike I see...on the dl what you got on a link for "Clean Guns"? Hook a brotha' up...great work as always my friend, sorry I don't comment enough

alley al said...

yo, i sorta slept on keyshia on the first lp.. thought she was another regular rnb bitch with a diva attitude problem.. she is.. but something in her voice or i don't know what pulls me in. there's mad soul and experience in feeling in the way she duzzit. lovin' this chick right now. i jumped on her jock when i caught a snippet of her bet show last year.. when diddy's making the band with those chicks was on..

i just got the kush 2 days ago, but i haven't listened, yet.
and dream merchant 2's been sitting up in there for a minute, too.