Friday, April 25, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #27 AKA Rising Down And Rising Up: The No Justice For Sean Bell Edition

This past week several albums hit the ‘net and I’ll be reviewing the following albums in the order that I’m listing them here: Ayatollah’s latest instrumental opus “Louder”, Keith Murray’s “Intellectual Violence”, 9th Wonder & Buckshot “The Formula” and The Roots long awaited album “Rising Down”.

Given that we live in a country where even though a group of policemen that are obviously guilty of taking a human life for no good reason at all (on the day of his wedding no less!), but due to the fact that they have a certain profession the same laws don’t apply to them that do to every other citizen (?) I decided to just launch into the reviews today. This bullshit has got to stop, people.

For the uninitiated, 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 "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down 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 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. swift as the bullet that killed King and Kennedy/you know that the battle is on for Infinity!.. © Black Thought of The Roots

The very first project that I’m reviewing today is legendary beatsmith Ayatollah’s new instrumental project “Louder”. I’ve been waiting for this to drop for almost a year and it’s finally about to drop after a bunch of delays. How does it measure up to his previous projects? Let’s see:

Best Joints: Circulate, Louder, Other Worlds, Into Space, Naturally Born, Chariots Of The Gods, Music To My Ears, Eye Pod, Pound Cake, A Soul Prayer, Coonskin, In Time My Brother, Charlie Is Brown, Nature Sound, Baisley Park, A Cold Feelin’, Give The Woman A Chance

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Cop this shit now! If any of you so-called emcees out there are looking for some serious heat your boy Ayatollah got it. If you haven’t copped any of his previous material then I suggest you start out with “Now Playing” and then look for his older material and after that cop “Louder”. For the beatheads, I don’t really have to make a case because they know what he brings to the table as far as beats go. This is perfect for the iPod and your jaunts in the whip or the Iron Horse. Support this man. Buy his music and stop bullshittin’.

Keith Murray decided that we all didn’t suffer enough after hearing his last album “Rapmurrphobia” so he went back into the lab and cooked up some more raw for the Rap fiends worldwide. Read my take on “Intellectual Violence” below:

Best Joints: Talk Dat Shit, Hey Ladies, 2 Niggaz, Def Squad, Pen Life, Anger and Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful

Hot Garbage: Run For Ya Life, U Ain’t No Gangsta, Got Our Own Thang, I’ll Go Crazy, What Is Trouble, Blokka Blokka, Rat Hunters

Dart’s Take: No! For the love of God, no! I don’t ever want to hear another L.O.D. track ever again for as long as I draw breath into my lungs or live on Earth. This album has all but closed the book on any future full length Keith Murray projects for me. This album was just so damn uninspired and hit and miss that it actually made me mad.

Was Murray even focused on making solid material with this go ‘round? The best song on the entire album by far was the final track “Don’t Hate Me Cause I’m Beautiful” and the “Def Squad” track sounds like it’s from 1999. This album was lazy as hell and boring. I love Keith but this gets an oh no. Avoid it like the plague. people.

The re-up to 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s modern classic “Chemistry” has finally hit the ‘net. “The Formula” is 13 more tracks of heat from the legendary Buckshot of Black Moon and NC’s finest, 9th Wonder. Does this duo still have it? Find out below:

Best Joints: Intro, Ready (Brand New Day), Be Cool, Go All Out (No Doubt!), No Future, Hold It Down, Whassup With U, Only For You (Big Lou), Just Display, Here We Go, Throwing Shade, Shinin’ Y’all and Man Listen (Cause Ummm)

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Goddamn! I say goddamn! © Mia Wallace. I’ve been listening to this album ever since Small Pro made a post about it on Okayplayer over the past weekend. I was listening to other albums I had just acquired and I’d made my mind up that I was gonna hold this off until Monday. After reading some reactions to Small Pro’s post I decided to stop playing Atmosphere’s album for a second and throw on “The Formula”, shortly afterwards I let out a Ric Flair “Wooo!”.

Usually there’s a letdown from a classic first album but there was absolutely none in this case according to my brain, ears and neck. I put the beats, rhymes and vocal performances from “The Formula” on par with “Chemistry”. I don’t know how you can not be sucked in by tracks like “Be Cool”, “No Future”, “Whassup Wit U”, “Just Display”, “Here We Go” or “Throwing Shade”.

The singing complemented the tracks rather than taking away from them which is something that a lot of producers seem to screw up on but 9th and Buck have things down to a science and it makes for enjoyable listening. This LP gets a mos def from me, be ready to cop it when it becomes available for purchase on April 29th.

Last but not least, the review you’ve all been waiting for since it leaked: The Roots “Rising Down”. I don’t need to write an explanation or a lead in for this group nor their new release. Just do the knowledge to the meaning of the album's cover art and think about this upcoming election. Now read my take on this project below:

Best Joints: Rising Down, Get Busy, @ 15, 75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction), Becoming Unwritten, Criminal, I Will Not Apologize, I Can’t Help It, Singing Man, Unwritten, Last Desire, The Show, Rising Up, Live At WPFW, 1994, The Grand Return and Birthday Girl

Hot Garbage: N/A (The Pow Wow & The Pow Wow 2 aren’t official songs)

Dart’s Take: Much in the vein of Atmosphere’s new album and Erykah Badu’s new project, this LP is a product of our present spot in world and American history. If you aren’t even just a little bit angry, bitter, concerned, scared or even downright livid at what’s going on right now then you’re either too young or dumb to grasp what’s going on or you’re fuckin’ in devoid of a pulse or brain activity. If Black Thought’s lyrics aren’t affecting you and the theme of this album evades you then you (sir or madam) must’ve been born without a soul.

I don’t know how any artist could be unaffected by the current state of world affairs or let them somehow seep into their art in some way, shape or form. The legendary Roots crew completely embrace that fact and deliver a powerful album that will forever preserve in amber the mindset of and worldview of many with “Rising Down”. It’s driving, dark, aggressive, slightly paranoid, introspective, angry and celebratory all at the same time. This is yet another example that musicians that care enough to make real music still exist.

The Roots won’t be making another “Illadelph Halflife”. Nor will they be making another “Things Fall Apart”. Stop wanting them to do anything other than to continue to grow and explore new terrain and push the boundaries. Given the events that have transpired today, this album is all the more relevant. I give it mos def, make sure to purchase this album on April 29th.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

Albums I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop:

I'm Also Looking Forward To Reviewing The Following Projects:

Rhymefest-El Che
Skillz-Million Dollar Backpack
Joe Budden-Padded Room
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Soul Assassins III-DJ Muggs vs. King Madallions (Planet Asia)
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Scram Jones-Untold Scriptures
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Snowgoons-Black Snow
N.E.R.D-Seeing Sounds
Termanology-Politics As Usual
Platinum Pied Pipers-Abundance
Method Man & Redman-Blackout 2
Redman-Muddy Waters 2
B.O.B.-The Adventures Of B.O.B.
The Alchemist-Chemical Warfare
Giant Panda-Electric Laser
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of April 25th, 2008):

Lyrically Inclined-Skyzoo f/Wale (prod. by Illmind)
The Eye Of A Needle-Pace Won & Mr. Green (prod. by Mr. Green)
Taste-Pacific Division (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Criminal-The Roots f/Saigon & Truck North
TV Land-Vast Aire (prod. by Melodious Monk)
Eye Pod-Ayatollah
Trapped On The Island-AC f/Trife Da God (prod. by Mental Instrumentals)
Fire-Elzhi (prod. by Black Milk)
Cock Blockin' Problem-Spec Boogie
Supreme Song-U-N-I (prod. by Ro Blvd)
Breathe.Something/Stellar Star-Flying Lotus
What U Want-D. Rose & DJ Cozmos f/Damien & Donwill of Tanya Morgan
Comin' To Kill-Sav Killz f/Sean Price & Rustee Juxx
Be Cool-9th Wonder & Buckshot f/Swan (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Pain-The Game f/Keyshia Cole
Another Star-Mickey Factz f/Peter Hardar
Be A Nigger Too-Nas (prod. by Salaam Remi & Big Jack)
Save Ya-Elzhi f/T3 (prod. by T3)
SexSlaveShip-Flying Lotus
From Now Til Then-Jadakiss (prod. by Alchemist)
The Poem-Wale
Shinin' Y'all-9th Wonder f/Buckshot f/Arafat Yates & Big Chops of M1 Platoon (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Magic Spells-Euclid
Singing Man-The Roots f/Truck North & Porn
Pound Cake-Ayatollah

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer...© Paul Atreides

Rest In Eternal Peace, Sean Bell. You are clearly in a better place. God bless your friends and family.



Aaron said...

lol @ the k murray review. i've been putting off listening to that for a minute. now i might not at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm still on the fence over whether or not to pick up that Roots record, but I think you might have swayed me to drop some hard-earneds down on it, Dart.

Second the lol @ Keith Murray review.

Anonymous said...

I so beyond gats, I'll stab you with and icicle, tell CSI to find that..... jk go get that roots. Good review Dart looking forward to next weeks.

BRANDONIAN 'the talking head said...

nice post , but seriously are you really anticipating the new lil wayne?