Friday, July 25, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #40 AKA The Comic-Con Edition

As you all know, Comic Con is underway in San Diego right now and will be running until the 27th. Comic Con is huge because not only is it a convention and a celebration of comic books, graphic novels and all things related to them but now it's where Hollywood goes to find the next properties to adapt into films and to promote upcoming films for properties they've already gone into production on.

The most popular upcoming films among these fans are the long awaited "Watchmen", "Wolverine: Origins", "Punisher: War Zone", "The Spirit", "Terminator: Salvation", "Max Payne" and "Star Trek". Some of the projects that have fans worried that they're gonna get butchered by a major studio (*cough!* Speed Racer!) are "G.I. Joe", "Thundercats", "Street Fighter: Legend Of Chun Li", "Robotech", "Akira" and "Dragon Ball Z".

New news about production beginning on the "Gears Of War" film, the next wave of Marvel Studios projects and "Cowboy Bebop" getting a live action film adaptation greenlit were the top new stories yesterday. I just wondering what happened with the "Luke Cage" project and if DC made any headway with the "JLA", "The Losers" or or any of their other properties not named "Superman" or "Batman". Enough of that, let's get to the reviews, shall we?

The six projects I'm reviewing today will go in the following order : Stones Throw's remix album "Madvillainy 2", Zach De La Rocha's new project with drummer Jon Theodore (Mars Volta) "One Day As A Lion EP.", Skillz "The Million Dollar Backpack", Santogold & Diplo's new mixtape "Top Ranking", the long delayed Dilla Ghost Doom 12" "Sniperlite" and Murs & 9th Wonder's new free LP "Sweet Lord". For those of you new to the party, 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.

Punk tried to say that what I write don't bump! © Murs

Best Joints: No Brain, Pearls, Light Of The Past, Boulder Holder, Borrowed Time, Space Ho's Coast To Coast, Invazion, Drainos, Fire In The Hole, Heat Niner, Monkey Suit, Fluid, Can't Reform 'Em, Redd Spot, Running Around With Another, Butter King Jewels, Sermon, Roller Coaster Riders, 3.214, Confucius Spot, Never Go Pop, Savage Beast, Cold One and Cold One (Reprise)

Hot Garbage: I didn't like how short it was and that it was just a Madlib remix project being called "Madvillainy 2". I guess we shouldn't hold out hope for a proper version of Madvillainy 2, huh?

Dart's Take: While Madlib does a good job of remixing and revisiting his previous material (duh!) I don't feel compelled to run out and buy it. I know there are some heads that will cop it automatically just because it's Stone Throw and Madlib is behind the boards but the whole thought that these are the same verses I've memorized from "Madvillian" over new beats gives me the "let's push out a new a LP/MySpace remix" feel. The joint is far from wack but it's not an essential buy in my opinion cuz I'll just continue rock the original rather than buy this. I give it a maybe, it's on y'all.

Best Joints: Wild International, Ocean View, Last Letter, If You Fear Dying and One Day As A Lion

Hot Garbage: Too bad this was just an EP!

Dart's Take: It's about goddamn time you blessed us all with some new heat, Zach! I remember hearing the Roni Size/Reprazent track "Centre Of The Storm" back in 2000 after hearing him on "C.I.A (Criminals In Action)" the previous year thinking that his album would be ridiculous when it fianally dropped. Zach and Jon Theodore murdered this shit, if you're a Rage Against The Machine or Zach De La Rocha fan then this is a must buy.

"Wild International", "If You Fear Dying" and "One Day As A Lion" are the stand out tracks in my opinion but they have me amped for a full length. Heavy drums and guitars with Zach spittin' fire over the top equals heat rocks. Don't sleep on it. "One Day As A Lion" gets a highly recommended maybe from me.

Best Joints: The Million Dollar Backpack, Where I Been, Don't Act Like You Don't Know, So Far So Good, Sick, (For Real) He Don't Own Me, My Phone, Yeah Ya Know It, Hold Tight, Crazy World, I'm Goin' Make It, Be Alright, Hip Hop Died and Preachin' To The Choir

Hot Garbage: I can't believe it took this long for Skillz to make an album this concise and focused to follow up "From Where??"

Dart's Take: If you love "grown folks Hip Hop" (i.e. EMC, Ohmega Watts, Hezekiah, AZ, etc.) then this album is for you. Skillz focused on his lyrics and made songs rather than trying to beat you over the head with punchlines like he used to years past. It was great to hear the final version of "Hip Hop Died" after hearing several different versions since 2006 through Joints like "Don't Act You Don't Know", "So Far So Good", "(For Real) He Don't Own Me", "Hold Tight" and "I'm Gon' Make It" will have your neck hurtin' somethin' serious.

As we all know when it comes to Skillz your head nods cuz your neck knows it's phat. I give "The Million Dollar Backpack" a recommended maybe. You oldheads should definitely check for this, everyone else give a listen first because no one got shot and Skillz didn't sling any crack on this one and he ain't wavy at all (no Max B). Check it out, y'all.

Best Joints: Shuv It (Disco D Blend), I'm A Lady (Diplo Mix), Lights Out (Diplo's Panda Bear Mix), Anne (Switch Mix), LES Artistes (XXXChange Mix), Find A Way (Graeme & Switch Mix)/Lunar Camel, Guns Of Brooklyn, Git It Up, Mark Ronson In Studio, Unstoppable/Night Dub, Creator (Mumdance Mix), Turbulence Dubplate (Starstruck/Diplo Mix), Icarus and Right Brigade

Hot Garbage: N/A (I didn't list all of the classic tracks in the mix from Desmond Dekker, Aretha Franklin, Devo, Barrington Levy, Cutty Ranks and The B 52's because I'd get carpal tunnel. This CD has 35 total tracks!)

Dart's Take: This mix CD costs $12 on Turntable Lab...I haven't heard anyone complain yet. I sure wouldn't. Mad Decent has done it again. If you can listen to these remixes, dub versions and refixes and feel nothing then I don't know what to say to you. My favorite joints are "Shuv It", "Lights Out", "Guns Of Brooklyn", "Git It Up", "Unstoppable/Night Dub", "Creator" (the Grime version featuring Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman & Tempz) , "Turbulence Dubplate" and "Icarus".

This ain't for everybody but if you're a Diplo/Mad Decent or Santogold fan then you should cop this. I give this a recommended maybe. Cop it here.

Best Joints: Sniper Elite, Murder Goons and the continuous mix "Sniper Elite/Murder Goons"

Hot Garbage: I heard Murder Goons before years ago (J-Love!) and Sniper Elite is hella short.

Dart's Take: I'd cop this to support Miss Yancey but this isn't enough for me to part with my money regularly. Both tracks are dope but I'll wait for a full length Dilla Ghost Doom project before I spend some dough. I give this a maybe because it's up to the individual ultimately. What you wanna do?

Best Joints: The Intro, Are You Ready?, Nina Ross, Free, And I Love It, Pusshhhh, Marry Me, It's For Real. Love The Way and Murs Inatra

Hot Garbage: Too bad this shit was so short.

Dart's Take: Donate to these cats for making "Sweet Lord" and releasing it free of cost to the public. Murs & 9th Wonder never fail to make great material together and they get it in again over 10 heat rocks. I can't wait to hear "Murs For President". I give this joint the lone mos def of the day. Go forth and download it here

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

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

Joe Budden-Padded Room
Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Termanology-Politics As Usual
Sean Price, Guilty Simpson & Black Milk-Random Axe
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
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Common-Invincible Summer
Omen-Be The Judge
Capone-N-Noreaga-Reporting The War
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
Heltah Skeltah-D.I.R.T (Da Incredible Rap Team)
Royce Da 5'9"-The Bar Exam 2
Large Professor-Main Source
Kano-140 Grime Street
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Common Market-Tobacco Road
Skepta-Microphone Champion
Statik Selektah-Stick 2 The Script

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

Are You Ready?-Murs & 9th Wonder (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Guns Of Brooklyn-Santogold (prod. by Diplo)
Memories-Joell Ortiz (prod. by Salaam Remi)
Murder Goons-Ghostface Killah (prod. by J Dilla)
One Day As A Lion-One Day As A Lion
Bring It Back-Rhymefest (prod. by Jazzy Jeff)
The Teks On Deck-AZ
I'm Gon' Make It-Skillz (prod. by Bink)
Spit-Jojo Pellegrino (prod. by Mental Instrumentals)
Paper Plate-GZA
Murs Inatra-Murs & 9th Wonder (prod. by 9th Wonder)
Drainos-Madvillain (prod. by Madlib)
Money-Re-Up Gang
If You Fear Dying-One Day As A Lion
Peace Sign/Index Down-Gym Class Heroes f/Busta Rhymes (prod. by Cool & Dre)
You Do It To Yourself-Solomon Childs f/RZA & Mark Ronson (prod. by Mark Ronson)
AK47-Vordul Mega f/Vast Aire
At All Cost (My Economics)-Muja Messiah (prod. by Che Vicious)
Sniper Elite-MF Doom (prod. by J Dilla)
Nina Ross-Murs & 9th Wonder (prod. by 9th Wonder)
RNQ-Rhymefest (prod. by DJ Premier)
Hold Tight-Skillz f/.Black Thought (prod. by ?uestlove & James Poyser)
Icarus-Santogold (prod. by Diplo)
Of On Our Own-Self Scientific (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Who Pt.3-Joe Budden

Yoooo Joe! © Duke



Dioracat said...

A few comments:

When I saw they cast a white boy looking more like Vegeta as Goku...I almost cried. The movie amounts to epic fail already, and Chow Yun Fat's amazingness cannot save it.

Props on using the title of one of my favorite Black Sheep tracks in your post.

Also, I'm feeling a bit disenchanted with hip hop lately. Everything sucks. Is there anything good out there for a fan like me?? Be honest. One Day As A Lion...OMFG ZACH!!!!! *faints*

Dart Adams said...

@ Diora:

Regarding Dragon Ball Z's casting it looks like they're still using the "we need to cast a White guy in a film full of Asians" excuse.

Me and Yellow Rebel had a short discussion on it and I'll write a post about it this week because given the volume of Asian cinema I watch it's annoying to see remakes of flicks I saw three or more years ago but with White folks in the main roles.

There are is a lot of new Hip Hop worth hearing. I've disenchanted with it since 1997 and when I started scouring the internet for new shit back in 2005 I discovered the high volume of quality music that gets released to little or no fanfare. Last month I did a blog called The Halftime Show featuring the best 75 releases of 2008 in the second week of June. I could do 100 easy by now.


Dioracat said...

Yes, I agree completely with your reasoning...its like they HAVE to have a white guy in a movie because otherwise, whose gonna go see a movie full of Asians, amirite?

Let's not even talk about Asian remakes. I'm so thoroughly disgusted at the idea of Battle Royale being remade Hollywood style, casting teenagers from television, that it just makes me want to cry and kill people at the same time.

I guess new hip hop worth hearing is sort of a relative thing. I mean, there's some hip hop I liked in the last year, but a lot of it could be deemed as worthless by hip hop heads, and I just don't have the time to go through everything and determine what I like...I've almost given up on the genre for a while, and gravitated almost exclusively to alternative/industrial. Meh.