Friday, October 24, 2008

What's New In Dart's iPod #53 AKA The Underwater Edition

Due to even more random shit happening this past week (like the state threatening to incarcerate me over not going to jury duty over 3 years ago when I've gone twice since then (?)), I didn't finish my Wednesday and Thursday blogs. Once again, I'll do them (and the Fat Tape/CD-R) over the weekend.

The Wednesday blog was/is "Dart Adams presents Journey Into Mystery: Investigating The Death Of The Hip Hop Video Show" where I broke down the histories and rivalries of Hip Hop video shows like "Yo! MTV Raps", BET's "Rap City", the syndicated show "Pump It Up" and MTV's "Direct Effect" and it's (de)evolution into "Sucker Free On MTV". Thursday's blog was/is the oft delayed opus "Revenge Of The 80's presents Battle Of The Planets". Since quite a few highly anticipated Hip Hop releases have hit the net and the shelves let's get into it.

This week I'll be reviewing six new projects that leaked or recently hit store shelves in the following order: Decon presents "Fresh Rhymes And Videotape", Count Bass D "L7", 14KT "The Golden Hour", DJ Babu "Duck Season Vol. 3", The Knux "Remind Me In 3 Days" and Black Milk "Tronic". 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. buzz in the underground is stupid! © Black Milk

Best Joints: Fry (Intro), Fresh Rhymes And Videotape Anthem, Road Stop, The Last Is First, Rapid Fire and Blue Label

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: These tracks were all dope but I suggest you buy this for the actual DVD and not just for the music. This soundtrack boasts quite a diverse lineup starring DJ Babu and Dilated Peoples (Evidence and Rakaa), The Alchemist, 88-Keys and Aceyalone so I suggest you cop "Fresh Rhymes And Videotape" (or at least Netflix it). I give it a highly recommended maybe.

Best Joints: Make It Flow, Gio Any (I Cold Just Came In), Back Pay (Parts 1 & 2), Can We Hang Out Tonight, Neon Soul, I Need Your Love, I Love You, You Got It, Personal Things, What I Do and (Don't) Run Out On Me

Hot Garbage: Y.B.A. Square was meh (although I did "get" it)

Dart's Take: This isn't a straight forward Rap album but it is unadultered creative Hip Hop at it's finest. Count Bass D has been in the game for 15 years now and he has several classic LP's to his credit. Not only is he nice on the mic but he's one of the best producers of our generation and he doesn't get nearly enough credit for it. If you're already a Count Bass D fan then you know what he's gonna come with already.

This entire album was all played by him with his own instruments and put together in a way that'll have you thinking he used samples. I do wonder who he's talking about on the track "Personal Things" (which uses a Jane Child vocal sample...crazy!). Joints like "Make It Flow", "Gio Any (I Cold Just Came In)", "Can We Hang Out Tonight (nominee for Song Of The Year in my opinion...are you reading this, Eric? LOL)" and "(Don't) Run Out On Me" make this album well worth the purchase. I give "L7" a highly recommended maybe but if you're not into that experimental Hip Hop made by cats that play instruments and occasionally sing then don't even bother with it. Leave it to the professionals.

Best Joints: The Waiting Room (The Main Theme), Surgery, The Inside, NME Mode, Ypsilanti, Hihatspectations, The D Light In You, Love Handle, Tick Tock Hustle, Ivory Pillars, ICU Smile, Can We (Chill Again), Trust Issues, When My Sunsets (The Golden Hour), Less Than Enough, The Night, Reprise (Start Over), Miss U (For Lost Loved Ones), Without Dilla (Donut 4 Dilla) and Illustrious (End Titles)

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: All I can say to you all is if you see this album for purchase online anywhere, buy it. If you see a physical copy when you're out and about then do not hesitate to cop it. If you're a Hip Hop fan or just a beathead then I cannot give you a reason why you shouldn't own a copy of 14KT's (The Lab Techs) "The Golden Hour". This joint gets a mos def easy because I haven't stopped playing it since I got it (Good lookin' out).

Best Joints: DS3 Intro, Dearly Departed, Fan Mail, The Unexpected, Frozen, East West Connection, My Opinion, 2 Feet, Black & Brown Army, Graveyard Shiftin', For Whatever It's Worth, It's A New Day, O.G., Guns Gon' Blow, That Ain't Gangsta, Meant To Be, SBX2LAX2OX and Ahead Of My Time

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Between DJ Babu's "Duck Season Vol. 3", Statik Selektah's "Stick 2 The Script", Jake One's "White Van Music", The P Brothers "The Gas", Madlib's "WLIB AM King Of The Wigflip", DJ Revolution's "King Of The Decks, "DJ K.O.'s "Picture This...", Dela's "Changes Of Atmosphere", Snowgoons "Black Snow", K Salaam & Beatnick's "Whose World Is This" and Strange Fruit Project presents "S1's Music Box" 2008 has been quite a year for compilation albums and producer based albums.

My neck is till hurting from the first time I played this album last Saturday morning. "Dearly Departed", "Fan Mail", "Frozen (Guilty Simpson!)", "East West Connection", "2 Feet"(Kardi!)", "For Whatever It's Worth", "O.G.", and "Guns Gon' Blow" damn near landed me in traction alone. I give "Duck Season Vol. 3" a much deserved mos def.

Best Joints: The List, Fire (Put It In The Air), Cappuccino, Roxxanne, Daddy's Little Girl, The Train, Parking Lot, Hush, Wake The Fuck Up and The True

Hot Garbage: Bang! Bang! and Powder Room were garbage and Shine Again, Life In A Cage (Electric), Playboys and Lights Camera Action all ranged from ugh to meh to me.

Dart's Take: I thought this album was going to completely suck and I was wrong. The songs that I liked and I thought really worked I absolutely loved and the ones that I didn't think worked I absolutely hated or they grated on my nerves (they do tend to get a lil' OutKasty/Earthtone 3ish i.e. "The Train"). It's the same problem I have with The Cool Kids and Gym Class Heroes, they'll have me with one song and the next'll make me want to jab a mechanical pencil into my ear (pre-clicked).

I loved tracks like "Fire", "Cappuccino", "Roxxanne" and "Daddy's Little Girl" but tracks like "Bang! Bang!", "Life In A Cage", "Playboys" and "Light Camera Action" make me wanna rip off my headphones, throw 'em on the floor and stomp on 'em (and I love my Sony MDR-V150's...I have 3 pairs). The best I can do is a maybe. Listen to it first and make your own decision (Sorry, Weiss...I tried! LOL)

Best Joints: Long Story Short, Bounce, Give The Drummer Sum, Without U, Hold It Down, Losing Out, Hell Yeah, Overdose, Reppin' For You, The Matrix, Try, Tronic Summer, Bond 4 Life, Elec Outro

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: Why should I waste keystrokes trying to describe this album when you can just hear it for yourself here? OK, now that you've heard it, go out and cop it this Tuesday. "Tronic" gets a mos def from me for more than obvious reasons.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

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

Kanye West-808's & Heartbreak
Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot
Mos Def-The Ecstatic LP
88 Keys-The Death Of Adam
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
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.
Billy Danze-Behind Gatez
AG & O.C.-Oasis: Together Brothers
Phat Kat and Elzhi are Cold Steel
The Beatnuts-The Planet Of The Crates
Skepta-Microphone Champion
Wiley-I See Clear
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs

Dart's Fat Tape/CD-R (as of October 24th, 2008):

Life In Marvelous Times-Mos Def
Dreams-Onra (prod. by Onra)
The Coldest Winter-Kanye West (prod. by Kanye West)
Godflesh-Jedi Mind Tricks
Fan Mail-DJ Babu f/Little Brother, Joe Scudda & D-Brock (prod. by DJ Babu)
All That-Papoose
NNE Mode-14KT (prod. by 14KT)
(Don't) Run Out On Me-Count Bass D (prod. by Count Bass D)
Can't Afford It-One-2 f/Ca$his (prod. by Komplex)
Let It Go (Flying Lotus Remix)-Reefer (prod. by Flying Lotus)
Kung Fu Theater (Game Of Death)-VStyles f/Royce Da 5'9" & Kid Vishis
In Love-Exile (prod. by Exile)
Roxxanne-The Knux (prod. by The Knux)
For Whom The Bell Tolls-Evidence f/Phonte, Blu & (prod. by Evidence)
Overdose-Black Milk (prod. by Black Milk)
Shootin'-Duo Live f/Billz, Joell Ortiz, Red Cafe, Uncle Murda & M.O.P.
Time 2 Get Paid-Stat Quo (prod. by Lyrics)
I Think (She Likes Me)-Fly Guys f/Che Grand & The Luv Bugz (prod. by J. Lewis)
Losing Out-Black Milk f/Royce Da 5'9" (prod. by Black Milk)
Not That Easy-Reef The Lost Cauze f/Ethel Cee
Frozen-DJ Babu f/Guilty Simpson (prod. by DJ Babu)
Pop Rose-Trey Songz f/Drake
Make It Flow-Count Bass D f/Ache (prod. by Count Bass D)
Daddy's Little Girl-The Knux (prod. by The Knux)
Robocop-Kanye West (prod. by Kanye West)
Unite-Tettorybad (prod. by Tettorybad)
Miss U (For Lost Loved Ones)-14KT (prod. by 14KT)

If you ain't rockin' raw what you rockin' for?/Without heat y'all emcees ain't hot no more! © Skillz



Passion of the Weiss said...

Hey, a Maebe ain't bad. For what it's worth, I think their best is yet to come.

Travis said...

On point as usual Dart. Haven't heard the Decon or the Knux yet, but everything else I agreed with, including "Can We Hang Out Tonight" being on of the best songs of the year.

Anonymous said...


Good lookin' on the reviews. You got me fiending to cop some shit right when I got out of a hole--thank you!

BTW if you want to see the making of Reef's "Not That Easy," go to his myspace blog and watch the 3 part video. That's me recording Reef and Ethel, getting my Quincy Jones on!

Mr. Johnson said...


Good looks on giving homeboy from the 'Bridge some due shine.

Ross said...

man, The Knux album is fresh to def! I really see them as the next OutKast. For real.

elgringocolombiano said...

the new Q-Tip is excellent. My favorite album of the yr so far.