Friday, September 18, 2009

What's New In Dart's iPod #96 AKA The Levees Done Broke Again

This week was kinda weird, it started out with the Patriots coming from behind and winning their first game of the season on Monday Night Football. I'll try to finally force myself to post about the Patriots on Armchair Linebacker sometime this week and I'm going to continue posting guest blogs on Nerd With Swag (Get used to it, NWS readers!). On top of that, the Boston Red Sox have won 8 of their last 10 including 7 in a row to pull away from the Texas Rangers and take a commanding 7 game lead in the AL Wild Card race with 15 games left to go in the season.

Last week, I prayed for the recoveries for Kon of Kon & Kon & Amir and Grandmaster Roc Raida of the world famous X-Men/X-ecutioners. This week I prayed for the quick recovery of Hex Murda, Detroit Hip Hop icon & manager of Black Milk, Guilty Simpson and others. Hopefully, the big homie will get back to smacking wack motherfuckers in no time, meanwhile I'll help pick up the slack. I also dropped another 25 Producers You Need To Hear Right Now list. 25 more are forthcoming next month then a final 25 will drop in November. Unfortunately, most of the albums I'm reviewing today leaked hella early.

This week I'll be reviewing five new projects that recently hit the 'net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Brother Ali "Us", Oh No "Dr. No's Ethiopium", Rob Murat "So Much To Say", Shafiq Husayn "Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka" and Skyzoo "The Salvation". For those of you new to this blog, 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 recently revised "Cop It Or Not" ratings system breaks down below:

Opinions be damned. This particular project has no redeeming qualities whatsoever and should come with a Surgeon General's warning and/or a biohazard sticker. It should only be handled by hazmat teams or bomb/demolitions squads. To quote Common & Canibus, this album is your worst nightmare squared.

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.

It's the beautiful decay!... © Skyzoo

Best Joints: The Preacher, Crown Jewel, House Keys, Fresh Air, Tight Rope, Breakin' Dawn, The Travelers, Babygirl, 'Round Here, Bad Mufucka Pt. II, Best@It, Games, Slippin' Away, You Say (Puppy Love) and Us

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: The one thing that you can count on Brother Ali for is a concise, tight, well thought out Hip Hop album. Earlier this year he dropped his well received "The Truth Is Here" EP, this album just an extension of that project but focuses on storytelling. You'll be engrossed from beginning to end with "Us" as Brother Ali's narrative paints a gang of different scenarios. He carries the entire album himself except for guest appearances from Chuck D, Freeway, Joell Ortiz & Stokely Williams. If you're a fan of Rhymesayers Entertainment, Brother Ali or just quality Hip Hop for that matter then you should definitely check for "Us". It drops September 22nd where all fine music is sold.

Best Joints: Wildchild, Concentrate, Louder, Design, Pussy, Melody Mix, Scary, Carnival, Fuego Tribe, Soul Of Ethiopia, The Pain, Xcalibur, Madness, The Funk, Adventure, Whoo Doo, When Nah and Juke Joint

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: I'm sure you all heard "Dr. No's Oxperiment", right? Remember how crazy THAT one was? Well, this one is as good if not arguably better than "Dr. No's Oxperiment" was. Yes, I AM aware that a fair amount of listeners in 2007 even preferred it to Madlib's "The Beat Konductor Vols. 3 &4 In India". "Ethiopium" bangs from beginning to end. It's only slightly more than 30 minutes long however my first full playthrough of it took close to 90 minutes. It's that damn good.

While all the tracks are dope I felt the standouts were "Wildchild", "Louder", "Pussy", "Melody Mix", "Fuego Tribe", "Soul Of Ethiopia", "The Pain", "Xcalibur", "The Funk", "Adventure" and "When Nah". Either way, it's well worth the dough I spent. "Dr. No's Ethiopium" gets a mos def. Cop it direct from Stones Throw here or you could wait until November 2nd for the expanded physical CD release. I couldn't. I often exhibit poor impulse control (but excellent decision making abilities).

Best Joints: Ladies & Gentleman..., Dilemma, Mr. Soulman, Daytime High, Celebrate, Something Magical, Until It's Over, So Much To Say, So Much More, One Day, Born Again and Know (Live) (the best song on the entire album)

Hot Garbage: Ready To Love (meh..did he sample Miley Cyrus?) and Ricky??? (meh)

Dart's Take: Being that there's a glut of genuine, original R&B on the mainstream level and Soul music doesn't sound like much soul is actually infused into it I look forward to when I get an R&B/Soul album that's self produced without trying to make hits for the radio or club. Either way, Rob Murat's self released "So Much To Say" was a welcome departure from the space shit that people sing over on the radio. Problem is that it was just okay to me. None of the songs save for the final live track earned a replay immediately after I first heard it.

Despite the lack of tracks that really stood & out grabbed my attention I'd advocate spending money on his album rather then the R&B where everyone's album sounds the damn same nowadays. I give "So Much To Say" a maybe because maybe I wasn't moved because I listened to this album after hearing a lot of Shafiq Husayn, Slakah The Beatchild, Ayah, Wayna & Musinah? In comparison to them damn near everything else usually sounds a little inferior, doesn't it?

Best Joints: Intro/Electra, Nirvana, The U.N. Plan, Cheeba, Lil' Girl, Lost & Found, Dust & Kisses, No Moor, All Dead, Major Heavy, Evil Man, Changes, Love Still Hurts, Le'star, Egypt, The Odd Is C and Rebel Soldier

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: First off, do you actually like music? I mean REAL music. Played by musicians. Nice arrangements & movements? If not go elsewhere. If you're still on board and you enjoyed the Sa Ra Creative Partners album then you should definitely like this. You might actually enjoy it more because Shafiq has stripped away many of the out there elements that come with most Sa Ra production and delivers more straightforward compositions on his own.

After hearing stand out selections like "Nirvana", "The U.N. Plan", "Cheeba", "Lil' Girl"," Lost & Found", "Dust & Kisses", "No Moor", "All Dead" and "Love Still Hurts" in addition to guest appearances from Bilal, Om' mas Keith (Sa Ra), Count Bass D and vocalists Fatima, Rozzi Daime, Noni Limar & Nia Andrews this is another must have album from the good people over at Plug Research. I have no choice but to give it a highly recommended maybe. Cop it when it finally drops on October 6th!

Best Joints: The Opener, Return Of The Real, The Beautiful Decay, My Interpretation, Popularity, Like A Marathon, The Shooter's Soundtrack, Under Pressure, Penmanship, Dear Whoever, For What It's Worth, The Necessary Evils, Easy To Fly, Bottom Line, Metal Hearts and Maintain

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart's Take: This album has been highly anticipated and long awaited (as opposed to the albums that claim to be but really aren't). The production is handled by some of the best in the game including 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Illmind, Black Milk, Nottz, Needlz and Producers You Need To Hear Right Now Alumnus Cyrus Tha Great. Skyzoo lyrically bodied track after track in what is easily one of the best albums of 2009 so far.

Between the bars and production it really doesn't get too much better than this, especially considering that Skyzoo pretty much handles the entire project by himself without any guest appearances. Do yourself a favor and cop "The Salvation" when it finally drops on September 29th. It gets a no brainer mos def.

Late Passes (For Doz Dat Slept):

Projects I'm Looking Forward To Reviewing Once They Leak...I Mean Drop in 2009:

Rhymefest-El Che
Jay Electronica-Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Jay Electronica-Abracadabra: Let There Be Light
Royce Da 5'9"-Street Hop
Big Boi-Sir Luscious Leftfoot, Son Of Chico Dusty
Pac Div-Grown Kid's Syndrome
Magnif & J Dilla-Detroit Royalty
Blu-God Is Good
Drake- Thank Me Later
Sean Price, Guilty Simpson & Black Milk-Random Axe
Alchemist & Oh No are Gangrene
Eternia & MoSS- At Last
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
Ski Beatz-Half Man, Half Amazing
Evidence-Cats & Dogs
Statik Selektah-The Hangover

Bey: Damn, Jay! Dart wasn't feeling "BP3" like you thought he would Jay: To be fair, he did accurately gauge what I was going for with the album. Plus, I mean you heard "OB4CL2" & "Foundation". Those albums are MONSTERS, B! Bey: I'm really surprised he liked Kid Cudi's album, too... Jay: I think HE'S surprised he liked Kid Cudi's album Bey: He did another producers list? Maybe we need to bookmark that list & send the links to Nas? Jay: I think you're right, B. It sure was a good idea to use that HP & Hamburger Helper money to buy Mac's so we could be like Dart. Bey: Well, Pharrell took that Microsoft money and uses Macs in the studio to be like him too, so...


1 comment:

Naturally Alise said...

I can't wait to hear the Skyzoo joint for sure! Glad to see it is going to be hot!