1. “In Tune” - Boog Brown
Purchase “The Late Bloom” HERE
Boog actually dropped “In Tune” back in the early summer months and it flew completely under my radar. However, with the Oct. 8th release of her new LP, “The Late Bloom” (released via SoulSpazm), Boog is back on the scene hoping to duplicate the success of her collabo LP with Apollo Brown as Brown Study, which goes to show you how quickly time flies, was released over 3(!) years ago. Produced by Bloggerhouse favorite, Illastrate (1/2 half of Black Noise, what’s up with a new LP fam?), “In Tune” is a simply stunning track. Crisp drums courtesy of Illa, solid lyricism by Boog (who’s not only one of my favorite female emcees, but “emcee”..period) and a dope hook belted by Joe D.
2. “War With Myself”-Evan Holt & Thelonious Martin
Download “The Temptations” HERE
This lil’ 11-track LP was a very nice surprise when I downloaded it from DJBooth.net last week. I mean, I’d heard of New Jersey beatsmith Thelonious Martin and actually have a few of his instrumental projects on my hard drive, yet Evan Holt, whom hails from San Diego really opened my eyes. “The Tempations” is a very dope, cohesive (ahem…one emcee, one producer…works every time!) album and Holt is a VERY capable emcee with one of those voices that you’ll remember. Yet it’s the album’s finale, “War With Myself” that takes the crown. More of a “two part” track, “War With Myself” elevates itself to new levels of dopeness at about 1:30 as the last two minutes of the track will damn near put you in a neck brace.
3. “Tug-At-War”-CJ Fly
Download “Thee Way Eye See It” HERE
Whoa!! Pro Era strikes again! I’ll admit Joey’s “Summer Knights” was somewhat of a letdown. However, CJ Fly’s recently released “The Way Eye See It” not only tops Joey’s “Summer Knights”, it may very well be the best offering from the Pro Era Collective thus far, straight up. This mixtape/album is very ill. Tell me the Esta produced “Tug-At-War” doesn’t have that Pharcyde “LABCABINCALIFONIA”- feel written all over it!? Other highlights from the LP include the Ab-Soul assisted “Sadderdaze”, which samples the same horns that 9th Wonder utilized perfectly for his remix of Nas’ “Ether” for his Nas remix project “God’s Stepson”. And, get this, Phife(!) of all the emcees in the world, pops up and hasn’t lost a step with his show-stopping appearance on “Seek Well”, which has the feel of “Beats, Rhymes & Life”.
4. “Dumb Rappers” (Intro)-Nicky D’s
Download “The Grey Area”
Ok, so who’s the lil’ cracker kid with, in my opinion some of the most slept-on J’s (which, just goes to show you how old I am, I rocked my sophomore hoops season in High School) on on the cover? Ok, secondly (thinking to myself here..), I’ll have to peep this as the cover is an ode to Diamond D’s “Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop”. So, you can obviously see why I checked out this funky 10-track offering. It’s safe to say, judging by the production of Rick Hughes who, basically (Mista Lawnge’s production of Chi’s “Age Ain’t..”, is jacked for “Age Ain’t Shit”) handles all of the production duties on “The Grey Area”, this duo did their homework. Yes, the moniker “Nicky D’s” is somewhat cheesy, but this kid can spit! While the rhymes are quite juvenile at times, which makes sense as dude is only 18 years old, the vibe of “The Grey Area” is straight up Golden Era, which is exemplified by the Intro track to the free download, “Dumb Rappers”. Featuring the infamous Biggie vocal slice “dumb rappers need teachin” and the “Uggh/C’mon” from Black Sheep’s “The Choice Is Yours”, “Dumb Rappers” is the proper set off to a sound product from an emcee with plenty of room for growth, but a good start, nonetheless.
5. “Back In The Day”-Termanology
Purchase “G.O.Y.A.” HERE
Dang man…Termanology kills me sometimes! I mean, dude is one of my favorite “guilty pleasure” emcees, but he’s so damn frustrating. There is ALWAYS glimpses of his talent that shines thru as with “Back In The Day” (from Term’s recently released “G.O.Y.A.” LP), but he seemingly can’t really put it all together when it comes to a cohesive product. Term is usually, for lack of better wording, “hated on”, yet if you ever peep the top sellers in the Ughh.com store, all of his releases are always in the Top 10 as “best sellers” the year(s) of their respective release. However, as dope as Shortfyuz’ production is (he produced “G.O.Y.A.” in it’s entirety) on “Back In The Day” and lyrically, Term is a beast on this cut, the hook is lacking and actually takes away from the quality of the track. Even so, there’s some dopeness to be found on “G.O.Y.A.” in the form of “Cocaine Eyes” and “You Ain’t Safe”, but half the album is forgettable. Man, if Term could ever put it all together….watch out!!