1. “Reminisce”-9th Wonder featuring The A.L.L.I.E.S.
“Some more souful iddish from Mr. Fruity Loops. I mentioned in the review for “Dream Merchant Vol. II” that 9th needs to do a full length with Big Remo & The Great Novej, I think that they may have the same chemistry if not more than 9th had with Phonte & Big Pooh.” I truly played this one to death this week. Oh, and a request….can someone please hook a brotha‘ up with the “9th Wonder presents the A.L.L.I.E.S.” EP??
2. “Coffee”/”Pigs”(Bonus Track)-Aesop Rock featuring John Darnielle
“If you would have told me that I’d dig Aesop Rock’s “None Shall Pass” this much two months ago I’d have replied “you’re outta’ your freakin‘ mind”. Aesop’s always been huge in the “backpacker” scene. Now that dude is on those quirky little promos for MTV, looks like the rest of the world isn’t too far behind. “Coffee” sounds like some ol‘ “Def Jux Bounce” (Company Flow is probably rolling over in their grave) and “Pigs is” just pure funk complete with bluesy guitars and handclaps. Damn, Aesop Rock???
3. “Blue Ice”-Panacea
“Panacea’s album is slowly but surely becoming one of my favorites of the year (more on “The Scenic Route” in my upcoming THOUGHTS post). The quality of “The Scenic Route” really makes it a task to select just one favorite from the album, but “Blue Ice” is the biggest head nodder on the album complete with the “It’s Yours” vocal sample in tow. “Blue Ice” is probably the most “conventional” Hip Hop cut on the album. The remainder of the album is just simply beautiful musically.
4. “I’m The Boss”-Havoc
“Havoc gets cool points for utilizing the same sample that Tribe made popular with “Luck Of Lucien” and weed heavy Cypress Hill wannabees Total Devastation used a few years after on “Many Clouds Of Smoke”. This is the biggest attempt at achieving Urban radio play on Havoc’s disappointing debut solo LP “The Kush” (more on that in my THOUGHTS as well). It is what it is though….short & sweet, lacking any real lyrical depth but still funky enough to keep the girlies‘ ass cracks drippin‘ sweat on the dance floor.
5. “I’ll Still Kill”-50 Cent featuring Akon
“Hate on 50 & Akon all you want, but there’s no denying the fact that DJ Khalil of Self Scientific is lacing cats with some HEAT!! Between this and Evidence’s “All Said & Done” Khalil is gonna’ give cats a “rate increase” on his beats in turn making his pockets even fatter. 50 on the other hand…well, me personally I’d say “Graduation” may be the better album but “Curtis” contains a few tracks that pack enough testosterone to make you wanna’ choke the shit outta’ someone just for lookin‘ at you sideways.
6. “Still Love”-Soulstice
“The definite “high point” on Soulstice’s sophomore solo effort “Dead Letter Perfect”. As far as ode’s to Chicago go, I’d rank this one up there with Kanye’s original version of “Home” (not that bullshit Chris Martin remake “Homecoming”) in terms of soulfulness. Yet another banger courtesy of Aussie import M-Phazes. Speaking of M-Phazes, who else has heard the joint he produced featuring an ill trio of emcees (Royce, Elzhi and the highly underrated Supastition)?
7. “All Is Not Lost”-Unified School District
“First things first, if you should just listen to just one track that I’ve uploaded on DivShare today please make it “All Is Not Lost” from Oaktown’s Unified School District. Secondly, I’m gonna’ have to conduct yet another “Eric Eats His Words” post cause’ regular visitor Super Ugly sent me this album via e-mail a month or so ago and I’d forgotten I actually uploaded it to Itunes. Long story short, I’d actually tried to pawn the review of Unified’s “Brokedown Palace” on Trav because to be honest….after the first listen to “Brokedown….” I fu*kin’ HATED the album. Needless to say, I received the hard copy of the CD in the mail yesterday (clever packaging Super Ugly!!) Guess what my homeboy and I spent the majority of the Arkansas/Alabama game(if you missed the game it was a CLASSIC, to0 bad the Hogs’ came up short) bumpin‘ last night? Yep, you got it..”Brokedown Palace”! “All Is Not Lost” may not be the best track on the album, but I haven’t been able to get this song off repeat the last two days. Your album will receive it’s due props this week Super Ugly, congrats to you along with Ecto for making a dope album! Don’t sleep….take it from me!
8. “Frequency Of Love”-Charon Don & DJ Huggy featuring Belove
lized effort on Charon Don & DJ Huggy’s “Art Of Life”, you just can’t lose with the “Summertime Madness” sample. I just learned that these cats are from Pittsburgh, it’s good to see some dope Hip Hop emerging from my birthplace. More on “Art Of Life” this week as Trav @WYDU has selected this album for our reviews. The perfect track for you to play while with the lady, not too “soft” with just enough groove to keep your head noddin‘ minus all the cusses and gangsterism
9. “Saved”-9th Wonder featuring Saigon & Joe Scudda
When I first peeped the tracklisting for “The Dream Merchant Vol.II” my first two thoughts after coming across the lineup of Saigon & Scudda for “Saved” where: “How in the hell did Scudda get on a track with Saigon?” and “Let’s just see how bad Scudda‘ can fu*k this up”. Boy, was I sorely mistaken!! Who’d have thought that Scudda would deliver a powerful and moving verse that parallels elements of my life. 9th does his thing as well, the Snoop vocal from “Murder Was The Case” sounds chilling…especially during the hook when the bass drops out and 9th lets the sample ride.
10. “Suicide Note”-Ill Poetic
Taken from Ill’s solo debut “Illumination”. Talk about beautiful imagery, Ill relates “suicide” to writer’s block and bypassing all the bullshit in Hip Hop. If you don’t get “goosebumps” at about the 2 minute mark of this song, I’m calling your bluff. While Ill’s debut is still mad impressive it’s not “The World Is Ours”, “Suicide Note” however just may be the best song that Ill Poetic ever recorded. The Biggie vocal, intertwined with the buttery vocals on the hook and Ill’s always crisp, crystal clear production make “Suicide Note” a definite must hear. Oh, and listen closely for the Marvin Gaye sample. Do yourself a favor and be sure to check this one out!!