Not exactly a “catchy” album cover by any means, but don’t let it fool ya’ Freddie Joachim’s got beats for days kid. I ganked this track from the “Nueve Vol. 14″ compilation over at HHB this past weekend and coincidentally “Sauced” is also the same cut that served as that album’s opener as well. What a great way to start a “mixtape”. Catchy horn loop? Check. Crisp Drums? Check. Breezy filter? Check. Taken from Freddie’s instrumental LP “Tiger”, when bumpin’ “Sauced” beware, whiplash may occur.
Is Buff’s “There’s Only One” the album of the year? Quite possibly. You know an album’s got some sh*t for that ass when you find a “new favorite” each week. Upon hearing this album for the first time, I leaned toward the catchiness of “Dream Streets”. This week I’ve been killin’ “Numbers Can’t Measure” f. Now On. With about 40 seconds remaining this track catapults to another level as the drums disappear paving way for an emotional outro. Buff, you got a near classic on your hands kid!! Is there any doubt that Detroit, with outstanding releases from Elzhi, Buff and Guilty Simpson have absolutely held down this Rap sh*t in 2008? Man, Dilla would be proud!!
A snippet of this song was on Yeezy’s pre-”Graduation” mixtape “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”. Now, Decon Records has finally leaked out the full MP3. The song provides a heavy dose of anticipation for 88-Keys’ upcoming album “The Death Of Adam” which coincidentally is also executive produced by Kanye West. I’m really lookin’ forward to “Death”, especially after diggin’ “Adam’s Case Files” soo damn much. My favorite mixtape rapper Grafh murked “Fibs” and the heavily-hyped Kid Cudi injected a much needed dose of comedy into “Wasting My Minutes” (you can’t tell me that you’ve never dated a chick EXACTLY like that!).
Nevada’s Canto I is back with their follow up to last year’s heavily slept-on “Entry Level Elements”, “While You Where Sleeping”. Canto’s “First Things First” (from “Entry..”) not only made W.T.R.’s “Top 100 Tracks of ’07″, but also appeared at #16 on Hip Hop.com’s “Top 50″ of ’07. Needless to say, this duo has outdone themselves once again with “While You Where..”. “Death Connection” is a clever narrative that follows the “Speak Ya’ Clout” format, switching up the beats with each verse. I’m not quite sure as to which beat I’m feelin’ the most, but the break for the second verse is on some Dan The Automater/Dr. Octagon type ‘ish for sure. Don’t sleep on “While You Where…” either, as the album also features resident W.T.R./W.Y.D.U. fav’ Has-Lo on the “Check 1-2 ish” “To The Sky!”
Taken from M Phazes remix project “Gridin”, London’s Foreign Beggars absolutely ride this bouncin’ beast of a beat to absolute perfection. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ain’t got nuthin’ on these cats when it comes to the so called art of “fast rap”. And the M Phazes production? In a word or two, NUCKIN’ FUTS!!! “Hold On”, unless something else comes along and completely blows me away, features the most thunderous bassline that I’ve heard thus far in ’08 (shit, the year’s almost over!). Listening to “Hold On” in your headphones just won’t do this track any justice, you HAVE TO hear this cut in a booming stereo system, at home or in the hooptie. I’ve heard of Foreign Beggars, but I’ve never actually “heard” the Foreign Beggars. However, after their performance on “Hold On” I’ll most definitely be diggin’ thru their catalog and keeping up with their future work. This track would be even higher on the list had I not just heard it Saturday for the first time.
Produced by J-Slikk, “Get Mine” takes it back to the days of “The Main Ingredient” sounding just like a track that you’d expect to hear from the likes of the Soul Brother #1 himself. Until I conducted some research I actually thought that Hadee had produced this himself, but I was sorely mistaken. “Get Mine” taken from J-Slikk’s forthcoming mixtape “Flavor Spectrum”, a mixtape that has been nearly 5 years in the making that will be available for free download in a month or do. Lyrically, Hadee brings the flavor with his consistent delivery, riding the smoove production with relative ease.
I was relatively hyped about Term’s forthcoming solo LP “Politics As Usual”, but after hearing Term murder Common’s “Resurrection” he’s got me sayin’ “if these cats production is up to par with his lyrics, “Politics As Usual” is sure to be one of the better albums of the year. And there’s absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t, especially considering that Termanology’s production line-up is comprised of legendary beatmakers such as Primo, Showbiz, Buckwild, Pete Rock…..*gasp for air*…Hi-Tek, Alchemist, Large Professor and Havoc. It’s “gon’ be some sh*t, right”? In the immortal words of one Paul Wall, Term’s recent leak the Primo produced and Bun B featured “How We Rock” has already “got the internet goin’ nuts”. Scheduled for release on the 30th of September on Nature Sounds, “Politics As Usual” better pack heat, more so than the “photo-shopped” album cover.
Haha!!! Maaan, I know my homeboy who keeps me freshly dipped, Derek from Sneaker Politics (good lookin’ on the gear and kicks!!) is gonna’ be doin’ back flips after learning that I’m finally diggin’ his dude, “the mixtape a month makin’/hot spitta” Currensy (Fly Society stand up!)…especially after frontin’ on him for soo long. “Modern Day Hippie” is most definitely my “guilty pleasure” of the year, and when you hear the opening synths from the track you’ll understand exactly why. But don’t get it twisted, “Modern Day Hippie” surely ain’t no “Night at The Roxbury”. You can’t help but nod your head to this sh*t as Currensy spits catchy-ass bars like: “Bumpin’ “Paper Plans” by MIA/ I’m partyin’ in Mia./ Bitches lookin’ for me say I’m M.I.A.”…not exactly a “Hip Hop Quotable”, but emerging from New Orleans Currensy has definitely got the “IT” factor goin’ for him and he’s equipped with a laid-back flow that injects memorable bars in your brain that you’ll be uttering to yourself all day. Of all Currensy’s mixtapes that I’ve heard this far, “Fast Times at Ridgemont Fly” has gotta’ be my favorite to date.
Okay, I know that upon it’s initial “leak” I sh*t all over Blu & Ta Raach’s joint effort, “The Piece Talks”. So, needless to say, prepare yourself for another rendition of “Eric eats his words” (once again!). I think that the initial shock upon hearing this album for the first time was the fact that it wasn’t ANYTHING like I’d heard in the Blu & Exile CLASSIC (damn skimpy!) “Below The Heavens” (which, I see that alot of you STILL haven’t even heard yet, BUY THIS SH*T!!!!). Plus, the “Hey Ya” vibes of “Buy Me Lunch” may not have been the most accurate selection for a first single, by any means. But I’m hear to tell you that after listening to “The Piece Talks” for a better portion of July/August this is a damn good album. Ta Raach’s daring production has grown on me like a bad fungus and Blu is Blu….one of the best emcees in the game as we speak. And speaking of Blu, tell me THIS isn’t one of the dopest tees on the market right now and the lyrics to “The World Is..” (which has served as my ringtone for quite some time) on the back is a nice touch as well (well worth the price tag, a quality tee with a nice fit). “Love Don’t” is catchy as hell, especially when you factor in Ta Raach’s frantic production and the slick Blu-belted hook: “Baby, Baby/ Love Don’t motivate”, the Beanie Sigel sample from “Do It Again” is quite clever as well. Even though I wrote “The Piece Talks” off earlier this winter, it is steadily becoming one of the most innovative albums of the last few years. Do yourself a favor and give this one another listen, you won’t be disappointed.
Who said innovative? While Torae attempted to accomplish the same feat of taking on the lyrical styles of some of your favorite emcees with “Switch” (off of “Daily Conversation”) earlier this year, Beantown’s Reks has totally changed the game with “All In One (5 mics)”. Not only does Reks do a dead on 2pac impersonation, but he also morphs into some of N.Y.’s finest lyricist of all-time, the three “Bigs” (Biggie, Big Pun & Big L) all in one track. When I say “dead ringer” I mean DEAD RINGER, after hearing this for the first time I was amazed at how Reks seemed to transform into each legend….even down to their delivery and wordplay. Thrown in a Lil’ Fame to get the party amped, and you got yourself a certified banger!! Far from the only heat-rock on Reks’ “Grey Hairs”, the album would have been even more of a beast had it slimmed down to say….maybe 12 tracks.