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Week in Review

by Travis on April 6, 2009

I achieved in getting nothing accomplished this weekend. Eh, so goes life. I was hoping to get the top 20 tracks up with this, but that just didn’t happen. None the less, here is what I did get finished. So debate it, talk about it, listen to it, it’s all good.


I was pretty busy trying to keep up with the recent flood of newly released material, then add on to that the stuff I’ve been getting in the emails and it’s been pretty busy. I usually get in three or four albums a day while I’m at work. I have my iPod at my desk and as long as no one bugs me, I’m able to be able to give a lot of attention to the music while I do my job (yeah, I don’t have a very hard job).

Before we jump into this week, I’ll bring up a surprising album that I listened to last week. The Saigon and Statik Selectah album “All In A Days Work” was a pleasant surprise. Generally, I don’t think any album of any type of quality can be done in 24 hours, or at least I used to think that. Now, to be fair, I know the beats were already done for the most part, but it was still an impressive effort. In my older years where I tend to shy away from the hardcore NY artists, Saigon is still one cat that I’m eagerly awaiting his proper album to drop.

Another album that I was able to check out last week was an advanced copy of Tha Connection’s “Love Royale”. I’m always quick to give Hus and Smoov a lot of love on this site, because they always drop consistently dope music. You know exactly what you are going to get when you start to listen to an album from them. “Love Royale” is no different. If you are a fan of theirs before, it won’t disappoint. I’m going to stop at that and save the rest for a proper review coming a little later this month.

Now, back to the current week (March 29th – April 4th), damn, what a week! Of course I have to bring up the Cunninlynguists album, “A Strange Journey Vol. 1″. As with the past couple albums they put out, it took me a few listens to get into the swing of things with this album, but once I did, it became one of the main things I listen to. I’m currently on my third listen today. The other great albums from the past couple weeks is the Illogic’s “Diabolical Fun” and Blame One’s “Days Chasing Days”, both albums have been getting extensive play and taking away air time from some of the newer stuff.

The surprising album of the week was one that was sent to me a while ago and I just got around to listening to it. I know next to nothing about the MC, Dashah, who hails out of Long Island, but I do know that his “Rap Burglar 2.5″ was a nice surprise. It’s nothing mind blowing, just solid rhymes and strong beats. It’s hard to say what you are going to get when listening to an artist you haven’t heard anything about before, but this proved to be a great listen and has gotten a few more spins since that original listening session.

Top Spins For The Week.

1. Cunninlynguists – Strange Journey Vol 1

As mentioned, the boys of CL bring more of their trademarked sound. While I’m not sure if they are calling this a proper album or what, it continues the string of quality releases they have put out. This project contains a little more humor than some of the past projects, which is good, can’t be serious all the time. And when are people going to starting mentioning Kno in the same circles as other underground hip hop darlings such as 9th Wonder, Buckwild, or any of the other commonly praised producers?

2. Illogic – Diabolical Fun

I’ve known about Illogic for quite some time, but for whatever reason, never really got into his music. Not sure why, I dig Blueprint, and the rest of those cats, but Illogic just never grabbed my attention. When his free EP was dropped this past winter and I learned that Ill Poetic was on the beats, I had to check it out. Glad I did, as the two make for a good pairing with chemistry. It left me with rather big expectations for the full length album, Diabolical Fun. I’ll be damned if it lived up to those expectations and more. The beats are banging, with Ill Po fine tuning his sound that made his last album so enjoyable and Illogic reminds us why he is thought of as an MCs MC.

3. Blueprint – Sign Language

I’ve been big on instrumental albums this year. Not sure why, but I just like listening to the intricate bells and strings that so many incorporate in their sound. Blueprint was always mainly an MC to me, but with Sign Language, he proved to me that he is more than capable of bringing the heat with the beats. There are several tracks that get stuck in my conscious from the album. This is just a great listen all the way around.

4. Blame One – Days Chasing Days

Exile is another cat that should be listed up there with other great producers. While he didn’t produce the whole album, Days Chasing Days, he produced a good chunk of it and some of the better joints on the album. Blame One is an MC that I kind of have to warm up to, something about his vocal tone that kind of grates on me from time to time. The thing is though, everything is so great about this album, that I overlook rather easily. This could album will be in the iPod for a good amount of time this year I’m thinking.

5. Rapper Big Pooh – The Delightful Bars (The Candy Apple Edition)

So there is going to be four different versions of this album? I’m not sure how that will play out. I’m still digesting “The Delightful Bars”, and while there is some good material, I’ve found myself skipping some songs. I’ve long been a fan of Big Pooh, so I’m not sure if I was expecting more or I’ll warm up to this album. Time well tell.

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