This week I’ll be reviewing six new projects that recently hit the ‘net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Georgia Anne Muldrow “Kings Ballad”, Nneka “Concrete Jungle”, Rocky Rivera “The Rocky Rivera LP”, Sade “Soldier Of Love”, Statik Selektah “100 Proof (The Hangover)” and Styles P & DJ Green Lantern “The Green Ghost Project”. 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 patented “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/demolition 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.
Best Jawns: Indeed, Doobie Down, Simple Advice, Kings Ballad, R.I.P., Thrones, Summer Love, Shang-A-Lang, The Ooh Wee Show, Can’t Stand Yo Love, To The Stage, March For Africa, Chocolate Reign, Baby Dee, Live, Room Punk!, Thatch, Industrial Bap and Morena Del Ray
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: Georgia Anne Muldrow is a damn national treasure. She made several ridiculous albums last year (“Ms. One & The Gang”, “Umsindo” & “Early”) as well as produce Dudley Perkins “Holy Smokes” LP. I honestly feel that this producer/vocalist/emcee should just be PayPal’ed $50 every January 1st because you know she’s gonna provide you with heat all year.
This is her Ubiquity LP “Kings Ballad” that drops on February 9th, it has everything you’d come to expect from Georgia and more. This sounds like everything from Betty Davis era fuck to Brainfeeder type beats. Mos def. Cop it when it drops. Two weeks later she and Dudley drop “Someothaship” on Mello Music Group. Ooooweee! © Ecstacy from Whodini
Best Jawns: Showin’ Love, The Uncomfortable Truth, Mind Vs. Heart, Heartbeat, Come With Me, Kangpe, Africans, Suffri, From Africa 2 U, Walking, Focus and God Of Mercy
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: Nneka is half Nigerian/half German but she lived in Nigeria until 18 then moved to Hamburg, Germany. She’s made quite a few releases already overseas and is already an established world artist garnering numerous accolades. On February 2nd, her first North American release “Concrete Jungle” dropped and needless to say it smack me right in the face.
Nneka’s a vocalist that also rhymes about injustice, struggle, African pride and several other subjects American singers and emcees wouldn’t dare touch. Years ago the media tried to turn Ms. Dynamite into the “next Lauryn Hill” and I hope they don’t try that with Nneka because she’s her own artist. This was a much needed project after the drek I recieved in my inbox these past two weeks. Highly recommended maybe. Don’t sleep.
Best Jawns: MRSHMLO, Girl Like Me, Trick Habit (no one else thought to flip this?), Heart, Grimy, Turn It Up, Complex, I Am Gone, Go There, Me To You and Ride Out
Meh: The Rundown (too laid back for me)
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: I often hear radio friendly music that’s missing substance or edge and I rarely hear music with a revolutionary slant from women that have a legitimately uplifting message…that’s because it’s usually written by Ne-Yo or The-Dream & Tricky Stewart. This album found a way to simultaneously bump in a system, potentially get spins or radio or the club AND has real substance. It was made independently & features production from Cali heavyweights such as Keelay & Zaire, 6Fingers and Fatgums in addition to DexBeats, CZA & Nick James.
No unnecessary guest appearances, just Rocky Rivera showing how an album can have balance minus an industry A&R trying to pound square things in round holes (I took that from Meka of 2DB’z). If you want to support indie Hip Hop cop this from iTunes seeing as how she sold out @ CDBaby. I give “The Rocky Rivera LP” a recommended maybe. Now I just need videos for “Girl Like Me”, “Grimy”, “Heart” & “Me To You”.
Best Jawns: The Moon And The Sky, Soldier Of Love, Morning Bird, Babyfather, Long Hard Road, Be That Easy (this is borderline Country!), Bring Me Home, In Another Time, Skin and The Safest Place
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: I’ll make this short. Sade made a new album. I played it. I played it again. Then I played it again. I played some other albums. I picked this one up again. Then I wrote this review. It’s really, really good. If you Sade, you’ll love this record. Will you want to punch yourself in the face because it’s so good? Well, that all depends on the listener (& their individual level of sanity). I give it a mos def because it’s everything you’d expect from a Sade album vocally, lyrically & sonically. Look for it to drop on February 9th.
Best Jawns: So Close, So Far, Critically Acclaimed, Do It 2 Death, Come Around, The Thrill Is Gone, Get Out, The Coast, Eighty-Two, Follow We, Life Is Short, Laughin, Walking Away, Drunken Nights, Fake Love (Yes Men) and Night People
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: Let’s take one of the illest & most in demand Hip Hop producers working today and add some of the best emcees in the game with a few legends sprinkled into the mix. Provide a ridiculous sonic backdrop and let them paint insane pictures with their bars. What will the end result will sound like? Statik Selektah’s “100 Proof (The Hangover)”.
If “The Pre-Game EP” was any indication, then this was clearly going to be a monster album. Guest appearances from heavyweights like Kool G. Rap, Souls Of Mischief, Bun B, Talib Kweli, Lil’ Fame, Havoc, Smif N’ Wessun, Sean Price, Styles P & Royce Da 5’9″ in addition to cats like Termanology, Wale, Skyzoo, Consequence, Novel, Evidence, Fashawn, Rapper Pooh, Saigon, etc. make this a must have Hip Hop album. There are far too many tracks that are rewind worthy. Sometimes back to back tracks (like “Life Is Short” & “Laughin”). Don’t sleep on this one. It dropped on February 2nd, mos def.
Best Jawns: Nothing To Lose, Double Trouble, Callin Me, Make Millions From Entertainment, Invasion, Time Will Tell, Pablo Doe, Pretty Little Thing, Shadows, Legal Money, That’s Me and Bang Time
Meh: Send A Kite (the hook kills me), Real Ghostly and Born In These Streets
Hot Garbage: The cover being a little too reminiscent of 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s “Chemistry” & “The Formula” plus that terrible ass insert comic book…
Dart’s Take: I wanted to like this album more than I did but I just felt that there was something missing from it. It seemed to be underwhelming in some department I can’t exactly put my finger on. It wasn’t a bangathon & the bars weren’t overly memorable or rewind inducing. It was just a good, solid effort from two veterans in Hip Hop.
While I’ll continue to play “The Green Ghost Project” in my iPod Touch it’s clear most of those spins will be taken up by “100 Proof (The Hangover)” and when I finally get my copy of Freeway & Jake One’s “The Stimulus Package”? Sheeeeit! Clay Davis. I give “The Green Ghost Project” a recommended maybe.