This week I’ll be reviewing five new projects that recently hit the ‘net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Chosen Few “New World Symphony”, DJ Kay Slay “More Than A DJ”, Freeway & Jake One “The Stimulus Package”, Gonjasufi “A Sufi & A Killer” and The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble (Madlib) “Miles Away”. 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: Heartbeat, Few Are Chosen, Enough, Pressure, Understanding, Can’t Stand Still, Knock Knock, New World Symphony, King Kong, The People, Treasure, It’s Good, Ride, The People Reprise, Dreamscape, Bounce, Believers, Elevation and Belly Of The Beast
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: How nice is this debut offering from the crew off of the Hiero Imperium label? This album would’ve received the same rating even if I removed every track with a notable guest appearance on it (this album boasts features from Del, Opio, Tajai, Pep Love, Rakaa Irisciene, Phat Kat, Piakhan & DJ Babu).
The production was on point, bars were full all over the country like a Sprint commercial. This album will end up being in those “Most Slept On Of 2010″ lists I love to write every year. “New World Symphony gets a highly recommended maybe. It dropped on February 9th, go look for it.
Best Jawns: Intro, Men Of Respect, See The Light, God Forgive Me (another beat please?) and Kay Slayed ‘Em,
Meh: Bad Girls, Blockstars, Layed Out ( They should have ProTooled a few dudes out of this jawn), Thug Luv (Kay Slay has never heard of another song being called this before…or ever once seen “The Boondocks” I take it?), Make The Block Hot (another beat wasted on mediocre rappers), Street Credibility (what Straight Stuntin’ Magazine model was on that hook?) and Blockstars (Remix)
Hot Garbage: Monster Muzik (Minya, this Vado dude retarded), Gangsta Shit (they wasted this beat), Let’s Ryde Together (this CAN’T be the actual beat. No one is on beat. This jawn must be been been reworked round the vocals) and You Heard Of Us (Remix) (this is the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest of remix beats. Ray J’s hook will make you laugh like Aziz Ansari sang it as a joke in his stand up routine)
Dart’s Take: Kay Slay said “Hip Hop ain’t dead, you ears are just fucked up!”. My ears are fine, God. YOU’RE ears might be fucked up if you thought this was a hot album. You ain’t heard this shit before it got released? THIS shit here, Kay Slay? This shit HERE, Kay Slay? I give it a an oh no, erase it from my iTunes Folder & sell the promo disk to the kid that sells trees down the street. Where’s my nueralyzer at?
Best Jawns: Stimulus Intro, Throw Your Hands Up, One Foot In, She Makes Me Feel Alright, Never Gonna Change, One Thing, Know What I Mean, The Product, Microphone Killa, Follow My Moves, Sho’ Nuff, Freekin’ The Beat, Money, Free People and Stimulus Outro
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: From the first track my head is noddin’. By the third track I’m standing up in the middle of my living room doing the Dame Dash dice roll. By track six I’m playing it on my PlayStation 3 poppin’ bottles of Fanta grape soda (the good shit). It took 2 hours to get to the entire album the first time because I kept rewinding tracks.
Freeway & Jake One may have a classic on their hands. This will definitely end up on all the Best Of 2010 lists at the end of the year. It was great to hear Beanie Sigel, Young Chris & Omilio Sparks on the project next to Raekwon & Bun B. “The Stimulus Package” gets a no brainer mos def. Cop it on February 16th!
Best Jawns: (Bharatanatyam), Kobwebz, Ancestors, Sheep, She Gone, SuzieQ, Stardustin’, Kowboyz And Indians, Change, Dust, Candylane, Holidays, Love Of Reign, Advice, Klowds, Ageing, DedNd, I’ve Given and Made
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: If you’re not familiar with Gonjasufi or his previous work then you must not be a fan of the Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder or the entire LA beat culture as a whole. If that’s the case then I’d advise you to Google all of the Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus or Mary Anne Hobbs mixes you can find then anything with Gonjasufi’s name on it. Why? Because this album doesn’t drop until March 9th so you have three whole weeks to prepare yourselves otherwise when you play this album without prior exposure beforehand, you’ll think you’re high on Acid.
Production from Gaslamp Killer, Flying Lotus & Mainframe provide the sonic backdrop for Gonjasufi’s intense vocals to devastating effect. This is one of those out of body experience type records. When this LP officially drops on Warp Records March 9th, be sure to check it out. I give “A Sufi And A Killer” a highly recommended maybe for my readers (but a mos def for me, personally).
Best Jawns: Derf (For Derf Reklaw), One for the Monica Lingas Band, Horace (For Horace Tapscott), Waltz for Woody (For Woody Shaw), Shades of Phil (For Phil Ranelin), Black Renaissance (For Harry Whitaker), Tones for Larry Young, Mystic Voyage (For Roy Ayers), Two Stories for Dwight (For Dwight Tribble) and The Trane and the Pharoah (For John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders)
Hot Garbage: N/A
Dart’s Take: I’m going to cut to the chase and let you all know that I’ve heard a great number of modern Jazz albums in the past decade from ensembles, bands, Hip Hop artists, producers & multi instrumentalists but this is easily one of the best efforts I’ve ever heard (this includes all of the YNQ, Jackson Conti, Three Way Intersection, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, Cro Magnon, Build An Ark, J. Rawls, Michita, Fat Jon, etc. releases). I’d buy this as a gift from my uncles or my father if he was still alive. That’s high praise. Otis Jackson Jr. is a bad man, I give “Miles Away” a mos def.