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What’s New In Dart’s iPod #15 AKA Late Like The Kanye Song

by Staff on May 19, 2010

This week I’ll be reviewing fourteen new projects that recently hit the ‘net/bloggerverse and/or will be landing on store shelves soon in the following order: Apollo Brown “The Reset”, Braille “Weapon Aid”,  Declaime “Fonk”, Guilty Simpson & Madlib “OJ Simpson”, The Heart & Brain (Tzarizm) “Mbodiment”,  Houseshoes & Jordan Rockswell “L.A. Series #4 10x10x4″, Janelle Monae “The ArchAndroid”, Madlib “Medicine Show No. 5: History Of The Loop Digga”, MC Esoteric “Fly Casualties”, Nas & Damian Marley “Distant Relatives”, Necro “DIE!”,  Onra “Long Distance”, Reflection Eternal “Revolutions Per Minutes” and Shad “TSOL” . 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: Our Time, Hungry, Lower The Boom, Beauty Of A Day, Real Detroit, Seasons, Brag Language, Streets Won’t Let Me Chill Remix, Balance, Turn & Run, Odds Ain’t Fair, Brainwash, Just Think, Propa and Ghetto Soul Music

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Ridiculous album. A gang of ill guest emcees spittin’ raw bars over top notch production. Mos def. Cop it when it drops on Mello Music Group May 25th. Apollo Brown is only getting started in 2010 (Boog Brown “Brown Study” & The Left “Gas Mask” are also forthcoming).

Best Jawns: Get Well Soon, Give Myself, Complexicated, Up, Poison, Thinking Shoes, Resurrect Me, Revenge (The Right Way), Nothing Left To Say and Surgical

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Braille is a favorite of mine. He makes down to Earth, honest, grown man Hip Hop. Maybe too down to Earth and honest for most Rap listeners. This album is short and devoid of flash or frills. If you’re a Braille fan this cop this, If not, at least give a listen first or try his previous albums (like “The IV” or “CloudNineteen”, for example). Maybe.

Best Jawns: Declaime MC, Light, Hungry, Fame, Gangsta, One, Dreamer, Brotha and God

Meh: Warrior and Dad

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Declaime makes an album with producer featuring a few guest spots from Georgia Anne Muldrow. If you’re a huge Dudley Perkins/Declaime fan cop it. If not, hold off for another release instead. Maybe.

Best Jawns: Prelude, Introduction, Pimp Rap Interlude, New Heights, Karma of a Kingpin, Think Twice Interlude, Coroner’s Music, A Friend’s Help Interlude, Back On The Road Again, Gone Crazy Interlude, Hood Sentence, Preacher’s Wife Interlude, Cali Hills, Something Bad (Intermission One), Something Good (Intermission Two), Scratch Warning ft. Frank, Hold Your Applause Interlude, Outside, Bow Wow Interlude, Mic Check 313, Trendsetters, 100 Styles and Outro

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Guilty Simpson spits brutal bars over equally disgusting Madlib slaps. I fully enjoyed this project, even the numerous interludes that made this a legitimate Madlib invasion in my eyes. I honestly don’t have any other grade to give this overall project but a mos def. I’s now available for purchase @ the Stones Throw site but the physical copy finally hit store shelves May 18th.

Best Jawns: Time Iz Money, Fetus Musik, Live Sh!t, Jazz Kickin’, Ol’ Man, Heart Beat Check, Rockstarr, The Heart’s Message, Bottle Fead, The Setup Grey Matter Remix, Life’s Desire, My Heart Beatz, The Lung Breathez (DJ Ynot remix), Lounge Ontop, Serious, Brain Wave, Mis-Takez, To Love To Miss  (Grey Matter remix), On The Market, Blood Line: Life & Death, This Hard Life Goes, Blood Transfusion, Mama Listen, Sick Game and Thoughts N Blood (IMAKEMADBEATS remix)

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Eric reviewed this album already & he loved it. I slept on it like Kat Stacks in a random member of Young Money’s bunk bed [II]. I was wrong. So very wrong. Mos def. Eric, you were right again you bastard. Cop it wherever you can.

Best Jawns: Newports, The Look, Mr. Dynomite, The Groove and Winter Warfare

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Mos def. Buy it. Next!

Best Jawns: Suite II Overture, Dance Or Die, Faster, Locked Inside, Sir Greendown, Cold War, Tightrope, Neon Gumbo, Oh, Maker, Come Alive (The War Of The Roses), Mushrooms & Roses, Suite III Overture, Neon Valley Street, Make The Bus, Wondaland, 57821, Say You’ll Go and BaBopByeYa

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Between 2006-2007, Janelle Monae’s “The Audition” & “Suite I: Metropolis” never left my now deceased iPod Nano. Then she signed with Bad Boy and Diddy promised to make sure her music reached the masses. “Suites II & III” were due to hit shelves in late 2008 after Diddy re-released a proper retail version of “Suite I: Metropolis”. Then Diddy decided to make “Last Train To Paris” and those plans went to shit. Then Bad Boy went to Interscope. What about Janelle Monae?

Lady Gaga hit big in the interim & everyone’s now hanging from her alleged nutsack when Janelle Monae was the one people thought would break through with her talent, creativity, image, look & incredible voice and stage show. This album is brilliant. If it dropped when it was supposed to she might have been huge…or hugely slept on. Either way, I give this album a mos def & I hope she attains the level of success she so richly deserves. It dropped on May 18th.

Best Jawns: Warning (Intro), Static Invazion, Stakeout, Rapper X Radio, Last Day’s Music, Nothing From Nothing, Episode VII, Episode VIII, Episode IX, Episode X, Episode XI, Episode XII, Episode XIII, Episode XIV, Episode XV, Episode XVI, Episode XVII, Episode XVIII, Episode XIX, Episode XX, Further Adventures of Walkman Flavor, Episode XXII, Episode XXIII, Episode XXIV, Episode XXV, Episode XXVI, Episode XXVII, Live From Outer Space, Real Days, C.D.P. Assassins Pt.1, C.D.P. Assassins Pt.2 & 3, C.D.P. Assassins Pt.4, C.D.P. Assassins Pt.5 and C.D.P. Assassins Pt.6

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Mos Def. Fuck you thought? Cop it May 25th. Next!

Best Jawns: Heroic Future, Dactyl Rap 1138, Black Manta, Worst Things First, 1989, Dustman, Looks Like Reign, My Swordz, Pterodactyl Sax, Blew My Mind In 2 Parts, Knifegirl, Hold On, Real American Heroes Demoralized, Pterolab 1st Slaughter, Scalper, Deathwish, You Ain’t Hip, Watch The Pro and Makin’ Beats In The Lab With Numan

Meh: Zod (70′s Cartoon Edit & Remix), Vinyl’s Dead, Popcorn In Revere, Waxing On Decepticon, Time With My Girl and You Ain’t The Reel One

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: If you’re a die hard Esoteric fan then you’re already gonna buy this regardless of what I write about it. If not, you may not be feeling it all that much. In that case I give “Fly Casualties” a maybe. What’s next?

Best Jawns: As We Enter, Tribal War, Strong Will Continue, Leaders, Friends, Count Your Blessings, Dispear, Land Of Promise, In His Own Words, Nah Mean, Patience, My Generation and Africa Must Wake Up


Hot Garbage:

Dart’s Take: My mom always said “If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say nuthin’ at all”. I always said “Ma, isn’t that a double negative”. Maybe. Content wise? I appreciate the sentiment. Sonically? This is not what I wanna hear from Nas right now. Next! (Respect to J The S. Salute!)

Best Jawns: asBESTos, Pit, Thugcore Cowboy, DIE!, Set It, Brutalized, Serpent’s Bite, The Kink Panther, Hey Now, The Asshole Anthem, Sorcerer Of Death’s Construction, First Blood, Thin Line Between Love & Hate, Viva Necro, F.U.B.A.R. and The Human Traffic King

Meh: Bedbugs

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Are you a Necro fan already? Then you’ll love this album. Not a Necro fan? Then this album was never released and there’s nothing more to read here. Recommended maybe. Next!

Best Jawns: Intro, My Comet, My Mind Is Gone, Rock On, Sitting Back, High Hopes, Girl, Send Me Your Love, We Out Buddy, Moving, Mechanical, Don’t Stop, The One, Oper8tor, Long Distance, Tape This, To The Beat, Wonderland, Jeeps, L.I.A.B. and Cherry (Outro)

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: So…Onra dropped some of my favorite projects in recent years like “Chinoiseries”, “1.0.8″, his collaboration with Byron The Aquarius “The Big Payback” and his collaboration with Quetzal “Present Tribute” but this shit right here? This shit right here? It might be some of his best work to date. Inspired by the boogie funk of Dam-Funk “Long Distance” is 21 tracks & 60 minutes of nothing but heat. Cop. it. NOW. It drops officially May 25th available everywhere. Mos def.

Best Jawns: RPM’s, City Playgrounds, Back Again, Strangers (Paranoid), In This World, Got Work, Lifting Off, In The Red, Ballad Of The Black Gold, Just Begun, Long Hot Summer, Get Loose, So Good, Ends and My Life (Outro)

Meh: Midnight Hour

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek. Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli. Either way, I’m buying it. Very solid album but nothing Earth shattering here, I have a few jams but this jawn is looking at a Top 50 of 2010 spot right now rather than a top 25 slot at the moment. Tight production & nice quotable Kweli bars. Highly recommended maybe. Cop it. It dropped May 18th.

Best Jawns: Intro, Rose Garden, Keep Shining, Lucky 1′s, A Good Name, We Are the Ones (Reservoir Poetry), Telephone, Call Waiting, Yaa I Get It, Listen, At The Same Time, We, Myself and I and Outro

Meh: N/A

Hot Garbage: N/A

Dart’s Take: Heard Shad’s “The Old Prince” LP before? If not, you slept. If you listen to this album all the way through and can tell me that this isn’t a dope album then I don’t know how trustworthy your ears are. Just sayin’. I had reasonable expectations on the quality of this project beforehand but they were exceeded. Highly recommended maybe (barely missed a mos def). Cop it. At least if you’re into quality Hip Hop. Did I finally finish this review blog?

Dart’s D/L Of The Day: Jon Phonics “Half Past Calm 2

Dart’s 2nd  D/L Of The Day: Nameless “BE[ats]ORIGINAL Vol. 2

Dart’s 3rd D/L Of The Day: DaiKatamy “DaiKatamyIsGone2.”


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andrew May 20, 2010 at 3:52 am

Shad’s new one is a Mos Def, simply based on Yaa I Get it, Rose Garden, and At The Same Time… album is great.
i was really surprised by Distant Relatives – im not the biggest nas or d. marley fan, but i really like the album.
mildly underwhelmed by reflection eternal, but it has been 10 years since train of thought…

regardless, plenty of good music lately!
great work as always Dart, as well as trav and eric

Dart May 20, 2010 at 5:06 am

Thanks, Andrew. Shad was a song away from a mos def. Barely missed it. I really loved “Telephone” as well.


Hugh May 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Dart, I have to thank you for piquing my interest on the OJ Simpson again. When I first copped the digital version I was thrown off/frustrated by all of the skits but after re-listening a couple of times yesterday, I took it for what it is (a Madlib project) and found it much more enjoyable.

I’m with Andrew on Shad. Personally I’d give it a mos def. So far I’m feeling TSOL even more than The Old Prince, and I LOVED that album.

Pretty intrigued by this Onra project. I’ve been seeing you guys mention it a lot. I’ll probably give that a shot.

restless_43 May 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I think most have issues with the OJ Simpson project (thats LONG overdue btw) in just the transitioning between the tracks that madlib soley is showcasing production and the tracks that guilty delivers these heavy bars…

even if you hate stonesthrow, theres no denying that Guilty Simpson is one of the more talented lyricists currently doin’ it.

Dart May 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm

@restless_43: My contention is, & always has been “If you cop a Madlib + Anyone On Earth LP expect a gang of instrumental breaks & snippet vocal samples/interludes between tracks. If you don’t have those then it truly wasn’t a Madlib project”. I know you know but e’erybody else needs to grasp this fact, embrace it & learn to live with it…


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