This review blog is so late & I haven’t come up with a new format for reviews as of yet. This past two weeks resulted in an ungodly amount of June releases landing in my physical and digital mailbox. Then came a gang of more recommendations, before I knew it I had 27 projects to review and a gang of stress. Here are some extremely quick reviews so I can move on with trying to figure out a new format change since I’m so goddamn backed up. The old way is dead, people. Let’s get started:
Afta-1 “FORM” 6.14.10
In 2008, Afta-1 dropped his eye opening debut project “Aftathoughts Vol. 1″. His follow up “FORM” is a brilliant re up that establishes Afta-1 as one of the elite producers & beatmakers of this modern era. Go cop it here right fuckin’ now for only $7.
Akon “Stadium” 7.6.10
This entire album is garbage save for one track entitled “In Her Shoes”. The rest of this bullshit album should be scrapped with the exception of that track. If we wanted to torture captives to try to get information out of them all we’d need to do is play them “Stadium”. It’s like audio waterboarding. Real talk. Fuck all of the oxygen that’s ever entered Akon’s lungs and allowed him to “sing”.
Aloe Blacc “Good Things” 7.20.10 (?)
Aloe Blacc, former member of Emanon is finally following up his acclaimed “Shine Through” release. On the heels of the successful lead single “I Need A Dollar” (which became the theme song for the HBO series “How To Make It In America”. Aloe Blacc goes back to the brand of Soul he’s well known for and delivers one of the best Soul projects of the year so far. Cop it when it finally drops on Stones Throw later on this Summer.
Amp Live “Murder At The Discotech” 6.15.10
Umm…If I were a hipster I’d really enjoy this. Unfortunately, I am NOT a hipster. Not my thing. At all. I had to force myself to listen to the entire project. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to listen to some albums while you’re sober. *Facepalm*
Black Sheep “From The Black Pool Of Genius” 6.29.10
Dres has kept the name Black Sheep alive by continuing to record & make mixtapes. He dropped the digital only album “8WM/Novakane” years ago and the re-up is finally here. Dres can still spit and production from Showbiz, Paten Locke, Bean One, Psycho Les in addition to guest appearances from Jean Grae, Rhymefest, Psycho Les, AZ, Q-Tip, Dave from De La Soul, Mike G of the Jungle Brothers & a hook from Rosie Perez all point towards checkin’ this jawn out when it drops June 29th. Pleasant surprise.
BQ-RAM “Blue Sand City” 5.25.10
This project is all over the place and kind of hard to pin down the sound. In an effort to be versatile in ends up on the schizophrenic side of the fence. Give this project a listen for yourselves but it didn’t do much for my ears save for about 4-6 tracks. I’m good with this…
Chali 2na “Fish Market Part 2″ 6.8.10
Veteran Cali emcee & former member of Jurassic 5 releases “Fish Market Part 2″ on the heels of last year’s “Fish Outta Water” LP, it features guest appearances from underground luminaries such as Akil, J-Live, Elzhi, Planet Asia, Fat Ray and a gang of others all expertly produced by DJ Dez Andres. Do. not. sleep. on. this. jawn. Listen to it here. It’s dope.
Daisuke Tanabe “Before I Forget” 1.13.10
I’m late as hell on this project but it’s a Japanese release & sometimes these tend to slip beneath the cracks here in the States since they get no promotion over here. I was put on to this release less than two weeks ago via Twitter RT’s so I decided to seek it out for myself. If you’re into atmospheric minimalist beat music then look for this. Otherwise, don’t even bother with it.
Dumhi “The Jungle” 6.15.10
Philadelphia Hip Hop mainstay Dumhi has released a gang of projects in recent years establishing themselves as underground Hip Hop blog favorites. The new project “The Jungle” does nothing to change that preferred status. Beats. Rhymes. Life. It was given the Bloggerhouse Stamp Of Approval already earlier on in the week. Cop it.
Eminem “Recovery” 6.22.10
This album is so much more solid and focused than “Relapse” which did have it’s moments but overall? Sounded like Em was largely uninspired (which still made him better than 75% of the game at the time). After “Relapse”, Eminem dropped a gang of impressive guest appearances and freestyles. Then we get “Recovery”, a few questionable samples aside and the fact it’s a major label album it’s as good as I expected it to be. Read into that what you will. It’s worth buying. Do I really need to post links? Nah.
Eternia & MoSS “At Last” 6.29.10
This Eternia & MoSS project is aptly named. I remember back when I first heard about this project in 2008, I’ve been waiting patiently for the opportunity to hear something from it ever since the “Road To Release” YouTube promo videos went up before the project even had a deal in place.
Now that I’ve heard the project in it’s entirety I can say that the wait was well worth it, Eternia does what she does best, spit with fire and passion about real shit. Her albums always seem to get autobiographical or at least deal with her current place in her life so it’s not only about riding MoSS’ production and spittin’ hot lines but making it all relatable to the listener. In any event, cop “At Last” when it finally drops on June 29th. Pre-order it here.
Godfather Don “Donnie Brasco” 6.15.10
Did you cop every Godfather Don vinyl 12″ from Hydra back in the days? Did you cop the HydraBeats jawn he did? Did you cop his album “Diabolique” back in the days? If the answer is yes and you were wondering what happened to that follow up Hydra release that never dropped here it is. If you’re a fan of Godfather Don production and his lyricism then you NEED to have this in your life. If not? This conversation never happened. You know Drake’s album dropped, right?
Ital Tek “Midnight Colour” 6.8.10
This new Planet Mu release is only built for serious beatheads, bass aficionados and Dubstep enthusiasts. If that’s you then you really need to clean the wax out of your ears listen to this shit right goddamn now. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then scroll down right now. Highly recommended.
Lewis Parker & John Robinson “International Summer” 7.2/6.10
Project Mooncircle presents one of the most respected & underrated producers in the game Lewis Parker and one of the most underrated emcees in the game John Robinson (AKA Lil’ Sci of Scienz Of Life). This project will be slept on so hard this Summer it’s depressing. An enjoyable listen from beginning to end this was crafted as a perfect Summer album for B Boys & B Girls. I won’t lie, I liked listening to this album better than “Recovery”. I recommend you check for it when it finally drops.
LMNO & Theory Hazit “Determined To Fly” 6.8.10
LMNO’s new LP features underground hero Theory Hazit. His last project was Bloggerhouse favorite LMNO & Kev Brown “Selective Hearing 2″. Just when you think there might be a letdown after that impressive outing LMNO & Theory Hazit hit you with bangers like “Time To Run”, “Full Motion”, “Party People”, “Head Banger” and “Boom Bap (tism)”. I enjoyed listening to this album from beginning to end more than I did “Recovery”. Check for this one, it’s only $5.99!
Maker “Maker vs. Now Again” 5.18.10
Producer Maker was tapped by Now Again to make a project consisting of previous Now Again back catalog material. It’s sickeningly good. I was late to the party but if you wanna cop it you need to go here as there were only 1000 copies pressed up. Don’t sleep. If you loved “Oh No vs. Now Again” you need to cop this as well. No brainer.
MF Grimm “You Only Live Twice” 6.8.10
After MF Grimm’s highly successful graphic novel “Sentences” and his subsequent triple CD “Return Of The Gingerbread Man”, Grimm decided to combine both elements to create “You Only Live Twice”, which he’s billed as an “audio graphic novel”. If you’re a Grimm fan then this is more of the deft lyricism you’ve come to love from him. If you’ve never copped an MF Grimm album you might wanna check this one out as well. I recommend it. Find it here.
1000Names “Illuminated Man” 6.8.10
Once again, if you’re a beathead you might appreciate the dark sinister Dubstep inspired bass heavy percussioncentric sound of 1000Names (did I just create a word with “percussioncentric”? If I did I claim intellectual property rights on it as of right now). If this is your idea of hot shit then go cop it. If not? Kick rocks.
Paul White “Paul White & The Purple Brain” 6.8.10
This project is bananas. If you’ve never heard any of Paul White’s previous work then you really need to leave your cave more often. If this was 1999 I’d say “This shit is John Blaze”. Preview it & buy it here.
Plies “Goon Affiliated” 6.8.10
Fuck Plies. Fuck this album. Fuck everyone involved with “Goon Affiliated” from his A&R staff, everyone involved in the recording process, features, producers, marketing staff, caterers, etc. No one shall be spared. I lost braincells. My ears bled. Someone. Must. Pay.
Raze “Living In Technicolor” 6.8.10
Raze does it all. The Milwaukee representative’s an emcee, producer, engineer and crew member. He first was brought to my attention by other Milwaukee reps such as JC Poppe, Dylan Thomas, Haz Solo, SpeakEASY and Signif. Since they’re nice I figured I should check out his new project “Living In Technicolor”, I was impressed with the bars and production and I’d recommend my listeners check it out as well. Solid release, keep your eyes on the Midwest…
Rhymefest “El Che” 6.8.10
Solid album. Not groundbreaking in any way, shape or form and given that it’s more than a year late I don’t feel the wait was worth it for the final product. I wouldn’t pay for this album given the sheer amount of quality albums that have dropped so far in 2010.
The Roots “How I Got Over” 6.22.10
People often say that there are two different aesthetic incarnations of The Roots (and by “people” I mean me), the pre-Phrenology Roots & the post-Phrenology Roots. Some folks still long for them to make another “Things Fall Apart”, that’s like hoping that Common makes another “Like Water For Chocolate”. Neva. Not gon’ happen © New New.
This album takes off from where “Rising Down” ended. We were mired in the muck of the Bush Administration but now were in the Age Of Obama (albeit still mired in the muck of the Bush Administration). In an age of highly disappointing major label albums “How I Got Over” sounds like it was made on an indie label as a passion project. That’s a high complement from me as music that I can hear the A&R’s influence all over it makes my ears bleed.
I loved “Rising Down ” and felt it was a companion piece to Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah Part One” & I feel that “How I Got Over” is a relative of Erykah Badu’s “Return Of The Ankh” in the same respect. The legendary Roots crew has done it again. I enjoyed listening to this album a lot more than I did “Recovery”. Cop it on the 22nd.
Swede: Art “Emotional Colors” 6.22.10
If you’re heavy into the whole beat scene then you should definitely check out this upcoming Tokyo Dawn release. If not move along, nothing to see here. Clear the area.
Taio Cruz “Rockstarr” (US Version) 6.1.10
Fuck this clubby Ibiza discotheque flashing lights bullshit. This low sperm count earbleed inducing “music” could’ve stayed overseas. This album is flaming hot garbage. Terminate any physical copy you find with extreme prejudice.
Travie McCoy “Lazarus” 6.8.10
This album sucks more than Sara Jay, Raven Black & Sophie Dee surrounded by Black dudes on a porn set. Why make a solo album if it sounds exactly like a Gym Class Heroes LP? No wonder Katy Perry left Travie’s lame ass. At least Tyga wasn’t on it, that’s a positive. If I had an acetylene torch the physical copy of this album would catch it. I opted to hand it off to a hipster instead. Fuck it, I’m still going to Hell..
Willie Green “Dirty Jordans” 6.15.10
If you’re looking for an instrumental album to add to your collection then there’s no way you can go wrong here. Green’s continuation of last year’s opus “Of Heroes & Villains” features sick beats with audio samples from popular films and cartoon series’ mixed in for only $5. I’ve been playing selections from Willie Green on our Scrunchface Sundays show for more than a month now & you can expect more of the same from this project. Check it out here.
I would post up some D/L’s of the week but I’ve never been more sick of writing about music in my entire life as I am right at this very moment. Leave me the fuck alone.