It’s July 20th, to this date I’ve reviewed 209 albums for this site all by myself. I will now review 15 more. This may get ugly. I may need security. Thing is, I’m not a sucker so I don’t need a bodyguard. Let’s get to it, shall we?:
Ayatollah “Cocoon” 7.20.2010
Ayatollah dropped his first instrumental project of the year on Nature Sounds called “The Quixotic” just a few short months ago that ended up our iTunes Pick Of The Week on Scrunchface Sundays. Now he drops 18 new slaps that clock in @ 55 minutes. If you’re a beat head & an Ayatollah it’s a must cop. Plus it’s only $6.99 @ Amazon. Recommended.
Capone N Noreaga “The War Report 2: Report The War” 7.13.2010
This project is executive produced by Raekwon and Busta Rhymes. The duo also executive produced “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2″ together. Only one problem, this ain’t a Raekwon album. While “The War Report” was an unadulterated classic, this album is not. I don’t care what those stans say all over messageboards & Twitter. Does this album suck? Not in the least. Did it bore me at times? Yes.
Was there any of the old CNN magic that made “The War Report” & “N.O.R.E.” classics? *Does the wavy hand thing* Three appearances from Raekwon, Busta Rhymes & The LOX all help to make this a better than average record. If you can get a good price for it, cop it. Just don’t expect a classic, though.
Curren$y “Pilot Talk” 7.13.2010
I can’t explain why I like Curren$y, y’all. Each effort of his gets better & better as time passes. Going back to his beginnings on Amalgam Digital I was a believer in Curren$y after his nonstop dropping of mixtapes circa 2008. “Pilot Talk” was mostly produced by none other than Ski Beatz.
Features include multiple appearances from Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Stalley, Devin The Dude, Mikey Rocks, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA & one of the most uninspired freestyled verses of Snoop Dogg’s career (I guess Damani, Bad Azz & Kurupt were all too busy to write one for him?). I thoroughly enjoyed “Pilot Talk” (although I’m not entirely sure even I know why). Recommended.
Erik L & 7even: Thirty “Rhyme Travelin’ EP” 6.20.2010
You love experimentation & abstract slaps? You a beathead? This features Swedish producer Erik L of Detroit CYDI collaborating with emcee 7even: Thirty in addition to Hezekiah & Stray and producers Paul Mac Innes & Fulgeance. I say hold off for a full length but check it out on Soularp Records here.
Freddie Joachim “Midway” 7.16.2010
Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me? Buy this album. It’s crazy from front to back. Highly recommended. Easily one of the best instrumental efforts of the year and that category is hella deep in 2010. Trust me on this. Listen here for proof. Dayum Gina! © Martin Payne
Ghetts “The Calm Before The Storm” 7.13.2010
If you’re a Ghetto/Ghetts fan and a Grime head like me you know all about The Movement’s top boy (some might pick Wretch 32 or Devlin but Ghetts has always been my favorite). This is his newest albumixtape (I wrote that right, mind you) “The Calm Before The Storm” before his debut major label album drops.
I have a gang of Ghetto albums going back to his classic “2000 & Life”. If you’re a Grime fan you should cop this, if you have no idea who this dude is Google him & YouTube him first. Wiley said he’s an angry K-A-N-O! Who are Wiley & Kano you ask? Next review…
Incise “Daily Methods” 6.2.2010
This is for those that love smooth, laid back, chilled out production that’s mostly Jazz based with vocals mixed in. If you enjoy Japanese producers like Michita, Nomak, Nujabes (R.I.P), Mabanua or Grooveman Spot then you should definitely check this out.
If you prefer boom bap beats or harder more aggressive head nod music then this album may bore you. I dug it but unless you’re into the mellow shit you can walk around to then you can pass on this one. If not, check for it. Major drawback? It’s 1500 Yen/16.99 USD on iTunes. Fuck!
Knxwledge “Skrawberries Funraisers Vol. 3″ 7.20.2010
If you’re a fan of Philly beatmaker Knxwledge’s slaps (including his excellent All City offering “Klouds”) then you need to at least hear this. Then reach down @ pay $10 for this album to support Klipmode. After hearing 22 tracks of this, how could you possibly refuse? I highly recommend “Skrawberries”. Don’t sleep on it.
Mweslee “Eurocarne EP” 5.4.2010
Mweslee steps up to the plate with an experimental, bass heavy, glitchy project that will satisfy those that are into this aesthetic. If you aren’t at least give it chance first before you toss the headphones off your head wondering why the music sounds like it’s attacking you. Recommended but only built 4 serious beatheadz.
Paul Wall “Heart Of A Champion” 7.13.2010
I thought that I’d completely hate this album but Paul Wall’s bars were better than I expected & in spots Travis Barker’s production was quite surprising. In other spots the album bored me to tears, especially when it made obvious attempts at radio airplay. Then there were tracks featuring Hip Hop luminaries such as Raekwon, Jay Electronica & Bun B but some questionable jawns featuring Jim Jones & Kid Sister (?). Kid Sister & Bun B? C’mon son! © Ed Lover
I’m mad I’m spending a second paragraph on this album just to write that I found it to be boring, uneven & meh overall. I can’t recommend this album in good conscience. Some of you may like it. Some of you may also be mentally retarded. Some of you may just be Paul Wall fans. The facts are some of you may also have genital herpes. Consult your physicians about treatment options.
Professor Green “Alive Till I’m Dead” 7.20.2010
Some of you only know Professor Green as the British emcee that battled Serius Jones & Jin in the past on Fight Klub. Few of you have ever heard any Professor Green material before. I have and I am not a fan of this poppy, radio friendly, watered down bullshit he’s doing on his major label effort. Green raps watered down bars about relationships, weed & whatever else while a vocalist laces the hook. Boo! He rapped over INXS’ “I Need You Tonight” for God’s sake! Michael Hutchence is probably rolling over in his grave right about now…
The bright spots on this album were few & far between. Too much pandering to fans for potential sales going on. It’s like I could hear the A&R in every song damn near. Professor Green is capable of a much better album than this. Don’t buy this. Then again the vast majority of my readers weren’t gonna buy it anyways because they didn’t know it even came out.
Rakaa “Crown Of Thorns” 7.20.2010
Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples has come to save my ears & soul after listening to those two shit sandwiches disguised as albums. “Crown Of Thorns” was an enjoyable listen (for me) from beginning to end. Production was tight throughout the duration of the entire project (handled by the capable team of Evidence, Sid Roams, The Alchemist, !llmind, El-P, Exile, DJ Babu & DJ Honda). Rakaa’s bars were on point and it features guests such as KRS One, Krondon, Aloe Blacc, Defari, Chali 2na, Evidence, Fashawn & Dumbfoundead in addition.
If you know Dilated Peoples then you know what to expect from Rakaa content wise. Dude can make 5 minute songs all by himself. Some people might not be able to handle this much substance but I welcome it. I highly recommend “Crown Of The Thorns”. Cop it here for only $7.99.
Ras Kass & Rhettmatic “A.D.I.D.A.S” 7.20.2010
Ras Kass & Rhettmatic went about making an album where the fans financed it & became executive producers of it. The goal? Raise $3,800 to make the album. Fans donated upwards of $13,000 and the result is “All Day I Dream About Spittin’”, yet another independent project made without an A&R forcing the artist to do features with people in order to make a radio hit. Everything about this album is natural & organic. Ras Kass doesn’t spit any watered down bars on here.
A.D.I.D.A.S. is damn near 2 hours long over 28 selections with features from a veritable cast of thousands including the 4 Horseman (HRSMN) Canibus, Kurupt & Killah Priest in addition to Chino XL, Skillz, Strong Arm Steady, Xzibit, Evidence, Royce Da 5’9″, Jean Grae, Roscoe Umali, Montage One, Mistah FAB, Jay Rock, Ice T & Nino Bless. I suggest you support an artist who gone through hell in this industry & come out intact. Recommended. Cop it here by pledging.
Rick Ross “Teflon Don” 7.20.2010
As you all know “Teflon Don” has been getting dickrode nonstop since it first leaked. It’s a good album even though Rawse couldn’t make it through a song by himself. That’s not very bawse of him. I was also unnerved by the No ID track that began with a prominent civil rights leader’s speech being the intro to Gusto, I mean Rawse’s song. Dude is NOT a revolutionary. Not at all. Unless, of course, if completely lying about your past & present is perceived by the public as a revolutionary action.
I heard the album. It doesn’t suck. The Raekwon track should’ve been the 12th song. Drake should’ve tried to get “Aston Martin Music” on “Thank Me Later”. I recommend “Teflon Don” even though I’ll never play it again & nothing bearing Rick Ross’ name will ever make it into my iPod Touch. One more review to go…
Stat Quo “Statlanta” 7.13.2010
I’ve been waiting to hear “Statlanta” since back when Antoine Walker & Paul Pierce were the only stars on the Boston Celtics roster. I’ve been waiting to hear “Statlanta” since before the Boston Red Sox every even won a World Series. Sha Money XL went off & started his own label in order to finally release this album. Production was handled by Stat Quo himself in addition to Sha Money XL, Boi 1da, S1 & Caleb, Needlz, Che Vicious, Mike Chav & others and boasts features from Talib Kweli, Devin The Dude, Marsha Ambrosius, Esthero & Raheem DeVaughn.
Overall, it’s a good effort consisting of 12 songs clocking in at just over 45 minutes. Nothing mind blowing and nothing that made me have to rewind over & over again as Stat Quo’s bars didn’t grab me all that much. It’s just a solid album. Unfortunately, I may forget it even dropped by the end of the Summer. You can check it out here.