I’m back again reviewing 26 recent music releases. Why? Because I’m a glutton for punishment, that’s why. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else review as many albums as I do @ once as it can potentially wreak havoc on your mental state. I see why people sit with just one project at a time, digest it then write about it. Unfortunately for myself one won’t do and two is not enough for me, no (no Dilla). Just know that this review blog came at a real cost for me and regardless of how long a review may be I sat with each project & spent time ingesting each. Let’s go!
Belleruche “270 Stories” 10.11/12.2010
How can I describe Belleruche? Beats & a vocalist. I liked this more than the last Little Dragon album but not as much as I did the Quadron album. I would also place it slightly below the Bonobo & Berry Weight albums. If you miss that Portishead feel you should definitely cop “270 Stories”, though.
Big Remo & 9th Wonder “Entrapment” 9.28.2010
Classic 9th Wonder production in addition to Big Remo’s bars make for an excellent release that the overwhelming majority of Hip Hop listeners are gonna sleep on. It’s the neverending story. Now you should understand why this review blog carries the title it does. I’ve played selections from this album on the past few Scrunchface Shows and they go hard. Don’t sleep on “Entrapment”, you complain about where’s the Hip Hop at? It’s right HERE. Highly recommended.
Blame One “Endurance” 10.19.2010
San Diego Hip Hop legend Blame One has recorded several projects in past years but he was in retirement until Exile pulled him back into the game with 2009′s modern classic “Days Chasing Days”. After hearing “Endurance” for the past three weeks or so I honestly feel the need to thank Exile in person.
Once you hear those collected 16 tracks that clock in at just under an hour you’ll remember why you fell in love with Hip Hop in the first place. Between the bars and beats there’s no way I could say anything else but cop “Endurance” when it drops on the 19th. Look for Blame One on The Scrunchface Show this Tuesday.
Bruno Mars “Doo Wops & Hooligans” 10.5.2010
This album doesn’t suck if you’re into some Pop shit but it made my ears bleed something fierce. If I’m ever within shuriken throwing distance of Bruno Mars it’ll be a wrap for homie AND his pompadour. Word life. I didn’t enjoy this album one bit. You might, though. I say no but listen for yourselves…
Canibus “C Of Tranquility” 10.5.2010
Canibus rapped his ass off over an excellent lineup of producers. Unfortunately, Canibus fails to capture my imagination even though he rappity rapped all over the place. I’d love to get the instrumental LP as DJ Premier, The ARE, Jake One, DR. Period, Scram Jones, J Zone, Slopfunkdust, J.Bizness, Tha Bizness, etc. all put in work. Unless you’re a huge Canibus fan I can’t co-sign this jawn. Get the instrumentals, though.
Celph Titled & Buckwild “Ninety Ninety Now” 10.26.2010
The first time I heard the name Celph Titled was 1995 so it’s insane to think that this is his debut album. Dude dropped an epic compilation called ‘The Gatalog” consisting of 4 CD’s worth of material years ago but this album is all new material over classic production from the legend Buckwild.
Celph spits some raw bars over incredible production and guest appearances from Treach, FT, RA The Rugged Man, Apathy, Esoteric, Chino XL, Majik Most, Sadat X, Grand Puba, OC, AG, Diamond, Dutchmassive & Ryu (Styles Of Beyond) make this a must have album. Bloggerhouse approved. Cop it on the 26th.
Daedelus & Teebs “L.A. Series #6 10x10x6″ 10.5.2010
This All City release is a collection of 10 heat rocks that isn’t to be slept on for fans of beats. Cop it from Amazon for $8.99. Highly recommended.
The Foreign Exchange “Authenticity” 10.12.2010
If you loved their groundbreaking debut and “Leave It All Behind” then you will thoroughly enjoy “Authenticity”. It has everything you’ve come to love from FE. I got this album last week and didn’t want to tell anyone I had it because they’d beg to hear it (no exaggeration). After the past week the iTunes total plays numbers are lightweight stannish to say the least.
After Yazarah’s excellent offering a few months back it’s more than apparent that Foreign Exchange have mastered this modern Soul shit. The album is 11 songs clocking in at just under 40 minutes but it took me 2 hours to play it through the first time due to having to put several jawns on repeat. Cop it. Highly recommended. DAYUM.
Group Home “Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal” 9.28.2010
Uhh…Guru had to rap over Solar beats and he deserved so much better than this album as a tribute. I understand that Group Home wanted to honor him but this album is mediocre at best. This is coming from someone who spent money on the first two Group Home albums (and regards BOTH as classics) and owns every piece of vinyl they ever dropped whether DJ Premier produced it or not. Guest verses form Jeru Tha Damaja & Lord Jamar can’t stem the tide, either. RIP Keith “Guru” Elam.
Herma Puma “Synchromystic” 6.14.2010
I slept on this project back when it first dropped this summer but I was hit with it on a give & go via Twitter and here’s the review. This release is 17 tracks of dopeness. Simple and plain. It’s a damn shame heads don’t even know it came out. Check it out here and clean the wax out of your ears. What’s next?
Hezekiah “Conscious Porn” 10.12.2010
The last time I reviewed a Hezekiah LP it was on Poisonous Paragraphs when I gave his modern classic LP “I Predict A Riot” a mos def way back in 2007. Since then Hezekiah has been part of Johnny Popcorn with Tone Whitfield and dropped a Soul/R&B hybrid mixtape on the masses. Now Hezekiah is back at it with an ambitious concept album called “Conscious Porn” that’s a 180 from the serious Bush Era themes of “I Predict A Riot”.
This project is more laidback & fun than “I Predict A Riot” while featuring a diverse array of artists such as Bahamadia, Raheem DeVaughn, D.R.E.S The Beatnick, Peedi Crakk, Talib Kweli, Cody ChesnuTT & Aaron Livingston. If you’re a fan of music & people that make Hip Hop that pushes boundaries a la K-Os then love’ll love “Conscious Porn”. Cop it here.
JME “Blam” 10.4.2010
In recent years, major label Grime albums have been nothing more than Electro fests and full of pop rap with a singer on the hook to make it palatable for wider audiences and possibly the radio. Professor Green & Kano have recently pissed me off with their crappy albums. I have yet to listen to the Newham Generals’ “A Bag Of Grease EP” or anything else tagged “Grime” until I heard “Blam!”.
JME decided to put his 2nd LP out independently via Boy Better Know rather than sign with a major and dilute his sound. Thank God for that. This release singlehandedly saved me from declaring a moratorium on reviewing Grime albums anymore. Let’s hope that Devlin’s upcoming LP isn’t a gang of Pop bullshit too. Cop “Blam!” from the good people @ UKRecordShop.
Jneiro Jarel “Fauna” 9.28.2010
Beatmaker/producer Jneiro Jarel already made some noise this year with his previous release “Android Love Mayhem EP” and his Kindred Spirits LP is Brazilian Samba & Jazz inspired as well as infused. If you appreciate Afrobeat and Brazilian rhythms then you’ll definitely be feeling “Fauna” if not, then keep it moving.
Kno “Death Is Silent” 10.12/26.2010
Kno of Cunninglynguists solo project is pretty dark and emo. If you’ve been paying attention to the Cunninglynguists last few projects then this shouldn’t surprise you very much. The dark tone of the album shouldn’t be that offputting and if you take into account that Kno is deft at creating sonic soundscapes for albums that follow a singular theme/narrative over his entire career then you’ll realize that this is just another project that follows his modus operandi.
Kokayi “Robots & Dinosaurs” 10.5/19.2010
QN5′s Kokayi asked his son what he wanted for Christmas and his response was classic “Robots and dinosaurs”. Too bad he wasn’t born in the 80′s because pops could’ve copped him some DinoBots and it just would’ve been a wrap. In any event, Kokayi’s debut album is a diverse project that should be heard by a wide audience. If you prefer straight up boom bap rap this one might throw you but if you have evolved taste and adult ears you’ll recognize an excellent album when you hear it and “Robots & Dinosaurs” fits that bill. QN5 Music wins again.
The Left “Gas Mask” 10.26.2010
We’ve had this album over @ Bloggerhouse for almost a year now and we never tire of listening to it. When Apollo Brown hit us off with it it was like receiving an early Christmas present. Here we were, three guys that were nursing a classic album with no record deal yet. “Gas Mask” (in all of it’s previous incarnations) has been burning on our hard drives & iPods for the past 10 months and we wouldn’t allow another soul to touch it because we couldn’t wait to have the public hear this album and have the same feeling we did towards it.
Guest appearances from Marv Won, Invincible, Guilty Simpson, Paradime, Hassan Mackey, Mu, Finale and (potentially) Kool G Rap make this album even iller than you can imagine. Bloggerhouse approved. Cop “Gas Mask” on October 26th.
Lil’ Boosie “Incarcerated” 10.5.2010
This album is called “Incarcerated” because the listener feels like their trapped in their own personal hell as it plays. Well, at least I did. Lil’ Boosie’s album is so terrible that if the judge that sentenced him originally heard it they’d tack another 15 years on his bid. Under the fuckin’ jail. Don’t even think about buying this bullshit. I deserve a medal for even downloading the goddamn media advance, fuck even listening to it.
Lil’ Wayne “I Am Not A Human Being” 9.28/10.5.2010
Booooooooring! 10 songs. 4 Drake appearances. Toss in some Nicki Minaj, T-Streets & Jay Sean and what you get is one expensive coaster/doorstop/weed plate/frisbee. The first song on the album is called “Gonorrhea” for God’s sake, that should be the first clue you should leave it alone. Lil’ Wayne gets out of jail next month, too. Great. Just fuckin’ great. Fuck all 43 minutes and 10 songs of “I Am Not A Human Being”. I am not looking forward to hearing any more Lil’ Wayne material in the near (or far) future.
MindsOne “Self Reliance” 9.21.2010
Nothing unnerves me more than knowing that incredible albums like MindsOne’s “Self Reliance” are on the market and few people are even aware of it. I’ve played a few tracks off this album in the past couple of Scrunchface Shows and the reaction was overwhelming.
Production from luminaries such as Kev Brown, !llmind, J Rawls, Oddisee, Kon Sci, Dunc, etc, in addition to guest appearances Kev Brown, Seez Mics, Rync, Rob Swift, DJ Excess, J Smoke and DJ Spictakular all makes for audio Hip Hop heaven on wax. Beats, bars and cuts equal a must cop Hip Hop LP. Don’t sleep. Please.
Pimp C “The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones” 10.5.2010
Pimp C passed back in 2007 and he was more than just an underground king. His influence extended far beyond just Texas or even the South. With his passing we lost one of the best producers and vocalist/emcees of the past 15 years. All listening to this album did is make me realize that he’s gone and there won’t be another UGK album again. Guest appearances from Bun B, Drake, Chamillionaire, E-40, Young Jeezy, Jazze Pha, Rick Ross, Too Short & Slim Thug (in addition to a gang of other cats I hate KKK steez).
This album has it’s moments but some tracks just don’t work for me at all, especially the ones that have that Born Again/Biggie Duets feel to ‘em. That turned “The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones” into a big ball of maybe for me. Check it out here.
Roddy Rod “Cuba After Market 2″ 10.10.2010
Roddy Rod’s “Cuba After Market” was one of my favorite releases of 2007 and I’ve been waiting for 18 months for “Cuba After Market 2″. I can now say without any reservations that the sequel met and exceeded my expectations. This project is mostly instrumentals with a few appearances from vocalists like Wayna, Phonte Coleman, Carlitta Durant, Nicholas Ryan Gant and Eric Krasno over Roddy Rod’s incredible production. This is already one of my favorite releases of the year, expect to hear selections from it on the Scrunchface Show in coming weeks. Cop this now. Highly recommended.
7L & Esoteric “1212″ 10.12.2010
7L & Esoteric got back together in 2010 to drop what some see as a “return” album of sorts. In the past few years they’ve made some experimental material and expanded their sound but “1212″ is straight up beats and bars as Esoteric spits deft verses and drops metaphors and punchlines all over the place.
In addition, “1212″ offers guest appearances from Statik Selektah, Celph Titled, Inspectah Deck, Sadat X, Evidence, Alchemist, Ill Bill, Vinnie Paz & Reef The Lost Cauze. This is my favorite 7L & Esoteric release since 2004′s “DC2: Bars Of Death”. “1212″ comes highly recommended. Check it out.
Skyzoo & !llmind “Live From The Tape Deck” 10.5.2010
Skyzoo’s “The Salvation” was easily one of the best LP’s of 2009 as was his compatriot Torae’s collaboration with Marco Polo “Double Barrel”. Now Skyzoo (who previously collaborated with 9th Wonder) and !llmind have combined to bring the masses 13 tracks of raw beats and bars with the title “Live From The Tape Deck”. The result is one of the best Hip Hop efforts of 2010, hands down.
Skyzoo spits fire over the audio kerosene provided by !llmind and guest bars from Heltah Skeltah, Buckshot, Styles P, Torae, Rhymefest & Termanology help propel this album in a different air altogether. If you’ve been listening to the Scrunchface Show you’d know this already. Cop it, you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended.
Teebs “Ardour” 10.11/12.2010
The first time I ever heard Teebs was via a Mary Anne Hobbs mix back in early 2009. Since then, I’ve enjoyed his EP with Jackhigh “The Tropics EP”, his split 10″ with Daedelus “L.A. Series #6″ and this, his debut release via Brainfeeder “Ardour”. For beatheads this release is not only long awaited but necessary.
If you love Flying Lotus, Dibiase, Knxwledge, Daedelus, P.U.D.G.E., etc then you’ll need to have Teebs’ “Ardour” as well. 18 tracks of rawness that comes highly approved by myself. Look for some selections from it to get played on the Scrunchface Show in upcoming weeks as well. Cop it.
Von Pea “Pea’s Gotta Have It” 10.12/19.2010
I’ve been waiting on this album for more than a year now and once again I’m glad that the wait was well worth it. 17 tracks of pure brilliance in the vein of Donwill’s excellent LP “High Fidelity” that follows a single narrative regarding Von Pea’s life and experiences. Production is handled by the Lessondary Crew mainstays (Donwill, Von Pea, Brickbeats, AEON, Brizzo, etc.) and features them as well (Donwill, Ilyas, Che Grand, Spec Boogie, Elucid, Jermiside & AEON) in addition to Keisha Shontelle, Rapsody, Lee Sissing, Uzoy & Josie Stingray.
It’s impressive that the Tanya Morgan cats can make classics together & solo. The selections, versatility, bars, guest spots & production on “Pea’s Gotta Have It” make it yet another must have Hip Hop album. Cop it on Tuesday. Highly recommended. DO. NOT. SLEEP. ON. IT.
Waka Flocka Flame “Flockaveli” 10.5.2010
This album is an atomic bomb of ignorance. It’s a nuclear missile of misogyny. It’s completely devoid of anything of substance in my opinion. Does it go hard? Fuck yeah. Problem is it sounds like one long ass posse cut with the same boring ass beat. Of the 17 tracks that are hard to distinguish from each other there are 28 guest verses. 28.
This isn’t a compilation mind you, it’s a solo album (a debut album at that). Embarrassing. I can’t remember any bars from Flocka at all. In closing, “Flockaveli” is on long forgettable cacophony of coonery. A landfill is too good for it, strictly incinerator status.
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