Found On: “The Return” (FreEP)
Well, well, well…wasn’t Dizzie and Moon’s “The Return” a nice surprise. Prior to it’s release near the start of November, I was honestly re-adding Diz’ “Crooks & Castles”-presented mixtape “Soon You’ll Understand” (which dropped back in ’09) to my Itunes library. While “The Windsor” is not quite on the level of Diz’ “Impossible” from “Soon You’ll..”, it’s pretty darn close. Just wish Diz & Moon would drop a full-length proper LP already though.
Found On: “Conversation B” (Mello Music Group)
Wow! After taking a production hiatus, J-Zone lace the homie Has with one of the year’s slickest, most boisterous productions! Really, Zone took it back to yesteryear with his best Bomb Squad impression. Has already knows this, but with production on “Conversation B” delivered from the likes of Exile, Small Pro, Exile, Eric Lau, Apollo Brown, etc., “Conversation B” has a much “lighter” feel than the O.G., “In Case I Don’t Make It”. Often, when you get this many producers on one album, it often comes off rushed and uneven….not the case with “Conversation B”.
Found On: “The Kaos Effect”
Damn, the homie Illastrate killed it with this one! I remember last winter, I’d requested that Illastrate send me some newness to bump for his appearance on the now defunct, “Scrunchface Show”, among those loosies was the instrumental for Kaos’ “Did You Miss Me”, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear what came to fruition for Kaos’ “The Kaos Effect”. By the way, the album is bangin’ as Illastrate produced all but one of the album’s 13 cuts.
Found On: “Loosies” (Bandcamp)
While ADd+’s critically acclaimed “When Pigs Fly” wan’t necessarily my cup of tea, Black Milk on “Insomniac Dreaming”, which serves as a warm-up of sorts for the duo’s forthcoming EP, really opened my eyes to the duo of Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun, thanks to his production on “Insomniac Dreaming”, which sadly didn’t appear on the album. Word is, there’s more to come from the sessions with Black Milk, stay tuned…
Found On: “Honkey Kong” (Dirty Version Records)
I know a ton of cats that bitch about Apathy, Celph Titled, Demigodz, etc. All this talk ’bout, “Oh, I’m not into that type of rap” or “it doesn’t really stimulate me mentally”. Comedy, pure comedy, regardless of the subject matter found or lack thereof on “Honkey Kong”, this jawn is pure dope. The only beef that I have with “Honkey Kong” is it really plays more like a compilation than an actual album. I could only imagine how fresh “Honkey Kong” would have been had it been condensed to maybe just 12-15 cuts. This album is such a fun, refreshing listen, very similar to the feeling that Celph Titled & Buckwild’s “Nineteen Ninety Now” from 2010 gave me.
Found On: “Covert Coup” (Free Release)
So, in 2011, I’ve made it my goal to be more “open-mided”, musically. Even though I got off to somewhat of a late start, things all began to change in mid-April with the release/leak of “Covert Coup”. Originally created as retail LP to be released on the Warner Bros. imprint, “Covert Coup” was essentially released as a free digital download. Now, I’ve never been Curren$y’s biggest fan, lyrically, dude is on some “snooze button” ‘ish. However, the production on this LP is phenomenal, of which is solely handled by the Alchemist. To be honest, this album and it’s construction was very similar to which the fashion Alchemist linked up with Prodigy to craft the “Return Of The Mac” mixtape/LP. Again, you had to average emcees as the benefactors of some ridiculous production courtesy of the A-L-C.
Found On: “Dr. Lecter” (Fine Fabric Delegates)
A great selection to blast-off “Dr. Lecter”, “Moonstruck” was also the strongest production from the LP. The beats on the album were solely handled by Tommy Mas, a relatively unknown producer. The beats are very heavy on the samples and have a dusty feel to them, Mas almost comes off as a disciple of the Pete Rock production from the Golden Era. Coupled with Bronson’s charismatic, off the wall flow, the overall product turned out quite nicely, almost churning out one of the year’s best LP’s even…
Found On: “Monumental” (Duck Down)
Maaan, this is one of a few albums that I really wanted to dig, but had a hard time getting into over time. I mean, I really want to like “Monumental”, I really do. I don’t know what’s holding me back, Pete Rock’s production is steady and while they’ve noticeably declined over the last half decade, Tek & Steele are still somewhat lyrically relevant, but something is just missing and I can’t quite figure out what it is. Regardless, “How I Feel” with it’s clever vocal snippets from Jay-Z and Milk Dee is an eye-opening banger that also meshes the lyrical talents of Sean P and Bun B together quite admirably.
Found On: 10 Deep Presents “The Prestige”: Jam Boys Music
This jawn has pure “back to basics” flavor. While a little lengthy for some (clocking in at 5 minutes), “We Not Playing” is pure freestyle goodness as Black Thought, STS, Dice Raw, Truck North and P.O.R.N. simply murder the stripped down instrumental. The M.C. Lyte vocal sample was a nice touch as well. If you’re still sleepin’ on “The Prestige”, wake up, not only one of the year’s better mixtapes, but one of it’s better albums. I’ve actually conversed with cats that prefer “The Prestige” over “undun”, imagine that?