Archive for 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007

Lupe Fiasco The Cool [review]

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Given my review of Lupe Fiasco's debut album, it might not even make sense, me attempting to review this, but I always feel I should give artists a second chance. And hell, most new-school Hip-Hop heads love his shit, right?

"Baba Says Cool For Thought"
Yeah I'm not really into the spoken word intros, especially ones as predictable as this one.

"Free Chilly (ft. Sarah Green & Gemstones)"
A short tribute to one of his homies locked down, I believe. I can respect that.

"Go Go Gadget Flow"
The LAST thing this LP needed was a wack double-time rap over a weak beat. The drums in this sound better in Timbaland productions, and those strings lull you to sleep...

"The Coolest"
Damn this one just plods along as well. I guess this is the introduction to the two pieces of this "concept" album's puzzle, Streets & Game. The fact that the whole plot is known before this drops, as it is everyday, just leaves tracks that extend the narrative as a paint-by-numbers snoozefest.

"Superstar (ft. Matthew Santos)"
I can't get into this at all. From the whiteboy chorus to the simplistic melody. I actually leave the room when this video comes on. Just not something I can even fuck with on a "listen to this right quick" level.

"Paris, Tokyo"
Lupe gets his Q-Tip... oh wait, scratch that. This beat sounds mad Midnight Marauders-ish... forget it. This beat knocks, and Lupe raps about his chick and travelling. I'd like this to be a single so I could get the instrumental. Dope beat, and that "wherever I go/she goes" is sly.

"Hi-Definition (ft. Snoop Dogg & Pooh Bear)"
What a waste of a Snoop cameo. The low-end on this one knocks but its just a mash of electro bullshit and trunk rattlin' fuzzy bullshit. Just not what's hot at all.

"Gold Watch"
I love this beat off the rip. The whole female vox in that shit, all start-stop, that's what's on. I even chuckle at Fiasco's lines about Street Fighter II and such, but for the materialism/hypebeast posturing of the rhymes, the chorus makes me wish he played up the whole "fly nigga with a fancy/average chick" angle he hints at.

"Hip-Hop Saved My Life (ft. Nikki Jean)"
This sounds like the biography of Soulja Boy or some other MySpace rapper who got put on in 2007. The odd bit is that, while Lupe disses Tribe and other backpackin' niggas, he spits just like them, not just sonically, but in his intricate lyrics. Why diss niggas whose style you revamp?

"Intruder Alert (ft. Sarah Green)"
Yawn. Very downtempo beat with a sleepy piano loop. You'd think, for someone who is being championed as the nigga with the double entendres and dope, forward-thinking flows, that he'd be able to craft a story that wasn't so damn easy to see miles away.

"Streets On Fire"
Hah. I love the straight-forward amen in this one. Best part of an otherwise blah track. I can understand wanting to not sound like any other nigga, but does that mean you shouldn't sound dope? I could see some wild video for this getting overlooked and underplayed very soon.

"Little Weapon (ft. Bishop G & Nikki Jean)"
Lil' niggas got gats. Lupe raps as a lil' nigga with a gat. The beat sounds like Nick Cannon from Drumline. Next.

"Gotta Eat"
Hearing Lupe say "if I see this nigga, I'm gonna kill him" just sounds so fake. He should have gotten someone else to say shit like that. He sounds like someone's "enlightened" brother talking that 5 percent shit. Only a lil' too aggressively.

"Dumb It Down (ft. Gemstones & Graham Burris)"
Yes I like the rhymes on this one. A definite rewind on this one, just for the rhymes. Lupe almost gets his Jay-Z on, which is funny. For Jay, this would be a sub-par track, but for Lupe, it's the damn highlight of the disc.

"Hello/Goodbye (Uncool) (ft. UNKLE)"
If this were any other Hip-Hop blog, I'd make some comment about this being "that Rock shit". Nah, UNKLE is dope, this track is just fucking wack.

"The Die (ft. Gemstones)"
The death... of The Cool. Given the scatterbrained feel of this "narrative", I had no idea the Cool was alive, or kicking. Another double-time flow. I hate him singing. I hate him flowing with the 80s synth. Hearing someone spit "any nigga" on that 'double time' shit is funny sounding though. Jay did this better back in the day, though.

"Put You On Game"
Blah. Dude rappin' as bad shit. Come on, I can't even listen to this, it's like a bad after-school special.

"Fighters (ft. Matthew Santos)"
It sounds like someone is eating Pringles to the beat. Matt Santos, get the fuck out of my earpiece. The beat putters on like a heartbeat, and I wish it would just flatline...

"Go Baby (ft. Gemstomes)"
...but it doesn't. Dude tries to get his Gnarls Barkley on, but doesn't realize you need a good producer to pull off something that creative. This chorus sounds like a Gi Phi Gi chant.

Go ahead, call me a hater, but I don't believe the hype. You call him the future, I call him a relick of the worst parts of the Native Tongues era. All thought, no real funk. Very good concepts, wack ways of delivering them. Nice influential sounds (he must have a dope CD collection), but no real idea in how to bridge those futuristic sounds with a thumpin' backbeat. A narrative that would have fit better in the hands of someone like Prince Paul. I mean, "The Cool" was one of the better tracks off of Food & Liquor; why take that and abandon it for the majority of the disc? Out of 18 cuts, barely half of them keep the story going. And the ones that do might as well have been spoken-word interludes to keep us involved.

I have no reason to hate on Lupe; hearing "Gold Watch" or "Dumb It Down", I know the nigga can make hot tracks. Sadly, like I felt with his debut, he seems to drop the ball and fall onto tired ways of telling his tale. I've heard all of this before, and no matter how effortless his rhymes come to him, all of that talent does not equal a stellar disc. This is barely a repeat play for me, and aside from 3 or 4 cuts, the rest of this exits the MP3 player, early.

rock the dub gives The Cool 2 stars out of 5. For all of his accolades and "cool", this one putters on top of the backs of his fans. Without them, you'd be asking "Lupe who?"

Burn Deez: "Gold Watch", "Dumb It Down", "Paris, Tokyo"

The Cool is in stores December 18th.

related links:

rock the dub radio: episode 011

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EZ. This show was simple: first hour was going to feature some Ghostface, with the 2nd half being a Pimp C tribute. I'm not the largest UGK fan, but in his death, I've discovered some favs (big up Enigmatik on that). Check it out, there's some keepers in here:

rock the dub radio: episode 011



(direct MP3 download)


01/intro
02/Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon & Cappadonna "Daytona 500"
03/Ghostface Killah ft. Beanie Sigel & Styles P "Toney Sigel (AKA Barrel Brothers)"
04/Saigon ft. Swizz Beatz & Jay-Z "C'mon Baby (Remix)"
05/The ARE & Dem Damb Jacksons ft. Roc C "When You're Down"
06/Oh No ft. Wildchild "WTF"
07/AvE "Blue Magic Freestyle"
08/Joell Ortiz ft. Novel "Duffle Bag Boy (Remix)"
09/Raymond Scott interlude
10/J Dilla "Lightworks"
11/Busta Rhymes "Step Up"
12/Jay Electronica "A Prayer for Michael Vick & T.I. (We Love You Family)"
13/Mickey Factz "I'm Sean (50 Shots More)"
14/Quest M.C.O.D.Y. "Fade Back"
15/Barak Yalad "Lion"
16/Ghostface Killah "Wise (In The Rain)"
17/Menace interlude
18/Ghostface Killah ft. Method Man & Masta Killa "Killa Lipstick"
19/Ghostface Killah "The Struggle"
20/Pimp C interview pt. 1
21/Pimp C ft. P.O.P & Lil' Keke Vs. ANS "Knockin' Doorz Down (DJ Nappy THUGSTEP Refix)"
22/UGK ft. T.I. "Hit The Block"
23/T.I. ft. UGK "Front Back"
24/UGK "Murder"
25/Pimp C interview pt. 2
26/UGK ft. Rick Ross "Cocaine"
27/UGK "It's Supposed To Bubble"
28/UGK "Ridin' Dirty"
29/UGK ft. Scarface "Still Ridin' Dirty"
30/Pimp C interview pt. 3
31/UGK ft. Slim Thug, Vicious & Middle Fingaz "Take Tha Hood Back"
32/Jay-Z ft. UGK "Big Pimpin'"
33/Pimp C ft. Suga & Mannie Fresh "Cheat On Yo Man"
34/UGK "Pregnant Pussy"
35/UGK ft. OutKast "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)"
Enjoy this one. The last RTDRadio of the year is coming. I'm going to try and feature 2007-exclusive cuts.

RSS / podcast / email me tracks! / one love.

The Wire Prequels

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It's kind of nice being home on the weekends. I was poppin' through my HBO On Demand yesterday afternoon and discovered these gems. They are lil' scenes from the pasts of some of your favorite characters from The Wire, letting you know that they have been the way they are for a long time. For the true fan, these will bring a smile to your face:

"1962: Young Proposition Joe"

Homeboy has been making deals for the LONGEST!

"1985: Young Omar"

True street code.

"2000: Bunk & McNulty"

LOL!

The final season premieres on the 6th of Jan., 2008 at 9PM.

Mixtape Sunday: Vietnam Vol. 1

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From the crew that brought you Mickey Factz and "The Supra Song", here's a dope new mixtape from GFCnewyork and Steve-O: Vietnam Vol. 1. Download it while you peep the tracklist:

1. The Supra Song- GFC All Stars
2. Creator- Santogold
3. Face The Gun- Kenna
4. Mars- Kelis
5. Pop The Glock- Uffie
6. Talk Yo Ish- Mickey Factz
7. Go Baby- Lupe Fiasco
8. Day 'N' Nite- Kid Cudi
9. Bermuda Love Triangle- Addiquit
10. Gold And A Pager- The Cool Kids
11. Nike Boots- Wale
12. Hero- Thelonious Kapps
13. I Aint Something- *CurT@!n$*
14. Everybody Is A Star- N*E*R*D
15. The Jimmy Choo's- Chester French
16. What It Look Like- Spankrock
17. Thrilla- Villains


On That Leak: "On Sum Chrome"

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Three 6 Mafia ft. UGK "On Sum Chrome": I just got the blast on this one. Looks like this is the last track Pimp C laid vocals on before his untimely death. Got that nice vibe to it, really hard cut. I also like how Bun B managed to write a rap using the term "tomfoolery". Bump this HARD for Pimp C.

You guys should do yourselves a favor and peep this UGK tribute video.

Shouts to FUTURE STAR for this one.

LOST Season 4 Trailer

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Don't ask me what the hell this is about. Everything flashed by so quickly. Popwatch has their own thoughts, though.



I saw on G4's The Feed that Season 4 of LOST was to premier on Jan. 31st, 2008, in the time slot formerly occupied by Grey's Anatomy. Holla.

Whopper Freakout

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I took Friday off, and in the last two days, I've seen this commercial about 4080 times. This is such a good idea, in terms of the sheer ease it took for people to show their love/appreciation for the Whopper. Shit, I want one right now.



I should be getting paid to post this - or at least getting a Whopper.

Friday, Dec. 14th 2007 playlist

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icy weather don't stop the leaks...

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Did you guys miss Stones Throw Podcast #27? Peanut Butter Wolf dropped the Badd Santa's After Party mix, and it's lover-ly.
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Did you guys miss Dub Floyd & Wally Sparks' Hip-Hop Dock-Trine 2 mixtape? This official mixtape for The Boondocks is 2 discs long and chock full of choice Hip-Hop. Do yourself a favor and grab it, early!

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DJ Cable out of the UK sent me a mix he entered into a CK-One competition (he placed 3rd), and it'd got a dope tracklisting, including the fucking Fun Lovin' Criminals AND Arctic Monkeys? Grab this NOW, and peep the tracklisting:

01. Lil' Kim Intro
02. DJ Cable - Ya'll Know Me (Interlude)
03. MIMS Vs. Collie Buddz - This Is Why I Come Around (DJ Cable Blend)
04. Timbaland Vs. Dizzee Rascal - The Old Skool Way I Are (DJ Cable Blend)
05. Sexy Back Routine
06. 45 King - The 900 Number
07. Fun Lovin' Criminals - Scooby Snacks
08. Gnarles Barkley - Crazy
09. Fabolous - Young'n (Holla Back)
10. Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
11. Beenie Man - Hmm Hmm

Dope shit.

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Peep out this mix Paul Devro did for MAD DECENT and is in the current FADER 50 issue:

Kid Cuti - Day & Night (Jokers of The Scene Remix) {Fool's Gold}
KW Griff - Phil Collins
Remi Nicole - Rock 'N' Roll (Lee Mortimer Remix)
Roundtable Knights - Freaks of Desire {Arcade Mode}
Nifty - Nifty {Atlantic Jaxx}
Jackie Chain - Blinded By The Light {Paper Route Records}
Diplo - I'm So Hood Dubplate
MC Creu - Danca Do Creu
MC Nemen - Come Queto
Katalina - DJ Girl
DJ Sega - Bodies Hit The Floor {Hollertronix}
Blaqstarr - My Smacked Bitch {Hollertronix}
DJ Sega - Dig {Hollertronix}
Trip - Who's That (Jack Beats Remix) {Ahead of The Game}
Kissy Sell Out - Harriet (Kissy's Special Annie Mac Edit feat. Bolt
Action Five)
Pomomofo - Back at the Club (Boy 8-Bits Emotional Hardcore Remix)
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke - Defender {Vulture}
Crookers - Purple Lens Game
Odyssey - Who {WWA}


Block rockin' beats.

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I also got passed this mixtape: Dub MD Presents FARO "Clean Up Season". I haven't heard of either of them, but the e-mail says this is "UK rap with a difference", which is mad intriguing. Check the tracklist:

01. Intro
02. Main Event
03. My 1st Whip
04. Pay Day
05. Alrite Wiv U (feat. Elva)
06. Hood Shit (feat. Juelz Santana & Lil Wayne)
07. E5 2 M16
08. Motivation
09. Time Machine (feat. Dels & English)
10. Sweet Nothings (Skit)
11. More To See (feat. Kid British)
12. No Stoppin
13. With No One (Skit)
14. Real Talk
15. We Got Next? (feat. Panama)
16. Phone Call (Skit)
17. Everywhere I Go (feat. G)
18. The Ends Report
19. What I See (feat. Delta Force, Brux & Angel)
20. Interlude
21. The One For Me (feat. Joe Gee)
22. Brux De Ville
23. Everyday Fresh (feat. G & Lefty)
24. Stage Show (feat. Sizzla)
25. Pure Love
26. Outro

Let me know what you think.

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Peep this week's FYLP over at DPD for the latest DNB mixes from Sistem, Serum, NC-17 and the Bachelors of Science.

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Finally, Tanya Morgan's Von Pea hooked up his own American Gangster remix project entitled American Angster. Grab it and enjoy!

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This week's final thought is a video from the Oh Word/Sit Down Stand Up show STAND UP (peep the vids from Donny Goines and Hired Gun I posted yesterday). Gotta love crowd participation:

Cause "On The Run"


Have a good weekend. Northeastern US, get your flannel bedsheets out.

2Pac The Best Of 2Pac [review]

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2Pac "Best Of" compilations nowadays are a weird thing. With the crazy strings of unauthorized bootleg releases, as well as the sheer volume of NEW material that gets released every couple of years, this has to be one of the worst tasks to embark on. But, 'Pac's legend lives on, and this double CD tries to explore the duality of Pac's short stay on this planet: the Thug and the Life.



This disc starts out right, with a gangsta party. Snoop Dogg drops in for "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted", dropping that proper G-Funk. The funny thing about tracks like this is just the fact that the whole concept was in the chorus, but the actual lyrics would go everywhere. Pac would go from shouting out Snoop to just going off on people trying to hold him down. Nice intro to his THUG side. We also touch on the original "California Love", which is one of the biggest tracks in the Death Row days of Pac's life. Another funked out ride, Dr. Dre and Pac show appreciation to Cali as well as giving Roger Troutman (RIP) his spot in the limelight once again. Pac's verse on this is one of my personal favs, he just attacks the track with a smooth fury. "So Many Tears" is vintage Pac, but seems weird. It's almost a compassionate kind of thug on this one, acknowledging his past, but still unafraid to shed a few tears for his homies. "I Ain't Mad At Cha" is on the same level, but jacks the melody Blackstreet did, which was cool for the time but doesn't seem to age that well 10, 11 years after the fact. I am so glad that "Hail Mary" was included: this was the anthem off of the Makaveli CD, aiming his darts at noone and everyone, over a thick-bottomed beat. "How Do U Want It" is the joint you put on during a party full of liquored up females and niggas, everyone trying to get their swerve on. I'm not quite sure why a remix of "Dear Mama" is included on this THUG disc, or why Anthony Hamilton is on it, but my Contemporary Soul moms would love this smoothed out acoustic guitar jawn. I have to give it up, though: the old Pac, first album Pac, was my shit, so the inclusion of "Trapped" is such a blessing. This is that concious Pac, the one who understood the bullshit and was showing his Panther roots. I just wish this THUG disc was a bit more thugged out.


The LIFE disc starts out with a track entitled "Definition Of A Thug Nigga", which just seems super out of place. When something is so regimented, one disc being THUG and another being LIFE, you'd figure the lines were drawn pretty sharply. Trick Daddy shows up for the underwhelming "Still Ballin'" remix. I'm just not impressed by the beat on this one at all. "Never Call You Bitch Again" (with Tyrese) means well, but seems like a reason to include an acoustic guitar-driven beat to the disc. They should have stuck with "Thugz Mansion" and just kept the beauty and originality of that singular. This one does what Master P wished he did with "Is There A Heaven For A Gangsta". "Dopefiend's Diner" is boring and not even interesting enough to have been included on this disc. Again, that classic Pac sound is the shining moment, with "Brenda's Got A Baby" sounding more prominent today than it did 15 or so years ago, as does the uplifting funk of "Keep Ya Head Up". "When I Get Free" is the voice of that disgruntled nigga who is not rehabilitated, trying to get back into society to get back on top. One of the sleepers of this set. That "Until The End Of Time" remix is predictable and not really necessary - the original does the job.

At the end of the day, neither of these discs are perfect. They definitely paint great pictures of Pac's life, and the duality of his character, but the lines seem blurred, leading to cuts you'd assume were more THUG being on the LIFE disc, and vice versa. At the end of the day, though, 2Pac is a thug poet, a lost griot, and one of the dopest entities the Hip-Hop game had the pleasure to be blessed with. His voice is more necessary than ever nowadays, and the bright spots on these discs showcase this.

The Best Of 2Pac Part 1: THUG - B-
The Best Of 2Pac Part 2: LIFE - B+


Burn Deez: "Trapped", "Thugz Mansion", "Breanda's Got A Baby", "Definition Of A Thug Nigga", "Hail Mary", "So Many Tears"

2Pac's The Best of 2Pac (discs 1 and 2) are available NOW!

related links:
2Pac Legacy.com

Donny Goines @ Stand Up (video)

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Donny Goines performing "Never Let My Talent Die" LIVE at Stand Up. This is a tribute to the song's producer, and good friend of Donny Goines, Disco D. Check it:



RIP Disco D. Interestingly on point comment from the Oh Word post on this vid:

Quick aside… Have you ever noticed the phrase “that’s hip-hop”, similarly to “it is what it is”, is basically another way to say “man, this totally sucks”?
Truer words have never been spoken.

The Observation Deck (13th Dec. 2007)

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That's enough news for you injuns to digest for right now. Catch me on the flip.

Hired Gun @ Stand Up (video)

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Over at Oh Word, Rafi posted this video of Hired Gun performing "Rappers Are In Danger". More videos of the STAND UP event are to be coming over the next week.



Lovin' this. Can't wait for the rest of the vids to be made available.

PS: Big up HG for rockin' a Jason Kidd jersey.

Too Hood To Be True?

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Rizoh posted this video over at TRU, as now the situation surrounding the Criminals Gone Wild DVD is now coming to a head, and the validity of the whole damn thing is in question! The one nigga who robbed and shot/shot at numerous heads in this documentary (mockumentary?) is now saying that everything was staged:



Donny Goines commented on this, and says that he believes the whole damn thing is fake, just based on the reactions alone, which I can definitely see: there's one scene where dude walks into this guy he is cool with's apartment, with a fucking cameraman, and dude is like yeah sure come on in... they end up sticking them up, and find a nice chunk of weed. Now come on. If I'm even THINKING about weed, I'm not letting some nigga I don't know, who has a camera, all up in the spot like it's peace.

Stranger things have happened, but it's kind of insulting that this nigga is making dumb loot (1000s of DVDs sold, at roughly $27 a pop?), and the shit ain't even real. There's more hood DVDs like this out there anyways...

Shouts to Enigmatik for picking the iller title for this post.

On That Leak: "Imagine That"

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Joulz Il "Imagine That" (prod. by Entity Starr): my dude Joulz is still unsigned, and he is every BIT of a problem. Ill lyrics, wicked flow, hot hot beats from the one like Entity. Dallas, Texas has a beast on their hands, and is making moves right now. Hop up on this one and get involved, for serious.

Hit up his MySpace page for more info and audio.

Dub Floyd & Wally Sparks present: Hip-Hop Dock-Trine Two

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Another illRoots.com exclusive! This is the newest/latest OFFICIAL mixtape of The Boondocks. Two discs of that FIRE! Check it out:


Hip-Hop Dock-Trine 2: The Official Boondocks Mixtape
Disc 1ne (Hall of Justus Edition) (download)
Hosted by Little Brother & Skyzoo


Hip-Hop Dock-Trine 2: The Official Boondocks Mixtape
Disc 2wo (Thugnificent Edition) (download)
Hosted by Metaphor the Great

The full tracklistings are up at illRoots, and feature a laundry-list of dope Hip-Hop acts, such as Chaundon, Asheru, David Banner, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Dres, Cormega, Amanda Diva, Tanya Morgan, Barak Yalad, NYOIL and a whole host of others. Just a beautiful set of discs. Grab this, watch the shows, and appreciate the whole art of creative Black artists.

RIP Ike Turner

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I'm no fan of woman beaters, or coke heads, but I will send condolences to the family of Ike Turner, who passed away at the age of 76. He is a true ying and yang in Rock & Roll (word to "Rocket 88", boo to spousal abuse), and a Rock & Roll HOFer. Rest in peace, dog.

"Ike Turner was the King of the Woman Beaters, until OJ took his title..." -Chris Rock

Feds Takin' Pictures

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I first caught wind of this via illRoots: Criminals Gone Wild, a DVD that had you riding shotgun with real thugs while they robbed, shot at, and engaged in other nefarious conduct. I was alarmed, and intrigued (I'll admit it), even asked the filmmakers for a promo copy for review (I was turned down, told to buy the jammy when it came out, which I never did). In all of my conversations about this, one question remained: aren't the cameramen essentially accomplices? Well, based on this news piece, it looks like the NYPD has gotten invovled, due to victims who found out about the DVD and were trying to contact the filmmakers with more info on the suspects.

What's even odder is the original trailer was banned from YouTube (due to the excessive violence, I guess?), but the feds weren't tipped off then. We wanna protect the bigwig RIAA/MPAA industries when it comes to copyright, but when human lives are at stake, we are on some "sweep it under the rug" shit? I'm callin' foul on the whole lot of you.

BONUS: Shouts to WSHH for streaming the entire DVD.

Seinfeld Gets Pissed

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You gotta love it. Jerry Seinfeld was on Larry King, and King seemed kind of confused. He didn't know if Seinfeld got canceled or if Jerry left the show. Jerry is noticeably pissed, but holds it down:



I'm not the biggest Seinfeld fan, but I like how he didn't fly off the handle.

On That Leak: "Work To Do (Obama '08)"

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Shouts out to Kidz In The Hall. Not only have they recently linked up with Duck Down, they've produced an anthem in support of Barack Obama's Presidential campaign.

Kidz In The Hall "Work To Do (Obama '08)" (zShare dload/stream link)

Here's some wise words from Naledge, AKA 1/2 of KITH:

Having followed Obama’s political career from its early stages, Kidz In The Hall’s MC Naledge is very excited to be a part of the movement for change. “From Chicago’s Southside, to The University of Pennsylvania, Kidz In The Hall has always promoted positive change in American communities through social action. The message at the forefront of this soulful anthem is that no one should settle for less than success, because each one of us has the ability to change this world for the better. “Work To Do” is not necessarily a song that was meant as a “campaign song,” but more so a philosophy on how to approach life in general. I think much of what is wrong in my community is that hope has been lost by many of my peers. What many fail to realize is that one person can control his or her own destiny, it just requires due diligence and the ability to fight adversity. I happen to think that Barack Obama embodies everything that is promising for the future of our nation and represents the hope I sought to speak on in the song. Being from Chicago, I have seen his rise to prominence first hand and I can honestly say that I believe he is the best option for our next president.”
Word life. They've also shot an official video for this anthem. Check it out:



There's also some making-of footage HERE, if you are down to see the behind the scene work. Shouts out to KITH for this; I was just thinking the other day, in less than a year we will be voting the next President of the US into office, and with the right push, we can get Obama in there. Let's do it, people!

Wu-Tang Clan 8 Diagrams [review]

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I was so devoted to the Wu. I remember, like 1994-1997, I was a devoted student of the Wu-Tang teachings, as were many of my peers. I bought (!!) and studied their output, and a lot of my pre-adult years were spent finding myself in a RZA beat. Now, in 2007, they've come back, formed like a discombobulated Voltron, and delivered 8 Diagrams. Many of my peers of today have said their peace... now here's mine:

"Campfire"
This starts out with something I haven't heard in a while: kung fu samples. I'm not too keen on the singing, though. It's not bad, just kind of out of place. Method Man def. sounds like he's back on his grind, even if he is dropping Timbaland/Timberlake lines. This beat has a few things going on - that drone on the under is dope as hell.

"Take It Back"
Best track on the album, that's my word. It's also pretty frustrating, considering that it's track 2. The chorus is ass, but it definitely explains the track: they took it back, forreal. I love the cuts in this one, even if it doesn't sound live. Oh shit, Easy Mo Bee co-produced this. No wonder. And is it just me, or does Raekwon use this flow every other track?

"Get Them Out Ya Way Pa"
It's kind of awful that the best thing about a track is the chorus. This track is straight weird, with the odd bassline going on in there. Masta Killa's verse fits perfectly: both his verse and the track are undeniably Hip-Hop, but on that offbeat, off-kilter shit.

"Rushing Elephants"
I love the title, but I do not like the beat. RZA's verse is wack, he keeps repeating the same words, and the ones he does not repeat, are so predictable I feel like I'M the one smoking the honey dipped blunts (and sippin' on cranbewwy fwoot jooce). As a matter of fact, GZA's verse was sub-par as well.

"Unpredictable (ft. Dexter Wiggles)"
WTF is a Dexter Wiggle? Deck always sounds hungry when he gets his rhymes on. This one has an interesting string work on this, but that guitar feedback shit is just not working for me. I also don't know what the hell is going on. Is the track supposed to mirror the title? If so, that's mad predictable. That hard guitar shit has no business on this track, it's like forced leftfieldism.

"The Heart Gently Weeps (ft. Erykah Badu, Dhani Harrison & John Frusciante)"
This is the track that sampled the Beatles, only not really. I had this on on the busride home and fell asleep. All three verses are dope, but I'm not really into this at all. That muted guitar reminds me of Carlos Santana for some odd reason, which is not something I want on my Wu-Tang plate. This sounds like it's trying to appeal to the Adult Contemporary crowd, which again, is just not necessary. What Wu fan is trying to hear this?

"Wolves"
OK so ODB smoked crack, and he died. To replace him, they bring in George Clinton. And it sucks. His contribution would sound nice on a P-Funk record. The beat isn't that bad, though. Not an all-out banger, but I like that looped vocal in the beat. For a 4 minute, 16 second track, this shit feels like its 9 minutes long.

"Gun Will Go (ft. Sunny Valentine)"
This definitely has potential. The guitar sounds like a Portishead loop. As a matter of fact, the whole thing sounds like a Portishead track. That chorus sucks. A lot. The track is called "Gun Will Go", but dude keeps saying "gunna go gunna go!". Mef comes correct as well.

"Sunlight"
I had high hopes based on the kung fu flick sample in the beginning. I thought I was going to be transported to 1993. Nope, I get some Bobby Digital sounding bullshit. RZA, verses like these sounded out of place on Gravediggaz albums - what makes you think we need THIS!?!?

"Stick Me For My Riches"
God awful track, which Mathematics co-produced. Damn near the first minute and a half is singing? Next!

"Starter (ft. Sunny Valentine & Tashmahogany)"
I love the loop in this, that odd horn thing. This beat is one of the better jawns, really heady RZA head-stash flavors. I hate the chorus, though. First time I've heard GZA go at some sex rhymes in the longest.

"Windmill"
The strangest beat out of the bunch... that random loop sounds familiar as hell. I swear its a Portishead loop... but its from Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang" (I guess that Kill Bill shit is good for more than a quick buck). Raekwon sounds dope over the beat, but it's Masta Killa who sounds the most at-home. I'd love to hear him do a spoken word LP over the RZA's most off-center tracks.

"Weak Spot"
I hate when RZA jacks those common drumbeats and tries to be all innovative on top. This is boring and lazy. GZA comes fluid on this one, I love it.

"Life Changes"
The Dirt McGirt tribute track, sans Ghostface. I hate that he isn't included. I wished something like this would have dropped around the time he died, and not years later. I also do not like how they pushed this release a month after it was supposed to. Such a bad omen. And why does the Genius wonder what ODB would say on a track that speaks on his passing?

"Tar Pit"
U-God sounds weak on his verse, like his style is being 2 steps behind the beat, like that's hot (and wtf is "dopium"?). This track would have sounded iller with lighter, sampled drums. That hard drum doesn't work for the sweet sounds in here.

"16th Chamber (ODB Special)"
I love how this bonus track is two recycled verses (one from Meth, one from ODB) over a vintage beat. Fun, but I don't see the point.

Which is how I feel about the majority of this album. What the hell is the point? There's no running theme, no common thread to link these tracks together. All members seem to be spitting about nothing in particular, whether its hard or OK. The best tracks on this album wouldn't even make a dope EP. I love the new-found vigor in the rhymes of Meth and Deck, and Masta Killa shines over a ton of the weirdest, most out-there productions on this set, but as a whole, this CD is one hot ghetto mess. With Birkenstocks on.

rock the dub gives 8 Diagrams a 2.75 out of 5. It pains me to say it, but this could have been left on the wayside. I won't say Rae and Ghost were right, but the production leaves a lot to be desired. And for as abrasive and in-your-face as some of the rhymes are, you'd think the sonics would match them. Maybe next go 'round?

Burn Deez: "Take It Back", "Life Changes", "Windmill", "Starter"

Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams is in stores December 11th, 2007. Hit up the Wu-Tang Mega Store to purchase this CD, as well as other Wu-related music and merch.

related links:
Wu-Tang Clan on MySpace
Wu-Tang Corp.

Portishead LIVE at ATP (Dec. 7th 2007)

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Shouts to dude on DOA who linked these clips. The assumption is that these are new tracks, for I haven't heard them. No word on the names, though. Get invovled:





The Observation Deck (10th Dec. 2007)

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expect to see more of this in the coming year...

  • The Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 in favor of reducing crack offense sentences. I'm telling you, the blocks are about to get dumb hot.
  • Michael Vick has been sentenced to 23 months for funding the fighting of dogs. With good behavior, my guess is he'll be out in half that time.
  • Imeem has lucked out and is inking a deal with Universal Music to allow users to listen to UMG artists' music for free.
  • Over at HYSMD, we recently covered Jamaal Tinsley's recent late-night gun battle in Indy. What a moron.
  • The details for Pimp C's funeral are up at XXL.
  • Shouts out to this nun who had the balls to ban a list of words, and just to get her point across, read the ENTIRE list, curse words and all, to the kids.
  • Venezuela has it's own time zone. They set their clocks back a whole 30 minutes, in some shit that just sounds like "yo we gonna do this because we can".
  • Tonight's the big three-hour WWE Raw 15th Anniversary show. Tune in to see which stars will be poppin' in (Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin will be there, and I even heard a rumor that 2 Cold Scorpio will be in the house).

Put that in your crack pipe and geek out.

"Cookies & Milk"

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Here's a clip from The Perfect Holiday, which is in theaters this Wednesday (Dec. 12th), and stars Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Katt Williams, Charlie Murphy, Terrance Howard, Queen Latifah and a host of other Black actors in an "African American Christmas family film". Looks funny, I'd def. check this one out.



Check out the trailer HERE.

Fully Flared

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I'm not the biggest skateboarding fan, but I like seeing good skateboarding. Here's Lakai's Fully Flared in its entirety, apparently. Cop the DVD here.

Drama Gangsta Grillz: The Album [review]

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I've actually been waiting for this CD for a bit. After the feds swooped down on him, I assumed he was going to put the whole project on freeze, so I applaud Drama, Don Cannon and the rest of the AMG fam for pressing on and creating this opus, which combines the hot beats of a dope mixtape and, well, the ridiculous rhymes of a dope mixtape.

"The Setup"
The intro to this disc is a skit showing what probably happened during the raid of Drama and Cannon's studios. It's done well, but it's not really funny or anything, plus it's predictable - I knew dude was going to throw this disc in his CD player after the raid. It'd be a dope setup to the album if this was something that was constant throughout the CD.

"Gangsta Grillz (ft. Lil' Jon)"
Lil' Jon gets his nigga on, being crazy ignorant and non-rappin'. Big bottomed beat on this one, which is basically a minute and a half of Jon talkin'. Yawn.

"Takin' Pictures (ft. Young Jeezy, Willie The Kid, Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Young Buck And T.I.)"
Dame Grease produced a heater of a track on this. It's a simple enough melody, but it has that intensity and fury. Big anthem for those d-boys and shit on the block. Jeezy lets us know he wants to be a crack dealer, Willie tries to sound relevant, Jimmy still drops "ballin'!" adlibs, Rick Ross sounds like Jeezy with swag, and Young Buck is just happy to be included. T.I. waxes everything without really saying anything. One of the highlights of this disc.

"Keep It Gangsta (ft. Yo Gotti, Webbie & Lil' Boosie)"
What a waste. Wack beat, wack MCs, predictable all the way through.

"Cannon (Remix) (ft. Lil' Wayne, Willie The Kid, Freeway & T.I.)"
The original was a wild number with Busta Rhymes and Tip going for broke over a heater of a Cannon track. This one doesn't top it, sadly. You'd think someone like Weezy could do the track justice, but he's spat better on lesser beats. I am not feeling Willie at all... he sounds like he's trying to be Papoose, like that's hot. Freeway does the beat justice, and Tip sounds weird, like he had a cold. Why touch ill shit?

"Makin' Money Smokin' (ft. Willie The Kid & LA The Darkman)"
Why? ... answer me that.

"5000 Ones (ft. Nelly, T.I., Diddy, Yung Joc, Willie The Kid, Young Jeezy & Twista)"
The pre-requisite skrip club track. And it sucks. It tries everything to be "Make It Rain", but fails. Ultimately, an expensive turd.

"The Art Of Storytellin' Part 4 (ft. OutKast & Marsha Ambrosius)"
Noz already let you guys know how ill the Andre verse is. Cannon's beat is a gem, understated and smooth, letting true MCs do what they need to. Probably the most Hip-Hop track on the disc, and another true highlight.

"Katt Williams Interlude"
What's pimpin', pimpin'? Katt just doing his thing, talkin' about smokin' weed and being his hilarious self. Not really necessary, but I am a fan.

"187 (ft. Project Pat, BG and Eightball & MJG)"
This track got that 808 drum rockin'. Project Pat's flow got old years ago, but its funny to hear him say shit the way he speaks. Not really a track you put on to get into. It's one of those tracks that you end up keeping on when you are passing a dutch in a car on a cold night. You don't want to listen to it, but it's OK enough to let ride.

"The Mad DJ"
Dumb interlude where some white girl buys the Gangsta Grillz mixtape while some dumb dude wants a DJ AlmostDoesn'tCount mixtape. I don't know many mixtape sellers who will tell you that they don't want to sell you something. That never happens in my hood.

"Beneath The Diamonds (ft. Devin The Dude, Twista, LA The Darkman & Mr. Porter)"
Some pimp shit. Lovin' that smoooth ass beat. I mean anything with Twista AND Devin The Dude is beautiful idea. D12's Mr. Porter does his thing with the beats though.

"Talk About Me (ft. Young Buck, Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo)"
I love this beat. Nottz is the man with his. Young Buck's verse and chorus are laughable. Lloyd phones in his 16, and Yayo... Yayo. I know MCs like to do doubles, to accent certain lines and shit. Yayo sounds like he's trying to be his own hypeman, which sucks when all of his lyrics are garbage.

"No More (ft. Lloyd, Willie The Kid & T.I.)"
Is this an attempt at a radio single? If so, it sucks. And why is Willie The Kid all over this? He is not someone you should be building an empire around.

"Diddy Interlude"
Diddy sucks on Drama's dick. Explains why Dram is called "Mr. Thanksgiving". Yawn.

"Throw Ya Sets Up (ft. Yung Joc, Willie The Kid, Jadakiss And LA The Darkman)"
Why Jadakiss is in between these bullshit MCs is a great Question. Cannon's got a batch of beastly beats. I think, with a beat this fierce, they coulda took out Willie, Joc and LA and put in, like, Beanie Sigel, Ghostface and who knows... Kool G Rap or some shit. They fucked the dog on this one.

"Aye (ft. Young Dro & Big Kuntry King)"
P$C in the house. I'm not the biggest fan of either Dro or Kuntry, but this has a nice bop to it. The Runners are everywhere... on the low.

"Grillz Gleamin' (ft. Lil' Scrappy, Bohagon, Diamond & Princess (Of Crime Mob))"
What a bunch of bullshit. Is that an R. Kelly sample in this? This beat sounds unfinished. And the rhymes sound unfocused. Too weak of a track this late in the disc.

"Gettin' Money (ft. Paul Wall, Killa Kyleon, Lil' Keke & Slim Thug)"
Texas in the house. Nice laidback 'Lac ridin' music. Not that that's always dope, but you can chief and bop to this one.

"Outro"
The boss at the precinct gets upset because they busted mixtape DJs. That's the only connection to "The Setup", which is just sad, given the potential for commentary Dram could have exhibited.

"Cheers (ft. Pharrell & The Clipse)"
Dope Khao beat, with some sly bass in it. Skateboard P said this is for the fly Spanish girls, then just spits garbage. Pusha & Malice let us know that they can murk beats that are NOT Neptunes creations. Fire.

I'm disappointed. The potential = right there. Don Cannon, fly guest MCs, but this is just like your misguided mixtapes. No underlying, interconnecting theme. No genre-defining moments. It has some dope tracks on it, but it's muddied by a host of wack rappers, tired beats, and seems to be thrown together to capitalize on old trends.

rock the dub gives Gangsta Grillz: The Album a 2.5 out of 5. The pros don't outweight the cons by a long shot. If you want to sip on some 'gac and puff a few blunts, this is the soundtrack to that. If you are looking for the real, you will be more disappointed than anything.

Burn Deez: "The Art Of Storytellin' Part 4", "Talk About Me", "Takin' Pictures"

related links:
DJ Drama on MySpace
The Aphilliates website
Gangsta Grillz website

Michael Jackson Thriller 25th Anniversary info

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Coming February 12, 2008, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller drops on Epic/Legacy Recordings. This is a deluxe edition, with brand-new 2008 remixes of classic joints, unreleased tracks and DVD footage, which includes digitally-restored short films, as well as MJ's performance from Motown 25. Check out the info:

TRACKLISTING

Thriller: Original Tracklisting
1. "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" - (#5 Hot 100, #5 R&B)
2. "Baby Be Mine"
3. "The Girl Is Mine" (with Paul McCartney) - (#2 Hot 100, #1 R&B, #1 Adult Contemporary)
4. "Thriller" - (#4 Hot 10, #3 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks)
5. "Beat It" - (#1 Hot 100, #1 R&B)
6. "Billie Jean" - (#1 Hot 100, #1 R&B, #9 A/C)
7. "Human Nature" - (#7 Hot 100, #2 Adult Contemporary)
8. "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" - (#10 Hot 100)
9. "The Lady in My Life"

Bonus Material
10. Vincent Price

Previously Unreleased Tracks For 25th Anniversary Edition
11. The Girl Is Mine 2008 with will.i.am*
12. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 2008 with Michael Jackson and will.i.am*
13. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008 with Michael Jackson, Akon and will.i.am*
14. Beat It 2008 with Fergie*
15. Billie Jean 2008 with Kanye West*
16. For All Time (unreleased track from original Thriller sessions)*

Bonus DVD
The Videos
1. Thriller
2. Beat It
3. Billie Jean
4. Billie Jean performance from Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever
How sick is that. I figured that the tracks Kanye West, Akon and will.i.am were working on were NEW tracks, not 2008 versions. I am also kind of surprised that Kanye wasn't on P.Y.T., given it was the basis of "Good Life", but I digress.

This is one for the casual fan and the fan who is ga-ga for MJ. "Lady In My Life" is the jam, and I know my mom still has 2 copies of this on wax in the attic. I grew up on this album, and might have to grab this...

Wyclef Gets It

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Over at XXL's Scratch blog, the transcriptions from a Wyclef cover story are being posted up. Part 1 has Wyclef totally understanding what exactly the Internet and bloggers can do for an artist:

“I think really with the internet, that’s the A&R. So if you want to know who I think the real A&R’s of today are, [it’s] the kids that are on the internet. I’ll give you an example. Take a Wyclef Jean song ‘If I was President.’ Every kid knows that song. It’s not like the song got any radio airplay, they seen that shit on Dave Chappelle, [and downloaded] it. Now over twenty million kids know that song. If you go on the internet its up there with ‘Gone Til November.’ Then you gotta be like, ‘Hmm, interesting.’ But Clef ain’t really never get no airplay for this song. How can that be? Now, honestly bro, an A&R would skip right through that song because that song wouldn’t be a song that’s played on the radio, you know what I’m saying? But we cant run away from the new wave that we’re expressing. So I feel like back in the days we had those underground systems where we heard new records, so today the internet actually is that world where you can put anything on and then the crowd could decide. With Youtube and with Myspace, now you’re able to connect quicker. And so you start off with your Myspace page, you know, you can go ok, all of the people are listening… send out a blog now. ‘Yo what up, I’m working in the studio on The Carnival 2. I’m about to hit ya’ll with this crazy Paul Simon/Wyclef record, some of you motherfuckers is too young to know who Paul Simon is. You other motherfuckers know whats going on, that shit got that acoustic flavor so check it out. Give forty seconds of it. Now you know that the bloggers is gonna go crazy. They gonna find it. And I think that’s like the coolest shit. And at the end of the day its going to turn to revenue. Whether through record sales, whether through live shows, whether through endorsements.”
If that ain't the truth I don't know what is - well, I don't know about 20 million kids know "If I Was President", but I get his point. I knew it was a reason why I copped The Score and Carnival. I might have to go peep that CD. Shout out to the Fugees.

BONUS BEATS: I been feelin' the "Sweetest Girl (Remix)" anytime I catch it on 106 & Park. I love how 'Clef threw "C.R.E.A.M." in there.

Wyclef Jean ft. Akon, Lil' Wayne & Raekwon "Sweetest Girl (Remix)"

And for ish and giggles, here's the video for "Fast Car", which features Paul Simon:

Friday, December 7th 2007 playlist

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Fucked up week. We lost a true soldier. The leaks were kind of dry (the list isn't super small, but it's not rivaling weeks past...), and I'm just in an odd mood. Don't sleep on the top 5, believe me.

01/Pimp C ft. P.O.P. & Lil' Keke Vs. ANS "Knockin' Doorz Down (DJ Nappy Thugstep Refix)" [RIP Chad Butler]
02/Che Grand "Swing" [do NOT sleep!]
03/Scarface "Git Out My Face" [did you check out my review?]
04/DJ K.O. ft. Phonte, Wordsworth, K-Hill & Masta Ace "Ladder Of Success" [smoooth!]
05/Riskay Vs. Reform "Dope Girl (DJ Nappy THUGSTEP Refix)" [i love that beat. her seductive rhymes sound so ill over it. Another win.]

_____

let it rain...

___

Here's Young Chris & Mick Boogie's birthday gift to Hova: The Newprint mixtape. Young Chris spitting over old Jay-Z tracks. Tracklist:

1. The C-Lude
2. Dead Presidents
3. Excuse Me Miss
4. Newprint Interlude
5. What More Can I Say
6. A Week Ago
7. Allure
8. Newprint Interlude
9. Big Brother
10. Never Change
11. Secret Weapon
12. This Can't Be Life (f/ Pooda Brown)
13. Newprint Interlude
14. Threats
15. A Million And One
16. Guess Who's Back (f/ Pooda Brown)
17. Bonus Track: Roc Boys Remix (f/ Jay-Z)


WTF is a Pooda Brown?

___

Cosmo Baker and DJ Spinna linked up and dropped this limited edition CD for Digiwaxx Media. The CD is mad rare, but the mix is available for download. Peep out The Get Back:

1: Intro
2: The ARE Featuring Dem Damb Jacksons "Oh" Featuring Denis of Neon Collar
3: Ryan Leslie "Diamond Girl"
4: Kanye West "Flashing Lights" Mick Boogie Remix Featuring Dwele & 50 Cent
5: The Boys And Girls Club "Summer In The City"
6: S.O.U.L. Purpose "The Way We Live"
7: Camp Lo "Black Hollywood"
8: Common "The Game"
9: Terminology "So Amazing"
10: South Rakkas Crew "Real Hot"
11: M.I.A. "Hit That"
12: Q-Tip "Work It Out"
13: Big Moe "Confidential Playa"
14: Brother Reade "Let's Go"
15: Andre 3000 "Banana Zoo"
16: Wale "Good Girls"
17: King Britt "They Call Me Mr. Tibbs"
18: Cool Kids "What It Iz"
19: Mike the 2600 King "Oh Yeah"
20: Pharoahe Monch "Welcome To The Terrordome"
21: Pete Rock "We Roll"
22: Guilty Simpson "Make It Fast"
23: NYGz "Ya Dayz R #'d"
24: J Live "Red Light Green Light"
25: Waajeed "W-A-A-J-E-E-D"
26: DJ Spinna Featuring Phonte "Dillagence"
27: Supreme Team "See"
28: Common "Black Maybe"


You know you want it.
___

Check out this week's FYLP for a nice helping of DNB flavorfuls. Loads of mixes from the following cats: Vicious Circle, Breakage, Spor (with MC AD), Sol.ID, Boj Lucki, soulTec, DJ Bailey (steppin' in for Mary Anne Hobbs' Experimental BBC Radio 1 show), and the return of Dylan's FREAKSHOW Radio program. Hot.

___

Rizoh spread the word about the American Gangster acapellas going around. I haven't listened to either of these, but there are two projects already surfacing: American Gangster Opera and Billboard Gangsters, a Jay-Z Vs. Elvis thing. Interesting...

___

Monsta, who represents LIFE4LAND, and is dropping both DnB and Dubstep tracks, knocked out his first podcast. This premier mix is 30 mins long and features L4L cuts, as well as some DnB and Dubstep. Tidy:

1.MDS - message to the core
2.Luke Envoy - mugen
3.Jam Baxter / Dirty Dike - too many steps
4.Mr Key - freestyle
5.Stivs - Babylon
6.Ghost - putting down some letters
7.Monsta feat Mr Key - space raiders
8.Life4land feat SMB - cribs
9.Dirty Dike / Ed Scissortongue - who am i
10.Monsta - gimme the weed


Heavy.

___
RIP Pimp C.
UGK "Wood Wheel"


UGK "The Game Belongs To Me"


Have a good weekend, folk.

American Hustle: The Movie

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I forgot to add this to my Christmas list:

Scarface Made [review]

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I knew that this CD would be good, but I was still surprised at how consistently dope this disc was. I've been a fan of Scarface's, but for some reason I don't own a lot of his material. I am going to change that very soon, and his 7th (and final?) solo LP, Made, made me do it...

"Intro"
Pretty straight forward on this intro. We reestablish that we hate you punk ass snitches, you B.A.N.'s, and we reppin' for them real niggas. And damn, 'Face been doing the damn thing for 20 years? Holla...

"Never"
Best track on the album, and the first new Scarface track I heard off this joint. Just has that hypnotic beat, and the way he plays his rhymes off the "never" sample in the beat was a nice touch. If you wanted to know what 'Face stood for, just put this one on and listen carefully. Real nigga quotes through and through.

"Big Dogg Status (ft. Wacko)"
Nice, 808-and-fake organ beat. Dude is just straight boastin' in this one, slippery smooth flow with that hard edge to it. Thick funk for the trunks.

"Girl You Know (ft. Trey Songz)"
This is the single. Scarface is lettin' you ho's who stay with the Q&A that he is gonna do whatever he wants, but he still loves you. Sort of. Nottz did his thing on the beat.

"Burn (ft. Z-Ro)"
Stone-cold killer feel. Scarface puts you in the passenger seat, letting you know what's going through the mind of a dude who just took someone's life and is escaping from the scene. That chorus is so involved. So involved.

"Go (ft. Nina)"
I feel like this a lot - just need to get the fuck out of the spot every now and again. Get out of everything and just go zone out. Not that you hate your family, you just need time for delf. This beat isn't the dopest, and while the chorus works, I could have done without it personally.

"Dollar"
Tone Capone with a wild track on this one. Scarface comes from the gut with this flow. The beat has these sounds that remind me of raindrops, or could it be change falling from the sky? I don't like the chorus on this one either.

"Boy Meets Girl (ft. Tanya Herron)"
One of the top tracks on this disc. This is some ghetto Romeo & Juliet shit. The story catches you in the end, and it's worth the wait. Another funky number, but on the slower pace.

"Who Do You Believe In"
Dude reminds me of Pac on this one. Just goes extra hard and poetic into the social commentary. Nice, organic sounding beat. I'd love to hear 'Face rock these tracks live with a band behind him. I also like how the chorus is just the title said twice, and the rest is left blank. Dope track.

"Git Out My Face"
Hardcore Hip-Hopera. Complete with an opera chorus singing some shit about "fake ass niggas". The way the strings are worked with that beat are dope, too. One of the most original beats on the album, and a bit off center from the rest of the disc, but one of the sleeper gems. Scarface just goes at it on this one.

"The Suicide Note"
Not since Biggie's "Suicidal Thoughts" has a Hip-Hop track about death left me speechless. Super storytelling on this one, with 'Face delving into a situation where he leaves a suicidal friend only to have to turn back around to a grisly discovery. Ill, too ill.

"Outro"
Instrumental of the beat from the intro. Really moody, macabre shit. Cinematic almost.

All in all, one great Hip-Hop album. I am upset that Scarface is planning on not doing any solo albums anymore, for he is one of the only guys who can, lyrically, keep you involved throughout an entire long player by himself. You see those features? Those are all cats on hooks - Face shares no verses. And he doesn't need to. He seems to never smile, but for the dark, gritty, real life subject matter, no smiles or happiness is needed. Know what you expect, and give this elder-statesman of Hip-Hop his props.

rock the dub gives Made a 4 out of 5. For what it is, it performs perfectly. Dope beats, raw rhymes, and a constant theme. 'Face does it the best.

Burn Deez: "Git Out Of My Face", "The Suicide Note", "Never", "Burn"

"Girl You Know" video:

Is Jay-Z Chunking The Deuce?

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News like this is nothing new - it seems like every 6 months or so, another article or rumor is out, saying that Jay-Z is going to be leaving Def Jam. I am only posting this because XXL is reputable, even if this bit comes from a New York Daily News piece:

With Jay-Z presidential contract with Def Jam expiring at the end of December, it looks like the rapper’s future at the label is uncertain, according to one report. An article in the New York Daily News’ Rush & Molloy gossip column today claims that contract renewal negotiations between Jay-Z and the Universal Music Group have hit a wall. “He wanted big, big money that was way out of sync with the realities of today’s record business,” an anonymous source told the paper, also claiming that L.A. Reid and UMG big boss Doug Morris are said to have found Jay’s demands “excessive” in light of the time he’s been spending on tour.

“People have lost count of how many times he’s come out of retirement,” the source went on. “Everybody knows he’s not around the office much. Everybody at Universal loves him, but they can’t justify paying him the money he wants when so many people have been laid off.”

Still, a “friend” of Jay’s told the paper that “the talks will continue when he returns
to New York. They still have a ways to go before a decision.”

What do you guys think? Do you think Jay is silly enough to ask for some wild amount of money, even if he's hardly in the office? I mean, he might not be in the office, but didn't Ne-Yo, Rhianna, Kanye West and others have a good year? I mean he might not be batting a thousand, but he does knock a good amount out of the park. More on this as it develops... or fizzles out into rumor smoke.

The Observation Deck (6th Dec. 2007)

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  • Bun B, Big Boi and Swizz Beatz spoke to MTV about the loss of Pimp C. TMZ has video of Mama Wes speaking on the love she's getting right now. Noz also posted parts 2 and 3 of his phone interview with Pimp C. RIP.
  • There's a new video blog from Layla Kayleigh up. She's afraid of the supernatural and likes to sing/rap to herself. Yum.
  • Since when does killing someone who is trying to rob you grounds to be arrested? This dude needs a medal for killing that Fabolous lackey.
  • Over at HYSMD, I have a post about the recent Jason Kidd fiasco with my NJ Nets. I am on pins and needles - we need Kidd to survive, on the real.
  • In Trenton, NJ, the Director of Police, Joe Santiago, says he cannot live within the city (which he is required, by law, to do, but is getting a pardon by the mayor) b/c a) he cannot afford it and b) he is afraid of gang threats. OK, in Trenton, NJ, the average income is something like $37K; this dude makes $100K a year. Come off it. Secondly, NIGGA YOU IS A POLICE! YOUR JOB IS TO STAND UP TO THE GANGS, NOT BE SHOOK OVER THEIR THREATS! He needs to go, for that ignorant comment alone.
  • Why does Keifer Sutherland get a 48-day sentence for drunk driving, but Lindsay Lohan got 84 minutes? America loves White Females.
  • Google and AIM have linked up through GMail chat. My days of productivity are over.
  • Chimps are found to be smarter than humans... on one memory test.
  • Ricky Hatton says he got into Floyd Mayweather's head, and I hope he did. I would love to see Mayweather get his shit pushed in.
  • Barry Bonds wants to play in 2008. Why, I don't know, but I think he should give it up. Just be easy and get ready for the trial, my dude.

Finally, STAND UP goes down TONIGHT in NYC. Cause, Hired Gun, NYOIL, and Donny Goines, plus a special guest. the iNTERNETS CELEBRITIES hosting. OhWord & SitDownStandUp collaboration. If you are in that area, get your ass out there.