Reviews / Music


Wale, Jeru And Little Brother Deliver At A3C Festival

Throughout the years Atlanta has emerged as a renaissance city for Hip-Hop. Below the superficial surface of snap music lies a thriving underground of literary artists, DJs, B-boys/girls, and MC’s. With such diversity, it was appropriate that the all-star A3C (All 3 Coasts) Festival brought together over fifty artists spanning the last twenty-five years of… Read more »



Rocko: Self-Made

  Rocko is no newcomer to the industry. He started Rocky Road Records back in 2002 and recently put out two mixtapes with the most recent being 2007’s Swag Season. This mixtape helped make himself more familiar as a rapper in and around Atlanta. He’s now brought his swag to the frontlines with his first… Read more »




With the deluge of so-called urban fiction in the last few years, it is refreshing to remember that there is still a genre called crime writing out there, and that it can take place in the modern environment – replete with familiar nods to Hip-Hop, pop culture, and everyday city life.Thus it is reminiscent of… Read more »



Flo Rida: Mail On Sunday

  Don’t let the “Apple Bottom jeans with the boots with the fur” cause you to hastily judge Flo Rida’s lyrical ability. Surprisingly, the Floridian rapper isn’t as bad as you would assume. It’s an assumption that listeners make of any artist who has a wildly popular “shake your ass” song.   On the first… Read more »



eMC: The Show

  In all honesty a lot of followers of underground Rap were a little skeptical when news broke that Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth, and Stricklin were forming an underground supergroup named eMC. While the skill of all four MCs is evident, the super-group album efforts in Hip-Hop have a history of not meeting the potential… Read more »



Bisc1: When Electric Night Falls

Massachusetts, by way of Connecticut, graffiti artist turned MC, Bisc1 moved to the Big Apple over a decade ago. He quickly made a name for himself spinning in clubs and distributing mixtapes in and around local neighborhood hotspots. After winning several Rap battles, Bisc 1 finally released his first commercial project The Basics. The EP… Read more »



Guilty Simpson: Ode To The Ghetto

  Many of Detroit’s emerging MCs are determined to bestow continual prominence upon the city’s name after 2006 saw the departure of the late great production wizard Jay Dee. Stones Throw Records is a crusade to keep Dilla’s legacy alive or recognizing good fiscal opportunities as the label continues to join forces with his underground… Read more »



Mighty Joseph: Empire State

  While the underground collectively waits for the rumoured follow-up to Cannibal Ox’s seminal debut album Cold Vein, one half of the progressive Hip-Hop duo, Vast Aire has teamed with long-time friend and collaborator Karneige. They put forth some solid post-millennium product that bridges the gap between gritty street tales and a paranoid view of… Read more »



Rick Ross: Trilla

  When most artists encounter their second LP, it is usual for most critics and executives to fear the sophomore curse. For the uninitiated, the understanding of the curse is basically that an artist set the bar so high with his or her debut; that he unequivocally fails with the follow up.   Rick Ross… Read more »



Webbie: Savage Life 2

  “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T…do you know what that means?” It means that once again, strong singles by independent artists are dominating mainstream Rap. Webbie is one of the youngsters hoping to be recognized as a credible, dominant southern powerhouse with his sophomore album, Savage Life 2 (Asylum).   Led by the female friendly club hit “Independent,” Webbie’s album… Read more »



Max B.: Million Dollar Baby 2 (Mixtape)

  And the drama continues within the Dipset camp. As expected, Max Biggavel’s departure from The Diplomats and Byrdgang wouldn’t be complete without an independent mixtape and a few diss tracks. The rapper / crooner’s latest effort Million Dollar Baby 2 (Gain Green), glorifies his newfound independent stature, while giving a super sized middle finger… Read more »



DVD REVIEW: Black August

Black August (Warner Home Video), a film based on the story of George Jackson (Gary Dourdan), a San Quentin inmate serving a one year to life sentence for a $71 gas station robbery, captures the incendiary climate of the Black Panther movement in the 1960’s. Darren Bridgett plays David Dryer, a fidgety well-intentioned editor who… Read more »



Nicolay & Kay: Time:Line

    If you were ever wondering where music went, well Nicolay and Kay’s concept album Time:Line (Nicolay Music) has been holding it hostage. Together they are the epitome of everything the defines true school Rap – Nicolay, of Foreign Exchange fame, lays down the rhythm while Houston MC Kay brings that gritty bluesy soul that could… Read more »



KRS-ONE, Common, & Q-Tip Tear It Down for Smirnoff

A classic is timeless. It’s always current, yet never immediate.What happens when you meld the spirit of a classic with the immediacy of the present? This mixture was put to the test Tuesday when Smirnoff, along with true schoolers Q-tip, Common, and Blastmaster KRS-One, launched its Signature Mix Series. The event set off a campaign featuring… Read more »



Pete Rock: NY’s Finest

  It’s been a minute since Hip-Hop’s O.G beat architect Pete Rock has blessed us with a full length piece of fresh material. NY’s Finest (Nature Sounds) doesn’t disappoint as it breaths in some much needed life into Rap. Rock combines no-nonsense, vintage East Coast production with a mixed bag of complimentary lyricists. The result… Read more »



Chaundon: Carnage

For fans of the Hall of Justus click, they are already well aware of the N.Y. affiliate Chaundon. The Bronx native has paid his dues with plenty of guest spots on HOJ projects as well as dropping his own work. That past material has had fans salivating to see what the kid could do on… Read more »



Various Artists: Droppin’ Science: Greatest Samples From The Blue Note Lab

  With the massive popularity of keyboards and synthesizers, it is still refreshing to know that the art of beat and loop digging has not totally fallen wayside. Those LP’s priced at discount that once filled various record store bins were turned into classics by a surging Hip-Hop community in the eighties. Artists such as… Read more »




For the glamorous world of street fiction, the vendor tables on 125th Street in Harlem are the fledgling genre’s version of Soundscan. Famed author K’wan newest book, Still Hood (St. Martin’s Press), sells like hot cakes. K’wan’s first book, Gangsta, about a deft killer-for-hire who decides to turn it all around, is a mainstay in… Read more »



Big Noyd: Illustrious

  Whether it has been personal troubles, bankrupt record labels, bids up north or stellar verses, Big Noyd has seen it all. He has been known to make a splash on anything he does; his introductory verse on Mobb Deep’s classic “Give Up The Goods” would be proof of that. Not only one for features,… Read more »