Reviews / Music

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Hi-Tek: Hi-Teknology 3

Despite producing two modern Hip-Hop classics, Black Star’s self-titled debut and Reflection Eternal’s Train of Thought, Hi-Tek’s name unjustifiably comes up far less than it should compared to some of his production peers. His sound has been accepted on both an underground and mainstream level, with fans of his work stemming from Cormega to Dr…. Read more »

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Birdman: 5 * Stunna

  He’s a Cash Money Records CEO, a Louisiana G, and more notably Lil’ Wayne’s daddy. Throughout his come up, Birdman has lost friends, family, and even his New Orleans hood; still his presence lingers. One would think with ten plus years in the game, and not to mention all of his materialistic treasures, Baby… Read more »

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Beanie Sigel: The Solution

  As 2007 draws to a close and year-end lists are compiled for the best albums, it’s a given that Roc-A-Fella artists will be rubbing shoulders at the top. The Roc has been pumping pure quality into the mainstream from Kanye’s Graduation, Freeway’s scorching sophomore effort Free At Last, and Jay-Z’s American Gangster. Unfortunately with… Read more »

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Scarface: MADE

  What does it mean to be made? In the cinematic Cosa Nostra hierarchy, it’s the process of “making” an associate. Bringing him into the fold; making him virtually untouchable without proper say-so from other “Men of Honor.” A few artists have previously used it as an album title, but none are more deserving than… Read more »

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Wu Tang Clan: 8 Diagrams

  Wu-Tang Clan’s first album since 2001 is already shrouded in controversy and legend. The Clan is at a strange crossroads as infighting plays out in real-time through back and forth interviews and videos. With that said, it’s hard not to feel a chicken or egg scenario when listening to their new opus 8 Diagrams (SRC)…. Read more »

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Project Pat: Walkin’ Bank Roll

  Memphis’ Project Pat puts forth his fifth solo effort Walkin’ Bank Roll (Hypnotize Minds/Koch) with heavy influence and production from the newly crossed over Three 6 Mafia. This album gives you that signature Ten-a-key influenced syrupy flow laced with hard core drug references and money stacking.   The opener “Rubberband Me” gives you that… Read more »

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Cam’Ron: Public Enemy #1

Despite all the recent negative criticism, Dipset chief Cam’ron is back with Public Enemy #1 (Diplomats).  This latest offering, in the form of a double mixtape, boasts thirty eight tracks of mostly unreleased material.  Silent and seldom seen since his well publicized beef with G-Unit kingpin 50 Cent, Cam is finally ready to recant all… Read more »

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Freeway: Free At Last

Philadelphia is quickly moving from being the City of Brotherly Love, to the last refuge of the prodigal child. As such, it produces emcees with a visual style that is griping and razor witted; mirroring the mentalities of those that inhabit it. Freeway knows this as personally as many others, but has the rare ability… Read more »

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American Gangster Tour: Jay-Z

The Roc Boys take their celebration to NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom.Two hours on the line outside with the temperature in the 40’s. Two hours standing still in Timbs on a hard floor.  It’s already ten o’clock and still no sign of Jay-Z. Brooklyn has stated their borough supremacy by being “in the house” for probably the… Read more »

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BOOK REVIEW: Born In The Bronx

The average Hip-Hopper may not know the pioneers as well as he or she should, but that lack of awareness does not mean our forefathers have not been properly archived. Right, Joe Conzo?  While Busy Bee, Grandmaster Caz and Grand Wizard Theodore were creating an aerie of classic Hip-Hop, Conzo was right there saying, “Cheese!”… Read more »

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Nas: Greatest Hits

Not many would argue that Nas is one of the top ten lyricists living.  The rap laureates debut Illmatic put a barely known, fresh-faced MC onto the cusp of greatness.  By the time he dropped his fourth album Nastradamus, a frisbee for many but still viable for his hardcore fan base, he was in this… Read more »

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Mathematics Presents: Wu-Tang Returns (The 8 Diagrams Official Mixtape)

In preparation for Wu-Tang’s much anticipated 8 Diagrams due out next month, long time Wu-affiliate DJ Mathematics gives us a preview with the Clan’s latest mixtape Mathematics Presents Wu-Tang Returns (The 8 Diagrams Official Mixtape). With five new tracks slated for the upcoming album, lost gems and remixes of some of their classics; Staten Island’s… Read more »

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Playaz Circle: Supply & Demand

After hooking up with Disturbing tha Peace Tity Boi and Dolla Boi of Collipark rap duo Playaz Circle fell into personal trouble. After navigating through those murky waters, they were signed by Ludacris and became full members of the DTP family, appearing on the Ludacris Presents: Disturbing tha Peace compilation.  Since then they have finally… Read more »

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CunninLynguists: Dirty Acres

6 starsWith a name like CunninLynguists, you would expect something more humorous and light hearted.  But CunninLyguists are probably one of the most talented Hip-Hop groups that you’ve never heard of.  The trio is from that southern school of Hip-Hop that is socially conscience, poetic and charming.  The southern artists that we all know and… Read more »

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Soulstice: Dead Letter Perfect

From Kanye to Common, the Midwest is burning with talent and Chi-town native Soulstice throws his own words into the competition with his latest Dead Letter Perfect (Wandering Soul), making him a viable contender. Soulstice, one half of the group Wade Waters, returns with this solo effort as he spits soulful lyrics and conscious rhymes…. Read more »

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Infamous Mobb: Reality Rap

For the majority of us, Mobb Deep’s seminal classic Hell on Earth was our first introduction to the Queensbridge triumvirate that is Infamous Mobb.  Going hard on the classic “Animal Instinct”, the trio has since released two albums: 2002’s Special Edition and 2004’s Blood Thicker That Water, Vol. 1. Comprised of Ty Nitty, Godfather Pt…. Read more »

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Smif N Wessun: The Album

Since their inception Smif N Wessun have been a vital piece of one of rap’s most talented, yet underappreciated crews, the Boot Camp Click.  Over the years the BCC has boasted a team of hard-knock emcees such as Sean Price, Buckshot, O.G.C. and Heltah Skeltah.  All have collectively or individually helped to push the team’s… Read more »

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Junk Science: Gran’Dad’s Nerve Tonic

Following their critically acclaimed 2005 debut, Feeding Einstein, Nuclear Family members Baje One and DJ Snafu better known as Junk Science return two years later with Gran’Dad’s Nerve Tonic (Definitive Jux/Embedded). Featuring a brew strange enough that even Cream could appreciate, the Brooklyn duo dishes out a wittily intoxicating concept album.Maintaining their unique melange of… Read more »

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Hurricane Chris: 51/50 Ratchet

Hurricane Chris’ performance on 51/50 Ratchet (Pologrounds/J Records) is like Rex Grossman on the 2006 Chicago Bears—he’s the only thing holding the team back from winning the championship. The Shreveport, Louisiana native shows some potential on his debut but he’s overshadowed by standout production.  Chris’ rudimentary lyrics and recycled song topics show a narrow view… Read more »

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Jay-Z: American Gangster

9/10 There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Sean Corey Carter’s storied Rap career should be immortalized in Hip-Hop’s hall of fame.  The man effortlessly killed the game for eight straight years and “bowed out” as one of the greatest to touch the mic.  Jay-Z would eventually return from his much hyped hiatus—no one… Read more »

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Hangar 18: Sweep The Leg

It has been three years since Hangar 18’s The Multi-Platinum Debut, and they’ve been busy.  So busy they may quickly become the best mainstream candidate on Definitive Jux. While other label mates are strongly rooted in lyricism and confounding beat complexities, Hangars’ increasing range and maturing accessibility, as showcased on their newest project, Sweep The… Read more »

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Hezekiah: I Predict A Riot

When it comes to sending a message that begs the attention of the soulful music-minded, rarely does the City of Brotherly Love disappoint. The likes of Jill Scott and The Roots are true testaments. So naturally, Hezekiah and his forecast: I Predict a Riot (Soulspazm/Rawkus) fit like a glove with the Philadelphia shtick. The title… Read more »

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Hell Rell: For The Hell Of It

The latest release from the Dipset camp, Hell Rell’s For The Hell of It (Diplomat/Koch) does much to uphold the street aesthetic that the Diplomats are known for, yet does little to continue with the commercial flirtation that some members (ie. Cam’ron, Jim Jones) have enjoyed in recent time. Don’t expect “We Fly High Pt…. Read more »

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