AllHipHop Staff Picks—12.9.07

On the Amen, corner I stood looking at my former hood, felt the spirit in the wind, knew my friend was gone for good. Threw dirt on the casket, the hurt, I couldn't mask it, mixing down emotions, struggle I hadn't mastered. I choreograph seven steps to heaven,and hell, waiting to exhale and make the bread leaven. Veteran of a cold war, it's Chica-I-Go for, what I know or, what's known. So some days I take the bus home, just to touch home, from the crib I spend months gone. Sat by the window with a clutched dome listening to shorties cuss long. Young girls with weak minds, but they butt strong. Tried to call, or at least beep the Lord, but didn't have a touch-tone. It's a dog-eat-dog world, you gotta mush on. Some of this land I must own, outta the city, they want us gone. Tearing down the 'jects creating plush homes. My circumstance is between Cabrini and Love Jones, surrounded by hate, yet I love home. Ask my God how he thought traveling the world sound, found it hard to imagine he hadn't been past downtown. It's deep, I heard the city breathe in its sleep. Of reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep. Deep, I heard my man breathe in his sleep, of reality I touch, but for me it's hard to keep –Common “Respiration” from Black Star's Black Star(1998)Steve RazePharoahe Monch "Never Walk Together"Ghostface Killah's "Yolanda's House" featuring Method Man and Raekwon is a HOT song, no doubt but, we had Pharoahe Monche's "Never Walk Together" posted on the AllHipHop Media Zone on March 20th 2006. The song finally made it on Pharoahe Monch's The Twelfth Dynasty mixtape but, I guess he could not properly clear the sample for his album. Same sample and just as dope a flow coming from Monch. You decide who rocked this sample better but, Monche gets my pick for the week.Kathy IandoliThe Fugees "Don't Cry Dry Your Eyes"I decided to put a slept-on throwback this week from the Fugees off their Bootleg Versions album. With the Re-Education mixtape dropping as well as Clef's Carnival II, it's good to reminisce. Just listen to Lauryn's verse...she WILL rise. SHE WILL! DAMNIT!!IllseedRoyce Da 5’9” “Gossip”Sometimes I think men gossip more than the woman. I mean, if we are talking about Royce and his personal life, ain’t that gossip? Wondering about Jay-Z’s job status is gossip, right? Whether or not Papoose got beat up…that’s gossip! Anyway, Royce rapped about some realness in his new freestyle to that Wayne song. Like Jay said about Memphis Bleek, Royce is one hit away. Martin A. BerriosCool Breeze "Watch for the Hook"A Dungeon Family classic from a criminally slept on debut by Cool Breeze. We find Outkast and Goodie Mob in their prime alongside Cool and Witchdoctor. The video was ill too. I remember back when this came out a lot of dudes in the game thought the South couldn't spit. This definitely proved them wrong jack.

AquaGhostface f/ Raekwon "R.A.G.U"Just another reason why Raekwon And Ghostface United is simply marvelous. Bong bong.Dove UGK "The Game Belong to Me"

This video from UGK's 2007 Underground Kingz album really struck a chord with me

this week. Bun B and Pimp C were both on a roll with new

projects, and Pimp C's untimely death is a tragedy. Rest In

Peace.Grouchy GregThe Blackbyrds "April Showers"This joint is on Donald Byrd and The Blackbyrd's historic sophomore album Flying Start, from 1974. Talk about fusion of technology, music and genres. These guys were led by a legendary trumpet player in Byrd and all of them were students from Howard U (big up) in Washington D.C. Their biggest hit is the classic single "Walking in Rhythm" which is also on this album. Flying Start is filled with great music and has a few drum breaks for all you budding producers. Now "April Showers" was written by Allen Barnes, who was also a group member that played the sax and the clarinet. I've always liked songs that compare life to the seasons. Here's a superb example. I overlooked this song for a few years because of the funky Moog intro, but trust me after the first 8 bars, you'll be bopping your head. The bass work of Joe Hall is excellent.ODeiselMobb Deep "Apostle's Warning"The haunting tones of the beat.

Prodigy just snatches the mic from his man and blasts off with a

powerful verse that could have easily made AllHipHop's Top 20 Dopest Verses Ever.

No pauses for a hook or all that pretty s**t. For a while it looked

like The P was headed to Top 10 lyrical status. This verse is evidence

to that.Jamile KaroutFreeway "It's Over" Free went to Mecca and didn't think

he would rap again... well he's back with a flow thats as cocky as

ever. I'm digging the return. Early!God MC (Ill Community Member)Lil Wayne "Workin Em""Weezy F Baby, the muthaf*ckin

Carterrrrrrr b*tches on my stick but my name ain't Harry Potterrrrrrrr."

With lines like this Lil Wayne's self proclaimed title of best rapper

alive can seem borderline absurd, but the genius of Lil Wayne is

turning these corny lines into fun thrilled dope Hip-Hop with his

amazing delivery. This is from the critically acclaimed mixtape

Dedication 2; it's this type of great material that makes Wayne's claims not so ridiculous.