The Ownerz

Artist: Gang StarrTitle: The OwnerzRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: N. Context The group that brought you such hits as “Manifest”, “Just To Get A Rep”, and “You Know My Steez”, Gang Starr, has returned with their latest album titled The Ownerz. Back after a 5 year hiatus, this duo of hip-hop vets finally introduces their […]

He’s Keith Murray

Artist: Keith MurrayTitle: He’s Keith MurrayRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Toshi Kondo With his official release from Def Jam Records due to a physical altercation with staff members, dubious circumstances surround Keith Murray’s fourth album, He’s Keith Murray. This isn’t new considering that he was serving a three and a half year bid when his […]

The Conspiracy Mix CD

Artist: The WeathermenTitle: The Conspiracy Mix CDRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Paine Is rap dominated by production? Would anybody want to hear Bubba Sparxxx without the Timbaland beat? This age-old question may never have a definite answer but one thing is for sure, it’s absolutely lovely when a great verse and a hot beat collide. The […]


Artist: Louis LogicTitle: Sin-A-MaticRating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: aqua boogie A proverbial underground staple for the last couple of years, Louis Logic is finally hitting us with his true debut, Sin-A-Matic. Louis is banking on the rap world accepting another LL but his version won’t necessarily win over the name brand and high heels chick […]

A Lil’ Light

Artist: Dudley PerkinsTitle: A Lil’ LightRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Brolin Winning Another gem from the folks at Stones Throw; A Lil’ Light teams up bombshelter brethren Madlib and Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime) for an appropriately blunted album highlighting DP’s positive lyrics and unique vocal stylings over an assortment of kaleidoscopic beats. Following dope singles like […]


Artist: Black Eyed PeasTitle: ElephunkRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Toshi Kondo Since the Black Eyed Peas (BEP)’s debut Behind The Front, they have attempted to stretch the boundaries of creativity while embodying hip-hop’s classic elements. This is evident through collaborations with everyone from Macy Gray to DJ Premier. On their first two albums, BEP displayed the […]

Taste the Secret

Artist: Ugly DucklingTitle: Taste the SecretRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Toshi Kondo For anyone who began listening to hip-hop recently, the structure and cohesion of Ugly Duckling’s Taste The Secret will be an exotic treat. With many of today’s hip-hop albums offering an obese amount of guest features and producers, most resemble a compilation rather than […]

The KRStyle

Artist: KRS OneTitle: The KRStyleRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Paine For the last three KRS-One albums, there was a lot of hype but little satisfaction. Even with Pete Rock remixes, mixtapes, and updated versions of classics like “South Bronx”, the albums weren’t leaving the same impact as the Teacher’s earlier work.. Listeners found his albums failing […]

The Movement

Artist: Inspectah DeckTitle: The MovementRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Toshi Kondo In 1997 two important events happened in the Wu-Tang Clan chronology. “Wu-Tang Forever” was released, receiving mixed reviews and not fulfilling many people’s expectations. The other was resident producer RZA beginning to share some of the production duties. With this, Wu’s fall from hip-hop’s […]

Tha Konexion

Artist: Freddie Foxxx/Bumpy KnucklesTitle: Tha KonexionRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Brolin Winning An undeniable O.G., Freddie Foxxx has been putting it down since the eighties, working with the likes of Flavor Unit, KRS-One, D.I.T.C., and Gang Starr. Known for his roughneck rhyme style and take-no-s### mentality, his aggro-flow is as intimidating as his heavyweight boxer appearance. […]

Love & Hate

Artist: AceyaloneTitle: Love & HateRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Toshi Kondo Mention the name Aceyalone and one will hear admiration for classics such as All Balls Don’t Bounce and A Book of Human Language. Or maybe reverence for his integral role with the innovative Freestyle Fellowship. With such high praises, complacency could be expected. However, […]

Mississippi: The Album

Artist: David BannerTitle: Mississippi: The AlbumRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Yama Caviness David Banner has been on his grind as a producer in the southern rap game for years. The Jackson, Mississippi native has worked with producers and artists such as Trick Daddy, Jazzey Pha, and Lil John (Lil John & The East Side Boyz). Finally, […]

Walls Don’t Exist

Artist: Science FictionTitle: Walls Don’t ExistRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Paine Instrumental hip-hop has made a triumphant resurgence in the last year. Names like DJ Shadow, RJD2, and Djinji Brown are getting recognition as more than producers. With drums, keys, and the most obscure of samples, a producer can make the music speak for itself. […]

This is Now!

Artist: Craig-GTitle: This is Now!Rating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Paine Craig-G is one of the fiercest MC’s to ever grip a mic. A legendary battle figure, a hip-hop pioneer as a card carrying member of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew and recently a ghostwriter to many of the battle raps in Eminem’s “8 Mile” blockbuster; Craig-G is […]

Under the Influence

Artist: Rob SwiftTitle: Under the InfluenceRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: aqua boogie While a chunk of turntablist get so caught up in the technical aspect of their craft that they forsake the listeners ability to nod their head, Rob Swift comes with just the right blend of precision and listen-ability (new word) on Under the Influence. […]


Artist: Bone CrusherTitle: AttenCHUN!Rating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Phee ATTENCHUN! Well, it worked didn’t it? Bone Crusher, protégé to Jermaine Dupri, does a great job of making us believe that he is truly, no pun intended, the next big thing. However, the sizeable southern rapper’s debut album AttenCHUN! (So So Def/Arista) gets an “A” for […]

Long Way Back

Artist: T-LoveTitle: Long Way BackRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Ashiya Smith They say greatness is a journey, not a destination. If this adage is indeed true then West Coast based singer/emcee T-Love is well on her way with the release of her debut Long Way Back(Astralwerks). The LP offers a diverse collection of eclectic cuts […]

Secondary Protocol

Artist: Wild ChildTitle: Secondary ProtocolRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: N. Context Straight from the Lootpack, Wildchild is here to hit the “raw heads, mainstream heads, underground heads, and worldwide heads” with his debut solo LP, Secondary Protocol. First introduced to the Hip Hop world on Tha Alkaholiks ‘Turn The Party Out’ in 93, this west coast […]