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The (W)rap Up - Week of July 19, 2016

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including J-Zone's "Fish-N-Grits" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[Fish-N-Grits] J-Zone :: Fish-N-Grits
Old Maid Ent.

Author: Patrick Taylor

"New York rapper/producer J-Zone has been making hip-hop since the late nineties, so he knows a thing or two about rap music. He released albums steadily until 2007, when he retired, wrote a book about his experiences. Like all great retired rappers he only lasted a few years out to pasture before the allure of the mic drew him back. In 2013 he released "Peter Pan Syndrome," and he also put out albums in 2014 and 2015. His latest "Fish-N-Grits" is an examination of the current state of the music industry, and J-Zone is having none of it. "Fish-N-Grits" is presented as a battle between two rappers from different generations. In one corner, hipster rapper in skinny pink jeans Swagboi Blog Lover; in the other, old school Purist Generation Xer, who "always types his social media posts in capital letters so his message can be heard loud and clear." J-Zone and his sped-up alter ego lay it all out in opening track "Shut Up, Make Music": "Generational debates have reached a boiling point, and both sides fail to realize that in the grand scheme of things, nobody gives a f#$k. So for the twenty-year-olds jumping on the lets bastard 90s bandwagon, you weren't even born yet. And to the forty-eight-year-old, worrying about what fifteen-year-old kids are listening to, worry about your cholesterol, please. The moral of the story is there are only two types of music: Good and Bad. So make good music or shut the f#$k up." "Fish-N-Grits" is funny, but beyond the humor J-Zone is making some real points about the state of the record industry and hip-hop in particular, and how pointless old school nostalgia is. Has-Lo, Al-Shid, and Swagmaster Bacon are featured on the album, but the majority of the rhymes are performed by J-Zone and his Quasimoto-like alter ego."

JG Thirwell :: Music of the Venture Bros. Volume Two :: Ectopic Ents./Williams Street Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Music of the Venture Bros. Volume Two]"One could if they wanted sum up the Venture Bros. series on [adult swim] as "a parody of the 1960's cartoon Jonny Quest" and leave it at that. One could - but one shouldn't. Even if the source material and inspiration came from Quest, the series has reveled in sending up all manner of comic book superheros, spy movie supervillains and secret agent trops over the years. Each fictional organization that comes along is more absurd and their relationship with each other more inscrutable -- the Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI), The Guild of Calamitous Intent, S.P.H.I.N.X. and The Doom Factory just to name a few. It's perhaps fitting that the late avant garde music icon David Bowie, voiced not by himself but James Urbaniak, was a super villain on Venture Bros. - it's just that kind of show. My personal favorite voice actor on the whole show is Patrick Warburton - he brings just the right level of over-the-top insanity to the muscle bound blonde-haired agent Brock Samson. I think it's clear at this point I enjoy the show, and one of the many reasons I'm fond of it is the music of James George "J.G." Thirwell. Perhaps David Bowie became an arch-villain in the show simply because it would have required too much chutzpah to cast the show's musical composer, but he certainly displays a talent for subterfuge and disguise that even The Sovereign would envy. If I took the time to talk strictly about Thirwell's alter egos and side projects it would take up the rest of the review, so let's cut to the chase and say his best known may be Foetus. He's had a very eclectic and inventive career, and like the aforementioned Ziggy Stardust he's never been one to be held to one musical style. His ability to tap into any genre and make it his own breathes life into the scenes of the Venture Bros. show, giving it a score to rival your favorite Hollywood blockbuster films."

Johnny Richter :: School's Out (Still Laughing) :: Suburban Noize Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[School's Out (Still Laughing)] "It's kind of hard for me to fathom a Kottonmouth Kings without Johnny Richter, but the two sides parted ways in 2013 when the Kings left Suburban Noize Records and Richter stayed behind signed as a soloist. I'm not sure there's any animosity and I'm certainly not trying to paint the picture that there is. There's nothing on "School's Out (Still Laughing)" I can point to as a diss track. He's not the only person to leave the group over the years - DJ Bobby B and Saint Dog also parted ways at various points - so it's more than likely a change in philosophy for everybody involved about artistic and creative direction. Richter certainly sounds like he's getting philosophical and thoughtful on "Insanely Amazing," an opener where he reminisces over dead homies in the first verse then gets deeper on the second section. It's a good look for Richter, but try as I might listening to "School's Out" I can't help but notice that unlike his last full-length solo there are no cameos by Daddy X or Dirtball. Even if there's not open animosity between Richter and the group, there's not any collaboration either now that the remainder of the Kings are on United Family Music. Richter didn't even seem sure he wanted to keep rapping once they parted sides. As he says in the outro of "Kill It" he had to "take a little break (to) get that fire back (and) remember why I do this music." I'm not sure if that fire included making the tracks too as the "one sheet" isn't clear -- it says the album was recorded in San Diego and "mastered in the marijuana mecca of Humboldt, CA by Underrated from Potluck." One other reference I can find online says Underrated was the producer though and since Potluck has a guest appearance on "Burb Words" I'll go with it."

T-Nutty :: Blue Venom :: Nutt Factor Music 
as reviewed by Matt Jost

[Blue Venom] "T-Nutty is a phenomenal rapper. The opening sentence of this review was a given since even before I heard "Blue Venom." The question is how can such a claim be proven? How does T-Nutty's awesomeness manifest itself on his latest outing? First things first, Sacramento's T-Nutty has been active for almost twenty years, emerging in the regional spotlight in the early '00s with features for hometown heavyweights Brotha Lynch Hung and X-Raided. If he's had any noteworthy hits or influential releases, they haven't traveled too far beyond his turf. Nothing really points to him being anything special (unless you attribute any particular significance to his appearances on more recent Tech N9ne releases), he seems like any other minor fixture in NorCal rap with a string of albums and collaborations. Who - which is more than a trivial fact - after all these years still thinks he has to rep his set (he's a 24th Street Garden Blocc Crip). Not necessarily the stuff of great careers. At the same time T-Nutty is a proper microphone technician, known to adorn himself with flowery nicknames like 'Last of the Floeheakinz' and 'FlowmasterMouth'. He's proof that creativity and gang affiliation aren't mutually exclusive in rap. Drawing attention to his words by proceeding fastidiously with a punctuated flow, he's maybe not in a class with but somewhere in the vicinity of showstoppers such as Twista or Busta in their prime. At a time when vocalists outsource emphasis and emotions to computer programs, T-Nutty's accentuations are completely deliberate, and they come with that typical tongue-in-cheek undertone made famous by the likes of Mac Dre, the Luniz, Mistah F.A.B., E-40 of course, and yes, also Brotha Lynch Hung."
Editorial: Ten Run-D.M.C. Videos (Because We All Need It)

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Run-D.M.C.]Ever since Rich Homie Quan's Biggie botch at this year's Hip Hop Honors, there has been a lot of editorializing about the lack of respect from today's generation of artists AND fans for the hip-hop classics that paved the way for what we have today. The premise of most of them goes a little something like this: "If Quan had never heard Biggie's verse and/or didn't even practice it before the show, what hope is there for anybody younger than him to have ever heard older classics like N.W.A, Public Enemy, BDP or Run-D.M.C.?" I'd go even further and mention Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Whodini and Treacherous Three, but you get the idea.

Today instead of TALKING about it I've decided to DO something about it. I've chosen Run-D.M.C. since they were recognized at the very first Hip Hop Honors ceremony in 2004, and can arguably be called one of the most important rap groups of all time. They had the first gold album, they had the first rap video on MTV, the first to get an endorsement deal (Adidas), and the list of accomplishments goes on and on. If you were born after Jam Master Jay died though (Oct. 30, 2002) which precipitated the group disbanding, it's possible you're not even aware of who they are or have heard any of their classic songs. With this set of videos you have a chance to listen to the classics that inspired an entire generation. If you love hip-hop get to know the roots of the culture here and now.

1.) Run-D.M.C. - "Rock Box"

2.) Run-D.M.C. - "King of Rock"

3.) Run-D.M.C. - "Run's House"

4.) Run-D.M.C. - "It's Tricky"

5.) Run-D.M.C. - "Walk This Way"

6.) Run-D.M.C. - "Beats to the Rhyme"

7.) Run-D.M.C. - "Mary Mary"

8.) Run-D.M.C. - "Pause"

9.) Run-D.M.C. - "You Talk Too Much"

10.) Run-D.M.C. - "Down With the King"

BONUS 1.) Run-D.M.C. - "It's Like That" *

BONUS 2.) Run-D.M.C. - "Sucker MC's" *

* Run-D.M.C. did not release videos for this seminal hip-hop classic, the A and B-side of their first single in 1983, but two videos after Jay's death paid tribute to these songs - one of which is a Jason Nevins remix.
The Hip-Hop Shop #385 - It Feels Right to Set It Off

It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #385 is called It Feels Right to Set It Off! Today you'll hear new material from Marc Oso, Big Threat, DeeJay Element and more! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show - like The Drunk Train from Adam Bernard.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Marc Oso - Feel Right
* Kazi f/ Bobby Earth, Nicholas Ryan Gant - Demons
* Big Threat - Set It Off
* DeeJay Element, Tenacity, Sean Boog, Mean Joe Scheme - Burn the Empire
* IDE - Grudges
* MC WhiteOwl - One Chance
* Wordsmith - On the Come Up
* Devin Patrick - Killumbia (Rock Remix)

Audio: @kodney x @OraSlick_music "IV Real" (prod. @Ehanyes)

Audio: K.O.D. x Ora Slick - "IV Real" (prod. Ehanyes)

RJ: Four in Roman Numerals is “IV”--but “IV Real” by K.O.D. and Ora Slick is really focused on another meaning of IV. The Ehanyes-produced song--over melancholic trap and echoing sirens--is an injection of real, mainlined with sickening accuracy. K.O.D. plays the manic dope dealer--washing down paranoia with brown liquor while his voice cracks between anger and pain.

Audio: Defiant III - "Crossfire" (@IDE1043 @jiseone2 @Alucard718 @DiamondMedia360)

Audio: Defiant III - "Crossfire"

DM360: There’s an intoxicating madness swirling with the grit and grime of “Crossfire,” the murderous new single from NYC rap crew Defiant III. It’s also the first we’re hearing off their upcoming LP, Purge Season.

Audio: @ErickLottary - "Ctrl + Alt + Del"

Audio: Erick Lottary - "Ctrl + Alt + Del"

M.S.: The artist formally known as Lotta has returned with new music. Covering Pusha-T’s Jay-Z assisted single “Drug Dealers Anonymous”, the North Carolina emcee takes you on a journey through his past detailing his rise in the rap game. The mixture of the hard-hitting beats and his laid back flow make for a dynamic hit that sounds like it was made for a scene in a Hollywood film. Now going by a more personal moniker, Erick Lottary is currently working on a new project that both new and core listeners will surely love.

Video: Vevo Taps @ToriiWolf @RealDJPremier For "dscvr" Series Live Performance

Video: Vevo Taps Torii Wolf & DJ Premier For "dscvr" Series Live Performance

Matt: Vevo’s “dscvr” series is a platform for discovering and highlighting emerging artists; artists such as Sam Smith, Tove Lo, DNCE, Alessia Car, James Bay and Hozier (among many others) are all Vevo “dscvr” alumni.

Today, Vevo released the intimate “dscvr” performance for Torii Wolf & DJ Premier’s “Shadows Crawl,” the new single from Torii and DJ Premier’s forthcoming collaborative debut project Flow Riiot.

Audio: @Busdriverr - "Supercare"

Audio: Busdriver - "Supercare"

Score: Check out Busdriver headline a West Coast tour with Leaving Records artist Deatoni Parks as main support.

8/24 - Seattle - Nectar Lounge w/ GraySkul
8/25 - Vancouver BC - Alexander Gastown
8/26 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios (MusicFestNW)
8/27 - Arcata, CA - Richard's Goat
8/28 - San Francisco - Elbo Room
9/1 - Los Angeles - The Echo w/ Matthewdavid's mindflight + more
9/3 - Tijuana, Mexico - Mous Tache

Audio: @DirtDisciples - "Hologram" (@Concept1200 @PRDean)

Audio: Dirt Disciples - "Hologram" (prod. DJ Concept)

Dean: Dirt Disciples- Hologram off "Opportunity Knox" Vol. 3 available now.

Audio: Mayhem & Soulslicers f/ @Akrobatik - "The World We Live In" (@RevOfEMS)

Audio: Mayhem & Soulslicers f/ Akrobatik - "The World We Live In"

Chris: Mayhem (of EMS) and Swiss production team the Soulslicers, team up with Boston Hip Hop Legend Akrobatik to release "The World We Live In" a song reflecting on today's society and the current woes we're faced with, all over a soulful backdrop provided by the Soulslicers.

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Welcome to for the week of July 26th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got TEN ITEMS for you so let's get down to business starting with editorials on Donald Trump and Run-D.M.C., Jewels Hunter's "Footnotes of a Jewels Hunter," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #385, Kodak Black's "Lil Big Pac," MMA interviews with Josh Hill, Marlon Moraes and David Rickels, Sadat X's "Agua" (our featured review) and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for July 19, 2016

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