Tuesday July 07, 2015
Feature of the Week

[At.Long.Last.A$AP] A.L.L.A.

A$AP Rocky Review

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The (W)rap Up - Week of June 30, 2015

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including A$AP Rocky's "At.Long.Last.A$AP" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[At.Long.Last.A$AP] A$AP Rocky ::At.Long.Last.A$AP
A$AP Worldwide/RCA Records

Author: Patrick Taylor

"A$AP Rocky went from being homeless and dealing drugs to having a label, gold album, hit records, a clothing line, a series of famous girlfriends, and a career directing videos, all in the span of a few years. So how does he follow up his successful 2013 debut "Long. Live. A$AP?" By eating a bunch of acid and making a record about it. Maybe that is a bit too reductive a way to describe "A.L.L.A.," but the influence of mind-altering substances is all over the album, from the screwed and chop sounds of "Fine Whine" to the lyrics of "L$D." Of course, A$AP has been rapping the praises of codeine since the beginning, to the extent that he sounds more like a Houston rapper than a Harlem one.He also teams up with Danger Mouse. That is a little confusing in that A$AP Rocky isn't a white middle-aged rocker, which is pretty much who Danger Mouse works with these days. Given that Danger Mouse's last production credit was a U2 album, A$AP fans could be forgiven for being skeptical."


BlabberMouf :: Da BlabberMouf LP :: Da Shogunz/Groove Attack 
as reviewed by Matt Jost

[Da BlabberMouf LP]"Like Sweden, the Netherlands possess a solid base of anglophone rap artists, from the inception of these local scenes until today. While it all began with pioneers such as MC Miker G, Extince, 24K, D.A.M.N., Divorze and Dope Posse, the phenomenon persists in the present with dubstep hip-hoppers Dope D.O.D., busy Wu-Tang Killa Bee Cilvaringz, or crossover success Mr. Probz. BlabberMouf is a 28-year-old rap enthusiast from the south of the country (Parkstad/Heerlen), but his solo debut takes us back twenty years in time. Living up to his nom de plume, BlabberMouf practices the energetic rap style of the earlier '90s, the high cadence chopped up by a steady staccato/stutter that is liable to instant accelerations and tuneful Jamaican inflections, resulting in a bumpy and jumpy but still unstoppable flow. Add a loudspeaker voice and you have a rapper whose idea of riding a beat suggests he views the task as a rodeo


More Or Les & Recordface :: Post Millennium Tension :: Hand'Solo Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Post Millennium Tension]"I couldn't help but think of Deltron 3030 when I saw the album cover and read the title. As it turns out that wasn't far off - although More Or Les and Recordface are talking about a dystopian technological nightmare that's happening TODAY and RIGHT NOW and not in some far off year of sci-fi fantasy. "End of the World" gets right down to the nitty gritty about how our modern conveniences are ruining our lives. I know everybody wants a "smart phone" in 2015, and I'm as guilty of being a social media whore as anyone out there, but I'm just old enough to remember an internet that didn't figuratively and literally "follow" you everywhere you went, and technology seems incredibly more invasive than ever. More's complaints come from an obvious enthusiast for the tech though, because to rap as authoritatively about the loss of privacy as he does about it on "Scotch Tape" he'd have to be just as guilty of overusing his smart phone as the rest of us. The choice is of course to completely disconnect from society - abandon technology and phones, live in a cabin in the woods, hunt for your food and read books for your entertainment."


Soulbrotha :: The Upper Hand :: DJ Booth 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[The Upper Hand]"The soulful and spiritualSoulbrotha a/k/a SB has quietly put out some dope bite-sized doses of hip-hop over the the last eight years, and has come a long way from when Matt Jost first checked out his "Ezekiel Hanani" album. At one point you couldn't listen to SB without feeling you were being smacked in the face with a Bible, which coincidentally is probably how a lot of people are feeling right now since SCOTUS ruled on same-sex marriage. While the subject of whether or not it's right or wrong continues to be debated, SB stays away from that topic and instead talks about his "Immigrants Passion". Yes the religious side of his life does creep into his music, but in a conversational way as he explains the world he observes around him, and struggles to get ahead in a country that's not his own by birth. Even as a non-native he knows the ugly side of America first hand, which is a subject he is willing to tackle on tracks like "Just Can't." It's very clear from the opening sample that the death of Eric Garner affected him deeply (as it did millions nationally and around the world) and he's taking a stand against police brutality throughout the song's second verse."


Editorial: Does WorldStar Represent Hip-Hop?

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[WorldStar image logo for discussion purposes only]According to the most up-to-date and non-commercially available data, WorldStarHipHop is ranked #1,273 of all websites around the globe and #383 for the United States. That may at first sound unimpressive unless you consider that there are over 180,000,000 active websites around the world. That puts WSHH in the top 1% of all sites worldwide - in fact the top 1% of the top 1% of the top 1%. It's not surprising you see a crown in their logo - that's some king level s#%t. You have to respect the position they've achieved and the success that they have.

When you're the king and you've got a crown though, you've got to watch the throne because somebody might try to stab you, kick you out of the chair, and put on your crown while you bleed to death on the ground. Coincidentally that's what a lot of the videos on WorldStarHipHop look like. A lot of the content that YouTube would ban for encouraging violence, abusing minors, or showing people committing criminal acts seems completely at home on WSHH. If your Twitter or Facebook feed blows up with a viral video of a fight, WSHH is usually where it came from.

WorldStar makes no apologies for this, and I'm not suggesting they owe anybody one (I'll leave that to other commentators), because aside from a few high profile cases of them being sued (50 Cent) most of their content is submitted and posted by users and fans of the site. Now their submission standards might be broader than YouTube, but they do have a pretty healthy disclaimer on what is and isn't permitted. It also notes they have the right to "edit, change, add to, take from, rearrange, vary, embellish, alter, modify, revise, duplicate, translate, reformat and/or reprocess your User Content" so it can even be said many users who don't read the fine print may not be aware only the salacious parts of their submissions are going to make the cut (and consequently go viral). They mix in some hip-hop music video premieres here and there to keep SOMETHING of a balance to their content.

The problem for me is that's not really what WSHH is known for. WSHH founder Lee O'Denat ("Q") offers what feels like a reasonable defense for his content, one that hip-hop artists and ardent supporters know well: "We're showing people what's been going on forever. And people want to point at us and blame us for what's going on." It's Black CNN. Et cetera. The truth is more nuanced than that though. Every day in every hood somebody walks to school and DOESN'T get shot. Somebody helps an old lady carry groceries up three flights of stairs. Somebody makes a song about their dream of being an architect or finding a cure for virulent diseases. The camera lens isn't necessarily swinging both ways.

This is a debate we've had for a long time in our album reviews and editorials at RapReviews - whether or not the lens of hip-hop's metaphorical camera is capturing the whole picture. The good news is that it does. The bad news is that the entertainment industry is not interested in that picture. The reason sites like TMZ and Gawker are so big is because like WSHH they are shamelessly exploitative and equally unapologetic - they just go after athletes and celebrities instead. Sex and violence sells - we all know and accept it. I cover mixed martial arts for a living - I'm no innocent bystander to the popularity of violence as entertainment. The thing that bothers me about "WorldStarHipHop" deep down is the name itself, as though people will assume THIS is what "hip-hop" is.

WSHH may be a part of the hip-hop discussion, but just because it's the king of all viral videos doesn't mean it should be confused for representing hip-hop music and culture. It's a "content aggregator" and for-profit venture, and should be thought of and recognized as such.
The Hip-Hop Shop #333 - The Best Is Back to Ransack

It's time for another edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #333 is called The Best Is Back to Ransack! Enjoy new tracks by Element Rhymes, Shaz Ilyork, P'Cise and Aaron Cohen among others! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new podsafe free show.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Element Rhymes f/ Mike45 - The Best Is Back
* P'Cise f/ Vinny Idol - Ventilation
* Shaz Ilyork - Ransack Pavilion
* Aaron Cohen - Panes
* Taj Mahal f/ Glasses Malone, Mistah FAB - They Ain't Like Us (Remix)
* LoVel - Work
* Goldini Bagwell - Virtual Reality
* Hus Kingpin f/ Washeyi Choir - California Love (City of Dreams)

Audio: @iLLxChris f/ Calley Reed - "If I Wasn't"

Audio: iLL Chris f/ Calley Reed - "If I Wasn't"

Matt: iLL Chris teams up with Cally Reed to give you an outlook on Chris's earlier days before rap in the south. Chris's brother would play a lot of the older southern rap growing up in TX, VA, and OK. Listen to this Pimp C/UGK inspired banger from iLL Chris entitled “If I Wasn’t f/ Calley Reed.

Audio: @I26Nailz - "The Cold, Barren, and Desolate" (@IStillLoveHER)

Audio: I-26 Nailz - "The Cold, Barren, and Desolate"

Wanja: I-26 Nailz, coming out of Columbus (OH), releases his debut album "The Cold, Barren, and Desolate", which is now available to fully stream or purchase via his Bandcamp page.

Video: ST 2 Lettaz - "Remix" (@2Lettaz)

Video: ST 2 Lettaz - "Remix"

E.A.: (Huntsville, AL) With just a few days away from the release of ST 2 Lettaz new solo EP 'Good Day in the Ghetto', the G-Side member delivers the first visual off the project titled, "Remix". Following the release of his Supa King Big Pope and Migos-assisted lead single "Richard Pryor", "Remix" takes listeners mystical trip adorned with colour splashes that highlight the Cees Production & Dizzle production.

Billy Drease and Wajed Master Crafters (@edreys @DTR45)

Billy Drease and Wajed Master Crafters

First we want to thank you for all of the encouragement and support that put wind behind the sails of the DTR45 and Billy Drease brand over the years. We had a great run, questing toward the vision of something greater than ourselves, which was to leave behind a trail blazed, a story of persistence and perseverance along with a hope to inspire our musical peers as well as fans to go for their dreams!

There was a lull of musical activity from Billy after his GMA album up until his most recent releases from last year, a metaphoric narrative over instrumentals about his love-hate relationship with music The P--N Collexxxion and his intimate and self-reflecting album Edreys MMIV, each available by clicking the links.

Ever the creative and entrepreneur spirited renaissance man, Billy has stayed busy, but beneath the radar. Today we ask that you reconnect with the same guy who brought you the brilliantly crafted the Good Morning Amy album; the undeniable song and striking visuals for "Just Doin' It"; the groundbreaking hand drawn animated "Get Free" video and the half-a-million (500k+) viewed 7 minute short film "Run".

As Billy evolves and improves through his many talents, we ask that you share in his latest endeavor, a family venture and legacy business of art, jewelry and accessories like tees and carry bags.


LATEST release:
"Squeeze" - Wearable art T-Shirt
This design will only be available for order from July 1 through July 14.
(No longer available after 7/14/15)
SPECIAL Limited Offer: The first 13 T-shirt orders come packaged with an EXCLUSIVE Numbered Limited 5"x7" Squeeze Art Print.


Peace and many Thanks for your support!
Billy Drease Williams
Wajed Master Crafters
Audio: @Wasiu - "No Chance" (Prod. by Dear Lola)

Audio: Wasiu - "No Chance" (Prod. by Dear Lola)

A.T.: The Haitian-Canadian Rapper Takes Vengeance, Dear Lola Produces the First Single From Forthcoming EP.

Video: Skin Diamond Opens Up About Cutting Herself Over Bullying (@djvlad)

Video: Skin Diamond Opens Up About Cutting Herself Over Bullying

Vlad: Skin Diamond opened up to VladTV about various topics during this interview, including her past self-harming experiences.

Audio: @StatikSelekt @RoyceDa59 - "Crystal Clear"

Audio: Statik Selektah f/ Royce Da 5'9" - "Crystal Clear"

Matt: Today, via a premiere with Rapradar, Statik Selektah leaked a new track, “Crystal Clear,” which features Royce Da 5’9.” “Crystal Clear” can be found on Statik’s upcoming album, Lucky 7, which will be released 7-7-15 on Showoff Records/Duck Down Music.

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Welcome to RapReviews.com for the week of July 7th, 2015!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have TWELVE new items for you: Amiri's "Just Diggin 4!," Apollo Phox' "Join the Club," an editorial on WorldStar and Hip-Hop, Estee Nack & Purpose's "14 Forms: The Book of Estee Nack," Fdel's "Yesterday's Now Sound," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #333, LMNO & Mr. Brady's "25/8," Meek Mill's "Dreams Worth More Than Money" (our featured review), the "Planet Rap: A Sample of the World" compilation, Skyzoo's "Music For My Friends," Tragedy Khadafi's "The Pre Magnum Opus" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for June 30, 2015!

Be sure to check the RapReviews newsfeed for the latest news and updates. Subscribe to the newsfeed via your browser for articles like Video: SugaKayne - "Homicidal Recital". RapReviews.com also recommends the AMP w/ Jordan Garber & Great Sudoku from the AngryMarks Podcast Network. We appreciate your support and welcome any feedback you have. Thanks for visiting RapReviews.com!!

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