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A Message from Run The Jewels (@runjewels @KillerMikeGTO)

RUN THE JEWELSPR: A Message from Run The Jewels

To Our Jewel Runners Worldwide,

Last year we gave you Run The Jewels and in exchange we asked for an email. Since then we haven’t been in touch unless you’ve seen us at a show, talked to us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, bumped in to us at a bar, sold us weed, etc etc. Truth be told our intention was to mercilessly sell your email information to literally anyone who would pay in a desperate attempt to raise enough money to buy 2 giant 36", 14 K yellow-gold dookie rope chains or 4 bit coins.

While we still yearn for those, we (regrettably) forgot to do the whole “betraying your privacy” thing, mostly due to the amount of marijuana we smoke on a daily basis. In fact, we completely forgot we even had these emails until yesterday. S#%@ happens.

We are writing you today to thank you, and to tell you that you are the first people in the world we are inviting to check out our exclusive preorder packages for the new record we made called “RUN THE JEWELS 2” (or #RTJ2). First to the thank you part:

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING RUN THE JEWELS A SUCCESS. We are humbled that you have supported us and our music. All of you. Those who bought it, those who got it for free and came to a show… all of you. Truly. You turned a free record with little to no promotion in to something bigger than we ever expected. The shows have been amazing, the interactions with all of our supporters just as great. It's because of this that we can honestly promise to keep giving you that raw shit as long as we can. Thank you thank you thank you.

As you may know, #RTJ2 is dropping October 27th. We are very excited about this. Once again we are giving you this record FOR FREE. We want anyone who wants it to have it, especially those who don't feel like they can afford to spend cash on that type of thing or maybe even aren't sure we are worthy of it. Take it, test it out. Enjoy.

For those of you who DO want to pay for it we have many glorious options for you which we will list below. Many of these are limited and you are getting the first crack at copping them. We think you'll be as pleased with what we are presenting as we are.

Again, thank you for everything. We can't wait to give you this music and play it for you at our shows.
The (W)rap Up - Week of September 9, 2014

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Slaine's "The King of Everything Else" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[The King of Everything Else] Slaine :: The King of Everything Else
Suburban Noize Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"It's probably a good coincidence that Slaine moonlights as an actor given that his life sounds like a movie. He went from the gutter to the penthouse in a meteoric ascent - from nearly overdosing on cocaine to feature roles in films with Ray Liotta. Along the way he's been a featured member of two acclaimed rap supergroups: Special Teamz and La Coka Nostra. It's fair to say most aspiring rappers would give their left nut/tit to have done any of those things, and if the artist born George Carroll had said "That's good enough, I'm done here" and hung up his headphones for Hollywood few people would have blamed him. Slaine's not a quitter though. "The King of Everything Else" is his fourth major label solo album, a continuation of his long-standing relationship with Suburban Noize Records, and even though he's hinted in interviews that he's sick of the music industry he's clearly not sick of the SubNoize fam. Why else drop as many albums as you have appearances in motion pictures? There's no doubt he could do one or the other successfully yet here he is doing both. The work ethic is not in question nor is the skillset. Some emcees seem to get lost in the Hollywood shuffle, losing a bit of their menacing edge on the mic, but Slaine still sounds like the same gruff voiced Boston rapper he's always been. "The Years" is an overview of his life to this point - recounting "washing dishes, minimum wage" until he finally got the break he was waiting for to "make it with this pen and the page."The beat is as thick as the phlegm in his throat, heavy on the kick drum and snare, plenty of bass oomph East coast grit. It will remind you of a Diamond D or Statik Selektah track, and although I don't have production credits on this pre-release copy, it's possible it was the latter. The press kit mentions Louis Bell, Statik Selektah and DJ Lethal as providing instrumentals. Whoever did the understated head nodder "Hip Hop Dummy" featuring Apathy and Bishop Lamont feel free to stand up and take credit now."

Animal PAK + DJ Evil Dee :: Animal Planet :: Them Recordings
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Animal Planet] "If you thought the rap supergroup concept was nearing the end of its lifespan, Animal PAK is here to assert that its not going anywhere. It's certainly one of the largest collectives we've seen put together in a while. Dready Kruger, Don Streat, Unreal, Mic Handz, Cayoz The Beast, Senica Da Misfit, Macabeats, Jigsaw, O*Zee and Dichter2Productions make up the official roster. Individually I've featured singles from more than a few on the RapReviews newsfeed but I couldn't track down a full album review in our database for any. The definition of a supergroup is usually that the artists were well established before they came together. Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and Royce Da 5'9" all had solo albums on major labels before Slaughterhouse was established. This isn't an impediment to the success of Animal PAK, but it doesn't have the immediate eye popping name power that you'd expect by reading the lineup. Production is definitely one of the strengths here. Cool FD laces "Quid Pro Quo," which sounds like The A-Team theme remixed on rap steroids. "Vietnam Kidz" featuring Kool G. Rap has that Noreaga style gritty New York sound courtesy These Handz, which may just be coincidence given this new group stretches from California to Maine. "Slow Burn" featuring Do It All also has that New York sound, but this one is more of a throwback to the 1980's - Biz Markie comes to mind. Either way it's fairly clear that the extra large crew is grounded in hip-hop and pop culture from the same era that I grew up in - or at least the producers are all 80's babies. There are songs that break the mold too. "Thorn of a Rose" is an eerie Hazernomical production that sounds like a church choir harmonizing hip-hop, and the minimalistic percussion gives it that extra edge. If Killah Priest had walked into the middle of the song and started spitting Biblical prophecies I wouldn't have been surprised."

Centri :: Headless Nobody :: MondoTunes
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Headless Nobody] "Centri (pronounced sentry) is an ex-military veteran who gets the best endorsement possible from an unnamed UK radio deejay only two tracks into the "Headless Nobody" album, introducing the track "Powder Keg" before the pianos and drums kick in. Centri proceeds to spit an untempo flow over a Dig Dug beat about how "no matter how talented people say that you are, they don't owe you one percent/and when you're living with your moms, you're feeling kind of odd/cause your clothes are outdated, got a dead end job." The deejay wasn't kidding - this is the reality of being an independent hip-hop artist without the reputation of Jay Z, the tits of Nicki Minaj, or the devoted fanbase of Tyler, the Creator. "Too many emcees and not enough fans/too much talent, little money in my hands." This should serve as fair warning for anybody who has dreams of making it big as an rapper. The good news is that Centri isn't letting the bleak prospects of success stop him from trying anyway - and he's trying some things that his peers aren't. The NEOREV produced "A&R" sounds like a super crunchy dubstep track, but he's purposefully flowing even slower and more deliberately over the energetic backdrop. The contrast is appealing. "We Write Killas" with Dokta Strange and Earthadox is equally odd - it would be at home in a rail-shooter with zombies leaping out into your face. Skyzoo cameos on "RhymeGlue" - a Dynamics Plus production that sounds like somebody whacking the side of a wooden instrument and letting it echo to make the beat, accented by occasional Eastern melodies that flit away as quickly as they float on. "We don't need no hook" is a contradiction since it comes on the chorus but you'll forgive the hubris."

Muenster :: Warped Tape :: Muenstervision
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Warped Tape]"Spell it like the cheese. Denton, Texas based emcee Muenster aims to be as pleasing as the ubiquitous cow based product which you can frequently find in high calorie treats like grilled cheese sandwiches. He's not just throwing his slices on the shelf with no market research though - Muenster is basing his "Warped Tape" on experience he's gained from being on the Vans Warped Tour. He's also bounced around through several different rap groups developing his style, but for the present time Muenster is saying no to the mozzarella and cheddar. "Quack" is a good place to start. Production by CloakBeats and scratching by DJ Centrifik fit the aspiring emcee well - I'm loving the lyrical samples of Common and Redman and the overall dark and gothic sound of Muenster's musical backdrop. The track literally rings bells. Vocally Muenster is a little bit harder to get a handle on - he strikes me as a cross between Mike Shinoda and MC Serch. The beat tends to drown him out at times but he's got a little bit of swagger in his step when it drops out and lets him stand alone. There are a few songs where Muenster is willing to accept a colby jack like blend from guest stars. "Perfect Timing" has cameos from Flotation and X-Calibur, bragging that "we got the right mix for your area" before D.Teknics scratches his way into the song. It's one of only 25% of the songs that's blended out of 12 tracks, but it's an acceptable milkfat ratio - even though the line "ladies and gentlemen, you are now rocking with the veterans" strikes me odd since I'm new to every artist heard here. Muenster's "less is more" formula allows him to build on his strengths, with all but three tracks being under 3:30 in length. It's the right amount of time to get into his style before you're left trying too hard to discern how deep he really gets."

Phonix & Purpose :: Those Who Don't Hear :: Listen In Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Those Who Don't Hear] "Only after I had pressed play on "Those Who Don't Hear" did I realize that this was a UK release. I went back and checked the e-mail that alerted me the album was available to review - yup - domain name. We're a little too early for UK month here on RapReviews, but I'm not willing to sit on this one for the next four weeks. "Those Who Don't Hear" intrigued me by just how much they were willing to offer in one shot - a full album of new tracks and another full album of beat tape samples. On Bandcamp this is listed for a minimum of 7 pounds, which works out to just about $11 U.S., but apparently a free download is also available. If you're that determined to get for nothing try entering 0 and see if it works. So far as I can tell (the press release was minimal) Phonix is the emcee and Purpose Lee is the maestro of the beats. It's possible that Phonix pulls double duty as a producer, but it's also possible that a third member not even named as a featured artist has a big hand here - Majestic is listed in the credits as mastering, mixing, and recording the album. Still I'm going with the assumption that Purpose Lee is the key producer and wizard behind the boards. The "Lee" is key as he shouldn't be confused with the Purpose from the tandem of Purpose & Confidence. Mr. Lee shows off his love for soulful horns and strings on "Rhymin Spazm." Phonix has one of the thicker British accents these Yankee ears have heard in a little while. It's not unfathomable: "I'm not a bad guy, just not one to be f%@#ed with" comes across loud and clear. So does an all too familiar amount of hip-hop homophobia: "Rappers are washed up like dinner plates/acting funnier than that DOOD in Will & Grace." It's not the most vitriolic bash ever, but the casual way it works into bars on so many albums proves we've got many years (perhaps many decades) to go before it's no longer an acceptable method of establishing manhood on records. Overall Phonix is a freestyler showing off his skills on the song, bragging we should all "bear witness to a divine demonstration of syntax." He also brags he can "beat the pussy up until it smells like tuna" on "Hoola Doola." The album is a bit of a mishmash to my ears. Purpose Lee's got the basics of production down, but on songs like "Casualty of War" the high pitched backdrop not only drowns out the slightly hard to understand Phonix but eventually gives you a headache."

SigNif :: Friction :: Intelligent Dummies
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Friction]"I made the decision to open this review with a quote and an audio clip from SigNif's "Alright" because she strikes me as an artist with something important to say. You'll note that she spends a good part of the quotation carefully avoiding being pigeonholed. SigNif wants to be recognized as a dope emcee first regardless of gender, but also wants to make it clear that she's not an apologist for the people of the world who want to take a woman's rights or deny that those basic rights exist whether granted by society or not. She's clearly up on her gender politics, but SigNif is also up on politics PERIOD. She's doing something rare in hip-hop for any gender - advocating an active presence in government for the masses, particularly those who are at most risk of being underserved or abused by said same government. "Alright" is a dope track if you want to just headnod and enjoy it, but if you think carefully about what she's saying there are pertinent questions that need answering - what do YOU think your rights are, and what do YOU expect from the politicians who are in theory paid to serve our interests? Her active attitude about the system is that if you turn a blind eye, you may just find the other eye plucked out - unable to see what's happening in front of you. For this song alone I could recommend SigNif's "Friction" highly, but the truth is it's hardly an isolated example of the higher level her hip-hop is operating on. She doesn't offer words that aren't carefully considered for their ability to impact the world positively. "Here today, gone tomorrow/that's why I inspire, for better, tomorrows/it's bigger than that the latest trends" quips SigNif on the breezy "Play 2 Win" featuring Elzhi. The JBM Beatz track gives hip-hop's best new intergender team plenty of room to prove why they deserve a title shot, and more importantly the fact they'd win the belts handily against almost any challenger. These rhymes weigh a ton. SigNif is not capable of doing a half-assed track. "Never been bitter, never been a quitter/Bite my tongue so much I'm suprised it ain't cleavered... off/mouth full of blood, cough/Ditch confrontation by cutting you off." It's not every rapper who can show up a veteran like Sadat X, but on "Last Laugh" she truly gets it over both her compadre and her competitors. "Not your typical N word/a little more proper with the nouns and verbs/so your grannies can vibe to it." I can vibe to it too."
Editorial: Adrian Peterson and Ray McDonald Give the NFL Another Black Eye

Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.

[Adrian Peterson courtesy Wikimedia]The NFL can't seem to dig its way out of the hole they've put themselves in. The Ray Rice fiasco was just the tip of a much bigger iceberg, lurking beneath the surface all along, waiting to cause a Titanic PR disaster for the most popular and lucrative of all professional sports. San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald is being investigated for an August 31st incident where he beat up his pregnant fiancee, and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to authorities in Texas after being charged with "recklessly or by criminal negligence cause bodily injury" - in effect beating his son with a switch badly enough to cause cuts and bruises.

It would be too easy to say the NFL has a problem with entitlement for their athletes - millionaires who think they are above the law - given that not every player has a lucrative contract with a lot of incentive clauses. Not every player gets the kind of endorsement deals a star running back like Adrian Peterson does either. A lot of NFL athletes are hard working journeymen, paid better than your average blue collar or white collar employee, but also incurring a lot more medical bills during and AFTER their playing days than said same lower or middle class workers will. It has always been a tricky proposition to make a living as a professional athlete, not just during your playing days but providing for your retirement given how short the average NFL career can be. Those who don't go broke have long hard roads ahead.

In short not every NFL player is the bad guy. Many of them simply show up every week and do their job - quietly and without controversy. They take their weekly salary and provide a nice home for themselves and their family, and maybe a few toys they can enjoy. Any running back gets beat up week after week by six foot, three hundred pound plus lineman probably SHOULD have a hot tub at home and a comfortable luxury car with reclining leather seats. The same goes for the defensive lineman who feels the pain from delivering hit after hit. Any editorial you read about the NFL's woes, including this one, you should keep in mind that this is not a league full of spousal abuser and child beaters. The Ray Rices and Ray McDonalds of the sport should correctly be viewed as the exception and not the rule. It's not a league full of sadists and thugs.

The problem for the NFL is that even the perception of a sports league that bends over backward to protect its athletes when they are accused of horrible crimes is not the public image the league wants to project. In doing so they brand even the innocent as guilty - leaving the public wondering what other skeletons in the closet have yet to be publicly revealed. The indefinite suspension of Ray Rice was already too little, too late (and it should have been a permanent ban anyway) and now two more NFL players currently on active rosters are accused of doing bodily harm - to not only their children but their UNBORN children. Adrian Peterson can try (and fail) to excuse whipping his son with a switch by saying it's how he was raised, but Ray McDonald can offer no such defense for beating up a woman pregnant with his child. If the allegations are true it's horrible, despicable, and unforgivable.

As we turn on the sonar and look deeper beneath the cresting waves, one has to ultimately wonder if the sport itself does deserve some of the blame. Concussion research is ongoing and even small contusions which don't result in a player getting dizzy or blacking out can lead to big problems in the future - memory loss, muscle tremors, violent behavioral changes, and so on. Every big hit affects not just the receiver but the giver, and as a fan of both combat sports and NFL football I wonder if there may come a day where we as a society decide that too many good men have been turned bad by being hit too hard. Some athletes are undoubtedly at greater risk for brain trauma than others - they may have slightly thicker skulls, or they may play with a style less prone to injury, but the NFL's black eye this week may be reflected in the black eyes of their athletes, long before a select few give those same black eyes to their wives and children.
The Hip-Hop Shop #291 - It's the Real or It's Whatever Man

It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #291 lets you decide for yourself - It's the Real or It's Whatever Man. You'll hear new material this week from CuzOH Black, MC Bravado, Black COAL and MidaZ the Beast among others! Follow us @RapReviews so you never miss a new show.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Clif W.E.R.D. - Lousen Up
* MidaZ the Beast, Jamall Bufford & Dynasty - Collapse
* Rob Stashiz - Walk a Mile In My Shoes
* CuzOH Black - The Real
* MC Bravado f/ C-Nature, Soul Khan - Infinite/Finite (Man Comes Around)
* P.A.T. Jr. f/ Jeremiah Bligen, Church - Whatever
* Black COAL f/ C Dot Castro - Gold Gated Villa
* False Ego - Ethics

Video: @1KGaines f/ Johnny Voltik - "Calvary" (@2HungryBros)

Video: K. Gaines f/ Johnny Voltik - "Calvary"

Deep: K.Gaines and Johnny Voltik team up on the song "Calvary" to overthrow the beat's (by 2 Hungry Bros) tyrannical horns with their witticisms, humor, and rhymes. This song is off K.Gaines debut solo Rumspringa: The Wildman Chronicles. This video is brought to you by the colorfully quirky vision of David Sainté along with the atypical visages of the song's two unique artists. The song is an ode to not being crucified by your own endeavors by taking it light and having fun, hence the spelling. It's not the Cavalry.

Video: Traff The Wiz - "Losing My Touch" (@TraffTheWiz)

Video: Traff The Wiz - "Losing My Touch"

Lezlie: "Losing My Touch" is arguable his most critically acclaimed song to date and it took quite a bit of personal soul searching to be able to present a video of this song.

PR: @LilCease "The Wonderful World of Cease a Leo" Re-Release

PR: Lil Cease "The Wonderful World of Cease a Leo" Re-Release

Dean: Lil Cease is celebrating his 15 year anniversary of his 1st album "The Wonderful World Of Cease A Leo" by Re-releasing it to his fans that been asking for it for years through his HardBody Music imprint & distributed by Fork and Spoon Distribution. You can also pick up Junior Mafia aka Mafia Dons lastest project "Riding For The King" below also out on all digital stores. #Enjoy #ItsTheMafia!


[Cease a Leo]
Video: @Big_Hud - "Pull Up On Ya" (ft. Trap Boy Freddy & Yella Beezy)

Video: Big Hud - "Pull Up On Ya" (ft. Trap Boy Freddy & Yella Beezy)

A.T.: The Texas representative is no stranger to the music game, having six mixtapes and two EP's under his belt, the rapper is credited for working with Yellawolf and opening up for legendary artists like Too $hort, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross. In addition, Hud is currently working on a joint project with East Oakland's Beeda Weeda entitled The Storm, dropping on September 30th. This forthcoming collaboration is set to include the first single, "Hella Turnt," featuring Too $hort and E-40.

NEW @K_NERS - Voice of the City Album Sampler

NEW K*NERS - Voice of the City Album Sampler

Alex: K*NERS releases a sampler of his eagerly awaited new album 'Voice of the City' featuring guest appearances from Sway, Roots Manuva, Harry Shotta and more.

Video: @Manifestive Interview & Performance on BBC

Video: M.anifest Interview & Performance on BBC

Fui: M.anifest is the first artist featured on this season's BBC Africa Beats program. He teams up with Kwame Yeboah & OBY Band to give an excellent performance of his songs "Debi Debi" and "Someway Bi."

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Welcome to for the week of September 16th, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have ELEVEN new items for you: Amp Live's "Headphone Concerto," an editorial on Adrian Peterson, Ensemble Mik Nawooj's "Hip-Hop Orchestra," Has-Lo and Castle's "Live Like You're Dead," the "Illect Recordings: Mind the Rap Volume 3" compilation, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #291, Mirandom's "The Otherworld EP," Sonnyjim & Leaf Dog's "How to Tame Lions," Twista's "Dark Horse" (our featured review), Ugly Heroes' "Ugly Heroes EP" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for September 9, 2014!

Be sure to check the RapReviews newsfeed for the latest news and updates. Subscribe to the newsfeed via your browser for daily updates like Audio: Jay Burna - "Snakes". also recommends The SmackDown RunDown from the AngryMarks Podcast Network. We appreciate your support and welcome any feedback you have. Thanks for visiting!!

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