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Wednesday September 17, 2014
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[Dark Horse] Never coming in last.

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Video: SciFi Stu Presents "No Swag Needed"

From Beatvizion Music:

Video: SciFi Stu Presents "No Swag Needed"

SciFi's debut single The Will feat Vast Aire, 4th Place & Jonwayne has been broadcast on radio shows worldwide, from BBC Radio 1's Essential Mix  to the classic DJ Ready Cee show in New York and has appeared on mixtapes across the globe.

Looking to follow on from this success SciFi has recruited hip hop mainstay John Robinson (aka Lil Sci from Scienz of Life) & ultra-fresh Jersey group Remarkable Mayor to provide raps for this new energetic 'golden era' inspired track. The track also features turntable skills from SciFi's friend and collaborator Twelvebit.

1. No Swag Needed feat. Remarkable Mayor & John Robinson
2. What Yall Waiting For feat. Ill Poetix

* *

The (W)rap Up - Week of July 13, 2010

Juvenile - Beast Mode
Juvenile :: Beast Mode
Koch/E1 Entertainment

Author: Pete T.

Click here to find   out more!

"History's been kind to Juvenile. If you told folks back in '98 that "400 Degreez" would be considered damn near a hip hop classic a decade later, most of them would have called your bluff. Yet after a decade-and-a-half of recording, Terius Gray has attained unusual longevity in a career largely spent embodying the factors that made fans love and detractors love to hate the Cash Money Billionaires and New Orleans bounce music at large: shameless opulence and materialism, undisguised misogyny, sly humor amidst often simplistic lyricism, an inimitable swagger and style, addictive, irresistible cookie-cutter beats, and a penchant for making both club and street anthems and posse cuts. An excellent rapper but an even more likable character, Juve rose from the streets of the Crescent City to attain legendary status, pioneering his city's infamous bounce sound and selling millions of records both solo and as a member of the Hot Boys and UTP."

Eternia & MoSS :: At Last :: Fat Beats Records
as reviewed by Pete T.

"A few tidbits that may or may not be of interest regarding Eternia: she's a girl. She's white. She's from Canada. Heck, she used to date Apathy. Any three of these may comprise three strikes for some listeners, but if not then there's a good chance you'll like "At Last," her collaboration album with fellow Toronto native MoSS, a producer who has quietly amassed credits on albums by AZ, Big Noyd, Slum Village, KRS-One, Obie Trice, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Big Shug, Kool G Rap, Canibus, and damn near the whole Boot Camp Clik and Wu-Tang Clan. The scarcity of female MCs in rap's mainstream is the rare trend mirrored in underground hip hop, and having aligned herself with celebrated male rappers from across the underground spectrum, she joins a dwindling but elite few. "

Homeboy Sandman :: The Good Sun :: High Water Music
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"I first heard about Queens MC Homeboy Sandman when his second self-released album, 2008's "Actual Factual Pterodactyl," generated buzz. His complicated wordplay and non-traditional subject matter earned him critical praise, including being named album of the year by our own Adam Bernard, and a feature in the Source's "Unsigned Hype" column. He was flying pretty low under the radar though, so much so that this site never reviewed his two previous albums, and I never got around to listening to either of them. That's a deficiency I aim to correct with his new album, "The Good Sun.""

Kero One :: Kinetic World :: Plug Label
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"As self-produced underground rappers from California go, Kero One ranks at the top of most hip-hop lists with good reason. He got off to a well above average start on his first commercial album, 2006's "Windmills of the Soul," and subsequent follow up albums showed the "Early Believers" that they were right to hop on his bandwagon. His breezy style and infectious beats put him in the mix with veteran left coast artists like Hieroglyphics, Gift of Gab and Lyrics Born while simultaneously reinventing the potential of what hip-hop can be in ANY region of the United States. In 2010 Kero One should be considered a top dog but on "Kinetic World" he clearly feels he's still an underdog with much to prove. It's not accidental that his opening track is titled "Let Me Clarify" or that he feels the need to justify his spot in rap in his verses, because Kero is a book that has been judged by his cover once too often"

Metaform :: The Electric Mist :: Just Records
as reviewed by Pete T.

"About half of the tracks on "The Electric Mist" are instrumentals, and those outfitted with vocals don't have much rapping. Most of the vocals are heavily autotuned meanderings into the abstract—imagine Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say" times ten. While I acknowledge this sound has a market—the prevalence of autotune in today's Top 40 has to be more than a coincidence—the robotic singing did not appeal to me, nor did the sappy, self-pitying lyrics that often border on emo. "RevengeOfANerd," which uses the same Art of Noise sample as Krayzie Bone's "Murda Mo," legitimately could be substituted for any of the weaker tracks on Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak" and few listeners would know the difference. Despite a strong percussion arrangement, the shrieky hook of "Candy" borders on intolerable, and the silly lyrical wanderings of "Strange Girl" detract from a really cool beat."

Janelle Monae :: ArchAndroid :: Bad Boy/Wondaland Arts Society
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"Janelle Monae loves music. I don't know her personally, but, what I do know, is that she loves music. She doesn't just enjoy making music. She doesn't just enjoy some particular genre of music. She loves music. All of it. How do I know this? Because her recent release, "The ArchAndroid," begins with a classical overture, and, after this overture, Janelle dabbles in rap, soul, folk, psychadelia, metal, and more classical overture with features ranging from Saul Williams to Big Boi to Of Montreal to Deep Cotton. "ArchAndroid" is a truly ecclectic album, in every sense of the word."

Necro :: DIE! :: Psycho+Logical Records
as reviewed by Matt Jost

"With rappers often relating how they escaped death and celebrating their survival, the idea of one of them facing fatality unflinchingly is refreshing. "DIE!," however, is a very literal title, it is the raging yell Necro lets out as he draws the gun, pulls the knife, or, more creatively, proceeds to "twist your spine like a Pilates class." He takes delight in ending your existence, with very little motivation shown as to why exactly. Lacking any psychological element, lyrically "DIE!" is strictly splatter rap. Maybe Necro would, in light of the album cover, want to make the argument that he rises from hip-hop's grave and back it up with the odd statement about "pop fags in the game claimin' to be true lyricists [that] give hip-hop a bad name," but these remarks are largely unconnected to the gorefest."

various artists :: Pollen: The Swarm Part Three :: Wu Music Group
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"One would assume when Wu-Tang Clan use their logo themselves to release an album on their own label that's a "legit" seal of approval. Method Man's third cousin twice removed or the rapper who made one cameo on a Shyheim album might CLAIM Wu, but "Pollen: The Swarm Part Three" is an officially endorsed product. The compilation is printed and manufactured by the Wu Music Group and the Clan logo appears everywhere on the product - even the spine of the disc uses it once on either side of the title. Unfortunately the value of their logo has been substantially diminished in the last five years. The time and money the Wu could waste to stamp out all perpetrators and frauds is ridiculous using their logo is so ridiculous one can hardly fault them if they don't bother. "Caveat emptor" is the watchword - a little caution can serve the consumer well."

Vinnie Paz :: Season of the Assassin :: Enemy Soil Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Vinnie Paz is one of the angriest men in rap. He's been snarling and swearing his way through songs as the frontman of Jedi Mind Tricks for 15 years, a critically acclaimed hip-hop group that has released six LP's and sold over a quarter of a million records in the United States. Wait - a quarter million TOTAL in 15 years? Eminem did more that in a WEEK. That may just be one of many reasons why Paz is charismatic, political, lyrical, and pissed the fuck off. When Paz growls "The best motherfucker in the street that you never heard" on "Pistolvania," he might just be right, but ultimately it wouldn't make sense for Paz to be better known. It's hard to imagine this gun toting, hollow tip loading Philadelphia rapper ever being as beloved as Will Smith or even Schoolly D. You can't tie a pretty bow around his looks OR epiglottis and sell it to the masses as Paz is hocking up a lyrical loogie on every verbally terse verse he spits."

Twinz :: Conversation :: G-Funk/Def Jam Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Pete T.

"Around '94 and '95, young West Coast rappers were in a pretty darn nostalgic state of mind, and it wasn't just happy-go-lucky folks like Ahmad, Domino, and Warren G reminiscing over ballgames in the park and auntie's home cooking—even certified gangsters like DJ Quik, Lil 1/2 Dead, and South Central Cartel could be found waxing poetic over their relatively carefree earlier years. While this might present an apparent paradox—these same MCs each went to great lengths discussing their everyday struggles growing up and the untold danger lurking around each corner in their rough neighborhoods—it might actually be more natural than you'd think. For these young men, many of whom were caught up in California's gang culture by their late teens, childhood was a simpler, more innocent time just like everyone else's, even if they were only a few years removed from it. "

Hip-Hop Shop #83 - Rock w/ the Brown Bag AllStars

Every weekend we air a new edition of Hip-Hop Shop on BlogTalkRadio like the one you're about to hear - Episode #83 - Rock w/ the Brown Bag AllStars! We dedicate this show to our good friends from BBAS and all of the dope new music they've done lately, while also playing a couple of their classic tracks. Send all feedback on the show to Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check out the replay every Tuesday on!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* CookBook & Uno Mas f/ Evidence - When You Rock and Roll
* Koncept f/ Sene - You Knew
* Brown Bag AllStars - The Agenda
* The Audible Doctor - Free
* Brown Bag AllStars - Brooklyn Queens Expressway
* Mojo Green f/ Fatnice - Unwind
* Brown Bag AllStars - What It's All About

Sintex - An MC From The Present Who's Seen The Future

A lot of artists like to say they can see the future of music, but how many have actually been to the future? According to Sintex, he has, and it was the inspiration for his 2009 album, 2020. Originally from Ohio, but now a Queens, NY, resident, Sintex’s story is an interesting one, and not just because of the time travel. Sintex had an extremely religious upbringing, and when I caught up with him this week he discussed it with me, as well as the way in which he rebelled against it. Also, since Sintex claims to have been to the future, I grilled him on when we’re going to get hoverboards, flying cars and robot maids.

Read the full interview at:

NEOSONIC News - Pre-Order Imported Piano-rama CD

From K-Murdock:

NEOSONIC News - Pre-Order Imported Piano-rama CD

When i dropped Piano-rama top of this year, many fans were disappointed that the only way to purchase the album physically was on a USB Card.  Admittedly, as a collector of CDs myself, i was also bummed out and even though i loved the extras the USB Card afforded, i felt like i just had to get to some CD copies!  So, as luck would have it, the manufacturers of the Japanese edition of Piano-rama, River City Music Entertainment, cut me a deal earlier this week, so that i could sell the imported edition of the album myself.

It's super expensive to buy/ship in bulk quantities overseas (even for me as the artist), thus i only bought an initial shipment of 30 CDs and i am selling them for almost half what it would cost to import the CD directly from Japan.  Beginning today, you can pre-order CDs HERE & i will be shipping them out by top of September once they arrive stateside to me.  Aside from having the album on an official physical CD, the imported edition of Piano-rama also boasts some cool artwork and an exclusive bonus track!  Depending on how fast this round of CDs sell, i will try and order another batch from Japan by Fall. Thanx in advance for the support...


Posted By K-Murdock to NEOSONIC News
Free Pharoahe Monch Show At NYC Summer Stage Music Event

From Duck Down Music:


Pharoahe Monch will be performing at NYC's Summer Stage Music Event on Wednesday, July 21st at 7PM

Park Address:
21 Street, Bridge Plaza
Vernon Boulevard, East River
New York, NY
Click Here For Directions
Audio: Thadd Williams - "What More Can I Say"

From @shodharris at Mic Fiend Music:

I wanted to just send you the latest single from Thadd Williams, What More Can I Say. The record is starting to pick up momentum lately and we would just like to get your support on this record. This record as well as the overall Mic Fiend movement has been receiving love from people within the industry as well just the everyday fans as well.

Download: Thadd Williams - What More Can I Say

Preview: Thadd Williams - What More Can I Say


This track is off the street album, Blue Collar Code


Video: Yukmouth - "Pac Man"

From Brent Morrow at RBC Records:

All the accolades and all the fame amount to nothing if you don’t have your freedom. While it is usually something we take for granted everyday, Yukmouth knows the price of his freedom and is embracing it with his new album “Free At Last” in stores now.
After being in the game for nearly 20 years, Yuk has seen and been stuck in every deal imaginable. From spending time at Virgin Records through multiple other labels he eventually landed at Rap-A-Lot Records putting out multiple records. Since leaving the label, Yukmouth couldn’t imagine a better time than to take his fate into his own hands and going independent with Smoke-A-Lot Records.
Pulling out all stops, Yuk enlists some of the industry’s best up and coming heavy weights. In addition to recruiting Young Money’s Gudda Gudda for the single “Smell It On Me” Yuk also brought on Ya Boy & Jay Rock for “The Life” with Mistah FAB rounding out the New West features on “That’s Outta Here”.
Having provided the instantly recognizable anthem “I Got 5 On It” as a part of the 90’s group The Luniz, Yuk is also a member of the groups Thug Lordz, (C-Bo), and the Regime (Tech N9ne and Tha Realest).
Yukmouth, born in East Oakland, California originally went on to sign a solo record deal at Rap-A-Lot Records, releasing three albums, each selling at least 200,000 copies with little airplay.
Since leaving Rap-A-Lot, Yuk founded his own label, Smoke-A-Lot Records, and has released both the DVDs, and the soundtracks for his series titled “United Ghettos of America.”
Freedom never felt so good.
Video: Spectac & Amiri - "Mass Effect"

From Domination Recordings:

Check out the new music video for "Mass Effect" from Spectac & Amiri's album Almost Famous, out now on HiPNOTT Records!

For the third official single from Spectac & Amiri's album Almost Famous, the duo releases the Rick Foy-directed video for "Mass Effect". Paying homage to hip-hop's past, this video is sure to take you back to that golden age when hip-hop was pure and absolute. The album, Almost Famous (which also includes the singles "As If" and "My God") is available now on iTunes.

Director Rick Foy of Dvid Films, who previously directed the duo's video for "As If", has also directed videos for Jay ARE, Kam Moye and Kaze and can be contacted at

Spectac Returns with Solo Album

It might seem ironic that someone who got tricked into going to college would go on to become a school principal, but for South Carolina native, Mervin Jenkins, it was just nature taking its’ course. Known to his former students as "Jenks", the streets know a freestyle fiend named "Spectac" (short for Spectacular). Born in Eutawville, S.C., the University of Hip-Hop was the only education that interested the young rapper who fell in love with rhyming at a very young age. With aspirations of graduating so he could move to New York and live with his aunt to pursue music, his mother had other plans for the young visionary. “I was all packed and ready to go, I had my Greyhound ticket and everything,” remembers Spec, “and my mother comes and says, ‘you’re not going to New York.’ She had applied to two colleges on my behalf and I got accepted, so I finally conceded and ended up going to Benedict College in Columbia.”

By the time he completed his masters in education Jenkins had entwined his love for hip-hop with his newfound love for education and began teaching middle school. Being immersed in hip-hop since he was the age of the students he was now teaching, allowed “Jenks” to connect to the kids on a completely different level; so much so that he uses comparisons between hip-hop and Renaissance artists as tools to help his students better understand historical figures using modern examples. Spec, as he’s called for short, uses his own life experiences as examples to his students who are wrestling with peer pressure by rhythmically telling of his own perseverance. Using hip-hop as his umbilical chord he connects to a generation dictated by the now grossly commercial engine. Jenks and Spec become interchangeable as he drops science using his gift to give Life Through Music. He created Life Through Music (LTM) as a way to use his own life to get a message out to young people. LTM is a lecture-performance designed to provide today's youth, in both public and private institutions, the opportunity to hear how he, overcame the negative influences of drugs, alcohol, and the numerous other temptations often associated with peer pressure. “My focus is on raising student achievement and self-esteem.” Says Spectac; “I tell the kids that you cannot change a system while on the outside of it. I let my audience know that I understand how hard things can be during their critical teen years. The key is to let them know that I am with them, yet stepping forward while maintaining those connections. The goal of my presentation is to show them, through my experiences, the limitless possibilities that life has to offer. I believe that too often educators get caught up in things that appeal to the head and not the heart. Young people tend to gravitate to that which is heart-felt. Unfortunately this simple technique has become almost non-existent in today's education arena. What I bring to young people is first-hand knowledge of two worlds that many felt could never co-exist: EDUCATION and HIP HOP."

Though he sports a suit and tie during the day, the nighttime brings out the real lessons as he schools new cats about what’s really good on the mic. Charting on Billboards top 100 singles chart with the first release from his five song EP, “Lessons From The Ghetto, Spectac is bringing a new curriculum to the game. He puts it down on several mix tapes including: Spitkicker mix tapes ( "The next Spit" vol. 1, hosted by Phife Dog and vol.3 hosted by MF Doom, The Enyce Experience Mix Tape, Deejay Mr. Cee’s mixtape and the UNC (University of North Carolina) internet radio cd compilation. Over the years Spectac has been interviewed by countless radio stations across the US and overseas. He was also interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR), by Dick Gordon of ‘The Story’, regarding his dual role as an educator and hip hop artist.

With the help of long time friend and business partner Jonathan McLeod (JD), the edutainer is set to release his full-length album "Spectac Returns: Spectac Starring as Superman for a Day, Clark Kent for Life" through Domination Recordings this coming August. Critically acclaimed artists Phonte and Big Pooh of Little Brother, 9th Wonder, Big Daddy Kane and a host of others contribute masterfully to help accompany Spectac's enlightening wordplay. Rooted in old school, and well versed in the new school, Spectac describes his sound as a Kanye West meets Pete Rock reality. Such is the case with the first single "One Day Remix" where "classic royalty" Big Daddy Kane chimes in on this tale of rising to the top. The reality that penetrates the baselines of the slickly produced tracks cover topics from his relationship with his father, to his step grandfather who wherever he laid his hat was his home; and everything in between. Known for his impeccable freestyle, coming off the dome is what captivates his audiences as they get tangled in his eloquently crafted stories garnering him street cred for his flow as well as respect for keeping it real...positive.

For more information visit the Facebook fan page: Spectac Returns


Video: Polo Champ - "I'm Sofa King Awesome" Trailer

Polo Champ single I'm Sofa-King Awesome (I'm So F*ckin' Awesome) available on iTunes August 3rd!!! Produced by B. Starks.

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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!

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