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The (W)rap Up - Week of September 7, 2010

[Invisible Man]Superstar Quamallah :: Invisible Man :: Brick Records
Author: Pete T.

"More than in any other genre, hip-hop artists are open and even proud to reference their influences on record. While alternative musicians across the disciplines have historically sought to recapture the sounds of yesteryear against the tides of chart-topping trends, few are candid about their sources even if their styles are clearly derivative. Where Nas and Cormega might sample and shout out MC Shan to their hearts' content, we're much less likely to hear Coldplay pen a song about how they listened to "The Joshua Tree" every day of junior year. Then again, there's a fine line between giving props and name-dropping in rap music (see Game, The), and many creators of "throwback rap" struggle to balance creativity with reheated-ness. "

The 20/20 Project :: Employees of the Year EP :: {self-released}
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
[Employees of the Year EP] "The 20/20 Project is a Canadian hip-hop group based out of Toronto and consists of three members: D-Squared and Idrees hold down the microphone, while DJ Unknown mans the turntables and takes care of the production. in fact, The 20/20 Project's existence basically begins with DJ Unknown. Both D-Squared and Idrees worked the Canadian underground scene, with D appearing on two Tru Paz albums, while Idrees released his own albums and mixtapes, developing a small-but-loyal fanbase in the process. While working on their own projects for digital singles and mixtapes, with the mutual aid of DJ Unknown's production, D-Squared and Idrees collaborated on each other's solo tracks and decided to take their chemistry to the next level by forming The 20/20 Project. The intent of this collaboration is to blend social commentary and conscious vibes with old school boom bap hip-hop. "


Flip :: Umberto Ghetto :: Tontraeger Records
as reviewed by Matt Jost 

[Umberto Ghetto]"Musically, Philipp Kroll is known for finely tuned, grounded tracks. The East Coast roots are obvious, and Flip doesn't hesitate to name-check three of his influences with the interlude "Large Diamond Rock." But like many other European producers, he has developed a style of his own, one that, compared to American trailblazers, focuses on details and attaining a harmonious ensemble (qualities that more recent productions from the aforementioned triumvirate often lack). At one point Flip claims to be Austria's 'Kanye West, Diamond, Madlib, Dre and Jay Dee,' and while those are several pairs of big shoes to fill even on a local level, his beats do exhibit a broad range of moods. Sampling "Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth" isn't what you would call original in the hip-hop context, but the way he flips (no pun intended) the drum sequence at the very beginning of "U.M.B.E.R.T.O. G.H.E.T.T.O.," he will even have a crate connoisseur's attention. "


Geko :: Crate Cartel Radio :: Obese Distributed
as reviewed by Daniel Oh

[Crate Cartel Radio]"It's a very American sentiment to assume that we're the best at most everything, especially the things that were born and bred within our shores. We assume that we have the best baseball players, the best basketball, the best Air Force, the best automobiles, and of course, the best Hip-hop. It took awhile for us to lower our noses and look down at the international imitations flooding our markets to realize, just because it's not "Made in the USA" doesn't mean it's not good. Now, the MLB is flooded with Central American and Asian talent, international players are getting drafted higher and higher in the NBA, and you see Hondas and Toyotas running the highways rather than Fords and Chevys. Being an American, it took me awhile to warm up to Geko's CD, Crate Cartel Radio. I was shocked to hear an Australian accent open up the album, smashing and bellowing against my speakers to keep pace with the delayed boom-bap rhythm. "


Kano :: Method to the Maadness :: BPM Records
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania
[Method to the Maadness]"Kano's new album "Method to the Maadness" (that is the correct spelling FYI) has failed. Yep. Didn't even break the Top 40 in the first week. I take absolutely no pleasure in reporting that – however, it is no surprise to me. Kano is a talented lyricist, has impeccable breath control and delivery, a smooth, almost effortless voice, and has been dubbed everything from the UK's answer to Jay-Z, Nas and (by himself, albeit it cheekily) Big Daddy Kano. He did the circuits, had an all-star cast of producers, took over influential radio shows and created a big marketing push. Yet, his commercial failure was entirely down to three key aspects. Firstly, there are no true hit singles on the LP. You cannot, unless you are a global megastar, sell records and crack the charts unless you have hit singles that connect with the radio, TV or underground. Doesn't happen. Secondly, MTTM is eclectic, sounding oh so original, but it is blatantly derivative. He has clearly been listening to artists like M.I.A. and Lil Wayne, as their DNA is all over the LP. "


Mack 10 :: Mack 10 :: Priority Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Pete T.

[Mack 10]"Many are perplexed by Mack 10's stardom given his rather modest talent, yet fifteen years, ten albums, a label, numerous business ventures, a marriage to a TLC member, and more shitty acting roles than he's worth since his 1995 debut, it's clear that Mack 10 is a mainstay in the West Coast rap game. While his debut may have positioned him as just another of Ice Cube's protégés like The Lench Mob, K-Dee, and Kam before him, when it came time in 1996 for Cube to assemble the West Coast trio that would throw up the almighty "W" with one hand and a middle finger to the East with the other, it wasn't Snoop, Kurupt, or any of the aforementioned he selected to join him and WC as the Westside Connection super-triad—it was Mack 10. The rest, as they say, is history. "


Moon Blazers :: Above the Clouds :: Domination Recordings
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

 [Above the Clouds]"Occasionally an album intrigues me before I listen to a single note. The re-release of "Above the Clouds" by Moon Blazers was just such an album and there are four reasons responsible for it: (1.) The album's title references an all-time favorite hip-hop song of mine featuring Guru and Inspectah Deck, (2.) The name sounds like a sketch from Aqua Teen Hunger Force about pot smoking video game aliens, (3.) The digital album came to me courtesy of D.J. at Domination Recordings and (4.) I reviewed their last EP. You may have gleaned from previous reviews that Domination is one of those labels I have a tough time hating. Their intense focus on art over commerce often makes me wonder what keeps the light bill paid at their offices, yet when album after album of highly skilled "backpacker rap" in the best sense of the term is the result they tend to get an automatic spin over other free downloads that pile up."


TeV95 :: Crime Loops :: Majestik Creationz
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
[Crime Loops]"I'm willing to place a bet right now that if you the reader are in the same age bracket I am or older, the cover of TeV95's "Crime Loops" will evoke memories of a classic James Bond intro. The femme fatale seems to be fading into the background behind an ever growing fiery explosion, of the kind rarely found in nature but often reproduced by the special effects wizards of M5 Industries. The openings of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore era films featured many now unforgettable songs, with varied singers working in the movie's title and theme over epic musical backdrops, all while seductive female silhouettes gyrated on screen. To this day they still create the mood that you're in for a special treat - a spy novel thriller brought to life with a British operative "Licensed to Kill" who is not the least bit afraid to use deadly force. "


Ana Tijoux :: 1977 :: Nacional Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

[1977]"This is the second solo album by French-Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux. She has been rapping since the late nineties, first as part of the group Makiza, and then on her own. She is on the same label as Manu Chao and the Nortec Collective, and shares their global Latin sound. In fact, I kept being reminded of Manu Chao's "Clandestino" as I was listening to "1977." Both albums mix latin sounds with hip hop and European folk music, creating a sound that is both unique and familiar. The title track starts off with an orchestral flourish, before going into a beat that mixes spoken-word samples, strings, and acoustic guitar. It's a very musical beat, referencing East Coast backpack rap but with a south of the border flair. Tijoux's rapping is smooth and melodic, peeling off verses with grace and ease. Non-English rap can be tricky, but Tijoux makes it sound natural. "


Timbuktu :: Stranger Danger :: URBNET Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Stranger Danger]"The only appropriate way I can think of to start this review is to explain the significance of the artist's name. I never like to assume any readers haven't studied the history of great African nations, cities and empires yet it's possible some who only recently started high school or college have yet to hit the chapter on Timbuktu in their studies. To be fair though a chapter simply isn't enough for this fabled city, and neither is this paragraph, so I encourage you to read further after this review and learn more. Nevertheless here's a VERY brief summary. Geographically the city lies within the land locked nation of Mali. Historically Timbuktu has been known for learning and scholarship, renowned for both secular learning and Islamic teaching, and since at least the 15th century had a large madrasah/university - now considered to be among the world's oldest."


Hip-Hop Shop #90 - Audible Treats Showcase

Every weekend we air a new edition of Hip-Hop Shop on BlogTalkRadio like the one you're about to hear - Episode #90 - Audible Treats Showcase. Our spotlight this week is on artists promoted by AudibleTreats.com - artists like Canibus, Rah Digga and Von Pea. Send your feedback, podsafe (RIAA free) music, and advertising requests to dj.flash@rapreviews.com. Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check out the replay every Tuesday on RapReviews.com!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Von Pea - Boombox
* Rah Digga f/ Redman - This Ain't No Lil Kid Rap
* Trek Life - Ready to Live
* Canibus - Merchant of Metaphors
* Quazedelic - Reach Out
* Apollo Brown f/ Stik Figa - Seasons
* Zane One - Kingdom

Get Homeboy Sandman on MTVu!

Longtime RapReviews fave Homeboy Sandman's latest video is a part of MTVu's "The Freshman" and with our votes he can win it and earn a spot in rotation on the network. Let's get real hip-hop back on MTV!

Check out the video below and vote early and often at: http://www.mtvu.com/category/music/the-freshmen/

Video: Iron Braydz & M9 - "Devils Death Day"

From J-Ronin:

Video: Iron Braydz & M9 - "Devils Death Day"

Fat Beats LA Announces In-Store Performances For Final Week

From Audible Treats:

Fat Beats LA Announces In-Store Performances For Final Week

Fat Beats LA Celebrates Final Week With Appearances From Rhettmatic, Ras Kass, Dilated Peoples, Bishop Lamont, Kurupt, and More

(September 13, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY) Fat Beats is excited to present yet another send-off worthy of their hip-hop legacy. Following the recent close of their New York location and a successful string of in-store performances from such artists as Just Blaze, DJ A-Trak, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier, Fat Beats is planning a week long series of in-store performances and music industry panels for to close out the Los Angeles location. These in-stores will provide an opportunity for fans to celebrate the legacy of one of the strongest music brands in the company of their favorite artists, while learning about the history of Fat Beats and what the future holds for the music industry. Everyone is welcome to come and all events are free.

Today marks the official start of the week and a half long in-store series for the Los Angeles location. This location will host artist performances every day starting this weekend until it closes its doors for the final time on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. Additionally, the Los Angeles Fat Beats location will be selling limited edition commemorative t-shirts, as well as discounted music and merchandise. Says owner, Joseph Abajian aka DJ Jab, "California has supported us since day one and we're looking forward to putting on great shows for our final week."

The schedule for the Los Angeles location is as follows:

Tuesday, September 14th: Trek Life, Percee P & Mellow Man Ace & others
Wednesday, September 15th: Tiron, Ayomari, Bambu, Tunji, & others
Thursday, September 16th: Producer Showcase - Exile, Rhettmatic, HouseShoes, Shafiyq, & others
Friday, September 17th: Kurupt, Bishop Lamont, Dilated Peoples, EM Eiht, Ras Kass, Planet Asia, Affion Crockett, Funkdoobiest, Strong Arm Steady, & others
Saturday, September 18th: Special guest DJ's and performers all day
*FINAL DAY* Sunday, September 19th: DJ's Showcase - DJ Revolution, Rhettmatic, J Rocc,& others

Despite these farewells, Fat Beats will continue doing what it does best - bringing hip-hop to the people. Fat Beats Distribution has been renamed FB Distribution and continues to work with both independent and major labels. Likewise, Fat Beats Records is pllaning rleases from a number of artists from their impressive roster, including ILL BILL, TruMaster/KRS-One, Black Milk, Trinity, Sha Stimuli, Q-Unique and more. The company's online store, FatBeats.com, which carries everything available in their retail locations and more, will remain the number one destination for hip-hop fans for all their music needs. Though these two landmarks may be closing, Fat Beats' persistence during tough times for the record industry proves it is still very much alive and well.

PR: Cassidy to Release New Album on November 2nd

From Gio at Koch/E1 Entertainment:

September 13, 2010


“Face 2 Face” E.P. at iTunes now!

(New York, NY)- Entertainment One Music/Krossover Entertainment/Larsiny Family is happy to announce the release of a brand new studio album from hip hop star Cassidy. His fourth studio album, C.A.S.H. (Cass A Straight Hustla), is set to be released on November 2nd, 2010.  This deal is the first with Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony’s new venture, Krossover Entertainment.

Carmelo Anthony says, “I'm happy to be in business with eOne.  I came to eOne because I know all the hard work they are going to put into the project and I'm glad to have an artist like Cassidy. Cassidy has been through so much and has a tremendous story to tell.”

Cassidy has released a new EP, “Face 2 Face” on iTunes.  To purchase the EP, please go to: http://ax.itunes.apple.com/us/album/face-2-face-ep/id389226821#ls=1 .

The street single, “Face to Face,” is at radio now.  This track will be followed by the second single, “Drumma Base,” which will be serviced to urban radio shortly.  

"My album is C.A.S.H. It stands for ‘Cass A Straight Hustla’,” Cassidy says. He adds “Cash is street hustla, the best album I ever put together. It is executive-produced by myself and I wrote 99 % of the verses.  I worked with producer Neo da Matrix, who I've worked with since my first album.  Top Notch also produced some tracks.  C.A.S.H. is a classic."

Cassidy is a lyricist’s lyricist who has honed his abilities in ciphers and battles all over his native Philadelphia and New York. He has yet to lose.

Split Personality was Cassidy’s Gold-certified debut album, which entered the Billboard 200 chart at #2. His sophomore album, I’m a Hustla, was released through Swizz Beatz’s label, Full Surface, and included the hits "I'm a Hustla" and "B-Boy Stance.”  Cassidy's third album, B.A.R.S. The Barry Adrian Reese Story included the single, "My Drink n My 2 Step."

Check out the new single now at radio Face to Face here: https://www.box.net/shared/azcacian0o .

For More Info on Cassidy check out: www.myspace.com/cassidy, www.youtube.com/cassidytelevision and http://twitter.com/CASSIDY_LARSINY .

PR: Motion Man "Adult Situations" in Stores Sept. 14th

From Unagi 442:

Beginning in 1993 with his debut single "Mo Like Flows On," Bay Area emcee Motion Man has been enlightening listeners with his one-of-a-kind lyrical style. Since then, he's co-starred on numerous Kool Keith albums, dropped the classic Masters of Illusion project with Keith & KutMasta Kurt, earned a platinum plaque for his work with Linkin Park, and released the excellent solo records Clearing The Field and Pablito's Way.

For his latest endeavor, he teams up with producers Unagi and Jethroe, for a concept album exploring the ins and outs of male-female relationships. Adult Situations covers all aspects of love, lust, courtship, seduction, and romance, with 12 tracks of freaky tales as only Motion Man can do it. Featuring guest appearances from Lyrical C and D'WYZE (of The B.U.M.S), plus remixes by KutMasta Kurt and TOMC3, it is relentlessly funky from start to finish.

Released by 442 Records and Culebra Cuts, it will be on all digital sites soon. 
Also available at AmazonUGHH, and Sandbox


1.Pouring You Mo Champagne 
2. High School Reunion
3. Interoffice Romance
4. Remodeling Job
5. You're The Woman
6. Porno Mustache
7. Close Call
8. Smile
9. Tell Me What You Want
10. Night Stroll
11. Interoffice Romance (KutMasta Kurt Remix)
12. Tell Me What You Want (TOMC3 Remix)

For audio samples and high-res artwork: www.adult-situations.com


Video: R.O.D. f/ Freeway - "I Can't Stand You"

From Chris at Koch/E1 Entertainment:

Video: R.O.D. f/ Freeway - "I Can't Stand You"

PR: Tanya Morgan Take Headphone Rock Tour Overseas

From Audible Treats:

Tanya Morgan Take Headphone Rock Tour Overseas

Show Dates Confirmed In London and Barcelona

(September 13, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY) To satisfy their growing international fan base, Tanya Morgan head back to Europe for the second time this year. The crew will be performing at the popular London club Plan B on September 17th and will be part of the 7th Annual Hipnotik Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

The Headphone Rock Tour is only the latest project in a long list of other major ventures the hip-hop group has undertaken this year. Tanya Morgan member Von Pea will be releasing his highly anticipated solo album Pea's Gotta Have It on October 12, 2010, just in time for the annual CMJ Music Marathon showcase in New York City. Pea's Gotta Have It, a concept album inspired by Von's experience growing up in Brooklyn, demonstrates his ability to engage listeners with lyrics that paint a story with savvy ingenuity and wit. This and The Sandwich Shop, Von Pea and Donwill's highly praised brainchild that blends The Roots' soul/funk infused arrangements with Tanya Morgan' s signature cleverly fashioned lyrics, validates why this crew has been credited with producing some of the most brilliant and artistic hip-hop music being created today.

Recently, Tanya Morgan received major press coverage in New York Magazine's coveted Vulture blog and was featured in XXL Magazine as one of "Five Groups Leading Hip-Hop Into Its New Decade" alongside The Cool Kids, The Knux, Kidz in the Hall, and U-N-I. They have headlined highly successful tours that have taken them all over North America and Europe, and have opened for hip-hop luminaries De La Soul, The Roots, Ghostface Killah, J. Cole, Black Sheep, Souls of Mischief, and Wale. Most recently, video game developer 2KSports created individual Tanya Morgan characters for one of the highest rated and best selling NBA videogame series, NBA 2k11.

Don't miss your chance to catch Tanya Morgan live on their Headphone Rock Tour in these cultural hubs.

Friday Sept 17th @ Plan B, 418 Brixton Road, London SW9 7AY (Brixton Tube)
Doors 7:30pm / Show 8:00pm

Saturday Sept 18th @ HipNotik Festival - Barcelona, Spain http://www.hipnotikfestival.com/ .

More US dates:

Monday Sept 27th - Philadelphia, PA - Von Pea opening for Pac Div at Johnny Brenda's
Wednesday Sept 29th - NYC - Von Pea opening for Pac Div at SOB's
Saturday Oct 16th - Charlotte, NC - Tanya Morgan opening for Pete Rock & CL Smooth at Amos Southend
Wednesday Oct 20th - NYC - PGHI Release/Tanya Morgan CMJ Showcase with One Be Lo, Large Progessor and Grillade at Southpaw
Thursday Oct 21st - NYC - Von Pea for Audible Treats CMJ Showcase at Sullivan Hall
Saturday Nov 13th - Austin, TX - Tanya Morgan for Oxblood Festival

For the latest on Von Pea's upcoming Pea's Gotta Have It solo album, visit www.VonPea.com/ or check www.audibletreats.com/download/vonpea/ .

To download Donwill & Von Pea's The Sandwich Shop please visit: http://donwill.bandcamp.com/album/the-sandwich-shop .

Also, be sure to support Donwill's debut solo effort, Don Cusack In High Fidelity: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/don-cusack-in-high-fidelity/id362341315 .

Video: Joe Budden - "Mood Muzik 4 - Trailer #2"

From Chris at Koch/E1 Entertainment:

Video: Joe Budden - "Mood Muzik 4 - Trailer #2"

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Welcome to RapReviews.com for the week of April 21st, 2015!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have TWELVE new items for you to enjoy: Configa and HaStyle's "The Calm Before Hastility," an editorial on Twenty Important Rap Videos From 1993 (Part One) that's delivered in two installments, Huey Newton's "#420EP," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #322, L'indecis' "Celeste," Ludacris' "Ludaversal" (our featured review), Nessly's "Give Us, Lord, Our Daily Bread 2," Papa Dios' "Eff Yoo," Rapper Big Pooh's "Words Paint Pictures," Carmen Rodgers' "Stargazer" and Scotopic's "Scotopic."

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