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Thursday October 23, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Paperwork] No trouble this time, man.

T.I. Review

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Neosonic Productions - Sheets of Sound

From K-Murdock:

Like many beat-makers out there, my introduction to jazz music came thru hip-hop and all the jazz samples being flipped by my favorite producers- Pete Rock, Premo, Q-Tip, etc.  Admittedly, it wasnt until i got tasked to help "image" the jazz stations while working as a "audio animator" at XM Radio, that i learned the distinct differences between all the jazz sub-genres.  I've always been more partial towards the "jazz-funk" fusion music from the '70s, but when my mentor Maxx Myrick, who created/ran the famous XM channel "Real Jazz", put me on to the history of the genre and its pioneers, it definitely opened me up to a whole new world of music!  In particular, it was John Coltrane and his "sheets of sound" style that ultimately helped develop my appreciation for "trad-jazz".  That shared appreciation brought myself and fellow artist/jazz-addicts Bilal Salaam & Wes Felton together back in 2003 to create this ode to the legendary John Coltrane.  I thought it only right to post this up since last week was his 83rd birthday...


Sheets of Sound  by  Neosonix


Video: De La Soul - 20 Years High and Rising Tour


"De La Soul is not dead! You better believe it! The 3 New Yorkers reminisce on stage over their 20-year strong career in a global tour that pays tribute to their first album "Three Feet High And Rising". Their Paris concert was off the hook, proof that their beats have not lost impact and that the years have NOT affected their energy and sense of humor. Mad respect!"

Watch The Show!

Web - VanCity (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Web
Title: VanCity
Label: Web Since 1982

Out of the four singles I covered for this week, this is the only one I have any real desire to spin twice. Unfortunately at only 2:44, it's also the shortest song of the four. Web's rap is a simple and uncluttered narrative about his 26 year love/hate relationship with Vancouver (British Columbia, that is). "No home in this place for emotional states/Everybody pokerfaced, empty hopes in their chase/For imperial wishes of false material dreams/Reachin out towards the lights, tryin to mirror the beams." That may sound a little dark and depressing, especially considering he describes VanCity as a place where it "always rains," but Rodney Hazard's piano backdrop is thoughtful and uplifting. Check this one out for free on Web Since 1982.
Nipsey Hussle - Hussle Is My Last Name (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Nipsey Hussle
Title: Hussle Is My Last Name
Label: Cinematic/Epic Records

The unfortunate side effect of getting so much podsafe material to feature on Hip-Hop Shop is getting so much MORE that I don't have a clue what to do with - either the major label ties ever prevent me from spinning it or it's so uninteresting that I'd never inflict it on my listeners. "Hussle Is My Last Name" has the unfortunate distinction of falling into both categories. I'd quote you some of Hussle's rap about banging guns and slanging drugs, but there's nothing quotable. Even his hook resorts to repeating the title of his song over and over, which is a very unclever play on a very uninteresting nom de plume to begin with. The only notable thing he's done so far in his career (at least to me) is appear on a Dorrough remix and even then I noted his rap was a waste of time that bloated this track. Imagine a whole song of that bloat instead of just one verse, and this song becomes pure whale blubber - fat in the most negative sense of the word possible.

Fat Joe f/ OZ, T-Pain - Put You in the Game (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Fat Joe f/ OZ, T-Pain
Title: Put You in the Game
Label: Terror Squad/Imperial Records

Jim Jonsin has become recognized for chart-topping hits from T.I. to Mike Jones to Lil Wayne, and he tries to provide that same magic for Fat Joe on "Put You in the Game." He partially succeeds, although if you find yourself humming the chorus to "Whatever You Like" listening to it, I don't blame you one bit. It's not just the beat that's cliche though, it's Fat Joe's baller status rap: "Suicide do's, I'm so Cobain/Louis camou' jacket, the bag is the same/She says Joey Crack you must be sellin cocaine/Cause they don't make no money like that in the rap game/Mr. Mr. Rainman, yeah I can make it rain/Top blown off, and I ain't even aim/Yankee hat back, the seats on lean/And no that's not a car, that's a fuckin' airplane." Really? Why don't you fly away then. OZ's verse is an afterthought, and when the most interesting part of your song is the Auto-Tune hook from T-Pain, you're not impressing me. I don't hate "Put You in the Game" but it's absolutely nothing to write home about.

D.A. Beaulieu - We Go Hard (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: D.A. Beaulieu
Title: We Go Hard
Label: Dark Side/DipSet West

Ostensibly a member of the newly minted DipSet West, D.A. Beaulieu claims to be "Tupac's Thug Passion equally mixed with the Dark, Deminted humor of Eminem." The bad spelling and poor use of capitalization are entirely his, but the typos got me thinking - what would a DEMINTED Eminem actually be? Let's say The Marshall Mathers LP represents the closest thing to a MS-70 Eminem, and Infinite represents an Eminem that's a BS-1. For the non-numismatists out there, these terms represent two extremes of a coin's condition, from almost worthless to almost flawless. The deminted Eminem that D.A. Beaulieu claims to be is somewhere between G-4 and F-15, but certainly no higher. There's nothing "Very Fine" or "Almost Uncirculated" about his rap: "Same old me, in the middle of the hood like Olde E/Still keep it low key, duckin the police/Young, still O.G./And I ain't dope baby, I'm OD." The beat can't even get a G rating (pun intended) as it's as basal state as hip-hop gets. The same pattern of four notes repeated at different octaves is suitable for inspiring madness, to the point the song dropping to drumtrack alone at 3:15 is sweet merciful relief. Speaking of relief, grade this DEMINTED coin poorly once you examine it closely, and don't put it in your collection - it has no long term value.
Hip-Hop Shop #49 w/ Steve 'Flash' Juon

Hip-Hop Shop Episode 49 features 30 minutes of hot new music from K.I. f/ Kid Cudi, Pugs Atomz, Danny, Shadowman Boogie and more! If you would like to sponsor Hip-Hop Shop please send an e-mail to for more information. Hip-Hop Shop features podsafe music, so distribute the show and tell your friends to check us out every week at!

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* K.I. f/ Kid Cudi - I Hear Them Calling
* Tash - New Bikini
* Pugs Atomz - Fire
* Shadowman Boogie - The Puzzle
* Jern Eye f/ Nightclubber Lang, Rakka Iriscience - Champion
* Danny! - Scrambled Eggs

Logic - Emcee Defies Death To Rock Mics

It’s a safe bet that nearly every veteran of Connecticut’s hip-hop scene has come into contact with Logic at some point during their career. Personally, I was first introduced to him back when I was co-hosting a radio show called In Da Mixx with DJ Cue and he came through as a part of team of artists. That was a good half decade ago. Since then the scene has experienced its fair share of turnover, and while Logic has seen it all, he’s been forced to watch much of it from the sidelines, unable to perform or release any of his own work due to a painful medical condition. This week, on the heels of the release of his very long awaited album, The Business of Gods and Men, I caught up with Logic to find out more about the life and death situation that kept him out of commission for so long, what his music sounds like now, and who’s been with him every step of the way.

Read the full interview at:

DJ Spooky at Brooklyn Bowl (NYC) on October 6th

From Tito Belis:

"The Secret Song" Listening Party @ Brooklyn Bowl - FREE - 21+

6:00 p.m. - Doors (happy hour bowling specials being offered)
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Screening of "Dub Echoes" -
8:00 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. - "The Secret Song" Listening Session
8:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Bonus DVD screening (Spooky's remastering and rescoring of the 1924 Russian Revolution film by Dziga Vertov titled "Kino-Glaz").

Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky) is a renaissance man with his base of interest rooted firmly in the world of creativity through sound. Now, he returns to his original form as DJ and master provocateur with his new album  “The Secret Song.” In his role as recording artist and producer, Miller has worked with or remixed everyone from Metallica to Yoko Ono; from the Kronos Quartet to Killah Priest to Beck, showing his many facets as a creative force in the world of music.

“The Secret Song” is DJ Spooky’s take on the changing world of 21st century music, economics, and global culture. With material taken from collaborations with people as diverse as Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, old school African hip-hop legends Zimbabwe Legit and Mike Ladd to political hip-hop crew The Coup, golden-age legends The Jungle Brothers, and Iran’s Sussan Deyhim (who sings in Farsi), DJ Spooky connects the dots between jazz, classical music, and the struggle to create new, dynamic relationships between old school hip-hop and the 21st century’s rapidly changing info-culture landscape.

Showcasing his filmmaking, the release is accompanied by a limited edition DVD. Following in the steps of The Cinematic Orchestra’s rescore of Dziga Vertov’s cinema classic “Man with A Camera,” DJ Spooky remixed and rescored Vertov’s rare first collage film “Kino-Glaz” (“Cinema-Eye"). "The Secret Song" will be released on October 6, 2009 via Thirsty Ear Recordings.
"The Secret Song" EPK:
"Kino-Glaz" trailer:
Download "Azadi" (The New Complexity) feat. Sussan Deyhim from "The Secret Song":
The (W)rap Up - Week of September 22, 2009

M.O.P. :: Foundation
Blaze/E1 Entertainment

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Their 15 year history in hip-hop is one song after another that leaves bodies on the pavement, leaking more blood than a UFC fighter's face after being busted up with elbows. Some artists would risk coming off as a motion picture parody of urban warfare if they sported M.O.P.'s level of violence, but the Mash Out Posse has always walked the fine line between authenticity and absurdity to perfection. In between their shouting, posturing, and imitations of semi-automatic gunfire spray, Danze and Fame turn out to be adept lyricists who are often surprisingly introspective."

Dizzee Rascal :: Tongue N'Cheek :: Dirtee Stank
as reviewed by Jesal 'Jay Soul' Padania 

"And here it is, "Tongue N'Cheek," in all its glory. Six years after "Boy In Da Corner" shook the Mercury Awards up, success now surrounds Dizzee Rascal, and this here is his triumphant release. There are various ways one can go about celebrating, and he mainly focuses on three: pure bragging, rapping for the ladeez whilst reppin' his man dem, and sitting above the streets, narrating what is going on in society. For the most part, it works fabulously well. Whilst he may well have dumbed-down the lyrical complexity, it almost always suits the instrumental at hand."

Esham :: Boomin' Words From Hell :: Real Life/TVT Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by John-Michael Bond 

"It seems every young buck with a chip on his shoulder thinks he's a bad ass, but what really makes a bad ass kid? In 1990, at the tender age of 13, Esham set a template for how to terrify your parents, principles, pastors, and role models with his fiery debut "Boomin Words From Hell." While most rappers are at least a little full of shit when they craft their tales of street violence, one has to question what the hell was going on in this kids head with these sixteen tracks of bloodshed and violence. One thing is for certain, this child's debut meditation on evil and darkness set the template for a generation of underground rappers with their minds on morbid shit, from Tech N9ne to Eminem."

John Forte :: Stylefree EP :: Theory 7
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor 

"In 2000, John Forte had a promising career ahead of him. He had co-written some songs on the Fugee's blockbuster "The Score."  He had released a solo album and was working on another one when he got busted for drug trafficking and all of his dreams had to be put on hold. Ironically, the shady deal that got him thrown in jail was supposed to finance his career. He was offered $10,000 to get people to move what turned out to be 30 pounds of liquid cocaine from Houston to New Jersey. Forte swears that he didn't realize it was drugs, but he got 14 years, while the guy who set the deal up walked away without serving a day. Forte spent 8 years in prison before finally being pardoned by President Bush in 2008. "StyleFREE" is his first album of material since getting freedom back."

Krizz Kaliko :: Genius :: Strange Music
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez 

"His debut was exactly what it should have been, a heartfelt outburst of emotions from an emcee that had essentially been held silent for far too long. Thankfully, we do not have to wait another ten years for Krizz Kaliko to hit us with his follow up. The fact that his debut charted as high as #19 on the Billboard 200 certainly didn't hurt, but Krizz's ability to hold down an album showed Tech N9ne all he needed to see. While his debut felt like a therapeutic release, "Genius" shows us Krizz's more playful and diverse side. The album is still littered with deeper songs, but the focus seems to be partying."

MDDL FNGZ :: Smokin Wit Tha Enemy :: Perfecto Entertainment
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"See, while most groups can't resist the urge to follow at least one trend, MDDL FNGZ takes their name quite seriously and just makes music the way they always have. It's hardcore gangsta rap, the type that you haven't heard in years. It's straight forward beats, hooks with no R&B singing, and rhymes that are as honest as they are brutal. The group also has an air of authenticity in their music that is hard to come across. Every rapper brags about still hustling for their money, but MDDL FNGZ are believable in their declarations. Perhaps it is this honesty that attracts Bun B to the group. They are his crew, and despite failing to gain his level of notoriety, Bun B faithfully shouts out and supports them whenever they need it."

New Boyz :: Skinny Jeanz and a Mic :: Shelly/Asylum/Warner Bros. Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"If you've been listening to hip-hop for over 15 years or you're over the age of 35, it's hard to get down with the concept or the obnoxious "wah, wah, wah wah wah" chorus, let alone the words "YOU'RE A JERK" being looped, edited and repeated hundreds of times. If you've only been down with rap for a couple of years or you're under the age of 18, the simple beat and seemingly lackluster lyrical delivery on "You're a Jerk" fits perfectly into the context of what you know about hip-hop."

Nosaj Thing :: Drift :: Alpha Pup Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor 

"Like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing is an L.A.-based producer/beatmaker/musician/composer who is rooted in hip hop but works with more abstract electronic sounds. Jason Chung, the man behind Nosaj Thing, got his start dismantling his dad's computer when he was thirteen, and he knows his way around computer-generated sounds.  While he has produced songs for indie rapper Busdriver, his debut album "Drift" isn't quite instrumental hip hop. It has roots with IDM, minimalist techno, and other forms of stripped down electronic music. There is also a symphonic quality, resulting in something like Danny Elfman composing a soundtrack for a video game."

Pugs Atomz :: Roof Top :: SoFlo Entertainment
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Pugs Atomz has been around the Chi-Town hip-hop scene for a minute, releasing albums dating all the way back to 2000, and in 2007 we caught the late pass by reviewing his "Conversations With a Chamelion" release. At the time the writer covering Pugs described his album this way: "a tasty backpack snack featuring a veteran who sounds like he's ready to move onto bigger and better things." It seems those bigger and better things have arrived in 2009, as his label is heavily repping the new album "Roof Top," and the accompanying press release promises an all-star roster of underground rap guests from Naledge to Primeridian and Sadat X."

Qwel and Maker :: So Be It :: Galapagos4
as reviewed by Eric Sirota

"The point is, I tend to gravitate towards fringy hip-hop. I like my rappers wordy and abstract – preferably self-loathing college graduates with girl problems and psychological weed addictions. Qwel, on his second collaboration with DJ/producer Maker, "So Be It," fits the bill pretty well. And, at least from where I'm sitting, that's not an insult. Indeed on "So Be It" Qwel shines as both an adept writer and contemplative philosopher, tackling topics ranging from religion to politics to relationship with incredible depth."

Young Problemz :: Da Problem (How's My Rapping?) :: Asylum Records
as reviewed by Justin 'Tha Shiznute' Chandler 

"What do you expect from a quintet that hails from Houston, TX? It's not exactly a hotbed of wordsmiths, save for a few exceptions. No, this is dirty south music exaggerated to an almost comical level. Check the track names: Boi!, Bout Money, Ya'll Got Dimez, Got Me F'd Up, Knock Ha Dyne (LOL), etc. Side note: the "LOL" is actually in the title of the track, it's not me poking fun. There should be no surprises for listeners as they venture through this audibly aggressive disc."



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Welcome to for the week of October 21st, 2014!! Please like us on Facebook and shop Amazon through RapReviews so we can bring you new material every week. This week we have TEN new items for you! Check out the 5 rappers to follow on Tumblr article, Akrobatik's "Built to Last," Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #296, MarQ Spekt and Blockhead's "JustPlayWitIt," Saigon's "G.S.N.T.3. - The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard," Smoke DZA & 183rd's "Ringside EP," T.I.'s "Paperwork" (our featured review), Vince Staples' "Hell Can Wait," Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for October 14, 2014 and Ray West & O.C.'s "Ray's Cafe." Please note the Vince Staples review is the debut of new staffer Clara Wang. Big up Clara!!

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