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Tuesday September 16, 2014
Feature of the Week

[Dark Horse] Never coming in last.

Twista Review

Latest News Headlines
9th Wonder & Buckshot - Hold it Down (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: 9th Wonder & Buckshot f/ Talib Kweli
Title: Hold it Down
Label: Duck Down Records

As if I wasn't already amped up for a 9th Wonder & Buckshot album when "Go All Out" was released, the all-star producer and MC team come back with even more fire on "Hold it Down." Ever since the Black Moon days Buckshot has been an MC's emcee, with a laid back flow and unique syllabalic emphasis to his delivery that captures the ear, and the latest single is no exception. "Time fly byyyy/Guess how many people tryin to make it in the world, so am I!/I can't lie, I be on the side like yeah/Anything movin, I'm theah/Soon as I hear, money callin I'm pick up a cell/Cautious, cause my little man in a cell." The only way this New York native could be outshined over a bouncy 9th Wonder beat is if a Brooklynite named Kweli jumped in the mix. "I don't want to ask a/question with no answer but I still fight for the chance/to right the killer cancer/wipe poverty off the map/with a verse and a 9th Wonder track." HELL FUCKIN' YEAH. Could "The Formula" be the album of the year? It's awfully early in 2008 and I haven't even heard the full-length yet, but two hot singles hint at a level of dopeness never previously imagined. "Let's get to heaven cause we hellbound man!"

Big Oomp Records Artist Baby D Being Held Without Bond

This update courtesy of and their PR department.

New York, NY - KOCH Records/Big Oomp Records
recording artist Baby D is being held without bond in Ohio on federal
charges for allegedly trafficking cocaine. Baby D vehemently disputes
these allegations. He is being held in the Butler County Jail which also
houses people held on federal charges). Baby D was arrested in Dayton,
Ohio on March 26, 2008 and continues to be held without bail. He also
has three pending assault charges in Tennessee where he has a bond set.
A warrant for his arrest in Georgia was recently dismissed.

How this will affect the release of his new album, A-Town Secret Weapon
(April 29th, 2008) is still unclear. Baby D has cultivated a loyal
following of fans in his native Decatur and throughout Atlanta who have
been chanting and bouncing with him for years. He made his move into rap
music when he met hip-hop entrepreneur and retail powerhouse Big Oomp in
1994. Oomp was preparing to launch his record label, Big Oomp Records,
and quickly signed the young rapper.

Baby D released his first album, Off Da Chain, at the young age of 16.
His acclaimed follow-up Lil' Chopper Toy was released two years later

Baby D's first single "I'm Bout Money" produced by DJ Montay (Flo Rida
feat. T-Pain "Get Low," UNK "Walk It Out," "2 Step") can be heard on
urban radio, and the video is currently airing BET and MTV Jams, and was
the MTV "Jam of the Week" for the first week of April. The new album
A-Town Secret Weapon will feature appearances by Shawty Lo & Gucci Mane
among others.
Prodigy & Cormega Respond to Sean Bell Verdict

From the desk of 4Sight Media straight to the readers of, here are the responses of Prodigy, Cormega and Lee to the Sean Bell Verdict.


"First of all, rest in peace to Sean Bell and I want to send my condolences to his wife, kids, family and friends and all the Sean Bell boys - Hold your head.

We lost a lot of battles but we will win the war. The decision in the Queens courtroom on Friday, April 25 was simply a display of power. The NYPD is just a branch of corruption connected to a giant corrupt tree called the United States government. This tyrannical corrupt tree has its roots planted deep into the United Kingdom.

The Sean Bell murder coverup is less about race and more about power. This evil family tree of corruption will do whatever it takes to remain in a position of power. They will put a judge who they can control on the case, in order to get the outcome they want and eliminate the risk of being exposed and exposing the higher ups. I want to be very clear that all judges, DAs, lawyers, cops are not corrupt, just most of them.

People of all races need to come together to control our government and run a giant comb through it, so we can see the filth that comes out. Right now we have a government that controls the people, instead of people that control their government. Until we can do that, there'll be several more incidents like the murder of Sean Bell.

America is under a spell and we need to snap out of it."

** LEE **
"There's always the constant message of disregard being sent to the Black community from the government's justice and social systems. I've witnessed verdicts like this be handed down from city to city all over the country with the same message echoing: "You don't count." I saw it with the William Lozano case in Miami years ago. We can see it most recently with the Jena, Louisiana case.

I am often reminded of the early day's when this nation was born and the 13 colonies. Blacks lived in fear of this country and the government even before the Pan-African slave trade began. Once slavery began freed men were forced to carry papers to prove their God-given right to walk among free men always in fear that some clan of men could come along and take them from their families and sell them like cattle at their discretion. All through this country's history this fear has been cultivated into the hearts of Blacks. We've been conditioned to fear the very government that is to protect us.

Even now after the Civil Rights Movement and the days of burning crosses and public lynchings remnants of that old justice and social system still live on. And the fact that all of the officers were not Anglo means little within in the context of the grander message: "At any time and any place you will be reminded that you don't count. You can always be put down." It's not about taking our leaders away anymore, as there are few or none with a real voice. It's about letting everyday citizens know that they don't matter. It's the message that's sent to young Black children that they should grow up in fear of this government because they simply don't have a voice in the justice/ social system. This system does not care for them or speak for them.

That is the pervasive message that is sent to our communities and its objective seems to have been to constantly plant seeds of hopelessness so that we never share in the American Dream."

"The Sean Bell murder itself was a reflection of how expendable black men are in the eyes of many. The verdict was a far worse crime because it stripped a dead man of his rights and it stripped a community of hope. We came so far as a people yet gained little momentum but I would like to thank society for re opening my eyes to the myth called equality and the justice that eludes just us! Power to the People!"
No Labels for Loj

Growing up in a bad neighborhood oftentimes leads young men and women down the wrong path in life. Loj’s parents weren’t about to let that happen to him despite their address being in South Jamaica, Queens. Loj remembers “growing up was an interesting experience because Southside is a rough neighborhood, but my parents did everything they could to keep me off of the streets. They put me in Catholic school all the way in Rego Park, which is a nice neighborhood, and they also put me in a number of after school activities.” When Loj turned 17 his family moved to Flushing, but well before that move happened Loj discovered Hip-Hop. “My sister is an emcee, Helixx C. Armaggedon, and she was rockin since she was like 14, so that means I was like nine when I started getting into it.” Loj is now more than just “into it” as he’s been making considerable noise in the NY scene as an emcee himself. This week I sat down with him to find out more about his fascinating life, the concept behind his album, No Labels, and where he finds his inspiration.

Check out the full interview at:
New Videos - Jay-Z, Riskay, Dizzee Rascal & More

We've got some new hip-hop videos for our readers to watch and listen to, starting with Jay-Z & Memphis Bleek rockin' the mic live!

Next up is Riskay's "Smell Yo D." Parental discretion is advised!

Here are Dizzee Rascal and Bun B performing "Where Da G's" at SXSW.

Here's a personal favorite of mine - a DJ named Qahtani doing his tribute to Grandmaster Flash!

We'll open and close with Jay-Z this week - in this case he's performing Roc Boys at the Hollywood Bowl. Enjoy!

Wesley Snipes Gets the Max for Tax Evasion

Yesterday Wesley Snipes received the maximum jail sentence of 36 months on three misdemeanor tax evasion charges, AND he also faces a $5 million fine for failing to pay $15 million of income taxes over the last decade. The prosecutors called his failure to pay straight up "fraud". Let this be a lesson to you sports and entertainment stars out there - the fed does NOT play when it comes to paying your shit, so pay early and often. Thanks to for this tidbit.
Swimming in the Mainstream

I can’t tell you how many times someone asks me which rap artists I like that are well known and I respond by drawing a complete blank. Yes, I prefer a lot of lesser known emcees, but it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re lesser known, it’s just that I think they’re making better music than what I hear on the radio. Of course, before I can explain this my initial reaction of “I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head” quickly gets me labeled a “hater.” Well, I’m not a hater and today I’m going to prove it. That’s right, today I’m going to list, to the best of my ability, the mainstream artists I will actually turn the radio up for.

Check out the full list at:
Problem - I'm Toe Up (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Problem
Title: I'm Toe Up
Label: Universal Republic Records

There's a problem with "I'm Toe Up" right from the jump off, and it's not the sentiments expressed in the song. After all there's no shortage of people over 21 who know what it's like to get stupid off the drink and hit the dancefloor. The problem for Problem is his boy Disko's production work. On the one hand "I'm Toe Up" is catchy because it's immediately familiar. On the other it's about as creative as slapping two copies of MIMS "This Is Why I'm Hot" instrumental on the wheels of steel and doubling up the beat. This is no happy accident - he either intentionally jacked the track or went into the lab with the goal of imitating the song in mind. This one will probably get play for all the wrong reasons, but if they acknowledge the bite by doing a "This Is Why I'm Toe Up" remix with MIMS I might be cool with it in the end.
Brentley Willis - Southern Boi (Single)

Review by Patrick Taylor

Artist: Brentley Willis
Title: Southern Boi
Label: Bout Dat Entertainment

Brentley is an r&b singer from Chicago by way of Texas who does the same kind of rhythmic singing that has made R. Kelly a bundle, and gave Montell Jordan a brief glimpse of fame back in the day.  "Southern Boi" is a club jam that celebrates all things Southern. It feels a little late in the game to be singing about diamonds in your grill and candy painted rides - it's 2008, not 2005, right?  Anthony "Tonye" Newsome mixes up some pop hip hop and studio tricks ala T-Pain.  It's innocuous and mildly entertaining.  It didn’t make me want to either dance or move to the South, but it didn't make me race for the skip button.   He has a new album set to drop on May 6, so you'll probably be hearing more from this young singer soon, although after listening to the other tracks on his Myspace page, I think I'll be steering clear.  "Southern Boi" is the best of the bunch.

Yung Ralph - I Work Hard (Single)

Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Yung Ralph
Title: I Work Hard
Label: Universal Republic Records

There's nothing like working hard to get ahead to get your slice of daily bread, and Yung Ralph seems to have a firm grasp on the concept. Producer P-No rocks out the "Rockin Chair" sample with horns that give Ralph solid ground to stand on as he spits his traditional values. "I go hard when I'm writin my lyrics/Why you think the O.G.'s and grown folks feel me/Grew up bein broke so I'm careful with my money/Good advice and business sense, and I think big tummy." Ralph certainly seems to have his head screwed on right and his priorities straight. Other newcomers might cash that advance check and go buy a Bentley but I'm willing to wager Ralph invested his in a money market account and only drew the funds he needed for studio time. That kind of hard work almost always pays off in the long run, and this single should too.

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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 TEN new items for you: Amp Live's "Headphone Concerto," an editorial on Adrian Peterson, Ensemble Mik Nawooj's "Hip-Hop Orchestra," 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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