Friday September 22, 2017
Feature of the Week

[The Iceberg]

Project Pat review!

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Blu and Exile Announce In The Beginning: Before The Heavens (@HerFavColor)

Blu and Exile Announce In The Beginning: Before The Heavens, a Prequel to Their 2007 Underground Classic, Releasing October 20th

A.T.: Mass Appeal Premieres New Single "Constellations" as the Duo Prepares to Commence the Second Leg of Their 42-Date Headlining Below The Heavens: 10 Year Anniversary Tour

The Announcement:

With his fluid, incisive rhyming style and his intellectual lyrics, L.A. rapper Blu found his ideal aesthetic match in the dusty, soulful beats of crate-digging producer/DJ Exile. Ten years ago, Blu and Exile released Below The Heavens, a contemplative, confident, and wistful masterpiece beloved by critics and embraced by the West Coast underground as an instant classic. Today, Blu and Exile proudly announce In The Beginning: Before The Heavens, a follow-up and companion piece to the classic record. Comprised of unreleased tracks from the original Below The Heavens sessions, In The Beginning captures the same ineffable energy of the original record. Today, the duo shares "Constellations," an organ-driven boom-bap banger premiered by Mass Appeal, featuring some of Blu's best bars of the project: "I'm showin you an older Blu in hopes that you embrace it/like a soldier do with gauges/Motor you through pages that I wrote for you/Laid it in the vocal booth/Press it up and sold it to the places that you go into." With appearances from Aloe Blacc, Co$$, Donel Smokes, Blame One, and others, In The Beginning: Before The Heavens, coming October 20th via Dirty Science/Fat Beats, proves that the Below The Heavens style feels just as fresh in 2017 as it did in 2007.

"We planted the seeds of creativity and grew about 40 plants," Exile says of the release. "We picked the ones that we thought were the best for an album, but that didn't mean that the other flowers weren't beautiful. I'm super happy to re-release [In The Beginning] to people and have it actually get some attention that it definitely deserves. It's amazing."

A former high school basketball star raised by a pastor father who hated rap music, Blu is an idiosyncratic and emotional rapper with a maverick sense of self-determinism. A well-respected producer in the L.A. underground, Orange County native Exile produced tracks for the likes of Mobb Deep, Kardinal Offishal, Jurassic 5, and others before teaming up with Blu for their fruitful partnership. Released in Summer 2007, Below The Heavens received rave reviews from tastemakers and appeared on many year-end best-of lists. The momentum from Below The Heavens led to Blu's signing to Warner Bros. Records, and propelled the young rapper onto the 2009 XXL Freshman List alongside B.o.B, Kid Cudi, and Wale. In 2012, Blu and Exile reunited for Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, expanding the palette of Below The Heavens and showcasing Blu's multi-syllabic dexterity. Separately, the duo continued to make music, with Blu releasing countless mixtapes, most notably York, which received an 8.1 from Pitchfork, and collaborated with the likes of Madlib and Nottz. Exile remains an in-demand producer in the West Coast scene, forming Emanon, a duo with Aloe Blacc, and producing records for rappers such as Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, Fashawn, and Pharaohe Monch.

In addition to the new album, Blu and Exile announce the extension of the Below The Heavens 10 Year Anniversary Tour, which finishes its West Coast leg in Seattle on September 13th. Embarking on September 26th at Beauty Bar in Las Vegas, the 10 Year Anniversary Tour continues for 29 headlining dates spanning from Salt Lake City to Miami. Featuring support from L.A. underground stalwarts Dag Savage, Choosey, Cashus King (fka Co$$), and Pistol McFly, tickets for the tour are on sale now.

Pre-order In The Beginning: Before The Heavens:

Pre-order a physical copy of In The Beginning: Before The Heavens:

Listen to "Constellations":

Check out the premiere of "Constellations" on Mass Appeal:

Buy tickets for the Below The Heavens 10 Year Anniversary Tour:

The Background:

In 2007, the same year that Kanye vs. 50 Cent in an album sales battle dominated headlines in the mainstream, Blu and Exile were carving their own path with an instant classic. The rapper and DJ/producer duo released Below the Heavens: In Hell Happy With Your New Imaginary Friend on July 17. Featuring soul-infused production with the raw vulnerability of Blu's rhymes, the album began to receive rave reviews by hip-hop tastemakers and underground enthusiasts. In a review penned by 2DopeBoys' Shake for HipHopDX, he gave it a 4/5 and noted that Blu is an "an extremely talented lyricist; clever rhymes, technically sound, intensely personal and witty." Below the Heavens impacted everyone in some way, as it would later end up on many critics' year-end lists from all over the internet.

2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of Below the Heavens. One of the interesting tidbits about the album is Blu and Exile made over 40 songs, with only 15 of them making the final cut. Now, the duo is reuniting for their third release, In the Beginning: Before the Heavens, a collection of the best tracks from the original sessions. "I'm super happy to re-release it to people and have it actually get some attention that it definitely deserves," Exile says. "It's amazing."


Pre-order In The Beginning: Before The Heavens:

Below The Heavens 10 Year Anniversary Tour:

Below The Heavens:

Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them:
Audio: Nomis - "Agape" (@NomisHipHop @sohhPR)

Audio: Nomis - "Agape"

Josh: As a result of our upbringing, our appearance, and our perspectives, we all face obstacles that others can't fully understand. This is what makes our experiences unique. "AGAPE" is a public petition for compassion towards those experiencing the trial that we just cant seem to relate to.

Video: @Shamir - "90's Kids"

Video: Shamir - "90's Kids"


Video: @ReachRecords Releases Episode 3 Of The Vault

Video: Reach Records Releases Episode 3 Of The Vault

K.J.: Today Reach Records releases the next installment of The Vault, an original video series highlighting popular music videos from Reach’s extensive catalogue. Complete with fun facts, trivia, and behind-the-scenes stories from the making of the video, Episode 3 features “Manolo” by Trip Lee.

PR: @PostMalone Welcomes Smokepurpp to the "Stoney Tour" This Fall

PR: Post Malone Welcomes Smokepurpp to the "Stoney Tour" This Fall

RM: NEW YORK, NY - Multiplatinum chart-topping Dallas, TX artist Post Malone is just full of surprises!

As if his Stoney Tour couldn't get any hotter, he now welcomes Smokepurrp along for the ride as support. This promises to be his biggest, boldest, and best North American tour to date, which kicked off in Boston at the House of Blues last night tonight.

Check out the full itinerary below.

Post's debut album, the 2016 powerhouse RIAA Certified Platinum debut Stoney, has remained a TOP 10 STREAMING ALBUM for 38 consecutive weeks since its December 2016 release and has made Post Malone the MOST STREAMED NEW ARTIST with over 3 Billion Streams globally. Tracks include his first Hot 100 Top 10 entry "Congratulations" [feat. Quavo] (5x-platinum), the breakout "White Iverson" (4x-platinum), "Go Flex" (platinum), and "Too Young" (platinum). Moreover, the multiplatinum Dallas maverick continues to consistently hold down a spot in the Billboard Top 200.


September 13 - Ottawa, Canada - City Folk Festival
September 15 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
September 16 - Washington D.C. - The Fillmore
September 19 - New York, NY - Playstation Theater
September 20 - Cleveland, OH - Agora
September 21 - Detroit, MI - Majestic
September 24 - St. Louis, MO – Pop's
September 25 - Kansas City, KS - Uptown Theater
September 26 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
September 27 - Salt Lake City, UT - Complex
September 29 - Portland, OR - Roseland
September 30 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Sodo
October 03 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield
October 04 - San Diego, CA - Observatory
October 05 - Las Vegas, NV - Brooklyn Bowl
October 07 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee
October 10 - Albuquerque, NM - El Rey
October 11 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Criterion
October 14 - Mexico - Elusion Festival
October 17 - Miami, FL - Revolution
October 18 - Orlando, FL - Venue 578
October 22 - Nashville, TV - Marathon Music Works
October 24 - Dallas, TX - Bomb Factory
October 25 - Austin, TX - Stubb's
October 26 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
October 29 - New Orleans, LA - Voodoo Festival
October 31 - Atlanta, GA - Centerstage

Stoney (Deluxe):
Apple Music:
Google Play:

Post Malone Social Links:
Video: Spitty - "We, You, I" (@spitty_)

Video: Spitty - "We, You, I"

S.M.: This record draws inspiration from acts such as Lupe Fiasco, Black Star, and Mick Jenkins. Keeping in theme with the rest of the EP, we utilized heavy-hitting percussion and ominous samples to craft the Brampton (Brown Town) sound that I relate with most.

PR: @ActionBronson Announces Blue Chips 7000 Tour Part 1 (@Biz3)

PR: Action Bronson Announces Blue Chips 7000 Tour Part 1


Flushing, Queens New York rapper / chef / TV personality Action Bronson has announced Blue Chips 7000 Tour Part-1 in support of his recently released Blue Chips 7000. Kicking off next month in Dallas, TX Bronsolino will be making stops in Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and many more (full dates below). Critically acclaimed by the likes of Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, GQ, Consequence of Sound, among others, the album is the final installment of his fan favorite Blue Chips series. In addition to the album he dropped his debut cookbook earlier this week via Abrams. With a foreword from celebrity chef, friend, and food industry mogul Mario Batali the book was co-written by Rachel Wharton. Entitled F*ck, That's Delicious, An Annotated Guide To Eating Well the book compiles 40 recipes inspired by Action's childhood, family, tours and travel. Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday September 15th here and stay tuned for more dates to be announced soon.


10/5 - Dallas, TX - South Side Music Hall
10/6 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
10/7 - Austin, TX - Empire Control Room & Garage
10/14 - San Diego, CA - The Observatory North Park
10/15 - Los Angeles, CA - The Novo
10/26 - Seattle, WA - Showbox SODO
10/27 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
10/28 - San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
11/3 - Las Vegas, NV - Brooklyn Bowl
11/8 - Minneapolis, MN - Music Hall Minneapolis
11/9 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
11/10 - Detroit, MI - The Fillmore Detroit
11/19 - Toronto, ON - Rebel
12/2 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore Silver Spring
12/3 - Worcester, MA - Worcester Palladium
Audio: Son of Sam f/ Soundsci - "Put It On Ya" (@sonofsam_uk)

Audio: Son of Sam f/ Soundsci - "Put It On Ya"

R&S: First there was Masta Ace and Large Professor looking back on 'Come a Long Way' (supported by 6 Music's Nemone). Then Prince Po flew into view and hit you up with his 'Flying Fist' (supported by 6 Music's Tom Ravenscroft). Now Son of Sam join forces with the Soundsci crew, the Herbaliser-affiliated emcees rocking out to one of the most funky-assed tracks on the hip-hop groove ride that is 'Cinder Hill'.

Audio: @LOrangeMusic @Oddisee - "Look Around" (@MelloMusicGroup)

Audio: L'Orange f/ Oddisee - "Look Around"

MMG: After a trying battle with hearing loss and a number of surgeries, producer L'Orange preps his new album 'The Ordinary Man' (out October 27th on Mello Music Group), a concept album about a superstar magician disillusioned with the world that made his greatness. Now fully deaf in one ear, this album marks a shift and growth for L'Orange towards an even tighter and developed sound while maintaining his sample-heavy knack for finding the essence of his influences in every beat.

The (W)rap Up - Week of September 12, 2017

If you missed any of the new reviews this past week including Project Pat's "M.O.B." then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[M.O.B.] Project Pat :: M.O.B.
Cleopatra Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Dating back to his official induction into Three 6 Mafia in 2006 and unofficial membership dating back to the group's earliest days as Juicy J's older brother, Patrick "Project Pat" Houston has long been a known factor in the Memphis rap scene. At the time the Mafia started to go from regional to national in recognition and popularity, Pat's cameos on songs like "Who Got Dem 9's" and "Sippin' on Some Syrup" increased his profile to the point that a solo career became a viable option. Over a half dozen albums and many more mixtapes later, Pat can claim certified veteran status not just in Memphis rap but in the hip-hop world at large. There's no question that Project Pat is a O.G. and that a new album like "M.O.B." can be looked at as the latest chapter of an elder statesman with a solid following. Pat's unique vocal stylings, his tendency to overemphasize certain syllables, to raise or lower his pitch during bars in an exaggerated way makes him easy to imitate and memorable to the listener. On songs like "Money" with his brother J, all of these qualities come together in the best possible way. Based on the lead single and Pat's long time legacy as a rap artist I went into "M.O.B." with moderately high hopes. Once I heard "Slangin Butta" I started to question why, and I was only two songs into the album. I don't have liner notes for the review copy I received and that might be for the best, because I'd want to NOT thank the producer of this track for an uninspired beat. Is it "bad" as in unlistenable? No. There's nothing to recommend about it though, and the insipid chorus only makes one want to pay attention to it more, only to find there's not a enough of a melody or a hard driving beat to distract you. It's too generic of a song for a rapper with the charisma of Pat, and one feels he wasn't motivated by hearing it to write anything special."

Hoodie Allen :: The Hype :: Hoodie Allen LLC 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[The Hype]"Steven Adam Markowitz b/k/a Hoodie Allen is one of those artists that just lingered on the periphery of my perception without ever really coming into focus. Technically Hoodie Allen used to be a duo, with Markowitz providing the raps and Obey City providing the beats, but when City moved on Markowitz kept the name as his nom de plume and continued on working with different producers. I don't know how City feels about that but I've never heard about him beefing over it, but as previously noted, I haven't heard that much of Hoodie in general. I've just known he's been around in a general sense. People said nice things about his music here and there. One time he was on Jimmy Fallon. He got enough of a following to quit his job at Google and be a touring and recording artist full time. Good for you Hoodie. That's the dream and I'm glad you achieved it. The opening paragraph serves as my explanation that even though Allen has been around and doing things since at least the late 2000's, the release of "The Hype" is the first time I've specifically turned my lens to look his way. I suppose the title was a bit of a hook actually. You never judge a book by its cover let alone its name, and yet I was curious to known exactly what "The Hype" was figuratively AND literally. The video for "Sushi" drew me in too because truth is that's one of my favorite foods. People always assume it's pizza, steak, cheeseburgers, and all of those things are just fine by me -- but any of my friends who've seen me at an "all you can eat" sushi place know that I can throw DOWN. The truth is though it's only about "rolling up money" though, not tuna or eel."

Koss :: Born to Live :: Below System Records 
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Born to Live]"The quickest way to explain "Born to Live" is that this is a compilation. Let's get a little more in depth than that though. Belgium producer Deejay Koss has been an underground factor for more than a little bit now, crafting gems for rappers like A.G., El Da Sensei, and Craig G just to name a few. As he built up his rep and his network of connections, he reached the point where he could put out an album like "Born to Live" under his own name, picking and choosing all of the greats he wanted to provide instrumentals for knowing they would answer the phone when he called. Even though other deejays like Khaled can pull names just as big for their albums, Khaled also has to call producers in too, while Koss can do it all by his lonely. To give you a taste of what he's all about let's start with the aptly titled "Longevity" featuring Masta Ace. If you said that Koss was a bit East coast or New York centric you wouldn't be lying. His guest list reads like a who's who of hip-hop head favorites and none of them disappoint. Blaq Poet spits his grimy phlegm all over "The Rawness" while boasting "Hit you so hard even Ripley's wouldn't believe it!" The only way this horny horn song could have been more fun is with a Bumpy Knux cameo. The always eloquent J-Live serves up a warning over the intro of the beautiful "Straight Up Pretenders" when he says "Don't think just cause I be spitting wisdom I won't put it on yo' ass knahmsayin?" Then he does exactly that for the next three minutes. Torae blasts with both barrels on "Don't Stop" while Craig G and Large Professor form the supergroup you never knew you always wanted on "H.E.R."

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Welcome to for Sept. 19th, 2017!! Please support us at our Patreon page and we can go 100% ad free when we hit the target goal. You can also shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook. This week we have EIGHT new items for you: an editorial on organ donation, MMA Mania interviews with Benson Henderson and Aaron Pico, Oddisee's "The Iceberg" (our featured review), the top 10 MrWeebl videos, Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for Sept. 12, 2017, WSIB #12 for "Ashley's Roachclip" by The Soul Searchers and Wyclef Jean's "Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee."

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