Artist: Mims f/ LeToya Luckett Title: Love Rollercoaster Label: Capitol Records
As the second single off Mims new album "Guilt," none too coincidentally charting at the same time the album is hitting stores, Mims is definitely trying to win back the large mainstream audience he found with "This Is Why I'm Hot." It's a new kind of Mims though - less braggadocious, more laid back, and willing to share the spotlight with a R&B singer instead of keeping it all to himself. In fact the producers known as Da Internz may have made this track a little TOO smooth. Don't get me wrong - this one's going to be a hit on urban radio and whenever it's time to grind with a honey nice and slow on the dancefloor, but Mims fans who remember him for "Hot" may find this song a little too COOL by comparison. Personally I'm going to cut Mims a break on it because I like the snap beat, the slow bass, the layered strings and the laid back rap. Whenever a song is as enjoyable for the instrumental B-side as the hip-hop A-side, you know it's one that you need in your crates. "Love Rollercoaster" fits that criteria.
Recently I received an e-mail about album scores at RR. The author while appreciative of the work we do at RapReviews had some grave concerns that we are far too generous in our scoring of albums and as such our reviews aren't as helpful as they used to be. In effect to paraphrase what the author wrote: "Is everything a 7 or better?"
I must confess some weeks I've felt that way myself. I'm definitely guilty of contributing to the problem because I probably overrate some otherwise mediocre rappers who are making a sincere effort, just solely on the basis of being so much better than garbage rap albums like Soulja Boy. The problem for me is that even a talking toilet lid would be better, so that's just not a good standard. It's either that or I'm getting too nice in my "old age" at 34 and I just don't have the "AWW THAT'S GARBAGE, THAT'S WHACK, THAT'S FUCKING BULLSHIT" passion I did when I was 21 - that or it takes something the level of Soulja Boy to pull that passion out of me.
Either way I'm being too nice, and I suspect that if I'm anything of a leader for RapReviews.com everyone else may be following my example. I'm not saying that our writers should necessarily start handing out 1's and 2's left and right, that would just be going overboard in the other direction, but maybe a 7 should be a little harder to come by and maybe we've also diluted what a "coveted" 9 really is. I can honestly look at The Nines page on the website and think that anywhere from 10-33% are things I don't own or haven't listened to. So either my library of rap is not big enough (which if you saw the amount of records and compact discs overflowing my house you would never say in a million years) or we've gotten very lax about what it takes to be considered a classic the level of Illmatic and A Book of Human Language. I think we can all re-evaluate what the RR ratings mean.
For argument's sake let's consider this a new INFORMAL guideline.
0 - Incomprehensibly bad. Doesn't even deserve a score. EXTREMELY RARE. 1 - Horrid. Frightening in an unentertaining way. Someone might have been trying to make an artistic statement but they failed abyssmally. 2 - Worse than bad, and definitely no good. Might have one passable song out of 10-14. Probably someone who could try harder and might suck less, but they're still such untalented hacks they'd suck anyway. 3 - Almost bad. Now we're getting into Soulja Boy range of "talent." 4 - Just plain bad. Probably marginally redeeming on some level. A 4 for beats or rhymes or a 4 overall says "some radio station somewhere might play this and people might think it's good by sheer repetition." 5 - Mediocre. Rises above being bad but just really isn't all that good. 6 - Marginally good. Something you might actually bother to rip for the fact there were good beats and good rhymes, but that you wouldn't end up seeing at the top of your "most frequently played" on iTunes. 7 - Acceptable. This is one we're handing out way too much of. How many things rated 7 and up would you ever go out of your way to listen to again after you're done reviewing it? If you wouldn't, score lower. 8 - Good. Now we're up to the level of Jay-Z, Nas, OutKast, De La Soul. Something you'd definitely listen to again. Something you'd rip and add to your favorites. Possibly an album you'd play from start to finish. 9 - Great. There's a timeless quality to the album. Artistic inspiration palpable in every beat and rhyme. The album seeps into your brain like a coffee stain on tablecloth that never goes away. Something you LOVE. 10 - BRILLIANT. This should also be EXTREMELY RARE. Even if you love it enough to be a 9, consider whether or not the masses would feel the same. Does the album transcend? Does it have a timeless quality future rap generations will recognize, or would the luster fade over the years? Theoretically there shouldn't be a bad song on it.
Hopefully this is helpful as we all read RR in the future. I'm going to try to be more stringent in my ratings from now on too.
Hip-Hop Shop is NORMALLY the precursor to K4D every week on Sunday night, but this past Sunday due to WrestleMania 25 there was no Hip-Hop Shop and no K4D! Therefore the 27th edition of the show is A RapReviews.com Exclusive with EIGHT NEW SONGS never before aired on the show. You can hear Hip-Hop Shop here at RapReviews or via our sponsor thecancerandmrob.com. The shows are 100% podsafe so distribute to your friends and tell them to visit RapReviews.com!
* Random - uKnowTheName * Finale - One Man Show (A Rival 8-Bit Remix) * El Michels Affair - CREAM * Motion Man - Grown Man Flowin * Keelay & Zaire - Alright With Me * Atari Blitzkrieg f/ Mr. Len - Third Finger Salute * Camp Lo f/ Charles Herron - 89 of Crime * Righteous Da Goddess - Hypa Minds * JDavey - Slooow
I’ve been a fan of Azeem since I first heard Craft Classic in 2001. Each one of his albums since then has either met or exceeded my expectations. Lyrically gifted, Azeem’s music is both politically poignant and fantastically funky and over the years I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him for a number of publications and websites. Just last month, in a huge accomplishment for a socially conscious artist, his video for “Open Em Up” was voted a favorite by BET.com users. This week I caught up with Azeem to talk about his life and his work and he opened up about dropping out of school at a very young age, the creativity behind another one of his videos, “Latin Revenge,” and what he sees in America’s immediate future. Azeem is known as a bit of a Nostradamus as many of his predictions from his previous albums have come true, so don’t take his words lightly, we might very well end up living them!
There is really no nice way to say this, so I’m just going to be blunt about it – I will not listen to your MP3s. There are a myriad of reasons for this; some stem from the way things work in the Hip-Hop world, some stem from personal preference, and some stem from my respect for artistry. I’ve been asked hundreds of times about my non-acceptance of MP3s and every time I respond - “I’ll write a blog about it eventually.” Welcome to eventually. These are the reasons why I delete almost every MP3 sent to me.
To promote their upcoming full-length album Love The Future, Chester French has teamed up with mixtape DJ Clinton Sparks to collaborate on a star-studded mixtape called Get Familiar with Chester French: Jacques Jams Vol. 1, Endurance. The group has acquired a growing celebrity buzz since Love The Future was recorded, so the new Jacques Jams raises the bar, with guest artists like Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell, Janelle Monáe, Bun B, Talib Kweli, The Clipse, Cassie, Solange, and more.
Clinton Sparks & The New Music Cartel Present... Get Familiar with Chester French: Jacques Jams Vol. 1, Endurance will be available for free download April 6th atwww.chesterfrench.com/mixtape, www.clintonsparks.com and www.newmusiccartel.com. Also log onto these sites to see behind the scenes footage of studio sessions, photos, the band's performance with Paris Hilton & Clinton Sparks and the mixtape's cover shoot at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Check out this video of Chester French on E! (Embed code & full Press Release below)
Get Familiar with Chester French- Jacques Jams Vol. 1: Endurance
Chester French & Clinton Sparks prepare the release of a musical masterpiece full of endurance with assistance from Diddy, Pharrell, Jermaine Dupri and more at www.chesterfrench.com/mixtape.
On April 21st Chester French will release their debut album Love The Future (Star Trak/Interscope Records), and in preparation for that event they've decided to treat their current and future supporters to a FREE ALBUM of brand new exclusive records that will tell the Chester French story and leave no doubt that the world must GET FAMILIAR with the greatest new group of 2009.
For the past two months Chester French has been working with Clinton Sparks, one of the world's hottest DJ's/producers, on a full-length mixtape called: Jacques Jams, Vol. 1: Endurance. With nothing but a handful of instruments and some weightlifting equipment, D.A. and Max of Chester French holed up in the woods of Western Massachusetts and created a collection of original tracks, all written, arranged, produced, and engineered by the duo.
Unlike their upcoming album, which includes no guest artists, Jacques James, Vol. 1: Endurance features collaborations with an unprecedented roster of eclectic artists, including Diddy, Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell, Janelle Monáe, Bun B, Talib Kweli, The Clipse, Cassie, Solange, and more. Together, Chester French, Clinton Sparks, and this galaxy of superstars will paint an epic picture of Endurance and Normalcy available for download at www.chesterfrench.com/mixtape. By the end, you will truly understand that Chester French and Clinton Sparks are just three totally normal guys doing totally normal things.
Jacques Jams, Vol. 1: Endurance is unlike a traditional mix-tape wherein a DJ chops up a bunch of new records and throws them on a CD. Clinton Sparks once again has taken mixtapes to a new level complete with skits and interludes that humorously get you familiar with Chester French's story, from Max and D.A.'s freshman year at Harvard to their signing with Star Trak/Interscope records after hip-hop heavyweights like Kanye West competed to sign them in one of the biggest bidding wars in music industry history.
So don't miss out on this exciting and amazing FREE ALBUM available April 6th from three totally normal guys that do totally normal things, available at www.chesterfrench.com/mixtape, www.clintonsparks.com and www.newmusiccartel.com. Also log onto these sites to see behind the scenes footage of studio sessions, photos, the band's performance with Paris Hilton & Clinton Sparks and the mixtape's cover shoot at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
DJ Furious Styles preps for Shyne release with his own Delivers 25 to Life plus 9 for Free Download
Having served almost nine years behind bars rapper Jamal 'Shyne' Barrow is set to return to the real world this summer. To celebrate the release of the former Bad Boy, DJ Furious Styles has concocted one of his exclusive mixtapes to bring Shyne back to the forefront of our memories allowing us to reacquaint ourselves with the Brooklyn adoptee yet again.
Laced with tracks from his previous projects released before and during his highly publicized incarceration, 25 to Life Plus 9 is a mixtape not to be slept on as we head into the second quarter. Like anything Furious Styles attaches his name to, the results are always favorable to both the artist and the DJ and this project is no different.
Interwoven with interviews of him speaking on that notorious night back in December of 1999 and all that came along during and after the trial which saw him facing a possible life sentence, 25 to Life plus 9 proves that this entertainer needs to be back where he can be seen and heard.
"Shyne is a MC that lives by a code that is seldom followed by any individual. It is monumental to hear Shyne's point view on his court case, the shooting and the time that he is serving." - DJ Furious Styles
TO DOWNLOAD 25 to LIFE PLUS 9 PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS
Hey world, this is Bryan "Braille" with a new update.
First of all, I've been home from the road for a week. When my wife and daughter picked me up at the airport my daughter was in awe of me. haha. She stayed up till midnight the first couple nights and just wanted to play. It was a blessing for us both. Gabriella (my daughter) is only 2 years and 4 months old. She is already singing songs with me - which is amazing because she was diagnosed with mild brain damage at birth. For the first 6 months her arms were stuck behind her back and she didn't start making noise until 7 or 8 months. After much prayer and physical therapy she was healed and it blows me away how smart she is. I was away from my family for 3 weeks but the fruit (the results) of this tour were worth it. God's timing has been so amazing for us. My wife is a stay at home mom - so typically the idea of me leaving for 3 weeks wouldn't be very fresh. But God has prepared us for this time and also provided things in our life that makes this season less intimidating. Our best friends live next door, we have a great church, we live close to both our families and all those things together helped make this tour possible.
In total - me and S1 did 29 shows in 27 days. There are so many people to thank and I've done my best to thank everyone in person. We only stayed in hotels 3 or 4 nights the whole tour. Every other night someone was opening up their home to us. During the tour we gave out nearly 5,000 CDs!!! We performed at prisons, cafes, community centers, churches, bars and shelters. Needless to say, there are so many people to thank. I want to take a moment to specifically recognize the promoters, the host homes and everyone who invested into us so that we could print these CDs. We received so much positive feedback during this trip. It was such a blessing to be able to give away this new album. Nearly every show had over 100 people in attendance and we would hand out each CD one by one. We saw the smiles, we got the hugs and we've heard stories from people who were touched at the shows. Me and S1 both grew tremendously in our own spiritual lives. We had no idea what it would be like touring together but we are like family now. I'm really glad S1 was able to go with me and hopefully we can do some more runs (and some more music) together in the future.
At this point we only have enough CDs for one or two more events. April is pretty mild but we will be performing at the Peanut Butter and Jelly Party in Nashville, TN. This event is thrown by Syntax Records and is expected to have over 500 people in attendance during GMA week. Starting in May the tour schedule picks back up so we plan on printing more CDs in two weeks so that we have them ready for all our shows. We already have around $3,000 saved up but we are trying to double that number and press a full batch of 10,000 CDs at a cheaper price per unit. If your interested in getting involved then just hit me up. Honestly, no pressure at all. This is something we are willing to put our own money into as well when we can. By partnering with others who believe in the vision as well - we are able to accomplish more together. But this is never intended to be a burden on anyone - this is meant to be a blessing for everyone involved.
A few more quick notes and then I'm going to close this out.
1. I want to encourage everyone to check out www.itsnineteen.com. There is a video player with concert footage from the tour. There are also some good interviews and reviews that you can check out, as well as a list of stores that carry the album for people who haven't been able to attend a show yet.
2. The "CloudNineteen" album is now on Itunes. For those of you who already have the record, could you visit Itunes and leave your own personal review of the album? I'd like to get 30 or 40 reviews at Itunes over the next week. So yeah... head over there when you get time and drop your thoughts about the record. The direct link is below, or you can just type "Braille and S1" in the search section of the Itunes stores.
3. I hit the jackpot and received a box full of records that I thought were extinct. My management company was changing locations and found a stack of "Hiphop Music" 12 inches and "Box of Rhymes" 7 inches. These have both been sold out for over two years, so I was pretty excited to get some copies back. If your interested in getting a copy of either then just hit me up. I only have about 20 of each.
4. New tour dates have been added to www.braillehiphop.com. I will be in Texas and Nashville in April. I will be in Oregon, Cali, Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana, Chicago, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in May. If you'd like to set up a show in your area then we can make it happen.
Much love - hope everyone is doing well. A lot of people have hit me up personally who have been going through some struggles. I just wanted to let everyone reading this know that I am here for you. If you ever need someone to talk with or pray with then feel free to hit me up. One friend lost his step father and we've been talking. Some guys have been struggling with lust and we've been talking. It's not just all about the music for me so if you ever want to pick my brain about anything then I'm available. Peace and GOD bless Thank you, from Braille and the Hiphop Is Music team. www.braillehiphop.com | www.hiphopismusic.com
ITALIAN PRODUCER FABIO MUSTA SET TO RELEASE SOLO DEBUT "PASSPORT" ON BABYGRANDE RECORDS - MAY 12, 2009
For Immediate Release March 31st, 2009
Babygrande Records is pleased to announce the signing of Italian producer Fabio Musta, for his debut album "Passport," due out on May 12th, 2009. Fabio is a veteran of the hip-hop scene in Italy, and has spent years working with MCs from all over the globe. A truly international effort, "Passport" features guest appearances from Jeru The Damaja, Termanology, T3 of Slum Village, Guilty Simpson, Reks, Strong Arm Steady, Mainflow & many many more. "With this release, Babygrande will have released projects with artists and producers from France, Germany and Italy. This project is a natural extension of the international partnerships that Babygrande has been exploring over the last 5 years, and Fabio is a perfect candidate for such a partnership," says Chuck Wilson, Babygrande's CEO.
With his finger on the pulse of the local Italian scene, and never more than a few "clicks" away from the U.S. indie hip-hop scene, Fabio Musta is perfectly positioned to push the borders and boundaries of hip-hop, with "Passport."
Big Pooh’s Delightful Bars Will Be Available In Four Different Versions And Features Guest Appearances By Jay Rock, Justus League and Production From Khrysis, Jake One, Illmind, 9th Wonder, Young RJ and OhNo
Big Pooh’s latest vehicle is a street-LP entitled, Delightful Bars, and there will be four different versions of Delightful Bars made accessible, including a special iTunes only version (referred to as the Candy Apple version), which was released on 3-24-09 and the North American retail version of Delightful Bars (referred to as the North American Pie Version) will be released on 5-5-09.
Tracklisting and credits for Big Pooh’s Delightful Bars:
North American Pie Version
1.) North American Pie Intro 2.) The Comeback (produced by Khrysis) 3.) Its A Go f/Torae (produced by Dae One) 4.) Nothing Less f/Ab Soul, Jay Rock & K Dot (produced by Young RJ) 5.) C.O.D. (produced by Mickey Free) 6.) Move f/ Darien Brockington (produced by Phonix) 7.) Something Like Stars f/ Big Treal (produced by Jake One) 8.) Step Up (produced by D.R.) 9.) Reality Check f/ Big Dho, D. Black & Mykestro (produced by Khrysis) 10.) Problems f/ Jozeemo (produced by Illmind) 11.) AMO A SU PAPI DE LA BARRA skit 12.) Roll Call f/ Jozeemo, Chaundon & Joe Scudda (produced by The Co-Op) 13.) The Life f/ Mushinah (produced by Khrysis) 14.) Rearview Mirror (produced by 9th Wonder) 15.) EMPANADA NORTE AMERICANA OUTRO