Monday February 19, 2018
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[Culture II]

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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:  http://adambernard.blogspot.com/2008/04/artist-of-week-loj.html
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 www.udubnews.com 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:  http://adambernard.blogspot.com/2008/04/swimming-in-mainstream.html
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.
Tigga Bounce - Stand Up (Single)


Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Tigga Bounce
Title: Stand Up
Label: 2G Entertainment

Unless I missed something in "Keeping It Real 101" I never hear anybody talk about Winnie the Pooh when they mention the old school. Perhaps it's weak to admit Hundred Acre Wood sounded like a nice place to chill. If you get right down to it though a lot of hip-hop's cocky self-assured hip-hop bravado talks like Tigger, the brother with more BOUNCE to the ounce than any man or animal alive. BET's Big Tigger sullied the name to me becaue he was more Carlton Banks than Roger Troutman, but the self-produced Tigga Bounce is trying to bring it back to that old school rap. With his first single TB is professing his affection for a babe so bootylicious he has to "Stand Up" in her presence. It may be that TB was afraid he too would be perceived as a cartoon, because he loops a crunked out voice saying "GHETTO" behind the vocals for the entire instrumental. My advice to Tigga would be to embrace the funk and ignore the haters. He's no T-Pain as a singer and he's no Too $hort as a pimp, but everyone can relate when he says "I'm keepin it cool, cause you make me feel it, want to cut up/But if you keep on, you gon' make me have to pull that skirt up." Bounce Tigga Bounce Tigga, gi-gi-gi-geah.
Nyce Da Future f/ Kool G. Rap - Target Practice (Single)


Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Nyce Da Future f/ Kool G. Rap
Title: Target Practice
Label: Shake 'Em Down Music

It's a bit of a mystery who produced this track, but as far as I can determine the song comes from a Whoo Kid mixtape called "38 in the Head." What IS clear is that the producer flipped Beethoven's 9th Symphony, which is a dope move for two reasons - no sample clearance, and properly looped strings really energize a track. The song was already off to a hot start when Kool G. Rap unexpectedly showed up to spit bars. Even though it's nice to hear the legend rapping about the "Symphony" days Da Future is the star here: "Still got a boulder on my shoulder, I'm tryin to yank it/'Til these bullets'll make dirt be your new blanket." Sure it's a prototypical gun-toting machismo rap, but at least Nyce is trying to get nice and inject a little humor and wit into it. I'm not mad at the track and I'm willing to check for a future single to see if he's still Nyce.
Nutrageous f/ KL - Wat's Poppin (Single)


Review by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Artist: Nutrageous f/ KL (Screwball)
Title: Wat's Poppin
Label: Poor Pocket Muzik

It's refreshing to play an unsolicited single and hear something unpretentious and toe-tapping for a change. Ron Mills' produced the track, DJ Premier mixed it, and Nutrageous rapped snaps to it with his friend KL for the hell of it. You're not left with the impression they were trying to hit a homerun out of the park right off the bat, but the simple and effectively orchestrated keys were a good lead off single. In verse two guest star KL hits a sac fly to advance the runner to second: "Whether drunk or sober, I still spit spiffy/Love a hot beat and hate a rapper that's iffy." Batting third you might be expecting a big clean up power hitter behind him, but Nutrageous still drives a double to left to score the run. "Laid back like Snoop's perm as I ride through the Eastside/Still with my middle finger, fuck a damn peace sign!" It's not mind-blowing to be sure but it's not mind-numbingly stupid either. Congratulations to Nut for calling up a Screwball pitch that wasn't wild and scoring with this single.

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Welcome to RapReviews.com for Feb. 13th, 2018!! Please subcribe to this channel on YouTube to help support the website. This week we have TEN new items total for you to enjoy: a Jarren Benton interview, an editorial on the Olympics, Migos' "Culture II" (a featured review), MMA Mania interviews with Heather Hardy, and Matt Mitrione, the top 10 AVGN videos part 3, Emanuel Wallace's (W)rap Up for Feb. 6, 2018, WSIB #20 "Expo '83" Results, Z-Ro's "Codeine" (another featured review) and Z-Ro's "No Love Boulevard!" Incidentally you can also shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook to support the site.

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