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!
Project Pat :: M.O.B.
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
"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
"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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