Author Archive

Revisiting The Classic Commercial Rap Album Template

Disclaimer: This is some serious rap nerd shit. Now on with our scheduled programming. 

For a guy that’s achieved as much as LL Cool J has, he’s mentioned very little these days. I suppose he (along with Will Smith?) kinda served as the bridge between both ‘Golden Eras’ of rap (classic 80s shit and the Dre/Wu-Tang/Nas/Biggie generation). From a critical perspective, Mr. Smith has had his ups and downs, but he managed a pretty nifty trick in staying relevant for over 20 years and 13 albums.



I might write a full review of the MMG album (Self-Made, Vol.1) in the future, but it’s safe to say that it’s a pretty
decent effort. It’s good. Cop produced or otherwise. Actually, I won’t write a full review. I’m lazy that way.

That being said, the hook on ‘By Any Means’ has to be the apex of Rick Rawse’s fantasy-deludo rap. Holy fuck. My brain exploded listening to that shit. The fucked up thing is that it might even be the best song on the entire project (competition comes in the form of the song that has Curren$y on it – shit’s smooth), so I’m destined to hear it a few more times. Let’s examine this shit briefly:


Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ // Fastlane

Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″ – Fastlane

Honestly, when news leaked a few days ago that these two are planning to drop an EP on June 14 (Bad Meets Evil), I was less than excited. I’m a fan of both rappers, but I’ve soured on collaborations a bit (too many of em these days) and this shit would have been a better idea in 2003.


Throwback Post: HOOD CLASSICS, Vol. 83…


I don’t know where you’re from, but around my neck of the woods people consider “Belly” a certified classic movie.

Actually, that’s false.  What I meant to write was that I question your life choices and common sense if you don’t regard Belly to be a wonderful movie.

I mean, what’s not to love about the movie? Besides the plot? And the acting? And the dialogue? If we held plot, dialogue and acting against all movies, then there’d be no good movies.  FACT.  Real connoisseurs know that you can only truly judge the awesomeness of a film by the number of yuks and irrelevant amusing tangents in the film.  Belly is a fucking winner.

In lieu of a proper defense of this honorable hood classic, I’ll list all the reasons to watch Belly again.  Besides the plot and acting of course.


Nas and Damian Marley: Nah Mean (Video)

At this point in the rap game, releasing videos for and touring on an album that’s been out for almost a year (Distant Relatives dropped last May) is the equivalent of not only kicking a dead horse, but pissing on said horse and then lighting it on fire. In other words, given that hit albums don’t even get this type of treatment, one might describe the continued promotion of this album as overkill.


Reconsidered: Pusha T’s ‘Take One For The Team’ Verse…

Last fall/winter when Kanye was graciously leaking his album track by track to everyone’s great delight, he wrangled a ton of guest appearances from all sorts of randoms, some of who eventually became less than random affiliates. Case in point: the critically acclaimed blow rapper, Pusha T, one half of The Clipse and Neptunes beat destroyer.

Like most fans of Kanye and Pusha, I was pretty excited about their alliance (at least until I heard ‘Runaway’ – shit sucks mane), since we’ve largely heard Pusha over Neptunes production over the last decade plus. Whatever was left of my excitement kinda turned to doodoo once I heard ‘Take It For The Team’.


Smoke DZA: The Hustler’s Catalog

Smoke DZA – The World (Video).

I’m not really sure who to thank for the prevalence of quality weed rap that’s been proliferating the blogs in recent months (or years, depending on who’s counting), but I’m pleased about the development. I don’t indulge anymore, but you certainly don’t have to be a weed connoisseur to enjoy the stylings of cats like Curren$y, Trademark da Skydiver, Wiz Khalifa (I’ve included him solely to piss in JihaD‘s cornflakes) and as of right now for the Jonnie-come-latelys among you, Smoke DZA.


It’s Official: Freddie Gibbs Cliques Up With Jeezy and CTE…

From an image and marketing standpoint, aligning with CTE is certainly a great fit for Freddie Gibbs, since Jeezy (and maybe Rawse, if you can get past the fraud – yes, I’ll harp on that shit FOREVER) is essentially the only gangsta rapper with any real (but worryingly and rapidly fading?) mainstream presence at this point in time. Gangsta rapper + gangsta rap label = perfect. Si?


CURRENSY. A Brief Primer…

"Hazy, per usual"

Download the mix HERE

Note: In an effort to counteract what Amp subjected you to earlier today (that Joomane shit), I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect an old post from the blog. Although Curren$y and Joomane share few things in common – they look a little slow and they are proficient at getting money – its what they choose to do with the money that speaks volumes. I’ll just say that being Coogi’s sole customer in 2011 is a ridiculous thing. Anyway, you can call this”looks like he’s retarded rap.” Still, it beats Lupe’s “recycling bin rap.” Enjoy.




Nope. This isn’t about the M.O.P. or Carly Simon (or Les McCann?) songs (all awesome, but Carly Simon wins that battle). It’s more about the twin concepts of expectation and excitement, both of which are apt at the moment, given the impending launch of a new home for the crew, GeorgeBushMoney and Dog Shit, a new track from Mobb Deep featuring Nas and co-produced by The Alchemist and Havoc. (more…)