Remember back when Jeezy was that dude? The Recession was a critical and commercial success, well received by both internet rap nerds and actual dope boys. Trap or Die 2 would have made a worthy follow up album, so as a mixtape, it was more than sufficient.
And then, out of nowhere, Jeezy fell off. Or maybe he didn’t. I can’t call it. In an era where 3 months is like a year, and a year is like a decade, it seems like forever since he’s been relevant.
Released in early 2005 and intended as a showcase for all the artists under his newly branded Dame Dash Music Group (which at this point still included Beanie Sigel and State Property, Cam’ron and The Diplomats, N.O.R.E, M.O.P., R&B acts Rell, Denim and Nicole Wray, and the rights to the Roc-A-Fella recordings of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard), Damon Dash presents Roc 4 Life – Vol. 2: The Second Part Of The Life actually became sort of a swan song for Dame, who by 2006 had seen the dissolution of his label after only one release (Beanie Sigel’s The B. Coming) and by ’07 had almost completely fell back from the music industry, choosing to turn his focus to his other companies. Over the years, rumors of bad investments, money mismanagement and bankruptcy begun to surface and Dash showed back up on the scene in ’09, this time moving behind the scenes as a “consultant” to Jim Jones, eventually netting an executive producer credit on his Pray IV Reign album. It wasn’t until 2010 that Dash fully reinvented himself and reemerged as a joint toking, gray beard sporting Warhol-esque leader of his own DIY hipster rap/alt-rock collective DD172 and his BluRoc imprint, which released Curren$y’s critically acclaimed Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk 2 thru Island Def Jam.
A “rare” mixtape with a limited run of copies, what’s most notable about this one (Outside of a few epic rants by Dame) is the apparent inclusion of Joe Budden into the Roc family, an under publicized chapter in Budden’s career that I’ve never really had any clarity on. Was he ever signed to Roc-A-Fella? Cause the couple of times he pops up on this tape along with the song he recorded with Bleek and Beans lead me to believe that at some point there was some sort of agreement between Dame and Budden. Still, the collection of talent gathered on this tape was thorough and had Dame actually been given a fair shot to get his label off the ground, I think DDMG actually showed some promise. Will Dame ever get another opportunity to make an impact similar to the one Roc-A-Fella had when they came in the game? I seriously doubt it. But there’s no denying the guy had vision.
1. Dame Dash Is Done Skit
2. Dame Dash Intro (Produced By Boola & Dame Dash)
3. Joe Budden, Raekwon, Young Chris, Oschino, Sparks, Peedi Crakk, N.O.R.E. & Nature – Triumph
4. Raekwon Feat. Denim – Tribute
5. Nicole Wray Feat. Beanie Sigel – Can’t Get Out The Game
6. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Stomp
7. Beanie Sigel Feat. Peedi Crakk, Joe Budden & Young Chris – Flatline (Remix)
8. Beanie Sigel – One Shot Deal
9. Dame Dash Skit
11. M.O.P. – Instigator
12. Bun B Freestyle
13. N.O.R.E. – Cuts From N.O.R.E.
14. Rell – Don’t Take It Away
15. Beanie Sigel Feat. Melissa – Feel It In The Air
16. Juelz Santana Feat. Hell Rell – Not !!ing With Dip Set
17. Killa 3 Freestyle
18. Jim Jones Freestyle
19. Cam’ron Feat. Kanye West & Sylenna Johnson – Down & Out
18. Joe Budden Freestyle
19. Militainment/Gem Star & Big Mato – Nueva York
20. Clark Kent – Ol’ Dirty Bastard Segment
21. Dame Dash Outro
For some reason, they keep letting this Khaled guy release records. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were actually good records and at one point, there was some novelty to having every artist from the South not currently incarcerated (and Fat Joe) on a single track with Akon or T-Pain on the hook. Too bad that idea got stale right after Khaled’s second album hit stores…4 YEARS AGO. But for some reason, Khaled continues to have a recording career despite the fact he has little actual musical talent (I mean, he says he’s a producer but 1 beat every 3-4 years? That’s not a career as a producer. That’s a hobby). At any rate, this time around, Khaled managed to link up with Cash Money Records for album number four, the modestly titled We The Best Forever. The first single, “Welcome To My Hood“, takes the Khaled blueprint to its peak but neither it, nor it’s over the top remix(including a hot 16 from DJ Khaled) made me blink an eye. Heard it before, seen it before. Meh. Nice try. The second single however, fares a little better. (more…)
Not exactly sure what an “Arch Druid” is, but from what i can gather, it’s a collective of producers from the west coast, who are prepping a long-delayed LP with a bunch of ill features. I saw this over at Unkut, and clicked play solely for the Roc Marci appearance, but after a listen or two, this beat is ill. May have to check this album out once it drops.
So apparently, 2011 is the year that “urban legend” releases finally see the light of day. Greatest Story Never Told got released. Lasers finally dropped. Some people are even delusional enough to think that Act II or Detox might finally be liberated by year’s end (ROFL).
Another project that has forever been on the backburner was Elzhi’s eLmatic – a tribute to Nas’ heralded debut. The wait will finally be over this Tuesday, when eLmatic finally makes its way onto hard drives and iPod’s everywhere (sn- why are we still calling them “tapes”?). So I thought it would be a good idea to put together an Elzhi compilation for those who may not be as familiar with his work as they should be. (more…)
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.
A couple weeks back, Young Jeezy got the most attention he’d gotten in over a year with the signing of blog favorite Freddie Gibbs to his Corporate Thugz Ent. label. The move was seen as a shrewd one for Jeezy because not only is Gibbs a really great rapper with a bubbling underground fanbase and a nostalgic take on Gangster rap but he gives Jeezy something his label has never had. A rapper capable of carving out his own niche without being snugly tucked under the CEO’s wing. U.S.D.A.’s Cold Summer was a shoddily put together weedcarrier showcase that featured Jeezy’s version of Tony Yayo (And one of the worst rappers to ever grace a Def Jam release), Slick Pulla along with Florida rapper Bloodraw (a.k.a. What Jeezy Would Sound Like If He Was 30lbs Heavier And From Florida…And A Lot Less Talented At Rapping) and Bloodraw’s debut “album”, My Life, The True Testimony seemed like an afterthought, released only to justify the existence of the label itself. Jeezy may be a hustler but outside of his own albums, his resume as a record executive is less then impressive.
Compared to his less then enthusiastic performance on 2009’s Crime Pays, these days Cam’ron looks to be back in Killa Season form and you’d have to attribute at least some of his new found energy to his latest protege, Vado. The two had been dominating the blog/mixtape scene as The U.N. for the past couple of years and released a “retail mixtape” Hot In Here Vol. 1 (a few new tracks along with a bunch of CDQ versions of their most popular mixtape cuts) in 2010. Curiously the E1 release was to relatively little fan fare, with very little in the way of promotion, viral or otherwise. Still, Cam and Vado have continued to have the streets buzzing in 2011, as they prepare for their first official album, Gunz N Butta. (more…)