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Review Archive 17

9 August 2010 No Comment

Pope – Love & Bullets (Phatstaxx)

This cd has been staring at me for a month begging for a review. I admit that due to my constant traveling I haven’t been able to do as many reviews as I’d like to. But hey, check it out, I’m sitting here doing it. Seems like that time management course worked.

Pope was born in Harlem, New York and has worked with Capitol, Rowdy Records and Sony.  He was won 4 times at the Apollo Theater and has performed with legends such as Ice Cube, Kid Capri, Scarface and Too Short.  So let’s see what this is all about.

Pope Self Titled feat Bishop J

A bouncy track that’s bound to rattle trunks and cellulite asses from coast to coast. Personally I don’t like songs like this as they tend to be too rowdy. But I can’t front on this beat. Pope and Bishop handle themselves properly over this track. The chorus is addictive. Big party track.

Bad Guyz

These beats are weighty. Again this is a killer track. Nothing spectacular about the rhymes, just your typical thug style. That misty vocal sample that’s dabbed from time to time is ill.

Oh Yeah (I Like Dat) Remix

Again these beats are easy to get into. This is a song about booties and how much “he likes that”. I find the hooks on this album hit worthy so far.

Dem Boyz featuring Gina on hook

Sounds very much like a Lost Boyz track. I don’t know I think it’s just the way he flows. I like those toms that come through in the break. This can easily sway your head from side to side.

Sittin On Heat feat Bishop J

Nah as soon as this started I hated it. The beat is tight but that sing song 50 cent flow in the beginning and chorus parts just put me off. 

Ow! feat Star

Another party track. These beats are really good. But that’s all.

Let’s Bang feat Cotten on hook

A laid back song, not a bad song at all, nice production.

Villanz feat Pope/Star/P Haze

I like that rolling bass. This is a creepy song. It’s the kind you play when you driving in the early hours of the morning getting ready to shoot down your enemy. Star who I think is the female emcee on here kicks a tight verse. P Haze also kicks a sick verse. This is killer track. I wonder what this would sound like in the car…

Pimp Nest

Production is more commercial on here with hints of Shady/50 Cent etc. This is a really good track. Pope got a really good flow and he has a knack of coming up with superb hooks. I need to find out more about this man they call Pope.


I got a feeling Pope is going to blow up, if not on your radar, definitely in his region (if not already). This beat is sick and the song has the potential of becoming an anthem. Hey is that it? Why is this song too short? A measly 1 minute and 50 seconds? What the fuck?

Felony Life (feat Pope & Bishop J)

This song is okay but kind of boring, let’s skip…

Oh Yeah (I Like That)

I gather that this is the original version. I prefer the remix though…

Don’t Wantnun feat Verse on hook

A gruff voice over a tinned Arabic sounding sample. Heavy bubbles of bass causes earthquakes beneath. An average track.

Overall this is an explosive album. If you like artists like Yukmouth or Trick Daddy then I can be sure that you will dig this. At first I was skeptical every time I saw this cd in the corner of my eye. But if you like that rowdy, dirty, thug type shit then this is for you. For me I was just enjoying the beats on here. Pope aint a bad rapper either, he can handle his shit on the mic. Surprisingly the majority of the songs on here are above average. Check it.

Playa Rae – Industry Hi Jack Vol 1 (DUGOUT ENT)

Hosted and mixed by DJ Mark 7 we got Playa Rae who you might remember we reviewed a month ago his double compilation Hustlin City 2 City. AG likes people like this, the kind who you can expect to continually shell you with releases, mixtapes and compilations. It’s an indication to us that these artists are serious, hardworking and committed.

This is a 21 track mixtape and there’s no tranquility on here. It’s straight street and needs to be washed down with abundant amounts of alcohol and ass. 

The first song on here is “Mushrooms, XTC & Hennessy” which I’m sure Oopy G is gonna understand. He’s “dancing with blurry visions” and woman are “whispering in his ear” but he can hardly hear due to the loud music. There’s no second-guessing that this is about drugs, ass and dancing at the club.

The notable “Fairytale” will keep you hitting the repeat button. The do doo – doom beat and lifting piano loop will make you grab the back of your cranium and force feed a head nod. A potent track.

Industry’s Got Me” feat OneI of STS/50 Shots spreads the attitude of most independent artists. 
“I gotta get sleep, I’m tossing and turning
for real man I can feel the whole world turning
this industry’s got me all fucked up
one minute they say you hot, the next they say you not”

What I like about this song is that you can hear Playa Rae rapping from the gut letting us feel that this is a serious issue. But it’s not all complaining as he gives some words of encouragement for other independent artists to “hold your ground motherfucker don’t let go…“.

“On The Scene” is a raucous track that will command crowds in a club to sprint to the stage and punch their fists through the air. Playa Rae doesn’t just rap, he really brings it up from his stomach. 

The bassline on the exclusive “Homies” featuring K-Rino of SPC is sick. This is such a dope track and it makes me sad that I can’t get South Park Coalition shit here in South African shops.  I’ve been listening to this song over and over again and I’m shaking my head in disbelief, fucking unbelievable.

Check the lines on “The Game”. Here he’s kicking a verse about the reality of this game:

“Listen to me I understand the way the struggle goes 
trying to balance the entertainment life with everyday bullshit
you gotta work a 9 to 5 and you really hate it
coz suckers at your job talking shit about you never gon making it
but what these motherfuckers know about spending your last dime in the studio
family got a baby mama bitching about the bills aint paid
and then she got the fucking nerve to say she’s 2 weeks late
did I fail to mention all these people that got your back
they say they gonna support you when your cd hits the rack
that’s the same people that when they see you want it for free
bitching about your fucking hustle and your $10 fee
you see, it’s never as easy as they say it is
welcome to the business of cold shoulders, big dreams and lies you dig
I swear to God I wish I never jumped into this shit
coz now my life is so complicated believe I hate it
and what kills me the most is when I meet a fan
they look at me real funny and notice I drive a van
like I’m supposed to roll a benzo or be squatting on 22’s
MTV got em tripping, got us looking like damn fools
can’t put the blame on the fans, it’s all over the TV
all you see is these rappers ballin big tyming on BET
and you ask about the radio, bitch please
them fucking punks aint playing you unless you breaking no g’s
I aint mind, I speak the truth, everytime that I hit the booth
so remember the damn name
if you name aint Ja Rule, 50 Cent or that man Jigga
please believe that channel aint even trying to fuck wit ya”

I gotta slash this review short since I’ve said quite a lot. Other tracks worthy of mention are “Backdafuckup!” and “Shorty” but this entire mixtape is perfectly executed. While I know of people who do not understand shit like this – this probably wasn’t made for them. This mixtape is thunderous, tough and banging and comes across as genuine. The reality is there. You can hear that Playa Rae is a street rapper, somebody who can easily convey his life to you through the speakers. Never a monotonous second, Playa Rae executes his raps with conviction and control without too much effort. This is an underrated rapper who has this knack for getting your attention every time he spits. Playa Rae and DUGOUT Entertainment. Recognize!

Chris Lowe – The Black Life LP (Female Fun Records)

Introducing veteran producer and emcee Chris Lowe who you might remember as the same guy who worked with Stezo in the late 80’s on Sleeping Bag Records. Chris was also the first producer to issue the infamous Skull Snaps break, and you get a lesson in that history on the track “Do Your History (The Snaps)“.  Beat diggers will appreciate this!

But what can one say that hasn’t been said before about a good release? I have been exposed to so much music that even good stuff can sound mediocre and it takes something with substance and originality to break me from robotic listening sessions. So did the Chris Lowe album manage to differentiate itself from the massive amount of albums out there? 

The first thing I’m noticing is that he follows the basic principles of making good hip hop tracks. A good choice of samples, a dash of dj cuts (a deejay track – yes please we need more of this), some wicked breaks and never dull verses. Unlike in today’s hip hop arena he at least gives a dj a track and who none other than DJ Cash Money to do the job on “Chris Cosby vs Cash Money“.

I like the sample in “Streetwatch” and Chris immediately wins you over. The first thing that comes to mind are the words New York and authentic. “Uncut Action” featuring Extra P (Large Professor) is a straight head banger and one can never front on the verses. I don’t know what it is but this album brings back feelings of nostalgia, a time when hip hop was about the streets, beats and rhymes. 

Highlights include hearing Sadat X and Dinco D (from LONS) joining him for “Treacherous 3“, a funky track with elements of the old skool in it. It brags with a memorable beat that can be hard to get out of your head.

I got a list of songs here that you need to check out:
Buckwhylin featuring Parrish Smith
Round & Round
Hurt It
One Liners feat Tall T
Come On
The Non-Stop

So did Chris make his mark? Hell yeah and this is probably one of those albums that you cannot afford to ignore this year. Seek this!

Billy Woods – The Chalice (Backwoodz Studioz)

This one comes courtesy of Backwoodz Studioz, an indie label based in Brooklyn. One of their artists is Billy Woods, who lived in Zimbabwe for the 1980s and is half Zimbabwean. He released a concept album with Vordul of Can-Ox last year called Camouflage. Now he is back with “The Chalice” feat. Cannibal Ox, Kong of Monsta Island Czars, Carnage (Def Jux), Priviledge (Urban Ikon) and of course Thrill Gates.

In the beginning we are treated to “Killtro” with a few news clips and hey they even got crime stop on here. Remarkable, makes you anticipate what’s coming next. 

“Kabul the Bagdad, the emperor wears no clothes/
choppers and fruit patrols, trigger happy 18 year olds, 
in the hood we know about those…/
kill anybody for props/
sick dudes, better them than the cops/”

What do these producers eat? I’m trying to reveal this beat to you but nothing comes to my keyboard. I can hear a break beat in the environment, there’s an oral loop, there’s a lengthened out bass which visits the beat every now and again. If you were handed a beat like this you probably wouldn’t think of rocking over it, but they have. Beyond belief.

Move a bit further down the audio buffet and we got “Mind Control” featuring Vordul. Now whoever is doing these beats is one hell of a beat maker. This guy is spending a lot of time working on them; there is so much vigor here that explaining it will do nothing to those reading this review. 

On “Capture The Flagg” I had attempted to reprint the lyrics here but there were some words I couldn’t make out and I don’t think you would’ve appreciated a sentence with with a few blanks. The main reason I wanted to do that is because I wanted to demonstrate what makes a dope emcee. First of all, he builds on each sentence, creating small stories from each previous verse, but in due course creating a story when the verse is observed in it’s entirety from above. The production on here is sick. From out of nowhere comes this verbal sample, listen to those slowed down cymbals, and not each one is the same, one of them is a bit different to the rest. It’s small shit like this that makes me wanna buy producers like this a beer. Check the panning of the overamped sample that fucks your earhole just for the sake of it. Billy Woods really shines on here, put on the sun tan lotion. 

“High Treason” has horrifying snares and hi hats and if it wasn’t for that deejay cutting up I would’ve skipped this track a long time ago. Wow check that first sentence, he is a genius. Just can’t stand the beat, that organ in the back is okay but those hi ends are butchering my ears.

Next is “BBC” featuring Thrill Gates, and he does a fine job of sliding down the razor sharp beat with his unclothed tongue. Then, switch like a blade, the beat get’s drenched with news commentary, but check the verse, what the hell, it’s them rapping the reports, ever wanted to know what the next level of hip hop is, well this must be it.

“Blowout” featuring Privilege is the one I keep on playing. A fucking mind-boggling sample (the way they flip it) and the lyrics are even better. 

On “Gourmet” he makes you obsessed with his non-stop retarded verses:

“crack a crustacean, garlic butter and salads in the basin…/
hold down my station
small potatoes like 7 Elevens at gas stations…/
massed up I can’t afford to be gas facing/
spit like I’m wine tasting…
never panic walk patient, pick up the shell casings
leave microphone chalk tracings/
run dees emcees like jam master jason
and live forever in headphones in basements/”

There are 21 tracks on here but I cannot carry on reviewing this. This album is going to take me longer than 2 weeks to assimilate. This is the kind of album that is going to breathe for a long time. The greater part of this album boasts superior production and outstanding lyrical content and deliveries. I’ll be listening to this one for the next few months, it’s just one of those cd’s you don’t put away, it’s in the walkman, in the cd rom, in the car. Highly recommended.

Man-B – Demo (Independent)

We received this from Bloemfontein. There is only 1 song on here. I don’t know what the name of the song is since there is no track listing. There are references to “Freestate G’s” and “getting high”.

The rapping on here is awful and well below average.  The beat is wack.

We think that this artist released something too soon and that another year or two practicing should be done before sending us shit to review.

Azarel – Motivation (Covenant Recordings)

We were awed with his stellar performance on his debut album. This was one rapper who said things that worked through you. Now I must confess that it took me quite a while to latch onto this album. I had huge expectations and I was wondering if they could be met. 

First the beat assembly on here was above standard and we have a variety of producers providing that. Beats were handled by Azarel himself, Big Squeeze, DJ JB and a few others. As you can see having a collection of producers ensured that the album would have the right stuff for bumping in the cars, radio or headphones. And the productions on this one didn’t come across as too varied as Azarel ensured that all the tracks would flow in and out of each other without throwing you off balance. 

On the lyrical and delivery tip I think that Azarel has mastered both aspects of being an emcee. Lyrically he is gifted when writing songs that contain intelligence as each sentence passes and often he does not need to fill a sentence with an off topic comment to make it rhyme. They flow as it should be and story lines can easily be followed. This is what is great about listening to Azarel spit. On the delivery tip he understands the beat and shows good breath control. 

But how did the album end up on the whole? A lot of the songs did have a devout theme running through them and that is because Azarel is dedicated to his faith. Unfortunately I did not really know much about his faith but after listening to the album you get to learn about that. But you know there were also times when I needed to press the skip button and some of the tracks just didn’t grab me as I’d would’ve wanted them to have. There are 18 tracks on here and I have singled out the ones, which I found myself playing over and over again. They are:

One 3rd
Keep Searchin’
What Does It All Mean
YAH Will Be There

Check out this cd for those strong tracks and you will get a hint of why Azarel is just one of those rappers who has the ability of engraving your mind with his messages. A decent 2nd album and he will continue…

2 Ban – My Soul Can Never Be Drowned (2 Ban Records)

If many of you may remember last year we reviewed his former album “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”. This is his next contribution. 

Now the first cd he sent us was dope and we were impressed with the words and the whole vibe. It was these stories that he was relaying that made us take notice.

Now this album is quite low budget but we don’t care about that. What we care about are the beats, lyrical content, authenticity, flow and delivery. As usual his lyrical content is precisely the same as his preceding release and this shows that he lives the messages he delivers to us.

But this album fell short, both in flow and in beats. At times you can hear a lack of cadence in delivery. This is evident when you hear him (at times but not often) trying to grab hold of the beat.

Secondly the beats are just loops of well known “rap hits” and I’m not even sure if there is any original beats on here. It makes listening to this album sound like a freestyle mixtape. 

There are however times where he shines like on “Ham The Nubian”, “Dealing With It!” and “Repatriation Song”. It’s when he does shit like this that you can value what he’s trying to achieve. He’s the kind of rapper that you would appreciate standing next to, just listening to what he has to say.

Overall we have to say that after listening to his first album this one was a disappointment. We know that 2 Ban can do better than this, as was apparent by “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” and we hope to hear a continuance of that in his future releases. 

1. Got To Be Strong
2. Ham The Nubian
3. Had Enough
4. Is This A Riddle
5. Who The Cap Fits
6. Spineless Negroes
7. Dirty Shame
8. Nubian Mind
9. Repatriation Song
10. Non-Sequito
11. My State Of Mind
12. 3rd World Natives
13. Pass It Over
14. Dealing With It!

Dead On Arrival – Dead On Arrival (Deep Down Uhuru Productions)

This comes from Maseru in Lesotho, a 7 track project. So who are Dead On Arrival? It was explained like this:

CUTS ON RAPS: Poisonfoul, Blitz, Spit Ferocious, Kislev & Haunt 
CORPORATE NEMESIS: Fairo, Core & Anonymous 

After listening to this 7 track EP a couple of times I found that their weakness is production. While the beat on “Kizz My Azz” was kind of nice the others were either basic or similar throughout. It does sound like these guys are more focused on the rhyme. You can hear that they can certainly hold their own in ciphers and open mic sessions. This is the strong part of this project. But the beats have a way of pulling them downhill. They have this potential but they need dope beats to “show” them the way.  Also it would have been nice to hear their abilities in constructing songs, not just straight rhymes, but maybe a track with a story.  It’s okay to do this but not for the whole EP and it can get tiring.  The result of this is that one get’s a sense that there is no direction or aim, and I can also hear the same shit down my road at the local cipher.

At the end of the day I think that this crew is repping hip hop, you can hear that easily but they just need to do a few adjustments to guarantee their continued existence. It’s not easy doing this and I applaud them for putting this out under the difficult state of affairs they are in (low budget recordings etc). These cats can rock a mic no doubt.  But better beats and direction are needed.   Track Listing:
1. Whozdat – Poisonfoul, Haunt & Core (Produced by Poisonfoul)
2. Lyrical Incompetence – Fairo, Haunt & Poisonfoul (Produced by Poisonfoul)
3. Who Is Poisonfoul – Poisonfoul (Produced by Poisonfoul)
4. Kizz My Azz – Kisley (Produced by Fairo)
5. So Keep Em – Fairo (Produced by Fairo)
6. Single Clap – Blitz, Poison Foul, Anonymous & Fairo (Produced by Sanhedrin)
7. Rules Of Engagement – Fairo, Spit Ferocious & Haunt (Produced by Spit Ferocious)

Apocraphe – Long Don Spilverbs (Main Rock Records)

Did It Good, Did It Good

Starts off with the original hook from the song they are sampling. The same hook is used for the chorus. The actual beat on here is funky and Apoc flows with his lips close to the mic because it’s one of the songs that you don’t need to rap loud on. There are moments when he does what we used to call “doublelipped flows” back in the day. An interesting song where he’s got some issues with somebody of the opposite sex.

Blueberry Dreamhaze

Cappo and Scor-zay-zee drop in on this one. An old R&B/Soul track is looped here and they add a fat bass lick to wet the crack. As opposed to the previous track you can hear that Apoc is getting in full swing here as it sounds more like he’s standing up this time to deliver the rhyme. That looped sample becomes hypnotic and one finds that a head nod is the movement of the moment. The chorus makes use of panning while he layers over a subtle hook. One on the left and the other on the right. This is a good track but I was expecting skratches in the chorus, that would’ve made the song tight.

Peace Through War

This is a tight song. The heavy beat coupled with moments of very good flows coming from Apoc makes one glued to this. I cannot help but think that the vocal sample which is used at the end of every 4th bar is the same one that is used in Blueberry Dreamhaze. Sounds very much like it. I enjoyed listening to the verses on here. Very interesting stuff and he didn’t come through as preachy. The only flaw on here was the chorus. It just didn’t work for me.

Long Don Spilverbs

This is the one where Apoc displays his lyrical ability. 


The breakbeat that starts off here makes one think that this is going to be a weak track. But as soon as he starts with his verses it all comes together and all you can do is nod in approval. A funny track where there is a lot of idiotic braggin going on.

Final Preparations

Uses a guitar loop throughout. A slow song and the chorus reminds me a lot of what Roger Waters would do. Apoc kicks his verses quite well over this beat. This song must either be about dying, getting old or committing suicide.

This EP was well executed and the emcee in question doesn’t just write for the fun of it. His lyrics are filled with interesting snacks that feed the mind and make one think about one’s own place in the world. Sitting down and actually listening to how this guy writes will make you appreciate the Apoc even more. Beats were fresh as well and he got some good guest appearances as well. Why the EP? I don’t know, maybe it’s a case of too much of a good thing could turn out to be a bad thing. But this is definitely worthy of a check out. Listen to it at the shop, buy the cd and listen to it in the bus, taxi or in your car.

DJ A Beats – Poor Man’s Paradise (Bad Gramma DJ A Beats)

Originally from Mexico DJ A Beats is joined by Dynas who hosts this mixtape. A Beats is a Justo Mixtape finalist and this mix is full of exclusive tracks, exclusive freestyles, and remixes done by DJ A-Beats.

This cd let’s DJ A Beats showcase his mixing abilities and he does not fail to make an impression. The track variety is consistent as each song follows without breaking the mould. What is dope about this mix is that you get exclusives and what is even more doper is you get to hear bangers over DJ A Beat’s own remixes.

He frequently does not play the entire tracks to ensure that boredom does not set in. This also allows him to squeeze in 36 tracks, which makes buying this cd well worth it. The mixing from one track to another is done accurately.

He’s not the kind of mixtape deejay who shouts (e.g. like Doo Wop or Clue) which makes it easy to either play this at a house party, the car or even in the crib when just relaxing. 

Some of the tracks on here are exclusive which gives you the opportunity to keep up to date with what’s happening on the streets. In fact that is exactly what DJ A Beats does for a living. So check out this mixtape, there are a lot of mixtapes out there I know, but this was a well executed mix with good track selection.

Track Listing:
DJ A-Beats Intro 
Dynas Intro 
Jay Z “Moment of Clarity” A-Beats RMX 
Royce Da 5’9 “Throwback” A-Beats RMX 
Kardinal Offishal “Kemotherapy” 
Kaimbr Freestyle 
Blackmoon “Lucifer RMX” 
Jax of Binkis Records Freestyle 
Redman “The Saga Continues” 
Jinx Da Juvy “No Hook” 
Dynas Freestyle 
Saj Supreme “Just No Use”
(Produced by Scram Jones) 
Da Riffs feat: Young Zee & Planet Asia “Shack Da Shit Out Ya” 
Twista, Young Gunz & Freeway “Art & Life” 
The Clipse “Pussy” A-Beats RMX 
Doujah Raze “Ghost of Mars” A-Beats RMX 
Wrekonize Freestyle 
Dynas “The Few” 
Krumsnatcha and Guru “Here We Go”
Kanye West and Lauren Hill “Self Conscious” 
WYZ Freestyle 
Styles P Freestyle 
Swigga & Eddie Brock Freestyle 
Deja Freestyle 
Kenn Starr & Talib Kweli “If” 
(Produced by Oddisee) 
Dynas “Blame Game” 
(Produced by 9th Wonder) 
Word Association “Been Down” 
Oddisee Freestyle (Produced by Oddisee) 
Dynas Freestyle 
Shinobi and Tragedy Khadafi Freestyle 
Ice Shuler Freestyle 
Critically Acclaimed Feat Phonte of Little Brother “Road Trip” (Produced by Oddisee) 
Nails Freestyle 
Old Word Disorder Freestyle 
Soulstice Freestyle 
Poor Man’s Paradise Outro

Promoe – The Long Distance Runner (Burning Hearts)

The Looptroop laced the South African shores not so long ago. We chilled with them and learned they normal cats just like us wanting to spread a message using the same tool as us. Hailing from a place that they labeled the Kingdom of Sweden these globetrotters are doing a good job at promoting thought provoking messages that’ slowly being erased within this hip hop culture. Which member is the most striking individual within the camp called the Troop?

Shit you shouldn’t even reminisce cos that dude with the hella long beard and dreads definitely the cat that strikes the most.  Humble and friendly Promoe always turns heads, listening to his lyrics you find that he’s not in this for the fame, he is out to make a difference.  It’s been over a year and we haven’t heard a lot from the Troop and bam I get home there is a package waiting for me.  My blood is rushing like when I got new toys 20 years ago when I was still a kid.  It’s Promoe’s new release, haven’t even heard gossip about a new album. The album is titled “The Long Distance Runner“, yes aha he entering the Comrades marathon next year.  The message is still the same.  This album just sparked my interest in expanding my thoughts and hearing what people round the world got to say.  Promoe blessed us previously with tracks like “Yes Ayah”, “Negative vs Positive”, “Big in Japan”, “Freedom Writers” and the first track that put me on to his politics was a track he named “Prime Time” which saw Promoe blasting at all media propaganda that are corrupting our minds like a windows system file.   Promoe’s new album is a smart layout of witty choruses hidden with messages of hope and disparity.  The album opens up appropriately with “The Marathon”.  I don’t know if their South African tour spawned the next track that goes by the name of “In The Jungle’ and sees him taggin up with Ward 21.  The track has a nice vibe mixin the hip hop with its forefather aka reggae.  Collaborations are in abundance on this release and has him taggin up with his Swedish boys Timbuktu, Ranto and Chords alongside names such as Ghost, Cos M.I.C, Bushman and Anthony B.  One of my favourite tracks off the album is called KKKampain.  Promoe said the track came about after doing a show in Cape town and the news referring to Bush’s war as a campaign when it’s literally speaking a nicer word to describe the crime that they committing,

“War aint nothing but a campaign/Freedom aint nothing but a brandname/Why people gotta die,why we cant change/That its all a party of the dirty man’s game/But daddy aint that strange?/some people drinking nothing but champagne/others drinking dirty water from a a bad drain/Is that also a part of the KKKampain?/”

Makes me wonder we no longer being auctioned in city centres, or transported on ships to foreign grounds the slave system is still in place just hidden behind gold and glitter.  The track gets a definite thumbs up.  The album is a more personal look into Promoe’s life and his thoughts, his love for this hip hop art, for equality.  Now lets go to that little music video on the album at first glance I didn’t like the track itself but after listening to it about ten times I’m feeling the joint, the vid has Promoe taking us on a trip with his bicycle giving us “A likkle supm supm” he is joined on his vid by a a dude who does the pantsula dance for all our foreign tourist to the site come visit South Africa and u can learn the dance.A nice funky track that we can all do the Looptroop step to. 

“When there’s a war going on outside no man is safe from /we can run but we cant hide forever from/George bush & Tony blair,IMF,the worldbank whose only care/is to hold this here gold in their/greedy little hands,somebody tell me why wont they share & give us just a likkle supm supm/we need some new leaders cus these ones be frontin/They got hidden agendas alterior motives/They be spittin the venom & gettin the voters/They got devils within em thats givin the orders/We need a new beginnin and a new world disorder”

Nuff said get the album if you like knowledge and if you want to hear more shit from the Troop saga 

2.Long distance runner
3.In the jungle (ft Ward21)
4.These walls dont lie
5.Constant consumption
6.Fast food world (ft Cos m.i.c and Bushman)
7.Justice (ft Anthony B)
9.Dog day afternoon (ft Ranto,Timbuktu & Chords)
10.A likkle supm supm
11.Mah grrrl (ft Ghost)
12.Fit you haffe fit
13.Calm down
Jackin Season

Mixtape Vol 1 – DJ Mark 7 (Money Tree Records)

There’s a ton of label sanctioned mix tapes coming out now, primarily used as promotional vehicles for their artists and friends. Money Tree Records recently released this and as soon as I popped it in I was hooked.

First let’s talk about the format. Mild blends and original pitch are the order of the day on this potjiekos. DJ Mark 7 does his job here and does it bloody well. In fact he’s making a name for himself these days. He keeps the shoulders moving from side to side, carefully playing the tracks in a proper order making sure that the mix doesn’t ‘break’ the tempo of the mixtape. This mix does justice by inciting interest in the label. I’ve heard a lot of record label promo mix-tapes and at the moment this is probably in my top 10.

I have a tendency to open my packages as I walk back to my house from the post office. I’m like a kid who just got a present and cannot wait for Christmas morning. As I was checking out the track listing on here I got a bit excited and found myself running home. I popped this into my pc and shoved the Sony headphones onto my head. I moved my monitor further away for fear of it meeting my forehead due to pigeon head nods. These preparations were not done in vain because as soon as the first track started I was calling my woman to fetch me a beer from the fridge. 

I listened to this mixtape from beginning to end then took it to the car and still have it in the car. So which tracks were the dopest on here? Shit that’s a hard decision to make. I would rather approach this mix tape as a ‘whole’ rather than looking at it as something made up of separate units. But for the sake of not wanting to sound like an M.I.T. professor I will rate the songs:

1. Hear Me – Komatoze 7/10
2. Rock The Party – Tef-Kaluminoti, Automatic, Don-O, Komatoze 6/10
3. 22’s (Exclusive) – Tef-Kaluminoti, Automatic, Don-O 6/10
4. Juicy – Automatic 6/10
5. It’s In The Game – Komatoze, Rey Crum 5/10
6. Smoke A Oz – Komatoze, Tef-Kaluminoti, Don-O, Young O, Automatic 6/10
7. Turn It Up – Don-O, Tef-Kaluminoti, Automatic, Komatoze 7/10
8. So What Ya Know – Sean T 8/10
9. No Hook – Automatic 7/10
10. Keep Hatin (Exclusive) – Don-O, Komotoze, Tef-Kaluminoti 5/10
11. The Truth – Automatic 6/10
12. Gangsta (Exclusive) – Tef-Kaluminoti 7/10
13. Hotel California – Automatic, Komatoze 10/10
14. 10 Rap Commandments – Prophet 6/10
15. Warrior – Don-O, Komatoze, Automatic, Tef-Kaluminati 7/10
16. Mary Jane – Komatoze, Automatic 6/10
17. Stay Weeded – Komatoze, Automatic 6/10
18. So Afficial – Don-O, Tef-Kaluminoti, P-Nut 8/10
19. Champions – Automatic, Komatoze 10/10
20. Crazy – Komatoze, Automatic 6/10
21. Money Tree Grows – Mr Chu 6 and a half/10
22. Dapa Don (Exclusive) – Tef-Kaluminoti 9/10
23. Bonus Tracks – Automatic (from the album Paving The Way)
a. Untitled 9 and a half/10
b. Untitled 6 and a half/10
` c. Untitled 6/10
d. Untitled 6/10
e. Untitled 8/10

I found this mixtape entertaining and will continue to bump it. I am very interested in Money Tree’s catalogue now. Get it, I don’t know how, but get this. You gonna love it.

Cornerstone Mixtape Vol 61 (Cornerstone Promotion)

These guys have been busy at it for years. They already on vol 61 and there’s more to come. The Cornerstone Mixtape is famous for showcasing some of the hottest hip hop joints. What I will always remember this series for is when I got my hands on volume 54 about 2 years ago. Here I was, listening to some really hot joints, only to hear them as “big hits” on Radio Good Hope and Metro 5 months later! What does that tell you? It tells you that if you got one of these mixtapes you can pretty much tell what our radio stations will be playing in a few months time. But then again our radio stations are actually picking up the hits pretty quick so we might as well throw that argument out the window.

What I like about these mixes is that you got a lot of variety. Personally I’m not into Lloyd Banks, but they will have some Murs or Jaylib for me. So yes, a good variety of styles. What I also noticed from this is that there is the beginning of a trend, where more than one deejay get’s a spot on the same CD. I started noticing it more and more this year. 

So who would be into this mixtape? Probably most heads. You got crunk, east coast, the south, the underground, call it whatever you want, but it’s all on here. But looking at the tracklisting itself won’t help. Listening to it is like getting into the vibe of what the US of A is into right now. With a combination of mixed and full length tracks, you can’t go wrong. 

In a time when most albums have 1 good track it’s simply much better to pick up a mixtape these days. Just make sure that the deejay knows what to play, coz then you might get burnt.

DJ Alizay WKYS 93.9 Kiss FM

1. DJ Alizay WKYS 93.9 Kiss FM Intro
2. Lloyd Banks – On Fire
3. Terror Squad – Yeah Yeah Yeah
4. Murs
5. Shells – Why I Love You
6. Comp – Harder
7. Encore f. Lady Bug Mecca – Real Talk
8. Houston f. Chingy, Nate Dogg & I-20 – I Like That
9. Red Handed – Horny
10. Skillz – Take It Back
11. Cham – Vitamin S
12. Nore & Peedie Crakk – Ni*erican
13. Jaylib f. Frank and Dank – Mcnasty Filth


14. Sha’Liek Rivers F. Cassidy – Get 2 Know Ya
15. Jimmy Brinx
16. Shampelli – Right Right
17. Saskwash f. Rah Digga – Turn It Up

DJ P Cutta

18. Nas – The Thief’s Theme
19. Memphis Bleek – Alright
20. Chops f. Raekwon – What’s Fucking With Us
21. The Beatnuts – Hot
22. Jae Millz – What’s Up What’s Up
23. Jadakiss f. Nate Dogg – Time’s Up
24. Ghostface – Save Me Dear
25. Meeno – What’s Poppin Like
26. Pihlly’s Most Wanted – Ring The Alarm
27. Akon f. Styles P – Locked Up RMX
28. Infamous Mobb f. Prodigy – Empty Out
29. Method Man f. Busta Rhymes – What’s Happening
30. Dirtbag f. Timbaland – Here We Go
31. Jody Breeze f. Manny Fresh – White Tee
32. Don Yte f. The Ying Yang Twinz – Row Da Boat
33. T.I. – Let’s Get Away
34. Trina – Put It On
35. Saskwash – Freaks

Disc 2

1. Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth – A Love Thing
2. NERD f. Common, Mos Def, De La Soul and Q-Tip – She Wants To Move Remix
3. Brandy f. Kayne West – Talk About Our Love
4. Shells – Why I Love You
5. Lloyd Banks – On Fire
6. Jody Breeze – Chevrolet
7. Angie Stone f. Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Thank Ya
8. Houston f. Chingy, Nate Dogg & I-20 – I Like That
9. Sting f. Twista – Stolen Car
10. The Roots – Don’t Say Nuthin
11. Truth Hurts – Ready Now
12. Don Yute f. Ying Yang Twinz – Row Da Boat
13. C.Mob – Knuck If You Buck
14. Dizzee Rascal – Fix Up Look Sharp
15. Jadakiss f. Nate Dogg – Time’s Up
16. Skinny Pimp – We Came To Party RMX

DJ A-Beats & DJ Lynch – Street Hop (DJ A Beats)

It’s always a pleasure to listen to mixtapes coming from the DJ A Beats camp. Just so you know, the mixtape is extremely important for hip hop. Not only does it serve as a “curriculum vitae” for deejays but gives us a taste of what is hot on the streets right now. I always come back to the IT Industry metaphor to explain the importance of mixtapes. For instance back in the 80’s it was relatively easy to keep up with what was coming out in the hip hop world. However today, if you stop listening to hip hop for a month, you can easily be out of touch. This is the same for the IT industry. Artists are releasing so many albums and it’s impossible to keep up – unless you are a purchaser of mixtapes. 

On this mixtape, DJ A Beats invites DJ Lynch (or was it the other way round?) to bring out this Street Hop tape. I noticed that they got Graph to do the intro and then it’s followed by his track “Food“. Just so you know, Graph was hailed by Matt Barone from BallerStatus as the “next big thing” in the rap game. Don’t forget to peep his “Autograph” LP which should be out or out soon. 

The track selection is once again top notch. There’s something here for everyone. One of the tracks that keep on standing out is M.O.P.’s “I don’t Give a F*%#” which is produced by DJ Premier. The first time I heard this song I thought, why the hell did they sample Ja Rule (I’m sure it’s him)? But the song sticks to you like a fly on a ball of shit. After a couple of listens you forgive the Ja Rule vocal in the hook. The song is hotter than that Defy stove which is selling at Russells for R1699.00. 

What the hell is it about M.O.P. that makes them never produce a wack track? Listen to “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” which features sparse production driven by a loading gun. This is an effective beat that makes you appreciate real hip hop in an industry that is acting anything but hip hop. Street hop to the fullest. 

Take It Back” by Skillz is getting major play right now. The song is funny and is a breath of fresh air. Slum Village’s “The Reunion” Feat Jay Dee boasts production that will create cramps for amateur producers. 

Even though we have 2 deejays doing their thing on here, you don’t even notice the switch. Each deejay hold’s his own, both displaying flawless blends and dope track selection. Recommended for mixtape collectors.

DJ Lynch Side:

DJ Lynch and Grafh Intro 
Grafh “Food” 
Kanye West and Jin “Too Hood” (Produced By Kanye West) 
Born Unique “DTA” (Produced by Kleph Dollaz) 
Beanie Sigel and Camron “Dead or Alive” 
Terror Squad feat Camron “NY State of Mind” 
Cocoa Chanelle Freestyle 
Jean Grey “Don’t Rush Me” (Produced by 9th Wonder) 
Jinx Da Juvy Freestyle 
K Hill “Da Instigator” 
Soul Supreme Feat Akbar “Who’s Who” (Produced by Soul Supreme) 
MainO Freestyle 
M.O.P. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” 

DJ A-Beats Side:

DJ A-Beats and Grafh Intro 
Doujah Raze Freestyle 
Kaimbr Freestyle 
Jinx Da Juvy “True Story” 
Chapter 13 “The Rebirth” 
M.O.P. “I don’t Give a F*%#” (Produced by DJ Premier) 
Nas “Thief’s Theme” 
Kanye West and Chops “Changing Lanes RMX” (Produced by Chops) 
Skillz “Take it Back” 
OC “The Professional” (A-Beats RMX) 
Grafh feat Jadakiss and Splitt “I Don’t Care” (Street Hop Mix) 
Born Unique Freestyle 
Masta Ace “Beautiful” 
Sketch “Suicidal Tendencies” 
Angelous Freestyle 
Slum Village Feat Jay Dee “The Reunion” 
Dujeous “Sometimes” (A-Beats RMX) 
Amen & Forge “Get the Horns” 
Grafh Outro

DJ G Brown – Pure Fiya Vol. 3 Rude Boyz (G Brown)

This is one of my most prized cd’s at the moment. A unique blend of hip hop, dancehall and ragga. And just look at the track selection? Mixtape connoisseurs will appreciate the artwork, the well thought out blends and the choice of tracks. G. Brown is a deejay I wish I’d known about sooner. 

Look at who’s on this cd! Highlights include Jigsy King’s “Gimme Di WeedBuy“, Capleton’s “Hunt You“, Elephant Man’s “All Out“, Beenie Man’s “Row Like a Boat“, Notorious BIG’s “Nasty Boy“, Beenie Man’s “Bad Man Bizness“, 2pac’s ft. Sizzla “Thank You Dear Mama” and Spragga Benz’s “Watch Wha U Say”.

I shouldn’t even be suggesting tracks on here because it needs to be listened to from beginning to end. I was doing this last night while I was doing work. Momentary lapses of reason creep in as asses shake and spines crack to the boombox of the dancehall tunes. One of the most memorable mixtapes of the year. Best you do yourself a favour and get this at any cost.

1. Mr. Vegas Intro
2. Mr. Vegas – Pull Up (G. Brown Dubplate)
3. Mr. Vegas – Tamale (G. Brown Dubplate)
4. Sean Paul – Ever Blazing (G. Brown Remix)
5. Pitbull ft. Lil John – Culo
6. Beyonce – Me, Myself & I (Coolie Dance remix)
7. Elephant Man, Twista and Yin Yang Twinz – Jook Gyal Remix
8. Nina Skye ft. Jabba – Move Your Body
9. Mr. Vegas Interlude
10. Beenie Man – Dude (G. Brown Remix)
11. Baby Cham – Vitamin S (G. Brown Remix)
12. J-Kwon – Tipsy (G. Brown Remix) 
13. Mr. Vegas – She’s a Ho (G. Brown Remix)
14. Bounty Killer – Cellular Phone (G. Brown Remix)
15. Elephant Man & Mr. Vegas – Gimme Di Weed(G Brown Rmx)
16. Jigsy King – Gimme Di Weed (G. Brown Remix)
17. Capleton – Hunt You (G. Brown Remix)
18. Garnett Silk – Complaint (G. Brown Remix)
19. Elephant Man – E. L. E. P. H. A. N. T. (G. Brown Remix)
20. Bounty Killer ft. Barrington Levy – Living Dangerously(G. Brown Remix)
21. Sean Paul & Tony Touch – Ay Ay Ay (G. Brown Remix)
22. Brandy ft. Kanye West – Talk About Our Love (G. Brown Rmx)
23. T.O.K. – Gal U a Lead (G. Brown Remix)
24. Mr. Vegas Interlude
25. Beyonce ft. Lil Kim & Lil Flip – Naughty Girl (G. Brown Rmx)
26. Elephant Man – All Out 
27. Joe ft. G-Unit – Ride With You (G. Brown Remix)
28. Yin Yang Twinz ft. Lil John – Salt Shaker (G. Brown Remix)
29. Kevin Lyttle – Turn Me On (G. Brown Remix)
30. Beenie Man – Row Like a Boat (G. Brown Remix)
31. Vybz Cartel – Sweet to the Belly (G. Brown Remix)
32. Notorious BIG – Nasty Boy (G. Brown Remix)
33. Usher ft. Ludacris – Yeah (G. Brown Remix)
34. Elephant Man – Pon Di River (G. Brown Dubplate)
35. Elephant Man, Lil John & Yin Yang Twinz – The Workout
36. Elephant Man – Blase
37. Elephant Man Interlude
38. Sizzla – (Dry Cry)Just One of Those Days (G. Brown Remix)
39. Foxy Brown – Sorry (G. Brown Remix)
40. Merciless Interlude
41. Wayne Smith – Under Mi Sleng Teng (G. Brown Remix)
42. Yami Bolo – Put Down that Drum Pan (G. Brown Remix)
43. Wayne Marshall – Sub-Machine Gun (G. Brown Remix)
44. Beenie Man – Bad Man Bizness (G. Brown Remix)
45. Sanchez – One in a Million (G. Brown Remix)
46. Supercat ft. Trevor Sparks – Dolly My Baby (G. Brown Remix)
47. 2pac ft. Sizzla – Thank You Dear Mama (G. Brown Remix)
48. Wayne Wonder Interlude
49. Wayne Wonder – Movie Star/Bonified Love (G. Brown Remix)
50. Everton Blender – Lift Your Hands (G. Brown Remix)
51. Jay Z & Bounty Killer – P.S.A. 2004 (Remix)
52. Mr. Vegas Interlude
53. T.O.K – Gallang Gyal (G. Brown Remix)
54. Sean Paul – Infiltrate (G. Brown Remix)
55. Kanye West ft. Syleena Johnson – All Falls Down (G. Brown Rmx)
56. Spragga Benz – Watch Wha U Say(Wussy) (G Brown Remix)
57. Twista ft. Jamie Foxx – Slow Jamz (G. Brown remix)
58. Outkast – B.O.B. (G. Brown Reggaelypso Remix)
59. T.I. – Round Here (G. Brown Reggaelypso Remix)

Slick – Product Of My Environment (Mob Inc Music)

I must admit I’d never heard of Slick before. He calls himself the The Pale Pimp. Let’s go through each track and see how it went.

1. See I’m A G Homie feat. Sonny Black, Black Rhino

I get what he’s trying to do. But that movie intro is both played out and cheesy. The beat is kinda nice and helps people in the club to move. Hey, you know at times he does sound like Xzibit. Come to think of it, I’m sure I’ve heard Slick somewhere else before…

2. Bump Yo Systems Up feat. Sonny Black, Mone

This kind of chorus has been done so many times. This song is more crunk than mob. At the end of day the chorus works quite well with the beat. But it’s not really my taste.

3. We Po feat. Frankie and Ron McQuay

This beat sounds too commercial. It might satisfy people at the club but next month you outta here!

4. You Don’t Really Love Me feat. Mone and Buggzy

I like the beat on here (fat strings) with cabasa’s shaking in the background. It’s an okay song but that Ja Rule type hook fucks it up.

5. Sunshine Day feat. Frankie McQuay

Now this is when Slick shines. This is where he let’s himself come through with creativity. The song could probably be a hit if the time was given to it. I think it’s Frankie McQuay who sings on here. Does a good job of it as well, re-makes the same vibe from the early 90’s such as from groups like Color Me Bad. Not in a bad way, but flips it gangsta style. Tight track.

6. Get It Crunk feat. Lil’ Conspiracy and Streetz

I can understand why people wanna make music like this, since it’s the in thing and people wanna get paid. But it can be tiring listening to hundreds of artists trying to make crunk songs.

7. Somewhere Over The Ghetto Lil’ Conspiracy and Frankie McQuay

Frankie does a rendition of “somewhere over the rainbow”. Again, this is where Slick shines. Why does he shine on shit like this and not on others? Simple. Because he does not try to sound like what’s out there. Like the changes and the drum rolls on here. Flows are tight on here. Nice one.

8. Bangin My Whip feat. E-Dubb

Again another crunk one, but a better attempt. I would assume it’s E-Dubb doing the first verse. He has a sick flow. He raps fast, interacting well with the constant synths running in the background. Second verse is also tight. I like this shit.

9. Gangsta Ridin feat. Sonny Black, Frankie McQuay and Melanine Hines

A slow jam. Your typical R&B beat but with good verses. Just something to chill to.

10. Ya Hot feat. Mone

Nice production, sort of like a Santana / hip hop collaboration. Radio will love this.

11. Aint Life Somethin feat. Mya

Nice instrumentation. One of the tighter songs on the album. Very good arrangement in the production. Good hooks, good vocals and a good atmosphere.

12. Come On Playa feat. Streetz and Casino

Not feeling this one.

13. Imagine Me and You feat. Crystal Rae

Everyone says this is the tightest track on here. It has everything. Dope beats, nice strings, infectious hooks and hard verses. That bass line is fat! I think this could be the best song on here.

14. Make Um Say Slick

Not feeling this one.

15. Chronic Man feat. Mone

This is interesting. Slick must do more shit like this. Have we all forgotten the G-Funk sound? Well here it is – coming back to life. Mone and Slick do a good job with the flows. You will be saying the chorus over and over again. It’s infectious. Love this!

16. It’s All Mine

I would put this song in the same category of “Imagine Me and You”. I must admit that the first time I listened to this cd I wasn’t really impressed. But I didn’t get this far in the cd. Seems like Slick kept all the best tracks towards the end.

17. Don’t Talk 

The beat starts off a little bit cheesy but once that bassline kicks in you know it’s gonna be alright. This one is okay, not that impressive, but okay. Warning, it does get addictive, especially that hook.

18. Soldiers feat. Titus

I like the way he starts his songs off. The choruses are different, and I like it when artists are not afraid to experiment. Those verses are sick, like that fast rapid fire flows. Check the second verse with the church bells in the background. It’s sick. Love it!

19. Momma feat Rob C

Just something slow to close the cd off. Another nice one. Good choice to end it all off.

Okay what’s the verdict? I think that the first few tracks should’ve been scrapped because where Slick really shines is on tracks which build from the middle to the end of the cd. He has his own style and to me, it’s like he compromised that on the first few songs. I think that when you talk about the songs I highlighted then yes, Slick is definitely an artist that can make it work. One more thing though, that album cover, didn’t like it at all. Overall, I would recommend you check this cd out, but skip the first few songs. So I give this a 6 and a half out of 10.

RV Inc Presents – The Cause Of The Effect (RV Inc)

I’ve always been aware of hip hop in Namibia thanks to our contributor Koldstone. Today Namibia has a thriving scene which is only going to get bigger and better. It’s important for us not only to learn about SA hip hop, but to explore other African countries too. This will help create a better scene on the whole rather than operating in silo’s. Receiving this CD in my postbox made me excited showing that we as Africans are working hard. 

This compilation is not exactly 100% hip hop. It’s an amalgamation of hip hop, R&B and dance tracks. There are a lot of songs on here to keep you occupied and to help you learn more about the Namibian music scene. 

The first song that caught my attention was the freshly produced “Lokasiepratery” from the artist The Exception featuring Christi. It’s interesting to hear how different they speak Afrikaans to the South Africans. I found this song dope and will encourage you to check it out.

The next song that caught my ear was “What In The World” by Snipers. Production worked well with the verses and choruses. I liked these emcees as they came across sincere in their verses. Production is hot.

I also liked “Hit The Microphone” feat Stalin by Eraze and “Me (Deep End Mix)” feat SPJ & B.AV by Eraze. 

Rest of the tracks were okay, but not really what I’d normally listen to. But I made an exception for “Warrior” by African Boy. There’s some bloody good arrangement in there. 

Overall I would say that whoever is producing this knows how to make good tracks. Not necessarily tracks that would appeal to backpackers, but tracks that are more aligned to the commercial hip hop/r&b population. I would definitely like to check out more material from this label. I would be interested in hearing Eraze’s full length album which we are yet to receive. After listening to this compilation I would have to say that this is just the beginning of something that could be really big. Good work!

1. Intro – Take A Wild Guess (Bingo)
2. Make It Happen (Club Mix) feat Ms T, Stalin and Stealth – Rachel
3. Lokasiepratery feat. Christi – The Exception
4. The Radio Will Die – Christi
5. Say My Name – Snazzy
6. Pain Of Love feat Killa, Stalin & Stealth – Eraze
7. Overdrive feat Stalin – Rachel
8. We Back feat Tequila – Red Vandalz
9. Here To Stay feat Stalin – Eraze
10. Unexplainable (Intermission) – Stalin
11. What In The World – Snipers
12. The Girl feat Hope, Rachel & Stalin – Don Gabrio
13. Me (Deep End Mix) feat SPJ & B.AV – Eraze
14. In Da Mood – Don Gabrio
15. Make It Happen (Urban Classical Mix) feat Ms T, Stalin and Stealth – Rachel
16. A Warrior (Intermission) – African Boy
17. Warrior – African Boy
18. Red Alert – Red Vandalz
19. Sniffed Sumthin’ (Intermission) – Stealth
20. Hit The Microphone feat Stalin – Eraze
21. So In Love – Rachel
22. Outro

Associate Producers: Mwanji “Stealth” Busuma, Leevy-Lee Abrahams, Simon “Trace” Kangowa.
Executive Producers: Stalin Kapembe & Christi Warner

Various Artists – Palm Beats Vol 1 (Palm Beats)

After continuous eardrum pounding of hip hop drums you can often find relief in non-hiphop music. This is essential for giving your brain a rest. It might even help you to stop smoking.

Enter Palm Beats. Not necessarily something I would pick up in the store but great for those lazy Saturday afternoons. With a mixture of dub and subtle two-step vibes it makes great background music when entertaining friends around a braai. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about let’s imagine this. You know those fancy restaurants and coffee shops that have small ass tables? They serve fancy named coffees and the waitresses bellow out the exact ingredients of the pasta. I’m sure some of you have been in a place like that at least once in your life. Now think of the background music. Yes this is it. This is what they would play. 

1. Capone’s Theme – Sly and Robbie
2. Linda Manigua (Quantum Dub Force) – Sidestepper
3. Gud Fella – Gigi
4. Fa Laay Fanaan – Baaba Maal
5. Golden – Da Lata
6. Polaris – Bostich
7. Alice – Da Lata
8. Deja – Sidestepper
9. Bahtyali – Jolly Mukherjee with the Madras Cinematic Orchestra

DJ Lt. Dan – Hand To Hand HipHop (Hosted by Consequence)

I can’t help it. I love this mixtape. I gave this to Oopy G to listen to for a day or two and he came back all smiles. I figured it was probably due to the Lil Flip tracks in there. It is always interesting to listen to the perspective of a third party before reviewing a cd. Why? Because he might point something out that one would normally miss. We’ve also been trying to figure out where he got that name from. Oopy thinks it’s from Forest Gump. We’ll figure it out one day.

What I notice is that almost all mixtapes today have “On Fire” by Lloyd Banks. When I first heard it I hated it. The more I listen to it I find myself liking it. I hate them for doing this to me. Deep down I think it’s a weak ass song but somehow the deejays do their job well by bumping it until it becomes “familiar” to your brain – fooling you into thinking it’s nice. 

The highlight of this mixtape must be the Lil Flip tracks. Check out “Platinum Stars” featuring Chamillionaire and Bun B (from UGK). The track is addictive and the beat is further imprinted into our brains with “Overnight Celebrity” from Twista and Kayne West’s vocals over the same beat. But the track that kills everything is the superb and uniquely produced “Game Over“. It samples the Pac Man game. 

If one looks at DJ Lt Dan’s track selection he really get’s brave and plays an underground gem, “Let’s Go” by Chris Lowe. Check out his album “The Black Life LP“. Don’t let this one be slept on. 

Since my car is messed up, I can’t appreciate this as it’s supposed to be – cruising down the block. But it sounds just as good on the earphones. Check it out.

1 – Consequence – Last Days 
2 – Consequence Intro 
3 – Lloyd Banks feat. Beanie Sigel & T.I. – On Fire (Lt. Dan remix) 
4 – M.O.P. – Bloody Murder 
5 – Jadakiss – Kiss of Death (Lt. Dan remix) 
6 – Joe Budden & Stack Bundles Freestyle 
7 – Styles P. – “Need I Say More” Freestyle 
8 – D-Block – What Up 
9 – Busta Rhymes – “Aftermath” Freestyle 
10 – Lil’ Flip feat. Chamillionaire & Bun B. – Platinum Stars 
11 – Twista feat. Kanye West – Overnight Celebrity (Lt. Dan remix) 
12 – Lil’ Flip feat. Young Buck & Bun B. – Game Over (remix) 
13 – Jay-Z feat. Buckshot – Lucifer (Lt. Dan “Crooklyn Dodgers” remix) 
14 – Beanie Sigel feat. Cam’ron – Wanted (Dead or Alive) 
15 – T.I. feat. Mack 10 & Twista – Rubberband Man (remix) 
16 – D-12 – 40 oz. (Lt. Dan remix) 
17 – Scarface – Fear No Man 
18 – Blah Bloomberg – 50/50 Love 
19 – Raekwon – What’s Fuckin’ With Up (produced by Chops) 
20 – Jay-Z feat. Masta Ace – 99 Problemz (Lt. Dan “Crooklyn Dodgers” remix) 
21 – Talib Kweli – Rock On 
22 – Consequence – Everywhere I Go 
23 – German Luger – Come And Get Some 
24 – Garcia – Come Get It 
25 – Chris Lowe – Let’s Go 
26 – Swanny Riverz – Patty Cake (TDM exclusive) 
27 – German Luger – End of the World

The Regime Change – Flawless Blends Vol. 4 (G. Brown)

DJ G. Brown, one of the tightest mixtape deejays. And look at these covers, brilliant design, not only is he blending songs, but he’s getting someone to blend movie posters with pics of hip hop artists for his tapes. 

Just so you know, G. Brown is on a tour of two continents. The tour started June 20th in Europe with the incredible Kenny Muhammad aka The Human Orchestra. On July 9th G. Brown will head to Bogota, Columbia for a series of club dates in South America. He is in demand and his blends can be heard on radio stations from Columbia, Croatia, Italy to the UK. 

In an ever increasing mixtape market where deejays are fiercely competing for that heavyweight title G. Brown easily makes it difficult for most to compete. Highly recommended.

Intro – Big Pun/Biggie/Big L/Freaky Tah/Eazy E/Half A Mil/2Pac
Victory 2004 – Biggie/50 Cent/Lloyd Banks/Busta Rhymes
Hypnotize 2004 (G.Brown Remix) – Biggie/Jadakiss/Jay Z
Sheek & Jae Hood Interlude
Kiss Of Death Pt.2 (G.Brown Remix) – Jadakiss/Sheek
24 Hours To Live 2004 – Young Gunz/State Prop Chain Gang
Mobb Deep Interlude
Mobb Deep Freestyle
The Gangsta Setup (G.Brown Remix) – Obie Trice/Redman/Lloyd Banks
My Guitar – Ghostface
Notorious Thug Jamz (G.Brown Remix) – Biggie/Bone Thugs
Old School – Trick Daddy/2Pac
99 Player Problems (G.Brown Remix) – Jay Z
Flashy Freddy Freestyle
Come Get Some (G.Brown Remix) – Lil Jon/Andre 3000/Bone Crusher
Friday Night – Young Gunz
Jim Jones/Beanie Siegel Freestyle
Shyne/Nas Interlude
New York Street Talk (G.Brown Remix) – Nas/50 Cent/Shyne
Lil Jon Interlude
Down The Wire (G.Brown Remix) – Jay Z/Eminem/Nas/Lil Jon
Wanna Get You Open (G.Brown Remix) – G-Unit/Joe
Military Minded P.S.A. (G.Brown Remix) – Jay Z/2Pac
Get ‘Em High – Kanye West/Talip Kweli/Common
Clap Them Thangs (G.Brown Remix) – Mobb Deep/Nas/50 Cent
Mobb Deep Freestyle
No Dreams Today (G.Brown Remix) – Notorious B.I.G./Mary J Blige/Big Pun
Poppin them Thangz (G.Brown Remix) – G-Unit
Run (G.Brown Remix) – Ghostface/Jadakiss
Deep Cover (G.Brown Remix) – Big Pun/Fat Joe
G-Unit Freestyle
Flashy Freddy Freestyle
Redman Interlude
The Saga Continues (G.Brown remix) – Redman

Arcane – Groundwork (Arcane Music)

Groundwork is the first full length offering by Timmy Grins, JB, Malprak and DJ JE, collectively known as ARCANE

Worth noting is the group’s ability to cover various topics, ranging from the HIV/ Aids “Absence of Motive” to just hanging out “Stooping It”

Highlights on the album include “Got Me” (ft. Capital X) on which they express their addiction to cancer sticks, the my minds playing tricks on me “Into Broken Glass” and the up tempo – show love for your offspring “For Fathers That Bothered“.

Just like many underground albums today, this one also starts off well, but loses momentum halfway through. Which leads one to reason that Groundwork would have been stronger as an EP rather than a 13 track album.

Ootz Tha Afronaut – My Girl Has An Ugly Azz (Independent)

It’s always good to hear members of this site release their own stuff. Case in point is Ootz, one who frequents the AG boards regularly. Having had the chance of listening to his earlier stuff he has shown some level of growth in this current release. I can say with confidence that Ootz just oozes with potential (I know that’s a cheesy line but I’ve been writing reviews for 3 years and I’ve run out of clever things to say this evening).

The Afronaut, not to be confused with Mark Shuttleworth, let’s us know how much the breaks are worth. This cd-r has been lurking somewhere on my shelf for the past 3 weeks and I’ve been meaning to play it but something was always getting in the way. Eventually on one quite evening while it was raining cats and dogs outside I popped it in my cd player and shoved the Sony headphones on my recently shaved head. What came out of those headphones while I worked on the website were some interesting sampled compositions. On this particular cd the Afro takes well known breaks and squirts samples and melodies over them like he was giving Margaret Thatcher a pearl necklace. 

These are really good tracks and while they are not really hip hop tracks per se (the kind you rap on), they are more breaks orientated than anything else. Ootz is onto something here. Here’s definitely another South African producer you need to keep your eyes on.

1. Ugly Ass Intro
2. Yeah Yeah Yeah
3. Astral Travellin
4. Experience the Break
5. Levitation
6. Leaving Home
7. Danger
8. I Got Over
9. Star Fighter
10. Breakanova

Clas – Thugs Rule The World – Who Say (Kingzmen)

Adrian Weekes aka Clas (Child Left Alone Stranded) reps Toronto Hip Hop however his upbringing is as diverse as Trinidad and Brooklyn. He also used to belong to a rap group called “The Assasini” where he partnered with May One 9 (BrassMunk). 

1. Thugs Rule The World – Produced Marcus Kane

Well let’s just say that the more you listen to it you realise just how well this would do on radio. You can hear that the artist was gunning for mass appeal on this one. The production is very commercial and the rapping is standard. It takes a certain amount of skill to come up with songs like this however songs like this never last. Radio might play this for, let’s say one month, but then after that it will be forgotten. Why? Because everyone else is making songs like this. For instance the R&B hooks in the chorus are just regurgitations used in other rap/r&B tracks.

Result? Good for radio.

2. Who Say – Produced by Clas and Dkay of Deeplake Productions

I listen to thousands of releases every year and there is one thing artists should understand. Artists should learn to do something that’s different. That’s how you “make it” in this business. Now when I hear this, there’s nothing that grabs me because it sounds like everything else out there. I’m sorry to say that but it’s the truth. 

Result? Not feeling this.

Overall I would say that the production quality on these 2 tracks are on point and Clas can mos def rhyme (but I figure he can do much better than this and whether it’s the style he’s chosen or the beats he was spitting on I think he can do much better than these 2 tracks – especially when you hear how good he is with rhyming). But the songs themselves are bland and boring. Even the radio friendly “Thugs Rule The World” do have moments of niceness but it looses it’s luster after a few minutes. My judgment is based on these 2 songs only and I would probably have different views for other tracks of his (which I have not listened to yet). Other people might like this, and hey let me admit it, I do have a particular taste in hip hop but this aint my cup of tea.

Kallitz – Die Ding Ruk Mal (Mothermix Records)

Kallitz are a relatively new hip hop group on the Western Cape who choose to do their music in Afrikaans, just like the pioneers who came before them (Prophets of the City and BVK). While some may say there is a heavy BVK influence, they are certainly in a class of their own.

The album starts off with what is presumed to be a beer being opened and poured. Makes me feel like doing the same thing. It then jumps into the first track “Kallitz Is..” which contains lyrical content which some people might consider negative. But if people listen to this properly is sort of like tongue in cheek. I didn’t really like the production of this song but the end words of each aggressive delivery sat on top of those snares perfectly in most of the bars.

Die Ding Ruk Mal” is a hit in my books. It has all the right ingredients for an anthem, catchy hooks (with crowd participation potential) and an ass shaking beat containing a moving baseline. If you listen carefully you will notice that the drum pattern is so simple but it’s the arrangement of the instruments that complete the track. I’m impressed with the second verse – not on a technical delivery perspective – but it contains a certain amount of genuineness that’s kind of rare in today’s robotic deliveries. And for once, here’s a group that actually write stuff that you can follow in their songs. 

Moordenaar” starts off with some nice vocals, with hints of the NorthWest/Bay Area in the production. Lyrics are delivered with conviction. Production is nice, in a mobbish kind of way. Drum patterns are simple but as they say, “Less is more”. An effective song that brings you a feeling of what they are rapping about. Beat is nicely worked to match the lyrical content. It’s rare to hear people rapping from their gut – as opposed to incoherent chatter. 

Rop Jou” is a hardcore track. The first verse sounds difficult to do for the emcee, which might explain why it sounds so crumpled trying to keep it within the bars on time. But he pulls it off. The chorus is what makes this song though. Song reminds me so much of how artists on the Street Level label are doing (e.g. F.T., Syko) etc. Head banger track!

Skelm” is one of the stronger tracks on here. Production might be reminiscent of what you’d hear on a D12 album. Dokter is a brilliant producer who arranges his strings / bass etc in just the right place. Open that ear even wider and check how those little changes lift the track. Attention to detail makes all the difference and 3rd ears will appreciate, especially producers who know just how much work goes into making songs like this.

When I said that Kallitz are in a class of their own I wasn’t just saying it for fun. If you listen to “Tottie Son Uitkom” then you will understand what I’m talking about. Even if you might compare the production to a Dr Dre composition I would urge you to appreciate the chorus. It just creates this tight atmosphere that makes the song enjoyable to listen to. Let me tell you something, if you listen to this over and over again you will notice that they probably sat down and really spent time working on this song. It’s not like they just walked in and did their shit. They carefully executed this.

A personal favourite of mine is “Situasies“. Now how do I say this? There are artists out there who just make “songs”, but Kallitz make “whole songs”. Not sure if that make sense but I’ll try and explain. There are elements within the songs that will stick in your head, like well thought out choruses, complimentary story driven verses, and production that emulates the feeling of the overall lyrical content. 

The song that I have on repeat in my Winamp playlist is “Daai Ding Dagga“. I just listen to this and have nothing but respect for these cats to come out as such a young hip hop group and basically make better tracks than 95% of the existing hip hop groups on the Western Cape.

There are definitely parts of the album that can be improved on such as at certain parts you can hear sporadic deliveries not executed with exact precision. There are also times when you can hear that they still have a bit of work to do as far as emceeing goes. But these are minor irritants. In addition I have no idea what Kallitz are like live. Is it better experiencing them live or listening to them on the cd? I have no idea at this point. But overall this is an outstanding album. The album just feels so much like “Cape Town” and this is probably why I’m loving it. I’m not sure how this will be received elsewhere but this is getting a “lot of love” on the Western Cape. But true, there are mixed reactions to this cd. Some people might not be “feeling” their subject matter or their “synth driven” production. Don’t expect complex deliveries. Don’t expect skratching. Don’t expect the traditional production that utilizes sampled vinyl. But expect raw energy, guts and masterfully produced compositions. File under African or Afrikaans Hip Hop.

1. Inleiding
2. Kallitz Is…
3. Die Ding Ruk Mal
4. Moordenaar
5. Oppie Yaat
6. Duidelik
7. Rop Jou
8. Huisbraak
9. Skelm
10. Sturvie Kinnes
11. Tottie Son Uitkom
12. Situasies
13. Nagmerrie
14. Blouligte
15. Daai Ding Dagga
16. Aan Sy Einde
Bonus: Die Ding Ruk Mal Music Video

Breed – Rap Game (UMZ)

Produced by E. Breed & S. Man

Some of the older folks reading this will remember (MC)Breed for that classic track "Aint No Future In Yo Frontin". Well for the past few years (unless your head was on the pavement because he has been making music since 1991 to present day in case you didn’t know) you would probably have forgotten about him (unless you were paging through your old issues of the Source). 

When I saw the press release for this new single I immediately got in touch because I wanted to know what he would be coming up with at this stage. As expected I found the single in my postbox about 2 weeks later. I rushed home and when I got there I proceeded to open the bubble wrap envelope. Cosmetically the packaging was not that attractive (a purple cover with a black silhouette presumably MC Breed standing). But I sniffed insisting to myself that it was “just the single”. 

What were my first impressions of this single? Well he has still retained his style. The song has the ability to make a little bit of noise on radio but perhaps more in the club. Bottom line is that the song is “safe” and neither tarnishes nor incites excitement for Breed at this moment.

We’ll have to wait for the entire album to see how far this will go. Welcome back!

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