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Review Archive 5

9 August 2010 No Comment

Kleine Helly – De Wederkeer

When I hear stuff like this it makes me look forward to going to the Netherlands next year. Kleine Helly is an emcee who has a good flow and good rhyme constructs and you can hear this even if you don’t understand Dutch. The best track on this CD must be Wildvees which has a nice beat laced with a lekker guitar sample. We love this track so much that we play it often here in Africa’s Gateway headquarters. Other dope tracks are Tijdelijk Verdoofd and De Laatste Lach.

All in all this is something that I’d suggest you buy if you can get hold of it. The Dutch emcees are coming out with good stuff these days and I expect to see Kleine Helly perform when I come there in February.
Track Listing

  • Bestemmingsplan
  • Wildvlees
  • Doe Ik Dit Waarvoor? Feat. Pier
  • Borrelpunt 2 Feat. Rhymeo
  • Meer Dan Liefde Feat. Rhymeo
  • Kritiek Op Kritiek
  • Tijdelijk Verdoofd
  • De Laatste Lach
  • Beats Te Koop: 06-22106473

Koldstone – Untitled Demo (Demo from Namibia)

I got this in the post yesterday and was quite excited since this is from Namibia (the country of my birth). In his letter he explained to me that the Hip Hop culture is not very popular in Namibia and there are only a handful of rap groups like Nubian Funk, The Dungeons, Shikodel, Al-Ci and others. He went on to say that these acts are ignorant when it comes to the other aspects like graf, djing and bboying.

Kold Stone is from a town called Swakopmund (check your map for that) and he put together this 3 song demo. My first impression of this demo was the fact that it had a lot of potential. He has a lot of potential to become a good beat maker if he sticks to it and experiments a bit. Those were his strong points. But like any demo I receive there will always be downside. The rhyming was too soft and I could not hear the lyrics. He should work at getting the quality of a higher standard. Therefore I cannot say whether he is a good rhymer or not coz I could not make out anything he was saying.

Overall I give this brother respect for doing this, especially since there is almost a non-existant Hip Hop scene there in Namibia. It must be tough to be representing the culture when you might just be the only one doing it.
Track Listing

  • Time Has Come
  • Shouting Corpse
  • Enta Da Phantom

DJ Krush – Meiso (Mo Wax)

This release circa 1995 was slept on by many heads. DJ Krush is the kind of guy who makes these heavy dark and dirty beats. You might remember Only The Strong Survive featuring CL Smooth. Well this is the album it came with and you should also check out the artwork on the cover by Futura 2000.

Well anyway this is an excellent album. Firstly you won’t be disappointed with the beats if you keep in mind that this was released in 1995. Most of the stuff on here is instrumental Hip Hop which is cool, coz you can just chill listening to the beats and maybe throw a freestyle if you in the mood. But you got tracks on here where some of the nicest emcees drop their rhymes. On Meiso, Black Thought and Malik B from the Roots provide the lyrics, and on Most Wanted Man Guru and Big Shug make an appearance.

If you like your beats raw and laid back with a dash of rhyming now and then, then this is for you.

La Chat – Murder She Wrote (In The Paint/Koch Entertainment)

I first heard La Chat on 3 Six Mafia’s When The Smoke Clears and she made me raise my eyebrows. I really liked her flow and her attitude. Now she comes with her solo album Murder She Wrote and it’s bound to make a lot of noise on the streets.

She started her rap career at the age of eleven doing talent shows in elementary school. When this other guy heard her he spread the word to the Hypnotize Minds crew who at that time were looking for a female rapper. Juicy J called her on the phone and asked her to spit some rhymes over the phone. And as they say, the rest is history. By the way, she’s also got a 5 year old son.

DJ Paul and Juicy J provide those extra tight beats that is sort of a trademark for the Three Six Mafia. Aside from the questionable lyrics, this is a really good album. La Chat has got a really good sense of how to flow. On Don’t Slang It I was treated to one of those tracks that you just have to listen over and over again. On the first single, You Aint Mad Iz Ya, she is joined by DJ Paul and Juicy J to declare to all other female rappers that it’s time for her to shine. I really enjoyed the bumpin’ Ghetto Ballin’ and the crazy ass Salt Shakers. Man don’t DJ Paul and Juicy J love those hi hats and snares?

Other tracks that stood out were Luv 2 Get High which is bound to make any man violent under the influence of alcohol with it’s eerie keyboards and horns. Also, another track that made the girls in my street shake their asses was Make Something. Damn if my homebody Oopy G was here to listen to this he would have a fit coz I know he likes this Hypnotize Mind’s stuff. But of course my main man Crunchy Black also makes a special guest appearance on here with Ain’t No Ni**a.

Overall I must say I love this album and it’s suits my car just right when I’m driving slowly down my road. But I must admit I don’t think the lyrics are significant in any way. But who cares. As long as the music is playing
everything’s all right.

Artfull Dodgers – Lazy Eyes (Silent Records)

All the way from Michigan’s underground comes a Hip Hop duo consisting of members B-Gozza and Jackpot. In 1997 they released an EP Dusted World and now come with their latest one Lazy Eyes. And this aint no one hit wonders either. They’ve opened up for cats like Eminem, Cappadonna plus many others.

The first impression I got from these cats was that they represent Hip Hop fully with their dope beats and on-point rhyming. The first track The Arrival sets the record off with hard beats and shows us why they run Michigan’s underground. But my favourite track on here is the second track 1Mic Then Pass. The verses weave perfectly under and over the beat. The atomsphere which comes from this song just makes me want to start freestyling. But one point I must make is, each track on here is well produced. The beats are on point, no question about that. Another track that caught my attention was Midwest’s Best which is a posse track and get this, features 13 emcees! What a pleasure it was listening to this coz you get to hear so many emcee’s on one track.

The Artfull Dodgers get nothing but love from Africasgateway. I cannot wait for their next release. It was correctly stated by Marc Kempf, CEO of Silent Records, that the Artfull Dodgers are innovative.

Lil Troy – Back To Ballin (Short Stop Records/Koch Entertainment)

Lil Troy just got out of the Federal Penitentiary about 10 months ago. But he is not without. He’s put 2 movies on the streets, he’s got a clothing line and he’s also just bought himself a mansion just outside Houston. By the way, in the past he had done a single with Scarface way before the Geto Boys were famous.

I hadn’t heard about Lil Troy until recently. This album is a bit of a mix of the dirty south with some doses of
commercialism. But it remains hardcore coz when Lil Troy talks about what he does you know he is not bullsh*tting. He’s straight from the street.

There are a couple of good tracks on here, for example the Joe Traxx produced For Years suited my saturday night dj slot perfectly well. From what I can tell what he’s trying to say on this track is that what’s going on now in Hip Hop he’s been doing for years. I know what that feels like though, coz it really upsets me too when I see cats coming up claiming to be kings of a certain thang when you’ve been doing it for years already. The track that I think that would do well in the clubs is Mo Money Mo Problems.

There are also a number of tracks that sound similiar to what other people have been doing. Like on We Gon Lean, produced by Rakesh, it sounds almost like what 3 Six Mafia is doing. But it’s not entirely a clone, it’s got his own twist to it which makes it acceptable. Also on Wired Up you could be mistaken for thinking it’s a Cash Money Records release.

On Lesbian Nights, which uses elements from Ladies Night, Lil Troy proposes to lesbians that they should have a d*ck come between them. It’s actually quite humorous.

My favourite track on here is There He Go including the Remix.

This is a pretty good album, I really enjoyed the Chop and Screwed remix of Wanna Be A Baller. We should be hearing more from Lil Troy in the future including his label mates on Short Stop Records.

Ludacris – Back For The First Time (Def Jam South)

The production on this album is quite good but it does not really save it from getting a low rating.  You are left thinking it’s okay and on the other hand you also thinking this is actually quite a crap album.

Ludacris sets off this record with a dope track U Got A Problem? that will most
definitely nod heads from coast to coast.  I liked 1st And 10 featuring Infamous 2.0 and Fate Wilson.  Everybody is raving about What’s Your Fantasy but the song is just
commercial kak (crap).  Personally the only reason why I peeped this cd out is because UGK makes a guest appearance on Stick Em Up.

Oh yeah and there is this okay joint where he rhymes over a beat box:

I make niggaz eat dirt and fart dust
Then give you a eighty dollar gift certificate to Pussies ‘R Us
I eat the whole pie, and leave nuthin but the crust
So you can feel what it’s like, with instinct but no guts
A sac wit no nuts or a mack wit no sluts

It seemed like he was trying to cater to the different heads at the same time but he failed miserably.  This is a decent effort and is most probably doing well but I would not recommend this album.

Mars Ill – Raw Material (Uprok Records)

This is one the tightest albums I’ve heard in this month.  Made up of Manchild (emcee) and Dust (turntablist/producer) they create Hip Hop for the purist.  This album is also for any fan of turntablism since the deejay is all over this album.

I really liked Monotone, Unsound, Who Will Answer and Sphere Of Hip Hop.  This album will be in my cd player for a while.  I’d urge deejays to seek out their vinyl 12"s.  Dang there’s not much else I’d like to say except you gotta check it out for yourself.

Highly recommended by AfricasGateway.com

Me Pee & Flox – Won Entertainment (Won Ent)

Won Entertainment bring this nice compilation consisting of 3 artists, Flox, Pee and Me (The First Knight).   Each emcee throws a track one after another utilising The First Knights most promising production.  As said before of Won Entertainment, if this stuff was mastered properly I could forsee them really going far in the Hip Hop game.  Some of this stuff is extremely unique and you are guaranteed a good laugh with the humour that lurks on the CD.  Flox, Pee and Me are nice emcees, and this is evident when you notice that they flow naturally over the dope tracks.  On What Tha? Pee sounds similar to Slick Rick but nevertheless gives a good delivery coupled with First Knights funky production.  His lyrics consisted of weird humour that had me laughing and dancing at the same time.  I liked the production of Energy Flow.   Track 15 Knights The Name was freaking good.   I play this shit loud.   What really stood out was I Don’t Know which was really unique.    The beat was cleverly constructed and the verses fitted perfectly.    This has got to be the dopest track on here.   My friends agree.   The First Knight really has something going here.

MG The Visionary – TransparEmcee (Uprok Records)

Wow what an ill intro.   MG is a crazy cat and almost every track on here is hyped up.  The track I’m playing off this album right now is Sponsible.  I also liked Otherside.

Overall this album is okay and the lyrics are meant to teach, preach and you make you feel better.  The only downside was that the production sounded a bit dated.

Million Dollar Dream – Various (Dog Day Records)

Another dope release from Dog Day Records.   The Bay Area has always had their unique sound and this is no doubt evident on this compilation.

This double Cd gives you 36 tracks of the real Bay Area shit.  On CD 1 the dope tracks include Boss Playa, Casualties of War, Mutiny and Ghetto Life.  On CD 2 the dope tracks include Think About This, Jacuzzi (Remix) and Don’t Stop Until The Casket Drops.

Miss E – Miss E..So Addictive

Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot is to music what Versace is to fashion, setting the trends and leaving a damn hard act to follow.   Her music is sometimes hard to swallow but it’s simply because it’s way ahead of its time.

Her debut single Get Ur Freak On from the album "Miss E..So Addictive",  has been playlisted on radio stations all over the world, in all likelihood because it has a very fresh sound which doesn’t border on ‘too-way-out’.

On this album Missy teams up with ‘partner in crime’ Timbaland who had last appeared on Aaliyah’s hit Try Again taken from the movie Romeo Must Die.   He seemed to be fading into the shadows after that but has since come back, pumping jams alongside Missy that are taking the hip-hop genre to the max.

Her album can be regarded as the weirdest, loudest, funkiest album of the year so far.    It is a sonic, orgasmic fusion of Indian tinges and future-shock funk – when Missy’s lyrics glide over Timbaland’s ultrafunkular beats, the musical trouble these two get into is nothing short of spectacular.  They have produced a sound that weaves its way into every part of your body.

The album also boasts contributions from some of the hottest artists in the world of hip-hop such as Redman, Method Man, Ludacris, Da Brat, Busta Rhymes, Eve and Jay-Z.   They add that little extra spice, but never detract from Missy herself.

Missy is undoubtedly the hottest producer/rapper/songwriter in the business today and it became evident when listening to her album that she has that something special that some artists strive for many years to achieve.

Her lyrics and rhythms are bold and work well on all of the tracks.   She explodes on One Minute Man twice – once with Ludacris, and once with Jay-Z.

Those who are accustomed to Redman and Method Man’s mode of operation will know that when they do their own thing or collaborate with another artist, the result is mind-blowing.   The two kick off the album in style with Dog In Heat.

On this album Missy mixes techno, two-step, hip-hop, Indian movie music and a whole lot more to deliver an album that is not only fresh, but that should also have a long shelf life.  She has taken music to a whole new level and is unlikely to fade into oblivion anytime soon!

Written By Lameez Abrahams (AfricasGateway.com Freelance Journalist)

Moodphase 5 – Steady On (African Dope Records)

Fronted by D-Form (rap) and Lady E (vocals) backed up by a live band is the pride of the Cape Town underground scene.  Moodphase Five are a group that if marketed right, will become extremely successful.  You know it really pisses me off that the South African will rather buy American crap than buy our local shit. They have been receiving rave reviews all over for this album and they deserve it.

D Form keeps it real by keeping his lyrics relevant to the South African situation.   Most of the stuff on here is jazzy soulful type hip hop, sometimes bordering on what Guru does with Jazzmataz which is cool.  Me being a straight up Hip Hop fan was totally impressed with Rhymedrop.  This has got to be one of the best Hip Hop tracks to come out of Cape Town in a long time.  But regardless of what other people say, Rhymedrop is the effing best song on here!

If you are South African it is your duty to buy this album.

Scarface – Mr Scarface Is Back (Rap A Lot Records)

This is a classic album and you had to be there when it was first released.   I personally think this album showed Scarface at his best.  The album is raw and hard, with a lot of energy and enough violence to incite a riot.

When this first came out we liked Mr Scarface and Born Killer.    These tracks had us jumping all over the place back in the early 90’s.    You know, when I listen to this today it
definitely reminds me when Hip Hop was beautiful.  No one makes albums like this anymore.   Maybe Hip Hop was better for me at that time, like in the late eighties and early 90’s.   I also liked Murder By Reason Of Insanity.   They use the same beat from We All In The Same Gang.   Another track that I liked was A Minute To Pray And A Second To Die.

Every once in a while I will take out an old release to bring back some good memories and this is one of them.  If you are a Hip Hop fanatic then you should have this in your collection.

Andre Nickatina – Dacquiri Factory

Andre Nickatina also known as Dre Dog is quite famous in his region.  His style is straight up ghetto but you might not like this if you are into
commercial Hip Hop. His lyrical skills will not excite you yet his lyrics go straight to the point.  In fact he’s got quite a lot catchy tracks on here.

If you picked up Million Dollar Dreams compilation which was recently released by Dogday Records you would have heard a track by Andre Nickatina on there. On this CD it seems this might be a collection of his "classic" tracks.   The album kicks off with Bakin’ Soda In Minnesota which has a dope beat with mad violins and shit.  This is ghetto music straight from the street pavement.   On the second track Dacquiri Factory, which has been playing in my head the whole week, is a funky track that has one hell of a catchy chorus.  Some of tracks on here sound very old skool West Coast style . Case in point is the track Nickatina Says.

My feeling is you’d need to understand the music coming from the these regions in order to appreciate it.   Most people might not like this especially if you into Gangstarr or Method Man.   But if you like that Bay Area shit and would like to add something to your collection then you need to get this.  Worth a listen.

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