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Review Archive 6

9 August 2010 No Comment

Andre Nickatina – These R The Tales

Andre Nickatina also known as Dre Dog brings another album with gangster tales.    As said in his previous review you’d need to like Bay Area rap in order to like this stuff.

On CheryBananapumpkinpie there is this crazy beat with this guitar sample that has me thinking this would be a good track to listen while driving very fast on the highway.   What I really liked was the live snippets on this cd.   You get to hear what he sounds like live and I must say it’s hyped! I think that on Fine Ass Bartender the beat is quite good, especially the arrangements with the bass and keyboards.  Candy Rain is another track that is tight, reminds of a drive by shooting.   Track no 15 is the dopest shit on here entitled Glorified.    This is ghetto music.

Let me emphasize that if you into this commercial hip hop don’t bother checking this out coz I can almost be certain that you won’t like it.   If you are more into e.g. Mac Mall or that dirty south shit then you will like this.   Worthy of a listen.

North West Ridin’ – Soundtrack (Bow Wow Records)

If Mr D.O.G. does not blow up soon then there is something wrong with the music industry.    His label releases this excellent compilation and I’d urge you to buy this (nobody is paying me to say this by the way).   This is the compilation that I would’nt mind paying for and if you know me, I don’t pay for nothing unless it’s tight.   On the first track Aquaman 2 by Mr DOG he takes the beat from I’m Bad from LL Cool J and gives it that Northwest twist.  You gotta hear this track.   I’m already gonna put it on my radio show.  On the second track I Put’s It Down by Mac Money, I got up and pulled a beer from my fridge.  I put up the volume and pissed off my neighbours.  This shit is tight.  Move over No Limit, Bow Wow is the shit!

The illest track on here is Take It Off by Mr DOG and Mac Money.

I loved Bullet and Shaolin on U Aint Done Shit.   The beat is fresh and another favourite for my radio show.

Man I’m not even gonna mention the other tracks on here coz everything on here is ill.   You need to peep this now.  Do yourself a favour and go to www.cdbaby.com and order this now.  This comes highly recommended by Africasgateway.com.

Def Squad Presents Eric Onasis (Dreamworks)

You know that Eric Sermon is always going to come correct with his funk filled beats.    Eventhough some may question his ability to write good rhymes, and you gotta admit his analogies are pretty lame, he still comes off nicely on the mic.  On the first track I Do Em has such a fat bass that many will single this one as the dopest track on here.  This album also features some Hip Hop legends like Slick Rick on Why Not.   One of the
tightest tracks on here must be So Sweet featuring Eazy E.  Just hearing Eazy’s voice on here brought back so many memories.   I actually ended up taking out my old NWA albums and playing them all over again. The last track on here, Fat Gold Chain featuring Too Short, is quite an old song but still rocks.

Overall this is a decent effort with more than one song being dope.  Basically I’d ask people to peep this if you have not heard it yet and if you an Eric Sermon fan. Eric Sermon is a good producer and with this album he’s got something for everybody on here. If not for that, peep this just for the track So Sweet.

Woodie – Demonz In My Sleep (Koch/In The Paint)

From the crime ridden streets of Northern California comes Antioch’s Ryan Wood aka Woodie, who strangely manages to stay alive and still do what he’s best known for, making music. If you from the Bay you might remember him for giving the streets the anthem Norte Sidin. After a couple of other releases he met up with Koch Records’ Executive Vice President Alan Grunblatt and as they say in the movies, the rest is history.

I gotta say I like this album because it brings something different to the table.   It’s kinda like a mixture of the Bay and South sound which is refreshing.

There are some tracks that stand out, like the self produced Pray 4 Me which features Lou-E-Lou. I think this is the kind of stuff that is gonna do well, especially the catchy chorus.

For those into mob music you will enjoy Northside Gangbang.   I know that for real coz most of the people I played that too came to the same conclusion.    But I think the strongest track on here is the laid-back Northern Calfornia.

Woodie displays some really good production, especially on the keyboards and this will playing in my car for a while.   Check it out.

Outlawz – Novakane (Koch/Outlaw Records)

I gotta say at first I did not like this album but after listening to it a couple of times it really grows on you. So in the end it really comes out as a strong album and well worth checking out.

There are quite a number of tracks on here that really kick. Let’s first start off with Ghetto Gutta, which is produced by Shorty B.   This is a tight track and really works well in the club. A deffie head nodda.

The next track I’m gonna talk about is the commercial friendly Our Life which in my opinion should be the first single on here. (not sure if it is though). Kind of like a summer track if you ask me.

But let’s get to the tightest tracks on here namely 2nd Hand Smoke. This track really stands out and I’m playing this right now when I’m coming on a creep up the street just to scare those people standing on the corner. The lyrics on this song and quite interesting too.

One of my favourite tracks on this album is Box Spring Boogie featuring Young Noble.  This song actually made me a fan of the Outlawz no doubt. But the shit that really made me bust a nut was Die If You Wanna featuring Napolean. This is so tight, especially those keyboards. Reminds me a lot of C-Bo in some way.

Oh and before I forget 2 Pac makes an appearance on World Wide Remix. Recommended.

Buk Bak – Awensem (Spiders Web Records)

Here’s some stuff I got from Ghana recently and I must say that it’s really refreshing to be listening to some shit from our African brothers up north.

This album contains elements of Hip Hop but more so it’s a mixture of different styles like traditional and others. Nevertheless it’s an enjoyable album. I got nothing but love for these cats.

I really enjoyed the track Akwasi Broni which forced me to get up and dance. Most of the stuff on here is very bouncy and party type ish. But it gives insight into music coming from other regions. Another one that got me excited was Komi Ke Kena which has this nice bass line and nice singing in the chorus. It really works well.

The track that stood out for me was Ladies Say No. This is some tropical ish that was a favourite amongst the Africas Gateway staff.

Buk Bak makes for interesting listening and if you happen to find a copy check it out if you looking for a different. Hopefully Spiders Web Records will hook us up with more sounds from Ghana.

Peace 586 – 586 (Uprok Records)

The first time I listened to this I noticed his clear vocals and easily understandable lyrics. Peace 586 is guaranteed to get your head nodding. His aim is to inspire Christians to live what they read and believe. This guy is a pioneer of the Christian hip hop scene, making music for more than 15 years.

On the catchy The Difference he flows over a tight beat and I could not get the infectious hook out my head: "I’m only interested in what God say, that’s the difference from the easy and the hard way."

This is quality Hip Hop and should satisfy any true Hip Hop head worldwide.

Original Soundtrack – OZ (Avatar Records)

If you are rich and elite enough to have Satellite this is music inspired by the HBO series OZ, and the rest of us disadvantaged will have to settle for the soundtrack. This is not really bad. Suprisingly the first track Behind The Walls by Kurupt feat. Nate Dogg is catchy. The Wu Tang song entitled What You In Fo is crap. Snoop Dogg also fails to impress me with a really boring song entitled Land Of Oz. But this whole cd is not that all bad. Pharoahe Monch contributes a dope track called What Is The Law. In this song he takes the place of a warder and gives the listener his point of view:

Officer Frank Pagliarule, heh
Shit I hate spics and moolies
On the trains they be actin insane and unruly
It’s the "Planet of the Apes"
These gorillas be blastin they tapes
out of they cars like a cinematic movie
Respondin, to a domestic dispute, the culprit
a younger monkey who went ape-shit and decided to shoot
his older brother in the brain
His baby’s mother couldn’t refrain
keepin sex out the family name
And that keeps me smilin like racial profilin
Forever nigga pilin inside Riker’s Island
New York’s most violent, black wall of silence
react with black talons when wolfpacks are wylin
For a white cat, gotta admit I can rap-ta-tat-tat
my nightstick, on the top of your cap
My blackjack you’ll be swallowin for protestin and hollerin
The policy is quality of life and zero tolerance

The other dope track on here is Can I Live by Cypress Hill. Probably the best one on this soundtrack. Trick Daddy also contributes a track on here called Thug Niggas Don’t Live That Long which by the way appeared on the Big Baller soundtrack a couple of years ago.

Overall not a bad soundtrack. Get it for the Pharoahe Monch and Cypress Hill tracks.

Rapland – Russian Hip Hop Compilation (Rap Recordz)

When this was sent to me I did not know what to expect. I had never heard Hip Hop coming from the mighty Soviet Union but I was so curious that I rushed home to listen to this. How shocked I was when I found it to be some of the nicest shit I’ve heard in a long time. Eventhough I cannot understand a damn word of Russian I could hear that there was some skill in the delivery and flow. The production is damn good too.

On the first track by 3NOÙ titled HA Tohe Temhotbi you are left breathless but the dark and eerie production and catchy but scary chorus. Imagine a track laced with church bells and add a dark Moscow street alley for scenery. That’s how I explain this track. The emcee is nice as well.

On the second track the group 37 does not forget their roots by using a Russian traditional sound for a sample. The result is a refreshing and different sound that is interesting to hear in Hip Hop. This song made me searching for a glass of vodka.

One of the catchiest songs on here has got to be Nog Kohtpnem by Midget. This is a really dope track that I’m looking forward to playing on my show.

The song that I think is the best on here is by the D.O.B. Community entitled Tak YX Cnoxunocb. The track has killer bass and determined emceeing on here that it has made me a fan of Russian Hip Hop.

This compilation contains 14 tracks from different artists that will satisfy any real Hip Hop Activist. This album is a collectors item and I’d urge people to seek this out. This needs to be in your collection. Please do not be put off by the language factor. Highly recommended by AfricasGateway.com.

ROD – Rap Assassin (Street Brothers)

The first thing that excited me about this project was that it is one of the very few local releases these days. It seems that we have hundreds of emcee’s but very little releases. So first of all nuff respect for putting this out. I know there are a lot of people who just talk but very few action anything these days. R.O.D. has been involved with Hip Hop for ages, just like his brother Pedro who were both members of the Street Brothers. Throughout the album there is what seems like a constant struggle between the old skool and new skool. The consequences of this is that it makes for an interesting listen. On Kick It Off it has a very distinct vibe that only Cape Town Hip Hop can provide. But skip to the next track Rock On which is a real head nodder. I really liked the arrangements in the chorus. The beat on I Realised.. I Can’t is ill. But what they should’ve done is made Give Me What You Got a full track instead of an interlude. The beat was wicked. It had my cd player on repeat.

But the second half of the CD is where all the dope shit lies. I think that Friends is really crazy ill. The chorus reminded me of something that Dr Dre would do. Then on track 10 Pedro (Da Voice) and G-Loco join ROD on Stay Strong which had a lekker vibe. The track I really enjoyed was "All I Am" which has similar arrangements to Rakim’s New York (Ya Out There).

I feel that this independently released album is just the beginning and we can expect more stuff to come from the Street Brothers stable in the near future. Nicely produced with to-the-point lyrics makes this an album that you should buy and add to your South African Hip Hop catalog.

Dopest Tracks:
Rock On
I Realised…I Can’t
Give Me What You Got
All I Am

I Got The Hook Up – Soundtrack (No Limit Records)

No Limit Records always bring that heavy shit. When I first started listening to No Limit everybody around me was saying stuff like “nah man don’t listen to that gangsta crap”. But my main man Oopy G always told me that I should “…watch for Master P cos he is going to blow up one day”. If you saw this movie and enjoyed it you will no doubt love this soundtrack. The first track Hook It Up made me looking for a car with a fat system coz you want to be driving while listening to this. They came all out on this one, bringing the heaviest gangsta beats that I’ve heard for a while. You cannot listen to this on a cheap Taiwanese stereo. Ice Cube’s Ghetto Vet has a brilliant story that will keep you hooked on the song till the end. Master P and Sons of Funk bring I Got The Hook Up which, at first, we did not like when we heard it first. In the beginning you tend to get irritated by the “uurgh” shouting in the chorus but if you listen to this several times you catch the melody and next thing you know, you singing it to yourself.

Damn this is good for a Sunday barbeque. Would You Hesitate by C-Murder sounds like they using a sample of that piano that Mozart uses. Nevertheless a very good track. One of my favourite tracks on this soundtrack has to be Bump And Grill by U.G.K. They bring that unique sound that only the South can produce. U.G.K. has always been a dope group with some nice flows.

Track Listing

  • Hook It Up – Master P, Bones Thugs and Harmony and Silkk The Shocker
  • Ghetto Vet – Ice Cube
  • What The Game Made Me – Jay Z, Sauce Money and Memphis Bleek
  • From What I Was Told – Soulja Slim
  • Let’s Ride – Eight Ball and MJG
  • I Got The Hook Up – Master P and Sons Of Funk
  • Hooked – Snoop Doggy Dogg
  • Down With You – Montell Jordon
  • Shake Something – Mystikal and Mia X
  • I Don’t Want To Go – Mo B Dick, O’Dell and Sons Of Funk
  • Would You Hesitate – C-Murder
  • Icth Or Scratch – Fiend, Mac and Prime Suspect
  • Keep It Real – Mechalie Jamison
  • Who Rock This – Ol’Dirty Bastard and Mystikal
  • Bump and Grill – U.G.K. and N.O. Joe
  • Tell Me What You’re Looking For – Kane and Abel, Gotti and Full Blooded
  • Call It What You Want – Steady Mobbin’
  • What You Need – The Commission
  • Drama – Skull Dugrey
  • We Got It – Mr Serv-On, Big Ed, Magic and Fiend
  • Bang Or Ball – Mack 10

Ill Harmonics – An Octave Above The Original Vol 1 (Uprok Records)

Here are two guys who do gospel Hip Hop with a difference.  Don’t be fooled by the suit-wearing-clean-cut look.  This album is laced with acoustic instrumentation, vocals, classic samples, nice rhymes and phat beats.

Overall the album is very easy listening with a lively kind of feel.  It’s got a funky twist to it and would do well on the commericial circuit.  Just when you thought they might be ignoring the underground styles they come off wicked on Matadors with scratching and lekker beats.  The nicest track on here is Simile and Metaphor because of the ill scratching and sample arrangements.

So if you looking for something laid back and funky then this should agree with your ear.   Otherwise if you want hardcore then check out the two tracks I mentioned in this review and leave the other songs alone.

Scarface – My Homies (Rap A Lot Records)

1998, Rap-A-Lot and Scarface is still together makin’ hits like James Bond and Vodka, Martini. A big trend now in the States since 2Pac dropped "All Eyes On Me" is the double CD or Album. Sames with this joing. +/- 20 songs for your listening pleasure. In all Rap-A-Lot’s lastest marketing schemes they have no doubt copied Master P and No Limit Records technique of advertising, but through all that Scarface still had a nice debut for "My Homies" on the Billboard’s R&B chart.

The first single and video destined for airplay is the Scarface produced "Homies and Thugs" featuring 2Pac and Master P. This aint Scarface’s best track but it’s good enough to bump in the Audi S4. Tupac’s vocals wre somehow "jacked" from another song with beats and all. Interesting shit though. Of course the album is not called "My Homies" for nothing. His homies sticked out for this party. People like Bushwick Bill, B-Legit, Tela, Facemob, UKG, Ice Cube and more, joined Brad Jordan aka Action aka Scarface. "Southside: Houston Texas" will remind you of California Love, just a slowed down version of it, vocoder and all. But it’s still tight. Like a small condom on a Long John Silver. Devin and Tela came through to shine with Scarface on this joint. Disc Two is most folks at UM HQ’s favourite. Some tracks are a bit dated with it’s Dre-ism type programming. "City Under Siege" features Facemob and it’s got a nice bump to it. Big Mike, DMG, and Yukmouth trade verses on "In my Blood". For those of you who don’t know, Yukmouth who is from the Luniz signed a solo album deal wth Rap-A-Lot Records…"Let me put my dick in your ear and fuck with your mind…" says Yukmouth. "Sleeping in my Nikes" features Oakland rapper Seagram who was murdered a couple of years ago. "Greed" is straight up pimpshit – think Too Short. The beat is some shit he will do. So if you’re down with the homies, then get this album by the homies, homie.

Silk The Shocker – Charge It 2 Da Game (No Limit Records)

The label that gets crowds going rowdy rowdy and making trill-ass potnas bout it, bout it. No Limit Records is ready for 1998. Their first two releases, including this album, has sold over 1.5 million albums already, more than Puffy’s Bad Boy label as they are a bit late in releasing product of the 9-eights. Before I tell ya about Silkk’s new album, let me ask you the $100 million question (that’s No Limit’s worth), are you bout it, bout it? Stepping up to the plate for the second round as a solo artist is Silkk The Shocker, the younger brother of 28 year old Master P, who will be retiring in June. As by press time this album has going Platinum (1000000 units sold in seven weeks). "I’m a Soldier" starts off this album with a big-ass bang, No Limit Soldier style which features KLC’s Old School Hip Hop flavoured, 808 drum machine stylings. Helping Silkk on this charged up track is Master P, Fiend, C-Murder, Mystikal, Mac, Skull Dugrey, Big Ed, Mia X and Lil’ Gotti Gambino. This track incidently blew out our ‘e-three-two-oh bubble-eyed benzo’s sub woofer. One of the top notch tracks must be tight as fuck "Throw yo hood up" featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg. On this track, Snoop clearly overshadows Silkk with some charged up stylings. I can’t wait for Snoops project in August on the No Limit label. The first single, "Just be straight with me" featuring Master P uses an interpolation of the SOS band’s "Just be good to me". Fiend features on the tight "If I don’t gotta". But the suprise track must be the RKelly Timbaland influenced "Thug ‘n me", which features Silkk’s cousin Mo B Dick. Mo B really kicked some of the dopest vocals I’ve ever heard from him. Even the hardest Southern potna will be grooving to this jammie. Eight Ball, The Fat Mac, brings the heat from Houston with Master P & Silkk on "Mama always told me". The other tracks to check fo’ is "Who can I trust", "What Gangstas do", "Tell me" and "Who I be".

Tha Slumplordz – Present:Tha Yakuza In (Stray Records)

The Slumplordz are a collective of MC’s and Producers which was formed in Oakland, CA in 1997. Members include Ogre, Moon, Hard, Gravy MC, Davie Doses and Tee. Not only do they consist of individual artists but also groups like SunnMoonSekt, The Yakuza and The Original Raw Elements. The Slumplordz first offering as a crew was the 1999 self-titled LP by SunnMoonSekt.

Slumplordz really put out a good album here. On "Thee Yakuza" they flow over a bare but nasty beat that had me hooked immediately. But the mad track on here is "To Tha Face" is guaranteed to get your head nodding in appreciation. Others include "Lace ‘Em", "Back Weapon" and "Anythang Niggaz". You need to have this in your Hip Hop collection.

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