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M-Dot – egO anD The eneMy (Album Review) (Album Stream)

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Boston emcee M-Dot dropped the first half of his 2-part album egO anD The eneMy back on January 27th. Yes I know I’m slacking, don’t judge me! Life. I had a chance to skim through the album, plus I have heard all the leaks up until now so I am pretty hyped for this project. Especially since although he has dropped a few tracks here and there this will be his first release since the mixed tape Jake LaDotta back in 2014 and his first full length album Run MPC since 2010. If you’re not a fan of M-Dot (yet…but seriously where have you been?) or especially if you are join me as I review his new project track by track and give this album a thorough listen. And although Leeps will say “I posted it already” link to the album follows the review. Check it out!
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TriState & Oh No – 3 Dimensional Prescriptions (Album Review) (Album Stream)

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3 Dimensional Prescriptions dropped earlier this month and already has earned a spot on my rotation list. The album is a collaborative effort by Oh No of Gangrene and TriState of Durag Dynasty. The album has some dope features including Hus Kingpin, Evidence, Rogue Venom and Washeyi Choir to name a few. Here is my track by track breakdown. At the end of the review is a link to the album on Bandcamp. Go cop that, listen along and tell us what you think about 3 Dimensional Prescriptions. Check it out!
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John Reilly x Rediculus – Standing In The Face Of Time (Album Review) (Album Stream)

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Long Island emcee John Reilly isn’t new to this although many fans of hip-hop might not recognize the name. That’s because he started off as one half of the dope duo The Day Laborers rhyming under I.N.F. He took a break from music while he dealt with…life. Now he’s back with a new solo EP Standing in the Face of Time Teaming up with Chi town producer Rediculus, John Reilly comes back with a vengeance (and a new name). The EP is short, only five tracks but does what it needs to do. Reintroduces the world to the dope that is John Reilly. The production on this is ill and John Reilly does his thing on the mic showing us that he can definitely hold his own. Here is my take on Standing In The Face Of Time Album Stream follows the review. Check it out!

Track 1 Do That Shit:From the jump this is in your face getting your head nodding. Definitely a banger.

Track 2 Rabbit Hole: A heartfelt track delving into JR’s personal issues and is currently *in rotation.

Track 3 Bully Pulpit: He follows up with another gem, the only track with a feature, with Rich Quick, I’m really digging this.

Track 4 What Goes Around : This is a dope track and shows a different side of JR as an artist. The content is heartfelt and is *in heavy rotation

Track 5 No Matter The Cost: This took me off guard because on my first play-through I was still digesting WGA. A great closing track.

This is a solid drop by John Reilly and if this EP is any indication JR has come back from his hiatus ready to bring that boom bap sound back to NYC. I’m looking forward to what he has in store for us in the future. My only complaint is I really wish this was longer. It’s like when you are trying to impress a date and suggest sharing a slice of cheesecake but after eating your half you’re still sad. No. Don’t do that… I need the whole slice! I hope John Reilly drops some new dope in the near future. Add this to your playlist now!!!

Overall: B+ (Points off for length)

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Album Review: Constant Deviants – Omerta

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Constant Deviants is the duo comprised of Baltimore emcee M.I. and New Jeruz producer DJ Cutt. They’ve been around for a minute, releasing a dope project Concrete Utopia that I rocked almost daily in high school, I checked for them especially because although they rep Baltimore and NJ now they originated from my city Brooklyn!! But I will admit after that I didn’t really hear too much from them although they continued to release music. They reemerged on my radar with their dope project Avant Garde last year. Today they released their new concept album Omerta.
If you grew up in Brooklyn or anywhere there was a concentrated mafia presence you might know what the code of omerta is. Omerta is the unspoken code of silence. Basically no one talks, no one snitches. For this album M.I. and DJ Cutt draw from their Italian and Russian heritages to take on the personas of Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and Meyer Lansky, two of the most recognizable and notorious names in the crime syndicate, respectively. This is my take on the album. Album available now. Peep a preview of one of the standout tracks after the review! Check it out!
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Album Review: Aye Wun x Matt Kuartz – The Way Of The Bolo

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Queens emcee Aye Wun dropped a dope EP The Way Of The Bolo with producer Matt Kuartz today. I honestly had not heard much from Matt Kuartz but I appreciate his production on this album. Everything is cohesive while not being repetitive. At times working exclusively with one producer can start to be monotone on a project but this had a really smooth play through factor. Here is my track by track break down. Check it out!

Track 1: I like how the intro gives a nod to Aye Wun’s heritage and eliminates the need to Google Bolo lol

Track2: As a fan of Aye Wun I was surprised at the opening track. I was expecting something hype. Instead I got this dope introspective track. I love this! tone for the whole project. * in rotation.

Track 3: My only complaint is this is too short, but I guess we needed a light moment after the opening track.

Track 4: Digging this track. I love the smooth laid back vibe but he’s not spitting a smooth subject. This track is like a starburst. Juicy contradiction.

Track 5: This track is dope. Crazy opening skit too. I love the horns on this too. *in rotation

Track 6: Another dope track * in rotation

Track 7: Like the song not a fan of the hook too much.

Track 8: This might be my favorite track on the album. *In rotation

Track 9: Great closing track, like how it coincides with the intro and wraps up the album.

Overall: B+
This is a solid drop from Aye Wun. Definitely worth the listen. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer!! And also I was hoping for one signature off the wall track that he does so well but this has a great vibe throughout. Best of all it has the driving music factor which is dope. I can put this on and listen straight through, no skips. Go download this now! Scy approved. Stream the album below!

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Album Review: Red Eye – FATrick Ewing

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If you’re a fan of Orlando emcee and Infinity Gauntlet and The Closers member, Red Eye, then you have been patiently (not really-grrr) waiting for him to release his album. Finally, the wait is over and FATrick Ewing will be dropping on April 19th…just in time for the holiday. I had the opportunity to listen to the album and it was just as I expected. Dopeness. This is my take on the album. Check it out!

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Album Review: Eff Yoo – The Eff Word (Prod. by Rediculus)

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Queens emcee and Broken Home affiliate Eff Yoo drops his latest solo project The Eff Word on April 21st. . Here’s my take on the album! Also peep the visual for the title track after the review. Check it out!

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01: The Eff Word
This was such a good opening track and sets the entire vibe for the project. Plus, the scratches and the samples? You know how I love some dope cuts and scratches. *In rotation

02: Burgundy Boat-shoes
This track took me by surprise. It has a real cool jazzy vibe to it. This track gave me a crazy visual of Eff on the deck of a Mississippi riverboat with a jazz trio behind him and he’s wearing…what else? Burgundy Boat Shoes! And for my own visual enjoyment maybe a matching velvet suit…ijs

03: Alpha Mega
I’m glad Eff decided to throw this on here. Digging this!

04: The Great Escape
This song was right on time when it comes to placement. The right type of hype. I’m really digging this track and Eff’s storytelling abilities. I love the newscast ad-libs too. *In rotation

05: God Hates Me
Dopeness! This is one of my favorite tracks on the project. When you hear it you’ll understand *In rotation

06: Archie Bunker
When I saw the title I was like what? Eff’s flow on this is sick. This is another banger. When you hear the hook you’ll get the title. Word!

07: Interlude
It’s an interlude! What more can I say.

08: Peach Marmalade
After my third listen through I realized this is one of my favorite tracks as well. This shit is so silky the name fits it perfectly. Don’t look at me like that! *In rotation

09: Chinese Super Ninjas Ft. Broken Home
One of only two features on the EP. It was like a shot of caffeine. Again placement is so important on a project! This is ill no doubt but the fact that it follows the smoothness that is Peach Marmalade gets you super (see what I did there?) hyped. *In rotation

10: Indiscriminate Shots Ft. Big Noyd
Another banger! I have to say this was a great feature even though I like how Eff kept the project feature light.

11: The Last Word
I love the way Eff Yoo decided to close this album. Salute!

This was a dope project. If I had one complaint it would be that it was too short! Fans of Eff will be pleased and new fans will get a glimpse of the artist that is Eff Yoo as well as the dope producer Rediculus. This album has some rewind worthy tracks and several have gone on my rotation list. Overall I would say that it is definitely worth the cop! Scy approved!

You can pre-order The Eff Word on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-eff-word/id1096746863

Scy’s Rating: A

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The Infamous Mobb Deep Review

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Alas, Prodigy and Havoc have doused the juvenile hell of their childish beef into fodder for the birds and consequentially the infamous equilibrium of hip-hop has been restored once again. With their latest two-disc release, The Infamous Mobb Deep, for possibly the first time in their career, the legendary duo are not out to prove anything. If you are not wholly stuck off the realness by now, glossy distractions remain completely AWOL. No bombshell femcees like Lil’ Kim or Vida for an added commercial element. No massive promotional campaigns sponsored by 50 cent. Not even any attempts from a couple of free agents to get in the good graces of Jive to rip Britney. Not to say those efforts produced wack material, but as the current Mobb release shows us, the virtuous path to infamy is easily achieved when M-O-B-B are solely focused on dropping gems on ‘em.

And there are gems aplenty on the album, commencing with “Taking You Off Here,” a lyrical projectile wasting no time in eradicating those of the “Mobb-Deep-fell-off” persuasion. Next up is the first single, “Say Something,” and it’s clear Mobb’s modus operandi still harkens by to the gritty barracks of Queensbridge, and while they are far from niggas in Paris, the subsequent result is murda musik to excellence. Some tracks like “Lifetime” are so loyal to the infamous Mobb Deep sound that it’s sometimes confusing as to whether or not they belong on the second disc.

Because there is such a tenacious dose of both quantity and quality, a few tracks are bound 2 fall prey to the skip button. Unexceptional efforts like “Timeless” and “Waterboarding” weigh down an otherwise impeccable release. However, even P’s lukewarm struggle bars could operate as heatrocks for most with a mic, and for most of the album P is once again campaigning as the H.N.I.C. As far Hav, everybody’s favorite drunken beatsmith is not diagnosed with Sickle Cell, but he has unfortunately suffered the Big Boi syndrome for the majority of his career. But if you ever managed to get it twisted before, Mobb’s other half seems energized here in a way that we haven’t witnessed in years, and he is magnificent throughout the album, such as “Check The Credits” where he steals the show.

Other than French Montana and Mack Wilds, the guests on the album are all part of an exclusive club of 90’s disciples who have remained steadfast to the Darwinian survival of the fittest mentality, and the temperature rises when The Mobb sacrifice their “it’s mine” mentality and spread love to a few guests of honor, such as “Get Down.” Here we are blessed with the canine incarnate version of Snoop, and although a Boi-1da produced Mobb track with Bun B and Juicy J sounds terribly unnatural, “Legendary” is without question a standout recording in a sea of standouts. While it may surprise none that three hot verses are spit from you know who, Juicy snaps when it’s his time to shine.

Featuring all three members of The LOX, “All A Dream” sounds incredible on paper but is sadly lost in translation, never realizing itself as the orgasmic mindfuck it rightfully should be. But in possibly the greatest news since nude pics of Scarlett Johansson graced the canals of the internet, Nas joins his childhood buddies for some more live nigga rap on “Get It Forever.” As is their custom whenever they link up, all three participants compete for lyrical supremacy, but the don caps off the first disc with a clear W.

But the true winners are the fans, because Disc 2 is complete with a slew of unreleased treasures from the recording sessions for the Infamous album. It’s difficult to decide whether or not to be filled with joy or enraged that the duo didn’t give up these goods years ago. A rendition of “Eye For An Eye” with the vintage alcoholic slur of the ‘95 Ghost Deni himself? The remixes allow songs we already love to take on new dimensions, such as the subdued jazz touch of “Survival of the Fittest.” No disrespect to Prodigy and Havoc, but The Infamous Mobb Deep is a much more satisfying release than any novel, exclusive beat cd, or solo record for that matter. It’s strange to think that the Mobb are now on studio album eight, but hopefully they will continue to drop heat for many years to come.

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Fabolous- Soul Tape 3 Review

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For all of his punch-lines, Fabolous is still ignorant of the phrase “an exercise in futility.” On the imaginary porcelain walls of the imaginary “Hip-Hop Hall of Fame,” most heads will agree that the emcee doesn’t quite satisfy the requirements to have F-A-B-O-L-O-U-S etched in. But the mixtape domain is where Fab undoubtedly excels. Remaining faithful to career stasis and holiday tradition, Fabolous released part 3 of his Soul Tape series on Christmas day.

The tape commences with the flourishing piano of Jordan Evans’ “Paris Morton 2” beat, and almost instantly Fab gets busy on “Everything Was The Same.” By the finale of “Sacrifices,” Fab’s methodical display of heartfelt lyricism will cause a familiar question to float in the minds of those acquainted with the Brooklyn’s emcee’s studio albums. Is this the same dude who makes lackluster albums like Loso’s Way, aka Fab and Friends?

The emcee we witness on Loso mixtapes is self-assured, not merely following the #latestraptrend. On “The Get Back,” Fab bigs up his borough brother but is able to make the track wholly his own. Even on Soul Tape 3 collaborations the players are mere guests in Fab’s terrain, maneuvering within the creative sound-clouds of Fab’s universe. Long-time collaborator Young Jeezy temporarily threatens to steal the show on “You Know What,” but Fab executes with only a sliver of mic time: “We seen it all/And ya’ll ain’t seen shit yet/ Lil niggas tryin’ on my shoes/ They don’t fit yet.”

Mixtape rappers often fail in their quest to crossover Casanova style, but Fab has always been skilled when mixing love & hip-hop. “Thim Slick” and “Lay Down” are odes to the ladies that will not do damage to your street credit report when played in the whip. As far as auditing Fab goes, his stock is fixed; a well-respected veteran with a proficiency in the mixtape arena. Soul Tape 3, like its predecessors, is an exceptional tape. The only draw-back is that this tape will do nothing to satisfy shareholders dating back to the Desert Storm days, or propel Fab upwards in barbershop polls of who’s the best emcee…

Download Fab’s Soul Tape 3 here.

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Q-Tip X Busta Rhymes- The Abstract and The Dragon Review

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There are a few things in life that classify as mind-fuck miracles: Jesus coming back to Earth, the Mets winning the World Series, or Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip releasing a mixtape together. On paper, a joint project with these two undisputed legends has victory scribbled all over it in golden-era ink, but all too often fans have fallen victim to assigning superlatives to similar projects prematurely, only to wear faces of disgust on their born-day.

Luckily, Tip and Busta are fans of planned-parenthood. On The Abstract and The Dragon, Busta and Tip don’t fall victim to the enticement of new-aged Euro-beats or gargled Future hooks. In fact, the tape is more Hits, Rarities, and Remixes than Watch The Throne; the bulk of the tape consisting of timeless songs Busta and Tip have collaborated on over the years, such as the “Vivrant Thing” remix and “One Two Shit.” On that note, no need to recommend a little song called “Scenario,” or the timeless remix, and of course, no matter how many renditions “God Lives Through” undergoes, it is magical, especially with a fresh verse from Busta. Other songs like Big Daddy Kane’s “Come On Down” are well-known to anyone native to the music of the tongues.

Although the oldies are certifiable goodies, fans will no doubt be screaming gimme me some more due to the general lack of new material. But the collection is worth the download based on the nostalgic factor alone, beats and rhymes that will instinctively retreat your mind back to a blissful time of Dilla, starter jackets, Timberland boots, and a Maino-free NYC. The new material, like “Butch and Sundance,” “We Taking Off,” and the exclusives for Busta Rhymes upcoming solo release, ELE 2, are strong indications that we should expect amazing music from these two in the near future.

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Download the mixtape here.

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Joshua Gunn- (Broken) Glass Half Full [album review]

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It seems more and more that new albums and mixtapes are dropping every other day. The problem is that everyone wants to hear a new project, rate it immediately, and move on to the next one. This process leaves out one major aspect: “LISTENING”. How can anyone have an honest, fair, and concrete opinion on a 15-20 track project after only one go around? IMPOSSIBLE! This holds true for every artist… especially newer up and coming artists. Enter Durham, NC’s own Joshua Gunn and his latest project entitled (Broken) Glass Half Full. He sent me this about a week ago and I gave it a thorough listen, allowing for an honest and fair album review. In the email he told me, ” I think this project is by far my best work, I’ve diversified my sound some, but kept it true to what I do, and that’s lyricism”. If you’ve ever heard J. Gunn’s music, THAT sentence would sum up this project quite well. His delivery is on point with diverse flows, he mixes up his subject matter with changing concepts, and he displays passion, hunger, and honesty throughout with some damn good beats provided entirely by A List Productions. Here’s a track by track breakdown with a short summary on how I interpreted each song; followed by some lyrics from each track.  Be sure to look out for this project when it drops on 11/12/13.
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