Posts Tagged ‘Review

05
Feb
10

Album Review: Styles P & DJ Green Lantern – The Green Ghost Project

Green Ghost Project

Styles P & DJ Green Lantern – The Green Ghost Project [MP3 Download]

Record Label: Invasion Music Group

Reviewed by Mookie

(Dom’s note: We’re now collectively known as the Most Hated by one of these guys.. If you can’t stand the heat, get yo’ stankin’ ass out my kitchen!)

When you think of Yonkers-born emcee Styles P, you probably picture him as one of the frontmen of hardcore rap group The LOX. “The Ghost” has also built up a respectable solo discography over the years, with The Green Ghost Project as his newest album. Along with a mob of guest artists and producers, DJ Green Lantern and Styles linked up to create what they call a “monster” of a project. 

The Green Lantern-produced “Nothing To Lose” opens the album up with an abrupt banger. Turn this one up, it’s bass-heavy with a light accent that makes the beat just memorable enough to shine without overshadowing Styles’ vivid quotables.  

An impressive Slick Rick-sampling instrumental by Alchemist ensues on “Make Millions From Entertainment,” although the lyrical effort from Styles P didn’t quite match up. The dark, erie beat on “Time Will Tell” emphasizes Raekwon‘s stand-out feature instead. 

Unfortunately, not all of the production was up to par. “Bang Time” obnoxiously overuses an M.O.P. sample, diminishing its replay value and casting away an otherwise satisfactory feature while “Invasion” sours a Jadakiss appearance with a mundane beat and an out-of-place hook from Junior Reid

Styles has never really been known for his lyrical superiority, and nothing changes here. Most of the verses coil around the main subject matter: money. Although he does branch out occasionally into the realm of prison time (“Send A Kite”) or reminiscence (“Born In These Streets”). 

Still, poor production and low replay value plague nearly this entire project. No more than 4 of the 15 songs are worth multiple spins for anyone outside of Styles P fanatics. Although those few joints may be good, it’s not worth buying the entire album just for the sake of listening to them because it should have been a mixtape – at least the musical quality is reflective of one.

29
Jan
10

Album Review: Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson

Strong Arm Steady - In Search of Stoney Jackson

Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson [MP3 Download]

Stones Throw Records | Blacksmith Records

By Mookie

Back when Death Row Records dominated the West Coast rap game, a loose collective of Cali-based emcees including frontman Xzibit, formed Strong Arm Steady and built a considerable buzz on the underground circuit with a number of popular mixtapes. Since then, X-to-the-Z along with a handful of other members left the group, making Strong Arm Steady a trio composed of Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agony, and Krondon.

In Search of Stoney Jackson is the group’s second studio album, and the first to be released on Talib Kweli‘s label, Blacksmith Records Stones Throw Records. With exclusive production from the legendary Madlib and features from the likes of Phonte (of Little Brother), Evidence, and Planet Asia among others, on paper, this project couldn’t look much better.

The actual result proved to be less than amazing. While Madlib holds up his end on the production, masterfully crafting a number of impressive, sample-heavy beats, Strong Arm Steady disappoints lyrically on the majority of the album. Phil Da Agony sounds awkward as he fumbles through most of his verses, almost as if he was rhyming off the top of his head the whole time. And while Krondon‘s efforts are quality at different times throughout the album, it’s not enough to single-handedly support the group when Phil didn’t bring his A-game and Mitchy Slick is borderline absent, only appearing on two of the album’s 18 tracks.

 But don’t write Stoney Jackson off just yet, guest appearances save this album’s replay value. Phonte comes through on the opener Best Of Times with the smoothest of hooks and Talib Kweli drops a dope verse on the Roxanne Shante-sampling Get Started. Unfortunately, some guest spots hurt more than they help. Like the cluttered True Champs that unsuccessfully squeezes in verses from 5 different rappers.

 As I mentioned before, Madlib really makes sure there’s not a negative comment to say about the production on this album. Songs like “Pressure,” my personal favorite, make it impossible for you not to bob your head to the bass-infested beat. The same ensues on the mean-mug worthy “Ambassadors”, while he flaunts a more laid-back style on “Chittlins & Pepsi”.

 If your a big fan of Strong Arm Steady, In Search of Stoney Jackson might be a disappointment as it clearly sits on the shoulders of good guest features and exceptional production, but if your just looking for some quality underground West Coast rap, pick this one up – it’s worth a spin.

08
Dec
09

Review: Clipse – Til The Casket Drops

I’m extra excited today. No, it’s not JUST because the Giants whooped the Cowgirls OR bc Rutgers’ football team got their 5th straight bowl bid.

It’s ’cause I dropped my first review in a HOT minute. Not just that, I got to contribute to one of my favorite hip-hop blogs. Maybe you’ve heard of it? 

*Drumroll*

Hip Hop Is Read!

It’s run by a close friend of mine from the West Coast, the incomparable Ivan Rott. If you haven’t heard our OutKast sample set collabs yet, check out the sidebar. Also, we’re cooking up some more stuff in the near future. Stay tuned!

Excerpt:

TTCD is distinctly different from Lord Willin’ and Hell Hath No Fury – primarily due to the production roster and song concepts – though a common thread is the embodiment of each rapper’s struggle, whether dealing drugs or making music, which leads to celebrating triumph despite immense pressure. Sadly, the focus is on the joy this time rather than the labor required to attain it.

 

Click Here for the Full Review: Clipse – Til The Casket Drops

17
Sep
09

TRU Brain Trust Reviews OB4CLII

OB4CLII

The homies of The Rap Up Brain Trust and I weighed in on Raekwon’s newest offering Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II this time around. Check out my contribution and the rest of the crew here at TRU.

What are your thoughts on the album?

Thanks for reading, Enjoy!





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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