Das Racist – Relax review

In previous reviews, this writer constantly said that the world of independent hip-hop and rap is where the genre keeps the pace and produces the better music. When it comes to the trio known as Das Racist and their latest record “Relax”, they keep that statement in the fact column of the debate. Pop this record into your stereo and you will hear something that will have you talking for a long time. Relax is a record that will be replayed a thousand times in one day.

There is no doubt that the trio from Brooklyn, put their work in at the studio because the craft of each track are touched with various forms of perfection. It’s hard to pick a stand out song when the music is produced and written the way these guys did. Its remarkable to find music like this. Very unique production with “Out side the box” type bangers and crafty lyrics that make your jaws drop. Their first single off of “Relax”, Michael Jackson, is a total standout. The beat has you wanting to blast the song to the point of blowing your speakers out.

You can’t deny that these guys are a breath of fresh air. Another standout about “Relax” is the crafty lyrics they put together. How can you not hate the lyrics from the track Shut Up, dude. “They say I act white but sound black, But act black but sound white, But what’s my sound bite supposed to sound like?” Some of the best writing in the genre appears on this record. One more reason why to pick this record up. It is a very rare happening in the genre known for a lot of disappointments and garbage.

Relax is an album to pass on to your friends, acquaintances, family, and even complete strangers. Every fan of the genre needs to pick up this piece of musical treasure. There is nothing in the main stream that can compare to the musical genius of Das Racist. For those who never heard of this pool of talent, this is the perfect record to start with.


Main Attrakionz – 808s & Dark Grapes II review

The world of Indie Hip-Hop is a land that is becoming more popular then kingdom of the mainstream sector of the genre.  With acts popping up all over and producing quality music, it is no doubt that DIY indie hip-hop & rap is where it’s at. For the Oakland, California natives, Main Attrakionz and their new mix tape 808’s & Dark Grapes II, they secure their spot as one of the top and upcoming artists in the genre.

Saying that this mix tape is unique is an understatement. Listening to this record, you have to really enjoy the lo fi, chill music that comes with great rhymes. There is nothing really hard about this mix tape, but most of it is low key, and very easy to listen to. Lets just say…its ear candy.

The production is very top notch and very clean. Who ever put this mix tape together after everything was done, really did a good job with mastering it. The music is what draws you in. Like stated above, very lo-fi, very chill and down to earth. Its music like this that gives you hope for the genre.  Standouts like “Chosen”,  “Take 1”, and “Perfect Skies” give you an fitting soundtrack to just laying around, or doing something calm.

Again, this is a mix tape that doesn’t offer any clunkers. Though, “Vegetables” is a strange song but the production saves it. It’s a great track to nod your head to.  The hook is a woman’s voice shouting out Vegetables, just strange. Even though it’s strange, it is still a good track.

Main Attrakionz prove that indie hip-hop & rap is for real and not just a gimmick. In a world of fake artists, these guys stay true to the music and put out a quality full-length mix tape. It’s really hard to find quality these days, and it’s sad. The genre needs more music like this. Until then, to find any good hip-hop & rap music, you have to look toward the indie world. They know how to get things done.

808s & Dark Grapes II is now available.


Azari & III – Azari & III review

Electronic music is one of the most popular genres of music of our time. Almost every DJ will play some sort of electronic music in his or her’s set. Some good. Some bad, and sometimes absolutely amazing. Canada’s own Azari & III released their self titled record recently, and lets just say…the sound is so retro, its like they stepped into a time machine and went back to 80s.

Azari & III released something that can be only described as a blast from the past. Each track on the record is something you would find playing in clubs all over the world back in the 80s and early 90s. It’s not hard to really let go of everything inside you and dance your heart out.

The 11-track album is a stand out on its own. There is no single track that outshines the other. Each track offers its own odyssey into the night of clubbing. This is a perfect and fitting soundtrack to and from the city where you are dancing your tales off. The record makes you want to find a way to build a time machine yourself and travel to 1986 New York City. Big hair, bright clothes, 50 dollars, and a feeling of being free, this is how the record makes you feel.

The production is top notch. Nothing over done like some other recent releases from electronic artists. The collection of drums, keys, and vocals will have you dancing wherever you are. You can tell Azari & III are real dedicated to their craft. Their skills are proven to be well to par with the top artists of today.

Azari & III’s self-titled record is a masterpiece in itself. It doesn’t hide behind the boring, old, and cliché rules of music that we are use to today. It brings you back to a time where things were a lot different, and to a scene that was like no other. Its rare to find an artist that makes you feel the way these guys make you feel. If you are into great electronic music, beats to make you want to dance the night away, this is the record for you.


Big K.R.I.T – Last King 2: God’s Machine review

Big K.R.I.T has been getting quite a buzz over the past year or so. Appearing on the BET Hip Hop Awards, being nominated for 3 awards including Mixtape of the Year. With his major label debut to come out very soon, K.R.I.T has a lot going for him. Sadly, his newsiest release, the mixtape Last Kink 2: God’s Machine fails to impress. It falls short of expectations, and unfortunately doesn’t deliver.
Last King 2 offers many collaborations, but no substance. A lot of the tracks are repetitive, odd, and sometimes really hard to listen to. The Hip-Hop/Rap genres are getting very stale, and its sad with K.R.I.T’s reputation and talent that he fails to really the listener to bump their head in enjoyment.

However, there are a few enjoyable tracks that were okay and have some replay value.  “Pimps” Remix featuring 2 Chainz & Bun B was one standout on the record. The production on this track was great. Old soul guitar and horn sections in the track are what makes the song listenable. Being a fool for great production, this track was one of the few standouts on the record. Also. “Born on the Block” featuring Killer Mike & Big Sid mix rock riffs and hip hop drums that get you bumping the track loud and bobbing your head. It was a very enjoyable track off a record that didn’t offer anything else like it.

A lot of the production just seems very plain and besides the two stand outs, the music just doesn’t have that factor that gets you talking. Sounds like a bunch of loops were put together fast, and the unnecessary guest spot. Maybe this was just put together to keep the fans hooked till the major label debut comes out? It really doesn’t do a good job keeping someone hooked, rather just gives the listener another underachieving mix tape to just forget.

Last King 2 can be described many different ways, but nothing good will be said. It’s not terrible but its nothing to talk to speak big about. Lets hope that Live From the Underground brings the heat.


Danny Brown – XXX review

One of the most talked about artists in the Hip-Hop/Rap game has just dropped his latest effort XXX. The 30 year old lyricist  Danny Brown almost signed with G-Unit, but with his unique look, it didn’t happen. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson loved the music, as he should.  XXX takes us in to the dirty and unclean world of the poor in the city of Detroit. XXX is a truly unique listening experience for many of the right reasons. Truly something we haven’t heard in the world of the genre.

Danny Brown’s lyrics are described as unclean and dirty. A lot of the record is crazy, lewd, and in your face. His love for the ADHD drug to make you focused, Adderall can be heard in the track “Adderall Admiral.” The opening few lines in the track really do express his love, “Eating on an Adderall, Wash it down  with alcohol. Writing holy mackerel, Actual all factual.”  The track “Die Like A Rockstar” is a grim look at drugs and the stars the died who had drug problems.  Another standout on the record lyrically, is “Pac Blood.” Some of the most in your face, hard, uncensored lyrics ever. Talking about the Pope, the Virgin Mary, and the infamous Sarah Palin in unflattering ways.

The production value isn’t Grammy winning material, but still complements the wacky, honest lyrics. Nothing over the top like some of the music that is out in the main stream, but enough to get you replaying the record. The beats on the record serve as a soundtrack to the lyrical content that Brown spits into the microphone. He absolutely kills it on some of these tracks like “Radio Song” and the drug anthem “Blunt After Blunt.”

XXX delivers something special, and is really something to give a serious listen to. It’s not everyday you hear stuff like this in music. Danny Brown is an artist to watch in the future. If anything deserves to be at the top of your must get records of the year, totally get XXX.

Danny Brown’s XXX is now available on Fools Gold Records for free!


Apathy – Honkey Kong review

This is the first time I’ve heard an Apathy record. I knew going into listening to Honkey Kong, I was in for a treat. In my other reviews, I always state in the beginning that the world of Hip-Hop needs more real artists. The last few records I’ve reviewed, personified that statement. Apathy’s Honkey Kong also proves that there is hope for the genre.

The Connecticut rapper’s third record offers a lot, as this man loves the genre and makes sure to make serious music. Apathy understands the politics in the music business and sets out to do what he wants in his music. Each track is hard hitting, each track offers lyrics that don’t hold back. The record is totally underground and is a big middle finger to the main stream record companies and artists.

One of my favorite things on the record is all the collaborations.  Underground sensations Vinny Paz & Jedi Mind Tricks, Ill Bill, Celph Titled, and Xzbit all put their touches on to their respective tracks.  The title track Honkey Kong is one of the standouts on the record. Starting off with a loud growl into a sample from the film Training Day, where Denzel Washington yells “King Kong ain’t got shit on me!”

The production is great, the beats are hard, catchy, and something to rock your head too. Another standout track on the record is “East Coast Rapist”, where a few things are sampled.  Simple Minds famous song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”, Party and Bullshit is also sampled. All put together as a really complete hip hop track.

In the end, Apathy has put together another classic with tons of replay value. I really don’t get the reason why the main stream record labels have never given this guy a chance. He proves it on this album, which he deserves to be up there with the top artists. Everything that comes out of this guy’s mouth is real, and doesn’t hold back. Maybe this album will catapult Apathy in to main stream success. He really deserves it.

Honkey Kong is out now on Dirty Version Records.

Reviews The Game

The Game – The R.E.D. Album review

Its been a while since LAX and Doctor’s Advocate. Now The Game is back in full gear with The R.E.D. Album. In my opinion, The Game is one of the few last great rappers of the genre. Underrated doesn’t even describe it. Game teams up with top tear talent on this record, not to mention his affiliation with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment. It’s the first time back in with the group since 2006. With all that, The R.E.D Album is top notch and here’s why.

This record is full of personal, emotional stories. Stories about record label drama like the track The City. Tons of  true, honest lyrics as The Game proves that good rappers are still around in the main stream. Some of the best lyrics I’ve heard on a rap record in a long time. It’s rare to hear this kind of material in the main stream. To many fake artists out there in the main stream.

The production is perfect right to the tee. With names like Cool & Dre, DJ Khalil, DJ Premier, and Veteran Producer Pharrell Williams all give their special touches to each of their respective tracks. Cool & Dre produce one of the stand out tracks on the record. “Red Nation”, featuring the sample of Kernkraft 400’s hit trance/dance hit “Zombie Nation.” This song hits hard, and is one of my favorite tracks on the record. Another stand out would be the deep track “Ricky”, which features samples of the film Boyz n the Hood.

Tons of collaborations with the elite artists in the world of Hip-Hop and Rap. Artists like Snoop Dogg, Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, and Nelly Furtado just to name a few. There is a little bit of everything on this record to please the fans of the genre.

In the end, The Game and his team released a phenomenal album that has plenty of replay value. I really recommend this to anybody who loves real rap. Three years in the making, joining back up with Aftermath Entertainment proved to be all worth it. The Game is back!

Kelly Rowland Reviews

Kelly Rowland – Here I Am review

Destiny’s Child was a powerhouse in pop music when they were around in the early 2000’s. Since then Beyonce has been the main artist from that group to go on to major success. Kelly Rowland is a very underrated artists out of the Destiny Child group that has put out 2 major albums. Her third Here I Am is making a splash in the pop music world, and for good reason.

Here I Am is an reintroduction into Rowland’s solo career. The music isn’t ground breaking, no anything special, but the music is good enough to make a fan love the album. With all that she has been through, it’s nice to see her back with Here I Am.

The record is very catchy, with pop anthems like “Lay it on Me” and some beautiful tracks like “Keep It Between Us. The album is balanced like a record should be. There are a few stand outs on the album. The Two perfect club tracks, “Commander” and “Down For Whatever”. Those songs had me banging my head and pumping my fists as if I was club hopping in the city. Another stand out would be her collaboration with Lil Wayne. Anybody who does a track with Wayne always adds a unique touch to the song.

Rowland’s teams up with other artists that are hot right now in the industry, like Lil Playy, Big Sean, and Rico Love. Like state above, the album is a perfect balance. There are no clunkers, as each track offers something different.

Here I Am is Rowland’s best album to date and is a must buy among her fans. If you are not a fan of her music or the genre in general, you should still give the record a shot. Close mindedness is a terrible thing, and this record is a great example of good pop music. Its music that you could play over and over and not get tired of.

Here I Am is available now through Universal Motown. Kelly will be on the FAME tour with Chris Brown starting on September 12th in Toronto.