July 22, 2014

Reader Review: Lil Ugly Mane - Mista Thug Isolation (February 11, 2012)

(Today's Reader Review is for something I'm pretty sure most of you two aren't familiar with. Andrew, who last treated us to a Lil Boosie review, is back with the next chapter in his “rappers with the word 'lil' in their names” series, as he gives his thoughts on Lil Ugly Mane's Mista Thug Isolation. Leave your thoughts for Andrew below.)

July 18, 2014

The Alchemist - 1st Infantry (June 29, 2004)

After multiple mixtapes and false starts, Alan "The Alchemist" Maman finally managed to release his debut album, the long-promised 1st Infantry, ten years and a few weeks ago, thanks to the help of the Koch graveyard system, which had been floating hip hop albums onto store shelves with little to no publicity since God knows when.  To celebrate, Alan decided to take a shit near a fabricated street curb in front of a green screen, which, honestly, isn't much worse than what most other artists put on their album covers.

July 15, 2014

A Reader's Gut Reaction: Diggy - Unexpected Arrival (March 20, 2012)

(Today's Reader Review comes from Justa, who decided to tackle Unexpected Arrival, the debut album from Rev. Run's son, Diggy. Which I probably should have ran during that unofficial “teen rapper” week, but whatever. Leave your thoughts for Justa below.)

July 11, 2014

EPMD - Out Of Business (July 20, 1999)

1999 was a funny year for Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith. They had already seen their duo, EPMD, both break up (for reasons I've already documented elsewhere and am too tired to retread) and reunite, all to the tune of dollar signs and cash register chimes, as their fans rushed to snatch up any release from the seminal team (but not necessarily any of their solo offerings, at least when it came to PMD). That reunion project, Back In Business, went especially far in rebooting EPMD for a new era within our chosen genre, one where multitudes of funk samples were overridden with New York street talk and gloomy beats, and both Erick and Parrish acquitted themselves quite nicely. It helped that neither man had ever left hip hop during their group's hiatus, obviously.

So the only thing that remained was to retire.

July 8, 2014

Reader Review: K-Solo - Tell The World My Name (May 31, 1990)

(Today's Reader Review comes from Shoe-In, who took issue with the lack of Hit Squad representation on the blog (Redman, Keith Murray, Jamal, and EPMD themselves not counting, obviously), and decided to actually do something about it, bringing you a review of lost member K-Solo's debut album, Tell The World My Name. Leave your thoughts for Shoe-In below.)

July 4, 2014

Onyx - Bacdafucup Part II (July 2, 2002)

After releasing their third album, Shut 'Em Down, in 1998, something goofy happened to the Queens-based rap crew Onyx: they kind of fell apart, but in a successful way.  Even though Shut 'Em Down wasn't exactly what one would refer to as "popular", it had its moments (including helping the career of a then-struggling rapper named 50 Cent, who would later turn his back on the group), and it opened doors for two-thirds of the band, Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr, that wouldn't have been available to them otherwise: not only did both rappers opt into solo deals (Fredro landed at Koch, while Sticky ended up on Atlantic, unsurprising since he's been the breakout star of Onyx anyway and had the critical acclaim to justify a major label's interest), but they also took their talents to Hollywood, securing acting jobs left and right, keeping up their own public profiles while Sonee Seeza, best known as "the other guy in Onyx", remained in the background, which is what he was prone to doing, which is pretty much the exact same thing I write about the guy every time I come back around to review an Onyx album.

July 1, 2014

Reader Review: Rejjie Snow - Rejovich (June 24, 2013)

(Today's Reader Review comes from Michael D., who capitalized on the fact that the site doesn't feature a ton of non-Stateside acts to write about Irish rapper Rejjie Snow's debut EP, Rejovich.  I think it will make for a nice change of pace.  Leave your thoughts for Michael D. below.)