August 14, 2018

My Gut Reaction: DJ Muggs - Soul Assassins: Dia del Asesinato (August 10, 2018)

The Lawrence “DJ Muggs” Muggerud comeback tour continues today on HHID. After squirreling away in the club during his dubstep year, and then retreating to South Africa to record with rap group Die Antwoord under the alias “The Black Goat”, Muggerud returned to his hip hop roots in the fall of 2017 with Gems From The Equinox, a collaborative effort with Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren released and distributed by his own Soul Assassins Records, named after the artist collective he formed during his early days in Cypress Hill. Another DJ Muggs Vs. project with Roc Marciano entitled KAOS was promised, and still is, I’m guessing, but instead of dropping that effort, Muggs opted to unleash the leftover songs from Gems in the form of the vinyl-only Frozen Angels EP (which made Max happy anyway, not just because it contained some great fucking songs, but hey, no Roc Marcy), and this fall, he’s getting back together with Cypress Hill to release Elephants On Acid, the group’s ninth full-length album. So it’s safe to assume his return to hip hop is at least for the long-term, if not permanent.

Before B-Real and Sen Dog get another opportunity to shout into microphones while stoned, however, Muggs has given us Soul Assassins: Dia del Asesinato, the fourth project credited to the Soul Assassins.

August 7, 2018

Reader Review: MC Solaar - Prose Combat (February 9, 1994)

(Today’s Reader Review is kind of special, if by “special” you mean “holy shit, Max has been holding on to this submission for four fucking years? What the hell is his problem?” Yes, it’s true: back in 2014, Tochi sent me his pitch for French rapper MC Solaar’s second album, Prose Combat, which I promptly held onto , as I had different plans for the site at the time. And then I vanished for two years. But hey, with Tochi’s blessing, it’s here today, so leave some comments for him.)

July 31, 2018

My Gut Reaction: Rick Ross - Trilla (March 11, 2008)

Back when I started this project eleven years ago, I envisioned HHID as a place where I would discuss, at length, the catalogs of rappers I enjoyed listening to, while hoping to be exposed to different voices I would never have looked for otherwise. Throughout all of this, I wanted to maintain my own voice, however ridiculous, sarcastic (reviewing rap albums at length is a very silly gesture, and at its height HHID functioned as an elaborate work of satire, a trait I hope hasn’t been completely lost in my foolishness), pop-culture-y, or downright fucking mean it could be, and I, like most people on the Interweb, threw whatever barbs I had in the direction of those artists who I felt weren’t adding anything of note to the culture. I still do that today, but less so and in a more pointed way (seriously, why hasn’t anyone taken care of that convicted child molester yet? I have yet to meet anyone who truly enjoys the output of that Jared Leto’s Joker of a “rapper”, and yet he’s inexplicably more popular than a lot of folks (and yes, I realize this has been the case forever in every medium for every generation, but seriously, a convicted child molester?!)), but the ensuing years have calmed me down significantly, leading me to accept some artists who I would have quickly dismissed back then, looking to them with fresh ears and a willingness to learn why they’ve earned whatever acclaim they have.

That’s why I first started writing about Rick Ross, by the way. And that’s how we begin my write-up for his sophomore album, Trilla.

July 24, 2018

Reader Review: Warren G - I Want It All (October 12, 1999)

(Today I’ve running a Reader Review from BrianL for Warren G’s third album I Want It All. My own attempts at writing up this project resulted in multiple false starts, as I just couldn’t sit down to listen to any of this without becoming easily distracted by literally anything else. Does this mean that the album is of subpar quality? Read on to find out, maybe?)

July 17, 2018

My Gut Reaction: O.C. - Starchild (February 16, 2005)

It took four years before Omar “O.C.” Credle was finally able to release a follow-up to his third album, Bon Appetit. One would assume that the project’s mixed reviews caused any label that may have been interested in the man’s past work to label him as record company poison, but that explanation just waves away the fact that each of O.C.'s albums had been released by a different label. It’s easier to run with the narrative that many critics and fans considered Credle to be well past his shelf life within this disposable genre of hip hop that we follow for some reason: after unleashing classic tracks such as “Time’s Up” and even taking radio accessibility for a spin and not screwing the pooch (see: “Far From Yours”), Bon Appetit set the audience’s expectations so high that there was just no way O.C. could ever clear the bar, so he went in the opposite direction, delivering lazy rhymes over beats from his D.I.T.C. brethren that were likely held back from other projects because they simply weren’t yet complete.

Although O.C. did manage to get a Jay-Z cameo on Bon Appetit, so I suppose he doesn’t believe it to be a complete waste of his time. Entirely different story from our perspective, though.

July 10, 2018

Reader Review: Das EFX - Generation EFX (March 24, 1998)

(Today’s Reader Review comes from frequent contributor shoe-in, whose final Das EFX write-up, for their fourth album Generation EFX, I’m finally running. Look into his own blog if you’re into that sort of thing, and leave your thoughts and stuff for him below.)

July 3, 2018

My Gut Reaction: The Game - Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf (October 14, 2014)

When I started this dumbass blog project, one of my many ideas was to review the catalogs of whatever artists I deemed worthy enough of following (a whole other conversation that I won’t be getting in to) in chronological order. This might have made more sense if I focused on one rapper or group at a time (which is why the very first posts featured a lot of Jay-Z), but as more and more characters were introduced into the narrative, the plot started to suffer, and even worse for me, I started to get really fucking bored. So I began doing some ridiculous stuff to maintain my own level of interest, such as talking about the discography of certain artists in reverse chronological order (*cough* Fat Joe, LL Cool J *cough*), pulling random projects for one-off write-ups (Lil’ Wayne, and I’m sure there are other examples), walking away from album reviews to try out different formats, and even abandoning the site completely for a couple of years. (I’m joking: that’s not the reason I walked away.) Obviously, the scattershot nature of my posts, my schedule, and also my attention span, caused some of the artists I had previously aimed the spotlight at to suffer a bit: Jay-Z’s 4:44 wasn’t reviewed until this past February, and as you’ve no doubt noticed, I still haven’t written about Everything Is Love. And don’t even get me started on how far behind I am with Aubrey Graham’s shit. But at least neither is in the same boat as Jayceon “The Game” Taylor, the Compton rapper whose work I’m so apathetic about that I can’t even be bothered to listen to his shit when it drops.