May 20, 2019

My Gut Reaction: Prodigy - The Bumpy Johnson Album (October 2, 2012)


This week I’m running a series of posts in honor of the late Albert Johnson, better known in the hip hop community as the rapper Prodigy. These reviews will close out both his and his group Mobb Deep’s respective catalogs, so if you’ve been following this blog, you likely know what projects will be popping up this week. Enjoy, and leave your comments below!

Shortly after his release from prison on a gun possession charge, Prodigy released a free project, The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP, through the Complex website. It consisted of seven tracks with production from the likes of Sid Roams and his old friend The Alchemist, all working to help the man deliver the thoughts and inquiries he had stored in his mind during his bid. Titled after his newly-acquired nickname borrowed from the mob boss and bookie Bumpy Johnson, the EP found Cellblock P no longer behind bars, but still struggling to get his thoughts across. It was a transitional project, one designed to help him ease back into the world of a working artist, and it was intended as a one-and-done situation, allowing Prodigy the tools he needed to move on with his career.

So then can someone please explain to me why The Bumpy Johnson Album was released a year and a half later?

Also, why the fuck didn’t anyone tell me about this project until a few years ago?

May 19, 2019

My Gut Reaction: Conway & Prodigy - Hell Still On Earth (September 11, 2016)


This week I’m running a series of posts in honor of the late Albert Johnson, better known in the hip hop community as the rapper Prodigy. These reviews will close out both his and his group Mobb Deep’s respective catalogs, so if you’ve been following this blog, you likely know what projects will be popping up this week. Enjoy, and leave your comments below!

On the surface, Buffalo, New York brothers Westside Gunn and Conway share a similar aesthetic as Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep. They all specialize in grimy street rap, which is a gross oversimplification of what each man brings to the proverbial table, but it is the easiest way to describe their niche within our chosen genre. Over dark, menacing instrumentals (that Havoc typically provides himself, which is the key difference between the duos), Gunn, the Machine, Cellblock P, and Hav all relay their observations of a violent, hedonistic lifestyle, where respect is the highest form of currency and the goal is to never get run up on.

So a collaboration between the two factions was a no-brainer.

May 14, 2019

My Gut Reaction: ScHoolboy Q - CrasH Talk (April 26, 2019)


Quincy “ScHoolboy Q” Hanley releases a new album every two years. That’s a hard and fast rule that has been in place since the dawn of time, to hear Q and his label, TDE, tell it. The man himself even made a big deal of it when kinda-sorta announcing his fifth full-length project, CrasH Talk, last year: although he claimed the album was essentially ready to go, he wasn’t in the right headspace to release it so soon after the passing of his friend, the rapper and producer Mac Miller. CrasH Talk finally touched ground in April of this year, although your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not this is the way it was originally intended to sound.

I’m harping on this “every two year” thing because it isn’t true in the least bit. Yes, Habits & Contradictions, his second album, was followed two years later by Oxymoron (Q’s Interscope debut), and then another couple of years passed before we heard Blank Face LP. Fair enough. But the man’s debut album, Setbacks, dropped just barely over a year prior to Habits & Contradictions, so whoever it was in the man’s camp that made up this bullshit story deserves a medal, because somehow ScHoolboy Q is now intrinsically linked to a false narrative that offers him the opportunity to act as both a methodical and consistent artist and as a man of the people.

Why am I focusing so much on what is ultimately an unimportant part of Q’s legacy? Because CrasH Talk isn’t a very good album, obviously.

May 7, 2019

Reader Review: Tha Eastsidaz - Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz (February 1, 2000)



(For today’s Reader Review, we return to the West Coast with BrianL, who gives his thoughts (and uses all of the words) on the first album from Snoop Dogg’s group Tha Eastsidaz, the creatively-titled Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz. This also happened to be the first project released by Snoop’s own label, which was called Dogghouse Records at the time. Leave your thoughts for BrianL below.)

April 30, 2019

Max's Book Club #2: Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang by U-God

(Max's Book Club is an infrequent-as-of-now feature on HHID in which I read a book related to the chosen genre of the site (that would be hip hop, obviously), discuss it briefly, and then open up the comments for you to give your thoughts. This is intended to spark a conversation, so while reading the book in question isn't mandatory, it'll help. Do you want to see this feature more often in the future? Do you want it to be closer to an actual book club, with assigned readings and such? Let me know in the comments.)

April 23, 2019

RandoMax Radio Episode #6!



These episodes of RandoMax Radio have definitely helped me keep the blog alive - as one could imagine, constant negativity, coupled with consistent exposure to terrible music, can certainly color one's views of our chosen genre, let alone any genre. Putting together playlists of songs I actually like has helped me maintain my thin veil of sanity, and this month's entry (the sixth!) is no exception.


April 16, 2019

My Gut Reaction: DJ Muggs & Mach-Hommy - Tuez-Les Tous (March 29, 2019)


I feel like I’ve gifted DJ Muggs with quite a bit of virtual real estate ever since his prolific renaissance began back in 2017. I’ve written about every single one of his creative endeavors since then, with the exception of Cypress Hill’s Elephants On Acid (because I’m trying to get through that group in chronological order of their album releases) and Roc Marciano’s KAOS (because things). So forgive me if I choose not to spend much more time diving into the background of the producer born Lawrence Muggerud during today’s piece. I’d much rather discuss his collaborative partner on Tuez-Les Tous, the far more reclusive Mach-Hommy.