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Reviews Written by: MSarabia1036

CunninLynguists - Strange Journey Vol. One CD
CunninLynguists - Strange Journey Vol. One CD

4 Stars (Solid), April 12, 2009

Pros: This crew can do no wrong! Some new classic tracks from the best hip hop group out there. Some nice guest and remixes. Skits are hilarious.

Cons: Not enough of Natti and Deacon on the rhymes. Remix tracks... never been my thing.

Overall: Don't have the patience to wait for there fifth album? Neither do I, and that's why were are going to be receiving two "Strange Journey" albums. Never been a fan of remix tracks but the ones on here really work... except for for "Dance for Me", the original just can not be made better. Georgia really brought out the best of Khujo, I really didn't think he still had that passion in him but I was wrong as he delivered one of the better verses on the album. Slug, Mr. SOS, and Tonedeff have amazing verses on here as well; every rapper on here raps with ease on Kno's beats. This album is different from what the crew has done but its different and I love it. Basically its about travel. The style of the album is a mixture of everything that they've done in the past. I'm extremely impressed with the quality of tracks on here: Move, Never Come Down, Dont Leave (When the Winter Comes), Distance, to name a few are examples of just amazing new tracks. I'm amazed that those tracks are not being saved for there fifth official album. Now I'm expecting a third straight classic next year!

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4 1/2 Stars (Amazing), March 26, 2009

Pros: Slug sounds doper than ever and Ant is really on it. Nice percussion. No guest.

Cons: Don't expect to like the album that much on the first spin... really wasn't feeling it at first either. By the third time around it really grew on me. I'm still expecting a classic album...

Overall: Four EP's and a free album and Atmosphere is back with there highly anticipated album, When Life Gives You Lemons... For a decade plus Atmosphere has been releasing dope shit and this is absolutely no different from any of there last releases. First off, Slug does not deserve the hate hes been receiving in his steady, and strong, rise to popularity. Bottom line, HE IS one of the best MC's at this point. I will, and have, argue with anyone that says differently. It seems that he has taken on the evolution ladder as he moves forward as a lyricist and story teller, this is probably the most serious I have ever heard him. Its amazing how he comes off mad fresh while delivering everyday situations. The one thing that I really enjoyed from some tracks is that you don't realize who or what the story deals with until the end of the song. Second off, there's really not enough praise that I could give the ex-janitor, Ant, for still managing to be an amazing producer and evolving on this... its actually quiet impressive. It sounds like some if the late 80's were here now. Third... I really enjoyed seeing them live last October and how they use a live band. Its great that they manage to put it on here, its experimental and works masterfully on every track. Five listens later and this is not loosing any steam with me. I'm actually going to take a bet and say that THIS will be the highest selling independent hip hop album ever. I was expecting something great but is actually above my expectations... not bad for a pair of veterans. It appears that the most hated dual wont be going anywhere any time soon, as long they keep dropping dope shit like this.

El-P - I'll Sleep When Y're Dead CD
El-P - I'll Sleep When Y're Dead CD

4 1/2 Stars (Amazing), March 26, 2009

Pros: El-P is so complex on this and original that its an amazing ride from start to finish. The production is unbelievable and complex, I LOVE IT! Extremely original and some great guess spots. El-P puts his all in his rhymes.

Cons: This shit is extremely complex and takes a ton of tries to try to decipher it.

Overall: This is the first album I have purchased for all year. This was a blind buy for me but it was worth it. Cold Vein, Funcrusher, and now his latest masterpiece... Ill Sleep When Your Dead. El-P is a very straight forward MC as he raps even ten times off beat and Aesop would. There's really a lot of complexity on this album and ALL beats are amazing on here. I would have to say that the beats are off the fucking hook, I just love how complex every single beat on here is! El-P experiments with tons of sounds on this such as his out of this world beats such as on Tasmanian Pain Coaster and Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love). Probably the only thing NOT to expect is to love it on its first couple of visits. At this point I'm probably on the tenth plus spin and I'm loving this album more and more. Have I said how insane this album is... its quiet amazing! This album is also fun at the same time as he puts you in differently perspectives from time to time. Caution before listening: make sure your space suit is on before blast off!

Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth CD+DVD
Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth CD+DVD

4 Stars (Solid), March 26, 2009

Pros: Brother Ali is extremely hungry on the mic (one of the best around right now). Excellent beats and production from ANT (ANT is one of the best around as well at what he does). No "featuring s".

Cons: Overdue, but worth it. All tracks are at the same level (which is a great level).

Overall: I haven't heard an album this great in a while. Brother Ali and Ant are some of the best entrepreneurs in the rap game, even thought I'm slightly disappointed that it wasn't better than Shadows of the Sun. Even so, this is still better than 95% of the bull shit that gets pumped out daily. This solidifies Brother Ali as one of the best MC on the mic. Just like Black Milk's album... this just leaves me more hungry for more of Brother Ali lyrics. Hopefully his next album wont take as long.

Hell Razah & BSBD - Razah's Ladder CD
Hell Razah & BSBD - Razah's Ladder CD

4 Stars (Solid), March 26, 2009

Pros: Hell Razah is sick on this shit. Blur Sky delivers ONLY dope beats on this crazy shit.

Cons: Some average parts on here with some sudden mood changes.

Overall: Hell Razah is another MC I have just finished discovering. The former Wu-Tang affiliate is just sick on this, such as on The Cube! This is actually Hell Razah's second album this year, in which m yet to listen to the first. I think what I love about Razah are his great lyrics from time to time with the cool delivery. Blue Sky Black Death has some great moments on here with some really dope beats. The guest also come dope such as Crooked I (almost 10 years later and no official album) and Shabazz. I think one of the bad things about this album is the sudden mood changes from tracks here and there. Examples are The Cube to Halos or Most Merciful to Audiobiography seems like such a weird mood setter for that time period of the album since it goes from slow to upbeat. Really hope that this wont be there only collaboration with the two.

Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass CD
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass CD

4 Stars (Solid), March 26, 2009

Pros: Every beat on this is dope to go along with the amazing monotone lyrics. Tons of metaphors, I will really never understand what the fuck Aesop talks about. Blockhead and Aesop are dope on, majority of, the production. Cool guess: Mr. Lif, Cage, El-P, etc.

Cons: Every track on here is great but there is no amazing track.

Overall: Hes one of those kind of guys that you either love or hate with his complexity and off beat rapping. Blah, Blah, Blah, seriously what the fuck is Aesop Rock talking about as he's the most complex lyricist Ive ever heard, as I'm always finding new things on this. Personally I think that Aesop is amazing when is comes to the mic, and production too. The only negative thing about Aesop is that hes way too complex on this. On his other great albums, Float and Labor Days he is much easier to understand than on this album. If you do catch the lyrics here and there they actually sound comical from time to time. Ultimately every perspective of the album is great. The beats go perfect with the crazy lyricism.

Blu & Exile - Below the Heavens CD
Blu & Exile - Below the Heavens CD

4 Stars (Solid), March 26, 2009

Pros: Great lyrics to go along with some very dope beats.

Cons: Few average beats. Not really consistent it goes from great to good from time to time.

Overall: This is what I am calling "The Surprise of the Year" as this album is fucking great. This was the first time I ever heard of Blu and/or Exile. Lyrically the album is extremely on point, Blu delivers a lot of "everyday living" lyrics on here. He keeps me coming back for more, as hes a very straight forward MC. Production wise Exile gives tons of dope beats such as on: The Narrow Path, Soul Amazin, and Dancing in the Rain, to name a few. Exile also gives some average beats here and there and it just kills the vibe that the album has from time to time. The main reason I keep coming back is Blu, hes just so fucking dope with a very bright future at only being 22. Personally, he will be up there, if he continues with dope streaks, with the greats in some years from now.

P.S. Too bad I see its out of print... :|

Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030 (re-issue) CD
Deltron 3030 - Deltron 3030 (re-issue) CD

4 1/2 Stars (Amazing), August 13, 2008

Pros: The Funky Homosa... oh excuse, me "Deltron Zero" evolves some more on this... possibly his best outing as a lyrical MC! Dan the Automator is crazy on the beats as he really pushes his sound. Amazing how the entire works as a whole theme.

Cons: Tons of skits. For a reason some of them don't work. Was out of print for a while, but it's back in print so there's absolutely no excuse why you shouldn't own it!

Overall: I really love this album, truly one of the best of the decade. Great concept, amazing beats, and Del is just amazing lyrically. What I love the most out of the album that it doesn't take long for itself to solidify the concept for the album with the classic track 3030, it truly architects the rest of the album for you. From then on the album just blooms and blossoms track to track. Half ways of the album your brain's just trying to make out a lot of the things that Del is talking about, it really sounds like hes just on a crazed out LSD trip! Production wise, the Automator is really on it! The entire thing sounds like a funkier version of a set of El-P beats. Beats and lyrics come in perfectly. This is the best album to cross someone over into hip hop. Poverty, control, virus... damn the "Future Development" doesn't sound too great. Screw it though. This album is still extremely amazing!

Little Brother - Getback CD
Little Brother - Getback CD

3 Stars (Notable), August 13, 2008

Pros: Decent MC'ing. A few nice beats. good replay.

Cons: A lot of average beats. Phonte and Pooh have some extremely dub down lyrics on this... it's pretty unbelievable how emotionless the lyrics are on some tracks, compared to their last attempts. Weak hooks and bad RnB hooks. Lil' Wayne. No 9th Wonder. Some wack subjects.

Overall: Here we go again. I could of sworn that this album would of been the great as Little Brother never comes wack, mad dissapointing. There is absolutely no style on this such as what The Listening or The Minstrel Show (even The Chittlin Circuit 1.5) had as every track was connected to the next. I mean, Phonte and Big Pooh really didn't come wack if you look at hip hop as a whole but as what they have accomplished this is a step backwards as The Listening was excellent and The Mistrel Show was just classic. It makes you wonder if 9th Wonder really, by leaving, delivered a big blow to the group but after listening to his new album who knows? Overall this album was a huge disappointment, I was expecting classic material especially since the album is only eleven tracks long. I actually wonder if this was the album that they had planned to be releasing on Atlantic Records? Or is it a whole bunch of scraps put together in just a few months as I heard that Kno was going to be producing two tracks on here but there not here?

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1/2 Stars (Avoid Like a Plague!!), August 13, 2008

"Khris thats why I'm the greatest of all time" - Fat Joe
"Joe I'm the best you must be out your f***ing mind!" - KRS-One

Pros: "That White" (Primo makes the only dope point on the entire album)

Cons: Everything from title, to lyrics, to themes, to weak RNB hooks. "Crack Crack Crack", seriously whats up with this guy and crack?

Overall: Funny to think that almost 10 years ago Fat Joe was probably one on the illest MC's up and coming on the mic. At this point of his career he's no longer part of the wack Terror Squad click and hits an all time low for selling out, as he pretty much tries his hardest to make every track into a "club hit", but fails miserably. Fat Joe raps about absolutely nothing on some weak beats. His creative ability to paint pictures in your head and battle rapping is pretty much gone as it makes you wonder what really happened to the real Fat Joe? It's sad to see artist like Fat Joe to sell out their "longevity" for cash. I hope DITC have no more connections with this guy.

Prolyphic & Reanimator - The Ugly Truth CD
Prolyphic & Reanimator - The Ugly Truth CD

4 Stars (Solid), August 13, 2008

Pros: Prolyphic is tight on the mic. Reanimator is amazing on production, it's different and I love it. No guests (beside 2 tracks were they're required). Cohesive sound.

Cons: Prolyphic is a cranky rapper, but if you hear him out you'll see why.

Overall: This album came out of nowhere and its quite great! Prolyphic is great on the mic and raps about the negative side of everything, thus the title. Prolyphic is just really fresh and has a great delivery. He manages to make this album just great overall with his lyrical presence. Probably the only con I have against Prolyphic are his cranky lyrics, but he gives you reasons why hes cranky; example Common (Mr. Gap Sweaters) and NaS (Mr. Hip Hop is Dead). The producer, Reanimator, is quiet a character. His beats are just a blast! I really love how he "reanimates" every beat on here. Its always giving a different, dark, vibe through out the entire album. The two come together naturally, you can tell that nothing is forced on here. This album makes me reminisce off last years Blu and Exile album, of two guys getting together and making a dope album, doing it 50/50. Just coming out of nowhere and making a great overall album. Hopefully this is one of many albums from the duo, hip hop can always use dope lyricist and beat makers that work together. This is going to be one of this year's best!

Pharoahe Monch - Desire CD
Pharoahe Monch - Desire CD

4 Stars (Solid), August 13, 2008

"You will feel me
You will admire
(My) Struggle
(My) Hustle
(My) Soul, Desire"

Pros: Excellent lyrics from the pro; Pharoahe Monch. Tons of diversity. Surprisingly, some great hooks from people that can actually sing. Tons of replay! No guest MC's (not even Prince Po). Skit at the end of "Lets Go" LOL.

Cons: Tracks really aren't that long... that could go both ways. Took too long to be released. Had to give tons of spins to truly fully enjoy.

Overall: Damn, Monch just picks up exactly were he left off last time. It's unbelievable how dope every aspect of this album is. His lyrics are just razor sharp! The hooks are perfectly placed on each track, it's really soulful. The diversity of the album is amazing. It's actually funny, at first I really didn't enjoy this album that much but for some reason I just kept returning to give it more constant spins. Every time time I returned for the album a new track would strand out, first track, of course, was Desire. I thought that track was just truly amazing, Alchemist best track. Then it was Hold On, then Body Baby... next thing I know I was thinking to myself:" What was I smoking for not liking the album...!" Another thing that is impressive, lyrically, is that Monch only delivers two verses on most of the tracks, but thats pretty much for each track to find it highly enjoyable. He hasn't lost steam at all. I love his double meaning lyrics example:

"My book is a ovary
The pages I lust to turn
My pen's the penis
When I write the ink's the sperm"

Shame on you if your a hip hop head and you don't own this. But there's still time tough, GO AND BUY IT!

Immortal Technique - The 3rd World CD
Immortal Technique - The 3rd World CD

2 1/2 Stars (Average), August 13, 2008

Pros: New lyrics from Immortal Technique. Ras Kass, Chino XL, Diabolic, Swave Sevah, Veneno, Temperamento and Crooked I were dope guests... everyone else needs a new hobby. Payback is classic, one of this best tracks. Some tracks have good production

Cons: It's been 5 years. Mediocre overall! No diversity. DJ Green Lantern. Not an album... its a mixtape?! Southpaw and comp are really mediocre on production.

Overall: Damn, deep down inside I already knew that this was not going to be that good. Mediocre in every aspect. It all starts off with DJ Green Lantern, hes just so annoying overall! His scratching sucks, his beats are two dimensional, and, don't know about everyone else, but by track 3 I'm already like shut the hell up with your shouting your name out. Even though Immortal Technique is truly not amazing on the mic, hes also not bad. He's just not diversifying on this album. The entire album is revolutionary this and revolutionary that and it begins to get old halfway. There's absolutely too many tracks like Dance with the Devil or Paruvian Cocaine. The only track that I have nothing against on this album is Payback... that track is just dope in every aspect and produced by Bronze Nazareth. Open Your Eyes is the greatest skit ever! The rest of of the tracks are either "meh" or "bah". Southpaw is just mad disappointing on the tracks... hes made, about a little less, half of the beats on the other two albums, does 5 on this one. Lantern's production sucked on this as well, as he handled 4 beats. Speaking of an album what the is up with this mixtape crap? Can't he afford to clear some samples for some real beats? Damn man... its been 5 years and this is what you give us Immortal?

Guilty Simpson - Ode to the Ghetto CD
Guilty Simpson - Ode to the Ghetto CD

3 1/2 Stars (Good), August 13, 2008

"I'm a brand new face, with a old school weapon..."

Pros: Guilty Simpson is pretty dope on the majority of the tracks, he's a good story teller and his lyrics are easily understandable. The production comes correct from time to time.

Cons: Simpson has a few inconsistencies on here as the production just fails to meet his style and vice versa.

Overall: There you are, one of my most anticipated albums since I heard it was being released and I feel a little disappointed by it. First off there is absolutely no experimenting on this shit, it's pretty much the "regular formula" (girls, love, being a thug, etc.). Second off Simpson is really not that interesting on this, hes very predictable, I feel as a guest he is absolutely phenomenal but he doesn't sound that interesting as a solo artist. The high part of this album is the production which is mostly handled by a great roster of: Madlib (not being that interesting on here, surprisingly and actually brings the overall quality down, Mr. Porter, Oh No, J Dilla, Black Milk (KILLING THE PRODUCTION!), DJ Babu, & Konnie Ross. I really wasn't expecting anything classic from Simpson but at least something a little bit doper. The other thing that I really wasn't feeling where the subjects... I felt that there were times when Simpson was making a track just to bring an "overall" album. Don't get me wrong, Simpson does shine and still has his dope flow, but I feel he can make a better album than this.

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4 Stars (Solid), August 12, 2008

Pros: Straight forward lyrics from Ghostface (really no complexity on here). Various producers on here give some good beats, including Ghost.

Cons: The sound is really not perfectly consistent on style wise. No complex lyrics from Ghost (still loving the lyrics tough). Tons of guests with Raekwon sounding tired.

Overall: Who is one of a few consistent veteran rappers out there that NEVER delivers wack music? Ghostface Killah is, with his 6th official studio album (not including More Fish). Ghostface Killah comes dope on every track on this, even tough its filled with tons of guest, he still makes his presence felt on here strong. Just like Jay-Z, Ghostface really takes it back to basic with the lyrical content subjects. What I miss the most out of Ghost on this is the complexity of his lyrics, hes pretty straight forward on this unlike on his other releases. On the production note, theres tons of soulful music on here with a lot of up and coming producers and even Ghost handling more production than usual. Even though this is no Fishscale it really doesn't come without saying that this is not a great album and better than the up and coming Wu Tang album. With another great album like this, this moves Ghostface up on the chain as one of the greatest MC's ever, who ever thought that would happened to this guy?

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2 Stars (Mediocre), August 12, 2008

Pros: Can't Tell Me Nothing & Big Brother. Some alright beats.

Cons: Horrible pop lyrics. Mediocre production, put...the...synthesizer...down! "Girls, Girls, Girls" the last time I checked it took Jay-Z only 4 minutes, not half an album. Too much flossing. Lil Wayne and T-Pain. Some very bad beats and subjects. Wack RnB hooks. Some songs are intolerable.

Overall: Is this Kanye West album or 50 Cent? For a second there I could of sworn I was listening to that other idiots album but nope... its Kanye. What happened? This is just an unmovable album but a huge step backwards as well. On "Late Registration", Kanye, was proving himself as an extremely improved lyricists and I thought that he was going to outdo himself but refuses as he would rather focus on other things that really don't matter in life. If someone would of told me that Mr. West was going to release something unmemorable I wouldn't of believed them. The tracks, such as Barry Bonds and Drunk and Hot Girls, are so wack that they are intolerable. One other thing, I'm so sick of hearing, not just mainstream artist, but underground as well saying that their album is the dopest when it's one of the worst albums that you will hear for that time period. Mr. West needs to let go of the ego and get back to making music for the soul again. And no... I am not a Kanye hater, I gave College Dropout 4.5 and Late Registration a classic of 5. Yet, another, invasion of the body snatchers act. This is perfect for if you like Pop but not for a hip-hopper. I really tried to force myself to like this album but in the end, Kanye didn't graduate and needs to re take a lot of classes over...

CunninLynguists - A Piece of Strange (Ltd.) 2xCD
CunninLynguists - A Piece of Strange (Ltd.) 2xCD

5 Stars (Classic!), August 12, 2008

Pros: Great rapping, especially Deacon as hes still control on this one, but the production is what takes the cake on this. Amazing guests, especially Tonedeff on "The Gates". Not your typical southern shit... this is on a plateau of its own!

Cons: No more Mr. SOS. Natti and Deacon still don't have there chemistry together on this, still manage to be great on it though.

Overall: Possibly one of the most underrated albums of all time, not just hip hop but musically. At first I thought this was a great album but the more spins I gave it the more I loved it. I'm up to 15 + spins and I am convinced that this a true classic! By there third around Cunninlynguists were no longer affiliated with Mr. SOS (as he was going to personal problems) and said screw it to the comedy rap and became more serious with a dark sound. This album is crafted masterfully by Kno (who in my opinion is one of the best hip hop producers around and the most underrated). I really can't stop praising the how unique every track is on here and as each one has different meanings. This time the sound has evolved to the next level of greatness. One of the my favorite tracks on here is "The Gates", in who Tonedeff is a deceased firefighter trying to make himself through heavens "gates", that is an incredibly powerful track! Theres pretty much every level of hip hop on this: love (Hourglass), struggle (Brain Cell), "everyday conflicts" (Never Know Why), ignorance/entertainment (America Loves Gangsters), smoking (Beautiful Girl), etc. Musically this is one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had, truly there is not enough praise I could give how unique the sound is. One thing I will never realize is why "true" Cunninlynguists fans say, "they will never sound the same and no longer are original". I just love how this group continued to evolve from time to time as this is pretty much there moment of truth and defies them as my favorite hip hop crew right now, and maybe one day, off all time.

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5 Stars (Classic!), August 12, 2008

Pros: Unique lyrics from Deacon and Natti, they're really on point here with a much better lyrical connection together than on their last attempt, with Kno coming dope as well. Kno gives his career best when it comes to production. Excellent guess. Ever evolving sound with this one being even being more different than A Piece of Strange. Every track is extremely dope and has the potential to be a single.

Cons: Why have these guys not reached "super stardom" yet? Skits.

Overall: To be honest I was trying to to keep from having my hopes too high for this album, in the past I'm always being let downed. I mean "A Piece of Strange" is a, dark-mood, classic and no one ever really out do themselves but the trio does it and they do it exceptionally well! It doesn't take long for the album to start as Natti and Deacon kill it on Valley of Death to go along with the hard beat. I really can't stop listening to this album as the album is an over all improvement from lyrics, to style, to maturity. First off, there's really not enough praise that I could give Deacon and Natti as they're really in control with this one, they came razer sharp every time as they force themselves as my favorite duo around. I really like how Deacon and Natti flow naturally on this, I mean it sounds as if they have that one two punch combination without being forced together. Such as the one that EPMD had in their days. Second, I really can't praise to everyone how Kno is ONE OF THE BEST when it comes to the boards. I mean in "Southerunderground" he improved from "Will Rap for Food" as to where most failed he has succeeded, he got even better for "A Piece of Strange". Here we are again, this time he leaves me wanting more beats, why do more MC's NOT work with this guy?! This is the best album in recent years, at this rate these guys are going to be, not just Southern, but hip-hop legends.

Del the Funky Homosapien - Future Development CD
Del the Funky Homosapien - Future Development CD

4 1/2 Stars (Amazing), August 12, 2008

Pros: This is extremely dope! Del just has one of the nicest styles and the beats are just crazy and funky. Del matures a little more as an MC. Tons of dope production. A lot of replay value.

Cons: Don't know if its considered a con buts its a little long... To be honest I didn't even realize that it was a little over an hour.

Overall: Damn this album is just too dope! This has to be Del's best solo album (tough I haven't listened to his last two yet), it's really great musically and lyrically. For some reason, when Del raps he just has one of the freshest styles around. The funky beats on here fit perfectly to Del's style; he handles half of the production on here and, hes equally gifted as a producer as he is as an MC. It doesn't sound outdated at all still sounds mad nice. Pretty much raps about friends, love, traveling, and dissing wack MC's. I've been giving this album tons of replay, its really great, and shocked that Elektra never released this album. What do those corporate idiots know about music anyways. In fact this album never saw the light of day on CD till '02 when it was independently released. This is just THAT ONE album that belongs in every hip hop lovers collection.


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