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Reviews Written by: SUPeRB

PPP - Abundance CD
PPP - Abundance CD

PPP- Abundance, January 15, 2009

This second album by PPP personifies the Platinum Pied Pipers' unique style of amazing electro-soul music while introducing new Hip Hop sounds. The group consists of Waajeed from Slum Village, Saadiq, and a handful of talented vocalists. Contributors to the album include Coultrain, Karma, Jamila Raegan and Dabrye. One of the most impressive tracks on the album, "Ain't No Ifs or Maybes," throws the listener for a soulful bounce through Detroit sound. If you begin to think of Dilla while listening then you're right on track. The combination of Waajeed and Saadiq brings out some of the funkiest sounds to date. The group is able to grasp the soulful sounds of Motown while raising the bar on modern music. The last track on the album, "Goodbye," features an electronic introduction by Dabrye followed by one last soulful ballad about self-realization. Give this listen, you will be surprised.

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles CD
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles CD

Flying Lotus - "Los Angeles", November 18, 2008

Much of Steven Ellison's initial but unaccredited exposure was on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. After migrating from Plug Research to Warp Records in 2007, Flying Lotus released a six track EP titled Reset. This debut album on Warp trademarked his futuristic style of using beefy drums and vibrant samples. Los Angeles is an accurate representation of the current popular producer movement toward the use of Dilla-style drums with the ambiguous sounds of synthesizers. If drum machines and keyboards are your thing then Fly Lo is your teacher. My favorite track on the album, "Gng Bng," might blow out your speakers with contorting sounds from Jamaica, India and some heavy drum & bass. The album as a whole is very psychedelic and far more advanced than most popular production. If your satisfied with the beats you hear on the radio then skip this, I think Akon will drop another album in December.

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The Mother Fuckin' G.L.K. Does it Again!, November 16, 2008

The Gaslamp Killer's third official release is mind-bending! This hour long mix is loaded with head banging breaks from Kutmah, Roots Manuva and Flying Lotus. If you're unfamiliar with GLK's unique style of mixing, just imagine the hardest hitting drum breaks you've ever heard combined with a variety of sounds from another universe. He blends every type of music and aims to please with futuristic sounds that make T.I.'s Talk Box style seem primitive. Don't get me wrong; I Spit On Your Grave is in no way futuristic in the techno-pop sense. Gaslamp Killer is well beyond techno, house, and other popular new music effectively defining an entirely new genre, future-psych turntablism. His style is difficult to categorize because of his exceptional taste in music that includes some of the most hypnotizing sounds from around the world. The GLK's sound will send chills down your spine while making you laugh at the pure sonic insanity, don't sleep on this amazing mix!

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Doomsday is back!, November 11, 2008

Now that the comic book guys are cashing in on big box office flicks, the masked man has had a chance to marvel over achievements. He has also taken the initiative to re-distribute some of his and KMD's greatest records on his own label. Originally released in 1999 on Fondle 'Em Records and then again in 2001 by Sub Verse Records, Operation Doomsday, serves as an impressive first solo project. Daniel Dumile's unique style of chopping and rearranging samples has put him at the top of the beat making realm. This album specifically displays some of MF Doom's best beats, sampling everything from Scooby Doo to Sade. Take a look at his discography and then try and tell him to drop the comic book villain pretense.

Cyne - Pretty Dark Things CD
Cyne - Pretty Dark Things CD

What about that Florida Hip Hop? Don't sleep!, November 11, 2008

I write for a local magazine in Salt Lake City and we make these equations to give people a point of reference.

CYNE= Shape of Broad Minds + Loer Velocity + The Roots + Juggaknots

The Black Eyed Peas and many other artists that went from making real Hip Hop music to um...something else are what make groups like CYNE possible. The group's bold production, potent subject matter and innovative rhyme styles conserve the art of true Hip Hop. CYNE is here to offer us something better that the fluff we hear on the radio twice a day. They brand Kramer's racist outbursts, African genocide and worldwide gang violence in, "Never Forget Pluto" and "Pianos on Fire," as some our major human flaws. These controversial themes are what separate CYNE from the common bubble gum rapper. While most of the album recaps our racist tendencies, the fourth track, "Escape," can be used to cheer you up. Also check out, "Money Parade," for a pragmatic standpoint on the effects of a capitalist society. Definitely worth a listen. -SUPeRB

GZA - Pro Tools CD
GZA - Pro Tools CD

GZA - "Pro Tools", November 5, 2008

With the recent release of 8 Diagrams (2008) and RZA's album Digi Snacks (2008), the Wu-Tang Clan has shown persistence that is likely to keep hip-hop bumpin' for at least another decade. It's been about three years since the Genius/GZA dropped Grandmasters (2005) with DJ Muggs and almost two decades since his very first masterpiece, Words with the Genius (1990). GZA's newest release, Pro Tools, showcases his passionate commitment to writing rock-hard rhymes. The clan's own Mathematics, True Master, Bronze Nazareth, Arabian Knight and Dreddy Kruger supply fresh beats as well as the RZA. RZA creates the dark canvas, "Paper Plate," on which GZA artfully attacks 50 Cent. (GZA explained in an interview that the title "Paper Plate" is referring to lightweight or disposable rappers.) "Life Is a Movie" is produced by RZA and features Irfane Khan-Acito and samples from Gary Numan's "Film." Aside from GZA's exceptional lyricism and distinct assortment of producers, various featured artists add Wu-ambiance to make the album borderline compilation. The GZA cleverly shares verses with his cousin RZA, clan member Masta Killa, and even his own son Justice Kareem. Pro Tools resurrects the clan's original rock-hard formula that engrossed so many Wu-Tang fans in the 90s. SUPeRB

Shawn Lee+Clutchy Hopkins - Clutch Of The Tiger CD
Shawn Lee+Clutchy Hopkins - Clutch Of The Tiger CD

Shawn Lee+Clutchy Hopkins= Clutch Of The Tiger, October 14, 2008

This assortment of mellowed out beats emits jazz, hip-hop, funk and soul. Shawn Lee and the Mojave Desert man of mystery, Clutchy Hopkins, have come together to create a soulful journey full of crisp drums and a variety of samples from around the world. The funky drums and cuts in, "Full Moon," set the mysterious tone. The uncertainty surrounding the identity of Clutchy Hopkins strangely permeates through changing drum patterns and looming piano and flute samples. Fans of jazz and instrumental music will enjoy, "Bill Blows It," a calm yet funky concoction served with a splash of Gillespie-ish trumpet samples. Later on, "Dollar Short," hits us with some heavy drum breaks and funky piano loops. The drums pick up again for, "Across The Pond," this time backed by the sounds of a Koto or Zither-like instrument. The two conclude the album with the beautiful sounds of a sitar in, "Indian Burn," giving the listener one final feeling of displacement. Another gem to add to the Clutchy collection.

Madlib - WLIB AM CD
Madlib - WLIB AM CD

Madlib- WLIB AM King of the Wigflip, October 14, 2008

The Barely Breaking Even (BBE) label has marked this album as the grand finale to their Beat Generation series. Who better to conclude a run of great hip-hop albums honoring the best producers than the multi-instrumentalist Madlib? He has been a leading underground hip-hop producer/MC/DJ out of Oxnard, CA since his group, the Lootpack, formed in 1990. Madlib's latest album features several members of the Stones Throw family, Defari from the Likwit Crew and drummer/producer/MC Karriem Riggins. Madlib's weeded interludes layered with obscure samples and a bundle of dynamic instrumentals take us through the mind of the Beat Konducta. Most of the album rings true to Madlib's subversive style, but some of the featured artists make this album more boastful in comparison to his earlier projects. And even though most of the rhymes are not very innovative the album blesses us with the dynamic sound of Madlib. His ability to create any kind of hip-hop/rap music results in masterpieces like, "Ratrace," an 808-heavy beat that sets the pace for Murs to speculate on chasing women. This album is a fairly accurate representation of Madlib's style of production, only lacking aspects of his jazz projects, Yesterdays New Quintet and Sound Directions. Madlib is still at the top of the crate-diggin' game. Buy this if you have enjoyed any of the Beat Konducta volumes or Guilty Simpson albums.

Murs - Murs For President CD+DVD
Murs - Murs For President CD+DVD

Murs makin' change?, September 16, 2008

The third track really grabs your attention with the horn-heavy, 'Lookin' Fly.' It's featuring Will I AM and is sure to frequent local radio stations. Aside from the track, 'Time Is Now,' Featuring Snoop Dogg, the album is true to Murs' underground roots. The album also features DJ Premier, Latoya Williams, 9th Wonder and DJ Quik. Underground fans should center on, 'The Science.' This song begins with a criticism of the new generation of hip hop, who Murs proclaims is lost. The song then bounces back and fourth between hip hop history and black history. Murs is straight droppin' knowledge on all those that slept or just neglected to study hip hop's origin. Yup, Murs is finally on a major label, but he contests that it's the only way he can create any change in the constantly deteriorating intellectual quality of popular hip hop music.


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