Justin.virly

    18 items
    Review

    Strong Arm Steady - Deep Hearted

    After years of quietly putting themselves out on notice without whoring themselves out like every other group of 'mixtape rappers', Strong Arm Steady finally graces us with Deep Hearted, their debut LP.

    Review

    Termanology - 50 Bodies

    The theme here is simple (and a nice spin on Tony Touch's 50 Emcees tapes): 50 verses over 50 beats, no hooks or cohesive stories or sketches, and no underlying theme other than to show off the ridiculous lyrical skill Termanology brings to the table.

    Review

    Bone Thugs N Harmony - Strength & Loyalty

    Like every Bone release since Art of War, I really didn't expect much from Strength & Loyalty off the Swizz-owned Interscope imprint Full Surface Records

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    Review

    Domingo - The Most Underrated

    Domingo has supplied some of the most definitive beats for more than a decade and is every bit as responsible for carving the classic East Coast flavour as damn near anybody out there.

    Review

    Little Brother & Mick Boogie - ...And Justus For All

    To be blunt, why so many people don't think a post-9th Wonder LB is worth a damn is beyond me. Don't get me wrong, 9th is ill and deserves all the love he gets, but Pooh and especially Phonte are the absolute truth when it comes to mic controlling.

    Review

    K-Os - Atlantis: Hymns For Disco

    If it is at all possible to compare his music to that of other artists - it'd have to be Lauryn Hill and Mos Def, as is often the case. Not that he sounds anything like them, he's just that good.

    Review

    Ohene - The Rapademics

    Ohene takes what seems to be a scientific approach to building the LP. Don't worry, you're not going to get a lot of intellectual, scholastic imagery and shit that's near impossible to understand; that's not what The Rapademics is.

    Review

    Nature Sounds Presents - Natural Selection 2.0

    For the most part, Natural Selection 2.0 isn't all that different from its predecessor, but there are two key features this time around that put it on a slightly higher level.

    Review

    Draze - Scarface

    For example, his debut connected the story of Rocafella's rise and fall - connecting Hov and Dame with the classic comedy Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd. Do the math in your head and you should understand the hilarity.

    Review

    Mos Def - Tru3 Magic

    Once again, the wit and the lyrical talent is all there - it's the effort that isn't. What gets me the most is that despite a complete lack of effort and focus, the Mighty Mos Def can still stomp the shit out of most emcees these days.

    Review

    Wade Waters - Dark Waters

    It's funny, once a upon a time we praised the likes of Kanye, Roots Crew, and Little Brother for being a "breath of fresh air." I don't think we can say that anymore. This is Hip Hop. It is. Class dismissed.

    Review

    CL Smooth - American Me

    Defintiely not the most talked-about comeback in rap music today, Hip Hop legend CL Smooth dusts off his mic to bring us his first ever solo release, and his first real project since his fallout with co-legend Pete Rock.

    Review

    AZ - The Format

    Now, he may never go platinum or hit #1 on the Billboard, or even get voted in on 106 & Park, but I don't give a fuck - AZ is the truth.

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    Review

    Ludacris - Release Therapy

    The truth of the matter is, Release Therapy is a product of timing. You may hate me for holding this higher than his first two major releases, but Ludacris reached a new plateau and opened up a whole new dimension with this project. It's timing.

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    Review

    Lake f. Cormega - My Brother's Keeper

    "It's not what you know, but who you know." That being said, I give you My Brother's Keeper, recorded by Lake, featuring Cormega. That tagline alone should tell you what's up - a relatively famous emcee trying to make his unknown friend known.

    Review

    Chief Kamachi - Concrete Gospel

    Chief Kamachi really supplies that authentic street swagger every rapper and their mom fails to emulate these days.

    Review

    Louis Logic & JJ Brown - Misery Loves Comedy

    This is why, even though you can say Misery Loves Comedy lacks that off-the-wall diversity Sin-A-Matic was famous for, it has much more direction and brings a stronger sense of self.

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    Review

    Nature Sounds Presents - Natural Selection

    You can add one more solid release to your shelves, because Natural Selection is quick to please. Important for any growing label, it captures the truly unique and definitive resonance Nature Sounds has.