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Christopher Yuscavage
27 September, 2004 12:00 am

     “To smoke or not to smoke?” is no longer the question underlying Devin The Dude’s full-length albums, singles, guest appearances, probably even when he sings in the shower. Devin is not called “the Dude” for nothing, as his music serves as the soundtrack for smoke-fests (not Marlboros, folks), shotguns (not the kind with bullets), [cont.]

13 September, 2004 12:00 am

       Where there is smoke, there is fire. And where there was fire, there used to be the Arsonists, a group of five fiery emcees, all hungrily switching between topics of social issues and braggadocios punch-lines with the flick of the DJ’s wrist.        From the ashes of the Arsonists arrives Freestyle on his debut solo venture, [cont.]

1 September, 2004 12:00 am

      Eastern Conference Records has a true gem on their hands, as only two words can describe Akinyele’s Music Killz – fashionably late. Comprised of a collection of recordings completed between 1990 and 1994, Akinyele (along with a worthy group of producers ranging from Large Professor to J-Zone) delivers a solid release that, unfortunately, has [cont.]

22 August, 2004 12:00 am

     Radioinactive and Antimc are not alternative rap music; they are the alternative-to-alternative rap music. Just their names say enough about them: Radioinactive, not looking for exposure on the radio and completely comfortable with that understanding, and Antimc, the producer of the group, thus the “anti-MC” tag (he also does not always seem as he [cont.]

17 August, 2004 12:00 am

       As hip-hop albums themselves have transformed into works of art, the classic instrumental album has been delegated to serving as the easels, pencils, and paints with which emcees work. Instrumentals merely serve their purpose as mixtape material freestyle sessions nowadays with producer playing second fiddle to the man with the mic. That is, unless [cont.]

10 August, 2004 12:00 am

      Within his liner notes, Chris Lowe gives a shout-out to “everybody who was here in ’88 thru ’94 – the best era in hip-hop.” Back in 1994, Chris Lowe may well have served as a breath of fresh air, a voice set apart from the gangsta rap of the West and the gritty street [cont.]

12 July, 2004 12:00 am

      Journalists are taught to enter into a review with no preconceptions or thoughts prior to hearing an album. However, when an album features the word “mobb” on the cover and a depressing watercolor painting of an equally grimy Queensbridge on the back, Havoc and Prodigy of Mobb Deep are usually not far from the scene [cont.]

  Mixtape D.L.
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