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Oliver Wang
1 January, 2000 12:00 am

The only reason I gave Sear the time of day on his Fondle Em single was because the beat, lifted from some old Tribe Records LP, was just so f*ckin’ ill. But Sear, better known as the former comedic companion to Stretch and Bobbito The Barber, isn’t all that intriguing as an MC, sounding like [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

As the underground’s most lauded producer for the new ’00 decade, Jay Dee’s star seems to rise on the daily. I’ve never quite understood what the huge attraction is – he sounds great but he’s not doing anything that Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Diamond D  didn’t figure out a decade ago. Then again, considering the [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

Germany’s Groove Attack strikes again with a cameo packed 12″. Some weird combos on this: “Misuse” pairs De La protege Truth Enola with former milk carton MC Kwest The Madd Lad. Kwest seems to have twisted his verbal style up a notch – spilling words all over the track (which is an ok, guitar-powered ditty, but [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

Hey – why is it that Battle Axe 12″ s are really more like EPs? They all feature at least three songs and this new Moka Only 12″ flaunts a funky four. Moka’s hop-up/drop-down flow works well with the bouncy wah wah bassline on “Imagine Me” (produced by Moka himself) and while the lyrical content (a blend [cont.]

1 January, 1999 12:00 am

If there’s one thing J5 has been good at, it’s been exclusive new tracks for their 12″s. Last time it was “Concrete and Clay”, this time around it’s “Long Road To Glory” which joins two of the best songs on the album already “W.O.E. Is Me” and “Monkey Bars” (instrumenta). A relaxed, mid-tempo track produced [cont.]

1 January, 1999 12:00 am

After a year-plus break, Company Flow (minus Bigg Jus) return to scene with El-P’s trademark aggro-electro steelo. Ill Bill joins El-P on the obtuse, fun crushin’ “Simian D aka Feeling Ignorant” while “Simple” is anything but as Co Flow gives your noggin a hard knock with the lyrics that lets the beat damage it further. No less [cont.]

1 January, 1999 12:00 am

“Ka-Ching” just reminds me how very, very rare artists like De La Soul and Gang Starr are. Like Brand Nubian, their careers have survived the times but this new 12″ finds Sadat X doing some bling, bling, hoes and b*tches bullsh*t while De La and Gangstarr have maintained integrity AND excellence without pandering to the trendy sh*t. No [cont.]

1 January, 1999 12:00 am

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, I just wasn’t feeling Reflection Eternal’s last 12″ (“Express”). The production felt off and even a little uninspired and Kweli doing braggadocio just isn’t as good as him moralizing. Insightful lyrics – even when heavy-handed – usually edge out middle of the road ego flexin’. “Move Somethin’” is neither [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

Like some early ’90s 12″ that has more remixes than you can count, Encore brings mo’ flavor to this new 12″, offering three songs, three remixes plus two instrumentals. Dig through and I think the “Considadis (Unsung Heroes Remix)” for “Considadis” rises to the top. For one thing, the lyrical interplay between Encore and Grand The [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

Phil Da Agony executes “Watch Out” pretty well considering it’s a one-gimmick record. Ever line begins with Phil warning you, “watch out for [fill in the blank].” Sample verses: “first you got to watch out for yourself and your fam/because if you don’t watch out/nobody else will give a damn/watch out for those niggas in the [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

The first of illy Philly’s Mountain Brothers to go solo (unless you count Chops outside production work), Styles Infinite drops a nice cut with “Fresh Air” . Produced by Mr. Jason, the song throbs with some off-beat congos, fuzzed-out electronics and other assorted effects. In sweeps Styles, dropping some clever punchlines: “who wanna test me?/kids you got [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

(This review was written for the original 12″ single of “360″.) Edgar Farinas, aka Mr. Push Button Object himself, is probably better known to fans in the electronic music world than amongst hip-hop circles but his tri-coastal collabo with Boston’s Mr. Lif, Oakland’s Del. and fellow Miamian DJ Craze should serve to put heads on notice. “360″ is [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

Am I the only person to think that Fashion – excuse me, Al Tariq – made a career misstep when he left the Beatnuts? I mean, the Beatnuts are monster large nowadays, with considerable underground rep (even though they’re last two albums have kind of blown in my opinion) and increasingly commercial play. Al Tariq? [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

The Unsung Heroes latest 12″ returns back to Siah for another contribution. While “The Next Degree” is still not as sublime as Siah’s “Transatlantic”, this one’s a playfully accessible walkman cut that’s a lot better than Unsung’s last single. The “Remix” kicks the pace up a bit with some more rhythmic focus and it dumps the anemic [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

How is it that Defari’s best songs are for anything except for his own album? I don’t mean to hate but let’s face it – Focused Daily left most of us in a blurry haze (and not in a good way) but every other song Defari’s dropped has been butter like biscuits. Don’t know who [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

First off, you have to give Brent Rollins some serious props for some of the illest cover art I’ve ever seen penned. It inspires a “Damn!” with the capital D. Likewise, Kutmasta Kurt comes with another remix that hits hard enough to shatter vertebrae in its twangy guitar rhythms. On the “No Retreat (Kutmaster Kurt Remix)” [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

How the hell did this end up on Rhyme Sayers? I think someone f*cked up their Rolodex because this sounds like some Roc-A-Fella  sh*t far more than the kind of cerebral, “genius rap” that we tend to associate with Minnesota’s finest. I mean, no offense to Musab  but if Jay-Z comes knocking, asking for his [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

First of all, it’s about damn time these Texan cats have an album coming out (Universal), they’re one of those underground groups that have put out what seems like a dozen 12″s and finally, they have the full-length to tout for a change. BUT, until we get there, we still have one MORE 12″, “Take [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

Funny – I really enjoyed their last 12″, but did I not notice that they all sound like Anticon knock-offs? Not like that’s a bad thing, but flow-wise, it just doesn’t work all the time. That’s pretty apparent on “All Word No Play” which has a nice enough beat – ride cymbal and some spacey [cont.]

1 January, 1997 12:00 am

I dig Lif’s sh*t because this MC’s got personality. Yeah, at times, his rhyme scheme can feel a little awkward and forced but 1) his voice is just so f*cking ill, like he’s a career smoker about two packs away from a larynx operation and 2) even he does force it, you can’t help but admire [cont.]

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