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Peter Agoston
1 January, 2001 12:00 am

You’d want, if from anyone, the saving of ‘hip-hop’ so to speak, handled by Freestyle Fellowship. The myriad of styles born and bred via Fellowship-facilities is immeasurable and with carbon-copy delusion crippling much of contemporary hip-hop today, a valiant return from these forefathers might possibly steer a music revolution to capacities unknown (or at the [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 The point where style transcends the initial boundaries of a gimmick can be where true artistry is born. For some, Necro’s unavoidable nastiness is nothing more than uninteresting shit talking, for others, totally enthralling shit talking, yet for the few that truly sit down with his body of work and devote a critical ear, you’ll [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

The phenomenon that is Madlib is at times a baffling one. The Lootpack’s introductory 12″, “Psyche Move” could have been any number of wax-plates from the burgeoning independent movement of the late-ish 90′s. While, for all intents and purposes, it was a cool record, the slab didn’t stand far beyond the majority of similar joints [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Almost famous. Almost. Are they almost famous? You might think so being the opener on a current tour of duty with predecessors The Liks. Among 30 shows plus some, a lot of virgin ears and eyes will witness the Legends, in true form no doubt, on stage and undoubtedly on-fire. Gone are The Dereliks, the Eyedle [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 As a member of the Rawkus seminal 12″ market-explosion (circa ’97-’98), Liquid Fudge (better known to fans as L, yet presented here as El Fudge) a quick witted fireball of an emcee turned more than a few heads with his debut 3-cut slab. With loveable wordplay reminiscent of Kwest The Madd Lad, Fudge proved to be [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 Moderation. Something many hip-hop artists don’t fully grasp the scope and importance of. On a few levels moderation plays a vital part in the end result of Declaime’s full length debut (and follow-up to maxi-EP Illmindmuzik, Andsoitsaid. There’s the Madlib factor; a dominant, if not strong selling point of this LP. Producing 23 of the [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Where other music genres have flourished both commercially and critically, Hip-Hop remains a vastly unearthed territory in the great Northwest states. Seattle’s Conception Records played an integral part in the later nineties, introducing a slew of area rappers and producers to the masses with consistently solid 12″ releases, but as the label seemingly disbanded so [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 If you know DJ Spinna then you know The Jigmastas, if not, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Before providing beats for the diverse likes of De La Soul to George Michael, Spinna honed his wholly unique production talents with longtime associate Kriminul, the rhyming-half of their duo, The Jigmastas. Their foremost 12″, “Beyond Real” shared [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 All Natural’s identity has always seemed a little undetermined; “50 Years” touched heads as the virtual underground equivalent to Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.” yet ever since then the group has never seen a return to the same fanfare or creative success as bottled in that one song. While the track may have pigeonholed [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 There are a lot of seemingly invisible people responsible for the various degrees of certain artists’ popularity in this here hip-hop game. One of today’s more integral shadow-players would undoubtedly be Dante Ross. His various A&R and production work (at Tommy Boy and Elektra as well as the SD50′s/Stimulated Dummies with partner John Gamble) throughout the [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Artistically, not much has changed for LMNO since his seminal appearance on Key Kool & DJ Rhettmatic’s “E=MC5″ (the super posse cut featuring the long since disbanded Western Hemisphere). The hungry emcee stood out far from the ironbound spit of Voodu!, Ras Kass and Meen Green. Six years past, he still sits in much of a category [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Ab Rude is deserving of a release of this caliber. He’s grown well into his character. Dues have been paid, now it’s time to recuperate. A framework has been built from the lofty esotericisms of seminal Project Blowed landmarks a la the timeless narrative “Maskaraid” and the revered Underground Fossils EP. Onto Mood Pieces (a [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 The Pittsburgh to Cincinnati duo of J. Rawls and J. Sands are Hip-Hop personified, from Sands off-beat lyrical sidestep to Rawls sublime musical subtleties, the two have risen above the blase’ marketeers to become a respectable pair for 2001 and beyond. The Lone Catalysts’ sound isn’t abrasive or mind-altering, rather it’s subdued, with a producer/emcee relationship reminiscent [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 Riding the underground notoriety of their indie-classic EP Spontaneity (circa 97) the Houston trio K-Otix (producer The Are and emcees Mic & Damien) held onto the rungs of the industry with a solid foundation strung together by several successful 12″s. Gradually moving out of total independence, the three found a loving home at NYC based Bronx [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Eyedea can rap (as his Blaze Battle Championship trophy proves). DJ Abilities is undoubtedly wicked on the cut. And whoever produced this shit’s got beats. Sublime basslines carry the rhythm throughout, but I’d rather hear Eyedea chop it up like Mike Zoot than his partner/mentor/main-influence Slug. He’s witty and constructing when it comes down to it but conceptually [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

Rasco has become a sort of an elder statesmen in hip-hop; he’s not much older than a lot of his contemporaries, but commands a regal-like demeanor when on track. He’s earned his stripes with presence. Various Blendz had joints, but it was the Soulfather’s voice that turned heads – enough to carry himself over a stellar debut [cont.]

1 January, 2001 12:00 am

 Daddy Kev is like the West Coast DJ Premier. Bold perhaps, but accurate – I’d say so. Sure, The Alchemist might be his prodigy, Evidence snaps-a-neck like him and M-Boogie, well, sounds exactly like him, but who makes rappers almost sound bad (or at least, perhaps less desirable) without his beat? Well, Primo for one and Daddy [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

 The cloth the “Hip-Hop” producer is cut from has expanded and mutated infinitely since the bumpin’ days of the 808, no longer bound by simplistic hand-claps or repeated Skull Snaps renditions (although when freaked properly will always prove successful), what we know to be the “Hip-Hop” producer has engulfed all that is music, both past [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

 The Hip-Hop world has an exhausting amount of late-fees when it comes to paying Moka Only the dues he rightfully deserves. Having a textured catalog of material more extensive than some entire record labels, Moka’s contribution to the music has been unheralded and under-appreciated at best. With a Battle Axe full length along side several other [cont.]

1 January, 2000 12:00 am

 For those that picked up last years J-88 ”The Look Of Love” 12″ on Germany’s Groove Attack imprint than you probably figured out the trio is in actuality the enigmatic Slum Village. By enigmatic, I mean, not only has this crew seen massive amounts of hype from both established artists and the press they also have curiously [cont.]

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