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Stefan Schumacher
19 June, 2011 12:49 am

It was reportedly a few years ago that KRS-One and Bumpy Knuckles a.k.a. Freddie Foxxx got together in the studio and made Royalty Check, but although we’re just getting access to the album now, it doesn’t sound dated. In fact, it’s the first thing KRS has done in some time that feels fresh. And the [cont.]

29 April, 2011 3:31 am

The last time this reviewer spent a lot of time with Tyga’s music he was a kid singing about “Coconut Juice,” “Aim,” “Cartoonz,” and “Summertime.” The Compton native’s 2008 album, No Introduction, made when he was only 18, wasn’t great, but it was fun. He was a kid, making music for other kids. A few [cont.]

25 April, 2011 10:37 pm

Atmosphere has been evolving over the last few years. The group’s recent work (When Life Give You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold and To All My Friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy), has taken the raw, personal and often bizarre nature of their earlier material and turned it into something more reflective, mature and [cont.]

11 March, 2011 1:27 pm

Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers is a classic case of artist versus record company—the tug of war between artistic integrity and commercial viability. Unfortunately in this case, the artist either lost the battle or simply gave up the fight. Lasers is an over-synthesized, annoyingly “pop,” hit and miss effort, that simply lacks the style or substance to [cont.]

10 January, 2011 4:54 pm

Sampling The Beatles for the purposes of hip-hop sounds like a great idea. If you listen closely to something like Sgt. Pepper’s, you’ll find some amazingly raw beats. Their music is so transcendent and hip-hop is so nimble in its ability to absorb musical influences from any genre, it seems like a perfect marriage. Perhaps [cont.]

29 November, 2010 7:37 pm

Ne-Yo’s fourth studio album, Libra Scale, is supposedly a concept album – a story of average guys having to choose between fame and power, and love, while becoming superheroes called upon to protect the planet. Or something like that. Anyway, any trace of this story is completely lost on this reviewer. Maybe it shows up [cont.]

18 November, 2010 12:00 am

The mixtape has become such an essential part of the hip-hop landscape that in some cases it’s better than an album by a given artist. J. Cole’s third official mixtape, Friday Night Lights, surely has to be one of the best ever made. Following The Come Up and The Warm Up, and a treasure trove [cont.]

13 October, 2010 5:15 am

Slug, the MC for one of hip hop’s longest running and consistently interesting groups, has switched his style up. On Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold, he became a third person storyteller. Previously, he’d given us some of the most personal, raw and vivid lyrical content of anyone who has [cont.]

2 October, 2010 5:47 pm

Big Remo’s Entrapment is presented by 9th Wonder, but it is not one of the 9th’s collaboration albums, such as the ones he’s done with MURS, Buckshot and Jean Grae. Still, the production has a familiar laid back feel, and Remo, a Winston-Salem, N.C. native like 9th, has the smooth, relaxed flow to match. Surprisingly, [cont.]

21 July, 2010 4:07 am

“Muthafucka told me I raped a girl. If I raped a girl … she meant yes when she said no. Ask my bitches, they like a little resistance.” … “She keeps saying no, but never try to stop me.” … “I need a girl with some submissiveness.” With lines like these, Rhymefest seems to be [cont.]

3 June, 2010 2:44 pm

“Rappers don’t retire, they make comebacks.” That’s from HipHopSite.Com’s review of Scarface’s supposed farewell album, Emeritus, which came out at the end of 2008. Obviously, he’s back, and the retirement talk was never really believable. And really, why should he call it quits when he can still play the game? Like a great athlete, Scarface [cont.]

20 May, 2010 8:21 pm

This is a highly personal observation, and it will no doubt be blasphemy to some, but there’s something about reggae music that’s kind of…irritating. It’s a genre with limited range and it seems to be only produced by guys named Marley. You wonder, doesn’t anyone from this family want to get into another line of [cont.]

15 April, 2010 2:29 am

When older hip hop fans first hear “I Used to Love Her (Again)” on the new album from MURS and 9th Wonder, Fornever, it might be a bit of a shock to the system. We’re there already? We’re covering Common? MURS updates the classic slightly to include mentions of things like auto-tune, but never having [cont.]

3 October, 2009 8:50 am

Who knew that an album ostensibly about loneliness, isolation and night terrors could be so bangin’?  Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day is a musical revelation.  It is a rare gem in which each song seems to build on the one before it, the beats getting better and better as the [cont.]

24 September, 2009 7:48 am

Kamaal the Abstract is one of these long-talked about albums that was inexplicably shelved by an evil record company (Arista, in this case) for years.  Kamaal was set to be released way back in 2001, and we’ve had to wonder all this time, why? There’s a tendency for fans to mythologize these lost records into [cont.]

23 July, 2009 2:39 am

After an eight-year absence Maxwell is back, and when you put on BLACKsummers’night the sounds coming out of your speakers are so soulful you can almost feel the toxins washing out of your system.  The album is filled with lush horn arrangements, plaintive vocal phrasings and an overall sound that feels completely assured and cohesive. [cont.]

29 June, 2009 6:53 am

After the very lackluster, disappointing Curtis, and an embarassing defeat by Kanye West, there seemed to be some questions about where 50 Cent’s music career was heading.  Was he still hungry? Was he more into acting than rapping?  With the mixtape, War Angel, he shows that he’s still got some fire in his belly.  War Angel is [cont.]

29 June, 2009 6:50 am

Ginuwine’s A Man’s Thoughts starts out with an interlude in which he’s introduced as a “legend.”  That’s probably a little strong, but he has given us some nice anthems over the years–his early work with Timbaland (Ginuwine…the Bachelor and 100% Ginuwine), in particular, was actually exceptional. A Man’s Thoughts is a very middle-of-the-road outing.  Nothing [cont.]

5 June, 2009 7:59 am

If Phil Da Agony’s Think Green is a nod to the environment, then there’s at least one good thing about the album – its content is entirely recycled. Think Green gets off to such an awful start that it’s practically dead on arrival.  First comes a skit, then there’s an intro–your obligatory shout outs to [cont.]

27 May, 2009 4:21 am

Ten years after the release of Blackout!, Method Man and Redman are back with the sequel.  It’s a little hard to understand why they’ve taken this long, because aside from Method Man’s stint on HBO’s The Wire, neither of them has done anything worthwhile since.  They had a TV show, the cleverly titled Method Man [cont.]

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