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24 March, 2014 4:53 pm

Ten years ago today, we reviewed and rated MF Doom and Madlib’s Madvillainy LP a perfect score of 5 @’s. At the time, we were one of the only rap “publications” to do so. Read on, true believers. Read: http://www.hiphopsite.com/2004/03/23/madvillain-madvillainy/

24 March, 2014 3:42 am

On Place in the Sun, the eighth album from LA Latino funk collective Ozomatli, the band eschews its grittier, politically charged earlier ethos in favor of a more pop sound. While this critic has missed most of the last few Ozomatli albums, so it’s unclear if this is a completely new development, but it’s really [cont.]

21 March, 2014 4:25 am

Gary, Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs has built up a solid buzz for himself over the last couple of years, being recognized as one of XXL’s Freshmen cover stars and landing a short-lived deal with Young Jeezy’s CTE imprint. With a long list of pending projects, perhaps the most anticipated of these was what was once called [cont.]

16 March, 2014 11:49 pm

Upon watching Avicii’s performance at Ultra 2013, the young EDM audience did not know what to make of it, as he fused organic instrumentation and live vocalists into his set. While many were scratching their heads at the spectacle, the words that came out of this critic’s mouth were, “Holy shit, that’s Aloe Blacc!”. (And [cont.]

12 March, 2014 9:08 pm

You might not be familiar with The Doppelgangaz, but they are four albums deep, with a rapidly expanding fanbase, despite no mainstream radio play. This is largely because this black and white, hooded duo of Ep and Matt Of Fact have tapped into the lost 90′s hip-hop sound, which comes through in their beats, their [cont.]

12 March, 2014 6:41 pm

Overall the new Curren$y joint The Drive-in Theatre is a solid throwback to the smoked out hip-hop albums of old, but it doesn’t feel complete. Curren$y solidifies his place in the game with solid wordplay and metaphors, while conveying the pimp and hustler southern player lifestyle through his choice of subject matter. His silky smooth [cont.]

7 March, 2014 2:15 am

If Ice Cube held the honor in the 90′s, Rick Ross is this generation’s version of “the rapper you love to hate”, for many reasons. Although he purports to be a big drug dealing gangster, his past actually reveals that he was at one time a corrections officer. He’s made some truly ignorant tracks in [cont.]

6 March, 2014 1:12 am

After somewhat of a Neptunes dry-spell, Pharrell surprisingly took the industry by storm last year, appearing on three of the year’s biggest hits, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, and “Happy”, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. The first two placed him front and center back in the spotlight, while “Happy” was like [cont.]

3 March, 2014 3:16 am

Following Kendrick’s lead, Schoolboy Q is the next Los Angeles rapper to wave the Top Dawg Entertainment flag high from atop the Interscope mountains. While he has released independent projects leading up to this moment, his official debut album is Oxymoron, a record that will, for many people, be their first introduction to this promising [cont.]

24 February, 2014 12:25 am

One thing that Prince Po and Oh No have shared throughout their respective careers is being overshadowed by their peers. Pharoahe Monch always stole the show from Po during the Organized Konfusion days, while Oh No lived in the shadow of his older brother, Madlib. However both have carved out respectable individual fanbases for themselves, [cont.]

12 February, 2014 5:03 pm

A relative unknown until his signing with Black Hippy imprint Top Dop Entertainment, Isaiah Rashad is introduced to the world through Cilvia Demo, a fourteen track album that clocks in just under an hour, that is somehow marketed as an EP. Coming out of Chattanooga, TN, but then moving to Carson, CA, the album documents [cont.]

31 January, 2014 6:56 pm

In our final look at 2013′s best soul / R&B releases, we have Mayer Hawthorne’s third LP, Where Does This Door Go?. Signed to Stones Throw right around the same time they picked up Aloe Blacc, it wouldn’t be long before he too was snatched up by the major label system, to spread his brand [cont.]

30 January, 2014 11:56 am

It’s hard to believe that despite their long history as friends together, Evidence and Alchemist have never cut an album together. On wax, the beginnings of their collaborations start as early as the first Dilated Peoples’ 12″, “Third Degree”, as Al produced both the title track and its b-side “Confidence”. But the story dates back [cont.]

22 January, 2014 8:16 am

Continuing our look at some of 2013′s most notable R&B/soul releases, next up is the new LP from Dungeon Family songstress, Janelle Monae, which sits among the best of the year. Like recent releases from The Foreign Exchange and John Legend beside it, Monae’s sophomore effort, Electric Lady, carves its own path, rather than subscribing [cont.]

17 January, 2014 6:22 pm

Louis Logic is a product of the early 2000′s indie hip-hop movement, which saw many underground artists that were fed up with the major label system, venture out on their own to release their music. This movement spawned many staples of the backpack rap movement – including this website – along with many other establishments [cont.]

16 January, 2014 7:51 pm

“R&B” is a term that most hip-hop heads view negatively, as our favorite 90′s rappers re-branded it as “Rap & Bullshit”. And with good reason, since that era, we’ve seen countless crooners take classic beats and polish them up for the knownots. Such as is the case of Trey Songz’s latest, “Na Na”, for example, [cont.]

13 January, 2014 3:30 pm

Talib Kweli’s long-delayed Prisoner Of Conscious LP was supposed to be his attempt at making a “commercial” album, for lack of a better term. However the end result after almost two years of recording sessions was instead one of his most solid projects to date, one that sacrificed little to the pop radio market, save [cont.]

10 January, 2014 6:20 pm

With his first two albums, G.O.O.D. Music’s resident soul singer, John Legend, completely nailed it. Get Lifted defined the on-stage persona of John Roger Stephens, while its follow-up, Once Again, mastered it. His third album, Evolver, was a mixed bag; one that found him venturing outside of his usual piano-driven, organic production for electronically driven, [cont.]

7 January, 2014 6:53 pm

One entry that did not make our Best Independent Albums of 2013 list, but should have, is Dice Raw’s Jimmy’s Back. Reason being, the album dropped in mid-December, and was in our review backlog, and we’re just getting to it now (Editor’s Note: expect a lot of leftover 2013 reviews this month). The legendary Roots [cont.]

5 January, 2014 1:03 pm

We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again. Something under-the-radar breaks through to the mainstream, and the rest of the industry back-peddles in attempt to see what they’ve been missing. When the so-called tastemakers of popular culture are late to the party on something, its usually followed by glowing reviews and affirmations of said product, [cont.]

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