Reviews
14
Feb 2012
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Json - Growing Pains - 4.5 out of 5 based on 55 votes

Written by Nyon Smith


In 1971, the Funkadelics released Maggot Brain, an album as unity-preaching as it was genre-bending. The record begins with legendary guitarist Eddie Hazel’s empathetic guitar solo over a minimal acoustic scale, setting the remainder of the album into a tailspin of confused life stories.



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13
Feb 2012
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Review - D-M.A.U.B. 'Death Before Dishonor' - 3.7 out of 5 based on 12 votes


D-Maub is everyone's favorite feature. He has truly been gifted with the ability to body every work that he steps up to. As far as I can recall, there hasn’t been a feature spot I’ve heard that I haven’t enjoyed from this Cincinnati native. When D gets on a track he is guaranteed to overwhelm listeners with his lyrical prowess. For the sake of “total beat dismantlement” one could refer to him as the Busta Rhymes of Christian Hip-Hop, but he’s truly in a league of his own.



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12
Jan 2012
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Review - High Society 'Circa MMXI: The Collective' - 4.5 out of 5 based on 156 votes


Careful. While music is, by definition ‘an expression of emotion’, we must not be so ignorant as to give such creative leeway to a Christian artist. And God forbid giving it to an entire GROUP of such musicians.

Enter stage left Sho Baraka, Swoope, Suzy Rock, J.R, collectively known as High Society. Their first album, Circa MMXI: The Collective’is as expansive as World Music or a Phil Collins record. In a genre that has pigeon-holed itself as extremely methodical and predictable, High Society has managed to build an album that can easily be listened to from beginning to end. In fact, it would be an injustice to oneself to skip even a single track on this album.

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06
Jan 2012
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Review - Theory Hazit 'Thr3e' - 4.5 out of 5 based on 102 votes

Written by David Kincannon


Twenty-plus years ago, MC Ren and Dr. Dre posited that writing a successful hip hop song was a pretty simple formula: “You’re either talkin’ ‘bout the place to be, who you are, what you got, or about a sucker MC.” I’ve always been irritated by such a simplistic take on one of my favorite art forms. Hip hop is an extremely effective story telling medium, and I was reminded of this as I started digging into Theory Hazit’s latest release, Thr3e.

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29
Dec 2011
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Review - Thi'sl 'Beautiful Monster' - 4.5 out of 5 based on 74 votes


Thi’sl is back with his third album, Beautiful Monster. The St. Louis native illuminates on this 16 track album that sin appears to be good but in the end destroys. Thi’sl creates an album that automatically remains on replay. I find myself constantly enjoying the sonic presentation and lyrical delivery.

Thi’sl begins the album with an introspective introduction. The soulful Swoope produced Beautiful Music starts out with “Life can be a monster, that’s why everyday I wake up it’s the one I’m trying to conquer.” Thi’sl goes hard with 3 minutes of verses with no hook over the live instrumentation. The verses set the tone for the project. The introduction is followed by the Geeda produced Let It Knock featuring PRo. The production begins with repeating synth based siren sounds followed by snapping snares and a knocking bass. This song instantly adds a dose of adrenaline to the listening experience. Thi’sl adds that, “they tried to leave me dead out on the block. But I’m here and now I’m about to turn this thing up and let it knock.” PRo contributes his amped styled flow to the song. The fireworks on the JR produced First 48 sets the stage for an amazing look into a real life story. Thi’sl brings a stop and go flow mixed with a raspy and deep vocal tone. His flow fits well with the spooky sounds, army marching feet, stutter snares and hard kicks. The song is a reality check for those that feel that they are immune to the streets.

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12
Dec 2011
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Review - theBREAX 'Never Arrive' - 4.4 out of 5 based on 65 votes

Written by David Kincannon


As a strong advocate of hip hop, I talk about it quite a bit. Whether I’m conferring with other hip hop heads, or those who are not particular fans, I like to think that my love of great production and strong lyricism is infectious. I like to point out that, at its best, hip hop is modern poetry, and every bit as viable as beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, or 20th century romantics like Dylan Thomas. If you’re looking for proof of this, look no further.

On their new album, Never Arrive, theBREAX, a hip hop crew/band based in southern California, deliver not only tight beats (featuring live instrumentation) and stirring lyricism, but also an aspect of honest, no-compromises spoken word poetry. Main group members, Ruslan, MicB and Beleaf are all spoken word poets whose work in that vein features in between several tracks on Never Arrive. If this doesn’t sound like your particular brand of soda, wait. In addition to being spoken word poets, they are also quality purveyors of hip hop.



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