Category Archives: Reviews

Warm Brew – Sippin’ All Day Last Night

Sippin All Day Last Night cover art

Remember Caine’s graduation party during the beginning of Menace II Society? Instead of the frantic, sweaty dancing of the House Party movies, this scene showed a relaxed get-together where everyone was smoking, drinking, talking, and playing dominoes. And what music was blasting throughout the house? Parliament, that legendary funk group whose music was the foundation for so much West coast hip-hop! Where House Party’s party had an inescapable East coast attitude, the party scene in Menace II Society was all about the laidback LA vibe.

Warm Brew is an LA crew whose music is soaked in that vibe. At its best, their latest EP, Sippin All Day Last Night, is an alternative soundtrack for Caine’s party. It captures that feeling perfectly. The four emcees that make up the group seem to understand the value of this mood and they don’t try to upstage it. That’s a nice way of saying that they aren’t super-lyricists. They can spit well, but putting a magnifying glass to their lyrics will definitely turn up some weak spots. Aside from their mid-B-grade lyrical skill, their topics won’t impress either. Sex, smoking, drinking, and partying are all that’s here. But breaking new lyrical or topical ground isn’t the point here, so pour a drink or fire up, and get your chill on…

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Hasty Generalization: Underachievers – Indigoism

Indigoism front cover
Nowhere to go but up after this terrible cover art

The Underachievers are two rappers, Issa Dash and AK, from Brooklyn, New York. They’re a part of the Beast Coast crew, which includes a guy named Joey Bada$$ who’s apparently worth way more than half a damn. Indigoism is their first release, and off the strength of some great Youtube groundwork, it’s backed by Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. But don’t get too excited yet, he didn’t produce anything here. Continue reading Hasty Generalization: Underachievers – Indigoism

Sean Price – Mic Tyson

Mic Tyson album cover

tell me that ain’t the most hardcore shit you’ve ever seen

In this interview, Sean explains that he took a while off from hip-hop to take care of his pregnant wife and then spend time with his growing family. I completely respect that and in fact applaud it. A lot of rappers that are on his fame-level or above seem to have no work-life balance, so it’s refreshing to see someone plainly show and openly talk about the fact that there are other priorities in life besides hip-hop. Unfortunately on Mic Tyson we don’t get a glimpse into any of those other interests that Sean has.

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Joe Budden – No Love Lost

No Love Lost cover art

I think it’s only fair to start this with a douche-baggish disclaimer: for me, Joe Budden fell off when the DJ Clue mixtape days ended. Joe’s problem is that he tries to make his music personal but fails and it ends up landing in cliche-territory. He’s still good sometimes, but I miss that simple-minded battle-rapper. Now he makes this pop-tinged emotion-soaked shit and it’s completely missing me. 

Accordingly, I didn’t have high hopes for this album, but I expected to find at least a few good songs. Seems I ask for too much.

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Thoughts on Styles of Beyond – Reseda Beach

For the life of me, I can’t understand what happened with this album. Well, lemme quit lying, I can guess, with confidence, what happened. Some dope underground emcees who were ill for illness’ sake decided to join a pop/alternative rocker/pseudo-rapper’s vanity label backed by a major label, then made an album influenced by major label expectations and their own desire to finally make some real fucking dough off rap, and predictably, the album is trash.

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Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music (produced by El-P)

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
(produced by El-P)

This album has blown me away so much that I’m mad at myself for taking so long to listen to it. No one I know is/was talking about it so I had to discover it on my own, but even once I got it I took months to actually listen to it. Lemme explain why…

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