It’s great when rappers can maintain a high standard through out a long career with no noticeable decline in quality. It’s even better when they markedly improve as they get older, as demonstrated so brilliantly by the late, great Sean P.
Empire Music have posted the new Diamond album on their YouTube channel for your enjoyment. Here’s a re-up of D-Squizzy’s track-by-track breakdown of the album here while you listen. Available now on CD and digital.
Diamond D: It’s more or less a production LP, about two and a half years it took. A lot of tracks I didn’t even use. I had about 27 tracks but I only used 18. Some of the artists I was in the studio with, and others – because of their touring schedule and my touring schedule – I just sent them music and they sent me the session back. If the track that I give them has a sample in it that’s giving it direction then they’ll follow that. If there is no sample or concept at the beginning I just let the MC’s paint their own pictures and try to figure out how can make it connect. I use a lot more live instrumentation now. I still chop and manipulate samples, but my sound just sounds bigger now. Just using better equipment so the sample frequencies are better.
A little somethin’ somethin’ from Domingo‘s extensive vaults – Sean P‘s take on the Bob Marley/Eric Clapton/EPMD standard “I Shot The Sheriff”. The first verse was eventually used for “Mark My Words” but the rest of it sounds unfamiliar.
Following the Kool G Rap & DJ Polo set at Treasures in Philly, Special Ed took to the stage and performed “Think About It”, “Crooklyn”, “Come On Let’s Move It” and “I Got It Made”. Basically half of the crowd had gone outside for a smoke by the time he hit the stage, but Ed’s female fans were in full effect regardless.
There’s nothing like trying to “grow-up”, figuring out that being “mature” sucks and figuring out that maybe you weren’t such a screw-up after all. Such is the tale of J-Zone’s Peter Pan Syndrome, his timely return to rap following an extended period in the wilderness that is the “real world”. If you were a fan of the Old Maid Entertainment crew during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, you’ll be familiar with Zone’s dry sense of humor and love for ignorant rap, as well as ear for unorthodox samples and a razor-sharp chopping technique for this beats. It’s been nine years since he dropped his last solo project, and in the interim he’s learnt how to play drums, worked some shitty jobs and realized that the concept of “too old to rap” is some ol’ bullshucks. (more…)
In terms of lyrical masterpieces, that is masterfully and undisputedly achieved with “Bust These Lyrics”. A very strong argument could be made for this being the most lyrical song of T La Rock’s career. Before I defend that theory I have to recognize the rugged production. The drums are like a jackhammer at half-speed. The sampled pieces from the intro of “It’s Yours” and the repeated vocal sample infused into the beat can be symbolic of the screams and yelps of the competition as T La Rock verbal assaults relentlessly. All of these theories are adequately explained in the hook, “Hard Rapping, Funky Beats, Def Scratching, No Gimmicks/Put your ears to the speakers and bust these lyrics!” (more…)
You know how sometimes you wait for something for such a long time that you begin to doubt that it will ever happen? This record was almost like that, except for the fact it actually came out last Friday! Rather than unleash 14 tracks of Bitter Old Man Rap, which would be somewhat understandable coming from a 20-year veteran not named Nasty Nas, Trem has delivered a remarkably well-rounded testament to perfectionism and the humble art of mastering your craft. Equal parts fiercely traditional yet unmistakably modern, For The Term Of His Natural Life sticks to the classic rap album blueprint while never neglecting to refine and improves the timeless recipe. Nothing on here sounds eager to please or compromised – Trem simply climbs out of the dungeons of rap, plants the flag and dares the competition to try and step up to the challenge accomplishment. Witty wordplay scales the often treacherous peaks of the Brag Rap mountain, but don’t get it twisted and confuse this anything retro or throwback. (more…)