If you’re not familiar with the 9th Legend, This is the project that’s sure to start making people recognize whom he really is. The Carolina’s have always been a melting pot when it came to hip hop talent and it’s always been the lack of exposure that has often eclipsed the deserved notoriety. The Charlotte NC emcee have proved to be possibly one of the most diverse emcees/producers/video directors out there and his latest Marvel Ancient adds on to the resume’.
By listening to the presentation, You can tell he studied the blueprint of 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, J-Dilla, without really copying their sound. The Marvel Ancient concept brilliantly samples excerpts from the Incredible Hulk throughout the album and musically rich sounds could be heard on Vision, Shatter my Dreams, 10001 signs and the Wu Tang inspired Crazy. 9th’s smooth and at times unorthodox flow makes him stand from his peers and never allows the production to outshine him.
Theory of Man is one of my personal tracks which talks about the spiritual battles that the everyday black man battle along with HULK and Marvel Vs Lady both which played perfectly to the Marvel Comic theme of the album. My other personal favorite titled Midnight which a great ode to the classic soul sample mid 90s sound.
Between spitting real life bars, featuring hungry talent and supplying nice boom bap soul flavored beats. The 9th Legend provided a great recipe for this project here in terms of originality. The album flowed together masterfully and played well to the concept of the album. This is probably one of the best projects of 2017!
Vic rating: 10 outta 10
For a long time, It started to seem that the concept of the “real” female emcee was becoming obsolete. If you weren’t rapping cliché hoodrat talk or showcasing heavy sex appeal that nobody was really gonna take interest in a female emcee’s music. It’s been a stigma that been haunting female rappers for over a decade. Add the fact that it’s also challenging for them to “get put on” without sleeping with execs or a famous rapper, It’s a tough hill to climb.
But with the heavy attention that this Remy Ma/Nicki Minaj battle is getting, the world is paying attention to female emcees again. Including the ones whom been consistent since they started rapping on the mic. Starting here with New Jersey female emcee Venomiss and her sophomore release All Eyez on V. I remember when I heard Time to Ride(Suicide) which is the first single of the album and thought she’s more focused than ever.
The first thing that should be attracting to the listener(aside from Venomiss herself) is her versatility as an emcee and how she’s not afraid to experiment with different flows and sounds. If you want strictly smack em over the head bars, She has them starting with the opening track featuring Joey Battz With You then follows it up with Watch which puts female haters and critics on notice. Maximum Pressure featuring Brooklyn emcee Nymrod brings back that hardcore NY 90s vibe with the Bonnie and Clyde type of twist.
But the album isn’t all about some strictly smash you over the head bars. Venomiss’s versatility is often her biggest strength. She actually knows how to put club anthems out. Clap off her first album Heiress of The Echelon gave her more notoriety and you can see the dance hall influenced In Due Time following suit. My personal favorite track of the album is the very smooth Flower which features another NC standout R&B crooner Lyrik G. This track here tackles the issues of Up and down relationships that many could relate too. Lyrik G also gets more a chance to shine on the Acoustic version which follows up.
Overall this is one of the strongest indie releases I’ve heard in a long time. Venomiss is breathing new life in not only the female aspect of the rap game but also the indie game as well. If you wanna check the album and download it. Here it is right here!
Vic Rating: 10 outta 10
This album came from a result of many different factors. X was going at it with Def Jam over owed royalties. He was at odds with his former friend turned foes Ja Rule and Irv Gotti, He was getting arrested more and still had one foot in the door of Hollywood. Plus the game has done two 380s since X dropped his last album The Great Depression.
His adversary Ja Rule came on his own and became a superstar in his own right. It ushered the commercial wave back into the culture and guys whom came from the prospective of street rappers had to adapt to the Murder Inc sound to compete. But in 2003, another shift occurred and Ja Rule’s adversary 50 Cent came into the game like a juggernaut and brought hip hop back to the hood.
If this wasn’t the best opportunity for DMX to return, This was the moment. He returned in grimy fashion with the album’s street single “Where’s the Hood At” taking aim at fake industry thugs and “homo thugs”. This track was vintage X. Aggressive energy, brash content, and the visual of dog fights and motorcycles in the videos similar to their early videos.
Grand Champ has X staying true to what he does best. Between baring his soul of his everyday battles with his demons on The Rain, Thank You with the legendary Patti Labelle and A’Yo Kato which is a tribute to a fallen friend from Chicago. X’s fearlessness to bare his heart and soul is what made so many people connect with him
X also knew how to make club songs that won’t too pop savvy or too sugar fluff, Get it on the Floor is another of the gruff club bangers that X was known to make. This one along with X Gonna Give it 2 Ya goes in line with Party Up, What’s My Name, Get at Me Dog and Ruff Ryders anthem.
The best track on here no question features X alongside 50 Cent(whom was on top of the world at that time) and Styles P. X wanted to show and prove that he wasn’t trying to be outshined on his own track and actually laid down the hardest verse of the three. Jadakiss and Eve sounded like they were bringing it back to 99 on We’re Back which was a Ruff Ryders reunion track.
Grand Champ suffers from some filler due to production not being album to meet X’s aggression. But it was a clear step up from The Great Depression which suffered from a conflict of interest and the beginning of X locking horns with Def Jam. This album here sounds more focused lyrically and he stayed true to his base. Definitely worth checking!
Vic Rating: 8 outta 10
Anais kicks off the new year with “What About” , the second single from her forthcoming debut project “The Love Thirst”. The breezy R&B soundbed shows Anais in command of the relationship dynamic, telling men that she sets the rules. Stream and download the single today and stay tuned for exciting news on “The Love Thirst”
Purchase right here:
Peep the interview we did with Anais Lauren here:
It’s easy to forget that in the late 90s DMX was one of the biggest artists on the planet. Admittedly alot of people weren’t keen on him. Swizz Beatz production wasn’t for everyone, especially if you were bumping Shawn J Period and Hi Tek at the time.. Dude is a more than competent rapper though so if the keyboards and barking put you off back in the day I’d still suggest giving this a try. I don’t think this has been online before, and it finds the Darkman in a considerably less amped mode than he was known for . You’d expect a rapper on the come up in ’96 to be rhyming off things like Shook Ones and Who Shot Ya but Earl goes with a less predictable selection of instrumentals. Omniscence’s ‘Touch Yall’, LL’s ‘Hey Lover’ and the ‘Wu Wear’ beat all get laced, plus there’s 3 takes over ‘If I Ruled The World’. They vary slightly so I left them all in. The tape itself is fully no frills. Literally just someone playing the beat and DMX rapping over it.