DMX- Grand Champ Review

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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

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Anais Lauren featuring Treazon-What About(Purchase here!)

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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:

https://anaislauren.bandcamp.com/track/what-about-f-treazon

 

Peep the interview we did with Anais Lauren here:

 

 

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DMX Freestyles Tape 96(Shout to the coli)

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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.

Iron Fist

link:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/r92883

 

 

 

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MAC-World War III Review

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By the time of this release, No Limit records had lost steam.  Reasons being that their neighborhood rival Cash Money had emerged on the scene with a fresh new NO bounce sound and fresh appeal from BG, Juvenile, Lil Wayne, and Turk. Mannie Fresh’s hot and greasy NO production took it back to the essence of the true NO culture whereas P and them seemingly lost footing in the mainstream.

No Limit had officially peaked in 1998. After several years of hard independent grinding and  the acquisition of Snoop Dogg.  P felt that he reached the mountain top of the music world and focused on his next moves to expand.  He  started focusing more on movies, clothing lines, managing athletes and even toys.

P “retired” after the release of his Last Don album but due to Cash Money’s sudden surge, He returned out of no where and dropped a new album. P’s return album Only God Can Judge Me was both a critical and listener disappointment. The releases from C-Murder, Silkk, Mia X, and the TRU album didn’t do the numbers as their successors which spelled trouble for No Limit.

The main problem wasn’t only Cash Money but that Beats by the Pound whom felt overworked and under paid had left No Limit around this time period. P started recruiting new producers and even producing to recapture that magic. Beats by the Pound had produced EVERY album on No Limit from 1995-1999 so they were burnt.

Production on the No Limit album’s post BBTP were met with hit and miss. It took a while for people to adapt to the transition but it clearly worked for Mac’s World War 3 album. Mac was possibly one of the most talented members of the No Limit roster. He had legit stripes in the streets, he came from the era of meaning what you say  in music which many related to him. Similar to Tupac, Mac had this gift.

Mac released his sophomore album titled World War III in the fall of 1999 and it was a true representation of not how not only Mac was feeling but also the No Limit camp as a whole. It was basically No Limit fighting against relevancy and taking on issues with different rappers and clicks. Death Row Records, Tha Outlawz, Pastor Troy, Cash Money, Yukmouth had takened swipes at No Limit throughout and Mac was the first itching to response. We Deadly is where Mac and P himself responded to all the non sayers about their standing in the streets and mainly Pastor Troy. P let him know that he “runs Atlanta”.

There aren’t as many “bangers” on this album due to Beats by the Pound leaving BUT that doesn’t stop Mac’s World War III album from being one of the best releases from No Limit. The production supplements Mac’s flow perfectly and he coasts throughout. You also get more in-depth of his personal life on Battle cry, Can You Love Me, and Best Friends which was a real life story of a friend turned enemy.  He also gives the ladies more of his sensitive side on the sequel to “Callin me ” with Still Callin Me”

There weren’t many guest appearances aside from the usual No Limit suspects but he worked with his own clique the Psychoward clique which had potential to bring No Limit back . D.I.G  and Magic both rapped their asses off on War Party and showed that the Tank had spitters at that time :

Overall this was one of the best albums of 1999. Unfortunately Mac wouldn’t be able to capitalize off as he would be sentenced to 30 year prison term. It would be the first of many blows No Limit would take as C-murder would be sentenced to life, Mystikal leaving, Snoop going back to Cali, and falling out with Soulja Slim. But World War III is a true testament of how talented Mac really was and we hoping he’ll be freed eventually.

Vic Rating: 9 outta 10

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Common-Black America Again

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Its been a rough couple of years for us true Common Sense fans. Between how he handled the Drake beef, his new transition to Hollywood and his very dismissive comments about racism in America, One was lead to believe that the Common Sense whom were dropping those heavy gems on One Day It Would All Make Sense, Like Water for Chocolate, BE and Finding Forever was gone. Even musically it seemed that he had lost touch with his audience.

But to our surprise(like the Tribe album), Common wanted to show that he has never left. Perhaps its Obama leaving office after 8 years and realization of a Trump presidency inspired Common to resurrect back to his old self. It could be the current events of police brutality becoming a never solved issue in his own community, It could be that Chicago within the past several years has turned into a battle zone. Whatever inspired Common to come back, It’s great to have him back. This is probably the strongest album He’s dropped since BE.

It seems that he left his Oscars and accolades at home and put back on his kentia cloth because this is the album that fans wanted Common to drop. Especially during these frivolous times in Black America. He tackles the issues that harm us everyday on Black America, which features the soulful touch of Stevie Wonder:

Here we go, here, here we go again
Trayvon’ll never get to be an older man
Black children, they childhood stole from them
Robbed of our names and our language, stole again
Who stole the soul from black folk?
Same man that stole the land from Chief Black Smoke
And made the whip crackle on our back slow
And made us go through the back door
And raffle black bodies on the slave blocks
Now we slave to the blocks, on ’em we spray shots
Leaving our own to lay in a box
Black mothers’ stomachs stay in a knot
We kill each other, it’s part of the plot
I wish the hating will stop (war!) and the battle with us
I know that Black Lives Matter, and they matter to us

Pyramids is no question one of the best tracks Common has dropped in years. This track was clearly to let his peers know that he can still get busy on the microphone. Showcasing strong lyrical wizardly and professing his love for the art of emceeing.

Home has Common revisiting the spiritual realm of his music.  He compared himself to the like of Masa Musa and talked about media outlets threw shade to his name. The song parcels his comparison and goes more in-depth lyrically with prophecy predictions :

Go into the wilderness like Musa on a pilgrimage
Streets are villages, speak with diligence and authority
The fake are the Pharisees and Sadducees
Give them that Garvey free from the Black Odyssey
Yo pardon me, you the God bodily
Functioning on earth as a part of me
, that’s why I gave you artistry

The album features rarely features from his peers and took it back to the stage where artists carried the weight of the album on their on. But the features are from those whom offer a soulful touch to the project. BJ The Chicago Kid offers that fresh Chicago flavor on The Day Women Take over which is a positive Ode to strong women. Love Star  recaptures that feel good soulful vibe that was missing in his music for years.

Little Chicago Boy is the album’s most heartfelt and personal track. He dedicated this song to his father whom lost his battle to cancer in 2014. He reflects on the memories that they shared and  told his life story on wax. He potently finished the track with one of the last messages from his pops. Letter to Free is a personal favorite of mines as he goes in-depth with the connection between slavery and the prison industrial complex.

Overall Common’s Black in America  is a true reflection of what Black America is currently standing and striving to go as a collective. The pictures are at times somber, painful, vivid, and dark. But with pain inspires brilliant art and the trials that Common dealt with in his personal life along with what he seen his people go through was a clear inspiration. Fans of hip hop would definitely be satisfied.

Vic Rating: 10 outta 10

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DJ Kay Slay and Uncle Murda exposing executives on Streetsweepers Radio(2008)

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This is NUTS!

 

 

 

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Is Lil Wayne mad at the wrong people?

WEEZY TWEET

Its hard to believe that its been almost a decade since Lil Wayne basically took over the rap game. From 2006-2011 Lil Wayne was basically that “go to guy” whenever someone needed a hit, a hook, or a feature. Everything Wayne had touched either hit Gold or Platinum.  He carved his niche and escaped the shadow of his Hot Boy members Juvenile and BG and eventually became his own man.

To further his mark into the game, He used his leverage to acquire Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga to build his Young Money Empire. His follow-up to the Carter III(Which crossed him over into the mainstream officially as a solo artist) the Carter IV went platinum first week in, even out selling JayZ’s and Kanye’s collab album Watch the Throne. With so much success, so much money, new found notoriety, and respect in the music business, Lil Wayne signed a new four album deal with Cash Money. People would think that this would be the cream of the crop, What little may know that this was the beginning of the end.

Problems started to arose in the Cash Money camp when Wayne’s “health” ‘started going through bizarre changes. In 2012 and 2013 with him suffering from seizures which were caused from his lean/syrup addiction from the past decade. He allegedly slid into a coma before miraculously surviving the near death experience. Many claim that this was nothing but a publicity stunt to gain attention for his up and coming album at the time “I Am A Human Being 2, but as time went by, Wayne’s career went into even more bizarre direction.

When Wayne sent these cryptic tweets about feeling like a slave on Cash Money and wanting to leave, It sent shock waves throughout the music industry. He voiced heavy displeasure towards his “daddy” Birdman for refusing to release the Carter V. He sued Birdman and Cash Money Records for 51 Million Dollars claiming that he’s owed 10 million dollars for Carter V in advance and with held royalties owed to him for years. To make matters even worst, Birdman literally gave himself WRITERS Credits to Wayne’s solo tracks “How to Love,” “Gunwalk”, ” No Worries”.

 

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Who really owns Trukfit?

Lil Wayne was smart enough to capitalize off his popularity by starting “Trukfit” clothing. The acronym meaning The Reason U Kill For IT“ hit stores in January of 2012 and they sold out everywhere. Wayne was smart enough to appeal the clothing to hipsters, skateboarders and jumped on that weird wave that was starting to emerge in the early 2010s. It became a strange transition amongst hip hop and Lil Wayne was one of the main faces of it so it was only right to put him as the face of the brand. But when Wayne’s financial issues hit the public, The truth behind who really owns Trukfit was revealed.

Trukfit is apart of a apparel line of Bravado which is a official merchandising company under Universal Records which is apart of that oppressive 360 deal that Lyor Colen created for conglomerates to profit from through artists merchandise and clothing. It was also revealed that Wayne is only the managing member of Trukfit, While a woman whom goes by the name of Susan Guerin( CEO of World FIner Foods) is the Chief Operating Officer of the line. The morale of the story: Lil Wayne doesn’t own Trukfit and has Universal are taking a chunk of his earnings.

 

2012 Warner Music Group Grammy Celebration Hosted By InStyle At the Chateau Marmont

The Puppet masters

While Wayne is currently going at it with Birdman and Slim. Its seems that the real guys pulling the strings are laughing all the way to the bank. Universal distributes Cash Money Records and been doing so since 1998. Universal to this day continues to put big money behind Birdman so the question remains is why didn’t Lil Wayne go after them? Its a scenario where the mice run the giants in the Entertainment industry. Doug Morris’s alleged mafia ties and ability to blackball artists would make many artists including the biggest gangsters on wax change their tune up. Morris’s pull on the industry is lethal. He literally made Nas censor his name from his his single Hero.

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“Replacing his son”
In what looks to be a slap in the face to Wayne, Birdman has been planning his replacement for the now “departed” Lil Wayne. Young Thug was looked upon as a possible replacement for Wayne at first. Thugg is clearly a off spring of Wayne flow wise and copied the weird but his paperwork at this point is very messy. Thugga is currently tied with Lyor’s 300 imprint, Gucci’s 1017 label and Birdman himself to really be a threat to Wayne.

To add further insult to injury, Birdman has groomed another young artist whom goes by the name of Jacques as the “New Lil Wayne”. A talented artist and singer in his own right, It seemed that since he aligned with Birdman, He’s been going through the Lil Wayne transformation. Everything from Weezy’s tats, look, delivery, mannerisms, and style has been cloned:

 

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Will the Carter 5 ever be released?

2016 would probably go down as a terrible year for Wayne. He lost his staying power in the streets and now seen as a “old head” trying to keep up instead of being a trend setter. He also lost a chunk of his black support with his with his disparaging remarks about race relations in America and throwing up a red rag on National TV. Then to cap things off, Hip Hop villain Martin Shkreli leaked snippets of the Carter 5 on his website.

At this point, The only way The Carter 5 would possibly make a splash is if Wayne’s legal war with Cash Money can be disputed. Either that or He releases anti Donald Trump mixtape to bring a lot of the people by his side. Musically he seems like he’s lost in a crossroads and apart of that is the drugs playing a heavy role. Do you guys think Lil Wayne can make a comeback in 2017? Lets talk about it!

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