Venomiss All Eyez on V Review

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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

 

 

 

 

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J Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only Album Review

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WRITTEN BY ALONGE HAWES (CONTRIBUTOR) 

“And I looked into your eyes and knew that you were a queen. Black skin, black hair, the blackest of beauty I had ever seen. Your cries were as melody and the music pierced to the very core of my soul. Simply the thought of parting with this warm bundle of preciousness left the fringes of my heart cold. Not only was your birth the proof of continued lineage, but also a renaissance of faith anew. For now the hope of a brighter future rests in the love that I have for you”

-Anonymous

HIP HOP IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. It is the musical genre that has most influenced, inspired, angered, saddened, and astounded me in all of its glory. I am extremely passionate about concepts or notions that make me think. Hip Hop is packed to the brim with poets and soothsayers whose lyrics…

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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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