It's been a minute since I posted anything on fresh2death, but there were various things happening in the past few months. Holidays, events, exams, etc.
Let me give you a quick outline of what's been good in the past few months (April, May, June, July).
April was a pretty boring month in terms of hip hop releases. Sure, there were few all right ones, but nothing that got me excited personally. For example Del The Funky Homosapien - Golden Era, which was a highly anticipated three-disc album and even praised by a lot of the critics, but for me Kanye West's All Of The Lights and Wiz Khalifa's Black & Yellow coming from the radio, mtv or from a passing car gave me more pleasure than Del playing on my music player. I mean don't get me wrong, Del is a good lyricist and he keeps it real, but there was nothing new about him (hence the Golden Era title). He just went back to the old and tried to make it work in nowadays music scene. To be honest I've never been a huge fan of Del, although he does have some good tracks from the past that I always bump my head to and try to rap along, like 'Mistadobalina', 'If You Must', 'Gorrillaz -Clint Eastwood' and a few others..
If you know who he is, you know who he is. If you don't you can check his album release party video here - and you'll see what's up. In a few words he is a lyricist with a funky flavor. He's dope, he's a legend. But STILL I'm not a big fan. Sorry!
So, the best album of April would have to be Big K.R.I.T. - Return of 4Eva mixtape. Although it was released March 28, I think it's close enough to be chosen for April and because album of the month in March was already taken by Reks -R.E.K.S. (you can check my reviewhere).
Let me just say a few words about Big K.R.I.T. without keeping it too long.
Big K.R.I.T. brings that heavy dirty South bass sound that I've come to love in recent years..
He comes from Mississippi, he has made feature appearances on Wiz Khalifa's and Curren$y's albums. He's a young up and coming (the new generation) rapper who will take over this rap game along with such MCs like Mac Miller, Yelawolf, Cyhi Da Prynce, Diggy Simmons, etc.
The mixtape has 21 dope tracks and it's like a free album (get it here). It features big guest names such as Ludacris, Bun B, Chamillionaire and few others.
Big K.R.I.T. will release his debut album end of September, so watch out for it!
Example video from the mixtape, 'Country Shit' feat. Ludacris, Bun B:
Although one of my favorite tracks is 'Get Right' because it has that old school sound. ALL THE TRACKS ARE DOPE THO, SO DON'T FORGET TO COP THE ALBUM! IT'S FREE!!!
(Rating for the mixtape 4.25/5; in terms on South rappers 5/5)
May was a lot more interesting. There were many many dope releases indeed - 'When it it rains it pours' as they say.
Lets make it rain with the dopeness [in chronological order] then: Neek the Exotic & Large Professor - Still on the Hustle; Elzhi - ELMatic; Durrty Goodz - Overall; Edo G - A Face In The Crowd; Kool G Rap - Riches, Royalty & Respct; Big L - The Danger Zone.
POW - that was at least six dope albums in one month. Sheeeeeeeit!
And some interesting or wierd ones like Lonely Island - Turtleneck & Chain; Tyler, The Creator (OFWGKTA) - Goblin; Tinie Tempah - Disc-Overy.
Neek the Exotic & Large Professor - Still on the Hustle is a decent album. It has that Golden Era smooth sound and smooth style of rapping, so I ain't gonna say more about it. Get it and check it yourself!
Elzhi (former member of Slum Village) - ELMatic is a seriously dope mixtape. You might think, hold on, wait a minute. ELMatic sounds like a familar name for an album. Well, you're right! It's named after NAS' debut album Illmatic, because Elzhi uses its beats (it must be noted that he flips the beats by use LIVE instrumentation which makes it dope!) but he uses his own rhymes and style that sounds just as dope as NAS' effort. Get the mixtape for free fromhere or check my favorite track first:
and you can compare it to NAS - It Ain't Hard To Tell and draw your own conclusions.
Durrty Goodz - Overall is a debut album from a UK Grime artist Durrty Goodz. Remember I told you in the beginning of the year to look out for him? Well, he finally came out with an absolute banger. Goodz is my top UK MC because he can rap to ANY beat, be it reggae, hip hop, grime or whatever and he can do it fast and with seeming-less effort. Get his album or his free mixtapes here. Top track from the album is 'Don't Ask Me' feat. Inferno (check how he switches up his style at 1:44):
Edo G - A Face In The Crowd
Edo G is a veteran rapper from Boston. He's in his early forties, so decades of experience and skill have made him a force to be reckoned with. He started rapping late 80's when he was only 15, and hasn't stopped since. He has some pretty heavy albums and collaborations with many respectable MC's in the game under his belt.
Now he's back again with another heavy album, which has received good reviews and praise all around the hip hop community. Here's an example from the album called 'Stop It':
Kool G Rap - Riches, Royalties & Respect
Kool G Rap is so dope and so utterly G to my eardrums that I have to give him 'fresh2death'stamp and a respectable Album of the Month title.
Firstly, here is some background info for those who never heard of Kool G Rap (shame on you!). Now this cat maybe in his early forties, but there's still a lot of fire left in him. His first single came out in 86' (when earlier mentioned Big K.R.I.T. was born, daamn that's a long time ago..). He is so dope that he is any respectful MC's number one favorite MC. Even big stars likeJay-Z give him props (and you know he rarely does that for anyone) on his 'Encore' track he says - 'Yeah hearin me rap is like hearin G Rap in his prime' (meaning there is no one iller).
Kool G Rap hooked up with DJ Polo late eighties and they went on to release three albums together, which are all regarded as hip hop classics. In 93' G Rap decided to go solo and recorded five solo albums and countless collaborations between then and now. He has pretty much worked with everyone, and there isn't anyone in the game that hasn't heard of him or doesn't admire him.
Although G Rap talks with a lisp and he is quite modest, he raps without fear and with lyrical skill, flow, style and delivery like no other MC dead or alive. He is known to take multisyllabic rhyming to its limits. Nowadays most notable MC's to do that are Eminem and Nas, but they're not quite there yet. Kool is also known for his great storytelling like Biggie and the first to introduce mafioso themes into hip hop, wayyyy before Raekwon or Jay-Z did it.
My favourite has to be this one from 92':
When I first heard it I was so impressed that I played it back to back for a very long time, and then when I saw the video few years later for the first time I felt like I had seen it already. Because G Rap is just too good of a story teller that paints a clear picture in your head like no other.
That's just one of dozens of excellent tracks from the mighty G.
In 2009 he gave a foreword in a book by Paul Edwards called 'How To Rap: The Art & Science of a Hip-Hop MC', which is compiled of interviews from a huge caliber of rappers (104 to be exact). It is considered to be an excellent read by many, including our own blogger - Minty.
Now let's talk a little about his newest album that dropped mid-May.
When I said months ago that Rap is a young man's game, well...I stand corrected! I'm not saying that Kool G Rap is better than he's ever been, I'm just sayin he hasn't lost 'IT'! You know what I mean!?
Let the tracks speak from themselves, here's a second track from the album. I chose it cause I haven't quite heard a beat like that before and I don't even have to mention how dope the lyrics are. Check it, 'Ya Chic Chose Me':
First video from the album just dropped out a few days ago:
and here are two of my favorites from the album 'The Meaning To Your Love':
and he might have saved the best for last. The last track from the album 'Harmony Homicide':
I have chosen 'softer' tracks from the album, but don't be fooled by that, because most of the album is packed with heavy gangsta themes and beats. The joint is HOT or should I say shit's just right. So fo sho' get stuck in with the album ya'll!
My rating for the album is a definite 5/5.
Now last but not least there's Big L - The Danger Zone. Of course everyone knows that Big L is dead since 1999 (just at the age of 24), but that doesn't stop him releasing another album. Big L was a true talent who had a very unique style that was later copied by Fabolous, Joe Buddenand even by Lloyd Banks. Although I'd have to say that no one's ever got close to truly copy Big L, but they do try. 'The Danger Zone' is just a collection of some of Big L's greatest tracks and it includes features from Gang Starr, Lord Finesse, A.G., O.C, D.I.T.C. and a few others. You can never go wrong with a bit of Big L, so I definitely recommend it. Rest in peace Big L!
I think it's enough for now. Part 2 about June & July is coming soon, so keep a look out!