Wednesday, September 30, 2009
ChangeUpMag.com Presents... ChangeUp Fest 2009
Thu, Oct 29
BOSSMAN : VOODOO BLUE (reunion) : FUTURE ISLANDS : EDUCATED CONSUMERS : THE DIALOGUE : SHOOK : BRIGHTER SHADES : SOUL CANNON
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Ace f/ Will Star - "Story To Tell" (mp3)
Ace from For The People Entertainment is gearing up to release a new album, Minority Report, and this is the first single, which is produced by Banga Bill and which I mentioned in his Best of Baltimore blurb. You might've heard a snippet of it on Street Radio Vol. 4 but this is the full song. FTP is opening for Black Sheep at The Quarter net week.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Some live reviews I've had on the City Paper's Noise blog lately: Comp/Skarr Akbar/Huli Shallone/Dreko @ the Black Hole Rock Club, Lynee' Michelle @ 5 Seasons, the High Zero Festival's Saturday night concert, and Big In Japan @ the Windup Space.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Mullyman - "She Hurtin' 'Em" (mp3)
Mullyman is on "Hood Fab" on MTV Jams this week, and I've heard his new Booman-produced single on WKYS 93.9 in D.C. just about every day for the last week or two. And I haven't heard it once on the Baltimore station. I'm just saying.
Friday, September 25, 2009
On Monday voting begins for The Mobbies, the Baltimore Sun's new blog awards, and Government Names is nominated in the music/nightlife category. So vote for me! Or don't! There's a lot of great other sites nominated, it's all good!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Comp - The Man With The Hand (Bang-A-Rang/Shape Shifter Entertainment)
Comp has made a couple mixtapes with the same title, but make no mistake, this The Man With The Hand is an album, in fact I think it's Comp's first ever proper album of all original songs. I always thought about what his debut album would sound like when he was signed to Def Jam and of course it's nothing like that would've been, no big name producers or guest stars (or any guests at all, actually, which is kind of cool), but it kind of sums up the direction Comp has headed in the last few years with all his mixtapes, just really unique, idiosyncratic hardcore rap with his own strange flow and sense of humor and some pretty creative production. It includes the Best of Baltimore award-winning "Whole Lat" and a couple other tracks that have been floating around for a while, but for the most part it's all new music. Comp played a release party at the Black Hole a while back and I reviewed it for the City Paper's Noise blog.
There are a couple probably unintentional recurring themes I noticed on this record. The first is that there's a lot of rock samples -- specifically, "No Love" samples System Of A Down's "Lost In Hollywood," "Can't Get No Job" samples Three Days Grace's "Never Too Late" and "Her Friends" samples The Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me." The other, much to my chagrin, is that Comp is suddenly now really fond of the "what else" ad lib that a lot of New York rappers (Juelz Santana, Joe Budden, Red Cafe, Jim Jones, etc.) use, saying it between lines here and there. But the problem is that Comp uses is ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME. There are some verses where he says is between almost every bar. I actually sat down and counted the last time I listened to the album, and he says "what else" 44 times over the course of the CD (only on 6 songs, so he actually says it 10 times on a single track). It'd be one thing if he came up with his own ad lib or catchphrase that he ran into the ground, but he's just biting something other rappers say, and by the end I feel like screaming "NO MORE WHAT ELSE, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE!" It's just so repetitive and annoying that it comes close to ruining my enjoyment of what's otherwise a pretty good album.
Comp - "Birth Defect" (mp3)
The album ends with this really wrenching 6-minute track where Comp finally talks at length about the subject of the title The Man With The Hand, and it really might be the most personal thing he's ever recorded, really impressed with it.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Kane Mayfield, RapMan Ron G. and Danj - "The Beast" (mp3)
Dappa!!! Dan Midas - "Hold Ur Head" (mp3)
These are the singles from Mania Music Group's upcoming album The Long Road...Longevity. These guys know I'm nothing but supportive of them, so I can say this: that's either a parody of bad album titles or one of the worst album titles I've ever heard.
(photo by Al Shipley)
Monday, September 21, 2009
After DJ Class's own self-directed video for "I'm The Ish" hit YouTube a while back, now finally the 'official' video directed by Iren for Chris Robinson's Robot Films is out. Lotta cameos in there, try to spot 'em all. There's been so many versions of this song floating around now, I was curious which one they'd use or if they'd have any of the guests from the remix, especially since the Lil Jon version was the one with the Billboard chart entry. So I'm relieved it's just Class solo, because to me it's really his song and he deserves the limelight. I don't like the additional synths and background vocals that come in on the 2nd chorus, and the "up in this _____" edit is way better than the "up in here" edit, but at least they didn't use one of those weird versions where he pronounces "ish" like "eesh." No Trivia has a good recent post about this video and some other club music stuff too. If you haven't already check out my article in the Best of Baltimore issue on DJ Class last week.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Spita - "Get Hypnotized" (mp3)
Spita is a new artist that has an album, Fire, coming out this fall. This single is produced by Rod Queen, and there's another one called "Beautiful Night" that's available on iTunes. I kinda like this, it sounds a little different but at the same time isn't really going against current trends, just a nice groove, chill song.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Get Em Mamis - TerAwesome (RCRD LBL)
When I posted about G.E.M.'s The Road To TerAwesome mixtape last month, I said that it really raised my expectations for the album it was an appetizer for, but to be honest I really didn't expect to see the album this soon. A lot of times when people do teaser mixtapes for albums, they're just stalling and take forever to drop the real album (I have D.O.G.'s 'prequel' mixtape from 4 years ago for an album that still hasn't dropped). So it was really a pleasant surprise last week when I got word that they went ahead and released TerAwesome as a free download on the RCRD LBL site, which is really a good look that will help it get heard by a lot of people. And I'm really happy to say this album totally lived up to my expectations, these girls have come a long way since that first mixtape as Tha Plague a few years ago, they've really stepped up the lyrics and developed an ear for beats and songs. "Soul Talk" and "The Champ" are my favorites right now but it's all pretty good, the only song I don't really like is "ManiacMusic Pt. 1," which has a really cheesy rock guitar loop. It's got 10 new songs in addition to some familiar singles like "Cold Summer" and "Rock Wit Me," Darkroom Productions, DJ Booman and Mania Music Group contributed beats, Kelly Connelly took the photo for the cover, and Lynee' Michelle is featured on one song. Also, I have to be a grammar nerd and point out the cover's mixtape of saying that TerAwesome is a noun but is a combination of "terrific" and "awesome," which are both adjectives.
The Get Em Mamis - "Alpines Kickin'" (mp3)
As good as these girls are at party tracks, it's really cool to hear them do a kind of no-nonsense hardass cruising song like this where they're just flowing like crazy over a nice slow beat.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The City Paper's big annual Best of Baltimore issue is out today. These are the winners that I wrote the blurbs for:
Best Club Music Producer: DJ Class
Best Club Music DJ: DJ Pierre
Best Hip-Hop DJ: DJ Jay Claxton
Best Beat Maker: Banga Bill
Best Male MC: Mullyman
Best Female MC: Ms. Stress
Best Solo Artist: The Bow-Legged Gorilla
Best Song: P-Shellz "Fingaz Down (The Hack Anthem)"
Best Summer Jam: Comp "Whole Lat"
Best Label: Mania Music Group
Best Music Promoter: Tay Tay of Tay-land Promotions
Best Place To Hear Hip-Hop: Sonar
Also allbmorehiphop and a lot of other worthy people got awards. The BOB party is tonight, and I didn't have any luck getting mailing addresses for some of the people above to send invitations, so maybe if any of those people e-mail me ASAP I can help them out or give them my extra ticket.
Labels: ALLBMOREHIPHOP.COM, Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, Banga Bill, Bow-Legged Gorilla, Comp, DJ Class, DJ Pierre, Mania Music Group, Ms. Stress, Mullyman, P-Shellz, Sonar, Tayland Promotions
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Blaq Starr - I'm Bangin' 2 (JB Starr Productions)
I wrote about The Black Sunn the other day, so it seems only right to talk about Blaq Starr now. This is about a year old now, and I'd heard about it and heard some cuts off it last summer when it came out, but I didn't find anywhere to download the whole thing until recently when I saw that it's on allbmorehiphop.com/blaqstarr.html. The first I'm Bangin' mixtape is still probably my favorite Blaq Starr release to date, really a great document of that '05-'06 era when he was really really killing the clubs in Baltimore. Since then his music has spread out more to other places and other scenes, and he's kinda gotten more experimental and a little less focused on Baltimore club, and the DJs here don't seem to spin his new stuff as much, maybe just because he's not pushing the tracks to them as much since his focus is elsewhere, maybe not, I don't know. But that one, more than Supastarr or King Of Roq, was really my shit, so it's good to hear him do a sequel to that, even if it's in more his new style, more in line with the Rye Rye mixtape, and there's still a lot of dope shit on here I haven't heard before.
Blaq Starr - "Dat La La La" (mp3)
This is awesome, really shows how unique Blaq Starr's ear is for combining different textures, nobody else puts together tracks like this.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The Black Sunn - The Dawn Of The Black Sunn
I know I come off pretty jaded on this blog a lot of times, and sometimes I do feel like it's getting harder to find good music in Baltimore to highlight here or exciting talent that I haven't heard yet, but now and again I do hear someone that really reminds me that there's some shit worth seeking out, and most recently it's The Black Sunn. A few months ago I heard from a couple places about this cat and checked out this album and really dug it, but I wasn't sure how old it was and never got around to posting anything about him. Then this week I got word that he's releasing a new EP, The Sunn Is Black, on September 29th, and then an album, GodSound, on October 27th, and I was like damn, I need to throw up a post. I don't know if the Strictly Hip Hop crowd is already up on this dude but I know they would really love this record, just lush hard-hitting production and kinda old-fashioned MC skills, really spitting and not all this cornball new school blog rapper nerd shit, just an intelligent guy who knows how to put together words. My bad if he's been out for a while and I've been sleeping!
The Black Sunn - "Eclipse" (mp3)
It was hard to pick a best track but I feel like this is a good introduction to his whole style.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This is ScholarMan's new video, "I Love Hip-Hop Music" featuring K-Mynez and directed by Marques Green, from his upcoming album Free Spirit of a Troubled Soul, which will be out in January. You can also download a compilation with a new ScholarMan track on it here.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Reks f/ Bossman - "That's What's Up" (mp3)
I was looking at illRoots and noticed they posted a new track featuring Bossman and realized this has been all over a lot of blogs for a couple weeks and damn, this might be my favorite thing he's done in a while. The track is produced by the Boston producer Statik Selektah, and Reks is one of his artists from Massachusetts, I actually posted stuff by both of them last year when Paula Campbell sang a hook on Statik Selektah's last album. This is a tight collab, too, sounds like they actually met up and wrote the hook together, which you don't hear enough anymore.
(photo by Kelly Connelly)
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
It's been about a year since I first posted the Government Names FAQ, so I thought it was time to update it with some new stupid questions and cranky answers. Enjoy! And for the love of God, please read it before e-mailing me!
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Haz - The Game Need Change (DJ Radio)
Haz a.k.a. Hazardous was one of the champions of Style Warz a few years ago and has been on the scene performing and battling for it seems like a while, but I've never really heard a lot of his music before this tape hosted by DJ Radio. This is definitely one of the better 'street rap' kinda mixtapes I've heard in a minute, mainly because has a good low key, focused lyrical style, doesn't get all obnoxious with it, just raps and raps and raps, and it's not too long (50 minutes) and generally has a good beat selection. You can download this at allbmorehiphop.com/haz.
Haz f/ XO - "My Name Is" (mp3)
This track has a nice vibe, good beat, good punchlines, really grabbed my attention in the middle of the mixtape. I've said this before, but XO really has one of the illest voices in Baltimore rap and I wish I heard him do more stuff. There's a guy from D.C. who also goes by the name XO that's been doing a lot lately, kinda bums me out when I check that guy's stuff out by accident and get disappointed that it's not the XO from Bmore.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Here's Bigg Patch's video for "Life Of Da Party," from his Aries Rising album out on Unruly this fall. I don't know about this song, though, it sounds so depressing to me, like the lyrics are about partying but that melody sounds suicidal. And I'm considering a ban on songs that rhyme "model" with "bottle." Nice looking video, though.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Mullyman - wiRemix Volume 3: I Go Harder Edition (DJ Booman/Major League Unlimited)
You already know the deal, Mullyman's been dropping music at a crazy rate for the past year or so and these mixtapes are really more of a review or look back at what he's had out than really new music in and of themselves. That's not a bad thing at all, since it's good to have all these tracks collected somewhere, but it also means by the time the mix is out it's all old news to me and I don't get as excited about it. If you're not on his or Booman's mailing list to get the latest tracks, though, this is really worth checking out. Some of the songs on here that I've previously posted include "I'm All About It" featuring Smash and Mully's version of DJ Class's "I'm The Ish,", along with old tracks produced by DJ Booman, Banga Bill and Debonair Samir. It's available for download at allbmorehiphop.com/mullyman.
Mullyman - "Imma Be More" (mp3)
The tracklist to this mixtape says this track was produced by DJ Booman, but I think that's a typo, because when the track was first e-mailed out in March it was supposedly produced by Mbah. Either way, hot track.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
"Ground Zero: The 9/11 Hip Hop Showcase"? That's fucking despicable. I mean sure, Jay-Z's doing a concert that day, too, but it's actually a benefit for families of 9/11 victims, this is just tacky. I'm kind of pissed that I already told my editor I'd be reviewing this show before I saw this flyer. I guess I can use the opportunity to write more about what a horrible idea the name of the show is, though.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Young Sac - Da Best Flatout!! Mixtape Vol. 1 (DJ Reddz)
The first time I met Young Sac was at a little 'town hall' thing at 5 Seasons last year, and to tell the truth before I even heard his music he left a bad impression on me just by being really obnoxious and disruptive at the meeting and interrupting people. So I think the first time I sat and tried to listen to the mixtape I got from him, I wasn't really feeling in part because of that. I kinda set it to the side for a while, in part because of that, in part because it came with a DVD, and I try to watch any DVD that comes with a CD before posting about the CD, but the flipside of that is I fucking hate rap DVDs and put off watching them as long as possible. So it took me a year and a half to watch the short bonus DVD with this mixtape, which had some pretty good Young Sac freestyles, but also some totally tedious shit like 5-10 minutes of a guy doing tricks on an ATV that made me feel like hours of my life were slipping by. Oh yeah, so the mixtape, it's not bad if you're into the whole cocky post-Dipset trap rapper style. He's got some strong songs and good production here and there when it's not too generic. I've run into Sac a couple times since then and he was friendly and gave me some other CDs he's on that I still need to listen to, so shout out to him, not hating on his grind at all. He really has one of the worst rapper names I've ever seen though, I mean you probably shouldn't want to remind people of a ballsack with your name. You can download the mixtape at allbmorehiphop.com/youngsac.
Young Sac - "Park Heights Strut" (mp3)
This track is real clever, for the hook they sampled Jim Jones when he shouted out Park Heights on a song with D.O.G. a few years ago. This was produced by 3rd Infantry, I wanted to give them a little shine because I know they've been working recently with my friends at Mobtown Studios, who posted another Young Sac/Third Infantry track over on their site.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
This is PenDragon's new video, "Beat It Up" featuring J. Killa, which I think is pretty cool, and impressive that they apparently shot it in 10 minutes. You can download his new mixtape at dragwroteit.blogspot.com/, I haven't gotten around to putting together a post about it yet but I wanted to post the video.