Tuesday, December 8, 2009

In Stores Today: December 8, 2009

B.G. - Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood
Check out our 'First Peek'
"Meh. Worth a download, but I wouldn't recommend a purchase."

Chris Brown - Graffiti
Let it be known that ever since the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident in February -- which, might I add, I had an intuition would come to pass -- I have only featured one Chris Brown song on this site. Well, technically it wasn't a Chris Brown song at all. It was that Michael Jackson tribute track which just so happened to feature CB on the hook. I included it on our Michael Jackson Dedication edition of The Tape Deck. And that was all the CB you've heard or seen ever since. Domestic violence is no joke, nor have I ever claimed it to be one. Admittedly, I haven't listened to one sliver of one second of this album so I can't tell you whether it's good or not. It's difficult for me to listen to Chris Brown after what he did. I'm particularly peeved at the fact that he'd release his album so soon after Rihanna's new album. It seems like a money-grubbing ploy of sorts to me, so that just adds further insult to injury. But going off topic here, I'm also peeved that SoulBounce and Mdotwrites have seemingly excommunicated me for crude remarks I've made. Given the fact that I'm not a shock jock blogger like others, it may have come as a surprise to some that I have a dark sense of humor. But I never "made light" of the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation by holding a chauvinistic stance on the matter (as some have alleged). The folks who really read my blog should know me a bit better by now. Still, if you bear a grudge in your heart, this is my final apology. Back to the music: I'd like to see this album heavily boycotted - and not by being bootlegged. I mean do what I'm doing: don't even listen to it. I hope Graffiti doesn't even go gold goes wood toothpick.

Clipse - Til the Casket Drops
Check out our 'First Peek'
In his review of Til the Casket Drops, Dom Corleone pointed out that while there are several heavy rotation-worthy tracks on the album, the filler joints take away from the full replay value. He's right about that. There are strokes of brilliance on here (Clipse + Cam was a godsend), but at the end of the day I'd have to say it's the least impressive of their three albums. The only tracks that will remain in my iPod after it's all said and done are "Freedom", "Popular Demand (Popeye's)", "Kinda Like a Big Deal", "Counseling", "Footsteps" and "Life Change". Still, this is a statement album of sorts that's worth checking out.

DJ Spinna - The Boogie Back
This album's been making the rounds for a minute already, but it's only just been released on wax and plastic. Spinna cooks up a great disco playlist and I definitely recommend the minimum of a download for this one. But I'd also like to take this time to let you know about Sonic Smash, released earlier in the year. Dart Adams put me onto this overlooked gem and I feel it's only right to carry on the torch. Check out both of these albums, no doubt, but peep Sonic Smash first. Just my thoughts (C) Hov.

Grouch - Three Eyes Off the Time
Check out our 'First Peek'
The Grouch's latest offering is a semi-experimental, celebratory romp with lofty production by DJ Fresh. The problem is it's way too short and there doesn't seem to be much fluidity or even a concept here. I definitely wouldn't say this is the best album of the week. But it's the album to buy if you want to support independent hip hop.

Gucci Mane - The State vs. Radric Davis
"Meh. Worth a download, but I wouldn't recommend a purchase." (In case you didn't already notice this, yes, I relegate both Gucci and B.Gizzle alike.)

LL Cool J - All World 2
I'll keep this as simple as possible: If you want a sequel to an LL greatest hits album then go for it. I'll pass it. The tracklisting is actually pretty damn good, but I've got all this shit already. You should too if you knew... (C) Big.

Snoop Dogg - Malice N Wonderland
Check out our 'First Peek'
Hands down, this is Tha Doggfather's most radio-ready album released to date. The music ain't that bad except it's way too poppy for my ears. I'm always eager to hear Snoop kick some ol' early '90's gangsta shit all over again, but this ain't it. Gully tracks like "1800", "2 Minute Warning" and "Secrets" are my twist. But feature joints with The-Dream, R. Kelly and Soulja Boy of all people impurify what coulda, shoulda been.

Timbaland - Shock Value 2
Check out our 'First Peek'
I shit all over Timbo's first Shock Value album back in 2007 in my review at About.com. Not only did I give the album 2 stars, but I also predicted the pathetically crappy singles that were soon to follow. Bottom line: I nailed it. The only thing different about Shock Value 2 is that it's not-so-surprisingly worse. And the sad part is that with the features he's got on the album (Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry), he's destined to sell pretty well. I guess that's his #1 priority. Like the old saying goes: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I'd modify that for Timbo's newfound wackness by saying that if it ain't fixable, stop breaking it over and over again! Shock Value 2 is an embarrassment to the concept of music and an affront to sound waves. Really.

New Album of the Week:


  1. Hey man,
    just stopping by to tell you that I love this column and I read it every tuesday. Some other sites have "whats coming out today" type of things which is cool, but I really like this one with all the mini reviews and previews which kinda help me to paint a little picture about the albums that I dont know myself. Like that one on about.com where they do top 10 hottest releases to check for in upcoming month but this is better becouse the shis is actually out and I can go and get it except of just waiting for it. Thanks man, peace from Slovenia.

  2. Ivan, I think it serves you better to pull a say more with less about the Chris Brown issue. Many other artist have done worse and while domestic violence - I can't help co-sign the continued crusade against dude. Let the courts punish him for the non-musical side of things.
    Besides that if your going to point out his release date and how close it is to hers, why not point out her using the incident to get time on camera to shop her album - the majority of which seems to be more racy type material.

    Other than that your reviews are on point. Why your expecting Snoop to be less radio is beyond me however. I think if Snoop ranks his albums based on how much he listens to each.. R & G would get the high marks.

  3. Snoop's gangsta days are long gone. And fair play to him on parlaying his personality into enormous fame and fortune, and mostly acceptance by mainstream audiences.

    But the music is increasingly garbage. A Snoop album used to be a blind purchase by me. Cop it with anticipation before even hearing any material off of it. Ego Trippin put an end to that. Hell that even got deleted.

    As such I have zero expectations from this new set and it's doubtful that it will get listened to by me any time soon. When the guest list features Soulja Twat and R. Kelly the peado, it doesn't inspire confidence that the music wil be good.

    Chris Brown gets rightfully criticised but Kelly is on a whole other level. CB has the naivety of youth and the time to rehab his image. Kelly has been at it since the Aaliyah days. And he still gets a pass! Not even mainstream artists are scared of being associated with him.

    Snoop can do so much better but those days are behind him. I think the only time we will hear Snoop on some real quality track is when his Detox features come out. And that's not looking imminent...

  4. Man - I used to love this site - but Ivan seriously, this is the worst set of reviews I have ever read in the history of reading.

  5. They're not reviews. Thanks.

  6. how many people do u think u listen to that have raped, beat or hurt women or other people. i'm not even a chris brown fan and could care less about his music but it was a mistake and everyone makes mistake. this is the same mentality that makes it hard for felons to get work. plus people still don't know the whole story. Not just domestic violence but all violence is bad and u should condemn all the artists u love that promote hatred or negative messages in their music. U think a serial killer shouldn't get the death penalty but a singer who hit someone shouldn't be able to make money. i guess u have NEVER in your life done anything wrong or made a mistake. u should learn to forgive and your heart would be happier. it's funny that Rhianna has milked the whole incident all over the place for publicity yet i don't see chris brown nowhere.

  7. I can forgive him for his actions, but not those ridiculous bowties he wears.

  8. ....and some ridiculously tight pants.

  9. Huge fan of the site homey, but if ur gonna mention Chris Brown stupid actions, then you gotta mention Gucci Mane who jabbed the hell outta a chick...on camera....and wasn't actually provoked by the chick physically. Just sayin..

  10. I don't follow Gucci Lame but if what you say is true then fuck him too. CB might be rehabilitated in a few years, or his image anyway, but nothing excuses stabbing a woman. Glad he's in jail really.

    For similar reasons I can't idolise people like Tyson or even 2Pac. Respect the talent but not necessarily the person.

  11. if your gonna black ball chris from your play lists then you should black ball rhianna, she was the one that started the physical confrentation, while he was driving, she took her stilleto shoe off and repeadetly smashed him in the head with the pointy heel, there shouldn't be a double standard and i'm not condoning what chris did. but if one is guilty than in this case so is the other, especially if that party instigated by physically attacking him with the most vicious part of a shoe possible.

  12. Amen to the commenter above. But lets not stop at Chris Brown if we are going to keep it 100%. Lets boycott Big Pun or Dr. Dre or even 2Pac. He was convicted wasn't he? I don't believe in boycotting Chris because if we do, then we are hypocrits for not doing the same across the board. And if you want to get at Chris for putting his album out so close to Ri-Ri's, look at it from this angle: She went coast to coast telling half a story and plus there is really no such thing as bad publicity. Lets take advantage of her using my name to promote half-truths. I am in no way condoning what he did but I have not heard her take responsibilty at all for escalating a situation when all she had to do was get out of the car.

  13. CB bit, yes BIT, Rihanna. He pounded on her repeatedly. You saw those pics right?

    No defence for Chris. Kick her out the car. Get out the car himself. Whatever, just dont pound on a woman half your size.

  14. i got the chris brown album. i am & will always b a fan. & yes i am a woman! his album bops! but he never drops wack music! everyone makes mistakes but hey the past is the past.

  15. Yes... Let's ignore that fact that he's already been punished. Let's ignore the fact that this talentless, lying, attention whore (Rihanna) started the altercation. Let's ignore the fact that his personal life has NOTHING to do with his music. Let's continue to punish a young man who shows much remorse for his actions. Let's take his livelihood away from him for ONE mistake, albeit a big mistake... Also, she isn't half his size. She's as big as he is. Height and weight. And I don't believe he bit her. I never seen any pics of that. She has gotten all sorts of publicity and continues to exploit this for her own personal gain. I don't care if he dropped his album the same day as that ho.

    And wtf is Tupac being brought into this for??!!

    I agree with the people that are saying that if you're going to punish Chris Brown this harshly, everyone should be punished this harshly.

  16. "Also, she isn't half his size. She's as big as he is. Height and weight."

    C'mon now....

    Defend your man but lets keep it real.

    And CB's apology was extremely late.