Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Stores Today: October 12, 2010

Damn! A whole bunch of records are dropping today, many of which are worth your time. If you're not a cheap-ass then some of them are also worth your money, too. I haven't listened to all the albums hitting shelves today (yeah, I'm a music p1r@t3, but I have my limits), so I'll just drop a couple pennies on the ones I have heard.

7L & Esoteric - 1212

Back in '08, this Boston-based duo dropped the excellent Esoteric Vs. Japan (Pterodactyl Takes Japan!) which I bumped consistently. This is their first album since then and takes a more traditional hip hop route, which is also a good thing. The record features the likes of Ill Bill, Sadat X, Inspectah Deck, Evidence, Alchemist, Celph Titled and more. You know, the good guys. Solid hip hop. Worth a listen.

9th Prince - One Man Army

As much of a Wu-fan as I am, I've never gone gaga over the affiliates emcees - with exception to the Sunz of Man and a couple others. I listened to this record in its entirety and only noticed a handful of highlights. I'd only recommend it to WTC fans though, really. There IS a RZA-assisted track on it too, if that's something that interests you.

Atmosphere - To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP's

Slug and Co. serve up an offering of honest, blue collar raps on this record. The release is meant to hold down Atmosphere fans until their album comes out. I'll be waiting. In the meantime, this is a solidly bumpable LP.

Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love

Not hip hop, but I don't care. #iFuxwit Belle and Sebastian. As with many of their albums, Write About Love might sound a bit, um, off at first. But it'll grow on you. It's no Boy with the Arab Strap, that's for sure. But I recommend it regardless.

The Burnerz - Zumbi & The Are Present: The Burnerz

Honestly, I haven't heard this record yet, but that'll change today. Despite their stylistic departure from the b-boy glory that was 2005's True & Livin', I still check for anything that Amp Live and MC Zion a.k.a. Baba Zumbi put out, whether it's on the solo or duo tip. For this go-round, Zumbi chops it up with Houston producer The Are, you know, they guy that flipped those amazing Michael Jackson beats a few years back. Yeah, well, he's a beast on the boards. I've only heard the snippets of this album so far, but I like what I've heard. I'll be checking for this today.

Cali Swag District - The Kickback

Not interested. Home state pride be damned!

Chiddy Bang - The Preview

Will a Q-Tip feature be enough to inspire some interest in this project? Barely. If hipster-ish/pop-ish (amazing that those two are kinda synonymous now) hip hop is your thing, jump into this. Otherwise, keep it moving.

El Da Sensei & The Returners - GT2: Nu World

This album's been floating all over the web for two months already, so I've had a fair amount of time to give it multiple spins. It's bangin'! The Artifacts emcee's skills need no introduction - unless you've been sleeping, in which case shame on you(!) - and The Returners have continued to prove great partners with the Jersey spitter. Featured rhymeslingers on the record include Treach, Sean Price, Rakaa, Tiye Phoenix and Akrobatik. This is solid, fundamental hip hop. Support!

Far East Movement - Free Wired

I don't #Fuxwitit. At all. Like, at all. If you're into mindless synth-pop though, this'll be your new favorite album. I'll pass though.

Foreign Exchange - Authenticity

The thing you gotta understand about Phonte is that his singing won't blow you out of your chair. Conversely, his vocals will settle you into your chair. And that's not a bad thing at all, really. The Foreign Exchange are experts at making smooth, electro-soul music that amazingly strays from sounding too lounge-y, too passé or too corny. I'm giving this one the #iFuxwitit stamp of approval. Great music for the months of Fall.

GLC - Love Life & Loyalty

Haven't heard it yet but I'm interested. Upon listening to snippets from the album, I notice styles from both the East and South sides of Chicago. The album features Chi-Town contributors like Bump J, Twista and The Legendary Traxster, including Bun B and John Legend.

Kno - Death Is Silent

As I was telling Craig Jenkins of Potholes in My Blog, this album made me consider offing myself. Okay, maybe I was exaggerating a bit, but fuck me if this album isn't staggeringly emo. That's fine by me though. I mean, I'm not into the whole "I have black hair and I cut myself" scene, but at the same time I appreciate emcees who let their heart drip blood on the pad, like 'Pac (who happens to be sampled on album highlight "If You Cry"). Tracks like "Petite De Mort", "When I Was Young" and others display both amazing penmanship and beatsmanship (great non-word). I highly recommend this for a listen.

Nottz - You Need This Music

No, seriously, you need this music. The latest from Nottz serves well as a companion to Black Milk's like-minded Album of the Year LP. Quality hip hop handled by one of the genres most underappreciated beatsmiths.

Pigeon John - Dragon Slayer

Pigeon John's latest is a non-threatening record with simple beats and heartfelt lyrics. If that floats your boat, give it a spin.

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

Don't be surprised if some rap cats sample something from this record. Matter fact, listen to it now so you can stay ahead of the curve. Recommended for open-minded hip hoppers... and everyone else.

Vado & DJ Drama - Slime Flu

Vado sounds like a cross between .40 Cal and J.R. Writer, which sucks because I haven't heard anything by those guys in half a decade. I was never much of a Dipset dick-rider, though I did understand and somewhat appreciate "the movement." All the Diplomats have such distinct personalities, whereas Vado just kinda... is. He hasn't really proven himself to me in that regard. Slime Flu features some solid mixtape-quality joints though, so maybe that's a start.

Various Artists - Smooth Jazz Tribute to Kanye West

Yeah, I'm gonna pass on this one 'cause smooth jazz ain't my cup of tea. I'm all about bebop and hard bop. Interesting concept though. Still kinda worth a listen if you're curious how these guys interpreted some of 'Ye's hits.