Thursday, April 30, 2009

Da Hit Squad - Operation Takeover

Da Hit Squad is rap group from Houston, TX. It consists of K.B. Da Kidnappa, Money Black, Cashcade, OB, Barlow and the female emcee/actress, Fiya. The group was founded by Money Black in the early 2000's. Operation Takeover is their debut album and it was released in 2004 on Coast 2 Coast Records. Production is handled by Money Black and OB. The beats are passable and are mostly adequate. Although some cuts do stand out. All members take turns discharging their various styles on the mic. The group boasts a commendable cast of lyricist but the lasting effect comes down to barely presentable. This is the groups' only album and there are no plans for a sequel. Mainly because of the mediocre attention it received. All in all the record's content is full of notable club bangers but it lacks core subject matter. It was a decent effort and it might be worth a listen.

Deadly Verses
Ride ft. Ronnie Spencer

Monday, April 27, 2009

Southern Kartel - As The World Goes Round

Southern Kartel - As The World Goes Round
Southern Kartel is a group from Pine Bluff, AR. It consists of Smoke, Black Trump, K.O. and C-Rupt. As The World Goes Round is their debut album and it was released in 2001 on Black Trump Entertainment. Production on the album is smoothly done by Trump and Ace. The beats are a perfect example of southern fried funk at its finest. They contain various melodies mixed with jamming hooks and solid bass lines. The lyrics are excellent as well. All four members unquestionably shine on the mic. Their rhymes are deeply rooted and certainly eclectic. Guest appearances are made by Hawk of the Screwed Up Click, Playa Fly, Mo-Preme of Thug Life, Ronnie Spencer and Bobby Baller. Overall the record is a representation of timeless quality music. It is highly under rated and it does not get the credit it deserves. The group later separated over creative differences and this ended up being their only album. Members Smoke, Trump and K.O. have also released some solo albums as well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

P.K.O. - Tha Good, Tha Bad, Tha Mafia

P.K.O. - Tha Good, Tha Bad, Tha Mafia
P.K.O. is a group from San Antonio, TX. Their name stands for Pounds, Keys and Ounces. It originally started off with Pony J and Magic Mark. Later on the group added more members like K-Sam and Kottonmouth. This is their fourth album and it was released in 1994 on Youngsta Records. Production was handled by Magic Mark, K-Mac, Dave Rosenblad and Mike E.D. The beats carry that southern funk sound and they certainly compliment the lyrics well. Both members deliver with utter energy and their rhymes are straight out of explicit territory. The energy is kicked off from the first track and maintains the same level of intensity to the last one. Featuring on the album is Ron C and C-Lo. All in all the album displays various mastery of skills and it does not fall short. It was also considered as an important step in the groups' commencement.

Deadly Verses
Nino (Rox II Riches 2)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

K.E.V - Street Trophy

K.E.V is a rapper originally from Houston, TX. He later resided in Los Angles, CA where he went to school with the future Death Row Records artist, Kurupt. He was also a member of the group called Rap Mafia. Street Trophy is his debut solo album and it was released in 2005 on Centerline Entertainment. Production is provided by Willie Brown, Howard Lipp and Patrick Hildebrand. The beats are mostly derived through marvelous keyboarding. They contain steady rhythms and certainly hold an abundance of melodies. The record truly shines in the lyrical department instead of production wise. Rhymes are highly meaningful and K.E.V definitely spits them with a purpose. His tone is very distinct and simultaneously diverse. He also has a tremendous vocabulary and he uses it without hesitation. The core content is basically a perspective of life delivered through his thoughts and experiences. Overall the record precisely separates itself from the rest and the subject matter is easy to relate to. The album is also dedicated in the memory of four of his fallen comrades.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

X-Bam Compilation - The Classics

X-Bam Compilation - The Classics
X-Bam Records was a record label from Houston, TX. It was founded by Bam in the mid 90's. The label served as a home to many members of the notorious Killa Klan. It was later shut down due to financial issues. The Classics is basically a compilation album that was released in 2007 on One Stop Entertainment. The record is magnificently produced by the likes of Scarface, T-Mixx, MJG, Icey Hott of Street Military, G-Rapp The General, Doc Doom and Rodney Ex. The beats are a perfect blend of rhytmical synths and sublime bass lines. They represent that classic underground sound that Houston was known for. The lyrics are abstract, yet rough. They contain various word schemes as well as some rapid inflections. The rhymes are courtesy of the Fakkulty, Pharoah, Bam, K.B Da Kidnappa, Lil' Flea, Papa Reu, Ronnie Spencer and Montina Cooper. Overall its a 17 track album that is fine picked and is derived from many underground hits. It also commemorates the legacy left behind by the legandary Killa Klan. In the words of the invincible Pharoah, "....salute the double K's."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ganksta NIP - Psychotic Genius

Ganksta NIP is a rapper from the neighborhood of South Park in Houston, TX. He is considered among the first members of the notorious South Park Coalition. He's also the proud founder of the genre known simply as Horrorcore Rap or Psycho Rap. This is his third album and it was released in 1996 on Rap-A-Lot Records. Production on this gem is done by the legendary Mike Dean, N.O. Joe, Swift and Mike B. They provide nothing but dark synth filled beats that are made with maximal melodies. As always, Ganksta NIP comes hard with his flow. His rhymes show no regard towards human life and they are severely savage. Featuring artists are Point Blank and Foe Five. At the time of this album's release, the city of Houston was plagued with a lot of controversy. A young male had shot and killed a police officer. A cassette tape of Ganksta NIP's previous recordings was found inside the male's automobile. Both the media and society immediately blamed NIP and his music for the actions committed by the young man. All the negative press that Ganksta NIP received got him the exposure he was eagerly after. He quickly released Psychotic Genius and the album eventually ended up going platinum. It was also marked as the first album by NIP to collect such an award.

The Ave - Once Born Twice Dead

The Ave - Once Born Twice Dead
The Ave is a group from West Palm Beach, FL. The three members are Drastic, City and Ovaflo. This is their debut album and it was released in 1996 on Too Tight Records. Production is handled by Quarter, Drastic and Chuck Heman. The beats are composed with heavy synths and deep bass lines. They contain that southern 90's gangsta funk all through out the record. All three members contribute ruthlessly on the mic. Their rhymes are fierce and are mostly directed towards society. Featuring artists are AK47 and the Royal Tragedy Cartel. During the mid 90's, not many groups from Florida maintained their composure like The Ave did. Their sound differed from the rest and they were definitely ahead of their time. Overall the record shines with remorseless content and it certainly has a dark feel to it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tyght Wayz - Underground South

Tyght Wayz is a group from New Iberia, LA. It consists of Gangsta Mac, Phatt Daddy, Big Curb and Cash Flo. This is their third album and it was released in 2000 on Top Authority Records. Once again, all the production is provided by the one and only Gangsta Mac himself. He laced the beats up with multiple instruments and also bestows them with that southern flavor. They sound fairly dominant and they help accommodate the lyrics arguably well. All four members can spit. They take turns unleashing their various styles and incisive tones on the mic. None of them hold back, which in turn gives the album its' underground melody. Guest appearances are made by Gary Lee, Pahnub, Paperthin and Jarue. Overall the record can hold its own and it excels with commendable content. Tyght Wayz dropped their fourth album called "Ground Zero" in 2004. Their latest album called "Guaranteed Hustle" is yet to be released.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

G.I.N. - Straight Out Da Bottle

G.I.N. - Straight Out Da Bottle
G.I.N. is a group from the neighborhood of Hiram Clarke in Houston, TX. It consists of Lyrical 187, H2O, Mr. Gottdam and Tricky C. They are also members of the local crew called the Presidential Playas. Straight Out Da Bottle is their debut album and it was released in 2001 on Presidential Records. Production on the album is handled by Pat Rodriguez and Charles Singletary. They provide nothing but that crisp southern funk. The beats contain solid hooks and are a bit up tempo. All four members easily wreak havoc on the mic. Their rhymes are distinct and certainly scintillating. Featuring guests are Z-Ro, Wood of the Half Dead Organization, Hawk, Big Pokey, E.S.G., South Park Mexican, Slim Thug, D.Z., Chad Jones, K.T., Lady Assassin, Kevo, Miss D, Big Miller, Big Rodsta and Texas Tantrum. All in all the record was executed brilliantly and it contains many street anthems. Later on the group broke up over financial terms and this ended up being their only album. A chopped and screwed version was also released.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Soldiers United 4 Cash - On The Southside

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On The Southside is a compilation album by rappers from Houston, TX. It was released in 2005 on Starz Music, after the death of the legendary DJ Screw. Although there is no original or authentic DJ Screw material on here, it does have members of the Screwed Up Click. Production is done by TJ and it is mediocre at best. Some of the beats standout but the rest seem to be one dimensional. Lyrics are decent as well. Once again, some of them shine and others tend to be fillers. Featuring artists are Z-Ro, Dat Boy Grace, Al-D, Trae, Will Lean, Lil' Flip, Playa Dee, Lil' Ron of the Swisha House, Def Souf, Solo-D, Lil' Q, Big Shasta, Mobb Figgaz, JJ and Fila. Also the album cover holds the "Parental Advisory" tag but some of the lyrics are censored. Overall the record sustains suitable content and it is worth a listen. Starz Music tried to capitalize on DJ Screw's name and his legacy but ended up with an indifferent effort.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

C-Nile - Whole Nother Level

C-Nile is a rapper from Mobile, AL. He has been around since the late 90's and is known for his profound delivery and brute rhymes. He was also a member of the local Houston crew known as the Straight Profit Block Bleeders. He debuted with the album, The Golden Child in 2001 on Gorilla Records. In 2003, the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) charged Gorilla Records and all its affiliates for operating a large scale cocaine ring. The rapper was ratted out by his label mates and had to plead guilty. He admitted to smuggling powder cocaine from Houston to Mobile, where it was cooked into crack and then sold. Authorities later said the organization was one of the largest distributors of crack in south Alabama and that the record label was created as a front to launder drug money. C-Nile was sentenced to serve nearly six years in prison and he was released around September of 2008. This is his first project since coming back from incarceration. Its a mix-tape that was released in December of 2008 on Cold Flame Entertainment. Production on the album is done by Shooby, Bullethead, Perion and Head 1. Some of the beats are borrowed from well known artists while most of them are original. They are a perfect blend of jamming hooks, melodic bass lines and rhythmical drums. C-Nile returns with a vengeance on the mic and basically commits lyrical homicide. His versatile rhymes are a showcase of true talent and charisma. He does not seem to miss a beat and he certainly titled the mix-tape appropriately. Guest appearances are made by The Last Mr. Bigg, Rich Boy, Hittman, Rellik, K.B., Multi, Tenika, L. Boogie, Big Braille, Filthy and Young Work. Overall the album is a solid effort and it does not disappoint with its lengthy content. It is also a reminder to the rap game as well as to the loyal fans, that C-Nile is still as cold and commanding as he was when he left.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Papa Chuk - The Badlands

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Papa Chuk is a rapper from Austin, TX. He is known for his prolific style of delivery which fuses elements of reggae and rap. The Badlands is his debut album and it was released in 1994 on Pendulum Records. Production is managed by Double D of the Wreckshop, Tony Dofat, Scratch God, O.C. Rodriguez, Kevin and Amelia Moore. The beats carry woozy synths and solid hooks. They are made genuinely and they definitely compliment the artist. The lyrics are raw and aggressive. His rhymes are certainly original and are a display of his unorthodox style. Features are by The Texas Posse, Butch Cassidy, All The Above and Champ MC. Although the album contains bona fide material and it was a legitimate effort, it did not prosper due to its rough nature.