Saturday, September 26, 2015

Nuwine - Basshead

Maurice Williams, better known as Nuwine, is a rapper who hails from the infamous neighborhood of 5th Ward in Houston, TX. After living as a troubled youth and even coming very close to the brink of death, he decided it was time to change for the better. He turned to religion for answers and started anew as a Christian Rap artist. Armed with just a microphone and a drum machine which he purchased at a local pawn shop, he began experimenting on ways to reach and teach his peers. It wasn't long before he was picked up by Knolly "Rubadub" Williams, who immediately signed him to his newly founded, Grapetree Records. Nuwine debuted in 1997 with the album, "Da Bloody 5th," which still to this day, is regarded as one of his best works. His venture with Grapetree Records was short lived though, he would soon leave them over royalty issues and form his own label known as Wine-O Records. Basshead is an album full of instrumentals that Nuwine put together in 1998 on the aforementioned label. The production in it's entirety is done by Nuwine, himself. The beats are all electronically derived and are without the use of any real instruments. Their style along with their pace varies and a good range of selection is provided for the listener. While some are a little odd and seem to lack basic foundation, there are some that are really commendable. This record was basically put together for up and coming artists that face dilemmas when it comes to recording material. It was also considered as a gift for his loyal fans who just need some solid rhythms to bob their head to. All in all this project is just for experimental purposes and is not intended for any type of commercial use. While it strays away from the religious concepts that Nuwine is most known for, it does in fact gives him a broader audience. He was at a point in his career where every release seemed crucial for his fan base and not only was this a unique move, it was also a very bold step that he took for his immediate future. He did something special for his fans and that is what placed him above the rest of his fellow Christian Rap artists.

Deadly Tracks
13 - Untitled

Album Notes
Wine-O Records went defunct in the year 2003.
* Nuwine would then change his alias to Wine-O.
* The new alias would also mark the end of his Christian Rap career.
* He then tried establishing himself in the Rap & Hip Hop industry.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Herschelwood Hardheadz - A Million Dollar$ Later

Herschelwood Hardheadz is a collective that represents from the notorious streets of Herschelwood in Houston, TX. The group was formed in the year 1993 by Lil' Keke and it consists of Archie Lee, Duke and Knocky. As a group they made various appearances on multiple Screw Tapes and even had some stints on Lil' Keke's solo albums. After creating a mild buzz in the southside of town and also developing a true fan base, the group finally decided it was time for an official release. A Million Dollar$ Later is their debut album and it was released in 1998 on Jam Down Records. The record is superbly produced by the likes of Sean "Solo" Jemison, Double D of Platinum Souls and Dantly "Prowler" Wyatt. The beats are an eclectic blend of rhythms that are so smooth, that head bobbing is the only option left for the listener. They can easily be summed up as that classic H-Town funk which also incorporates some elements of the Swang & Bang sound. The producers really out did themselves on this one and in return, gave the artists a very solid foundation to work upon. Lyrically the album is also well rounded. As always, Lil' Keke does not disappoint on the microphone and neither do his fellow group members. They take turns unleashing their various styles, both musically and methodically. While their rhymes may vary in pace, their jubilant word play and their flashy personas remain constant. Guest appearances are made by Fat Pat, B-Legit, Mobb Figgaz and Phaz. All in all this is a wonderful debut effort by the group and one that was definitely worth the wait. The group's success was short lived though, Lil' Keke left the group after this initial release and continued his solo route while the Herschelwood Hardheadz advanced as a trio. In the end, this record sits as a polished gem that not only shines but can also be a priceless commodity in one's collection.

Deadly Verses
CD's & LP's ft. Fat Pat

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BHC - Crime Pays

BHC, which stands for Big House Click, is a group that represents from the rough streets of San Antonio, TX. It consists of Mr. Lo, Tear Drop and the female rapper and singer known as Bo-Legg. Although she did not participate in this release due to family reasons and concerns. BHC's first album known as "Openin' Doors" was released in 1997 and it definitely caught the city by surprise. The content was so commendable that all the local radio stations as well as the local clubs were immediately hooked. Crime Pays is their highly anticipated second album and it was released in 1999 on Big House Productions. The production is done by the ever masterful Nathan "Happy" Perez who is assisted by L. Holmes. Together, they drop an assortment of finely crafted beats. Multiple instruments are put to use by Happy P which in turn brings his marvelous production pattern to life. Lyrically the album also excels and both members are qualified lyricists. Their sharp word play and southern dialect is a treat to listen to. Mr. Lo seems to be the more dominant member while Tear Drop appears for a couple of tracks. Guest appearances are courtesy of Lil' Keke, C-Loc, Jayne Doe, Daddy Roe, Kempster and Rocc Lewis. Overall this is an underrated release which managed to slip through the cracks. Even though it does not come close to their first album, "Openin' Doors," it is still passable in its' own right. While this type of  moderation could be justified by the missing member, Bo-Legg or even the untimely passing of Tear Drop. Whatever the case may be, the record is marked as the final recording by the famed group and is also one that possesses a remarkable value even to this day. Rest in peace to the talented and always creative, Tear Drop.

Deadly Verses
Ride 2 Nite ft. Lil' Keke

Album Notes
* Big thanks to my homie GangstaRapBrasil for providing this one.

Friday, September 11, 2015

O.G. Jhiam-Dog - Screamin Dat Pimpin

James Earl Bradshaw, better known as Jhiame or O.G. Jhiam-Dog, is a multi-talented artist from the neighborhood of Acres Homes in Houston, TX. Although he is originally from Memphis, TN, he moved to Houston in the year 1981 and has resided there ever since. He is a renowned producer as well as an accomplished rapper and singer. He was dubbed by the legendary DJ Screw (R.I.P.) as the official producer of the Screwed Up Click in 1999. His list of production credits is quite lengthy and certainly very noteworthy. Jhiame has won many awards for his work and he is considered by many to be a hit making machine for the southern region. He is also a member of the Hip Hop production group known as Da Assassinz. Screamin Dat Pimpin is his second album and it was released in 1995 on B 4 Reel Records. Production is solely handled by Jhiame, himself and it is of exceptional quality. The beats can be simplified as absolutely funky and are also considerably groovy. Deep bass lines are fused with twangy guitars which are backed up by some booming drums. While samples are used, they have been chosen wisely and are used quite proficiently. Lyrically the album is also very rich with flavor. The vocals are presented with utter smoothness and are delivered with the flair of a pimp. His rhymes can vary in pace but the laid back atmosphere remains the same. Guest appearances are made by the Pimp-Tite Hustlers, Leon Banks and Dub Sack. Also, the front cover portrays a circle with twelve symbols dwelling inside it. That is actually known as a Zodiac Wheel and it reveals the twelve signs of Astrology. Overall the album displays various elements of Funk and Soul while also incorporating the genre of Rap & Hip Hop. This prolific blend of assorted ingredients turns out to be very entertaining and satisfying. Although this is a feat that is not easily accomplished and others have failed miserably trying the same thing, O.G. Jhiam-Dog does it with such ease and leisure that it almost feels like second nature to him. Even though this was a magnificent work of art, it did not receive the recognition it deserved. Some have blamed the publishing company for their lack of effort while others have blamed the core content. In the end, this release sits as a polished gem waiting to be discovered by the next humble and eager listener.

Deadly Verses

Album Notes
* His alias has multiple variations but his preferred name is Jhiame.
* References to the Zodiac Signs are made on Track 3: Pimp On
* Leon Banks is Jhiame's father and he passed away in 2005 (R.I.P.)
* Also worth checking out is Micheal Mixerr's take on this album.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mr. Hard - Cappeela

Mr. Hard is a rapper who represents from the venomous streets of Dallas, TX. He is well known in the underground for his raspy tone and vicious delivery. Cappeela is his debut album and it was released in 1997. The record label is unknown due to the fact that this is an underground release with a very limited number of pressings but it could have been published through Cappeela Records or Strapped 4 Life Records. Production is handled by Ice Kold, Drew and Bently. They team up to provide beats that are not only funky but they also carry a hard, street edged sound. While a couple of the rhythms are sample assisted, the rest of them have a very original feel. Probably the most notable sample is from the King Of Pop, Micheal Jackson's (R.I.P.) "Lady In My Life," which is heavily used on the track "Mama." Lyrically the album is also rock solid. As mentioned above, Mr. Hard can easily wreck the mic. His harsh approach and gruff demeanor go hand in hand and it is the perfect recipe for the rhymes on display. The word play used is definitely above average while the variations to his tone and tempo are all done with pure swiftness. Guest appearances are made by Ice Ice, T-Boz, Sinister, Cris, Shannon, Ice Kold, Natae V-IC and Bloody. Also, the sublime painting for the front cover was done by the artist, Herschel Yelder. This was an excellent effort by Mr. Hard and one that still sounds as glorious as it did back in '97. Not only is the quality of material timeless, it also carries a certain level of gratification when played. It could be the uncanny nature of this underground release or it could be the shroud of mystery that lingers behind its' originator. Whatever the reason may be, the fact remains that this eighteen year old album can shame and degrade most albums being released today.

Deadly Verses

Album Notes
* Herschel Yelder is a renowned artist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
* Also worth checking out is Mr. Hard's second album, Strap 4 Life.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Baby Boy G - Y.A.B.

Baby Boy G, also known as Lil G, is a rapper who hails from the streets of Austin, TX. He first started off in the late nineties as a member of the group known as, Black & Dangerous. Y.A.B., which stands for Young Austin Balla, is his debut solo album and it was released in 2002 on Filthy Rich Records. Production on this record is done by the masterful Jhiame, who is also assisted by Blu and 8 Track. The beats are of a congenial variety and are mostly uptempo. They are filled with a good amount of harmony but at times can feel like there is too much going on at a given section. The rhythms definitely cater to the new era of Texas funk which can be categorized under the "Swang & Bang" sound. Lyrically the album is pretty well rounded. Lil G's delivery is quite commendable and certainly fast paced. The rhymes are filled with rapid word play, which although at times can be a little predictable, it is still entertaining nonetheless. Guest appearances are courtesy of  Mr. Make It Happen, TNT, Kool-Whip, DFK, Israal, Mr. T, Lil Pick, Lead Belly, Killa Cartel, Deway, Lil Terry and The Black Galliath. The record can be deemed as a little guest heavy but with an ample total of fifteen tracks they are quite spread out. All in all it's a satisfying piece and one that at the very least, deserves a listen. While there are quite a few groups and rappers that represent for the ATX, no one can match the style or the flair of the Filthy Rich Family.

Deadly Verses

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Facemob - Silence

Facemob is a collective that as a whole represents from Houston, TX but members were recruited from different cities and states by Scarface of the Geto Boys. The group was originally comprised with five members, Devin The Dude, DMG, Smit-D, Chi-Ray and the female emcee known as 350. Devin did not participate in this release on account of him focusing on his solo career. Facemob's first appearance came in 1995 on the soundtrack of the movie called, "The Walking Dead." They would do a couple more soundtracks for different movies before launching their debut album in 1996 known as "The Other Side Of The Law." Silence is their second album and it was released after a six year hiatus in 2002 on Rap-A-Lot Records. The record is masterly produced by the likes of Tone Capone, Mr. Lee, Domo and Scarface himself. The beats are a perfect ensemble of dark, synth filled rhythms that are derived straight out of gangster territory. They are laid out with utter precision and originality is pursued with a passion. The producers from Rap-A-Lot Records were known for their extreme attention to detail when using multiple instruments and always putting together rock solid packages for their artists. So it is needless to say that they spared no expense on this release either. Lyrically the album also fares very well. The members take turns unleashing their onslaught on the microphone. Their fierce rhymes are a testament to their aggressive personalities and destructive behaviors. DMG seems to be the more dominant member but the rest are not too far behind. Guest appearances are made by Do Or Die, Yukmouth and G-Mone. Overall this was an exceptional release but it didn't garner any success. To be honest, this album was released as a last ditch effort by the folks behind Rap-A-Lot Records to save their label. It was part of the so called "Resurrection" phase that the label was going through, which was basically an attempt to put out some unreleased material by their artists and also move forward with the hard, street edged sound. The only problem was that the music in Houston as well as the entire southern region was changing and moving towards a more club savvy sound. People wanted more of the "Baller Bling Rap" or the "Swang & Bang" sound or even chart topping singles designed around a dance move and could really care less for anything that hardcore and street oriented. Had this album been released in the late nineties, it could have done wonders for Rap-A-Lot Records and the artists involved. In the end, this record was a day late and a dollar short. It was only a matter of time until the group members became disgruntled with the results and would soon break up in the following year. This album was marked as the final recording by Facemob and although it did not receive any recognition then, it is still worth a listen now.

Deadly Verses