Friday, December 30, 2016

The Legion - Welcome To Texas

The Legion is a collective that hails from the ruthless streets of Dallas, TX. The group consists of Boom Man, Dexterous, Lil' Mo, and Mr. Lex. They consider themselves as lyrical outlaws and musical outcasts in this watered down music industry. Welcome To Texas is their debut album and it was released in 2000 on Stretched Out Records. Production is solely handled by Boom Man and he does an admirable job on the rhythms. The beats mostly stay uptempo and are quite energetic in composure. Various notes are used to achieve the final result which is both, eclectic and diverse in nature. The tracks are also catered for easy listening and they can accustom to the listener with their bright composure. Lyrics, is where the album really takes off. The four members are nothing less than fascinating upon the microphone. Their flows are rapid and are delivered with swiftness and clarity. Also to note, is the chemistry that the quartet has and how efficiently it is exposed on each and every track. Rhyme schemes are Southern in construction and word play is given the utmost authority. This then gives their songs a colorful and an unpredictable essence which keeps the listener commendably satisfied. Featuring on the album is the local crew known as, C.O.D. The record closes out with an ample total of fifteen solid tracks. Their subject matter is not limited to one category and is versatile enough to appeal to the masses. Overall, this is a very strong release by the group but one that came just a little too early in publication. In the year 2000, a new Southern sound was emerging from the South and was starting to replace the older, Texas Funk. While the new sound was gaining popularity in the underground, it didn't quite catch on to the mainstreams until the mid 2000's. Now, had this record been released in 2004 or late 2005, it could have done wonders for the group. In the end, it just goes to show how far ahead these guys were in their time. Everything from their sound to their lyrics and even their visions, were all progressing towards the right trend. The very trend that exploded on to the music scene just a few years later and was mainly led by artists from the great state of Texas. Sadly, by that time, The Legion had already came and left without even making a whisper.

Deadly Verses
Everything We Drop

196 Clique - No Love Part 1

196 Clique is a collective that represents from the Northern ends of Memphis, TN. The group consists of Killer B, Pimp CC, Ms. Vicious, Mr. Lil' E and Pimp Lil' D. They initially debuted on the scene in 1996 with their hardcore release called, "Crucifixes." No Love Part 1, is their sophomore effort and it was released in 1999 on Golden Entertainment. Production duties are split between Pimp Lil' D, Mr. Lil' E and Pimp CC. Together, they set a dark and grim atmosphere for the rhythms. The beats exemplify that typical Memphis underground sound. In most cases, a hard edged sample is endlessly looped which is then accompanied by some profound bass lines and topped off with some heavy drums. There are some tracks that are a bit smooth and laid back but the rest strictly stick to their horror core roots. Lyrics are also of a ghastly nature. The members are all fluent in their tongue twisting styles and they can easily display their art with cruelty. Eerie and horrid rhyme schemes are used thoroughly and a good amount attention is given to word play. The songs are composed very bluntly and to the point. There are no special vocal strategies or any alluring efforts involved. Also, some of the hooks and choruses could use some work too. Aside from those two blemishes, the record is pretty solid to say the least. Guest features are made by two of the M-Town greats, Playa Fly and Ska-Face Al Kapone. Overall, it's a decent record and one that can sustain itself only in the underground due to the vile and harsh nature of the core contents.

Deadly Verses
Don't Test My Pimpin


Monday, December 26, 2016

II Nations - Trapped In The System

II Nations is a duo that represents from the wild neighborhood of South Park in Houston, TX. It consists of Showtyme and K-Swift. One might remember Showtyme due to his later prominence in the H-Town rap scene but this release will remind the listeners of is his raw and humble beginnings. Trapped In The System is their debut album and it was released in 1994 on Suspect Records. Production is handled by the masterful John Swift, while being assisted by Don Honoree and Byron Hordge. The beats are a classic example of mid nineties Texas funk. Not only are the groovy on the ears but are also hard and edgy in composure. They display various construction properties such as sampling, scratching, and most importantly, proper mixing. Lyrics are also of worthy of praise. The two members bring upon a diverse force upon the microphone. For example, Showtyme is more blunt and strikes the listener with his powerful voice meanwhile K-Swift is a bit laid back in demeanor and his smooth delivery and overall tone is easy going. Also, the two rappers have great chemistry together and can feed off of each other with ease. Guest appearances are made by Grimm, Papa Reu, Endo, Pistol Grip, Gangsta Profile and Broken English. All in all, this was a decent release that closes out with eleven tracks. Subject matter progresses into various categories such as, the communal struggle, the overwhelming poverty and lastly, the judicial injustice. Overall, it's a strong release by the duo. It has plenty of quality content and timeless material. Even with some of these advantages, the release could not garner any type of meaningful attention. The duo ended up disappearing for a while before Showtyme reemerged in the late nineties and is still present in the music industry today. As for K-Swift, things were not so fortunate, aside from a couple guest spots, he ended up leaving the music scene altogether. In any way, what's important is what they accomplished together and that happens to be a fine work art, that not only oozes style but also gives a good sense of realism.

Deadly Verses
Sit Back Relax


Album Notes
* A big thanks goes out to save_undaground and syko187 for providing this one.
* Since this is a tape only release some sound quality issues are to be expected.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Big Slack - Ready For Combat

Leroy Slack, better known as Big Slack, is a rapper that represents from the notorious third ward of New Orleans, LA. His first recording as an artist came on Doleamite's 1997 release, "Ruff-N-Da Ghetto." He was featured on two songs and both of them are now considered to be cult classics. After developing a small fan base with an aggressive soldier demeanor, he eventually came under the watchful eyes of George "Big King" Murry. At the time, Big King, who is an accomplished entrepreneur, had a fashion line, a local car wash and most importantly, a recording studio. Although King had the studio and all the necessary equipment, what he didn't have was an aspiring artist. He immediately signed Big Slack to his newly founded label and work soon began for a full length album. Ready For Combat is his debut album and it was released in 2002 on King's Entertainment. Most of the solid production is handled by DJ Tee and Big Roe while KLC, Dart, Juvenile and Ed all lend a helping hand. Together, they try to bring a different kind of sound to the table. A sound that incorporates elements from the infamous genre of Bounce while also fusing aspects from soldier-esque themes. A style, which has a strict set of drum cadence that is followed by a jubilant synth and concluded with gentle bass lines. It was this distinct rhythmical pattern that really caught the attention of the city of New Orleans in the mid to late nineties and it has been prominent there, ever since. Also, a lot of artists picked up on the soldier mentality that Master P and his No Limit camp were so famous for pushing. Not only did Master P and his crew flooded the market with that infamous campaign, they also inspired others to be just like them in sound, character and demeanor. Slack is a strong lyricist. His size along with his rough tone, allows him to overpower his listeners. He is energetic on his tracks and delivers them at a fair rate. There are times where he can really excel and go for the final blow in his rhyme but instead he ends up choosing the simpler route and thereby finishes humbly. It's this type of selfishness that brings the lyrical content to the next lower tier. Though, Big Slack understood this discrepancy which is why he invited a star studded guest list to help him in the lyrical department. Guest appearance are made by Juvenile, 6 Shot, 39 Posse, Full Blooded, Hot Boy Ronald, Josephine Johnny, Mr. Marcelo, Queen D, Big Ramp, The Royal Family, Lil' Elt, Ziggler Wiggler, The Three Kings, Pretty Boy, Young Assassin, Slugga, Hussle Man and Ms. Elisa Williams. Overall, this was a solid release by the artist and it's one that carries something for everybody. Whether the style on display is Bounce, Street, or Conscious, the listeners will get a small taste to acclimate themselves into their favorable areas . The album's versatile song list is its' strong point. The artist, along with his label, were both on the same wave length in construction and development. They knew exactly what the public wanted and they delivered just that. Although it may not be a masterpiece or a classic, the release is still rewarding to experience. An all rounded record and one that King's Entertainment and Big Slack can be truly proud of.

Deadly Verses
Give'em Props



Album Notes
* Big Slack's nickname is the Overweight Hot Boy.
* This was very the first album to be released under King's Entertainment.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mr. Low - One Man's Vision

Cedric Jackson, better known as Low-Down or Mr. Low, is an artist from the upsetting streets of Opelousas, LA. He first appeared on the scene in the year 1997 with his debut album, "Tales Of Da South." One Man's Vision is his second album and it was released in 2001 on Elusion Records. Bulk of the production duties are mainly handled by Bird or Rick Colomb, while Noke D, Sal, Mixso and Gamebinno' are all credited for a few tracks of their own. The beats are from the new millennium so the listener pretty much knows what to expect. They are not dull in any way, shape, or form and neither are they groundbreaking in any facet. It's an average batch of rhythms with a select few standouts here and there. Most of them are thumping with solid bass lines and a hard hitting set of drums. This strict structure and methodical approach happens to sustain the listener with at least the necessary amounts of entertainment needed to enjoy the album. Lyrically, Mr. Low fairs well upon the microphone. Although he does seem to have lost a step or two since his last outing, his Southern tone and dialect are still the same. And while the fundamentals of key song writing elements are there, it is the choruses and hooks that need some work. Not enough attention is given to them on most tracks and that is where the core content really suffers. Other than that, there are no major blemishes and the artist does have a solid rhyme scheme in place with decent amounts of verbal wit. Guest appearances are made by Lil' Keke, Profound, Ltd., II Deep Down South, WildCat, Miss CoCo, Grey and Toné. Overall it's a stable release that rounds out with a total of fourteen tracks. Aside from a few minor shortcomings, the album eventually does pick up and finishes on the right foot. Also, there is really no type of comparison to be made between his debut release and this one. The two are miles apart from each other in terms of quality, sound and temperament. Now, that may not be a bad thing in most cases but it just goes to show that sometimes changing one's artistry to evolve with the times is not always the brightest idea. In the long run, it is simply better to hold on to your unique individuality and strong intellect to leave an everlasting impression on the listener.

Deadly Verses
Nothing Like Da Game ft. Lil' Keke

Mad Flava - (Rare & Unreleased)

Mad Flava is a collective that represents from the roguish boulevards of Dallas, TX. It consists of Cold Chris, Hype Dawg, Don Kassan and DJ Baby G. The group was formed by Cold Chris in the late eighties but was a trio with DJ Baby G and Don Kassan. It wasn't till the early nineties when the group inducted their fourth member, Hype Dawg who is originally from the city of St. Louis in Missouri. Together, they released their one and only full length album which dropped on Priority Records, known as, "From Tha Ground Unda." This album is a compilation of B-Sides, rarities and unreleased material from the group which was recorded between the years of 1990 to 1998. The record was put together by Hype Dawg circa, 1999. Most of the songs are either recorded under Raw Deal Records or Du Damage Entertainment. Production, as always, is led by the magnificent, Hype Dawg and he certainly does not disappoint. His production pattern is so unique and intricate, that it becomes hard to classify. His choice of samples is exceptional and it tends to become the dominant portion of the beat. His creativeness also plays a huge role when constructing and it immediately indulges the listener from the very first track. The rhythms are hard hitting and very groovy to say the least. They are a perfect illustration of that Old School Hip Hop sound and are thoroughly enjoyable. Lyrics are also of an exemplary nature. Extra emphasis is given on the technique and proper delivery of a rhyme. Word play is immensely used which then makes their vocals very unpredictable. Rhyme schemes and patterns are one of a kind and each member can wreak havoc on any given track. The songs have a strong sense of direction and are conveyed in such a fashion, that it's up to the listener to understand and decipher them. The compilation signs off with a total of fifteen bonafide tracks with a wide range of subjects and topics. This is not a official release, it is merely a compilation of tracks that Hype Dawg dug out of the vaults of the underground. While it may not be formal in appearance, it is still authentic in character. What it lacks in actualization, it more than makes up for it in the core quality of content. After listening to this material, it is baffling to understand why the group fell out of favor with Priority Records. The label had such flexibility with the group that the only thing they had to do was market them properly. And since the major label failed to do just that, the group did not stand a chance. In the end, Mad Flava dissolved into the depths of the underground and eventually became a victim of their own time.

Deadly Verses
Fatherless

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Foul Mouf - Talkin' Sh*t

Foul Mouf is a rapper that represents the atrocious streets of Houston, TX. Now, with an alias like Foul Mouf and a title like Talkin' Sh*t, one might expect this album to be full of barbaric amounts of vulgar content but that is not the case. The artist along with his material, is only as offensive as any other release from the southern region. In fact, some might even complain that he is not brash or profane enough for their liking. Nevertheless, this release holds a significant amount of importance for the individual and the accompanying parties involved. Talkin' Sh*t is the artist's debut album and it was released in 2002 on Draper, Inc. A new label which was founded by the intellectual, Tony Draper. The creation of this label marked an end of an era for the infamously successful, Suave House Records. Tony Draper decided it was time to close the curtains on one of the most prominent labels in the South, mainly because of most of its' profitable artist had either retired or moved on to a completely different or rival label. Suave House had an incredible run in the nineties and shutting the label down was definitely a difficult pill to swallow. Tony knew it was time to move on though, music was steadily evolving in the South and that hardcore sound mostly associated with Suave House, would not last at all against the new generation. So, he found himself an inspiring and upcoming artist in Foul Mouf and Talkin' Sh*t became the first release under Draper, Inc. Production on this piece is split between the legendary, T-Mixx or Q-Stone and Sean Blaze. They team up to provide a nice selection of beats that integrate concepts from the new wave sound. The rhythms tend to stay upbeat for the most part. There are some tracks that are reminiscent of T-Mixx's days with Suave House but even those sound watered down when compared to their counterparts. Foul Mouf is at an above average level lyrically. His rhymes will surprise the listener and will also keep them from discarding his genuine efforts either. He has a typical delivery pattern and his use of word play is adequately scattered. His Southern tone on the other hand, is of top quality and it's one of his main areas of strength. Also to provide extra help in the lyrical department are guest features of Bun B, Devin The Dude, Butch Cassidy, T-Lo, Dez and Ming Xia of the Spooks. The album closes out with a decent total of thirteen tracks with varying subjects. Overall it's a versatile record which tends to cover all the themes and topics associated with the South. For example, the album boasts everything from profound street anthems to groovy club bangers and everything in between. It can be considered as a complete package and one that is competent enough to be a label's debut release. Although, Foul Mouf did manage to get some attention for his work and there were even plans for music video shoot, the recognition simply wasn't enough to propel him into the mainstreams; which ultimately was the goal set by Tony Draper and his newfound record label.

Deadly Verses
Life Goes On


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Black Ghost - The Crossroads Of Life

Alvin Ray, better known as The Black Ghost, is a rapper that represents from the revolting boroughs of Oak Cliff in Dallas, TX. He is also a former football player for the University of Arkansas. It was at this acclaimed university where he met Derrick Dansby, a local DJ who goes by the alias of, DJ-D. The two of them decided to work on an album and officially enter the music industry. The Crossroads Of Life is their debut album and it was released in 2002 on Uniq Records. Production is guided by DJ-D, who tends to keep things simple for the most part. The beats are all derived electronically and are free of any sampling. Their originality oozes style which gives the record an overall refreshing feel. At times the rhythms can get a bit passive and lethargic but that's only because of their straightforward approach. Lyrically the album is at a stable and steady level. The Black Ghost can surprise the listener with his unique word play and technique. His flow is conveyed with a thick southern accent and is delivered at a fair pace. The rhymes show a lot of promise and are also quite intellectual in nature. Guest appearances are provided by G-Style, Fred T., Dahlia Evans and DJ-D. The album closes out with an ample total of sixteen tracks with varying subjects and topics. Overall this was a solid effort from the Oak Cliff native and while it won't break any barriers musically, it is still worth a listen. Since this is an underground release that hardly got any attention in its' heyday, one can only imagine what the artist can accomplish with a full fledged label and an experienced production team.

Deadly Verses
 The Crossroads Of Life


Album Notes
* A big thanks goes out to golfcoast for providing this one.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Aggravated - Accept

Aggravated is a collective from the vicious streets of Houston, TX. As a whole, the group represents for the city of Houston but some of the members are from smaller cities in the vicinity such as, Pasadena and Freeport. While membership has varied throughout their active years, the original group consisted of Grimm, Filero, Balazo, Shadow, Lord Loco, Pranksta, Slinkey, Ikeman and Troublemaker. Now, the birth of Aggravated was laid by another local group in the early nineties known as the Mixed Colored Mafia. The Mixed Colored Mafia consisted of Big C, Lord Loco, A-K and Troublemaker. Under unfortunate circumstances, Big C and A-K were incarcerated. This then led to Lord Loco and Troublemaker hooking up with Grimm and Filero. This formation was billed as Aggravated and work soon began for a full length album. Accept is their debut album and it was released in 1995 on Aggravated Records. By the time Big C and A-K were released from jail, the album was near completion but both A-K and Big C did manage to get a guest spot in there. Production on this piece was led by Filero and Balazo with Grimm and his brother, Shadow also lending a helping hand. The beats are an ensemble of dark, synth filled rhythms that really set the theme for the entire album. Their edginess is surreal at times and their composure embodies the sound of the streets. While most are original in nature, there are some that are sample driven. The most notable one coming from the famous song "Burnin' And Lootin'" by Bob Marley & The Wailers which is used heavily on the track "I Am Your Future." Lyrically the record also bodes well. All the members carry a distinct style and they can all dominate the microphone with ease. Their rhymes are delivered sharply and vividly. Word play and various schemes are kept at a canny level. Meanwhile, extra emphasis is placed on the character and structure of a song. Also with such an extensive membership, there is never a dull moment. Mainly due to the different artists being used on different tracks, with some even getting a solo or a duet. Guest appearances are made by DJ Screw, K-Rino, A.C. Chill, DBX, Geto African, Hollowpoint, Ruff Eyque, Strych 9, Big C, A-K, Dren, Lil' Chuck and Acie. The record signs off with a modest total of eleven tracks all the while leaving the listener craving for more. This release was able to garner a good bit of success which eventually put the group into an ordeal with their record label. John J. Hernandez, the owner of Aggravated Records, wanted to take some members out and replace them with some other ones. He also wanted to change the group's distinct sound and powering image. Grimm and his fellow band mates wanted no part in this horrendous idea. This then became an internal conflict which was resolved by a litigation through the judicial system. John won the case and kept the rights to the name of the group. He then acted on his personal agenda and made his own version of Aggravated all the while releasing albums under that moniker. The original group moved on and signed with Jam Down Records and eventually became the group known as, The Most Hated. Accept will always be looked upon as a diamond in the rough type deal. It's a compelling work of art that also a brings upon an ominous feeling because of the group's unfortunate demise.

Deadly Verses
I Am Your Future (Radio) ft. Klondike Kat

Deadly Video
Creepin

Album Notes
* Aggravated is also part of the South Park Coalition.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chief-A-Tree Family - Lone Star Ballaz

Chief-A-Tree Family is a trio that represents from the wicked streets of Fort Worth, TX. The group consists of JFK, Head Turner and the in house producer, O.Z. Lone Star Ballaz is their debut album and it was released in 2001 on Off The Hook Records. Production is led by O.Z., who tends to bring a contemporary Down South production pattern. A type of pattern that is upbeat and customary for nearly any post millennium release from Texas. It may be a typical palette but it does not have any shortcomings. The rhythmical atmosphere is flexible enough to be enjoyed and not be too complicated or complex. Lyrically the album is at a respectable level. The two rappers are fluent in their vocals and their styles are modest to say the least. Both of them rely on simple rhyme schemes with moderate amounts of word play. There are a few tracks where the artists really do step out of their comfort zone and truly excel upon the microphone but for the most part things are kept simple and to the point. Guest appearances are made by Crystal, R. Sneed and Lil Wet. The album sounds off with a competent total of fifteen tracks with varying topics. All in all, it's a satisfactory release from the group and one that flirts with the lines of average and good. The record does have a few highlights but the straightforward approach from the artists seems to hinder any progress. And while the release won't take home any majestic awards, it is still quite commendable to see the group's dedication and devotion to their art.

Deadly Verses
Big Momma

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ms. Tee - Hot Girl

Trishell Williams, better known as Ms. Tee, is an artist that represents from the vile swamps of New Orleans, LA. Known throughout the Southern region for her soothing voice and providing vicious backup vocals, Ms. Tee first started off with Cash Money Records. In fact, she was the first female artist signed to that infamous label. After three somewhat successful albums with Cash Money Records, she would end up leaving them over a royalty dispute in the year 1996. Hot Girl is her fourth album and it was released in 1997 on the rival label, Untouchable Records. As with most Untouchable releases, production duties are assigned to Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson and Gary "Ozone" McKee. Together, they provide a spirited collection of rhythms that strictly define that classic New Orleans sound. A type of sound that seems laid back but is hype at the same time. The beats incorporate vivid notes from the genre of Bounce as well as various Southern elements to complete their composition. Now, the blend mentioned above only works flawlessly on a few cuts. Some tracks on here seem to have too much going on at one given point and almost become an audible distraction. Some of these faults could be blamed on the mixing and mastering department but not all of them. Not to worry though, because the composers do a good enough job of camouflaging these blemishes by spacing the tracks properly. The record also has its' ups and downs in the lyrical section. Ms. Tee is no ordinary songstress. Her tone is quite mollifying and she can change her pitch and tempo instantaneously. It's her blunt approach and vulgar themes that tend to go downhill. Although, one could overlook the vulgarity due to the record's underground nature and let it pass but it's truly hard to ignore the subject matter. The songs end up taxing the listener at one point or another and their motives become very unclear. Also, there is hardly any originality to her rhymes. Almost every verse or hook is an interpolation of a popular R&B song, Ms. Tee just presents it with her Southern flair and outlandish demeanor. Thus the end result is a mundane one even with the artist's superb voice. Guest appearances are made by L.O.G., Fila Phil, Lokee, Pimp Dogg, Charlie Hanseen, S.A.C. Mafia and Mike Love. The album rounds out with a total of fifteen tracks and with the discrepancies mentioned above, it becomes impossible to finish it in one sitting. Although the record can sustain itself because of the lavish guest list, it just doesn't have anything long term for the listener. Neither lyrically nor musically. The end result is a sub par effort from the artist, especially when considering the fact that she was known for providing the deadliest choruses and hooks money could buy in The Boot.
      

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Zed Zilla - Da Franchise

Zed Zilla is a rapper that represents from the sprawling streets of Memphis, TN. An accomplished artist who has been recording since he was fifteen years old. His alias was given to him by a close friend who described his as the legendary fire breathing monster Godzilla, due to his vocal flair on the microphone. He was discovered by Yo Gotti, who immediately saw the raw talents of Zed and quickly began to mentor him. Da Franchise is his debut album and it was released in 2003 on Open Mouth Entertainment. Production on this joint is provided by the veteran, Blackout. He brings his intense style of craftsmanship to the table. A style that incorporates heavy sampling as the main hook and then builds upon it with a rapid cadence of drums and bass. This method is used throughout and tends to be a perfect fit for the artist. Lyrically Zed Zilla is quite strong on the microphone. His flow is fired quickly and energetically. His tone is somewhat sharp and his use of word play is clever. There are times when he does get a bit repetitive but the album is so well spaced that it is hardly noticeable. Guest appearances are made by Terror, Mon Goddi, Young Assassins, Lil Bird, Cardell, Pasae Watkins, Mac E, Stebo, Bigg Baby, Playboy and C.E.O. All in all, this is a substantial release by the artist that closes out at a total of fifteen tracks. The versatility that the record displays gives it the longevity that most desire. While Zed is still going strong in the rap industry today, most have forgotten his humble beginnings. This release stands as a testament for them and shines like a jewel from the boulevards of South Memphis.

Deadly Verses
Ying Yang ft. Mon Goddi, Bigg Baby & Terror


Album Notes
* Zed Zilla has also recorded under the alias, Lil' Zed.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

MC Overlord - A Better Funk

Donnell Robinson, better known as MC Overlord, is an artist that represents from the appalling streets of Austin, TX. Although he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to Austin, Texas in 1987 and has resided there ever since. A veteran in the underground rap scene, Overlord has been around since the early nineties and is still active today. He is considered by many to be a pioneer in the vast city of Austin and is appropriately dubbed as "The Godfather of ATX Hip Hop." He is known for performing with live instruments and creating a genre defying atmosphere with the congenial mix of thought provoking lyrics over awe inspiring rhythms. His love for music runs deep since he was brought up on the genre of Funk & Soul. It wasn't until his teenage years where he eventually developed a taste for Hip Hop. He would rap for fun at his local high school and could freestyle of the top of his head for hours on end. While attending Austin Community College, he made an overwhelming decision. Instead of pursuing a degree from the acclaimed school, he would turn his past time hobby into a full time career. He decided to become a rapper and soon dropped out of school altogether. A Better Funk is his second album and it was released in 1995 on Lordship Records. The record is beautifully produced by DJ Cassanova, Charlie Redd, Micheal Hale, David Garza and Ter'ell Shahid. Together, they incorporate the use of live instruments into each and every track. Everything from percussion instruments to various guitars, keyboards and even saxophones are used to their ultimate apex. The beats are crafted from the ground up and are a treat to listen to. A couple of them are sample driven but the rest are all as original as can be. The record is also strong in the lyrical department. MC Overlord's powerful rhymes include a steady dose of word play and his burly tone delivers each line with precision. His subject matter is also diverse because it touches on various topics such as race, unity, equality, community and other compelling ideas that affect humanity as a whole. He indulges the listener from the very first track and keeps them hooked till the last. The album closes out at a humble total of eleven tracks which are all equally entertaining. Guest appearances are made by Dee, Ter'ell Shahid, Dah-Veed, Smooth Nelson and Charlie Redd. It is certainly not easy to record with live instruments which is why most producers stick to an electronic drum machine to provide different sounds. Overlord's unorthodox approach which involves live instruments is extremely thought out. The musicians provide an impressive foundation for the artist to freely express himself. In return, the emcee excels on the microphone and makes sure that their efforts are not wasted. This is an excellent work of art that has the unique ability to reach individuals on a conscious level. The album did not get any mainstream attention or appreciation but it gets plenty of love and respect from the deep vaults of the underground.

Deadly Verses
Put 'Em Up (Rasta Mix) ft. Dee

Deadly Video
Alright


Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Day After Hell Broke Loose

The Day After Hell Broke Loose is a compilation album which is presented by Bigg Tyme and Rap-A-Lot Records. It was constructed upon the success of "The Day Hell Broke Loose" series by Swishahouse Records. This album was released in the early part of 2004 on Rap-A-Lot Records. Veteran producers Bigg Tyme and Mike Dean are credited for providing the tunes. Together, they do an excellent job by creating a palette of rhythms that strictly cater to the fans of the Swang & Bang genre. The beats are mostly contemporary and upbeat in nature. The creators made sure that the blend stays electric and musically sound at all times. Lyrics tend to vary since this is a joint venture between two of the most prolific record labels from the South and their respective artists. One can only expect greatness when the likes of Scarface, Bun B, Devin The Dude and Z-Ro are fused with Lil' Flip, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, J-Dawg, Magno, Lil' Ron, Lil' Mario and Dolla. The album closes out with a total of fourteen tracks and aside from a couple of them, their subject matter mostly lingers around materialistic values and financial gains. All in all it's a decent compilation and one that was released at the height of the H-Town takeover phenomenon. The two camps capitalized on the alluring situation at hand and put forth a genuine effort. The record beautifully withstands the test of time and should deserve a spot in any Southern Rap collection. 

Deadly Verses
Z-Ro (Remix) ft. Z-Ro

Sunday, November 13, 2016

John Got'ti - Cut Throat

John Got'ti is a rapper who represents from the murky swamps of New Orleans, LA. Cut Throat is his debut album and it was released in 2001 on Big Pocket Records with Orpheus Music overlooking the whole project. The album is largely produced by Mr. Sinista while Kriz Kang lends him a hand on a few tracks. The rhythms can be summed up as that renewed New Orleans sound that really became prominent after the new millennium. They contain various elements are mostly uptempo in nature.  The beats are not groundbreaking but are still passable in the end. Now, one could easily assume a darker theme will be presented due to the record's title but that is certainly not the case. Lyrically, Got'ti can hold his own on the microphone. The rhymes are conventional and driven straight to the point. His tone is a bit typical but the rate of speed is somewhat rapid. He also tries to incorporate different styles into his delivery, most notably from the genre of Bounce Music. The end result is again nothing revolutionary but still acceptable. Guest appearances are made by Sassy C, D. Mike, Superstar and Mr. Sinista. The album finishes off with a total of fourteen tracks and while there are a few fillers, the rest remain solid. Overall, a decent effort by the N.O. native and one that is adequate enough to be given a listen. The album has it's moments and when it tends to go downhill, the artist quickly counters it. That's a good sign, it shows awareness and a positive intent from his part. Sadly, the subject matter is just not broad enough to reach a wider audience and that is the only real knock against this otherwise respectable release.

Deadly Verses
Rest In Peace



Deadly Video

"Cut Throat"  artist John Gotti from Randy Rome Walsh on Vimeo.

Friday, November 11, 2016

T-Pop Da I-10 Juggla - Makin' Moves

Joshua Thibodeaux, better known as T-Pop, is a rapper from the infamous city of Lafayette in Louisiana. He has also held residence in the notorious southside of Houston, TX. His nickname, "Da I-10 Juggla," is derived from the two cities connecting to each other through the renowned highway system known as, Interstate 10. Makin' Moves is his debut album and it was released in 2001 on Laf-Tex South Records, a sub-label under the parent, Laftex Records. Production on this piece is mainly handled by the magnificent, DJ Dolby D while Mr. Phat and T-Pop also chip in on a few cuts. The beats are strictly southern in demeanor and since Dolby D blesses the tracks with his brilliant creativity, the rhythms become that much more entertaining. Although they carry an upbeat pattern and are quite contemporary in composure, they are still very appealing to the ears. Lyrically, T-Pop is exceptional on the microphone. His laid back tone and raw southern dialect go hand in hand. His rhymes are delivered at a good pace and are dripping with fluent word play. While his level of energy and enthusiasm never drops, there are times when he becomes just a little repetitive. Not to worry though, an excellent star studded guest list is there to back him up when times tend to get bad. Featuring on the record is, Trae, Botany Boys, 3-2, I.B.G., Lil' Flex, Den Den, Mike D, Big Pokey, Wood, Deadend B.G.'s, D-Gotti, C-Nile, Big Tantrum, Black, Young Mafios, Pedoro, Toemas, Dwayne Parker and Bryson Bernard. All in all this is a very solid release, especially when considering the fact that it is a debut album. Not only did Da I-10 Juggla present himself with validity and clarity, he also managed to assert himself onto the Southern Rap scene. In the end, this work of art remains as a hidden gem and has the tendency to shine from each and every angle.

Deadly Verses
Ain't No Stopping ft. Black, C-Nile, Deadend B.G.'s, Pedoro & Big Tantrum

Album Notes
* T-Pop is also affiliated with the legendary Screwed Up Click.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

K-Otix - Spontaneity

K-Otix is a trio that represents from the forbidden streets of Houston, TX. It consists of Damien, Mic and The ARE. The group is most known for showcasing their traditional style of Hip Hop while still maintaining a Southern demeanor. K-Otix was formed in the early part of 1992 and while the group's main alias has remained unchanged, it was their individual names that varied. Damien was known as Dookie Luv, Mic was known as Mic The Madman and The ARE was known as Roc Smuv. It wasn't until 1996 when they decided to drop their former monikers and started work on their debut. Their original plan was to work with another group out of Houston which went by the name of Example. Now as far as styles are concerned, Example and K-Otix were on the same page. They both swayed away from the typical style of Southern Rap and really molded themselves after their East Coast colleagues. The two groups planned to release a double EP with Side 1 belonging to K-Otix and Side 2 belonging to Example. Things did not go as planned and the idea of the double EP was shelved altogether. Both parties took their rightful material and released their own projects separately. Example released the highly covetable EP called, "Impulses" and K-Otix countered with Spontaneity, which is certainly of equal caliber. Spontaneity is their debut album and it was released in 1997 on K-Otix Entertainment. The album is produced by the group's masterful in house producer, Russell "The ARE" Gonzales. The ARE, who is a protege of the legendary DJ Premier, really models his style after the great Gang Starr DJ. It was under Premier's tutelage where ARE truly learned the fundamentals of proper production. The beats are sample driven for the most part. They contain various elements of Hip Hop and are a treat to listen to. ARE's recipe of construction is a simple one. He samples a dope hook, punches in the bass and finishes it off with a cadence of drums. This theme then serves as a backbone for the group's identity. Lyrically the record is also very strong. Damien and Mic are no slouch on the microphone. They tend to display a lot of word play as well as an extensive and imaginative vocabulary. Their rhymes are fiery, vivid and intellectual. They immediately take the listener hostage from the very first track. Also worth noting is the chemistry the two artists have with each other. The EP closes out at a modest total of eight bonafide tracks leaving the listener craving for more. Overall, this was a solid effort by the group and one that was well worth the wait. Aside from a handful of acts, most groups out of the city of Houston are somewhat one dimensional and tend to jock each other for style or publicity. It takes a whole different mindset and not to mention the courage, to go against the norm in the South. K-Otix unorthodox approach is what separates them from the rest. Spontaneity garnered a good bit of success and eventually led the group to sign a major distribution deal with the New York based label known as, Bronx Science. Even with the success of a few singles on the radio and the aforementioned publishing deal, K-Otix never really broke into the mainstreams. Then again, maybe that was something they weren't too concerned about. It seems as if they were quite content in the underground, challenging other artists for the subterranean throne. In the end, their vast career spans over two decades and their catalog of timeless material certainly speaks for itself.

Deadly Verses
7 MCs


Album Notes
* This EP is color coded into three variations.
* First Pressing: Yellow - Second Pressing: Red - Third Pressing: Blue
* The ARE left the group in 2004 before rejoining them in 2015.
* K-Otix is also a member of the super group, Ethos.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Suthern Merchandise - Suthern Stress

Suthern Merchandise, also known as the Suthern Merchandise Family, is a collective from the illicit streets of San Antonio, TX. Although membership has varied throughout their active years, the core congregation has remained unchanged. The main group consists of Ricé, PFK, Black Satin, K-9, Big B, Lady Lunatic, 2 Face and Big Jay. This is their debut compilation album and it was released in the early part of 1997 on Suthern Merchandise Records. The excellent southern fried production is provided by none other than the skillful producer, Ricé. His classic approach and superb craftsmanship is brought upon every track. The beats are laced with numerous instruments and are free of samples. They contain deep bass lines with solid drums which are then intricately mixed with twangy guitar licks and topped off with some smooth synthesizers. This recipe is used during the whole of the album and it certainly gives of a satisfying vibe. The lyrics are also on point. The members take full advantage of the rhythms and present their end of the deal with utmost precision. Their rhymes are delivered sharply and explicitly. The pace is not at a brisk level but still moves along at a very decent rate. All members are quite accomplished on the microphone but the ones that standout the most are K-9 and Black Satin. Also worth taking a note of are the sublime backup vocals and superior chorus hooks which are meshed into most of the tracks. The album closes out with a total a of twelve genuine cuts and they are all equally enjoyable. As a group, Suthern Merchandise dropped one more album towards the end of the year 1997 known as, "Still In Da Game." All in all, this record exemplifies the masterful artistry which dwells in the lower levels of San Antonio's massive underground music scene. It shows a lot of promise as well as an admirable amount of talent from the parties involved. Although this was a very limited release with a restricted number of pressings, the record still has the uncanny ability to keep up with any mainstream release from the South.

Deadly Verses
Suthern Merchandise ft. K-9

Album Notes
* Suthern Merchandise disbanded in the year 2002.
* K-9 would later change his alias to K-9ine.

Friday, August 26, 2016

R.E.S Records - The RESurrection Compilation

R.E.S Records was a Christian Rap label from the unforgiving streets of Houston, TX. The label was started in the mid nineties by Richard Hunt and Otto Osterman. Their main objective was to give a home to the aspiring local Christian Rap emcees in Houston while also keeping them on the right track. The two founders quickly recruited BDI and Dez from the infamous group, Nuk Ruk. The two members from Nuk Ruk were considered to be the primary pieces and the main source of strength for the record label. It was through their help that the record label eventually got more artists on board such as, Tre-9, Snapz, 20/Twenty, Manifest, NSC, The Foundation and last but not least, the singer Jamecia Williams. Work on this compilation began as soon as the crew was assembled in the early part of 1999. It was completed in the year 2000 and released as a debut album by the R.E.S Records. Production is solely handled by the masterful, BDI and he does not disappoint. BDI's rhythmical pattern is quite unique. He fuses the traditional style of Hip-Hop with the flavorful Southern style. He does this with not only the use of a typical drum machine but also with the use of live instrumentation. Most notably through the work of various guitars and pianos. He also adds his distinct scratches with the turntables which ends up being the final key ingredient for his magnificent beats. Lyrically the album also excels. There is never a dull moment due to the various artists used to create the rhymes. Each artist brings an intellectual style to the table and claim their stake on the microphone with utter precision. Word play is presented with riddling rhyme schemes which makes the end result thoroughly captivating. BDI, Dez, Tre-9 and 20/Twenty are the standouts here but the rest of the acts are not too far behind. Guest appearances are made by Reverse, Queen D, MOG, DJ Excell, B-Boy and Kathy Abshire. All in all, this is an excellent compilation by the label and a must have for any Christian Rap fan. They could have easily talked about materialistic possessions, women, money and the like but they chose to go against the grain. It is always good to hear artists who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and go against the flow of the norm. The album gives off a truthful yet positive message and it can only be deciphered by listening to their powerful and thought provoking music.

Deadly Verses
Verbal Revolution

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Prime Time - Duck Tape'n

Michael Williams, better known as Prime Time, is a rapper from the savage swamps of New Orleans, LA. He first appeared on the scene with the notorious Bounce group known as, Partners-N-Crime. He was heavily featured on their earlier albums and was almost considered as an unofficial third member of the famed group. It was through their tutelage and guidance, that Prime Time was able to come out of their shadows and establish himself as a southern artist. Duck Tape'n is his debut solo album and it was released in 1998 on South Coast Music Group. Production is handled by the magnificent, Leroy "Precise" Edwards and he tries to bring his signature style to the table. The beats are mostly derived for the genre of Bounce with the exception of a few songs. Some of them are sample driven while the rest are about as original as can be. Although Precise's past resume is an excellent one and his work truly speaks for itself, he really just does not bring the same level of craftsmanship on this release. There are some tracks that are very good and then there are some that are dull and bland. The same can be said when it comes to the lyrical content. Prime Time crosses the fine line between average and great. He flirts with a bit of word play but tends to rely more on common rhyme schemes. His tone along with his pace are perfect for Bounce music and he takes full advantage of what is offered to him. The subject matter ventures into different categories but for the most part stays with typical Bounce subjects such as project rapping, roll calling, call & response, etc. Guest appearances are made by Partners-N-Crime, L.O.G., Tre-8, Drama Squad, Ms. Tee, Bayou Boy, G-Hunter, Ché and Mary Jane. Overall this was a decent album by the N.O. native and it help spawn a few local hits in The Boot. Although the record does often revert back to its' Bounce roots, it certainly does have a lot more to offer than just that. The album contains various elements as a whole and it's not just restricted to the genre of Bounce. In the end, that is what truly separates it from the rest and makes it that much more entertaining to listen to. Also to note, is the presence of Partners-N-Crime on the front cover with Kangol Slim on the left and Misdemeanor on the right. This was Prime Time's way of paying homage and showing love for the two people who always had a helping hand in his success as an artist.

Deadly Verses
Where My Souljas At

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Archie Lee - Da Mista Masta

Archie Tatmon, better known as Archie Lee, is rapper from the Northside of Houston, TX. He is also one of the original members of the infamous, Swishahouse. The Swishahouse is a collective which was founded by Micheal Watts in the mid nineties to counteract all the fame and success the Screwed Up Click was receiving. He recruited rappers from the Northside and started releasing mix tapes with Slowed & Chopped freestyles of his own crew. The tapes caught the city like a wild fire, especially on the northern end. Some liked and even appreciated what Watts was doing, while others discredit his approach due to the fact that DJ Screw and his comrades were the originators of the Chopped & Screwed mix tapes. Although the latter is true and non debatable, it was after DJ Screw's unfortunate passing in 2000, when the Chopped & Screwed or Slowed & Chopped really caught on to the rest of the world. It was Micheal Watts along with O.G. Ron C, who led the charge and re-introduced the rest of the nation to this unorthodox technique. Da Mista Masta by Archie Lee is the very first solo debut of a Swishahouse artist and it was released in 2000 on Swishahouse Records and SwishaBlast Entertainment. The production is manged by Micheal Watts, G-Dash, Bigg Tyme, Micheal Wilder, Jesse Brown and Cedric Page. The beats are not ground breaking but they are passable. Although they contain various elements and have a solid foundation, they still seem very simple and sometimes even mundane. The rhythms mostly cater to the new style of Swang & Bang, which is understandable since this is a release from the new millennium. Lyrical content of the album is also tolerable. Archie Lee won't break any barriers lyrically and certainly won't set any new standards for the Southern region. His flow style is quite common and does not do anything for the listener. Also, his tone and pitch jumps around quite a bit which in turn makes him go off beat a lot. Now, that may be by design and not by some kind of internal flaw. Nevertheless, he still attacks the microphone with passion and flair. Guest appearances are made by Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Lester Roy, Big Tiger, J-Dawg, Lil' Mario, Big Pic, A.D., Sabwarfare, Lil' Ron, Blyndcyde, Bongo, Nancy Taylor and Reginald Hackett. A lengthy guest list is certainly what the main artist needed to give the record an extra boost. All in all, this is a decent effort by the Houston native and it helped the label get going in the right direction. It was after this release, when management realized what components were working and what was not. They started to cater more towards the newer generation of Southern Rap and really propelled themselves into the mainstreams. In the end, this record is a humble beginning which stands as a testament of their hard work and dedication to their art.

Deadly Verses
Can I Shine ft. Lil' Ron & Slim Thug


Album Notes
* Lester Roy designed the logo for Swishahouse Records.
* Slowed & Chopped albums by the Swishahouse have an alternative blue cover.
  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Lil' O - Blood Money

Oreoluna Magnus Lawson, better known as Lil' O, is a rapper who hails from the southwest side of Houston, TX. His alias is a direct reference to his actual height, which is listed at five feet. He is also an original member of the legendary Screwed Up Click. Lil' O first appeared on the scene with the breakout single "Can't Stop," which featured Destiny's Child in 1997. The single was a instant hit on the streets of Houston and in return made him into an overnight celebrity. Blood Money is his highly anticipated debut album and it was released in 1999 on Game Face Entertainment. A gang of different producers were used to reach the end result. The likes of Crazy C, Chicken Hawk, Grizz, Double D, Swift and Willy Malone handle the bulk of the duties while Pimp C of UGK also chips in on one of the tracks. The beats can simply be described as that classic H-Town Sound. The rhythms are all funk laden and are very groovy to say the least. They are a true and classic representation of the older swang and bang sound which was very prominent with artists of the Screwed Up Click. The producers really do a solid job with the rhythms and the set up is perfect for the artist. Lil' O is an adept lyricist. He relies heavily on clever rhyme schemes and witty cliches. His pattern is not unique but it can still catch the listener by surprise. What really sets him apart is his southern tone, which upon hearing is very distinct and sharp. His pace is quite variable thus allowing him to adapt to any kind of song. Guest appearance are made by DJ Screw, UGK, Fat Pat, E.S.G., Big Pokey, C-Note, Will Lean, Yungstar, Hawk, Lil' Flip, 3-2, Al-D, Big Moe, Enjoli, Ronnie Spencer, Billy Cook, Bad Actaz, Slikk Breeze and Dana Jackson. A lengthy star studded guest list is customary for any Screwed Up Click release and while it may seem a bit heavy, it certainly does not over shadow the main artist. Overall this is a very stable piece with fifteen solid tracks to boast. The album was well worth the wait from the initial Maxi Single. It sold 20,000 copies upon release without any kind of promotion. The record could of done a lot better if it had proper promotion but that was not possible due to Lil' O serving time in the Harris County Jail. The album also beautifully withstands the test of time which is why it was re-released in 2006 with a bonus Chopped & Screwed disc. Lil' O is still active today, while his style of flow has altered a bit over time, his passion for music and loyalty to his crew remains unchanged.

Deadly Verses
Who's Snitching ft. UGK


Album Notes
* Lil' O is also a member of The Bar None Click.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Ill Relatives - Illustrations

The Ill Relatives is a group that hails from the eerie swamps of Baton Rouge, LA. It consists of Verge, Ryal, Drack Muse and Kool DJ Supamike. The collective was formed in the bustling halls of Southern University in South Baton Rouge. Two of the members are from the state of Illinois while the other two are from Louisiana. Hence the term "Ill," the "IL" is for Illinios and the other "L" is for Louisiana. The group is best known for emphasizing their deep and intellectual lyrics that are fused with some true and traditional Hip Hop style of beats. A type of style that is not a common practice in the state of Louisiana aside from the Psycho Ward and maybe even Bionik Brown (R.I.P.). Nevertheless, the group stayed humble and persistent and eventually released their full length debut album, Illustrations in 2001 on Nu Element Recordings. The production is managed by Gensu Dean and Drack Muse. Together, they team up to provide an eclectic composition of rhythms that are simply made but thoroughly engaging. A blend that is not only mellow but also very edgy and contemporary. The recipe for constructing the rhythms is of the olden days of Hip Hop and while it won't break any barriers musically, it still gives off a very refreshing vibe. Lyrically the album is also on point. The members are no slouch on the microphone and their verbal artistry is evident by their slick yet thought provoking rhymes. They take turns unleashing their various styles and their chemistry is certainly very commendable. Word play and technique are given the utmost attention so that the listener is immediately baited and hooked. The record closes out at a notable total of sixteen versatile tracks. Overall it's a very strong release by the group and one that can hold up against any premier release. Although this is another one of those hidden underground gems that are not easily located, it still has the power to challenge the mainstreams. In the end, it is up to the listener to discover the uncanny abilities of this solid work of art.

Deadly Verses
Illustrations

Album Notes
* The rhythm machine on the front cover is an Akai MPC2000.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days in the Life Of...

Arrested Development is a collective that was founded in the sprawling city of Atlanta, GA. It consists of Speech, DJ Headliner, Baba Oje, JJ Boogie, Rasa Don, Za', Montsho Eshe, One Love, Aerle Taree and Dionne Farris. Speech formed the group in the late eighties, when he met DJ Headliner at the Art Institute Of Atlanta. Now, at the time of their meeting, Speech already had a group called the Disciples Of Lyrical Rebellion. Together, they gradually recruited a couple of vocalists as well as some musicians and renamed the group to Arrested Development. Each member brings their own distinct and provocative style to the table. For instance, Baba Oje is the spiritual elder of the group and provides valuable insight and guidance while Montosho Eshe is a vocalists, dancer and fashion coordinator. JJ Boogie and Za' are both guitarists while Rasa Don is a percussionist. 3 Years, 5 Months And 2 Days in the Life Of... is their debut album and it was released in 1992 on Chrysalis Records. Production is mainly handled by Speech and Headliner, whom then delegate and coordinate who and what to use on a given track. The record is full of live instrumentation and it is definitely a treat to listen to. The beats are all assembled from the ground up and extra attention is given to detail. A couple of tracks are inspired by samples but the rest are all original as can be. The end result is a very crisp and upbeat selection of rhythms that fit the group's style perfectly. The album is also quite strong lyrically. Speech and his fellow vocalists are far from anything ordinary. Their tones, delivery and styles are incorporated with intricate precision into their songs. Again, Speech handles the bulk of the duties on the microphone and displays his lyrical prowess on just about every track. The subject matter is what quickly sets this album apart from others. The group touches on various subjects such as religion, peace, race, unity and the ever lasting struggle for equality. All of this is embedded into their songs and delivered musically with a clear and positive message. The album rounds out at an impressive total of sixteen choice cuts that are all equally enjoyable. Upon release, the record was met with high praise and instantaneous success. This also led to the group winning two prestigious Grammy Awards. The success was short lived though, the group's follow up album was considered a failure while creative and financial disputes erupted within. This eventually led to the breakup in the year 1996 with most members going their separate ways. Speech would then explore the solo route for a few years before reuniting them in the year 2000. By that time it was a little too late and the collective would not experience the same level of success as they did back in 1992 because Southern Rap was headed in a whole new direction. In the end, the group was admired for their passion and originality. They ended up paving the way for many other socially conscious artists while also raising awareness of the situation at hand.

Deadly Verses
People Everyday


Deadly Video




Album Notes
* The album's title is the actual length of time it took the group to get a recording contract.
* DJ Headliner did not participate in the reunion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

PJ

     PJ is a rapper that represents from the murky bayous of Houston, TX. This is his self titled debut and it was released in 2002 on Black Ink Records. PJ, along with producer DMD, put forth this effort in hopes of achieving some attention. Sadly, very little is known about the artist or the record label for that matter and any information regarding them would be greatly appreciated. Production is handled largely by DMD while assisted by J. Sanchez and PJ. The rhythms are quite bland to be honest and really don't have too much going for them. They seem to be electronically derived and are missing structural aspects and core fundamentals. There is no differentiation in tracks and each cut sounds strikingly similar to the next. The beats are also kept very simple which in return gives off a very mundane result. Lyrically, the album won't take home any awards and the basic approach used by the artist will also not help its' cause. PJ's rhyme pattern is quite plain and repetitive. Word play is non-existent and the subject matter stays pretty typical. While his tone and pitch are somewhat decent,  it still cannot capitalize on the lyrical flaws mentioned above. Featuring on the album is Khaliq and Issac. Also, the very odd and aberrant artwork was designed by, Stretch Work Graphics. The record spans over a total of sixteen tracks and unfortunately there are only a handful that are worth listening to. The end result is a very lackluster one and it can be easily neglected as a whole. It seems as if the album was recorded in one sitting inside someone's kitchen or basement. It deeply suffers from critical mixing and mastering issues. Now, granted this is an underground release and the quality criteria is often a bit relaxed related with those type of acts, it still cannot excuse the frivolous mistakes displayed on this record. The artist must come correct, especially when they are representing for the great state of Texas.

Album Notes
* PJ is not to be confused with PJ of the Boss Hogg Outlawz.
* DMD is not to be confused with DJ DMD of the Inner Soul Clique.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Big Snap - Leanin' Hard Down South

Charldrick Robinson, better known as Big Snap, is a rapper from the small but deadly city of Wharton, TX. Leanin' Hard Down South is his debut album and it was released in 1999 on Sum'n 2 Do Productions. The bulk of the production is handled by the masterful Jhiame, while Courtney Bryant and Irvin Cherry overlook the whole project. As always, Jhiame brings his veteran production pattern and does not disappoint musically. His approach is strictly southern and he laces each track with his distinct style of H-Town Funk. This results in a groovy, yet laid back environment and the listener has no choice but to oblige. Lyrically the album is also well rounded. Big Snap's flow is very unorthodox and his tone is quite rough. His delivery is full of pace and his southern drawl is ever present. The only minor drawback is that Big Snap is only good for about sixteen bars, anymore and he seems to become dull and repetitive. Out of the eighteen tracks recorded, there are only four which are presented by Big Snap himself, while the rest are all assisted by other guests. Featuring on the albums is C-Note of the Botany Boys, Lil' Keke, Slim Thug, Lil' Flip, Jhiame, Archie Lee, Jesso, Raw, Neil, Ms. Poo, Mickey and Patricia. The record is a little guest heavy but that is mainly due to the reason mentioned above. Overall its a decent release by the artist and it managed to get him some notoriety. Not only did he single handedly put the city of Wharton on notice but he also mangaged to represent for Houston as a whole. Sadly, Big Snap passed away on Febuary 23, 2008, at the Gulf Coast Medical Center. He was only 33 years old. Rest in peace to the best that ever did it for War Town Texas.

Deadly Verses
Rememberance Of Me ft. Raw & Patricia


Album Notes
* He also goes by the alias, Big Snapper.
* His cause of death is unknown.
* War Town is the nickname for the city of Wharton.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lokee - I Got Dis

Kenyatta Ruth, better known as Lokee, is a rapper and producer who represents from the notorious 9th Ward of New Orleans, LA. He first started off battle rapping in the early nineties at his local high school. After destroying the competition, he realized he was actually pretty talented and could really do this for a living. He began ghost writing for many different rappers in the city and quickly earned the moniker, Space Ghost. His most famous ghost writing stint was with the group known as Full Pack. He penned the lyrics for their hit single "I Like To #@*¤!" which eventually led Full Pack to signing a deal with an emerging record label. It wasn't long before Lokee would come under the scrutinizing eye of Elton Wicker Jr. Amazed by what he heard, he quickly signed Lokee to his up and coming label known as Tombstone Records. I Got Dis is Lokee's debut EP and it was released in 1995 on the aforementioned label. The record is produced by the legendary, Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson and Lokee, himself. The beats are filled with dark synths, woozy bass lines and are topped off with some intoxicating drums. This mixture is used throughout the whole album and its certainly the right fit. It also sets the entire mood at a very grim and gloomy level. This set up is perfect for Lokee, who is no ordinary lyricist. His unorthodox flow pattern and his superb vocabulary go hand in hand. His rhymes are delivered at a variable rate and the tone is quite rough as well. Word play is used as the key ingredient and it is definitely unique to say the least. The EP rounds out at a total of nine tracks, all of which are equally likable. Overall this was a wonderful debut effort by Lokee and it certainly shows his lyrical and musical prowess. He had some minor success with this release but it was his second release, "Voodoo Gangsta Funk," that really put him on notice. Sadly all of this success would come to an abrupt end when the president of Tombstone Records, Elton Wicker Jr., was killed in a drive-by shooting in the year 1998. He was only thirty two years old. This would end Lokee's tenure at Tombstone Records due to the label folding and he would soon find himself on the indie route. It was around this time when he was also recruited into the Disturbed Young Hustlaz. In 2001, Lokee was convicted of some serious offenses and was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was released in the year 2011 and is now trying to establish himself again in the Rap industry.

Deadly Verses
Just - A - Fied


Album Notes
* Rest in peace to the ingenious, Elton Wicker Jr.
* Lokee is a member of the Disturbed Young Hustlaz.