Monday, March 27, 2017

Wet Boys - Puttin Out The Fire Vol. 1

Wet Boys was a group that represented the murky bayous of New Orleans, LA.  The group was founded in the mid nineties by the pioneer, Sporty T. The main cause for the group with their opposite moniker was to continue the war on wax between Sporty T and the Hot Boy$ of Cash Money Records. The Wet Boys consisted of T-Bone, Sporty T and the Black John Gotti. Puttin Out The Fire is their debut album and it was released in 1998 on Sporty Records. The production is of superb quality and is entirely handled by T-Bone. His strong intent can be heard from the very first track. From the raw bass lines to the woozy hooks to the scintillating synths, all hit in the right place at the right time. The beats are composed with a sense of purpose and attention is given to the smallest detail. T-Bone may not be as flashy or even as gifted as the rest of his contemporaries but what he lacks in experience, he makes up in presentation. Lyrically the album is also pretty strong. The subject matter may be redundant due to all the tracks being directed as a shot towards the Hot Boy$ or Cash Money Records but there is never a dull moment in the rhymes. Sporty's flow is certainly in the upper echelon when compared to his counterparts. His change of pace, his firm vocabulary and even his occasional humorous tone are a sight to behold. Combine this with his veteran status in the Rap game and one has a commanding figure in the studio and a brute upon the microphone. Guest appearances are made by Ice Mike, Greg and Lyric. The album closes out with a commendable total of eighteen substantial tracks that certainly give some insight on the beef between the two parties. The record as a whole is a respectable one because of the quality production and the lyrical content. It is also an extraordinary piece when considering the history between the two camps. Sadly, Sporty T was murdered in 2008 which ended the feud once and for all. Rest in peace to one of New Orleans' finest.

Deadly Verses
Rope Round Ya Neck

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cash Money Millionaires - Platinum Instrumentals

Cash Money Millionaires - Platinum Instrumentals
Cash Money Millionaires was a super group that represented the muddy banks of New Orleans, LA. The group consisted of Mannie Fresh, Baby, Lil' Wayne, Juvenile, Turk and B.G. The collective was fabricated during the late nineties through the originally constructed Hot Boy$ and Big Tymers. As the name suggests, Platinum Instrumentals was a instrumental album which was released in 2000 on Cash Money Records. The album is basically compiled with the hottest singles ever released under the infamous label. As always, production is handled by the musical genius, Mannie Fresh. He brings his classic style to the table and certainly does not disappoint. A style that is often imitated but never duplicated. Even though he is very talented with various types of synthesizers and drum machines, it's his energetic approach and melodic arrangement that sets him apart from others. Not enough can be said about his profound production template that hasn't already been said before. One can only hope to bear witness and ultimately appreciate the sheer brilliance at hand. The record boasts a collection of thirteen tracks which were hand picked off of various releases by the group members. The tracks are not snippets or samples but instead are provided in their original and uncut nature. This release not only helped up and coming artists in their musical endeavors but also gave the Cash Money fan base a collector's item. An item that single-handedly displays the pure intellect and the genuine prowess of the man behind the chart topping music.

Deadly Tracks
Back That Azz Up

Saturday, March 25, 2017

VooDoo Mob - 210 Soldiers

VooDoo Mob - 210 Soldiers
VooDoo Mob is a collective that represents from the dark alleys of San Antonio, TX. The crew consists of Voodoo King, 666 and Magik Man. 210 Soldiers is their debut EP and it was released in 1997 on 210 Records. Production is solely provided by the Magik Man, who is the group's devoted in-house producer. The rhythms are presented in a very grim and gloomy style. They are derived through heavy bass lines which incorporate a steady usage of samples and are finally finished off with some dark synths. The bass heavy pattern meshes beautifully with the horrorcore sound. It's a smooth transition and one that definitely pays homage to the early Bass culture of San Antonio's diverse Rap scene. Lyrically, the EP is quite hard to judge due to the fact that the vocals are only laid on two of the tracks. The rest of the cuts are just plain instrumentals. The group does show a limited amount of promise on the microphone but their rhymes give off a very simple vibe. The lyrics seem like freestyles that are coming fresh off the domes rather than something that is a bit more concrete. There is hardly any direction in the songs and it seems as if the verses were just cut and pasted together. As mentioned above, there are only two cuts with vocals so this assessment maybe a bit harsh but one can only imagine what the group members could have accomplished with the rest of the tracks or possibly even a full fledged album. The EP closes out with a meager total of seven tracks and since this is a tape only release, some sound quality issues are to be somewhat expected. Overall it's a decent effort by the SA Town natives and one that is as obscure as finding a needle in a haystack. While the release does carry a strange and intriguing vibe, sadly there is just not enough substance or core matter to keep the listener coming back for more.

Album Notes
* Also worth checking out is Michael Mixerr's review on this tape.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reese & Bigalow - Unfinished Business

Reese & Bigalow - Unfinished Business
Reese & Bigalow is a duo that represents from the infamous Wood Street in Jackson, MS. They first started out in the early nineties as members of The Renegades. The group was one of the first acts to represent for the city of Jackson and eventually paved the way for many other artists, Reese and Bigalow left the group after their initial release and formed their duet while Lon Trigga of The Renegades went on to form the notorious, Wood Street Playaz. Unfinished Business is their second album and it was released in 2000 on Lil Mann's Records. Production is equally split between Mike B, Gutta Boy and JB Money. The beats are Southern in composure and while most of them are fairly enjoyable, there are some that lack a bit of energy and edginess. The three producers do a decent job at constructing the rhythms but it's their simple approach at times that takes a hit. Lyrically, the album is quite good. Both, Reese and Bigalow are pretty adequate on the microphone and their verbal chemistry is also reasonably strong. Their rhymes display constant word play and are also delivered at a fair rate. Guest appearances are courtesy of 20-2-Life, PSK-13, South Park Mexican, Ska-Face Al Capone, Bone Crusher, Crooked Lettaz, King Goldi, Poetic Preachaz, Dez, J2, Frank Da Macka and Fe-Fe. The album closes out with a commendable total of sixteen tracks and the rock solid guest list makes it that much harder to deny. Overall it's a noble release that has a good amount of highs instead of the lows. The only knock on it is the basic production but even with that blemish the album manages to sustain itself. Reese & Bigalow went on to release one more album in 2002 before slowly fading out of the music industry. The groups' unlucky demise was brought by the hands of the Atlanta based rapper known as Bone Crusher. Bone, who was signed to Jermaine Dupri's label known as So So Def, was once a loyal friend who quickly turned foe over ownership of a single track. The song in question is called "Neva Sked" and it comes from Reese & Bigalow's 2002 release known as, "Playa Music." The track featured a verse from Bone Crusher and Killer Mike. It was produced by Avery Johnson and was purchased by Reese & Bigalow for their new album. The exact same song was released by Bone Crusher for his debut album in the year 2003 and the only major difference was the verses of Reese & Bigalow were removed and replaced with a verse from T.I. The title was also changed to "Never Scared." Bone Crusher's version of the song ended up being a chart topping hit and eventually propelled him into the limelight. Reese & Bigalow did file a law suit against Bone Crusher over copyright infringement but they never got the recognition or the praise for the original song. They were most likely paid off by the deep pockets of Jermaine Dupri and were supposedly told to keep their mouths shut about the whole issue. It's unfortunate what happened to Reese & Bigalow but then again it just goes to show how corrupt some of these major labels are and how how cruel this music industry can be at times.

Deadly Verses
Unfinished Business ft. Ska-Face Al Capone & PSK-13

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sporty T - Chromed Out

Terence Vine, better known as Sporty T, was an artist who represented the deadly bayous of New Orleans, LA. Most known for his whimsical flow as well as his infamous war on wax against Cash Money Records, Sporty first started out in 1986, as a member of the Ninja Crew with Gregory D and DJ Baby T. After their short lived success, he would end up pursuing the solo route and would go on to become one of New Orleans' best kept secrets. Chromed Out is his fourth album and it was released in 1997 on Ruff Era Records. Production, as with most of his releases is handled by his right hand man, the masterful T-Bone. The skillful, David "D-Funk" Faulk programs all the necessary equipment with Ice Mike, who is also credited for one of the tracks as well. The rhythms are crafted from the ground up and are thoroughly entertaining. They contain various instruments and carry that typical N.O. sound. A type of sound that is best exemplified through blaring horns, dark synths, funky bass, piercing bells and finished off with a strict cadence of drums. This concoction serves as the foundation for the record and it certainly does not disappoint. Sporty T is a top caliber lyricist and takes full advantage of the solid production. His delivery is rapid and full of word play. His tone is quite rough and when combined with his quick pace and a strong vocabulary which truly makes him a standout on the microphone. The album signs off with a decent total of twelve tracks with multiple shots being fired at Cash Money Records and the Hot Boy$. It's hard to pin point how the feud began between the two parties. Some say it was just a misunderstanding on Sporty's behalf while others have claimed it was Cash Money Records who drew first blood. Whatever the case may be, it was very clear that both sides meant business and it was more than just some rap. Sporty T was murdered in 2008 while he slept in his home. An unknown gunmen who was carrying an AK-47, opened fire on the exterior of his trailer home. Paramedics found Sporty T's wounded body inside on his bed and pronounced him dead at the scene. In the end, the city of New Orleans lost a man who is considered by many to be a pioneer for the city's Rap and Hip Hop scene. A local legend with a timeless catalog of music, who always gave his best when inside the recording booth. Rest in peace to the ambitious, Sporty T.

Deadly Verses
Dope Tito

The Aftermath

Album Notes
* Sporty T is also a member of the Wet Boys.
* Wet Boys was a group created to counter the Hot Boy$.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

J-Tweezy - Da Ghetto Mouth Piece Of Da South - Compilation Vol 1

Joshua James Bursh, better known as J-Tweezy, is a multi-talented DJ from the renowned streets of Baton Rouge, LA. He was most known for his hit late night radio shows throughout South Texas and Southern Louisiana. His shows would often shed light on underground and upcoming artists as well as pay homage to the premiere ones. He is a prolific DJ/Radio Personality and an accomplished producer. Da Ghetto Mouth Piece Of Da South is a compilation that he released on his own label, Off Da Heezy Entertainment in 2001. About half of the production is handled by J-Tweezy while the other half is credited to his accomplices such as Steve Below, L.A. Dre, DJ Tron, Doobie Smoov, Dr. J, Ryal, TruDawg, DJ New Orleans, Big Los, J.D. and Winston. The rhythms are strictly Southern in nature and while most are originally crafted, there are some that are sample assisted. The overall sound is kept at a jubilant level but there are some tracks that hit a bit harder than others. Everything from groovy guitars to space age horns and even a solid percussion set is used. This simple yet effective, type of production pattern is the backbone for the record and it certainly gives off an easy going and relaxed atmosphere. Lyrically, the album is pretty versatile due to the star studded guest list. The features are courtesy of C-Loc, Lil' Boosie, Max Minelli, Thug Addict, Lil' jon, E.S.G., Yungstar, Tyte Eyez, D-Gotti, D-Reck, X-Con, The Ill Relatives, Atari, Peep Skills, Ms. Peaches, Product, Tank, Dirty, Lord Trauma, Chyna White, Mutt, Trelli Trelle, Playboy and Gloria Velez. A long list of supplemental artists but a must have for any compilation to be somewhat successful in the South. Overall, this is a competent release and one that can keep itself afloat due to its' lengthy content. J-Tweezy provided a quality product through determination and sheer effort. It's a compilation that deserves a spin in the playlists or a spot in the archives for both the fans and the collectors of Southern Rap.

Deadly Verses
So High ft. E.S.G. & Yungstar

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Big Boss - Respect Due

Big Boss was a full time producer and a part time rapper from the notorious boulevards of Houston, TX. Considered by many to be a pioneer for the Hip Hop scene in Texas, Big Boss first started off with his cousin, Original E, in the group called, O.G. Style. Together, they released their highly desirable debut album in 1991, known as "I Know How To Play 'Em," on Rap-A-Lot Records. The two had some moderate success before deciding to part ways. Original E kept the O.G. Style name and recorded under that moniker while Big Boss formed the infamous group, 4 Deep with his brother Koo Rod and Klas' One. Respect Due is his debut solo album and it was released in 2000 on Power Move Music. Production is solely handled by Big Boss himself, and he certainly does not disappoint. Known for providing some hard hitting bass lines and intoxicating hooks, he uses his classic approach and melodic methods to construct the rhythms. The beats are hard, edgy, groovy and funky, all at the same time. His production skills are deadly and they definitely show his veteran and accomplished status in the music industry. Big Boss raps on a few tracks but mostly, he lets his associates take full control of the microphone. Lyrically, the album is quite strong. The artists are used precisely on a given track and they certainly give it their all. Their rhymes compliment the production pattern well and the features don't seem out of place. Guest spots are courtesy of 4 Deep, The Funky Products, South Park Mexican, Da BBC, Lil Daddy, The Waterheadz, Popcycle, Taija and Pancho Villa of Lifestyl. The record signs off with a total of fourteen polished tracks with varying subjects. Overall, it's an impressive work of art by a renowned legend. Not enough can be said about his proficient prowess or his valuable importance in the underground scene from the South. Sadly, Big Boss passed away in 2006 due to kidney failure. He was working on the reunion album for his group, 4 Deep. Rest in peace, to one of the best that ever represented for Houston, Texas.

Deadly Verses
My Playaz ft. Da BBC

Sometimes I Wonder ft. Taija

Album Notes
* R.I.P to the masterful, Eric "O.G. Style" Woods.
* Original E, passed away two years later in 2008.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

H.$.E - The Re-Score

H.$.E, which stands for Hustlaz $tackin' Endz, is a collective that hails from the southside of Houston, TX. The original group consisted of Hump, Lil' Flip, A.P. and Yung Redd. Also, Lil' Flip left the group after their initial release due to his own solo success and A.P. was later replaced with Lil' Ron. The group and all its' individual artists were also signed under Hump's own independent label known as, Sucka Free Records. Hump started the label in the late nineties and had a good run with H.$.E. and Lil' Flip as the label's core artists. The Re-Score is H.$.E.'s second release and it was put out in 2004 on Sucka Free Records. It's not an official album since it was just released to create a buzz for Yung Redd and Lil' Ron's upcoming album, "The Paper Route." Production on this record is invalid due to most, if not all, the beats are borrowed from other premier artists. The album is at a decent level lyrically. The songs are mostly freestyles with one or two real tracks sprinkled in between. Yung Redd and Lil' Ron are the only ones present with a slew of handsome guest features from Bun B, Paul Wall, Z-Ro, Trae, Twista, David Banner, Grit Boys, Big Shasta, Twisted Black, Yung Ro, A.B.N., Lil' Head and Yung Wun. The album closes out with a grand total of twenty tracks with only a handful of them being entertaining. As mentioned above, the release is in no way official in form or content. It was merely an underground release which was meant to supplement fans till the release of "The Paper Route." Hump just slapped the H.$.E. name on it in hopes of moving a few more units. Even though the release is obscure in nature, it just does not have anything alluring for the listener to look forward to.

Album Notes
* The record was also released with an alternative cover.