My Two Cents

My Two Cents: “NehruvianDOOM”

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Alright… So again, unlike other sites, I’m not going to give you a long winded breakdown of the album.  But what I’ll give you is my uncensored two cents because at the end of the day it’s just my opinion and no one should lose sleep over it unless I’m fucking you… So here we go kids…

NehruvianDOOM was long awaited for me, like most.  Me already being a big DOOM head and also a fan of Bishop Nehru since he burst onto the scene at 15 (backed by NAS).  I have been able to network myself pretty well since starting Live Elements and was one of the lucky ones to receive a leaked copy early.  So I dove in and have more than ample opportunity to have several weeks for this to sink in.  I also handed over a copy to one of the biggest DOOM heads I know to give me his honest opinion on it.  (Note: Just because you receive a digital copy, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support your indie artist.  So purchase their music.)

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First off … let me start this by saying if you guys were expecting DOOM verses to dominate this album, you probably have a sore anus right now.  I have learned over the past few years not to expect too much from albums I am really excited about because it will only lead to that problem you’re probably experiencing.

Second, I’ve read so many comments on IG about how “Nehru isn’t strong enough”, “The album was boring,”, “Why does it suck so bad?”, and blah blah blah.  Okay, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Ummm WTF were y’all doing at 18?  Not recording an album with DOOM.”  Right?  Okay, so this caused me to sit back and really analyze why people were tearing apart an album I honestly… enjoy.

Then I thought, what if DOOM took these same instrumentals and slapped a Special Herbs label on it?  Y’all same mother fuckers would probably be praising it’s genius.  Cause by all means, y’all are DOOM heads right?  Of course you are!!! Oh wait what was that?  You wanted more DOOM on this?  Fucking stans yo… It isn’t Madvillain 2… so get that preconceived notion out your head and wait patiently for that like rest of us.

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Well, think about this.  DOOM isn’t one to work with anyone.  He saw something in this young MC that caused him to want to do this.  Sure, Nehru isn’t seasoned, but it RAW talent.  Organic as fuck. What you possess in your hands is a piece of history. It’s the kids first album with an underground legend and the first fully produced DOOM album since “Bring Me to Your Leader”.  So you think that DOOM was just to pick any young little Soundcloud MC to grace that album?  Nahhh right?  But what you do see is DOOM stepping back and creating a foundation for a young MC.  What if DOOM were to have 50% of the verses on here?  It would overshadow Nehru and would be like a mouse standing next to Goliath.

And I’ve said it before in previous posts on Live Elements, as much as I believe Joey Bada$$ can hold his own mic, I’ll take Bishop Nehru.  I’ve said this BEFORE I even knew he was going to work with DOOM.  MC’s especially being so young still are finding their style and ways.  I think Nehru has untapped potential in him and even DOOM was quoted as saying, “MC’s are born.  You can’t make an MC out of someone who wasn’t meant to do this.” when speaking of Bishop Nehru.  So what now?  Y’all were fan boys over the single and album art n shit right?

But there are some heads that I truly take their opinion and trust 100% that it comes with valid reasons on their end.  Not just on some, “Mannn shit was weak.  DOOM ain’t even really on it.”  Fuck off and open your minds and think beyond what you were expecting.  If you do this with every album, you’ll see how much more you’ll appreciate the shit for what it is.

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So then I waited on the biggest DOOM head I knows opinion on it.  And this is what DOOM guy said, “I enjoyed it and that’s all that fucking matters.  This shit ain’t for everyone.”  There y’all go.  Different strokes for different folks.  You can’t please everyone.  There are people out there that will love it or hate it.  Or find shit to complain about it.  Yeah sure I can tear it apart and judge but why?  He’s a young artist being supported by one of my favorite producers/MC of all time.  He’s still finding his way.  But just like if I had “NehruvianDOOM” in one hand and Cormega’s “Mega Philosophy” in another over a cliff , I’d drop Cormega’s ass cause his ass should know better.

Just like that y’all different strokes… I happen to like that stroke from someone in a DOOM mask…

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Peace.

Rebecca  –  Live Elements

My Two Cents: Skyzoo & Torae “Barrel Brothers”

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Okay, so I waited a little while to even cop this album.   Mainly because I heard “Blue Yankee Fitted” a while ago when looking into possibly posting it on IG and I wasn’t really impressed.  I was just like ehh whatever…  and honestly like

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Bet ya’ll yawned.  Anyways, my interest was revived when I saw two serious heads talking about it on IG.  I know they don’t like bullshit so when I saw that they were being fan boys about it, I figured I’d give it the old college try.

First, let me say that we all have our “tastes” and “preferences”.  I never really dug Skyzoo’s shit.  I don’t know why, just not my cup of tea.   But again, seeing that Torae on this project, I had a little more hope that Skyzoo would come harder.

Again, I’m not like most of these “review” sites that are going into a long winded review of the album saying the same old shit.  I give you the real.  For real for real.

So some may be asking now, ‘Well bitch?  Do you like it or not?”.   I like… I really, really like it.  This shit truly surprised me.  Not like if Rihanna came out and said she had a penis this whole time, cause I would’ve been like, “Ya, I can see that”.  But this, was expecting closet weed and actually getting  a high grade hybrid sativa dominate strain.  Moment of silence.  *Bows Head*

To some it up, Skyzoo and Torae were able to bring a dope dynamic that we don’t see with many emcess these days.  One didn’t outshine the other.  And yes, I now I have an a different outlook on Skyzoo.  A new found respect for this emcee.  Bar for bar, this album is dope. And with some of the illest production from Oh-No, Premier, and Apollo Brown, shit knocks.  I believe that Barrel Brothers found a happy medium with this new generation flavor with an old school sound.   Although, I feel like some tracks could have been left out, over all … yes.

So if you ask me, this shit is definitely vinyl worthy and will be added to my catalog.  Also will serve as a comfortable way to introduce and transition people stuck in the 90’s to indie hip hop.  Kinda like taking Shemar Moore for a spin before you Wesley Snipes it up  if you get my drift.

Now go get it.

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My Two Cents: Blu – “Good to be Home”

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Okay, so here we are again.  Cause for some reason you guys like to know what I have to say about these albums.   And this week Blu graced us with “Good to be Home” with an early release.  I was really looking forward to this, and good to say, I didn’t get pissed off about it like that AOTP album.

So here is my Two Cents… Let me start by saying that I’ve seen this before.  I’ve seen this happen before.  You may know of this guy named Sean Daley.  Well, he had amazing albums in the late 90’s early 2000’s that us backpack heads really dug.  Clever wordplay and poetically painting lyrical pictures for us.  Well circa 2014 we see a slew of “stans” that believe that anything that he spits is “classic”.  He could read Craiglists ads for male transsexuals and I would see about 100 posts about how genius and dope it is.

The point I was trying to make with that is that Blu is seriously a lot of peoples favorite color as he so cleverly says.   I believe Blu is slowly becoming a lot of these female “Hip Hop Heads” favorite color.  Come on, light skinned West Coast brotha with soul?  How could he not.   It’s not going to matter what he puts out.  Bitches are going to love this guy forever.  But he got a pass on this album… so continue bitches, where you were…

But back to the album because that is another discussion all together.  This album is … good.  Not bad.  Not pissing myself good like Strange Journey … but good.  I like it.  Mainly because Blu’s hopscotch style of rhyming and ability to take you though the album with his words hasn’t faltered.  Like Blu has stepped back and gathered all his life experience and gave us a solid lyrical album.

I see a lot of people liking Bombay’s producing of this album.  His soulful beats do remind me of Apollo Brown/Madlib-isk  sytle but what really throws my ears off is his fragmented style.  Some people might dig it, but for a minute I thought my phone was fucking up.  Makes me kinda hope there is a “Brown Tape” of this coming.

Growing up in the West Coast I appreciate this.   Blu is able to optimize the West in this.  But you don’t have to be from the West to appreciate this lyrically solid album.

So end of the day because I’m not like those other “review” blogs, it’s worth copping.  Get it.  Expose your stupid niece/nephew who listens to 2Chainz to it.  They’ll thank you later.

 

Peace.

 

*Exists stage like…

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My Two Cents: AOTP “In Death Reborn”

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Okay, I’m going to make this short and simple.  I feel like AOTP has enough clout to hold their own mics on the indie Hip Hop tip.

My newsfeed on Instagram is flooded this past week with “In Death Reborn” posts.  People left and right claiming that this album is, “Best album of 2014”.  First off, it’s only April, calm your asses down.  Were most of y’all a few months ago saying Step Brothers was in first place?  Second, like most better known indie Hip Hop groups, as long as people don’t see them with Lil’ Wayne, they will get their praise.

I don’t know man.  I don’t know if I just expected too much after hearing “God Particle” or what?  But to me it just seemed… I don’t know… meh.  I expected more I guess.  Maybe this is how men feel with blue balls.

I’m not taking any credit away from this album. It will definitely be on my regular rotation of albums on my iPod. This is good solid Hip Hop. It has some good wordplay and some good production I like here and there. Vanderslice and Stu Bangas stood out to me for production.   (Even though most heads I see are already blaming this on production for this lack luster album). Apathy and Celph stood out the most to me lyrically.  I can’t really say that lyrically it was lacking, because it wasn’t.

Ughhh … I don’t know man… Maybe this will grow on me a little more and I can give this a second look.  So at the end of the day, I’m just really curious what other heads think about it.  Joints like, “God Particle” and “Broken Safeties” stood out to me, amongst others.  It just doesn’t seem “classic” to me.  For some reason I have a feeling that it won’t go down as “classic AOTP”.  Again, I’m not knocking this album because at the end of the day this is my “Two Cents”.

 

Peace.

 

My Two Cents: Cunninlynguists “Strange Journey Vol 3”

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Mother of God.  This album yo.  I hate to sound like a complete fan girl but seriously, deadass, for real this album is fucking gold.   I feel like I don’t even need to go into how amazing this album feels to the soul.  With mediocre and even luke warm releases lately, Cunninlynguists burst through the codeine induced haze of trap music polluting South to truly represent for real Hip Hop.

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Now, when we talk about Cunninlynguist,  we can always expect it to be dope.  We’ve gotten over a decade of amazing joints coming from them.  With Kno’s genius of sampling & beats, and stunning word play by Deacon & Natti, how could we not right?  But like we’ve seen with most highly anticipated albums,  they usually end up being like that one firework you pay $100 for and all it does is piss out sparklers, with no bang.  The essence of disappointment and sadness.  Like a group of small crying 3rd world orphans wearing 1990 misspelled bootleg shirts.  Just leaving your little hip hop heart wanting more.  Kind of like when you leave a strip club.  Not that I would know of such debauchery, but you get my drift.

I had to check it.  So I went onto their bandcamp on Tuesday and got it.  I decided to listen to it on the 3-1/2 hour drive from Cali to Vegas the next morning.  For once in a long, long time, I was able to listen to this whole album, without a “WTF face?”.  I was able to listen to this whole album without skipping one track.  Literally, every track is dope.  Oh! And guess what?  There is no 2Chainz feature!  *does a quick pop-n-lock*.  But what you can find is a laundry list of dope emcees to grace this album and not outshine each other.  Each came with an A game that brought this whole project together.  Even Kno’s unorthodox sampling was right on point.  Where some producers can get a little odd with it, Kno was able to keep it fluid and merge it flawlessly.  I won’t say which recent albums got a little weird on their production but I’m sure some true heads out there can figure it out.

Back in the old blog, I used to go into each track but I’m not going to do that anymore.  I say go to the link below and purchase this album.  You will not be disappointed.  And you can name your price.  So, why yes, you can get it for free for the remedial peeps.   Yeah, unlike Wu coming out with some bullshit “secret album” true Hip Hop is for the masses.  It shouldn’t have a price but we should support.  So go check it. So while most of y’all are still yapping about School Boy Q’s shit or Lord Steppington, this has skyrocketed to the top for me.

 

Peace … Smokahontas

 

 

https://cunninlynguists.bandcamp.com/

My Two Cents: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

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I was able to get my hands on a copy of the long awaited collaboration from the grimy Midwest emcee Freddie Gibbs & West Coast’s Madlib.  In some cases, to me, this would be a bad idea.  But this works.  Like how Mexicans put mayonnaise and powdered cheese on corn, makes no fucking sense, but something fucking delicious came of it.

This odd mix works.  Like Ying and Yang, Pinata gives us that perfect balance.  With Madlib’s ill jazzy loops and well orchestrated samples, this forced Gibbs to really push him self to somewhere I don’t think we have ever heard this emcee.

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To be perfectly honest, I never really listened to Gibbs.  Although I have always admired his way to deliver grimy rough hood lyrics so fluidly.  Most times we just get rough grunts out of most emcees that go this route.  And Madlib?  Well, don’t have to go into what I could’ve expected from Madlib.  Even if this was just solely instrumentals, it would be dope.  Gibbs opened up another audience to Madlib and vise versa.

Some of the tracks falter lyrically for me but stay afloat with the melodic production from Madlib.  Although I wasn’t crazy about the all the feature artists, but I can say they didn’t outshine Gibbs, which is something we see all too often with joints these days.

So again, overall, I can say this is a solid album.  People who are very defensive of the conscious lyrical content of the underground can let their guard down for a minute and let their hood flag fly.  And as for the hood grimy folks, they can chill and smoke an L to the dope production.

Id put a link for y’all but I’ve seen some site get it blocked so look it up if you want to peep it before you purchase it.  But support your indie artists and be sure to get it when it releases March 18th.

Peace.

My Two Cents: School Boy Q Oxymoron

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*Yawn*

So, unless an album moves me, I don’t feel a need to do a full review on them anymore.  So I’ll start calling this posts “My Two Cents”.  Cause it’s that, my opinion.  Regardless, I was asked by a follower of what I thought about this last night.  Coincidentally, I had just put this on my IPod. 

First off, I don’t go by what artist portray themselves physically.  Just look at Effect who looks like Kevin Smith but can hold a mic with some of the dopest emcees.  But it seriously grosses me out seeing School Boy’s taco meat and man titties every so slightly accessorized by swap meet or prison style tattoos.  So I opted to just give it the old college try.

So diving into it, I can honestly say I heard worse.  But I was not moved… Maybe I’m just not gangster enough for this.  I mean, I was willing to overlook the 2Chainz feature on the track listing but come on son.  I grew up in the West where we represented hard body.  I know, I know, Hip Hop evolves blah blah… but I just felt like this was … mediocre.  Luke warm.   I feel that School Boy Q is a better feature artist than carrying his own weight in this.  This whole LP seems cookie cutter hip hopish to float across airwaves and fill the catalogs of MacBook DJ’s. 

Although, there are some tracks with some production and some verses that will probably grow on me.  I honestly don’t see why so many people are praising this joint. Again, I’m still going to give it some time, let some tracks come over in shuffle, but we’ll see how it will go.  But so far…