William Cooper – God’s Will (2015)

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Artist: William Cooper

Album: God’s Will

Tracklisting:

01. Yesterday (God Frequency)
02. God’s Will (feat. Pace Won)
03. Something Ain’t Right (feat. Nature)
04. Grym Reaper
05. Never Fall
06. Blue Dreaming
07. True-n-Livin’ Nightmares (feat. Reef The Lost Cauze & Sticky Fingaz)
08. Stairway to the Matrix
9. Morpheus Prophecies (feat. Planet Asia)
10. Verbal Checkmate (feat. Killah Priest)
11. Holy Mountain (feat. Sean Price & Stoneface)
12. Secrets of Oz
13. The Cycle (feat. Ill Bill & Trife Diesel)
14. Volcanic Winter (feat. 9th Prince)
15. 7th Odyssey (feat. Timbo King & Killah Priest)
16. Channel Z
17. Zombieland (feat. Diabolic)
18. Marvelous Minds (feat. Big Twins & Big Noyd)
19. Closer to God (feat. Rah Digga)
20. MC Supremacy
21. Second Chance (feat. Stoneface)
22. Tomorrow
23. The Sequel
24. My Brother’s Keeper (feat. Stoneface)
25. Ultimate Spit (feat. Young Zee)
26. Illustrious Vision

 

Note:

I can’t think of an album in recent memory that was this long that maintained this much consistency as does God’s Will from William Cooper.  When listening to this album you will notice a cohesiveness you typically don’t associate with a project of this length.  In my mind that’s just one of the things that makes this album special.    There are so many individual components that contribute to making this album a must listen so let’s take a look at some of those finer points.

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V-Zilla and Lawrence Arnell – The Monster And Mr. Arnell (2014)

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Artist: V-Zilla and Lawrence Arnell

Album:  The Monster And Mr. Arnell

Tracklisting:

1. The Intro
2. Hold Steady
3. Rap Shit
4. World so Cold
5. Hometown Heroes
6. Clarity (feat. Helen Sciandra)
7. Fish Grease
8. Phoebe Cates
9. 12 O’clock
10. Step in My Direction (feat. Blacastan)
11. I Just Don’t Know
12. Lowdown
13. The Excellence (feat. DJ Tmb)
14. Stealth Move (feat. Des Devious)
15. Megatron Dons
16. Kill Everything (Bonus)

Note:

It’s more than just a Army Of The Pharaohs thing.  It’s more than just a Houston to Philadelphia thing.  The Monster And Mr. Arnell is a showcase of some of the most promising talent, not only on the AOTP team but currently in the game as a whole.  I have been showcasing V-Zilla for quite a while now as an emcee and Lawrence Arnell on his production credits.  Now the two have combined to deliver a compelling project for hip hop heads of all walks to appreciate.

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The 17th – Inside Jokes With Complete Strangers (2014)

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Artist: The 17th

Album: Inside Jokes With Complete Strangers

Tracklisting:

1. Intro (Prod by the 17th)
2. Look Away (Ft. Rock of Heltah Skeltah)(Prod by the 17th)
3. I Wreak Havoc (Ft. Havoc of Mobb Deep)(Prod by the 17th)
4. Thirsty (Ft. Spoke In Wordz)(Prod by Fantom of the Beat)
5. Don’t Care (Ft. Joell Ortiz & HollaAtcha Gwalla)(Prod by Louie Rock)
6. Used to Love U (Ft. Skyzoo)(Prod by Relavant Beats)
7. God’s Away on Business (Ft. Elise 5000)(Prod by the 17th)
8. Bundle @f St!cks (Prod by the 17th)
9. In My Mind (Prod by Anonymous)
10. Chest Tube (Ft. Seven)(Prod by the 17th)
11. Push (Prod by the 17th & Josh Johnson)
12. Hold My Own (Ft. Cortez, Livin Proof, HollaAtcha Gwalla, Zay G)(Prod by Anonymous)
13. Neglect (Ft. Rich Alomar)(Prod by the 17th)
14. My Drug (Prod by the 17th & Josh Johnson)
15. I Am God (Prod by the 17th)
16. New World Order (Prod by the 17th)

 

Note:

The 17th released his album, Inside Jokes With Complete Strangers, around a couple of months or so ago and I have taken my sweet time reviewing but it certainly deserves notice and recognition. The 17th is lauded on this site for his unorthodox wordplay and topic selection. He has a tendency to take the craft to higher limits with his conversational style and dynamic wordplay.

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El Gant – Beast Academy (2014)

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Artist: El Gant

Album: Beast Academy

Tracklisting:

1. Intro
2. Truth Hurts (feat. Torae)
3. Three Amigos (feat. Chris Webby & Ill Bill)
4. Bases Loaded (feat. Infinity Gauntlet)
5. JOAT Interlude
6. Energy (feat. J. Blanc)
7. Goldie Hawn (feat. El Da Sensei)
8. Five One Eight (feat. GGDT)
9. Mr. Miyagi
10. Three Amigos (Remix)

Note:

I first heard about El Gant when I saw him in the super group, Infinity Gauntlet.  I hears his verse on the track Anti-Angelz and wrote his name down on a piece of paper so as not to forget.  I then caught him in the group KAMALA and those songs were incredible.   He released a mixtape, and now we have arrived at the time he drops his album, Beast Academy.

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Kue The Vandal – The Snuff Tape (2014)

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Artist: Kue The Vandal

Album: The Snuff Tape

Tracklisting:

1. Eye For An Eye
2. My Brother’s Keeper
3. Filth
4. Runnin’
5. Affiliated (Ft. Cain & Sleep)
6. Pistolet
7. Black Mask
8. G.O.O.N

Note:

Kue The Vandal released his latest EP, The Snuff Tape, a couple of weeks ago and I have given it multiple listens not only for the purposes of this review, but also for my own personal enjoyment.   Kue The Vandal has that grimy delivery and he brings a certain tone of despair and depravity that is on display for all to see on this release.   But there’s also this sense that Kue, when his back is against the wall, is not going to just disappear quietly into the sunset.  He is more likely to come out with his guns blazing.

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Shabaam Sahdeeq – Keepers Of The Lost Art (2014)

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Artist: Shabaam Sahdeeq

Album: Keepers Of The Lost Art

Tracklisting:

1. Keepers Of The Lost Art
2. Conceited Confidence
3. Playing Games
4. Speak Truth (ft. Reks & Kamala)
5. Walk With The Light
6. That Dope (ft. Wais P & Sha Stimuli)
7. Hardbody & Heavy (ft. Half A Brick & EastKoast)
8. Tranquilo
9. Grown Man Hustle (ft. Eric Rico)
10. The Come Back Kid (ft. Skyzoo & F.T.)
11. Seasons Change
12. City Of Fame (ft. Mic Handz)
13. He Who Dares (ft. Lewis Parker)
14. Fall In Line
15. O.G Certified (ft. Tragedy Khadafi)
16. Done It All (ft. Bekay)
17. Relax [Remix]
18. Energon 2 (ft. Spit Gemz)
19. Honor Me Now [Remix]
20. U Don’t Want None (ft. General DV)
21. Cut From A Different Cloth (ft. Hakim) [Bonus Track]
22. Do You [Bonus Track]
23. Motion Picture [Bonus Track]

 

Note:

This is the first review of an album that we have done for Shabaam Sahdeeq.    That’s odd because we have posted a ton of singles for various other projects, but this is really his first viable album in a long while.  He has stayed busy with a bunch of mixtapes and guest features, all the while creating and crafting his own album,  Keepers Of The Lost Art.   The album has actually been a long time in the making, as I first heard this album titled a couple of years ago.

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Sleep – Branded (2014)

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Artist: Sleep (2-Man Cypher)

Album: Branded

Tracklisting:

1. Question 1
2. Question 2
3. Question 3
4. Question 4
5. Question 5
6. Question 6
7. Question 7
8. Question 8

Note:

Sleep from 2-Man Cypher has never fallen short on creativity.   He has done songs narrating from the perspectives of different individuals.  He has even done tracks from the outlook of the devil.    And with his latest EP, Branded, he takes creativity to a whole new level.

On this EP, Sleep, takes on the persona of the tragic story of Damon Winton.   The story is real, making this EP biographical in context.    Branded is the tale of a troubled youth that is abandoned by the system and family that was supposed to protect him.  Each song is introduced by a question from a reporter to the social worker in charge.  After the social worker answers the reporter’s question in dubious fashion, Sleep narrates a tale from the perspective of Damon.   It is incredibly powerful, because this is real life.   These are things that happen to children on a daily basis.

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Curly Castro – Brody (2014)

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Artist: Curly Castro

Album: Brody EP

Tracklisting:

1. Going Back To London
2. All Bets Are Off (ft. Zilla Rocca and Has-Lo)
3. Livery (ft. Castle)
4. David Rodigan (ft. Hubbs and Armand Hammer)
5. A Wake
6. Daisy Swallowed A Diamond

Note:

Curly Castro offers the world a little something different with his latest release, Brody.   The EP is short and succinct but proves the point that just because the project is short on run time doesn’t mean that it runs short on character.   Now, I will say that if you are not familiar with the movie, Snatch, you may have to watch that first before you start indulging in this release.  The creativity for Brody stems from Castro and company using the characters and storyline  from Snatch in the story of this EP.  So being able to truly appreciate this EP requires a little study in film.  That’s not to say that you can’t just appreciate the music for music’s sake but you will miss some of the creativity.   I digress.

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AWKWORD – World View (2014)

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Artist: AWKWORD

Album: World View

Tracklisting:

1. Gas Land (Frack Off) ft. Chaundon [prod. by Numonics] | World View Intro 04:31
2. Throw Away The Key [prod. by L.Ment (Canada)] 05:44
3. Bars & Hooks ft. Sean Price, The Kid Daytona & The Incomparable Shakespeare [prod. by Harry Fraud] 04:48
4. Penny [prod. by Dismas (Romania)] 02:55
5. The People’s Champions ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq, Punchline & Beretta 9 (of Killarmy) [prod. by Harry Fraud] 04:55
6. Got Class? [prod. by Fresh Nerd] 02:16
7. Notorious ft. Wordsmith, Jasiri X, Jus Daze & Capital X [prod. by Amin PaYnE (Australia)] 05:18
8. Doctor Doctor ft. GuessWho? [prod. by MajoR R.E. (Malaysia)] 04:34
9. Requiem ft. SoulStice, Ess Vee & CuzOH! Black [prod. by ATG] [add. vox by Jay Daniels (Australia) & Mark Deez] 04:40
10. Melting Pot (Made In America) ft. Chaundon [prod. by Numonics] 03:57
11. Rape [prod. by Fafu] 02:53
12. Rap Genius ft. Perseverance & Chino XL [prod. by The White Shadow (Norway)] 03:51
13. It’s Not Possible [prod. by Recluse Crew (Finland)] 01:42
14. #AaronSwartz ft. L*A*W [prod. by Steel Tipped Dove] 03:28
15. The World Is Yours ft. Sha Stimuli & Viro The Virus [prod. by Dominant1 (Malawi)] 03:53
16. Imperialism ft. C-Rayz Walz & Reks [prod. by Jonny Lupo (Moldova)] 04:08
17. Radio 2.0 ft. KRS-One, Dug Infinite, Brimstone127 & Mista Lawnge (of Black Sheep) [prod. by Vice Souletric] 04:51
18. Metal Music ft. El Gant, ILL BILL, Tenacity & Blame One [prod. by Tranzformer] 05:09
19. Go! ft. Joell Ortiz, Slug (of Atmosphere) & Maya Azucena [prod. by Domingo] 03:25

Note:

This review for AWKWORD’s World View has been a long time coming.   It’s a long time coming for two reasons:  1) AWKWORD has been working on his magnum opus for well over three years 2)  I took another two months to digest the project in between other releases.  But here we are at the moment of reckoning to determine what makes World View special, or if it’s indeed special at all.

 

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Matt Maddox – Righteous Fury (2014)

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Artist: Matt Maddox

Album: Righteous Fury (Amazon, iTunes)

Tracklisting:

1. No Country For Old Men produced by Engineer
2. Interlude produced by Sultan Mir
3. Sick & Tired cuts by TMB produced by Sultan Mir
4. BARbarians ft Godilla, UG & Born Unique produced by Hellzwind
5. Work ft Mina Fedora produced by Skammadix
6. El Mariachi produced by Nemesis
7. The Get Back ft King Magnetic produced by Skammadix
8. Comedy Pt 1 produced by Skammadix
9. Murder Weapons ft Swann Cuts by TMB produced by C Lance (of Jedi Mind Tricks)
10. Spider Man ft Adlib & Reef The Lost Cauze produced by Vanderslice
11. Mjolnir ft Burke the Jurke Cuts by TMB produced by C Lance (of Jedi Mind Tricks)
12. King Killer produced by Sicknature (of Germany’s Snowgoons)
13. Olympus Has Fallen Cuts by TMB produced by Hellzwind
14. Upon A Pale Horse ft Edd Bundy Cuts by TMB produced by the UK’s Edd Bundy
15. Comedy Pt 2 produced by Skammadix
16. A Time To Kill Cuts by TMB produced by Hellzwind
17. Street Art ft Tragedy Khadafi Cuts by TMB produced by Skammadix
18. Reality’s a Bitch produced by Skammadix
19. Show Must Go On produced by Nemesis

Note:

Some albums ease a listener into the moment, while others grab you by the throat and demand your attention.  Righteous Fury, the most recent album from Matt Maddox, is going to fall in the latter category.  From the instant you hear the first cut. you are both engaged and threatened by what you hear.   You are threatened because, from the jump, you find out that Maddox is not going to be mincing words and he will name names of those siting on the pedestals.  He has thrown ‘today’s hip hop’ on it’s head and as a listener you can not remove the headphones, you become obligated to listen to this release from start to finish.

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