Artist: The Kracken x Freestyle Fam
Album: The Kraken Vs. Freestyle Fam
1. Ready to Rumble
2. Wait For It
4. Kracken Vs.
5. Knock’em Out
6. Hands Up-Bars Up (ft. Keynote)
7. Take Me Out
8. Me and The Music (ft. Ryan Brockington)
9. Go Time
I have been a fan of Freestyle Fam ever since I got a hold of their Unleashed project last year. They showed and unbelievable array of skill on the microphone on that release, and they continue to demonstrate those skills when they link up with Grammy nominated producer, The Kracken.
Quest the Wordsmith and Mike Testa are grizzled emcees. Don’t let the “Christian” moniker lead you into the illusion that they are not lyrical or can’t drop it heavy. Their lyricism is intricate and rugged. And when you combine that prowess on the mic device with The Kracken’s ability to develop head knockers, you undoubtedly have a winner here.
Make sure you check this release and check out ANY product Freestyle Fam puts out. They are the truth!
Artist: Skeezo x Rediculous
Album Stuck In Da 90s (Remixed)
1. Stuck in the 90s (Rediculus Remix)
2. Pick Up Lines (ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq and Vasnessa Renee) (Rediculus Remix)
3. Party Starters (ft. Nutso) (Rediculus Remix)
4. Hudson Valley Renegade (Rediculus Remix)
5. Watch Ya Step (ft. El Gant, Bekay and DJ Modesty) (Rediculus Remix)
6. The Mission (Rediculus Remix)
7. How You Spit (ft. Napoleon Da Legend) (Rediculus Remix)
8. Stuck in the 90s (Rediculus Head Bang Remix)
9. How You Spit (Rediculus Reflex Remix)
Again, not a full review, just an awareness post. I don’t know how it happened, but Skeezo linked up with one hell of a producer to remix his Stuck In Da 90s project from last year. Rediculous lives up to his moniker when it comes to the beats he utilized for this project. In all honesty, I am loving this entire thing from front to back. The original is dope, but the remixed version is next level. Skeezo’s vocals sound perfect over this reworking. It’s a free download, so make sure you head on over to the link above and download from DJ Booth. This will be essential for 2014.
Artist: Goldini Bagwell
Album: Secondhand Smoke (The Extended Cut)
1. Live Without (Intro)
2. Desire Is… (feat. Little Warrior)
3. Get Busy (feat. Tope, DJ Flip Flop & Jon Belz)
4. Words to Live By, Pt. 2 (feat. Bre Paletta)
5. Conclusions Drawn
6. Read About It (feat. Iame, OnlyOne & Illmaculate)
7. Feeling Good (Saul Love)
8. Say Anything
11. Search Party (feat. Onry Ozzborn, Dj Wels & Nyquil)
12. Everchanging Constant (feat. Little Warrior)
13. Wings of a Seagull (Instrumental)
This is not a review of any sort. This is just ‘us’ letting ‘you’ know that this available now. Bagwell is a favorite and a mainstay on HHD and it’s only fitting for me to encourage you to go pick this up. 90% of the music coming out these days, you have heard before. There’s a lot of the same old cafeteria cooking going on in the lab these days. But when something unique comes out, we’ve got to support. Bagwell is among a very minute population of artists who consistently gives us quality of a different ilk and always makes it fresh for the fans. So make sure you cop from the Bandcamp page now and check back here later, when I will have more time to do an official review!
Artist: Godz Chyld x Jordan River Banks
1. Here I Come
3. Last Days
4. High Explosives
After more than just a few listens, this brief EP from Godz Chyld and Jordan River Banks needs to be recognized. It’s a project that any hip hop head worth his or her salt should be able to get into.
Artist: Curtessy x The Militia
- A New Day
- What It Seems
- One (ft. Khrysis)
- Expectations (ft. Wally Left x Rome Clientel)
- The Lifestyle (ft. MidaZ The BEAST)
- All My Life
- South Central (ft. Pro Logic)
- Aint No Love
- End Of The Day
One thing that I have learned for certain in 2013 is that The Militia is an elite production outfit. They concoct some raw and innovative boom bap for artists, in this case, Curtessy to spit over.
Expectations is an interesting title for this album, because not really knowing what Curtessy was about, I really had no expectations for this release. But as it turns out, with this release, he’s starting to set those expectations with this release. And he sets that bar high.
The project of course features spine-snapping drums and soulful rhythms from The Militia but also a very driven Curtessy. It sounds like he is a man who has been doubted before. But on this release, he shows that South Central emcees can come with the lyrics too. He got the nice wordplay but it is derived from his real life experiences and what’s what makes this joint special.
Expectations on the whole is dope but some of my favorite cuts are One, the posse cut Expectations, and All My Life. These three cuts illustrate the incredible production from The Militia and Curtessy’s complete repertoire. Give this project a chance and become a fan.
True to my commitment to post more projects on HHD (minus the lengthy review) I bring you the newest EP from SGT. Over, School Of Hard Knoxx. This project is short coming in at under 15 minutes but it’s really meant as a teaser for what is yet to come. What that is, is his forthcoming album, Big Music, from which we have already showcased cuts featuring, Ras Kass and Ransom. That album is going to be fully loaded and will drop in early 2014. But in the meantime enjoy this moment in time produced by Knoxx. The whole thing is certified but I am especially feeling the track, Sarge. That one really sets the tone for what I think SGT Over is about.
This one of these moments where I am proud to live in the ATX. There are a few dope artists in the area, but for the most part I could count them all on one hand, and then comes along Scuare. HHD actually featured his video single, One, back earlier this year. What struck me was of course the great production from Tom Bombadil, but also the heavy lyricism from Scuare. I say heavy, because there is an intellectual quality about his music, but also a cadence and flow that keeps things interesting. It’s vastly different and needed in this area. In an era where little is remarkable and much of hip hop is standard fare, Alphabet Soup offers a different approach to hip hop music. And that’s what we are about here on HHD…innovation inspired in the culture of hip hop.
Now with any album I have my favorites, and here on Alphabet Soup I tend to favor the following: One, Gone Away, General Lee, and Recursive. But give it a listen and see for yourself.
Artist: Quadir Lateef
Album: Fool’s Gold
I can’t go any longer without talking about this album. Quadir Lateef’s, Fools Gold, is an indictment of all that is going on in the hip hop culture. He is fierce and fearless when making his observations. Everything from the songs to the skits has a purpose, and that’s to put this hip hop culture on blast. As a Muslim, Lateef, has a problem with his surroundings and instead of sitting idly by and giving the perpetrators a pass, he vehemently goes after these individuals within the confines of this music.
Artist: Freestyle Fam
1. Bar Fights
2. We Ain’t Down
3. By Your Side
5. This Ain’t No Party
6. I’ll Get There
7. Beauty 2
8. The High I’m On
9. 5am In Staten
10. Sketch Art
11. True Rap
This is not a full blown review but rather a strong recommendation for you to check this project out. Now, typically, I wouldn’t advocate a project like this. Freestyle Fam is for the most part rocking over instrumentals from the very accomplished AraabMuzik. I usually post original rhymes over original beats, but I am going to make an exception here. The rhyme skill here is so good, it just can not be ignored. I seriously believe Freestyle Fam is in the top five percent when it comes to writing end executing rhymes. What’s even more exciting is that they can write some of the hardest bars without cursing and with the Armor Of God intact. That’s right. They are Christian men who happen to rap…really, really well. But this isn’t your typical preachy “religious hip hop”. This is very different. It just has to be heard…so bear witness.
I have posted their video Bar Fights on here before, but I am going to embed it here again so you can feel it, and then I want you to DL this project (above) . You will not be disappointed.
Artist: Alpha Faktiom
Album: Truth, Lies, & Audiotape
I really had to mention this EP to you guys as I find myself bumping this release as much as anything else in 2013. I have featured some of Alpha Faktion’s material here before but that in itself does not do this project justice. In many ways, Truth, Lies, & Audiotape is very reminiscent of NonPhixion’s first album, The Future Is Now. Members, Azwun, Kraze, and DJ Enyoutee really have concocted a phenomenal release for hip hop fans of all walks and, at the same time, give the same people food for thought.
On the first two tracks, Truth, Lies, & Audiotape and Man Against Machine, you have Alpha Faktion rebuking the systematic indoctrination by the government and the media against the masses. It is also on these initial songs that you can hear a chemistry that has been building over a significant amount of time. On, Bodybagz, the team seemingly have no problem just dropping a track that bangs, just for the sake of making it bang. And yes, that joint definitely will ring some bells. But right after that they come back and show the ability to show sincere introspection on the cut, Reflection Of Self. They can tackled many a topic but on each cut they bring a straight boom bap sound and sharp lyricism. They are not taking any shortcuts or easy way outs. Alpha Faktion brings the same mentality to whatever track that they are on.
This album should make hip hop purists release a shout of joy and I encourage you to go to their bandcamp and purchase this release to show your support for their art.