L*Roneous x 2Bers – Utopian Blues (2014)

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Artist: L*Roneous x 2bers

Album: Utopian Blues

Tracklisting:

1. Modify
2. Soul Clap
3. Second Sun
4. Wishing Well
5. Small Town
6. Tech
7. Espionage
8. Zombie Fingers
9. Help Me

Note:

L*Roneous had told me that he had some new music coming soon and to my pleasant surprise Bandcamp sent me an email a couple of weeks ago that one of my favorites had dropped another project.  This time the project, Utopian Blues, is a collaborative effort between L*ron and 2bers. I was skeptical at first because sometimes these pairings can go terribly wrong.  L*Roneous is a high level emcee and not knowing who 2Bers was left me a little incredulous.  So many times you get a high caliber artist who reaches below his skill level in a collaboration.  That’s really not the case here.  This is more of a blending of strengths rather than a disparity in talent.   It’s actually one of the most melodic releases I have heard in a while.

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L*Roneous x 2bers – Second Sun (ft. Def-I) (Video)

I missed big time on this.  L*Roneous and the soulful hip hop group, 2bers dropped this video/song in late January as the lead single to their collaborative project, Utopian Blues.  And as I was prepping my review of their project, I just happened to come across it.  It’s a great song, backed by an exceptionally creative video.  Enjoy and make sure you cop this EP!

Top 10 Albums (2012)

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#1 – (Apollo The GreatHennessy Diaries) –  I know what you are saying right now…”What is he thinking?”   But you probably haven’t even heard this album.  I have listened to it at least 10 times in preparation for this list and I have come to the same conclusion every single time.  It is the best.  Now I haven’t even had the time to review the album in it’s entirety but I hope this accolade prompts you to listen to it.  This is going to sound like large praise indeed, but listening to this was similar to listening to Illmatic.  Now before you get your panties in a bunch…I said like.

This is a great album.  The beats are incredible and Apollo the Great is a superb lyricist.  There is not one skippable track on the entire project.  It is great from the alpha to the omega.  Above The Sky, Liquor Talk, and Bad Ones are all some of my personal favorites off of this joint.  Each joint is well done but the flow of this album is on point as well,   It’s an extremely fluid release

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#2 – (OddiseePeople Hear What They See) – This album dropped in June and for no apparent reason I listened to it and moved on.  But upon revisiting this project, I too can see it’s brilliance.  Many people know Oddisee as the producer but people are getting more and more exposure to his lyricism.  He’s very introspective and delivers powerful performance after powerful performance.

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#3 (PremRockMark’s Wild Years) – Man, for two years running Premrock has cracked this list.  I guess that should come as not surprise as he is probably the most innovative artist on this list.   I mean combining Tom Waits and Hip Hop is no easy feat in my mind but he brought so much life and vibrancy to hip hop with this release.  I hope people will give this album a chance in their rotation.  I think you will enjoy.  Premrock gives the term ‘artist’ all the more credibility in hip hop culture.

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#4 (Ruste Juxx x The Arcitype –  VIC) –  I had never heard of The Arcitype prior to this release and for shame on me.  This gentleman gave Ruste Juxx the perfect auditory canvas for his verbals.   VIC not only knocks to a higher rhythm, but Ruste Juxx showed incredible versatility making this joint shine bright for 2012.

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#5 (SwerveThe Barrelhouse)  Here’s another one you all might be shaking your heads at, but I will not back down from this choice.  The Barrelhouse is silky smooth and Swerve just has “it”.  His lyricism, flow, and the ability to morph a turn of phrase really separates him from the pack to me.  I am determined to get this man’s name more shine in 2013 because his 2012 was criminally slept upon.   The highest caliber of emcee.

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#6 (Apollo Brown x OC – Trophies) – I know the majority will have this higher on their lists.  It’s a great album.  Everything Apollo Brown is touching these days appears to be golden.  But truthfully, when was the last time you heard OC come off like this? He sounds tight on the mic device.  This album is loaded with dope tracks and a must have in your stash.

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#7 (MaLLy x The Sundance KidThe Last Great) –  This is a great emcee and producer combo!  I felt like this project took forever to come out.  I was asking and anticipating and it finally arrived.  When it did, it did not disappoint in the least.  MaLLy doesn’t just rock mics…he commands them!  He just has incredible presence.  The Sundance Kid also is gifted behind the boards creating interesting blends of boom-bap and synth.  Check this!

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#8 (LocksmithLabyrinth) –  Some of you forgot about this one, didn’t you?  Locksmith is tenacious with his spit game and filled with angst.  This is another album that is loaded with great tracks. My two favorites are Illuminati and Little Bunny Rabbit.

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#9 (Reks x NumonicsRebelutionary) – This is an artistic union that any fan or blog should be able to get behind.  Reks (in my mind) already has one classic album under his belt with, Grey Hairs.  Numonics has been cranking out some of the dopest production in the last couple of years.  The two sound really great together.   This album knocks hard and has edgy lyricism for the masses.

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#10 (LRoneousLgorithms) – LRoneous has been the epitome of consistency.  Last years’ Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw really caught my attention and Lgorithms just holds that captive audience and builds upon it.  He is one of the finest wordsmiths doing it right now and deserved to be recognized as much.  Lots of great cuts on this but perhaps none greater than his dedication to Mike Dream.

Lgorithms 3P (2012)

Artist: L*Roneous

Title: Lgorithms 3P

Source: Artist

Tracklisting:

1. Drift Away
2. Melody
3. Apartment D

Here’s a little something extra for those of you who caught Lgorithms album earlier this year.  It’s obviously quite short but I guarantee you would rather cop three tracks from L*Roneous than a 16 track album from 95% of other ’emcees’.

All three of these tracks are harmonious and have a soulful vibe.   My favorite track of the bunch is Melody.  It just has a very optimistic outlook on life that I want to relate to.  I connected with that joint, though the samples on Apartment D are also quite memorable.

Give it a run…

L*Roneous – Lgorithms (2012)

Artist: L*Roneous

Album: Lgorithms

Source: Artist

Tracklisting:

1. Lgorithms (Intro)
2. Tell A Vision
3. Clear vision
4. Sound Clash
5. Formulated Methods
6. The Get Down
7. Sunrays Midtro
8. 1984
9. The Method
10. The Unusual
11. Feelin’
12. Man’s World
13. Static
14. Dante
15. Black Cloud (Outro)

Note:

L*Roneous is back at it again.  That is he is back at twisting the english language for the listener’s amusement or amazement (which ever comes first).  I make no secret about the artists that I like and the reasons that I like them, but L*Roneous appeal should be universal.   It shouldn’t take more than a couple of listens to recognize his immense talent.

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Top Ten Albums (2011)

It’s never easy.  I like to think that I know music and have an open mind to all different sounds but you always run the risk of leaving out a dope release.  I have, in my collection,  combed over 250 albums (purchasable or free) for 2011 and this is my grand list.  There was a lot of great music out there, and I am sure some of you will find holes in my picks.  I judged each album based upon it’s content, production, ingenuity, and flow of the tracks.  Love it or hate it, here it is:

10.

Awthentik – Foreclosure –  This release just cracked my Top 10, but it’s definitely deserving of that status.  It is the only free release on this list and certainly worth the  listen. Awthentik is a no frills emcee who aims to deliver his thoughts and ideas direct and to the point regarding his life and surroundings.   It is just raw hip hop coming out of the DMV.

9.

Silent Knight – Busy Is My Best Friend – This album seemingly took forever to hit the streets but when it did, we could all say that it was worth the wait.   There are lots of good tracks with varying levels of dope production.  This is a diverse project when it comes to content and the sound that it’s covering.  Silent Knight shows you throughout the album why he is a master of his craft.

8.

Torae – For The Record – I didn’t have time to review this album but it really is on point.  Torae enlisted a ‘who’s who’ of production talents to go along with his strong flow and lyricism.  You’ve got Torae rhyming over beats of the likes of DJ Premier and Pete Rock and that is just a win-win every time.   I think Torae is highly unappreciated but this release makes him pretty hard to ignore.

7.

Rasheed Chappell – Future Before Nostalgia –  I will file this one under ‘I am so sorry I slept’.  Chappell is a beast on this album.  The knowledge he drops and his observations on life make this album remarkable. It took me forever to listen to this album and after I was done listening the first time, it never left rotation. This is intelligent music made for the head-nodding thinking man.

6.

Cold Heat – Raising The Bar – Cold Heat represent everything good about hip hop and they go about their craft in the right way. They have stayed true to their identities and drop an album full of bangers that flows exceptionally well from one track to the next.  If you want a sampling, you have to check out Danielz’ flow on the track, Flashing.  Even the most hardened of hip hop heads have to appreciate that.    Cold Heat really has meant consistency when it comes to making good music over the last couple of years.

5.

L*Roneous – Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw – LR came back this year and dropped this outstanding album.  It is so dope that it cracked the Top 5 albums of the year much do in part to his trademark lyricism and flow. His style is indescribable and you won’t hear another one like it.  This is the album you can listen to over and over again without it getting old.  Timeless…

4.

The Regiment – The Panic Button – The Detroit based tag team did not have a single track in the Top 50 tracks from 2011.  But their complete effort definitely did not go unnoticed.  They were able to put together one of the most complete projects of 2011.  Their talents just flow from track to track so effortlessly.  Hipnott Records (Kevin Nottingham’s label) has put out a few dope records over the last couple of years, but none has been better than The Regiment’s album, The Panic Button.  This is true school hip hop with a lyrically advanced flair.

3.

Premrock and Willie Green – Self-Titled – Even though these artists declared their aim was not to make a blog’s Top Ten, I couldn’t help it.  The album is really too good to exclude. The duo really expound upon hip hop on their self-titled debut.  It’s a little old school, a little funky, a little soulful and very lyrical, They show great chemistry and divergence from the norm.  Willie Green shows incredible versatility making beats.  This album is progressive and pushed hip hop in  a very positive direction for 2011.

2.

Moke and ToneThe Shot Heard Around The World – This album is one of the more well rounded projects to drop in 2011.  The sad part about it, is that it will probably be the most overlooked project on the list.  Conceptually, they really created some special music.  The lyricism on the project is second to none. The production knocks. It meets every criteria for one of the best albums this expiring year. Moke and Tone play off one another exceptionally well. I love this album.

1.

Kaimbr and Kev BrownThe Alexander Green Project – “The Budget is Low but the stakes stay high!”  This is my pick for best album of the year for multiple reasons.    Kev Brown used Al Green’s music seamlessly to create his own sound and Kaimbr gave a dominating  on the mic throughout the album.  It was impossible to ignore what the two did in terms of making cohesive and extremely dope music . From start to finish this album is consistently dope.  They took care to make sure the entire project was as close to perfect as it could be and it shows.   The project’s review on our site was also the most viewed post on the site this year. If you were to ask me, I consider this to be a  classic.