Review: If pure party-starting pleasure is your thing, you'll find plenty of instant gratification within the bulging catalogue of Bristol boys The Allergies. Alternatively, you could start with the pair's new seven-inch single, which boasts two steaming summer anthems in the making. Their old pals the Cuban Boys guest on A-side "Let Them Know", adding their distinctive rapped and sung vocals to a hip-swinging mambo-influenced backing track full to bursting with Cuban rhythms, jaunty guitar licks and barrio horns. Over on the flip, regular collaborator Andy Cooper raps his way through a fiery funk-rock-meets hip-hop bomb that will have hands shooting skywards faster than you can say, "Mine's a Tequila shooter!"
BIG Poppa's Got A Brand New Bag (instrumental) (3:59)
Review: When it comes to mash-ups and unofficial reworks, sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that make for the most effective versions. That's certainly the case here, as Soul Mates main man Amerigo Gazaway crafts four slabs of funk/hip-hop fusion fusing funky beats with hip hop accapellas plus the all essential instrumental versions...only 300 copies. Don't sleep !
Review: There is nothing subtle about these mash ups. They are big tunes to blast mud from any sealer you can get your hands on. Block party starting rip snorters, each one draws on a wealth of hip hop standards from Slick Rick to Notorious BIG. Audacious, shabby hitting and full flavour, they are restless and energetic edits designed for nothing other than dance floor destruction. "Love Be Faithful" kicks off with big beats and flutes, iconic vocals and more, while "How We Rumpshake" is a slicker rap jam turned low riding bumper.
Review: DJ Moves has a new album coming, Moves Presents Hiss 3 Hissterectomy, and this new single on the a-side is taken from it. Touch provides the raps to Moves' beats and the whole thing is a big ode to the herb, with chunky and funky bass riffs, rumbling drums and laid back vibes. On the flip, its the booze that gets the spotlight with an ode to drinking. It's super quick and slick and is taken from the Low Pressure Records album "Fatt Matt and Big Moves Rusty Hooks" released in 2010. Both tracks bang with tongue in cheek messages and sound real ripe in warm summer days.
King Most - "Rhythm Rug" (My Favorite edit Ever) (3:29)
Altered Tapes - "Ego Drip" (Outta This Horn remix) (4:20)
Review: If hot-to-trot and heavyweight funk re-fixes are your thing, you should already be familiar with the work of Chicago-based Heat Rock Records. Their latest limited seven-inch delivers two must-check workouts. On the A you'll find the "Rhythm Rug" edit by San Francisco scalpel fiends King Most, a cut-and-paste concoction that peppers a sunny, hip-hop tempo good-time soul-funk groove with excerpts from the acapella version of rap classic "Can I Kick It?" Over on the flip, label regulars and Windy City heroes Altered Tapes provide something even wilder: a hot-stepping fusion of Afro-jazz horns, dancehall style drums and what sound like occasional Q-Tip vocal snippets.
Review: Lxvndr is a young female rapper from Charlottetown, here making her first release, while of course DJ Moves is a real veteran Nova Scotia on his 63rd release. "Andromedan Slice" is a heady piece of stream of conscious hip hop. The elastic delivery finds the rapper contort her voice into many different forms while summery flutes and warm, rubbery kick drums make for an inviting groove. It's tense yet uplifting, then the flip side "Been Known 2" is darker, with a more nagging beat and drums that drag on the ground, weighted down by the messages delivered up top. As a taster of the full length album Raw that is to come, it could be no finer.
Review: Air Vinyl have secured a deal that allows them to reissue the seminal joint album by Benny The Butcher and 38 Spesh. The second part of the album comes later in the year, but the first one from 2018 is in the spotlight here. It's an accomplished affair that draws you int via lazy and long legged beats on the intro then gets more serious and confrontational on "Driver's Seat" (feat Styles P & Jadakiss). Social issues are address square on with tracks like "Gun Or Knife" and sweeter interludes like "Intro" (instrumental) help things move on without getting too heavy on one topic.
Review: Hot Pink is the second studio album from rapper and singer Doja Cat. Previous singles such as "Juicy," "Rules" and "Say So" will already be familiar to fans, while guests over the course of the 12 tracks include big names like Smino, Gucci Mane and Tyga. The artist allegedly quit smoking weed before making this album and the result sure is a versatile record that has plenty of punchy lines - both vocal and bass - and offers a rich array of r&b goodness that is utterly contemporary. This album very much asserts the fact that Doja Cat is a big new presence in the game and isn't going anywhere soon.
Review: The Cycle is Mourning A BLKstar's "testimony to the time and space in which it was collectively created," which is a storefront in Ohio. It is there that the band met each week to practice for late night into early morning sessions each Wednesday. There that they perfected their sound, which flickers like a candle in the dark, highlights desolate urban landscapes and includes a rotating cast of characters. Each one wrote their own parts of the songs and they all came together quickly, resulting in an album that is vital and authentic, with deep and dark boom bap next to more cosmic instrumental explorations.
Dragon Fire (feat Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Kool G Rap & Xx3eme)
All Systems Go
Gotta Be Dope (feat A-F-R-O & DJ Jazzy Jeff)
First Born (feat Novel)
EKNY (Ed Koch New York) (feat Inspectah Deck & Timbo King)
Living Through A Screen (Everything Is A Lie) (feat The KickDrums)
The Slayers Club (feat M.O.P., Vinnie Paz, Chris Rivers, Onyx, Chino XL, Brand Nubian & Ice-T)
Life Of The Party
The Big Snatch
John John Skit
Who Do We Trust? (feat Immortal Technique)
Malice Of Mammon (feat Chuck D Of Public Enemy)
Sean RiP (feat Shaun P - interlude)
The After Life (feat Sarah Smith & Kelly Waters)
Review: Although he's never stopped working, it's been a fair old while since former Rawkus Records regular R.A The Rugged Man dropped an album. In fact, "All My Heroes Are Dead", his new LP, has appeared almost seven years after its predecessor, the acclaimed "Legends Never Die", landed in record stores. So, was it worth the wait? Undoubtedly. A staggering 22 tracks deep, the set contains a range of brilliant beats, interludes and backing tracks crafted by a hugely impressive cast list of guest producers, DJs, emcees and vocalists. Throughout, R.A The Rugged Man remains the central figure, rapping lyrics (both personal and political) in his distinctively fast, furious and technically accomplished style. As a result, "All My Heroes Are Dead" may well be the veteran rapper's strongest album yet.