#rewindreview: Run The Jewels (Killer Mike & El-P) ‘Run The Jewels’ 2013

  I could never imagine in 1998 that while listening to Company Flow’s ‘Funcrusher Plus’ and Outkast ‘Aquemini,’ that I would ever hear El-P and Big Boi rapping on the same track. This has been the legacy of Run The Jewels, which is providing the most amalgamated circumstances to all of us who were listening to HOP music prior to the 2000s. For those younger ears or one’s simply not in the know, this collaboration between El-P, Killer Mike and the features they have had is standard practice in a rap music world where that proverbial “line in the sand” is no longer existent. ‘Run The Jewels’ is the second collaboration with El-P and Killer Mike, but the first of what would make them a cultural favorite among younger ears. Unlike Killer Mike’s ‘R.A.P. Music’ album from 2012, El-P was strongly motivated to rap again by Killer Mike, thus creating this rapping duo. This album is to the point and really displays the chemistry “El & Mike” have. The content was a lot more abstract and fun, to which those aspects were really sold by the visual components of the record. The first single ’36’ Chain’ has one of the most laugh out loud moments as “RTJ” re-envision L.L. Cool J’s intro to the ‘I’m Bad’ single. More “inside joke” hilarity is found on the Prince Paul featured ‘Twin Hype Back’ where he reprises his role as “Chess Rockwell” of Handsome Boy Modeling School. ‘Run The Jewels’ for me is the easiest album to digest next to ‘RTJ4′ in the Run The Jewels catalog. El-P handles the majority of the production and keeps that “futuristic b-boy” feel which keeps this album strange in 2013 but over the years it has marinated to feel a little ahead of it’s time. If the run (no pun intended) of the duo is done, within a decade they have stamped their ticket as a solid rap group and boosted the value of Killer Mike, so run these jewels back one more time *no Diddy*. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ’36’ Chain’ & ‘A Christmas F***king Miracle,’ ‘Banana Clipper,’ ‘Run The Jewels’ & ‘Get It’ Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

Album Review: Blockbusta – Is Busta Rhyme’s Latest Effort a Classic?

When Busta Rhymes dropped Extinction Level Event 2 in 2020, he hadn’t dropped an album in 11 years. He doesn’t make fans wait long as he drops Blockbusta just three years later. The Long Island legend really mastered the ceremony with this release, as he delivers a thoughtfully laid out project with all the best aspects of his style. This project really embodies that title, as Busta brings us perhaps his most cohesive project if not the most refined version of him.  One of the most debated topics in hip-hop, particularly about rappers is, do they have a classic album? Busta is one of those golden-age artists this is debated about. Now his last project E.L.E.2 certainly satisfied the hip-hop enthusiasts with boom-bap heavy tracks and vintage feel but, it left some area to be gained with mainstream stay. This latest release feels like it could be the answer to all those questions and possibly his most solid project ever.  The show starts fast, no long skit or drawn out intro Busta gets straight to it 15 seconds into “The Statement,” and it feels like he hears the chatter too. Rapping double-time like he’s late to a meeting, Busta reminds those hating who he is. The track is a great intro and sets the bar for the project. “Remind ‘Em” featuring Quavo keeps the pace high, and fits well as a second track. Of course Busta switches cadences and has some signature ad-lib breakdowns, while the track feels big and regal, definitely a bop for the ride.  You know Busta always is going to hold down New York, as BIA stops through on “Beach Ball,” but the project really turns up with Young Thug’s appearance on “OK.” Cool and Dre heavy synth-trappy production slides hard with the two MCs on the forth track.  The vibes continue on with the unique voice of  LA’s Blxst over a western feeling guitar-riff on “Could It Be You.” The stripped production of the track highlights the best of the calculated rhymes of Busta as he spits, “Give you the semi, question if you gonna keep it tucked?/When I’m in my struggle/ I question if you gonna keep me up.” The track feels like a Tarintino flick with Young Bleu playing the twist, adding a smooth flavor to the second verse.  Still no skits. No skips. “Luxury Life” is a playful song and memorable hook as Busta Does his best Four Tops delivery of an interpolation of “Ain’t No Woman.” It serves two useful purposes, reaching a younger audience with the assistance of Coi Leray, and satisfies the Hip-hop purest monster with the production at this point of the album, a win-win. T-pain and DaBaby assist on “Big Everything” relying on a resampled version of UGK’s “So Throwed.” If you can get past the first 30 seconds of DaBaby or enjoy him, this song really slaps, especially in the low bass category.  This is where the project really turns up, Burna Boy really brings the vibes up with “Roboshotta” as Busta embodies one of the best versions of himself in his rudeboy flow. “Tings” really gives DJs a afro-beat infused club joint that works so well. “The Return of Mansa Musa” showcases Busta on a golden throne of percussion, Swizz Beats cooks up with MJ interpolation that falls into a rhythmic genre blending treat. Still No Skips. JNR CHOI stops by to assist “Stand Up” with the unique use of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” chopped into a Soca-esch dance blend, which is pleasantly received. The most experimental song so far. Busta is like a gracious host showing us his house, as he welcomes Shenseea and Chris Brown next for a smooth ride on “Open Wide.” Then goes into braggadocios classic Busta with “Hold Up.” The beat is playful and memorable. “Hive”‘s melodic piano hypnotizes as Busta drops back into rudeboy mode with Giggs, switching the energy and “Homage” featuring Kodak Black brings us back to the streets amping up the energy. Still no skips! Morray soothes and croones with the auto-tune assisted “Legend,” while Slide goes into a Mystikal sample before a piano driven instrumental send off. A strange but cool juxtaposition of tracks.  “Legacy” delivers so well as a segway into a smoother vibe and the guest deliver memorable spots, as Busta drops into his cool low baritone voice.  The final track features Big Tigger, bringing everyone back to “The Basement,” as he interviews Busta Bus about the state of the game, but does at time come off as campy during his parts. The choir backed track, is a nostalgic flashback at the legacy of the MC and his answer to all the questions about his place in hip-hop. It’s hard to place the classic label on things as they drop, but purely on first listen, there are no skips on this project. Hip-hop purists might have a more critical view of this project, as the project sounds very commercially strong, but again, you want boom bap Busta, go listen to E.L.E.2. Rating 9/10 Favorite Song: Roboshotta – This thing just go. Least Liked Song – Big Everything – DaBaby just kind of sounds like he does … on everything.   

Georgia v. YSL Day 3: Was the Jury Pool Tainted?

On Wednesday, in the YSL RICO case, the jury were accidently shown by a broadcast camera. That stream was shared by multiple sources and the screengrabs and video quickly made it to social media. Judge Glanville ordered all the attorneys into his chambers after being informed of the error, later then instructing the camera men to only continue recording the audio of witness gang detective Mark Belkap. At one point the live channel of the case just sat focused on a single water bottle as witnesses were examined. Some of the net’s biggest blogs shared the video on their social media accounts, which is call for alarm of tainting the jury in some cases. Judge Glanville just confirmed that jurors were accidentally filmed. — Jewel Wicker (@jewelwickershow) November 29, 2023 Detective Belkap went through an extensive explanation of gang life and culture. Showing the jury the often used “gang triangle” to the jury. The Judge was once again angry with the prosecution as the slide show he used was not turned over to the defense days prior. His testimony consisted of trying to explain how he referred to YSL as “Young Slime Life” and not “Young Stoner Life” the clothing line. Belkap also tried to explain that this was a non-traditional gang and show the difference. He was the sole witness for the day. As far as the jury goes, the worry of revealing the jury to the public are many. One of the worries is that a jury member can be trained or targeted with information, or disinformation, that taints their view of the case one way or the other. Another major worry is that the said juror could be doxxed, and personal information and whereabouts could become targeted, therefore tainting them. As one court reporter pointed out, it could lead to alternate jurors being called to replace someone. We will know more in the coming days. Watch the full stream of today’s case below.  

Georgia v. Young Slime Life: Did Thug’s Lawyer Reveal the Darker Side of the Music Industry?

It’s been over a year since Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney indicted the rapper, Jeffery Williams and his YSL crew for RICO charges in May of 2022 and Monday set the stage for opening statements delivered by the State vs “YSL.” But on Tuesday, Thug’s Lawyer Brian Steel’s opening included strong statements about the music business. Namely how they music industry creates and maintains beefs and personas for marketing purposes.  “You will learn that this is part of being involved in hip hop and rap. There’s all these battles going across social media. It generates interest, much like the NFL has rivalries with the Saints and Falcons,” said Steel. The trial has started off to much controversy Monday as well with Chief Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love. Ironically, Love went the poetic route. She was quoting “The Jungle Book” and attempting to show a parallels of sorts using the “Wolfpack” mentality as fodder. Which ended up being a long soliloquy boasting confidence of the evidence. And there we’re objections. Aside from being accused of showing jurors evidence that was excluded by Judge Ural Glanville, the defense was given more ammo to contest. Love was objected by Steel mid-sentence, for attempting to ‘shift the burden of proof.’ Some have said this will be grounds for appeal should the State still convict the rapper in the long run, as the objection was sustained and further explained by Judge Glanville. Watch the clip below to see the full exchange. The defense also brought up the common distrust of the police and specifically to how “Jeffery” as Steel refers to him, witnessed multiple accounts of police misconduct. Specifically how his family had been mistreated by the police on several occasions. Stating his father was harassed by the police routinely, detailing how his older brother “Beanie” was shot in the chest and his mother handcuffed as they watched him lose his life. Watch more below. Prosecutors were able to get a motion for mistrial dismissed and we’re granted the right to use his lyrics as evidence in the trial. Attorney’s for the other three defendants also gave opening arguments in the hours long court spectacle. Here’s how FOX News Coverage from Atlanta covered the second day’s activities. This case holds an important place in hip-hop, as not only are his lyrics being used but the very culture is on full display, leaving the greater discussion at a crossroads. Do label’s and the industry as a whole generate rap beefs to sell records? Are there street consequences for the marketing approach of the music? This case should keep these topics on fans minds as we watch closely. Watch Meghann Cuniff aka Meghann the Reporter discuss the case live as a guest below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Famous Record Pool Digiwaxx Celebrates 25 Years and Confirms New Digiwaxx Latino Division

Digiwaxx, the renowned record pool, proudly commemorates its 25th anniversary in the music culture and reveals a significant expansion plan into hyper-focused divisions. The inaugural division to be unveiled is Digiwaxx Latino, which seeks to cater to the immense influence and extensive global presence of the Latino community in the music industry. Heading this exciting endeavor is Brian “Essince” Collins, a distinguished professional with an illustrious career that spans across international markets, particularly in Latin America. A native of Honduras, Essince has played a pivotal role in launching promising artists and collaborating with diverse clients worldwide. As the world joyfully celebrates the 50th anniversary of Hip-hop this year, Digiwaxx takes immense pride in its own remarkable milestone of 25 years in the hip-hop scene. Throughout its journey, Digiwaxx has meticulously curated one of the most esteemed record pools, while wholeheartedly supporting the culture through an array of initiatives. From exclusive events held nationwide to the renowned Digiwaxx calls featuring industry giants as guests, Digiwaxx continues to flourish, propelled by the unwavering support of the hip-hop community and the dedication of its founder, Corey “CL” Llewellyn. The brand’s impeccable reputation precedes it, facilitating connections between artists, DJs, and platforms on a global scale. Corey “CL” Llewellyn expressed his excitement about the addition of Digiwaxx Latino to the Digiwaxx family, emphasizing the desire to create specialized divisions focused on various music genres and cultures. He further praised the choice of Brian “Essince” Collins to spearhead the Digiwaxx Latino division, citing his professionalism and successful track record on both national and international levels. The newly established Digiwaxx Latino division will showcase an array of Latin music playlists, exclusive content, and interviews, providing a platform for Latin artists, industry professionals, and enthusiasts. Essince shared his personal journey with Digiwaxx, recounting how he had been introduced to the platform during his early days in the industry, monitoring Digiwaxx submissions for a New York label. He expressed his delight in being able to leverage this influential platform to highlight the remarkable talent and growth of Latino artists, an aspiration he has held for a significant period. Over the past 25 years, Digiwaxx has been a driving force in promoting and nurturing countless gifted artists. The brand attributes its continued relevance to the unwavering support of numerous DJs, industry professionals, devoted fans, and its own hardworking team. As they celebrate this momentous year, Digiwaxx looks back at those who doubted the longevity of hip-hop, proving them unequivocally wrong. For more information on Digiwaxx and its initiatives, please visit www.digiwaxx.com or contact press@digiwaxx.com And Follow us on all platforms: @Digiwaxx About Digiwaxx: Digiwaxx is a prestigious record pool that has played a vital role in the music industry for 25 years. With an unwavering commitment to supporting artists and the culture, Digiwaxx continues to thrive, connecting talents with DJs and platforms worldwide.

#rewindreview: Ol’ Dirty Bastard ‘Return To The 36 Chambers’ (1995)

  The reign of Wu-Tang Clan is comparable to lightning in a bottle. No matter how many may want to try and duplicate or say that it has happened outside of them, it simply has not. Rapping talent aside, the personalities involved in the original nine we might have took for granted while living in it but this was a unique moment. After “The Clan” dropped their debut album, solo acts began to drop as well. Method Man would come out of the gate first with ‘Tical’ but in that same year Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s first single ‘Brooklyn Zoo’ menaced the streets. I was introduced to the song by the video and the look of the visuals and song itself were a perfect combination. This highlighted the personality of “ODB” and set the tone for what to expect on his album. ‘Return Of To The 36 Chambers’ is so raw in it’s approach that I believe had “Ol’ Dirty..” not been associated with Wu-Tang Clan, this album would not be remembered or even released. This might sound like a wild take but the album is everywhere and by the standards set with HOP albums during this time it broke all the rules. The intro is almost 5 minutes of no song while actual songs almost sound like interludes or as though they were off “the cutting room floor.” Ol’ Dirty Bastard is not the most lyrical and songs are mainly just freestyles which unlike the urban myths created for his Brooklyn contemporaries, Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, I believe “Dirt Dawg” couldn’t have had these raps written down. The reason the album works is because it has such memorable moments and outrageous quotes. R.Z.A. knew what worked for Ol’ Dirty Bastard and the best way to display his personality was to allow him the freedom to be so “anti..” that it became a new standard. The single ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ dropped after the album was released and the video made one hear the song on the album with different ears. ODB might have been the rawest and most unfocused of The Clan but he was definitely the most dynamic one at that time. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Brooklyn Zoo’ & ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.to/QuantumLeapRadio

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