#rewindreview: Benny The Butcher ‘Everybody Can’t Go’ 2024

  Leading up to the latest album from Benny The Butcher was the anticipation of this being his first Def Jam release and only beats by The Alchemist and Hit-Boy. On paper this looks to be a classic in any year where “record labels” matter. The Alchemist has a specific sound and crowd that he pleases while Hit-Boy’s stock has grown exponentially as a premier beatmaker in the last few years among multiple genres of HOP listeners. While ‘Everybody Can’t Go’ is a solid release and doesn’t leave much room for folks to complain about “Benny” being stuck in one sound, it does not create the effect previous albums have had for the rapper. Benny The Butcher keeps the album to the point and straightforward like he is known to do which is an asset for the M.C. On this album he has a bit more features but they do not feel like they invade the record. Snoop Dogg, Stove God Cook$, Lil’ Wayne, Jadakiss and new comers like Babyface Ray and Peezy make appearances. While also leaving slots to Benny The Butcher’s Griselda and Black Soprano Family members Westside Gunn, Rick Hyde, Armani Caesar and Conway The Machine. Benny provides energetic tracks like ‘BRON,’ ‘Back Again’ and ‘How To Rap’ but there seems to be an underlying feel of something holding this release back. It’s probably just me and still living off the effect of his 2020 album ‘Burden Of Proof,’ cause ‘Everybody Can’t Go’ is not a bad album at all, especially if you are just wanting HOP music with no additives or preservatives. It reminds me of albums released in the year 1997 where many were solid releases but lacked a certain energy but at the same time a few of those albums ended up aging much better over time. Hopefully within that time we all “can go” and appreciate the album more. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Big Dog,’ ‘One Foot In,’ ‘BRON’ & ‘Back Again’ 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 (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#rewindreview: Rawkus presents ‘Ego Trip’s The Big Playback’ 2000

  Leave it up to one the most authentic labels and movements during the turn of the millennium, to curate a compilation of forgotten and underground HOP music from the 1980’s. ‘Ego Trip’s The Big Playback’ served as a soundtrack to Sasha Jenkins’ popular ‘Book Of Rap Lists’ that was published a year before. In that book Hip-Hop music was given a benchmark as to it’s origins and most influential acts and songs up to that point. Where this compilation album works is not only providing some HOP jams but also connecting the origins of names, who by the year 2000 were known but not so known for what they did on wax during the 1980’s. M.C. EZ & Troop’s ‘Get Retarded’ would sound familiar around this time as L.L. Cool J. had released a track called ‘Zoom’ a couple of years before which borrowed from this jam but not only that, M.C. EZ was in fact Craig Mack. Divine Force’s ‘Holy War’ had been slightly resurrected by Ghostface Killah’s ‘Mighty Healthy’ on ‘Supreme Clientele’ earlier that year. Also producer/rappers like Diamond D. and Ski have their earlier groups displayed in The Bizzie Boyz and Ultimate Force. Personally this album was a jewel that only added on to my knowledge at the time seeing as how I was slowly beginning to respect and appreciate HOP music pre-1988. A perfect combination of the popularity of “80’s Hip-Hop” that was being celebrated at the time thru various remakes and other compilation albums and the genuine effect Rawkus records was providing to their audience. The artwork and selection of music on ‘Ego Trip’s The Big Playback’ is one of the last Rawkus releases that displayed the initial and true reason that label was so necessary and a breath of fresh air for a lot of us. Almost like a ‘Lyricist Lounge Vol.0’ in the Rawkus discography. What did you think of the album? 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 (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#rewindreview: Blackliq & Mopes ‘Change Is A Choice’ 2023

  ‘Choice Is A Chance’ plays like a personal journal with highs and lows of life as the main theme. The Richmond V.A. rapper Blackliq, teams with beatmaker Mopes on a therapeutic journey with a “bop” to it. Although a short album ‘Choice Is A Chance’ is heavy in recognizing the importance of family foundation, no matter the social circumstances. Blackliq opens up about his own dark times on ‘Therapy’ and also coming to terms with his responsibility to live life. Other moments Blackliq provides very relatable thoughts like we have all had concerning wanting to bring children into this world. On ‘Little Me’ the Richmond V.A. rapper looks at his own childhood and ponders if he could put up with that child and how hard it could be to raise him. He extends his thoughts of growing up with the descriptive track ‘Tooth’ which conveys a story of why his mother would hide her missing one, while only realizing in Blackliq’s adult life it was due to domestic violence. ‘Choice Is A Chance’ is a reflective album that might not be for the summer barbeque get together but a way for one to sit with the record and know that being human is not always so “black and white.” What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Strange Famous,’ ‘Therapy’ & ‘Little Me’ 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 (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#rewindreview: Eleven & Jason D ‘Carefully Crafted’ 2022

The idea of “Hip-Hop is dead” comes from a place of despair, with a bit of warning but many subconsciously are still waiting on mainstream avenues to correct their capitalistic model. That last part being the most hypocritical mindstate, a person who wants to hear the grassroots of HOP music could have. Reason being, there’s always a place to find what you are looking for but one has to not depend on everyone else’s attention span matching theirs to support or give a chance to lesser known acts in rap music. ‘Carefully Crafted’ from the M.C. Eleven and D.J./producer Jason D is a natural callback to the basics of HOP music. For those old enough to remember first hearing Jurassic 5 in the late 1990’s, it was apparent that their mission was to carry on traditional rap music but also was a huge part of the character and identity of the group. Eleven & Jason D do not seem as though this is their “gimmick” as oppose to just the type of music they make. Eleven’s style of rap is reminiscent of the early 1990’s while Jason D’s beats have the DNA of what made D.J. Premier so successful over the years. The two have “crafted” a time capsule that might not impress many younger ears or even older ears who feel this isn’t something they haven’t heard before. It is however more proof that those who came through a time when HOP music felt more authentic, are still able to service listeners who want to at least feel that authenticity for their listening pleasure. What did you think of the album? 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 (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.tv/QuantumLeapRadio

#rewindreview: B.U.K.A. Entertainment presents ‘Bringing It Home: Volume One’ 2001

There was a moment when the HOP music compilation was a thing and extremely effective. An album that would introduce or expose a myriad of rappers to new audiences. Soundtracks were a great example of this, in particular ‘High School High, ‘The Show,’ ‘Rhyme & Reason’ and ‘Soul In The Hole’ were mainly HOP music but had more known acts attached to those albums. When ‘Lyricists Lounge Vol.1’ released it set a strong precedent in providing unknown rappers a space to be heard on a smaller label but larger platform. After that release many compilations were provided and were successful in their own right like the ‘Supperappin’ series, ‘Beats & Lyrics’ by D.J. Kool EQ, D.J. Spinna’s ‘Beyond Real’ compilations and more. Needless to say these albums caused mass stimulus to my brain and I was on the lookout for any compilations adjacent to them at the time. With Rawkus records giving me an introduction to D.J. Hi-Tek by way of Black Star and hearing Lone Catalysts on a couple of mixtapes, I became aware of a “Mid-West” movement that could have easily gone unnoticed outside of the region had it not been for those acts. There was another compilation called ‘Mission Control…’ that highlighted those same acts along with a group Mood that took me down the Ohio path, which lead to me discovering ‘Bringing It Home Volume One.’ This album highlights many of the acts who were connected to Lone Catalysts and their label B.U.K.A. which stood for (Brothers United Keeping It Afficial). An extremely independent label that once again gave space for more unknown acts to be heard. On this album a few names were familiar like Verbal Kent and Usef Dinero but even for an “underground Hip-hop head” at the time these were all new acts. The songs that truly stand out on this album really do like the B.J. Bigby heater ‘Surrender,’ K-Mos ‘High Noon,’ Afaliah Afelyone ‘In/Exhale’ and Usef Dinero’s ‘Misc.’ The problem is a majority of the record has tracks from artist that just don’t stand up to the best offerings here, and with nineteen tracks and album art that is not to enthusiastic it doesn’t create the best replay value. As a collector of the independent Hip-Hop music scene at the time it’s not a bad album to own and displays the street and traditional sounding HOP music of that era. What did you think of the album? 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

#rewindreview: Quanstar & Poe Mack ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ 2023

  Quanstar is a friend of QUANTUM LEAP RADIO and remains so due to the solid music he continues to provide us. On this sonic trip he teams up with producer/M.C. Poe Mack who has worked with the likes of Cesar Comanche and others on the current “underwater” HOP music scene. The two keep ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ simple with only twelve tracks and two features while Poe Mack ensures Quanstar is provided a musical backdrop that can’t be described as “retro.” Quanstar is comfortable in his lane of providing lyricism that doesn’t aim to compete with the youth, instead relating to ears that can appreciate “grown man raps.” ‘Act Like Bosses’ speaks to the new age of “wannabees” who get so inspired by negative aspects of rap music that they begin to believe they are in fact built for those aspects. Something that as of this date of writing can be applied to very well known figures in HOP music. ‘Plugged In’ is also a stand out track, as an examination of the effect social media has on human’s thinking they are so smart we end up falling for anything, even our own lies to one selves. ‘Big Boy Barred Up’ is an excellent introduction to Quanstar and Poe Mack if one has never heard either of their offerings of music. More importantly another example of how HOP music will continue to produce for all those still interested in this ever aging genre. What did you think of the album? 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

#RewindReview: SWURVHITTZ & Budda Early ‘As We Continue On’ EP 2023

  In the next collaboration with Bronx born and bred D.J. SWURVHITTZ and Budda Early, an appetizer is served for those who never heard of them and a possible holdover for a future release. ‘As We Continue On’ is a follow up to 2021’s ‘Religion’ EP but lacks the grounded effort that record had. This release feels more like an experiment or possible cutting room floor tracks but also is a glimpse into how New York is sounding currently. SWURVHITTZ provides beats that have minor to no sampling but lean heavy into bass and high hat drum kits. Budda Early displays lyrics that are not too deep and will grab the attention of fans of Maino or those still liking the Dipset era. ‘As We Continue On’ is an exercise in the two’s chemistry and working on what could be created next. They also offer an olive branch to that “next chapter” with the track ‘Food For Thought’ which only features J Dillenger, an unknown rapper who had the most profound track on the release. Take about fifteen minutes and dig in to continued vibes of underground HOP music from the place it all started from. What did you think of the album? 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

#rewindreview: Mickey Blue ‘A Long Time Coming’ 2023

  This is another benefit of QUANTUM LEAP RADIO and the rap music acts we get introduced to. Mickey Blue is a beatmaker who has taken that dynamic first seen on Marley Marl’s ‘In Control Vol.1,’ and procured multiple M.C.’s to rhyme over the producer’s beats. Often this can feel like a compilation album but over the years the idea of some of the best beatmakers in HOP music, getting fan’s favorites to collaborate, has always been like a buffet of one’s favorite foods or a kid in a candy store. On ‘A Long Time Coming’ Mickey Blue has a myriad of rappers, with some more known in today’s under ground like M-Dot, Jay Royale, Spit Gemz and veterans like Copywrite and Ill Bill. Mickey Blue makes a strong case that this will be HOP music to the core with no additives or preservatives as the beats here are straight hardcore HOP music, ripe for anyone still claiming “Hip-Hop is dead” or the genre is “too soft.” Tone Spliff contributes to the subconscious familiarity of what makes rap music Hip-Hop by providing the cuts and scratches on the album. The issue here is the mood doesn’t really change throughout the album with the exception of the single ‘Twenty Ninety Four’ and ‘Don’t Blink.’ It’s definitely not a summertime album and by the second half of the release it starts to feel like a soundtrack for Halloween. Many will have no problem with this and I believe Mickey Blue knows his audience, which is why the album maintains it’s theme. For those needing confirmation that HOP music is still dirty and raw the time has come. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Twenty Ninety Four’ 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

#rewindreview: Teflon ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ 2023

  Teflon, the unofficial third member of M.O.P. took full advantage of the time we all “sat down” during the Pandemic, to plot a comeback. The rapper appeared on many features for M.O.P. and the Gang Starr family in the 1990’s and also put out an album of his own then. ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ is surprisingly solid and that is with all due respect. Teflon always seemed like he was a good “off the bench” player in the nineties but never had that release to show he could hold down an album. This release should not be overlooked for those wanting the simple formula of hard beats and hardcore rhymes. What makes the album so cohesive is D.J. Premier and Jazimoto produce the whole album and do a great job of blending their two styles to make it seem like it was Teflon and one producer. Teflon’s voice also play’s a critical role in why this album is good, as he has always had a unique high pitch tone and a way to play with the ups and downs of his delivery, and in 2023 he did not seem to lose that edge too much. The album also keeps features to a minimum and those bare minimum’s fit right in which is M.O.P., Benny The Butcher and I-Fresh on the hook for ‘Baby.’ The album starts off high energy on ‘Out The Gate’ and keeps that pace throughout the record. ‘Life In The Feds’ is one of the most memorable tracks as Teflon delivers his version Kool G. Raps’ ‘Ryker’s Island,’ that plays more like an audible ‘Scared Straight’ special as opposed to glamorizing the situation. ‘2 Sides To Every Story’ for me falls in line with the numerous veteran acts who in the last 8 years have evolved the idea that HOP music can only be created the best in ones prime. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘No Fake Love, ‘ ‘Life In The Feds’ & ‘Contraband’ 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

#rewindreview: Showbiz & A.G. ‘Runaway Slave’ 1992

  Growing up my interest in HOP music came from the benefit of cable television. This didn’t mean that I grew up in a rich home by any means but that cable was cheap enough to have during certain times in those years. A period that was missed for me was late 1992 thru about 1994, so I missed a lot of singles that might have only been shown on Rap City or Yo! MTV Raps. One single that I caught before that cable bill was overdue and it was gone again was ‘Soul Clap’ from Showbiz & A.G. For those alive or paying attention at that time, know that the single was heavy and stayed in rotation. It was the introduction to the duo and left a lasting impression on ears for years to come. This single was also one of my first CD purchases as the ‘Soul Clap/Party Groove’ maxi single I bought used at the original Soundwaves records store here in #HUEston, after returning a ‘Boys II Men’ album I got for Christmas one year. ‘Soul Clap’ and ‘Fat Pockets (remix)’ was the only songs I was familiar with from ‘Runaway Slave’ at the time. It wasn’t until about 2002 when I finally got around to this album and from then it grew on me. 1992 is not one I put in my “favorite years” of HOP music list so when I initially heard this album it sounded “suspended in time” but Showbiz’s beats were crazy and stick to one’s auditory canal like barnacle on boats. A.G.’s rough rhymes mixed with these beats just gave an energy that can’t be denied. ‘Silence The Lambs,’ ’40 Acres And My Props’ and ‘He Say, She Say’ all have this jazzy but dangerous feel to the songs. ‘Runaway Slave’ also provides interludes to each song with members of D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates) while also introducing the world to Big L. The album is a time capsule to a world where rap music was more genuine in why it was being created which can be theorized as to why the music holds up after thirty years. Equipment had to be bought, music had to be listened to, time and money had to be scheduled for recording, and M.C.’s had to be ready when these other stars were aligned to make a mark. All this was not done with a click of a button but instead digging in crates to create a unique soul in HOP music. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Soul Clap,’ ‘Fat Pockets’ & ‘Bounce Ta This’ 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

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