Category Archives: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Album reviews.

Strange Fiction :: EVOLVE Drops ‘Life’s A…’ Visual

Props to EVOLVE for being both one of the hardest working cats in the game and one of the folks most willing to collaborate with others.  His latest project, in fact, will be a series of collaborative songs with many, many recognizable names in the hip-hop gamut.  The first single, Life’s A…, features Deacon the Villian (of CunninLynguists fame) and JunClassic, and your’s truly was lucky enough to get the call for producing a music video.  ‘Public domain science fiction’ would describe the motif, but believe me, this track is dope.  Check it out, give it a like, and give it a share!

-chief

Forever Fresh :: DJ Baby G’s ‘Bomb-Ass Mixtape’ Vols. 1 & 2 Resurface



1994, my freshman year of high school.  Hip hop had recently turned super gangster, but as a teenager on the fringe of becoming a young man, I already had dreams of partaking in the hip-hop culture in any way that I could find to help sustain the fullness of the culture.  It was right around this time that a homeboy laced me with a DJ Baby G mixtape entitled Bomb-Ass Mixtape 2, and my mind was blown.  I knew a handful of things instantly : I needed turntables and a mixer ASAP, there has to be a Bomb-Ass Mixtape 1 in existence in order for there to be a part 2, and I needed to find out where I could cop these mixtapes and records.  Some pavement work resulted in the discovery of Alien Records (then on 15th street), and the rest was history.  A journey that I am still taking part in was put in motion.  Here we are, almost 25 years later, and these tapes still sound wonderful.  DJ Baby G still gets down behind the ones and twos.  And hip hop is bigger than any of us could have imagined.

-chief

Full Circle :: DJ brimLo & Bavu Blakes Create ‘The Comeback Story’

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From the digital desk of DJ brimLo :

“When DJ brimLo and Bavu Blakes are in the studio together Hip-Hop excellence has been assembled, two turntables and a microphone.  DJ brimLo trades his microphone for the role of the maestro on this project while Bavu provides us the narrative of The Comeback Story.  A good story starts with catastrophic tragedy, and that is the tone of Tick Tock.  The fall is scored in the ballad of Dead to Us.  The vocal stylings of CJ Edwards solidify the emotional foundation.  As we arrive on our title track, Comeback, the dynamic duo really flex their muscles.  Our wordsmith is in full stride as we all know “everybody loves a comeback,” he petitions to us on the Hip-Hop anthem.  Staying true a good narrative, the feeling of overcoming is followed by a lament for a time before the self-destruction.  Reggie Coby sets the tone of Yesterday with a properly penned hook and a swift sixteen.  In a true call and response fashion, TempestB closes the tune with the complimenting counter-chorus.  As a victory lap we get a repeat of the BIG Bright Future three piece ensemble of Bavu Blakes, DJ brimLo and Eric Levels on the closing song, Get Love.  Carefully broken into five significant segments, this EP effectively takes listeners through the emotional trek of a return to one’s better self.”

My two cents, this is definitely worth a listen and a share, and if you’ve got the funds, it’s worth copping.

-chief

Home Grown :: Mindz Of A Different Kind (MDK)’s ‘BORDERLINEZ’ EP Now Available

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Bars, beats, culture and family would be key elements that describe Austin-based collective Mindz of a Different Kind (MDK).  After a prolific 2016, the crew is right back at it with an EP for spring 2017.  BORDERLINEZ finds the crew reaching out to non-Texas based producers, while at the same time turning the mirror inwards to reflect on their place in the grand scheme.  A pleasant surprise of a project that slipped right by me, I’m happy that I did discover it eventually.. better late than never.

-chief

Block Philosophy :: ‘Trill Shit’ From Domincan Jay and S.Dot

You already know what it is when it’s League of Extraordinary G’z affiliated.  Domincan Jay has been killing it lately, and this go round he brings in S.Dot for the verbal assist, Eric Dingus for the track and Chino Chase for the visuals.  Trill Shit is good old fashion street talk from the blocks and back alleys.  Raw rap is where it’s at, and these cats definitely know where it’s at.

-chief

Forward Thinking :: B L A C K I E Drops ‘Remains’

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Houston-based B L A C K I E has been ahead of the curve for years.  His brand of music has always been challenging, densely layered and deeply rewarding for the adventurous listener.  REMAINS continues the legacy of consistency that B L A C K I E has worked so hard to become synonymous with.  At only 8 tracks, this project gets right to the point, and at a ‘name your price’ setting, why would you not support?

-chief

Life Coaching :: Jonathan Brown’s ‘Risk It All’ EP Now Available

New Orleans-based wordsmith Jonathan Brown has always had a touch for the brutally honest.  His punk-rock influenced hip-hop touches all the proper emotional influential buttons, rather than the purely aesthetic ones.  On his latest project, The Risk It All EP, we find him as candid as ever about topics such as educational policy, government paranoia and life choices, among other things, all wonderfully encapsulated into slightly more than 10 minutes.  Dig it and dig it good.

-chief