SKYZOO: In Celebration Of Us

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 2, 2018 – First Generation Rich/EMPIRE

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT@ C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“Similar habits, get it on the strength, and I got her eating donuts every February 10th – I’m #AllAboutThat..” – (Skyzoo, #AllAboutThat, 2011)

Let’s be real – February is a month of CELEBRATION. Some of us wanna act all ‘pro black’ on social media and rattle on about how Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc are pagan holidays but there we are hoping to be showered with gifts, getting our teeth into that succulent turkey, or how we talk about February being ‘Black History Month’ but we should celebrate all year round’ but there we are again dressing up in African garments and the like just to watch a superhero film… down to J Dilla (and Baatin) February has Skyzoo Celebrationmore Dilla social media posts than any other time in the year…Skyzoo is aware of this, and so he’s decided to take full advantage. He was born Gregory Skylar Taylor December 24, 1982, he has paid homage to Dilla in previous joints, Spike Lee is his hero, and so he just wants to celebrate black love and community, not just that but more specifically – himself and his parents in this latest album – IN CELEBRATION OF US – which dropped in FEBRUARY.

When the album starts you quickly realise that the year is 1982 two guys in the conversation are Skyzoo’s (soon to be) father and his friend and how Pops plans to raise his unborn son away from the world he’s been exposed to which is great looking out.

Skyzoo’s lyrical prowess wastes no time in ‘Everybody’s Fine’ over a jazzy backdrop which is a theme which re-occurs throughout the project, and basically that’s what the album ‘Sounds Like’. But here – your head is viciously nodding uncontrollably. This is going to be an instant favourite among boom bap fans and more importantly – concert ready.

This flows relentlessly into the album’s lead single ‘Baker’s Dozen’ featuring The Love King himself – Raheem DeVaughn, which is basically D’Angelo’s Devil’s Pie brought into 2108 and updated. This shuts down critics about Apollo Brown’s production as this is a complete departure from the grainy vinyl soul sound we know and expect from him. In a period where we have gone crazy over the visual presentation of black superheroes, it’s great to see Sky use a clever line  – “Black lives in black 5s, the frame boxing out, 
I’m Luke Caging but more related to Cottonmouth…” Personally – I will always prefer Sky & Raheem’s Dream Deferred outing ‘Drew & Derwin’ which should have blown up on many levels. On the off-chance Sky & Raheem see this, I sincerely hope they still give that track the visual treatment.

An instant album highlight, ‘Crown Holder’, as soon as you hear the sample. !llmind slows down the 1989 Soho Jazz hit while Sky’s head gets a little respectfully big “You can call this my new sh!t, but it ain’t new tho, I done helped raise a couple stars that you know, Know the fans I be attracting is ’bout a loophole, he isn’t lying, through him I discovered the likes of Torae & Rapsody… and oh yeah – that sultry Heather Victoria chick…

Sky continues to play the lyrical show off in ‘Heirlooms & Accessories,’ when halfway through the track, the beat switches and so does his flow and he does it without flinching. Not just that, when the beat was done, Sky wasn’t done! He can go ‘Forever in a Day’ if he wanted to.

kaycola

KAY COLA

The spoken word interlude has Sky turning his attention to the women… or rather, the woman has turned her attention to him. ‘The Purpose’ of it, is to bring out more of the Lucid Dream Queen herself – Kay Cola, another gifted soul artist who features on the track.

In every 4 bars Skyzoo breaks down the definition of the word ‘Love’ and it’s metaphors in this no-hook wordplay assault, and the album’s February celebration theme re-occurs… “Or love me like a purchase on 47th and 6th, And the Russian jeweler knock off $100 off what you pick, 
In the middle of February your sleeves up off your wrist, And you add another $100 when discussing what you spent…” 

The last few bars in ‘Black Sambo’ is the unfortunate reality of our young black youth who could become victims of the racist police brutality and even through live social media Saba abrahaseen by millions (because that sort of thing goes viral quick) there’s still no justice.

Allow for ‘Parks & Recreation’ to zone you out with Saba Abraha providing the chorus, once again Skyzoo referring to his earlier track where he continues to raise new stars. It becomes evident at this point that when it comes to guest appearances for this project, he’s calling on NO MC. He’s going in alone, thus defeating the myth of ‘new album! What’s the line up like?’ The zone out continues in ‘Collateral’ featuring Jake&Papa, and right off the bat makes a snappy Wu-Tang reference “Can It Be All So Simple, Corey & Dennis?” Later you hear what appears to be a Caucasian voice use the ‘List of Jericho’ to state everything black people like… zone out session isn’t over in ‘The Stick Up Tape From Menace’… no prizes for guessing which classic film that is a reference from. Zone out session ends with ‘Hoodie SZN’…the lyrical content in this album will have hip hop fiends deciphering those lyrics for a good while yet.

The album closes out with one of the most epic tracks ever heard since arguably Jay-Z’s American Gangster in ‘Honor Amongst Thieves’, and here Sky has his most ‘4:44’ moment, by that I mean when he talks about his upbringing and personal life in such a vivid picture to the shocking conclusion of what happened at the neighborhood school and why his parents never wanted him there. Sky told us from the jump that this would be his most complex and focused work to date.

Skyzoo has come a long way from being a 9th Wonder protegé to becoming that hip hop superstar he is today and retaining all the credibility he had which a lot of artists would have sacrificed in less than half of that tenure, and the reason this is his most personal work because now Skylar himself is about to be a father and now the cycle starts again.

This IS a celebration. Raise your glasses, Skyzoo has done it again. Best album perhaps since arguably The Salvation…

Advertisements

LOANESKI: LONE WOLF

RELEASED: OCTOBER 29, 2017, Abeo Music, Adam Lewis Mixing, DJ RadioHead Beats, Flowfullsoundz and G.Lewis – REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.EO. of RePPiN4U & INTERNATIONAL REP for WU WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

“…six years after working with them (Bizznezz Fam) everybody went their separate ways and I thought – you know what? I wanna carry on…” (Loaneski, Shebangs Interview, 2016)

Lone wolf epThat interview right there tells you that if you looked in the dictionary and looked up the meaning of the word ‘passion’, there would be a picture of Loaneski waving at you right next to it. This is a guy who started writing at 8 years old, took it seriously in his teenage years, overcame religious beliefs whilst pursuing his music career, and has taken a step further in giving back and teaching while he was still a student of the music game himself, literally at De Montfort University.

The Lone Wolf EP finally dropped last year in which Loaneski promises more of his conscious mind but also introducing a bit more cockiness which his close people know him for in just 4 tracks.

The EP kicks off with the ‘Predator’, with a very familiar beat every hip hop head should know. Here Loaneski further backs up the claim I stated earlier about adversity: “You can’t stop me/like Makoveli/it’s gonna take more than five shots to drop me…”

Then in ‘Paisa’, Loaneski truly goes into conscious mode on how money is manipulating us in  so many ways and conforming to the pagan lifestyle. The subject matter spills into ‘British Yout’, which is a powerful message to our youth that they haven’t got to go the route of a ‘roadman’, so to speak, and not act so ignorant fighting over foolishness.

 

The EP closes out with its title and the persona Loaneski has adapted, with a jazzy backdrop. Here he tells you how he cares not for materialistic things, and how the term ‘freedom of speech’ is so hypocritical. He also goes into little more detail of why he

Loaneski Havoc

PHOTO COURTESY OF LOANESKI

became the Lone Wolf, maybe referring to the ‘break up’ of ‘Bizznezz Fam’, or perhaps a double meaning.

With only four tracks, an EP before that entitled ‘Black Thoughts’, only shows that Loaneski is just getting started, and already 2018 is promising to be a mammoth year for him. This is quality lyrics with crisp production. Loaneski was told that he’s better suited to Hip Hop as opposed to grime… whoever told him that was telling the truth. It’s good that he mentions Mobb Deep in this project, the endorsement from Havoc alone should be enough to entice you into checking this out.

Loaneski cover photo

CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE

LIKE LOANESKI ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW LOANESKI ON TWITTER

FOLLOW LOANESKI ON INSTAGRAM

SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN: Movie Premiere @Pop Brixton, December 11, 2017!

Director: Nick Donnelly

SHOWN AT POP BRIXTON, LONDON December 11, 2017,

ALSO SHOWN AT GORILLA, MANCHESTER, December 19, 2017

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“People Say, Love is just an energy, dealing with the claim…”

The very first thing I must do is give thanks and praises to a former university colleague of mine – Karl Hughes. That man didn’t have to look out for his fellow peers, but he chooses to out of the goodness of his heart. If it wasn’t for him, would the RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW have manifested? Or more importantly, would I have been involved in something monumental and historic such as this?

School of Shaolin2Ever since the success of Straight Outta Compton, Wu-Tang fans in particular have been clamoring for a similar cinematic treatment for their favourite team. So far we have the upcoming biopic about Ol’ Dirty Bastard entitled ‘RAW’, Hell Razah has been promoting his real life documentary (Risen: The Story of Chron Smith) for the longest, and just patiently waiting for the perfect time to strike which could be sooner than you think. But just like the clan emerging from the shadows in 1993, Director Nick Donnelly wasn’t trying to wait like everybody else.

Filmed in 2013, this was celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hip Hop’s most influential dynasty. The unique selling point of this movie was the fact that it was a UK spin on how the 10 men with Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game impacted the fan-base and artists out here in the UK and Europe (this whole Brexit thing is really confusing). Donnelly closely follows the clan during their anniversary tour and crams it all in a 95 minute feature. I had the honor and privilege to be invited to see the premiere before an intimate crowd down at Pop Brixton as a part of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition. It was an opportunity that was an eyelash of going wrong because of the heavy snowfall, but in London, not a snowflake was seen.

Highlights in the film include footage of RZA during a sound check process before a show which was highly intriguing, following a young female DJ who now travels with Raekwon for shows, UK artist Yung Meth, who has been endorsed by Method Man himself, what is interesting here is that Yung Meth feels that although he is gaining credible success, he feels that America would gravitate towards him more. He also makes a point of not sounding American, something rookie UK artists fall in the trap of doing hoping to make their music relevant. Donnelly also speaks to the Clan’s tour manager Simon Green and how he got involved and possibly landing a dream job, talking to Leaf Dog of The Four Owls, who actually produced on U-God’s Keynote Speaker album – a funny moment in the film occurs when Leaf Dog makes a parody of the commercial side of what mainstream media calls ‘Hip Hop’ and has the audience in Pop Brixton (and possibly Gorilla too) chuckling along, he also speaks with producer Statik Selektah, and hanging out with Ghostface Killah shopping, further showing Iron Man’s down to earth nature and further proving that just like he said in the Pretty Toney album, ‘God is his bodyguard’

School of Shaolin crowd

Photo taken courtesy of Nick Donnelly

“Let me tell you what they gon’ try to do
And y’all remember the sh!t, y’all gon’ tell the f***!ng world
Teach all the babies and sh!t
They gon’ try to make black and white go against each other
Which they can’t because we already having a good time!” (Ol Dirty Bastard, If What You Say Is True, 2017)

With this feature, Donnelly went IN with his research with not just the clan but with everyone featured in the documentary. After 95 minutes elapsed, both sold out venues gave a standing ovation, which was something Donnelly was not expecting. Some die-hard fans thought while they enjoyed the film, they learned nothing from it, on the opposite side of the spectrum the film made some members of the audience NEW Wu-Tang fans in the process which has to be most surprising.

If there was a negative to be pointed out, was that maybe the pace of the film slows down in places where Wu-instrumentals could have been used as a music bed as a means of fair use. But that is a minor. As stated earlier, people came into the venue not knowing a thing about the Wu-Tang and left the building as Wu-Tang fiends, and that’s what the School of Shaolin truly achieved, expanding, getting more pupils so that the knowledge can spread.

Take a bow Nick Donnelly, you have helped put the UK Hip Hop scene on the map even more with this, and now you got other cities worldwide interested. Now that’s a snowball I can get behind.

November 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Wu-Tang Clan. Stay tuned for more announcements of when you can see this film at a theater near you for 2018!

CLICK HERE FOR URBAN KINGDOM WEBSITE

FOLLOW SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN ON INSTAGRAM

MASTA KILLA: Loyalty Is Royalty

RELEASED: September 29, 2017, Nature Sounds, Review written by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Masta Killa is a man of the people. More specifically, the Wu-Tang fans. He’s that dude that may not come when you call but he’s always on time. He knows what the fans want, and for three albums straight, he has delivered. Fans knew of this album for a good few years now, they expected it to drop in 2012, but instead Masta Killa ‘seemingly changed Masta-Killa-Loyalty-Is-Royaltyjpegthe title of the album to ‘Selling My Soul’ which was a great project drenched with soulful vibes. The title track ‘Loyalty Is Royalty’ would eventually appear on 9th Wonder’s own project and brought HaLo into the mix, which led to the joint project – ‘Mansa Musa’ which dropped in 2014. This was a nice stop-gap to the true destination which is this album right here. Just like the latest projects from Prodigal Sunn, Rez SPS Kings and the Clan themselves, this album couldn’t have come at a better time.

Ming-Hsueh Lin provides the album’s intro, which is a calm but deadly melody, those traits are often used to describe the clan’s laid back but machete wielding member, before diving into a good ol’ boom bap banger ‘Return Of Thee Masta Kill’ with Cappadonna & Young Dudas. Now here’s a guy who has the word ‘Young’ before his name and is a dope MC. So heads take notes, just because somebody has ‘Young’ or ‘Lil’ before their name does not necessarily mean they are wack!

Moving into the album’s title track as mentioned earlier, was brought into existence five years ago, but still sounds as fresh as ever. This is the original version without HaLo, and sees Masta Killa refer to Loyalty as his woman so the track can be taken as a double meaning.

In ‘Therapy’, Masta & Method Man feel the same way as we do as regards to being around this music, and Redman has really molded in well with the clan. 10 years ago, I would laugh at people who said Redman was an official member… I cannot give the same kind of response now.

One thing that is admirable about Masta Killa (and the rest of the clan for that matter) is that these guys are headed for their 50s, and yet, they always have high praise for the Older Gods. Respecting their elders is a powerful trait which must be upheld, such as what this Dame Grease produced single suggests.

RZA chimes in to break down the meaning of Loyalty is Royalty. Let’s hope Phonte of Little Brother doesn’t hear this interlude, as his imitation of RZA in ‘The Story of US’ parody project was one of the most hilarious things ever recorded.

Consider the next track as what I like to call a ‘counteraction’ of Shyheim’s track of the Masta Killa Loyalty Is Royalty2same name. 9th Wonder flips the track ‘Trouble’ slows it down to match the pace of the 9th member of the bunch’s flow.

Masta Killa’s Skit is cruel. It feels so good to have True Master behind the boards, but with it being a minute long, it leaves you begging for more verses. It’s like being on a cooking show or wine tasting show and you can only have one bite.

This is such an album highlight, another Wu Camp Clik or Camp Wu Banga, Sean Price & Masta Killa connect on a 9th Wonder scorcher in ‘Down with Me’. Fans can now practically take these collaborations and create their own playlist on iTunes. Wu-Tang and Boot Camp need to stop the teasing and create that crossover album. Failing that, I sincerely hope Masta Killa convinces Ghostface Killah – ‘executive producer’ of the next Wu album to get 9th Wonder on the production team.

The next track is begging for the visual treatment… Tiger & The Mantice featuring GZA & Inspectah Deck sees producer Blocade tapping into the Wu-Tang sound. When these three get together on a track it is just pure magic. Wu-Massacre 2 anyone? YES PLEASE!

You want more gunplay? Masta Killa will be more than happy to oblige. This time featuring Prodigy & KXNG Crooked in ‘Real People’. Prodigy shows once again why he was far from ready to return to the essence and KXNG Crooked is an unlikely feature to say the least but it works.

If the previous three albums from Masta Killa has taught us anything, is that he will go outside the box and surprise you. ‘Flex With Me’ featuring Chanel Sosa  samples from the classic Scarface movie and flips Mad Cobra’s ‘Flex’ and this goes down really well. With

Chanel Sosa Good Lovin

CLICK HERE FOR CHANEL SOSA WEBSITE

this and ‘Lovely Lady’ from made In Brooklyn, it makes me want to pick Masta Killa’s brains as far as his love for reggae dancehall. Where this was a hit, the next track is a miss. ‘Calculated’ should be called ‘Mis-Calculated’ because this is Masta Killa’s attempt of making a club track with that ‘trap feel to it’ and it just doesn’t work. It also goes on a bit too long as well. At least there is no mumbling. Oh wait… there’s the hook… I stand corrected.

However The High Chief Jamel Irief makes up for that and goes deeper into his Wu Gambino alias – Noodles in a two-part story, the first part produced by !llmind and the second part produced by Masta Killa himself which sees a smooth, moonlight backdrop. With a nice applause at the end, the album ends with a somber piano tone by Ming-Hsueh Lin.

From this point forward, call Masta Killa Mr 2nd Most Consistent member of the clan. (Next to Ghostface Killah). Even with that ‘Calculated mis-step’, it’s understandable that veterans would want to jump on a beat like that to attract newer audiences and show them how it’s done. The most glaring difference between this and it’s predecessors are the album’s producers and features. This time around it seems more star-studded and not just Wu appearances. Masta Killa should find his crown and fix it on his head because it is rightfully deserved.

THE INFAMOUS…HAVOC & BIG NOYD LIVE @2FunkyMusicCafe, Leicester November 2, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

Sometimes I wonder, had the tragedy that came to pass on June 20, 2017 not happen, would this night have happened?

Sure, had Prodigy ‘not choke on an egg’ as media reported, there is no doubt they would have sold out the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester, but this was a special night. Firstly big Havoc Big Noydshout out to friend of RePPiN4U – Big Twins, who was on the original line up, but for reasons unknown to RePPiN4U, he was taken off the flyer. In his place, The Infamous…Big Noyd. upon hearing this news on the lead up to the show, not only was the anticipation increased with fans, but it also landed on Prodigy’s birthday. This would be the first Mobb Deep show in the UK without Prodigy in the physical, and on his birthday no less. They would perform in Bristol & London following this, but that extra birthday spirit may not have been there like Leicester had. Not just that, but also learning of Havoc’s reaction upon hearing about Prodigy’s passing, this night may not have happened at all, we could have lost both, and Hip Hop may have never recovered from that. Hip Hop still has the war wounds of Dilla, Sean Price, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Phife Dawg, Baatin and so much more.

Personally this is the first time I have seen this at a Hip Hop gig, but it’s definitely something that should be encouraged at every show: Big shout out to the catering company which Shakezpeare and the NGE (New Golden Era) crew laid on for the crowd. Supplying currygoat, rice, fried chicken coleslaw, dumplings while the night progressed was GENIUS. Because I got the ‘John Witherspoon’ guts, I was very careful with my selection of food… kept well away from the hot sauce I tell ya (Too Much Information)

Shout out to DJ Predator Prime for supplying the music while the crowd was in chill mode. Always a pleasure to hear good hip hop selection and not just the 90s anthems being played.

Again, it could be an observation going by my last outing at 2Funky Music Cafe, but they seemed to have learned from not putting on so many opening acts before the main event. The Sky Walker Crew kicked off the show making their Darth Vader entrance, and had a short but entertaining set, including their big black history anthem ‘Bloodline’ which received a great response from the crowd.

Shakezpeare

Photo taken courtesy of Limitless Vision & New Golden Era Records

Next up was resident MC – Shakezpeare, who always ups his game each time he performs. Starting his set with his counteraction to the Deep Cover track, this is the third time I have seen him live, and this time he took his performance into the crowd and made the entire 2Funky Music Cafe his stage performing hits like ‘They’re Full of Sh!t’, ‘Top Boy’ and ‘That I Know’. If DJ L.E.S. tells Shakezpeare he is going on with big things – best believe that’s the truth.

L.E.S. warms the crowd up with some big anthems, and then cleverly switches to the biggest tunes from Queensbridge, before Big Noyd runs onto the stage like he’s doing the long jump. The energy this man had was amazing, especially when he drops one of his biggest hits – Recognize & Realize, which had the capacity crowd going wild and begging for a rewind! (Side note – the day I left school in 1996, Recognize & Realize Part 1 & 2 was my #1 favourite tune at the time) so this had a special place in my heart.

Fifteen minutes later Havoc bursts on the stage starting the party with ‘Survival of the Fittest’. Make no mistake – this was NOT a concert, this was NOT a performance. This was a straight party dedicated to the birthday boy – Prodigy with both guys (and in some cases – the crowd) reciting the necessary Prodigy verses. The party was a straight

Mobb Deep Vijay Mistry

Photo courtesy of Vijay Mistry

rollercoaster of big tunes, I personally loved the fact that the last time I was at 2Funky, Kool G Rap performed ‘The Realest’, it felt like this time, Havoc & Noyd presented their side of the story on the same track.

I also liked the fact that Havoc went out to perform some big tunes from their 2014 album, and the crowd went along and kept up with the pace. You name the Mobb Deep hit, Havoc & Noyd performed it, with the exception of anything from the Juvenile Hell album which may have been the night’s only criticism. That would have really shown Havoc & Noyd who was REALLY down with Mobb Deep.

Despite that minor point, the celebration ended as powerful as it started with Mobb Deep’s biggest hits – Quiet Storm & Shook Ones Pt II. No tune can go after Shook Ones Pt II especially after letting that beat ride out.

HISTORY WAS MADE ON THIS NIGHT.

What a night this was, and will never be duplicated. My deepest sympathies go out to those who couldn’t make it to the show under their own power. I cannot speak for Bristol & London but Havoc & Noyd announced that because it was Prodigy’s birthday, they were staying to embrace their fans, and boy did they ever. They were taking pictures with everyone in sight, and special shout out to Big Noyd himself, who pretty much became Rapper Noyd AND Prodigy on stage. He was unbelievable. Prodigy looked upon Leicester from the heavens and gave that extra energy. Big Noyd gathered many of us together and spoke to us on a level about communicating with each other more in the age of social media when having phones in our hands reigns supreme, and also he shared his regrets with us when he spoke about Prodigy trying to school him about the Illuminati and what was in store when he admitted to laughing it off. I dare say many of us (myself included) had a feeling of regret as well, as some of us had never seen Mobb Deep live up until this point, and the reality that we will never see Prodigy, which is why shows like this, I encourage you to see your favourite artists live, because you just never know.

Infamous Grant & Infamous Havoc

REZ SPS KINGS & TIMBO KING – Bar Essentials

RELEASED: OCTOBER 6, 2017, Absalom Recordz/Real Estate Records, Review by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“…I’m watching the Brandy video, I’m watching brothers doing Janet Jackson and Brandy choreography, the same stuff they doing since the first academy awards, nahmean? So I’m buggin’ off of that right there, so right now there is about to be another flood of Wu-Tang, coz I think we got the strongest name that a group got right now that can bring it back through to the people, and right now it’s about to be a flood…and this flood should reinstate Hip Hop, and if this don’t do it, we might as well wait til the next generation…” (RZA, sometime between 1998-1999)

RZA might as well have said this in 2017. Check it out. Wu Wear has recently relaunched. One off singles randomly came out (Don’t Stop) & (Savor.Wavs) Then DJ Allah Mathematics took everyone off guard with ‘People Say’ followed by The Saga Continues REZ SPS KINGS (BAR ESSENTIALS FRONT COVER)album. Just before that, Masta Killa proved once again that by sticking to the formula, Loyalty is Royalty. Then Prodigal Sunn comes out with a solid offering weeks later in ‘The Spark’.

In the midst of this flood, Rez SPS Kings & Timbo King believe in the ‘Bar Essentials’, a beautifully worded title which sees the two emcees strip Hip Hop down to just that – Bar(e) Essentials, which is Concept, Lyrics, Attitude, Music, and Performance, and they are not alone, they have brought along an army of  a who’s who in the Wu-Tang Killa Beez from the well-known originals (Dom Pachino, Kinetic 9) all the way to the more recent and obscure (Lord Fury, iNTeLL).

The great thing about the Clan and the Killa Beez is there is always a running theme in their albums, for example the Clan keep on the Shaolin Kung Fu side, Killah Priest goes into a spiritual chamber, Dirty was that drunken master, Meth was your man when it came to getting high and kissing the sky, Rae was your Mafia type dude, Killarmy were all about the war, and so on and so forth. Rez and Timbo take us to a Medieval, Game of Thrones like – chamber, and that’s the tone set as soon as you press play.

No messing about, bombs are dropped. Spirit Bombs that is alongside Solomon Childs, but it’s Bliss who shines here putting guys on blast who are feminizing themselves to stay current, when that comes from a female, alarm bells should be ringing. Too many cats caught up in the ‘Matrix’ as Kinetic 9 chimes in over a battling backdrop.

The furious pace continues in ‘Man Made Slaves’ featuring none other than Lord Fury who states that’s what we are if we believe in mystery gods and the reality of the New World Order. Rez continues the onslaught not sword swinging but rather axe swinging, determined to chop the ball and chain off our ankles.

Big shout out to fellow Wu Coalition brother DJ Flipcyide who lends his hands on the ones and twos just in case any challenger feels like an ‘Enemy’…

SOUND THE WAR HORNS!!! Anything iNTeLL touches becomes Golden just like his daddy. A visual may be needed here (hint hint!) The Symphony of the Damned really puts the listener in that zone as Rez & Grone Da Radikal sound like they are about to perform a justice execution in the most torturous way possible.

BAR ESSENTIALS DISC IMAGE

The sequence of tracks thus far in the project flow very well. Kinetic 9 and DJ Flipcyide rejoin the duo in Catastrophic Prophets. They have really captured the sound of the dark ages right here, and combining them with straight bangers like that displayed in Xerox Clones, and Witty is as grainy and basement sounding as you can get, that’s the sound fans kind of wanted in The Saga Continues, proving that sound can still be created in 2017/2018.

Timbo King shines here as he gives vivid storytelling in the Bionic Homeless Man. Rez & Stumik complement him well. The violins are out in one of the album’s highlights – Chemtrails. Shabazz The Disciple is straight fire on this, Rez refuses to be out-rhymed, and Lord Fury, well his voice will tell you how he feels about the wickedness.

You may have heard Solomon Childs cry out on ‘Mama Can You Hear Me’ from the Theodore Unit 718 mix tape, this is the flip side, Rez & Dom are asking their Fathers if they can hear them, and by the sounds of this, their biologicals have faltered again… it’s a reoccurring and frustrating topic. Notice – the violin is said to be an instrument mainly symbolical to sadness, and there is not an ounce of sadness shown here, yet the violin is featured in Chemtrails and the next track – Dueling Kings, and it’s not even used for sadness. You got Rez & Timbo out on a sparring session with the bars here, complimented with a great jewel in the sample used.

BAR ESSENTIALS INSIDE PANTHLET

Raise Your Swords people, we have reached the album’s close. From top to bottom, Rez & Timbo stay true to their word – the album is straight BARS, some of which the listener may not dissect on the first go round, but it will take quite a few listens to fully break it all down. For those Hip Hop fans out there who cannot stand any R&B elements in the music, they will be overjoyed here as that is non-existent in this project. If there are any criticisms, it’s that one or two of the beats sound passable, and may need a visual to bring it out, and that’s all this album needs, is to knock out a few visuals. But from Lord Fury’s disregard for religion to Rez’ lyrical flow to Timbo’s storytelling to Dom Pachino’s disappointment in his father, this is a good project which deserves the CD changer with the latest flood of Clan/Killa Bee offerings.

Massive respect to Rez & Timbo for including us in their inlay shout outs. That means a lot to us. SALUTE.

 

 

 

UNIQUE HEAT Vol. 4: The Culture Is I -God

Rashad Unique presents: Unique Heat 4:
The Culture Is I-GOD
Hosted by: Ka Zodiak
Unique Heat Hip Hop/Rhythm Box Music
Release date: October 10th
, 2017

Review by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U and International Rep of Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“You can get with this… or you can get with that…” – Black Sheep

“I leave alone the foolishness & partake in what is important & relevant to me. Peace. #WisdomWisdom #Culture – Rashad Unique

00 - Various_Artists_Unique_Heat_4_The_Culture_Is_I-go-front-large

CLICK HERE TO FOR STREAM/FREE DOWNLOAD

It’s plain and simple really. You can argue all day with keyboard warriors about Eminem’s attack on America’s president to the point where you have to block people, or you can take in the latest offering from Unique Heat. Personally I know which one I would pick. 22 tracks of quality hip hop from the 5% hosted by Ka Zodiak.

Since’s he’s hosting, he’s kicking off the project with ‘Channel The Infinite’ at a deliberate and calculating pace.

What’s the Science Lord? We gotta stay sane… Stone & Robert are right. The world is going mad…or already gone mad. People shooting up churches, kids getting blown up in concerts, tower block flats set on fire. UK voting for Brexit purely on the basis of eliminating immigrants. America taking three steps back putting a clueless bigot in power.

When you hear of the St. Lunatics, you instantly think ‘Nelly’, the next thing you think of is how KRS-One bodied him. You haven’t gotta do that in this project. Instead think of Ali, who brings the essential 120 lessons here. Don’t sleep or be tempted to hit the skip button.

On to one of the many highlights of this instalment that may ruffle the feathers of Christians. KanKan calls out those who are on their knees hoping for Jesus to save them, and he really hits home in the third verse when he speaks on Black Lives Matter and how those who believe in the mystery god get caught up in the 10% tricknology.

Righteousness, Reefas, Rifles…Japreme Magnetic brings that fire in ‘Betrayal Is Irreversible’. That is a true statement in life we must all adhere to. Then Queen Sha Mecca shows her strength in ‘Righteous and Refined’ with a New York State Of Mind. Referring back to Rashad Unique’s status, foolishness includes debating on who the best female rapper is. We don’t do that over here.

Switching gears to Almighty Shing Shing Regime. Only The Real can get down with this. Only the Real will have their heads nodding big time on this one. Only The Real will be developing screwfaces. The bangers continue on into ‘Knowing How To Build’ with Bazz-O The Great One.

It may sound like a Beanie Sigel record, but the subject matter Sigel usually comes with is not seen here in King Dome of Heaven by Born Allah a.k.a. Daddy Grace. Straight out the gate he goes in “Now Cipher God that’s not how my lessons go/and that flag you got on your chest has got to go/How you gonna take it to the heavens/ain’t mastered Earth yet/the gods don’t wear FOI suits and screw white chicks?”

See this project right here Unique Heat 4, brings you the brightest light you ever saw. This is Music For Revolution, reparations included by Rashad Sun. This is the best example of taking that old school classic hip hop sound and make it sound current.

When I first came across the track ‘Legend Of the Overfiend Flow’ by Now Cee Allah, I expected vicious rhymes and flows over a looped beat from the anime itself, which would have been dope but Now Cee Allah didn’t do that, instead he drops jewels like the chojin drops heat all over Osaka Japan.

00 - Various_Artists_Unique_Heat_4_The_Culture_Is_I-go-back-large

Now for those who love their deep science, this is for you. Allwise360 & Sol Asar together are Beyound Galactic, if this was a cassette tape, consider ‘Metaphysical Fantasy’ the beginning of Side 2/B. You gotta love the Fist Of the North Star sample they used here and the science behind it.

The mixtape enters another one of its many highlights with the ‘Gods Remix’ featuring Bill Biggz & Glock George, who flip the Mack Wilds ‘Henny’ instrumental or rather, the Mobb Deep ‘The Learning – Burn’ instrumental.

Sounding like Dr Dre’s Aftermath studios were raided, Mars Hall and uses ‘Mathematics’ and puts it to great use. Mars goes from 1 (Knowledge) to 0 (Cipher) and breaks it down in a vicious flow reminiscent of The Notorious B.I.G. Ten Crack Commandments.

Black, Poor & Strugglin’… sounds like most of us. It also reminds us of how Chris Rock broke it down about the difference between being rich and being wealthy, Akril Magnetic and Cipher 7000 add-on from that. The harsh sounds of the streets continue on with Mullah Don aka Magnetic with ‘Gun Down’ Well needed at this time when a recent twitter trend said #WhiteLivesMatter, which was a straight slap in the face to our people killed with injustice.

The project switches gears with ‘All Praises Due’ with Cause and Effect. Fire flows & rhymes on this track is an action, head nodding and screwfacing is the reaction, followed by All Wise 360 asking himself ‘Did I Do That?’ over a good ol’ soulful sample which never fails. Blu & Exile recently dropped a track speaking on how they felt the soul was gone from hip hop – this track right here is the answer. Lord Justice keeps that soul vibe going by using the Barry White ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ sample.

The project reaches its epilogue as S. Quannah becomes ‘Professor Moriarty’, only difference is the Sherlock Holmes character was a criminal mastermind but Quannah switches it around to a righteous way to help our black communities as demonstrated in the speech used at the end of the track.

Ka Zodiak started the project, it’s only right he ends it with Illuminati Teardrops. So-called because one can zone out and not be afraid to shed tears over a six-minute medley, which immerses itself into your soul upon more listens.

“Don’t trap yourself in other people’s expectations & negative views of you. Live your life successfully. Peace. #WisdomBorn”Rashad Unique Allah

For the bonus track, Heads will recognize the beat from Beanie Sigel’s The Truth. Kasim Allah and the like-minded hate F**k Bois in this ‘F**k Em’ Remix. He already warned those Jive Pretenders before from the last instalment of Unique Heat.

Rashad’s words sum up this newest instalment perfectly. Everyone involved in this project go in and have never cared about what others may think of them with the subject matter. They are more concerned with contributing to the culture just as the theme suggests, and Unique Heat 5 will bring pure Power to the game.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD HERE