Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Let's celebrate. Kardinal Offishall is finally looking to get a realistic stab at mainstream success at his new home, Akon's Konvict Music. And to celebrate: a Whoo Kid mixtape Canadian Coke is in order to start the streets salivating. It comes complete with a policeman buss 'em tirade (Officer Down), a kenyan Boston Marathon reference (Take the Money) and a patois flavored banger (All the Way). Vybez Kartel steps up with tough gangster posturing (Everybody Gone Gangsta), while Socrates and Choclair re-up for a mean rehash over a Rza backdrop (T-dot Chambers).

Kardinall enjoys cult status in Toronto and it's hard not to see how his hype part b-boy, part rudebwoy persona, and sharp delivery can excite. Looks like T-dot is finally ready to export something fuego.

Tekzilla is spitting a lot more on his new joint, and it's all on point. Recent Aftermath R&B signee Dion is all over this album ( 5 tracks) and doesn't disappoint. Ayak (whatever happened to Jonell) blows marvellously on Can We Go Back. Q-tip and DPG's Kurupt sound like they could be in a group together on Keep it Moving, Ghostface paints a crack queen scenario with the Willie Cottrell Band and Busta Rhymes methodically shuts it down on March. Four New York rappers bring a gritty city anthem to life,
Strong Arm Steady finally gives us a taste of what to expect on their Blacksmith/Warner debut, and Nas paints an absolutely ridiculous true school picture on Music For Life.

Hi-Tek brings his trademark knock, a more high-profile guest list (no Slum Village, Mood or Jinx Da Juvy, but more Talib) that for the most part does its thing and as such, brings forth an easy to listen to head-nodder.

Banks delivers trademark G-Unit thugman gunrap sprinkled with a few Blue Hefner detours of which Help and One Night Stand are stellar examples. Beat selection was on point, but Eminem's beat and Fif collabo Hands Up doesn't deliver. Addicted with Musiq knocks, Gilmore is bouncy and Mobb Deep's Prodigy is actually less sluggish on Get Clapped.

In future hindsight, this album will stand out as being a brash and slick New Yorkcentric piece in a shoulder-lean-walk-it-out arena.

He swerved into our speakers on the back of Kanye Soul, with an album that had as much hiphop sensibility as it had soul. Chapter two features tunes with more pop-rock lean in them. Current pop standard sounding single Save Room starts the collection off, but before you get it twisted, track two, Heaven comes in with that Kanye boom-bap; Again sounds like an Ordinary People except it's a his & her blame game story. Maxine sounds like a piano bar lounge rumba inspired joint as does Where did my baby go.

But overall, the hip-hop soul of his first record is not all over this record. He's still firmly behind his Steinway and although rhythmically he takes it to a different place, he sings with the same earnest soul and each song stands strongly on its own.

Oh how the mighty creep on the low: this chic used to be on diva status, and songs like Angel of Mine and Why I Love You So Much were top-40 favorites on blast to the point I can't bear to hear them again. But a lot of black singers who've tasted middle america adulation opt to return to a more urban flava and appease that constituency especially after an extended hiatus. This joint picks up where the last one left off. With songs like Sideline Ho, Hell Now, and Gotta Move On, she is still making confrontational love songs about love gone bad, which she does well. I don't how how they dont have the advisory sticker on this record.

There are a few missteps (Everytime The Beat Drop is an unnecessary Snap music salute) and she doesn't really harrass her vocal range in this offering, even doing some of her singy-songy rappin, but songs like the Curtis Mayfield sampled A Dozen Roses, Doin Me Right, and Gotta Move On suffice this go-around.

Still going for a grown and sexy appeal on album three. No up-tempo mishaps featuring the vogue blabberer, oops, rapper of the moment. Just love songs - mid-tempo joints and slow jams - for that ass. And a Luther remake for a bonus. Nothing really stands out, he's playing the skillful teddy bear balladeer thing to the tilt.



Movie Buff said...

Ah yes... I read on Four Four about Monica... hmmm.... I dont know.. I miss the old her... the "Just one of them days" days... what can I say??

I wont comment about Lloyd Banks...

I also gave John Legend a listen. My workmate also said that Again sounds like Ordinary people....ha ha. I have to tell her someone else agrees with her.
I think this album sounds so "jazz cafe lounge singer" like... but thats just me!

makanga said...

@buffie buff

Yeah the circa 1995 Monica couldn't do no wrong.

Yeah the Legend lp is definitely Jazz Loungeish.

msanii said...

Been a kardinall for minute...that 'ol time killing' joint is one of my favs beat knocks.

Banks still carrying on with his weka punchlines? too weak to carry the NY mantle.

Dion is the truth..hopefully he doesn't get the Vinia

Strong arm..not too sure..phil da agony hit or miss type to me, not heard to much from Krondon..Talib is doing his thing.

Monica by virtue of her video..thumbs down, isn't she a little bit too late to be on that crunk and b tip? I hate generic shit..

makanga said...

@ msanii: Ol time Killing was fire.

Banks still trying, but I think he should've tried different things.

Dion has me excited too. I'm still feening for a Mojica lp.

Strong Arm wont do much damage imo.

Now do the Frog Back!

Udi said...

Kardinal is off the hook.

I was waiting to hear reviewes about the Hitek album. I might cop that album. OK, I have lied. I will download the album.

makanga said...

@Udi: By any means necessary.

Half 'n' half said...

Havent heard Monica yet but I have always loved her and got really mad at her being compared to that freak Brandy...

Sorry Buff, but gotta say Lloyd Banks is one of the few rappers I can actually stand (sans Eminem)

John Legend: I will pass.

Girl next door said...

Talk about a make-over! I didn't recognize Monica. She's lookin' good. I really liked Ruben's voice so I'll check out his album.

gishungwa said...

loove ruben studdard and John legend sighs all round

kenyananalyst said...

Thanks for visiting with me.

modoathii said...

it's been a while since i tembelead your boom twaffing mathree and i've concluded...

clearly i need to get my music act together...there are some dobaz there me's never heard and HEARD of.

i agree though with buffy the slayer on monica.

>d® said...

[I know, right? Only joint I remember by Jonell is that 'Round & Round joint.]

Hi-Tek's one collabo with Talib - I forget the title - is still one of my faves, something like:
"... from these 2 shots like a blast from a double-barrel shottie, it's got to be
my man Talib & Kweli.."

Monica - had to re-invent & adapt. I hope it works out for her tho.

Lloyd Banks - I don't know what to think about his latest.

Listened to Luda's yet? I downloaded a couple of tracks & I'm loving it. That 'Slap' joint gets me thru the day when I feel like strangling errbody!

>d® said...

" man Hi-Tek & Kweli," I meant.

Klara said...

I reeealy Love John Legend, I think He's da bomb, so am gonna be watching that one out
Monica-I think she's a sweet gal an I hope it does her good!