You might remember him when he wanted to smoke a blunt and dial 917-160-49311 as he was projecting to the ladies a bit of that long dick hip-hop affection, and the old days of RMHH when fans weren’t sure if he was the hottest part of the Wu-Fam or just as abstract as fuck, but Cappadonna is still doing his thing. Don’t believe me? He’s about to prove himself once more by hitting the road this week as part of The Black Cloud Tour. Along with Block McCloud, King Magnetic, Kromeatose, and GQ nothin’ pretty, Cappadonna is going to show everyone that underground hip-hop you know and love.
The first string of dates have been announced, with some shows featuring Sean Price and Edo G. More dates are planned, and will be posted here at ThisIsBooksmusic.com as they are made available.
March 2… Providence, RI (Sunset Bar & Grille)
March 4… Lexington, KY (Cosmic Charlie’s)
March 5… St. Louis, MO (Club Viva)
March 6… Springfield, MO (Outland Ballroom)
March 7… Lincoln, NE Rye Room @ Bourbon Theatre)
March 9… Casper, WY (The Venue)
March 10… Salt Lake City, UT (Bar Deluxe)
March 12… Albuquerque, NM (Leo’s Nightclub)
March 13… El Paso, TX (Tricky Falls)
March 14… Phoenix, AZ (Red Owl Room)
March 15… Pasadena, CA (The Terrace) *
March 16… Santa Ana, CA (Malone’s) *
March 19… South Lake Tahoe, CA (Mo’s Place)
March 20… Sparks, NV (The Alley)
March 22… Bozeman, MT (The Zebra Lounge)
March 25… Sioux Falls, SD (Boonies Bar & BBQ)
March 28… Berwyn, IL (Tiger O’ Stylies)
March 29… Grand Rapids, MI (Jimmy’s Lounge)
March 30… Dayton, OH (One Eyed Jack’s)
March 31… Philadelphia, PA (Tacony Billards) **
April 1… Atlantic City, NJ (Le Grand Fromage) **
* with Sean Price
** with Edo G
El Da Sensei has been one of underground hip-hop’s most exciting MC’s, and every time he comes out with an album or drops a cameo, you can’t help but move back and be impressed by it all. He has returned along with The Returners for a new one called GT2: Nuworld (Coalmine), and the man continues his wicked lyrical ways once again.
This time around he’s joined with Rakaa Iriscience, Sean Price, Treach, Bekay, and Akrobatik among others but throughout it is very much El’s game, and that’s a good thing. For the most part, the production of The Returners is very good but I found one problem with it, a minor one. The album features scratched acapellas from hip-hop songs of yesterday, something a lot of groups of the mid to late 90′s did, so it has that classic feel to it. Sometimes I felt the use of scratched vocals overwhelmed a song, or it gets to a point where the song felt more like the artist being scratched than El. There’s a track that samples Mobb Deep ridiculously and to good effect, but at the end I caught myself saying “oh yeah, this is an El album.” The scratching is great, don’t get me wrong, but too much of a good thing can sometimes be too much.
The one song I really liked, and one that didn’t feature any scratching, is a remix of “2 The Death”, by M-Phazes, featuring Mela Machinko. It sticks out because it features female vocals in the chorus, the only song on GT2 to do so. It isn’t new in hip-hop but it managed to end the album on a high note.
Could the album have been improved with a better balance of things, perhaps, but I don’t want to get overly critical here. But what is here is a good album that only gets weighed down occasionally by excessive scratches from the past. Otherwise, a fine job from El & The Returners.
Sean Price is really to kick anyone in the jaws without regret, hell you might get hit and not even know what happened to you. Despite the length of the songs (23 in total) on this CD, Kimbo Slice (Duck Down/Fat Beats) may be promoted as a mix tape-type situation but it holds up very well as an album. It’s album length, but these songs come and go without thought and goes right into the next one,a bit like a Monty Python episode. It shows that when you’re able to deliver the goods, you’re also able to change your name throughout your discography. Sean Price states that he would like to be known as “Megasean”, and maybe in a month or two he will switch his name again. The approach here is raw, loose, and as hard as a ruthless street fight. If you listen to this as a traditional album, it may come off as a hip-hop opera. From afar, these songs may not have a cohesive theme, but the overall vibe is one of strength and dominance, that of an MC who someone who is proud to call himself Kimbo Price (Vision/Duck Down). This is that no-nonsense hip-hop shit. I can imagine a few people saying this is nothing but hip-hop for those with short-attention spans, but they’re not listening that closely or deeply.
Rock and Law join up with Sean Price in the bitch ass “Hot”, while St. Maffew‘s appearance in the blues-based “Weed & Hoes” is a celebration of hot bitches and choice pakalolo. “Suicide Door” may begin with a tentative-rock edge, but then the beat kicks in and as Price talks about how he just came out fresh out of his mom’s pussy, he’s figuratively and literally going in deeper. It’s random at times, the way subjects come and go, but as much as it’s not meant to sound like a proper album, it is. It’s what made those old mix tapes of yesteryear so powerful. Now, what makes this different from a younger artist who may do random songs for the sake of being a superstar? Execution and knowledge of what makes a good rap song great. A lot of artists are nothing but mindless blah blah, and Sean Price isn’t mindless, nor delivering any level of blah. In these short-but-sweet songs, he’s on a mission towards releasing yet another album, and yet I wish more artists would treat their mix tape missions thet same way Prince does, because this is a certified winner.
If you’ve been listening to DJ Honda for the last few years, you’d think he was born and raised in the United States with the kind of productions he creates. But he is from Japan and has gained a reputation for making some of the best music that will move any and all crowds. Honda is back with IV, a self-released album that brings a number of MC’s to his world, including Ras Kass, EPMD, Heltah Skeltah, Kool G. Rap, Iriscience, Lord Tariq, and the return of Mos Def, who unites with Honda once again with “Magnetic Arts”.
The album has a classic feel to it, or the way hip-hop is and will always be, it slams in all the right ways and Honda knows how to control his tracks in a confident way. Why this album isn’t on a proper lavel, I do not know, but this should let people know that real hip-hop can be found anywhere, and this time it’s in the land of the rising son.