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Prince Rahiem ‎– On A Ride (1994) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

“Rahiem Thomas, known professionally as Prince Rahiem, was discovered when he performed at a talent show with special guest Clay D. Clay was impressed by Rahiem’s talent and asked him to appear on an upcoming album. Clay’s offer was on the level, Rahiem went on to perform and write lyrics on four albums with Clay D, including “Boot the Booty”. Rahiem’s big break came when Thomas T.J. Chapman checked out a studio owned by former Miami Sound Machine drummer-producer, Joe Galdo, a two-time Grammy nominee. Galdo was A&R for Island Records in Miami. He told Chapman to bring him any promising artists, and Chapman had a demo of Rahiem & on the spot, Joe said “I love it.” Rahiem said “From there, Chapman negotiated a deal for me. I was, like, honored when I found out who Mr Galdo was. It was a privilege to work with him and have him as executive producer over the album.” ”
Popular music critic Perry Gettleman – The Orlando Sentinal

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Dr. Octagon – Dr. Octagonecologyst (CD) (1996) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

This is the Dreamworks issue.

It’s hard to exaggerate the role that Kool Keith’s debut solo album as Dr. Octagon played in revitalizing underground hip-hop. It certainly didn’t bring the scene back to life single-handedly, but it attracted more attention than any non-mainstream rap album in quite a while, thanks to its inventive production and Keith’s bizarre, free-associative rhymes. Dr. Octagon represented the first truly new, genuine alternative to commercial hip-hop since the Native Tongues’ heyday. It appealed strongly to alternative audiences who’d grown up with rap music, but simply hadn’t related to it since the rise of gangsta. Moreover, it predated seminal releases by Company Flow, Black Star, and the Jurassic 5, helping those groups get the attention they deserved, and reinvented Keith as a leader of the new subterranean movement. As if that weren’t enough, the album launched the career of Dan the Automator, one of the new underground’s brightest producers, and shed some light on the burgeoning turntablist revival via the scratching fireworks of DJ Q-Bert. The Automator’s futuristic, horror-soundtrack production seemed to bridge the gap between hip-hop and the more electronic-oriented trip-hop (which has since narrowed even more), and it’s creepily effective support for Keith’s crazed alter ego. Dr. Octagon is an incompetent, time-traveling, possibly extraterrestrial surgeon who pretends to be a female gynecologist and molests his patients and nurses. The concept makes for some undeniably juvenile (and, arguably, hilarious) moments, but the real focus is Keith’s astounding wordplay; it often seems based on sound alone, not literal meaning, and even his skit dialogue is full of non sequiturs. Keith has since lost his taste for the album, tiring of hearing it compared favorably to his subsequent work, and complaining that the only new audience he gained was white. However, it’s the best musical backing he’s ever had (especially the brilliant singles “Earth People” and “Blue Flowers”), and even if he’s since explored some of these themes ad nauseum, Dr. Octagon remains as startling and original as the day it was released.

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Various ‎– Hoodlum – Music Inspired By The Motion Picture (1997) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

Strictly speaking, the soundtrack to the gangster period piece Hoodlum isn’t an official soundtrack. Most of the music on the album didn’t appear in the film, not even over the credits, because the gangsta rap by Mobb Deep, the Wu-Tang Clan and Rakim didn’t quite fit the Prohibition-era setting of the film. Even if the music on Hoodlum, the soundtrack, doesn’t fit with Hoodlum, the movie — it doesn’t even sound like it was inspired by the film, contrary to the cover’s claim — the album remains an entertaining listen, even if there are a handful of weak songs scattered throughout the record. /allmusic/

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Various Artists – Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture – Gang Related (1997) (2CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

Gang Related is a double disc audio soundtrack for the film Gang Related, released on October 7, 1997, under Death Row Records and Priority Records. It features four songs by the supporting actor Tupac Shakur. The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It was eventually certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA. This soundtrack along with 2 others (Above The Rim) & (Gridlock’d) released on Death Row is packaged in a 4 disc set called The Death Row Archives [The Soundtracks]. The album also marked the first national rap debut of Kansas City, Missouri rapper Tech N9ne.


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Krispy ‎– From The Country (1999) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

No, they’re not Goodie Mob, OutKast, or Eightball and MJG – but they are “From the Country” — of the United Kingdom, that is.

Krispy’s duo of Microphone D.O.N. and Mr. Wiz have been a presence on the European scene since 1989, when they dropped their first 7 inch single “Coming Through Clear”; but don’t call it a comeback, cause they’ve been here for years. Three EP’s, one LP and countless twelve inches later, Krispy is simply following up on their already established legacy. Mr. Wiz provides the beats, Microphone D.O.N. bust the rhymes, and they drop the hip-hop.

One of D.O.N.’s most appealing virtues as an MC is the Jamaican flavor he interjects into his rhymes as they “mash it up” on tracks. The autobiographical “Raised in Rhythm” talks about rapping to reggae beats the way New Yorkers would talk about busting verbals to James Brown or Parliament. It’s one of the albums most flavorful and moving cuts.

Beatwise though, something may have been lost in the translation. Even though lyrics addressing the tension between U.K. rappers and their USA counterparts on “Cross the Border” are on point, the beat causes something less than the requisite head nod. The album swings wildly between these extremes; with the lyricism remaining generally on point but the beats going anywhere from medicore to stellar. “Takin It Easy” has a smooth horn loop worthy of Pete Rock, but “It Ain’t All About Rap” suffers from an overly simplistic “back to basics” drum beat that really doesn’t pack a punch. “Bad 2 Worse” grooves along to a “Back in the Days” feel with a personal look at urban plight, but “After Dark” feels forced and artificial in it’s Roots-like musical flow.

The long and short of it is that this certainly isn’t a bad album by any means; but that it may appeal more to the chaps overseas who know their legacy. People stateside who are put off by “Country” from our South probably won’t be any more patient with the overseas “Country” accent, because the beats don’t consistently deliver fatness. For those who feel more adventureous though, Krispy does provide 7 or 8 good songs and excellent lyricism throughout /RAPREVIEWS.COM/.

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Lewis Parker ‎– Mixtape Volume One (2007) (CD) (FLAC + 320 kbps)

One of UK hip hops most acclaimed emcee/producers, Lewis Parker is also among only a handful of artists to make the complete migration into the American rap industry. I’ve always considered him to be a far stronger producer than vocalist – 2006 saw the Ghostface collaborations Fishscale and More Fish, where he sat comfortably alongside a stellar production lineup of MF DOOM, Madlib, Marc Ronson and Hi-Tek – supporting that theory.

But LP’s flows are pretty tight to and he has been around long enough to know his strengths, and on this, the first in a double volume of official mixtape releases we are treated to a few of his early classics, ‘Don’t Forget About Ya Boy’ and ‘International Heat’. Some remixes, a funked up version of Jay Z’s ‘Get Ya Hustle On’ as well as some brand new soon to be released tracks featuring Ghostface, Raekwon, Trez and T.RA.C..

Parker has that smoldering, blaxploitation Hip ‘soul-boy’ hop sound on lock-down /ukhh.com/

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