Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Rap Battle Recap: Feb. 22nd - 28th

It's been a pretty good week for the scene. Here's to hoping we get Ness Lee v DBD or Rone v 360 this week.


Grind Time: BOLA 4 - Dizaster v QP | Full Review

Considering the circumstances it was a pretty decent battle though obviously it doesn't really compare to what the Dizaster v DNA match would have been like. A bit too much filler from Diz and a few stumbles from QP but it's definately worth a watch.

Grind Time: Dirt v Godzilla | Full Review

Great battle. Probably Dirt's best performance to date and probably his best opponent as well. His third was fucking unbelievable. Watch this.

KOTD: 2 v 2 Beatbox Battle

Apparently this was the first of it's kind. Great idea and it was reasonably well executed though it drags on a bit long.

Basementality: Okwerdz & Dizaster v Shazaam & Nils m Skils | Full Review

One of the most enjoyable battles of the year so far. Considering the Swedish duo are rapping in their non-native language they were extremely impressive. Nils m Skils freestyles blew me away. Okwerdz was a bit of a let down, Diz had a decent performance.


DNA Spits His Bars For Dizaster

DNA shows what one of his rounds for Dizaster would have looked like. Judging by the bars we've seen from both of them (Diz's in the QP battle) it would have been a great battle. Shame that it almost certainly won't go down now.

Weekly Hip-Hop Recap: Feb. 21st - 27th

This week is the quiet before the storm with new albums from Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon and Reks’ all dropping next week.


Apathy – Most Murderous Music (freestyle) | Review 
Lupe Fiasco – Joaquin Phoneix ft. Travis Barker | Review 
Atmosphere – Just For Show | Review 
Saigon – Down The Road | Review 
Tonedeff – Bang | Review 

If you want an individual track just click the review link next to each song, there’s a d/l link on that page

Projects / Unrelated Bonus:

Both categories are combined in one this week. While there were no releases worth mentioning that actually came out this week, I only just discovered this EP a few days ago released in December of last year by a duo composed of Blue Scholars producer, Sabzi, and vocalist Kelsey. I love it. Highly recommend for any Blue Scholars/Sabzi fan or to anyone who likes music in general really.


Kanye West - Blame Game (Unofficial Video)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

EP Review: Made In Heights - Winter Pigeons (Produced by Sabzi from Blue Scholars)

Download: Made In Heights - All The Places

This is a must listen for any Blue Scholars fan. Sabzi, one of Hip-Hops best producers, teamed up with relatively unknown singer Kelsey. Dubbed as a 'side project' this EP is short, only 3 tracks long with a bonus track. While not a Hip-Hop release, it is, however, some of the best production i've ever heard from Sabzi. Kelsey is a talent herself; her lyrics are filled with evocative imagery and her delivery is rap-inspired at times, as in the EP's best track, All The Places.
My mind is in the heaven and my shoes are in the mud
leaving traces size 7 running in my royal blood
In a piece of news welcome to all Blue Scholars fans Sabzi has remarked that the album is finished, so we can expect a release in the not too distant future. I can honestly say that i would anticipate just as much a full length Made In Heights release after this EP and I hope one eventuates.

To purchase and stream the whole EP head on over here

Rating: 83/100

Further Listening: Check out either of the Blue Scholars albums, Blue Scholars and Bayani.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

J.Cole - Nothing Like It (freestyle)

Download: J.Cole - Nothing Like It

J.Cole goes in over Beanie Sigel's Kanye West produced Nothing Like It. If you haven't already heard the original, the productions great. J.Cole lays down a typical 'J.Cole' kind of verse, nothing amazing but still better than most. A few corny lines and really forced rhymes let it down. It's weaker than almost anything from Friday Night Lights but it's still worth the download.


Rating: 6.5/10

Further Listening: Friday Night Lights, one of the better releases from last year.


Basementality: Okwerdz & Dizaster v Shazaam & Nils m Skils

In case you're wondering who the hell Shazaam & Nils m Skils are, they're a Swedish (Shazaam) and Norwegian (Nils m Skils) duo who perform in the Swedish based battle league Basementality. Not only did this pair have to face two of the biggest names out of the US but they had to do in their second language. Not only did they put on a great performance they maintained it over 44 minutes. Yes, you heard right. This battle went for 44 MINUTES!

This was possibly the most enjoyable battle of the year so far. Not the best, but most enjoyable. Shazaam was fairly decent (which I imagine makes it very likely he's incredible when he raps in Swedish) but Nils m Skils was the highlight, not just of the pair, but of the whole battle. His dead-pan delivery was hilarious and man can this guy freestyle. I can't even conceive how hard it would be to freestyle well and fast (pretty much instanteous at multiple points in the battle) in a second language. At one stage Okwerdz interrupts a line briefly to which he instantly responds
This motherfucker needs to stay in check though
Saying something during one of our verses, thats okward and dizrespectful
Not to mention me he started his first round with 4 flips in a row. Thats not to say that his writtens weren't great as well. Probably the best part of the battle was when he had a go at Diz's persona and how it reflects on his culture
It's like your saying 'watch out', i'm muslim i'm real evil
bitch, in viking heaven we get drunk and kill people
Dizaster was decent. A lot like his QP battle he had some great lines and a lot of filler. The battle was 44 minutes long this time though so it can probably be forgiven. Okwerdz was the weakest link and was as ordinary as his last few performances. His fortune cookie line was great though. It's hard to look too much into either of their performances though because, not being able to read or understand swedish, they were always gonna have a tough time writing many personals and they have felt the need to 'dumb it down' a little, performing for a crowd who's first language isn't English.

I actually feel that the Swedish team may have won. They were more inconsistent but they also had the bigger haymakers. Either way it was an incredibly enjoyable battle and I would love to see Nils m Skils come out to KOTD's World Domination or Grind Time's MOB2.

Rating: 8/10

Previously: Grind Time - BOLA 4: Dizaster v QP | Weekly Rap Battle Recap: Feb 15th - 21st


Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friday Posse Cut: Big L - Da Graveyard ft. Lord Finesse, Microphone Nut, Jay-Z, Party Arty & Grand Daddy I.U. (Prod. Buckwild)

This is well known as one of the greatest posse cuts of all time and with good reason. Over Buckwild's haunting production Big L lays down one of his greatest verses ever and my personal favourite of his.
'A tech nine is my untensil
filling n****s with so much lead they can use they dick for a pencil'
It's nice to hear Jay-Z back when he was a bit more 'hype' as well and had the ability to switch his pace up. This tracks main feature though is it's energy. All six verses are delivered so well and manage to maintain this abundance of energy without resorting (too much) to generic rhymes, i.e M.O.P.
If you die and come back I shoot your spirit
now your ass is just a holy ghost
Big L > Jay-Z > Grand Daddy I.U > Party Arty > Microphone Nut > Lord Finesse


Rating: 9/10

Further Listening: Big L's debut, Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous, is a must hear.

Previously: The Friday Posse Cut: Binary Star ft. VA - K.G.B | The Friday Posse Cut: Army of the Pharaohs - Battle Cry


Grind Time: Dirt v Godzilla

Dirt continues his rise through the ranks of the rap battle scene with another incredible display, possibly his best one to date. The battle undoubtedly featured his best round to date. That third of his was 'jaw-droppingly' awesome. My only complaint was that the 'eye' jokes in the first went on a little too long. A whole round of eye jokes hardly seemed necessary though there were some great ones in there. I'd quote Dirt's third round but it'd spoil it for when you hear it.
'Your such a bitch even your body language has a lisp'
'That's how i get god bodied like a 5 percenter'
'Lay Gods body flat like a communion wafer'
Not to take anything away from Godzilla though he was probably the best competition Dirt's faced so far and, minus his opening line (lmfao) was consistent throughout. Dirt has upcoming matches against PH and Johnny Storm and if he comes with a performance like this I can't see him losing to be honest.

Rating: 8.5/10

Previously: Grind Time: Dirt v Skillet | Weekly Rap Battle Recap: Feb 15th - 21st | Weekly Rap Battle Recap 8th - 14th


New: Iron Giants - Never Ever

Download: Iron Giants - Never Ever 

I already placed this track in my 'playlist of the week' a couple of days ago but i thought it deserved it's own review. This is a battle rap track that doesn't skimp on the chorus or beat. Most battle rappers seem to feel that as soon as they lay their bars down the beat and chorus are just accessories that they can half-ass. In contrast this track has a fantastic beat with a dominating and prominent vocal sample setting the eerie tone and one of the better rapped choruses i've ever heard, full stop. It's an aggressive chorus packed with energy that has lyrics good enough to be used within an actual verse.

Of the duo, Cire's verse is the highlight of the track.Wird of Pley's 16' is nice as well - he has a really aggressive, commanding delivery that suits the beat perfectly - but his tendency to have so many 'half-rhymes' is a little off-putting.
'You motherfuckers can't compete with what i say off top
that's like standing next to Picasso with a crayon box'
'My moods are hydraulic, it's nauseating to ride with him'
I look forward to hearing more from this duo. Until then you can catch them in a 2v2 coming up at KOTD we're they're competing in the 2v2 Grand Prix. I suspect their style will translate well to the rap battle format.

Rating: 9/10

Recommended If...: You always wished you could find battle rappers with  that real aggressive delivery that actually had some decent lyrics.

Further Listening: Check out Wird of Pley's debut Grind Time battle. Highly recommended.
Grind Time: Wird of Pley v Heem

Previously: Weekly Hip-Hop Recap: Feb 14th - 20th


Thursday, February 24, 2011

New: Saigon - Down The Road

Download: Saigon - Down The Road

Saigon's decided to continue the pattern of leaving album quality material OFF his album. his joint here sees Saigon hop back on (did he ever hop off?) his social commentary soapbox and he doesn't disappoint. The chorus is an interesting feature, it's like they took a polished, clean chorus and then roughed it up a bit around the edges. It works well. The beat is probably responsible for the song not finding it's way onto the album. The leading rift is great; probably the highlight of the track in fact, but everything accompanying it sounds rather bland and amateurish especially the the piano and the half-hearted attempt at an outro.

This isn't on the same level as Too Long but it's still a lot better than a lot of what was put on the album.


Rating: 7.5/10

Previously: Album Review: Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told | Saigon - Bring Me Down pt.3 ft. Joe Budden | Saigon - Too Long ft. Black Thought [Bonus Track]


New: Apathy - Most Murderous Music (Freestyle)

Download: Apathy - Most Murderous Music (freestyle)

Apathy decided to go in for 56 bars straight, over a classic Premo joint no less. Rising to the occasion Apathy comes through with a ridiculous flow, schemes, amazing imagery and (most importantly) a reference to 'The Office'!
Man it's critical to give credit nothing less than incredible
Impress predecessors then they place you a pedestal
Spit ridiculous shit or shit'll get ridiculed
You MC's should dive in empty swimming pools
Shots are fired at the usual (but warranted as ever) targets; generic rap acts imitating the next big thing. Apparently Apathy has a full length release, Honkey Kong, coming out in the spring which i'll be eagerly awaiting.

Rating: 9/10


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New: Atmosphere - Just For Show

Download: Atmosphere - Just For Show

This is the first single in the lead up to Atmosphere's latest full-length release, The Family Sign. 
If you was gonna leave me you would have already left me now
The line above closes the song off and sums up the track itself nicely. Slug is refusing to play along with whatever act or front his fictional partner putting up and lays the cards on the table, saids 'stop bullshitting, I don't believe you, you're not going to do shit' (my words not his) and dares her to call his bluff.

The tracks chorus is probably the highlight; it's catchy without being generic. Slug himself is nice. Nothing spectacular but solid. Overall it's just a good track and there's not much more to say.


Rating: 7.5/10

For the cover art and tracklist for The Family Sign check out Weekly Hip-Hop Recap: Feb 7th - 13th Pt. 2


New: Tonedeff - Bang

Download: Tonedeff - Bang

It turns out that UFC fighter Chris Camozzi is a Tonedeff fan and has asked him to create the walk out song for his fight at UFC 127. This has what you'd expect for a walkout track; a fairly aggressive chorus, some in your face double time, some fighting metaphors and wordplay, some....Oh, wait...did i mention the incredible fighting metaphors and wordplay?
It’s unanimous, I consider decisions a loss,
Cause son, I’m a closer, coming to finish the job
Snakey slick talkers get unhinged at the jaw
Brother, you’d think they’re confessing sins to the father the way that they kissin this cross
The beat lets the track down though. It's a sparse, distorted-bass heavy beat but the bass doesn't pack enough punch for my liking. Also, the bass effect added to Tonedeffs voice works really well but it needed to be placed on the intro and outro because in comparison they sound really weak and half-hearted, compromising the tracks energy.


Rating: 7.5/10


New: Lupe Fiasco - Joaquin Phoenix (Feat. Travis Barker)

Download: Lupe Fiasco - Joaquin Phoenix (Feat. Travis Barker)

This track's from Travis Barker's 'Let The Drummer Get Wicked' mixtape that was just released. Unfortunately the tape is hosted by DJ Whoo Kid who does his best to ruin the song with an (as always) unnecessary rewind part way through (the above version is without it thankfully). Luckily he went easy on the drops on this particular track. The beats OK, though that annoying 'clicking'-percussion sound in the background needs to go.

Lupe's got his 'Say Something Freestyle' flow going on as he proceeds to kill the track. He starts off a little slow but by the end pulls off a great performance.
Flow is in the microwave, call it Michael Tyson flow
Killin is a Dirty Job, Michael Myers Michael Rowe
Bring it back like Michael Fox, see how far them Michaels go?
"I feel like I'm Michael Crichton, writing with a microphone
LASERS can't arrive soon enough.


Rating: 8.5/10

Previously: MDMA - Cupcakin' ft. Lupe Fiasco | How Hype? Lupe Fiasco's LASERS | Lupe Fiasco - Words I Never Said ft. Skylar Grey


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Weekly Rap Battle Recap: Feb 15th - 21st

This was a week of disappointments in some sense. All three of these battles were nice but none were quite as good as they were hyped up to be.

Thesaurus v Mac Lethal | Full Review
Prepare for some amazing freestyling flips and rebuttals. Considering the short term notice this battle was fantastic.

Soul Khan v Fox | Full Review
It's not even a spoiler for me to mention that Soul Khan bodies Fox, it's apparent from the first few minutes. One sided battle but this wasn't one of Soul Khans best performances either.

Dirt v Screem 
This battle wins biggest robbery of the year so far. It wasn't Dirt's best battle but it was still more than enough to earn himself the W.



Yes, the main event featuring Pat Stay is against Arsonal to make up for the canceled match at Blackout.

Right down the bottom of the flyer in tiny writing is the info that you're looking for. The winners of each match face off for some yet to be announced prize.


Yes, that's right, a 44 minute long battle. Should be interesting to say the least.

Grind Time post a battle release schedule (and fall behind it straight away). Here.

Cortez & Math Hoffa list their 10 worst battle lines of 2010. Funny video. What's funnier is that there's no Math Hoffa or Cortez lines, who would of guessed? 

Not to worry though because Goodz makes his own video where he shows us Cortez and Math's 10 worst lines of 2010.

Previously: Weekly Rap Battle Recap: Feb 8th - 14th


Review: Grind Time: BOLA 4 : Dizaster v QP

This battle was originally supposed to be Dizaster v DNA but after DNA pulled out QP put his hand up to take his place only two days before the battle was scheduled to go down. This was ON TOP of the fact that he had two other battles that day. Quite a task. That's most likely why this battle was only one round each, unlimited time.

I guess the most noticeable aspect of QP's performance was his lack of delivery and projection. This isn't normally a problem for him so it almost certainly can be put down to the extremely rushed preparations for the battle. I imagine it's hard to really deliver your lines like you mean it when you're concentrating on remembering what exactly the next bar is. He certainly had some weak lines in there as well but over all I think the crowd slept on him a bit. The highlight of his round was probably when he broke down the wordplay in his lines, I found that hilarious. Overall his performance was fairly decent and it's honestly pretty to hard to criticise the guy given the conditions.

This was a really mixed performance. Dizasters round was riddled with both great lines and filler. Yes, he only had two days to prepare as well but his round went for so long (10 minutes or so) that he could have cut out 3 or 4 minutes worth and put on an awesome performance. That would have made it easier to prepare within the limited time he had available. That aside he had some great moments; his Soul Khan impression was extremely on point and given how QP was crushed by SK at MOB the 'ohhh no not him again' closer was great. I'm glad to see he addressed DNA as well and showed us a little of what his bars for him would have been like.
' This whole battles a preview,
of how you get your ass beat when you bite off the hand that feeds you'
As is expected, a lot of Dizasters bars don't look quite as nice on paper as when he performs them but with that said these were two of his better moments in the battle:

'I'll show up to the front steps of your home and wear, regular employing clothing ware
Ring the door-bell like 'ding-dong', "hello, your there?"
'Yeah mam' we came to fix your broken chair', *chk-chk*, 'we're with home repairs'
Act like i'm not focused but i'm so aware, as soon as I see her coming down the steps and approach the stairs
Open the door and give her the coldest stare then pop her in the vocal box walk off and leave her croakin there,
vocal chords exposed to open air, THAT's my rebuttal for choking, there!'

'Soul Khan put you so far in the ground,
that i'm a need a sonar in a boneyard just for your skull shards to be found'

Victor: Dizaster

Rating : 7/10

Further Viewing:
Dizaster: Check out his incredible match against Swave Sevah here.
QP: His match with Soul Khan from MOB is one of rap battles classics (though thats thanks to Soul Khan's contribution). Check it here.

Previously: Grind Time: BOLA 4: Thesaurus v Mac Lethal | Grind Time: BOLA 4 Predictions


Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Hip-Hop Recap: Feb 14th - 20th

Every Monday I’ll continue throw up a Re-cap of the past week music wise. I won’t be posting everything that comes out, only what I recommend listening to.

Pretty quiet week. There’s a couple of tracks on the playlist from artists most people wouldn’t have heard of before but it’s still quality stuff. I don’t throw anything on there that isn’t at least a 7/10.


They’re in order of quality.

CunningLinguists – Stars Shine Bright | Review 
Saigon - Bring It Down Pt. 3 ft. Joe Budden | Review  
Iron Giants – Never Ever | Review 
Blu – Since | Review 
360 – I Hate You | Review 
Fashawn – Down That Road | Review
Flight Distance – All Crushed Under The Same Terrible Wheel | Review 

If you want an individual track just click the review link next to each song, there’s a d/l link on that page


Blu – Amnesia
This was decent on first listen and the more I heard it the more it grew on me. Fantastic, grab this if you’re a Blu fan. Full review here

Fashawn – Higher Learning 2
Not bad. If you’re a Fashawn fan you’ll enjoy it, if not this won’t change your mind.


Odd Futures Performance on Jimmy Fallon:

First performance ever on live television and these guys went crazy. Not necessarily a fan of their music but this was brilliant.

Kanye West’s All of the Lights Video:

Unrelated Bonus: 

Love what they did with the vocals on this.

New: 360 - I Hate You

Download: 360 - I Hate You

While waiting for his battle with Rone from BOLA 4 to drop 360 continues to release new music from his upcoming debut 'Falling and Flying'. What i'm loving about his recent music is that he's managed to make commercial pop-influenced Hip-Hop without it selling like soulless sellout garbage. On this track here he touches on a couple of his pet peeves that i'm sure most can relate to; from the etiquette of shouting drinks to having a girl fuck us over. Don't let the jovial atmosphere fool you though, hidden underneath are a couple of serious issues that also touched upon. I'm sure the little refrain every 4th bar and the catchy chorus will ensure it's a hate it or love it track for most; personally it gets a 'strongly like' from my corner.

Rating: 7.5/10

Further Listening: 360 has released two mixtapes in the lead-up to his albums release, Please Be Seated 1 & 2. I'd also recommend this little number, also off Flying and Falling which has one of my favourite choruses from the year so far

Watch out for his upcoming battle with Rone from Grind Time's BOLA 4 as well.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

New: Flight Distance - All Crushed Under The Same Terrible Wheel

Download: Flight Distance -  All Crushed Under The Same Terrible Wheel

Now that's how you name a song. There is (believe it or not) more to this song than just a nice title. Flight Distance is a group that's probably most recognised for the fact that one of it's members is current KOTD champ and multisyallable extraordinaire, Bender. Patience, the groups other MC, is no slouch either though as is clear from this track.

Sullen and sluggish, 'nuff of us suffered a troubled history
but muster some love to crumble up brother, come bun it with me
now, them snipers never catch the whites in my eyes
staying bloodshot from the bends, holdin' a nitrogen high
a knife in my side, spent my februarys in a slump
respected as writer, legendary as a drunk

Saids it all really. 'Gritty' and 'raw' are (extremely) overused descriptors when it comes to describing Hip-Hop but they apply to this track so well it's hard not use them.


Rating: 7/10

Further Listening: Check out their debut LP Run For Your Lives


Saturday, February 19, 2011

EP Review: Blu - Amnesia

In the lead up to the long awaited release of Blu's No York album, we the fans were given something to hold us over in the form of the Amnesia EP. EP might be a bit of a stretch though with the release containing three tracks on which Blu raps over (one of which is only around a minute and a half long) and an instrumental. Brevity aside, this release should please the average Blu fan.

Blu handles the production himself and proves he's more than up to the task. Vocal samples feature prominently on every beat and the mood ranges from the laid-back 'Amnesia' to the more hard hitting 'Since', reminiscent of Exile's 'The World Is...'. On the mic Blu comes with a more scattered, 'poetic' style of self-analysis mixed with reflections on relationships and women.
'Patience grown thin, home sick and haven't been home since
Fuck a rapper, I'm an actor in a film called:
"Leave me the fuck alone until I find a real job"
Busting chrome grills off at these soft hearted breakbeats bouncing with 808's and gray ink
Blue heart, red skies, true art died in the heart of my mind
Kept trying to fulfill this, blank scribbled realness, even if it kills this
Poet inside'
Blu utilises a more softly spoken delivery on the EP, preferring to blend in with the beat rather than stand out from it. Because of this it can take a second before you realise that his technical skills are as sharp as ever with the lack of emphasis in Blu's voice disguising the alliterations and rhyme patterns intertwined throughout his verses.

Rating: 82/100

Further Listening: Blu's Debut album with Exile, Below The Heavens, is a classic and a must listen.


A Brief Introduction To Australian Hip-Hop

For those who’ve never heard any Oz Hip-Hop before (or even had any idea that there was such a thing) I’ll post a couple of tracks here to introduce you to some of the better artists. Eventually I’d like to do a big ‘Introduction to Australian Hip-Hop’ post but for the moment this’ll suffice.

The key feature that sets the Oz Hip-Hop scene apart from regular Hip-Hop is the lack of commercialisation. There’s no songs for ‘ballers’, there’s no club tracks, there’s no tracks dedicated to ‘hoe’s or bitches’, there’s no ‘shoot’em up’ tracks or references to guns and – most importantly - there’s no references to swag. Yet it’s not like everyone makes conscious Hip-Hop either, there’s a good mix of battle rap, conscious, introspective and I guess what you’d call ‘summer’ music (the closest you’ll get to commercialised).
Hilltop Hoods

These guys are here are Australia’s biggest Hip-Hop act by FAR, their also clearly the best act imo. They’re on an independent label, have never had a top 5 single yet have sold the equivelant of over 4 million records from their last 2 releases. As far as I know, in this era of music downloads no other independent artist in the world has achieved that. Anyway, sales don’t mean shit, ill let the music talk for itself.

Hilltop Hoods – Chase That Feeling
Hilltop Hoods – The Hard Road 
Recommended Albums: Theirs not a single weak release in their catalogue so you can't go wrong no matter where you start. The Hard Road is probably the easiest to get into though.

Bliss N Eso

These guys are the second most popular Oz Hip-Hop act and have a pretty diverse style with production influences from various genres. They manage to craft music with a wide appeal while still incorporating complex lyricism, social commentary and at times an almost stream-of-consciousness style.

Bliss N Eso – Sea Is Rising
Bliss N Eso - This Is For You

Recommended Albums: Their latest release, Running On Air, is their best album imo, followed by Flying Colours. The only weak release is their second album, Day of the Dog.


Trem is apart of the group Lyrical Commission, and is the premier battle rapper in the country. Here’s why.

Lyrical Commission - Bounty Hunterz


M-Phazes is the countries premier producer (worked with Royce, Elzhi, Pharoahe Monche and others I’m forgetting right now) and his album, Good Gracious, is a great place to start if you’re new to the genre as it features a large variety of the scenes biggest artists.

M-Phazes - Walking On Clouds ft. Bliss N Eso
Royce Da 5'9", Elzhi & Supastition - Best To Do it (Prod. M-Phazes)

Well, I hope that was of some help. In the future i plan on doing a much more detailed post on the Aussie scene but this should be plnety to get any newcomer started.

Previously: Track Review: Trem - Omega Man


Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Grind Time [BOLA 4] - Thesaurus v Mac Lethal

After both the Dizaster v DNA and PH v Jaze Juice battles falling through  at BOLA 4 this last minute match-up was organised as a replacement. With only a day to prepare both MC's put on a hell of a performance.

Round 1: The highlight of this round is clearly Mac Lethal's rebuttal scheme which was out of this world. I seriously have no idea how that was even possible. That said, the rest of his round wasn't as strong and Thesaurus' had a bunch of hard hitting lines and great schemes as well.
'See you can say that you're the livest but i've slayed and murdered giants
twice as great as you in life, now it's David vs Goliath'
Who Took It: Tie

Round 2: This was probably Thesaurus' best round and he had a couple of great rebuttals such as the Real Deal flip and the
'Pretend that you're Satan you'll get left with a halo'
Mac Lethal probably had the line of the match though with the
'Like the BOLA, DNA didn't show up'
The rest of Mac Lethals round wasn't of the same calibre though and Thesaurus was consistent all the way through.

Who Took It: Thesaurus

Round 3: Both MC's seemed to lose a little bit of steam in this round and this was where Mac Lethal's never ending face jokes were starting to feel played out. Thesaurus' flip of the 'debo shit' where he continued the scheme was probably the rounds highlight.

Who Took It: Thesaurus

Victor: The Saurus

General Thoughts: It seems pretty clear that Thesaurus had more written material than Mac Lethal and subsequently his performance was a lot more cleaner. When looking at rebuttals as well though Thesaurus' came out a lot more natural and were less recognisably freestyled by delivery alone. In general Thesaurus' was brilliant and was as nice in this battle as most of his previous ones where he had over a month to prepare. Not to take anything away from Mac Lethal though who did a great job and proved that his rebuttals versus DirtBag Dan weren't a one off freak-of-nature occurrence. He was let down though by the continual and often unoriginal face jokes. Obviously - being that he had only 24 hours to prepare - this is forgiven but it insured that his rounds generally paled in comparison to Thesaurus'.

Rating: 8.5/10

Further Viewing:
Check out The Saurus' battle against Real Deal is one of the best battles from last year
 Thesaurus v Real Deal
If your after more incredible rebuttals check out Mac Lethals match against DirtBag Dan
Mac Lethal v DirtBag Dan

Previously: Review: URL - Soul Khan v J.Fox | Review: Grind Time - Dirt v  Skillet


The Friday Posse Cut: Binary Star ft. Various Artists - K.G.B

This track right here is from what is possibly the most underrated Hip-Hop album ever, Binary Star's Masters of the Universe. K.G.B is the last on the album and it's a dark, grimey, vocal 'chant' led beat with over 6 minutes of non-stop rapping; no choruses, no scratches, just bars. Funnily enough, the two members of Binary Star (One Be Lo and Senim Silla) are pretty disappointing in comparison to their previous efforts on the album and it's the more unknown featured artists that really steal the show.

Malaki  > Lacks  > Elzhi  > J.U.I.C.E  > Senim Silla  > Texture  > One Be Lo  > O-Type Star

'A wack MC is something I could never be
that's like tryna grow dreadlocks while on chemotherapy'

Rating: 7.5/10


Further Listening: Check out the groups album, Masters of the Universe, a brilliant record.

Previously: The Friday Posse Cut: Army of the Pharaohs - Battle Cry | The Friday Posse Cut: Kanye West - So Appalled ft. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Cyhi Da Prince, The RZA & Swizz Beatz

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Track Review: Trem - Omega Man (Prod. Prowla)

'We from a lost land where theres MC's not pop bands'

That opening line should give you a good idea straight off the bat of what type of Music this is. It's battle rap reminiscent of the 94-95 Illmatic era where it's all about respect and skills on the mic not money, fame or sales. It's a style that's done quite poorly by a lot of Australian MC's. Not Trem. The man who's looked upon as probably THE greatest wordsmith in the Australian scene doesn't let down all those who've suffered the comparable-to-detox length wait for the album.
“We from a lost land, where the clock’s hands is stopped, 
before the rot set in, before they shot Scott La Rock, 
before the shops stocked rap in a section called urban, 
and every third person’s thinking they’re word surgeons
but ya'll vrigins, first come first served
n squirt ya nut with the first pump and call curtains
I got this bitch skirt hitched up mid tit-fuck
But it ain't feel the same since the game got that nip-tuck"
This track is a fantastic of example of battle rap done well with no forced multi's, some content and some great metaphors scattered throughout. The Prowla beat sets the mood perfectly with a raw, eerie, almost horror movie like vibe to it. He did a great job with the chorus as well, changing the sample cut each time and incorporating them into the verses at points. It's refreshing to hear some actual scratching in Hip-Hop.

Rating: 9/10 

While your waiting for the album to drop i recommend taking a lot at the excellent Lyrical Commission album (of which Trem is a member of) named The Stage Is Set.