Hip-Hop Rap Up 03:11:11: Cut Chemist, Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon, Strong Arm Steady, Sims, Atmosphere, Watoto From The Nile

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2011 05:29pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 03:11:11

Lupe Fiasco
1) Lupe Fiasco Lasers (1st & 15th/Atlantic)

2) Raekwon Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang (Ice H20/EMI Records)

3) Strong Arm Steady Arms & Hammers (Blacksmith / Element9)

4) Cut Chemist Sound of the Police (A Stable Sound / Soul Kitchen Records)

5) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath/Interscope)

Thanks to Ray Ricky Rivera from Amoeba Hollywood, who supplied this week's Hip-Hop Top Five. He also offered his favorite pick of forthcoming new hip-hop releases: "Wiz Khalifa's album, because of the hot single and because the mix tapes of his are such fun to listen to," said Ray of his top pick. He also noted that people are still talking about last week's Amoeba Hollywood instore with Cut Chemist. "It was a really dope show ...for his Sound of the Police album. Especially impressive given his setup. He had just one turntable and one mixer and his pedal effect that he manipulated." He added that the famous LA turntablist/producer also had cupcakes (dubbed "Cut Cakes") to pass out to some lucky folks at the well attended show. 

Cut Chemist Cut Cake
Cut Cakes from last Friday's Cut Chemist Instore - Yummy!

Lupe Fiasco "Til I Get There" off Lasers (2011)

Number one with a bullet is the brand new, highly anticipated third album, Lasers, from alternative hip-hopper Lupe Fiasco; he worked on it the past two years and the record includes such tracks as the cross-over, radio-ready "Til I Get There" (above). The guest heavy album has microphone cameos from carefully chosen guests like John Legend, Trey Songz, Eric Turner, Skylar Grey, Sway, Matt Mahaffey, MDMA, and Sarah Green, in addition to flawless smoothed-out production from such pros as The Neptunes, Needlz, The Audibles,  Alex da Kid, Syience, and also his long-time production collaborator, Soundtrakk. To me,  Lasers has the makings of one of those perfectly fine-tuned pop rap albums that will likely dominate radio and charts with a non-stop flow of singles for the rest of the year.

Also dropping a brand new release this week is the great Raekwon, who first rose to fame with his influential crew, the Wu-Tang Clan. For his latest solo album, Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, which is the follow up to 2009's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx ... Pt. II, the emcee born Corey Woods does not have RZA on board at all for production (you'll remember RZA was only partly present on Cuban Linx II, which disappointed many fans in '09), but the new album does still pack that Kung Fu sampled flavor to presumably delight diehard Wu fans. The sound is very RZA-like in production, even if it's not the RZA himself.

Raekwon "Rock N Roll (feat Ghostface Killah, Kobe, & Jim Jones)" (2011)

Admittedly, this is not Raekwon's greatest work and some critics & fans have already complained that he is merely going through the
motions and trying to deliver what he believes the diehard Wu-Tang fanbase expects to hear. But with guest spots from Method Man, Black Thought, Busta Rhymes, and Ghostface Killah, among others, Shaolin vs Wu Tang ain't half bad, either. However, the Rick Ross cameo doesn't quite work, in my opinion. Nor does the somewhat dated Top 40 sounding Auto-Tune hook on the otherwise okay album track "Rock n Roll (feat Ghostface Killah, Kobe & Jim Jones)."  Audio clip above.

Other albums charting this week include the talented SoCal trio Strong Arm Steady with their Blacksmith release Arms & Hammers, the aforementioned Sound of the Police by Cut Chemist, and Eminem's Recovery album on Aftermath Records, which, even nine full months after its initial release, continues to sell well. New, recent, or upcoming hip-hop albums with just released accompanying music videos include Doomtree act Sims for the song "One Dimensional Man" off the recently released Bad Time Zoo, and Atmosphere's "Just For Show" off the Rhymesayers duo's forthcoming album The Family Sign (due in Amoeba on April 12th).

Atmosphere "Just For Show" (2011)

Sims "One Dimensional Man" (2011)

Finally, since this is Women's History Month and since International Women's Day celebrated its 100th anniversary a few days ago, I leave you with a news report from this week care of station TV One. A young 10 year old Philly girl created an "Open Letter To Lil Wayne" rap video in which the ten year old girl, who goes by the name Watoto From The Nile, is joined by her two young sisters, and they call out the famed Cash Money rapper over his misogyny, glorification of drugs, and overuse of explicit lyrics. But it is mainly his general lyrical degradation of Black women that's addressed, as outlined in the news report below. Meantime, click to see the original Watoto From The Nile rap video here.