Hip-Hop Top Five 11:16:18: Swollen Members, SOB X RBE, Z-Ro, Black Eyed Peas, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz

Posted by Billyjam, November 16, 2018 11:34pm | Post a Comment
     Hip-Hop Top Five: 11:16:18

1: Swollen Members Live At The Fox Theatre (Battle Axe)
3: SOB X RBE Gangin II (SOB X RBE)
3: Z-Ro SäDISM (1 Deep Entertainment)
4: Black Eyed Peas Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 (Interscope)

5: Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz Mona Lisa LP (already out on CD) (Mello Music)

Swollen Members drop via CD Live At The Fox Theatre on Battle Axe Records that was recorded at a sold-out packed show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado during the Canadian hip-hop group's Black Magic Tour a dozen years ago. The first live album release from Swollen Members, its fourteen tracks include live versions of such songs as "Crunch," "Anthrax Island," "Bring It Home," "Fuel Injected," "Deep End," "Killing Spree," "Lady Venom," "Strength" and "Too Hot." The album cover art was created by Mr. 8 Legz who also designed the iconic Swollen Members skull logo. While  Live At The Fox Theatre is Swollen Members first album since 2014's Brand New Day, last year the group's Madchild released his most recent solo album; the highly recommended The Darkest Hour (Battle Axe) that featured such guest collaborators as Evidence, Alchemist, Domo Genesis, Oh No, and Fashawn.

Two and a half decades in the rap game but still slept on by many, hardworking Houston rapper Z-Ro returns with his 23rd album (and first since last year's Codeine) SäDISM on 1 Deep Entertainment featuring such tracks as "I Got The Sauce" (video below). Meanwhile young Vallejo crew SOB X RBE (Strictly Only Brothers, Real Boi Entertainment) have just released  the sequel to Gangin LP; Gangin II (SOB X RBE) with the video for the Intro track filmed in NYC (see below). Following the Mona Lisa CD release last month by Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, this week Mello Music Group have release the vinyl version Mona Lisa LP by the power duo producer and emcee who truly shine on this collaborative full-length on songs such as "My Block."

The Black Eyed Peas return to their roots, sort of, while also returning to being a trio again with the release of Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 (Interscope). No longer with Fergie in their line-up, who left earlier this year following been a key member of BEP for a decade and a half and instrumental in taking the group to global pop success, the trio of, and Taboo take it back to their hip-hop roots pre-Fergie who joined in 2003. Decidedly way more hip-hop than electronic pop dance, the new album still packs quite a few poppy hooks and hence is not quite as pure unfiltered boom-bap hip-hop as the group once were two decades ago. It is also a conscious rap album; a politically themed collection of songs that reflect on the current state of affairs in the US, and draws inspiration from continues on their graphic novel Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles from where it takes its title. For more background on this see the 2017 video below featuring among others Stan Lee (rest in peace). The Black Eyed Peas' seventh album to date, Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 is their first since 2010’s The Beginning and their first as a trio since 2000’s Bridging the Gap. Below is the music video for "DOPENESS (feat. CL)" that since it was published to YouTube three weeks ago has garnered over 5 million views.

Black Eyed Peas present "Masters Of The Sun: The Zombie Chronicles" Augmented Reality Experience

Black Eyed Peas “DOPENESS (feat. CL)” from Masters of the Sun Vol. 1 (Interscope) (2018)

SOB X RBE  "Intro (Gangin)" from Gangin II (SOB X RBE) (2018)

Z-Ro "I Got The Sauce" from SäDISM (1 Deep Entertainment) (2018)

Relevant Tags

Black Eyed Peas (5), Sob X Rbe (3), Z-ro (3), Drake (25), Swollen Members (5), Apollo Brown (0), Joell Ortiz (3), Madchild (7)