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Teaser trailer of “All Eyez on Me” and my take on it.

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Hello, readers. I usually try to do my posts on a weekly basis, but because I just recently found out that a teaser trailer for the 2Pac biopic, I thought that I share this with people and also my take on it.

I know that this is only the teaser and in the months to come prior to its release, there will be more shown in there. However, all I could say is that I hope that this movie is good. I was impressed by “Straight Outta  Compton” when it came out last summer, but I still haven’t revisited it, not to mention that I have not seen the director’s cut of it yet. I also remember seeing “Notorious” a long time ago, but it’s been more than seven years. I may need to watch that again soon and maybe review it on here.

All I can say is that I can’t wait until November when this comes out. Peace!

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My take on Watch The Stove.

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When I heard about this, I wondered “What the hell is this?!” I saw the cover art on my Twitter feed around the time it came out and saw that the cover art reminded me of the cover to “Watch The Throne” from Kanye West and Jay-Z. I was not sure if it was a real album or just fan-made artwork until I found out that it was a mixtape that was put together. The idea of Hamburger Helper putting out a mixtape and having recording artists rapping and/or singing about its food seemed really odd to me, and then I read that it was the point. Sources have said that it was an April Fools joke and that it was meant to be funny. The truth about this mixtape is that it was no joke. What really matters is the quality of the production and the lyrics, no matter what the subject matter is.

In a lot of ways I feel that I should have written about this around the time it came out. Oh well, better late than never, right?

The song “Feed The Streets” has a sick beat to it and the lyrics talk about cooking food and beef with lean. Never would I have thought that raps about cooking food would sound interesting.

“In Love With The Glove” was a rather mellow song and it reminded me of some stuff that Drake had done when he sang on his songs. The guy who sang actually has a good voice. The funny thing about this song is that if you don’t listen to the lyrics, you won’t realize that he sang about food.

I have to say that the song “Food For Your Soul” has the feel of a mellow rap song similar to songs from Talib Kweli or A Tribe Called Quest. The guy who rapped on the track has a decent flow and he just straight rapped one whole verse in this song. Plus, the song is a little different as it isn’t about exactly about the food you eat, but it rather stuff to learn. Hence its title.

When I listened to “Hamburger Helper,” it reminded me of some songs from T.I., and I am unsure if that is what the people involved went for, but it was one of the best tracks that I heard on this mixtape. However, I can’t say the same thing about “Crazy,” which for the majority of it drove me, well, crazy. Not a terrible song, but it was a little repetitive at first until the second half of it.

Never would I have thought that a rap mixtape that Hamburger Helper released would have actually been solid. I mean, sure, the subject matter on most of the songs was odd, but if you listened to it, the topics can be looked past and you can still bump to the music. Was it the greatest thing I have ever heard? No, but it’s far from the worst. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. I recommend you check this out. You have to hear it to believe it.

If you want to hear it, check it out here. Peace!

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Album Review: X-Raided – Xorcist

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Year: 1995

Label: Black Market Records

Track Listing:

  1. Open Tha Casket
  2. I Ain’t Dead Yet
  3. Recognize (Feat. Babe Reg & Lunasicc)
  4. Body Count (Feat. Da Misses)
  5. Collect Call
  6. Check Your Bitch
  7. Blaze Up
  8. Wanna Get High? (Feat. Lunasicc)
  9. Unxplainable
  10. Deuce-5 To Life
  11. Unfukwitable (Feat. Da Misses & Babe Reg)
  12. Liquor, N***z & Triggaz (Feat. Brotha Lynch Hung & Sicx)
  13. Done Deal (Feat. Da Misses)
  14. Brainz
  15. Witta Mask On (Feat. Da Misses, Killa Hoe, Chopah & Lunasicc)
  16. Mo Brainz

When looking at underground rappers from certain areas, more often than not they become famous among some circles. What is odd is that while I am a native of Sacramento, Calif., I remember some people I know tell me that they are familiar with not-so-big names from various parts of the United States, or even the world for that matter. For example, a friend of my uncle’s had served in the military and was told that he knew some fellow marines whom known about Sacramento rappers, only to find out that they weren’t from California, let alone Sacramento. It could be said that I mostly know of X-Raided because he is from Sactown himself, and also the fact that I remember looking at my uncle’s rap CD collection at the tender young age of 9 and noticing a name I have never heard of before. A cousin of mine told me that he is from Sacramento, which made me realize that music acts come from all over, but I was still a naive boy at the time.

For years I was curious about this rapper, even though I was a little familiar with other rappers from my area like C-Bo, Brotha Lynch Hung, First Degree The DE, etc., but what got me is the name and the artwork of the album. I tested out a sample on the internet sometime later, like in 2000 or something, and from what I had heard, the voice of X-Raided sounded in low quality in contrast to how the beat sounded, and I was confused why he sounded a bit robotic. That is until I was told by my cousin about why it sounded that way.

Before I go into critiquing this album, I will go into some of the background of this album. Anerae Brown, better known as X-Raided, was in prison around the time that this album was produced. I am not going to go into the details of what happened, as the information can be found all over the internet, but with him incarcerated, what could be explained about the low quality of his voice on the songs is the fact that he recorded his verses through a prison phone and the production team implemented his verses into the songs during the production of the album. However, that does not mean the quality in his verses changed because of the sound.

The album kicks off with an introductory skit called “Open Tha Casket” that has someone singing in the background and another person talking, giving a shout-out to those who aren’t living anymore and mentioning X-Raided, which goes right into the first album called “I Ain’t Dead Yet.” X’s verses were pretty good, and the beat was actually a different than how the beat for the intro was. I also chuckled when he mentioned a street name in one of the verses because I am very familiar with that area. The quality of his verses is still poor, but this is only the first song and while quality in the verses could have been a lot better, it’s still a good track. 4/5

The next track “Recognize” is the first feature guest artists on here. The beat and the production comes hard and X’s verses come hard, too. Lunasicc and Baby Reg don’t provide any verses, but rather hooks and bridges. They did a good job on this song. One of the best tracks on this album. 5/5

When you listen to “Body Count,” chances are you will start bobbing your head because the beat is bangin’. I like how the chorus uses a line from another X-Raided song, as well as a clip from a Brotha Lynch Hung song. Da Misses also sounded decent on this song, but I don’t really think she needed two verses when X only had one. I sometimes wonder what happened to her and whether she had any albums. She sure can spit. 5/5

Then came with another skit called “Collect Call.” I didn’t really see much point in it, except that it was just to show that he called from the penitentiary.

“Check Your Bitch” might sound like an offensive track on the surface, but if you listen to the lyrics, it seems like X told a story with his lyrics, about some of the shit he got into when he got involved with a woman and what he had to face. The beat was nice, too. It’s a decent track. 4/5

I won’t critique the next track as it’s another skit, but I will critique the next song as it does not take long to get to it, although the skit is precursor to the next song.

And now for something different. “Wanna Get High?” is not like the other songs as X did not rap on this. In fact, the only contribution he had to this song is that he WROTE it as Lunasicc actually SANG on this track. Luni doesn’t have a bad singing voice, actually. Not to mention the beat was sick, and the lyrics are nothing more than just about smoking  weed. It’s a good song to smoke to. Different than the others, but that is not a bad thing. 3.5/5

Another skit after this, and I never saw what the deal was. I guess it was “unxplainable.”

This next song happens to be one of the deepest tracks on this album. “Deuce-5 To Life” is about X’s issues with the law and how he ended up in the pen. The lyrics really told a story with this one. I also must add that I remember in the CD booklet for this song that the lyrics for this were written on one of the pages. Another one of the best songs on this album. 5/5

X-Raided came hard as always in “Unfukwitable.” I must add that I now know where the chorus for “Recognize” came from, and it was from this song. This song’s chorus got a little repetitive after a while. Da Misses also appeared on this song and had a decent verse. Good song, but also a little repetitive. 4/5

“Liquor, N***z and Triggaz” is another standout track on this album. X has some guests on here, Brotha Lynch Hung and Sicx. They only provided the chorus on here. All three rappers delivered on this track. 5/5

I must say that “Done Deal” is like “Wanna Get High?” in that X did not appear on the song at all. This is actually a solo song from Da Misses. The beat was actually pretty mellow and I liked the synthesized voice in the chorus. Not a bad song, but it’s far from great. 3/5

Okay, right here I am going to have to do the final three tracks as a whole. The two interludes actually go with the song. They are from the movie “Return of the Living Dead.” That was some creepy shit, and then there’s the song, “Witta Mask On.” X delivered some raw lyrics. My favorite part is when he mentioned some horror movies like “Friday The 13th” and “Hellraiser.” It sounded like some straight horror movie shit right here. And add to that, we had verses from Da Misses, Chopah and Lunasicc, and also a chorus from Killa Hoe, along with Da Misses. Out of the guest appearances, I would have to say that Lunasicc delivered some of the hardest lyrics in his verse. That is not to say that Da Misses and Chopah didn’t have bad rhymes, because they actually did a good job in their verses. One of the best songs on this album. 5/5

Despite the low quality in X-Raided’s verses songs on this album, he still delivered some raw and hardcore rhymes on this album. You have to hand it to him for still recording an album while still in the joint, although I must say that he recorded more albums while he was still in prison, but the quality was much better as he didn’t use the phone in the other ones. The guest appearances were also good. I have to say that this album was great in regards to effort made in spite of the weaknesses in the verses, and also overall quality. Check this album out. It still holds up to this day. 5/5

Top Five Tracks:

  1. Deuce-5 To Life
  2. Witta Mask On
  3. Recognize
  4. Liquor, N***z and Triggaz
  5. Check Your Bitch
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