Young Scolla releases another R&B track entitled “APART.” Tears & Triumph coming soon.
Produced By: Rodney “Syrenn” Hazard & TEP Tracks
Slim Stario is a beast. With that knowledge, it’s clear to see why his mixtape is called A Star Is Born as he is more than ready to step up and take the rap world over. From lyrical dexterity to a flow that switches up whenever necessary, Slim has qualities most MCs haven’t ever even thought about trying to work into their repertoire, such as using emphasis and tone to turn your average hook into a straight up chant. For a mixtape with so many layers it’s tough to tell exactly what Slim Stario is capable of but it’s clear he has a hell of a lot of potential.
After an epic intro that lays the foundation, “Fah Shuggabear” has the feeling of a snap-rap track, only difference being that dude can actually spit and with the personality and diversity in the flow, he definitely keeps you listening. “Business Man” is a great example of Slim’s accentuation of his words which is something a lot of these monotone rappers need to pay attention to. The beat is crazy on this joint as well. With “Food 4 Thought” you get what you’d refer to as a “hard-core” track. Slim drops a whole lot of knowledge as it’s definitely a lyrical highlight with lines like “they say AIDS got a cure, but the poor can’t buy it”. The guitar throughout including the solo at the end was a nice touch as it pushes the boundaries of hip hop which is always welcome. The whole Dem City Boyz crew rolls through for “War 1-2” which has amazing simplistic production with a flute that’s incredibly infectious and all the MCs bring solid verses. It’s a hyped up laid back anthem, no really, that’s exactly how it comes across. “Hot Rods & Broads” got a Rick Ross feel to it as Slim comes through with crazy energy but keeps his bars to a minimum of words, it’s a nice example of how he can successfully engage in many different styles of rap while still staying true to what he’s doing. The unity anthem “We Move As One” has such an epic beat and passionate verses that it really shows how hip hop is so much of a force.
Included on this tape is a trilogy of tracks dedicated to “Street Life”. The first of these highlights the trials and tribulations of a relationship while the second two are straight up gems. “Crack U.S.” is a welcomed change from the typical boss-status drug dealing stories as it actually breaks down the reality of the hustle. “The Yard” also touches a subject most rappers don’t discuss but as Slim mentions in the track, they certainly love to glorify. It’s good to hear such (to use a played out term) realness in dude’s verses. The authenticity is there, it’s not being forced.
Where the tape strays, it never goes too far off course.”Live My Life Today” isn’t terrible, but the hook isn’t that great and the whole track kinda drags although it does have some serious knowledge through quotables like “no profession wants a criminal’s presence”. “Pixburgh Girls” is a decent female track, and the hook did grow on me over time but it’s not as memorable as it seems at first.
A Star is Born is overall solid from start to finish. The tracks that don’t quite fit are still listenable and Slim Stario carries himself so well as he doesn’t just rap, he speaks to his audience, and that’s an essential ingredient in becoming big in this game. And if by the time you reach “Ribbon in the Sky” you aren’t convinced, then this take ‘em to church type shit will definitely push you over the top as it’s a remarkably beautiful song and Slim gets incredibly deep, it’s easily the hottest track on an already amazing mixtape. And to follow that with the dark but funky “Take Me Home” is the perfect ending to an album that lives up to its name as a star was definitely born here. 4/5
A Star is Born drops September 15th
The whole hip hop world’s buzzing off the collab from superstars Justin Bieber, Kanye West and what Yahoo refers to as “a surprising name from hard-core rap”. I’m bumping the Fabolous EP. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been playing the shit outta that “Runaway Love” remix and loving every minute of it (which puts me with about 1% of hip hop fans right now) but that revamped Loso mixtape is the perfect dessert to last year’s still listenable album. I see that Black Milk album (of the year) is dropping soon and its starting to get a little shine, and the KRS-One/True Master collaboration album is light years beyond what I expected from artists who I was really starting to think were far past their prime. Yet at the end of the day all the gossip and bullshit is about a mafucka getting paid to remind us that the Wu-Tang clan ain’t nuthin’ ta fuck wit.
We all get caught up in the hype of some controversial shit, I mean damn it’s one of the reasons Slim sold more albums than anyone in hip hop, but when I see this strange combination of talent covered on major news sites I remember that what the outside world thinks of hip hop is partly what we allow to become such a big deal. Granted big names generate stories, and the media predetermines what’s going to be delivered to the masses, but a lot of us (myself included) spend too much time hating on the petty shit instead of focusing on what’s relevant.
We are having one of the best years ever musically, the talent is at an all time high, more and more artists are getting put on through various outlets and breaking through to the mainstream, so why did I see 80,000 tweets from veterans expressing disdain for two of their own opening another door in the hip hop world and allowing more and more people in? Are a bunch of 10 year olds gonna be bumping 36 Chambers anytime soon? Naw, but if just one kid that was only really playing along with his friends on that pop loving bullshit starts nodding his head a little to the beat, he may just stumble upon the 9 Generals. And the saga continues…
It all comes back to continuing the culture and the music through every avenue possible. Hip Hop is still looked at negatively by the majority, and when we take the few instances where they have a chance to appreciate what hip hop is capable of, and we shrug it off as some bullshit or get really pissed, it doesn’t help the culture look any better. Not to mention that being the genre of music often described as not actually being music, we shouldn’t be dismissing legitimate artists so quickly because it doesn’t make us look any more intelligent about musical theory. It’s really ok to like an artist you once hated or discredited as being untalented (hey uh….that Nicki Minaj verse on “Monster”…wow, that shit was ILL).
So even though it’s fun to shit talk and wonder which rapper is next gonna appear in the Kat Stacks library of payoff checks, the music is what drives us all, and when we got such great music out there as we do now, it’s much more enjoyable and a whole lot less stressing about some shit that ain’t gonna be remembered in 6 months. Shit I remember hating on Yung Joc but I also remember him hitting the milk carton like 2 years ago, so rather than get all pissy that another M.O.P./LFO-style collab happened, just bump some dope shit. Get back to the music…
While browsing some of my favorite hip hop sites I came across this piece about Rock the Bells. It’s a pretty in depth review of the author’s experience this past Sunday. If you didn’t make it to the concert, check it out:
I think that I accidentally fell asleep in my hot tub time machine on
Saturday night and awaken Sunday morning in the golden era of Hip-Hop. On Sunday August 30, 2010 I attended an outdoor twelve hour hip hop concert, that attracted enough people to fill a moderately sized stadium. There were two stages designated for acts to perform on. One stage was titled the Paid Dues stage and the other one was the main stage. I spent my whole day covering the main stage. That‘s where I saw Slick Rick, Rakim, KRS-One, DJ Premier, A Tribe Called Quest, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wu Tang Clan and Snoop Dogg, in that particular order, perform classic material from their classic albums. For one whole day, they simply reminded everyone in attendance the definition of real emceeing.
Seven hundred twenty minutes of pure excitement, entertainment and
anticipation that I’ve attempted to capture and convey to you with my
pen, camera and emotion. So for all of you who were unable to attend, or were in attendance and just want to once again revisit the moment, if you will, please let me give you a brief recap of Rock The Bells – DC, as I felt it. READ THE REST OF THE STORY
Make sure that ya’ll come fresher then the fucking Fresh Prince up in dis betch. Think Salt n Pepa, Leg Warmers, 80′s, Early 90′s, Composition Notebooks, slap bracelets, Trapper Keepers, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Saved By The Bells…all that shit. I’m som pumped. Should be a great time. REMEMBER THERE IS NO DOOR FEE. It’s [SuCkA FrEe] hoe!
Clique Vodka will be all over the fucking place. yea. -R.i. of CWF
Sound check for artist @ 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
[SuCkAFrEe] Starts @ 9:00 PM
9:45 PM – Franchise
10:00 PM – Mario Dones
10:15 PM – Middi
10:30 PM – Ayatolla Jaxx
10:45 PM – E. Dot
11:00 PM – Verbz
11:15 PM – Vaig
11:30 PM – Sneaky Mike & Friends
11:45 PM – Varsity Squad
12:00 AM – Common Wealth Family
12:15 AM – Human Hustle Ent.
12:30 AM – Tolly
12:45 AM – Myztery N Sneek
1:00 AM – Moola Gang
Every now and then the threat of an incredible album is halted by the powers that be, whether because of in-house bullshit, a feeling that some truths are just too much for the masses, or because some bougie-ass artist can’t handle whatever terms are put in front of them. Many of these reasons point directly back to industry rule #4080, and while it’s frustrating enough that the t.I’s are able to screw an artist out of even more than they already take from them, when an artist themselves plays into this mess, it makes the whole story that much more sad. Basically it’s fucked up to see Mos Def off the 24 Hour Karate School album.
The revised tracklist was just released for the probably-never-gonna-drop Ski Beatz album which about 6 months ago was the hottest thing on the radar, only to have fallen victim to some sort of bullshit which has delayed it far past the point of it still being hype and now we see that the highly anticipated record has been stripped of all five Mos Def appearances, including on the already leaked “Prowler 2”. While the true reason may come out eventually, what’s obvious is yet again we have a situation where some bullshit has halted and changed the release of what could have been (and hopefully still will be) an incredible rap album. Nevermind the zero promotion and support this album will probably get, the content isn’t even going to be as good now that Dante has been stripped from the legendary producer’s compilation. Of course this isn’t the first time some bullshit like this has happened but unfortunately whenever it does, the whole album and usually artist subsequently suffers, or at the very least we the fans suffer by not being given the full content of the artist’s recording, the worst case being because some money-handler (pocket stuffer) at the label made some dickhead decision.
Most recently 3 Stacks was ripped off of Big Boi’s solo album and even though I’d say it was probably because ol’ boy came with a shitty verse (which given that he’s dropped like 3 verses in the last 5 years, it’s pretty sad to hear this low caliber shit) the fact remains that no Outkast reunion was allowed by bitch-ass Jive records (how come artists still fuck with them anyway?). Speaking of self-serving record labels who have clearly signed a deal with the devil, Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope apparently had a problem with a song on Wale’s debut that touched on the subject of skin color, something Iovine is quite sensitive to since he uses a white boy to take money away from black rappers on a regular basis, and so after being delayed months, Attention Deficit was finally released with a severe lack of promotion and eventually the world forgot about the awkward sort-of-co-host of last year’s MTV awards. And then there’s Charles Hamilton’s shelved album which leaked on the low and was not-surprisingly subtitled “The Album for Interscope Execs to Understand”.
Then there are the classic cases of Cormega’s booting out of The Firm costing him an album release, Large Professor watching The LP get bootlegged to shit before a release 14 years later, oh and 50 Cent having his still best album to date get cancelled due to his…uh…authenticity on the streets? I thought that’s what was supposed to sell albums, you know, that raw street shit, I mean damn that’s how the slimes at Interscope marketed Get Rich or Die Tryin’…..”buy this, the boy got shot 9 times”.
So if 24 Hour Karate School sucks there’s a good chance we can thank the label, although this instance involves Mos Def, which, given his history of spastic behavior, I wouldn’t be surprised if he randomly decided to be in one of his “damn the man” modes and just axe himself from an album already plagued with bullshit delay after bullshit delay. Like Ghost said, fuck the whole industry.
Down | DOWNLOAD
Marvelous | DOWNLOAD