Dogmatic/ 8 Mile Chronicles CD review

Global rating of the product: 4.5 stars

Dogmatic is one of those Detroit underground emcees that inspire you respect from the beginning. Not as much known as his long term friend RIP D12’s Proof, Dogmatic has nevertheless the mastery of a veteran when it comes to hip hop skills.
If you have no idea about who Kevin Bailey aka Dogmatic actually is, I’d recommend you to first listen to Promatic, a CD he did with Proof. Promatic is a hard worked on CD in which Proof and Dogmatic’s talents are complementary. From a range of hilarious to more serious topics, Promatic includes some interesting collaborations and Sick Notes produced tracks.
You want to know more about the REAL 8 Mile, the actual border that separates black and whites communities in Detroit? Let Dogmatic introduce you into his 8 Mile chronicles.
Soft instrumentals, soft female vocals will lead you into the famous place where segregation, killers on the block, darkness, desperation and the harshness of an emcee’s struggle are part of the story. So many hip hop soldiers catch slugs for nothing. The song has some nostalgic accents. No romance, the truth in its roughness gets fully exposed.
Hitzville 313 is one of those beautiful sick-noted and entertaining track enriched with some good instrumentals. Dance along, get your hands up, feel the festive and euphoric atmosphere brought to you by pot smoking Dogmatic. Let him drop them hits.
Like Dat Matic featuring Stat Quo has a beautiful gansgta flavor. Violins and keyboards enhance the street atmosphere.
Rapid guitar and violin notes, catchy beats will allow Dogmatic to speak from his heart. Dogmatic will describe you the hood with its killaz and its weapons. Dogmatic shoots his words at you literally, creating an electrifying ambience.
Killaz On The Block is a very cadenced gig based on melodic violin sounds.
Da Fever beautifully enlightens Dogmatic’s lyrical performance. The artist shows a real nice flow delivery on the song.
Inventive skills, rhythm, good flow various and well handled instrumentals are the ingredients that will allow you to taste Dogmatic’s recipe with delight.
Let Me Put You On The D: swinging beats, colorful keyboard sounds fully draw you the hustling atmopshere of the D. Life is a hustle, particularly when you originate from the D.
8 Mile Road is a nostalgic track that Dogmatic revamped and renamed « 8 Mile’s tribute to Proof » after his friend tragically died on April the 11th in 2006. I reviewed the moving song that takes his whole meaning as a tribute to 8 Mile’s fallen soldier.
Earlier in April 2005, Detroit lost another valuable soldier, Blade Icewood who was shot in his car. Dogmatic pays tribute in mixing a style of his own with a Streetlordz flavor.
Who could better represent a place like the murderous 8 Mile than Dogmatic?
Lyrical soldier, gifted emcee, Dogmatic draws you a realistic picture of the D.
This CD is worth your attention. True hip hop heads will definitely like it!
Copyright 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Snoop Dogg/ Tha Blue Carpet Treatment CD review

Global rating of the product: 3. 5 stars
Snoop Dogg has disappointed me a lot lately, since he started collaborating with Pharell Williams in particular. His music had become an annoying, tasteless and sugarcoated mixture of R’n’B alike songs. However, it looks like the rap legend has put some more efforts into his most recent album. Not all of his songs nor collaborations have convinced me, but the album contains some strong and valuable tracks that keep it gangsta and appeal to more creativity.
Intrology takes the listener by surprise. Introduced by a dark instrumental background, featuring George Clinton, the prelude of the album will remind you of the old Snoop Dogg. Based on an enthusiastic rhythm, it describes a life of luxury and introduces the blue carpet treatment aimed at super stars.
Trumpets, keyboards, soft funky sounds draw a relaxing atmosphere while Snoop Dogg flows faster than the wind, contrasting with the funky/soul atmosphere of the song. Well done!
Crazy featuring Nate Dogg beautifully describes a California life style. Watered sounds are combined with soft female vocals. It is time to relax and to enjoy Snoop playing with the vowels. Sit back, relax and feel good: Snoop is taking you to a trip in a good West Coast style.
Vato is definitely worth your attention. It intelligently combines Snoop’s talent with Cypress Hill’s B Real genuine Latino style.
Follow the beginning of a beef and enjoy both rappers’ narrative skills in a chronic style. I recommend you the song and video to Vato.
Well…That’s That belongs to the songs I find superficial and horrible. Maybe it is also due to the fact that I never liked R Kelly. More strikingly, Party songs are not my cup of tea. No way.
Candy Dripping Like Water is quite disappointing too. It is not better than 50 Cent’s Candy Shop. The lyrics are poor and E 40, Mc Eiht, Goldie, Daz and Kurupt don’t help improving it. It sadly lacks imagination.
Get A Light featuring Damian Marley is not among my favorites either. I’m not really satisfied with the content nor with the use of the instrumentals that sound repetitive and boring as hell.
Gangbangin’ 101 is a Snoop/ The Game collaboration. Keyboard sounds, harpsichord notes and rhythmic claps will transport the listener into a Californian gangsta atmosphere.
Lax featuring Ice Cube has some police cars sirens in the background. The soft vocals strangely contrast with the sirens and will make you guess the dangerous and unsafe environment Cali actually is.
The song that I really enjoyed is Lil Crips. Built on somber bass sounds married with some banging lyrics, the song describes baby gangstas’ criminal activities. The song is rhythmic and well worked on.
Unsafe again is Round Here. Harpsichord notes combined with swinging beats totally describe the harsh environment of the LA hood. It ain’t safe to leave the house: you have been warned by a true OG.
Bitch I Knew has that beautiful G Funk flavor in the background. The song is luscious as hell. Sensitive souls better skip the song. Strong stomachs will probably enjoy the filthy song in which Snoop plays the role of a kinky pimp (you guessed it).
Globally, the albums offers some interesting musical perspectives from a man who totally made it in the rap game. In many songs, Snoop’s mastery of his art comes to shine. Unfortunately some other songs are much more disappointing and ways too commercial to me.
However, the listeners should give the album a chance, because of its highly positive assets mentioned above.
Copyright by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

NME Wreckidz presents Partnerz In Crime (CD review)

Global rating of the product: 4.5 stars
Big One’s Spanish flavor, its distorted scratches sounds and hammering piano notes will take you for a walk into the lyrical killers’ world. Enjoy the performance of an artist who makes music for the love of it. You probably guessed it: Sham is on the track with his invincible lyrics that totally match with the dark instrumental background.
Closed Casket is the follow up of song Nr 1. It is leaves no place for cowards in the game. Learn the art of war from lyrical soldier Troopa.
Think Fast combines piano and keyboard sounds with some beautiful guitar sounds. You are invited to use your brain if you want to be an astute player in the game.. Again, Sham shows some beautiful skills.
Gifted Boston underground emcee Mr Nash exposes wankstas in a total nudity. Fake Thugs get no love, that’s a matter of fact. The song is an invitation to keep it real. Soft piano sounds are interrupted by some strident siren sound. Take the instrumentals as a warning aimed at the posers in the hood. As the track goes on, distorted sounds follow the siren, strongly suggesting an unsafe atmosphere of danger.
Flow That welcomes you to hell. Hammering sounds, harpsichord sounds, scratches, slow beats fully draw you the picture of an upside down universe. Mad Pat likes it raw. So do I.
Grievance is a deep prayer from people who have been through a real rough time in the hood. Wolfgang Wize’s raspy voice puts the listener into the context of murder and death. Watch the daily nightmares that happen in the hood through the artist’s eyes.
Song Nr 9 will probably make the listener feel uncomfortable between the soft « Amore Amore » vocal in a typical Spanish style and Pedi Gang’s somber words that will turn his space into a bloody corrida in no time.
Partnerz in Crime is another beautiful occasion to appreciate Troopa’s talent and the clever use of the instrumentals.
Track Nr 12 is lead by Troopa as well. Soft piano sounds, catchy beats, astute lyrics, a good combination of scratches and rhythm makes Raize Da Roof highly enjoyable.
Globally, the Partnerz In Crime CD is rich of great artistic collaborations such as Sham, Mr Nash, Troopa, Mad Pat and many more. It also illuminates DJ Xplicit’s specific know how.
Partnerz In Crime won’t leave the listeners indifferent. Be so curious and taste some good Massachusetts rap.
Copyright 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Pedi Gang: a new NME Wreckidz CD

Global rating of the product: 4 stars
Bang Out is made of a mixture of harmonic piano sounds and rhythmic drum beats. Piano notes flood into your ear in a symphonic mode transporting you into a nostalgic and scary world in which confrontation with enemies is a daily duty.
Closed Casket starts in a very offensive atmosphere. Haters and snitches watch your mouth, because the Boston emcees come very hard at you, stabbing you lyrically and leaving you in a pool of blood. Piano, drums, keyboards underline the emcees’ bad intentions.
Sonata alike piano sounds combined with some rhythmic violin and keyboard sounds introduce the playful atmosphere of the Bucket song.
Lethal Weapons will allow the listener to appreciate underground emcee Sham’s talent. Sham’s lyrical performance is impressive, as always. The skilled rapper jungles with words with the dexterity of an acrobat. The violin-harpsichord instrumental background suggests a harsh struggling atmosphere. Pro Lung is also featured on the song.
Natural Born Hustla will take you by surprise, taking your ears to a rich and various musical background that fully fits into the Natural Born Hustla spirit.
Bang From Tha Block is a rhythmic track based on pan flute sounds that will give you a full description of the hood problematic.
Ask For City fully enlightens the artist’s nice flow delivery. Feel the passion, enjoy the inventive lyrics.
Without Love will draw you a picture of a love story in the real world. Violins, harpsichord sounds, rhythmic beats will make you feel the overheated ambiance of the track.
Globally, the NME produced CD is an interesting and creative piece of work in which many artists’ talent come to shine. It includes Sham, Pro Lung, X Conn and Bogart’s collaborations. The CD is enriched with the remixes of good songs such as Bang Out and Without Love.
Mr Dilligence did a great production work, as always.
Check out Pedi Bang, you won’t regret it.
Copyright2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Eminem/ The Re Up mixtape review

Global rating of the product: 5 stars

Drug dependence, the murder of your best friend, the collapse of your marriage can break an individual. After the flood of issues in which Eminem was literally drowning during the last months, many people thought that the skilled rapper would retire from the rap game.
However Eminem is a stand up man with that thick skin that allowed him to resist to life tempests.
Eminem is back with his crew, stronger than ever, bringing to you his new hard worked on CD, the Re Up mixtape.
Joyful violin sounds, gunshots, hammering drum beats starts Shady Narcotics which is the prelude to the mixtape in which Eminem introduces his crew: D12, Obie Trice, 50 Cent, Stat Quo, Bob Creek and Cashis.
From the oldest to the newest members, everyone has his precise place and plays his role in this valuable team work.
We’re Back: the shady soldiers are back, more offensive than ever, with razor blades alike works. Big mouth running haters be ready to be punched right in the face. Eminem, Obie, Bob Creek, Cashis and Stat Quo will smash the jealous hoes in the game. Any underground artist aims at becoming mainstream someday: so don’t hate, congratulate!
Gunshots, numerous violins, a dark bassline totally situate the context: the arise of a lyrical battle is imminent.
The heat increases as Obie Trice spits lyrical bullets on a Pistol Pistol sample.
As the sky gets cloudy and darker, you can smell the smoke in the air. Bizarre and Kuniva reinforce the roughness of the hell of a murderous ambience. Be ready for war while keyboard, drums and dark « murder » vocals combined with some gunshots will portray you the Detroit hood like it is.
I think that Bizarre and Kuniva’s beautiful performance needs to be pointed out. I recommend you the song. Don’t sleep on that one.
Everything Is Shady: let Cashis take over in the scurrilous themed song.
The Shady gladiators are teaming up and will leave their enemies lying lifeless, lyrically speaking.
Eminem and 50 Cent introduce you to The Re Up in a rhythmic beat box mode. The song is beautifully rhythmic, Eminem’s vocal performance is well handled from the beginning to the end. 50 Cent will keep on with the same beautiful spirit that will remind many of you of the Get Rich Or Die Trying album. Good job!
You Don’t Know is a classic, already. I reviewed the song and the video a while ago.
Jimmy Crack Corn is based on a Yellow Brick alike musical background. The song is provocative. Eminem humors those who are running their big mouths in the rap game.
Trapped will feature RIP Big Proof as a tribute to the gifted fallen D12 soldier.
When Swifty and Kon Artis unite their talents, bombs are thrown on the scene. Swinging beats, light piano sounds mixed up with violins and keyboars will totally enhance the « killa » track.
Chord sounds, harpshichord notes, light piano sounds, a good dose of offensiveness, sharp and incisive words will underline Bob Creekwater’s good performance. Bob Creek is one of the most underrated Shady Records signed artist, but he is nevertheless talented. Check him out!
I fully enjoyed Eminem’s Public Enemy track that gets political and offers some insight about assassination plots.
Eminem fully masters his flow and shows some good lyrical skills on the well handled song.
Eminem concludes the mixtape with No Apologies. In a long monologue, Eminem shows some lyrical dexterity and confronts critics. No apologies for being himself and for speaking his mind. The « arsenic writer », the lyrical genius is back with some beautiful, poetic lines:
« My head hit’s the pillow, a weeping willow, i can’t sleep, a pain so deep it bellows
But these Cellos help just to keep me mellow, hand’s on my head, touched knees to elbow
I’m hunched over, emotion just flows over, these cold shoulders are both frozen, you don’t know me… »

Monotonous piano and keyboard sounds contrast with the sudden introduction of bells and violins. Marshall Mathers’ voice and lyrics are an outlet for the bottled rage. The song fully enlightens Eminem’s lyrical mastery. I love the track, because it is unique in its creativity and outshines all the excellent tracks of the Re Up.
Globally speaking the Re Up enlightens the whole Shady Records crews’ artistic collaborations. Eminem is so sorry to disappoint all the people who nearly buried him lyrically and artistically. The tight emcee is backed by his crew that also shows some good skills.
The Re Up is worth your interest. I’d strongly advice you to own it in your hip hop library.
Copyright 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Straight from the gutta: Chop Chop

He’s dirty in his lyrics and possesses an incredible good flow delivery: Chop Chop is an artist from Oklahoma City. Chop Chop causes much more damage than storm Katrina while shooting some offensive lyrics. Chop Chop will eat his adversaries literally, chew them until they are totally defenseless and puke them with disgust.
His my space account will allow the listener to discover the lyrical missiles the gifted artist sends at his enemies.
Take It How You Wanna takes you by surprise with some raw keyboard sounds that introduce you into a scurrilous environment. Chop Chop attacks his opponents, rich of a merciless attitude. No place for compromises, take it how you wanna.
Pussy Ass Niggz confronts cowards as the chorus offensively points out.
Chop Chop’s gritty voice is intelligently mixed up with dark instrumentals and laughter in the background. Better not mess with the intrepid straight OG, because he’ll be digging your grave in no time.
Stand Up draws trouble at a party. Light synthesizers notes, bass sounds, Chop Chop’s surgical lyrics sign his enemies death.
Chop Chop’s music originates from the gutta. Be prepared for some creative and incisive lyrics, a stormy flow, a dose of dirtiness and gun talk.
Check out Chop Chop here.
Copyright2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Diamonds In The Rough/ Dirty Mitten mixtape review

Global rating of the product: 3.5 stars
Diamonds In The Rough is a compilation of Detroit talents. As much as I enjoyed some huge Detroit talents on the mixtape, I must admit that some artists totally spoilt it because of the weakness of their performance. I have been a huge supporter and promoter of the Detroit underground scene for years. As the non Detroiter I actually am, I have been one of those external eyes that could give the world some insight about local unknown Detroit talents. However, the rules that apply to a family also apply to the Detroit underground scene: you have to be more severe with the ones you love most and I think I have some constructive criticism to offer about Diamonds In The Rough.
Will the Thrill introduces the mixtape on a Fight Music instrumental background. Detroit City of murder, cutthroat city comes to shine in the CD.
Everything You Got is built on piano accords and rhythmic beats. Ketchphrase is taking over, ready to out rhyme his opponents. The song is well done and brings you back to the true spirit of hip hop, keeping it lyrical from the beginning to the end.
Brice totally enlightens Big Herk’s talent while the song exposes gold diggas. You gotta love the Detroit veteran’s skills. Guitar sounds totally match with the swinging beats.
Marquis Porter’s In The City beautifully describes thug life in the hood of Detroit. It is all about survival in the City. Soft vocals contrast with the raw lyrics. Marquis Porter tells you the streets like they are. The vocals contain some nostalgic accents. Well done.
Trumpets, electric guitars and soft vocals will totally underline Paradime’s freestyle.
Chief’s performances have disappointed me. I didn’t like his synthetic chorus on City Boy, nor did I find him convincing in What I Do. His voice sounds weak compared with lyrics that are supposed to represent a hustler’s mind. How are you supposed to punch somebody with a weakened fist?
Jay Hustle sounded very monotonous on Live And Let Die. So did his instrumentals. The artist needs to increase his creativity as far as I am concerned. The Live And Let Die theme gives me an unpleasant impression of dejà vu.
Trumpets, some good old blues accents in the refrain, a real nice flow delivery, Bronze Nazareth spits some hot fire in The Bronze. Violins increase the words of faith from a struggling man. I loved this song. I recommend it to you all.
Another must hear is Fatt Father from the Detroit’s Fat Killaz ‘s In The Wind song. Feel the lassitude of a grinding man. Feel the pain of a man who is daily confronted with murder in the hood. Violins, dope ass beats, keyboard sounds reinforce the beauty of the song. As the sun sinks and the sky dresses with darkness, a man is hoping for a better future.
If you haven’t heard Mu’s brilliant The Flood mixtape, you will probably be pleased to discover his No Gimmicks song.
The creative artist uses oriental instruments that he intelligently combines with some very raw lyrics. Absolute brilliance brought to you by Detroit underground emcee Mu. Don’t sleep on this track!
PL’s Follow Me didn’t convince me. The weak claps are a foretaste to some weaker lyrics. I am not feeling the party track at all.
Fortunately, Purple Gang’s Flame is here to bring some pure fire with 4 Quarter Composure. The powerful track is built on violins, keyboard sounds, soft vocals, a good dose of self confident words, a raw spirit straight outta Detroit. Flame is a busta who will erase his enemies lyrically with the force of a bulldozer.
Piano notes, keyboards, rhythmic drum beats will allow One Be Lo to step up with his great lyrical assets and good flow delivery.
Abrasive Method’s Overdose is also worth your listen. Words and beats are nicely combined. The track is hilarious. Electronic sounds in the background manage to create a surrealistic atmosphere.
Quest Mc Cody will make you listeners feel his passion for hip hop in Can’t Leave Rap Alone. Dark electric guitar sounds, rapid beats, an unbeatable flow, creative lyrics make this song a hit. Don’t miss this one.
Paradime and Guilty Simpson will lead a merciless battle against « rap faggots » in Rap Faggots Part 1 and 2. I recommend you both songs, because they are brilliant.
The Disregarded’s performance in Uh Oh needs to be underlined too. Swing along on their rhymes.
I already reviewed Mr Hash and Marv Won’s Suicide Ride song. The Villian and The Ego’s association led to some impressive results such as this song.
Killa Kaunn’s soft Can’t Nobody is a beautiful song from a son to his mom.
Violins, dark piano sounds, keyboards, rapid beats will make you totally feel Nizzy’s song who masters flow delivery and who spits total fire.
No presentation needed for Royce Da 5.9 who is already an underground legend. Hear Who Want Some from the mouth of a Detroit hip hop soldier.
The Incredible is a beautiful Almighty Dreadnaught’s lyrical composition. Enjoy the scratches, the beats, the harsh instrumentals and the strong words of men who believe in hip hop to the fullest.
Globally The Diamonds In The Rough is a good piece of work. There are some brilliant Detroit artists on the CD. Unfortunately, several songs disappointed me a lot, mainly because of the artists’ lack of creativity.
My advice: cop the CD in any case, but mind the gap between weak artists and brilliant Detroit underground legends.
Copyright 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Tupac’s voice from the grave: The Don Killuminati album review

Global rating of the product: 4.5 stars
Although Tupac’s Don Killuminati album has been released two months after his death, it had been recorded while Tupac was still alive. However, the CD gives the listener the impression of post mortem testimony.
The circumstances of Tupac’s death remain a mystery to many hip hop fans and many people still speculate about Tupac being still alive.
Tupac Amaru Shakur’s was a spiritual person who used the symbolic of death and resurrection in his music.
In the Don Killuminati, Tupac takes the nickname Makavelli. Did Tupac fake his death? Who knows. Let’s explore his posthumous work.
Dark Bell sounds introduce the dark background for Tupac’s Seven Day Theory. As the heaven darkens with black clouds, Tupac talks against traitors in the music industry and names several names; among them the Death Row label is mentioned as well.
Feel the nightmarish atmosphere of a man on the run. Cellos, keyboards, gunshots and rhythmic beats will intensify the feeling of insecurity that is expressed in the track.
Hail Mary is maybe the best known song on the Don Killuminati album. Revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold.
Taste Tupac’s revenge that is spiced up lyrically and well handled instrumentally. The spiritual battle is a battle of mental thoughts and outspoken words during which bad and evil combat good souls with no mercy. You have to use mental dexterity and physical strength to battle the hidden world of the demons whose aim is to destroy you.
Bell sounds, organs, dark voices are mixed up with a joyful « California Love » sounds. Death Row is Tupac’s target in Toss It Up. I really enjoyed the « Play On » theme on the song as well as Tupac’s verbal dexterity.
To Live And To Die In LA contains some soft synthesizers and vocals and introduces you into a festive LA ambiance. Welcome To the City of Angels where life can be a living hell when you’re from the ghetto.
Tupac is a great narrator who teaches you about everyday all day in the LA ghetto, the love, the hatred, the similarities and differences.
Feel a thug’s love for his city.
Blasphemy starts on a noisy background built on multiple voices that represent a legion of demons. Rhythmic beats and lyrical bullets are sent from Tupac’s mouth against his enemies. His words sound prophetic and dissect his enemies intention. The song has some beautiful reggae accents too. Be ready for Judgment’s Day.
Soft balalaika notes start Life Of An Outlaw. If you want to understand thug life, open your ears when Tupac tells it to you like it is. Guitar and bass sound enhance the feelings of a hectic and unsafe life. Outlaws barely rest. Each second can be a matter of life and death. Enjoy the way an astute wordsmith puts creative lyrics ahead.
Krazy unveils the listeners Tupac’s state of mind about the life he lives in the hood. Electric guitar notes totally fit with the thoughts of a hood soldier who feels confused and lost, as he looks back to the past, analyzes the present and envisons his future. You have to keep your head up, no matter what you go through. So many thoughts, so many directions, so much confusion: feel the lassitude and monotony expressed in Krazy.
White Man’z World exposes the harshness of Tupac world and black men’s pain. Even in present times very few white people realize how hard it is to grow up as a black person in a while man’s world, unless they have lived in a black ghetto or they have been close to black people. Open up your ears and your mind to the black ghetto’s prophet who will speak the truth about his folks‘ pain.
Me And My Girlfriend is a description of thug love. Feel the satisfaction of a Bonnie and Clyde couple to be happy to share a life of crime and an immense complicity. Soft guitar sounds will reinforce the romance between thug lovers.
Piano, flute, keyboard sounds, soft vocal introduce Hold Ya Head. Feel the pain that is a constant element in Tupac’s music. An outlaw speaks about hard times and hopes for a better life.
The album closes with Against All Odds. Catchy beats contrast with some sweet flute sounds. Tupac confronts his enemies and takes his final revenge.
Gangsta rapper, street poet, philosopher, Tupac certainly is, among people like Marcus Garvey, a black hero. No matter if he lived the life of an outlaw, Tupac spent his life fighting against oppression, racial discrimination and for more equality between people. His life, his music, his tragic death and « resurrection » on the musical scene as Makavelli make a myth of him.
The thug poet will live on for generations of hip hop heads.
Copyright 2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved