Hopefully coming soon…

a review of Celph Centered’s Detroit’s Voice Volume 2….
If you don’t know who Celph Centered is, I can tell you that he is a Detroit underground emcee who is highly lyrically skilled…so stay tuned, folks:)

Exclusive Noah Jones interview

1. What truly motivated you to become a rapper?
-My passion for music and the attention and respect rappers get just for using words in a sentence…speech is a powerful tool that allows us to relate to each other and get our points across.
2. Who is your biggest influence in hip hop?
– Myself!…..im not influenced by anyone in the music industry…I’m influenced by the things I go through on a daily basis which i explain in my music…..I get inspired by other artists but not influenced…
3. What are your thoughts about the current state of hip hop?
– I really don’t like majority of the hip hop music out…it seems like its less creative and more gimmicky…because I’m a writer and I take time to create what I feel is good music, I hate to hear songs that seem like they were thrown together in a couple of minutes
4. You have lived in different places such as Peekskill, NYC, St Louis and now you live in California? Which place was the most inspirational for your music and why?
– Peekskill NY is my birthright…that’s where I got my personality and my drive for music….St Louis is where I learned how to open my mind and embrace different types of rap music (they listen to different stuff than in NY) and California is where I have had my most success so far because i have learned how to fuse the cultures of all 3 coasts to make me sorta like an emcee hybrid!!!
5. Since you got started as a rapper, what is the biggest challenge you had to face?
-The biggest challenge has been convincing people that I’m just as talented as their favorite rappers except i dont have the budget that they have….money makes people seem bigger than they actually are….
6. Which artist(s) (mainstream or underground) do you respect most in the game and why?
– I respect Twista’s grind, Ludas versatility, LL Cool J’s longevity, 50 cents achievements in such a short album span, Jay z’s influence over rap, Juelz’ voice, Eminems lyrical delivery and content, Big Daddy Kane for making me want to become a rapper, Nas for being the face of lyricism in NY, Outkast for daring to be different, common for not having to be cool in order to be cool, and Dr. Dre for changing the music culture for a whole coast!
7. According to you, which elements in your music make a unique artist of you?
-Concepts, (because I incorporate actual events in my songs)
Versatility, ( i go from R&B to street to conscious to controversial, to party, to club…i have no set style…i cant be typecasted into a certain genre of hip hop…..i make music for all types of listeners…..)
Delivery, (because i switch my flow patterns for every song)
professionalism, (because I one take all of my songs)
voice, (its different and recognizable)
showmanship, (onstage I do my best to put on a show and give the audience their moneys worth)
beat selection, (I choose beats from all regions not just where I’m located…so my music reflects the cultural diversities of the East, West, Midwest, and south)
I feel that I have elements from each of the artists mentioned in question # 6
8. A few words about your upcoming album, Conscience/ Controversy, that is due to release in April 2008?
-the album CONSCIENCE/CONTROVERSY is pretty much a mixture of some of the things that have plagued my life since childhood….the negative moments, the positive moments, my feelings for things such as religion, music, other rappers, my family life, my 9to 5 job, and how I feel about myself as a person….there are a lot of mood swings and personal insights that allow the listeners to get to know me as an artist, a person, a father, and a hard worker (hustler)
9. What inspires you to write your music?
-The many emotions that I experience on a daily basis…like family problems, stressful work environments, the pressure of the music business, being a good father, and my close friends that push me to keep going until time catches up with me (ahead of my time)
10. Which artist you haven’t collaborated with yet do you envision a collaboration with in a near future?
-I would love to do a fast rapping all-star joint with ME,LUDA,BUSTA,and TWISTA
11. Besides hip hop, which musical genres do you listen to?
-mostly just R&B
12. Having a special gift for writing since your early childhood, do you consider the lyrical part as the most important in rapping? If so, why?
-the lyrical aspect is extremely important but in my opinion whats most important is putting together the best possible song (from hooks, to message, to beat)
13. . If you could choose between Eastcoast, Westcoast or Midwest rap, which one would you pick?
– I cant really choose one…id take the Eastcoast flow, the Midwest and Southern love (they stand behind their artists) and the Westcoast producers (everyone out here makes beats lol)
14. Define your own music within a few words…
Noah Jones’ my space account.
Copyright2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Presenting one of Detroit's heavy weight emcees…

His name? Bobby Sealz.
Bobby Sealz is one of those Detroit underground emcees who priviledge heavy bass and keyboard sounds. His artistic wittiness probably lies in his astute mixing of dark basslines with some filthy hardcore elements that he intelligently combines with a sharp and raspy voice.
In I Got A Baller Belly, Bobby Sealtz flows with ease, taking over with the authority of his heavy weight status. Despite its darkness, the track isn’t totally deprived of humor.
Unlike the preceding song, Hot Spot is a mixture of softness and rhythmic rhymes. Bobby Sealz sharp voice totally kills it. Like the destructive action of a machete, Bobby’s words slaughter in a very merciless manner.
Discover Bobby Sealz, a man of passion here.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Famous & Flame of Iron Fist diss Killa Kaunn…

Those of you who read my recent interview of Darcey aka Rude of Iron Fist Records probably know that there are tremendous tensions prevailing inside of the label…
Without taking sides, I’d like to share Famous & Flame’s Chamocide diss in which both artists come hard at Killa Kaunn.
One must admit that both boys are incredibly skilled:) This is pure lyrical murder!
Judge by yourself!

Waajeed & Bling 47 present: The War mixtape (review)

Global rating of the product: 4.75 stars (a must hear)
If you are pretty much connected with Detroit hip hop scene Waajeed and Bling 47 have an original piece of work to present to the world. It resembles nothing else you ever heard yet.
The main element that comes to shine during the whole CD is the instrumental richness and the mastery in drum playing.
Life is a struggle during which humans seem to be more in a state of war than of peace. One gotta struggle to acquire what he really wants. True to the very ancient roots of hip hop, Waajeed and Bling 47 possess this amazing ability to make hundreds of African drums resonate into the listener s heart like a sole man s powerful and prophetic voice. Heartbeats alike, measuring tensions and time, creating a language in itself, the drums do indeed play a major role in many songs.
You could barely stay indifferent in front of so much instrumental mastery, that also allies an intelligent and eclectic use of keyboards and electric guitar sounds to the preexisting drum sounds.
I must say that I am really impressed in front of artists who manage to make their instrumentals speak louder than a human voice. Besides the beautiful sonority of the album, the beauty of the CD also relies in its old school flavor. The artists bless the mic with a beautiful flow and verbal dexterity.
Juggling with vowels, exercising their creativity, making hip hop for the love of it, the amazing emcees bring heat into their art.
The Big Beat is a subtle combination of powerful drum beats, organ, violin, electric guitar sounds and keyboard sounds: there is an army marching on, determined to take over by force. You will certainly love the complexity of the amazing instrumental track that totally speaks for itself, leaving place to some evaporated human voices in the background.
King Heroin is based on a James Brown sample. It describes the dangers of addiction-sarcastically, though.
Louder Than A Bomb will explode into your ear and take you by surprise after the short introduction. A fast flow delivery, a good old school style, some scratches in the background, each elements totally matches with the lyrical creativity.
Built on a dark bass background, Agent Orange develops a reflection about the mistake a person can make in his/ her life. Regardless of the mistakes we make, we need to keep the flame of our passion alive.
When you live in the hood, the state of war is permanent.
Prisoners Of War is probably the most powerful track of the album. Like bullets pouring out of a gun, the powerful reps emerge from the artist’s mouth , ready to smash the world lyrically. Enter into a metaphoric world in which juggling with vowels delivers the cipher’s deepest secrets.
Again, the drum beats play a major role in delivering a message of mortal combat in which only a mastered street poetry can win. Scratches sounds enhance the beauty of the well written old school track.
Globally speaking The War mixtape is a powerful demonstration of instrumental and lyrical knowledge.
The only weakness of the CD are the numerous spoken parts in my opinion. Besides that, it is excellent.
Give it a listen: you won’t regret it!
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

D12 's Bizarre celebrates new album with a release party (DetNews article)

Adam Graham / Detroit News Pop Music Writer
Read the original article here.
Bizarre, the portly D12 rapper and ex-“Celebrity Fit Club” star, is sitting in a Southfield recording studio where he’s finishing mixing his second solo album, “Blue Cheese & Coney Island.”
Next to him is a bag from greasy fast-food chain Wendy’s, which begs the question if he’s fallen off the “Fit Club” wagon.
“Oh, that’s not mine,” he says, laughing. “At least not for the paper it’s not.”
Bizarre — real name Rufus Johnson — may never be skinny, and truth be told, his fans probably wouldn’t want him to be. His oversized, tattooed stomach — which has become as much his signature as his shower cap and shocking, anything-goes rhymes — will likely be on full display when he celebrates the release of “Blue Cheese” tonight at U.S. 12 in Wayne.
The title of “Blue Cheese & Coney Island” refers to Bizarre’s dual worlds. One is Atlanta, where he moved four years ago and where blue cheese is a preferred dipping sauce for chicken wings, and the other is Detroit, where Coney Islands are on every corner.
Bizarre says the album, which hit stores this week, showcases his more serious side, though it still makes plenty of room for his over-the-top raps. On “Sex Tape,” he raps about having made, well, sex tapes with just about every star under the sun.
But there’s also tracks like “So Hard,” where Bizarre talks about moving on in the wake of the death of fellow D12 member Proof, who was gunned down at a Detroit nightclub in April 2006.
Bizarre says the album, which was recorded in Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, wasn’t supposed to be released until after D12’s third album was released. But with that project on hold — it won’t be released until after Eminem’s next album, and when that will materialize is anyone’s guess — Bizarre saw a chance to release an album and took it.
“People want to hear from us, and they ain’t heard from us in a long time,” says Bizarre, whose last album with D12 was 2004’s “D12 World.” “People want to know what we’re doing. They can consider this album as a pre-game warmup.”
Biz says the next D12 album is close to being finished, but Eminem has yet to record for it. As for when it will be released, “I have no idea. It’s outside of my control. It could be March, it could be May. Who knows?”
Despite living in Atlanta, Bizarre says he still spends roughly half his time in Detroit, and he says he and his D12 brethren need to stay productive with or without Eminem.
“We’ve gotta hold each other down,” he says. “We can’t sit around and wait on (Eminem) to tell us when to do something, we gotta get out here and take advantage of it and do it ourselves.”
You can reach Adam Graham at (313) 222-2284 or agraham@detnews.com.

Enter Rugged N Raw's enraged universe…

On a blues/soul sample with some rock’n roll accents, Rugged N Raw will take you by storm, with the force of a verbal hurricane. Some of you might dislike the mysoginistic content of his harsh and sarcastic Love Man, but one has to admit that the man handles his reps with an amazing verbal dexterity. You are gonna love his sense of rhythm, this strong voice, his hustle and flow attitute. In short the NYC artist possesses an incredible talent!
With the same rage and hardcore spirit, on a bouncy musical background made of catchy drum beats and keyboard sounds, Rugged N Raw spits his venom in Let The Ugly Out.
He Man This Is It: yes, this is how Rugged N Raw does it. A mad flow delivery, some witty punch lines a crazy musical background and an incredible strength characterize Rugged N Raw’s artistic power.
RNR is a powerful track that features underground legends Sean Price and Papoose whose mixtape king reputation spread all over the world. The song is a strong demonstration of the artists’ know how.
Don’t sleep on Rugged N Raw. You will be able to discover more about the incredible artist at his personal website and my space account.
Copyright2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Noah Jones, a man who lives for hip hop

Originally from Peekskill, NYC,Noah Jones has spent some time in St Louis, Missouri, before he decided to relocate to California. Noah Jones is no newcomer to the scene: the artist actually has 6 albums at his active.
Avid reader since his early childhood, Noah Jones soon developed some ability in handling words, first by writing short stories, then as a rap lyricist at the early age of 11.
Among Noah Jones’ many artistic assets, his strong voice that is capable of moving moutains.
I’d Rather Do Without is based on a powerful bass background during which Noah speaks out on real life subjects. He addresses to a friend who, apparently wasn’t able to appreciate his support to his true value. With a raspy voice sound, a good dose of anger that is symbolized by the harsh bass sounds and softened by a light rain of flute notes. Noah Jones gets as real as can be.
All I Want Is You is a rhythmic, nevertheless R n B sounding track about the woman in his life. If you like love songs, you should be delighted. Noah Jones mixes up rhythm, strength and softness at the same time on rhythmic drum beats and claps.
Betcha Man Can: every man has something to prove in front of other men when his girlfriend is present…he must prove he’s better in terms of masculinity, strength and intelligence.
On a rapid, entertaining, catchy musical background, Noah Jones flows like crazy.
Who Are You is a straight demonstration of Noah Jones’ lyrical power. Rich of sick punchlines, Noah knocks his opponents out very hard. Hip hop lovers will definitely like the battling mode with a Southern flavor.
Noah Jone’s current CD project is entitled Conscience/ Controversy and is due to release on April 2008.
Curious to know more about the skilled artist? Check him out here.
Copyright2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved

Bizarre/ Bizarre's World mixtape review

Global rating of the product: 4 stars
One could easily compare D12’s Bizarre with Latin God Janus: on the one hand, you have the fat belly sick hilarious rhymer who might shock some and please some others’ ears; on the other hand you have the hip hop passionate, the man who originally took part to the St Andrews battles, the talent discoverer who introduced Obie Trice to Eminem, the person who currently hosts live rap battles.
If you ever doubted it, Rufus Johnson is a hip hop connoisseur who is very well established in the hip hop business.
Hosted by Young Mase aka Mr Detroit City, the mixtape is introduced by an outbreak of demonic laughter in the background while Bizzy presents a remix of the Fat Boy dance. Bells and violins in the background and here goes Bizarre, making crazy moves on the Fat Boy dance. The atmosphere is euphoric as the curtain opens on D12 s Weirdo.
As the music goes on, be ready for some good psychopathic gangsta rap made in the Dirty Mitten during which you will be able to discover a lyrical witty Bizarre who walks and talks like a gangsta.
Track 3 has a filthy, humorous content. Soft, elastic keyboard sounds fully enhance the dirty-nasty song.
On track 4 , you will get dizzy with Bizzy of D-Twizzy: a crazy sounding musical background will lead you into the forbidden world of pills, weed smoking, ecstasy, orange mushrooms and yellow stars.
During Bizzy’s trip, you will feel a strange modification of his perceptions while he progressively skips the real world.
Violins, gunshots and crazy keyboard sound will plot together in order to create more excitement. Track 6 is a Bizarre-King Gordy association and other crazy trips to the moon.
Track 8 is more disappointing: very much RnB sounding, with a commercial appeal, the song is not among my favorites. Also, to offer some constructive criticism, I’m not feeling Bizzy’s club songs. It’s a matter of taste, I guess.
Track 10 is taken out of Bizarre s Blue Cheese N Coney Island album. One will recognize the beautiful So Hard song featuring the amazing vocal talent Monica Blair. Big Up on that one!
Track 11 is constructed on gunshots and catchy drum beats in which Bizzy sends some explosive lyrical bullets. I like the sick way he reps his hood.
Track 13 unveils the complicity that unites Bizarre and Kon Artis. Follow both artists’ strange clowning in the hostile hood.
Track 15 offers some humorous views on a bad purple dro trip.
Given the numerous track Bizarre’s World has to offer, I won’t review them track by track. However, and globally speaking, Rufus Johnson has done some good work, placing a special effort on the lyrical part of his CD. The instrumental richness also needs to be pointed out.
Sometimes overshadowed by Eminem’s success, Bizarre has succeeded in standing out. He has found his place as an independent artist besides his common work with the D12 group.
Entertaining, rich of many different styles, full of humor, the mixtape will allow you to travel through Bizarre’s mind. Humor, filthiness, drug addiction. You will also discover an artistic spirit that is totally dedicated to hip hop.
Don’t be afraid to enter Bizarre’s world: you will discover an artist of many colorful faces.
Copyright2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved