13 February 2018

VIDEO: PRhyme - Era ft. Dave East

About a week ago we got the visuals to the first single from PRhyme 2, "Era". It's been a little over 3 years since we heard from the dynamic duo. But if you've been following Royce or Preem, you've been fiending for this project since the sequel was first teased about 2 years ago. The duo tapped Harlem emcee Dave East to split the lyrical duties with Nickel. Dave East is on a SERIOUS upswing in his career. East is riding the high of his own sequel project P2 (Paranoia 2) that dropped about a month ago. East switches up his flow to ride the stripped down Preemo beat, but remains true with his signature raw style.

But then Royce Da FUCKING 5'9" drops his BARS. Coming second to Nickel (especially in his own joint) is nothing to be ashamed about. East goes HARD. But Nickel goes INSANE. The way he effortlessly switches up his flow is classic Royce. And his metaphors are out of this world. Again, classic Royce. I love when two lyrical emcees team up to push each other to elevate their game. I have no doubt that Royce went as hard as he did because he knew the young East was gonna bring that fuego. As I mentioned, Dave East is aware that he needs to strike when the iron is hot. And that iron don't get hotter than a Preemo beat on a PRhyme track.

The video is more artistic than you would expect. A large dark room is filled with 4 (5?) rows of people from all walks of life. You get lines of people that are old/young, different races and from various occupations. Within this very organized scene you see Dave East, Royce and DJ Premier. In addition to this stage you two very juxtaposed scenes: you get flashes of a police officer (looks like SWAT, or something tactical) beating a black male and another scene of a black male beating up a person wearing the KKK garb. If the strength of this single (and the thoughtful nature of the video) is a glimpse as to what Preemo and Nickel are cooking up, we got another top shelf project next month.

Peep "Era" video below.

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07 February 2018

BITM Podcast Ep. 4 - 2017 Wrap - Up

The BITM crew is back with our first podcast episode of 2018!  On this episode, we finish discussing the last few albums of 2016, and jump into a few notable 2017 albums as well.  TwonJonson and The Niftian trade opinionated blows as stayfly remains neutral and plays his role as the voice of reason.  Just to name a few artists we touch on in this episode, we discuss Ab-Soul, Logic, ATCQ, De La Soul, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar.

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06 February 2018

VIDEO: ILL Conscious - The Narrative ft Jay Royale

One of my boys sent me this single a few weeks ago. Had it on deck for a review, but I slept on it. Not really slept, more like knocking out a rack of album reviews and getting ready for our latest podcast. But I was hit with the follow up video to "The Narrative" single a few days ago. I've been aware of the existence of ILL Conscious for a few, but for one reason or another he fell under my radar. Which is crazy because the few tracks I've heard from him have been dope. With the blog, IG (I'm the lead for the squad) and the podcast, I'm even more immersed in the culture than ever. Sometimes there just ain't enough hours in the day to catch everything.

ILL Conscious is a Baltimore emcee who ain't even 30 yet (well 29, so comment still true). In the few tracks I've heard before "The Narrative", I would compare his rhyme scheme to a young AZ. But after hearing his latest joint, I can definitely see a touch of Big L in his flow. Everyone calm down. I ain't saying this dude is the second coming of a AZ/Big L hybrid. But if you know me, you know I always differentiate between the rappers from the emcees (I'm not gonna break that all the way down now, maybe for a future podcast). Emcees are students of the culture and have superior lyrical abilities (among other things). And for me, ILL checks all them boxes. Now onto the track.

The single benefits from a Golden Era influenced instrumental created by Venice Beach producer Eyedee. Real talk, this joint sounds like it jumped straight out of Doe or Die. The intro alone sets the mood with some soulful vocals (I STILL can't find out what sample it's from). Once the beats drops, ILL rides the track with an insanely smooth flow. If you need DEM BARS in your life, this joint will provide you with that lyrical sustenance. I can bring up more emcee references to compare ILL's style, but I won't. Just know this young dude is a prefect blend of past and present lyricists (in terms of influences, of course this dude is his own man). Enter Jay Royale, another Bmore spitter cut from the same cloth. The complimentary pairing of these emcees seems effortless. It kind of makes you wish for a Jada/Styles back and forth. The pair give you a glimpse into that Bmore life with grimey bars and metaphors. The track ends with DJ TMB chopping up a few vocals from Mobb Deep, Jay Z, and KRS ONE (I might have missed one or two others), providing a perfect bookend to the track.

The video for "The Narrative" fits naturally with the grimey bars and instrumental. The duo jump from a corner store, a residential and the metro. Besides the j.o.b. in Maryland, I ain't that acquainted with that many Bmore areas. Except for the metro of course. That's a DMV staple. But I'm sure there are a few landmarks that native Baltimoreans(?) will recognize. There is a "low fi" quality to the video that adds to the authenticity of the overall product. So whether you bumping the track in the whip or you watching the video at work, you will not be disappointed.

Final thought: this joint is a street BANGER. "The Narrative" is the debut single off of ILL Conscious' upcoming 2nd album, The Prerequisite. Keep your ears to the streets for that to drop (think I saw somewhere it was February 19th). And run through his first LP, The Essence, and his mixtape catalog. Bmore stand up.


Want your single, video or album featured/reviewed with BITM? Get at us:
https://www.instagram.com/bestinthemix/ (this might be best option)

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09 January 2018

REVIEW: Statik Selektah - 8

On December 8th, we got Statik Selektah's 8th studio album, 8. Obviously continuing with the number wordplay he started with his previous album, Lucky Number 7. Now that the holiday rush is finally dying down and I got over my review fatigue (I am not a machine), I am able to get back to form to start the year off right. Mr. Selektah has been climbing up my "top DJ/producer" list the past decade or so. His latest offering is another eclectic mix of rappers and emcees paired with his ever evolving sound. But let's just jump into it. Stop wasting time in 2018.

The soulful boom bap track "But You Don't Hear Me Tho" is an instant classic. Statik taps fellow ROC NATION label mates the muthafuckin' Lox to take on the lyrical duties. Statik said, “This is classic hip hop music, for lovers of hip hop music. No gimmicks.” The legendary trio ride the smooth instrumental like the vets they are. Each emcee (Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss) gives us nostalgic bars and take trips down their respective memory lanes. Not only do they reminisce about their personal upbringing, but they also recall what Hip Hop meant to them in it's early stages. Statik flexes his cutting skills and drops scratches throughout the track. You can't get a more polished joint than this one.

Another hit (hit for me, not radio hit) is the track "Nobody Move" with Raekwon and Royce Da 5'9". The grimey track is LACED with crazy hard (pause) bars and metaphors from these two lyrical titans. Raekwon hits us with raw Purple Tape type lyrics that prove that this living legend has a hold of the fountain of youth. Royce makes Detroit proud with his top shelf metaphors and wordplay. Both emcees gives us different points of view but find common ground with a hunger that was essential in the Golden Era of Hip Hop.

Statik has been averaging about 18 tracks per solo albums (8 has 18). Plus his 17 collab albums, a pair of EPs, and that's not even getting into his mixtape arsenal and production credits. All that to say this: the man has been HUSTLIN' and has made a name for himself in the Hip Hop history book. That name allows him to comprise the CRAZY features found on 8: 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Run The Jewels, Action Bronson, Wale, G-Easy, Joey Bada$$, The Lox, Termanology, Conway, Westside Gunn, Crimeapple, Millyz, Nick Grant, Avenue, Chris Rivers, Joyner Lucas, Tek, Wais P, Sean Price, Cousin Stizz, Curren$y, PNB Rock, Lil Fame, Royce Da 5'9", Raekwon, B-Real, Everlast, No Malice, Prodigy, Juelz Santana, and Plays. As always you have to respect the fact that he can get this gumbo to talent. And the emcee pairings on single tracks is another skill altogether. Tracks that pair Raekwon and Royce, or G-Easy and Joey Bada$$, or Tek, Wais P and Sean Price are a true Hip Hop heads wet dream (pause #2 of 2018). But in comparison to his previous projects (Lucky Number 7, What Goes Around, and my personal favorite Extended Play) this one feels a hair disjointed. It's a catch 22. With such an array of options, this album is sure to please the masses. But it might not hold an individuals interest throughout. By no means is this album a flop. If you love Hip Hop, you'll enjoy this album. Point blank. If you can't find a track you love, rethink your Hip Hop head status. You know this is special project if he was able to get some Prodigy verses on an Alchemist assisted track. Besides Alchemist (or Havoc), you ain't gonna see P verses out there like that. Either way you cut it, Statik sent Hip Hop out the right way in 2017.

Peep videos and album below.

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03 January 2018

MAD Skillz - Murda Gram

Dammit I spoke too soon.  Shoulda known Skillz wasn't gon let this shit slide.  A day after my post about Skillz being lazy, he claps back at Uncle Murda in true veteran fashion.  He took it back to the days when people didn't tolerate biting someone's whole style and trying to profit from it.  Even though Uncle Murda's Rap Ups these past few years have been vastly superior to Skillz, it was more due to an overall lack of effort on Skillz part because the VA emcee is a far greater rapper than Uncle Murda ever was.  Neither one of them are really making much noise as artists these days, so I feel like both of them have the time to make this grow into a legit battle, unlike these pussy ass battles we've had from Meek and Drake, to Remy and Nicki, and most recently Ma$e and Cam'ron.

Helluva way to kick off 2018, fellas.  If Uncle Murda pulls a Meek and takes 3 months to respond, his nonexistent career might actually be over cuz Skillz completely buries that nigga on this track.  As a fan of the culture, I truly hope this is not another one-sided affair.  Peep the track below as the clock ticks for Uncle Murda's clap back.

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02 January 2018

Skillz vs. Uncle Murda - RAP UP 2017

I'm not even gonna sugar coat it, it's time for Skillz to hang it up.  Look man, helluva run but your spot got snatched a couple years ago.  Uncle Murda's brand of Rap Ups these past couple years seem to just hit harder than his counterpart's in all facets.  He infuses more energy and wit into his bars that manage to hold your ear better than Skillz's lazy efforts these past couple years.

The dichotomy between the two is interesting though.  It's like the devil and the angel on each shoulder, but when has anyone ever cared about what the angel has to say?  That shit is boring and corny, and instead, most fans are gravitating toward what the grimy street dude has to say.  Uncle Murda understands how to keep listeners entertained, while Skillz seems to just be doin this shit for the hell of it at this point.  I was hoping the competitive aspect would force Skillz to go back to mid-2000s form, but this 2017 Rap Up ain't it.  Peep both Year-End Rap Ups below.

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15 December 2017

REVIEW: Fabolous & Jadakiss - Friday on Elm Street

On Black Friday most people woke up to new game systems, TVs, Bluetooth speakers, phones and fresh gear. I managed to cop a PS4 and some thangs. But on Friday morning as I logged into work from home, I also unwrapped my pre-ordered purchase of Friday on Elm Street. The previously titled Freddy vs. Jason album has been buzzed about for well over a year. Fabolous has been locking down the mixtape game since the turn of the century (with a handful of solid studio joints). And Jadakiss' catalog as part of the all mighty LOX since the late 90's, and his solo career since '01, have cemented his legacy in the game. So to say expectations were high for this collab would be an understatement. Fab might have enjoyed more commercial success than Kiss, but Fab's core fans know the Brooklyn emcee is not a one dimensional commercial artist. So we have two strong lyricists who styles should complement each other. But I am always interested in the actual pairings in these types of projects. Kiss is clearly the better emcee (agree to disagree if you think otherwise, but peep his catalog and get back at me), so I was actually very curious to see how Fab would fare. Y'all know the drill, let's get into a few tracks and see how this tag team turned out.

A few days before the release of Friday on Elm Street, we got a teaser trailer (video below). We start the album with the "F vs J Intro" track, which uses parts of the female voice over from said trailer. The intro is broken up sonically into two parts: first is Fab's half, and Jada handles the second half. Both emcees channel the supernatural characters they represent. Fab, as Freddy Kruger, starts the track with sinister bars that take shots are other emcees. He doesn't just beat all his challengers, he strikes fear in their hearts. As such a powerful villain, Fab looks around the landscape and realizes he is untouchable. AND THEN THE BEAT SWITCHES. Jada attacks the beat with aggressive and violent metaphors. Jada paints vivid and graphic pictures of his victims and their demise. Jada as Jason Voorhees spits bars that, like Fab, assert his dominance among other emcees. Producer DJ Tedsmooth even sprinkles (or another word that goes better with a horror movie themed album..showers?) in a few "KillKillKill" echoes that mimic the "ChChCh AhAhAh" (I've been told/or read that it is actually "JaJaJa SonSonSon") from the Friday the 13th movies.

With a strongly thematic album like this one, I didn't really expect too many songs to veer away from the cohesive "look and feel" of the project. But "Talk About It" is a great example of two artists who understand the podium and power (and responsibility) they have. Hip Hop is many things. With many sub genres. But one of the core characteristics of rap is shining a light on current and paste events in society, being a journalist of the streets. Primarily events and situations dealing with minority communities. With Teyana Taylor on the hook, Fab and Kiss address issues affecting our country the last couple of years. Touching on topics that range from: cop killings, drug dealings, broken school systems, rape/abuse, Bill/Hilary Clinton, guns, race relations, prisons, voting, medical insurance, demonstrations and protests, the National Anthem, equality, Colin Kaepernick, Instagram, MAGA and our current president. Both emcees sound  an alarm and ask for a call to action from the listeners. While actions are more important than words, they are aware that actions start with a plan, dialogue, and/or conversation.

Choosing Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees as the subject matter to be the inspiration for the album was a gamble. But one that paid off. The main reason being that they really didn't force the theme. So really it's a thematic album, but..not? Besides the intro and few mentions here and there, you can't really tell it's a "Freddy/Jason" inspired album. I don't really see this as a bad thing, but I can see how people might feel that that makes the album disjointed. If you were to listen to a single track with no context or content of the rest of the album, you would think "oh, this is a Jada joint featuring Fab" (or vice versa). Personally I didn't really want a whole "horror-core" album that is over saturate their bars full of blood, guts and gore. Nor did I want lazy album with entire tracks devoted to horror movie tropes and metaphors. Out of the 12 tracks, I REALLY like 9. I could have done without "Stand Up", "All About It" and "Stand Up (Remix)" (really no need for two of these, might as well just got rid of the original track). These tracks sound the way you would expect from songs that feature Future, French Montana, Yo Gotti and Jeezy (well, not so much Jeezy). But if I'm being honest, I don't dislike them as much as I normally dislike similar sounding tracks. And at the gym, these joints def give you that hype energy. So with a few drinks in me, and in the right setting, I might could actually almost maybe enjoy them. But besides these tracks, the album is laced with socially conscience bars, not just the aforementioned "Talk About It" track. Other tracks like "Soul Food", "Principles", "I Pray", and "Nightmares Ain't As Bad" are DOPE. And the Fab-less track, "Ice Pick", gives us the classic back and forth from Jadakiss and Styles P. It might be one of the best tracks. No offense Fab. "Ice Pick" is dedicated to Ruff Ryders A&R Jay “Icepick” Jackson who past away this year. But there were a few tracks where I thought Fab KILLT the joint. "I Pray" being one of them. So if you were expecting tracks that strictly adhered to a horror movie theme, you might be disappointed. But if you're a Fab and Jada fan, and enjoy songs that sound like Fab and Jada tracks, then you probably need to take Friday on Elm Street for a few spins. 

Peep trailers and the album below.

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24 November 2017

REVIEW: Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time

Happy Thanksgiving from the BITM family to yours. We all know this time year is dumb BUSY (hopefully in a good way though). But with 2017 almost in the rear view, we had to make sure we got this Big K.R.I.T. review in. The Mississippi native dropped his third studio album, 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time, at the end of October. This is his first double disc LP. So sit back, relax, and peep this KRIT review on your (hopefully) day off. 

So what Big KRIT did was break up the LP into two discs. The first "disc" is written from the Big KRIT persona. And the second disc is from Justin Scott's perspective (Justin Scott being his gubmint name, gubmint). The first 11 tracks give you what you expect from KRIT. Braggadocio bars, dope metaphors and trunk rattling beats. On the track "Big Bank", KRIT is able to go bar for bar with the king of swagger and bravado, T.I. This energetic joint hits you with lavish lyrics and a Mannie Fresh "outro" that transitions you to the next sub shaking track. But one of my early favorite tracks is his "smoke record" "Layup". On the surface it sounds like a typical smooth melodic track. But once you listen to the lyrics you hear verses full of struggle sandwiched between the more positive hooks. A layup is suppose to be an easy point. So while KRIT is enjoying the layups he's had in life, he is also aware of the harder times he's gone through. The final track on the first disc is "Get Away". This is another favorite of mine, classic KRIT. In a couple of verses we get a plethora of complex themes wrapped in harmonic flows. To me this is quintessential KRIT. Music that is accessible because of his musicality while at the same time littered with intricate lyrics and strong subject matter. In an interview, KRIT said with this song he wanted to "have something that knocks and bounces but still give you good medicine". That's KRIT all day. 

The second Justin Scott disc dives even deeper into the introspective and personal side of Big KRIT. The sans rapping intro titled "Justin Scott" is essentially an old school, soulful sounding instrumental with the singing of "forever is a mighty long time". The rest the disc touches on topics like: religion, relationships, love, hate, depression, anxiety, addiction, family, fame, faith, death, race, police, and wealth (among others). Songs like "Price of Fame" address KRIT's fears of dealing with fake friends with ulterior motives. And his greatest fear of the problems that come along with fame and his family interactions. The final track, "Bury Me In Gold", attempts to address the complicated nature of material wealth. KRIT questions the duality of wanting for an object that is so valuable and at the same time completely worthless in the big scheme of things. The gold chains and rings that he yearned for in past will mean nothing when he passes away. While the topic is dark, KRIT is able to put a more hopeful vibe on the track. Infusing it with faith and ending with KRIT speaking more on the matter. 

The first disc gives us the southernplayalistic KRIT, full of cars, flash and funky beats that shake the pavement. The second gives us a more intimate look into the private life of the man, Justin Scott. If your a fan of KRIT, this album is for you. The first disc is more typical of what you might expect from the emcee/producer. With features from other southern artists, like the aforementioned T.I., Bun B, Pimp C (!), and CeeLo Green. You get a blend of that funk, jazz, soul and bumping tracks. On the second disc you get more melodic and bluesy sounds, except for the gospel infused "Keep the devil Off". KRIT makes sure that we end the year on a good note (and not on a Cardi B one, you know the song). While I think the project would have benefited from some editing (double disc albums are tricky), the overall album is a success. If you haven't taken this one for a spin, make sure you round up 2017 with it in your speakers. 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time is definitely something to be thankful for. Sorry, had that one in back pocket all day. 

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27 October 2017

REVIEW: Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

The squadron at BITM try not to post our reviews quickly for the sake of trending with the initial flurry of online reviews. Instead, we prefer taking LPs, EPs, and mixtapes for real day in life spins: in the whip (of course), through speakers at home, and through headphones at work and at the gym. So with about a month under my belt with Rapsody's latest and greatest, I've had time to reflect on the body of work and the overall impact it has on the current Hip Hop landscape. Rapsody's grandmother, Laila, served as the inspiration for the album which is aptly titled Laila's Wisdom. This is Rap's second LP, but first under the Roc Nation imprint. While we've been champions of the Snow Hill emcee since the jump, we are very pleased to see her stock take an exponential rise in the last couple of years. Hard work pays off, and this album that was 2 years in the making is proof of that. So without further ado, let's jump into a few tracks. 

The intro/titular track, "Laila's Wisdom", sets the tone for the rest of the album. The Nottz produced single (VA stand up!) starts with a sample of Aretha Franklin's "Young, Gifted and Black" and continues with gospel vocals over a heavy piano instrumental. [The Queen of Soul tangent: The song "Young, Gifted and Black" also served as Aretha's 1972 album title. Aretha's titular track is a strong gospel inspired song reminding young black children that no matter how hard or unfair life seems, they are "young, gifted and black". Now back to your regularly scheduled review, already in progress.]  Rapsody's intro channels her grandmother's advice and...wisdom (see what she did there?), and ends with Rap asserting her dominance in the rap game. When I tell you she RIPS the track, maaaaaaan. Lyrically this joint is a gift to geeks like me who hop on genius.com and break down the track bar for bar. Here's a quick sample: "They say we 3/5ths human, well the rest of me’s an Autobot". OK, so here Rap is referring to the 1787 Three-Fifths Compromise. It stated that black slaves would count as "3/5ths" of a [white] person for representative and taxation purposes. In one bar Rapsody acknowledges part of the disgusting (and often conveniently ignored) history of America, while at the same time turning a phrase into something empowering. She is saying, "OK, you view me as 3/5th of a person. Well, the other 2/5ths of me is an more than human". Rapsody is as powerful as an Autobot, a Transformer, a machine advanced in every way, especially lyrically. This immediately reminded me of Kendrick Lamar's line from "The Blacker the Berry". In a line he said, "You're fuckin' evil I want you to recognize that I'm a proud monkey". The racial slur "monkey" is another way to discriminate against black men and women by saying that they are ape-like or primitive. Kendrick, like Rapsody, takes the power away from words meant to put black people down. Turning them into words of empowerment. 

The final track, "Jesus Coming", produced by 9th Wonder is a masterpiece. 9th provides a perfectly simple instrumental with a soulful loop of Otis G Johnson's vocals from the song "Time To Go Home". The track starts off with gunshots and ambulance noises, then Rap goes into three specific stories. The first is of a young man who is shot at a party, the second is of a mother and child who are shot by stray bullets, and the third of a soldier oversees who is killed in action. Rap said, "With this song I just chose three topics that I really wanted to focus on", and "But just talking about us, I really wanted to paint the picture of this is what you doing and I want you to feel this". And keeping with the theme of similarities with other great emcees, this song took me back to Scarface's "I Seen a Man Die". Both focus more on emotional descriptions vs painting the environmental picture. The details of the location are not important, instead Rapsody focuses on the internal dialogue that her characters experience with their last breaths. Her pen bleeds with emotion in every bar. Just another track that I couldn't do justice by trying to explain it. You just gotta hear it. 

The single "Power" with Kendrick Lamar is everything you want from the third meeting of these lyrically juggernauts. "Nobody" with Anderson .Paak and Black Thought is full of gems over a smooth 9th Wonder and Khrysis beat. Music Souldchild makes a surprise duet feature with Gwen Bunn on the soulful track "A Rollercoaster Jam Called Love". But right now, the joint "Black & Ugly" with BJ The Chicago Kid is my favorite track. Without going in too deep, the track is a vulnerable journey through Rapsody's personal experience being an artist that doesn't fit the "normal beauty standards" of the industry. Especially in the Hip Hop culture. This track is an anthem to girls who are beautiful, but are told the opposite by society. 

I've read comments that, with this album, Rapsody is taking her place as the female Kendrick Lamar. I agree and disagree. I agree that Rap is now on the top tier of the "new" wave of emcees (if she wasn't before, and to me she was). So that means she is on that top shelf with the Kendrick Lamars. But comparisons are tricky. They can be negative and positive. In Rap's case, for now I think there are more positives to this comparison. It was her feature on Kendrick's "To Pimp a Butterfly" that help grow her fan base to a more mainstream one. IF I am going to compare Rapsody and this project to another emcee, it would have to be to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Now hear me out. Of course Lauryn is able to add another level to her music with her duel threat of emceeing and singing. But there was one singular feeling I got while listening to Laila's Wisdom and Lauryn's album. And it has to do with a specific image I have in my head. I don't know if I'll have kids in the future, but I always had this vision of listening to Illmatic on a record player with a son. Making sure he's raised right in the context of Hip Hop. Having a daughter terrifies me (ha, that came out harsher than I meant it to be). But after listening to Rapsody's album, I could see that same vision flipped with a daughter spinning that Laila's Wisdom vinyl. The last time I had that "if I had a daughter, I would listen to this joint with her" feeling was with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I am not a woman, but I am also not blind. Being a woman, especially a woman of color, brings about innumerable hurdles and dangers. Pop culture is full of images that tell women how to look, dress and act. Whether it's a music video or the lyrics themselves, there is very little I would want my fictional daughter to emulate. Since Lauryn Hill, I haven't seen another emcee that could tell young girls, "Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem". And of course this is not an absolute statement. I know there are emcees out there that keep that message/spirit alive. But when it comes to female emcees on a major (in one way or another) and that are (or about to be) "mainstream", the pickings are slim. 

I've been going back and forth with what my final review would be. It's been pointed out that I might maybe possibly be a tad bit biased when it comes to Rapsody. Seeing how I've only given her perfect reviews (Crown and Beauty and The Beast) and how the MOST animated I've ever been during our podcasts was when I was arguing that Rapsody isn't boring (peep the greatness at 50:38). I might could maybe admit that I definitely wanted her to succeed and wanted her music to reach the masses. But I stand by my reviews. I never "gave" her a perfect review, she earned it. That being said, this is her best body of work to me. This album feels curated with care in every sense of the word. There are no weak spots to attack. It is thematically thoughtful, insightful and daring. While industry/mainstream "Hip Hop" is still riding the wave of platinum radio and club hits, we are seeing a shift in power. Kind off. This year alone we at BITM have commented that we are getting more lyrical Hip Hop albums than we were 4-5 years ago. Will there be a drastic dynamic overarching change? No. But the slow burn is being felt by Hip Hop heads and hopefully we continue to support and champion these efforts. If you haven't yet done so, start that today and scoop up that Laila's Wisdom

Peep video for "Power" and DA WHOLE DAMN ALBUM (how?) below.

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10 October 2017

SINGLE: Big K.R.I.T. - Confetti

On August 17th Big KRIT's manager simply posted on Twitter that, "Big K.R.I.T. album officially done and turned in". Since then, Hip Hop heads been on sleuth-mode to be "first" to hear a teaser or actual single. Two weeks ago KRIT deleted all of his IG posts and started posting black screens. Finally he uploaded three posts that had the words (in order of posts): "TI", "FET", "CON". When viewed on his page we got the word "CONFETTI". The actual single dropped on Friday, October 6th.

The double album, 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time, is slated to drop on Friday, October 27th (joint on pre-order now, you know we got it on deck). The single "Confetti" displays KRIT's lyrical acumen as he flexes his braggadocio bars while at the same time shitting on the current Hip Hip landscape.

What else to say, top shelf KRIT all around. He just turned October into a LONG month for Hip Hop heads in need of a lyrical hero.

Peep single below.

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