Craig D. Lindsey of the Dallas Observer reviewed Mystikal’s new disc Tarantula calling it a further chronicle of Mystikal’s dwindling legitimacy. While praising his 1995 debut in ‘Y’all Ain’t Ready Yet’, he chronicled the downhill slop from there saying, “When he unleashed the big-booty anthem ‘Shake Ya Ass’ in 2000, an unnecessary new Mystikal rose from the ashes. Sure, he was still an MC who could blow folks away with his vocal style. But now, it isn’t about being the most lyrically dangerous MC on the mike. It’s about being the most bling-blinging, booty-collecting, collar-popping MC on the mike. As they say in the comic books, he’s using his super powers for evil, not for good.”
Lisa Verrico of the London Times reviewed the R. Kelly and Jay-Z collaborative effort giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Verrico praised, “As a benchmark for future joint album projects, ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ is pretty near perfect. It doesn’t break any new ground, but like two celebrities dating, it’s far more than the sum of its parts. Expect other artists to be following suit very soon.”
Gemma Tarlach of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviewed the debut N.E.R.D. effort ‘In Search of…’ Gemma was very positive on her feelings for the disc saying, “The Neptunes emerged in the late ’90s as behind-the-boards starmakers for rappers such as Noreaga and quickly found themselves in demand by rap-metal mooks and dances-with-snakes ditzes. ‘In Search Of…’ reveals the production team’s own material is far more entertaining and original than the cardboard characters their beats have been propping up for the last few years.”
The article at jsonline.com has since been removed.
Dustin J. Seibert of The Detroit News blasted the new R. Kelly and Jay-Z collaborative effort ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ giving it a ‘poor’ rating. Seibert said the album “is a thinly veiled attempt to capitalize on the market by releasing the first big hip-hop/R&B album of the year as a collaborative effort that is sure to top the charts immediately.” As for Jay-Z, he said, “Fresh off the heels of last year’s quintessential ‘The Blueprint’ album, makes an unsavory turn this time around with an almost completely commercialized flow.”
Sonia Murray of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewed Jay-Z and R. Kelly’s collaborative effort on ‘The Best of Both Worlds’, giving the disc a B- and proclaiming, “The best of a remarkably gifted R&B singer-songwriter and the biggest hip-hop star of the moment can be found on their individual recordings, not this one.”
Reviews for the ‘All About the Benjamins’ film out today are generally neutral in the few I’ve checked out so far. Mack Bates of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gave the film 2 out of 4 stars. Ed Gonzalez of Slant magazine gave it 3 out of 4 stars (article since removed). Ellen A Kim of the Seattle Post Intelligencer rated the flick a ‘B’ grade. Finally, Bonnie Britton of The Indianapolis Star gave them Read 2 out of 4 stars (article since removed).
Joshunda Sanders of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer gave his thoughts on Busta Rhymes show at Seattle’s Showbox on Wednesday. Sanders was less than impressed with Rhymes raunchiness and vulgarity saying, “It was clear long before his performance ended that Busta’s focus was more about establishing himself as a different kind of hip-hop artist than he once was. His show lacked the creative edge that Busta Rhymes is known for, as he tried to compensate for his bland lyrics by spewing tasteless verbiage that is not fit for publication.” Read more.
Michael Endelman of the Boston Phoenix reviewed the latest CD from Nas, ‘Stillmatic’, and the rapper’s response to the Jay-Z beef in ‘Ether’. Endelman said, “Somewhere deep inside, Nas must agree, for Jay-Z’s attack ignited a creative flame that’s been absent from Nas’s work since the mid ’90s. The result is ‘Stillmatic’, his fifth album and his best since his precocious debut.” The full review at bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.
Brad Kava of The Mercury News was also on hand at Busta Rhymes concert at San Francisco’s Fillmore Saturday night and revealed the show changed course after Rhymes sipped on expensive cognac and puffed on what appeared to be a pair of marijuana joints. Kava said, “The resulting buzz seemed to affect Rhymes who, instead of rapping, slowly recited the often-profane lyrics to ‘Wife in Law,’ a song about casually hooking up with a woman, as if he were a Harvard professor reading a Shakespearean sonnet.”
Dan Leroy of Launch.com reviewed the new N*E*R*D release by the Neptunes (plus vocalist Shay), ‘In Search Of…N.E.R.D.’ and praised the hitmakers effort. Leroy said, “While their hitmaking formula is responsible for countless success stories, the talent, smarts, and overall quality of this album prove the Neptunes are infinitely more interesting than most of their clients.”