N.E.R.D.’s ‘Fly Or Die’ Is Pretty Damn Grounded

N.E.R.D. 'Fly Or Die' album cover

Sal Cinquemani of slant magazine reviewed N.E.R.D.’s new album ‘Fly Or Die’, giving it 3 out of 5 stars. Cinquemani writes, “Pharrell Williams’ falsetto hooks and narrative storytelling all wrapped up in a stew of rock, funk, new wave and even baroque and Elton John-style piano-pop. By sheer virtue of the fact that it’s a follow-up, the record isn’t as jolting as its predecessor upon first listen, but the Neptunes have certainly refined their side-project sound, proving N.E.R.D.’s success wasn’t just a one-off fluke.” Read more.

Bad Boy’s 10th Anniversary Album Misses The Mark

Bad Boy's 10th Anniversary... The Hits

Contributed by AdamBernard:

Someone at Bad Boy really dropped the ball with this one, a supposed greatest hits album for the label that, for reasons God only knows, doesn’t include ‘Juicy’, the song that put the label on the map! Remember, this is one of the songs Puffy made Da Band memorize before he let them start recording. To read the full review, click here.

Inde Sessions Vol. 1 Review

Contributed by AdamBernard:

Underground heads take notice, Ocean Records has compiled new tracks from some of the underground’s finest from all over the U.S. This 19 track journey around the various underground scenes includes high quality tracks by Doujah Raze, Splitt, Divine MC, Black Ceasar (feat. Rock and Supreme). The highlight of the album is ‘Contradictions’, a track by Storm The Unpredictable. Check out the full review here.

The Results Are In: Ludacris In A Romp

Ludacris 'Chicken and Beer'

Matthew Lurie of the Chicago Tribune reviewed the Ludacris, Chingy and David Banner gig at the Congress Theater on Saturday (February 28). Lurie writes, “Ludacris might have been the biggest act of the evening, but he was anything but complacent in his headliner slot. He spent the first half of his set alone onstage, relying on only himself and an uncomfortably blinding light show to rally the audience, and then decided to eschew the commonplace vocal backing track that often picks up most mainstream rappers’ slack.” But he added, “It was David Banner, though, who was by far the most remarkable performer of the evening.”

Ludacris And Chingy In Portland

Ludacris 'Chicken and Beer'

Contributed Anonymously:

Hey everyone! Well I seen Chingy and Ludacris last night (February 16) at the Expo center in Portland. It was supposed to start at like 8 PM, but it didnt start til like 8:20 I think. David Banner opened up, and did his thang, I’m not a real big fan of him, but I love like a pimp so that was cool. He worked the crowd for about 20mins to a half hour.

Then Chingy came out a little while after him. He was tight as hell. He did ‘Holidae Inn’, ‘Right Thurr’, ‘Right Thurr Remix’, ‘One Call Away’, ‘Sample Dat Ass’ (he said it’s his fave song on the CD). He did his part in the ‘Shorty Put it on the Floor’ song, he also did his part in the ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop’ remix, ‘He’s Herre’, and like 5 more songs, but I can’t really think of them right now. But yeah Chingy did really good and sounded hella good, and looked really good too.

‘This Is Not A Test’ Is Missy’s Strongest Since Her Debut

Dylan Hicks of Citypages reviewed Missy Elliott’s latest effort, ‘This Is Not a Test!’. He writes, “Having just had a sofa party with three boxes of Goobers and the Missy Elliott discography on my handcrafted five-CD changer, I’m convinced that the 2003 model is Elliott’s strongest since her ’97 debut. It’s as goofy, dirty, smooth, rough, and experimental as you’d expect, but with none of the skip tracks that spot her other albums–no Lil’ Kim intrusions, no lyrically clunky ballads or unaffecting eulogies. Matter of fact, the slow ones here are mighty fine. Even the interludes are keepers.” Read more.

Eminem Raps On The Grave Of Tupac Shakur

Josh Kun of the Boston Phoenix weighed in on the soundtrack to the documentary ‘Tupac: Resurrection’, and Eminem’s contribution to the album. Kun says of ‘One Day at a Time’: “Eminem’s ‘duet’ with Tupac obscures the latter’s legacy of black radicalism in favor of Em’s brand of white narcissism.” The full review at bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.

‘Beg For Mercy’ Easily An Album To Bump From Beginning To End

Contributed Anonymously:

In less than a year, 50 Cent has conquered feats that lots of artists fail to achieve throughout their entire career. And as said time and time again: no one person makes it without the help of a great team. With that being said, 50 Cent has been rolling with his Gorilla Unit (G-Unit) since day one. On 50’s first mix-tape, 50 Cent Is The Future, both Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo shared the album cover with 50 and have since then helped G-Unit become a household name. Check out the review here.

Jay-Z: ‘The Black Album’

Contributed Anonymously:

A long-lasting career as a musician is often seen as quite a rarity, let alone be a rapper and have a long lasting career. Playing the opposite role, Jay-Z has been dropping albums each year since his debut, ‘Reasonable Doubt’, which was released in 1996. Seven years later, Jay-Z delivers what he claims is his last album by way of ‘The Black Album’. Initially, the album was said to be a project that was going to have no marketing/promotions; no single; to be released on Black Friday; etc. For whatever reason(s), things changed and the album was promoted, a single was put out along with a video and the album even leaked and was forced to be bumped up two weeks prior to its set release date. Read the review here.

Missy Elliott Might Need To Take A Break

Missy Elliott 'This Is Not A Test' album cover

Sal Cinquemani of slant magazine reviewed Missy Elliott’s new album ‘This Is Not A Test’, giving it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. He writes, “‘This Is Not A Test!’ is the ubiquitous rapper’s third album in just over three years, and while Missy (in any incarnation) still trumps her hip-hop contemporaries, a little time away might give us a much-needed opportunity to miss Missy–and remind us why we loved her in the first place.” Read more.