Donald Smith and Drew Akins of the Yale Daily News reviewed Ludacris’ latest effort ‘Chicken-N-Beer’. They write, “With this album, Ludacris proves that he is much more than a passing fad in the rap game and cements his place among the top hip-hop artists in the industry today. In an age where the thug image has become a requirement for success and where rappers wear bullet wounds like badges of honor, Ludacris proves that an artist can still be successful using humor and wit in his lyrics.” Read more.
Jim Farber of the New York Daily News reviewed Ja Rule’s latest effort ‘Blood in My Eye’, which takes several hits at arch rap rival 50 Cent. Farber says, “Rule’s fifth album obsesses on honed riffs and steely beats. You’ll find none of the candied choruses or tender melodies of his hits, which paired his trademark bark with the golden tones of Ashanti. Luckily, the new riffs roil with exciting menace. Everything sounds coiled and ripped.” The entire review at nydailynews.com has since been removed.
Darryl Sterdan of the Winnipeg Sun reviewed Ludacris’ latest album ‘Chicken & Beer’, giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. He writes, “On these 17 songs and skits, the boisterous and outlandish rhymer cooks up another greasy platter based on his secret recipe: bouncy beats by the pound, plenty of crunchy fatback crackle and a vast selection of spicy samples and loops, topped by layers of his gruff barking and sprinkled liberally with steamy couplets and, ahem, fowl-mouthed expletives.” Read more.
Rich Kane of the Orange County Weekly reviewed Snoop Dogg’s concert at the House of Blues in Anaheim on Octber 12th. Kane writes, “Like everyone else, we once liked Snoop. But this night, he was just another pitchman, not just a pitcher of beer [Miller Brewing sponsored the show], but of his upcoming new album and MTV show. He has become the Ozzy Osbourne of rap, a clownish celebrity who failed to live up to his once-white-hot potential, who got rich and fat and is now reduced to doing corporate gigs for hefty paydays.” Read more.
Franklin Soults of the Boston Phoenix reviewed Bubba Sparxxx’s ‘Deliverance’ and OutKast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’. He said of Sparxxx: “Despite his masterful timing, one of the rapper’s intractable shortcomings is his frequent failure to project above his music.” As for Outkast, “Impressively, Big Boi alone does often match the level of OutKast’s best songwriting— ‘Unhappy,’ for one, is yet another example of the group’s stunning ability to turn despair into joyous release. But the loss of Andre’s freaky drawl and the relatively straightforward production keeps ‘Speakerboxxx’ from attaining the rich texture that made ‘Stankonia’s’ electro-buzz so groundbreaking.” The full review at bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.
Jim Farber of the New York Daily News reviewed Ludacris’ just-released album ‘Chicken-N-Beer’. He writes, “As its title suggests, ‘Chicken-N-Beer’ doesn’t exactly move Ludacris into the world of truffles and foie gras. It centers on the kind of sex talk that could make the members of 2 Live Crew seem like Prince Charmings. Basically, it’s a booty call set to a beat, with references to Viagra, orgies and more ho’s than you’d find in the world’s largest toolshed.” The entire review at nydailynews.com has since been removed.
Nathan Hood of the Yale Daily News reviewed Outkast’s ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ double album. Hood writes, “Outkast accomplishes what many groups are incapable of: presenting strikingly different styles that simultaneously compliment each other. Is ‘Speakerboxxx/The Love Below’ a sign of Andre and Big Boi growing apart? Quite the contrary. Each artist reaches higher in his respective realm and needs an entire album to fully express himself. They only appear fleetingly on each other’s discs, but they represent a sort of yin and yang of hip-hop, and it’s safe to say that one cannot exist without the other.” Read more.
Sal Cinquemani of slant magazine reviewed Bubba Sparxxx’s new album ‘Deliverance’ giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. He writes, “The album’s overall style is inventive and fresh, and the backwoods rapper often comes off like a hip-hop Huck Finn or the redneck version of Marshall Mathers’ trailer-park trash.” Read more.
Though the name O*Asiatic may not be familiar to some, he’s been working in NYC’s underground scene for years. His first work was released back in 1996 and his latest effort, “GET SHORTy!,” is 36 minutes of Hip-Hop that is sure to please a lot of listeners. Read a full review of the album here.
Clear Channel News Network reviewed DMX’s new album ‘Grand Champ’, praising it left and right. They write, “X’s energy is in his delivery, in the unforgiving way he climbs on top of a rhyme, bites its head off and dives down its throat. X’s passion is in his meaning, in the painfully honest way he penetrates his own soul to protect and repair the souls of his people. So while one could discuss ‘Thank You’ his Grease-produced duet with Patti Labelle that samples the classic ‘I Want To Thank You’ record, or the ‘Rob All Night’ joint X spits over a sick Rocwilder track, right here, right now, it’s all about ‘We’re Back.’ One of the most musically powerful songs DMX has ever recorded, ‘We’re Back’ marks the perfect final chapter to a storied and unforgettable career. Horns, drums, baby cries. You have to feel it to believe.” Read more.