Meyhem Lauren – “Members Only” review

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Meyhem Lauren is a 36 year old MC from Queens, New York that came up as the leader of the Smart Crew graffiti team. He eventually started rapping in the mid-2000s, but it wouldn’t be until this decade that he saw success. Most notably with Mandatory Brunch Meetings, the Buckwild produced Silk PyramidsPiatto D’oro & most notably the DJ Muggs produced Gems from the Equinox. The latter was followed up with Frozen Angels last year, but it seems like now that the 2 are getting back together for Meyhem’s 9th EP.

The EP kicks off with “Aztec Snowflakes”, where Meyhem gets at his competition’s throats over an old school instrumental. The next song “GT3” gets lavish over a grimy boom bap beat while the penultimate track “Wavy” brags & the drums on here are thunderous. The EP then finishes off with “Blue Chinese”, where Meyhem gets mafioso over a morbid instrumental.

This is a dope continuation of Meyhem & Muggs’ partership. They continue to compliment each other’s own raw styles very well. Definitely looking forward to their next full-length album together whenever it comes out.

Score: 3.5/5

Kill ‘Em All – Self-titled review

 

 

cover-22-768x768Kill ‘Em All is a newly formed duo consisting of New York spitter Mach-Hommy & legendary California producer DJ Muggs. The duo first came together last summer with the songs “Blue Horseshoes” & “Contagion Theory” off of the latest Soul Assassins album Dia del Asesinato, but they made their debut this past March with Tuez-Les Tous & if that wasn’t enough, Mach & Muggs are already hitting us with a sophomore album.

After the “Jolly Roger Introduction”, we go into the first song “Lady Justice”. Where Mach literally sounds like he’s rambling drunk over a soulful beat. The track “Apollon’s Wheels” gets mafioso with Your Old Droog sees the 2 over some strings while the song “Cessna 210” with Tha God Fahim sees the 2 flaunting over a boom bap beat with some sirens. The track “Force Majeure” talks about how far he’s come over a boom bap beat with some piano keys & while the next 3 songs all feature verses from Tha God Fahim.

The first of these 3 being “The Omni” which has a great atmosphere in the production, but Mach’s delivery is atonal & Fahim’s feature is boring. The track right after “Daniel Fast” sees then sees the 2 spitting game over a dreary beat while the song “Mount Tambora” gets bloodthirsty over a forbidding beat. The penultimate track “Anacoma” with Sick Jacken sees the 2 rapping in Spanish over an enticing beat & then the album finishes with “Titanium White”, where Mach & Fahim get back together to spit some gritty street bars over over a dismal boom bap beat that awkwardly changes up during the last 30 seconds.

Compared to Tuez-Les Tous, this was jus ok. Mach & Muggs still show a solid chemistry, but the overabundance of features kinda overtakes it.

Score: 2.5/5

Crimeapple – “Medallo” review

Crimeapple is an MC from New Jersey who first garnered my attention in 2017 with his 4th EP Sweet Dreams that dropped on a couple years ago on Halloween along with his Big Ghost Ltd. produced debut album Aguardiente last March. He released a fantastic sophomore album Wet Dirt with DJ Skizz earlier this year & if that’s not enough, he’s coming back with the help of DJ Muggs to deliver his 3rd full-length album.

After the titular intro, we go into the first song “En Vivo Desde Manrique”. Where Crimeapple delivers some gritty battle bars over a haunting beat. The track “Tiburones” then flaunts over a grimy boom bap beat while the song “Camisas” continues to brag over a piano-inflicted boom bap beat. The track “Prescription” reflects on his drug dealing days over a alluring sample while the song “Villa Hermosa” gets reflective over a classy sample.

The track “Crazy Eddie’s” talks about how sharp he is over a boom beat with an ominous bass-line while the song “Just Because” compares his music to drugs over some strings. The track “Acetone Wash” with Conway the Machine sees the 2 gets bloodthirsty over an eerie sample & while the song “22 Blue 2s” has a nice boom bap/rock fusion in the instrumental, the Primo Profit verse at the start does nothing for me.

The track “No More 2 for 5” has a beautifully horror-esque vibe to it as Crimeapple’s voice sounding like it’s coming from a walkie talkie while the song “Aguas Profundas” gets mafioso over a minimalist instrumental. The penultimate track “Bloodtype” gets back on the battle tip over a nightmarish instrumental & then the album ends with “Tellin’ Me Lies”, where Crimeapple gets sensual over a soulful beat.

Yet again, Crimeapple outdoes himself & reveals himself as one of the best in the underground right now. His lyricism keeps getting sharper & DJ Muggs’ signature sound suits him near perfectly.

Score: 4.5/5

Roc Marciano – “Kaos” review

Roc Marciano & DJ Muggs are 2 criminally underrated legends in the hip hop world. Both of whom been having a big 2018, with Roc putting out Rosebudd’s Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose in February & Behold a Dark Horse just last month while Muggs just put out a new Soul Assassins album Dia del Asesinato & the new Cypress Hill album Elephants on Acid within the past 2 months. But now, they’re uniting to put out Roc’s 7th full-length album.

After a 2 minute instrumental intro that sounds like it could be playing at the start of a blaxploitation film, the first song “Dolph Lundgren” sees Roc talking about him & an unnamed current rapper being from different eras over a minimalist instrumental with some acoustic guitar strumming. The next track “White Dirt” boasts about what he has over a grimy rap rock beat while “The E Train” is about being one of the illest over a laidback instrumental.

The track “Aunt Bonnie” vividly talks about murder over an apocalyptic instrumental while the song “Rolls Royce Rugs” of course returns to the bragging tip over a classy instrumental. The track “Caught a Lick” has a pretty murky vibe to it & Roc’s delivery on here is probably the catchiest on the entire album, but it’s way too short. The song “Wild Oats” gets mafioso over a haunting instrumental while the track “Shit I’m On” gets on some “king shit” over a piano. The song “Wormhole” talks about his main chick over a hypnotic beat & the outro spurs battle bars over an instrumental with a killer guitar & occasionally some orchestral elements.

To be honest, this is one of the best albums Roc has ever done. Despite it’s 36 minute runtime, his gritty lyricism & DJ Muggs’ signature production style mesh with each other near perfectly. I can also appreciate Roc for not getting any features on here as well.

Score: 4.5/5

Cypress Hill – “Elephants on Acid” review

Cypress Hill is a legendary West Coast hip hop group consisting of MCs B-Real & Sen Dog alongside producer DJ Muggs & percussionist Eric Bobo. Their first 3 albums are widely considered to hip hop classics, but their material since then has been considered average. However, they are returning with their 9th full-length album after an 8 year hiatus.

After the Tusko intro, we go into the first song “Band of Gypsies”. Here, B-Real & Sen are spirting battle bars over a psychedelic beat. The track “Put ‘Em in the Ground” gets murderous over an eerie vocal sample & after the “Satao” interlude, we go into the song “Jesus Was a Stoner”. Here, B-Real makes many references to weed & religion over an instrumental with a haunting atmosphere.

The song “Pass the Knife” returns to the murder bars over an eerie beat & after the “LSD” interlude, we go into the song “Oh Na Na”. Here, B-Real of course talks about getting high over some infectious horns. After the “Holy Mountain” interlude, we go into the song “Locos”. Here, B-Real & Sen deliver street bars over a gritty beat.

The track “Falling Down” confrontationally talks about life over a distorted bass line & after the “Elephant Acid” interlude, the song “Insane OG” pretty much speaks for itself over a apocalyptic beat. However, I wish it was longer than just 84 seconds. “The 5th Angel” is an instrumental interlude that sounds like it could be playing in a trailer for an upcoming horror movie while the track “Warlord” talks about judgement day over a fitting boom bap beat.

The song “Reefer Man” is a sequel to “Dr. Greenthumb” with a tuba-inflicted boom bap beat & after the “Thru the Rabbit Hole” interlude, we go into the song “Crazy”. Here, B-Real & Sen talk about insanity over a trippy beat. The track “Muggs is Dead” is a psychedelic instrumental interlude while the penultimate track “Blood on My Hands” sees B-Real comparing himself to the Grim Reaper over an ominous beat. The closer “Stairway to Heaven” sees B-Real talking about his prediction of the afterlife over a prominent woodwind sample.

From front to back, this was a strong return to form for Cypress. Sure there are WAY too many interludes, but DJ Muggs’ production is just as gritty as the old days & it’s a bit more experimental too. The lyricism is sharper as well. If you wanna hear a fantastic comeback album from one of the greatest West Coast groups ever, PLEASE give this a listen.

Score: 4/5

Soul Assassins – “Dia del Asesinato” review

The Soul Assassins are a legendary collective founded by one of the most underrated producers in hip hop history: DJ Muggs. They dropped their iconic debut album Chapter I in 1997 & they followed it up in 2000 with the equally solid II. However, they collectively haven’t dropped that much material since then with this being their 4th full-length album & their first since Intermission in 2009.

After the “Santa Muerte” intro, the first song “Day of the Dead by Kool G Rap sees the Genius of Rap getting murderous over a perfectly suiting instrumental. The next track “Assassination Day” by G Rap & MF DOOM sees the 2 lyrical titans getting confrontational over a haunting instrumental while the track “Yacht Party” by Raekwon of course vividly gets mafioso over a luxurious instrumental. The song “Black Snow Beach” by Rae & Meyhem Lauren brags about how better they are than you over some strings while the next 2 songs are solely performed by Mach-Hommy. The first one “Blue Horseshoes” has a decent instrumental, but Mach sounds like he phoned it in.

The other one “Contagion Theory” has a somewhat jazzy instrumental that’s actually beautiful, but it doesn’t sound fully written to me. Things pick up on “Wally Face”, where Hus Kingpin provides some vivid storytelling over a settle beat with an alluring vocal sample for the hook. The song “Duck Sauce” by Eto talks about how this ain’t a game over a boom bap beat with an electric guitar while the track “Niggas is Pussy” by Meyhem Lauren speaks for itself over a heavy guitar. And before things finish with the outro, the final song “Death Wish” by Freddie Gibbs & DOOM displays the 2 spitting battle bars over an eerie beat.

I’ve been wondering when or if the Soul Assassins were ever gonna drop an album again & they came back pretty triumphantly. The performers are outstanding for the most part as is DJ Muggs’ production & the concept about using hip hop against corruption is very well thought out

Score: 4/5