April 30, 2021

Dr. Dre - The Chronic (1992)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 16 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: G-Funk, Gangsta Rap
Label Number: P2 57128

© 1992 Priority/Interscope/Death Row
With its stylish, sonically detailed production, Dr. Dre's 1992 solo debut, The Chronic, transformed the entire sound of West Coast rap. Here Dre established his patented G-funk sound: fat, blunted Parliament-Funkadelic beats, soulful backing vocals, and live instruments in the rolling basslines and whiny synths. What's impressive is that Dre crafts tighter singles than his inspiration, George Clinton -- he's just as effortlessly funky, and he has a better feel for a hook, a knack that improbably landed gangsta rap on the pop charts. But none of The Chronic's legions of imitators were as rich in personality, and that's due in large part to Dre's monumental discovery, Snoop Doggy Dogg. Snoop livens up every track he touches, sometimes just by joining in the chorus -- and if The Chronic has a flaw, it's that his relative absence from the second half slows the momentum. There was nothing in rap quite like Snoop's singsong, lazy drawl (as it's invariably described), and since Dre's true forte is the producer's chair, Snoop is the signature voice. He sounds utterly unaffected by anything, no matter how extreme, which sets the tone for the album's misogyny, homophobia, and violence. The Rodney King riots are unequivocally celebrated, but the war wasn't just on the streets; Dre enlists his numerous guests in feuds with rivals and ex-bandmates. Yet The Chronic is first and foremost a party album, rooted not only in '70s funk and soul, but also that era's blue party comedy, particularly Dolemite. Its comic song intros and skits became prerequisites for rap albums seeking to duplicate its cinematic flow; plus, Snoop and Dre's terrific chemistry ensures that even their foulest insults are cleverly turned. That framework makes The Chronic both unreal and all too real, a cartoon and a snapshot. No matter how controversial, it remains one of the greatest and most influential hip-hop albums of all time.

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tags: dr dre, the chronic, 1992, flac,

Dr. Dre Presents… The Aftermath (1996)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: INTD-90044

© 1996 Aftermath/Interscope Records
Dr. Dre shifted directions drastically halfway through 1996, leaving Death Row Records and abandoning gangsta rap, claiming that he had "Been There, Done That." So, Dre founded a new record label, Aftermath, and built an artist roster consisting entirely of new, unproven talent. He also decided not to concentrate on rap, signing urban R&B acts as well as hip-hop. Aftermath's initial release was the various-artists compilation Dr. Dre Presents...The Aftermath and one listen proves that Dre wasn't kidding when he said he wasn't interested in gangsta anymore. There are a number of rappers on The Aftermath, even a handful of hardcore rappers, but nothing fits into the standard G-funk template. The true revelation of the album is Dre's skill for urban R&B and soul, all of which sounds fresh and exciting compared to several of the fairly pedestrian hip-hop tracks. Despite the success of these urban productions, none of the actual performers make much of an impact -- the tracks are impressive only because they demonstrate Dre's musical versatility and skill. In fact, the two tracks that really stand out -- Dre's stately, sexy "Been There Done That" and the powerful "East Coast/West Coast Killas," which features cameos by B-Real, KRS-One, Nas, and RBX -- are a combination of terrific production and personality, which is usually what results in great singles. But that doesn't mean that The Aftermath is a washout. Instead, it's a promising fresh start for Dre that is full of potential and enough great music to make it a vital listen.

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tags: dre dre, presents the aftermath. 1996, flac,

Dr. Dre - 2001 (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: 069490486-2

© 1999 Aftermath/Interscopre Records
The Slim Shady LP announced not only Eminem's arrival, but it established that his producer Dr. Dre was anything but passé, thereby raising expectations for 2001, the long-anticipated sequel to The Chronic. It suggested that 2001 wouldn't simply be recycled Chronic, and, musically speaking, that's more or less true. He's pushed himself hard, finding new variations in the formula by adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae, resulting in fairly interesting recontextualizations. Padded out to 22 tracks, 2001 isn't as consistent or striking as Slim Shady, but the music is always brimming with character. If only the same could be said about the rappers! Why does a producer as original as Dre work with such pedestrian rappers? Perhaps it's to ensure his control over the project, or to mask his own shortcomings as an MC, but the album suffers considerably as a result. Out of all the other rappers on 2001, only Snoop and Eminem -- Dre's two great protégés -- have character and while Eminem's jokiness still is unpredictable, Snoop sounds nearly as tired as the second-rate rappers. The only difference is, there's pleasure in hearing Snoop's style, while the rest sound staid. That's the major problem with 2001: lyrically and thematically, it's nothing but gangsta clichés. Scratch that, it's über-gangsta, blown up so large that it feels like a parody. Song after song, there's a never-ending litany of violence, drugs, pussy, bitches, dope, guns, and gangsters. After a full decade of this, it takes real effort to get outraged at this stuff, so chances are, you'll shut out the words and groove along since, sonically, this is first-rate, straight-up gangsta. Still, no matter how much fun you may have, it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is cheap, not lasting, fun.

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tags: dr dre, 2001, 2001 album, 1999, flac,

Dr. Dre - Compton (A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre) (2015)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: B0023912-02

© 2015 Aftermath/Interscope Records
For 16 years, the third Dr. Dre album was supposed to be The Detox, but that once-mythical, canceled LP was replaced by Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, a supposedly final effort that was "inspired" by the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. When Dre says "inspired" he likely means the film gave him a reason to consider his history, and how he went from local gangsta to national threat, and on to billionaire businessman extraordinaire. Still, the most pleasing element of Compton is that it touches on all of the above but lives in the present. This brilliant kaleidoscopic LP, which was recorded in under a year, focuses on the veteran producer's connection to the modern world as it references Eric Garner, frames it with N.W.A.'s history, and decides that little has changed. It also celebrates the new breed, taking the busy, jazz-inspired structure of Kendrick Lamar's masterpiece release To Pimp a Butterfly, and adds grooves that are entirely Dre, playing it steady, swaying, and locking listeners in. Early highlight "Genocide" puts it all in one cut as robotic funk finds Kendrick in full rage, while Marsha Ambrosius and Candice Pillay provide the soul before the track exits with some wild dubstep doo wop, as the more developed Compton still has all the quirks and smart-ass humor of The Chronic. The music is crooked enough to put Snoop Dogg into the groove for the swaggering "Satisfaction," and remains raw enough to drive Eminem into dangerous territory on "Medicine Man," while fellow N.W.A. member Ice Cube is offered a challenging, compressed loop for the straight talking and rightfully agitated "Issues." Quotes from past albums and past productions are all over this album, and the Aftermath roster comes alive again with Jon Connor and Justus shining in their spotlights, and after an angelic Jill Scott feature dubbed "For the Love of Money" paints this former Death Row artist as more serene than anyone ever thought, the closing "Talking to My Diary" ties up the loose ends as Dre professes a belief that Eazy-E is smiling at him from above. It's an excellent end to an attractive and rich LP, and as the man returns to icon status with this stoic and stern stance, the most unfortunate thing about this "final" effort is that this unproductive gangsta perfectionist who moves at a Golem's pace has now flourished under a tight timetable. Since Compton crackles with life and spirit, it seems a shame to shut that door.

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tags: dre dre, compton, a soundtrack by dr dre, 2015, flac,

Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness (1989) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 13 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: MOSH 11CD
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1989 Earache
Few albums struck a chord within the ears and minds of the late-'80s underground metal scene like Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness did at the end of the decade, setting a new precedent for metal bands to reach. With the arguable exception of Chuck Schuldiner's Death, never before had a heavy metal band carried their lightning-fast guitar riffs and equally spellbinding guitar solos into such horrific territory. Venom and Slayer redefined the extent to which a metal band could align itself with all things evil during the beginning of the decade, but Morbid Angel made these two groups sound like children's music compared to the Florida-based group's assaulting death metal sounds and their blasphemous lyrics. Bassist David Vincent took inspiration from the developing grindcore scene in England and from fellow Floridian Shuldiner for his snarling vocals. And if Vincent's monstrous vocals aren't scary enough, the band's musical onslaught will surely send children and parents running away in fear. Guitarists Trey Azagthoth and Richard Brunelle construct some ridiculously fast-paced riffs and lay down some jaw-dropping solos as if the music is being played in fast-forward mode; similarly, drummer Pete Sandoval challenges one's perception of how fast a drummer can possibly drum. In the end, though, what made the group so influential to the burgeoning death metal scene of the '90s was not so much the group's groundbreaking template for death metal -- Death had already set the precedent for the musical style on the group's 1987 Scream Bloody Gore album -- but rather Vincent and Azagthoth's near Satanic lyrics that seem far too sincere to be a pose. It wouldn't be long before an entire new style of heavy metal called black metal would arise in Northern Europe in the early to mid-'90s around bands such as Emperor and Cradle of Filth, who initially took a large portion of their Satanic motifs from this album. Even though later Morbid Angel albums made this debut sound amateur in terms of sound quality and creativity, one cannot deny its influence.

tags: morbid angel, altars of madness, 1989, flac,

Morbid Angel - Domination (1995) ☠

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: 9 24612-2
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1995 Giant Records
Guitarist Erik Rutan joins the fold on Morbid Angel's Domination and contributes several of his own compositions. The group's sound is better than ever and perhaps a bit more groove-oriented, but this is mostly standard Morbid Angel, with the typical problems: the bass drums are played too fast to be recorded properly and end up sounding like a fast clicking underneath the songs. There is also very little variation on the band's signature sound, and since they rarely give themselves or the audience a rest, their intensity often borders on self-caricature. This will either be just what you want or will strike you as irritating and comically overdone.

tags: morbid angel, domination, 1995, flac,

Edge of Sanity - Purgatory Afterglow (1994) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 audio tracks total.
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Death Metal
Label Number: BMCD 61
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1994 Black Mark Production
By the release of their fourth album, 1994's Purgatory Afterglow, Sweden's prolific Edge of Sanity was cruising -- a well-oiled machine with a growing reputation as one of death metal's most exciting, daring, and innovative acts. Like their good friends (and natural inheritors) Opeth, Edge of Sanity's excellence resides in their ability to juxtapose the most blistering, blast-beat-intensive death (bordering on black) metal offensive with melodic passages of startling beauty. In fact, Purgatory Afterglow's epic opener, "Twilight," with its wild mood swings and abrupt dynamic shifts, may well have served as a matrix for that now-legendary group's imminent debut, which, coincidentally, was engineered by Edge of Sanity's mastermind, Dan Swano. Swano's ability to alternate unintelligible death-grunts and deep, clean-singing vocals with confidence and conviction -- set in accordance to the group's musical backdrop of speedy thrash runs and grinding power riffs, respectively -- helps propel the welcome surprises heard on standout tracks like "Of Darksome Origin," "Silent," and "Velvet Dreams." But by this stage in their development, the band was also capable of pulling off straightforward, more easily digestible fare as well, and three-minute nuggets like "Black Tears" and "Elegy" come as close as death metal ever did to commercial sensibility. All this diversity and open-minded experimentation was, of course, the end result of years of gradual advances (the closing "Song of Sirens" is the album's only oddity, sounding at times like an Entombed tribute song), and with Purgatory Afterglow, Edge of Sanity seemed to strike upon the perfect, delicate balance of extremes that would result in what many still consider their career zenith, 1996's ambitious, 40-minute song Crimson.

tags: edge of sanity, purgatory afterglow, 1994, flac,

Edge of Sanity - Crimson (1996)

*First pressing. 
This album contains just one 40 minute long track.
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Death Metal
Label Number: BMCD 68

© 1996 Black Mark Production
Perhaps Edge of Sanity's most lauded recording, Crimson is really a single 40-minute song/concept record that is perhaps one of the most interesting achievements in death metal -- a genre that generally doesn't lend itself to obscure pursuits. Generally, every death metal disc is conceptual in its single-minded focus on destruction (of life, God, art, ideas, and, especially, rock), but Crimson is different in that it delivers lyrical nuance and consistent musical themes from front to back. Often thought of as the essential Edge of Sanity disc, Crimson features the classic band lineup of Dan Swano on vocals, guitarists Dread and Sami Nerberg, Benny Larsson on drums, and Anders Lundberg on bass. Equal parts sprawling, orchestral epic and downright heavyweight slugfest, this "song" tears at many metal preconceptions. A challenging effort, Crimson is a must-have for all death metal fans.

tags: edge of sanity, crimson, 1996, flac,

Edge of Sanity - Cryptic (1997)

*First pressing. 
Contains 8 tracks total.
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Death Metal
Label Number: BMCD125

© 1997 Black Mark Production
The departure of longtime vocalist and Edge of Sanity mastermind Dan Swano was too much for the group to overcome on this 1997 Black Mark release. The death metal vocal forays of Swano's replacement, Robben Karlsson, aren't the problem; it's the music that is lacking on Cryptic, no doubt due to the lack of Swano's songwriting and leadership. The performances are still tight, but there are too many aimless riffs -- and an ill-suited rock vibe on songs like "No Destiny" -- that might be delivered with all the necessary fervor but somehow seem flat anyway. All is not lost, however, as standouts "Bleed You Dry" and "Not of This World" generate enough momentum to keep listeners away from their CD player's eject button. Cryptic is in no way a bad Scandinavian metal offering, but Edge of Sanity produced some of the genre's finest work just a couple years before this record's release and, without Swano around, this disc just doesn't hold up. This is a difficult recommendation considering the many superior efforts from this group.

tags: edge of sanity, cryptic, 1997, flac,

Edge of Sanity - Crimson II (2003)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Death Metal
Label Number: BMDP168

© 2003 Black Mark Production
There are two ways of looking at Crimson II: optimistically, it represents a long hoped for, never expected second installment to Swedish death metal legends Edge of Sanity's greatest triumph; pessimistically, it sees only one of said predecessor's original participants using his not inconsiderable talents and a few hired henchmen to usurp a band's good name for a personal project. A means to a selfish end? Wait, it gets even more complicated. The first fact: yes, Crimson (the original) was the work of a fully functioning band, Edge of Sanity. The second fact: yes, Crimson was also, for all intents and purposes, a solo effort by that band's dominant songwriter and undisputed driving force, Dan Swano, whose personal vision had guided Edge of Sanity's trajectory, though previously never as completely. So what's a well-intentioned metalhead to do here? Clearly, there's really no satisfying conclusion to be had; Edge of Sanity fans will simply have to make a personal choice (pick their poison, if you will) when approaching Crimson II. Judged on a purely musical basis, the album indeed represents a worthy and natural successor to the original, successfully transporting the listener back to a fantastical realm of apocalyptic science fiction -- brought to you by the wonders of progressive death metal. Of course, in a final, necessary twist, all of this is rendered whole via a single, 40-plus minute "song" (or "song suite") containing literally dozens upon dozens of riffs partitioned into oft-recurring themes, numerous soft/hard interludes, and synthesizer embellishments for added effect -- all of it combining into a canvas of downright panoramic scope. Swano really pulls out all the stops, and whether you choose to condemn or applaud him in the end, there's no denying his amazing achievement -- again. Of course, Crimson II is thematically useless without its slightly superior first chapter, and though it may only nominally qualify as an Edge of Sanity record, right now that's all listeners have.

tags: edge of sanity, crimson ii, crimson 2, 2003, flac,

April 29, 2021

Big Daddy Kane - Long Live The Kane (1988)

*First pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total. 

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 9 25731-2

© 1988 Cold Chillin' Records
Even though he spends a good 90% of the album boasting about his skills and abilities on the microphone, and cutting those of other MCs, Big Daddy Kane consistently proves himself a thrilling artist on his debut album, Long Live the Kane, one of the most appealing creations from the original new school of rap. This debut captures the Big Daddy Kane who rocked the house at hip-hop clubs and verbally cut up any and all comers in the late '80s with his articulate precision and locomotive power -- the Big Daddy Kane who became an underground legend, the Big Daddy Kane who had the sheer verbal facility and razor-clean dexterity to ambush any MC and exhilarate anyone who witnessed or heard him perform. There are missteps here, to be sure -- especially "The Day You're Mine," on which Kane casts himself as a loverman over a stilted drum machine and lackluster, cheesily seductive singing (offering a glimpse of the particular corner into which he would eventually paint himself). But there are also plenty of legitimate early hip-hop classics, none of which have lost an ounce of their power, and all of which serve as reminders of a time and era when hip-hop felt immediate, exciting, fresh, and a little bit dangerous (in the figurative, rather than literal, sense), and when hip-hop spawned commercial tastes of the moment rather than surrendering to them. Although his next album would be nearly the artistic equal of the debut -- and, in many ways, even bettered it -- Big Daddy Kane would never sound as compelling or as fresh as on this first effort.

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tags: big daddy kane, long live the kane, 1988, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - It's a Big Daddy Thing (1989) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 17 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 9 25941-2
☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1989 Cold Chillin'/Reprise Records
If Big Daddy Kane's debut album painted him as an enormously talented battle MC, his follow-up, It's a Big Daddy Thing, finds him aggressively expanding into new territory and gunning for a wider audience outside the hip-hop faithful. Unlike later efforts, most of it is rousingly successful, making for an album that's arguably just as strong as his near-classic debut. This is where Kane starts to take his place as one of hip-hop's first sex symbols, thanks to the gliding "Smooth Operator," the somewhat dated ballad "To Be Your Man," and the Teddy Riley-produced new jack swing track "I Get the Job Done." If the latter is a blatant attempt at crossing over, with a vastly different sound than anything else on the album, it's also a player's statement of purpose. Elsewhere, Kane plays the anti-drug, pro-education social commentator, bringing his Nation of Islam beliefs further into the spotlight on tracks like "Another Victory," "Children R the Future," "Calling Mr. Welfare," and "Rap Summary (Lean on Me)." "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" sits a little uneasily alongside that progressive-minded material, not just for its obvious subject matter but for the line where Kane declares himself "anti-faggot"; nonetheless, it remains something of a favorite among fans who look past that slip. And of course, there are plenty of showcases for Kane's near-peerless technique, including "Mortal Combat," a live version of the rare B-side "Wrath of Kane," and "Warm It Up, Kane." There's some filler in the second half, like the amusing, blaxploitation-styled "Big Daddy's Theme," but overall It's a Big Daddy Thing is a strong, varied album that captures every important side of one of rap's major talents.

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tags: big daddy kane, its a big daddy thing, 1989, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - Taste of Chocolate (1990)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 9 26303-2

© 1990 Cold Chillin' Records
Big Daddy Kane gave one of his most consistent efforts with Taste of Chocolate, his third album. Kane not only had first-rate technique and rhyming skills working to this CD's advantage, he also had quite a bit of excellent and varied material to choose from. Though he still spends too much time bragging about his microphone skills, such hard-hitting numbers as "Mr. Pitiful" and the sobering "Dance With the Devil" show just how substantial he can be. This time, Kane is joined by a number of distinguished guests, including Barry White (who is typically charismatic on the rap ballad "All of Me"); Malcolm X's daughter Gamilah Shabazz (with whom he duets on "Who Am I") and the raunchy comedian Rudy Ray Moore. When Kane and Moore exchange insults on "Big Daddy Vs. Dolemite" things get outrageously entertaining.

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tags: big daddy kane, taste of chocolate, 1990, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - Prince of Darkness (1991)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: W2 26715

© 1991 Cold Chillin' Records
More soul-based than his previous records, Kane not only has a slightly changed musical style on Prince of Darkness, but changes his rapping style to suit the sound, bringing a faster, twisting wordplay to his rhymes. When the change in style works -- as in "I'm Not Ashamed" -- the record is deadly, but when it doesn't, it's deadly boring; unfortunately, most of the record doesn't work.

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tags: big daddy kane, prince of darkness, 1991, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - Looks Like a Job For... (1993)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 9 45128-2

© 1993 Cold Chillin'/Reprise Records
After the stylistic missteps and weak self-productions of Prince of Darkness, Big Daddy Kane returned to the rhyme with 1993's excellent Looks Like a Job For..., an album that updated his sound for the early '90s but left plenty of room for the greatest to freestyle. And led by a pair of TrakMasterz productions, the title track and the casually, hilariously dismissive "How U Get a Record Deal?," it started off incredibly strong. Nearly all of these were the usual battle raps, but Kane also had much to say with tracks like "Rest in Peace" and "Brother Man, Brother Man," the latter featuring him smoothly trading rhymes with his protégé, Lil' Daddy Shane.

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tags: big daddy kane, looks like a job for, 1993, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - Daddy's Home (1994)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: MCAD-11102

© 1994 MCA Records
It looks like the return of the loverman on the cover of Big Daddy Kane's sixth LP, Daddy's Home, though hardcore fans who bought it anyway were treated to a tight, tough record that alternated classic Kane with a few surprisingly successful detours and enough space to salute the next generation of East Coast hardcore. He set it off on an excellent opener, breaking up his usually quick flow for a few gems of carefully phrased, lyrically lurching rap that make him sound like the return of the drunken master. "Brooklyn Style...Laid Out" and the hands-in-the-air jam "In the PJ's" are great double features for Big Daddy Kane and Big Scoob. For the irresistible "Show and Prove," Big Daddy Kane invited a pair of young rappers, Jay-Z and Ol' Dirty Bastard, well before they would appear on their own records (both MCs' styles are definitely in place, and Jay-Z gets in a few zany speed raps). One detour that didn't work was "Don't Do It to Yourself," an attempt at duplicating West Coast G-funk that doesn't come across. Despite a few choruses that sounded a little tired, Daddy's Home proved that Kane was still in prime form.

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tags: big daddy kane, daddys home, 1994, flac,

Big Daddy Kane - Veteranz Day (1998)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 483-371-801-2

© 1998 The Label Records
The Big Daddy Kane who was righteously catapulted atop hip-hop's hierarchy with certified classic albums Long Live The Kane, and It's A Big Daddy Thing unfortunately quickly diminished his impeccable reputation by attempting to become hip-hop's version of Barry White/Dolomite. BDK began to spiral out of control with the release of 1990's Taste Of Chocolate and he has fought desperately, yet unsuccessfully ever since to recapture his crown. D-Day has finally arrived for Kane, as his seventh and supposedly last (we all know how long emcees stay retired) very appropriately entitled LP Veteranz Day is finally ready for mass consumption.

Thankfully, Kane seems to have listened to those who clamored for him to bring it back to the streets. Another unexpected twist was that Kane choose almost exclusively to keep things in house, producing all but 4 of its 13 full-length endeavors. Big Daddy shows his versatility flexing lyrical muscle over "Terra N Ya Era." With "Entraprizin" Kane makes sure to reiterate that the wrath of Kane has yet to cease. The end to end burner here is "Unda Presha," as Daddy spits rhymes galore, going straight for the jugular displaying the killer instincts which were so prevalent in his earlier days.

However, all is not well for Kane as previous shortcomings do eventually creep their way into the setting. Not ready to give up on his prince of darkness alter ego, "Change This Game Around" is a very lazy ode to his favorite pastime of hitting skins. Giving it up for the old school he thanks everyone for "2 Da Good Tymz" a clumsy attempt at a club track, which is hampered by unoriginal production.

Expectations were low for this project, but this is most definitely Kane's best body of work since Looks Like A Job For, and much more of a cohesive effort then the last debacle he brought forth. Although not breaking any new ground, Kane does deliver enough quality cuts to keep fans from writing out his death certificate prematurely.

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tags: big daddy kane, veteranz day, veterans, 1998, flac,

Junior M.A.F.I.A - Conspiracy (1996)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: 92614-2

© 1996 Undeas/Big Beat Records
Under the guidance of the Notorious B.I.G., Junior M.A.F.I.A. released their first single, "Player's Anthem," in the summer of 1995, along with the full-length Conspiracy. Not surprisingly, the group's music resembles that of The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, complete with an opening sound collage. Considering Ready to Die was one of the seminal hip-hop releases of the early '90s, Conspiracy could have been an inspired, enjoyable sequel; instead, it's a fitfully successful replication of the earlier record's strengths. The major problem is Junior M.A.F.I.A. doesn't have enough personality to distinguish themselves from the B.I.G., who appears on four of the album's songs. Little Kim, the group's only female, does bring things to life on occasion, but it isn't quite enough to save the entire album. Nevertheless, the Clark Kent-produced "Player's Anthem" is a classic single, riding on its rubbery bass and surprisingly warm sentiments. Although the Notorious B.I.G. contributes some killer rhymes to the song; he fits into the overall sound of the single, but he doesn't dominate. Instead, the true personalities of Junior M.A.F.I.A. shine through, and they are impressive.

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tags: junior mafia, conspiracy, 1996, flac,

KDD - Résurrection (1998)

Country: France
Language: French (Le Français)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: COL 489635 2

© 1998 Columbia
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: kdd, resurrection, 1998, flac,

KDD - Une Couleur De Plus Au Drapeau (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Language: French (Le Français)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: COL 497 767 2

© 2000 Columbia Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: kdd, une couleur de plus au drapeau, 2000, flac,

Busta Flex - Busta Flex (1998)

Country: France
Language: French (Le Français)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 3984-22188-2

© 1998 WEA Music
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: busta flex, busta flex album, 1998, flac,

Busta Flex - Éclipse (2002)

Country: France
Language: French (Le Français)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 0927 46756 2

© 2002 WEA Music
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: busta flex, eclipse, 2002, flac,

April 28, 2021

R.B.L. Posse - A Lesson To Be Learned (2002 Reissue)

*Reissued in 2002 by Right Way Productions. 
Contains 11 tracks total and non-remastered audio
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: RWP-8000-2

© 1992-2002 Right Way Productions
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tags: rbl posse, a lesson to be learned, 1992, 2002, reissue, flac,