JL – “The Devil Hates Sundays” (Album Review)

This is the brand new album from Missouri emcee JL, who started out as a member of the B. Hood crew before signing to Strange Music in 2015. His full-length debut on the label D.I.B.K.I.S. (Do It Big Keep It Strange) that came out a few years ago was a proper introduction to the Strange fanbase & I really liked that Kontra-Band collab effort he did with Stevie Stone in 2018 too. But after teasing new music for quite some time now, JL’s officially back with The Devil Hates Sundays.

After the intro, the first song “Silver” makes numerous references to the titular color over an organ-inflicted boom bap beat from Seven (who produced about half the album) whereas the track “Sunday Morning” with Marley Young finds the 2 comparing them & their significant others to Adam & Eve over a euphoric beat. The song “Means to an End” with Tech N9ne sees both spitters talking about doing anything for better luck over a trap beat with some bells while the track “Ask for It” with LeezoSTG & Maez301 finds the trio talking about giving their significant others anything they want over a rubbery instrumental.

The song “Ahh Haa” talks about being high over a hyphy beat from Wyshmaster while the track “Who Raised You?” talks about how they don’t make ‘em like this over a beat with some bells & a background singer humming. The song “Flashing Out” is filled with clever Hollywood references over a cavernous instrumental from Dominique Sanders while the track “That’s Him” with Joey Cool displays an impeccable chemistry with one another over a monstrous beat.

The song “Sleep on Me” with Krizz Kaliko sees the 2 talking about being underrated over a bleak instrumental while the track “Petty Bop” does a good job of living up to it’s name both lyrically & sonically. The song “Common Sense” talks about him being one of a kind over a cloudy beat while the track “Coming Down” talks about being off of the high over a woodwind-infused beat.

The song “SOS” talks about being too far gone over a dense beat while the track “Voices” with Jehry Robinson sees the 2 talking about the internal conflict within them over a desolate beat. The song “MIA” talks about getting to the money over a woozy instrumental while the track “Moonwalker” links up with Suli4Q & the CES Cru finds the 4 talking about revenge over a somewhat quirky beat.

The song “If I Wasn’t” with Saigon & Starrz finds the 3 painting scenarios of where they’d be if they never made it in the rap game over an intoxicating instrumental while the penultimate track “Bat Shit Crazy” talks about his boo being as wild as him over a sensual beat. The album finishes with “Inner Demons”, where JL apologizes for how he is over an instrumental with some slick guitar-playing.

Overall, I think this is JL’s best work date. There are a couple of features that I personally could’ve done without, but the lyrics on here are at his most introspective with the religious theme only enhancing it & the production fitting each cut like a glove.

Score: 7/10

Ras Kass – “Parkour” Ft. Cortez & Casual (Video Premiere)

Ras Kass has teamed up with UGHHBLOG to premiere his promotional video for his latest single “Parkour” featuring Hieroglyphics legend Casual and battle legend Cortez off of his upcoming vinyl playlist “I’m Not Clearing Shxt.” Taking it back to the feeling of the art form when Hip-Hop artists were able to sample everything and anything they wanted, before corporate bullying via sample clearance lawsuits.

The project features original guest appearances from ICE-T, Casual, OMID-G, Masta Ace, DJ Sid Wilson, Kool Keith, and MANY more. Limited quantities available on physical format can be purchased here via Blackhouse Records.

 

REASON OVER TREASON – “How to Cut a Diamond, Vol. 1” (EP Review)

Los angles Born project and Duo REASON OVER TREASON release their latest EP “How to Cut a Diamond, Vol. 1” a 2020 drop produced by Devine Milk and written by Osirius South central raised rapper. I was impressed with the slick look of the cover art it matched perfect with all the expectations.   As we dive into the album I can see this is one to anticipate as the 9 track album was cultivated by the two.

Track one started with a production with a sonic sound merged with Hip-Hop boom bap and Egyptian folklore music, This is a rare combination but impactful every-time. In recent hip-hop history we find artist who were able to successful merge the two like Busta rhymes “Arab Money”. “Higher Design” was calm and poised with the focus around over standing and the intricate bars. The delivery was dynamic and words used shows arrangement and gritty songwriting style. “Reason for Treason” has a unique vibe that yells golden age, I appreciate the the grass roots Hip-Hop elements as the collaboration enhanced the sonic approach.

“Schallah rock Universal” was another fusion sounding track with old school samples that push the soul forward. The Delivery of Osirius is hard hitting like a Big L mixed with a DMX, And the lyrics are just as impactful. I can see this alliance going far as they both excite the rap psyche for more.

“Kill Joy (Gods With Guns)” was a smooth production very classic feel this time around I got a Fabolous vibe with LA overtones. This track was explaining the war between the incarnated Gods,  So far on the album this was my favorite track because of the substance and delivery.  When I 1st heared “21 Grams” the low profile street vibe is perfect for the vibration created by the duo. This song makes me think of a short film explaining this song more in depth.

“Blood In my Ink” is another class of music as it nostalgic of 2pac songs like “Until The End Of Time” with this multi faceted song touching on the shadow side of the soul we see new elements around the rap duo. One thing we look for in great albums is delivery, substance and evolving content, I hear all of these elements as the album continues to play. Its only natural “Professional” is the next song on the track list , “The new Gods be the Old Devils” this was a impactful quote meaning the process of change and the flip side to understand yin & yang.

“Heart Grows” Starts with a dynamic soul sample that gets you in-tune with record right away. I especially like production as it stays consistent and unique every-time the sample heavy producer Devine Milk shows why sampling is his specialty creating classic sound after classic sound. “Still kill” was the perfect ending song with a Jedi Mind shot leaving the listener wanting more. “Waves extremely low but the frequent” This bar alone shows the wordplay and visual skill Osirius exhibits ending this album. For more updates from Reason Over Treason, Follow them on Instagram @osirius_lewsyphr_writer @divinemilk777 for new music and visual.

8/10

Highlights: Substance Production & Delivery 

Young Black And Gifted – “Warfare” (Video Premiere)

Rochester conscious boom-bap duo, Young Black and Gifted has teamed up with UGHHBLOG to premiere a video for the track, “Warfare”, from their recent album, “The Second Coming“. Shot and edited by Isaiah.Shot.It the video follows Azariah (the lyricist of the group) sharing his thoughts on the troubled times we live in. Of course at his side is Kidd Called Quest the prodigal beat-maker in the group.

Tom G – “The Grand Architect” (Album Review)

We’ve been waiting to cover “The Grand Architect” album by Tom G since he dropped his single, “Went Crazy” a few months ago.  The anticipation is done and project is finally here! It’s his solo debut and it’s a collaboration between Tom G, Insite The Grand Architect, and producer Asend Beats. The Inland Empire based rapper takes pride is raw, gritty Boom Bap, as you can hear in the beat selection. As for features, you can find names like Mc Lyfe, and Yung Miss.

As many know, we network with highly with Mc Lyfe, a well known rapper and cannabis connoisseur, so it’s dope to see him shine in “Searchin’”. As far as some highlight tracks, we need to mention “My Life”, and “Like Me Now”. These two tracks amplify Tom G’s creativity and gives reasoning to why he is one of the best out the I.E.. His path to success in this Hip Hop game has just started.

With 8-tracks total in this project, it might be a short one, but instead of quantity, you can tell that the quality of the music was really thought out between Tom G and Insite. We rate this project a well deserved, 7/10.

I-K-E – “Die Slow” (Video)

I-K-E stands for Inspiring Kings Everywhere. As a Mexican-American Hip Hop artist, I-K-E is used to being underestimated, and works tirelessly at his craft as both an MC and producer to exceed all expectations. He marries a variety of Hip Hop and musical influences, always emphasizing soulful melodies, catchy hooks, and top-tier lyricism.

Watch the new video premiere, “Die Slow”, as he let’s people know how to appreciate life and not to take it for granted.

Da Cloth – “Last Dose” Prod. by Speed (Video)

Da Cloth (members on this track are Rigz, Mooch, Illanoise and Rob Gates) just dropped some dope visuals to their sinister intro track “Last Dose” produced by Speed off their incredible new album “Da Fixtape” which also dropped today. This is one of underground Hip Hop’s premiere collectives of top-tier MCs coming out of Rochester. “Da Fixtape” is streaming on all platforms now with physical copies soon to come. You can stream the project via spotify below.

The Mighty Heard – “WORD” (Album)

Under Growroom Productions, based out of Hyattsville, Maryland, rising underground Hip Hop group The Mighty Heard releases their brand new album titled “WORD“, a 100% original full live hip-hop record.  Containing some of the best live band hip-hop, neo-soul and raw funk in the game today, WORD is sure to please any quality Hip Hop connoisseur.  Follow them on Facebook @themightyheard.

Da Cloth – “Da Fixtape” (Mixtape Review)

Da Cloth is a hip hop outfit from Rochester, New York consisting of Mooch, Rigz, M.A.V., Rob Gates, Times Change, Illanoise, Symph & Speed. They first started making noise in the underground in 2016 when the group put out The Fixtape & then Broad Day Kidnaps the following year, but their profile grew as each member starting putting out projects of their own. Whether that be Mooch’s Boss Sauce, Rigz’ Roach Gutta Slums, M.A.V.’s Hoodlum, Rob Gates’ Rob Like Get Robbed as well as their respective collab albums The Only Way Out & The Dark Side of Nature (the latter of the 2 both feature Big Ghost Ltd. production front to back). But to continue their prolific year, everyone’s getting back together for another collective mixtape.

The tape starts off with “Last Dose”, where Da Cloth paint some vivid street imagery about over a deadly instrumental. The next song “Count Us In” is a Mooch solo cut about how his crew is gonna be winning over a boom bap beat while the track “Back Door” talks about the block being hot over an eerie instrumental. The song “Ask Me Why” opens about the ugly shit they’ve been through over an weepy loop provided by Nicholas Craven & after the “Hardest Out” skit, the track “When the Studio Talked Back” sees Rigz going solo to demonically attack wack rappers over an gritty boom bap from Chup.

The song “Shake ‘Em” gets violent over a chilling sample while “Speaker of the House” sees M.A.V. on his own talking about turning nothing into everything over an Eto instrumental with a depressing atmosphere to it. The song “All About the Money” lyrically needs no further explanation with spine-tingling beat while the track “Role Models” celebrates their success over a boom bap beat with a killer guitar passage throughout.

The song “Hobbies” is a Rob Gates solo cut about busting his gun for fun over a grim instrumental from V Don while the track “Too Much” with Tekk 9 talks about there being enough nonsense & bullshit over a beat with a somewhat whimsical feel to it. The song “31 to 62” gets on their hustling shit over an electrifying instrumental while the track “Stretched” gets back with Tekk 9 once again to call out the rats over a boom bap beat with a bleak piano loop.

The closer “Ready” shows how ambitious they are over a rock-flavored instrumental while the first bonus track “Da Big Fish” talks about being top dogs over a desolate beat. The other bonus cut “Made Me What I Am” then discuses how they became the men they are today over some icy keyboards.

We all know Griselda have been the current Kings of New York for quite some time now but if you ask me, Da Cloth is right behind them. Each member continues to stand out in their own unique way & given how much all 8 of them have evolved in the last 3-4 years, hearing the crew together again in full effect has made them stronger than ever before.

Score: 8/10