Roots Manuva-Run Come Save Me (2001)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: 41%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. No Strings…
  2. Bashment Boogie
  3. Witness (1 Hope)
  4. Join The Dots
  5. Black Box Interlude
  6. Ital Visions
  7. Kicking The Cack
  8. Dub Styles
  9. Trim Body
  10. Artical
  11. Hol’ It Up
  12. Stone The Crows
  13. Sinny Sin Sins
  14. Evil Rabbit
  15. Swords In The Dirt
  16. Highest Grade
  17. Dreamy Days

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing a rap album to listen to while walking downtown at night.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super original, love it! Fits the sounds so well!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Abso-friggin-lutely.

Final Thoughts:

Any Gorillaz fans will recognize the name Roots Manuva, he gave a spectacular performance on their song All Alone on their crown jewel Demon Days. He’s a big deal in the UK, but kinda unheard of up here in Canada. But he should be played a lot more! His sound can go from anything to fun alt hip hop: ex. Join The Dots to introspective sad rap much like the stuff coming out of Seattle (Grieves comes to mind) such as songs like Sinny Sin Sins where he talks about his Pentecostal upbringing. He can also do songs that capture hearts much like Method Man’s You’re All I Need, Roots has Dreamy Days a ballad like love song sure to be relatable to more than a few. Bring it all together with muddy, dark, and often overpowering beats and we get Run Come Save Me, a hip hop album not to be missed.

Blackalicious-Blazing Arrow (2002)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 93%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 92%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro: Bow & Fire
  2. Blazing Arrow
  3. Sky Is Falling
  4. First In Flight
  5. Green Light: Now Begin
  6. 4000 Miles
  7. Nowhere Fast
  8. Paragraph President
  9. It’s Going Down
  10. Make You Feel That Way
  11. Brain Washers Feat. Ben Harper
  12. Chemical Calisthenics
  13. Aural Pleasure
  14. Passion
  15. Purest Love
  16. Release Part 1, 2, and 3
  17. Day One

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

On the hunt for a fun, funky, summery hip-hop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s actually embarrassingly the reason I first gave Blackalicious a chance, it’s a really original cover with awesome colours.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I’d absolutely love this one on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

I bought this album on a whim back in my high school day and it was such a gateway album for me. It got me into other Quannum guys like Lateef, Lyrics Born, and Honeycut, as well as other rap groups like Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples. It’s a really big album when it comes to forming my music taste, it really got me into some of my all time favourite artists. I owe a lot to this album and the damn thing still holds up. It’s really fresh sounding, really cool beats, really fast/fun lyrics. From tracks like Paragraph President, to the follow up to Alphabet Aerobics: Chemical Calisthenics. It’s an amazing album that nobody should miss. NOBODY.

Zion I-The Take Over (2009)

My Rating: 63% (C)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 58%

Average Rating: 60.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Taking
  2. Geek To The Beat
  3. TakeOver
  4. DJ DJ
  5. Antenna
  6. Caged Bird Part 1 Feat. Brother Ali
  7. In The Mornin’
  8. Radio
  9. Gumbo
  10. Country Baked Yams Feat. Devin The Dude
  11. Coastin’
  12. Juicy Juice
  13. Peppermint Patty
  14. Bring In The Light
  15. Legacy Feat. Ty & Jennifer Johns

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a good mix of African beats with some alternative hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Love it, it really fits the overall vibe of the album, and is just really beautiful.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

It’s funny, before sitting down to listen to the album as a whole I would’ve said absolutely, but seeing as there is a lot of dead space between the songs I’m really into, I’d say no now.

Final Thoughts:

I got into Zion I at the same time as other artists like Blackalicious, The Mighty Underdogs, and Brother Ali. So he automatically gets points for being grouped with those groups who were really important to my musical formation in High school. The Take Over is a pretty okay inclusion in my music library, the only problem is that there are quite a few misses for me on this album, but the songs that land are solid.

Quasimoto-Yessir Whatever (2013)

My Rating: 83% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: 60%

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 71.5%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Broad Factor
  2. Seasons Change
  3. The Front
  4. Youngblood
  5. Astronaut
  6. Planned Attack
  7. Brothers Can’t Save Me
  8. Catchin’ The Vibe
  9. Am I Confused?
  10. Sparkdala
  11. Green Power
  12. LAX to JFK

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Sick of conventional music, looking for something psychedelic and reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super awesome. I love it so much. It fits the album title and the overall vibe of the music on the record.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes, absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

This is what I’d define as psychadelic hip-hop. It’s like John Dwyer put his talents to a hip-hop album and allowed a weed fiend take the mic from him. You can practically smell the weed through the speaker when listening to Yessir Whatever. It’s truly a unique album, super odd, not for everyone, it strums the right chord for me, but I can see it really grating against others. Listen to it and let me know your opinion in the comments below.

N.A.S.A.-The Spirit Of Apollo (2009)

My Rating: 75% (B-)

Pitchfork Rating: 16%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 64%

Average Rating: 51.7%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Into
  2. The People Tree Feat. David Byrne, Chali2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip
  3. Money Feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip
  4. N.A.S.A. Music Feat. Method Man, E-40 & DJ Swamp
  5. Way Down Feat. RZA, Barbie Hatch & John Frusciante
  6. Hip Hop Feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre
  7. Four Rooms, Earth View
  8. Strange Enough Feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastards, Fatlip
  9. Spacious Thoughts Feat. Tom Waits & Cool Keith
  10. Gifted Feat. Kanye West, Santogold, & Lykke Li
  11. A Volta Feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx
  12. There’s A Party Feat. George Clinton & Chali2na
  13. Whachadoin? Feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner
  14. O Pato Feat. Kool Kojak & DJ Bãboa
  15. Samba Soul Feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & DJ Qbert
  16. The Mayor Feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Want a mash up of tons of critically acclaimed musicians from hip-hop to blues/funk.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super random, just like the whole album, love it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of those absolutely amazing albums that just went unnoticed, and I’m baffled why that is. I mean look at that star studded list of featuring artists, are you freaking kidding me? This is a music fans dream of an album and I for one am not letting it slip away without giving it the proper appreciation. The album as a whole may have only gotten 75%. But the songs that work, work really well. Please listen to these guys. You’ll thank me later.

Madvillain-Madvillainy (2004)

My Rating: 67% (C+)

Pitchfork Rating: 94%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 93%

Average Rating: 84.6%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. The Illest Villians
  2. Accordion
  3. Meat Grinder
  4. Bistro
  5. Raid
  6. America’s Most Blunted
  7. Sickfit (Instrumental)
  8. Rainbows
  9. Curls
  10. Do Not Fire! (Instrumental)
  11. Money Folder
  12. Shadows of Tomorrow
  13. Operation Lifesaver AKA Mint Test
  14. Figaro
  15. Hardcore Hustle
  16. Strange Ways
  17. Fancy Clown
  18. Supervillain Theme (Instrumental)
  19. All Caps
  20. Great Day Today
  21. Rhinestone Cowboy

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some weird ass rap that’s not going to be what you expect it to be. It’s really friggin’ original.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Iconic. It’s probably in my top 10 album covers of all time. Love me some Doom folks.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Absolutely, just for All Caps alone.

Final Thoughts:

This is one of my reviews where my formula really worked against me, the pure amount of instrumentals and interludes made it really work against it. At the end of the day I love Doom, and his rap is on point every time he picks up the mic on the album, I guess I just wish he’d do it more.

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