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Buckshot & P-Money - BackPack Travels
Buckshot is pure Brooklyn, and with P-Money, "Backpack Travels" genuinely reflects the traditionally straightforward stylings of Brooklyn Hip Hop lore.
Jaded Incorporated (Mayer Hawthorne & 14KT) - The Big Knock
While Mayer Hawthorne and 14KT combine for some nice electronic Funk, many of their ideas ideas don't fully translate to the finished product.
ZelooperZ - Help (Mixtape)
ZelooperZ gels a cacophony of beats, rhymes and imagery into a menagerie that pushes the envelope, but he's green enough to be overwhelmed by his own charisma.
Swollen Members - Brand New Day
"Brand New Day" is an unbalanced but ultimately pleasing mix of Swollen Members' signature stylings with enough experimentation to keep things interesting.
Sage Francis - Copper Gone
Sage Francis delivers some exalted moments on his long awaited LP, but falls short of transcending his ideas to portray the true depths his of emotions.
Alex Wiley - Village Party
Alex Wiley's post-drill Village Party raises the bar on the artist's previous work, but fails to live up to its musical ambition enough to limit its enjoyment.
PeeWee Longway - The Blue M&M (Mixtape)
PeeWee Longway is buttressed by signature production here and his dexterous flows show much promise, but the duds overwhelm you as much as the wins dazzle you.
Canibus - Fait Accompli
Canibus is the prototypical rapper's rapper, and while he does a few things well on this LP, his 15th effort is plagued by obtuseness and shoddy production.
Riff Raff - Neon Icon
Riff Raff's "Neon Icon" is neither entertaining as sheer parody, nor a passable attempt at making a sincere Hip Hop album when judged by its merits.
Pro Era - The Shift (EP)
Pro Era's "The Shift" is the result of Brooklyn crate diggers turning on Hot 97, and the triumphs aren't without a few growing pains.
50 Cent - Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win
50 Cent's "Animal Ambition" is marred by its own limitations and obsessive portrayal of self-worth amid a recitation of "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" buzzwords.
Damani Nkosi - Thoughtful King
With "Thoughtful King," Damani Nkosi has crafted a uniquely excellent album practically accessible to any audience without compromising anything.
Skyzoo & Torae - Barrel Brothers
With a one-two punch that offers both hardcore and underground styles of Hip Hop, "Barrel Brothers" delivers a knockout blow from Skyzoo and Torae.
Yo Gotti & CMG - CMG Presents: Chapter One (Mixtape)
Yo Gotti and CMG's "Chapter One" finds Gotti in familiar territory while providing a platform for his burgeoning roster to play to their respective strengths.
Wiz Khalifa - 28 Grams (Mixtape)
Despite his penchant for experimentation, an overabundance of Auto-tune and worn out concepts make Wiz Khalifa's "28 Grams" a lackluster effort.
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