White Van Music @jakeuno

White Van Music, Jake One, 2008


I go back to dope albums like White Van Music because there is an excess of garbage mixtapes and albums that should be pushed back until the industry evolves to something more worthwhile. I’m willing to bet there are a gang of hip hop fans that have never heard of Jake One and it’s all in the credits.  When I was looking through his discography, it amazed to think how a producer like Jake One can have his hands in so many different projects and people are still completely obvlivious to his work.  Beyond the ridiculous list of mc’s on White Van Music (below), Jake One produced for G-Unit Records and he’s worked with Musab, DJ Babu, Krondon, Planet Asia, Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox), Estelle, Freddie Foxx, E-40, Boot Camp Clik, Guilty Simpson, Blue Scholars, Smif-N-Wessun, Snoop Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Scarface, Skillz, Ca$his, Rakim, T.I., Skyzoo, Statik Selektah, Maino and I could go on for a while.  You get the point though. He has made a reputation for being a dope producer and White Van Music was produced exclusively by Jake One and the featured emcees is as impressive a list as the one above.


From what I understand about Jake One, he hasn’t released many full length albums, but he has his hands on an insane number of tracks with some of the most respectable in the 2011 hip hop industry as well as some of the most respected mc’s in hip hop history. This album was released on Rhymesayers Entertainment, based in Minneapolis, MN. The first track features two other industry leading producers in Black Milk and Nottz (Raw) and keeps up the tempo with featured mc’s that make it a classic compliation album. In addition to Black Milk and Nottz, M.O.P., Freeway, Brother Ali, D. Black, Little Brother, Posdnuos (De La Soul), Slug, MF Doom, Young Buck, Bishop Lamont, Busta Rhymes, Alchemist, Evidence, Prodigy, J. Pinder, GMK, Spaceman, Blueprint, Keak da Sneak, Elzhi, Royce Da 5’9, Vitamin D, C Note, Maine, Ish, Pharoahe Monch and Kardinal Offishall are all featured on tracks. Case closed!.....








Cats & Dogs @evidence

Cats & Dogs, Evidence 2011

[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/02-Strangers.mp3|titles=02 Strangers]

The solo album from Dialated Peoples' Evidence is something to behold. It's a well executed album filled with plenty of talent. I admit I'm not as familiar with Dialated Peoples albums as I should be, but I'm well aware of Babu, Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience as artists individually. It's really a shame too because Dialated Peoples have consistently been putting out projects and representing LA's underground for a minute. All it takes is an album like Cats & Dogs to drop to make me catch up on Dialated, Tha Alkaholiks, The Alchemist and Swollen Members.

[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/09-James-Hendrix-StepBrothers.mp3|titles=09 James Hendrix (StepBrothers)]

It makes sense that this album released on Rhymesayers because of Evidence's humble, never aiming for fame. Evidence's style is quality over quantity and he focuses on content/punchlines and syllable placement rather than flow and experimentation with the track. Relatively humble record sales hasn't affected his respect within the hip-hop community (at all!). Featured artists like Roc Marciano, Prodigy, Raekwon, Ras Kass, Aloe Blacc, Slug, Aesop Rock, Rakaa (Iriscience), Termanology, Lil Fame, Krondon and Fashawn solidify it as a dope album with well respected lyricists. There is also an all-star lineup of producers including The Alchemist, Twiz the Beat Pro, Rahki, Danny Keyz, Evidence, Khrysis, DJ Premier, Charli Brown, Sid Roams, Ethan Browne, Statik Selektah and DJ Babu. You put it all together and you have Cats & Dogs, 2011 hip hop at it's finest.


@evidence Evidence homepage Rhymesayers.com



Charity Starts At Home @phontigallo

Charity Starts At Home, Phonte, 2011

[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/02-The-Good-Fight.mp3|titles=02 The Good Fight]

Phonte was on hiatus since the last Foreign Exchange album dropped. Also, since there is no more Little Brother, it really wasn't clear what direction (if any) his career would take. Phonte was the standout mc from Little Brother, the biggest contributing mc on the Foreign Exchange albums and now here presents his debut solo project where he doesn't disappoint. Teaming up with 9th Wonder on a couple tracks reminds you of the magic Little Brother embodied (including Big Pooh). Along those same lines, Elzhi is featured on a track called Not Here Anymore, reminiscent of the classic track Hiding Place from The Minstrel Show. If you're up on my album reviews, you know I'm a huge Elzhi fan. Phonte and Elzhi compliment each other very well and I look forward to hearing more collabos with these two extremely talented mc's.  Other featured artists on Charity Starts At Home include Evidence, Eric Roberson, Carlita Durand, Big Krit, Sy Smith, Jeanne Jolly, Elzhi, Pharoahe Monch and Median.  Featured producers include 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Swiff D, E. Jones, Fatin 10, Stro Elliot, S1, Zo! And Phonte.

[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/06-Hiding-Place.mp3|titles=06 Hiding Place_Little Brother_feat._Elzhi_The Minstrel Show]

If you're not familiar with Phonte's style, he has a relatively slower flow, but he's funny and he often talks about the struggles of being monogamous.  Charity Starts At Home is an album that isn't going to get mainstream attention because Phonte isn't aligned with the typical catch phrases & themes of 2011.  So, check it out and support real, genuine hip hop artists!

@phontigallo Foreign Exchange Music