Sunday, February 17, 2008

Buck 65 - Situation
Location: Canada

The latest release from the legendary Buck 65 sees him reunite with his originating hip-hop roots. On 'Situation', he calls on upcoming producer, Skratch Bastid, a 2-time Scribble Jam Champ, for beats. The result has landed Bastid nominated alongside legendary Metallica producer, Bob Rock, for a Juno award for Producer of the Year.

'Situation' centers on a 1957 theme, and immediately delivers strong with the first five tracks. "Dang" is a hip-hop meets house meets jive theme for all those b-boys now taking swing dance classes (and I know you're out there). "Shutter Buggin" is another favourite playing on the sexual strife that was emerging in the late 50s.

Unfortunately the tracks following the first five don't deliver as strong a punch. Nonetheless, Buck's strong lyricism and Bastid's keen musical ear still deliver refined songs. "Cop Shades" is a favourite, which could double as the tv theme for any Miami Vice wannabe show. "Benz" is aptly titled for its high-speed energy and catchy "goin down" chorus.

'Situation' is another solid release from Buck 65, building on his youthful years as a rapper. And it's nice to see Buck reuniting with the person who took over his infamous hip-hop radio show at CKCU after his departure, that person would be Skratch Bastid.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Loc Dog presents Don't Be a Menace Compilation
Location: New Brunswick

During his 5 year tenure at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Loc Dog has established himself as the centerpiece of a vibrant rap scene. His latest compilation "Don't be a Menace" features the usual rap suspects from Fredericton, Digby and Saint John.

One of Fredericton's finest young veteran emcees, Monark, opens the compilation with his usual articulate flow over an energized horn-laced beat. Soon enough, "Nuff Said" displays the nicest beat on the album, while Digby's Miracle complements it with his usual fierce punch. "You'll See" is the gem, while a synth-driven beat is backed by Knowledge's R&B chorus and strong verses from Al Boogie & Mick D. Other standouts from this 26 track compilation include DNA's classic "North Side" and "Light a Dutch (remix)" by Napz Meka and Nostic.

Having started out in Fredericton beside many of these emcees, I can't help but be biased. For those outside of the scene, this compilation is yet another eye opener provided by Loc Dog.
PS. Peep Loc Dog & Mick D on CHSR 97.9 FM every Wednesday from 9:30 - 11 pm

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