The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.
Curren$y Proves His Worth On “Immaculate” Album
He was affiliated with Master P and Lil Wayne before breaking out on his own and delivering a string of a high-quality mixtapes (“Life At 30,000 Feet,” “Covert Coupe”) and independent albums (“Pilot Talk,” “Pilot Talk 2”).
Flying solo proved to be a smart move for Curren$y, now one of rap’s most prolific artists. On the verge of releasing his “The Stone Immaculate” album on Warner Bros. Records, the New Orleans rapper has teamed with Wale for “What It Look Like,” a sonically serene look at living the high life.
Both Curren$y and Wale floss over the laid-back sound bed, which features a harp and other elegant instrumentation. Sure, that isn’t the typical way to approach a track, but Curren$y has proven that he can be successful doing things his own way. “The Stone Immaculate,” due in stores June 5, is proof positive of that.
Apollo Brown Brings New Life To The Legendary OC
A former winner of the Midwestern leg of Red Bull Big Tune, Detroit producer Apollo Brown grew up idolizing hardcore New York rap. By teaming with supreme lyricist OC for the just-released “Trophies” album, Brown is working with one of his inspirations.
The pair’s mesmerizing “Just Walk” single highlights their respective strengths. Over Brown’s soulful, chopped beat -- accented by horn blasts and string sections -- OC flows smoothly and puts his adversaries in their place, flaunting a deep level of insight with references to everything from poets to films.
When Ice Cube teamed with the Bomb Squad back in 1990, the collaboration showed the power of artists working with producers from different regions. Apollo Brown and OC continue that trend.
The Rockness Monstah Drops The Competition
In the mid-1990s New York rap renaissance, Black Moon, Smif-n-Wessun and Heltah Skeltah were among the Duck Down Records representatives to bring a grimy side to the Dirty Apple’s rap scene. Heltah Skeltah’s Ruck, aka Sean Price, has gone on to earn frequent acclaim for his comical, self-deprecating music.
By comparison, Price's partner in rhyme, Rock, aka the Rockness Monstah, has surfaced only sporadically. But when he does, the results are typically stellar.
Such is the case on the bone-crushing “Drop ‘Em.” Over a slow, grisly beat from Seattle producer BeanOne, Rock delivers his signature brand of heavy-handed gangsterism, which he balances with some well-placed punchlines. Lifted from the forthcoming Coalmine Records compilation “Unearthed,” “Drop ‘Em” hits with magnum force.
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