SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Fallacy & Fusion – The Ground Breaker (Wordplay)
Wow, a nine o’clock news sample. A novel way to start off a bouncy little track from Fallacy and his you-recognise-him-from-MTV-Base partner. Its built around a sharp brass sample, and one of those staccatto type beats that Timbaland and Busta Rhymes have pioneered. It’s a real grower – I started off not feeling it at all, and now I’ve played it four times in a row. The extremely laidback ‘Be Bad, Feel Good’ accompanies a few shitty garage mixes of the title track, and is a lovely little surprise.
RATING: 7 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Harli Heartz – All I Want Is A Nut (GMF)
Heads in the know may perhaps recognise the name of Harli Heartz following her appearance on Buckshot’s “BDI Thug” album. This debut cut is an agressive attempt at an alternative lady’s anthem – this one is all about ladies getting satisfaction. The basic production consists of a simple but effective horn loop layed over a hard edged boom boom bap – its a little dated perhaps, but is certainly effective in showcasing Harli’s skills. Coming off as a much more lyrically competent version of Lil Kim on this cut, Harlem native Harli is in-ya-face and downright filthy from the opening bar. Viciously dope. The flipside, ‘The Autobiography’ shows that Harli ain’t a one-trick pony – a where-I’m-from type joint, I’m seriously feeling the production on here. Make a note of the name.
RATING: 7 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Black Sheep – RedLightGreenLight (Antra)
Black Sheep are back, and suddenly everything seems right with the world again. Although Dres dropped a solo joint in 1999, ‘RedLightGreenLight’ is the first outing on wax of Dres and Lawnge as a duo since 94’s “Non Fiction” album. Despite the 8 year absence, this sounds like they’ve never been away – ‘RLGL’ is a mid tempo headnodder with a pulsing bassline and a catchy chorus, that no doubt will start to pop up on mixtapes everywhere. I’m more impressed with the other cuts on here however – the swirling ‘This Is How We Do’, and the incredibly bouncy ‘Havin’ Fun Wit It!’ are both highly enjoyable reintroductions to the Black Sheep sound. U CAN get with this.
RATING: 7.5 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
DJ Format – Ill Culinary Behaviour (Genuine)
As you’ve probably guessed from the title, this track features a “kitchen” theme of sorts. Over a rather dull track produced by Format, Abdominal drops similarly dull lyrics. The overall outcome is saved a little by the funky Lord Finesse scratched refrain. A nice idea but lacking a special ingredient or two that would have made it a truly “hot dish”. On the flipside you get a bongo-laced instrumental, which features an incredibly funky guitar bassline. Overall though, there’s nothing here worth ordering from the menu.
RATING: 5 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Dilated Peoples – Worst Comes To Worst (Capitol)
Y’all know the deal with this already I’m sure. Long released in the US, this is only now getting its UK release, so expect UK airwaves to be filled with the William Bell sample and Mobb Deep scratched chorus of this certified banger. Bonus on here though is a remix featuring a twist on the same sample, but with added verses from Guru and Havoc. I still prefer the original a little more, but its a nice touch. You also get a dark-ass ‘Expansion Team Theme’ remix by the Creators. US heads can only drool over this…
RATING: 9.5 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Crisis Center Productions – Volume 1 (Crisis Center)
A three track 12″ containing dirty and clean mixes of ‘The Hurt’, ‘Trick Photography’ and ‘All I Hear Is’. ‘The Hurt’ is a fast paced headtrip, as Undefined rips the microphone up over a neck-snapping beat by DJ Concept. The little Mad Skillz samples only add to the fun. ‘Trick Photography’ is uncannily Dr Dre-ish, right down to the sing-song chorus, while ‘All I Hear Is’ is a rant on the bullshit commercialism plaguing Hiphop today. This latter cut really impresses, as Undefined is joined by Dase and Maximillian Steele to condemn the bling-bling culture. The emcees are hardcore, the beat is hardcore, the cuts by Concept are dope… what more do you want? If this is the standard of things to come, then look for Crisis Center to blowup soon.
RATING: 8 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Redman And Method Man – How High Part 2 (Def Jam)
The Blunt Brothers return with a single to promote their forthcoming movie. An incredibly bouncy cut, which features a familiar Toni Braxton sample on the chorus. A strong verse from Meth is overshadowed by an INCREDIBLE verse from Redman, who totally dismantles the microphone. You need this one.
RATING: 8 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
The Undefined – Weapon Of Choice / The Arrival (see ughh.com)
The Undefined are a crew out of Jacksonville, FL and have been together for over 5 years. The chemistry and cohesiveness show here, as each emcee flows lovely on the Wu-esque ‘Weapon Of Choice’. Its plain to see that a lot of time has been spent on this – the production is ill, and Slicemaster and Mal Demolish both dismantle the mic. The flip side, ‘The Arrival’ is more like a freestyle, right down to the beatbox effects. Again the flows are on point, but I’m definitely feeling the A-side more.
RATING: 6.5 / 10

SINGLES REVIEW

Verbals by A to the L
Champions Of Nature – Salsa Smurf (Wordplay)
This looks like being the next single from the new Word Lab 2 compilation. In the album review I said that I didn’t really feel this, but I have to admit that after a few listens here, its started to grow on me. Still not a classic by any means, and that damn Salsa Smurf vocoder chorus still gets on my wick. On the flipside is a track called ‘Jazzy Styles’, which uses an old refrain from a Jazzy Jay session, that I ain’t heard in a long time.
RATING: 7 / 10