October 21, 2011
Review of Black Sheep’s first album in the november 1991 issue of The Source, written by Atco.
“There is a lot of talk about the lack of slammin’ jams on recent albums. That’s definitely not the case with the Black Sheep debut. Riding the jazzy “Flavor Of The Month,” Dres and Mista Lawnge follow-up with a style that’s bound to annoy and enjoy. With tracks such as “Similak Child,” “Hoes We Noes,” and “La Menage” (featuring Q-Tip), it’s plain to see that the Sheep rhyme about topics that might upset a few feminists, but it’s all in fun.
Musically the Sheep are unique, giving you an ear-ful of previously unused beats, basslines and samples from all types of music without making their tracks noisy or cluttered. The production comes off sounding crisp and clear to the point that you’ll find yourself freestyling over their funky beats.
Dres flows like a waterfall, and “the sugardick-daddy” Mista Lawnge spouts the lingo on a couple of cuts like on “Pass The 40,” where he states: “l stick gum in my ass cause I like to pop shit. ” Other dope cuts include ” Black With N.V. ” (No Vision), the tour-de-force “Try Counting Sheep” (which has a clever Rare Earth sample) and a message to the legions of wack rappers on “To Whom lt May Concern.” Throw in a couple of funny skits and you’ve got an idea of what the Sheep are about.
Although Black Sheep are down with the likes of De La Soul, Quest and the JB’s, they don’t sound like any of them-their shit just sounds dope.”
September 24, 2011
Feature on Tribe Called Quest written by Chris Wilder in The Source, november 1991.
A Tribe Called Quest : Georgie Porgie featuring Brand Nubian (demo) (DivShare)
September 24, 2011
Review of Tribe’s 5 mic classic in The Source, november 1991, written by Reef.
A Tribe Called Quest : Scenario feat LONS, Black Sheep & De La Soul (demo) (DivShare)
“What do you do for an encore after making one of the most ground-breaking unique and outstanding hip-hop albums ever ? Instead of moving ahead to an uncharted musical plateau that may be over everyone’s head, the Tribe have veered off to the side, molding their jazz-infused samples with fat hardcore beats to give their progressive sound a streetwise edge.
The most prevalent theme on this record is the Tribe’s disillusionment with the music industry. Song topics address shady promoters, bootleggers and the greedy, insensitive record labels that rip-off artists. Meanwhile Tip and Ali drop some more fat loops from their secret sample vaults. The tracks are kept simple and feature the type of fat drum beats that can be heard from a boomin’ system three blocks
away. Instead of just throwing a beat over a loop, the Tribe combine distinct pieces of music, program their own beats, and transform their samples into a sound that is truly their own. They add the right touch-whether its a live bass with singing on Q-Tip’s “Verse From Abstract,” or the jazzy sax loop on Phife’s” Butter.”
Q-Tip has already proven he is a highly skilled lyricist with his own distinct style and once again he flows lovely, dubbing himself “the abstract poet.” Those who questioned Phife’s microphone techniques on the first album will swallow those doubts as he practically steals the show on this one. Phife provides a more straight-up b-boy approach to complement Tip’s mellow vibes.
Other outstanding cuts include “Buggin’ Out”, an uptempo jam with a catchy bassline, “Rap Promoter” with its chunky guitar samples, “ShowBiz”, featuring Brand Nubian’s Lord Jammar and Sadat X and ex-Ultimate Force member Diamond D, and “Scenario” a duet with the Leaders Of The New School that feature some incredible lyrics from Busta Bhymes. There’s no sophomore jinx to be found here only real hip-hop.”
April 24, 2010
Feature article on Guru published in Rap Pages for the release of Jazzmatazz in august 1993.
April 21, 2010
Cover story on Gang Starr in the Source of april 1994 by Ronin Ro, with contributions by SHortie, Da Ghetto Communicator and Todd Williams.