» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

October 9, 2009
Glaciers of Ice: Volume 44

When you think of Florida hip-hop, you probably think Pitbull and Rick Ross. Start thinking Dynas. His new album, The Apartment (BBE) is a refreshing blast of tropical air in an otherwise stuffy musical dwelling. The production is on point from start to finish, with a little help from DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinna, and Dilla. Every song tells a story here, some humorous, some serious, all greatly enhance by Dynas' melodious flow, quick tongue, and gift of gab. Slick Rick and Rich Medina are just a few of the guests that pop up here, but Dynas can do it all on his own.

Buckshot and KRS-One's new collaboration, Survival Skills (Duck Down), is successful on so many levels. The beats, produced by the likes of Ill Mind (the excellent, eponymous opening track), Havoc (the AutoTune-dissing "Robot"), and Black Milk (the funky, Mary J. Blige-featuring "The Way I Live"), are all of way above-average quality. And both Buck and KRS, longtime veterans of NYC hip-hop, trade verses with each other and the extended BCC clan, sounding as fresh and vital as they did way back in 1993.

Speaking of vets, Edo. G and Masta Ace have also teamed up as A&E for a new album, Arts and Entertainment (M3 Music). Once again, solid results from two MCs with impressive resumes. The promo album I'm listening to is one long track, so I can't list any track titles, but fans of old and new school alike should check this one out. Highlights include a GZA-style track with the two riffing on the terms "lil'" and "young" as both MC names and adjectives. Is a song about "dancing like a white girl" funny? Maybe. At least the Elaine Benes (from Seinfeld) reference is. But it kind of feels like a 1980s comedian line. Still, the album's dope.

Apathy may be closely affiliated with Jedi Mind Tricks, but trust me, he's way better. His new album, Wanna Snuggle? finds the MC rapping gruff and rugged over AZ samples ("Money Orientated") and trading verses with ex-Fu Schnickens member Chip Fu. But what really separates him from those he generally affiliates with (7L and Esoteric, Army of the Pharaoahs) are the quality of his production and his comfortable flow, alternating between the serious and the lighter sides of the lyrical spectrum. This continues on his new effort, where he's helped out by other likeminded MCs and producers like Phonte and J-Live.

Soulja Boy has a new mixtape out now, presented by DJ Woogie, DJ Ill Will, and DJ Rockstar, called Soulja Boy (My Way of Life). Yep. It's Soulja Boy. He goes "Whoo!" He says his own name a lot. Enough said.

The Bay Area's Crown City Rockers keep it easy, breezy, and laid back on their new album, The Day After Forever (Gold Dust). That may sound like the title of a Common record, and their jazzy sound, the swirling synthesizers of a song like "Soul," and their general vibe help reinforce this comparison. This is good hip-hop, but if you're looking for an edge, you'll have to go elsewhere.

Fashawn and The Alchemist have collaborated on a new mixtape, The Antidote. This is just the beginning of exciting news for the young, Fresno-based MC, who will be opening up for Ghostface on his upcoming tour. This may sound like a lazy comparison based on their geographical backgrounds, but Fashawn's voice does bear a certain similarity to Planet Asia, another Central Valley MC. Check out the slinky funk of "Fash Plays it Cool" and more for free via the mixtape download from HipHopDX.

Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members are back with a new album, Armed to the Teeth, which finds the group working with Suburban Noize, a label that normally releases crap by Kottonmouth Kingz and their ilk. This time around, former member Moka Only joins the fray, in addition to guest spots from Talib Kweli, La Coka Nostra, and others. Tracks like "Warrior" are annoying rap-rock, what one would normally expect from Suburban Noize. "Bang Bang" follows suit, with a beat that sounds like a rip-off of Eminem's "Lose Yourself." "Bollywood Chick," on the other hand, incorporates a futuristic Indian style with a Black Eyed Peas-style whisper of "She's sexy!" This one might feel better after a few more listens, but I'm not counting on it.

Brooklyn MC Skyzoo has a new album out, The Salvation (Jamla/Duck Down). Nary a guest appearance graces the record, nor does Skyzoo need one. His Jay-Z-like flow bobs and weaves over excellent, jazzy, and cinematic production from 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Black Milk, and more. I was really not that familiar with Skyzoo before hearing this album, but I'm definitely a fan now. Intelligent lyrics spar with a distinctive ruggedness (check The Wire sample on "The Shooter's Soundtrack"), rendering Skyzoo's voice one worth listening to.

Afro Classics is a new group made up of Living Legends member Scarub and US Pros member Very. Their new album, Classic Rock (NatAural High), features other members of the LA underground helping out with production, including Eligh and Thavius Beck (the scattered breakbeat-heavy "Above & Beyond"). This one is for fans of the decidedly non-gangster movement that's been bubbling around the Southland for the last decade - danceable and easygoing yet always a little bit edgy hip-hop.

On Del The Funky Homosapien and Tame One's new album, Parallel Uni-Verses (Gold Dust), there are a lot of throwback rhymes. I'm talking about rhymes extolling the virtues of old school, rapping about old school artists, even referencing old school Sesame Street. Fortunately, Del and Tame sound really good doing it. This joining of Heiroglyphics and Artifacts forces doesn't seem a likely one at first glance, but the two MCs rip it over hard-edged funk beats. I can't speak for the whole album, as I only have a sampler to, um, sample from, but the tracks included here - "Flashback," "We Taking Over" and more, are dope.

New DOOM? Yes, please. The thing is, Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust) features a whole bunch of tracks you've already heard before. Sigh. Come on, man, give us some new shit already! Yes, "Rock Co. Kane Flow" (with De La Soul) was rad, "Sniper Elite" (with Ghostface) was titillating, and "E.N.Y. House" (with Masta Killa) was the tits. But we've heard these songs before!!!! New music, please.

Speaking of tracks from good artists that you've heard before… Dillanthology Vol. 3: Dilla's Productions is out this month on Rapster. The compilation features some of Dilla's best and brightest work from his entire discography, further proof of his genius and opening the void his death has left in hip-hop even wider. Still, it's good to hear these songs.

That's all for now, so until next month… e-mail with thoughts and insults, and send me yer shit! I'll listen to it. Glaciers is ghost like Casper.

Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.



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