"Stay Far From Timid, Only Make Moves When Your Hearts In It, and Live The Phrase: Sky's The Limit..."
© Christopher "Notorious BIG" Wallace R.I.P


THE CHAMP IS HERE 3 (Hosted By DJ Drama & DJ Green Lantern)
released: May 2nd, 2010
After a strong comeback with the release of both his DJ Green Lantern assisted Champ Is Here 2 and The Last Kiss LP last year  Yonkers MC Jadakiss brings us back in the ring for round 3 of the Champ Is Here series.

Alongside DJ Green Lantern and new addition DJ Drama, Champ Is Here 3 features Jadakiss doing what many of his fans have adored him for throughout the years, boosting wicked wordplay and simply real sh*t.

For the first time in the series, the tape features appearances from various MCs outside the Lox/D-Block circle including Nicki Minaj, Yo Gotti, Uncle Murda, and several others. The one feature however that's most notable is none other than God's Son,  NaS. 

The DJ Green Lantern produced "Soldier Survivors" finds Kiss, NaS, and Sheek Louch boosting their street smarts. Every artist on this track delivers (yes, even Sheek) but contrary to the many perception of such a lineup, it is Kiss that outshines the track.

"Treat the track like Rihanna/ and Chris Brown it...
Despite this epic feature by the Queensbridge MC/soldier, many more highlights are presented on this 3rd round.  The raspy MC brings his A game on every track but, it is tracks like "Who Shot Ya?", "Top 5 Dead or Alive" (w/ Styles P), and "Somehow, Someway" that amps listeners for another  album release.

Many MCs have tried their hands on B.I.G's '95 cold street classic "Who Shot Ya?" and only a few have resulted to good reviews but, Jada clearly executes the meaning of what it is to be a  "Top 5" MC over the Puff and Nashiem Myrick produced track.

"I woulda bought the Bentley but I had to pay taxes, settled for a Polo Fit and some Air Maxes..."
It is this lyrical wit that has placed Jada in the higher ranks by not just fans but your favorite rappers favorite rapper.

The number of features in this case plays sort of bittersweet.  Great MCs rapping alongside  Jada are good to see or in this case hear but, fans of the previous tapes would much rather hear more solo Jada tracks.

Although this double edged sword of features, Champ is Here Pt. 3 showcases a real MC at work.  Jada undoubtedly knocks out the competition throughout the 24 tracked tape, leaving fans eager for the next LP, Top 5, Dead or Alive.

PUSHIN' SCORE (out of 5): 4.0


released: May 4th, 2010
It was almost 5 years ago, when ATL's own Young Jeezy alongside DJ Drama dropped what many still to this day consider a classic. Trap Or Die was the magnum opus of a mixtape that both introduced Young Jeezy to a much wider audience and undeniably created the platform for his proper entrance with Thug Motivation 101.

"Last time I checked, I was the man on these streets..."

Now 5 years later, and stamped as one of hip-hop's most prolific artists, along with having a much anticipated Thug Motivation 103 on the way, Jeezy alongside this time Don Cannon, returns back to the trap with Trap or Die 2.

Trap or Die 2 features Jeezy and Don Cannon providing nothing but hit after hit. For the first time in the series, Trap Or Die 2 boosts nothing but original tracks over original sampled beats which sets the standard at an all time high compared to the first.

The 21 track 103 prelude include guest appearances outside of the CTE camp, such as Trick Daddy, Scarface, Birdman, Bun B, Bigga Rankins, Plies, and Clipse.

Tracks like "My Camaro" "Greatest Trapper Alive" "Hood Politics" are instant favorites but it is the Clipse featured "ILL'in" that clearly becomes the highlight.

Pusha dominates the track single handily, taking the beat hostage...

"Tell Hova don't pass the crown so soon, Unless he got a crown for every writer in the room/There's too many spirits on these ghostwritten tunes, So you can't crown the heir until you seance the room ..." (The infamous Hov line).

The trio ends the track leaving an eagerness by listeners for another collaboration.

What makes this sequel special is the fact that Jeezy displays tremendous growth lyrically compared to the predecessor. Fans will not be disappointed one bit. What is noteworthy is that Don Cannon and Jeezy flipped the script on this tape and the ending result, remarkable. Instead of the usual and plain format of mixtapes, which often consists of the expected freestyles over other artists' instrumentals, Don Cannon & Jeezy took the different route and provided a street album. As stated earlier, original verses over original beats.

Although fans of the first tape, including DJ Drama, may feel a certain way about comparing the two (because of Trap Or Die's cultural/musical impact and significance during its time) Trap Or Die 2 raised the bar just as the first, proving that time is of the essence. As much as we would have loved to hear Jeezy kill it over a Young Money Instrumental or maybe yet even Hov's "Politics As Usual", original tracks provide more classics in an artists' musical catalog.

Overall, Jeezy provides what many of his fans have appreciated from him for years, spitting that real sh*t on wax. Compared to part one, the realest MC has matured both lyrically and mentally. If TM 103 sounds much like Trap or Die 2 then another classic isn't far from reach.

"Trap or Die 2 Mothafu÷kers!!!"

PUSHIN' SCORE (out of 5): 4.5

released: March 30th, 2010
After a previously disappointing album release in 2008, Usher tries to reclaim his throne on the 6th studio album titled, Raymond V Raymond. The 15 track LP finds Mr. Raymond being racier than before along with theme of being little self-confessional towards his publicly failed marriage with Tameka Foster.

“There’s three sides to every story…” The confessional begins with a sexy themed intro that breaks the barriers that were up on 2008’s Here I Stand. On "Monstar", the head nodding rhythm sets the mood for album with Usher providing vocals that backs up his motive for the crown in R&B, “If you’re looking for a lover, I’ll be here all night…”

An instant favorite is the bass knocking drummed “Daddy’s Home”. The Runners produced hit is currently burning up the Billboard charts and will burn through the speakers as many will find their selves selecting replay. Highlights on this effort include “There Goes My Baby”, a track that every R&B fan will enjoy because of its comforting sounds and calming backdrop; the Will.I.Am assisted “OMG”, the Jim Jonsin produced “Making Love (Into the Night)”, and the Nicki Minaj featured “Lil Freak.” On the latter track, it’s clear that the wedding ring is gone, the seductive track finds the two creating a mentally visual image for their forthcoming sexual endeavors, “I swooped his girl up and what I'm about do to you he'll feel I did him wrong…”

Although the album was themed around being confessional, there isn’t much here. Unlike 2004’s Confessions, where the theme was surrounded around his failed relationship with Chili from TLC, Mr. Raymond doesn’t really speak much on his supposed trials and tribulations. The only tracks to do so are the buzz single, “Papers” and the T.I. featured “Guilty.”

Another disappointment is found on tracks like “She Don’t Know” which features Ludacris and “So Many Girls”. The chorus on both is somewhat annoying and does little to establish growth in the R&B crooner.

Overall, Mr. Raymond does a better job on this LP rather than the last. It provides vocals and sounds throughout the LP that many fans have grown to admire over the years. The downside is that it doesn’t offer anything new for listeners along with being unable to clear out the double-edged sword of Confessions.

PUSHIN' SCORE (out of 5): 3.5