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D|REVIEWS: E-Man Bates – Be Careful Be Safe



REVIEW – E-MAN BATES “be careful be safe”

Speaking from first & third person experiences throughout his life emcee E-Man Bates delivers his eight record EP “Be Careful Be Safe” touching on a multitude of personal stories & tribulations. “Green Balloons” provides an entrance with E-Man Bates speaking on the project’s substance before leading into a lyrical foundation that opens the door into his life & gives listeners a peak into who he is. That door swings open as if reaching through the projects cover artwork & has you traveling further into “Flashbacks” that has Avery Norris & Lola Tea provide vocal assistance with a soulful synth-like mix thats melds in between the storytelling abilities of E-Man Bates.

The next track comes in abruptly after flashing back & on “I Don’t Know” he begins touching on a darker side of the mind & hiding behind alcohol. Details of the growth & struggles that come with depression are highlighted as the emcee expresses how he took control & shifted his focus into more meaningful directions. I can appreciate an artist who isn’t afraid to touch on the topic of depression & even more so those who can use that depression to fuel an outlet into a creative path.

Angry Gohan” has the female reporter/interviewer you heard earlier in the EP returning to question E-Man Bates about rumors on social media claiming that he hasn’t been as focused on his music & that beer itself as well as his blogging endeavor Beats & Brews has taken away from his musical shine. Quick to dispute those very rumors & prove theirs no reason he can’t do both “Angry Gohan” brings the most hype & heaviest hitting record midway through the eight record letting him talk his shit well closing out with a little reasoning behind his drinking.

Fitting to bring up liquor as “White Russian Mano” builds off the previous in what feels like an extension of “Angry Gohan” providing a double center in the middle of the project sandwiched between more storytelling oriented derivatives. The albums first single “Holy Water” speaks of a new day well moving forward E-Man Bates explains how his “mental thermostat has no control” yet his “brain is a blessing”.  That blessing shows through his most sing-song verse of the album, the second verse of “Holy Water” touches on performing at a metal fest & starting Beats & Brews & provides one of my favorite verses across the eight song EP. I especially dug the “widow maker” line snuck inside that second verse & the sample-like sounding voice inside the verse dies off before leading into the title track.

Be Careful Be Safe” brings a fast paced live sounding display of E-Man Bates that sounds built for a live band on stage…that is before about mid-way through the record you hear the jazzy sounds of trumpet lace the backdrop for E-Man Bates tribute to his mother, rest in peace. It’s a moving, descriptive, & emotional take on their relationship that he drives over the beat that builds intensity behind the central idea of “Be Careful Be Safe” before drowning out in more trumpet. That drowning trumpet brings us back to that live band sound with the crowd cheering in what proved one of my favorite cuts on an what has played out as as very consistent record. The title track has more to it before the final bonus with what sounds like some throwback early recording / lost tapes type sounds & plays well to the diversity of sounds I’ve found across the whole project.

MSML” is that very bonus bringing in a chopped/screwed voice before one of the harder flows coming from Bates in this strong record that I thoroughly enjoyed as a closing. “MSML” you come to discover is acronym for Music Saved My Life – a fitting slogan to “Be Careful Be Safe” an album that touches on depression, loss, personal struggles, & growth. In what has been a terrific year for hip hop releases E-Man Bates fits inside that pocket of must listen projects & proves that he can focus his music still shines regardless of juggling multiple passions. There’s the perfect amount of music here to allow for consistency in both theme & being able to showcase his abilities without any filler tagging along that might’ve stretched out an album that does a great job of absorbing its substance with production that fits & E-Man’s ability to tell stories of life efficiently & effectively. – COMMi$$ION



Savior Monroe – “Lost Innocence Awakening”



Lyrical powerhouse Savior Monroe treats us a special journey through his music with his new album "Lost Innocence Awakening".

Lyrical powerhouse Savior Monroe treats us a special journey through his music with his new album “Lost Innocence Awakening“. In his own words “This is the journey of Savior Monroe and how he awakens the God within, allowing him to add power to his words and negate the Apocalypse with music.” describes the general direction of this latest effort. That direction is well aimed & as you travel the fifteen track audible trip your enlightened by poignant storytelling, lyrical abilities, & Savior’s knack for tying together records in a meaningful way. I will have my full review of this project right here at in the coming weeks but until then I strongly success waking up to “Lost Innocence Awakening” and taking a journey with one of Detroit’s all-star talents Savior Monroe.

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Boogie – Everythings For Sale [Short Film] + Album



In a prelude to his debut album which released today on Shady Records / Interscope "Everythings For Sale" comes the short film of that very same title.

In a prelude to his debut album which released today on Shady Records / Interscope “Everythings For Sale” comes the short film of that very same title. Boogie has been building a buzz for some time leading into this first major release and now that it’s here I’ve been seeing an overwhelming amount of great feedback. Myself, I’m a few listens through and truly have enjoyed the structure of the album, not too many rappers can transcend lyricism amongst their own singing in the way Boogie does. It’s albums like these that put me in fan mode, I can see this one burning up my digital airwaves for months to come. Enjoy the short creatively provocative short film above & soak in the experience that is “Everythings For Sale“.

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D|REVIEWS: A Trip Through The “Adventures Of Bang Belushi” by Bang Belushi.



Middle Finger Music, the rising Detroit based hip-hop label is off to a tremendous inaugural year as it infuses its talented roster into the scene release upon release. The previous entree “Line King” was an exceptional delivery from emcee Aztek the Barfly, providing a foundation for more illity to come. Well, the latest lyrical package has arrived garnering shine amongst the hip-hop circuits since it’s inception. I’ve been listening through the adventurous effort since it surfaced, and now after a thorough dive, I’ve arrived to supply my track by track breakdown.

Here is my review of “The Adventures of Bang Belushi” by Bang Belushi.

01. Intro. – Let me remind you in case I forgot to mention, these adventures are entirely produced by producer Foul Mouth. Here we get a quick little introduction that gives us a snippet of Bang Belushi’s recognizable voice & cadence well setting the stage for adventures with some sound bytes to bridge into the first full record.

02. Gotta Go – The Foul Mouth supplied horns & beat switch ups fuel energy behind Belushi’s flow that feels like a pushing momentum. The catchy hook that fits the title of this first full piece to adventure bodes well alongside the overall structure of a song that does a fantastic job of setting the tone for the rest of the album.

03. That Loud – A stoners anthem that has a chorus that gets you ready to chant along. It’s some classic hip-hop vibes with a sprinkle of humor mashed into the bars executed with precision. “We off that flower power, edibles I devour” states sir Big Bang a self-reference from “That Loud’s” chorus that becomes more infectious as it repeats in this record that’ll leave you primed for bong rips.

04. I Love Fast Food –  There’s no hidden meaning behind that title, this is indeed an ode of sorts to the fast food industry. Bang Belushi provides what I must admit is the best fast food-themed hip-hop song I’ve ever taken part in listening to. It had me reminiscent of those viral fast food ordering raps that have spread the interwebs however here we’ve got a full song structure & references to a large number of fast food chains. As soon as I heard “I’ve got an APB out on KFC.” I was laughing out loud at the moment, and that’s just one of the comedic bars in this homage to time convenient eateries.

05. Do The Bang – Dance moves ready? “Do The Bang” will you one foot in, one foot out, grabbing bitches as you tune into this bouncy experience that had me feeling like a cross between The Clipse & Busta Rhymes built around Bang’s themes.

06. DrinkSmokeWeedFuck – A four-step plan to eternal happiness? “DrinkSmokeWeedFuck” might be just that as Bang illustrates via wordplay a breakdown of those four facets. “Shitfaced, shitfaced, I mean that literally.” he states in this record that translates into a recipe for good times.

07. Simple ft. Nolan – Seven records in we arrive at our first feature from fellow Detroit area mainstay Nolan who closes things out with his raspyish voice driving “ether” into the “Simple” record.  “Life’s good I’m doing better than last year..” is the optimism of brighter times from Bang Belushi in this boom bap gem.

08. I Think I’m ODB ft. A Minus – The first record that received the visual treatment you catch the video & my write-up here.

09. For Years – For years I’ve been fresh, for years I’ve been fucking up ears.” Record number nine carries us through the center of Adventures where Bang Belushi goes on to provide a sort of statement on being slept on. It’s a proving ground of audible proportions with a reference to the late great Notorious B.I.G. being mixed with Willie Nelson in explanation of Belushi himself, a description that doesn’t feel too far from the mark between the syrupy flow & content behind Bang’s bars.

10. Rhyder Daddy – A soulful open before the song opens to what was one of my favorite Foul Mouth productions on the project. “Rhyder Daddy” comes together as a heartfelt, more personal, & less shock-value oriented bar rap than the majority of Adventures with a daddy-daughter record that goes on to talk of matching jordans & taking in children’s shows. The end result is a great hip-hop record to symbolize fatherhood.

11. Shooter ft. King Gordy & Guilty Simpson – A classic triple threat with a dash of horrorcore comes in the form of “Shooter” featuring two heavy-hitting Detroit legends. I wrote more about the first single from “Adventures Of Bang Belushi” here.

12. The Zone Out ft. Issac Castor – The only feature I was unfamiliar with on the whole album was Issac Castor. Bang Belushi carries us through the first half of this jazzy infusion that brings a quieter less anthem-like tone to it. The trumpets provide an eclectic atmosphere to this duo effort and Castor finishes off the record with a flow/voice that had me reminded of a young Logic.

13. Blowed Everday – Point blank my favorite beat on “The Adventures of Bang Belushi”, Foul Mouth is a beast with it. “Blowed Everday” is another record about getting high that would make any High Times reader smile as they listen. Bang’s delivery as he builds imagery around his drawn-out bars like the last words in”Rolling up wifi we in the cypher, my Bic ran out who got a lighter…” helps define his signature sound that has proved effective as we come close to ending our travels.

14. Bloodsport ft. Aztek the Barfly –  Labelmate Aztek The Barfly lends his services on “Bloodsport“, a lyrical hunger games of sorts etched on top an eerie voice inside the beat that has the two providing the “lethal weapons“. The weaponry arrives in one of the hardest hitting efforts across the fifteen and as another one of my standout selections from Adventures.

15. Middle Finger Rap – “Ho’s poking my belly, I feel like doughboy..” provided another laugh out loud moment in this powerful closer that has a voice shouting the return of Motown & the presence of Bang Belushi as we fade out in another “Middle Finger Rap” presentation that has occupied my stereo for weeks with welcomed ears.

In closing, “The Adventures of Bang Belushi” proves another exceptional addition to the young catalog of Middle Finger Music. Another poignant demonstration of Foul Mouth’s ability to craft soundscapes around his lyrical counterparts in a way that proves complimentary yet definitive of that artist’s style. My only complaint here is that a few of the records seemed to have a fairly reoccurring theme, I would’ve loved to hear more personal records like “Rhyder Daddy” or even a couple more humorous takes on various things such as “I Love Fast Food“. Outside of that Adventures does a terrific job of painting the type of emcee Bang Belushi is with a slew of standouts along with a certain catchiness that is anything but purebred hip-hop. 8/10


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