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ALBUM

D|REVIEWS – JONNIE MORRIS “It’s All Beautiful and All Good”

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D|REVIEWS – JONNIE MORRIS “It’s All Beautiful and All Good”

I’ll cut straight to the point – this has been my favorite year for hip hop since the late 90’s/early 00’s. No matter what your preference we’ve had an abnormal amount of quality releases from legends & rookies alike deep within every corner of hip hop stylistically. Almost every release Friday this year has given me something worth listening to on repeat. October 5th has proved no different & this very record I’m about to discuss with you is yet another fine example of the brilliance that is 2018 not only nationally but especially in our very own city. Detroit is a melting pot of talented lyricists & I’ve known it to be that way since my early adolescence tuning into Almighty Dreadnaughtz, Raw Collection, Early Eminem, & J Dilla. Now I know I’m setting the ante high but with this short yet poignant offering via Detroit’s own Jonnie Morris dropping today I’ve been given yet another reminder of why I live for this Detroit rap ish! Here’s a breakdown of the six record EP “It’s All Beautiful and All Good“.

01. Living In Hell: I’ve done worked all my life, you just work hard to die…” sings Jonnie Morris as we’re introduced to his raspy voice that articulates lifes struggles all well sprinkling in optimism so effortlessly. “Living In Hell” is a song that touches on darkness but through effective storytelling is also able to paint a picture of hope amongst the hellish happenings of life. The hook/chorus gets trapped in your head & the replay value of this entire record wastes no time giving you it’s opening track, a song that already feels metaphorically tied to the albums title.

02. The Road: In a way this six song effort comes across as quite the battle with life’s demons. “The Road” begs the question of where you’ll go once you’ve left the streets. A coming of age tale where maturity & growth isn’t a walk in the park but a long road with much journey ahead & Jonnie Morris gives an introspective approach of that journey with his knack for providing vivid imagery well delivering it as if it were tied to the instrumental.

03. Progression: Here on “Progression” we get a more abrasive delivery in a more braggadocios package of statements that has Morris claiming he is the best around & that he got approval from Detroit legends without asking. It becomes apparent why approval wouldn’t need asking with this hard hitting lyrical serving that comes off as an intelligent banger only solidify the facts Jonnie Morris lays out for listeners.

04. A Billion: Morris starts off with a somewhat choppy flow over the infectious beat before speeding things up pre-hook on “A Billion“. “Watch the money start to add up“…. he whispers before carrying on into his second verse that speaks on everything from words via his uncle to the political climate we’re stuck inside. One of the things I admire most about this entire project & the talent that Jonnie Morris provides himself is his ability to mash substance & lyricism into a package that still proves catchy. I feel like I’m listening to an early version of Kendrick Lamar who is just prepping our ears for a massive career ahead.

05. Made It Out The Trap: JUMP JUMP JUMP…..We Made It Out The Trap” echoes my previous statements & details the results of hard work paid off. “Losing way too much to quit” yet displaying the throws of hard work & all it leads to all well providing lyrical commentary on the “system”. It plays a celebratory record still packed with substance inside.

06. Honor Roll:  In closing, & with closing this record we shift back to a more somber sound that has the signature storytelling that Jonnie Morris establishes for himself throughout IABAAG. The “believe in me” bit that adorns the hook/chorus of the record gives me some “College Dropout” vibes from a production standpoint. In “Honor Roll” we get a political stance & commentary that I can only agree with as he eloquently states his reasoning. He does a great job of getting his point off in a lyrical & relatable way. The EP closes out on this serious note, but in closing I was immediately back to track one for a full replay.

It’s All Beautiful and All Good” is a short, effective, & replay worthy introduction into Detroit’s Jonnie Morris. I truly enjoyed all six records, & had a hard time finding any shortcomings other that wanting more music to listen to after finishing. I haven’t cemented out my top ten list for this jam packed year of releases yet but this EP is definitely a contender for one of those spots in my eyes. It’s snatched a permanent spot on my playlist for the remainder of the year & I strongly encourage giving it listen if you haven’t already. – COMMI$$ION

ALBUM RATING: 9/10

 

ALBUM

Da Ruckus New Album “Da Unreleased Episode”

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Emcee producer HUSH and UNCLE ILL has blessed us all with a blast from the past. Da Unreleased Episode is the last album Da Ruckus was working on before they started working on solo projects. This was the follow up work to Episode 1. They pressed 50 CDs and 50 Cassettes for fans and that was the only light of day the project seen. D.U.E. never got an official release and twenty plus years later hear we are. This album has gems!
The first track “Life Is A Gamble serves as a reminder and pays homage to the prior release Episode 1. Track two called “Eye Confess” features pre record deal D12 member Eiy-Kyu. These three emcees confess some issues from within to a beat that’s perfect for doing so. What ever happened to Eiy-Kyu?
Da Ruckus features their short lived Generation Techs crew on songs “We Are” and “Check It” featuring Da Brigade who are D12 members Kon Artis and Kuniva. GT lasted about as long as both songs combined but left us some solid recordings.
Over all this is a well rounded album.
The production and rhymes are more of what you loved about Episode 1. Out of five mics this a strong four. This album is a must hear for hip hop heads and available on every music streaming platform.
More info can be found at DaRuckus.com

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ALBUM

How to Dress Well in the Dark // mBtheLight New Music

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Photo by James Adams
Mahogani Music is excited to announce the release of How to Dress Well in the Dark (H2DWITD), a new body of work by Detroit-based multidisciplinary artist Monica Blaire under the moniker mBtheLight (mB). With featured tracks by Nick Speed and Andrés, H2DWITD marks mB’s premier as a producer and displays a fusion of jazz, R&B and electronica, creating a sonic landscape all her own.
The product of a triumphant performance artist, composer and singer-songwriter, mB’s debut on Mahogani Music is a shift in artistic direction, a twelve-track collection of songs that epigraph transformation and creative self-awareness. Developed over the course of three years, H2DWITD details a process of liberation from a space of emotional affliction–marked by recurring obstacles and cyclical dissatisfaction–into a period of renewal and expanded understanding of self.

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Dubterraneous One Be Lo-Fi and instrumentals

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One Be Lo “After digging through my ‘90’s tape collection, I found old loops, samples & unreleased beats that I haven’t heard since cd’s became the popular format. The first batch of records (Inherited from my Stepfather…Ok maybe I borrowed them…Maybe I just took the records and never gave them back, but he didn’t have a record player any more so they begged me to spin time with them.) I ever chopped, are on these tapes. In the beginning when I first started making beats, I didn’t own any equipment besides a tape deck. I recorded samples from vinyl onto cassette so I could dissect them in my Walkman or in the car on the way to the studio with Decompoze. We booked sessions with D.L. Jones, and chopped the records in his basement. He had the ultimate set up which included the Akai S950 rack model and the infamous SP1200. We brought the records over, told D. L. where to chop, add drums, sequence, then put on tape so we could go home and write rhymes. Usually the sessions were 4-5 hours and we always left with 2 beats each. That period lasted around 2 years, then we eventually started making beats on the MPC 2000 XL.”

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