Special Round-Up Edition Pt. II

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With Kendrick, Plucky Walker, Dotropolis, GLC and Killer Mike.

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Blake Gillespie | February 15, 2012

It's a hustle hard overload in rap this week. With so much ground worth covering, Fresh Daily had little choice but to bring back the Special Round-Up Edition format to clear the opened tabs that are clogging the hell out of our Chrome window. We got free EPs, name-your-price EPs, loose cuts, jaw-dropping collaborations and game tight videos for those headphones. Let's go to work, in no particular order.

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The homie at Terroreyes.tv, asked our thoughts on Chicago's Dotropolis awhile back. We want to first extend a mighty gracias for putting us on to Dotropolis. We concur that “I got a chopper in the car, but it's for the zombie invasion” is a dope bar that rests comfortably within the future-funk of Flying Lotus. For more Dotropolis related material on par with “Baboon Face”, we direct you to RJ & Technique's GOSU record from 2011. The opening cut “Bowser” is villainous as RJ claims he's stomping through the city like the shell-backed boss.

Since Dotropolis situated us in Chicago, we move on to GLC who dropped a video for “Mack On Mack Strong”. It features the Ism on a folding chair explaining how his mackin' skills match up against a lady who holds her own. If there's one thing to learn from GLC, it's that you don't need a throne or even a La Z-Boy recliner in Paris to pimp. You can do it from a metal folding chair and it's still pimpin'. “Mack On Mack Strong” is from GLC's Eternal Sunshine of the Pimpin' Mind mixtape.

Rapping for hours on end has not slowed the duo of Chid and Xaphoon down. Chiddy Bang is dropping its debut album, Breakfast, next week. The duo linked up with Cleveland's Chip Tha Ripper for “Extra Well”. If you think about it, Chip's rap style is like a series of Facebook status updates and Check-ins (we in this hoe) strung together. On “Extra Well” he's checking in at the hotel and he's with a bad bitch, but that's a given.

We're pleased to hear Plucky Walker is still doing thangs and that those thangs include linking up with Al Lover. Hopefully “Don't Leave” is the rumblings of a collaborative album between the two. Plucky sounds like he's on the front porch rapping in Al's twangy production that flips the wails of Janis Joplin. On “Don't Leave” Plucky sounds like a rap version of Leadbelly, wandering the swamps wondering where he's girl slept last night.

I-Self Devine is not the only Minnesota Rhymesayer with a free EP this month. Brother Ali joined the generosity circle with The Bite Marked Heart EP. Co-produced by Ant and Jake One, the seven-song EP features Phonte, Stokley Williams, Aby Wolf and Nikki Jean. Clearly meant to assist b-boys in swooning b-girls, the EP is entirely love-related. If the soft-side of Brother Ali is not for you, then you'll have to wait on Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color, Ali's sixth studio album.

The other option is to jam I-Self Devine's The Upliftment Struggle EP, which is the second installment in his Culture Series EPs. The Upliftment Struggle progresses through the faces of hip hop, this time rooting itself in the free jazz melee and pristine orchestral soul. The album features Muja Messiah, M.anifest, Budah Tye and production from Benzilla, Mike Swoop, Vitamin D and Nicademis, among others.

Kendrick Lamar's “Cartoons & Cereal” closes with off-spun outro that declares it's a song to be continued. The continuation will be much appreciated, as it's clear Kendrick is out to convey an elaborate metaphor. Kendrick certainly runs it with his deadpan delivery, which is difficult to focus on with the repetative “Elmer Fudd say, shoot'em down” in the background. This is a think-piece that requires full attention listening, but taking the time to dissect Kendrick's message is always worth the effort.

Kendrick Lamar, “Cartoons & Cereal”

It's finally happening. The Killer Mike album produced by El-P is dropping three months from this very day. “Big Beast” is an appropriate title for the first single. Killer Mike is boisterous as hell over “Rock Box” chops, a “Notorious Thugs”-reminiscent synth line and the signature sound the Bomb Squad flipped for “Public Enemy #1”. He brought along two Southern icons in T.I. and Bun B, to further prove how beastly he intends to bring it on R.A.P. Music. The record is out May 15 on William Street Records.

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