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Bun B/II Trill Rap-A-Lot/Asylum With the tragic loss of his UGK brethren, Bun B had no choice but to go for self. On his second solo album the Port Arthur, TX veteran carries the UGK legacy through 18 trill tracks. On “You’re Everything,” Bun teams up with 8Ball & MJG, Rick Ross and David Banner to declare their love for the South. He takes turns going bar for bar with Lil Wayne (“Damn I’m Cold”) and Lupe Fiasco (“Swang On ‘Em”), and takes time to shed light on political and social subjects (“Get Cha Issue” and “If It Was Up II Me”). “Angel In The Sky” is a heartwarming tribute to his UGK counterpart, while the Mouse-produced “Pop It For Pimp” featuring Juvenile and Webbie will have women bouncing like Sweet James Jones would have wanted them to. II Trill could have done without a couple fillers but this album is a must-have for any Southern rap fan. — Randy Roper The Roots/Rising Down/Def Jam Though it seems longer than two years since their Grammy-nominated project Game Theory hit stores, The Roots are back in full force. The Hip Hop super group has reunited to bring back heavy break beats and social relevance as only they can. Rising Down has a dark sound with a political stance that reflects urban America at its current best and worst. This album shines with a few surprises and single worthy selections. Within the 16 song track list, “Rising Up” stands out with its heavy Go-Go influenced rhythm and guest appearances by Chrisette Michelle and Wale. — Jared Anderson

Ace Hood & DJ Khaled Ace Won’t Fold

DJ Khaled presents Ace Hood on Ace Won’t Fold, a mixtape which seems to have more of Khaled’s shoutouts than Hood’s talent. While Ace shows versatility on this mixtape, there isn’t much that necessarily sets him apart from other rappers. Ace does have shining moments, though, and this mixtape isn’t one to completely write off, so give it a chance and see if it really was worth the listennnnnnn! — Rohit Loomba

Attitude & DJ Smallz Key 2 Da Streets Vol. 2 DJ Smalls and the Birmingham, Alabama native Attitude have crafted the latest edition of the Key 2 Da Streets mixtape franchise. After listening to his hometown anthem, “A-L-A-B-A-M-A,” the potential Timbaland must have seen to have signed him to his since defunct label Beat Club was evident. “I’ma Champion” features The Dream, which makes it an automatic must listen and single worthy song. While some music is hit or miss there is potential for Attitude to stand out and make a household name for himself. — Jared Anderson Lil’ Boosie, DJ Spinz & DJ Jay-O The Hood Champ

Capitalizing on the popularity of the “Independent” single with Webbie, Lil’ Boosie has staked his claim as the Champion of the Hood with this collaborative mixtape from DJ Spinz and DJ Jay-O. Boosie keeps it street throughout the whole mixtape with cuts like “Product of My Environment” and “Thuggin’” featuring Webbie. While his stories of street life and hard times fill the album, Lil’ Boosie did not forget about ghetto love, speaking to the ladies on “Ain’t Comin’ Home Tonight” and “Gangsta Bitch.” This mixtape holds true to the streets and confirms his status as Hood Champ. — Jared Anderson

88 // OZONE MAG

2 Pistols/Death Before Dishonor/Republic/Universal 2 Pistols should be forever indebted to the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League for supplying his debut album with head-nodding production. 2 Pistols’ average flow and repetitive money, hoes, cars and street life content is less than impressive. But he banks off high-powered production and catchy sing-along hooks, similar to the Trap Or Die format Young Jeezy wrote the blueprint for. Death Before Dishonor doesn’t offer anything that will change the game, but it does have tracks that will bump in the whip this summer. — Randy Roper

Lil Mama/VYP: Voice of the Young People/Jive/Zomba Coming into the music industry at the young age of 18, Lil Mama still carries a lot of weight. Her debut album Voice of the Young People brings out her emceeing skills that can indeed catch some ears. On “One Hit Wonder,” Lil Mama spits that she doesn’t fit the title and can rhyme sicker than your average teenage girl. Catering to her youthful audience, she does score big on “Truly In Love,” speaking on the true love emotions that teenagers experience coming up. Overall, Lil Mama has a voice and since it’s just right for her targeted crowd, she could definitely be the voice of Hip Hop’s young generation. — Quinton Hartfield

Prodigy/H.N.I.C. Pt 2/Voxonic Many felt that Mobb Deep was finished after Blood Money, but Hav and P have both proved through solo efforts that their QB swagger hasn’t gone anywhere. P’s H.N.I.C. Pt. 2 may not necessarily offer the P that we heard on Infamous, but the grimy P double is definitely back. Just hope there are more tracks like these to hold us down while P serves his 3-year bid. —Rohit Loomba

La The Darkman & DJ Drama Notorious L.A.D.

Benisour & DJ GQ Bosses Only Vol. 1 Benisour has been paying his dues in the Miami rap movement for a while and with his latest mixtape, Bosses Only Vol. 1, he shows why it’s his time to see dividends. With a strengthening Miami movement, Benisour capitalizes on his city’s success by bringing a solid mixtape which includes tracks like “Shining” featuring Junior Reid. While most tracks are decent, his delivery could use more energy. — Rohit Loomba

LA the Darkman is no stranger to the Gangsta Grillz series, with Drama slipping an LAD track or verse on most recent editions. Now with his own installment to the series, LAD finally gets a chance to shine, and he does. Despite for the few repeated tracks, this mixtape is fresh, featuring LAD on a variety of tracks without him faltering on much of anything. A true test will be to see if LAD can keep this up or if this was a little more of that Gangsta Grillz magic. — Rohit Loomba

Ozone Mag #67 - May 2008  

Ozone Mag #67 - May 2008

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