I rock Timberland boots all-day, every day during the winter season. Period. No other boots matter.
And these 6-inch Timberland boots designed by shoemaker and former David Z. apprentice Ronnie Fieg are my style. The boots are lined with sheep fur inside (from ankle to toe) with a padded collar, tough fiber shoelaces and a rubber outsole. So not only are they are stylish, they also are street-certified for the cold weather. They are pricey at $175 and it's available right now at David Z's online store.
As I am currently compiling my "Year-End" and "Best of the Decade" lists, here comes Slum Village throwing a money wrench in my tallying with their rap classic Villa Manifesto EP.
I don't know if I should include the EP on my 2009 list or not. My cut-off date was Dec. 1 for 2009 releases, but SV's EP is so great I don't want to ignore it.
Decisions. . .decisions. . .decisions . . .
In any case, SV's six-song, digital-only release Villa Manifesto EP is available on iTunes.
According to the group, Villa Manifesto EP is just a preview to persuade rap heads to cop Slum Village's full-length album of the same name when it drops in Spring 2010. If this is what SV is bringing on their new LP, then expect the Detroit trio -- T3, Elzhi and Baatin (R.I.P.) -- to have the first great rap album of 2010.
This joint reminds me of some old Wu-Tang Clan shit ("Da Mysteries of Shadowboxing") and Raekwon's stallar drug-rap album of 2009, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Part II.
Slum Village -- "Money Right"
This track was produced by the brilliant studio maestro Madlib. Unfortunately, Apple removed the song from their iTunes store. You can now download the song. I recognize a couple of samples on this track, hopefully, someone will post the original source material. It's a great song with T3, Elzhi and Baatin rapping about what people are trying to accumulate in this dire economy -- money.
Slum Village's Villa Manifesto EP (available on iTunes -- Cop it NOW!!!) is full of good-hearted lyrics and well-calibrated productions, making it the perfect swan album to end the Year in Rap (2009).
The Clipse just dropped their long-awaited disc Til' the Casket Drops, and, according to a few critics, it's an uneven effort.
And after listening to the collection for an entire day, I have to agree.
It's a dope CD and the Clipse came through with a few crazy bangers (including my favorite "Door Man"), but it doesn't come close to the stellar crack rap album of 2009 -- Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II.
Here's what the Internets are saying about the Clipse's Til' the Casket Drops:
Chicago Tribune's music critic Greg Kot likes the Clipse's LP but concedes that it doesn't live up to the duo's "brutally efficient" previous effort, Hell Hath No Fury.
"[Rappers] Malice and Pusha T are at the top of their game on most of the [album]; even when they swagger on "Popular Demand (Popeyes)," the wordplay is so thick and weirdly inventive that it’s difficult to deny them. They’re thug philosopher kings, erudite hustlers who revisit the cocaine-lined catacombs of their previous work on "Door Man." After the perfection of Hell Hath No Fury, Clipse’s third album is a frustratingly uneven listen. But it still contains enough brilliance to suggest the Thorntons have another classic in them. Maybe next time."
Popmatters music critic Andrew Martin believes TtCD was a dud because the beats didn't complement the Thorntons' celebratory lyrics."
"The Neptunes, who helped propel Clipse’s career, decided they were complacent. Nearly every one of their beats on Til' the Casket Drops incorporates tired sounds that we have all heard before. For better and for worse, Pusha T and Malice complement their beat selection on Til' the Casket Drops. And it all makes for one of the year’s biggest disappointments from two of hip-hop’s best lyricists. Just because you are celebrating and reflecting on your career does not mean the music has to suffer."
"I can’t say that I dislike TtCD, but I had higher expectations based on the plethora of the duo’s gritty mixtape material and proven track record. While producing individual songs worthy of multiple spins, a full listen is tarnished by flailing singles and conceptual redundancies. I’d much rather hear Clipse rap about selling white, because they took an artistic approach to facing their demons -- it's less inspiring now that they seem to have conquered them all."
Daily Mathematics blogger Combat Jack proudly hails the Clipse's TtCD as a "Classic Album."
"And like they claimed, the third time's the charm. Clipse dropped a certified third classic piece with this one. There’s no question that rap fiends everywhere will find a way, through copping, beg, borrow or stealing to catch a dose of this drug. Trust.
This album [is] one of the reasons I continue to eff with rap, eff with Hip Hop. Nasir Jones was dead wrong. Shit ain’t never dead B, cats just ain’t doing it right. Salutes. Salutes. Salutes. Til' The Casket Drops is a must have and will be staying on deck for a long effin' time. The Clipse cold murdered this bitch!"
Clipse's Til' the Casket Drops is in stores now. Go cop it!