This September has been dominated by rap veterans, with Raekwon, Jay-Z, M.O.P., and the duo of KRS-One & Buckshot all dropping new full-lengths. Aside from the Jay-Z joint, I’d really like to cop all the aforementioned releases, but, alas, my current finances don’t permit such extravagance. So I stay buying $1.00 CDs from Amoeba’s clearance section and assorted obscurities from Amazon’s online sellers (currently waiting on McGruff’s Destined to Be), while looking forward to October, when presumably I’ll have the funds to cop at least a couple of these September releases. Not to mention a few from October, which with releases scheduled from Cormega, Masta Ace & Ed O.G., and A.G. & O.C. (as well as the Pied Piper himself) is shaping up to be another great month for aging rappers and aging pedophiles alike. Let’s take a look at some of what October has in store.
O.C. & A.G. — OASIS (Oct. 27th)
O.C. & A.G. — “Think About It”
The first track to leak off this was solid, but this latest is straight fire. I love how O and A can kick basically positive rhymes, and yet still sound so hard. Both emcees sound as good as ever, and their natural chemistry is undeniable. This is grownup rap at its finest, and my gut tells me the album won’t dissapoint.
Masta Ace & Ed O.G. (A&E) — Arts & Entertainment (Oct. 6th)
Masta Ace & Ed O.G. — “Little Young”
I’ll admit I’m not too familiar with Masta Ace’s music, aside from the odd guest verse on an album in my collection. I like what I’ve heard though, and I plan to eventually catch up on his solo albums, which are supposedly butter. Ed O.G., meanwhile, is a personal favorite, perhaps in part because of my ties to Boston, where he rightfully wears the crown of King (sorry Benzino.) If anything could hurt this project it’s beat selection; the few joints I’ve heard so far have suffered some from lackluster production. Still, A&E are not pulling any punches lyrically (check the above slice of hip-hop reactionism, wherein they diss every rapper with “Lil'” or “Young” in his name.) Grumpy Old Men rap? Perhaps. But at least they’re not riding trends.
Cormega — Born and Raised (Oct. 20th)
Cormega — “Journey” (Prod. Large Professor)
Although he didn’t release an official album until 2001, Cormega’s a vet who’s been putting it down since the early 90’s. One of hip-hop’s most consistent artists, Mega has never shown any interest in selling out, instead producing gritty and emotional music for the streets and his loyal fanbase. With production handled by DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Pro, and Easy Mo Bee, among other heavyweights, Born And Raised could turn out to be the best album of Mega’s career.
R. Kelly — Untitled (Oct. 13th)
It’s been two years since R. Kelly’s last official album, and about half that time since its intended follow-up, the solid if predictable 12 Play: 4th Quarter, leaked online before it even had a release date. For whatever reason, that album seems to have been vaulted, and Kells is back with Untitled. The first single off this shit was beyond terrible, but the latest, the Keri Hilson-featured “Number One,” is pure radio candy. Unlike on past releases, Kells seems to be sharing production duties this time, collaborating with a host of guest producers throughout the album’s fourteen tracks. Unfortunately, it appears that “Pregnant,” his collaboration with Robin Thicke, Tyrese, The-Dream, and Maxwell, will not be on the album. Why must you torture us, Kells?