Feature ·

[April 17, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus offer a full list of the current new releases.



Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Strength & Loyalty


While compiling tracks for a West Coasthip-hop tape recently, I found myself including Cleveland-based quartet Bone Thugs-N-Harmony with nary a second thought. The action was understandable considering the group came to prominence with the help of Eazy-E and his Ruthless Records label, eventually exploding with a tribute to the group's deceased mentor on E.1999 Eternal. More important, the group popularized a nimble, multi-syllabic sung form of rhyming -- the rap equivalent of vocalese -- that had been popular amongst Project Blowed emcees in Los Angeles. And, at the end of the day, what self-respecting Californian couldn't lean in their ride -- be it a Caddy or a Corolla -- to "1st of tha Month"? Although the group has since then made a number of records that move beyond the Pacific paradigm, it has also slipped from the public consciousness. Now down to a trio (Flesh-N-Bone awaits the completion of his prison term, the group seeks to capitalize on some recent strategic moves. With Krayzie Bone fresh off the success of his appearance on Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" and the help of pop minds like Mariah Carey, Akon and Jermaine Dupri, the group hopes for another round of fun under the sun. ~ Dan Nishimoto


Artist: http://www.bonethugsnharmony.com/

Label: http://www.interscope.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/bonethugsnharmony 

Chris Lowe

Black Life II

Nature Sounds

Hip-hop fans love Large Professor. For the historians, he has been a mover from the Silver Era's jump. For the diggers, he is a master sampler and producer. For the dreamers, he is the creator of a Holy Grail. That he has been thrown to the wayside, has not made a noted production in years, and has had his solo album generally panned is of no matter; fans continue to laud his achievements and patiently await a second coming. Which makes Chris Lowe's case frustrating. The former producer of Stezo and co-"discoverer" of the erstwhile Skull Snaps breaks, Lowe planted numerous notable seeds during hip-hop's fertile period in the late '80s and early '90s. He, too, wallowed in obscurity and label politics for years before releasing his long-awaited solo debut, Black Life, in 2004 to little acclaim outside of insider circles. But the key difference is that his album was chock-full of everything any hip-hop-quarian actually wanted: consistent songs, huzzah-worthy guest spots (from members of Brand Nubian, Leaders of the New School, and Extra P, no less), and oodles and oodles of samples. However modest this triumph, Lowe returns with a follow-up and, we hope, a warmer reception. On Black Life II, the producer returns to the familiar samples of yesteryear, but without any help from his emcee friends. Dicey for sure, but even the underdog has to stay chisel, right? ~ Dan Nishimoto


Label: http://www.nature-sounds.net/

1997: Better View of the Rising Moon (Victory)
50 Cent/DJ Whoo Kid: Back to Business: G-Unit Radio, Pt. 14 (BCD Music Group)
AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip (Sony)
Avril Lavigne: Best Damn Thing (Arista)
Breaking Benjamin: Phobia [CD/DVD] (Hollywood)
Brett Anderson: Brett Anderson (Drowned in Sound UK)
Brian Buckley: For Her (Sonic360)
Charlie Parker: Rise and Fall of Charlie Parker (Primo)
Comas: Spells (Vagrant)
Dave Brubeck: Essential Collection (West End)
David Bowie: Young Americans (Virgin)
Dead Meadow: Howls from the Hills (Xemu)
DJ Whookid: G Unit Radio Hitz (BCD Music Group)
Elk City: New Believers (Friendly Fire)
The Flesh: Firetower (Gern Blandsten)
The Flying Burrito Brothers: Definitive Collection (Hip-O)
Greyboy Allstars: What Happened to Television? (Sci Fidelity)
Icon the Mic King: Mike & The Fat Man LP (Uprising)
Joseph Arthur: Let's Just Be (Lonely Astronaut)
Juggaknots: Clear Blue Skies (Amalgam)
Louie Vega: Lust: A Personal Collection by Louie Vega (Susu)
Mac Dre: Best of Mac Dammit and Friends (Thizz)
Mac Dre: Thizz Nation, Vol. 13: Thizz Nation (Thizz)
Mark Ronson: Version [Import] (Sony/Columbia)
Miles Davis: Must-Have Miles: The First Quartet (Primo)
Nine Inch Nails: Year Zero (Interscope)
The Noisettes: What's the Time Mr. Wolf (Universal)
The Old Soul: Old Soul (Friendly Fire)
Paul Wall: Get Money, Stay True [Chopped & Screwed] (Atlantic / Wea)
Priestbird: In Your Time (Kemado)
Radiohead: Com Lag (2Plus2IsFive) (EMI)
Rock Plaza Central: Are We Not Horses (Yep Roc)
Rufige Kru: Malice in Wonderland (Metalheadz)
Soulphonic Soundsystem: Volume 1 (Convincing Woodgrain)
Swati: Small Gods (Bluhammock)
Too Short: Bible of a Pimp (Sumo)
Track & Field: Marathon (Nine2five)
Watchers: Vampire Driver (Gern Blandsten)
The Wedding Present: Complete Peel Sessions 1986-2004 (Castle Music UK)

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions. 

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