Monday, 8 August 2011

Killuminati 2K11 Review

This the last album/Time to wrap it up/I ain't a Deejay/But sh*t I had Enuff/90's was rough/Still the best era/I'm getting out before these rappers start wearing mascara/Too late the true greats stand the test of time/I never sacrificed my principles for a dime/ - E.D.I. Mean 'Back Again'

Those opening words to 'Back Again', a new track on The Outlawz Killumnati 2K11 Mixtape set the tone for this months Mixtape Artist Roundup feature. Truer words never seemed realer and this amongst other tracks featured on this mixtape are a standout on what was a great month in stellar Hip Hop releases. Killumanti 2K11 is hosted by two the top DJ's respectfully in their region. The Justos Mixtape Awards is no stranger to Harlem, NY native the legendary DJ Kay Slay, who has racked up 23 Justo awards to date. In addition to dropping the hottest exclusives on the streets for years, he is also CEO of Streetsweepers Entertainment as well as Straight Stuntin' Magazine. DJ Smallz whose acclaimed 'Southern Smoke' mixtapes have made their way across the map is also doing his thing with his own show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Smallz also has a production company, Fear Factor Music Group. With these two powerhouse Deejays linking up to promote this project, great expectations have and were fulfilled by The Outlawz.

The New Jersey natives were discovered and put together by the legendary Tupac Shakur. Over the years they have constantly kept the legacy of 2Pac alive. This mixtape is a prelude to The Outlawz final album, 'Perfect Timing' slated to drop on the 15th anniversary of 2Pacs death, Sept 13th 2011. The Outlawz have seen their shares of ups and down more than most groups in Hip Hop. It's their resilience and work ethnic that has allowed them to continue making music as a unit and tour across the world. The group now consists of E.D.I. Mean, Young Noble and Fatal Hussien. The one thing The Outlawz learned from 2Pac was the art of song making. Joints that have feeling and soul are key to making the connections to the listeners. On 'Blow My Mind' , featuring Young Buck & Trae Tha Truth the topic of loyalty and the how the stigma of getting money could change people around you is addressed well. The Outlawz keep the guest appearances to a minimal and really do an excellent job crafting each track with their own stamp. They are making music that is relevant for our current time frame, reflecting the struggles that people are going through everyday right now. While other music in Rap creates an escape from reality, The Outlawz music is more of a view of real life and their own personal stories which reflect society on the other side. Everybody is not balling and throwing money in the air. It's not a criticism as much, but more of an observation of what's really going on. 2Pac made songs like this countless times in his career, and his proteges have done an excellent job retaining the messages to those that need hope and inspiration.

One of the songs that illustrates this well is 'Keep On'.
Nobody ever planned to fail/But we barely make plans so we land in jail/Gotta explore other options/Gotta get our minds out these boxes/Patience is all apart of the process/Hoping these lyrics stick to ya conscience/Reach them young n*ggas from the 'burbs to the projects/ Young Noble - 'Keep On'
Growth and development is an important part of any artist career and The Outlawz have shown that musically as well as professionally. They recently did a song with Notorious B.I.G. protege Lil' Cease titled 'Bury The Hatchet'. On the track, the artists explore what happened in the past and what should happen moving forward. Cease dedicates the song to the slain rappers' mothers, Afeni Shakur and Voletta Wallace. It is fitting that they are in form to cease on the old beefs and misunderstandings and continue teaching a generation of youth that violence is only setting our communities back. These kids that look up to and idolize the entertainers they see and hear need to see two sides of all situations. The balance that once was established in Hip Hop music has changed drastically. Back in the day, for every party song or shoot em up track, there were tracks about politics, non violence, self respect, history and unity. This mixtape mixes all of those forgotten elements well. The jewels in songs like 'From The Bottom to The Top' , and 'Da Corna' are heartfelt as the lyrics are raw and undiluted. As the popular song by Rick Ross and Meek Millz '2Pac Back' adds to the hundreds of artists that have paid tribute to the fallen star, The Outlawz prove that Pac's message will always push on through them and they do an outstanding job of being that lost voice in Hip Hop that we all still need to hear.

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