#NerdSwag [Reviews]: Step Brothers / Zion I / Ray West & O.C.

Tuesdays are typically a slow geek-news day, a slow day for GHG updates — with the release of comics on a Wednesday, movies on a Friday, etc. But.. remember when Tuesdays used to be album release day? The joy of rushing to Sam Goody, or Record Town, Strawberries (wow!), Virgin/Tower, or even the early days of Best Buy to cop the newest CD, tearing open the plastic and booming the tunes in your mom’s broken down JEEP while actually reading the production credits and shout-outs underneath the paper slip-cover?

Yeah. Those were the days.

Now, we get music when we want, however we want. iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Dre Beats, Google, YouTube…hell, artists are even letting fans “name their own price” or promoting music through sites that are more known to “shiver thee timbers”. With the influx of music hitting the net at such a sporadic pace, often the only way to keep up is to look back and reflect. And that’s what the Monsignor Moody — better known from ’98-2004 as the “Loose Cannon” of music critique — intends to do every month. I’ll let you know what you missed, kids…cause Lord knows I probably went, done and missed on it, too.


Evidence. Alchemist.

Two beat-making emcees not necessarily synonymous with the term “West Coast,” despite the fact that’s where they were born and raised. But that all changed in the year 2000 with The Platform, Ev’s official debut with Dilated Peoples (w/ on and off rhyme partner, Rakaa Iriscience and fellow producer, DJ Babu). The album helped Los Angeles gain an identity further than gangsta rap, with Dilated paving the way for fellow groups Jurassic 5, Visionaries and Blackalicious to break down those sad, piss-poor assumptions.

Around the same time DP signed with Capitol, The Alchemist made headway as a true problem on the boards for anyone. He began his own boardwalk empire of beats for such popular indie hip-hop acts at the time, Defari, Swollen Members, Royce da 5’9″, and, yes, even the legendary Mobb Deep. And once Alchemist laced his childhood pal’s Platform with five ferocious cuts, thus began the start of a beautiful stepbrothership.

Yes! You're no longer a "Whooligan", Al!
Yes! You’re no longer a “Whooligan”, Al!

Fast-forward 15-years later, surprisingly not much has changed. Alchemist still does bangers for Mobb Deep (peep Prodigy’s wondrous Albert Einstein from last year, if you haven’t), flexes wax as Eminem’s personal DJ, and finally joins forces with Ev for the next coming of Gang Starr. Except that, since Alchemist has indeed improved his own mic-wielding skills as of late, Step Brothers likely “work the angles” closer to a Madvillain.


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