Tax write-off roundup, vol. 2

Back when I created this series of posts, earlier this year, I planned on doing them more often, but the rap music biz has been in such a slump lately it’s hard to differentiate the genuine tax write-offs from the, shall we say, unintentional ones.

For example, we can presume Def Jam never expected to generate much of a profit from the Roots’ Game Theory, but you have to assume Interscope was counting on Pharrell’s In My Mind to do much better than it did. Both of them ended up selling as if they were coated in AIDS.

Below are my takes on three albums that almost certainly fall into the former category rather than the latter. Presumably, the labels are only pushing them out now so that whatever amount wasted on them doesn’t carry over into 2007.

That said, all of these artists have shown flashes of brilliance in the past, so I was interested in checking them out, if only to make sure they actually suck balls. Because hey, you never know.

Mos Def is still phoning it in

I wasn’t that crazy about Mos’ the New Danger back when it came out, but it’s grown on me in the interim. It’s still no Black on Both Sides, but it’s got some cool grooves and some thoughtful lyrics.

I was hoping Tru3 Magic might be a return to his old Rawkus-era form, but alas it’s more of a cross between Black on Both Sides and the New Danger. There isn’t much rock experimentation to be had here, but Mos still can’t be bothered to pull it together for more than a minute or so at a time.

Still, it is Mos Def, and he is kinda brilliant. Tru3 Magic is fairly enjoyable if you think of it more as a mixtape than a proper sequel to Black on Both Sides.

Peep: Mos Def – Tru3 Magic: Album Review (written by Akuma)

Styles P seems destined for the Koch graveyard

Notorious hater that I am, I never really got into the Lox too heavy, but I did always want to like Styles P. He seemed like easily the most thoughtful of the three and maybe the best at crafting actual albums, if not the slickest punchlines.

Time Is Money, then, should’ve been Styles P’s moment, but alas it almost certainly won’t be. For one, it’s been pushed back over and over, to the point where now both of its singles were actually radio hits not last summer, but the summer before.

Also, as it turns out, not all of Time Is Money is as brilliant as “Can You Believe It” with Akon and “I’m Black” with the broad from Floetry. The “Luck of Lucien” remake with Talib Kweli is just silly, if you ask me, and the new single with Swizz Beatz is just annoying.

At only 12 tracks, Time Is Money is too short and bullshit-laden to give a full-on recommendation, but it definitely has its moments.

Peep: Styles P – Time Is Money: Album Review

DJ Clue should stick to making mixtapes

God, this is an awful album. I remember actually liking the first Professional album, way the fuck back during the Hard Knock Life era, but my guess is that Clue must have had better connections with artists and labels back then.

You get the idea that a lot of cats aren’t returning Clue’s phone calls these days. Of 18 tracks on the 3rd installment in the Professional series, three of them feature Clue’s boy Fabolous and two of them are the same track with the Game and Mario Winans.

Of what’s left here, the guest appearances are pretty spotty and second rate, but the real thing that kills this is the production. God this album sounds awful. I don’t know if it was mixed wrong or what, but it’s amazing to me Jay-Z would even allow this to be released.

Peep: DJ Clue – The Professional 3: Album Review

  • BK NI66A

    BISHIP BOSS IS THE FUTURE
    Tell A Friend To Tell A Friend

    The Buzz Vol. 1 In Stores Feb 7 07

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    you should have mentioned how weezy ate the track he is on…on the DJ Clue album…

    Mos Def is sick wit it…no one cane copy his steeze…

    …Styles P…hope it wont be a disappointment…tell me is it better than…Gangsta and a Gentlemen(quasi-classic)

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    since when did jay give a fuck about puttin’ out garbage. i.e. the young gunnaz,tieara maria,memphis bleek,all of state prop except beans+free,rick ross, need I say more?!

  • mannyworld33

    TOILET BOL YOU JUST COULDN’T DO IT COULD YOU? I THINK YOU HAVE A REAL SERIOUS PROBLEM!

    FUCK BOL!(NO BYRON CRAWFORD’S GLASSES)

  • skip

    yeah i believe that clue shit sucks just by hearing that butchered remix of that JODECI classic

  • Kanye

    STYLES P …. IF TIME IS MONEY THEN MY NIGGA IS FLAT BROKE LMAO STYLES WILL FLOP WORSE THAN
    K-FED & FAT JOE

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    ^^^
    oh yeah and his own last album OH!!!

    he winds up……..SPACRADACK!!! oh! jus kufi’ smacked all of defjam!

    in case y’all forgot……………….
    STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArRRVIIN!

  • Kanye

    THAT CLUE SHIT IS TERRIBLE NOT EVEN WORTH DOWNLOADING LMAO

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >since when did jay give a fuck about puttin’ out garbage. i.e. the young gunnaz,tieara maria,memphis bleek,all of state prop except beans+free,rick ross, need I say more?!

    No but really, this is worse.

  • Ali

    Nas Is Coming

  • INTERSCOPE JACKSON

    D-Block = Mad Rappers = Waste of time and talent….they LOST!

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    Styles P. & Mos Def = Ur fav. rappers favorite rappers.

    I like that “war” track on clue. Bol, U think that beat sucks? No homo. Pause.

  • John

    1st

  • http://myspace.com/bunchbitch Bowser da Boss

    Damn, I was looking foward to all three of those joints too. I heard that True Magie crap and was so dissappointed in Mos. YOu may be onto something with this Tax Writeoff crap Bol.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    K, before anybody starts acting all “feminine” about Mike killin Bodie, watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqcLoewmVcU

    and have a great day fuckos.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    If anybody is a Nas fan, check this:

    http://www.mixfiend.com/torrents-details.php?id=5761&filelist=1#filelist

    Holla back.

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    No but really, this is worse.
    ^^^^^
    damn! well now that ere’thing in hip-hop is screwed (no trina) i’m goin to go treat myself to a cool cyanide and arsenic martini!! mmmmm feel that corosion!!~unnghmmmrrfph~aghk!

  • Jos

    “selling as if they were coated in AIDS”

    That joke is on its death bed, Bald. You use it in every post. Let it die.

    PS Still like Lil Wayne?

  • Meka Soul

    after beanie sigel “accidentally” socked him in the mouth on the “backstage” movie, i lost whatever fledgling respect i had for dj clue.

    not to mention his echoing add libs

  • Killa

    Styles P seems destined for the Koch graveyard

    It’s too bad that after this he’ll likely languish in the Koch graveyard with the rest of his crew for the remainder of his career.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >I like that “war” track on clue. Bol, U think that beat sucks? No homo. Pause.

    Well, for what it’s worth, I did pick it as one of the best tracks on the album.

    But no, I don’t think it’s that good.

  • Meka Soul

    after beanie sigel “accidentally” socked him in the mouth on the “backstage” movie, i lost whatever fledgling respect i had for dj clue.

    not to mention:

    pssing a kidney stone > his echoing add libs.

    no “leather so soft” video.

  • kunte

    1st
    and u cudnt resist the JAY-Z shot cudnt u?

  • THE ONE

    TOILET BOL
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    HAHAHAHA!! Classic….

  • Meka Soul

    you also forgot to mention clipse’s and lupe’s albums. they both sold a combined total of 30 rupees.

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Yeah, we all know how I am about Kanye, but the track with him and Fabo is just not that good. Busy at work today, studio tonite, so I’ll bid you all adieu. UNO!

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    “Cluuuummmmiiinnnnattttiiiii”

    Sorry I had to it once more.

    Damn..I was kinda lookin forward to Clue steepin up his mixtape game.

    Still tho
    Fantastic Four > Anything I heard this year.

  • Fernando

    *Clue-Manati*

    So sad what happened to this gimp. First he gets punked by Beans & DMX (“You the only N*gga I know that has two hairstyles at once”) *Classic Moment in Backstage*….Then he manages to get on the 1/2 hour hip-hop TRL with La La, but eventually gets replaces by the half-asleep d-bag Cipher Sounds which is basically the sports equivalent of an aging Gary Payton being replaced by Jason Kapono in the starting line-up. That must have hurt….

    Now it seems that he is trying to bring back the Desert Storm glory days….Only Fabo kind of sucks, nobody on Rocafella is any good, DMX is on crack, and the sound of Mario Winans, well, whining, is enough to kill any album.

    R.I.P – Dj Clue

  • Fernando

    I hope he invested well… I.E , not diamond Rolexes & Cars….or 2000 New Era hats.

  • Fernando

    Poooon

  • jacquez
  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    lol @ new era assets

  • Malik B

    Awesome post.

  • Fernando

    Clue has a diversified portfolio of New Era Assets.

  • Fernando

    Im actually willing to bet that some Rapper bought throwback jerseys as a long-term investment.

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    Kanye Says:

    December 14th, 2006 at 2:41 pm
    STYLES P …. IF TIME IS MONEY THEN MY NIGGA IS FLAT BROKE LMAO STYLES WILL FLOP WORSE THAN
    K-FED & FAT JOE

    styles album is a new york album. The shits hot if you like the gutta shit. Styles makes alot of political statements. He touches every area political, thug love and the streets. Its only like bol said 12 songs deep but its good. I just wish they would have put out his shit at the height of the 50 cent beef because “shots fired” is the shit. He may flop because in his case time was money and it took to long to put this shit out…either way i’ll be one of his soundscan numbers.

  • Scorpio1970

    So, Belize, I take it that it is “feminine” to tell someone they don’t know what the fuck they are talking about when they try to correct you. Whatever it takes to make you cool with being wrong. Just like Jerry Porter told Kellen Winslow, you are a fag. And unlike him I won’t apologize for saying it.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    Watch the video and holla back. Ur contacts must be glossy. No LL Cool J

  • Fernando

    Political, thug love, & the streets.

    Those comprise “every area” ?????? WTF??

    Thug love songs need to be banished.
    Political should be reserved for people who know what they are talking about (Talib…not Fiddy or bow Wow)

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    If u pause it @ 26 sec. then u can see mike’s face.

  • Scrappy

    my shit gonna sell your shit gonna flop

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    Fernando Says:

    December 14th, 2006 at 3:54 pm
    Political, thug love, & the streets.

    Those comprise “every area” ?????? WTF??

    Thug love songs need to be banished.
    Political should be reserved for people who know what they are talking about (Talib…not Fiddy or bow Wow)

    okay there are issues that he talks about other than crack..nigga…okay is that better clarification??? And just so you know talib is on there…im black is the shit…be easy dude. And as far as thug love…shit i dont give a damn how hard you are thats a fucking emotion, they are human and artist and you must always have something for the females on ur shit. Every good album has it think about it fernando…you probably was walking around singing 21 questions

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    chicken wing, dingaling,ching,ching,burgerking,yao ming,bee sting,ling ling and ping ping,lolli-pop pinky ring,shower scene in the bing, jus got my booty reamed!!! – Weezy F.Gayly

  • 110 street

    i fuck wit style regardless of you niggas industry asses,we in the street as niggas need dblock dipset nas,etc. fuck out of town niggas. word up

  • Fernando

    No, no, no……

    Im not buying “its emotion”. Those fools do it for the p*ssy. When they rap about tagging groupies left and right & not giving a sh*t about women in general, they know they have to put at least one “thug love” song on their for the ladies…..thus, the birth of “thug love” songs. Tupac did it, and pulled it off. Now days its a bunch of generic immitations that just sound corny. And no I wasnt singing “21 questions”…Fiddy sucks balls. So does Ja Rule because he desperately tried to turn in to the “thug love” champion.

    There are many other topics besides crack, politics, thug love, and the streets. It might take a little effort to find, but believe me, the radio only caters to that crap because it sells to dumb broads and lazy fans.

  • Fernando

    With that said. Rapping about the streets is as good as the artist makes it. Ditto for crack rap. Politics are a good issue to chop it up about, but “Government bad…rise up” horse has been beaten to death. We get it. The police are racist, many law-makers are racist, but offer something creative.

    Thug love song of the year….

    Chamillionaire – You look better from behind

  • Fernando

    New Messy Marv album is out. Good West Coast ish.

  • Tray

    Why do you like Can You Believe It? One of the worst songs on the album, and I’m not saying that because I hate anything remotely commercial or anything like that, it’s just that it’s uninspired and bad. Fresh white tee, fresh car wash, fresh something else, I’m so lost… to me the highlight was easily How We Live.

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    i have all 3 albums and have listened to them a whole combined time of 5 minutes…

    2 of them spent on that Nas song “War” on Clue’s album…

    To Styles defense, he just gave Interscope this album bcuz they paid for it, that’s why it has 12 tracks…

    Styles just got released from Ruff Ryders & Interscope (at his own request) and he’s gonna put out another album independently (Koch, Universal, or Asylum)…

    He has another record with Scott Storch called “1 cup, 2 cups” that’ll be a single for the next album…

    Mos Def just wants to get that movie $$$…

    And Clue, he better stick to Bar Mitzvahs and Ghetto Proms!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    @ Scorpio1970, i wouldn’t care if u were fucking “Omar” from the Wire, Michael killed Bodie- i saw it with my own 2 eyes!

    @ Beli, stop fucking with a nigga named “Scorpio1970″, that’s some old school gay name!

  • chizamp

    That styles album is aiiiiight…i just downloaded the DJ Clue joint…man…i hope it;s not as bad as you say it is…dunno…

  • INVISIBLE_HAND

    fuck! mos def has so much potential…

    Nas dec.19!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    @ Fern, NO ONE here cares about Messy Marv…

    Sorry buddy!

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    fernando…yeah i like that cham song…but off of that. Im going to tell you what is some funny shit. How these niggaz talking about they in the streets…but what hustler you know really gives a shit about doin a damn blog response…Thats what i dont get internet gangsters that probably dont even know how to stretch an eight ball and make 450 off it…110 street. That was for you. real street niggaz and hustlers do not do blogs, nor do they really have time for the damn internet…I’ve done the hustling thing…and you know what i didnt have shit until i got a damn legal occupation.

    Hey bol there goes and idea for a blog…Internet gangsters…lol

  • INVISIBLE_HAND
  • Fernando

    I know Sonny. Im just trying to help out. Broaden some horizons.

    The only west coast artist that ever gets mentioned on this blog is Game…….and that is really sad. Outside L.A, Game is straight radio B.S to us. And Nobody is hyped about Nas, Jay, Em, Styles, Dmx, Busta, Mos, or any other played out East Coast artist. Thats why other sectors are blowing up, the East keeps coming with the same Sh*t everytime.

    But hey, at least you can get excited 10 times a year for the same recycled product!!!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    @ Fern, yall got ur own thing out there… But that shit is like Lil’ kid, get hyphy shit…

    Nas, that’s “real” Hip hop !!!

  • Fernando

    I for one am NOT in the streets. Im no thug, and I left the hustling game years ago.

    But hustling out in my area is a lot different than NY. We can just grow our money from the soil.

    Having a legitimate job >>> Hustling

    but

    Hustling = More fun than real work

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    i remember when dj clue sold mixtapes out of milk crates on 168th st. they were purple, yellow, red, and blue construction paper cassette covers lol. damn does that make me a old head?? oh and why does everybody hate 50cent? i know cause everybody loved that nigga when he came out, but now that he is officially certerfied lame rapper with too much money, everybody wants to jump off the get rich or die trying bandwagon lol..

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    Hustling = quick cash!!!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    @ J.O.S.E., Clue was hot until he jumped on the corporate bandwagon…

    And plus Kay Slay ate his food CRAZY!!!

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    fernando i co sign my dude(no homo)

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    damn……

    i just saw a hip hop soup commercial?!? “twinkle twinkle chicken and stars”… wtf lol

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    co-sign kay slay ending clues career, but kay slay is on his way down too..

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    anybody remember “the what” by biggie smalls and method man. what happened to that kind of hip hop?

  • Fernando

    Not at all Sonny. Thats whats funny. Its all Pimpin & Drug Running. Hyphy & Game is what people see on T.V.

    Nas is a real emcee, no doubt. But I just dont mark his albums on my calendar…or anybody else for that reason

  • Fernando

    Greatest Era’s of Hip Hop

    Classic = Early 80′s & Mid 90′s east coast.

    Early & Mid 90′s West Coast

    Mid & Late 90′s South

    No Mid West…Evar. Except Early Twista, Common, Psycho Drama, Do or Die.

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    does anybody remember souls of mischeif with “this is how we chill from 93 til”.. that’s some old westcoast backpacker shit.

  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    lol

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    one last one.. buck town remix with smiff n wesson ft MOP. damn that was the shit!

  • Danja29

    Ayo Sonny Cheeba- get your two eyes fixed: IT WASN’T MICHAEL.

    And yep, these niggas are just wasting the label’s money now. Mos doesn’t really give a fuck, cause he sees where the way to go is. Styles prob’ly cares, but his label knows he’s a write off so he’s destined to flop. Clue has fallen back almost to the point of being legally dead- and I did get the impression that a lot of people just seem to think this nigga’s played out now. Clue was once that man who had damn near EVERY rapper that was hot on one album (the 1st Professional). But Dame BEEN questioned the man’s work ethic- there’s no reason why this shit should be JUST NOW comin’ out.

  • thoreauly77

    real hiphop? check out camp lo’s new “fort apache: the mixtape album”. its sick.

  • thoreauly77

    new west coast backpacker ish: pigeon john.

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    Nah i like 50, I dont care what no ones says…so what the nigga sings his hooks…The nigga is saving money rather than go get neyo or some one else to sing it. I know what though that mixtape hip hop is dead(a play on nas’ claim that hip hop is dead)was the shit. He killed that shit over the dead prez beat…and the song Get down…that shit is catchy as hell…

    it might take 7 days and 6 nights before i get right/
    i get puffy then i lean on’em/
    put that beam on’em/
    he probably heard mase trying to join the team/
    because puffy to busy selling pimple cream/
    up next he’ll try to sell maybeline/
    or dance next to joc to try and get hot/
    this is the quiet before the storm/
    the warning before its on/
    50 finna flip 50 back on that shit….

    Poor puff

  • INVISIBLE_HAND

    NAH GAME GETS MENTIONED OUT WEST BUT THERE R NO WEST COAST ARTIST THAT PPL R HYPED ABOUT NOT EVEN INDIE ARTISTS DOWN HERE…. ITS DEAD DOGGIE!

  • INVISIBLE_HAND
  • http://mixfiend.com Belize

    BOL, u get this idea from 730?

  • http://xxlmag.com thats him thats that bastard

    The only thing really worth buying from the west is going to the detox album…real shit…even though the nigga making ppl wait longer than jadakiss’ first album(which for lack of subject matter was all over the place).

    And who ever said the mid west never did anything in this game must have bumped they head…shit bone thugs and harmony from 94-97 and shit even fucking crucial conflict held it down for a while and do or die

  • Cuban Link

    you should have mentioned how weezy fucking sucked ass on the track he is on…on the DJ Clue album…no The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

  • MC Spectakular

    mos sucks styles sucks clue sucks

  • thoreauly77

    check out this article over at dp.com. bol used to have hair. in sixth grade that is.

    http://www.dallaspenn.com/weblog/

  • sATaLyte

    Mos Def is still phoning it in

    ^^

    Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black.

  • EnglandRepresent

    anybody remember “the what” by biggie smalls and method man. what happened to that kind of hip hop?

    I was listening to that last night in the whip, Biggie Smalls is the wickedest……..nuff said……..

  • J.O.S.E.(HIP HOP IS DEAD)

    just had to add one more.. who remembers “sound boy burrial” by bootcampclik. one of the hardest hip hop joints ever!

  • skip

    yes that’s all i’m listening 2 right now those first wu- joints ,boot camp ,biggie ,death row early days, first outkast joints , fucking what about that smoking blunts,sipping on tanquery joint that shit was pure heat kurupt killed that shit

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz thebestout!

    I’ve done the hustling thing…and you know what i didnt have shit until i got a damn legal occupation.
    ^^^^^
    co-sign like a mofo!

  • DipMyNuttsInJimJonesMouth

    WOW Bol,

    You had a chance to rip into Jay’s latest album and you didn’t..not one anti Jay-Z remark in the whole blog are you feeling ok?? This is an imposter…By the way do you like any rap music ever made i don’t think i have heard you give on positive remark to an album or if you have its immediately followed up by some hater shit…good job Bol you still suck

  • DipMyNuttsInJimJonesMouth

    o you jerk off i just read the last line of your blog and you fawkin hater had to put Jay in there…your man crush is unreal…Dude tell us some about some music you do like you homo…i quit reading to early and the last line snuck in there you piss ant

  • http://www.myspace.com/corinnemq Corinne

    INVISIBLE_HAND Says:

    December 14th, 2006 at 5:47 pm
    http://www.myspace.com/ianlewismusicmanagement BATTLE ME, BITCH!

    ^^^ stupid ass homo bitch comments

  • BrightLights

    We all know Styles album was botched. Of course it’s not going to be the same album he recorded 3 years ago (totally different album). Too late to complain and b-tch about it now. As much as you as fans and critics sh-tted on this man and hated him, over a lame beef at that, I wouldn’t put my best musical foot forward either. Only for you to piss on me and hate me and my hard work. So I don’t blame him for not doing extra sh-t or making up anything for y’all. F-ck you, none of y’all were proper fans to him, at all. And you call yourself Hip Hop fans (yeah right).

    BTW, yes he is independent now. So what. He already has an established fan base, and he will be rewarded much more for his hard work. Because lord knows, the industry sure didn’t give a rat’s a$$ about him. Why not do it yourself and reap the rewards.

    Forget the industry and forget you lame lives with nothing better to do, than hate somebody you don’t know. So what, if he goes to Koch. It’s not about the label you’re on. It’s about quality music. Oh I forgot, you psudeo-Hip Hop sheep wouldn’t know that. You’re too damn dumb to know quality over quanity.

    Speaking of which, that is the very reason why I’m tired of Hip Hop. It’s not the rappers. It’s the consumers that’s the problem. They don’t nkow any better.

    Sorry, but somebody had to say it. I just got tired of seeing the same ole stuff. Such and such rapper is this, because he sold. Folks catching feelings over stupid beef. Somebody with common sense and sound reason had to say something.

    Side Bar: Bol, I suggest you check out Styles debut album, A Gangsta & A Gentlemen. It’s not just a flash of brilliance. He actually prove his worth as an artist/holding down an album.

    DJ Clue, I’ll only support him because he pretty much was a stape for the mixtape/DJ game. Although I ahven’t really felt the stuff he was doing the last few years. He still has come good tracks on this new album though.

    Mos-Def, I’ll have to check him out with the new one. With New Danger, I think he went too far left for y’all. I did like his song The Rape Over though.

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Yo