I admit that ‘Curtis’ will pwn everything in it’s path when it is actually submitted for retail distribution, but those numbers won’t matter for the second quarter of 2007. The winner for this fiscal period isn’t really one artist, but the movement known as Koch Records. They single-handedly kept Hip-Hop alive this spring and even released an album from rap veterans KRS-1 and Marley Marl that proclaimed as much. No label has released as much quality Hip-Hop music as Koch has this year and the anticipation for other artists in their stable should keep them active for the rest of the year.
Let’s review a short list of Koch’s Hip-Hop albums so far this year…
Prodigy: Return of the Mac – This album was better than I thought it would be. Truthfully I wasn’t really expecting to hear too much new spit from P and he surprised me by sounding as energetic and hungry as he did. He brought a different energy to this project then he did on the G-Unit disk. No wonder Fisty Scent was pissed off. This was the Prodigy that he paid for.
The RZA: Afro Samurai Soundtrack – Have you heard Cameo Afro? That shit is fire like a motherfucker. Somebody from Koch need to send me this album ASAP so I can review this shit.
Joell Ortiz: The Brick: Bodega Chronicles – You already know this kid is my nigga and he might have the best Hip-Hop album out right now. That joint called ‘Connections’ with Ras Kass and them other dudes has been my anthem for the spring. Your favorite rapper should hire Joell Ortiz to write for him.
Duke Da’ God Presents: More Than Music 2 – A weedcarriers montage of already used quote unquote freestyles. If the same verse is spit in several different places it should lose it’s freestyle status. I still think that Dip fans only buy bootlegs, but it’s whatever whatever.
Snoop Dogg Presents: The Big Squeeze – Another weedcarriers celebration. Snoop recorded this joint in his backyard tool shed. No, he really did.
KRS-1 featuring Marley Marl: Hip-Hop Lives – As a statement to refute all the negativity and naysayers regarding Hip-Hop’s demise. I enjoyed this album more than I thought I would. KRS-1 can be a little didactic with his rhyming and content but he didn’t beat me over the head this time with his knowledge of Hip-Hop and when he was overbearing at least Marley Marl made the music enjoyable. You won’t be disappointed if you copp this album.
DJ Khaled: We The Best – Weren’t we just talking about this guy?
So far as variety of music Koch had the block on lock for the second quarter. No album other than maybe the DJ Khaled joint will do big numbers but they are all serviceable efforts and not the type of contract obligatory 12 track joints that some majors release. I think Koch will begin to become the A & R shop for the majors. Don’t go to Koch to make money. Go to them to get your shit pressed and put into the streets.