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Casual Smash Rockwell Sept 6


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I tried downloading it just now and it says "this page cannot be displayed"! :damnlorettas:

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the positive reviews are comin in..

hiphoprnbsoul rating: 4 stars

hip-hop reviewsIn no way whatsoever does Casual intend to disconnect himself with the hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics. His newest album introduces the underground world of hip-hop heads to his alter ego: Smash Rockwell. It may sound like some sort of action movie superstar, but it is anything but. Embedded with his signature Oakland style and tinged with East Coast and European flair, his latest defines his aggressive definition of hip-hop.

The first single, “Say That Then” continues the tug-of-war battle between the world of underground hip-hop and commercialized rap. The crusade for real hip-hop goes beyond the first track and cascades down the remaining 15 songs. With the help from some of guest cohorts like Tajai, Opio, Young Zee and Psalm One, Casual shows that it’s not about external appearance—it’s about the content. Combining his brilliant freestyle skills, witty banter and assorted musical approaches, Casual showcases pure talent. In “OAKtown,” (featuring EMAc, Too $hort, G Stack and Richie Rich) he pays homage to his hometown. To depict his urban struggle in O-town, Casual raps alongside E-40 in the melodic track, “Nickel & Dime Gangsta” — a very catchy, almost commercial song. To break the monotony of his take on the world of hip-hop, Casual admirably tackles other social issues. In the mid-tempo “Single Mother,” he gives props to all those women who have to deal with societal stereotypes and deadbeat fathers.

Casual’s Smash Rockwell style does not stray too far from his own originality. Instead, it shows a great deal amount of creativity. Even though he has a lot to say, he contrasts his lyrical growth and complexity with great production that keeps it interesting. His free association word romp may take a lot of dissecting to paint a detailed picture of his mind—but that is a good thing. It keeps us guessing on what he will say next. - Dino-Ray Ramos

smother editors pick

Casual - Casual Presents Smash Rockwell

Buy it from InSound Get this on iTunes

Casual’s newest alter ego is Smash Rockwell. He lives up to his first name with thunder claps for bass hits and rhythmic lyrical twists that will spin your head as if it’s on a well-oiled axle. Smash is an Oakland term meaning to get aggressive and take control. Which is precisely what Smash Rockwell does well. He takes total control over your speakers and then your body urging you to wave your arms and rap along. You'll groove to the beats I tell ya! Get this album now.

Pros

Skilled lyricism, good guests, and tight production.

Cons

A few questionable selections.

The Bottom Line

Hiero consistently produces quality music that stays true to the roots of Hip-Hop, and if Casual has his way, they�ll continue to do so for years to come.

Full Review

It’s hard to believe there was once a time when West Coast rap was considered to be inherently inferior to its East Coast equivalent. Thankfully cats like Casual were around to help alter that perception. A founding member of the world famous Hieroglyphics crew, Casual’s complex rhyme patterns and signature slumpy vocals made him one of the voices that helped legitimize Cali Hip-Hop after the din of gangsta rap had finally started to subside. Although the success of his co-owned Hiero Imperium indie label has made trading time behind a mic for time behind a desk a necessary evil, his latest release and fourth LP Casual Presents Smash Rockwell proves Casual is still ready to smash on anyone, anywhere.

If there are still any heads still operating under the misconception that West Coasters can’t spit, Casual’s alter-ego Smash Rockwell puts on an emcee clinic for you on this album. It begins with “Say That Then,” a raucous jam fueled as much by J-Zone’s brash stomp as Casual’s irrepressible Oaktown swagger. The heavy-lidded “All Around The World” also has a distinctive vibe thanks to the emcee’s use of a highly malleable THC-induced stream-of-consciousness flow. The lesson culminates in the exceptional high-energy banger “Styles,” in which Casual breaks down the dynamics of one-word, one, two, three, and five-syllable rhyming, in addition to what he calls his “free association style.” He claims not to be a teacher, but aspiring emcees will definitely want to bump this with pen and paper in hand to take notes.

A true Bay loyalist, Casual makes sure to include some notable figureheads from his beloved stomping grounds to rep on the album. “OAKtown” features E-Mac, G Stack, Richie Rich, and the legendary Too $hort big-upping the Bay over a timeless slow-rolling gangsta drumbeat. Continuing the theme, the moderate funk lean of “Nickel & Dime Gangsta” sets the stage for Casual’s tag team with Cali slang innovator E-40. Still, your boy Smash isn’t afraid to stretch his legs a bit; “Bay vs. Bricks” has him revisiting his battling days by taking on Young Zee of the New Jersey-based Outsidaz to see which region produces the better rhymers.

Casual is just as much creativity and substance as big talk and boastfulness. On the surface the rapper’s “Bitin' & Freakin” duet with razor-sharp femcee Psalm One seems like just the average sultry male/female sexcapade back and forth, but the two are actually taking aim at lesser rapper who “bite” others’ rhymes in lieu of “freakin’” their own original styles. While for most rappers songs like “Single Mother” are just transparent attempts at introspection, Casual addresses the other side of the “baby momma” equation as well by firing off very harsh words at the men who refuse to play a significant physical or financial part in their children’s lives. Over the same placid soul groove that Jay-Z recently used to write “Dear Summer” he raps: “its foul when your baby momma at the bus stop in the weather/ and you fronting like y’all never even been together/ another black man lost/ but your son ‘bout to pay the cost.”

Smash Rockwell truly only falters on a few tracks. With its cheap marching synths and overbearing drums, “In The Whip” was obviously designed to appeal to Dirty South rap fans. Unfortunately, even with a quick nod to LL’s “Booming System” Cas clever vocals aren’t enough to rescue the track from mediocrity. Then, “I’ll Hit That” is one of the goofiest tracks in Hip-Hop history with Smash improbably putting down a light-hearted sexual romp over a comedic but less-than-appealing symphony of kazoos.

All in all, Casual Presents Smash Rockwell is an excellent example of why the Hieroglyphics crew is one of the few golden era entities still around to day. They consistently produce quality, highly stylized music that stays true to the often tread-upon roots of Hip-Hop culture, and if Casual has his way, they’ll continue to do so for years to come.

Track Listing

01. Say That Then

02. Rap Game

03. Smash Don’t Hurt Em

04. OAKtown feat. E-Mac, Too $hort, G Stack, and Richie Rich

05. Styles

06. Bitin & Freakin feat. Psalm One

07. In The Whip

08. Nickel & Dime Gangsta feat. E-40

09. Critical

10. Hierollers feat. Tajai and Opio

11. Single Mother

12. All Around The World

13. Bay vs. Bricks feat. Young Zee

14. I’ll Hit That

15. Wakemup

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From what I've heard from that download I'd call this the best album since "Lost and Found", I'm gonna try to get this album right away when it drops! :thumbsup:

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Casual Presents Smash Rockwell

HHH official rating: 3.5/5

Beats rating: 3.5/5

Lyrics rating: 4/5

Music Quality: 4/5

Audio

Say That Then

Rap Game

In case you are not familiar with Casual, then let me take you back to 1994. Casual releases Fear Itself and puts out the smash singles "I Didn't Mean To" and "Thats How It Is".

Now its 2005 and 2 releases later, Casual drops his 3rd full length solo release

Casual Presents Smash Rockwell. Let me talk to you all before I continue this review....me and Dirty been Hieroglyphics fans (that's his crew for y'all who don't know) since '93 when we both went to a certain orange university together and were rocking, and I mean rocking, that whole camp's CDs - from Del The Funky Homosapien to Souls of Mischief to Casual. Back then "'93 Til Infinity" was the jam, and we carried around the '93 Til Infinity smash you up sticks...ha....Once that whole era was done, I really didn't hear much from the camp, although I know for a fact that they all dropped other albums. So now I'm here - 2005 and with the new Casual CD in my hands. And yessss ssssiiiiirrrr...instant fan once again.

The album begins with the current single "Say That Then". The banger has a unique beat and Casual spits fire. The album definitely has a Cali feel to it, but with enough East Coast flavor to attract a bi-coastal audience.

There are definitely a lot of stand outs on this album that will have you setting up your own favorites list. On the track "Smash Don’t Hurt 'Em" the beat instantly grabs you, and the chorus is crazy and with lyrics like:

Y'all dont want it, y'all should chill then

I son dudes like foster children...

This is sure to be on heavy rotation. Along with Braggario rhymes comes one track that seems very emotionally packed, with soulful lyrics and a message. What attracted me to this joint at first was the use of the same sample used in Jay Z's "Dear Summer", but this track adds some jazzy horns that switches up the momentum. The song I am talking about is "Single Mother". This is definitely going to appeal to all those single mothers out there that know how hard it is to raise kids on their own. For all of you out there - Stay Strong. The soulfullness of "All Around The World" is hypnotizing... I mean wow...thats one of my personal favorites right there. He's really talking to the people....it sounds like he's right in front of you telling you how it is. One word description: HOT!

Bay Vs. Bricks (F. Young Zee) ??? Young Zee? Where has this cat been? Better yet, where is the rest of the OutSiderz crew? This sounds like they battling each other, but not really battling each other. Peep that...Casual's flow is out this atmosphere!

Casual comes strong throughout this whole CD and its very contagious. Listen and see how you will vibe with this album. And like anything else, GO COP IT - DONT COPY IT.

Casual Presents Smash Rockwell

Track Listing

01: Say That Then [4.5]

02: Rap Game [3.5]

03: Smash Don’t Hurt 'Em[4.5]

04: OAKtown (f. EMac, Too $hort, G Stack, Richie Rich)[4]

05: Styles [4.5]

06: Bitin & Freakin (f. Psalm One) [3.5]

07: In The Whip [4]

08: Nickel & Dime Gangsta (f. E40) [4.5]

09: Critical [3]

10: Hierollers (f. Tajai & Opio) [3.5]

11: Single Mother [4.5]

12: All Around The World [4.5]

13: Bay Vs. Bricks (F. Young Zee) [3.5]

14: I'll Hit That [3.5]

15: Make It Hot [4]

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Thanks for those reviews Tim! :thumbsup:

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