Sanct Ep, Phranye West, The Righteous EP, Free Beer
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Sept. 28, 2012
Verses about moving, maturation, and "Wifey" fill local hero Bavu Blakes' Sanct EP, which comes from the hip-hop mainstay's new home in Long Beach, even if the sound is purely Texan. Much of that can be attributed to Blakes' devotion to that soulful sound he helped develop, but peep Sanct's roster: D-Madness, Mojoe's Easy Lee ("Eddie Long"), Blaxsmith ("Better 2 Be"), and LOEGZ sensei Reggie Coby, who produced the EP. Hit lines keep coming for battle rap MC Phranchyze, whose Phranye West mixtape hits peaks as high ("His Dudeness") as its valleys run low (covers of Kanye West's "Two Words" and "Barry Bonds"). Phran shines on the smoke-inspired "Suenos de California," a smoothed-out track that finds the funnyman in relaxed mode over slow, syncopated soul. Kydd Jones wasted no time following up this spring's The Sounds in My Head, Pt. 2 mixtape, releasing The Righteous LP with guest spots from longtime Kanye West affiliate GLC, Dallas duo A.Dd+, San Antonio's Worldwide, and a slew of local talent. Tracks like "Russian Roulette," "The Masons," and "Too Thoed," which samples James Blake's bedroom dubstep, demonstrate that Jones has found his artistic forte: "Nice & Slow," "Texas Heat." LNS Crewmember and regular Kydd Jones collaborator Cory Kendrix continues with the nice and easy on his DJ Wes Sanders-assisted Free Beer, a 32-track marathon of a mixtape that's just as much about "Late Night Lovin'" as it is about "Burnin' Trees." That's not to say the 23-year-old's second effort is too slow. Tracks like "The Cypher" and a remix of Gang Starr's "Above the Clouds" prove Kendrix runs one truly gritty committee.