The Guud, MSG Crew, RX Family and Diamond Mine, Ramon Ramirez, and ESG
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Oct. 23, 2009
The GuudThe Guudness
MSG CrewThe Giants (BR Records)
RX Family and Diamond MineDiamond Minds
Ramon RamirezVolume One: @ The Entry Level
ESGEveryday Street Gangsta (E1)
It's more a "Trashy Thang" than the Dungeon Family stank they shoot for, but the Guud flow "Fonky" in all the right places on The Guudness, the most recent offshoot from Young Nick, Mirage, Blacc Goliath, and Trashman. Steered by Nick's bouncy swagger, Guud drop Cadillac music on "That Guud," "come together like Voltron" for Houston harker "Got that Guud," and bring da ruckus with "Guud Folk." Clemits' lo-fi grooves ("More Everything") evoke last year's Tomorrows Friend on MSG Crew's The Giants, 13 tracks that owe more to the DJ than the six MCs. Without any dynamic differences in either diction or delivery, MSG gets lost swapping bars on "Coast 2 Coast" and "Three the Fresh Way," but "NO, NO, NO" hits the soul mark. Ramon Ramirez, X, and Big T bring RX Family back from the dead a year later, this time teaming with Diamond Mine for the Diamond Minds EP, a six-track cipher digital download available at www.ramonramirezandassociates.com. Clocking in at less than 20 minutes, Diamond Minds will unfortunately be over before you know it. Get more of the same flow on Volume One: @ The Entry Level, the most recent solo effort from Ramirez that's available at the same site. Lyrically loose like this spring's When the Day Brakes, this Volume rides on the production of former Honeybear David McKnight, who shows he's just as smooth going hyphy ("Golden Scroll") as he is bringing that Aggressive Soul ("Pride"). Still tippin' in the Bayou City, Slim Thug crony ESG brings the bounce from his native Louisiana ("I'm On") to Everyday Street Gangsta, swapping bars with serious Houston brass (Chamillionaire, Bun B, Trae) in the process. The best hip-hop album out of Houston this year? That's still UGK's 4 Life, but Everday Street Gangsta should be enough to "Shut Them Haters Up."