Rap-Up Volume 20 Roc Marciano

The Rap-Up is a weekly round-up of all things hip-hop. Check it out every Wednesday.

This edition of The Rap-Up focuses on the “Greneberg” EP, which is a project led by The Alchemist, Oh No and Roc Marciano; the troubles that seemingly never ends for Ja Rule; and Soul Khan’s latest music video drop, which features plenty of superhero scenes fitting for the summer-blockbuster movies season.

Producer-Rappers Unite For “Greneberg”

Diversity is celebrated now more than ever. The Alchemist, Oh No and Roc Marciano are three producer-rappers who have taken this concept to heart by excelling at both vocations, as evidenced throughout the trio’s “Greneberg” EP, which arrived in stores July 19.

With gritty, sample-based tracks such as “Momma Told Me,” the murky “Jet Luggage” and the electric guitar-driven “Hoard 90,” the project brings their strengths to the seven-track collection -- which includes the digital bonus track “Jaws.” The EP serves as a warm-up of sorts to forthcoming long players from Gangrene (The Alchemist and Oh No) and Roc Marciano. Anyone who says rap is too commercial, that there is no emphasis on lyrics and that flows have been dumbed down hasn’t been listening to rap, and definitely hasn’t heard “Greneberg.”

Ja Rule Goes The Way Of The Mob

At the turn of the century, Ja Rule was one of rap’s biggest figures. His sing-song delivery style and duets with such R&B singers as Lil Mo, Jennifer Lopez and Ashanti may have earned him his fair share of detractors, but it also earned him more than 8 million albums sold and roles in several high profile movies.

Of course the Queens, New York, rapper and his The Inc. musical movement played up a mob-like persona and motif in order to boost their credibility. Well, now Ja Rule has suffered the fate of many real-life mobsters. He was sentenced July 18 to more than two years in prison for failing to file tax returns for three years. Fortunately for the rapper, he’ll be able to serve the time concurrently while he’s unfortunately serving time for an unrelated 2007 weapons case. At any rate, with good behavior, Ja Rule may be released sooner. Regardless of when he returns, he needs to keep his mind on his money -- and paying his taxes.

Soul Khan, The Superhero

It’s summertime and Hollywood is in full blockbuster, superhero mode, so it’s fitting that rapper Soul Khan’s new video for “Speeding Bullets” features him as a superhero of sorts. Along with singing partner-in-crime Akie Bermiss, the Brooklyn rapper is a working stiff who doubles as The Incredible Caulk, while Bermiss’s alter ego is The Super Intendent.

Their mission: to remove drugs and The Stink from the community. Anyone looking to catch Soul Khan’s comedic histrionics in person can catch him on the The Vans Warped Tour’s Bring It Back Stage. The tour’s next stop is July 23 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. A member of the Brown Bag Allstars, Soul Khan released the “Acknowledgement EP” in April and his “Soul Like Khan” album in November. Make a point to check for rap’s new superhero, even if only in his own videos.

For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker.

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