The Rap-Up

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

Rap Duo Hits the Road

Young Jeezy has been making a gradual reemergence in advance of his “TM103” album. Now the Snowman will be hitting the road with high-powered protégé Freddie Gibbs from July 31 until September 2.

The coast to coast, 26-city jaunt kicks off July 31 with two shows at the House of Blues in New Orleans and wraps at Showbox at the Market in Seattle. Jeezy has a platinum pedigree and Gibbs has the potential to reach similar heights.

His “Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away” EP with Statik Selektah continues his stellar sonic streak, one of rap’s most impressive thanks to such standout releases as 2009’s “midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik” and 2010’s “Str8 Killa No Filla.” Hardcore rap may not get the mainstream shine that it once did, but that’s not because it shouldn’t.

Black Rob’s Summer Celebration

A suburb summer anthem has been a rap staple, something several artists have tried deliberately to create since 1991, when DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince delivered the rap stable “Summertime.” Black Rob has the early lead for 2011’s summer smash with the sunny “Celebration.” Shot in Harlem, New York earlier this month, the feel-good video features Rob cavorting with b-ball players, shapely females and assorted barbequers and friends.

The song marks a welcome return to the scene for Rob, who broke through with Diddy more than a decade ago, thanks in large part to the song “Whoa!” Medical problems and incarceration kept Rob from reaching his full potential, but “Celebration,” culled from his just-released album “Game Tested, Streets Approved,” shows that Black Rob still wants to get it.

 

Clip Shines The Light on “Lawtown”

Where Black Rob must have been a good mood when writing “Celebration,” Clip and REKS must have endured a rough stretch when they composed their verses for the grimy “Welcome To Lawtown.” Lawtown is the nickname given to Lawrence, Massachusetts, which sits about 30 miles north of Boston.

With a hard-knock life perspective and a bevy of well-placed scratches, the mid-tempo cut sounds similar to something DJ Premier might have produced in the early 1990s, which is a testament to the potential of DC the MIDI Alien, who produced the cut. Lawrence may be behind Brooklyn, Compton and Atlanta (among many, many others) in terms of famous rap locales, but “Welcome To Lawtown” serves as a potent, if bleak, introduction to the city’s culture.

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

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