Craig G - This Is Now      
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written by Low Key    
The legendary Juice Crew member Craig G is back! After 17 long years in the game, the Queens Bridge emcee has returned with an unparalleled sense of hunger and vengeance on the mic. While he has gone relatively unnoticed by today's generation of listeners, Craig G still epitomizes what a real emcee is all about. He has been regarded as one of the finest freestyle emcees in the game and has a long, extensive list of classic material. While he has been gone for a minute, Craig is back and ready to take his spot in the industry as one of the underground's finest battle emcees.

"This Is Now The Official Bootleg Mixtape" does a nice job of familiarizing today's generation of listeners with Craig's ferocious battle rhymes and hard core sounds. Like any mixtape these days it features a vast amount of freestyles over today's hottest tracks such as "Grindin" by The Clipse, Mobb Deep's "Burn", "Made You Look" by fellow Q.B. native Nas and State Property's "Roc The Mic". Hearing Craig rock over today's production is proof that he hasn't lost a step and if anything has just matured and redefined his sound.

With his D&D Records debut "This Is Now" ready to drop May 20th, the mixtape showcases some of his new material recorded for the album. The new single "Let's Get Up" finally sees the legendary Marley Marl hook back up with Craig to rekindle the sounds of the past. Marley recreates a new version of "the classic beat, reminiscent of Hip Hop's golden era, complete with a modern day barrage of lyrical mastery" by Craig on the mic. While "Let's Get Up" may not be a classic like the 12 inch cover suggest, it still gives the listener a sense of nostalgia from the past. The b-side "I Get Support Regardless" is your more typical hard-core/battle sounds from Craig G. The DJ Sage produced track features a nice vocal sample from Nas's "Made You Look" in the hook "get out my face you people so phony", along with a dark, intense beat that Craig rides over perfectly.

Other album cuts included are the Curt Cazal produced "Don't Care Who We Bang", which will satisfy Craig's hard-core fans, along with the Nottz produced "Now That's Whats UP" featuring Mr. Cheeks & "Executioner Song". The most promising track featured is the Domingo produced "Do It Over Again". Think Craig G is nothing but a battle emcee? Think again, as Craig runs through his life story coming up in this rap game on "Do It Over Again". Domingo laces the smoothed out track with a beautiful sample while Craig tells his listeners if he could do it again he would do it the same way. The track is reminiscent of fellow Juice Crew member Masta Ace's "No Regrets", as it seems both under appreciated legends have the same feelings and attitudes towards their lives and career.

Simply put, Craig G is the definition of an emcee. For 17 years he has poured his heart and soul into this game and with his up and coming album "This Is Now" maybe he will finally get the recognition he deserves with today's generation of listeners. With a stellar production line up of Alchemist, Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, Marley Marl, Rockwilder & Nottz "This Is Now" could turn out to be one of the bigger surprises of the year. Make sure you got out and support real Hip-Hop and show Craig G the support he deserves when he drops "This Is Now".

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