The '05 streak of great Northwest rap albums continues. I just got through peeping When Pigs Fly, the second LP from the Chicharones (Josh Martinez and Oldominion's Sleep) and this is good shit right here. I wasn't acquainted with Vancouver, BC, resident Martinez, but Vancouver, Washington, representative Sleep's rapid-fire Ricochet Rabbit riffage should be familiar to those up on the local goings-on. Their chemistry on the mic is great, as they nimbly attack the tracks (courtesy of Ol'D boardsman Zebulon Dak) with zingy cadences, sticky hooks, and cheeky reference-heavy humor. DJ Wicked's way-tight cuts keep the whole production moving right along. If you're looking for a release that's fun and still plenty raw, I'd say this is one for ya. No, it ain't Paul Wall, but man cannot live on Barre alone... but speaking of the People's Champ, Paul's new album is pretty power—the Swishahouse camp is seriously killing shit right now. If you wanna hear something about some cars, some jewelry, some girls, and some ostentatious orthodontics, Wall is your boy. Like his man Mike Jones, he somehow keeps such derivative subject matter fun. "Sittin' Sideways" is undeniable Houston flavor—that psychotropic production style sounds good even if you ain't sippin' on promethazine. Oh, and while my mind's on Texas, much love out to all those caught up with Hurricane Rita.... Big ups to Silent Lambs Project, Sonny Bonoho, and e'rybody in the town that's been doing Katrina benefits. Let's keep 'em coming—with Rita making the scene, our neighbors down in the Dirty need as much assist as they can get. Oh, and do look for that "Katrina Clap" joint from Mos Def if you haven't already. Blessed with vocab and characteristic candor, Mos lambastes the slow response to the tragedy with lines like, "It's enough to make you holler out/Where the fuck is Sir Bono and his famous friends now?"... Yadadamean?

Hey, and if you were wondering what to do with your Thursday mornings from 3:00–5:00 a.m. (it's possible...), then you need to check out KBCS 91.3 FM for Zulu Radio, a show featuring independent hiphop of the local and national varieties, all ably spun by your boys Khazm and WD4D—repping MadKrew and the Universal Zulu Nation's 206 chapter. I know some of y'all degenerates keep some strange hours, so log the hell off for a couple hours and tune in. You ain't missin' nothing on MySpace (like I can talk).

Congrats to the Roots, who have been signed to Def Jam! Big cheese S. Carter knows all too well how the Legendary bring it—what with ?uestlove and company providing essential backline support for his Unplugged and Fade to Black sessions. Here's to their seventh album, Game Theory, getting the push that the other LPs from their thoroughly consistent catalog didn't. Would it be stupid to assume that the Roots are gonna be trading in guest shots from Mos, Common, and Talib Kweli for hot 16s from Young Jeezy? "Thaaat's Riiight"!