January 24, 2021

David Begun "J Villain: DOOMnuts" (Album Stream)

David Begun has done it once again! With his latest offering, he combines the brilliance of Dilla's Donuts album with various MF Doom songs to create J Villain: DOOMnuts. This is a tribute to both artists - both gone too soon and both geniuses in their own right. Never truly able to combine their forces on any projects while they were here, this album imagines what a dream collaboration such as this would sound like! If you haven't already, dig into the archives for other great works from David Begun, a talented producer from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. As with all projects like this one, it's hard to say if they'll remain online, so listen ASAP! Rest In Peace, J. Dilla and MF DOOM.

January 23, 2021

th1rt3en "A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism" (Album Stream)

th1rt3en is the combative new project from legendary Jamaica, Queens rapper Pharoahe Monch joined by musical assassins Jack White drummer Daru Jones + renowned guitarist, Marcus Machado. Executive produced, written and directed by Pharoahe Monch, he shares: “th1rt3en is tired of holding hands and singing hymns. We’ve been assigned from a higher power to combat you on your own terms. In this existence head on. Here, hold this voodoo! Fuck you!” Pharoahe Monch has had a hall of fame career thus far, first as a member of the 90’s group Organized Konfusion and even more notably as a solo artist revered by his peers. Aggressive, abrasive, often irreverent and fearless with their examination of the world today, the propelling percussion, bewitching hooks, elite lyricism and brilliant guitar work makes for a sonic explosion worthy of the best of all genres. Their debut album, A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism, was released yesterday on Fat Beats Records. It's dark, moody and super lyrical! In a landscape where we are constantly being conditioned to shrink our thinking into social media’s algorithm and age demographic, the world is in need of reflection and atonement and th1rt3en is just the band to get the process started. Dig into their album below...

January 22, 2021

Breeze Brewin "Hindsight" (Album Stream)

Breeze Brewin of the Juggaknots (and The Indelible MCs) has released his debut solo album, Hindsight. The album boasts 13 tracks with production from Marco Polo, Black Milk, DJ Maseo (De La Soul), DJ Spinna, Sebb Bash and more. Hindsight captures the magic of what happens when an artist sticks with what they love and shares it with the rest of the world. It's been well-documented on this site and anywhere I frequent, Breeze Brewin is one of my all-time favorite MCs! His wordplay and flow are exceptional and any writer/lyricist will echo that same sentiment. It helps that Breeze is a extremely nice guy and Fat Beats alumni, too. In these turbulent times, I am rejoicing in the fact that we have this album and plan to give it a ton of burn. Much respect to Breeze, Kev Fever, Herawin, DJ Boo, and anyone as excited as I am for this release. Listen to Breeze's album below...

January 21, 2021

Hus Kingpin "Portishus" (Album Stream)

Portishus is the latest release from Long Island MC, Hus Kingpin. The project is inspired by Portishead's music and it's felt throughout the vibe of the project. Guitars and moody drum loops set the stage for this creative new project. We ran Portishead on Sunday afternoons on Fat Beats on the regular. Anyone who says those early Portishead projects didn't inspire your favorite producers of that era, you are out of touch with music. The project features appearances from Vinnie Paz, SmooVth, Ransom, and Willie The Kid, SageInfinite, Breeze Brewin, Ty Farris, Nems, Snotty, Big Twins, Roc C, Rozewood, and more! Props to everyone involved - dig into the LP below...

January 20, 2021

DJ Eclipse & DJ Riz "MF DOOM Tribute" (Mix, 1/3/21)

DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz paid tribute to the late great MF DOOM on their Sirius radio show, Rap Is Outta Control. When I thought about all the DJs that would come out of the shadows to post their mixes in support of MF DOOM, there were only a few that I was certain had represented from day 1, and among them was certainly DJ Eclipse. Sure, you can dig into the archives for a lot of DOOM-related content, but for now, you'll definitely want to dig into this 2-hour tribute mix, which was recorded live on January 3, 2021. MF DOOM's memory will live on forever, click play and you'll hear all the reasons why. Props to MixtapeTreasury for the link, you can download it, too. R.I.P., MF DOOM.

January 19, 2021

Instagram Series: The Photography of Atsuko Tanaka

Photographer Atsuko Tanaka was born in Tokyo. She moved to the U.S. in 1991 as a teenager, and studied photography in Los Angeles before relocating to New York City, where she quickly gained recognition for her images of legendary hip-hop artists. Equipped with a distinct sensibility that captured subtle expressions and moods of her subjects, it didn't take long before Atsuko found herself shooting the likes of Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Capone-N-Noreaga, Redman, RZA and many more, as well as album cover art for popular Japanese artists. While continuing to photograph celebrities, artists and street fashion for both American and Japanese media, in 2006 Atsuko was named one of the "100 Most Respected Japanese in the World" by Newsweek Japan. In fall 2011, Atsuko moved her base back to Tokyo after two decades in the States. She still frequently travels abroad for work and inspiration. You can sample some of her work above and below, but you'll definitely want to follow Atsuko Tanaka's feed on Instagram for a ton of incredible photos from her archives. Enjoy...

January 18, 2021

Kurious "A Constipated Monkey" (January 18, 1994)

After years of paying dues and building a rep as one of the best freestylers in New York, Kurious finally gets the opportunity to correctly represent with a full-length LP. True hip-hop heads will no doubt remember Kurious from last winter's "Walk Like A Duck," probably one of the most slept on singles in recent memory. This time around Kurious hits the streets with a number of definite underground hits. "Spell It With A J" is a wicked freestyle (packed with clever metaphors and similes) over a fat Beatnuts track. And whether he's hangin' with Psycho Les and holding his crotch 'cause he's "Top Notch" or utilizing a dope Q-Tip sample on "Baby Bust It (featuring the Grim Reaper)," Kurious rocks the mic like a true MC should. There's even a smoothed-out cut, "I'm Kurious," that could get him some daytime radio play. There is even some East Coast/West Coast unity as Oakland's Hieroglyphics crew gets represented by a guest appearance from Casual on "What's The Real." Production-wise, the Beatnuts hang snug and tight (as usual) allowing the lyrical skills to flow over the tracks like water from fountains. But there is also some solid work done by SD50's Pete and Rich and Bosco Money. Rap purists and fans of bugged-out freestyle shouldn't hit the snooze button on this one. - The Source (February, 1994). A slept-on GEM of an LP! Unfortunately it's still not available on streaming platforms, so enjoy this samples mix from VinRican...

Original album review in The Source + Stickers...

January 17, 2021

"Juice" (January 17, 1992)

"For the unknown stars of this $5 million film, getting ”juice,” a street term for respect and power, is as much a real-life obsession as it is for the characters they play. ”It’s about time there’s work for us,” says Shakur’s costar Khalil Kain, who just a few weeks ago was a bartender at a local nightclub. The timing certainly is right: Hollywood is coming off a year in which a record number of black films were released, and movie companies are looking to repeat the success of Boyz N the Hood and New Jack City, which grossed $56 million and $47 million respectively. ”Studios finally realize the dollar potential of making black films,” says Heyman, who is coproducing Juice with Neal Moritz. ”They cost so little to make and they don’t have to bring in $150 million to be considered a hit.” ”It’s a good thing, too,” says the 40-year-old Dickerson, ”because there’s an untapped wealth of black stories, and now some of them will finally get told.” ... Juice is about four Harlem homeboys who, says co-screenwriter Brown, ”have watched one Chuck Norris movie too many.” And while the message is anti-violence, the film has its share of guns and bloodshed. The movie’s theme and marketing campaign have already sparked concern over a possible replay of the violence that marred the debuts of New Jack and Boyz. Paramount, the film’s distributor, did revise Juice‘s poster — airbrushing out a large gun — though for creative reasons, not out of fear that it would incite violence, the studio says. Paramount also offered to pick up the cost of increased security in some theaters. But Dickerson believes that the film’s moderate bloodshed is an accurate reflection of life in the streets. His operative word is authenticity. ”This is about the perils of growing up black in the ghetto,” says the director, who hails from Newark. 'If I can accurately show that without the Hollywood wrappings, then I’ve done what I set out to do.'" - Entertainment Weekly, 1992. Below is a great (perhaps rare?) interview with the cast, and if you dig into the archives on this site, you can see 2Pac's original testing contract for the film in 1991, a review of the movie's soundtrack, and more! Juice is a cult-classic film that should continue to be celebrated. Rest In Peace, Tupac Shakur!

More publicity photos from the film and the VHS copy...