Friday, April 19, 2019

Nas "Illmatic" (25th Anniversary Mix by Chris Read)


April 19, 1994, saw the release of one of what would go on to be recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, Nas‘s seminal debut, Illmatic. Following much-talked-about appearances on Main Source‘s “Live at the Barbecue,” MC Serch‘s “Back to the Grill,” and the release of the now classic soundtrack cut “Halftime,” Illmatic delivered on the hype with a compact ten-track offering helmed by the cream of mid-’90s hip-hop production talent: DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and L.E.S.. Pairing crisp head-nod drums with an eclectic palate of jazz, funk, and soul samples, the all-star lineup of producers prepared a musical backdrop over which Nas delivers a no-holds-barred guided tour of life growing up in New York’s Queensbridge projects. Sampled cuts range from the timeless jazz of Ahmad Jamal and jazz-funk of Donald Byrd to the pop of Michael Jackson via well-sampled staples by the likes of Kool & the Gang. In celebration of the album’s twenty-fifth year, WhoSampled presents an exclusive mix of album cuts, remixes, interview snippets, and of course tracks sampled in the album’s making. Mixed by Chris Read, definitely check it out below...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Purpose "The Iron Throne of Microphones" (EP Stream)


Purpose of the Tragic Allies steps up to celebrate the return of "Game Of Thrones" by producing, writing, recording and mixing his latest EP, "The Iron Throne of Microphones," which is based off the "Game of Thrones" books and television series. A unique concept with a huge built-in audience; I hope it reaches some new listeners. Whether you're a diehard fan or never watched an episode, I think it's still a solid listen! I like to see artists pulling creatively from different sources, so much respect to Purpose and the Tragic Allies crew. Dig into their back catalogs, lots of dope content!

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Notorious B.I.G. "Rapsheet" (Press Kit, August 1994)


Date: August, 1994 ... The Notorious B.I.G. Rapsheet was sent out to press as a unique piece of promo that shares some humorous "info" to hype the name switch from Biggie Smalls (1993) to The Notorious B.I.G. (1994) and his debut album, "Ready To Die," dropping a month later on September 13, 1994 via Bad Boy Entertainment. His criminal history included arrests for "Criminal possession and Illegal use of deadly rhymes," "Beat trafficking," "Criminal possession and use of a narcotic lyrics," and "17 counts of aggravated mic assault." The status on all counts? Acquitted!! (If you don't know ... now you know!) From B.I.G.'s alliances, nickname, counsel, DOB, race, sex, height and of course, B.I.G.'s hometown of "Representing B.K. to the fullest!," you can read more below. Originally released in 1994, you can order a full resolution copy, available in the online store with postcards and more...

Monday, April 08, 2019

Mobb Deep "Juvenile Hell" (Press Kit, 1993)


"Coming with jeep-crushing drum beats and ill jazz/funk samples, Mobb Deep is the latest rap export from 4th & B'Way's stable of stars. On their debut album, Juvenile Hell, the MC duo of Havoc and Prodigy bring the flavor. Over hardcore tracks produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Paul Shabazz & Slick, and Keith & Dale, they spout spirited rhymes that explore the interior and exterior of urban life. Mobb Deep has spent the last couple of years hangin' in project hallways, bonding with homies, sipping 40s of malt liquor, and knocking suckers out to get a rep. They've now emerged from this street-savage upbringing, telling it like it is in ten songs that'll have ya doin' the freaky-deke at any blazing jam. "We want people to dance to our music, but we also want them to flip the coin and peep what we're sayin'," says Prodigy. It can be said without fear of contradiction that growing up in the ghetto can be cool and messed up at the same time. While, thanks to everyday mental trauma, it can make you stronger in the mind, it can also place you six-feet under. "I think we're a couple of the most strong-minded people in the world," says Havoc of he and his partner."


"Survivors of outdoor bloodbaths and other vestiges of boulevard brutality, as well as active participants in the more joyful activities on the asphalt landscape, Mobb Deep has arrived in Planet Hip Hop with songs like "Peer Pressure," "Me And My Crew" and "Hit It From The Back" that transport the listener to where they come from. Havoc, who is from Queensbridge Queens and Prodigy, a Hempstead Long Island native, met in 1990, when they were students at New York City's High School of Art and Design. "I was in the 10th grade," recalls Havoc. "He was in the 9th. We both used to battle in the lunchroom. One time we went against each other, and because we were real short - we're both just over five feet - everybody said we'd look good together. So we collaborated, and it worked out." The pair began cutting demos. Then, after performing in a number of talent shows, tracking a phat promo for WBLS New York's weekend rap show, and getting ink in The Source "Unsigned Hype" column, they got a rep. Later, Mobb Deep (whose name represents how they roll with their crew) found themselves in the middle of a label bidding war. "It took a while for things to happen for us," says Prodigy, 'but we're happy with the way things turned out'." - 1993

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Awon "Soulapowa" (Album Stream)


I woke up to the incredible sounds of soul pumpin' through my speakers today. Yup, I stretched my arms at 6:15am, saw an e-mail that the new Awon album was released and 'popped' it in to get my day started. Some jazzy keys, a nice break... my eyes are opening... then the bars come in - "...the first amendment, exercised with a criminal vision..." - my day is off to a great start! Peace to my brother from Philly, Dread Solo, on the production for "Dark Roast," which ends with a proper applause. MZ Boom Bap is up next, and when the cuts come in after Awon's first verse, it levels up. This is feeling like Awon's sharpest and most concise effort thus far. "Keep it real, that's that..." (Peace to N.O.R.E.) By the time the soulful chop from Phoniks bleeds through the speakers, I'm floating through my morning rituals. I had to pause the album to cop the CD and show support...


The LP's AZ-like feature comes from Houston, TX's Anti-Lilly on two cuts. His message is always on point and breathes added life into the project. All in all, if you've been a fan from day one or this is the first time hearing Awon's music, this project has a timeless feel to it and while I must sit with it to break down and digest the lyrics properly, I'm standing firm that this may be his best project released to date. I'm gonna fire off a text to let him know how I appreciated his album as the sun starts to peak through. I hope the rest of the world is waking up with me, as Awon ironically says "...sleep while you alive and wake up in a coffin..." lol. I hear you, brother. Listen below...

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rest In Peace, Nipsey Hussle (March 31, 2019)


"We are at a great loss today. This hurts. Straight to the point. It’s dangerous to be an MC. Dangerous to be a b-ball player. It’s dangerous to have money. Dangerous To Be A Black Man. So much hatred. We live like our brothers and sisters in third world countries live. Right in America. Decisions we make about our own life be based on decisions cuz we might not live. Its so deep rooted. It’s not a easy fix. Hard to fix anything when kids are still living in poverty. I ain’t shutting up though, Nipsey is a True voice. He will never be silenced. He still is A stand up General for the People who never left his people. He is Loved by the people. Prayers for his family. Let’s keep pushing Truth for The Man. Love You, King Nipsey Hussle / Ermias Asghedom Respectfully" - Nas // He was an authentic artist; truly forward-thinking, positive and ownership-minded - all of which made him an important voice for this generation. It's a truly sad day. My thoughts are with his loved ones. I know that he's inspired today's youth to be better, do better and that's a legacy. R.I.P.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

DJ Muggs & Mach-Hommy "Tuez-Les Tous" (Album Stream)


DJ Muggs teams up with the extremely elusive Mach-Hommy for a collab effort titled Tuez-Les Tous.... The New Jersey MC spits bristling rhymes over 12 tracks built out of hard-hitting production courtesy of the Cypress Hill beat maestro. Non-credited guests pop up on the gritty project, which includes assists from Meyhem Lauren, Your Old Droog, and more. "Mach-Hommy moves with grace and ease through the creative process, and he has an intelligence that comes along very few and far between," Muggs previously told Billboard. "There are originators, and there are imitators. Mach-Hommy is one of one." I'm not too familiar with Mach-Hommy, but I'm tuned in...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Choosey & Exile "Black Beans" (Album Stream)


"Hailing from LA by way of San Diego, Choosey uses Black Beans to make important statements in favor of black and brown unity at a time when his voice is most needed. Autobiographical moments like “I Did” follow in the footsteps of Exile produced masterpieces including Blu’s Below The Heavens and Fashawn’s Boy Meets World, as his soulful beats have always brought honesty and introspection out of the Dirty Science crew. Black Beans captures the feeling of the beautiful struggle while navigating life’s potholes throughout sunny Southern California. Taking the good with the bad, Choosey honors family and his significant other while attacking society’s ills including police brutality and gentrification. Though Black Beans is consistent with Exile’s sound, with this effort, he sampled from a number of sources and an era that best reflects Choosey’s story personally. Combining street smarts and book smarts, the album is sure to impact listeners as he’s a testament to following his dreams while surviving everything from the daily rat race to coming up in territories surrounded by gang activity." This is a really dope album, sit and digest this one below...