Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Odd Couple (Ghostface & Cappadonna) "WTC Pt.2" 12" (2002)


A quick drop today: this is the 12" from a spin-off from Wu-Tang Clan: Ghostface Killah & Cappadonna as "The Odd Couple." The production is from Ayatollah and the record is called "WTC Pt.2." The etching on the vinyl references D.Charles (assumed to be Richard Charles Waldspurger) who engineered the session, but there is no label or year attached to it's release. Without much info to share, let's just point to Ghostface, who always comes in super hard on records, "Yo, we million dollar Sinatras..." lol. Not much else to say about this one, a track you've likely discovered on mixtapes in the early 2000s, but now you can enjoy the full vocal and instrumental versions below.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cyrus The Great "King Kong Ain't Got Sh​*​t On Me"

Cyrus The Great releases his production album, "King Kong Ain't Got Sh*t On Me." Known to me originally as the producer from Film Skool Rejekts, then later work with Skyzoo & more, I am eager to check out this release with Torae, King Mez, DJ Prince (who mixed the original Film Skool Projects mixtape), Roc Marciano, Skyzoo & of course, Future Joyner now known as Joyner Lucas. I've heard the Roc Marci & Skyzoo joints, both are dope, so I'm very optimistic, dig in below. (Update: added is the new Deluxe, Bandcamp Edition, which includes 4 additional tracks).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The D&D Project (Hip-Hop Connection, 1995)


"Over the last few years D&D studios has become an icon in the east coast hip-hop culture. The lush New York studio, rumored to be equipped with Philly Blunt vending machines, is the venue notable producers and emcees choose to record. These include KRS-One who, along with the proprietors conceived this compilation. The opening cut "1,2 Pass It" by the D&D All-Stars is the spine of the album. Patrons consisting of Mad Lion, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun and Jeru The Damaja go all-out over a smooth Primo beat, scratches and all." Cont'd...


"The rest of the album showcases the production talents of some of New York's finest and the rhyming skills of some underground unsigned hype. This includes offerings from Ill Breed and Fabidden Fruit, Beatminerz and Guru proteges respectively, however the noteworthy cuts include efforts of The Maniac Mob who serve up "Get Up" produced by the legendary producer The 45 King and "Look ALive" by Big C. Overall D&D Project boasts a fine body of work from unadulterated hip-hop talent. For purists eager to hear rhymes from emcees still hungry - this is the shit." - HHC

Thursday, June 25, 2015

One Be Lo "Laborhood Part IV" (Album Stream)


"The Laborhood mixtape series is a collection of songs that One Be Lo has made guest appearances on, aside from solo material. Part Four features 15 tracks, Mixed by DJ Dyllemma. This collection spans over the last decade, highlighting various artists throughout the Laborhood. Laborhood Part Four was recorded in: Pontiac, New Jersey, Chicago, Seattle, Melbourne, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Austin, Auburn, Portland, Grand Rapids. Featuring: Gameboi, RoSpit, CyMarshall Law, Longshot, Ang13, Magniff, Def Dee, Ken Starr, Fluent Form, DJ Twelvz, Zumbi, Tableek, JFK, Authentic, Mic Phelps, Logic, FYA, DMT, Zeb, Dox Black, Fess Grandiose, Haseeb the Futuristic, SubKulture Patriots, J Ross Parelli, Toni Hill, Ceasar, Porter Ray, Marcus D, Rick Chyme, Mike Phillips, Molly Bouwsma Schultz, DJ Sav One." - Stream Laborhood Pt. 4 below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pete Rock "Petestrumentals II" (Instrumental Album)


Pete Rock was raised in Mount Vernon, but his face belongs on Mount Rushmore. The Chocolate Boy Wonder perfected an art form, inspired millions, and soundtracked a generation. By contrast, Teddy Roosevelt seems like a chump. This is the man who Dilla told, “I wanted to be like you.” Kanye once called himself the “new Pete Rock.” But the original Pete Rock remains permanently vital. The evidence bangs in his latest opus, Petestrumentals 2, the sequel to the 2001 classic that helped define the hip-hop instrumental record. It marks the legend’s first album on Mello Music Group, a fitting union between the author of the boom-bap blueprint and the label that’s expanded upon his legacy. Petestrumentals 2 conjures memories of BBQ cookouts and 70s Blaxploitation scores, rattling summer jeep cruises and blunted Jamaican vacations. There’s a gorgeous requiem to Dilla (“Dilla Bounce (R.I.P),” where the originator pays tribute to the prodigy. You see the full range of Rock’s gifts on display: the meticulously chopped horns, unquantized drums, and air raid sirens. It contains the emotion of a thousand eulogies. For the last 20 years, hip-hop heads have argued over the best Pete Rock original productions and remixes. Is it “They Reminisce Over You” or the “Shut ‘Em Down Remix?” Do you prefer Soul Survivor or the first Petestrumentals, his work with INI or the UN? His catalogue can’t be compressed into a bio; you need a book. This is the latest chapter—an even 20 slaps and rhythmic levitations. It’s Pete Rock at his best, stream it below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DJ Riz & DJ Eclipse "The Halftime Show" (3/4/98)


"Here's the 1st ever episode of The Halftime Show. Riz & I stepped to Lynn Gonzalez who at that time had the Wednesday night slot and asked her if she wanted to join forces. After some initial hesitation she agreed and thus The Halftime Show was born. Unfortunately, Lynn wasn't able to make the show, but in her place was T.O. Sweet who had his own show on WNYU. Listening back the show was definitely a little rough around the edges, but we made it work. Riz spun the first half of the show, I spun the 2nd half. We had A-Butta and L-Swift of Natural Elements as our guests, which led to a couple dope freestyle sessions (96:16 & 104:25). Mr. Len from Company Flow was hanging out with us in the studio as well. This was before Serato and CDJs so every time we had to play an exclusive we would have to stop the mix to throw on the dat. A lot of the music played represented what was also going on at Fat Beats at the time. The good ol' days." Peace to Eclipse!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ill Conscious "The Essence" (Album Stream)


Chopped Herring Records, the titan of underground, exclusive vinyl releases has caught my eyes and ears yet again. Their latest future-classic is from Ill Conscious, a Baltimore lyricist, who steps to the plate with his debut LP, The Essence. The production on the LP is handled by Loop Holes, MWP, Cold Legistics, illMeasured, Nascent & TooNorth. As for features, we got Dirt Platoon, Shameeka Dream, Yung Miss, and Cyn Hawkes across the 15-track offering. I considered sending a message to Bob Lipitch and inquire as to how his UK-based label came across this B-More spitter, when I'm always looking for MCs of his caliber, lol. Instead, I sent humble props and a guarantee he'd be seeing my $ on the release, which he did. Now, hear what I hear, stream it below!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wisdom "All-Star Jam" 12" (1996)


This is Wisdom's fresh 12" from 1996 on Emo Recordings. The 12" is mostly known for it's features from Adagio! and Breeze Brewin of the Juggaknots on the track "All-Star Jam." The production is handled by Adagio! producer, Big Cousin (aka The Obvious Wonder), as well as a vocal feature from Adagio! MC, Rayme Supreme. Beyond that, it's released on Emo Recordings, which was home to the bulk of the releases from Adagio! in the mid-90s. As for Breeze Brewin, he'd been down with Adagio! from years prior, so while I'm not exactly sure how Wisdom was originally connected to them, suffice to say, this record was filled with mid-90s flavor and good chemistry in the booth. The beat moves and the MCs each tackle it like a freestyle cipher, bouncing verses off one another. While Breeze is the obvious stand-out on the track, you might also like the B-Side's "It's Rare" and "Angel," as well ... dig into all three the tracks below. It's unfortunate there's no LP versions.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nas & AZ "Naz: The Flyest Essence" (Mixed by DJ Rhude)


"Nas and AZ's chemistry in the booth is undeniable as evidenced by their body of work over the years. Despite said chemistry, the two arists have never collaborated on a full length album despite the fans pleas for it. While it probably may never happen, Datwon (Vibe EIC) and I brainstormed about putting together a mixtape as a way of imagining how an album between the two could sound. As a result Naz: the Flyest Essence was born. Featuring beats from The Alchemist, Pete Rock, Large Pro, Sid Roams, Midi Mafia, Salaam Remi and many more." - DJ Rhude

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Audible Doctor "Seasons" (Summer | Winter | Spring)


The Audible Doctor started his 4-part series called "Seasons" before I'd created this website, but it's worth reminding fans, who will ultimately receive future posts containing The Audible Doctor's production and/or rhymes. You can head over to his Bandcamp page to download the instrumental versions associated with each release, but for now here are: The Winter Tape, The Summer Tape & his latest, The Spring Tape. Each features outstanding production & features from many of the best MCs in underground hip-hop! Peep the tracklists below for all you need to know.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Children of the Corn 'American Dream' 12" (1996)


Today's vinyl release is from the legendary collective, Children of the Corn. Children of the Corn was a crew from Harlem, NY that included Big L, Murda Mase (Mase), Killa Kam (Cam'ron), Bloodshed, and Herb McGruff. The details are fuzzy on whom else may have been included in the crew - I’ve heard conflicting stories - but at its core, these were the main members until Bloodshed (Cam's cousin) was killed in a car accident, and individually the crew went on to have solo careers. Their individual stories are well-documented so let’s get to the 12” - it’s from 1996 and has ‘American Dream’ on the A-side and ‘Harlem USA’ on the B-Side. It’s considered an ‘unofficial release’ with no label attached, but fans of the earlier work do gravitate towards this record. DJs appreciate the a cappella on 'American Dream' and there are 2 separate versions of 'Harlem USA' on the B-side: a Harlem version & an Uptown version. You can stream/download the full 12" below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

U.T.K. Rezerectors "Dark Side" 12" (1995)


This U.T.K. Rezerectors 12" was released back in 1994-1995 on Big Boss Records out of New York. The production was done by Paul Williams & K-Dogz. The B-Side single, "Dark Side," has the popular sample from Southside Movement's "Ive Been Watching You," which ironically Snoop Dogg wrote to before Dr. Dre made the beat for "Nuthin But A G Thang." It's also played in a scene from Juice and on countless other tracks. U.T.K. actually stood for "Uptown Kidz," which was 4 artists back in 1992 that had a video single (and 12") for their song "I Got Da Skillz," also on Big Boss Records. In 1992, they sounded like the chart-topping group Kris Kross, but a few years later and they've come back a bit harder and more mature on "Dark Side." "How We Roll" is a confusing blend of both styles - reminiscent of Da Youngsta's, but with a really bad pop-imitation hook on the record. At one point, this was a hard record to find but a quick search found a few copies for $5 dollars, so if you dig it, cop it online for cheap now. You can listen to both tracks from the 12" below.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

A Tribe Called Quest "The Love Movement" (CMJ, 1/99)


"It seems like it's been a million years since A Tribe Called Quest's last album. And now, right as the guys have settled into a dope new groove, they go and break up. Sometimes you just can't get it the way you want it. The Love Movement shows ATCQ in an even mellower mode than past boom shots, with a musical formula that never veers far from its center - a minimal drum beat, an amniotic bass pulse and assorted muted keyboards - but nevertheless grooves along, sounding fresh all the way through. The album's opening cut "Start It Up" is a great example of this patent-worthy sound, with Q-Tip rocking an updated version of his lyrical flow, and choppy pacing that jumps over and around the track. "Against The World" and "The Love" tread down a similar path. But there are also vintage ATCQ bounce vehicles here, most notably "Da Booty," "Steppin' It Up" (with Busta Rhymes and Redman) and "Common Ground." The Love Movement isn't going to change the way you think about hip-hop, but it is certainly a nice return to the basics for Q-Tip, Phife and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. It'll also be a memorable parting shot, if it really is their final group effort." - CMJ


The full review in CMJ New Music Monthly can be read below...

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Rest In Peace, Robert Diaz aka Pumpkinhead


This news hit me hard. Pumpkinhead was a good man. His sense of humor is what I remember most - outside of the music - he had a hefty, caring laugh and was quick to exchange snaps. I guess that's why he found such a good home in battling rapping. Coming up in the NY underground scene, we crossed paths a lot earlier in life, always exchange hellos and goodbyes, but it wasn't until I found a home and a community at the world famous Fat Beats that we found time to have grown conversations and dig more into our personal lives, away from crowded venues and loud stages. He'll be missed, for certain, and I know so many of his friends and family will feel a loss that will carry with them until they meet again. It's been humbling to see the public support and even the bigger publications covering his much-earned impact in the culture. I hope he felt that when he was here; too often we hold that love to ourselves, when it's meant to be shared. Rest In Peace, Pumpkinhead. PH. Robert Diaz ... our friend. In closing, a post from Talib  Kweli saying, "Just finding out I lost a great friend today. RIP Robert Diaz AKA Pumpkinhead. Robert and I went to PS 282 together in Brooklyn, 4th grade. We then reconnected when he became an MC during the indie era of the late 90s. He signed to Makin Records, I signed to Rawkus. Then PH went on to reinvent himself again in the new battle rap era. He LOVED MCing and was great at it. To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words. There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz." Click HERE to make a donation to help his family & honor his memory.

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Fugees "Rumble In The Jungle" (1997)


"Rumble In The Jungle" was released in 1997 on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning documentary, "When We Were Kings;" an unforgettable account of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's infamous fight in Zaire in 1974. Leon Gast's "When We Were Kings" is touted as the "untold story of the Rumble In The Jungle," and as the celebratory first single, The Fugees were joined by A Tribe Called Quest, John Forte, and Busta Rhymes. Peep Lauryn Hill's bars and the video for the song below...

"...The man's got a God complex
But take the text, change the picture
Watch Muhammad play the messenger like Holy Muslim scriptures
Take orders from only God
Only war when it's Jihad
See Ali appears in Zaire to reconnect 400 years
So we the people, dark but equal, give love to such things
To the man who made the fam' remember when we were kings..."

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Professor P & DJ Akilles "All Year, Every Year: Winter/Spring"


Professor P & DJ Akilles are a critically acclaimed, international duo from Sweden that keep the fundamentals of hip-hop at the forefront of their music: dope rhymes and patterns from Professor P & DJ Akilles on the cuts and crisp, nostalgic production. Pro & Ak have great chemistry & you could probably throw a dart at any track in their catalog & catch the vibe, but let's get into this "Everything's Alright" track below, featured on their "All Year, Every Year" series. They also have a nice feature from Rah Digga on "For The City," but FAR beyond that is the last track / last verse: "Sleep;" I can relate and a tear drops as I listen to type this...

"Earl Patrick McNease, I hope you're rapping in peace
If life is one thing, it's something like a passionate breeze
You supported every Pro & AK track we released 
The hip-hop activist is happy to teach ... about this artform
I read a comment last night that my made heart warm
I would bring it with me on this journey I embark on..."

"This thank you is way past its due date
Your love for the game was unconditional
Didn't  want the fame, you had a different role
Now the same lane is where I wish to go
Even though we never met in real life
I must have lost a friend from how this feel like
I must have lost a friend from how this feel like
Let's let your name echo through the still night
Now that you're .... Sleep."

- R.I.P. to my Brother, Praverb The Wyse (Earl Patrick McNease)

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Jakk Wonders "Sample Til Infinity" (Beat Tape)


South African hip-hop producer Jakk Wonders releases his first instrumental project 'Sample Til Infinity'. The gritty, 10 track tape serves as taste of what the Johannesburg beatmaker has to offer. The beatsmith has future tracks and projects lined up with the likes of Skyzoo, Rapper Big Pooh and AWKWORD to name a few. I'm here for it, dude is ill with the beats, stream it below.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Supastition "Gold Standard" (Album Stream)


"Gold Standard" is the latest full-length album from North Carolina's most underrated lyricist, Supastition. With countless artists claiming to be the best - without having a catalog to back their words - Supastition speaks powerful words with the content to back him up! "Gold Standard" includes vocal features from Kenn Starr, Boog Brown, Audessey, and Supastition's group, Soundsci. Plus, production from Praise, MoSS, Rik Marvel, Veterano, Jonny Cuba and Croup. In support of the album, Supastition is embarking on a 60+ city tour with Blueprint! Follow Supastition to see all the cities and dates for the "King No Crown" Tour, and be sure to catch it when it comes to your town.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Saga & The Alchemist "Saga Ghanoush" (EP Stream)


Just five days following the release of Alchemist's 20 track, Israeli music inspired, instrumental LP, 'Israeli Salad,' Brooklyn's own, Saga, is pleased to present his artistic interpretation of the legendary producer's offering, with 'Saga Ghanoush.' Comprised of seven hand picked instrumentals taken from 'Israeli Salad,' Saga showcases his silver tongued lyricism over ALC's use of middle-eastern sampled source material. By keeping Israeli themed delicacies as the focal point of the artwork, originally designed by the Haifa-based graf artist, Unga, Saga swaps the avocado for an eggplant, to represent the key ingredient found in Baba Ghanoush, or in this case, 'Saga Ghanoush.'

Monday, June 01, 2015

Jeru The Damaja "D. Original" (The Source, 6/94)


"As far as real heads are concerned, 1994 is shaping up to be the year of the Damaja. Slowly and skillfully this brother has built up a rep that you just can't front on. And with this debut LP about ready to drop any day now, you can rest assured that the best is yet to come. "D. Original" is the type of record that people have in their minds when they talk about "taking it to the next level." From the kick drum intro to the panic-stricken background tones to the unorthodox paino that literally sounds like someone sat on the keys by accident, this record stands apart from anything available on the market today. With Jeru, hardcore meets and successfully subjugates the avant-garde. DJ Premier proves once again that this controlled chaos is his domain, and after just one listen to his latest sonic assault you'll feel like breaking somebody's jaw. Jeru's fraud-free flow continues to knock lightweights off the mic at will. Make no mistake, Jeru is the true "dirty rotten scoundrel" and unlike those other pretenders, he makes records for the homies who are here now." - The Source, June '94 // Check out the video for Jeru The Damaja's "D. Original" below.