Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hus Kingpin "House Of Kingpin" (Mixtape)


Hus Kingpin drops off his latest mixtape, "House of Kingpin." Hosted by Remy Danton of Netflix's House of Cards. The mix has 26 tracks and features DJ Skizz, SmooVth, Prince Ali, Sage Infinite, Mary J. Blige, TriState, and a whole lot more. Lock in for this one & stream it below.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mac Miller x NPR "Microphone Check"


"Mac Miller met us in LA, which he had recently left. Ali and Mac have known each other for some time, so this interview was a chance for them to reconnect on the other side of some months of internal turmoil and growth the Pittsburgh rapper had to get over. We spoke about fame, performance & wading through other people's prejudice when you're a rapper who's white."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mixography "Death Row vs. Bad Boy" (Mix)


The Collectives Raydar Ellis put this nice mix together, featuring cuts from the East vs West Coast camps, Bad Boy & Death Row Records. The 26-track mix runs through joints from Craig Mack, P Diddy, Blackstreet, Biggie, Mase, Les McCann, Mase, 112, Snoop, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, N.W.A., and more ... it even touches Mtume, so you know what to do ... stream it below. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Westside Gunn & Conway "Griselda Ghost" (Free Download)


"Cats always talmbout they tryna bring the 90s back…n then literally try n make 90s soundin type shit. The Westside Gunn x Conway approach always been more bout bringin the ESSENCE of 90s/classic hip hop back. This EP aint no different from that namsayin. All production was handled by Big Ghost Ltd so you already kno the shit gon be endless fire emojis. This is pure grimy NY hip hop in its purest form. Fxck all the stupid shit. Put down the room temperature soy milk rap n get blessed by the flyness." Stream the EP below, much props to Big Ghost. Download HERE.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Lost Total Pack Tape 1​.​0 (Album Stream)


This LP contains unreleased 90's hip-hop tracks by CeStyle aka Corey Drumz from the legendary NYC underground groups, Total Pack & Korp Dynasty, during his time on Wild Pitch Records. The cover art was handled by the late Matt Doo. I'm not sure if it was DJ Eclipse or someone else, but I was put on to CeStyle via the track "Backstreet," which is included on the tape, along with lots of other unreleased gems, check it out below. Parkhouse Music: 1995-1998 Extended Edition.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Apollo Brown "Grandeur" (Album Stream)


In recent years, Apollo Brown has become an institution of Detroit hiphop. Through skillful collaborations and refining his own recognizable style, Brown has moved to the forefront of the underground scene. For his newest album, "Grandeur," Apollo Brown has assembled an all-star cast of MCs like Evidence, Rasheed Chappell, Chino XL, Finale, Ras Kass, M.O.P., Vinnie Paz, O.C., Eternia, Westside Gunn, Masta Ace, Sean Price, Reks & more to join the stage with him as he displays his signature brand of hard hitting production. My favorite tracks are M.O.P.'s "Detonate," Vinnie Paz's "Walk With Me," and I'm bias, but much love to my artist, Eternia, on "Each Other."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Absouljah "The Author Illustrates" (Album Stream)


"The author brings you the story. However, when this very author brings you the story written so well you can see the visuals in vivid motion… He also becomes the illustrator. The author and illustrators job goes hand in hand: One describes events in words, while the other draws pictures to relate to the words, and sometimes pictures are placed first to let words describe them. The author illustrates life in its actual form. Away from the misrepresentation of glamour being the life we live instead of the hopeful ending we dream of. In this detailed album, we will see the world through the mind of an authentic visionary." Stream "The Author Illustrates" by The Absouljah below.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Scarface "Deeply Rooted" (Album Stream)


The twelfth studio album from Houston's OG, Scarface. To describe the album, Aaron McKrell of HipHopDX said, "Musically, Deeply Rooted is low-key, superbly playing to Scarface's strengths. Piano loops and thick drums draw in the listener while allowing Scarface to take center stage on several tracks, providing the album with a cohesive feel without sounding repetitive." Erin Lowers of Exclaim! said, "Although Deeply Rooted may not hold up to previous albums in the grand scheme of his discography, the veteran once again planted seeds for his legacy to grow." My favorite track on the album is surprisingly not an album cut, but the single "God," featuring John Legend.

"I wonder when I sleep is he there sitting on my chest
Stealing breath, shortening my days even less
Lost souls never rest, a killer walks the streets seeking flesh
A adolescent hangs she's depressed
A priest who confessed, a judged typing a nigga in a text
Your honor, what the fuck did you expect?
A father kills his son look at life it's a mess
Just imagine what would happen if the lord up and left..."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cactus Jack "Act Like What You Say" 12" (1999)


I first heard of this 12" from Cactus Jack in 1999 via a cassette mix of DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz for the "Halftime Show." I was always a fan of Ed O.G. & I studied everything Roc Raida did, so I cop'd this 12" on Bi-Coastal Recordings. Along with Ed O.G. & cuts from Roc Raida, "Act Like What You Say" features Big Dubez and production from Gringo From Town. The B-Side has 2 records, "Red Line," produced by Rich Boogie & "Cactus K-9 Connect," featuring Da Bulldogs and Gringo From Town again. Bi-Coastal Recordings only had a few other releases in its catalog, mostly tracks from Queens MC, Natruel. Following those breadcrumbs will bring you to "The Big Daddy Anthem," featuring Shabazz The Disciple, L Fudge, and Mr. Eon of The High & Mighty. If that sounds like something you'd like, I suggest you cop it, it's dope. For now, peep this 12" from Cactus Jack below.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Akinyele "Vagina Diner" (The Source, 9/93)


"Ak Hoo Hoo? I know, the single was cool, but you're still kinda hungry for a little more of that dirty, down low, home-cooked hip-hop that the Ak hit ya off with back in 1990 on the Main Source's classic posse cut "Live At The BBQ." Well, you do not have to wait any longer for new flavor, 'cause it's a family reunion, and Akinyele is settin' it off with his dope Vagina Diner debut. And yes, Large Paul aka the Large Professor is back behind the boards, serving you swell with his 100% anti-beef-beat-burgers (from rare to well-done) fresh off the production grill. As soon as you place the bomb inside your Walkman, Akinyele bombards you with blaring echo; ie freaking you with his trademark technique of word pronunciation (he dramatically lowers his voice for certain words and phrases) as well as his legendary Ak-freestyle-fit-unky-ness." Check the video to "The Bomb," cont'd below...


"Become a witness as he makes emcees write how dope he is on the insides of their books on the delirious "Dear Diary." Or help him chuck the luggage as he throws out another golddigger on "Bags Packed." Yep, he makes you flare your nostrils when you smell the funk of "The Bomb," "No Exit" and the sick love song "I Luh Her" ... it's Kings from Queens at the grill and Ak is servin' up home-cooked flavor." - The Source, September 1993. Read the full review down below...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" (Album Review 2/91)


I posted a review of Step In The Arena from Hip-Hop Connection earlier, now let's go into this review from The Source, which says, "After listening to Gang Starr's first record in '89 I felt it was a record with a lot of good ideas but it seemed like a first draft. Then the "Manifest" remix became a hit and I was convinced that these guys had mad potential and would really be able to flex their complete creative muscle if they got signed by a major label. Boom! Here we are in '91 and Gang Starr is back, but this time they are on a major label with a dope new album that has a whopping eighteen cuts. This is plenty of music for your hard earned duckets and believe me this album is so far above and beyond their first record that you couldn't even compare the two." Cont'd below...


"On the production level, DJ Premier has woven together elements of jazz, fusion, blues, funk and hip-hop sensibilities to create a completely unique sound and style that will affirm his position in hip-hop's upper echelon of producers. Like A Tribe Called Quest's album, Step In The Arena stands alone on a musical level; yet it also remains true to hip-hop's underground heritage because as interesting and progressive the music is, it still retains a street feel." Peep the '91 Video Press Kit...


"The Guru Keithy E has an unorthodox poetic rhyme style combined with an offbeat delivery and a distinctive yet mellow voice that punctuates his style. At times his rhymes are a bit hard to digest but the smooth tracks make things turn out lovely. Premier has a knack for using phrases from familiar hip-hop songs that he cuts up severely for choruses and such. This is demonstrated best on songs such as "Form Of Intellect," where he cuts KRS-One saying, "Intellectual but not yet equivalent" and the slamming "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" where Kool Keith's line "You wack MC's!" is savagely cut up and segues into Biz saying "I'll see ya later" cut up lovely again by Premier."


"Eighteen songs may scare some people away, but have no fear because the music flows freely from one song to another, each with a distinct musical identity. When you've had your fill of the current crop of rappers (with notable exceptions) who are selling out or jumping on the newest bandwagon, pick up the Gang Starr album for something diverse, distinctive, and very funky." - The Source (2/91)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

King I Divine "Lost Jewelz Vol.1" (Instrumental Album)


"Lost Jewelz" is the newest installment of King I Divine's ever-extending gems, offering three EP's that consist of unreleased/ released instrumentals and songs. As Part 1 of 3, 'Lost Jewelz' offers a head nod to his previous 'Crown Jewelz' (2008-2011) series with a resonant but relevant essence of Boom Bap, basslines and layered beats." Check the instrumental release below.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Mr. Lif "Live From The Plantation" (Hip Hop Connection, 2005)


A nice video review of Mr. Lif's "Live From The Plantation" in Hip-Hop Connection: "It's about how nine-to-five office hell can be soul-sucking and drive you to extreme acts of violence!" - a truth as universal and sure as life and death itself. From his rude awakening - still clothed and locked in an embrace with an MPC after, we assume, a long night of beat making... Lif is locked in a twilight world, slipping between workday drudgery and the kind of violent daydreams that even peace-loving wage-slaves like Lif dream... "While the song's message was a strong one, I also felt that certain parts of the song lent themselves to a more cartoonish, comedic approach," says the video director Ian Levasseur. And that comedy is best expressed in the video's itchy, scratchy, extreme violence."


"I think that my favorite part of the video is where Lif chokes out his nemesis in the bathroom," Levasseur continues. "It still makes me laugh now. But MTV flexed their political power by vetoing our original edit. We were forced to cut out a number of scenes that they considered questionable: the guy with the noose, Lif making a gun gesture and also a number of other scenes ... MTV is the anti-christ to independent hip-hop" ... Like Lif's lyrics - which often take the position of affable and concerned everyman - it manages to make a point - that we sell ourselves to work, that it crushes your soul - while avoiding any trace of preachiness. And like Lif, it does this through a knowing use of humor. The result is a classic laugh-out-loud portrayal of soul-suckingness that no doubt chimes with 20-something b-boy wage slaves everywhere..." - Hip-Hop Connection, 2005.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L "It's The Roc: Original Samples" (Mix)


Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L are back it: It's The Roc: Original Samples mix includes the classic records that served as the bedrock of many songs released during the reign of the mighty Roc-A-Fella Records (and beyond). The mix features artists such as Ohio Players, Billy Stewart, Allen Toussaint, Simon Haseley, Creative Source, Labi Siffre, Curtis Mayfield, Steely Dan, Ennino Moriconne and lots more. Always great work, you can dig into this dope mix & let it ROC.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Bee Why "The Lost Tapes" / "G.A.T.S." 12"


Let's go back to 1998 for this one; a nice 12" by Bee Why called "G.A.T.S." with "Crazy Queens" on the B-Side. Bee Why or Byron Stacey was an MC out of Queens, he had a few 12" releases on a label called Wolfpak; 2 of which dropped before "G.A.T.S": "Reality" and "The Boros." The production was handled by a DJ/Producer then known as Gee The Nutty Professor aka Ayatollah, who later produced the classic "Miss Fat Booty" for Mos Def, and Styles P & Pharoahe Monch's "The Life," among others. It took until 2013 but the Wolfpak label finally released cassettes and CDs for a project called "The Lost Tapes." The project features over a dozen rare and unreleased recordings - all remastered and produced by Ayatollah. Click HERE to check out "The Lost Tapes."

Friday, September 04, 2015

Masta Ace x NPR "Microphone Check"


"Masta Ace had his first drink at a Cold Chillin' Christmas party. This was after he graduated from the University of Rhode Island. The national popularity of "Born to Roll" in the mid-'90s — and an amount of drama related to tensions between the coasts at that time — was a wrench thrown into his career, but he responded with Disposable Arts, an album released in October of 2001 that included features from three different women rapping. He made the album in the year after he was told he has multiple sclerosis. "I wanted to go out on my own terms. I re-dedicated myself to the craft in a different way, and I made my best music, I feel, after that diagnosis." Ace spoke with Microphone Check about commercial radio, coaching high school football and working as a guidance counselor, and why he continues to write and record as a solo artist and as part of eMC, which released The Tonite Show in May." Listen to the Masta Ace Episode below.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Blu & Exile "Give Me My Flowers..." (11/4/12)


Blu & Exile's "Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them" was released on this day in 2012. Definitely to be celebrated as another phenomenal album in their catalog, I wanted to share it since I didn't have the site back in '12. Fat Beats at the time shared the following in their press release: "Blu & Exile return to their collaborative origins with the release of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, the long-anticipated followup to the duo's landmark debut, Below the Heavens. Featuring Fashawn, Homeboy Sandman, Johaz of Dag Savage, Black Spade of Hawthorne Headhunters, and ADAD, the new album on Dirty Science / Fat Beats is both an evolution from and complement to their first: a cohesive, kicked back collection of hip-hop buoyed by Blu's gymnastic wordplay and Exile's soulful, sample-driven beats. While Blu's penchant for introspection and analysis remains intact, his perspective ebbs from the sun-soaked nostalgia of Below the Heavens to a more playful realm where raps about lost love and forgotten dreams find equal footing with those about Gondry films and delivery cheesecake. Together Blu & Exile have taken the raw materials of rap and crafted charmingly idiosyncratic, album-minded music that transcends coasts and continents alike."

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hard 2 Obtain “Heels Without Souls” 12”


Hard 2 Obtain released a niche-classic with their debut album in 1993, “Ism & Blues,” on Atlantic Records. Largely celebrated by those in the know, the Long-Island hip-hop group was composed of 2 MCs - Taste & DL - as well as their DJ, DJ Six Seven. “L.I. Groove” and “Ghetto Diamond” were the first two singles released in 1993, then the 3rd and final single in support of the album was “Heels Without Souls” in 1994. The 12" features an LP version as well as a remix, both produced by Dante Ross’ production team, The Stimulated Dummies aka SD50, with partners John Gamble and Geeby Dajani. It also has cuts by DJ Nastee and soulful (uncredited) vocals from the Queens songstress Vinia Mojica. On the B-Side is "Hip-Hop Lifestyle," with production and cuts by DJ Nastee. The track was not released on H2O's "Ism & Blues" album. Check out the full 12" below.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

KRS-One "MCs Act Like" (The Source, 9/95)


"For the past ten years, KRS-One has been spitting out battle rhymes and offing wack MCs, creating countless classic jams, and blazing a career unparalleled in the history of rap music. "MCs Act..." comes in the tradition of the Blast Master's classic singles, mixing Old School sensibility with his timeless rhyme style. This track reunites him with DJ Premier, his partner from The Return of the Boom Bap, who lays down a simple yet addictive piano loop which KRS proceeds to school all wanna-bee MCs over. "You could be a mack, a pimp, a hustler or player / but make sure that you is a dope rhyme sayer," are just a few of the Teacher's most recent words of wisdom." Video below...


Read the full "MCs Act Like..." review in The Source, September 1995...