Friday, September 30, 2016

Lloyd Banks "Bad Weather" (Prod. by ProspectBeatz)

"Recognized by those that never saw me 
It's amazing, how fast you changing, your mass is fading
You pass the blame when.. you hit the bottom, fame forgotten 
Food for thought ain't enough, your brain is rotten 
You praise watching And the backstabbing became a option 
And I'm still popping 
My bold predictions came to play, from all the thinkin'
bout' the hope n' bout the wish 'n bout a way.. out the struggle 
Keep moving subtle 
You win, they hate you You lose, they love you 
That made me leave the room a puddle"

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Eternia ft. Phoenix Pagliacci "For This Life"

Eternia returns with her signature style of lyrical transparency on "For This Life". Featured on Hand'Solo Records 20th Anniversary compilation "Bassments of Badmen Vol. 3", the new single is a marked departure from Eternia's dark and dusty sonic trademark. Reuniting with "Foul Child" producer A. Beck (aka Mr. Cincinnati), Eternia shares her spiritual journey over rich, rolling production and enlists fellow-Canadian Phoenix Pagliacci to bless yet another Eternia offering with a victorious chorus, reminiscent of Lauryn Hill in the 90s. Please listen to the new song below.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Tribe Called Quest "The Low End Theory" 25th Anniversary Mix

I couldn't wait for this mix to be released! Yet again, the homie Chris Read blesses us with a 25th Anniversary Mix - this time, in celebration of A Tribe Called Quest's sophomore album, "The Low End Theory." There are so many layers of memories attached to this project, it's hard to unpack in words. Fortunately, for fans of good music, you already know that unspeakable feeling. In short, it's nostalgia ... dig into this mix of classic album cuts, alternate mixes and original samples below!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jakk Wonders "Peace II Brooklyn" (Instrumentals)

So how does Brooklyn, NY look and sound to people who have never set foot in the iconic borough? On the latest instrumental project Peace II Brooklyn by South African beatsmith Jakk Wonders, the Johannesburg resident creates a 10 beat audio scenic tour of the 718. The project "Peace II Brooklyn" is available for stream below, and is accompanied by a special Jakk Wonders remix video of Crooklyn by the Crooklyn Dodgers (originally performed by Special Ed, Masta Ace & Buckshot) in celebration of the BK inspired beat tape "Peace II Brooklyn,” watch that HERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Marlon Craft "Survival Of The Fittest" Craftstyle

"I can and I will tell the whole truth
'Cause if my hands is up or down - chances are they won't shoot
But if I was a couple shades darker, In a parka
And was reaching for a starburst
They would leave me with my dome loose
So do the fittest really survive?"

Marlon Craft is a young spitter out of Hell's Kitchen, NY. He's built his buzz off straight lyricism and wordplay, fans catching on through viral videos on FaceBook. With a few independent projects up on Bandcamp now, you can dig into his raw back catalog, but it won't be long before distributors step up and so do the co-signs. I've been around long enough to know which producers it'll be, and I'm not mad at it ... In this New York scene, it's hard to go wrong when it comes to boombap to complement a wordsmith of his caliber. "It's M.Craft from hell's kitchen homie, get to know me / See I was born to do this shit check my initials homie..." More to follow soon, trust me.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Will Sessions "Real Sessions" (Album Stream/Download)

On this day 5 years ago, Will Sessions released "Real Sessions," a free 11-track project that featured Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, and Black Milk; it was recorded between 2009-2010 and released in 2011. The press release for the project said, "Before reinterpreting the music for a pretty well known classic hip hop album from NY, Will Sessions produced a series of wildly successful live shows for Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, and Black Milk in their hometown of Detroit in 2009 and 2010. The band had performed dozens of times in previous years within multiple genres–namely funk, jazz, and afrobeat–but had never tackled hip hop until these shows. Real Sessions revisits those performances with 10 selected live recordings showcasing their full 8-piece band recrafting beats from Madlib, J Dilla, Black Milk, Mr. Porter, and Nick Speed; with DJ Dez providing his trademark cuts and scratches. Recorded to multi-track, fully mixed and mastered. Includes an 18-page booklet." It's still dope so I thought I'd (re)share it ... stream it or download for free below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cypress Hill "Black Sunday" (The Source, 9/93)

"About two years ago, the patriarchs of the Soul Assassins family made their platinum debut with a style not geared towards a specific race or religion; its stoneish message was universally received. Since then, hip-hoppers have been eagerly awaiting the return of the Phunky Feel Ones. This month, Cypress is set to settle all those geeking for another hit of the same flavor with a darker sequel, Black Sunday. The entire album is consistent throughout with a formula of ill funk horns, signature sirens, guitar and piano riffs, all laid over lead-bottom bass that you sometimes feel in back of your throat. The production of DJ Muggs and T-Ray creates a perfect stage for the twisting nasal flow of B-Real, and the cartoonish echoes of Sen Dog. The Cypress Hill style is chorus-oriented and without question, hip-hoppers will be chanting... "I want to get high, so high," and "When the shit goes down, ya better be ready" ... from the album's stronger tracks."

"While the first release, "Insane In The Membrane," is cool, it is far from the highlight of the album. Among the best are "When The Shit Goes Down," with a catchy blues guitar riff, and "I Ain't Goin' Out" - both of which are up-tempo, get-amped tracks.... The album is definitely worth buying as it easily rips the frame out of all of those Cypress bandwagon jumpers. If you liked the first album, or the Soul Assassin's sound, Black Sunday is the real deal. While Cypress Hill isn't particularly educational or enlightening, the musical drug they produce does have recreational properties; it creates atmosphere and attitude to enhance your high. So... just lounge and let the bass flow."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Roc Raida "52 Beats" (Mixtape)

In memory of Roc Raida, here’s a classic mix he put together (in 2008) of breakbeats inspired by Kid Capri’s legendary mixtape of the same name, 52 Beats. Both classics, you don't need a tracklist, you just need to click play and listen to the Grandmaster Roc Raida do his thing. Rest In Peace, Roc Raida, one of the greatest DJs of all-time. Peace to the whole X-Excutioners crew.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Drink Champs Podcast "Dame Dash Episode"

Make some noise for one of the most entertaining podcasts: N.O.R.E. & DJ EFN's "Drink Champs." On their latest episode, N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sit down with the legendary Hip-Hop mogul Dame Dash. Dame shares life lessons on loyalty, honor, smart business, and when to stop pouring the drinks! While it's clear that Dame is the smartest man in the room, he's quick to point out Nore's strengths, as well as his admiration for what he's achieved with "Drink Champs." It's also hard not to notice that deals are made and sealed with handshakes, but Dame isn't Suge Knight in the 90s, I think he does it just to entertain himself, lol. I'd love to play chess with Dame, he's one of the most intriguing minds and disruptors the music industry has ever seen. To me, Dame's interviews with Combat Jack will go down as his best, most personal interviews, but there's an entertainment level to the Drink Champs podcast that is unmatched and could only happen right here, so again ... make ... some ... noise ... for Dame Dash and the Drink Champs! Watch the Dame episode below. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Sa-Roc "MetaMorpheus" (EP Stream)

"Metamorpheus is a compilation of songs from Sa-Roc's catalog which spans 12 albums over the last 8 years with 6 new Songs. After just one listen, one would truly discover that Sa-Roc is a lyrical gymnast. As Sa-Roc always says, she is an MC who just happens to be a woman." Sa-Roc says on The Reckoning, "I'd rather be remembered for my quick wit and intelligence / Then big tits and a swelling ass cause looks never last forever / I'm like the best of Darth Vader and Skywalker, family product of two sides, dark and light smashed together / Perfect combination of church and abomination, I'm person to file with the grace..." Bars & messages, stream it below!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Last Emperor "Music, Magic, Myth" / "Unsigned Hype"

Let's go back to The Source, The Last Emperor received "Unsigned Hype" honors in December of 1996. Riggs wrote, "Through word of mouth, Last Emperor is quickly becoming a hot commodity in hip-hop's underground... Last Emperor's rep as a new force in the game is maturing by the day ... His 4 track demo instantly takes the listener to a world of Logic, Literature and Black Magic through a vocabularic appeal reminiscent of Jeru back in '93-94. This kid does what the average MC stopped doing a while ago ... he reads." At the time & even now, a comparison to golden era Jeru The Damaja was comparing him to underground's hip-hop elite. With a slew of indie releases over the course of the early 2000s, the Philadelphia MC has oddly been a bit more elusive than prolific, however each bar has been put under a microscope in ways the Rap Genius generation will never understand. Recently, the good folks over at Deep Concepts Media released a reissue of The Last Emperor's "Music, Magic, Myth" - originally released in the summer of 2003 - via their Bandcamp page. The album featured production from Da Beatminerz, Prince Paul, Ayatollah & more. Stream it below.

Whether it's "Logic, Literature, & Black Magic" or "Music, Magic & Myth," if you weren't outside in 1996, you can read the full "Unsigned Hype" from The Source below. These were an important and highly coveted section to be in as an artist on the come-up. There were a few misses over those years, but for the most part, they predicted some of the biggest artists of our generation.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Blahzay Blahzay "Blah, Blah, Blah" (The Source, 9/96)

"After rocking the entire East Coast last year (for a good six months) with their anthemtic single "Danger" - which was revived by the Syracuse Orangemen on their impressive Final Four trip this spring - Blahzay Blahzay are poised to release their long awaited album, Blah, Blah, Blah. While it is clear that comparisons with Jeru The Damaja's The Sun Rises In The East will abound - among them, the gritty texture of the tracks and the relentless lyrical assault upon formulaic rap artists, not to mention their shared locale of East New York - Blahzay definitely have something to offer and cannot be written off as imitations. If anything can be said, it is that they, like Primo, MOP, Smoothe Da Hustler, OC and Jeru, are helping to further represent and define their piece of the Bucktown sound." Peep the visuals to the gem "Pain I Feel," cont'd below...

Included in the album are the original "Danger," "Danger-Part 2," with Smoothe and brother Trigga, and their current single, "Pain I Feel." The rest of the album delivers the goods and builds upon the promise of these joints. "Pain..." is a standout track and could be the third entry in a trilogy - begun with Jeru's "Come Clean" and OC's "Time's Up" - dedicated to exposing the phantasmic content of a large segment of hip-hop and to refining lyrical skills. Likewise, "Don't Let This Rap Shit Fool You" and "Posse Jumpa" are verbal jabs at hip-hop pretenders and reminders to those MCs and crews in the industry who don't know the ledge. "Long Winded" employs the time-proven tactics of looping one's own words and creating one's own vocabulary. That track, along with "Jackpot" and the title cut, serve as a declaration of the Blahzay sound. Blah, Blah, Blah is a refreshing, no-nonsense product which delivers exactly what it promises: beats and lyrics without relying on catchy hooks, posse cuts or shock value parading as "reality." At the end of the album the listener will, as promised, "know and feel what the blahz means." - The Source, September 1996.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Xzibit "At The Speed Of Life" (The Source, 9/96)

"If you collected every complaint about this hip-hop game, the resulting mass would probably explode and spawn the frustrated b-boy Xzibit - an energetic west coaster displaying battle flows and make-sense lyrics from a fed-up MCs perspective. If his debut - At The Speed Of Life - is any indication, there might still be some space in this overcrowded game for Xzibit, who shows it ain't where you're from it's where you're phat..." Peep "The Foundation," one of my favorite joints...

"...But Xzibit more than holds his own without crew, pointing out the illest little details in the rap game. For example, see the well-orchestrated masterpiece "Paparazzi." It remains the main brick in this foundation. With its solid Beethoven meets Enigma production mixed with no nonsense lyrics about today's in-dust-ry, it presents an accurate microcosm of the entire album. Another impressive track is "The Foundation," a very next-levelish joint in which Xzibit shows the importance of having a child and manages to give Edo G's "Be a Father..." a run for the money. Add the underrated production of Soul Assassin Muggs and At The Speed Of Life's chances for underground classic status increase dramatically." - The Source, September 1996. Full review below...

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Apollo Brown & Skyzoo "The Easy Truth" / "One In The Same"

"After years of mutual respect, circling each other in collaborations, tours, style and respect, two titans of their craft have finally collided in Apollo Brown & Skyzoo’s “The Easy Truth.” The album is everything you’ve dreamt it would be: breakneck instrumentals and syllables crafted to make your head spin. The marriage between Detroit instrumentals and NYC wordplay has never been more cohesive. Themes range from police brutality to NY ambitions; Skyzoo shows you the world the way he sees it. Recorded and produced in Detroit, “The Easy Truth,” is the perfect distillation of hiphop influences. Every moment on the album is a loaded question, a perspective positing a notion of truth, the convergence of grit and symphony. Joining the artists on the record are Joell Ortiz, Westside Gunn, Stalley, Conway and Patty Crash, a reciprocal band of guests that only add depth and richness to the duo’s chemistry." Click “The Easy Truth" to listen & support the full album.