Friday, December 30, 2016

Ras Kass 'Nature of the Threat' in Rap Pages (1996)

Ras Kass Rap Pages Nature of the Threat Lyrics
Ras Kass Rap Pages Nature of the Threat Lyrics

Ras Kass dropped 'Nature of the Threat' on his debut album 'Soul On Ice' in 1996 via Priority Records. It's arguably one of the most discussed and most dissected records of the last two decades. In 2011, Ras Kass did an interview offering some insight: “[Writing the song] was a task that I took that I really did for myself, so yeah it solidifies me as somebody that’s a thinker and a rapper, because it’s not a…storytelling song and it’s not the most lyrical song; it’s a factual song. The time it took me to get that done was more [of that of a] historian or philosopher than a rapper.” He further remarks (via BeeShine) “As far as how it’s affected my career, for some people, it is my opus. For other people, it may have been a song that made them [think] like, ‘Oh, he hates these particular people,’ which, really, it’s not,” he said. “It may have affected my career [in a way] that [made people respond like], ‘Oh, well we don’t want him talking about that.’ Some people have speculated – [and] I could see where some of their points are valid – that maybe it affected my career in a negative way. It is what it is. I made it for myself. I think it’s a part of me that I’m glad I got out at that time. I probably couldn’t make the same song today…[or] five years ago, just because that’s where I was [when I made it]. Like I said, everything I make is a time capsule. There may be fundamental facts [in the song] that I [still] agree with, but I may have a different interpretation of those facts [now].” The illustration & printed lyrics are from Rap Pages in 1996. Props to Brian at TheBeeShine for the quotes above and all his introspective interviews.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Code Nine x Purpose 'Below The Sumerian Skies'

Code Nine & Purpose Below The Sumerian Skies

Code Nine and Purpose from the Massachusetts crew, Tragic Allies, crafted a dope album with 'Below The Sumerian Skies.' I am most familiar with Purpose, who blessed us with 'The Soul Purpose,' 'The Purpose of Confidence,' 'Life Outside The Frame,' 'The Book of Estee Nack' and more. Props to Deniz Oztas at Below System Records, he's behind a lot of great releases in his back catalog, as well as what's to come throughout 2017. Check the track 'When The Saints Out' below, but be sure to support the full-length release, 'Below The Sumerian Skies.'

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ras Beats "Control Your Own" (Album Stream)

"Control Your Own" is first-class, NYC hip-hop, from producer Ras Beats. The LP features some of the best lyricists: Roc Marciano, O.C., Elzhi, A.G., Rasheed Chappell, Blacastan, Sub Con, Breeze Brewin and lots more. The lead singles  "Wit No Pressure' & "Knowledge of Self' set the stage for the album, but it remains consistent throughout. Independent art at it's core, it is released on New York-based indie label Worldwyde Recordings. After acclaimed releases featuring Masta Ace, Sadat X and Neek The Exotic, Ras Beats presents to you "Control Your Own," stream it below.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sprite Advertisements (Videos)

Most of us remember back when Sprite was airing commercials with our legends, but do you also remember the Sprite Series' vinyl releases too? There were about 2 dozen of them, released in clear plastic sleeves & translucent Sprite-green vinyl. I had a whole stack of them. Steve Stoute calls it the 'Tanning of America,' explaining hip-hop's marketing ability in mainstream media, and to white America. Truth is, it's been happening for decades, and even our favorite artists secured the bag from various brands. Lugz, Sprite, St. Ides, Pepsi, Reebok, the list goes on. In the case of Sprite, they chose dope artists and they did it with originality and creativity; most seen in bringing KRS & MC Shan together for a mock battle - who could argue that wasn't timeless? A few years back, they licensed lyrics on the cans, which caught my attention. Below are 3 of my favorite Sprite commercials: Nas & AZ, KRS & MC Shan, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth - heavy on the nostalgia!

Monday, December 26, 2016

L'Orange "Koala" (Instrumental EP)

"Koala is a personal tribute to love and love lost- a fragile meditation on depression and passion. Solidarity in solitude, we are not alone." L'Orange adds,

Even if we break, 
we are rebuilt with gold 
to show that we are not defined 
by our construction. 
We can wear 
our cracks 
on our arms and faces 
Dedicated to: Keely & Joe Latterner

Friday, December 23, 2016

Anti-Lilly "91 Regal" (Album Stream)

Another solid release from Houston, TX's Anti-Lilly! He introduces the project saying, "Life is a real gift. This project is dedicated to the past 23 years of my life which has been a beautiful whirlwind filled with many ups and downs. Through my short time I've grown to understand that every experience; no matter the outcome is only there for you to learn from. You gotta embrace the hand that you have to appreciate what's in front of you. These 7 tracks encapsulate my reaction to my environment in my best form of expression. I appreciate you for listening and thank you for all of your support. Much love to you." - Anti-Lilly Please hit up the tags for lots more content from this important young voice in our culture; I believe in his character and his music. Enjoy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Killer Mike & El-P "Run The Jewels 3" (Album Stream/Download)

Merry Christmas from Killer Mike & El-P, as they drop off their latest "Run Jewels 3" just in time for the holidays! They'll even let you download it for FREE, if you follow the steps near the bottom of the page. Along with it, a quick message via their IG page, which you should be following, of course. Now, back to Christmas Eve, here's a description that was added later, "After two years off, Killer Mike and El-P - known collectively as Run the Jewels - return with their highly anticipated third studio album, Run the Jewels 3, which comes preceded by the Boots-featured "2100," "Talk To Me" and "Legend Has It." Additional guests on the record include Joi Gilliam, Danny Brown, Tunde Adebimpe, Trina and Kamasi Washington. Previously, the duo have released Run the Jewels and Run the Jewels 2, two of the most critically-acclaimed albums of their respective years (2013 and 2014), while each artist has continued to expand their place in the sphere of social commentary. Killer Mike spent a significant portion of the last year, in which RTJ didn't release an album, urgently supporting one-time Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Concurrently, El-P has expressed his own stout views on the nation's glaringly changing political landscape. That said, their return to the scene is now imminent." Stream it below, Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Exile & Sirplus "A Dirty Science Christmas" (Instrumental Mix)

An 18-track effort, "A Dirty Science Christmas" features both new and already-released songs, instrumentals, vocal skits, antics and lots more from Exile and Sirplus. A nice treat for the Holiday Season compliments of Dirty Science, thank you! Stream it below and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2016

DJ Olz "Charm City Hip-Hop" (Baltimore Set Mix)

This one goes out to my boy, Matt, out in Baltimore. A nice throwback set of underground records from B-more, featuring artists like The Annex Click, Circle of Native Vibes, Starvin Art Clique, Silouette, Mr. Ruckuz, Sparrow, Nappy Head Guerrilla, DJ Concrete, Global Platoon, S.C.U., Afiliashun, K-Mack, and more. Mixed and curated by DJ Olz, who shares this message ahead of the holidays, "Remember those in need with no place right now and bless those that stravel in strange lands." Amen, peace to all those who are less fortunate during the holiday season. Dig in below.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Combat Jack Show "Kareem 'Biggs' Burke Episode"

On the latest episode of the Combat Jack Show, they have co-founder of the musical dynasty, Roc-A-Fella Records, Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Listen as he shares candid stories during the reign of "The Roc", the 20th Anniversary of Reasonable Doubt, as well as his prison stint, new ventures, Fourth of November, The Roc 96, and lots more. I consider Biggs to be one of the most creative players in this industry, someone who defines what 'taste' is in the culture & generally just someone you should listen to, because he makes the most of the few words he speaks. Listen to all that below.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ChillHop Music x Don't Sleep 'Sound Of The City' Mix

ChillHop Music and Don't Sleep Records joined forces to curate a smooth mix of Jazz-infused hip-hop, mixed by Phoniks and featuring Awon, Dephlow, Phoniks, Tiff The Gift, Anti-Lilly, MZ Boom Bap, and Peebs The Prophet. You should definitely be following the movements of both labels and every artist mentioned above & in the mix, because we're going to be hearing a lot more great music from them in 2017. You can download the mix for free HERE.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Blitz The Ambassador "Diasporadical" (Album Stream)

"The visionary sound of Blitz The Ambassador has been years in the making; with each album crafted to reflect a sonic and visual narrative unique to Blitz’s personal experience. His fourth studio album ‘Diasporadical’ exemplifies this trajectory. Blitz spent a great deal of time traveling between Accra, Salvador Bahia and Brooklyn experiencing the similarities between the African diaspora. “The album title ‘Diasporadical’ was born out of this experience” Blitz explains.“ The radical notion that no matter how fragmented the African diaspora is, the influence of rhythm and spirituality remains largely the same.” On Diasporadical, Blitz conjures his signature blend of Classic Hip-Hop and Contemporary African rhythms, enlisting producers like Optiks and IAMNOBODI to create a seamless fusion of live instruments and hard hitting beats. To bring his vision to life, Blitz assembled a supporting cast of continental and diasporaAfrican artists such as Tumi, Akua Naru, Kamau, Patrice, M.anifest and Somi. The sonic result is a three act narrative, crafted like a stage play."

Saturday, December 17, 2016

El Fudge x J-Live 'Realise' off 'Chronic Irresponsibility'

El Fudge Chronic Irresponsibility

I revisit El Fudge's 'Chronic Irresponsibility' (2001) album every so often, most frequently for the collab with J-Live, 'Realise.' My memory has faded too far to remember why he changed his name from L Fudge to El Fudge, but there were numerous 12" releases during those Rawkus and SureShot days. Aside from the vocal version, there was an instrumental version of the album - cop both if you come across out of print copies. Listen to 'Realise' below ... is it slept on?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

DJ Premier "State of New York Rap" (Video)

DJ Premier shares his views on the state of New York Rap. As adults, we still buy music, so does DJ Premier ... so what are his views on the current state of rap? He argues, if the radio stations don't support the OGs and legends of the culture, can they really be the "hope of hip-hop"? The legend also touches on his style of music-making, as well as how he chooses music for his radio show on SiriusXM, Live From Headqcourterz. That and lots more perspective, from the greatest of all-time, DJ Premier ... Heads up! Eyes and ears open! Watch, listen and learn below. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mz Boom Bap 'The Rawness EP' (Album Stream)

Mz Boom Bap The Rawness EP Don't Sleep Records

'The Rawness' is the debut EP from Portuguese beat maker Mz Boom Bap. A genuine homage to the golden era, everything from the drum programming to the sample selection to the subtle ringing distortion of the Akai s950 delivers a seldom seen old-school authenticity. Where similar style efforts often fall short by overpaying for uninspired bars from aging New York veterans, Mz has instead recruited an underground freshman team of budding young rhyme spitters. Features include Don’t Sleep Records co-founders Awon & Phoniks (bars and DJ cuts, respectively), Curtis Roach, Nemesyzz Rigby, Philo, Ryler Smith and MC Shinobi. The vinyl has sold out, but there are CDs available that come with the instrumentals, as well as a digital version of the instrumentals sold separately. Props to Don't Sleep Records for another high-quality release. Stream it below.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Shad "Besides" (Mix, 2011)

Shad released "Besides" on this day back in 2011 during the success of his TSOL album ... it might've gone below the radar for some at the time, and it's still available for free download, so I thought I'd share it with y'all ... here's what Shad had to say when she shared it, "Here’s a little joint I thought some fans might like; a 25-minute mix of some of the guest spots I’ve done on other projects over the past couple of years. Mixed by my man, the former DMC and Scribble Jam Champion, DJ TLO. Be sure to check out the tracks in full if you dig!" There's a nice breakdown of each track on Bandcamp, click through to read that and dig into his dope catalog of music. Peace to G.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gang Starr 'Just To Get A Rep'

Gang Starr Just To Get A Rep

And this is how the story goes! Gang Starr's 'Just To Get a Rep' is my favorite cut off 'Step In The Arena.' I was 11-12 years old and still developing my own taste in music at the time, but it was heavily informed by Gang Starr. By 'Daily Operation,' I was spending the little money I had on vinyl and ordering the cassettes from Columbia House (12 free for $0.01!). DJ Premier and Guru were always my favorite DJ/MC group, and to this day, DJ Premier is forever the G.O.A.T. to me. With all that said, R.I.P. Guru, and congratulations to Premo on his new imprint TTT (To The Top).

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Combat Jack Show "The LOX Episode"

On the latest episode of the Combat Jack Show, they have arguably the hardest rap group of all time, The LOX in the studio. The trio of Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch discuss their longevity in the game, Hip-Hop's new generation, Puffy, as well as the new album & deal with Roc Nation, the elections and so much more. According to Combat Jack, this is one of their most passionate interviews thus far. Living Off Experience, listen to it below. Peace to Combat Jack & A-King.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blu x Nottz ft. Rashad 'End of the World'

Ask me if I care that this record is already 3 years old ... the answer is no, lol. The track is called 'End of the World', it was featured on the Blu & Nottz collaborative project, 'Gods In The Spirit.' Nottz is one of the best producers of our generation and Blu's 'ability to inject his verses with warmth, humanity, and pathos' always caught my attention and helped me see him as a superior talent. No longer at Warner, he's back home in the underground working on new music with Exile, but until that's ready, I welcome the opportunity to go back and celebrate his catalog. Props to Rashad on the hook. Read the lyrics and hear today's selection below:

"One day we gonna live it like them summers that we never left 
Pictures that we never took of bitches off that top shelf 
Help me to the promised land, I promise you can have it 
You can bag it like cotton for slaves, water for chocolates
 Pilot my pivot, piss in a bucket 
Kick our feet up as our children grow up nothing like us"

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Aliano & Jakk Wonders "California Dreaming" (Album Stream)

Los Angeles, city of movie stars, glamour and fame... but Los Angeles rhymesayer Aliano and South African beatsmith Jakk Wonders unite and provide a different take on the City of Angels with their debut EP "California Dreaming." Throughout the project the duo enlists the likes of DJ Eclipse, Reks, M-Dot, MC WhiteOwl, Dusty Dream and Sample Kubrick. Download ‘California Dreaming’ for free now via AudioMack. I was hooked off the intro, props to Jakk Wonders for the link, I'm a big fan.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dirt Nation 'Khadijah' (1993)

Dirt Nation Khadijah Advert

Remember Dirt Nation's 'Khadijah'? Well, the crew was from Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey, yet they formed in a university in Maryland. Word was, Dirt Nation linked with Daddy-O and his brother, Kedar Massenburg, who helped them get their deal with Zoo Street/BMG, as well as the song in the Sugar Hill movie soundtrack. To the best of my recollection, there was never an official full-length release, but 'Khadijah' remains a HEAVILY slept-on storytelling joint from 1993. I've never owned the 12", but I vaguely remember tossing the cassette single because I lost the cover. I blame OCD for just about every dumb decision I've ever made, lol. Check the video below.

Monday, December 12, 2016

No Sleep: NYC Nightlife Flyers 1988-1999

"No Sleep" is a visual history of the halcyon days of New York City club life as told through flyer art - gathered in a new volume by Stretch Armstrong and Evan Auerbach. Spanning the late 1980s through the late 1990s, when nightlife buzz travelled via flyers and word of mouth, No Sleep features a collection of artwork from the personal archives of DJs, promoters, club kids, nightlife impresarios, and the artists themselves. Club flyers were ephemeral objects distributed on street corners, outside of nightclubs and concert halls, in clothing stores and retail shops, and were not intended to be preserved for posterity. Through the 90s, they became both increasingly prevalent and more sophisticated as printing technology evolved. However with the advent of the internet, the flyer essentially disappeared overnight, despite it being common at one time for promoters to print thousands for an event. So let’s take a trip back, back in time. - via Stretch Armstrong.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

AG x Ray West x Roc Marciano 'Red Apple Kings'

Ray West AG Roc Marciano Red Apples Kings Nickel EP

This is AG and Ray West, featuring Roc Marciano, on 'Red Apple Kings;' a dope single off AG & Ray West's 2015 project, 'The Nickel EP.' I was working at Fat Beats when AG dropped their first project, 'Everything's Berri,' and I saw firsthand how well they worked together. You should also check out Ray West's projects with O.C., Kool Keith, Blu, and John Robinson, as well as the upcoming Show & AG album, 'Redesigned.' 'Red Apple Kings' is today's selection, check it out below.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rakim: The Definition of Classic (Video)

This video was released around 4 years ago while Rakim was with Reebok as part of their Reebok Classics series. Working with Complex, they put this mini-documentary together featuring interviews with Rakim, Bill Adler, DJ Premier and others discussing the legendary (ongoing) career of Rakim. From Long Island to hip-hop legend, Rakim changed the game with his flow, delivery, as well as the message in rhymes. In my life, I've never been one to say much, but I try to make the most of the few words I speak - I believe Rakim is cut from a similar cloth; he doesn't do a lot of interviews but each one is filled with gems. The definition of classic with Rakim, watch it below.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Foxy Brown 'BK Made Me' (Unreleased, 2001)

Foxy Brown Broken Silence Advertisement BK Made Me

Back in '01, before Foxy Brown's album, 'Broken Silence,' DJ Clue blasted off 'BK Made Me.' The track sounded like Foxy near a breaking point and sharing her most inner thoughts. It was assumed to be on 'Broken Silence' when it dropped, but instead, there was a track called 'The Letter,' equally deep and personal, featuring vocals from Ronald Isley. It's possible they didn't think the album needed both or it was a sample issue, but 'BK Made Me' was left a mixtape-only cut on Clue's 'Stadium Series Pt.3.' Being that I heard it first and it wasn't included on the album, it always made me want a copy. The label wouldn't give it up, but I did track down a studio version a while after. Today, the production is somewhat dated, but my thoughts on the content (especially the first verse) remain as strong today as back then. 'Got dreams of ending this bitch, my life is miserable / Make me wanna end this shit, find my ass in critical...' Yeah, for an album called 'Broken Silence,' this track would have found a good home. “…Wish I was tall I could carry this load / In this cold f#ckin world I want to f#ckin explode / Guess it’s time for me to depart / I know it sounds strange but I / Served my purpose and I made my mark cuz…” Listen below for a tagless version of the track.

Friday, December 09, 2016

"Hip-Hop Evolution" Now on Netflix (Trailer)

Hip-Hop Evolution traces hip-hop from its humble beginnings to modern day mania. Comprised of two major parts, a documentary series and content website and a custom trailer experience that traces the lineage from modern-day moguls of hip-hop to the pioneers of yesteryear. Hip-Hop Evolution is hosted by the good homie, Canadian MC Shadrach Kabango a.k.a Shad who interviews and explores the history of hip-hop with Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Caz, Kurtis Blow, Big Daddy Kane, and lots more ... It is now available to stream on Netflix. Trailer below.

The Hip-Hop Evolution website houses information of the series as well as daily content from writers across North America posting new relevant Hip-Hop content as the web series is published and beyond. Along with Andy Garcia, a team worked to publish some great designs and content for the site. An example of that can be seen below, check the website for lots more content. (Updated).

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Peebs The Prophet 'Ills of the Earth' EP (Album Stream)

Peebs The Prophet dropped his gem of an EP, 'Ills of the Earth,' in early 2015 with production by Bluntone, who I've covered twice on the site, as well as the ever-talented, Phoniks. It's a short project, only 6 tracks, but it packs considerable content and sharp production. Unfortunately, by now the limited edition vinyl has sold out, but you can still order the CD, which includes instrumentals and/or download a copy of the digital EP with the 'name your price' option on Bandcamp. Does Phoniks do the dope artwork for the label, too? My favorite track on the EP is 'All Day,' but the entire EP is highly recommended, so give it a listen below. What's next, Peebs?

Monday, December 05, 2016

J-Live "Braggin' Writes" (The Source, 12/96)

"I was speaking to an acquaintance recently about the so-called state of hip-hop. Personally, I get tired of heads sayin' that it's dying, that its best days are gone, and that there are is no more originality or creativity. Yo, if you're an upcoming lyricist, then no matter what, stick to your guns and be unique. If you are a consumer and you're complaining, well hey, don't buy the damn record! The powers that be will quickly realize that we are no longer interested in color Xeroxes. But J-Live is an original. Last year, he independently dropped "Braggin' Writes," a highly charge, lyrical communique for heads to absorb. It returns on the B-Side of this single, remixed and enhanced with new lyrics. The original was a classic that he didn't have to touch, but he went there anyhow and still manages to surprise you, bringing back that creative, experimental innocence that rap was founded on. J-Live is straight-up and true to honoring the unspoken hip-hop credo: you take from the past, but add your own flavor. A lot of heads keep hip-hop stagnant, but J-Live ... brings it back to what it was and what it should be." - A.L. Dre, Sure Shot Singles, The Source (12/96). My favorite version of "Braggin' Writes" is the "Dome Cracker" (DJ Spinna & Joc Max) Remix, check it out below.

If you'd rather read it directly from the source, or save a copy, check it out below.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

JuJu Rogers & Bluestaeb "Lost In Translation" (Album Stream)

"This record is dedicated to the wretched of the earth. The weak and poor. To the people all around the world less privileged than us who are forced to live under even worse circumstances. The criminalized, racialized and marginalized people of this planet."
LIT is a snapshot of Bluestaeb and JuJu Rogers' musical endeavors in Fall 2016. Both had a successful 2015 & 2016 with highly acclaimed albums and a European support tour for Oddisee. JuJu's content on the project deals with the important questions of our time. The trend word 'lit' becomes 'LIT,' an abbreviation for "Lost In Translation" and a metaphor for the disconnection from trends of our society in general and hip-hop especially. Racism, police brutality, gangsta rapper turned activists while still following a pattern of hate and destruction. Bluestaeb’s productions fluctuates from soulful and smooth to raw and gritty without sounding redundant.  

Friday, December 02, 2016

Raiza Biza 'Day & Night' EP (Album Stream)

'Day & Night' is the latest project from New Zealand eMCee, Raiza Biza. The EP is full of chill vibes and smooth flows. Production is handled by Shask, Crime Heat, Villette, and Tito Fiasco, but credit the clarity of Raiza Biza's vision that all four producers come with similar production, making this a very cohesive listen. I've been unable to find a bio of any kind on any of his social media pages or website, so I can't offer much background info, except to say that Raiza has a handful of releases in his catalog and has a solid reputation in his hometown. Oh yeah, and he's 'True to life hip hop with soul. Uncompromising.' I guess he lets the music speak for itself, I'm not mad at that. Check out the album streaming below and available using the 'name your price' option on Bandcamp. If you have more info, please leave it in the comments. Enjoy the different vibes with this one.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Mobb Deep "G.O.D. Part III" (The Source, 10/96)

"Winter just wouldn't be the same without Mobb Deep. And as the cold weather draws upon us, all hoodie-wearing, bubble-goose loving, boots-having heads can rejoice: the QB kids are back with another soundtrack for hardcore shuffling. "G.O.D. Father Part III" is the first shot from Mobb's upcoming sophomore project. Wanna know what it's about? Prodigy puts things quite directly: "...slice that cat / you get splashed from back of ya head to ass crack / You searching for signs of the end? Well I am that / Will bring apocalypse to this game called rap / Not a game but quite serious and yo in fact / You be runnin' for dear life so far you might fall off the map ..." No matter how much the critic's side of me may grumble about n!ggas talking hard-core shit to overdose levels, the chilling nature of Mobb Deep's stark poetics always drives the relevance back home and leaves me hungry for more." Check out the dope visuals for the track and continue reading below.

"The duo also continue to do their thing behind the boards, flipping the beat last heard beneath the Fugees' "Killing Me Softly" into a string-clad, bass driven menace. Indeed, while the greater majority of hip-hop's so called hard-rocks run around like the caricatures they've become, Havoc and P have elevated their formula and maintained the integrity that keeps the hard-core sh!t true. The Mobb still got it locked - nine seven to the year two-g." - The Source (October, 1996).

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Q-Unique & BBAS "Blaq Coffee" (Album Stream)

"A powerhouse of an underground collaboration, the Arsonists’ MC Q-Unique calls on the production services of former Fat Beats record store soldiers the Brown Bag Allstars to craft 10 steely hip-hop tracks. The opener, “And Everybody Say,” is a potent sub-two minute statement of intent, with Q spitting a straight-braggadocio resume over a thick, funk-infused beat. From there, he goes on to tackle the pitfalls of nostalgia on “No #Tbt” and humbly holds a mirror up to what his own legacy will be on the Jay Z-sampling “B4 I Fade Away.” Consider BlaQ coffee a modern boom-bap attack in all the right ways." Salute to the Fat Beats alum, stream "Blaq Coffee" below.