Friday, December 22, 2017

Conway The Machine "Grimiest of All-Time" (Album Stream)


Conway The Machine is back at it ... AGAIN. No wonder they call him the machine, he pumps out music at an incredible rate. The latest opus, "Grimiest of all-time" is explained better over at 2DBZ, "The Machine is ending the label’s 2017 with a bang, in the form of his latest release, G.O.A.T. (Grimiest Of All Time). Revealing the drop on his Instagram page a few days prior, Conway excitedly said “X-Mas comes early! The hardest beats and the illest lyrics I promise you!” The guest list is stacked too. As well as Gunn and Benny, the likes of Alchemist, Raekwon, Prodigy, Royce 5’9″, Styles P and Lloyd Banks join him on the 10-track release; produced majorly by Daringer with a bonus beat by Alchemist." Stream it below and cop the limited edition physicals when they drop.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rest In Peace, Combat Jack


This is sad news ... Hip-Hop just lost a good man; one of our culture's most important voices, listeners and pioneers in new media. I'm not the right person to properly discuss his background in entertainment law, or how he came up; I wanna defer to his close friends and those more knowledgable for that. I can only say that he was a forward-thinker, humble and encouraging, and I've never met someone with a bad word to say about him. Seemed like everyone knew Reggie & the conversations were always positive and uplifting; some point in their lives where he dropped a gem on 'em. Hanging out up at PNC Studios in Brooklyn a lot, we crossed paths a bunch; my close friend Justin had a show on the station also and their interviews were both always very insightful, so I think of them both often. Justin, or the Company Man as many of you know him, was also forward-thinking and heavy into new media; it's no surprise both these gentleman found ways to curate a slice of the culture that has been consumed by millions of people. Some years back I found myself breaking up an altercation on the train to Fat Beats from Brooklyn - not something I'd encourage others to do in retrospect - and the screen on my phone broke. On a break, I headed over to the Verizon store and got a new phone, they weren't able to transfer over my numbers, so I sent a generic, mass e-mail to my friends and peers asking them to send me their info. All these years later, Combat Jack's is one of only two messages I still remember because he really encouraged me to reach out, and that humbled me. I guess in times like this, these are the things we think about so I really look forward to the culture showing love and sharing a lot of small stories of their own random experiences with Combat Jack. Hip-Hop, as a whole, will remember him in his rightful place as a pioneer & if we ever get a home for Hip-Hop memories and nostalgia, there will be a proud spot for him, no question. He kept it positive - even in his final days - so my heart goes out to his loved ones, and send my deepest condolences. Rest In Peace, Reggie Ossé.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Dr. Dre "The Chronic" 25th Anniversary Mix


I think it's a dope trend that DJs are creating anniversary mixes of such high caliber like this one, as well as what Chris Read, DJ Filthy Rich & more have been doing over the last few years. This one is by DJ Matman - who I think is a dope DJ - in support of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Dre's classic album in '92, "The Chronic." Once again, it's promoted by WhoSampled & Wax Poetics, so you know there's plenty of background samples, loops and original albums cuts to dig through. In their words, "To celebrate the 25th anniversary of West Coast classic 'The Chronic', Dr. Dre's debut solo LP, our buddy DJ Matman has crafted a dope mix of album tracks, alternative versions, remixes, and original sample material." As the kids are saying these, "say less," you know what it is, enjoy!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Kendrick Lamar "Damn." (Album Streams)


Whether you listen to the album front to back or back to front, "Damn" is still one helluva album. It took me a minute to get to it - I like to wait for the buzz and smoke to clear so my view of the album isn't distracted by 'popular opinion - but, then it took me even longer to sit with it, so now new and Deluxe versions are hitting the stores. Arguably, they reveal a new flow and rhythm to the project and provide new vibes and intricacies that Top and Kendrick thought ahead to introduce to the LP. It's this genius way of approaching packaging and providing a full vision that makes Kendrick one of the most important artists of our generation. To have that in the mainstream is an incredible thing, because it will surely invite new listeners into the culture and helps validate some of the efforts of lesser known artist that are also pushing the envelope and creating new paths to success. Not to mention, it's great business sense: listeners stream it again, fans of physicals buy the album again ... it's a win on all fronts. The album features production from a variety of record producers, including executive producer and Top Dawg Entertainment label-head Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, Sounwave, DJ Dahi, Mike Will Made It and Ricci Riera; as well as further production contributions from James Blake, Steve Lacy, BadBadNotGood, Greg Kurstin, The Alchemist and 9th Wonder, among others. Damn features appearances from singers Rihanna and Top Dawg signee Zacari, along with Irish rock band U2. You can stream the original LP, as well as the collector's edition below. What awards will "Damn." receive? A lot ... and it isn't even his best album! Damn.


Sunday, December 03, 2017

Benny The Butcher "Butcher On Steroids" (Mixtape Stream)


Benny The Butcher has teamed up with DJ Green Lantern to release Butcher On Steroids, his debut project for Griselda. Benny’s latest mixtape features 12 tracks with guest appearances by Conway and El Camino. Production is handled by Daringer, Camoflauge Monk, Icerocks, Noc, Trypps Beatz and Green Lantern. Benny also raps over a few vintage beats, including Capone-N-Noreaga’s “Blood Money. Check out the stream for Butcher On Steroids below, physical copies at Daupe!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

DJ Revolution "Classic Posse Cut Mix"


DJ Revolution aka The King of the Decks crafted this 45-minute mix on Shade45 with some of the best posse cuts in Hip-Hop history. You'll hear tracks from Lord Finesse, Kanye West, Fat Joe, Craig Mack, D.I.T.C., Heltah Skeltah, Gang Starr, Sway & King Tech, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, Main Source, Heavy D, Jungle Brothers & lots more! What do you think the greatest posse cut of all-time is? To me, I've got "Scenario Remix" by A Tribe Called Quest and "Represent" by D.I.T.C. The most important, to me, however, has to be Main Source's "Live At The BBQ," because it introduced me to one of my favorite MCs (NaS) and the greatest hip-hop album of all time, "Illmatic."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cyhi The Prynce "No Dope On Sundays" / "Closer"


Hurt to see my class walk, and I ain't get to graduate
My parents washed their hands with me like before you grab a plate
I was on punishment, still coming in after eight
The belt don't hurt no more, she can tell when she look at my face
I was a castaway, had to learn how to navigate
Through the alleyways then pull up on you the Cali' way
Huh, I did some shit I can't elaborate
Tried to serve some niggas I ain't know, that was my last mistake
And Satan, I know I'm one of your favorite soldiers
But I can't help you no more, cause me and Christ is getting...
- Cyhi The Prynce "Closer," off "No Dope On Sundays"

I tried to cop a physical, couldn't find it for purchase, must be a tour-only exclusive or digital release. Either way, one of the best albums of the year. Most known for penning tracks behind the scenes for Kanye West and unfortunately being one of his more vocal supporters, I couldn't hold it against him when I first heard the album. I also recommend "Get Yo Money" and "God Bless Your Heart" from "No Dope On Sundays," get it and dig into the lyrics. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

DJ Premier & Jay-Z "7:18" (Mix by Mick Boogie & Chi-Duly)


"What happens when you take Jay-Z’s most lyrical and personal verses & juxtapose them with DJ Premier’s most dark and precise works? The result is 7:18. This mixtape is a love letter to the hiphop we grew up listening to. This is for the people who grew up analyzing the b-side of every Gangstarr and Group Home single. This is for the people who listened to Jay’s “A Million And One Questions” a million and one times. This is music you should only listen to wearing Carhartt jackets and wheat Timbs. Do not listen to this album at a beach under a palm tree. This is music for a cold, grey day. Preferably enjoyed in a 1994 white Lexus. This is raw and uncut Brooklyn hiphop in it’s prime. A tribute to two of the best who ever did it, and in a way only we could bring it to you. We hope you enjoy this as much as we enjoyed putting it together." Check it out below.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The House List Podcast "Danny Hastings Episode"


Another great episode of the House List Podcast, this time featuring the iconic photographer Danny Hastings. The host of the podcast Peter Agoston had the following to say on the episode, "An incredibly cool convo with the one and only Danny Hastings. His legacy as a hip-hop album photographer is one of legend - having shot multiple covers for Gang Starr, Group Home, Jeru The Damaja, Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon, Eminem, KRS-One, AZ, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Souls of Mischief, The UMC's, Keith Murray, Mad Skillz, PMD, LL Cool J, The Lox, Tha Liks, Mobb Deep, Tony Touch, and many more." Listen to the full interview below and be sure to follow Danny Hastings HERE.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Halftime Show "Method Man & Redman" (11/18/98)


Big up to DJ Eclipse, this is 89.1 WNYU, The Halftime Show, on November 18, 1998 with DJ Riz & DJ Eclipse, featuring special guests: Method Man & Redman. In November '98, Red & Mef would have been on their second 'Month of the Man' campaign promoting Method Man's 'Tical 2000: Judgment Day' and Redman's 'Doc's Da Name.' The original campaign was run back in '94 for 'Tical' and 'Dare Iz a Darkside' through Def Jam and they have been going strong ever since with solo and collaborative releases. From DJ Eclipse: "Riz setting the show off and me getting on around 77 minutes in like usual. Mic break at 46:19 and again at 121:37 with guests Redman and Method Man. Not too much talking and then straight to the freestyle (125:07) with Red, Meth, Mr. Loose and La The Darkman. 20+ minute freestyle session right up to the end of the show." They played great underground records throughout, so you'll wanna click play and enjoy the 2-hour show.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Combat Jack Show "Kardinal Offishall Episode"


On this episode, Combat Jack and A-King sit down with the T-Dot ambassador Kardinal Offishall. He’s talking his early years in Hip Hop, opening the door for artists from Canada globally, as well as his forthcoming project “Celebrity Marauders” and much more. Kardi is full of some of the dopest stories from his journey thus far; a career that shows no signs of stopping. Listen to the latest episode of the Combat Jack Show below and keep Combat Jack in your thoughts & prayers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Armand Hammer "Rome" (Album Stream)


"An unsparing indictment of everything. A scratched CD-R ode to the crew of the last nuclear submarine. ROME, the new album by ELUCID and billy woods as ARMAND HAMMER, is the sound of rats in the walls, fleeing. Terrifying, hilarious, chaotic, sleek, violent, implacable, ROME is a feast of words, a stylistic demolition derby over-production both layered and spare. Those tracks come courtesy of August Fanon, Messiah Musik, Kenny Segal, JPEGMAFIA, Fresh Kils and High Priest (Antipop), while appearances by Quelle Chris, Mach Hommy, Denmark Vessey and Curly Castro add to an already potent mix. ELUCID and woods are two of the most vital voices in the genre- as distinct as they are complimentary- at the height of their powers." Something different, stream it below.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ivan Ave "Every Eye" (Album Stream)


“Every Eye, with its symbiosis of different producers, musicians and vocal styles puts Ivan Ave in his own lane. Leaving behind the sample heavy sound he’s gained recognition with, Ivan embarks on his first musical journey free of chopped up jazz, soul and funk records. But it would be an understatement to say that “Every Eye” still has jazz, soul and funk for days. Enlisting musical homies like Fredfades, MNDSGN, DJ Harrison, Kiefer, Kaytranada and Dâm-Funk on the production side, Ivan carves out his path as an ever-growing MC and singer. All-though “Every Eye” sometimes hovers in a state of weightlessness genre wise, there is no shortage of gravity in Ave’s lyrical universe. Ivan seems to have written this record as his own self help book, dealing with the mechanisms of the mind, the heart, and the world he sees (or doesn’t see).The title “Every Eye” refers to our various angles of view; the ones we choose and the ones we are assigned to."

Friday, November 10, 2017

DJ Sav One - A Rare ReIntroduction

DJ Sav One

This industry is tough for an introvert like me to navigate. I'm simply not willing to do what it takes to become part of the "in-crowd" ... I mean, especially for myself. On behalf of my artists, I stretch myself a bit to accommodate the needs of the industry and I do my best to make sure their efforts are seen and heard. Still, am I gonna cold call people all day? No. Go to networking events and shake every hand in the room, doing these bullshit listening parties? Not so much. Even a blog like this, people may find it on Google or an occasional (rare) link I'll share, but I don't go out of my way to discuss it. So, if posting slows down, it means I'm working on other music things, but I can still be reached on social media. Hit me! You'll catch me making the most of the few words I speak. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Combat Jack Show "Steve Rifkin Episode"


On this episode of the Combat Jack Show, they sit down with iconic record label executive and CEO of Loud Records, Steve Rifkind, at a special Live recording at the A3C Festival. Steve shares his journey growing up in Brooklyn, managing New Edition, creating SRC, signing iconic artists such as Mobb Deep, Big Pun, Wu-Tang Clan, Tha Alkaholiks, and much more. Most importantly - no offense to Mr. Rifkind - Combat Jack also updates us on his battle with cancer. #CombatCancer.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Aliano & Jakk Wonders "The Vanguard Heist" (Album Stream)


Aliano & Jakk Wonders are back again for a new EP: "The Vanguard Heist." As a follow-up to their debut project, "California Dreaming" EP, Jakk & Aliano enlist only one feature on The Vanguard Heist, Ruste Juxx. With hard beats and rhymes, it's another solid release to stream below.

Friday, November 10, 2017

"Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde" 25th Anniversary Mix


"On Nov 17th 2017, Craft Recordings releases a 25th Anniversary Edition one of the greatest and most celebrated Hip-Hop albums of all time, The Pharcyde’s 'Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde'. The album will be available as a Deluxe Extended Vinyl package (original album on 2LPs + 3 12” singles) and 2CD (original album, plus a full disc of bonus material) with audio remastered by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Madvillain, Madlib) and will include non-album tracks, remixes, and rarities. New liner notes by leading music journalist and author Jeff Weiss (Passion of the Weiss, LA Weekly) round out the package. The original album with remastered audio will also be available on vinyl and cassette. In celebration of the release WhoSampled has teamed up with Craft Recordings to present this exclusive mixtape..." 

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Ghostface Killah "Ghost Stories" Mix


The Smoking Section, UpNorthTrips & Rapfan Present: "Ghost Stories," mixed by Trackstar The DJ: Ghostface Killah's Storytelling Raps. From Smoking Section, "Ghostface Killah is my favorite rapper of all time. Definitively and by far. One of the reasons he’s so great is his ability to weave stories and narratives like a new age Mark Twain in Wallabees. So imagine my delight at this mixtape by our very own Trackstar The DJ, chronicling Ghosts most memorable and compelling stories. It’s crazy to think that this tape has stories of project fights, hotel shootouts, church robberies, and dreams of Spongebob Squarepants. Don’t think of this as a mixtape. Think of it as a collection of stories from one of America’s greatest storytellers." Check out the mix below.

Friday, November 03, 2017

L'Orange "The Ordinary Man" (Album Stream)


"On his third album, L’Orange builds upon his previous catalogue’s cinematic film noir and cabaret jazz fixations, but adds a thematic focus, whimsy, and feverish urgency. It arrives after a tumultuous two-year saga in which a series of tumors grew in L’Orange’s right ear, which eventually led to almost total deafness on that side. Surgeries left him off-balance and dizzy. A natural fear gripped him, causing self-doubt about whether he’d regain the totality of his gift. But as it does quite often, turmoil spurred the producer to create his most poignant body of work. Released on Mello Music Group, The Ordinary Man chronicles the narrative of a magician who discovered late in life that his peers weren’t actually pulling rabbits from hats. Crestfallen and disillusioned, he digs deeper to push his own show into uncharted territory, demonstrating ostensibly impossible feats for crowds too terrified to ask for the reveal. Behind the boards, L’Orange shows a master’s precision, playing with pace and tempo, telling a fully- fleshed out narrative with few words. This is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice but far more soulful. If Harry Houdini was a hip-hop head this is what he’d bump. It’s mournful blues with pianos that sparkle like a Tiffany Lamp—smooth as a pickpocket stealing a wallet. Tune in for archaic old-time glamour interspersed with insight into the timeless oracular mystery at the center of our existence. You spy bizarre astrological charts and hear acts of levitation. This is the Aleister Crowley material: stuff that defies explanation, what Ripley went looking for. Harry Potter meeting the hellhound on your trail. Nothing ordinary about it."

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Noveliss "Caligraphy" (Tribute to Nujabes)


"I don't want to dance slow in the rain but I fall below the heavens with Blu playing / I'm through saying I'm through slaying these beats to make ends meet / I'm in deep, see / Dreams bought the car but don't pay the fees, the monthlys / I'm checkin' mics word to "3 Thou", you check to check / But if I fail to create and make heads nod, we neck to neck / Nevertheless my poetry's deep I never waiver / Even at a loss for words, I always find them on the paper / In search of myself, I get lost out in the nature, / too used to putting others before me the new danger / Family first, slayin' verses I get over focused / I worked too many hours this week, / which takes away from me releasing these ideas in my head / I get overloaded..."  - Noveliss, "Caligraphy"

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

DJ Premier x Mass Appeal "Off The Record" (Videos)


Of all the artists he laced with his signature beats, Premo always had a special musical kinship with Nasty Nas. Premier reminisced on the session in the first installment of MASS APPEAL's new series, "Off The Record," where we get the stories behind the sessions that birthed classics. Premier also spoke about recording "Memory Lane (Sittin' in da Park)" with Nas, recalling the Queensbridge rapper's initial approach to attacking the beat and how the title was a compromise between the two musical geniuses. Take a look back at the making of two DJ Premier & Nas bangers below.


There have been a million and one producer and MC combinations over the years, but none are quite like JAY-Z and DJ Premier. The Marcy legend and Gang Starr icon have produced nothing but fire over their brief stint of collaboration ... Premier goes deep on JAY-Z's epic intro "A Million and One Questions" (and its obscure remix), recalling days of cooking up in D&D Studios with Da Beatminerz, Boot Camp Clik and Jigga, rolling dice and playing pool between laying down tracks. Look back at the classic Hov track in the new episode of "Off The Record," below.


The last piece I'll also share is DJ Premier discussing the Gang Starr classic, "Mass Appeal." Premo shares the familiar tale, “We were really making fun of radio, and it became one of our biggest radio records ... We were just saying radio was watering down our stuff, so we were like, ‘You know what? It always sounds like the music in the elevator.” They knocked this one out the park, more below.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Blu & Exile "In The Beginning: Before The Heavens" (Album Stream)


10 years after Blu & Exile released their magnum opus "Below the Heavens," the California duo have reunited to release 14 tracks from the original 2007 sessions. "In the Beginning: Before the Heavens" contains rare songs and unreleased gems – the best of the best chosen from over 40 songs in the vault. In The Beginning: Before the Heavens is made of up songs that are raw and untouched, keeping the authenticity of Blu and Exile’s creativity at the time. The album has guest appearances from familiar names like Dr. Oop, Donel Smokes, Aloe Blacc, and Blame One. While “Soul Provider,” “Another Day,” and “Party of Two” appeared on Blu’s Lifted EP, the majority of these songs showcase Blu rapping at his peak, maintaining his underground attitude as he dishes on reaching star status (“Constellations”), getting radio play (“On the Radio”), or opposing views in a problem-ridden world (“You’re Gonna Die Someday”). Exile, meanwhile, builds a golden hip-hop era feel with head-nodding samples and DJ scratches. Available via Fat Beats

Friday, October 27, 2017

Nasty Nas & The Extra P "The Lost Album"


The inspiration for this project might have been best summed up by Nas himself: "Large Professor was the one that really started working with me first…so we were on to a lot of crazy ideas…he really could have done the entire [Illmatic] record and in the beginning, I wanted him to. Once I was working with him, why would you need to go anywhere else? You got HIM…so my thought was that one day it would happen and he would do the whole thing" Since that day has yet to come, we put together our own version of this elusive "lost album." Drawing from the wealth of post-Illmatic Large Pro instrumentals and Nas acapellas, we carefully paired some of the best examples of two artists at the top of their game, highlighting some underrated works while reimagining hooks and adlibs to help fuel the illusion of an authentic collaboration - via ItsOverture

Friday, October 27, 2017

Alps Cru "Time Machine" (EP Stream)


Newly recorded boom-bap goodness from international cult-favorites Alps Cru has arrived! The latest limited-edition vinyl release of Alps material from F5 Records features two never-before-heard beats made by DJ Alejan on the ASR-10 in 1996. Shorty Live and P Da Wicked’s effortless chemistry is on full display on the first half of the EP. El Da Sensei joins them as they travel back to the golden age over a vintage DJ Alejan beat on “Time Machine.” The second half of the EP features Shorty Live (aka Brank Napp) on the solo tip. As Brank Napp says on the DJ Crucial-produced banger “Facts” – “This is more for the more mature who want more from a rap song.” 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Grand Puba "Reel To Reel" 20th Anniversary Mix


A brief description of the mix was put up by Hellee Hooper, explaining "To honor a masterpiece in Hip hop music, I have put together this mix to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Reel To Reel By Grand Puba." For years, I only had this album on cassette, and while I do think it's a great album, cassette probably wasn't the best format because there was a bit of filler on the album, which damaged the replay value for me. That said, I honestly do think Grand Puba was heavily slept-on as an MC, trendsetter, and a potential star rising up from his crew, Brand Nubian. Word around town was always that he was hard to work with (allegedly), which might have been holding him back. "Big Kids Don't Play" is still one of my favorite joints though lol Now is a good time to revisit Grand Puba's "Reel To Reel," props to Hellee Hooper on the mix, listen below.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Nature "Queens Classics 2" (Album Stream)


I haven't stopped rockin' Volume 1 of Nature's "Queens Classics," now he's back with a second throwback release! More Queens hood classics with tracks featuring Half A Mil (R.I.P.), Styles P, Nas, Pete Rock, Noreaga, Fat Joe, FT, Capone-N-Noreaga, DJ Clue, Littles, 50 Cent & lots more. Hit the tags to dig up the first Queens Classic, and dig into this release below to get that old feeling back!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ChanHays "Here" (Album Stream)


Debut solo project from Canadian producer ChanHays. This project is heavy loaded with features from some of the best lyricists in the game: Conway The Machine, Pharoahe Monch, Ras Kass, Skyzoo, One Be Lo, Supastition, Reks, Erick Sermon, Masta Ace, Roc Marciano & lots more. Similar to A-Villa's "Carry On Tradition," the track list speaks for itself. I'm honored to have played a very small role in the project, helping to secure features from One Be Lo (Binary Star) and Supastition, but now hearing the final album, I have a lot of respect for what ChanHays - with the help of Ghettosocks - was able to pull off. You can stream "Here" below, vinyl also available.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Es Nine "When The Pendulum Swings" (Album Stream)


The debut album from producer / turntablist Es Nine. The album features Hip-Hop heavyweights Fashawn, Rakaa Iriscience (of Dilated Peoples), A.G. (of D.I.T.C.), Supastition, Wildelux, Glad2Mecha, Fo Chief, A.V.I.U.S., Riley Boone, Ruby Z and a remix from Marco Polo. Stream it below.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Combat Jack Show "The Return of Redman Episode"


​Damn, because this isn't something I feel should come from anyone but the source, I ask that you please listen to the PSA from Combat Jack explaining his absence on this episode. With that, he is in my thoughts and prayers, and I will certainly reach out to express my support and encouragement. Exhale ... now, this is a special live taping of the Combat Jack Show, where their guest is none other than the Funk Doc, Redman & guest hosting is honorable member of the show, super-producer Just Blaze. I was eager to hear Red give an update on Muddy Waters 2, but he also touches on the current climate in Hip-Hop today, his new show on VH1 & the (un)usual comedy you'd expect from the humble - but hilarious - legend. Listen to this episode of the Combat Jack Show below.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Conway The Machine "More Steroids" (Hosted by Green Lantern)


"Back in action with DJ Green Lantern, the Machine delivers More Steroids to the masses with a new collection of freestyles and original tracks with production from Alchemist, Daringer, and Statik Selektah. Griselda shooter Benny and El Camino pop up to assist on the vocal tip, but this is pretty much all Conway here. And he’s bodying everything." Check it out below, via 2DBZ my go-to for all things Griselda, because I simply cannot keep up with that camp of prolific eMCees.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hex One "Words Worth A Thousand Pictures" (Album Stream)


"Fueled by today's lack of appreciation and the decline in the art of the lyricist, Hex One's latest album 'Words Worth a Thousand Pictures' aims to take a stand for those who are truly masters of their craft. Technical, yet with a clear and concise message and deeply personal at times, Hex One offers a glimpse into his life as an MC and the world he lives in as seen through the scope of his lens. Backed by hard headnodic beats, deep, soulful samples with east coast and jazz influences, and booming drums and bass lines, Hex masterfully shatters contemporary society's notion of Hip-hop being a lowbrow genre of music. Despite music itself being highly subjective in nature, he aims to remove some of this subjectivity and boldly proclaim that some art simply takes more skill than others and talent is most certainly measurable. The ironic disconnect, however, between this measure of talent and the measure of one's success poses to be one of his life's greatest woes. The album is thus presented with a subtle melancholic tone throughout, as he struggles to come to terms with this realization. The bigger irony perhaps being that he does so with the same intricate attention to detail and lyrical prowess that is undervalued and overlooked in Hip-hop's musical landscape today. His philosophy remains: if a picture is worth a thousand words, so too can a poets words be worth a thousand pictures." Stream Hex One's "Words Worth a Thousand Pictures" below.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Prince Paul "The Redux" (Album Stream)


To kick it off, the ever-talented producer, Prince Paul, says: “I make albums. It’s old and it’s an antiquated idea of making music, but that’s what I make.” Prince Paul adds, "I worked pretty hard on it and the concept is simply ‘getting a second chance to get it right.’ Upon listening you will get exactly where I’m coming from! Kind of cryptic but then again my work has always been.” The Redux is a second attempt at Paul’s 2003 album Politics of the Business, which he feels was slept on both by the critics and the public at large. Check out the sounds below.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Wu-Tang Clan "The Saga Continues" / "People Say"



"The Saga Continues" is a new compilation album from the Wu-Tang, entirely produced by long-time producer & designer of the Wu logo, Mathematics. RZA takes an executive producer credit, but it's clear he's not at the helm on production & much of the album is pieced together from verses collected over the years, then curated by Mathematics. In some ways, I wasn't mad at it - Method Man sounded razor sharp in the songs he's on, as does frequent collaborator, the Funk Doc, Redman. That said, it's clear this is not a Wu-Tang Clan album & they don't hide the distinctions in the titling & the pairing of MCs on the tracks. I don't suspect there will be a tour in support of the project, so it might come and go with today's shelf-life for music. Enjoy "People Say" & "If Time Is Money," which are my top picks from the compilation, and hopefully we'll get an official, more cohesive Wu project before things fall apart & there's no putting it back together. 

Monday, October 09, 2017

Children Of Zeus "The Story So Far" (EP Stream)


First Word Records are very proud to present an EP by Manchester's finest Hip Hop and Soul exports, Children of Zeus. Konny Kon & Tyler Daley met back in 2005, after both performing a show near Paris in their respective crews, Broke'N'£nglish and Body Roq. The duo met up back home in Manchester, spurred on initially by a mutual admiration of each others music, and produced their first track together, aptly entitled 'Coming Home To You'. As they've grown within the family of Manchester's music scene, they've provided a tonic to the city's bass-orientated club scene, breathing Soul back into the city, whilst maintaining their heritage of Hip Hop swagger. As an MC, Konny takes no prisoners, whilst Tyler (a prolific MC in his own right) has gained a rep as one of the UK's strongest Soul voices. Both artists have been blessed with the talent of beat-making. A combined craftsmanship upon the boards and in the booth. This EP is a compilation of the creations the duo have produced themselves over the past decade, put together to appease their loyal followers thus far, and as an introduction to those yet to discover their talents. A snapshot of what has been, and a mere taster of what's to come. A collection of raw, gritty, Hip Hop Soul music. This collection signals the end of the first chapter. A prologue even. Get on board now. The time is right. This is the story so far... Do yourself a favor and click play on the stream below. 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

King I Divine "Muggy" (Instrumental Album)


"Producer King I Divine has returned to the smooth yet hard-hitting instrumental sounds he is known for with, his new album "Muggy". This project captures the feeling of warm summer nights as they transition into crisp autumn days- vibes all music lovers can get into." Stream it below.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Crimeapple "Metralleta" (Album Stream)


Likely considered more of an EP, this is the latest offering from Crimeapple, produced entirely by Buck Dudley, "Metralleta." I consider Crimeapple's music a bit of a guilty pleasure, because content-wise, it's not up my alley, but I do respect his pen, his flow and delivery. That's not a knock, Sean Price, one of the greatest MCs of our generation - especially with Heltah Skeltah - was my #1 guilty pleasure when it came to listening to music, lol. "Metralleta" will not disappoint you, no matter what approach you take to music, so dig in and give it a listen ... knowing how the industry moves in the underground, this is gonna be a young cat we'll be hearing a lot from in '18, '19 and beyond. My favorite tracks to check out, "Pop Shit," and "Spike Up." Hit the tags for more music.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Aarophat & Illastrate as Black Noise, The LP (2009)


"Both Aarophat and Illastrate decided to merge as a group to generate a remedy for the lack of quality in Hip-Hop music. After listening to the album, it's hard to imagine that they actually met 14 hours before recording a single note. Aaro bonds his intense, intricate rhymes to Illa's nostalgic, boom-bap soulscape. The album consists of rugged instrumentals, along with aggressive percussion and heavy bass that allows Aaro to strategically map out his lyrical takeover while pulling listeners in. Using his insightful lyrics and an effortless flow, Aarophat gracefully walks the tightropes while Illastrate's production is gritty, yet friendly and inviting. The chemistry between the two is undeniable and the world will soon agree." You can and should stream it below. Instrumentals, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Apathy & O.C. "Perestroika" (Album Stream)


"Apathy (Demigodz, Army of the Pharaohs) and O.C. (D.I.T.C. - Diggin' In The Crates) combine forces to form 'Perestroika', a supergroup inspired by the cold war being waged on the rap industry. Anti-mainstream propaganda has become a bit of a cliche, so instead of speaking out against the unflattering direction that today's hip hop music has gone in, Apathy and O.C. have taken action by building a pillar in the ruins of what's left of true school hip hop. Picture the first time you heard Wu-Tang Clan's debut album "Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers" and were immediately swept up in to a dark Kung Fu movie, with the sound effects and painted visuals - "Perestroika" is intended to have the same effect... except it transports you to Cold War, Soviet Russia. From the Kremlin, to small villages affected by the economically devastating times of Perestroika, this album is a salute to the underdog and all those who are able to survive the coldest winters. Not entirely conceptual however, the album allows both wordsmiths to flex their greatest strengths over solid head-nodding East Coast-styled production. Showing up for the cause, guests Celph Titled, Slaine, Marvalyss, Kappa Gamma and Jus Cuz add to the palate alongside production that is mostly handled by Apathy, with MoSS and Illinformed (The Four Owls) contributing tracks as well. In a time of worldly political conflict and scandals, this project plays as the perfect soundtrack to the madness." - Apathy

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rapsody "Laila's Wisdom" (Album Stream)


"Laila's Wisdom is the second studio album by American rapper Rapsody, released by Jamla Records and Roc Nation. It is Rapsody's first album released under her partnership with Roc Nation. The album features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar (who Rapsody previously worked with on Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly), Anderson Paak, Busta Rhymes, Lance Skiiiwalker, Black Thought, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Musiq Soulchild, among others." This is the album I've been waiting for from Rapsody! A lot can be said, but it's best you listen for yourself so stream it in full below.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Biz Markie "Doin The Mud Foot" (Converse Promo Tape, 1990)


Well said by The Martorialist, re: Biz Markie & Converse tape: "13 years before Jay-Z gave away his first and only mixtape with those Reebok kicks of his, which turned into Keith Richards' face after a couple of wears, Converse teamed up with Warner Bros Records for a free Biz Markie promo cassingle which came free with every pair of blue-on-white Cons basketball hi-tops in 1990. Nothing for the radio, just 2 tracks of exclusive prime-era Diabolical: Off The Top Of My Head is Biz's version of DJ Cool V's To My Boys, while Non Stop Rockin' is a historical curiosity given that it's a precursor to Biz's Nas demo + the sample-source for Biz's own Studda Step. Catch the vapors below..."

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L "Illegal Business" (Mix)


Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L have consistently released dope mixes & here's one of their earlier joints from the winter of 2013. The "Illegal Business Mix" was originally a double-sided mix, the A-Side featuring an intro from DJ Clark Kent & featuring tracks from Real Live, Redman, Smoothe Da Hustler, Cormega, Cru, Fat Joe & Pun, Blahzay Blahzay, CNN, The Lox & Biggie, Mobb Deep, Nas & more! The B-Side kicks off with an intro from the G.O.A.T., DJ Premier, the dives into tracks with Nas & Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Rapper Noyd, Gang Starr, Tragedy, Biggie, Royal Flush, Big L & even more. If that doesn't speak for itself, then this mix isn't for you! Otherwise, click play and listen below. (Update): Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L only had Side A up on Soundcloud, but fortunately DJ Step One now has the full tape on Mixcloud so once again props to him for the stream. Listen...

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

DJ Chief One "1993" (Mixtape)


Sharing another dope throwback mix from DJ Chief One; this one covering the year 1993, arguably one of my favorite years in Hip-Hop music! Squeezing over 70 tracks into this mix, suffice to say he covers a wide range of releases from '93, including tracks from A Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC, Rakim, Black Moon, KRS-One, M.O.P, The Coup, The Beatnuts, Dr. Dre, Da King & I, Shyheim, Masta Ace, Knuckleheadz, Common, Souls of Mischief, Tragedy, Rumpletilskinz, Dred Scott, Biggie, Flavor Unit, Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Tha Alkaholiks, Yall So Stupid, Hard 2 Obtain, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, The Nonce & more! You don't wanna miss this one, dig into the mix below.

Monday, September 04, 2017

DJ Obsolete "Reminiscence" (Instrumental Album)


"Reminiscence" is a dope instrumental album from beatmaker DJ Obsolete from Cologne, Germany. I saw it originally released digitally & on cassette earlier in the year, it's now being released on Vinyl via Postpartum Records - limited to 250 copies. Hard-drums and vocal chops, it's got a nice boombap feel throughout all 20 tracks, dig into it below and click through to order the vinyl.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Apollo Brown & Planet Asia "Anchovies" (Album Stream)


Anchovies aren’t for everybody. They’re greasy, smelly, salty and oily. Some people love them. Some people hate them. Apollo Brown & Planet Asia’s new collaboration album took inspiration from these polarizing fish and created a project that takes a certain palette to enjoy. Classic Hiphop meets minimalism and dusty vinyl on Anchovies. Cali Agents alum Planet Asia is as sharp as ever with his lyrical smithing. Apollo Brown’s style is evident behind the dust and grime of these smoky samples. The Detroit producer approached this album like a director would a movie. Apollo painstakingly laid out every detail of the project and knew what he wanted from the finished product. He knew that only one rapper could execute his vision. Enter Planet Asia. The West Coast legend was able to fit directly into the plan and bring his talents to the album, creating a perfect match." Planet Asia adds, “This shit be so dirty. If you threw water at it, it’d turn to mud.” Stream it below.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Marlon Craft: Staten Island, The Tunnel's End Video Series


In the final part of the video series, Craft is on that ferry to venture out to the final borough of Staten Island. Of course, if Craft’s headed to the land of the Shaolin, he’s got to protect his neck by spitting over a classic Wu-Tang joint. Over the beat from the Wu-Tang Forever‘s “Triumph” Craft lets off a steady stream of words as the ferry glides across the Upper New York Bay. “Headed to Staten you know the Wu district/Just waiting on the ferry like my tooth missing/They say the game dictated by how the youth living/I say its reciprocal, I’m banking that they do listen.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

Anti-Lilly & Phoniks "It's Nice Outside" Album Stream


Over the past few years, Houston emcee Anti-Lilly has experienced a lot of hardships. Stretches of serious depression combined with the monotony of a 9-to-5 lifestyle, temptations from the streets and betrayal from a close friend forced him into isolation. Using Phoniks jazzy soundscapes as a coping mechanism, Anti paints a vivid picture of the struggles he’s endured since we last heard from the duo on 2014’s “Stories From The Brass Section”. The album's 17 tracks are stitched together with voicemail’s the young Houston rhyme-spitter received from friends and family trying to reach him while he was shut out from the world. Through it all, Anti emerges from his experiences with a renewed optimism, letting the world know “It’s Nice Outside” despite all the pain and suffering he’s withstood. “Thank y'all. This is the only way I know how to get through it. I lost my way for a while, honestly I'm still tryna figure everything out. I’m learning that we all are, though. I done lost as much as I gained, but it was all necessary. This album is dedicated to everyone who feels like me. Thanks for being so patient with me. God Bless” - Anti-Lilly. Show love, this is everything I want my hip-hop to be in 2019. Much respect and thanks to Anti-Lilly, Phoniks, and Don't Sleep Records.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Marlon Craft: Brooklyn, The Tunnel's End Video Series


In Part Four of the exclusive video series, “The Tunnel’s End,” M Craft’s subway pass has now brought him to Jay St. Metrotech. Over the beat from Black Star’s “Definition,” Craft spits, “Everybody drinking, smoking, bumping Biggie from Bed-Stuy to Park Slope/ And I mean Do Or Die Stuy/ Not the one where you move to open your $8 dollar coffee shop/ Because your pops gave you a loan.”  On this freestyle, Craft goes on to spit about how he just needs the city to back him and could care less about how many followers he’s got on Instagram. “Dudes will blow their whole score for a check/ If it’s blue and next to your name online that’s even better/ But I don’t need it/ Only the people can verify me/ Fuck your follow count, I need park benches to sign me.”

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Mecca & The Soul Brother" 25th Anniversary Mix


Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pete Rock & CL Smooth's classic 1992 LP 'Mecca & The Soul Brother', the homie Chris Read created yet another fine mix of album tracks, alternative versions, remixes, and original sample material to pay homage to a true classic! One of the greatest albums of all-time from top to bottom, dig into this mix below. Props to Chris Read & Wax Poetics.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Gravediggaz '6 Feet Deep' (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz Publicity Photo RZA Prince Paul
Gravediggaz '6 Feet Deep' (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz's debut album '6 Feet Deep' was released on this day in 1994. An early example of what they considered 'Horrorcore' at the time. The real gems are found in Prince Paul and RZA's production on the album. The lead single 'Diary of a Madman' will remain a classic, as are both versions of 1-800-SUICIDE, Constant Elevation, Nowhere to Run, and more. With the group's core members being Frukwan (The Gatekeeper), Poetic (The Grym Reaper), RZA, and Prince Paul, there were also features from Shabazz The Disciple, Killah Priest, and a brief appearance from Masta Ace (uncredited). I remember first seeing the music video for 'Diary of a Madman' at my man Petey Cologne's crib in the early 90s back home in Queens; that eery soundscape immediately caught our attention. "Because we'd all been buried as far as the music industry is concerned," says Paul, "we chose the name Gravediggaz." RZA adds "Music can change the way people think. The Gravediggaz are here to dig up the graves of the mentally dead, not bury people in them. People are just walking around out there mentally dead." Hence the line, "Now I fight a holy war in the mental." Unfortunately, Poetic passed away some years back from cancer, although his music continues to be celebrated via a Chopped Herring Records release called "Ghetto Repaired Young Minds" as Brothers G.R.Y.M., with his two younger brothers Brainstorm and E Sharp. More below...