Monday, July 31, 2017

Das EFX & Redman on The Arsenio Hall Show 7/31/92

Das Efx Redman Arsenio Hall Show July 31 1992

Before there was an Instagram, Das EFX's PR team issued this "Dasogram" to media, alerting us to their performance on The Arsenio Hall Show on Friday, July 31st in 1992. The Hit Squad made its presence felt with none other than the Funk Doc, Redman; holding Skoob & Krayz Drayz down on the turntables. The group performed their lead single, 'They Want EFX,' off the smash album, 'Dead Serious.' People forget how influential and forward-thinking Arsenio Hall was to support hip-hop on his show (in 1992!) and bring the music to millions of people. Many of the live performances on his show were the biggest platforms artists could reach at the time. 25 years later, enjoy the video clip below of the performance. I'm sure you'll find the All-Star tribute if you search Youtube, too.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Blu & Exile "Below The Heavens" 10th Anniversary

Blu & Exile "Below The Heavens" 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary to arguably the best Hip-Hop album to be released in the last decade. I have no trouble saying it's my personal favorite, without hesitation. I drank the kool aid the first time I heard the Advance copy, which was slightly different (not better or worse) than the retail version. With less than 3000 copies in its original CD pressing, the scarcity of the album, coupled with the quality of the music, gave birth to an unofficial word of mouth campaign that gave the album its biggest push. It took a while, but it all added to the self-esteem value fans felt having been in the know and they gladly spread the good word. I remember employees at Fat Beats pushed to have the album listed on year-end lists when labels and journalists would call the store asking what people were buying, even knowing there weren't many copies in circulation. By the time an official vinyl pressing came around, I was eagerly waiting at the Fat Beats warehouse for the hand-numbered LPs to arrive, lol. "Below The Heavens" should be the benchmark for collaborative efforts and for artists like Blu who wish to be transparent and tell their story through lyrics. They successfully crafted one of the most relatable records and I believe it'll find new listeners for generations to follow. Shouts to J.Kim, who was instrumental in its success and Exile, who I'd been following through Emanon and Dirty Science, as well as his early Eksile mixtapes, which are essential listening. 

Saturday, July 15, 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. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

H3RO - 'Tragic H3RO' (Music Video)

H3RO Tragic H3RO

H3RO drops off the visuals to his latest record 'Tragic H3RO,' and you need to put eyes & ears on it! Since his first studio mixtape in 2010, H3RO has been attracting media attention and making a name for himself in the underground Carolina music scene. Born Justin Daniels, he grew up listening to hip hop with an affinity for lyrics & poetry. A student of the great Nasir Jones, the name H3RO manifested in '08 after the “Hip Hop is Dead” emcee dropped the single “Hero” off his Untitled LP.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Supastition - "Thanks, Ghost" (Free Single)

Supastition Thanks, Ghost

Supastition pays homage to Ghostface Killah on his brand new track, "Thanks, Ghost." The self-produced single is inspired by one of Hip-Hop's greatest storytellers, Ghostface Killah, as Supa documents some humorous incidents that happened while ironically listening to Ghost. The song serves as the first single in the 'Solitaire' monthly series where Supastition handles all of the writing, recording, mixing and graphic design for each track. You can stream and download the track (and instrumental) for free below. Follow Supastition for all updates on future releases.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

NaS 'It Was Written' July 2, 1996

Nas It Was Written Advertisement

On this day in 1996, NaS released his sophomore album, 'It Was Written.' A more commercial effort, NaS definitely received a fair amount of criticism for his direction on this release, as compared to his debut 'Illmatic.' The numbers show, however, that there was far more praise and had he not released this album, it's arguable whether or not 'Illmatic' would have ever reached as many consumers and been heralded as such a classic. 'It Was Written' was double-platinum, while 'Illmatic' had sold nowhere near that at the time. Props to Steve Stoute and the Trackmasters for their work on the album, and of course, DJ Premier, L.E.S., Dr. Dre, Havoc and more. It surely had its misses, but there's a generation younger than mine that holds this up as their favorite NaS album. Go figure ... what do you think? In advance of the album, Columbia released 'Nas Is Coming' with the July '96 stamp, and it featured The Source Freestyle, Silent Murder, Street Dreams, If I Ruled The World and "Watch Dem N#ggas. The version of 'If I Ruled The World' was slightly different, if I remember correctly, but the smash single with Lauryn Hill would prove to be the push NaS needed in '96. I can't recall the ratings it received from the media but I do remember stories of NaS' car being burned in the bridge (allegedly) in '96. A little dramatic, but I guess everyone wants a piece of success when it comes? Were do you rate 'It Was Written' in his catalog?

Nas It Was Written Double Platinum Advertisement
Nas is Coming Promo Cassette