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

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

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.

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. 

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.