Saturday, December 30, 2017

Rasheed Chappel & Crimeapple "The Bridge" (Freestyle)

I don't post too many loosies here on the site, I am more of an album-minded fan, but something tells me this dope freestyle from Rasheed Chappell & Crimeapple won't pop up on an official release, so I've gotta support it separately here! Both lyricists drop bars over MC Shan's Marley Marl-produced classic, "The Bridge," live from the Diggin In The Crates studio to your ears, listen...

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Donnie Propa "Dirty Rotten Mixtape" (Jeru The Damaja)

The Dirty Rotten Mixtape is another fresh cassette mixtape from Donnie Propa (and Chrome), featuring a fresh selection of classics and hidden gems from the legendary eMCee from East New York, Jeru The Damaja. As a fellow member of the Gang Starr Foundation, Jeru The Damaja's first two classic albums were produced by the greatest of all time, DJ Premier: The Sun Rises In The East and Wrath Of The Math. The mix is pulled strictly from vinyl and available on cassette HERE.

Monday, December 25, 2017

KutMasta Kurt's "Christmas" (Mixtape, 1996)

KutMasta Kurt's Christmas mix tape was released on cassette back in 1996. It features cuts from Camp Lo, Siah & Yeshua, Mobb Deep, Kool Keith, Royal Flush, Large Professor, Jungle Brothers, OGC, Street Smartz, Ras Kass, Kool G Rap, AK Skills, Group Home, Mindspace, Mic Geronimo, YZ, The High & Mighty, Ghostface Killah, and lots more. A nice smooth vibe throughout, listen to the mix below...

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

Murs "A Friend's Blues" (2002)

I revisit this project a lot, although I don't feel it gets mentioned enough, so let's look back at Murs' 2002 EP, Varsity Blues. RapReviews discussed the album years back and I think they nailed the parts of the album that touched me the most when they say "the beats and lyrics are based solely on the principles of blues music. And it makes sense. Murs is known for being a frank, honest and plain-spoken rapper with insights that rival those of his friend Phonte (of Little Brother fame) and skill to articulate that easily in a song. In addition, he is self-admittedly a rapper of a different ilk who is willing to diversify his music and challenge hip-hop's seeming lack of creativity. Hence, combining his knack for story-telling with blues-worthy personal experiences, and dropping it over some despondent, melancholic guitars, Murs sought to tap deeper into his introspective self with "Varsity Blues" and creates something most definitely worth revisiting a while after its original release." Jason De Silva and I both agree that that "Murs' magnum opus for the EP" is "A Friend's Blues," where he says "Justin Martin allows the strings, the triumphant piano line, and understated bass roll to take you away into Murs' tale of losing someone close to you and the trials of perseverance. It's a personal song that leaves a lasting impression, especially when you listen closely to the lyrics that, again, have a passion and deep meaning that truly grabs the listener." Dig in...

"It's sad it takes a loss to appreciate the gifts 
So celebrate the occasion, just breathing is amazin' 
To see the sun rise and set at a days end 
A chance to fix mistakes that we regret makin' 
Find joy in the simple things, no time for complainin' 
The sun will shine, it can't always be rainin' 
I know it hurts deep, but you must maintain it..."

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Rest In Peace, Reggie Ossé aka 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 always encouraging, and I've never met someone with a bad word to say about him. It seemed like everyone knew Reggie and 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 of 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 a fight on the train to work at Fat Beats and the screen on my phone broke. I headed over to the Verizon store and got a new phone, but they weren't able to transfer over my numbers, so I sent an e-mail to my friends and peers asking them to send me their info to get back up and running. All these years later, Combat Jack's is one of only two messages I still remember because he really encouraged me to reach out more, 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, and 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 deeply goes out to his loved ones, and I send my deepest condolences to them. Rest In Peace, Reggie Ossé. Get ready for Combat!

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!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Black Thought Freestyles On Funk Flex (Hot 97, Video)

10 minutes of absolute BARS from the legendary Black Thought of The Roots. Last year, I touched on Funk Flex's freestyle series after Joe Budden was up at Hot 97. There's since been a few other dope freestyles, but none have shifted perspective and made fans rethink their T5DOA and had artists questioning their pen game as much as Black Thought's freestyle. There's so many quotables to shine a light on here, but some of my favorites are: "Gun fire and flares, sirens glare / I'm in a iron chair where people who care don't get the lion's share / When I don't give a f#ck then I ain't fair" and "Same cadence as D.O.C. pre-accident / Maybe my acumen's on par with Kool G. Rap and them / Give me the proper respect, mothaf#cka, we back again..." and "Go through the vein to the brain, fabulous and strange / My journalistic range is a catalyst for change / It got anybody that listen pissing flame / And ’cause the Hall of Fame got so many missing names." Rappers were put on notice, give Black Thought his proper respect and watch this freestyle below with a pen and a pad.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Statik Selektah "8" (Album Stream)

8 is the eighth studio album from producer Statik Selektah. The album was released via Duck Down Music and Statik's label Showoff Records. The album features guest appearances from vocal artists, such as 2 Chainz, Action Bronson, Joey Badass, Termanology, Run The Jewels, The L.O.X., Wale, Royce da 5'9", Joyner Lucas, Raekwon, Mtume, Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, Sean Price and G-Eazy. Statik is one of the most consistent, most prolific producers of our generation. Listen below...

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!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Mekolicious "Unsigned Hype" (The Source, 12/97)

Mekolicious was featured in The Source's Unsigned Hype back in December, 1997. His white label 12" was released under the name Meccalicious and included the dope tracks "Hope The World Don't Stop" and "How You Feel" with production from fellow Mount Vernon resident, the Soul Brother No.1, Pete Rock. Prior to that, he was on a remix to INI's "Fakin Jax," as well as records with Rob-O and various loosies that were unreleased, alternate mixes or later released officially by Pete Rock without him on it. Between the years 1994 and the early 2000s, Pete Rock had his own label titled Soul Brother Records. The label returned more recently to co-release some of his more recent records, but it was during those early years that Pete Rock was producing for Mekolicious. I'd say close to 10-12 records in total, all produced by Pete Rock. There were light rumors that EPs and other 12" pressings were done, but I've yet to lay eyes on them, except for a 7" that BBE and HipHopSite put out in the early 2000s with a self-titled record, also produced by Pete Rock. This is definitely another case of what coulda been? I hope you'll be interested enough to dig up more!