November 30, 2018

The House List Podcast "MF Doom Episode"


The 100th episode of Peter Agoston's House List podcast: "I wanted to do something extra special for the heads on this one - so who better than DOOM. Culled from a handful of conversations recorded onto cassette, MF DOOM and I discuss the then unreleased and to me, unheard, 'MM FOOD' album. This was originally recorded in May 2003 for an expansive cover-story I wrote on DOOM for Elemental Magazine. After listening to these again, there is no doubt in my mind how talented, intuitive and inventive DOOM is. It of course goes without saying, but I do feel like these chats I had with him shed much more light on how he willed some of the best hip-hop music of the last 20 years out of sheer desire to create, if even sometimes under a state of duress. A master collage-artist, poet, author, satirist, DJ, producer, performer. I truly hope this episode (like them all) will serve as a living document to his great accomplishments in music and art. I am appreciative of the time we had recording these and the few musical collaborations we did some 20 years ago now.Thank you to all the listeners as this is fully listener supported." Listen to it below.

November 29, 2018

Pete Rock "Lost Sessions" (Instrumental Album)


"Pete Rock’s soul, jazz and funk-sampling beats soundtracked a healthy chunk of East Coast hip-hop during the mid-‘90s—and Lost Sessions rounds up 10 unreleased beats that were reportedly ear-marked for INI, his younger brother Grap Luva’s group. Key picks include the static and piano-powered “Aretha” and the dusky, deep jazz of “Vibes.” Elsewhere, “The Life I Live” nods to a sample source previously mined by A Tribe Called Quest and pairs fittingly with a tribute to that group’s fallen soldier on the nostalgic 'Rest Easy Phife.'” - Bandcamp // Listen to it below...

November 28, 2018

Grown Man Rap Show "Class of 1993 Reunion Mix"


Hosted by veteran DJ Toast and broadcasted live every Sunday night 10pm-12 midnight (ET) from 91.5 WRPI (Albany NY), Toast brings you 2 hours of the best in vintage & contemporary true school Hip Hop. This is a 2-part series, Episodes 190 & 191: Class of 1993 Reunion - DJ Toast dives in quick with tracks from Super Cat, Poor Righteous Teachers, Jeru The Damaja, Diamond D, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Fat Joe, Digable Planets, The Beatnuts, Ice Cube, Kurious, Shyheim, Onyx, Trends of Culture, M.O.P., Big Daddy Kane, Wu-Tang Clan, Tha Alkaholiks, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Dred Scott, Lords of the Underground and so so much more all the way through to the second episode (191) below. All classics, in my eyes!! You don't want to miss this one, listen to these Class Of... mixes below!

November 27, 2018

Asun Eastwood, Daniel Son & Futurewave "Physics of Faith"


Asun Eastwood, Daniel Son and Futurewave, are names that have been bringing quite a buzz to the masses. They’ve taken turns appearing on one another’s solo projects, bringing nothing but premium product. Knowing what they’re capable of, we asked for more, and they supplied. This is their time, it’s just the beginning of a continued wave of success for these talented individuals. Collectively, these 3 bring us Physics of Filth where they take us back down the dark streets of Toronto through detailed lyrical depictions and beats as cold as the hearts of the lost souls who roam the alleys at night. Enjoy this latest offering, and appreciate the blood, sweat and tears they put in to give us an album that’s nothing short of pure quality.  - via Hipnotik1. Dig into this dope LP below...

November 27, 2018

The Audible Doctor "Soul Slaps, Vol.4" (Beat Tape)


Back again, The Audible Doctor brings us the fourth installment in his Soul Slaps instrumental series. The 12-track project is entirely produced by The Audible Doctor with a touch of vocals from Davenport Grimes. It might be hard to notice, but it appears he put considerable thought into the titles of these instrumentals ... kudos to him lol. This is a series I hope that he continues, and I'm looking forward to a solo album and more music from the Brown Bag All-Stars collective. Dig in...

November 26, 2018

Benny The Butcher "Tana Talk 3" (Album Stream)


"A continuation of Benny’s Tana Talk series. Tana is short for Montana Ave, the street Benny lived on in the Eastside of Buffalo, NY. This album serves as a platform for Benny to showcase his gritty, yet honest and heartfelt storytelling. The cover is a painting of an old baby photo of his deceased older bother, MachineGun Black (Rest In Peace)." - via Genius. Benny's Tana Talk 3 features Westside Gunn, Meyhem Lauren, Royce Da 5'9, and Conway The Machine. Another bar heavy project! Listen below...

November 25, 2018

The House List Podcast "Godfather Don Episode"


Godfather Don is the latest guest on the House List Podcast - hosted by Peter Agoston. "In what marks his first real, long-form interview - Godfather Don is extremely cool, affable and open. And that was mostly talking about music (we hoped and plan to get a more esoteric, next time)! He has been a personal favorite of mine for a long time. A lifetime resident of Brooklyn, we discuss it all. Picking up a guitar as a small child, to making beat-tapes with a guitar pedal. Many where introduced to Don's seminal work on Ultramagnetic MC's 'Four Horsemen' (Wild Pitch 1993) album, others with his actual debut 'Hazardous' (Select 1991). He had a prolific run doing the indie/underground boom between labels Fondle Em and Hydra, which resonates widely to this day (seen in the many limited reissues of his work). Yet all the while, Don has seemingly been shrouded in mystery. Now, Don is a actively performing Tenor Sax player around BK. He's recorded a new Jazz project, I saw him play - he's amazing. It's a fantastic transition into a different musical horizon. I highly suggest watching or listening, when you have the ability." Listen to the full interview below.

November 24, 2018

Phoniks "Down To Earth Remixes" (Album Stream)


A remixed version of Phoniks' first full-length solo project. Originally 2 years in the works, Phoniks dug through over 250 hours worth of recorded material when piecing together his solo debut. The album was comprised of jazz-tinged lo-fi head nodders with crunchy 12-bit drums, spaced-out filters, and delays + a sprinkling of horn loops and soul vocals. The remixed version of "Down To Earth" utilizes records from Nas, Mood, Outkast, Big L, Biggie, Capone-N-Noreaga, Jadakiss, Wu-Tang & more, to further help bring these instrumentals to life. Stream/Download it below.

November 23, 2018

Snoop Doggy Dogg "Doggystyle" 25th Anniversary


On November 23, 1993, Snoop Doggy Dogg delivered his classic debut album "Doggystyle." From "Deep Cover" to his co-starring (stand-out) role on Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," it was clear Snoop was an instant star! With all the hype, Snoop delivered with a grip of classic singles, dope interludes and a cohesive project. From the visuals to the storyline, it was curated flawlessly. The wave of Dre & Snoop hit the East Coast hard and lots of artists incorporated the sound into their releases. Take Biggie, for example, Puff had him do a promo tape aimed at fans on the West Coast ahead of "Ready to Die." It didn't stop there, of course, just check Dre's production credits for more obvious signs of their impact. I am not gonna touch on the East vs. West beef that was fueled by Puff & Suge + the media, so let's fast forward to DJ Filthy Rich, who dropped a 25th Anniversary mix to commemorate the release with album cuts, remixes, unreleased tracks & some raw blends. Dope shout-out to my homie, @
ToonCrew, who blessed DJ Filthy Rich with the artwork for this mix.

November 22, 2018

The Large Professor "The LP" (Vinyl Reissue + Stream)


The LP” is Legendary Hip Hop Producer and Emcee Large Professor’s highly anticipated 1st solo debut album that was originally slated to come out on Geffen Records in 1995/1996. Due to label politics at the time, the album unfortunately was never released. 14 Years later in 2009 the official version of “The LP” became available on CD & Double Vinyl LP. For almost 10 years this Vinyl has been out of print and in high demand. It is now being offered again as a special limited transparent blue colored reissue. “The LP” includes bonus unreleased songs and a few rare unearthed alternate demo versions of classic tracks such as the “Mad Scientist”. It also includes “I Juswanna Chill”, “That Bullsh*t”, the title track “The LP”, “Hard”, “One Plus One” featuring NAS, the newly polished up “Queens Lounge” and many more including the unreleased single “Amaman” b/w “Bowne” that was available on the now out of print 12” vinyl. All songs are produced by The Large Professor except “Large Pro:Verbs” produced by Vandamator & “Spacey” produced by Toney Rome. This album is officially sanctioned by The Large Professor and being released through Paul Sea Productions. As Large Professor states “This album represents a time in the 1990s when Hip Hop was more about the good times, when artists were rich in music and rich in talent and it wasn’t about how much money you had.” This will definitely sell out quickly, so order a copy HERE now. Listen below.

November 21, 2018

Group Home "Livin' Proof" (The Source, 12/95)


"We first heard Dap back in '92, when he represented on "I'm The Man" off Gang Starr's Daily Operation. Then Group Home itself emerged with the banging "Supa Star." Much like that first single, their full-length debut, Livin' Proof, is a throwback to the days when MCs actually had something to say. "Inna Citi Life," the album's first cut, does exhibit some of the generic gun talk that has run rampant in the industry. But Livin' Proof has a distinct theme: revealing the nuances of East New York ghetto life. "Serious Rap Shit," "Sacrifice" and "Suspended In Time" display Group Home's love for hip-hop and their desire to use it as a vehicle for elevation. On tracks like "2 Thousand" and "4 Give My Sins," they actually show remorse for the dirt done to survive. The former's chorus -- "95 is yours but 2000 is mine" -- paints an optimistic vision of the future. One of the brighter spots on the album comes from Jeru The Damaja on an interlude: "When you have the voice to say something, say something / 'Cause this is for the seeds / The seeds are what grow into the flowers / So shine light and water seeds." This is advice every MC should heed." Cont'd after the video below...


"From a production standpoint, Livin' Proof comes tighter than Adina Howard's spandex. DJ Premier brings the steelo heads have been in love with for years -- butter loops over hard hittin' drums. It's the same flava the group brought on "Supa Star" and it's the same style that has made Premier one of the best producers in hip-hop. The only downside to the album are the at-times simplistic verbals of Lil Dap and Melachi The Nutcracker. Lyrical enthusiasts will not be blown away. Nevertheless, Livin' Proof packs enough punch and flava to keep a party live. All true heads should give this one a listen." - The Source, 12/95. Is this DJ Premier's best produced album? Listen HERE.

November 20, 2018

Jay Royale "The Ivory Soap" (Album Stream)


Jay Royale, the East Baltimore emcee delivers his debut LP, The Ivory Stoop, full of crafty lyrics over minimalist, boombap production. He features some of the finest MCs in the underground on the project, enlisting Ill Conscious, Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn & more.  The dusty beats & minimal loops maintain the feel of the peak-era sound from the early/mid 90’s. If you're unfamiliar with Jay Royale, then the features should tip you off as to what to expect, do give it a listen and trust it's on par with some of the best releases from the underground.

November 19, 2018

Mobb Deep "Hell On Earth" (Press Release, Enhanced CD)


"After hitting gold with their last album, Mobb Deep is right back in it with the album "Hell On Earth." The act's street infamy is taken to the next level by the album's musical reflections on life and death, which spring largely out of mixed events: Havoc's reunion with his prison-released young brother, Prodigy become a father, and a horrible car crash that left two friends dead. The album title refers to the simple fact that violence in our culture isn't created from words on a CD or images on a screen, but rather is a grim reality that art can only reflect. The opening track, "Animal Instinct," testifies to the cut-throat competition in rap and denounces the genre's pervasive "thug" mentality. The set offers guest appearances by Nas, Rapper Noyd and Wu-Tang's Chef Raekwon and Method Man." - Billboard, November 15, 1997. Below is a brief video running through some of the enhanced CD features that came with the album, and below that is the original press release for it.


The press release regarding the enhanced CD features on "Hell On Earth" says that the enhanced CD is included at no additional cost. It included 30-day internet access, a hidden song (using a password), as well as the the full LP, exclusive video footage, bio and photos and access to snippets from other albums on Loud Records. I mostly remember the home-screen cycling over and over, but I was not computer savvy back in the winter of 1996 ... I almost forgot about these bonus features.

November 18, 2018

J.Period "The Live Mixtape" (Top 5 MCs Edition)


"J.PERIOD’s Live Mixtape is a first-of-its-kind Hip Hop mixtape, performed and recorded live onstage - in one take - by some of Hip Hop’s most celebrated MCs, and one of its most groundbreaking DJs. Recorded LIVE in New York City, The Live Mixtape [#Top5MCs Edition] features three legendary MCs—Rakim, Pharoahe Monch & Black Thought of The Roots—in an epic display of microphone mastery, seamlessly mixed by J.PERIOD, and re-igniting the timeless Hip Hop debate: Who’s your Top 5 MCs? Guest appearances include: Smif N Wessun, Black Sheep, Stro Elliot and Mumu Fresh." (Updated, 2020: the original audio I posted below was removed, then a new project with a similar title was released on Spotify. Hopefully it's the same project? Either way, I've updated the link).

November 17, 2018

Big Ghost Ltd "The Black Album Revisited" (Album Stream)


"Ayo the purpose of this project was to hop in the DeLorean n transport the listener back to 11-14-03 to this alternate reality where another Black Album exists... Not the Prince or Metallica ones.. The Hov one still.. but a different Hov one. One where A-List celebrity producers played no part...n it was no politics involved nahmean. No hype or pitches to the artist from whoever whoever... Just the feel of that early 00s shit when the R.O.C. had established itself as the pinnacle n the heartbeat of the culture n the greatest rapper of all time pump faked his retirement." - Big Ghost

November 16, 2018

Boog Brown "Boog Brown" (Album Stream)


Currently based in Atlanta, Detroit native Brown is not only an emcee, poet and publisher; but she describes herself as a “lover, fighter and artist.” This is reflected in her personal style, lyrical approach and unique perspective. After some mixtape success and her collaborative album "The Brown Study" with Apollo Brown, she's back again with her self-titled release, Boog Brown. The 13-track effort offers production entirely handled by Tom Caruana, as well as features from Nolan The Ninja, Big REC, yU, Dillon, and Flo. The artwork was done by Curse273. I met Boog at SXSW years ago and I've been a fan since. Listen to another solid, introspective release from Boog Brown below...

November 15, 2018

Joe Budden "Pride & Paranoia" (Mixtape, 2009)


Originally released in April 2009, Trackstar the DJ & The Smoking Section got together to release Pride & Paranoia: Best of Joe Budden. The mix runs through some of the best tracks in Joe Budden's catalog up until that point. "Walk With Me," "If I Die Tomorrow," "10 Minutes," "Dear Diary," and others are included, but I trust fans were complaining at the time that their favorites weren't included in the mix. Nevertheless, this was released at the height of the blogs, and might've gotten lost in the infinite shelf space of the internet. So, props to Trackstar for reposting it, dig in below...

November 14, 2018

Masta Ace & Marco Polo "A Breukelen Story" (Album Stream)


In 2018 we find hip-hop’s storied journeyman, Masta Ace, at the helm of another sharp, tightly wrought project. He’s traversed hip-hop’s ever-changing landscape for nearly three decades, navigating different eras while expanding his already extensive catalogue. Despite amassing 7 solo albums, 5 collaborative projects and countless additional one-offs, Ace is still trying to show and prove, still moving the needle forward for himself, his fans, and his career. Says Ace: “My goal on A Breukelen Story was to do more lyrical stuff. I’ve done a lot of concept songs, and a lot of topical records, but I made a point to put a couple straight rhyming joints on here to remind dudes I can still do this.” Marco Polo is not new to forming quality collabs with others in the art form, with notable stints on the Port Authority as well as it’s follow up, PA2, and others like 2016’s work with young MC, A-F-R-O, fittingly titled A-F-R-O Polo. Yet out of Polo’s previous collaborative efforts, this one stands out and is a bit more special, according to Polo: “Ace does not like to write random songs, its usually conceptual and topical,” he says. “But we do have some straight spitting joints on A Breukelen Story which is what makes this album possibly the most diverse of all of my collaborative albums.” MP & Ace's "A Breukelen Story" is now available via Fat Beats Records! 

November 13, 2018

Mick Boogie + Beastie Boys "Grand Royal" (Mixtape)


Originally released in 2012, MICK (f/k/a) Mick Boogie re-issued this mixtape through his Soundcloud page, along with the following message: "From 2012: In honor of the Beastie Boys being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week… I thought it’s finally the right time to do a Beasties mixtape. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… something people have asked me to do for a long time, actually… but I wanted it to mean something. Now, it’s finally the right time. I present to you Grand Royal. 80 minutes of my favorite Beastie Boys rarities, remixes, demos, live versions, out-takes, and more. If you’re a Beasties fan, I guarantee you find something new and exciting on this mix!" At the time of the tape's original release (2012), the Beastie Boys had become the third rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Adam "MCA" Yauch was unable to attend the ceremony and passed away soon after from Cancer on 5/4/12: R.I.P. MCA. 

November 12, 2018

UFO Fev "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth" (EP)


UFO Fev is an MC out of East Harlem, NYC. Taken from Killah Priest's stand-out track on GZA's Liquid Swords, UFO Fev names his 7-track EP, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The production is handled by Tallahassee native, BackPack Beatz, who also produced Fev's lyrical Camouflage EP in 2017. With support from the legendary Fat Joe, pay close attention to this emcee - he's been rising quickly on the come-up! Click play below & dig into the archives for more.

November 12, 2018

The House List Podcast "Swigga aka L-Swift Episode"


"Swigga once known as L-Swift has a story to tell. We do a deep dive live from the NorthEast Bronx in this revealing true narrative of how a young kid from St. Lucia in the Caribbean transplanted to New York City. Certain heads will know his work closely from the lore of his group Natural Elements, one of the city's most talented yet mysteriously never getting their proper due or platform. For added reference please listen to Episode 33 of this show to hear our talk with Mr. Voodoo (Natural Elements). Shouts to Eddie Brock (also a collaborator with Swigga in their group Northeast Wildcats), whom allowed us to record this conversation at his crib. Enjoy! The intro song is entitled 'Check Da Style,' produced by Charlemagne and released on Fortress Entertainment in 1995." The House List podcast is hosted by Peter Agoston. Another great episode, check it out below.

November 11, 2018

25 Years Of The Wu-Tang Clan (Mini-Documentary)


Certified Classics celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) with the release of For The Children: 25 Years of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), a short film featuring members of Wu-Tang, family, and friends discussing the impact of the iconic album. Taking viewers on a tour through 36 Chambers, this film explores each song via untold stories from Wu-Tang Clan members, alongside personal reflections from many of today's biggest artists. Watch below.

November 10, 2018

DJ Soul "Big Pun Tribute Mix" (Mixtape, 2011)


This mixtape was originally scheduled to drop in 2010 around the 10-year anniversary of Big Pun's passing, with iTunes profits going towards his family. Instead, DJ Soul released his Big Pun Tribute mix in 2011, featuring 35 tracks of unreleased, remixed and classic Big Pun. Everyone who grew up listening to Pun should already be up on these records, but this tribute is more of a celebration of the life of Christopher "Big Pun" Rios. It's a bit discouraging to me that Big Pun's name isn't more widely considered when discussing the greatest lyricists of all-time. His natural skill and charisma on the microphone made him an inimitable force. The first Latin rapper to go Platinum, Big Pun was a special artist. Big Pun would've celebrated his 47th birthday today! May he Rest In Peace. Props to Pun's son, Chris Rivers, for carrying on his legacy. Enjoy DJ Soul's Big Pun Tribute Mix below... 

November 09, 2018

DJ Filthy Rich "A Clan Called Wu: Enter The Marauders" (Mix)


On this day in 1993, two of the greatest albums of all time were released: Wu-Tang’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders. In celebration of these two classics, DJ Filthy Rich released a dope blend tape called A Clan Called Wu: Enter the Marauders. According to Filthy Rich, "The intent was not to improve on the originals in any way… that would be impossible, as I consider them both to be perfect bodies of work…Rather, it was about orchestrating a fun concept, and putting a totally new spin on these well-worn classics. The contrast of Wu’s gritty street raps over Tribe’s jazzy production works in a pleasantly unexpected way." Much respect to DJ Filthy Rich out in Toronto, support his latest mix with a listen below...

November 08, 2018

DJ Mel Boogie ft. Eternia "GIANTS" / "The L.I.F.E. Project"


This year marked DJ Mel Boogie's 25th anniversary in the Canadian music landscape, making her not only a veteran, but also a trailblazer. For the past two years, MelBoogie has been working on an album representative of some of the most talented rappers in Toronto, accumulating into her compilation album, DJ Mel Boogie Presents the L.I.F.E. Project. On the L.I.F.E. Project, Mel Boogie has enlisted just female lyricists to flesh out her album: Eternia and pHoenix Pagliacci go head-to-head in a bar-for-bar battle on "Giants," Rah Digga shines on the posse cut "Blazin'" and LolaBunz and Keysha Freshh paint the most vivid imagery on "You're All I Need." In addition, the album includes JellyTooFly, Haviah Almighty, Lex Leosis, Ashley Jenelle, and more for a total of 14 sharp tracks. Producers who collaborated on this album include DJ Mercilless, Tone Mason, Big Sproxx, and more. Mel Boogie adds that she partnered with Sproxx to bring her project to fruition, which "has made me have even more respect for artists who pursue their passion while balancing work, school, children, and the day-to-day challenges of LIFE itself." Props to Exclaim for their review to include with this post, another integral part of the Canadian music scene. Salute Del F. Cowie & Erin Lowers.

November 07, 2018

Cut Chemist "Impeach The Precedent" (Mix)


In the midst of this week’s hectic midterm elections, beloved Jurassic 5 DJ, mix-master, producer, and solo artist Cut Chemist released an ultimate mix of songs that sample The Honey Drippers’ 1973 song, “Impeach the President.” The mix, cleverly titled Impeach The Precedent, rolls through 45 different songs within Hip-Hop that sample The Honey Drippers in various ways, be it taking the song’s drums, vocals, or lyrics. These are essential breaks. For many, the song’s lyrics may apply to the current Commander-in-Chief, just as they did during Richard M. Nixon’s time in office when it was first released: “Some people say that he’s guilty, Some people say ‘I don’t know’ / Some people say, give him a chance, Aw, some people say, wait till he’s convicted.” WhoSampled, a website that collects data on both songs that have been sampled and songs that use samples, cites 770 songs having sampled “Impeach the President,” from MC Shan’s “The Bridge” to The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Unbelievable” to Freddie Gibbs’ “One Mo’ Time.” This week, Cut Chemist mixed up 45 of those 770 tracks to lift the midterm voter’s spirit. Cut Chemist spins through the breaks of Audio Two’s “Top Billin’,” J. Cole’s “Wet Dreamz,” Nas’ “I Can,” and too many others over 45-minutes of history and scratching. If you did not notice the “45” is deliberate in a few ways, given the current President, as well as the 45th anniversary of the original sample source. - AFH. Also available via Bandcamp.

November 06, 2018

Kool Mike Ski "Tha Realness 96" (Mixtape, 1996)


Here's a fine mix tape from Kool Mike Ski called Tha Realness '96. It features tracks from a number of dope artists like De La Soul, Frankie Cutlass, Smif-N-Wessun, 2Pac, KRS-One, Ak Skills, Heltah Skeltah, Saukrates, Sadat X, Busta Rhymes, Onyx, Large Professor, Smooth The Hustler, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe, Group Home, Case, Horace Brown and more. Props to DJ Step One for the link.

November 05, 2018

O.C. & PF Cuttin "Opium" (Album Stream)


After decades in the game, it's safe to say that legendary D.I.T.C. member O.C., alongside East New York DJ and producer PF Cuttin of Blahzay Blahzay, have always been consistent with delivering classic material to the masses. O.C. and PF Cuttin have finally decided to get together to drop a collaborative project entitled “Opium.” The 9-track banger will bring you back in time to the era of block parties and of stunts, blunts and hip-hop; to remind you what the good old days sounded like. The version available now on PF Cuttin's Bandcamp includes several of the original instrumentals so I've updated this post. You can stream Opium below to dig into some dope beats and rhymes...

November 05, 2018

DJ Clue "The Professional" (Bio/Press Kit, 1998)


"It's all about knowing that a song is hot before other people," says Clue. Do you remember when DJs broke records? Yup, that was a thing - pardon my sarcasm to the younger cats reading. I've said this before, but NO ... I was never DJ Clue's biggest fan; but acknowledged that he always knew where his strengths were, and that was at getting the exclusives and breaking records in the mixtape era of rap. Smart in business, too, for sure - he started his tape series at #24, making heads think they were already behind on discovering his tapes, lol ... then, navigating and capturing market share with every new tape he released, flipping that into a radio show, label deal, etc etc all without a visit from the Feds. Revisiting "The Professional," which was released on Roc-A-Fella Records in 1998, tracks from DMX + Ruff Ryders, Nas, Nature, Big Pun + Cam'Ron + Noreaga + Canibus, Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, and more carried what were always front-loaded mixes. In the mix-tape days, you wanted to be in the top 5-8 tracks because we'd just run them back, over and over as the hottest of what was new at the time. The favorite track for most is normally "Fantastic 4," but I was a Queens cat, I went straight to "Queens Finest" with Nas (and that Nature track was flames, too) ... "Get brains with the f#ckin Hilfiger, nah..." In business, being first is a huge advantage.

November 04, 2018

Abstract Orchestra "Madvillain Vol.1" (Album Stream)


"Led by Saxophonist Rob Mitchell, Abstract Orchestra have been a consistent presence on the UK music scene, steadily building a loyal and supportive fanbase. The band itself is based on the classic jazz big band instrumentation of saxes, trumpets and trombones and features the cream of the north of England’s jazz scene. Abstract Orchestra’s Madvillain Vol 1. explores the jazz, TV soundtrack and film score aspect of the original work, combining it with classic big band writing and a focus on improvisation. Rob Mitchell says of the record: ‘Madvillainy’ is a jazz album as much as it is a hip-hop album and I wanted to explore this reciprocal territory there has always been between jazz and hip-hop. 70’s cop show soundtracks have always captured my interest and imagination, and I discovered so much amazing music through TV themes, Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin in particular. They explored sounds that were menacing, angular, dissonant, frantic and yet captivating. Arranging & scoring up Madvillain Vol 1. has allowed me to explore these sounds that I’ve always loved, yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound.” Stream "Madvillain Vol.1" below.

November 03, 2018

Black Moon "Enta Da Stage" 25th Anniversary Mix


Released October 19th 1993, Black Moon’s classic debut LP ‘Enta Da Stage’ celebrates its 25th Anniversary this week. Produced entirely by Da Beatminerz, the album’s production style epitomizes early 90s East Coast boom bap sonics with laid back, filtered jazz-funk samples meeting crunchy drums, cut choruses and gritty wordplay. In celebration of the anniversary Who Sampled? teamed up once again with Wax Poetics and Chris Read to present this exclusive mixtape pairing album tracks and remixes with their sample sources, interview snippets and more. Listen to it below...

November 02, 2018

Run DMC "Down With The King" (Reissue, 2018)


Officially licensed reissue of the 1993 Pete Rock produced Golden Era classic featuring guest rhymes from Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Original Artwork by Ricky Also, who shares, "I love record sleeves that have a bit of a story behind them, I used to spend hours checking out every detail on every vinyl I brought, and you could always tell which covers were created with love, they would have that extra level of detail and story behind them. Down with the King is such a dope release, it still sounds as fresh as it did when it was first came out in the early 90’s. I wanted to create a cover design that looked as fresh as the record sounds, but also had that nod back to its past and the original sleeve design. The original sleeve shows Run, JMJ & DMC sat on a fenced wall in front of a graveyard and church. After a fair amount of research, a few educated guesses and a lot of routing through street view maps I found the same church on Jamaica Ave, Hollis, Queens NY. I was then able to create a broader view of the scene and show JMJ floating above the graveyard and Run and DMC still in the same position on the fence. It felt like a nice story to be able to tell, it reflects the history and roots of the group and almost gives the song a new perspective now that the legend Jam Master Jay is no longer with us." Revisit this classic track and instrumental below...

November 01, 2018

Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop (Book)


Photographs, like music, are imprinted onto our collective consciousness. Both define our individual and cultural identities and help shape how we view the world and ourselves. In the case of hip-hop, a medium that encompasses so many transformative moments from politics to race to style, both the visuals and the music become a part of us. It’s not just that one powerful song that has a way of getting under your skin, it’s also the visuals that equally captivate, and stick with us for years to come. It’s the union of hip-hop visuals and music that we honor in this book. Contact High spotlights the photographers who have played critical roles in bringing these visuals onto a global stage. By tracing a timeline of almost forty plus years of hip-hop culture through contact sheets, one gets a rare glimpse into the creative process. Organized chronologically, Contact High stands as a visual archive of hip-hop-an intimate look at the making of the imagery that shaped the sound. An INCREDIBLE book! I'll be adding copies to my online store soon, but for now order a copy HERE