Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Noveliss "Metal Face Hokage" (EP Stream)


"Metal Face Hokage" is the latest offering from Noveliss of Clear Soul Forces. The 8 track offering features production from Def Dee out of Seattle, who was - and may still be - down with the Mello Music Group family. The Detroit spitter adds, "When I was on tour I met Def Dee in Seattle. He ended up coming back to Detroit at the end of the tour and we kicked it and decided to do a project together. MF DOOM is my favorite rapper so this is my DOOM inspired project." Listen...

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Thorough "Cassette Tape Malfunction" (EP Stream)


The Jamaica, Queens eMCee Thorough and producer CrazyBeatsP are back with their new EP, "Cassette Tape Malfunction." Along with the lead single, "Distortion," the project features a total of 9 hard tracks to dig through and like Thorough says, "Me and P make music one way: aggressively." If you came up in the 80s, you remember the cassette tape days, don't let that sh!t pop! Dope artwork, too. Listen to "Cassette Tape Malfunction" below and hit the archives for more releases.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Blu & Exile "True & Livin" (EP Stream)


After 2017’s 10 year anniversary tour of Below The Heavens and a b-sides/rarities release in In The Beginning many wondered whether or not Blu & Exile would ever reunite for a proper new release or if that year was as much a curtain call as it was a celebration. Putting those questions to rest, Dirty Science Records is proud to announce the True & Livin EP – as Blu & Exile’s undeniable chemistry is yet again put on display. “True and Livin feels like a spiritual call to all that have honor and truth in their being. It sees how present day and beyond is always trying to calculate or monetize what comes from God or what comes from an artist’s spirit, but it also recognizes the truth that is inside of Blu and Exile's music and brags about it, even in a humble way somehow. This might be the first hip hop braggadocio song that invites us all to feel the same about themselves as long as they connect to the spirit and truth that is inside this song and inside us all.” Exile says about the EP’s title track. Positivity and strength remain a theme on this EP, in Spread Sunshine and the stand out posse cut featuring most of the Dirty Science crew in Choosey, Johaz, Cashus King, Aloe Blacc, Fashawn & Blame One on Power To The People. Blu adds, “"Power To The People” is a call to the people, a call for the people to unite. Unification is power, power in numbers.” The lead single is amazing, order the EP over HERE at Fat Beats or below...

Monday, May 13, 2019

DJ Platurn "So This Is De La Heaven" (Mixes)


In 2003, the Northern California-based DJ Platurn made So This Is De La Heaven? The joint was a cut and paste mix, lasting over an hour, assembling the source music that gave the D.A.I.S.Y. Age its groove. Eleven years later, DJ Platurn returned with So This Is De La Heaven, Pt. 2, picking up without losing a step, and even the members from De La were taking notice: “Out of all the De La [Soul] mixes I’ve heard over the years, this is the most creative one. Let me take it back in time a bit and say this is ‘Strickly Dan Stuckie’. Salute, salutary, and salutations!” - via AFH. Listen below...

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Ghostface & Cappadonna Interview (Elements, Winter 1996)


Happy Born Day to the wallabee champ; the wizard of poetry: Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah. Taking it back to the winter of '96, an interview in Elements you may not have read before with Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna. Kicking the interview off, we learn that the Wu-Tang swordsman didn't vote for Bill Clinton, Bob Dole or Ross Perot in '96 - nah - he voted for the Wu! "cause I know that's the people that really really really gonna do the right thing." Also a nice shout-out for the RZA, "He's a genius! A psychiatrist. An underground dweller. He stay underground kid. Word up. Nothin' but bomb shelters. He's all in there like that just constantly doin' his shit, work or whatever." That's about all when it comes to insight, outside of "I gotta take a piss kid," that's groundbreaking stuff right there lol. Also includes a small interview with Cappadonna, info about the (bootleg) 12" "Drastic Measures," which some of you might remember and his debut album that didn't come until '98. As a bonus, one of my FAVORITE Ghostface Killah interviews, from Montreality, check it out... Ghostface drops some spiritual gems that show his growth since '96 (especially in interviews.)

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

14KT "For My Sanity" (Instrumental Album)


For My Sanity is a "freedom project", an album rooted in free creation, without being tied down by bars, patterns, scenes, and sequences. The intention behind this long-player is clearly stated all throughout the 12 tracks: releasing the angst of the current climate we are facing through collective artistic means. "I made all the music really late at night after my day-to-day work, as an escape from "what I normally do". Paired with the everyday struggles of being an artist, it was very stressful hearing about so many deaths - especially due to law enforcement. Making For My Sanity was how I was trying to find peace of mind every night so I could go to sleep." says 14KT. The themes of the album sway gracefully from personal philosophies and creeds, to burning social matters and celebration of the importance of family and genuine, fruitful friendships. If we were to classify this in a genre, we would say For My Sanity is a jazz record, at its core, but elements of hip hop, soul, r'n'b and latin music are easily recognizable and at home on the album. Listen below...

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

GZA / Genius In Elements Magazine (Winter, 1995)


For today's celebration of #WuWednesdays, enter the Genius in the winter of '95; the final solo release, "Liquid Swords," in what was known as "The Year of the Wu"! Taken from Elements Magazine, a mid-90s magazine dedicated to hip-hop culture, published by the Student Radio Society of U of BC along with Discorder. Held down by Jay Swing & DJ Flipout, the magazine made its debut in May 1995 and was published bi-monthly until August 1996 for a total of 8 issues. Here is DJ Flipout's introduction to the article: "The Wu is the way, the Tang is the slang, and the Clan is the family. A family that will weather the storms and tribulations of inflated egos and the devious ways of success and fame. Not by using a secret technique, as in their style, but in using a well known facet of maintaining unity within a group of individuals; through the maintenance of respect and love for one another. Be alert and keep a vigilant eye open for the swinging Liquid Swords. Prepare to enter another dimension of the deadly sharp lyrical swords, this time in liquid form; to flow and maintain continuity flawlessly, while possessing the strength and power of ocean currents. But beware of the liquid swords as they can also be applied in solid or gaseous form while bearing the same potential lethality that has dissolved other inferior organisms in the past." Continue reading below for the full article with lyric breakdowns and jewels from the Genius like, "I'm sayin' ... any type of information that's beneficial, that's what I mean by knowledge of self. You see, knowledge means to know. Knowledge is also experience. And knowledge of self is to know yourself. You got to examine things for what they are, not for what they present themselves to be." - Elements (Nov-Dec, 1995)

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Jazzquarterz "Wayz Of Da Underground" (Instrumental Album)


"Wayz Of The Underground" is the brand new instrumental album from Swiss producer Jazzquarterz. Released on German record label Postpartum Records, the new LP features 13 instrumentals infused with his signature jazzy-hip hop style of production. Jazzquarterz didn't include a blurb along with the album's release, just a handful of shoutouts, including: Damu The Fudgemunk, Tru Comers, Bubblewild, Figub Brazievic, Klaus Layer, Devaloop and other talents you can find in the archives on this site. This has been the sound coming out of the underground, are you listening? Overseas labels are making a killing on the vinyl and/or cassettes + streams, dig in...

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Book Of Rhymes Podcast: Smif-N-Wessun (Episode 2)


Book of Rhymes is a brand new podcast, hosted by Donwill of Tanya Morgan and executive produced by Classic Material x Mika. After a successful pilot episode with Black Moon, the Book of Rhymes podcast is back and keep it in the Duck Down family with "the POWER MASTERS aka da original gun clappers aka SMIF N WESSUN aka Tek & Steele. Listen as we take a deep dive into their classic album 'Dah Shinin', growing up in Brooklyn and their new project, 'The All' and so much more." 

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Jay Electronica & Nujabes "NuElectronica" (Blend Tape)


According to DJ Tiger and Altered Crates, their latest mix presents the first ever Jay Electronica remix project. Blending unreleased acapellas of Jay Electronica's vocals over "rare and little-known gems" from legendary Japanese producer Nujabes, DJ Tiger charts an unexpected and stunning course for the listener. It's a shame that we're going on 10 years since "Exhibit C" was released, a lot of wasted talent there if you ask me. And of course, Rest in Peace to Nujabes. Listen below...

Friday, May 03, 2019

DJ Obsolete "The Mandela Effect II" (Album Stream)


The Mandela Effect II is German hiphop producer, DJ Obsolete's sophomore LP to drop on Village Live Records. The album features an array of US eMCees, including Jake GHNM, Brian Burns, Hahyeem, Finsta, Rellik & C.O.X, E.T.E.L and MC Gels as well as a string of DJ Obsolete signature style heavy hitting instrumentals. Hit the tags for past releases and stream the LP below...

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

DJ Chong Wizard "Eclectic Relaxation" (Mixtape)


DJ Chong Wizard's "Eclectic Relaxation" is a proper tribute to one of the greatest groups of all-time, A Tribe Called Quest. It's been out for a long time, but I was searching for a vibe today, and this came to mind so I thought I'd share what was in my headphones this afternoon. On the tape, various artists come through to pay tribute, ie: Del The Funky Homosapien, Frank Nitti, Moka Only, Tanya Morgan, Junclassic, Bootie Brown, Dutchmassive and lots more. Enjoy this throwback tribute...

Friday, April 26, 2019

Ty Farris & WateRR "BullsVsPistons" (EP Stream)


"Detroit native, Ty Farris, has come together with Chicago native, WateRR, to bring music enthusiasts some excitement and lyrical highlights via their audio athletism. It has been some time in the making, and now the 'BullsvsPistons' EP is upon us. The album features Guilty Simpson, with production from The Standouts, J Banksy, Artivist, Rashid Hadee, Trox, Dirty Diggs, and Eyedee."

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Mobb Deep "The Infamous" (Review, Elements 5/95)


"Gunshot! Lighta! Daaamn! I can't say enough about this album. I just feel lucky to have peeped it early. Ever since "Peer Pressure" and "Hit It From The Back" on their last album, I knew these "official Queensbridge murderers" were on some other shit. As for "The Infamous," expect more of the raw from Prodigy and Havoc. If you liked "Shook Ones" Pt.1 & 2 then you'll love the rest of the tracks on this sophomore release from the Mobb. "The Infamous" is nothing short of phenomenal rhyme skills on rugged tracks with that undeniable New York vibe. Every track is right and exact but look out for "Your Beef Is Mine" featuring Nas and Raekwon The Chef..." Cont'd below...



"On the Abstract produced "Give Up The Goods" the Mobb flips some ill shit over the same sample used in LL's "Pink Cookies" remix. The second single, "Survival of the Fittest," is very reminiscent of "Shook Ones Pt.2" but nonetheless captures the true essence of Mobb Deep's outlook on every day life. Q-Tip also lends his production skills and makes a guest appearance on "Drink The Pain Away." Other tracks getting honorable mention are "Cradle To The Grave" and "Temperature's Rising" but to me "Trife Life" is the straight up shit. Don't sleep on this one - beg, borrow, or steel the ducats for "The Infamous." Definitely one of the best albums of 95. The Mobb comes equipped for warfare beware..." - Elements, May 1995 (CiTR - U of BC). R.I.P. Prodigy. "The Infamous" (4/25/95)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Nipsey Hussle x DJ Premier "The Premier Hussle" (Blend Tape)


Altered Crates & DJ Tiger present "The Premier Hussle," "Dedicated to the life and memory of the late, great Nipsey Hussle.  DJ Tiger expertly blends Nipsey's vocals and lyrics over lesser-known production from the legendary DJ Premier to create a unique listening experience. Known for rapping over west-coast inspired production and more modern and trap-style beats, "The Premier Hussle" finds Nipsey riding over classic Boom-Bap east-coast vibes." Nipsey Hussle had ownership of his catalog, so support Nip's legacy by also purchasing his official releases, but enjoy this mix, too...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Eaze Up Show "A Tribute to Fondle 'Em" (Mix)


"For those that followed and listened to Underground Hip Hop Radio and DJ legends, Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Garcia throughout the 90's, it would not have come as any kind of shock to know that both branched out with their own record labels, Stretch with Dolo & Bob with Hoppoh (w P.Nice & Daddy Rich) then Fondle' Em. The legend goes that the label name was just a gag but after The Cenobites (Kool Keith and Godfather Don) project rightly flipped wigs, Bob realized there was a new home for quality Underground Hip Hop records sold strictly on wax & his label's office and HQ were essentially his living room with Sandbox Automatic as the official website (it's still up online btw). A plethora of some of Underground Hip Hop's finest are featured, I hope you enjoy what I have selected and put together here and it was only right that I ended this tribute show on what to me personally is the greatest recording on the label." Listen to the tribute below...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Nas "Illmatic" (25th Anniversary Mix by Chris Read)


April 19, 1994, saw the release of one of what would go on to be recognized as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, Nas‘s seminal debut, Illmatic. Following much-talked-about appearances on Main Source‘s “Live at the Barbecue,” MC Serch‘s “Back to the Grill,” and the release of the now classic soundtrack cut “Halftime,” Illmatic delivered on the hype with a compact ten-track offering helmed by the cream of mid-’90s hip-hop production talent: DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and L.E.S.. Pairing crisp head-nod drums with an eclectic palate of jazz, funk, and soul samples, the all-star lineup of producers prepared a musical backdrop over which Nas delivers a no-holds-barred guided tour of life growing up in New York’s Queensbridge projects. Sampled cuts range from the timeless jazz of Ahmad Jamal and jazz-funk of Donald Byrd to the pop of Michael Jackson via well-sampled staples by the likes of Kool & the Gang. In celebration of the album’s twenty-fifth year, WhoSampled presents an exclusive mix of album cuts, remixes, interview snippets, and of course tracks sampled in the album’s making. Mixed by Chris Read, definitely check it out below...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Of Rhymes Podcast: Black Moon (Episode 1)


Book of Rhymes is a brand new podcast, hosted by Donwill of Tanya Morgan and executive produced by Classic Material x Mika. For their debut episode, the Book of Rhymes podcast sits down with the legendary hip-hop crew, Black Moon. Helping to define the sound of Hip-Hop - especially in New York City - during the Golden Era, they discuss their early singles; their debut album "Enta Da Stage" with Nervous Records, as well as Duck Down Records and their overall impact on music culture. Peace to DJ Evil Dee, Buckshot, 5 ft MC, and of course Mr. Walt and Dru-Ha. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Purpose "The Iron Throne of Microphones" (EP Stream)


Purpose of the Tragic Allies steps up to celebrate the return of "Game Of Thrones" by producing, writing, recording and mixing his latest EP, "The Iron Throne of Microphones," which is based off the "Game of Thrones" books and television series. A unique concept with a huge built-in audience; I hope it reaches some new listeners. Whether you're a diehard fan or never watched an episode, I think it's still a solid listen! I like to see artists pulling creatively from different sources, so much respect to Purpose and the Tragic Allies crew. Dig into their back catalogs, lots of dope content!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Eto x Superior "Long Story Short" (Album Stream)


"From Hell’s Roof to the Rhine Valley, Rochester, NY emcee Eto (formerly known as Lil Eto) and German-Spanish producer Superior have joined forces! The result is the full-length collaboration, “Long Story Short,” released via Below System Records. Eto’s penchant for balancing the pain of the street and the progression of the hustle is a perfect foil for Superior’s cinematic and somber beat-scapes. Speaking on the collaboration, Superior said “My previous releases were rooted in my love of boom-bap. However, when I linked up with Eto, I started producing specifically with him in mind and keeping it more atmospheric in keeping with the coldness of his environment and narratives.” With a gripping chemistry throughout the only guest spots on the project is from Skyzoo and Toronto rhyme-counterpart, Daniel Son. Of course Eto has been releasing audio masterpieces at a dizzying rate in the past several months. As an emcee, Eto also recently laced tracks for Benny The Butcher, 38 Spesh and Jamal Gasol. Constantly adapting his work as a producer, Superior's catalogue for Below System Records includes his 2017 production album, “The Journey”, which included appearances from Blu, Edo. G, Reks, Termanology and Lil Fame among others. His full-length album with Chicago emcee, Verbal Kent, “Half My Life” was released in 2018." Listen to the LP below...

Friday, April 12, 2019

Aru-2 "Ayakashi Instruments" (Instrumental Album)


Aru-2 - whose real name Akira Notois - is a beatmaker from Tokyo, Japan. Aru is an underground fixture in the beat tape scene worldwide, earning acclaim with a slew of DIY and collaborative releases over the last few years. Now he makes his long-awaited label debut with Ayakashi Instruments – an instrumental album inspired by Japanese folklore, that seamlessly blends a myriad of different sounds, influences and reference points all into one cohesive experience. "They say Ayakashi is a Japanese ghost spirit, but to me, I think of it as encountering mystery. I've spent a lifetime with Ayakashi, and this album is where it brought me. It was just one phase in my past, and now I'm walking toward my future," says Aru-2. This is a great project, also available on cassette.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Khaderbai "51 Minutes of Boom!" (Mix)


Swiss beatmaker khaderbai only needs half an hour to showcase the best in boom bap. His monthly radio show '30 Minutes of BOOM!' presents top of the bill beats, just the way you like 'em: soul, jazz & funk samples blended with hard drums and, at times, obscure sounds. All in the spirit of that ol' boom bap. His own beats (with most recently 'The khaderbai Beat Diaries') follow the same line. He made '51 Minutes of BOOM!' especially for The Find, selecting some of his favorite beatmakers (Ol’ Burger Beats, 12Vince, KLIM Beats, Propo’88, Brous One, prgmat, Loop.Holes, FloppyKat and more), as well as two tracks from his own Haus & Baum label. Listen to the 51 minute mix below...

Monday, April 08, 2019

Mobb Deep "Juvenile Hell" (Press Kit, 1993)


"Coming with jeep-crushing drum beats and ill jazz/funk samples, Mobb Deep is the latest rap export from 4th & B'Way's stable of stars. On their debut album, Juvenile Hell, the MC duo of Havoc and Prodigy bring the flavor. Over hardcore tracks produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Paul Shabazz & Slick, and Keith & Dale, they spout spirited rhymes that explore the interior and exterior of urban life. Mobb Deep has spent the last couple of years hangin' in project hallways, bonding with homies, sipping 40s of malt liquor, and knocking suckers out to get a rep. They've now emerged from this street-savage upbringing, telling it like it is in ten songs that'll have ya doin' the freaky-deke at any blazing jam. "We want people to dance to our music, but we also want them to flip the coin and peep what we're sayin'," says Prodigy. It can be said without fear of contradiction that growing up in the ghetto can be cool and messed up at the same time. While, thanks to everyday mental trauma, it can make you stronger in the mind, it can also place you six-feet under. "I think we're a couple of the most strong-minded people in the world," says Havoc of he and his partner."


"Survivors of outdoor bloodbaths and other vestiges of boulevard brutality, as well as active participants in the more joyful activities on the asphalt landscape, Mobb Deep has arrived in Planet Hip Hop with songs like "Peer Pressure," "Me And My Crew" and "Hit It From The Back" that transport the listener to where they come from. Havoc, who is from Queensbridge Queens and Prodigy, a Hempstead Long Island native, met in 1990, when they were students at New York City's High School of Art and Design. "I was in the 10th grade," recalls Havoc. "He was in the 9th. We both used to battle in the lunchroom. One time we went against each other, and because we were real short - we're both just over five feet - everybody said we'd look good together. So we collaborated, and it worked out." The pair began cutting demos. Then, after performing in a number of talent shows, tracking a phat promo for WBLS New York's weekend rap show, and getting ink in The Source "Unsigned Hype" column, they got a rep. Later, Mobb Deep (whose name represents how they roll with their crew) found themselves in the middle of a label bidding war. "It took a while for things to happen for us," says Prodigy, 'but we're happy with the way things turned out'." - 1993

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Wilma Vritra "Burd" (Album Stream)


"Wilma Vritra have landed with Burd, a trans-atlantic collaboration between London based artist Wilma Archer (Domino) and LA based rapper Pyramid Vritra (Odd Future / Stones Throw). Their debut LP serves as an ode to these chaotic times, navigating seamlessly through genre and self preservation. Burd took flight as a remote collaboration; Wilma writing in Newcastle and London, Vritra writing in LA. Archer then flew out to LA and finished the bulk of the record at Vritra’s place in Long Beach as well as a few days in Daddy Kev’s infamous ‘Cosmic Zoo’ studio. The finishing touches were laid down in London and rounded off with artwork by Swedish artist Joakim Ojanen."

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Awon "Soulapowa" (Album Stream)


I woke up to the incredible sounds of soul pumpin' through my speakers today. Yup, I stretched my arms at 6:15am, saw an e-mail that the new Awon album was released and 'popped' it in to get my day started. Some jazzy keys, a nice break... my eyes are opening... then the bars come in - "...the first amendment, exercised with a criminal vision..." - my day is off to a great start! Peace to my brother from Philly, Dread Solo, on the production for "Dark Roast," which ends with a proper applause. MZ Boom Bap is up next, and when the cuts come in after Awon's first verse, it levels up. This is feeling like Awon's sharpest and most concise effort thus far. "Keep it real, that's that..." (Peace to N.O.R.E.) By the time the soulful chop from Phoniks bleeds through the speakers, I'm floating through my morning rituals. I had to pause the album to cop the CD and show support...


The LP's AZ-like feature comes from Houston, TX's Anti-Lilly on two cuts. His message is always on point and breathes added life into the project. All in all, if you've been a fan from day one or this is the first time hearing Awon's music, this project has a timeless feel to it and while I must sit with it to break down and digest the lyrics properly, I'm standing firm that this may be his best project released to date. I'm gonna fire off a text to let him know how I appreciated his album as the sun starts to peak through. I hope the rest of the world is waking up with me, as Awon ironically says "...sleep while you alive and wake up in a coffin..." lol. I hear you, brother. Listen below...

Monday, April 01, 2019

SicknessMP "Namaste" (Instrumental Album)


SicknessMP is a producer from Pacitan, Indonesia. This instrumental project is entitled "Namaste," released through the niche German label, Postpartum Records on limited (250 copies) vinyl. SicknessMP's production ranges from jazzy-boombap, funk, ambient and his own flavor of experimentation using the MPC. If you dig instrumental albums, give this project a listen below...

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Rest In Peace, Nipsey Hussle (March 31, 2019)


"We are at a great loss today. This hurts. Straight to the point. It’s dangerous to be an MC. Dangerous to be a b-ball player. It’s dangerous to have money. Dangerous To Be A Black Man. So much hatred. We live like our brothers and sisters in third world countries live. Right in America. Decisions we make about our own life be based on decisions cuz we might not live. Its so deep rooted. It’s not a easy fix. Hard to fix anything when kids are still living in poverty. I ain’t shutting up though, Nipsey is a True voice. He will never be silenced. He still is A stand up General for the People who never left his people. He is Loved by the people. Prayers for his family. Let’s keep pushing Truth for The Man. Love You, King Nipsey Hussle / Ermias Asghedom Respectfully" - Nas // He was an authentic artist; truly forward-thinking, positive and ownership-minded - all of which made him an important voice for this generation. It's a truly sad day. My thoughts are with his loved ones. I know that he's inspired today's youth to be better, do better and that's a legacy. R.I.P.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

DJ Muggs & Mach-Hommy "Tuez-Les Tous" (Album Stream)


DJ Muggs teams up with the extremely elusive Mach-Hommy for a collab effort titled Tuez-Les Tous.... The New Jersey MC spits bristling rhymes over 12 tracks built out of hard-hitting production courtesy of the Cypress Hill beat maestro. Non-credited guests pop up on the gritty project, which includes assists from Meyhem Lauren, Your Old Droog, and more. "Mach-Hommy moves with grace and ease through the creative process, and he has an intelligence that comes along very few and far between," Muggs previously told Billboard. "There are originators, and there are imitators. Mach-Hommy is one of one." I'm not too familiar with Mach-Hommy, but I'm tuned in...

Friday, March 29, 2019

Choosey & Exile "Black Beans" (Album Stream)


"Hailing from LA by way of San Diego, Choosey uses Black Beans to make important statements in favor of black and brown unity at a time when his voice is most needed. Autobiographical moments like “I Did” follow in the footsteps of Exile produced masterpieces including Blu’s Below The Heavens and Fashawn’s Boy Meets World, as his soulful beats have always brought honesty and introspection out of the Dirty Science crew. Black Beans captures the feeling of the beautiful struggle while navigating life’s potholes throughout sunny Southern California. Taking the good with the bad, Choosey honors family and his significant other while attacking society’s ills including police brutality and gentrification. Though Black Beans is consistent with Exile’s sound, with this effort, he sampled from a number of sources and an era that best reflects Choosey’s story personally. Combining street smarts and book smarts, the album is sure to impact listeners as he’s a testament to following his dreams while surviving everything from the daily rat race to coming up in territories surrounded by gang activity." This is a really dope album, sit and digest this one below...

Friday, March 29, 2019

EPMD "Business Partners" (Vibe, 8/08)


EPMD brings the suburbs to hip-hop - and the funk to the party: "Sporting fishermen hats and a slack style, Long Island duo EPMD's debut, Strictly Business (Priority), was the first hip-hop album to celebrate the splendor of suburbia. "It was the Just-Ice single 'Latoya' that inspired us to rap in the first place, but we didn't come from the same kind of environment," says Parrish Smith. "Me and Erick Sermon grew up near the water, so we thought the caps would best represent where we came from. We were confident in our skills, so we had no problem being different." Signed to the now-defunct Sleeping Bag Records (where labelmates included Mantronix, Just-Ice, Cash Money & Marvelous and Nice & Smooth), the duo's first demo contained the original mixes of "It's My Thing" and "You're a Customer." Laughing at the memory, Smith says, "We didn't even know what samplers were then. We recorded everything on tape and spliced it together later." While their name stood for Erick and Parrish Making Dollars, the moniker EPMD soon became synonymous with soulful samples and computerized funk... the Sermon/Smith style laid the sonic foundation for Dr. Dre's soon-to-come G-Funk." An example of that is their smash "You Gots To Chill," watch below...


"Indeed, famed West Coast radio station 93.5 KDAY, whose program director Greg Mack was instrumental in helping Los Angeles develop its own hip-hop aesthetic, was one of the first to play "It's My Thing." Virgil Simms, Sleeping Bag's then vice president of promotion, says, "Mr. Magic and Marley Marl showed us much love at home in New York, but it was the reaction from KDAY's audience that helped break that single. We had the clubs on lock." ... Sermon says the group just flipped the records they liked. "Strictly Business was recorded and finished in two weeks at producer Charlie Marotta's studio," says Sermon, who experienced solo and group success with Def Squad after the group split in 1993. "Me and Parrish wasn't using James Brown samples because we were listening to different kinds of things; we simply sampled what we were feeling." ... Touring and working ... the boys from Brentwood are back together - and still about their business." - Vibe

Friday, March 22, 2019

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien "Press Kit" (1991)


How Funkee can one Homosapien be? "With clever rhymes and a humorous style, DEL tha funky homosapien is staking his claim on the hip hop scene, as well as reclaiming his home, on his debut single "Sleeping On My Couch (And I'm Tired of That)." Over a fat mid-tempo beat, funky horns and live piano riffs, Del orders his homies to stop freeloading at his crib, eating his food and playing his video games: "And you can save your crocodile tears / Don't even start with the sob stories / I got enough from the other seven brothers / In the den playing Genesis / Damn I can't win at this." With the Bridges of Funkenstein, former background singers for Parliment-Funkadelic, picking up the chorus, it's a sound that's straight up funk." Peep the visuals to the track, cont'd below...


"Hailing from Oaktown (Oakland, CA), Del's sound is distinctive from West Coast hip hop. Along with his crew, the HIEROGLYPHICS (Randy (DJ), Kwame, CM-PX, Bert, Kalif, and The Emperor), Del combines clever lyrics with an amusing, offbeat delivery. With Ice Cube and DJ Pooh at the helm, Del's production style combines 70's P-Funk with 90's hip hop to form a new sound that can only be described as "D-Funk." Although he's 18 years old, Del is definitely not a new jack. He co-wrote "Jackin' For Beats" and "Make Way For The Motherlode" for Yo-Yo. He also makes an appearance on Cube's Amerikkka's Most Wanted, calling in on a simulated radio talk show to say "F#ck the radio!" But radio most definitely will be funkin' with Del on the "Sleeping On My Couch," and the radio-friendly tracks from his soon to be released debut album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Street Knowledge/Elektra Entertainment), 'cause Del's too dope to ignore." - Press Kit, '91


Not to gloss over it, the press release (1991) confirms that Del co-wrote his cousin Ice Cube's "Jackin' For Beats," at the young age of 17-18. It's clear that Ice Cube doesn't need a ghostwriter, yet he threw Del work (for Cube and Yo-Yo), trusting that his pen was strong enough to write for one of the greatest lyricists of all-time and a true pioneer in music as a whole. That's as impressive a stat as you could ask from an artist that had yet to release their debut single. To repay the favor, I believe Ice Cube played a role in writing one of Del's break-out tracks, "Dr. Bombay," also on I Wish My Brother George Was Here. They kept the money in the family! Watch the visuals below...


The original press release, as well as the Dr. Bombay one-sheet are below.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

AnOtter "Stroopwafels: Banana Caramel" (Instrumental Album)


AnOtter is a beatmaker and photographer from the Netherlands. His production is heavily influenced by Hip Hop, but with inspiration also drawn from every kind of music genre. His latest instrumental album is the second installment in a series of releases entitled "Stroopwafels," where AnOtter will release instrumental projects named after the many flavors that exist; in this case "Banana Caramel." He shares, "The album had a little bit of a melancholy feeling to it, and some very smooth beats. Sometimes I put drums a little bit to the back and the sample more upfront." I missed the first in the series, you can check it out HERE as well. Grab your paper, a cup of coffee, and listen...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Recognize Ali & Icon Curties "Ghost Protocol" (EP Stream)


Producer Icon Curties and lyricist Recognize Ali drop a dope, but quick 5-track EP entitled "Ghost Protocol." If you haven't heard Icon Curties' "Modus Operandi" production album or Recognize Ali's "God's Vision LP," then be sure to hit the tags and get familiar with those projects too...

Monday, March 11, 2019

Blu & Oh No "A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night"


"The work of acclaimed L.A. rapper Blu is a hip-hop time capsule perfectly embodying the vibrant culture of the City of Angels. With no signs of slowing down, the talented artist continues to supply listeners with vivid lyrical imagery over exceptional production. The latest addition to his catalog is A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night, a new album entirely produced by Oh No. The son of singer Otis Jackson and younger brother of beat god Madlib, Oh No has been among the most consistently relevant artists on the independent hip-hop scene since the release of his influential debut album 15 years ago. Now, these two unique and innovative artists are joining forces for an impressive full-length album. With Oh No’s dynamic, soulful production setting the stage, Blu’s effortless flows and streetwise storytelling are on full display." - Nature Sounds Music.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

D. Brash & Big Ghost Ltd. "Chicaghost" (Album Stream)


I know absolutely nothing about this release, aside from the fact that the good homie Big Ghost Ltd. handled the production, and guest what... that's all I needed to know for me to cop and support it. Not surprisingly, it's a solid listen throughout - hard production and solid rhymes from Chicago lyricist, D. Brash. The project features Vic Spencer, Chris Crack, etc. No hard-sell here, just listen...

Saturday, March 09, 2019

DJ Soul "THINK B.I.G." (Mix, 2017)


On March 10, 2017, DJ Soul recorded a tribute mix for The Notorious B.I.G. mix on Q-Tip's Beats1 radio show, "Abstract Radio." The mix consists of all original material that B.I.G. recorded when he was alive - demos, freestyles, B-sides, original version of album cuts, singles as well as original samples. It's roughly two hours long and was released today by DJ Soul. You can't go wrong with a Biggie mix, so click play and enjoy one of the best to ever do it.... Rest In Peace, B.I.G.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Flatpocket "Dispo II Dispo" (Instrumental Album)


Twit One and Lazy Jones are the German production duo Flatpocket, and their latest beat tape is called Dispo II Dispo, which translates to "Overdraft to Overdraft" in English. It serves as a follow-up to their 2012 debut album "Geldfundphantasyen," which means "Finding Money Fantasies" in German. According to their press release, "Even though Flatpocket talk about money all the time through samples and made-up dialogues, the subject is actually the rejection of materialism" from their perspective. A mix of dope breaks, vocal chops, keys and more; it has a couple light features sprinkled in to make it a continuously dope and entertaining listen. My sleeper choice, listen below...

Friday, March 08, 2019

DJ Filthy Rich "Hard To Earn" (25th Anniversary Mix)


From DJ Filthy Rich, "DJ Premier & Guru (R.I.P.), the duo more popularly known as Gang Starr, released their 4th album 'Hard To Earn' on March 8, 1994. Tired of being labeled as 'jazz-rap', Preemo decided to move away from sampling jazz records, and instead opted for a stripped down style of production. The result was a raw, harder hitting sound, and arguably their best album ever. 'Hard To Earn' is near & dear to me, so I had to get back in the lab and record this 25-year tribute to this legendary album. I've gathered their hits, album cuts & b-sides, and combined them with some original samples, interview soundbites, and my own custom blends. ARTWORK by @tooncrew"

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

RZA "The RZA Hits" (Press Kit, 1999)


"Razor Sharp / Epic presents The RZA Hits, fourteen ear-melting highlights from the everlasting Wu-Tang legacy. Compiled here for hip-hop fiends, clueless non-believers, Wu completists and rap newcomers are some of the most memorable cuts out of the Clan compound. The RZA Hits offers living proof of the power, magnitude and influence the RZA and his cohorts have had on hip-hop since they burst from the underground back in 1992. Sprinkled with engaging narration courtesy of the RZA, the RZA Hits extracts from six entries in the mighty Wu-Tang group/solo album catalog: their classic debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers); Method Man's Tical; Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version; Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Link; GZA's Liquid Swords, and Ghostface Killah's Ironman." - via Razor Sharp/Epic Press Release, 1999.


Of all the classic cuts included, the only track not produced by the RZA is "Brooklyn Zoo," which was done by True Master & Ol' Dirty Bastard. The compilation was released in 1999, and aside from maybe "Wu Wear" and "Winter Warz," which was snuck on Ironman after the Don't Be A Menace soundtrack, any real head been had all these cuts. But, if you need an excuse to revisit these classic cuts, today I'd start with "Ain't Nuttin Ta F Wit" below and fall down the YouTube rabbit hole.