Sunday, June 30, 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...

Friday, June 28, 2019

YBN Cordae "The Lost Boy" (Album Stream)

I knew nothing about YBN Cordae when his debut project hit my inbox, but the album's title, "The Lost Boy," suggested a depth to the content that peeked my interest. I was not all disappointed and it's proof to me that there is a lot of talent in the new crop of eMCees, but like anything, you have to give it a shot and do some digging. At just 21 years old, he reps out of North Carolina and Maryland with influences rooted in 90s underground hip-hop and tackles subject matter that ranges from death and addiction to love and success. There's an old soul approach in his self-reflection and discovery, as well as the backdrops to some of the music. No doubt there's a lot of mainstream reach but give this one a chance below. I expect to see it on year end lists.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Alchemist x Mobb Deep "Built To Last" (Mix)

The 'Built To Last' Radio Show is hosted by Corrado and I Joe, each Thursday from 8-9pm on Radio campus FM in Toulouse, France. The latest mix in their series of tributes to classic emcees and producers is this Infamous Mobb Deep set, featuring production from The Alchemist. One of the best combinations in rap history, the chemistry that Alc, Hav & P had in the studio was near unmatched. You definitely wanna dig into the tags and listen to all the other quality mixes from Built To Last. Rest in Paradise, Prodigy: Hip-Hop misses your voice and perspective in music. Dig in below.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Ill Conscious "Logistix" (Album Stream)

Baltimore wordsmith, Ill Conscious, is back with his latest effort, Logistix. 11-tracks of superb beats and sharp rhymes featuring fellow lyricists Jay Royale, Code Nine, Recognize Ali, J. Scienide, Supreme Cerebral, and more. Ill Conscious is a superior eMCee and he enlists some of the best in the underground to join him on this record, do not hesitate to purchase it via Bandcamp. Listen below and dig into the tags to go back through his catalog of great releases if you haven't already!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Public Enemy "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back"

Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to hold Us back Spin Magazine
Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to hold Us back Spin Magazine

In 1988, Public Enemy released their sophomore album, 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,' through Def Jam Records. I'd bet some of you weren't even alive when this album dropped. In The Source's 100th issue in 1998, they ranked 'It Takes a Nation...' as the Best Album ... ever! When you consider the impact its had on people and the culture, Public Enemy earned that spot with this album. I included the original review in Spin Magazine in 1988 above, but I also refer to a separate Vibe article in '04 where they looked back at the album and said: 'Chuck and Flav were perhaps the oddest couple in rap history. On their sophomore release, along with Terminator X, Professor Griff, and the SW1, Public Enemy waged a fiery war of words on the powers that be over superior tracks from Hank Shocklee and the Bomb Squad. With this mighty LP, Public Enemy birthed a nation of revolutionaries.' Yes, Yes and Yes. On a personal note, I wrote Chuck D an e-mail many years ago asking for support on an initiative, and he responded ... on his birthday ... in a foreign country ... and gave me true words of encouragement, as well as a quote that I could use in the one-sheet for the project. He's on the front lines and has my eternal respect for all his pioneering contributions. 'I'm even lethal when I'm unarmed / Cause I'm louder than a bomb...' Watch the video below...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Benny The Butcher "The Plugs I Met" (EP Stream)

The Plugs I Met is latest EP from the Buffalo MC Benny The Butcher, featuring Black Thought, Pusha-T, Jadakiss, Conway The Machine, 38 Spesh and production from The Alchemist, Daringer, and more. In this realm of music, this is certainly one of the best projects of the year and fans will definitely enjoy all 25 minutes of beats and lyrics. You can stream the EP below via Spotify.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Apollo Brown "Anthology" (Mixed by Soulmind)

One of the best producers to come up in the last 10+ years, Apollo Brown represents the soul of Motown and the hard drums that make Detroit a premiere location for Hip-Hop music. Berlin's Soulmind has compiled this "Anthology" running through Apollo Brown's prolific catalog of music. From instrumental albums to collaborative projects with some of the best lyricists in music and still finding time to craft cohesive production albums, Apollo's work ethic puts him in a class of his own. The "Anthology" features tracks with Planet Asia, Boog Brown, Invincible, Guilty Simpson, Hassaan Mackey, Skyzoo, Ghostface Killah, The Left, Ras Kass, Masta Ace, Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, and more. Much respect to Apollo Brown, who I'm thankful to have a relationship with - built out of mutual respect - and I am glad to see him continue to win out here. Oh, and Happy Born Day, brother! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Roc Marciano "The Prequel LP" (Album Stream)

The Prequel LP is a collection of hidden jewels from New York's legendary producer/emcee Roc Marciano. Featuring rarities never before released on vinyl, this necessary piece of the Roc Marciano catalog boasts production from the man himself, as well as fellow east coast legend, Just Blaze. I can only find a YouTube link with audio, so I'm trusting this a vinyl-exclusive LP. Listen below.

Monday, June 17, 2019

"Ayo, fam, you listen to hip-hop?"

"Ayo, fam, you listen to hip-hop?" = an ongoing joke with those of us who spent years working at Fat Beats in New York City. It seems that joke made its way to North Carolina back in 2005 when Little Brother (Phonte, Rapper Big Pooh and 9th Wonder) released their second classic, 'The Minstrel Show.' In this October issue of Vibe Magazine, they took to the Virgin Megastore - another known spot for independent artists to hustle their music - and saw what kind of love their music would get in the Rotten Apple. Off the strength of the banging single, "Lovin' It," you would think it would have been an easy sale, right? You'll have to follow Pooh or Phonte on Twitter to ask them about that, this post is really just a reminder of old days and old jokes, that still resonate. So, do you listen to hip-hop? If so, take a walk down memory lane and pop this in your deck.

Monday, June 17, 2019

DJ Pizzo "The Arrival Of Kendrick Lamar" (Mixtape, 2013)

“The Arrival Of Kendrick Lamar” by DJ Pizzo pays homage to those mid-90’s Mister Cee mixtapes like “The Best Of Biggie” and “The Best Of Redman”, this “tape” collects many of the b-sides, remixes, and collaborations from Kendrick Lamar from his days on the come-up. Mixed by DJ Pizzo (originally of HipHopSite) who chose the title “The Arrival Of Kendrick Lamar” for two reasons 1) He always thought those “Best Of” titles were a bit inaccurate, because these tapes were usually made up of all of the tracks the artist threw away. 2) 2012 was the year Kendrick Lamar truly “arrived”, so this mix reflects that. "Along with all of the blog bangers, there’s also a few exclusive Pizzo edits and some trap remixes as well. Fully mixed and blended. None of that broken-glass-sound-effect-as-a-transition-bullshit." Pizzo is now doing great things with Medium at Cuepoint.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

DJ Self "Let The Lox Go!" (Mixtape, 2000)

"At the time, it seemed like a fatal move. No one in his right mind would leave Bad Boy Records, then an indomitable force in the music industry. But Jayson (Jadakiss) Phillips, David Styles and Sean (Sheek) Jacobs of the hard-core rap group the Lox left and haven't looked back. "We're just happy to be free," says Jacobs. "We weren't the real Lox before, but this time it's us, 100%." ... "We couldn't say what we wanted to say, we couldn't write what we wanted to write" ... "You can't work when you're uncomfortable." Repeated requests to get out of their contract fell on deaf ears. So the group went public with their grievances and launched an unprecedented grass-roots campaign, complete with "Lex the Lox Go" picket signs, posters and T-shirts. Things came to a head in June at Hot 97's "Summer Jam" concert when the group performed in their protest T-shirts. Bad Boy honcho Sean (Puffy) Combs was there, and he was not pleased. He let the lox go in September. "We're the first hip-hop group to go against the powers that be with the power of the people," says Styles. "Too many [bleepers] in the industry don't do what they gotta do. They're too afraid of ending up back in the 'hood - but we ain't." Rhyming together since their high-school days in Yonkers, the Lox (it stands for "Living off experience") are tight enough to finish each other's sentences. Phillips, 24, has a sly grin and the group's most distinctive voice; it sounds gritty, as if he gargles with gravel. Jacobs, 25, is the friendliest in the crew. Not one for youthful shenanigans, he keeps the troops in line. As for Styles - well, the name says it all.... Tattoos that say "hope for the best, but expect the worst" cover his forearms. Honing their skills in local talent shows and on mix tapes, the Lox earned a reputation for delivering rough, true-to-ghetto-life narratives... "We were watered down," admits Jacobs. "Bad Boy's image was flossy. But we've always been - straight underground, straight ghetto." Now, the Lox is ready to prove they're worth the rumored $2.5 million that Interscope paid for their freedom...." - NY Daily News. Listen to DJ Self's "Let the Lox Go" mixtape below, which provides some more to the story, from an audio point of view. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Rest In Peace, Bushwick Bill

It shouldn't be lost on the hip-hop community that Bushwick Bill was one of our beloved stars. His role with the Geto Boys wasn't necessarily the stand-out MC or writer, but his flavor was felt on the tracks he touched and his delivery + presence brought tracks like "My Minds Playin Tricks" to life for fans like me who saw the visuals and that's what catapulted that record to be a worldwide hit. His legacy carried beyond that and while his antics may have overshadowed much of his career, I gotta salute him and say that I hope Scarface and Willie D are able to honor him and the bond they had through music, however damaged it may have been in later years. Rest in Peace, Bushwick Bill.

Monday, June 10, 2019

DJ 7L "Saucony 1994 Aya Mix" (Mixtape)

My apologies to DJ 7L, an incredible artist and DJ, who put this mixtape together, because I didn't use the original artwork. I've never been the biggest Saucony fan, so while I'm glad that the Saucony Aya release coincided with a lot of phenomenal music in 1994 to inspire this tribute mix, I didn't wanna get caught up on that and instead go straight to the music. You can expect joints from Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Black Moon, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, the Fugees, Keith Murray, Lady of Rage, Craig Mack (R.I.P.), The Notorious B.I.G. (R.I.P.), Ill Al Skratch and more. Listen below...

Saturday, June 08, 2019

A-Trak "Kanye's Soul Mix Show" (Mixtape, 2006)

Released in 2006, A-Trak states that “This was a mixtape Kanye’s team had me do for some Japanese label.” He describes the mixtape as “a collection of songs sampled, flipped my way, of course.” Before A-Track's status as an award winning DJ and successful executive, he was Kanye West's tour DJ. In a 2015 interview with Pitchfork, the Canadian native elaborates on how he gained the trust of Mr. West and became one of his most trusted ears for music and fashion. A-Trak has credits on a few of Kanye's biggest hits, like “Gold Digger”, “Stronger”, and “Robocop”. Narrated by Kanye himself, this mix is stacked Ye-produced classics from the early 2000s. The Fools Gold's founder flexes his scratching abilities over soulful samples from Nina Simone, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and a few others. From “Heart in the City” to “Through the Wire,” take a stroll down memory lane where you'll hear the original cuts from your favorite tracks. This soul mix is a must-listen for any lover of Kanye, samples, or good vibes only. Wish Kanye West a Happy Born Day, and listen below!