Tuesday, March 31, 2020

J.Period "Rage Is Back" (The Mixtape)

J.Period presents Rage Is Back, a mixtape featuring exclusive cuts/freestyles from Black Thought, Common, Blu, Talib Kweli, The Kid Daytona, and Shad! It also features tracks from Nas & Alicia Keys, Steele, Sean P & Styles, Q-Tip, GZA, Mobb Deep, Joey Bada$$ and a whole lot more. The exclusive cuts had been released prior, but now we have the full mix to sit with and enjoy. J.Period's mixes are always high-quality with lots of exclusive content, so enjoy Rage Is Back streaming below.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

J.Period Presents "The Abstract Lost Tapes" (Q-Tip Mix)

This is volume 2 of J.Period's (Abstract) Best series, dedicated to the legendary Queens MC and producer, Q-Tip. The mix features an ill freestyle by Black Thought over Tribe's Steve Biko, as well as the unreleased Q-Tip for President, Renaissance Rap with Busta, Raekwon and Lil Wayne, as well as a bunch of remixes, exclusives and more with Zion I, De La Soul, The Roots, Nas, Slum Village and a lot more. Much respect to Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and Rest in Peace, Phife Dawg.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

ODB "Unique: 'Return to The 36 Chambers" (Documentary)

Amazon Music celebrates the 25th anniversary of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s landmark debut solo album with "Unique: 'Return to The 36 Chambers: 25 Years Later". Released March 28th, 1995 this documentary traces Ol Dirty Bastard’s rise from unsigned hype to household name, exploring key moments in the rapper’s life and the music that defined his debut solo record - from ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ to ‘Brooklyn Zoo.’ Unique features freestyles and never-before-seen footage of the artist born Russell Jones, whose iconic and zany rhyming style catapulted him into the mainstream. The documentary also features interviews from Wu members Raekwon, RZA, and appearances from ODB’s widow, Icelene Jones, Barson Unique Jones (also known as the Young Dirty Bastard), Bobbito Garcia, and more, like Dante Ross, who has some great insight on the album and hip-hop history as a whole: i.e. ODB pissing on LL Cool J's plaque at Chung King studios, which is a story that won't make this documentary but is incredible, lol. A key takeaway is RZA sharing that Shimmy Shimmy Ya "was basically done in my bedroom that in daytime it was a studio, at nighttime I would roll this mat on the floor and me and my family would sleep on the floor. So it’s ironic. It was the last poverty recording.” Amazing! Celebrate the life of Ol' Dirty Bastard and watch the documentary below. 

R.I.P. Russell Tyrone Jones aka Ol' Dirty Bastard.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Big L "Lifestylez Ov Door Poor & Dangerous" (Press Kit)

Big L Columbia Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous Publicity Photo Press Kit Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Here's the text from the original press kit that was sent out in advance of Big L's 'Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous,' which turned 25 today: "1994 will go down in hip-hop history as the year the East Coast returned to reclaim its spot in the rap world. And with the emergence and success of Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan, Brooklyn’s Notorious Big, and Queens’ Nas, the foundation has now been set for the 1995 debut from an uncompromising MC from New York’s forgotten rap borough. Representing Manhattan, or more specifically, 139 Lenox, Harlem U.S.A., is 19-year old Big L; a lyrical terrorist whose debut is sure to put him in the same class as this next school of dope MC’s. But, this type of recognition and acceptance was hard to earn and didn’t come easy to Big L. Dropping undeniably dope verses on Lord Finesse’s ‘Yes You May’ remix as well as on Showbiz & AG’s ‘Represent’ (his first appearances on wax) gained him mad props from thousands of underground hip hop fans but it didn’t necessarily help him gain his own record deal as quickly as he anticipated. ‘A lot of labels didn’t want to sign me at first,’ Big L recalls. ‘I was about ready to give up cause I was like ‘damn, I don’t understand.’ I knew I was better than 99% of the rappers that are signed.’ Big L feels the reason for his initial inability to land a recording contract didn’t have anything to do with lyrical skills or talent but was the result of his lack of an image or gimmick that could be sold to the public. Big L is nothing but a pure MC. A master of ceremonies. The essence of what hip hop was built on.” Also, see my post for the Mr. MVP EP and Rest in Peace, Big L. Additionally, "Just The Facts" is below... (Reposted 3/28/2020, the 25th Anniversary of Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous).

Big L Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Brad "Scarface" Jordan (Greatest Rapper Of All-Time?)

With news of Brad "Scarface" Jordan testing positive for the coronavirus, it's important we lift him up in prayer, continue to give him his flowers while he can smell them and recognize him as potentially one of the greatest of all-time. To do so, let's look back on my brother Justin Hunte aka The Company Man's #TBDShow discussing Face: "Let’s do the math. 7 group albums since 1988 as part of the Geto Boys. One platinum (We Can’t Be Stopped). Two Gold. (Till Death Do Us Part & The Resurrection). 11 solo albums since 1991’s Mr. Scarface Is Back. 3 Platinum (The Diary, The Untouchable & My Homies). 4 Gold. At least 3 certified classics. The Geto Boys Grip It On Another Level received 5 Mics in The Source. The Fix received 5 mics in The Source. The Diary received a perfect score in The Source and XXL. Mr. Scarface Is Back is absolutely in a classic conversation. Super pioneering piece of work. We’ll get back to that. Face was honored by BET with the I AM Hip Hop Award in 2015. He won best lyricist of 2001 at The Source Awards, beating out Jay-Z, Eminem, Prodigy, and Talib Kweli. That’s a diverse ass class. 29 years. Incredible productivity. Commercial impact. Spilling critical acclaim. That combination helps put into context why Scarface is consistently considered your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Every region is littered with emcees that revere the legendary Brad Jordan. Scarface may be the greatest rapper of all time." Get well, Brad!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Happy Born Day, DJ Premier: Royalty!

Happy Born Day to true hip-hop royalty - the Greatest Of All-Time - DJ Premier! You can't find a more talented, more respectful and more principled man in this whole entire industry. A true giant in the culture and a towering exception to the rule that you should never meet your heroes. May he continue to rep the best of the culture and live a long, happy life. We love you, Preem! Salute OG. "Y’all mothaf#ckas really don’t know what this hip hop is all about... So while you keep on faking the funk, we gonna keep on walkin' through the darkness, carryin' our torches. Underground will live forever, baby! … And on that note, let's get back to the program…" Gang Starr, one of the best yet!

"Wherever I go, I want to take nothin' less than the best
Whatever I choose, I choose to do
I have to stand out from all the rest"

Update: Much respect and thanks to Preemo for sharing his 54th Birthday with us last night on IG Live. He blew out the candles on his cake and did an exclusive set with HOURS of dope music. He shared some exclusive joints like a remix for Madonna, an unreleased track he produced for KRS, dub tracks for Jeru The Damaja and all around just his funky selections of breaks, production, classics and more. During this pandemic, it lightened the mood and brought together a culture of hip-hop heads. Props to Apathy, Statik Selektah, Dstroy of the Arsonists, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, LL Cool J, Posdnuos, Fat Joe, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and so many others that were in the chat showing love to the legend. It felt like 1994 in there last night, a memory I won't forget. Royalty! 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Tribe Called Quest "The Anthology" (Promo Mixtape, 1999)

In 1999, this mixtape was a promotional (cassette) release for A Tribe Called Quest's "The Anthology" compilation. It was mixed by DJ Noise and features a solid intro, as well as cuts like Steve Biko, Push It Along, 1nce Again, Foot Prints, Buggin' Out, Mind Power, The Chase (Part 2), Oh My God, Busta's Lament and The Pressure. I think we can all agree that during these difficult times, we look back on better days and surely A Tribe Called Quest's music was the soundtrack to many of them (for me). With that said, dig into the short mix below and Rest In Peace, Phife Dawg.

If you want the full artwork, the back cover art is available below.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Adagio! "New York To Philly" (Album Stream)

Next up on "90's Tapes" is another grail from the Eastcoast, this time they are more than excited to present the first ever anthology of Adagio!'s classic cuts from the golden era. Adagio! (pronounced "A-dee-gee-o") stands for "A Definition of Ambition, Goals, Interest and Organization!". The Juggaknots-affiliated New York and Philadelphia based underground hip-hop duo consisting of Rayme Supreme (Raymond Fogle) and Big Cousin also known as The Obvious Wonder (Brian Pritchett aka Carta' P.) had a few 12" releases from 1996 that still appear on many wantlists. These are definitely some mid-90s underground bangers, check them out on all formats. - via Bandcamp

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Raekwon x Ghostface Killah "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 shows love to two of the greatest ever to bless the mic, Shaolin giants of the Wu-Tang Clan: Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Rae & Ghost have blessed us repeatedly over the years with their witty wordplay and clever rhymes, so dig into this fresh selection of tracks by Built To Last.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Shawn "Jay-Z" Corey Carter (Resume, 2008)

VIBE put together this resume in September, 2008 to highlight the achievements of one of the greatest of all-time: Jay-Z. With education from George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn and the school of hardknocks in the Marcy Projects, Billionaire Hov rose to become "An entrepreneur and recording artist who has established and led corporations and products to new levels of international success in a variety of industries and cutting-edge markets. Proven ability to create and mold a brand image and successfully convey that vision to the masses, resulting in significant growth of enterprise value." Who you know fresher than Hov'? Riddle me that. Is Jay-Z the G.O.A.T.?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Take It Personal Podcast "Indie Hip-Hop Tribute Pt.2"

Episode 60 is the 2nd installment of Take It Personal Radio's indie hip-hop tribute. This time they’re joined by Shawn J. Period, a major player in the indie movement. They discuss his days on Big Beat, his first group Down South and his collaborations with Mos Def, Heltah Skeltah, Da Bush Babees, Mad Skillz and The Artifacts. This is an XXL episode clocking in over 5 ½ hours of music and discussion. You'll hear joints from Company Flow, Kool Keith, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Non Phixon, MF DOOM, J-Live, Wee Bee Foolish, The Arsonists, Eminem, People Under The Stairs, 7L & Esoteric, Jedi Mind Tricks, Natural Elements, Godfather Don, Juggaknots, Royce Da 5’9, Pharoahe Monch, Common, Mr. Lif, Atmosphere and so much MORE! "If you were all up on IRC, AOL or Prodigy chat, copped records at Fat Beats after a slice of Joe's Pizza, maybe ordered from Sandboxautomatic or Hiphopsite and repped labels like Fondle ‘Em, Rawkus, Def Jux, Stones Throw, Hydra, GuessWyld, Eastern Conference, ABB, Anticon, Hiero or Rhymesayers, then THIS episode is for your!" Sincerely, the Take It Personal Crew. Much respect to the good homie, Philaflava. Listen below...

Monday, March 09, 2020

The Notorious B.I.G. "Ready To Die" (25th Ann. Mix by Filthy Rich)

"Today is the anniversary of one of Hip Hop’s darkest days. Much like a supernova, the rap world exploded and lost one of its brightest stars. March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, California was the day Christopher Wallace was robbed of his life at the young age of 24... His music is timeless, his reputation speaks for itself, and his legacy will live on forever."  - The Source. In remembrance of The Notorious B.I.G., DJ Filthy Rich released this 2-part tribute of Ready To Die mixes. The first was released on the 25th Anniversary of Ready To Die in September and the second part was released today on March 9th. Check out some original tracks, samples, blends and more. R.I.P. B.I.G.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

DJ Eclipse "Test The Hi Power" (Dancehall Mix)

Much thanks to DJ Eclipse, who put this classic Dancehall mix together for our listening pleasure. The 2-hour mix features tracks from Freddie McGregor, Shabba Ranks, Johnny Osbourne, Beres Hammond, Cutty Ranks, Ninjaman, and lots more. Plenty of classic records from the generation that helped birth the dancehall scene that crossed over and became a worldwide phenomenon.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Raekwon "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" (Classic Material)

"I started doin' my thing when I was like 15 or 16. Hallway style, in the staircases," recalls Raekwon The Chef, one of the Wu-Tang Clan's mightiest swords. "It was like a hobby back then. You know, punch the beatbox out with your face towards the wall." Straight from these humble recreational Staten Island beginnings (Rae's first crew was called the Rec Posse) rose one of the most important forces in the history of hip-hop: the Wu-Tang Clan.... Only Built was recorded in early 1995, mostly in the basement of RZA's newly-purchased Shaolin duplex. No nonsense involved, just beats and rhymes.... (Classic Material: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 1995). Rae breaks down a few classics below...

Monday, February 24, 2020

Real Bad Man "On High Alert, Vol.1" (EP Stream)

Real Bad Man is a clothing brand based in Los Angeles…known for bold psychedelic graphics that "sample" imagery from the worlds of music, art and genre films. Now Real Bad Man is making music too, taking the same ethos of their clothing and bringing it to rap music with their released of ON HIGH ALERT, Real Bad Man’s first official release coming out through Tuff Kong Records in Italy. The five song vinyl album features a curated blend of new as well as iconic MC’s such as Roc Marciano, Kool Keith, Eto, Maxo, Masta Ace, Flee Lord, A.G., Pink Siifu, and Sadat X rapping over beats produced and arranged by REAL BAD MAN. The album is filled with the type of sample-heavy hard drum rap beats you’d want to hear your favorite MC’s to spit over. Check it out below...

Friday, February 21, 2020

Take It Personal: Ras Kass Interview

On Episode 58 of Take It Personal Radio, they continue with Part 2 of their Homage to Collabos special. They’re joined by one of the greatest lyricists to bless the mic, Ras Kass. They discuss collaborating with Xzibit, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre and Saafir. Additionally, they learn about his relationship with Coolio and the initial concerns with appearing on Chino XL’s Riiot, as well as finding out 2Pac once requested 50 tickets to his show and learn what happened with The Horseman. Check out the dope interview down below. Props to Jason Gloss & the Take It Personal team.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Phoniks "Time Goes By" (Instrumental Album)

Coming off the heels of being highlighted in a new Netflix documentary called "Underdogs," Don't Sleep Records artist Phoniks is back at work releasing his new atmospheric instrumental tape titled "Time Goes By". Phoniks weaves foreign jazz loops, soundtracks and soul b-sides together with apocalyptic movie samples, DJ cuts and vinyl drums to form a cohesive 18-track album. Phoniks continues to evolve his sound, bringing more live instruments into the mix than on any of his previous projects. The album opens with jazz chords played off a midi keyboard, using sound design techniques to make them feel like they were sampled out of a dusty attic somewhere, before homogenizing with real vinyl loops as the beat drops. Despite the addition of more instruments, it's still the crate digging ability and ear for melodic jazz samples that drives the sound across the albums 41 minute runtime - via Bandcamp, stream it below. Don't Sleep!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ghostface "Supreme Clientele" (20th Ann. Mix by Filthy Rich)

20th Anniversary tribute mixtape of Ghostface's 'Supreme Clientele' by DJ Filthy Rich, featuring OG samples, flips, blends, rarities and b-sides. Filthy Rich says, "At the time, I didn't think Ghost would be able to top 'Ironman', especially during the year 2000, when a lot of the albums coming out were watered-down trash. Not only did he manage to beat the sophomore jinx and deliver his best LP, he gave us a Top 5 album from the whole Wu discography. 'Supreme Clientele' featured Ghost at his lyrical pinnacle, flowin' over bangers from RZA, Mathematics, Juju (The Beatnuts), Hass-G (UMC's), Carlos Broady, and even his barber Black Moes-Art. As I usually do on my tribute mixes, I included the original songs, and this is one of the strongest collections of soul/funk samples that I've ever seen on an LP. Just lookin at that album cover with Ghost holdin the old-school mic like he was the 5th member of the Chi-Lites... you just KNEW he was coming with the ill soul samples. Everything from The Dramatics to Gladys Knight to Baby Huey to Lyn Collins... all ingredients that went into making this opus. Happy 20th to Ghostface Killah's Supreme Clientele." Listen to the mix below.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Thorough "King Articulate" (Album Stream)

Queens MC Thorough returns with another standout project titled King Articulate. His last project Cassette Tape Malfunction was one of the more slept-on projects of 2019 - and Thorough Rhymes & Crazy Beats before that - but it was certainly well-received by readers of this site. King Articulate is an 11-track project with solid production handled by long-time collaborator CrazyBeatsP, as well as DJ Proof, the OG Pete Rock, as well as features from Illa Ghee, Sadat X and more. As an artist that appears to release music independently, I am surprised he doesn't utilize Bandcamp's platform in addition to the other streaming sites, but I'm sure he has his reasons. Listen via Spotify below and keep an eye on him, he's gonna continue to bubble up in the underground.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Natural Elements "1999" (20 Year Ann. Mix by DJ Eagle)

Natural Elements acquired a record deal with Tommy Boy Records in 1998, the same year they released their first single "2 Tons/Live It Up" under their indie division called Tommy Boy Black Label. The situation would soon turn out not to be ideal as Tommy Boy continually shelved their debut album due to not knowing how to market and promote them. Issues between the group and label would soon lead to Natural Elements leaving Tommy Boy. The debut album was ultimately never released in spite of the hype it accumulated. The group eventually took a small hiatus and disbanded due to personal issues. Kings Link Recordz released a compilation of tracks from those sessions in 2009 on CD only but this time around HHE will commemorate the legacy of Natural Elements by dropping it both on vinyl and CD. All the tracks have been fully mastered for both vinyl and CD as always and the artwork has been redone in the colours of the NY Knicks to represent their hometown to the fullest. The tracklist has been mildly redone, with a shuffled tracklist and the classic previously unreleased "Life Ain't Fair" track was added to the tracklist instead of "MTV". 

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Last Emperor "Gotta Have Love" (EP Stream)

Dope Folks Records are proud to announce their 99th release: The Last Emperor's "Gotta Have Love" EP. The Last Emperor is an elusive Philly-born MC who started to make waves in the underground movement of the late 90's. Moving to New York in the early 2000's, he began performing at open mic nights and became a protege of Dr. Dre. After being featured on KRS-One's "C.I.A" with Zach De La Rocha, The Last Emperor was signed to Rawkus Records. In the span of 6 months, a handful of singles were released and the label stopped putting out new music. Being without a label, The Last Emperor formed Red Planet Music to release his debut "Music, Magic, and Myth." We are excited to release these tracks from The Last Emperor's vaults! 8 tracks in all from the The Last Emperor's underground career. Pre -order your copy NOW via Dope Folks Records.

Friday, January 17, 2020

DJ M-1 "Habit Of A Lifetime" (Album Stream)

Dublin, Ireland's DJ M-1 has released his latest production album titled Habit Of A Lifetime. It's 13 tracks of M-1's production and scratches and featuring artists like Sadat X, Wildelux, LMNO, Glad2Mecha, Zilla Rocc and more. The interlude from my OG, DJ Eclipse, was oddly the first thing to catch my attention, because certainly his support is a trigger for me to listen more closely and I definitely found the project worth a closer listen. Much respect to the hip-hop scene out in Ireland, I know Rob Kelly has been holding it down and others too. Check out the project below...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Smif-N-Wessun "Dah Shinin" (25th Ann. Mix by Filthy Rich)

"Celebrating 25 years of Smif N Wessun's LP 'Dah Shinin'. Black Moon & Da Beatminerz laid the blueprint for the early 90's gritty BK sound, and Tek & Steele ran with it crafting this undeniable classic. Mr Rippa & Vicksta's patois-infused rhymes over hard drums & dark samples made this the soundtrack for winter of '95 and beyond. Not one skippable track! I always loved the way they effortlessly flowed back and forth, finishing each other's sentences. No one has ever done it better than the PNC's from Bucktown. Ya betta wreckonize!!" Props to the homie Filthy Rich.

Friday, January 10, 2020

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