Monday, April 06, 2020

DJ Smooth Denali "I Got A Story To Tell" (Mixtape)

When you think about Hip-Hop's greatest storyteller, you undoubtedly think of the legendary Slick Rick, but how about Nas, Kool G Rap, The Notorious B.I.G., The Pharcyde and more of the genre's more elite storytelling lyricists? Well, sit back and enjoy this throwback mix from DJ Smooth Denali, who compiled a mix of some of the best tracks from those artists, along with Noreaga, Jay-Z, Redman, Lost Boyz, The Firm, Diamond D, Cru, Snoop Doggy Dogg, EPMD, Common, Eric B. & Rakim, and some exclusive blends mixed in!! Also, if you haven't checked out Irv Gotti's TV show, Tales, they turn classic records into hour long mini-movies - it's a dope concept with some unique concept flips. Whoever did the artwork for this mixtape needs to put some respek on Biggie's name, but all jokes aside, enjoy DJ Smooth Denali's "I Got A Story To Tell" mix from a couple years ago, and please wish him continued health as a (colon) cancer survivor. Stay blessed and healthy, sir! Salute.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Jay-Z "Dead Presidents" (The Source, 4/96)

"Jay-Z is an MC outta Brooklyn whose "Dead Presidents" has already gotten much airplay on NY's Hot 97. The cut works off a smooth piano loop and a sample of Nas' famous line: "I'm out for dead presidents to represent me." But it stands out from your average radio jam because of Jay-Z's tight flow and deep lyrics. "Dead Presidents" is not the typical loot tribute that we've come to expect, but an intelligent, cautionary tale: "I'm here to tell n!ggas that it ain't all swell / there's heaven, then there's hell / one day you're cruising in your 7 / next day you're sweatin' forgetting your lies / alibis ain't matchin' up / bullshit catchin' up." Peep the Ski-produced Dead Presidents...

"The B-side, "Ain't No N!gga," uses the same beat that the Alkaholiks wrecked on "Only When I'm Drunk." The extra catchy chorus has a female / male dialogue - "Ain't no n!gga like the one I got / No one can f#ck you better" - that you won't be able to get out of your head. Here Jay-Z displays his impressive tongue twisting skills as he details his honey slayin' exploits. But the track is almost stolen by guest rapper Foxy Brown, who made a name for herself on LL Cool J's "I Shot Ya" remix. Her x-rated lyrics will have brothers jumping for the rewind button. Jay-Z has delivered two very tight jams, and his full length joint, Reasonable Doubt, should be one to check for." - The Source

If you'd rather read it directly from the source, or save a copy, check it out below.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Jaguar Skills "Hip-Hop Time Bomb: 2000" (Mix)

Jaguar Skills hits right back with another hour-long mix! This time tackling the year 2000 with tracks featuring Ghostface Killah, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Xzibit, Black Rob, Big L, Royce Da 5'9, Eminem, Terror Squad, Common, The LOX, Jay-Z, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Reflection Eternal, The Beatnuts, Dead Prez, Necro, Shyne, OutKast, M.O.P., Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Big Pun, and lots of original samples mixed throughout... Peace to DJ Step One for doing the history on this one. 

Friday, April 03, 2020

The U.N. "World Domination" (The Mixtape)

The U.N. was a Long Island-based group consisting of Dino Brave, Mike Raw, Laku and Roc Marciano, whom had just separated from Busta Rhyme's Flipmode Squad to focus on The UN at the time. Having first appeared on Pete Rock's Petestrumentals album in 2001, the group had a solid co-sign entering the game with two cuts on what was otherwise an instrumental album from Pete Rock. As we awaited their debut LP, which would later be titled "UN or U Out" on Carson Daily's 456 Entertainment, the group released a slept-on mixtape called "World Domination" also in 2001. The street album/mixtape featured the cuts off Petestrumentals, as well as unpolished versions of tracks that would later appear on the LP, exclusive freestyles, tracks and remixes. Both the mixtape and LP raised their popularity in the streets, but gained very little mainstream attention. The UN also presented Roc Marciano's "Strength And Honor" mixtape independently in 2004, which kicked off with his self-produced "L.I. Stand Up;" a stand-out track in his catalog. Roc Marci re-emerged in 2010 with Marcberg, one of the rawest and grittiest albums of this generation, and created a sound coming out of New York that has carried its trend to the present day. On a somber note, I received a text earlier today that said that Mike Raw had passed away, so I wanted to share this project in his memory. His raspy delivery and solid production were integral pieces of The UN's appeal. Uniondale, Long Island stand up! Rest In Peace, Michael Marr aka Mike Raw! Listen below...

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

Nipsey Hussle x DJ Premier "The Premier Hussle" (Mixtape)

Several thousand people showed up to the Staples Center to honor the memory of Nipsey Hussle after his tragic death 1 year ago. He was shot and killed right outside the very clothing store that he owned and operated, but as an artist and community activist, Nipsey Hussle created a legacy that will be felt for generations of people who were inspired by his message of ownership, independence and persistence in the face of adversity. It's important to celebrate those we love while they're here, but it's also important to remember and honor their memory in absence, too. This project by Altered Crates was released 11 months ago, mixing Nipsey Hussle vocals and DJ Premier's beats - you may enjoy it and it'll give a chance to hear his voice in a unique way. R.I.P., Nipsey Hussle.

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.