Thursday, July 09, 2020

What Had Happened Was "De La Soul Episode" (Podcast)

Following the introduction to the podcast I posted earlier in the week, Open Mike Eagle and Prince Paul are back with Episode 2 of my favorite new podcast, What Had Happened Was. On this newest episode, Prince Paul tells legendary tales of the forming of De La Soul and the creation of their classic debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising in 1989. Prince Paul and Open Mike Eagle are two creative geniuses and this podcast is packed with amazing stories and pure comedy. I don't wanna ruin it by posting the cliff notes, lol, so dig into the podcast below and enjoy it for yourselves!

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Westside Gunn "Fly God Is An Awesome God 2" (Album Stream)

Westside Gunn is hard at work once again. Fans can never say they've had to wait long or hard for new music from the Buffalo native. Flygod Is An Awesome God II is the follow-up to his 2019 release. It arrives just a few short months after the release of his highly acclaimed Pray For Paris album. Word is, there are more videos from that project still scheduled to be released, but he's determined to keep feeding the streets with content. I can't blame him, his blueprint has led him and his team to great success thus far. The 14-track (33 minute) offering features Benny The Butcher, Keisha Plum, Stove God Cooks, Rome Streetz & more. I'm still playing catch-up on releases!

Monday, July 06, 2020

DJ DS "Independence Day" (Vol.1-2, Mixtape)

UK's DJ DS has released two mixes in his Independence Day series. The mixes feature independent, underground hip-hop tracks from the late 90s and early '00's on various independent labels. Artists featured on the mixes include Lace Da Booms, J Treds, Third Sight, Supernatural, Reflection Eternal, Mos Def, World Renown, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun, Medina Green, Sadat X, Shadez Of Brooklyn, and lots more. Check out Volume 1 and Volume 2 of DJ DS's Independence Day mix below...

Monday, July 06, 2020

What Had Happened Was "Gravediggaz/RZA Episode" (Podcast)

"As a comedian, podcast personality, and rapper, Open Mike Eagle has long followed his own path in entertainment. Through releases for respected hip-hop labels including Mello Music Group and Mush, as well as the recent Comedy Central series The New Negroes, he always finds ways to balance and blend his love for rap music and comedy. To that end, last week he announced via Twitter the launch of his podcast network Stony Island Audio. A partnership with Starburns Audio, the comedy platform behind programs like Harmontown and Small Doses With Amanda Seales, the first show to arrive is What Had Happened Was. The podcast’s focus and star is Prince Paul, whose groundbreaking work with De La Soul and Stetsasonic led to beloved projects including Gravediggaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School. Packed with stories of the industry and hip-hop lore, the interview series finds Mike discussing these and others aspects of the legendary producer’s discography with the man himself." - Forbes. The first episode: Gravediggaz/RZA is available now! They also announce that Blueprint and Illogic's Super Duty Tough Work will be joining the network. The pairing of Open Mike Eagle and Prince Paul is incredible! Their personalities and the stories included in their pod tip the scale to make this one of the most entertaining new podcasts! Tune in...

Monday, July 06, 2020

George Fields "Tomorrow's Sun" (EP Stream)

UK producer George Fields has released his new EP, Tomorrow's Sun. Calling on some of his favorite artists, the LP features Rasheed Chappell, Phat Kat, Ill Conscious, Edo G, Eze Jackson and Last Jazz Club. As a bonus, the EP also features instrumentals for all 6 tracks. After hearing the single with Baltimore's Ill Conscious, I was eagerly awaiting the release and it's now available digitally and on black vinyl. Support it below, and dig back into his catalog and check out Glad To Meet You, too.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Happy Born Day, Royce Da 5'9! (Playlist)

Happy Born Day to Detroit eMCee Royce Da 5'9. Respected for his lyricism and more recently for the depth of his narratives and OG perspectives, Royce is easily one of your favorite rapper's favorite rappers. Surely many fans were first introduced to his music through Eminem - I remember hearing him on Eclipse's Halftime Show - but he's always been an artist who stood on his own two, and for me, it was the track "King of Kings" that captured my attention. I remember the day I heard it... the sample "I wake up and I don't know where I am" related to a personal experience I'd had, and that made the record stand out more to me, aside from him killin' it. While Royce and I have never met, we have exchanged a couple messages (texts, emails) over the years, and he's always struck me as a very loyal and humble dude. In my opinion, he's released some of his best music in the last few years - from the song "Tabernacle" on Layers, to PRhyme; the Book of Ryan, and most recently, The Allegory... his music has been an integral part of pushing the culture forward and making sure that our legends grow in their music and offer new perspectives. Below is a playlist of some of my favorite Royce records... it's not a "best of" or a comprehensive playlist by any means - it's just my favorites, which I hope you'll enjoy, too. I hope to meet Royce face-to-face one day, so I can tell him how I appreciate his contributions and that his music definitely inspires me. Salute!

Saturday, July 04, 2020

RIP Jahleel "No Debating" (Album Stream)

New Jersey MC RIP Jahleel is back with his latest offering, No Debating. The 11-track project boasts Jahleel's slick flow over drum-heavy breaks and soulful loops. His rhyme style is a bit slower but it reminds me of Ill Conscious. I'm not certain who handled the production or more information on the project, but I do recommend you give it a listen. Also, if you haven't heard his last project "Too Raw," I recommend diggin' into the archives and checking that out, too. Don't sleep on artists on the come-up! Someone tell Jahleel to shoot me some more info. Meanwhile, listen below...

Saturday, July 04, 2020

De La Soul "Stakes Is High" (7/2/96) + "Stakes & Potatoes"

The Hip-Hop landscape has changed dramatically since De La Soul's debut... yet with each album, the trio have managed to reinvent themselves.... Stakes Is High departs from the trio's previous creations both in style and substance... This is an album that is instead the group's most outwardly responsive... De La Soul's mission this time is to serve as a counterpoint to the "players" who have simply dominated Hip-Hop over the last few years with images and slogans centering on violence, materialism and money... Their lyrics are devoid of heavy symbolism, and for the first time they employ outside production -- actions that edge them closer to the rest of the pack... They've never done the same album or the same song twice, and as difficult as it may be to accept, Stakes Is High is just a different type of album for them. Consider it a slight dip in the path De La travels to possibly becoming the greatest Hip Hop group of all time. - Rap Pages, July 1996. As a bonus, below is the album's sampler cassette, which they titled "Stakes & Potatoes." It features a few snippets, full versions of both tracks on the 12" single, as well as drops from Common, Zhane, Mos Def, Biz Markie, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Busta Rhymes. The album was released on July 2, 1996... and if you ask me, it's still a better album than "It Was Written," released the same day, by Nas. Fight me!!