December 24, 2021

Nas "Magic" (Album Stream)

Legendary rapper Nas has released another new album for 2021 and fans are thrilled. Two days before Christmas, the 48-year-old New York City-born Nas released a 9-song LP, Magic, which is produced by Hit-Boy. Magic comes on the heels of the rapper’s 2021 album, King’s Disease II, which he released in August. That album features big-name artists like Ms. Lauryn Hill. Nas took to social media to announce the release of Magic, writing on Twitter, “#MAGIC is in the air. Midnight EST brand new music to vibe to." One of the standout lines from the record comes from the opening track, “Speechless,” on which Nas raps, “Only thing undefeated is time. Second is the internet. Number three is this rhyme.” On the record, Nas talks about social media, other big-name rappers, the tough past few years, and the human condition (including the Black American Experience). - via AmericanSongwriter. Arguably one of the best releases of 2021, "Meet Joe Black" and "Wave Gods" are bangers! Nas did his thing and proves that hip-hop is not only a young man's game. Enjoy below...

December 22, 2021

Cookin' Soul "Wu Xmas" (Album Stream)

Spain's Cookin Soul is back with another fine release, Wu Xmas! Not much to say about this one, it's just what you wanted for Christmas ... a nice big plate of Wu-Tang Clan over head-cracking instrumentals. The project is 15-tracks long with all tracks produced, remixed and mastered by Cookin Soul, who is a platinum producer, DJ and Grammy Award winner. Dig into the release, then click through to the Bandcamp for a host of other projects it appears I've missed over the years. In his own words, "Xmas time is hereeeee.... Enter the 36th chambers and get all the presents you want... It's a WU XMAS motherfuckers SUUUUUU!" It doesn't get any realer than that. Listen below.

December 21, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Tribute to Sean Price! (R.I.P.)"

On Episode 99 of the Take It Personal, Jason Gloss and crew celebrate the life and the career of the late great, Sean Price. The podcast is joined by special guests Pharoahe Monch, Phonte, Torae, Meyhem Lauren and Peter Rosenberg, as they serve as your tour guide throughout this 4+ hour tribute. They've got hours of music, memories and laughs as they feature over 70+ tracks showcasing the remarkable catalog of the legendary Sean Price. The Boot Camp MC is joined by fellow Heltah Skeltah member, Rockness, as well as the O.G.C., AG, Pharoahe Monch, Tek, Phonte, Roc Marciano, Jedi Mind Tricks, Canibus, Ras Kass, Method Man, Freddie Gibbs, Black Milk, Skyzoo, Rahzel and more. I'm glad I got to meet Sean Price before he passed away - I didn't always agree with his public views, but I did come to respect him as a man. Dig into this great mix/tribute to him below...

December 19, 2021

Kev Brown "The Kev Brown Holiday Special" (Beat Tape)

On his new joint, The Kev Brown Holiday Special, Kev brings the basslines back. When you think of holiday music, you don't think first of basslines. But this is a Kev Brown album, so we get all the usual holiday feels, but we also get those basslines. But I'm getting ahead of myself. A holiday album at its core has to give you that holiday feel. You gotta feel that vibe. It has to be festive. This isn't lost on Kev. Songs like "Let's Go Play and Stuff", "Fun", and "Pajamas and Hot Chocolate" really bring that holiday vibe. Like, you can run this album in the background while you open presents, or have it playing when the grandparents arrive. You can put in a shuffle with the classic Temptations and O'Jays holiday records and not lose the vibe. And yet, these songs still work as a hip hop record. Which brings me back to those basslines. As a Hip hop head, you can still appreciate these records, just for being some dope ass beats. Kev doesn't sacrifice the funk. You can close your eyes and while listening to "Fun" and see Christmas, and yet you can still hear a hot 16 too. And he really gets in his bag on Futuristic Angel, pushing the envelope with synthy bass that lives up to its Future namesake. If you like Christmas and like hip hop, you need this. You want to play some Christmas music for the fam but still want beats, you need this. Got a heartbeat and like music? You get the idea... - Kamau "Slacks" Malone. Listen to this fine beat tape from Kev Brown below... Happy Holidays!

December 16, 2021

Chino XL "Built To Last" (Mix)

France's Built to Last radio continues its movement of paying tribute to some of the best producers, MCs and record labels of all-time. For their latest offering, they pay homage to one of the illest pens and lyricists in the entire game, Chino XL. Hailing from East Orange, NJ, Chino released his debut album, Here to Save You All, in 1996 and has since had plenty of now famous appearances on DJ Sway and Tech's morning radio show called "The Wakeup Show," as well as the fire 2LP Ricanstruction and 2020's Chino vs Balt. His bio shares, "He's been called the king of metaphors and for good reason, everyone that likes their rhymes laden with punch lines should definitely check him out." I can also say --on a personal note-- I consider him one of the few stand-up guys in this industry. It's always pleasure connecting with him at shows and online... I highly recommend tapping in with his social media and staying connected. As always, dig into the archives for more from Chino XL and a ton of earlier tribute mixes from Corrado and the crew over at Built to Last in France...

December 15, 2021

Dr. Dre "The Chronic" (December 15, 1992)

Whether as an artist, or record company founder, Dr. Dre has become one of the most successful figures on the music scene today. His debut solo album, The Chronic (Death Row) has reached the triple platinum mark, selling more than three-and-a-half million copies. Released in December 1992, The Chronic shot to the top of the Billboard Charts - #1 R&B, #1 Rap and #2 Pop. It became one of the best-selling rap albums in history. The album's singles included "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" (certified platinum, #1 R&B, #1 Rap, #2 Pop) and "Dre Day" (also Top 5 across the charts). Dre won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance for yet another single, "Let Me Ride"; American Music Awards as both Favorite Artist and Favorite New Artist; and Billboard Music Awards for Debut Artist of the Year, Top R&B Artist and for Top R&B Album Artist. Besides his own work, Dre also produced the 1993 debut album from Snoop Doggy Dogg, Doggystyle (Death Row), which became the first debut album in chart history to enter at #1 on the pop side (also reaching #1 on the R&B and Rap charts). That album too has gone beyond triple platinum and is now approaching four million copies sold. Doggystyle was honored by NARM as the Best-Selling Rap Recording of the Year. Snoop (who was featured with Dre on his solo singles and "Deep Cover", the #1 rap single from the Deep Cover (Solar Records) soundtrack) is one of the artists on Death Row Records, the label co-founded by Dre (who is president of the company), and his manager Suge Knight. Other inmates include Tha Dogg Pound (Dat N!gga Daz, Kurupt), Nate Dogg, The Lady of Rage and Jewell.... Today Dr. Dre is considered by many to be the most creative producer in music -- whether rap, hip-hop, R&B, or pop. - Press Kit, 1994. The West was a real problem and Dre lead the way with The Chronic in '92..

Below are just a couple pieces of random promo...

December 14, 2021

El Maryacho "That's Soul III" (Instrumental Album)

El Maryacho returns with the third installment in his instrumental series, That's Soul. Hailing from Switzerland, the producer has released quality music from everything I've checked out so far. I said I didn't know much about him in a previous post -- if I remember correctly -- and time has passed and I still don't much, except that these soulful instrumentals KNOCK. There's also a project with Nowaah the Flood (Harbingers of Death) and Planet Asia (Jackpot EP) in the archives that I suggest checking out after That's Soul 3 bleeds through your speakers. Dig into his latest offering below...

December 13, 2021

J.Period "The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition" (MJB Edition)

Here's another phenomenal mix that flew beneath my radar... the extremely talented and highly prolific J.PERIOD dropped this mixtape to Mary J. Blige as a tribute to the Queen of Hip-Hop soul! Recorded live in New York, the mix cycles through many of the Queen's most phenomenal records alongside artists like Method Man, The Notorious B.I.G., Smif-N-Wessun, Craig Mack, Grand Puba, Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Jadakiss, Luther Vandross, DMX, Nas and that's not to take a drop away from her non-collaborative work which sets the standard for R&B. I don't post a whole lot of R&B releases, but you know I'll tap into the classic 90s R&B time and time again, especially the mix tapes. A proper tribute with various remixes, reworks and more! You know how he does it, listen below...