Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DJ Dyllemma & DJ Sav One "Coming Up In '09" (Mixtape, 2009)

This is the ’Coming Up In 09’ mixtape that DJ Dyllemma & I put together at the end of 2009. It was originally over 65 tracks and 2 hours long, but I eventually cut it at the point where it’d fit on a single CD. Unlike the “Best Of” lists that most publications were pushing at the time, we dug a bit deeper to shine light on the underground, with the exception of a few tracks & the bad timing of releasing the mix days before the CD-Q of "Exhibit C" was released, lol. You'll hear tracks from Nametag, Oddisee, Sene, Senor Kaos, Skillz, Black Thought, Homeboy Sandman, Fresh Daily, Redman, Raekwon, Madlib & Guilty Simpson, Reef The Lost Cauze, Pharoahe Monch, Fashawn, Buckshot, M.O.P,. Mellow Dramatic, Phonte, Finale, Torae & Marco Polo, Kev Brown, De La Soul, Tha Connection, Blitz the Ambassador, Saukrates, JR & PH7, Action Bronson, Diz Gibran, Saigon, Skyzoo, Tanya Morgan, La Coka Nostra, Breeze Brewin, Eternia, Diamond District... Mixed live and unedited, so take it for what it is, a dope reminder of how much quality hip-hop comes out each year! Updated.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Artifacts "The Ultimate" (Review, 1997)

The Artifacts (El Da Sensei & Tame One) came with their 2nd single "The Ultimate" in 1997 for their sophomore album "That's Them" on Big Beat Records. With production from Baby Paul & Showbiz, "The Ultimate" got a look in The Source, saying "After blessing their small but loyal listenership last year with the haunting chimes of "Art Of Facts," the Brick duo return again from the wrong side of the tracks of New Jerusalem with a slice of back-in-the-days bravado, laced with contemporary agitation. Randomly featured on the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink High School High soundtrack, "The Ultimate's" old-school style chorus and par-for-the-course boasts were solidly supported by the hillbilly wails and guitar stabs on Beatminerz Baby Paul's original version." 

"D.I.T.C. fugitive Showbiz's overhaul, however, reinvigorates the exercise with the aggression of a physical education coach. Show's expertly arrange regiment of moog loops, handclaps, and scratches from Dana Dane's "Nightmares" provokes Tame One and El Da Sensei into kicking more personal, stronger, new lyrics." Even all these years later, reading the writer from The Source say "small but loyal listenership" still kinda irks me. Right about the remix though, the track still goes! Much respect to El and Tame, listen to "The Ultimate" and get back into the mood of music back in 1997.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"A Tribe To D&D Studios" (Mixtape, 2014)

Mixed by Kil, "The House That Primo Built" pays homage to NYC’s legendary D&D Studios: "I know there's been a rack of studios where classic albums have been recorded (Green Street, Daddy's House, Battery, Chung King, Baseline) but the one that always stood out to me was D&D. That's 9 times outta 10 cause it's the house that Primo built and by Preem being one of my fave producers it's only natural that D&D would be the spot that stood out to me. And it doesn't end with Preem cause one of my other fave producers Da Beatminerz also called D&D home. Not to mention everybody from Nas, Jay Z and Rakim to Big L, DITC and KRS have all called this place home! But with everything in NYC but the Bronx Zoo being turned into condos and with the building that houses D&D falling prey to the condo bug too, I guess that dream ain't gonna come true. So with D&D finally closing their doors ya'll already know I had to throw a mix together with some of my favorite songs recorded at D&D to salute one of the most important landmarks in hip hop!" Updated.

Monday, December 29, 2014

DJ Evil Dee "Broadcasting Live" (Mix)

"Straight out of Bushwick, Brooklyn, DJ Evil Dee has made some amazing Hip-Hop records. A onetime high school DJ phenom, this centerpiece of Da Beatminerz is mean on the mix, the drum machine, and diggin’ in the crates. The sound-provider of Black Moon established Duck Down as a source of dopeness back in the Nervous Records days, before making hot joints for O.C., KRS-One, and Fat Joe, among many others. Additionally, the Boot Camp Clik affiliate is big on remixes for a host of artists. This week, Evil made Broadcasting Live Mix, 16 fresh tracks of Beatminerz sound, featuring vocals from the likes of Black Moon, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and longtime Bucktown affiliate Finsta Bundy. Dive in, but protect ya neck." - via Ambrosia For Heads. Evil Dee is on the mix, c'mon kick it!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Black Sheep Promo Condoms + "Strobelite Honey" (Video, 1991)

"Strobelite Honey" is the 1991 single from the hip-hop duo of Mista Lawnge & Dres as Black Sheep. The single was Black Sheep's third release from their "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" album in 1991. "Strobelight Honey" was their second entry on the US R&B chart, where it went peaked at #36 on the R&B sales chart and #80 on the Hot 100. The single sampled a pair of songs, both released in 1980: "I Like What You Do To Me" by Young & Company and "Take Your Time (Do it Right)" by the SOS Band. While not released to promote the single in particular, the "Put Your Wolf In Sheep's Clothing" / "Skins" condoms are an exceptional piece of physical promo for the "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing" LP. Check out the video to "Strobelite Honey" below and hit the tags for more!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Chairman Maf "Paint" (Instrumental Album)

UK's Chairman Maf is back with 13 more cinematic soulful hip hop instrumentals on "Paint." "Chairman Maf uses a combination of soulful melodies and entrancing vocal samples to create a 46 minute world which is far more than just a collection of beats ... he successfully molded an instrumental album which stands out as a piece of art, with themes of love, tranquility & betrayal without writing any lyrics," says UndergroundHH. For fans of DJ Shadow, J Dilla and more! Listen below...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Logic "Under Pressure" (Album Stream)

Gaithersburg, Maryland native Logic (born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II) has amassed a large, dedicated fan base over the years via live shows and numerous free mixtapes. The backdrop for the album is Logic's childhood, where he grew up in a hectic environment, full of racism, drugs, and alcohol abuse. He dropped out of high school, was kicked out of his mother’s house, and soon found himself living in his friend Lenbo’s basement. It was there that he would hone his craft of making music, along with his friends 6ix and C Dot Castro. He released his first mixtape Young, Broke, and Infamous in 2010 which caught the ears of Chris Zarou, president of Visionary Music Group. From then through 2013, Logic released one mixtape a year through VMG, amassing a huge following with number-breaking downloads via DatPiff. Shortly after being revealed as a 2013 XXL Freshman, it was announced that Logic had signed to Def Jam Recordings and his debut album would be executive produced by legendary producer No I.D. Through all this, Logic had headlined three of his own national tours and a European tour, and toured with Kid Cudi and Krewella. Logic’s highly anticipated debut album Under Pressure is released through VMG and Def Jam, stream it below.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Combat Jack Show "PRhyme & Adrian Younge Episode"

The latest episode of the Combat Jack show is a live studio session with the Greatest Of All-Time, DJ Premier, Royce Da 5'9" and Adrian Younge. DJ Premier & Royce have joined forces to form the group "PRhyme" and as a special twist, Premo is sampling from only one source for the production of this album; in this case, that source is Adrian Younge. From how the group formed to back stories of each member, there's a lot to dig into with this latest episode. Listen below.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shadez Of Brooklyn "Change" (12", 1996)

This is a really dope 12" from Shadez of Brooklyn on Pandemonium Wrekordz in 1996. It's a AA-Side single, both tracks "Change" and "When It Rains It Pours" are super dope with production from Da Beatminerz. The Shadez crew repped out of Bushwick, Brooklyn and consisted of Chocolate Tye, Tee Black, Reverend Al and Rambo. Da Beatminerz handled the production on three 12" releases between 1996-1998, all of which were released on Pandemonium Wreckordz. In 2010, Chopped Herring Records pulled tracks from their catalog and released a dope "Pandemonium EP" that I recommend you pick up. In the meantime, you can listen to the 12" below and if you can dig up a copy, there's a nice Tape Sampler from '96 I'm looking for and will share when I get my hands on it.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fondle 'Em "Fossils" (Mix by Dwarf, 2013)

Uploaded to Soundclouded & credited to Dwarf, a solid mix of tracks from the Fondle 'em Fossils days. The mix has tracks from independent, underground greats like Siah & Yeshua dapoED, MHz, Da Nuthouse, my family The Juggaknots, MF Grimm, DJ Eli & Shan Boogs, J. Treds, Mr. Live, The Cenubites, KMD, Rok One, MF Doom, Siah, The Arsonists, Lord Sear & more. Listen below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Diamond District "March On Washington Redux" (Album Stream)

Mello Music Group drops the remixed version of Diamond District's "March On Washington" album. The remixed versions include production from 14KT, Oh No, L'Orange, Large Professor, Apollo Brown, Quelle Chris, Black Milk, Diamond D, Dopplegangaz, DJ Skizz, Nottz, Paul White & Jonwayne. Exhale, that's a stacked list of producers! Props to Michael Tolle over at Mello, who also receives executive producer credit on the project. For fans of Diamond District, yes you absolutely wanna hear Uptown XO, yU, and Oddisee over these beats. Stream the remixed project below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brother Arthur "What You Gonna Do" (12", 1994)

Despite being released in 1994, Brother Arthur's "What You Gonna Do" has a bit of an old school flavor to it. It was released as the debut single on Chuck Chillout's C-Ya Entertainment label. A year later you'll also see the production credits for Prince AD & Pyscho Child's "Lyrical Flavor" credited to Chuck Chillout at C-Ya Entertainment. Along with Chuck, Brother Arthur, Big Geno & Big Sham have co-production credits too. "What You Gonna Do" has a nice sample from Heatwave's "Sho'nff Must Be Luv," not to mention the infamous "It's A New Day" break by Skull Snaps, which is what gives it that familiar old school vibe. Gang Starr later sampled "What You Gonna Do" on their record "1/2 & 1/2" with M.O.P.; you can hear Brother Arthur's vocals on the hook, "So whatcha gonna do since ya know now?!" "1/2 and 1/2" was on the Blade Soundtrack and the Full Clip 2CD. Aside from the production, the tracks have strong messages of unity and positivity, dig into the 12" below.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blu "Soul Amazing Part 4" (Mix)

The latest in Blu's official "Soul Amazing" mixtape series: Part 4 features Blu verses originally on tracks with L'Orange, Johaz, Grouch & Eligh, Loop Snatchers, !llmind, Homeboy Sandman, Astronote, Dag Savage & more. If you've been following the career of Blu, we can agree his works released outside of collaborations with Exile can use better sound quality, but Blu always comes correct on features, so it's refreshing to hear all these verses on concise mixes. Check out parts 1, 2 and 3, while you're here. Props to Blu, I hope all is well with him - more music please?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ghostface Killah "Ironman" (The Source, 12/96)

"Pull out the bullhorn / Let's celebrate like Kunta was born / We elbowed our way inside Loud and got on," Ghostface Killah reminisces on Iron Man, the latest installment of the Wu saga. It's been three years since the group's debut opus, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and the rap world still shows no signs of growing tired of the Shaolin crew. Batting fifth in the Wu's solo lineup, Ghostface Killah attempts to keep the Clan's hitting streak going. Iron Man is like all the previous Wu-Tang solo albums in one sense: it's a family affair. As evidenced on the exhilarating "Daytona 500," which features original SI representatives Force MD's, Ghostface is at his best when he's armed with his right-hand man Raekwon the Chef and the constantly improving Cappadonna. But don't think that Starks can't hold his own weight. On the scathing "Wildflower," he verbally harasses an unfaithful lady-friend, and on the sucker MC-chopping "Poisonous Darts," Ghost decapitates all competition."

"Iron Man is not Cuban Linx II. Italian gangster-inspired stories have been replaced by introspective lyrics, haunting melodies and intense emotional moments. And save the old-school hip-hop inspired "Box In Hand," choruses have all but been eliminated, as outside collaborators provide the record with an almost old-school R&B edge ... Method Man's Grammy partner Mary J. Blige adds a touch of elegance on "All That I Got Is You." It's on this autobiographical ode that Ghost removes his iron-clad mask and provides us with insight into his troubled childhood, and even questions his own existence. "Sometimes I look up at the stars and analyze the sky / And ask myself was I meant to be here / Why?" Serving as the project's exclusive producer, the RZA does another masterful job, topping himself in terms of sonic diversity. With Iron Man, the Clan's former masked avenger, Ghostface Killah, has created a soulful chamber that deserves its rightful place as another cornerstone in the enduring Wu-Tang Clan legacy." - The Source, December 1996.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eternia "Get Caught Up" (Mixtape, 12/15/09)

In a industry starved for more legitimate female emcees, Eternia is a breath of fresh air. She's on a long list of talented female emcees who haven't received the recognition they deserve. If you're not familiar with Eternia, Get Caught Up with this mixtape presented by 2DdopeBoyz and Kevin Nottingham. Here's a message from Eternia: "These are not ‘pop’ songs. These are not video singles. These are not Top 10 hits. This is the heart and soul of why I do what I do when I do it. This is a personal offering. It’s my huge THANK YOU to all of the people who have supported the Eternia & MoSS: 'Road to Release' video episodes online over the last 6 months. I hand-picked these songs from the past decade, because I felt they were overlooked - they are the most personal to my life, and they reveal my growth as an artist." This was a fun project to work on! It not only features personal offerings from Eternia's back catalog, but also the exclusive single "Foul Child," produced by Mr. Cincinnati, as well as "Destiny," produced by Apathy from the still-unreleased "Eternia By Apathy," and "Day In The Life," from Eternia & MoSS' "At Last" ahead of its official release on Fat Beats Records. Big-ups to Shake & Meka at 2DBZ, Kevin Nottingham, Shamz, DJ Law and all the sites that helped push it to the masses. It was released 5 years ago today, listen/download it below...

Below is the inspiration for each track included on "Get Caught Up"...

Monday, December 15, 2014

J. Cole x NPR "Microphone Check"

"The day after his third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, was released, J. Cole spoke to Microphone Check hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley. It was the morning before he performed "Be Free," the song he made about Michael Brown, on Letterman. Cole said he was nervous about it, but apparently not so worried that he would change his clothes. He wore the same hoodie for this interview that he did on TV. The conversation –- Mic Check's second with Cole — reveals a person newly comfortable with himself, his abilities and what needs to be done." Listen below.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Total Pack (Cestyle & Kamal B Wise) "Unsigned Hype" (12/92)

"Hollis, Queens is a legendary spot for hip-hop thanks, of course, to Run DMC, but there's a whole new generation out there waiting to blow up the spot. For about a year now, one new Hollis crew that has been catching wreck throughout the five boroughs of NYC is Total Package. The two MCs, Kamal B Wise, 21, and Cestyle, 22, got their start back in '88 battling each other in Jamaica Park, Hollis. From there they formed a group and began to represent with back-up from their people - Mark Premium, Rick B, and Tonka True Divine. Underground rap radio has been Total Pack's main vehicle for recognition. After performing at the King Fest '91 in Harlem, they met Lamel, host of CCNY's radio station, who "broke" them on New York's airwaves. Bobbito The Barber met Kamal in a downtown nightclub, heard a taste of the skills, and has had them on WKCR's Stretch Armstrong Show four times since. Bobbito then took the initiative to get them on Wildman Steve's show at WBAU. "We just like the kids next door who was real nice but never got on," claims Kamal. Their style is like hardcore hip-hop without the guns and the curses; strictly verbal assault. "We make music for kids that know and understand hip-hop," he adds, "just bringing the cipher to your living room." Cestyle, the one with the puffy afro and eyeglass frames, hooks up the "raw fruit loops" (i.e. beats) in the crib... With an exceptionally positive attitude, mad skills, and raw fruit loops, Kamal B Wise and Cestyle definitely deliver a Total Package." - Unsigned Hype (The Source), December 1992.

For a more comprehensive breakdown of Total Pack's trials and tribulations in the industry, via Columbia Records and Wild Pitch Records, and even their dealings with MC Serch, check out this in-depth feature, "Survival of the Fittest" with Total Pack in Rap Pages in October, 1995. Also hit the tags for more posts, as I definitely plan to add some music in the near future.

Friday, December 12, 2014

T-Max "Live Wire" (EP, 2014)

T-Max's 6-track release, Live Wire EP, is the second installment from T-Max's archive of unreleased recordings. Released through Crooked Cat Records, the EP is limited to 350 physical copies with these 6 unreleased gems from the 90s. For those that are unfamiliar, T-Max represents out of Boston and had some really solid content out back in the mid-90s. He was featured in the Unsigned Hype section of The Source in June, 1995, so there was a solid buzz behind him (and for good reason). For those that have been following since my earlier (defunct) blogs, you're up on T-Max and his 12" releases, but I'll make sure to dig them up and share them again - as well as that Unsigned Hype article - for everyone else. Hit up the tags for more, and stream the EP below...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One and One "Phenomenon" (12", 1996)

Released in 1996 through Next Plateau Entertainment, One and One was the Brooklyn-based underground hip-hop duo comprised of Harry Balz aka C. Burch & Doctor Ice from U.T.F.O. aka Sonny Boy, and the track was called “Phenomenon.” The song samples Eddie Floyd’s “Check Me Out,” which was also sampled for The Firm's "La Familia." I loved that song, regardless of whether it was the Nature or Cormega version. The production for One and One's "Phenomenon" was handled by Swing Of Things Productions. There were two more 12" releases from them on Next Plateau, but I do not recall them at all, I'll have to give it a listen and see if it jogs my memory later. In the meantime, dig into this 12" from '96, and then dig into The Firm, because ... why not? Peace.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

KLIM Beats "Anteater" (Instrumental Album)

Here's a throwback release from KLIM Beats; another dope selection of instrumentals added to his catalog with his 2012 beat tape, "Anteater." 31 instrumentals to be exact, released as a beat tape and available for purchase for eMCees looking for some heat for their next record. Not surprisingly, a lot of these beats sold; it's one of my favorite beat tapes from him, along with "Warm Sounds." The Ukranian beatsmith came widdit, check it out below and much props to BROKS for the dope cover art too. Look out for more beat tapes from KLIM Beats on the site, for sure. Listen below...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Fugees "The Score" (Classic Material, XXL)

"The Fugees, who exploded out of the then-burgeoning North Jersey scene - around Newark and The Oranges - were a trio of artists with vastly different experience and talent. Wyclef, the eldest, was Haitian-born and Brooklyn-bred. South Orange's Lauryn Hill, the youngest, was perhaps the most stunningly and undeniably talented. Pras had Brooklyn roots and an ear for the streets... The group's Bayyan-produced 1994 debut, Blunted On Reality, was far from satisfying... Even with mediocre sales of 275,000, Ruffhouse gave them the advance they needed for a second album. "We had $135,000, took a little advance and bought studio equipment with the rest," Pras recalls. The results: a top-of-the-line home studio downstairs in Wyclef's uncle's home in East Orange - the Booga Basement..." Peep the video to the lead single, "Fu-Gee La," continued below...

"The Fugees' masterpiece was released in February 1996, eventually blown up by a song that wasn't even a single. Mixing Caribbean flavor with Hill's R&B power-pipes while beating about a hip-hop heart, the album appealed to music fans of all stripes, eventually selling nearly six million units in the US and, according to Pras, 18 million worldwide. "Clef brought the musicality, Lauryn brought the soulfulness and I brought the ruffneck," he explains. "And when it meshed together it was perfect." Enjoy Wyclef & Pras breakdown several classics from the album below. Peace to Brian Coleman.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Killer Mike "Sunday Morning Massacres" (Mixtape)

In 2008, Killer Mike let loose a series of tracks under the title of "Sunday Morning Massacres" when blogs were generating a lot of buzz for artists. I met Killer Mike in New York at Fat Beats for his "I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II" album in-store that same year. I believe it was just before he started releasing these tracks originally, but from my limited time with him, this was a man with a message, a higher purpose and an agenda to push people to build networks so we could truly support one another. With the evolution in his career and the success he's finally achieving on a level on par with his abilities, I suspect his role in the industry and grassroots politics will only increase with time. Back to the mix, it's about 18 tracks long, several of them being skits and lots of lyrical content and messages, in his signature ferocious style of rapping. You don't wanna miss it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Combat Jack Show "LL Cool J Episode"

From Combat Jack: "We couldn't end this year right without having the G.O.A.T. on. How he survived an abusive upbringing, studied his craft with early rap pioneers in the same rap dojo with Kool G. Rap, becoming the foundation stone that became Def Jam, building with Queens' street legends, battling this rapper, that rapper and Jay Z, why he didn't sign management with Diddy, the "Accidental Racist" thing, flipping burglars in his castle and the victory of seeing his wife survive Cancer, its all here and more. From Hollis to Hollywood, this episode is most certainly blowticious. LL Cool J will forever remain hard as hell. Pause." lol ... Listen below to the latest episode!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lords of the Underground "Keepers of the Funk" (12/94)

"On their follow up to a gold-selling debut, The Lords of the Underground unveil crisper, more disciplined voices and flows. Last time around, on Here Come The Lords, they seemed to be trying to appease the 'grimy' or Das EFX contingent, and got over on the strength of a collection of solid Marley Marl tracks. For Keepers..., they delete some of their more non-accessible attributes and concentrate on streamlining their image. Some of the songs sound like album filler, but ... are in the minority. "Ready Or Not" combines a gritty Old School feel with a seductive jazz piano that's just right for a night ride. "Tic Toc," with three-chord vibes, a relaxed swing beat and a nifty Slick Rick sample, swings like a pendulum. For platinum-selling poseurs, adequate disses; for impetuous newjacks, a short pre-deal biography that emphasizes the hardships of their hungry demo-tape days." Check out the video to Lords Of The Underground's gem, "What I'm After," cont'd below...

"The superior "Steam From Da Knot" and "What I'm After" both offer relentless beats, atmospheric jazz fusions and surgically-precise scratches. For "Special Guest," they dust off James Brown grunts, add reverb and bounce them all over instantly enjoyable "Top Billin"-like beats. The album's surprise, "Faith," is as gospel as any hardcore group maintaining street credibility can be. Over the smooth riff used on Mic Geronimo's "Real," the Lords offer praise to their deity: "I place all my faith in God cause God'll never leave me... believe me" ... While a bit uneven on side two, and more than a little trendy, Keepers Of The Funk does manage to avoid the sophomore jinx. It brings a handful of addictive grooves..." - The Source, December 1994 ... save a copy of the review below...

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Flatpocket "Geldfundphantasyen" (Instrumental Album, 2012)

I've had the pleasure to travel to Cologne, Germany (on tour) and work closely with some of the local talent (ie: Croup), so I'm pleased to dig back to 2012 and share an instrumental project from the production duo from Cologne, Twit One and Lazy Jones, b.k.a. Flatpocket. Their bio exclaims, "Like Showbiz and AG, Twit One and Lazy Jones like their pockets fat, not flat. But as fate would have it, this is not always the case with these two young musicians from Cologne. That's why they call their new band Flatpocket and have recorded a concept album based on this topic, titled 'Geldfundphantasyen,' which is German for 'Finding Money Fantasies'." It's a truly dope set of instrumentals that slaps from start to finish (minus skits); it was released 2 years ago today!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Ras Kass "Remain Anonymous" (The Source, 12/94)

"Just when you thought it was safe to write Southern California off as a wasteland of gin and juiced-up hustlas and pimps, up steps Ras Kass to prove that LA has an underground with a lyrical potency and overall fervor that may soon rival New York's. This 19-year old from Carson is a part of Western Hemisfear, a rhyme collective of like-minded emcees and producers out to prove that LA rap is about a hell of a lot more than gang signs, gun boasts and Roger Troutman beats. Bolstered by fat production from crew members Vooodu and Bird, Ras rips shit in a manner that hasn't been witnessed out in those parts since Freestyle Fellowship blew up the spot a few years ago." Cont'd...

"A hardened battle-rhymer, Ras always goes for the jugular with metaphors like: "When my voice hits the mic, I electrocute Spit like Beat Street (Won't Catch Me Runnin), "I gotcha holding my dick like your name was Lorena Bobbit" and "Slappin your Left-Eye up like my man Andre Rison" (Remain Anonymous). With his penchant for the graphic matched with a sure-footed, rapid-fire, throaty delivery, Ras murders the jazzy, bottom-heavy tracks laid before his feet with dazzling verve. Backed by the slightest strands of upright jazz bass, hearty kicks and bleating horns, Bird and Vooodu provide the perfect safety net for Ras's lyrical bungee jumping. Remain Anonymous is an anthem for the underground, urging the true lyrical prophets to throw "rhetoric and repertoire, demographics and heavy rotation" to the wind in favor of keeping their lyrical styles in tact" cont'd...

If you're interested in saving an original copy of The Source's review, see below...

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Da Bush Babees "Ambushed" (The Source, 1/95)

"For their debut, Da Bush Babees - Y-Tee, Mr. Man and Kaos - build on the energetic material seen by those lucky enough to have caught the group when they were unsigned and performing throughout New York's underground. During their shows, listeners were treated to an astounding fusion of dancehall and hip-hop. For their album, they capture the essence of their live show with tight hardcore songs and lunatic between-song banter (heard on the skits "Bleu Buttaflyze" and "Ya Mammy.") "We Run Things is a dreamy radio hit produced by Ali Shaheed during blunt-lighting sessions. As smoke wafts through the air, you'll hear Kaos drop truth: "But nowadays cause rap pays / you got a million rappers and a thousand deejays." "Get On Down" is a dusty joint which fuses Son of Bazerk's "J-Dub's Theme" bassline to a Bob Marley chant and funk riffs. "Remember We" is fueled by acoustic bass and warm beats, with the kind of snares that home-demo DJs will recognize from the break-beat albums." Check out the visuals to the classic, "Remember We" ...

"Swing It" receives an overhaul, as jazz grooves and reverbed horns float through the mix. The tempo is nice, the song's easy to dance to (something most hardheads won't admit to doing) and its chorus is hyped enough to make parties turn rowdy. For "Pon De Attack," they real a heavy Caribbean influence, sampling a reggae joint at hyped speed. "Put It Down" does exactly that as the group leaps into Old School mode, tag-teaming and kicking straightforward, crowd-rocking freestyles - the foundation of hip-hop that they understand well. Their style is hard to catch at first, but it's extremely clever. They're as sharp as a boxcutter ripping a face; as on point as your girl on my lap. While there is a bit of material that could be classified as filler ("Clear My Throat" is one example)... Da Bush Babees bring more than enough to satisfy reggae hip-hop fans and freestyle fanatics." - The Source, January 1995. Full review available below...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Malcom "Thelonious" Martin "Wunderkid" (Instrumental Album)

Wunderkid is the most recent - AMAZING - instrumental album from Malcolm “Thelonious" Martin. Split between instrumentals & featured vocals, you hear Mac Miller, Smoke Dza, Ab Soul, Curren$y & some really dope vocalists holding it down too. One of the best projects of 2014 that very few people are talking about ... why? Whenever I get overloaded by the available track credits aka all the breadcrumbs I want to dig through to get to the bottom of a dope sounding project, I bring it back to the shout-outs, lol. In Thelonious' case, he sends thanks to "Mom, Dad, my family (all my brothers, sisters, aunts uncles, grandmothers, grand dad, cousins etc.), Professor Fox for being my Jon Brion on this album, Matt Hennessy for the wonderful mixes, Doug McBride for the mastering, Adult Swim, J Dilla & Madlib, Alchemist, Topaz, Saint, Lonner, Matt for letting make beats in his basement in 7th grade, Mr. Ennis, Mr. Frye, Zane, Dallas, Nyann, Nicki all my incredible rap friends, my real life friends, any one that ever helped, anyone that ever doubted, anyone that I’m forgetting, Thank You All." You can learn a lot about a man from how humble he is & how he pays his thanks forward. Plus, it's some more breadcrumbs & a lesson to artists, yes there's often a distinction between "incredible rap friends" and "real life friends," lol. Free advice. Stream it below! Cop it HERE.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Astronote "AstroNoMix" (Mix)

The "AstroNoMix" by Astronote was originally released in December of 2010. It's a compilation of tracks produced by Astronote, featuring hard-hitting MCs like Magestik Legend, King Magnetic, Ro Spit, Fresh Daily, Donwill, Marv Won, LMNO, Shawn Jackson, Sha Stimuli, Invincible & more. Astronote and I have been in touch since about '08 or so, maybe earlier - he's been at it for a hot minute, and has always had a lot of support out of Detroit, which you'll hear from all the Detroit spitters on the project, not to mention DJ Graffiti at A-Side Worldwide. Anyhow, it's been several years since this project dropped, but I figure many of these tracks went below the radar for some & it might put you on to the production of a real talent, so dig in below & as always, follow the breadcrumbs back to "Astroblacked" and other projects. Peace to DJ Graffiti.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Madwreck "Elementality Instrumentals" (Instrumental Album)

Madwreck is back with another fresh instrumental release: "Elementality Instrumentals." Madwreck is a producer from Charlotte, NC, best known for his work as one-half of the group Dirty Art Club and collaborations with Wax Tailor, Supastition, The Others and more. A veteran of the underground, Madwreck’s highly praised production style is best described as “elaborately dark and dusty by design." Some of you may be familiar with Elementality Records via DJ K.O., Analogic, Silent Knight, East, etc - K.O. put out a dope compilation album called "Picture This" back in 2008 and the remix LP, which featured Madwreck's production among other talents. Either way, "Elementality Instrumentals" has 23 joints with his dope, signature sound, check it out below...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Wu-Tang Clan "A Better Tomorrow" (Album Stream)

"A Better Tomorrow" is the sixth studio album from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. I've heard the rumors of discord amongst the members, plenty has been said to dissuade me from even clicking play on the album ... yet, it's the Wu! If I lose hope, the terrorists win, right? So, like many of you, I will click to stream the album and keep my hopes up that it's dope and if not, that they can right this ship, because there's entirely too much talent in the group! The first single I peeped ahead of the album was "Necklace," the production left a lot to be desired ... but back to hope. Listen below.

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Audible Doctor "Can't Keep The People Waiting" (EP Stream)

Former product buyer and manager of Fat Beats NY, The Audible Doctor, delivers a new self-produced EP. As a man of the people, he couldn’t keep his fans waiting any longer for a full project. It has features from Guilty Simpson, Bumpy Knuckles, Consequence, Hassan Mackey, John Robinson & more. You expect The Audible Doctor's signature chops, samples and soulful delivery all over this EP. Dysfunctional as we can be sometimes, I am proud to call him my brother, and surely celebrated the new release with a purchase as I hope you will, too. Meanwhile, stream it below!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pete Rock "Diggin' On Blue" (Mixtape, 1999)

Pete Rock's "Diggin' On Blue" was originally as a Japanese exclusive project in 1999. Pete Rock's exclusive mix pays tribute to Blue Note Jazz artists such as Gene Harris, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Grant Green, and more. When you think of Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest, you think of the influence that Jazz had on their sound. Freestyle rap also reflects similar improvising as Jazz. Once considered a fairly rare mix, the internet brings all things to light! Dig in...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Full Circle "Infinite Edges" (Album Stream)

Full Circle consists of the hip-hop duo Still Waters and Bes Kept. Reppin' Toronto, they bring a solid release with this debut album "Infinite Edges." It's 16 tracks of soulful production and tight flows, which is sure to keep me listening and supporting future releases as well. Not much else to say, it's released independently with one feature from UZ, otherwise it's all Full Circle. Check it out below...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Revival Of The Underground EP (Volume 1, 1998)

This is the first of two EPs in a series called "Revival Of The Underground" in 1998 on Smack Entertainment. The NJ label reached out to four acts for this first installment: The Alamo, Red Eye, Ghetto Seals & Rhemslepe. The only act to repeat on Volume 2 is The Alamo, who actually delivered a better track with "Never Judge A Book" on the 2nd EP, but "X Marks The Spot" here is pretty solid too. You might also dig "Do What Ya Wanna Do" from Rhemslepe - otherwise I'll be honest, this highly sought-after (and expensive) piece of vinyl isn't all that impressive. If for nothing else, I wanna let you hear it for yourself, because it wouldn't be the first time scarcity made someone overspend on something then be disappointed later. That said, check it out below.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Roots Freestyle (On The Go! Magazine Video, 1995)

The original, uncut footage of Black Thought & The Roots' on camera freestyle. The video is taken from the 1995 recording of the On The Go Repeat Offender Graffiti Video. It was produced by Stephen "Espo" Powers and Ray Hayes, who also films the video. Peace to MEEZ, and love to Philly. On The Go began in '89 as a newsletter created by ESPO, who partnered with Ari Saal Forman & turned it into an official publication developing a worldwide, cult-like fanbase for niche content with a cross between Hip-Hop, urban lifestyle and graffiti. Peep the freestyle below.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Pharcyde "Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde" (The Source, '92)

"Post-Native Tongues hip-hop has spawned a host of groups that are less worried about posing and fronting like the hardest hard rock, slinging cane and shooting cops, than they are about innovating new styles, concepts and making hip-hop fun. The Pharcyde, a group of four young rappers from Los Angeles, combine the quirky, off-beat charm of a Daisy Ager and the sing-songy vocal tones of those down-to-earthlings who reminisced about Tennessee with an intense enthusiasm and energy akin to the Leaders (LONS). While parallels can be drawn between the Pharcyde and their East Coast brethren, don't confuse their similarities with unoriginal flava or lack of mic skills... This debut is packed with soulful pianos and organs that combine with head-nodding basslines that are as much fun as a day at Great Adventure. They exhibit fine mic control on tracks like "Oh Shit" and "I'm That Type" as the foursome kick seemingly bottomless run-on sentence type rhymes."

"They flow lovely on "Ya Mama," a cut where they exchange "mama" jokes over a futuristic beat. The joint is comedy! On "Other Fish," Tre flips the script over some breezy, calypso-tinged beats as he rhymes about a honey dip who's kicking it to another brother who's living fatter: "I won't play second fiddle / To no man and stand firm on this ... No I won't dis / I'm just on to other fish..." The Pharcyde will inevitably face acceptance problems as their left-handed, yet inventive concepts might be too esoteric for some b-boys. Nasal vocals over tracks that contain much live instrumentation and sparse amounts of scratching may force some to ponder their role in the world of hardcore hip-hop. Sincerity and enthusiasm for the art form hopefully won't be mistaken for happy-rap crap. The question many will have to answer for themselves is whether a trip to the Pharcyde is a step backwards or a leap into the future? Most will just enjoy the bizarre ride." - The Source, 1992.