June 30, 2015

Foul Mouth "Soul Louis" (Instrumental Album)

Producers I Know (shouts to Dart Adams) presents Foul Mouth's "Soul Louis" beat tape: 20 really solid instrumentals of Detroit's gritty soul. Give it a full listen below and let Producers I Know be a standard for what to give instant support and attention to any time something drops through their site/label. I know Dart is A&Ring and executive producing a handful of projects, so keep it locked.

June 29, 2015

Skyzoo "Music For My Friends" (Album Stream)

Coming off of the success of his critically acclaimed sophomore LP "A Dream Deferred" and the heralded "Barrel Brothers" collaborative album with Torae, Skyzoo returns with his third solo effort "Music For My Friends". The album finds Sky back to what he's known for best: vivid storytelling, using elite lyricism to paint the scenes. Backed by production from !llmind, Apollo Brown, Jahlil Beats and more, with guest features from the likes of Jadakiss, Black Thought, Elzhi and Bilal, "Music For My Friends" is sure to fill the void of New York City soundtrack storytelling that Skyzoo's fans have been yearning for since his last solo release. Another real solid release, check it out below...

June 29, 2015

Cyrus The Great "King Kong Ain't Got Sh​*​t On Me"

Cyrus The Great releases his production album, "King Kong Ain't Got Sh*t On Me." Known to me originally as the producer from Film Skool Rejekts, then later work with Skyzoo & more, I am eager to check out this release with Torae, King Mez, DJ Prince (who mixed the original Film Skool Projects mixtape), Roc Marciano, Skyzoo and of course, Future Joyner now known as Joyner Lucas. I've heard the Roc Marciano and Skyzoo joints, both are dope, so I'm very optimistic. Dig into the album below. (Update: added is the new Deluxe, Bandcamp Edition, which includes four additional tracks).

June 28, 2015

The D&D Project (Hip-Hop Connection, 1995) + EPK

"Over the last few years D&D studios has become an icon in the east coast hip-hop culture. The lush New York studio, rumored to be equipped with Philly Blunt vending machines, is the venue notable producers and emcees choose to record. These include KRS-One who, along with the proprietors conceived this compilation. The opening cut "1,2 Pass It" by the D&D All-Stars is the spine of the album. Patrons consisting of Mad Lion, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Smif-N-Wessun and Jeru The Damaja go all-out over a smooth Primo beat, scratches and all." Cont'd...

"The rest of the album showcases the production talents of some of New York's finest and the rhyming skills of some underground unsigned hype. This includes offerings from Ill Breed and Fabidden Fruit, Beatminerz and Guru proteges respectively, however the noteworthy cuts include efforts of The Maniac Mob who serve up "Get Up" produced by the legendary producer The 45 King and "Look ALive" by Big C. Overall D&D Project boasts a fine body of work from unadulterated hip-hop talent. For purists eager to hear rhymes from emcees still hungry - this is the shit." - HHC

The full review in Hip-Hop Connection (1995) is below...

June 27, 2015

Leschea "Rhythm & Beats" (Vibe Magazine, 1997)

"Leschea comes off like a hardcore Brooklyn rapper who's trying the R&B side of the street by singing over recycled hip hop beats. Partying, street dreams, drug games, and hanging out on the Ave. are themes that keep popping up on Rhythm & Beats, especially on the current single, "Fulton Street," and "Let Me Know," an auto-biographical story about Leschea's relationship with a drug dealer. Leschea stays clear of everyday lovey-dovey songs and, instead, voices the pain of losing a loved one to the prison system. If R&B singers haven't been keeping it real, Leschea is trying to change all that." - Vibe, June-July 1997. Leschea was born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn NY, and began singing and performing at the age of eight. In 1995 she sang background vocals on Masta Ace's album, Sittin on Chrome which subsequently landed her a deal with Warner Bros. records in 1996. In 1996 she scored chart success with the singles "How We Stay" and "Fulton St.". "Fulton St." was a top 10 best selling single in NYC for seven weeks. Some say her debut album, Rhythm & Beats was prematurely released and never got the attention it deserved. She was released from Warner Bros. after the production company complained of poor marketing and promo. She has been married to executive producer Masta Ace since 2001 and currently has an online radio show called the "Leschea Show." Check out "Fulton St." and the full LP streaming below...

The full review in Vibe Magazine, June-July 1997...

June 26, 2015

DJ Killa-Jewel "UP2015" (20th Anniversary Mix)

Under Pressure is a graffiti festival which focuses on community development, artist empowerment and positive youth development through ownership and responsibility of a shared space. Currently heading into its twentieth year, this festival is the longest running graffiti and hip hop festival in existence. To hype the event, DJ Killa Jewel released this 20th Anniversary mix, filled with razor sharp cuts, original blends, breaks, and tracks featuring the Beastie Boys, DJ Kool, Ol' Dirty Bastard, KRS-One, Q-Tip, Dr. Dre, Kool & The Gang, The Notorious B.I.G., MC Serch, Aretha Franklin, and more. At around 30 minutes, this mini-mix is quick-paced and BEST-used as a workout mix. Listen below...

June 26, 2015

J1K "The Vault Vol.3" (Instrumental Albums)

As promised, the Maryland beatsmith J1K delivers on his the third and final installment in his series of free beat tapes entitled, "The Vault." I've posted all three beat tapes, so dig into this latest release below, then go back in the archives for the other two beat tapes. What's next, J1K?

June 25, 2015

One Be Lo "Laborhood Part IV" (Album Stream)

"The Laborhood mixtape series is a collection of songs that One Be Lo has made guest appearances on, aside from solo material. Part Four features 15 tracks, mixed by DJ Dyllemma. This collection spans over the last decade, highlighting various artists throughout the Laborhood. Laborhood Part Four was recorded in: Pontiac, New Jersey, Chicago, Seattle, Melbourne, Oakland, San Jose, Los Angeles, Austin, Auburn, Portland, Grand Rapids. Featuring: Gameboi, RoSpit, CyMarshall Law, Longshot, Ang13, Magniff, Def Dee, Ken Starr, Fluent Form, DJ Twelvz, Zumbi, Tableek, JFK, Authentic, Mic Phelps, Logic, FYA, DMT, Zeb, Dox Black, Haseeb the Futuristic, SubKulture Patriots, J Ross Parelli, Toni Hill, Ceasar, Marcus D, DJ Sav One, and more." - Stream Laborhood Pt. 4 below.

June 24, 2015

Black Books (Vibe Magazine, June 2005)

"The writing on the walls started to boogie onto the insides of New York City subway trains in like, 1969. By the early '70s, said boogie had funky-wormed its way onto the outsides of the cars. Kids were hanging out at subway storage yards, eating bologna sandwhiches, and painting away without a care in the world. New York City was pretty much bankrupt at this point, and the powers that were had more pressing issues at hand... In those days, writers had respect for one another's "master pieces." That would change once the roving iron canvases were covered from end to end with names. You wanted your name to be up there, too. But if you're gonna go over Shorty 140... you've gotta do something nice, big, and colorful. Something that may require some planning. Time to get a black book - the ultradurable sketch pad you'd bring with you to the yard..." Update: The original video I'd included with this post was unfortunately removed, and I don't (honestly) remember what it was, so I  updated this post with another video about a particular black book. Cont'd below...

"Black books are the jump-off point for nearly every artistic development that we've seen first on trains and then on walls," says writer-turned-world-renowned-artist Daze, who got his first black book in 1976 and has amassed well over 70 since. "They also served as communication device for writers, since they would take them from neighborhood to neighborhood." True that. Before there were books like Subway Art and documentaries like Style Wars, kids picked up styles by peeping the black book game. These books were like bibles to writers, man. Brimming with holy text and passed down from generation to generation, they schooled young artists on the intricacies of Uptown Manhattan's majestic Broadway Elegant and the revolutionary wild-stylings of the Bronx. You never knew whose hands your book would wind up in; it was like a message in a bottle or a rolling stone. And Lord help you if a king like Phase 2 or Tracy 168 happened on your jammie and blessed it even with a simple bubble letter blast. Who needed art school when you could learn from masters like Part or Dondi or Comet or Ghost while chilling the hell out in your bedroom?" - Vibe, June 2005.

June 23, 2015

Pete Rock "Petestrumentals II" (Instrumental Album)

Pete Rock was raised in Mount Vernon, but his face belongs on Mount Rushmore. The Chocolate Boy Wonder perfected an art form, inspired millions, and soundtracked a generation. By contrast, Teddy Roosevelt seems like a chump. This is the man who Dilla told, “I wanted to be like you.” Kanye once called himself the “new Pete Rock.” But the original Pete Rock remains permanently vital. The evidence bangs in his latest opus, Petestrumentals 2, the sequel to the 2001 classic that helped define the hip-hop instrumental record. It marks the legend’s first album on Mello Music Group, a fitting union between the author of the boom-bap blueprint and the label that’s expanded upon his legacy. Petestrumentals 2 conjures memories of BBQ cookouts and 70s Blaxploitation scores, rattling summer jeep cruises and blunted Jamaican vacations. There’s a gorgeous requiem to Dilla (“Dilla Bounce (R.I.P),” where the originator pays tribute to the prodigy. You see the full range of Rock’s gifts on display: the meticulously chopped horns, unquantized drums, and air raid sirens. It contains the emotion of a thousand eulogies. For the last 20 yrs, hip-hop heads have argued over the best PR's original productions and remixes. Is it “TROY” or the “Shut ‘Em Down Remix?” Do you prefer Soul Survivor or Petestrumentals, his work with INI or the UN? His catalog can’t be compressed into a bio; you need a book. This is the latest chapter—an even 20 slaps and rhythmic levitations. 

June 22, 2015

The B.U.M.S. "Lyfe 'N' Tyme" (The Source, June 1995)

"Life and time" is a bid every Black man is doing on Earth, so one must make the best of it. This Oakland duo of MCs, D-Wyze and E-Vocalist, refuses to let the madness deteriorate their skillz on the mic. This is evident on the cut "West Coast Smack," a straight up representation of the growing talent of the West, consisting of a simple but tight jazz chop provided by the Baka Boyz. And the only funds The B.U.M.S. are checkin' for is "Six Figures and Up," as both MCs catch serious wreck over a Fat Albert & the Cosby kids junkyard jam. "Take A Look Around" is one of the album's tightest cuts, expressing the need for individuals to observe their surroundings for growth and not social apathy. This is done over a silky mix of horn and guitar riffs with D-Wyze blowing a smooth sing-a-long chorus that's rounded off with the Jeru sample, "leave your nines at home and  bring your skillz to the battle." Check out the Vinyl Reanimators Remix to "Take a Look Around," cont'd...

"Elevation (Free My Mind)" is the album's best cut and the first single. E-Vocalist and D-Wyze aim their lyrical arrows straight toward the heart of bullshit record labels and fake A&R's, to let them know that all of their ignorance and shady business won't stop them or other MCs from rising to the top. D-Wyze comes correct when he says: "Take control, don't be a f#ckin' fish on a pole / labels will leave you murdered in a river with no soul / it's true for what you say is what you do with the flow / for labels, MCs come and they go...." Lyfe and Tyme should hit from coast to coast with its 13 "unfastforwardable" tracks that are somewhat jazzy but still 'hard.' The sound is anything but the typical West Coast G-rap sound expected from Cali, making this a debut that hip-hop purists will be satisfied with." - The Source, June 1995. (Updated, changed audio link).

June 21, 2015

Ill Conscious "The Essence" (Album Stream)

Chopped Herring Records, the titan of underground, exclusive vinyl releases has caught my eyes and ears yet again. Their latest future-classic is from Ill Conscious, a Baltimore lyricist, who steps to the plate with his debut LP, The Essence. The production on the LP is handled by Loop Holes, MWP, Cold Legistics, illMeasured, Nascent and TooNorth. As for features, we got Dirt Platoon, Shameeka Dream, Yung Miss, and Cyn Hawkes across the 15-track offering. I considered sending a message to Bob Lipitch and inquire as to how his UK-based label came across this B-More spitter, when I'm always looking for MCs of his caliber, lol. Instead, I sent humble props and a guarantee he'd be seeing my money on the release, which he did. Truth is, Chopping Herring Records has been a leader at diggin' and finding gems, so no surprises here! Now, hear what I hear, stream it below...

June 20, 2015

DJ Riz & DJ Eclipse "The Halftime Show" (3/4/98)

"Here's the 1st ever episode of The Halftime Show. Riz & I stepped to Lynn Gonzalez who at that time had the Wednesday night slot and asked her if she wanted to join forces. After some initial hesitation she agreed and thus The Halftime Show was born. Unfortunately, Lynn wasn't able to make the show, but in her place was T.O. Sweet who had his own show on WNYU. Listening back the show was definitely a little rough around the edges, but we made it work. Riz spun the first half of the show, I spun the 2nd half. We had A-Butta and L-Swift of Natural Elements as our guests, which led to a couple dope freestyle sessions (96:16 & 104:25). Mr. Len from Company Flow was hanging out with us in the studio as well. This was before Serato and CDJs so every time we had to play an exclusive we would have to stop the mix to throw on the dat. A lot of the music played represented what was also going on at Fat Beats at the time. The good ol' days." Peace to Eclipse!

June 19, 2015

Nas & AZ "Naz: The Flyest Essence" (Mixed by DJ Rhude)

Nas and AZ's chemistry in the booth is undeniable as evidenced by their body of work over the years. Despite said chemistry, the two arists have never collaborated on a full length album despite the fans pleas for it. While it probably may never happen, Datwon (Vibe, EIC) and DJ Rhude brainstormed about putting together a mixtape as a way of imagining how an album between the two could sound. As a result Naz: the Flyest Essence was born. The mix features beats from The Alchemist, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Salaam Remi and many more. Respect to DJ Rhude. Dig in...

June 18, 2015

The Audible Doctor "Seasons" (Summer | Winter | Spring)

The Audible Doctor started his 4-part series called "Seasons" before I'd created this particular website, but it's worth reminding fans because these are really dope releases and it'll catch you up for future posts. You can head over to his Bandcamp page to download the instrumental versions associated with each release, but for now here are: The Winter Tape, The Summer Tape and his latest, The Spring Tape. Each features outstanding production and features from many of the best MCs in underground hip-hop, such as Chaundon, OddisGuilty Simpson, Oddisee, Tragedy, Hassaan Mackey, Edo G, Kurious, Has Lo, Hus Kingpin, Masta Ace, Wordsworth & more! Get caught up below...

June 17, 2015

Capone-N-Noreaga "The War Report" (The Source Review)

"Although their monikers are adopted from a gangster and drug lord, Capone-N-Noreaga have with their full-length debut, The War Report, avoided the usual hustler-on-the-corner, I'll-murder-your-ass-for-two-cent narratives found in the rap game, and created a sound that can best be described as organized confusion. Combining Third World admiration with their Americanized ghetto stories, splashed with a touch of Islamic and Spanish overtones, this Queens-bred duo have not only created new styles, but created their own chaotic new world. Unfortunately, reality struck during the recording process of putting their investigative reports on wax. With his partner locked away somewhere in the belly of the beast, Noreaga is forced to carry the weight by himself for the majority of this LP. And he does an admirable job. Whether it's his tribute to his partner and other incarcerated homies ("Live On"), or his cold-blooded indicted of studio gangsters ("Halfway Thugs"), Nore proves that he's CNN even he's by himself..." Peep the beef-driven "LA, LA," cont'd below...

"Despite these highlights, it's not surprising that the tracks that Capone recorded before his untimely up-north trip are the best of the bunch. The triumphant single "T.O.N.Y. (Top Of New York)," and the dark and deadly "Neva Die Alone," reveal the duo's charismatic chemistry, while the Marley Marl produced "Capone Bone" features the QB soldier on a solo mission for the ladies... The War Report is one of the most promising debuts in recent times. Let's hope that CNN survive hell on earth and, in the future, are able to deliver more award-winning broadcasts." - The Source, 5/97

June 16, 2015

U.T.K. Rezerectors "Dark Side" (12", 1995)

This U.T.K. Rezerectors 12" was released back in 1994-1995 on Big Boss Records out of New York. The production was done by Paul Williams & K-Dogz. The B-Side single, "Dark Side," has the popular sample from Southside Movement's "Ive Been Watching You," which ironically Snoop Dogg wrote to before Dr. Dre made the beat for "Nuthin But A G Thang." It's also played in a scene from Juice and on countless other tracks. U.T.K. actually stood for "Uptown Kidz," which was 4 artists back in 1992 that had a video single (and 12") for their song "I Got Da Skillz," also on Big Boss Records. In 1992, they sounded like the chart-topping group Kris Kross, but a few years later and they've come back a bit harder and more mature on "Dark Side." "How We Roll" is a confusing blend of both styles - reminiscent of Da Youngsta's, but with a really bad pop-imitation hook on the record. At one point, this was a hard record to find but a quick search found a few copies for $5 dollars, so if you dig it, cop it online for cheap now. You can listen to both tracks from the 12" below (no instrumentals).

June 15, 2015

The Odd Couple (Ghostface & Cappadonna) "WTC Pt.2" (12", 2002)

A quick drop today: this is the 12" from a spin-off from Wu-Tang Clan: Ghostface Killah & Cappadonna as "The Odd Couple." The production is from Ayatollah and the record is called "WTC Pt.2." The etching on the vinyl references D.Charles (assumed to be Richard Charles Waldspurger) who engineered the session, but there is no label or year attached to it's release. Without much info to share, let's just point to Ghostface, who always comes in super hard on records, "Yo, we million dollar Sinatras..." lol. Not much else to say about this one, a track you've likely discovered on mixtapes in the early 2000s, but now you can enjoy the full vocal and instrumental versions below.

June 14, 2015

DJ Hush "Manifest Worldwide" (Mixtape, 2012)

Memphis' Kevin 'DJ Hush' Smith put the smack down on this Manifest Worldwide-sponsored Mixtape in 2012. It’s 29 cuts spanning 90 minutes. The cuts are critical and the mixing is seamless... there’s even a couple shoutouts from golden era icons like Sadat X and El Da Sensei. DJ Hush runs through tracks from The Pharcyde, Das EFX, Junior M.A.F.I.A., O.C., Black Moon, Big L, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian, Wu-Tang Clan, Group Home, Artifacts, Nas, Ed O.G., Geto Boys, Gang Starr, Mad Skillz, Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest, Grand Puba, Lord Finesse, Lords of the Underground, Black Sheep, EPMD, Souls of Mischief and Beastie Boys. You can listen below or download HERE.

June 13, 2015

T-Max "Unsigned Hype" (The Source, June 1995)

"Anyone who listens to demo tapes on a regular basis would likely agree that you can rarely take the track, in the form presented on the demo, straight to the studio for mastering - no matter how good it is. Even if an MC is wicked on the mic, and his tracks are decent, some polishing and fine tuning must still be done. With T-Max, who was born in "War"chester, MA, and now resides in Mission Hill, this is absolutely not the case as he delivers at last four tracks (the one's we heard on the demo) suitable for packaging and sending directly to retailers. And it's not just the polished sound that makes T-Max stand out. His lyrical style, which can easily be likened to Nas (or a less wordy Ras Kass), is more complex than the majority of MCs out now. But it's not so complex that the dialogue is lost in awkwardness. And as for his subject matter, he seems to be capable of swinging a number of ways (II)... With lyrics that are better than 90% of existing MCs with record deals, solid beats and the polished sound of a veteran, T-Max is just waiting to make an A&R's job too easy." - The Source, Unsigned Hype: June 1995. Hit up the tags for releases by the Massachusetts MC, T-Max.

June 12, 2015

Jim Sharp "Straighten It Out" (Mixtape, 2012)

Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, a mix close to the perfection arranged by the very talented Jim Sharp. A trip through sample heaven (Naughty By Nature, Blackstreet, Biz Markie, Notorious B.I.G., Pete Rock, Wu-Tang Clan, and A Tribe Called Quest, etc) carefully re-edited and put down in a tasteful mix that will make your neck snap. Jim Sharp was trying to recreate the vibe at Ali B’s famous Saturday night Paradise sessions in West London when he put this mix together back in 2012. Jim Sharp did a superb job with this mix, hitting us sample heads with looped drum breaks and samples, while also keeping the dancers moving and recreating the vibe. Peace to the good people at FMF for reminding me about this mix. I'll share Part 2 in a follow-up post soon, hope y'all dig sample mixes, too? LMK.

June 11, 2015

Wisdom "All-Star Jam" (12", 1996)

This is Wisdom's fresh 12" from 1996 on Emo Recordings. The 12" is mostly known for it's features from Adagio! and Breeze Brewin of the Juggaknots on the track "All-Star Jam." The production is handled by Adagio! producer, Big Cousin (aka The Obvious Wonder), as well as a vocal feature from Adagio! MC, Rayme Supreme. Beyond that, it's released on Emo Recordings, which was home to the bulk of the releases from Adagio! in the mid-90s. As for Breeze Brewin, he'd been down with Adagio! from years prior, so while I'm not exactly sure how Wisdom was originally connected to them, suffice to say, this record was filled with mid-90s flavor and good chemistry in the booth. The beat moves and the MCs each tackle it like a freestyle cipher, bouncing verses off one another. While Breeze is the obvious stand-out on the track, you might also like the B-Side's "It's Rare" and "Angel," as well ... dig into all three of the tracks below. It's unfortunate there are no LP versions.

June 10, 2015

A Tribe Called Quest "The Love Movement" (CMJ, 1/99)

"It seems like it's been a million years since A Tribe Called Quest's last album. And now, right as the guys have settled into a dope new groove, they go and break up. Sometimes you just can't get it the way you want it. The Love Movement shows ATCQ in an even mellower mode than past boom shots, with a musical formula that never veers far from its center - a minimal drum beat, an amniotic bass pulse and assorted muted keyboards - but nevertheless grooves along, sounding fresh all the way through. The album's opening cut "Start It Up" is a great example of this patent-worthy sound, with Q-Tip rocking an updated version of his lyrical flow, and choppy pacing that jumps over and around the track. "Against The World" and "The Love" tread down a similar path. But there are also vintage ATCQ bounce vehicles here, most notably "Da Booty," "Steppin' It Up" (with Busta Rhymes and Redman) and "Common Ground." The Love Movement isn't going to change the way you think about hip-hop, but it is certainly a nice return to the basics for Q-Tip, Phife and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. It'll also be a memorable parting shot, if it really is their final group effort." - CMJ

The full review in CMJ New Music Monthly can be read below...

June 09, 2015

Rest In Peace, Robert Diaz aka Pumpkinhead

This news hit me hard. Pumpkinhead was a good man. His sense of humor is what I remember most - outside of the music - he had a hefty, caring laugh and was quick to exchange snaps. I guess that's why he found such a good home in battle rapping. Coming up in the NY underground scene, we crossed paths a lot in the early years, always exchanging pleasant hellos and goodbyes, but it wasn't until I found a home and a community at the world famous Fat Beats that we found time to have grown conversations and dig more into our personal lives, away from crowded venues and loud stages. He'll be missed, for certain, and I know so many of his friends and family will feel a loss that they will carry with them until they meet again. It's been humbling to see the public support and even the bigger publications covering his much-earned impact in the culture. I hope he felt that when he was here; too often we hold that love to ourselves, when it's meant to be shared. Rest In Peace, Pumpkinhead. PH. Robert Diaz ... our friend. In closing, a post from Talib  Kweli saying, "Just finding out I lost a great friend today. RIP Robert Diaz AKA Pumpkinhead. Robert and I went to PS 282 together in Brooklyn, 4th grade. We then reconnected when he became an MC during the indie era of the late 90s. He signed to Makin Records, I signed to Rawkus. Then PH went on to reinvent himself again in the new battle rap era. He LOVED MCing and was great at it. To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words. There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz." Click HERE to consider making a donation to help his family and honor his memory...

June 08, 2015

Eternia & MoSS "At Last" (Exclusive EP, 6/8/10)

This is an exclusive EP by Eternia & Moss, released in advance of their At Last LP on Fat Beats Records. At Last is entirely produced by MoSS and features appearances by some of Hip-hop’s elite, including Joell Ortiz, Termanology, Tona, Reef The Lost Cauze, Lady of Rage, Rah Digga, Maestro Fresh Wes and more. The EP features two remixes that are only available through this release: "It's Funny" featuring Ras Kass and "The BBQ," featuring Jean Grae and Tiye Phoenix. Lastly, there's a version of "The BBQ," which includes Eternia, Rah Digga, Lady of Rage, Tiye Phoenix & Jean Grae on one extended "mega" mix. Due to not having platforms like Bandcamp, Audiomack or Soundcloud at the time, the outdated Zshare links led to these exclusive tracks not having the same lasting power that they would today. So, it wouldn't surprise me if you've never heard these remixes. On a sentimental note, Eternia and I recorded and released Episode 1 of a video series called "Road To Release," with hopes of landing a record deal and a proper home for the Eternia & MoSS "At Last" album on June 8, 2009. We released this "At Last" EP on June 8, 2010 - 1 year to the day - after a successful promo campaign and signing a record deal with Fat Beats Records. I'm still very thankful to Fat Beats Records for holding true to their roots in vinyl and not only pressing the album on CD and 2LP, but also this exclusive vinyl EP. 5 years later, check it out below...

June 07, 2015

A Boom Bap Continuum (Mixtape, 2009)

The message originally released with 2009's A Boom Bap Continuum, “2tall, Clockwork and Kper are very proud to let you know that our new mix, A Boom Bap Continuum, is now live. We’ve worked very hard on this for most of the year and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we did putting it together. The mix features over 200 tracks by more than 50 producers all mixed, edited and mashed up in 80 minutes. The intention is simple: we wanted to highlight the lineage of hip-hop production and beat making from the turn of the millennium to the present day, and perhaps shed some light on the fairly quiet revolution that has been taking place under the surface of mainstream media in recent years.” Blogs have called this "one of the most educational mixes ever heard..." Listen below...

June 06, 2015

Now Futur "Origins Of The Villain" (Video Mix)

Origins Of The Villain is a video and audio mix that has played as an opening for MF DOOM shows in Europe. Put together by Sims, Mass and Alan the G of French collective Now Futur, it plays tribute to much of MF Doom’s source material, flipping his beats and recreating them using original samples and videos. Artwork by Julien Sens. While many MF Doom fans have already scoured the internet and their local record stores for his original sample material, hearing close to an hour of these samples alongside compelling visuals, makes this very much worthy of your time! In fact, I'd argue it's a one-of-a-kind tribute, and better than most mixes you'll hear. Updated video link + it's also HERE.

June 05, 2015

The Fugees "Rumble In The Jungle" (1997)

"Rumble In The Jungle" was released in 1997 on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning documentary, "When We Were Kings;" an unforgettable account of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's infamous fight in Zaire in 1974. Leon Gast's "When We Were Kings" is touted as the "untold story of the Rumble In The Jungle," and as the celebratory first single, The Fugees were joined by A Tribe Called Quest, John Forte, and Busta Rhymes. Peep Lauryn Hill's bars and the video for the song below...

"...The man's got a God complex
But take the text, change the picture
Watch Muhammad play the messenger like Holy Muslim scriptures
Take orders from only God
Only war when it's Jihad
See Ali appears in Zaire to reconnect 400 years
So we the people, dark but equal, give love to such things
To the man who made the fam' remember when we were kings..."

June 04, 2015

Children of the Corn "American Dream" (12", 1996)

Today's vinyl release is from the legendary collective, Children of the Corn. Children of the Corn was a crew from Harlem, NY that included Big L, Murda Mase (Mase), Killa Kam (Cam'ron), Bloodshed, and Herb McGruff. The details are fuzzy on whom else may have been included in the crew - I’ve heard conflicting stories - but at its core, these were the main members until Bloodshed (Cam's cousin) was killed in a car accident, and individually the crew went on to have solo careers. Their individual stories are well-documented so let’s get to the 12” - it’s from 1996 and has ‘American Dream’ on the A-side and ‘Harlem USA’ on the B-Side. It’s considered an ‘unofficial release’ with no label attached, but fans of the earlier work do gravitate towards this record. DJs appreciate the a cappella on 'American Dream' and there are 2 separate versions of 'Harlem USA' on the B-side: a Harlem version & an Uptown version. You can stream/download the full "American Dream" 12" below.

June 03, 2015

Professor P & DJ Akilles "All Year, Every Year: Winter/Spring"

Professor P & DJ Akilles are a critically acclaimed, international duo from Sweden that keep the fundamentals of hip-hop at the forefront of their music: dope rhymes and patterns from Professor P & DJ Akilles on the cuts and crisp, nostalgic production. Pro & Ak have great chemistry and you could probably throw a dart at any track in their catalog and catch the vibe, but I want to shine some extra light on their "All Year, Every Year" series. I love the song "Everything's Alright." They also have a nice feature from Rah Digga on the track "For The City," but FAR beyond that is the last track and last verse on the song "Sleep;" I can relate and a tear drops as I listen to type this...

"Earl Patrick McNease, I hope you're rapping in peace
If life is one thing, it's something like a passionate breeze
You supported every Pro & AK track we released 
The hip-hop activist is happy to teach ... about this artform
I read a comment last night that my made heart warm
I would bring it with me on this journey I embark on..."

"This thank you is way past its due date
Your love for the game was unconditional
Didn't  want the fame, you had a different role
Now the same lane is where I wish to go
Even though we never met in real life
I must have lost a friend from how this feel like
I must have lost a friend from how this feel like
Let's let your name echo through the still night
Now that you're .... Sleep."

- R.I.P. to my Brother, Praverb The Wyse (Earl Patrick McNease)

June 02, 2015

Supastition "Gold Standard" (Album Stream)

"Gold Standard" is the latest full-length album from North Carolina's most underrated lyricist, Supastition. With countless artists claiming to be the best - without having a catalog to back their words - Supastition speaks powerful words with the content to back him up! "Gold Standard" includes vocal features from Kenn Starr, Boog Brown, Audessey, and Supastition's group, Soundsci. Plus, production from Praise, MoSS, Rik Marvel, Veterano, Jonny Cuba and Croup. In support of the album, Supastition is embarking on a 60+ city tour with Blueprint! Follow Supastition to see all the cities and dates for the "King No Crown" Tour, and be sure to catch it when it comes to your town.

June 01, 2015

Jeru The Damaja "D. Original" (The Source, 6/94)

As far as real heads are concerned, 1994 is shaping up to be the year of the Damaja. Slowly and skillfully this brother has built up a rep that you just can't front on. And with this debut LP about ready to drop any day now, you can rest assured that the best is yet to come. "D. Original" is the type of record that people have in their minds when they talk about "taking it to the next level." From the kick drum intro to the panic-stricken background tones to the unorthodox paino that literally sounds like someone sat on the keys by accident, this record stands apart from anything available on the market today. With Jeru, hardcore meets and successfully subjugates the avant-garde. DJ Premier proves once again that this controlled chaos is his domain, and after just one listen to his latest sonic assault you'll feel like breaking somebody's jaw. Jeru's fraud-free flow continues to knock lightweights off the mic at will. Make no mistake, Jeru is the true "dirty rotten scoundrel" and unlike those other pretenders, he makes records for the homies who are here now. - The Source, June '94 // Check out the video for Jeru The Damaja's single "D. Original" below...