September 30, 2015

Westside Gunn & Conway "Griselda Ghost" (Free Download)

"Cats always talmbout they tryna bring the 90s back…n then literally try n make 90s soundin type shit. The Westside Gunn x Conway approach always been more bout bringin the ESSENCE of 90s/classic hip hop back. This EP aint no different from that namsayin. All production was handled by Big Ghost Ltd so you already kno the shit gon be endless fire emojis. This is pure grimy NY hip hop in its purest form. Fxck all the stupid shit. Put down the room temperature soy milk rap n get blessed by the flyness." Stream the EP below, much props to Big Ghost. You can download it HERE.

September 29, 2015

Mixography "Death Row vs. Bad Boy" (Mix)

The Collectives' Raydar Ellis put this nice mix together, featuring cuts from the East vs West Coast camps, Bad Boy Entertainment and Death Row Records. The 26-track mix runs through joints from Craig Mack, P Diddy, Blackstreet, Biggie, Mase, Les McCann, Mase, 112, Snoop, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, N.W.A., and even more ... it even touches Mtume, so you know what to do ... stream it below. 

September 28, 2015

The Halftime Show "Stretch & Bobbito" (9/23/15)

To kick off their promotional campaign for their upcoming movie "Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives", the duo came by The Halftime Show to talk about the documentary and everything KCR related. As soon as the two of them were in the place together and we turned on the mics it was 1994 all over again. Jokes were flying, phone calls were taken and info was shared about the history of their come up. Even after Bobbito left, Stretch stayed and we had another discussion about his career as a DJ and the decline of his interest in the music that was being made in the late 90s, early 2000s. I also played all 90s Hip Hop on vinyl and incorporated another WKCR alum, DJ Homicide aka Hungry Jack to help out with the instrumentals. The documentary is amazing and for information on it's release as well as anything Stretch & Bob related you can go to HERE. - Eclipse.

September 27, 2015

Apollo Brown "Grandeur" (Album Stream)

In recent years, Apollo Brown has become an institution of Detroit hiphop. Through skillful collaborations and refining his own recognizable style, Brown has moved to the forefront of the underground scene. For his newest album, "Grandeur," Apollo Brown has assembled an all-star cast of MCs like Evidence, Rasheed Chappell, Chino XL, Finale, Ras Kass, M.O.P., Vinnie Paz, O.C., Eternia, Westside Gunn, Masta Ace, Sean Price, Reks & more to join the stage with him as he displays his signature brand of hard hitting production. My favorite tracks are M.O.P.'s "Detonate," Vinnie Paz's "Walk With Me," and I'm bias, but much love to my artist, Eternia, on the track, "Each Other." Dig in...

September 26, 2015

Kool G Rap "4, 5, 6" (Vibe Review, 9/95)

"Lately gangsta rap has been in the curious spot of being simultaneously declared played out, commercially unviable, and - no news here - threatening to the morals of the young. The murderously cool G-Rap of Kool G Rap's new album, 4,5,6 doesn't so much counter those complaints as ignore them. Over the course of 10 tales of lives on the line, street loyalty, desperate criminal ambition, unsentimental remorse, and vicious capitalist ethics, 4,5,6 approaches thug life the right way: as if it had never been written about before. For his first album without longstanding partner DJ Polo, Kool G Rap retreated to the rural wilds of Bearsville, NY and captured an ambience of deep urban dread. The tracks are determinedly New York old-school, with few concessions to contemporary fashion: an atonal piano sample here, a mournful keyboard line there, the odd sung chorus." Peep the Buckwild-produced smash with Nas, "Fast Life," the article continues below...

"The stark elements of '80s style eerily evoke that decade's reactionary politics - the greedy, ruthless, white-collar, white-boy governmental savagery that generated its black, underground mirror-image gangsta rap... What the corny politicians who denounce rap never get is how much they have in common with the entrepreneurial characters in these songs - "A team from outta Queens with the American dream," as "Fast Life" puts it. Unlike their free-enterprising counterparts in real life, though, the high rollers in Kool G Rap's world occasionally admit to moments of regret. As the chorus of "It's a Shame" puts it, "It's a damn shame what I gotta do just to make a dollar / Livin' in this game, sometimes it makes me wanna holler," echoing Marvin Gaye's plaint from the early '70s. As 4,5,6 grippingly demonstrates, not much as been done to ease the inner-city blues for the past quarter century. No amount of official hypocrisy can disguise that neglect. Or diminish the art - whether it's Marvin Gaye, Run DMC, or Kool G Rap - that rises up in response to it." - Vibe 9/95

September 25, 2015

Questlove "The Lesson Mix" (Samples Mix, 2005)

The Lessons Mix was originally broadcasted on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Show on BBC ten years ago today (9/25/05). Questlove, is of course the drummer from The Roots, and has put together a mix of sampled songs that popular Hip-Hop songs have borrowed from, which provides an interesting and alternative journey. I think Quest would agree that it’s not focused on the super rare stuff, more a personal trip through the history of samples and focuses more on samples which are classics in their own right. You'll recognize these samples from tracks by Kanye West, Common, Camp Lo, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Alicia Keys, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Smif-N-Wessun, and lots more. The musical journey continues, click HERE for another samples mix from Questlove. Listen to it below...

September 24, 2015

Scarface "Deeply Rooted" (Album Stream)

The twelfth studio album from Houston's OG, Scarface. To describe the album, Aaron McKrell of HipHopDX said, "Musically, Deeply Rooted is low-key, superbly playing to Scarface's strengths. Piano loops and thick drums draw in the listener while allowing Scarface to take center stage on several tracks, providing the album with a cohesive feel without sounding repetitive." Erin Lowers of Exclaim! said, "Although Deeply Rooted may not hold up to previous albums in the grand scheme of his discography, the veteran once again planted seeds for his legacy to grow." My favorite track on the album is surprisingly not an album cut, but the single "God," featuring John Legend.

"I wonder when I sleep is he there sitting on my chest
Stealing breath, shortening my days even less
Lost souls never rest, a killer walks the streets seeking flesh
A adolescent hangs she's depressed
A priest who confessed, a judged typing a nigga in a text
Your honor, what the fuck did you expect?
A father kills his son look at life it's a mess
Just imagine what would happen if the lord up and left..."

September 23, 2015

Organized Konfusion "The Equinox" (Billboard, 1997)

"Long respected in the hip-hop underground, Organized Konfusion is resurfacing after a three-year hiatus with a new concept collection titled "The Equinox." Following a two-album sting with Hollywood Basic Records ... "The Equinox" will emerge Sept. 23 on Priority Records. Since their last release, crew members Pharoahe Monch and Prince Poetry say they've kept busy regrouping and building their camp... "We decided not to simply point fingers at Hollywood Basic. We said, 'Let's see what we can do to make our situation better."... The Equinox displays evidence that Organized Konfusion's brotherly bond is still strong and that its creative drive is still very much active. Poetry credits the positive feedback they've received from fans and critics over the years for helping them remain and maintain. "And what's also kept us afloat for three albums is the fact that we don't have a niche. We always come different, and I think that not knowing what to expect from us keeps people constantly intrigued. I mean, we didn't even know what we were going to do going into this album."

"Ultimately, Organized Konfusion decided to create an aural movie highlighting the good-time / bad-time experiences of a "couple maturing homies," complete with a gravelly voiced narrator from the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y. "The album's concept is derived from its title, which refers to the time of year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are equal," Monch says. "These people are at the midpoint of their lives, when they're in the middle of a lot of important decisions. They mirror some of our situations and some of the situations we see people go through. And to make the record interesting, we jumped ahead 20 years. The narrator goes back and tells how he got to this destination." Although every song on "The Equinox" doesn't fit tightly into the story line, Monch says, "Since we're so diverse and versatile, we wanted a way to kinda get everything together. I hate to sound cliche, but we think this album really brings together the whole O.K. thing." (Updated).

September 22, 2015

Lord Finesse "Frozen Files: Diggin' Special" (Samples Mix, 2010)

Here we have the Funky Technician, Lord Finesse, going deep in the crates playing 49 minutes of classic original samples and breaks on East Village Radio's "Frozen Files" program. It was originally recorded on September 22, 2010, but they were kind enough to upload the archived mix for us all to enjoy. These kinds of mixes get lost in the infinite shelf space of the internet, but deserve special recognition. Lord Finesse is arguably one of the dopest MC/Producers in the history of music. He's also an incredible DJ, battle MC and has some of the most clever, hardest hitting punchlines of any MC to kick a freestyle. Listen to this classic samples mix below, and peace to the D.I.T.C. crew....

September 21, 2015

Akinyele "Vagina Diner" (The Source, 9/93)

"Ak Hoo Hoo? I know, the single was cool, but you're still kinda hungry for a little more of that dirty, down low, home-cooked hip-hop that the Ak hit ya off with back in 1990 on the Main Source's classic posse cut "Live At The BBQ." Well, you do not have to wait any longer for new flavor, 'cause it's a family reunion, and Akinyele is settin' it off with his dope Vagina Diner debut. And yes, Large Paul aka the Large Professor is back behind the boards, serving you swell with his 100% anti-beef-beat-burgers (from rare to well-done) fresh off the production grill. As soon as you place the bomb inside your Walkman, Akinyele bombards you with blaring echo; ie freaking you with his trademark technique of word pronunciation (he dramatically lowers his voice for certain words and phrases) as well as his legendary Ak-freestyle-fit-unky-ness." Check the video to "The Bomb," cont'd below...

"Become a witness as he makes emcees write how dope he is on the insides of their books on the delirious "Dear Diary." Or help him chuck the luggage as he throws out another golddigger on "Bags Packed." Yep, he makes you flare your nostrils when you smell the funk of "The Bomb," "No Exit" and the sick love song "I Luh Her" ... it's Kings from Queens at the grill and Ak is servin' up home-cooked flavor." - The Source, September 1993. Read the full review down below & revisit the album HERE...

September 20, 2015

Black Moon "Behind The Moon" (DVD, 2004)

One of Brooklyn's finest underground rap crews, Black Moon, offer a look inside its music and the lives of its group members, both at home and on the road, in this home video. Black Moon: Behind the Moon (originally released in June, 2004) features group members Buckshot, 5FT, and Evil Dee giving a tour of their neighborhood, working in their home studio, visiting radio stations during a promotional tour for the album Total Eclipse, and sharing the stage with the likes of Sean Price, Starang Wondah, and Cocoa Brovaz during their furious live show. Salute to Duck Down Records.

September 19, 2015

The Lost Total Pack Tape 1​.​0 (Album Stream, 1995-1998)

This LP contains unreleased 90's hip-hop tracks by CeStyle aka Corey Drumz from the legendary NYC underground groups, Total Pack & Korp Dynasty, during his time on Wild Pitch Records. The cover art was handled by the late Matt Doo. I'm not sure if it was DJ Eclipse or someone else, but I was put on to CeStyle via the track "Backstreet," which is included on the tape, along with lots of other unreleased gems, check it out below. Parkhouse Music: 1995-1998 Extended Edition. Dig in...

September 18, 2015

The Absouljah "The Author Illustrates" (Album Stream)

"The author brings you the story. However, when this very author brings you the story written so well you can see the visuals in vivid motion… He also becomes the illustrator. The author and illustrators job goes hand in hand: One describes events in words, while the other draws pictures to relate to the words, and sometimes pictures are placed first to let words describe them. The author illustrates life in its actual form. Away from the misrepresentation of glamour being the life we live instead of the hopeful ending we dream of. In this detailed album, we will see the world through the mind of an authentic visionary." Stream "The Author Illustrates" by The Absouljah below.

September 17, 2015

Cactus Jack "Act Like What You Say" (12", 1999)

I first heard of this 12" from Cactus Jack in 1999 via a cassette mix of DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz for the "Halftime Show." I was always a fan of Ed O.G. & I studied everything Roc Raida did, so I cop'd this 12" on Bi-Coastal Recordings. Along with Ed O.G. & cuts from Roc Raida, "Act Like What You Say" features Big Dubez and production from Gringo From Town. The B-Side has 2 records, "Red Line," produced by Rich Boogie & "Cactus K-9 Connect," featuring Da Bulldogs and Gringo From Town again. Bi-Coastal Recordings only had a few other releases in its catalog, mostly tracks from Queens MC, Natruel. Following those breadcrumbs will bring you to "The Big Daddy Anthem," featuring Shabazz The Disciple, L Fudge, and Mr. Eon of The High & Mighty. If that sounds like something you'd like, I suggest you cop it, it's dope. In the meantime, peep Cactus Jack's "Act Like What You Say" below...

September 16, 2015

DJ Mars & Bobby Black "The Mix Behind The Tape" (Mixtape)

DJ Mars published the documentary-style, non-fiction book “The Art Behind The Tape” in 2014, chronicling the origins and rise of mix tapes that fueled the power and popularity of hip hop music and DJ culture. As a complement to the book, DJ Mars and DJ Bobby Black released The Mix Behind The Tape. The mix featured tracks from Big L, Kid Capri, Ice-T, Busy Bee, Kool Moe Dee, Lord Finesse, Doo Wop, DJ SNS, Onyx, Pudgee The Phat Bastard, Notorious B.I.G., The Lox, Canibus, G-Unit, T.I., Young Jeezy, DJ Drama, Juelz Santana, Joe Budden and lots more. The mix is a nice conversation piece and I definitely do recommend picking up a copy of the book HERE. (Updated)

September 15, 2015

Kon & Amir "Off Track Vol. 3: Brooklyn" (Mix)

Off Track III finds the New York/Boston-based pair of Kon & Amir shining light on another diverse array of underexposed vinyl. The eclectic African disco and soul cuts Amir highlights on his disc are Americanized by style, but inherently authentic in feel, demonstrating the very best of the region’s dance music from the period following Fela Kuti’s mid-70s creative peak. Some standouts: Tee Mac’s 1980’s insistently catchy ‘Living Everyday’; Effi Duke’s percussive masterpiece ‘The Time Is Come’; and Christy Essien’s glorious ‘You Can’t Change’, which features famed bandleader Geraldo Pino’s Show Train outfit. Also in the mix are a couple of cuts from unsung Nigerian star Dizzy K. Falola aimed at sophisticated dancefloors. Much love to Amir, give this throwback mix a listen below...

September 14, 2015

Gang Starr "Step In The Arena" (Album Review 2/91)

I posted a review of Step In The Arena from Hip-Hop Connection earlier, now let's go into this review from The Source, which says, "After listening to Gang Starr's first record in '89 I felt it was a record with a lot of good ideas but it seemed like a first draft. Then the "Manifest" remix became a hit and I was convinced that these guys had mad potential and would really be able to flex their complete creative muscle if they got signed by a major label. Boom! Here we are in '91 and Gang Starr is back, but this time they are on a major label with a dope new album that has a whopping eighteen cuts. This is plenty of music for your hard earned duckets and believe me this album is so far above and beyond their first record that you couldn't even compare the two." Cont'd below...

"On the production level, DJ Premier has woven together elements of jazz, fusion, blues, funk and hip-hop sensibilities to create a completely unique sound and style that will affirm his position in hip-hop's upper echelon of producers. Like A Tribe Called Quest's album, Step In The Arena stands alone on a musical level; yet it also remains true to hip-hop's underground heritage because as interesting and progressive the music is, it still retains a street feel." Peep the '91 Video Press Kit...

"The Guru Keithy E has an unorthodox poetic rhyme style combined with an offbeat delivery and a distinctive yet mellow voice that punctuates his style. At times his rhymes are a bit hard to digest but the smooth tracks make things turn out lovely. Premier has a knack for using phrases from familiar hip-hop songs that he cuts up severely for choruses and such. This is demonstrated best on songs such as "Form Of Intellect," where he cuts KRS-One saying, "Intellectual but not yet equivalent" and the slamming "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" where Kool Keith's line "You wack MC's!" is savagely cut up and segues into Biz saying "I'll see ya later" cut up lovely again by Premier."

"Eighteen songs may scare some people away, but have no fear because the music flows freely from one song to another, each with a distinct musical identity. When you've had your fill of the current crop of rappers (with notable exceptions) who are selling out or jumping on the newest bandwagon, pick up the Gang Starr album for something diverse, distinctive, and very funky." - The Source (2/91)

September 13, 2015

Kendrick Lamar Shares A Note To 2Pac + Video Interview

"I was 8 yrs old when I first saw you. I couldn't describe how I felt at that moment. So many emotions. Full of excitement. Full of joy and eagerness. 20 yrs later I understand exactly what that feeling was. INSPIRED. The people that you touched on that small intersection changed lives forever. I told myself I wanted to be a voice for man one day. Whoever knew I was speaking out loud for u to listen. Thank you. - KL"

It's been said that the original title to Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly" album, was actually "Tu Pimp A Caterpillar" (TuPAC). “Me changing it to ‘Butterfly’, I just really wanted to show the brightness of life and the word “pimp” has so much aggression, and that represents several things,” the rapper explained. “For me, it represents using my celebrity for good. Another reason is, not being pimped by the industry through my celebrity.” Ultimately, Kendrick's album does pay tribute by sharing a unique spin on 2Pac's vocals from an unreleased interview; closing his album with a conversation between 2Pac and KL. An incredible album, I hope you've been paying attention and digesting the art K Dot has been creating since he entered the game. If not, resolve that ASAP (hit the tags). Today marks the 19th anniversary of 2Pac's death, may he Rest In eternal Peace. 

September 12, 2015

DJ Platurn "Best Of A Tribe Called Quest" (Mixtape, 2005)

“DJ Platurn’s Tribe mix was a huge inspiration for me in the editorial process of making the film ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest’. This mix has an elegance and flow that all Tribe and music fans will absolutely appreciate and enjoy," says Michael Rapaport. DJ Platurn did an amazing job at paying tribute to one of the greatest rap groups of all time. As Rob Swift said, Platurn "captured the spirit of ATCQ and I’m sure this mix will inspire listeners." Take this hour-long journey along with me and enjoy the legendary group, A Tribe Called Quest. Listen to the mix below...

September 11, 2015

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 54: Keep Feedin' Ya" (Mixtape, 1997)

Tony Touch's Tape 54 aka Keep Feedin' Ya was Tony Toca hittin' the streets off once again in 1997 with the latest hip-hop gems. This mix tape included tracks from Wu-Tang Clan, Cella Dwellas, D.I.T.C., O.C., Boot Camp Clik, Heather B, Craig Mack, Jay-Z, DJ Riz, Lost Boyz, Big Pun, DJ Muggs, Cappadonna, Tragedy Khadafi, M.O.P., Tracey Lee, Group Home, Saukrates, Sauce Money, Artifacts, KRS-One, MC Eiht, Black Attack and more. This tape was front-loaded with BANGERS, listen below...

September 10, 2015

King I Divine "Lost Jewelz Vol.1" (Instrumental Album)

"Lost Jewelz" is the newest installment of King I Divine's ever-extending gems, offering three EP's that consist of unreleased / released instrumentals and songs. As Part 1 of 3, 'Lost Jewelz' offers a head nod to his previous 'Crown Jewelz' (2008-2011) series with a resonant but relevant essence of Boom Bap, basslines and layered beats." Check out King I Divine's instrumental release below...

September 10, 2015

Cuban Link "Next" Feature In Vibe Magazine (September, 2000)

"Felix "Cuban Link" Delgado... determination has always been characteristic of the 25-year-old. When faced with a struggle, he doesn't back down. The most recent setback, of course, is the death of his fellow Terror Squad member and close friend of 11 years, Big Pun. Now with the Squad's biggest star gone, Cuban Link has the difficult task of carrying the weight of the crew with his long-awaited debut, 24-K. It won't be easy. Along with Pun, Cuban Link first caught the attention of the public with his appearance on the Beatnuts' 1997 hit "Off The Books." But instead of taking advantage of the track's huge buzz, Cuban was forced to wait for both Fat Joe's Don Cartagena and Terror Squad's self-titled debut to drop. While Joe struck gold, Terror Squad failed completely. "I feel like I missed my chance already," he says." Cont'd below with "Flowers For The Dead" ...

"But Cuba's not giving up on an album he knows is good and that Big Pun would be proud of. Fat Joe agrees, "His album is incredible," he says. "Ladies are gonna love him, but he keeps it real for the brothas, too." Following the CD's somber Pun tribute, "Flowers For The Dead," Cuban hopes to release the salsa-tinged party starter "Dame Un Beso," and win audiences over with 24-K's wide range of sentiments. "I tried to hit every emotion and mood," he says. "I'm talking about different aspects of life." He should know. Cuban has overcome bigger obstacles. Following the Refugee Act of 1980, Fidel Castro dumped Cuba's inmates onto boats and sent them to the States. One of those men was Cuban Link's father, who had been locked up for selling a pair of pants on the street. "It was hard times," Cuban says of their first few years in the South Bronx, N.Y. "Our whole family would go on field trips collecting cans." And although he faces an uncertain future in the tumultuous rap game, Cuban Link welcomes the challenge. "I'm like a clutch hitter," he says, confidently. "I like to be where the pressure's at." - Vibe, September 2000. (24-K never officially came out.) R.I.P. Big Pun.

September 09, 2015

Masta Ace x NPR "Microphone Check"

"Masta Ace had his first drink at a Cold Chillin' Christmas party. This was after he graduated from the University of Rhode Island. The national popularity of "Born to Roll" in the mid-'90s — and an amount of drama related to tensions between the coasts at that time — was a wrench thrown into his career, but he responded with Disposable Arts, an album released in October of 2001 that included features from three different women rapping. He made the album in the year after he was told he has multiple sclerosis. "I wanted to go out on my own terms. I re-dedicated myself to the craft in a different way, and I made my best music, I feel, after that diagnosis." Ace spoke with Microphone Check about commercial radio, coaching high school football and working as a guidance counselor, and why he continues to write and record as a solo artist and as part of eMC, which released The Tonite Show in May." Listen to the dope interview with Masta Ace below, classic emcee!

September 08, 2015

Mr. Lif "Live From The Plantation" (Hip Hop Connection, 2005)

A nice video review of Mr. Lif's "Live From The Plantation" in Hip-Hop Connection: "It's about how nine-to-five office hell can be soul-sucking and drive you to extreme acts of violence!" - a truth as universal and sure as life and death itself. From his rude awakening - still clothed and locked in an embrace with an MPC after, we assume, a long night of beat making... Lif is locked in a twilight world, slipping between workday drudgery and the kind of violent daydreams that even peace-loving wage-slaves like Lif dream... "While the song's message was a strong one, I also felt that certain parts of the song lent themselves to a more cartoonish, comedic approach," says the video director Ian Levasseur. And that comedy is best expressed in the video's itchy, scratchy, extreme violence."

"I think that my favorite part of the video is where Lif chokes out his nemesis in the bathroom," Levasseur continues. "It still makes me laugh now. But MTV flexed their political power by vetoing our original edit. We were forced to cut out a number of scenes that they considered questionable: the guy with the noose, Lif making a gun gesture and also a number of other scenes ... MTV is the anti-christ to independent hip-hop" ... Like Lif's lyrics - which often take the position of affable and concerned everyman - it manages to make a point - that we sell ourselves to work, that it crushes your soul - while avoiding any trace of preachiness. And like Lif, it does this through a knowing use of humor. The result is a classic laugh-out-loud portrayal of soul-suckingness that no doubt chimes with 20-something b-boy wage slaves everywhere..." - Hip-Hop Connection, 2005. Peace to Mr. Lif!

September 07, 2015

Mick Boogie x Nas "The Lost Tapes 2" (Mixtape, 2003)

Back in October, 2010, an e-mail from Nas was leaked online, where Nas "allegedly" communicated to Def Jam, "put my shit out!" in reference to "The Lost Tapes 2," and that was just the title of the e-mail. An unnamed rep from Nas' camp authenticated the e-mail (via MTV), saying "It was a personal e-mail," ... "[The leak] wasn't planned. It was not meant to be blasted out in the world, but we're not upset about it." You can read the full e-mail below, and if you're a fan like me - even all these years later, you still want that album! While I'm sure we will get it one day, we can look back to 2003, when Mick Boogie released this Nas mixtape, "The Lost Tapes 2." The unofficial mix features a few live joints, as well as "The Pledge," "Sometimes I Wonder," "The Rise & Fall," "The Essence," "Stay Chiseled," "Holla Back," "Queens Day" and lots more in that vein. Nothing groundbreaking and exclusive, but a nice collection of tracks and Mick Boogie is always on point in the mix, listen below.

The e-mail from Nas to Def Jam in October, 2010:

September 07, 2015

Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L "It's The Roc: Original Samples" (Mix)

Frank The Butcher & DJ 7L are back it: It's The Roc: Original Samples mix includes the classic records that served as the bedrock of many songs released during the reign of the mighty Roc-A-Fella Records (and beyond). The mix features artists such as Ohio Players, Billy Stewart, Allen Toussaint, Simon Haseley, Creative Source, Labi Siffre, Curtis Mayfield, Ennino Moriconne and lots more. Always great work from these talented DJs, you can dig into this dope ROC mix below...

September 06, 2015

Bee Why "The Lost Tapes" / "G.A.T.S." (12", 1998)

Let's go back to 1998 for this one; a nice 12" by Bee Why called "G.A.T.S." with "Crazy Queens" on the B-Side. Bee Why or Byron Stacey was an MC out of Queens, he had a few 12" releases on a label called Wolfpak; 2 of which dropped before "G.A.T.S": "Reality" and "The Boros." The production was handled by a DJ/Producer then known as Gee The Nutty Professor aka Ayatollah, who later produced the classic "Miss Fat Booty" for Mos Def, and Styles P & Pharoahe Monch's "The Life," among others. It took until 2013 but the Wolfpak label finally released cassettes and CDs for a project called "The Lost Tapes." The project features over a dozen rare and unreleased recordings - all remastered and produced by Ayatollah. Click HERE to check out "The Lost Tapes," for sure!

September 05, 2015

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 58: Underground Express" (Mixtape, 1998)

Tony Touch's Tape 58 was also called Underground Express... It was released in 1998 on Dope on Tape in Germany. Running the best of the underground joints that were making noise at the time, Tony Touch mixes tracks from M.O.P., Fat Joe, Def Squad, Marley Marl, Sunz of Man, KRS-One, Street Smartz, Big Daddy Kane, Raekwon, Noreaga, DMX, Funkmaster Flex, Buckshot, Afu-Ra, Ghostface Killah, Powerule, Kid Carpi, Dynasty, Paula Perry, Lord Digga, A Tribe Called Quest, Lord Tariq, Heltah Skeltah and more. This wasn't my favorite of his tapes, but it still goes hard today...

Another fine mix from Tony Touch, hit the archives for more...

September 04, 2015

Blu & Exile "Give Me My Flowers..." (11/4/12)

Blu & Exile's "Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them" was released on this day in 2012. Definitely to be celebrated as another phenomenal album in their catalog, I wanted to share it since I didn't have the site back in '12. Fat Beats at the time shared the following in their press release: "Blu & Exile return to their collaborative origins with the release of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, the long-anticipated followup to the duo's landmark debut, Below the Heavens. Featuring Fashawn, Homeboy Sandman, Johaz of Dag Savage, Black Spade of Hawthorne Headhunters, and ADAD, the new album on Dirty Science / Fat Beats is both an evolution from and complement to their first: a cohesive, kicked back collection of hip-hop buoyed by Blu's gymnastic wordplay and Exile's soulful, sample-driven beats. While Blu's penchant for introspection and analysis remains intact, his perspective ebbs from the sun-soaked nostalgia of Below the Heavens to a more playful realm where raps about lost love and forgotten dreams find equal footing with those about Gondry films and delivery cheesecake. Together Blu & Exile have taken the raw materials of rap and crafted charmingly idiosyncratic, album-minded music that transcends coasts and continents alike."

September 03, 2015

50 Cent "Power Of The Dollar" (Vibe, July 2000)

"With his controversial stickup-kid anthem, "How To Rob," from last year's In Too Deep soundtrack, 50 Cent entered the hip hop world as though he had nothing to lose. His threats of making his peers run the jewels may have burned a few bridges, but his feverish storytelling and humor-filled punchlines made him one to watch in the new millennium. On his debut LP, Power Of The Dollar, the Queens, N.Y., native continues his hunt for props, once again slapping the faces of rappers and trying to boost his 'hood credibility with boasts of his thuggery." The Vibe review goes on to suggest that 50 stole Hov's rhyme style, you can check out the full review below. I don't remember feeling that way at the time ... I don't think? ... although, for sure, 50 and Hov been sending direct and subliminal shots at each other since the late 90s. You could argue that Jigga's early diss to 50 helped his career early with "I'm about a dollar, what the f#ck is 50 cents?," in response to "How To Rob." 50 responded to that with a smile and a "thank you;" they've been trolling each other since, lol.

September 02, 2015

KRS-One "MCs Act Like" (The Source, 9/95)

"For the past ten years, KRS-One has been spitting out battle rhymes and offing wack MCs, creating countless classic jams, and blazing a career unparalleled in the history of rap music. "MCs Act..." comes in the tradition of the Blast Master's classic singles, mixing Old School sensibility with his timeless rhyme style. This track reunites him with DJ Premier, his partner from The Return of the Boom Bap, who lays down a simple yet addictive piano loop which KRS proceeds to school all wanna-bee MCs over. "You could be a mack, a pimp, a hustler or player / but make sure that you is a dope rhyme sayer," are just a few of the Teacher's most recent words of wisdom." Video below...

Read the full "MCs Act Like..." review in The Source, September 1995...

September 01, 2015

Hard 2 Obtain “Heels Without Souls” (12", 1994)

Hard 2 Obtain released a niche-classic with their debut album in 1993, “Ism & Blues,” on Atlantic Records. Largely celebrated by those in the know, the Long-Island hip-hop group was composed of 2 MCs - Taste & DL - as well as their DJ, DJ Six Seven. “L.I. Groove” and “Ghetto Diamond” were the first two singles released in 1993, then the 3rd and final single in support of the album was “Heels Without Souls” in 1994. The 12" features an LP version as well as a remix, both produced by Dante Ross’ production team, The Stimulated Dummies aka SD50, with partners John Gamble and Geeby Dajani. It also has cuts by DJ Nastee and soulful (uncredited) vocals from the Queens songstress Vinia Mojica. On the B-Side is "Hip-Hop Lifestyle," with production and cuts by DJ Nastee. The track was not released on H2O's "Ism & Blues" album. Check out the full 12" below.