September 02, 2016

The Last Emperor "Music, Magic, Myth" (2003) / "Unsigned Hype" (1996)

Let's go back to The Source, The Last Emperor received "Unsigned Hype" honors in December of 1996. Riggs wrote, "Through word of mouth, Last Emperor is quickly becoming a hot commodity in hip-hop's underground... Last Emperor's rep as a new force in the game is maturing by the day ... His 4 track demo instantly takes the listener to a world of Logic, Literature and Black Magic through a vocabularic appeal reminiscent of Jeru back in '93-94. This kid does what the average MC stopped doing a while ago ... he reads." At the time & even now, a comparison to golden era Jeru The Damaja was comparing him to underground's hip-hop elite. With a slew of indie releases over the course of the early 2000s, the Philadelphia MC has oddly been a bit more elusive than prolific, however each bar has been put under a microscope in ways the Rap Genius generation will never understand. Recently, the good folks over at Deep Concepts Media released a reissue of The Last Emperor's "Music, Magic, Myth" - originally released in the summer of 2003 - via their Bandcamp page. The album featured production from Da Beatminerz, Prince Paul, Ayatollah & more. Stream it below.

Whether it's "Logic, Literature, & Black Magic" or "Music, Magic & Myth," if you weren't outside in 1996, you can read the full "Unsigned Hype" from The Source below. These were an important and highly coveted section to be in as an artist on the come-up. There were a few misses over those years, but for the most part, they predicted some of the biggest artists of our generation.