January 31, 2017

Company Flow "Info Kill" (12", 1996)

Company Flow Info Kill Pub Photo Insert

Back in the 90s, vinyl promos often came with inserts that included bios, press kits, pub photos, and various other content. In 1996, Company Flow and Official Recordings released the 12" for 'Info Kill,' which is one of my favorite Company Flow track. The original version with the Flash Gordon sample was played often on college radio (in NYC) and it caught all our attention. I'd guess sample clearance issues forced them to rework the track for an alternate version, but most (real) heads know this original version as the 12" single. Do yourself a favor and check out Brian Coleman's book 'Check The Technique' Vol.2 for more info on Funcrusher Plus and you can listen to the full Info Kill 12" below.

January 30, 2017

Black Rob "Freestyles" (EP, 1999)

Black Rob Bad Boy Records Life Story

With 21 tracks, Black Rob's debut album, Life Story, was an ambitious release, but it was also heavy on content, storytelling, and it had its singles that did numbers, too. Production was handled by Buckwild, Yogi (Cru), Charlemagne (Natural Elements) and I’m sure Puff snuck production credits on a few tracks. In and out of jail, Black Rob’s career didn’t have quite the push that was needed when releasing music, but he’s always been a solid MC and there's plenty of music to support that claim. Around 1999, a white label 12” marked ‘Freestyles (Clean)’ was released; it had 4 tracks with Black Rob rapping over ‘Children’s Story,’ ‘Who Got Da Props,’ ‘Looking Out The Front Door,’ and also ‘The Heist.’ Why these tracks are clean and whether or not Puff had him rocking over these original beats (like ‘Thug Story’) for the album, I don't know, but you can listen to the full white label Freestyle 12" below, definitely check it out and there'll certainly be more on Black Rob here soon.

January 29, 2017

Mr. Thing 'VF Mix #79: A Tribe Called Quest'

Mr. Thing drops an hour of pure gems from A Tribe Called Quest that ducks and dives through 38 tracks in just 60 minutes, bringing a few original samples from Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd and company along for the ride. Thank You 4 Your Service, indeed. You can listen to the Vinyl Factory mix below. Rest In Peace, Phife Dawg. I'll likely post any mixes that cover and pay tribute to one of my favorite groups of all-time. Gang Starr is my all-time favorite group, but as a kid in Queens, there were few projects more celebrated and more anticipated than new music from A Tribe Called Quest. Dig in...

January 28, 2017

Beastie Boys "Check Your Head" (Press Kit, 1992)

Check Your Head, the new record from rap's most innovative trio, will be released April 13th. The follow-up to the Beastie Boys' acknowledge masterpiece Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head will astonish each and every contemporary music fan. First off, group members Mike D., MCA, and Ad-Rock have returned to their musical roots -- 70% of the album's music, a stunning array of styles including Funkadelicized fuzz bass riffs, slinky guitar-propelled reggae, and straight-up hardcore punk, is played by the Beasties, seamlessly blended with off-the-wall sampled tidbits. Looping their own dusted-out riffs, the Beastie Boys have taken sampling to its logical conclusion. The self-produced Check Your Head's exploitation of new and old music sources could well be the most radical to date." Check out the visuals to their smash, "So What'cha Want," cont'd below...

"Apart from three diverse instrumentals ("Pow," "Groove Holmes," and "In 3's") that make up the 20 song set, the group gets on the mic to flaunt superior rhyming skills, frantic scratching, and the fattest keyboards this side of Jimmy Smith. Such old-school flavored jams as "Pass The Mic," "Finger Lickin'," and "What'cha Want" shred in an entirely new way, suggesting some unexplored netherland between The Minutemen and Spoonie G; "Time For Livin'," a hardcore punk tune harkening back to the group's Lower End Side origins, sounds as fresh as the Boys' whisper-sung vocals on "Mark On The Bus," the rootsy "Lighten Up," and the acid-soaked "Something's Got To Give." Keep an eye out for the obligatory Biz Markie cameo, "The Biz vs. The Nuge." Each song on Check Your Head speaks volumes. Loudly." - Press Kit, January 28, 1992 (25 years ago today), available below.

January 27, 2017

The LOX 'Living Off Experience' / 'Rawness' (12", 1999)

The LOX Jadakiss, Styles P Sheek Louch

Today's vinyl post is a dope white label 12" from The LOX, circa 1999. I say that with some level of certainty because I can remember coppin' it around the same time as Big L's 'The Heist' and the 3 white labels that turned into Nas' 'The Lost Tapes' years later. On the A-side is 'Living Off Experience' and on the B-Side is 'Rawness,' which has been pressed up as 'Kiss of Death' on at least one other bootleg 12". I can't say exactly when it was recorded, but if it was the same year, then it would have been near their Let The Lox Go campaign in the summer of 1999, where they wanted to leave Bad Boy Records and join the Ruff Ryders label. Either way, the vibe fits a more gritty sound as compared to the shiny-suit-era. With The Lox still recording and releasing music for 20 years, this is another group that needs to be celebrated. You could fill a wall or a hard drive with as many releases as they've put out separately and collectively in those 20+ years - especially if you count mixtapes. Their new project, 'Filthy America ... It's Beautiful' is solid, and their venture with Roc Nation is dope, 'cuz it was reached on their own terms. Listen to the 12" with both tracks below...

January 26, 2017

B.I.G. & 2Pac "Music After Death" (The Source, 1998)

"The Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death album ended with "You're Nobody (Till Somebody Kills You)," an unintended but profound prophecy that is evident in the success of that posthumous release and the works of his rival Tupac Shakur. Both artists' impact hardly seems to have faded since their deaths. Perversely, their murders may have only helped sell their records and increase their legendary status. Following the success of Pac's Makaveli project and soundtrack appearances, R U Still Down? (remember me), a double-album set which consists of rare and previously unreleased tracks, was released last November ... these discs contain songs recorded in his pre-Death Row period from 1991-1994... While not possessing such a wealth of secret material, Biggie recordings like his verse on "It's All About The Benjamins," and his vocal assists on Puffy's No Way Out have all achieved acclaim in his passing. This will lead up to the release sometime next spring of a collection of hard-to-find material, including unreleased demo recordings." Check out "Changes," cont'd below...

"Although these "new" projects undoubtedly don't feature the best work from either Pac or Biggie, and include songs that probably wouldn't have been released had they lived, the message of these fallen soldiers is deeper than hype lyrics over a tight beat. Lance "Un" Riversa says "The duo truly represented the community. You're always going to have to come back to those two names." Even in death, the influence of these two rappers still shines and lives on through their music." - The Source, 1998. Below is an interview with Jay-Z, who discusses why he wasn't featured on Biggie's posthumous Born Again album, admittedly being sentimental and wanting to hold onto the cherished memories of them recording in the same studio together, not writing things down, and just working off that vibe. Honestly, I wish the Born Again and Duets albums never existed.

January 25, 2017

DJ Juice "Volume 33" (Mixtape, 1996)

This is Volume 33 in DJ Juice's mix tape series in 1996 on Blacker The Berry, The Sweeter The Juice Productions. The mix features exclusive Juice remixes and classic cuts from LL Cool J, Lost Boyz, Foxy Brown, Xzibit, Mobb Deep, Redman, Puff Daddy & The LOX, Nas, 112, Lil' Kim, Mase and a whole lot more! Peace to DJ Step One, always getting to the uploads first and with much better quality, too - Salute! Check out the mix tape below, and click the tags for more mixtapes from DJ Juice...

January 24, 2017

Various Artists "Classic Whites" (Volume 1, 2005)

Classic Whites Vol.1 was released in March, 2005, on vinyl and CD. I remember covering the release at the time, but it wasn't until a few years later that it resurfaced (around '08). We had it at Fat Beats but in limited quantities. I copped a copy and was sure other heads would, too, but I was wrong. For the most part it collected dust on the shelf. Was it the artwork? Or, did people overlook how classic some of these records were? Y'all slept. Either way, the project covered rare records like: 3 tracks from Kool G Rap: "Check Da Bitch," "Fast Life (Remix)", and "Hey Mister" (I do NOT co-sign his lyrics); Big L's "Let Me Find Out," "Dopefiend" by Noreaga, "The Wickedest" B.I.G., "Cop Hell" from Mobb Deep and more. Sure, you can find these elsewhere with the internet at your disposal, but on one album (even a bootleg), I think it was a solid release. Stream all 13-tracks below...

January 23, 2017

2 Face (A-Butta & L-Swift) "NYC" (12", 1996)

2 Face A Butta & L-Swift Hey NYC 12" Blind Side Recordings Natural Elements

2Face is A-Butta (Anthony Cruz) and L-Swift (Swigga) from the legendary NYC hip-hop collective, Natural Elements. The name alone generates nostalgia from mix shows and the college radio days, where Natural E would be up there freestylin' and rhymin' back and forth. The spinoff from A-Butta and L-Swift as 2Face didn't spawn many releases, but fortunately, this vinyl for "NYC" was pressed in 1996. Around 2009, 2Face dropped a dope single called "Howard Stern," which was around the same time 1999: 10 Year Anniversary was unearthed and released by Natural Elements. Hopefully you already have that classic in your collection, as well as the recent Chopped Herring vinyl releases from NE. Peace to A-Butta, who has always shown love, and remains a decade ahead of his time; a true creative. I have 2 test presses of "NYC," one written as 'L-Swift + A Butter' and another with 'Natural Elements' on the sleeve - both wrong, but the music is still as dope today as it was in 1996. Keep an ear out for new music and click the tags as I'm sure they're will be more NE content.

January 22, 2017

Reef The Lost Cauze 'This Is My Life' (Live Version)

Reef The Lost Cauze Philadelphia Ricky400ML

I was on my FaceBook page earlier and saw my brother, Reef The Lost Cauze, post this sick art from @Ricky400ML. It's a blessing to have fans and artists support your work so much that they create their own art to honor it. Off that, I immediately thought about one of my favorite songs ever recorded by Reef and that's 'This Is My Life' on 'Invisible Empire' (2003). I catch allergies almost every time I hear it. Instead of linking the original, however, there is an incredible live version that is so raw and infused with emotion. Unfortunately, the site doesn't have info on all the players, it just says recorded for WXPN's 'The Key' by Philadelphia musicians. Listen below...

January 21, 2017

The Notorious B.I.G. "Right On! Magazine Contest" (1997)

The Notorious B.I.G. Biggie Smalls I'll be Missing You Right On! Magazine Contest

In 1997, Right On! Magazine posted this contest months after Biggie's death on 3/09/97. The first 10 readers to answer their trivia question won a VHS tape of both "I’ll Be Missing You" and "We’ll Always Love Big Poppa." The trivia question was: “What is The Notorious B.I.G.’s original MC name?” Mind you, this was back when you had to snail mail your responses... and WAIT. Needless to say, I didn't send it in and thus didn't win, lol. I do, however, remember picking up the Tribute tape with those tracks on it - even with the songs being on the radio hourly, I still had to own it. Didn't everyone? It also came with a large-sized sticker and somewhere I have the original press release, which I'll share one day. Unrelated, I didn't know Sting's publisher was 'Illegal Songs, Inc.' - that's one of the best publishing names ever, lol. Rest in Peace, The Notorious B.I.G. If you won, let me know!

January 20, 2017

Bones The Beat Head x Maple Syrup "Nighthawks"

The German-Russian alliance of boom bap connoisseurs and jazz enthusiasts "Bones The Beat Head" (Germany) and "Maple Syrup" (Russia) created a fine instrumental experience that will give you the atmosphere of the city at night. Each track is inspired by different nighttime impressions such as calm areas with empty streets and sporadic street lighting or eerie abandoned places, but also the vivid nightlife that takes place in the city center where crowded bars and neon signs are dominating the scenery. Available digitally and on cassette, it's a real solid instrumental album. Listen below...

January 19, 2017

DJ Spinbad 'Clueless' Mixtape (1996)

'Clueless' is a classic mix tape from 1996 by native New Yorker, DJ Spinbad. Spinbad has always been nice, but especially on the technical side, his cuts are always razor sharp with tight transitions, occasional blends, and a lot of versatility in his ear for tracks. The particular mix tape includes tracks by Redman, Nas, Capone-N-Noreaga, KRS-One, Da Bush Babees, O.C., Group Home, The Roots, Jeru The Damaja, Artifacts, and lots more. Props to DJ Step One for the link on MixCloud - check his page for a lot of other dope mixes - and for saving me time on the upload. The full tracklist is pictured above, but it's 1996, a ton of classic hip-hop was out at the time, just click play below...

January 18, 2017

The Combat Jack Show "Fat Joe Episode"

On the latest episode of the Combat Jack Show, they take it to the South Bronx, Forrest Projects to be exact. Fat Joe has been around for 24 plus years and is still going strong. He's part of the legendary D.I.T.C. crew; he introduced the world to the likes of Big Pun (R.I.P.), Remy Ma, DJ Khaled... and the Terror Squad. He's also powered through beefs with 50 Cent, Jay-Z and survived the ugly scenarios of being in these New York City streets. Fat Joe has played an integral role in generations of Hip-Hop, and he keeps a hit or two on 'em! Tune in below to hear Don Cartagena share it all...

January 17, 2017

Street Smartz 'Problemz' b/w 'Metal Thangz' (12", 1996)

Street Smartz Problemz Metal Thangz Pharoahe Monch O.C.

Tru Criminal Records had a hold on the underground with a handful of great 12" releases between '96-02. The label put out joints from Ak Skills, God Sunz, F.T., Tonedeff, and Street Smartz, who have a record we'll be discussing today. In 1996, Street Smartz (DJ Buda, F.T., DJ KO & Syx) put out the ‘Problemz’ 12” with an ill B-Side, ‘Metal Thangz,’ featuring O.C. and Pharoahe Monch. They had 3-4 12” releases in the 90s and their own careers outside the group. There was also a Tru Criminal Records EP that had a couple extra joints from Street Smartz, Ak Skills and God Sunz. 'Problemz' was produced by Buckwild and 'Metal Thangz' was done by OGee of D.I.T.C. The record was featured in The Source's Sure Shot Singles, which gave it some extra buzz, but it's still mostly known and celebrated in the underground as a must-have! Listen to the Problemz & Metal Thangz 12" below.

January 16, 2017

KLIM Beats "City Lights" (Instrumental Album)

Another fresh beat tape from Ukranian producer, KLIM Beats. "City Lights" features 20 instrumentals from Kiev to Toronto, from Nobody to Grandma's Pies, an Autumn Evening to a Winter Storm; it's a wide range of colors and flavors on this one. I hope artists start locking in to his production and he lands more production credits. In the meantime, enjoy his latest tape below...

January 15, 2017

K-Bomb 'Stories I Know' (12", 1999)

K-Bomb Charlemagne Stories I Know Bump This 12" Hip-Hop Nostalgia

"I knew this kid named Chico, from Mexico ... " This is a great record from K-Bomb, with a winner on the B-Side, 'Stories I Know.' Released on Fortress Entertainment and Nervous Records in 1999, the Fortress imprint was run and produced by Charlemagne of the Natural Elements crew. They put out some solid joints at the time, and I rightfully copped them all. This particular record, 'Stories I Know' has great drums, an ill-storyline, and that vintage independent sound. I've always gravitated towards the B-Side over 'Bump This,' but you can stream both below. Sidenote: the good folks at Unkut put together a nice compilation of production by Charlemage last year, you should check that out too! 

January 14, 2017

Earl Sweatshirt 'Chum'

Earl Sweatshirt's 'Chum' (off his album, 'Doris') was a close second for favorite track in 2013 (Statik's 'Bird's Eye View' was 1st). It's probably the first track of his I really stopped and paid attention to because I was under the impression (from reviews and videos) that his music was not for me. I was misguided, although he does roll with a young crew that does stupid shit, lol. That aside, when you hear bars like: 'It's probably been twelve years since my father left, left me fatherless / And I just used to say I hate him in dishonest jest / When honestly I miss this n#gga, like when I was six / And every time I got the chance to say it I would swallow it...' I can tell you without question, the teenage me resonates so much with those bars, and I imagine a good amount of his fans do too. It all comes down to the art & sky's the limit for a young kid with as much talent as he possesses.

January 13, 2017

Soul Survivors 'In God We Trust' (12", 2000)

Soul Survivors 'In God We Trust' 12"

I first heard Soul Survivors on the Easy Mo Bee compilation, ‘Bee Mo Easy Presents,’ that had his group Rappin Is Fundamental, Da Nation and 2 cuts from Soul Survivors. I wouldn’t say I was overly impressed with that record, but enough to take interest when I saw the ‘In God We Trust’ 12" on Hit Mob Entertainment. The sticker labels always caught my attention, if I'm keeping it a buck. With production from DJ Hard Rock and M16, who was part of the crew with C4, Soul Survivors put together a nice joints with 'In Good We Trust' and 'We Rock The Mic.' I particularly dig the A-Side, 'In God We Trust,' but they came with straight bars over a familiar break on 'We Rock The Mic,' so either way, it's a solid 12" release. Only thing, don't bother to use the cleans, they are super choppy. The record was released in 2000, but it sounds like it may have been recorded in the late 90s.

January 12, 2017

Eddie Ill & Dr. Dekay "Beats for Insomniacs" (Mixtape, 1998)

DL Presents Eddie Ill & Dr. Bekay Beats For Insomniacs Cassette 1998
DL Presents Eddie Ill & Dr. Bekay Beats For Insomniacs Cassette 1998

Classic tape, DL Presents: Eddie Ill & Dr. Dekay 'Beats for Insomniacs.' Released in 1998, the tape features Natural Elements, Royce Da 5'9 & Eminem, Black Star, Mr. Live, L-Swift, K-Bomb, L-Fudge, Organized Konfusion, Common, El Da Sensei, Pumpkinhead (R.I.P.), The Last Emperor & lots more from the same cloth in independent hip-hop. I'm a big fan of all the Eddie Ill, DL & Dr. Dekay mixtapes; I always thought it was dope how many of their other mixes were on double cassettes. Props to Nerkrew for the upload to Mixcloud and use of the embedded audio. Some of these tracks I plan to upload as vinyl - you can check out the rip of K-Bomb's 'Stories I Know' if you hit the labels below.

January 11, 2017

DJ Clue "You Can't Impeach The President" (Mixtape, 1999)

DJ Clue released "You Can't Impeach The President" as a mix tape back in 1999 via Tape Kingz. The mix features tracks from Fabolous, Nas & Puff (exclusive), The LOX, Beanie Siegel, Mephis Bleek, Ja Rule w/ DMX & Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Nas, Eminem, Eve, Da Brat, Canibus, Cam'ron, Drag-On, Gang Starr, Prodigy, Made Men, Charli Baltimore, Ludacris and more. The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST today (January 20, 2017), when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, succeeding Barack Obama. Hopefully the title of this mix tape turns out to be wrong in retrospect. Much thanks to a few people who had already uploaded it, but I've updated the audio with DJ Step One's link because his rips are usually flawless! Listen to it below...

January 10, 2017

Sam The Sleezbag & DJ Mekalek "#SleezbagMekalekTape"

Sam The Sleezbag & DJ Mekalek '#SleezbagMekalekTape'

Sam The Sleezbag & DJ Mekalek team up to present their 3-disc set, "#SleezbagMekalekTape", showcasing some of hip hop's most respected artists from the East Coast. Spanning the first two discs is ninety minutes of exclusive freestyles and songs from the personal vault of Sam The Sleezbag -- all meticulously scratched, cut, mixed and blended in true mixtape form by DJ Mekalek. The third disc contains a 30-track bonus collection of unreleased joints and lost freestyles. The duo, consisting of New York based audio engineer/producer Sam The Sleezbag, and Rhode Island based DJ/producer DJ Mekalek, refuse to comply with modern day formats, and deliver nothing but the best quality music. The 3-disc set came out last August (2016). Peep the tracklist above for the expansive list of underground MCs on the mix and stream it below. We need more projects like this!

January 09, 2017

Slum Village "Trinity" (Vibe Magazine, 1/03)

"Many hip hop fans are still mourning the dissolution of A Tribe Called Quest. But Detroit's Slum Village brought the formula of relaxed funk and playful lyricism back to the airwaves in 2002 with its second album. Trinity (Past, Present and Future). "Tainted," the first single from that disc, is a melodic love joint about keepin' it real in both romance and art. With Baatin, 28, T3, 28, and newcomer Elzhi, 24, spitting lines like "Would you fix me green tea if I'm feelin' ill?" over a smoothed-out, keys 'n' bass groove. "Tainted" is the antidote to the steady dose of hook-friendly club tracks and who-can-outshine-whom diatribes so prevalent on urban radio." Watch "Tainted" below...

"Slum Village came together in the Conant Gardens section of the Motor City. Its indie-label debut album, Fantastic Vol.2, sold 150,000 copies and garnered underground props, mostly thanks to producer Jay Dee's syncopated bass lines, funky organ loops, and nasty percussion. Jay Dee has taken on a lesser role with Trinity, producing only a handful of tracks, while boardsmen Hi-Tek, Scott Storch, and Karriem Riggins (who produced "Tainted") incorporate soulful hooks and swirling keyboards. Lyrically dynamic, Baatin's nasal meditations and T3's witty wordplay about the females of the species blend perfectly with Elzhi's easy flow. Whether they get romantic, reflective, or ridiculous, the trio of MCs always stays locked into the track. Let's hope they don't dissolve into the same ether as the boys from the Boulevard of Linden." - Vibe Magazine, January 2003.

January 08, 2017

Nicky D's 'The Grey Area' (2013)

I remember Nicky D’s project, ‘The Grey Area,’ hitting my inbox 3-4 years ago - my first thought was, is that a Diamond D ‘Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop’ cover? Say word. With a co-sign from DJ Booth, I listened to the project and really enjoyed it, even with peaking audio levels on a few tracks. Nicky D’s and the producer, Rick Hughes, kept the production and flows tight and reminiscent of the golden era. There were a handful of familiar samples, which come off as odes to the originals, and even some work on the boards from Mista Lawnge of Black Sheep. As far as the content, well Nicky D’s was 18 at the time of recording, so you hear that in some of the lyrics, but I can remember myself at 18, too lol. The project from the LA spitter is still available for free download from DJ Booth, consider revisiting it, then follow the breadcrumbs to discover his more recent releases too.

January 07, 2017

Take It Personal Podcast "Wu-Tang Tribute Episode"

Back again with another episode of the Take It Personal Podcast ... "To many, Staten Island is known as the dump. To us hip-hop heads, it's known as Shaolin, the home of the Wu-Tang Clan. Who would have thought a group of 9 rappers would have changed the game, but they definitely did. Nobody has ever done hip-hop like WTC and I'm pretty sure nobody ever will. While The Wu is one of the most respected and beloved group of all-time, a two hour tribute doesn't seem long enough. That said, here is our tribute that should help remind you that Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F*ck Wit!"

January 06, 2017

Cru "Da Dirty 30" (The Source, June 1997)

"Someone call the New York Post. There's a scandal from the rough streets of the Bronx to report and it involves three vatos who will never be mistaken for being shook ones. In fact, judging from their headline-grabbing first album, they got the biggest huevos this side of an elephant's trunks. You may wonder just what makes these cats - Yogi, Chadio and Mighty Ha - so damn fresh? Easy. Good ol' fashion creativity... The collective known simply as Cru have returned from rap 'Nam with hip-hop's most prominent POW, and it's time to celebrate. Flexin' more imagination than John Lennon, Cru's debut, Dirty 30, is likely to make you nod your noggin and say stuff like, "Yo, Yogi's production and rhymin' is hot on a lot of these joints..." Check out the track "Bubblin" below...

"Also pulling their weight are his charismatic partners: check the oddball stylings of "Lisa Lipps," a surreal solo shot from Mighty Ha that cross-references the Beatles and other unlikely sources; and then enjoy "Goines Tale," a song dedicated to famed writer Donald Goines... Although somewhat overbearing in length (30 tracks), Cru's biggest appeal rests on their knack for injecting a sly and raunchy sense of humor into their songs. Props due to Cru who were able to stare into the face of rap banality and come back alive with an accessible sound that at any given second might go completely loco. You got a grew, you'd better tell'em." - The Source, June 1997. Full review is below.

January 05, 2017

DJ Skarface "Shadow The Jewels" (Mixtape)

There’s likely no better fitting pair of boundary-pushing acts in hip-hop than Run The Jewels and DJ Shadow. It was proven beyond reasonable doubt on The Mountain Will Fall with “Nobody Speak,” and today we have even more concrete evidence with the arrival of Shadow The Jewels, a 20-minute mash-up project from DJ Skarface (of MadDILLAiny and Deltron 1983 fame.) And just in case you were wondering, it goes! Stream the new mash-up project below... - Yes, well said... via OKP.

January 04, 2017

Venomous2000 x Trilian "Sounds Of The Great Ones"

New Jersey's Venomous2000 has a new album with Serbian producer, Trilian, called 'Sounds Of The Great Ones.' It features The Artifacts, Cella Dwellas, Reks, Inspectah Deck, Tiye Phoenix, 9th Prince, C-Rayz Walz, DJ TMB, and more. They're also running a campaign to press up a limited edition vinyl release, so vinyl heads: you'll want this in your collection, support it HERE. I've given this project a lot of burn, and I've updated the link below, so you can now listen to the full LP. Don't sleep on it!

January 03, 2017

Great Rapperths With Lithps (Ego Trip Magazine)

Back in the Ego Trip Mag days, they published an article about rappers with lisps: "Although great, Mase isn't the only rapper with speech-challenged chatter. Can't nobody hold down these other great rappers who can't hold down vowels either. 1) Kool G Rap: The OG lisp rapper. Professor of the hardest lisp in hip-hop history. Corona, Queens' rhyme wrecker supreme continues to transcend speech impediments with the most violent and sexist lyrics known to man. Sylvester the Cat never talked sex like this. Best lyrical lisp reference: "Well equipped with a hip hop lip / My memory bank is like a microchip," from "Jive Talk." 2) Erick Sermon: The Green-Eyed Bandit's engaging lisp, molasses-thick flow and tendency to break out into song provided just the right sugar to partner Parrish Smith's spice on early EPMD records. With E and P happily back together again, broken mics covered in saliva are again business as usual: "I can't forget how they used to dis / Sayin' 'He can't rap cuz he talks with a lisp," from "It Wasn't Me, It Was The Fame." 3) Biz Markie: For years, the diabolical one has made the music with his mouth as only he can. Hope you weren't in the front row: "Listen to the way and what I'm displayin' / A different type of rap language that I am sayin'," from "Nobody Beats The Biz." 4) Lil' Dap: The pride of East New York represents the future of the lisp in hip hop. As both frequent Gang Starr guest and one half of the Group Home's low-budget environment, Dap's mouth sprays more than Jeru's mind: "Check it out party people as I speak with a lisp / People say we couldn't do it cuz they can't feel it," from "Inna City Life." // I had audio with this post, but it got taken down. Oh well, f#ck it. Artwork by Nelson Dedos Garcia

January 02, 2017

Instrumental Vibes (Soundcloud Playlist)

I was in an instrumental mood earlier, so I put together a quick playlist of some instrumental vibes. I chose to go with some (mostly) mellow production for this playlist - a pattern I'm noticing more in the underground these days. It may be the case that some artists have found a lane that'll reach a larger market of casual fans who enjoy hip-hop. Certainly, I could argue that projects with more mellow production tend to focus on being album-based over single driven, and more content than braggadocio. There are plenty of exceptions, of course, but I'd sit with more albums if they were cohesive (sonically). The days of picking varied sounds to reach all the markets is hopefully dead, because those albums may reach many, but are liked by very few. Enjoy 20 tracks below.

January 01, 2017

Mobb Deep "Beats, Songs & Rhymes" (Vol.1, Mixtape)

This is volume 1 of Dope As Funk "Beats, Songs & Rhyme" series, where they mix songs sampled by the artist, instrumentals and all classics. They featured Mobb Deep, the Queensbridge duo of Prodigy and Havoc, whose dark sinister beats and rhymes epitomized the sound of New York in the mid-to-late 90s. From the original samples to the classic cuts and some slept-on gems, this mix is a dope run through The Infamous Mobb Deep's classic catalog. It was originally released some years back, but check it out below! Images above are from Queensbridge in 1995 via Delphine Fawundu.