Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Notorious B.I.G. x Craig Mack 'B.I.G. Mack'

The Notorious B.I.G. & Craig Mack B.I.G. Mack Advert

The Notorious B.I.G. x Craig Mack = 'B.I.G. Mack;' the infamous '94 cassette teaser promoted by Bad Boy in advance of Biggie's 'Ready To Die' and Craig Mack's 'Project Funk Da World.' A recent documentary called 'Crazy Like That Glue' tells the story of Craig Mack and the background to his career + the days at Bad Boy. I'd seen early interviews where Biggie declared it was politics that got him on the 'Flava In Ya Ear' remix, but he didn't mess with Craig Mack. It's also clear that Craig Mack and Puffy weren't on the same page - the hit-driven records were Puffy's design, but Craig Mack didn't want to be marketed. How'd he not love Easy Moe Bee's beat on 'Flava In Ya Ear'? Creative differences will damage even the strongest relationships, it is what it is, but a strictly business relationship? Forget it. The documentary paints Craig Mack as arrogant and difficult to work with at times, to the point where most of the people in his inner circle are on the outs, and one of the reasons there was never a follow-up record on Bad Boy. I'm not sure if that's entirely accurate, either, so don't take it as gospel; just one side of a bigger, more complicated story.

‘Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese
pickles onins on a sesame seed bun
couldn't outdo the done - makin MC's run
with MACK and the B.I.G. - put the faze on stun
I once had a fight with a fry - no lie
but I caught him in the eye with an apple pie
I got wet with a fish filet
but quarter pounder got beef so she did not stay
made a shake stand still just for actin' too ill
met some cookies that was rookies by the soda refill
it's the B.I.G. MACK dollar bill when you a quarter
Welcome to BADBOY - Now enjoy your order!’

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Brother Ali "All The Beauty In This Whole Life" (Album Stream)

Brother Ali All The Beauty In This Whole Life

"Over the past 17 years, Brother Ali has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop. Under Rhymesayers Entertainment, he’s unleashed a series of lauded projects, establishing himself as one of the most respected independent voices in music. The latest chapter in that celebrated journey is All the Beauty in This Whole Life, a 15-track collection produced entirely by Atmosphere’s "Ant” Davis. "This entire album is based on the reality that beauty is the splendor of truth" says the Minneapolis MC. "Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates. Every word and note of this album is intended to either reflect beauty, or expose the ugliness that blocks us from living lives of meaning." All the Beauty in This Whole Life is Ali’s first official release in five years and represents the newest and most refined chapter of his life's journey. "Each of my albums are the result of the pain, growth and eventual healing that I experience. Articulating the pain and navigating the healing allows the people who really feel my music to travel with me. It's not only that we hurt together, we heal together as well." Contrasting intensely heavy moments with joyous and grateful ones, All the Beauty in This Whole Life arrives right on time, to help heal a divided nation through the power of music. "In times of great suffering in the outside world, the most important battles start from within." - Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tha Alkaholiks 'Coast II Coast' (2/28/95)

Tha Alkaholiks Coast II Coast Classic Material Review
Tha Alkaholiks Original Coast II Coast Sticker

Staying on the West Coast, Tha Alkaholiks released their second studio album, 'Coast II Coast,' also on this day in 1995. I was a huge fan of '21 and Over,' so my expectations were high for their follow-up. I popped the cassette in and was immediately treated to a 6-minute display of lyrics on track one, 'WLIX.' It continued throughout the release. 'With Tash providing extra vicious flows, J-Ro lending his memorable sense of humor and Swift acting as the sonic glue ... the end result was a cohesive LP that solidified Tha Liks' lyrical worth.' You can read the full review above, as well as the original sticker. 'All in this, freestyle's wild when I'm throwin' this...' - 'WLIX.' Another day we'll get into the infamous barf bag & hangover kit from '21 and Over' + lots more. 

Tha Alkaholiks Coast II Coast Advert

Monday, February 27, 2017

The B.U.M.S. "Elevation (Free Your Mind)" 12"

The B.U.M.S. Brothas Unda Madness Publicity Photo
The B.U.M.S. Brothas Unda Madness Logo

The B.U.M.S. (Brothas Unda Madness) were a two-man crew of D-Wyze and E-Vocalist from the Bay Area. Their big single was ‘Elevation (Free Your Mind);' it was released in 1994 in support of their album, ‘Lyfe ’N’ Tyme,’ on Priority Records. The album featured Mystic (who I love), production from Joe Quixx, King Tech, and Fredwreck. The B.U.M.S. were repeated guests up at the Wake Up Show in earlier years. As for 'Elevation,' it was Joe Quixx on production, who flipped the ill Teddy Pendergrass sample, and King Tech who polished it up for radio. Nearly 20 years later, it was included on the HBO show, Entourage, which I’m sure brought new ears to a song and project that’s long been out of print. Can we thank @BrokeMogul for that? The B.U.M.S. also had a second single called ‘Take A Look Around,’ which had ill remixes from Vinyl Reanimators and Fredwreck, too. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jemini The Gifted One "Scars and Pain" (Rap Pages, 6/95)

Jemini The Gifted One's debut EP, Scars and Pain, "merely serves as an appetizer for his upcoming album, most likely due to drop sometime next year. Straight out of East New York, Jemini is a lyrical king of complexity, utilizing words, lines and phrases to their fullest potential. He notes Rakim and Melle Mel as influences due to their ability to paint pictures in your mind so that you can see what they're talking about the first time you hear them. The 25-year old follows in his idols' footsteps in doing so... "You leave [interpretation] up to the listener. All you can try to do is write good songs," says Jemini. And good songs are definitely what he writes. Productionwise, the seven-track EP and the upcoming album are the products of a diverse production team led by the likes of Prince Paul, Organized Konfusion and the Fat Man. Despite the diversity behind the boards, each track has a similar design: hard drums complemented by horn, piano and voice samples. The first single, "Brooklyn Kids," chronicles Bucktown street life in the '80s, with plenty of guns, shanks and jacking-people-for-their-gear to go around... The screeching sound effects in the song's break seem to mimic police sirens, symbolizing the constant race that the game of street survival becomes." Cont'd below...

"Scars and Pain," the title track, is purely old-school flavor, with a slow tempo and a horn loop that seems to drag itself across the rhythm of the song. The title personifies the lyrics, a self-tribute to the difficulties of being young, Black and struggling in NYC. The second single, "Funk Soul Sensation," is the most innovative inclusion on Scars and Pain. Here Jemini utilizes a sort of call-and-response technique, with short verses delivered in two different tones of voices, creating the illusion of two MCs rhyming when there is only one. The Gifted One's full of surprises, surprises he definitely feels will shine through on the album. "It's gonna be nine to ten classic hardcore records," he promises, "because I'm always representin'." The most important element in Jemini's music is staying true to himself.... "I want to make good songs that people enjoy listening to, because when I do that I always get the inspiration to make another song." - Rap Pages, 6/95.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Audible Doctor 'Pre-Med' Instrumental Mix

The Audible Doctor released this Pre-Med instrumental mash-up around 4 years ago - it's definitely become a part of my work routine while I get 'ish done. He's built a consistent catalog of music over 10 years as a producer, eMCee and founding member of BBAS; you can check out the catalog HERE. Since our days working together at Fat Beats, I always pushed his 'Brownies' release, but throw a dart and it'll land on a dope release, cop it all using the catalog option and save lots of time and 40%. Keep an eye out for a Supastition x Audible Doctor project too!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

DJ Rip One 'Rippin Shit Up!' Mix (1995)

DJ Rip One Rippin Shit Up Cassette Mixtape

DJ Rip One from the West Coast put his foot in this mixtape back in 1995. The layered cuts blew my mind at the time and I could hear the amount of work and effort that went into piecing it all together. 4-track mixes were certainly heavy on technique and were worth FAR beyond the bootlegged rates we paid and free 'dubs' we made. I owe that man a handshake, I've been enjoying his tape for 2 decades. Once you get beyond the technical nature of the mix, it's also filled with now-classic 90's underground hip-hop. For the full track-list, see the artwork above and you can stream the mix below. Extra props for including the Jemini the Gifted One track. You should also check out 'Turntable Expressions' and 'Inner Connections' if you enjoy this tape. Anyone have a link to a social media account for DJ Rip One? Peace to the Innernational Crew. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Take It Personal Podcast "Philly Tribute Episode"

"Episode 6 is our longest one yet and for good reason. This isn’t your typical Philly hip-hop show, this is the official Philly hip-hop tribute show. Chock-full of Illadelph classics, along with our special tour guides Vinnie Paz, Maylay Sparks, Baby Blak, CHOPS, Todd Wolfe and MarQ Spekt to help navigate you through the two one fifth. Unlike the ewoks, our episode VI won’t disappoint. So whether you’re from Philly, know of Philly or even like Philly, you can’t front on our music. We’re more than just cheese steaks, soft pretzels and Rocky Balboa, we’re home of some of the greatest musicians ever. If you’re a fan of Schoolly D, Steady B, 100x, Bahamadia, Freeway, Tuff Crew or The Roots — we got you! – Philaflava." Click HERE for the Philly tribute playlist.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Return of the Hit Squad (2/24/12)

The Return of the Hit Squad
The Return of the Hit Squad

February 24th, 2012: the Return of the Hit Squad: EPMD, Redman, Das Efx, K-Solo, and special guest, Keith Murray. The reunion show was at the Best Buy Theater (now called the Playstation Theater) in NYC. Method Man also touched the stage, as well as DJ Scratch holding it down. The final track of the night was the posse cut, 'Headbanger,' with Redman crowd-surfing!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Theory Hazit "I See What You Did There" (Instrumental Album)

Theory Hazit announced via social media that his latest instrumental album/beat tape, "I See What You Did There," was something of an accidental release: "I released this project on accident yesterday with Bandcamp. People have already bought it without the push. It will be available everywhere on Friday... Much love to the true fans of my artwork. Luh u." As a big fan of Theory Hazit - both on the mic and behind the boards - it's a must I support it here, check it out below...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Roots 'Things Fall, A Preview' Mix by Jazzy Jeff

The Roots Things Fall A Preview Jazzy Jeff

The Roots are at the top of a very short list of groups that continue to break new ground and push the culture forward. It's actually amazing watching them do their thing, consistently, for so many years. To me, Black Thought is a top 5 lyricist and I struggle to understand anyone who would disagree, lol. To honor 'Things Fall Apart' being released 18 years ago today, I uploaded the Jazzy Jeff-mixed promotional tape, 'Things Fall, A Preview' for your listening pleasure. Be sure to purchase or revisit a copy of 'Things Fall Apart' today, and give Black Thought his props!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Eminem 'The Slim Shady LP' (Fat Beats Plaque)

It's been years since I listened to Eminem's 'The Slim Shady LP,' so I won't pretend I was ever his biggest fan, but even 18 years later (today), it's obvious he is a top-tier lyricist. Not quite as digestible these days, but very few artists would want to stand toe to toe and see what'd happen next. Am I wrong? The photo - excuse the quality - I took at Fat Beats' old warehouse a decade or so ago. They were early on his original EP and were sent a plaque to commemorate the multi-platinum sales of the LP. Last year, Aftermath reissued a cassette version of the album on a purple tape; you can order it HERE - I'm sure it'll be a collectible (read: valuable) one day real soon.

Eminem The Slim Shady LP Fat Beats Platinum Plaque

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Prince Paul "A Prince Among Thieves" (Trailer)

Prince Paul A Prince Among Thieves Advert

February 22nd, 1999: Prince Paul released one of the most cohesive concept albums, 'A Prince Among Thieves.' The album plays out like the movie, each track tells the story of Tariq (Breeze Brewin of the Juggaknots), who hustles to put together the scrap to fund studio time for his demo. The album features Xzibit, Kool Keith, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Biz Markie, De La Soul, RZA, and more. Chris Rock had bought the rights to the movie, but never made a proper move with it. I've heard there was also a Kickstarter, is that true? Either way, sit with this classic concept album today. The VHS trailer is below, which sets up the project perfectly & damn, that's a big flyer, lol.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What Would You Like To Change About Hip-Hop?

The Source Magazine January 1996
The Source Magazine January 1996

This article in The Source (Jan. '96) gives me a good laugh. In the midst of a second golden era, artists still had their frustrations with the music, the business and the industry as a whole. To all the fans complaining now: it's not a new concept! Commercialization, false images, poor live shows, props for the underground, business, rap vs hip-hop, wack lyrics, East Coast vs West Coast beef, drugs, credibility and classic responses like Erick Sermon’s 'my record sales’ to the irony of Puff to say ‘the egos’ lol Artists and fans will forever have their gripes, just like our parents hated our music, we take issue with the new generation's music. I'd argue that there has been a significant decline in what's covered in the mainstream - especially the diversity of it - but it's a circular argument, so I won't waste your time. I remember all the wack stuff I suffered through in my teenage years, but you didn't have as much noise and we had DJs that were better filters to provide balance in the underground. We had venues and record stores that were necessary to the culture as meeting places to discuss and break records. You don't have to leave your house now, but honestly, are you better for it? The one thing I'll forever agree, artists need to learn more about business so they can make the most of these assets (songs) they create.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Organized Konfusion "Bring It On" (Buckwild Remix)

Organized Konfusion Hollywood Basic Organisms

And to the Organisms ... Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch have been releasing music for 30 years! Going back to their Simply II Positive MCs days, then as Organized Konfusion, and still now as solo artists. Pharoahe Monch is one of the greatest technical lyricists our culture has ever witnessed. Po always held his own and proves his ability time and again on his solo releases. If you ask me for a list of greatest verses of all-time ?? ... Pharoahe's verse on 'Bring It On' (specifically over Buckwild's '96 remix) will get an immediate mention! 

Incisions are made into the brain and then I begin to give em
A lobotomy, follow me!
I'm shapin your br-ayi-yi-ya-in ... li-li-li-li-like ... pot-der-der-der-ery ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One Be Lo x ILLusionist 'Tails from the Hood R.a.t.s.'

One Be Lo

'Tails from the Hood R.a.t.s.' ... DJ Hazey 82 put One Be Lo's vocals to great use over the 'Storytellin' beat by Romanian producer, ILLusionist. If you're not familiar with ILLusionist, go cop his EP, 'The Uplift' and instrumental album, 'My Way.' As for One Be Lo, he's an independent hip-hop veteran; known for his group, Binary Star, and their classic, 'Masters of the Universe' (now re-issued), as well as the highly acclaimed solo release, 'SONOGRAM' + more. Full disclosure: I work with One Be Lo, but let's be f'real, this track goes - an ill storytelling track. Props to DJ Hazey 82 for the mash-up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Company Flow 'Info Kill' 12"

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 heads know this original as the single. 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2Pac 'Dear Mama' Handwritten Video Notes

2Pac Dear Mama Handwritten

2Pac released the lead single, 'Dear Mama,' from his third studio album, 'Me Against The World,' on February 21st, 1995. The song was Grammy-nominated and during turbulent times, showed the duality and layers to Pac's character. I believe 2Pac was many people, but aren't we all? IF the handwritten note above is 2Pac's vision for the video, not all points were necessary included; most notably his heavy heart for Ocita Teal, who lost her son to that stray bullet in '92. 2Pac wasn't one of my favorite rappers, but undeniably he was one of the culture's most important. R.I.P. Tupac and Afeni Shakur. Excuse the blurry photograph (via Google).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Roc Marciano "Rosebudd's Revenge" (Album Stream)

"Time waits for no man, but venerable New York emcee and producer Roc Marci remains a rare exception to the rule. Enchanting listeners with his dexterous lyricism, methodically soulful beats, and steely persona on releases like 2010's critically-acclaimed Marcberg, and his revered 2012 effort, Reloaded, the pride of Hempstead, Long Island emerges from the shadows after a three-year hiatus with the equally spellbinding Rosebudd's Revenge. This is the rapper's fourth studio album.  Aside from appearances on landmark releases, including De La Soul's Grammy-nominated And the Anonymous Nobody, and Ka's Days With Dr. Yen Lo, Roc Marci's presence has been scarce, making Rosebudd's Revenge one of the more anticipated hip-hop releases of 2017. Enlisting his band of collaborators to join him on every song on his last release, Roc Marci flips the script on his latest offering.  Rosebudd’s Revenge’s lone features are frequent collaborators: Brownsville emcee Ka on the epic sparring session "Marksmen," and Knowledge The Pirate on "No Smoke."  This uncluttered lineup gives Roc Marci ample space to deliver his tales from the strip. Key selections from Rosebudd's Revenge include the suave, keyboard-laden affair "Better Know," "Killing Time," "Pig Knuckles," and the hard-boiled title-track, and boasts musings that rank among the best of Roc Marci's tenured run. Spilling his fluid flow over production from the likes of Grammy-nominated producer Knxwledge, as well as George Paulin, Animoss, Don C, Modus Op, and himself, Roc Marci reaffirms his placement on the musical avant garde and standing as one of hip-hop's preeminent lyricists on Rosebudd's Revenge, a defining effort that will leave fans salivating for more."

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rasheed Chappell 'Franchise' (2014)

It's been several years since Rasheed Chappell's debut studio release, 'Future Before Nostalgia,' but as a testament to the quality and replay value of the album, it's still in constant rotation. With dope features on projects by Apollo Brown, DJ Soko, and other guest verses sprinkled here and there, he's maintained my excitement for new music, but it reached a peak when I heard the first single off "Brick & Mortar," a teaser called "Franchise" in 2014. I recognized the sample immediately & his flow danced all over it - you can check that out below and I hope that "Brick & Mortar" drops sooner than later. Much respect to Kenny Dope, and the OG, DJ Eclipse. Hit the tags for more.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trauma 74 "The God Given Image" (Album Stream)

Bedford, UK-based emcee and producer Trauma 74 unleashes a superior debut album with "The God Given Image;" a soulful selection of true skool boom bap heat, mostly self produced but with added flavor from Passion HiFi and Richy Spitz. Solid from start to finish with some solid beat skits in between each track too; a reminiscent nod to Pete Rock. Listen to Trauma 74's debut album below...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Black Moon "Enta Da Stage" (Complete Edition)

Black Moon Enta Da Stage Advert

Brothers Lyrically Acting Combining Kicking Music Out On Nations. 'Enta Da Stage' is a pioneering album in NY hip-hop history. When asked in The Source back in '93, Buckshot had this to say: 'This album was created on vibes, how we feel, how we see life from our point of view. It's a state of mind, it's about bein' real relaxed, real calm, real subtle, showing things for what they is, analyzing it and then mastering it on wax ... We ain't coming half-assed.' Now in it's 23rd year, Fat Beats has released the Complete Edition, which features 6xLPs, 3xCDs or 3xCassettes - each includes the album, remixes, and instrumentals. I'm coppin' the cassettes, but I do want the vinyl, too! Does Fat Beats have an alumni discount code I can use? lol Props to DJ Jab.

Black Moon Enta Da Stage Fat Beats Box Set

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Funky Man, Lord Finesse

Lord Finesse Press Kit

Happy Born Day, Lord Finesse. As an artist and producer, I think he's hands down one of the best to ever do it. In a crew (D.I.T.C.) of GIANTS, he's considered the leader, and to me, there's no greater honor and sign of respect! Salute his grandmother for lending him money to record his first demo and pushing him to follow his dreams - he's inspired a whole culture with his gifts. Check out the 'Return of the Funky Man' video below to hear how on point & ahead of time he's always been.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Camp Lo "Coolie High (Paradise Remix)" 12" (1996)

Camp Lo Publicity Photo

This is it! Camp Lo's latest release 'On The Way Uptown' features rare and unreleased demos for the early fans of 'Uptown Saturday Night' (one of my favorite albums). Geechi Suede dropped a solo project, '0.9 NyteLife FM,' in December and it's rumored that there will be another Camp Lo project coming real soon. Also, if you haven't heard it, check out the classic Paradise Remix to Camp Lo's 'Coolie High,' with the umm... alternate sample. Me and the homie, The Audible Doctor, were at Fat Beats and came upon a crate of records to dig through, in the batch were several white label joints, so we threw them on the 1200s and gave a listen. A few duds, then we unearthed TWO pristine copies of this 12" - not sure if they were bootlegs or test presses, my memory is failing me, but man that was a helluva find, lol. A true classic... dig into it below. I miss Fat Beats.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Big L "Focus On The Real" + "Mr. MVP" EP

Big L Focus On the Real Advert

Big L's 'Focus On The Real' advert is still one of my favorite ads ever released for an album. If I remember right, Danny Clinch was behind the iconic images shot for artwork on 'Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous.' I've been a fan since 1992 and it still saddens me that we lost such a true talent, especially before he'd reached his peak. If you've never heard it, check out the limited release entitled 'Mr. MVP EP,' which features a few tracks that used to be (pre-internet) fairly hard to find. It's available to listen below. Rumors say it's being officially released in different packaging, I'll keep an eye out of for that, too. Rest in Peace, Big L. Where do you rank Big L? Top 5? 10? 20? 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DJ Low Cut ft. Masta Ace & Torae 'All Alone'

You all alone in these streets, cousin! DJ Low Cut enlists Masta Ace & Torae for his single 'All Alone;' a fresh track with sharp cuts by DJ Nix'on. His 'NY Minute' project was the first project to catch my attention back in 2012, but he's been putting in work for several years out of Paris, France. His new album, 'Dead End,' is available for pre-order now and features Rustee Juxx, Nutso, Blaq Poet, Masta Ace, Torae, Guilty Simpson, Reef The Lost Cauze, Praverb (R.I.P.), Dirt Platoon and more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Frankie Cutlass "Politics & Bullshit" (The Source, 2/97)

"In case some of y'all have forgotten that Latinos in general (and Puerto Rocks in particular) are in this hip-hop thing for the duration, Frankie Cutlass, better known for his bangin' remixes and a few underground crowd-pleasers, is here to remind you. No need to re-up on the long-forgotten high school Spanish lessons though, Frankie doesn't use this album as a venue for any Castillian-speaking Rico Suave characters sans skills to get some light. Matter of fact, except for the original and remixed shots of "Boriquas On Da Set," with Bouncemaster Doo Wop and South Bronx heavyweight Fat Joe, most of the songs on the album are freaked by non-Latinos. With snippets from Al Pacino's cult-classic Carlito's Way serving as intros and intermissions, this compilation of sorts is a combination of solid production and some well (and not so well) established talent.  For example, in what has to be the surprise move of the year, some former members of The Juice Crew - Craig G, Shante, Biz Markie, and lo and behold, none other than Big Daddy Kane himself! - get together once again to flex their vocal chords on "The Cypher." Although the foursome's lyrics and flows sound a bit strained and/or dated, it is kinda cool, nonetheless, to hear them gettin' some run."

"Despite using the same Freddie Jackson sample, that's rapidly gaining accolades for a certain foxy female, another phat team-up is "Focus," which features The Lost Boyz and M.O.P. The bugged mixture of the classic, Quiet Storm groove with Cheeks' raspy smoothness and M.O.P.'s adrenaline-pumped vocals results in nothing less than head nods for days. The absolute butter award, however, has to go to the darkly tinted Mobb Deep / Kool G Rap / M.O.P. joint, "Know The Game." Having to mention Frankie's Puerto Rican heritage is a sign of these fucked up race / ethnicity infatuated times we live in, but with the lack of exposure that Latinos in hip-hop get, it will hopefully help to dispel the myth that Hispanics are really outside observers and not an integral part of Rap. With a platoon-sized roster full of top choice talent, this latest from Cutlass should expand his fan base beyond the NY metro and re-establish Latinos' as true members of the Hip-Hop Nation."

The full review in The Source (February 1997) is available below...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Russian Hip Hop Killaz 'Enta Da Breaks' (Instrumental Album)

Russian Hip Hop Killaz Instrumental Ensemble Enta Da breaks

'Enta The Breaks' is the new instrumental project by Funky Waves, Aestethic & Thelonious Coltrane as the Russian Hip Hop Killaz Instrumental Ensemble ... no typos, lol. As advertised, 'Enta Da Stage' is filled with 60 minutes of dope instrumental breaks, Russian samples and dusty boombap. The project is available digitally and on limited-edition (100 hand-numbered) cassettes via Postpartum, which is a label out of Germany that formed last year and has put out some quality cassettes mainly shipping direct and/or through Vinyl-Digital. One Be Lo & I dealt with Vinyl-Digital for a reissue of Binary Star's 'Masters of the Universe' last year and I thought they were professional and did high-quality work. You can hear the project streaming below.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ras Kass "Soul On Ice: Revisited" (Album Stream)

20 years has passed since the Carson, CA emcee Ras Kass changed the history of west-coast hip-hop with the critically acclaimed debut album, "Soul On Ice". Unfortunately, while its release was within the throws of Priority/Capital Records, the release of the record saw the album but not in its true form. 20 years after its initial release, we here at Blackhouse are honored to present to you, the fully restored, remixed and remastered version of "Soul On Ice: Revisited." Stream it below!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Brother Ali "The Bite Marked Heart" EP (2012)

On it's 5th anniversary, let's revisit Brother Ali's "The Bite Marked Heart" EP; a free 7 song EP for your listening pleasure. "The Bite Marked Heart" features Phonte (Little Brother, Foreign Exchange) Stokley Williams (Mint Condition), Singer/songwriter Nikki Jean and Aby Wolf. Tracks 1,2,4,6,7 produced by Jake One, Tracks 3,5 produced by Ant. You can still download it for free HERE, and stream it below via RhymeSayers Ent. My favorite track is the video single, "Shine On," featuring the lovely & talented Nikki Jean: I love this song - watch the video HERE. Is it redundant to remind you - yet again - Brother Ali is one of my favorite artists in this whole industry!? Truth.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Homeboy Sandman "Love Life" (Mixed by Peter Rosenberg)

The Hundreds & Homeboy Sandman present, "Love Life," mixed by Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg. The 1-track mix is actually 10 tracks, a compilation of vintage cuts and unreleased joints, aptly split in 2 up as "Old Love" and "New Love." I'm here to support Boy Sand, a good dude that always stood tall, first row at every underground Hip-Hop show in New York City. Great to see his continued success with Stones Throw Records, stream this latest treat for the fans below.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Westside Gunn & Mil Beats "Riots On Fashion Ave" (Album Stream)

"The scene takes place 381 miles away from the epicenter of Hip Hop, New York city. It's in Buffalo that Westside Gunn has learned how to control a mic the 5 borough way. He's always had an attraction for melodious sounds and a ferocious hunger for grimy beats straight out the MPC; completed by a rhyme book directly connected to the streets' concrete. Across the Atlantic, the Effiscienz sound came through the cities' blocks to reach the headphones of the one who has already blessed music from the likes of Apollo Brown or the Alchemist... Already in control of Conway's EP and Mood's LP, Mil takes charge of the productions by adapting to Westside Gunn's rough flow, making it sound like a "film noir" with harrowing sounds. In this dark atmosphere dimly lit by a few strings, the stormy kicks and bass have naturally magnetized the Buffalo rhymer to the groove of this EP stamped with the seal of the Parisian label." Stream it below.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Elzhi 'ELmatic' Mixtape + 'One Love' Remix

'ELmatic' is one of the best releases of the last decade! No question, Elzhi captured the essence of 'Illmatic,' over-delivered lyrically, and Will Sessions recreated the production masterfully. I'd been waiting for the project for years, which is an ongoing trend with Elzhi. I believe the original idea was spawned by Houseshoes, but it didn't include reworking the production. Am I right on that? Fashawn put out Ode to Illmatic, and maybe Elzhi went back to the drawing board and a greater concept was birthed. Whether that's how that went down or not, I'm not 100%, but either way, there's never a wrong time to throw on 'ELmatic' (free download) and celebrate a masterpiece, celebrating the masterpiece. Elzhi definitely made Nas proud with this one.

So ... after listening to the album 3x, back to back to back in 2011, I sent a text to my artist, Eternia, and said to check out the project - specifically 'One Love,' as there was room at the end of that track for a verse. It was a subtle hint, but she was receptive, and days later, her remix was born. I think her verse at the end complements the storyline and vibe of the track. Check that out, too.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Donnie Propa '10 Year Tribute Tape: RIP J Dilla'

Back again ... I posted about the Pete Rock mix that Donnie Propa did last November, but he also put this mix together to honor the memory of the late, great J Dilla on the 10th anniversary of his passing (February 10, 2016). The '10 Year Tribute Tape' features some classics, rarities, and instrumentals from the well respected and sorely missed producer. Once again, the mix is done with 100% vinyl and released in association with Village Live and Planet Rock Graphics. Props to Dregone for the really really dope artwork, I wish I would have caught the cassettes while they were still in stock, but you can still support it digitally below. If you got the tapes, let me know.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

J Dilla "Interview on Gilles Peterson's World Wide" (2/15/01)

The legendary interview with Jay Dee on World Wide dating from Feb 2001, as he speaks on the making of the seminal Welcome 2 Detroit, his production work with The Pharcyde, Common, Q-Tip and other stories... a must listen. Happy Birthday and Rest In Peace, J Dilla. Listen below.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

SRAW ft. Blu 'Mind Keep Stepping'

Sraw ft. Blu Mind Keep Stepping

This is 'Mind Keep Stepping' with production by SRAW from Stockholm, featuring the good homie, Blu. The track is the B-side to a 7" released by Mutual Intentions; a label based out of Oslo, Norway. The 7" also includes 'In The Smog,' featuring Tha Connection (SmooVth & Hus Kingpin), as well as an instrumental track called 'Glass.' You can buy the vinyl and digital HERE.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Nasty Nas "Next" Vibe Magazine April, 1994

"As vultures, rapists, and savages from major corporations worldwide swarm around the mentally dead sea of would-be studio-invented rappers, greedily searching for a raw morsel to tame their perverted taste buds, a genuine lyrical B-boy by the name of Nas (formerly Nasty Nas) has emerged from behind the intellectual clouds left by weak artists, faked funk, and wasted radio airtime. Illmatic, his debut album is sending shock waves throughout the hip hop world, while pretenders stand still, trying to catch the beat and wondering which step they missed." - Nas, Vibe (April, 1994). Welp, that says it all, I have nothing more to add that you don't already know lol