Friday, August 25, 2017

Kid Abstrakt & The Deli "Daydreaming" (Album Stream)

Daydreamng is the debut album from Kid Abstrakt (Revolutionary Rhythm) & The Deli (producer). After working on a few songs together they decided to make an album inspired by the 90s classic hip hop sound. The Deli samples Brazilian records to create a smooth backdrop for Kid Abstrakt's daydreams. Take a trip from LA to TX and down to Brazil, and find beauty in the simple things of life. If you've listened back to Revolutionary Rhythm's SoulVibes, then you're already a fan! Dig in...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BeatPete "Illest Villains" (The Madvillain Mixtape)

Adding another treat to your Doom collection with “Illest Villains”, a 1-hour Madvillain mixtape by Berlin-based DJ, digger and all-around good dude BeatPete. The mix includes tracks from the Madvillainy LP and Madvillainy 2 – The Madlib Remix, as well as sample origins by the likes of Bill Evans, Howard Lucraft, Foster Sylvers, Maria Beth├ónia, Osmar Milito, Matthew Larkin Cassell and Gentle Giant. - via TheFindMag, thanks for putting me up on this one! Dig into this Doom mix below...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Anti-Lilly & Phoniks "It's Nice Outside" Album Stream

Over the past few years, Houston emcee Anti-Lilly has experienced a lot of hardships. Stretches of serious depression combined with the monotony of a 9-to-5 lifestyle, temptations from the streets and betrayal from a close friend forced him into isolation. Using Phoniks jazzy soundscapes as a coping mechanism, Anti paints a vivid picture of the struggles he’s endured since we last heard from the duo on 2014’s “Stories From The Brass Section”. The album's 17 tracks are stitched together with voicemail’s the young Houston rhyme-spitter received from friends and family trying to reach him while he was shut out from the world. Through it all, Anti emerges from his experiences with a renewed optimism, letting the world know “It’s Nice Outside” despite all the pain and suffering he’s withstood. “Thank y'all. This is the only way I know how to get through it. I lost my way for a while, honestly I'm still tryna figure everything out. I’m learning that we all are, though. I done lost as much as I gained, but it was all necessary. This album is dedicated to everyone who feels like me. Thanks for being so patient with me. God Bless” - Anti-Lilly. Show love, this is everything I want my hip-hop to be in 2019. Much respect and thanks to Anti-Lilly, Phoniks, and Don't Sleep Records.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

O.C. "Jewelz" (Vibe Review, September 1997)

"In 1994, underground champ O.C. licked off a shot at the industry with his now classic single "Time's Up," taking heads to task for seeking mass appeal. He followed it up months later with the stirring debut album Word...Life, which was met with tremendous critical acclaim but few record sales. After a three-year hiatus (broken only by his appearance on the second Crooklyn Dodgers record, "Crooklyn Dodgers 2") due to the collapse of his former record label, Wild Pitch, O.C. has returned to drop some gems on 'em - or, to be more precise, Jewelz. No longer rocking the how-many-words-can-I-fit-in-one-measure? flow, O.C. now rides the beat at a more natural pace, sinking into the groove comfortably. Where Word...Life was underground angst, Jewelz is melodic contentment. Having enlisted the talents of DJ Premier, the Beatminerz, Lord Finesse, Buckwild, O.Gee, and Showbiz, O.C. can lay claim to having one of the tightest production teams ever assembled."

"One bangin' little ditty off Jewelz is "M.U.G.," featuring a sedated Freddie Foxxx and a beautiful flute/piano loop courtesy of Primo. Another highlight is "Dangerous," in which O.C. and fellow Diggin' In The Crates crew member Big L melt all snail MCs with their salt-ass rhymes: "I made this cheese / It didn't grow on trees / Can you hold somethin'? / Sure, you can hold on these." The tightest joint on Jewelz, though, is the Finesse-produced title track in which O.C. analyzes where he's been, where he's at, and where he's going. Song for song, O.C. falters only once, on "Far From Yours" with Yvette Michelle... but I guess the Biz was right: "This is something for the radio." Thankfully, O.C. is still concerned with the decline of rap music, only now he's stopped criticizing and has started to lead by example, unveiling one of the most finely polished Jewelz this year has seen. I just hope other rappers have enough sense to follow him." - Vibe, Magazine (September, 1997).

Friday, August 18, 2017

DJ Rei Double R & G-Bo The Pro "Tape #14" (Mixtape, 1992)

Tape #14, Uptown Flavor, from DJ Rei Double R & G-Bo The Pro, in 1992. Another solid mix, including tracks from Funkdoobiest, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Kool G Rap, Grand Puba, Diamond D, Redman, Double X Posse, Black Moon, Original Flavor, Mary J. Blige, Apache, Showbiz & AG, Lords of the Underground, Das EFX, Onyx, Ice Cube and more. There's a dull spot here and there, but overall, this is another really quality mix and I can remember (with amazing clarity) holding my finger to the record button on my tapedeck for many of these tracks! '92 was my last year in grade school... good memories!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

AbcntMnded "Bandana P Tribute" (R.I.P. Prodigy Mix)

Here's a solid mix from AbcntMnded, paying tribute to the memory of our fallen MC, Prodigy of Mobb Deep. As Pipomixes says, "Absolutely stellar mix of less heralded Prodigy cuts. As all dope DJs do, AbcntMnded digs deep into Prodigy's catalog and exquisitely blends many songs that most DJs aren't playing in their Prodigy tributes. Highly recommended." I agree, this mix doesn't rely on nostalgia alone, it digs deep and shows the stellar career of a street artist who achieved legendary status as a solo artist and member of the Infamous Mobb Deep. Rest In Peace, Prodigy. Dig in...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting
Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting

This is a phenomenal coffee-table book that I'd slept on when it was first released, likely due to the price tag, but I finally circled back this month and grabbed it. It's now recommended reading: Eilon Paz’s 436-page book illuminates over 130 vinyl collectors and their collections in the most intimate of environments -- their record rooms. With a foreword by the RZA, compelling photographic essays are paired with in-depth interviews to illustrate what motivates record collectors to keep digging for more records. Readers get an up close and personal look at a variety of well-known vinyl champions as well as a glimpse into the collections of known and unknown DJs, producers, record dealers, and everyday enthusiasts. The book is divided into two main parts: the first features 250 full-page photos framed by captions and select quotes, while the second consists of 12 full-length interviews that delve deeper into collectors’ personal histories and vinyl troves. That's straight from the Dust & Grooves website, but I nodded along in agreement. Some sample photos are above and below, consider ordering a copy HERE.

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hoodratz "Sneeke Mutha F#kaz" (The Source, 8/93)

"The new Queens-based crew called the Hoodratz used to be called the Knuckleheads, but they had to change their name when it became clear that the Hit Squad-produced group with the same name held the copyright. This debut album is far from wack, but like many records these days, it lacks the punch and originality to stand out in the crowd. With an approach of pure hardcore tracks and lyrics, the Hoodratz style is a combination of the Onyx grimee flow and the funky noise of Lords of the Underground (both groups get shout-outs on the album). Group member Doh Doh, who does the majority of the production, has a skilled high-end, almost nasal flow, while his partner Dingbat has a lower, more gritty rhyme style. The combined result is nothing you haven't heard before, but it doesn't deserve to be shrugged off either." Peep the visuals to "Bootlegga," cont'd below...

"The first single, the anti-counterfeit anthem "Bootlegga," laid the grounds for the Hoodratz's pro-rap, take-no-shit agenda. With a catchy hook chanted over a bumping track, the Hoodratz takes a commendable stand in the rap industry's war against fake tapes - "if ya bootleg ya get ya leg broke n!gga!" Album highlights include the solid "Rollin Wit' Da Rat Pak," "Grimee" and the street-conscious "Murdered Ova Nuttin." On "Havin A Bad Day," they use an Onyx piece on the hook, but sound like Onyx on the rest of the track. And some cuts, like the sparse, boring "Ms. Crabtree," offer little excitement. With the right choice of singles and maybe a hyped remix, Hoodratz can make some noise. One bad move, though, and they'll likely be overlooked by the hip-hop masses." - The Source.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dirty Art Club "Basement Seance" (Instrumental Album)

"Conceived in North Carolina, fragments of sun-kissed soul and dusty psyche-rock sounds are stitched together and intertwined with live instrumentation recorded in a home studio setup to convey a woozy and soulful experience. It's a blend that’s been refined on Dirty Art Club’s latest album, Basement Seance, which is themed around sampling rare “old songs and records that barely anybody's heard" and reanimating them into a new life... The genesis of Dirty Art Club’s nuanced approach to production was inspired by RZA's mystical beat work for Raekwon's "Verbal Intercourse,” from the rapper’s classic 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…. The way the melody sample "was cartoonish and weird but also soulful" and the impression "the loop has someone saying something but you can't really tell what they're saying” helped form the Dirty Art Club template. This idea of utilizing "strangely placed vocal clips" carries through to Dirty Art Club’s compositions, where truncated phrases from rare songs are skillfully layered into tracks to enhance wistful, nostalgic and carefree vibes... The fruits of vinyl digging trips are combined with layers of live instrumentation and embellished with field recordings and atmospheric effects. These component parts are skillfully mixed so that they “sound like one sample.” It’s a trick that creates a unity of sound where songs segue together while moving the emotional narrative along." Listen below...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Crimeapple "Turner & Hooch" (prod. by Billy Loman)

Crimeapple "Turner & Hooch" (prod. by Billy Loman)

Salute to my OG, DJ Eclipse, who put me on to this track by Crimeapple called 'Turner & Hooch,' produced by Billy Loman from Boston. I don't have any background info on Crimeapple, but I think he may be in New Jersey; definitely going to keep him on my radar. Let me also take this opportunity to update you that DJ Eclipse's radio show 'Rap Is Outta Control' will be moving to Monday nights (8pm-10pm EST) and relaunches on Monday, August 21st with Eclipse and DJ Riz.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Marlon Craft "The Tunnel's End" (Album Stream)

Marlon Craft's "The Tunnel's End" is a unique lyrical journey, a conceptual album that may go unnoticed by the mainstream media, until it's impossible to ignore Marlon Craft any longer. His visual storytelling and dense lyrics may make this a challenging listen for casual fans, but surely it must've been a greater challenge to create - with a niche audience in mind. With the help of Marco Polo, and longtime collaborators Arbus Beats, BeatsInMyBackPac, Donato and more, Marlon Craft's 14-track project is as thought-provoking as it is character driven. His viral video series "Craftstyles", his social commentary, and the his borough video series in promotion of the album have finally culminated in the album's release, which sat at Number 2 on iTunes, just behind Jay-Z's 4:44. That's quite an accomplishment and proof that hard work and lyrics matter. Listen to the album below...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sean Price "Imperius Rex" (Album Stream)

The Sean Price legacy continues with the highly anticipated posthumous release of his 4th studio album, “Imperius Rex”. The CD is housed inside an 84-page hard cover book packaged with rare photos spanning Sean Price’s life; exclusive fan art; and an iconic 11x17 poster featuring the album cover art. The project features all new music with features from DOOM, Prodigy, Styles P, Smif N Wessun, Rock, Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Junior Reid, Buckshot, Ruste Juxx, Bernadette Price & more. Production from Alchemist, Harry Fraud, Nottz, amongst others.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Mecca & The Soul Brother" (25th Anniversary Mix)

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pete Rock & CL Smooth's classic 1992 LP 'Mecca & The Soul Brother', the homie Chris Read created yet another fine mix of album tracks, alternative versions, remixes, and original sample material to pay homage to a true classic! One of the greatest albums of all-time from top to bottom, dig into this mix below. Props to Chris Read & Wax Poetics.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Gravediggaz "6 Feet Deep" (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz Publicity Photo RZA Prince Paul
Gravediggaz '6 Feet Deep' (August 9, 1994)

Gravediggaz's debut album '6 Feet Deep' was released on this day in 1994. An early example of what they considered 'Horrorcore' at the time. The real gems are found in Prince Paul and RZA's production on the album. The lead single 'Diary of a Madman' will remain a classic, as are both versions of 1-800-SUICIDE, Constant Elevation, Nowhere to Run, and more. With the group's core members being Frukwan (The Gatekeeper), Poetic (The Grym Reaper), RZA, and Prince Paul, there were also features from Shabazz The Disciple, Killah Priest, and a brief appearance from Masta Ace (uncredited). I remember first seeing the music video for 'Diary of a Madman' at my man Petey Cologne's crib in the early 90s back home in Queens; that eery soundscape immediately caught our attention. "Because we'd all been buried as far as the music industry is concerned," says Paul, "we chose the name Gravediggaz." RZA adds "Music can change the way people think. The Gravediggaz are here to dig up the graves of the mentally dead, not bury people in them. People are just walking around out there mentally dead." Hence the line, "Now I fight a holy war in the mental." Unfortunately, Poetic passed away some years back from cancer, although his music continues to be celebrated via a Chopped Herring Records release called "Ghetto Repaired Young Minds" as Brothers G.R.Y.M., with his two younger brothers Brainstorm and E Sharp. More below...

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

N.W.A. "Straight Outta Compton" (August 8, 1988)

N.W.A. Letter from FBI to NWA
N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton 1988

"A song recorded by the rap group N.W.A. on their album entitled "Straight Outta Compton" encourages violence against and disrespect for the law enforcement officer and has been brought to my attention. I understand your company recorded and distributed this album, and I am writing to share my thoughts and concerns with you. Advocating violence and assault is wrong, and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action. Violent crime, a major problem in our country, reached an unprecedented high in 1988. Seventy-eight law enforcement officers were feloniously slain in the line of duty during 1988, four more than in 1987. Law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to the protection of our citizens, and recordings such as the one from N.W.A. are both discouraging and degrading to these brave, dedicated officers. Music plays a significant role in society, and I wanted you to be aware of the FBI's position relative to this song and its message. I believe my views reflect the opinion of the entire law enforcement community." 

The letter was signed by Milt Ahlerich (Office of Public Affairs) to Gui Manganiello (Priority Records). N.W.A.'s album "Straight Outta Compton" was released on August 8, 1988 - 29 years ago today. The letter above was dated a year later, August 1, 1989. The World's Most Dangerous Crew ... this was the only release with Ice Cube, who departed the group in '89. Production was handled by DJ Yella and Dr. Dre. If I remember correctly, the album has gone Triple platinum, without radio play.

N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton CD Longbox 1988

Monday, August 07, 2017

Phonte "Never At A Loss For Words" (Mix by DJ Rahdu)

"Phonte is one of the first highly opinionated emcees to definitively capture the ear of the Hip Hop community (and beyond), since the days of KRS-One and Chuck D. We fell in love with his humor and wittiness on The Listening, anticipated his colorful social commentary on Gordon Gartrell Radio w/ DJ Brainchild and even checked for his critique of the latest films with Movies in a Minute. Yet, the North Carolinian never ceased to deliver punchlines and knockout verses with numerous collaborators over the years while simultaneously establishing himself as a singer as The Foreign Exchange reinvented their sound. Although more entertainment than edutainment, the loquacious emcee has our ears successfully on lock and we hope he's never at a loss for words. Disclaimer: This is not a "Phonte's most fire guest verses mix", but a mix of DJ Rahdu's favorite Phonte collaborations." This mix was originally released in 2012. New album coming... soon? Listen below....

Sunday, August 06, 2017

DJ Juice "Volume 41" (Mixtape, 1998)

This is Volume 41 in DJ Juice's mix tape series in 1998 on Tape Kingz. The mix features exclusive Juice remixes and classic cuts from Noreaga, Faith Evans, Busta Rhymes, DMX, Tragedy Khadafi, Redman & Method Man, Jay-Z, Pete Rock, Harlem World, Miss Jones, Canibus & Keith Murray, Charli Baltimore & Ghostface Killah, Usher, Foxy Brown, Half-A-Mil, Uneek, Mase, DJ Clue and lots more! Much thanks to DJ Step One for the upload. Check it out below, and click the tags for more DJ Juice mixes...

Saturday, August 05, 2017

DJ Semtex #6 (Mixtape, 1996)

Back again with another mix tape from pioneering UK day, DJ Semtex. This one is Volume #6, released in 1996 and featuring tracks from Large Professor, Sadat X, De La Soul, GP Wu, Tribe, East Flatbush Project, Fugees, The Roots, Real Live, Akinyele, Busta Rhymes, KRS-One, Big Shug, Organized Konfusion, Money Boss Playas, Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, Redman & Erick Sermon, Inspectah Deck, Jigmastas, and more. Props to DJ Step One for the upload, and much respect to DJ Semtex who has a show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, and has kept my artists' music in the mix! Dig in below...

Friday, August 04, 2017

Chrome Rebels 'Escape From Irak' (12", 1997)

Out of Lefrak City, Queens, this is the 1997 vinyl release from Chrome Rebels, ‘Escape From Irak,’ on Coptic Soundstations. The track was produced by Coptic, who later did production on tracks with G.Depp, Puff, KRS; a record on Biggie’s ‘Born Again’ album, and others. The two eMCees, Mr. Chrome and Treb Rebel, released this single during a Queens heatwave, which saw releases like CNN's 'The War Report' in '97, Mobb Deep's 'Hell on Earth' the year prior, and plenty more from Nas, Nature, Trag, Noyd, etc. That was stiff competition for an independent release, but it had mixtape appeal. It's not impossible to track down a copy of the 12", but it may run you at least $25-30 unless it's at a thrift store, lol. The 12" comes on a generic sleeve with a newspaper-like print on the front. I grew up 10 minutes from Lefrak, so maybe I'm bias to all things Queens, but it's worth diggin' up - don't take my word for it, you can listen to the full 12" below. As always, if you have an update or more info on the artists, leave me a note in the comments, and I'll check it out.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Raekwon "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" (22nd Anniversary)

Raekwon Ghostface Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 22nd anniverary

2017 marks the 22nd year in the celebration of Raekwon's solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. While fans of the Wu argue which was the best solo release: OB4CL or Liquid Swords, I say the fans won with both albums. Others too. Instant classics. Rae, Ghost, and RZA delivered such quality with this album, it's hard to say anything I haven't already said 10x over in the past. This post is simply to continue to salute and honor the album with each year that passes and hopefully I'll continue to add new pieces to my collection like I did with the 7" for 'Incarcerated Scarfaces' on Record Store Day. That reminds me, I need the WU box set with all the 7" from Enter the 36 Chambers. Dig through the archives from this site and those that followed past sites, you probably already have the rare vinyl pieces and remixes I've posted over the years. Go get 'The Wild,' which was Raekwon's release earlier this year - I think it's one of the best records in his catalog, front to back.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Juggaknots "Re:Release" Vinyl, HHV

Yes!! "We are very pleased to present the long overdue vinyl reissue of The Juggaknots' debut album, limited to 500 copies worldwide on blue colored vinyl in gatefold sleeve with all lyrics on printed innersleeves. One of the illest underground albums out of NYC, originally released on Bobbito's legendary Fondle 'Em Records, finally gets a proper re-release with 3 bonus mixes and a remix to "Clear Blue Skies." This shouldn't be missed in any serious Hip Hop record collection!" - HHV

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Action Pac "Summer In '96" (Mixtape, 1996)

Representing the Summer of '96 with this mix tape from Action Pac in 1996. A repetitive intro and tinny audio, but the mix still packs a big punch with tracks from Jay-Z & Biggie, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, 2Pac, Nas, Trigga The Gambler & Smoothe The Hustler, Heltah Skeltah, De La Soul, KRS-One, Heather B, Inspectah Deck, Erick Sermon, Sadat X, Mobb Deep, Herb McGruff, Akinyele, Bone Thugs and more. Reminisce on how the summer was sounding in New York in '96...