Thursday, August 31, 2017

RSXGLD "He's The Driver, I'm The Shooter" (Mixtape)

"He's The Driver, I'm The Shooter" is an introduction to the collaborative works of rapper RoSpit and producer 14KT, collectively known as RSXGLD. This mixtape is an audio timeline of the music the two have created together over the years - leading up to the highly anticipated debut group album being released later this year on Fat Beats Records. "He's The Driver, I'm The Shooter" features classics, such as "Leave Me Alone" and "Needing To Win" as well as unreleased RSXGLD music "JeSoS", "Spit" and "Glow Cups".  Much respect to both of these talented artists, check it out below...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Apollo Brown & Planet Asia "Anchovies" (Album Stream)

Anchovies aren’t for everybody. They’re greasy, smelly, salty and oily. Some people love them. Some people hate them. Apollo Brown & Planet Asia’s new collaboration album took inspiration from these polarizing fish and created a project that takes a certain palette to enjoy. Classic Hiphop meets minimalism and dusty vinyl on Anchovies. Cali Agents alum Planet Asia is as sharp as ever with his lyrical smithing. Apollo Brown’s style is evident behind the dust and grime of these smoky samples. The Detroit producer approached this album like a director would a movie. Apollo painstakingly laid out every detail of the project and knew what he wanted from the finished product. He knew that only one rapper could execute his vision. Enter Planet Asia. The West Coast legend was able to fit directly into the plan and bring his talents to the album, creating a perfect match." Planet Asia adds, “This shit be so dirty. If you threw water at it, it’d turn to mud.” Stream it below.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Marlon Craft: Staten Island, The Tunnel's End Video Series

In the final part of the video series, Craft is on that ferry to venture out to the final borough of Staten Island. Of course, if Craft’s headed to the land of the Shaolin, he’s got to protect his neck by spitting over a classic Wu-Tang joint. Over the beat from the Wu-Tang Forever‘s “Triumph” Craft lets off a steady stream of words as the ferry glides across the Upper New York Bay. “Headed to Staten you know the Wu district/Just waiting on the ferry like my tooth missing/They say the game dictated by how the youth living/I say its reciprocal, I’m banking that they do listen.”

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).

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

Marlon Craft: Brooklyn, The Tunnel's End Video Series

In Part Four of the exclusive video series, “The Tunnel’s End,” M Craft’s subway pass has now brought him to Jay St. Metrotech. Over the beat from Black Star’s “Definition,” Craft spits, “Everybody drinking, smoking, bumping Biggie from Bed-Stuy to Park Slope/ And I mean Do Or Die Stuy/ Not the one where you move to open your $8 dollar coffee shop/ Because your pops gave you a loan.”  On this freestyle, Craft goes on to spit about how he just needs the city to back him and could care less about how many followers he’s got on Instagram. “Dudes will blow their whole score for a check/ If it’s blue and next to your name online that’s even better/ But I don’t need it/ Only the people can verify me/ Fuck your follow count, I need park benches to sign me.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

L.A.Z. "No Paperwork" (EP Stream)

No Paperwork is the soundtrack to being a starving artist in transition, but still moving to the beat of your own drum and keeping it about the music…” - L.A.Z on his new solo release. After quitting his day job and taking a leap of faith into his music career at age 28, Detroit-based lyricist L.A.Z of Clear Soul Forces marinated on his decisions and ended up making some of his most compelling art yet with No Paperwork. It’s the culmination of not only years of grinding and creating, but also the mental peace that comes with realizing money isn’t everything. “The EP is my reminder to myself and my family that you can’t put a price tag or a time limit on finding peace of mind,” the rapper explains, revealing that he actually burned his last dollar to shoot the No Paperwork cover. It’s also a reminder that at the end of the day, it’s all about the music for L.A.Z, and he puts his best foot forward in every aspect on the projects’s six cuts." Listen to the No Paperwork EP below...

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...

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

Tuesday, August 08, 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.

Monday, August 07, 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.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Marlon Craft: Manhattan, Tunnel's End Video Series

Marlon Craft steps off at the Delancey F Train Station it to spit off some more heat for the third stop of his five-borough tour in his home turf of Manhattan. As a native New Yorker from Hell’s Kitchen who is helping to bring New York back, Craft isn’t blind to the rapid gentrification that’s taking over New York City. “That’s how we do in the Apple that’s been allowed to rot/Manhattan crowded blocks, the faces unfamiliar/Bodegas turned Chipotle, say goodbye to La Familia,” Craft spits over the Heatmakerz beat for  “I’m Ready” by Dipset. Support his new project The Tunnel’s End, which just dropped this week and is currently sitting at No. 3 behind Meek & Jay Z on iTunes.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Marlon Craft: Queens, Tunnel's End Video Series

As Marlon Craft‘s five-borough subway tour stops off in Queens, the beat from Mobb Deep’s “Give Up The Goods (Just Step)” rings out. “Rest in peace to Prodigy,” Craft rhymes. “You showed me love before the rise.” In this edition, Craft’s bars touch on memories of balling at the Ron Artest Tournament and how he “stood out like a sore thumb”—some kids even thought his dad was a detective. “Got a mob of fans who love me for that deep shit.” Craft wraps up his rap like this: “Come up off those goods, give some culture to the city / I do it for the fallen they’re within me.”

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