January 31, 2018

Jamo Gang "Jamo Gang EP" (EP Stream)

Jamo Gang consists of Californian heavyweight Ras Kass, New York underground rapper El Gant and Long Island producer/rapper J57. They kick off the new year with their self-titled debut EP Jamo Gang. The project was released on Avenida Records, and is the first piece of work we’ve heard from the newly aligned trio. The group’s alias “Jamo Gang” pays homage to the famous Irish Whiskey Jameson. The trio spent most of 2016-2017 in the studio fine-tweaking their work, and even brought in a handful of special guest including Shabaam Sadeeq, Big Twins, Deejay Element and Canadian rapper Snak The Ripper. The project consists of 8 tracks, and if you’re a die-hard fan of hardcore lyricism over catchy beats, you won’t be let down. - The Source. Peace to my brother, J57!

January 30, 2018

DJ Soko "Detroit Make The World Go Round" (Mixtape)

Props to The Left's DJ Soko, reppin' out of Detroit, now living in New York City, who dropped this dope "Detroit Makes The World Go Round" mix today. The mix features tracks with Elzhi, The Left, RoSpit, Black Milk, Quelle Chris, Big Tone, Guilty Simpson, Danny Brown, Buff 1, Finale, Marv Won, Mr. Porter, and lots more reppin' the D. Described by DJ Soko, "Mixtape I did in 2011 for tour. I pressed up a limited number and sold them at shows when myself, Oddisee, Apollo Brown, and Journalist 103 did 2 weeks of shows in Europe." Always good to have merch! You can dig into the mix below.

January 29, 2018

Apollo Brown & Ghostface "The Brown Tape" (Album Stream)

Narrated by The RZA, this is Ghostface Killah’s brutal tale of gangsters, betrayal and one vengeful soul hunting the 12 most powerful crime lords in the World. The Deluca's pressed Tony's remains into 12 vinyl records - one for each member of the family. But little did they know - he would return... This project is a daring, full-length Crime/Horror concept album. Executive Producer, and Ghostface Killah's longtime Wu-Tang Clan collaborator, The RZA refers to the album as "groundbreaking" in the hip hop genre. Apollo Brown was asked to record an alternate album at the same time as Adrian Younge created “Twelve Reasons To Die.” Keep in mind, the legendary Detroit producer (Apollo Brown) was given access to Ghostface Killah’s recordings and constructed beats around GFK's work. This made the project one of the producer's most challenging projects to date. That hard work has paid of as “The Brown Tape” is also one of the best albums to date from Ghostface Killah or Apollo Brown. Cinematic and nasty, this is Hip-hop at it’s most raw. Dig into The Brown Tape below...

January 28, 2018

Khruangbin "Con Todo El Mundo" (Instrumental Album)

Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ takes inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran. ‘Con Todo El Mundo’ is in part dedicated to Laura Lee’s Mexican-American grandfather, a formative influence on the bassist. Throughout ‘Con Todo El Mundo’; Laura Lee’s melodic low-end theory, Mark’s lyrical, free-role guitar lines, and DJ’s ever-steady, ever-ready backbeat form something greater than their parts. A statement that crosses languages, ages, cultures and borders. Listen...

January 27, 2018

DJ Riz "In The Mix" (Mixtape, 1997)

Peace to DJ Riz, happy to see him & DJ Eclipse back on air together up at E's SiriusXM show "Rap Is Outta Control," every Sunday 10pm-12am EST on Hip Hop Nation. Take it back to '97 with this DJ Riz classic casstte mix. Forget a tracklist, enjoy the shout-outs instead, "Fat Beats (the whole f#ckin' crew), Funkmaster Flex & the Flip Squad, N.Y. Live (89.1), Mayhem, Sunset, Guy, Martin, Big "A", Rotate, A.Vee, Sizzahandz, Wildman Steve, Jeff Foss, Wax Axer, Erez, Necro, Non-Phixion, Stretch, Bobbito, Rub, A-Train, Red Alert, Clark Kent, Richie Rich, Dice, Scratch, Majesty, X-Men, Joie, AV8 Records, Spinbad, JS, Mighty Mi, Don Lou, Oakland "Raiders", Ed Powers and all the dirty debutantes, Baby's Got Back Series, The AVN Awards & all the porn spots that are left in NY. Keep supporting the lovely filth!!! Peace to Canarsie BK!!!" Much props to DJStepOne, who already had the links. #NSFW

January 26, 2018

Evidence "Weather Or Not" (Album Stream)

Evidence has returned to deliver his third solo album, Weather or Not, the final chapter in The Weatherman series before beginning the next saga. “As a writer and a rapper, I’ve been using the weather as a metaphor my whole career,” Evidence explains. “I had a line that said, ‘Some think I’m clever, others think I’m the one who makes too many references to weather… or not.’ Every time I would perform that song live, the crowd would always say the ‘or not’, so I knew I was on to something, and it would eventually be an album title.” For Weather or Not, Evidence tapped a stellar cast of producers to share duties with, including Alchemist, DJ Premier, Nottz, DJ Babu, and more. The album also features an all-star lineup of guests and friends, including Slug (Atmosphere), Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Alchemist, Styles P, Rapsody, Jonwayne, Defari, etc. “I made this album with loyalists in mind,” Evidence says. “There’s nothing that’s unintentional. There are no wasted words.” While the album predominantly highlights his talent as a rapper, Evidence is also a well known producer, photographer and videographer. But, for all of his non-stop, high-level productivity, Evidence is most notably modest, a quality fully captured on Weather Or Not. “Now that the album is finished, I can see clearly that every single song serves its own purpose. To me, it’s like a playlist, or a greatest hits collection…except that none of these songs existed before I made them.” At the time of the release of his "Throw It All Away" video last year, I was unaware that his beautiful wife was fighting cancer -- my heart is heavy for him, his wife and their young son. Much respect to Evidence, please keep them in your prayers... and do support the LP! It's available to stream below...

Thanks to Rhymesayers for these rain drop stickers, too. Get the LP!

January 25, 2018

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 37" (Mixtape, 1994)

Tony Touch released Hip Hop 37 via Tape Kingz in 1994. Puttin' in mad work, Tony Touch dropped another mix that we look back on as a classic! This mix tape includes tracks from Biz Markie, M.O.P., Nas, Crooklyn Dodgers, Fugees, Nice & Smooth, Gravediggaz, Snoop Dogg, Lady of Rage, Masta Ace, Ill Al Skratch, Smif-N-Wessun, Black Moon, The Beatnuts, Gang Starr, Lords of the Underground, Das EFX, The Notorious B.I.G., Beastie Boys, Da Bush Babees, and more! Updated audio link below...

January 24, 2018

Planet Asia "The Golden Buddha" (Album Stream)

Planet Asia helped jump-start the West Coast independent hip-hop movement, and has solidified himself as one of the most consistent and respected MCs in the game over his 20+ year career. He dropped his debut EP with producer Fanatik in 1998. In 2001, The Source Magazine gave him the 'First Round Draft Pick' and 'Independent Album of the Year' awards for 'How the West Was One', which was recorded with fellow CA rapper Rasco under the group name Cali Agents. This landed him a deal with Interscope Records, where he was signed until 2003 without releasing an album. He has also collaborated on albums with the likes of DJ Muggs ('Pain Language'), Evidence ('The Medicine') and Madlib ('Cracks In The Vinyl'), among others, and released songs with artists such as Bun B, Talib Kweli and Ghostface Killah. For 2018, Asia teamed up with Bay Area producer izznyce for this true solo project, sure to be considered the next classic in his vast catalog. 'The Golden Buddha' was produced entirely by izznyce and features AZ, Hus Kingpin, Turbin, Marvelous Mag, Killa Kali, TriState, Xiomara and The Architect. Speaking on the project, Planet Asia says: "This album represents the foundation of what Planet Asia is about and that is 'balance'. Me and izznyce also took our time with the record, and had a chance to really vibe out and make the type of music we personally like that will stand the test of time!" Planet Asia shows no signs of stopping! Listen to the LP below...

January 23, 2018

Ecks.MDC "...On Decks" (Mixtape)

Here's the first cassette release by Ecks.MDC, "...On Decks," featuring an all-vinyl exclusive mix of independent joints from the '90s. Limited to 50 cassettes, the mix tape features tracks from Lord V.I., Da Grassroots, 2 Face (A Butta & L Swift), Jedi Son of Spock, Dead Poetz Society, DJ Krush, Trybal Men, I.G. Off and Hazardous, Dahru, Black Star, Nighthawks, Non Phixion, Da Phathedz, Hard 2 Obtain, DSA, Concise and lots more. You might've slept on some of these joints, so dig into it below...

January 22, 2018

AND1 Mixtape (Volume 1, 1998)

"It starts with the mixtape in '98. AND1 had a bunch of videotapes in the area of the kitchen of the office, and we used to go back there and watch them. There was all this old playground footage of Rafer [Alston] at the Rucker. Back then I was DJing, and I would play the tapes and turn the sound down and start DJing. That’s when it clicked, and I was like, ‘It would be incredible if we could package it and it would be the first ever video mixtape.' I was working with Rawkus and they gave me some exclusive tracks to put over the video, and that’s how the idea came about. I was like, ‘It still needs a couple more things,’ so I called artists I knew, like Mos Def. And once I hosted it, we got the drops to come in, and then we took it back to AND1 and we were like, ‘We got something.’ That’s how the mixtape started. I remember we came back, and we were like, ‘OK how many tapes should we do?’ I think at first, we did 10,000 VHS’s, and it got so crazy, 'cause we took them to New York and Rucker, and after that we pressed like 100,000 VHS tapes. We were like, ‘OK how many tapes should we do?’ I think at first, we did 10,000 VHS’s, and it got so crazy, 'cause we took them to New York and Rucker, and after that we pressed like 100,000 VHS tapes." —DJ Set Free. I was in the mood to revisit these VHS tapes today, so here's Volume 1 of the AND1 Mixtape (1998)...

January 21, 2018

DJ Q-Bert ‎"Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik" (Mixtape, 1994)

Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Musik is a mixtape by DJ Q-bert. It was released in 1994, one year before he invented the "crab scratch." The samples on this album come from bands (including Rush), cartoons (Racketeer Rabbit, Ren & Stimpy, The Huckleberry Hound Show), comic books (including Spider-Man), video games (including Street Fighter II), and movies (including The Warriors and Style Wars). The mix also contains many classic examples of hip hop breaks with heavy scratching over top. Salute, Q-Bert - a true pioneer of the art form, so dig into this classic throwback mixtape below...

January 20, 2018

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 51: Drastic Measures" (Mixtape, 1996)

This is Tony Touch's Tape 51 aka Drastic Measures. It was released in 1996 via Brooklyn's Tape Kingz. It features tracks from Jeru The Damaja, Jay-Z, The Beatnuts, Redman, M.O.P., Jungle Brothers, Sadat X, Heltah Skeltah, Ill Al Skratch, Nine, Big Noyd, A Tribe Called Quest, Ghostface Killah, Nas, Mobb Deep, Big Shug, Akinyele, Problemz, Chuck D, Queen Latifah, Common, Blahzay Blahzay, House of Pain, RZA, U-God, De La Soul, and more. This was an important tape in my senior year of High School in Queens, NY. I'm not certain if it was this mix tape or another of Tony Touch's but I loaned/traded one of them for someone's copy of Biggie's Ready To Die on cassette... I damn sure never gave it back! I'm amazed I haven't posted this mix tape already? I updated the audio below...

January 19, 2018

DJ Dyllemma "Future Classics & Past Rarities" (Mixtape, 2009)

If memory serves me right, this was released in 2009... It was originally meant to be a mixtape that was passed out at Fat Beats, but it was the kinda quality that we felt the blogs would pick up, so it was later posted online and was one of several mixes DJ Dyllemma and I would work together on for my old website. Much respect to the blogs that covered it at the time. "Future Classics & Past Rarities" included overlooked cuts - mixed with some then-new tracks - from artists like Q-Tip, Illa J, Edo. G, Grap Luva, De La Soul, Frank-N-Dank, Blaq Poet, Pharoahe Monch, Gang Starr, Y Society, J88, Oddisee, Dave Ghetto, Prince Paul, J-Live, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Kev Brown & more. Revisit the vibe below.

January 18, 2018

J.Rocc Presents: Sade & Mobb Deep "Thug Ballads"

Only a mastermind and skilled technician like J.Rocc of the World Famous Beat Junkies could come up with the idea AND execute a mashup of tracks from Mobb Deep and Sade. The blending of Sade's melodies and Mobb Deep's dunn language is incredible to hear. For the most part, it comes off effortless, although not quite flawless. I won't tease you with which tracks are used, go ahead and dig into J.Rocc's Thug Ballads mash-up mix below, which also comes up with 6 fine instrumentals (Update: the bandcamp link is now an exclusive-only, so I included a Mixcloud link instead). Dig below...

January 17, 2018

DJ Shean "Clap Back, Vol.1" (Mixtape)

Clap Back Vol.1 is a mixtape from DJ Shean featuring thirty tracks of classic Hip-Hop and R&B from the 90s. You'll hear tracks from 112, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Common, Nas, EPMD, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, King Just, Nine, Run DMC, Naughty By Nature, Zhane, Aaron Hall, New Edition, Montell Jordan, Wu-Tang Clan and lots more. The mix can be a lil' glitchy at times, but it definitely covers a lot of ground and vibes throughout the hour. Throw it on and get some work done, check it out below.

January 16, 2018

Inscience "Focus On Science" (Instrumental Album)

Focus On Science is the debut beat tape from Montreal beatsmith Inscience. Heavily inspired by 2000's Detroit and DMV hip-hop, like Apollo Brown, Kev Brown, Oddisee, and Nottz, Inscience has been making beats for roughly ten years. His bio says, "His music is characterized by heavy basslines, gritty samples and boom-bap, hard-hitting drums." With the release of the beat tape, Inscience wants artists to keep in mind that all these beats are also available for sale. Listen below...

January 15, 2018

Mr. Mayhem & DJ Riz "NY Live Radio Show" (Jan. 15, 1997)

From the archives of DJ Eclipse comes another classic NYC radio show from the '90s. This show features "90 minutes of NYUness right here with this Mayhem/Riz joint. At the 11:22 mark, DJ Scratch gets on to do his thing for a few songs. Totally murders KRS "The MC" at 20:39. Riz jumps back on at 33:00 to finish out the show, but not before some dope verses from Aasim D'Xplicit (58:12)." Just hearing the name Aasim D'Xplicit brings memories of those Loud Records days when they dropped "The Set Up" and Aasim's track "Fly Shit" was one of the greatest standouts on the cassette. He signed to Loud Records at any early age thanks to their A&R Schott Free. With an obvious influence by labelmate Big Pun, the few records we heard at the time were phenomenal, but unfortunately a full-length was never released by Loud. He bounced around doing a bunch of mixtapes and signed with Puff to Bad Boy in 2004-2005. His debut album "The Money Pit," was released on the label with little-to-no-promotion, aside from a few clippings of him hyping Puff's album ("Press Play"), which he was a featured on as a writer. There's a bunch of solid mixtape content out there if you can dig it up. In the meantime, dig into this radio show from January 15, 1997; NY Live with Mr. Mayhem, Sunset & DJ Riz on 89.1 WNYU. Much respect to DJ Eclipse.

January 14, 2018

Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh "La Di Da Di" (Video, 1985)

"No one will ever forget the almighty Slick Rick, in part because of the four nonsensical words that started his illustrious MC career: "La Di Da Di." Released as the B-Side of Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew's 1985 smash hit "The Show," the famed vocal has endured even longer than its flip. Sampled by dozens of producers, covered by lyrical ascendant Snoop Dogg, cut up by DJs ad infinitum, and memorized by most Americans old and/or schooled enough to remember the hip-hop explosion of the eighties, it endures as Rick's defining rhyme, and is still part of his stage show." - Check The Technique, Brian Coleman. Is this the greatest B-Side of all-time? Watch Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh performing their classic, La Di Da Di!, live below and "Um, don't cry, dry your eye..."

Happy Born Day, Slick Rick! The 12" and signed photo cont'd below...

January 13, 2018

Wu-Tang Clan "7th Chamber" Freestyle (Video, 1994)

Taking it back to '94, here we have footage taken from the French film, "Culture Hip-Hop a New York" (according to the YouTube description). Over the "7th Chamber" instrumental, the Wu-Tang Clan kick rhymes at their rest. It features the RZA, U-God and Method Man and also appearances from Raekwon, GZA, and Ghostface Killah in the background, along with a glimpse of Ol' Dirty Bastard (R.I.P.). RZA was in a special zone back then, and their overall energy was magnetic. I hope they form like Voltron once again; hip-hop needs the Wu! Anyhow, it's a short clip - just over a minute - but these rare glimpses of behind the scenes moments of the Wu-Tang Clan should be treasured, shared and re-shared ad infinitum. Watch the video below and I'll share more random clips later...

January 12, 2018

Effiscienz Presents "Out Of Nowhere" (Album Stream)

2017 was an amazing year for EFFISCIENZ, so they wanted to start 2018 by offering you the compilation "Out Of Nowhere". The project brings together tracks from Fel Sweetenberg & DJ Djaz, Union Blak, Vic Spencer, Edo G & Raf Almighty, Sauce Heist, Roc Marciano & Tha God Fahim, and M-Dot, as well as some really dope production by DJ Brans, Nicholas Craven, Sir Williams, Mil, and more.

January 11, 2018

Shabaam Sahdeeq "Timeless: of the Collection" (Album Stream)

Timeless: of the Collection is the latest LP from seasoned hip-hop veteran, Shabaam Sahdeeq. The 17-track album embodies versatile flows, hard-hitting beats and refreshing content. Shabaam Sahdeeq’s flow has always been top-notch and his ear for production is stellar, which explains his longevity and consistency in the underground. His early work with Nick Wiz was some of my favorite material, but this latest project is proof he's still got it... check out Timeless: of the Collection from Shabaam Sahdeeq below. The cover art was drawn by the talented brother, Dread Solo, in Philly.

January 10, 2018

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 50: Power Cypha" (Mixtape, 1996)

Tony Touch's tape #50 was the original tape in his legendary Power Cypha series aka "50 MCs," wherein Tony Toca featured 50 of the best hip-hop MCs spittin' raw freestyles over classic beats. The mix featured dozens of MCs like Heather B, Rampage, Busta Rhymes, Smooth Bee, KRS-One, Nine, Starang Wondah, Tek, Steele, Son Doobie, Das EFX, Freddie Foxxx, Inspectah Deck, Killa Sin, Channel Live, Sunz of Man, Guru (R.I.P.), Onyx, Kid Creole, Smoothe The Hustler, Leaders of the New School, J-Ro, Grandmaster Caz, Jeru The Damaja, Kool G Rap, Lil' Dap and more! This is a 100% CLASSIC mixtape, much respect to Tony Touch in the mix. Listen below... (Updated: new audio added).

January 09, 2018

DJ Food Stamp "MF Doom: Supervillain Blends" (Mixtape, 2007)

In 2007, Oregon's DJ Food Stamp and UGHH collaborated on and presented this mixtape called Supervillain Blends. The concept took the production of MF Doom and seamlessly blended vocals from artists like OutKast, MC Lyte, People Under The Stairs, Method Man, KRS-One, 3rd Bass, Mobb Deep, Pep Love, Eminem, Cocoa Brovaz, Jeru The Damaja, Charizma, The Game, Defari, Common, East Flatbush Project, Perceptionists, Lord Finesse, and more. DJ Food Stamp is a very technical and skilled DJ. I covered this mix for one of my first sites, and it's still worth revisiting today. Listen below... (Updated, 2020: new audio link added below. If it goes down again, lemme know).

January 08, 2018

The Alchemist "Paris x LA x Bruxelles" (Instrumental Album)

Last year the Alchemist linked up with Red Bull in France. They brought ALC out to Paris for a week, paid for his records, and let him craft beats in their studio. In typical fashion, he moved all his equipment to his hotel room because the studio had smoking restrictions. The idea of the sessions were to use strictly French samples, then they'd hook him up with a bunch of dope, young artists from France and Brussels to make songs out of his beats. The final piece of the project was a sold out show in France, where ALC presented each young artist and they performed their own songs, as well as the new song they'd created with Alchemist. This release represents the instrumental versions of those collaborative songs, which he says turned out dope. I haven't heard it (yet). Titled "Paris x LA x Bruxelles," it's Alchemist ... you know it's dope, check out the instrumentals below...

January 07, 2018

Masta Ace "Son Of Yvonne" (Remix Album)

Some of the dopest German producers are enlisted to remix the Masta Ace album, "Son of Yvonne." These remixes cast the project in a completely new light. Some of the producers include Wun Two, Philantrope, Retrogott, Dramadigs, Django, Knowsum, Figub Brazlevic, Dude26, Flitz & Suppe, Haitian Star and more! I remember Masta Ace working on the original project with Fat Beats at the time, but I was working on separate projects, so I never really got to dig into Son of Yvonne. The original beats were sourced from the Special Herbs series of instrumental mixes put out by MF Doom. It wasn't a direct collaboration between Masta Ace and MF Doom, so to remix these vocals and create an entirely new project from them is a fitting idea, to me. And... it works, so dig into it below...

January 06, 2018

The Genius & Ol' Dirty Bastard Freestyle (Video Music Box, 1991)

Flasback to 1991 and we have The Genius and Ol' Dirty Bastard, freestyling in a bathroom for Video Music Box. The video resurfaced a couple years back with Ol' Dirty Bastard kickin' the beatbox and The Genius spittin' bars like, "...When I begin to wreck a hip-hop tune / The crowd reacts immediately, if not soon / I'm black and proud, I move the crowd / I'm raised from Hell, yo / My lyrics alone rock the bell!" + "Some come in the game and project the hard image / But they can't never get past the line of scrimmage / 'Cause I'm on a defense, what a tough sequence / And you lack the knowledge to understand a pretense" and "You were just weak from the start / You make demos, but really don't master the art / I know ya know deep down inside you can't flow / Plus, you're backwards, when I said red, you said "Go!" / But you should've stopped, because the red was the bloodshed / But you ignored the warning and you went ahead / You tried me, G, by setting up a match / A fair one, meaning no strings attached, then bang!" The Genius' album on Tommy Boy should've been something more special than it was, but ... I'd say things worked out well in the end!

January 05, 2018

DJ Babu "Comprehension" (Mixtape, 1999)

Here's DJ Babu's Comprehension mixtape from 1999. The mix tape was distributed through Fat Beats and features DJ/Producer Babu of the World Famous Beat Junkies and Dilated Peoples, showcasing his raw skills on the 1s and 2s. There's no real tracklist for the mix, it's just Babu chopping and cutting various breaks and instrumentals, as well as a Rapsheet Battle from '94 with DJ Shortkut. The B-Side to this mix tape is produced and mixed by Kan Kick the Funky Asthmatic. It's really DJ Babu's turntablism that make this a classic - must-own - mix tape from the late 90s. Listen below...

January 04, 2018

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 36" (Mixtape, 1994)

Tony Touch was busy AF in 1994, so many classic mix tapes ... this is Hip Hop 36 via Brooklyn's Tape Kingz. Once again, Tony Touch slammed a bunch of underground gems and future classics on this mix tape. Artists like Jeru The Damaja, Fat Joe, Black Moon, Mr. Voodoo (Natural Elements), Kenny Dope, Snoop Dogg, Gang Starr, Now Born Click, King Just, Slick Rick, The Notorious B.I.G., De La Soul, Nas, Rek Shit Rebelz, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Original Flavor, Grand Daddy I.U., Strictly Roots, Del The Funkee Homosapien, and more! Dig into Tony Touch's Hip Hop 36, with updated audio, below...

January 03, 2018

Nas "One Mic" (Vibe Magazine, January 2003)

"A war of words is usually bloodless, but in South Africa, one claimed hundreds of lives. On June 16, 1976, the youth of Soweto township revolted against the white minority government's decree to impose its language, Afrikaans, on the black school system. Children died in a hail of police bullets for the right to use their native language. Nasir Jones, 29, also speaks his mind. And he knows about battles, having spent much of 2001 trading fierce words with Jay-Z in hip-hop's highest profiled lyrical beef in years. But in the best video of 2002, for his song "One Mic," Nas puts aside rap skirmishes to honor life-and-death struggles - against police brutality, poverty in the U.S., and racist oppression in South Africa. Directed by the innovative Chris Robinson, the raw yet elegant video begins on an electric night, with the bright lights of the big city blurring in time to the beat. The camera then cuts to Nas, alone in a barren room. This moment of solitude is Nas distilled: Erase the drama, the diamonds, and the disses, and what you are left with is the essence of an MC - one street poet against the world. As the song crescendos into a pulsating frenzy, Robinson's camera captures, in a powerful documentary style, a sordid scene of police harassment, followed by a climactic re-creation of the 1976 township rebellion. With just one lens, Robinson shows the universality of the fight for justice. And with just one microphone, Nas gives voice to the voiceless."

The full article written in Vibe Magazine, January 2003...

January 02, 2018

DJ Spinbad & DJ JS-1 "All About The Hamiltons" (Mixtape, 1997)

DJ JS-1 did this mixtape with Spinbad in 1997; it's called All About The Hamiltons. It's nothing like their collaborative Cold Cut Remixes mix tape, but we'll all agree it's a really solid mix of cuts from '97, featuring artists like LL Cool J, D.I.T.C., Diamond D, Busta Rhymes, Gang Starr, Big L, Organized Konfusion, Hieroglyphics, Keith Murray, Big Daddy Kane, Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Common, Wu-Tang Clan, Soul Kid Klik, Rakim, Chubb Rock, Fat Joe, EPMD, Tha Alkaholiks, The Firm and more. This particular mix tape was only sold on cassette, never on CD or released digitally. Much love and respect to DJ JS-1, one of the most blunt and sincere DJs and producers in this whole industry. If you let him tell it though, he'll say, "No one cares." Listen to the mix tape below...

January 01, 2018

Happy New Year! The Hip-Hop Calendar (2018)

"The Hip-Hop Calendar is a 12-month calendar that documents hip-hop and the culture that surrounds it. This includes birthdays of rappers and others associated with the genre, album releases, and notable events. Each month also includes additional information that expands and gives context to the significance of these events. I included images of magazine covers on each month to serve as a snapshot of the culture at that point in time. My approach was developing a visual language that integrated a grid structure and incorporated collage elements. The grid was essential in organizing the information and the collage aspect symbolically represents bringing together all of the artists and figures throughout the years to put them on equal footing." Click HERE for all 12 months. Peace to Paul Nichols out in Oklahoma. You can sample January in the calendar below.