Friday, August 31, 2018

August Greene "August Greene" (Album Stream)

"In early 2016, musicians Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins found themselves in the studio, crafting the soulful backdrop of Common's 11th album, the politically charged Black America Again ... As the trio created, they began to notice something different taking shape-something rooted in the warm R&B sounds of yesteryear but still very much in the present. It was soul music with a modern bounce, a jazz-rap hybrid in the spirit of A Tribe Called Quest. It fully encapsulated the black experience: the serenity and pain through which we channel gorgeous art, the beauty and struggle of simply trying to exist. Equally peaceful and profound, the music they captured laid the foundation for August Greene, the newly formed supergroup of Common, Glasper and Riggins. The artists come to this project having reached great respective milestones over the years ... August Greene speaks to those pushing through the dark for brighter days. It's a masterpiece from which virtue can shine." - via Marcus J. Moore (read the full, exclusive album review at Amazon).

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Craig Mack "That's My Word" EP

Tape Deck King presents THAT’S MY WORD, an EP dedicated to the memory of Craig Jamieson Mack (10/05/1970 – 12/03/2018). British DJ, Tape Deck King, has compiled an 8-track EP made up of tracks Mack dropped in 2000, alongside snippets from an interview with Tim Westwood and Marley Marl from the same year. During the interview, Mack announced the name of a project he was set to drop that summer, but it never came out. That project was ‘That’s My Word." via UrbanVault

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Avantdale Bowling Club "Avantdale Bowling Club" (Album Stream)

This is one of the most surprising releases of the year to me. Avantdale Bowling Club is a powerful, personal, and deeply musical piece of work. Without the liner notes in front of me to check the track credits, all that is really known to me is that the creator & MC behind Avantdale Bowling Club is New Zealand's Tom Scott, who better than me can sum up the heart of the album ... "This record is about... growing up. I think. It's about dealing with your own stuff for once. Accepting responsibility, maybe. It's a self help book addressed to myself. And just like every other piece of art ever made in history of the hominid, I was going through some shit when I was making it. I'd just left home and everyone I knew, looking to chase a dream. It was an awkward phase, like stage two puberty. I was learning how to be grown. Humility had my pride in a headlock. I was the old man at the art exhibition, the young boy at the art gallery. Everyone was in a K-hole, I was at K-Mart."

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Tribe Called Quest "The Love Movement" (Press Kit, 1998)

"8/27/98: New York, NY - A Tribe Called Quest will release their last album, The Love Movement on September 29. The group has decided to disband after being together for ten years. The group will be featured on the October cover of The Source Magazine with an exclusive interview discussing their disbanding. The magazine hits newsstands on September 1. The first single off the album is "Find A Way/Steppin' It Up." According to The Source Magazine, "Find A Way... is a good ole fashioned ghetto love story. Short and simple, this playfully innocent tale possesses that level of youth expression Tribe has always been known for." The video is currently on MTV, BET, and the Box."

"There will be limited number of collectors' editions of the album which will include 6 bonus tracks; "Moneymaker," "Hot Sex," "Scenario (Remix)," "Jazz (We've Got," "One Two S**t"(featuring Busta Rhymes) and "Oh My God (Remix)." The Love Movement is a sonic and spiritual revolution on wax that manages to break new ground without ever losing its sense of playfulness. The album is produced by the Ummah. A Tribe Called Quest build their socially conscious rhymes upon a foundation of positive hip-hop vibes. The combination of their strong jazz influences, with a trademark ability to combine rap styles and blend rhythm and rhyme, has resulted in critical acclaim and platinum status for their last album, Beats, Rhymes & Life." - Press Release, 1998.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Take It Personal Podcast "Talking Book + Supastition Episode"

"As the summer comes to an end, we felt the best way to transition was to let the music do the talking. We have new joints by Redman, Westside Gunn, DJ Muggs, Redman, Dres, Blueprint, Apollo Brown & Locksmith, plus we sprinkle in smooth favorites by Little Brother, Hieroglyphics, Felt, O.C. and take it back to '93 with classics by Fat Joe, Ultramagnetic MC's, Brand Nubian, MC Breed, Tha Alkaholiks and KMD to name a few. We also catch-up with our longtime friend Supastiton, who shares some great stories and was kind enough to allow us to remix one of his tracks too. Sit back, relax and enjoy the musical journey and peace to all of the Stevie Wonder fans out there - this cover is for you!" Listen to the dope interview with Supastition, along with great music.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Demuja "Can't Defeat" feat. Anti-Lilly

When you dig an artist's music, you dig for an artist's music. Makes sense, right? Well, that's how I stumbled upon this record from Demuja, featuring the good homie, Anti-Lilly, out of Houston, Texas. The track is called "Can't Defeat," and it is featured on Demuja's album "Hidden Paradise." Demuja is an Austrian producer & DJ with an emotive style of production bordering on soulful, jazzy hip-hop in the case of "Can't Defeat," and a more house-infused style on much of the remaining tracks on the project. Anti-Lilly delivers, making the pen bleed on the page with more introspection, like:

"And when you come up, better watch your directions 
Look a man in his eyes and listen to that voice inflection 
Perspectives change and intentions ain't never known 
It be the same people you trust that be plotting shit on the low 
I done seen it, done felt it / Never felt so helpless..."

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Nine 'Lyin King' + The 9 Commandments

The only thing worse than listening to an entire album and learning ZERO about an artist, is listening to an entire album and not believing a goddamn word of it. Props to Nine, who released 'Lyin' King' on his sophomore album "Cloud 9" in 1996. I believe there was a reissue not too long ago and it recently celebrated it's 22nd anniversary earlier this month. Ironically, Nine is back with a new project called "The 9 Commandments" that I'm eager to check out ... Allegedly, it's material that was recorded around the time of "Cloud 9" so I trust it has a real vintage, boombap sound. I've also heard some of his new-new work with the overseas fam, the Snowgoons, and that sounds tight, too! I can remember driving from NYC up to Livingston Manor, which is upstate NY, and the only CD we had was "Cloud 9;" there wasn't a single complaint the entire trip, lol. In the era of car systems, the Rob Lewis-produced joint "Lyin' King" was knockin' out the trunk. If you're feeling nostalgic, click below and peep the visuals. "Even I exaggerate when I create / But I don't perpetrate and illustrate / To sound great, cause it's fake!" Salute to the OG, Nine; been in the industry long before the mid-90s and glad he's still releasing music today... support it!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Eric B. & Rakim "Juice" (Know The Ledge) G.O.A.T.

I feel like I'm gonna be redundant here, but my favorite hip-hop track of ALL time? Eric B. & Rakim "Juice" (Know The Ledge). Honestly, I don't even sway on my opinion - it's as consistent today as it was in the early 90s. Juice embodies everything I want in my hip-hop. Driven lyrics over a moving beat & fresh cuts. It helps that the visuals match the track and we had a classic movie above and beyond that. Rakim was it to me ... he was like nothing before him (to me) and it shifted everything after him. I had no clue what Eric. B or Rakim looked like in the earlier years; I hadn't seen them live and hadn't seen a video, but I heard the music and had a solid vision in my head. It's not often that the artist looks JUST like what you had in mind. And, if you see Rakim in 2018 ... if you see Large Professor in 2018 ... these are OGs in the game that help make it what it is today and they absolutely carry on tradition. What about you? Sip the Juice...

Saturday, August 11, 2018

M.O.P. "First Family 4 Life" (Vibe, 9/98)

"With First Family, M.O.P.'s harrowing third full-length album (they also released an EP, Handle Ur Bizness, earlier this year), Billy Danze and Lil' Fame step up to get their rep up, with Fame tackling much of the disc's production. Billy has developed lyrically since M.O.P.'s 1994 debut, at times setting aside his gun-clapping escapades to take on more compelling issues, such as the welfare of his "seed" ("What The Future Holds"). "4 Alarm Blaze," an energetic, bang-your-head-into-the-wall masterpiece, balances nicely against the album's more sedate tracks, including the emotion "Blood, Sweat, Tears." With helping hands Premier, Laze E. Laze, and Da Beatminerz, this Brownsville, Brooklyn duo prove that the key to longevity is growth." - Vibe Magazine, September 1998.

You can peep the full review from Vibe Magazine below....

Friday, August 10, 2018

Awon & Phoniks "Return To The Golden Era" (Album Stream)

Unfortunately, this site wasn't up and running when the Virginia MC, Awon, & Portland producer, Phoniks first collaborated on their debut release of "Return To The Golden Era." However, I was surely tuned in for the nostalgic vibes and sound reminiscent of the golden era of hip-hop (the 90s). To celebrate it's 5th anniversary, a vinyl repress is now available - pressed on ultra clear, with gold splatter vinyl ... courtesy of Don't Sleep Records. I'm told the tracklist is slightly different from the original LP: mainly, interludes have been removed and the original version of 'Rule Of The Gun' has been replaced by the remixed version. The vinyl also includes the 'Get Yours' remix for the first time ever on vinyl, replacing the 'Move Back' remix from the original LP. For certain, prices will increase considerably via resellers once these are sold-out, so get in on the ground floor and support independent art at Don't Sleep Records! You can (and should) stream the project below...

Thursday, August 09, 2018

A Tribe Called Quest, Represent! Represent!

This is an album that is so perfect and so cohesive ... yet, sometimes I oddly forget to mention it amongst my favorite albums of all-time. Maybe ... it's because I felt like that after Midnight Marauders, too? Come to think of it, I don't often place any of Gang Starr's albums in my favorite of all-time either, even though they were my favorite group and I ran "Daily Operation," "Hard to Earn," AND "Moment of Truth" 'til the tapes popped. It seems easier to choose a stand-out like "Illmatic" or "Liquid Swords" or "OB4CL" because that was the bar for that artist. If that comes off wrong or puts shade on their other releases, that's not my intention. When I really sit with it, "The Low End Theory" is 100% on my top list, so is Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's "Mecca & The Soul Brother" and a new school classic like Blu & Exile's "Below The Heavens." I like my albums sonically consistent. I like life before there was a skip button and artists crafted albums with the cassette tape in mind - no one wanted to fast forward through an album and burn up their batteries, lol. Have me out here with a pencil, skipping tracks manually, looking type crazy. In any event, I miss Phife, may he Rest In Peace, and I don't think there will ever be a group like them again. I do love that Jarobi stepped back in, I got a ton of love for him, and if there are more things from Tribe, I'm totally here for it. Thank you for giving us classics. Keep bouncin'. Postcards available HERE.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Blu "Soul Amazing Part 7" (Mix)

The latest in Blu's official "Soul Amazing" mixtape series: Part 6 features Planet Asia, ScienZe, DJ Manipulator, Nottz, Exile, Sene, Tranzformer, DV Alias Khrist, Georgia Ann Muldrow, SRAW, DJ Concept, Co$$, Rapper Big Pooh and lots more... Stream it below, hit the tags for all the past mixes.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Eternia "Final Offering" | A Tribute (2013)

"Eternia returns after a two year 'hiatus' with an epic verse. Unloading a hailstorm of questions pointed at herself, God, her family, her friends, and her very purpose, 'Final Offering' tackles the lows of life, a topic most people avoid with repression and distractions. Eternia dives in, unafraid to reveal her insecurities and self doubt while challenging the very tenets of faith and foundation of family that she was raised on. She is joined by pHoenix Pagliacci, a burgeoning triple-threat in the Canadian music scene, who soars on this track with a poignant reminder to Eternia, and anyone else who is experiencing similar lows, of what "Hii Power" really is." Released 5 years ago today...

It's a blessing when legends like Missy and Monie Love show support, too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 23rd Anniversary

We've likely debated the greatest solo album from the Wu-Tang Clan already, but generally (for me) it comes down to the time of year you ask me: in the winter, I'm rollin' with GZA's Liquid Swords, because it's a perfect winter album, but the rest of the year I'm on Rae's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. It was released 23 years ago today (August 1st 1995) and it's aged like a true classic in my opinion; it just keeps getting better with time. Dig in the crates and pull this one out today; run it like it was '95. Much respect to Ghostface Killah, who has a number of classics of his own in his catalog!