September 30, 2018

Stretch & Bobbito "Live On Air, Volume 1" (1996)

You'll probably notice that I haven't really posted many Stretch & Bobbito shows here on the site. I have in the past, I know, but either they'd get taken down or I couldn't guarantee the accuracy of the dates, quality or track lists, etc. I remember when Fat Beats used to ship the cassettes with the proper j-cards and air dates, but there's just too much online now. This tape, however, had separate artwork and an appealing list of tracks, so I did want to share it with y'all.... On Stretch's birthday in '96, he was live on Hot 97, alongside Flushing, Queen's Royal Flush, and Da Bush Babees. You'll also hear tracks from MF Grimm, Akinyele, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Thrust, Gauge The Mental Murderah, Heltah Skeltah, Company Flow, Money Boss Players and more. HBD, Stretch! Enjoy.

September 29, 2018

The Greatest Day in Hip-Hop History (Harlem NY, 9/29/98)

There are 177 artists listed in this classic photo in Harlem, NY on September 28, 1998. Replacing jazz legends in what was considered "A Great Day In Harlem" back in 1958, the hip-hop version is called "The Greatest Day In Hip-Hop History." Here's a decent sample of the artists included, but enlarge both images to see how many you can spot on your own: Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz, DJ Evil Dee, Rampage, Kurupt, Wyclef Jean, Cappadonna, Saafir, Scarface, Psycho Les, T La Rock, Special K, Greg Nice, Jarobi, Kool Moe Dee, Maseo, Kool Herc, DJ Scratch, U-God, MC Eiht, Juju, Luke, E-40, Steele, Phife, Tek, Slick Rick, Fab 5 Freddy, Canibus, Buckshot, Fat Joe, Grandmaster Flash, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Kool Keith, Styles P, Q-Tip, Freddie Foxx, MC Shan, Questlove, Posdnuous, Black Thought, Rah Digga, Heather B, Paula Perry, MC Serch, Marley Marl, Chuck Chillout, Grandmaster Caz, Rakim, Shyheim, Sticky Fingaz, Inspectah Deck, Busta Rhymes, Treach, Tajai, Domino, A-Plus, Wise Intelligent, Twista, Da Brat, Xzibit, Opio, Talib Kweli, D-Nice, Common, Pete Rock, Ed O.G., DJ Muggs, Kangol Kid, Cam'ron and so many more. 20 years later, this moment stands as one of the culture's greatest. Also, check out the tribute in Respect Mag, which has amazing additional photos.

September 28, 2018

Ernie Paniccioli "Hip-Hop at the End of the World" (Book)

Hip-Hop at the End of the World by Brother Ernie (Ernest Paniccioli) is filled with more than 250 images of artists including Ice Cube, The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature, Public Enemy, 50 Cent, N.W.A, Snoop Dogg, Lil’ Kim, Flavor Flav, Lauren Hill, Queen Latifah, TLC, and more. With many images that have never before been published, this book is set to become the new hip-hop photography bible. With exclusive behind-the-scenes access, Brother Ernie captures the last four decades of the evolution of hip-hop - the styles that grew from it, and the artists who shaped it. Complete with Brother Ernie’s personal anecdotes of time spent with the artists, and stories behind the photographs, Hip-Hop at the End of the World shares intimate moments from the most important era of hip-hop. After picking up a camera in the 1973 to document the graffiti art that dominated New York City, Ernie Paniccioli started his journey of whole-heartedly capturing the scene during the most fertile years of hip-hop. Always armed with a 35mm camera, he successfully photographed nearly every rapper of note since the genre’s inception, making him the go-to photographer for magazines like Word Up and Rap Masters. Hip Hop at the End of the World is a carefully curated selection of photographs from Brother Ernie Paniccioli’s extensive archives, celebrating over 40 years of the most crucial movements in American music. Order a copy HERE.

September 27, 2018

Dave Diggla "Meditative Minutes" (Mix)

Volume 3 in Dave Diggla’s “Diggin In The Dirt” mixtape series: Meditative Minutes! Reppin’ out of Berlin, Germany, Dave Diggla’s latest mix features tracks from Apollo Brown, Ras Kass, Sean Price, Illa J, Kankick, Planet Asia, Mood, Madlib & lots more. It’s got a nice vibe to it, give it a spin below & I'll be sure to add some of his other mixes here, as well, as I get through listening to them. Props to whomever did the artwork too, leave a comment if you know and I'll add their information here.

September 26, 2018

Ghostface Killah & Big Ghost Ltd "The Lost Tapes" (Album Stream)

As with any release involving Big Ghost Ltd, I head straight to his Instagram to get the proper scoop and wording on how he wants to flip the shit, so let's let man speak his peace: "Shit is paying tribute to the legacy of one the greatest emcees to ever walk the earth or any other planet...while also presenting yall wit (contrary to the album title) ALL. NEW. MUSIC. Soundscapes provided by none other than the mighty Hands of Zeus hisself aka Big Ghost Ltd. The album itself was masterminded by n creatively directed under the watchful eye of M80 who wanted to reacquaint fans of the legendary #GFK wit that vintage Ghost Deini shit while still pushin the sounds into less familiar territory... So you get that dusty soulful shit... You get that boom bap shit.. That gutter shit... That rock shit... You get the sounds of a more mature n experienced #Ghostface along wit features from all types of greats...legends such as Kane, Snoop, E40, Cappadonna, Raekwon, Planet Asia, Crooked I ... to future legends such as Benny The Butcher, 38 Spesh, Vic Spencer, Hus Kingpin & more. This aint jussa regular album...its a celebration of a human monument by his peers n those he has inspired for the past 2.5 decades nahmean. We gotta pay homage to the greats. The ones who paved the way for others to follow... I gotta thank Ghost myself too namsayin. But to anybody whoever devoted energy to doubting me or praying for my aint motivate me at all so I aint thanking ya insignificant bum ass for shit. The god is only motivated by greatness n by the need to persevere. Thank you to all those who truly inspire me to do great shit. PEACE." Dig in below...

September 25, 2018

Grown Man Rap Show "Wild Pitch Records" (Mix)

DJ Toast broadcasts live every Sunday Night (10-12am, EST) at WRPI in Albany, NY. On episode 183, DJ Toasts puts a spotlight on Wild Pitch Records, featuring records from Chill Rob G, Main Source, Gang Starr, Hard Knocks, N-Tyce, an Interview with Stu Fine, as well as more joints with Ultramagnetic MCs, Lord Finesse, The Coup, O.C., & lots more. After all, this is the Grown Man Rap Show, it stays on brand and offers the best in vintage and classic Hip-Hop. Enjoy their show below...

September 24, 2018

De La Soul "Buhloone Mindstate" (25th Anniversary Mix)

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of De La Soul's third full LP 'Buhloone Mindstate', originally released 21st September 1993, the homie Chris Read has put together a sweet tribute mix for Wax Poetics and Who Sampled. As I've said before, "Breakadawn" is surprisingly -- to some -- my favorite of all the classic De La Soul tracks over the years. I ran that 12" into the ground in my basement. As a group, De La Soul have amazed me since day one, making music and maintaining a brotherhood like no other group. Not an easy feat, especially in the music industry. Chris Read pays tribute to 25 years of De La's Buhloone Mindstate, listen to another of his exceptional mixes below...

September 23, 2018

DJ Yoda & DJ Greenpeace "Jews Paid" (Mixtape, 1999)

Jews Paid is a mix tape from 1999 out of the UK by DJ Greenpeace and DJ Yoda. With a nice mix of late 90s gems, the tape features tracks by Beyond There, Mr. Complex, Non Phixion, 7L & Esoteric, The High & Mighty, The Nextmen, Agallah, Smut Peddlers, The Creators, D.I.T.C., Akrobatik, Insight, and J-Live on the A-Side, mixed by DJ Greenpeace. Side B is mixed by DJ Yoda and the cassette comically labels it as "A moronic mix of childishness, irrelevence, general imbecility and foolishness featuring an Arsonist, a Hieroglyphic and He-Man." Listen to the mixtape below.... Props to Fat Lace!

September 23, 2018

Diamond D "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop" (25th Ann. Mix)

In an argument over the greatest solo album of all members of the Diggin' in The Crates crew, some say "Jewelz" by O.C., others point to Big L's debut & it'd be fair to be point to half a dozen others, but how about Diamond D's "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"? Run through the tracklist, see if you can't make a case for it. Yup, it's all right there. My homie - and very first business partner - was a huge fan of this album. I'm confident that his copy was a bootleg cassette, but he definitely put me on and we sat with this album from start to finish before numerous sessions on the 1s & 2s. We grew up in Queens, but he was more of a West Coast Hip-Hop head, so this was a sleeper choice to him. Diamond is not my favorite MC or producer in the crew, nor is this my FAVORITE album from the D.I.T.C., but yeah, it just might be the best, most-cohesive in their catalog. I'd love to hear what members of the crew have to say about it. Either way, here's a dope 25th anniversary mix from Hellee Hooper that mixes original tracks with dope original samples! Give the mix a listen below...

Original t-shirt from Diamond D's Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop...

September 22, 2018

D.R.U.G.S Beats "Beat Dojo Set" (Beat Tape)

"A Micro-Chop exclusive: With over a decade of making music under his belt, D.R.U.G.S continues blessing Micro-Chop with insane exclusive beat sets for our readers to enjoy. The "Beat Dojo Set" was a surprise, as D.R.U.G.S hit me up over the summer and shared this latest offering out of the blue. With no specific time table for posting it in mind, I decided to sit on the "Beat Dojo Set" for a little bit since the North Carolina-based producer has already been so generous with his work. After waiting a few months, fall seemed like a perfect time to unleash this new batch of super-impressive instrumentals. Fans of D.R.U.G.S’ work will recognize many of his trademark sounds here  -  familiar songs chopped beyond recognition, neck-snapping drums, soulful vocal samples, and a flair for the unique and unexpected." - Micro-Chop; a great site/resource for beat makers/producers.

September 21, 2018

Big L "Put It On" (Sticker / Video)

Big L: the latest member of the diggin' in da crates crew is set to "Put It On." It's hard to think of a lot of my favorite MCs gone + in recent years, the number has grown considerably. It used to be, when an MC died, we were like "damn, who killed him?" As hip-hop has aged, many of our OGs and legends are dying from living hard, health conditions, and natural causes. Back to L, my go-to line is he was an incredible talent that was taken from us far before he even reached his full potential. I still feel that way. I've been revisiting "Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous" a lot & even his various features, it was clear he was trying to kill everyone on his tracks. Coming up under an artist like Lord Finesse, who might be one of the greatest quotable lyricists, it's no surprise that L has some of the wickedest lines in rap history. "I run with sturdy cliques / I'm never hittin' dirty chicks / Got thirty-five bodies, buddy, don't make it thirty-six / Step to this, you're good as gone / Word is bond, I leave mics torn when I put it on..." Focus on the real ... rest in peace, Big L. Put your L's up.

September 21, 2018

Jean Grae "This Week" (Spin Magazine, 2004)

"[Jean Grae is] a fiery underground MC who's thrown down with Talib Kweli and the Roots, among others. Born in Capetown, South Africa, Grae, 27, is the daughter of noted jazz musicians - singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and pianist Abdullah "Dollar Brand" Ibrahim - who moved the family to New York City after Duke Ellington invited them to come play with his band. The brainy Grae was accepted at NYU without finishing high school or taking the SATs, but dropped out to rock the mike. On her second album, This Week, Grae spits biting, intricate rhymes about "normal everyday shit, freak-out nightmares, positive shit, fuck-you-up shit" over thumping, mainstream-friendly beats by 9th Wonder and 50 Cent fave Midi Mafia. Known for her vengeful lyrics - she wrote the 25-step song "How To Break Up With Your Girlfriend - Grae wanted This Week to be less "dark and angry." But industry sexism still dogs her. "It's hard to be a female MC and keep your clothes on," she says. "I'm flattered that magazines ask me to do things, but it's not me. They're like, 'What's wrong with you? Do it!' No! You do it!'" - Spin Magazine (10/04). Jean Grae closed out her "Thank You's" on This Week saying, "No ill words this time around. Karma is a muf***ka. You'll get yours. Peace and Pink Lotion. Jean Greasy.... Jeanius Coming Soon." This Week was released on this day in '04, listen below...

Original article in Spin Magazine (October, 2004)

September 20, 2018

Rasheed Chappell "First Brick" (Album Stream)

"Nothing humbles you more or truly reveals where you stand in the music business like “downtime;” it truly reveals who is riding FOR you and who’s just riding along. It’s been almost 7 years since Rasheed Chappell and I (Kenny Dope) dropped "Future Before Nostalgia" & I want to thank everyone who’s been supporting us since then. This is for y’all; "First Brick" is a project that we put together to reintroduce ourselves." - via KD's FB. I can appreciate that, for sure, and as a fan of Rasheed Chappell, who has been waiting (more than 7) years for this project, I am glad that it's here now. "Franchise" is still one of my favorite tracks on the project, but plenty more to get into, check it out and be sure to support it below, featuring O.C., Daniel Son, Crimeapple, DJ Scratch, Recognize Ali, Hus Kingpin, Napoleon Da Legend, and the OG, Lil' Fame. Salute, DJ Eclipse, too. Dig in below...

September 19, 2018

Ghost Of The Machine "Heroes For Hire 2" (Album Stream)

"Heroes For Hire 2" showcases more soulful production from DJ Proof and slick bars + life narratives from Ghost of the Machine. The project features Reks and Skyzoo, as well as fellow members in Master Alliance: Fredo Crespo and Death Over Simplicity. Master Alliance is a blue collar indie Hip-Hop group formed in Upstate NY and Central Mass that also features Jay Bernard and James Green. Give this project a solid listen down below, updated with audio from Bandcamp...

September 18, 2018

Just Blaze & DJ Soul "Casino" (Mix, 2015)

"Soon you'll understand" is the message included by Just Blaze and DJ Soul with their mix entitled "Casino" in 2015. At the time of its release, the pair had been spinning together in New York City for a minute, and the mix showcased an hour's worth of classic hip-hop, R&B, and hidden gems. It's been a while, but I believe the story behind the mix was to hype an upcoming sneaker that Just was gonna reveal that drew inspiration from Scorsese​'s movie Casino. I don't follow sneaker culture too closely, so for me, it was about the music and today, I thought we'd revisit this fine mix of tracks from Main Source, Nas, Big L, Big Pun, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, Kool G Rap & more. High rollers, dig in...

September 17, 2018

Roc Marciano "Behold A Dark Horse" (Album Stream)

Behold A Pale Horse is the sixth full-length studio album from legendary emcee/producer Roc Marciano, featuring Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Q-Tip, Knowledge the Pirate, and more! Roc Marci has been extremely prolific and rightfully so as he leads the charge on a refreshed sound in music today. I don't tag many artists in projects for their featured work, so in Roc Marci's case, it's best to use the search feature near the top right side, and the tags will represent the many album releases he's had in recent years. In the meantime, stream Marci's "Behold A Dark Horse" below...

September 16, 2018

Knowledge The Pirate "Flintlock" (Album Stream)

Knowledge The Pirate's name has been marauding the music industry since the 90's, always keeping a low profile but a strong street reputation. Throughout the years, despite several collaborations and a lot of attention towards him, he went on to distance himself from the music world to later resurface on several tracks with fellow East Coast legend Roc Marciano. After all these years, Knowledge is finally gracing us with his first official full-length entitled "Flintlock" which he releases on his own Treasure Chest imprint. This work of art does not disappoint people who've been long waiting for Knowledge to drop his first album, featuring productions by Elemnt, Mushroom Jesus as well as Roc Marciano, who also blesses one of his productions with a verse. The 15 tracks on this record sound as precious and gracious as a treasure chest hidden within the streets. Don't sleep...

September 15, 2018

Fabolous "Next" (Vibe, 10/01) + "Ghetto Fabolous" (2001)

"Before the hoopla, Fabolous was John Jackson, a quiet guy living in the Brevoort Houses in Brooklyn. In early 1998, Cheo and Web, friends of DJ Clue's management team, were chilling outside the projects and heard one of Fab's friends bust a rhyme in a cipher. When they found out Fabolous was the writer behind the lyrics, they made Fab kick an impressive verse. They put him in touch with Clue's peoples and got him on the DJ's Monday-night radio show on Hot 97 in New York City. "I usually don't let people on the air without hearing them first," says Clue. "But Fabolous got in there and blazed it like crazy." Later that summer, he signed to Desert Storm and was quickly put to work." - Vibe Magazine, October 2001. Fab's debut album, Ghetto Fabolous, was released on 9/11 of all dates, alongside Jay-Z's The Blueprint. Today, Fabolous is still one of NY's most celebrated lyricists to come up from the underground/mixtape scene and gain mainstream success. I don't feel he's released a classic album YET, but he has a grip of hits in his catalog. Revisit his debut LP below.

September 14, 2018

Elcamino "Walking On Water" (Album Stream)

Fresh off the release of his critically acclaimed self-titled EP earlier in the year, Buffalo, NY MC Elcamino is back with his debut LP, "Walking on Water." Elcamino comes with raw street raps over gritty instrumentals throughout the project. The LP has featured appearances from Benny The Butcher, Meyhem Lauren, and Elcarnicero. If you're a fan of the Griselda Records movement, then this fits right at home with that sound in the underground. Celebrate an artist making it out the hood, listen below to Elcamino's Walking On Water, and props to whomever did the excellent artwork!

September 13, 2018

Mick Boogie "God's Gift: The Nas/Jay-Z Project" (2005)

God's Gift: The Nas / Jay-Z Project is a mixtape put together by Mick Boogie & Joey Fingaz in 2005. It was reviewed in Rap Pages, saying: "It's everyone's dream come true... well, kind of. An album's worth of Jay's and Nas' verses blended together. While the chemistry was explosive on "24 Years to Life," "Faithful," and "The Life," all this mixtape really does is build anticipation for the long-awaited Jay and Nas collaboration." After the beef and battle, then mending their differences and working together; in 2018, would I still feel as excited about a Nas and Jay-Z collaborative album? Yes, I surely would, lol. I mean, not as much as the long-awaited Nas and DJ Premier album or Nas and AZ album or Nas and The Alchemist, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Large Professor, etc album ... but sure, I'd be on the check-out line to purchase a copy at a neighborhood record store. 'Til then, I guess we've gotta go back and listen to Mick Boogie's God's Gift mix and wait it out a bit longer.

September 12, 2018

Fat Beats Is Back! 916 S. San Pedro Street

This is the best news I've heard in a long while, Fat Beats will return in a new location in downtown Los Angeles. On September 22nd, Fat Beats will reopen at 916 S. San Pedro Street in LA, with a special grand opening, featuring guest DJ sets from Rhettmatic, Dibia$e, Houseshoes, Ras G, Exile, DJ Babu, the founder of Fat Beats, DJ Jab, and lots more. As a Fat Beats alumni, I can say firsthand that Fat Beats has played an integral role in underground hip-hop since the early 90s, and your favorite rapper's favorite rapper has no doubt performed at one of their locations. Having a spot like Fat Beats in a community creates a hub for creativity; opens its door for like-minded people to meet, connect, and share an affinity for the culture - all while supporting artists and holding physical product in their hands! I hope that people will continue to support Fat Beats, and we'll see an increase in in-stores again, with live performances, more DJ sets, and exclusive content. While the NY location has not operated since 2010, Fat Beats continued to maintain its presence via it's online store, events, and occasional pop-up shops, as well as strong distribution in support of many independent labels and artists releasing product to our niche audience. I already texted Joe, but I wish him much success in this renewed venture, and the whole team at Fat Beats in LA. If you visit the store on San Pedro St, send me a message and any pics you have, I wanna see! Much respect to DJ Eclipse, of course. If you're a fan of Hip-Hop, this is a proud day! BUY SOMETHING! Peace...

September 11, 2018

Nine x Snowgoons "King" (Album Stream)

Bronx veteran Nine is back with another boombap-inspired release, teaming up with German production team, Snowgoons on their collaborative effort entitled King. Snowgoons consists of DJ Illegal, Det, Sicknature and J.S. Kuster. Having toured overseas myself, I know how the Snowgoons have held it down for US artists traveling to Europe, DJ Illegal has been a road manager for many of your favorite artists. Establishing himself and his crew with banging production opened the doors for lots of production albums and collaborative LPs. Tapping Nine for their latest, it's got that same vintage sound you've grown to appreciate, so check it out below. Much respect to Nine & DJ Illegal.

September 10, 2018

Ras Kass "Van Gogh" (Vibe Magazine, 2001)

During the recording of Ras's intended third album, Van Gogh, Priority Records merged with Capitol Records, which acquired the emcee's contract and his material. Initially near completion, the album was heavily bootlegged before any single or promotion could be prepared. In fact, the would-be single "Van Gogh" was even played on an episode of The Sopranos. Ras went back to work overhauling the project, procuring tracks from DJ Premier, Hi-Tek, and Dr. Dre and retaining songs from Rockwilder and Battlecat. Tensions arose during the re-recording, from budget restrictions to lack of promotion: Despite the fact that "Van Gogh" remained shelved the album's singles "Back It Up" and "Goldyn Chyd" received decent amounts of spins... Vibe spoke to Ras about the album in May, 2000: "John "Ras Kass" Austin's machete-sharp lyrics are just plain nasty. Going virtually unnoticed, his two albums - 1996's Soul On Ice and 1998's Rasassination - featured some of the most unrelenting verbal assaults to come along since old-schoolers KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane. But this year, Ras, who has been living in the studio these days, is bound to finally get his piece of the RIAA-certified pie. Not only has he been gaining momentum with a plethora of guest spots on underground L.A. mix tapes and on 3Strikes: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, but Ras is also busy recording LPs with both of his groups, the Goldyn State Warriors (with Xzibit and Defari) and the Horsemen (with Canibus, Killah Priest, and Kurupt). But the crown jewel for the 24-year old will be his solo 60-minute-plus workout in his lyrical fitness, Van Gogh, due out this summer. 'I just wanna get back to the art,' says the Carson, Calif., native. '[This album] is me cutting my ear off and mailing it to the world.' They say "the third time's a charm" (just ask Jay-Z), so let's hope Ras won't have to jump through hoops to get his new CD heard. But regardless, he ain't stressing a thang, 'When it's my turn, I'll eclipse everybody,' he says confidently. 'I'm not putting a timetable on it, but it might be tomorrow. I'm one of the illest.'" - Vibe, 2000. Listen to this previously unreleased classic album below, and continue for an official album review back in 2001 - also via Vibe Magazine.

"Ras Kass utilizes his unearthly rhyme skill to further promote hip hop as an intense but perplexing art form. Although he has never claimed L.A.'s traditional, Crip-walking hip hop set as his own, Ras is not to be confused with any obscure, underground West Coast rhyme sayers. On the contrary, he's surprisingly quite gangsta.... Ras (also) beefs with fellow Angelno-turned-East Coast beat maestro the Alchemist, for selling the same beat to both Ras and Jadakiss. On "Kiss U" he disses the young producer over a synthed-out, Eurythmics-style track produced by DJ Khalil. Production-wise, the album's breadth is astounding - free of any geographical boundaries, kind of like Ras Kass himself. And Van Gogh's serious, sophisticated feel makes it the perfect soundtrack for intelligent hoodlums from coast to coast." - Vibe (November, 2001). Fans have been waiting nearly two decades, but now Ras Kass has finally released the album via his Bandcamp! Delete the bootlegs and pick up a copy!

September 09, 2018

Armand Hammer "Parafin" (Album Stream)

"A distillate, by it’s very nature, is purified, clearer than that which is left in it’s wake. When we talk of finding the heart of something, what to make of the rest, of everything that is flayed away searching for an imagined greater truth. Then comes Victor Frankenstein in the boneyard, with a Tesla coil and a wooden wagon with a creaky wheel. Looking for freshly turned earth. Chances are they’re only a few feet deep, it’s cheap work, and they get lazy, same as anyone. The spade sinks right in, the ground is soft. It’s been a wet spell. The townspeople will be raging soon, but tonight, they sleep. Backwoodz Studioz will be releasing Paraffin, the new project from Armand Hammer (ELUCID & billy woods), on August 30th. Paraffin is less a follow up to 2017’s Rome than an un-guided tour through the labyrinths beneath it. Paraffin features production from Messiah Musik, ELUCID, Ohbliv, August Fanon, Willie Green and Kenny Segal, along with a blistering feature from Sketch185. The digital version of the album differs in certain ways from the vinyl, and makes for what we hope is a more expansive listen." Do yourself a favor, stream the Parafin album below now...

September 08, 2018

Christopher Woodcock "Bedroom Rockers" (Book, 2005)

The American photographer Christopher Woodcock’s photo project, Bedroom Rockers, shows us the rooms of popular New York DJs in all their ugliness glory! Before it was a book in collaboration with Adidas, it was featured in XLR8R magazine's style section in 2004/2005. "Woodcock did a great job of capturing the uniqueness and individuality of each person's setups - complete with all the clutter that you would find if you were to happen upon it." The book contains images of classic set-ups from DJ Armegedan, DJ Ayres, DJ Eleven, DJ Spinna, Eden The DJ, and lots more. To the outside world, this level of clutter might seem... alarming, but for many of us, don't worry... we knew where everything was! Let creatives create, lol. Upon its release, the Bedroom Rockers book was only available at Adidas Originals stores, and was free with purchases in Miami, Boston, NY, Portland and D.C. You can still find copies on resellers like Amazon, occasionally. Some additional images are below...

September 07, 2018

Digable Planets "Reachin" (Animated Short Documentary)

Pitchfork released this great animated look at Digable Planets' classic debut release, Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space). The video gives a great look at the music, poets and culture that shaped and inspired the artists' names, concepts and the overall making of their music. Pitchfork added, "Bursting onto the rap scene in 1993, Digable Planets arrived with an afrofuturist aesthetic, rooted in the art and philosophy of the Black Panthers. Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) still remains a classic, channeling the moment in hip-hop before gangster was the norm." Animated by Steven Cartoccio. This was an important time in music, please watch it below...

September 06, 2018

Binary Star "LIGHTY EARS APART" (Double Album Stream)

Binary Star made its return last year with the release of Water World 3. Now, the One Be Lo-spearheaded project has followed it up by dropping a double album titled LIGHTY EARS APART. “This is the fourth and fifth installment of the Binary Star,” One Be Lo tells HipHopDX. “After Binary Star’s Masters Of The Universe and my S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. albums dropped, One Be Lo jumped in the cockpit while One Man Army, the producer, went on a hiatus until 2017’s Water World 3 release and now officially with Binary Star’s LIGHTY and EARS APART. He adds, “I wanted to rap over my own beats, but I wanted to do it at the right time. I wanted to build my arsenal, so I played with bands and other producers and engineers. Even though many people know One Be Lo as an MC, those in the loop know that early on he was making just as many flames on beat machines as he was on the mic. On LIGHTY and EARS APART, the two-headed dragon is back, breathing fire and blowing flames on beat machines and mics — revolving as a Binary Star system.” Cont'd below via HipHopDX...

"One Be Lo holds down most of the vocals while One Man Army holds down a bulk of the beats on the album with a handful of beat contributions from The Tyrant, Gas Mask, MTK, Unjust and guitar riffs from Autocon comrad DMT,” he explains. “This project is released as a double album, which in itself symbolizes two stars that revolve around each other. There is also a Binary Star/Water World science fiction story that comes as a bonus with the two-headed dragon. The name of the story is The LOOMA (The Legends Of One Man Army)." - via HipHopDX (Justin Ivey). Listen above and below...

September 05, 2018

Noveliss "Cerebral Apex" (Album Stream)

I'm a big fan of Noveliss of Clear Soul Forces. "Cerebral Apex" is his latest offering, in which he explains: "This album is based off of a Manga book that I'm writing and have been writing for the last 2 years and the album is what I'd consider to be an original soundtrack if this ever got launched into an Anime. Can't thank my artist Aaron Hendrick enough for constantly being able to turn my ideas into something special. Shoutout to all the producers who helped me put this together and shoutout to my fiance Ashley who is the voice doing all the narration of the manga story throughout the album." Stream the Cerebral Apex album below... you will enjoy it, for sure!

September 04, 2018

Roc Raida "WHAT! 187FM" (Mixtape, 2000)

The mix features a near-flawless blend of classic Golden Era tracks from Jungle Brothers, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Cypress Hill, Black Sheep, Redman, Gang Starr, Fu-Schnickens, A Tribe Called Quest, Black Moon, Mobb Deep, Jeru The Damaja, Smif-N-Wessun, Group Home, Nas, Kool G Rap, De La Soul, Artifacts, Mad Skillz, Busta Rhymes, MC Breed & 2Pac, as well as routines from Total Eclipse and Q-Bert. The skits mixed in provide comedic relief and remind you of the true craft in making these classic mix tapes. It brings me right back to NYC/Fat Beats. R.I.P. Roc Raida. Listen to Roc Raida's WHAT! 187FM Where We Don't Give A Fu*k! below. Props again to DJ Step One.

September 03, 2018

KLIM Beats "Soul Searchin'" (Instrumental Album)

Ukranian producer/beatmaker, KLIM Beats is back with another dope beat tape: the aptly titled "Soul Searchin'." He's released over a dozen projects thus far - all with quality beats - but when I saw the title of this tape, I knew I'd want to give extra attention to this particular release - and I'm glad that I did. The 11-track release flips a few familiar joints and adds plenty of soul, definitely give it a chance and dig in below, then hit the archives for additional releases from KLIM Beats...

September 02, 2018

Da Wolfpack "Definition" (Video)

Da Wolfpack (Omar Epps and his cousin, G-Sharp) dropped "Definition" (produced by Akshun) on cassette and vinyl in '95 on Emotional Records. The video for the single had decent rotation at the time, but I'm not sure how much distribution the physical copies had - I was never able to cop the cassette. While the cousins formed the group in '91, it's not a surprise that after the success of Juice in '92, Omar Epps was able to leverage his notoriety into bigger opportunities for his music. I can't say too much on what happened after '95 (because I don't know), but you might argue that loyalty to his fam got in Epps' way, I'll let you decide: when faced with the opportunity of doing a bunch of joints with DJ Premier (funded by a label), O tried to reach back and grab his homie who made beats instead. I DO respect his loyalty (honestly) and it's not to say his homie did or didn't make dope beats, too, (especially if it was Akshun, he had lots of dope stuff with Pac, Special Ed and more) but I'm saying, we could have had joints with DJ Premier too! I doubt there's any regret, Omar Epps' career has been long and distinguished so certainly things worked out just fine, and if you think about it, '95 was "Higher Learning" and '97 was the slept-on gem "First Time Felon," so he was busy with plenty of dope 'ish. Thinking more about it, I'd seen some info that Domingo - who has worked with Big Pun, KRS and many others - had done some work with Da Wolfpack, but I don't know the timeline - maybe he was the producer? That woulda been dope, too! Anyhow, let's get back to the music - peep "Definition" and do some diggin' to find more of their must, it's out there!

September 01, 2018

Da King & I, on a September Morning

"A September morning life didn't seem the same way it should be / I was just mourning, thinking of all the wrong that was done to me / Check me"
Much love to DJ Majesty & Izzy Ice of Da King & I ... their classic album "Contemporary Jeep Music" from 1993 is still getting consistent burn on this September morning in 2018. My favorite track was definitely the remix to "Tears" even with the heavy competition of "Flip Da Scrip" (original and DJ Premier remix), Mr. All That, Krack Da Weazel and more. I'd be the first one online to cop a new album or some vaulted material from back in the day. I'm sure I've traced their backgrounds in past posts, from Howie Tee, Chubb Rock, and Spencer Bellamy of East Flatbush Project, etc to Majesty's role in the classic hood film, Juice, in 1992. This is just the vibe I'm on today so had to go back and revisit the album and especially "Tears," go dig it up and do the same. Meanwhile, check out this freestyle from '92, and if you're interested in more info, you can find them both on IG easy enough.