Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz "Mona Lisa" (Album Stream)

"Detroit producer Apollo Brown has made a name for himself as one of Hip-Hop’s most legendary new producers while maintaining a golden era sound. His production credits are a who’s who of Hip-hop greats from Danny Brown to Ghostface Killah, Ras Kass to Westside Gunn. Even Chance the Rapper used a pair of Apollo beats on his debut mixtapes. Known for bringing the best out of musicians, Apollo has a knack for making timeless classics.  Brooklyn’s Joell Ortiz started on none other than Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and built a huge buzz in the industry. He’s worked with legends like Just Blaze among others. He then signed to Shady Records as ¼ of the supergroup Slaughterhouse. He’s worked with Hip-Hop titans Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Akon, and Big Daddy Kane. Now the pair of Hip-hop luminaries have their first collaborative album on Mello Music Group. It’s nothing short of a masterpiece: Mona Lisa." - Mello Music Group

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Brother Ali "Sensitive" (Audio & Video)

A smile comes to my face when I see new music from Brother Ali, especially on limited 7" vinyl. I appreciate him for continuing to share his truth & his gifts with us, openly and honestly. To that end, I'll let Brother Ali explain his vulnerable new song: "Sensitive deals with the reality that artists are often times faced with self doubt and a deep sense that the world isn't hearing us as we'd like to be heard. This one was made at a time when I'd taken too long to release new music, had medical trouble with my voice and felt like I'd alienated fans with my political statements. Typical 'tortured artist' vibe that not many people talk about in Hip-Hop, but we all experience it on one level or another." An excerpt from the song's lyrics and stream are below.

"I didn't wanna pull my heart out, let you see in it
I just wanna grow privately, be free a minute
Plus my soul don't always have peace within it
I tell the truth, but I can see that I'm conceded with it..."

Or, if you prefer, enjoy the warm visuals with the official music video below ...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Shad "A Short Story About A War" (Album Stream)

"My last Shad album, Flying Colours, felt to me like the end of something. I think you can kinda hear it on there too. My music, to that point, told the story of my journey, unpacking some of my ideas and experiences over a good decade of growing up. I felt deeply content after releasing and touring that album. Not like I was done making rap music— I still played some shows and recorded for some of my favourites ... but since then I’ve felt increasingly inspired to just help, and to grow in other ways. And In the past 5 years, I think I’ve been able to do some of that.

... I felt like there was a story that ended with Flying Colours and I didn’t feel inspired to write a sequel to it just yet. So this is the story I wrote. Inspired by a vision. And brought to life musically over a year of honest, consistent effort. This is just a short story. My best sketch. And it was my joy to create. It’s an album about this moment, yea, but it’s really about something timeless.

I’d like to end by saying a few things about hope, because this album is darker and more intense than any project I’ve made before and if there’s one thing I don’t want people to misunderstand, it’s this: This album, like all of my work, is an attempt to find and share hope. But the way hope works, in my experience, is similar to the way that it unfolds on this album: A glimmer, a flash. And otherwise, darkness. But there’s also hope in seeing darkness for what it truly is: Not a vague, endless cloud but something with a defined nature, size, and power. So that it might be understood and possibly overcome. This album aims to provide hope in this way too."

The truth is bulletproof.
- Shad

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Black Milk "Tronic" 10 Years Later

"Tronic is an artistic breakthrough for Detroit producer/rapper Black Milk, a Slum Village associate who has toiled in the industry for years (which he explains on the triumphant chipmunk-soul anthem "Long Story Short"). The title tips off the rough electronic tint of his third album, but this ain't no retro-electro party: Milk bangs out hard synth tracks with malevolent fire, "murdering the booth" on cuts such as "The Matrix" and "Overdose." Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, Royce Da 5'9", and other MCs show up to anoint the new price of hardcore hip-hop." - Mosi Reeves (Spin, 2009). Referenced in the album review is the opening track "Long Story Short," which I have as one of the best track 1s on any album of recent memory. I think Black Milk pushed the envelope and was ahead of his time switching to more live instrumentation when Tronic was released, so I'm curious how people feel it has aged and sits with the current climate of music production (sans trap music)?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

DJ Boogie Boy "On The Hunt, Chapter 1" (Mixtape, 1993)

Another dope mix tape from DJ Boogie Boy - this one is called "On The Hunt, Chapter 1" from '92-93. It includes a ton of tracks from artists like Trendz Of Culture, Kurious, Diamond D, Nas, Casual, Das EFX, Black Sheep, The Pharcyde, Gang Starr, Cypress Hill, Redman, Wu-Tang Clan, Tha Alkaholiks, Common, Onyx, Illegal, KRS-One, Souls of Mischief, Lords Of The Underground, Eazy-Z, Ice Cube, Spice 1, The Beatnuts, Black Moon, Rumpletilskinz, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Da Lench Mob, and lots more. This mix represents the best of East and West Coast hip-hop at the time, listen below...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Phoniks "Down To Earth" (Instrumental Album)

"Phoniks returns with his first full-length solo project. An 18-track instrumental hip-hop beat tape titled “Down To Earth”. Nearly 2 years in the works, Phoniks dug through over 250 hours worth of recorded material when piecing together his solo debut. The album is comprised of 2 to 3 minute jazz-tinged lo-fi head nodders connected with thought-provoking spoken word samples from 50’s sci-fi space movies. Crunchy 12-bit drums, spaced-out filters, and delays and a sprinkling of horn loops and soul vocals captivate over the albums 40-min run time. The goal is to take the listener off to another place, floating through the cosmos on a one-man spacecraft with nothing but a pair of headphones and all the time in the world." - Don't Sleep Records! Enjoy the vibe of this one below...

Monday, October 22, 2018

Originoo Gunn Clappaz "Built To Last" (Mix)

Check out this fine Bahamadia mix from the "Built To Last" Radio Show aka "Conçu Pour Durer." Hosted by Corrado & I Joe, each Thursday 8-9pm, on Radio Campus FM Toulouse. Dig through their dope archives of shows and mixes, always classic material. For this addition, run through classic joints from the Originoo Gunn Clappaz: Starang Wondah, Top Dop Da Big Kahuna, Louieville Sluggah and of course featuring Sean Price and Rockness Monstah of Heltah Skeltah. Listen below...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ill Conscious & MZ Boom Bap "Sorcery" (EP Stream)

A dope 5-track EP from Portugal's boombap producer, MZ Boom Bap & Baltimore's super lyrical MC, Ill Conscious. The EP has features from King Magnetic, Omnia Azar, Cyn Hawkes and DJ Grazzhoppa. I've been following Ill Conscious for a few years and he's definitely carrying the torch for MCs who hold lyrics, flow and delivery at the forefront of their craft, while still pushing it forward. Vinyl is also available (in limited quantities) via Vinyl Digital in Germany. I hope to do some work with Ill Conscious in the coming year, I definitely wanna support his movements. Peep the new EP below...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

DJ Smooth Denali "Still King Of NY" (B.I.G. Tribute Mix)

The talented DJ Smooth Denali puts his foot in this tribute mix for the late Notorious B.I.G with "Still King of NY!!..." Smooth Denali's mix includes a few demo tracks, freestyles, rare and live cuts, as well as classic album cuts from B.I.G.'s catalog. Ya know, Biggie didn't have music that was left on the cutting room floor so we've heard just about everything by now - what tribute mixes for Biggie come down to is skills behind the 1s and 2s... DJ Smooth Denali has always had that in abundance. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

DJ Semtex "Hip-Hop Raised Me" (Book + The Cream Tape, 1994)

I was a bit torn while reading DJ Semtex's Hip-Hop Raised Me ... there are many exceptional parts to this book and certainly they come from a man with a ton of experience in the culture and a pioneering DJ in UK hip-hop. However, it does fall off a bit near the final chapters, and there are some facts that seem inconsistent on certain pieces of history, or were just overlooked in the book. It's still a solid read and visually it looks amazing, so I do recommend checking it out now that the price has dropped a bit on Amazon. In addition, pointing to Semtex's history in the culture, I also recommend listening to a great cassette mixtape he released back in 1994 called "The Cream Tape." I was fortunate to find an existing link to it, which saved me the time of uploading it. Props to DJ E-Freezy. It features tracks like Crooklyn, Take It Easy, Warrior's Drum, Bucktown, Kaught In Da Ak Remix, Da Bitchez, Stress, Represent, Constant Elevation, Life's A Bitch, and lots more. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Conway The Machine "Everybody Is F.O.O.D." (Album Stream)

I've got a lot going on and I can't keep up with all these Griselda releases - I'm at a point where it feels like deja vu - I've run out of things to say, lost track of what I've posted & in some cases the artwork changes online to further confuse me lol. That said, I think we have another new tape from Griselda's Conway the Machine. Everybody is F.O.O.D. is a great title for a tape and with 10 joints produced by Darringer, Statik Selektah, Pete Rock & DJ Green Lantern, he picked some great beats to get his points across. He doesn't stray far from his signature sound, it's dark and gritty, making him evermore consistent and building a catalog that triples by year. With Elzhi, Busta Rhymes, & Skyzoo as features, he's got another one to ride out to, tune in below. R.I.P. Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Jamil Honesty "Verses" (Mixtape)

Jamil Honesty is an eMCee and producer born in Staten Island (New York), who later moved to Baltimore, Maryland as a teen. With inspirations rooted in the golden era of hip-hop (Wu-Tang), his music represents a true school aesthetic coming out of the underground. Today's offering is his "Verses" mixtape, which contains a mix of unreleased and released joints from Jamil's past year of recording. The project is available using Bandcamp's 'name your price' feature, so be sure to show your support. Props to DJ Grazzhoppa flexin' his cuts on multiple tracks on the mix, as well as features from Ill Conscious, Supreme Cerebral, and more. Listen to the "Verses" mixtape below...

Monday, October 15, 2018

Chairman Maf "Ginger" (Instrumental Album)

"My 6th instrumental album is the album I always wanted to make, 10 tracks full of soul, filth and ginger nuts. The tunes will get in your head and refuse to leave. I hope you have time to give it a listen… PEACE!" - Chairman Maf. All 6 projects are dope, peep the latest, "Ginger," streaming below...

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Def Squad Freestyles, Volume 1 (Album Stream)

In attempt to embrace this digital space we're in, the Green Eyed Bandit, Erick Sermon, has created Def Squad Streaming, and presents Volume one of the Def Squad Freestyles. This new compilation project features tracks from EPMD, Redman, Keith Murray, Jamal, and more up at shows like Stretch & Bobbito, BET/Rap City, the Wake Up Show, and on tapes like Doo Wop's 95 Live II. Listen...

Saturday, October 13, 2018

DJ Crossphader "Once Upon A Time" (Mixtape, 2000)

Mr. Complex presents DJ Crossphader's Once Upon a Time mixtape in 2000. It was released on cassette and double-CD and included a ton of gems from indie favorites and mainstream icons, like: Slick Rick, The Notorious B.I.G., Diamond D, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Organized Konfusion, Mobb Deep, Ghostface, Q-Tip, O.C., Medina Green, Redman, Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Jeru The Damaja, Common, OutKast, The Roots, Masta Ace, Special Ed, MC Lyte, Biz Markie, EPMD, and more. Listen below...

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mick Boogie "93 Til Infinity" (Mixtape, 2010)

NYC-based Mick Boogie, known for his eclectic DJ sets and amazing mixtapes, is also an avid basketball fan and a video game junkie. With the return of the classic 90’s arcade game NBA JAM (refreshed and remixed in 2010), Mick was inspired to put together a mixtape of classic and rare 90s remixes that serve as the soundtrack to where we were back in the day. Being that NBA JAM dropped in 1993… Mick’s decision to call the mix ‘93 ‘Til Infinity was the only appropriate choice. The mix includes remixes from Das EFX, Souls of Mischief, Grand Puba, A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Gang Starr, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, Erick Sermon, De La Soul, Nas, and more. Listen below...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

50 Cent 'Next' Feature (Vibe, 1999)

50 Cent was covered in Vibe Magazine's spotlight series 'Next' in October of 1999. 'How To Rob' had hit the streets 2 months prior, and 50 was all the buzz. The article discusses how Mariah Carey took offense to one of the lines in the song ... I guess at that point it hadn't been removed but it was indeed replaced on the version that blew up on radio. In May of 2000, 50 Cent was shot 9 times and despite all the marketing and promotion, the shooting and controversial records led to 50's debut 'Power Of The Dollar' being shelved and then heavily bootlegged. I still own one of the original promo cassettes that were sent out with album snippets mixed with Hot 97 interviews. I also have the original white label 12" back when the song was called 'Schemes Of Robbing An Industry N!gga.' I copped it at Rock & Soul (sorry Fat Beats) in the summer of '99. CD sales will never return to the way they were when 50 dropped 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' and 'The Massacre,' but his other successful business ventures more than compensate. As a fellow Queens native, I'd also like to remind artists not to poke the bear in the zoo, 50 will forever remain an artist you do not want to play with, lol. If you're interested, Next features with Jay-Z and Capone-N-Noreaga.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Torae & Praise "All Praises Due" (Album Stream)

All Praises Due is a collaborative project from veteran MC – Torae and producer Praise. The duo teamed up to create the seven song EP which highlights the best of their combined talents. True fans know this has been long in the works and was even teased on “Shoutro” from Torae’s 2016 album Entitled. Torae has been busy since 2016 filming six commercials, a movie and a television series with VH1. In that time he also joined Diddy’s Revolt television network and hosted the revamped “Freestyle Friday” with BET. All without missing a beat on his nationally syndicated radio show “The Tor Guide” six days a week. Praise has also been grinding, racking up production credits with artists like Pharoahe Monch, BJ the Chicago Kid, Joyner Lucas and more. You can even hear his hard hitting drums and infectious bass lines on recent EA Sports – “NBA Live” video games.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Rub "It's The Motherf#cking Remix" (Volume 2, 2005)

The Rub: It's The Motherf#cking Remix Volume 2 (It's The Rub) is mash-ups galore. As the original review read in Remix Magazine (1/06), "It's a pleasant surprise to find mixtapes that are exactly that - mixed. And DJ Ayres' comp is mixed with a fluid exactness that mirrors the nonstop dance party that is The Rub - a collection of mash-ups the likes of which you'd find at the long-running monthly party held at Southpaw (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn. DJs such as A-Trak, Mark Ronson and Diplo blend the likes of Marvin Gaye, Talking Heads and Billy Joel with Mobb Deep, TI and Crime Mob to accentuate moods and take things in altogether new directions. A highlight here: DJ Crooked's Jay-Z "Hey Papi" vs. A-ha "Take On Me." Genre bending shit, listen to something different below...

Monday, October 01, 2018

DJ B-Mello "Doin' My Thing!" (Mixtape, 1995)

Another mix tape from Seattle's DJ B-Mello - this one is the '95 banger, Doin' My Thing! The mix tape includes tracks from Greg Nice of Nice-N-Smooth, Kool Keith, GZA & Method Man, Sunz Of Man, AZ, J-Live, Ten Thieves, Das EFX & Mobb Deep, Real Live (K-Def & Larry-O), Lord Finesse, The Dogg Pound, Big Noyd, Redman, Erick Sermon, Mad Skillz, Smif-N-Wessun, Bahamadia, Prose & Concepts, Jamal, Young Zee, Mic Geronimo, Major Stress, Triflicts (shouts to the homie Creature) and more. It's a dope blend of underground gems and slept-on indie joints that deserved the shine.