Monday, December 31, 2018

DJ Sav One & DJ Dyllemma "FreeOfStyle" (Mixtape, 2012)

We put this mix together (in 2012) reminiscing on the days of golden era CASSETTE mixtapes. It should bring you back to that analog vibe with the sound, substance and live mixing. The theme is an ongoing debate over the two meanings of “Freestyle”: off the top of the head verses and/or unreleased writtens (discussed by Big Daddy Kane in the Intro as ‘FreeOfStyle’). The mix is 40 minutes long (all golden era content) and is 1 side of a forthcoming cassette release with original content on the flip-side. The sources are old cassettes, white label vinyl and an occasional CD. Peace to the all the DJs who laid the foundation and pushed the culture forward - this tape is as much an ode to those pioneering DJs as is to the MCs who held it down on the mic. - DJ Sav One (Update: Got a takedown notice, so a new post to update the embed link below). 1-track version HERE.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Reef The Lost Cauze "The Majestic" (Album Stream)

"The Majestic" is the brand new solo album from veteran Philly MC, Reef The Lost Cauze. One of the hardest working MCs, there's always new verses and features to hear with Reef, even some collab projects. But, it's a different beast when he locks in on a solo project. Add to it a Happy Born Day to Reef, there's a lot to celebrate here. The album is available across all platforms, but those of you who want a physical copy, you should click HERE to get it before it ultimately sells out. More than boasts of 'I'm a better MC than you' (he is), Reef speaks with the tone of a seasoned lyricist, sharing his experiences on record and perhaps suggesting where things have gone wrong in the world and the culture, like on "Naked," where Reef asks us to think of the bigger picture:

"...But what about the spirit, the soul that we carry  
In the end that's all we have when these old bones are buried 
When you meet God and he asks about your life 
He ain't gon' give a f#ck about your followers and your likes 
... get it right."

Friday, December 28, 2018

Cormega "Mega" (Album Stream)

Cormega (Mega) brings you a secret project entirely produced by STREETRUNNER with Co-Production by Tariq Azzouz. Mega describes this as art, culture and vibes. This project has only one feature by Havoc of Mobb Deep on the song “Live Your Best Life”. All Instrumentals are also featured on this release. Lyrics to all the songs are printed on the back of the vinyl record jacket and in CD and Cassette artwork. This is Cormega’s first solo release since his 2014 Large Professor produced “Mega Philosophy." Stream Cormega's latest effort "MEGA" below.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

DJ Beanz "Reigning Real: Money Miz Mix" (Mixtape)

Peace to the good homie Money Miz .... "You may or may not be familiar with Hip Hop aficionado, Money Miz. Well, if you’re not, we suggest you follow him! His impeccable taste in that Golden Era and new, grimey underground Hip Hop, inspired DJ Beanz to put together a mix for Miz. Mainly picking tracks from each of his favorite albums, one mix couldn’t cover 1/4 of the fire!" Stream the mix below, featuring joints from Mobb Deep, Termanology, Crimeapple, Cormega, Big Pun, Apathy, Jeru The Damaja, Conway & Elzhi, Hus Kingpin, Benny The Butcher, Raekwon, Jedi Mind Tricks, GZA, Evidence and more. While available, you can also download it HERE. Hit the follow. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Children Of Zeus "The Winter Tape" (Album Stream)

Some more dopeness from UK's favorite duo of Konny Kon & Tyler Daley, better known as Children Of Zeus. "The Winter Tape" is a free 14-track project, featuring production from Detroit's Black Milk, DJ Green Lantern, Beat Butcha & more, plus a nice feature from Milano Constantine. A thoughtful present to the fans to kick off our Christmas Eve, bundle up and lock in with The Winter Tape, available to stream in full and/or download below. Happy Holidays, y'all... stay safe and blessed! 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Big Ghost Ltd "Starkstrumentals" (Instrumental Album)

Big Ghost LTD presents the Instrumentals to this year's release with Ghostface Killah "The Lost Tapes." Not too much to say about this one, just some really dope and soulful instrumentals that were right and exact for Ghostface Killah to bless. Make sure you give this a thorough listen and consider supporting the cassettes, vinyl and/or the deluxe packages that are available to "The Lost Tapes." If you're not already following Big Ghost Ltd. on social media, rectify that ASAP, click HERE.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Ta-ku "25 Nights For Nujabes" (Instrumental Album)

"25 Nights For Nujabes," a beat a night for 25 nights in dedication to Jun Seba, better known as Nujabes. His music was so full of emotion and beauty. Ta-ku teams up with Jakarta Records to share his now-classic, "25 Nights For Nujabes" project for the first time as an official digital and vinyl release along with two completely new bonus tracks which feature Toronto-based producer Matt McWaters. Ta-ku says, "I have decided to finally release one of my favourite projects that I made back in 2013; "25 Nights For Nujabes." This has a very special place in my heart and is available now on your favorite digital platforms." Rest In Peace, Jun Seba. You can stream the project below.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mic Geronimo "Shit's Real" (Video)

In a lineage of eMCees we've championed over the years, Mic Geronimo had a dope run in the 90s. "Shit's Real," "Masta IC," and breaking features for artists like DMX, Jay-Z, Ja Rule & more solidified a position for him between his peers. Some tough decisions - perhaps based on his own loyalties or career plans - didn't necessarily work out to his full advantage, but he shot his shot and his footprints are still felt on the golden era setlists of any true DJ and fan of hip-hop. When Nore went on the ledge and threw a lil' shade in his direction for how his career turned out, Mic Geronimo was quick to set the record straight about how he owns his own business and continues to live a blessed life, on his own terms. Mic's name popped up again in the Dame Dash vs Funk Flex beef, where Flex attempted to declare that if it wasn't for Def Jam, Jay-Z's career woulda went the way of Mic Geronimo. Where's all this shade coming from? Flex, you're reaching. Let me just say in case I haven't said it before, someone else's definition of success is subjective -- don't project your views and definitions on another person, you come off sounding crazy! Now, back to the music...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Knitting Factory: The Final Show (December 19, 2008)

Dec. 19, 2008: lowkey, this is a day in NY hip-hop history, people don’t talk about it much though. Remembering it on it's 10th Anniversary: It was snowing outside, my view was from the 2nd floor at 406 6th Avenue, better known as Fat Beats. It was our annual Christmas Party. Always a fun time with drinks and food, DJ sets and of course, more artists came through to show love if they got an invite. This night was extra special bc I was keeping an eye on the clock, knowing that it was the very last hip-hop show at Knitting Factory about 2 miles away. Peep the bill: Rakim, Black Thought, Souls of Mischief & you know every NY MC would touch that stage one final time. I was at every show - week day or weekend, I was in the building - so I wanted to roll through but it was getting late, snowing and I had some drinks in me, lol. I started to get texts about the show, who was killin it, who was backstage, etc etc. At some point, the texts went left bc of an incident I can’t really talk about, but suffice to say ...the final show was not without it’s drama outside the venue, unrelated to the music. I was tight about it too. Of course, I waited to see if Photo Rob would post photos of the show I never made - a big regret of mine - but I was amongst good friends and with Fat Beats closing years later, I’d probably regret it had I not been there too. Fortunately the good brother, Homeboy Sandman was in the building to perform & shared some of the show...

Monday, December 17, 2018

Brock Berrigan "Cadillac Mountain" (Instrumental Album)

Brock Berrigan is a beat maker, music enthusiast, multi instrumentalist, sample hunter, and alleged town drunk, lol. To describe the latest instrumental release, Brock explains, "Been working on this project for a few months now. Spent some time experimenting with some new sounds, tried to make this album a little different. Went back out to Utah to put the final touches on the album and finished it in a motel in the middle of the desert. Limited vinyl will be available, stream below.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Philmore Greene "Chicago: A Third World City" (Album Stream)

Chi-Town's Philmore Greene drops his new project, "Chicago: A Third World City," featuring Yardbrough, Rashid Hadee, Neak, FLYKelly, and more. With the exception of one song produced by Neak, the project is produced by Rashid Hadee, who you should definitely check out, as well. A socially conscious and aware effort, you can hear it in the music and see it in the artwork done by Zeph Farmby. Chicago needs artists to continue to be the voice for the voiceless. You might have caught his #PhilmoreMondays releases online, but this is my official sleeper choice for the month, dig into it below and follow Philmore Greene to stay current on his music. "Love is the only answer."

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Loud Records Holday Dinner (December 16, 1998)

On December 16, 1998, Loud Records / SRC (Steve Rifkind Company) held a special holiday dinner. In unique fashion, the holiday dinner menu was artist-themed. Examples, you ask? Ok, how about we start with the appetizers: Sadat X Calamari: batter fried calamari with basil mayonnaise and chili pepper cocktail sauce. Wu-Tang Tuna: sesame nori crusted tuna with grilled shitake mushrooms, watercress bean sprouts, snap pea salad, served with wasabi ponzu dipping sauce. Alkaholiks Pizza: margarita, tomato and basil sauce topped with mozzarella. Lastly, Xzibit Salad: baby greens with goat cheese, walnuts, mushrooms and mustard vinaigrette. Moving on the entrees, you could choose from the Raekwon Burger: hamburger with mesclun greens, tomato, onion and french fries; choice of American, Swiss, or cheddar cheese. Penne a la Mobb: penne putanesca (chopped over roasted tomatoes, anchovies, black olives and capers). Cella Dwella Chicken: roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and french beats. Yvette Michelle Veggies: vegetable plate - assorted grilled vegetables, cous-cous and sauteed spinach. I'd be full at this point, but they also had a Delinquent Habits dessert and more to keep you entertained throughout the Holiday dinner. If it were me, I'd grab the Alkaholiks Pizza and either the Raekwon Burger with American Cheese, plain, or the Cella Dwella Chicken. Much success to Steve Rifkind bringing Loud Records back. A throwback to his 5th...

It also reminds me of this - similar - but different and worth reading...

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Busta Rhymes "Extinction Level Event" (Press Kit, 1998)

"Busta Rhymes is more than aware that there are plenty of vipers out there who want his game. For example, a recent article put forth the notion that his tremendous underground appeal might wane under the weight of his ever-expanding hold on mainstream audiences. But Busta never flinches. For the man who had the courage to condemn rap's whole 'keepin' it real' mantra as "Propaganda," this new challenge is but a blip on his radar screen. Rap's most incandescent visionary has always been more interested in shedding light than heat. Which is why, throughout the '90's, Busta Rhymes has managed to fuse his everyday experiences as a black man, as a son, and as a father, with much more eternal concerns. Leading him - as he says - "To contemplate the shit between the lines." Selling millions of albums by remaining true to himself." Cont'd below...

"So it's with his boldest strokes yet that he's approached his third solo album, Extinction Level Event (The Final World Front.) The 19 song disc is an apocalyptic tour de force, with Busta - who now commands the listener's attention with a rock star's ferocity - unleashing thought provoking verses one minute, and spitting out euphoric hailstones of hectic, teeth clenching rhymes the next. E.L.E. is Busta's crowning epoch. A maelstrom of enlightened, turbulent wordplay about the impending millennium. But where other rappers have only recently immersed themselves in the year 2K, Busta has long wielded a futuristic sword about him. The day of reckoning has served as subtext of his two smash platinum plus solo albums, 1996's The Coming, and 1997's When Disaster Strikes. But it was during Busta's tenure with the legendary Leaders of the New School, launched in 1990, that he first explored such explosive subject matter. Many point to the Leaders second LP, 1993's T.I.M.E. as the beginning of Busta's fascination with the extinction theme." - Press Kit, 1998. Happy 20th!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Swizz Beatz x Nas "Echo" (Video)

Nas is in my top 3 MCs of all-time, but I was only willing to give "NASIR" two full listens before deciding that it just wasn't gonna grow on me. I've shared my thoughts on how it turned out, most of my criticisms falling on the post-production work by Kanye West. It's because of tracks like this Swizz Beatz and Nas collaboration, "Echo," that Nas can drop a poor project and still be championed as one of the greatest MCs of all-time. This is classic Nas: "We was Times Square pioneers, 40 deuce, 40-below boots / 40 ounce brew, the true Bishop from Juice / Runnin' wild, loose, me and my 40 troops were stupid / Style, it was snorkel coats, Polo gooses, ruthless..." Can you see it when you hear it too? I don't post many loose videos, I'm an album-minded fan and I like album-minded artists, but while I have very little interest in hearing a DJ Khaled album or a full Swizz Beatz album, when they feature Nas, I'm tuned in for THAT. No shade... I don't need to be at - or tune in to see - Nas and Kanye West's private listening in Queensbridge or accept an invite from Mass Appeal / Epic Records to see a private viewing of the "Echo" video, I just wanna hear it and enjoy it like a fan. Give me a 45 of this, and you'll have my $$$, but it'll take more to get me to cop the full-LP.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Black Thought "Streams of Thought, Vol.2" EP (Album Stream)

Back in June, Black Thought released his debut solo project, a 9th Wonder-produced EP called "Streams of Thoughts Vol.1." We now have the second of three EPs in this series, "Streams of Thoughts Vol.2." This go around, Black Thought has enlisted the work of legendary producer Salaam Remi, most known for his work with Nas, The Fugees, Amy Winehouse, and Zhigge among others. My favorite song is the opening track, "Fentanyl," which tackles the topic of opioid addiction: the dangers of, who profits from it & the politics behind it. He does so over minimalist production, showcasing his flawless delivery and offering deep insights like:

"Another destroyed life was meant to be more righteous
in the face of this full-on opioid crisis
While the wolves pull the wool on and prey on vices
Still the dogs with the hood on is way more frightenin'
For death, you're not ready
Trust me, I'm deadly as the Fentanyl that killed Prince and Tom Petty..."

Monday, December 10, 2018

DJ Premier vs. Masta Ace (Mixed by DJ Tiger)

Big-up to DJ Tiger of Full Blast Radio, who put this ill blend tape together. Full Blast Radio is an online radio station from NY operating in Georgia. You can stream the mix below and click HERE for more information on DJ Tiger and Full Blast Radio. Much respect to Marco Polo and Masta Ace, who released a classic album together "A Breukelen Story," and of course, you always wanna follow the legend, DJ Premier, in all that he does HERE. Enjoy the mix ... Peace.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Jonwayne "Yuletide Bangerz" (Instrumental Album)

A nice beat tape from LA rapper and producer, Jonwayne, to get you in the Christmas spirit this Holiday season. "Yuletide Bangers" features 17 beats, all chopped full original holiday samples, vocals and a bit of comedy thrown in. One of the more enjoyable beat tapes I've heard in a while. Listen...

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Notorious B.I.G. "Rapsheet" (Press Kit, August 1994)

Date: August, 1994 ... The Notorious B.I.G. Rapsheet was sent out to press as a unique piece of promo that shares some humorous "info" to hype the name switch from Biggie Smalls (1993) to The Notorious B.I.G. (1994) and his debut album, "Ready To Die," dropping a month later on September 13, 1994 via Bad Boy Entertainment. His criminal history included arrests for "Criminal possession and Illegal use of deadly rhymes," "Beat trafficking," "Criminal possession and use of a narcotic lyrics," and "17 counts of aggravated mic assault." The status on all counts? Acquitted!! (If you don't know ... now you know!) From B.I.G.'s alliances, nickname, counsel, DOB, race, sex, height and of course, B.I.G.'s hometown of "Representing B.K. to the fullest!," you can read more below. Originally released in 1994, you can order a full resolution copy, available in the online store with postcards and more...

Thursday, December 06, 2018

DJ Eclipse "Pre-Season" Mixtape (1996)

Throwback to 1996 with DJ Eclipse's classic "Pre-Season" mixTAPE. A nice mix of tracks from Jay-Z, Jeru The Damaja, Royal Flush, Lord Finesse, Lil' Kim, Godfather Don, Sadat X, Ed O.G., Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Nas, De La Soul, KRS-One, The Beatnuts, Keith Murray, De La Soul, Organized Konfusion, The Roots, Al Tariq, Artifacts, M.O.P., Capone-N-Noreaga, Mobb Deep & more. Dig in below.