March 31, 2019

Rest In Peace, Nipsey Hussle (March 31, 2019)

"We are at a great loss today. This hurts. Straight to the point. It’s dangerous to be an MC. Dangerous to be a b-ball player. It’s dangerous to have money. Dangerous To Be A Black Man. So much hatred. We live like our brothers and sisters in third world countries live. Right in America. Decisions we make about our own life be based on decisions cuz we might not live. Its so deep rooted. It’s not a easy fix. Hard to fix anything when kids are still living in poverty. I ain’t shutting up though, Nipsey is a True voice. He will never be silenced. He still is A stand up General for the People who never left his people. He is Loved by the people. Prayers for his family. Let’s keep pushing Truth for The Man. Love You, King Nipsey Hussle / Ermias Asghedom Respectfully" - Nas // He was an authentic artist; truly forward-thinking, positive and ownership-minded - all of which made him an important voice for this generation. It's a truly sad day. My thoughts are with his loved ones. I know that he's inspired today's youth to be better, do better and that's a legacy. R.I.P.

March 30, 2019

Choosey & Exile "Black Beans" (Album Stream)

"Hailing from LA by way of San Diego, Choosey uses Black Beans to make important statements in favor of black and brown unity at a time when his voice is most needed. Autobiographical moments like “I Did” follow in the footsteps of Exile produced masterpieces including Blu’s Below The Heavens and Fashawn’s Boy Meets World, as his soulful beats have always brought honesty and introspection out of the Dirty Science crew. Black Beans captures the feeling of the beautiful struggle while navigating life’s potholes throughout sunny Southern California. Taking the good with the bad, Choosey honors family and his significant other while attacking society’s ills including police brutality and gentrification. Though Black Beans is consistent with Exile’s sound, with this effort, he sampled from a number of sources and an era that best reflects Choosey’s story personally. Combining street smarts and book smarts, the album is sure to impact listeners as he’s a testament to following his dreams while surviving everything from the daily rat race to coming up in territories surrounded by gang activity." Black Beans is a really dope album, sit and digest this one below...

March 29, 2019

EPMD "Business Partners" (Vibe, 8/08)

EPMD brings the suburbs to hip-hop - and the funk to the party: "Sporting fishermen hats and a slack style, Long Island duo EPMD's debut, Strictly Business (Priority), was the first hip-hop album to celebrate the splendor of suburbia. "It was the Just-Ice single 'Latoya' that inspired us to rap in the first place, but we didn't come from the same kind of environment," says Parrish Smith. "Me and Erick Sermon grew up near the water, so we thought the caps would best represent where we came from. We were confident in our skills, so we had no problem being different." Signed to the now-defunct Sleeping Bag Records (where labelmates included Mantronix, Just-Ice, Cash Money & Marvelous and Nice & Smooth), the duo's first demo contained the original mixes of "It's My Thing" and "You're a Customer." Laughing at the memory, Smith says, "We didn't even know what samplers were then. We recorded everything on tape and spliced it together later." While their name stood for Erick and Parrish Making Dollars, the moniker EPMD soon became synonymous with soulful samples and computerized funk... the Sermon/Smith style laid the sonic foundation for Dr. Dre's soon-to-come G-Funk." An example of that is their smash "You Gots To Chill," watch below...

"Indeed, famed West Coast radio station 93.5 KDAY, whose program director Greg Mack was instrumental in helping Los Angeles develop its own hip-hop aesthetic, was one of the first to play "It's My Thing." Virgil Simms, Sleeping Bag's then vice president of promotion, says, "Mr. Magic and Marley Marl showed us much love at home in New York, but it was the reaction from KDAY's audience that helped break that single. We had the clubs on lock." ... Sermon says the group just flipped the records they liked. "Strictly Business was recorded and finished in two weeks at producer Charlie Marotta's studio," says Sermon, who experienced solo and group success with Def Squad after the group split in 1993. "Me and Parrish wasn't using James Brown samples because we were listening to different kinds of things; we simply sampled what we were feeling." ... Touring and working ... the boys from Brentwood are back together - and still about their business." - Vibe

March 28, 2019

Jansport J "StayTrue" (Beat Tape)

LA producer Jansport J takes it back to the gritty, raw, soulful roots on his latest beat tape, StayTrue. He delivers 11 soulful, neck-snapping instrumentals, all of which were created in a single day... minus the beat for "Still Care." Jansport J was clearly in a zone that day, catch that vibe by clicking play below! Don't sleep... Jansport J's production credits include Snoop Dogg, Ab-Soul, Kool G Rap, Blu, AZ, Skyzoo, Planet Asia, Freddie Gibbs and more! Lots more on his page, so click through...

March 27, 2019

DJ Invasion "Rosebudd Infantry: The Marcberg Files" (Mixtape)

This is DJ Invasion's "Rosebudd Infantry: The Marcberg Files," which is a mash-up mixtape of Roc Marciano's vocals seamlessly blended with beats by the Alchemist. The 13-track mix also includes vocals from Vic Spencer, Westside Gunn, St. Joe Louis, Vinnie Paz, Guilty Simpson, O.C., Royce Da 5'9, Planet Asia and Prodigy (R.I.P.). DJ Invasion wants it to be clear, this is a fan made project and is not an official release from Roc Marciano or The Alchemist. Projects like this are a labor of love, and this one is especially well-crafted, so props to DJ Invasion (and the artists). Check it out below...

March 26, 2019

Ill Conscious, Dirt Platoon & Guy Grams "Parimore" (EP Stream)

The Parimore EP features some of Baltimore’s finest lyricists - Ill Conscious, Guy Grams, and Dirt Platoon - alongside DJ Brans, DJ Low Cut, Street Wyze, and more on production. The 6-track EP displays seasoned lyricism over dope production, period! Baltimore has a nice movement going on in the underground, which is definitely translating overseas, where I'm sure their names ring out. Each MC brings their own style, but it meshes well together as a collective release. Dig into the EP...

March 26, 2019

DJ Rockwell & Chemta "It's All Rap To You" (Mixtape, 1997)

Today's selection is from 1997, with DJ Rockwell and Chemta's mix tape called "It's All Rap To You." The Chicago-based duo put together an ill mix with tracks from Siah, Lateef, Juice, Gravediggaz, Dilated Peoples, Casual, Common, Reflection Eternal, Xzibit (w/ Del & Casual), Gang Starr, No I.D., De La Soul, L-Fudge, The Pharcyde, Atmosphere, All Natural, Cage, Company Flow, Defari, Natural Resource, Smif-N-Wessun, and more. The tape includes some fresh remixes and a lot of slept-on joints from the underground at the time. Dig into DJ Rockwell and Chemta's It's All Rap To You mix tape below...

March 25, 2019

B Leafs "The Horizon" (Album Stream)

No matter what part of the world your located, the line in the distance is always visible… where you’ll see the sun rise and set. After years of preparation, at last the sun rises on B Leafs debut album The Horizon. The Boston producer unites a who’s who of legendary MC’s and veterans, while placing the spotlight on some established and upcoming talent from around the Boston area. The line-up includes Raekwon, Elzhi, Large Pro, Cormega, Masta Ace, Paranom, Styles P, Crimeapple, and more. The Horizon is 100% produced by B Leafs, with engineering duties carried out by Lightfoot. 

March 24, 2019

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien "Press Kit" (1991)

How Funkee can one Homosapien be? "With clever rhymes and a humorous style, DEL tha funky homosapien is staking his claim on the hip hop scene, as well as reclaiming his home, on his debut single "Sleeping On My Couch (And I'm Tired of That)." Over a fat mid-tempo beat, funky horns and live piano riffs, Del orders his homies to stop freeloading at his crib, eating his food and playing his video games: "And you can save your crocodile tears / Don't even start with the sob stories / I got enough from the other seven brothers / In the den playing Genesis / Damn I can't win at this." With the Bridges of Funkenstein, former background singers for Parliment-Funkadelic, picking up the chorus, it's a sound that's straight up funk." Peep the visuals to the track, cont'd below...

"Hailing from Oaktown (Oakland, CA), Del's sound is distinctive from West Coast hip hop. Along with his crew, the HIEROGLYPHICS (Randy (DJ), Kwame, CM-PX, Bert, Kalif, and The Emperor), Del combines clever lyrics with an amusing, offbeat delivery. With Ice Cube and DJ Pooh at the helm, Del's production style combines 70's P-Funk with 90's hip hop to form a new sound that can only be described as "D-Funk." Although he's 18 years old, Del is definitely not a new jack. He co-wrote "Jackin' For Beats" and "Make Way For The Motherlode" for Yo-Yo. He also makes an appearance on Cube's Amerikkka's Most Wanted, calling in on a simulated radio talk show to say "F#ck the radio!" But radio most definitely will be funkin' with Del on the "Sleeping On My Couch," and the radio-friendly tracks from his soon to be released debut album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Street Knowledge/Elektra Entertainment), 'cause Del's too dope to ignore." - Press Kit, '91

Not to gloss over it, the press release (1991) confirms that Del co-wrote his cousin Ice Cube's "Jackin' For Beats," at the young age of 17-18. It's clear that Ice Cube doesn't need a ghostwriter, yet he threw Del work (for Cube and Yo-Yo), trusting that his pen was strong enough to write for one of the greatest lyricists of all-time and a true pioneer in music as a whole. That's as impressive a stat as you could ask from an artist that had yet to release their debut single. To repay the favor, I believe Ice Cube played a role in writing one of Del's break-out tracks, "Dr. Bombay," also on I Wish My Brother George Was Here. They kept the money in the family! Watch the visuals below...

The original press release, as well as the Dr. Bombay one-sheet are below.

March 23, 2019

Eddie Ill & D.L. "Scenes Of The Underworld" (Mixtape, 1998)

When we talk about CLASSIC underground mixtapes, Eddie Ill & D.L. must be in the conversation. Always reppin' the best of independent, underground hip-hop, their double cassette tape release, "Scenes of the Underworld," has been championed since its release in 1998. The mix tape features cuts from Mr. Complex, Pumpkinhead, What? What? (Jean Grae), Basement Khemist, El Da Sensei, 7L & Esoteric, Brooklyn Academy, Choclair, Consequence, Saukrates, Craig G, Rasco, J-Treds, Medina Green, Lord Digga, Jigmastas, Thrust, High & Mighty, Lootpack, Missing Linx, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Dynasty, Ran Reed, Black Star, I.G. Off & Hazardous, Freddie Foxxx, Godfather Don, Screwball, B1, Company Flow, Masterminds and, somehow, even more! This takes me back to a time in NY that was very special to me. Dig in the archives for more... thanks to DC Avery for the updated audio below.

March 22, 2019

DJ Melo-D "God Lives Through" (Tribute To Phife, 2016)

Beat Junkies' DJ, Melo-D, does a special tribute to Phife Dawg in honor of the fallen MC. Phife Dawg, 1/4 of one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups of all-time, A Tribe Called Quest, passed away on March 22, 2016 due to complications from diabetes. In the mix of things, I didn't post this tribute when it was released in 2016, but the music lives on, God Lives Through, and our shoutouts and deepest condolences remain to Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Jarobi; Phife's family and all the fans around the world! On a personal note, today also marks the one-year anniversary of my mother's passing. Somehow, this celebration of the life of Phife Dawg also provides a slight respite and a soundtrack to days when this pain and loss doesn't hit me as hard. Listen along with me below...

March 21, 2019

Happy Born Day, Large Professor! (Mix CD, 2002)

In celebration of Large Professor's born day today, I'm posting up this promotional mix CD (originally a radio set) that was released in 2002 ahead of Large Pro's 1st Class album by Matador Records. DJ Crossphader and Mista Sinista collaborated on the mix, running through classics from Large Pro's catalog as a solo artist and a member of Main Source, as well as remixes and Extra P's production. One of the greatest MC/Producers in hip-hop history and our culture's greatest dot connector... Large Pro is the bridge connecting numerous artists, and facilitating countless collaborations over the years. Happy Born Day to the Extra P! Peep the retrospective mix below...

March 20, 2019

J Dilla "Ruff Draft" (Reckless Driving Citation, 2007)

Originally released in 2003, J. Dilla’s Ruff Draft was a limited edition vinyl release for UK based imprint, Mummy Records. Selling out almost overnight, this lost chapter in the Yancey legacy was unheard by most of his fans - not only because of its limited edition nature, but also because of its vinyl only status. Now, in honor of the 1-year anniversary of his death, Stones Throw gives Ruff Draft an official release, with all new bells and whistles. Ruff Draft was a turning point in the production of J. Dilla, as it was the first project to show a side of the producer that would eventually come to fruition on Donuts. His Beat Generation entry, Welcome To Detroit, offered a mere glimpse of his true dirty district style, but Ruff Draft went full speed ahead with it. “Sound like it’s straight from the mu’fuckin’ cassette” hollers Dilla at the beginning of the album. Just like Donuts, upon first listen, it’s hard to understand what the fuss is about, as Dilla’s style here is so grimy that one can barely grab a hold of it. It’s on the consecutive listens that the hypnotic backwards daze of “Nothing Like This” sinks into your consciousness... Dilla’s production is so dope, that even the “Intro” and “Shouts” - which would be typically skipped by listeners - keep the head-nodding all night long. The addition of a second instrumental disc in Stones Throw’s new treatment of Ruff Draft makes this package even more appealing. Much of the time is spent more on the vocal side of things, as Dilla “keeps it ghetto with the plastic cups”, flexing his skills as both vocalist and producer... Several references are made to A Tribe Called Quest all over the record which is fitting, since they helped introduce Dilla into the game on the Beats Rhymes and Life LP. Or perhaps this is Dilla’s answer to The Low End Theory, another record that defied expectation and changed the way hip-hop music was made. Either way, whether you are hearing this record for the first time after his death, or are revisiting it, Ruff Draft is another fine example of what a marvel J. Dilla was, not to mention what a tremendous loss that hip-hop faced with his death. - HipHopSite 

Stones Throw ran a bunch of L.A. parking ticket lookalikes and ticketed people outside Ruff Draft listening parties in Spring 2007. They were a citation for "Reckless Driving" and boasted a Warning: "Bumping this in your ride may subject motor vehicle to seizure." I believe they were later included in the Turn It Up box sets with other promotional items. You can check it out below. R.I.P. J Dilla.

March 19, 2019

D. Brash & Big Ghost Ltd "Chicaghost" (Album Stream)

"You might be wondering WHO THE F#CK IS D BRASH? forreal.. But then again a lot of y'all wondered the exact same thing bout a lot of other cats I may have helped introduce to ya little iTunes playlists or helped bring some shine to in general nahmean.. I aint here to try to leech off of a buzz somebody already got happening on they own... I dont struggle n strive to get some major placements on some big name artist projects neither... I dont network or rub elbows or pitch ideas or none of that industry savvy shit. I dont got no 5 year plan or a dream board... I peeped The Secret n flipped thru The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People once maybe but if Im keepin it a red 100 emoji wit yall... I just think the way irresponsible yet creatively inspired people do most times. Most truly artistic mfs dont really got the best handle on shit like “schedules” or “deadlines” or “obligations” cuz we operate on different algorithms from the rest of society... At the end of the day mfs just wanna create shit n share it wit the world. Some gon dig it n some won’t.. But we continue to create either way." - Big Ghost Ltd. Dig into his latest offering, Chicaghost, below...

March 18, 2019

DJ Riz & DJ Eclipse "The Halftime Show" (March 18, 1998)

Taking it back to March 18, 1998... this is DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz at The Halftime Show on 89.1, WNYU. They ran through a bunch of underground gems that night. You'll hear tracks from Big Kwam, Dilated Peoples, Gang Starr, Dynasty, Showbiz & AG, Mood, Nightbreed, All Natural, Das EFX, Laster, Numskullz, Missin' Linx, Black Attack, DJ Honda, Thrust, X-Ecutioners, Jigmastas, Canibus, Network Reps, Consequence, Raidermen, Siah & Yeshua DapoED, Eminem, Juice, and more! Eclipse and Riz have always played that raw, underground shit. Listen to a great show, compliments of DJ Eclipse...

March 17, 2019

Elcamino "Don't Eat The Fruit" (Album Stream)

Upstate New York is on the rise! With Griselda Records taking over the game, artists like Elcamino, Eto, and 38 Spesh have been cooking up plenty of heat themselves. Today, it’s Elcamino’s time to shine with the release of his new album, Don’t Eat the Fruit. A follow-up to last year’s Walking On Water, the album is locked and loaded with 12 tracks–including “Venice Beach” with Benny the Butcher–and comes equipped with features from Conway, Crimeapple, and Meyhem Lauren. - 2DBZ.

March 16, 2019

DJ Agile "Toronto Loves Jay" (Mixtape, 2009)

In 2009, Agile released the mixtape Toronto Love Jay, which was dedicated to the late producer J Dilla. It won the award for Mixtape of the Year at the 2009 Stylus DJ Awards. The tracks included in the mix are by, or inspired by, James Yancey aka Jay Dee aka J Dilla. "DJ Agile blends some of his lesser-known joints and tracks he obviously influenced with a curiously refreshing short attention span and vocal drops from Toronto musicians describing the influence of J. Dilla on their music." Rest In Peace, Dilla. Tracks featuring Q-Tip, Skyzoo, Slum Village, DJ Spinna, Phonte of Little Brother, Dwele, Black Spade, Daru Jones, Black Milk, and lots more. Do yourself a favor and dig in below...

March 15, 2019

The Notorious B.I.G. x Irn Mnky "The Life Of Castro"

UK producer Irn Mnky has released a remix tape of his production and vocals from The Notorious B.I.G., and it's actually a solid project! I know we can't just leave well enough alone and there are tons of Biggie tapes because he was such a beloved figure in hip-hop, but I sense this was a labor of love, and it works! The project is available on cassettes, CDs and of course, on stream below - I can't promise Puff and 'em won't come snatch this off the web, so listen now... R.I.P. Biggie Smalls.

March 14, 2019

Willie The Kid, Eto & V Don "Heather Grey" (EP Stream)

Willie The Kid, Eto and V Don — over the last few years these three names have been spotted together on countless bodies of work, with Grand Rapids iconic MC releasing the successful collaborations "Deutsche Marks" and "Blue Notes" with Harlem's producer over the last couple of years and the 2nd having his baptism of fire with "Omertà: The Film", a masterpiece that made one of the most interesting MC's around over the last few years. On every one of their records you could find the other's name, and finally they have teamed up for a collaboration EP that will leave its mark. The chemistry within the three is seamless and you won't be skipping a track! Dig into it...

March 13, 2019

DJ Muggs & Eto "Hell's Roof" (Album Stream)

Hell’s Roof is a 12-song album by DJ Muggs and Eto, which uses haunting samples, dense drums, and introspective rhymes to paint a dark story about life in a city that ranks among the poorest in the country. According to a census poll, 33% of Rochester’s residents currently live in poverty and a staggering 50% of children live below the poverty line, putting Rochester in the Top 10 poorest cities in the USA. With poverty reaching epidemic levels, residents turn to life on the streets as a solution, the same space where Eto has honed his skills. The collision of the legendary West Coast producer and the young roughneck spitter creates a powerful sound on HELL’S ROOF. Listen below...

March 12, 2019

Nas & AZ "Built To Last" (Mix)

The latest tribute from the Built To Last crew is their Nas & AZ mix aka Supreme Team. The mix delivers 42 minutes with some of the finest cuts from two of the best emcees to ever touch the mic. As Nas' sole feature on Illmatic, AZ blessed "Life's A Bitch" and the two emcees have been connected ever since. 'Built To Last' Radio Show is hosted by Corrado and I Joe, each Thursday from 8-9pm on Radio campus FM in Toulouse, France. Enjoy the mix below and celebrate great emcees!

March 12, 2019

De La Soul "Interview At Hofsta University" (P5 Show, 1989)

Here we have a rare interview of De La Soul on Hofstra University's P5 Show (Post Punk Progressive Pop Party) with the much respected host, Jeff Foss. The interview was done around the release of their debut album 3 Feet High & Rising and they debuted the song "Tread Water" on the show. It's interesting to hear them mention that Tommy Boy had offered $500-1000 to anyone who could guess the identify of the singer in the original sample for "Plug Tunin" as well as the name of the record and the label it was released on. Allegedly, no one ever guessed it - this is pre-internet, lol. As you may have heard Jeff Foss passed away last year, so I want to send my condolences to his family. I attended Hofstra University as a freshman in '96, stayed on campus too. I was born and raised out in Queens, which is technically on Long Island, but it often felt like another world. I saw Boot Camp Clik perform live there and of course, I knew of DJ Riz who worked with Jeff Foss and was also an athlete at the school years prior. This audio falls short of an actual interview, it's just a small snippet, but I've been meaning to send my condolences and the audio intrigued me enough to share so, thanks to Links763 for the upload. Do you know the sample?

March 11, 2019

Recognize Ali & Icon Curties "Ghost Protocol" (EP Stream)

Recognize Ali joins forces with Italian producer Icon Curties for this latest effort, Ghost Protocol. The short EP features just 5 brief tracks with appearances by Eto and Bio/B. If you enjoyed Icon Curties production album Modus Operandi - which you should have - you will enjoy this as a small follow-up to that release and Ali's growing catalog. You can stream the EP below, check it out! 

March 10, 2019

DJ Smooth Denali "Biggie Smalls Is The Illest" (Mixtape)

Biggie Smalls Is The Illest is not only a lyric, nor just the title of this mix; it's a damn fact! Every time I hear a tribute mix to the late Notorious B.I.G., I think to myself "damn, he was just 24 when he passed!" What a f#cking shame! There's no filler in his catalog, no fluff; not a ton of demo versions for tracks left on the cutting room floor... but, the same part of me that mourns his death, celebrates his life because he truly was the illest. I'm thankful that he released "Life After Death," because the range he showed on that album told me all I needed to know about what he was truly capable of in music. Sure, Ready To Die is my favorite of the two projects, but Life After Death was a glimpse at a future we never got to see through B.I.G.'s eyes. DJ Smooth Denali adds his unique spin on a tribute to the late great with some blends, album cuts, unheard versions, remixes, and original samples from B.I.G.'s short - but classic - catalog! R.I.P., Biggie Smalls. Listen to it below...

March 09, 2019

DJ Soul "THINK B.I.G." (Mix, 2017)

On March 10, 2017, DJ Soul recorded a tribute mix for The Notorious B.I.G. mix on Q-Tip's Beats1 radio show, "Abstract Radio." The mix consists of all original material that B.I.G. recorded when he was alive - demos, freestyles, B-sides, original version of album cuts, singles as well as original samples. It's roughly two hours long and was released today by DJ Soul. You can't go wrong with another Biggie mix, so click play and enjoy one of the best to ever do it.... Rest In Peace, B.I.G.

March 08, 2019

Gang Starr "Hard To Earn" (25th Ann. Mix by Filthy Rich)

From DJ Filthy Rich, "DJ Premier & Guru (R.I.P.), the duo more popularly known as Gang Starr, released their 4th album 'Hard To Earn' on March 8, 1994. Tired of being labeled as 'jazz-rap', Preemo decided to move away from sampling jazz records, and instead opted for a stripped down style of production. The result was a raw, harder hitting sound, and arguably their best album ever. 'Hard To Earn' is near & dear to me, so I had to get back in the lab and record this 25-year tribute to this legendary album. I've gathered their hits, album cuts & b-sides, and combined them with some original samples, interview soundbites, and my own custom blends. ARTWORK by @tooncrew"

March 07, 2019

Flatpocket "Dispo II Dispo" (Instrumental Album)

Twit One and Lazy Jones are the German production duo Flatpocket, and their latest beat tape is called Dispo II Dispo, which translates to "Overdraft to Overdraft" in English. It serves as a follow-up to their 2012 debut album "Geldfundphantasyen," which means "Finding Money Fantasies" in German. According to their press release, "Even though Flatpocket talk about money all the time through samples and made-up dialogues, the subject is actually the rejection of materialism" from their perspective. A mix of dope breaks, vocal chops, keys and more; it has a couple light features sprinkled in to make it a continuously dope and entertaining listen. My sleeper choice, listen below...

March 06, 2019

Beanie Sigel "Public Enemy #1" (Mixtape, 2004)

In 2004, Beanie Sigel and DJ Green Lantern collaborated on an exclusive mixtape entitled Public Enemy #1. The mix tape was uploaded to DatPiff and set the internet ablaze ahead of the blog bubble. The mix features numerous freestyles from Beans and a few features from fellow State Property members, Oschino, Peedi Crakk, Omillio Sparks, Young Chris and more. Easily one of the more classic artist mixtapes to be released in the mid-2000s. Years later, there was the release of Still Public Enemy #1, the highly acclaimed follow-up. Beans been one of the nicest since the first time he touched the mic, revisit this dope mixtape below, and wish him a Happy Born Day! Listen in...

March 06, 2019

RZA "The RZA Hits" (Press Kit, 1999)

"Razor Sharp / Epic presents The RZA Hits, fourteen ear-melting highlights from the everlasting Wu-Tang legacy. Compiled here for hip-hop fiends, clueless non-believers, Wu completists and rap newcomers are some of the most memorable cuts out of the Clan compound. The RZA Hits offers living proof of the power, magnitude and influence the RZA and his cohorts have had on hip-hop since they burst from the underground back in 1992. Sprinkled with engaging narration courtesy of the RZA, the RZA Hits extracts from six entries in the mighty Wu-Tang group/solo album catalog: their classic debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers); Method Man's Tical; Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version; Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx; GZA's Liquid Swords, and Ghostface Killah's Ironman." - via Razor Sharp/Epic Press Release/Press Kit, 1999. 

Of all the classic cuts included, the only track not produced by the RZA is "Brooklyn Zoo," which was done by True Master & Ol' Dirty Bastard. The compilation was released in 1999, and aside from maybe "Wu Wear" and "Winter Warz," which was snuck on Ironman after the Don't Be A Menace soundtrack, any real head been had all these cuts. But, if you need an excuse to revisit these many classic cuts, today I'd start with "Ain't Nuttin Ta F Wit" below and fall down the YouTube rabbit hole. 

March 05, 2019

Thrust "Past, Present, Future" (EP, Reissue)

"Christopher “Thrust” France (born July 8, 1976) may be best remembered for his verse on the Rascalz classic, DJ Kemo produced “Northern Touch“, featuring Canadian notables Choclair and Kardinal Offishall. But his legacy stretches much further than a dope 12” or a couple of popular music videos. Living in Toronto – Thrust’s home and arguably the center of mainstream “urban” culture in Canada – it’s clear that the man’s incredibly popular. Little known fact: Thrust appeared in a 1990 Kids in the Hall skit (he was 15 at the time) and for the past few years, he has served as a music instructor, teaching hip hop production (as well as the occasional history lesson) at Harris College. He is probably the youngest Canadian hip hop artist to date and gained much of his hip hop identity from the source – summers in New York City circa late ‘80s-early-‘90s. With the exception of some pioneers: Michie Mee, Maestro, Dream Warriors and a handful of others, few in Canada were making rap music or breaking into the U.S. market, getting radio play or making a living on it. In the days before broadband and before everybody and their best-friend’s homie rapped or made beats, hip hop in Canada only played on a few select radio stations across the country. This is the environment where Thrust came up in, which makes him a significant figure – even if you can’t name one of his albums." Thrust's "Past, Present, Future" EP was originally released in 1995. It is now being re-issued on vinyl and CD from Smoke On Records. The limited edition copies can be purchased HERE. Additionally, click HERE for a nice video interview with Thrust for more info.

The hype sticker on the original vinyl EP from '95...

March 04, 2019

Blu x Oh No "A Long Red Hot LA Summer Night" (Album Stream)

The work of acclaimed L.A. rapper Blu is a hip-hop time capsule perfectly embodying the vibrant culture of the City of Angels. With no signs of slowing down, the talented artist continues to supply listeners with vivid lyrical imagery over exceptional production. The latest addition to his catalog is A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night, a new album entirely produced by Oh No. The son of singer Otis Jackson and younger brother of beat god Madlib, Oh No has been among the most consistently relevant artists on the independent hip-hop scene since the release of his influential debut album 15 years ago. Now, these two unique and innovative artists are joining forces for an impressive full-length album. With Oh No’s dynamic, soulful production setting the stage, Blu’s effortless flows and streetwise storytelling are on full display. The LP features guest appearances from Abstract Rude, MED, Self Jupiter, Ca$hus King, and more. Listen to the album below...

(Bonus) Update: check out this exclusive Oh No beat set with Blu...

March 03, 2019

Rome Streetz & Futurewave "Headcrack" (Album Stream)

Toronto beatsmith Futurewave has outdone himself again by cooking up new product with Brooklyn eMCee Rome Streetz. Separately, these guys were knocking out some of the best bodies of work in 2018. Now, the Wav.God and the Bad Influenyce powerhouse have joined forces to present their first full length project, Headcrack. Known to keep it as grimey as possible in their respective lanes, this collaboration between the duo is the ultimate serve up of raw Hip Hop indulgence. - Hipnotik1

March 02, 2019

DJ Tiger "Notorious BIG Meets Cypress Hill" (Mixtape)

DJ Tiger of Full Blast Radio has put together another ill mash-up/blend tape. This go 'round, he takes instrumentals from Cypress Hill and mashes them with vocals from the late Notorious B.I.G. The mix features 16 tracks that are sure to give new energy to these classic verses from Biggie. Say less, listen to Notorious BIG Meets Cypress Hill below... Props to DJ Tiger and Full Blast Radio.

March 01, 2019

Kool G Rap & Nas "Fast Life" (DJ Step One Blend)

"...But dough don't respect me, it got me handcuffed 
The rough life, I just be up nights, breathin' with scuffed Nike's 
Pour my beers for my peoples under the stairs 
These years I got they names in my swears..."
- Nas (Kool G Rap's "Fast Life")

There may be no Nas without Kool G Rap, but it's visual lyrics like the bars above that make Nas consistently one of my favorite MCs of all-time. I'm on record saying Kool G Rap is one of the greatest lyricists of our generation, no question, but conceptually, he's lost me a few times over the years, so I'm glad Nas was there to pick up the torch. Just one man's opinion. Back to '95, here's a dope blend using Kool G Rap & Nas' "Fast Life" lyrics over K-Def & Larry-O (aka Real Live)'s "Larry-O Meets Iceberg Slick." Props to Step One & DJ Filthy Rich! You can check out more blends on Audiomack, more mixes via Mixcloud, and DJ Step One's site that has been flourishing for years at Only Built For ZShare Links. Opinion: do you think Buckwild's original production on "Fast Life" was the best fit for the track? Or, the Salaam Remi remix? Or, the Vinyl Reanimators remix? Or... ?