August 31, 2019

DJ Eclipse & Marley Marl "In Control Meets Outta Control" (2015)

DJ Eclipse shared this message along with the audio, "I had the pleasure of hosting an "In Control Meets Outta Control" 3 hour episode on "Rap Is Outta Control". In the late 80s Marley Marl had one of the hottest shows on air with his "In Control" radio show which also featured DJs Kevy Kev, Pete Rock and Clark Kent. Part of the reason I even named my show "RIOC" was to pay tribute to Marley and his show (and show how far music has changed since then). Kev and I had been trying to plan this show for a minute, but scheduling always was an issue. Luckily we were able to pull it off this night with everyone (minus Clark Kent). I even had DJ Premier come through to help rep "RIOC" since he fills in for me a bit while I'm out of town. I played new stuff while everyone else repped joints from the heyday of "In Control". Not even going to list time stamps because you need to listen to this all the way through. The music is great, but the stories are priceless!" (12/27/15). 

August 30, 2019

Vitamin D "Momma's Basement" (Album Stream)

"This album is a tribute to my old neighborhood (The CD) and a description of how it was when I lived in my mom's basement. I employed a lot of the production methods that I used in the late 80's when I 1st started messing around with records and samplers. You may notice skips, clips, things going off time or the fact that most of this stuff is not on a tempo grid. This is intentional. I allowed the same mistakes I made when I was 1st learning how to do this. Even used a hand held on a couple songs. It felt good to be this free. I hope you can feel the love. Enjoy!" - TallHomey 

August 29, 2019

Junior M.A.F.I.A. "Conspiracy" (Press Kit, 1995)

It can easily be said that (because of the Notorious B.I.G.), nearly every Hip-Hop head is aware of the Junior M.A.F.I.A., but ironically, most of these same people have never heard or seen them. For those not in the know, these two constantly repeated words on various record shout-outs and at Rap shows evoke thoughts of something large, powerful, and even dangerous. Junior M.A.F.I.A. actually stands for Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes and is a tight-knit click based out of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY. All members are apprentices in microphone destruction under the careful guidance of Rap's newest dons, and their childhood homie, The Notorious B.I.G. While in pursuit of stardom, B.I.G. always maintained that his close extended family of peoples would one day share the spotlight with him. A short time later, he has kept his word by introducing Junior M.A.F.I.A. to the world. JM can also be viewed as a specific lifestyle in which young people have control of their destiny. Although they are all around the same age category, B.I.G. is their undisputed leader, and likewise, he urges them to become leaders in the future. "We admire B.I.G. for taking us up from the street with him. He didn't have to do it. You gotta give him props for that" states Klepto. (Cont'd...)

The two most appealing aspects of JM (other than their slammin' sounds) is that the crew is not older than the age of twenty and is divided into four separate acts. Each of the four different personalities result in the hardcore 11 track bomb self-titled debut album on Undeas Entertainment/Big Beat/Atlantic Records. 666 (a.k.a. The Sixes) is comprised of Little Ceasar, Chico, and Nino Brown. They could be best described as the mischievous side of B.I.G., but in the end they know right from wrong and practice it. The Snakes are the no-joke duo of Trife and Larceny. They offer a flipside of the coin and represent the enraged, deadly attitude of an alarming number of Amerikkka's youth. Solo MC Klepto lives up to his name and delivers no holds barred lyrical matter that deals primarily in his constant escapades of boostin' and hustling. 4'7" female MC Little Kim (a.k.a. Big Momma) functions as the lieutenant for JM. She provides the all-too-rare view of ghetto life from a young female teenager's perspective caught amid the insanity around her. In describing the make up on Junior M.A.F.I.A., The Snakes' Trife has this to offer, "JM is simply everyone in the crew hitting you from a different angle trying to get their point across whether in shootin' or mackin'." ... Although The Notorious B.I.G. makes his presence felt on "Player's Anthem," as well as three more songs on the album, don't make the mistake of sleeping on the rest of the troop's skill. Album highlights include Little Kim's "Backstabbers" and "F#ck B!tches, Get Money", Klepto's "Oh My Lord" and The Snakes' "White Chalk." In addition to Clark Kent, producers Daddy-O, and DJ Akshun also contribute more flava to the project making this self-titled debut one of the most exciting and intriguing debut Hip-Hop albums of the year. - Press Kit, 1995. Conspiracy was released on 8/29/95.

August 28, 2019

Book Of Rhymes Podcast: Royal Flush (Episode 10)

Book of Rhymes is a brand new podcast, hosted by Donwill of Tanya Morgan and executive produced by Classic Material and Mika (Fat Beats alumni!). After successful episodes with Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, Benny The Butcher, Marco Polo & Masta Ace, Pharoahe Monch, Mic Geronimo and more, the Book of Rhymes podcast is back with episode 10 featuring another MC out of Queens, Royal Flush. They talk about growing up Queens and meeting Mic Geronimo, stories about how he created his album Ghetto Millionaire, and of course the infamous lyric breakdown...

August 27, 2019

Chief Rock x Sneadr "The Raw Grain" (Instrumental EP)

Italian producer Chief Rock and Dutch producer Sneadr have joined forces to collaborate on The Raw Grain, a 7-track EP that features hard-hitting boombap instrumentals made with an Akai S950 and MPC2000XL. Two of the instrumentals were made in collaboration with Ness One on the saxophone. Dig into this nostalgic sound immediately, and look out for their vinyl release. Enjoy...

August 26, 2019

RJ Payne "Square Root of a Kilo" (Album Stream)

RJ Payne returns with his latest offering, Square Root of a Kilo. Out the gate, the intro boasts co-signs from Pharoahe Monch, Lord Finesse, Mathematics, Buckwild, Doo Wop and more. Production is handled by Daringer, DJ Shay, PA Dre, Vettrax, B!nk, Rushmore Muzic and others. Dope to hear Elzhi on here, as well, as its clear RJ Payne is standing next to some of the best lyricists to show he's a student of the game that's next to make his presence felt. Don't sleep on RJ Payne, listen below...

August 25, 2019

Lauryn Hill "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" (August 25, 1998)

This former Fugee had the world in the palm of her slender brown hand with the release of her solo debut, never letting anyone forget: This is hip hop. The formidable lyricist with the raspy voice of an angel delicately fused R&B, reggae, and hip hop into one powerful, cohesive piece of work. (Vibe, 9/04). The songs on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill are mostly about her growth as an individual. In Billboard, she said "Every time I got hurt, every time I was disappointed, every time I learned, I just wrote a song." On February 24, 1999, Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill became the first-ever hip-hop album to win the Grammy for album of the year. Lauryn Hill earned a record-breaking total of ten Grammy nominations, five of which she won. At the time, L-Boogie's five Grammy wins set a record for the most Grammys ever to win in one year for a female artist. She performed her song "To Zion" with Carlos Santana during the awards. On the 20th anniversary (last year), Goodie Mobb shared a letter to Ms. Hill via Spotify, saying "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was a breath of fresh air, especially coming from a female MC's point of view. As you also paid homage to Dr. Carter G. Woodson's book The Mis-Education of the Negro, we knew that the impact of this album would definitely stand the test of time." It has stood the test of time, revisit it below.

In 2015, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was inducted into the Library of Congress. "By preserving these recordings, we safeguard the words, sounds and music that embody who we are as people and a nation," said the Library's curator, James H. Billington. Also included was the following message: "Lauryn Hill’s debut solo record, following the breakup of the Fugees, is a work of honesty in which Hill explores her feelings on topics that included the deep wonder of pregnancy, the pitfalls of modern relationships and the experience of the sacred. The album effortlessly fuses soul, rhythm and blues, rap and reggae. Hill’s vocal range, smooth clear highs and vibrato are stunning. The rapping is rhythmically compelling while always retaining, and frequently exploiting, the natural cadences of conversational speech. Standout guest performances include Carlos Santana’s soulful acoustic guitar solo on “Zion,” and duets with Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo on “I Used to Love Him” and “Nothing Even Matters,” respectively." Lauryn Hill's album was released on August 25, 1998. 

August 24, 2019

Tha Alkaholiks "21 & Over" (August 24, 1993)

As the name suggests, The Alkaholiks have never quite got over the wonders of drinking. 'Mary Jane' is (surprise!) an ode to the wonders of weed, but the remainder of '21 & Over' is hip-hop with a cracking hangover, brimming with the delights of non-stop speakeasy boozing. 'Only When I'm Drunk' finds them in late night never again-mode ("One too many I reckon, feeling I could hurl any second"), 'Last Call' is full of funky chest beating bravado ("I don't drink and drive 'cos I might spill my drink!"). Wise words. Eight years of LA nightlife (as well as tours with the likes of Ice Cube, BDP and King Tee) will ensure that the Alkaholiks slick LL Cool J-esque raps get plenty of attention, but their peculiar obsession with legal drinking (21 is the required drinking age in most US states) seems faintly ridiculous in the light of 'Black Sunday''s dope-fuelled chaos. The only point at which the Alkaholiks seem to remember that the bar they're slumped in is in LA is on the final 'Who Dem N!@@as' where the mood swings into a more frantic sprawl of urban rap fury. Otherwise they could be anywhere, half-cut and short on things to say, but never tired of saying them. - Hip Hop Connection (October, 1993). 21 & Over was released on August 24, 1993. Listen to the LP below...

Below is their original promo Alkaholiks kit, ads, and the review in HHC ...

August 23, 2019

Little Brother "May The Lord Watch" (Album Stream)

May the Lord Watch is the fifth studio album from hip-hop duo Little Brother (Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte). The album is the duo's first album since 2010's Leftback release. The album's development secretly began in 2018, after Rapper Big Pooh, Phonte and 9th Wonder reunited during September's Art of Cool festival. However, this wasn't made public until shortly after Big Pooh and Phonte announced the group's reunion as a duo in May 2019. Like the previous album Leftback, there was no production input from 9th, who went onward from the group to embark on a solo career as a producer and CEO. Instead, the album was primarily produced by longtime collaborators and Soul Council members Nottz and Khrysis. Producers Black Milk, Focus..., Devin Morrison, Blaaq Gold, and even Phonte himself also contributed to the album's production. Sharing continuity with The Minstrel Show, the album's theme continues the running concept of a fictional television network called "UBN", which is a satire of stereotypical programs, advertisements, and pop-culture for African-Americans. In multiple interviews and podcasts - including the Premium Pete Show - it was revealed that 9th Wonder was originally supposed to be a part of the reunion album, under its original title Homecoming. The title was changed due to Beyonce releasing Homecoming: The Live Album to coincide with her concert film Homecoming. Phonte and Pooh decided to continue the project without 9th after several disagreements over beats and production on the album. - Wiki

August 22, 2019

KLIM Beats "My Favorite Vinyl" (Mix)

NineToFive Records has released this fine mix of over one hour of music - exclusively from vinyl and recorded in Kiev, Ukraine by their very own producer, KLIM Beats. He has been searching in his collection for his absolute favorite records and then put together a storyline with all of them just for us to hear some good soul, funk and jazzy songs. You can probably hear in some cases it's also material he's been using in his beats that they've released on the catalog. I've been following the production work and instrumental releases from KLIM Beats over the years and think he's a talented producer. I'm eager to dig into this mix and hear some of his favorite records and inspirations. Listen to the My Favorite Vinyl mix by KLIM, presented by NineToFive Records, below...

August 22, 2019

Rapsody "Eve" (Album Stream)

Eve is the third studio album from North Carolina's Rapsody. Each track on this 16-track release pays homage to influential black women, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Myrlie Evers, Aaliyah and more. The project features production and instrumentation from from 9th Wonder, Eric G., DJ Battlecat, Khrysis, Nottz, Terrace Martin and more. Eve also has vocal appearances from D'Angelo, GZA, Mereba, Elle Varner, JID, SiR, Queen Latifah and J. Cole. Empowering lyrics and strong production throughout, it is easily one of the more important Hip-Hop albums to be released in recent memory. I suspect it will be heavily championed and rightfully so. Please check it out below...

August 21, 2019

DJ Craig G "Sneekin' Up On That Ass III" (Mixtape, 1996)

This is the third (and final?) release in DJ Craig G's Sneekin' Up On That Ass mix tape series. It was released in 1996 and features tracks from Puff Daddy & The Family, Foxy Brown, Lil' Kim, Big L, The Firm, Babyface & Ghostface Killah, Redman, Jeru The Damaja, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Mobb Deep, Dr. Dre, The Notorious B.I.G., O.G.C., Big Noyd, Mase, and more + an ill freestyle from Cormega. Listen below...

August 20, 2019

Blu x Damu The Fudgemunk "Ground & Water" (Album Stream)

With Ground & Water, Blu and Damu The Fudgemunk have released yet another standout project as part of their already-incredibly noteworthy catalogues. But this time, they’ve done it together. After collaborating in different ways over the years, the two joined forces for a release that’s every bit as dope as you’d hope considering who’s involved. From the Los Angeles rapper’s tight-as-ever rhymes to the Washington, D.C. native’s crunchy production, Ground & Water captures exactly why Blu and Damu are so revered. For Damu, that meant diving into the storied discography of his new partner-in-rhyme. While the producer always thought highly of the emcee’s talents, he says he realized that Blu’s much greater than people give him credit for. The story is one that treads personal, introspective territory that Blu delivers like only he can. The project, whose stunning artwork is designed by the legendary Joe Buck will also be available in the coming weeks on vinyl, CD and cassette, through Redefinition Records. Give Ground & Water a thorough listen below...

August 19, 2019

Recognize Ali "Underground King" (Album Stream)

Recognize Ali's third release this year is "Underground King." A 16-track effort, which features appearances by Vinnie Paz, Lyric Jones, Tristate, Skyzoo, Born Unique, Milano Constantine, Tragedy Khadafi, Big Ghost Ltd. and more. I'm not familiar with all the producers on the record, but they came with solid beats and all the MCs matched its intensity. It's got real mixshow appeal. Listen...

August 18, 2019

Me & Styles P (An Interview From 2009)

About 10 years ago, I had the honor of chopping it up on the phone with Styles P for an interview. It was around the time Jada was dropping “The Last Kiss,” because we talked a bit about that album, but it wasn’t a promo thing, just two guys discussing Hip-Hop. Right off the bat, he made his position clear, saying, “I'm a blue collar MC.” He was proud (and reflective) on the fact that he was alive, and that he was more than "relevant" in a culture that’s been holding him down since 1995. I asked him to help me understand better what “The Ghost” meant to him - he paused and said, “being in the zone; a different space; having an open mind towards things that others don’t; using your third eye; a feeling of being here before and knowing you are gonna be here later” and while it wasn’t necessarily crystal clear, I understood that he was speaking to a duality that represents the man he is in life and in music. To a degree, that feeling of being a Gangster & a Gentleman.

There was a calmness about him, but there wasn’t a point where I'd lost sight of the fact that this was one of the hardest living eMCees in Hip-Hop. When the conversation shifted to image and the youth, he was quick to shoot them bail and say he was proud and happy for anyone to be able to make a living and feed their family. But, he added "It’s upsetting also that they don't know that rap is also Hip-Hop.” That’s an important distinction he was making. “They think they are just in the rap industry and they don't have the slightest idea of their past, the history, or how they are supposed to be an MC.” In the end, however, he remained optimistic, “You’ve just gotta stick to your guns and do what you do best. It's people like you - who are asking me these questions and love this real hip-hop shit - that lets me know the whole world ain't f#cking crazy, so I'm alright!” A legend and an OG, Styles P closed it out by advising artists to maintain a solid work ethic, and brought it full circle because as a blue collar MC, he leads by example. Go check out his Juices For Life company and support all his efforts: podcasts, mixtapes, albums, live shows, etc! Final words from Styles P...

August 17, 2019

DJ 4our 5ive "Pete Rock & CL Smooth: Makings Of You" (Mixtape)

I vaguely remember having the cassette version of DJ 4our 5ive's The Makings of You, which is a tribute to the legendary duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth. The mix tape features classic group cuts, a brief interview with Sway, and some featured production work from Pete Rock with INI, Public Enemy, Grand Puba, Run DMC, Big L, Method Man, Wu-Tang and Prodigy, plus more! I was a fan of DJ 4our 5ive's GZA and 2Pac mix tapes and I believe I've posted up his Nas and Biggie tapes, too.

August 16, 2019

DJ P-Sol & Neil Nice "Ladies First" (90s Hip-Hop Tribute Mix)

Beats, rhymes and life... a celebration of women in hip-hop, on the art of the mixtape tip featuring MCs like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Yo-Yo, Left Eye, Nefertiti, Patra, Lauryn Hill, Bahamadia, Nonchalant, Heather B, Paula Perry, The Lady Of Rage, Lin Que, Precise, Treep, Mama Mystique, Apani B-Fly Emcee, Helixx, K-Swift, Mecca Star, Jean Grae aka What What, Nikki D, Ladybug Mecca, Ninety-9, Mary J Blige and Monie Love. Original design and illustration by Andrea Pascual. Listen...

August 15, 2019

The Custodian of Records "The Sampler Platter" (Album Stream)

NJ producer The Custodian Of Records has released his latest record, The Sampler Platter. The 17-track offering features Chuck N Lock, Flashius Clayton, Daniel Son, Sleep Sinatra, Gun Dola, Estee Nack, Fla-Fla (of Sparrow The Movement), Milano, and more. The project also comes with several instrumental tracks. I believe this is may be a digital-only release. Peep The Sampler Platter below...

August 14, 2019

Marlon Craft "Funhouse Mirror" (Album Stream)

"Marlon Craft, live from Hell’s Kitchen, New York, raps for truth. In 2019, with the release of his debut album, Funhouse Mirror, Marlon has fully transitioned from an up-and-comer rapping to prove he belongs, into a comfortable, confident artist working from a deeply personal place.... Funhouse Mirror captures the need to be introspective to hit at outward, universal realities. Marlon tackles himself, but he also tackles systemic inequality. He addresses his loneliness while tackling toxic masculinity. Funhouse Mirror is both broad and insular, colored by incredible pops of jazz, blooming live instrumentation, and endless, spiraling flows. The record is bursting with ingenuity. Marlon is worldly and focused. It’s his best work to date." - DJBooth // Listen to Funhouse Mirror below...

August 13, 2019

DJ Filthy Rich "Creep Wit Me" (25th Anniversary Mix)

Here's the official Creep Wit Me 25th Anniversary Mix by DJ Filthy Rich - Hosted by Ill Al Skratch and featuring an exclusive song called 'Learn Today'. Filthy Rich adds, "When the sun's out and summer rolls around each year, there's a few things I gotta play... 'Summertime' by Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, Lost Boyz 'Lifestyles...' LP, and Ill Al Skratch's 'Creep Wit Me' album. The Brooklyn-Uptown connection of Mr. Rhaspy, Al Skratch (Washington Heights, NYC) and Big Ill The Mack (Flatbush, Brooklyn) effortlessly rhyme back and forth, dropping fun lyrics over dope beats (courtesy of producers LG The Experience & LoRider). On this mix you'll find their album cuts, some unreleased tracks, and my own custom blends." Check out their unique brand of laid back rhymes with a vaguely menacing edge, as they were originally described in their "Next" feature in Vibe Magazine back in '94. Listen to the DJ Filthy Rich mix below. Updated: New audio link added below...

August 12, 2019

Elzhi "Witness My Growth" (The Michigan Journal, 1/05)

Have you heard Elzhi's Witness My Growth project? "From the tip-off of the intro, Elzhi doesn’t just want you to acknowledge him as one half of Slum Village, but rather the emcee laying vocals in the basement with Waajeed circa 2000, the cat representing Fenkell Avenue, and the friend who cried when fellow rapper Bugz died. The majority of the 24 songs on this two-CD mixtape are not current, more like a lost tapes collection put together to show the evolution of Elzhi. Production from J. Dilla, Houseshoes, Nick Speed, Alchemist, Kareem Riggins and BR Gunna provide the right balance of raw and familiar melodies for Elzhi’s rapid-fire flow. Fellow Slummate T3 joins him to slay enemies on the gritty “Haters”; he gives props to the folks he grew with over a remixed version of Woudini’s classic “Friends”; and Dwele lends his vocals to the choral “All I want.” Big Tone, Yaknus and Detroit diva Rhian Benson also make cameos. Witness My Growth isn’t a bunch of moldy thrown-together tracks; instead it shows the eagerness of a young Elzhi taking baby steps forward — an anthology of work designed to tell a story." - Metro Times, 2/2/05. Dig into Witness My Growth...

Also, a dope feature article on Elzhi in the Michigan Journal, January 2005.

August 11, 2019

Professor P & DJ Akilles "Remember" (Album Stream)

Remember is the brand new 10-track LP from the Swedish duo Professor P and DJ Akilles. Big fan of their past work and have been really looking forward to this release, as well. They delivered yet again with insightful lyrics, classic vocal samples and sharp cuts over solid production. The LP features guest appearances by Lil Fame and Defari and has been released on 12" gold vinyl, packaged in a heavyweight gatefold sleeve. Don't lose sight of why we all fell in love with Hip-Hop in the first place, check out Remember with Professor P & DJ Akilles. Order the Remember LP HERE.

August 10, 2019

Tony Touch "Hip Hop 27: Hip Hop Heaven" (Mixtape, 1993)

Taking it back to 1993, this is Tony Touch's Hip Hop 27 aka Hip Hop Heaven. The mix tape features tracks from House of Pain, Diamond D, Lords of the Underground, Flavor Unit, Onyx, LL Cool J, Naughty By Nature, Da King & I, Brand Nubian, Da Youngsta's, Mobb Deep, Apache, Public Enemy, Special Ed, Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, Nice & Smooth, Kool G Rap, EPMD and more! Enjoy.

August 09, 2019

Gravediggaz "Six Feet Deep" (August 9, 1994)

Looking at it with rear-vision goggle it seems like the first Gravediggaz record would have been jocked unanimously when it hit in 1994. Just check it out on paper: produced by legendary super-producer and imagineer Prince Paul, joined by RZA, the late, great Poetic, and Stetsasonic heavyweight MC Frukwan. But it wasn't that way at all. In fact, when Paul first got this quartet together it was the exact opposite experience. "We were a bunch of misfits," Paul recalls... "It was a time when I felt like I had to prove myself, and I felt like I had to help the other guys prove themselves. People thought I had fallen off." The first spark for the Gravediggaz began in early 1992, after Paul's Dew Doo Man Records label fell through and after the luster for De La Soul's daisy age had, sadly, lost some shine in the public's eye. Paul started making "all these dark, sad, slow tracks. I knew I couldn't MC, so I needed to find some guys." (Too) Poetic was called first, since Paul had already been talking to him, hoping to sign him to Dew Doo Man. Poetic had been dropped from Tommy Boy previously, after recording an album that never saw the light of day. Next was RZA, another Tommy Boy reject. Finally, Paul called upon Frukwan (aka Fruitkwan), an old associate from the way-back days in Paul's first crew of note: Stetsasonic. The Gravediggaz name was agreed upon and the concept fit quite easily over Paul's macabre sounds. A death-defying demo was done by late 1992, but "I shopped that demo for a year and nobody would bite," Paul says. "It was literally a week before the time I was going to give up and John Baker at Gee Street came through." Cont'd...

Although the group was two years old by the time their brilliant, cadever-infested debut 6 Feet Deep came out in summer of 1994, a bit of serendipity helped these misfits to get more ears to their sound. In the convening years, a little group called the Wu-Tang Clan had blown up. RZA was the production mastermind behind Wu-Tang, but Gravediggaz was all Paul, and a point can most certainly be made that RZA's apprenticeship under Paul served him well in making Enter The 36 Chambers. But "when it came to Gravediggaz," Paul says, "RZA was more about lyrics" ... Paul continues, "People didn't know whether they should take it serious or whether we was buggin', or if it was a gimmick. Donahue or somebody back then wanted us on their show because somebody's son tried to commit suicide and they wanted to blame it on our record [1-800-SUICIDE]. He adds... "To me it was about the music and the rhyming." Over the past decade, the album has certainly gotten its due: "A lot of people still talk to me about that record today. And I'm like, "Wow, where were y'all 10 years ago when I was in tears, trying to figure out why people hated me?'" - Scratch, 2004.

August 08, 2019

DJ S&S "Something For That Ass, Pt.1" (Mixtape, 1993)

This is Something For Dat Ass Pt.1 from DJ S&S... it was released around 1993, if memory serves me right. The mix tape features tracks from Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, KRS-One, LL Cool J, Cypress Hill, Leaders of the New School, Akinyele, Pudgee The Phat Bastard, 2Pac, Ice Cube, Naughty By Nature, Nice & Smooth, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian, Boss, Biz Markie, Trends of Culture, Jeru The Damaja, Fat Joe, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, and more! Quality golden era music, listen below...

August 07, 2019

Kxng Crooked "Menace II Sobriety" (EP Stream)

I almost skipped over this short EP from Kxng Crooked, but this EP goes super hard! I owe thanks to the homie Rhymecology, whose strong review made me give it a listen, check it: "Holy shit! I love this project. The 4 track EP by @kxngcrooked is the first to give me chills in awhile. In an ode to Menace, I Got 5 On It, Gangsta Paradise and I Gave You Power, Crooked spits his multi syllabic and emotional fire that has me texting my boys like “have you heard this?” ...Like Elzhi did with Elmatic, he has a few lines that pay homage to the songs he is rapping over but he has his own style which is quatrains filled with 4-8 rhymes and raw passion that should WAKE these non writing mumble rap acts and their fans the hell up... The emotion and detail of Life of a Bandana is storytelling at its best. Menace 2 Sobriety is a beautifully written song which details the mind set of a man taken over by alcoholism, FkFame brings us back to the days of emcees rapping for the art and not the glory while Flowers reminds us to appreciate our Artists while they here... People who follow me pretty much like the same shit I do, so I recommend this..." Listen to Menace II Sobriety below...

August 06, 2019

Westside Gunn "Fly God Is An Awesome God" (Mixtape)

Flygod Is an Awesome God is the latest mixtape by Buffalo rapper Westside Gunn via Griselda Records. It includes features from Sauce Walka, Raekwon, Hologram, Meyhem Lauren, Conway the Machine and Benny The Butcher. Dark, but often soulful, Fly God Is An Awesome God features production from Madlib, DJ Muggs, JR Swiftz, Denny Leflare, Sadhugold, Al.Divino, The Alchemist and, of course, Daringer. Much respect to Raekwon the Chef for the gems in the intro, listen below!

August 05, 2019

RJ Payne "Leatherface" (Album Stream)

RJ Payne is a Brooklyn-bred, Philly groomed MC, who drops off his latest project, Leatherface. RJ delivers his lyrics with confidence and a level of charisma that's sure to be celebrated in the underground. As a signee to Benny The Butcher's Black Soprano Family imprint, it's dope to see Benny show up on the track "Butcher Meets Leatherface," which is the lead single. I'll admit, his projects before 2019 went below the radar for me, but hopefully you go back and dig into some of his back catalog. RJ is an MC to keep an eye on, I expect him to impact the industry much the same as the Griselda squad has done in recent years. Peep Leatherface below and more in the archives.

August 04, 2019

Showbiz & Milano "Boulevard Author" (Album Stream)

Milano Constantine and DITC producer Showbiz have joined forces to present a collaborative album: Boulevard Author. Milano is considered to be an unofficial member of the D.I.T.C. crew since 1999, with his first single that came out on Fat Beats in 2000. He has collaborated with artists such as Lord Finesse, Showbiz, Big Pun, Kool G Rap and many others and recently released full length projects with Slice of Spice. With Boulevard Author, Milano pairs with Show to provide us with smooth, hardcore lyrics over classic Show, DITC beats. Constantine paints vivid scenes with his bars from street tales. He elaborates on how he overcame his brush with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His rhymes sound like calligraphy over Show’s hard drums and movie-like samples. Milano spills some slick talk with a lot of details to keep you locked in. The sole producer/emcee combination for this project has built a unique sound for this album. Milano originally planned for the album to be produced by the P Brothers, but I'm glad he went with Showbiz, as this project came out real solid.

August 03, 2019

Brock Berrigan "The Scenic Route" (Instrumental Album)

Brock Berrigan is a beat maker, music enthusiast and multi-instrumentalist. His latest offering is titled The Scenic Route, which he explains saying: "Most of this album on the road in Utah overlooking canyons and hiking through national parks. All the background sounds were recorded in Utah, including the Native American chants. This is a culmination of my ten years of making beats, combining everything I have learned along the way into this album. I wanted to convey the feeling of driving through the desert in a convertible into musical form, taking the scenic route." Sounds like Brock Berrigan is living the dream, salute that man! Oh yeah, and stream The Scenic Route below...

August 02, 2019

Kev Brown & J Scienide "Drum Machine Tape Cassette" (Stream)

Low Budget Crew veteran Kev Brown has teamed up with J Scienide for a collaborative album titled Drum Machine Tape Cassette. The new LP is comprised of 13 tracks, with guests including my brother Supastition, Kenn Starr, Hassaan Mackey, yU and Finale, and more. This will be a contender for album of the year out of the underground, don't wait for anyone else to cosign it, just dig in!

August 01, 2019

Raekwon "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" (August 1, 1995)

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is the sonic equivalent of a John Woo movie: tales filled with gunshots ("Glaciers of Ice"), assassins with their own special codes of morals ("Incarcerated Scarfaces"), and a beautiful woman mourning the loss of a lover caught up in the drama ("Rainy Dayz"). Woo believes in long takes shot in real time, with a seamless slow-motion pacing that turns even the most brutal depictions of violence into cinematic elegance. Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon's hard rock depictions of life in the street, as bolstered by The RZA's kinetic musical cinematography, function similarly: what's always set Wu-Tang apart from other rap groups is execution. The working adjective here is chaos -- by the truckload. In the same way that De La Soul's producer Prince Paul innovated sampling and multi-tracking, The RZA has taken the art form to new heights. Boogie-woogie piano lines clash with bone-crunching backbeats, banshee-like vocal wails compete with each other, all seasoned with gunshots, raindrops, dialogue from Woo's The Killer, and just about anything else you could imagine. But as impressive as the sonic mosaic is behind all 18 full-length tracks, the vocals are still the centerpiece. Like his lyrical predecessor Kool G. Rap, Raekwon paints pictures so vivid you smell the gunpowder and wipe the blood on your shirttails. (Click play and continue reading below...)

His solo pieces sparkle, like the hyperrealistic "Knowledge God" and haunting "Incarcerated Scarfaces," but he brings on enough of his boys to keep the mix exciting. Where most MCs are on some T-Rex king of the dinosaurs shit, Raekwon and the rest of his brethren are 'raptors, highly intelligent pack hunters who hit their verbal prey from every possible angle, as if they were one entity. Posse efforts like "Guillotine," "Ice Cream," and "Wu Gambinos" match and in some cases surpass anything on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). On "Heaven & Hell" and "Rainy Dayz," where Rae and his best crime-partner Ghost Face Killer team up, they complement each other perfectly, like Don Vito Corleone and Luca Brasi, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or O.J. Simpson and Al Cowlings. - Spin Magazine (11/95). Only Built 4 Cuban Linx was released on August 1, 1995 via Loud.