October 31, 2019

Apollo Brown "Sincerely Detroit" (Album Stream)

Detroit has an indelible legacy in hip-hop. From artists like J Dilla to Black Milk, from Denaun Porter to Apollo Brown, Detroit's music has a sound unlike any other. When Apollo Brown set out to create the tribute to his home, he knew he needed to do the city justice. Featuring over fifty Detroit artists, Apollo Brown’s new double disc album, “Sincerely, Detroit,” is a love letter to the culture. From different eras and different walks of life, veterans and newcomers alike lend their styles and deliveries to the twenty-one track album. Featuring artists like Royce Da 5’9”, Black Milk, Trick Trick, Elzhi, Slum Village and many, many more, “Sincerely, Detroit” is a nearly comprehensive look at the styles and flavors of Detroit. While the world watches Detroit for influence, Apollo is back to remind people that Detroit sets a standard for others to follow and is a creative haven for Hip-hop.

October 30, 2019

RJ Payne "Leatherface 2" (Album Stream)

RJ Payne drops off his latest project Leatherface 2 just in time for a spooky Halloween celebration. The potent lyricist is signed to Benny The Butcher's BSF imprint, and delivers a hard-hitting record with sinister artwork to match. The project features Benny the Butcher, Ras Kass, Freeway, Daniel Son, Che Noir, and more! RJ Payne's elite lyricism and charisma shine through once again, matched by heavy production on Leatherface 2. Dig into it below... and Happy Halloween! Vinyl coming soon.

October 29, 2019

DJ Lazy K "Butta Mixin Rican Part 2" (Mixtape, 1996)

Here's a dope mixtape from '96 by DJ Lazy K, Butta Mixin Rican Pt.2. Born in Mexico, and raised in Madrid, Spain, and Switzerland, DJ Lazy K has been holdin' it down since the 90s. This particular mix includes tracks from Nas, Shyheim, Redman, Lost Boyz, Jay-Z, 2Pac, Common, Kool G Rap, Smoothe The Hustler, Mobb Deep, Tragedy Khadafi, as well as multiple freestyles from members of the Wu-Tang Clan; Mic Geronimo, and more. Wu-Tang and Jay-Z embraced her early, listen to the mix below...

October 28, 2019

Madwreck "The Raw Exotic" (Instrumental Album)

Madwreck returns to his roots with his newest instrumental album, "The Raw Exotic". Produced on the coveted Roland SP-404sx, this eagerly awaited full-length is an auditory exploration of golden era inspired beats, dripping with analog saturation. Madwreck's "The Raw Exotic" is a destination vacation deep in the heart of a concrete jungle, and you do not wanna miss it. Listen to it below...

October 27, 2019

T. Eric Monroe "Rare & Unseen Moments Of 90's Hip-Hop" (Books)

T. Eric Monroe is opening his historic vault of 90’s photography to preserve and promote the legacies of iconic personas who shaped Hip-Hop culture. With 3 volumes of Rare & Unseen Moments of 90's Hip-Hop, the books feature thousands of intimate moments in music history. Monroe’s body of work represents a fresh and unseen perspective of cultural icons from the 90’s Hip-Hop Community, at a time before the internet, social media, and digital photography. A large majority of his images were never published and kept out of all commercial outlets, archived away for decades. This archive was safeguarded from public consumption… until now! Additional images below of Nas, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, and the Funk Doc himself, Redman. Consider placing your order HERE and I also recommend checking out a nice feature in Juxtapoz Magazine for more info.

October 26, 2019

The Elite Camp "Raising The Bar" (Mixtape, 2007)

In 2007, four members of The Elite Camp embarked on a project that was the benchmark for the future of the entire crews’ catalog. Raising The Bar exemplifies the skill, knowledge, and experience that they all have as a DJ collective. Stemming from their favorite genre in hip-hop, the golden era, the compilation of carefully chosen tracks along with signature Elite Camp tricks is a true representation of their abilities. The Elite Camp’s D Jay Jung, M-Pos, DJ Naz, and Unkle Chip make up the brains behind Raising The Bar. They also had the honor of having fellow New Jerseyan and member of the famous group Artifacts, El Da Sensei, bless the introduction alongside the production of P-Original. Mastered by Phillee Blunt from the Illvibe Collective and album artwork by Romeo Rex of The Collabros. The mix features tracks from Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Organized Konfusion, Showbiz & AG, Zhigge, Main Source, Diamond D, Cypress Hill, K-Solo, Chi-Ali, Naughty By Nature, Eric B. & Rakim, Jungle Brothers, The Beatnuts, Lord Finesse, Gang Starr, Group Home, Raekwon, Nas, Outkast, N.W.A., Black Moon, Nine, Onyx, Souls of Mischief and a whole lot more! Peace to Let The Brainz Blog for the description and tracklist; J.Nicklez for the audio link. Dig in...

October 25, 2019

38 Spesh Presents "1994" (Album Stream)

To celebrate the 25th year anniversary of one of the best years in Hip-Hop, 38 Spesh has put together a special compilation titled “1994.” The album features some of the heaviest spitters in underground Hip-Hop right now, and they are all rhyming over classic beats from the year 1994. However, this isn’t a mixtape, 38 Spesh actually went and remade each beat and added his own unique flavor. Listen to RJ Payne, Elcamino, Daniel Son, Eto, Rasheed Chappell, Grafh, Planet ASia, Hus Kingpin and Griselda's Conway the Machine & Benny The Butcher + more, streaming below...

October 24, 2019

Madlib "Next" Feature in Vibe Magazine (January, 2002)

In late 1999, when they were in the studio working on Voodoo, Jay Dee had D'Angelo and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson check out Lootpack's 1999 album Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, featuring producer/MC Madlib. The three veterans obsessed about its virtues for days. "Madlib is my hero," says ?uestlove. "He's what's right about hip hop. He can make whole compositions with 12 seconds of sampling time... On his luminous solo debut, Angles Without Edges, Madlib, 28, takes his musical philosophy into his own hands. "A lot of people call jazz dead," he says of his project. "But if you bring it in a hip hop form, maybe some young cats who never listen to that stuff will peep it." ... The eccentricities of the artist born Otis Jackson Jr. in Oxnard, Calif., go beyond his multiple musical personalities... The workaholic finds his own buried treasure in jazz and soul records procured from family elders. He then cranks out unpolished but brilliant production for the Lootpack and other underground luminaries... One of those not-intended-to-be-released projects, Quasimoto's The Unseen, dropped in 2000. The underground sensation is piloted by an unidentified furry monster with a voice that sounds like Q-Tip on helium. "A lot of people ain't gonna feel my music for at least 10 years, 'cause they're used to what the radio plays...." - Next, Vibe Magazine (January, 2002)

October 23, 2019

Killa Kidz "Phenomenon" (Reissue)

This Queensbridge collective was made up of rappers Prince A.D., Mr. Ruck, Supurb, Psycho Child, and Baby Sham. Their 12" to Phenomenon was originally released in 1997 on Young Life Records, and despite a small buzz in the underground, their music was mostly overlooked back in the 90s. Without label interest, the Killa Kidz disbanded. Mr. Ruck became known as Ruc Da Jackal or The Jackal, Psycho Child became known as Mr. Challish or Challace, and both appeared on Hip-Hop compilation albums including Nas’ QB’s Finest. Of course, Baby Sham became a member of The Flipmode Squad and Prince A.D. later became known as Killa Sha who released a handful of singles, mixtapes, and albums during the 2000s. Killa Sha was also affiliated with Tragedy Khadafi’s 25 II Life label under which he dropped some classic singles including “Three The Hard Way” with Headrush Napoleon. Killa Sha sadly died in 2010 due to complications from Diabetes and that put an end to any kind of reunion of the group. Prior to his passing, Sha gifted me a sealed copy of this 12" at Fat Beats. Fortunately, labels like Chopped Herring Records have reissued their records, and Dope Concepts Media released it on CD, too. Props to the website, What Went Right With, for some of the background info. Hit the tags for the "Lyrical Flava" 12" and more from Killa Sha (R.I.P.). Listen below.

October 22, 2019

Homeboy Sandman "Dusty" (Album Stream)

"Picasso claimed that the purpose of art is to wash the “dust of daily life off our souls.” Homeboy Sandman asks on Dusty, “Why would I complain when I’m alive making art?” In the course of his Mello Music debut, the Queens virtuoso answers himself with 15 soul-assessing confessionals that sweep the entropy and daily static, the distortion and psychic silt of modern life onto wax. This is sacred dust, alchemical practice to convert anxiety into the highest form of creativity. It is rapping ass-rapping rapped better than your favorite rapper. Let Sandman tell it: the sound is dusty. These bars are his id. He’s not trying to save the world on this record or even save himself. These are the unmasked impulses and desires locked away for a long time - some of them from before he ditched the legal world for decapitating mediocre MCs.... Rap containing multitudes and cosmic dust. Exact as a science, loose as an improvised spiritual." - MMG. Enjoy Homeboy Sandman's Dusty LP below...

October 21, 2019

Black Moon "Rise Of Da Moon" (Album Stream)

Black Moon returns with Rise of Da Moon. The 15-track album features Method Man, Smif N Wessun, and Rock of Heltah Skeltah. The project is entirely produced by Da Beatminerz. The CD is a custom digipak with a die-cut silhouette of Buckshot, 5FT & Evil Dee, with a 9.5" x 28" poster and 8-page booklet with exclusive photos from the recording sessions. The Dewgarde brothers, Evil Dee and Mr. Walt, deliver on the thick production, and as a whole, Black Moon remains true to their original Bucktown roots and backpack aesthetic. Method Man's guest verse on "Ease Back" is a definite show-stopper, make sure you check that out! You can stream Rise Of Da Moon below.

October 20, 2019

D.L. & DJ Crossphader "What's Next On The Menu?" (Mixtape, 2001)

Another one from DJ Crossphader - presented by DL - What's Next On The Menu? in 2001. Like past posts, it's another hefty, double-cassette mix tape, filled with a ton of underground gems. More specifically, the mix tape features tracks from Jigmastas, Pharoahe Monch, Slum Village, Declaime, L-Fudge, All Natural, Mr. Voodoo, Dynasty, The Unspoken Heard, Yah Supreme, L Da Headtoucha, Common, Mr. Complex, J Dilla, Mike Zoot, Self Scientific, Kreators, Phife Dawg, Rise, E Rule, Wordsworth, Apathy, Grand Agent, Lootpack, Gauge and lots more. Dig into the mix below...

October 20, 2019

Stro Elliot "Moods" (Instrumental EP)

The Roots percussionist, Stro Elliot, follows up his 2016 self-titled SCM debut with a new EP featuring a variety of Moods, from the downtempo flip of Bilal on “Hey Slim”, to the bang-your-fucking-head-off slaps of “FTL”. Tributes are paid to lost greats and classics of old are made new again. They want me to tell you that, "Kanye fucks with Stro. You should too." ... but these days, I don't know if that's a great sales point, but I'll say this, the music is great! "FTL" is the first track I heard, and I knew I'd be adding the Moods EP to the site for y'all to check out, too. Listen below...

October 19, 2019

Pharoahe Monch "Internal Affairs" (20th Anniversary)

Universally recognized for his mastery of multisyllabic wordplay, Pharoahe Monch has embarked on a career spanning over 25 years. A career that has him lyrically morphing into the cold and heartless life of a bullet in 3 stages: “Stray Bullet” on Organized Konfusion; “When the Gun Draws” on Desire and “Damage” off of PTSD; illustrating the perspective of a fetus in the womb of a mother who is a drug abuser (“Invetro”) — to the inspirational biopic tale of living life as a child, with chronic asthma (“Still Standing”, featuring the Grammy award-winning vocalist extraordinaire, Jill Scott). In this 25+ year journey to stay committed to the culture of lyricism—and hip hop in an ever-changing paradigm that has the music industry once again pushing to the forefront the low-hanging fruit of disposable artists, Pharoahe’s consistency as an artist has been an inspiration to countless artists and led to his first Grammy in 2017. As with Mos Def's Black On Both Sides, we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Pharoahe's Rawkus Records debut, Internal Affairs, this year. I'm updating this post to now include DJ Filthy Rich's tribute mix, where he shares: "In my opinion, this is a Top 3 Rawkus Records release, featuring Pharoahe Monch's complex polysyllabic rhymes over production from Diamond D, Alchemist, DJ Scratch, Lee Stone and even Pharoahe himself. This mix features album cuts, original samples and my own blends. Shout out to the talented artist Dan Lish, who reworked his original Pharoahe art for the cover for this tribute." 10+ years ago, I interviewed Pharoahe Monch (at random) for BHHF; I was unprepared but down to build when I was asked to do it. You can watch that interview HERE (don't judge me!) and listen to Filthy Rich's tribute mix below...

An original advert from Internal Affairs + the artwork for the mix are below...

October 18, 2019

Handsome Boy Modeling School "So...How's Your Girl" (Vibe, 1999)

Children dream away. Some kids want to be firemen. Some want to be astronauts. Others want to grow up to be models--beautiful like Tyra Banks, sculpted like Tyson Beckford. These rarefied humanoids look good even when they're taking out the trash. Modeling sounds pretty yummy, huh? With the runaway hopefuls of the world in mind, producers/DJs Prince Paul (of Stetsasonic, De La Soul, and Chris Rock fame) and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (the beat-maker behind Dr. Octagon) concocted So...How's Your Girl? -- a melodic brochure that sings the praises of the twosome's new venture, the Handsome Boy Modeling School. So...How's Your Girl?'s narrative is sewn together by "Look At This Face" and "Modeling Sucks." Both skit-tunes feature the rantings of comedian Chris Elliot -- rantings extracted from an episode of the funnyman's canceled Fox sitcom, Get a Life, in which Elliot himself enrolls at an institution called Handsome Boy Modeling School. "Look at This Face" spins the commercial jingle that got him open ("Bring your beautiful face and a check for $60..."), while "Modeling Sucks" delivers a peeved Elliot declaring, "I'm a male model, not a male prostitute!" over the ever famous, always ominous string-section strains of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Ooh, la la! Outside of said two joints, though, supermodel chatter is nil. Handsome Boy's motto seems to be "Express the gorgeous inner you-through music." So the institute's many musically inclined students collaborate with their instructions in between wardrobe changes. The results? Gorgeous... There's only one way to describe the songs of the HBMS: futuristic R&B for hip-hop fiending robots. Get with it. Tomorrow is today. Paranoid androids like designer jeans too. - Vibe Magazine (November, 1999). One of the most unique projects, from 2 creative geniuses! Dig in...

The full Vibe Magazine album review of So...How's Your Girl? below...

October 17, 2019

Slipmat Brothers/Jazz Spastiks "Yellow Mix" (Mixtape, 2016)

The Slipmat Brothers are a duo of underground hip-hop beat makers, DJs and producers from Scotland (UK), consisting of members Coconut Delight and Mr Manyana. They also go by the Jazz Spastiks, which you should know from older posts. Anyhow, this is their Yellow Mix, a funky mix of gems from the likes of Freddie Foxxx, Bahamadia, Junior M.A.F.I.A., Smif-N-Wessun, Common, Blaque Spurm, Positive K, EPMD, Red Hot Lover Tone, Brick City Kids, Mathematik, Showbiz & AG, Al Tariq, Blaq Poet, Shazam X, J Rock, Slick Rick, A Tribe Called Quest, ADOR, Diamond D, LL Cool J, Intelligent Hoodlum, Daddy-O, Maestro Fresh Wes, Big L, Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs, Larry Larr, Queen Latifah, Main Source, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Masta Ace and lots more! The mix was originally released in 2016...

October 16, 2019

DJ Evil Dee "Pandemonium!!!" (Mixtape, 1995)

Taking it back to 1995, this is DJ Evil Dee's Pandemonium!!! mix tape via Tape Kingz. Evil Dee's mix features tracks from Ca$h Money Click, DJ Battlecat, Method Man, RBX, Cella Dwellas, Grand Puba, Kool G Rap, Raekwon, Guru, Mary J. Blige, L Swift, KRS-One, Raekwon, Redman, Chubb Rock, D&D All Stars, and freestyles from Ol' Dirty Bastard and the Wu-Tang Clan. DJ Evil Dee always came with high energy mixes, so the title is very appropriate, in my eyes. Evil Dee is on the mix, c'mon kick it!

October 15, 2019

Jeru The Damaja "Wrath Of The Math" (October 15, 1996)

It's 1996 and the city of hip hop is collapsing. Once-proud buildings crumble to heaps of sameness. Tough-posing gangstas torch art museums for insurance money and speed off in platinum-rimmed Lexuses. Smoke fills the air while legions of zombied MCs roam the cracked pavement, searching for one last hit of the green paper drug. "Jump up in my Rolls Royce / Top choice," raps Jeru The Damaja atop a playful kiddie piano. "Make 'em holler / Everything I do is for the dollar." Can it be? Has the ignorance-battling hero of the 1994 classic The Sun Rises In The East sold his knowledge for a bottle of Cristal? Course not. Wrath Of The Math's "Tha Bullshit" is a skillful parody; moments later, gunshots awaken Jeru from his "scary muthaf#ckin' dream." Armed with a prophet's sense of social responsibility, Webster's vocab, and the best beats in the business, Jeru takes direct aim at Biggie, Puffy, and the rest of hip-hop's Versace-clad villains. The New Orleans cowbell and a rub-a-dub bassline of Junior M.A.F.I.A.'s "Player's Anthem" get diced and spliced into "Ya Playin' Yaself." Scolding words shake over the new groove like Jell-O being carried down a spiral staircase. Jeru's at his best, though, when he fights playa-ism with its most potent weapon: sharp visual, action-packed narrative. In "One Day," hip hop itself is personified; after "he's" kidnapped, Puffy gets blamed for "getting him drunk and f#cking his mind up." Throughout his album-long mission to recapture the music, Jeru is accompanied by the simple elegance of DJ Premier's production. His sparse, busted-woofer beats could walk through the rubble of a city afire. They'd never even blink. And as the skyline burns, a frowning Jeru the Damaja looms large on the horizon. Champagne-sipping pillagers beware. His wrath is mighty. - Vibe Magazine (November, 1996). Revisit this classic album below...

October 14, 2019

Danja Mowf "Question" (12", 1996)

Danja Mowf is a co-founder of the nationally recognized hip-hop crew The SupaFriendz. In 1996 he produced “Vowel Movement,” a classic hip-hop 12″ single that put the Supa crew on the map with his own joint on the B-Side. His 1997 debut solo release “Word of Mowf” received critical acclaim for it’s introspective and artistic depth. In 1999, Danja received national exposure again while appearing alongside Aaliyah on the remix of her hit “Are You That Somebody.” Now Danja runs a media company servicing creative radio, television, film, web and and print advertising. He is happily married with three sons and enjoys coaching, traveling and community service. Below is his 12" from 1996 entitled "Question" with "Jack & Da Weedstalk" and "Dangerous" on the B-Side. Peace to VA. Listen...

October 14, 2019

Eto & Flee Lord "RocAmeriKKKa" (Album Stream)

Flee Lord and Eto release their collaborative effort, “RocAmeriKKKa,” with a title alluding to the duo’s hometowns of Rochester and Far Rockaway, as well as Ice Cube’s classic “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted.” These two venom spitters recruited many of their regular collaborators to provide the soundscapes on this offering, including V Don, godBLESSbeatz, Tricky Trippz, Fith, and Big French. However, to spark off the LP they got a beat from the god Green Lantern! Further, they kept the guests to a minimum, choosing to only invite 38 Spesh and singer Imanii Skyy to get down. Available on CD and Vinyl through their Bandcamp and also at record stores like Fat Beats. Listen below...

October 13, 2019

Mastermind "Tape 35: It's Yours '97" (Mixtape, 1997)

This is legendary Canadian DJ, Mastermind's Tape 35 aka Its Yours '97. This mix tape features tracks from O.C., Wu-Tang Clan, Common, The Beatnuts, Defari, Mad Lion, Capone-N-Noreaga, Chubb Rock, Lost Boyz, Natural Elements, Black Sheep, Notorious B.I.G., Organized Konfusion, Redman, Mr. Complex, 2Rude, Big Jaz, Saukrates, The LOX, Heather B, Sleepwalkers, Kardinal Offishal, Angie Martinez and more! Mastermind held it down heavy, tons of classic tapes. Listen to Tape 35 below...

October 12, 2019

Mos Def "Black On Both Sides" (20th Anniversary)

Not since Nas' Illmatic has there been a solo debut more anticipated than Black On Both Sides, the debut full-length by Brooklyn actor/musician/poet Mos Def. Balancing live instrumentation (played predominantly by Mos himself) and dusty grooves provided by guest producers DJ Premier, Diamond D, Beatnut Psycho Les and Ali-Shaheed Muhammad, the album is a poignant celebration of black culture through masterful lyricism and advance sonic knowledge. The dynamics range from spirituality uplifting hip-hop tracks to Roy Ayers-styled soul fusion to a cerebral funk jam called "Rock N Roll," which explodes into a rowdy testament to Brooklyn hardcore that would shatter the teeth of Billy Milano. You will not hear a better album in 1999. - CMJ New Music Report (October 25, 1999). Black On Both Sides lived up to the hype and has stood the test of time in the true definition of a classic album. The album also featured production from 88 Keys, Ayatollah, and Mr. Man of Da Bush Babees, as well as appearances from Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Vinia Mojica, and Ghostface Killah (if you include "Ms. Fat Booty Pt.2" on more recent reissues). I'd originally included the album stream below, but since the homie DJ Filthy Rich blessed us with a 20th Anniversary mix for the album, I'm updating this post. In a collaboration with Soles of Mischief and The Flyer Vault, DJ Filthy Rich's tribute mix features album tracks, loosies, and the samples used for the album’s production. “I had to put out this mixtape in tribute to one of the most influential albums in my life,” Filthy Rich said. “In 1999 when the Jiggy era of Hip-Hop was reigning, Rawkus Records and Mighty Mos were carrying the torch for that real underground Hip-Hop sound. This classic LP covered a wide range of topics including the global water crisis, the shady music industry, love, police harassment, and even an ode to his parents.” Unfortunately, these tributes get taken down with the quickness, so you'll have to settle for YouTube, while it's available. Dig into the mix below...

October 11, 2019

DJ Eclipse "The Halftime Show" (Fat Beats Special, 8/26/10)

Following the news of Fat Beats closing (its retail doors) in 2010, DJ Eclipse - who was instrumental in the success of the company - took the time to do a Fat Beats special on his WNYU radio show, The Halftime Show. With his special invited guest, the President of Fat Beats' DJ Jab, they spoke about the history of the store, the outlook for the future of the company's online store, distribution and the record label, as well as other things. Of course, DJ Eclipse went into a vinyl mix that represents the independent fabric that helped birth the whole independent scene, especially in New York City, which - once again - DJ Eclipse and Fat Beats impacted in a major way. These records take me back - put your headphones on for this one... Much respect to DJ Eclipse, DJ Jab, DJ Skizz, Petey Cologne & Marz One. Thankfully, the Fat Beats store has reopened in Los Angeles; their online store and distro are flourishing, and while DJ Eclipse's Halftime Show is no longer on air, he's still puttin' it down weekly via his Sirius show, Rap Is Outta Control, where he once again teamed back up with DJ Riz. As music is shifting back to independence and vinyl has seen a major resurgence, this is very full circle. Before I forget, additional guests on the show included El Da Sensei of the Artifacts, Ill Bill, DJ Spinna, Amir, D-Stroy & Q-Unique of the Arsonists, DJ Rhettmatic, and more! R.I.P. DJ AM. Props to everyone who has supported Fat Beats over the years. Dig in...

October 10, 2019

AZ "Doe Or Die" (October 10, 1995)

The first sentence of the Doe Or Die press kit boasts, "On Doe Or Die, AZ delivers one of the strongest debuts in Hip-Hop history." In an early advertisement, Nas shares, "It's the new renaissance. He's demonstrating life through poetry in its most modern form and his style is unfaded and unlimited. It's the ancient voice from Africa, from Asia, and from Europe: the lost souls of America. His voice is the lost souls..." Vibe reviewed the album saying, "AZ takes refuge inside the rhythmic walls of creation. He emerges as a scholar of ghetto sociology and a master storyteller who reports the realities of the day with frontline precision." Speaking to The Source about lyricism, AZ says, "Anytime you listen to my music, you will get some kind of jewels out of it, 'cause what I say for five minutes could last for five years. That's how I pump. So, lyrics mean a lot to me. I need something to touch me, man." I think AZ shortchanged his impact when he said 5 years, as it's now over 2 decades later, but I understand what he meant. In Elements magazine he took it a step further on lyrics, "I bring life to mics, I bring life to existence. I paint pictures into people's head, food for thought." I agree with all of these quotes, if that's not obvious. I've also argued in the past about "Sugar Hill" and "Rather Unique" being one of the better A/B side 12" releases, and if you include the Erick Sermon, RZA, and Buckwild remixes onto Doe Or Die, it's an even more epic debut album release! Doe Or Die was released on October 10, 1995 - revisit the album below...

The original sticker and press kit sent for AZ's Doe Or Die...

October 09, 2019

Stu Bangas "Discernment" (EP Stream)

Discernment is the new EP from Boston, MA producer Stu Bangas. The EP is 7 tracks featuring Ill Bill, Hus Kingpin, Blacastan, SmooVth, LMNO and more, but the real stand-out track is from Connecticut lyricist, Apathy. Brutal Music is the label home, and that should tell you enough about the aggressive production and hard-hitting lyrics you should expect from this EP. Listen below...

October 08, 2019

Common "Resurrection" (25th Anniversary Mix By Chris Read)

This weekend marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Common‘s classic sophomore LP Resurrection. The follow-up to his 1992 debut, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, the album is produced almost entirely by No I.D., with contributions from Ynot. With a heavy reliance on jazz, samples on the LP come from the likes of George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, and the the Modern Jazz Quartet among others. The album spawned two popular singles, the timeless ode to hip-hop’s ever-changing nature, “I Used to Love H.E.R,” and the Ahmad Jamal–sampling title track, “Resurrection.” In celebration of the album’s landmark anniversary, Wax Poetics teamed up with WhoSampled to present this exclusive mixtape of album tracks, alt versions, interview snippets, and of course sample material used in the making of the album. Once again, mixed by the extremely talented Chris Read. Check it out below! Track list.

October 07, 2019

The Second Annual Source Awards (8/3/95, Video)

The Source magazine was the most widely read rag in hip-hop journalism by the early ’90s, each issue a conversation piece all its own. With its newsstand dominance came the idea for a natural brand extension—an award show. In 1991, The Source began handing out trophies on a special episode of Yo! MTV Raps, and three years later came a full-fledged production, complete with a stage show at Madison Square Garden’s Paramount Theater. The next year, The Source returned to that very same theater, except the climate in hip-hop had changed dramatically. 2Pac had been shot and was sequestered in jail, Bad Boy was the hottest new label in music, and beneath it all an East Coast-West Coast rivalry was bubbling. “Any artist out there that wanna be an artist, stay a star, and won’t have to worry about the executive producer trying to be all in the videos, all on the records, dancing—come to Death Row!” Suge Knight’s famous remarks that night became the first real shots in a deadly battle. But there was more. Snoop Dogg’s rant (“The East Coast ain’t got love for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?”). Diddy throwing shots (“I live in the East, and I’m gonna die in the East”). OutKast getting booed and Andre 3000’s prophecy (“The South got something to say!”)... The events of that night reverberated through hip-hop for many years. The East Coast-West Coast "beef" ballooned into a true rivalry, culminating in the deaths of 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G.; rap’s balance of power shifted south of the the Mason-Dixon Line, albeit temporarily; and The Source itself became an even bigger powerhouse, with even more award shows, and eventually more competition to do battle with. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Source Awards, Complex called up Dave Mays and Ray Benzino, the magazine’s controversial former co-owners, and conducted an interview HERE. Quality is poor, but updated video of the '95 Source Awards is below...

October 06, 2019

DJ Fase "What's On The Flip? II" (Mixtape, 2017)

This is Part Two in DJ Fase's What's On The Flip? mixtape series from 2017. Again, the concept here is diggin' into b-sides and remixes from some of your favorite tracks. Specifically, the mix digs into tracks from Artifacts, Dr. Dre, Masta Ace, Casual, Ras Kass, Lord Finesse, Kurious, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Yaggfu Front, The Roots, Showbiz & AG, Black Moon, De La Soul, Hoodratz, Black Sheep, Chi-Ali, Lin Que, Organized Konfusion, Grand Puba, Heavy D & The Boyz, Common, Phife Dawg, Reflection Eternal, Choclair, Redlife, Ghetto Concept, Del The Funkee Homosapien, Redman, Channel Live and more! There's one more mix in this series, I'll post it soon...

October 05, 2019

L'Orange & Jeremiah Jae "Complicate Your Life With Violence"

Complicate Your Life with Violence answers eternal questions with an assassin’s bluntness: when do you fight and when do you flee, what does sanity look like in a sick world, how does one retain valor among the corrupt, and why does the union of one producer and one MC always yield the best music? The complex anti-heroes at the center of this blood hailstorm are Jeremiah Jae and L’Orange -- the Chicago fracture rap demigod and the sampledelic North Carolina cubist. Sequels are usually fated to be repetitive: a ceaseless treadmill of repeated jokes and concepts. So for their sophomore effort on Mello Music Group, Jae and L’Orange went full True Detective, transporting their existential outlaws into an entirely novel universe. Their debut, The Night Took Us In Like Family was a seedy shadowland that subverted the tropes of film noir. It was hailed by Pitchfork as a “seamless pairing,” while Okayplayer raved about its ability to conjure dark and treacherous vibes. The pair are backed by brilliant turns from the most enigmatic geniuses of the modern underground: Chester Watson, Billy Woods, Zeroh and Lojii. The end result is something that fits few analogies: a record that exists in the warped dust of history but feels innately relevant to the schizophrenia of modern existence. It’s Jeremiah Jae and L’Orange on a great escape, finding no concrete answers but asking all the right questions -- a masterpiece that can be interpreted in a dozen different ways, glimpsed through a gun smoke haze, hard boiled but blood simple. Check it out below...

October 04, 2019

Dirty Harry "Off The Hook II: A Few Dollars More" (Mixtape, 1997)

I've done numerous posts already with Dirty Harry mix tapes, but Off The Hook Pt.2 aka A Few Dollars More is truly an exceptional display of Dirty Harry's technical skill as a DJ. His blends were incredible on this tape, meshing genres and combining tracks you'd never think would work until you heard them in context. The mix includes music from AZ, Tony Toni Tone, Redman, Jackson 5, KRS-One, Mary J. Blige, Ghostface Killah, Ras T, SWV, Mobb Deep, Nas, Ginuwine, Toni Braxton, The Firm, Mona Lisa, The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, Foxy Brown, Tragedy Khadafi and lots more. There's no way to put his mixes into words, you just have to click play below and listen! Click the tags for more mixes.

October 03, 2019

The Blackout (Rucker Park, Documentary)

In the summer of 2003, the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) in Harlem New York took the nation by storm, and put the world of street ball on notice. Bringing the biggest stars of Hip Hop, sports and politics together in one place. Highlighted  by Hip Hop rivals Jay Z and Fat Joe, along with their star studded teams, EBC was set to have the most anticipated championship in street ball history. Thousands filled the street of Harlem, and with standing room at Rucker park the lights went out, and never came back on. The largest blackout in U.S History crippled Manhattan and EBC Championship game. The Blackout sorts though the gossip, rumors and urban legends as it turns the lights back on at Rucker park and retells the story of the biggest street ball game that never was. In unrelated news, Happy Born Day to me! Another year in the books, I'm glad I made it this far.

October 02, 2019

Def Jam "The Show" (Documentary, 1995)

The Show is a 1995 documentary-film that follows the most celebrated artists in hip-hop as they travel from the street to the stage. Considered a "compelling real-life drama about a generation that demands to be heard." The docu-film features artists like Run DMC, Tha Dogg Pound, Dr. Dre, The Notorious B.I.G., Warren G, Craig Mack, Wu-Tang Clan, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick and many more! Some classic scenes from the documentary include Russell Simmons visiting Slick Rick in lock-up, and discussing his Behind Bars album - specifically the production... and also the scene where Method Man gets into a heated argument with Ghostface and U-God when they talk out the side of their mouths on the tour bus: "Kill that shit, man. Nobody wanna hear that shit!" Meth wasn't trying to hear none of it. Of course, with B.I.G.'s passing at the young age of 24 - and pre-internet - this has some special performance footage of him, as well. Not only was the film a great look at many of these artists, but the official soundtrack was incredible, too. It featured live music from Onyx and Biggie, as well as fresh tracks from Slick Rick, 2Pac, Suga, Method Man, Dr. Dre, Domino, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Mary J. Blige, Treach, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, Kali Ranks, and lots more. Many of them were songs that you heard all summer in '95. Unfortunately, the soundtrack isn't on streaming platforms, so just the documentary is below...

Some extra publicity shots from The Show are included below...

October 01, 2019

DJ Lazy K "Butta Mixxin Rican" (Mixtape, 1996)

Another dope Lazy K drop from '96; the first of three mixtapes in the Butta Mixin Rican series. There's a lot of dope freestyles on this tape from Memphis Bleek, Musolini & Maze, Portorok, Half-A-Mil (R.I.P.), 50 Cent & Royal Flush, and Negro League, as well as cuts from Busta Rhymes, The Lox, Big Pun, Jay-Z, Cappadonna, Method Man, Sporty Thievz, Goodie Mob, The Luniz, Cocoa Brovaz, Sauce Money, Mase and other exclusives. The mix was released on cassette and CD, both through the infamous Tape Kingz in Brooklyn. Peep the mix below & I'll post more from Lazy K.