Friday, November 29, 2019

Noveliss "Sword Of Nature" (Album Stream)

In the words of Noveliss, "Sword of Nature is truly a sound that is somewhere left of Hip Hop. Produced entirely by Hir-O with Will Underwood III adding his flute to the mix. There is a story within the project that is an extension of the "Cerebral Apex" story. However, the story is narrated entirely in Japanese and the only way to see the English translation is to get the special edition vinyl." Personally, the production was a bit underwhelming for me on this one, so it left me a little disappointed, but in terms of lyrics and flow, Noveliss remains on point. I'm hoping it'll grow on me.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Redman Thanksgiving Special (BET Rap City, 1998)

There's no better way to spend Thanksgiving than with the Funk Doctor Spock, Reggie Noble aka Redman! Back in 1998,  Big Tigger pulled up on Redman for BET's Rap City and as you'd expect, nothing short of comedy transpires! Redman promotes his then-upcoming album Doc's Da Name, running down the various features and production on the project. Redman da Chef cooks it up marvelous and shares stories about Method Man, Keith Murray, and his parting message is "if you've gotta be a monkey, be a guerrilla!" Do the knowledge on that one, lol. Happy Holidays and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner. If you haven't seen it, find Redman's MTV Cribs video for a laugh too!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rakim "The Master" (Billboard Magazine, 11/27/99)

"THE MASTER IS BACK: Respected rap veteran Rakim has a sound that transcends time. In fact, on his new Universal album, Rakim sounds as vital and current as he did over a decade ago on such Eric B. & Rakim classics as "Paid In Full" and "Follow The Leader." The Master -- his sophomore solo album -- arrives in stores Nov. 30. "When I Be On The Mic," produced by DJ Premier, is the lead single. It is being commercially released on 12-inch on Dec. 14. "I had a little more fun doing this album," says Rakim. "I stay in the street and try to keep an ear out for what's going on as far as my lyrical content. The main thing is knowing what not to do and say and what people are not feelin'."

"Rakim cites MCs who contradict themselves as the greatest offense to listeners. "I try to say true to myself and stay on one page," he says. "I haven't changed. [My audience] respects me as an artist because -- and I hate to use this expression -- I kept it real. And I keep it proper as far as my lyrical content and the way I present myself." As one of hip-hop's pioneers, Rakim is proud of the culture's growth. "When I think about how far hip-hop has come, I sit back and smile," he says. "DJs have taken their skills to the next level. Rappers are bringing more styles to the table, and the lyrics are wittier. We used to use R&B tracks for hip-hop; now R&B singers are using hip-hop tracks. We went through a lot of people turning us down, calling it hoodlum music. But when you look at television now, everybody is rapping." - Billboard Magazine, November 27, 1999.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pete Rock & CL Smooth "The Main Ingredient" (25th Ann. Mix)

This month marks the 25th anniversary of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's second (and final) full-length LP, 'The Main Ingredient.' Following in the footsteps of 1992's 'Mecca and the Soul Brother,' the album comprises tracks built from densely layered samples, frequently previously unsampled jazz fusion cuts mixed with crisp drums and short vocal snippets plundered from well-known '80s/'90s hip-hop tracks. Use of a number of go-to tracks defines the sound of the album and the presence of vocal samples from Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane in particular is a key ingredient in the album's sonic palette. In celebration of the album's 25th year, Wax Poetics partnered once again with WhoSampled to present this mixtape of album tracks, alt versions, interview snippets, and of course original sample material, mixed by Chris Read. Yessir, check it out below...

Friday, November 22, 2019

Slick Rick "Behind Bars" (The Source, May 1993)

Slick Rick, hip-hop’s greatest storyteller, spoke from prison (Woodbourne Correctional Facility in South Fallsberg, New York) in an exclusive interview with The Source in May, 1993. As Def Jam prepared to release his third solo album, “Behind Bars,” Slick Rick reflected on life behind bars and his turbulent past. “Titled Behind Bars, the third album brings producers like Pete Rock, Large Professor, Marley Marl and Easy Moe Bee into the picture, remixing - and in most cases re-remixing tunes that were completed months ago… “Behind Bars,” Rick’s account of life in the joint, is a graphic account of inmates getting their sneakers taken, “rape attempts,” fights for the telephone” and more. “While his lyrics shine, some people feel the album shouldn’t be released as is, that it isn’t representative of Rick’s best work. The decision lies in the hands of Russell Simmons.” As you saw in the Def Jam documentary, “The Show,” this conversation played out in the film, with Rick less than pleased with some of the production choices. I recommend reading the full article for all the back details, and I’ll close it out with a note from Slick Rick, saying “I’d like to say peace to all the brothers incarcerated, hold your head. And all the cross carriers, keep the faith.” Slick Rick was released from prison in 1997 after spending five years in prison. Slick Rick's album, Behind Bars, was released on this day in 1994. Happy 25th Anniversary. Art from Andre LeRoy Davis below.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Redman "Dare Iz A Darkside" (Press Kit, 1994)

"You are now about to embark on a unique adventure where time, sound, and reality all have different meaning. No you won't be hanging with Pee-Wee Herman money, your guide for this ride is none other than Reggie Noble BKA Redman, and the place with all the bass just happens to be The Dark Side. There's no need to go into how Redman came on the scene housin' S%&! right ? What! Your memory is failing you? Don't ask somebody, I'm about to school ya. After years tearing it out the frame doing classic freestyles across the Tri-State area, Redman burst out upon the Hip-Hop scene in 1991 by catching wreck with his gift of vocab on the EPMD tracks "Hardcore" and "Brothers On My Jock." Soon after he gained more props by releasing his first funky single "Blow Your Mind" off the now Gold debut album "Whut? Thee Album." It contained gem tracks such as "Time 4 some Akshun" and "Tonight's The Night." Besides that, Redman was also a powerful force in The Hit Squad, a crew in Hip-Hop so revered any mention of the name brought instant respect."

"But that was two years ago, and a lot has happened in between. In 1993 Redman was voted by The Source as the top rap artist of the year. And now Redman returns to reveal "Dare Iz A Darkside," his highly anticipated follow-up on Def Jam Recordings. The title for the new platter came easily as the MC has gone through a barrage of stress, trials and tribulations career wise, in addition to the everyday struggle of maintaining out in society. After a quick trip to the corner store for a couple of Phillies, he broke it down to me, 'My meaning of the dark side is deep and real. All that shit I was GOING through, I was like 'This don't make sense.' So you know what? I may just let shit go on this album to the dark side. Everybody's got a dark side, but they don't let it come out by pretending and grinning up in your face, and when they get home, they're on a whole different note. It wasn't about no gimmick. It's strictly real. The shit is dark but it's still funky'." - Press Kit, 1994 (Def Jam)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Gang Starr "One Of The Best Yet" (Album Stream)

Legendary Hip-Hop duo Gang Starr has released released their seventh and final studio album, their first since 2003, 'One Of The Best Yet.' The first single, "Family & Loyalty", features J. Cole, with a video directed by Hip-Hop Legend Fab 5 Freddy. The album features previously unreleased vocals from lyricist Guru [who passed away in 2010] and new, original production from DJ Premier. The project is 16 tracks long, and features Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, M.O.P., Group Home, Royce da 5'9", Jeru the Damaja, Freddie Foxxx, J Cole, and more. Please PURCHASE 'One Of The Best Yet' ASAP!

Original street work art, photo by Mr. Krum.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Wu-Tang Clan in Billboard Magazine (November 15, 1997)

"In 1993, rap took a turn to the East. Not only did the Wu-Tang Clan's debut, "Enter The Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers)" shift the attention of rap connoisseurs away from West Coast gangsta rap, but it represented a new East Coast sound that was heavily influenced by other 'Eastern' elements: Islam, Sun Tzu's ancient Chinese battle manual "The Art Of War" and martial arts. Its mix of deft rhymes, manic vocals, eerie soundscapes and kung-fu movie samples sent shockwaves through music, inspiring fans and imitators alike. It started with "Protect Ya Neck," a single the members recorded and distributed themselves, which started a groundswell of attention in the clubs, on campuses and in the streets and led to their contract with Loud. The B-side of that single, "Method Man," set the course by staying on the Rap Singles chart for over 25 continuous weeks and winning Single Of The Year as their album earned them Lyricist(s) Of The Year (Group or Solo) at the first annual Source Awards. In the four years since their first album went Platinum, Wu-Tang members have collaborated or soloed on several highly successful side projects - such as Method Man's "Method (TICAL) Man" and Mariah Carey's 1996 single "Fantasy." This year's enhanced double-CD, "Wu-Tang Forever," reasserted the group's dominance at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart and going quadruple-platinum in its first four months." - Billboard, 11/15/1997 // A great time in music!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Evidence "Squirrel Tape Instrumentals" (Vol. 1)

As a multidisciplinary artist, Evidence is able to effortlessly express his creativity in many forms. From his early success, rapping in the seminal independent hip-hop group, Dilated Peoples, before excelling as a solo artist, to earning praise as an esteemed photographer, to becoming a Grammy-award winning producer, it’s clear that Evidence has an ability to achieve greatness in his creative endeavors. No matter what discipline he chooses to explore, all of his compositions are lauded as both cutting edge and familiar. Evidence continues his production legacy with a brand new series to raise the bar. Squirrel Tape Instrumentals Vol. 1 is a 26-track collection of unreleased instrumentals, packed full of emotive melodies woven into hard-hitting drum breaks. Each beat transports the listener to a hypnotic state of nostalgia, perfect for study sessions or writing your own hits.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Take It Personal Podcast "Nas Vs. Jay-Z Episode"

When the Take It Personal crew decided to tackle the greatest hip-hop battle of all-time, they knew it had to be special. It was important to them to re-create the magic and the memories and celebrate two of the most decorated veterans in hip-hop. They contend that this epic episode plays like a Scorsese film, and I agree. But, unlike most films, this gladiator battle has 4 acts. Each mix has been carefully curated to bring out the best in each opponent. They found a way to breathe new life into this battle of rap dominance and New York supremacy. From the little nuances, sound bytes, samples and scratching throughout this episode, if you don't get chills, you might not have a pulse. Take It Personal covers the battle of Nas. vs. Jay-Z like never before. Whether you're Team Nas or Team Jay-Z, we guarantee you moments where you'll feel conflicted, startled and even celebratory. So much goes into making these types of shows, so, please continue to spread the word, share these episodes and support Take It Personal Radio, but first, enjoy their Nas vs. Jay-Z battle.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Daniel Son x Futurewave "Moonshine Mix 2" (Album Stream)

Since dropping Moonshine Mix with Crate Divizion a little over two years ago, a lot has happened in Daniel Son’s fast moving career. Having teamed up with the insane production talent Futurewave, the pair went on an unbelievable run of three albums, putting rap on notice that the North was a force to be reckoned with. Each record pushed their own limits, budding a reputation as one of the most reliable and dynamic acts in the scene. Though Futurewave didn’t spearhead the instrumentation of the original, their fourth offering was set to be Moonshine Mix 2, a record that barely afforded fans enough time to digest Yenaldooshi from earlier this year before making itself hard to ignore.... Daniel Son has pushed himself to new heights with every release, and Moonshine Mix 2 was no exception to that trend. As one should come to expect, his confidence and attitude behind the mic built up a massive presence leaving no second of any verse wasted. From a pure engagement standpoint, Daniel Son delivered one of the boldest emcee performances of the year with his blunt and assertive style laying down bar after bar of filthy - realistically morbid and cold - life observations. Review by Dustin for Extraordinary Nobodies. Stream their brand new LP below...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

"94 State Of Mind" (Mixed by Its Overture)

"A musical tapestry of rap in New York circa 1994." Presented by UpNorthTrips and mixed by the ever-talented DJ, Its Overture. The quick-mix features joints from Nas, Mic Geronimo, Artifacts, Brand Nubian, Black Moon, Ghostface & Method Man, Ill Al Skratch, Main Source, Funkdoobiest, Organized Konfusion, Redman, Beastie Boys, The Beatnuts, Raekwon, Boogiemonsters, Keith Murray, Big L, Channel Live, Gang Starr, Fugees, and lots more. Artwork by Rhek. Listen below...

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Kut One "The Icon Series Vol. 1-2" (Nine & Neek The Exotic)

Australian producer and turntablist Kut One showcases not only his own talents but those of two living New York rap legends on The Icons Series, Volume 1 & 2. On the first EP, he’s joined by Queens tough-talker Neek The Exotic, who brought along a few like-minded guests for the ride like Kool G Rap, Royal Flush and Large Professor. And for the second EP, you’ll hear Kut’s intricate productions complemented by the gravelly and gully rhymes of the BX’s Nine. And for the second half, Nine kicks things off with a bang on “Basquiat,” which boasts a hilarious shot at notorious loudmouth Stephen A. Smith over Kut One’s menacing production. That vibe continues on the criminal-minded lead single, “When Ah Pull Up,” the paranoia-heavy “Might Get Show,” and on the raw closing track, “Welcome to N.Y.C.” Taken as a whole, the first two installments of The Icons Series are a thrilling celebration of the grimier side of underground rap. They’re also a reminder that this style of rap has not—and will never—go out of style. It’s a timeless example of the culture’s underbelly, where sample-flipping Boom bap production sets the stage for emcees to talk their shit. Give it a listen below!

Friday, November 01, 2019

DJ Craig G "Winter Jamz" (Mixtape, 1997)

Born and raised in Harlem, DJ Craig G has made a name for himself as part of the The Heavy Hitters. He released this Winter Jamz mix tape in 1997, featuring tracks from KRS-One, Foxy Brown, Tragedy Khadafi & Capone-N-Noreaga, 2Pac (R.I.P.), Mobb Deep & Raekwon, Method Man & Redman, The Lox, McGruff, Heavy D, Yvette Michelle, The Notorious B.I.G. (R.I.P.), Cocoa Brovaz, Big Noyz, Jay-Z, Keith Murray, Tracey Lee, DJ Kool and more. Check out DJ Craig G's Winter Jamz below...

Friday, November 01, 2019

Brother Ali "Secrets & Escapes" (Album Stream)

Secrets & Escapes is a compendium of Brother Ali's time with Evidence over the course of three trips to California, recording in a Venice garage with no regard for pleasing the internet or competing with the music industry. Ev chopped up records on old-school samplers and ran them through a compressor (2 track) so they couldn’t be re-arranged or mixed. Brother Ali sat with the mic and spit rhymes as they came to him, without writing or organizing them into songs. Ev smoked a lot of weed, Ali prayed a lot, and their influences on each other can be heard in the recordings. Every time they made something that reminded them of what they’ve become known for, they threw it away and started something new. Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch and CS Armstrong all came through to bless the project with contributions too. This album is two friends making rap music for no other reason than because it’s what they love to do. Listen to this great project below...

Friday, November 01, 2019

Westside Gunn "Hitler Wears Hermes 7" (Mixtape)

Hitler Wears Hermes 7 is the latest installment of Westside Gunn’s famous HWH mixtape series. The Buffalo rapper enlists features from Estee Nack, Fat Joe, Conway the Machine, Benny the Butcher, Jay Worthy, Boldy James, Curren$y, and Keisha Plum. The production is handled by Alchemist, Daringer, DJ Green Lantern, Statik Selektah, Animoss and JR Swiftz, among others. According to Westside Gunn himself, he wanted to have more drums, soul and high intensity rapping on this installment and that this is the beginning of a new phase of his career. I'm here for it, listen below!

Friday, November 01, 2019

Elcamino x Bozack Morris "Saint Muerte" (Album Stream)

Saint Muerte is the new collaborative project between Toronto producer Bozack Morris and Buffalo lyricst Elcamino. The project is 9 tracks featuring Benny The Butcher, Flee Lord and Rome Streetz. The project is available on CD, cassette and vinyl, as well as a special edition test pressing. I think you know what to expect lyrically and on the production, they deliver on both, so check it out.