Tuesday, March 31, 2020

J.Period "Rage Is Back" (The Mixtape)

J.Period presents Rage Is Back, a mixtape featuring exclusive cuts/freestyles from Black Thought, Common, Blu, Talib Kweli, The Kid Daytona, and Shad! It also features tracks from Nas & Alicia Keys, Steele, Sean P & Styles, Q-Tip, GZA, Mobb Deep, Joey Bada$$ and a whole lot more. The exclusive cuts had been released prior, but now we have the full mix to sit with and enjoy. J.Period's mixes are always high-quality with lots of exclusive content, so enjoy Rage Is Back streaming below.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Nipsey Hussle x DJ Premier "The Premier Hussle" (Mixtape)

Several thousand people showed up to the Staples Center to honor the memory of Nipsey Hussle after his tragic death 1 year ago. He was shot and killed right outside the very clothing store that he owned and operated, but as an artist and community activist, Nipsey Hussle created a legacy that will be felt for generations of people who were inspired by his message of ownership, independence and persistence in the face of adversity. It's important to celebrate those we love while they're here, but it's also important to remember and honor their memory in absence, too. This project by Altered Crates was released 11 months ago, mixing Nipsey Hussle vocals and DJ Premier's beats - you may enjoy it and it'll give a chance to hear his voice in a unique way. R.I.P., Nipsey Hussle.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

J.Period Presents "The Abstract Lost Tapes" (Q-Tip Mix)

This is volume 2 of J.Period's (Abstract) Best series, dedicated to the legendary Queens MC and producer, Q-Tip. The mix features an ill freestyle by Black Thought over Tribe's Steve Biko, as well as the unreleased Q-Tip for President, Renaissance Rap with Busta, Raekwon and Lil Wayne, as well as a bunch of remixes, exclusives and more with Zion I, De La Soul, The Roots, Nas, Slum Village and a lot more. Much respect to Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and Rest in Peace, Phife Dawg.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

ODB "Unique: 'Return to The 36 Chambers" (Documentary)

Amazon Music celebrates the 25th anniversary of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s landmark debut solo album with "Unique: 'Return to The 36 Chambers: 25 Years Later". Released March 28th, 1995 this documentary traces Ol Dirty Bastard’s rise from unsigned hype to household name, exploring key moments in the rapper’s life and the music that defined his debut solo record - from ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ to ‘Brooklyn Zoo.’ Unique features freestyles and never-before-seen footage of the artist born Russell Jones, whose iconic and zany rhyming style catapulted him into the mainstream. The documentary also features interviews from Wu members Raekwon, RZA, and appearances from ODB’s widow, Icelene Jones, Barson Unique Jones (also known as the Young Dirty Bastard), Bobbito Garcia, and more, like Dante Ross, who has some great insight on the album and hip-hop history as a whole: i.e. ODB pissing on LL Cool J's plaque at Chung King studios, which is a story that won't make this documentary but is incredible, lol. A key takeaway is RZA sharing that Shimmy Shimmy Ya "was basically done in my bedroom that in daytime it was a studio, at nighttime I would roll this mat on the floor and me and my family would sleep on the floor. So it’s ironic. It was the last poverty recording.” Amazing! Celebrate the life of Ol' Dirty Bastard and watch the documentary below. 

R.I.P. Russell Tyrone Jones aka Ol' Dirty Bastard.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Big L "Lifestylez Ov Door Poor & Dangerous" (Press Kit)

Big L Columbia Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous Publicity Photo Press Kit Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Here's the text from the original press kit that was sent out in advance of Big L's 'Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous,' which turned 25 today: "1994 will go down in hip-hop history as the year the East Coast returned to reclaim its spot in the rap world. And with the emergence and success of Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan, Brooklyn’s Notorious Big, and Queens’ Nas, the foundation has now been set for the 1995 debut from an uncompromising MC from New York’s forgotten rap borough. Representing Manhattan, or more specifically, 139 Lenox, Harlem U.S.A., is 19-year old Big L; a lyrical terrorist whose debut is sure to put him in the same class as this next school of dope MC’s. But, this type of recognition and acceptance was hard to earn and didn’t come easy to Big L. Dropping undeniably dope verses on Lord Finesse’s ‘Yes You May’ remix as well as on Showbiz & AG’s ‘Represent’ (his first appearances on wax) gained him mad props from thousands of underground hip hop fans but it didn’t necessarily help him gain his own record deal as quickly as he anticipated. ‘A lot of labels didn’t want to sign me at first,’ Big L recalls. ‘I was about ready to give up cause I was like ‘damn, I don’t understand.’ I knew I was better than 99% of the rappers that are signed.’ Big L feels the reason for his initial inability to land a recording contract didn’t have anything to do with lyrical skills or talent but was the result of his lack of an image or gimmick that could be sold to the public. Big L is nothing but a pure MC. A master of ceremonies. The essence of what hip hop was built on.” Also, see my post for the Mr. MVP EP and Rest in Peace, Big L. Additionally, "Just The Facts" is below... (Reposted 3/28/2020, the 25th Anniversary of Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous).

Big L Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous Hip-Hop Nostalgia

Friday, March 27, 2020

Godfather Don x Parental "Osmosis" (Album Stream)

Godfather Don is back with a new album, fully produced by Paris-based Parental. With 16 tracks in total, Osmosis includes all instrumentals, plus a bonus beat by Godfather Don. Godfather Don first appeared in 1991 with Hazardous, released on the Select imprint. The album established Godfather Don as an MC influenced by the blatant, hard-hitting style of Chuck D. A few years later, the Don appeared on and produced the Ultramagnetic MC's' Four Horsemen, which led to a collaboration with that group's standout, Kool Keith. The Cenobites EP was issued on Fondle 'Em Records, which was started by Bobbito Garcia. The material on the EP had originally been recorded as promos for Garcia's underground hip-hop radio show on New York's WKCR. The Cenobites EP was then reissued by Fondle 'Em as a full-length LP. Throughout the 1990s, Godfather Don continued to work as a producer, working on tracks from Kool Keith, Hostyle, and Ayatollah, among others. In 1999, he released his second album, Diabolique, on which his flow was very similar to the bludgeoning raps of his 1991 debut. The album included cameo appearances from Kool Keith and Sir Menelik, and appeared on the Hydra Entertainment imprint, for which Godfather Don continued to record, releasing several 12" singles in 1999, 2000, and 2001. Check his latest effort down below...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fifth Element Closes Its Doors (A Letter From RSE)

"Fifth Element has been a fixture in Minneapolis since it first opened in 1999, but it's also proven to be a destination for Hip Hop fans worldwide. Countless memories have been made in that time and space, while serving our local community as well as traveling visitors and artists alike, and we are thankful for all the love and support you've given us in return over the last 20+ years. Rhymesayers and Fifth Element have always sought to continue building upon our foundation while seeking to grow and evolve with these ever-changing times. Last year, while discussing our next steps for 2020 and the coming decade, we began developing some creative new strategies to better serve the needs of our artists and our community, and we're excited to begin this work. With that outlook in mind, and with respect for recent events requiring temporary closure, we've chosen to permanently close our Uptown Minneapolis retail store. As of April 1st, FifthElementOnline.com will transition to Shop.Rhymesayers.com, which will continue to be the official source for all things Rhymesayers Entertainment. Please continue to support independent artists and businesses as best you can in these challenging times. Stay safe and stay tuned for more new and exciting chapters in our story, for 2020 and beyond. Much love, Fifth Element & Rhymesayers Entertainment." // Thank RSE for all they've done and continue to do for the culture! Please keep supporting RSE and all their artists!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Brad "Scarface" Jordan (Greatest Rapper Of All-Time?)

With news of Brad "Scarface" Jordan testing positive for the coronavirus, it's important we lift him up in prayer, continue to give him his flowers while he can smell them and recognize him as potentially one of the greatest of all-time. To do so, let's look back on my brother Justin Hunte aka The Company Man's #TBDShow discussing Face: "Let’s do the math. 7 group albums since 1988 as part of the Geto Boys. One platinum (We Can’t Be Stopped). Two Gold. (Till Death Do Us Part & The Resurrection). 11 solo albums since 1991’s Mr. Scarface Is Back. 3 Platinum (The Diary, The Untouchable & My Homies). 4 Gold. At least 3 certified classics. The Geto Boys Grip It On Another Level received 5 Mics in The Source. The Fix received 5 mics in The Source. The Diary received a perfect score in The Source and XXL. Mr. Scarface Is Back is absolutely in a classic conversation. Super pioneering piece of work. We’ll get back to that. Face was honored by BET with the I AM Hip Hop Award in 2015. He won best lyricist of 2001 at The Source Awards, beating out Jay-Z, Eminem, Prodigy, and Talib Kweli. That’s a diverse ass class. 29 years. Incredible productivity. Commercial impact. Spilling critical acclaim. That combination helps put into context why Scarface is consistently considered your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Every region is littered with emcees that revere the legendary Brad Jordan. Scarface may be the greatest rapper of all time." Get well, Brad!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Jaguar Skills "Hip-Hop Time Bomb: 1990" (Mix)

Here goes a throwback mix of gems from 1990 from DJ/Producer Jaguar Skills. In his words, "details of his real name, age and home town are left largely unconfirmed," but what is clear is his selection of dope tracks for this 90s mixtape. You will hear tracks from LL Cool J, Digital Underground, Boogie Down Productions, EPMD, K-Solo, Ice Cube, Gang Starr, Eric B. & Rakim, Chubb Rock, N.W.A., and more mixed with original samples, breaks and skits in between. A fine mix, click play below...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Phife Dawg "The Don Juice Files" (Mix)

The Hip-Hop community lost our beloved brother Phife Dawg 4 years ago yesterday (3/22/20). In honor of his memory, here is a sophomore album that never was - The Don Juice Files - it contains a sequence of some of the best solo material Phife released outside of his lone solo album in 2000 (Ventilation: Da LP), compiled by DJ Leroy Rey. Call it a round-up of loosies, a few rarities and some forgotten gems. Much love to Q-Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest. Rest In Peace, Malik Izaak Taylor aka Phife Dawg (November 20, 1970 - March 22, 2016). Listen...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Happy Born Day, DJ Premier: Royalty!

Happy Born Day to true hip-hop royalty - the Greatest Of All-Time - DJ Premier! You can't find a more talented, more respectful and more principled man in this whole entire industry. A true giant in the culture and a towering exception to the rule that you should never meet your heroes. May he continue to rep the best of the culture and live a long, happy life. We love you, Preem! Salute OG. "Y’all mothaf#ckas really don’t know what this hip hop is all about... So while you keep on faking the funk, we gonna keep on walkin' through the darkness, carryin' our torches. Underground will live forever, baby! … And on that note, let's get back to the program…" Gang Starr, one of the best yet!

"Wherever I go, I want to take nothin' less than the best
Whatever I choose, I choose to do
I have to stand out from all the rest"

Update: Much respect and thanks to Preemo for sharing his 54th Birthday with us last night on IG Live. He blew out the candles on his cake and did an exclusive set with HOURS of dope music. He shared some exclusive joints like a remix for Madonna, an unreleased track he produced for KRS, dub tracks for Jeru The Damaja and all around just his funky selections of breaks, production, classics and more. During this pandemic, it lightened the mood and brought together a culture of hip-hop heads. Props to Apathy, Statik Selektah, Dstroy of the Arsonists, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, LL Cool J, Posdnuos, Fat Joe, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and so many others that were in the chat showing love to the legend. It felt like 1994 in there last night, a memory I won't forget. Royalty! 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Tribe Called Quest "The Anthology" (Promo Mixtape, 1999)

In 1999, this mixtape was a promotional (cassette) release for A Tribe Called Quest's "The Anthology" compilation. It was mixed by DJ Noise and features a solid intro, as well as cuts like Steve Biko, Push It Along, 1nce Again, Foot Prints, Buggin' Out, Mind Power, The Chase (Part 2), Oh My God, Busta's Lament and The Pressure. I think we can all agree that during these difficult times, we look back on better days and surely A Tribe Called Quest's music was the soundtrack to many of them (for me). With that said, dig into the short mix below and Rest In Peace, Phife Dawg.

If you want the full artwork, the back cover art is available below.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Adagio! "New York To Philly" (Album Stream)

Next up on "90's Tapes" is another grail from the Eastcoast, this time they are more than excited to present the first ever anthology of Adagio!'s classic cuts from the golden era. Adagio! (pronounced "A-dee-gee-o") stands for "A Definition of Ambition, Goals, Interest and Organization!". The Juggaknots-affiliated New York and Philadelphia based underground hip-hop duo consisting of Rayme Supreme (Raymond Fogle) and Big Cousin also known as The Obvious Wonder (Brian Pritchett aka Carta' P.) had a few 12" releases from 1996 that still appear on many wantlists. These are definitely some mid-90s underground bangers, check them out on all formats. - via Bandcamp

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Raekwon x Ghostface Killah "Built To Last" (Mix)

The 'Built To Last' Radio Show is hosted by Corrado and I Joe, each Thursday from 8-9pm on Radio campus FM in Toulouse, France. The latest mix in their series of tributes to classic emcees and producers shows love to two of the greatest ever to bless the mic, Shaolin giants of the Wu-Tang Clan: Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. Rae & Ghost have blessed us repeatedly over the years with their witty wordplay and clever rhymes, so dig into this fresh selection of tracks by Built To Last.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Take It Personal Podcast "Indie Hip-Hop Tribute Pt.2"

Episode 60 is the 2nd installment of Take It Personal Radio's indie hip-hop tribute. This time they’re joined by Shawn J. Period, a major player in the indie movement. They discuss his days on Big Beat, his first group Down South and his collaborations with Mos Def, Heltah Skeltah, Da Bush Babees, Mad Skillz and The Artifacts. This is an XXL episode clocking in over 5 ½ hours of music and discussion. You'll hear joints from Company Flow, Kool Keith, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Non Phixon, MF DOOM, J-Live, Wee Bee Foolish, The Arsonists, Eminem, People Under The Stairs, 7L & Esoteric, Jedi Mind Tricks, Natural Elements, Godfather Don, Juggaknots, Royce Da 5’9, Pharoahe Monch, Common, Mr. Lif, Atmosphere and so much MORE! "If you were all up on IRC, AOL or Prodigy chat, copped records at Fat Beats after a slice of Joe's Pizza, maybe ordered from Sandboxautomatic or Hiphopsite and repped labels like Fondle ‘Em, Rawkus, Def Jux, Stones Throw, Hydra, GuessWyld, Eastern Conference, ABB, Anticon, Hiero or Rhymesayers, then THIS episode is for your!" Sincerely, the Take It Personal Crew. Much respect to the good homie, Philaflava. Listen below...

Friday, March 13, 2020

Jay Electronica "A Written Testimony" (Album Stream)

A Written Testimony is the long-awaited debut studio album from Jay Electronica. It was recorded over 40 days and 40 nights, starting December 26th, 2019. It includes appearances from Jay-Z, Travis Scott, James Blake and The-Dream, as well as production from NO I.D, Swizz Beatz, Hit-Boy, The Alchemist and Khruangbin. That's the official breakdown, but when you listen, you will have to decide for yourself, is this really the official debut studio album from Jay Electronica? Is it featuring Jay-Z or is this a collaborative album a la Watch The Throne? And why is Jay-Z the first voice you hear on the project. One thing is clear, Jay Electronica is a true MC! He and Hov brought something great out of each on the album. It's full of lines that will force listeners to pause, Google and reflect, which brings light to his faith and spreads a good message overall. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, nor is he my favorite artist, but I do hope that the weight of a release has been lifted and he'll get right back in the studio. Preferably with Just Blaze on the production, because however intentional it might've been, the production is kinda frail on this LP.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

DJ Eclipse "Test The Hi Power" (Dancehall Mix)

Much thanks to DJ Eclipse, who put this classic Dancehall mix together for our listening pleasure. The 2-hour mix features tracks from Freddie McGregor, Shabba Ranks, Johnny Osbourne, Beres Hammond, Cutty Ranks, Ninjaman, and lots more. Plenty of classic records from the generation that helped birth the dancehall scene that crossed over and became a worldwide phenomenon.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

DJ Beanz "Deadly Venoms" (Album Stream)

Deadly Venoms is the debut album from Boston's DJ Beanz. Beanz has recruited a grip of today's best lyricists in the underground, like Ty Farris, Termanology, Lil Eto, Hus Kingpin, SmooVth and more. Her underground radio show also supports these artists and many of your favorite MCs, so it's important to support her right back. Peace to the good brother, Money Miz. CD and Vinyl available.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Shawn "Jay-Z" Corey Carter (Resume, 2008)

VIBE put together this resume in September, 2008 to highlight the achievements of one of the greatest of all-time: Jay-Z. With education from George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn and the school of hardknocks in the Marcy Projects, Billionaire Hov rose to become "An entrepreneur and recording artist who has established and led corporations and products to new levels of international success in a variety of industries and cutting-edge markets. Proven ability to create and mold a brand image and successfully convey that vision to the masses, resulting in significant growth of enterprise value." Who you know fresher than Hov'? Riddle me that. Is Jay-Z the G.O.A.T.?

Monday, March 02, 2020

Raekwon "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" (Classic Material)

"I started doin' my thing when I was like 15 or 16. Hallway style, in the staircases," recalls Raekwon The Chef, one of the Wu-Tang Clan's mightiest swords. "It was like a hobby back then. You know, punch the beatbox out with your face towards the wall." Straight from these humble recreational Staten Island beginnings (Rae's first crew was called the Rec Posse) rose one of the most important forces in the history of hip-hop: the Wu-Tang Clan.... Only Built was recorded in early 1995, mostly in the basement of RZA's newly-purchased Shaolin duplex. No nonsense involved, just beats and rhymes.... (Classic Material: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, 1995). Rae breaks down a few classics below...

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Shabaam Sahdeeq x J57 "Precious Stones" (Album Stream)

Precious Stones is a collaborative album between underground legend Shabaam Sahdeeq and the 'drum god' J57! This gem of an album is solely produced by J57 with features from Jamo Gang, Planet Asia, Nems, El Da Sensei, DV Alias Khryst, Casual, Tristate and lots more. J57 continues to showcase his range as a producer, mixing up different styles, sounds and patterns to bring out unique flows and complex deliveries from all the artists involved. This project is long-awaited when I think back to the Fat Beats days. Planet Asia and DJ Muggs were doing an in-store for Pain Language and after the store was shut down, we set up a cipher with Planet Asia, Shabaam Sahdeeq and the Brown Bag AllStars - beats by J57 and The Audible Doctor. Shabaam was spitting FLAMES over J57's beats, I guess it was only a matter of time before they connected for an album!