October 31, 2020

Tha Dogg Pound "Dogg Food" (10/31/95)

Tha Dogg Pound -- a rap duo consisting of Dat Nigga Daz and Kurupt the Kingpin -- first made its mark as a guest on two hugely successful albums: Dre's "The Chronic" and Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Doggystyle." The pair also contributed to the platinum soundtracks of the films "Poetic Justice," "Murder Was the Case," "Above the Rim" and "Natural Born Killers." Snoop and Dre return the favor here, one rapping, the other providing brisk, clean mixes for production mostly done by Daz. Though their previous work has been readily available, Tha Dogg Pound suddenly discovered that its debut album was the bone of contention pitting Interscope (which distributed Death Row Records) against Time Warner (which until recently distributed Interscope). "Dogg Food" became the public issue in the messy divorce of Interscope and Time Warner, partly because Death Row refused to let Time Warner executives preview the album. Even before the album was completed, such pop culture critics as Bob Dole, William Bennett and, particularly, C. DeLores Tucker attacked "Dogg Food," which, of course, none of them had actually heard. Oddly enough, such criticism provided invaluable publicity that was quickly embraced by the group itself. "Anyone who got upset in the past over so-called gangsta rap is going to get real hot about the stuff we're about to put out," they promised in the Los Angeles Times.... Death Row courted the controversy and even created a prime-time television commercial that all but promised "Dogg Food" (which eventually found a distributor with another L.A. label, Priority) would be so bad to the bone it would change rap music forever.... - The Washington Post. This highly controversial album still gets a lil' burn, and I have a lot of respect for both Daz and Kurupt, but bare in mind, it was always East Coast all day, for me. Revisit it below...

Below is an original Dogg Pound sticker and the cassette...

October 31, 2020

D.J.P "Hell On Wheels" (Mixtape, 1998)

"This year Halloween fell on a weekend." ... "Hell On Wheels" is a classic Halloween/horror mix from Rocksteady Crew's D.J.P, which mixes together classic tracks and original movie samples exclusively via VHS. Utilizing an 8-track mixer, D.J.P was able to piece together one of the greatest concept mixes of its genre. Some years back, a CD was reissued for the mix: "D.J.P drops a very limited reissue of his long sought after “Story and Song From Hell On Wheels” mixtape – on CD. P does what he does best here: dope, liquid mixes and completely unexpected blends. This album features wonderfully dark music, from Ice Cube’s “Wicked” to the classic Geto Boys “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me”. Fully, professionally manufactured with beautifully grotesque artwork. Make sure you pick up a copy to get the body rockin’ haunted house party started right!" You can order a copy of the CD HERE, and listen to the streams below. Have a happy halloween, be safe out there, ya dig?! 

October 30, 2020

Mr. Lif & Stu Bangas "Countdown To Vangarde" (Mixed by J.Rocc)

With their hotly anticipated collaborative album due out soon, Mr. Lif & Stu Bangas—collectively known as Vangarde—have linked with legendary turntablist J Rocc to put together an ill new mixtape, ‘Countdown to Vangarde.’ We’re treated to classic tracks taken from Lif’s discography, along with a couple leaks off ‘Vangarde.’ And you know it wouldn’t be a J Rocc mix without his original blends, and so we’re also treated to a pair of dope mash-ups that combine some of Lif’s acapellas over Stu’s previously released instrumentals. Give the mix a spin and mark your calendars for the Friday, Nov. 13th release of ‘Vangarde.’ The 11 track LP includes guest appearances by Murs, Akrobatik, Eternia, Bluprint, Reef the Lost Cauze, Blacastan and Puma Ptah, and will be available on vinyl as well as CD via Fat Beats. Support my brother, Mr. Lif, on this new project, listen to it below...

October 29, 2020

Ghostface Killah "Ironman" (October 29, 1996)

The Wu-Tang Clan has dominated the hip-hop world for the past three years, starting with its classic debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Each subsequent solo release from individual members has further added to the Shaolin collective's mystique. The fifth in that series is Iron Man, the debut disc from Ghostface Killah. Originally one of the Clan's lesser known figures, Ghost became visible in his co-starring role on Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... But while Raekwon's album perfected criminology rap, Iron Man delves into more earthy, introspective topics. Ghost rhymes like he has too much to say and not enough time to say it. His unorthodox flow makes his double-meaning-packed lyrics hard to fully absorb at first listen. While last year's single "Motherless Child" first hinted at his troubled childhood, "All That I Got Is You" (featuring Mary J. Blige) passionately details that autobiography of the Clan's most mysterious member over a loop from the Jackson 5's "Maybe Tomorrow." Backed up with support from his Wu-Tang brethren and a surprise cameo by '70s soul group the Delfonics ("After The Smoke Is Clear"), Ghostface Killah saves the day like a superhero by allowing us to take a look at the man behind the mask. - CMJ New Music Monthly (1/97). Ghostface's Ironman was released on October 29, 1996. Revisit this classic LP below...

A copy of the CMJ album review (January, 1997) is available below...

October 28, 2020

Lyric Jones "Closer Than They Appear" (EP Stream)

The title Closer Than They Appear serves as a motif inspired by half the fine print warning on the side view mirrors of vehicles: “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. The symbolism of the phrase weaves a web connecting many things in my life, especially my music career. The title sort of speaks to the questions I’ve feared asking myself as I’ve grown older: Is a viable music career still attainable for me? Did I say all I have to say? Did I do all I was supposed to do? We use those side view mirrors to guide us while driving. They’re vital and important tools, directly in front of us. I see myself as an object in the mirror that may be closer to my career breakthrough and self-actualization than I think... It’s almost as if I’m telling myself to keep going in the album title." - Lyric Jones. Making this album, Phonte served as executive producer and helped Lyric break free from the “female rapper” box she'd been trying to break out of for years. She adds, "My goal was to steer clear of such titles by flexing my range as a songwriter, rapper, vocalist, conceptualist, and diving into genres outside of Hip-Hop.” Definitely show Lyric Jones' new EP some love below...

October 27, 2020

The Alchemist "Food Villain" (Album Stream)

Alchemist celebrates his 43rd birthday with the release of a new solo project entitled, Food Villain. The 16-track (mostly) instrumental project features a batch of lethal loops with snippets from his culinary escapades on Action Bronson‘s Fuck, That’s Delicious stitched into the mix. Bronson and Big Body Bes contribute the project’s only features. Ingenious, which can often be said of the Alchemist's crafty production, you'll wanna dig into Food Villain now. Props to OKP for the heads-up.

October 27, 2020

DJ Rob One "Hip Hop Can't Be Stopped" (Mixtape, 1994)

DJ Rob One (R.I.P.) released his Hip Hop Can't Be Stopped mix tape in 1994. The tape features tracks from A Tribe Called Quest, Crooklyn Dodgers, Arrested Development, Kenny Dope, Gang Starr, Dred Scott, Boogie Down Productions, SWV, Organized Konfusion, Artifacts, The Beatnuts, Casual, Buckshot Lefonque, Slick Rick, EPMD, Nice & Smooth, Queen Latifah, Run DMC, Brooklyn Slumlordz, Kurious, Nas and Volume 10. Revisit DJ Rob One's Hip Hop Can't Be Stopped '94 mixtape below...

October 27, 2020

Verbal Kent & The Other Guys "The Blade of the Short Cut"

Chicago emcee Verbal Kent and DC based producers The Other Guys bring you their first collaborative effort "Blade of The Short Cut." The album features fellow Ugly Heroes member Chris Orrick, and also features a remix by the groups producer Apollo Brown. "Blade of The Short Cut" was recorded in the span of a year while the trio traveled back and forth from Chicago and DC to record arguably Verbal Kent's most personal album. I'm a little late on this one, but I've been enjoying the album and wanna play it forward. Give The Blade of the Short Cut a spin below...

October 26, 2020

Shaolin Drunk "Raw Feeling" (Instrumental EP)

Here's an 8-track instrumental project entitled "Raw Feeling" - the third release from Shaolin Drunk on Brazilian label Heavy Drums Productions. The instrumentals are as advertised and I think you'll enjoy the vibe, so dig into it below. Not much else to say, since I'm not too familiar with Shaolin Drunk - can someone shoot me over some more info? I'd be happy to check out past releases and learn more about any of his production credits. Catch the Raw Feeling and Heavy Drums below...

October 25, 2020

Rashid Hadee "6 Packs & Cognac" (EP Stream)

Chicago producer and emcee, Rashid Hadee, is back with a quick 6-track EP entitled 6 Packs & Cognac. The title of the project almost turned me off, but honestly, there's plenty of quality substance on this EP, also featuring heavy, soulful production by Rashid, Kenny Keys, Nottz, and 5ifth Element. Do not sleep on this one, this is a nice project and I'm happy I gave it a fair listen! Props to Skyzoo, Philmore Greene, Neak, and Peter Jericho who appear on the EP, listen below...

October 24, 2020

Stretch & Bobbito + The M19s Band "Freestyle EP" (EP Stream)

In FREESTYLE EP 1, Stretch and Bobbito pay homage to their past while simultaneously transcending to the present. Using cutting edge technology to create a cappella versions of iconic live performances from their legendary 1990s radio show, the duo has digitally remastered, as well as enhanced, the original recordings of freestyles by Biggie, Big L + Jay-Z, and Method Man + Ghostface Killah. Additionally, they took these isolated vocals and created remix versions by layering in new background instrumentals featuring original music played by their band the M19s Band, which Stretch then sampled and looped. Ultimately, both the original ‘90s versions as well as the remix versions reach unprecedented new ground in the merging of beats, rhymes, life and technology!

Much respect and thanks to Stretch & Bobbito. Photo by Janette Beckman...

October 23, 2020

Dilated Peoples "Expansion Team" (October 23, 2001)

Rappers Rakaa (Iriscience) and Evidence and turntablist Babu promote positivity and endorse old-school production values. They rap about freedom of speech instead of big-bootied women on "Proper Propaganda," and employ the unruly but addictive Liks on "Heavy Rotation," instead of the platinum-clinching Timbaland. Even if Dilated Peoples proves less musically adventurous than Left Coast comrades like Jurassic 5 and Blackalicious, the trio's second album, Expansion Team, offers plenty to entice: raw, battle-ready flows, DJ Babu's steady rhythms, and a complete disregard for fashion. The back-to-basics formula is unlikely to make reigning heavyweights like Jay-Z sweat, but tracks such as "Trade Money" and "War" restore hip-hop's flagging integrity, while guest collaborators like DJ Premier and ?uestlove give the proceedings a distinct aid of honor. - Vibe Magazine (December, 2001). I think earlier parts of the review were a little shortsighted but well-intentioned... and I get it. Certainly Dilated Peoples have had an amazing career as a group and as solo artists, and I'd like to think they've since upgraded their "1982 Datsuns" - maybe opting for something other than Hummers though. Plus, "Worst Comes to Worst" was the clear winner from this project, even its simplicity. Alchemist's production and Babu's cuts are dope! Of course, R.I.P., Guru + all those we lost in the Towers, which were featured in the video and was recorded just days before 9/11. For more back story on that, click HERE and listen to Expansion Team below...

Below is a promo sticker & patch for the LP + the full Vibe review...

October 23, 2020

Small Professor "A Jawn Supreme, Vol.3" (Instrumental Album)

Small Professor closes out his stunning 'A Jawn Supreme' series with Vol. 3, a collection of instrumentals that elegantly balances moments of somber, moody reflection with an overarching feeling of hope. It’s also a perfect encapsulation of where the world’s at, and it’s all told through the lens of timeless hip-hop production. Whereas Vol. 1 skewed somber as well and Vol. 2 was a nod to hip-hop’s Golden Era, Vol. 3 finds the Philadelphia native more comfortable in expressing both his frustration and optimism. There are hints of his hopefulness running through the seams of Vol. 3, like on the anti-misogyny head-nodder “janet jackson never lies” and low-key sultry “moan.” Small Pro also dabbles in his simmering anger on tense cuts like “INTP” and “original rap,” but again, they’re here to provide a sense of balance that is not just relevant, but relatable. For the tape-heads, limited copies of all three volumes will be available on one cassette in November. Dig into it...

October 22, 2020

Take It Personal Podcast "The 1995 Episodes" (1-3)

Take It Personal Radio is about to make one hell of a convincing case as to why 1995 was the greatest year in hip-hop. Why it had the best production, the best singles, the best remixes and some of the best replay value in hip-hop history. They've got an awful lot to cover, so they broke it into 3 full-length episodes, all of which are available below. From classics to anthems; remixes; West coast gems; soundtracks; Wu classics and lots more! This is your music for the day, don't go anywhere! Props to Kevlar, DJ 360 and Philaflava. Props also to Apathy, who is a solid guest! TBC?!?

October 22, 2020

Mood "Built To Last" (Mix)

Here's the latest tribute mix from Built To Last, showing love to the Mood crew out of Cincinnati, OH. The group includes rappers Main Flow, Donte, and producer Jahson. They were originally formed as Three Below Zero, but changed their name to Mood in 1994. With production from Hi-Tek (and Jahson), the group gained underground acclaim with tracks like Karma, Hustle On The Side, Secrets of the Sand; remixes with J Dilla and introducing the Brooklyn MC, Talib Kweli. Their album "Doom" was released in 1997 and if you aren't up on it still, you've been missing out. They also had a compilation LP in 2000 called Mission Control Presents and went on to release multiple solo projects and a few projects as a group in recent years. Some of the highlights from their group catalog are in the mix below, check it out and definitely hit the tags for other Built To Last mixes.

October 21, 2020

The Firm "The Firm Album" (Cassette Sampler, 1997)

"The Firm was like this hip-hop supergroup. All three of them - Nas, AZ, and Foxy Brown - had reached a level of success by this time, so getting the three of them together was a real challenge. AZ was an hour late, Nas was an hour late, and Foxy was even later, like hours and hours, so I decided to work with AZ and Nas first and got some individual shots. I remember Nas was wearing this big "QB" (Queensbridge) medallion. I shot this at Sony Studios soundstage. I was always really inspired by the Blue Note albums, so I used filters for the lights and also added a filter on the lens, and that gives it the red tone. When you apply red filters to black-and-white photos in particular, it does something really magical to skin tones." - Jamil GS (Contact High). Just about anything that could be said of The Firm's 1997 group album has already been said, surely, but just wanted to revisit the album on its anniversary and aside from the photoshoot above, also share the original album sampler (via cassette) that was hosted by DJ Clue and released to promote the LP. It's dope that Cormega is back in the fold of things and is featured on the King's Disease LP. Of course, respect to Nature, who had one of the best mix tape runs at that time. He bodied everything he touched on those early Clue mix tapes. Anyhow, released on 10/21/97.... listen to the sampler below.

Firm Biz ad from The Source's cover issue with Nas, Foxy & AZ...

October 20, 2020

Black Thought "Streams of Thought, Vol.3" (Album Stream)

Black Thought offers his creative critique of America with his latest album, Streams of Thought Vol. 3: Cane & Abel. Streams of Thought Vol. 3: Cane & Abel attacks subject matter that led him to co-create The Roots nearly 30 years ago and is still relevant today. Black Thought uses his lyrics to cleverly address the plight Black Americans are facing while still being direct so that his message isn't lost in translation. Although the work is indicative of the moment, Black Thought explains to Variety that the current Black Lives Matter movement didn't inspire the tracks. "This collection is on par with previous volumes and later volumes of 'Streams of Thought' as to what I talk about, what I speak to… I cover a broad range of subject matter, but it’s always coming from the same place. It’s reflective of the moment, but not solely in the moment," Black Thought said before stating that the goal is to make music that isn't impacted by time. "It might sound ambitious to want to create a timeless classic, but that is always in my muscle memory, a challenge I rise to with different producers every time out," he continued. "Some of this stuff was recorded before March and since that time become more timely." - Complex. Black Thought is #T5DOA, hear why below...

October 19, 2020

Pharoahe Monch "Internal Affairs" (Album Sampler, 1999)

"As one half of Organized Konfusion (OK), the 27-year-old Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., native co-sired some of hip-hop's most innovative but commercially ignored creations during his eight years of paying dues. Three albums later, and with OK on indefinite hiatus, Monch, born Troy Jamerson, sees his Rawkus Records solo debut, Internal Affairs (which features guest spots from fellow wonder mike masters Busta Rhymes, Canibus, and Common), as an opportunity to purge volatile emotions and refine his ever-evolving performance persona. "Moving into this LP," Monch says, "my goal is to develop an audience that [sees me], "He's kinda deep in the shit that he thinks about. At the same time, he likes porn, [sex], and the same shit I like.'" "Simon Says," Internal Affairs' commanding lead single, is the hottest song both on Big Apple radio and in clubland. Built off a doomsday horn riff, a freestyled do-as-Pharoahe-does chorus, and periodic exhortations to "get the fuck up!" it's that unique song that both underground-worshipping hip hop academicians and Hennessey-sipping thugs can enjoy. So how's this longtime underdog adjusting to such stratospheric recognition? "[People] haven't put the face together with the song," Monch concedes in a typically low-key manner. "I was on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, 'Simon Says' came on the radio, and, like, eight squeegle guys were all dancing around the car. I pulled up to the light and was like 'Yo, good lookin'.' And they're like, 'What the fuck are you lookin' at?'" But Monch is unfazed. He knows that with a Busta Rhymes-directed video for "Simon Says" on the way, nobody will have problems matching tune and performer." - Vibe, 12/99. Internal Affairs is still a classic album that I keep in constant rotation, so I thought I'd share the original cassette album sampler with you on its anniversary (10/19/99) today. The flip side of the cassette was Mos Def's Black On Both Sides, which maybe I'll share separately in another post.

The flyer for the album release party and more below...

October 18, 2020

Benny The Butcher "Burden of Proof" (Album Stream)

Benny The Butcher's latest solo project is entitled Burden of Proof. The Buffalo-bred MC has put together another solid release with his follow-up to last year's The Plugs I Met EP. The new LP features Rick Ross, Freddie Gibbs, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Dom Kennedy, Westside Gunn, Conway and more! The entire LP is produced by Hit-Boy, who also produced recent albums for Nas and Big Sean. Griselda Records is having one of the best runs we've ever seen, and this is another great project in their collective's catalog. Lots more to come, no question - dig into it below, and stay tuned...

October 17, 2020

Mic Geronimo "The Natural" (Elements Magazine, 1996)

Let's take it back to about 25 years ago... the place is Flushing, Queens; the man, an aspiring 19 year old MC named Mic Geronimo. "I used to rock at talent shows and shit, and then y'know, my man Irv had seen me one night and he said he had some studio time and did I wanna do a lil' demo." That was just the beginning for the now 22 47 year old MC also known as the Masta I.C. Geronimo got his name from one of his songs back in the day called "Microphone Geronimo" and the shit stuck. Signed to the young indie label Blunt Recordings, Mic released his debut album entitled "The Natural". Ironically, when he first shopped his demo record companies weren't interested so, like other hungry artists before him, he pressed up his own 12 inch. The idea was to create a buzz in the industry so record labels would take notice and the plan evidently worked. "Shit's Real" set it off for Geronimo. Not only did the single hook him up with a deal but it also became an underground classic. When asked where the funding came from for that first record all Mic had to say was "We just came up with the loot." Payin' dues... word up. - via Elements Magazine (March, 1996). As it's the 25th anniversary of the release of The Natural this year and Mic just did an interview with NORE and EFN on Drink Champs (an update now that it’s live), it felt right to revisit this classic LP from Mic Geronimo. Don't sleep on Kutmasta Kurt's Computamix to "Shit's Real", too. Look forward to hearing more about how Mic Geronimo's relationship with Irv Gotti went sour, life outside of music, as well as the new projects he's been working on. Meanwhile, revisit The Natural album below...

Mic Geronimo's Interview in Elements Magazine, March 1996.

October 16, 2020

Homeboy Sandman "Don't Feed The Monster" (Album Stream)

Homeboy Sandman’s new album Don’t Feed The Monster, is a collaboration with producer/MC Quelle Chris. It’s also his most vulnerable & poignant work to date. Having grown up in Queens, New York, hip-hop was part of everything in life. This deep-rooted connection to the culture is evident when listening to his style of rhyming- bold, classic & deeply respectful. On Don’t Feed The Monster, he pulls back any pretense to show his most honest truth - a process that he needed both artistically and spiritually. “I was having a hard time and this record saved me thank Quelle and thank God and shout to Gabor Maté,” he said about the new album. Quelle Chris has been one of the most talked about and celebrated hip-hop artists these last few years. “There's a certain mystic/magical power in words, sounds, rhythms, etc. It's rare to come across a brother/artist like Sandman,” he says when asked about his new album with Homeboy Sandman. The new album Don’t Feed The Monster is a marvel of how an artist can dig deeper still, even years into his craft. The chemistry between the producer & MC has unlocked something within Sandman, surfacing memories, textures & details in a more vivid way than ever before. - via MMG. Props to my brother Boy Sand. Listen to it below...

October 15, 2020

W0javelli "The Best Of The Beatnuts" (Mix)

Props to Wojavelli, here's his Best of The Beatnuts mixtape. A continuous mix of The Beatnuts' hits, underground cuts and blends. The production/rapper duo of Psycho Les and Junkyard Juju (+ Al' Tariq & V.I.C. formerly) have brought us some of the best joints over the years, so this mix runs through many of their familiar gems and more slept-on cuts. Dig into it below and peace to Corona, Queens. "We are all about the beat, that's our formula when we produce shit, the beats gotta be hot, it's gotta grab you. 'Cause I'll be the first n!gga to say that we're not the best MCs in the world. It kills me to hear these nice MCs rhyming over fucking garbage." - The Beatnuts. Dig in...

October 14, 2020

Lugz Promo Commercials (1999-2001)

Lugz first made a name for itself in October of 1993, bringing its first line of boots to market, with the initial product consisting of two styles of boots, a quilted vest and a pair of jeans. Soon Lugz was endorsed by key players from the world of hip hop and continued to do so through out the years. One such collaboration led Lugz to breathe life to a whole new category of footwear with the introduction of the first ever celebrity-endorsed “Funk Master Flex” urban driving shoe. This was only the beginning as support then lead to a collaborative line with hip-hop superstar Bryan “Baby” Williams, aka “Birdman” with his own series of sneakers and boots. Seen as a money-grab throughout the industry, these collaborations looked funny in the light. Before that, however, there were numerous advertisements and collaborative commercials between hip-hop artists and Lugz. Some spots ran between around 1999-2001, and included artists like 50 Cent, De La Soul, Erick Sermon, Pharoahe Monch, KRS-One and Rahzel, among others. Pharoahe Monch rewriting "Simon Says" for Lugz always hurt my feelings, but I understood the business, lol. You can revisit those specific tracks below, but please don't take it too seriously, lol. Hopefully it doesn't get taken down.

October 13, 2020

Develop "Memories Of The East" (Instrumental Album)

Memories Of The East is the latest instrumental project from Australian beatmaker Develop. Develop's production for the album was done with an MPC 2500/MPC Live, Microkorg and Logic X. I'm sorry to report that I don't know much about Develop, but I caught Memories Of The East through the Bandcamp app, and I was pleasantly surprised, so I wanted to put y'all on, too. Props to all the talented producers, DJs and artists in Australia doing their thing, as well as the homie Hau, holdin it down on Triple J radio. I'm gonna dig into Develop's back catalog - do it HERE.

October 13, 2020

Kumbaya "Page From The Rip" (Single)

A rare loosie as I recently came across this dope spitter named Kumbaya. Residing in Queens, New York, the track is called "Page From The Rip," with production from King Willz. The poet, MC, drummer, beatmaker and all around artist comes widdit on this record. You get a clear sense from the track that words matter and the flow and delivery, it's all very intentional. I'll be keeping an eye out, but below is just a taste as I'm unaware of a full-length album attached to this single (currently). There's also a video for the track, which you can check out HERE. Give it a listen below...

October 13, 2020

Raekwon & Ghostface Killah (Art by @Squatdeadface)

The talented artist Squatdeadface posted these phenomenal art pieces to his IG, paying tribute to The Purple Tape by Raekwon and Ghostface Killah's Ironman. There are also pieces for Sean Price, Roc Marciano, MF Doom, Cam'ron, Mos Def, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and of course - the Griselda Records camp, + lots more. You can order prints directly HERE, and here's a statement from the artist himself, "In a digital realm I maintain a vision to recreate my world through the arts, a heavy footing in the roots of hip hop, I create organized chaos, beauty in the linear notes of my work. I am an artist first, I'm not an illustrator, I'm not a graphic designer; I'm an artist. you support my journey by being apart of it, however that maybe, a purchase, a comment, a share, a like, all of this contributes to the mission. Believe in me and I will honour your belief. A big year is ahead. Salute and thank you! Any enquiries relating to artwork, cover art, commission based, job opportunities, or any questions in general, there is no wrong question, feel free to contact me directly, either through the contact page, email or DM on IG." Super talented artist, much respect - show love!

October 12, 2020

What Had Happened Was "What Didn't Happen Episode" (Podcast)

According to Open Mike Eagle, it’s ‘What Didn't Happen’ Day on the season finale of What Had Happened Was. This sadly marks the last episode of Mike's dope conversation series with the legendary Prince Paul. So... on this episode, Open Mike Eagle and Prince Paul spoke about collaborations that were supposed to happen; big projects that fell through, and looking ahead to some of the things that are to come in the future. As I've said, this has consistently been one of my favorite new podcasts, so tune in and enjoy! You'll hear what's next, support these brothers.

October 11, 2020

DJ Rei Double R & G-Bo The Pro "Tape #17" (Mixtape, 1993)

Back again with another classic mix tape from DJ Rei Double R & G-Bo The Pro, Tape #17. Released in October 1993, their "Second Anniversary Tape" featured tracks from Jeru The Damaja, Black Moon, Tha Alkaholiks, Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, Strictly Roots, KRS-One, Erick Sermon, Akinyele, Das EFX, Snoop Dogg, SWV, Naughty By Nature, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Zhane, Souls of Mischief, Original Flavor, Biz Markie, and more! These remain some of my favorite tapes from the 90s, and there are plenty other releases from DJ Rei Double R & G-Bo The Pro in the archives, so dig in...

October 10, 2020

Real Bad Man "On High Alert, Vol.3" (EP Stream)

Los Angeles clothing imprint Real Bad Man has been steadily releasing their On High Alert EP series throughout the year, tapping some of the most revered hip-hop veterans of recent memory and pairing them with rising rappers for truly unique and cohesive offerings. After dropping On High Alert, Volume 1 back in February and On High Alert, Volume 2 back in May, the third installment is finally available to stream today. On High Alert, Volume 3 spans six songs and just under 20 minutes, enlisting past collaborators like Boldy James and Pink Siifu, as well as Meyhem Lauren, Kool Kieth, Kool G Rap and Flee Lord. The project is short but undeniably sweet with instrumentals that flawlessly meld old school boom-bap sensibilities with hypnotic and semi-psychedelic touches. When paired with the other two installments, Real Bad Man creates an insular sonic world that taps into hip-hop history and experimentation. All are well worth your listening time. - via HypeBeast. Dig in...

October 09, 2020

Company Flow "End To End Burners" + R.I.P. Phase 2

"Company Flow is a group that doesn't care what anyone else is doing. They do their thing, regardless. You have to respect that. You have to respect their originality, too. Their style, sound, and delivery is ahead of its time. Company Flow have often been overlooked by American mainstream, but embraced and worshipped by European Hip-Hop fans. True, there are people out here that appreciate Co-Flow as artists. I am one of them. But I personally think this underground versus mainstream shit is so played. If your shit is proper, it is proper. I happen to be a graf artist, and I give props to them for reppin' for the graf writers. The End To End Burners video's visual's takes graf to a whole other level. It is animated graffiti. They even teamed up with Phase 2 for the cover of the single. Phase 2 one of the most talented, eloquent, political, and influential graf writers of all time. When props are due they're due." - Grafitorial. A moment of silence for Phase 2, who sadly passed away on 12/12/19. Lord Finesse shared, "Damn... This is crazy. R.I.P. Phase 2 (Graf Legend and Pioneer). Where do I begin here? I knew Lonnie since I was a kid. Unknown to most we grew up together in Forest Projects in the Bronx “same building... same floor” Building #965. I never knew he was a writer until I became an artist and was running into him in different parts of the world. Also known along with Buddy Esquire for creating the legendary Early Hip Hop flyers. I just knew him as my next door neighbor before that. We always got a good laugh about where art had taken both of us. Always proud of his iconic journey in the Graf world. Rest In Peace Brother!"

A copy of the Company Flow article is below...

October 08, 2020

Blueprint "The 10 Traits of Successful Hip-Hop Artists" (Book)

For decades, hip-hop fans have been given an oversimplified view of hip-hop artists and constantly told that their success was based solely on talent. This explanation has robbed the fans of truly understanding the real path to success and denied the artists the full credit they deserve. While talent is important, it doesn’t tell the full story behind successful hip-hop artists. In the 10 Traits of Successful Hip-Hop Artists, rapper and producer Blueprint uses interviews, lyrics, and anecdotal evidence to reveal ten key traits that have powered some of the most successful artists in hip-hop. Then he takes it a step further by explaining how aspiring artists can develop those traits on their own. As a veteran of the underground hip-hop scene, Blueprint has been releasing music independently and touring the world for nearly twenty years as a full-time artist. That first-hand experience has given him a unique insight into the traits of success. Blueprint dives deep into the secrets of success behind artists like Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, Roc Marciano, Evidence, Atmosphere, 50 Cent, Westside Gunn, Murs, De La Soul, J. Dilla, The Rza, RJD2, Tech N9ne, and many others. You’ll never see hip-hop the same way again! - Order yourself a copy of the book HERE! I also highly recommend checking out Blueprint's podcast, Super Duty Tough Work. Do the knowledge...

October 08, 2020

Cutmaster C "Cut vs. The World" (Mixtape, 1998)

Queens' Cutmaster C hit us with his Cut Vs. The World mix tape in 1998. The tracklist boasts freestyles from DMX, Canibus, and Noreaga, as well as tracks from Black Rob, Mobb Deep, The LOX, M.O.P., Money Boss Players, Genovesee, Mic Geronimo, Sauce Money, Onyx, Das Efx and more. It was his "Live From Central Bookings" mix tape some years later that really put his name out there, but in Queens, Cutmaster C's tapes got a good amount of burn from the jump. Dig into this one below...

October 07, 2020

DJ Jazzywhut! "Boomshotz!" (Hip-Hop-Reggae Mix)

Boomshotz! is a dope Hip-Hop-Reggae mix from DJ Jazzywhut! In his own words, he shares "One of my all time fave genres was Hip-Hop/Reggae when Jamaican Reggae met with boom-bap Hip-Hop beats (technically known as Raggamuffin or Ragga) in around 1986, but it really blew up in the 90's and was blaring from speakers, jeeps, discmans and clubs with the likes of Bobby Konders, Super Cat and Cutty Ranks becoming household names and many Hip-Hop MC's, DJ's and Producers getting involved. It sadly didn't last overly long as a genre but there are still some artists making this type of music and I hope we see a resurgence at some stage. I gathered some of my all time fave tracks here and all I ask is that you turn it up loud...." The mix features tracks from Ini Kamoze, Super Cat, Lil Vicious, Poor Righteous Teachers, Buju Banton, Da Bush Babees, Patra, Kali Ranks, Apache, Fu-Schnickens, General Levy, Cutty Ranks, Nubian Crackers, Sister Nancy, Shabba Ranks, Born Jamericans, Capleton, and lots more. Hit the "Dancehall" tag below for more mixes in the archives.

October 06, 2020

A Doctor, A Painter & An Alchemist Walk Into A Bar

A Doctor, A Painter And An Alchemist Walk Into A Bar is the 10-track collaborative project from The Alchemist, DrX Romanelli and Spencer Lewis featuring a guest appearance from Griselda's Westside Gunn. The following message was posted to OTI Official's IG page, "The culmination of one year of collaboration between the three creatives, the album installation at OTI LA will showcase new works by Spencer Lewis alongside the release of the new album by Alchemist and clothing collection by DRx Romanelli. The album, book, and clothing are available for sale at ALC's shop."

October 05, 2020

Sa-Roc "The Sharecropper's Daughter" (Album Stream)

Since signing with Rhymesayers in 2015, Sa-Roc has continued to both invigorate and grow her fanbase with a string of singles, accompanied with powerful and visually enthralling music videos. In that time, she has continued to cultivate and sharpen her skill sets, and has now released her first album for the label. Speaking on the meaning of the album’s title and inspiration, Sa-Roc shares, "The Sharecropper’s Daughter speaks to my father’s actual beginnings on a Virginia tobacco farm where his family sharecropped. The title is meant to signify that both my father’s and my upbringing, though so different, are linked by a shared history that informs the way I move through the world. Although his formative years were spent in the Jim Crow era of the south, where he suffered through poverty and racial oppression, and mine were shaped in the heart of DC, amidst the war on drugs and the effects of its fallout, the album finds points of connection in two very different yet tragically familiar stories of Blackness in America. It’s a sonic reflection of the things we inherit. About the emotional weight that we unknowingly bestow upon the next generation; the genetic transfer of both trauma and triumph that we, both donors and beneficiaries, are tasked with reshaping into a future of our own." The Sharecropper’s Daughter album is entirely produced by Sol Messiah, with the exception of "Deliverance" produced by Evidence and co-produced by Al B Smoov. And, while Sa-Roc’s crafty wordplay, razor-sharp delivery and exceptional writing are the prominent highlight, this undeniable quality is only further enhanced by stellar guest performances from Saul Williams, Styles P, Ledisi, Chronixx, and Black Thought. Great project! Please dig in below...