September 18, 2021

Donnie Propa & DJ Cable "The World Famous Mixtape"

"Ayo, it's ill when I'm heated how my heart stay cold / write a rhyme that make the gats around the world explode / now behold the burning malice of a treacherous soul..." Donnie Propa and DJ Cable set it off properly with "Do You Believe" on their latest mixtape; a tribute to Corona, Queens' The Beatnuts with The World Famous Mixtape. "Yeah, you know how we comin / raw grooves with the funky drum drummin / and when my song goes off you'll still be hummin..." Available on cassette and digital, the mix features over an hour of raw tracks and production by The Beatnuts. Props to Junkyard JuJu and Psycho Les. Dig in the archives for other mixes by UK's Donnie Propa. Listen in...

September 07, 2021

L'Orange "The World Is Still Chaos, But I Feel Better" (Album Stream)

Released on Mello Music Group, The World Is Still Chaos, But I Feel Better is a testament to the power of self knowledge and incremental progress, of the way tiny steps can give structure to life and help navigate the unknown. For more than a decade now, L’Orange has dazzled listeners with his alchemic blends of old and new, found sounds and the deeply personal. Given how seamlessly he synthesizes his source materials, the end product can sound as if it came straight from the ether, fully formed. But on The World Is Still Chaos, he aims to demystify that work, if only for himself. “I wanted to confront my own creative process and day-to-day wellbeing managing mental illness in a healthy way for the first time,” L’Orange says. “I'm trying to consider how to draw from my life experiences when my life experiences aren't rooted in depression. It’s about continuing to struggle with balance while transitioning to being inspired by an external world.” The World Is Still Chaos is held together, above all, by a sense of playfulness. Over the course of his career, L’Orange has used his remarkable abilities to create a sort of delirium in his work, a haze that envelops the listener and seals him or her off in a universe of the producer’s construction. With The World Is Still Chaos, But I Feel Better, he inverts this, imposing order on the world bit by bit. It’s about “feeling OK,” L’Orange says––“not perfect.” Striving for marginal, day-over-day victories––over the external world, over your past, over yourself––is the kind of actionable, measurable, deeply personal approach that can make a seemingly impossible era feel all the more approachable. It doesn’t hurt that L’Orange delivers the argument in such an irresistibly head-nodding package. - via Mello Music.

September 06, 2021

Emapea "Bees, Trees and Flowers" (Instrumental Album)

Emapea is a producer from Poland who started releasing music in the mid-2010s, with a great run on Cold Busted Records. Stateside, he’s probably best known for his 2020 collaboration with L.A.’s Kid Abstrakt, Jazzy Vibes. Now he’s back with a solo instrumental album, Bees, Trees and Flowers. If you’re not already familiar with Emapea, don’t worry, because Bees, Trees and Flowers is a great place to dive in and get started. From the jump, Emapea is hitting you with some heavy and funky drums, paired with some thumping piano and killer horn hits with just a touch of eeriness that hints at Deadringer-era RJD2. Not to worry though, because Emapea isn’t just aping RJD2, he’s also veering off into some trip hop and dub and downtempo as well, reminding you of the give and take of influences across the Atlantic. Most importantly, though, Emapea knows how to make some instrumental songs that are fully developed and take you on a journey across the course of the album. Emapea can deliver some great grooves, but he’s not just building around the one groove, he’s putting these grimy boom bap beats in dialogue with these trippy spaced out beats and then folding in the dub and bringing that back around to the boom bap and finding some brilliant connecting points that makes everything flow together and keep the party going. It’s an album you can absolutely groove to and throw on any track at a party, but it’s also an album for the heads who will love to dig into all of Emapea’s clever sample flips and rhythmic interplay. A lot of the time, when producers drop projects like this, they turn out to be nothing more than a simple beat tape. It’ll be enjoyable up to a point, but not developed enough to have you coming back time and time again. With Bees, Trees and Flowers, Emapea has given us an enjoyable instrumental album that bumps, but is also complex enough to have you coming back for repeat listens and discovering something new each time through. - Scratched Vinyl. Listen to Bees, Trees and Flowers below...

September 05, 2021

Bread of Kaliwild "A Breath of Fresh Air" (Album Stream)

“With ‘A Breath of Fresh Air,’ I plan to deliver that classic hip-hop sound I grew up with. The album will let the world know that this sound is still alive and well.”—Bread of Kaliwild on his new album ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ is the triumphant, inspiring new album from Bread of Kaliwild, a longtime staple of the underground rap scene who continues to grow and shine as an emcee. His sophomore effort boasts 10 tracks, which feature the likes of Brand Nubian, Keak Da Sneak, Planet Asia and production by Nottz, Noah Ayala, Therealasethic, and Frequency Konstruct. This is a solid release, distributed through Fat Beats and available to listen below. Dig back into 2019's Daily Bread, too...

September 04, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Ode to 1993" (Part 5)

Episode 94 is the 5th and final installment of Take It Personal's tribute to the year 1993, in hip-hop! The T.I.P. crew closes out the series with music from Souls of Mischief, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Eazy-E, Ultramagnetic MC's, Kurious, M.O.P., Black Moon, Preacher Earl, Shadz of Lingo, Rumplestilkinz and Shyheim. And speaking of Shyheim, you know they had to share our thoughts on the whole Drink Champs fiasco. At the break they discuss the '93 remixes and where they rank. Kev does a killer Vinnie Paz impersonation and they finally announce the winners of their Get On Down giveaway. After 5 episodes and 16+ hours of music, memories and laughs, Take It Personal is officially done with 1993. Where to next? Only the hip-hop Gods know that. Meanwhile, listen below...

September 03, 2021

Damu The Fudgemunk "Conversation Peace" (Album Stream)

From Damu: "The music that would become Conversation Peace began with a trip to KPM’s London HQ in late January of 2020. I had just finished wrapping up post production on my album Ocean Bridges with Archie Shepp and Raw Poetic....  As a record collector, I’m very familiar with the legacy of the KPM brand. I had been lucky enough to find a few over the past decade during my digging trips up and down the east coast, but looking at the complete vinyl catalog was a great privilege. I anxiously began combing through records from morning to night looking for the right sounds. The whole experience was surreal. Listening to the entire catalog was a history lesson and the amount of great composers and compositions in the recordings was endless. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t somewhat overwhelming. As a producer looking for textures, inspiration and grooves, the abundance of those things made it extremely difficult to narrow down what I wanted to use. From drums to sound fx to orchestras to small rhythm sections to ambient noises, I heard a wide variety of things and they were all so well produced and recorded. Every instrument you can think of was there! I spent a little over a week capturing sounds knowing that my work was cut out for me when I returned to my home in DC. Once I got home, I got to work.... Looking at the finished product, I’m very happy with this work. I’m excited for my existing fans and new listeners to hear my latest ideas. The title Conversation Peace came to me well after the album was done. This record is certainly a celebration of the KPM library, but I felt it needed a title that represented the commentary and the term Conversation Peace popped in my head. The way I produced and arranged the music, I felt each vocalist offers an essay of sorts and the extended instrumentation balances each number so the listener has space to reflect on the ideas presented by each lyricist.... The vocalist initiates the conversation and the audience has room to form their own opinions." Listen...

September 02, 2021

MFR "Reelin' In The Years With DJ Muggs" (MIx)

Muzzle Flash Radio specializes in producing advanced mixtapes of all genres through the eyes of two hardcore beat heads in North Carolina: Monte Smith + JJ The Genius. For their latest mixtape, MFR pays tribute to Soul Assassin's very own, DJ Muggs. Celebrating various tracks from the super producer's back catalog, you'll hear tracks featuring Mellow Man Ace, House of Pain, Ice Cube, Yo-Yo, Funkdoobiest, Call O' Da Wild, LA The Dark Man, Goodie Mob, KRS-One, Dr. Dre, Prodigy, GZA, MF Doom, Meyhem Lauren, Roc Marciano, Flee Lord, Rome Streetz, and among others, of course his group, Cypress Hill. One of the greatest producers of our generation, still making incredible music that honors his legacy and also keeps him highly relevant in today's industry. Dig into the mix below...

August 31, 2021

Eternia "Journey To FREE: A Retrospective" (DJ Eclipse)

Eternia showcases her incredible, two-decade-long career with a hard-hitting new mixtape, Journey to FREE: A Retrospective, mixed by living legend DJ Eclipse. Whether you’ve been rocking with Eternia since well before the critically acclaimed At Last dropped in 2010, or you got put on after bumping her new single, “Most PPL” with Rel McCoy, this project is required listening for long-time fans and new listeners alike. With DJ Eclipse on the decks, the 25-minute highlight reel perfectly demonstrates why Eternia has been dubbed “Canada’s Dopest Female MC.” Featured on the mix are solo bangers and collaborations with like-minded artists (Torae, Apathy, and Shad), rare early material from before At Last’s release, and three exclusive, unreleased new joints. All three are produced by Rel McCoy, the artist behind all the production on their upcoming album, FREE. The mix is blended in a way that feels seamless and timeless, while displaying Eternia’s growth as an artist. “DJ Eclipse brought tears to my eyes with this one,” Eternia says. “It was the first time I heard my music—that has spanned two decades—in this light. He approaches his craft of DJing like I do as an MC: with thoughtfulness, innovation, fun and precision.” Eclipse shares her enthusiasm for the project, saying that he knew she was dope the first time he heard her music. “Working with her on this mix was a pleasure,” Eclipse adds. “Her commitment to detail in her vision of what she wanted to hear in this mix is equally matched with how I wanted it to sound.” I'm very excited to share this mixtape with you, and I hope you'll check it out and show it some love. Also available HERE + HERE!

August 29, 2021

Brother Ali "Brother Minutester" (Album Stream)

It's a beautiful day when we get a new release from Brother Ali. Brother Minutester, Vol.1 is an extremely raw and rare collection (11 tracks) of Brother Ali's self-produced, one-minute freestyles recorded in tour buses, hotel rooms and backstages around the world. I'd heard several of the 1-minute releases through his instagram and began collecting them for a playlist of my own a while back. Brother Ali is easily one of my favorite artists and certainly a voice very much needed in music today. The culture benefits greatly from his message and I believe him to be a man of integrity and great character, which puts him at the top of many of my lists. Oh, and the music? Incredible. This is a must-own for true fans, pick up a copy before the officially sell out! Update: I'm glad he was able to post to DSPs, too, now that the vinyl is sold out. Go and listen to Brother Ali's new LP below...

August 28, 2021

Evidence "Squirrel Tape Instrumentals" (Vol. 2)

Evidence has launched his new label, “Bigger Picture Recordings.” In tandem with the launch of the new record label comes the release of Evidence’s latest instrumental release, Squirrel Tape Instrumentals, Vol. 2.  The 26-track collection serves as a sequel to 2019’s highly revered Squirrel Tape Instrumentals, Vol. 1 release. Squirrel Tape Instrumentals, Vol. 2 is the first of many releases to come on the newly-founded label. Future projects produced by Evidence will include artists like Domo Genesis, Fly Anakin, Planet Asia, and more. Limited vinyl, cassette tapes and merchandise are available now. Listen to these dope instrumentals from the homie Evidence of Dilated Peoples below...

August 27, 2021

J.Period Presents "Celebrate The Life of Zumbi" (R.I.P., Mixtape)

The news of Zumbi of Zion I passing away hit the hip-hop community hard, myself included. An extremely talented and passionate brother, the culture feels this loss as a whole and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones. I don't believe rumors and I'm not tapped in well enough to discern fact from fiction on the matter, but no matter how you slice it, this comes as a great shock and all I know how to do is celebrate his life and music, so I'm very thankful that J.Period stepped to the plate with this excellent tribute mix, Celebrate The Life of Zumbi. The mix pays tribute to Steve "Zumbi" Gaines, aka Zion of ZION I, an amazing MC and towering figure of the Bay Area Hip Hop scene, who passed away on Friday, August 6. Originally recorded at Zumbi's memorial tribute in Oakland on August 22, this mix celebrates the musical legacy of Zumbi, remixing ZION I classics with some of Zumbi's favorite beats. J. Period adds, "For those of us who knew him well, it's been a great comfort to hear so many stories of how his music and energy lifted spirits and left such a profound mark on fans everywhere. While we continue to process the grief of losing such a bright light in our lives, we remember Zumbi's incredible contributions as an artist and MC. My own journey as a DJ would not have been possible without Zumbi and ZION I, who took me on my first tour, gave me my first "shot," and encouraged me to pursue my dreams before anyone else. I hope this mix - a collection of my favorites remixed with some of his - can become a window of discovery for a new generation of fans, and the beginning of an ongoing effort to hold this man's name up high, and continue to honor his musical legacy. As Zumbi would say: Jah bless!" R.I.P., Zumbi.

August 22, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Ode to 1993" (Part 4)

Episode 93 is the 4th installment of Take It Personal's phenomenal Tribute to the year 1993 in hip-hop. On this show, they dig deep in the crates and pull out gems from Leaders of The New School, Private Investigators, Daddy-O, Boss, YZ, Mysterme, N-Tense, Poison Clan, Da Youngsta's and Mobb Deep to name a few. Plus, they hit you with classics from Outkast, Geto Boys, Eightball & MJG, Digable Planets and Queen Latifah! At the break, the T.I.P. crew discusses what 1993 songs are worthy of being mentioned among the top 50 greatest hip-hop songs of all-time. You might just be surprised with what you hear.... After that, be sure to dig in the archives for the rest of the tribute, as well as other dope episodes. Peace to Jason Gloss and the rest of the crew. Dig into it...

August 20, 2021

Blu, Mickey Factz & Nottz "The Narrative" (EP Stream)

Blu, Mickey Factz, and Nottz, share The Narrative on the trio’s collaborative EP. Broken into six tracks, Inglewood’s finest Blu, Bronx bomber Mickey, and the Norfolk and Grammy-nominated producer Nottz deliver pure raw lyrics (“Stay Down“), trade raps with Asher Roth (“Reign“), and touch on the current pandemic “Roll Up." - via RapRadar. I never got all the way into Mickey Factz's music, but the combination of Nottz and Blu has already been successful at delivering quality music, so I'm all for this release. Blu is one of my favorite MCs, and Nottz is one of the greatest and most diverse producers of our generation, period. They deliver on The Narrative EP, check it out below...

August 19, 2021

DJ Premier "So Wassup?" ("The Enemy" Episode, Video)

The Greatest of All-Time, DJ Premier keeps on keepin' on with his phenomenal new series, So Wassup?, a tribute to the floppy disk! In this third episode, Premo tackles the Diggin' In The Crates crew's "The Enemy." Featuring dope verses from the late great, Big L, and Fat Joe, it was originally released as their second single after "Day One" and the B-Side to "Internationally Known" in 1997. Now, let us sit back and watch how DJ Premier breaks down the process of how he made "The Enemy." For more episodes, hit up the archives below and happily get lost down on memory lane...

August 13, 2021

Benny The Butcher "Pyrex Picasso" (EP Stream)

Once again proving to be one of the hardest working MC’s when it comes to rolling out music, Griselda’s Benny the Butcher returned today with a new EP titled Pyrex Picasso. The 7-song EP, which features Conway the Machine, Rick Hyde, and Elcamino, follows in the footsteps of The Plugs I Met 2, the Harry Fraud-produced project that was released earlier this year. The new EP is a collection of songs recorded 3 years ago, according to Benny’s Instagram, and was recorded in its entirety in a single day. “Had to let that be known,” the rapper captioned the post on Insta, “go cop that shit.” - Complex. Griselda Records has released music at an unmatched pace, it's truly quite impressive. Peep their latest release from Benny The Butcher, Pyrex Picasso, below. Archives too.

August 12, 2021

DJ Premier "So Wassup?" ("Unbelievable" Episode, Video)

In episode 2 of DJ Premier's new web video series, So Wassup?, DJ Premier takes us through the process of how "Unbelievable", from The Notorious B.I.G., was made. If you've never been in the same room with the man before, what should immediately impress you from these videos is Premo's attention to detail, and his incredible ability to recall facts, names and specifics from throughout his career. He's the same way in person, he'll interrupt a story to tell you about the uncle of the producer who recently celebrated a birthday or something, lol. It's amazing. "Unbelievable" was a big record for him at the time, as he discusses, and certainly its featured on one of the greatest albums of all time from the late great Notorious B.I.G. Take this trip down memory lane with Premo...

August 11, 2021

DJ Greenpeace "Volume 1" (Mixtape, 1999)

A bumping tape-only Underground Hip Hop Mix from DJ Greenpeace circa 1999. Perhaps best known for his collaborations with the king of Cut N Paste DJ Yoda on the Jews Paid series and his Underground column in HHC Magazine, this was the first of his Fat Lace mixtapes (the clue is in the name), released to coincide with the publication of the first edition of the now legendary Fat Lace Magazine that was co-produced by Greenpeace himself and Andrew Emery. Expect exclusive drops and freestyles inserted next to a plethora of Underground gems from the late 90s golden age of the Indie Hip Hop 12". - DJ Postie. Specifically, the tape features tracks from Scaramanga, Dilated Peoples, Basement Khemist, Pitch Black, Lootpack, Black Star, Sir Menelik, Thrust, RA The Rugged Man, Ill Brothers, Medina Green, Street Smartz, Frankenstein, Eminem, Big Twan, The Nextmen, J-Live, Consequence and more! A mixtape in every regard, take a trip back to 1-9-9-9 with this one...

August 10, 2021

DJ Robert Smith "21 'Til Infinity" (Mix)

Another dope guest mix curated by the good folks over at The Find Mag. German turntablist, Dusty Donuts purveyor, slick walker, and DMC champ Robert Smith is going to up you on how we just chill… He takes you from a tribute to the 1993 namesake track through a one-hour mix full of jazz and funk heavy hip-hop, edits, remixes, cuts, and fresh soul/funk/disco originals. 21 ’til infinity–kill all that wack shit! Specifically, tracks from J. Rawls, Skratch Bastid, Tall Black Guy, The Pharcyde, Children of Zeus, DJ Mitsu The Beats, Daytoner, Soopasoul, Bobby Byrd, Metal Finders Doom, and lots more. Dig in the crates for his tribute to The Notorious B.I.G., and other features. Dig into it...

August 09, 2021

Crush A Lot Podcast "A Score To Settle" (The Remixes)

The Crush A Lot Podcast released A Score To Settle, Vol.1 in the winter of 2020, and now they are back with The Remixes! With a couple bonus cuts, the project once again features tracks with Rigz, Lord Juco, Asun Eastwood, Fastlife, Has Lo, Kadeem, Mooch, B.a Badd, Bub Styles, Estee Nack, Starker, Jus' Me, SmooVth, Zilla Rocca and more. To go back, the Crush A Lot Podcast is brought to you by Cheese, Sir Loveday and the homie Kaleena. They bring you that gritty boombap sound into the modern music world, unapologetically at that. Projects like this are a labor of love and when artists deliver on promises of support, it tells you they really f#ck with these creatives and wanna show love right back. Believe me, I've worked on projects like this, it can be a painful process lol. So, props to all the artists and the Crush A Lot Podcast for making this happen. Stream the LP below...

August 08, 2021

N.W.A. "Straight Outta Compton" (Press Kit, 1988-1989)

The mere mention of Los Angeles, California conjures up images of sun, surf and sandy beaches -- but not to the five Compton homeboys who comprise rap crew N.W.A.: Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, M.C. Ren, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and D.J. Yella. N.W.A. hail from a part of town you won't find depicted in any postcards. "Straight Outta Compton," N.W.A.'s debut album, due for release in February, 1989, promises to put the tough South Central L.A. ghetto firmly on the musical/social map, and further reenforce the West Coast's contribution to a genre previously dominated by the East. "The problem with East Coast rappers is they think L.A. doesn't have any ghettos," Ren says. "They think it's all palm trees and beaches. Tell 'em to come to Compton. I'll show 'em somethin'." N.W.A. know from experience how mean the streets of inner-city L.A. can be. Ren, in fact, is lucky to still be alive. "A lot of people know you can get shot if you're not in a gang. I got shot in the leg 'cause I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Compton, you can get shot just goin' to work in the mornin'." Yes...

Eazy-E, reformed drug dealer turned hip-hop entrepreneur, adds, "I've seen killings, robberies, dope dealin' -- everything. I was standing next to a brother who got shot in the head. I've seen brothers get stabbed. I used to steal cars, break into houses, sell drugs and rob people... then my cousin got killed, and my homie Dre said, 'let's start a record company.' And I was like, 'yo man, this shit ain't gonna work.' Dre said, 'Go ahead and see.' Then we put out 'Boyz-N-The-Hood," ... and that shit took off! Dre keeps sayin', "I told you, I told you.' The label, Ruthless Records, is distributed by Priority Records. "Boyz," a hard-hitting account of life in Compton, was released as a 12" single in April 1986. About a year later, N.W.A. was officially formed, and the crew's 12" single and underground hit, "Dope Man" hit the streets in September 1987. Though N.W.A.'s self-produced debut album contains its share of party jams, N.W.A.'s forte is incisive social commentary. Songs like "Gangsta Gangsta," which has been released as a 12" single, "___ Tha Police" and a remix of "Dope Man," paint a brutally realistic picture of urban madness. "We're talking about the things we grew up around in Compton," Ice Cube asserts. "We focus on reality... the things that are going on in our neighborhood but don't get exposed. We tell it the way we see it, and we don't hold back. If people don't like it, f#ck 'em." Still not convinced that inner-city L.A. is as much of a jungle as Harlem or North Philly? "Straight Outta Compton" will annihilate that misconception. N.W.A. posses's in full effect, letting the world know what time it is and refusing to sugarcoat the truth. Word. - Press Kit, 1988. R.I.P. Eric Wright.

August 07, 2021

Nas "King's Disease II" (Album Stream)

The sequel to his previous “King's Disease”, features collaborations with rapper YG, Eminem and the always welcomed return of Lauryn Hill. The 47-year-old hip-hop icon’s previous release earned Nas his 14th Grammy nomination and victory earlier this year for Best Rap Album. “Kings Disease II” is executive produced by Nas and Hit-Boy, who is also featured on the song “Composure.” But the track social media can’t stop talking about is “Nobody,” featuring former Fugees frontwoman Lauryn Hill, who notoriously dropped one of the greatest records of all time, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” in 1998 — never to be topped by her or another female hip-hop artist since. Fans couldn’t get enough of “Ms.” Lauryn Hill’s brilliant and biting lyricisms, as bars from “Nobody” are now trending on social media. “Let me give it to you balanced and with clarity / I don’t need to turn myself into a parody / I don’t do the shit you do for popularity,” she raps. “King’s Disease II” is now available to buy or play on streaming platforms. - NY Post. Amen to the return of Lauryn Hill... and Nas. Dig in...

August 06, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Ode to 1993" (Part 3)

Episode 92 is the 3rd installment of Take It Personal's classic look back at 1993. This show is 100% dedicated to the West Coast, and features music from Digital Underground, Cypress Hill, Tha Alkaholiks, Freestyle Fellowship, Mac Dre, Mac Mall, Spice 1, Too $hort, C-Bo, 2Pac, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Ice Cube, Kam, MC Eiht and Souls of Mischief to name a few. At the break, the T.I.P. crew discusses Ice Cube's Lethal Injection and the Menace To Society soundtrack and also unveil their special Get On Down giveaway. This episode is an intricate part of a very important year in hip-hop. They crew guarantees - and I can mostly cosign - that once they've finished their entire 1993 tribute, you might consider it to be your favorite year, too! Take a trip down memory lane on the West Coast (yes, even if it's not your favorite coast!) by listening to Take It Personal Radio below...

August 05, 2021

DJ Premier "So Wassup?" ("Come Clean" Episode, Video)

DJ Premier presents his brand new web video series: 'So Wassup?', a salute to the floppy disk. Throughout this series, DJ Premier explores his most classic productions, and how the technology of the time influenced his signature sound. In the first episode, DJ Premier talks about how the track "Come Clean", from Jeru The Damaja's classic debut "Sun Rises In The East," came to be. "Come Clean" is an iconic beat in Premier's extensive catalog - especially before the internet when most people had zero clue how he made that unique sound!! So Wassup? is created by his talented manager, Ian Schwartzman; co-created and also directed by Andrew “POE” Mohrer. I'll be following this video series very closely, so check back for future episodes (or dig into the archives for more if you're seeing this post late). Salute the legend, DJ Premier... thee greatest producer of all-time...

August 04, 2021

The LOX vs. Dipset (Verzuz Battle, 8/3/21)

The LOX and Dipset took the stage at Madison Square Garden for a one night only Verzuz battle last night.... the outcome was absolute destruction. In the words of famed producer and wordsmith, Big Ghost Ltd... "I aint seen carnage like that since the movie Apocalypto. I cant remember.. but I think at one point Jada n Styles held Juelz over a pit of fire n disemboweled him to appease the Timberland gods while Cam n Jim watched helplessly.. Then Kiss rhymed over “Who Shot Ya” n Freekey Zekey just erupted into flames.. shit is a blur now. I went into this thinking its no way L-O-X would be able to out anthem my guys. But I knew shit was going sideways when the Set got lost on the way to the stage n gave Kiss a cool 5 mins to let off half a clip of jokes before the Diplomats DJ got his iPod Nano to successfully play “Bigger Picture” for em to walk out to. How yall down by 6 before the game start tho? Lox set the tone for the night early by going right into “F-ck You”…n it was all downhill from there. I know nobody in that room or anywhere else needed a whole ass Jim Jones/Purple City medley but TRUTHFULLY song selection was only part of the problem for them Harlem boys. The lack of cohesion n focus buried em. Didnt help that Lox had infinitely better stage presence, knew all they own lyrics, n could go into any chamber needed to respond (Damn Juelz…why you had to tell em they had no songs for the ladies smh). By the time Kiss used “Money, Power, & Respect” as a snippet transition to “By Your Side”.. they had already been poppin wheelies for the last 15 laps of the race. The biggest detriment to the Dips other than being outperformed was The Lox brought a real DJ who had actual timing, knew when to drop the beat, n understood the nuances of his craft. The Dips had Hell Rell or somebody using the edjing app on his phone. I stopped keeping score by the 5th round but if we went off pure energy it was something like 9 million - 3.5 for The Lox. S/o the Dips for being good sports tho..cuz I counted at least 8 moments where it probably took the willpower of a thousand Shaolin monks to not reach for a burner. Salute to both squads tho!" Dig into the 2-hour video below, which I hope remains online...

Props to the homie Shake of 2DopeBoyz, who is not only responsible for the dope artwork up above, but also put together a playlist of the tracks covered in the battle. While it does little to show the true destruction that was delivered, it's a nice complement to the video up above. You can't argue that both don't have impeccable catalogs - and, on paper - the anthems from Dipset kept them in the conversation, but they couldn't hold back the true performance and personality of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch. Jadakiss is the official MVP of the whole shit. Enjoy all the memes out there! And riddle me this... how many hats, bandanas and durags did Juelz Santana have on? Why'd they keep bringin' up SOBs... shoulda came prepared. Don't rhyme over your vocals! Facts...

August 03, 2021

Adonis & Thelonious Martin "The Lord of the West" (Album Stream)

The title track off the new LP from West Coast MC Adonis and Chicago producer Thelonious Martin was originally released through Adult Swim Singles in February, 2020. Adonis sliced through the cinematic beat like a swordsman. I'd been anticipating a full-length release ever since! The Lord of the West is now here and boasts 11 tracks (22 minutes) with no discernible features. On the heels of his collaborative project with Jacob Rochester entitled Patchworks, Thelonious returns with more inspired production that fits well in his catalog alongside a popular series of instrumental-odes to J Dilla and his production album, Wunderkid. As for Adonis, if you haven't peeped his album with NY's DJ Skizz, go ahead and dig in the archives for Logan and his I Spit On The Devil LP from the winter of 2020, too. In the meantime, give a real strong listen to The Lord of the West below...

August 02, 2021

DJ Filthy Rich "It Was Written" (25th Anniversary Mix)

Toronto's DJ Filthy Rich celebrates another classic with his latest mix honoring the 25th anniversary of Nas' sophomore album "It Was Written" that dropped in 1996. As with past mixes, Filthy Rich crafts a mix filled with blends, original samples, remixes and fine rarities. Once again, the artwork for the mix is handled by Che Hinkson who came through with the ill art. I'm sure I've taken the bait in the past and debated the merits of It Was Written vs. Illmatic - which is better and so on... I'm pretty sure I've celebrated both, and landed on the mere fact that without It Was Written, a large portion of fans may have never gone back and championed his classic debut. That said, It Was Written is a classic in its own right, and it can be heard with new ears through the 25th anniversary mix from DJ Filthy Rich below. He also promises a follow-up (or B-Side) to this mix coming soon-ish ...

August 01, 2021

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

Love 'em or hate 'em, if there's one thing you have to respect about the Wu-Tang members' solo projects, it's that they challenge your expectations like no other records in hip hop today. With the emphasis always placed on the featured vocalist's expression of individuality, it's no wonder that Tical and Return to the 36 Chambers--The Dirty Version occasionally lost listeners amidst their more self indulgent moments, some exceptionally dope music notwithstanding. Perhaps that's why the notion of a solo album from Wu-Tang's consummate team player, Raekwon the Chef, is so intriguing. Acknowledging the strength of his role-playing persona, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... manages to pull off a remarkable feat--spotlighting Raekwon as the LP's focus in spite of the fact that he only actually performs alone on three of the eighteen cuts. The key to unlocking this mystery is, of course, Ghostface Killer--the perennial co-star of the show. With his prominent contributions in support--along with appearances by all other Clan members, save for ODB--Cuban Linx most successfully recaptures the camaraderie of the original 36 Chambers in the solo era, while it redefines Raekwon's on-mic personality in the tradition of Staten Island mob history. Cont'd below....

Ostensibly a concept piece chronicling Rae and Ghost's adventures in crime and last gasp struggles to leave the hood life behind, the album adeptly divides time between the sort of story-oriented material this duo's become known for, and more straight forward Shaolin sword-style rhyme exercises. In either mode, the RZA's increased propensity for haunting orchestral arrangements is the first thing you notice about Cuban Linx's sonic landscape. With several interludes of dialogue included, the album plays like the soundtrack to a film you wish could pay eight bones to see. Soap opera strings soak "Striving For Perfection's" LP-intro, giving way to "Knuckleheadz" ironically good-timey Goodfellas bounce, while "Knowledge God's" dope, discordant piano keys are straight Quincy Jones-style ambience. As the crowning glory of this unit's penchant for melodrama, however, "Rainy Dayz" eclipses even "Can It All Be So Simple" and "Heaven and Hell" in terms of pure pathos: A somber line of sustained strings, thunderous cloudbursts of rain and Wu-diva Blue Raspberry's Greek chorus offset Raekwon and Ghost's articulated aspirations of reaching somewhere over the rainbow by any means necessary. A movie moment, no doubt. Arguably, Cuban Linx may be at its strongest when the confines of storylines are abandoned, causing the perspectives of street pusher and rhyme sayer to collide within the same verse: "I move rhymes like retail/Make sure my shit sell/From where we at to my man's cell/From staircase to stage/Minimum wage/But soon to get an article in Rap Page" Raekwon rhymes on "Incarcerated Scarface." ... Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is that rare breed of contemporary hip hop album. A record that not only meets and/or exceeds expectations, but one that does so as if the outcome was never in doubt. Naturally, some may dismiss its tale of guns, G's and grams as just so much East Coast-gangsta posturing. However, to do so would be to ignore the passion that qualifies some music as art and limits others as strictly product. In the end, who's the real pusher? The best of Wu-Tang's solo fare thus far? Quite possibly. The album to beat in '95? Yes. - Ego Trip (Chairman Mao). Certainly one of the best rap albums...ever!

July 31, 2021

Pharoahe Monch "Vinyl Saved My Life: A Tribute to Biz Markie"

Pharoahe Monch shared an incredible story of the late great Biz Markie in Spin Magazine. The title of the article is Vinyl Saved My Life: A Tribute to Biz Markie, where Pharoahe recounts a tale of a stop on the The Source Magazine Tour (around 1992 if memory serves me right) with Biz Markie, Lord Finesse, Cooley Live, The Almighty RSO, Red Hot Lover Tone, Roxanne Shante and of course, Organized Konfusion with O.C. In an attempt to shadow Biz Markie while diggin' for records, Pharoahe joins Biz on what would end up being the first part of a story that stretches the night, and ends in gunfire. A series of fortunate events trace back to earlier that day and ultimately, a piece of vinyl did in fact save his life. Hear all about the story and Pharoahe's affinity for his fallen friend in the article on Spin Magazine HERE. Not only is this an incredible story, but a behind the scenes glimpse at of one of the greatest personalities in hip-hop history. Pharoahe shares, "Ehwa, Ehwa, Rrer! Ecka, Ecka, Eeee . . ." He licked his fingers each time he swiped through the book.... When he talked, he sounded exactly like his records—extremely funky. His speaking voice made you want to put a beat under his sentences." Yes! I met Biz briefly in Myrtle Beach some years back, and he was everything I anticipated and much more. R.I.P., the Funky Biz Markie, and thank you, Pharaohe Monch for this full story that I'd only early heard snippets of in the past. Nobody Beats the Biz!

July 30, 2021

DJ Jazzy Jeff & J.Period "The Magnificent Live Mixtape"

According to J.Period, this is a Bandcamp exclusive! DJ Jazzy Jeff & J.PERIOD present The Magnificent Live Mixtape, an extended two hour live DJ set featuring exclusive remixes, live blends, unreleased outtakes and behind-the-scenes stories from DJ Jazzy Jeff and J.PERIOD on the history of the mixtape game and collaborating with artists including Q-Tip, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Black Thought, as well as tracks featuring Dave Chappelle, J Dilla, Big Pun, Rakim, Andre 3000, The Notorious B.I.G., Ol' Dirty Bastard, MC Lyte, Mary J. Blige, Big L, Shad, Common and more. J.Period's streak of droppin' these live mixtapes continues and does not disappoint. Listen to the mix below...

July 29, 2021

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "The Art of War" (1997)

When Bone Thugs-N-Harmony first exploded on the rap scene in 1994 with their fast rhymes, harmonious choruses, ominous G-Funk, and gangsta attitude, no one knew whether the uncanny Cleveland group were for real or if they were a novelty success. After all, at this point in time, few rap groups outside of New York or California had been able to prove themselves on a commercial level. And Bone Thugs-N-Harmony leap-frogged cult success, instantly rising to the top of the charts with their summer 1994 anthem "Thuggish Ruggish Bone." By the time their first full-length album, E 1999 Eternal, dropped a year later, it not only debuted at number one but also proved to be one of the decade's most important and enduring albums. While other rap groups struggled to break away from the cliches first forged by NWA, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, 2 Live Crew, and LL Cool J in the late '80s, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was one of the few groups able to carve out their own stylistic niche, an inimitable myriad of urban sounds with a strong ghetto attitude. Yet following the unprecedented success of E 1999 Eternal and, more so, the Grammy-winning success of "Tha Crossroads," Bone struggled to meet unreasonable expectations and also struggled with redundancy, having realized their apparent summit on their debut album. Yet even if the group was unable to repeat their success, they remained a vital group, as few were able to bite on their signature style. - All Music Guide. I agree with that, definitely an important group...

By the time Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released The Art of War in 1997, double-disc albums were met with an exhaustive sigh... Fans anticipated a ton of filler and the phrase, "this album would have been dope... if it was just a single album," was all too common. That said, the 2Pac feature on "Thug Luv was an insanely hard beat that I ironically remember driving around to when I moved to Miami that year. "Look Into My Eyes" and "7 Sign" were two other favorites from the project. The whole album is produced by DJ U-Neek who landed a platinum single with "Look Into My Eyes" and a gold single for "If I Could Teach The World." All told, the album went quadruple platinum by the summer of '98. I believe it's safe to say that -- critically -- the reviews were split down the middle, mostly feeling like the album didn't do much to add to their legacy, and was rather redundant by making itself a doube-disc. All in all, I still enjoyed it and I was probably the only New York cat in Miami, driving around without bass music in the whip. You revisit the 2xLP from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony below...

July 28, 2021

AbcntMnded "MF DOOM Tribute" (Mix)

LA's AbcntMnded pays tribute to the late great MF DOOM with his latest mix. At roughly an hour, he digs into the stacks and pulls out some deeper cuts, samples and more to honor the uniqueness of one of our culture's most impressive MCs. Inspiring to many, imitated by some, and bested by nobody.... dig through a mix done by someone with intimate knowledge of MF DOOM's catalog, where even the dope artwork is done by AbcntMnded himself, which proves this is truly a labor of love. To provide context, ABCNT is a Los Angeles based, sociopolitical activist/anarchist, the product of mid-nineties expressionism and new-millennium activism, who describes himself as “[a] real west coast hip-hop fanatic, with a kind of militant attitude towards consciousness.” And how does he execute his expression and voice? Through avenues in politically charged street art and music. Listen below...

July 27, 2021

Mystic "Behind the Journey" (Podcast Series)

I am very excited to share the new podcast mini-series from Mystic titled Behind the Journey. The 6-part series is an exploration of the journey behind the development of the Oakland artist Mystic, and the making of her Grammy-nominated 2001 debut album, Cuts For Luck And Scars For Freedom. An audible look into how she developed as an artist and member of Digital Underground, got her deal, recorded and released her debut album, and the healing journey that was part of it all. This short series is an inside look at the past, present, and future of Mystic's journey for new and old fans alike. It can be listened to as an accompaniment to the 20th anniversary of her debut album. It is shared with love and a unique perspective that has made Mystic one of my favorite artists for two decades. Updated: this trip down memory lane is also inspired by the fact that her debut album is now available to stream on all DSPs so I highly recommend that you revisit her beautiful cult classic, Cuts For Luck And Scars For Freedom before (or after) you peep the podcast series below. I've said a lot about the impact her project had on me at the time, and it's still as impactful today!

July 26, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Ode to 1993" (Part 2)

Episode 91 is the 2nd installment of Take It Personal's 1993 Tribute. The podcast/mix features 3 hours of Take It Personal to remind you of when hip-hop was fun. They've got joints by A Tribe Called Quest, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Akinyele, The Beatnuts, Wu-Tang Clan, Black Moon, Now Born Click, Lords of the Underground, Tragedy Khadafi, Da Youngsta's, Digable Planets, KRS-One, Naughty By Nature, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Fat Joe, Erick Sermon, Illegal, Da King & I, Big L, Das EFX, Run DMC, Snoop Dogg, Masta Ace, and much more! RIP Biz Markie. Props to Philaflava, DJ 360, and Kevlar. Dig in the archives below for part 1, and all the past episodes of this world-class podcast...

July 25, 2021

Scarface "Drink Champs Episode" (Video)

Your favorite rapper's favorite rapper... the famed MC (Scarface) shares his journey in hip hop! Face receives his flowers when his peers like Bun B, LL Cool J, DJ Khaled, Ice- T, Big Daddy Kane, E-40, T.I., Gillie Da Kid and more call in to give him his well-deserved props. He also tells stories about 2Pac, DMX, the Nas and Jay-Z beef; his time as president of Def Jam South, and creating some of hip hop’s most iconic music. Face even gives insight into his political career in the future. One of the most important MCs and creatives in our culture, Scarface is an exceptional artist, and like DJ EFN, I'd also include him in my top 5, especially of artists to appear on Drink Champs. Props to NORE and EFN for sitting down with the legend, and giving that man his flowers. We came close to losing him (more than once), so it's more important than ever that we hear his story and dig deeper. If you haven't had a chance, pick up a copy of his book, Diary of a Madman, which is available in my online store. From the Geto Boys to today, enjoy this dope episode of Drink Champs ... make some noise!!!

July 24, 2021

Cormega "The Realness" (20th Anniversary)

With a fresh batch of new material, Cormega's "official" debut, The Realness, manifests under stealth-like conditions. Yet, it successfully conveys what his aborted Def Jam debut, The Testament, implied three years previously -- that Mega is one of the most promising thug poets to emerge in quite sometime. Though the usual live-guy repertoire and topic matter is recycled, Cormega paints with a broader lyrical brush then most hood aficionados, as his articulate verses far surpass the limitations of what the typical halfway crook is capable of expressing. Displaying a gripping range of vocal gifts, "The Saga" and "Fallen Soldiers" offer vivid street mathematics with Kool G. Rap-like narrative abilities. Likewise, Mega's ode to hip-hop, "American Beauty," is a continuation of Common's "I Used to Love Her," where his love for the art is evident: "Primo treated her good, made her the queen of my hood." Though the sonic landscape of The Realness is headlined by the Infamous Family members Havoc and Alchemist, it is a handful of upstarts (Jay Love, Big Ty, Sha Self) who carve out the LP's sound identity. This cast of rising and unknown names turns in a yeoman's job behind the boards, meshing a diverse assortment of ominous synth and keyboard arrangements around Mega's deep lyricism. While Mega has had to weather Def Jam's businessman ways, and his own inner demons (jail time) to get here, he may never taste redemption this sweet again. - AllMusic. Listen....

Happy 20th anniversary to this gem on an LP...

July 23, 2021

Ransom & Big Ghost Ltd. "Heavy Is The Head" (Album Stream)

Keeping history in tact, I always attempt to share new releases in the artists' own words, so their perspective is preserved with the music. Unfortunately, most artists aren't nearly as eloquent with the pen as the Godly Big Ghost Ltd, who produced this brand new album for Ransom entitled, Heavy Is The Head. He shares, "Some MFs rap...n by “some” I mean damn near 1/3 of the population on earth... Some do it well n some create sonic bowel movements every time they step in a booth. Some got talent n some got literally none at all...maybe even less. Some talented MFs try to dumb it down to appeal to a wider audience n chase fame. Some stick to what they do best n quietly cultivate a devoted fanbase while gaining the utmost respect of not only peers but of any so-called competition as well. This dude Ransom aka Ransom The Destroyer falls into that last category. The list of living breathing rappers on the planet who can match his pen game is bout as short as Tory Lanez doing the splits. This is elite level rhymin.. no throwaway bars or filler shit. The words really really rhyme... But CONCEPTUALLY this shit different too. How many street cats really get cinematic on 2021? We bringin creativity n imagination back... Yall gotta stop actin like nobody else pop 20 bottles in a club n back down a whole room full of killers dolo while movin 500 bricks the same night on records.. Yea you got cribs on Mt Fuji n Sinaloa cartel is your peoples but what else you bring to the table my G? Yall studio drug kingpins more Bambaataa than Zambada.. Just stick to hip hop." The album features Mickey Factz, RJ Payne, Rome Streetz, Vinnie Paz, Ill Bill and more. Dig in…

July 22, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Ode to 1993" (Part 1)

Episode 90 is the 1st installment in Take It Personal's 1993 Tribute. Last year they put together a strong case as to why they felt 1995 was one of the greatest years in Hip-Hop. This time around they're paying homage to 1993, their favorite year in hip-hop. They've got the classics, the commercial jawns, the remixes and in typical TIP fashion, the obscure records as well. During the breaks in the mix, they discuss their favorite '93 albums, the sleepers, the wack, the  guilty pleasures and more! Enjoy episode 90 as they intertwine some memorable movie scenes with very memorable music. This is your 1993 time capsule and it's brought to you by your friends at Take It Personal. I'd imagine we can expect multiple installements in their 1993 tribute, so keep it locked...

July 21, 2021

Marley Marl's Legendize "The DJ Premier Episode" (Podcast)

On the LEGENDIZE podcast, hip hop pioneer DJ Marley Marl and co-host DJ Callie Ban go beyond the origin stories of hip hop's greatest artists and producers, and the classic records they made. Lean in as they candidly interview hip hop royalty, break down the history of iconic samples, and step inside the culture that changed the world. On the Season 1 finale of LEGENDIZE, Marley Marl and Callie welcome legendary producer and hip hop royalty DJ Premier to the show. Preemo shares stories of his childhood in Texas and NY and the many influences that helped shape his musical journey. From teaming up with Guru and Gang Starr, to producing classics for Jay Z, Biggie, Nas and countless others, the 3x Grammy winning producer details his history, process and contributions to the culture. Enjoy a very special peek into the world of the undeniable legend ... DJ Premier! Dig in...

July 20, 2021

Rasheed Chappell "15 Minutes in Queens" (EP Stream)

It's always a beautiful day when Rasheed Chappell drops new music! His latest project is a 5 track EP, entirely produced by Reckonize Real, and it's entitled 15 Minutes in Queens. With an impressive rollout I recommend you walk through on his socials, the lyrical giant presents an air of controlled dominance on all 5 of the records. I've been a fan for 10+ at this point; always anticipating new releases regardless of how long it took between his debut, Future Before Nostalgia and his follow-up, First Brick. After that, the Buckwild-produced Sinners & Saints came quick and it also did not disappoint! In between, the homie DJ Eclipse keeps me in the loop as his management, and through his radio show on Sirius, Rap Is Outta Control. Although Rasheed is originally from NJ, as a Queens cat myself... every track feels like a piece of nostalgia with a touch of today, making him one of today's most remarkable MCs to blend those two worlds. All that said, dig into this latest EP below...

July 19, 2021

Vinyl Esquire "The DJ Eclipse & DJ Riz Episode" (Podcast)

Vinyl Esquire is the DJ podcast that uplifts the DJ culture and honors our DJ legends. DJ Rip interviews the most influential DJs in the world so listen and learn their history! In this episode, DJ Eclipse and DJ Riz are his highly esteemed guests. They talk their Sirius radio show, Rap Is Outta Control, as well as Crooklyn Clan, Fat Beats, DJ Premier, Brooklyn Slum Lords, Party breaks and more! There's a ton of unique history shared, listen to two of the best break it down for you below. Past episodes have included interviews with Scram Jones, DJ Skribble, Spinderella, Nasty Nes, DJ Scratch, DJ Tony Neal, Davy DMX, Pete Rock, The Arabian Prince, The Egyptian Lover, Supreme La Rock, DJ Cut Creator, DJ K-Def, DJ Lord Jazz, DJ Eddie F, Mantronix, DJ Chuck Chillout and more...

July 18, 2021

UFO Fev & Vanderslice "Enigma of Dali" (Album Stream)

Harlem emcee UFO Fev and Phoenixville-based producer Vanderslice team up for a collaborative album, 'Enigma of Dalì,' that blends surrealist art vibes with raw street rap for one of the year’s most immediately engaging releases. Both artists continue to shine on this LP after dropping a number of impressive projects in 2020. For Fev, it was a period of incredible consistency as he put out 'Fresh Air,' 'From El Barrio, With Love,' and 'The Ghost of Albizu,' produced entirely by Statik Selektah, Termanology, and Big Ghost Ltd, respectively. As for Vanderslice, he’s coming off the release of the 'Trendsetter' EP, which paired some of his dopest beats with the likes of G Perico and Ty Farris, among others, and recently handled production for OT The Real’s latest single, “Kensington Beach” featuring the legendary Beanie Sigel. With 'Enigma of Dalì,' we’re seeing two like-minded artists push themselves even further as they embody the experimentalism of Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalì. “He became my muse, and someone whom I began to study,” Fev explains. “In my free time, I’d watch his interviews and would begin to pen lyrics. Subconsciously, I was writing from the point of view of someone misunderstood, very much like Dalì was.” This is another really solid project! Listen below... and props to the homie Matt Diamond over at Coalmine Records. 

July 17, 2021

Rest In Peace, Biz Markie! (Tribute Mix by DJ Sheep)

Biz Markie, who infused his music with so much fun and humor that he became known as "The Clown Prince of Hip Hop," has passed away... He was 57. "Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years," his manager, Jenni Izumi, said in a written statement. Beloved in the music industry for his lighthearted persona, Biz Markie even had a dance named for him. Born Marcel Hall in New York City, he began rapping in local clubs when he met hip hop producer Marley Marl in 1985. That meeting led to Biz Markie working as a human beatbox with artists MC Shan and Roxanne Shanté. Biz Markie, seen at Kensington High Street in London on April 6, 1988. Biz Markie, seen at Kensington High Street in London on April 6, 1988. In his spare time, Hall recorded demos and in 1988, he secured a deal with the Cold Chillin' label to release his debut album, "Goin' Off." Radio soon caught on and the album launched hits with "Vapors" and "Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz." The following year, his album "The Biz Never Sleeps" went gold, buoyed by what would be his biggest hit, "Just A Friend." His playful, sad sack persona was in direct contrast to some of the harder core hip hop that had become popular in the late 1980s. But Biz Markie would soon find trouble with a case that helped change the way the rap industry did business. Musician Gilbert O'Sullivan sued the rapper over his song "Alone Again" on his 1991 album "I Need a Haircut." O'Sullivan won and moving forward, hip hop artists had to clear the use of samples. "I still was me," Biz Markie said during a 2008 interview. "It wasn't a rape case or a gun case. It was a sample." The rapper had some fun with the case, naming his 1993 album "All Samples Cleared!" Honing his DJ skills, he soon became known as much for rocking the party as rocking the mic. He also expanded his career to include acting, appearing in "Men in Black II," as a narrator on the adult puppet show "Crank Yankers," and on the children's series "Yo Gabba Gabba!" with his "Biz's Beat of the Day." - CNN.

In the words of DJ Sheep... "We truly lost a great one today, Biz Markie, the cornerstone of humour in hip-hop with his larger than life cartoon-ish personality and demeanour. The B-I-Z's discography, legacy and history in hip-hop ran deep and his crates and music knowledge ran even deeper. I feel extremely humbled and blessed in hindsight to have spent time with Biz Markie in Australia, having both shared the stage with him in Sydney as well as spending a couple of days hanging out in Brisbane together with his brother DJ Cool V. We did what Biz does best and hit Chinatown in Brisbane for Chinese food, went diggin' for records and vintage toys and nerded out for many hours sharing, dissecting, politicin' and listening to rare breakbeats, grooves, raps, acapellas and stems. It's one of the very few times I was absolutely geeked out meeting one of my heroes. There's been too many times when I've learned that my childhood rap heroes are actually jerks, even more-so with the advent of social media. There are too many hilarious stories to tell and memories of that tour which will have to wait for another time. This short but sweet 14-minute promo "mega-mix" was done in one take on two decks and a mixer at the request of the promoter of the down under tour. I kept it simple and just blended 7 of my favourite Biz tracks. There's obviously some deeper diggin' to be done in Biz's extensive catalog and I'm sure there'll be some great tribute mixes forthcoming but I kept this one as is because it's from a time and a place that hopefully some others can appreciate. Nobody Beats the Biz. Never. Rest in Peace and my most genuine condolences to his family and loved ones." Tribute mix below... Rest In Peace, Biz Markie.