November 18, 2021

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

"My saliva and spit can split thread into fiber and bits / So trust me, I'm as live as it gets," Royce said on "Boom," one of the illest records from both of their extensive catalogs. DJ Premier is back again with another video episode of "So Wassup," a tribute to the floppy disc. The beat was originally for a Capone-N-Noreaga session... Royce got there before CNN arrived, and convinced Premo to give him the beat. I believe CNN ended up with "Invincible," for their sophomore album, so certainly no loss there either! I remember Game Recordings; I thought they had terrible record covers with the women on the cover -- it was corny to me -- but I know Premo is heavy into porn, so I can understand it lol. Premier shares that Royce said, "I'm gonna do a record where I feel like I'm a bomb, is there any way you can put a tick in it?" Say less... Genius. While "Boom" never went not gold or platinum, the streets definitely consider it a classic record. The cuts of Lady of Rage and Guru put the nail in the coffin on this beat, no question. We heard that version of "Boom" from the movie Carmen: a Hip Hoppera, but we quickly forgot it and the vocal hook, lol. Luckily that never went to radio and wasn't the version that was pushed as a single. Check out the full episode below...

November 17, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "No One Can Do It Better"

The Take It Personal crew kept it straight-forward when describing this episode to us, "We can write-up a teaser on how episode 98 focuses on the Golden Era with music from LL, The D.O.C., EPMD, De La, Kane, Boogie Down Productions, Brand Nubian, Ultramagnetic and DJ Quik or you can just hit play cuz you already know how TIP gets down." They call that brand loyalty, and I'm on board for whatever they cook up, so sit back and relax, listen to Episode 98 of the Take It Personal Podcast, aptly titled, No One Can Do It Better. There are dozens of episodes in the archives, dig...

November 16, 2021

Sue Kwon "Rap Is Risen" (Recommended Reading)

The last decade of the 20th century into the first decade of the 21st represent a High Renaissance age of hip hop―an era in which rap music had reached critical mass and was exploding, and in which New York City itself witnessed the worldwide ascension and cultural domination of its powerful homegrown art form. In Rap Is Risen: New York Photographs 1988–2008, celebrated photographer Sue Kwon documents this era with a combination of incisive portraits and unposed, spontaneous images that capture the energy of these ascendant artists and the city itself. With access to some of rap music’s biggest legends―some stars already, some at the cusp of their fame―Kwon’s work offers an intimacy rarely seen in the hip hop photography of the time. The Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Big Pun, Eminem, Mobb Deep, the Beastie Boys, Big L, Ice Cube, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest are all represented here, as well as dozens of other DJs and artists that communed with Kwon to produce these images. Method Man brushing his teeth, Fat Joe playing softball in the Bronx, Prince Paul kissing his baby son―the trust inherent between subject and photographer is evident in intimate, joyful shots like these. Giving a rare glimpse into real rap culture, and featuring 300 photographs, most of which have never been published before, Rap Is Risen is a necessary offering to music history and the faithful followers of hip hop. Sue Kwon began her career at the Village Voice and went on to shoot primarily hip hop artists for record labels such as Def Jam, Sony and Loud Records. Recent commercial collaborations include MCM, Sergio Tacchini and Carhartt WIP national campaigns. A MUST-read! Truly an excellent book... order your copy HERE!

November 15, 2021

J.Period "The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition" (KRS-One Tribute)

J.PERIOD presents The Live Mixtape: Blastmaster Edition, a live DJ set paying tribute to one of Hip Hop's most iconic MCs: The Teacher, KRS-One. Recorded Live as part of Questlove's #GoDJ Series, this epic 60 minute episode of The Live Mixtape features KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions classics, hits, remixes and exclusives. You already know J.PERIOD has been consistently releasing some of the best tribute mix tapes, so there should be zero hesitation on clicking play immediately! If you did not catch last month's Verzuz battle between Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One, dig into the archives for that, and many other mixes from J.PERIOD. Listen to the Blastmaster Edition mix below...

November 12, 2021

Joell Ortiz "Autograph" (Album Stream)

Joell Ortiz has dropped off his latest solo album Autograph. The project includes previously released single “OG,” and appearances and production from Sheek Louch, CyHi The Prynce, KXNG Crooked, Salaam Remi, Apollo Brown, The Heatmakerz, Namir Blade, and more. “My creative process is pretty simple. I write to the music that moves me and speak my truth. That’s never wavered. Once I feel like I got all of my thoughts out, I put the pen down and listen to everything in its entirety. That’s usually where I figure out things like title and artwork,” the Slaughterhouse rapper said in a press release. He continued, “After listening to this body of work, I realized that I shared a lot of personal feelings, stories, and ideas. Everything is authentic. This is signature me. Hence, the title. Autograph is an album from me to you. The old me, the current me, all of me.” - via Complex.

November 09, 2021

Mimetizm "Stunt and Dust" (Album Stream)

Stunt and Dust is a remix project from Paris, France's producer, Mimetizm. The projects boasts over two dozen remixes featuring artists like the Notorious B.I.G., Fat Joe, Das EFX, Gang Starr, Mic Geronimo, INI, A Tribe Called Quest, Cam'ron, Alchemist, D&D Allstars, Jeru The Damaja, Nas, MF Doom, Westside Gunn, Evidence, Mobb Deep, Grand Puba, Lord Finesse, Busta Rhymes and many others. I haven't listened all the way through, but the few joints I did sample through sounded pretty ill. Not an easy feat successfully remixing many of these classic records from heavyweight artists! Click through to hear more from the back catalog and get familiar with Mimetizm's work...

November 08, 2021

Keith Murray "The Most Beautifullest..." (Rap Pages)

When Keith Murray was brought to Erick Sermon by K-Solo three years ago, he probably had no idea that he would be the leading representative of Sermon's new crew, the Def Squad. On his debut release, this Islip, Long Island, native drops styles like there's no tomorrow, with an inventive and hyperactive flow. Check title single "The Most Beautifullest Thing..." blowing up worldwide and you'll understand the wrath of this madboy's psychosis. Sermon serves up some superb funk on this project, but clearly subscribes to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy when it comes to his beats. Not to say that the beats ain't funky--they are. It's just that many of the loops have been cycled and recycled, used and reused already. What about the philosophy of the new artist, new flavor, new beats? Murray, of course, cleverly rides Sermon's simplistic funk by flipping complicated metaphors, as witnessed in the weed fable "Erb is Pumpin'," the brag rap "Psycho Samatic" and "Dip Dip Die," where Keith rants: "We be blowin' up the spot like nitroglycerine/For those who be listenin'/I'm rollin' like Pirellis and Michelins/Simpleton/I get retarded like Bart Simpson." Also featured is Redman (producer of the track "Escapism"), who lends his vocal talents, along with Jamal from Illegal, on "4 Sick Patients." Although the album has its shortcomings, it is a fine first effort from an artist with much potential for longevity. With a little expansion in production and growth of subject matter, Keith Murray is definitely the kid to watch for in the future. - Rap Pages (Feb. 95).

I feel like I don't go back to this album enough, but it feels like yesterday!

November 04, 2021

Take It Personal Podcast "Tribute to Blu"

Fourteen years ago, Blu took hip-hop by storm. Along with Exile, he gave us the modern-day classic Below The Heavens and we've all been hooked ever since. On episode 97, the Take It Personal crew sits down with Blu to discuss his lengthy catalog and career. Blu shares stories about rapping for Suge Knight, almost signing to Death Row Records and signing with Warner Brothers. He breaks down some of their favorite tracks off Below The Heavens, working with so many great producers over the years and the making of his latest album, The Color Blue. This is one of their best interviews, ever. You'll definitely wanna check out the Take It Personal tribute with our boy, Blu: absolutely one of my favorite MCs of all time! Props to Philaflava, DJ 360 and Kevlar. Listen below...

November 02, 2021

Prodigy "My Infamous Life" (Happy Born Day, P!)

The back cover of Prodigy's autobiography, says "Recently released from prison, Prodigy--half of Mobb Deep, one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time--reveals his story of fighting to survive on the mean streets of New York City and ultimately making it big, in his intimate autobiography, My Infamous Life. Catapulted from the Queensbridge Projects to the heights of fame at age sixteen, Prodigy toured the world while struggling with drugs, violent crime, and a disease he would spend a lifetime fighting. My Infamous Life is an unblinking account of Prodigy's beefs, brawls, and wild times with Mobb Deep--a duo that changed the musical landscape, leading hip hop into its golden era with their unapologetic portrayals of street life. Taking readers behind the smoke-and-mirrors glamour of the hip hop world, Prodigy lays down the unsparing truth about the intoxicating powers of fame and fortune, his brutal climb to the top, and his unexpected detour to prison in this raw and utterly--sometimes unnerving--frank memoir." After his passing, Nas shared in his song "Queensbridge Politics": "On behalf of me and Queens and all of the Gs / Bandana P will always stand as tall as a tree" ... "It's QueensBridge over everything and everybody / I wish the book never came out / And everything got straightened out / Before you left, I saw you, it was all love / Except we needed to build more and get things correct / Now I gotta accept it, 'cause there's honor in death / Wish you was here with us P...." Hip-hop still mourns the loss of Prodigy but we celebrate him today on his born day. R.I.P., Bandana P! Get a copy of the book HERE!

November 01, 2021

Slick Rick "The Great Adventures Of..." (November 1, 1988)

Slick Rick's reputation as hip-hop's greatest storyteller hangs on his classic debut, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, one of the most influential rap records of the late '80s -- for better and worse. Most of the production is standard early Def Jam, but Rick's style on the mic is like no one else's. His half-British accent and odd, singsong cadences often overshadow the smoothness of his delivery, but there's no overlooking the cleverness of his lyrics. His carefully constructed narratives are filled with vivid detail and witty asides, and his cartoonish sense of humor influenced countless other rappers. He'll adopt a high voice for his female characters, and even duets with his old alter ego MC Ricky D on "Mona Lisa." But there's also a dark side to The Great Adventures -- namely its vulgarity and off-handed misogyny. No MC had ever dared go as far on record as Rick, and the tracks in question haven't really lost much of their power to offend, or at least raise eyebrows. The notorious "Treat Her Like a Prostitute" is the prime suspect, undermining well-intentioned advice (don't trust too quickly) with cynical, often degrading portrayals of women. "Indian Girl (Adult Story)," meanwhile, is an X-rated yarn with a barely comprehensible payoff. Yet this material is as much a part of Rick's legacy as his more admirable traits, and he was far from the last MC to put seemingly contradictory sides of his personality on the same record. And it's worth noting that most of his Great Adventures, no matter how dubious, end up as cautionary tales with definite consequences. That's especially true on the tragic "Children's Story," in which a teenage robber's increasingly desperate blunders lead to his destruction. In the end, The Great Adventures is simply too good not to deserve the countless samples and homages by everyone from Snoop Dogg to Black Star. - AllMusic. This always felt like a greatest hits album to me, simply incredible storytelling...

I remember days upon days listening to this tape in my walkman. What a time...