Monday, September 29, 2008

Video: Joell Ortiz - Can't You Tell/Ghetto

wow, this joint is ill man...currently searching ravenously trying to find just the song! Video is ill, especially liked the camera work and the way they followed Joell through his hood. The second Vid/Song "Ghetto" is crazy as well....liked the sepia type effect they put on the footage....


Murs - Murs For President

Your favorite Cali resident Murs has returned with his latest campaign in the form of the solo opus "Murs For President". Now before you go and start wailing about how he's only running with a political theme because it's an election year, hold up a damn minute. Murs returns with a diverse bevy of new material that touches on politics, but also delves into subjects like religion, the cliche' braggadocio and of course OJ Simpson. LOl, for all of it's philosophic immersion, "Murs For President" struck me as being a tad bit more mainstream than I expected. I mean yeah, I knew that this was going to be his biggest release to date and that a few swings at the commercial fences were to be expected, but I didn't imagine he would swing, miss and eventually strike out. Perhaps his pop ambitions were best left stifled though...I can't really imagine him crossing over and then permanently staying there a la Kanye West. No, I like his music best when it's at it underground best. So when you hear joints on here like "Lookin' Fly", that so inadequately represent his true talents, please exercise caution in your critique's. My man Murs does have to pay bills and in case you haven't noticed the economy isn't giving anyone but the mega-rich a break lately. If it's his truer material you seek, than you'd be best served to check out tracks like "Road Is My Religion", "Apart Of Me" and "Break Up". My name is BIG D O and I approve this message.


01 01:48 Intro
02 03:54 I’m Innocent
03 04:00 Lookin’ Fly Feat. Will.I.Am
04 04:55 The Science
05 03:43 Can It Be (Half A Million Dollars and 18 Months Later)
06 03:34 Everything
07 04:13 Road Is My Religion
08 05:02 Soo Comfortable
09 04:55 Time Is Now Feat. Snoop Dogg
10 04:01 Think You Know Me
11 03:58 Me and This Jawn
12 04:32 Love and Appreciate II Feat. Tyler Woods
13 04:22 A Part Of Me
14 04:08 Break Up (The Oj Song)
15 04:06 Breakthrough

Blue Sky Black Death & Jean Grae Present...Jean Grae: The Evil Jeanius

New collaborative effort from the hottest new underground production duo out there (that ain't from europe!) Blu Sky Black Death and super femcee Jean Grae. Many heads around the blogosphere and the internet in general are praising this joint as being ultra good. I know myself, personally, I grabbed it as soon as I could when I saw it had dropped, because I already knew what time it was. The eerie, boom bap sounds of the Frisco-based duo compliments Jean's dead pan, sultry voice as she recites brutally honest rhyme after brutally honest rhyme. This 37 minute, 10 track effort's only flaw is that it does run through very quickly....


01. Shadows Forever [3:37]
02. Ahead Of The Game feat. Blacastan [4:05]
03. Strikes [4:00]
04. Threats feat. Chen Lo [4:06]
05. Away With Me [3:51]
06. Even On Your Best Day [3:23]
07. Take It Back [3:00]
08. Lights Out [3:33]
09. Nobody’ll Do It For You [2:53]
10. It’s Still A Love Song [5:04]

D-Tension Presents...Contacts & Contracts II

This is a real treat for ya'll Beantown heads. If you have been following the Boston Hip-Hop scene for awhile, than the name D-Tension should ring a bell. The Bronx, NY to Lowell, MA transplant first broke on the scene with his production; providing beats for some of Boston's all time great's like Krumbsnatcha, Edo G. and Akrobatik. His production is usually what I check for when I peep out Boston area artist's stuff. Usually if they scored a beat from him, then they're worthwhile artist's. It's a tried and true system. This lil' diddy features joints from a wide array of artist's and a virtual who's who of the east coast underground. From Apathy, Main Flow, Wordsworth, Doujah Raze, Termanology and Vinnie Paz, much like the first "Contacts & Contracts", this boasts a nice helping of hardcore stylings, but never goes overboard.


1. Intro
2. Krumbsnatcha - ‘Lay ‘em Down’
3. Vinnie Paz & Outerspace - ‘Pretty Little Whores’
4. Termanology & Prospect - ‘This Is Our Year’
5. Doujah Raze - ‘Verbal Gun Talk’
6. Slug - ‘You’re A Bitch Too’
7. Main Flow & Don Dallas - ‘Want Some’
8. Akrobatik - ‘Back With Her Mother’
9. Apathy - ‘Bobby Brown’
10. Termanology, Ed Rock & Edo G - ‘Pop’d At’
11. Poverty & Mic Stylz - ‘Hard’
12. 7L & Esoteric - ‘Hectic’
13. Wordsworth & Grime The MC - ‘Good Times’
14. Effect - ‘Fuck Friends’
15. Headkrack - ‘Any Time Of Day’
17. Bonus Track

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Masters Mixed by The Conmen (Jake One & Mr. Supreme)

I'm a huge fucking fan of soul and funk from the 60's, 70's and of course the 80's, and I'm extra critical when cats try to drop these lil' "throwback" type mixes. Often times they leave out the best shit. I mean how many times am I gonna grab a Soul/Funk mix and have to hear James Brown's "Funky Drummer"?? Come on man....even the 88er's are hip to that record now....break out the good shit man...break out the shit that people are gonna be like "damn, I'bve never heard that record before, but the break on that shit is amazing....". I mean I can't tell you how many cats have tried to craft a mix like this, but failed miserably. That's where the Conmen come in. These guys both must have a really firm grip on the genres and a nice record collection because this is a really comprehensive mix of breaks. I completely just was able to throw it on and listen the whole way through....this is a must grab for any soul fanatic or break grabber....


*No Tracklist*

Video: Blu - Johnson & Johnson

New joint from Blu, who's gonna try and replicate the greatness that he displayed on "Below The Heavens", with his new "Johnson & Johnson" project. Don't know if he can do that (Exile is a hell of a beatmaker, he'll be missed) but I know that I love this video...Gots a retro rolling credits theme to it....very original...


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DJ K.O. presents Picture This...

Most likely this gem will fly waaaay under the radar because of how spoiled we're getting due to all the dope compilations that are dropping (DJ Revolution, Jake One, DJ Babu) and just because nobody really checks for dope music anymore, but trust me, you cannot let this get by you if your a true lover of dope underground Hip-Hop!

The DJ/Producer who was born and raised in the Garden State and attended Rutgers University first got his start in Hip-Hop there, doing mixtapes that featured his ear catching production. From there he moved on to New York City where he got into promoting parties. Even though he was networking with a lot of NY heads, K.O. kept one foot firmly in his New Jersey roots. He would eventually start Elementality Productions, which served as an outlet for not only himself, but for other NJ artists and talents to do shows around the New Brunswick area. Currently Elementality Productions is home to such artist's as up and coming producer Analogic, as well as underground lyrical lexicons Silent Knight, East and Kaze.

"Picture This..." simply put, is the best fucking compilation out there right now and dare I say better than any other one that will be released in 2008. LOL, maybe I'm piling on with the praise, but there will be many heads around Jersey that will and should be able to argue that statement to death. I haven't heard beats this good and a lineup of artist's this profoundly devoted to scribing technically faultless verses, in a long, long time. Hypnotizing samples with crackling static from old Vinyl record's resonates throughout this LP's production landscape as a who's who of the underground scene rhymes ever so sharply over densely layered samples, thudding kick drums and striking snares. Talib Kweli, Masta Ace, Kenn Starr, O.C., Torae, Soulstice, K-Hill, Median, Emilio Rojas, Chaundon, Shabaam Sahdeeq, and Sean Boog are some of the names and voices that harmonize so impeccably with the stunning production on "Picture This...". The poetic wordplay combined with the tasteful beats make K.O.'s new LP a must have for all back pack wielding fans of clandestine Hip-Hop as well as something for the rougher, rowdier, worn out timberland boot rockin' cat, that always states that he "hasn't bought a rap CD since Eric B. and Rakim dropped Don't Sweat The Technique".

Usually when I wrap up a review about a new project I throw out 2 or 3 joints that are "must listens" for the people to be sure and peep....this time around I'mma just say this; make sure you play this whole joint. Sure I have my favorites, but all of the material is supremely worthy.


01. Here We Go (feat. East & Silent Knight) 03:49
02. Best To Do It (feat. Royce Da 5′9″, Elzhi, Supastition) 03:39
03. Get ‘Em (feat. Silent Knight, Skyzoo, Emilio Rojas) 03:03
04. Someday 04:20
(feat. Torae, John Robinson, Talib Kweli, Tiffany Paige)
05. Ladder Of Success 04:38
(feat. Phonte, Wordsworth, K-Hill, Masta Ace)
06. It’s Time (feat. Soulstice, Eternia, Kenn Starr) 03:29
07. Nobody Like Me (feat. Edo.G, Diamond D, Kaze) 03:22
08. Mind Of A Genius 04:33
(feat. Chaundon, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Finale, Sean Boog)
09. 3 In The Chamber (feat. O.C., Torae, Kaze) 03:45
10. This Land (feat. Silent Knight, J. Siinasttah, Archival) 04:17
11. That Knack (feat. Wordsworth, Stricklin, Torae) 04:01
12. Start It All Over (feat. Skyzoo, Emilio Rojas, Median) 11:25

EP Of The Month: El Da Sensei & The Returners - Global Takeover

Back with a dope ass EP that's longer and better than most artist's LP's nowadays, one of Jersey's finest and underground luminary El Da Sensei introduces Polish production duo The Returners to the world with "Global Takeover". The first time I heard El Da Sensei I was instantly a fan, the same applies to when I heard DJ Chwial and Little's beats for the first time. They totally embody everything I love about boom bap production. Gritty drums, precision scratching, ill sample selection/manipulation and a great taste in whom they choose to work with, The Returners collectivly are proving that good hip-hop knows no international lines.

Europe has been coming on strong in the 2K with ill boom bap producers and production teams. France boasts the Get Large duo and Grim Team, Finland brought us The Kollabo Brothers, The Netherlands introduced us to Ciph Barker, Norway contributed the uncomparable Tommy Tee and Germany imported Shuko to us. All the guys named are dope boom bap rap beatmaker's, and yet none of em' really have the momentum that The Returners have. It is a little bit unsettling that if there was an olympic event for Hip-Hop production the U.S. probably wouldn't be favored, but I would still love watching the Euro's battle it out.

"Global Takeover" has everything that any production head could want, some new verses from El Da Sensei and some dope guest features courtesy of Doujah Raze, Reef The Lost Cauze and former Flipmode lyricist Roc Marciano. Definitely one of the stronger releases this month and perhaps the best EP of 2008.


1 Global Takeover Intro: The Beginning 1:08
2 Introducin’ 2:49
3 Hard To Find 2:52
4 Aight Then ! 3:21
5 Super-Fly Jazzy-J (Interlude) 1:23
6 Got Fire feat. Doujah Raze 3:41
7 Life It Is 4:15
8 Money feat. Reef The Lost Cauze & Roc Marciano 4:05
9 And You Know… (Interlude) 1:48
10 It’s Not That Way 4:42
11 Global Takeover Outro: … It’s Only The Beginning 6:59

Crooked I - The Block Obama Mixtape

I've been awaiting this project for months now and finally it's here. Finally I had a chance to sit down with the Long Beach native known as Crooked I's new material, in the the form of a mixtape. "The Block Obama" has been heavilly anticipated in L.A. and abroad for some time now, as in recent weeks we've seen a few of the tracks from it leak and give us all an abundance of hope. Hope for a new west coast, a return to L.A.'s dominance and the possibility that Crooked I, a downright lethal emcee, would finally get that ever so coveted respect that he truly deserves....

I have to say after 2 months of waiting time and lofty expectations of this to be an all out insane effort, bumping it was a pretty sobering experience. It falls short of what it was supposed to have been in my opinion. Crooked was supposed to flex his muscles a bit, figuratively speaking. He was supposed to utilize his vast connections and link up with some of the west's more talented and respected emcee's and producers. What was Ras Kass doin that you couldn't have hit him on the horn and asked for a verse? Why couldn't you have gotten a beat or two from someone like Battlecat, DJ Quik or Mack 10? No disrespect to Christian Crooner Jim Gettum or the hit-or-miss Komplex, they both did their thing on here at times, but come on Crooked, you gotta understand that now isn't the time to be fickle about ya budget. Ask, beg, grovel, what ya gotta do, but you have to link up with other worthy names out west that are on your level lyrically and production wise to keep things interesting. I'm not saying don't bring the new guys along, by all means give em' their shots, but also be sure to give the kids what they've been fiendin' over.

Look, the tape as a whole I would say is somewhat of a success...Crooked establishes his new crew of sorts Horse Shoe Gang, his new company C.O.B. (Circle Of Bosses) and puts on a few new producers who were sparingly effective. There's even a few songs on here that I really was feelin'..."Welcome To My City" is a brillant ode to the LBC, "Straighten It Out" is groovy & reminiscent of L.A.'s past "playalistic" glory and "Trafficin' Green" is an effective new take on an older sample and a gloriously grandiose tale of vice. If Crooked had stuck to the script that these three joints followed he would've had a classic tape. Instead he chose to sell out in tiny portions along the way and that watered down this effort a lot. Mainly it was his selection of beats that he chose to freestyle over that I had the biggest problem with. "A Mille"? "Stronger"?....not what I had expected, nor what I wanted...

Then there's the whole "Obama" theme Crooked chose to run with...He shouts Obama's name repetitively during the tape, but rarely recites any verses that I think truly reflect any of the good senator's view's or initiative's. I like that he's subconsciously raising awareness about voting for Barack and supporting the right candidate though, but a more politically tinged project would've followed the theme, I would've loved to see them pass this out at the DNC!

One thing I will credit Crooked for doing and praise him endlessly for is making this project his, by keeping the features to a minimum and putting out 20+ tracks for the people who waited so patiently. Despite it's overall lack of high brow features, Crooked does get fellow up and coming Long Beach resident G. Malone and hardcore NYC Lyrical sensation Nino Bless to contribute well to this.

"The Block Obama" provides a hefty load of music and a decent production lineup, but Crooked doesn't dazzle as often as he usually does. Often he sounds un-inspired and one can only wonder if those endless Hip-Hop Weekly's didn't drain him creatively. Not saying he suffered a complete writer's block on this, there's a good amount of meaty metaphors, just not as many berserk, rapid fire bars as in the past. All in all it's the best tape to drop this week, but I doubt, beyond a handful of tracks that it has any real longevity.


2. Rappers Ain’t Shit
3. A Millie Freestyle prod. by Komplex
4.Trafficin’ Green
5.I’m Cold ft. G Malone and Hard Head
6.Hood Politics
7.Straightin’ it Out ft. Sauce da Boss
8. Hard on da Blvd
9. Stronger Freestyle
10. Circle Gnag ft. Horse Shoe Gang prod. by Jim Gettum
11. Freak [NC-17] Prod. by KG
12. W’s Down prod. by Komplex
13. New West Baby ft. Coniyac
14. Signs ft. One-2 prod. by Komplex
15. Lift em Up ft. Nino Bless
16. Horse Shoe Gang Freestyle
17. Swagga Like Crook prod. by Komplex
18. What’s Hip-Hop?
19. Fast Money
20. Welcome to My City
21. [Bonus track] I’m a Problem ft. S.C

Dr. Doom AKA Kool Keith - Dr. Doom 2

Time for some wierd shit!! LOL, I kid of's Kool Keith's second reprisal of his wildly popular "Dr. Doom" alter ego, who has gained much noteriety for being completely out of his mind, but only in the most diverting of ways of course. "Dr. Doom 2" features Keith's non-stop, rambling style of flow, that I must admit can truly draw you in. Weaving together dense rhymes and metaphors, Keith covers all his usual bases and addresses his lack of enthusiasm over the way that Hip-Hop is currently going. From my standpoint it don't get more underground than this here. The entire album (except for track 8) is produced by transcendent west coast figure and frequent Keith collaborator KutMaster Kurt, who un-surprisingly dishes out some of his most intoxicating beats to date.

"Dr. Doom 2" is really just what his most ardent fans will be expecting and wanting. Filled to the brim with his usual theatrics and blood curdling, over the top rhetoric, it's definitely going to garner some serious attention amogst the subterranean heads. Flat out masterpiece if you go just by his lyrics alone....he really does an excellent job of creating the theme and enhancing it; a skill that is consistent in most of his albums. Whether he's doing the hardcore sex talk, or drawing on his experiences from his onetime stay at Bellvue as a psychiatric patient, Keith is always ultra (no pun intended) graphic and puts you into full on listening mode instantly. Never corny and over done he's what horrorcore/hardcore rappers wish they could be....just supremely genuine and authentic. Really he's the most entertaining and original personality in Hip-Hop right now and the tragic thing is that he's always been this way; always been himself.

Whether your searching for intense gore, masterful dialogue or just intensly gory masterful dialogue this is the way to go on your next trip to the back of the record store.


01. 02:45 Simon
02. 03:30 The Countdown
03. 03:22 R.I.P. Dr. Octagon
04. 03:38 I’m Creepin’
05. 03:14 I Followed You
06. 03:53 Run For Your Life Feat. Fathered
07. 02:57 Step-N-Fetchers
08. 04:01 The God Of Rap
09. 03:30 How Sexy Feat. Denis Deft
10. 03:14 That Girl Is A Monster
11. 03:38 Do Not Disturb
12. 03:03 Take That Ride
13. 03:15 Mopped Up
14. 03:54 Always Talkin’ Out Your Ass
15. 04:21 Surgery Feat. Motion Man

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

illmind - Blaps, Rhymes & Life mixed by DJ Dub MD

Few producers within the game, or industry rather, of Hip-Hop have ever really managed to successfully walk the line between legitimate underground street beatmaker and accomplished, mainstream radio hit maker. Enter in illmind. The true definition of diversity himself, the Filipino beatsmith from Broomfield, NJ has had the unique opportunity to work with the game's little known and overly saturated artist's alike. From El Da Sensei, Organic Thoughts and Supastition to 50 Cent and Ghostface Killah, illmind has proven his worth through being able to truly provide for whichever artist he is working with at the time.

A lot of my favorite producers ever, admittedly are guys that were very one dimensional. What can I say? I'mma a Hip-Hop head that loves his hardcore stylings. Honestly though, I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't go out from time to time and that a change of pace in clubs can be, well....nice. While I do admire my idols like DJ Premier, I had to give him props for being able to switch it up and produce records for Christina Aguillera, gettin' his money, gettin' his fair share of the American dream. We all want our favorite hardcore shit all the time, but fact is that in the 2K the biggest consumers of retail CD's is women. Our treasured boom bap icons of production have had to adapt or face being permanently relegated to the underground realms, where the dough is much shorter, the tours are longer and their work is falling on fewer and fewer ears....

To those small few that have chosen to brave the cold and unpredictable waters of the underground scene where nothing is promised, including a prolonged career, in the name of keeping real Hip-Hop, I can't thank them enough. And I do thank them; whether it's buying their new mixtape or a T-shirt on some shady online store run by their eccentric manager's or going to their "standing room only" shows at the smallest hole in the wall bars when they run through my town, I give back and try my best to show them my support, and there's thousands of die hard fans just like me who routinely do the same things. We still have that huge love and apprecaition for our underground "king's" and the music that they so selflessly continue to push on and make. Bouncing around from shitty indie label to shitty indie label, carving out a living on what most major label guys spend at the mall on sneakers. Damn shame is what that is.... That's why when guys like illmind come along I can somewhat understand the underground's relative indifference and coyness toward him.

young, capable and well trained illmind is the wave of the future. A guy that doesn't rely on just any one weapon, but instead is skilled in a wide array of tactics, that include but are certainly not limited to making "Hip-Pop" records. However, for all his prowess at crafting hit songs and whatnot, it's most likely his underground work you know him for. I like illmind's hustle. He'll never be in my top 10, but he'll never be broke either. He's too skilled and overall guys like him are the one's leading the way into 2009 man....50 saw this right off and immediately signed him to "the machine", insuring that he would have his lil' hitmaker exclusively himself and that anyone else that wanted to enlist his talents for their crossover record or underground anthem would have to pay the current going rate.

"Blaps, Rhymes & Life" is a great introduction to illmind's more grimey efforts, but there are a few of his more, well, how should I put this, "across the board" type of efforts on here as well. Pretty solid "best of" style tape, a couple of these I had been lookin for my damn self. If your new to illmind's stuff, tracks to definitely peep on here are Supastition's "Thankful", Skyzoo's "Lyrically Inclined" and LL's Queens boro anthem that includes Kool G Rap, Prodigy, Tony Yayo and 50 Cent; "Queens".


01.) Get Ya Ass Up! (Intro) (Produced By Illmind)
02.) Heltah Skeltah - Everything Is Heltah Skeltah (Produced By Illmind)
03.) Brooklyn Academy - Raise Ya Hands (feat. Jean Grae) (Produced By Illmind)
04.) Fresh Daily - Get Over (Produced By Illmind)
05.) D. Black - The Come Up (feat. Skyzoo) (Produced By Illmind)
06.) 50 Cent - Make A Movie (Produced By Illmind)
07.) Supastition - Thankful (feat. Kil Ripkin) (Produced By Illmind)
08.) Naturel - The Bullets (Produced By Illmind)
09.) K.O. (K-Otix) - 48 Seasons (Produced By Illmind)
10.) Torae - New Blood (feat. Skyzoo, Emilio Rojas & Fresh Daily) (Produced By Illmind)
11.) Fortilive - The Come Up (Produced By Illmind)
12.) Broken English - Different World (Produced By Illmind)
13.) Skyzoo - Lyrically Inclined (feat. Wale) (Produced By Illmind)
14.) Naps N Dreds - Do What I Should (feat. Copywrite) (Produced By Illmind)
15.) Quan - Geez Like Deez (feat. Rapper Big Pooh) (Produced By Illmind)
16.) Naturel - Resurrect (Produced By Illmind)
17.) 8th W1 - A Fool's Lullaby (Produced By Illmind)
18.) Faro-Z - Clap Ya Hands (Produced By Illmind)
19.) A.P.E.X. - One More Time (Produced By Illmind)
20.) LL Cool J - Queens (feat. Prodigy, 50 Cent, Kool G Rap, & Tony Yayo) (Produced By Illmind)
21.) Wannabe? (Outro) (Produced By Illmind)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Video: Strong Arm Steady - Can't Let Go

S.A.S. is back with a really crisp and beautifully shot video, "Can't Let Go". Using the high-speed Phantom camera to shoot this, watching made me wanna get back out to L.A. baby! Lowriders, beautiful women and a wonderful, true west coast beat all add to the imagery of this joint. This is just the Youtube version, I highly recommend you go watch this on better media player, it's amazing. Personally I'm a huge fan and I can't wait for the Arm And Hammer album. These guys are one of teh last real L.A. based hip-hop groups man....


Video: Lord Tariq - Pop Off

Aaaaiight!! New one from Lord Tariq right here and it's about time. Been wondering where duke had been at. The Bronx vet returns with a really dope, hardcore video. The imaging is really what I look for in a more edgy effort, and it's definitely one of Tariq's stronger vid's all-time. Song is pretty decent as well. The old addage "Less is more" definitely applies here.....this vid prolly cost a grand or so to make, maybe less, but to me is one of the better joint out now. Real creative shit man....shouts to tariq yo!!


Video: Nas - Yall My Niggas

Powerful, thought provoking, artistic, and eye catching, Nas drops his new video for one of the more controversial records on his new album. Done in black and white the images captured in it are powerful and resonant. Directed by "Taj", "Yall My Niggas" is the perfect Hip-Hop video. It takes the focus off of all that does not matter and channels the energy of Nas's word's into the form of a young child rapping with his head phones on in an environment that is not only hectic, but moody and beautiful. This one definitely will be remembered.


Indie Record To Peep: The SolIllaquists Of Sound - As If We Existed

This is the debut LP from the Orlando based group SolIllaquists Of Sound. To sort of sum up their style, I would say they're eclectic and that they utilize a "jack" format. All of you that are familiar with radio termanology know that "jack" refers to, well, nothing. Meaning that they don't have a format and they draw their influences from many different genres of music. From Soul to Jazz and Rock, the group comprised of members Swamburger, Tonya Combs, Alexandra and DiVinci have coined an acronym to describe their music in FAHEEM, which stands for "Free Astral Hip Hop Extraterrestrially Energized Message". LOL, now before you go nuts and decide that they're your average, hipster rap idiots, just chill out and listen to what I gotta say. I at first was a bit hesitant about these guys too, but after I heard DiVinci's production I eased up a bit. I also saw that there was two females in the group...not always a great sign...but after listening them two femcees straight proved their worth as artist's. Look, if you like good indie shit with thoughtful rhymes and unique production then grab this, if not just keep it movin'. It's a lil' artsy in spots, but like I said, solid production carry's this joint in it's more off pace moments. Be sure to bump "Choices", "Our 2 Cents" and the title track "As If We Existed".


1. Pledge of Resonance
2. Property & Malt Liquor
3. As If We Existed
4. Mark It Place
5. Ask Me If I Care
6. Black Guy Peace
7. Choices
8. Berlin
9. Beautiful Catastrophe
10. Ur Turn
11. All Too Common
12. Our 2 Cents

Loose Music Presents...Champion Hoods Featuring Von Pea, Spec Boogie & Elucid

Some of the underground's bright and creative new stars team up to freestyle over 90's hip-hop instrumentals. Not the first time this idea has been done and admittedly I'm pissed that we won't be hearing any new beats from Von Pea, but still worth the listen. Kind of a preparatory thing this mixtape...reminds you that winter is right around the corner, and for many of us that means short days and long nights couped up inside with nothing to do. There are some perks to winter do get to dress in layers, lol.....and what is my favorite winter garment? That's right, the aforementioned "Champion" Hoodie. Not the cheap ass ones either...I'm talkin the 70 dollar super hood that has a pointy hood when it's brand new. Yeahhh.....nuthin beats those Champion hoodies....takes me back to better times. I think the whole "trying to bring out the nostalgia in people" shtick is wearing a lil' thin though...even if I fuck wit these guy's music pretty regularly, I ain't feelin the gimmicky approach this time around...I mean we get it...the first time I found some of these instrumentals online I fucked with em' too, but come on gotta know your market...underground heads want your new beats, new rhymes etc., etc.,. Leave the classics alone man.


01 Champion Hood Intro
02 Shadowboxing
03 Superstar
04 Iced Down Medallions
05 Brooklyn Kids
06 Can't Stop the Chopping
07 Loosie-La
08 Diner's Club Era
10 Tried by 12 (feat. Lek)
11 Tonight's Da Night
12 Code of the Streets
13 Loosie or Leave it Alone
14 Breakadawn
15 Criminology
16 Last Dayz

Friday, September 19, 2008

Killah Priest and Chief Kamachi - Beautiful Minds

When authentic heads get together and talk about their favorite hardcore and socially aware Hip-Hop artist's, the names Chief Kamachi and Killah Priest usually would be a couple of no brainer's to include. Kamachi is one of the most highly touted members of The Army Of Pharoah's and Priest has for a long time been a very notable Wu-Tang affiliate. Both have released plenty of albums that have garnered huge critical acclaim and done pretty well for independent releases. Fresh off releasing "Behind The Stained Glass" and Kamachi's "The ritual Of Battle", these two special emcee's are poised for more underground success. In order to attain this ever so coveted success, they've decided to join forces and release their highly anticipated "Beautiful Minds" project on Good Hands records.

Combining their powerful, poetry infused lyricism and a combined 30+ years in the game, Priest and Kamachi aren't newcomers to making worthy releases. Both men boast resume's that display a huge commitment to making Hip-Hop that wholly and fully represents the underground culture in all it's outside-the-box thinking, truth exsposing and unapologetic grander. To those that have never experienced either one of these guys rhyming, smarten up. There's only a handful of emcee's out there that still put it all together the way they do.

Putting their collective ears in the proverbial pot, Kamachi and Priest collaborate well on "Beautiful Minds", trading precise and searing verse for precise and searing verse. The lyrical showmanship is on full display for this outing and tracks like "Reflections", "Blessing" and "Don't Waste Your Lungs" prove that Priest and Kamachi are tailor made to rhyme side by side with one another and that this project was ingenious. Their chemistry is quite complimentary and the whole album is a true collaboration as it only contains one guest feature in Fresno, CA rhyme veteran Planet Asia. No complaining from me on his inclusion at all. "Beautiful Minds" is a grasping project that takes you into a lyrical tour de force and never lets up.

The production on here is very, very impressive as well. Priest and Kamachi combine their connections to enlist beatmekers like Tekneek (Kurupt, Tha Dogg Pound), E. Dan (Reef The Lost Cauze, Kamachi, Wiz Khalifa), C Sik (Dilated Peoples, Strong Arm Steady), Dev Rocka, and Diamond Legit amongest others. Many of the names, while worked, will most likely still be new to most, but that's a surprising twist that works out well for the duo. The production is outstanding and diverse. Rich in drums and provocative sampling, the beats create a unique sound scape that is exactly what you wanna hear in a underground release like this.

At the end of the day the only major misgiving that this album has is it's entirely too short and only contains 12 tracks. I much rather would have waited longer for this and gotten at least 16 to 18 joints, but hey, at least we're getting something. Something that is gonna be in your rotation pretty heavy if your a fan of dense lyricism.


01 beautiful minds 02:56
02 all hail 03:54
03 closest 03:28
04 reflections 02:58
05 illest feat. planet asia and dj rhettmatic 04:26
06 most high 03:54
07 time out revisited 01:28
08 don’t waste your lungs 02:49
09 all been buried 04:07
10 blessing 03:00
11 see clearly 04:55
12 scrolls feat. dj rhettmatic 03:07

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

G4 Freestyle Video/New Artist Feature: Fashawn


Dope lil' freestyle vid from newcomer Fashawn (pronounced fash-on), who reps Fresno, CA to the fullest. I've actually seen joints from this kid here and there on tapes and whatnot, ut I've never heard him til' now. He's talented. Real talented. Talented enough for me to kick myself in the leg for not checking his music out earlier. This is a very well put together video that also has me kicking myself for neglecting and what they're bringing to the table. I saw some really clear footage, a top of the line mic, good post-freestyle interview, heard a crisp, new beat and enjoyed the graphics and the layout design for the vid a lot. Top of the line shit, really, hats off to the cats at G4TV yo....


DJ Fade Presents...New York Giants Vol.2: Big L & Big Pun

As everyone knows I ain't too big on mixtapes these days...most of em' ain't worth the CD-R's they're copied to, but as you can see, I've been having some luck finding a few today that I thought were aaiight....this one isn't super spectacular or anything, but in the way mixtapes go it's a hell of a lot better than the majority of the pack right now.

There's not much of a back story or plot that I need to outline for ya'll with this one. All DJ Fade has done is gather up some of the best tracks ever from two of the best emcee's New York has ever known and slap em' all on a mixtpae. You'll find the usual all-time great tracks on here that are routine when a "best of" type of mixtape for either of these guys is made, but DJ Fade does drop a few more lesser-known and unorthodox joints for this particuliar ode to Pun's and L's greatness. For example, the often overlooked Big Pun cut's (which in actuality aren't his cuts at all, but tracks he appeared on as a guest) "Cross Bronx Expressway" and "Heavyweights" make their way on here and that's a special delight for me. A lot of the time people forget that Pun was a guest feature machine and collaborated with tons of people outside of his Terror Squad camp. Fade does a decent job of highlighting a few of those feature spots he did, that while memorable, are consistently ignored on many a tribute tape to him. I attribute that small problem of using the same material over and again to most DJ's not really knowing Pun's music and just trying to buy themselves some cred with the hardcore crowd and his die hard fans by releasing a routine "best of" by him, with the same old recycled lineup of songs. Fade proves that this tape ain't really in that same model and provides a nice twist by including another great hardcore lyricist in Big L on the tape.

Even though Fade successfully breaks the status quo and standard modus operandi for "Best of Big Pun" type tapes, he unfortunately cannot reproduce the same magic for New York Giants's co-star Big L. I took it easy on him with the criticism on that though. Unlike Pun, L rarely collaborated outside of his D.I.T.C. circle, and when he did it was noted and those tracks have been played, played and played over and again. He wasn't the efficient RBI notching workman like Pun was but rather more of a home run or power hitter. L's greatest strength was his 3 pronged attack; delivery, flow and lyrics and most of the time he was such a devastating force, few emcees could actually get in the booth after him or get on the stage next to him and sound good...he was an animal on that mic and his ferocity and fearlessness to say anything, was un-matched. In that fact he and Pun are very much in the same vein as artist's. Two of the best ever and I personally have a lot of memories set to the music these guys made.


1. (00:02:51) - Back in the hood - big l ft. party arty
2. (00:03:29) - Thug love - remy martin ft. big pun
3. (00:03:17) - Who you slidin' wit - big l ft. stan spit
4. (00:03:45) - Still not a player - big pun ft. joe
5. (00:03:13) - Hit it - big l
6. (00:03:21) - I'm not a player - big pun
7. (00:03:09) - Internationally known - d.i.t.c. ft. o.c., big l, fat joe & lord finesse
8. (00:04:05) - John blaze - fat joe ft. nas, big pun, raekwon & jadakiss
9. (00:04:04) - Get yours - d.i.t.c. ft. big l, o.c. & diamond d
10. (00:04:07) - Drop it heavy - d.i.t.c. ft. krs-one, big pun & a.g.
11. (00:03:17) - All love - d.i.t.c. ft. fat joe, lord finesse & big l
12. (00:05:12 - Cross bronx expressway - lord tariq & peter gunz ft. fat joe & big pun
13. (00:02:39) - Flamboyant - big l
14. (00:03:56) - Heavy weights - violator ft. fat joe, big pun & eightball
15. (00:02:34) - Ebonics - big l
16. (00:02:09) - Best behavior - big pun ft. fat joe
17. (00:03:14) - Platinum plus - big l ft. big daddy kane
18. (00:03:17) - Tres leches (triboro trilogy) - big pun ft. prodigy & inspectah deck
19. (00:05:06) - Da graveyard - big l ft. jay-z, lord finesse, grand daddy i.u., party arty & microphone nut
20. (00:03:22) - New york giants - big pun ft. m.o.p.
21. (00:02:52) - Size 'em up - big l
22. (00:03:48) - You ain't a killer - big pun
23. (00:00:57) - Psalm 23 - o.c. (big l tribute)

Mixtape Of The Month: K-Hill - The Return Of Monroe Hutchin

This month's most outstanding mixtape title undeniably goes to the distinguished and multi-talented artist K-Hill. Underground heads are familiar with K-Hill because of the extensive work he's done with Justus League and 9th Wonder. Make no mistake however, K-Hill has collaborated with the best in the hardcore rap business. From Nature, Big Daddy Kane and Jean Grae, he's built up a pretty solid resume for an upstart producer. The Durham, NC native with the inate faculty for both producing catchy, soul drenched beats and rhyming with the sharp wittyness of a true school veteran has opted to deliver to us fans a whole mixtape of his works completely free of charge. A meaningful gesture considering that he surely could sell his stuff...It unequivocally is the type of bona fide Hip-Hop material that underground junkies reavenously seek out and pay fifteen bucks for.

"The Return Of Monroe Hutchin" has all the right componants to be deemed memorable, if not classic. It's a consistent effort, which has purpose behind all of it's selections. Even the title has a meaning that is much more than your annoying and self-serving designation that you'll typically find on the front of most mixtapes these days. For all those that don't understand the significance of the name "Monroe Hutchin", it stems from the name of a fictional movie character that was played by Wesley snipes in the film he co-produced called "Undisputed", which was released sometime in 2002. Hutchin is an intelligent and low-key inmate in one of the highest security prisons in America. He' also is the undisputed heavyweight boxng champion of the prison ten years and running. Hutchin landed himself in jail by beating a man to death using his bare hands which as any fan of pugilism knows, are registered as lethal weapons. K-Hill takes on the role of the brillant, yet un-assuming Hutchin, as he also displays how his hands are lethal weapons when he writes rhymes and composes beats.

In the lyrical category we have K-Hill dispatching some of his best verses ever in his slight southern accent alongside a prime supporting cast, that includes the extremely complimentary services of emcee's like Torae, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Supastition, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Soulstice and the legendary Grand Daddy I.U.. In the production grouping we discover K-Hill has indeed not limited this tape's phonetic arrangement's to be provided by him alone. Assembling a cast of heavilly respected beatsmiths in Marco Polo, J Dilla and The Gyphted, he is sure to absorb any fan of good music with the array of head-nodding and grandly melodious sequences.

As far as the overall theme and tone of this tape goes, K-Hill delivers many an important message to his Hip-Hop peers while the dope composition's coincide. From learning how to let go of the past, dealing with the constant "indie" artist frustrations and understanding what really matters in this world of material things, this project is filled with silver-tongued moments and substansive attitudes. Not totally consumed by all the austere and reflective subjects that he's no doubt surrounded by, K-Hill is just as cagey with his production when it comes to the segments of the tape that take a less heavy approach. Supplying beats for tracks like "So High", "Ving Rhames" and "Back In The Day" K-Hill manifests a unique quality to model beats perfectly for the emcee's subject matter as well as shwing he can keep it light; a skill that has no doubt carried him to the buzz he's arrived at now and will continue to fuel his meteoric rise through the vast ranks of masterful underground producer's and emcee's.


1) Preview (prod by K-Hill)
2) Legendary Intro (prod by The Gyphted)
3) The Verdict (prod by Marco Polo)
4) Welcome Home ft. Tiffany Paige (prod by The Gyphted)
5) Jim Snooka - The Boiling Point ft. K-Hill (prod by K-Hill)
6) The Formula Radio Drop (prod by Vanderslice)
7) Shabamm Sahdeeq - Keep Comin ft. Supastition, Torae, & Tiffany Paige (prod by K-Hill)
8) J. Bully - Ving Rhamez (prod by K-Hill)
9) L.E.G.A.C.Y. - No Regrets ft. Lunatic Messiah (prod by K-Hill)
10) Granddaddy I.U. - Back In The Day Rmx ft. Pudgee Da Phat Bastard & Kal Royale (Prod by K-Hill)
11) Omniscence - So High - (prod by K-Hill)
12) DJ Flash Freestyle (J Dilla Instrumental)
13) Ving Rhames - Gunns and Butter
14) Winner’s Circle ft. Soulstice and J.Bully (prod by K-Hill)

Legend, DJ Nice & Statik Selektah - Back 2 The Basics (Leaders Of The New School)

Whenever Statik Selektah drops somethin' new I always make a point to check it out because 9 outta 10 times it's gonna be noteworthy. The Lawrence, Massachusetts DJ teams up with relative unknowns DJ Nice and Legend to release a tape that for the most part is pretty flawless in delivering that wonderful "old school" and authentic Hip-Hop feeling. No surprise there, When Selektah goes in he always reps for that great east coast sound that has been somewhat lost in translation in the latter part of the 2K.

Starting things off correct, Torae blesses us with some nice, nice wordplay that for me was kinda the highlight of the first part of the tape. I'm biased though, I've been tryin to tell people bout Torae for a hot minute. The first ten tracks are all highly entertaining, boasting some pretty ill lyricism from the likes of Kiss, SkyZoo, Termanology, Stimuli and Joell Ortiz. Then the bullshit strikes. I don't know which one of the three DJ's decided it would be a good idea to poison this tape with the likes of Lil' Wayne and Kanye West's new, shitty Auto Tune'd single, but needless to say it was a dreaded move. I don't understand how you can throw these two into the mix on a tape like this, maybe Kanye could sneak on here, but definitely not with "Love Lockdown", SMH....And even worse, they put a really good Emilio Rojas track smack dab in the middle of that bullshit! LOL, sort of forcing you to navigate around the utter the lameness of Wayne and Kanye to hear some good stuff. Emilo Rojas deserves better.

Things get back on track quickly though, as AC, Talib Kweli, and John Robinson come through and bless the lineup and Statik releases one of his trademark Showoff remixes for D-Dot, Redman and Black Rob. Unfortunately it isn't long before we hear more ventures into undesirable mainstream waters. The bottonm half of the tape contains far too many unwanted tracks from over the hill and new coming, hit-seekers. Ludacris, Max B. and Curren$y all sort of inject themselves in bad spots with shitty music and take away from gloriously good moments like Big L's unreleased gem "Principles Of The New School", Naledge's Statik Selektah produced "Happy Birthday" and west coast underground sensation Blu's "HoldOn". All in all this is a really listenable mix, but I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't expected more from Selektah. That's kind of un-fair though considering he does provide the majority of the tapes best moments with his ever-improving production and remixing skills. Good but definitely not great, most likely you'll end up doing as I did, by downloading this, bumping it and then quickly moving on after you delete the five or so garbage tracks.


01. Torae - Back 2 The Basics (Intro)
02. Jadakiss - Who Run This (Feat. Jay-Z) (Produced By Baby Grand)
03. Joell Ortiz - Sympathy
04. Styles P - Villian (Produced by J.Cardim)
05. Stimuli - Walk On Water 2
06. Skyzoo - Bragging Rights (Remix) (Produced by Analogic)
07. Fashawn - Our Way (Feat. Evidence) (Produced by Exile)
08. Godchild - Another Day, Another Dollar (Produced by Mike The Martyr)
09. Reks - Money On The Ave (Remix) (Feat. Skyzoo & Termanology)
10. Cambatta - What It Do (Produced by Boonie Mayfield)
11. Statik Selektah - Mr. Popularity (Feat. Consequence)
12. Cory Gunz - Lay Me Down (Produced By Nottz)
13. Lil Wayne - Still Standing (Feat. Junior Reid) (Snippet)
14. Emilio Rojas & M-Phazes - 585
15. Kanye West - Love LockDown
16. AC - I Engineer (Feat. The Senate)
17. DJ KO - Someday (Talib Kweli, Torae, John Robinson & Tiffany Paige)
18. Statik Selektah - This Is It (Showoff Remix) (Feat. D-Dot, Redman & Black Rob)
19. Ced Hughes - Back 2 The Basics (Like This) (Produced By Ced Hughes)
20. Ludacris - Undisputed (Feat. Floyd Mayweather Jr.) (Produced By Don Cannon)
21. B.o.B - I'll Be In The Sky (Produced By B.o.B)
22. ESSO - Thinkin' Out Loud IV
23. Max B - Live Comfortable
24. Big L - Principal Of The New School (Unreleased)
25. Naledge - Happy Birthday (Produced By Statik Selektah)
26. Fashawn - Because I'm Black
27. Blu - HoldOn
28. Theo - 2055 (The Future)
29. Rain - Back 2 Life (Produced By Scram Jones)
30. Curren$y - Whoa (Outro) (Produced By Kid Eight)

Duck Down Records Presents...The Duck Down Hotline

This is a pretty original take on the everyday run of the mill Hip-Hop sampler. That should come as no surprise though, because for years Duck Down Records has been run by one of the most innovative cats out there in Dru Ha. Duke is much more than the president over there at Duck Down. He has a hand in everything that comes out of his label, from the clothes they sell in the online store to the bevy of dope and well drawn out BCC mixtapes that continually drop right when you need em' (loved that X-Files joint Dru!).

It's been a great year for Duck Down Records man. They signed an "outside the box" type of group in Kidz In The Hall and saw them rise to the top of the "hipster" rap scene, they signed DJ Revolution, an all-time legend in west coast DJing, they released "The Formula", 9th Wonder and Buckshot's second collaborative effort to recieve rave reviews, they released a couple new mixtapes from Tec and Steele, they recently signed L.A. based, latino rhyme legend B-Real and they are currently prepping for release what is sure to be a contender for album of the year with Heltah Skeltah's "D.I.R.T.". Man, it don't get no better than that when it comes to a small label trying to make it in the ever shrinking world of underground, hardcore rap.

Continuing their stellar street promotion Duck Down Records has decided to give the fans what they want in a new and exclusive label sampler, that includes a large helping of some of the imprint's bright new stars and seasoned veterans alike. Never to be the ones to do something mundane or everyday, The good folks at Duck Down have spiced this sampler up a bit. Including a couple exclusive remixes, joints from brand new albums (that you shouldn't have had until yesterday!) and more than a few really dope and insightful interviews from Buckshot, Kidz In The Hall, Heltah Skeltah and DJ Revolution.


1) DJ Revolution INTRO & Buckshot Interview
2) 9th Wonder & Buckshot “Brand Nu Day”
3) Buckshot Interview
4) 9th Wonder & Buckshot featuring Mickey Factz “Concrete Jungle”
5) Buckshot Interview
6) Buckshot “WHO GOT THE PROPS 2008″
7) DJ Double O of Kidz In The Hall Interview
8) Kidz In The Hall featuring Estelle “Love Hangover” (Video debuted on MTV’s TRL)
9) Naledge of Kidz In the Hall Interview
10) Kidz In The Hall “Driving Down The Block Westcoast Remix”
11) Ruste Juxx Interview
12) Ruste Juxx “Vic Flair”
13) Ruste Juxx “Wipe Off Ya Smile” off INDESTRUCTIBLE in stores October 28th
14) Heltah Skeltah Interview
15) Heltah Skeltah “Everything Is Heltah Skeltah” off D.I.R.T.
16) Heltah Skeltah “FUCK THAT RAPPER”
17) DJ Revolution Interview conducted by DJ LOGIC
18) DJ Revolution featuring KRS-ONE “THE DJ” off KING OF THE DECKS
19) DJ Revolution Interview
20) DJ Revolution featuring Bishop Lamont, Crooked I & Styliztik Jones “Funky Piano” off KING OF THE DECKS IN STORES SEPTEMBER 16th
21) DJ Revolution Outro

Video: DJ Revolution feat. Special Teamz (Slaine, Jaysaun & Edo G.) - Big Top

Surprised to see that Revolution couldn't scare up a bigger budget for this, lol...still, any effort is a good effort (message to all you new artists!). Damn shame that an ill song like this didn't get better film quality, or direction for that matter...Damn Rev, holla at Rik Cordero, he's out there in Cali right? At any rate, what I'm sure was un-intentional, yet hilarious creepiness, no doubt will segway well into the Halloween season. Be sure to check out Revolution's new album "King Of The Decks" in it's's not gonna be posted up here cause' I got too much respect for Revolution and I ain't puttin my hand in his pocket.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Milano - Sidewalk Stories

Often forgotten in the all-time illest Latino emcee conversation's is none other than Milano. The Uptown Manhattan raised, Puerto Rican bred lyricist has for quite some time been puttin' it down in the name of real street Hip-Hop. Primarilly known for his collabo's with the world famous D.I.T.C. crew and the late, very great Big Punisher, Milano has released several 12" singles over the years and has appeared on numerous mixtapes hosted by the NYC's best; ranging From Tony Touch, Kay Slay, Green Lantern and DJ Enuff. Shedding his somewhat "underground" tag, Milano has decided to release a new 10 track project to the Masses entitled "Sidewalk Stories". I had previously not known that Milano was planning to release anything new, but was pleasantly surprised to see this out there for all his true fans. Unfortunately I do have some major issues with "Sidewalk Stories". Surprisingly it is, as previously stated, only 10 tracks long, making it tough to really settle in with it. And in all actuality it's only 9 tracks because the tenth one is the previously released classic "Where You At?" that features Pun. Save that shit for the "Best of" tape Milano! Another qualm I had was that all 10 tracks aren't the ultra street and boom bapped out type of joints that Milano has become known for churning out over the years. For example, "Hot Pair Of Nikes" and "Take It Off" find Milano haphazardly trying to create more modern, radio friendly hits, but miss badly. Milano does temporarily rescue himself with stellar songs like "The Ladder" and "New York City", that provide both infectious production and thoughtful wordplay. With beats by Showbiz, Agallah, Will Tell, Chaze, Grim Team and Amed this lil' appetizer should please most, but will come up short for anyone who has been starving for a heaping helping of Milano since he first burst on the scene with D.I.T.C..


01 - big future
02 - holy trinity 2
03 - new york city
04 - skit
05 - the ladder
06 - take it off
07 - stay low
08 - and now
09 - how u
10 - where you at feat. big pun

DJ Chong Wizard - Hell's Kitchen: Raekwon The Chef Vs. Mobb Deep

I know the real heads gon' crucify me for puttin this gem up so late, but at least I'm gettin around to puttin' it up at all. Considering that my schedule is filled to the brim tryin' to listen to all these new albums that have been droppin' and rippin' this week, the fact that I had time to listen to a mixtape/blend tape at all is a fucking miracle. Truthfully though, after bumpin Chong Wizard's "Hell's Kitchen", I am 100% happy that I took the time to pop this in the deck and listen. First off lemme explain a few things. If I sound like a total shitbag elitist that acts like his time is too precious to listen to a mixtape, don't blame me, blame the fucking shitty ass state of the mixtape game. It's fucking real boring out there kid, real boring. Every mixtape DJ is jockin' some other wack ass mixtape DJ's style and everything sounds the same; shitty. If it ain't some bullshit Lil' Wayne than it's some shit that's un-interesting and don't actually "mix" well. And that's the whole point behind make an ill mix ill mix!! What drew me into this tape was the fact that yes, I'm a huge fan of Raekwon and Mobb Deep (early, not recent) but moreso that it was a blend tape. Now for all you newbie 88'ers lemme school ya. A blend tape is something that was started a hot minute ago in Harlem, New York by a guy named Ron G. He was taking R&B vocals and putting them over Hip-Hop beats. The trend grew and grew and all types of blending ensued, but Ron G is the muthafucka that started that shit first as 18 year old or some shit. He was the originator. I believe you youngin's call them shits "mash ups" now, but that's incorrect and lame as fuck.

Okay, so now that you have had your lil' history lesson and you understand how fucking ill this quasi-sub genre of hip-hop DJing and production is, wrap your head around the magnanamous idea of putting Mobb Deep acapella's from Thier cult classic "Hell On Earth" over beats from Raekwon's undeniably classic first few albums and vice versa. Sounds fuckin' nuts right? Well, The same guy that dropped "American Ironman", (a Jay-Z vs. Ghostface blend tape that had the internet heads clamoring for more) a cat named Chong Wizard (lol, I don't know if he's asian or not either) returns with this ill ass take on a few giants from the mid 90's and the unforgettable hardcore, NYC music they created.

While I'm not sure if many of you will check this out, all I can say is that those who do won't be sorry. Shit I bumped this all weekend while watching college and NFL (go Broncos!!) football, and it was the perfect backdrop. So "perfect" of a backdrop that I was routinely pulled away from intense, early season, grudge match action to run back tracks like "Shark DJ's (Biters)", "Street Wisdom" and "Coke Vultures". Don't be a herb, grab this while you still can and bump it. Pull yourself away from the over-marketed and over-hyped bullshit that is the corny ass mixtape game of 2008 and recognize real skill. Shout out to that man Chong Wizard too....don't kno much about you kid, but your an official head with mad skill.


01 . Mobb Deep - Striving For Perfection 02:08
02 . Mobb Deep - Infamous Knuckleheadz 02:40
03 . Mobb Deep Feat. Das Efx - Microphone Knowledge 04:36 04 . Mobb Deep Feat. Big Noyd - Only Built 4 Queensbridge Links 03:53
05 . Mobb Deep Feat. Big Noyd - Incarcerated Prodigy 04:15
06 . Mobb Deep - Rainy Nightz
07 . Mobb Deep - Poisonous P 01:08
08 . Mobb Deep Feat. Big Noyd - All So Simple Then 04:41
09 . Mobb Deep - Shark Djs (Biters) 01:44
10 . Mobb Deep - Over Dose Music 01:35
11 . Mobb Deep - Corny Rappers (Interlude) 06:25
12 . Mobb Deep - Street Wisdom 01:00
13 . Mobb Deep Feat. 50 Cent - Ice Cream Man Outta Control 04:06
14 . Mobb Deep - Hells Kitchen 03:40
15 . Raekwon The Chef Feat. Ghostface - Heaven & Hell (Original) 04:55
16 . Raekwon The Chef - Hustler Instinct 02:32
17 . Raekwon The Chef - Drop A Blend On Em 01:28
18 . Raekwon The Chef - Drug Sport 01:36
19 . Raekwon The Chef - Young Poor Hustler's Theme 03:42
20 . Raekwon The Chef - Coke Vultures 01:20
21 . Raekwon The Chef - Gold, Oil & Drugs Pt. III 02:35
22 . Raekwon The Chef Feat. Inspectah Deck - O.G. Cream Team 01:21
23 . Raekwon The Chef - Give It Up Kids 01:09
24 . Raekwon The Chef - Still Cookin 01:34
25 . Raekwon The Chef - Apostle's Clientele 01:00

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Madlib - Madlib Remixes 2: Saturday Morning Edition

I really have so much respect for Madlib yo. If your a frequent reader of this blog you already know that I've written all there is to write about this guy and my appreciation for his tireless work ethic. Always releasing new and dope projects, Madlib is one of Hip-Hop's sorely unappreciated production workmen. Including a laundry list of retail and "official" releases, Madlib also is a pretty usual contributor to more underground endeavors like his heavily coveted remix projects (see the "Mind Fusion" tapes). I am not going to spoil this one by giving away too many details, but just know this, "Remixes 2: Saturday Morning Edition" is comprised entirely of the illest and most rare Disco and funk samples out there. Madlib never disappoints when it comes to flipping shit like that correctly, please believe this tape will become insanely addictive for all you vintage heads out there. Be sure not to miss ya favorite Disco and Funk breaks re-worked by Oxnard, CA's finest, the one and only Madlib.


01 Remixtroduction
02 Mood Swing
03 Ghetto Dwellaz
04 Devils
05 Rap Niggaz
06 My Favorite Ladies
07 Movement
08 Disco Break
09 Likwidation
10 Rockin
11 Put Yr Hands Up
12 Blunt Break
13 Flyby
14 Bear Wizz Beer (Commercial)
15 Throwback
16 Nothin Lesser
17 Doomilla
18 Nasty N.
19 Game
20 Memory Lane
21 Public Disservice Announcement
22 On the Grind
23 Gitmine
24 Net Weight
25 Quarterlude
26 Ridewitus
27 Gog Was Wrong (Commercial)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Video: Q-Tip - Gettin' Up

Another brillant J Dilla production fuels Q-Tip's creative video return. Set against a white background Tip incorporates crazy fits', dope lighting, beautiful women and innovative set ideas to convey the ultimate hip-hop command; Get Up. A can't miss video that should be dominating television signals worldwide, unfortunately will most likely get swept under the rug for what? A new T.I. or Shawty Lo vid? SMH....I'm bout done with hip-hop videos man...not enough good, fresh ones like this droppin anymore.


Video: Big Pooh - Plastic Cups feat. Chaundon and Joe Scudda

Nice lil' vid that finds Pooh, Scudda and Chaundon taking a scenic little jaunt through the NYC streets. Produced by the late great J Dilla (the track can be found on Pooh's new tape "Rapper's Delight"... see my post below) who dug up a great horn loop from somewhere to power the track. LOL, Joe Scudda sporting some rediculous Cazell shades, Pooh kickin knowledge and Chaundon rhyming in front of the train. A really fun vid, that looks like it was fun to make also. Simple formula that yields a great product. Damn shame in a sense that a couple of North Carolina natives and a guy from the Bronx who runs wit em' can so easily show a whole city how they should be gettin' down.....damn NY wassup?!?! Step that game up!!


Video: Termanology feat. Bun B - How We Rock

Nice lil' joint from Term, produced by DJ Premier who mans some pretty ill glow in the dark turntables in this joint. Set in a night club, nothing too out of the ordinary for the formula, just two emcee's wreckin a set onstage...a few cameos, most notably from Lil' Fame, at the end of the day nothing super spectacular, but still pretty appeasing.


Rapper Big Pooh - Rapper's Delight

Taking me completely by surprise and flying totally under the radar is the new release from our favorite plump, J League emcee; Rapper Big Pooh. Pooh's last effort the Little Brother group project "Get Back" that was released close to a year ago and was insanely good, despite my huge disdain for Phonte and Pooh leaving 9th Wonder behind as the in-house and main producer in the group. "Get Back" proved that The duo was capable of making an album without 9th's genius yet overpowering soul back drops, but rather with the help of an array of talented producers. Pooh aims to do the same for his new solo project entitled "Rapper's Delight" that I am bringing you today. This is the free download version of "Rapper's Delight" that's available on, so don't tear my fucking head off for putting it up. Also if you want the official version look for it around the beginning of November I guess.

"Rapper's Delight" picks up right where "Get Back" and Pooh's "Sleepers" albums left off. Providing the listener with lots of rich samples reworked to perfection with Pooh's light hearted, yet introspective and creative lyrics layered over the top. Fans of the rougher stuff might be wise to steer clear however, most of "Rapper's Delight" falls under the category I so lovingly refer to as "life-hop". Pooh is genuine and that shines through. It's a big part of the reason why so many flock to his projects. The brutha keeps it real and doesen't pretend to be something he's not. He's a college drop-out from North Carolina that loves to eat and loves simple things like new clothes and good hip-hop music just like the rest of us. Songs like "Regular Nigga", "Dumb It Down", and "Crazy" really sieze Pooh's best qualities as an emcee; honesty, relatablity and flow, which all resonate through these tracks and give you a much needed break from the guest-feature-a-thon that this tape somewhat is. The enormous amount of guest spots isn't all bad...Talib Kweli, Quan and Roscoe Umali prove that Pooh can successfully go outside of his ever-present Justus League collabo's and work with other highly touted artist's.

The production on "Rapper's Delight" is sensational, largely in part due to Pooh grabbing tracks produced by the likes of Interscope in-houser's Illmind and Focus, VA's finest Nottz, 9th Wonder impressionist Khrysis and of course the D's all-time best....J Dilla. If good tunes are all you seek, this will definitely be a great find for you. Khrysis pulls the majority of the load with only 4 tracks, so it's all pretty evenly spread out. There are a few new names on here contrbuting...nothing really ear catching in that department.

All in all for a free download this is something that you should not hesitate whatsoever to grab. Pooh's material is still as engaging as ever and his ear for production while slightly shifting, for the most part is still fully intact as well. I for one can't wait for the official version to drop in November, which will feature additional guest spots, among which will include Pooh teaming back up once again with his old friend 9th Wonder.


01 Rapper’s Delight f. Chaundon (prod. Nottz)
02 Reality Check f. Big Dho, D. Black & Mykestro (prod. Khrysis)
03 Respect It f. Illa J & Bishop Lamont (prod. J. Dilla)
04 Hands Up f. Chaundon & Roc C (prod. Khrysis)
05 Text Me (Tha Bizness Alllstar Remix) w/ Talib Kweli, Parker Brothaz & Naledge (prod. Tha Bizness)
06 Oh Yeah f. Roscoe Umali & Stylistic Jones (prod. Focus…)
07 Roll Call f. Jozeemo, Chaundon & Joe Scudda (prod. The Co-Op)
08 Dusty f. O-Dash (prod. Nick Speed)
09 Crazy (prod. Khrysis)
10 Geez Like Deez f. Quan (prod. Illmind)
11 Regular Nigga w/ Ab Soul
12 Plastic Cups f. Chaundon & Joe Scudda (prod. J. Dilla)
13 Money f. Frank (of Frank-N-Dank) & O-Dash (prod. Young RJ)
14 Dumb It Down
15 On The Real f. E. Ness & Jozeemo (prod. Khrysis)

Ill Bill - The Hour Of Reprisal

In the midst of all our American hub bub about the presidential election, natural disasters and so called "controversial" content in Hip-Hop and the music business in general, emerges a hip-hop masterpiece that will truly illustrate to the faint of heart just what "offensive" really is and can be. This "masterpiece" album I speak of comes from Ill Bill; one of my longtime favorite emcees from Brooklyn and it's name is "The Hour Of Reprisal". Over the past 4 months tons of different versions of this album have leaked, but now we will finally have the true article.

Ill Bill proves his status as an elite emcee on this project and delivers consistently throughout in the form of thought provoking rhymes that are spiked with raw realizations and scathing depictions of his early life. I'll be the first to admit that he often gets going and might lapse in and out of his flow and that he sometimes has a tendency to let his strong delivery turn into flat out yelling, but lyrically, Bill has always brought it on his solo albums and this might be the best one he's ever made. Showcasing his strong production skills on here as well, Bill will force many a hip-hop head to re-examine their best album of 2008 list's and work "The Hour Of Reprisal" into the top five.

Bill opts to incorporate some of the underground and independent scene's most talented emcee's and utilize his own production a lot more for this record. "The Hour Of Reprisal" is top notch across the boards, really insightful, powerful and un-afraid. Everything that I hoped Nas's new LP would be, Ill Bill's is. You'll find names like Immortal Technique, Raekwon, Vinnie Paz and B-Real all gracing this solid piece of work. The standout track on here to me is "White Nigger". While at first glance at the title I expected the song to be a cheesy, over blown, Jewish homage to black stereotypes, I was pleasantly surprised when Bill took us into his life story and broke down how he got into hip-hop, what it was like growing up Jewish in the Glenwood Projects in Brooklyn, NY and how he fought the labels that were thrown on him. Shit is a damn good record and the production (provided by Bill himself) for it was insane as well. Bill gets the pass to say the word because he put it forth in a really thoughtful way and wasn't trying to negatively attack anyone else. He'll catch some flack for it, no doubt, but I understand what he was trying to do. Good for you Bill, don't listen to the haters. Another huge highlight of the album is when Ill Bill teams up with the legendary DJ Premier for the track "Society Is Brainwashed", which finds Bill trading in his usual delivery for his 95' flow which is more streaming, fluid and technically precise. It is an eye opening glimpse into how talented Bill really is when it comes to pulling out old weapons and updating them for modern times. This whole album is full of contemptuous rhetoric, but this joint has Bill reciting his anti-American truths in such vintage fashion it makes you wanna go find all his early work really. The finishing touch is most certainly the Premier production though. Primo hands Bill a perfectly crafted boom bap gem, that supposedly Jay-Z in all his pop music greatness turned away. SMH, big surprise there right? At any rate, one man's trash is another man's classic joint. Bill has to release "Society Is Brainwashed" as a 12" single, it gets my vote as the album's most re-playable record.

All in all if your a fan of any type of hip-hop that means something you need to check out this record. Ill Bill's commitment to that hardcore and in your face brand of rap/hip-hop has finally paid off in the form of a stellar album. I loved most of this effort and I rarely feel that way about any project, especially projects that are droppin in the 08'. I didn't think that anything would drop this year that could fuck with Immortal Technique's mixtape "The 3rd World", but I was wrong. This album lives up to it's hype and was well worth the wait. Aside from a few very small mis-steps in the song theme department, this shit is flawless.


01. Babylon (Feat. Howard Jones) (Prod. By T-Ray) 05:14
02. Doomsday Was Written In An Alien Bible (Prod. By Ill Bill) 03:03
03. Trust Nobody (Prod. By Ill Bill) 02:48
04. A Bullet Never Lies (Feat. Vinnie Paz) (Prod. By DJ Lethal) 03:25
05. White Nigger (Prod. By Ill Bill) 04:01
06. My Uncle (Prod. By Ill Bill & Sicknature) 02:45
07. Riva (Feat. Hr & Darryl Jennifer) (Prod. By Ill Bill) 03:51
08. War Is My Destiny (Feat. Max Cavalera & Immortal Technique) 03:11
(Prod. By Ill Bill)
09. Society Is Brainwashed (Prod. By DJ Premier) 03:44
10. This Is Who I Am (Prod. By DJ Muggs) 03:20
11. Too Young (Feat. Hero & Slaine) (Prod. By Darp Malone) 04:32
12. Pain Gang (Feat. B-Real & Everlast) (Prod. By Cynic) 03:55
13. U.B.S. (Unauthorized Biography Of Slayer) (Prod. By Necro) 02:29
14. Coka Moschiach (Feat. Raekwon The Chef) (Prod. By Ill Bill) 02:31
15. The Most Dangerous Weapon Alive (Prod. By Necro) 02:21
16. Soap 00:49
17. I’m A Goon (Prod. By Ill Bill & Sicknature) 03:24
18. Only Time Will Tell (Feat. Tech N9ne & Everlast) 04:37
(Prod. By DJ Muggs

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dre Boogs and DJ Kweston Present....King Magnetic - The Co-$ign

Today I bring you the music of a talented and hulking Hip-Hop figure that has truly added to Philly's underground scene in the most genuine and rugged of ways. When a lot of people see the 6'9", 300 pound frame of Pennsylvania native King Magnetic the first thing they think about might not be excellent hardcore rhyming skills or a talent for boom bap production. All preconceived notions aside, the monstrous figure is in fact a rapper/producer double threat and his size is only rivaled by his considerable hip-hop aptitude.

If you take time to learn about the ex-convict's life story you'll soon understand his music is some of the most authentic around. Utilizing a tough up-bringing through the Pennsylvania state jail and prison systems, and a million memories of his former hardcore lifestyle, Magnetic pens interesting and unique stories for the listeners to both relate to and marvel at.

Magnetic's music hasn't been an overnight success. Having first decided to try and jump in the game in the early 90's, Mag has cut many a demo tape in a shitty basement studio and was well schooled in the art of rhyming and production. He understands Hip-Hop's true virtues and routinely upholds and applies them in his ventures. He speaks his mind, never sells out and gets down with only those who hold the same morals. Speaking of who Magnetic has got down with, many of you undoubtedly will recognize him from some of his guest appearances on Jedi Mind Trick's projects as well as having collaborated many times with Philly rhyme artist Reef The Lost Cauze. This isn't Magnetic's first picnic and upon listening to his music, one of the things you'll recognize right away is the care he takes in delivering his verses and making coherent statements. He's a sharp cookie and he relays both his street and overall intelligence well, something that can be an elusive skill for hardcore artists. You wouldn't know it was so hard from Magnetic however, as he will routinely captivate your attention with his observant correlations.

What I'm droppin for y'all today is Magnetic's newest tape that is somewhat of a "best of" collection, with some new things sprinkled in here and there. Sure to please any underground head, "The Co-$ign" gives you some of Magnetic's more recent and spectacular collaborations. Featuring older names like Sean Price, El Da Sensei and Vinnie Paz as well as bright newcomers like Brooklyn Based Sha Stimuli and Philly soundman Scanz, this mixtape is a can't miss and an adequate warm up for Magnetic's upcoming opus "Everything's A Gamble", which is now available on itunes (go grab that!) for digital download.


1. Dre Boogs Intro
2. Welcome To Shadyville
3. Patiently Waiting feat. Copywrite
4. Demoralizer feat. Esoteric
5. I'm Gettin Old
6. Goodnight!!! feat. Sean Price
7. I Don't Know You
8. Grew Up feat. Sha Stimuli
9. Believe That
10. Funeral Music feat. Outerspace
11. I Just Made Parole
12. King Magnetic/Scanz Freestyle
13. Adlib Freestyle
14. Ali Armz Freestyle
15. DJ Kwestion/Vinnie Paz Intro
16. Name Droppin'
17. Reef the Lost Cauze Freestyle
18. Words From DJ Premier
19. Street Cred
20. King Magnetic/Ugly Tony Freestyle
21. Daily Reminder
22. Shade Freesyle feat. Hakim (Channel Live) & Scanz
23. King Magnetic/Snowgoons Freestyle
24. Do You feat. Returners, El Da Sensei & Skyzoo
25. Black Xmas (Remix) feat. Nero & Army Of The Pharaohs
26. Life's On The Line feat. Reef The Lost Cauze & Godilla

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Edgar Allen Floe - The Road To Streetwise"

Back with a long awaited new project is one of my favorite Justus League affiliates (I guess) Edgar Allen Floe. "The Road To Streetwise" is Floe's brand new mixtape that is dense with great production courtesy of Blunt, Khrysis, J. Wheels and of course his long time collaborator and soulful production genius 9th Wonder. Floe once again delivers the usual interesting and technically sound lyrical performance, falling into his old rythym with relative ease. While this whole tape overall is a triumph for the newcomer Floe, it is without question the highlight's of it are the three tracks produced by 9th Wonder.

"Mercy", "Untouchable" and "Shine" all successfully quell our collective yearnings for new 9th material, as he weaves intricate soul samples reworked over his trademark drums seamlessly as ever, while Floe dictates thoughtful rhyme after thoughtful ryme over 9th's thick sound waves. Floe isn't flawless on here, he makes a few turns down "I wouldn't go there lane" in the form of questionable song themes (see "The Swag") but in the end overcomes any silly mistakes through solid lyricism, good delivery and a well picked production lineup. Wish it was a lil', bit longer and a bit more introspective, but "The Road To Streewise" eventually does take you where you want to be with as few detours as possible.


1) Floe Intro (prod. J Wheels)
2) Settle The Score (Floe Verse)
3) Raw Live (Floe Verse)
4) I Don't Know Why (prod. J Wheels)
5) The Dirt (w/Mal Demolish of The Undefined - prod. Erv)
6) This Is Your Life (w/Mal Demolish of The Undefined - prod. Blunt)
7) End Zone (prod. Blunt)
8) The Swag (prod. Aksim)
9) Money Money Floe Floe (Floe Verse)
10) Arkitekz (Floe Verse)
11) Confessions Under Fire (feat. Mal Demolish & Cazmere) (prod. Khrysis)
12) Walk These Streets Alone (w/Mal Demolish of The Undefined) (prod. Blunt)
13) Shine (prod. 9th Wonder)
14) Monumental (Floe Verse)
15) Show You Right (Shonuff) (prod. Blunt)
16) Your Eyes (prod. Prov P)
17) Live Live (prod. TymE)
18) Pressure (prod. Rick Gunnz The General)
19) Mercy (prod. 9th Wonder)
20) Untouchable (prod. 9th Wonder)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Video: Joell Ortiz - Memories

Crazy ass song & video from lyrical giant Joell Ortiz. Vid is funny and holds your attention. Well put together concept that I guess is supposed to be Joell on his death bed recounting memories in the form of a photo album. The young and talented Rik Cordero directs.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Street Album Spotlight: J-Love & Meyhem Lauren - Acknowledge Greatness

For years those truly in the know when it came to excellent east coast Hip-Hop have clamored for underground DJ extraordinaire J-Love and his music. Through mixtapes, vinyl twelve inch releases and of course his un-rivaled boom bap production, the product of the Richmond Hill section of Queens, New York has established an impeccable resume. He has worked with some of the best emcees to ever get down in the big apple, building a name for himself and becoming one of the underground's most dynamic DJ's and beatsmith's. Becoming best known for his street mixtapes and an un-flinching commitment to the true school of Hip-Hop music, J-Love exudes an aura of authenticity. His rabid fanbase understands his primary goal over the past decade has been to uphold a type of hip-hop music that sadly has gone from being NYC's chief commodity to one of it's heavily ignored sub-genre's. Boom Bap is J-Love's trademark pursuit and no one other than DJ Premier and his good friend Large Professor, has elevated the art form more consistently.

For all that J-Love is, regrettably he's never gotten to do the one thing that so many of his founding Boom Bap fathers have done. That would be release an album with a single, ubiquitous emcee. The man has yet to find that reliable partner in rhyme. He hasn't discovered a C.L. Smooth to his Pete Rock, a Guru To His DJ Premier, a B-Real to his Muggs, an Evil Dee to his Buckshot. Until, maybe now.

Enter in fellow Queens native Meyhem Lauren. A relative unknown to most, but to those who keep their ears to the mixtape grindstone he's an emcee that we know is more than capable of handling the job. A seasoned veteran of both the Queens streets as well as Queens recording booths, Meyhem is primed and poised to become J-Love's go to guy. After dwelling for a time in the 718's mixtape purgatory, Meyhem started appearing here and there on J-Love tapes. More importantly he was making the most of those appearances. While Meyhem had previously worked with such established DJ's as PF Cuttin, there was little doubt when he started working with J-Love in 2004 who he worked with the best. The similarities between J-Love and Meyhem didn't stop with just a penchant for rocking Polo attire either. They both possess a love for real hip-hop and they both have that very matter-of-factly way of stating things. The two seemed to be overall very well suited to run wit each other and collaborate on music.
I don't know if they knew right off the bat that they had a compelling chemistry, but anyone who had a pair of fully functional ears most certainly did. A distinct voice and delivery all his own, combined with a dense vocabulary and razor sharp timing, Meyhem impresses with a fluent calmness. Splicing together hardcore imagery with small grains of knowledge and manifesting a presence on the mic that reassures the listener that he's much more than your average boulevard dreg...he's a guy that puts some true deliberation into his print and nine times out of ten, delivers highly diverting material.

Naturally, it didn't take J-Love and Meyhem long to realize that they needed to bring the world their allied vision of a boom bap album. In the form of J-Love's prolonged and elusive conquest the idea for a DJ/Producer double disc album was born. For all that had been waiting to see if J-Love could transfer that production magic that he exhibited with regularity on his mixtapes, here layed the answer. An answer and an opportunity for the young Meyhem who has been searching for a way to make noise through his no-nonsense and truthful approach to rapping. Finally, Here's what we have had to anticipate for such a long while. Here was something that was finally gonna be worth it.

From beginning to end "Acknowledge Greatness" forces you to concede to exactly what the title states. Track after track is something great, something old, yet new, and something that makes you whisper to yourself, "damn, that was nice". J-Love flexes his production chops like Arnold on the stage of the Mr. Universe competition. He absolutely outdid himself for this project and blessed the world of hip-hop with a heap of unforgettable, boom bap infused beats. Whether concocting upbeat, harp string laden joints like "Wartime" or taking the hardcore route with pounding kicks, over sinister piano loops and perfectly timed DJ scratches on "Major League", J-Love proves he is nowhere near losing a step in the "instrumental arrangement" department. While all the beats are to be marvelled at, the soulful and funked out sample work on joints like "Rockin Chair", "Stay Sharp" and "Change" are huge components of a stellar production effort and really added the icing to an already delicious multi-layered cake. I could literally write a book about the production on this joint. J-Love keeps you mired knee deep in endless and accessible beats that should earn him the ultimate respect amongst critics and his industry peers alike.

Even though the production serves as the glossy veneer that will draw you in to it, at the end of the day it's the lyricism that "Acknowledge Greatness" contains that will keep it in your CD rotation for years to come. Fans of classic albums with astonishing wordplay like "Capital Punishment" and "Only Built For For Cuban Linx" will definitely dig this excursion into the main emcee's J-Love and Meyhem Lauren's belief's and thought processes. Spitting lines like "I seen artists go and switch they plans/to get new fans, forgettin' about the ones they had." on the track "Change", it's no secret that Meyhem holds the current state of the game largely in contempt. The recurring theme of advocating the return to true hip-hop aesthetics rings out amid Meyhem's witty pop culture and clothing brand references. Hammering home a message that if you don't pick up on by the end of the second disc, well, maybe your just better off turning in your hip-hopper card. Meyhem is technically skilled yes, but he's far from an un-relatable geek on the mic. Intricate, yet street approved rhyme webs are weaved everywhere on this album when he drops brazen lines on the Tragedy Khadafi assisted "Runnin Around". Reciting "Saran wrappin', zip lockin', tag poppin', watch rockin'/....Snow coppin', blow choppin', street boxin'/Stay Alert cause' the D's Watchin'", he keeps it simple, but interesting. Meyhem achieves the common wave length when he keeps things pastoral but easily can switch it up and speak on any subject scholarly or otherwise. Perhaps his best moment on "Acknowledge Greatness" comes when he focuses on a theme and trades baseball war stories with J-Love. "Subway Series" is a brillant ode to Queens's love affair with the Mets and their rivalry with the Yankees. J-Love and Meyhem sound like two regular old sports fans as they go back and forth arguing why who's team is the superior. It's a performance that almost makes you forget about J-Love's incessant awkward delivery when rhyming. J-Love's ceaseless clumsiness behind the mic doesn't take away from the project much however. Basically because although what he's saying is sort of off beat, it's usually something that I can feel. On top of the saavy production and top notch lyricism, the A-List of guest emcee's is far superior to anything else that has been dropped in the past two to three years. Everyone from M.O.P., AZ, Kool G Rap, Ghostface, Theodore Unit, Tragedy Khadafi, Killa Sha, Roc Marciano, Thirstin Howl III, Animal, Cappadonna and Old Dirty Bastard all drop through and contribute to an excellent record.

If J-Love and Meyhem set out to create a classic album that is sure to be remembered as one of the most slept on projects from the east coast in 2008, then they have wholeheartedly and completely reached their goal. J-Love eclipsed any previous production load he's ever dropped and gained some ground in his new ventures in emceeing. Simoultaneously, Meyhem has officially arrived and now should be arduously considered as one of, if not thee brightest new hardcore emcee out of New York City. Anyone who longs for Hip-Hop in it's most cutting and seasoned form will undoubtedly feel quenched after running through "Acknowledge Greatness".


Friday, September 5, 2008

Baby Sham - The Best of Baby Sham Mixtape

For all of us that dearly miss the super group Flipmode Squad, that was comprised of Rah Digga, Rampage, Lord Have Mercy, Roc Marciano, Serious, Spliff Star, Baby Sham and led by our then dreadlocked hip-hop hero Busta Rhymes here's something that should help you through your tough times. It was the late 90's. Busta had already experienced a heavy amount of solo success and had begun ushering his crew more toward the spotlight and tried developing them all into being more acceptable toward the mainstream. By Busta's direction or maybe an outside force the collection of polished and decent emcees began a deconstruction process. Before you knew it Rampage was out of the picture, Roc Marciano, Serious and Lord Have Mercy left the group, Digga was tryin to break into Hollywood and the young, promising, prospect known as Baby Sham was never really given an equal opportunity as the rest of his peers to show what he could do. For everyone like me that was a fan of the young man's wordplay here is something to smile about. The good DJ Sylent has decided to throw together an official "Best Of" mixtape for Sham, cementing what I had known for years; that he was a special talent that due to the cut throat nature of the business got the cold shoulder right when he was primed to make big things happen.

It might seem like I'm just hyping Sham up, but in all honesty I felt he was a more than worthy lyricist and a nice compliment to the Flipmode picture. A lil' bit more than a mixtape rapper and a lil' bit less than a great lyricist and song writer. He routinely found a way to stand out amongst his highly capable crew and had a tremendous flow. Mainly remembered for his dynamite verse off "Cha Cha Cha" (and his matador outfit he wore in the video, lol) Sham was considered one to watch from the jump. The youngster from Queensbridge with the distinct New York accent has done a little bit of growing up since the days of Flipmode's only decent group album "the Imperial". Sham has survived the dismantling of his once dominant team and managed to work his way up from a qualified 6th man, to a starting position. Sham is now one of the general's in the Flipmode army and has earned his keep quietly. While he's been busy many have slept, but just in case you aren't a huge mixtape connoisseur and your not on the net much, here's a new mixtape from Sham that contains everything duke has been working on. A nice mix of Sham's finest moments and some joints that prolly snuck by you at some point, this is sure to get you reminiscing about those good ole' days and what could have been had the original Flipmode Squad stayed intact.


01. Intro
02. Golden
03. You Cant Kill Me
04. Match The Name Of The Voice
05. Salute Me
06. Against All Odds
07. Just For You
08. Do Somethin About It Ft Busta Rhymes
09. Where U Think U Goin
10. Got Damn Ft Prodigy of Mobb Deep
11. Hook It Up Ft R Kelly
12. Cha Cha Cha Ft Busta Rhymes
13. When U Come Round Here
14. Sham Shout Outs
15. In The Club
16. I Gotcha Back Ft Flipmode
17. We Can Take It Outside
18. Hit U With That Heat
19. Give It To Me Ft Busta Rhymes
20. Whatever U Want Ft Busta Rhymes
21. How I Feel
22. I Got U Open Pt 2
23. He's A Problem
24. What U Kno Bout Sham
25. Do Myself Ft Spliff Starr
26. Sham Shout Outs Pt 2
27. Set It Off
28. Shoot Em Up
29. What It Is Pt 2
30. Work Your Soldiers
31. Here We Go Again
32. Sham Shout Outs 3
33. Straight Spittin
34. Run 4 Cover
35. My Story