Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dub MD Presents Hip-Hop Renatus

In a time when the subterranean alternative to what is now being labeled "Hip-Hop" is receiving little to no attention from major media outlets, television programming and definitely not the radio, Dub MD breaks through with a mix that not only amazed me, but gave me hope that the frigid and poorly done hip-hop music of today could perhaps again be transformed into something so much more worthwhile.

Exclusively bringing you a new and free project titled "Hip-Hop Renatus" (Renatus is Latin for born again or reborn) Dub comprises a lofty mix that includes the heady emcee presence that so many of today's mixes lack. Mostly a who's who of brilliant newcomer's you'll find names like Skyzoo, Supastition, Donny Goines, Little Vic, Sha Stimuli and Emilio Rojas among many, flabbergasting you with their flawless and poignant wordplay over some of hip-hop's illest composition's ever provided by one of your favorite producer's of all time....Definitely not something you wanna sleep on. With an incredible intro from another true champion of righteous hip-hop; DJ Unexpected kicking things off correctly your sure to wind up steadily bumpin' this one.


01.) The Genesis (Intro By DJ Unexpected)
02.) 6th Sense - Hip Hop Renatus (Produced By Erick Sermon)
03.) Mr. Live feat. Earl Blaize - The Bitch That You Are (Produced By Oddisee)
04.) Sic Osyrus & Donny Goines - Why Lord? (Middle Fingers Up) (Produced By Khrysis)
05.) Karniege - The Kush (Produced By Jake One)
06.) Skyzoo - Bang This (Produced By The Alchemist)
07.) Dominique Larue - Role Play (Produced By 9th Wonder)
08.) Emilio Rojas - E To The M-I-L-I-O (Produced By J Dilla)
09.) Access Immortal - Stay Strapped (Produced By DJ Premier)
10.) Melodiq feat. Nikal Fieldz - Bottom Of The 9th (Produced By 4th Disciple)
11.) Diablo Archer feat. Myk Dyaleks (of BrokN.English) - We The New Era (Produced By Domingo)
12.) Sha Stimuli - Today We Living (Produced By Nottz)
13.) Fred Knuxx - Air ‘Em Out (Produced By Hi-Tek)
14.) Laelo Hood - Extra, Extra! (Produced By DJ Khalil)
15.) Supastition - Sound Of Reform School (Produced By Black Milk)
16.) Black ELement - Feel The Hunger (Produced By DJ Scratch)
17.) Droppin’ A Message (Interlude)
18.) Zero Star - On My Backpack Shit (Produced By Large Professor)
19.) Little Vic - Let The Dollar Circulate (Produced By Ayatollah)
20.) Cymarshall Law - This Is The End (Produced By Salaam Remi)
21.) Donnan Linkz - Buzz Kill (Produced By Oh No)
22.) Cy Yung aka Cyrano - OK Corral (Produced By Madlib)
23.) Tislam The Great - Once Again (Produced By Questlove)
24.) Faro - Love Me Or Hate Me (Produced By Scram Jones)
25.) Arsun F!st - I’m In Here (Produced By Marco Polo)
26.) Sense-I - Sense-I’s The Name (Produced By Nicolay)
27.) Wordsmith feat. Kontact & Black Knight - Signing Day (Produced By Pete Rock)
28.) Journalist 103 - Til’ The Trumpets Blow (Produced By Illmind)
29.) Clap Cognac feat. Jedi Knight - Chosen Ones (Produced By Havoc)
30.) City Scholar - The Rebirth (Produced By Evidence)
31.) Detroit Red - Hip Hop Redefined (Produced By Buckwild)
32.) D.V. Alias Khryst feat. Retsam Da Prince - It’s Da Govarmynt (Produced By Marley Marl)
33.) Nametag - Champagne Bottle Flow (Produced By Ski Beatz)
34.) Panama aka Da Spanish Kid - Born Ready (Produced By RZA)
35.) Hi-Coup feat. Spectacula - My Father Told Me (Produced By M-Phazes)
36.) Preach Jacobs feat. N’telligence - Mic Check (Produced By Rockwilder)
37.) The Exodus (Outro By DJ Unexpected)

Single: Jake One - The Truth Feat. Freeway & Brother Ali

Jake One finally has realized what the underground has been buzzing about since he dropped his debut album "White Van Music". That being that the album's lead single "The Truth" is just, well, in a word, excellent. Perhaps thee best collaboration of the entire year, and backed by Jake One's boom bap heavy drums and a soulful sample that echoes the song's title so melodically, Philly legend Freeway and Minneapolis Underground crusader Brother Ali completely dismantle your delusions and replace them with the straight up, unadulterated truth. Also includes the equally entrancing "Trap Door", executed by Hip-Hop super villain MF Doom and "Hurt You"; a magnificent cut that wasn't featured on White Van Music that showcases T Dot representative Kardinal Offishall and the luminous Pharoahe Monche, goin verse for verse. As always Jake makes his instrumentals available.


01 03:34 The Truth Feat. Freeway & Brother Ali (Clean)
02 03:34 The Truth Feat. Freeway & Brother Ali (Dirty)
03 03:35 The Truth (Instrumental)
04 02:14 Trap Door Feat. Mf Doom
05 02:13 Trap Door (Instrumental)
06 03:38 Hurt U Feat. Kardinal Offishal & Pharoahe Monche

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Single: Nas - Somethin' Foul

While I awoke this morning expecting merely just another average day filled with people celebrating silly shit all over the country and wack NFL match ups on TV (the Lions vs. the Titans? really CBS?) I was pleasantly surprised to find something on the net that really should be celebrated; Nas dropped a new joint. Ever the elusive artist these days, Nasir doesn't really make the mixtape rounds like he used to, but nevertheless here we are, Nov. 27th and right before you lies a brand spankin' new effort from Esco, dense with lyrical paranoia and sporting that classic signature flow of his. Many of you will recognize that the beat for this, which is by my definition as ill as they get, utilizes the same sample loop from Busta Rhymes' hit "NY Shit", except this version is sped up a bit. Nas actually appeared on the remix for "NY Shit" too, along with Papoose and M.O.P.. At any rate this is a great look for Nas, and a nice lil' single for underground rotation. Not really sure if this is just a loose joint or something that will be featured on a upcoming project.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1MC Podcast Mixes: Stop Sleepin', Small Axe & Mama Africa

Aaight so if ya'll don't know I'm a recovering mixtape the late 90's and early 2K you could easily find me blowin' 30 bucks or more on mixtapes at my local spot....I had it bad and if it weren't for the game's downward spiral into shitty music I just might of become a full on lifer. Fortunately for my wallets and unfortunately for those of the world of Hip-Hop's, things like Internet downloading, shitty club themes fusing with the culture and an overall dumbing down of all of hip-hop element's has significantly scaled back my patronage of the "mixtape".

After being burnt by more than a few sub-par purchases I have employed a few simple tactics in the new and never-ending fight against lame mixtapes. First, I have staved off visiting my local bodega's and African bootlegger's to find the good stuff, opting instead to scower the net for my fix. Second, I have broadened my search for good music, stretching across genres even. Now I dig for mixes of not only good hip-hop, but Reggae, Dub, 70's Soul, Electronic, progressive rock and House.....Ya' know, anything that moves me. It's an enlightening experience listening to all this music man, everything has it's own sense of goodness and performance. Usually the dud's are few and far between, if I get any at all.

So here I am, checking out a Dancehall mix in the morning, peeping a Turntablism DJ mix in the afternoon, cleaning up while a James Brown vs. Nas mix plays in the evening and falling asleep to an Emo Rock mix in the PM. It worked for awhile, but eventually my inner hipster kicked in and there was a yearning to have all that great music in one mix, minus making my own by slicing together my fav. songs off the CD's. Since I don't have the highly effective functionality of say, an iPod (shameless attempt at hinting at what I want for Christmas people!) which is perfectly built for making such mixes in literally minutes, I have decided to cut myself out of the equation and depend on other really talented people to blend and mesh together all the highly artistic genre's of music I mess with for me. There's only one problem....I can't seem to find anyone in the current decrepit, simple and lifeless world of mixing or contemporary urban music that is throwing soul, rock, instrumental, new wave, blues, jazz, electronic, dancehall, world and spoken word music all on the same mix, with a heavy Hip-Hop influence in a way that I enjoy. Until now......

As I scan the many, many Internet outlets for dope music and mixes what do I come across? A cat named Rev. and a group of people (I think) that put together Podcast's (one long MP3 mix that is usually syndicated for download and apart of a series) that totally symbolize what the Hip-Hop mixtape used to be about--good music mixed to perfection. Their or his name, I'm kind of unsure who's behind this great work, is "1MC" and I think these culprits of musical splendor hail from the UK or Australia, not sure. All I know is that they/he throw together quite consistently the best mixes of music out there man.....Anwhere.....Whether starting off with Aretha Franklin singing one of her Soul clsssic's, phasing out of a instrumental jam by J Dilla into a record by some obscure Italian techno producer or plucking a sound on a Joe Tex record for 2 minutes while a sample from some foriegn movie plays over it, the 1MC mixes are absolutely original and what I wish was going on in the vast majority of Hip-Hop today. By that I mean I wish that artists and DJ's were still truly pushing he limits, still combining genres and trying out new things.....

To properly introduce you to what 1MC is all about I've selected three of their Podcast's to put up here and make it easy for you to get started. Make no mistake however, I strongly encourage you to go onto the 1MC blog and peep out the countless mixes they've been droppin since 2006. A healthy archive aside, the blog also features quite a bit of political commentary and news which is an added bonus to what already has all the bases covered.


To start off we have "Stop Sleepin'", the latest offering from 1MC and a deftly solid mix of music. A nice dose of pretty much all the newest and illest underground Hip-Hop singles you should know about but don't combined with some older R&B and soul selections and even an appearance from John, Paul, George and Ringo.

01 Cynthia Fee - Thank You For Being A Friend (Golden Girls Theme)
02 TiRon - Still Never Happy
03 Danger Zone - Stop Sleepin
04 The Beatles - Baby You’re A Rich Man
05 Shad - Brother (Watching) (f- B. & F. Kabango)
06 Pacewon & Mr. Green - Four Quarters
07 Mountain - Long Red
08 Heltah Skeltah - D.I.R.T. (Another Boot Camp Clik Yeah Song)
09 J Dilla - People
10 De La Soul - Rock Co. Kane Flow (Instrumental)
11 Danny! - Passion Fruit
12 DJ Muggs & Planet Asia - Black Mask Men
13 Jake One - The Truth (f- Freeway & Brother Ali)
14 Jean Grae - Don’t Rush Me
11 KRS-One - Gro—Oh! (HipHop Nation) (f- S-Five)
16 Craig G & Marley Marl - Made The Change
17 D. Rose & DJ Cozmos - Taster’s Intro/A Beautiful World
18 Raashan Ahmad - If I
19 Grip Grand - Santa Ana Winds
20 Onra - I Wanna Go Back
21 Madlib - What It Do (f- Talib Kweli)
22 Johnson & Jonson - The Oath
23 Eddie Kendricks - My People…Hold On

Next we have "Small Axe", a joint that features Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Run DMC & More…just another brillant meshing of genre's here, I mean who follows a Beatnuts joint with Archie Schepp?? Come on man....too ill....

01 Small Axe by Bob Marley
02 Move (Instrumental) by Jay Dee
03 Psycho Linguistics (Convergent Thought) (f/ MAD) by Prince Paul
04 Misty by Aretha Franklin
05 Population Control by Company Flow
06 Rock N Roll (Could Never Hip-Hop Like This) by Hansdome Boy Modeling School
07 Crisis by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
08 Me & Mr.Jones by Amy Winehouse
09 Run The Numbers (f/ Aesop Rock) by El-P
10 Rocket Number Nine by Sun Ra
11 Number Nine by Aesop Rock
12 Isn’t It Romantic by Bill Evans
13 My Adidas by Run DMC
14 If You Want Me To Stay by Sly & The Family Stone
15 Strictly Mash’ion by Poor Righteous Teachers
16 The Cause Of Death by Immortal Technique
17 Dead Pan by Aesop Rock
18 Climax (Girl Shit) (Instrumental) by Slum Village
19 It’s Too Late by Carole King
20 Bless The M.I.C. by The Beatnuts
21 Prelude To A Kiss by Archie Shepp
22 Yee Haw (Instrumental) by PNS
23 Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae

And saving the best for last in memory of the prolific songstress and supremely brave civil rights activist Miriam Makeba AKA Mama Africa, a tribute of her finest music, comprised of live performances and studio recordings. Sorry no tracklist, really you won't need one, sit your butt down and listen to this woman's beautiful voice and message...incredible music....R.I.P. Mama

To check out the 1MC blog Archive for more great Podcast mixes visit this link:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Video: Evidence feat. Krondon - Solitary Confinement

Today's the day, run out and grab that new Evidence EP people! Here's yet another new vid from it, "Solitary Confinement", that features S.A.S. member Krondon on the hook. Pretty worthwhile IMO, mainly because of Director Jason Goldwatch's effective channelling of some of the cult classic film "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" quirkiest theme's.


News: John Forte To Recieve Pardon From President Bush

In 2000 former Refugee Camp member and solo hip-hop artist John Forte was arrested at Newark International Airport for charges on possession and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. At the time Forte was arrested two women handed him a suitcase filled with $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine. He claimed that he thought the suitcase contained money and he was doing a favor for a friend. After being bailed out by family friend Carly Simon Forte spent a small amount of time free on bond. In August 2001 however, after being found guilty in trial, he was sentenced to serve 14 years at FCI Loretto; a low-security federal prison in central Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, Forte was one of 16 people to recieve an official pardon for his sentence from president George W. Bush. Due to the commutation, Forte will be released on Dec. 22, after serving just over seven years. Among the people railing for his release these past several years has been Carly Simon, her son James Taylor and Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).


Krohme - The Arkives

Besides blessing you with the standard deliberate bad grammar in the title, Virginia native and boom bap beatsmith rookie of the year; Krohme, impresses hardcore enthusiasts by delivering a solid lineup of uncompromising, hard-nosed sound scape's with the "The Arkives".

As if injecting a huge dose of high brow hardcore collaborations via his much slept-on compilation album "The Beasts Released Vol.1 South Of Heaven" wasn't enough, Krohme has returned to hand out additional tracks, unreleased joints and some rare freestyles he had laying around. It's kinda like what the The Snowgoons did with those bonus CD's they put out after both the "German Lugers" and the "Black Snow" album's successfully stunned the collective hardcore rap scene. Continuing to make a name for himself, his beats and his own imprint Godsendant Muisc, Krohme is very much the same caliber of producer and networking guru as The Snowgoons and he routinely gets to collab with the finest the underground scene has to offer. This project maintains Krohme's resume of big-league appearances and features guys like Hell Razah, Rass Kass, MF Grimm and Obie Trice, who all shine over his menacing beats. Even though the instrumentals collectively are pretty superlative throughout, they don't make it any easier to ignore that "The Arkives" is a bit over-saturated with lesser lyrical talent, i.e. David Banner, Ghost M.O.B. and Jae Ellis.


1. Tha Intro (Cuts by DJ Extremidiz)
2. Obie Trice - Hope (Produced by Krohme)
3. Hell Razah - Rennaisance Child Freestyle (Produced by Krohme)
4. A Tale of 2 Brothers feat. Ras Negus I
5. Murder Kat - Crown Me King feat. David Banner & Krohme
6. Challace - 1-2-3 (Produced by Krohme)
7. Ghost M.O.B. - Call It Flow feat. Krohme
8. Ras Kass & Jay 211 - Long Walk Home (Produced by Krohme)
9. I Bleed My Soul Freestyle
10. 4-IZE - Too Late (Produced by Krohme) feat. Jae Ellis
11. MF Grimm - Page Six (feat Lizzie Grubman)
12. Painted Faces Freestyle
13. Smigg Dirtee - Monster (Produced by Krohme)
14. Revolution Music

Monday, November 24, 2008

Video: Evidence feat. The Alchemist - So fresh (Step Brothers)

Another new offering from Ev and Alc, this time in the form of a new video for Ev's "So Fresh (Step Brothers)", a banger off his new EP "The Layover" (go grab that tommorrow people! I know I am). Hazy, and laid back Al and Ev showcase their undeniable on screen and aural chemistry, creating scenes that are uniquely southern Cali's own. From rhyming with the beach in the background, copping medicinal grade marijuana, skateboarding the concrete sidewalks and playgrounds that are littered with palm trees to the kaleidoscope image effects, this vid puts you in that L.A. state of being. You know that mode that makes you wanna go get a sack of the sweetest, stinkiest trees, roll a blunt and then smoke that shit while you watch the sun set over the hills. Great effort.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Best Of Both Offices And Three/21 Present Lucid Dreams Vol.1 Mixed By Rik Cordero

If your into jazzy, boom bap'esque Hip-Hop and you dabble in some good, down-tempo, alternative rock as well, this mix is what you want. The second or third joint I've picked up from the Three/21 media group, "Lucid Dreams" is a tour de force of solid musical selections and so far everything Three/21 has dropped has been nothing short of stellar and arrestingly interesting.

Soulful, warm and relaying music from some of Hip-Hop's greatest musicians ever conjointly with some of Rock's murkiest headbangers, this joint defines cross-genre achievement. Built for popping in ya deck when you've successfully completed a hectic 5 hour night immersed in Vodka and Redbull, blunt haze and club debauchery, it's the background music needed as you wind down, stumbling back to your senses in your dingy apartment.

From Hip-Hop and Neo Soul guru's like Madlib, Dwele, Talib Kweli, Bilal and J.Dilla to Trip-Hop and Alt-Rock performer's like Radiohead, Portishead, The Smashing Pumpkins and Sinead O'Connor the actual mix is purely good music. I enjoy a good meshing of ideas and sounds as much as the next record store rat and that's basically why I think this is a great mixtape for my generation. We're all so influenced by the rebellious sounds of Hip-Hop, but also if your upbringing was similar to my own, you appreciate Rock and Grunge too because that's what your older, "Generation eX" sisters/brothers were bumping. I also was intrigued by the fact that Indy film and video director extraordinaire Rik Cordero was the mix man for all the music. I have always enjoyed his directoral chops, I figured the same would apply to his mix game and I was correct. His abilities for tracking together shit is admirable indeed.


01. Lucid Dreams Intro
02. The Funky Lowlives - “Inside”
03. Thievery Corporation - “Facing East”
04. Portishead - “Sour Times”
05. Kenna - “I’m Gone”
06. Radiohead - “Scatterbrain”
07. N.E.R.D. - “Bobby James Interlude”
08. Lambchop - “Up With People”
09. Madlib - “Stepping Into Tommorow”
10. Mr. Lif - “Friends & Neighbors”
11. The Roots - “Sacrifice”
12. Jay Dee - “Think Twice”
13. Vivian Green - “Ain’t Nothing But Love”
14. Res - “Ice King”
15. Dwele - “Subject”
16. Talib Kweli Feat. Bilal - “Talk To You”
17. Dzihan & Kamien - “Smile”
18. Thievery Corporation - “Lebanese Blonde”
19. N.E.R.D. - “Bobby James”
20. Gorillaz - “New Genius”
21. The Stone Roses - “Shoot You Down”
22. Smashing Pumpkins - “Set The Ray To Jerry”
23. Badly Drawn Boy - “The Shining”
24. Portishead - “Strangers”
25. Sinead O’connor - “Healing Room”
26. Lucid Dreams Outro

Saturday, November 22, 2008

News: MC Breed Passes Away....

Last night Flint, Michigan based, veteran Hip-Hop artist Eric Breed AKA MC Breed reportedly passed away in his sleep. Breed had previously been hospitalized and placed on life-support in September of 08', after he collapsed when his kidneys failed during a game of pickup basketball. Details right now are still sketchy and the coroner has yet to confirm his death, but the news comes from very reliable and credible sources. Breed was awaiting a kidney transplant he desperately needed.


The Alchemist - The Alchemist's Cookbook EP

Since his first slew of mixtape release's and a classic debut album "1st Infantry" in the early 2K, many Hip-Hop heads have made it a religion waiting anxiously for any new material dropped by the funky whiteboy that hails from affluent and lavish Beverly Hills and is known all the way to the largest housing projects of Queens, NY. The collective Hip-Hop world calls him by his stage name The Alchemist and he's widely considered thee go to guy for most of your favorite hardcore and underground artist's production need's. Whether you're familiar with his work through his inception with Cypress Hill or Dilated Peoples, or his considerable musical efforts with Mobb Deep, one thing is certain; the man's skills are unquestionable and many of us "real" heads make it a habit hunting down everything Al puts out. All awkward attempts at rhyming aside, Alchemist's four mixtapes, two LP's, six 12 inch Vinyl singles and five Instrumental albums have given ample evidence that a truly respectable and much revered career is now in full swing.

As of late speculation and rumors have swirled feverishly about Al's newest project; the compilation LP "Chemical Warfare". Questions like "When is it dropping?" "Who's gonna be on this one?" "How's it gonna sound?" "When is it dropping!?!?" have surfaced relentlessly all over the net and industry. Doing any rabid fan boy proud, I think that gauging by my considerable research into just about every magazine article on the matter, flooding Internet message boards, watching all of his online interviews and good ole' American Myspace checking I would have to say I've come to but only a few solid conclusions about "Chemical Warfare". First, "Chemical Warfare" is coming sometime in 09' (probably 3rd quarter), second, it will feature everyone and they mammy and third, the sound of his production has changed up a lil' bit from what us old Alchemist fans would recall it being. I know, nothing too surprising there right? But elaborate on the production switch up Big D O. Certainly.......As all real Alchemist fans know his primary production weapon of choice through the years has been his trusty ASR-10. His utter mastering of his instrument yielded great beats, rich in sinister, airy loops provided by perfectly chopped vinyl records. Now lets step into 2008. Our boy Al has put his ASR keyboard up and bought some new hardware. Not really sure which specific model it is (think it's the 2500) but The Alchemist is now officially an Akai MPC user.

His somewhat puzzling move to mess with a good thing has yielded both good and bad results so far, but let's pause on that subject for a minute and talk about this new EP I'm droppin on y'all for a second; "The Alchemist's Cookbook". Look, you guys aren't stupid, so I'm not gonna try to sell you on how "great" this is. If your a real Alchemist fan you've already heard 99% of the content and if not, well, there's only 6 joints on here man, that's kinda short even for an EP. It's simply a tool I think Al is using to read his fans' reaction. Reaction to what you ask? The new sound children, the new sound. Digressing back to my last point before I jumped off topic, the sound contained on "The Alchemist's Cookbook" is a bit more experimental compared to prior releases. I chalk this up to him perhaps still familiarizing himself with his new MPC, or just maybe that he is trying to move away from the older stuff he's done and make that "transformation" so many of our favorite producer's routinely do.

You'll have just about as many reasons to cheer for Al's new approach on this EP as you will reasons to loathe it. There's the entrancing and tonal goodness of "Key To The City", where Al seamlessly delves back into the world of sample chopping as well as manipulating and placing the limited vocal presence of the latina duo of Nina Sky perfectly. Then there's "Follow The Dollar". An overly repetitive display into Al's considerable keyboard prowess but unfortunatlely only serves as a backdrop to more unrefutable proof that both Capone and Nore's lyricism and chemistry have taken permanant nose dives. Along with the terribly synthetic "Al Capone Zone", "Follow The Dollar" proved to be the most disappointing and least inspired track on the EP. "Lose Your Life" is more true to Al's form and I'm sure it's what everyone will be hoping the formula for "Chemical Warfare" turns out to be. That formula being: Three ill emcees killin their verses, plus an insanely simple yet effective hook, plus a chilling beat that gets your head nodding, equalling a more than worthy output. Even Though many will try and convince you "Lose Your Life" is the first place prize on this EP, truthfully it's the track "Therapy" that features Al's best boy Evidence, west coast underground sensation Blu and the Mohawk-sporting, Cleveland hipster, Kid Cudi that I would say was the illest new offering that Al camethrough with this time around. An inspired and soulful electric guitar sample lifts you outta your seat, while all three emcees keep the break neck pace, rhyming about realness, venting and getting their thereputic results. A magnificent breakdown section is also a noted addition to a strong, strong track.

If you miss this I wouldn't worry, Al has already confirmed that most if not all of these joints will be featured on the upcoming "Chemical Warfare". You can choose to prepare yourself via preview though, which is always a smart move. I think that "The Alchemist's Cookbook" is enjoyable, but there should have been more music on it that reflected the quality of "Key To The City", "Lose Your Life" and "Therapy". Not to say that the other 3 joints on here were awful, but there was a marked difference. I wouldn't get in a panic over this projects shortcomings at all though....Alchemist has been known to let certain projects slide while he focuses more intently on the "big picture", in this case that would be the mixing of dangerous musical chemicals for release winter/spring.


01. (00:03:06) Key to the City (ft. Nina Sky & Prodigy)
02. (00:04:02) Lose Your Life (ft. Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg & Pusha T)
03. (00:03:05) Follow the Dollar (ft. Capone-N-Noreaga)
04. (00:06:43) Calmly Smoke (ft. Styles P & Evidence)
05. (00:02:31) Therapy (ft. Evidence, Blu & Kid Cudi)
06. (00:03:08) Al Capone Zone (ft. Keak Da Sneak & Prodigy)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Single: Self Scientific feat. The Game, Talib Kwei and Keys - Everywhere I Go

My all-time favorite and most slept on group outta Cali; Self Scientific hits us all in the head with their brand new joint "Everywhere I Go". Assisted by melancholy, yet powerful and moving verses from fellow Los Angelino The Game and fellow underground peer Talib Kweli, this just might be the most poignant track you hear all week. Delving fully into their entrenched lives every emcee lays it all out on the line and laments the current state of Hip-Hop, the country and the planet overall. Utilizing the theme that darkness and evil is a non-stop constant everywere, the somberest of moods is created.

With relative unknown Keys handling the vocal work on the chorus and Self Scientific front man Chace Infinite clearly outshining a pair of Hip-Hop's most gifted emcee's with a spirited verse, one has to wonder what Chace and super producer Khalil have ready for us on their upcoming album, slated for release sometime in 09'.


Video: The Alchemist - Wanna Lose Your Life

It's here!! Yup, the Alchemist's full video for "Wanna Lose Your Life" off his new EP "The Alchemist's Cook Book" (which also dropped yesterday on iTunes) is finally out. This morbidly good anime video was put together by the grossly talented and twisted mind of Devin Flynn. The imagery is perfect and if your interested in Mr. Flynn's work I think you'll be able to peep more of it pretty soon on Adult Swim, i think I heard a rumor that he scored a new show over there, not 100% sure though.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Soul Village Presents....Jimi Hendrix: A Tribute To Experience Mixed by DJ Concept

To signify the passing of the last remaining member of The Jimi Hendrix Eperience; drummer Mitch Mitchell (who was found dead in Portland about a week ago), DJ Concept has thrown together an excellent mix of the Band's best moments and fused them with some of Hip-Hop's prime element's. Mixing in mashup blends as well as remixing a few of the Experience's most psychedelic jumpoff's, Concept takes you on a hazy trip through some of the Experience's vastly inspiring, acid fueled tracks, pairing them with a new Hip-Hop twist.

The re-worked stuff on here is incredibly well done and would easily bridge the gap between most 70's Hard Rock fans and contemporary Hip-Hop minions. While I'm sure there's still more than a few stingy haters out there that will refute this tape's goodness, rest assured they are only hating on the perfect marriage of well executed rock and Hip-Hop collusion. Something that has been happening since Hip-Hop burst on the scene some 30 years back.

Utilizing a few Jay-z acapella's and a few J-Zone instrumentals, DJ Concept creates a thick canvas of musical interfacing guaranteed to dulcetly peak your musical taste's. While Concept's touches are a nice addition, the genius that is and was The Jimi Hendrix Experience does most of the work. From Jimi's perfect guitar licks, to Mitch Mitchell's majestically jazz inspired drum work and Noel Redding's bass play and song writing, this tape does the actual music of these legends serious justice. For all the kiddies who aren't familiar with The Jimi Hendrix Experience please take the time to grab this and get a a pretty decent introduction to what many consider the greatest guitarist and rock band of all time, whose contributions directly influenced many of both the rock and Hip-Hop genre's biggest name's. My personal favorite ditty "Purple Haze" is on here, be sure to check that out and check for "Today's Encore"; the most stunning rendition of the Jigga man's emotive tune to date.


here's a few words from DJ Concept himself on the project:

"With the passing of Mitch Mitchell, we officially say goodbye to The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The legacy of the band will live on through their music and I felt the need to mix up, just a small portion, of their catalog. Thanks to J-Zone & Jake from Rhymesayers. Turn the volume loud for this one..."

An Introduction
Star Spangled Banner
Stone Free
Gypsy Eyes
Nit N Run prod by: J-Zone
Purple Haze
Castles Made Of Sand
Spanish Castle Music
A House Burning Down
Interlude One
Foxy Lady
Midnight Dirt f. Jay-Z
Pimp Palace Magic // prod by: J-Zone
Lover Man (Live)
Today’s Encore f. Jay-Z
I Don’t Live Today
Interlude Two
All Along The Watchtower
The Wind Crys Mary
Crazy Mary prod by: J-Zone
Bold As Love
Fire (Live)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I know I'm a couple of days delayed on recognizing Dirt's death anniversary, please excuse my tardiness, my PC isn't exactly what you would call functional at this point. In any case, I did wanna take time out from all of the reviews, rants and writing to observe one of the most somber days in Hip-Hop.

November 13th, 2004 is a day when many fans of all that is special, brash and individual about Hip-Hop won't ever forget. The news broke late if I remember correctly. Two days before his 36th birthday Russell Jones would collapse at Wu-Tang's recording studio's in NYC and die. His mother, Cherry Jones would be the one to alert most media that night via statement about his untimely passing. I was shocked and saddened at the same time. I couldn't believe that in the midst of his release from prison and signing a new deal to Roc-A-Fella records the man that had come to literally symbolize the unexpectedness of a whole genre had passed on.

It would later be revealed through autopsy that a plastic bag filled with Cocaine (from my home state of Colorado no less) was discovered in ODB's stomach and combined with Tramadol the two drugs were what did in our favorite son of anarchy.

There are countless memories and stories that make ODB the legend he is and was....whether it was storming the stage at the Grammy's and giving an impromptu speech, receiving food stamps while driving to the welfare office in a limo, stopping his vehicle in the middle of busy New York city traffic to urinate, allegedly getting head in front of a crowded party or dead lifting a 1996 Ford Mustang to save the life of a 4 yr. old little girl, Dirt Dog was our favorite and no one will ever replicate his antics, his brazen courage or his honesty. Those of us that witnessed his short but dynamic career were blessed to know a man of many aliases. A man everyone that ever met had a story to tell about that would either make you bust out laughing hysterically or sit motionless in amazement. Dirt Dog was one in a million. A true breeder and lover of women, many in the media frown upon the fact that he left thirteen children here to fend for themselves without a father. To those that would attack Dirt along those lines I say you know nothing about him. He'll always be with those kids and he made enough good friends in this life to make sure that someone will always be looking out for them all. My only regret, as I'm sure is his, is that he won't be here in the physical to see them grow and develop.

His music was a reflection of his uninhibited personality and his true vocal genius. His rhymes dense and at times enigmatic, Big Baby Jesus was so undecipherable, yet so many felt his music. He was the voice of the pain that existed within the ghetto. It was through this "voice" that ODB found a way to relay idea's, stories and views. He was the down and out derelict whom the world flocked to hear and see. He was one of us, yet someone we marveled at as well. It was that crude, unapologetic nature that made him the ideal member of a group that defined unique, rugged and soulful street Hip-Hop in the 90's and beyond. We won't soon forget his countless contributions to the game and never will we sell him short of his considerable boulevard acumen or his worldly discernment. He was far from perfect, but he was a man that truly spoke his mind and called things just the way they were.....Old Dirty Bastard.


Video: Black Milk - Give The Drummer Some

Debuting his new psychedelic vid for one of the stronger joints off his new, critically acclaimed LP "Tronic", Black Milk comes with the off the wall kaleidoscope background graphics, a live band in ties and a few breath taking shorties. The vid is as entertaining as the song is musical, providing a definite hit for Milk.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Mixtape Of The Month: Hevehitta & DJ Unexpected - Something in Common (Co-Starring J. Dilla)

Yes, I have declared purehip-hop's highest monthly mixtape honor only two weeks into November, and after you listen to "Something In Common" you'll understand why. Hevehitta and DJ Unexpected live up to their respective stage names by breaking out some of the illest blends, remixes and rarities to formulate one of the better ode's ever to Chi Town luminary Common Sense's illustrious career. This tape is guaranteed to stay in heavy rotation in whatever form of bullshit digital player you utilize. Fortunately, most of these joints sound like and in fact were dropped when rappers were still recording to DAT's and 2" magnetic tape. So even if you are a child of the ninetie's who covets the instant gratification of their precious MP3's, the real sound won't elude you.

It's that raw feeling that had me bumping this joint all day, running back track after track, basking in the thick, boom bap drum loops, manic turntablism, flawless mixing and Common's long discontinued old school delivery. As if all these excellent relic's of a long transitioned career weren't enough, an added bonus is that this tape is fueled by the late, great J.Dilla and several of his timelessly deviceful beats. Also dropping in to provide production assist's are fellow Chi Town legend No I.D., the much slept-on DJ Honda and DJ Unexpected himself, who flexes his considerable production chops and not so unexpectedly dazzles in his efforts.

The cohesiveness of this tape and how well it's actually put together is amazing. Nothing sounds forced and one would be left thinking without a doubt, that Unexpected and Hevehitta went against the current scene's norm's and veritably took their time crafting this mixtape to be memorable. New jacks take note: it ain't always what you got, but sometimes just how you put it together. I mean come on people, who takes the time to find the audio of Common performing the Wu-Tang, cult classic "C.R.E.A.M." live?? And the band was gettin' down, Re-creating the Rza's classic beautifully and acousticly. Littered amongst the alluding interlude's where Com speaks on the idea's behind classics's and the genius of Dilla, lay things like the original version of hiss scathing diss record; "The Bitch In You", Honda's impeccable remix take on "Resurrection" and DJ Unexpected's wildly imaginative condensation of a few of Dilla's finest moments on "Dilla Says Go". The only time when a bit of apathy crept in was toward the very tail end of the tape, when for some reason the whole glorious modus operandi was broken and a couple of Com's newer and considerably lesser records were thrown into the mix.

"Something In Common" is as good as it gets when it comes to a mixtape that is both adequate and un-expedited. I've heard quite a few Common "best of's", but this one was definitely one of, if not thee most original and fresh rendition of the mold. Unexpected and Hevehitta weren't afraid to fully delve into old school esthetics's and that's appreciated, but more importantly it was effective and surely their work will strike a chord with many a Hip-Hop purist.


1. Common Symptoms Intro (Produced By DJ Unexpected For Digger's Union Local 1200)
2. A Penny For My Thoughts
3. Breaker 1/9
4. 1st Days Of The New School (Unreleased Demo)
5. Who Shot Ya Freestyle
6. While I'm Dancin' (Common Verse)
7. 87th Street Kid (Interlude)
8. My People, Hold On- Produced By J. Dilla (DJ Unexpected Remix)
9. Take It Ez
10. 5 Deadly Venoms Feat. The Beatnuts, Fat Joe & DJ Honda
11. Fresh Rhymes Daily Feat. Juice
12. Dooinit In Waves- Produced By J. Dilla (DJ Unexpected Remix)
13. Common Speaks On J. Dilla (Interlude)
14. C.R.E.A.M. (Live In Germany)
15. I Used To Love H.E.R.
16. The Misunderstanding (Interlude)
17. The Bitch In Yoo Feat. De La Soul (Live At Tramps 1996) (snippet)
18. The Bitch In Yoo (Original Version- Different Lyrics)
19. State To State Feat. Dug Infinite (Produced By No I.D.)
20. Jam Feat. Rahzel & Alliance Etnik
21. Makin' A Name For Ourselves (Mathematically Aware) Feat. Canibus
22. Resurrection (DJ Honda Remix)
23. Common Speaks On The Light (Interlude)
24. Baby, We Must Be In Love- Produced By J. Dilla (DJ Unexpected Remix)
25. 2 The Temple (Unreleased Demo)
26. Dilla Says Go (Feat. Kanye West & John Mayer)- Produced By J. Dilla (DJ Unexpected Remix)
27. Full Moon
28. Universal Mind Control Feat. Pharrell

Retraction and Review for Alucard - Watch Them Fall


Regrettably, in a previous blog post that I did some time back, I foolishly and maybe wrongly attacked a new artist as well as his music, labeling him and it "unlistenable", among other sophmoric comments. I was young and new to the blogosphere and didn't realize that there is a myriad of creeps out there who constantly use that type of negative verbage to express themselves. Being that I'm BIG D O and nobody else, and independent is how I've rolled since I was a shorty, I didn't wanna fall into the same lump of muthafuckas that have come to define the current, over the top, Hip-Hop blog landscape. I also don't wanna become known as a cat that attacks people, rather than their music. I stand by my opinion of the work in question 100%; I wasn't feeling it, however, I do wish wholeheartedly that I had taken the time to say it in a manner that was more true to self. The "artist" in question is Alucard. An up and coming, underground emcee who runs alongside some DJ's and producer's outta Brooklyn whom I've always had the utmost respect for and define the indy hustle through their label Creative Juices. To Alucard specifically I wanna say "my bad", for perhaps overstepping a critique. While I'm pretty sure you have thick skin and weren't in the least bit affected by any comments of mine, I still owe people like yourself; underground, indy artist's who do this music more so for the love than anything else, much better, even when I criticize them.


When many of their fans think of Creaive Juices Music', they think of a grassroots movement filled with talented purveyors of the true Hip-Hop sound. I've reviewed a few of their "Endless Varieties" compilations before and as a whole they are formidable in terms of how densely packed their crew is with raw skills. It's these condensed, "raw skills" that I thought of most when I listened to longtime crew member Alucard's newest offering "Watch Them Fall". Ripe with music (23 tracks), beats and unabridged lyrics, Alucard has successfully used this release as a catalyst to rise from being what I would label a semi-inproficient and unconventional beginner, to a top notch and gloriously upgraded artist. He has arrived as a truly subversive and absorbing emcee, and despite all past indiscretions, I would venture as far as saying he might be one of the most talented rhymers on the extensive Creative Juices roster.

As everyone saw I began this post with a retraction. The Retraction was about Alucard, but more explicitly his deficiencies as a vocalist. The true root of where my untimely comments came from wasn't so much in Alu himself as it was his music, or rather the delivery of his music. When I first heard him rhyme I believe it was on the initial "Endless Varieties" compilation. I had a noted disdain for his flow and delivery....I found them supremely awkward and exceedingly off-beat. I couldn't for the life of me bring myself to say that he was a technically good artist and truthfully the shit he was rhyming about wasn't really popping off with me too much either. He sounded like an off-beat, vampire-lore inspired weirdo. It wasn't something that resonated well with me at all. I thought his approach was gimmicky and narrow.

Fast forward to 2008. I slide the "Watch Them Fall" CD into my stereo and literally I'm blown away by what I hear, from beginning to end. Alucard has found a way to focus his energy and shed any traces of being trivial. He's tied up the loose ends and fixed the problems with his verbal mechanics. In other words, The boy has tightened his shit up somethin' serious. Taking a more centralized line in his content and falling back a great deal on the flimsy and generic darkness, Alu maintains his old intensity and also manages to keep the fever pitch of exaggerated violence perfectly in tune with aptly scored production.

On "Poison Tester" Alu impressively rides producer IDE's break-neck drum pattern to a tee without falling off beat once. That improvement in his flow is no fluke either, he routinely displays it throughout the record. His once suspect delivery is now altogether in check. It's shifted from awkward spilling into a controlled fury that is reminiscent more so of a young Dom Pachino than a wierd emo kid getting over excited in a cypher. The music itself is amazing. Every track is well produced. The "Creative Juices way" of cross hybridizing boom bap drums with abrasive and ominous samples doesn't just let it's presence be known, it stands up and screams "here!!", like a 3rd grader during morning head counts. The sinister production skills of ever cogent front man IDE are ever-present as well, but it's Alu's self-produced "Octane" that unexpectedly highlights his talents as a decent provider of macabre beats as well as lines. Something I think he should continue to follow up on.

Generally, I think that "Watch Them fall" can feel out any fan of good Hip-Hop. While there are certainly moments that are more hardcore and emoesque than others, it's the sound of straight up doctrinal hip-hop tracks like "Don't Get" and "Smiley Face Killers", that should reel in even the most stalwart underground opposer's. As I hinted at before Alu in spots sounds unmistakeably like Dom Pachino. Unfortunately he somewhat momentarily suffers from the same "can of worms" that Dom does/did. Those "worms" being the noted absence of sturdy choruses in his song structure's and maybe some jumbling of words here and there. Both defects I find are more likely to be at most, tiny glitches in a huge matrix of sumptuous and profuse music. They become tolerable because the whole body of work is comprehensively way above average.

This is definitely what I like to see happen after I give an artist a bad review. I like being made into a liar. Most of the time that means that in between the time I wrote the biting or mild or cutting or whatever type of criticism about you, you; the artist went back and decided at some point to put in some work. The "drawing board" is where we all eventually must go. It's in many ways what I think enhances our skills, no matter who we are. When it happens in Hip-Hop I'd like to think that for the genre as a whole it's positive. In this case it overwhelmingly was. Whether Alucard consciously or unconsciously made the decision to get better is unknown to me. What I do know is dope music and Alu has provided that music in stunning fashion. "Watch Them Fall" is an outstanding project and hopefully only a precursor of what is still yet to come from him.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Single: J.Period & Q-Tip - Q-Tip For President

To set a lil' promo fire off for their impending new mixtape of the same title, J.Period and Q-Tip release the single "Q-Tip For President", which is sure to whip all of us young, change- seeking, agents of unity (formerly known as liberal Democrats) into a collective cabbage patch dance frenzy. LOL, utilizing a classic Hip-hop drum break, timeless cuts from some of Hip-Hop's most important records and vocal excerpt's from President elect Barack Obama's most eloquent moments on the stump this election season J.Period concoct's an absolutely wonderful track for Q-Tip's message.

This type of DJing and production is exactly why J.Period's other "best of" mixtapes for high caliber artist's like Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, The Roots, Big Daddy Kane, C.L. Smooth and Nas are widely considered classic material. Including exclusive collaborative work with many Native Tongue contributor's like Questlove, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Consequence, Black Thought and Q-Tip himself, "Q-Tip For President" the mixtape will mos definitly garner huge accolades. Make sure you go grab it when it does drop (sorry no date for that yet), and make sure you go grab that new Q-Tip album "The Renaissance" in stores now! Til' Then enjoy the single.....Obama!!


Interview With Drawzilla from

Aaight, so I know all my D.I.T.C. nerds have already seen the pre-release track listing and production credits for their new album "The Movement". One thing I'm sure they noticed was that a cat named Drawzilla has managed to score quite a few songs for the legendary crew's latest opus; something that is very deserving of praise considering that D.I.T.C. is composed of the illest producer's ever.

If your like me then you know the name Drawzilla sounds semi-familiar, but overall it's a mystery. Well, the good people over at Hoodgrown magazine have done the ignorant and inquiring minds of the Hip-Hop production world a huge favor in sitting down with Mr. Zilla and locking things up a bit. Here's their interview with Zilla in it's entirety, forward included.


Perseverence is this man’s motto. Confidence in your talent, sticking to the script but using new ways to get your point across are all ways this super producers has furthered his career and gotten his name out there in the music industry. Im speaking of the multi talented Drawzilla. With a new mixtape hosted by Bedtyme357, ‘Zilla’s World’ Vol 2, Drawzilla is in a position to take the listeners on a journey through his world to experience a new sound.

Whats good Drawzilla? You have been a busy body since we last spoke. Whats been going on?

Very busy, wrappin up my album/mixtape called Zilla’s World: the mixtape vol 2 hosted by Bedtyme 357 droppin NOV 11th, runnin my pro tools studio for clients, working with my artists, and selling records.

Lets talk about your up and coming release ‘Zilla’s World’ Vol 2 Hosted by Bedtyme357, who is featured on it and how does it differ from Vol 1?

I have Sic Osyrus, Jae Millz, E Ness, Priscilya Marie, Nature, Sha Stimuli, Esso, 2ew Gunn Ciz, etc etc on it. I have much stronger records than vol 1 and have a wider range of music. I also threw the Mariah remix I produced f/ LL Cool J, “Lovin you long time ”

You have had a stellar year thus far, you must feel great. Let’s start with your winning the Emerging Producer of The Year at The UMA’s, talk about that experience and how it felt to get recognized by your peers for your talent.

I was shocked to even win the award. I had no idea what the outcome would be. Its a honor to be recognized because I can see my hard work has payed off over the years. To be honest, the day of the event, I was more excited about networking than winning an award. Once I received it, I realized networking is what got me here. I m definetly thankful and blessed.

Now immediately after ‘Zilla’s World’ you have another big release with the new D.I.T.C. album , you produced 3 cuts on that and I hear more is in the works, how did you link with the legendary Showbiz and how is this project helping your overall awareness?

I met Show thru D Flow which is a member of AG’s crew GET DIRTY and he’s D.I.T.C. I ve known him for years but we linked back up at a producer showcase downtown. He invited me to the studio that Premo and Show work out of, which is the old D & D studios for a listening session. They were releasing this compilation album and needed tracks. A week later, I received a call saying they were interested in recording with me. So …. I have 3 records on the album droppin NOV 18th … its entitled THE MOVEMENT !! Look for it !

Now aside from the new tape, the DITC project, you’ve been very big in the street on various mixtapes and the site audio posting, seems like your name is everywhere, who else have you worked with and what record that you did this year do you feel made the biggest impact on your exposure level?

I’ve worked with Remy Ma, CL Smooth, AG, etc etc but the biggest record I did this year was definetly the remix of Mariah Carey’s “Lovin you long time” featuring LL Cool J. Once the blogs got a hold of it, my name was everywhere.

As a producer why is it so important to promote yourself in todays music industry landscape?

The game is saturated right now. Everyone understands that record companies don’t sign acts based on how hot ya music is. Its all about creating a significant buzz and having great records behind it. I have to act as if I ve hired a publicist, manager etc to ,as they say, ” GET HOT ” ! So .. I challenge myself a lil and create ways of drawing interest in what I do. I just returned from Miami and made a small video trailer of my trip and included my own music from the mixtape in it. You can get a visual of my daily routines and get hot records attached to it. Nowadays you have to be creative, the climate demands that !

Im sure you know the value of a relationship by now, how do you work with others to utilize each to the fullest extent for all parties involved?

First off, I come off as an easy person to get along with because I am. I remain humble and passionate about my craft. Some folks try so hard to fit it. I don’t !! I m myself and don’t fall victim to the quote ” INDUSTRY ” … I enjoy my work so when I run across talent, I admire and respect that. There are no secrets. I just make myself accessible and try and work closely with the artists, execs, other producers, etc !

Whats next on Drawzilla’s plate for the rest of 08 and what does 09 look like so far?

I m focused on making great records, that’s all. My long term goals have nothing to do with music lol. I love what I do, so I remain persistent and create opportunities for myself. When I wake up and make my phone calls or emails, that’s what’s on my plate. Hopefully, I ll have a smash that’ ll move mountains lol!

How can someone make a serious production inquiry in regards to Drawzilla?

Hit me up at .. or ..

Where can fans find you online?

You can google Drawzilla or and youtube, blogspot, stickam, etc !

Any last shouts or plugs?

Shout out to J Hatch, Bedtyme 357, Jontell, Khadejia, Sic Osyrus, Priscilya Marie, and Dejha B !

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Evidence - The Layover Mixtape Hosted by DJ Skee

Before I head about 30 minutes outta my city to go watch the Roy Jones Vs. Joe Calzaghe fight (I got Jones in a decision) at my boy's crib, I wanted to drop off a mixtape that I myself have been highly anticipating. As all of the regular reader's of Purehip-hop should know, Evidence will be dropping his new EP "The Layover" this month on the 25th (pushed back from the orig. date of the 18th). Before he does give us all that extended play goodness he's linked up with L.A.'s newest street/mixtape DJ extraordinaire; DJ Skee, to bring everyone "The Layover Mixtape". As always Ev brings the heat. I'm guessing there were a few surviving elements left off the EP, and so he decided to throw em' on the tape. I ain't mad at that at all. Skee adds his usual touches, but doesn't get in the way of the music, something that I appreciate a lot from him and his work, and a reason why he's surging ahead of other notable L.A. guys like DJ Strong, Felli Fel and DJ Vlad. As a matter of fact his knack for enhancement and not incessant shouting, name dropping and overdone masturbation-like tactic's has DJ Skee hot on the trails of L.A.'s elite tape DJ's like DJ Warrior and DJ Solo.

Ev makes this a no-brainer pick-up for underground heads. Unleashing a handful of brilliant remixes and playing host to many of the underground's top emcee's, like Phonte of Little Brother, Casual, UNI, Defari and Aloe Blacc, the headliner's of the alternative rap world that are featured add to this effort immensely and get it that ever so coveted underground stamp of approval. Make no mistake however, this tape also contains the rugged west coast lyric's of Crooked I, Bishop Lamont, Mitchy Slick, Chace Infinite and Fresno phenom Fashawn. It's a great balance and like all things with great balance usually they have a wide appeal. I think that's what directly applies here. Can't wait for the 25th, but this helps.


P.S. To the 2 AM Houdini's who played the Thirsty Parrot in the Springs last night....y'all rocked, really tho, you guys are an excellent cover band. Keep it up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Historic Night: Barack Obama Is Elected The 44th President Of The United States

The scene at Grant Park in Chicago last night was amazing. Sixty thousand people came out to see Barack Obama, the new presidential elect give a rousing yet realistic speech about his historic win, working to get those who didn't vote for him to side with his policies and letting the onlookers as well as the millions watching at home know that their job was far from over.

The crowd had so many great images in it. Jesse Jackson, the influential activist and once presidential nominee himself was shown with tears in his eyes. Oprah Winfrey a devout Obama supporter from day one gushed and smiled. White, Black, Asian and Latino folks all stood together last night, side by side and cheered. Many raised their hands in victorious glee as they chanted "yes we can!". It was truly a remarkable thing.

It seems that America for the first time ever in politics had actually put aside the issue of race, saw right through the cheap and nasty tactics of the RNC and put the best man for the job in office. I'm proud to say that my state; Colorado, a traditionally staunch red territory during presidential elections, went blue and gave Obama the 1.1 million some odd votes he needed to win it. I'm proud to say that my vote was apart of those 1.1 million people who said enough is enough, what's right is right and it's time for a change. Of course some of us here have been yelling those things much longer than others.

There was indeed a flip side of the coin last night as well however, and a defeated John McCain took the stump in Arizona and tried to give as gracious a concedence speech as he could. Although the people in the crowd booed viciously when Obama's name was mentioned and Sarah Palin looked like she wanted to break down right there on the stage, McCain managed to seem somewhat like a good sport and even said he hoped that Obama and him could work together.

So here we are The Obama Revolution has inevitably begun. It might sound strange that I'm writing about this on a Hip-hop blog, but all the real heads know that this is a great moment for our culture too. Somewhere last night one had to imagine that Chuck D was smiling, maybe even close to tears. That people like Common, Krs-One, The Last Poets, Black Thought, Nas, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and a myriad of other conscious emcee's who always let their feelings concerning politics's be known were watching while true history was made. The road ahead for Obama will be tough, no doubt there, and many pundits have already starting speaking on how difficult his job will be. Obama is no doubt prepared and already moving to make sure that he tackles this job correctly. Only time will tell if he can un-fuck what George W. Bush has done, but I'm definitely up for re-electing him if he needs 2 terms to do so!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Video: Evidence feat. The Alchemist & Fashawn - The Far Left

Brand new joint from Ev! Yet another banger that is supposed to be off of Ev's new EP "The Layover" EP. Imaginative and clearly done on a beer budget, don't expect a whole lot in terms of flashy video effects. I know I was thoroughly entranced by the cue cards peep the Big Twin cameo, lol, he looks excited right? Fashawn is coming up man...I did a write up on him not too long ago...the kid is developing into the new Planet Asia man...


Monday, November 3, 2008

Single: Ty Nitty - Neva Thought Prod. by Gregory B.

This is easily one of Ty's better joints in quite some time. Taking us on a lyrically visual tour through Queens, Ty describes so many scenario's and people so seamlessly, he comes off as the supreme elder statesman of QB. Shouting out familiar names and updating his old friend "Ox" (who's locked down) via a letter, on the goings on in the old neighborhood Nitty shows a real flash of greatness here. Nothing's forced on this track and he sounds great over Gregory B.'s soulful string loop. This joint sort of reminds me of when The Alchemist was out there in QB mainly producing shit for IM3, still chopping soul records on his ASR-10. This is a can't miss single and you can hear it on Gregory B.'s Myspace:


Single: Slaughterhouse - Onslaught

Aaight....this is great news right here. If some of you remember the single I brought to ya awhile back called "Slaughterhouse", that featured all the men pictured above (and Nino Bless) and were completely taken by it, get ready for these guys to bring you a new project together! They all (except Nino Bless) have decided to form a group and call themselves Slaughterhouse. Guess they thought that song title was pretty nifty. Right here we have a new joint from them that once again totally reaches the bar and in some ways re-sets it. It's called "Onslaught" and everyone goes off. I'mma give the nicest verse to Joell tho. I'll keep you guys posted on any new developments with Slaughtergouse as a group in the future.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

4 Of The Best Hip-Hop Record labels Of All Time.....

I used to really love Rawkus, I mean a lot...I copped everything that dropped on Rawkus man....even the stuff I was kinda iffy about, lol, yes I grabbed that Cage record! I mean they really did have some wonderful artist's that were on their label and colloborated with them...Kool G Rap, Da Beatminerz, Company Flow, Black Star, The High And Mighty, Hi-Tek, Pharoahe Monch, Big L, Shabaam Sahdeeq and so on....they were literally a stable for high end, underground talent....everything about em' was perfect to us backpackers....from the logo to what they stood for I loved Rawkus in the 90's.....which was why I was really upset when in 01' they were sold to MCA and all the news about that really rich yuppie guy being the one behind all the funding and creative direction broke was kinda polarizing because the mantra of Rawkus always used to be that they were run by small time folks and underground artist's for true heads, subterranean emcees who were trying to get in the game and would've otherwise had no other outlet to do so......Rawkus, like I said earlier was sold to MCA and while the label clearly ain't the exact same it used to be there have been some pretty good releases on it, namely Marco Polo's "Port Authority" that dropped last year and was widely considered by many as not only the finest compilation of the year, but the best overall album period. The modern Rawkus label has also recruited acts like The Procussions and Panacea, signaling toward their past, but almost instantly destroyed all of that refurbished credibility by signing The Pack.....

Loud was another one of my beloved labels.....I mean Steve Rifkind was a guru man, a true genius and and the roster reflected that....I was really into them the most when they were home to Wu-Tang, M.O.P., Xzibit, Big Pun, Funkmaster Flex, The Alkaholiks and Mobb Deep all at once....those were the glory days....One of my favorite albums ever, of all time Pete Rock's "Soul Survivor" also dropped on Loud back in the day man. That album is responsible for like 90% of my hip-hop beliefs, likes and dislikes......Dead Prez is another group that I respect supremely who dropped their classic album "Let's Get Free" on Loud....I could go on forever naming shit that dropped on Loud man....Their Logo was also pretty classic, just like the Rawkus Razor, the Loud headphones were lightning in a label....I was pretty pissed when I heard that they too were gonna fold way back in 02'....Rifkind landed on his feet though, he has SRC (Street Records Corporation) now....which doesn't come close to what he was able to do with Loud, but hey it's a living right? On a side note I don't think they're distributing music anymore but the Loud name is still around....they have a website that's up and running and last year they distributed Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams mixtape for free download online....

Roc-A-Fella (in the late 90's and early 2K)--what more do I need to say man...Dame and Jay makin huge moves business wise, landmark albums being made, the most powerful roster in rap history that included Jay, Bleek, Beans, The Young Guns, Oschino & Sparks, Peedi Crakk, Freeway, Cam'ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Noreaga, M.O.P., ODB, Twista, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Boola, Chad Hamilton and various other emcees and producers. There for a second they damn near even signed Joe Budden. They were the powerhouse, headed by a smart and more than capabable CEO in Jay-Z. Who can forget that "We Are The Champions" jumpoff from the Paid In Full Soundtrack? I mean that shit was the definition of a perfect label posse cut. I mean they were dropping movies (Roc Films), clothing (Rocawear) and liquor (Armadale Vodka)....and I was there for the whole ride, gleefully taking pride in the fact that I was there when it all started with "Reasonable Doubt", Jaz-O, Sauce Money and Clark Kent....really, I felt connected and that was a crazy time period too, but it doesn't touch the 1998-2004 time period.....The way it would all unravel was too sad. Rumors of Jay getting pissed about Dame elevating his old friend Cam'ron to a high position within the label without running it by him first started to add tension to business relationships. After awhile Biggs and Dame weren't speaking to Jay. Eventually more problems came about...Beans was catching cases by the boat load, Biggs' apartment was raided for growing massive amounts of weed, Dame caught a rape charge and Jay was tossing around the idea of retirement. In the end they all went their separate ways, Dame started DDMG (Dame Dash Music Group) and a few of the Roc's artist's opted to go with him, while Jay retained rights to the Roc-A-Fella name. I still hold out hope that one day maybe Hova, Biggs and Dame will link up again, but in all likelihood they probably won't

ABB Records was one that I wasn't real, real connected to, but helped further introduce me to the creme de la creme of many of my now favorite L.A. underground emcee's, Producers and DJ's like Babu, Evidence, Defari, Joey Chavez and Madlib.... etc., etc. ABB also linked me up with great underground artist's period....I first heard the dope ass underground group Maspyke on an ABB compilation record....ABB has managed to stay afloat over time in the always treacherous waters of Hip-Hop labels and last year they were home to Evidence's "Weatherman LP" album; an album I thought defined a superb underground release....


Saturday, November 1, 2008

R&B Radar: V-12 - Think Of You

Okay, here's something that all the thirsty QB heads should be adequately enthused about. An R&B album!! LOL, did my sarcasm fly right over everyone's head? Lemme explain. Here we have Resident Queensbridge R&B crooner V-12's newest album "Think Of You" and in true form V delivers a good product, one that even the hardcore crowd in QB, a place that has a knack for producing the edgiest Hip-Hop acts like Mobb deep, Littles, Tragedy and Infamous Mobb, not powerful singers like V-12. It's twice as ironic then that V has collaborated wth just about everyone I just named.

Along with Tony Sunshine, I would have to give V-12 the nod as having been one of the superior R&B/Hip-Hop singer's in the game for a number of years. The main difference between him and Sunshine though is that he continues to hold it down for the streets while Sunshine has sold out indefinitely. Yes, that song and video with Lumidee counts as selling out muthafucka. That being said when Sunshine finally drops that solo debut I will be one of the first, former TS fans in line to grab it and see just what the hell I've been waiting for these past 8 or so years. I digress.....If you like Jahiem and could possibly imagine him not singing so much about bullshit women and whatnot, than I would say V-12 might be someone to check for, if you haven't already. I view Jahiem's style of vocalization as being very close to V's; ripe with real talent, soulful, rich, no annoying whining and definitely sounding like it stems from many years of practice in a church choir.

"Think Of You" tries mightily to keep pace with what V-12 has been about his whole career thus far. Things like his always keen vocal work and a few bursts of production dazzlement will coerce most casual fans of the art of downbeat spirits (R&B, lol) that it's a pretty sustainable effort. As someone that can deliver a rawer message as well as swoon the ladies, "Think Of You" is a novel view into V-12's diverse capabilities and a R&B sub-genre that I wish was still around. In a lot of ways this album displays the best qualities of what many Hip-Hop and R&B scribes dubbed "Street Soul" many years ago. Not to be confused with the trendier "Neo-Soul", but containing some of the same traits, Street Soul was on the verge of emerging many times, but somehow it was and continues to be nudged out of it's momentum. Primarily due to the rapid un-raveling and quasi-transformation of the R&B sound into the favorite corporate medium for many rapper's sonic direction...long story short things got muddled, cash became king, real artist's got terribly dashed and now rappers are perpetrating to be singers themselves via autotune....but once again I digress.....

The only shortcomings that really glare out to me are V's penchant for recycling tired and extremly cliche theme's. Oh look everybody, an R&B album with songs titled "Makin Love", "Your Body" and "Thinkin Of You" on it, now that's In any case, I think that V's talent mask's the fact that the actual substance of this album is very sketchy. His output is less about substance than it is about actual music however. Lemme explain. See, Most of the time you'll be too busy nodding your head along with the pulsating beats or singing along with V's ardent timbre to notice that quite a bit of this LP is somewhat un-creative as far as the song writing goes. Now that formula doesn't sound familiar does it? LOL, a good joint for getting acquainted with V-12 the entity, but not even close to his best stuff artistically in my opinion. For that you'll have to do the diligence on his guest spots on other artist's mixtape's and album's. Still, I'd be lying if I said he didn't capture a somewhat fair amount of the tonal magic from past works here. After all the man can sing. Give it a shot if you like your R&B rugged or light, but all John Legend fans beware, V-12's song composition isn't there yet, don't expect that from "Think Of You".


01. Your Body
02. Think Of U
03. Makin Love
04. Off & On
05. Ok
06. Hold Me Down
07. Sideways (Feat. Fashion The Don)
08. Let Out Tha Beast
09. Over Stand (Feat. Godfather Pt.3)
10. Hate On V

News: Vice President of Def Jam Records Commits Suicide

Breaking news out of New York reports that Shakir Stewart the acting VP of Def Jam Records committed suicide earlier today. No other information has been released at this time.

Stewart succeeded Jay-Z at the top of the Def Jam ladder in June and also retained his duties as senior VP of A&R at Island Def Jam. The Oakland, Calif., native signed such artists as Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and newcomer Karina Pasian.