Tuesday, June 30, 2009

News: VIBE Magazine Shuts Down

The institution known to the print media world as VIBE Magazine will officially be shutting down. In a statement that is supposed to come today or tomorrow the Magazine is scheduled to make this grim fact known to the world.

The publication was started back in 1993 by Quincy Jones and it holds a warm place in this bloggers heart. If you grew up in my generation, than VIBE always should've been considered your 2nd best Hip-Hop mag next to The Source.

VIBE was known as one of the most viable and reliable Hip-Hop authorities in it's hay day and their countless number of classic covers and time-honored interviews are burned into my mind forever...Damn shame what it's become lately....

In 2006 The Wicks Group took over the mag and successfully re-worked it from being a serious, respectable Hip-Hop, R&B and urban lifestyle mag to being some sort of teeny bopperish, Pop music crazed, trend rag that rarely garnered my attention or the attention of anyone over the age of 16.


Video: Naledge - Focus

Back with the 2nd video for his new LP "Chicago Picasso", Naledge recruits the enveloping Directorial talents of Noah Banks, who really puts together a unique and eye catching video for Naledge....

Utilizing a sort of stop motion effect and a Black and White lens, Banks adds a noted artsy stamp to a vid that already has a consummate foundation in a well crafted, high energy beat and lyrically poignant verses....

The idea behind what we see in the vid, I think, is Focus jetting around Chicago delivering true school aesthetics like a cassette tape and a vinyl record as if they were narcotics...Imaginative and combined with Banks' vision, pretty memorable...."Focus" gets my vote for Video of the week!


Trife Diesel - The Project Pope

Wow, it's been a minute since I last put up a hefty amount of mixtapes and it's been even longer since there were a hefty amount worthy of putting up...I know your being bombarded with a bunch of sloppily thrown together Michael Jackson tributes this week, so I'm gonna give you a much needed break from the MJ madness. Besides we all know that whole racket is gonna continue for the rest of this week and probably next week too, lol....brace yaselves

Switching gears now, I bring you Trife Diesel's newest mixtape effort "The Project Pope". A 16 track bang-a-thon from the talented Theodore unit member, who on many an occasion stole the show from the profoundly ingenious leader of the crew Ghostface, as well as from some of the other breakout Theodore troupe like Shawn Wiggs and Soloman Childs.

Teaming with the once uber popular Tapemasters Inc. for this new tape that is zany in it's presentation and title and sagacious in it's content, Trife pelts a HR out of the park. Now, like most hardcore artists these days Trife isn't able to do his brand of Hip-Hop 24/7 if he hopes to move any units...it's a sad truth, but hey, the kids these days wanna party, whaddya gonna do? In that spirit Trife Deez makes a good showing of his more commercial efforts like "Speed Of Light", and puts a nice street corner twist to them, that makes them a lil' bit more bearable....

In the end there is a good amount of potent music on this mix and Trife recruited a host of recognizable names from the Wu-Tang camp to help him unleash this prominant push for his new studio LP "Better Late Than Never", which will drop on the 21st of July....



XO - Monumental

New mixtape from D.C. representaive and one third of the area's super group Diamond District XO, who comes through with the help of Studio 43 and Illroots blog and gives the people his brand new mixtape "Monumental".

Not at all to be confused with his peers YU or Oddisee, XO's sound mirror's the streets of our nation's capital and if your looking for something that sounds like a Diamond District record, maybe you should just stop right here.

Taking a much more hardline approach XO jumps right into the heavily populated mixtape game with a very worthy and thought provoking effort. There are a few cuts that take a lighter avenue, but it's only when XO decides to show that uncompromising and hard-bitten attitude here and there that we get some glimpses into his actual rhyming talents. No doubt a setup for his upcoming "Realmatic" LP, the "Monumental" is a decent peek to what's yet to come from XO.



Monday, June 29, 2009

Prophet Radio Episode 7 Mixed by Jee4ce

Courtesy of the kaleidoscopic themed Hip-Hop and alternative music blog WAVlength, we have a new 30 minute mix of everything from Hip-Hop to Instrumental and Experimental, put together by DSG crew member Jee4ce AKA FatherJack.

The 7th mix in the series is masterfully diverse and Jee4ce does a great job of running y'all through a brief, yet gripping mix. I think, I even enjoyed the Young Dro remix on here....

To top everything off resident WAVlength artist 96 contributes a new piece of cover art for the mix that is very new wave and high-minded...I love the idea of attaching a really serious piece of artwork to a music mix....pulls off the mood wonderfully...


Exile - Frequency Modulation
7L & Esoteric - Get Dumb... Read more
Rhymes Vital - Gaza (Father Jack On The Buttons)
Maverick Sabre - Bullshit vs 9th Wonder
Reks - System
Black Milk - Hell Yeah
P Brothers feat. Milano - Digital Bboy
Hudson Mohawke - Trade off
Termanology - Tight Pants Are For Girls
Akira Kiteshi - Boooooom
Young Dro - Shoulder Lean (Curtis Vodka Remix)
Durrty Goodz - Boi Dem


Video: Kurious - Sittin' In My Car

New vid "Sittin' In My Car" from Kurious off his brand new "II" LP that is a fun filled romp complete with gorgeous women and Kurious doing what Kurious does best in videos--making people laugh and looking at the lighter side of things.

Posing as a slacker limo driver for a foxy, yet ostentatious and snooty model, Kurious wins over the shrew spitfire with his down to earth, round the way charms. Phasing in and out of fantasies and day dreams Jorge captures what it's like for all of us regular guys that oggle over the fine Misses we encounter on our day jobs...Put together by James Delgatto, it's a well shot and undarkened video that has a high wacthability factor.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Video: Lupe Fiasco - The L.A.S.E.R.S. Manifesto

In anticipation for his upcoming record "L.A.S.E.R.S.", breakout Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco has issued the "Manifesto", which is supposedly aiming to illustrate the conscious and transformational path he wants to walk on his new album.

Unattainable as well as lofty and preachy are things that instantly come to mind after I watch this vid, that tries in vain to make people believe that Lupe himself is all about trying to undo the evil that the country is currently entangled in. Pardon me while I laugh hysterically.....

To believe that he is somehow prepared to tackle the monumental issues of race relations, economics and politics that have festered in this country long before he was even born and mightily strike them down one by one with his all encompassing knowledge, is well...it would make a great movie....

Perhaps he will do some good in simply just generating some banter about the issues, but it's hard to take his qualms about "exploitation" and "over-consumption" seriously while he sports 300 dollar shades and designer clothing made in foreign countries, probably by people that are practically slaves....

This propaganda stinks to high heaven of guile posturing to sell records....and since the new generation of Hip-Hoppers seems content in believing that you can wear or listen to a revolution I'm sure this idea will take off.....All I know is that if you are going to issue a manifesto for a rap album that is by default apart of a machine that fuels many of the social injustices you yearn to knock down, it'd better be one hell of an album....


Video: Thirstin Howl The 3rd - Con Calma

The one and only Skillionaire returns with his enthralling new video for "Con Calma", that shines an inadvertent, but cool light on doing video's the old fashioned way, and getting results that IMO reflect the true spirit of Hip-Hop.

Filming in the awe-striking setting of Peru's poverty stricken streets and rhyming over Damien Marley's entrancing "Welcome To Jamrock", Thirstin puts on quite a show with just his charisma and camera presence. Cascading against the brightly painted Peruvian apartment buildings and street side vendors, Howl and his crew manage to semi-showcase a few local Hip-Hop artists while they explore the terrain.

The Brooklyn-born Boriqua definitely pulls off a diverse display on a humble budget. Most will remember the actual tune itself from his 2006 "La Cura" album. Thankfully, Howl decided to finally put this joint into video format and he and Nando Nandez pull off an excellent direction job.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Single: Canibus & Keith Murray AKA The Under Gods - 129 (prod. by Erick Sermon)

"Strictly rough shit" is how Keith Murray closes out "129", screaming the phrase that rings undeniably true in it's description of what just concluded. "129" is a new banger from Murray and Canibus who come together to form The Under Gods and are planning to release a new album in the near future.....

Murray reaches out to his old Def Squad connect Erick Sermon for the proper beatage to combine with lyrical marvel Canibus for this head nodding record that gives weak MC's til' the count of 9 to vacate the area. Clearly demonstrating their styles are still as notable and distinct as they were in their 90's hay day's you get caught up in a cut that easily could be sold as something from Sermon's unreleased vaults....

Keith is still unafraid to go anywhere in his ruffian tone, Bis' still has that skillful intellect behind the mic and Sermon's production still is draped with understated, funked out arrangements...."129" defines a sound that we lost some time back, where the music is minimal and your rhyme skills got put on full display for better or worse and only the most proficient of MC's would be able to perform the task....I for one, cant wait for the new album...

*on a side note the new album from the Under Gods is set to feature production from Da Beatminerz, Jake One and Street Runner amongst others, look for that later this year!*



The Bad Seed & DJ Main Event Presents...The Curious Case Of Niggalis Cage

The Brooklyn MC known as The Bad Seed first generated a good amount of buzz in the late 90's through his work with Virginia based producer Nottz and his underground bangers "Uhhnnh" and "For The Kids". Quickly garnering some accolades as one of the best new, entertaining and original Hip-Hop artists in a good while many expected fully for Seed to rise meteorically and eventually shine brighter than the rest. Unfortunately however, and as we all know, as quick as many mixtape wonders in the big apple start, they stagnate or completely stop...

In Seed's case many people, myself included, didn't exactly find it that easy to keep tabs on him over the bulk of the early 2K's. In spite of maintaining a somewhat low profile that didn't include collaborations with many of NY's newer talent (thankfully) or releasing too many loose joints for mixtape fiends, Seed did manage in 2006 to release "Dirty Urine". A strong effort no doubt, but one that did draw some disdain from longtime fans for some of it's attempts at more mainstream songs.

I enjoyed Seed's earlier work a great deal more than "Dirty Urine" and it was songs like "Pockets" (that was excellently prod. by Jean Grae btw) that I continued to bump relentlessly all the while keeping my hope afloat that he'd one day return to the scene in force with new material that better mirrored his grimy and brutally honest initiation to the game.

Today is that day.....

Dropping "The Curious Case Of Niggalis Cage" Seed re-emerges as his new alter ego and with 14 new recordings aimed squarely at appeasing his fans from the late 90's who were instantly drawn to his gritty and comprehensible rhymes. A special treat for many undoubtedly will be Seed's trekking into Donut territory by composing two new joints over a couple of J.Dilla instrumentals.

Drawing inspiration for the title of this new mix from the recent box office hit film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" that was produced by Warner Bros., (who incidentally Seed was once was signed to), the grimy one has a devil of a time running the gamut of emotions and expression. From funny and sarcastic to intense and bitter...he re-introduces us to his many fascinating and chiseled depths, delivering a great piece of work to all those that have been patiently waiting.


01. The Curious Case of Niggalis Cage
02. My Name Niggalis
03. Tight Jeans & Stilletos
04. Still Hate The Bitch
05. Dats Dat Shit
06. Crack Rocks
07. Attack Of The Bloggers
08. Let The Dollar Circulate
09. Hunny In The Chatroom
10. Cold Table
11. Bout My Bread
12. Pull Off
13. I Smoke
14. Shake The Shit Outta You
15. Daddy
16. Civil War


Single: Big Twin & Prodigy - Champions (OG version)

The new Soul Assassins record "Intermission" dropped last week and while there were clearly many high points it could plainly be labeled as pretty hit or miss.

The latest spawn of beatmaking brainchild and Cypress Hill member DJ Muggs; "Intermission", at first was labeled a pre-cursor to perhaps an upcoming third installment of the Soul Assassins compilations. Then, apparently it became the third installment...I don't know, one would have to consult Muggs himself to get the real skinny on it's murky status in the lineage of SA releases.

In any case, one of the eleventh hour changes that "Intermission" suffered was the exclusion of the original version of "Champions"; an ultra bumpable track that featured currently incarcerated Prodigy and one third of the hardcore Queensbridge group Infamous Mobb, Twin Gambino AKA Big Twin.

After linking with The Alchemist (who is apart of the SA camp) while he was living in NYC, Both men have had ties to the Soul Assassins since the late 90's and have often been called upon to rep on SA projects.

The main reasoning I suppose behind the remix of this cut not being featured on the new "Intermission" album was Muggs' unfortunate failure to clear the uber recognizable Van Halen "Champions" sample. I had to scratch my head at first when I heard that, considering that the sample has been cleared before, and for Hip-Hop artist's as well....Anyone familiar with early 2K Roc-A-Fella and Diplomats releases knows what I mean.....Anywho, here is the OG version that the remix can't hold a candle to, that would've made the new "Intermission" album a lil' bit better...



Thursday, June 25, 2009

News: Michael Jackson Passes Away From Apparent Cardiac Arrest

The man known to the world as "The King Of Pop", Michael Jackson, was found unresponsive today in a L.A. home he was renting just weeks before he was due to set out on a new comeback tour that was slated for 50 live shows in a London arena.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to a call at Jackson's home about 12:30 p.m., where they found him not breathing, performed CPR and then rushed him to UCLA Medical Center where a short time later the 50 year old was pronounced dead.

According to sources close to one of Jackson's family members, he had been feeling ill last night and even had a doctor make a house call, but checked out just fine.

The multi-talented and iconic Jackson reached the height of his success in the 70's with the Jackson 5 as a child star and then as a huge Pop solo artist in the 80's and 90's. Largely responsible for the success of MTV and being the first black artist to bridge the racial gap in America and crossover through music, he was a worldwide superstar who had fans on every Continent. In recent years however Jackson sadly found himself embroiled in many a public scandal, ranging from cosmetic surgeries and divorces to major debt and a sexual abuse trial.

A known supporter of Hip-Hop and new urban music Jackson's catalog which spans 4 decades and contains 10 solo studio LP's, was one of the most heavily sampled ever in the Hip-Hop and R&B world. Everyone from Biz Markie, Tupac, Nas, Masta Ace, Wu-Tang Clan, SWV, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Large Professor, De La Soul, Mary J. Blige, Aaliyah, Mobb Deep, Ice Cube and many, many others rhymed over, sampled, interpolated and re-did Mike's music and cited him as a direct influence in their career's.

Jackson is survived by his three children.


Video: Bambu - Quit

Bambu - "Quit" Produced by iLLMind from LightWork Media on Vimeo.

L.A. based, Filipino-American emcee Bambu pops up in his new video for "Quit" that impresses both aesthetically and visually. Shot all the way across from his southern Cali hometown in New York City, "Quit" was directed by Andrew Graziuso and is pretty straight forward....

Throughout the video Bambu kicks sincere and cautionary rhymes over a masterful Illmind beat in a track jacket that is emblazoned with the Filipino flag. Correctly repping for honest MC's everywhere as well as supporting the PNOY Apparel Company's "Shirt The Kids" charity, Bam has an indefinite signature achievement in "Quit". Graziuso's directing capability proves to be pretty canny as he weaves in live concert footage and gives you a wide array of astute shots of Bam, who has a colossal camera presence.


Analogic - In Case You Missed It V.1

If you regularly keep your ear to the underground you should have caught wind of an upcoming producer hailing from Trenton, NJ that has a knack for supplying absorbing productions for some of the game's newest and nicest alike....

The beatsmith in question is Analogic, who has provided fans with the free download "In Case You Missed It V.1", that covers quite a few of Logic's illest efforts from the past 2 or 3 years, in order to better acquaint them with his impressive resume. No doubt this is a gracious gift, as it features some of his best efforts ever, teaming his powerful beats with emcee's like Talib Kweli, Wordsworth, Phonte and Shabaam Sahdeeq as well as some of his Elementality Records family in Silent Knight and East.

Fans of producers like Vanderslice, Stoupe or generally just any underrated producer that can successfully tow the line between hardcore concoctions as well as joints that are more soulful, definitely need to check for this, as it's very much in that same vein. Be sure to grab "In Case You Missed It V.1" and also be sure to keep an eye out for logic's upcoming album "It's Only Rocket Science" on Soulspazm Records....



Single: Immortal Technique & Akir - In Time

Dope unreleased joint from our favorite revolutionary, conspiracy wielding lyricist Immortal Technique and his young Viper Records protege Akir, that is now seeing the light of day thanks to Microsoft?

LOL, I know, I know, I was expecting this leak, which is really fantastic btw, to come at the hands of some mixtape DJ extraordinaire or a new Hip-Hop website/blog seeking some street cred. Instead it's the uber nerdy Microsoft corporation teaming with Reverbnation.com that is responsible for bringing us this melancholy joint, originally from 2006, that is full of relatable and recollective rhymes from both Technique and Akir.

Apparently Microsoft and Reverbnation.com have been seeking to assist indie artists and help spread their music.....In an effort to do this they contracted Immortal Technique as well as Pugz Atomz to exclusively release a single from each artist, who both represent the indie hustle to the fullest. Despite the geeky facade that veils over the mega corporation, I must admit, Microsoft chose their prospects well. The unlikely union has yielded a real gem straight from Tech's vaults that I'm sure all his hardcore fans are excited about as they continue to await the long delayed "Middle Passage" from the continually involved, activist and quasi-historian who only seems to double as an emcee these days.

Hopefully Technique got broke off a lil' bit of that Bill Gates dough, but if not partnering with two media giants like Microsoft and Reverbnation will always be a good business move.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

News: Tru Life Turns Himself In For Ties To Murder

Roberto Guzman Rosado Jr. AKA Tru Life, the onetime Roc-A-Fella recording artist who hails from the Lower East Side of Manhattan NYC, has turned himself into authorities after being sought for questioning in regards to a murder last week.

As initially reported, it first was Tru's brother who was thought to be primarily in connection to the murder/assault of two men that took place in a Manhattan apartment lobby leaving one man in critical condition and an unidentified 18 year old deceased as a result of being stabbed repeatedly in the chests.

Now, news is breaking that Tru Life turned himself into NYPD after word got out that investigators were seeking to speak with him. Last week it was speculated that the shooting of the two men might have been fueled by the non-fatal shooting of one of Tru Life's associates, Michael Slater at a dance club.

Although currently there is a littany of reports swirling around the web, some of which indicating that Tru surrendered to police on 1st degree murder charges. Those are unconfirmed reports and it's my understanding that Tru is only being interviewed by police concerning his knowledge of the incident and his brother.

Apparently, Tru Life had also been keeping some of his friends and family updated through the social networking site Twitter. I attempted to gain access to his Twitter page but Tru's updates are currently set to private.


Single: Big Pooh - Calling (prod. by DK)

New joint from one half of Little Brother Big Pooh titled "Calling", that you almost instantly start vibing with. The rich, focused production spliced with Pooh's naturally vivid MCing makes for a really ill single that I for one, wish his recent album could've mirrored a bit more....

Never will understand why MC's release lil' post LP goodies that totally overshadow most of the work they dropped on their album....this is another case of said phenomena, but Despite Pooh's poor song selection skills, he definitely shines on "Calling", which we all hope is perhaps a leak off an upcoming project that can redeem the ill fated "Delightful Bars".



Instrumental LP: Hi-Res - 1080 Beats

It's been awhile since I last put up a really dope instrumental tape, but when I heard rising Portland, Oregon beatmaker Hi-Res' "1080 Beats", I knew that I had something worthy of dropping on you guys.

Primarily rolling with a style that most of the time is described as "laidback", the rising young Portland beatsmith drops this stylish collection of music that varies from traditional Hip-Hop to GhettoTech and Experimental vibes.

Releasing "1080 Beats" on his Myspace for free download and for "y'all to rock to the whole Summer", Hi-Res makes a solid debut into the underground realm of beatsmithing and the proliferation of highly slept-on, virtuous beat tapes.



Blame One - Finally: The EP

As sort of a parting gift in the wake of his sudden retirement, San Diego MC Blame One is releasing his "Finally: The EP" project that up until now was mainly only available as a vinyl rarity.

The 9 track EP that is produced by L.A. production guru Exile (back when he was going by "Xile"), Oxnard, CA vet Kankick and the lesser known J-A-Y The Fallguy, contains quite a bit of Blame's earliest recorded material, some of which dates back all the way to 1995.

All of the music was also recorded on glorious 4 inch tape, giving it that authentic golden era sound. The mix on "Finally: The EP" is solid and Blame, although just beginning his rap career you can tell had much potential, even at that point. A great addition to any southern Cali underground fan's collection.


1. Pay Attention [prod. by Exile]
2. Excavated [prod. by Exile]
3. Emotions [prod. by Exile]
4. Lyrics Geometric [prod. by Kan Kick]
5. Word Majick [prod. by J-A-Y da fallguy]
6. Paystrumental
7. Excamental
8. Emostramental
9. Enemies (ft. Emanon) [prod. by Exile]


Single: Ghostface The Rza and Havoc - Evil Deeds

Here's the last lil' single you guys are getting hit with before the big day (the 30th) when the world's favorite clansmen release "Chamber Music", they're brand new LP that's aimed at harnessing their sound circa the mid 90's.

Teaming with a poised Havoc who sounds more inspired on his verse here than he has in the past 4 years, Ghost and Rza kick some pretty intricate rhymes that encompass what direction they'll likely be taking throughout "Chamber Music". I urge everyone to go grab the new album that is 4 outta 4 so far with the leaked singles...



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Single: Nas - Film (prod. by C-Sick)

As the winner of the now annual (I guess) Redbull Big Tune 2008 beat contest, producer C-Sick was awarded a dream collaboration with hands down my generation's most revered emcee Nas.

A polished product ensues that couples C-Sick's over-pronounced, funky percussion and Nas's rapidly paced and wordy flow. The end result is reflective and a bit gloomy, but def. in a good way. C-Sick not only proves to be a worthy beatmaker, but his addition of the chorus vocals proves he is adept at attacking things from a bona fide producer's standpoint. If you don't follow me understand this; it's easy to make beats, a lot of cats are "beatmakers", but it takes a real producer to get in an actual studio, put down ideas and collaborate with perhaps the greatest lyricist of all time. So big time props goes out to the 17 yr. old chi city native C-Sick, way to step up when it counts, you did ya thing big time.



Donwill - Vainglorious Re Make LP

Here's a bit of un-earthed, un-released goodness....Donwill of Tonya Morgan has taken it upon himself to release the "Vainglorious Re Make LP", a collection of work that dates back to about when the group was set to release Moonlighting (2005/2006) that features Don rhyming over nothin but interludes from well known artists' LP's.

Re-working sounds and interlude tracks from PE, Ghetto Boyz, NWA, EPMD and A Tribe Called Quest Don throws us a host of tracks that he, Brickbeats and the Lessondary Crew collaborated on and that weren't available until just recently.


Video: Saigon - Change Gon Come

Brand spankin new heat from Sai Giddy, who doesn't disappoint with his new video for "Change Gon Come", a brilliantly shot and directed tale of success and despair in the hood.

Relayed by the most talented music video director out there in Rik Cordero (who also makes a brief cameo), "Change Gon Come" provides that ever so badly needed visual genuineness to Sai's impartial vocals.

Apparently and rightfully Rik is taking his directing talents in the direction of film making and is gearing up to release a movie entitled "Inside A Change" with Three/21 Films that is already drawing high acclaim from many magazine publications and critics. "Change Gon Come" is a single off the accompanying mixtape for "Inside A Change" that will also feature the likes of Wale, Consequence, Royce Da 5'9", Memphis Bleek and Joell Ortiz as well as production from Illmind, Statik Selektah and The Kickdrums. You'll be able to grab that mixtape later on this July....For more info on the movie visit: http://www.three21media.com/insideachange/


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Single: DJ Deadeye ft. Tony Touch, Termanology & Ea$y Money - Wild Puerto Ricans

New banger off of resident ST The Squad record spinner DJ Deadeye's upcoming album "Substance Abuse"....

Featuring one of ST's best emcee's in Ea$y Money, their ring leader Termanology and feasibly the greatest Latino DJ/emcee/producer of all time in Tony Toca all at the top of their game's, "Wild Puerto Ricans" is destined for heavy rotation...

This joint personifies a dope Hip-Hop song with Latino influences and despite perhaps a lil' bit of a lowborn title (a week after Sotomayor gets Supreme court judgeship fellas? really?) the music itself is incredible....

Any real head will be drawn in by the crazy Spanish sample loop as well as the ill Spanglish verses that get kicked by an all-star, all-Boriqua set of MC's. For awhile Term has cooled off with the notable and quotable verses, but the one he unleashes here def. qualifies as memorable and it didn't even come close to the heat Toca came wit....

It's a damn shame that Joell Ortiz couldn't come through and bless this track like Deadeye initially promised....Would've rounded things out nicely...



Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water (Advance Copy)

Despite the sensational six-man group known as Jurassic 5 breaking a lot of hearts when they officially disbanded in 07', many of their faithful followers have continued to keep tabs on their respective career's. One of the members inparticuliar, Chali 2na, has long been the steadfast fan favorite. The baritone voiced MC who's stage name is a reference to the Starkist Tuna mascot "Charlie", first got a dose of how popular his work actually was after the release of his widely acclaimed "Fish Market" mixtape that saw him successfully drop a more than worthy effort w/o a heavy influence from his J5 boys. It was no masterpiece, but it effectively set the stage for Chali's new, official solo debut "Fish Outta Water" that comes almost 6 years later.

I have decided to post up the advance for "Fish Outta Water" in an effort to drum up some buzz for an emcee that deserves a chance to do his numbers. Chali is hands down one of the most inventive, honest and positive artist's to ever come out of L.A. or Chicago, do yourself a favor and get familiar with his music...

You'll be able to purchase the retail version of Chali 2na's "Fish Outta Water" on July 7th...


01. Get Focused ( 1:52)
02. International (feat. Beenie Man) ( 3:31)
03. So Crazy ( 3:59)
04. Lock Shit Down (feat. Talib Kweli) ( 3:42)
05. Don't Stop (feat. Anthony Hamilton) ( 3:11)
06. Keep Goin' (feat. Choklate) ( 3:49)
07. Comin' Thru ( 3:29)
08. F.O.W. ( 2:09)
09. Love's Gonna Getcha ( 3:53)
10. Righteous Way ( 4:02)
11. When Will I See You Again (feat. Elzhi) ( 3:48)
12. Guns Up (feat. Damian Marley & Stephen Marley ( 4:52)
13. Graff Time ( 3:00)
14. Controlled Coincidence (feat. Kanetic Source) ( 3:29)
15. 4 Be Be (feat. Ming Xia) ( 4:52)


Single: Kev Brown - Another Random Joint

The Landover, Maryland beatsmith/MC known to his loyal fans as Kev Brown keeps the hoards of real and underground Hip-Hop aficionados inspirited with a new leak titled "Another Random Joint", that just absolutely exudes the whole aura of credible beatmaking and polished crate digging.

Kev reworks some long forgotten and inauspicious vinyl record into a glorious sound bed ripe for his easy going and smooth vocals...The absence of any programmed drums is dually noted...Kev opts instead to just let the piece's original percussion sounds fall into place...masterful.

Fittingly Kev is currently said to be prepping his new project that goes by the same mantra "Random Joints", from which this new single evidently was plucked, for release this coming Fall (crosses fingers).



Video: Braille - Skepticold

Filmed in Stump Town, AKA Portland Oregon "Skepticold is the new vid from underground dignitary Braille, who also hails from the temperate, rainy city that over the past couple of years has seen a boom in noteworthy Hip-Hop acts.

Directed by Liz Vice, this offering that originates from Braille's latest LP "Cloud Nineteen" and finds the MC exploring the pitfalls, self-doubt and road blocks he experiences as an artist...


Single: Krondon - For A Fee Freestyle

The West Coast's hardest albino Krondeezy comes through and blesses us with his new freestyle over The Alchemist produced, CNN banger "Follow The Dollar". "For A Fee" is a pretty solid effort for just a freestyle I gotta say and does do an effective job of reeling you in with Kron's trademark delivery and hardcore stylings....His voice is easily becoming one of the most recognizable in the game, that's huge....

"For A Fee" is supposedly off that upcoming Krondon solo project "Let Him Live" due out on the 2nd of July....No official word on that date, but keep it in mind....



Single: Tame One - Press Rewind

Here's a fresh leak off of Tame's new "Acid Tab Vocab" LP, which you'll be able to pick up as a digital only download on Tuesday via Amalgam Digital (one of the dopest new labels out there!).

Boasting a wild chorus and a familiar, always welcome sample "Press Rewind" raises my hopes for Tame's new effort. Picking up right where his new video "Anxiety Attacks" left off, the one time member of The Weathermen gives us a performance that's something like a cross between Sean Price and Kool Keith, with equal parts wonkyness and skill. Make sure you peep this and be sure to go download Tame's new 12 track Album "Acid Tab Vocab" on Tuesday from www.AmalgamDigital.com, when you DL there you'll get hooked up with bonus content...


Friday, June 19, 2009

LRG Presents...Wale & 9th Wonder - Back To The Feature

After initial impressions of his poppy work I wasn't a Wale fan. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of D.C. artist's and the city in general, but "Nike Boots" never, ever got any play ova here. After bumpin' Wale's new mixtape "Back To The Feature" however, I might bebeginning to warm up to his musical chops a bit more. Now the cynical part of me attributes my sudden change of heart to the fact that this extensive new tape is mostly produced by 9th Wonder and lets face it, I'm a straight fiend for 9th's beats.....With further investigation though, I discovered I've been grossly unfair to the chocolate city scribe....

While I haven't fully dug into this tape the way I did "The Black Album" or anything, a pretty good once over reveals that Wale definitely has his moments on the mic. I would also venture as far as to say that a huge selling point for the release is the fact that it features Wale alongside a different guest MC(s) on every track (hence the title). It sort of comes off sounding like a new 9th Wonder compilation, which we all know is something the public is clamoring for. Smart business decision on Wale's part to recognize the high marketability of an effort like this and a producer like 9th, who's connections no doubt were heavily utilized to recruit this virtual all-star lineup of MC's....

Wale teaming with Joe Budden for "Tito Santana" probably will get the consensus nod as being the illest track on the whole tape, but before you co-sign ya boys when they allege that, be sure to peep the Mark Ronson produced heat rock "Pot Of Gold", that features Daniel Merriweather. Don't know about you guys, but that's the typa shit that I wanna hear Wale making.... While your likely to find yourself checking the tracklisting numerous times throughout your monitoring, trying in vain to figure out what MC is on what track, take note that Wale did also spotlight some lesser known, but just as capable talent in Duffy, Mike Posner, Kingpin Slim and Daniel Merriweather, so don't lose them in the shuffle of bigger names....

Another track that I'm sure will generate some chatter amongst friends and critics alike is "Nothing To Worry About", if for nothing else it's genre-blurring qualities that seem to be the vogue way to experiment in Hip-Hop nowadays...It wasn't my cup of tea, but I applaud Wale for trying out new musical progressions.....

"Back To The Feature" is my surprise pick of the month man.....really was impressed by the consistency here...and all while Wale is away in Turkey, apparently "preserving Hip-Hop" no less...(lol, listen to the tape and you'll get it).

Big time props has to go to 9th for always having such an open mind for who he works with....I admit fully that when I heard he was doing this tape with Wale I didn't exactly jump up and down, nor did I expect it to be this well done. So yeah, egg on my face and everyone else's who prematurely shoots down peculiar collaborations. For now Wale can bask in light of the fact that he's certainly changed more than a few minds about his creative wherewithal. Perhaps his long-range goals indeed are to some degree more euphonious and less monetary than I first estimated...no question they are here anyway.....



News: Legendary Graff Artist Iz The Wiz Passes Away

Michael Martin AKA Iz The Wiz, a luminary in the NYC graff scene in the late 80's and early 90's suffered a heart attak early wednesday at his brother's Florida home and subsequently died due to later complcations....

The one time president of the legendary graff crew the Master Blasters had his graffitti art featured in galleries across the world....Martin was 49 years old.


Upcoming June & July Drops!!

I figured I'd try to make a little bit of sense of the upcoming Hip-Hop release dates this month and in July for everyone that is still buying the albums....

Below I've listed all the albums you should have on your radar and the day they'll be available.....As always release dates are subject to change and I would imagine many more albums will be added soon, but judging by what is already on the docket, Summer is kicking off well....

Available Now:
Marco Polo & Torae - Double Barrel
J Dilla - Jay Stay Paid
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
L.E.G.A.C.Y. - Suicide Music
Toki Wright - A Different Mirror
Soulbrotha - Collector's Item
D-Block - No Security
The Jacka - Tear Gas
Scheme - The Manifesto EP
Scienz Of Life - Leviathan

June 23rd:
Green Lantern and Dead Prez - Pulse Of The People
Soul Assassins - Intermission
U-God - Dopium
Grand Puba - Retroactive
SoulStice & SBe Present...Beyond Borders
Jedi Mind Tricks - Greatest Features
Tame One - Acid Tab Vocab

June 30th:
DJ JS-1 - Ground Original 2: No Sellout
Blaq Poet - The Blaqprint
DJ SPinna - Sonic Smash
Wu-Tang Clan - Chamber Music
Naledge - Chicago Picasso
Kurious Jorge - II
Cunninlynguists - Strange Journey Volume One
Maino - If Tommorrow Comes

July 7th:
The Alchemist - Chemical Warfare
Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water
Cage - Depart From Me
Maxwell - BLACKsummer's Night
J Dilla - Dillanthology 2: Dilla's Remixes

July 14th:
Chubb Rock & Wordsmith - Bridging The Gap
La Coka Costra - A Brand You Can Trust
Declaime (aka Dudley Perkins) - Holy Smokes

July 21st:
Eyedea & Abilities - By The Throat
Killer Mike Presents - Underground Atlanta

Video: The Alchemist & OhNo (Gangrene) - Under SIege

"Under Siege" is the cleverly shot new vid from Gangrene (AKA L.A. Hip-Hopper's Alchemist and OhNo), off of the Alchemist's new LP "Chemical Warfare", that's currently set to drop on July 7th....

Making use of mounds of old news video's that covered the L.A. riots Al and OhNo super impose their bodies onto the chaotic footage that took place back in the 90's and left L.A. with the reputation as America's number one, for real, don't give a fuck city....I think that title was wrangled away from them a short time later by Baltimore or D.C., I can't remember but I digress.....

Despite perhaps being in a lil' bit of bad taste, Al and OhNo do manage to add a lil' bit of artistic levity to the otherwise just plainly horrific and stereotyped stock footage. I do realize that maybe a few people that lost their businesses, property and maybe even loved ones in the riots might not at all find "Under Siege" in the least bit entertaining or laughable though.....My mother actually fled L.A. after the Watts riots so believe me I understand the sensitivity toward the video and I want people to understand that....I doubt that Ohno and Al are trying to ruffle anyone's feathers deliberately, and even if they did I doubt they'd give a shit, they're artist's, so just keep that in mind before you go writing letters or tweets or making snide lil' comments or whatever it is you kids do now....Gangrene is just showing people the conditions that they grew up around and saw everyday back then, and adding their music....No harm done...right?


Single: Slaughterhouse ft. M.O.P. - Woodstock

The first, official leak from the new and highly promising Slaughterhouse album is here and I could think of no better group to accompany Joell, Royce, Joe and Crooked than the duo who's name is practically synonymous with hardcore music...That's right, the Mash Out Posse is in the area!!

Titled "Woodstock", this high energy goldmine of hardcore metaphors and hard-boiled MCing will give you an adequate peek into the razor edged content that we all hope and I'm sure the approaching album will contain....

Props to Budden for leaking this onto the net, it's already circulating like wildfire, I hope that translates into sales for the fellas....Their self-titled debut LP drops on August 11th....



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raheem Devaughn - Art Of Noise

On Monday the self proclaimed "neo-soul, hippie, rock star" Raheem Devaughn released his latest project "Art Of Noise" 100% free for the fans and after a lil' bit of time to get familiar with it I have to say that the effort defines diverse. The man many of you I'm sure only know through his collabs with Little Brother and other J Leaguer's truly has delivered a unique drop and now it's here for your listening pleasure.

A very broad and all-encompassing musical selection, is what I think to write when trying to describe "Art Of Noise". A great excursion into modern R&B vocalization and how more and more it's being coupled with high brow Hip-Hop production to create a whole new genre that has the groove of your favorite soul classic, but with a modern sing songy twist.

Raheem shoots for the stars and damn near takes out a whole constellation as he belts conscious songclaves with a true singer's grace and gives you a warm and very hip collection of tunes that are acceptable material for any occasion, from back yard family barbeque's to daunting early morning drives to work, not that I'd know anything about the latter though....

Enlisting the production talents of Cool And Dre, Supreme, AB, Kev Brown and Jamil "Face" Johnson (who's beats really shine on this btw) the sound arrangements are varied and Devaughn proves unafraid to go anywhere subject wise. Covering the usual R&B topics of love, spirituality and even at times taking you to church with some very gospel'esque efforts our southern warbler mesmorizes......Sometimes however that go anywhere, do anything musical attitude works against him, i.e. "Club Hop" with T-Pain, but overall "Art Of Noise", I think, will prove to be the most exalted, uproarious racket many R&B and Hip-Hop heads alike have heard in quite some time.....



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

News: Tru Life's Brother At The Center Of NYPD Shooting/Stabbing Investigation

The NYPD is alleging that the rapper Tru Life's brother and several other men may have killed a Teenager and left another seriously injured...

Apparently investigators are saying that in the early morning on June 16th five men ambushed two men in a Manhattan Apartment complex as retaliation for the shooting of Michael Slater, who the New York Daily news is labeling a "drug dealer".

The NYPD says the five men were waiting in parked cars outside the E. 26th St. building and jumped out and began their assault when they saw the two victims enter the complex lobby at just around 9:30 AM.

The aftermath of the premeditated violence left the two men with multiple stab wounds to their chests and faces.

One of the victims has been identified as thirty yr. old Jason Black, who miraculously survived. The other victim, an eighteen yr. old who has yet to be identified, died on the operating table.

The attack was evidently prompted by a 4 AM shooting outside Pacha night club. The shooting left Slater with wounds to his abdomen and in serious condition at Bellvue Hospital. Apparently that shooting stemmed from the ongoing feud between Tru-Life and Black, who coincidentally is also in Bellvue hospital in stable condition.


Single: Slaughterhouse - Green Lantern Invasion Freestyle Session

I don't usually post satellite radio rips, but this 18 minute lashing that took place on Green Lantern's Invasion show is more than worthy of being posted up despite the quality being a lil' bit shotty. If for nothing else, peep it out for the brazen and obvious shots that are taken at a couple of the game's best in Method Man and Edo G., perpetrated by Royce Da 5'9" and Joe Budden.

While Royce slang much more tempered and subliminal jabs at Edo G., Budden took his recent back and forth Internet video squabbling with Method Man to the next expected level and discharged a few clear and present blows that are plainly geared toward prodding the Staten Island Wu member into a lyrical counter attack, conveniently only a month or so before the new Slaughterhouse LP is set to be released.

All beef aside it was Joell's utter disregard for the mic that stole the show as he relentlessly went in and broke off a plethora of ferocious bars. I was somewhat disappointed by Crooked's effort; he stumbled early and often and when he finally did seem to get it going the show concluded....Not to worry though I know on August 11th we'll all get what we've been waiting on, from Crooked or otherwise, when the Slaughterhouse cats drop their new LP....Til' then we'll all be keeping a watchful eye on Meth and Edo to see if they give in to the North Korean-like instigations of Budden and Royce.


50 Cent - War Angel LP

When I first heard 50 Cent's music about 10 years ago he was a witty street kid from South Jamaica Queens who was desperately trying to break into the rap game. He was a hungry, versatile and skilled MC that created a classic, Hardcore LP in "Power Of The Dollar" with the legendary production team The Trackmasters. The album being shelved and barely re-couping any monies in lew of 50 being shot 9 times no doubt stung Fif', for the effort he did put in was excellent. Despite the album's commercial failure, critically it was, and still is hailed as his best work ever and to me it even eclipsed his mega selling "Get Rich Or Die Trying" LP that still had traces of his old technique.

It's commonly known among early 50 fans that his current projects quite frequently venture into the realm of uber commercialism, materialism and every other "ism" you can think of. Trading in his hardcore roots for Tyson's old mansion in Connecticut, a string of poorly picked movie roles and a net worth that has Donald Trump appearing on his mixtapes, many of his old fans that discovered his music through songs like "Ghetto Qu'ran", "Gun Runner" and "Corner Bodega" have largely abandoned any hopes that he would ever be the same MC that created an album like "Power Of The Dollar".

Fast forward to the 16th of June 2009:

We have a brand new and free album from Curtis Jackson that proposes the Vitamin Water king is in fact returning to his edgier style of recording for a time. In recent interviews Fif' has been quoted as saying "He wants to bring Hardcore Hip-Hop back.". No doubt a slight promotion for "War Angel", his new LP that takes a much harder line than anything he's dropped in the past year or two.

I gave it a listen and I can say with much certainty, this is not one of fif's many excursions into trying to land a radio single or crossover with a club hit. "War Angel", is 13 track release that does hint of him rapidly retuning to his artistic glory days, that sadly really only lasted for about a 3 or 4 year window. Although his material here is hardcore, it still is missing that classic delivery and the whimsical street influence that he was so good at relaying in days past. I wanted to bump "War Angel" and be transported back to 2000 when 50 was still largely unknown and under the tutelage of Jammaster Jay, churning out banger after banger that easily transcended the all too orthodox crack slingin' and gun toting rap references of the day. Instead I was hit with a rash of songs that fell into the categories of either sounding rushed or lacking anything impressive in the lyrical department that would prompt me to re-vist this a day or two after running through it.

I support fif's decision to take things in a new (or old rather) direction, but there's still a lot of evidence that his time spent ridin' with the softies responsible for his GQ cover shoot replaced his old writing and song crafting regimen. The man is shaking off a serious coat of rust to try and re-connect with his one time fans who have already moved on to more consistent hardcore headliners. "War Angel" feels more like an exercise in getting back into the swing of things than a real return of a once great street poet.


1. I Line Niggas
2. Talking in Codes
3. OK
4. You're Right
5. Redrum (Murder)
6. C.R.E.A.M. 2009
7. I'll Do Anything
8. London Girl
9. Better Come On Your A Game
10. Get the Message
11. Cocaine f. Robin Thicke
12. I Gotta Win
13. Mixtape (Outro)


Single: Diz Gibran - Dark End Of The Street (prod. by Moonshine)

Poignant and expressive new single from L.A. newcomer Diz Gibran titled "Dark End Of The Street", that effectively takes a look at the grim realities faced by the cursed underclasses of Cali.

Teaming again with Queens based producer Moonshine, who handled the bulk of the workload on Gibran's latest LP "Soon You'll Understand", the two explode once again with an unapologetic look into the other perspective of Los Angeles. Evoking powerful images of his past that largely is filled with mis-spent time on the street, Gibran slings hardcore references and cautionary rhymes around with a balanced pace and believable fervor. While the rest of the world equates southern Cali with those two un-talented deuschbags Spencer and Heidi, Gibran provides the more intrinsic view.

Forcefully and successfully, Diz matches the intensity of the soulful Moonshine production, which in and of itself is very impressive. All in all a great single that correctly reps all angles.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Video: Nipsey Hussle - Strapped

New video from upstart L.A. emcee Nipsey Hussle that clearly and skillfully puts authentic west coast Hip-Hop in the spotlight. With a presence that reminds me eerily of a young Snoop Doggy Dog, The South Central bred, hardcore lyricist who's accent reeks of southern Cali, puts a good foot forward with older heads as he embraces his region's true sound through his brand new video for "Strapped".

Co-directors Big U and D Sikorski give the vid it's character mainly by filming using gorilla style tactics, i.e. on their own budget and using their own camera....No better way to do it in my opinion honestly....Without a doubt I've been sleeping on Nipsey and now will have to keep in depth tabs on his progress as he navigates through the crowded world of L.A. Hip-Hop...


Single: Blaq Poet ft. MC Eiht & Young Maylay - Ain't Nuttin Changed (Queensbridge to California Remix)

In an effort to no doubt create even more buzz for his already humming upcoming release "The Blaqprint", Queensbridge MC Blaq Poet recruits one of L.A.'s all-time great's and one of it's best new young prospects for a well executed remix of the LP's shimmering single "Ain't Nuttin Changed"....

Assisting Poet with some of his better and more memorable new material MC Eiht sheds light on just what could be achieved if those rumors about him and Primier working on an album together are true. Maylay Sparks also added a touch that is uniquely southern Cali and really between him and Eiht's performances Poet got out shined a lil' bit....but, Shhhh, don't tell nobody.....The idea to do a NY to L.A. type of remix is dope and being a son of the mid and late 90's myself, I think it should happen more often at the highest levels....

On the 30th of this month Poe's anticipated solo debut "The Blaqprint" finally will be released....



Video: Tame One - Anxiety Attacks

New Jeru native and formerly one half of The Artifacts, MC extraordinaire Tame One emerges with his surreal new Video for "Anxiety Attacks". Filled with Tame's dense verbal attack and pictures of him spazzing out on the sidewalk, this is an interesting look from Amalgam Digital and director Derek Pike at a rambling type of song and how you provide a sort of drunken view of the narrative. I would assume this is off of Tame's upcoming new project "Acid Tab Vocab" that is scheduled for release later this year on Amalgam Digital.


News: Blame One Ends His Rap Career

San Diego based and longtime underground Hip-Hop artist Blame One recently announced via his Myspace page that he would no longer pursue a career in rap.

The veteran wordsmith who has released four official solo LP's, collaborated heavily with the left coast's best and who has been representing Daygo professionally since 1998 commented on his recent decision:

"I feel very content with the work I have released, especially my last two albums. I feel that its time for me to try my hand at a new venture. I never set out to rhyme to reach stardom, only for my words to be effective in reaching others. I feel that I have accomplished that."

While Blame hinted that he wasn't totally finished performing onstage here and there, the father of two did state that at the end of this month he would no longer be "writing raps, recording, doing collabs or shows....just to be clear".

This news comes as somewhat of a surprise to this blogger, considering the great reception that his latest LP "Days Chasing Days" generated on the web....Either way I respect his decision and wish him well in whatever new endeavors he may choose to take on.....

If you wanna peep out Blame's entire statement check out the link:


DJ JS-1 - Ground Original 2 "No Sellout" Sampler

Aaight, So I've been hypin this project for a minute and now that I've heard the new sampler for JS-1's "Ground Original 2", I must officially say that this LP is by far the most extensive and well put together compilation of 09'....

Hands down people are gonna get spoiled man...We're talkin over 40 of the underground/hardcore Hip-Hop scene's best vets and brightest new stars all getting together to rhyme over JS's authentic and stripped down production....The numerous amounts of precise cutting on choruses is an added bonus as well....

This sampler is the warm up to get you ready for an Lp that will no doubt contend for the title of album of the year. Enjoy the snippets and in a week or so when it drops head over to the Fat Beats website or ya local record store and cop!



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Single: Raekwon ft. M.O.P. & Kool G Rap - Ill Fgures

The second helping from the Wu's forthcoming new album "Chamber Music" features Wu general Raekwon teaming up with hardcore Hip-Hop royalty in M.O.P. and Kool G Rap for the mid 90's inspired "Ill Figures"....

Over a beat that sounds like it could have been straight up lifted off some obscure 12" from 95', Rae takes part in totally wrecking shop with his Brooklyn and Queens brethren. Over an eerie and perfectly placed bassline the technically sharpened skills of the rap vets are flexed like a Boa's grip. The beat is minimal and great, perfect for serious emceeing....

Many thought that it would be hard for the first single off the Chamber Music LP "Harbor Masters" that featured an inspired Ghostface and AZ, to be topped, but fortunately it's successor has unequivocally done just that....

"Wu-Tang Chamber Music" is shaping up to be a real beast of an LP and is doing so mostly with little to no promo....On the 30th of this month it's my estimation that Wu fans will get their Clan's best LP since "Forever"....