Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Smoking Section Presents Señor Kaos – Walk Softly & Carry A Big Brick

Widely considered the brightest MC to come up outta the ATL since Stat Quo, Señor Kaos (who actually is bred outta Brooklyn, NY) has been making folks within Hip-Hop listen with a heady flow and energetic lyrics for a good while now....If you just are beginning to hear the buzz surrounding this cat then play catch up with his brand new mixtape "Walk Softly & Carry A Big Brick".

Primarily vested in the practice of representing that good ole' art of real emceeing, Kaos' new project is not his first big Indy success. In fact, if your up on ya stuff than his “Swagger Is Nothing, Talent Is Everything” project from late 2008 should have properly introduced you to his sure shot rhyming. Here, Kaos packs a heavy punch once again and links with a host of the underground's illest talent on the boards (Large Professor, DJ Spinna, 9th Wonder, Von Pea, Jake One, 2 Hungry Bros) and on the mic (Bun B, Wale, Punchline, John Robinson, Homeboy Sandman).

This effort is a mighty one and Señor's witty rhymes come together awesomely over well selected beats. The production is a major selling point no doubt, but don't sleep on Kaos' subtle knack for intelligent, yet ultra cool bars. He kind of has one of those flows that sounds like it's murder to deliver, but manages to pull it off so effortlessly.

The young rhymer is one of my favorite fresh new names out there and I'm happy he's putting "Walk Softly & Carry A Big Brick" out, which BTW as he explains it means "to stay focused, strong in one’s convictions and to do so without being seen as a threat". It's also a play on the much re-used and re-vamped Teddy Roosevelt quote "Speak softly and carry a big stick.", but hey, it's Hip-Hop, we sample and re-work it all, including sayings from early 1900's presidents.

All in all I definitely dig the effort, only shortcoming I felt it suffered was the ever-ubiquitous overdosing on letting unknown and perhaps un-ready posse members, homeboys or possibly even weed carriers jump on one too many tracks. Kaos, I'm sure your a nice guy, but come on, sometimes you gotta let ya mans and them know that they need to just chill and let you handle ya B.I.. Although a bit annoying, it doesn't take away from the tape's overall enjoyability...

A worthwhile 7 1/2 outta 10.


News: Royce Da 5′9 Confirms That Slaughterhouse Is In Talks With Shady Records

Last week Hot 97's Miss Info AKA Shortee that used to write for the Source, reported that Slaughterhouse was in talks with Shady records and would soon sign on with the label. Today Royce Da 5'9" has confirmed such reports.

In an interview with MTV (booo!!) the Detroit wordsmith admitted that the talks were ongoing, but no solid deal had been met just yet:

It's very much what it looks like," Royce said of rumors of their alliance with Eminem. "That's always a possibility. It's conversations being had, very good conversations. I just did an interview recently and they asked me to a address the rumors. I said, 'Rumors are what they are, people see things and they jump to a conclusion.' I never said it wasn't going to happen -- I left it right there in the middle. I think it would be a great thing if it could happen.

Although mostly restrained with his comments, Royce did seem to lean toward our suspicions later on:

I've been talking to Em and Paul for a long time," Royce added. "With this particular situation, things are falling into place. Everything is in place where it's supposed to be. I'm very prepared [for] when the opportunity presented itself. It's a time where there's things they need over here and certain things we need in order to move over there. I think it's a good marriage. Like I said, I just hope it can happen

I'm happy for the Slaughterhouse fellas, signing with Shady gets you instant notoriety and with notoriety usually comes a lil' bit of opportunity, so in that respect big ups and much success if it does in fact happen. I'm afraid being the pessimistic bastard that I am though, I do gotta mention the fact that Shady Records has started to sort of fall into the same category as Em's mentor's label...that being one that routinely grabs up talent and then has em' sit on the shelf for years, and then promptly releases them. Shiiiet, Joell Ortiz just got released from Aftermath, I know he's gotta be feeling a tad bit weary of re-signing to a label so close to the one that pushed him out the door. Then again, I think that Dre did keep his writing contract going or something, so who knows how he feels on the situation. In the end I hope these bruthas get a good deal and are allowed to release another record in a timely fashion....


Lee Bannon - The Checkpoint Mixtape

Sacramento based producer Lee Bannon gathers together some of his finest assists as well as a few new looks and gets up with DJ Flow for a new mixtape titled "The Checkpoint".

Bannon is a capable beatmaker who's diverse soundscapes usually combine laid back soul with head nodding boom bap drum arrangements. Here we find him linking up with a grip of dope MC's from both coasts and making heady Hip-Hop.

Most of the joints that Bannon hands to cats get special themes and are immensely creative. No question there is some crooning going on, but with a Hip-Hop twist...

I like Bannon's style...his mixtape earns a solid 7 outta 10...


The Return Part 2 feat. U-N-I, Talib Kweli, Zion I & Sha Stimuli
Winter Coat feat. Willie The Kid
Painted Gold feat Zion I & Uptown Swuite
Wanna Be Rapper feat. Trife Diesel
The Climb feat C Plus
Break Up feat Saigon
Out For Me feat Poor
Vitamin B feat U-N-I & Curtains
Lions For Lambs feat S.O.L.
Whats Your Zodiac feat The Jacka & Phil The Agony
Whats In feat Poor
What's The Answer feat Termanology & Ea$y Money

Video: The Roots - How I Got Over

Coming about 4 months after the MP3 leak, now we have the video to The Roots' "How I Got Over", that precedes their 9th album of the same title that is now dropping in February of 2010.

Directed by BBgun, the visuals for this joint combine perfectly with Black Thought's poignant words, giving a funky, yet all too realistic view of what the current situation is out on them damn streets.

This struck a real chord with me man.....Really, it's one of the most honest and on-point songs/video's that's been done in a minute. While the rest of the game tries to convince the world that we're still living ghetto fabulous and doing well, the actual story is far more bleek...This great recession has had a lot of folks, especially those in the inner city fucked up for years now (scuse' my french) living ineffectual lives by force and I think it's about high time that Hip-Hoppers stopped posturing with all this consumerism and start using the one thing that we still got--our music, to scream out the injustice to whoever will still listen.

Big time props go out to The Roots for making something that is equally heartfelt and piercing.


The Black Sunn - The Sunn Is Black A Prelude To Godsound

Here's something that you Damu The Fudgemunk beat freaks are gonna dig...

Damu, ever the elusive collaborator, has teamed with Bmore native MC Black Sunn for an exclusive 6 track EP which is available for free download. As the cover clearly states this is a warm up for Black's new album "Godsound" that will be dropping on October 27th. According to Black, he's been busy crafting this release since the Summer time and after listening I am pretty impressed with his labors.

Packed with Damu's soulful and funky production, Black works his lyrical dexterity into the co-pilot seat. Wisdom kicking, honest hindsight and a bit of celestial musings comprise most of Sunn's witty style and create his magnetism on the mic. In spots he is a more than apt counterpart to Damu's raw techniques, and in other spots he sounds darted and all over the place. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily, you just sort of get the feeling that he's capable of more focus. Nevertheless, he is still a far more interesting MC than most mixtape rappers now and his uptake of real Hip-Hop traditions bodes well with this golden ager...

Black Sunn makes a short and effective impression and I can't wait for "Godsound".

Highly enjoyable, it gets an 8 outta 10...


News: Rumors Swirl About Nas Taking Def Jam Presidency

Recently, Nasty Nas did an interview with and spoke on some of the rampant rumors that surround him.

Denying that he'd ever been asked to contribute to Raekwon's new album "Only Built For Cuban Linx II" as well as Jay's "Blueprint III" record, the somewhat standoffish interview progressed into the territory of Presidency jobs. Def Jam Presidency's that is....

Commenting on whether or not he'd been offered the job to take over as the big wig at Def Jam records, he simply stated "Yes and no.”.

Expanding on what exactly he meant Nas said this:

“I don’t know what’s in store in the future. I’m happy to do whatever makes sense. I would love to add on and help Hip Hop. I feel like Def Jam is a great label for Hip Hop music, but I feel like it could be doing a lot more for Hip Hop. Obviously people there have their own agendas and have their own direction, and I respect that too. At this point and time, I’m just taking it day by day. I’m not getting too caught up in that.”

Hmmmmm....A Lil' bit of misdirection Nasir? I think so...In my humble opinion it sounds like he is willing to step on board, but only if L.A. Reid is dually willing to give him some breathing room in the signing and creative processes. I mean yeah, Nas is known for committing a few blunders career-wise, but he's also a cat that always tried to put out music that was real to him and had a message...."You Owe Me" and "Oochie Wally" not included....I think he could really change the face of Def Jam from being a rest heaven to southern Trap rappers and tired R&B songstresses to what it once was; a solid home for the best and most diverse MC's in America.

I'm thrilled by this prospect, and I also am thinking that Raekwon's recent success with a real album of authentic Hip-Hop has something to do with Def Jam exploring the idea of bringing on a president that has a prominent history making serious, conscious and hardcore music. Maybe it's gonna happen, maybe not...I'll be sure to keep ya'll posted either way.

While we're on the topic too, just wanted to say again, R.I.P. to Shakir Stewart, the Vice President of Def Jam who committed suicide last year in November.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Single: Cormega - Make It Clear (prod. by DJ Premier)

"Born And Raised" has really been generating some nice buzz today on the net and I'm sure the leak of this joint will only add fuel to the fire....

Linking up with one of the numerous legendary producers that appears on the new album, Mega taps Premo for a surefire banger and lets off that trademark rambling flow, filled with poignant wisdom, vivid imagery and slick NBA references....It gets no better than this children, two of the very best in their respective pursuits collaborating for the first time and hitting a walk-off home run....

Really, "Make It Clear" is a very impressive outing from one 90's era MC that managed to retain both his rhyming potency as well as his ear for beats. mega continues to drop utter heat in the mist of so much garbage....well done Corey..


Singles: The Closers - Heroin Bars (ft. NYoil) East Coast Renaissance (ft. Reks), Get Down Or Lay Down, Rugged Rugged (All produced by Thorotracks)

If your a connoisseur of hardcore, rugged, east coast Hip-Hop than be sure to do a double take on this post, as I bring you the first four singles from the new and highly anticipated (especially in the underground) group, The Closers. Made up of one time Rawkus Records all-star Shabaam Sahdeeq, MC Red Eye and the dope, dope production duo of The Thorotracks these cats have a formula that would make Doctor Octopus flinch hard...

Backed up by the two of NY's (Queens to be exact) best new Boom Bapist's Sam and Jay who make up the Thorotracks, Red Eye and S-Dub weave together hard edge opus's that are focused sharply on making heads turn and knuckles clench. Moral champion NYoil assists on the latest single drop "Heroin Bars", while Beantown lyricist Reks hands in a nice verse on "East Coast Renaissance". Providing us with artwork for all 4 singles was a nice your duty, peep these and when their debut record drops pick that up as well....


Heroin Bars ft. NYoil:

East Coast Renaissance ft. Reks:

Get Down Or Lay down:

Rugged Rugged:

Video Interview: KRS-One Says Def Jam Ruined Hip-Hop?

Recently, The Teacha was flagged down for an interview at the latest VH1 Hip-Hop Honors red carpet and what would ensue would be both puzzling and truthful.

In all of his contradictory greatness Kris manages to make a lot of good points and almost simultaneously make an argument against them as well...You have to be a long-time KRS fan to truly appreciate this kinda interview yo...

As far as his accusations about the Def Jam label being the main culprit for the obliteration of Hip-Hop...Hmmmmm, I don't think so...Sure they sold out, but only as much as the other huge labels did and yes, we all wish they'd pump more skilled and less mainstream acts nowadays, but hey, real Hip-Hop, contrary to popular belief is still alive. Despite the fact that it's not being pumped in the mainstream anymore, your an adult and you should be able to find it easily if you try, as well as purchase and support it. Just don't go looking at Clear Channel or in a Best Buy (yuck, yuck, yuck). I'm sorry, I just can't assign all the blame to DJ, it ain't fair.

In the end we owe a good portion of this culture's past glory to labels like Def Jam, no matter how far they continue to fall...So nah, I'mma have to decline a co-sign for Kris on this one....Just barely though.

Wow, BIG D O siding with the mega corp instead of KRS? The world must be coming to an end...Swine Flu shots start on the 4th!


Single: Kam Moye - Lets Be Honest (prod. by Veterano)

Here we find Kam Moye AKA Supastition dropping the Veterano produced lead single "Lets Be Honest" from his new album.

Taking the title to heart, Kam speaks uber candidly about his life, the ups and downs that have come with it and the reality behind the music. Displaying his unwavering commitment to level headed Hip-Hop for the everyday man over a boisterous track from Veterano Kam shows a humility that far too often is absent from most MC's today. Refreshing is an understatement when applied to this MC's style, the same could be said for consistent. If your just now getting up on his music do yaself a favor and go cop "Chain Letters", "The Deadline", "7 Years Of Bad Luck" and "Gust Of Honor"....

Moye's latest LP "Splitting Image", is due out Oct. 27th.....


Monday, September 28, 2009

Interest Piece: Nas Pleads With The Youth By Writing Open Letter To Derrion Albert's Killers

If you've been paying attention to the news or have casually surfed the interwbez lately than you definitely should have bumped into the story/horrific footage of the murder of Derrion Albert, the 16 year old Chicago Honor student who was beaten to death on the south side of the city on Thursday by fellow students, for....well, nothing....

It always pains me heavily to see the utterly unabridged and callous nature that sometimes takes place in this country among the young and confused, but this story hurt in a new kind of way. I can only imagine the sheer terror and anguish that Albert's family and friends are currently suffering and probably will continue to suffer for some time. What was behind the savage attack? Apparently at Derrion's school there was some sort of feud between cliques and that drama came to a head this past Thursday when he was on his way to a bus stop and a violent melee between the factions broke out. Albert was struck and knocked unconscious by what seemed like totally random attackers. When he tried to collect himself and trail away he was again struck, this time by a railroad tie. Then in a cold-blooded and horrific turn of events Albert had his head stomped on repeatedly. He died a short time later. In the ultimate addition of insult to injury a memorial for Derrion was burned down.

I would later on read the comments from Albert's grandfather and be moved to tears; "This thing that happened to him is so horrific that we just don't know what we're going to do. We lost a really dear friend in my grandson. He was a blessed child. I don't know where all this anger come from these people today. That's just too much anger for someone to have in their heart. All I can do is, I'm going to pray for these people, I'm going to to pray for forgiveness."

It seems that I'm not the only writer that this story had an effect on. Entertainer and MC Nas has chimed in with his take on the "anger" that occupied the attackers (now identified as Eric Carson, Eugene Riley, Silvanus Shannon, and Eugene Bailey) and this may just be the best piece of material Nasir has dropped in some time...He speaks on how many of the mis-guided youth are fighting "the wrong war" and that in fact this in-fighting behavior has been going on for some time now. He ain't lyin' about that at all, and his level headed gesture is appreciated and needed. We need to alert the youth that going against each other is only playing into the wrong hands. Nas taking the opportunity to speak on a social level is what we need from our entertainers and leaders. This year the city of Chicago has seen a rapid rise in violence among it's youth to the point of making news and it's high time that someone spoke on it in a real way. I applaud Nas for what he tried to do here.

R.I.P. Derrion Albert


Nas's Open Letter:

Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong wars! Killing each other is definitely played out. Being hurt from the lost of a love one was never cool. Dear Young Warriors fighting the wrong war! I know that feeling , that frustration with life and needing to take it out on someone, any one. But….

We chose the dumbest things to go the hardest for. I remember seeing deaths over 8 ball jackets, fila’s , and name plate chains. Deaths over “he say she say”!!!!! “I’m from This block or I’m from that block”, or “my moms n pops is f*cked up now the whole world gotta pay”!!!

I remember feeling like I was the hardest “n*gga” breathin. And I couldn’t wait to prove it. But let’s think. What r we really proving?? And proving what to who?? Everybody knows Chicago breeds the strongest of the strong but I just feel, me, being ya brother from another state feels your pain as if I grew up with you in ya very own household.

You have the ability and mind power to change they way we are looked at. Look who’s watching us young warriors, look who’s throwin us in jail constantly, look at the ignorance in the world. Look at the racist dogs who love to see us down. Lovin to bury us in the ground or in jail were we continue this worthless war on one another. Young warriors…. We are WASTING more and more time. We gotta get on our jobs and take over the world. Cuz This movie left the theaters years ago, Juice, Menace, boys n the hood , blood n blood out, Belly!

When we see each other why do we see hatred? Why were we born in a storm, born soldiers, WARRIORS….and instead of building each other up we are at war with each other.. May the soul of this young person find peace with the almighty. I’m with you young warriors. You’re me and I’m you. But trust me! you are fighting the wrong war.


Single: Señor Kaos ft. Von Pea & Homeboy Sandman - 20 Years High & Rising (Homage To De La Soul)

Getting together with fellow promising new schoolers Homeboy Sandman and Von Pea, ATL's own Señor Kaos drops a new leak in homage to one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups of all-time, De La Soul.

Titled "20 Years High & Rising", we find our three rhymers spitting colorful and insightful bars over a wonky, yet dope Supa Dave West track. Kaos is wasting no time making an impression on true heads with music like this and I have to say everything he's put out thus far has impressed. I'm excited about what he has coming for us in the future and I must give him a big time nod for getting up with two of NY's new faces that shouldn't be ignored either in Sandman and Von Pea.

Kaos's new project "Walk Softly & Carry A Big Brick" (off which this is leaked) drops on Wednesday, be sure to snoop around for that...


Cormega - Urban Legend Mixtape Mixed by DJ Monky & Cosm Roks

Notable Queensbridge MC Cormega gives us all a peek of the light at the end of the tunnel by hittin' us in the head with his new mixtape "Urban Legend", that's aimed to prepare the masses for his much anticipated "Born And Raised" album that finally, finally is looking like it'll be available soon.

It makes perfect sense for Mega to drop this now while the rest of the net is in a tizzy over the "Born And Raised" snippets on Amazon....No thanks, I've learned my lesson about previewing early, and I'll be waiting patiently until the 20th of October when it drops officially before I partake.

This mix is for the most part just a refresher course in classic Mega, but only if you were up on your rare ish'. Comprised mainly of B-sides and guest features from Corey's catalog, don't expect a grip of exclusives. Instead, enjoy a solid MC's body of work and the dope mixing and DJing job from The Hip-Hop Project's DJ Monky & Cosm Roks, whom you should remember from many dope mixtape's including Stricklin's "Resume" and Freddie Foxxx's "Street Triumph".

Following those same kind of blueprints from those previous efforts Cosm and Monky mix the music together in the illest ways possible and add in a few new freestyles to boot...This is should be adequate enough to keep ya'll satiated before the 20th...Remember, Mega's a real artist and he deserves ya support! Go buy "Born And Raised" on October 20th.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Video Interview: Immortal Technique @ Amoeba In San Fran

Here's another dope sit down with our favorite revolutionary MC Immortal Technique, that took place while he was on one of his tour stops in San Francisco, CA at the famed Amoeba Music Store (said to be the largest Independent store in the country), giving folks an intimate performance....

During the interview, the always knowledgeable MC breaks down how he first started out in the industry slingin' CD's out his army jacket lining, touches on Mumia Abu-Jamal and breaks down his views of the music industry as a whole....Don't sleep.


Video: Carlos Nino & Lil' Sci ft. Invizible Handz - Circulate

New vid from the underground powerhouse duo of John Robinson AKA Lil' Sci and Carlos Nino that finds the pair doing Hip-Hop some justice via Carlos' production and Sci's wonderful MCing....

Invizible Handz jumps things off well, then hands off to Sci who guides the songs visuals and vocals into good territory, eluding a couple of well dressed men who I can only guess are agents within the Hip-Hop matrix. Liked the hazy shots and the Rakim, MF Doom and Wu-Tang album shots too....

Anyway, cool vid from an even doper record that was highly slept on last year....


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video: raekwon ft. Beanie Sigel & Blue Raspberry - Have Mercy

If your in the mood for a real, no frills, hardcore, grimey Hip-Hop vid than Rae and Beans got you...

For the official vid to "Have Mercy" Rae Rae and company get into some street shit, with the help of the Street Heat video team and Directors Littles (yes, that Littles) and WillC.

As the pain stoked vocals of longtime Wu songstress Blue Raspberry cascade across this modern masterpiece, the visuals harken back to better times when virtually every vid The Wu was making came out with that unforgettable 90's hardcore flavor and looked as if it was filmed by the guy that lived in the apartment upstairs rather than a legit director. Back then Rae wasn't really giving a flying duck whether or not the critics was feeling his vids, he did em' for his core audience and always won out that way.

"Have Mercy" doesn't stray too far from those original formula's that made the early Wu video's so memorable and that's the main reason I like it so much. Bump what is selling, and bump what's supposed to be "in", do it for the people. Rae's done just that here and Beans continues his streak of dope video performances as well with this cameo...

-BIG D O Presents Blue Sky Black Death - J(A)Y(Z)

The highly praised and equally deserving production duo from San Fran hits us off with some new remix madness just in time for the fall and winter...

"J(A)Y(Z)", the new remix project from Young God and Kingston that highlights some excellently re-worked Jiggman and AZ classics eclipses most remix efforts of 09' handily and showcases once again that the BSBD boys cinematic and intricately hardcore sound claves are second to none. Seriously, sleepin' on their skills at this point is unforgivable. The pair flawlessly redo joints from AZ like the opening track "AWOL" and give them an all new and even IMO, a better sound than the original....I think I was more partial to the AZ remixes. This is mainly due to the fact that last year had to of set some sort of record for Jay-Z remix projects.

Teaming up with the Lifeofvillians clothing site (which I think is their own line, but I'm not sure) to release this gem not only is smart marketing, but also will expose you to some pretty dope clothing [insert shameless plug for free gear here]....


Friday, September 25, 2009

DJ Eclipse - The Halftime Show Roc Raida Tribute

While many of us are still reeling from his shocking and untimely passing, DJ Eclipse and the good folks over at The Halftime radio show properly paid their respects to the DJing legend Roc Raida.

Eclipse runs through a bunch of tracks Raida produced/scratched on and opens up the phone lines to let a grip of Hip-Hop royalty call in and big up their friend one last time...classy tribute from Eclipse and company....


Eclipse's official statement:

On Sunday night I threw together a short Roc Raida tribute set at the beginning of my Sirius show. On Monday night Premier and I held our monthly “Like They Used To Say” party at APT which we dedicated to Roc Raida and were able to raise over $4,000 for his family. On Wednesday night I wanted to do a proper tribute show so I contemplated on what to do. As I compiled every song I could that Raida was featured on (production or scratches) I thought it would be better to reach out to his friends and get their take on what the man meant to them. What started out as a dozen or so people that I intended to talk to snowballed into phone call after phone call of friends wanting to share stories. Please forgive me if I left out someone’s name (or misspelled) in this email, but following is a list of who called or showed up at station (no particular order).

Boogie Blind, Daddy Dog, Roli Rho, Kuttin Kandi, Riz, JS-1, Jab, Sugar Cuts, Neil Armstrong, Fat Fingaz, Q-Bert, Mixmaster Mike, A-Trak, J-Rocc, Babu, Rhettmatic, Scratch, Revolution, Rahzel, Bobbito, A.G., Lord Finesse, Dr. Butcher, Vin Roc, DJ Grouch, Freestyle, Spictakular, Shortkut, Supreme and Tame One.

We ended up going an hour longer then we should have. In between calls I found some old cassette tapes of radio show appearances by the X-Men. I hope you enjoy listening to the show as much as I did. Thanks to the whole Halftime crew for making this run smooth; Skizz, Petey Cologne and Marz One. To everyone that showed up or called in….I love you all.

R.I.P. Grand Master Roc Raida. We’re going to miss you.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Single: William Cooper ft. Killah Priest - Cocaine Israelites

For all of us radical and militant minded folks we got a brand new single from one of the members of the Black Market Militia camp, William Cooper AKA Booth, who drops "Cocaine Israelites" with fellow Black Market cohort Killah Priest.

Spewing the commentary that the Black Hebrew Israelites (of which Priest is apart of) are becoming more and more known for, tales of religious lore bond with conspiracy theory name drops, hieroglyphs, weed smoke and distrust of Barack Obama...It's pretty explosive stuff, even for a 2 minute rap song.

While most will find the information and rhetoric in "Cocaine Israelites" to be a bit much, I happen to find it entertaining and take it at face value. Much like the real William "Bill" Cooper, I think most of this Cooper's social references and allegory should be taken in knowing that he is after all out to make a buck and in this business the more outlandish your claims, the more noise you make...He'll grab a few ears off the fact that he's saying some wild shit, but whether the Bloomfield, NJ native can actually sustain those ears with actual skills is on him....Hip-Hop fans ain't stupid and we don't like it when people try to sell us snake oil.

I like Booth's style and he'e recruited a strong list of guests for his debut. Ill Bill, Hell Razah, 9th Prince, Kool G Rap and Nature?? Oh I think I can deal with some of the wild conjecture for a minute in order to hear some new ish' from those names. Not to say that everything Cooper does is conspiracy related or that he's piggy backing, but come on, Kool G Rap and Nature? I rarely hear those bruthas these days anyway, but the fact that they'll probably be trying to "out crazy" Booth with some paranoid conspiracy driven rhymes of their own is another bonus.

I'mmma go ahead and take a sip of the purple Kool-Aid that Cooper is selling...

The new album "Behold The Pale Horse" drops October 20th.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Singles: NBA Live 10 Soundtrack (Pete Rock, De La Soul, Snoop, Murs, Kurupt & Jay Rock)

If the trend of dropping superior music via video games is really starting to take off then I might have to ditch the PC chess and Mah Jong for an Xbox 360....

My gamer friends are always telling me stories about there being some ill music on a lot of video games these days, but I usually brush off their comments. I would never really get the chance to know anyway, aside from playing a casual couple of games of Madden over a friends crib every once in a blue moon, my gaming days are pretty much behind me. I never was too deep into that. I grew up playing cards, dominoes and real sports man, lol, you know, like actually on the team and whatnot. I ain't tryin' to sit up in front of my TV for hours on end tryin to beat a particular "level"...nah, by the time broads was gettin' cleavage (which around my way was 3rd and 4th grade) my interests was shifting greatly and I had to be outside runnin' around and all that. I gravitated toward the sports games when I did play and I been messin' with Madden and NBA Live since they was on Super Nintendo. NBA Live was my first and only video game obsession. Back then Live was released with the rosters as they were the month before the season started, maybe even sooner, but I would go in and make all the necessary trades and get the rosters lookin up to date. I was fanatical...compulsive even...It actually was a way that I gained a considerable amount of my Basketball knowledge...I watched the NBA games on Saturday like everyone else back then, but I'd be frontin' if I said that lookin at all those rosters on the game didn't sort of subconsciously teach me who was who to a greater extent.

Back then if there would have been any way to marry my other love of Hip-Hop to my Live sessions I woulda been geeked no doubt. Alas I was livin' in the times of a 16 bit console and not much memory...Kids nowadays freakin' get to play against other people 5000 miles away and upload their own music onto their gaming system, SMH...Just ain't fair, lol...


Today I got a chance to peep out a few joints off the upcoming NBA Live 10 soundtrack and I gotta say that they all bang...Wow, what is it about the world of video gaming that can get good stuff like this outta Hip-Hop artists that the regular realm of the industry can't? Perhaps it's the fact that they get paid well and still get their creative control. I can imagine some geek from EA Sports tossing someone like Snoop a fat check and asking him something like "can you give us something a lil' more old school sounding?". Snoop obliged the people at EA mightily. Mightily I say! That lil' freestyle is the most listenable track he's done in years man. Really enjoyed The De La and PR tracks too. It's stuff I would expect to be on their new albums not a video game soundtrack, but hey, it's just more proof that artist's ain't stupid-they're gonna give their best to whoever is paying top dollar, and right now the music biz just ain't where they're gonna get paid....sad stuff really, especially for artists like Pete and De La who always are so creative and skilled with theirs...Just prepare yourself for the day when you hear an ill ass Common song in a refrigerator commercial (if you haven't already, lol).

Be sure to go out and cop that NBA Live 10, it drops on Oct. 6th, I'm sure it's nuts, been the best NBA/basketball game since 95' baby! And yes, the soundtrack will be bangin'. Included along with the songs I've posted there will also be joints from Afrika Bambaataa, Talib Kweli & Mos Def, Grand Puba, Kidz In The Hall, Wale, Zion I, Xzibit, Colin Monroe, 88 Keys, Dead Prez, Wyclef, Matt & Kim and The Beastie Boys among others...


Pete Rock - When I Need It:

De La Soul - La La La:

Murs ft. Kurupt & Jay Rock - We Ballin':

Snoop - Lodi Dodi:

Single: The Undergods (Keith Murray & Canibus) ft. Crooked I - Die Big Time

The Undergods new EP drops on the 29th ya'll and if you grew up in the 90's you know just how big a deal it possibly could be...

All career mis-steps aside, Bis' and Keith Murray are still thoroughly regarded as two of Hip-Hop's most slept on lyric men that probably should of had better careers. When I heard they were doing a record together, I was really amp'd despite perhaps a somewhat shotty past 10 years from both of em'. I know it'll be a far cry from their releases in the 90's that I was a big fan of, however, I'm still hopeful...

"Die Big Time" is one reason we all can sort of get excited. I mean the verses are solid, the production is snazzy enough and Crooked did an okay job with his guest spot. There is, I don't know, this sort of innate feeling about this that it'll be kind of forgettable. Still, it's a look from some 90's luminaries and I always give those fellas a shot, what I ain't exactly jumping up and down over might strike someone else differently. Perhaps the actual EP as a whole will suit my tastes better. I'll have to check on the 29th....


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Video: Black Dynamite Trailer

As a self-confessed huge fan of such blaxploitation classics as "Hell Up In Harlem", "Foxy Brown", "Across 110th Street", "Super Fly", and my all-time favorite "Black Caesar", I gotta say I'm mad excited about this new flick "Black Dynamite". The film is a spoof aimed at sort of making fun of the genre, in the same way that "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka did, but a lil' more true to life, and actually paying homage in spots lol. No doubt, there's gonna be some cool shit in it, producer Jon Steingart and Director Scott Sanders captured the feel and look of that era really well and it looks hella funny. Good to see that man Michael Jai White gettin' out there again too, he stars in and contributed the screenplay to "Black Dynamite", which has taken home a handfull of awards, including being an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.

Now I realize that a lot of black folks really didn't like blaxploitation films (particularly the NAACP and the Urban League) and admittedly looking back on them, there were some seriously ig'nant stereotypes and dialogue that got thrown around kinda carelessly...But, the foul language and perhaps silly themes weren't really the reason why I watched em'...Rather, it was the regular-guy turned quasi super hero template that a lot of them followed that I dug. The stories of regular cats that grew up in tough situations, got their hustle on, became the man and got the girls along the way is what I found to be the real meat and potatoes. They also were authorizing in a way. I mean they gave a lot of black and sometimes even Latino actors and actresses a chance to play empowering, ultra-cool and even aggressive roles, something that wasn't exactly happening a whole lot in Hollywood til' they came along. Of course there was the soundtracks too....Some of the illest and most influential music was birthed outta blaxploitation films, not to mention that they helped introduce the world to the musical stylings of names like Willie Hutch, Gordon Parks, Roy Ayers, Isaac Hayes and Quincy Jones to name a few...

Another thing that I always thought was dope was the posters for blaxploitation films...ya know the really cool illustrations and whatnot...If "Black Dynamite" really wants to re-create the feeling, they've gotta put out a movie poster like that yo!! In all seriousness, I put this trailer up to remind folks that the flick drops on Oct. 16th, and they should def. go peep it out...The movies and time period that it makes fun of were a huge influence to Hip-Hop and many of your favorite MC's have referenced those jawns to death.

I'mma leave ya'll with a few of my favorite blaxploitation movie posters of all time....



Looks like there are some pretty righteous posters for "Black Dynamite after all...peep em' here:

Single: Kida - Can't Fight The Feeling (prod. by 9th Wonder)

Inglewood MC Kida has risen up from the hectic streets of southern Cali and the numerous pitfalls that accompany them to harness his inner artist and collaborate with some of the biggest names in the world of Hip-Hop.

Currently Kida (pronounced /kee dah/) is readying his debut street album that is set to drop in two weeks and we have one of the joints that will be included on it, "Can't Fight The Feeling", produced by none other than 9th Wonder.

The beat is definitely one of 9th's stock pieces,(I've heard it before, can't remember where though) but Kida gets down to it like it was exclusively crafted for him alone. His expressive and capable technique is instantly noticeable and one can definitely see why producer's the likes of Focus, 9th Wonder, Jake One, Illmind, DJ Khalil and Don Cannon would be willing to work on his upcoming release. Supposedly even the great one himself, DJ Premier, has been seeking to work with him also.

I can't wait for this brutha's new street album and after you bump this you'll fully understand why....The skill is just other way to put it.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Sene - Maltas & Music Mixtape

In conjunction with 2dopeboys blog, Brooklyn lyricist Sene presents his brand new mixtape "Maltas & Music"....

Utilizing affective producers who specialize in hazy and jazzy boom bap experimentation's that come complete with neo-soul warbled hooks, Sene creates a unique vibe that has touches of 90's nostalgia, but is something new all in itself...

Picking up from his last mixtape, "Elevator Music" the brash Brooklynite jumps into this 14 track stroll with confidence and impresses with his thoughtful material and ear for dope production. At first he seems like just your average gifted pothead spitting witty, yet random thoughts. Then, he morphs into a very listenable, round' the way poet with plenty of cool stories bout "back in the day", that knows a thing or two about how to rock a mic. Both personalities equally acceptable to me...

Sene is a promising new name with the skills to back up his buzz and we'll all be anxiously awaiting his new album "ADayLate&ADollarShort" that will drop on October 13th and will be produced entirely by Blu...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

News: Grandmaster Roc Raida Has Passed Away

It is with a heavy heart that I report the tremendously sad news of the passing of a true Hip-Hop and DJ legend.

Earlier today word broke that Anthony Williams AKA Grandmaster Roc Raida, one of the most innovative and compelling DJ's in the world, who along with his crew the X-Ecutioners forged new ground in the genre of Turntablism, died as a result of complications to a prior injury.

Roc recently had suffered a serious spinal injury practicing Mixed Martial Arts, something he's done for years now. After the injury he had a couple of operations to correct the problem and was doing okay for a time in an outpatient care program, but then today, unexpectedly experienced some complications and ended up passing on...

Raida, the loving father and always affable friend leaves behind a wife, a mother and three daughters. My heart goes out to his grieving family and they are in my thoughts and those of thousands of people who were influenced by Raida's considerable contributions to the culture and touched by his one of a kind talent. Rest In Peace....

Grandmaster Roc Raida was 37 years old....


News: Del The Funky Homosapien Hit By Drunk Driver In Colorado

Word from Westwood Backbeat blog is that on Thursday while driving on I-25 from Colorado Springs to Denver for a show at the Larimer lounge, Del The Funy Homosapien and members of his crew were struck by a drunk driver in an Escalade. Luckily, everyone in the car walked away with only minor injuries. Del, who was sleeping at the time of impact did suffer a good bit of whiplash however and was forced to cancel the show in Denver.

Del has already planned a date to re-do the show in wishes to him...


News: Nino Bless Calls It Quits....

The man who was instrumental in the formation of Slaughterhouse and whom I've written about as one of the strongest rising young talents in the game, Nino Bless, announced yesterday via his Myspace page that he would be calling it quits from the rap game and walking away to pursue other things.

In a letter to his fans and friends Bless outlines the foreshadowing that led him up to this point, detailing how he has quickly become disillusioned with an industry steeped in disingenuous behavior and that is rapidly evolving into something that he no longer cares for musically.

Looks like the current horrid state of Hip-Hop has claimed yet another promising young career....SMH...I don't like it, but I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do in the future.


Nino Bless::
Peace to all of you. I don’t know if this will be my last blog, but this will explain to all of you why I will be leaving the Rap game prematurely. I am leaving with my head up high and accomplishing in such a short time more than I ever thought I would. In a short time, I managed to captivate some of my favorite MC’s of all time with my own words. Artists such as Kool G Rap, Ras Kass & Chino XL managed to acknowledge my skills.

Kool G Rap told me in conversation “right now I feel as though you can hang with ANYONE on the mic, whether they have a bigger name than you or not you on that level right now.” G told me this not too long ago and seriously I got chills just getting that respect from him. If anybody knows G Rap, he doesn’t say shit just to say it. Pharoahe Monch hit me on Myspace out of no where. I never spoke to the dude 1 time in my life, and he hit me with a Myspace message after I leaked the Bone Thugs Tribute and said “yo dog that Bone Tribute is fire and I peeped the rest of your shit on Myspace and you the sickest new artist to me.” Pun and Biggie could come back and tell me that, and it wouldn’t mean more to me than that. (Real Talk). Monch is literally my idol as an MC along, with Scarface, G Rap and Andre 3000.

I never got into Rap to make millions of dollars. Call me stupid, but that wasn’t my goal. Fame wasn’t my goal either. I love the art of putting words together. I’m fortunate to have certain gift’s other MC’s don’t have, which makes me a minority. I was blessed (no pun intended) with a ability to put words together in a way that mostly other rappers who sat and tried to do what I do could appreciate. Very few understood what I was doing with each multi-syllable rhyme scheme. The one’s that did appreciated it. The one’s that didn’t moved on ’cause it didn’t catch what they were looking for. Frankly, I’m a differently breed than some of these people in my realm. I hate the lights, cameras, and etc. That is not my shit. I do shit for the art and that is something that is slowly been taken away. This industry is way too over-saturated, and at the same has shifted into another direction where everything is more important than the music. I hate to sound like a old head here and be all cliche, but that’s not how I got to fall in love with this – not to mention everything that goes with the music like interviews, marketing, networking, and etc is not my shit either. This Rap shit ain’t me, to say the least. I love rapping, but I don’t like everything else that comes with it.

To some, I may sound bitter. If a major label offered me a million dollars tomorrow, I don’t know if I’d be happy, to be honest. If Jay-Z called me and told me he wanted to sign me, I don’t know if my life would be going where I want it to go, ’cause honestly this shit just ain’t in me like that. Everyone measures success in different ways. I don’t use fame, money, accolades, or any of that to measure success. I measure success with self-satisfaction. Are you happy with yourself? I’m happy, then I’m successful. That sounds emo, but it’s the real deal. What the fuck is 40 mil in your bank account worth if you aren’t happy? You’ll run out of things to buy eventually. I wake up everyday and see my peers and those around me stuck in this black hole where they have to do whatever they can for exposure. They have to do things they don’t want to do to, thinking they are fulfilling a dream. But who’s dream is it? Even a better question; what is that dream?

I intend of having a family one day. A father should not be out to 5am on a Wednesday and it be okay. That shit is not reality. Let me explain to you further of what this is black hole is. This is a place where most of the celebrated folks in this don’t miss shows, interviews, or studio sessions with other artist but can’t name you three of their kid’s friends in school. I know there’s some good dudes in this, so I’m not generalizing, but I’ve seen this more often than not. This is a place where if you beat a dude up you are now much realler than him and hold more credibility than the other person, regardless of what that person has done. So let’s say you are a great father, husband, brother and you are the most dependable person anybody could know if you lose that fight, throw all of that out the window. This guy who beat you up could have choked a female out, never gave two shits about his kid, but that doesn’t matter. He beats you, therefore he is now praised and regarded as “realler” person than you. Oh yeah, if you hold down a famous rapper in the streets and bust your gun and/or have been to jail you are too have some credibility. It doesn’t matter what else you do in life, often, you are praised in this black hole as well. Success is measured by how much sales or how much superficial material you have here as well. If you have money, you are doing well; if you don’t, well then you are not a success. I like to think every individual can determine their own level of success with their own goals. Not all of young goals require making a few million dollars. If that was my goal, I’d rap in a completely different tone. My goal is to motivate the young cats coming today the same way Rakim, G Rap, Pun, and Nas motivated me. There’s not much here today I feel is a good representation of what I like, so it’s a thrill for me to get a message on Myspace telling me I’ve inspired someone to write.

In closing, I want every one who’s infactuated with this black hole to know this shit is not reality. This lifestyle isn’t for everybody, nor is it as appealing as you think. There’s a lot of ignorance trapped in this bullshit and for whatever reason, will still be glorifed for years and years to come. Rappers are not heroes. They aren’t special omnipotent human beings who know everything and can school the youth. Unfortunately, they help guide the youth, but somebody needs to stand up and tell you the other side. Rapper’s don’t do 90% of what they say on records. They aren’t outside dealing, still in the streets, shooting, saving ghettos, treating women like queens, involved in their kids’ lives the way they should be and etc. for the MOST part. This shit is an act. Tupac was a rapper – a man blessed with charisma and putting words together. No different from most of these dudes now. There’s nothing to praise from these folks other than they can make good music. There are certain reasons to be appealed by how an MC may think or what he may say but I hate to break it to you most of the times its just for “show.” This entire shit is a farce and frankly the deep aspects of this game will turn you into a cornball before you know it. So for you youngin’s who want in, let me tell you, be careful or you will become just like some of the lames you idololized. A man who puts the “game” in front of his family and true values in life. I won’t and can’t allow that to happen to me. This is my reason and if you don’t agree with it then I feel sorry for you ignorance. Reality is this shit ain’t reality. Its a joke in which I don’t find amusing anymore. Take care, y’all