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Friday, February 23, 2018

Blimes Brixton Ft. Method Man- "Hot Damn"


Mr. Methtical joins Bay Area native Blimes Brixton on her single "Hot Dream". Meth and Blixton has built up a relationship over the last few years and the chemistry is definitely there. The songi is taken from Blimes upcoming Castles album.

[Album] Khrysis & eLzhi - "are Jericho Jackson"

Another day another dope Detroit album. eLzhi has been a beast since back in the days of Slum Village and since then he has just kept on becoming better and better. Following 2016:s excellent "Lead Poison" (not to mention his uúnbrlivsblr "eLmaticc" joint with Will Sssiion) he now teams up with North Carolina producer Khrysis of Justus League fame. For 38 minutes and eleven songs the duo stay clear of guests but gets heavy on the soul and jazz. The album is available on Deezer, Sporify and Apple Music so go find that ish and press play.

01. "World of Illusion"
02. "Overthinking"
03. "Self Made"
04. "Cuffin' Season"
05. "Seventeen"
06. "F.R.I.E.N.D.S."
07. "To Do List"
08. "Talkin' Bout"
09. "Listen"
10. "Brequets"
11. "Thank You"

PRHYME - "Rock It´´

Now this is what I'm talking about. DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9" has always been an incredible combo and their Prhyme album with Adrian Younge was super fresh. After releasing a deluxe version of the original 9 track album an dropping a looise with Logic on the "Southpaw" soundtrack it was quite clear that Preemo and Royce was back in the studio cooking up some marvellous shit to get your mouth watering. The album "Prhyme 2" drops on March 16 and will feature 17 tracks - listening to the two singles that has dropped so far I'm not too sure that Adrian Younge is actually involved at all this time, but oh well... The new single that just dropped, "Rock It" is that good ol' Boom Bap shit we love from these gentlemen while the lead single featuring Dave East was so-so if you ask me. Check out both tracks right here and head over to iTunes to pre-order.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

U-GOD Ft. Raekwon, Rebel INS & Scotty Wotty - "Epicenter"

Real Wu-Tang heads know that Scotty Wotty is a beast on the mic who at one point in time was supposed to hold down a part in the legendary Clan before drugs and life happened. Scotty and GZA even was the Staten Island rhyme teacher on the street corners so for U-God to not forget where he is coming from speaks volumes. "Epicenter" is like the fourth cameo from the older God and it's a monster record from March 30th BabyGrande release "Venom" so be sure to check that one out. And if you're like me having trouble waiting DJ Green Lantern, DJ Homocide and Baby U has released the second installment in the "Bring Bad God" mixtape series while we wait for the official album. March will also see the release of the official first autobiography of one of the nine generals, so be sure to support and pick up "RAW: My Journey into The Wu-Tang" as soon as that drop.

Monday, February 19, 2018

D.I.T.C. Still going STRONG

The entire legendary D.I.T.C. posse and the extended Diggin' in the Crates posse gang, has stayed busy from 1988 to 2018 to say the least. Bursting on to the scene with Jazzy Jay and his label, super DJ Diamond D and MC Rob in '88 when they made noise with the single "I'm Not Playin'" which was also the name of the Ultimate Force LP that unfortunately got shelved until 2007  While the album wasn't officially released for almost 10 years it sure as hell made waves and started the D.I.T.C. brand as Jazzy Jay's studio in The Bronx became the go-to-studio for the producers and emcees in the Bronx Area that Jazzy saw potential in. within a couple of years, the Diggin' in the Crates brand was established, building on Lord Finesse's classic "Funky Technician" and Showbiz & AG's "Soul Clap" EP. Diamond, 'Ness, Showbiz & AG was in a couple of years expanded to a full fledged crew including super-talented Big L and OC as well as, produced Bucwild and Fat Joe Da Gangsta. Not to mention semi-related affiliates like Party Arty, D-Flow, AG's brother Wally World, to name a f ew.

D.I.T.C. is probably the one crew that's on the level of Wu-Tang Clan in continuing to release solid projects amd through their 
The DITCEnt.com Shop you can still grab both free digital albums and physical  vinyl and CD:s. A couple of years back we got the excellent "Mugshot Music" trilogy from Showbiz & AG, "The Diam Piece" by Diamond D,  Lord Finesse's instrumental series and so much more. In other words few crews still goes as hard as the Diggin' in the Crates crew and much of the music is free so don't sleep. Only recently OC dropped the digital but limited "Same Moon, Same Sun" LP via the DITC Store. That project doesn't seem to be available anymore but don't cry over spilled milk because the lyrical phonemona that is Omar Credle has already struck gold again with yet another LP. This one, entitled "A New Dawn", which now be pre-ordered from the site so don't sleep on its February 23 release date. There's both vinyl pressings and CD:s  to grab so hurry up and buy!


As if this wasn't enough Showbiz is also releasinga new project through the site, this one called "A Room Therapy" and officially drops and should actually be out now (although the webstre says Pre-order). The CD goes for 12.99 while LP heads will be forced to pay the somewhat hefty sum of ... About the project it says that it features prodcution by Show, Motif Alumni (who has really shown and prove over the last ew years or so), OC, AG, Tashane Bars, Tashane (R.I.P.), A-Bless, Majestic Gage and Jay Nortey. At the moment there's actually a free digitalal download on the DITCEnt.com page so as they say "Hurry up and buy". The same goes for Show & AG's very overlooked 2017 project "Take It Back" EP which i still upp for free digital download, physical copies and if you want to show at least a little support you can get the LP version rather than the free EP version for only a minimum dollar. D.I.T.C. always move with the times while staying true to their roots!

Yo, and since it's Lord Finesse's birhtday today I think it's only right i'll hit you up with a gem or two of his that's might ne all that well know. Check it out:





[Review] EMINEM - "REVIVAL"

After a somewhat long hiatus Eminem finally dropped his eight album "Revival" - most likely the thematic closer to the trilogy we didn't really know we wanted that also includes "Relapse" (2009) and "Recovery" (2011) which in different ways describes Marsall Mathers' return to a sober life and the hardships and perils of living a stable life without the cruth of those drugs. His latest LP is probably his most  honest album yet as he in a heartfelt way finally make up with many of the problms that has made him relapse, yet his big enough to let go off the anger and see his own wrongdoings as well. I'm talking about songs like "Bad Husband" which is a very different track from the somwhat similiar but totally opposite "Kim" for example. 



As a white emcee that has put out his fair share of wack records, the "True School" heads love to hate on Em while artists like Jay-Z, Scarface, Rakim, Nas, Royce, DJ Premier, and so forth has nothing but the utmost respect for his artistry. Even before the first single of "Revival" dropped haters was quick appearing out of the woodwork to destroy the unheard product and what it looked like on paper based on all the popsingers and commercial soul/R&B artists that was featured on the tracklist. Don't get me wrong, there's a few real golden turds on here but at 19 tracks and 79 minutes long it's clear that Em knows how to make good music at this point - damn, he basically gave the middle finger to half his fanbase, asking them not to support him, did that stop him from making dumb numbers? 

Granted, "Revival" features it's share of weak, uninspired music that would have benefitted tremendously being cut all together but the fact remains that when the LP is good it's really fucking GOOD. 

One of the songs that caught flack was the first single "Walk On Water", produced by Rick Rubin and Beyoncé, and that's just ridiciolous in my opinion, It's a different single for sure, but Eminem is really pouring his heart out here, rhyming his three verses over nothing but a Grand Piano and a string orchestra while Beyoncé does a great job with her vocal part and lyrics. I have a feeling that this was not was Em fans was expecting after the hiatus following "Recovery", an album that overall just felt wrong and forced on so many levels. Here he let all his, and Beyonce's, insecurities shine through over an impeccable melodic instrumental. Lines like "As yesterday fades and the Dresden home is burned to the ground/ and all that's left of my house is lawn/ the crowds are gone, and it's time to wash out the blonde/ Sales decline, the curtains drawn....". It's an excellent way to start an album and the five minutes of somberness and honesty does a great job of preparing us for some hardcore ish with what should have been the two street singles "Believe" and "Clorasephtic".


Not only are these two joints bangers in their own right but it's Eminem kicking the younger generation at their own game. You could call them "trap"-type of beats but it's actually Em and his usual team (Luis Resto, Mark Batson and Mike Strange) that's responsible for "Believe" while Mr. Power single handledly kills "Chloraseptic". "Believe" is by far one of the illest joints on the LP, both production wise and lyricallly. The combination of the strings, the A-minor piano chords, the bass and drums that kicks in during the powerful hook, and the hook itself is really something that would work lovely for a single - "Do you still believe in me?/ Didn't I give everything I had to give you to make you see/ I'll never forget if you turn your back on me now/ and walk out, I will never let you live it down/ I'll never quit, do you still believe.... In me!?" Like I said before this really cries out for a video and radio play.


Both on this and the following track "Cloraseptic" Em is beating the youngings at their own game, with the triplet flow made popular by that girly men Migos. And he sure as hell does a terrific job, showing that even a fairly straightforward and simlple rhyme sceme can be ill as syphillis in the right hands. The trap type beat with its agressive bass line, repetitive piano line and powerful drums that would work well in any club. Again Em kills this mumble rappers at their own game and even get Brooklyn emcee Phresher on the hook. Not to mention the remix where we get Phresher and 2 Chains and a three minute long verse from Em that totally obliberates any blogger that dissed the album based on the tracklist and the first singles.

The second single is an excellent joint that is sort of a follow-up to "The Storm" freestyle diss to the so called POTUS, It's a clever song at that, split into two distinct part. The first part is from a racist white police officer's point of view and is set over a rock rap tune based on a Cheech & Choong classic. Similiar to Joyner Lucas "I'm Not Racist" the second part is straight up boom bap Hip Hop where Em steps into the shoes of a Black Lives Matter activist, feeling violated by the boys in blue on a constant basis, There's plenty of quotables here.


Next up is the third single, "River", featuring Ed Sheeran, a song that I really didn't like the first few times I heard it but that has really grown on me. Lyrically it's a good song that a lot of people can identify with, and I surely take a song like this, pop influences and all, over something like "Without Me" or "We Made It". Ed Sheeran and Em surely has chemistry and the story they tell of a failed relationship that culminates in infidelity and abortion. The song is produced by longtime Em collaborator Emile Haynies and both production and vocals are on point - and the video does a good job of catching the visuals of the record. In other words we are 5 out of 5 "Revival" records so far. Unfortunately we are now at the point where things takes a turn for the worse.



Had the album held a solid 10 songs then this could have been a very focused album but as par for course lately Em is more often than not trying to cram like 20 tracks and have a little something for everyone. Big mistake! I for one relaly liked 3/4 of Rick Rubin's productions on "MMLP2". Hearing their Beastie Boys homage on "Bezerk" was nothing short of excellent, "Rhyme & Reason" was pretty brilliant and Rubin, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem om "Love Game" was pure Hip Hop at its finest. So with that being said Eminem and Rick Rubin can be a great combination, But who the hell came up with the idea of sampling Joan Ett's "I Love Rock & Roll" and barely doing a better interpretation than Britney Spears. And to make it an obnoxious misogynistic joint with weak punchlines like "Your booty is heavy duty like diarreahea" or "You're so fucking fly that you belong in the mile high club". As if that wasn't enough, Rubin's next contribution is basically the same type of song - but instead of Joan Etts he's actually sampling Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reily coked out of their mind recording their "Boogie Nights" demo "Feel The Heat". Punchlines includes "I ask her do she want a computer lodged in her vagina/ Said my dicks is an apple, she said put it inside her,,,,"


While track 6 to 12 features some good lyrics and themes overall they are simply bad records that you don't want to hear again. Track 12, "Framed" is a monster of a record that any Emnem fan from the Slim Shady days to the "Relapse" days are gonna have a field day. It's certainly a Slim Shady record but with some politicial agenda, given how several emcees' lyrical output have been used as evidence in trials. Em is taking this agenda and building a case over super underrated producer and DJ Muggs associate Fredwreck. If it wasn't for the hilarious Steven Avery reference you could easily believe this was an unrelased track, but as such for any doubteers this is pure proof that Em never lost a step. The same goes for "Offended", a lyrical onslaught with a flow that's up there with the best and produced by IllaDaProducer and Eminem. The only downside is the extremely wack hook which works better in the sandbox than on a record.


Following this two excellent joints, we get a lyrical boomerang featuring P!NK called "Need Me" which is all sorts of bad and really boogles the mind whose idea it was to place that song there. Because as Eminem himself said in an interview on the album the epitome of the album is the three final songs - "In Your Head", "Castle" and "Arose". And they sure as hell make up for all the wackness we had to endure between track 6 and 12 (plus 15). I'm big on thematic concept records and "In Your Head", produced by Scram Jones, is sort of like the calm before the storm, but the two final records that closes the album is a one-two-punch that's pure excellence. "Castle" is produced by the always reliable DJ Khalil and is as heartfelt as they come. Liz Rodriguez vocal hook is nothing short of beautiful and the accustic guitar really add to the overall atmosphere. And when the drums kick in and the Farfisa Organ closes the song as Mathers take his suicide attempt by downing his methadone pills its nothing short of a masterpiece. But the song isn't over there, the story continues under the title "Arose",

Sampling Bettle Middler's classic "The Rose" which is heard very slightly under Eminem's verses. Melonhead claimed that this was a case of bad mixing which is all wrong, had the Middler sample been put to the same volume as the verses it would have been travesty. Instead it we are aware of the well known sample being there and that is certainly enough. We had "Walk On Water" but its relaly "Arose" that proves that Rick Rubin is still a top producer when it comes to Hip Hop and overall this is one of the best Eminem songs since the last 15 years, If you can relate this definitely hits home and with the beat, the scratches, the vocals and the flow this is as good as Hip Hop gets these days. This is so heartfelt as it follows up on "Castle", with Em writing letters to his daughter and after Kim taking custody of their girl and then loosing Proof he decides to take his own life. As "Arose" begins one of the most heartfelt moments on the song is Mathers soul leaving his body and seeing himself from up above - something a lot of people experience it after they die in the physical form.



And as his last line on "Castle" is "excuse the cursing, baby/ but just know that I'm a good person/ though they portray me as cold/ And if things should wosen, don't take this letter i wrote as a goodbye note/ because your dad's at the end of his rope/ I'm sliding down a slippery note, Anyways sweetie I better go/ I'm getting sleeping.... Shit I don'r know". These lines and meaning is totallty flipped as Em decides he wants to live, and flush the Methadone in the toilet while deciding ti not only give his life another chance but also his rap careér.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PEEDI CRAKK - "Good Life"

Good vibes from the North Philly spitter who brings a little summer anthem over a smooth instrumental conjured up by the elusive 4th Disciple. Shout out to WTCFoLife Blog for linking the stream.



[EP] SHOWBIZ & MOLECULES - "A Bronx Tale"

Feel free to hate on me all you want for posting shit that's been out for some time but as you know I haven't been updating The Lost Tapes and slept on a bunch of solid releases myself and this is one release that deserves that spotlight big time. This will most likely be the last such update as I don't need to make this some backlog site but this May release by The Legion's Molecules over Showbiz beats really brought out the certified Hip Hop head in me like it was the late '90s all over again. For sure, there's been some hot shit dropping while I've been away (Kendrick, MC Eiht, Boxcutter Brothers last project which I reviewed for Vendetta Vinyl) but this one right here feels a little extra special to me as Show's been a favorite of mine for a long time and I feel that this is all-around one of his finest work in some time. Molecules was of course part of The Legion who dropped the much slept-on "Theme + Echo = Krill" back in 1994 so he is a seasoned underground veteran as well, and his connection with Showbiz on wax goes all the way back to "Runaway Slave".

Both lyrically and sonically "A Bronx Tale" sounds like it could have been recorded in 1995 - and I mean that in the best way possible. Many producers try to recreate that classic sound of the Golden Era while only ending up with something that sounds like an empty knock off of the real thing. This is the real thing right here. You got the breakbeats and gritty drum loops, the accentuated bass lines, horn stabs that fades in and out, Rhodes and all that good stuff. Combined with Molecules' knack for ghetto storytelling in a gruff voice that will speak volumes to the type of rap heads who can't get enough of hardcore emcees like Blaq Poet and Bumpy Knuckles and you got a really well balanced, strong release. 



Fans of D.I.T.C. and The Legion will of course remember that 'Cules and Show first worked together as a duo on the brilliant storytelling joint "Revenge" that first appeared around 1999 on a rare Japanese pressing of the D.I.T.C. album. That classic cut definitely feels like a prequel to this project and that could never be a bad thing. Grab the 12" vinyl or the CD (both which also includes the full instrumentals for all cuts) over @ Fat Beats and check out the stream below.




Sunday, July 9, 2017

[Album] SADAT X x DIAMOND D - "Sum Of Man"


Now I know damn well that three weeks is a lifetime on the world wide web but considering I haven't been posting for The Lost Tapes at all I never got around to post about Sadat X's latest album when it dropped. You don't have to worry that I'm going to backtrack and post all sorts of stuff that dropped in that interim but this one is special to me. Called "Sum Of Man" Sadat X teased about it quite some time ago, saying his next album would be entirely produced by super producer Diamond D. Truly a man of his word, the two has been hitting the studio hard to create a solid twelve joints that's nothing short of certified Hip Hop. The Brand Nubian emcee and the D.I.T.C. production maestro has been working together for a large chunk of their respective career, ever since Diamond laced the classic Nubian single "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down" (in three equally sick versions) and X and Lord Jamar returned the favor by appearing on "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Just like he did with Southern hardcore spitter BIGREC a while back the sound and atmosphere is perfectly catered to Sadat X smooth style, intelligent lyrics and unmistakable voice, at the same time as it's unquestionably carries signature of Diamond D. The record is all about these two, a celebration of their 25 year long musical relationship, but guests turn up in extended family like Jawz Of Life (seen and heard on the first single, above) Kurupt and Tha Liks, former Terror Squad crooner Tony Sunshine and the always impressive Raheem Devaughn. I've only heard the singles so far but I'll definitely be listening to the entire LP later today. The release of this album hasn't exactly been big news so hopefully this post might shine a light on the project for some other heads who's been sleeping. The album is released independetly through Dyamond Mine Records and can be purchased in both digital format via iTunes and on vinyl @ Fat Beats or Amazon so pick your choice but do support this!

01. "The Devil is Near" (Ft. Jawz Of Life)
02. "Neva" (Ft. Timmy Hunter)
03. "Good Inside"
04."Out of Bonds" (Ft. Diamod D)

05. "Always Be My Lady" (Ft. Raheem Devaughn)
06. "Yawl Can't Drink With Us" (Ft. Kurupt & Tha Alkaholiks)
07. "Celebrate"
08. "Who's Judging" (Ft. Tony Sunshine)
09. "Bang Bang"
10. "Get Away"
11. "The Five Boroughs"
12. "Reflections"

Stream @ Spotify

[EP] AYATOLLAH x HELL RAZAH - "Blaxploitation"

That Heaven Razah and Ayatollah release a full-on project together has been written in the stars for quite some time now. When Razah and Shabazz formed T.H.U.G. Angelz word was that Ayatollah would lace the entire project and was basically the third member of the group. Then we got "Welcome 2 Red Hook Houses" which featured no 'Tollah beats at all. A dope album but it lacked the signature soul of the man behind classics like "Ms. Fat Booty", "Hold U", "Lift Ya Glass", "The Life" and so man others. Shabazz and Razah had a falling out and the planned T.H.U.G. Angelz album was put on hold. Luckily Razah released it as a free download for the fans called "R.I.P. T.H.U.G. Angelz" and as promised it was a true trio collaboration. If you haven't peeped it yet, be sure to do so, it stayed in my phone for months and months (the first 13 tracks are the actual album and the majority of it is produced by 'Tollah).

The two worked again on Hell Razah's finest statement today, "Heaven Razah", where Ayatollah produced the single "Kids in the Street" (see above). Now the duo is back with more untouchable music, this time in the form of a 12-track release called "Blaxploitation: A Piece of the Action". I think this is the first time we hear Razah recording after beating his brain aneurysm and waking up from his coma so you can imagine the strength of this brother. Stream below but support these legends over @ iTunes.