Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

[Behind the Scenes] OL' DIRTY BASTARD - "Return Of The 36 Chambers"

Ol' Dirty Bastard's classic debut album "Return to the 36 Chambers" was recently celebrating its 20 year anniversary and it is indeed one of the most original hip-hop albums ever released. Still to this day it stands as a true classic, and every time you put on that Blowly inspired Intro and let it run there's no question you are listening to something truly spectacular. 

As you know I'm a sucker for reading articles focusing on behind-the-scenes scenarios from legendary albums such as this so it's a blessing that web magazine The Quietus just ran a beautiful article in just that vein. In it Raekwon, 4th Disciple, Cappadonna, ODB's mom and Peanut Butter Wolf breaks down their memories of being around the recording sessions or hearing the album for the first time. Very interesting reading indeed, so hit up the link below, dust off your CD and LP and let ODB take over your stereo system. As an added bonus I am adding two related tracks, first "Dirty & Stinkin'" - a song originally recorded around the same sessions, as well as ODB's classic collabo with 12 O'Clock, "Ol' Dirty's Back", from 1995's "Tales From The Darkside" soundtrack. Can I get a SUUUUU?!!!

ODB - "Dirty & Stinkin'" ['94]
Ol' Dirty Bastard - "Ol' Dirty's Back" ['95]


PETE ROCK - "One, Two, A Few More"

The best news in music that I have heard all year is without a single doubt the just released fact that Pete Rock has hooked up with Mello Music Group to release a sequel to "PeteStrumentals". I've been waiting for some new P.R. for a while now but this is more than I could have even hoped for. The original 2001 album is one of my top 10 records to have been released in the new millennium, and I can't wait to see how this will live up to that legacy. For those of us who know there Soul Brother, "PeteStrumentals" was made up of previously unreleased Pete Rock beats recorded between 1991 and 1995 which was then mixed, perfected and mastered for the 2001 album and placed along with a few new tracks (The UN cuts). Judging by the first single, "One, Two, A Few More", it seems much of this will follow the same procedure as Mr. Philips states how he originally recorded the joint in '95 and have basically waited for the right time to release it. And it's a really slamming cut too with a superb funk groove right there. We'll have to wait until June 23, but like they say, he who waits for something dope... Check the tracklist and pre-order @ iTunes.

[Album] BIG POOH x APOLLO BROWN - "Words Paint Pictures"

Yes I am aware that this was released a week ago but as I haven't posted it yet and some people, like myself, might haven't gotten around to bang it out yet I'm definitely throwing it up here. I know my man Antoine recommended me this one heavily and as I'm hitting play I can see why. The former Little Brother emcee is spitting some brilliant shit and Apollo Brown continues his reign of beautiful chops with pitched vocal samples, funky basslines, broken piano melodies and hard hitting drums. And best of all, there's some crazy turntable work on here as well, which I am a true sucker for when it comes to this type of hip-hop. While "Words Paint Pictures" is officially labeled as an EP, I'm more inclined to call it a mini album as it contains seven original tracks and two remixes (by Brown and L'Orange, respectively). No matter what you call it this is pure headnod shit so TURN IT UP!!

a Cat Called FRITZ / BAHAMADIA - "I Confess Remix"

A Cat Called FRITZ was a completely new name to me when I was introduced to his impressive jazz licks and sample manipulation via the LP he did with the homie Audessey called "Beats Per Minute". That was one of my favorite projects of 2014 so I'm obviously checking for this Cat from now on. His next project is a collection of remixes and unreleased tracks called "Nowadays" that should be out soon. So far FRITZ have uploaded two songs from the upcoming mixtape, including an absolutely mindblowing remix of Bahamadia's classic "I Confess" that fits the dope Philly emcees voice like a glove. Those two could make a classic album together, and that's the double truth, Ruth.

[Out Now] DJ SPINNA - "Compositions 4" LP + 7''

I often find that the mega talented DJ Spinna is often left out of discussions of the best producers in the game which to me is absolutely ludacris. Whenever I'm out looking for records and find a 12" featuring a DJ Spinna remix or production you can bet that I'm going home with that record. "Compositions" is the beat maestros series of previously unreleased instrumental compositions and number four was just released yesterday. Featuring 20 choice cuts of deep hip hop grooves this is no doubt another great set from the legend. Cop it and read more @ Fat Beats.

DIAMOND D Ft. MASTA ACE - "Ace Of Diamonds"

Two of my favorite hip-hop artists of all time collide on the beautiful "Ace Of Diamonds", another stand out cut from Diamond D's excellent return to form (when talking long players), "The Diam Piece". This joint was unfortunately cut from the vinyl release of the album along with "187" featuring Guilty Simpson and Ras Kass. I love how many visual Diamond is dropping from this though, "Ace Of Diamonds" marks the 7th video from the project. Directed and edited by Varras Tower.

In addition to the video the complete "The Diam Piece" instrumental set is now available on vinyl as well, and can be purchased from Fat Beats amongst other retailers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

RAS KASS x DJ PREMIER - "Bars in the Booth"

Session 8 of DJ Premier's excellent Bars in the Booth series features lyrical genius Ras Kass going all in over another sick Preemo banger. Sick!

Monday, March 23, 2015

CAPONE-N-NOREAGA - "Stay Tuned" [Interlude]

Since Capone-N-Noreaga's "The War Report" happens to be one of my definite favorite LP:s of the late '90s I want to use this post to talk about something perhaps a little lesser known among listeners. Looking at the tracklist you'll see that track #12 is listed as an interlude called "Stay Tuned" with production credit going to Charlemagne (of Natural Elements fame). Strangely enough what is heard is actually the track "Thug Paradise", an up tempo joint that was originally featured on the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence comedy "Nothing to Lose", claiming D-Moet to be the songs producer. "Thug Paradise", sans Noreaga's verse, was also released as the B-side to Tragedy Khadafi's "True Confession" 12'' on 25 to Life Records in 1997.

So what's this business with renaming one of the more well known songs, claiming it to be an interlude and omitting crediting Tragedy and D-Moet? The answer is that "Stay Tuned" is a completely different track which most likely was cut from the tracklisting at the very last minute. The real Charlemagne produced interlude was eventually made available on the official Best Of CNN compilation "Thugged Da Fuck Out". Listening to that version it is quite obvious that this interlude was intended as sort of a bridge or intermission between Part 1 and Part 2 of "The War Report". While the skit does drag on a little bit too long at 3:20 I must say I like the idea and have tried listening to the album with it in place of "Thug's Paradise". You can listen to the song via YouTube up top, or download an Mp3 rip from the aforementioned compilation below. CNN once again, What What?!?!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

[comp] ERICK SERMON - "A Platform of Brilliance"

People love and will always hold the early EPMD albums in the higest regards among other classic hip-hop albums, equally because of PMD and E's intricate front-to-back rhyming but also because of the duo's funky sample-heavy beats that solidified Erick Sermon as one of the best producers around (don't be completely fooled though, as PMD had a lot of production input as well - especially on their first album "Strictly Business" as revealed to Brian Coleman in his chapter on the album from his "Check The Technique"). Still The Green Eyed Bandit has proven time and time again that he's a super dope producer with or without EPMD, as he has produced at least two out of three classics for Redman (he was involved in "Dare Iz A Darkside" but the bulk of the beats was handled by Reggie himself). Reading Erick Sermon's name in the credits of a new hip-hop album was a true mark of quality However I do have to admit that past 2004 or something like that hes been more and more generic in his sound, though he ocassionally comes through with some real hardhitting shit that we all love.

For this compilation I decided to focus more on E-Dub's earlier material, past the early EPMD albums and up until about 2000 (and mostly earlier). These tracks to me represent stands as a good compliment together with the classic albums Sermon has produced as the reason why he is still to this day considered a living legend in the game. Erick Sermon has always been very good at killing beats for both R&B and hardcore hip-hop artists, and even the ocassional ragga artist like Super Cat, so I decided to make this compilation pretty diverse within those categories. Featured on the compilation are a couple of Sermon solo cuts, Def Squad, Keith Murray, Shaquille O'Neal, LL Cool J, Redman, K-Solo, D'Angelo, Bahamadia, AZ, Jodeci, and more. As usual the Def Squad tracks on here (Red, E-Dub, Keith Murray) is non album tracks/soundtrack joints and such, basically stuff that you won't find on either of these guys albums. If you're not up on them yet, be sure to check out Redman's entire catalouge, Keith Murray's first albums, large parts of Erick Sermon's catalouge, and of course all the EPMD albums (yeah even the last one is pretty ill if you ask me)... and whatever you do, TURN IT UP!!!
01. Erick Sermon - "Maintain"
02. Bahamadia - "I Confess" [Erick Sermon Remix]
03. AZ - "Gimme Yours" [Erick Sermon Remix]
04. Shaquille O'Neal - "My Style, My Steelo" (Ft. Redman & Erick Sermon)
05. Da 5 Footaz - "Candidates"
06. Heavy D & The Boyz - "Take Your Time"
07. D'Angelo - "Me & Those Dreamin' Eyes" [Remix] (Ft. Def Squad)
08. LL Cool J - "Hey Lover" [Remix] (Ft. 112)
09. Erick Sermon - "Battle" (Ft. Sy Scott)
10. Def Squad - "Breaker Breaker, 1,2"
11. Warren G - "I Shot The Sherrif" [Remix]
12. K-Solo - "Rock Bottom"
13. Doctor Dre & Ed Lover Ft. Keith Murray - "It's Goin' Down"
14. Questionmark Asylum - "Lookaway" [Remix]
15. Powerule - "Rock Ya Knot Quick"
16. Dilated Peoples - "The Platform" [Remix]


[Documentary] VH1 Driven: OUTKAST (2004)

VH1's bioraphical "Driven" show have aired some absolutely great 45 minutes documentaries since the start of the show. One of my favorites was always the Big Daddy Kane one, but recently I came across a brilliant piece on Andre 3000 and Big Boi, better known as OutKast, which follows the duo from their upbringing in the deep South, hooking up with each other at a local talent show, to quitting school to work with Organized Noize and chilling out in the Dungeon with the rest of the crew. It follows the group from the recording of their debut to their hip-pop masterpiece "Stankonia" in 2000. OutKast has always been one of my favorite groups - a duo that not only have one of the best chemistries in the game, includes one of the best emcees of all time, are great producers in their own right, and have one of the best catalouges around. Each and every one of their albums are truly groundbreaking and can be called masterpieces (or classics) or at least very close (not counting "Idlewild", but that was a soundtrack so it doesn't really count - the film was pretty cool though). "Speakerboxxx/Love Below" is a very underrated album, especially Big Boi's disc is purely amazing Southern hip-hop that points the way towards his excellent official debut "Big Lucious Left Foot" (what the hell was up with his sophomore effort though?).

This documentary was ripped from an old VHS tape by YouTube uploader YouTube Video Channel (yes that's the real name), and while the quality and sound isn't always all that it doesn't take away from the viewing pleasure. I've been heavily on my 'Kast shit recently, pumping especially "ATLiens" and "Aquemini", so finding this was a real gem as it really goes deep in some aspects of the group's struggles and triumphs. As if that wasn't enough, I am currently working on an OutKast compilation featuring non-album cuts that I think Lost Tapes fans will really enjoy. So look out for that in the coming days or at least within a week, but untill then press play up top and let the story of Big Boi and Andre 3K wash over you via VH1's Driven and be sure to check back for some rare 'Kast. As a little bonus teaser I'm throwing readers a bone with a song that was cut from the "ATLiens" sessions called "Roaches & Rats" (unfortunately ripped from a mixtape, but better than nothing for sure; sick jam!)


[EP Throwback] CAMP LO & SKI BEATZ - "Fort Apache" (2005)

Camp Lo and Ski Beatz are synonymous with creating one of the true classic late '90s albums in the excellent "Uptown Saturday Night". Featuring timeless pieces such as "Luchini", "Coolie High", "B-side to Hollywood", "Sparkle", "Black Connection" and all that good stuff, fans have been eager to hear more from the trio of Ski, Sonny Chiba and Geechi Suede. 2002:s "Let's Do It Again" was a real letdown despite sporting the same line-up while 2007:s "Black Hollywood" was definitely a step in the right direction. However between these two projects, the trio worked on another proejct that never saaw the light of the day (save for some internet success) - the six track deep "Fort Apache" EP was most likely supposed to work as a prequel of sort to the aforementioned "Black Hollywood". This has been floating around since 2006 when Ski released it for free, so I'm not entirely sure when it was recorded but I know it's a cool listen for fans of the three emcees and producer involved. No guests, just straight beats and rhymes which in my book is most of the time a good thing - especially when we're discussing a short EP.

However I have to say that Ski isn't the producer that he once was, though he still comes through with some amazing stuff like the ish he gave Mos Def for that Karate project. But I just don't hear him cooking up tracks like "Luchini", "Politics as Usual", "22 Heist", "Dead Presidents", "From The Concrete" (A.D.O.R.), "Uknowhowwedo" (Bahamadia), "John Blaze", and so on. With that being said I'm glad Camp Lo is now rocking with Pete Rock instead as that "80 Blocks From Tiffany's" mixtape, while being too long, was still slamming. But either way, there's good music on here, so if you haven't heard this throwback. DON'T SLEEP PEEPS!

01. "Sugar Willes Revenge"
02. "82 Afros"
03. "ZOOM"
04. "Flawless Victory"
05. "52 Pick Up"
06. "Did You Know"

AG - "Marcberri" [Vinyl Bonus Tracks]

AG's 2010 album "Everything's Berri" kind of threw me for a loop when I first heard it. The lyrics were all there as usual with one of the all time greats, but I was dissappointed with the sound at first as it was the first time I heard the D.I.T.C. legend go in without any of his D.I. brethren, or other intense outside producers such as Madlib, Dilla, E-Blaze, Jake One, and so on. This was the first time the world heard Ray West, and it definitely took some time to adjust to his somewhat unorthodox way of chopping samples and arranging songs, which is why I was initially dissappointed in "Everything's Berrii". However, as time has moved on, Ray West has become one of the main affiliated producers of the D.I. camp and as I said in my previous post, with each release he has came more into his own and his last two mini albums has been that STRAIGHT FIRE. And now going back and listening to the album that set it all off I realize that its a lot better than what I had first seen it, though it's not a masterpiece like A's albums with Show or West's later work with OC, AG and John Robinson and the LuvNY collective.

Originally released on CD only in 2010 by Fat Beats, not too long ago the label and the duo decided to press up a limited amount of vinyl runs for the project. This 2xLP set has a few tracks not featured on the original CD, and while I posted the extended "Marcberg" when the team released it as a single I just realized (again while doing the producer post below this one) that Ray West 45 @ Soundcloud had actually posted streams to all three exclusive songs in full. This was three months ago, but like I always say in these types of situation - better late than never, that's for damn sure! First out is the aforementioned "Marcberg" extended version, which is absolutely beautiful and makes me truly wonder why the hell it was cut short in the first place. The original album version used it as a kind of skit with only a fat but short Roc Marciano verse before cutting to the next song. Here Roc's verse are followed by a hook and an equally ill AG verse. Then you got another really crazy joint called "Buster's Train" that follows none other than Sadat X, and we all know that the X-Man and AG has a crazy chemistry together. The slow blues influenced joint that closes the sampler is a remix of "Infected", a song that appeared on the CD in its original format. If you're a vinyl head and haven't grabbed "Got Berries?" yet, be sure to do so from e.g. HHV (I can't find it at Fat Beats or UGHH which probably means it's sold out as it was a limited release). Oh well, at least you can hear the three extra tracks below and they are all fat!

RAY WEST Ft. BLU & DAVE DAR - "Stay Still"

The homie Ray West keeps bringing incredible hip-hop with his own original, unmistakable twist to the table, as every release on his label Red Apples 45 is pretty much just getting better and better with each drop. My personal favorite so far is the mini album he did with OC, "Ray's CafĂ©", followed by the John Robinson EP "Sample & Percussion" (click to stream both projects, respectively). For his new single and video, "Stay Still", West enlists Blu and Dave Dar for a nice summer vibe joint that feels just right! This banging joint is lifted from one of the many insane 7" extended plays that Red Apples 45 have dropped recently - you can grab "Berri Lipstick" EP @ iTunes now. Video premiered by OkayPlayer and was directed by Dave Dar and A.M. Fine.

[12" Throwback] SLICK RICK - "Ricky D Lost Tracks"

Slick Rick, the original master storyteller that has inspired every hip-hop emcee worthy of his name, has released some extremely tight albums throughout the years - though way to few that his skills deserve. So although his album catalouge ain't all that, luckily Ricky D got a large amount of unreleased bangers from the early to mid-'90s that feature nothing but vintage Rick getting it in over bangers by people like Pete Rock, SD50s, Prince Paul, Vance Wright and more. Trust me when I say that I'm definitely going to do a proper Slick Rick compilation of the best of these type of joints sooner or later. But in the meantime I want to put a bright spotlight on a very unorthodox Japanese bootleg of two Ricky D joints that are as hilarious as they are rare. The two track 12" is simply called "Ricky D. Lost Tracks" and the songs, which was likely too strong in its language and storytelling that Def Jam had no choice but to cut them from the album. The LP in question I am pretty sure is 1994:s "Behind Bars" LP, the album that was released while Slick was still in jail and featured new remixes by artists like Pete Rock, Warren G, Epitome Of Scratch, and Large Professor of previously unreleased material a long with some never before heard songs. It could have been recorded for the previous LP however, 1991:s "The Ruler's Back" as the beat supplied by Mr. Philips' sound more like early '90s Pete if you ask me.

So how do I know that the absolutely brilliant "Sleazy Gynecologist" which appears on the A-side here is one of those rare Slick Rick/Pete Rock collaborations, more than the fact that it sound like an early Pete beat?  Well after some research, I found a very illuminating post over @ RapOhneLizenz with a quote from the Younger Soul Brother, Grap Luva; "Grap was shocked to see [the bootleg 12"], confirming that it was in fact a Pete Rock beat ... He only knew the track from when he snuck into his brothers spot and dubbed it off a DAT" (SOURCE). Slick Rick and Pete Rock is always a magnificent combo for us true hip-hop heads, but Slick Rick himself is truly bringing his A+ game here; telling three magnificent verses where Rick shows why he's a true master emcee by doing one verse as the girl, one as the sleazy gynecologist and one as the boyfriend (who happens to be Rick himself, or so it seems). This is pretty hardcore too, as the sleazy gynecologist's last verse finds the doctor raping an unconscious underage girl under sedation before the cops bust in. It's an extremely well written joint, the beat is slamming, overall it's classic Rick though it's easy to see why no record label wanted to fuck with it at the time. Well, thank God for bootlegs.

The B-side to this rare bootleg is here listed as "Feels Like", but is listed as "The Nutty Professor" on various later tapes, like on J-Love's semi-official mixtapes, so it's safe to say that "The Nutty Professor" is the proper title for the song. Once again this sound like it could be a Pete Rock beat, but I don't have any confirmation for this - and according to the original bootleg both songs are produced by SD50's but we know that that's not the case with the A-side at least. Either way it's another powerful jam, however I have a feeling this was recorded a bit later as "The Nutty Professor" (the movie) wasn't released until early 1996 - and listening to the production (Pete Rock, SD50's or whoever) it's deifnitely a mid-'90s joint, no question). It's not as agressive or original as the A-side but it's a cool storytelling joint with some of Rick's trademark hilarious lines interspersed throughout the songs running time. Both songs needs to be heard by any Slick Rick fan that might have missed out, despite the shitty sound quality -  remember this is a rip from a mid-'90s Japanese bootleg that have only surfaced on mixtapes since (with DJ shouts and all that not-so-good stuff). Enjoy peeps!

A1. "Sleazy Gynecologist"
B1. "Feels Like (The Nutty Professor)"

[EP] NUTSO - "I Plead The 5th" (2013)

With all the extreme amount of super dope material being released on a regular basis you know it's inevitable that you're gonna miss out on some really sick releases every now and then. Even this year there's some heavy releases that I've been looking forward to that I haven't even banged out yet (Cannibal Ox, Mr. Green / Malik B.). But today I noticed on my FB that the always trustworthy EgoTripLand had posted a 2013 single by severely ill Queens spitter Nutso (p/k/a Nut-Rageous) featuring Kool G Rap and Mic Geronimo (DAMN!). It turns out this is actually a track from a Bandcamp EP that Nutso released in the spring of 2013 called "I Plead The 5th". As I'm listening to the six tracks that make up the EP I am blown away by how dope this is, 

"I Plead The 5th" is a collaboration with producer 5th Seal (hence the double entendre of the EP:s name) who supplies Nutso's rugged lyrics and delivery with a soulful boom bap type of sound that really does the emcee justice. I'm a sucker for the one MC/one DJ formula and the three full projects that I know from Nutso's catalouge are all done in that matter - this one, 2013's excellent collaboration with French boom bap maestro DJ Low Cut called "In The Cut" and most recently that brand new 2015 EP with the homies Divided Souls Entertainment and DJ Pain 1 ("Divided Souls") that is one of the five best albums of the year so far if you ask me. Stream the entirety of "I Plead The 5th" below via Bandcamp where you can also download a HQ Mp3 download in the digital format of your choice. Features comes from Kool G Rap, Mic Geronimo, Punchline, Wais P, Meyhem Lauren, AG Da Coroner, J-Love, and a couple of others. Satisfaction guaranteed!