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Monday, October 20, 2014

FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB - "Knicks Remix" (Ft. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ & Ransom)

Ah, the good ol' posse cut remix - you gotta love it! For the new version of "Knicks" from Madlib and Gangsta Gibbs excellent "Pinata" LP the duo invites Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom for a fresh take. This joint will be released on a new EP via Madlib Invazion which was also include a brand new MadGibbs track called "Home", featuring BJ The Chicago Kid, and a couple of new Madlib instrumentals.

[EP] JASON DEAN - "Straight Out The Projects"

Jason Dean is a new name to me but his album "Straight Out the Projects" really is a reminder of why I originally fell in love with hip-hop. The Norweigan producer seamlessly blends smooth soul and hardcore rhythms which he attracts some of the illest spitters around. How about Masta Ace, Cormega, AZ, M.O.P, Ruste Juxx, Big Shug, Prop Dylan, and Rasco? With only six songs it's a quick but definitely satisfying listen, it will be interesting to say what this Scandinavian boom bap fanatic will bring to the table in the future. The entire EP is available to stream for free via Spotify below, and can be purchased from iTunes or Amazon so don't sleep!

01. "Da Ville" (Ft. Masta Ace)
04. "3rd of September" (Ft. Rasco)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

AUDESSEY & A CAT CALLED FRITZ - "Beats Per Minute"

Audessey of Soundsci and (formerly) Mass Influence is a rapper I have loads of respect for, as he's constantly dropping quality material no matter who he is working on or with who. His most recent endevour is a project with French beat maestro A Cat Called Fritz whose love for funky jazz sampleshypnotic horns, deep bass grooves and boom bap drums makes for a perfect blend with Audessey's smooth voice, versatile flows and honest lyrics. "Beats Per Minute" is being released via Slice-Of-Spice, who continues their movement of releasing real hip-hop for the love of the culture, and is now finally available on 12" vinyl. Audessey was kind enough to shoot me over a copy of the digital version quite some time ago, and I immediatly fell in love with the sounds of Fritz and A's creativeness and the extraordinary sounds it resulted in. Needless to say I have been waiting for a physical copy to add to my collection since then, which is now finally available @ Slice-Of-Spice in various editions, including an instrumental LP, a limited picture disc, the regular 12" EP, and the collectors bundle which includes the album, the instrumental set, the picture disc and the "The Hop"/"By Design" 7". Without a doubt this is one of the absolute finest releases of the year, so HURRY UP AND BUY!

As if the news alone wasn't enough S-O-S has also put up the full album stream for both the regular and instrumental editions on their Soundcloud page, so peep them below. Only downside is that the vinyl omits the songs "By Design" and "Traveling Thoughts" which were the two album closers on the digital version A hooked me up with. Nontheless the eight tracks we are left with is enough to bop your head for 30 minutes straight, so I can't really front! Also check out the free prequel tape, "The Metronome Mixtape".


[Album] KID TSUNAMI- "The Chase"

Back in June 2013 Australian producer Kid Tsunami released his debut album "The Chase" as a digital download distributed by The Orchard and Fat Beats. CD and vinyl were supposed to follow shortly after but that never came to fruition... until now, as Slice-Of-Spice has gained the rights to release a nice 180 gram 2xLP set. Nostalgic fans of true school boom bap will no doubt love Tsu's sample heavy production and the guest cast which includes some of New York's finest emcees to ever do it. We're talking names like OC, Percee P, Jeru The Damaja, AG, Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, Bahamadia, KRS-One, Pharoahe Monch, and many more. The music is the same as on the original 2013 release (there might be some minor tweaks here and there), but the artwork by Fred Whyte is brand new and is looking a whole lot better, as well as the sequencing which has been switched around to make the LP flow better. The gatefold vinyl of "The Chase" is limited to 500 copies and is available @ Slice Of Spice now.

As nice as the guys at Slice Of Spice are they are also offering up the newly remastered version of the album not only for full streaming but you can also download all of the individual tracks in HQ Mp3 for free. Also check out the "No Guarantees" single which features banging remixes by Diamond D and DJ Bless. TURN IT UP!!

[EP] KID TSUNAMI - "Limitless Beat Tape"

To commendate the official vinyl release of Kid Tsunami's very strong debut album "The Chase" on Slice-Of-Spice (see the post above), the Australian producer lets loose of "Limitless". The instrumental beat tape features seven headnodding instrumentals based around fresh, jazzy samples and crisp drums. According to Kid Tsu this is one of many future beat tapes that will be uploaded to his Soundcloud so keep your eyes on that.

[Video] DIABOLIC - "Diabolic Sounds"

Hardcore ish from Diabolic with DJ Premier on the rugged backdrop which now gets the visual treatment. "Diabolic Sounds" appears on Diabolic's sophomore LP "Fightin Words" which is out now. Grab it @ iTunes.

SHABAAM SAHDEEQ - "Skillet"



Shabaam Sahdeeq always been a sick rapper, no question, but in 2013/2014 he's been a fucking monster with it. The "Keepers of the Lost Art" album was absolutely ridiciolous, and is still getting spins, and the agressive yet soulful thump that DJ Ready Cee hooks up for Sahdeeq the New York legend gets cinematic with it. "Skillet" is the lead single from DJ Ready Cee's upcoming producer abum "In The Cut" so be on the lookout for that.

BOAZ - "Like This" [East Coast Remix] (Ft. Oddisee, Termanology & Vinny Radio)

Boaz is a Pittsburg emcee who released his debut album "The Audiobiography" in 2009. This Tuesday's he's getting his sophomore on, with the release of "Intuition" which features production and guest spots from the likes of !llmind, Jadakiss, Styles P, Junior Reid, and Larry Fisherman. For the !llmind produced single "Like This", Boaz has unveiled two remixes - one representing the West Coast and featuring Crooked I, Murs and Fashawn, and now the East Coast remix which sees Boaz getting busy together with Oddisee, Termanology & Vinny Radio. Check both of them out below and also visit Boaz Soundcloud to peep joints with Styles P, Jadakiss, Junior Reid, Scarface, Sean Price, and more. Pre-order "Intuition" @ iTunes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

[Review] SAIGON - "GSNT3: Life & Times of Brian Carenard"

There's no question that Saigon is an incredible emcee, and a great writer, which was not least proven by his long-delayed debut "The Greatest Story Never Told". Recorded over a period of about 5-6 years and almost entirely prouced or co-produced by Just Blaze, Sai delivered one of the strongest New York debuts in years. Over soul sampling, thumping production from Just, Sai never shyed away from intimiately personal or political subject, whether it was digging deep into the darker sides of his personality, exploring his flaws and triumphs, failed relationships or living the player role. Another aspect that made Sai stand out from the rest was his ability to become a voice for the inner city youth trapped in the ghetto, speaking truthful political beliefs and spreading truthful social commentary .

The "GSNT" sequel didn't take long after to hit shelves, and the result was an album that felt terribly rushed on most aspects. Instead of the introspective and political lyrics, and headnodding soul sample based poduction Sai totally switched up the formula for 2012:s "Bread & Circuses". There definitely were some tracks were Sai shined and had a lot of important things to vent, but overall it was a diminished effort both from a lyrical and a production standpoint. So while it wasn't a weak album in all aspects, compared to what we know knew Sai was capable of it I can only consider it a huge dissapointment. The remarkable chemistry between Sai and producer Just Blaze was almost entirely gone in favor for beats by relatively unknown beatmakers like Clev Trev, DJ Corbett, Careni Finch, Sire, Rich Kidd and Rayne Dior who sometimes did a great job and sometimes far from it.. 

The third installment is titled "The Greatest Story Never Told: The Life and Times of Brian Carenard" and is in someway a mixture between the two preceeding volumes in the series. Just Blaze is once again absent aside from a voice mail intro, and the majority of the production is handled by Clev Trev. However Clev does a much better job in capturing Saigon's lyrical strengths this time around, and singles like "Hustler's Prayer", "Street Gospel" and "My Mama Thinks I'm Crazy" is ample proof of a chemistry that coud go a long way although it at other times are still a bit rough around the edges. Though the production is at times a bit lacking, and the relayiing on R&B hooks tends to get over used, it's a positive fact that Saigon's back in full effect with the socio-political themes and the heart of the ghetto struggle at the forefront of his lyrics. And with that the delivery is as potent as always! There's a lot of concept songs on here, all brilliantly executed, and when the producton is on par it's a pretty damn incredible record. Best of all is the DJ Premier section which runs for three tracks in a row - all produced by Works of Mart. The single "Nunya (None Of Ya Business)" is a beautifully chopped vintage Preem banger where Sai sounds absolutely excellent. The best song on the entire LP, however, is "One Fot in The Door" where Premier conjures u a true headnodder complete with his trademark cuts and booming beats. Not only is the production excellent but Saigon here invites legendary veteran Big Daddy Kane to join him in the booth. It's a beautiful thing where the song plays out as Kane passinng down the batton to the younger, hungry emcee.  Pure brilliance!

For hardcore hip-hop heads stuck in the '90s there's a risk they will find dissapointment in "GSNT3: Life and Times of Brian Carnard" as many of the songs relies on R&B hooks and relatively smooth beats. This is surely no bother to me as the songs here prove that Saigon is not only a very good lyricist but he has a good understanding on song structure. The point is that Saigon has made an honest album where he has poured much of his heart into the music, exactly the formula that made me a fan of him in the first place. So all in all, when talking purely lyrical performance it's an excellent collection of tracks. Unfortunately the production doesn't always make those strengths the justice they deserves, as many tracks comes off as rather flat and not something you'd expect to hear on the follow-up to an album entirely produced by Just Blaze. Shuko, DJ Premier, and about half of Clev Trev's contributions really comes of as strong and well-designed music, worthy of an emcee of Sai's caliber. But the whole is only as strong as the sum of its part, and tracks like "Mine, Mine, Mine", "Best Mistake" and "Bring That" just don't cut it, and even DJ Premier's "Let's Get Smart" sounds rather uninspired compared to their other collaborations prevent the abum from being the superb disc I had hoped for. It is however a big step up from the preceding "Bread & Circuses"  abum, and there's enough hot shit on the disc to make it worth revisiting several times. As Saigon is one of the more interesting New York emcees of his generation, it's easy to see that he will need stronger producers if he ever want to deliver the masterpiece I believe he has in him - his work with Just Blaze and DJ Premier so far tells us just that. If I was to give a number rating it would land somewhere around 3.5 out of 5.

Friday, October 17, 2014

GHOSTFACE x BADBADNOTGOOD - "Gunshowers" (Ft. eLzhi)

Tony Starks joins forces with up-and-coming jazz trio BadBadNotGood once again following some tracks on the "Man With The Iron Fist" OST and especially the recently released "Six Degrees" 7" featuring Danny Brown. "Gunshowers" is more of the same, with Ghost spitting absolute heat over very competent live instrumentation, and this time the quartet is joined by the always immaculate spitter eLzhi - what more can you ask for? 

As if the few tracks we've heard so far isn't enough, Ghost and BadBadNotGood has signed a deal with LEX Records for a full-length collaboration album to be released on February 16. I for one can't fucking wait, this should easily be a contender for album of the year in 2015. Stay tuned for more info and singles from "Sour Soul" as it's called. Damn!!!

[Out Of Print] EDO G - "Dedication EP"

Having released classic albums and 12":s with his Da Bulldogs crew as far back as 1991, Boston emcee Edo G has truly proved time and time again that constant elevation and logevity can go hand in hand. This year he released one of the finest albums of 2014 so far, the short but straight to the point "After All These Years" which is unfortunately still ridiciously slept-on in many circles. For this post I want to bring back one of Edo's more unknown records, a Japan only EP that forms a bridge between his early 2000s solo catalouge and his early work as part of Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs. Most comonly refered as the "Dedication" EP, this piece of vinyl shows brilliant lyricismms delivered in Edo's unmistakable monotonous but heartfelt flow over a thumping but dark, and sometimes laid-back beats of the boom bap aesthetic - completely supplied by The Vinyl Reanimators (Joe Mansfield and Sean C on the production; DJ Shame and DJ Nestle Quick on the turntables). Released in 1996 on the small Japanese label Solid Records, it is sometimes known as "The Six Song EP" and are available in a few different versions - one with six tracks, and one that also includes two additional tracks towards the end. The latter one is the one I want to share with you here.

There's not a single weak or half-mediocre song on here, whether we're focusing on production or lyrical performance, and without no guests both Edo G and Vinyl Reanimators really gets to shine together as their chemistry is unmistakable. I'm a big fan of the EP format, as I'd rather take a near perfect six or seven songs outing than a fifteen track album where four of the songs straihgt up suck. And this is about as good an EP as they come - it's all here; that headnodding '90s boom bap esthetic where samples were always crisp, drums were pounding you in the head and artists put a lot of effort into their lyrics to really mean something. If you haven't heard this gem before do yourself a favor and download it ASAP, press play, sit back, TURN IT UP and let your head start nodding. And don't forget to cop Edo G's "After All These Years" as it's definitely an album worth to have in the collection.


01. "Dedicated"
02. "What U Got"
03. "304's"
04. "Acting"
05. "Showing Skills"
06. "Nights Like This"
07. "Get It Right"
08. "Get It Right: The Remid"

[Compilation] DIAMOND D - "Still Top 5ive"

After being taken under the wing of the legendary DJ Jazzy Jay, Diamond D's talent for deejaying and incredible ear for rhythms and melody quickly made him a highly sought after producer. Although his formal debut "I'm Not Playin'" with MC partner Master Rob as part of the group Ultimate Force was completed (and was a dope LP at that) it was as a solo artist and producer for hire that Diamond D would make waves in the hip-hop world from 1990 and onward. Although he does get his due props, I still think he's a bit underrated compared to those I consider his musical peers like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Marley Marl, RZA, etc. I'm not saying that he's neccesarily better than those legends, but to me he is on the same level, hence the title of this compilation. He has often dared venturing out to experiment with sounds and styles, and was one of the first producers to cross the borders and produce popular cats from the East, the West and the South. Due to his versatility not every production of his hits the bullseye but his deep catalouge packs enough heat to forever give him a place amongst the true greats.

As you should know Joseph Kirkland (a.k.a. Diamond D) just released his fifth album under his own name - "The Diam Piece", a true return to form after the somewhat lackluster "Huge Hefner Chronicles" (2008) and "Grown Man Talk" (2003). He recently revealed that he took about two years to complete the album, really putting in some hard work, but at the same time he also produced the entirety of Southern monster spitter BIGREC's "DoomsDay" album and laced several loose joints. With two Diamond produced albums hitting stores this year I figured it was the perfect to drop a new compilation on y'all. "Still Top 5" bridges the gap between "The Huge Hefner Chronicles" and "The Diam Piece" as it features the majority of Diamond's productions between 2009 and 2014. 60 minutes of pure Diggin' in the Crates funk with emcees like Sadat X, AG, Pharoahe Monch, RA The Rugged Man, Beneficence, J-Live, Dilated Peoples, Raekwon, Torae, Fat Joe, and many more. This is not something you want to sleep on, rather press play and TURN IT UP!! Also be sure to support Diamond D and D.I.T.C.'s movement by copping "The Diam Piece", BIGREC's "DoomsDay" and D.I.T.C.'s "The Remix Project".

01. "Time is Now" (w. AG & Sadat X)
02. I Get Down" (w. Collective Efforts)
02. "Changes" (w. Torae)
04. "Heavyhitters" (w. Beneficence)
05. "Boyz II Men" [Remix] (w. Blu Ft. Nitty Scott MC)
06. "Think About It" (w. Freestyle Professors)
07. "Magic (Like That)" (w. Kurious & AG)
08. "Take Japan" (w. Dillon)
09. "Deflate Cha" (performed by Diamond D)
10. "The Cypher" (w. Fat Joe)
11. "Shine" (w. Pharoahe Monch & Mela Machinko)
12. "No Time to Waste" (w. J-Live)
13. "The Heater" (w. Raekwon, Kaimbr & Hasaan Mackey)
14. "In Da Jungle" (w. Sadat X, AG & Twan)
15. "Treasures Untold" (w. Beneficence & Diamond D)
16. "Internationally Known" [Remix] (w. OC, Fat Joe & Big L)
17. "The Dumb Out" (w. BIGREC & R.A. The Diamond Mine)
18. "Let Your Thoughts Fly Away" (w. Dilated Peoples)
19. "A Moment of Silence For Big L"
20. "Snakeman Flow" (w. Rhyme Boya, Hunger, Gooci & 晋平太) [*]

ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT / COMMON - "I Stand Alone"

Being a huge fan of both jazz, soul and hip-hop I am super excited by pianist/producer Robert Glasper and his Experiment band and their three "Black Radio" records released so far. This years "Black Radio 2" featured one of my favorite songs of the entire year, which was the heartfelt collaboration with Common, "I Stand Alone", which is now getting the video treatment. A perfect reason to revisit this beautiful song, but you should of course support Glasper and his movement @ Amazon or your store of choice. Directed by Robert Glasper and Brian Deka Paupaw.

TMF - "What It Look Like"


TMF is a loosely affiliated Wu-Tang Clan group, consisting of Trife Diesel (of Ghost's Theodore Unit), Khryme Life and Tommy Whispers. They've been doing it on an underground level for quite some time, even appearing on the "Supreme Clientel" classic "One" but their real (underground) breakthrough came with the Ghost/Trife Da God joint LP "Put it on the Line" - a slightly underrated LP. Tommy Whispers is preparing a new project called "Graffiti Subway Series II" and for the first single, "What it Look Like", he invites Trife Da God and Khryme Life to get busy over a revamped beat from the "Tical" album. Peace to Anti-Social for the heads up bc this is pretty dope!

[EP] NUMONICS - "An Unreasonable Man"

Numonics is a talented producer hailing from Florida who made a name for himself when he hooked up with lyrical wonderkind REKS and produced the entirety of his "Rebelutionary" album. Now Num' is back with a new three-part (mainly) instrumental EP series showcasing his talents behind the boards. The first installment is called "An Unreasonable Man" and features an eclectic mix of classic soul, funk, vintage East Coast hip-hop and elements of rock. Well worth checking out! Spotted @ 2DBZ.