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Sunday, August 31, 2014

[Comp] BIG DADDY KANE - "Wrath Of Kane"

Few debut albums packs the punch of Big Daddy Kane's 1988 classic "Long Live The Kane". Kane had originally started out lurking in the background, writing and/or co-writing some of his good friend Biz Markie's best songs (including the immortal "Vapors") and acting the hype man. As soon as he convinced Marley Marl to let him record some songs of his own it quickly became clear that Kane was not only Young, Gifted and Black but also that he was a rap superstar in the making. Coupled with the super funky, bottom heavy beats by Marley, Kane would showcase a rapid fire flow and intense delivery without ever missing a beat. In fact his delivery was often hype and calm at the same time, making rhyme sound as natural as breathing for the young emcee. Jaw dropping lyrical exercises like his solo singles "Raw" and "Ain't No Half Steppin'" instantly made him a favorite amongst true hip-hop connoisseurs and street dwellers. At the same time his smooth voice, good looks and appreciation for the fairer sex (displayed on jams like "The Day You're Mine" and "I'll Take You There") made him a favorite amongst the female crowd as well. Puff Daddy and BIG would later look to "Long Live the Kane" as a sort of blueprint for creating "Ready to Die", another classic album that perfected the balance between the hardcore and the sexy without falling in neither the studio gangsta trap or watering down the music with corny pop tracks. And the influence on BIG is just one example, listening to Kane's debut it's quite amazing how much of the albums lyrics have been sampled, flipped and borrowed by everyone from Jay-Z to GZA, ODB to Gang Starr, and so on.

While Big Daddy Kane never even to this day have lost his lyrical ability , he would never again sound as amazing and comfortable rhyming as  he did on the 1988 Cold Chillin' debut. Kane also had a good ear for music and would often bring ideas to his producer Marley Marl, who did a marvelous job of flipping those samples, creating unforgettable hip-hop bangers by sparking up old jams by The Emotions, ESG, Bobby Byrd, Booker T, and of course James Brown. It was a sure shot way to make certain heads would be kept nodding and feets tapping while ears peaked to Kane's every word. Although Kane has been quoted as saying that there were at times quite a lot of tension in the studio between the two, for the listener it was a match made in hip-hop heaven. And sometimes when two people have to fight for their ideas create the strongest music as was likely the case here. Big Daddy Kane was for example unaware that a new mix of "Raw" would be used for the album, as he told Brian Coleman in his excellent "Check The Technique". Using the same beat Marley decided to use parts of Kane's verses from the original demo session which also featured Kool G Rap (that legendary version is also featured in full in the compilation below). In the end Kane was happy with the results.

As was the custom for an LP in the '80s "Long Live the Kane" consisted of only ten tracks and a running time of roughly 45 minutes. Simply put, just enough to satisfy the listener, but at the same time to short not to leave a striking hunger for more. While revisiting Kane's debut extensively the last couple of weeks, I realized that there was enough B-sides, demos and unreleased material that captured that same magic chemistry created between Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane in 1988. Focusing only on tracks produced between 1987 and 1989 in collaboration between this duo, the aim of this nine track compilation is to create a little companion piece to the herein discussed album. A few of these songs were even recorded for "Long Live The Kane" ("Something Funky" and "This is For Your Own Concern" to be exact), while the majority of the others are B-sides to singles from the album. When the label pushed for the laid back ladies anthem "I'll Take You There", Kane headed back to the studio to record "Wrath Of Kane" to at least have something more rugged for the street cats on the flip. The only perhaps "controversial" decision is the inclusion of "Young Gifted & Black" as it actually appeared on "It's Hard Being the Kane", but seeing as it's still a collaboration between Kane and Marley in the given time frame I found it interesting to hear it in this setting. The version of "Rap Summary (Lean On Me)" heard here, however, is the original version of the song from the "Wrath Of  Kane" 12" (1988) rather than the Marley remix from the aforementioend LP. 

With that being said, this is undoubtedly a great way to kill 40 minutes of your time and I hope it will be as pleasurable to y'all to listen to as it is for me. So let's take a trip down memory lane with Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane, two of the greatest to ever touch a microphone and a sampler, respectively. And while I'm at it, don't forget that these cats both have relatively new projects out on the market right now. Big Daddy Kane's group with singer Showtyme and live band Lifted Crew released their official debut "Back to the Future" last year, while Marley produced the entirety of Lords Of The Underground latest EP, "LOTUG 20, Vol. 1" only a couple of months ago. So go and support the legends! And last but not least, a big shout out and thanks to DJ Mike Nice and anybody else responsible for digging up these gems.

01. "Get Into It"
02. "The Wrath Of Kane"
03. "Something Funky"
04. "For Your Own Concern"
05. "Young, Gifted & Black"
06. "Rap Summary (Lean On Me)"
07. "Raw: Original Demo Version" (Ft. Kool G Rap)
08. "The Symphony" (Ft. Master Ace, Craig G & Kool G Rap)
09. "Word to the Mother (Land): Outro" [Original 12" Mix]

BIG DADDY KANE - "¨WRATH OF KANE"

DELTRON 3030 - "Melding Of The Minds" [A-Plus Remix]

While Deltron 3030's second album "Event II" seemed to kind of come and go rather quitely, I thought it was a tight album that offered a lot of strong beats and performances from Del. Therefore it's a good thing to remind folks of that LP by this crazy remix of the Zack De La Rocha collaboration "Melding Of The Minds" by Hiero/Souls producer A-Plus. This is in fact more than a simple remix as A-Plus introduces a new style for each verse going from boom bap to hyphy. Read all about it here.

PLANET ASIA - "Thai Stick"

Planet Asia and producer G-Force new single is a short but effective affair that is now available for free download so be sure to check it out.

TIMELESS TRUTH - "Strange Fruit"

These brothers knows damn well how to make some real hardcore hip-hop ish. Here they take on Pete Rock's 1998 instrumental "Strange Fruit" and the result is just blazing.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Video] GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW - "Pop Iconz II"


Soul princess (only held back from the throne by Erykah Badu at the moment) has an unbelivable work ethic. It's not a question of quantity over quality because Muldrow most of the times manages to give fans both. Her latest single is a short but very powerful funk-soul jam entitled "Pop Iconz", produced by Chris Keys and with a video directed by Chuck N.L.V. I'm not sure where this will turn up but the YT clip is posted via Mello Music Group's official channel. Maybe a Muldrow / Chris Keys Project in the works? I wouldn't complain!

Friday, August 29, 2014

SHABAAM SAHDEEQ Ft. MASTA ACE, RAS KASS, EL GRANT & PAWZ 1 - "Darkness"

Coming on the heels of his excellent "Keepers of the Lost Art" (in my opinion his finest album yet), Shabaam Sahdeeq releases the promotional street single "Darkness", a powerful posse cut produced by Jake Palumbo and released on Space Lab Recordings. Over the dark, thumping instrumental Sahdeeq get busy along with legends Masta Ace and Ras Kass a long with El Grant and Pawz One. The digital single is available from the labels Bandcamp for free streaming and can be downloaded for a price of your own choosing. The single include the main version, a clean mix and the instrumental. Bang this rugged ish y'all!

ADaD - "Get it Together" [prod. Q-TIP]

The two most recent production credits from Q-Tip came with a soulful cut for John Legend ("Tomorrow" from the very great "Love in the Future") and an almost disco like '70s-ish single for Mariah Carey ("Meteorite"), so its great to hear the genius lace some real boom bap right here for Chicago emcee ADaD. "Get it Together" is a great blend of fine chemistry between an emcee and his producer so don't sleep.

DEF DEE Ft. RAW POETIC - "Beau (Dedication)"


Redefinition Records continues with their quality over quanitity program, giving both established and new artists a chance yet pretty much always coming through with interesting records. You might remember the Seattle producer Def Dee from his interesting remix/instrumental album "33 And A Third". Now he's back with a more proper solo album, set for a Septemeber 9 release, and the lead single is a collaboration with Redef favorite Raw Poetic in "Beau", a dedication to Def Dee's cousin who lost his life in a motorcycle accident. You can also check out the instrumental album cut "Pay More Attention". Pre-order the vinyl of "Deja Vu" , which also features Roc Marciano, Blu, Kaimbr, Damu, One Be Lo and El Da Sensei, @ Redef's Official Site,

[Album] UGLY HEROES - "Ugly Heroes EP"

Back in the spring of 2013, emcees Red Pill and Verbal Kent hooked up with producer Apollo Brown to form Ugly Heroes and released their self-titled LP on Mello Music Group, A few days ago the trio continued on their rampage with a new EP/mini-album enitled "The Ugly Heroes EP" featuring 10 new songs from the crew (track #7 guest produced by Oddisee). Like its predecessesor it is released on MMG and made available as a digital download for $7.49. It's definitely sounding ill and is a good warm-up to Apollo Brown's upcoming full-length project with Ras Kass. Stream and/or purchase the full project below and enjoy the warm soulful boom bap beats and tight lyricism. 

[Video] SONNIE CARSON - "Never Ran, Never Will" (Ft. Styles P)

Last year skilled Brooklyn spitter Sonnie Carlson released his free project "Most Likely to Succeed", featuring several productions by D.I.T.C. legend Buckwild. One of those cuts are the thumping Styles P featured single "Never Ran, Never Will" that now gets the visual treatment. Be sure to bang this LOUD and if you're still sleeping on this street album be sure to click on the link above and press play!

ASPECTS / GHOSTFACE KILLAH /CODY - "What You Get Now"

Emcee Aspects is preparing to release his new album "Grind Over Matter" on September 9, which sees the artist team up with Ghostface, Raekwon, Killah Priest, Billy Danze and M.O.P. (on separate cuts), Punchline, Hussein Fatal, Sheek Louch and many more; all entirely produced by The Snowgoons. For the first single/video we get "What You Get Now", a tight jam featuring a killer verse by Ghostface Killah. Pre-order the CD and check the tracklist @ UGHH.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

[Video] FREDRO STARR - "That New York"


One of my favorite albums from last year finally gets a video in the form of the knocking "That New York". And not only that, but the originally digital only album is finally getting a physical release - no wax, but you can-pre-order Fredro's Audible Doctor produced "Made in the Streets" @ UGHH now (September 5 is the date)

[Video] KRAZY DAYZ Ft. SMIF-N-WESSUN - "Rude Boy"

Das EFX's Krazy Day takes it back to his underrated 2012 album "Showtime" for a brand new video of one of its rawest cuts - the street Anthem "Rude Boy", featuring Smif-N-Wessun. The legendary Brooklyn duo is also credited as directors of the video.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIABOLIC - "Diabolical Sound" [prod. DJ PREMIER]

Another rugged DJ Premier banger, this time he lends his incredible turntable and production talents to emcee Diabolic for his latest single "Diabolical Sound". This Wax Poetics premiere will appear on Diabolic's upcoming "Fighting Words". Apart from DJ Premier on the lead single, the September 9 release will feature production and cameos from heavyweights such as Sean Price, Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled and RA The Rugged Man. Stay tuned for future singles and more information, but in the meantime, turn up the volume and LET IT BANG!

[Comp] PETE ROCK - "The R&B n Soul Brother #1"

As I'm sure you are aware of by now, Pete Rock is one of my absolute favorite artists doing it, right up there with, or in some cases slightly above, DJ Premier, RZA, Diamond D, Large Professor, J Dilla and Marley Marl. He has released countless classic and/or truly great albums, some of the best tracks ever released and cemented his legacy as one of the true flag bearers of the culture. As you might also know I'm not a strickt hip-hop fantatic, but equally impressed by true Soul music, true R&B (not that rap & Bullshit), and jazz to name a few styles I bump on a regular basis. So when one of my favorite hip-hop artists as far as producers goes dwell into these sides of their talents I'm usually very intrigued. Long time readers might remember my well received J Dilla compilations and the one I did for DJ Premier, but the most natural fit of all should be Pete Rock taking into a account his highly soulful sound. This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but strangely enough there's really not that many R&B cuts Pete has had his direct involvement in. With some valuable input from my mans Chris Moss and Brandon of Crates Of Jr. I was finally able to put it together, and the result is to me quite fantastic.

There's a few songs that could have been used that I decided against - these are the early soul singles from the early 1990s that's more of an uptempo New Jack swing feel to it (the original Jonny Gil, "Rub You..." remix, the Basic Black joint, etc.). But I managed to round up 15 cuts that really show Pete Rock crafting incredible R&B-based beats for artists like Alexander O'Neal, Leela James, Loose Ends, Monica (much thanks to Brandon for the "Get Down" remix which he ripped from Future Flavaz back then), Jesse Powell, and many more. There's a few songs that feature some additional verses which I don't take away anything from the experience, quite the other way around - and I even choose to include the Scritti Politti/Mos Def remix though it's not really an R&B single at all; yet I felt that the production style matched the other material very well. So without further a due, here is this beautiful set which I have choosen to call "The R&B N Soul Brother #1" and I feel are perfect for listening to with your girl or just relaxing in a calm setting, preferably with headphones. I tried to find the best quality versions I could come across and most of them are 320 rips. Of course much props to all the original rippers on the songs I didn't rip from my personal collection. Don't sleep!

01. Leela James - "No Tears"
02. Alexander O'Neal - "In The Middle" [Brown Mix] (Ft. CL Smooth)
03. Incognito - "Roots" [Pete Rock Remix]
04. Monica - "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" [Pete Rock Remix]
05. Mary J. Blige - "Family Affair" [Pete Rock Remix] (Ft. CL Smooth)
06. Pete Rock & Loose Ends - "Take Your Time"
07. Scritti Politti / Mos Def - "Tinseltown to Boogiedown" [Pete Rock Remix]
08. Monica - "Get Down" [Unreleased Pete Rock Remix] (Ft. Grap Luva)
09. Leela James - "Good Time" [prod. Commisioner Gord & Pete Rock] (Ft. CL)
10. Black Eyed Peas / James Brown - "They Don't Want Music" [Remix]
11. Keyshia Cole - "Got to Get My Heart Back"
12. Pete Rock & Terry Torae - "Made Man"
13. J Dilla & Bilal - "Remember"
14. Jesse Powell - "I Wasn't With It" [Remix] (Ft. Sauce Money)
15. Mack Wilds - "The Art Of Fallin'"