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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

L'ORANGE & JEREMIAH JAE - "Taken By The Night"

Some beautiful jazzy piano driven ish produced by L'Orange for emcee Jeremiah Jae. These two are currently working on an album for Mello Music Group that will be released on April 21, carrying the title "The Night Took Us In Like Family". Tracklist and pre-order @ iTunes. On a side note, check out this heavy hitting Flying Lotus produced banger by Jeremiah Jae - "Cat Fight".

eMC - "Fly Thoughts"

eMC is back with a new single called "Fly Thoughts" and it is really, really sick. I love the smooth vibe of this; that beautiful bass line, the melancholic piano line and knocking drums concocted by Kic Beats together with Strick, Punchline, Wordsworth and an especially outstanding verse from Masta Ace really makes this one a standout. Not sure about the hook courtesy of Pearl Gates, I could probably do with or without so it's whatever. I'm hyped for "The Tonite Show" which drops on May 5.

[Out Now] AYATOLLAH - "Who Is My Soul Brother?"

I remember when I first heard Ayatollah, or DJ Kool G as I think he was credited as then, on Mos Def's "Ms. Fat Booty" and was just blown away on all levels. I mean it was absolutely ridicilous how the soul just poured out of this man's sampler and since then he has rarely dissapointed me to this day. Any time I see his name in the linear notes I know that he's likely to have one of the hottest joints on the project. From his early days with Rawkus, he has released albums on Nature Sounds, Elementality, Green Streets Entertainment, his own 'Tollah Music, and now he has hooked up with Day By Day Entertainment. The result is a 13 track instrumental album titled "Who is My Soul Brother?". As for now it's a digital release only, so purchase it over @ iTunes. It is also available via Spotify so if you are a registered user (and if you are not, what's your excuse?) you can stream the album in full below.

01. "While You Run The Street"
02. "Duppy Connquer"
03. "Rich & Black"
04. "Girl, You're My Everything"
05. "The Battle Of The Locusts"
06. "Hold Yourself Together, Aight B"
07. "In The Summertime"
08. ""Lock The Pain Up"
09. "Alex"
10. "The Microphone"
11. "The Power Of Christ That Compels You"
12. "Have You Seen Wendee"
13. "Now's The Fucking Time" [Explicit]



[Album] DRASAR MONUMENTAL - "Strictly Weapons"

When MF Grimm announced that he had teamed up to form a duo with producer Drasar Monumental the latter name was completely new to me. Having now released three projects together, there's no question that they are a match made in hip hop heaven and Drasar Monumental is a straight up incredible beat wizard and DJ. I love how each of the respective records are sonic masterpieces in such a cinematic way that they need to be heard from front-to-back (even taking it so far as the CDs and retail downloads comes as one track containing the entire album or EP). It's a fresh concept, and Drasar never allow the listener to get bored as he's constantly introducing new thematic changes in his music, adding skits, beat switches, and INTENSE drum programming. It's a restless production style to say the least, something that might have something to do with his love for punk rock that he told me about in my interview last year.

Besides his work with Grimm, D has also released some stellar mixtapes, remix albums and so on. One of the earliest of these projects are "Strictly Weapons", a 10 songs deep remix tape, of Mr. Monumental's takes on hip-hop classics by Lord Finesse, M.O.P., Onyx and Nas amongst others. As if that wasn't enough in 2010 he also created a full-length Mobb Deep remix LP called "Remix Weaponry". I might very well have posted that before, but either way it's very interesting to hear these two tapes in light of his evolvement to one of last years absolute best albums. Be sure to head over and visit VendettaVinylVietnam where you can buy all that great music from Grimm and D. Don't sleep because this is limited stuff guys and it's definitely something you need in your collection.

GRAVEDIGGAZ Ft. MF GRIMM - "1-800 Suicide" [Extended Remix]

This song has been floating around for many years and are more often than not written off as an unofficial, but well-crafted, fan made mash-up remix. Well, I got news for the naysayers, this original Gravediggaz and MF Grimm collaboration is an 100% official remix as confirmed by the latter. Probably recorded in early 1995, this was specially made on request from a magazine for a free CD given away with their latest issue and this was the result. I'm not sure if Prince Paul did the beat on this but it's a banging beat to say the least. 

"The magazine did it with the authorization of the group and it was also symbolic because that was the name of Roc Raider, myself (GRIMM REAPER) and B1 The Undertaker", according to Grimm. It's incredible how organic these guys sound together, would love to have had more collabos between both groups like that.

GRAVEDIGGAZ Ft. MF GRIMM - "1-800 Suicide" [Remix]

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

[Album] DJ EFN - "Another Time"

DJ EFN is a DJ and producer originally hailing from Miami, originally known for his early '90s "Crazy Hood" mixtapes series, Now after over 20 years in the industry, learning the ropes, and building connections, EFN is stepping to the table with a retail album under his own name - entitled "Another Time". The album is oficially released today and is filled to the fucking limit with incredible guests from all coasts and different generations - or how about Scarface, Inspectah Deck, MC Eiht, Blu, Sean Price, Your Old Droog, M.O.P., Guilty Simpson, KAM, Fashawn, Cormega, Cory Gunz, Masta Ace, Killer Mike and many more. Sounds almost too crazy to be true right? While the majority of the production is handled by DJ EFN himself, DJ Premier, Hazardis Soundz, Davincci and Miami Heat Wave each contribute a track or two as well. Damn sick cover by Skam2? as well, everything about this project screams true ass hip hop if you ask me... Another incredible release from the always trustowrthy Redefinition Records - order it directly from REDEFFat Beats or iTunes.

01. Intro feat. Umar Bin Hassan (The Last Poets)
02. Another Time feat. Inspectah Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P., Bernz (¡MAYDAY!)
03. Selfish feat. King Tee, Fashawn, Kurupt
04. Lane 2 Lane feat. Don Logan (Gunplay), Denzel Curry
05. South-West feat. MC Eiht, Blu, Kam
06. Crazy Dope feat. Milk Dee, Sean Price, Murda Mook
07. Revolutionary Ride Music feat. Your Old Droog, Royce da 5’9, OC, Reks
08. Crazy (Interlude) feat. Umar Bin Hassan (The Last Poets)
09. Who’s Crazy? feat. Troy Ave, Scarface, Stalley, DJ Premier
10. Fiyah Gun feat. Smif N Wesson, Spragga Benz, Kardinal Offishall, Bittah Sosicka
11. If U Run feat. Killer Mike, Webbz, KXNG Crooked (Crooked I)
12. Survival feat. Juvenile, Dead Prez, Trick Daddy
13. When I’m Dead feat. Joell Ortiz, Chris Rivers, Keith Murray, Skam2
14. Warrior feat. Sizzla, David Banner, N.O.R.E., Jon Connor
15. Power feat. Sa-Roc, Masta Ace, Thirstin Howl III
16. Role Model feat. Bun B, Jarren Benton, Eric Biddines, Amber Monique
17. Paradise feat. Talib Kweli, Wrekonize, Redman
18. Motivation feat. Defari, Cormega, Boaz
19. G Shit feat. McGruff, Prez P, Grafh
20. #HomeTeam feat. Garcia, Dynas, Skam2?, Heckler, Society, Mother Superia
21. We Earned It feat. Ras Kass, Black Milk, Black Collar, Cory Gunz

[Album] DJ PAIN 1 - "Undressed Instrumentals #4"

Madison, WI producer DJ Pain 1 has been putting in a lot of hard body work recently, working extensively with the Divided Souls team (Chris Moss and Brent Dixon) on projects by Nutso, Sean Price and Public Enemy. Under his own name the versatile beat maestro has put in works for artists including Ludacris, Kirko Bangz, Young Jeezy, Stat Quo, Mistah F.A.B., Jaheim and many more. Now DJ Pain 1 is giving fans and aspiring emcees the chance to hear some of his personal favorite productions, completely undressed and instrumental for free download. What you waiting for?

DJ Mark The 45 King on producing "Hard Knock Life"

I remember back in 1998 I was all about underground hip-hop, no exception, and Jigga Man was kind of a no no. However hearing "Hard Knock Life" playing everywhere that year I could impossibly deny that it was a mad flavorful record that was impossible not to nod your head to. It was commercial but it was pure hip hop music. To this day it is one of my favorite Jay-Z records (I later came around and own all Jigga's LP:s up and until "American Gangster"), and Marcy's finest and the legendary DJ Mark The 45 King was for sure a match made in heaven. I love how the Flavor Unit veteran keeps a low profile only to once in a while pop up and deliver some of the best selling hip-hop records of its time (we all know the equally brilliant "Stan" by Eminem). Why the hell more major artists isn't contacting The 45 King is simply beyond me, but I guess they rather fuck with Lex Luger or Wundagirl. The clip is a segment that originally aired on Swedish Television and unfortunately lacks subtitles - but as the video is based around interview segments with Jay-Z, DJ Mark The 45 King and Kid Capri the majority of its length is in English, so press play and enjoy  y'all!

Monday, March 2, 2015

[Album] MALIK B. & MR. GREEN - "Unpredictable"

It's pretty fucking unbelivable how many incredible releases we are getting in just like a weeks time right now. And all these albums are some of my most anticipated of all 2015; I mean a new Ghostface, Fashawn's real second album, the return of motherF'ing Cannibal Ox and now the brand new album from The Roots' legend Malik B. who has teamed up with producer Mr. Green for some of that pure, unadulterated hip-hop shit with lots of samples, turntable work, pounding drum programming, jaw dropping loops and lyrics at its finest. Since I've heard the original singles, "Devil" and "Definition" I knew this was going to be something out of the ordinary. Malik B. always was an absolutely mindblowingly ill emcee, but always having to go toe-to-toe with Black Thought (one of the best to ever hold a microphone) would put anybody in the shadow. I think as a solo artist he will finally gets the shine he deserves and with production like this, there's no question that hip-hop heads all over the world will support the realness - at least they should! Stream the album below, but be sure to grab the real deal either by buying the CD @ UGHH or buy your HQ download @ iTunes. As it should be, guest artists are few and far in between, instead focusing on the one MC, one DJ format, though RA The Rugged Man, Skrewtape, Benefit and Nate Green pops up for a song each. Check out the grind house influenced "Rips in the Paper" up top, before streaming the album in its entirety below; shouts to DotGotIt for the link.

KILLAH PRIEST - "The Color Of Ideas"

The Digital Dynasty mixtape series always packs some serious heat, and now that the Ill Bill hosted Volume 34 is just around the corner the team just unleashed a brand new Killah Priest monster for us to enjoy. Last year Killah Priest released no less than a 41 song deep double CD filled with almost nothing but extremely strong material in "The Psychic World Of Walter Reed" and in case you didn't know, he is currently working on the follow up to that project. The album which is titled "Planet Of The Gods" will be entirely produced by The Godz Wrath team who has had an extraordinary working relationship with KP since "The Offering" - producing tracks like "Truth B Told", "Osirus Eyes", "Ein Sof", "The Offering Intro", "Shadow Landz", "New Reality", "Devotion to the Saints", and many more. In other words this should without a doubt be another extremely strong album from one of the greatest lyricists the world has ever known. Whether or not "The Color Of Ideas" is actually going to end up on the album or not is another question however, but it's definitely a track from the same sessions so press play and enjoy! Also be sure to check out the earlier single and video for "Body Of Light". Heavy shit!

[Documentary] FASHAWN - "The Ecology" / Mass Appeal

I forgot to include this ill documentary that Mass Appeal Records released a few days prior to the official release of Fashawn's slamming sophomore release "The Ecology". The 16 minutes long clip put together by the label traces the artists transformation from Santiago Leyva to Fashawn, and offers a glimpse into the creation of the new album. An interesting note is that Nas found his inspiration to start writing rhymes again via Fash and "The Ecology", listening to "Golden State Of Mind" it ain't hard to tell!

[Album] FASHAWN - "The Ecology"

I remember back in 2009 when two really true fresh emcees stepped onto the scene with their respective debut albums that at least for me brought back the classic vibes of what a banging hip-hop LP used to be. I'm talking about Skyzoo and Fashawn, two quite different artists but who had the love of the music and an endless array of clever, well written rhymes and a knack for picking great beats. Fashawn's official debut project, "Boy Meets World", was entirely produced by Exile and featured a wide array of different styles, never coming of as boring or predictable, and I for one had him pegged as the great young hope. However his 2012 street album "Champagne & Styrofom Cups" left a sour taste in my mouth - so much that I almost entirely wrote him off...

Big mistake, a couple of months ago he teamed up with The "Alchemist and released the free mixtape "Fashionably Late", an absolutely fantastic showcase in beats and rhymes that proved to be a lot stronger than most albums released in 2014. Now signed to Nas' Mass Appeal records (the Queensbridge legend also acts as the executive producer of the project and appears on the stand out track "Something to Believe In"), Fashawn follows up with his official second album, entitled "The Ecology". Taking a much smoother approach than on The Alchemist collaboration, with tracks packed with fast drum beats, uplifting piano and synthesizer melodies, percussive vocal adlibs and smooth guitar licks as a trusted staple while Fashawn provides the songs with his unique vocal talents and well written and well spitten vocal output. Rather than letting Exile produce all of the album, Fash are also inviting a few friends to help him out behind the boards - including Alchemist, DJ Khalil, ATG, Quincy Tones, and Beewirks. I have a feeling this will be a real grower upon repeated listens, so be sure to support Fashawn and Mass Appeal records by purchasing the CD or 2xLP (coming April 7) @ UGHH.

[Classic Clips] GHOSTFACE / FRANK DUKES - "Purified Thoughts" (OG)

As I just posted my review and album stream of Ghostface Killah and BadBadNotGood's new album "Sour Soul", which is entirely produced by Frank Dukes, I wanted to bring it back to the essence of Dukes and GFK. From their first collaborations on Ghost's "Apollo Kids" album they have been responsible for plenty of bangers together, including "Different Time Zone", "Rivers Of Blood" and "Six Directions Of Boxing". But in fact it all started in 2010 when a young, unknown and striving producer named Frank Dukes put in work and tried every way to put his name out there, including entering the Red Bull Big Tune competition. Right then and there he not only got his name out, but as he won the entire competition he got a chance to record with one of his favorite emcees - Ghostface Killah. The resulting track was "Purified Thoughts", a song that was originally recorded as a solo song by GFK, but would end up in remixed form on Ghost's 2012 album "Apollo Kids", adding verses from Killah Priest and GZA/Genius. The full original version that was originally recorded at the Red Bull studios has never been leaked in full but you can hear a good chunk of it in the video above, so just press play up top, and for the album version click here.

[Review/Stream] GHOSTFACE - "SOUR SOUL"

There's been some serious lack of updates over here at The Lost Tapes which I apologize to my trusted readers for. Sometimes life just gets in the way, you know, and I always want to give you the best. For those who know me or follow the site, you might be familiar with my top three all time great emcees - which are none other than Rakm, Ghostface Killah and Nas. Not only are they great writers, or have memorable voices, but they all have the total package - from the flow, to the writing, from the cadence, to the delivery, from the catalouge to the live shows, to the originality, and so on. As legendary they are they have never either felt the need to do what is expected from them. Albums like "Wizard Of Poetry", "The Seventh Seal" and "NIGGER" might not have been what the fans expected from these guys at the given time, but nontheless it was what was on their respective minds as artists and therefore they should have all the credit in the world for expressing that to the fullest. But this post is about Ghostface Killah, and more specifically about his new collaboration with young Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood and producer Frank Dukes which dropped last week.

I kind of view "Sour Soul" as the third installment in a trilogy that begun a couple of years back when Ghostface teamed up with LA multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge and his band Venice Dawn for "12 Reasons to Die". Barely a year later The Masked Killer unleashed a full-length project produced and performed by Brooklyn based live band The Revelations who, under the supervision of RZA and Lil' Fame, did an excellent job in producing "Chamber Music" and "Legendary Weapons". Both aforementioned albums was plot driven albums that told a story from point A to B, and especially on the latter you could hear that Ghost didn't feel as excited or free in creating his lyrial poems. The result was an album with a decent storyline that lacked any real suprises or slanged out goodies which in turn made the replay value real lacking. Listening to "Sour Soul" for the first time it's easy to see that "36 Seasons" was a small mistep in the wrong direction. Instead of the imitation type '70s soul and funk beats we got on the latter, BBNG and Frank Dukes takes mad inspiration from the type of gritty, psychadelic funk that was all over blaxploatation soundtracks of its heyday - back when Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye created cinematic masterpieces to screen over bad ass flicks like "Super Bad" and "Trouble Man". This is the type of powerful shit the quintet has cooked up for the duration of the LP, and trust me when I say that it's not boring for a second.

The lenght of the album, clocking in at only 32 minutes at 12 tracks, and 9 songs featuring vocals at that, might have knuckleheads screaming foul and "EP hustle!" but they are completely missing the point. This is how it used to be done, cut all the fillers, make sure there's a red line running throughout the disc, and if it doesn't fit - no matter how good - save it for another project. I got to give props to the quintet involved here for doing just that as this plays exactly like an album in its truest sense and unlike "36 Seasons" it is truly a worthy sequel to the equally brilliant "Twelve Reasons to Die". Over dark, agressive funk with soul vibes, Ghostface sounds rejuvinated; ditching the predictable gangster slang for psychadelic rainbow slang and ghetto alien speak. In other words there's plenty of rewind worthy material throughout, and it's kind of funny that three very young Canadian caucasians brings some of the darkest, most afro-centric, jazz fusion blues that Ghost has sunk his teeth into for quite a few years. There's horns, Fender basses, vibraphones, kicking drum patterns, strings, and guitars - and all without the use of samples. Yet, Frank Dukes, who has a great track record with Ghost, clearly knows how to get that crisp sound imitating a sampler. And there's no question about it - these gentlemen were having a hell of a lot of fun recording this gem. Last but not least, it's a collaborative effort in every sense of the word - it's just as much a BadBadNotGood / Frank Dukes album as it is a Ghostface album, and I think everyone involved should get the highest props for their hard work on this. I can only hope this is the first of many volumes to come. "Sour Soul" is another highlight in Ghostface's catalouge - a discography that is quickly becoming perhaps the finest in all of hip-hop. Personally I'd rate this album four out of five.

Stream the entire album below to get a taste of what to expect, but you should of course grab it on either iTunes or better yet a physical copy and support the real. Grab it @ iTunes or UGHH.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

[Out Now] MILANO CONSTANTINE - "The Believers"

Ever since he held his own next to Big Punisher on the D.I.T.C. classic "Where Ya At?" back in '99 real heads have definitely been fiending for more music from Milano Constantine. Back in the early 2000s the Wild Life member signed to T-Ray's Beatdown Recordings and recorded the full-length album "The Believers" with an all star line-up of producers including Showbiz, Lord Finesse, Amed, Buckwild and T-Ray. Unfortunately the LP was shelved leaving the public only with the three track EP "That's Milano". Now the 15 song album is finally seeing an official release, with the digital copies already being sold through iTunes and the CD coming very soon. Support this one y'all, this shit goes HARD!

01. "The Believers Intro" [prod. Buckwild]
02. "When You Hear" [prod. Emile]
03. "Drama" (Ft. A Black) [prod. Lord Finesse]
04. "Hope You Listening" [prod. Showbiz]
05. "Bring It Home" [prod. Showbiz]
06. "Tramps Freestyle"
07. "Awful" [prod. Amed]
08. "That's Milano" [prod. T-Ray]
09. "Show 'Em" [prod. Showbiz]
10. "Morir Sonando" [prod. Lord Finesse]
11. "Harlem" [prod. Showbiz]
12. "Live Your Life" [prod. Showbiz]
13. "New York City" [prod. Molecules of The Legion]
14. "Where Ya At?" (Ft. Big Pun) [prod. DJ Premier]
15. "Warrior's Drum" [prod. Lord Finesse]
16. "Everybody Hurts" [prod. T-Ray]