Total Pageviews

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Masta Killa w/ 9th Wonder

Wu-Tang general Masta Killa hooks up with 9th Wonder for the title track of his upcoming third LP, "Loyalty is Royalty". I'm feeling this one, very smooth and soulful which is a style that I never really associated the emcee with before but it definitely works for him. The last single we heard, "Are You Listening?", was heading in the same direction which makes me wondering if this will be the direction he's taking for the majority of the album. Either way I'm hyped for it. Much thanks to Jammin for the heads up on the link to stream the song in full, found below!


Masta Ace / Paul Nice

It's been a pretty slow weekend as far as new hip-hop ish goes, but there's at least been one real gem that should interest my readers as much as myself. What I'm talking about is another quality vinyl release from underrated producer DJ Paul Nice who recently released ill remixes for Jay-Z ("PSA") and GURU ("Conflict" w/ Masta Ace) on 7" via Slice-Of-Spice Records.

Now he's been gearing up for another limited 7" release, this time with Masta Ace and a track called "BK (We Don't Play)". The original version was something Paul had originally done with Ace back in 2001, though this is the first time the public has even known about it, so I'm guessing it was recorded for "Disposable Arts". The A-side of the single has the original '01 version where we hear Nice utilizing the sample later used for the Premier remix of "Classic" (Nas/KRS/Rakim/Kanye). On the B-side we find a recently remixed and reconstructed version of the same track, also produced by Paul Nice. Two versions of the vinyl exists, one all blue and the other on ordinary black vinyl. I'm not sure if there's any differences as far as the actual music goes but I believe the blue one is strictly available only from Splice Of Spice's own website. ORDER & FIND OUT MORE @ SPLICE-OF-SPICE and check out both songs below (the remix only through stream).


Thursday, July 28, 2011

DJ Pete Rock - "Diggin' On Blue"

This one is a classic but rather rare mixtape by Pete Rock that I've been revisiting a bit again lately. For some odd reason this fantastic mix was strictly limited to a Japan release where it was available on cassette and CD via EMI's Toshiba label in 1999. Now be warned that this is not your average hip-hop mixtape and is certainly not for everyone. The project is sort of Pete Rock's way of paying tribute to the jazz legends whose music he grew up on and would inspire him to become one of the best hip-hop producers the world has ever seen. As the title suggests the 16 tracks picked by Pete for this mix all comes from the Blue Note catalouge, one of the most succesful and famous jazz labels there ever was. These artists and songs have inspired hip-hop artists for decades, and many of them have been used in sample form to create new timeless classics by groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, D.I.T.C. and of course Pete Rock himself.

Between this and Madlib's "Shades Of Blue" (2003) these type of releases are one of the best ways for a hip-hop head to break into the incredible music known as jazz. The two genres shares alot of common ground and not at all exclusively through the sampling of old jazz records. I often say that the guys who rocked the jazz scene back in those days, would be the same guys doing hip-hop if they were born in this day and age. Matter of fact, I wouldn't be suprised if someone like Dilla actually was John Coltrane reincarnated. So even if you don't listen to jazz, at least take some time out to check out Pete Rock on the wheels of steel. Who knows, maybe you'll dig this shit alot more than you would expect?

Included in the actual CD package were a few rare pics from the '99 recording session and an interview with Pete Rock about his fascination with these artists and their music, the Blue Note catalouge and his motives behind putting this mix together. You can check out all that right here @ Discogs.

01. Gene Harris & The Three Sounds - "Sittin' Duck"
02. Ronnie Foster - "Summer Song"
03. Stanley Turrentine - "Little Green Apples"
04. Reuben Wilson - "We're In Love"
05. Herbie Hancock - "Ollliqulli Valley"
06. Bobby Hutcherson - "Shirl"
07. Gene Harris - "I Remember Summer"
08. Lee Morgan - "In What Direction Are You Headed?"
09. The Three Sounds - "Repeat After Me"
10. Jack McDuff - "Hunk O'Funk"
11. Lou Donaldson - "Summertime"
12. Ronnie Foster - "Mystic Brew"
13. Grant Green - "I Dont' Want Nobody"
14. Lonnie Smith - "Turning Point"
15. Bobby Hutcherson - "Wrong Or Right"
16. Bobbi Humphrey - "Smiling Faces Sometimes"


Bronze Nazareth's 2nd LP coming

If you're still a Wu-Tang head in the new millenium you should definitely be aware of the Michigan producer/MC who goes by the name of Bronze Nazareth. He was the last member to officially be knighted a Wu-Elementz member, a production team ignited and headed by The RZA himself. Since then he's been hailed by many as the #1 keeper of the W sound, being that his beats is often built on chopped up soul loops, with horns and high pitched vocal samples fading in and out. A tried and tested formula no doubt, but I for one has never truly understood or agreed with the placing of Bronze on that high pedestal. He's definitely been responsible for some extremely amazing beats and though I think his sound often has failed to keep me entertained for an entire LP, I'm looking forward to the follow-up to his 2005 debut, "The Great Migration".

"School For The Blindman" has been pushed back a few years but has now finally been given a date; September 13 is the date to mark in your calendars folks. Mostly produced by the artist himself, the guest list is looking extremely exciting with a handful of Wu-Tang Clan features, Canibus, LAD and Willie The Kid plus Bronze's own Wisemen crew. The most suprising thing on the entire list appears on track 15, a song guest produced by Killah Priest. Huh? 

01. "Intro"
02. "Jesus Feet"
03. "The Road" (Ft. Inspectah Deck & Masta Killa)
04. "Fire Implanters" (Ft. LA The Darkman)
05. "Instrumental Interlude #1"
06. "Bronzeman II" (Ft. Canibus & Raekwon)
07. "King Of Queens"
08. "Instrumental Interlude #2"
09. "Fourth Down" (Ft.The Wisemen)
10. "Fresh From The Mourge" (Ft. The RZA)
11. "Malcolm School Skit"
12. "Pictures (Stem Cells)"
13. "Records We Used to Play"
14. "The Letter"
15. "Gommorah" [produced by Killah Priest]
16. "Instrumental Interlude #3"
17. "Reggie" (Ft. Rain The Quiet Storm)
18. "Farewell" (Ft. Willie The Kid)
19. "Cold Summer" (Ft. Salute The Kid & June Megalodon)
20. "Worship" (Ft. The Wisemen)

Don't forget to check out the first single, the RZA collaboration "Fresh From The Mourge" for a taste of what to expect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Video: CROWN ROYAL's "Say What?!"

Crown Royal is a project that teams up the still heavily underrated Michigan emcee Buff1 with cutmaster DJ Rhettmatic of The World Famous Beat Junkies. The video above that dropped a couple of days ago gives the visual treatment to "Say What", a choice cut from their self-titled 2010 album on the A-Side Worldwide label. You gotta love Buff1's homage to Tribe in his opening bars and adding Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill) on live percussion is a nice touch. Go ahead and order the "Crown Royale" LP in case you've been sleeping.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Classic Clips: KRS-One @ '97 Poetry Slam

The greatest MC of all time, imo, was invitied to perform on Russel Simmon's Def Jam Poetry Slam in 1997. Backed up by legendary beatboxer Doug E. Fresh, the metaphysicial teacher performs one of his vast amount of verses that I hold amongst his abosulte best; this accapella was used as the intro to his great '97 album "I Got Next" under the title of "2nd Quarter: Free Throws". If you're not familiar with the law of attraction and metaphysical teachings, which by now has in realitybeen proven by the science known as quantum physics, you will absolutely not understand the absolute brilliance of this verse. I've heard so many people dismiss KRS-One as a preachy fuck but fail to realise that he's actually one of the most knowledgeable and important artists of our generation.

Even though this is not a live video and appears in this exact form on "I Got Next", I still want to add it as a bonus considering the two tracks are strongly conneected to eachother. In this brilliant freestyle Kris touches on how the new testament can be read as all astrology and still make 100% sense; ever wondered wy most dogmatic churches regards the teachings of astronology as heresy and abomination towards the teachings to Christ and God himself? He also touches on how we are moving in to a new time epok, Aquarius, something that is makint it's presence known even toay and many believe the height of this willtake place on December 21, 2012. 

Bring on the comments folk, do you think me, Kris, Hell Razah, David Wilcock, Greg Braden and all those quantum and metaphysicians nutcase or do you want to go higher?

Announcement: Upcoming releases

Two of my favorite hip-hop artists have just announced their respective upcoming exciting projects. First off is Queensbridge's finest, Tragedy Khadafi, who's blessing the market with the third installment in his "Thug Matrix" series. This will be the veteran rapper's first album since finishing a three year bid on narcotic charges. The 10-tracks project will be released via his own 25 II Life imprint and distributed through Aura/Distrolord Digital. Hopefuly the small amount of songs will mean absolutely no filler and all killer; Tragedy's albums, while always being good, haven't really lived up to his true potential as an MC since '93s "Saga Of A Hoodlum". "Thug Matrix 3" will be available on September 20, check out the tracklist:

01. "Narcotic Lines" [prod. Araab Muzik]
02. "Ill-lumnious Flow" [prod. Now & Laterz]
03. "Black Prince" [prod. Ayatollah]
04. "Free Thinkers" [prod. Shroom]
05. "Each One, Teach One" [prod. Audible Doctor]
06. "Gorilla Warfare Status" (Ft. Killa Sha) [prod. Astmatik]
07. "The Wake Up" [prod. Booth]
08. "Still Breathin'" [prod. Now & Laterz]
09. "Outstanding" [prod. Audible Doctor]
10. "Best Of Both Coasts" (Ft. Killa Sha, Planet Asia & King David)

In other news, Billy Danze of M.O.P. revealed that his duo with Lil' Fame has started work on their next album; a collaboration with another duo, German production team Snowgoons. Even though an M.O.P. album without any DJ Premier involvement always seems a little weird, this project has extreme potential for being something out of the ordinary, something really amazing. Danze says they have recorded about eight tracks so far and that they are planning to keeping it light with the features. The LP will be released through BabyGrande and if everything goes as planned, they will be able to make a late 2011 release. Shouts to for this announcement as well as providing the audio of the interview you can listen to/download below.


Wu-Tang's "Legendary Weapons" [iTunes bonus]

Despite not even reaching 40 minutes in length, The RZA decided to save one of the tracks from the most recent Wu project, "Legendary Weapons", for the iTunes supporters. The bonus song is a new Revelations remix of "Robbery", a dope original which RZA previously gave away for free in his weekly Wu Wednesdays series. Big thanks to FeLo for sharing this with us!

"Legendary Weapons" is available everywhere today via release and distribution through E1 Records. Pick up your copy @ Amazon, UGHH or iTunes and grab the "Robbery" remix below.

RZA / REV. BURKS - "ROBBERY" [Reveleations Remix]

Monday, July 25, 2011

K-Def @ Pirate Radio 105.1 FM

This right here is a real guaranteed gem as K-Def gets loose on the wheels of steel for a good 40 minutes. Showing off his talents as the skilled DJ he is, giving listeners a mix of gritty instrumentals, songs that stands as today's hip-hop classics and rare breaks. There's plenty of those signature crazy K-Def cuts too of course. 

The mix was recorded sometime around late '94, intended as an episode of the Pirate Radio Show that Marley Marl hosted. This specific episode was however never aired at the time for one reason or another, but luckily the internet gives fans to hear almost anything these days. This mix in particular was originally uploaded and posted by Robbie @ so all thanks and credit to him. 

K-DEF @ PIRATE RADIO 105.1 ['94]

DOOMSTARKS - World Premier!

The extremely long awaited full-length collaboration album between hip-hop's two masked villains, DOOM and Tony Starks, is finally being prepared for release on Nature Sounds since being pushed back since 2005. Two weeks ago, Peter Rosenberg premiered the Madvillian remix of "Victory Laps", the B-side of the first single from the DOOMSTARKS project. Today XXL Magazine has obtained the exclusive rights to the worldwide premiere of the A-side, the original DOOM produced version. 

The limited edition picture disc 12" single is now available for pre-order, though it runs at a rather pricey 25$. The single features both mixes and instrumental versions of both and will definitely become a collectors item over time. Pre-order the 12" @ Fat Beats now, although the packages won't start shipping until August 30. In further news on the project, the album will be fully produced by DOOM who's also the executive producer of the LP and Ghost will appear on all songs except maybe one or two songs. I've been waiting five years for this project and I'm still hyped as hell for this - how fucking crazy is that?

EDIT: Nature Sounds seems to have given the thumbs up for sites to post downloadable links to this song already, so go ahead and grab the file below. This shit BANGS!!


MIXTAPE: Prodigal Sunn / DJ Premier

Prodigal Sunn of Sunz Of Man was always one of my favorite Wu-Tang affilliates, and definitely one of the more underrated. Despite appearing on several huge projects including the Clan's "Iron Flag", "RZA as Bobby Digital in Digital Bullet" and DJ Muggs/GZA's "Grandmasters" and being the most heard voice on Sunz Of Man's two official albums, many people wouldn't know him by name. He only released one solo project in his entire career though, 2005's "Return Of The Prodigal Sunn" which failed to live up to its potential, much because of mediocre production, save for a few gems.

Average production is hardly a problem on this brand new mixtape which is based on the prodigal son ripping up classic DJ Premier instrumentals. Beats include masterpieces like Group Home's "Supa Star", Jeru's "Ain't The Devil Happy" and Royce's "Boom" and "Hip-Hop" to name a few. But there's also about two or three tracks I don't really recognize, but considering Preem's vast catalouge it's hard to say whether this tape has any exclusive instrumentals; one thing that's sure is how dope P.Sunn sounds over these joints though. I'm not sure how involved Preemo really is in the creation of this tape, but it does feature several interludes narrated by the great producer. The name of the mixtape is "The New Beginning" which hopefuly is an indication that this is the start of a P.Sunn renaissance. Check out the rapper @ MySpace where the mixtape link below was originally uploaded.

01. "How Many Real Hip-Hoppers..."
02. "Prodigal Sunn Meets DJ Premier Intro"
03. "Superstar Millenium"
04. "The Bar Was High"
05. "Guess Who"
06. "Remains Real"
07. "Make A Beat"
08. "Good Times"
09. "Forever Hip-Hop"
10. "Stop Biting"
11. "Better Than Better"
12. "Ain't The Devil Mad"
13. "Thank You"


VAKILL's "Appetite to Kill"

Another slamming video from extremely talented Chicago emcee Vakill of the Molemen crew. "Appetite to Kill", produced by Panik, is taken from Vakill's thid official album, "Armor Of God", which saw release earlier this month. I can strongly recommend the LP as it stands among the best releases of the year so far. Go right ahead to UGHH to order your autographed copy which also comes with a bonus CD featuring all the instrumentals. So far it's only available on compact disc but hopefully it will se a 2xLP release sooner or later.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

K-DEF Treat #3: The WLBs

As the K-Def special continues here at The Lost Tapes, following the premiere of "Time's Change" and the unrleased World Renown LP, prepare yourself for some more rare bangers from New Jersey's finest. Working with Marley Marl @ The House of Hits, producing and remixing popular joints for Lords Of The Underground, Intelligent Hoodlum, Real Live, KRS-One and many others.  A few amazing tracks has however managed to slip through the cracks, ending up as limited releases on white label 12"s, often only to be quickly forgotten.

Around mid-'96 when NaS released his break-through commercial single, "Street Dreams", K-Def, a big fan of the rapper, was sent the accapella by Atlantic and requested to remix the track. This limited white label remix gives the song a much grittier street vibe and has become somewhat of an underground classic. A few years later BX bomber Lord Tariq's "This Cold World" found it's way onto limited DJ promo 12"s. This has always been one of my favorite 'Def productions, perfectly utilizing a sample of Sammy Davis Jr.'s "The Shelter Of Your Arms" which might've been the reason the song never saw an official release. Around the same time a rare production for Bad Boy's former star artist Craig Mack was released as the B-side to the WLB 12", "The Wooden Horse". The track in question is a cover of EPMD's classic "Please Listen to My Demo" that uses both the same title and the easily recognizable sample of Faze-O's 1978 song "Riding High".

My last inclusion for the day is not a strictly white label release but is a rare and rather unknown track nonetheless. I'm not sure the exact year this was released, but i'm guessing sometime between mid- to -late '90s. This K-Def remix appeared on the debut single by Alamo, not the Brand Nubian DJ but some R&B group, called "Where's Your Girl Tonight". Download the four songs below and don't forget to pre-order the brand new limited "For Def's Sake" 7" single via Fat Beats or Redefinition Records ASAP!

"Exotic Species" by NEEK THE EXOTIC

A couple of months back, Queens rapper Neek The Exotic released an album entitled "Still On The Hustle" via Fat Beats. It's a dope release that been getting spins from time toi time, although there's several question marks surrounding its recording and release. It's labeled as a full-blown collaboration with Large Professor but fans of the legendary producer might very well have been dissapointed to find out that he's only responsible for 60% of the 30 minutes disc. What's really strange, however, is that the project was announced already in early 2010 and then called "Exotic Species". I was a firm believer that "Exotic Species" was only a working title of the LP, but a little while ago I found out that's not the case at all. This actually CD exists and was released in a very limite edition sometime in 2010 on the small label Money Maker Entertainment. 

The tracklists differs from the Fat Beats release; the mini album still clocks in at around 30 minutes, it also features ten tracks where six of them are produced by Extra P. Besides that there's plenty of differences between the releases that's both very similiar and different at the same time. Atoms Family's Carnage's two inclusions from the Fat Beats release is still intact but he also gets a third placement on here - "You Make My Head Swing" was remixed by The Live Guy Wit' The Glasses and retitled "Personal Freak" for "Exotic Species". Other notable differences include the Tommy Tee produced album closer, "Overseas Offjcjal"; quite the banger actually. Also, strangely enough, appearing on here are two Large Pro/Neek collabo's originally released on a 1999 12" single; "We All About" (a/k/a "Money, Thugs,Murder") / "Turn It Out" while other tracks from the Fat Beats version are missing. It's a weird release that feels more like a street album or mixtape than an actual LP although the actual music is quality.

Below are the newer tracks that failed to appear on "Exotic Species". For the two '99 songs plus a collection of the other Large Pro/Neek collaborations that does not appear on either version of this record, don't forget to grab my compilation "Prelude to the Hustle". Big thanks to Knowbody and KennyKen for hooking me up with this album!


Showbiz Presents Barbury'N (Beats Vol. 1)

Showbiz is one of my favorite producers of all time, even if he's been kinda hit or miss from time to time lately (think "Godsville"). One thing he's known for is horrible promotion of projects though, apparantly he released an instrumental album called "BarBury'N (Beats Vol. 1)" as far back as May 3. And I haven't heard a single word about it, until today that is. The digital release features fifteen recently produced and previously unreleased Showbiz beats (anybody else noticed he seems to have dcided the 'Biz to his artist name again btw?). You can purchase the album through iTunes for $ 7.99.

You can check out 30 second samples of each of the 15 instrumentals on this french site, right here. I'm know I'm late as shit on this but drop a omment on your thoughts on this project based on the snippets. Last but not least, shouts to Brandon @ Collectors Item.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Kamaal Ibn Fareed a/ka Q-Tip a/k/a The Abstract has been an active force in the hip-hop community for well over 20 years. With one of the most easily recognizable, and easy listening voices in the game, his witty vocal style and mixture of personal, politics and party records has made him one of hip-hop's top lyricists, and one of the few who never fell off; in fact he released one of the unquestionably best albums of 2008. The largely self-produced "The Renaissance" brought back that good vibe music that made his A Tribe Called Quest so popular, while still updating the formula enough to show fans and DJs that he's still interested in evolving the music. But it's not just his nassal voice and abstract rhyme scemes that has put him on the map; in fact he's one of the illest producers to ever touch a SP1200 or an MPC.  Having access to a huge jazz collection through his father it was only natural that he would start incorporating jazz music into the uprising hip-hop scene he so badly wanted to be a part of.

Hooking up with class mates and friends Ali Shaheed Muhammad (producer/DJ), Phife Dawg (emcee/hype man) and Jarobi (mystery man), A Tribe Called Quest was born and though they couldn't know it then, Tribe would go on to help change hip-hop music at least three times during its decade long run. Being a self-proclaimed perfectionist, Q-Tip worked in a production capacity on all the Tribe albums; beside partner Ali Shaheed only a select few were allowed to guest produce a song on each LP (Skeff Anselm, Large Pro, Rashad Smith), and later the young producer Jay Dee who Q-Tip took under his wing  and managed.

Through his work on the five Tribe albums and his three solo albums, Tip's name would already have solidifed him as one of the all time greats. But as if that wasn't enough, throughout the years he had a hand in countless classic albums and singles outside his group work. Most notably, he produced "One Love" for Nas' debut, a timeless and immortal song, and played a large role in the making of Mobb Deep's "The Infamous" album, where he not only produced thee cuts but oversaw and mixed much of the project. Further, he produced cuts for memorable cuts for Run DMC, Craig Mack, Apache, Cypress Hill and even R&B superstars like Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston. And with all the classics under his belt, he could easily call it a day and retire as a legend, but instead he keeps dropping material, producing for artists and working on a fourth solo album for Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. The compilation below tries to showcase fifteen standout tracks from The Abstract's career, spanning the early years all the way to 2010's "Chain Heavy". And while you're downloading, and then listening,, make sure to check out this VIBE article where he breaks down a bunch of his classics from the early '90s to 2009. Skilled in the trade of that ol' boom bap!

01. Craig Mack - "Get Down" [The Abstract Remix] (Ft. Q-Tip)
02. Mobb Deep - "We Live This" [O.G. Q-Tip Mix] (Ft. Shanté & Big Noyd)
03. Tiger - "Who Planned It" (Ft. Q-Tip)
04. Grant Green / Diane Reeves - "Down Here On The Ground" [Ummah Mix]
05. Raphael Saadiq & Q-Tip - "Get Involved"
06. Da Bush Babees - "Three MCs" (Ft. Q-Tip)
07. Apache -"Gangsta Bitch"
08. Cypress Hill - "Illusions" [Q-Tip Remix]
09. NaS - "The World Is Yours" [Tip Mix]
10. Mobb Deep - "Temperature's Rising" [The Abstract Remix]
11. Run DMC - "Come On Everybody"
12. Chi Ali - "Roadrunner" [Puberty Mix]
13. Jungle Brothers - "On The Road Again" [Remix] (Ft. Q-Tip]
14. Janet - "Got Til' It's Gone" [The Ummah's Uptown Saturday Night Remix]
15. KanYe West / Talib Kweli / Consequence - "Chain Heavy"


World Renown - "The Album" [Promo LP]

As promised, The Lost Tapes will provide treats from the highly underrated NJ producer K-Def on a regular basis, to prepare y'all for the boom-bap masters relaunch on Redefinition Records and his upcoming 7" single "Time's Change" (which also features an incredible flip on Pete Rock & CL Smooth's classic "For Pete's Sake"). The Pete & CL joint of course embodied everything '90s hip-hop was supposed to sound like, so for fans of that good ol' 90s boom bap with great production this post should be right up your alley.

World Renown was a short lived duo consisting of K-Def's cousin Seven Shawn and Marley Marl's cousin John Doe. With connections like that, even blood bands, it's easy to see that their cousins weren't gonna let Shawn and J.D. rhyme over no wack beats. In 1994 the duo got their first taste of wax as Warner Bros. released their debut 12", "Come Take A Ride". The track was produced by Marley while the B-side remix was handled by K-Def (which is also the version that appears on the album). The VLS didn't make very much noise, but World Renown were given a second chance by the Warner Brothers label. In 1995, they released the Def produced Phife Dawg/ATCQ sampling "How Nice I Am" with the S.I.D. remix on the B-side. The 12" became alot more popular than their previous release and has through the years grown into an absolute hip-hop classic. The underground popularity of the single gave Warnor Bros' the courage to give the duo an album deal, paying for studio sessions and to some extent giving the duo free hands on the project.

Not very suprisingly Warner didn't know what to do with it once the material was handed in to them. This should be sometime around early to mid 1996. This was a time when hip-hop was changing, labels wanted cleaner production, mafioso or gangster themed fantasy lyrics and music easy to market. World Renown (luckily) had none of these attributes; the tracks they had been working on was centered around hardcore breaks, dusty jazz samples, distorted bass lines and agressive lyrics. Shawn and John Doe was far from the best MCs but they had plenty of charisma and actually did these fantastic instrumentals justice. It's no mystery that Warner decided to shelve World Renown's self-titled debut, a shame it was, but a mystery? Hell no!

Promo copies of the LP was however pressed up, being sent out to a selected few DJs and an equal selected few magazines for reviews. Matter of fact, the album got the 3.5 mics treatment in a 1996 edition of The Source. Fast forward to 2009 and the word was spreading that the album would finally see the light of the day, but rather than an actual retail release fans was treated to buy the album (albeit incomplete) via World Renown's myspace page. The link has been deleted by now but The Lost Tapes will satisfy your hunger by hooking you up with this gem. The original album had about four additional tracks; the reason they weren't included then was either because the original DAT tapes were gone or that those were joints produced by Marley that he didn't want the public to hear.

The version of the album below (which sounds pretty damn good considering it was ripped from a dodgy vinyl) has 10 tracks and none of them actually features the production work of Marley Marl according to World Renown's myspace back in 2009. This means that this (incomplete) version of their self-titled debut was produced by K-Def albeit with a little help and co-production from a guy called Blackcat. Even if it's not the complete LP, the tracks gives listeners a good look into what K-Def and World Renown was preparing for this album back in '95. Enjoy this shit, and if you're a fan of the true school hip-hop I know you will do just that.

01. "Roll With It"
02. "Shoowa"
03. "Definition Of An MC"
04. "Long Gev"
05. "How Nice I Am"
06. "Don't Trust Ur Man"
07. "Butta Love"
08. "EZ On The Tweeter"
09. "Come Take A Ride" [K-Def's West Coast Vibe]
10. "Easy Connect"
11. "Long Gev" [Instrumental]

* I can't respond to comments for some reaason but new link up and running.

Wu-Tang "Legendary Weapons"

Although they didn't come right out and say it, or stamp a number 2 on the package, it is clear by the formula, production, and even the cover art, that Wu-Tang's "Legendary Weapons" is indeed the sequel to 2009's mildly successful "Chamber Music". With RZA settling on the role of executive producer again, all live music is performed by Brooklyn based band The Revelations while the majority of production is handled by M.O.P.'s Fizzy Womack and Noah Rubin. "Legendary Weapons" boasts an ambiance of dark lush overlays created through the use of crisp live percussion, guitars, fender bass and keys with the occassional oddly intriguing sample. There is substance to be found here, much more than the casual listener will pick up. It is in this aspect that "Legendary Weapons" really shines, the production alone demands multiple listens, which in turn leads to understanding of the lyrics, at times incredibly fun and sometimes potent. That's the good.

Where the LP suffers, is in the same way that other recent offerings from the Clan have suffered, and have caused grumblings from elitist fans. The album is too short. The album feels rushed. The album lacks all the Clan members. The album reuses verses on some tracks, and sounds 'cut and pasted' on others. Undoubtedly this will be the bulk of the negative sentiment...and the haters would be partly right. It is however important to stress that this is not a Wu-Tang Clan album in its strict meaning, but rather something like a "Wu-Tang Presents..." project. The album strives to place the generals of the Clan with Killa Beez like the recently released Killa Sin and popular NYC rappers over Wu sounding tracks.

The negatives described above, however, do not make "L.W." a terrible album at all. Some, if not most, of the mistakes are forgivable, especially to the casual listener. Nitpicking hardcore fans will surely notice Inspectah Deck's reused lyrics from "Manifesto"'s 'Really Real" and one can wonder whether RZA's heart is still in emceeing when noticing his lack of energy on '225 Rounds' and 'Only The Rugged Survive'. Oh well. You can't win 'em all. Structurally, "Weapons" is in many ways a more cohesive album than it's predecessor, which saw interludes narrated by RZA after each and every track. Although The Abbot dropped jewels the interludes were far too many, giving listeners the the feeling of "Oh we're doing this again?" after each song was over. 'LW' has a few skits spattered here and there, but none that take away from its cohesion. The well-thought out sequencing makes the album flow smoothly from beginning to almost end, where RZA's solo track is mired by terrible production. If you're making an iTunes playlist, you can delete that track now, unless you like the shrill sound of Casio brass.

As I have always said, Wu-Tang is like a buffet. There is so much, that you can just take what you want and leave the things you don't like. "Legendary Weapons" is no exception to this rule. Some stuff is Alaskan King Crab and some is crusty three-day-old pudding; it all depends on what you're in the mood for. It's amazing to think that even close to 20 years after breaking on to the scene, Wu-Tang is still a brand you can trust. They continue to release projects that are worth hearing whether you're new to the Clan or copped the "Protect Ya Neck" single straight out of RZA's trunk, and "Legendary Weapons" is no exception although it doesn't stand amongst their greatest work.

40 total points / 10 tracks = 4.0/5

Written by Beautiful Rock
Co-written by claaa7

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unexpected LPs in the works

Since hip-hop sales started plummeting, rappers and producers have figured one of the best moves to get your protect attention is collaborating with other respected artists. Over the last few years we've been treated to full-length collabo's by KRS-One/Buckshot, Rae/Meth/Ghost, Edo G/Masta Ace, NaS/Damian Marley, KRS-One/Showbiz, KRS-One/True Master and many more. Recently an album by Lil' Fame and Termanology was announced to be released sometime this fall and today two more power duo's has announced forthcoming LPs; one rather unexpected and the other a little less suprising.

Let's start with the unexpected shall we? Master rhymer Kool G Rap has announced via Twitter that he got an album with none other than MC/producer Necro in the works. The album, which is currently titled "The Godfathers", is set for release in 2012. The production will entirely be handled by Necro, who's an incredible producer in his own right, and exectutive producers for the project is Necro and G Rap affilliate Domingo. G Rap is still one of the illest but over the last few years he's been having problem with picking incredible beats for an entire project but with Necro on boards this should be amazing in that department. My only worry is Necro's rhyming, he's actually pretty good at rhyming but his subject matter gets tiresome after about five minutes. Hopefuly being in the studio with the Kool Genius will make him step his game up big time. Either way, I'm looking forward to this project.

The second rumoured album is a collaboration between Sean Price (a/k/a Ruck of Heltah Skeltah) and producer Agallah The Don Bishop (p/k/a 8-Ball). Agallah produced Sean Price's kinda comeback single "Rising To The Top" on the GTA IV soundtrack and also produced joints for Ruck like "Telemundo". Whether or not this will be a strictly Sean P album produced by Agallah is not clear since The Don Bishop also occassionally rhymes so the project might very well have them both emceeing over Agallah productions. We will just have to wait and see. There is also a good chance that this is old material since Agallah revealed in an interview a couple of years ago that he was looking for a distribution deal for this album. Thanks to L.S.32 for the info.

Torae / Large Professor (Session Footage)

Torae is one of few cats still making records in the vintage hip-hop fashion, releasing quality albums like "Double Barrell" with Marco Polo, nice mixtapes like his own "Daily Conversations" and ill 12" singles like the DJ Premier produced double A-side single "Click"/"Get It Done" featuring Skyzoo. The Nod Factor just let loose of the video seen above which depics Torae working on his forthcoming album and a track with Large Professor in particular. The song is called "Do The Math" and the snippets of the song heard in the video sounds like we can count on this being a certified banger. But well, it's Large Pro, what would you expect?

New Black Rob / Buckwild

After a long hiatus due to serving a four year bid between 2006 and 2010, Harlem's Black Rob signed with Duck Down Records as soon as he was released from prison. His third album "Game Tested, Streets Approved" which will be available in stores on July 26. His debut LP "Life Story" was a dope album that featured his breakthrough single "Whoa" while his sophomore effort, "The Black Rob Report", didn't quite live up to his debut, it was a remotely stellar project.

Therefore it will be interesting to see whether or not "Game Tested..." will live up to the hype; Black Rob is clearly a talented guy and Duck Down isn't exactly known for delivering weak albums. One thing that all three of his projects have in common so far is that D.I.T.C. producer Buckwild has been a part of them, often producing the finest tracks on the LPs (he even did "Whoa"). I got the two Buck laced joints from "Game Tested..." right here, sharing them with The Lost Tape readers - thx to FasterBlade for the heads up!



VIDEO: Illus Ft. Craig G, Reef Tha Lost Cauze, Block McCloud

Illus is an underground MC hailing from Conneticut who's originally more known for being a world famous illustrator. He has designed artwork and merchandise for KRS-One/BDP, Bumpy Knuckles, Statik Selektah, Public Enemey, J-Live and more plus was the man behind the official Public Enemy comic book series.

Last year he released his critically acclaimed debut album "Feel Good Music" and is now preparing the ten song opus "For Adam". The album will feature legends like Freddie Foxxx and Craig G as well as newer talents including Homeboy Sandman and Eternia while production is being handled by J.J. Brown. The single/video seen above is a joint called "A Brighter Day". Sure shot banger!

K-DEF - "Time's Change"

As recently reported, one of hip-hop's most underrated producers, K-Def, has signed to Redefinition Records. The deal is already bearing fruit as the label is just about to deliver their first K-Def project. The limited 7" single "For Def's Sake" (seen above) which will hit stores on August 9. As today marks the date when pre-orders are taken, Redefinition is giving away the fantastic B-side in full.

"Time's Change" is, in my opinion, one of the illest joints I've heard all year so far. You'll hear the signature K-Def boom bap but the arrangement of samples is simply out of this world. Bits and sequences of sampled vocals, guitars, keys, sax and trombone flows together seamlessly as the track morphs and transforms. Pre-order the single from Redefinition or Fat Beats now!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gasfacé / DJ Kozi / Buckkwild - "Maxi Best Of..."

If you're a regular browser at many of all the internet's hip-hop blogs and sites you might very well recognize the term Media Gasfacé. They've been dropping some amazing video interviews every now and then, having recently done extensive video interviews with the likes of Method Man, Prodigy, Ghostface, Raekwon and many others. What some heads might not know however is that Gasfacé is actually one of the biggest, and probably best, French hip-hop magazines. Since I don't speak French I obviously never read a full magazine of theirs, but I got the impression that Gasface is the French equivallent to HHC. One great thing that can be enjoyed by anyone though, is that Gasfacé every now and then give away a free promo CD with the purchase of the mag. The only problem is that they are hard to come across for peeps outside of the country.

With the fifth edition of Gasfacé 2008, readers was treated with an incredible CD that came in a full-cover slip case - a mix by French turntablist DJ Kozi on some of Buckwild's finest material. It's a great, well done mix with almost 80 minutes of Buck classics like "Scars & Pain", "Bring It On", "M.V.P. (Remix)", "Blowin' Up The World", "Rock On (Remix)" and many more (27 songs in total). I was a little suprised to see Big L's "Devil's Son" on there since I'm pretty damn certain that Showbiz laced that one. I am aware that the 12" says "produced by Show, Buckwild, Lord Finesse & Craig Boogie" but I would assume that credit is for the (then) forthcoming album since those four were all the beatmakers on "Lifestylez...". But that's nitpicking, download the tape below, upload it to your mp3-player and prepare for 80 minutes of non stop D.I.T.C. heat. Also be prepared for the next release in this series .which is even doper and will highlight an artist that you will see alot more from in the coming weeks. Enjoy!

01. Buckwild: "Intro / Medley"
02. Lace Da Booms: "Cur That Weak Shit" [Remix]
03. Funkdoobiest - "Rock On" [Remix]
04. AK Skills - "One Thing Or Another
05. Big L - "Devil's Son"
06. Mad Skillz - "V.A. In The House"
07. Reservoir Doggs - "The Difference"
08. Grand Puba / Sadat X . "I Like It" [Remix]
09. Buckwild / DJ Kozi - "Medley / Over The Prods)
10. Jemini The Gfted One - "Scars & Pain"
11, Street Smartz - "Prolwmz"
12. Cormega - "Thin Line"
13. Artifacts - "C 'Mon With The Getdown (Remix)"
14. Oeganized Konusion - "Bring It On (Remix)"
15, OC - "Bring It On" [Remix]
16. Mic Gerinmo - "Masta I.C."
17. OC - "Ozone"
18. Special Ed - "Lyrics" [Remix]
19. Bushwackass - "Caught Up In The Game"
20. A+ - "I Wanna Be Rich"
21. Big L - "MVP" [Remix]
22. Show & AG - "You Know Now" [Remix]
23. Diamond / Lord Finesse / Sadat X -. "You Can't Front"
24. AfroJazz / Raggasonic . "You Can''t Stop"
25. Kool G Rap - "Blowin' Up In The World"
26. AK Skills - "Nights Of Fear"
27. Big L - "Put It On"/"Ouro"


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trek Life - "Due West" [Has-Lo Remix]

As reported previously, California rhymer Trek Life decided to complete an entire remix album of his previous project, the free Oddisee laced "Everything Changed Nothing". The new project, which is called "Wouldn't Change Nothing" is out digitally today and features remixes by Apollo Brown, Has Lo, J. Bizness, Slimkat78, MavWon, Audible Doctor and others plus two new, exclusive song(s) produced by Oddisee.

On the song above, Has-Lo, mostly known for his rapping skills, further shows his production skills. Here he's flipping Oddisee's original version into something more dark, sinister and brooding to match Trek Life's rhyming subject. The dope artwork displayed above was created by Alvin The Third. Below is the tracklist for the project and a link to the Has-Lo remix. If you like what you're hearing you can order the album digitally or pre-order the CD (which is available on August 2) from the following links; iTunes or Fat Beats.


STS - "The Interview" [prod. Alchemist]

 It's not often that you go wrong with an Alchemist banger as he moves closer to one of the all-time greatest producers with everything he touches on. This time Maman lends his production talents to S.T.S., the Atlanta/Philadelphia MC who was been making some noise on the last The Roots album ,"How I Got Over", and is even a part of The Money Making Jam Boys, a quartet consisting of Black Thought with three Roots affilliates. S.T.S. will release his debut album, "The Illusion", later this year and fans can expect cameos ffrom Black Thought and Yelawolf to name a few while producion will be handled by the likes of Ski Beatz, Alc, Will Power and The Knux.


Consequence / Elzhi / Big Pooh

 Consequence seen alot of trials and tribulations in this record industry. He was introduced to the world through his cousin Q-Tip's group A Tribe Called Quest and their fourth album "Beats, Rhymes & Life" where he appeared on no less than six tracks. He wasn't quite the sharp MC you'll hear today but he was far fom wack but Phife Dawg felt Tip was trying to have Cons take his place in the group. As a result, Cons was nowhere to be found on the next, and final, Tribe album and after landing a record deal with Jive which only led to his mid-'90s debut album "Hostile Takeover" was shelved (click the link for a collection of the leaks from that LP).

Since then, the MC has made connections with KanYe West and kept in contact with his cousin, even getting signed to 'Ye's G.O.O.D. Music label, spending 2010 completing his second G.O.O.D. Music album. After feeling neglected by the label and accusing labelmate Pusha T of stealing his lyrics, he cut ties with both Q-Tip and Kanye West. Over the years he's become quite a talented rapper and he's getting ready to take over the independent scene with his mixtape series "Movies On Demand".

Next in line of that is 'Volume III' which will most likely feature several of the songs he recorded while at G.O.O.D. Music and today he let loose of a gem from the project, strictly taking it back to the '90s boom bap. The track is called "Crying Broke" and is produced by The Produce Section. "Movies On Demand III" will be released sooner than you think on Bandcamp Records according to Cons' and I got a feeling this should be something to check for whenver it drops. This track in particular features verses from Elzhi, Rapper Big Pooh and introduces Tannie J. on the hook. Comments?


12" Throwback: GOLDIE / KRS-ONE

A few days ago, I finally got a good amplifier and some speakers for my Stanton Tables which means I'm finally able to play all my old vinyl albums and 12" singles again. Digging through my crates, I came across several amazing 12" releases that I had totally forgotten about. This means that the section of "12'' Throwback" will appear alot more often, Moving on, my choice for today is....

Back in the mid '90s, I was a pretty big fun of drum'n'bass/jungle music and one of my favorite producers was Goldie, based on his classic "Timeless" LP that was a commercial success but also pushed the boundaries of what D&B could be without selling out. It's an amazing album that I would strongly recommend you to check out some time. In 1997 it was time for his sophomore release, titled "Saturn'z Returnz", another (double-) album which proved the artist wasn't afraid of pushing the bounaries. Disc 1 features only one song, a 60 minutes long dedication to his deceased mother incorporating elements of sinister jungle, long passage of classical music and fusings of many different styles. The second disc featured collaborations with Noel Gallagher of Oasis and more importantly Boogie Down Production's own KRS-One.

As I mentioned I used to be a big fan of drum n bass back in the day which doesn't suprise me the least since it's basically hip-hop beats played at a breaknecking speed over basslines that could blow out windows. To prove how close jungle and hip-hop actually is, the first single from "Saturnz Return" was the joint that featured none other than KRS riding the autobahn speed  of the beat like he never had one anything else in his life. Another proof that Knowledge Reigns Supreme could kill any, and I mean ANY, track he jumps on; especially back in 1997. The 6 minute epos, which is filled with quotables, and although it might be too outdated for the dancefloors toay I woud imagine "Digital" would get the crowd in a frenzy back in '97. Goldie and Robert Playford's production is classic neckbreaking drum-n-bass and KRS-One does an impeccable job with the MCing.

There's been plenty of different versions of this 12" released, as is often the case with jungle music, featuring instrumentals, radio edits, full-length versions and more importantly remixes by Armand Van Helden, DJ Boymerang and even Soul Assassins' DJ Muggs. Out of all the different releases of this particular, 12", The Muggs remix only appeared on an italian promo; a rare record if I ever knew one. Luckily for me, and all The Lost Tapes readers, I came across a rip of that version on the T.R.O.Y. Forum (provided by Mista' Mo - muchos gracias) . It's funny because I actually bought the "Digital" VLS while on a trip to Italy but it did not feature the Soul Assassins remix. Since it's such a rare track that I know alot of hip-hop heads has been dying to hear, I'm adding it to the tracklist for y'all. Enjoy!

01. "Digital" [Original Mix]
02. "Digital" [V.I.P. Mix]
03. "Digital" [Boymerang Mix]
04. "Digital" [Armand Van Helden Speed Garage Mix]
05. "Digital" [Armand Van Helden Dub]
06. "Digital" [Radio Edit]
07. "Digital" [DJ MUGGS Remix]

(w. DJ Muggs, Armand Van Helden and Boymerang)

Alexander Ebert Ft. RZA - "Truth" [RZA Remix]

 The Los Angeles, US singer-songwriter, Alexaner Ebert, let loose of his recent solo project "Alexander" a short while ago. One of the songs has gotten the remix treatment by none other than The RZA, still one of my favorite producers. I love how he can produce something totally left field like this and the next time you hear him he is on some gritty Wu shit like "Weak Spot" or "Number One Samurai". You can tell his work as a cinema scorer has made him extremely open to different sounds, whether it be rock, hip-hop, cinematic instrumentals or an R&B jam. 

This is not the typical song you'd hear on The Lost Tapes and I'm not a fan of the singing, but RZA added a quite nice groove to this and there's also a verse by The Abbot himself. What do you think, am I wrong for including this song on this "true school" blog even one can't deny RZA is a true school artist. Take a listen for yourself and thanks to Art Vanderlay for putting me on to this one.



New music video from one of the most skilled Killa Beez the extened Wu-Tang family has ever seen. The video above is one by Shabazz The Disciple, one of my all time favorite lyricists from the Wu camp. His flow and delivery is unmatched by most; his lyrical style is original and one of the best in the hip-hop game and most often rocks ill beats. The song is called "The Kiss Of Betrayal (Hug Of Judas)" and is fire.

.The video was directed and edited by Varras Towers but no word on (music) production credits yet. I can swear this was on 'Bazz '06 album/mixtape "Passion of The Hood Christ" though I havne't listened to that album in ages. So this might very well be over a different beat, or even have new lyrics.  The mail I got from director Varras Tower, states that the song comes from a forthcoming 'Bazz album called "Thug Bible". Coming soon!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NEW Greneberg / Roc Marciano

A while ago, the duo of Gangrene (Alchemist + Oh No) hit the studio with Strong Island MC Roc Marciano to record tracks for a new EP. The 6-songs EP will be available on August 8 but already today the digital release can already be downloaded through iTunes from today, pick it up here. The EP will feature one side of Roc Marcy tracks and one side featuring new Gangrene joints. The first leak was from the latter and called "Jet Luggage" and today the digital bonus track by Roc Marcy, "Jaws", produced by Oh No has been made available in further promotion of the EP. Check it out below.


12" Throwback: "DOPE ON PLASTIC"

I remembering hearing this track for the first time on a mixtape and being absolutely blown away. From the ruthless and fierce delivery and lyrics by BX's Uptown (born Raie Dacosta) combined with that vintage late '80s hardcore production mashed with a passion by The SD50's Dante Ross with C.J. Moore on the classic A-side. The B-side, a ill track too provided by Bobby Simmons, is another heavy joint but doesn't live up to the classic A-side; well you couldn't expect a song as dope as the lead track from this single. A true hip-hop masterpiece if I ever heard one.

Tommy Boy was one of thee number #1 labels back in 1989 and this impeccable VLS release had all the trademarks of a dope, original, timeless release of its time. If you haven't had the chance to hear this yet, especially the A-side, you've been missing on a big chunk of hip-hop history right here so make sure to grab it through The Lost Tapes' link provided below. 

It's fucking weird that Tommy Boy bailed on the album release after such a crazy debut single; think about how hip-hop sounded in '89 and just be amazed that this was the only release the MC ever got a´chance to release on the label as a solo artist before being droppped shortly after. Dante Ross from SD50's, who produced "Dope On Plastic", was an A&R at Tommy Boy at the time, had a hand in releasing the single and then dropped the talented MC from the label. It's a travesty that they broke the contract before Uptown had the chance to release an album. Uptown's vocals, delivery and smooth verses makes for an undoubted hip-hop classic that deserve alot more noise than it actually did. Maybe the label got getting cold feet after the single dropped, as the expected classic didn't do the numbers they had hoped for and acts like De La Soul was just getting succesful.

But maybe things was meant to be that way. After quite a long hiatus the MC returned to the scene and a lot of things would change for Uptown's future career. In 1993 he hooked up with legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis and hip-hop producer DJ Premier to guest on their project Buchshot LeFonque, That group was the brain child of B. Marsalis and Preemo and was an homage to those old '50s jazz records from the likes of Cannonabll Adderles and it has influences from the classic hardbop jazz but was a fusion of bebop, modal jazz,, hip-hop, reagge, rock, soul, salsa and whatnot. With so may cooks in the kitchen it could easily be a very unfocused album but with Marsalis' and Preem's guidance the albuim is easily one of the most important jazz/fusion LPs in a very long time (Madlib's "Shades Of Blue" also comes to mind). Uptown appeared on the songs "No Pain, No Gain" and the vocal version of "Breakfast @ Denny's"
But it was first with Buckshot LeFounque's second album, "Musical Evolution" from '97 that he joined the group as a full-fledged member appearing on about half the tracks. Here he took on the name 50 Stylez: The Unknown Soldier and straight up ripped it. It might not be as good as the '94 ddebut but it's definitely one to check for; the main flaw was the lack of DJ Premier's participation (he did remix the first single "Music Evolution" however, also featuring Upwon and his late P.N.C. The GURU jumped on another track with Uptown on the LP, "Black Monday").  Around the time of the B.S.L. debut, Uptown also jumped on a DJ Premier remix of Omar's "Keep Steppin'" track. Hopefuly we'll get a new Buckshot LeFonque album  soon before it's getting too late.



Apollo Brown & Hassaan Mackey - "VOLUME"

Next in line of Apollo Brown's project is a collaboration with MC Hassaan Mackey called "Daily Bread". Judging from previous engagements and the first single that was made available today, this should be one to look out for. The LP will be released through Mello Music Group in CD/LP format but heads who don't want to wait can get a digital copy already the 26th of this month via the labels site

"It is an album of really very rugged and raw rhymes developed and written at a time when Hassaan was going through a lot of personal issues, dealing with loss, hardship, and  basic survival, so the lyrics come across as emotive but not in any way weak - just raw.   The beats are straight forward gritty dripping with soul, and bang out the speakers with the best of 'em.  Interspersed throughout the album are clips from 70's blaxploitation films that lend a feel as though the album is from a different era entirely, like it was first made on vinyl 20 years ago, and delivered to us fresh in an era of glitchy, computerized, auto-tuned music that often lacks the punch that Daily Bread delivers." - Mello Music Group


Monday, July 18, 2011

Ceasar & PStarr - "War Music" [Free LP]

How about a free project featuring new tracks by G Rap, Saigon, Lil' Fame, Styles P and Smif-N-Wessun amongst others? Sounds good to me, lets hope the music lives up to the illness of the cover. I don't think I ever heard about Ceasar and PStarr before leaks from this project started hitting the net though. Any word on these guys?

Shouts to FreeOnSmash for the link.

01. "Intro"
02. Styles P – "Where The Angels Sleep"
03. Grafh – "Heartbreak"
04. Saigon – "Married To The Game"
05. Starsky– "Still Standing" (Ft. Melo*V)
06. Red Cafe – "G’s Over Here"
07. Lil’ Fame of M.O.P. – "Get Down"
08. B.G. – "Closer"
09. Mysonne, Al Doe, Skrilla Kid Villain – "Say Hi To The Devil"
10. Kool G Rap – "I Am"
11. Various Artists – "War Music"
12. Mista Raja – "Hood"
13. SAS & Corte Ellis – "Selfish"
14. Mistah FAB – "California Dreamin’"
15. Avery Storm – "Best Friends"
16. Smif-N-Wessun – "2 Minutes NY Banger"
17. Parlae of Dem Franchize Boyz – "Believin’"
18. Serious Jones – "Victory Lap"
19. Darkangel – "Round and Round"
20. "Outro"


Classic Clips: A Tour @ The Hansome Boy Modeling School

"So... How's Your Girl?", the wonderfully twisted first collaborative album by fashion industry moguls Nathaniel Merriweather (Dan The Automator) and Chest Rockwell (Prince Paul) as Handsome Boy Modeling School still gets spins from me every now and then. It's as weird as you would imagine an album by Prince Paul and Dan The Automator back in the late 1990s and despite the guest apperances coming from everyone from DJ Shadow to Sean Lennon, from Brand Nubian to Alec Empire, the end result is a front-to-back banger tailor made for hip-hop connoisseurs. In short, if you haven't heard the LP and tends to like hip-hop that defies clichés, you should consider sending 60$ to the institute of Handsome Boy Modeling School yourself. It might just happen to be the best 60$ you ever spent.

The video above was made and released in promo for the album back in '99 and is a hilarious watch that encapsulates the theme of "So... How's Your Girl" well. Besides the expected tour through the school's principles by the founders themeselves, you'll see cameos from El-Producto and Razhel amongst others. Below is a bonus clip from the original episode of the series that inspired the project in the first place, 'Get A Life' featuring Chris Elliot, set to the tones of "Look At This Face (Oh My God, They're Gorgeous)". As a second bonus, I added the H.B.M.S. remix of The Beastie Boys' "Negotiation Limerick File", released in 1998. It's an interesting track as it's one of the few times Automator and Paul worked together outside of their two full-lengths together.


K-Def signs with Redefinition Records

Redefinition Records today officially announced that their latest artist is none other than legendary New Jersey producer K-Def. A new home like Redefinition means that he will be able to get alot more of his new material out to the public. This should get any beathead excited as K-Def has blessed the game with countless classics (Tragedy, Lords Of The Underground, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Ghostface, LL Cool J, etc.) and is still going as strong as ever. It's extremely rare to come across anything average from this guy if you want my opinion.

To prove that they aren't all talk and no game, the first release from K-Def on the label is just around the corner. Three recently produced instrumentals will make their way onto a 7" vinyl single (as well as digital form) that will be available from August 9. Having had the fortune of getting a preview of these tracks I can assure any fan of the man that you'll be absolutely blown away by these three gems. Matter of fact, even if you aren't that familiar with Def since before this might very well make you a believer. Head over to the label website to check out an exclusive snippet and keep checking The Lost Tapes for some exclusive K-Def shit, coming soon!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Remembering Too Poetic (1964-2001)

10 years ago, on June 15, 2001, the hip-hop community faced the loss of another incredible emcee to the tragic faith of passing away far too soon. He was born as Anthony Berkeley but came to be more known to the world as Poetic, Too Poetic or Grym Reaper. 

Growing up in Long Island, New York, with roots in Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony Ian Berkeley found himself in love with the exploding hip-hop culture. By the late '80s he had honed his skill into the art of a wordsmith while building a name for himself as a vicious battle MC in the streets of Wyandanch, Strong Island. Berkeley would go on to rhyme as part of several different rap crews, finding himself in groups along future legends like Rakim and Teddy Ted.

Together with two local DJ friends, DJ Kaos and Woody Wood, he formed the group Too Poetic while taking on the alias of Poetic for himself. The trio would soon catch the ears of an A&R at Tommy Boy Records who signed them for an album and single deal in 1988. Together with co-producer James Nathaniel Tinsley, who would later form Island Noyze Productions, they transformed their given studio time into the full-length album "Droppin' Signal". Preceeding the planned LP release, Tommy Boy Records tested the waters with the Too Poetic single "God Made Me Funky" / "Poetical Terror" in 1989. While the Paul C. assisted "God Made Me Funky" has grown into a classic on the low over the years, at the time of its release the single didn't make the noise Tommy Boy had hoped for. The label got cold feet and decided to temporarily shelve "Dropping Signal'", causing the trio to request being dropped from their deal. The '88-'89 LP was left unheard by the world until only one or two years ago, when freelance writer Jesse Serwer managed to get his hands on the project through DJ Kaos. Head over to Serwer's blog to check out the album in full and read the extensive interview with DJ Kaos.

Although the deal fell through, leaving Poetic's career in limbo, the situation with Tommy Boy would turn out to be a crucial moment for the future of Poetic as an artist. Being signed only to be burned by the record industry, and by the Tommy Boy label in particular, was an experience that he shared with three other current hip-hop cats; Prince Paul, Prince Rakeem/RZA and Frukwan. Around '91 this quartet combined forces to form the "horrorcore" group The Gravediggaz who instantly started to work on a demo tape. The result was a deal with GeeStreet Records and the biggest record of Poetic's entire career - Gravediggaz's 1994 debut LP "Niggamortis" (later retitled, and more commonly known as, "6 Feet Deep"). The years that passed between "Droppin' Signal", the bitterness of being dropped and surrounding himself with the talent of his new crew helped transform the Long Island native into one of the most unique and original MCs the hip-hop world has yet to see. His unorthodox style of flow and array of outstanding lines urged producer Prince Paul to often use Poetic to set songs off, to great effect.

The rest is somewhat, "as they say", hip-hop history. After another succesful group album on GeeStreets in '97, "The Pick, The Sickle & The Shovel", the quartet was reduced to a duo; leaving only Frukwan and Poetic on the mission of digging up the graves of the mentally dead. Despite lacking the presence of the more famous RZA and Prince Paul, Gravediggaz continued being a force to be reckoned with which was proven with their third and final album. "Nightmare in A-Minor" was completed and first released in 2001. It didn't make half the impact either of the two previous joints did, but it's still very worthwhile material that features tons of amazing verses on the behalf of both Frukwan and Poetic.

Around 1999, Anthony Berkeley was diagnosed with colon cancer and given an estimated time of four months left to live. Even after such a devastating blow to him and his family, Poetic continued to record music and grow as an artist; sharing his pain and the truth about his condition on "Burn Baby Burn" (Gravediggaz) and "One Life" (Last Emperor). He beat the doctor's original estimation with over two years but finally returned to the essence on June 15 of 2001. His spirit continues to live through his memory and all the music he left behind although it remains a travesty that he hasn't been inducted into the "hip-hop hall of fame", so to speak. Chuck D of Public Enemey commented: "Here's a cat that recored terminally ill, for his love for life, his family and music. How it must've sounded silly when he saw and heard cats complaining about dumb beefs, fame or some little insignificant hood problem ... No, this rapper wasn't shot in some hood brawl, didn't pass on some wreckless auto accident and didn't self inflict harm. He was taken by the misfortune of fate. We should think about how lucky we are and stop sweating the small stuff and appreciate life. Too Poetic should remind us all of how precious this life is".

01. Too Poetic -  "God Made Me Funky" [Paul C's Funky Mix]
02. Too Poetic - "Poetical Terror" [Funky Mix]
03. Gravediggaz - "1-800 Suicide" [Poisonous Mix]
04. Gravediggaz - "From The Darkside"
05. DJ Honda / Gravediggaz - "We Run Shit"
06. Celestial Souljahz / Poetic / R.H. Bless - "Ghetto Apostles"
07. Celestial Souljahz / Poetic / Yogi - "Angels Of Death"
08. Maxim / Poetic - "Worldwide Syndicate"
09. Poetic - "Savior"
10. Last Emperor / Poetic - "One Life"