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Friday, June 29, 2012

[Mixtape] M-Phatik & Illegal Promo w. J-LOVE Presents "ON THE VERGE"

Observant readers should be aware that you already have been warned of this monster a few times, and now it's here; what is most likely the hottest mixtape of the year! M-Phatik Sounds & Illegal Promo presents "On The Verge", mixed and hosted by the seasoned DJ veteran that is J-Love. Featuring 31 tracks, the tape features a large host of the absolute best underground rappers on the scene right now. If you think that hip-hop is dead in 2012, with the possible exception of the already well established lyricists who's still putting out hot shit, prepare to get your mind completely changed about that (together with the just released "Formula=99" by Soundsci). "On the Verge" is chock full of true school esthetics, gritty, analog sounding sample based HIP-HOP beats, crazy turntable work, and headnod material. In other words, to sleep on this would be a big disfavor to yourself.

Artists featured on the tape include Super N.E.S., Rasheed Chappell, Rashad & Confidence, Smif-N-Wessun, J-Quest, Tragic Allies, Relentless, The Audible Doctor, Chino XL, J-Love, ASN, G.Dot & Born, Edo G, Ace & Hustle, Price Stylez, J-Love, Bambinoo, Crucial, T-Max, Tony Moreaue, Red Eye, Singapore Kane, Born Unique, Agallah, Hell Razah and Tokyo Cigar as Heavenly Cartel, and many more. And we haven't even got to the producers yet, so here goes... The main lacers are Tokyo Cigar, Confidence, Nick Wiz, Purpose, M-Credible and Cyrus The Great, but additional contributed bangers comes courtesy of the great ThoroTracks, Tha Audible Doctor, P-Solid Connection, DJ Grazzhoppa, The Breaks, Crucial G and Cuzzo Sosay. 31 tracks, including both slamming posse cuts and outstanding solo tracks, all expertly mixed and cut up by J-Love with virtually no DJ shouts for those of y'all who strongly dislikes that. "On The Verge" is basically a 90 minutes smorgasbord of gripping, authentic hip-hop of today's illest up-and-coming US rappers and producers - many of who might become the legends of tomorrow - mixed with a few cameos from some of the already well-established greats for good measure.

But don't take my word for it, the mixtape is totally free and if you like the content of this site, I can guarantee you will love this as much as me. Check out the back cover with tracklist and producers below, if you can't get a full size even when you click on it, try this instead. Much props to everybody involved for making this incredible project happen, it will make a lot of haters shut up about the state of hip-hop in 2012. There's only one rule though once you hit that play button... TURN IT THE FUCK UP!!!!

[Article/Compilation] BIG L's - "Lifestylez..."

As my loyal readers surely have noticed, I have always been greatly fascinated not only by true school hip-hop music, but also by any trivia, interviews and information about those classic recording sessions that resulted in all these legendary albums. Another thing that is of high interest to me is alternative mixes, cut records, original sequencing, and all that. In this respect, Big L's short but powerful discography is one to be heavily discussed even today, 13 years after Lamont Coleman's tragic murder.

Almost one and a half year ago, I revisited L's posthumous "The Big Picture", putting together a version that I personally felt better represented what that album might've sounded like if L was still alive to complete it; cutting out many, but not all, of the after-the-fact remixes, etc. For this post I am taking a look at his groundbreaking 1995 debut, "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous", but since that's already a complete LP, released along L's and his producers vision, I am obviously not gonna disgrace it by trying to change it or give you an alternative version. Instead, I will bring you high quality rips of all the cut tracks and alternative versions from that album, which equals to about 30 minutes of classic Big L rhymes and D.I.T.C. beats. As a bonus, I also included all the official remixes of songs from the albbum released on their original singles. Some of these have been rather hard to find in full versions, with no DJ mixing and in excellent quality, but over the years I've managed to track them all down; some ripped fromm my own collection, but most of the huge thanks to the fantastic and its webmaster ThaBigSleep, who originally provided many of these rips.The "Gorilla in a Phone Booth" rips are courtesy of the ever mangificent T.R.O.Y. Blog, so many thanks to y'all brothers as well.
Two related gems that you might, or might not, have seen upon their original publishing is two extremely informative articles on the making of "Lifestylez..."; straight from the two main producers of the record, Lord Finesse and Buckwild. Back in July 2010, HipHopDX posted a long interview with Lord Finesse about the original recording sessions, and events around the release of the album, especially focusing on the tracks he, himself produced for the LP. Unfortunately, Buckwild, who had agreed to do the interview, could not be reached and therefore was never featured in the final article. However, in celebration of Big L's born day, on May 30 of this year, XXL posted a shorter but similiar track-by-track breakdown of the Buckwild productions from "Lifestylez...", as told by the producer himself. Both of these are essential reading to anyone who, like myself, hold Lamont's earliest recorded work in the higest regards. It's also recommended to read them both before listening to the EP provided, and shortly explained, below.

 01. "Devil's Son"
This was as you know Big L's solo debut to the world, as it was the song on his demo tape that caught Colombia's interest, due to it's bizzare horrorcore content. Released as a promo only on the label in 1993, the track quickly gained a lot of underground buzz and together with several mindblowing cameos around the same time, definitely had people wanting to know what was up with his crazy rhymer. As Lord Finesse mentions in the interview above, "Lifestylez" was basically completed in 1993 but got caught up in limbo. Evidence of this can be seen on the original promo 12", where ithe credits listed are those of the album producers (Showbiz, Buckwild, Lord Finesse and Craig Boogie). For this reason, this song have often mistakenly been thought to have been a production collaboration between these four, when in fact the actual sole producer is Showbiz.
02. "Let 'Em Have It L" [Original Mix]
Craig Boogie produced the album version which with it's rugged uptempo production and L's agressive flow, was the perfect album closer as it truly ended the experience with a bang. The original version is completely different in many aspects, not only does it feature many never before heard Big L lyrics, 0but they are placed over a Showbiz beat that's much more mellow and laid back, though definitely thumping, with a classic D.I. bassline groove and a mesmerizing keyboard sample. In fact, it's kinda hard to choose which one I like better since they are both so different, but as far as outro tracks goes, the Craig Boogie mix is definitely the obvious choice.

03. "Timez Iz Hard..."
I don't know why this failed to make the final cut of the album, despite appearing on a promo LP, sequenced between "Da Graveyard" and the title track. This is definitely in the same key as the rest of the album and, to me, is the one song that would have helped to improve the album even more. The rhymes are classic hardcore storytelling mode L, where he rhymes about his extended robbery crusades over a jazzy backdrop, complete with stand-up bass, saxophones and well placed cuts; presumably handled by DJ Roc Raida as he often helped out on the early D.I.T.C. albums. The track is a co-production between Buckwild and Lord Finesse.

04. "School Daze"
 "School Daze", together with the aforementioned track, appeared on a 1994 cassette only promo for the album, that also featured a totally different sequencing from the finalized retail. According to Finesse, this was possibly the first track they even recorded for the album, and compared to the songs on the retail, it may sound a little dated in comparision, which is most likely the reason it was cut. That does not mean that it's not a banging cut though, rhyme and production wise. I'm pretty sure 'Ness hooked this up for L.

05. "No Endz, No Skinz" [Original Mix]
Similiar to track #2, this is a completley different take than the "Lifestylez..." version, featuring many alternative lines from L as he obviously re-recorded the vocals for the second version, rather than just placing the original vocal over a new beat. Showbiz produced both versions, and while they both bare his trademark, they are still completey different. The chorus over the horns section is amazing, but otherwise I'd personally think they made the right choice going with the LP version. This was unearthed as recently as 2010, when the supreme Freestyle Professor Records on the very limited "Gorilla in a Phone Booth". There's still a few presses leffor those who are interested, but considering how pricey it is and diggers will definitely buy the EP whether or not they already heard the song, I decided to include both tracks from thee EP.

06. "Clinic (Shoulda Used A Rubba)"
"Clinic"  also appeared on the 1994 cassette promo, but for some reason it didn't make the LP. I love this song, it's classic L/D.I.T.C. with a rugged, yet very jazz beat that has lots of interesting layers to it; I believe this was produced by Finesse as wel, but it could also possibly be Njckl. Once again Lamont is in storytelling mode, and his verses are full of hilarious quotables as it deals with a fictional story about how he catched an STD forom some trick. The outro monolouge is funny as hell too. I could absolutely see this on the retail, although I's not really as hard as the majority of the album which might be why it eventually was left off.

07. "I Can't Understand It" [Original Mix]
On the retail, Show had two beats, "No Endz..." and the album mix of this. As seen with all these joints that were left off or changed, it's easy to see that Show played as large a role as Buck and 'Ness when it came to producing for the album (he also made this original mix).  This is probably the alternative mix with most different verses, as it features an entire never released classic L verse. I can't place the sample right now, but I know it's something I have in my record collection; I got strong a feeling it's from on one of my Weather Report records. However that may be, it has a very jazzy feel, much more so thna finalized version. Once again, it's accoustic bass, agressive drum patterns a, saxophone hook that fades in and out throughout. It's a cool track for sure, but the album version is much, much beter.

08. "Eiht Iz Enuff" [Original Mix] *
* I really wasn't sure if I should include this on here or not, since the dark Buckwild beat is exactly the same, Big L's verse is actually the same (even exactly the same take). The same goes for five of the other verses featured on the reccord. The difference is that Terra's and Herb McGruff's verses are both different, although they incorporates some of the retail's lyrics as well. Also there's no intro or outro from Big L. But whatever, people might not have heard it, and it is an early version of a track from "Lifestylez...", and of course a bonafide classic, so it might as well be included. This was first unearthed as late as 2008, on the limited Herb McGruff vinyl, "The Demo" on One Leg Up Records.

09. "MVP" [Summer Smooth Mix] [*]
In the Finesse interview, it's implied that he wasn't too happy that Columbia decided to use the 12"'s "Summer Smooth Remix" for the video rather than the original. It's alot smoother and features some R&B-type vocals by a girl called Indigo. As he say, a remix will never appear on an artists record unless it's been approved by the artist, which of course Big L had done, and it was a decision on both L's and the labels behalf to use this one for the video. I personally don't like it nearly as much as the original, but it's most def a nice, and very different take on the record which gives it another sound. Proudcer Salah is not exactly prolific, but prior to this he had remixed records for Super Cat, Diana Kang, Coolio, a cut on the "New Jersey Drive Soundtrack" and even released a solo album in 1993 called "Caged Bird". In 1998 he also produced a pretty dope jam for MC Lyte, but that's pretty much all he's ever released.

10. "Put It On" [LG Street Mix]                  
I've been thinking about putting together a LG Experience compilation one of these days, because he's done a lot of hot shit, which seems to run in the family (he's Easy Mo Bee's brother for those that didn't know). This is a lot darker and more "L"-like in it's approach, and seems to have been a lot more in Finesee's mind according to the HipHopDX breakdown. Totgether with the "MVP" remix, this is the only B-side exclusive to any of the singles from "Lifestylez...", and appeared on the "Put it Down" VLS in 1995.   

11. "MVP" [Buckwild Remix]
In 1995 Buckwild also remixed "M.V.P.", not only once but actually in two totally different versions. They remained unreleased until 2007, when he put it out himself on the unbelivably fat 2xCD compilation "Diggin' in the Crates: Rare Studio Masters ('93-'97)". However, I only included one of the remixes here and the reason is that it was, in a way, released in 1995 on a "M.V.P." promo 12". I say in a way, because it was a mistake on the label's behalf to incude it; the DJ promo single was to include the original version and the instrumental on the flip. Rather than the expected instrumental, what later turned out to be the Buckwild remix, turned up in instrumental form instead.                              

RZA's "Man Of The Iron Fist" [Trailer]

'This is strictly a music blog, you won't find anything here about hip-hop fashion and other non-musical related topics. However., sometimes you gotta make an excpetion which I am doing here, by posting The RZA's long awaited directorial debut movie "Man With The Iron Fist", a movie I've eagerly been awaiting since it was first announced at least two year ago.RZA's been one of my favorite artists since I first fell in love with Wu-Tang Clan's music. I've seen people complaining about him not making that rugge beats anymore, which is true; he's not nearly as good a beatmaker as he was in the mid-'90s, but he still drops a lot of heat in my opinion. He's a very spiritual person today, and you can't make music like you're straight out of the hood, filled with anger and hungr as hell, which was a very important part of how his music sounded - and why it sounds different today. Growth is a good thing for sure, and reading the "Tao Of Wu" which I can't stress enough how much I recommend, whether or not you're a fan of RZA's music or not.

Ever since the late '90s, it seems that his biggest  dream to not yet have been fullfiled, but with "The Man With The Iron First" hae has now fullfiled his goal and dram which is very inspiring. Whether or not the movie is good or not, I am real happy for RZA's sake, one of the best an most intelligent artist in ofhe industry. Looking at the trailer, it certainly does not look like some half-assed shit though, it actually looks very good if you're info flicks like "Kill Bill" and of course the classic Shaw Brothers movies. The movie is scored by, directed and written The RZA, with help from Eli Roth on the script, who also serves as a producer together with none other than Quentin Tarnatino. Stars include Russel Crowe, RA himself, Lucy Liu, Jamie Chung, Cung Lee, Byron Mann, Bruce Yane and Dave Bautista (LOL). I love RZA, an I love Tarantino but I despite Eli Roth and his horrible movies, so I certainly hope he doesn't manage to fuck it up in any way. No matter what, I'm looking foward to this like crazy will see it in the theater as soon as it's released!

That's definitely enough talk about this movie, but I want to finish this writh that the album will feature a lot of new RZA music - not only did he score the enitre piece with Hans Zimmerman, but the soundtrack also features new music by Wu-Tang Clan (including previously unheard Ol' Dirty Bastard verses), The RZA as well as Kanye West, Black Keys and Chemical Romance (whatever). Check the trailer at the top of the page, and to your left you first draft of the promotional flyer. Prepare yourself for the first ever Kung Wu flck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PETE ROCK - "NY's Finest" [The Outtakes EP]

There's a few things in this world that never change; I'm talking about obvious stuff like four seasons showing up each year, great Tarantino flicks and superb production work by the man known as Pete Rock. In 2006, "the poster boy for the MPC", recorded his fourth solo album, aptly titled "NY's Finest". After. what Pete would call the BBE/Rapster fiasco, this album was released on Nature Sounds and feaured a thrilling eclectic mix of funk, old school hip-hop, jazz, '90s boom bap and of course soul by the pound. As on the most recent preceeding projects he kept fucking with the MPC3000, which to me never was a bad thing although a lot of old school purists felt betrayed once Philip's left his trusted SP12 that he created his most timeless masterpieces with . To be fair thugh, on "NY's Finest" both machines were utilized, to a certain extent; an example is the hardcore street banger "914" which became one of the best The LOX songs in a long, long time if you ask me. The album as a whole was also highlighted by the fact that, unlike on "Soul Survivor II", it saw Rock returning to his roots as far as performing several memorable scratch hooks throughout, that really lifted many of the songs.

For some reason, "NY's Finest" catched quite a large amount of flack from critics and fans alike, when it first dropped. This is both suprising and mind boggling to me, considering it's an absolutely primo New York sounding LP with a huge amount of replay value, first-rate beats and cuts plus a lot of interesting guests. It could however have been improved as in my opinion there's no real definite version released - as is often the case with album's these days, this was available in a few different versions. You had the original 15 tracks version on CD and 2xLP; then there was the iTunes Deluxe version which featured the psychoticly dope Slum Village collabo (which was originally intended to appear on the actual album); a Best Buy special edition featuring an undeniable Roc Marciano exclusive, and finally a fully instrumental LP which included a couple of bonus tracks not available on the regular edition.

With all these different versions and their exclusive bonus tracks, I decided to put together a lil' companion EP to the retail album for your enjoynent. The idea first came about when I finally got my hands on the full/CDQ version of Slum Village's "Gangsta Boogie"; a song that I've previously had for years, however only in the mixtape version from the Japanese Hand Cut Records mixtape "Masterpiecee 01". Then I of course included the brilliant "It's So G", by Roc Marciano, which is further proof of the uncanny chemistry these two have displayed for more than a decade by now. Next up is a joint called "When I Need It" that appeared in instrumental form on the "NY's Finest" instro edition; the version here features Pete Rock vocals though as it later appeared as such on the "NBA Live X" soundtrack. The two final songs are a little different, as they have never appeared on any alternative editions of the LP, but was rather tracks recorded during the sessions that failed to make the final cut. These are the original verison of "I'm in Love", feeaturing Red Café and Talib Kweli and last but not least the E-Villz's collaboration "Rapper's Jail", which together with the Slum Villa joint look like they were supposed to play out between the Rell track and "The PJ's" (check the linear notes if you don't believe me). So next time, you throw on "NY's Finest", let these five cuts run through right after "Comprehend" winds down, or also try adding the perfect CDQ versions of "Gangsta Boogie" and "Rapper's Jail" in their original sequencing order just to see if you feel Pete made the right decision cutting those out.

01. "It's So G" (w. Roc Marciano)
02. "When I Need It" [Vocal Mix]
03. "I'm in Love" [OG Mix] (w. Red Café, Talib Kweli & MAF)
04. "Rapper's Jail" (Ft. Evillz)
05. "Gangsta Boogie" (w. Slum Village) [iTunes version]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[Album] SOUNDSCI - "Formula 99"

It's been a long time coming, but the debut album from five man crew Soundsci is finally here, and I'm telling y'all right now that it's smashing all current competition. On "Formula 99" , Oxygen, Audessey, Johnny Cuba, Ollie Teeba and U-George have damn near perfected the equation of crate digging, hard driven boom bap beats, captivating verses and well weaved concepts. This is one of the finest albums of the year so far, and it's sure to be in heavy rotation for a good while to come. If you want a copy of this very limited 2xLP, make sure to grab one ASAP as there's only 300 pressings made - and it's most def worth the price. Check it out for yourself below...

Ray West Presents "Luv NY"

Featuring all new tracks by Kool Keith, AG, OC, Kurious, Roc Marciano and Dave Dar, "Luv NY" is a compilation of expert rhymers representing The Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The album will be released via Red Apples 45 / Ascetic Music Records sometime this July, and judging from the performers and provided snippets, it's sounding pretty serious. The entire project is produced by Ray West, who AG fans will remember for his work on the various "Berries" releases from the last couple of years. Check out the project @ RedApples45.

01 Intro
02 Legacy feat. O.C.
03 Egyptology feat. A.G. & Roc Marciano
04 Snake Charmer feat. A.G., Kurious & Dave Dar
05 Extreme Status feat. A.G. & Kool Keith
06 The Ritual feat. Sean G
07 Shorties Watching feat. Kurious
08 These Rappers under the hex feat. A.G.
09 Last Night Finesse feat. Dave Dar
10 I Been Luvin U feat. Kool Keith
11 Pressure Up feat. Kool Keith & Roc Marciano
12 The Blues Got Ya feat. A.G.
13 Acid feat. O.C.
14 Random feat. A.G.

9th Prince / Masta Killa / Cappaonna - "Back to 36"

9th Prince brings out both Masta Killa and Cappadonna for his latest single, "Back to the 36", which is a fitting title given the emcees and style of the beat. I'm especially feeling Masta Killa here, that "Loyalty is Royalty" has been delayed for way too long by now.

Ikay - "Bars Of Pain"

Ikay is a young up-and-coming rapper from New York, that you will definitely hear more from in a very near future. "Bars of Pain" is the first single from the upcoming "Family Ties", and gives a good taste about what this emcee is about. Produced by Timeless Beats, the track is literally dripping with soul, which compliments Ikay's heartfelt and honest lyrics to a T. For only a dollar, you can support Ikay's hustle by purchasing the song @ iTunes. Of course, you can stream the full thing via the Soundcloud link below (which also includes a more thorough analysis of the meaning of the song).

[VIDEO] Large Professor - "Key to the City"

Released as a 12" single a few months back, "Key to the City" serves as a great reminder of why Large Pro should forever be considered one of the true keepers of the culture. Fat ass breaks, ill cuts (provided by the immortal Rob Swift), hypnotizing horns, graffiti burners and solid verses; true school as it should be! The track also appears as the intro to Extra-P's "Professor @ Large" which CD buyers can get now, while vinyl heads will have to wait another month for their fix.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

[Mixtape] SHOGUN ASSASON - "Tha Grind"

Shogun Assason has always dropped ill verses on the Killarmy projects, but despite 15 years of industry experience, has never even dropped a solo single. Therefore, it's extra sick to hear his brand new, and first, mixtape "Tha Grind (Bad Brakes = Friction)", mixed by DJ Swift. 17 tracks deep, the tape is full of grimey beats and verses, including guest spots from Frukwan and Shabazz The Disciple, that surely will please hardcore Killarmy heads. According to the promotional info, "Tha Grind" serves as the prequel to an official solo album scheduled for a fall 2012 release.

01. "Intro Long"
02. "All Nail"
03. "Tha Gun"
04. "Man Only Fears" (Ft. Gravediggaz)
05. "Clap Happy"
06. "Who Da Killa Bee" (Ft. Shabazz The Disciple)
07. "Kavy Baby" (Ft. Born Jus)
08. "Runnit' Course"
09. "50 Ft." (Ft. Midaz)
10. "47 Seconds"
11. "Origin"
12. "Who's Eyes Can See"
13. "Put Me In"
14. "No Stomp"
15. "Whatimon"
16. "Kockybutt"
17. "Outro"

Scarcity BP x DARKIM Be Allah - "Reminisce"

Darkim Be Allah of A.I.G. and Fame Labs must be one of the most overlooked lyricists of all time. Had he had better business deals and promotion, I believe he constantly would be mentioned amongst the true greats where he belongs. This cut, "Reminisce", is lifted from Hungarian production duo ScarcityBP's debut album "Back to Business". The CD was released back in February, and features a lot of big underground names such as Krumb Snatcha, Craig G, Gore-Tex, Chief Kamachi and Breeze Evahflowin'. If you like the soul dripping masterpiece attached below you might consider picking up the album @ HHV.

Roc Marciano / Hus - "Warm Hennessy"

Goodfelons continues their collaboration with Roc Marciano, following up the superb "Do The Honors" EP with an equally outstanding extended play from the Strong Island rhyme maestro. For "Warm Hennessy", The Arch Druids is once again enlisted on production, while Roc is joined by The U.N. partner Dino Brave and Hus on vocals. The limited 12" and digital single features, besides the main joint, remixes by J-Force, Nuance and DJ Brans plus instrumentals and accapellas.

ChrisCo x Reks x Termanology - "Treez"

Many might remember California's ChrisCo for his freEP with Alchemist last year, "How Does It Feel?". Now, he's preparing his next project, a mixtape titled "Green x Purple" that will be available for free download sometime next week. For the first single, he enlists Reks and Termanology for a blunted weed anthem produced by The Academy, effectively named "Treez".


[VIDEO] Rome Clientel - "Enter The Catacombs"

The opening track to Rome Clientel's slamming free release "The Empire: The Lost Catacombs" gets the visual treatment, directed, shot and edited by Brandon Cooklin. Word is that Rome is nearing completion of his follow-up release "The Empire: The Battlegrounds". Real hip-hop is alive and well in 2012!

Monday, June 25, 2012

[VIDEO] DJ Premier / Bumpy Knuckles - "B.A.P."

If you for some reason only plan on buying something like three albums this year, DJ Premier and Fredie Foxxx's rugged "Kolexxxion" should undoubtedly be one of them. 17 tracks deep, the LP is filled with hardcore battle rhymes, booming street beats and ridiciolous turntable work; truly vintage hip-hop shit in other words. The single "B.A.P. (Bumpy And Premier)"'s been out for a while now, but the first official video for the project, which is now available on vinyl, CD and digital, are finally up on The Tube. Gracie Records will even be releasing 2xLP sets of the instrumentals and the accapellas, respectively.

AFS 201-973 x PERCEE P - "Stay Focused"

The artist with the somewhat unusual name, AFS 201-973, is soon set to release his sixth album "The Slum Lord Project". Guestvfeatures will include The Rhyme Inspector Percee P, Pace Won, Serius Jones and U.G.G. to name a few. The rugged album single, "Stay Focused", actually features a impeccable Percee P verse over an equally fat beat provided by Beat Bop Scholar (p/k/a known as Thomas V). Video directed by Dru Peebles & The Cheddar Gettas. 

In further Percee P news, associate Beat Bop Scholar recently revealed that The Rhyme Inspector is currently working on a full-length album with none other than D.I.T.C.'s Diamond D. This is great news, not only bc Diamond is one of my favorites, but because Percee P fans have basically been fiending for a BX boom bap sounding solo joint since he appeared on classics like "Yes You May" and "Kicking Flavor With Man". Shouts to Thomas V for the info.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Joey Bada$$ - "Funky Ho'$" [prod. LORD FINESSE]

Brooklyn representative Joey Bada$$ is only seventeen years old, but is most def a promising cat whose love for the golden era hip-hop shine through. His debut mixtape is titled "1999" and features, amongst other styles, mellow, jazz-infected sample based music, full of heavy basslines and Fender Rhodes melodies. The latest single from the young emcee is produced by none other than Lord Finesse, and is titled "Funky Ho's". Check the single out below, and grab the full mixtape via DatPiff , which also features Joey going in over beats by Statik Selektah, MF DOOM, Lewis Parker and some classic Dilla. Don't sleep!


KARRiEM RiGGiNS - "Karriem Produced This"

If you don't know the name Karriem Riggins, you definitely need to do your homework ASAP. Next to ?uestlove, he might just be the sharpest live drummer around; playing drums for countless classic jazz and hip-hop artist; Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd and even recently backed up piano king Herbie Hancock on his terrific performance during last year's Elvis  Cosstello show. As if that wasn't enough, Riggin's is also a more than capable producer, having laced some mind blowing gems on his MPC; hitting up the likes of Common, The Roots, eLzhi, Phat Kat and Erykah Badu, just to name a few.

Most heads might know him for is his close relationship with the late, great James Yancey, a.k.a. J Dilla, a.k.a. Jay Dee. With both being Detroit, Michigan natives, both Karriem and Yancey have told stories about friendly competition in creating beats, trying to outshine eachother. Riggins' is also one of few producers to have caught placements on JD albums throughout the years. Matter of fact, my introfuction to him was the heavy hitter "The Clapper", the sole outside production on Jay Dee's unbeliavable 2001 debut, "Welcome 2 Detroit". He continued producing and playing drums on various Slum Village records, guest produced a Dilla solo for his unreleased MCA debut a year later. The real proof of the Dilla estate's trust in Karriem Riggins' came when James Yancey tragically passed away as a result of a long fight with lupus and a rare blood disease. For years, he had been working on his second vocal album, "The Shining" which according to those involved was about 75% completed at the time of Yancey's passing. Ma Dukes entrusted Riggins' to complete and finalize the album which eventually was released as a full-length LP in August 2006. 

At the moment the producer is signed to the always trustworthy Stones Throw Records, and is one half of the duo Supreme Team together with Madlib. Stones Throw's latest free podcast is dedicated to the way too often overlooked Detroit producer/drummer, in preparation for his upcoming solo album on the label - "Alone Together". Mixed and prouced by K. Riggins, the podcast can be listened to in its entirety free of charge via iTunes, so what are you waiting for?!


NEW Killah Priest / Shabazz / Agallah / Dr. Zodiak

A good posse cut has been one of the epitome's of hip-hop music since Marley Marl and The Juice Crew shocked the world with the immortal masterpiece, "The Symphony". Throughout the years we've been getting plenty of amazing joints of that nature, and one of the latest features two of my favorite rhymers - Killah Priest and Shabazz The Disciple - who is here joined by Agallah The Don Bishop and Dr. Zoiak. The track title is "After the Rapture" and is filled with inspiring verses and terrific production filled with soul samples. Please drop a comment on who you felt have the strongest verse on this headbanger. Thx to FeLo from Wu-Corp for the heads up!

[Video] ASN / Mike Bishop - "24 Six"

ASN is an underground emcee from Boston, known for his sick flow and topics that extendeds beyond the typical guns, violence, bling bling and braggadocio. The single "24 Six" is produced by Mike Bishop who also makes a vocal apperance on the song. Next in line for ASN is a collaboration with Smif-N-Wessun that will appear on the highly anticipated "On The Verge" mixtape, hosted by J-Love, so be on the lookout for that.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

GFK / RAEKWON - "Bulletproof Wallets" [c7 Revisit]

Real Wu-Tang heads know that the final retail version of Ghostface Killah's final album for Epic Records, "Bulletproof Wallets", had little to do with how the project originally was conceived. Label policts, sample clearance problems and even lost sample sources transformed what could have been GFK's third classic LP into a rather mediocre affair; even prompting the emcee to leave the label before his contract was even fullfiled. When it was first released in November 2001, I bought the album but the tracklist on the back cover was a far cry from what was actual on the disc. In fact, this "bogus" tracklist is much more representative of what GFK originally intended. A while ago, I got more or less obsessed with the way Ghost had intened his ill-fated third LP, going over singles, rare promo vinyls, the "original" tracklist on the retail cover, interviews and other sources. I eventually think I came very close to what Ghost originally had in mind, and since then I have never played the retail album again. The original link I posted a while back, has been deleted, and due to heavy demand on a re-up; once again, I present to y'all one of my favorite The Lost Tapes compilations/alt. versions.

Maybe Ghostface nr. #1 masterpiece; the preceeding "Supreme Clientele", was hailed everywhere as a true return to form for the Wu-Tang Clan and their solo releases. It was not fully produced by The RZA, but instead RZA and GFK, who received beats from the likes of Allah Mathematics, Carlos Broady and JuJu to name a few, but the two arranged, co-produced and executive produced all songs on the project to give it a cohessive sound. The same formula was used for "B.P.W.", RZA produced about five beats but he and Ghost picked out and arranged beats by Allah Mathematics, Davel 'Bo' McKenzie, Alchemist, Carlos Broady, and Digga. Some interesting trivia is that the recording sessions fully took place in Miami, featured Chef Raekwon heavily and was even conceived as a sequel to "Cuban Linx...". Maybe due to the warm Miami surroundings, the music recorded ended up a bit warmer and toned down than its original predecessor; needless to say the title was changed to "Bulletproof Wallets". On the original version that I preseent here, Raekwon was however still featured heavily, sometimes spitting full 16:s, i some cases a few short bars and sometimes only a hook or intro. 
The album Ghost handed in to Epic in the beginning of 2001 was the perfect follow-up to "Ironman" and "Supreme Clientele". Ghost proved once again that he was one of the absolute top emcees in the game; RZA's production and arrangements were straight up incredible, and it was great to hear Raekwon and GFK back together. Unfortunately, Epic Records managed to fuck up the album quite heavily, switching the track sequencing, and completely deleting some of the highlights like "The Sun" (which Coles recently revealed had to be deleted since RZA couldn't find the original record he had sampled), the memorable concept joint "The Watch", Digga's TV-show theme sampling "Good Times" and replaced the RZA's feel-good track "Flowers" with an almost unlistenable watered down version. The result was that the cohessiveness and album flow was completely destroyed.

So, if you are one of the people that were strongly dissapointed in GFK's third opus, make sure to listen to this from front-to-back. Even if you heard many of the songs before, the sequencing here really adds to the overall experience. One more thing; the outro "Street Chemistry" I believe was a last minute addition, so it's a big possibility that this would not have appeared on the intended version; all tracklists and promos I've seen end with "Strawberry". But it's such a dope jam, and is a great album closer but if you want to keep it 100% let the album end after track #16. Oh well, enough talk, so enjoy, turn it up and WU-TANG for life!

EDIT: Some have suggested that the version of "Flowers" included here shows up as corrupted when unpacking the .RAR file, if that's the case, grab it here.

01. "The Sun" (Ft. Raekwon, Slick Rick & RZA)
02. "Never Be The Same Again" (Ft. Raekwon & Carl Thomas)
03. "The Forrest"
04. "Theodore" (Ft. Trife & Twiz)
05. "Interlude #1" (Ft. Raekwon)
06. "Flowers" (Ft. Raekwon, Method Man & Superb)
07. "Ghost Showers"
08. "Maxine" (Ft. Raekwon)
      "The Watch" (Ft. Raekwon)
09. "Walking Through The Darkness" (Ft. Tekitha)
10. "Interlude #2: ICE"
11. "Teddy Skit"
12. "Jealousy"
13. "The Juks" (Ft. Trife & Superb)
14. "The Hilton" (Ft. Raekwon)
15. "Good Times" (Ft. Raekwon & Superb)
16. "Strawberry" (Ft. Killa Sin)
17. "Street Chemistry" (Ft. Prodigal Sunn & Trife[*]

GIBBS & MADLIB - "Shame"

Super producer Madlib from Oxnard, California is one of the most prolific and original beatmakers in the industry, and when there's a new 'Lib release on the table you never know what you're gonna get. Emcee Freddie Gibbs is one of the most interesting rhymers out there at the moment, so a collaboration between the two should by all acounts be dope as hell. This was more than proven with their Stones Throw debut 12", "Thuggin'", released a couple months back.

Now it's time again, as the dynamic duo is bringing out their second Stones Throw EP, "Shame". The songs pretty much picks up where they left off last time, with Gibbs weaving a vivid gangsta story of a one night stand, while The Beat Konducta hooks up a soulful track filled with mesmerizing vocal samples, vibes and the usual tight drum game. The joint also features vocals by crooner BJ The Chicago Kid which fits the song perfectly. The B-side, "Killer", sees Gibbs go in hardcore over 'Lib's jazz-fusion tinged beat. I really, really hope that we will get a MadGibbs album soon enough, these guy's chemistry together is too dope to end with just a couple of 12" singles. Listen to the A-Side for yourself and decode for youself; you can order the EP on vinyl ($11.95) or digital ($.94).

MC EIHT - "Where We Go"

Compton's Most Wanted, MC Eiht, have been featured quite a bit on The Lost Tapes lately. The reason is his upcoming album "Which Way Iz West", produced by Brenk Sinatra and DJ Premier and set for release via Works of Mart / Blue Stamp Music sometime this year. A few weeks ago, I put together a five track sampler of all the released songs so far, and juging by those songs this could very well be the illest album of the year; or at least one of 'em. 

The good peeps over @ DJ Premier Blog yesterday posted a radio rip of another Brenk/Eiht record called "Where We Go". The ill cut will not appear on "Which Way Iz West" but is a left-over cut from those session. Who knows though, might end up an iTunes bonus or something of that nature. Whatever the case, this album NEED to happen as soon as possible! Link borrowed from DJPB, thanks!


Friday, June 22, 2012

[Tracklist] NAS - "Life is Good"

Nas is still one of my absolute favorite rappers, and the old saying that he's a dope rapper that can't make good albums is plain bullshit if you ask me; matter of fact, he's got an impressive catalouge with only a couple of exceptions. The July 17 release of his tenth official LP, "Life is Good" has been a hot topic since it first was announced. Now, we have even more to look forward to since the tracklisting with production credits has been revealed. Lots of No I.D. and Salaam Remi beats, and a few contributions or co-productions by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Buckwild, Heavy D, Swizz Beatz and legendary QB DJ Hot Day. What's up with the deluxe edition though? I want "Nasty" on my turntable?!

01. No Introduction (prod. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)
02. Loco-Motive f. Large Professor (prod. No I.D.)
03. A Queens Story (prod. Salaam Remi)
04. Accident Murderers f. Rick Ross (prod. No I.D.)
05. Daughters (prod. No I.D.)
06. Reach Out f. Mary J. Blige (prod. Salaam Remi, Rodney Jerkins, DJ Hot Day)
07. World’s An Addiction f. Anthony Hamilton (prod. Salaam Remi)
08. Summer on Smash f. Miguel & Swizz Beatz (prod. Swizz Beatz)
09. You Wouldn’t Understand f. Victoria Monet (prod. Buckwild)
10. Back When (prod. No I.D.)
11. The Don (prod. Salaam Remi, Heavy D & Da Internz)
12. Stay (prod. No I.D.)
13. Cherry Wine f. Amy Winehouse (prod. Salaam Remi)
14. Bye Baby (prod. Salaam Remi & 40)

15. Nasty (prod. Salaam Remi)
16. The Black Bond (prod. Salaam Remi)
17. Roses (prod. Al Shux)
18. Where’s The Love f. Cocaine 80s (prod. No I.D.)

Kurious / AG - "Magic" [prod. DIAMOND D]

Jorge Alvarez, better known as Kurious Jorge, took the world by storm with his 100% hip-hop, yet weird ass, banging '94 debut "A Constipated Monkey". The East Coast emcee had an unforgettable deliver, filled with humor, lyrics that many didn't even want to touch and slaming beats by The Betnuts family and the SD50's. The album is still remembered today as one of the standouts of the mid.'90s, and the pressure for a sophomore LP was skyhigh. 

However, that second effort didn't land in stores until about 15 years later, simply called "II". The LP felt quite outdated in most aspects and despite a few beats by the likes of Hi-Tek, The Mighty V.I.C., 88-Keys and Domingo, the project was a far cry from Kurious debut. Now, the South American rooted emcee has returned again with a new single, enlisting two D.I.T.C. legends in the form of rapper AG an producer Diamond D. Maybe there's still hope for the guy who absolutely molested "?" alongside DOOM on "Operation Doomsday". Check it out for yourself!


[COMP] DJ SPINNA - "Spinnin' Spinnin Vol. 1"

Vincent Williams, better known to the hip-hop community as DJ Spinna, first made his entrance into the recording industry around 1995-1996; producing and remixes stand out cuts for underground and well established artists including, J-Live, Kool G Rap, MC Eiht, Das EFX, N.O.T.S. Click and Mike Zoot and even 4 Hero and Faith No More, just to name a few. Since then he laced classics for Shabaam Sahdeeq/Eminem, Scaramanga/Brand Nubian, Edo G, Masta Ace, Defari, GURU, Ronny Jordan, Sadat X and many more. But unlike some of, especially today's hip-hop producers, Spinna's got an equal love for a wide range of different genres; putting together mixtapes celebrating Stevie Wonder, disco/funk, and definitely least house music which he have a huge love for.

In the late '90s, he was signed to the, then incredible, Rawkus Records where he released his debut solo record; the headnodding mini album "Heavy Beats, Vol. 1". The 8 tracks project saw Spinna's take on the vintage boom bap sound, not only filled with mesmerizing instrumentals, but also included vocal tracks from the likes of Eminem, Talib Kweli, Apani B. Fly Emcee and Missin' Linx. The record sold poorly, and as the quality of Rawkus rapidly lost its quality, BBE's incredible The Beat Generation Series signed the DJ and producer for a one album deal. The result was  the absolutely terrific "Here to There". The first time I head it, I wasn't exactly blown away but it's one of those albums that grow with each listen. The 75 minutes project, featured neckbreaking instrumentals full of well executed turntable work, heavy vocal hip-hop cuts featuring the likes of Shadowman, Jean Grae, Apani B. Fly Emcee, Jigmastas, Mr. Akil and more. Suprisingly to some, the LP also featured some authentic house tracks towards the end, which added to making the album a true musical journey of different genres. A very risky album indeed, and one that put the genius of Williams at the forefront.

This was followed by two further solo albums and lots of very classy 7" singles. As if that wasn't enough, Spinna was also part of, and the main producer of, Jigmastas, Polyrhythm Addicts for whom he produced two full-lengths, and most recently SPOX PhD with emcee Ox The Architect who's currently working on an album to follow up their brilliant single "Brilliance" / "Four Times Raw". There's no question that Spinna is one of the most overlooked producers of all time; and besides all the albums I mentioned above, that you need to check out eventually, what better way to intoduce new listeners to some of Spinna's outside work in a context that I believe long-time fans of the producer will be able to appreciate as well... Oh well, TURN IT UP!!

01. "When Planets Collide: Prequel"
02. "Baggin' Writes" [Dome Cracker Remix] (Ft. J-Live)
03. "5 Star Generals" (Ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq]
04. "Black October" (Ft. Sadat X)
05. "No Grease" (Ft. GURU, Mendoughza, New Child, Lae D-Trigga)
06 . "7XL" (Ft. Sadat X & Grand Puba)
07, "Soda & Soap" (Ft. Jean Grae)
08. "Don't Talk About It" (Ft. Edo G)
09. "Watch Deez" (Ft. Thirstin Howl III & Eminem)
10. "Dillagence" (Ft. Phonté)
11. "Quicksand Millenium" (Ft. Black Thought / The Roots)
12. "Microphone Master" [Dome Cracker Remix] (Ft. Das EFX / Mobb Deep)
13. "Simplistic" (Ft. Shawn J. Period)
14. "Jungle Punch" (Ft. Mike Zoot)
15. "Work is Never Done" (Ft. NOTS Click & Big L)
16. "ThreeSixFive" (Ft. OldWorldDisorder & Eminem)
17. "Dilla is the Goat: Prequel"


Super N.E.S. - "Sole Collector (Love His Kicks)"

Super N.E.S. is without a doubt one of the most interesting debut artist of the yesr. The NY emcee got a love for that true school sound we all love and cherish, and I have a feeling his mixtape will be one of the best of year. Put together  by DJ Grazzhopa and A&R Mal Moe, the tape will feature a mix of N.E.S. going in on obscure underground classics, but maily the original production will be handled by the likes of Nick Wiz, Da Beattminerz (work in progress), Purpose of Tragic Allies, Confidence, Tokyo Cigar, The Autible Doctor and of course DJ Grazzhoppa himself and many more. The mixtape will be presented by The Lost Tapes and We Goin In. In case you missed the first single, don't sleep on the impeccable Nick Wiz produced "Introducing N.E.S.".

As a warm-up to the tape, a non mixtape cut called "Sole Collector (Love His Kicks)" will appear on the Cormega hosted "Digital Dynasty Tenty" mixtape which is out soon, so stay tuned for that cuz you can count on it being available on The Lost Tapes ASAP.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


In the mid-to late '90s, the Busta Rhymes led Flipmode Squad was one of the most interesting and original crews on the hip-hop map. During that time, they didn't give too much of a fuck about appealing to the commercial radio, although certain members 'managed to sell a lot of records on their own merits. Unfortunately, by the end of 2000-'01, I believe they started to go more and more of the commercial route, whch is a real shame since they already had their own little niché while also selling records on their own terms. Some of the best releases eventually got shelved completedly, and it seems Busta was pretty much more interested only to get his own records out there, while much of his crew was left "in the cold"; somrething that has become clear with interviews with the other members of the group. Today the original Flipmode Squad members has pursued other interests, and long-time members Lord Have Mercy and Roc Marciano, who you might remember for several dope Flipmode Squad collaborations, posse cut and a few rare slamming solo joints. Lord even fully recorded a solo debut album in the mid '90s - "Tha Ungodly Hour".

The LP/sampler I'm presenting y'all with below has still never leaked anywhere in its full version; despite being completed and ready for release. However, I got seven bangers in good quality that definitely will have you happy if you never heard this before. No matter what, this is definitely one that awards repeatedout spins. Elektra Records has made such bad decisions from time to time, and the recording of this album remained shelved besies the dope music that eventually leaked. I'm sure y'all gonna love this one. Lord Hace Mercy also appeared on several dope cuts on Flipmode's group album - "The Imperial", Lord also released two singles on Elektra before "Tha Ungodly Hour" was shelved - "Wicked Ways" and "Say What Say What".

Both aforementioned singles are included on this sampler, as well as "Venegance", "Paint Ya Face", "These Men Don't Cry" and "Ride Away". The classic joint, "Home Sweet Home", produced by Nottz and featuring M.O.P., was originally meant for this LP, but when it got shelved it instead ended up on M.O.P.'s masterpiece "Warriorz" in 2000..Bottomline, it's a real shame "Tha Ungodly Hour" never got a proper release while Busta released album after album, and even Rampage and Rah Digga got to drop solo albums.,At least, with half the songs we are able to hear here, proves us that this album had fantastic potential. Check it out and enjoy it for yourself, I doubt you will be dissapointed.
01 "Venegance"
02. "Wicked Ways"
03. "Paint Ya Face"
04. "Ride Away"
05. "These Men Don't Cry"
06. "Home Sweet Home" (Ft. M.O.P.)
07. "Say What You Say"

Nas - "Accidental Murders" [No I.D.]

Nas' 11th album has been shaping up lovely to the promotion and three singles that has been released so far, all of them has been in constant rotation and proves Nasir is back on his A+ game; mixing politics, battle rhymes and family, especially regarding his, now, 17 year old daughter. So far, Nas has really made an impression, and the beatmakers backing him up on the three songs released so far have all bbeen pretty damn interesting to say, from both a lyrical and production standpoint. Nas verses are fire, No I.D. on the beat really came through, so it's all good. Or?

Fans and emcees weew hopng for some original QB veterans, being that this is said to be somewhat of a "taking it back to Queens" album. But I can't really get over the Rick Ross cameo here; to me he's the worst kind of rappe out there right now; possibly since Vanilly Ice in my own personal opinion. Selling a bullshit image with no basis in reality, is what's in now, sadly. Anything to keep people fram waking up to what's really going on. I give him two more years tops om the hip-hop scene; do you think this is a valid point or do you actually like Rick Ross and his dark, fake ass "club" musik?

OL' DIRTY BASTARD - "O.D.B.E.P." [1996]

There's no debate that Russel Jones was in many ways the heart and soul of Wu-Tang, and in hip-hop in genreal; he always spoke his mind, his ryming style was unorthdox and original to say the least, and he had a great ear for beats. On top of that, he was totally unique both as an artist and as a person, He truly was a free spirit, who finally found his sanctuary in the afterlife in November 2004. He never cared the least what people thought about his wild antics and there's so many amazing stories about this man which makes it clear that his legacy will live on forever, both through his music and his personality. After the critically acclaimedd debut album from Jones, it would take four years before his sophomore (and highly overlooked) "Nigga Please" made it to the stores, but already in 1996 he released a rare, and very ill EP/mini album called "The O.D.B. EP"; originally a Japanese only release which collected the majority of 12" singles, remixes and a few RZA produced cuts that didn't make the final cut of Dirty's debut album. For fans of the Wu, there's definitely a lot to love aobut this EP, as it's great to hear alternative takes on such classics as "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". Remix credits include Dante Ross' SD50's, Lord Digga, Studio Ton and even an unexpected cameo from West Coast legends MC Eiht and E-40, and a few unfuckwithable previously unreleased RZA productions reminiscent of his work on "Return to 36 Chambers". 

"The O.D.B. EP" is a full-bown extended play, featuring not only the eight original songs/you'll find below, but also instrumentals and accapellas.,I decided not to include those to make it a better play-through, but if you're interested in those aforementioned versions, let me know and I'll upload the entre thing ASAP. Enjoy this rare collection of classic Ol' Dirty Bastard 12" singles, B-sides and exclusives, originally released in 1996. The spirit of Russel Jones lives on, we love and miss you brother!

01. "Brooklyn Zoo" [Lord Digga Remix - Clean]
02. "Give It To Ya Raw" [LP Version]
03. "Give It To Ya Raw" [SD50 Remix]
04. "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" [Extended Version]
05. "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" [Studio Ton Remix] (Ft. MC Eiht & E-40)
06. "Don't U Know Part 2" [Clean]
07. "Ol' Dirty's Back" [LP Version]

OL' DIRTY BASTARD - "O.D.B.E.P." [Modified]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

KNOiota x Edo G x Jaysaun - "Boston Blocks"

Boston / Copenhagen based rapper KNOiota recently knocked out this banger with Special Teamz brothers Edo G and Jaysaun. The song appears on KNO's album "KNO Now Or Never" that was released yesterday. Dope! 

Alchemist + Durag Dynasty - "Spudnik Webb"

ALChemist drops off this monstrous non-album track single called "Spudnik Webb", featuring Durag Dynasty. Those who followed the promo for Planet Asia's recent LP, remembers that his next project was as part of the trio Durag Dynasty, besides Killer Ben and Tri-State. The album, which he praised as one of the best hip-hop albums in a long time will primarily be produced by Alchemist. This is obviously a taste of what's to come, and I for one has got zero complaints about that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

12" Throwback: SUPERNATURAL - "Buddah Blessed It"

MC Supernatural is obviously best known as one of the most mindblowing and natural freestyle artists ever heard, though his ventures to recording studios has resulted in some very impressive material as well. In the mid-'90s, he was signed to the Elektra Records subdivision EastWest, for whom he by 1995 had recorded his debut album - "Natural Disasters" (a.k.a. "Supernatural - The Album"). In promotion of the LP, EastWest released the single "Buddah Blessed It"; a dark, thumping joint aimed at the ganja heads. The gripping production work came from Djinji Brown, with the B-side "Mind Tricks" concoted by KRS-One. 

All three songs featured on this 12" single were lifted from the forthcoming album, but once Sylvia Rhone took over as CEO and president of the label, the album was shelved and Supernatural found himself with no major label back-up. The whole Elektra thing around '96 is pretty much a tragedy, as EastWest had one of the most interesting label rosters around at the time. Besides Supernatural, projects by Juggaknots, InI, Deda, Agallah, Lin Que, Omniscience and many more left a premature grave. Luckily many of those have later been recovered in one form or other, and I will post "Natural Disasters" in a near future for those of y'all who haven't had the chance to hear it. Until then, light one up and check out Supernatural's one and only official '90s release - "Buddah Blessed It".
A1. "Buddah Blessed It"
A2. "Buddah Blessed It" (Instrumental)
B1. "Mind Tricks"
B2. "Flashbacks"

Alchemist + Action Bronson - "Decisions Over Veal Orloff"

The second single from Alchemist's July release, "Russian Roulette", has made its way onto the web. This time ALC cooks up a crazy instrumental for Action Bronson to bless and it all works out to great effect. "Decisions Over Veal Orloff" is the unconventional title. Link borrowed from StraightFresh.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

[Comp] LORD FINESSE - "Ripping Mics Up"

One of hip-hop's dopest chapters, that of the D.I.T.C. crew, begun with the release of Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth's impeccable 1990 debut, "Funky Technician". The then 20 years old Bronx born emcee amazed listeners with his butter-smooth flow, spot on breath control, and witty lyrics delivered with perfect timing. Throughout the first half of the decade, 'Ness continued his microphone reign, perfecting the skill on numerous classic 12" singles, posse cuts which he almost always dominated and records with his crew. 

In early 1992, "Return of the Funky Man" hit stores, which three years later was followed up with "The Awakening". Both albums are great representations of where East Coast hip-hop was at when each respective record first was released, and neither shows any sign of Finesse dropping off as a world class lyricist. Despite this, "The Awakening" turned out to be the final solo LP in his catalouge. By this time, it seemed Lord Finesse had found a deeper interest in SP1200's and Technics 1210's, as his reputation as an undeniable force as a DJ and beatmaker steadily grew. Today, his name is probably more often synonymous with one of the best producers than one of the sickest emcees, but I'd say that has more to do with lack of activity on the microphone than anything.

Someone recently requested a Finesse compilation, so instead of the typical production comp that pop up from time to time, I decided to focus this Lost Tapes compilation on Tha Funky Man ripping mics up. There's a few gems that I couldn't fit, but there's still 75 minutes of funky Lord Finesse rhymes here for all the D.I.T.C. heads to enjoy. Included are one of 'Ness earliest cameos in the form of the often overlooked "Stepping Hard Zulu Nation", which features Afrika Bambaata and the mythical Lucien amongst others. Other classic posse cuts featured here are "Trooperz Represent", "The Rhythm", "Flip Da Script", "Collaboration of Mics", "On Da M.I.C.", etc, which together forms an ear grabbing mix of some of the illest artists of New York's underground scene in the '90s. I deliberately did not include any of the obvious D.I.T.C. killers, but there's plenty of booming solo joints from the man to bang your head to. As usual all tracks appear as full versions, in good quality and without any DJ shout outs. HANDS IN THE AIR, MOUTH SHUT!!

01. "Real Talk" (w. Grand Puba)
02. "Shorties Kaught in the System (S.K.I.T.S.)"
03. "Trooperz Represent" (w. 3rd Eye, 9ine, Top Quality & Zone 7)
04. "Flip Da Script" (w. Mesanjarz of Funk & L-Boogie)
05. "The Rhythm" (w. Bas Blasta, Fat Joe, JuJu & Godfather Don)
06. "Underworld Operations" (w. Marquee)
07. "Soul Plan" (w. Roy Ayers)
08. "Know the Legend" (w. Grand Agent)
09. "Collaboration of Mics" (w. Artifacts & Lord Jamar)
10. "The Vinyl Athletes" [Remix] (w. DJ Muro & AG)
11. "Down For the Underground"
12. "Awakenings Interlude" (w. Marquee)
13. "Dig On That" (w. Ground Floor)
14. "On Da M.I.C." (w. Illegal & AG)
15. "Steppin' Hard Zulu Nation" (w. Afrika Bambaata, Lucien, RMR & Tru)
16. "Hands in the Air, Mouth Shut"

[VIDEO] evitaN + Sadat X - "Three Kings"

Black Sheep's Dres, Tribe's Jarobi and Brand Nu's Sadat X connects on this heavy hitter from evitaN's forthcoming debut album. "3 Kings" is produced by frequent Sadat X collaborator Will Tell, and the video is directed by Emil Moller with photography by Adam McDaid. For more evitaN check out last week's post of the album sampler.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

[Stream] BLACK MILK Live @ Third Man Records

A lot of artists from different genres have visited Jack White's studio in Nashville, TX to jam and record; among them Black Milk and his live band. Last year, the LP "Live at Third Man Records" and the 12" single "Brain" / "Royal Mega" was released to the public from these sessions. Now, Black Milk is offering fans a free listen to the slamming one hour jam set that makes up the LP, which is still available on wax.