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Sunday, November 24, 2013


Alterbeats, the fast Rising boom bap producer of the French Alterprod outfit, released his second producer driven under own name on October 29 titled "Class Struggle". Following the successful "The French Revolution", Alterbeats latest is another excursion into the lands of hard boiled beats in the French tradition and lyrical American emcees. Just like on the previous LP, on "Class Struggle", Alterbeats once again joins up with one-time Rawkus star Shabaam Sahdeeq for the imressive cut "Stop It". The track comes full circle when the talented DJ Tricks does a nice turntable routine hook. Buy the album in digital format @ iTunes or the CD @ Fat Beats.

MASTA ACE Revisits "Disposable Arts" in Doc & Article

"Disposable Arts", Masta Ace's triumphant return to the recording industry after a six year hiatus, was released 12 years ago and still sounds as fresh today as when I first heard it shortly after its release. To me it is clearly one of the best LP:s of the 2000 decade as it pretty much have it all; Masta Ace reinvented himself with the times without losing any of his integrity as an artist, without using the biggest names of the day he proved his amazing ear for finding talented producers, creating the most clever concept record of his career. Not to mention the inclusion of one of the absolute greatest diss records of all time, released in the same year as "Ether" and "The Takeover", and while those two overshadowed "Acknowledge" the three records are all equally masterful. Both "Disposable Arts" and its sister album "A Long Hot Summer" quickly went out of print and I kicked myself for years that I had passed up on purchasing either of them when they dropped. Luckily, HHV in collaboration with Ace's M3 Entertainment recently reissued both albums on 180 grams coloured double vinyl, retaining the original artwork and with a terrific sound. As I finally got my hands on a physcial copy of Ace's Arts, I've been revisiting the album again a lot this year.

And I'm not the only one, as a documentary on the making of the LP is coming (see trailer above) and  2DopeBoyz just published a very interesting article interviewing Ace about the creation of "Disposable Arts". This is a must read for fans of the former Juice Crew alumn, especially if you're like me and love to read trivia and behind-the-scenes stuff on the production of the music you regard as classics. And for some nice related music to this post, make sure to check out this terrific compilation I put together featuring almost all of Ace's music made in the years leading up to the release of "D.A.". It's called "Building The Arts" and gives a nice insight into the transformation of Ace from I.N.C. leader to full blown soloist working with producers and artists like Domingo, Gerrard C. Baker, DJ Rob and Apocalypse. Enjoy the article and trailers, enjoy the music!



While looking through the related videos when making my last post, I came across the collaboration between Reks, Rasheed Chappel, and Maffew Ragazino from DJ Skizz's magnificent hip-hop opus "B.Q.E. (Brooklyn to Queens Experience)". While the video/single was released roughly a month ago, I missed out on posting it the first time around and I definitely want to take any chance I get to hype up and promote DJ Skizz album; clearly one of the most slept-on of the year. To hear both Reks, Rasheed Chappel and Maffew Ragazino clash on a powerful Golden Age-esque beat with punching drums, superb scratches and a nicely chopped sample. All in all, this is some powerful stuff and if you're still sleeping on "B.Q.E.", you better WAKE THE FUCK UP!!
Also check the videos for "Metal Bars" (w. Masta Ace & Nature), "Vio-Lence" (w. Ill Bill & Lil' Fame),  "Triboro Thoro" (w. Panchi, Big Noyd & H.Stax) and pick up the CD @ FatBeats) ASAP.

REKS - "Little Things"

REKS clearly don't know how to stop dropping that sick music that got hip-hop heads all over the world nodding their heads in agreement. With his latest video he hooks up with producer Mighty Moe (of The Heartless Crew) for a soulful hard banging joint entitled "Little Things". Since his breakthrough album with "Grey Hairs", the representative of Boston's rap scene has constantly dropped impressive projects so I'm real eager to see where this knocker will end up.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

[EP/Comp] WU-TANG CLAN - "36 Chambers: Alternatives N Originals"

Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter The Wu-Tang" will always hold a very special place in my heart and you could even go as far as saying that it literally changed my life. It was the LP that fully turned me into a hip-hop freak, the first album of the genre that I bought and I haven't looked back since. Today I have copies of it on both vinyl and CD:s and above my TV have framed the CD and front of the booklet. I've seen them perform several times and I have some 60 albums by the Clan, its members and Killa Beez officials, and it all started with "36 Chambers". When you're that familiar with an album it is simply incredible to hear alternative versions of the songs containted within it. I was meant to post some of the clean versions on the day of its 20 year anniversary, but I didn't have them at hand right then, but better late than never plus i got some other good materials to boost.

Before we get into the clean single mixes, which at times are very different sounding from their album equivallents, I got some of the in my opinion most exciting original versions ever released. Both of these were originally posted by Cilvaringz in the official media section over @, and were obviously dug up and released by J-Love at one point. They are both labeled as remixes on the original site, but by the sound of them I have a strong feeling that these were original versions of the song. Take a listen and decide for yourself.

01. "Bring Da Ruckus" [Alternative Version]
Let's start with this version of "Bring Da Ruckus" as the song became the opener to the album. All the verses are there and in the same place, and all the parts of the LP version are left in tact; you got the exact same drum programming, the BPM is untouched, the Kung Fu flick samples are left exactly where they are. On this version the minimalist beat is expanded upon with several melodic samples, most notably a bluesy guitar riff that comes and goes, and some piano/synth notes that gives the song a whole new direction while keeping all the basics. This would be a very strange way to do a remix; in my opinion the most likely scenario is that this is the version that all the guys rhymed to and when they couldn't clear the samples used they deleted those samples and kept the skeleton of the beat which is what ended up on the record. Further evidence of this comes from this brilliant behind-the-scenes article from SPIN Magazine:

"The final version of "Bring Da Ruckus" was not the original one we recorded. The first one had this blues sample that RCA couldn’t clear, so we re-recorded the sample and some of the other tracks. Other than that, the album that I bought in the store was the one we recorded." - Ethan Rhyman. co-engineer of the album

02. "7th Chamber" [Alternative Version]
The alternative version of "7th Chamber" is even more jaw dropping  if you ask me - it has all the trademarks of the early RZA and sound, while at the same time sounding prophetic in the context of "36 Chambers" as the additional sample not found on the finished album version evokes the future sound of "Liquid Swords". "7th Chamber" has been quoted by many as being said to be one of the "weaker" moments of the album; but to me both the original Pt. 1 and the Pt. 2 remix with its heavy emphazis on the West Coast bass are both magnificent tracks in their own rights, that I couldn't imagine the Wu's debut without. With that being said, this alternative, presumably original version of "7th Chamber" is superior to them both. 

Although in the quote above states that aside from "Bring Da Ruckus" the album that was turned in and released were pretty much the same. Yet, I doubt strongly this is a remix for some of the same reasons I gave about the "Bring Da Ruckus" situation - the version features all of the backbones of the beats, only with that added sample that runs throughout, which likely wouldn't get cleared which would explain the song being the same exact aside from the dark, moody strong horn and bass loop reminiscent of "Swordsman" and "I Gotcha Back". As if that wasn't enough this version includes an entirely new Ghostface Killah verse not found on any other version of the songs, or appearing on any other Wu songs for that matter while all the other verses are left exactly intact. Damn,, what a gem!

03. "C.R.E.A.M." [Clean Mix]
In the article a lot of the sound engineers, technicans and overseers of the project spooke on how extremely lo-fi the album was deliberately sounding. This is what they wwanted, but the label was scratching their head. As a result the single versions featured completely different mixes of the album tracks, thoroughly touched up into hi-fi versions quite different from the established LP mixes. The most interesting of these is definitely  the single/video version of "C.R.E.A.M."; the song that was the track that really broke the Wu into the mainstream. Aside from a much cleaner sound, there are additional adlibs here, added wailing by both 60 Second Assassin and Method Man and an additional break up of the beat near the end. A must hear for die hard Wu fans.

04. "Can It Be All So Simple" [Radio Edit]
While there's no revolutionary changes in the actual music presented here, everything is sounded a whole lot clearer; just like with "C.R.E.A.M." making the song sound like a Hi-Fi recording of a '93 hip-hop song. This really makes you wonder what the impact of the LP would have been if mixes like these would've been used for all songs on the album. Personally, I think the impact of the album would've been pretty much the same, both mixes of the sngs have their definite charms but it's great to be able to hear both versiions for comparision.

05. "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' Ta F' Wit'" [Radio Edit]
I am gonna repeat myself too much; this single version is another new mix of the song and is interesting for the same reasons as the tracks above. What is estra interesting hear is that RZA incorporates the edits of the curses through sound effects in the same way he did on "Protect Ya Neck" - in this case a 0.30 second saxophone sample. Of note is also that the shout outs by RZA at the end is considerably shorter and diffeerent.

06. "Method Man" [Homegrown Version]
"Protect Ya Neck" grabbed the hood and made the Wu an underground phenomenon,, while the solo flip-track "Method Man" was aimed at the mainstream audiences; and it was a brilliant plan that worked. When the song was released as a solo 12"/CDM, it containted a version called "The Homegrown Version". The beat is the same, but what makes it a must hhear is that it contains an original extra Method Man verse acting as the third and closing versee. This is not found annywhere else and is obviously a most-hear. The sound quality is bafck to the lo-fi that we all came to love about "36 Chambers". Very cool ish, no doubt!

07. "Protect Ya Neck" [Bloody Version]
Unlike the previous songs presented here (save for the two first alternative, originally vaulted versions), this is taken from the very first 1992 pressing of the single and keeps the lo-fi grit just like on the LP. The difference is that rather than the album being the uncut version, dubbed "The Bloody Version" is only found on the single and was a rare track up until it was included in the Wu Greatest Hits album "Legend Of Wu-Tang" in 2001. It's an interesting listen, but the sound effects editing of the retail track have became such an integral part of the song that this is by far the ultimate version.

In short, whether you're a Wu-Tang fantatic, a fan of their first album and first round of solos or simply a hip-hop fan with respect for the foundations of the genres this is a must listen. Being that the tracks are pulled from various sources, from mixtapes to cleaned up maxi-CD-singles there's some gap between quality here but who cares when the music is this dope, and everything is definietly very listenable, so enjoy and throw your W's up while we wait for " A Better Tomorrow"! Last but definitely not least I want to give a big shout to Billo and his wonderful Wu-related blog WTCFoLife from which I, with his full permission, borrowed the rips of tracks 3-6; thanks fam!

SMIF-N-WESSUN Ft. JAHDAN - "Shots in the Dark"

You know we're huge fans of Smif-N-Wessun here @ The Lost Tapes, and whenever they release a project is with all probability be certified heat. Their collaboration with Pete Rock on "Monumental" still gets semi-regular play at my place and was one of my favorites of that year, despite some fans feeling it wasn't up to par... Well, that's there loss. Now the Brooklyn duo of Tek N Steele is reunited once again with Duck Down for a new EP in collaboration with the talented producer duo of Beatnick & K-Salaam (who among other things produced the entirety of Murs & Fashawn's collaborative effort last year). The six-track Extended Play will fully focus on Smif-N-Wessun's love to incorporate reagge flavor into their music, something that has been a staple of their music since their debut album "Dah Shinin'" that carried powerful cuts like "Sound Bwoy Burreil" that was an homage to the sound system of the Jamican music scene. Since then they have collaborated with legends like Eek-A-Mouse and others, many times with underground toaster Jahdan who is the collaborator on the new single of the project. "Shots in the Dark" follows the magnificent Junior Reid meeting titled "Solid Ground" and is another sure-shot banger. The EP, "Born & Raised", will hit reatailers December 3 through Duck Down; read more and pre-order here.


The German based production unit known as Snowgoons just released their "Black Snow 2" project the other day. The tracklist is filled with some of NY's and the US finest emcees going at it over The Goons' agressive production work, and following the title track single with Ill Bill, Celph Titled, Apathy and Sicknature, the choice for second single has landed on "Walk These Streets". The song features an especially impressive performance from Styles P as well as an apperance from Genovese, and is definitely a decent cut though I think that there's definitely better joints on the album to release as singles tbh.

[Mixtape] AMIRI - "Big Bands & Coctails Vol. 1"

Born and breed in South Carolina, producer Amiri grew up on the music of the real hip-hop pioneers like T La Rock, Kurtis Blow and Run DMC and has followed the game develope since then; and his wide range of influences from both hip-hop and other genres blended with his unique style has made him a force to be reckoned with on today's hip-hop scene. Thouth he started getting placements, mainly for remixes, in the mid- to late-'90s, it is more recently with his work with HiPNOTT Records that Amiri really has started to make a recognizable name for himself - his solo debut "The Recipe" and especially his work with emcee Spectac on the critically praised albums "Almost Famous" and this year's "Soul Beautiful".

Now the skilled producer is bringing out another fresh project for us heads to enjoy; a smooth 21 tracks instrumental project that showcases Amiri's love for the big band jazz era music of the 1930's (even giving beats titles like "Live @ The Cotton Club"); incorporating into the tracks both samples of those records and creating the same vibe in a hip-hop a fashion. It is a very interesting listen, and although my jazz interest mainly begins with the next era of jazz (the bebop records of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, etc.), I've always been a sucker for the juxtaposition of jazz samples and hip-hop beats - something that shows how closely the two genres are releated on a spiritual basis. So why I understand this isn't up everbody's ally, I strongly recommend giving it a chance... After all it's free of charge!

SERUM Ft. REKS & DJ HERON - "Afro Pick 2"

Serum, the Miami based emcee, with the help of guest spitter Reks and turntable wizard DJ Heron strikes with a rugged, hard hitting boom bsp oozing single from his forthcoming politically charged LP, "P.C.P. (Pre Campaign Propaganda)". "Afro Pick 2" is a great showcase of all artists involved, including producer Cap K, and the song stands as an excellent homage to the civil rights movements of old and new.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DJ Dister Ft. Masta Ace - "Ain't No Thing"

This year the legendary Masta Ace has made strong apperances on producer drriven albums by Marco Polo and DJ Skizz, and now it's DJ Dister who grabs the Ace to add some extra flavor to his new single. The track which 0is called "Ain't No Thing" is produced by Dister, performed by The Masta, are turntabled out by DJ Ill-O and has all the ingredients of a monstrous underground hit.The song appears on DJ Dister's new album "Roll With Dis" which is out now and features guest performances from several of the best artists doing it; including AG ("Stop Frontin'"), Artifacts ("Regardless"), Fashawn & Torae ("Everywhere"), KRS-One, Kool G Rap, Lords Of The Underground, Jeru The Damaja, Kool Keith, Lil' Dap, Greg Nice, etc. Check out the snippet reel below and grab the vinyl or CD @ UGHH.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

[Video] TIMELESS TRUTH x LARGE PRO - "Wavelength"

Timeless Truth and its members Solace and Oprime39 always drop some purified rugged hip-hop shit. For "Wavelength" they hook up with everyone's favorite producer Large Professor. Look out for the intro where Extra-P reminisces on his days as a a student on John Bowne High School, set to the classic tune of his 1996 cut "Bowne". "Wavelength" is taken from Timeless Truth's forthcoming full-length "Cold Wave".

OBX Ft. Meyhem Lauren - "Twice A Villain"

A couple of weeks ago I was for the first time introduced to the music of Texas artist OBX with the release of the two first singles "Make It" / "No Love" from his forthcoming album "The Villain". One of those tracks featured a heavy collaboration with Fashawn, and in my post I wrote to also look forward to apperances from Meyhem Lauren and Frank Dukes. For "Twice a Villian" we now actually get to hear that Meyhem cameo who as always an interesting verse next to OBX. The track is produced by Kuse, and the joint is also available for free download below..

MAJESTIC GAGE - "Fair Warning"

"Fair Warning" is a low-key, hard hitting single from DITC affiliate Majestic Gage. Like the majority of the core of that crew, Gage hails from the South BX area of New York and is an up-and-coming spitter that favors a raw, but witty type of lyrical style. While this track is a loosie, produced by Harlem's Ty Ahart, D.I.T.C. Entertainment on an upcoming compilation most likely overseen by Show & AG. Word is that Gage is one of the emcees said to be featured most prominently on the project. Stay tuned for more info!

[Video] AUDIBLE DOCTOR - "Wings Pt. 2"

As I've stated many times Before, The Audible Doctor is one of the most interesting producers around these Days, and the 8 tracks "Summer Tape" really captured Everything the summer's about; barbecues, great, chilled out hip-hop music and images of Beautiful landscapes, etc. "Wings Part 2" features the great singer Francesca. "The Summer Tape" is still available in both its digital format and on the limited cassette edition (which also features a slamming bonus track with Del Tha Funkee Homosapien). The Music is of course produced by The Good Doctor, while the video is shot and directed by Rob Levy... So press play, turn it up and start reminiscinig on those great days of this past summer. If you're still asleep you can still order your copy of this terrific project through where you can also stream the entire EP for free.

RAEKWON - "A Rainy Day"

Our favorite chef takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane with his latest street single "A Rainy Day", a laid-back keys driven jam produceded  by Road-Arts who previously worked with the the Wu general on several recent occassions.From what I gather Road-Arts is one of the Ice H20's in-house producers. This is a really nostalgic, laid-back, cut that also pays hmage to the original 1995 classic "Rainy Dayz". Between this and that recent pre-tape, I can't wait fort that upcoming "FILA" LP. In some less encoraging news, The RZA has recently spoken up on several occassions that the new Wu-Tang Clan album is really on the move, and everybody is really doing their best participating; yet Rae hasn't recorded a single verse or showed up to a studio session... Let's really hope that they soert this out Before it's too late! Spoted @ XclusivesZone.

[Review] MF GRIMM x DRASAR - "Golden Triangle"

Legendary, yet unfortunately often criminally underrated, emcee MF Grimm and relatively new-on-the-scene producer extraordinaire Drasar Monumental is back with "Golden Triangle"; the very limited vinyl only release of the sequel to last years slamming "Good Morning Vietnam". In my original review of the aforesaid project I gave the 7 tracks EP a 4/5 rating, a rating which I still stand by, but the second installment in the series is even better in most every respect, and works as both a stand alone piece and as a complete back-to-back listen together with the first EP. On "Golden Triangle" the chemistry between Grimm and Drasar has been even more solidified into one of the most magnificent emcee/producer collaborations in recent memory; the music is more powerful and dynamic; the album's metaphorical key themes have seriously been amplified and weaved into the music on a whole 'nother level, through both powerful skits, samples and Grimm's lyrics; and the running time and included tracks is almost twice as much amplifying the original EP into a full-blown LP.

While putting heavy focus on the main themes of the album (which I will explore more in depth further below), MF Grimm and Drasar has here created the most cinematic hip-hop album of the year, maybe in the last couple of years. The combination of the two's contributions here awakes the same feeling in the listener as watching some of the best war movies ever made; such as "Full Metal Jacket" and "Platoon". After an opening intro, complete with blasting sirens, a Bob Dylan sample (a later song also includes a Velvet Underground sample), explosions and radio static, we are lead into the opening song "The Bear". Here Drasar's stupendous bass-heavy production with its knocking drums and rough guitar riff evokes images of the napalm-fueled buning of the Phillipine woods (standing in for Vietnam) of the opening shots of Coppola's magnificent "Apocalypse Now". The music is constantly hard, multi-layered and built around a vast array of samples that together have the impact of a hard punch to the stomach with lines that are often both ruthless and hilarious. Just check the breakbeat heavy golden era homage that is "20%" where GRIMM keeps in line with the vibe of the beat by spitting classic hip-hop lines like "I'm the lord who brings/ You're the lord of the rings/ You sold your soul and all your people out for material things/ Today is your last day, crook I'ma take you/ Taking like your hard, well watch how I break you". 

MF Grimm constantly sounds right at home over Drasar's bombastic, yet always elevated Golden Era-esque production, maybe more in tune than he has been at any other point in his career thus far. While the music is often chaotic MF Grimm is inspired to give a jaw-dropping performance where he not only shines as a rapper with an impeccable cadence, flow, delivery and wordplay, but also as a true political and poetical song writer. This relationship is succesfully apparent throughout the 40 minutes set, yet there are verses and songs that stand out as especially mindblowing; among them "The Bear", "20%", "Golden Triangle" and the two final songs. Yet, there's absolutely no doubt that this is a project designed to be heard from front-to-back - which is a strong reason why it's only being released on vinyl and limited CD copies and digital review copies consits of one long 40 minutes track including all the music. And there's no question that this, even more than the first volume, is as coherrent an album as they ever come - whether we're talking albums from the '80s, '90s, '00s.

This is indeed a concept album with, like mentioned before, in a metaphorical way fully revolves around the themes of The Vietnam War and the Golden Triangle heroin trade. But don't think that this is a straight reflection upon what happened from the late '60s and the early '70s between the Vietnam and US. Neither is it exactly using the theme of war zones as synonyms for what's going on in the 'hood as CNN did with "The War Report", though that comes closer. Instead Grimm's lyrics often talks about the problem of modern day US society filtered through a lens of the Vietnam War, letting todays events mirror the war. My interpreation is that the use of the War, which was a sort-of David vs. Goliath scenario where the American opressors, authorized by the US government couldn't win in their opression of the Vietnamese people despite their belief that they participated in a war they could not lose. This is of course the same government who's also the creator of the problems in the US society, and especially in the black community, that Grimm is constantly speaking on. Problems created with the means of controlling the small individual who often don't have the means of expressing their voice, or fight back like the Vietnamese people at one time where believed to be incapable of. Therefore it's extra powerful that Grimm and Drasar closes the album with its most haunting song both musically and lyrically, "Burning Daylight". Drasar creates a mood-filled piece with the use of a haunting vocal sample that acts at the chorus and at times even interacts with Grimm's actual vocals.  Most importantly it offer up the artists' thoughts about the solution to the problems presented earlier on the album - something many emcees who go on and on about the problems they want to bring up rarely have the heart or intelligence to do. A few examples comes with lines such as "True redemption in sight/ I choose the path that's right, few rich men, nothing new under the sun/ Breakthrough all barriers, I'll be the one ... I'm not trying to be offensive, but being poor is expensive/ Economic warfare, victory well-shared/ Let's make a better life... (for you and me)".

The other theme is more double-mirrored and can in my humble opinion be read in two separate ways. The first, and to me the strongest, is that heroin and dope is the dope politically hip-hop music that Drasar & MF Grimm, as well as other legends like Chuck D, Brand Nubian, etc., uses as their weapon to get their music out to the people with which in the long run will help to fight back the governmental oppressors . The second interpretation I have, and I have a feeling that these two might at times be used during various points during the record's run, is that the hard drugs is which the US government introduced (through the Golden Triangle), which is what were introduced by them to enslave the lower-classes of the society in order to make them oblivious to what they actually did and continue to do to the poor people. An interesting fact that connects both themes is that the Golden Triangle where the opium is derivered from and smuggled out of includes Vietnam. A conspiracy theory, that I believe holds a lot of weight, is that high-powered governmental US figures like the CIA was after the poppy fields in Vietnam (and of course Opium is derived from Poppy Seeds, and heroin is in turn derived from Opium). There's of course a lot more to this, and with each listen you find more through both the lyrics and samples that expands the records thematical stand.

Both  lyrically and musically, the metaphorical themes are thoroughly explored both through Grimm's unrivaled lyrics and Drasar's war-aggressive HIP HOP production; not to mention the countless skits that pop up after at least every other track. While they all play out well and holds significance, at a few times they do seem a bit little overkill, though they of course do a lot in helping to create the overall mood. I've already lost count on how many times I have bumped this record since I received it last week and this LP is already one of my absolute favorite albums of the year, maybe even my favorite (though I need to give it a few more spins and let time decide if it continues to hold up this well). And as an even better record than its predecessor I'd say that this might ju be Grimm's most powerful recording date up until this poiint. We should all rejoice over the fact that he and Drasar Monumental have found each other - let's pray that we'll see more from this dynamic duo in a near future. As  I stated before, Part 1 got a 4/5 rating from me, but as this is so damn close to a perfect listen I'm actually gonna go ahead and give this a rare perfect score, something I surely don't do often. As Grimm's final words in the final song states: "Reason why I'm rapping this, for those who can feel it/ Those who can't feel it? They're rocking you, rocking you, rocking you [to sleep]". As this is a very limited release that any fan of these two artists wouldn't want to miss, make sure to cop the record whle it's still available from Vendetta Vinyl and check out the official sampler here.


Dudley Perkins has always interested me with his unorthodox style of funky hip-hop infleunced soul. Next week the poetical wordsmith, also known as Declaime, is releasing his first solo album in over four years and with the singles this is shaping up lovely. We've got the Georgia Anne Muldrow produced "Stokley's Cafe", the reunion with the one and only Madlib on "State Of Emergency" and early associate KanKick's Foot Surgery". While all of these three cuts have been solo ventures, the new single is one of the tracks I looked forward to the most reading about the upcoming album; the collaboration with veteran BX super rhymer Percee P. The song is called "Hearing Test" and features both Percee and Dudley going HARD over a suitable rugged hip-hop beat, complete with cuts, again laced by G.A. Muldrow. DON'T SLEEP on this one, as it's both up for free streaming and download! The Mello Music Group LP "Dudley Storkins" lands in stores on both wax, CD and digital on November 29.

BEKAY - "Magic Man"

Hardcore Brooklyn spitter Bekay is joining up with producer Al'Tarba for the release of the first single from his upcoming album. "Magic Man" is a BK anthem in tribute to Paulie Malignaggi, the champion boxer from Brooklyn. The full length album, which might or might not be called "Brooklyn Boys" drops December 7 so check for that. Peep the official music video above, and grab the Mp3 file for free below.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Comp] SHOWBIZ - "Show Us What You Got!!"

Some days, I feel Showbiz is the illest out of the four D.I.T.C. producers, other days its Buckwild or Lord Finesse, though most days Diamond D takes the top spot.. But what that proves is how incredibly tight they all are when talking quality hip hop, and what's most impressive is that since their start no other production team have constantly been so brilliant. One interesting aspect of this quartet, is that while they all pack distinctive individual styles, no matter who of them produced a mid-90s record you could probably instantly recognize a certain Diggin' in the Crates style. 

Showbiz has focused his career as the head honcho for Diggin' in the Crates material; from benig the main producer for albums like "Worldwide" (2000) and "Unreleased Productions" (1994/2006), he has had a hand in launching the careers of Fat Joe, Big L, Lord Finesse and of course all the exceptional material he and AG has released, and still does, as Showbiz & AG. A heavy crate digger, who love geting his fingers dusty in the jazz and soul bins, Show is konen for crafting complex sample based music without fearing the digital and the synthesizer. If you listen to his early beats on e.g. "Funky Technician", "Soul Clap", "Runaway Slave", and early placements for the likes of The Legion and Nice & Smooth you'll heat the love of bass and horns heavy jazz shine bright. By the mid-'90s his style had become more stripped down, less jazz-infectd, and several shades darker with drums as agressive as they come... Just peep his work "Goodfellas"  (1995), Full Scale EP" (1998), and certain joints by Sadat X, KRS-One, and Big Punisher. Show's music has constantly continued to evolve from the aforemetioned tracks to his heavily stripped down soul-infected solo album "Street Talk" (2005) and plenty of dope outside placements; not to mention the large amount of Show & A reeases like "Live Hard" and their album trilogy from last year. After getting his firstt placement in 1989, Show has stayed a prolific producer, rarely letting the quality stray.  The following compilation follows Showbiz throughout his musical output over the years, so get ready to blast the volume and get that neck snapping!

01. Black Sheep - "Slasph: Intro"
02. Artifacts "The Ultimate" [Showbiz Remix]
03. Milano - "Teleport" (w. B'arbuaryN]
04. Buckshot LeFonque - "Breakfast @ Dennys" [Remix]
05. Attica Blues - "3ree (A Means to Be)" [Remix]
06. D.I.T.C. / Kid Capri / Party Arty - "The Club"
07. Fat Joe / Big Pun / Raekwon / Armageddon - "Fire Water"
08. The Legion / Showbiz & AG - "Who's It On Pt. 1"
09. D.I.T.C. - "We Known For That"
10. Joell Ortiz - "Brooklyn Bullshit"
11. Khaleel - "Rappin' Exercise"
12. Silky Black - "Turn It Up!"
13. Lord Finesse - "Set It Off Troop"
14. Lord Finesse - "Hands in The Air Mouth Shut"
15. Smiley The Ghetto Child - "Bronx Baby"
16. Sadat X - "Daiy 1,2" (Ft. AG)
17. Milano - "Show 'Em"



Following the dark boom-bap infused sounds of their collaborations with M.O.P., PMD, and Virtuoso, German based production Quartet The Snowgoons sounds rejuvinated and returns with the seuqel to their most beloved Project yet - "Black Snow". Self-released on their Goon Music imprint, the mood is constantly dark, the rhythm is agressive and the samples are haunting with guest features that will definitely have your jaw drop. The album is officially released on December 13 (with a lot of other nice LP:s). As with previous of the crew's production compilations, the guest list is definitely on the heavy side and judging by the long album sampler above these guys are soundign incredible over this type of production. Check out the tracklist below and stay tuned for the middle of Decemeber y'all!
01. "This Is Goons Shit" (Ft. N.B.S. & Planet Asia)
02. "Black Snow 2" (Ft. Apathy, Celph Titled & ILLBILL)
03. "Suckaz Behind The Screen" (Ft. Edo G & Reks)
04. "Make or Break" (Ft. Billy Dance, Apects & Pharagraph)
05. "Party Crashers" (Ft. Reef The Lost Cauze)
06. "Walk The Streets" (Ft. Styles P & Genoveese)
07. "Live Your Life" (Ft. Sean Strange & Salome)
08. "The Hatred 2" (Ft. Slaine, Madchild & Sicknature)
09. "One Thing I Know" (Ft. Planetary / Outerspace)
10. "I Walk Alone" (Ft. CunninLynguists)
11. "Still Real & Raw"`(Ft. M-Dot, Jaysaun & Journalist 103)
12. "Nuclear Winter" (Ft. Preserverance, Rakaa, Joe Scudda & Brainstorm(
13´. "Do U Back Down" (Ft. Onyx)
14.  "Fast Food Nation" (Ft. Q-Unique)
15. "Iron Bars" (Ft. Papoose, Kool G Rap, Nature, Sean Strange & Justin Tyme)
16. "The Code" (Ft. Raekwon, 2Ugli & LoDeck)
17. "The Real Talk" (Ft. Ice Water, Akrobatik, Virtuoso & Diabolic)
18. "Guillotine Rap" (Ft. Dope D.O.D.)
19. "Clicky Clack" (Ft. Banish)
20. "Dizzy Dreams" (Ft. Viruoso The Virus)
iTunes BONUS
21. "Benz Bema Dreamz" (Ft. Masta Ace & Stricklin)
22. "Dirty Goons" (Ft. Swifty McVay & Jay Gill)
23. "It Gotta Add Up" (Ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq, Baby Blak & Jay Hill)
24. "Reel Wolf Presents: The Underworld" (Ft, Bizarre, Reef The Lost Cauze, Ill Bill, Slaine, Celph Titled, King Gordy, SID (of Slipknot), PMD & Sean Strange (The Goondox), Apathy, Swifty McVay, Vinnie Paz & Tech N9ne [Goon MuSick Remix]

[Video] STEP BROTHERS - "Step Masters"

Just like the just released Necro and Kool G Rap collaboration, Alchemist and Evidence's announced Project as The Step Brothers has been in a long time in the making that now seems to move forward at a fast pace. Roughly Three weeks ago we Heard the first leak by the duo under that name, "Ron Carter", a mostly instrumental joint that paid homage to the legendary jazz bassist. The new "Step Masters" is most likely the first official single from the album, titled "Lord Steppington" and out via Rhymesayers Entertainment on January 21, 2014. Throughout Evidence solo and works with Dilated Peoples, and Alchemist's proejct, Ev and ALC has definitely more than enough of heat to supply a terrific compilation which you possibly could expect on The Lost Tapes as we're getting closer to the release. Pre-order @ digital copies or grab the CD/LP from the official store which also carries a lot of other goodies! 

J-LOVE Ft. Sean Price & Lil' Fame - "NY Barbarians"

Producer, super DJ and rapper J-Love is back with Another album officially out tomorrow, so what better promotion than to drop a second single high on high-profile guests over a vintage J-Love banger? "NY Barbarians" features two of my favorite emcees from Brownsville, Brooklyn legends Lil' Fame and Sean Price goes IN here. In case you missed out on it Before, don't hesitate to check out the Method Man assisted lead signle "Late Night Bluff".

[2009 Mixtape] MAESO x DE LA SOUL - "The Hip Hop Tape"

Keeping in line with the small De La Soul week(s) that's been here on The Lost Tapes the last couple of weeks, I wanted to round off with a real banger that was released around 2006. DJ Maeso has always took the background role behind Pos and Dave, but his DJ and turntable skills have never been in question as he's a truly great turntablist and live DJ (providing most of the cuts for all of the early De La albums, a couple of Tribe joints, as well as well as dabbling in production both for his own crew and guest beats for the likes of DV Alias Khryst, Tony Touch/Mos Def, and Horror City). However, he was not even at all a part of the latest semi-De La Soul album, Pos & Dave's concept joint First Serve.

Following the release of The Soul's magnificent opus "The Grind Date" (2004), the camp released no less than two mixtapes within a year. The first was the absolutely stupendous almost album-worthy "Mission Impossible" that featured 20 tracks of all of De La members spitting brand new verses, over music ranging from a few skits of early music from the earliest De La recordings, to a bunch of new slamming tracks such as "Live @ The Dug Out", the Jay Dee post-humously produced "Friends" and "Do You", "Respect", and "You Got It", and so forth. Plug, Maseo and Dave appeared on most of the cuts on the project, and the mixtape with its complete tracks excluded all DJ shouts and blends.

Barely a year after this, the one and relatively good british club and dancing magazine Mixmag released a free mixtape with the purchase in an ontgoing series they were running."The Hip Hop Tape" is presented by De La Soul, the actual mix and sequencing is completely handled by DJ Maseo - giving an impressive mix of De La's newer tracks and classics, mixed with new joints by affiliates and past working relationships like Butta Verses, Camp Lo, Ravage, Billy Ray, Estelle, and more. So in short, the biggest diifference between the two De La mixtapes of this time, is that one features full tracks and is entirely composed by new and unreleased tracks by The Soul, while the second mentioned is less focused on the group themselves but rather their influences. friends and favorites at the time. Maseo still weaves a couple of at the time rare De La joints on here, always skillfully mixed by DJ Maseo and should definitely be heard from front to back.

Instead of releasing this CD as compilation it's a continious mix of some of the most and hottest hip-hop music in Maseo's mind of the day, and at the end of the day the result is a terrific mixtape which I strongly recommend to anyone in doubt with the project despite the fact that De La Soul isnt' really too much involved here. This might very likely have dissapointed many fans, expecting another mix-album from the trio considering how it was marked. However it was released as a free bonus item with the always trustworthy Hip Hop Connection (R.I.P. you're cancelling meant a lot of sadness to us true heads). Still, there is at least some De La on here as well, like the first release of the noew infamous "Live @ The Dugout '87" (infamous because of DJ Scratch's allegeded beat snatch for Wu's "Watch Your Mouth"). If you haven't heard this before, thanks to the always trustworthy DatPiff we can stream (and even download it though three tracks aren't able to be downloaded unfortunately).

Monday, November 18, 2013

[Album] THE GODFATHERS - "Once Upon A Crime"

What can I say? The long-awaited full-length collaboration between Necro and Kool G Rap as The Godfathers is finally here! While the album, titled "Once Upon A Crime" isn't officially out until tomorrow, the album is up for free streaming via Soundcloud already now. As the singles have certainly been dope and both artists are legends in their own rights this will definitely be one hell of an interesting first listen (already the first joint goes HARD). Make sure to cop the album ASAP @ the official web store.

[Mixtape] THE MILITIA - "Chop Suey"

Hot on the heels of the banging "Expectations" LP with Curtessy, which have stayed in heavy rotation, South African beatsmith The Militia returns with a new mixtape for the heads. "Chop Suey" consists of 15 new, previously unreleased instrumentals cooked up by The Militia for you to enjoy. Support the movement and grab your download from

[Video] junclassic - "Believe"

Press play and turn up the volume on the fourth video from junclassic's slamming collaboration with DJ Bazooka Joe; "BLVD Backdrop". The album is out now on CD and digital via HiPNOTT Records.

[Album] NANIGAN NICKLEBY - "Dead Letters in Exile"

"Dead Letters in Exile" is the 2013 album by rising Maryland spitter Nanigan Nickleby, completely produced by the always dope Tokyo Cigar. Together they have created 13 strong tracks, weaving their respective styles into a unit that is well worth to check out. To support the movement you can download the album via Nanigan's Bandcamp for a price you name!

Friday, November 15, 2013


Wow, this is some heavy stuff that I know the vast majority of The Lost Tapes readers gonna really appreciate. The enigmatic Madlib (rapper, DJ, coffee producer, solo jazz ensemble, musical expert, producer extraordinaire and so on) who rarely gives interviews was in the UK speaking to Benji B for his show on BBC1 last night. And not only did he give insightful information on digging with Dilla, upcoming and past projects, and much more but 'Lib also got his DJ shirt on and threw down a 60+ minutes set for us all to enjoy. You can stream the entire thing for free over @ BBC's site right now, but don't wait too long because it will be taken down again in 5 days. If the audio doesn't start playing when you hit the ordinary play button, press the one to its right which says "listen in pop-out player" and you should be fine. Amongst the exclusives played by The Loop Digga is new MADVILLAIN and MOS DEF!! You know what you gotta do... TURN IT UP!!

[Album] AB & 14KT - "Saturn Returns"

Swinging soul singer AB and hip-hop producer 14KT's respective styles mesh extremely well which is very evident on their just released full-length "Saturn Returns". With 14KT's thumping blend of samples, acoustic and electronic instruments and heavy sound layers and filters, and AB's strong voice and loved-themed lyrics, the duo has created what is truly a futuristic soul album that both hip-hop heads and R&B lovers can enjoy. Stream the 11 track concept album below and purchase yourself a copy @ the official site.

Willie The Kid Ft. Boldy James - "Ain't Nothing"

Boldy James also appears on the new single from Willie The Kid, "Ain't Nothing", produced and arranged by The Wisemen's Bronze Nazareth. In fact, the acclaimed producer will handle all of the beats on Willie's upcoming album "The Living Daylights" which drops soon.

[Video] BOLDY JAMES - "Moochie"

Here goes the first video from Boldy James' recent Alchemist backed "My 1st Chemistry Set" which is no doubt a hard ass record that keeps growing with each spin. The album is available now in digital format and on CD via the usual retailers so don't sleep!

eLzhi - "Pressure"

There really haven't been much noise from the lyrical monster known as eLzhi since his split with Slum Village last year, so this short but powerful new single called "Pressure" is very welcome. The Detroit son has teamed up with GLOW365 and Kickstarter to create and promote his next album, so this short joint is just a small little teaser of what's to come in the near future. Very nice!

Pat Van Dyke Ft. John Robinson - "The Business Remix"

Smooth jazz vibes are oozing off this exclusive John Robinson assisted remix of Pat Van Dyke single "The Business". You might know Pat Van Dyke as the producer and drummer of the duo Lux DeVille (together with emcee 8thW1) whose music I covered several times on this blog. Now PVD steps to the forefront with the release of his own solo debut called "Technicolor Hi-Fi" that will be released on vinyl and digital by Elementality in conjunction with Cotter Records and Open Crates this December. This particular remix will be included on a limited 45 when you purchase the 2xLP set.

The album is an instrumental effort that gracefully balances between jazz and traditional hip-hop. Along with PVD, who besides the drums and arranging handles instruments such as synths, guitar, and vibes, are pianists Jesse Fischer and Jordan Piper, bassists Josh Davis and Jordan Scanella, plus guitarists Ben Zeff, and Jamieson Ledonio. If you're a fan of Madlib's non-sample based jazz excursions this one comes highly recommended. Also check the first single from the project which is called "Frequency" below and pre-order your copy of the wax @

Rome Cee - "Buttas/Boomerang"

Baltimore's Rome Cee is back with another lyrically strong single for the heads. This double feature's called "Buttas/Boomerang" and is an homage to the classic '90s's hip-hop that Rome grew up on and especially the storytelling abilities of lyrical giants like Big Punisher and Ghostface. Speaking of Wu and Pun, you'll definitely recognize these beats. Grab the track for free via Audiomack below and if you're still asleep be sure to check out the recent "Cee-Span" EP.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Endemic Ft. Roc Marciano, PR Terrorist & Kevlaar7 - "Capos"

The always ill Endemic comes through with another slamming beat for "Capos", pairing up the don Roc Marciano with Killarmy's P.R. Terrorist (p/k/a Dom Pachino who always was among my favorites in the Army) and Kevlaar7 of the Wisemen. The result is nothing short of bonafide heat, and there's no question that "Terminal Illness 2" will be pretty fucking fantastic! I want to give a shout out to Billo and WTCFoLife Blog for this one, by far the best Wu-Tang related blog on the net right now!

Snowgoons Ft. Ill Bill, Celph Titled, Apathy & Sicknature - "Black Snow 2"

Germany based production team The Snowgoons rounds up ILLBILL, Celph Titled, Apathy and Danmark 'goon for the title track from the upcoming "Black Snow 2" project. As expected this is some hard ass stuff and the featured emcees sounds just about perfect over this type of agressiveness. The LP is set to be released on December 13, pre-orders will be available soon and word is that the iTunes version will carry three bonus tracks!

Monday, November 11, 2013

OBX - "Make It" / "No Love"

Texas spitter OBX is a new name to me but he definitely got both lyrics and style plus veteran producer Nottz laces him something beautiful on "Make It" too. The single is lifted from a forthcoming album titled "Villain" dropping November 25 which also features the soulful knocker "No Love" that also packs a memorable apperance from Fashawn. Other guests and producers to look forward to include Meyhem Lauren and Frank Dukes. Should be one to check for!

Nametag & Nameless - "Awwwe Man!"

Detroit duo Nametag and Nameless had the summer on lock with their tight debut abum "For Namesake". These guys shows no signs of slowing down as they got a new release lined up already for tomorrow, called "For Namesake - Redo". While not a new album per se, the 12 tracks deep digital project features a mix of brand new tracks and remixes of some of the choice cuts from the original album. "Redo" is available from iTunes tomorrow, but till then check out the hot single "Awwwe Man!" below.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

[EP] TOB ONE - "Rasheed Wallace"

Tob One is a talented emcee representing the Hampton, MA whose about to make his mark on the hip-hop game with a debut album which should be out soon. To introduce himself and whet the appetite of heads, he has just released a three track 12" EP with the song "Rasheed Wallace" occupying the A-side. The music features a vintage Golden Era type sound, slick rhyming, ill Cuts, and guest apperances by Ruste Juxx, Kut Masta Kurt & Gore Eloheim (formerly Gore-Tex of Non Phixion). The Three aforementioned features all appeal on the A-side while the final cut  "Over"  fetares apperances by Busy Bars & DJ Slipwax. Production comes from Mass Appeal Beats.. What can I say? This is GOOD! Order the 5$ 12" single  @ Bandcamp.

[Album] JOHN M.A. - "Barry Sanders Vs. Ned Flanders"

John M.A. is an American emcee who knows how to make good beats and rhymes combine into solid, nice feel-good music. I earlier posted his single "Downtown", stating it was from a forthcoming LP called "Master in the Arts". Turns out that specific project has been renamed "Barry Sanders vs. Ned Flanders" and is a good blend of John M.A.'s specific laid back, introspective and often funny lyrics and production work by LG The Professor, Instrumentsoul, RBDN, Crakk Nicholson and a few others who together create a comfortable soundbed for John to get busy over. Stream the entire 16 track album below or name your price to download if you're lockig for some pretty cool, smooth ish.

[Video] P. SUNN x DJ PREMIER - "Remains Real"

I've always been a huge fan of offical Sunz of Man member Prodigal Sunn, always looking forward to his apperances and cameos; the cadence, the intendent lyriks, the immaculate breath control, unorthodox flow, and so on. His 2005 debut carried some real gems ("Brutality - The Gindz", Lovely Ladies",  "In My Life"), and his recent sophomore was a step in à good direction; it was dope, I still fel hes capable of morse.

I can't believe it's alertast been two years since The Good Sun went all in over vintage DJ Premier classics on the mixtape "Prodigal Sunn meets DJ Premier", à banker which seemed to fly righ over a lot of people's heads. Well, the mixtape still bangs and now P lets loose of a brand new set of visuals for the mixtape cut "Remains Real". Peace to Art Vanderlay for the hook-up and Enjoy!

KRS-One presents "40 YEARS OF HIP HOP"

À 110 minutes documentary KRS-One put together back in September, that you definitely need to check out if you missed out on it and are a KRS fan (and let's face it, which hip hop head isn't?). The documentary is called "40 Years Of Hip Hop" and is mostly made up of a lecture at a university and sees Parker touch on a wide Array of topics, including sharing secrets, opinions on spitituality, metaphysics, slavery, culture, mainstream hip-hop, and much more. A lot of wisdom here, and look out for another KRS Lost Tapes compilaion coming soon!

KRS-ONE / SUBSTANCE ABUSE - "Rear View" [Kut Masta Kurt Remix]

Countinuing this Sunday evening with more catching up on shit I missed posting the first time around, next up is a limited 7" release on Stones Throw featuring one of my favorite emcees and one of the illest producers around getting bizzy. LA duo Substance Abuse released their album "Background Music" this July featuring cameos from KRS, Percee P, MC Eiht, Sadat X, Myka 9, and more. About a month ago Stones Throw released a limited 7" single on red vinyl featuring the album single "Rear View" featuring a blazing KRS-One verse and a ner remin by Kut Masta Kurt that's even better than the original version. Turn this fucker up LOUD, and order the 7" from Stones Throw, and if you haven't grabbed the album yet - do so @ iTunes (Mp3) or Fat Beats (CD).

[Album] 5KIEM - "Peter Pieces"

This is another incredible joint I was meant to post a while back but kind of forgot about; I've really been super busy with non-blog related stuff the last couple of weeks, so if I haven't responded to an e-mail or whatever please don't take it personal. Anyways, my main man M-Phatik put me on to this incredible underground producer who goes by 5kiem, and after having listening through his latest digital album/mixtape I'm just about ready to hail this man as the second coming. In fact 5kiem has been honing his skill in silent since way back in 1994, which I give him huge props for; unlike those producers making beats for a year or two and think they are the shit. His influences include '90s greats such as A Tribe Called Quest, Jay Dilla and Pete Rock amongst others. The latter is in fact the focus of his recently released 13-tracks musical journey called "Peter Pieces".
The album is a full-blown tribute to Pete Rock, with 5kiev paying tribute to The Master by creating an album that gives a unique and personal reinterpretation of the beloved Phillips sound (in a few cases even remixing or covering classic Pete tunes), all steeped in 5kiev's very own style of dreamlike boom bap that I'm sure we're gonna hear a lot more from in a very near future. This fantastic and highly original project is pretty much instrumental, but 5kiev does at times incorporates accapellas and interview excerpts from Soul Brother #1 to further establish the connection. This is surely an amazing musical journey that works both as one of the strongest tributes to one of hip-hop's all-time greats, as well as an exciting introduction to one of its future greats. As you can hear I'm talking myself warm about "Peter Pieces", and rightfully so, as it comes very highly recommended from me. So please give it a chance, and if you like it spread the word to your network and let's give 5kiem the shine he dserve.

[Trailer] RAY WEST & OC - "RAY'S CAFE"

I was supposed to post this last week but I totally forgot about it, but I haven't heard much noise about it so maybe this is still news to many of you. Anyway, I was super excited when I heard about this project and still am. As a huge OC fan, a big jazz lover and feeling Ray West really have started to find his own sound over the last couple of years, the prospect of combining all three of these factors is extremely promising. "Ray's Cafe" is a nine track concept EP/mini-album featuring OC on vocals and Ray West on beats and production. Looking at the trailer it seems AG might be a co-executive producer of the project as well. The record drops this Tuesday via Red Apples 45 and should be straight up incredible... I absolutely curse my Money situation right now! Check out the trailer below and read the official description @ Fat Beats (+ pre-order) and get HYPED!

J-Love Ft. Method Man - "Late Night Bluff"

DJ/producer/rapper J-Love is preparing for another album filled with dope guest features and ill J-Love beats titled "Floodgates" (click to see tracklist). The first single called "Late Night Bluff" is a collaboration with Method Man that bangs pretty hard though I Think most of us agree that J-Love should stick to producing and DJing. One track especially to look out for on the new album is "Look Outside" featuring Kool G Rap, Cormega and Roc Marciano. Count on seeing it posted on here as soon as its available.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

[Album Stream] MARCO POLO - "PA2: Director's Cut"

Ooooooh shit, the time is finally hear! If you've been following this blog for at least two months you know that I've been superhyped about the release of Marco Polo's official follow up to his 2007 album "Port Authority"; even going as far as stating that this will without a doubt be among the very best albums of 2013. "PA2: Director's Cut" officially hits stores and retailers via Soulspazm Records this Tuesday but the label and artist have decided to let loose of a full stream of the LP a little early, and luckily I happened to sit at the computer just as they did so so I'm breaking my neck and shaking my head in disbelief to this boom bap monster full of ludicrous hard beats, a guest lists that probably haven't been matched since Pete's first "Soul Survivor" and a whole lot of cuts from turntable wizards such as Shylow, DJ Revolution, and DJ Romes. I'm only a few tracks in but I'm just as blowed away as I predicted I would be... Marco Polo is a name you can count on and has been for years, if he's in the credits you can Count on his placement being one of the best tracks on the LP (one of the most telling examples is the track he laced Torae with for the latter's "For The Record"; an album that also featured contributions by DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Diamond D, 9th Wonder, Large Professor, and Nottz).

Things kick off with "3 O'Clock" and from there it just keeps booming and banging in that hardcore hip-hop direction that only true heads can enjoy - your girlfriend might very well ask you to turn off that damn RACKET!! Litteraly, there's standout after standout, both beatwise and lyrical wise - which isn't really suprising considering it features a majority of my favorite spitters of all time. There's a lot of posse cuts here which are so welcome - hearing Tragedy Khadafi, OC, Inspectah Deck, and Large Professor is sort of a dream come true. The preceding joint featuring Nature, F.T., and Big Twinz is a real Winner too, matching the aggressive Queens style of the emcees with a somewhat more soulful beat... Don't get fooled though, nothing on hhere isn't straight balls to the walls hard as far as drum programming and overall style go. I also like how there's a lot of little crazy beat interludes coming in here and there, sometimes with talk over, sometimes not. On first listen I feel that this is by far Marco's strongest album yet; "Port Authority" was a terrific record with instant classics like OC's "Marquee", Large Pro's "The Radar", Roc Marcy's "Lay It Down", G Rap's "Hood Tales" and so forth. While pretty much all the individual tracks were brilliant, I thought as an album it didn't come all the way through as it sometimes felt more like a compilation than an album, due to a lack in coherrence betweeen the songs. That problem is nowehere to be found here; the skits, the typpe of beats, the sequencing, the guests (which include everybody from Last Emperor, La Coka Nostra, MC Eiht, Breezly Brewin, Malcolm Martin, the original Year Round family with Blaq Po, H. Stax & NYGz Panchi,, etc.), and the emphasis on the DJ makes this a truly exceptional journey into beats and rhymes as they should be done. Hip-hop at it's finest in other Word. And this is just on my first listen.... Can't fucking wait to get this on vinyl and make my neighbors hate me a little more! Stream the full album via OnSmash below, and order the CD from UGHH or iTunes if you're truly diitized. I'ma wait til' December 10 when the 3xLP vinyl drops (this set is like 80 minutes and I'm sure as hell ain't complaining).
01. "3 O'Clock" (Ft. Organized Konfusion + DJ Lynx)
02. "Savages" (Ft. ILLBILL, Slaine & Celph Titled + DJ Revolution)
03. "Earrings Off" (Ft. Rah Digga + Shylow)
04. "Can't Get Enough" (Ft. Big Twinz, Nature & F.T.)
05. "Astonishing" (Ft. OC, Inspectah Decck, Tragedy & Large Professor)
06. "6 Trill" (Ft. The Last Emperor + Shylow)
07. "West Coast Love" (Ft. MC Eiht & King Tee + DJ Revolution)
08. "Wrong Girl" (Ft. Reggie B & Reach)
09. "Drunken Sleuth" (Ft. Invincible)
10. "Intermission" (w. Michael Rappaport)
11. "Emergency Man" (Ft. Malcolm & Martin + DJ Revolution)
12. "Strange Brew" (Ft. Gangrene + DJ Romes)
13. "What They Say" (Ft. Lil' Fame, Kardinal Offishal, Styles P + Shylow)
14. "Parental Discretion" (Ft. Breeze Brewin)
15. "Underdogs" (Ft. Supastitition + Shylow)
16. "R U Gonna Eat?" (Ft. The Doppelgangaz)
17. "Sucka Free" (Ft. Blaq Poet, Hannibal Stax & Panchi of NYGz)
18. "G.U.R.U." (Ft. Talib Kweli & DJ Premier)
19. "Glory (Finish Hard)" (Ft. Masta Ace, AG, Posdnous & Dion Jenkins)

MARCO POLO - "PA2: Director's Cut" ... Stream @ OnSmash