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Friday, February 28, 2014

[LT Premiere] MIDAZ THE BEAST - "F.N.U."

The second single from The Dice Academy and The Lost Tapes' new album compilation "The UpRising" is here, following Da Beatminerz produced ASN banger "Everybody Got It". "F.N.U. (Fuck Niggaz Up)" is a hardboiled banger originally recorded for MidaZ "AU: Another Universe" that didn't quite fit the final cut and instead waas given to "The UpRising"

The Dice Academy + The Lost Tapes presents "The UpRising" is finally being released this Tueday, meaning the wait is finally over. Built together with MPatik Soundz the album is a celebration of rising stars, celebrated underground artists and veteran emcees presented as a package of 60 minutes of extreme heat. Featured on the free compilation includes new and previously unreleased music by Hell Razah, Silent Knight, Soundsci, MF Grimm, Tokyo Cigar, The Militia, Rasheed Chappell, DJ Duke, Paranom & Precision, and many more. WATCH OUT!!

[Video] KONFIDENT - "Fire in The Hole" [prod. Oh No]

Oh shit, this is some gully shit right here... LA emcee/producer lets loose of the video to his guitar driven funk monster "Fire in the Hole", produced by Oh No. A true banger in the same vein as their previous collaboration "Bogarts" which also featured Sean Price. Expect to hear this on Konfident's upcoming "Ape Shit" LP. Play this one LOUD!


Damn, remember when you first heard The UN on Pete Rock's "PeteStrumentals" project - the grimey beats coupled with the hungry street rhymes of Roc Marciano, Dino Brave, Laku and Mic Raw? I was for one was totally blown away by the sheer power of this quartet - I head Roc Marciano on "The Heist" with Busta, Rae & Ghost but I didn't really connect the two. Later on I bought their 2005 debut album on CD "UN Or U Out" which picked up right where "Cake" and "Nothin' Lesser" had left off... With production from Pete Rock, Large Professor, Oddisee, Mahogany and overseen by Q-Tip and Alchemist, the LP was the eptiome of an underground classic and proved at a time when a large chunk of the culture was getting heavily watered down that masterpieces was still being made.

Sadly enough, a lot of heads still don't know about this superb release, believing that Roc Marciano's debut was "Marcberg", which might have something to do with the album being out of print for a long time and the original vinyl copies only being released as promos. Indeed it did feet a bit rushed and left some questions unanswered - for example the LP version of "The Art" faded out after about 1:30, while the original, full song appeared on the terrific "World Domination" mixtape which was released around the same time. However, the good folks at Fat Beats is doing a proper re-release of the original "UN Or U Out" which will be available on both 2xLP and cassette starting April 15. Two bonus tracks from the original sessions that was not featured on the original album will be included in this new version. Robbie @ UNKUT uploaded the previously unreleased "For The Luv" a while back, and now it has become apparent that the second bonus track is the excellent "UN House" which appeared on Roc Marciano's slept-on debut mixtape/street album "Strength & Honor". Stream it below and pre-order the album @ Fat Beats (2xLPCD, cassettte). As a bonus I also uploaded the complete version of "The Art" which I described above, a dope jam produced by Mic Raw, mixed by Pete Rock and egineered by Jamie Staub. I hope the re-release it restores this version as the short edit was most likely a mistake... TURN IT UP!!

SNOOP DOGG / MADLIB - "Cadillacs"

Wait, what's this - Snoop Dogg on The Lost Tapes in 2014? You're goddamn right, he's super commercial and has a back catalouge that consists of at least 50% BS in my humble opinion, but when the West Coast legend finally gets a beat from The Loop Digga himself you know it's getting posted. "Cadillacs" is a funky ass joint made to bump in the car, whose funky beats evokes some of 'Lib's earlier productions for the likes of Tha Liks and other. This is lifted from Tha Dogg's freshly released DJ Drama hosted "Thats My Work Pt. 3" which is available now @ DatPiff.

[Video] SMTH Ft. CAPITAL STEEZ - "Last Straw"

Six months ago Brooklyn young spitter SMTH released his "Last Straw" (alongside the "The SMTH Project"), a knocking track that only sported a tight beat by the always great DJ Spinna, but also the final verse by Pro Era member Capital STEEZ. I can't say I was aware of either STEEZ or SMTH prior to this and basically checked it bc of Spinna's name, but damn STEEZ (who was the first verse on the song) really had a bright future ahead of him. Truly sad that he passed away as young, as it always is when people do that. Rest in peace!

[Video] JAMALL BUFFORD - "Loser" [prod. 14KT]

Jamal Bufford, a.k.a. Buf1, has been a name that has driven the underground hip-hop game forward but I really have to admit that it was his "Crown Royale" project with DJ Rhettmatic that for real really grabbed my attention. Now signed to MelloMusicGroup, the Michigan rhyme sayer hooks up with fellow MMG producer 14KT for his latest sinngle "Loser" that premiered earlier on today

[Coming Soon] LUVNY Presents "The Snake Tape"

Red Apples 45 has really grown quickly into a very respectable underground house in a relatively short manner of time. Producer and label head Ray West is the man pushing the buttons and if you ask me with each release the music has gotten a little bit stronger. Most recently we had the fantastic "Ray's Cafe" that West produced for OC (which is now finally out on wax and cassette BTW - cop here). Now the team is back with another, very limited project, limited to 150 cassette copies only and presented by the LUV NY team who released a pretty strong compilation album last year. Entirely produced by West, "The Snake Tape", is an EP that unites some of New York's finest spitters including AG, Lord Tariq, Kurious, Kool Keith, L-Fudge and Dave Dar. Check out the tracklist below and visit UGHH to pre-order (Tuesday, April 1 is the set date).

01. BX Intro featuring Lord Tariq
02. Don't Know Why featuring Kool Keith & Kurious
03. Snake Charmer 3 featuring AG, Kurious & Dave Dar
04. Role Call featuring Lord Tariq
05. Ahead Of Time featuring AG
06. Hit-Men Prelude featuring Dave Dar & L-Fudge
07. Stereotypes featuring Dave Dar & L-Fudge
08. It's A City featuring Kool Keith
09. Snake Charmer (Cresstal Remix)
10. Snake Charmer (SP1200 Remix featuring Billy Gomez)
11. TRUTH (Phil Moffa Remix featuring AG)
12. Ahead Of Time (King Of Chill Remix featuring AG)
13. Me And Mine featuring Dave Dar

MIDAZ The BEAST - "Listen"

Nine weeks into 2014 and MidaZ The Beast's The New 52 keeps rolling out hard boiled shit to bang your head to. "Listen" is a wonderfully laced joint on both MidaZ part and producer Sharp who's accoustic bass loop and filtered vocal sample makes you do just what the title suggest. And if you can't get enough of MidaZ check back in a few hours when his "F.N.U." premiers as the second single from "The UpRising"  here @ The Lost Tapes.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

[Mixtape] PETE ROCK - "Roy Ayers Tribute Mix"

Just a little over two weeks ago Pete Rock let loose of his Jay Dee tribute mix "Lightworks" for free, and now the legendary DJ/producer is it again. This time the focus is on the incredible jazz and R&B vibraphonist Roy Ayers; not only one of the most innovative musicians on his instrument, but without question one of the most sampled by hip-hop producers. Pete Rock himself has chopped up countless Ayers' classics and in 2009 they even shared the stage together with Robert Glasper in an event designed as a tribute to the veteran vibesman.

Together with a T-Shirt designed by 503 Collective, Pete Rock gets his DJ cape on and digs deep into the crates to bring us forty minutes of classic Ayers. "Roy Ayers Tribute Mix" is available for free stream above (damn I would love a free download of this gem), while the T-Shirt is being sold @ the P.R. Shop for $30. Make sure you sit comfortable and got forty minutes at hand, press play and let the blend of Roy Ayers' soothing classics and Pete Rock's powerful turntable skills wash over you.

[Video] U-GEORGE x SOUNDSCI - "Blowing Up"

You all know how much love the Soundsci crew get up here, so the news that U-George is following Audessey (and his crazy "Beats Per Minute" project) with a solo LP is met with applause. The album is to be titled "The Many Faces of U-George" and will be released on WorldExpo Records sometime this year. First single out is called "Blowin' Up" and is a tight jam that works as a smooth transition from crew member to solo artist as it features U's fellow Soundsci crew. Sick!


I've written it before here, but I'm a huge fan of Kev Brown's work as a producer; he is innovative and very often bring something new to table while still having a signature sound. As for Raw Poetic I haven't heard as much (I have the 3-track EP with K-DEF, and his two other apperances on different 'Def's LP:s), but the little I've heard tells me he's a slick emcee as long as he's got a dope producer backing him. So the news that Brown and Poetic is preparing a full-length release on Redef/Low Budget came as a very pleassant suprise, and is definitely something I will spend money on. The album is called "Concrete Maneuvers" and is scheduled for a release sometime this year. Today they dropped the first single, and although it's only about 1:30 in length (yes it's the full song), you can hear the chemistry there and I already rewinded it about 3-4 times. I could imagine this being the intro to the project but who knows... Stay tuned for future updates!

[Album] DAMU THE FUDGEMUNK - "Supply For Demand"

Damu and JNOTA's Redefinition Records continues to be one of the strongest and most innovative underground imprints there is, specializing in superb music of all formats (cassette, 12", 7", 10", CD:s, and then some). With a main roster of artists like K-DEF, Damu, Klaus Layer, Grap Luva, and Kev Brown (who operates his Low Budget Records via Redef) they are constantly dropping hot shit. 

More recently they have started uploading rips of the cassettes in 320 kbps to the net for free download via Soundcloud; a way to not only make fans interested but also a way to show how incredibly good these cassettes actually sound. Next in line is a rip of the MC of Damu's "Supply For Demand", a 30 minutes long "mini album" that is chock full of heat, seeing Damu dig deep into his crates to put together a myriad of samples that together form what is the unmistakable Fudgemunk sound. Take a listen below and head over to Redefinition Records as you can still purchas this album in your fomrat of choice (tapes, CD, remastered vinyl). Also check out Damu's latest release "Live On Because" right below the first player, and be sure to click here for the interesting story.

[ALBUM] A-PLUS - "Think Tank"

I relalize this has been out for a week by now, and I can't remember why I didn't post it when Hiero sent me the mail but better late than never right, because this is some dope ish right here. A was pretty much always my favorite producer in the Hieroglyphics camp; a great recent example is when he produced "Tour Stories" for the Souls Of Mischief album as his sole credit and it came out the strongest joint off the project (of course I know Paul had a hand in all those songs even where he's name wasn't mentioend, but still). And being that I'm a sucker for instrumental albums, I dig that A's latest album "Think Tank" is completely stripped off vocals and 100% focused on the man behind the boards.

Over 13 tracks, A-Plus flexes his musical muscles with a wide array of different sounds and moods, yet firmly rooting the project in hip-hop with his immaculate drum programming and sample chopping. As you might know A-Plus is also a part of an experimental electronic duo with Agee named Molly's Dirty Water (check out their album "Oh Molly"), and while there are definitely both experimental and electronical touches splashed throughout the set, there's no doubt where the foundation lays. "Think Tank", not only sports a beautiful cover, but the music is of high quality. I strongly recommend listening to this LP as a unit to get the full intended musical experience to fully appreciate it. Another little tip is to listen to the music through a great set of hearphones when you have an hour over!


Dallas Penn introduces the video for "Casino" the new single courtesy of producer/DJ DUS featuring Roc Marciano on vocals. This shit is a straight-up winner in every aspect, sounds like it could've been pulled straight off "Reloaded" (of course one of the absolute top albums of that year), and DUS, who is a new name to me, proves he's a fucking king both behind the boards and in front of a pair of turntables. Excellent stuff, shouts to Robbie @ The Corp for putting me on to this baby!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[EP/Review] BARAK THE RAPPER x THE MILITIA - "Tel Aviv To Jo-Burg EP"

The first time I heard South Africa's number #1 hip-hop producer The Militia was on his 9-track mini album "Timeless Classic" which featured adrenaline rushing golden age-smelling Hip Hop, filled with horns, cuts, electric and acoustic pianos, BASS and HARD ASS boom bap drums. For the EP he even colllected some of my favorite New York spitters like The Legion, Rome Clientel, Skyzoo, Torae, interludes from Statik Selektah, and Peter Gunz, DJ X-Rated of Snowgoons and then some... Ever since then he's been on my radar, even starting building a more persoal relationship with him, and this is a dude that's as humble as his music is incredible. Since that first EP that caught my ear he has continued to release quality material at a rapid pace and I know for a fact that at least two EP:s in the collaborative format is on their way, so stay tuned for more news!

But this post is not about any of that, but rather a brand new EP fully produced by The Militia and performed by Cali based debutant Barak The Rapper. Only six tracks deep, the extended play is completely rid of filler material, though there are a few standouts. It features well-crafted, well sampled, and innovative deep soul groove beats that really connect with Barak on a personal level. Since it's so short, it might be hard to pinpoint any reall standouts, though they aren't many suprises either for long-time fans of The Militia's previous works either. The bottom line is if you liked the Curtessy EP, if you liked the Blue Legacy EPif you enjoyed the previously mentioned "Timeless Classic" EP you will instantly recognize who's behind it, but it's also impossible not to nod your head in agreement with a smile. He kind of works from the formula that if it ain't broke don't fix it, and indeed it does work but personally I would like to hear a few more cuts that's completely out of his lane from time to time to see what he can come up with. I'm sure it would be dope because there's no question he's got a fantastic ear for samples  and how to build and rebuild songs.
The "Tel-Aviv to Joburg" EP starts off strong with "The Proposition", an anthem filled with lush strings, pitched vocal samples, heavily chopped samples and the trademark addictive big drums. Its a powerful opening where Barak The Rapper comes through with a strong performance in the boasting tradition, while The Militia does a such terrific job as anywhere else. He definitely knows the importance of opening any album or EP with a bang, and here you got extremely hard drums, a beautiful chopped vocal sample weaving in and ot of the compsition, horns and even a string section. Powerful shit to say the least! "Made For This" is another standout and was wisely picked as one of the promotional single. In fact, some of the constructive criticsm from the previous paragraph doesn't seem justified at all when listening to this. The Militia's production is much more low-key than we have become used to, it's not chopped in the way he usually prefers, and the drums are less agressive, rather placing,s,e MC at the forefront (the repetative reed instruments add a lot to the final product). Again, Barak opens up in this introspective verse, and it's maybe the finest example yet of how The Militia is creating a musical mood to fit the lyrics of a song. ¨"Perception" got some of these qualities as wel--l, and it's clear that The Militia is goriwng as a producer rapidly. 

Let's really hope he find a home  for a proper retail album soon; I'd definitely support it in an instant. His knack for adrenaline filled hip-hop  is one of the many new recent breakthroughs that reminded me whle I fall in love with hip-hop from the start (which also includes peeops such as Drasar Monuemntal and Audivble Docroe). What's also impressive is that everything poitns towards The Militia being in a crossroad now wanting to expore more diferent themes, although I sure as hell hope he never forgets he's boom bap first and foemost and that's what we mainly want, though a few more experimental joints on each release would of course wecome musica theme 

As for Barak The Rapper, the kid most definitely got skills, there's no denying it, but in my opinion it's The Militia that's the real star here. As far as I know this is Barak's debut release, and he got a lot of good lines and topics but he feels a bit rough around the edges yet. So while the production somewhat carries him into making this a pretty damn good release, had the beats been more bland underlyining thise flows and lyrics it would be a toiugh listen. Like I said, he's far from bad but at this point he need really dope prducers to work with until he really find himself, With that being said, "Tel-Aviv to Joburg" is highl recommended EP.eethe when jIt's highly recommended, If I was gonna give it a rating I'd say that the beats deserve a strong 4 (4.2) while the vocals are a strong 3 (3.3), so overall I give it a 3.75/5. But you can't complain or sleep on it,  I'm sure a lot of heads find Barak a lot better than what I do, it's free and a must hear so head over to DJBooth and stream or download below ASAP.

01. "The Propostion"
02. "Percepton"
03. ""Made For This"
04. ""Doin' My Thang"
05. "Hard Header"
06. "Make Your Mark"


I'm not gonna front like Prodigy's second full-length collaboration with Alchemist, "Albert Einsten", which ropped last year was a far cry from the excellent "Return Of The Mac". Just like as expected, considering ALC's back catalouge has increased even more in quality the last few years, so it's definitely a good listen to P can get very monotone and lyrically stagnant, which doesn't do the production justice at all. There are some good verses on there, and it's much better than the horrendous "H.N.I.C. Part III"

As promised the MC/DJ team released a digital four track EP that picked up rigfht where "Albhert Einstein" left. off as it's more. It's more of the same, and fans of the album will definitely go crazy over this, and it sure as hell features a lot of banging production from The Chemist and he does hacve a great chemistry with P. So be sure to grab this one out ASAP because there's definitely several gems here despite clocking in at only 11 minutes! That the EP is mixed by long time Pete Rock engineer(/associate Eddie Cheeba, doesn't, so head over to Amazon to cop for the price of $5.99. 

01. "Mightier Pen"
02. "Murder Goes Down"
03. "Inamous Allegiance"
04. "Gnarly"

[Album] AMIRI - "This is Part Time"

Though some may be suprised, strong, introspective emcee Amiri has released a total of four albums since 2010 (two solo endeavours, and two as part of his duo with producer Spectac). I have to admit that Amiri is a new name to me, but he's signing on impressive underground label HiPNOTT and especially the lead single "Broke"  really made me to take notice Amiri's HiPNOTT debut is called "This is Part Time" and creates a close-to-perfect soundbed for the emcee's clever wordplay. If you like me and love jazz and smooth '70's classics, this is one amazing album that needs to be given a chance by my readers. The full-length LP and is suprisingly entirely produced by the man himself; so not only is he a really talented spitter, but the same goes for his skills behind the boardsl.

Released yesterday, HiPNOTT and Amiri has put up the entire album for free streaming via their Bandcamp page where you can also show your support for the the digital album by donating an amount of your choosig. It is also available on CD copies via UGHH right now, hopefully we will se a vinyll release as this is bonkers!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[LT Premeire] ASN / DA BEATMINERZ - "Everybody Got It"

"Everybody Got It" is a real hardcore banger, which reflects the majority of music heard on the upcoming compilation album "The Uprising". It features ASN proving he's an emcee destined to break into the game by any means neccessary. And over Da Beatminerz taking it back to the basement with that bass heavy groove, superb cuts, and smacking drums nontheless - can't go wrong with that!

"The UpRising" in question is a new project from our team (M-Phatik Sounds, Tokyo Cigar, The Lost Tapes and promoter/art department DubMD) have been worked on for quite some time. It's something like an album, it's something like a compilation, it's something like a mixtape - but the music on it is previously unreleased and most of it is new. Trust me when I say that you're gonna love this if you love that raw boom bap sound. Check for the second and final single to premier on here in a few days time and then the final date for the album release will be unveiled as well. TURN IT UP!! (Click here if you don't see a player)

TONY MOREAUX / BEATMINERZ - "Black List Celebrity"

Tony Moreaux has already dropped a lot of hot shit, and here's one from his upcoming EP "Had You At Hello". I've been banging a lot of Tony Moreaux lately and in the next post right over this one you're gonna find out why!  This is some real fresh shit... Stay tuned for an exclusive Lost Tapes premier of yet another fresh Da Beatminerz produced banger.. Coming right about now!

[DJ MIX] WICKED + LARGE PRO - "Professor Produced 1989-1999"

This is fucking amazing, my man Wicked is one hell of a militant vinylist and he does a real dope job with his two turntables and his amazing catalouge of dope '80s and '90s classic 12":s and albums. And what's dope in my opnion is that he play almost the entirety of each song, I should note that this way of DJ:ing is one of many ways I like when doing mixes, much depending on the DJ - sometimes i love Evil Dee or DJ Premier's mind-bending cutting up of the tracks they play, and especially how they bring the intro to first line back several times before they finally let the needle truly drop. "New York Reality Check 101" is by far one of my favorite official retail mixtapes.. And then you got the whole Tony Touch series, etc.

But that's a discussion for another day, instead it's all about WiCkEd and Large Professor, and man is it a wild ride, especially seeing how Large Professor is one of the only, fuck it very most likely the only, amongst my favorite producers (RZA, Diamond D, Jay Dee, DJ Premier, K-DEF, ALChemist, Da Beatminerz, Madlib, The Bomb Squad, Marley Marl, Buckwild, etc.) that ALWAYS are on point - meaning that from his start in 1989 to his recent tracks with N.O.R.E., Ill Bill, Public Enemy and Jeru The Damaja I could probably tops pick out five tracks from his catalouge that I'd call average. If you see "produced and/or remixed by The Large Professor", you know you're in for some hot as shit. And WiCkEd doesn't come lightly stripped of either wax or time, featuring 49 songs this baby clocks in at almost 4 hours and is a definite listen to Large Pro fantastics like myself, though I will probably do it over 2-4 days. Stream it above, for download you can do so @ The Soundcloud Page which also features the extensive tracklist, complete with information about guest artists, year, label and release. After reading that you just scroll down past it and there's two FileSwap links right there, and once there remember to pick the slow download. But definitely check it out, and TURN IT UP and last but definitely not least, many thanks and all props to Wicked for this wicked mix! Keep 'em coming homie!

JuJu Ft. TRAGEDY KHADAFI - "Thriller"

I must admit I wasn't 100% I wanted to post this but on a few more listens, I like it a little more than I first did. JuJu of The Beatnuts isn't that strong of a rhymer but just like he's partner Psycho LES he's funny as fuck which goes a long way over dope beats (and they are the first to admit it!). As I said I'm not too sold on the beat, especially considering if this is JuJu's own, but it does have some redeeming bassy bounce qualities and it's good to see JuJu back in the studio and with Tragedy Khadafi nontheless, so you know that is another plus. I'll take this while I wait for The LikNuts project and the forthcoming Tragedy project! Thx to HipHopSite for the link!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Heading back to Vietnam, here's the second part of my of my extensive interview with the truly great MC/DJ duo of MF Grimm and Drasar Monumental. If you're slacking on your reading, be sure to check out Part 1 first, if not let's go!!

c7: A question for DRASAR is how and when did you start out producing?
DRASAR: I've been making beats and DJ:ing since I was a kid, my father was in a mobile DJ unit so I grew up around heavy crates, you know, they used to set up for all the B-Boys back in the day and just set their turntables and play all the breaks and all kind of street jam joints and shit like that. So I started out like mimicking what they were doing, and I started making paus-tapes, you know just finding a break.. I started doing tape loops and then just cutting over it and then eventually my dad got me a little sampler, and records and stuff like that, turntable, and I was like seven or eight years old. So, I've been doing this since I was a kid, ever since I was a kid, and I never stopped. A lot of people that I grew up with, they were really into it too but for some reason they stopped doing it.. I kept doing it, and I just kept buying records through the years and staying really focused on hip-hop, not just DJ:ing or making beats, but like graffitti and B-boying, and other aspects, you know. I was pretty much submerged in it from a kid, and I still am to this day.

c7: Drasar, do you have a favorite GRIMM album prior to you two started working together?
DRASAR: Yeah, yeah I do. "Scars & Memories" and "Downfall of Ibliyss"... Or "Special Herbs & Spices", all three of those, you know what I mean. And not just that though, there's other singles that were out like the "What A Nigga Know" remix (KMD), he sounded like he was possessed on that.  I heard that when it first came out like God Damn!!! Just like everybody else I was caught off guard because he had a lot of metaphors and things like that, but the way he went about rhyming and his patterns were just crazy. And the thing is, he has the battle rap foundation, but he still has it he just applies it to different concepts now. You can't rhyme the way he rhyme if you don't have a battle history - you can't rhyme like that, you ain't gonna hit those pockets.
Let me ask you that same question if you don't mind?
c7: My favorite Grimm abum? I would have to say "Downfall of Ibilyss" as my number #1 up to the "Good Morning Vietnam" albums, and especially "The Golden Triangle" that would be my absolute favorite, but at the same time I think every single one of Grimm's albums are real dope.

c7: Where you instrumental in creating any parts of the artwork for the "Good Morning Vietnam" albums?
DRASAR: Nah, nah. I'm in a graffiti crew called GFC, and basically the person that's responsible for all the artwork is a brother named Kufue One. He does everything, because he's incredible, you know, like we all dibble and dabble in different elements but that's his main chamber, his main area right there so... I let him take care of all that, cause he's a master at it, you know. Look him up, Kufue One, big salute to everybody out there in GFC, no question... And if you look at the artwork you can tell that it's not just something that we submitted, this is someone that's our brother, we deal with him on a regular basis so he's more in tune with our music than a lot of other people. So the covers reflect the vibration that we have as a unit. He's part of the group, really!
c7: So I guess it's safe to say that he's definitely be doing the artwork for Part 3 as well?
DRASAR: Definitely! Without question! It's only right, and actually we're gonna make posters of everything, everything that you see we're gonna have ill limited edition posters for it, and some of those paintings for the artwork has been in galleries, displayed all over the place. Definitely!

c7: And that's another aspect that I think is really important with these records in that you really have the whole package, with the way the music flows and are sequenced, the skits, your chemistry, and so on, and the artwork plays a major part in that too. It really connects with the music on the discs.
DRASAR: Definitely, that's all by design. There's no question, and if you look at the album covers, there's so much detail put into it and that's the way we do our music. That's synonymous with the way we do our music, we don't just... like you said earlier, I'm glad you pointed that out, we don't put a bunch of singles together and throw it out there. It's more like a body of music, we don't even look at it like EP:s, LP:s or nothing like that. We just look at it like a body of music and a concept, you know what I'm saying. And that's the same way the artwork is too. You can tell that there's a concept behind it, it's not just a couple of people standing around with a weird look on their face, it's more conceptual.

c7: There's also a real unity between the two records, since you released Pt. 2: Golden Triangle, I don't think I have listened once to only one of the records; I always listen to them as a pair or a unit because to me it feels like a whole. I always let them flow together.
GRIMM: That's great! And that's something that we definitely was hoping we would make people do, so obviously it's on point because that's what we were hoping. We were hoping that it would be figured out to play it in that matter, that's why we can't wait for Part 3.

We both have appreciation for a lot of the arts, and hopefully it reflects! We wanna bring visuals to audio, so...

c7: Yeah, I think it's very cinematic music, definitely, because the whole thing combines the vocals, the beats, the skits, it's so well tied together and it's very detailed so it becomes very cinematic. And as a big film fantatic myself I love that when it's almost like you have a movie playing in your head when you're listening to good music. And you definitely have accomplished that for me!
GRIMM: Thank you! We don't look past people, so when we create, we create first and foremost for ourselves because we know what we would like to hear and then after that, if one person like our music, you know, it's a blessing! And for every person after that who appreciate it, that's just, we're counting more blessings. So we're thankful, we're thankful for your feedback and how you took your time out to even interview us to discuss this because... And the review, you know!

I think that's another part of hip-hop that's kinda changed in my opinion because it wasn't just about the MC, wasn't just about the DJ, or the producer, it was a whole... It was a community! Like we discussed about the graff writers, and the B-boys, the journalist, there's B-boy journalists, it was like, this feels natural.. There's a lot of things now that's put to hip-hop that wasn't there before, and it changed the feel of everything so.. If you're receiving that from us, then you know, that's a blessing to us. Period. So thank you!

c7: I really appreciate that, and you taking the time to do the interview as well so it definitely goes both ways.

I was wondering about the final track on "Good Morning Vietnam" ("Mater Matuta"), which is stated to be a bonus track originally recorded for something called "The Illiad" for Yale University, so I was curious about the story behind that track?
GRIMM: Um, it's hard to explain because it's for "Good Morning Vietnam" but it's attached to something else as well, so it becomes all the same. That's interesting! I'm trying to think of the best way to explain it. It's part of a project, we're also doing another project and that was one of the pieces for that project as well. So simultaneously that was going into two different directions that one specific song itself.. Did you like it?

c7: Yeah, yeah, I loved it. I thought it was probably one of the strongest track on the first installment. I mean it was a very personal and heartfelt record.
GRIMM: When we're at liberty to speak more about that project you'll be the first one we'll come to, I give you my word.
c7: That's mad appreciated, thank you!

You also had a short track called "Time" which you released as the B-side to "Be Noble". Was that originally a track that you intendended to put out on "Good Morning Vietnam"? Or was it something else that you had done for something else?
GRIMM: Yeah, see that was it is, you see me and Drasar we got several albums that we're working on, so we're just focused on "Good Morning Vietnam" at this particular time. But yeah, we have a lot of.. We have songs that are for other albums that we have never played for anyone, you know, or their in his vault because they are for different projects. So ["Time"] was something that wasn't actually for "Good Morning Vietnam" itself, but we record so much that simultaneously we're doing different albums.
DRASAR: Everything that's on "Good Morning Vietnam" was recorded specifically for that particular body of music, but while we recorded that we just made other songs that didn't fit the motif of that particular record, you know. We have unreleased tracks that nobody's heard, you know what I'm saying, like from years ago, and we might release it, and... it all depends. It all depends, but right now we're focused on the Vietnam series, and Part 3 is crazy, you know, because it haven't been done! I can't think of anybody that has taken this type of route with the first three projects that they did together, you know what I'm saying.. Like right from the gate, we came out with a trilogy, I don't know if anybody has done that.. and part three is the last piece of the puzzle and it's WILD, definitely!

c7: I really can't wait to hear it man! Do you have a title for it yet? I understand that it's gonna be "GMV" but will there be a subtitle for it like Part II had "Golden Triangle"?
DRASAR: Yeah, we haven't really decided on that part yet, you know, but you'll definitely know sooner than later. It should be out soon actually!
GRIMM: Yeah we came to a conclusion on one but we are still undecided but as soon as we figure it out we'll let you know.

DRASAR: I have a question for you. I listen to a lot of punk rock music, and not like Green Day and Operation Ivy, but talking about like some wild shit. And it just so happens that the punk rock that I listen to comes from the region of the world that you're in, from Sweden. And there's a type of hardcore punk rock called D-Beat, and there's two band that came from Sweden that's called Discharge and Mob 47. Are you familiar with them?
c7: I recognize the name but I can't say that I'm familiar with their sound.
DRASAR: I want you to check them out because they are really influential, with grimey ass punk rock shit and it came from right where you at, right there in Sweden. We don't listen to just hip-hop, even though we're B-Boys to the heart, to the core, and I'm quite sure the music reflects that, but I get a lot of energy from reagge, and from punk rock music, bossa nova, classical, like we listen to some wild shit, we don't sit around and just listen to dudes rap all day, even though I love that.. But there's so much good music out there from all, I mean we can go all the way back to the 19th century, we can keep going back to the 1800's, whatever. There's a lot of beautiful music that is out, and we get inspired by that too..

We definitely get inspired by hip hop, that's a given, but there's a lot of other genres of music that we like and that's why I brought up those groups because they were really influential and they came from your part of the world. I listen to a lot of that stuff before I record and while we're recording and things of that nature, and if you listen to the samples that I picked, I try to rock certain samples that a lot of dudes don't really mess with. A lot of dudes mess with jazz records and funk records, and that's valid, I do that too, but I listen to so much other music - that stuff needs to be manipulated as well and reintroduced into the hip-hop format, you know, because that's what hip-hop is about, it's about flipping things for your own convenience, you know what I mean, you have to be creative with different sounds and make it hip-hop, make it grimey, make it B-Boy. Find those breaks from other genres that people aren't really messing with.

c7: That's another thing that was really cool about "GMV" in that I don't think I've heard any of the samples that you used on any other hip-hop album before.
DRASAR: Cool, thank you. And I don't claim to be the ultimate record guy, I'm not like a record nerd, I'm a B-Boy still, but I just try to be original with the production. Like you said a lot of producers they are not really concerned with that, they'll take songs that were popular a couple of years ago and try to do it themeselves. You have to be more creative, you have to be more of an archeologist with the production. It's 2014, people have to, you know, go the extra mile with certain things with beats in my opinion.
c7: Agreed... And something that your music on the "GMV" series reminded me of in spirit is the original free jazz movement, by being chaotic and wild and free while still keeping a well balanced structure. It gives me the same feeling as when I listen to someone like Ornette Coleman.
DRASAR: Exactly, that's all by design, it's to try to make the samples move. I don't claim to be an originator of any kind of styles, or a pioneer, nothing like that, I just try to bring a certain uniqueness and let there be a free flowing thing like you were talking about, you know, but also have a foundation in there, and the foundation would be breaks. The foundation would be dope drum programming, you know what I'm saying, heavy percussion! So even within that free form there's still something deeply rooted, there's still a nucleus to it... And I think that's what's missing a lot these days with production these days is that people try to be too experimental without a center, like there has to be some kind of foundation, and... Yeah, that's basically how I feel and you're gonna hear more of that on "Good Morning Vietnam Part 3" - unpredictability! You're talking about Ornette Coleman and how they would improvise and things like that and I want the beats to be like that too, cus' you can't tell what's Grimm gonna say after every line, after every bar, you can't predict it. And I want the beats to be like that too. There's gotta be a synchronizity or marriage with that type of belief system right there, you shouldn't know exactly how I'm gonna change things around, you shouldn't know how things are gonna fall on a regular basis, you know what I mean.

But I also have to say that I'm still a student, you know, even though I've been making beats and been involved with deejaying for the majority of my my life, i'm still learning every single day. You know I'm far from a master, you know I'm just a hip-hop student, I don't want any other titles anymore, there's no need for any titles but if there was gonna be one, that title would be dedicated hip-hop student! You know, that's my whole perspective, you never stop learning, you have to keep your ears and your mind open for different possibilites in hip-hop.

c7: As far as the label Vendetta Vinyl goes, will that be a venue for other artists as well?
DRASAR: There's other artists already involved with it, they just don't have anything out commercially yet. But Vendetta Vinyl is pretty much just like Grimm said like an army of people, there's a bunch of people.. Some people are affiliated with it that people don't even know are affiliated with it, you know, but I willl say that the majority of people with it they fall under the banner that I just said - dedicated hip-hop students. That's the main thing with anyone affiliated with it, and they have a lot of creative ideas. You'll see! 2014 a lot of things are gonna unveil, that's for sure!

c7: Something else I wanted to ask you about was about the hip-hop scene of the year [2013]. Was there anyone outside of your immediate musical family that you felt put out some inspiring or real dope material?
GRIMM: Yeah, I might've missed out on that [laughter], honestly I've been kind of focused on what we're doing to the point where I put myself in like isolation chamber, so I don't think I can speak freely and say something that I think is... Yeah, I'm just focused on us, I'm being so honest with you, so outside of our camp.. That's why it hard to say because we're really so into our own right now, in that sense. No disrespect to anyboody who's doing great out there, keep doing it, it's just we're so focused on what we're doing. I appologise that I can't give some names..
DRASAR: I'll answer that question a little bit differently than Grimm on that one cus we both have different situations as far as that, somewhat... because I'm definitely focused on our shit, you know, 90% of the time I'm focused on what we're doing, but since I'm a DJ too I listen to other shit out there. You know, I do have a blog (Hip Hop Battlefield) that I've ran for 7 years where I promote a lot of other hip-hop that doesn't really pertain to me or are connected to me.. but what I think is amazing right now is that contrary to popular belief there is a golden era frequency operating within hip-hop right now. There's a lot of independent labels that have popped up within the last 6-7 years that put out, not only new stuff but stuff that's old and doing a lot of good for DJ:s that still support vinyl. I'm not gonna name names, people who are in tune with that already gonna now the names, but there's a lot of them that pop up and it's a beautiful time for hip-hop really if you're listening. You have a blog too so you already know what it is, there's a lot of dope shit that's coming out, not just new but also old stuff.. But to be a 100% with you, I'm focused with Grimm as well real heavy..

GRIMM: What I should've said, appropriately, I spend my time listening to Drasar beats [laughter from Drasar]...
DRASAR: And that's understandable 'cause he's writing. I'm making the beats so it's a little different dynamic that I'm dealing with, he has to focus on his own flows, he has to focus on his own shit, he doesn't want to get contaminated with a lot of BS that a lot of emcees are spitting out there. But me right now I'm focused more on production and deejaying so it's a different dynamic altogether. But like I said there's a lot of interesting shit coming out right now, there's a lot of independent labels that's carrying the torch and making sure that people get supplied with vinyl. Because at a certain point it seemed like everybody was obsessed with getting Serato and MP3s and stuff but now it's coming back...

c7: And you're also being a part of keeping vinyl alive by putting out your music on vinyl, something that is much appreciated.
DRASAR: Word, well it's Vendetta Vinyl that's putting it out, I'm just a piece of the puzzle. It's like an army of people, like Grimm said earlier, it's like a think tank of people, it's not just me, you know what I'm saying.

c7: I think that's about what I had but I want to give a big thank you for the music you've been releasing!
GRIMM: Thank you as well, we appreciate it!

c7: Do you want to give any final shout outs?
GRIMM: Shout out to Zulu nation, straight up!
DRASAR: I want to send a shout out to Zulu Nation, no doubt, North Star Zulus. GBK crew, GFC crew, and everybody that went out there and picked up "Good Morning Vietnam", we definitely appreciate it, we got more heat in store, you know. 2014 is gonna be a monstrous year for us, and thank you goes out to you of course for supporting and taking the time out to do that, and do the interview with us, we definitely appreciate it!

GRIMM: Long live hip-hop!
DRASAR: Long live hip-hop, no question. "Good Morning Vietnam Part 3" coming up soon!

So there you have it! Keep watching for "Good Morning Vietnam Pt. 3" as you'll definitely be informed about all future news concerning MF Grimm & Drasar Monumental here at The Lost Tapes. I hope all you readers have enjoyed  both parts of this interview as much as I did. Don't forget to support the movement @ If you want to download the music pay your respects @ iTunes. Also don't forget to check out Drasar's own blog Hip Hop Battlefield for a lot of ill MC and DJ shit both from Drasar as far as the latter goes, though it's mostly real ill shit that he digs.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

[comp] SHABAAM SAHDEEQ - "Fuck Rawkus: The Early Years"

Shabaam Sahdeeq was one of those really bright shining new stars, along with cats like B-One, that more than most artists seemed to really be working hard with the label to get his music out there, as he was featured on their major compilations like Soundbombing II" and was able to release several 12" singles on the label in preparation for his debut solo album. Unfortunately, Rawkus soon started going downhill and the relationship soured between the artist and the label so much that Sahdeeq wasn't even allowed to get a hold of his own master recordings when he left the label. Had that not happened we probably would have got something incredible  like what I present to y'all below with the latest The Lost Tapes compilation. Instead he moved to Raptivism and rerecorded all new tracks that didn't hold a candle to his early singles, the early guest features, and tracks that remained unreleased until Nick Wiz dropped his stellar "Cellar Sounds" compilations a few years back (featuring a few tracks recorded between the producer and rhymer around '95/'96). Together these 14-15 songs makes for a mad dope listen, with plenty of nasty beats and plenty of lyrically rewind moments, in other words pure hip-hop shit  which why I've choosen to call it "FUCK RAWKUS: The Early Years". Luckily, at least he released the mini LP "Rhyme Related" as part of Polyrhythm Addicts with DJ Spinna, Apani B. Fly Emcee and Mr. Complex which is a must hear for any serious hip-hop head. 

I was dissapointed with Sahdeeq's output after he left Rawkus for the longest so I'm real happy that he finally have started releasing real quality material again in recent years with several interesting guest spots for artists like DJ Spinna and Lewis Parker, a long with several ill singles in his own name. Not to say that he hasn't dropped some heat along the way, the second Polyrhythm album was fire and there's been some mixtapes and whatnot but i feel he's definitely back in business now and got something real dope in store for us soon. This is of course an even stronger reason in my opinion to go back to the beginning and collect all of these joints and sequence them as close to an album as possible. I really hope you enjoy this, because I've been banging it like crazy - as most of these are vinyl rips some of the sound qualities between songs might differ slightly but they are all definitely listenable, and more than that. Please drop a comment with your thoughts or who you want to see the next time get The Lost Tapes treatment... Also, don't forget to TURN IT THE FUCK UP!!!

01. "Everyboy Raps"
02. "Arabian Nights" [Nick Wiz Universal Mix]
03. "It Could Happen" (Ft. Shadowz in The Dark)
04. "So Real"
05. "5 Star Generalz" (Ft. Eminem, A.L., Kwest & Skam2)
06. "Sound Clash"
07. "Side 2 Side" [The Main Joint]
08. "On A Mission"
09. "WWIII" (Ft. Pharaohe Monch)
10. "Every Rhyme I Write" (Ft. Smif-n-Wessun)
11. "Are You Ready?"
12. "Concrete" (Ft. Xzibit)
13. "Styles Upon Styles"
14. "Finish The Game"


[Promo Tape] KAMAKAZEE - "Heads On"

Some releases that I get from some exclusive sources I definitely keep to myself without posting them here, but being that Screwball is one of my favorite groups of all time and the same goes for many of my close friends. Plus this is definitely The Lost Tapes material and I've been searching for this for eons so I feel I need to post it. But I gotta give credit where credit is due, this is by no means a promo rip of mine but something for the The T.R.O.Y. Blog which was ripped and uploaded by Skater4041 (link #1) and the second rip was forwared to me by my man Fritz, also from the T.RO.Y. community. So all thanks to those guys, I'm truly grateful to them because this is fantastic to finally hear!

In 1995 Kamakazee, a duo consisting of Screwball members KL (R.I.P.) and Kyron, worked hard with Marley Marl and to some extent the extended House Of Hits crew (Blackcat and K-Def did a track or two each I believe), and it definitely got that rugged, dirty New York golden era mid-'90s sound. The album was called "Heads On" and was supposed to be released on Reprise Records, but unfortunately the project got shelved, but not until at least one very rare promo tape of the LP had been sent out to some DJ:s and magazines for reviews and promotion. The tape features 12 cuts, it's hard to say if the final album would include more material but considering that it clocks in at 51 minutes I think this is the way it was supposed to be - possibly with some additional interludes, intros, outros, and such. This is a must listen to for KL, Kyron and Screwball heads and will be in my rotation for a long time, although I can see why the label wouldn't quite believe in it as it has no commercial potential whatsoever hehe... Again, so many thanks goes out to Skater4041 and the fam @ The TROY community (the picture up top is also borrowed from there post which is linked above). TURN IT UP!!

01. "Snakes In The Grass"
02. "Spread It Around"
03. "Da Rocks Y'all"
04. "Shakedown"
05. "Goodlife"
06. "Mo Muder, Mo' Crime"
07. "House O' Hitz Crew"
08. "Rhyme Crime Profession"
09. "Orgy Style"
10. "Devastating"
11. "Head On"
12. "Bridge '95"

MidaZ The BEAST - "Change" [prod. Was Legit]

MidaZ wasn't joking when he said he was going HARD this year.. his latest free project, the weekly "New 52" series is now already at its 8th installment and so far all of the music has been bangers (well, what do you expect - it is MidaZ after all). Also look out for an exclusive Lost Tapes premier of a MidaZ joint that was left off the final tracklist of "AU" to hit the internet very soon! On "Change":

"Change was actually a song I was working on that was supposed to feature a verse from Grand Puba. My cousin was working with Puba on some stuff and the connect was made. Even the song never gained the Puba feature, I decided to tack another verse on it and finish it anyway. Recorded this some time during Obama's first term. Shouts to my man Ben Goraj on the art on this one. Represents what I was trying to say in the song beautifully" - MidaZ


As I think I've written in the past on here, Prodigal Sunn has for the longest been one of my favorite emcees out of the extended Wu-Tang camp, and especially when it comes to loose singles and guest features. His latest single is a collaboration with Brooklyn Zu member Chi-King called "Let Me Thru" where the two emcees pay their respects to the late great Ol' Dirty Bastard. Dopeness!

INSPECTAH DECK - "Until The Day" [prod. by Dr. G]

Technically this is a single from UK producer Dr. G's upcoming album "The Coalition" which drops this May. But as you can see from the single artwork it's also marketed as an Inspectah Deck solo single and he's the only emcee on it... While much of Deck's solo material has been dissapointing due to uninspired beats, and even often standard street rhymes, that doesn't do his high skill level justice, this is one of the finest Deck solo joints I've heard since The Alchemist produced "The Champion". Fantastic production and Deck is really in his true element here, in a more inrospective, somber mood. Thanks to Jammin for the find and stay tuned for more info and singles from the project as it progresses!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


As followers of The Lost Tapes are well aware of I was totally blown away by the legendary MF Grimm's two recent projects with rising beat master Drasar Monumental - even crowning their "Golden Triangle" as the finest album of 2013 which really wasn't a hard choice at all as it still gets regular spins along with its predecessor. A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of getting both Grimm and Drasar on the line for an extensive and highly interesting interview. Not only did these guys turn out to be superior musicians but truly humble and open human beings.The 70 minutes we spent on the phone truly flew by, and I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I did doing it. Since it's a rather long conversation I decided to split it into two parts. Don't worry, you'll get the second half in a few days tops. Ok, enough talk on my part, let's dive right into the first ever published interview with this dynamic duo. A Lost Tapes exclusive!

c7: First off, I want to start by saying that you two got a crazy chemistry together, which clearly comes across in your music. That makes me curious how and when you two first met?
GRIMM: Actually we met through a mutual friend, that's how we got together and we've been friends for years now. So this isn't some overnight stuff, you know. We've been friends for years and been building and focused on everything we do now, you know, it was a plan... But yeah, we met through a mutual friend and it was the best thing to happen in my life, I met a brother. So I'm in a good place.

c7: That's great to hear, and it is reflected in the music too!
GRIMM: That's also where the bond is, because it's beautiful working with [Drasar]; I'm always learning. I'm growing you know, and it makes sense why. Everything I've been through makes sense now, to get to this point cuz I feel I'm at my strongest point, period so... And that's personal, you know, that's not going out to anyone or whatever, that's just internal so, and he played a great part in that because... Like music makes sense again, music is fun, but it's also the most important thing on our plates, so it's natural, it's the way it's supposed to be right now.

In regards to me and Drasar, everything that I've been through makes sense now for me to get to this point where I'm at, I feel that I'm at my strongest now, and I owe that to Drasar, working with Drasar, it's bringing me to another level that was needed from within... Internally, I feel I'm at my strongest at this particular point of my life, and so I'm thankful. So that's what I say, peace to Sonny Wong too.

c7: Again, this comes across very well in your music. I've been following your music for many years, and for me the "Good Morning Vietnam" series is your finest work yet.
GRIMM: Thank you! I am in agreement, and I owe that to Drasar, definitely!

c7: Was it always the plan for you to release several installments in the "Good Morning Vietnam" series, like was "The Golden Triangle" planned back when you first started on the first EP?
GRIMM: Yes! Drasar and I when we first started this we thought out three parts. We knew we we're gonna do three parts...

c7: Oh, it's three parts?!
GRIMM: Yes three.. There's a third, and actually we are in the process of doing it now, the third.
[Oh, that's great to hear] Yeah, we're really looking forward to it, it's easy with him, we build, it's a thinktank.

c7: Alright, how far along are you in the process of the third installment?
GRIMM: Uhm, it's hard to say. Like, as we're speaking, we only stopped [the recording process] so we could talk to you. So we're in the process of that now, yeah we're right there now, we're in the middle of it actually.

c7: Do you think it will be more of an EP (like "GMV Pt. 1") or more of a full-length (like "GMV Pt. Golden Triangle)"? In other words, are you planning to make this more of an EP or an LP?
GRIMM: I think at the end of it, it's something that Drasar and I will sit down and come to the conclusion of what the best format will be. We don't even acknowledge EP or album anymore, to a degree, we don't actually... I don't know If I'm speaking too much about it, but in regards to EP or album.. Yeah it's all the same thing so I don't know.

c7: As long as the music is dope!
GRIMM: Yeah, I think we're so concerned about that part. That other part is like really whatever way it comes, EP, album, be happy.

c7: Will the third installment introduce a new concept to the theme, like on "Golden Triangle" you introduced the heroin and Golden Triangle theme as well?
GRIMM: Well actually to a degree it's the same theme as the first, because it's about Vietnam so, but I understand what you mean, so yeah we wouldn't want to take the same approach or not serve any purpose. So yes, we're always striving to bring something new.

And Drasar and I we have several other albums that we're working on as well.. But this here is like the trilogy of "Good Morning Vietnam", which we take a lot of pride in right now and we believe that we're showing different stages of Vietnam you know, so it's like.. it's nice that you brought that up what we focused on for Volume 2 which was heroin, but we we're saying that music is a drug and that's ours. So it means.. We weren't trying to just sit and deliberately just glorify something without it being a double standard to it so. And music is the biggest drug there is.

c7: Definitely. I was also curious about what a typical MF GRIMM/Drasar Monumental recording session and your process is like?
GRIMM: Ah man, the process... Ok, well it's just natural so it's awkward to try to explain our, you know, what we do.. It doesn't stop, it doesn't matter if we're in the studio or not, we're doing the same thing. That's just building, and trying to attempt to bring something to hip-hop because hip-hop has always given to us, so we wanna give something back to it. So that's what we spend our time doing.

c7: Are there any specific musical influences in particular that you could say have influenced the music on the "GMV" projects?
GRIMM:  It's kind of when we work together, we shut down, like, and just focus. We just focus on what we wanna do... I mean when you say influences, that go so far back that it's hard to just pinpoint. Like there's too many names I could name right now - as for hip-hop I have to go back to, I have to say ZULU of course, on the hip-hop side. I don't wanna just speak for DRASAR but being a rapper, we deal with so much different styles of music and appreciation of music, that I don't think we view what we're doing the way as someone we give it to and they receive it. We appreciate the feel you feel about what we're creating because we really believe it. So you know it's rewarding. Our reward is this conversation, our rewards are different from what other people trying to get from it, or do with it.

So for you to even sit here and talk with you about Part 3 when now we're in the middle of [part] three, says something different. It's a different type of interview. So you know we're thankful, I'm thankful for this brother, here. I have no problem just talking about all this. This thing we're talking about; like I think what really messed up music and hip-hop was when they started recording people inside the booth  [*laughter from Drasar*] and things of that nature, I think that kind of changed the way people perceive music. And it wasn't needed anymore to bring stories to life, it was more of the visual aspect, and I believe we are tuned in to that foundation, that core that'll keep us true to what we believe. That's it!

c7: Exactly! When you are creating your collaborations I understand that you are both instrumental in picking out the skits, drawing up song concepts, working out the sequence and so forth. You are both active in all those respects, right?
GRIMM:  Yes, we are equally active before we even start any type of project, we have already mapped it out. Equally, as brothers.

c7: Alright. Also on "Golden Triangle" I noticed that you sampled a whole lot from the "American Gangster" film. What was it about that particular movie that made you choose it, considering there have been quite many other movies dealing wit similair themes?
GRIMM:  Ok, would you mind if I asked you why do you think we used it? I mean with the utmost respect. I'm just curious about your perspective on it, since you brought it up.

c7: Yeah, of course! Obviously because of the heroin theme, but also because he takes matters in his own hands and heads of to that part of the world [The Golden Triangle] to get the merchandise.
GRIMM: Yessir! Yeah, we we're saying that music is a drug, and being as it's Vietnam during that particular time our music was heroin, period. He [Frank Lucas] was the force we are in music, to a degree. Also they show the connection between him and Vietnam. But it's appreciated that you pinpointed that; it's something that we used, and it was something that was used later than most people. I'm sure it's been used a lot, but we just wanted to put a spin on it.

c7: Continuing on samples that caught my attention, I really liked how you put in a little excerpt from Velvet Undergrond's '60s classic song "Heroin" which once again connected to the theme, but also sounded great in the context of the music.
DRASAR: Thank you, cool!

c7: One thing that I've noticed that sticks out is that you have choosen to stick strictly to the One MC/One DJ formula, using no guest producers or guest emcees whatsoever. Was there a reason behind that, or did it just work out that way without having decided on it beforehand?
GRIMM: Yeah, it happened that way, because that was the best way for us to work. That was the best way for us to do the things we wanted to do. We are a group, we are not individuals, like yeah MF Grimm, Drasar Monumental - but we are a group. And that will be revealed as well, but we are a group, and that's exactly what we set out to do is to bring that element back. Not saying that there won't be other things with other people on it. But for what we're doing no, and for what we need to attempt to do it's us, but we have a lot of brothers that are nice with beats and MC - we have a whole army. We got a job to do, and so me and Drasar we are on a job.

c7: Another thing that I really appreciated about the two "Good Morning Vietnam" albums was the way in which it took a lot of things back which I have been missing from many other modern hip hop albums. The One MC/One DJ formula which I mentioned is one; it's a cohessive listen as an album, rather than a collection of singles or dope tracks - you sit down and listen to the whole project, or at least that what I do. And that for me, as a long-time hip-hop fan, is fantastic.
GRIMM: Thank you! I mean we appreciate it and it's the reason why we do it. It's the reason why we look forward to the feedback, and especially positive feedback like this, to let us know what we should do and what we should continue to do and not do. Your feedback is exactly what we were radiating to, so thank you very much!

c7: My next question is something that I have discussed slightly with Drasar before, but I think it's an important topic. I have noticed a lot of the so called larger "hip-hop" sites have completely overlooked your new records which I really find appalling. How do you feel about that?
DRASAR: To answer your question, there has been a lot of support for the record. Everything we put out sold out within months, even the first record we didn't have a sampler out for it and it sold out within a month and a half. So there is people who support it, and then there's other people like you say that haven't given us much burn, but every review I read about has been positive, a lot of different sites have checked for it and have developed some sort of correspondence with us. But there's bigger sites that don't really check for it, but we're not really concerned with those type of people, it's like unfortunately the hip-hop art form is fragmented, as you very well know. I'm not even gonna go in to the division and name them, there's different sectors and different lanes for hip-hop. What we do, it's foundation, you know, foundation hip-hop where you got your breaks and stuff and fly rhymes and all that good stuff, but we build on that foundation into the 21st century; one foot in the past, and one in the future. I'm speaking for myself though I'm pretty sure Grimm agrees. That's pretty much how we look at it. And a lot of those sites they don't look at it among those lines, they are just more into commercialism and one-hit wonders and things like that. We're not concerned with that, we're concerned with leaving a legacy and adding on to the greatness that is hip-hop. I shouldn't even say names because everybody knows who I am talking about; they do what they do, we do what we do, they're more concerned with temporary things, like the flavor of the month, what's hot right now, they not thinking about people seeing meaning in certain things of the music, in my opinion.

With these words I am concluding Part One of this conversation but stay tuned for the second which will be up in just a few days. In Part Two Drasar's beginnings as a DJ and producer, Vendetta Vinyl, our favorite Grimm albums, hip-hop in 2014 and much more, in other words a must read so stay tuned! While you wait visit Vendetta Vinyl and order the "Good Morning" series in your choice of CD or LP. Also be sure to peep the official "Pre-Emptive Strike" mix which I emeded a bit above. Part 2 is now available....