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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PEEDI CRAKK - "Good Life"

Good vibes from the North Philly spitter who brings a little summer anthem over a smooth instrumental conjured up by the elusive 4th Disciple. Shout out to WTCFoLife Blog for linking the stream.


Feel free to hate on me all you want for posting shit that's been out for some time but as you know I haven't been updating The Lost Tapes and slept on a bunch of solid releases myself and this is one release that deserves that spotlight big time. This will most likely be the last such update as I don't need to make this some backlog site but this May release by The Legion's Molecules over Showbiz beats really brought out the certified Hip Hop head in me like it was the late '90s all over again. For sure, there's been some hot shit dropping while I've been away (Kendrick, MC Eiht, Boxcutter Brothers last project which I reviewed for Vendetta Vinyl) but this one right here feels a little extra special to me as Show's been a favorite of mine for a long time and I feel that this is all-around one of his finest work in some time. Molecules was of course part of The Legion who dropped the much slept-on "Theme + Echo = Krill" back in 1994 so he is a seasoned underground veteran as well, and his connection with Showbiz on wax goes all the way back to "Runaway Slave".

Both lyrically and sonically "A Bronx Tale" sounds like it could have been recorded in 1995 - and I mean that in the best way possible. Many producers try to recreate that classic sound of the Golden Era while only ending up with something that sounds like an empty knock off of the real thing. This is the real thing right here. You got the breakbeats and gritty drum loops, the accentuated bass lines, horn stabs that fades in and out, Rhodes and all that good stuff. Combined with Molecules' knack for ghetto storytelling in a gruff voice that will speak volumes to the type of rap heads who can't get enough of hardcore emcees like Blaq Poet and Bumpy Knuckles and you got a really well balanced, strong release. 

Fans of D.I.T.C. and The Legion will of course remember that 'Cules and Show first worked together as a duo on the brilliant storytelling joint "Revenge" that first appeared around 1999 on a rare Japanese pressing of the D.I.T.C. album. That classic cut definitely feels like a prequel to this project and that could never be a bad thing. Grab the 12" vinyl or the CD (both which also includes the full instrumentals for all cuts) over @ Fat Beats and check out the stream below.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

[Album] SADAT X x DIAMOND D - "Sum Of Man"

Now I know damn well that three weeks is a lifetime on the world wide web but considering I haven't been posting for The Lost Tapes at all I never got around to post about Sadat X's latest album when it dropped. You don't have to worry that I'm going to backtrack and post all sorts of stuff that dropped in that interim but this one is special to me. Called "Sum Of Man" Sadat X teased about it quite some time ago, saying his next album would be entirely produced by super producer Diamond D. Truly a man of his word, the two has been hitting the studio hard to create a solid twelve joints that's nothing short of certified Hip Hop. The Brand Nubian emcee and the D.I.T.C. production maestro has been working together for a large chunk of their respective career, ever since Diamond laced the classic Nubian single "Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down" (in three equally sick versions) and X and Lord Jamar returned the favor by appearing on "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Just like he did with Southern hardcore spitter BIGREC a while back the sound and atmosphere is perfectly catered to Sadat X smooth style, intelligent lyrics and unmistakable voice, at the same time as it's unquestionably carries signature of Diamond D. The record is all about these two, a celebration of their 25 year long musical relationship, but guests turn up in extended family like Jawz Of Life (seen and heard on the first single, above) Kurupt and Tha Liks, former Terror Squad crooner Tony Sunshine and the always impressive Raheem Devaughn. I've only heard the singles so far but I'll definitely be listening to the entire LP later today. The release of this album hasn't exactly been big news so hopefully this post might shine a light on the project for some other heads who's been sleeping. The album is released independetly through Dyamond Mine Records and can be purchased in both digital format via iTunes and on vinyl @ Fat Beats or Amazon so pick your choice but do support this!

01. "The Devil is Near" (Ft. Jawz Of Life)
02. "Neva" (Ft. Timmy Hunter)
03. "Good Inside"
04."Out of Bonds" (Ft. Diamod D)

05. "Always Be My Lady" (Ft. Raheem Devaughn)
06. "Yawl Can't Drink With Us" (Ft. Kurupt & Tha Alkaholiks)
07. "Celebrate"
08. "Who's Judging" (Ft. Tony Sunshine)
09. "Bang Bang"
10. "Get Away"
11. "The Five Boroughs"
12. "Reflections"

Stream @ Spotify

[EP] AYATOLLAH x HELL RAZAH - "Blaxploitation"

That Heaven Razah and Ayatollah release a full-on project together has been written in the stars for quite some time now. When Razah and Shabazz formed T.H.U.G. Angelz word was that Ayatollah would lace the entire project and was basically the third member of the group. Then we got "Welcome 2 Red Hook Houses" which featured no 'Tollah beats at all. A dope album but it lacked the signature soul of the man behind classics like "Ms. Fat Booty", "Hold U", "Lift Ya Glass", "The Life" and so man others. Shabazz and Razah had a falling out and the planned T.H.U.G. Angelz album was put on hold. Luckily Razah released it as a free download for the fans called "R.I.P. T.H.U.G. Angelz" and as promised it was a true trio collaboration. If you haven't peeped it yet, be sure to do so, it stayed in my phone for months and months (the first 13 tracks are the actual album and the majority of it is produced by 'Tollah).

The two worked again on Hell Razah's finest statement today, "Heaven Razah", where Ayatollah produced the single "Kids in the Street" (see above). Now the duo is back with more untouchable music, this time in the form of a 12-track release called "Blaxploitation: A Piece of the Action". I think this is the first time we hear Razah recording after beating his brain aneurysm and waking up from his coma so you can imagine the strength of this brother. Stream below but support these legends over @ iTunes.

[Video] METHOD MAN - "The Classic"

This video has been around for a while but I bet a lot of people missed on it or slept on it, which is a god damn shame because Method Man brings the heat on a solidifed beat. Pure spitting, no hook or nothing. But the reason is that this was originally a track by a cat named Cortez who grabbed Meth for a feature on a remix to his "The Classic". Meth hijacked the shit, cut off everything but himself and put out a video to promote his forthcoming "Meth Lab II: The Lithium" project. You can check out the full version featuring Tommy Boy artist Cortez @ iTunes.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

[Review] JAY-Z - "4:44"

Last week out of nowhere JAY-Z dropped his thirteenth studio album pretty much out of nowhere; no promotion, no hype, just 37 minutes of fantastic music. In fact this might be one of the Hov album that will go down as one of his best, a future classic alongside "Reasonable Doubt", "Blueprint" and "The Black Album". I loved "American Gangster" so I'm a bit on the fence on which album is better but this is more focused and the lyrics is just on another level, totally original from the JAY-Z we know. With one of the best emcees in the game meeting one of the best producers of the industry, NO ID and Hov has created an album that brings back the values of what a really great Hip Hop album could and should be. "4:44" is entirely focused both from a lyrical and a sonic perspective and the two mesh exceptionally well. It reminds me of classic albums from the late '80s where an album was treated as a body of work that was being worked equally hard on by both the artist and the producer to sound like a body of work that could stand on its own. From the first track "Killing JAY-Z" to the final song "Legacy" Jay-Z is telling the story of where he is at today, and it's brutally honest at the same time as it's packed with slick lines that I already noticed went straight over fuckers heads. And what's great is that the music in itself does so much in telling that very same story. 

Jay-Z has built a career on being a tough business man who's great at talking slick to girls, loving to spend lavishly on designer brands and champagne and he can outrap almost anyone, and not only does he know it - he lets it be known. But what made Jay succesfull isn't only the ill flow, his fabolous lifestyle and fierce battle bars but also the little hints of honesty that allowed us to come close to Jigga and learn about him, faults and all. He was never as transparent as say Nas or DMX, far from it, but for almost every album he had a joint or two where he invited listeners into his world to let us partake in the world of the real Jay-Z. These records were often the stand-outs on each LP and I dare say that if it wasn't for these type of tracks he wouldn't have made it to the top. I'm talking songs like "You Must Love Me" (such a heartfelt verse, describing how he shot his own brother and just ran), "Blueprint (Momma Loves Me)", "Moment Of Clarity" and "Where Have You Been" (making up with the father that abandoned him), "D'Evils", "Regrets", "Lucky Me" and so on. I feel that since his 2006 comeback he has kind of shied away from these type of topics which in my opinion has hurt these proects somewhat. It's like they've been missing something.

With "4:44" I'm glad to say that JAY-Z is back in full efect and it's easy to see why he often comes up in discussions about the G.O.A.T. Hov is a grown man now, he is in Forbes magazine, he could care less about petty beef, and here he basically decided to do his most personal album yet, It's like a 36 minute therapy session, and the way thing starts is pure brilliance. With "Kill Jay-Z" he is admitting his faults and killing his ego to get to the bottom of Shawn Carter really is. There's quotable for days here as it's basically an older, more experienced man speaking to his younger self, explaining where he did go wrong. "The Story Of O.J." is another standout from the set which is directed to black people in the US, and once again also can be seen as a wiser Jay-Z speaking to a younger, more immature version of himself. He talks about managing our finances in a proper way, investing money and not flexing. The line "Y'all on the 'Gram holding money to your ear/ there's a disconnect, we don't call that money over here" is a classic Jay double entendre that could've been straight from "Reasonable Doubt". A lot of fools don't get how slick that line is, only hearing the "holding money to your ear on Instagram" flexing" line when its the lines that come after that really solidifies it at lyrical and worthy of recognition.

All through this NO ID certainly rises to the challenge and it's such a beautiful thing to just hear two artists vibing in the studio coming up with a really coherrent sound. TThey have worked before, but often with at least a gang of producers around - the one song I can think off that was just Jay and NO is "Death of Autotune", and matter of fact that wouldn't be too out o place here. Sonically that is. It's a great mixture of sampled gospel, soul and jazz classics and live instrumentation coupled with some real hard drums but the beats never got to busy to take the top spot from Jay-Z. He touches on so many honest topics here, from his mother's homosexuality and finall coming out the closet on the more laid-back but beautiful "Smile". There's the title track (see video above) which features a truly heartfelt apology from Hov to his wife for cheating repeatedly on here (as macho as Hip Hop is, could this be the first record of a man saying he is truly sorry for that). No ID again does a beautiful job of combining a repeated vocal sample that stretches out and finds the team in the melting pot between R&B and boom bap.

And that's halftime, but there's really no point in breaking down every song as this is as true an album as they come and I dare to say that 10 years from now this will be looked upon as one of Jay-Z's classics. And the same goes for NO ID as this was undoubtedly a team effort. It's a blessing that Jay-Z realized he doesn't need a million and one producers to make a hot album; just get one really talented guy that understands your vision and we're almost there. Lyrically this is a new chapter in Jay-Z's book and one that is very welcome, he's grown up and got some rich man problems but that doens't mean that he's gone soft on us. There's plenty of shit here for the average man to relate to and for the rest there's a lot of advice to be taken heed to. I really liked "American Gangster" but as that was a concept album perhaps it's more honest to say that is Jigga's best joint since "The Black Album" some 15 years ago. No matter how you feel about this man be sure to check it out ASAP and let's hope that more artists follow suit in letting one or two producers handle their whole album front to back.

Friday, July 7, 2017

PRODIGY mural pops up in Queensbridge

 The artists unveiled the mural Thursday at 13th Street and 40th Avenue to honor the late hip-hop star.
On June 20 we lost one of the true legends in this Hip Hop game as Prodigy, real name Albert Johnson, lost the fight with his sickle cell disease. Heads over the world has been mourning as his words has touched people all over, and with one of the illest flows and voice nonetheless. Graffiti was always an integral part of the culture and memorial pieces has been an important statement and a tribute. The other day, the first of many, super dope memoral pieces of P appeared in his stomping ground of Queensbridge, on the corner of 13th and 40th street. The artists behind the mural are curator/artist Eli-Eos and portrait artist Jeff Hernandez. Check out more info about the piece and see pictures of the piece in the making over @ The Fader.

If there's anything like good news coming from this terrible event is that at the beginning of the year P told media that he was about to drop one album in three volumes during 2017. In late January he dropped the first "book" of "Hegelian Dialectic" subtitled Book of Revelations. The second part was to be called Book of Heroine and Part 3 to be titled Book of the Dead. Originally the trilogy was supposed to drop in a pretty narrow time frame and each volume would explore three distinct traits of P's personality; the occult knowledge, the party type joints as heard on "H.N.I.C. III" and the straight street shit that he built much of his career off. So Prodigy fans, its very likely we haven't heard the last word from the Hempstead emcee turned Queensbridge representative. My prediction is that we will have all books of "Hegelian Dialectic" within a year so stay tuned. And The Lost Tapes will most likely drop a solo P compilation as well. Check out this freestyle from better times and rest in power Albert Johnson, you'll never be forgotten.


[EP] DJ SHADOW - "The Mountain Has Fallen" (Ft. Nas & Danny Brown)

With a release like this EP, that brings back traditional hip-hop values, and invites some of the illest lyricists of the both past and present some haters might say that the legendary DJ/producer behind '96 stone cold classic "Endtroducing" is somewhat on a return. His new EP "The Mountain has Fallen" is no doubt a hardcore back-to-basics four-track project but the truth of the matter is that Shadow has been dropping gems for years; it's hardly like "Endtroducing" is his only worthwhile album and his legacy rest on what a fucking classic that was. That album broke a lot of ground as far as being 100% concocted from samples while being instrumental and sounded like totally new musical compositions. But beside "Pre-Emptive Strike" (which was recorded before '96) he kind of switched up his style and yes there's been some duds along the way; but that's what happens when you're an artist and experiment. But don't forget that he in 2011 released the super-slept on album "The Less You Will Fall" that sported a new era but borrowed heavily from what made Shadow fans first take notice, and also featured guest spots from Posdnous, Talib Kweli and even Little Dragon for good measure. If you haven't heard that album be sure to check it out ASAP.

Now Mr. Davis is teaming up with Mass Appeal, gearing up for another album, and just dropped an EP to whet our appetites and the four track project sure as hell does not dissapoint. A mixture of vintage samples, live instrument, breaks for headnodding hip-hop and some imrpessive turntable work this genre defying project will be getting a lot of play. Especially the first song that features no less than the first meeting between NAS and Shadow on the throwback banger "Systematic". Steven Price does a great job of closing out the project with the hectic "Corridors". Check it out for free below stay tuned for a new full-length by this one-of-a-kind DJ/producer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

[Review] KOOL G RAP - "Return Of The Don"

1.0. Introduction to G Rap as a solo artist
If Kool G Rap would mumble-lisping nothing but double time flows over trap beats for the rest of his career from this point on, he would still and forever be one of Hip Hop's most cherished treasures. He helped change the game at least two or three times through an out-of-this-world wordplay that's out of this world, a delivery and cadence that is instantly recognizable, On top of that he brought mafioso and gangster rap to the East Coast and he did it damn beliveable over the hardest East Coast bangers you could imagine. And he is still doing his thing although his P.N.C. DJ Polo has stepped back from the scene. I'm a big fan of his three albums with DJ Polo which he made as part of The Juice Crew (meaning Marley Marl, Sir Jinx, Large Professor, Eric B and Trackmasters oversaw the end product).

1.1. "4.5.6" and "Roots of Evil"
In 1995 he decided to go for dolo - no Juice Crew, no DJ Polo, and the result was one of his hardest album of his career - taking multi-sylllables crime sagas to the next level over some of the ruggedest East Coast mid-'90s bangers signed Dr. Butcher, Naughty Shorts (remember him), T-Ray and Buckwild. As for guests his mission was to give some up-and-coming really talented cats their shine - how about MF Grimm, B-One and Nas, To me, "4,5,6" was the last all-around classic G Rap album, which is not to say that he han't dropped plenty of heat since but never this focused again.
For example in 1998 he dropped "Roots of Evil", getting away from his home town of NYC to fully record this gangsta epos in Arizona. There's plenty of hot stuff on this LP, especially considering it's a front-to-back concept album which is best experienced fully focused on with a pair of headphones on. Some of the beats aren't all that interesting, while some definitely are epic, but G Rap in his prime is one of the few emcees who can kill a mediocre beat and make a real jam out of it. Just check a song like "Hitman's Diary", "Home Sweet Funeral Home" (Papoose first session), "A Thug's Love Story Pts. 1,2,3" and so on. It's deifnitely a solid album, and an underrated one at that.

1.2. Making ends meet at Rawkus
Now throughout the years Giancana (i'm not even going to mention that was the travesty known as "The Giancana Story" on Rawkus) has in a way sold out his integrity for cash, appearing on several wack non-rappers that can't even the slightest bis e called rappers. The worse one was trust fund baby who got the trust fund money from his father to have The Kool Genius Of Rap not only spitting on his song but also appeared extremely uncomfortable in the music video. Luckily the video ís now blocked, but it took a couple of years. But we all got to make a living and the reason "The Giancana Story" failed was mainly due to A&R;s who didn't understand they had a legend on their hands. Just check out the solid 12" single "First Nigga", "The Streets", "Thug For Life", none songs that appeared on the final product despite being laced by DJ Premier, Buckwild and Younglord, respectively. At the same time he dropped impressive verses on Big L's "The Big Picture" and the Reflection Eternal LP.

2.0. REVIEW: Return Of The Don (2017)
01. Return of the Don
It's been a few years since Giancana dropped an album as cohessive as this. Right of the bat we get a bass heavy joint that just over a minut give us the entire narrative of what to expecta. Ater a sample from a concert where the crowd is shouting in hype to summon the artist in question, The bass melody, slamming drums and the low-key opera vocals running behind the strong voice of G Rap is just acceerate, As it's one of the only solo cuts on the album one wish it was longer. But a solid opening that sets the tone nonetheless.

02. Mack Lean (Ft. Fred The Godson & AG Da Coroner)
The druns are hard but the flute sample give the song an exotic vibe to it. G Rap sets it off nicely with some choice quotes but once Fred The Godson and AG Da Coroner the discrepancie between an excellent emcee and the standard rappers becomes very apparant. Usually you want to start your apbum with a banger that will give you the straight up strink-face. For some reason G Rap decided to kick things off with the weaiest cut on the project.

03. Criminal Outfit (Ft. Noreaga)
Now we're talking! "Niggas want to juks us, turn 'em to pressure cookers", and shouting out 5 Family Click and even N.O.R.E. comes through. Something I noticed about NORE, on a solo record he can spit some real amateur bars but when he's got something to prove ("Hate" with Blaq Poet, this with G Rap, the joints with Big Pun) he can really step up to the plate. The percussion beat is pure excellence, and the mixture of dark synthesizers and electric guitars create an agressive mood just perfect for the album. Ir's no wonder that Mo$$ is the only producer not affiliated with Year Round that's signed a production deal with DJ Premier and here he really proves he can hang with the legends for a full album.

04. Wise Guys (Ft.Lil' Fame, Freeway & Statk Selekthah)
The first single releaed from the project and it's easy to see why. This could've come straight from "4,5,6"; straight up boom bap with a hard jazz flavor, excellent drum and bass combo with a beautiful soulful vocal sample. Giancana and Freeway delivers that real shit, Lil' Fame is always great to hear but he sort of sound like he's on Autopilot here. The dot over the I is definitely Statik Selektah turntable wizardry on the hook - I really wish he or Premier had supplied more turntable work here, but you can¨t win them all. All around an excellent joint.

05. Time's Up
Following on the uptempo boom bap posse cut that was "Wise Guy", the bass and drums is all agressive, only slightly breaking up for a nice soulful vocal sample and an electric organ loop reminiscent of Bo Hansson. Best of all this is one (of only two songs on the entire project) that stands as a G Rap solo song and as such he makes the most of it. And so does MoSS.

06. Out For That Life (Ft. Raekwon)
Moss and G Rap is an excellent combination, that much is clear by now. Keyboards, drums, bass, strings, organ and flutes creates a fascinating soundbed that both G Rap and guest Raekwon makes the most of. These two should undoubtedly make an album together as their styles go together like fish in water..

07. Capitol Hill (Ft. Sheek Louch & Cormega)

Another excellent G Rap collaboration on the short project and both lyrically and muscally it makes the most of the ocassion as it might just be the hardest joint on the entire LP. Sheek Louch doesn't have the lyrical grace of Giancana or 'M3ta but if we're talking sheer energy and street presence he sounds right at home on here. And they obviously decided to end this with a big red cherry on top as Cormega drops the illest verse on the entire track - "Equal opportunity was merily a dream/ The illegal life influenced me I reacted like a savage who's been civilized. Seen Rikers as a rite of passage/ My mind adaptated to supplying packets and writing raps quite emphatically/ I tramped over Tragedy/ Understanding the clarity, helped to see/inaccurate excpect to see the half of me gradually proved wrong, gradually proven wrong/ substantiay it merely an excuse to be mad at me/ it sucks to come after me/ Sheek and G Rap smashed this beat drastically/ if not for rapping B, a siniliar reality the listener in particular in the street..." What a monster of a track too, MoSS beats are constantly excellent and G Rap has gathered some of the finest emcees in the game and even then there's no question who's the most taented spitter on this album. This album, although short, is a true blessing.

08. Running (Ft. Termanology & 
I'm not too big fan of Termanology, its just something about him that bugs me, and I think he's way weaker than the other guests and the main artist here. That's not to say he is bad, and MoSS boom bap beat and sampled saxophone and piano keys create a nostalgic piece that really wotks well. However, theres a big discrepancie between G Rap and Termanology. Term got some nice punchline, but G Rap got lines which sounds truly one with the music, his voice over that marvelous saxophone sample is just something else.. Hardly filler and luckily we get a solid Sagon verse to boost.

09. The World is Mine( (Ft. Willie The Kid, Crooked I & Pearl Gates)
This is the obligatory posse cut featuring Willie The Kid and Pearl Gate and of course KING Crooked, and it's an intriguintg soul infected boom bap affair. Not the strongest song on the LP but Moss comes through and so does Willie The Kid. As a stand-alone it's far from a standout but as part of this album it works very well. Overall it's a very good, thought-out album both from a lyrical and production stand point. I for one hope that MoSS ajd G Rap will ccontiue in thiis vein. They certainly got chemistry,

10. Popped Off (Ft, Sean Price & Ransom)

Sean Price, Ransom appear on antother posse cut near the end of the album and they all sound good over this soulful, melodic production that MoSS cooks up. The sampled chorus sounds really natural and add a lot to the overal song. Sean Price absolutely murders this agresivvely as only he can and my guess is it's a tribute to this fallen legend as Giancana doesn't even appear on the track, leaving it all to Sean P and his ight hand man..

11. Rest in Peace (Ft. Conway & The Machine
Oh shit! This is a slamming outro, just like he did with "4,5,6" and "Roots Of Evil" G Rap invites up-and-coming very talented emcees and MoSS goes all out with unpredictable HARD ass drums, an addictive bassline, wah-wah guitars, and G Rap getting his most agressive flow on."Where I'm from it's poverty stricken/ For you to make it out you need to win a lottery ticket/ I set my eyes on my goal like a robbery visit/ mad dissapointed to set the shit, You got to be kidding/ had to unleash the beast to be a side of me flipping... Rest in peace!", Again it's a short, agressive cut and talented but relative newcomer Conway and Westside Gunn definitely hold their own almost as well as tje star of the shoe. Very good album closer for what is esentially G Rap's best LP in years.

This album comes highly recommended, it's one of G Rap's msot cohessive albums in several years. Bangers upon bangers upon bangers, certainly no weak verses, delivereis, guests, cuts or beats here. Let's hope MoSS and Giancana will continue to work as this is about as good as it gets. The guests, while I wouldn't mind 2-3 G rap solo sogs more all come through. It's evident they had something to prove rhyming wiht one of the true Hip Hop legends. Don't sleep on this release, Easily a very strong 4/5 rating.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna review G Rap's stop in Copenhagen during his first anf only Scandinavian tour. So stay tuned!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mr. Lif & Akrobatik (THE PERCEPTIONISTS)

Back in 2000/2003 I was big on Def Jux, the label, they released several quality releases that mixed true school hip-hop with really heavyhitting, distorted beats and banging lyrics that ranged from political discourse to fine storytelling and metaphor street raps. My favorite was always Cannibal Ox's "The Cold Vein" (still one of the best albums of the 2000s decade). A perfect marrige of mindblowing, agressive El-P sonic attacks underlining the hard knock life of Vordul Mega and Vast Aire - but not in no ordinary way, the verses were full of metaphors and riddles. Another favorite released shortly after was Mr. Lif's first full-lenght LP on the label, "I Phantom". A deep, and very slept-on concept album which proved that Lif and El-P was not far from the fantastic trio that Can' Ox was with El-Producto. Both LP:s was released in 2002, along with very solid projects like Aesop Rock's "Labor Days" (technically 2001), RJD2 mostly instrumental storytelling project "Deadringers", El-P's balls-to-the-walls aggressive "Fant´´´´astic Damage" and MURS' "The End of the Beginning". Speaking of the latter make sure you get the vinyl version as for some reason the perhaps two best song on the album was decided by some bright heat at the label to serve best as vinyl bonus track..

[Above is a 2005 single from the album a which proes how long this Percepionists been in gestaltion]
Now Def Jux is no more, El-P is putting his energy on other ventures like Run The Jewels, Zack De La Rocha (fucking sick), The Veils. But as I already established above, Def Jux was a lot more than El-P or Company Flow and between 2000 and 2003 they had a really talented roster of artists major labels wouldn't touch with a stick. Another one of those like Mr. Lif was the highly lyrically skilled Akrobatik who dropped People like El Da Sensei, Camu Tao, Akrobatik, Jean Grae, and many more. So there you go - a brief history lesson for those of my readers who might be a little younger. The big news here is that the two emcees buid off each other like they've been a team for years, keeping the guests to a mnimum (Syne on the single "Hose Down" and "Free at Last" as well as "When Push Comes to Shove" featuring Dutch Rebelle). Visit their BandCamp for tracklist, production info, release date (about a month left) and keep checking back because I have a feeling more singles will appear ASAP). Take a listen to the debut single "Hose Down" featuring Syne below.