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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Instrumentals: Diamond District's "In The Ruff"

I just received this mail from Mello Music Group with some great news. Diamond District has decided to let the entire instrumental album, of course fantasticly produced by Oddisee (with a little help from SlimKat78, Dunc and Kev Brown on one song each which are all just as dope), be downloaded for free starting today and until next Friday. "In The Ruff" was one of my favorite albums of 2009 and although XV, YU and Oddisee was nice on the mic it was the vintage boom bap beats that captured me the most, and still do. I haven't listened yet but I would imagine this is a great instrumental album too, some hip-hop albums sounds great in instrumental version while others just don't work, but oh well.

We need more artists like Oddisee, he clearly does this for love. He released several free EPs and instrumental projects through Band Camp; when Diamond District first dropped they gave a edited version of the album out for free and people still bought it when it came out since it was so dope - like he often says "this is is the latest edition of what you've been missing". Scroll down a few posts and download Oddisee's 2009 solo debut with some additional bonus tracks for free, another gift he gave for free to his fans via Bandcamp. And he already got a rep as a dope producer.



Edo G & DJ Premier reunites (CDQ)

After hearing Edo G perform a verse of this live I was amazed, that beat was just perfect for Edo G to murder. As I reported Edo will drop his new album "A Face in the Crowd" on May 17 and he has now released the first single, digital only and with no instrumentals. The A-side is the Premier produced "Fast Lane" while the B-side is "Righteous Way" which has been out for a while now and even been posted here before. Of course Gim @ The DJ Premier Blog is up on his shit when it comes to new Preemo and i'm a big supporter of his work on that site and usually I don't post what he do but this Preem track and Ed's lyrics are just perfection. So shouts to Gim and enjoy this one, and if you feel like supporting the man behind the dope music buy the single at iTunes.


The one and only BOMB SQUAD

The Bomb Squad was of course the sonic geniuses behind Public Enemey's three first classic and groundbreaking albums, "Yo! Bumrush The Show" (1987), "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back" (1988) and "Fear Of A Black Planet" (1990). The crews sound was something out of the ordinary, layer on layer on layer of samples to create music full of NOISE; as Chuck D said, if Phil Spector invented the wall of sound then Hank Schocklee's style was the wall of noise - and he definitely had a very valid point.

The Bomb Squad consisted mainly of Hank and Keith Schocklee, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler and Chuck D himself (at least for the P.E. records). Later on producers Gary "G-Wiz" and Kerwin Sleek Young was added to the production team but for this compilation I wanted to focus on their older material, the real Bomb Squad sound with the Shocklee brothers and Eric "Vietnam" Sadler. So the music on here are almost exclusively from 1988 to 1993 and is filled to the limits with 19 tracks, and almost 80 minutes of dope golden era hip-hop. I don't know what the hell happened to The Bomb Squad, between those years I mentioned they were really big and everybody loved their sound but from 1995 and onwards it's like they stopped music, with a very few exceptions such as a small number of remixes.

While they were active they produced a gang of albums in full; the three Public Enemey's album mentioned above, Ice Cube's "Amerikkka's Most Wanted", Young Black Teenagers '91 LP and "Bazerk, Bazerk, Bazerk" by Sonz Of Bazerk & No Self Control. I didn't want to include anything from those albums obviously, but I think this is a good representation of The Bomb Squad's non album tracks, remixes, soundtrack joints and what not. The only thing I wanted on there that I didn't have room for was a track from Slick Rick's debut but you should have heard that anyways. Oh well, TURN IT UP!!!!!!

01. Public Enemey - "Intro (The 13th Message)" / "Livin' In A Zoo"
02. 3rd Bass - "Steppin' to the A.M."
03. Doug E. Fresh - "On The Strength" [Bomb Squad Remix]
04. Aaron Hall - "Don't Be Afraid" [125th Gangster Posse Remix]
05. Eric B. & Rakim - "Juice (Know The Ledge)" (Soundtrack Version)
06. Bell Biv Devoe - "Poison [Bomb Squad Remix]"
07. The 7A3 - "Coolin' In Cali"
08. Big Daddy Kane - "Nuff Respect"
09. LL Cool J - "It Gets No Rougher"
10. Leaders Of The New School - "Trains, Planes & Automobiles"
11. Silver Bullet - "20 Seconds to Comply" [Bomb Squad Remix]
12. Son Of Bazerk & No Self Control - "Change This Style"
13. K9 Posse - "It Gets No Deeper" [Bomb Squad Remix]
14. Juvenile Commitee - "Juvenile Rules"
15. Run DMC - "Three in the Head"
16. Public Enemey - "Get Off My Back"
17. Jody Watley Ft. Eric B. & Rakim - "Friends" [Extended Remix]
18. Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers - "Have You Ever Been to Hell"


Friday, April 29, 2011

DJ JS-1 prepares third installment in series

The incredible DJ turned producer DJ JS-1, of the legendary The Rock Steady Crew, and has produced tracks for OC, Percee P and Royce besides lacing all of Sadat X's dope 2009 projecr "Brand New Being. JS-One has also released two installments of his producer albums "Ground Original" which both had alot of dope beats and cuts but also great guest verses from the likes of Masta Ace, KRS-One, Razhel, Tragedy, Kool G Rap, etc (volume one released in 2000). The second album (2009) was even better if you ask me, better production and cameos from Canibus, Large Professor, OC, Pharoahe Monch; KRS-One, Brother Ali, Sadat X and C-Ray Walz to name a few.

The homie GhettoGnom just let me know that the Rock Steady DJ is done with "Ground Original 3: No One Cares" and looking at the tracklist this should be at the very least as good as the two predecessors. Just check the guests and I'm hyped to see OC on there because they have such a cool chemistry - for anyone that missed the Roc Raida tribute they made together called "Life" I upload it for y'all at the bottom of the page.

01. Halftime Radio Intro w/ DJ Eclipse
02. Pre-show warm up (Ft. Rise)
03. Boom Slap (Ft. KRS-ONE & Rahzel)
04. Reppin’ NY (Ft. Lil Fame, Joell Ortiz & Freddie Foxxx)
05. Compositionz (Ft. Eternia & Rass Kass)
06. Side Streets (Ft. Illa Ghee, Nutso & Guilty Simpson)
07. Do My Thing (Ft. C Rayz Walz & AG)
08. Block 2 Block (Ft. Sadat X, Akil the MC & Freestyle)
09. Doin’ This (Ft. Akrobatik, Punchline & Icon the Mic King)
10. How We Think (Ft. Sick Jacken, Slaine & Sabac)
11. Dont Look Down (Ft. Torae, Bekay & Shabaam Sahdeeq)
12. Hung Over (Ft. Brown Bag Allstars)
13. Goin’ Out (Ft. Von Pea, Homeboy Sandman & Ilyas)
14. Life…Word (Ft. OC)
15. No Fool (Ft. Craig G)
16. Puttin' Words Together (Ft. Pack FM, Substansial & Mecca)
17. Real Speak (Ft. Sav Killz, Steven King & LifeLong)
18. Murder the DJ (Ft. Ill Bill, Blaq Poet & Ruste Juxx)
19. Hold Ya Breath (Ft. Blacastan, Kool G Rap & Kaleber)
20. Science (Ft. Jeru da Damaja)
21. Last to Know (Ft. ToneDeff)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Wu vs. Indie Culture project

2005, former Royal Fam emcee turned A&R put out one of the hottest projects of the year with "Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture". The album was about Wu-Tang generals and Killa Beez collaborating with respected independent underground artists over beats by Bronze Nazareth, Preservation and even The RZA. If you haven't checked that one out yet then do that ASAP for sure, that LP got a lot of extensive play at my place back when it first came out.

I don't know if Dreddy is low on cash but he has decided to compile tracks that didn't make the final cut on the original album, a few skits that was only available on the vinyl version and several beats that were never used for the project; "The Lost Files" in other words as he calls it. I got two of the most interesting joints from the compilation right here; how about a Roc Marciano and Killah Priest collabo or a Raekwon/Bronze Nazareth track from '05? Check 'em out below and read more about the digital release "The Lost Files" (including tracklist and samples) @ Amazon,

Killah Priest & Roc Marciano - "Straight Thru Ya Papaya"

Raekwon & Bronze Nazareth - "Thirsty Fish"

Prince Paul's boutique revisited

I already made it clear on how much respect I have for super producer DJ Prince Paul here @ The Lost Tapes and I still bump his stuff on a regular basis. A while back I put together two compilations of my favorite Prince Paul outside productions (meaning none of the stuff on the De La's, his solos or the first Gravediggaz albums); the first focused on twenty tracks from 1989 to 1994 and I called it "Freak The Sorceress". The second, a little more ambitious project, was Paul productions from 1995 to 2004 and people really enjoyed them (that was "Paul's Boutique").

Since I've been on my Prince Paul shit lately and I also got my hands on a few additional rare tracks, like some Handsome Boy Modeling School songs that were scrapped from "White People". I decided to revisit both compilations with some additional changes; Volume 1 has a totally different sequence that I think works alot better plus a new cover that puts the last one to shame. The second volume has 4 additional songs and some small changes in sequencing. Some of the songs has better sound quality than before too, especially "Secret Wars" on volume II. Any Prince Paul fan will enjoy this so g'ahead and TURN IT UP!!

01. Prince Paul - "Reincarnation Of Freud"
02. Gravediggaz - ""Freak The Sorceress"
03. Boogie Down Productions - "Drug Dealer"
04. 3rd Bass - "Derelicts Of Dialect"
05. Queen Latifah & De La Soul - "Mama Gave Birth to the Soul Children"
06. Big Daddy Kane - "It's Hard Being The Kane"
07. Candyman - "Return Of The Candyman"
08. Cypress Hill - "Latin Lingo" [Prince Paul Remix]
09. Slick Rick - "Behind Bars"
10. Nikki D - "Freak Accident"
11. De La Soul Ft. Biz Markie - "Lovely How I Let My Mind Float"
12. The Jaz & Jay-Z - "It's That Simple"
13- Chill Rob G - "Let Me Show You" [Maseo & Paul Remix] **
14. Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. - ""Psyko Funk" [Remix]
15. Justin Warfield - "K Sera Sera"
16. Fine Young Cannibals - "I'm Not Satisfied" [NY Rap Version]
17. Groove B Chill - "Let's Ride"
18. 3rd Bass & Zev Luv X - "Gas Face"
19. Prelude.... "Who's Skatin' Promo w. Kane /& Dres]
20. De La Soul w. A Tribe Called Quest, & Dres - "What Yo Life Can Truly Be"

01. Bootsy Collins/Bill Laswell - "If 6 Was 9" [Paul's Instrumental Mix]
02. Gravediggaz - "Mommy What's A Gravedigga" [Paul's Cali Mix]
03. Beastie Boys - "Root Down" [PP's Baloon Mix]
04. Last Emperor - "Monolith"
05. J-Live - "Wax Paper"
06. Dr. Octagon - "Blue Flowers" [So Beautiful Remix]
07. Metabolics & Naledge - "Lyrical Chemical"
08. Handsome Boy Modeling School - "Midnighr" [*]
09. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - "Signature Slogans"
10. Jom Spencer Blues Explosion - "Blues XXX Man" [Remix]
11. Biz Markie & Chubb Rock . "No Rubber, No Backstage Pass]
12. Gravediggaz w. Craig G - "Don'r Be Afraid Od The Dark"
13. The Avalanches Ft. Breezly Brewin - "Since I Left You" [Prince Paul Remix]
14. MC Paul Barrman - "Bleeding Bran Grow"
15. DOOM w. MC Paul Barman - "Hot Guacamole"
16. Beastie Boys - "Negotation Limerick File" [HBMS Makeover] *
17. J-Live - "The Day I Fell Off"
18. Last Emperor - "Secret Wars" [Remix] ***
19. Handsome Boy Modeling School w. DJ Shadow & Kid Koala - "Runaway Song II" *
20. Gravediggaz - '"97 Outro"

 All tracks produced by Prince Paul except:
* Produced by Prince Paul and Dan The Automator
** Produced by Prince Paul & Mixmaster Mike
*** Produced by Prince Paul & Sett Free

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oddisee's debut reloaded for free!

 To me Oddisee is one of the currently best producers out there these days and one of the few guys who manages to recreate that classic '90s boom bap sound while still making it sound oriiginal. He started out with beatmaking the early 2000s and started building a rep, with tracks like Foreaign Exchange, Kev Brown, J-Live, Little Borther and many more (including his three beats on The UN's "U N Or U Out? LP; includes three joints from the producer and that was whar fiirst fo my eyes on gim.

His style is totally sampled-based, soulful as a mutha, and with that vintage boom bap drum and bass we all love. On 2009s debut album from him and his crew, The Diamond District's "In The Ruff", this was truly "the latest edition of what you're missing" and an homage to the "sound y'all be missing". The three man group definitely successeded in all aspects, the lyrics was nice (an ode to the working man that alot of peeps could relate to) and I'm just hoping we get a new LP from Odd, XV och YU but we can just wait and see. Since then Oddisee has also released plenty of free EPs via his site on BandCamp, from instrumental albums, to compilations with rappers and new R&B artists. All worth checking!

Just recently the producer extraordinaré also re-released his first solo debut on Mello Music Group for free, which features the like of Georgia Anne Muldrow, LMNBO, J-Livs, and more.. For this free release Oddisee has added no less three bonus tracks that well worth digging into, three additional tracks are included so you know they will be available on the net only. I wanna give a shout-out to my man Jaz for putting me on to this! TURN IT UP!!

01. "Hip-Hop's Cool Again"
02. "Let The Muic" (Ft. LMNO)
03. "The Jungle" (Ft. Hasaan Mackey)
04. "Get Up" (Ft.. Prince Po & Declaime)
05. "Q&A" (Ft. Kenn Smith)
06. "Rhymes Get Written" (Ft. Silent Knigfht, XO)
07. "What's Crazy" (Ft. J-Live & Stick Fingaz)
08. "Cold For That" (Ft. Trek Life)
09. "Endure II" (Ft. Rapper Pooh, MED & Georgia Anne Muldrow)
10. "Don't Sleep (Remix) (Ft. Finale & Don' Sleep)
11."Drugs Outside II" (Ft, Black Milk, DJ Rhomes & Rapper Pooh)
12. "When Everything Chanbgred"


Pete Rock & Camp Lo Feat. Planet Asia

"On Ice" appeared on 80 Block From Tiffany's recent promotonal mixtape, a track with the duo rhyming fresh verses over Pete and CL's 2000 classic. The beat in question was of course  "Back On The Block". from "PeteStrumentals". The trio  just released a remix of the song as their new single, this time featuring a guest verse from the god Planet Asia as well as single artwork. 

I can't listen to the track right now so I can't say if it's the same beat they rip and if the Camp Lo verses are the same as on the mixtape track. The original is however enjoyable and a good song for sure although I wanna hear more of The 'Lo ripping new Pete matieral (see: "Sound Check").This LP needs to drop ASAP, but I do have a good feeling we will be seeing it in stores very soon. Shouts to Magnifik for hooking thi one up, thanks homie..

80 BLOCKS FROM TIFFANYS - "On Ice" (Ft. Planet Asia) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SELF SCIENTIC - "Trials Of The Blackheated

 After close to 15 years in the game the duo are back, although Self Scientic seems to be one of those crewss that people (unless the real diggers, REAL hip-hop heads) know about. Self Scienridic dropped their first 12" back in 1997 and ever since they have mantained a crazy portfolio, releasing a few albums here and there, loads of guest spots and ill singles.

This is a free EP for download and guest apperances include Freddie Gibbs and Freddie Foxxx amongst others. Everything is of course produced by the official member, the ILL west coast beatmaker DJ Khalil while the rhymes are handled by Chace Infinite (who you should be familiar with from "Kill Devil Hills" and "In Search Of Stoney Jackson" amongst other things; dope MC for sure).

The album is out of print but the duo finally decided to release it recently as a free digital download which I'm of course bring to you here @ The Lost Tapes. The links is taken from 2dopeboyz, thanks alot mates. Below is the download link, enjoy!


"The Infamous" track-by-track interview with Hav, P, Q-Tip, Rekwon, Noyd and rhe A&Rs

Spotted this over at the incredible Complex site who's really been holding it down with the articles lately, one of the best interviews site right now if you ask me. Thia Mobb Deep's '95 "debut" album is of course a classic and while "Juvenile Hell "wasn't that bangiung and neither Prod or Hav had reallty found their style. Very intersting front-to-basck article with the the two Mobb Deep leaders, Q-Tip, Raekwon, Ghost is mentioned and should be a must-read for any Mobb Deep fan, or at least fans of the album.

We also get the ndsight look at how the studio sessions went down and Matt Life and Schott Free also adds participates in the interview since thety were the A&Rs and made eveyrhing souund good with the Tip involvement (it looks like he mixed about 80% of the album including the three singles he produced. I never knew exactly how involved he was but listening to the album you can clearly hear how all the trademark kicks, snares and especiallt. Mad intersting early peak into one of hip-hops most acclaimedal slbums of all time.Check it over @; in my opinion they really improved and is pretty much the king site of dope interviews lately. Banf this and I'm sure you won't dissapointed fam!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

NaS & Damian's "Nah Mean" VIDEO

Just released visuals for one of my favorites from NaS & Damian Marley's collaborative project "Distant Relatives", shot in Jamaica. With the feeling of summer just around the corner, right now is a perfect time to revisit one of 2010s best albums as well as a incredible fusion of hip hop and reagge. Below are the other three banging videos we got from the LP so far.TURN THESE UP!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

T3 vs. Elzhi

Two of Detroit's illest hits us up with two singles from their respective ways. It wasn't long ago we considered eLzhi and T3 as good friends and Slum Village compadres but with the last SV album, last summers "Villa Manifesto" the shit hit the fan and both their business and personal relationships disolved. You can read all about that elsewhere if you're interested, at least the guys are still going strong and bringing new music for the fans.

eLzhi is preparing his ode to NaS's classic "Illmatic" which he calls "eLmatic" and is set to drop on May 10 this year; we already heard his "Verbal Intercourse Part II" and now he gives us a look into his "Detroit State Of Mind". Phew, what a banger!
T3 has worked with Slum Villa producer Young RJ and his single is closer in sound and vibe to what we heard on "Villa Manifesto". Which one do you prefer?

eLzhi - "Detroit State Of Mind"

T3 - "3ILLA"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Will Vill prepares new single

Will Vill's new double sided single will drop on wax on May 5th, and besides being a pretty damn dope rapper himself the release is prepared with features from Roc Marciano and production by Lord Finesse and Chaze. I got the Finesse produced B-side, "Ashes", for y'all today; I am really feeling this track, 'Ness always kill these atmospheric piano driven beats and Will Vill, who I never heard before, makes it more than justice. You can pre-order the single over @ UGHH, and after hearing the track below it's no suprise if you choose to do so.

WILL VILL - "ASHES" [prod. by Lord Finesse]

Random Axe debuts new single

It's hard to believe two years have passed since the Random Axe project was confirmed, a collaboration between New York's Sean Price with Guilty Simpson and Black Milk straight from the "D". Although we've waited a good while for this project I can still say I'm really anticipating for this album to drop, another sure shot banger from the Duck Down camp. A track called "Monster Babies" dropped back when the collabo was first announced I would expect the just released "The Hex" to be the first official single from the groups upcoming self-titled debut. The title of the song is a tribute to Black Milk and Guilty's long time manager, Hex Murda.

Since the song is currently only available for purchase on iTunes I will only provide a link to the stream + iTunes at the moment, but make sure you take the time to listen to this one cuz it's pure heat.

Listen to RANDOM AXE - "THE HEX"

Support RANDOM AXE - "THE HEX" @ iTunes

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pete Rock & Camp Lo's "MIC CHECK" video

As reported previously the good ol' hip-hop duo Camp Lo has hooked up with The Chocolate Boy Wonder to form the trio 80 Blocks From Tiffany's. The first single, "Mic Check" has been out for a while now but it still holds up if you ask me, Camp Lo sounds as good as ever and Pete's choice to hook up an old school type of beat works perfectly; gotta love that raw 808's kicking. Following their recent collaborative mixtape they now drops the video to the song, directed by Court Dunn, which means this project will be available in a very near future.

Curren$y & Alchemist - "Covert Coup" EP

As promised, the new project from New Orleans born rapper Curren$y has been available for free download. "Covert Coup" is a ten tracks deep digital EP, entirely produced by The Alchemist (and mixed by Eddie Sancho) which 9 times out of 10 guarantees a quality product. To be honest with y'all I haven't been to impressed by Curren$y although he had some nice production from Ski on "Pilot Talk" but I know alot of people are feeling him so maybe he will grow on me too with this, we'll see; otherwise the EP at least has features from Prodigy and Freddie Gibbs amongst others. Delivered by Diamond Supply Co. Props for making things like this happen, and for free nontheless!

I'ma start listening to this as soon as I finished this classic Coltrane album that's blasting through my headphones this morning.

01. "BBS"
02. "The Type" (Ft. Prodigy)
03. "Blood, Sweat & Gears" (Ft. Fiend)
04. "Life Instructions" (Ft. Smoke DZA)
05. "Smoke Break"
06. "Scottie Pippens" (Ft. Freddie Gibbs)
07. "Ventilation"
08. "007"
09. "Success is My Cologné"
10. "Full Metal"


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We miss you GURU

I can't believe a year has already passed since we lost Keith Elam, The GURU; a true legend in hip-hop and one that will never be forgotten. He created timeless music as one half of Gang Starr and with his early "Jazzmatazz" projects and always gave the impression to be a real stand up guy. GURU made sure his people got their chance to shine just as he had gotten his; he managed artists like Group Home, SikkenMoov, Fabbiden Fruit, True Master, Bahamadia, Jeru The Damaja and established his own Ill Kids Records imprint.

He might not have been the most complex lyricist but his passion, heart, unique voice and hundreds of memorable verses more than made up for it. If you don't got the Gang Starr catalouge in your record collection I just want to say shame on you as each and every one of their LPs are incredible and justifies Guru and DJ Premier as one of hip-hop's finest MC/producer duo's. They also recorded several additional quality tracks, songs that popped up on soundtracks, B-sides, mixtapes as well as guest spots on other peeps albums. All which I collected on two volumes at the very beginning of me starting the blog you're reading.

I have now also added a third installment, this one featuring all the DJ Premier remixes of Gang Starr tracks, most originally appearing on the 12" singles. So what I present here to y'all are, to my knowledge, every released Preemo/GURU track besides their six must own retail albums (i decided to include the three original tracks from the "Full Clip" compilation although I strongly recommend any fan of this duo to cop that one too). But before you hit the play button let's all take a moment of silence for a fallen soldier - Rest in power Keith.

01. "Full Clip"
02. "Disciple" (Ft. Total)
03. "All For Tha $"
04. "The Piece Maker"
05. "Hustlin' Daze" (Ft. Donell Jones)
06. "Where's My Ladies" (Ft. Big Shug)
07. "1/2 & 1/2" (Ft. M.O.P.)
08. "So Wassup?!"
09. "The Militia II" (Ft. Rakim & W.C.)
10. "Jazz Thang (Video Mix)"
11. "The ? Remains"
12. "Watch What You Say" (Ft. Chaka Khan)
13. "Lifesaver" (DJ Premier Remix)
14. "Doe In Advance"
15. "Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)"
16. "Credit Is Due"
17. "Battle"
18. "Back 2 Back" (Ft. Mendoughza)
19. "Natural"
20. "Tha Squeeze"

01. "Here's The Proof"
02. Dream Warriors & Gang Starr - "I've Lost My Ignorance"
03. Slam Slam & Gang Starr- Free Your Feelings [Gifted Mix]"
04. MC Solaar Ft. Gang Starr - "Qui Séme Le Vent Récolte Le Tempo [Remix]"
05. Loose Ends & Gang Starr - "A Little Spice [Remix]"
07. Soul to Soul Ft. Gang Starr - "Intelligence [Jazzie to Guru Mix]"
08. Neneh Cherry & Gang Starr - "Sassy" (Ft. Gang Starr)
09. N'Dea Davenport & Gang Starr - "Bring It On [Premier & The Guru Mix]"
10. Group Home & GangStarr - "Serious Rap Shit" (Ft. Big Shug)
11. M.O.P. & GangStarr - "Salute Part II
12. Macy Gray & GangStarr- "I've Committed Muurder [Remix]" (Ft. Mos Def)
13. Tin Tin Out & GangStarr- "What I Am [Remix]" (Ft. Emma Bunton)
14. Lina & Gang Starr - "It's Alright [Remix]"
15. Big Shug & Gang Starr - "Sucker Punch"
16. Krumb Snatcha  & Gang Starr - "Indestructible"
17. AG, OC, GangStarr & Party Arty - "Weed Scented"
18. Afu-Ra & Gang Starr - "Blvd."
19. Group Home & Gang Starr - "The Legacy"

01. "Words I Manifest" [Remix]
02. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" [Fed Up Mix]
03. "Positivity" [Whole World Mix]
04. "Gotch U" [Hunter Mix]
05. "Just to Get A Rep" [Extended 12" Mix]
06. "Check The Technique" [12" Remix]
07. "Jazz Thing" [Movie Mix] (w. Branford Marsalis)
08. "I've Lost My Ignorance" [Gang Starr Remix] (w. Dream Warriors)
09. "Love Sick" [Extended Remix]
10. "Ex Girl to Next Girl" [DJ Premier Remix]
11. "DWYCK" [Horny Mix] (Ft. Nice & Smooth)
12. "Flip The Script" [Minor Adjustment Remix]
13. "Doe in Advance" [12" Remix]
14. "You Know My Steez" [Three Men & A Lady Remix] (Ft. Kurupt & Lady Of Rage)
15. "Jazz Thang" [Extended Instrumental] [*]


Like I reported yesterday, Mobb Deep's Prodigy is most likely the hardest working rapper in hip-hop since his release from prison a few weeks back. Just scroll down a few posts to get the recently leaked Mobb Deep tracks and read the long Q&A interview with Complex Magazine where he called out Capone for being a snitch amongst other things. Today the MC born Albert Johnson releases his first book "My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Prodigy", and as part of its promotion he gives his fans seven new tracks on the digital EP "The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP". 

Once again it's Complex Magazine that's behind the goods so much props to them and make sure to head over there to download this fresh tape. Tracklist is as follows:

01. "The One & Only" [prod. Alchemist]
02. "Go Off" [prod. Sid Roams]
03. "Black Devil" [prod. Sid Roams]
04. "Twilight" (Ft. Havoc) [prod. Sid Roams]
05. "For One Night Only" [prod. Alchemist]
06. "Strong" [prod. King Benny]
07. "Told Y'All" [prod. Sid Roams] [*]


Kyle Rapps drops "Re-Edutainment" EP

I haven't heard much from this fella Kyle Rapps prior to him leaking this Kev Brown produced lead single off his brand new mini album "Re-Edutainment". As you might figure out by the title he's obviously inspired by Boogie Down Production's socially conscious raps and classic album "Edutainment"; which is also one of my personal favorite B.D.P. LPs. KRS-One also spits a verse on this track which is called "Rent" and is something I'm sure alot of people can relate to in this day and age, myself included.

The 8 tracks that makes up "Re-Edutainment" can be purchased digitally via iTunes and the EP also includes features from Joell Ortiz and U-N-I. You can download "Rent (Kev Brown Remix)" for free below and as a bonus I throw in another Kyle Rapps/KRS-One collabo from 2010, which also features Homeboy Sandman.



Monday, April 18, 2011

Prodigy goes hard

Since the long-awaited release of Capital P he's been keeping on the grind heavily, we've all heard the two recent brilliant Mobb Deep cuts "Love Y'All More" and "Dog Shit". Prodigy's been a free man for about one and a half month by now and he, Hav and Alc seems to basically been locked down in the studio, as the Queensbridge emcee revealed in this informative Complex interview that the trio recorded around 70 songs so far already. He also speaks on his book, why he and NaS didn't get along to well at first and also that "Dog Shit" is only one of several new Mobb Deep/NaS collabos. Definitely a must read, so check it out here!

P will also release a digital EP by the name of "The Elworth Bumpy Johnson" tomorrow, which is also the same day as Curren$y's free 10-track mini album fully produced by The Alchemist drops - which of course also features a new verse by the Mobb Deep rapper. Both releases will be posted @ The Lost Tapes as soon as they are available so be sure to not miss out on that.

But already today we can hear a "new" Mobb Deep joint; at least a previously unreleased song although I'm not sure whether or not it's an older song. It's called "Must Go Hard" and is taken from Streetsweeper DJ Kay Slay's new tape "Strength Of A Gesture" which also features new tracks by Papoose, Sheek Louch. Herb McGruff, Fred the Godson and others.

BONUS: Jim Jones Ft. Prodigy, Lloyd Banks & Sen City - "Take A Bow"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Buckwild interview with Record Kingz TV

Buckwild week here @ The Lost Tapes is coming to its end so what better way to round it off than let the man speak his mind in this 20 minutes video interview. It's from Record Kingz TV and it's been posted about a year ago but if you missed this the first time around make sure to watch both parts of the video as it's very informative and Buck speaks on crate digging, how he feel about the game changing, what equipment he use, how he started, favorite beats and much more. Much props to Record Kingz for conducting this slamming interview with the D.I.T.C. producer extraordinaré.

Here's part two of the same interview. Aight, that raps up the Buckwild weekl, but i'll tell you this if there's a huge demand for another Buckwild compilation focusing on his work from 2000 to 2010 write so in the comments section of this post and if enough people do so I will come through. Peace AOTS.

New Raekwon video

Here goes the latest visuals from Raekwon The Chef's critically acclaimed fifth album, "Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang". "Ferry Boat Killaz" might sound a little suspect bug the track is actually Rae reflecting on the good ol' days where the he, and the future Wu members, used to take the Staten Island ferry to the main land to battle emcees.

The banging beat is produced by the one and only The Alchemist and although I found the harpshicord sample  a litle out of place but the song has really grown me. If you haven't heard Ra'es latest album yet, do yourself  a favor and order it @ amazon or U.G.H.H. (or whatever site or store you prefer),To me the years finest LPs so far, no doubt. TURN IT UP!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Percee P video

Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't this legendary underground MC Percee P's first official video? Percee's been ripping it for ages, I first heard him on Lord Finesse's sophomore album where absolutely killed two tracks and even got a quotable in The Source for his verse on "Yes You May". That same year he dropped a hot three-track single with producer Ekim and a couple of other obscure 12" inches before becoming M.I.Over the last decade or so he dropped a gang of crazy guest verses for atists like Cenobites, Jurassic 5, Big Daddy Kane, Jedi Mind Tricks and released them as a compilation called "Legendary Status" which seems to be out of print by now.

In 2007 he hooked up with Stones Throw and prepared his long over due debut album "Preserverance", a dope album that's obviously in my record collection. A short while after Madlib remixed the entire LP and put out "Preserverance: The Remix LP"; both can be bought @ That's where thid video "The Woman Behind Me (Remix)" is from. Also check the Freda Payne sample on this joint, exactly the same RZA created the ODB tribute "Life Change" sample around. Which one do you prefer?

12" Throwback: Buckwild's Still Diggin' EP

We continue to celebrate Buckwild here @ The Lost Tapes this week and the one I got in store for y'all today is one that took me at least a couple of years to find. The DI producer released this little EP in 1998, featuring four of what I guess was some of his favorite productions at the time; and they still hold up as incredible material. The EP also features all the instrumentals to the quartet of joints which is always an appreciated gesture.

Two of the tracks were released here for the first time but has since become standard Buckwild material, specially "The Dream Shatterer" by Big Punisher, which is further proof that this definitely was the original version of this classic. But that's hardly news these days, plus Domingo did an absolutely fantastic job with his remix; in fact one of the best tracks on Pun's classic debut. OC's "Burn Me Slow" was later released on a few compilations and since it was recorded in 1997 I will go out on a limb and say that it's a scrapped song from "Jewelz".

But the "Still Diggin' Composition" EP also features two hot joints you won't find anywhere else; especially interesting is the track "Move Your Feet" by Buck's own crew Kurrupt Money Inc. since it might be the first record they ever released together. I also took the liberty to add all the vocal tracks as tracks 1-4 and the instrumentals as 5-8 unlike the original EP which had the vocal version and instrumental of each song following eachother. TURN IT UP!!

01. OC - "Burn Me Slow"
02. Reservoir Doggs - "No Trust"

03. Kurrupt Money INC - "Move Your Feet"
04. Big Punisher - "The Dream Shatterer"
05. OC - "Burn Me Slow" [Instrumental]
06. Reservoir Doggs - "No Trust" [Instrumental]
07. Kurrupt Money INC - "Move Your Feet" [Instrumental]
08. Big Punisher - "The Dream Shatterer" [Instrumental]

BUCKWILD - "Still Diggin' Composition"

Daddy Rose - "The GOD: Muisc Sampler"

Here's a real rarity from a very dope artist that alot of people don't know about; Daddy Rose. I first heard him back in early 2000 when Killah Priest dopped his sophomore LpP "A View From Masada", where he introduced this new crew that featuring Saulahdin and Daddy Rosse. The duo called themeselves The Black Rose Kartel. and appeared on the songs "Maccabean Revolt" and "Live By The Gun" as well as "Thug Revelations"  from the "Priesthood" album.

It's likely that Priest and Daddy Rose go way back since they are both from Brownsville, New York and it's been mentioned that it was these two who were originally supposed to form the group Maccabeez together. Daddy Rose released a double-sided 12" single followed by a sampler for his upcoming album "The GOD" in 2001, on the short-lived label Excelsior Empire Records. As the label folder the full album was never released which is a real shame since it sounds straight up incredible judging from the sampler of it and its single.

I got a rip of "The GOD: Music Sampler"right here, the songs more or less around 1:30, but for the three tracks that appeared on the single I added them on there instead so at least 3 of the 12 songs are heard in full. Guest spots include alot of heavy weights, he seemed to be especially tight with AZ who's on a couple of songs, Heltah Skeltah, Killah Priest, Amil, John Forté and of course Black Rose Kartel.

A few years later he changed his name to El Shabarr which you might recognize from the classic AZ single "I'm Back" where he spits the last verse over an ill Buckwild beat. I added that as a bonus track at the end of the sampler/promo. It's unlikely we're gonna get to hear any more music from Daddy Rose again unless someone raids the vaults since he's currently serving life in prison according to Wu International.
01. "Who I Be" [FULL]
02. Not In Here" (Ft. Heltah Skeltah) [Snippet]
03. "Long Ago" (Ft. AZ) [snippet] 
04. "Associate My Name" (Ft. John Forté) [snippet]
05. "Wanna Ball" [snippet]
06. "In The Ghetto" (Ft. Killah Priest) [snippet]
07. "No Good No Hood" [snippet]
08. "Fire"  [snippet]
09. "Welcome to Brooklyn" (Ft. AZ & Amil) [FULL]
10. "Don't Fuck With Me" [snippet]
11. "Think It Can't Happen?" (Ft. Black Rose Kartel) [FULL]
12. "Money" (Ft. Amil & Black Jesus)
13. "I'm Back (AZ & Daddy Rose) [*]

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OC & Buckwild - "Ex-O-Cises"

As promised, our Buckwild week continues here @ The Lost Tapes, and for this Thursday night I am bringing you the second compilation of non-album cuts from the producer. This time the focus is on his work with Brooklyn's Finest - rapper Ocee. Buck was the one who first hooked up with OC, became his main producer and was responsible for making him an official part of the D.I.T.C. crew. It's ridiciolous that OC and Buckwild is rarely mentioned amongst the illest MC/producer duo constellations, despite constant proof of an out-of-this-world chemistry. Buck was of course the main producer of O's classic debut "Word... Life", laced a chunk of "Jewelz" and produced almost the entirety of the severely underrated "Bon Appetit".

I think Hip-Hop is Read put together a best of Buck and OC mix a while back, but mine differs since I instead puts the spotlight on every collaboration that did NOT appear on any official OC album. See this as an addition to their respective catalouges rather than a recap of it. The compilation, which I have titled "Ex-O-Cises", is  made up of 13 choice cuts that really bang hard, and further solidifes the duo's greatness and superior chemistry together. The 13 tracks were all recorded between 1996 and 2006. However, as bonus tracks I decided to add three of the demo cuts that Buck and OC worked on in '93 that didn't make the "Word...Life" LP. All selections appear in full versions with no DJ shouts and in high quality rips. All lyrics by Omar Credle. all music produced by Anthony Best.

01. "What I Represent" [1996]
02. "Burn Me Slow" [1997]
03. "Half Good, Half Sinner" [2001]
04. "U-N-I" [1999]
05. "Wordplay" (Ft. Da Ranjahz) [2002]
06. "Insomnia" (Ft. A-Bless & D Flow) [2006]
07. "Champagne Thoughts" [1999]
08. "There Will Be Blood" (Ft. Celph Titled, DITC & Brand Nubian) [2010]
09. "Love Child" [1997]
10. Gabrielle: "Give Me A Little More Time" (Remix) [1996]
11. "Spend It" (Ft. AG & Milano)
12. "No Hook Theory (Ex-O-Cise) [2001]
13. "Bonafide" (Ft. Jay Z)

14. "Outsides" [*] (1993)
15. "Sugar" [*] (1993)
16. "Would You Believe" [*] (1993]

All In Together Now in rare interview

If you're a true Wu-Tang head, you'll know that before there was a Wu-Tang Clan or Staten Island was more known as Shaolin, the three cousins that would form the core of that future nine man crew already had a group. The trio called themeselves All In Together Now and featured Prince Rakeem, Ason Unique and The Genius - or RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard and GZA as they would later be more known as.

The fantastic Ego Trip let loose of this rare video interview from 1991 yesterday and it's truly an amazing watch for anyone interested in the history of Wu-Tang Clan, or hip-hop overall for that matter. The Genius is promoting his debut "Words From The Genius" while Prince Rakeem talks about his EP on Tommy Boy, "Ooh We Love You Rakeem". Dirty and RZA seemed to have been pretty serious about the dancing back in those days, hard to imagine that one now haha. It's funny that it took for those two above mentioned records to flop for the Wu to rise out of the ashes and soon become one of the forerunners in the hip-hop game, not just musically but also financially. Enjoy this video, entertainment at its finest.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New ERYKAH video

Erykah Badu's two albums in the "New Amerykah" series has been fenomenal and some of the best LPs of their respective years. Badu is a soulful and independent woman who's always just being herself, here over beats and brakes of soul, hip-hop, classic blues and a large dose of funk. The soundscapes on these two albums came from Sa-Ra, Madlib, J Dilla, Kareem Riggins, James Poyser, ?uestlove and Badu herself amongst others. I strongly recommend you to pick up, or at least check them out, sure it's labeled as soul music but the truth is that Erykah is more hip-hop than the majority of rappers calling themeselves emcees these days.

The video is the second one from her "Return Of The Ankh" album, volume II in the series, and the song is the Biggie tribute paying "Fall in Love (Your Funeral)". This one is produced by the one and only Karieem Riggins, an incredible beatmaker and drummer that's worked closely with J Dilla, Herbie Hancock, The Roots and Common amongst others.

12" Throwback: Jemini The Gifted One

Brooklyn rapper Jemini The Gifted One has, sadly, got to be one of the most wasted talents hip-hop has wittnessed.  In 1995 he had gotten himself a recording deal with Mercury Records, and besides releasing this amazing 7-track EP on wax, the label also released two promo singles containing songs from the EP, certainly with DJ's in mind. A video for the lead track "Funk Soul Sensation" was also made and released. In other words, the label were trying to push Jemini to a larger audience and obviously preparing for a debut album. It isn't suprising, such a talented cat, his gift to grab the audience by his words and his hardcore appeal should definitely be heard. After testing the waters my best guess is that Mercury didn't feel the same and decided to drop him from the roster, leaving only a few 12" releases and a funky video as reminder to the rest of the world that Jemini had ever existed.
Luckily the chapter on The Gifted One doesn't quite end there but it would take about eight years before we would hear from him again. This time he hooked up with DJ Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, DangerDOOM, Gorillaz), an english producer that had yet became super producer extraordinare in peoples minds, to record and release the full-length collaboration "Ghetto Pop Life". If you ever heard Danger Mouse's earlier production, you know the sound, an original approach as well as showing influences from Prince Paul, Dilla and Madlib. Jemini's unique approach to the mic and style hadn't changed much over the years and the album, which featured guests like Cee-Lo, Alkaholiks, Prince Po and The Pharcyde, ultimately proved to be among the absolute best hip-hop albums of 2003. If you havent't heard that one yet, you'd do yourself a huge favor finding it out; and if you're familiar with Danger Mouse's production work and then hear this rare EP i'm about to post I doubt you could resist.

The same year they released an EP featuring some various exclusives as well as remixes for album cuts, but since then Danger Mouse has became huge and is in 2011 working with James Shiner in Broken Bells, while Jemini has once again been left in obscurity. Wether or not we'll ever hear anything new from Jemini the Gifted One remains to see, but however that may be the few releases he has put out will always make me hold him in high regards as an emcee and entertainer. This EP also contains two of my favorite Buckwild productions; "Story of my Life" and especially "Scars & Pain". Track #2 was produced by Minnesota and tracks #4 and #5 by Organized Konfusion. TURN IT UP!!!!

01. "Can't Stop Rockin' (Tribute)"
02. "Brooklyn Kids"
03. "Scars & Pain"
04. "Letcho 'Batyflow"
05. "Funk Soul Sensation"
06. "Story Of My Life"
07. "50 MCs in a Cypher"


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A PROPER posthumous Big L album coming

Following last years dissapointing "Return Of The Devil's Son" put together by L's younger brother and sounding abolutely amazing on paper. Problem was that the sound quality was absolutely horrible, it sounded like a cassette rip ripped to a low VBR and on top of that they renamed several songs to get L fans to think the album contained previously unreleased material, which it didn't, save for maybe a couple of freestyles. I was so hyped when I heard about that project, to finally get tracks like "Devil's Son", "Timez If Hard On The Boulevard", "Clinic (Shoulda Used A Rubba), "School Dayz", "Principle of the New School", etc. After I downloaded the leak to get a sneek peak i ended up never buying the album and will not do so either.

Lucky for us Flamboyant Entertainment (in conjunction with the Coleman estate) is putting together a proper and official Big L's "rare and unreleased" tracks, but this time newly remastered and in CDQ if possible which just made my day. It will feature classic tracks that didn't make "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous" or "The Big Picture" plua some remastered classic freestyles (please include the nine minutes Jay-Z/Big L freestyle session from 1995 on Stretch & Bobbito).

The album will be released on May 31 this year and I've just sarted counting the days, but in the meantime we already got the first "single" from the project - which is a remastered take on the Lord Finesse / Big L collaboration (one of his first), 1992s "You Know What I'm About" - a track recorded for the "Tresspass Soundtrack"but the label didn't want any unknown rappers on there and Finesse had to record a solo version instead, and it took a few years before this leaked.. Listening to it now though and this is by far the best version I ever heard of it before, it sounds a little raw but hey, it was recorded in '92 and never officially released so what could you expect. If the rest of the album sounds this good this is truly a MUST-HAVE! Can't wait to see the full tracklisting.

Shouts to The for the link and parts of the info, much props! Also thanks to Manhattan 360 for putting me on to the article.


Why Saigon didn't live up to his full potential...

In a way I was very dissapointed the first times I heard Saigon's "The Greatest Story Never Told", and made some negative remarks about it on various forums. Some people might think I hate that LP but you couldn't be more wrong. I actually play it alot these days, and even more so just recently which is way more than I did when it had just dropped. One of the main reasons for my dissapointment was that it was too different from what I had expected after years of waiting, which can fuck up a first listen for anyone. But as I started revisiting it, i realized that Saigon's debut actually had mad potential. Sai is easily one of the best "new" rappers doing it right now, no question. Both when it comes to writing full-fledged songs, delivering verses in a breath-taking manner or making the characters in his rhymes come to life he's got it on lock. You can't hate on the fact that he always seems to be 100% confident in himself and his skill without being overly cocky, he shows rather than tell.

Right from the intro you know you're in for a treat as the album starts with Sai being released from prison. He's having a discussion with his man who got several years left and our guy gives him a clock radio, a few books and so. The inmate, his life in prison and his listening to the clock radio Sai gave him is a running theme for the LP and gives it some deepth. As he checks the radio he tunes in to this amazing Just Blaze beat with Fat Man Scoop basically introducing the album while including som ehilarious quotables. The strings and vintage Just drum pattern makes for a real head-nodder and overall it's the perfect intro to the "Greatest Story...". The first actual song on the album is the Q-Tip blessed "The Invitation", another boom bap treat steeped in vocal samples and thunderous keys revealing that Just never lost a step. The Abstract's hook brings the track to the next level when coupled with the amazing lyrics from Sai; it's a powerful moment.

Following this is "Come On Baby", a very good joint for sure although it's been out for a while which is both a good and bad thing. They wasn't able to clear the sample for it so the beat, while sounding remotely the same, is a replica that doesn't quite match the heights the original reached and sounds a little watered down in comparision. Jay-Z's verse from the 2007 remix is kept which is something I could've been without, remember "My first album had no famous guest apperances, the outcome? I'm crowned the best lyricist"? Well that's just nitpicking anyways, it's understandable he wanted such a high-profile name on his debut. Despite it being quite old by now it's still a definite club banger!

Skip a track and you get to "Friends" / "Enemies". NOW THIS right here is some potent storytelling at it's finest and it's brilliantly sequenced to have them follow eachother, this is definitely Part 1 and 2 of the same joint. "Enemies" sees Saigon flexing his lyrical muscle big time; by using metaphors he's descripting the streets he grow up in and how he first saw that as something positive, it taught him to become a man but as time goes on he realizes that the street is your biggest enemy. "Friends" is a little more straight-forward in its storytelling but just as potent. Here he gives his thoughts on fake friends who put on a fasade for you but sooner or later they'll reveal who they truly are. These are two records I easily can relate to and Just Blaze (co-produced with D. Allen for "Enemis") shows why some call him genius by creating productions fitting the mood of the lyrics and utilizing samples that Sai can play off.

The center piece of the album is a true anthem for those who feel lost in this fucked up system. This is one of my favorites of the entire album as Just Blaze and Sai give proof of an amazing chemistry between them. "Strugglin' to Survive, 9-5 ain't making it, turn on the TV all I see is celebrites taking it... and not sharing it", there's so many quotables in here and the scratches Just incorporates close to the end is like a big red cherry on top. "Preacher" is another center piece of the album and once again the chemistry between MC and producer is displayed to the fullest. Sai speaks on an important subject that you rarely hear mentioned anywhere, about the preacher not living how he learn and how the church be taking money from even the poor. It's a well needed boot to organized religion that needs to be said in this day and age. Once again Just Blaze hooks up a vocal sample for Sai to play off over his up-tempo but soulful production that's just marvellous.

"Better Way" and "Oh Yeah (Our Babies)" are two more laid-back tracks near the end of the album, that's just as good as any of the previous records. They find Saigon in a reflective mood, speaking on the ills in the world as well as stressing the importance of the importance of a change, and one soon at that. His closing verse on "Oh Yeah" was so dope that I had to put it in my Quotable of the Week (a section I started where I hype up recent favorite verses that need more shine). Both the afro-mentioned songs are perfect closers and sounds like the ending to a classic album. After these are over we get back into the jail cell where the inmate from the beginning falls back into sleep and a dream-like, filtered version of "Enemies" featuring Bun B is heard. The song is abruptly ended by a prison guard telling the inmate to wake the fuck up, this ain't no resting home, which ties the listening experience back to where we begun.

"The Greatest Story Never Told" was in the works for about five years, the first single was heard in 2006. Add statements from Sai and the albums producer that they have completed a true masterpiece; the first classic in years and even went as far as comparing it to "Illmatic". Industry rule number #20500 - don't hype up your album more than you knows you can deliver. With such statements, and the long wait for it to arrive, the pressure is on so no one can be mad for reviewers comparing Sai's debut to the classics of the '90s. "Illmatic" was 10 songs long (including a classic intro that helped the album become the classic it did); Saigon on the other hand has 18 tracks on his and the CD or 2xLP is filled to the breaking-point with a running time of almost 80 minutes (again twice the time "Illmatic" and other classics like "Follow the Leader", "Madvillainy", "Liquid Swords", "Criminal Minded" and "The Fix"). 

If an artist is striving to make his debut a true classic for the sake of art and dope music, radio spins shouldn't be his or her first concern at all. A classic album is timeless and typical radio hits or songs that bear trademarks of the year they was made in often feels passé only a year or two later. One half-commercial single with personality and an imporant message is the trick ("Clap") but Saigon included several radio friendly songs in his Story which diminished the overall impact of the album. Many of those tracks are enjoyable for what they are but for such a monumental album like this one they don't fit in at all. He would've been better off giving them out on mixtapes or using them as B-sides.

Sai's flow is incredible, the lyrics are clear signs of a top MC but as an album "The Greatest Story..." becomes a little messy. He doesn't seem to know if he want to make a smart and street hardcore album or go 50% with the raw Sai (which is also how he built up his hype) with the other 50% being a light-hearted mix of sex and love jams where he sounds completely out of his element, at least compared to the other type of songs on here. Other tracks like "Believe It" or "Bring Me Down II" has great lyrical value, especially the first mentioned but they are both ruined by lame hooks aimed at the radio and teeny boppers (the latter even sounds like a Lil' Wayne auto-tune hook) and will be passé within two years.

The original cover, pictured at the top of this post was also much better; original, fit the concept perfectly and looked timeless. The retail cover, above, look like anyone elses photoshopped hip-hop cover in 2011 and does not reflect the great parts of the music as well at all. A little thing for sure, but I felt I wanted to comment on it since it bugged me.

01. "Station Identification" [Into] (Ft. Fatman Scoop)
02. "The Invitation" (Ft. Q-Tip)
03. "Come On Baby" (Ft. Swizz Beats) [OG]
04. "Enemies"
05. "Friends"
06. "The Greatest Story Never Told"
07. "Clap" (Ft. Faith Evans) [No Skit After / CDQ]
08. "Preacher"
09. "Better Way" (Ft. Layzie Bone)
10. "Oh Yeah (Our Babies"
11. "...And The Winner Is" (Ft. Bun B) [*]

As you can see above the 11 songs tracklist I've been bumping for a good while now really made me realize how utterly amazing this album really is (and I tried several versions but to me these 11 tracks are the ultimate way of listening to the album). Had it instead been released like this, following in the footsteps of other classic albums, it would've been a 4.5/5 album - a straight up superior hip-hop album and better than 95% of what has been released this year. And later down the line it might had even been considered a rap classic / masterpiece with a legacy. But while 11 tracks with an intro and a running time of about 43 minutes is incredible on it's own, a 77 minutes long album with lots of filler despite having the same 11 tracks diminishes the project greatly. I love this album, but I love the version I made for it that I posted above. Either way it's still good but I think Sai did a big unservice to himself by trying to make this album almost 80 minutes long.. 

 So in a way it actually IS "The Greatest Story Never Told"; you know those guys who can't tell a good story if their life depended on it since they try to give every single unimportant detail? That's kind of how Sai's album is in a way, the greatest story if you will is there but it's surrounded by meaningless stuff that just get in the way of him being able to truly do that incredible story justice, like it should be heard. I encourage anyone to listen to the tracklist I put together and I'd be very suprised if anyone feels the retail is better but to each their own of course.