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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Diamond D - "Deflate Cha"

Third new joint from the D.I.T.C. camp in less than a week (scroll down for new cuts by OC and Show & AG) comes from Diamond D. As is usual on his SoundCloud it's not the entire song but we can still hear a good chunk of this song called "Deflate Cha". Recently he also posted something called Magic Potion - The 5IVE. These are nice little appetizers and all but I need a fresh Diamond project ASAP!

Sheek Louch / Ghostface Killah - "Trading Places"

The "Wu-Block" project promised by Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch seems to come closer to reality each and every day as we're only a couple of days past the last leak ("Hands Up") and we're already getting introduced to another winner from it. "Trading Places" succeeds because of it's ill concept and hearing Ghost tear up DJ Premier's classic LOX production "Recognize". Both these gentleman have been fairly consistant in getting quality music out there so I'm not worried about us getting this soon enough, Since they are also both signed to Def Jam it will be interesting to see if we will be treated to any involvement from No I.D., a "Metal Lungies Part 2" perhaps? Spotted @ 2DopeBoyz.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OC x Apollo Brown - "Prove Me Wrong"

I've been eager to hear something from the project OC recently recorded with producer Apollo Brown out in Detroit so I'm happy to present "Prove Me Wrong". This is a radio rip just premiered on Live From HeadQcourterz by DJ Premier and it's just as sick as expected. OC is definitely not to be fucked with on the microphone, the man hasn't lost a single step since he broke through with the classic "Word... Life" and the equally impressive "Jewelz". I pray we get vinyl copies of this, but the digitized heads can pre-order their copies of "Trophies" @ iTunes now. Official album release on May 1 via Mello Music Group.

Cormega x Large Pro LP in the works

A full album worth of Cormega ripping Extra-P laced bangers have been whispered about for a while but here Corey makes the announcement loud and clear. Considering how consistantly great both these have been I'm assured this album will hold one of the top spots of this year end's best-of lists if they manage to deliver it in '12. 'Mega also clears up just exactly what to expect from the collabo with Roc Marciano, Saigon and Action Bronson on a joint called "Mars", which is one of the songs recorded for the project so far.

[Videos] Fokis + Georgia Anne Muldrow

The first of two new videos I want to put a spotlight on today is that of a track you've might heard on The Lost Tapes before; Fokis' Sadat X featured single "Justsayin'" which is a real dope cut with a good ol' school vibe that I've been blasting lately. Make sure to check out Fokis entire mixtape, "A Vintage State Of Mind", hosted by The X-Man of Brand Nubian and mix duties hanlded by DJ Chonz.

  Next up is the visuls to the debut single and title track from Georgia Anne Muldrow's upcoming collboration with Madlib on "Seeds". The vid is coming right on the heels of the premier of the second leak from the LP, "Husfriend". As I'm sure many of y'all also will recognize, this is shaping up to be one really worth watching out for. March 27 is the set date.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Showbiz & AG - "In Trouble"

Ooh shit!! The Bronx is in the house with that straight raw ol' boom bap; Show on the beat, A on the mic and Preem on the cuts. It don't get no better than that. I can hardly wait for "Mugshot Music" after all these heavy leaks we've been fed since late last year. Shouts to DJPB.

Planet Asia / Raekwon - "No Apologies"

There's been alot of Wu and Planet Asia on The Lost Tapes lately, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that so lets keep that theme shall we? Here Asia teams up with Chef Raekwon who drop bombs over a knocking Oh No beat. "Black Belt Theater" is out on CD tomorrow, vinyl heads will have to hold on to March 20.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

GHOSTFACE - "Supreme Clientele" [Canadian]

In the early '90s Wu-Tang Clan was already one of the absolute top crews in the modern hip-hop landscape but when Raekwon dropped his "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Niggas" in '95, its mafioso infected dreams of the big bucks, fly Shaolin slang and references to future embraced brands like Cristal truly changed the game. To me, it's still the top album ever released, and besides Raekwon's name the cover also bore the under title "guest starring Tony Starks A/K/A Ghost Face Killer". In fact Ghost appeared on no less than fourteen of the album 17 or 18 cuts (depending on which version you bought) and it was his chemistry with The Chef and RZA's futuristic production that made the LP the instant masterpiece it was and still is. The following year, Ghostface once again hooked up with Rae and RZA and released his own debut, "Ironman", an equally impressive project. Despite the three main characters being the same, RZA's samples were now instead steeped in the '60s and '70s soul and funk that the young Dennis Coles had grown up on (including Al Green, Bob James, Jackson 5 and Sam Cooke). If you never heard Coles before, after listening to his debut front-to-back you'd be left with the feeling that you know Ghost and his persona, ideals and history. Classics like "All That I Got is You" was a heartfelt dedication to his mother while also dealing with the hardships of his youth, "Camay" told a taseful love tale while the super misogynistic "Wildflower" saw a furious Ghost spew hate over a cheating ex-girlfriend with no spare on the profanity. Together with Rae, both their two albums was additionally filled with fantastic storytelling raps that would make Slick Rick and KRS-One proud and helped cement the pair as one of the finest rap duos of all time.

After RZA completed his five year plan for the Clan with the release of 1997's superior multi-platinum "Wu-Tang Forever" he took a step back from producing the 9 generals solo music to focus on what he called his "c-artists"; peeps like Killarmy, Cappadonna and Sunz Of Man. Instead he assigned Divine or Power as the main executive producers for Clan members various projects. This allowed the Wu members to release more music rapidly and with more personal input. This resulted in releases between '98 and '99 from RZA, Method Man, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Red N Meth, U-God and Raekwon. While the majority of these projects were far from bad, even die hard Wu fans were agreeing that something was missing from them all and that they didn't live up to the high standards set by the Wu-Tang releases between 1992 and 1997. What was missing was clearly RZA's input, guidance and vision; on an average he produced one to three beats per project (save for RZA as Bobby Digital's "In Stereo" which could  arguably be considered a part of the first round of RZA laced solo albums; although  it was way ahead of its time when it first hit stores and caught a lot of flack).

By early 2000, the only Wu member to not have dropped a solo over the last couple of years (save for Masta Killa) was Ghostface Killah, much due to a six month bid on Riker's Island. Once he was released, he hit the studio to record "Supreme Clientele", an album that both Ghost, RZA, Divine and Power collaborated on and understood the extreme importance of. I remember hearing the Raekwon featured single "Apollo Kids" and feeling it was one of the best Wu songs in years and when I picked up my copy of Ghost's sophomore LP on the day of its release, I, like many others, knew that The Wu was back in full throttle. The album was totally cohesivem perfectly sequenced, had clever skits and followed a theme of a super hero on a mission to save the world; a metaphor for Ghost's importance in bringing back the Wu legacy with a classic worthy of the early '90s Clan solos. While RZA didn't prouce the majority of the beats, he and Ghost had a hand in the mix and final outcome of every track which gave the project it's unique sound. Instead of having the beatmakers produce their record in the studio, RZA and Ghost picked out beats from the likes of Beatnuts' JujJu, Carlos Broady, Allah Mathematics and Phantom Of The Beats and produced and arranged everything on the LP much the same way a rock producer would've done it. This is a very important part to the LP's success. Another equally impressive feature of "Supreme Clientele" was Ghostface's own lyrical performance, displaying a totally unique style of emceeing that hasn't been duplicated neither before or since. I even heard of an English teacher at an American university using some of the verses on the album as poetic art material for analysis. The stream-of-consciousness style Coles used here could be interpreted as jibberish by someone, as high art by another while a third party would chalk it up to twisted ghetto slang. What put the icing on the cake and truly made it one of the best rap performances of all time was the way Ghost spat his lines though, his flow on every verse delivered to perfection.

Epic, Ghost's label for his three first albums were masters at screwing up tracklists and denying sample clearances. This was especially evident on 2001's "Bulletproof Wallets" which could and should have been GFK's third classic in a row if it wasn't for the label. It's hard to believe that an LP as close to perfection as "Supreme Clientele" originally faced some similiar problems, resulting in the released version being slightly different than how it was first intendended. Luckily for fans, the original version was available for a limited time period on first pressings over in Canada. Which of the two versions is the better can be debated but it's unquestionably very interesting to hear this slightly different take on such a familiar classic. This version features 14 tracks rather than the retail's 21 as the skits appears after a track's song; the Ironman cartoon intro and outro is however entirely dismissed here and the sequence is slightly altered. The main differences though is that rather than the atmospheric RZA remix of "G-Dini" appearing on all other editions, here we get Ghost and Superb ripping the much more sinister and hard hitting Blaquesmiths beat previously used for "Bastards" (The Ruthless Bastards joint on "The Swarm Vol. 1"). Further, "Child's Play" features an extended vocal outro but RZA alters his beat by keeping the George Jackson organ sample on a steady loop while leaving out all the breakdowns and alternations which to me always helped elevate the song to the next level. The biggest and most important difference between the two editions however is that all but the Canadian's missed out on the absoultely brilliant "Wise", a vintage Ghost song with raw emotions on full display that works as a heartfelt tribute to his fallen friend and comrade Wise (Killarmy's original manager). The track is built on the classic Dramatic's song "In the Rain" but not only does it use a sample of the beat but it actually features production work and guest vocals by the original artist. This joint is to me a pivotal moment on "S.C." that every Ghost fan owes it to themeselves to hear, its long honoring verse can be likened to that on "Impossible" (which is thrown in here as a skit for good measure). So, which version is the better? Check it out below, TURN IT UP and decide for yourself!

01. "Nutmeg" (Ft. RZA as Bobby Digital)
02. "One"
03. "Saturday Nite" / "Impossible" / "Ghost's Theme"
04. "Wise" (Ft. The Dramatics)
05. "Mighty Healthy"
06. "Apollo Kids" / "Clyde Smith" (Skit)
07. "Buck 50" (Ft. Method Man & Redman) / "Stroke Of Death"
08. "Deck's Beat" (Ft. 60 Second Assassin)
09. "G-Dini" (Ft. Superb)
10. "Malcolm"
11. "We Made It" (Ft. Superb, Chip Banks & Hell Razah)
12. "Child's Play" [Original Mix]
13. "CherChez LaGhost" (Ft. U-God)
14. "Wu Banga 101" (Ft. GZA, Cappadonna, Raekwon & Masta Killa)


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bumpy & Preem Prequel EP coming

As we all know by now the long-awaited full-length album by legendary veteran Bumpy Knuckles, "The Kolexxxion", fully produced by DJ Premier is being released on March 27. As it's already available for pre-orders on both CD and vinyl from several sites I'm counting on it actually being released by then (unlike that NYGz album - what's up Preem?). Matter of fact, I pre-ordered my copy yesterday; I've heard 10 of the 17 songs from the album and I'm already now certain enough to say that this will be Freddie Foxxx's best LP since his masterpiece "Industry Shakedown" over a decade ago. Before the actual collection drops, however, the duo are giving fans a five-track EP of songs that didn't make the final cut called "StoodioTyme" (click to listen to a short snippet reel). The digital release will be available for a cheap price on March 5 via the regular sites sites like iTunes and Amazon. Below you can also take a listen to Flava Flav featured single "Shake the Room" from the LP, now in CDQ. Thx to Gim and his fine work at DJPB.

01. "StOoDiOtYmE"
02. "Fake"
03. "That Preemo Shit"
04. "tAkEiT2tHeToP"
05. "Inspired By Fire"


Friday, February 24, 2012

Black Marvel - "BM" [Album]

Black Marvel might not be the most recognized producer out there but he's one of the super underrated beatmakers in the Amsterdam group Godz Wrath. Aside from Black Marvel, rhe trio currently consits of Jordan River Banks and Ciph Barker. Together they have produced some of the finest music on such amazing releases as Killah Priest's "The Offering", Hell Razah's "Renaissance Child" / "Heaven Razah", Shabazz the Disciple's "Hood Hopera" / "THUG Angelz" and the "Black Market Militia" project. And they always bring that quality so when MOD The Black Marvel is now releasing his first solo album you can count on it being an interesting release.

A little suprisingly, "BM Ultra" features not only MOD behind the boards but kicking some rhymes while the production is handled by the entire Godz Wrath crew. Guests include Ciph Barker, Thun/Hurry Fubs and most interestingly the posse cut "Room 308" featuring the entire Maccabeez fam (Killah Priest, Hell Razah, Timbo King) and New York emcee Whosane, you can check that out below while you can stream the entire album here or download it for €8.99. To cop a CD version head over to Black Marvel's official site.

Bassi Maestro - "Seven Skills (A Rakim Tribute)"

Between 1997 and 1999 The Microphone Fiend dropped two albums for Universl Records; "The 18th Letter" and "The Master". Both had their moments but was far from the level of his four earlier classics although they both had their fair share of real hot tracks (incluing the later LP which caught a lot of flack from fans). One year later, Ra signed with Dr. Dre and Aftermath and started recording "Oh, My God", an album that still remains unreleased after The R was eventually dropped from the label, save for a few songs and some guest spots either produced by Dre or with Aftermath artists (on a side note, you can anticipate a Rakim/Aftermath compilation soon, featuring all leaked/released tracks from his time on the label). Instead all material recorded with Dre in L.A. was scrapped. Instead Rakim recorded completely new songs for "The Seventh Seal", his long delayed third solo album that was finally released in 2009.

I've read so many negative reviews of that LP which is nothing but a god damn shame if you ask me! Sure, it had a few questionable tracks, mainly on the productionn and hooks side, but there were enough of plenty of fat productions that both suited Ra's sound while keeping with the times (for example tracks like "Holy Are U", ""Walk These Streets", "Man Above", "Still in Love", "Euophoria" and "Won't Be Long"). And lyrically it might just be Ra's best solo album, maybe not flow wise but lyrically the album is filled to the limit with clever and well executed themes and concept songs, more so than any other Rakim album (even including the Eric B. joints). One of my favorite tracks on it are the perfectly executed "Working For You" which has an amazing soulful beat using the classic hip-hop sample source "I Forgot to be Your Lover", although it's in fact The Robert Cray Band's take on the composition rather than the original William Bell version used for classics by artists and producers including Alchemist/Dilated Peoples, True Master/Killah Priest and P.King/Ludacris.

On the sleeve for "The Seventh Seal" the production credit for "Workin' For You" was left blank. The story goes that Rakim somewhere along the line had been given a beat tape by someone and by the time the album were being pressed he had totally forgot who was behind the beat. Of course it didn't take long until Italian producer Bassi Maestro made everything in his power to make sure the world know that he was the one behind the song Ra rhymed over on his album. Just check Maestro's 2004 cut "Tu Non Mi Rispetti" for Italian artist Sano Business which clearly shows he's telling the truth in this matter. Since "Working..." is one of my absolute favorites of an album I always felt the need to defend against the unwarranted hate it drew upon itself, I found Bassi Maestro's tribute tape to Rakim very interesting and should definitely be heard by any fan of the song mentioned above. It's a dope remix tape that runs for about 25 minutes featuring exclusive Maestro beats put together with classic Rakim rhymes. Most of the songs are really ill though there's a couple I felt were very average. The only problem I have is why remix classics that don't need to be touched upon ("Follow the Leader"; although a tight version; and "I Know You Got Soul"). What I want to hear is Maestro's take on more recent Ra material which gives us an inside look of how Bassi Maestro's Rakim collaborations would've sounded if he the Italian had gotten mroe placements on "The Seventh Seal". Luckily, the continous mix features remixes of "Hip-Hop", "It's Nothing" and "Holy Are U". Since the mix is placed in one continious downloadable or streamable track, you can scroll down to the bottom of the Soundcloud page and choose to stream the individual joints.

Copywrite / Casual / Evidence / Roc Marcy

After seeing the tracklist for Copywrite's new album "God Save the King" on Man Bites Dog Records three songs immediatly struck out to me. Those were the two Bronze Nazareth productions, one titled "Love" which was recently released as the first single, and the other were the very promising posse cut "Golden State (Of Mind)" featuring Copywrite, Casual, Roc Marciano and Evidence. All these four guys are super lyrical and as expected the song hardly dissapoints with Vanderslice's solid production. "God Save the King" will be released nationally on the last of this month from the usual suspects like UGHH and Amazon. iTunes will be hosting an exclusive advance of the LP a few days before its release, starting on the 24th, which you can pre-order it via iTunes.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tha Connection / Roc Marcy - "Strive EP"

Today is a proud day for Sweden's hip-hop scene as great beathead Mok Vurban from Orebro produces two songs on American duo Tha Connection's new "Strive EP" featuring one of my current favorite emcees - Roc Marciano. On the EP, "Strive" appears in three different mixes in addition to "Shook" featuring Mok Vurban on vocals and the Cypria laced "For Thought". The digital extended play will be available via iTunes and Bandcamp on February 21 but you can already check out both Vurban 's contributions; "Stress" w. Roc Marcy and "Shook". Stream this, enjoy it and TURN IT UP!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Georgia Anne Muldrow x Madlib - "Husfriend"

As I wrote about a few weeks ago, retro soul singer and talented producer Georgia Anne Muldrow has just recorded an entire album fully produced by hip-hop's busiest beatmaker; Mr. Madlib. Judging by the previous single, "Seeds" and this new joint called "Husfriend" I have a great feeling about this project which could very well be the illest, funkiest soul album in severeal years. If we get this on vinyl on its March 27 release date I'm definitely picking this one up. Check out the tracklist and latest single below and let the funk invade your mind!

01. "Seeds"
02. "Winds"
03. "Calabash"
04. "Kali Yuga"
05. "The Birth Of Petey Wheatstraw"
06. "Best Love"
07. "Interlude"
08. "Husfriend"
09. "Kneecap Jelly"
10. "The Few"
11. "Remember (Outro)"

Wu Block - "Hands Up"

Although I'm always a bit skeptical when new projects of this caliber is announced, it actually seems as The "Wu Block" album might happen sooner than expected. Following The RZA produced title track, the second single has just hit the net and will not dissapoint neither Wu heads or D-Block fanatics. "Hands Up" features Sheek Louch and Ghostface Killah spitting quality verses and despite it's not as heavy as some of their previous collaborations, I can definitely dig it.

J-Live - A Triple Threat

Never watering down or letting his music become commercialized, DJ/MC/Producer J-Live released one of the noteworthy albums of last year with his "S.P.T.A. (Spitta)". Don't think for a second that means he's taking time off from the hip-hop game as he's constantly releasing interesting singles and fat freestyles. Today the once mid-school teacher turned celebrated hip-hop artist lets loose of no less than four songs via Bandcamp; featuring collaborations with Senor Kaos, Ekundayo and Lyric Jones, all clearly worth a listen so check 'em out!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rebel INS & 7L/Esoteric are Czarface

For some time now rumours about Wu-Tang's super lyricist Inspectah Deck joining forces with Esoteric has been floating around the web. Now this project is definitely soon to become reality and it seems that Esoteric's traditional producer partner 7L will also be involved in the album which will be released under the group name CZARFACE (weird, I know). Rebel INS is one of my favorite rhymers of all time but besides the classic Clan album he has never been able to fully deliver a truly solid solo album if you ask me. He absolutely killed his latest LP "Manifesto" as far as the vocal part goes but except for a few beats ("The Champion", "Tombstone") it was real lackluster.

With CZARFACE we'll get to hear The Rebel rhyme over the talented 7L's production with additional contributions by the one and only DJ Premier (something fans have been fiending for since "Above The Clouds") and cameos from Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and Large Professor. I really hope the latter gets to supply a beat for the project as well, considering he's been truly on fire lately. But back on topic, I uploaded the classic 7L & Esoteric '99 single "Speaking Real Words" which was the first time they duo worked with Inspectah Deck; a classic song mixed by the one and only Marley Marl.


Prodigy - "H.N.I.C. 3" (The Mixtape)

True to his word, Mobb Deep's Prodigy hits up the net with his latest free mixtape "H.N.I.C. 3". Following the same pattern he used for "The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP", this drop is released as an exclusive collaboration with Full of P's trademark gritty flow, hardcore lyrics with some knowledge thrown in the mix for good measure you  pretty much get what you'd expect from this QB veteran. There's some extremely questionable guest features on the tape to say the very least, but P comes through as far as his part goes for the most part and a good amount of the production is solid. Especially nice to hear him spit over sick Havoc beats like those on "I'm From the Trap", "Extreme" and the Mobb Deep song "Make A Hole". Other producers include J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Mr. Porter, SC, Sid Roams and someone calling himself Little Peoples who provides the beat for the impressive intro joint. The real mixtape is the first eleven songs as you notice they have production credits, tracks 11-22 are freestyles and snippets from various recent P cameos.

gENSu dEAn / Roc Marciano - "Yen"

Underrated producer Gensu Dean and his trusted SP1200 has been providing beats in the background for years now but the majority of hip-hop heads might not even know who he is. At least not yet, but after his recent signing with Mello Music Group and the recording of his official solo album "Lo-Fi Finghaz" that is hopefully all about to change. Dean makes true shool hip-hop with a modern twist that should be right up the alley of readers of this blog and similiar sites. The album hit stores in physical and digital copies on February 28 and you can pre-order it now from Amazon or iTunes. You can already now stream the album in full and purchase it straight from the label, head over to Mello Music Group's "Lo-Fi Finghaz" site.

"Lo-Fi Finghaz" is really a really dope album, I have rarely heard an average beat from Dean and the tracklist is full of great guest artists. We already heard the incredible Large Professor blessed "Forever" and now the follow-up single, "Yen", features Roc Marciano and is another promising cut. Other emcees rhyming over Dean's beats on the LP include DMC, Sputnik Brown, Brand Nubian, Roc Marciano (twice that is), Prince Po, Blame One and many more. While listening (and hopefully placing your pre-order) make sure to read this great article about the making of the album conducted by Chris Moss over @ Al Lindström's place.


Madlib Returns w. More Medicine

So you thought Volume #12 concluded The Medicine Show that The Beat Konducta has hit us with on a relatively regular basis? Well think again my friends because Madlib and Stones Throw got one more installment and a monstrous box set to go out with a bang with. "Medicine Show No. 13: Black Tape" continues where part 12, "Raw Medicine", left off - a continous 60 minutes mix of exclusive Madlib remixes featuring a host of "some of rap's finest, half-best, brilliant and borderline-retarded MC's". The album will be available from the usual suspects on February 28. Head over to Stones Throw for more info about the album, see the cover and more. You can check out the song "Rappcats" from the CD at the bottom of the page featuring verses from DOOM and Jadakiss.

As if a new remix tape from 'Lib wasn't enough, Stones Throw is finally releasing the complete "Medicine Show" series in a sweet box-set titled "The Brick" (see pic at the top) including all thirteen CDs with their respective booklets. To learn more about the box and the respective entires in the series, check out the MMS page @ Stones Throw; shipping is expected March 27, 2012. This box is great news for me as I was hoping all along they would release something like this when the series was finished since the only album I bought was the first one that featured Guilty Simpson. Let's just hope the price is reasonable, although I must admit I have my doubts.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Early 1993,  the Wu-Tang Clan is recording the posse cut "Da Mystery Of Chessoxin'" for the crews debut album at Firehouse Studios, New York. There was one slot left on the now classic track and Master Killer and Killer Priest both desperately wanted their voice on that record. As they both were writing and trying out a few verses to RZA's beat and time was running late, Walter Reed - better known as Killah Priest - dozed off for an hour or so. When he woke up, he heard the now legendary debut verse by Masta Killa ripping "Da Mystery..." to shreds. Had thing turned out differently, Killah Priest would probably been the official 9th member of The Wu-Tang Clan.

But unlike Masta Killa, Priest is more of a solo artist than a team player as proven by his 1998 solo debut "Heavy Mental"; still to this day, one of the illest and most original hip-hop albums ever created. It took me some time to fully appreciate the mental genius that is this album truly was. Almost the oppisute of your traditional '98 rap record consdering how different it was, the atmospheric and mystical producton that featured some of 4th Disciple, Y-Kim and Arabian Knight. Few times before or after have the production and heavy mental vocal performance by a true lyricist been such a perfect marriage. Just check 4th Diisciple's paranoid backdrop and floating horns on "Information" where Priest dwells deep into scary, but most likely often true, conspiracy theories. Or "Science Project" where Priest switch up his flow to tell a haunting narrative of a young kid in a rough hood that finds himself in a set-up over a frantic beat that builds up to the agressive end when you can barely take it anymore, Like Priest's companion Shabazz the Disciple once said: "Artists like 50 Cent and Jay-Z, they glorify the hood. I horrify it".

"Heavy Mental" runs for over 75 minutes without ever getting boring and should be listened to from beginning to end as it's one of a kind journey into the mind and spirit of Walter Reed. Throughout the 20 tracks Killah Priest proved that he was easily one of the best emcees of all time, and still to this day his debut album stands as one of the sickest lyrical displays ever put down on wax. Fantastic flow and delivery, a commanding voice, lyrics packed with knowledge and his obviously a very smart person; the only Wu-Tang representer that I can think of to be on that specific level is The GZA/Genius. And as if Priest's lyrical power wasn't enough to bring this album home, 4th Disciple probably hooked up his best batch of beats for "Heavy Mental" - not to mention True Master's and Y-Kim's contributions. I remember an article in HipHopConnection back around 2000 where they crowned Priest's debut "the best hip-hop album of all time" and while there's no singular dopest LP ever made in my opinion, it's definitely up there. This is spiritual hip-hop at it's finest and there's a big difference between religion and spirituality.

Yesterday I got a six minute snippet reel from a poster at the Philaflava forums featuring a bunch of songs that most likely was recorded for the album but didn't make the final cut. This gave me the idea to put together a lil' companion piece to my favorite Killa Beez release of all time, especially since there's so much dope material that didn't make the final cut that would be a great diservice for any Priest fan to miss out on. I wrote out a small description for each song on the mix to give you some background info while you're listening.

01. "Blessed Are Those" [Original Mix]
The original "Blessed Are Those" was for the longest supposed to be the one we'd hear on the album instead of the minimalistic, but still very atmospheric and great, remix we now hear on the LP. For this version underrated producer Y-Kim makes great use of an Al Green sample over the same drums that really beefs up the track. Unfortunately, Green refused sample clearance of the song for the reason of the Killah part of the artists name. According to K.P. this was one of the last songs recorded for the album and the first verse also received the "Quotable Of The Month" in The Source Magazine back in '98. This mix appeared on Y-Kim's producer compilation "Monster Reborn".

02. + 03. "Moanin" (Ft. Killa Sin) / "Street Opera" (Ft. Hell Razah)
Both these songs appeared on the "One Step" CD-single and 12" and I have a strong feeling that if there were more room left on the album, both these songs would appear on it. They are both incredible and would fit right in; Killah Priest puts on a memorable performance and a rare verse by Killa Sin makes the song even more superior. 4th Disciple produced both of these joints and once again proves why he might be the most underrated producer out there.

04. "Wolf In Sheep's Clothing"
"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing" is a rather unknown joint that was released on a limited white label 12" with an atmospheric beat that might very well be another 4th banger with an addictive trumpet hook running throughout over the kicking hi-hats. Featured on the song are also Shanghai the Messenger who also provided sung vocals on "Atoms to Adam" and "Mystic City".

05. "Devil In Descize"
This originally appeared on a rare promo copy of 4th Disciple's debut album "Steel Valley Project Vol. 1". With it's somber grand piano, floating flute, cuts and Shanghai the Messenger heartfelt lyrics, it was one of the absolute stand-outs on 4th's EP. Killah Priest kicks his "usual" metaphors where he tells the story of how the most trusting person can turn out to be a devil in disguise.

06. "Life Is A Gamble"
After Wu-Tang Clan's epic multi-platinum selling "Wu-Tang Forever", the Clan and its affilliates like Killarmy, Sunz Of Man and LA The Darkman all embraced the high quality The "W" represented. On LA's classic '98 debut, 4th Disciple produced a banger titled "Fifth Disciple". But the sinister steet sonics of 4th's beat was originally in Killah Priest's possession as a demo song recorded for his debut undder the title "Life's A Gamble". It's very interesting to hear the contrast between Darkman and Priest's versions.

07. "Mind As A Weapon" (Ft. Hell Razah)
Hell Razah and Priest were both members of Sunz Of Man and there voices and lyrical themes has always gone together perfectly. "Mind As A Weapon" is a typical late '90s Sunz joint, produced by 4th Disciple, that remained unreleased for several years and when it finally surfaced the sound quality wished much to desire. Still, the production and both rapper's vocals and lyrical themes makes it a well worth listen.

08. "Gallery (One Step)"
"Gallery" was the original demo version  of "One Step", the opening track on "Heavy Mental". This version was originally recorded during a Sunz Of Man session which explains why Hell Razah also participated in the session (on the hook). Popa Wu also appears on this version and Tekitha's part is slightly alternative. Both the beat and verses have slight differences too.

09. "King & The Ceasar (B.I.B.L.E.)"
"B.I.B.L.E." of course appeared originally back in 1995 as a bonus track on The GZA's "Liquid Swords". It's maybe the #1 trademark Killah Priest song so it's nothing strange that he wanted to include it on his debut album as well. The one that ended up on "Heavy Mental" is basically identical to the GZA version but the demo, which I guess was initiated '96 or '97, features a different intro, a different hook and some slight changes to the beat. 

10. "Crusaides" [Mix #2] (Ft. Tekitha)
 The 4th Disciple produced "Crusaides" appeared on the album as a short bridge between "It's Over" and "Tai Chi" and with it's spacey atmosphere it worked really well. Originally "Crusaides" was a full song rather than an interlude, recorded and mixed in at least two different versions besides the one we hear on the LP. The original version ended up way too long and featured the entire Sunz Of Man and Rose Cartel and a total of 12 emcees according to Priest. This version has however never leaked but the mix featured here is an extended take on the album version, running for about four minutes with Priest and Tekitha exchanging prophetical words.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

RAKIM - "The Lost Album"

We all know that hadn't it been for Rakim and his work with DJ Eric B. between 1986 and 1992 the hip-hop game wouldn't have been the same. Before The R hit the aiwaves like an atombomb with "Eric B is President", "My Melody" and shortly after the "Paid in Full" LP, rap as an artform was still kinda basic. William Griffin III and some of the late '80s emcees like G Rap and Big Daddy Kane changed the game and the way lyricism could be forever. Rakim came out of nowhere strapped with lyrics of fury performed at a breakneck speed, filled with multies, metaphors and super tight ryme schemes - never missing a beat. And the raw, funky and soulful production that he, Eric B, Patrick Adams, Large Professor, Paul C and Kerwin Young hooked up over the four albums the duo released was next level to say the least. Together with Boogie Down Productions, Kool G Rap, Kane, Ultramagnetic, De La Soul and a few others they changed the way rap music sounded forever. If you don't already own the four full-lengths Eric B. & Rakim released over the five years they were active as a duo, you are missing a large chunk of rap musics history so go out and dig in the crates ASAP.

After the duo's last album, '92s "Don't Sweat the Technique" Rakim broke up with Eric B. to instead focus on a solo career. There was one problem though, MCA Records didn't want to allow The God MC going solo which put his career on limbo, save for a few guest spots and soundtrack apperances. He had started recording his solo debut around '94 but it would take until 1997 before Universal Records bought out his contract for $1000.000, allowing him to release his proper LP "The 18th Letter". The compilation you'll find below focuses on the years between Ra started recording for his unreleased solo album and the last album with Eric B. until early 1997 when his official debut dropped. I deleted a few alternative versions with exclusive beats and hooks but with the same verses as other songs on the tape and the '97 album and I also added a small amount of guest features from this period. The result is a slamming Rakim album featuring production by the likes of Buckwild, Easy Mo Bee, Gary G-Wiz, Pete Rock, Havoc, Nick Wiz and more. In other words it's the missing link between "Don't Sweat the Technique" and "The 18th Letter". Considering that Rakim is one of my absolute favorite emcees of all time, you can count on this only being Volume 1 in at least 2 or 3 volumes series showcasing The God MC. Tune in, press play and TURN IT UP!!

01. "Heat It Up"
02. "Shades Of Black"
03. "Murderer" (Ft. Barrington Levy)
04. "Last Resort"
05. "Living For the City"
06. "Hoodlum '94"
07. "Hoodlum" (Ft. Mobb Deep & Noyd)
08. "New York to Cali"
09. "Tryin' Ta Write Rhymes"
10. "Once Upon A Rhyme"
11. "Show Me Love" [Nick Wiz Mix]
12. "Bring it (Turn it Up)"
13. "Game Of Death" (Ft. Shaquille O'Neal)
14. "Heat It Up" [The Wiz Mix]
15. "We All Got Plans"

RAKIM - "THE LOST ALBUM" ('93-'96)

Mixmaster Mase announce solo LP

When De La Soul's Pos and Dave formed their new duo First Serve, it made me wonder why the group's DJ/co-producer Maseo a.k.a. Plug Three wasn't involved. Turns out that there's no bad blood between these three vets but rather a way for its members to branch out and try some new stuff. At the recent L.A. Red Bull Music Academy event, Mixmaster Mase / Maseo announced a solo album that he's been working on for some. He'll of course handle all the production and cuts for a host of artists including a mixture of well-known artists and new artists. The album is called "DJ Conductor" and so far Mase has recorded tracks with legends like KRS-One, Freddie Foxxx and Fashawn. For some reason that guy Mac Miller will also appear on the album but I'm still betting my money on this being a serious album well worth the money. It's gonna be interesting to see which project is better - the First Serve LP or "DJ Conductor".

For a little taste of what might to expect from this album, I uploaded "Words & Verbs" for y'all; a Maeso produced single featuring Kovas from 2000. This tight cut also appeared on some versions of De La's "Oooh." maxi-single.

Bumpy Knuckles / DJ Premier - "Shake the Room"

Now we're only roughly a month away from The Kolexxxion, the looooong-awaited full-length collaboration between legendary emcee Freddie Foxxx and super producer DJ Premier dropping March 27. The duo first collaborated in 1997 on two singles from OC's  fantastic "Jewelz" and a stand-out joint on M.O.P.'s "First Family 4 Life". One year later heads really started taking notice to the rapper due to Foxxx's agressve and memorable verses Gang Starr's masterpiece "The Militia". A few years down the road, Preem once again laced Foxx on four tracks, collectively, on Bumpy Knuck's two solo albums "Industry Shakedown" and "Konexion". Premier supplied the four illest cuts on both records, further cementing this duo as one of hip-hop's most powerful. Since then real hip-hop heads have been fiending for a full-length collabo between these two thugged-out gentlemen, and on March 23 the wait is finallt over.

An interesting fact is that Bumpy Knuck's never have Premier custom made beats for him but rather spit over beats rejected by others, making them nothing short of his own. The seventeen songs album is a collection (hence the title) of new and previosuly released music - whether mixtape leaks, non-album 12" singles. Now that's all great to have them in great quality, the only problem I have is the inclusion of "P.A.I.N.E."; I don't see the point of including an already releaseed Preem/Bumpy track from one of Foxxx'ss official album. Oh well, this is obviously an instant buy. The latest leak from the album is track #2; "Shake the Room" with Flava Flav, a radio rip courtesy of the DJPremierBlog (who also supplies the link below).

Get Ready for M.A.R.S.

M.A.R.S. is the formation of a brand new "supergroup" that will put a unit like Slaughterhouse to shame to say the least. Presented by Cormega, the quartet also consists of Roc Marciano, Saigon and Action Bronson; four of my current favorite  New York rappers at the moment. In other words this could and should be the most lyrically interesting project of the year. It's still a little unclear if this is an actual album or a forthcoming single but as the big red cherry on top, the project is produced by none other than The Large Professor. On a side-note, Roc Marcy made a dope song in preperation for this project called "Preset Mars" on the Union album this year.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

[LP] Blu x Madlib - "UCLA"

Since LA emcee Blu came through with his 2007 debut album "Below The Heavens", the rapper has been keeping busy  with various free and out-of-nowhere project like "J E S U S", "NoYork", "Give Me My Flowers..." to name a few. The latest offering from Blu is a collaboration with none other than producer Otis Jackson Jr., better known as Madlib. You can stream all fourteen tracks in great quality via Blu's Bandcamp but for download you need to put up the loot.

01. "Blu Meets Madlib"
02. "Fully Crack"
03. "California Bears"
04. "Funky Cowboys Meets Funky Drummer"
05. "Burgandy Whip" (Ft. MED & Jimetta Rose)
06. "What U C" (Ft. MED & Jack Spade)
07. "EZ"
08. "Call My Nigga" (Ft. Bub Watts, Swheatpee & Lil' Stoney)
09. "Fo' Figa Rings"
10. "We Got It!" (Ft. Co$$)
11. "Play Wit' Love"
12. Give 'Em Up"
13. "Interlude"
14. "Cut 'Em Up"


DJ Premeir / Nas / Apathy - "Regenation Rmx"

Close to three months ago DJ Premier got the job of composing a fusion of classical music and boom-bap hip-hop with the help of The Berkleey Sympony Orchestra, titled "Re:Generation" which was both a dope and very original track that showed Preem's versitality. Also invited to the session was none other than one of the true G.O.A.T.'s of hip-hop history in the form of Nas; making this the third collabo these two legends has participated in together since "New York State Of Mind Pt. 3" and later "Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)". Prior to "Re:Generation" these two greats has collaborated on maybe ten songs - all superior moments in both the emcees and producers extended catalouge..

As the official screening for the documentary of the same name begins today, Apathy of Demigodz fame has put his own spin on this already crazy joint. Matter of fact, it even features an exclusive verse by Apathy himself and the beat is darker than its predecessor. What do y'all think about this? - Not many have the nerve to remix DJ Premier's work for the reason that it's almost impossible to improve on his original mixings. This is pretty tough though so make sure to check it.

[VIDEO] Sadat X - "Fake Out"

Since his early days in one of rap's greatest group, Brand Nubian, Sadat X (p/k/a Derreck X) always stood out with his unique voice and personal lyrics mixed with some 5% knowledge. In 1996 he dropped his classic debut solo "Wild Cowboys", which made it known to the world that Doddy X had no problem holding down an entire project without his Nubian brethren. After a hiatus, save for a fat '99 EP, he returned in 2005 with "Experience & Education" which was followed by "Black October" a year later; two solid full-length releases. Since then he's proven to be one of most productive emcees in the industry, pretty much dropping an album each and every year; some incredible (like "Band New Being") and some rather mediocre ("Wild Cowboys II" and the two Will Helm produced joints "Generation X" and "No Features"). Absolutely nothing wrong with his lyrical and vocal parts but he sometimes picked pretty weak, uninspired beats on those.

Future projects include a collaboration with AG and DJ Jab as The Trinity (with instant classics like the Diamond laced "Time is Now" and the dope Roc Raida Tribute). No word on the project has been heard for quite some time now. But Sadat X keeps moving. The latest single is a hardrock banger titled "Fake Out" that pretty much appeared out of nowehere a couple of days ago. According to my man Jaz the song is produced by City Parks and it got that vintage New York boom bap sound with DJ Premier figurating heavily in the video and is also responsible for the cuts on  the track. The X-Man's flow on this is super sick here too so TURN IT UP!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

[LP Stream] M-PHAZES - "Phazed Out"

M-Phazes has definitely been one of the producers I've been checking for over the last couple of years or so. Originally hailing from Australia, he has plenty of impeccable production placements on a host of both underground and half-mainstream American artists  including M.O.P., Heltah Skeltah, Ace & Edo G, Pharoahe Monch and many more. He never tried to switch up his gritty, sample-based tue school style though, only modifie it. His latest BabyGrande release, which is also his retail debut, "Phazed Out", works as a look at his musical history, mixed by DJ Rhettmatic of Beat Junkies fame. The seven teen tracks are a mix including a large chunk of his released production discograph, complemented with some newer, unreleased material and plenty of exclusive remixes. In other words  this is an essential lessons for both loyal followers and newcomes to M-Phazes. 

I first started really paying attention to him through the credits and title track of M.O.P.'s "Foundation" album in 2009 which led me to check for the guys work and I'm usually impressed. Just check the work he did with Saigon/Inspectah Deck, Oddisee, Strange Fruit Project, Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Talib Kweli to name a few of the high-profile names ithat's contacted him for his unique sound. On the 22nd of this month the producer is releasing his first official compilation, all produced by M-Phazes. You can now stream the album below and feel free to drop a comment on how you feel about this release. The label is Coalmine Records and the actual record hit stores on February 22; if you like what you hear, show your suport and pick up "Phazed Out"LP ASAP.while it's still availabke.  

Meyhem Lauren debuts on Wax

Queens representative Meyhem Lauren has been holding it down with the dope music like crazy for some time now but vinyl heads hasn't been able to spin his shit in 33 RPM yet. Now Chopped Herring Records is about to change that as they  are now shipping the very limited 12" EP "The Total Meyhem EP". Strapped with Meyhem's usual street lyricism and raw flows this record features six tracks that are all exclusive to this release. You can pick it up from for the reasonable price of £14.99 + shipping while it's still available.

A1. "Got the Fever"
A2. "Ray Lewis" (Ft. Action Bronson & AG Da Coroner)
A3. "The Silk Shirt Ambassador"

B1. "Steak With A Glass Of Red"
B2. "Total Meyhem"
B3. "NY Where Ya At?!"

[Mixtape] Planet Asia & Doo Wop - "The Arrival"

Planet Asia hooks up with Doo Wop for his latest mixtape, "The Arrival". The tape serves as the official prelude to Asia's upcoming "Black Belt Theater" which drops in 11 days. Features on this one comes from Krondon, Rasco as well as Planet Asia's new crew Durag Dynasty which includes TriState and Killer Ben. While we're at it, check out "Fuck Rappers", the latest single from "Black Belt Theater" which I haven't posted before..

01. "Intro"
02. "PA’s EFX" (Ft. TriState)
03. "Leather Goose Musik" (Ft. Doo Wop)
04. "So Naive"
05. "Street Clothes Pt. 1"
06. "Interlude"
07. "Love Hella Right"
08. "Cosby Kids" (Ft. Krondon)
09. "The Honorable" (Ft. Killer Ben & TriState)
10. "Dum Dumb"
11. "What RU Doin?"
12. "Gat In Yer Mouth" (Ft. Rasco)
13. "Smothering"
14. "Doo Wop Outro"
15. "Prestigious" (Ft. Doo Wop)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Copywrite / Bronze Nazareth - "Love"

Bronze Nazareth comes through with a crazy beat for one of his two production placement on Copywrite's new album "God Save the King". The single "Love" also features vocals by fellow MHZ spitter Tage Future and promises good things for this LP. Other producers and guests on it includes Khrysis, Illmind, Evidence, Roc Marciano and Casual (the latter three all appearing on one posse cut which I bet will be the best song on the album). Video directed by Seanie G. Pre-order the album on CD @ UGHH or in digital format via iTunes.

Slum Village - "Tell Me What You Want"

J Dilla's close friend Wajeed continues to drop unreleased Dilla goodies for us heads to enjoy. This time it's a previously unreleased song by Slum Village called "Tell Me", although it's not the track that appeared with the same title on "Fantastic Vol. II". Very interesting as this seems to be one of the very first Slum Village songs recorded. Pretty damn dope shit too! Posted by Wajeed @ who added the following comments on the song:

"While some consider Dilla’s strong suit to be production, others look to his rhyming for inspiration. This early Slum Village track, “Tell Me What You Want” is a fine example of his ill penmanship. It was one of the first efforts as Baatin, T3 and Dilla came out of the Senepod crew name and became Slum Village. At the time Dilla didn’t even have a drum machine, so this beat was actually made using the “pause and record” tape method. It was never released."

Kalhex Ft. Grap Luva (& Rob-O)

I've been meaning to post this for a while but it kept slipping my mind, but French hip-hop duo Kalhex will be releasing their new single "Perspectives" / "La Fine Ligne" on 12". The vinyl single will be available on March 15 and is limited to 500 copies. Interesting is that both joints on the single features a former member of the legendary underground unit InI. The A-side "Perspectives" features Grap Luva on the mic and can be heard in full, great quality below. This track is really dope, pure hip-hop with its smooth hypnotic sample and heavy drum pattern. Really makes me want to hear the B-side with Rob-O. Visit Akromégalie Records for more information.