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Thursday, February 28, 2013

DURAG DYNASTY - "Spiral Event" (Ft. Evidence)

The album collaboration between Durag Dynasty (Planet Asia, Tri-State, Killer Ben) and producer Alchemist is now finished and geared up for a March 26 release via Nature Sounds. Alchemist's run through 2012 and Planet Asia's initial announcement of the LP, which has been given the title "360 Waves", has made this my personally most anticipated project in the coming months. Together with another hard knock track, this time featuring Evidence, we are now getting a peak at the tracklist and artwork. One month to go...

01. The Next One (Intro)
02. Durag Dynasty Theme  
03. Tender Greens 
04. Fish Meat (Ft. Prodigy)  
05. 360 Waves  
06. Trailer Mix (Ft. Phil The Agony)
07. Spiral Event (Ft. Evidence)
08. Yasir Arafat Prelude
09. Yasir Arafat
10. Tetrahydrons on Mars (Ft. Chace Infinite)
11. Goon Call (Ft. Iman Thug)
12. Bigger U Are The Harder You Fall  (Ft. Big Twinz & Alchemist)
13. Shooters
14. Luxury Whip
15. Funyons

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A TRIBE CALLED QUEST - Unreleased Demo Tape Snippets

I I just saw this posted on Who's Gunna Take The Weight and thought it should definitely get posted. This was put together with DJ Red Alert and The Jungle Brothers' back in 1989 for an ATCQ demo that would later turn into the quartet's first long player, the classic "People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm". These are just snippets of the six songs found on the tape ("Description of a Fool" / "Public Enemy" / "Native Tongue" [Unreleased cut] / "Left My Wallet in El Segundo" / "Dust (My Pal)" [unreleased]) but hopefully this gem will appear in full form sooner or later.

King Ramses - "GRIND" / "I'm On"

King Ramses continues his crazy countdown to the "Making of Ramses" album in April with two more videos. Strapped with an ill delivery, great mic presence, and a good ear for beats, Ramses is bringing nothing but heat and needs to be heard so let's get those YouTube numbers up.

[EP] KONCEPT - "Malt Disney"

The latest from the always trustworthy Brown Bag AllStars is here in the form of a funk-ridden extended play delivered by the duo of MC Koncept and Deejay Element. A lot of heavy flows on this one, and the beat's got that nice thump that'll have you turning up the volume LOUD. Features from Tanya Morgan and Reks doesn't exactly hurt neither... All fat tracks produced by DeeJay Element.

8thW1 - "Happy"

"Lux de Ville" is the title of NYC emcee 8thW1's debut release on the Elementality label which has really started their underground take over with ill drop after ill drop. With this album 8thW1, and producer PVD, adds further balance to the team with a smoother, jazzier take on music and life than, say, Silent Knight or MadKem. Watch out for the LP on May 13 and check out more music @ his official page.

OXYGEN - "The Process" EP / SPUTNIK BROWN - "7-20 EP"

As Soundsci now has shipped out all orders of their mindblowing "The Ultimate E.P." (I got my copy spinning on the turntable right now), what better time than now to make a post on these lyrical shots from Oxygen. The N.Y. emcee, who was the last addition to the crew, has been getting out a good amount of music over the last year which is a real blessing to the true underground fans. As the man's a fan of limited edition ish, the digital copies of his "The Process" EP as well as a re-up of the slamming "The Seven-Twenty EP" with Sputnik Brown has been made available for digital purchase/streaming for a short time. Support Soundsci and Oxygen by picking up "The Ultimate" and the fine releases below.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Gensu Dean, who delivered his fine debut "Lo-Fi Finghaz" last year, has teamed up with Planet Asia for the full-length project "Abrasions". The Mello Music Group release is set for a March 5 release (CD) versus a March 26 for the vinyl set, both which can be pre-ordered from UGHH. Already now, you can take it for a spin via free streaming offered by DJBooth; watch out for sick cameos from Tragedy Khadafi, Twin Gambino and Asia's Gold Chain Military. Overall this is sounding really good, Asia's always bringing the goods and he makes a fine pair with Gensu Dean's beat.

01. "Abrasions Intro"
02. "Thoroughest"
03. "Bar Mitzvah"
04. "Time To Get Dough" (Ft. Twin Gambino & Killa Kali)
05. "Cochise"
06. "Dignity" (Ft. Tri-State)
07. "Aura"
08. "Chichi, Get The Yayo"
09. "Faces On The Dollar"
10. "God Hour" (Ft. AA Rashid & Tri-State)
11. "Tough"
12. "Do What I Want" (Ft. Larina & Washey Choir)
13. "Chuck Berry" (Ft. Shawn Penn)
14. "Listen"
15. "Reflections" (Ft. Rogue Venom)
16. "Thyself" (Ft. David Banner & Tragedy Khadafi)
17. "Coup de Grace (Final Bow)" (Ft. Gold Chain Military)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

[Video] KING RAMSES - "Theory"

Last week up and coming, and very skilled, emcee King Ramses premiered his video "Let U Down" as the first in a series of visual singles leading up to his debut album "Making Of Ramses". The album will be available from all digital retailers, and if the two singles is telling us anything about the quality of the album this will be one hot ass album. "Theory" is more of a real single, while "Let U Down", was more of an, albeit very dope, introuction to Ramses considering it's a one verse only type of joint. This guy clearly been through some shit, and he got a lot of good stuff to say so TURN IT UP, take in the beat and listen to the words of King Ramses. Just like the previous video, "Theory" is directed and produced by Twizz of DreamwishDigital.

[Mixtape] DJ SEANSKI's "A Tribute to PUBLIC ENEMY"

DJ Seanski, best known for his involvement on the second volume of Guru's Jazzmatazz series, kicks off the new year with a tribute to a group who's masterful catalouge is always a great listen, although you should have most, if not all of these, in your record collection if you're old enough. "A Tribute to Public Enemy" features Seanski taking over the turntables for a one hour mix, spinning nothing but classic Public Enemy like "Bring The Noise", "Fight The Power" and "Resurrection", while adding some of the original samples incorporated into the production by the Shocklee brothers, Sadler and Chuck D... The mighty Bomb Squad of course. Unfortunately, the picture of the tracklist is so small it's impossible to see and I haven't listened yet (only read Seanski's press message). Enjoy, TURN IT UP and let that wall of NOISE blow you away again. Of course, this works great as an introduction to younger heards not yet too familiar with one of the greatest group's of all time.

[Studio Session] Pete Rock & Joey Bada$$

This was posted a few days ago on the web, but I didn't watch it til' this morning actually. Pete Rock teaming up in the studio with Joey Bada$$, who's been delivering some badass shit this past year, sounds like music in my ears; which of course it is haha. Remember Joey dropped a video like this prior to the release of his collaboration with DJ Premier, "Unorthodox", and we all know how that one turned out. He's a skilled emcee who's still gonna grow a lot more, and an album with production like the beat heard in the video, "Unorthodox", "Funky Ho's" with Lord Finesse, and other more recent cuts like "Underground Airplay", count me in for a purchase if it gets the vinyl treatment.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Yamin Semali (a.k.a. AmDex) got his start with the Atlanta, GA hip-hop duo Clan Destined back in the early 2000's, together with Dustin Teague. He's opening up for J-Live at the 5:th HOTvsDOPE event which takes place at the club Sound Table in ATL. Just like J, Yamin slings his music as both an emcee, a producer and a DJ, so you know this triple threat live and breathe hip-hop. This is evident on his brand new solo debut, "Yamin" which features 15 nice cuts ranging from hardedged boom bap to mellow chill-out joints. It's an LP well worth checking out, you can stream the entire thing via Yamin's Bandcamp where you can also purchase the download for $10 or order the physical CD for $12. That's a good deal for hot music like this; most of the music is self produced but guest producers and cameos include Illastrate, Ralo, Dustin Teague (DT), John Robinson, Boog Brown and more. As Jack Nicholson manically yells in "The Shining".... "GO CHECK IT OUT....!!!!!!!"

B.A.M. & M-Dot w/ Jaysaun, Nutso, Block McCloud, Blacastan & Shabaam Sahdeeq - "Visionaries"

This posse cut is fucking insane, I've warned people about DJ Low Cut before, this underground producer (who of course is behind this single) seems to have the midaz touch when it comes to bringing quality hardbodie hip-hop. And when you got a beat like this and a line-up of heavy hitters such as Jaysaun, Nutso, Shabaam Sahdeweq, Blacastan, Block McCloud, Chaundon, Tribeca and DJ Family Tyz all bringing their A-game you know you got a winner on your hands. Play this one LOUD!

"Visionairies" will appear on B.A.M. & M-Dot's upcoming mixtape which should be out by the end of this year. However, it will also make an earlier apperance on the remix album of DJ Low Cut's slamming "New York Minute". If you like what you hear, check out more of DJ Low Cut @ Bandcamp.

The Antiheroes - "Cloud 9" (Ft. Rich Kidd)

The Antiheroes is a Canadian emcee duo who is releasing their debut album "Modern Day Riot" via DJBooth on March 25. The majority of the LP is produced by a guy called MMac, which is a good sign as he's also behind the single "Cloud 9" which is filled with majestic horns, cuts and vocal loops. The joint also features a verse from fellow Canadian rhymer Rich Kidd. Peace to Dharmic X for introducing me to this one.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MADKEM - "KOLA LA VIE: The EP Version"

You should all be familiar with MadKem and his brand of quality hip-hop by now. MadKem is part of the Elementality crew, and is a great artist in that he knows how to choose beats that perfectly suits him, sequence records, and got a brilliant microphone style that's both energic, melodic and got something to say. His latest release on the EMPB imprint is a warm up to his upcoming full-length LP "Kola La Vie"; featuring five tracks (and their instrumental) that works as a taste of what's to come and is simply titled "Kola La Vie: The EP". The album will be available in June of this year, through various retailers while the EP is available for free and can be downloaded below. Strongly recommended, and even better you can combine it with the previous late 2012 free Madkem EP "La Vie en Bleu" to create your own MadKem album!

Talib Kweli - "Upper Echelon"

We are all more or less patiently waiting for "Prisoers of Consciousness" to drop as new Kweli is always something to look forward to. His "Ear Drum" album was fantastic shit to my ears, and so was his Madlib produced "Liberation", but judging from the singles released from "P.O.C." so far I don't really know what to expect. While they have been good, there still hasn't been anything that has blown me away, save for a couple of the remixes which with all certainty won't appear on the LP anyways.

The same goes for the latest single from the "Consciousness" project, a Harry Fraud produced, synth heavy affair titled "Upper Echelon". It's good but leaves much to be desired in my opinion, but who knows, maybe it'll grow on me or sound perfect in the context of the album. One thing's for sure, I'm still hyped for the LP and I pray he hasn't gotten rid of The RZA produced cuts that was announced so lonng ago now. You can both stream and download the explicit and main versions of the song via he link below, thoguh emebeding did't work but just hit the link and feel free to drop a comment on your opinions about the song and singles we've heard so far.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DJ Skizz Ft. Ill Bill & Lil' Fame - "Violence"

Brooklyn's DJ Skizz is about to blow some heads with his self-produced debut album "B.Q.E" which is slated for an early 2013 release. Filled with hardbodie beats, the LP is loaded with some of the best street emcees around; get ready for cameos by Roc Marciano, AG, Cormega, Sean Price, Havoc, Tragedy, Masta Ace, Craig G, Rah Digga, Steele, Torae, Nature and more. To get you ready for what's to come, check out the lead single "VIO-LENCE" featuring no less rhyme slingers than Lil' Fame and Ill Bill. Don't sleep!

[ALBUM] Spectac & Shakim - "For The People"

Only a couple of days ago, Kevin Nottingham introduced me to the MC/DJ duo Spectac & Shakim and their upcoming album "For The People". I then posted the mindblowing single "Emancipation" which really grabbed my attention, and as the LP is released today via HiPNOTT Records, DJBooth gives heads a chance to stream the entire album for free which you can hear below. "For The People" follows the same formula of socially conscious and well-written lyrics over soul-sampling production that allows you to drift away in the same way as the preceeding singles. Be sure to pick up a copy @ UGHH, iTunes or directly from DJBooth because this is great music right here.

G.A. Muldrow - "Akosua"

Save for her soul sister Erykah Badu, no soul/funk musician have the drive and passion of Gerogia Anne Muldrow. Running her own label with husband Dudley Perkins, writing, performing and producing all of her music and making records that undoubtedly will stand the test of the time, Muldrow has become a household name in just a few years. As part of Mello Music Group's limited 7" series, the West Coast songs queen have created two beautiful, self-produced songs in "Akosua" and "In My Heart". The single is limited to 300 copies, but you can pick it up here, and while you can listen to the A-side for free below, click here to purchase and stream the digital single.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Rapper Big Pooh ft. Chaundon - "Cognac"

The Little Brother member unleashes the second single from his latest project "Fat Boy Fresh Vol. 2: Est. 1980" which is available now. For "Cognac" he is joined by fellow rhymer Chaundon and together they go in over a soul-infused banger produced by the often interesting Focus.. Also check out the first single from the street album; the Astronote produced "Friends".

KING RAMSES - "Let U Down"

King Ramses is a relatively new emcee from New Jersey that defininitely got mad skills as proven by his new single "Let U Down". The track is the first joint to be released from Ramses' upcoming debut album "Making Of Ramses" that will available at iTunes and all digital musical stores on April 15. Look out for more Ramses on The Lost Tapes as he's about to release 21 music videos between today and April 28. This first video is directed by Twizz of Dreamwish Digital ... TURN IT UP!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

12 Throwback: DIAMOND - "With The Dope Sound"

This was something of an obscure 12" release in that it appeared between Diamond's two retail albums, and didn't include any song found on either LP. Released in the mid-'90s via the D.I.T.C. producer's own Dusty Fingers imprint, the title track is a solo song apparantly recorded in 1994 - three years before "Hatred, Passions & Infidelity" hit stores. The sound is classic crate diggin' Diamond, dark and sinister, full of vintage samples and headnod-inducing rhyhm with Diam never losing touch of the beat. This is harder than the stuff found on both his official albums, and had he got the chance to release his sophomore I bet this would be closer to what we would have gotten to hear. D even adresses the situation here: "I'm trying to make a second album, but those geeks on 26:th street keeps giving me problems/ so what's a man's supposed to do?/ Let them talk to my lawyer, or talk to my crew...".

On the flip we find a posse cut that features more of Diam's trademark production though it lacks a verse from the man himself. Rather, he's assembled K. Terrible, John Dough, Big Red and even an fire apperance by Ras Kass who appears here as The Fantastic Four. "You're in the Wrong Place" has no recording year attached but it does sound as it's been recorded before the "Hatred..." LP; I would guess 1996. Though it's not quite as immaculate as the powerful A-side, the smacking drums and the chopped jazz bassline works real well to underline the four emcees raw skills. While three of these emcees have managed to impress me on various Diamond releases over the years, and do a good job here, it's no question that it's Ras who steals the show. Despite a relatively short verse, this is when Ras was one of the most promising lyricists in the game, and when backed up by one of the best producers in the game you know great things are upon us (think rhe "Soul On Ice" remix). 
Although this 12" is of course out of print by now, it's a must hear for any fan of good true school hip-hop and D.I.T.C. head. So if you ever come across a physical copy, don't hesitate to pick it up ASAP because I promise you that you'll live to regret it otherwise. I uploaded the main tracks on both sides below, but I somehow lost the instrumentals somewhere so you'll have to settle with the vocal versions, and since we're dealinng with HQ Mp3:s, that's pretty much all one need anyhow, right right? D.I.T.C. forever and a day... Enjoy!

A. Diamond - "With The Dope Sound"
B. Fantastic 4 - "You're In The Wrong Place"

Spectac & Shakim - "Emancipation"

Tomorrow the highly underrated lyricist Spectac returns with his official sophomore retail album "For The People", a collaboration with equally good producer Shakim. Together they create an album for HiPNOTT Recors full of conscious rhymes over sample-based and often melancholic sounding beats. The intro track "Emancipation" shows off an amazig chemistry, sampling Chicago's classic "Baby Please Don't Go", while Spectac drops thought-provoking lines like "You know the gangbang, bloods, and crippin'; a shame when the graveyard is a playground for children". Had I not ordered so many records yesteray, I would place an order on this album right away over @ UGHH.

J DiLLa x Allan Barnes - "Mind Yo' Business"

This has been something of a Jay Dee week here at The Lost Tapes; reviews of Frank-N-Dank's "48 HRS" and the four-track 10" EP that recetly was released in Dilla's name, announcements of the upcoming  "The Diary", and audio of the first single from that project. While "Rebirth Of Detroit" left much to wish for, it did include some fantastic music nontheless. Two of the best cuts on the entire album was the previously ureleased Dilla instrumentals that was enhanced by the virtuoso reed playing by Detroit legend Allan Barnes who first made his mark on the music industry throughout the '70s as part of the great The Blackbyrds.

His brilliant flute playing on the perfection that was "Requiem" would definitely been agreed upon by Yancey had he lived, and Barnes sax on the Jon Cee featured outro "The Best That Ever Did It" further showed the dynamic created between Dilla's MPC and Barne's live saxohone. What I didn't realize at first was that there's actually a third posthumous Jay Dee collaboration with Allan Barnes; an uncredited performance that appeared on the partly instrumental 10" EP "Dillatroit" that was released as a companion piece to the CD. Why this wonderful song didn't appear on "Rebirth..." is nothing short of a shame, considering the amount of weaker and misplaced songs that appeared on the final product. Dilla's somber piano sets the tone for the song, and as is usually the case with Yancey the drums are powerful enough to stand on their own. But what really takes "Mind Yo' Business" to the next level is the beautiful flute solo that is played throughout over D's creation; creating a dynamic making the song one of the best on either of the two releases. The virtuos soloist is uncredited here, but when comparing to "Requiem", there is absolutely no doubt that the musician here is no other than Allan Barnes. Based on these three songs, I sure wouldn't mind to hear an instrumental posthumous Dilla album in collaboration with Reed who's solos on flute, saxophone and clarinet could really create something new that I believe Yancey himself really woul have appreciated had he still been alive.
Check out "Mind Yo' Business" below, and if you, unlike me, have the slightest doubt that it's actually Allan Barnes who's soloing on the record please drop a comment.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cappadonna - "Real Life"

Few emcees has such differences between his highs and his lows as Cappachino; he has dropped some of the best verses of all time ("Winter Warz", "Ice Water"), his '98 debut "The Pillage" was a real solid album that followed the Wu-Tang tradition in both lyrics and production; but he has also been responsible for straight up embarassing stuff like "The Yin & Yang", most of "The Struggle", his verses on "8 Diagrams" and so forth. 

But every once in a while his former self comes back in effect, his recent cameos on his Wu-brethren's solo albums, especially his verses on "Apollo Kids", "Man With The Iron Fists" and definitely not least on "Wu-Block", show flashes of past glory. With a Cappadonna album you never know what you're gonna get, but one thing is sure, there's at least a few dope joints. His upcoming release is called "Earth, Wind, and Fyre" and hit stores on February 26 on RBC Records with production by J. Glaze, Kevlaar 7 (of Wisemen), Stu Bangas, DJ Snips, and more with cameos from rhymers like Solomon Childs (p.k.a. Killa Bamz) and Sav Kills. The lead single is called "Real Life" and is a definite headnodder, so stay tuned for more music from Cap which you can pre-order here.


If you're an avid reader of The Lost Tapes you know that D.I.T.C.'s Diamond D is one of my absolute favorite producers, at the very least top 5 dead or alive. It seems he has loaded his Soundcloud page with some previews of his upcoming album "The Diam Piece". If you're familiar with Diam's SC page, you know that his uploads usually is taken down within days so if you're interested, hurry up and listen right away because tomorrow they might be gone.

"Magic Potion" by singer The 5IVE is the last song on the LP according to the tracklist posted above, and although it was available in a short snippet before we now have the chance to hear the complete song, so enjoy this smooth soul joint; further proof that Diamond is a great producer both when it comes to hardcore hip-hop and smooth soul/R&B!

"Do It Again" is a solo joint by Diamond, and is available to stream in full, and is my favorite song out of these three so far. The horns and melodic, sampled bass reminds me of the good ol' days when it comes to Diam. Let's see if this turn up, possibly with vocals, on the retail album... Either way, it works great as an instrumental anyway so just nod your head to the greatness.

"Y'all Can't Drink Wit Us" has a grooving bassline and the final version will feature cameos from Tha Liks and Kurupt. Like "Do It Again", this is not on the tracklist that was posted quite some time ago now, but I'm pretty sure it's not a final version so I think it's quite likely this will end up on the final product. Let's just wait and see...

Lord Finesse - "Slave to My Soundwave [DJ Muro Remix]" / "You Know What I'm About [Remix]"

A while back ago I posted the snippet of the latest limited 7" single in the Lord Finesse series over @ Slice-Of-Spice. Most likely a track made for the time and time again pushed back "Funky Technician: Remix Project", here's DJ Muro's full remix of Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth's superb classic "Slave to My Soundwave" (1990). Japan's finest keeps the old school essence of the track in effect while adding some brilliant funk to the mix, complete with blazing horns that's sure to keep your head nodding. Pick up your copies here.

As if that wasn't enough, we are also treated to a stream of the full Lord Finesse remix of the original version (the one without Big L) "You Know What I'm About", heavy on the percussion and utilizing a sample that you should recognize in an instance. One thing's for sure The Funky Man still got it!

[Mastered] RAS KASS - "VAN GOGH"

At one time, Ras Kass was truly the great lyrical hope of the West Coast, releasing two albums that were as fantastic as they were promising in the mid- to late '90s. I'm of course talking about the lyrical masterpieces "Soul On Ice" (1996) and the slightly inferior, but still very good, "Rasassination" (1998). Following those true gems, things started go downhill for various reasons for one of the most promising artists of the West Coast; it all started with problems with his current label Priority Records. His next official solo album ("Institutionalized") didn't land in stores until 2005, and if you don't know your history you might believe that Ras simply was fed up with the music industry and recorded shit all in those seven years. This couldn't be farther from the truth; in fact, Ras Kass completed no less than two albums between those two albums, neither which was sadly officially released although a few singles and several promo ads made their presence known.
In late '99 the brilliant West Coast artist was set to release "Van Gogh", an interesting album for Ras Kass die-hards but at the same time a far cry from his two first albums in both production and lyrics. Still, there's a bunch of dope tracks here that any fan of meaningful West Coast rap and The Kass should here. One of the most interesting parts of the album is The Alchemist "diss" which stemmed from Ras being promised an ALC beat for his album, which the producer sold to Jadakiss for his "We Gonna Make It" before Ras got the chance to release his album. The DJ Khalil produced "Kiss U", one of the illest cuts on the LP starts off with about one minute prelude set over the Alchemist beat and Ras' first verse over the song which was to be called "Home Sweet Home". It's abruptly cut off which is a shame since the song could bring some more much neated heat to the project. Khalil also laces Ras with the title track which is another banger. I get the feeling that DJ Khalil should be the main producer of this album, as he and Ras seems to have a nice chemistry between them. I also got to give props to the fat track "NBA", one of the first songs to feature the trio of Xzibit, Saafir and Ras Kass; also known as Golden State Project.

Everybody's favorite Ras' joint pre-"Soul On Ice", "Goldyn Child" appears early in the album, and while it's lyrically fierce, the beat leaves much to the imagination and sounds pretty genertic overall (although it has been said that Dr. Dre produced it). In other words, this is hardly the classic DJ Premier remix we hear here, but rather the original version which is so bland that it makes you appreciate Preemo's remix skills even more. This is followed by the Dr. Dre West Coast anthem "Back It Up" which is actually sounding pretty ill, and would definitely get a club moving back in 2000. Some other dope cuts here are the Xzibit featured "Sex", which for a change is an actually good production by JellyRoll, though it's quite unconventional it suits the two emcees quite well. The two final tracks, were Ras Kass gets introspective over some somber production ("God Bless" and "Eulogy") is a real nice way to round off the album.

With that being said, there's plenty of wack tracks here, that makes you scratch your head, wondering if this is really the same guy who made tracks like "The End", "Nature of the Threat" and the Diamond D remix of "Soul On Ice". Songs like the over-ambitious "TV-guide", "A-Ha" and "One Night" strays so far away from what his already established fanbase that it's really no mystery why Priority decided to shelve this album at the last minute. And it's probably the best thing to do as, despite a few real heaters, this album would taint Ras Kass catalouge maybe even to the point of no return. Download it for yourself. listen to this and then listen to the "Goldyn Child" album which is at least quite a bit better although it still really doesn't match up Ras' two first albums. On there, he reused most of the best songs from "Van Gogh", like the DJ Premier remix of the title track, "Back it Up", and a few others along with a lot of brand new cuts. Maybe if you take the best songs from both albums, you could come up with a pretty damn decent album. For now enjoy this 2/5 album, much thanks to ANT (who also supplied the mastered version the abovementioned album).
01. "Intro"
02. "Hot Game"
02. "Goldyn Child"
03. "Back It Up" (Ft. Kokane)
05. "Kíss U"
06. "SEX" (Ft, Xzibit & Jellyroll)
07. "Is This Love"
08. "Twins" [Skit]
09. "Kick Rocks" (Ft. Tray Dee)
10. "4 Much" (Ft. Tash, Nate Dogg & Bad Azz)
11. "What U Want?" (Ft. Mikey Dan)
12. "N.B.A." (Ft. Golden State)
13. "Commercial" [Skit]
14. "TV-Guide"
15. "Ah-Ha"
16. "One Night"
17. "U R Mad" [Skit]
18. "Root$ of Evil" (Ft. Kokane)
19. "Van Gogh"
20. "Ignant" [Skit]
21. "God Bless"
22. "Euology"

AUDIMATIC - "Monster"

I've said it before, The Audible Doctor, is without a doubt one of the most interesting producers of the younger generation. His "The Winter Tape" EP has been on steady rotation in my headphones since it first dropped, so I'm always welcoming new music from The Good Doctor. Teaming up with producer Maticilious and leaving the mic duties to Audible Doctor under the name Audimatic, here's the duo's new single "Monster".


There's ancedots of James Yancey barely sleeping under his professional life; around 30 leaked beat tapes, classic production for some of the finest artists in rap and soul music, collaborations with Madlib, Slum Village, Frank-N-Dank, and Common as well as first-class solo releases like "Donuts", "Welcome 2 Detroit" and the "Ruff Draft" EP. Despite his passing, it seems hardcore Dilla fans still can't get enough of previously unreleased material from the late producer, cherishing any lost musik like holy grails; some of the posthumous work so far have been clever and extremely well put together ("The Shining", "Jay $tay Paid") while others have left a lot to wish for ("Rebirth Of Detroit").

Under the supervision of Ma Dukes and long-time Dilla associate Frank Nitty of Frank-N-Dank, PayJay Productions, Inc. has now been restarted (under the distribution of Delicious Vinyl) and from the releases announced so far it seems that they is aiming to focus on finally getting out previously unreleased quality material from the late Detroit producer. As announced before, the first releases in focus is Jay Dee's early 2000's productions that was originally to make up the two full-lengths he was working on for MCA Records before both projects were shelved. First out is Frank-N-Dank's "48 HRS" which was released and reviewed a couple of days ago, and D's solo endeavour "The Diary" (p/ka "Pay Jay"). To give a sneak peek of what to come, Delicious Vinyl has put together a four-track EP in both digital format and on 10" single. Unlike previous posthumous Jay Dee releases, the EP entitled "The Lost Scrolls Vol. 1" features not only the beats we've all come to love from the late producer but also previously unreleased vocals from the Detroit native. As we rarely are treated to never before heard rhymes from the original Slum Village son, it stands as an exceptional release in its own right. Yancey on the mic is actually quite undrrated as his rhyming skills often get downplayed in reviews and such. Granted he's no Rakim, but he's always enjoyable to listen to with his stand-out voice, infectious lyrics and on top of that he was always in tune wih whatever beat he rhymed over; and so, here as well.
The main track on the A-side is "Dewitt to Do It"; a somber, Rhodes-driven track that is actually a remix of "Shake It Down" from 2001:s "Welcome to Detoit" LP. It's heavily different from the album version which was a quite raunchy up-tempo joint, while the overall sound created here are laid-back and one of an etheral sound driven by a melodic bassline and an addictive rhodes sample. The somewhat agressive vocal performance and the mellow production creates a nice contrast which gives the track a unique spin not at all found on the original version. I still by far prefer the original album version, but it's a real treat to hear any ureleased Dilla remix of his own "Welcome..." work. While it stands well on it's own, it's laid-back and Rhodes-driven sound gives the impression that Jay Dee tried to mix the sound of Slum Village's "Fantastic II" with the more agressive solo stuff he made from the late 2000 and forward. This is followed by a short intermission-type song called "Smack a Bitch" that clocks in at under one minute, and is a remotely neat interlude but doesn't add much to the release more than as a bonus beat.
On the B-side we find the second real title on this 10"; "The Throwaway", a real slamming joint that was rightfully released as the lead single in promotion of this single.The drums goes hard here, featuring additional percussion and a roaming bassline and the occassional keys that together really creates an outstanding joint. This is by far the most interesting track on the EP; add to the fact that not only Dilla grab the mic here, but is also joined by long-time partners Frank Nitt and his lil' brother Illa J. It does however make me wonder, whether Frank's and Illa's vocals were added to the song after the fact in time for this release or if they were in fact part of the original multi-track. However that may be, you can hear a certain dynamic between the three emcees who effortlessly rock this ecstatc production. "The Throwaway" is by far the crown jewel of the EP and should have been placed as the A-side on this EP, despite a title that doesn't make the music very much justice.

To be fair "The Lost Scrolls" is a bunch of glorified demos, left behind by Jay Dee in a warehouse of his record collection, recently discovered by Ma Dukes. Both "The Throwaway" and "Dewitt to do It" (a.k.a. "It's Like That Remix") is must-hear songs for any true Dilla fanatics, and though it's evident that these four tracks are demos probably never intened for release (although mastered you can hear slight hissing effects in the music), With that being said, Dilla's lost demos are still better than most producers official work and any "new" Dilla is always welcome if you ask me. I would recommend a purchase of this only to the hardcore Yancey fans that got the $$ to spend on it. Personally I would rather put my money on the official release of Frank-N-Dank's "48 HRS" and the upcoming "The Diary" project. I'd give this a 3/5 rating which is not bad, but still pretty damn weak for a Dilla release. You can order "Lost Scrolls Vol.. 1" @ UGHH .

SOUNDSCI - "The Ultimate"

The last two post I've made has been about Oxygen, also known ax Ox The Architect, the easy-to-spot voice from Soundsci, Spox-PHD and Sputnik Brown. Soundsci, who consists of emcees Ox, Audessey, U-George and producer duo The Process, released "Formula 99" last year; an album that I'd easily put in my top 5 of that year. In 2013, the quintet is preparing an EP of new material and remixes (DJ Spinna and DJ Format) called "The Ultimate EP" (the video you see above is for the title track). A while ago we heard the single "Lyrical Beatdown", and now the record, which is released via World Expo Records, can be purchased on 12" vinyl and digital. You can purchase the physical copies directly from, and check out the snippet reel below; sounding great!

Friday, February 15, 2013

SPUTNIK BROWN - "The Recipe" [H. Lloyd Remix]

More Oxygen for the people, as here's a solo track from his former crew Sputnik Brown that was originally recorded in 2005 but haven't seen the light of the day before. Titled "The Recipe" this is real good stuff, from both a lyrical and sonically view. I'm not sure who originally produced this as this is a remix by Sputnik's Howard Lloyd who does a great job in complementing Ox's vocals while giving it a welcome old school esthetics sound,. It's free to stream, but you might as well spend one to six bucks on the HQ download and show yout support. So do yourself a favor and don't sleep on these bitchin' tracks!

OXYGEN - "The Process" [7'' Single]

A member of Soundsci, Spox-PHD and once Sputnik Brown, the emcee known as Oxygen just don't stop when it comes to recording and releasing new music. His latest endeavor is a brand new 7" single on Boro Records. "The Process" is a jazz-tinged history where Ox shows why his one of the most interesting rhymers today, while the intense posse cut "Guillotine 16's" is shared with guests Emskee and Dr. Becket. The boom bap production on this limited release is handled by Freqnik & WDR and is sure to be a collector's item in due time. Grab the digital download, the vinyl @ Fat Beats or Dustry Groove while you still can,

TIM DOG (1967-2013) R.I.P.

Yesterday we lost another iconic figure in our beloved hip-hop music. The controversial East Coast emcee is best remembered for his early '90a smash hit "Fuck Compton" and his banging debut and follow-up "Penicilin on Wax" and "Doe or Die", respectively. He also dropped a pretty dope album with Kool Keith as Ultra back in '96 that's well worth seeking out. Since then  things quieted down as far as Tim's musical endeavor. Besides his so-so return to the scene with his so-so "The Return" (2000) and the slightly better "BX Warrior" in 2008. The last years saw Tim Dog find himself in all kinds of trouble that fill no purpose being repeated here. Instead lets remember Timothy Blair for the brilliant music he brought us throughout the years.

Nametag x Nameless -"Watcha Want"

NameTag is an emcee from Detroit, MI that I bet a lot of people are sleeping on. I first heard him on Black Milk's debut "Sound Of The City" and since then he has appeared on a slew of Milk releases. The kid definitely got skills as proven by the Nameless produced single "Watcha Want" which will appear on the rapper/producer duo's album "For Namesake" which is distributed by Brick Records on April 16.


When I first heard, a couple months back, that young but vintage sounding soul musician Adrian Younge (who most recently revived the studio career of The Delphonics) was producing a full-length album with Ghostface Killah I was, to say the least hyped. "12 Reasons to Die" has been shrudded in secrecy since it was first announced, so what do we really know?; it will most likely feature 12 songs with Ghostface on the mic and Younge on the boards, it will be released on RZA's Soul Temple Records who will also act as the executive producer of the project. Add the cover artwork and it's easy to say that they don't make them like this anymore, so if only it hold up its end as far as music goes - this could very well be the album of the year. Album drops April 16:th, stay tuned for more info.

Well, the moment of truth is here as the first single from the MC/producer's joint album has been released, complete with another mindblowing cover. On "The Rise of Ghostface Killah", from RZA's build-up of an intro, to the analog production by Younge, this is exactly the stuff I want to hear one of the greatest emcees of all time over. Certified heat, we even get horns and turntable work ... I can't wait for the full album to drop if this is any indicationn of what to expcet; and I would be suprised if it is not!

More MASTA ACE '92 Demos Coming

Masta Ace is easily one of my favorite emcees; he's super lyrical, a great story teller, got a crazy live show, seems to be a workaholic, and got a catalouge that's simply amazing. Especially from the early to mid-'90s (The Juice Crew and Slaughtahouse era) seems to have its fair share of demos; the latest demo EP to be released is a six track EP called "Shell Life Vol. 1" that Chopped Herring has released featuring previously unreleased Ace recordings from the '92 era; the very beginnning of the Slaughtahouse Crew in other words. Limited to 300 copies only, it seems that a majority of them are sold out but if you hurry up you should still be able to get a copy. On the other hand, the Vol. 1 in the title should indiciate there's more volume to come so stay tuned for more news. Head over to for more info and place your orders. * As a lil' bonus I uploaded a classic '92 Ace jam in his guest apperance on Brand New Heavies "Wake Me When I'm Dead", in case anyone missed out on that before.

A1. "Kick it On the One" (Ft. Paula Perry)
A2. "Hell Up in Harlem" (Ft. Kid Dynamite a.k.a. Sha Stimuli)
A3. "Jack B. Nimble" [Original Version]
B1. "Ain't Misbehavin'"
B2. "Lonely"
B3. "Ace Iz Wild" [Instrumental]


K-DEF's "One Man Band"

Possibly the most underrated producer of all time, Kevin Hansford, better known to the hip-hop community as DJ K-Def. From his early '90s work with Marley Marl lacing classics for artists like LL Cool J, Lords Of The Underground, and World Renown, to his timeless remixes (Nonchalant's "5 O'Clock", Artifacts' "It's Getting Hot", KRS-One's "The Teacha's Back", etc.) and on to his brilliant instrumental album "Willie Boo Boo 'The Fool'" and "Gangster Instrumental". In short, this man's been around, and with his recent signing with independent powerhouse Redefinition Records, it's clear he does not have any plances of calling it quits. Following several dope 7" singles and the impeccable "Night Shift" EP, K-Def and Redef is now releasing his first full-length album on the label; aptly titled "One Man Band", considering his composition are all digitized (though it's very hard to believe, when listening to them).

"One Man Band" features 12 exclusive instrumentals, produced, mixed and mastered by K-Def and released by Redef; available in digital, CD and LP formats (the latter both on black and on limited green vinyl). The official release date is March 1, but Redefinition already starts shipping copies today, which of course lead to me personally ordering the limited edition vinyl a few minutes ago. Order your copies here, and check out a three minutes long snippet of the FUNK below. TURN IT UP!!

[VIDEO] TORAE - "Over You"

The always ill Brooklyn emcee Torae has been responsible for plenty of hot music over the last 3-4 years now, and here he is with another single from his acclaimed "For The Record" LP that dropped last year. The song in question is "Over You", featuring singer Wes, and directed by Cristopher Wilkes. On this cut, Tor takes a trip down memory lane over a smooth joint produced by E. Jones, and is said to be the fourth and final single from the album, which is available now.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

[Review] FRANK-N-DANK - "48 HRS"

In the early 2000:s Slum Village's Jay Dee signed a deal with MCA Records where he was under contract to deliver two complete albums. "Pay Jay" was his own solo album which would be something of a "freak of the industry", in that the acclaimed producer chosed to focus his energy on rhyming over productions supplied by some of his own favorites like Madlib, Pete Rock, Karriem Riggins, ?uestlove, Nottz, Diamond and more. Dilla was now a relatively big name in the industry, and had quite some juice at this point, which allowed him to refuse the deal unless MCA also signed the virtually unknown Detroit duo Frank-N-Dank (consisting of Frank Nitty and Dankery Harv) for a one-album deal. Both "Pay Jay" and FND's "48 HRS" was recorded and prepared simultaneously, often in Studio A, Dearborn, MI with Dee's trusted studio engineer Tood Fairall. Despite both albums should have some appeal to both underground and mainstream heads, MCA got cold feet and decidded to shelve both LP:s.

Now in 2013, finally both albums are in the process of being given a proper release thanks to Ma Dukes, Frank Nitt and the re-up of Pay Jay Productions, Inc. First out is Frank-N-Dank's 2002 album "48 HRS", which will soon be followed by the never before heard complete version, of "Pay Jay", now titled "The Diary". This review focus on the long-awaited official release of the FND debut; which, although it has been circulating for years, now gets a proper release with full artwork, credits, and without exception all the music and skits recorded in the original sessions, and sequenced the exact same way that Jay Dee and FND had intended. There has been a lot of rumours about the "original version of the album"; news paper interviews that didn't quite up with the choice of releasing the version stripped from all samples heard on the earlier singles back in 2001/2002. Dankery Harv cleaed up this confusion, saying that there never was an "original version" of "48 HRS" so to speak; "We started recording songs to sample driven beats of Dilla's, and we got 80% of the album done ... It wasn't MCA's legal department, but Dilla's creative vision to strip out all the samples". It's essentially the same as the semi-official 2003 bootleg, with a few minor exceptions; the sequencing is the same except that it does not feature the singles "Off Ya Chest" B/W "Take Dem Clothes Off", which according to Dank was made after the album was 100% completed. Though both songs are pretty dope, they were never my favorites on the LP and considering the lack of samples and bounce-driven club beats the run time of 47 minutes as it stands now is a better fit for the album. It also appears to have been slightly better mastered and mixed, although the '03 CD sounded pretty damnn professional, and there's some minor tweaking involved (such as distortion of vocals on at least one song's hook and final verse; "Where the Parties At"), but when it all comes down to it, there's no real suprises here and it's essentially the "exact" same album as was first made available in 2003.

Compared to the set of original sample-based mixes, both versions have their fair shair of charm; but the retail version is a lot more sonically stripped down and agressve, which actually really suits the thugged out party and hardcore rhymes of Frank-N-Dank. And as mentioned above, the trio took a 180* degree turn by going for a sound that utilizines close to no samples; instead focusing on live drums, drum programming, creating heavy bass lines and melodies through the use of synthesizers and keyboards and live guitars, bass, etc. The end result is a prdouct that has a lot more in common with Dr. Dre's "2001" and the ish The Neptunes and Timbaland were doing around the same time than anything Dilla had done before. In fact, theres' no question that those guys, among with similiar popular producers of the day, were Yancey's primary influence in stripping away the samples in the first place. With that being said, there's not a discussion about stealing ideas, but rather Dilla, being the genius he was, showing the world he could take whatever style popular at the moment and flip it in an original and interesting way. So while the influences can easily be spotted, it's just as easy to hear Dilla's trademark sounds all over the project, mainly the song structure and the way the drum and bass are given a center position above melody. The music might sound repetitive on the first couple of front-to-backs listen, but soon you'll realise that it's constantly progressivally esthetic and as far as Dilla goes very original; more than that it really works to enhance the words and rhyming styles of the duo and their subject matters. The theme of a large part of the album, told through both lyrics, beats and intermissions, tells of a weekennd in which our trio moves from party to party; up until the closing of "Afterparty" where a set of gunshots and the words "All right motherfuckers, party's over" gives way for two of the LP:s finest cuts. "Ma Dukes" is by far one of the best records on the set,with Dilla's fantastic composition centered around a deep hypnotic bassline, and a beautiful keyboard melody that brings out the best out of both Nitty and Harv that makes for a real beautiful, heartfelt tribute to their respective mothers, who, as they say, has stood beside their sides through thick and thin; "You being happy, really gives something great to it...". The lone female vocal on the album, performed by the wonderfully voiced Tammy Lucas sings the chorus and bridge on the track which manages to enhance an already hearttouching concept even further. Without a doubt one of the album's only, true  masterpieces though at the same time it makes you think what could have happened if the duo had decided to spend more of the LP using more serious subject matters.
The album closes with the monstrous "Keep It Coming", which is also my personal favorite. ?uestlove of The Roots provides tight live drums, that together with the distorted bass, live drums and low-key keyboard effects and sound FX creates a crescendo that increase in power til' you barely can take it anymore; all while your head is banging non-stop. Frank-N-Dank is in fine form here, and even Jay Dee himself pops up for his lone vocal contribution ot the album, and although it's only for a hook the introduction of a third voice really enhance the experience of the track. The distorted electric guitar play a major part here, all in all the chaos created by the track works absolutely perfect for an album closer and once the song tones down and a loud gunshot annnounce the closing of the LP, you know you've experienced something special.

There's plenty of dope material here, I always had a soft spot for the "Intro"/"Get Ya Bitch" with it's array of keyboard sounds, pounding drums  and hilarious lyrics. The same goes for "Marijuana", a joint I had totally forgot, but that stands as one of the finest songs of the entire project. A true smoker's anthem, Frank-N-Dank sends out a few verses to one of their main loves while Dilla uses the scorching bass, guest vocal hook, sound effects and keys to create an homage to the dancehall catalouge. This is followed by a hilarious skit preceeding the next song "Rite Bites", styled as a commercial, and is one of many skits that appear over the course of 47 minutes, giving the project an official album feel.  The song itself is another winner that will work both in a club context and being played loud in your headphones. Including a track called "Street Life" on a hip-hop album these days is somewhat of a cliché, but the duo pulls it off for two reasons; it's another party jam rather than a depresseing cut that would stray away too much from the formula already established by the album. As is always the case with Dilla, the drums are FANTASTIC and nothing to play around with, and the West Coast sounding synthesizer really help establish the mood. But from here, things take a slight detour for the coming tracks; "Pimp Strut", "Where The Parties At", and "Y'All Don't Wan't It" all sounds like generic party jams from both a production and lyrical standpoint, and can hardly be saved by neither party. In fact the only thing these songs do is manage to drag the LP down. Luckily, the trio manages to get back on track after this; "Sex On The Beach" utilizes several sound effects as percussive instruments, making it hard to sit still to. "All Seasons" doesn't reach all the way through, unlike the original sample based version, but with the nasty bass juxtaposed against the "West Coast synthesizer" and more of FND's club oriented vocals it's definitely a pretty nice jam. The same can't be said about "Alright" though, which for me is the worst song on the entire LP, neither vocals, hook or Dilla's presence can save this mess. This is followed by "The Afterparty" which is based around a nice keyboard melodi(es), and in the conext of the album theme the rhyming duo has now reached their final destination - The Afterparty. The subject matter is becoming a little tiresome by now, although I like the concept on the whole, but as mentioned above, we'll soon hear the gunshots (followed by the quote "Party's over motherfuckers"), which is followed by the albums two finest songs "Keep It Coming" and "Ma Dukes".


Before I often have felt this album was quite mediocre by Dilla standards; but after this final 2013 release, I have gone back to it several times, and really started reevaluating the LP, coming to the conclusion that I was completely wrong in dismissing it. It's not a perfect album by any means, and as far as Dilla goes I would believe this album will dividide his fans into two camps (though I give him all the props in the world for daring to try something as new, for him, as "48 HRS"). 

This is not Dilla's finest moments from a musical standpoint, but it does pack a lot of his trademarks; for example the structure of the songs and of course the emphasis on hard knocking drums and deep basslines. And while Frank-N-Dank is not the most lyrical rhyme slingers Jay has worked wih, they got a great dynamic between them and sound right at home on this production, making it FND's finest album yet in my opinion. It will probably take a few spins before you really get into what Dilla and Frank-N-Dank were trying to do here; and save for maybe 5-6 songs, it's a must have in any serious Jay Dee collection unless you managed to get the bootleg (pictured to the left) a few years back. One of the most interesting things about the LP is that it's further proof that Jay Dee was able to conform to pretty much any style of music, and with great success nontheless. In conclusion this album is a must hear and a must have in any serious Detroit hip-hop collection. If you want to compare the official version with what the LP might have sounded like had the trio decided to keep with the original idea of using samples for the majority of the songs - check out "48 HRS (c7 Revisit)" here, and support the 2013 release on 2xLP or 2xCD here.