Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 31, 2014

[Comp] BIG DADDY KANE - "Wrath Of Kane"

Few debut albums packs the punch of Big Daddy Kane's 1988 classic "Long Live The Kane". Kane had originally started out lurking in the background, writing and/or co-writing some of his good friend Biz Markie's best songs (including the immortal "Vapors") and acting the hype man. As soon as he convinced Marley Marl to let him record some songs of his own it quickly became clear that Kane was not only Young, Gifted and Black but also that he was a rap superstar in the making. Coupled with the super funky, bottom heavy beats by Marley, Kane would showcase a rapid fire flow and intense delivery without ever missing a beat. In fact his delivery was often hype and calm at the same time, making rhyme sound as natural as breathing for the young emcee. Jaw dropping lyrical exercises like his solo singles "Raw" and "Ain't No Half Steppin'" instantly made him a favorite amongst true hip-hop connoisseurs and street dwellers. At the same time his smooth voice, good looks and appreciation for the fairer sex (displayed on jams like "The Day You're Mine" and "I'll Take You There") made him a favorite amongst the female crowd as well. Puff Daddy and BIG would later look to "Long Live the Kane" as a sort of blueprint for creating "Ready to Die", another classic album that perfected the balance between the hardcore and the sexy without falling in neither the studio gangsta trap or watering down the music with corny pop tracks. And the influence on BIG is just one example, listening to Kane's debut it's quite amazing how much of the albums lyrics have been sampled, flipped and borrowed by everyone from Jay-Z to GZA, ODB to Gang Starr, and so on.

While Big Daddy Kane never even to this day have lost his lyrical ability , he would never again sound as amazing and comfortable rhyming as  he did on the 1988 Cold Chillin' debut. Kane also had a good ear for music and would often bring ideas to his producer Marley Marl, who did a marvelous job of flipping those samples, creating unforgettable hip-hop bangers by sparking up old jams by The Emotions, ESG, Bobby Byrd, Booker T, and of course James Brown. It was a sure shot way to make certain heads would be kept nodding and feets tapping while ears peaked to Kane's every word. Although Kane has been quoted as saying that there were at times quite a lot of tension in the studio between the two, for the listener it was a match made in hip-hop heaven. And sometimes when two people have to fight for their ideas create the strongest music as was likely the case here. Big Daddy Kane was for example unaware that a new mix of "Raw" would be used for the album, as he told Brian Coleman in his excellent "Check The Technique". Using the same beat Marley decided to use parts of Kane's verses from the original demo session which also featured Kool G Rap (that legendary version is also featured in full in the compilation below). In the end Kane was happy with the results.

As was the custom for an LP in the '80s "Long Live the Kane" consisted of only ten tracks and a running time of roughly 45 minutes. Simply put, just enough to satisfy the listener, but at the same time to short not to leave a striking hunger for more. While revisiting Kane's debut extensively the last couple of weeks, I realized that there was enough B-sides, demos and unreleased material that captured that same magic chemistry created between Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane in 1988. Focusing only on tracks produced between 1987 and 1989 in collaboration between this duo, the aim of this nine track compilation is to create a little companion piece to the herein discussed album. A few of these songs were even recorded for "Long Live The Kane" ("Something Funky" and "This is For Your Own Concern" to be exact), while the majority of the others are B-sides to singles from the album. When the label pushed for the laid back ladies anthem "I'll Take You There", Kane headed back to the studio to record "Wrath Of Kane" to at least have something more rugged for the street cats on the flip. The only perhaps "controversial" decision is the inclusion of "Young Gifted & Black" as it actually appeared on "It's Hard Being the Kane", but seeing as it's still a collaboration between Kane and Marley in the given time frame I found it interesting to hear it in this setting. The version of "Rap Summary (Lean On Me)" heard here, however, is the original version of the song from the "Wrath Of  Kane" 12" (1988) rather than the Marley remix from the aforementioend LP. 

With that being said, this is undoubtedly a great way to kill 40 minutes of your time and I hope it will be as pleasurable to y'all to listen to as it is for me. So let's take a trip down memory lane with Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane, two of the greatest to ever touch a microphone and a sampler, respectively. And while I'm at it, don't forget that these cats both have relatively new projects out on the market right now. Big Daddy Kane's group with singer Showtyme and live band Lifted Crew released their official debut "Back to the Future" last year, while Marley produced the entirety of Lords Of The Underground latest EP, "LOTUG 20, Vol. 1" only a couple of months ago. So go and support the legends! And last but not least, a big shout out and thanks to DJ Mike Nice and anybody else responsible for digging up these gems.

01. "Get Into It"
02. "The Wrath Of Kane"
03. "Something Funky"
04. "For Your Own Concern"
05. "Young, Gifted & Black"
06. "Rap Summary (Lean On Me)"
07. "Raw: Original Demo Version" (Ft. Kool G Rap)
08. "The Symphony" (Ft. Master Ace, Craig G & Kool G Rap)
09. "Word to the Mother (Land): Outro" [Original 12" Mix]


DELTRON 3030 - "Melding Of The Minds" [A-Plus Remix]

While Deltron 3030's second album "Event II" seemed to kind of come and go rather quitely, I thought it was a tight album that offered a lot of strong beats and performances from Del. Therefore it's a good thing to remind folks of that LP by this crazy remix of the Zack De La Rocha collaboration "Melding Of The Minds" by Hiero/Souls producer A-Plus. This is in fact more than a simple remix as A-Plus introduces a new style for each verse going from boom bap to hyphy. Read all about it here.

PLANET ASIA - "Thai Stick"

Planet Asia and producer G-Force new single is a short but effective affair that is now available for free download so be sure to check it out.

TIMELESS TRUTH - "Strange Fruit"

These brothers knows damn well how to make some real hardcore hip-hop ish. Here they take on Pete Rock's 1998 instrumental "Strange Fruit" and the result is just blazing.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Soul princess (only held back from the throne by Erykah Badu at the moment) has an unbelivable work ethic. It's not a question of quantity over quality because Muldrow most of the times manages to give fans both. Her latest single is a short but very powerful funk-soul jam entitled "Pop Iconz", produced by Chris Keys and with a video directed by Chuck N.L.V. I'm not sure where this will turn up but the YT clip is posted via Mello Music Group's official channel. Maybe a Muldrow / Chris Keys Project in the works? I wouldn't complain!

Friday, August 29, 2014


Coming on the heels of his excellent "Keepers of the Lost Art" (in my opinion his finest album yet), Shabaam Sahdeeq releases the promotional street single "Darkness", a powerful posse cut produced by Jake Palumbo and released on Space Lab Recordings. Over the dark, thumping instrumental Sahdeeq get busy along with legends Masta Ace and Ras Kass a long with El Grant and Pawz One. The digital single is available from the labels Bandcamp for free streaming and can be downloaded for a price of your own choosing. The single include the main version, a clean mix and the instrumental. Bang this rugged ish y'all!

ADaD - "Get it Together" [prod. Q-TIP]

The two most recent production credits from Q-Tip came with a soulful cut for John Legend ("Tomorrow" from the very great "Love in the Future") and an almost disco like '70s-ish single for Mariah Carey ("Meteorite"), so its great to hear the genius lace some real boom bap right here for Chicago emcee ADaD. "Get it Together" is a great blend of fine chemistry between an emcee and his producer so don't sleep.

DEF DEE Ft. RAW POETIC - "Beau (Dedication)"

Redefinition Records continues with their quality over quanitity program, giving both established and new artists a chance yet pretty much always coming through with interesting records. You might remember the Seattle producer Def Dee from his interesting remix/instrumental album "33 And A Third". Now he's back with a more proper solo album, set for a Septemeber 9 release, and the lead single is a collaboration with Redef favorite Raw Poetic in "Beau", a dedication to Def Dee's cousin who lost his life in a motorcycle accident. You can also check out the instrumental album cut "Pay More Attention". Pre-order the vinyl of "Deja Vu" , which also features Roc Marciano, Blu, Kaimbr, Damu, One Be Lo and El Da Sensei, @ Redef's Official Site,

[Album] UGLY HEROES - "Ugly Heroes EP"

Back in the spring of 2013, emcees Red Pill and Verbal Kent hooked up with producer Apollo Brown to form Ugly Heroes and released their self-titled LP on Mello Music Group, A few days ago the trio continued on their rampage with a new EP/mini-album enitled "The Ugly Heroes EP" featuring 10 new songs from the crew (track #7 guest produced by Oddisee). Like its predecessesor it is released on MMG and made available as a digital download for $7.49. It's definitely sounding ill and is a good warm-up to Apollo Brown's upcoming full-length project with Ras Kass. Stream and/or purchase the full project below and enjoy the warm soulful boom bap beats and tight lyricism. 

[Video] SONNIE CARSON - "Never Ran, Never Will" (Ft. Styles P)

Last year skilled Brooklyn spitter Sonnie Carlson released his free project "Most Likely to Succeed", featuring several productions by D.I.T.C. legend Buckwild. One of those cuts are the thumping Styles P featured single "Never Ran, Never Will" that now gets the visual treatment. Be sure to bang this LOUD and if you're still sleeping on this street album be sure to click on the link above and press play!


Emcee Aspects is preparing to release his new album "Grind Over Matter" on September 9, which sees the artist team up with Ghostface, Raekwon, Killah Priest, Billy Danze and M.O.P. (on separate cuts), Punchline, Hussein Fatal, Sheek Louch and many more; all entirely produced by The Snowgoons. For the first single/video we get "What You Get Now", a tight jam featuring a killer verse by Ghostface Killah. Pre-order the CD and check the tracklist @ UGHH.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

[Video] FREDRO STARR - "That New York"

One of my favorite albums from last year finally gets a video in the form of the knocking "That New York". And not only that, but the originally digital only album is finally getting a physical release - no wax, but you can-pre-order Fredro's Audible Doctor produced "Made in the Streets" @ UGHH now (September 5 is the date)

[Video] KRAZY DAYZ Ft. SMIF-N-WESSUN - "Rude Boy"

Das EFX's Krazy Day takes it back to his underrated 2012 album "Showtime" for a brand new video of one of its rawest cuts - the street Anthem "Rude Boy", featuring Smif-N-Wessun. The legendary Brooklyn duo is also credited as directors of the video.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIABOLIC - "Diabolical Sound" [prod. DJ PREMIER]

Another rugged DJ Premier banger, this time he lends his incredible turntable and production talents to emcee Diabolic for his latest single "Diabolical Sound". This Wax Poetics premiere will appear on Diabolic's upcoming "Fighting Words". Apart from DJ Premier on the lead single, the September 9 release will feature production and cameos from heavyweights such as Sean Price, Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled and RA The Rugged Man. Stay tuned for future singles and more information, but in the meantime, turn up the volume and LET IT BANG!

[Comp] PETE ROCK - "The R&B n Soul Brother #1"

As I'm sure you are aware of by now, Pete Rock is one of my absolute favorite artists doing it, right up there with, or in some cases slightly above, DJ Premier, RZA, Diamond D, Large Professor, J Dilla and Marley Marl. He has released countless classic and/or truly great albums, some of the best tracks ever released and cemented his legacy as one of the true flag bearers of the culture. As you might also know I'm not a strickt hip-hop fantatic, but equally impressed by true Soul music, true R&B (not that rap & Bullshit), and jazz to name a few styles I bump on a regular basis. So when one of my favorite hip-hop artists as far as producers goes dwell into these sides of their talents I'm usually very intrigued. Long time readers might remember my well received J Dilla compilations and the one I did for DJ Premier, but the most natural fit of all should be Pete Rock taking into a account his highly soulful sound. This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but strangely enough there's really not that many R&B cuts Pete has had his direct involvement in. With some valuable input from my mans Chris Moss and Brandon of Crates Of Jr. I was finally able to put it together, and the result is to me quite fantastic.

There's a few songs that could have been used that I decided against - these are the early soul singles from the early 1990s that's more of an uptempo New Jack swing feel to it (the original Jonny Gil, "Rub You..." remix, the Basic Black joint, etc.). But I managed to round up 15 cuts that really show Pete Rock crafting incredible R&B-based beats for artists like Alexander O'Neal, Leela James, Loose Ends, Monica (much thanks to Brandon for the "Get Down" remix which he ripped from Future Flavaz back then), Jesse Powell, and many more. There's a few songs that feature some additional verses which I don't take away anything from the experience, quite the other way around - and I even choose to include the Scritti Politti/Mos Def remix though it's not really an R&B single at all; yet I felt that the production style matched the other material very well. So without further a due, here is this beautiful set which I have choosen to call "The R&B N Soul Brother #1" and I feel are perfect for listening to with your girl or just relaxing in a calm setting, preferably with headphones. I tried to find the best quality versions I could come across and most of them are 320 rips. Of course much props to all the original rippers on the songs I didn't rip from my personal collection. Don't sleep!

01. Leela James - "No Tears"
02. Alexander O'Neal - "In The Middle" [Brown Mix] (Ft. CL Smooth)
03. Incognito - "Roots" [Pete Rock Remix]
04. Monica - "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" [Pete Rock Remix]
05. Mary J. Blige - "Family Affair" [Pete Rock Remix] (Ft. CL Smooth)
06. Pete Rock & Loose Ends - "Take Your Time"
07. Scritti Politti / Mos Def - "Tinseltown to Boogiedown" [Pete Rock Remix]
08. Monica - "Get Down" [Unreleased Pete Rock Remix] (Ft. Grap Luva)
09. Leela James - "Good Time" [prod. Commisioner Gord & Pete Rock] (Ft. CL)
10. Black Eyed Peas / James Brown - "They Don't Want Music" [Remix]
11. Keyshia Cole - "Got to Get My Heart Back"
12. Pete Rock & Terry Torae - "Made Man"
13. J Dilla & Bilal - "Remember"
14. Jesse Powell - "I Wasn't With It" [Remix] (Ft. Sauce Money)
15. Mack Wilds - "The Art Of Fallin'"

ROC MARCIANO Ft. Knowledge The Pirate - "Time Stopped"

Roc keeps pumping out interesting music for the true heads, this time hooking up once again with his PNC Knowledge The Pirate for the new single "Time Stopped". Unlike the recent "Didn't Know" single/video, this is not lifted from the upcoming "Marci Beaucoup" album will appear on a compilation EP by producer Ricky Dubs entitled "The Senor Dubs EP", hitting stores September 3.


It was a long time in the making, and I had very high expectations on the LP and it actually managed to live up to every single one of them. There's no question that Adrian Younge's produced Souls Of Mischief album "There is Only Now" is a straight-up fantastic album that's equally potent to both Souls and Younge fans. The album is out now and is a definite purchase for every serious hip-hop head if you ask me, and if you haven't had the chance to hear it yet, you can stream it in it's entirety below thanks to their official Soundcloud page. The stream is clean but after you heard it you will most likely be very tempted to purchase a copy of the vinyl or CD @ at your favorite retailer so press play and head over to UGHH or your retailer of choice. TURN IT UP and stay tuned for more info on the Bilal/Younge/Ali Shaheed LP as it progresses!!


This is somethign I've been eagerly anticipating for a few years now - I was absolutely blown away by Washington DC trio Diamond District's (Oddisee, yU, XO) debut album "In The Ruff" back in 2009, and since then I really been fiending for a proper follow-up. Now it's completed, set for release, the tracklist and cover art has been released and now the first single - "First Step" - has dropped, and it's sounding GOOD.

The album, titled "March on Washington" is a 14 track opus entirely produced by Oddisee that is set for an October 14 release via Mello Music Group. Check out the tracklist and the first single "First Step" below!

01. "March On"
02. "First Step"
03. "These Bammas"
04. "The Backup"
05. "Working Weekends"
06. "Purveyors of Truth"
07. "A Part Of It All"
08. "Way What You Mean?"
09. "Ain't Over"
10. "Everything"
11. "You Had To Be There"
12. "Lost Cause"
13. "March Off"
14. "Bonus Flow" [Bonus]

[Album] HALO Guest Starring MASTA KILLA - "Mansa Musa"

Wow, this pretty much came out of nowhere even for a huge Wu-Tang fanatic like myself; having only heard one or two singles from Halo & Masta Killa produced by 9th Wonder recently, but that the two worked on the downlow on an entire LP came as complete news to me. I have only started listening, but the collaboration sounds fresh on an early basis, and with production from 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Nottz, and AMP it can't be half bad. It seems it's a digital project only, with guest features from the likes of Talib Kweli, Badd Lucc, Problem, Rapsody and more joining Halo and guest star Masta on the microphone. You can stream the entire project below, where you can also purchase it directly from DJBooth below. Don't sleep!

ED)T - Taking a closer look at the tracklist, Masta Killa appears on five songs in total but it's still a nice look for the Wu-Tang emcee who's really has been't releasing much of anything since his last, relatively underwhelming LP, "Sellin' My Soul".

EDO G / PETE ROCK - "2 Turntables & A Mic"

Here's one certified banger that totally slipped by me when it dropped about a week ago but as I often say, better late than never when it comes to stuff like this that I feel real hip-hop fanatics needs in their life. Ever since Edo G's 2001 solo debut with "Situations" and even more with the classic "My Own Worst Enemy" LP and the "Shed A Tear" VLS, I've always been super excited every time I see the names Pete Rock and Edo G together. Apparantly, Edo reached out to Pete to produce his latest single "2 Turntables & A Mic", the lead single from the legendary Boston act's upcoming next album. "After All These Years" drop August 9.

COLE JAMES CASH - "Kasey Parker" (Ft. Kasey Parker, Kese Soprano & M-Credible)

Super dope up-and-coming beat maestro Cole James Cash has dropepd a couple of highly impressive free releases in building his name and is now in the midst of creating his official debut album, "BBW: A Pornogaphic Opera". For the album's theme Cole is paying tribute to his favorite big film actress and for the new single he even managed to get a photosession and an intro with the beautiful Kacey Parker who of course the track is named after. Check it out, and be sure to peep Cole James Cash recent mixtape "Rap Republicans Mixtape" via Unkut. Salute!

Monday, August 25, 2014

[Classic Clips] PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH @ Yo! MTV Raps

In this classic episode of Yo! MTV Raps, Fab 5 Freddy takes a trip down to Mount Vernon, NY to meet up with up-and-coming hip-hop phenomenon Pete Rock and CL Smooth. The year is 1992 and the duo is fresh off the release of their celebrated singles "T.R.O.Y." and "Straighten It Out" while putting the finishing touches on what is about to become one of hip-hop's landmark albums - "Mecca & The Soul Brother". During the 10 minutes long clip Pete and CL takes Freddy on a tour through the hood, visiting the barbershop, the basketball court and most fascinating of all the legendary The Basement. It was of course here the original pre-production, sampling, writing and beat wrestling took place before moving on to Greene Street Studios. During The Basement session Pete & CL even gives Viewers some exclusive shit with Mr. Rock cooking up an incrredibly funky but rough beat while CL gets his freestyle on.

In the second video Fab 5 Freddy once again joins up with The Soul Brother and Mecca Don (along with Grap Luva) for a chat session in the streets of Manhattan. This video was recorded and aired in 1994 in promotion of the duo's second album, the equally brilliant "The Main Ingredient". Overall both of these legendary Yo! sessions falls in the category of must-see for any true hip-hop fanatic so be sure to press play and sit back in enjoyment. Of course, a huge Thank You goes out to Deejayedyk for the uploads of both videos!

[Mixtape] RAEKWON - "Picasso 2"

Raekwon has been dropping a lot of cool little gems here and there throughout the years but here he teams up with DJ Flipcyde  for a collection of the illest of his recent singles, collaborations, freestyles and new/unreleased music. The result is "Picasso 2", a 20 track prequel to Chef's upcoming "F.I.L.A." LP. Much of this you've probably heard before, but there's no question that Rae's in a very good place as an emcee at the moment. Features collabos with Talib Kweli, Ghostface, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, Lil' Fame, Uncle Murda, Onyx, Freddie Gibbs, and many more. It's clear that Raekwon is looking for further commercial exposure but as long as the music got my head nodding I can't complain! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014


DJ Wayne Ski and underground king Bumpy Knukcles links back up for Another hardcore banger with "PhlowtayShaun". The pair previously collaborated on one of my favorite joints of last year, the dangerously addictive "PhuckU", as well as on "Peep The Resume" plus "New York, Where Ya At?" (can't forget that stupid fresh "Gang Starr Bus" remix either). A couple months back they dropped  Two additional singles entitled "The Coldest Rap" and "CanI Emcee", respectively, which I believe I missed out on posting back when so you'll find them both streaming below.  If there's one thing these Brothers got it's Chemistry like you woldn't Believe, and Word is that a full-length called The Black Card". is comiing so keep your ears open!


Certified street ish from two of the illest young spitters doing it right now. "Hour Glass" (below) and "Black Columbo" (video) are the lead singles from the collaborative Hus and Rozewood LP called "100$ Taper" which is available now from DigiCrates. Terrific stuff so don't sleep - the digital LP is yours for ten bucks; support the real.

OC to release extended "Ray's Cafe" edition

Superemcee OC started off the year with what is still one of the illest releases yet in "Ray's Café". A nine track offering fully produced by Ray West, the man behind Red Apples 45, who provided smooth, laid-back jazz grooves for OC to write and perform strong verses around his life and times, good and bad. Even with the iTunes bonus track "Just Cause" the Project was fantastic but left listeners hungry for more. Fans of the unique sound Heard in "Ray's Café" will be satisfied to hear that when Red Apples 45 and OC for the first time now release the project to CD (previous editions were all vinyl and cassette) they decided to round out the set with an additional 5 tracks. Hopefully these songs originate from the original sessions or at least invoke the same style as the original nine records, rather than just being whatever five tracks to fill out the space with. If it's not the latter this will truly make "Ray's Cafe" the new official OC album, rather than an EP or a side Project. Take a listen to the beautiful "Just Cause", peep the tracklist and pre-order your copy for its August 29 release.

01. "Intro"
02. "Ray's Cafe"
03. "Have Fun"
04. "Soul Kitchen"
05. "Go Back" (Ft. Milano & AG)
06. "Lovers"
07. "Breaking Rules"
08. "YMI"
09. "Gotta Luv It"
10. "Just Cause"
11. "After Hours"
12. "Learn Lessons"
13. "BK Suite"
14. "My Hearts in the Street"

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Emcee Ishamel Butterfly (remember Digable Planets) and multi-instramentalist Tendai "Barba" Marie has been rocking in Shabazz Palaces for about five years at this point. Residing in Seattle they have created a sound that's much unlike your typical rappers and the results are often stunning. This year they released their second full-length, the experimental "Lese Majesty" which includes the single "#CAKE" - check out the video above.

[Beat Tape] K-DEF - "Tape One"

A couple of days back I posted a stream of the A-side of K-Def's latest release, the recently discovered 20 something years old beat tape "Tape One". Since K-Def's been a favorite of mine for a long time, and I just discovered that you can in fact stream the entire "tape" (which is also available on vinyl) via Redef's Bandcamp, I decided to delete the old post and replace it with this one instead. Given the many years that has passed since it's inception the sound quality is not top notch, but at the same time it gives it that raw feeling of mid-'90s underground hip-hop, as well as it's a very interesting study between 'Def's older and newer material considering this was when he was still programming machines like the MPC. 15 tracks all in all that is guaranteeed to take you back which is available on 12" vinyl for the price of 19.99 USD @ Redef Records while the cassette goes for 11 USD. Of course the digital can be purchased below via Bandcmap, where you  can also stream the full thing, so enjoy and TURN IT UP!!

[Album] KEV BROWN & RAW POETIC - "Concentrated Maneuvers"

There's so many dope Music being released right now that it's almost impossible to constantly stay up to date. I'm a big fan of Kev Brown and what Little I've Heard from emcee Raw Poetic through his work with K-Def and his Group Pancaea, I was real excited that these two would hook up for an EP / mini-album this summer. I posted a few singles a while back but apparantly the 13 track Project was released about a month ago. Clocking in at around 25 minutes, the Project is filled with Brown's lo-fi jazzy piano licks, sampled funk- soul- and jazz samples with clever life rhymes and catchy hooks delivered like only Raw Poetic could. I think many of my readers will find very inspiring. The extended EP is entitled "Concentrated Manuevers" and features in total thirteen tracks, coonsisting of relatively short songs and featuring one guest apperances from Kaimbr. The Project is Another fine release from Redefinition Records and can be bought and streamed in its entirety @ Brown's Bandcamp.

MADLIB - "Que 4"

Madlib doesn't stop; that's just a fact that real hip-hop heads are well aware of. His new single "Que 4" is a strngs-heavy soulful instrumental that is the lead track off the upcoming Madlib soundtrack to the Stones Throw documentary "My Vinyl Weighs A Ton". The soundtrack drops on September 9 and features ten new 'Lib tracks in total so be prepared! Read more @ Stones Throw!

[Slept-On LP + EP] LL COOL J - "14 Shots to the Dome"

Following the 1990 release of LL Cool J's "comeback" album "Mama Said Knock You Out" LL was once again at the top of his game. When an artist of LL's stature who's been succesful for cose to ten years want to switch it up a bit too much, the fans and record buying public might want to find negative aspects of a sophomore project like this to hold on to - in turn making it a flop. This was the case with LL's 1993 album "14 Shots to the Dome" which is something that has always suprised me. Personally I got nothing but love for this LP and counts it as just another in a long list of powerful, consequtive LL albums - his last good allround release to me was the following '95 release, "Mr. Smith" but I'll save that for another post. "14 Shots" is far from a perfect masterpiece but as it was the first LL album that I truly fell in love with it still remains one of my favorites.

I hold "Mama Said Knock You Out" as one of the finest records ever put on wax, and the deep bass, high energy and agressive flow that introduces this LP with "How I'm Comin'" always got me in the same mood as the anthem-like title track of its predecessor. You got the breakneck beats, horns, the pounding drum programming and an agressive and self-sure LL doing what he does best - hardcore hip-hop. In fact Marley Marl, who was responsible for the entirety of "Mama...", produces half of the album, while Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin is responsible for four songs (and QDIII the remaining) - now that's a true all-star team that can give an artist exactly what type of music he needs for a particular song. While Marley never quite reach the heights of the previous LP:s finest moments, he always comes through and at this point there's no question that he and LL had a great chemistry going in the studio.

If you're not familiar with Bobcat he's produced plenty of powerful singles for LL in the past ("I Am Bad", "I Need Love" (in fact the majority of "B.A.D."), co-production on "Mama Said...", and many more). One of the most powerful songs amongst Bobcat's production comes with the album closer, "Crossroads", where he utilizes a full choir and a symphony orchestra over a pounding boom bap production that'll have necks swinging. At the time using live instrumentation was a new method for LL, yet it works extremely well. As if that wasn't enough, LL takes the hectic backing to spit in an agressive double-time flow; three impressive rhymes about the state of the World today. A song somewhat reminiscent of its predecessesors album closer in "The Power of God". While that track was more laid-back, this is a full-blown assault on the social state of the world and one of the LP:s heaviest tracks..

Just like Marley did, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin also proves what an an amazing team he and LL formed on cuts like the drum, bass and turntable heavy "Ain't No Stoppin'". You got LL's classic bragadocious rhymes which over Bobcats high-powered instrumental is a classic in the making. This is pure '93 hip-hop, boom bap shit with a fat hook, slamming verses, lots of scratch work and small bits and pieces of a guitar line and a small vocal sample. The final Battlecat joint comes close to the end and bare the title "Diggy Down" - Another strong cut, featuring much of the same elements as the aforementioned 'Cat productions, showing LL going hard over an especially heavy bass line, that's underlined by powerful drum programming and accentuated by cuts and the occassional vocal sample. All the while, while this ain't exactly the type of track we're used to hear LL on, the New York legend sounds as fresh as they come here.

Half the album is produced by Marley Marl, who of course did all of the "Mama Said...." album and much of it sounds like what he and his protogé K-Def laced for acts like World Renown, Sah-B, Da Youngstas, and so on around this time. In fact an uncredited K-Def produced the Lords Of The Underground collaboration "NFA (No Frontin' Allowed"); he was also responsible for an excellent track entitled "Year Of The Hip-Hop" that unfortunately was scrapped from the final LP - though it was released on a limited 10" single a couple of years back. While we all know that Marley Marl is one hell of a producer, it's interesting that he has at a few times been taking credit for songs that he didn't at all conceive. A more recent example is the "Next Up" joint with Kane and G Rap on UGK's "Underground Kingz" LP which was built around an instrumental found on K-Def's "WIllie "Boo Boo" The Fool"

There's also a few tracks from QDIII on here, who brings some welcome West Coast flavor to selected parts of the album, showing LL's versatility on the microphone; although I must say that these are probably my least favorite joints on the project. But anyway this is an album that favorably can be listened to front-to-back; preferably in a good pair of headphones. An interesting fact is that there apparantly was an original version of "Soul Survivor" that was a lot rawer, and produced by Dr. Butcher, which appeared on a DJ Doo Wop tape in early '93. That version has unfortunately never officially leaked. but you can count on me being out there hunting for it. 

Another interesting thing worth mentioning is the Marley produced single "Pink Cookies Gettin' Crushed By Buildings". While the original was a smooth funk banger, the true gem is the Easy Mo Bee remix that LL choose to use for the song's video. To me this should be the album version as it is far stronger than Marley's original and the melody is both addictive and works even better in complementing LL's verses. But overall this album, like it's predecessor is mainly done for the streets. It's clear that LL has been inspired by the type of hip-hop that Lords Of The Underground and Naughty By Nature were doing at the time, both in flow and beat selection, but at the same time pretty much all acts of the time would never dieny the impact LL's music had on them. In that token with LL making an album like this the circle is brought full. Unfortunately, when it was first released the album caught a lot of flack (probably because many felt LL tried too much to keep up wiith the hardcore sound of the East that was prominent at the time) but I believe that its slowly getting more and more accepted and even starting to gain a cult following. And rightfully so. If you haven't banged this in a while, I strongly suggest you dust off your copy and let it bang LOUD. For me, after this and the also underrated "Mr. Smith", he never again released an album that's worth listening to front-to-back. If you don't own the album you can listen to it via Spotify or purchase it from iTunes, or Amazon. I also added a little bonus EP for you're listening pleasure, featuring B-sides and remixes of the original album tracks as well as a few soundtrack joints from the era.

LL COOL J - "14 Shots to the Dome: EXTRAS" EP
01. "Pink Cookies in A Plastic Bag" [Easy Mo Bee Mix]
02. "Stand By Your Man" [Hip-Hop Mix #2]
03. "Strickly Business"
04. "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf"
05. H.E.A.L. - "Heal Yourself"
06. "Year Of The Hip-Hop"

[Comp] RICK RUBIN - "The Bith Of The Boom Bap: 1984-1989"

For the longest time I've been wanting to make several compilations focused on the true hip-hop pioneers in the early to late '80s - I did have the Bomb Squad compilation a few years ago but there's a lot of incredible producers that are not named Marley Marl that are almost forgotten today. Back then if you wasn't inventing and reinventing yourself on a regular basis, you'd soon be forgotten no matter how skilled an emcee or producer you were. Rubin is not only one of the true pioneers of what in the mid- to late-'80s was then described as a "new school"; favoring a heavily stripped down sound that paved the way for the minimalist boom bap that would be the epitome of the hardcore hip-hop album in the early to mid-'90s. Rubin's first album as a producer / or rather "reducer" as he was credited on LL's first albums and singles in the mid-'80s. The duo went to work on 18-year old LL Cool J and his 1985 debut "Radio"; which to me, together with his "comeback" album "Mama Said Knock You Out" sounds as refreshing, innovative and original as any other hip-hop album of their respective eras. More than that, both albums should be considered two of the finest and most groundbreaking albums ever created. Only a year later, in 1986, Rubin also produced the debut albums of Beastie Boys "Licensed to Ill" and Run DMC's "Raising Hell". Both which are often considered the respective group's best work to date, and also helped them propell into the mainstream (or in the case of Run DMC, even more). Alll three of these LP:s are must haves for any serious hip-hop collector and showed that Rubin not only had a signature sound, but he also made sure each album and artist had their own signature sound on display on their respective LP:s.
After being the executive producer on Public Enemy's three first albums (albeit not in any studio capacity) he parted with Def Jam in favor of his own Def Americana; a more rock-focused imprint. This was kind of a natural move considering that he had already as far back as in 1987 prouced albums for the likes of trash metal band Slayer. Since then Rick Rubin has become one of the most highly sought after producers in the game, producing from every one to Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Audioslave, Slipknot, AC/DC, Dixe Chicks, Rage Against The Machine, and many, many more.
Although Rick Rubin has never cut down a bit on his production habits, instead focusing on his talents on broading his horizons, it's his stripped down, hard punch hip-hop beats that made him a legend among us beat and rap heads. In usual Lost Tapes order I have decided to cut down any song included on any of the three albums mentioned above, as they are definitely records you should all have in your collection. Another thing is that Rubin quite recently again started producing hip-hop records for artists like Jay-Z, Eminem and KanYe West - though I decided to focus this compilation on the period between the recording of these three main albums and Everything Rubin produced for Def Jam during his rather short stay there. If you are not familiar with those 2000:s cuts, I strongly recommend you check out his original version of "Better Than I've Ever Been" (2006), "Bezerk"/"Rhyme & Reason"/"Love Game" by Eminem (2013) and the entirety of KanYe's "Yeezus" (2013). While he didn't actually produce any music per se on the latter, he did help out KanYe a whole lot in what he likes saying reducing the album into the state that it was eventually released in over a 16-days period. Check out this video for some interesting information about that. But overall I'm just glad and hope that this is a trend that means Rubin will slowly but surely get more and more back to hip-hop and rap music. Until then, let's revisit 16 tracks from Rubin's early Def Jam Days, including remixes, 12" only singles and B-sides that he produced from 1984-1989 for his label artists. It's a great listen if you're into '80s hip-hop, and should of course be played LOUD!
01. T La Rock - "It's Yours"
02. LL Cool J - " I Need A Beat" [Original]
03. LL Cool J - "Rock The Bells" [Original]
04. Beastie Boys - "Rock Hard"
05. Hollis Crew  "It's The Beat"
06. Run DMC - "Christmas in Hollis"
07. Jazzy Jay - "Def Jam"
08. Junkyard Band - "The World"
09. Jimmy Spicer - "This is It"
10. Jazzy Jay - "Cold Chillin' in the Spot"
11. Run DMC - "Jam Master Jammin'"
12. LL Cool J - "Going Back to Cali"
13. LL Cool J - "Jack The Ripper"
14. Run DMC - "Mary, Mary"
15. Queen - "We Will Rock You" [Remix Reduced by Rubin] [*]

MAINO Ft. MACK WILDS - "All About You"

Brooklyn spitter's Maino is an emcee that is 50/50 for me, some of his vereses are pure excellence (Rakim's "Walk The Streets" is a great example), and his new sigle "All About You" falls somewhere in between. Listeners are also treated to a guest apperance by up-and-coming crooner and sometimes rapper Mack Wild's whose debut album "NY: A Love Story" featured Wilds strong voice and delivery over hard hip-hop beats provided by Salaam Remi, Nottz, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Havoc. and more. The sound is kinda remiscient of Wildss 2012 album, so I'm wondering who produced it. The song will appear on Maino's upcoming "King Of Brooklyn II" mixtape.

[Video] KILLAH PRIEST - "The Elders Gave Us Aura"

Since his 1998 debut "Heavy Mental" I has Always held him in the highest regard as one of the best lyricists to ever do it. Last year he released the incredible double CD "The Psychic World of Walter Reed", which I unfortunately forgot in my best-of-2013 countdown despite it being one of the absolute top LP:s of that year (and KP's best since "The Offering") Priest just released a Concrete Films directed video to the Agallah produced "The Elders Gave Us Aura"; a short but deadly track that stands amongst my favorites on the LP. Order the digital album @ Itunes or grab the physical at Amazon.

AUDIBLE DOCTOR - "Leave Me Alone" (Ft. Guilty Simpson)

Two of Audible Doctor's 2013 projects, "Made in the Streets" w. Fredro Starr and his EP "The Summer Tape", both made to the best-of-the-year countdown here @ The Lost Tapes. And there's no reason to Think that the Good Doctor has slowed down in the slightest as he's already preparing a new EP/mini-album in the form of "Can't Keep The People Waiting". The EP should be out this fall and include several impressive guests. If you've been sleeping be sure to check out the Bumpy Knuckles assisted "The Beast" and "No Future" with Consequence. Stay tuned for more info cuz this should be a certified banger.

Friday, August 22, 2014

MASTA ACE / EDO G [prod. DJ JEAN MARON] - "It's Too..."

While Ace and Edo's collaborative full-length album was dope but slightly dissapointing there's no question that these two brothers pack an incredible chemistry and when they rock over hard beats they are one of the coolest duo's in hip-hop. There new track, produced by DJ Jean Maron, lifted from the French producers debut album "True School" which is out now on iTunes - grab it here! The song also features talented singer JTronius on the soulful hook. The dope ish!

[Album] SUPA DAVE WEST - "Beat Boxing"

Supa Dave West has been doing it for quite some time, being somewhat of De La's main go-to-producer for their last three-four albums among a whole lot of other dope albums and loose productions. Therefore it's great that he's finally releasing a fulll-´length instrumental album on his own, "Beat Boxing", whcih is out now. If ytou're into quality instrumental hip-hop albbums this is nn incredible listen that I strongly encourage you givving a spin. In fact, you can stream the entire Project below via Soundcloud so be sure to do that and cop the Redefinition release @ Itunes (seems it's a ditial release only for now, but what're you gonna do).

SOULS OF MISCHIEF - "Ghetto Superstar" / "Finally Back"

Man, I'm so hyped for this album! Souls Of Mischief / Adrian Younge's collaborative effort with Ali Shaheed Muhammad hosting is bound to be a fantastic LP judging from all the singles and interviews we've taken part of so far. Both the fourth and fifth single from the album, "Ghetto Superstar" and "Finally Back", have been released simultaneously and both are heavy hitting, old-school flirting banger with emphazis on Rhodes, booming bass and exquisite live drums. You can bet I'm copping "There is Only Now" when it drops on August 28, and so should you! And as that wasn't enough,, Younge and Muhammad is also producing the entirey of Bilal's upcoming album (scroll down to the first single "Sirens II" below for an early taste).

RUN THE JEWELS - "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1"

Killer Mike and El-P has proven to be one hell of a duo with their two releases so far - Killer Mike's El-Producto produced "R.A.P. Music" and the full-blown collaboration as "Run The Jewels". Now they are coming with the second album as Run The Jewels, and the first single is finally here. The song is titled "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1" and picks up right where the last one left off. This is promising and I'm definitely looking forward to the official full-length release which is out on October 28 on Mass Appeal Records. Check out the joint up top.

SAIGON - "´Nunya" [prod. DJ PREMIER]

Saigon and DJ Premier is Always a powerful combination, something we've known since his first double 12" with Preem and Torae on the "Click" single and most recently with "The Aura" on Torae and Sky's recent banger "Barrell Brothers". Here's Another Power jam from the hard rocking Brothers, so TURN IT UP!! The song will appear on Saig's upcoming mixtape "GSNT3: The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard" which should be out soon!

[Article] MASTA ACE's "Slaughtahouse" from B. Coleman's new book

Hip-Hop journalist Brian Coleman released the absolutely must-read book for any true hip-hop heads a few years back in his "Check The Technique", which saw Coleman interviewing the involved artists in the making of 26 or so Classic hip-hop albums from the '80s and '90s. It's one of the most interesting books I've ever read on hip-hop and it's milestones, and not long after its release the Word about the second installment started to spread. But as so much time now has passed I was really doubting we would ever get to hear that second volume.
One of the albums featured in the new installment is the mindblowing Masta Ace Incorporated '93 album "Slaughtahouse" - a project that has meant a lot to me as a hardcore hip-hop fanatic. The Always impressive has been given the get-go to do an exclusive full-length preview of the entire chapter on that album, including the track-by-track breakdown. Read an excerpt below and head over to the full article via the link below; throw on "Slaughtahouse" and follow the link at the bottom for the full Ego Trip article. ENJOY!
Late Model Sedan
I love that track, the beat especially. Latief did that one. He should be famous right now. The rhyme on that was actually based on a flow that Ice Cube did on one of his albums. “Ghetto Bird,” I think. After that song and “Jeep Ass Niguh,” the album definitely started getting darker.
Jeep Ass Niguh
That was the lead-off single for the record. It was a double A-side, with “Saturday Nite Live.” We did videos for both songs. When I perform that today, people just start jumping around. It never blew up like it could now, but it was a good underground, hip-hop purist record. Cars were just something that I was into. I had recently bought my first Jeep, when my first album came out, and I just kept buying tons of car magazines and was figuring out how to hook the thing up with a giant sound system. Driving around Brooklyn just became part of what I did. Not too many people were making songs about cars on either coast. “Jeep Ass” was definitely one of the first.
Saturday Nite Live
That was a single with “Jeep Ass Niguh,” a double A-Side. Our whole crew was in that video, everybody we grew up with. That was fun. We all had baseball bats and big sticks, being real rugged. That was the whole Naughty By Nature influence. We were in an abandoned building and a highlight was that a famous graffiti writer, Cope 2, was in it. I had never met him, but he was famous to me. He came to the set and did a couple throw-ups, and one of them is in the video. That set was pretty ill, too. One time the cameraman stepped into a hole and fell. One leg went into the hole and he got pretty hurt, but he kept filming. The abandoned building on the cover is the same one where we shot the video. It’s in Crown Heights and it’s all re-done and condos now. I put that song last on the album because it starts with such a great mood and because I also wanted the album to end on an “up” note. Lord Digga wasn’t supposed to be on that [as an MC] at first. At the time, early in the album, he wasn’t writing good quality stuff yet, lyrically. He was just starting to rhyme back then. We all did our verses and he was sitting there with a sad face. Up until that time he tried, but we’d never put him on. But on that one he got it together and we all agreed it was dope.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

[Album] STATIK SELEKTAH - "#WhatGoesAround..."

Statik Selektah always comes through with the dope albums and to me his last project, "Extended Play", was pretty much his best one to me. Now the DJ/producer's new LP "#WhatGoesAround" has arrived and as usual it packs a highly impressive guest list. The usual suspects like Lil' Fame, Freddie Gibbs, Black Thought, Royce Da 5'9", Pharaohe Monch, Sean Price, Termanology, Reks, N.O.R.E. and many more are involved. Not only that but Statik and the Show Off gang have decided to release the album for a free stream via Spotify which you can check out below.

[Video] AZ - "Red Magic"

AZ's hot summer time vibe single "Red Magic" gets the visual treatment. I've dug this song all along, and the first video from "Doe Or Die II" of course means we're one step closer to an official release.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DOMINGO Ft. M.O.P. & GP100 - "We Put It Down"

Always ill New York producer Domingo is finally releasing his new album, "Same Game, Different Rules". Be sure to support Domingo by purchasing the CD from Amazon and pump up the volume when pressing play on the video above - featuring M.O.P. and GP100 with DJ Cazz on the cuts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIAMOND D Ft. Pete Rock - "Only Way 2 Go"

Dope ish from Diamond D and Pete Rock. The "Diam Piece LP" is coming September 30!

BILAL - "Sirens II"

Bilal's new single "Sirens II" is another winner from the soul whiz, working as a sequel to Adrian Younge's "Sirens". Matter of fact the track is produced by Younge, together with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, who is working together for the entire project. Amazing news!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

[2xEP] DJ MUGGS Presents CrossMyHeartHopeToDie

Wow, this kind of came out of nowhere as far as I am concerned but a new project spearheaded by DJ Muggs is more than welcome to say the least. His new collective calls themeselves CrossMyHeartHopeToDie and aims to combine music and art direction to the fullest. Behind the musical aspect of the group we find Muggs (production, turntables), Andrew Kline from LA Hardcore band Strife on guitar, and singer and emcee Brevi, with audio/visual technician Sean Bonner rounding out the crew. Add to this a group of creative directors responsible for assuring the music getting the proper visual effects, making them a true multimedia phenomenon. 

Having released two EP:s as of yet, CrossMyHeartHopeToDie's sound isn't exactly hip-hop based though fans of Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky and DJ Shadow should find something to like. Personally, I have just finished listening to both sets, "Hope to Die EP" and "Vita E Morte", and I can say that I am definitely looking forward to the official full-length debut which according to a new interview with Muggs is half done as of now. He also reveals that a new Cypress Hill LP is in the works and is 60% done, which is great news as it's coming from Muggs which should mean that he's a lot more involved this t0ime around. Be sure to check out the interview @ YourMusicToday, visit CMHTD @ Soundcloud or iTunes.

LL COOL J Ft. Raekwon & Murda Mook - "I'm Nice"

No matter how much wack albums LL Cool James keeps churning out he's always gonna be a true rap hero for me. Not only being responsible for two of the greatest hip-hop LP:s of all time in "Radio" and "Mama Said Knock You Out", his "B.A.D." album is generally recognized as a gem but I would make a strong case for the very overlooked "14 Shots to the Dome" and "Mr. Smith" as well (I will probably make an article about why the former really is a strong project).

However, there's no question that the majority of music LL puts out these days are pure garbage, despite his talents as an emcee, so whenever a banger is released it's always interesting. On the second single from his upcoming "G.O.A.T. 2" (!!), the Queens veteran hooks up with Raekwon and Murda Mook with Ron Browz on the beat.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THE REGIMENT Ft. Sadat X & El Da Sesei - "Raise Up"

Damn, there's just a whole lot of ill shit droping today, but I promise y'all this is the last one for today but this NEED to get the attention of as many people as possible. Detroit grou The Regiment is another powerhouse underground duo signed to HiPNOTT Records that three years ago delivered their last album "The Panic Button". In 2014 they are preparing a follow-u and the first single "Raise Up" sounds very promising, especially considering the contributions from The X-Man and the Sensei. Stay tuned for more information on the new album!