As I often say when I realized that I had completely forgot to post a gem, its always better late than never, and especially when it's a relative new release from Drasar Monumental and Vendetta Vinyl who has supported The Lost Tapes for years now and the love is definitely 100% monumental. The labels main producer Drasar Monumental of course proved with his album/EP trilogy with MF Grimm that he's one of the most forward thinking producers doing it at the moment, while never losing his ear for true Golden Age boom bap. He's been putting out some excellent mixtapes a long the way, featuring illy remixes and such, but now we are finally getting a brand new release from the man on Vendetta Vinyl.
Entitled "The Boxcutters Brothers" the twelve track album is a joint effort between Drasar and equally incredible legendary producer Ayatollah who provides six instrumentals each (one side of an LP), featuring nothing but "heavy chops, ill compositions, and 12 sliced up instrumentals for you to rock out with". The full title of the album is "Ayatollah & Drasar Monumental are The Box Cutter Brothers - Heavy chops, ill compositions, and Sliced Up Instrumentals" and is available for order via VendettaVinylVietnam.com now while they are still available. Peep the back cover with tracklist below.
The other big release from the Mello Music Group camp this summer is the new joint by Oddisee called "The Good Fight". Odd's double release of 2013, "Tangible Dream" and "The Beauty in All", both landed on my best of the year countdown and got countless plays so I've been really looking forward to this project. The album is set to be released on vinyl and CD on May 5, but already now heads can cop the digital version via Odd's Bandcamp or iTunes. In usual order you can preview the entire joint below so TURN IT UP!!
Pete Rock hits us with the second single from his much anticipated sequel to "PeteStrumentals" and it's fucking slamming. Titled "Cosmic Slop", the album hits stores via Mello Music Group on June 23. Clearly one of the definite purchases of 2015!
Leon Douglas II a.k.a. Floyd The Locsmif is a producer from ATL who first caught my ears as one of three main producers on OC's excellent "Starchild" advance CD. Here he pays homage to the great J Dilla by remixing three of the late emcee/producer's slamming "Ruff Draft" EP. Check it out below, also includes instrumentals...
Here's a little blast from the past that I felt a strong urge to share with y'all; Pharoahe Monch at a London radio show KISS FM back in 2011 in preparation for his then upcoming "W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)" LP. Together with singer Showtyme Monch performs my personal favorite track from the album, "Clap", a track that is even more relevant today than when it first dropped. Both times I've seen Monch live this track was a definite highlight!
As I'm sure you know De La Soul is finally wrapping up their first album since 2004:s excellent, but quite overlooked "The Grind Date". No title has been given yet but the Kickstarter founded project should definitely be out this summer. For a taste of what to come check out this amazing throwback single featuring Nasty Nas on the hook... I for one can't wait for this baby!
Canibus is back with another single from his upcoming album produced by Bronze Nazareth. Following the banger that was "Seismoluminescence" the duo is now back with a new track called "Bronze Horses". This also sees half a reunion of the Four Horsemen as Killah Priest stops by to drop a guest verse. Check it out below, I know it's been out a while, but I really haven't fel tlike updating the blog for some time, hopefully this will change now - song link provided by MacMedriaPromo, so peace to them.
Canibus has hooked up with Wu-Elementz producer Bronze Nazareth for his new album which is entitled "Time Flys, Life Dies... Phoenix Rise" and is slated for a May 12 release. Judging by the production talents of Bronze and the guest lists which packs features from the likes of Raekwon, Pete Rock, Kurupt, Killah Priest, Craig G and more, this should be the most interesting Canibus project in a good while. Check out the first single "Seismolumniescence" below, which packs a sick hardcore closer in the vein of the first "MMLP" single.
The Grand Theft Auto series has always prouded themeselves on excellent soundtracks to accompany the gaming experience. For GTA V, which drops tomorrow for PC, they are taking it one step further as the Gangrene brothers Oh No and Alchemist has been left fully in charge to produce the original soundtrack. The game has been out on various consoles since 2013 which has allowed ALC and Oh to really soak in the atmosphere of the adventure that is "GTA V - Welcome to Los Santos". The fourteen tracks deep album features new music by Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, MC Eiht, Danny Brown, Killer Mike, AB-Soul, Curren$y, Kokane, and many more. But don't expect a straight up hip-hop album, as the two Ayahuasca loving producers draws inspiration from a wide range of different styles and sounds to create something totally unique. It's definitely a dope listen though, so don't sleep on this one! You can stream the entire album via the YouTube playlist up top and NPR or purchase the digital download from iTunes if you want to pay your dues. PURCHASE "WELCOME TO LOS SANTOS" @ iTUNES
DJ Jazzy Jeff has a lot of classics under his belt both as a recording artist and as a superior DJ, whether he's dabbling in soul music or pure hip-hop the result is nothing but pure as evident as his two BBE albums. His latest protogé is young singer/rapper Dayne Jordan who Jeff has an evident chemistry with which I found evident the first time I heard them together on songs like "Room Test" and "All About The Art". Despite how much I liked the singles I've heard from this duo, I had totally missed out on the fact that the pair released a free nine track album around Christmas time this year called "In Progress". If you want to spend forty minutes of some real chill, jazz infused hip-hop with strong Soul overtones this is for you so whatever you do.... Don't sleep!
The homie Matt Diamond put me on to up and coming Brooklyn emcee Saga who first caught my attention with his Roc Marciano assisted single "City Streets", a truely nostalgic boom bap monster produced by Marco Polo. From there Saga has let loose of a couple of more singles that all have packked that incredible sound we all know and love, so when the full project is now available you can bet your last dollar that this is one of the illest debut albums of the year. Ten tracks deep, "From Out The Shadows", is filled with hard hitting beats, melodic basslines, fat turntable work and excellent writing and delivery by Saga. Marco Polo and Saga definitely have an amazing chemistry together and let's hope for a lot more projects from those two in the future. Press play and raise your glass!
D.I.T.C. affiliated producer Ray West's underground label Red Apples 45 keeps dropping quality records from the Bronx. Mainly releasing great music in limited editions on cassette, vinyl LP:s, 12"s and 7"s and the occassional CD, mainly focusing on underground legends like AG, OC, Ray West, Roc Marciano, and John Robinson. Last year Ray West hooked up with one of my all time favorite emcees in Omar Credle for the jazz themed "Ray's Café", a ten track offering that made my countdown of the best albums of 2014. As excellent this project is and how immensely dope the chemistry between West's production and O's lyrical exercises it's a fun thing to hear the instrumental version of the thirteen track Deluxe Edition which really makes you appreciate the superbly crafted work Raya West put into this project. Stream the project for free below and cop a digital HQ version of the album @ RedApples45 Bandcamp.
Few duos in hip-hop has pushed the boundaries of music like André Benjamin and Antwon Patton better known as Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Or as they are sometimes known - OutKast. I'm not going to get into too much of the specifics on their biography as I'm also reposting that VH1 Driven OutKast episode for anyone who might have missed it before (very good episdode too). OutKast used to always be one of my abbsolute favorite groups of all time; I love music that's not afraid to push the boundaries of the genre while still staying true to its roots and that's exactly what 'Kast did. The production, whether by Organized Noize or Earthtone III, always complimented the two almost opposite emcees fronting the group. The music was hard hitting, yet filled with classic breakbeats and live instrumentation, creating the unique sound of The Basement and with each album the duo released their personas became more and mroe refined. And it wasn't some kind of cheap gimmick either, this is really who they were and that combined with their extreme knack for writing lyrics and hooks plus getting immortalized beats from their two production companies resulted in some of the best hip-hop albums of all time. If you don't own the phsycial copies of their entire discography you are obviously missing out and should get those ASAP as they are all albums you can put the needle on and let rip from front-to-back. On top of that they are all albums that you will never most likely never find yourself get tired of either.
As productive the duo has been since their first 12" single in 1993 ("Player's Ball"), you would think there's a whole plethora of soundtrack joints, B-sides and unreleased material from Andre 3K and Big Boi, well, that's really not the case. They of course appeared on albums by Goodie Mobb, Witchdoctor, and their fellow Dungeon Family fam, but as far as non-album solo OutKast there is really not all that much. But what there is, is absolute fire which I'm about to prove you right about now. Being that 'Kast is one of my favorite groups it's almost strange that they haven't gotten The Lost Tapes treament before, but better late than never. So download below, crank up that volume and let's get down for some deep Dirty South funk as it should sound. Oh, and there might very well be a part 2 as this volume mostly focuses on songs released between 1995 and 1999. TURN IT UP!!!
01. "Phobia" (1995)
This Organized Noize production appeared on the original soundtrack of "Higher Learning" and is a classic OutKast joint that shows the transition period between "Southernplayallistic..." and "ATLiens". "Don't looking for trouble, It be finding me/ Try turning the other cheeck, I understand, but never mind that/ Great introduction!
02. "Da Art Of Storytellin' Part One" (Ft. Slick Rick) (1996)
Some of y'all might scratch your head asking wasn't this on "Aquemini" since I know I saw Slick Rick in the video?!. Well you're only half right. Any collaboration with Slick Rick, Andre 3K and Daddy Fat Sax is the epitome of what storytelling hip-hop at it's finest should sound like, so when this single dropped it was a slice of hip-hop heaven. But once the album hit shores, Artista had cut out Rick's verse which makes absolutely zero logic as his verse follows the concept of the song to a T and is just as good as the 'Kast brothers. Oh well, here it is in all it's glory!
03. "Benz Or Beamer" (Soundtrack Mix) (1995)
Another classic early OutKast joint from the debut sessions, produced by Organized Noize. A3K and Big Boi is doing what they do best while Organized Noie brings out a funky little number based around turntable work, an infectious bassline and a beautiful vibraphone sample. More storytelling for the true heads. This appeared on the "New Jersey Drive" soundtrack (man who I used to love that flick growing up).
04. "High Schoolin'" (Ft. Slimm Callouhn) (1996)
A quite overlooke
d soundtrack is for the Forest Whitaker flick "Light it Up" from 1996. Besides music by DMX, AZ & Beanie Sigel, Amil, and a bunch of R&B cats it had also had this banging 'Kast joint called "High Schoolin'" which also featured a verse by Slimm Callouhn of The Dungeon Family. Not sure about the production credits, but I believe it's an Organized Noize monster.
05. "Speed Ballin'" (1997)
Recorded for the 1997 soundtrack to the (hilariously bad) "Tomb Raider" this is definitely looking forward to "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Bagdad)" with its intense, hardcore hip-hop vibes. I can dig it! Intense!
As a huge fan of Diamond D, you know I had to include this monster of a remix. That bassline and that mystic Rhodes sample gives an entire new vibe to an already classic song. Ripped from the CD-single in 320 kbps so it's sounding great. DITC in the house!
07. "Tough Guy" (w. UGK) (2000)
Produced by Earhtone III for "The Shaft" remake soundtrack in 2000, this is some pure hardcore shit that is exactly the type of ish I want to hear from the South. UGK and OutKast on the same track? That's where it's at... With backing vocals by Sleepy Brown and a whole array of live instrumentation over pounding programmed drums this is nothing short of a winner, and only giving it limited exposure by putting on a Soundtrack is almost a shame.
08. "In Due Time" (Ft. Cee-Lo) (1997)
Another transition period, as this was released in between "ATLiens" and "Aquemini" and you can hear traces of both albums on here. Cee-Lo was also more breaking away from his rapping days and entering his more soulful crooning days to great effect, on this self-produced OutKast single. This song did appear on 1997's "Soul Food" album but was also released as a single (albeit a promotional one at that). Recommended!
09. "Fuckin' Around" (2001)
While this actually did appear on a retail album, it only did so on that compilation that was released in 2001 called "The Best Of Big Boi & Andre". I doubt us real OutKast fanatics actually bought that album, seeing as how it was all material available on albums we already owned (save for three tracks). I'm not crazy about that joint "Movin' Cool" but "Fuckin' Around" and "The Whole World" really sounds like a natural progression from "Stankonia" which is why I decided to include them here.
10. "The Whole World" (2001)
This was one of 'Kast's biggest hits, and it's kind of ironic that it was never included on a retail album, makking it one of the OutKast joints I listened to the least, so there was no doubt in including this here. Enjoy y'all!
11. "Gotta Be Fine" (w. Monica) (1999)
Let's slow things down a bit for this beautiful R&B collaboration between beautiful singer Monica and them OutKast boys. Dallas Austin prooduced this hip-hop flavor jam for a Monica single on Artista back in '99- LA Reid, head over the black music department of Artista at the time, loved making these type of collavorations happens - and often to great effect as heard here.
12. "Sole Sounday" (Ft. Goodie Mob)
A 1999 track credited to Goodie Mob that features OutKast, and produced by Mr. DJ of EarthTone III. Pretty fucking dope jam to say the least, I love the many beat and concept switches. A must hear for OutKast or Goodiie Mobb fans.
13. "Street Talkin'" (Ft. Slick Rick) (1999)
This might just be the revenge for Arista, and also shows that they never was any bad blood between Rick and OutKast. Over a beautifully designed, smooth piano and bass driven production supplied by JazzePha. In fact it's more of a tribute to OutKast as Boi and Dre barely appears on the song at all, save for a few bars from Big Boi, but it's a fat track that's as dope as it is a practical joke on the whole "Art Of..." fiasco.
14. "Smoke Fest 1999" (w. Tash, B-Real & Phil Da Agony) (1999)
Now this is my jam right here, lifted from Tha Alkaholiks' members Tash underrated debut album "Rap Life". Legendary 'Liks producer E-Swift provides a banging LA vibe to this joint, complete with talkbox shouting the chorus, and while it's not the type of topic you might not usually hear Big Boi and especially Andre 3K speak on, you can bet he does so with a twist. Excellent material.
15. "Watch For The Hook" (Ft. Goodie Mob & Witchdoctor)
This track has only appeared on some various mitapes and bootlegs, never been given an official release but judging by the vintage mid-'90s hip-hop sound and the good relations between the Dungeon family my guess is that this is an Organized Production from 1995-1996. And it's fucking beautiful, hardcore hip-hop at it's finest! Press play and TURN IT UP!!
16. "Throw Your Hands Up" (w. Eightball & MJG)
"Throw Your Hands Up" is to my knowledge the only collaboration between Andre 3K, Big Boi, 8-Ball & MJG and the results are simply amazing. The song is produced by Earthtone III's DJ/producer David Sheats (a.k.a. Mr. DJ) who provides a smooth beat that's perfect for the quartet to go in over. Don't sleep!
17. "Everlasting" (1997)
When I make this compilation I always figure the key to make a dope front-to-back listen is having a middle, a beginning and an end. OutKast usually closes their albums with a more laid-back, very reflectve tracks that's not afraid to drop jewels, and I think the self-produced number "Everlasting" from "Nothing to Lose" soundtrack is just the perfect closer - both from a lyrical and musical standpoint. So there you have it, I hope you have enjoy it as much as I have.... NOW REWIND!!!!
Planet Asia continues releasing quality material whether it's free or retail. For his latest project, the 10 tracks deep "Nautica Nagas", he hooks up with his trusted producer DirtyDiggs who was responsible for some of the strongest joints on "Black Belt Karate". Guest apperances come from TriState, KillaKali, Godfather Pt. 3, Hus Kingpin and Rozewood so you know this one's worth a listen!
If you're like me and have been listening a whole lot to that recent T.H.U.G. Angelz album, you'd probably yet another Shabazz assisted joint. Boston crew Blak Madden, who previously released the excellent EP "Militant Minds" w/ Tragedy Khadafias well as the free LP "Divine Power Culture"which saw Blak collaborate with Cormega, Krumb Snatcha, Slaine, Timbo King, Blu, and more). Not sure where "Words in Red" will end up but it's an interesting lil' number for sure.
The Lost Tapes love K-DEF simple as that, the New Jersey born producer is one of the few working artists today that I pretty much cop everything from (at least when my economy allows it). I first became aquianted by this genius producer from his work with Marley Marl back in the mid-'90s, and he has laced classics for Tragedy Khadafi, Ghostface Killah, UGK, Mic Geronimo, Ol' Dirty Bastard, LL Cool J, Diddy and so many more. And that's not even mentioning his own group with Larry-O; Real Live, who released one of those truly slept-on mid-'90s masterpiece in "The Turnaround". Last year he released "Tape One" (on cassette and vinyl) via his new home Redefinition Records, featuring previously unreleased beats from 'DEF recorded between 1989 and 1993. While it wasn't one of his strongest releases, it sure made for an interesting listen. Redef is currently selling out the original cassette tape edition for as cheap as 5 USD.
Now the mastermind behind classics such as "Funky Child", "Funkadelic Relic", "Year Of The Hip Hop", "It's Over" and "It's Getting Hot RMX" is preparing a second installment in his "Tape" Volume series, and it might be closer to completion that you'd think. K-Def posted this on his Instagram and Facebook accounts a couple of days ago but finding that specific post seems to be a hassle so take my word for it. Take a listen to Volume One below in the meantime.
This brings me back to the number of times I've seen Wu or their solo members life, though I have yet to catch Raekwon in concert. Mr.WorldPremiereTV posted a 15 minute HQ video of the dynamic duo's performance on Day 1 @ this years Cochaella performance. It seems they performed the entire "Cuban Linx..." album this Sunny day, looks like good show. Also props to Pyrex Visionist for putting me on to this. Enjoy and throw them W's up!
I can't find where to Embed from the DailyMotion site, but just click the link below and be sure to change your settings to view the video in 720 because both sound and video is excellent.
I wasn't too familiar with Philaelphia emcee STS prior to his apperances on The Roots' last few albums, with gained him a full position in the Money Making Jam Boys free street album "10 Deep Mixtape: Now the crew whch consits of The Rootsm members and affiiliates (Black Thought, STS, Peedi Crack, PORN, Truck North, and Dice. While the new sinle "Hold It On, Here We Go" is not an MMJB's joint; rather it's a slamming single, experfectly crafted by the one and only RJD2 and Terrace Martin himself. Martin shares a deep love for pure jazz music, often incorporating Rhodes, horns and syncopated rhythms while RJD2 isn't exactly either the most traditional hip-hop producer out there.
While I've been a fan of RJD2 since his Def Jux days, it was mostly through his extensive works on Kendrick Lamar's outstanding sophomore major rerelease "To Pimp A Butterfly") that I really started to take an interested and I haven't looked back since. This joint, entitled "Hold It On, Here We Go" is nothing but two mintes of excellent so be sure to Pump-Pump-Pump-It-Up!"
This is a funny little video I stumbled across on YouTube a while ago that I think some of y'all might find interesting. The six minutes long clip was posted back in 2010 and documents the recording sessions of a collaboration between the one and only Rakim and Richard Z. Kruspe, guitarist of Rammstein. Of course the song was never released and it doesn't sound especially dope either, but the video is worth watching for a laugh and to hear some new Ra bars.
A few weeks back I posted a clip of a FlyLo playing the original version of "Eyes Above" which featured another stand out performance by Kendrick Lamar. Flying Lotus took to Soundcloud to post the studio version of the song which was left as an instrumental for the "You're Dead" LP. To me these two gentlemen represents the finest musicians of the younger generation that's really pushing hip-hop forward in interesting new directions.
Back in 2008 original Sunz Of Man members and Red Hook, BK residents Shabazz The Disciple and Heaven Razah formed The T.H.U.G. Angelz. An acronym for Those Humble Under God, the duo bonded over spiritual music that exposed the tough life in the ruff neighborhoods around them without gloryfing the horrors. The powerful chemistry of this duo had already been showcased on a handful early underground bangers as part of the Sunz (including "5 Arch Angels", "Deep in the Water" and "Writin' Rhymes With A Liquid Pen"), it was first during the late 2000s that fans would be able to experience just how incredible these two sounded together. Since hearing him on "Diary Of A Madman", I've personally held Shabazz The Disciple to be one of the illest and most underrated emcees of all time. Few, if any, other emcee can conjure up such deep spiritualism within his lyrics while also coming strapped with a real raw, hardcore street edge. Add to that the fact that Shabazz is an extremely strong storyteller, as he has proven time and time again and you pretty much got an artist with the whole package. Hell Razah is a perfect compliment to 'Bazz aggressive rawness as he's more soft spoken, with a lot of knowledge built into any which verse, often presented in a reflective, almost nostalgic pretext. In 2008 they hooked up with BabyGrande and released "Welcome 2 Red Hook Houses", an overlooked thirteen track set featuring some absolutely outstanding records such as "The Orbituary", "Audiobiography Remix" and "Welcome to Red Hook". Prior to the release of that album word on the T.H.U.G. Angelz project was that they were working exclusively with super producer Ayatollah, who suprisingly didn't have a single credit on the aforementioned CD. The chances of getting to hear the mysterious Ayatollah collaboration that the duo obviously had worked hard on seemed to die when 'Bazz and Razah had a public falling out and vowed to never work with each other again. A true shame! Luckily the story doesn't end there as Hell Razah has decided to release the entire project as a free download for the fans. Featuring 13 songs plus some additional bonus tracks, this is some pretty damn dope shit right here. Ayatollah (who I think is responsible for the vast majority of production on tracks 1-13) does a good job with the soul samples, and like true street poets The T.H.U.G. Angelz builds true Soul music by injecting their lyrics with pure emotion and pain, sprinkled with wealth, health and knowledge of Self. WINGZ UP!!
“On behalf of Hell Razah Music, Inc. & GGO Chapters
across the globe we invite you to enjoy the music and continue to
support & pray for our founder and President Heaven Razah as he
continues in his recovery and music endeavors.” - Queen the Prophet
(Ghetto Govt Officialz 1st Lady)
Oddisee's last few solo albums have been excellent, especially the two pack punch that was "The Beauty in All" / "Tangible Dream" - two of the best LP:s of 2013. Now the Odd emcee/producer is back with his follow-up project, entitled "The Good Fight", which boosts the smashing jazz-infused single "CounterClockwise". "The Good Fight" hit stores May 5 via Mello Music Group.
While Ghostface's "36 Seasons" seriously lacked any replay value in my book, it did feature some great performances from everyone involved, and never as much as on the powerful album opener "The Battlefield". Supplied by the excellent crooning of The Revelations' original singer Tre Williams, three of the hip-hop games finest storytellers and all around emcees each paints a vivid introduction of the characters they are playing for the audio film. Produced by the great Fizzy Womack with Brooklyn based The Revelations providing the instrumentation.
I've been listening quite a bit to Inspectah Deck's latest mixtape "Cynthia's Son" as of late, and while the Rebel might not be at the peak of his career anymore, he still got ill bars for days and a real nice storytelling ability. I'm not, however, a big fan of Esoteric but his production partner 7L's soundbeds sounds great for INS. Following the group's debut album as CZARFACE back in 2013, it turns out that the trio is currently finishing yet another full-length for Brick Records. Titlted "Every Hero Needs A Villain" the record is set for a release sometime this summer.
For the first single, 7L & Esoteric and the Wu legend teams up with the always dope Meyhem Lauren on "Deadly Class". Enjoy!
The fourth single from Raekwon's sixth solo offering, "F.I.L.A. (Fly International Luxurious Arts)" just dropped and is a pretty hard hitting cut produced by Scoop Deville. "1,2,1,2", which also features Snoop Dogg, follows the same formula as previous leaks from the upcoming album in that it sees Chef embracing his status as one of the middle-big names in todays commercial rap without coming off as a sell-out. I think the material so far has been quite decent but I can't say I'm very hyped about the project either... We'll see...
Since its inception a few years ago, John Nortarfrancesco and Earl Davis' (a.k.a. Damu The Fudgemunk) indie label REDEF Records has really grown into one of the strongest and most unique places for fat underground hip-hop - with a lean towards instrumental records. Their roster includes beat masters like K-DEF, Damu The Fudgemunk, Supa Dave West and Kev Brown as well as international talents such as Germany's Klaus Layer and Finland's Fatgyver (also known under his drum'n'bass alias Fanu). The latter was asked to show his DJ talents and compile a one hour long mix of some of REDEF Records finest moments exclusively for legendary dance magazine MixMag. There's a lot of goodies here and whether or not you're already familiar with the catalouge you should definitely press play, just sit back, relax and enjoy. You can download the mix for free here. And while we're at it, in case you haven't yet heard Fatgyver's 2015 REDEF debut, the boom bap smelling jazz-funk of "Talk to Strangers" you can stream the entire project below, via Redef's Bandcamp where you can also cop a digital HQ copy for 7$. Smoooooth....
This been out for a while but I actually didn't hear it until today, and a collaboration between two of the biggest lyrical giants the culture has ever seen needs to be heard by as many people as possible. I'm talking about "The Fire's Gettin' High", a previously unreleased collaboration between Big Daddy Kane and Bumpy Knuckles that was produced by Oddisee some time ago. "This was not some e-mail collab, this joint was me & Kane in the lab building a pattern and doing it the way we used to back in the days", says Foxxx of the track.
Don Miguel is an up and coming producer from New York who just came out with his album "Waiting For Carmine". Consisting of fifteen tracks sporting a vintage NYC hip-hop sound with a lot of mesmerizing piano samples, vocal samples, thumping rhythm tracks and ill turntable work. I came across the LP due to the amazing "Merciless Manuscript" single which features no lesser emcees than Guilty Simpson and Percee P (which I strongly recommend you listen to whether or not you intend to listen through the LP) but as I'm listening to the album now I'm really pleasantly suprised. Other guests include Blacastan, Boldy James, Rapsody, Rashad, Big Remo, ST. 2 Lettaz, and more. Purchase the digital album @ Bandcamp.
Flying Lotus is by far one of the most interesting artists out there at the moment if you ask me, and lately I've been listening a lot to his albums and his work with the Brainfeeder camp. Every now and then he pops up on the BBC Radio 1 channel to drop a crazy deep mix of classic beat records, jazz and his own music. His latest drop was on the 12th of March for a two hour set that also includes a short guest mix from Jonny Greenwood (would love to hear a studio collaboration between those two). You got nine days left to listen so Hurry Up and BUY!
One of my favorite joints from DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9''s long awaited "PRhyme" album is the smooth Dwelé assisted "You Should Know". The entire album is made up of samples from the catalouge of Adrian Younge I must say that Preemo did a wonderful job cutting up one of my favorites from The Delphonics album Younge and Hart did together (which comes highly recommended).
"PRhyme" is also just having been released in instrumental format which you at the moment can grab @ iTunes. Physical copies will also be available as well as the LP set drops on May 12 (pre-order @ UGHH).
Right now, there's no question in my mind that Kendrick Lamar just dropped the #1 album in 2015 so far and one of the most creatve and best written albums in a long time with "To Pimp a Butterfly". It's damn refreshing to see such a successful artist dare to let go of all expectations on him due to todays musical climate and drop something straight from the heart that's not afraid to touch upon important subjects. Check out the new video to the Sounwave/Terrace Martin produced "King Kunta" up top.
Another Wu banger for 2015! I wasn't crazy about Masta Killa's last album "Selling My Soul" which felt kind of half-assed if you ask me (however, I think his "Made in Brooklyn" LP is highly overlooked). However, underrated NY producer PF Cuttin' has a way of bringing out the best out of MK ("It's What It Is", "Things Just Ain't The Same") so it should come as no suprise that there new collaboration is another ill jam. "Return Of The Masta Killa" also features Cappadonna and you can cop the digital single @ PF Cuttin's Bandcamp.
Ol' Dirty Bastard's classic debut album "Return to the 36 Chambers" was recently celebrating its 20 year anniversary and it is indeed one of the most original hip-hop albums ever released. Still to this day it stands as a true classic, and every time you put on that Blowly inspired Intro and let it run there's no question you are listening to something truly spectacular.
As you know I'm a sucker for reading articles focusing on behind-the-scenes scenarios from legendary albums such as this so it's a blessing that web magazine The Quietus just ran a beautiful article in just that vein. In it Raekwon, 4th Disciple, Cappadonna, ODB's mom and Peanut Butter Wolf breaks down their memories of being around the recording sessions or hearing the album for the first time. Very interesting reading indeed, so hit up the link below, dust off your CD and LP and let ODB take over your stereo system. As an added bonus I am adding two related tracks, first "Dirty & Stinkin'" - a song originally recorded around the same sessions, as well as ODB's classic collabo with 12 O'Clock, "Ol' Dirty's Back", from 1995's "Tales From The Darkside" soundtrack. Can I get a SUUUUU?!!!
The best news in music that I have heard all year is without a single doubt the just released fact that Pete Rock has hooked up with Mello Music Group to release a sequel to "PeteStrumentals". I've been waiting for some new P.R. for a while now but this is more than I could have even hoped for. The original 2001 album is one of my top 10 records to have been released in the new millennium, and I can't wait to see how this will live up to that legacy. For those of us who know there Soul Brother, "PeteStrumentals" was made up of previously unreleased Pete Rock beats recorded between 1991 and 1995 which was then mixed, perfected and mastered for the 2001 album and placed along with a few new tracks (The UN cuts). Judging by the first single, "One, Two, A Few More", it seems much of this will follow the same procedure as Mr. Philips states how he originally recorded the joint in '95 and have basically waited for the right time to release it. And it's a really slamming cut too with a superb funk groove right there. We'll have to wait until June 23, but like they say, he who waits for something dope... Check the tracklist and pre-order @ iTunes.
Yes I am aware that this was released a week ago but as I haven't posted it yet and some people, like myself, might haven't gotten around to bang it out yet I'm definitely throwing it up here. I know my man Antoine recommended me this one heavily and as I'm hitting play I can see why. The former Little Brother emcee is spitting some brilliant shit and Apollo Brown continues his reign of beautiful chops with pitched vocal samples, funky basslines, broken piano melodies and hard hitting drums. And best of all, there's some crazy turntable work on here as well, which I am a true sucker for when it comes to this type of hip-hop. While "Words Paint Pictures" is officially labeled as an EP, I'm more inclined to call it a mini album as it contains seven original tracks and two remixes (by Brown and L'Orange, respectively). No matter what you call it this is pure headnod shit so TURN IT UP!!
A Cat Called FRITZ was a completely new name to me when I was introduced to his impressive jazz licks and sample manipulation via the LP he did with the homie Audessey called "Beats Per Minute". That was one of my favorite projects of 2014 so I'm obviously checking for this Cat from now on. His next project is a collection of remixes and unreleased tracks called "Nowadays" that should be out soon. So far FRITZ have uploaded two songs from the upcoming mixtape, including an absolutely mindblowing remix of Bahamadia's classic "I Confess" that fits the dope Philly emcees voice like a glove. Those two could make a classic album together, and that's the double truth, Ruth.
I often find that the mega talented DJ Spinna is often left out of discussions of the best producers in the game which to me is absolutely ludacris. Whenever I'm out looking for records and find a 12" featuring a DJ Spinna remix or production you can bet that I'm going home with that record. "Compositions" is the beat maestros series of previously unreleased instrumental compositions and number four was just released yesterday. Featuring 20 choice cuts of deep hip hop grooves this is no doubt another great set from the legend. Cop it and read more @ Fat Beats.
Two of my favorite hip-hop artists of all time collide on the beautiful "Ace Of Diamonds", another stand out cut from Diamond D's excellent return to form (when talking long players), "The Diam Piece". This joint was unfortunately cut from the vinyl release of the album along with "187" featuring Guilty Simpson and Ras Kass. I love how many visual Diamond is dropping from this though, "Ace Of Diamonds" marks the 7th video from the project. Directed and edited by Varras Tower.
In addition to the video the complete "The Diam Piece" instrumental set is now available on vinyl as well, and can be purchased from Fat Beats amongst other retailers.