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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Video] ICE CUBE - The Making of "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" Pt. 2

A couple of weeks back I posted Part 1 of this little documentary that Ice Cube and his team is putting together in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Cube's classic solo debut, "AmeriKKKA's Most Wanted" - definitely a favorite of mine! Check out Part 2 above.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PETE ROCK - "Heaven & Earth"

The third single from my most anticipated album of the year is here. I'm talking about the single "Heaven & Earth" from Pete Rock's upcoming sequel to "PeteStrumentals", his 2001 album that still ranks as a career highlight in the super producers long line of classic albums. Just like the first the album is made up of previously unreleased early- to- mid-'90's beats concocted by Pete that has been revamped for the 21st century. So far three singles have been released and they are all sounding iLL, with this one possibly being the best one yet. Watch out for the LP that drops June 22 via Mello Music Group!

EDO G & STREET WYSE - "Sorta Way" (Ft. Reks)

This is just incredible news that just landed as one of my personal favorite emcees, Edo G, unleashes the first taste of his next album which is entirely produced by the two man team of Street Wyse. The latter guys are new to my ears but listening to "Sorta Way" which also features Reks doing his thing, you can tell that these guys got crazy chemistry with Edo. If this is an indiciation of what to expect, "Afterwords" will be a monster. Stay tuned for more info as the project progresses!

[Album] ALCHEMIST - "Israeli Salad"

Alchemist, the most productive producer in the game right now, is back with a sort of semi-sequel to his "Russian Roulette" album (which I enjoyed thoroughly once I managed to really get into it). Rather than digging through Russian and Balkan records for sample material, this time ALC digs his crates for Israelian folk music, psychadelic and all other types of crazy music. Another difference between the two projects is that this one is 100% instrumental, whereas its predecessor featured some very welcome features which I would have loved to see on this one as well, but it still got some banging tracks for sure. Apparantly much of the album was recorded in 2011, so it and "Russian Roulette" was probably almost recorded simultaneously it seems, as the superb producer first started working on it after a trip back from Israel where he had acquired loads of new music. Last year, after another trip to Israel, Alchemist put the finishing touch on the album and decided it was time for it to be released. You can stream the entire project via Spotify below, or cop the LP set @ UGHH.

PRHYME - "Courtesy" [Marco Polo Remix]

DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9''s collaborative 2014 album "PRhyme" was by far one of the best albums of last year if you ask me, and I just love how Premier challenged himself and his signature sound by only including samples from the catalouge of another one of my recent favorite producers - Adrian Younge. Here Marco Polo takes on the single "Courtesy", bringing that vintage boom bap sound with a modern twist that is his trademark sound. Not sure where this will end up, but if I recall correctly a deluxe edition of "PRhyme" is on the way including some new remixes and a few new cuts so this seem like a likely inclusion. Dope jam either way!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

[comp] ICE CUBE - "Another Lethal Injection" (1990-1994)

There's no question that I am first and foremost a East Coast fanatic, but that doesn't mean that there's not plenty of classic music from the West Coast and the South that I feel have done just as much for the culture as the biggest names in New York - guys like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, N.W.A., Ice Cube, Geto Boys, Scarface, DMG, OutKast, Ras Kass, Souls Of Mischief and the Hiero's, and newer guys like Fashawn to name a few. Lately I've been on a real early Gangsta trip, dusting off especially the classic Priority and Death Row records, a long with the Geto Boys and its solo members. One legend in particular that I might have listened a little more to the last few weeks are Ice Cube, and his four first albums which are all either classic or real straight up bangers. Having listened so much to "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted", "Kill At Will EP", "Death Certificate", The Predator" and "Lethal Injection" lately, I still feel that my thirst for classic Cube still wasn't quenched and his later albums, while having its moments, just don't match his original early-to-mid-'90s output.

Luckily for me and and fellow early Cube fans the many singles released promoting the four albums mentioned above came packed with a lot of hot B-sides, the ocassional remix, and Cube was spitting some hot guest spots on cuts by people like Yo-Yo, Da Lench Mob, Ice-T, 2Pac, King Tee, Willie D, Scarface, and KAM, I have put together the first Lost Tapes compilation since the hiatus for y'all. Representing the best the West ever had to offer, "Another Lethal Injection (1990-1994)" features 18 incredible cuts with Cube in the centrum, going over beats mostly as funky as the shit he grabbed for his own album - giving credence to the rumor that Cube wasn't only in it for the money, but always wanted to show his best side to the world. This compilation is a must hear, not only for the nostalgia but for music that are timeless and still hold up to this day. Press play and get your G on!

01. "King Tee's Bar Stand: Intro" [prod. by DJ Pooh] (1992)
02. "The Wrong Nigga to Fuck With" [prod. by Sir Jinx] (1992)
03. "My Skin is My Skin" (w. W.C.) [prod. Dr. Jam] (1993)
04. "Check Yo'Self" [The Message Remix] [prod. Ice Cube] (1993)
05. "What Can I Do" [Westside Remix] [prod. Ali Shaheed] (1993)
06. "Can't You Play With Me" (w. Yo-Yo) [prod. by Sir Jinx] (1991)
07. "Hand Of The Dead Body" (w. Scarface) [prod. by NO Joe, Mike Dean & Scarface] (1994)
08. "All On My Nut Sac" (w. Da Lench Mob) [prod. by Ice Cube] (1992)
09. "24 With An L" [prod. by Ice Cube] (1993)
10. "The Ill Shit" (w. KAM) [prod. by Erick Sermon] (1993)
11. "Watts Riot" (w. KAM) [prod. by DJ Pooh] (1992)
12. "U Ain't Gonna Take My Life" [prod. by Mr. Woody] (1993)
13. "Tresspass" (w. Ice-T) [prod. by Sir Jinx] (1993)
14. "Played Like A Piano" (w. King Tee & Breeze) [prod. by DJ Pooh] (1990)
15. "Play Witcha Mama" (w. Willie D) [prod. by Grizz] (1994)
16. "Natural Born Killers" (w. Dr. Dre) [prod. by Dr. Dre & Sam Sneed] (1994)
17. "2 in the Morning" [prod. by LayLaw & Derrick McDowell] (1994)
18. "Last Wordz" (w. 2Pac & Ice-T) [prod. by Bobcat] (1993)


* I don't know why but you need to write in this password to download - qJvfsORrs3KSgqCs5-w73M_nqJy5h8FAkuyevJlEb30

ILL KNOB (of K.G.B.) - "Paper, Paper, Paper" / "Hip Hop" / "Beautiful Day"

Ill Knob is some only real die hard Wu heads would be even aware of, and I sure as hell wouldn't have even recognized this guy without the help of the homie Jammin over at Wu Corp. Ill Knob was a part of the trio KGB back in the early- to- mid-'90s who released a slew of dope underground 12":s, most famously their 4th Disciple produced classic "Bless Ya Life". This is the track that plays during the background of that classic Wallabee skit on "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...", After five singles released between 1990 and 1995 the group disbandened, member Ill Knob continued his Wu affiliate slightly with apperances on GZA's "Beneath The Surface" (1999) and Wu-Syndicate's remix of "Bust A Slug" (1999) which also featured Ghost and Lord Superb. Since then its been kind of quiet as far as I know but recently some dope videos have been starting to pop up on YouTube so check them out and feel free to drop a comment with some thoughts y'all.

Monday, May 18, 2015

[Shelved Classics] KING TEE - "Thy Kingdom Come"

King Tee is one of the truly legendary veteran emcees of the West. The Compton born emcee first made his mark on the hip hop scene back in 1987 with a slew of popping 12":s which was followed by two critically acclaimed LP:s "Act A Fool" (1988) and "At Your Own Risk" (1990) mainly produced by DJ Pooh. His final album on Capitol in 1992, "Tha Triflin' Album" featured production and cameos from the likes of Marley Marl, Alladin and SLJ, Ice Cube, DJ Pooh and his new pet project Tha Alkaholiks. The latter was a trio consisting of young talents from California consisting of Tash, J-Ro and E-Swift and would go on to great success in their own right. King Tee oversaw the creationn of their '93 debut "21 & Over" and made guest apperances on several songs and the success was a fact. At this point there were no question that King Tee was one of the biggest underground stars of the West Coast and it's not suprising that Dr. Dre, the undisputed top producer of the West, wanted King Tee with him when he left Death Row to form his own Aftermath label under Interscope in '96.

"Thy Kingdom Come" was supposed to drop in early 1998 and was to be the third release on The Aftermath imprint, following the "Dr. Dre Presents Aftermath" (which featured Tee's solo debut on the label,with the rewind worthy "Str8 Gone", a great execise in rhyming built up around a ticking clock, making it somewhat of a loose comncept track). spat over a booming cut from Stu-B-Doo,. This was followed the year later with the New York supergroup The Firm that Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters, but on the songs Dre is credited for there's no question that he does a great job for 80% of the album, and when he's not making beats he is inviting his newly formed Philadelphia based production team to work out of his new studio A Toufh Of Jazz in PA. This LP could definitely have been a somewhat underraterd Shady release by today but as time have passed I have a feeling this will be the illest. amd most high√§√§powered hardcore shit to really set it apart from most releases out there. Judging by the two aforementioned projects, critical success and all that, and the quality of The King Tee album once fans got to hear it years after its originally intended release date. 

90s singles like "Zoom" and "Keep Their Hands Ringing"
inging" it was evident that Dr- Dre was striving to find a new sound for the nine-pound, tp find mew sound for his Aftermath stable . as trying to find a new vibe to build his new house on - leaving the G-Funk formula that had been the patented trademark of his Death Row.  Death Row in favor for a style that would define Aftermath. It wasn't until Eminem's "The Slim Shady LP" and Dr. Dre's "2001", both releaed in 1999that he truly would find a new formula that was strong enough to truly catapult the label and its new artists to the top of the game. This left pretty much the entire original Aftermath roster, as heard on "Dr. Dre Presents..." (1996), caught up in between seats and eventually dropped. This also included the mostly Pitsburgh, Pennsylvania based production team that Dre had assembled for his new label which included Stu-B-Doo, Glove, and Bud'da. So while King Tee's album was just about completed, Dre didn't feel that the project was strong enough and that it needed more work. Tee on the other hand felt that he had just completed his best work yet, and felt that Dre was trying to hold him back as he revealed in an interview with HipHopDX. "I let my ego and my pride get in the way. Yeah, I sat up and listened to mothafuckas talk about how you'll get shelved fuckin' with Dre. I was a lil' impatient. Like you said, I had an album done. I thought it was the best album I had ever made. The only thing was, no, it was good. He said it wasn't done. He felt it wasn't done. I should have sat back and let him work..." (King Tee, HipHopDX, 2013). Despite this album samplers and an advance copy of the album was sent out to DJ:s and magazines, receiving a 3.5 rating in The Source, and given a release date of August 28, 1998. This of course meant that the album was pulled at the very last minute, leaving King Tee's legacy at Aftermath to be two apperances on the original '96 compilation, a 12" single and an apperance on "2001".

Luckily for fans, King Tee was either free to most of his masters or the album was bootlegged as the full album appeared on a small German label called Mo Beatz Records! in 2002. It did however miss a few songs that definitely was intended to appear on the initial Aftermath release in '98 as they were featured on various samplers and advance copies. The Bud'da produced "Got It Locked" was even released as the lead single for the album and even had a music video made for it, and is indeed one of the stronger tracks on the LP. "That's Drama" is another banger that sees Tee speak on some ill situations common in the rougher areas of the Wes over a thick Chris "The Glove" Taylor production. A track that appeared in snippet format on the cassette single of "Got It Locked" was titled "I Don't Wanna Die" (which later appeared on the "Blood is Thicker Than Water" soundtrack) and there was also a short Dre produced skit called "Psychic Pimp Hotline", which remained unreleased until The D.O.C. picked it up for his 2008 release "Deuce". All of these songs have been restored to the version of the album that I present y'all with below while I have cut out "Nuthin' Has Changed" and "The Original" which to my knowledge was not part of the original album. So is "Thy Kingdom Come" a lost classic, or was it a wise decision by Dre and Interscope to shelve the album? Personally I think it's a pretty damn crazy album, especially with the lost tracks reinserted, and while it's no masterpiece I'd say it is a stronger look for Aftermath than either The Firm album or the Dr. Dre Presents compilation. King Tee brings a lot of flavor to these tracks and it's really well produced for the most part, though it could lose some filler. Since it was a bootleg release I have no qualms about putting this up for download for free so enjoy y'all! Enjoy this GANGSTA SHIT Y'ALL... and don't forget to TURN IT UP!

01. "Intro" (Ft. Ice-T)
02. "Speak On it"
03. "Stay Down"
04. "Squeeze Your Ballz"
05. "Money" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
06. "The Cron"
07. "Psychic Pimp Hotline"
08. "Big Boys" (Ft. Too $hort)
09. "Let's Make A 'V'" (Ft. DJ Quik, Frost & El DeBarge)
10. "The Game (It's Ruff)"
11. "Real Raw" (Ft. Killer Ben)
12. "Got It Locked" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
13. "2 G's From Compton" (Ft. MC Ren)
14. "Shake The Spot" (Ft. Shaquille O'Neal)
15. "6 In Da Morning" (Ft. Dawn Robinson)
16. "That's Drama"
17. "Step On By" (Ft. Dr. Dre, RC & Crystal)
18. "Big Ballin' (Playin' to Win)" (Ft. RC)
19. "Where's T" (Ft. Dr. Dre)
20. "I Don't Wanna Die"[* Bonus Tracks *]


SKYZOO & TORAE - "Double The Monsters"

This is another slamming 2DBZ premier for the day that at least I haven't heard before. This Marco Polo produed is where hardcore meets beautiful while Sky and Torae GOES IN.. Overall "The Barrell Brothers" was quite an underrated LP and should definitely have gotten more recognition, I always had a huge deal of respect for this guy and with songs like this they prove once again their incredible ear for beats and chemistry between each other. What bugs me is that too many artists save album highlights for bonus tracks which is a shame in my book. Anyway, take a listen to "Double the Monsters" below (again thanks to the site mentioned above) and be sure to bang your head to this short but sweet joint! It's on the vinyl though so that's good news rather than like most artist putting the bonus track as a digital only downlaod. Enjoy!

MOBB DEEP - "Survival Of The Fittest" [ESPN Remix]

This is just fucking mindblowing shit right here - Mobb Deep's "Survival Of The Fittest" was one of the true standouts for me from one of the most important albums of my life, 1995:s "The Infamous...". Here Havoc and Prodigy was invited to remix the classic song for ESPN:s program that will open up ESPN:s NBA Countdown on the channel during the Western Conference Calls. This Havoc remix is a straight banging reworking that will take you back to the Mobb's heyday. Can't wait for that upcoming Mobb album entirely produced by Alchemist and Havoc (especially since Havoc's last solo album was the best production he has put out for years if you ask me).

GHOSTFACE & ADRIAN YOUNGE Ft. Raekwon & RZA - "Return Of The Savage"

While I've heard some people put down Adrian Younge's collaboration with Ghostface on 2013's "Twelve Reasons to Die", this has always been absolutely crazy to me. You might remember that I put that album as my number one pick of the best hip-hop albums released of its year, and I absolutely loved how it all came together and the chemistry displayed between GFK, Adrian Younge and the many incredible guest emcees, and while the story was quite generic it was still a very fascinating listen no matter what and GFK did a great job conveying the emotions. So when I found that the MC/producer duo (who also includes Younge's live band Venice Dawn) has been working on a sequel to that excellent album sporting an ill tracklist (on paper) and a great cover I was hyped to say the least (i wasn't at all crazy about "36 Seasons" which was a dissapointment to me, though the BadBadNotGood joint is solid, especially beatwise).

The first single is now here and is titled "Return Of The Savage" and features RZA and Raekwon. Real Wu heads will love the fact that Raekwon, who did not appear on the first installment, is all over this baby. Check out the single below along with the official tracklist and turn that motherfucker up! Cop the album in various packages directly from Linear Labs Music store and receive it for its 10th of July release. TURN THIS ONE UP (I absolutely love this one)!!

01. Powerful One 
02. Return Of The Savage (feat Raekwon & RZA) 
03. King Of New York (feat Raekwon) 
04. Rise Up (feat Scarub) 
05. Daily News 
06. Get The Money (feat Vince Staples) 
07. Death's Invitation (RZA Interlude) 
08. Death's Invitation (feat Lyrics Born, Scarub & Chino XL) 
09. Let The Record Spin (RZA Interlude) 
10. Let The Record Spin (feat Raekwon) 
11. Blackout (feat Raekwon) 
12. Resurrection Morning (feat Raekwon & Bilal) 
13. Life's A Rebirth (feat RZA) 

[Documentary] ICE CUBE - "The Making of 'AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" (Part 1)

First and foremost, sorry for the huge lack of updates on The Lost Tapes the last two weeks or so but I've been super busy, plus lost both my computer, phone and my internet but don't give up hope on this much loved blog. While I haven't been updating the blog I've been heavily listening to a lot of classic hip hop that I haven't heard in years, especially the classic West Coast stuff like N.W.A.'s "efil4zaggiN", Ice Cube's 1990-1994 discography, the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg albums, and so on. I got to say that "Niggaz 4 Life" is to me by far superior to "Straight Outta Compton" is pretty much just as good as "The Chronic", well at least almost, Ice Cube's solo debut that was made around the same was different but just as good with The Bomb Squad and Sir Jinx going in over the production hardcore while Ice Cube proved he could definitely hold down his one man show. It's a true classic hip-hop album and I'm a real sucker for documenatires about the making of these '90s masterpieces, so when I found that a real documentary on the making of the LP is just about finished you can bet I am hyped. It will be made available for free in segments via YouTube channel IceCube/CubeVision, and you can watch the first segment right now up top while the next. Watch out for the next installment coming soon!

Monday, May 4, 2015

[Mixtape] J. PERIOD & BLACK THOUGHT - "The Live Mixtape (James Brown Edition)"

J. Period is one of my favorite mixtape DJ's right now, he's always bringing that heat and whenever he hooks up with The Roots crew you know that magic is bound to happen. For the latest installment in the Live Mixtape series, he and Black Thought pays tribute to the one and only Godfather Of Soul. What's so amazing about these mixes is that they are recorded live, in one take, with one DJ and one MC - and of course in one take, so no punsch ins or whatever. Recorded live at #16 Bars, The Boombox last year. Definitely don't sleep on this, Black Thought absolutely murders this and you know J. Period is a killer when it comes to them remixes. TURN IT UP!!


[Mixtape] A CAT CALLED FRITZ - "Nowadays"

Spectacular jazz and boom bap fanatic A Cat Called Fritz finally unveils his mixtape "Nowadays", something at least I've been eagerly anticipating. Fritz first came on my radar with his absolutely excellent production work with Soundsci / MassInfluence emcee Audessey on their collaborative LP "Rounds Per Minute" (one of last years ten best projects). His build up for this new mixtape has included some pretty mindblowing remixes, including Fritz' take on Bahamadia's "I Confess" which literally had me screaming for a Bahamadia/A Cat original full-length, or at least a remix project. Mainly made up of remixes (for the likes of Nas, Little Brother, Beatnuts, De La Soul, Mos Def, Show & A, etc.) but there's also some brand new Audessey joints and some dope instrumentals to enjoy! (If you can't see the embeded player up top, click here where you'll also find the tracklist).


Oh hell yeah, every time a new Big Daddy Kane verse pops up you know that shit gonna be hot. I definitely need to make a compilation of post-2003 Kane verses ASAP. Anyway this banger called "Get Your Shit Together" is the new single by the dope man known as Don Bishop Agallah. "Agalito's Way: The Life Of Don Francis" is coming sooner than you think.


Queens singer Satchel Page is a close associate to Neek The Exotic and by extension Large Professor, having appeared on the underrated "Still On The Hustle" and Neek's 2013 project "Hustle Don't Stop". Now the vocalist unveils his first project under his own name via Walk Down Entertainment, a 10 track mixtape / street album called "Disco Sucks" available for free via DatPiff. The idea behind the project is creating a modern soul album based around "the hardest disco samples made famous during the Golden Age of Hip Hop". Some of the joints definitely works better than others, with some even going pretty damn hard so this is one I recommend y'all checking it out. What's especially interesting is that it's not a straight solo effort either, there's a lot of Large Professor beats (he might even have produced the entire thing since there's no credits) and verses from Neek and Main Source member MC Mikey D.

01. "Where We From"
02. "It's Real"
03. "UCouldGetIt"
04. "Sweetest Hangover"
05. "Real Emcees"
06. "Rich Nigga, Poor Nigga"
07. "Freestyle"
08. "The Black Whitehouse"
09. "Sweet 16s"
10. "Style We Got" [Remix]