Jun 30, 2009

Intel Agents - Intelligence (2002)

These cats are fairly obscure on the national scene for hip-hop, but back in 2002 they were holding it down for the Milwaukee/Chicago/Madison hip-hop crowd. Soon after the release of this album they disbanded into several incarnations of other groups. However, on this album, they showed a diversity of sound and a Rawkus-Era underground dedication that proved their place at the top of the midwest hip-hop groups.

This album never got thorough distribution outside of the midwest, but the sounds still sound relevant today. Take a listen and see what you think. The group was Dana Coppafeel, Dan Profit, and Mic Virus. They have since prospered as members of groups such as King Hell Bastard and Lucha Libre respectively.

Currently, Mic Virus is working with Dj Pain 1 of Young Jeezy "Don't Do It" fame on a full length album. Hoping to ride the wave of industry level hit makers from the midwest to his overdue acclaim as one of the midwest best kept secrets. Catch him in his younger days right here.


Flex Matthews & XO / Local Cats, DC Hip Hop Greats

Since relocating to DC myself, about 2 years ago, I have been inundated with Cd's and demo's from many local MC's and I have been very impressed with how Hip-Hop the DC scene is. These cats grind hard and make good music with a hint of Golden Era aesthetics but a modern twist. The roster includes luminaries like Grap Luva, Kev Brown, Asheru, Wale and such, but the dudes I cross paths with are Flex Matthews, XO, and Ardamus. They all put out quality records and mixtapes at an impressive rate and do shows regularly. I would not be surprised if they bubble up from the underground to decent fame.

In the meantime though, I decided to drop some of the tracks that keep me going when i give up on the current "Radio Station" hip-hop.

Check em out:

Ride'n feat. XO http://www.mediafire.com/?gz5qznozydy

Flex Mathews Cat woman http://www.mediafire.com/?nymm3vmdzoy

Wale - Goodbye (Back to the Feature mixtape) Track it down yourself! It's worth it!

Michael Jackson Rarities

Michael Jackson was a tremendous influence on me as a child. We all got got up in the red jacket with zippers phase, moonwalking, and one glove. It was more than fashion for me though, it was a universal music that even at 7 years old, I could relate to. I thought it was great that for the only time in my life, that i can remember, everyone liked the same music. It stuck with us too, for all the years after. I toughed it out through light-skinned Michael to melted face, recluse Michael and his music always outlasted his public image to me. Mj inspired me to be things I knew i couldn't and would never try, but people always rallied around his music.

Despite "Thrillers" impact on me and the music I consumed, it wasn't until the Wu-tang Clan came along that a surge of Jackson family music was interesting to me again. Ghostface Killah particularly, used all types of J5 sounds and had me diggin in crates for all the original records by little MJ and the J5. It made me revisit songs like "With a Child's Heart" and "Music and Me" and "Dear Michael" and "Morning Glow". These are super chilled out songs that I could put on my turntable, CD player, and now my Ipod and zone out to. His musical legacy helped me grow up and think about growing up in a seedy small town and how I endured.

Perhaps this was a cheese-mo post, but I have often felt compelled to write when my own personal musical giants pass on. Dilla inspired almost an entire thesis paper from me, just from his selections on "Donuts". Either way, I have compiled a mix of MJ's greatest songs to me. Most are from his younger years, but it seems timeless to me. Feel free to comment on the choices or make fun of me for being sentimental about a dude I never met, but somehow recognized his passion.

Artwork by Billy Colbert (www.billycolbert.com)