Dec 30, 2013

Video: Skanks - "Thank God"



Japanese beatmaker and French resident Kyo Itachi linked with emcee Skanks (the rap martyr) for a track and video from the upcoming album "The Shinigami Flowfessional". Catching a throwback vibe with the backbeat, Skanks spends his verses giving thanks to the powers that be for blessing him with the skills and musical talent he shares in the song. Nice little heat rock to start he weak off and help close the year 2013. Stay tuned for more from this camp in the months to come.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://therapmartyr.com/

Dec 27, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Alexis Diaz


Globetrotting muralist Alexis Diaz continues to travel the world and paint his large scale hybrid creatures on walls and surfaces of all kinds. Diaz is Puerto Rican born and his native culture has influenced the artist's work by creating colorful and heavily textured images that combine human forms and animal forms into mind bending and fascinating creations. In addition to his solo work, Alexis often works collectively with his friend and fellow artist Juan Fernandez, under the name "La Pandilla" (The Gang). Both artists are know for intricate line detail, splashes of vibrant color and the melding of fantastical animal imagery.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://cargocollective.com/alexisdiaz

Dec 26, 2013

Video: The Are - "Little Girl"



Early this winter, former K-Otix beatsmith and current instrumental producer The ARE released an inaugural project with blog site Rappers I Know entitled "Here, My Dear" as an ode to Marvin Gaye's famous album and his own family life. He recently released the visuals for the track “Little Girl”, dedicated to The ARE’s daughter Harlow doing what she does best—smiling, drawing, running around, and being her father’s joy. Good holiday soundtrack to appreciate your family with.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/here-my-dear/id728115610

Dec 25, 2013

Listen: DJ Snake - "Jingle Bells" Dubstep Reprise


How to crunk-up your holiday gift unwrapping party! Not my usual style of soundtrack, but trying to have fun with it via DJ Snake, Diplo and friends!



DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/djsnake-king/dj-snake-bird-machine-feat

Dec 24, 2013

Listen: LuvJonez - "MISH MASH" album



For those of you that may be new to this blog, aside from supporting my favorite acts, I also drop an album of my own from time to time under the moniker LuvJonez and this latest effort is a 35 track instrumental collection for the end of 2013. The title "Mish Mash" is a reference to the catalog of sounds I used on the record. The foundation of this album is a mix of some of my favorite quotes from radio, movies, interviews, things I hear on the subway and in the streets of NYC, dusty vinyl, old cassette tapes, demo CDs that I pick up in my travels, my own unused beats, things that make me laugh, favorite jazz samples and many other sounds that I am always inspired by. I wanted to create an audio collage of instrumentals for the last days of 2013 that reflect many of the elements that inspire me during my daily grind, even in the rawest form, in hopes of connecting with global citizens of the hip hop universe. Download it, support it, remix it, rhyme over it or just zone out with it.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://luvjonez.bandcamp.com/album/mish-mash-2

Dec 23, 2013

Video: Run The Jewels - "A Christmas F*cking Miracle"



Always willing to make fun of themselves and talk serious when it counts, the lethal combo of Killer Mike and El-P rocked 2013 with plenty of gems and their latest video for the track "A Christmas F*cking Miracle" is a quality ode to one of their better tracks from the "Run The Jewels" album. Perfect timing for the grumpy holiday celebrator in your family and all the folks that question tradition.

Dec 21, 2013

Last Minute Hip hop Holiday Gift List


This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if some of these items ended up in my stocking, I would not complain and neither would any hip hop fan this holiday season:

Some ideas for this year.

HOUSTON RAP BOOK
This photo book and culture study of the Houston rap scene is pretty intriguing
http://www.peterbeste.com/home/index.php?/photography/houston-rap/

BUN B COLORING BOOK
Fun Bun B rap coloring book with detailed character studies for the rap fan:
http://www.amazon.com/Bun-Rap-Coloring-Activity-Book/dp/1419710419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370633378&sr=8-1&keywords=bun+b%27s+rap+coloring+and+activity+book

PUBLIC ENEMY MEGA SET
If you want to pay homage to Public Enemy, this is an awesome collection: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009TSA8TM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009TSA8TM&linkCode=as2&tag=conseofsound-20

CANT STOP WONT STOP
Classic reader from Jeff Chang with a detailed history of the origins of Hip Hop Culture:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312425791?ie=UTF8&tag=aolmusic-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=031242579

MOVIES - BIG FUN IN THE BIG TOWN
DVD - Dutch Hip Hop documentary and history of the 1980s hip hop scene in NY: http://www.getondown.com/product/item.php?id=15035

80 BLOCKS FROM TIFFANYS
movie about 1985 NYC gang culture (think THE WARRIORS movie) http://www.getondown.com/product/item.php?id=15032

BDP USB HUB
Boogie Down Productions - handgun USB hub: http://www.getondown.com/album/list.php?format=13

Dec 20, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Analog Africa Musical Archives


Kind of a different twist on Fine Art Friday, but I was really impressed at both the back story and dedication to the vinyl history that has gone into archiving the record label Analog Africa and its body of recorded history. Though I was initially suspect of yet another white guy capitalizing on authentic Black music from Africa, his interest seemed genuinely driven to share the music and help the artists archive their own cultural and personal history.

Dec 19, 2013

Listen: Sareem Poems X Imperial - "God Bless the Child"


Cali emcee and LA Symphony member Sareem Poems and producer Imperial, in conjunction with label Illect, recently dropped a humble ode to fathers and children, expressing his views as a proud father and dedicated grown man. Not a lot to report, just a mellow, jazzy track to honor his family and what it means to bring a child into this modern universe. Nice grown man soundtrack to vibe out to whether you have kiddos or not.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://illect.bandcamp.com/album/god-bless-the-child-2

Dec 17, 2013

Listen: COARSE COMPANY (TENACITY X KONCEPT) - "SAME PAGE" EP



Brown Bag All-Star and Brooklyn resident Koncept continues to drop EPs with producers from all soundbeds and just dropped the collaborative effort known as Course Company with LA-based producer Tenacity. The two have collaborated on various songs in the past but decided it was time to do a project and they knocked it out in one week. The album "Same Page" features guest appearances from J57, Natalie Andrea, and Shi Dog and serves as a nice winter treat from the busy BBAS crew and their ever growing catalog of projects and collabs. Check it out and see how quality and quantity can be one in the same.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.audiomack.com/album/tenacity/same-page

Dec 16, 2013

Video: Ed Rowe - "Close But No Cigar"



Brooklyn native and current Atlanta emcee Ed Rowe recently dropped a video for "Close But No Cigar" as the lead track from his album "Exercise In Tuition" out now. Though I admit I don't know much about Ed, I appreciate the quality of his lyrics and sound, as it reminds me a bit of NC's Supastition at times, and never tries to cater to the trap sound that ATL is known for these days. If this track is any indication of the type of thinking mans hip hop that Rowe is bringing to the table, then I am all aboard. Always glad to see a young emcee staying true to self and message despite the current trends happening all around him.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://edrowe.bandcamp.com/

Dec 13, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Francesco Albano - "Skin Sculptures"


Sculpture artist Francesco Albano recently previewed his series of work that explores the elasticity and mortality of the human flesh. Building scenes that seem like the aftermath of a toxic waste disaster, Albano's work uses beautiful and horrific piles of flesh that are stretched, skinned, melted and folding in on itself to emphasize the fragile state of our "mortal coil". Check it out and see some masterful execution of a sculpture artist who wants you to confront your cellulite and wrinkles and appreciate what you have.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://albanofrancesco.blogspot.com/

Dec 12, 2013

Listen: Asheru - "Sleepless In Soweto" Album


Unspoken Heard member and DC area hip hop emcee, artist, and educator Asheru continues to add to his solid discography with positive and mellow, thinking mans hip hop. After spending years in South Africa, he has prepared a new album entitled "Sleepless In Soweto" and serves as an introduction to some live instrumentation hip hop with elements of African house, afrobeat and other African influences throughout the album. Always staying true to his interests and reflecting an authentic and educated approach to his own cultural and musical history, Asheru delivers on another album that you can safely play for a crowd of any age.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://asheru.bandcamp.com/album/sleepless-in-soweto

Dec 11, 2013

Listen: Tom Caruana - "Wu-Tang vs The Beatles: Enter The Magical Mystery Chamber"



Though this project is not new, I find myself constantly revisiting it for the interesting concept of combining the two prolific groups. Not using obvious Beatles samples, some are re-created, some are cover songs, but still staying on target in order to match the verses of various Wu songs from their group and solo efforts to some fresh and original soundscapes, the project from dj Tom Caruana is a quality ode to two powerhouse groups from rock and rap history.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.datpiff.com/Wu-Tang-Vs-The-Beatles-Enter-The-Magical-Mystery-Chamber-mixtape.185441.html

Dec 10, 2013

Video: Snowgoons X Reks X Edo G - "Suckaz Behind Screens"



German true school hip hop production team Snowgoons continues to build an impressive catalog with many of underground hip hops veterans and resident tough guys. Showcasing their recent collabo with Edo G and Reks for the track "Suckaz Behind Screens, the track addresses the unfortunate but true nature of hip hop in the internet age, where haters leaving overtly racist and insulting comments and feedback simply because they can remain anonymous. The video is a clever ode to the internet downloading, sharing and copying of files that is commonly attributed to hurting lesser known artists bottom line, but the concept is well executed and should help build some hype for the rest of the album dropping "Black Snow 2" on Dec 13th.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://snowgoons.bandcamp.com/album/...

Dec 9, 2013

Listen: Rapper Big Pooh - "Fat Boy Fresh 3.5"





Criminally slept on since the debut of Little Brother, Rapper Big Pooh has been adding quality tracks and guest appearances to many albums and mixtapes since the group disbanded years ago. The recent remastered version of Augusts "Fat Boy Bresh 3", now includes more songs and some new mixes that help round out a slept-on but quality project that frames the tracks around the concept of people telling embarrassing birthday stories between the tracks and makes the albums personal stories and songs more relevant the second time around. Check it out and support the other half of Little Brother.

Dec 6, 2013

Fine Art Friday: David Lynch



Though he certainly doesn't need any more press about him in terms of movies, very few people have ever seen (or know about) movie director David Lynch and his body of artwork with printmaking and painting. Recently hosting a show of his work in Los Angeles, Lynch displays a body of work that is equally unsettling as his movies, but with dark humor injected in them. I am a fan of the scribbled text, aged textures and general gritty quality of most of his work and enjoy seeing an artist explore different mediums with equal quality. It looks like the mad scribbles of a mental patient which makes them the more charming for me. Check some of it out below and enjoy the nightmares.

Dec 3, 2013

Listen: DJ Hazey X Blazo - "Colors of Jazz 2: The Mash Ups"



Though the interest of mash-up collections seems to have waned over the years, every once in a while an artist breathes some fresh breath into classic tracks and lost verses lost in the ocean of great music. For a recent nod to the mix of jazz and hip hop underground classics, Dj Hazey and Blazo linked up for a free mixtape of such examples. Check it out and hear some of hip hops unsung heroes get a mdoern retooling by the consistent DJ Hazey and Blazo.

DOWNLOAD LINK
hazeymorning.blogspot.com/2013/12/dj-hazey-82-blazo-colors-of-jazz-2-mash.html

Dec 2, 2013

Video: Moka Only - "Some Ol' New Sh#t"



Glad to see Canadian hip hop veteran Moka Only dropping some chilled out new music with the video for "Some Ol' New Shit" off the recent Mutant Mixtape. Not much to say, but respect to Moka for not trying to mimic the popular trends and stay true to his laid back discography. Apparently, this is one of several projects coming in the next few months.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.urbnet.com/artist-mokaonly.asp

Nov 29, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Stefan Zsaitsits



I recently came across the work of Slovakian-born artist Stefan Zsaitsits and his mixture of cartoony, but moody drawings. He layers lots of simple but effective pencil drawings of fantastic, detailed, notebook-esque characters with some elements of fever-dream scenarios floating around each persons head. They look like sketches from a crazed childrens book, but I like the balance of serious moods and basic character drawings that communicate a deeper emotion than most line drawings.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://www.zsaitsits.com/en/drawing/2013/


Nov 28, 2013

Video:Tanya Morgan X Spec Boogie X 6th Sense - "The Vehicle"



Not much to say here, just glad to see that my favorite track, "The Vehicle", from the most recent Tanya Morgan album "Rubber Souls" got the video treatment and showcases the chill vibe and collaboration with like-minded emcees and producers that makes them stay in steady rotation in my ipod.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rub

Nov 27, 2013

Holiday Post: Kanye West - "Family Business"



Before he was prone to crazed rants and declaring himself a modern messiah and genius, Kanye was only mildly cocky and made honest endearing songs that followed in the footsteps of fellow Chitown natives Common and NO ID with tracks like "Family Business" from his major label debut. With the rare hip hop track that discusses family get togethers and seeing old friends, Kanye showed flashes of what made people like him in the first place but is now so far removed from his musical output that it is hard to believe it is the same dude. Listen to this track and reminisce about the days of old, in 2004!?

Nov 26, 2013

Booda French - "Club 27 Reservations" EP



UK hip hop squad Booda French recently dropped the "Club 27 Reservations" EP featuring guest spots from the Brown Bag Allstars (J57, Koncept), Travii (Bodega Brovas), Chrome (Def Tex) and many more emcees and producers. Showing a dedication to the true school craft and linking with some of the undergrounds unsung heroes, Booda French shows a good range of moods and tracks for the project and shines a light on a crew slowly building their name across the pond. Check it out and support the worldwide hip hop legacy.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://boodafrench.bandcamp.com/album/club-27-reservations

Nov 25, 2013

Video: Timeless Truth - "Wavelength"



Always glad to see young cats paying homage to and working with legends in the game, so when I saw the video for the Timeless Truth track"Wavelength" featuring famed producer Large Professor both on the beat and in the video, I knew that this was probably going to be on my level. Featured as a single from the forthcoming album, COLD WAVE, the video and track finds the crew talking about how they avoid following modern trends and making the music they love.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rock-it-science/id589135346

Nov 22, 2013

Fine Art Friday: IAN KUALI'I


On the eve of the upcoming Aqueduct Murals project here in Queens (NY), I had a chance to meet several of the artists working on the project. Many of the artists I was familiar with, but one whose work I was not, but had the chance to talk to for a while during his set up was Ian Kuali'i. Only knowing his recent work for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ benefit with Hour Children (above), which helps incarcerated/formerly incarcerated mothers and their children successfully rejoin their families and communities, I had a chance to see him doing a "freestyle" background for his paper cut-out designs and talk shop for a moment. Check out the colorful and honest artwork of the now-New Jersey based artist and help shine a light on a multi-talented and heavily hip hop influenced artist who benefits from having legendary b-boy and artist Doze Green as a mentor.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://iankualii.com/

Nov 21, 2013

Video: The Audible Doctor - "Wings Part 2" feat. Francesca



Though we are heading into the throws of the winter season, Brooklyn resident The Audible Doctor recently dropped the video for the track "Wings Part 2" from this past summers "The Summer Tape" EP. The video finds the Doc lounging on rooftops and talking about life and the eternal grind of  staying true to your self and your music. Always a fan of more honest hip hop, which is becoming more rare with each passing season.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://bit.ly/SumTunes

Nov 20, 2013

Video: The Remnant X TheFuture Vintage - "Summer Dog Days" Live



Futuristic Vintage TV recently featured Atlanta hip hop duo The Remnant for a live version of the track "Summer Dog Days" showcasing their collaborative, throwback style of hip hop. Following in the tradition of groups like the Native Tongues movement, The Remnant exhibit an anti-trap style of hip hop based in the root elements of the culture and based in the often party-centric and crunked out hometown of Atlanta. Expressing the art of rhyme patterns and word play over braggadocio, The Remnant shows that not every rap crew in the south follows the same trends.

DOWNLOAD LINK
TheRemnant.Bandcamp.com

Nov 19, 2013

Video: KA - "You Know Its About"



The always impressive one-man-army out of Brownsville (BK), KA continues to drop his impressive, creative, grimy poems over his own production, while also directing his own videos with an artists eye. I like that he does almost everything for himself and that there is an honesty to his singular approach to the rap game. He doesn't try to give off any indication of fake glamour to life and peppers his verses with nuggets of wisdom that stand up to repeated listens. Check it out and support one of the most slept-on emcee's doing it right now.

Nov 18, 2013

Listen: Soul Chef X Need Not Worry X Carla Waye - "You Too"



New Zealand producer SoulChef recently dropped the lead single "You Too" from his new album "Food For Thought" and features Need Not Worry and Carla Waye on the track as well. Taking for a more mellow ride through his mind, SoulChef created tracks that address everyday life and the struggles we all face as musicians and people in general. Lots of solid tracks on the album featuring his network of lesser known but quality artists to help take you on the journey. Check it out and support some hip hop from "down under".

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/brannubian/soul-chef-you-too-feat-need

Nov 17, 2013

Listen: J57 - "Requiem For Ports"



Brown Bag Allstar J57 just dropped an instrumental project as a memorial to Bryan "Ports" Coyle, a lifelong friend and the person he cites as being responsible for "putting me on to my favorite hip hop artists/influences, taught me how to rhyme, and also taught me that you "only get one first impression", who passed away a year ago today. To honor Ports, and instead of focusing on the negative of the loss, J57 and Ports family members decided to celebrate his life each birthday - as he would definitely have wanted and this project is part of that celebration. Listen and enjoy "Requiem For Ports" and help the BBAS crew pay homage to a fallen comrade.

DOWNLOAD LINK
www.audiomack.com/song/j57/requiem-for-ports

Nov 15, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Perttu Saksa - "A Kind Of You" Series



Perttu Saksa  is a visual artist and photographer whose recent series called "A Kind of You" exhibits monkeys in masks in dramatic lighting that is both expertly done and depressing in a good way (to me anyway). It is amazing to me how much emotion Saksu can pull from the animals in their various poses. Check it out and realize that your concepts of how we interact with nature as humans can transform with a single photograph. He graduated in fine arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and from photography from the Lahti University of Applied Science. Currently Perttu is working on his PhD in fine arts at Aalto University in Helsinki.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.perttusaksa.com/



Nov 14, 2013

Listen: Denmark Vessey X Scud One - "HoeininDaGaddaDaVida"



Producer Exile and his Dirty Science crew recently previewed the work of collaborative duo Denmark Vessey (Detroit) and Scud One (Chicago)and their video and single entitled "HoeininDaGaddaDaVida" from the album. The overall project is quoted from the crew as wanting the listener "to make a classic imaginative journey through the minds of controlling powers of religion, music and Government in this grimey, psychedic Hip Hop album "Cult Classic."

Check out the video above and the album below and support some talented cats from the American Midwest

DOWNLOAD LINK
www.shopdirtyscience.com/collections/…t-classic-cd

Nov 13, 2013

Listen: No Bird Sing - "Don't Think" feat. Sage Francis



Not really a left field post, but a slight curveball from the stuff I typically post here, after hearing the lead single from Strange Famous crew NO BIRD SING (emcee Joe Horton, drummer/producer Graham O'Brien, and guitarist/producer Robert Mulrennan) entitled "Don't Think", I wanted to share some music from the Midwest that carries the torch for groups like Atmosphere and more experimental rap acts.

Tying in live-band elements while exploring a more intensely-produced sound that ranges from indie rock flavors to minimal hip hop, No Bird Sing push the envelope and show the diversity of their sound on the record and feature some of their fellow Midwest standouts like Crescent Moon (Kill the Vultures), Kristoff Krane, Sadistik, Chastity Brown, James Diers (Halloween, Alaska), Aby Wolf, Adam Svec and Molly Dean.

Check out "Definition Sickness" and help shine a light on some talented cats from the middle of the country.

DOWNLOAD LINK
soundcloud.com/strangefamousrecords/dont-think

Nov 11, 2013

Listen: PRIVILEGE presents - "The Beat Down"



In honor of celebrating the release of their 2013 fall collection, PRIVILEGE clothing company just released a new exclusive instrumental collection inspired by the brand, mixed from Jony Fraze and featuring production from Double Truth alumni J57, ILLMind, M-Phazes and many more and mixed by Jony Fraze. Fraze describes the project like this: “Extremely proud of this project! Privilege gave me the opportunity to create and mix the ultimate beat tape of my dreams.Shouts to all the talented and amazing producers who I featured on this project. Make sure to check these guys out and keep em in mind for your next project."

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/teddy-king/privilege-music-presents-the

Nov 10, 2013

Listen: R-Kay - "One For Dilla"



I happened upon the work of the UK beatsmith R-Kay by chance, but was impressed at the obvious Dilla influence on his work, particularly this remake of the Slum Village track "Players" titled "One for Dilla". Always glad to see the next generation of beatmakers paying homage to one of the greats. Many of R-Kays beats are chilled out and float between RnB and hip hop, so check out his work with the UK based UK Based Collective Rhythm x Reason and help a slept-on talent from across the pond get some shine for his crew The Academy Collection .

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/rkbeat

Nov 9, 2013

Video: Fashawn - "The Beginning"



Among the many reasons I wanted to post the new single by Fashawn is the fact that he drops the phrase "The Double Truth" in his first verse, but mostly because it is a simple but dope beat produced by Evidence with Fash flowing confidently as he always does. Dropping the visuals for this latest single, entitled "The Beginning", Fash teamed up with Ev on the lo-fi creeper that sounds similar to his work with LMNO a few months back. Featuring graf artist TravMSK in the background of the video, Fashawn flexes his skills as a preview for "The Ecology" album dropping soon. Stay tuned for more from one of my favorite left coast emcees.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-beginning-single/id737919447#

Nov 8, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Jimmy Nelson - "Before They Pass Away" Photo Essay


I have to admit that whenever I see a cultural history project by a white guy, I am immediately suspect of their motives and possible exploitation of the subject matter, as has often been the case historically. However, despite the potential monetary gains or potential deceit behind the work, I was impressed by the breadth and style of photographer Jimmy Nelson's "Before They Pass Away" project which documented the lives of  35 indigenous tribes in 5 continents over a three year period.

Nov 7, 2013

Listen: Rasco X Guilty Simspson - "Swam and Simpson" EP



After years of bouncing around with underground labels and lesser known albums, I was glad to see former Cali Agents emcee Rasco pop back up on the hip hop radar with a collabo album with Guilty Simpson. They recently teamed up for a short EP that showcases their unique flows over fairly mellow production. Hopefully, there is more to come from both of these cats, but this new project entitled "Swam and Simpson" will do for now.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://swan-and-simpson.bandcamp.com/album/swan-simpson

Nov 5, 2013

Video: Paranom X Purpose - "Dayz Go By"



The crew at Ill Adrenaline Records continue to carry the torch for the boom bap, 90s golden era vibe of hip hop and just dropped another in a long string of solid releases with the new work from Paranom and Purpose. As a lead single for the upcoming "Life Outside The Frame" album from Paranom and Purpose, they recently dropped the video for "Dayz Go By" showing a chilled out vibe and clever wordplay that serve as a good preview for the overall album.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://bit.ly/DayzGoBy

Nov 4, 2013

Video: Marco Polo - "G.U.R.U." feat. Talib Kweli X DJ Premier



Marco Polo recently dropped a proper dedication video for his tribute track "G.U.R.U." off the upcoming Port Authority 2: Directors Cut album. Teaming with Talib Kweli and GURUs Gangstarr brethren DJ Premier, MP and Kweli created a celebration of the life, legacy and "all of the vast accomplishments and great music Guru and DJ Premier gave us". Despite all the weirdness surrounding Gurus passing, the impact of Gangstarr and the respect they earned as a group, and as individuals, will always be what the hip hop community remembers. Check out the video for some lost footage of Guru and friends during their heyday and help honor of the mist respected emcees to ever touch the mic.

DOWNLOAD LINK
itunes.apple.com/us/album/g.u.r.u…mier/id637265221

Nov 1, 2013

Fine Art Friday: CYOP E KAF



The artist duo and Italian crew of CYOP E KAF have been populating the streets of Italy and the rest of the world for quite some time. From books, to murals, to street art and print editions, the duo continue to produce simple yet creative work in many mediums. Some of the first work I saw by them continues to be my favorite so far, but check out the website below and study the range of subject matter and material that they work in for a good sample of their skills. More images after the jump.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://www.cyopekaf.org/works/?lang=en

Oct 31, 2013

Video: Joey Bada$$ X Maverick Sabre - "My Yout"



Somehow still maintaining critical acclaim while rarely getting TV or radio airplay, Joey Bada$$ (of Pro Era) recently dropped the visuals for the single for "My Yout" from the "Summer Knights" EP and featuring Maverick Sabre. Filmed in St. Lucia, "My Yout" finds Joey bouncing around the island and walking the streets with local folks and rapping about life and growing up. Check it out and support the Pro Era crew captain.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://smarturl.it/SummerKnightsEP

Oct 30, 2013

Listen: Curtessy x The Militia - "Expectations"



South Central emcee Curtessy and Johannesburg-based beatsmith The Militia recently teamed up to drop the collaborative album entitled "Expectations" via The DJ Booth. Showing many areas of growth since the last album, Curtessy also linked some guest spots from notable emcee's like Khrysis, MidaZ The Beast, Pro Logik, Rome Clientel and Wally Left with all production duties handled entirely by The Militia. Glad to see Cali emcee's diversifying their sound and concentrating on making good music instead of relying on club tracks to show their skills. Check it out and support some slept-on Left Coast talent.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.djbooth.net/index/albums/review/curtessy-x-the-militia-expectations

Oct 29, 2013

Video: Oddisee - "Own Appeal"



Flipping a classic sample and dropping stories of life problems and staying motived in the face of lifes many distractions, Oddisee recently released the video from his free mixtape "Tangible Dream" that came packaged with the instrumental album "The Beauty in All". Always repping his Mello Music Group with quality music and messages, Oddisee continues to carry the torch for DC area hip hop and world wide success on the independant level. Check it out and support music from the DMV!

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://mellomusicgroup.bandcamp.com/track/own-appeal-tangible-dream

Oct 28, 2013

Video: Jermiside X Danny Diggs - "Victory Is Mine"



Jermiside and Danny Diggs recently dropped the visuals for the track "Victory Is Mine" from new album "Quiet As Kept". The video is a nice chilled out track that shows Jermiside strolling through the streets of Atlanta's King Historic District and sharing stories of overcoming hard times and the success that comes from meeting the right folks on his journey through life.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/quiet-as-kept/id694909055

Oct 26, 2013

Listen: ValhallaBeats - "Acoustic Bumpin"



I recently met the instrumental producer Valhalla Beats at a producer showcase in NYC and was impressed with his work and wanted to share it here. His work reminds me of Nicolay (of Foreign Exchange) and a bit of Amp Live (of ZION I). Valhalla Beats is based out of Astoria Queens and relocated to NY from New Hampshire where he got his start making more focused music in college. Originally, he started making albums of original music for friends and handing them out under made up band names when he was 16 and later played in different bands at the University of New Hampshire to mild success on campus.

Valhalla moved to NYC 4 months ago with the hopes of owning a studio in the next 6 years or to be producing/running sessions/recording bands or vocalists or rappers full time. Currently, he promotes his work for free through various online sites in hopes to show his range of production and quality of material. He uses live instruments coupled with software like Protools 10, Reason 7, Komplete 9 Ultimate, AKG 414, and Shure SM7b to mix/master/record everything by himself. Check out his Soundclodu page below and help shine a light on some slept-on talent outta Queens.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/valhallabeats

Oct 25, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Peter Beste - "Houston Rap" Book



Well-traveled photographer Peter Beste recently published the book "Houston Rap" which documents his time following the Houston (Texas) rap scene and the culture of the often ignored music scene that birthed notable figures in rap history The Geto Boys, DJ Screw, UGK and many others. According to Beste, he spent nine years with "full immersion into the everyday life of the Houston Hip Hop community". The 272 page book offers profiles on local music fans, community leaders, music producers, local businessmen, "Sizzurp" chefs, family members and profiles new cats and veteran artists like Bun B, Z-Ro, Willie D, Paul Wall, DJ Screw (RIP), Pimp C (RIP), and Big Hawk (RIP).

To make the book even more notable, the Slipcased Exclusive version is packaged alongside a Fat Pat/DJ Screw 7-inch and the Deluxe Bundle is the book with limited edition slipcase, a Fat Pat/DJ Screw 7-inch, a Fat Pat “Ghetto Dreams” DVD, the Houston Rap Tapes companion handbook and DJ Screw’s musical opus, All Screwed Up, pressed to wax as a 2LP vinyl for the first time ever.

Though I typically don't feature much of the Houston music on my site, I do respect the grind of the Houston rap crew and industry. From artists like Scarface to more recent Slim Thug, I do keep an ear open for underground and mainstream stuff coming from the area and this book seems to pay homage to all of it. Hoping to score one for myself!

PHOTO PORTFOLIO LINK
http://www.peterbeste.com/home/index.php?/photography/houston-rap/

PRE-ORDER LINK
http://www.peterbeste.com

Oct 24, 2013

Listen: MY'KEY ISO - "THE APPETIZER"



Because of the old school-esque cover of the album, I clicked on the latest project form My’Key Iso for the album "The Appetizer" and was pleasantly surprised at the jazzy and more laid-back songs on the album.  Originally from Houston, Iso is a bit of a curveball from the Suave House sound that H-town is known for, but I appreciate cats who go a new direction and aim for a more mellow and personal vibe. With a few features from his NWTHGHTMVMNT crew, My'Key holds down the bulk of the album with honest lyrics and stories. Check it out and help shine a light on a slept-on talent from Texas.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.audiomack.com/album/mykey-iso/the-appetizer

Oct 23, 2013

Video: Koncept - "Not For Nothing"



On the heals of dropping the collabo album with producer Numonics, Brooklyn emcee Koncept just dropped the visuals for the track "Not For Nothing" from the "Live On" EP. Showing Kon rolling through Brooklyn streets and chilling on rooftops to a more chilled out soundtrack about everday struggles and how to cope. Check out the project for free at the link below and see what the Brown Bag Allstar has been up to.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://www.audiomack.com/album/koncept-1/live-on-ep

Oct 22, 2013

Listen: DJ Pings - "Dusty Platter Guest Mix Series Part 4"



Though I had not heard of the Dusty Platter Guest Mix Series by the UKs own DJ PINGS until the 4th installment posted here, I enjoy the selections he gathered for the newest mix and will check for the rest soon. Known as a producer and record label owner, DJ Pings runs an independent record label called KingUnderground Records that has worked with notable acts like Lewis Parker, Cappo and Nappa, Planet Asia, Mr Brown and many more. For this fourth mix, he mixed a blend of his personal favorite underground tracks from the last few years for a solid 47 minute playlist. Check it out and catch some slept-on tracks from around the globe.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/dustyplatter/dusty-platter-guest-mix-4

Oct 21, 2013

Read: W. Michael Schuster II - "Fair Use, Girl Talk, and Digital Sampling"




Fair Use, Girl Talk, and Digital Sampling: 
An Empirical Study of Music Sampling's Effect on the Market for Copyrighted Works

To switch speeds a bit here,I wanted to share a recent paper published by W. Michael Schuster II, which digs into the concept of sampling in hip hop and how it can often boost sales for both the artist and the sampled artist as well. It can be a bit of a heavy read at 74 pages, but the paper uses the famed sample-based and mash up artist GIRL TALK to frame the argument.  Though it can read like an academic paper, there are interesting points about the argument of "fair use" and "copyright" in music that may help pave the way for improved laws that favor both parties. Download the paper below and get your learn on. It may help you argue with the purists of the world that think sampling has no merit and educate a proven, creative resource that many artist, including myself, continue to use as a muse.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2340235

ARTWORK CREDIT: Dutch illustrator and fellow crate digger Stefan Glerum

Oct 17, 2013

Video: Dana Coppafeel X SPEAK Easy X SNYD - "Da City"



Uni-Fi Records crew members Dana Coppafeel and SPEAK Easy recently dropped the video for "Da City" from their upcoming collaborative album. The track features an appearance from fellow emcee SYND and production from noted beat Midwest beat battle champ Da Ricanstrukta who created a more chilled out soundtrack for the emcee team. Rolling through the streets of Milwaukee, the duo shows that you can have fun and still be taken serious about your craft. Check out the single below and stay tuned for the album coming soon.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dana-coppafeel-speak-easy/id624921290

Oct 16, 2013

Video: Jamal Science - "Simply Amazin"



Jamal Science and Panik (of the legendary Chicago production squad and record label Molemen Records), recently teamed up for the new single "Simply Amazin'" from the upcoming EP of the same name. The Molemen have quietly built one of the midwest's most respected labels and criminally slept-on talents over the last decade working with battle legend Juice, Vakill, Clew Rock and others. By signing some of the Chi-town areas more-talented young cats, who show an appreciation for the true school hip hop sound, the Molemen have increased their visibility and show that there is still plenty of limelight for the city. Check out the video above and research the Molemen catalog for some lesser known rap gems from the middle of the country.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/simply-amazin-feat.-panik/id688578938

Oct 15, 2013

Video: F. Stokes X Mister Modo X Ugly Mac Beer "Diggin in the Crates"



New York recently got a visit from international French beatsmith duo Mister Modo and Ugly Mac Beer, who linked up with the well-traveled standout emcee F. Stokes for the video and track honoring the true school method of "diggin in the crates" to create musical soundscapes. The video version is actually the Colonna Remix, but the mood of the track remains. The video features some famed NY digging spots and mini-tour locations that people in the know always check out.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://colonna.bandcamp.com/

Oct 14, 2013

Listen: Kev Brown - "Brazil Dedication"


I realize that I feature a lot of DMV artists, but truth be told, of all the places I have lived, the DC area had the most true school group of cats I have ever seen. They all support each other and continue to produce quality "grown man" music for the hip hop generation. Kev Brown recently dropped a 10" collection dedicated to his time in Brazil. He seemed to be overwhelmed with the response to his tunes down there and must have had a great experience which he pays tribute to with beats and tracks on this album. To wuote the man himself "I was making beats in hotel rooms, at different people's houses ... wherever. Goin' hard, sampling straight in from whatever source was available at the time. Most places I was at didn't have turntables." This show that he was feeling inspired and made due with whatever he could use. Check it out and see what the audio tour of Brazil is all about.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://ughh.com/kev-brown-brazil-dedication/LB010YELLOW10/

Oct 13, 2013

Throwback: Nas - "Life's A Bitch"



I know there was never an official video for this track, but someone out in the internets built this black and white edit of the 1995 film "La Haine" that fits the vibe just nicely. This post is mostly about how this track "Lifes a Btch" (Illmatic, 1994) has continued to stay in rotation in my ipod as a way to de-stress from a hard day. AZ and Nas both snapped on this and the muted trumpet at the end by Olu Dara makes this a timeless gem in my collection. At the end of a hard day and rough week, tracks like this always help to remind you that things could be worse.

Oct 11, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Thomas Hooper



I don't normally get caught up in tattoo culture, as I have seen way too much cornball tattooing on peoples arms and legs in my life. However, every once in a while you will see some incredible artwork on someones body and recognize that there are masters out there who know how to create unique and captivating ink drawings on human flesh. I recently came across the artwork and subsequent tattoos of Thomas Hooper, a Brooklyn tattoo artist who is classically trained and a master craftsmen.

The bulk of his work is based in "the sanctum of nature and natural forms, the unconscious, mathematical and geometric patterns, cosmology, and eastern religious images." He uses classic printmaking and mark-making techniques to render these forms and the results often call for lots of staring or meditation to appreciate.

ARTIST WEBSITE
http://meditationsinatrament.com

SIGN UP FOR A TATTOO IF YOU ARE NEAR NYC
Saved Tattoo
426 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 486-0850
savedtattoo.com

DETAILED IMAGES OF HIS WORK AFTER THE JUMP

Oct 10, 2013

Listen: Kap Kallous X Midaz The BEAST X Shinobi Stalin - "Bad Decisions"





Florida emcee Kap Kallous recently teamed up with fellow Florida favorites Midaz The Beast and Shinobi Stalin to wax posetic about a life of "Bad Decisions" over a track of the same name. Despite the murderous look on the cover, the Orlando emcee tries to channel Houston rap lord Scarface's famous track "The Diary" over some laid back, hypnotic production provided by his long-time collaborator Optiks as a preview for the upcoming release "Grandeur" with Doxside Music Group.

I made my own artwork for the single, so if you want the original artwork download it on Soundcloud at the link above.

Oct 9, 2013

Video: L'Orange & Stik Figa - "Smoke Rings"



Repping the middle of the country, literally, Kansas emcee Stik Figa linked up with beatsmith L'Orange for the collabo album "The City Under The City". As part of the Mello Music crew, Stik Figa doesn't shy away from the fact that he lives in a neglected part of the U.S. and instead embraces his stance of someone who is making successful strides despite his geography. Weaving stories about the struggle to be heard, life in general and the human spirit of overcoming adversity, TCUTC seems like a telling project for the times we live in. Check it out and support quality music from all corners of the map.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-city-under-the-city/id687402217

Oct 8, 2013

Video: CM JONES -"DA LUV"



I honestly checked this crew out because of the similarity to my own LuvJonez moniker and was pleasantly surprised at the chill vibe and jazzy track and video. I am not going to front like I know much about this crew, but DJ Creestal and MoShadee as CM JONES made a solid track here and if this is any indication of the rest of the album, they are someone to keep an eye on. Reppin New Jersey on a much more chill tip than most East Coast rap, check out the debut album "Perfect Hand Off" below and support some slept-on talent from the garden state.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://cmjones.bandcamp.com/album/d-a-l-u-v

Oct 7, 2013

Video: SmooVth - "There Goes The Neighborhood"



Maybe it's because I have been following these cats for years, SmoovTH and Hus Kingpin are known together as Tha Connection, and even having had done some artwork layouts for some of their albums, I tend to support them in their many ventures both as a team and soloists. SmoovTH recently dropped the video for the single "There goes the Neighborhood" which shows him stomping around a rundown house and talking about the general public's continued "evil eye" for everything rap. The beat sounds like some old school Too Short mixed with early 90's NYC production but gives SmoovTH plenty of room to drop knowledge on the listener without overpowering it.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/sean-smoovth

Oct 4, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Nick Brandt "Across the Ravaged Land"



Though this series of photographs by Nick Brandt has been all over the news lately, I was really moved to post it here for the Fine Art Friday series because of the strength of the work. Continuing on the theme of darker subject matter for these art posts, the way Brandt approaches the work will surely make you appreciate the fragility of nature and life.

Oct 3, 2013

Video: Clem Beatz X Racecar - "S.T.N.B"



Mixing what reminds me of the vibe of Cali underground legend Dr. Oop and a bit of The Pharcyde, Clem Beatz and Racecar recently teamed up for the jazzy track "S.T.N.B" as part of the upcoming album "ITINERAIRE". I had never heard of either of these cats until yesterday, but if the jazzy, laid back feel of thsi track is a good preview for the rest of the album, I will certainly check it out. Funny that it takes european cats to re-introduce us to our own jazz legacy.

CONTACT INFO BELOW
Clem Beat'z : http://www.soundcloud.com/clem-beatz
Racecar : http://www.reverbnation.com/theracecar

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/itineraire/id718836749

Oct 2, 2013

Video: Marco Polo X Organized Konfusion – "3-O-Clock"



In the build up to dropping his new album "PA2: The Director’s Cut", Marco Polo previews the lead single for the album featuring the reunited Organized Konfusion (Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch). While this may not be news to some, but not since the duo disbanded in 1997 has there been any new music from the OK crew. Marco Polo has a knack for creating bangers and the guest list alone on this album is enough to check out. Pharoahe is personally one of my favorite emcee's, so I am glad to see him team up with one of the torch bearers of true school hip hop in 2013. Check out the rest of the album on November 12th and helps shine a light on some of hip hops vets (Talib Kweli, DJ Premier, Posdnuos, Masta Ace, MC Eiht, King Tee, Inspectah Deck, Rah Digga, and many more) plus some newer cats like the Doppelgangaz all doing what they do best.

Sep 30, 2013

Listen: Sean Born X Dunc - "ORGANIC" EP



DMV torch-bearers of the true school hip hop sound, Sean Born and Dunc recently dropped an EP entitled "ORGANIC" featuring 8 tracks of quality music that can appeal to your more "grown man" sensibilities. Never obsessed with trying to mimic the mainstream trap or die mentality, both of these cats bring a solid reputation to the table and show a good range of topics that speak on the concept of bringing the freshest "produce" possible. Aiming to be the soundtrack of your everyday life, from struggle to successes, so listen up and digest some quality music from the nations capital.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://seanborn.bandcamp.com/album/organic

Sep 29, 2013

Video: Mar-q - "BEAT THE BEAT UP"



Homegrown Brooklyn emcee Mar-q recently dropped the official video for the track "Beat The Beat Up" from his mixtape entitled "Beats Bodied By Bars". Borrowing the instrumental track from the 2012 LuvJonez album "Worry Worts", Mar-q flipped it into an entire song filled with battle ready rhymes and clever wordplay. "Beat The Beat Up" serves up a good preview of the type of flow he brings to the table on the rest of the mixtape, so check out the video above, filmed in Coney Island, Flatbush, and downtown Brooklyn by Mar-q himself, and go to mar-qmusic.blogspot.com for more info on the up and coming emcee from BK.

Sep 27, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Jamie Wardley X Andy Moss



On September 21st, Peace Day, British artists Jamie Wardley and Andy Moss collaborated on a mass stencil project that utilized teams of volunteers with rakes and stencils to etch 9,000 silhouettes into the beaches of Normandy to represent the Civilians, Germans and Allied forces who died on June 6th, 1944, better known as D-Day. The simple concept helps folks realize the body count of all of not just this historic battle, but all of the conflicts in the world on any given day. If someone could do this in Iraq or Afghanistan or Chicago or any other city and country currently experiencing genocide, violence and civil unrest, maybe people would think twice about the sacrifice of human life for the so-called "greater good". In the day and age of drones and guided missiles, why do we still need soldiers at all?

More detailed images after the jump.







Sep 25, 2013

Listen: DJ Franchise - "Futurized Funk (Easy Moe Bee) Mix



Always down to support the great producers and beats from the Golden Era of hip hop, the first time I heard this mix by DJ Franchise was in the background of a Combat Jack episode and was moved at the compilation of all these great tracks. Easy Moe Bee had a knack for making some solid hits but always seemed to create the album tracks that people grew to love but never got videos too. Some of these tracks you might know but not who produced them and like Jay-Z said "the strong move in silence" and Easy Moe built a solid list of productions for heavy hitters all thorough the 90s and beyond while not acting like Kanye to get peoples attention. Listen up and pay homage to one of the greats who is still doing it. Props to DJ Franchise for recognizing the illness of Easy Moe's catalog.



DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/francischiser/futurized-funk

Sep 24, 2013

Video: A.L. (All Lyrics) - "Lighter Fluid"



Though he has been mostly quiet since his Lyricist lounge/ Rawkus days, AL recently dropped a sort of comeback track and video called "Lighter Fluid". He has updated his sound from more boom-bap stuff in the past, and even though it is mostly a tough-talk brag rap, he can still bring more lyrics than most Top 40 rappers these days. Check it out and see what one of hip hop's slept on vets of the 90s has been up to.

Sep 22, 2013

Video: Throwback: Torae - "Off The Record"



This track is certainly not to be called "old" but since it is from 2011, I have to call it a throwback. Either way, this track is a great song for a chilly Fall day. Torae flexes his lyrical skills over a triumphant DJ Premier track for a perfect pairing of tough talk and anthem-like verses to make me proud to pound the pavement in NYC everyday, and Brooklyn to be exact. This is a track I use to motivate me on the long ass train ride to the city every morning and maybe it can do the same for you, even on a Sunday. Classic beat and classic verse from on of BK's proud sons.

Sep 20, 2013

Fine Art Friday: THOMAS DEVAUX


One common theme in most of the work I post here for Fine Art Friday is darker subject matter. I al always drawn to the rich blacks and confrontational style of many artists who choose to explore what I consider more "human" qualities of mortality. On that note, I recently discovered the work of photographer Thomas Devaux and was blown away by the imagery he creates. Mostly because it is photographs and not an oil painting of charcoal drawing, he uses the endless capabilities of digital manipulation, Devaux's series entitled "Attrition" is a reinterpretation of art history and a slight nod to its destruction and trying to get past the fact that it is used to compare everything after.

Sep 19, 2013

Video: The Lytics - "They Said"



The most recent video from Canadian crew The Lytics is a creative, grmiey, hazy ode to the ice cold surroundings of their home country. The emcee's all seem to have a good approach to the mic and remind me of Slum Village or Hieroglyphics in terms of the crew dynamic. I don't know much about these guys, but the vibe of the track and video makes for a good introduction to their new album "They Told Me" which is out now! Check out some brothers from up north and support quality music from around the globe.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://thelytics.bandcamp.com/

Sep 16, 2013

Video: Tanya Morgan - "Pick It Up"



As a lead in to the new album "Rubber Souls", Tonya Morgan just dropped the visuals for the single "Pick it up". Marking the first time that both emcee's worked in the studio at the same time and using the musical direction of producer 6th Sense and a live band, TM tries something new this time out and the results are an eclectic mix of mellow sounds and more playful beats and rhymes. Personally, my favorite tracks are the Spec Boogie feature "The Vehicle" and the track "All Em" but there are other clever rhymes and godo vibes throughout so check it out and support some under-rated underground MCs.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rubber-souls/id686184039

Sep 13, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Erin Greenough



I see a lot of album art on a daily basis and only once in a while do I stop to see who designed or illustrated some of these designs. The she works within a music genre that I do not actively listen to, the work of Erin Greenough stood out to me, specifically her work with the group Harm Wulf. She uses hand drawn elements and eerie imagery to illustrate the music and I like the mix of skulls, children and beetles. Sometimes the art doesn't have to "mean" anything, but the more organic forms and effort is often enough to make me consider listening. If only hip hop artists would try this sometimes, instead of relying on mixtape graphics to create their image.

More images below:




Sep 12, 2013

Listen: Homeboy Sandman - "Musician"


Hip hop everyman Homeboy Sandman has been promoting his new album with snippets of tracks around the web, but his latest track from said album "All That I Hold Dear" entitled “Musician” drives home why he is so critically acclaimed. From the little intro about reporters asking irrelevant questions, he sets off on a mission to justify why hip hoppers are musicians and not "just rappers". Repping Queens from the Cali headquarters of Stones Throw Records, Homeboy Sandman drops knowledge over a catchy, soulful beat to wake up the "sleeping" public to the art of hip hop. Check it out and support quality music from across the map.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://soundcloud.com/stonesthrow/homeboy-sandman-musician

Sep 11, 2013

Video: Oddisee - "After Thoughts"



Though he has slowly been building his Mello Music Group empire like an underground Barry Gordy, and typically features heavy on the rapping, it is nice to see Oddisee take a break from the norm and drop an instrumental project for the world like some stuff from RJD2 or DJ Shadow. I am always curious to see how his production styles have grown from the Jazzy Jeff days, the first time I heard him and Kev Brown, and he never disappoints with his mellow vibes. If this new video for the track "After Thoughts" is any indication of the vibe of the entire upcoming "The Beauty In All" instrumental project, then we are all in for a new soundtrack to life. Check out the video and support the album when it drops. Quality non-trap, non-techno beats are hard to come by these days, so appreciate it when it happens.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-beauty-in-all/id687786079

Sep 10, 2013

Listen: Sean Born X Maffew Ragazino - "Trust In Me"


As a preview for his latest project, Low Budget emcee Sean Born linked up with Brooklyn native Maffew Ragazino for a super chilled out track entitled "Trust In Me", speaking on making hard life decisions and facing hard situations like a man. The soulful chops are brought to you courtesy of DC Beat Grinder alumni and contributor to all things Mello Music, Dunc of DTMD. Check it out and support the true school cats from the nations capital who are willing to be honest about life.



DOWNLOAD LINK
http://seanborn.bandcamp.com/track/trust-in-me-feat-maffew-ragazino-prod-by-dunc

Sep 9, 2013

Video: LMNO - "Dyslexic"



On the eve of dropping his new album "After the Fact", which is produced entirely by Evidence (of Dilated Peoples), Cali emcee, Visionairies crew member and Up Above Records affiliate LMNO recently posted the video for the lead single entitled "Dyslexic". The video is filmed backwards and shows the before and after of a day of imagined criminal episode with LMNO trying to disguise himself in plain view with the buzz of clippers running in the background.

Though LMNOs style is hard to digest for some, his clever lines and sometimes off-beat flow match the mood of Evidences beats well. Further proving that few can match his prolific output, he gets some support for his 14th album in 3 years from some of Cali's elite hip hop faction. Featuring guest spots from OHNO, MED, and Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), along with scratches by J Rocc (Beat Junkies), DJ Babu (Beat Junkies Dilated Peoples), LD, and DJ Romes (Lootpack), the album features plenty of variety for your ears. Check it out and realize that being different can work out sometimes.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/after-the-fact-feat.-evidence/id678306702

Sep 6, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Aron Demetz



Among constant headlines of impending war and civil unrest, I am always intrigued by artists willing to explore these themes without resorting to stereotypes of bloodshed or protest. Italian sculptor Aron Demetz and his recent series of images and sculptures rendering completely from burning or burnt charcoal are great examples of this concept, at least to me. Imitating the remains of a battlefield and the lumpy vegetation that occurs when human flesh is scorched is much more powerful than just showing exploded bodies. He also comes up with more subtle compositions that look less like people dying and more like people caught off guard a doomed fate. It makes me think of Giacometti and the bodies at Pompeii and the potential for more destruction by the human race in Syria and other places. Happy Friday! More images below:

Sep 5, 2013

Video: J57 X Nitty Scott, MC - ''Like a Prayer''



In support of "The Ports EP" from J57 (Brown Bag Allstars), the official video for the "Like a Prayer" track featuring one of the few quality female wordsmiths out there, Nitty Scott, MC just dropped for the masses. A grimey, seance video fits the spooked out vibe of the track and lets Nitty Scott flex her lyrical skills about belief systems and staying true to one self while Deejay Element slices up the chorus with sound bites from the hip hop gods. Check it out and support some quality music willing to take chances.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://bit.ly/KIkFPb

Sep 4, 2013

Video: 14KT - "Five and Ten"



Underground juggernaut hip hop label Mello Music Group is teaming up with long time affiliate 14KT for his new album "Nickel and Dimed". 14KT will show case not just production but his rhyme skills and collabos with other emcees. With the recent video for "Five and Ten", he lets loose about frustrations as an artist and how nice guys get pushed around with this anthem about not taking any mess from anyone. Check it out and support quality talent on both sides of the mic.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nickel-dimed/id668873948

Sep 3, 2013

Listen: Damu the Fudgemunk - "Spur Momento Trailer"



Proverbial torch carrier for the boom bap sound of Pete Rock and Golden Era production, Damu the Fudgemunk continues to drop little heat rocks on his frequent projects for REDEF records, and the "Spur Momento Trailer" does more of the same. Always dropping classic samples in the background of his work, he breathes new life into classic drums and sounds from the history of rap. Damu is one of the many talents from the DMV/DC area that stay loyal to the roots of hip hop and chopping samples on an MPC or SP1200 and I always appreciate hearing new stuff from him and the REDEF crew. Check it out and chill out to some classy material that constantly inspires me to get back in the lab myself.

Sep 2, 2013

Video: The Other Guys X yU X Substantial - "Memories Fade"



Washington, DC production duo The Other Guys recently teamed up with one of my favorite DMV emcee's and Mello Music Group affiliate yU (of Diamond District) and Substantial, for the first single from their upcoming EP " The Opposite of Sex", due out September 10. Always bringing a solid mix of new school boom bap flavor and lyricism to the table, all of the emcee's take a moment to reminiscence about past relations over a card game and flex their wordplay skills with the humble video treatment.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://otherguysmusic.bandcamp.com/track/memories-fade-feat-yu-substantial

Aug 23, 2013

Vacation Time! Out of the Basement until Sept.2



Dear loyal readers and newcomers, I am headed on a weeks vacation with my lady to walk lobsters and lay face down in the ocean. Please read through the archives, leave comments, send submissions and I will talk to you all soon! I'll be back with more news and music on Sept. 2. Peace!

Aug 22, 2013

Listen: Mr. Brown - "THE NUMBER STATION" album


London-based eccentric producer Mr. Brown recently dropped an instrumental opus of sci-fi samples and jazzy, boom bappish beats for you to zone out with entitled "Music Capsule Vol.1 - THE NUMBER STATION". Described by the man himself as being discovered "From deep within the Echo Base studio located on H.O.T.H - comes a rare transmission...". This should give you an idea of the type of spacey, dusty and experimental vibes on the project. "The Number Station serves as a message of hope and a warning of imminent armageddon to those who are lucky enough to stumble upon its frequency." is yet another unique description of the sounds you can use to inspire your blurry upcoming holiday adventures. Dust off some dystopian tracks and stare into space.

DOWNLOAD LINK
http://mrbrownukt.bandcamp.com/album/music-capsule-vol-1-the-number-station

Aug 21, 2013

Video: MidaZ The Beast - "Champion Of The Block"



Though his voice sounds very close to Jay Electronica in tone, Doxside Music Group affiliate MidaZ the Beast is much more productive in terms of dropping albums and recently dropped the "Champion Of The Block"video to flex his lyrical skills and preview his album "AU:Another Universe" out now on HiPNOTT Records. MidaZ teamed up with IMAKEMADBEATS for the anthem-esque track and the creative video shows MidaZ mimicking political podium speeches to spread the word about his place in the rap game and drop knowledge about the struggles quality emcees face these days.

DOWNLOAD LINK
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/au-another-universe/id671142190

Aug 18, 2013

Throwback: Little Brother - "Lovin It"



I recently came across the original sample (Stylistics - One Night Affair) that 9th Wonder flipped for their one and only hit that was turned into a music video during their time on Atlantic Records. It made me go back and study how 9th chopped the beat, but also revisit what was to be the second coming of True School artists lead by then-backbacker Kanye West and the likes of Little Brother and Dilated Peoples. This track still has power with the spirit of underground hip hop and shows a group too talented not to have made a bigger mark with the MTV crowd. The concept for "The Minstrel Show" was lost on the general public, but those who recognized the talent in the group and the message that consumers generally only buy what they know fits in a "box" stuck with the group even after they flirted with major label success. #TROY

Aug 14, 2013

Video: The Kid Daytona x DJ Cut Killer - "Classic Shit"



Bronx emcee, The Kid Daytona, recently linked up Paris turntable legend DJ Cut Killer for a session of tracks over classic, slept-on French hip hop 90's instrumentals. In collaboration with French street wear clothing brand Space Monkeys (SPMK), the two true school reps performed this track "Classic Shit" as a tribute and a preview for The Kid Daytona's "Savoir Faire" project dropping this Fall. Check it out and support some international flavor that you surely missed the first time around.

Aug 13, 2013

Listen: DJ Ben Ha Meen - "Summer Madness: Volume 3: Night And Daze" mix



Combat Jack Radio Show affiliate and beat-digger extraordinaire DJ Ben Ha Meen just dropped another mix of classic original samples from hip hops golden era and other gems from his crates in the latest installment of his "Summer Madness" series entitled "Summer Madness - Volume 3: Night And Daze". Quoting the man himself "Summer Madness is more than just a series of mixtapes, it's an exploration into everything that makes the summer season one of the greatest times to be alive." This volume 3 edition concludes the trilogy that started with Sunset Seduction & Dawn Delights and is filled with songs that either inspired your favorite Hip-Hop hits or tracks that just feel like the best parts of the season.

Download the mix above and get your learn on.