Dec 12, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Natalie Almanza

I have always been fascinated by the visual texture of pen and ink drawings and I recently met an artist who has been experimenting with the rendering of hair, a longtime nemesis of visual artists everywhere, and doing an incredible job at using stippling and watercolor to create her work. She has recently been drawing custom hairdos detached from the body of the person, but using the unique patterns that are often the result of heavy product use and styling/primping. The examples below are some of the posts she shares of work in progress and other stages of development and can be seen on her Instagram feed at Check them out below and on her site here be impressed!

Dec 9, 2014

Listen: q​.​w​.​e​.​s​.​t. the visionary - "Whatever Man"

Futro is a multimedia collective of musicians, photographers, inventors, designers, and more hailing from Portland (OR) and a very active part of the PDX hip hop scene. Making up 1/18th of the collective is emcee q.w.e.s.t. the visionary, whose rare feature - a track called "Whatever Man" - is included on the recent Futro album "Futro Kit 3.0". Taking a break from the hustle of everyday life, q.w.e.s.t. takes a moody musical backdrop and talks about life in the modern world like the struggles, the anger, the decisions and how we all process those emotions. Use this track as an entry point to get familiar with the entire Futro collective and see what they are all about.


Dec 8, 2014

Video: The 1978ers (yU & SlimKat) - "Without A Clue"

Keeping the ball rolling on the heals of dropping the Diamond District album, yU drops the long awaited debut album with longtime partner SlimKat78 entitled "People of Today". They just dropped the visuals for one of my favorite tracks off the album, "Without A Clue", a super chilled out cut showing yU at this best - waxing intelligent about his community, his concerns for living right, and grown man perspective on being a citizen of this modern world. Slimkat's jazzy backdrop works perfectly for the always on-point and heavily quotable lyrics from yU. Check the album out and support some talented cats from the DMV!


Dec 3, 2014

Listen: Koncept - "Getting Off The Ground"

Brown Bag Allstar emcee Koncept recently dropped a chill track he recorded during his residency on the West Coast within the Red Bull house in Cali. Linking with the unlikely team of David Faustino (aka Bud Bundy aka Grandmaster B) and producer Mark "Keitel" Lowe, Kon tells tales of being on the verge of a breakout year and holds it down for his squad. Check it out and keep your ears peeled for a new project from Kon and J57 in 2015!


Dec 2, 2014

Listen: Von Pea X The Other Guys - "To: You" Album

Von Pea of Tanya Morgan, in conjunction with The Other Guys, recently released the album "To: You" featuring the singles "So East Coast" and "Chasing Amy aka In Your Heart". The new album from Von Pea, fully produced by DMV bred producers The Other Guys, has been in the works for a while and both parties have been featured here on The Double Truth before - a nod to the quality music they produce. Check it out and support quality music collaborations from BKNY to the DMV.


Nov 24, 2014

Video: Diamond District (Oddisee, XO, yU) - "A Part Of It All"

One of the more chill tracks on the "March On Washington" album from Diamond District gets the video treatment showcasing group members Oddisee, Uptown XO and yU as the stomp the DMV area for each verse. Though some folks get lost in the DMV slang, I am proud of these dudes who rep their corner of the country so hard and still aim to keep their true school sounds current.


Nov 19, 2014

Interview: Maze Koroma (of The Renaissance Coalition)

I recently had a chance to interview Maze Koroma, one of the few Portland (OR) based emcee's who continue to make noise as both a soloist and as a member of a crew, The Renaissance Coalition. Myself coming from NYC, I wasn't sure what to expect of the PDX hip hop scene, but was impressed at the range of material and the overall live show put on by Maze Koroma and his RenCo crew at one of the first venues I checked in town (The Know). In the following interview, Maze shared his inspiration, some family history, and plans for the future. Check it out here:

Nov 13, 2014

Video: Apollo Brown X Ras Kass - "How To Kill God"

Though it is not my favorite track off the album, the most recent dynamic pairing of Apollo Brown with Ras Kass resulted in some quality tracks that make up the new album "Blasphemy" . The video for "How To Kill God" gives us a walk-through of the much mangled city of Detroit and the ruins of its Masonic Temple and inside a since closed cathedral.

Always down to support any Apollo Brown project and his recent efforts to breath new life into emcee's like OC and now Ras Kass earns a thumbs up from me.


Nov 12, 2014

Video: Miami Marine Stadium and Art History Mural Project

Excited to post this finished short film about the Miami Marine Stadium graffiti art project that I had the privilege of supplying the entire soundtrack for. Honoring the generations of these artists that breathed new life and energy into it, the Art History Mural Project invited Logan Hicks, Crash, Ron English, Tristan Eaton, The London Police, Jose Mertz and Reinier Gamboa to create murals to honor the stadium. For the back story, the Miami Marine Stadium was initially abandoned after the impact of Hurricane Andrew blew through the city of Miami in 1992. Once it was discovered by graffiti artists, they found it an inspirational canvas and have been creating/destroying/building murals and artwork all around the structure ever since.


Nov 4, 2014

Video: Von Pea - "SO EAST COAST"

After teaming up with The Other Guys on their hit summer single “Blow My Mind”, Von Pea (of Tanya Morgan) enlisted the DMV duo to produce his latest solo album, "To:You".

Laced with the soulful, smooth production of The Other Guys, "To:You" lay the soundtrack for one half of one of my personally favorite groups, Von Pea, while he drops his usual mix of humor, honesty and storytelling. Features on the album include Substantial, Kooley High, and the whole Lessondary Crew on the posse cut “Connect Four aka Lessondary”.

Preview the "So East Coast" track below and check for the album when it drops Nov. 25.


Oct 31, 2014

Oct 30, 2014

Video: Planet Asia X Tzarizm - "Mystique" (feat. Purple Kloud)

Underground Cali legend Planet Asia recetly teamed with singer Tzarizm and Purple Kloud for the single "Mystique" and video from the album "Via Satellite". Rocking a very Halloween vibe for the video, the visuals find Planet Asia chilling in a mansion of vampires and a setting that looks like the Django Unchained backdrop. The beat is off-kilter and times, but compliments PA's lyrics and flow well. Hoping the rest of the project stays consistent with the ease of this collabo. Check it out and support one of the most productive emcee's from the Left Coast.


Oct 28, 2014

Listen: EL-P X Killer Mike - "Run The Jewels 2" LP

There are very few albums that combine the sonic madness of Bomb Squad era production with battle rhyme heavy, somehow brutally honest lyrics like the Run The Jewels projects from EL-P and Killer Mike. Originally, on paper, these two dudes coming together seemed like an odd pairing, but it turned out to be the perfect soundtrack for Killer Mike's aggressive, often political, left field words on both his "RAP Music" album and other features with EL-P.  They bring a balance of crazy, perverted, anthem-heavy, riot music that always makes me want to start a hip hop mosh pit. This combo of frenetic beats and humorous, angry verses is a great combo for my eardrums and if you don't know by now, you need this music in your life. Download the album for free here, go watch the live show and prepare to break something!


Oct 23, 2014

Video: @peace - "Matter"

Auckland, New Zealand based emcee @peace recently dropped a beautiful music video for his track "Matter" where he addresses the fact that we all die and even the most hip hopper folks will grow old and feeble. Peace linked with Battersby Funeral Services and Purewa Cemetery for a well-crafted illustration of his single and an ode to his friends. Check it out and if you make videos, and they aren't as crisp as this, you may need to step your game up.


Oct 20, 2014

Video: uMaNg - "Accomplices"

Another true school emcee from the Ill Adrenaline camp, uMaNg recently dropped the video for the track "Accomplices" from the upcoming "The Black Rose Certificate" album. New Jersey rep uMaNg, reunites with Swedish producer B.B.Z. Darney ("The Boom Bappin' Zombie"), to complete their trilogy of albums with the mission to produce a "black rose" album, which stands for purest devotion, to the craft and sharing the personal stories of their journey.


Oct 16, 2014

Listen: J57 - "The Analog Tape 2" LP

The always consistent double Truth alum J57 (of Brown Bag Allstars) recently dropped just released a new beat tape, for sale only on his site, and showcasing his depth as a producer. Featuring "some dusty but funky beat tape shit" to vibe out with during this often cloudy Fall weather. Check it out and support one of the hardest working peeps I've ever had the pleasure to meet.


Oct 15, 2014

Listen: Rapsody - "Beauty and the Beast" EP

Whatever you think about Rapsody, you're wrong, cause she's better than that! For every let-down of a female emcee like Nicki Minaj and the like, there appears to be only Rapsody to counter that these days. She linked with the true school producer and educator 9th Wonder for many outstanding tracks on previous projects and continues the streak of quality with "Beauty and the Beat". Teamed with Jamla teammates like Eric G, Khrysis, and some limited guest vocals, Rapsody holds it down for another solid album of honest songs and confident content. Check it out and vibe out to one of the rare things in hip hop, a quality emcee with unlikely North Carolina roots and a female to boot.


Oct 14, 2014

Listen: Diamond District - "March on Washington" Album

When Diamond District dropped "In the Ruff" on Mello Music Group in 2009, the gritty drums and grimy raps combined as elementally as hydrogen and oxygen. The D.C. Voltron of Oddisee, yU, and X.O. dusted off and revitalized a sound once consigned to the catacombs.

Hailed as an instant classic, its impact reverberated throughout the underground and mainstream. The Washington D.C. City Paper called it the city’s best album in many years. During an era when lyricism was deemed too intellectual and samples too dated, Diamond District overturned conventional logic. They preserved the raw and made it righteous.

A half-decade later, the holy trinity has returned with March on Washington. The truths remain timeless. Wisdom over rhythm. Slang turned into testament.


Oct 13, 2014

Video: Mark Steele - "Letter To Carolina"

Mark Steele releases the visual to his "Letter To Carolina" piece. Produced by Japan native Scratch Nice, the track is the first single off his debut independent album "Sumthin For The Wait". Always glad to see some younger cats help build on the classic sound of Golden Era hip hop and still paying homage to their roots. Here's hoping for more of this in the future from Mark Steele and his team.

Oct 9, 2014

Listen: Tranzformer - "Creative Unprofessionals" LP

The West Coast instrumentalist Tranzformer recently dropped a new instrumental album with a few guest production spots featuring Double Truth alumni J57 of Brown Bag Allstars. The album titled  "Creative Unprofessionals" is 27 tracks deep and shows Tranzformer collaborating with fellow beat heads and marking some new territory in the area of soundscapes that most MCs avoid. Check it out and support one of Cali's more inventive beatmakers.


Oct 8, 2014

Listen: Gods'Illa - "Sal's Pizzeria"

A bit of a throw back here, but after seeing the DMV crew Gods'Illa continue to thrive and build their career, I wanted to share one of my favorite tracks from their CPR mixtape from 2011. Aside from being named after one of my favorite movies "Do The Right Thing". So far, these guys create quotable one-liners, partnered with solid production and continue the legacy of the true school DMV hip hop sound that most people ignore. Check em out at this years A3C festival in ATL.


Oct 3, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Anouk Griffioen

Rotterdam, Netherlands-based artist Anouk Griffioen has been combining an interest in fashion with a highly detailed and large-scale charcoal illustration series for her most recent work. Concentrating on the textures and patterns of clothing and figurative elements of models' faces and bodies, a recent collaboration with fashion photographer Anne Marieke van Drimmelen has helped create a new stylistic approach that may hint and much more grand concepts in the future. I am a nerd for skilled charcoal renderings of anything and Anouk kills it with her new work. Looking forward to more in the years ahead.


Oct 2, 2014

Video: J-Live - "Not Listening"

From J-Live's full length album "Around The Sun, a new video educating the masses about music making and trying to encourage the world to make more meaningful, honest, and original music. It's pretty funny and accurate to listen to how cliché so much of the subject matter we all hear constantly really is. Check it out and support one of the most consistently smart emcee's out there.


Oct 1, 2014

Video: Kev Brown X Hassaan Mackey "Dope / Hassaan Be Rappin"

Following the critically acclaimed "Pillars" EP with MindsOne, Kev Brown teams up again with Ill Adrenaline Records, this time collaborating with fellow Low Budget Crew member Hassaan Mackey to bless listeners with "That Grit".

Both the Washington D.C. based producer-on-the-mic and the Rochester, NY emcee are longtime members of the prolific artist collective and have previously worked together various times, but this mini-album marks the first time the two embark on a full project. Most boom-bap enthusiasts should already be well acquainted with both Kev Brown and Hassaan Mackey: double threat Kev Brown already showcased his skills on microphones as well as production boards on countless releases and has been dubbed "king of basslines" by fans worldwide. In addition to his solo recordings Kev's credits include beats for heavyweights like Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Jazzy Jeff, and Marley Marl just to name a few, as well as handling entire album production for LMNO, Kaimbr, and Raw Poetic. Hassaan Mackey released a string of albums, including a full-length LP with Apollo Brown, and appearances on releases by Oddissee, Kaimbr, The Left and L'Orange.

Recorded during a series of impromptu bus and train trips Hassaan took from Rochester to visit Kev in Washington, "That Grit" was created with a spontaneous approach, reflecting both Mackey's freestyle background and Brown's proven "random joints" formula. Entirely produced by Kev Brown and featuring his signature bassline-driven and raw but soulful sound, "That Grit" consists of an intro, eight full-length tracks and six instrumentals. Hassaan and Kev share mic duties on most of the songs, inviting close friends/frequent collaborators Kaimbr, Toine, yU, Kenn Starr, Eye-Q, Asheru (of Unspoken Heard) as well as the Younger Soul Brother Grap Luva along as feature guests, turning the record into a true family affair.


Sep 29, 2014

Listen: Anti-Lilly X Envy Hunter - " REdefinition"

Houston emcees Anti-Lilly and Envy Hunter come together to release REdefinition. The motivation of the album title came from both artists wanting to break down the walls of perception when it comes to Houston Hip-Hop. Most known for the Slim Thug/Suave House sound in most recent years, Anti-Lilly and Envy are hoping to shine a light on more of the legacy of groups like the K-Otix, Strange Fruit Project and more progressive hip hop artists that have come from the area. The album is a well rounded, introspective collection of thought provoking material which serves as a manual to everyday life.


Sep 25, 2014

Listen: Diamond District - "Lost Cause"

Oddisee, yU and Uptown XO team up for a prelude to the upcoming "March On Washington" project as Diamond District, with the track "Lost Cause". Plenty of lyrical gems to reflect on from some of the realest hip hop cats out of the DMV (DC area). Check it out and support another solid project from the team at Mello Music Group.


Sep 22, 2014

Listen: J57 - "Gucci Ghosts"

Brown Bag Allstar and one of the busiest producers I have ever met, J57, recently dropped the lead single from his next instrumental FreEP titled "0057: FlaskLIFE". It won't be officially dropping for months, but he wanted to share a little taste of what to expect! Check it out and support quality music!


Sep 17, 2014

Video: Anti-Lilly X Envy Hunter - "Gibberish"

Two young talented Houston (TX) artists both coming off of their respected solo albums Anti-Lilly (Stories From The Brass Section) and Envy Hunter (Patiently Waiting) come together to release their collabo album (REdefinition) due late summer 2014. Always glad to see younger cats paying homage to the Golden Era sound of jazzy vibes and honest lyrics. Their names aren't super catchy, but their music shows promise and that goes a long way these days. Check it out and support some Texas underdogs.


Sep 16, 2014

Listen: Schadillac - "Ghost Notes" EP

Texas based instrumental hip hop producer Schadillac recently dropped his newest project entitled "Ghost Notes" for the masses. Fairly short at nine tracks, he always brings a good experimental range of work to the table for what I like to call "zone out" music. Check it out and support an underdog from the south.


Sep 12, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Keith Carter

I recently came across the work of illustrator Keith Carter at the Pony Club as I made my way around First Thursdays in Portland (OR). I first noticed a zine of his work and the range of lines and details that make it stand out from normal zine art. As I made my way around the gallery, I found a shirt of his "Bird Fight" print an decided to ask the gallery attendant if there was more. It turns out, Keith was the guy I was talking to and we got into a conversation about his art and traded info.  The use of color and quality draftsmenship was enough to prompt me to feature him on The Double Truth. Check out his work below and support the artists in your small world.


Sep 9, 2014

Listen: Torae - "What's Love" (J57 Sample - Free Remix) ft. Pharoahe Monch X Akie Bermiss

Brooklyn bred emcee Torae recently asked Soulspazm label-mate and Brown Bag Allstar's J57 to remix this track off the "Admission of Guilt" project. J57 brought in some secret weapons to the sample-free remix with the help of Grammy Award Winning musician Jay Jennings long-time collaborator ATR to play extra keys and backup vocals throughout the track. The track is 100% sample-free -- with all melodies "derived from me humming them in voice memos on my iphone" says J57. A quality remix from talented cats on the mic and on the boards.


Sep 8, 2014

Video: Slimkid3 X DJ Nu-Mark - "I Know, Didn't I" ft. Darondo

Every once in a while, I will here a song that I end up putting on repeat for 30 minutes to an hour and never get tired of, and this is one of them. All of my favorite elements of what both Slimkid3 and DJ Nu-Mark bring to the table combined into one track, the song "I Know, Didn't I" (featuring Darondo) from is catchy as hell. For the uninitiated, Slimkid3 (of The Pharcyde) and DJ Nu-Mark (of Jurassic 5) recently teamed up for a full length album of grown man hip hop and unlikely hits. This track stuff out to me for many reasons, the sample, the drums, the Slimkid3 flow that reminded me of the Arrested Development "People Everyday" melody, and the upbeat vibe of the collaboration overall. Plus, the video borrowed heavily from the True Detective (one of my favorite shows) intro credit motion graphics, so it just won me over across the board. Glad to see vets still having fun with it. Check it out and support!


Sep 3, 2014

Video: DJ Rhettmatic ft. J57 + Koncept - "Louis Vuitton Wallets"

LA meets NYC as Beat Junkies turntable wizard DJ Rhettmatic enlists Brown Bag AllStars' J57 and Koncept for his latest release, "Louis Vuitton Wallets." Emcees J57 and Koncept spit vicious lyrics over a thumping dark Adrian Younge sampled beat produced by Rhettmatic. Dropping the visuals that the crew shot in San Diego on their recent tour, the track finds the crew confessing to the camera in between taco bites and rocking with wide open spaces behind them, a metaphor for the musical mission they are on.


Sep 2, 2014

Listen: Hannibal King - "Floral Print" EP

Queens beatsmith-turned-emcee Hannibal King recently dropped a free digital full-length, entitled "Floral Print". Flexing his skills on both side of the mic, Hannibal rocks his laid back style with perfectly chill verses and beats with a few features from 21 Quest, Adrian Lau, Alpsko, ARXV, Bryant Dope, Bub Styles and Jabee but entirely produced by King. Check it out here and support a hip hop renaissance man from Queens NY.


Sep 1, 2014


Long known for a more artful and honest approach to hip hop, Sage Francis continues to drop thoughtful gems on his recent album "Copper Gone".  He matched some of the insightful lyrics with stunning visuals by the animation team of Wasaru. With a beat from Buck 65 and the unique animated story, the video perfectly illustrates the hardships of being an aging hip hopper and human.


Aug 26, 2014

Listen: Price Stylez - "This Thing of Ours"

In a partnership with the UK's DJ Crank, underground label and blogmaster crew HiPNOTT Records, recently dropped a compilation entitled 'The Platform: HiPNOTT Radio'. As part of the release, DJ Crank will be playing the hottest underground Hip Hop selections on his Friday shows, along with the newest HiPNOTT joints featured on this album. Included in the EP are tracks from The Regiment, The Other Guys, Amiri, MarQ Spekt, SciFi Stu, Price Stylez, Carolina Dirty, and P.SO the Earth Tone King.

The standout track to me was by Price Styles and his track "This Thing of Ours". I like the flow and the beat selection here and it was enough that I am now seeking out the rest of his catalog. True school lyrics and appreciation of the art form always get my attention, so check him out below and see for yourself.


Aug 22, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Cai Guo Qiang - "Gunpowder Drawings"

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang recently exhibited a new series of artwork, made of gunpowder drawings titled Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Though I have seen performance art done with fire and alternative drawing materials before, the typical results are pretty bland. However, Guo-Qiang uses a series of porcelain reliefs decorated with gunpowder then ignited at an event by Cai, which creates a large gathering of spectators. He uses a contemporary take on traditional Chinese motifs of nature and landscapes and uses the explosions to highlight some of the intricate details of the forest and natural elements hidden in the all-white surfaces of the work.


Aug 21, 2014

Nocando - "Lucid Dream"

Kind of a left field post, but Nocando recently dropped a Dam Funk produced track and video for his track "Lucid Dream" from the 'Jimmy The Burnout' album. Sounds like a bit of a throwback with G-Funk bass lines, but the lyrics are about appreciating life and staying "appreciative, humble and focused on the things that are truly important to you in your life". Glad to see the left coast coming with some curve ball gems now and again. Check it out and support a West Coast up and comer.


Aug 18, 2014

Video: Armand Hammer - "CRWNS"

Billy Woods and Elucid, of the NYC rap duo Armand Hammer, recently dropped the video for the track "CRWNS" off their upcoming 'Furtive Movements' EP. Following up their 2013 debut, RACE MUSIC, they continue to try to carve their own blend of aggressive, experimental production and uncompromising lyrics. The new album features an array of production from Blockhead (Aesop Rock, Ninja Tune), Von Pea (Tanya Morgan), Messiah Musik, Steel Tipped Dove and Elucid himself.


Aug 13, 2014

Video: Ugly Heroes - "Michael + Scottie + Horace"

Ugly Heroes just dropped the anthem ready track "Michael + Scottie + Horace" produced by beatmaster Apollo Brown and featured on the upcoming UGLY HEROES EP, due out Aug 19th. Looking forward to another quality project from the Mello Music crew and an ill soundtrack to head into Winter with.


Aug 12, 2014

Listen: LuvJonez - "Neon Summer"

A chill collection of unreleased beats, remixes, demos, and guest features to fill out the rest of your Summer. Many of these collaborations hint at bigger projects coming up over the next year, but I wanted to drop an album for fans to play during the last few sunny weekends before the Winter comes. Guest features from J57 of Brown Bag Allstars, DonWill of Tanya Morgan, Mike Maven of Young Pandas, Michigan emcee Maurice Daniel, and Vorheez. Enjoy and thanks for listening!


Aug 8, 2014

Fine Art Friday: N.O. Bonzo - "Recent Work"

 The first time I visited Portland, I was glad to see a branch of Upper Playground and surprised to see that they have their own art gallery. As I checked it out, I saw the work of a local artist named N.O. Bonzo and was drawn to the work mainly because of the textures and elaborately cut paper figures and how it was combined with oxidized paint that organically changes over the course of the show and changes slightly so that the viewer could come in everyday and see something new. She describes her work as being "DrownTown drifters, misfits, and outlaws"and often posts them in the corners of the streets and deep in nature. I don't know much about N.O. but I enjoy the work and recommend looking closer at the streets when you walk them so you can catch one of the pieces hiding in plain sight. Check out here work on the links below and support the oddball artists in your own area.


Aug 7, 2014

Listen: Gabriel Teodros X AirMe - "Children Of The Dragon"

For the album that just dropped in May, Gabriel Teodros linked up with producer AirMe for a full-length project that showcases Teodros more introspective and life celebrating lyrics with a soulful backdrop and overall feel good vibe. AirMe handled the artwork also, which compliments the vibe of the music well. Check it out and support a Seattle hip hop project that should help you pay attention to the NE corner of the US.


Aug 6, 2014

Video: Mckinley Dixon - "We Lovin' That Jazz"

Always glad to a younger cat studying the history of the golden era in hip hop and exploring a more original approach to music rather than adopt the trends of the radio. Mckinley Dixon recently dropped the video and track for "We Lovin' That Jazz" over a feel good track from his 'Nappy Headed' project, a mixtape of sorts, with this particular instrumental track borrowed from Nicholas Chueng and his 'I Am' project. Check it out and support a new schooler who pays respect to the past.


Aug 4, 2014

Video: Main Flow - "Boomtown"

One of my favorite emcee's from the late 90s but also one of the few true school cats from the Ohio region, Cincinnati and former MOOD member, Main Flow, recently dropped some new material showcasing his hometown Cincy. Linking with fellow Ohio artists and a mix of known and lesser known collaborators, Main Flow dropped 19 new tracks that discuss what he has been doing for long stretches of absence from the limelight. The project is pretty chill throughout and features Reks, King Mag, Donte Fleming of Mood, Copywrite, Black Silver, Justin Werner, Apaulo 8 (Pauli Kipling), Vokab Kompany, Stacey Murray, MC Complex, Esoteric, and J Sands of Lone Catalysts. Check it out and support one of the Midwest's most slept-on emcee's.


Jul 30, 2014

Video: Dag Savage - "Darlin" ft. Choosey

Dirty Science family Dag Savage (Exile and Johaz) recently dropped the visuals for the track "Darlin" from the collaborative album "E & J". Always willing to be honest about the ups and downs of life, the video finds Johaz looking back on relationships with a more honest approach than most "dedicated to a girl" tracks that come out these days. Another solid track on a solid album with the video to match, check out the video above and support some lesser known acts from the Left Coast.


Jul 29, 2014

Listen: LuvJonez - "In My Soul" ft. J57, DonWill, Mike Maven

For a bit of self promotion, I am honored to present a collaboration with J57 of Brown Bag Allstars, DonWill of Tanya Morgan, and Mike Maven of Young Pandas.  Re-flipping a track I released on the collection "Mish Mash" last Winter, the track finds J57 and DonWill dropping knowledge about overcoming obstacles and doubters with Mike Maven singing the hook.

Check it out and support some of Brooklyn's finest:

Jul 22, 2014

Listen: Cage - "The Void (J57 Sample-Free Remix)"

Among the multiple projects that Brown Bag Allstar producer/emcee J57 is juggling on a constant basis, remixes are always part of the equation and he recently dropped a remix for the Cage track "The Void", despite it's 2 year old status. Check it out and see the hustle and dedication that 57 and the BBAS pour into the game. Below is a bit of back story from J57 himself:

I made this sample-free remix for Cage exactly 2 and a half years ago - it's time for it to finally be released!

This remix is really personal to me. One of my best friends/mentor, Bryan "Ports" Coyle (R.I.P), first put me on to Cage back in High School and I've been a big fan since. Jim from Soulspazm called me to give me this great news/opportunity to remix a new Cage track, just five minutes after I received the absolutely devastating news that Ports passed away.

I was told that they needed the remix as soon as possible and I also found out that Port's wake was that same night back home on LI. So, I rounded up the troops (mine and Ports' crew, The BCF) to all meet up in Manhattan and roll together to LI for the wake.

I had literally an hour to do this remix. I couldn't even see straight but I knew I had to do this for Ports. It's an honor to remix a song for Cage / to have Mighty Mi co-sign me doing so. This remix is also me paying tribute to my brother Ports.

Til this day, I get chills listening to this song, flashing back to how I felt while creating this somber soundscape. I honestly feel like it came out as great as it did because Ports was looking down. Thank you for listening.

Jul 18, 2014

Fine Art Friday: AIM SSB - "Brooklyn Graf History"

Of all the accolades that are given to Brooklyn, rarely do any original Brooklyn graffti artists from the late 70s or early 80s get any shine these days. Often, any art movement in Brooklyn is thrown the way of new school street artists who have legal murals, wheat paste installations, yarn and other forms of public art that is often less scrutinized than the graf of the past. I recently had a chance to sit and talk with one of the original train painting graf artists from that era by the name of AIM SSB, or George Colon, and talked about the origins of the graf in NY and what became of the early crews.

Jul 16, 2014

Video: Willie WAZE - "Interlude"

Despite a low budget video and no official album to team with it, I recently came across the work of Northern Virginia based emcee Willie WAZE. Dropping the visuals to the track "Interlude", the vid serves as a preview for an upcoming debut album from WAZE dropping later this year, entitled "Da Lexicon of a NOVA Soulja". I like the jazzy vibe of the track and hope that it is evidence of the rest of the project. Keep a look out!


Jul 15, 2014

Listen: J57 - "Main Event (J57 Sample Free Remix)" ft. Meyhem Lauren X Action Bronson X Maffew Ragazino X Rasheed Chappell

Brown Bag All-Star and beatmaker supreme, J57, recently dropped his sample-free remix for the track "Main Event".  Flexing his producer skills, J57 takes a fairly disparate mix of sounds and pieces them together to sound like actual samples from old vinyl. Check it out and support the BBAS crew as they slowly grow to claim the NYC crown.


Jul 10, 2014

Listen: Goldini Bagwell - "Desire Is..." w/ Little Warrior

Portland emcee and Sandpeople crew member Goldini Bagwell recently dropped a full-length project called "Secondhand Smoke" featuring production and features from many of his Northwest hip hop affiliates. One of the standout tracks to me was "Desire Is" (above) but much of the project features quality beats and verses that reflect the honesty of the struggle to make a name is the lesser known but still true school-flavored Northwest region of the US. Check it out and support cats from unlikely places on the map.


Jul 9, 2014

Video: John Robinson X PVD - "Off The Wall"

'Modern Vintage' is the new collaboration album from veteran emcee John Robinson (aka Lil Sci of world renown Hip-Hop group Scienz Of Life) and prolific drummer, composer, producer and band-leader Pat Van Dyke (aka PVD). Though it may seem like an unlikely pairing, John Robinson and PVD have been building since 2008 and their chemistry together has grown organically and developed into the authentic exchange of ideas and combo of styles evidenced on the collaborative album. Described as "A modern-day true Hip-Hop record, grounded firmly in the traditions of jazz, funk, and soul music.", the project finds JR using his raspy, jazzy voice to match the laid back tracks from PVD. Check it out and see how the torchbearers of the ATCQ sound keep hope alive.


Jul 8, 2014

Listen: MosEL - "Get It"

I recently came across the work of a Maryland-based emcee by the name of MosEL and wanted to share it. Something is definitely in the water in the DMV, as almost every time I hear new music from the area, there is a sense of pride, true school dedication to the craft of hip hop, and a more honest approach to music. MosEL continues this trend with a somewhat lo-fi album entitled "For The Love Of It". The first track to grab me was the track "Get It" (above) and the Little Brother type of vibe to it. I appreciate MosEL's honesty about being unsure of himself, but still trying to prove it to himself that his heart is in the music. His voice and cadence reminds me of Madlib raps with some sense of Slum Village "Raise It Up" flow, but I like the overall chill vibe of the project. Check it out and support a hip hop underdog.


Jul 7, 2014

Video: Green Street - "Fresh Heir" ft. ScienZe

NY-based hip hop crew Green Street have been busy spreading the message of their recent album "The Will to Win" with a new found appreciation for life. The album "The Will to Win" was born out of the desperation of a limited lifeline after the realization that two of the three group members were diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses in the winter of 2012 (Read their full stories at: With a newfound sense of motivation, Green Street linked with like-minded emcee's for the album, with features from Raekwon, Mickey Factz, ScienZe, Camp Lo, among others, with the intent to merge true school hip-hop with a progressive, new age feel. The 'Fresh Heir' video above gives a good dose of the vibe they are one, so check it out and support a crew who is not willing to waste time on nonsense.


Jul 5, 2014

Slept-On Saturday: Dice Raw - "Run"

Philly rep and Roots crew affiliate Dice Raw recently dropped the visuals for the track "Run", from his latest album, "Jimmy's Back", which is out now via Rawlife/Soulspazm. The more slept-on of the Roots crew, I'm always glad to see Dice grinding his own projects with new music and videos from around his Philly home field. "Run" finds Dice talking about the hardship of trying to escape the street hustler lifestyle that eats up so many youth, including his early days, from around the globe.


Jul 4, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Doze Green - 'Rammellzee Deathmask' Print

Legendary graf artist Doze Green paid tribute to his fallen friend and fellow hip hop legend, style-master Rammallzee, who died recently on June 2, with a limited edition print entitled 'Deathmask'. Doze is a long time favorite of mine, and I am glad to see him pay homage to his roots and the unfamiliar and often over-looked origins of the hip hop world. I wish I could have grabbed a print, but the image alone is a great reminder of the dynamic spirit of Rammellzee and a fitting image for the masses to learn more about. RIP. Check the Doze interview below for more insight.


Jul 3, 2014

Video: Blueprint - "Perspective"

One of Ohio's few true school emcee's, Weightless recording artist and midwest legend Blueprint recently dropped the visuals for the track "Perspective" from his latest album "Respect the Architect". I nice little soul-laced gem from the album that finds Print on a rooftop dropping honest lyrics like he always does. Check it out and support quality mc's from lesser known music hubs in the US - plus he directed the Instagram-ish video to flex his skills on both sides of the camera.


Jul 1, 2014

Video: Dag Savage - "The Beginning"

Taking a chance to film a video with their tour mates, Dag Savage (Exile and Johaz) recently dropped the video for the track "The Beginning" with Blu, Denmark Vessey and Quelle Chris. Filming the entire flick before sound checking their Berlin Germany Showcase, the Dirty Science family bounces around the city and highlights some of the street art in the area.


Jun 27, 2014

Fine Art Friday: OVECK - Photography Portfolio

The NYC-based musician and visual artist named Oveck has recently amassed an interesting collection of photos from his mobile phone, with which a medium that has historically been lame by most measures, and pushed into a fine art. He combines different elements in his visual work that include moody, darker themes, and sometimes surrealist qualities using landscapes and figures. Though not all of his photography is done with his mobile phone and he does use proper, traditional cameras, the bulk of his output is rife with album cover worthy pics and though I haven't listened to his music, hopefully hints at the quality of his other crafts. Check his visual work out below.


Jun 25, 2014

Listen: Melaz Cosmo - "Jazzy Trip 4" Collection

Italian Graphic Designer, DJ, and music fan Melaz Cosmo recently dropped his latest "Jazzy Trips 4" compilation, honoring some of the heavily curated downtempo tracks of varied producers around the globe. Not one to just pick the instrumental to a hit song, Melaz does extensive research to find gems from unlikely places and always make for a good jazzy break from the madness of Summer. Check it out and absorb some international vibes from a true beat head.


Jun 24, 2014

Video: The Other Guys - "Blow My Mind" ft. Tanya Morgan

DMV Hip Hop duo The Other Guys hook up with Von Pea and Donwill of Tanya Morgan for the official video of their latest single, "Blow My Mind" off their upcoming HiPNOTT Records debut album 'Seeds of Ambition'. Produced by The Other Guys, "Blow My Mind" has Isaiah trading raps with Von Pea and Donwill, making the track sound effortless and giving us a nice preview of what's to come with the album.


Jun 23, 2014

Listen: Ju-Ar - "Day Out"

German Indie record label Morgen Noi Collective recently dropped the third release by instrumental producer Ju-Ar entitled 'DAY OUT'. With this most recent project, he combines his deep roots of Hip-Hop beatmaking with a smooth swing of soul and subtle funky synth lines - perfect for a BBQ soundtrack on a nice Summer day. Check it out below and support a torchbearer for the Dilla sound.


Jun 20, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Arthur Tress - "Dream Collector"

Recently revisited photos from lesser known 1960s photographer Arthur Tress have emerged, where he developed a series of photographs that were inspired by the dreams of children and illustrated their descriptions through his lens. Entirely shot in black and white, Tress aimed at exploring the darker side of a child’s subconsciousness and shines a light on less talked about elements of growing up, inner demons and fears, which I am always fond of. Check out the book, if you can find it, titled “Arthur Tress: The Dream Collector”.


Jun 18, 2014

Listen: Dizzy Wright x Bishop Nehru x 9th Wonder - "BrILLiant Youth" EP

Linking with clothing brands seems to go hand in hand with a successful run in today's music scene, but 9th Wonder has consistently partnered with LRG for almost 10 years and the results often lead to new introductions and collaborations. Playing on the concept of combining various styles, 9th linked with up and coming underground stars Bishop Nehru and Dizzy Wright for a quick EP that lets 9th flex his beats with less typical guests. My favorite track is 'Isolated' but the entire EP helps shine a light on the fact that on the right beats, folks can see how diverse a sound their favorite emcee really is.


Jun 17, 2014

Listen: Dumhi - "The Jungle" Instrumentals

Producer and Philly mainstay Dumhi, recently dropped the instrumental version of the album 'The Jungle' (vocal version of The Jungle also available) and the project holds it's own compared to the vocal version featuring emcees like Reef the Lost Cauze, Che Grand, Jermiside, Oxygeen and more. Always down to support fellow producers and true school heads, so check out the work of the Philly purist and help shine a light on some quality backdrop music.


Jun 13, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Lisa Leone - "THE RISE OF HIP HOP"

Bronx bred photographer Lisa Leone grew up in the heyday of late 80s and early 90s hip hop and documented some of the superstars-to-be and lesser known groups, who oddly look like the youth of today, and recently published a book with her own catalog of pics from that era. Capturing some of the iconic figures in the world of hip-hop at the beginning stages of their careers, the early images of Nas, Snoop, Mobb Deep, Guru and many others make us all nostalgic for the days when they ran the airwaves and made us excited to hear new hip hop music. Check some of the highlights below and her site for more in depth info.


Jun 12, 2014

Listen: Damu The Fudgemunk - "Public Assembly" Compilation

One of my favorite producers and a DC area hip hop aficionado, Damu The Fudgemunk, recently dropped a collection of his work entitled 'Public Assembly' which features an instrumental collection of some fan favs and harder-to-find, unreleased versions of tracks produced by the man himself. Always bringing a throwback sound of crunchy drums, soul samples, and a true school dedication to the craft, Damu shines a light on his back catalog and paves the way for more quality music in the future.


Jun 11, 2014

Listen: Dice Raw - "Nothin"

Philly rep and The Roots crew affiliate Dice Raw, recently dropped the new single from his feature on the 'Rawlife' compilation from Dice Raw and the Family. The track entitled "Nothin" continues his quality features in the same vain as his appearances on The Roots albums. The production is fitting and matches the honest lyrics of Dice well. Check it out and support one of The Roots crew that gets less shine than his Tonight Show family.


Jun 10, 2014

Listen: Katiah / OKay - "Next to Us"

Brown Bag Allstar affiliate, Katiah aka OKay, recently dropped the Karamel Kel produced single "Next To Us" for free download. For the unfamiliar, Katiah is an an emcee/producer from the Upper West Side and is currently putting the finishing touches on his next album, featuring production from the BBAS's own J57 and more! Catch him on the road with Koncept and J57 during their US tour this summer/fall.


Jun 9, 2014

Video: RA the Rugged Man - "Definition of a Rap Flow"

Legendary rapper R.A. The Rugged Man is back in the director's chair for the rambunctious and hysterical new video "Definition Of A Rap Flow", off his latest album "Legends Never Die". Among the Rugged Man's most infectious videos to date, "Definition Of A Rap Flow" features cameos from a host of hip-hop luminaries, from legends like Grandmaster Caz, Sadat X, Chill Rob G, Dinco D, and the Beatnuts to new-school talent like Chris Webby. Combining the style and essence of hip-hop's Golden Era with technically flawless new-school lyricism, "Definition Of A Rap Flow" is yet another reminder of the Rugged Man's undeniable place in the pantheon of all-time great emcees.


Jun 6, 2014

Fine Art Friday: NYCHOS - "Volvo Art Session"

Art and commerce combine in interesting ways sometime, and such is the case with the collaboration of graf artist NYCHOS and Volvo's Art Session series. Seen in this video, NYCHOS works over a new Volvo with his signature 3D effects and internal organ textures. Done as a nod to his exploded view work that often appears on walls, this effort was done as an installation at a car show to draw a crowd. Always skillful and impressive, NYCHOS continues growing in style and fame. Check it out.


Jun 5, 2014

Listen: Your Old Droog - "YOUR OLD DROOG" EP

Teaming with NYC producer and secret weapon DJ Skizz, the emcee with one of the oddest names I have heard in a while, and a beat up album cover to match, Your Old Droog, recently dropped his self-titled EP of lo-fi, grimey beats and honest lyrics. With a voice that sounds like a mix of Jay Elec or Nas and a more relaxed and playful flow at times like Breeze Brewin, Droog drops quality verses over Skizz's throwback vibes and the results are a solid, chill summer soundtrack. Check it out and support a hip hop underdog on the come up.


Jun 4, 2014

Listen: Moka Only - "Always Happy"

Swollen Member fam and Battle Axe affiliate Moka Only recently dropped the full length album "Sex Money Moka" and among the stand out tracks, to me, is "Always Happy", a lo-fi ode to the feel good anthems of Summer. Always building his catalog with quality material and more grown man vibes than you will ever hear on the radio. Check it out and support a Canadian legend.


Jun 3, 2014

Listen: Ju-Ar - " Day Out" Album

Stretching across several genres of the hip hop landscape, German beatsmith Ju-Ar's third album "DAY OUT" combines his deep roots in Hip-Hop production with a smooth swing of Dilla-esque soul and subtle funky synth lines. Just in time to provide the soundtrack for a chill summer day, so check it out and support some quality mood music.


May 30, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Kristian Hammerstad

Kristian Hammerstad is a trained illustrator and self-taught animator based in Oslo, Norway. He uses a graphic, pop-gore comic style that reminds me of the comic books of the 80s and Garbage Pail Kids levels of carnage. There seems to be some overlap with graffiti artists like Nychos and Neckface, to me anyway, and I like the use of color in his work. Check it out and help shine a light on some international artists.


May 29, 2014

Listen: Confucius MC - "CoNvey The Thought"

At first glance, the oddly named UK-based emcee known as Confucious MC sounds like a throwback to mid 90s rap names, but the production value and educated verses help step away from those hang-ups. I will admit that I don't know much about him, but i can tell that he appreciates more meaning and content in his raps, and there is not a heavy British accent that would distract from rocking across the pond in the US. His voice sounds kinda like early Mos Def, so hopefully he can keep up the quality output in the future. Check out the lead track from his album the "The Highest Order" below.


May 28, 2014

Video: Blueprint - "Once Again" ft. Count Bass D + Midaz The Beast

Ohio hip hop veteran and true school emcee Blueprint recently dropped the visuals for the track "Once Again" from his "Respect the Architect" project. The track also features guest spots from Nashville's own Count Bass D and the underground busy body Midaz the Beast. The track finds the trio waxing poetic about the current state of rap with honest lyrics about maintaining quality music in the current violence heavy radio world of rap. True words from some hip hop vets.


May 27, 2014

Video: Union Blak - "Glory Days" (NightTime Remix)

Union Blak recently dropped the remix track and video for the song "Glory Days (NightTime REMX)" featuring cuts by DJ 279 and which pays homage to the classic boom bap sound of the Golden Era. Union Blak consists of UK producer Sir Williams and US emcee Kimba, and they teamed up for the full length album "Union Blak Friday" for an overseas collabo. Always down to shine a light on cats who carry the torch for true school hip hop, I support quality music being made by vets and new cats from across the globe.


May 23, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Jaime Molina

Jaime Molina is a mixed media artist who incorporates subject matter portraying epic battles on perforated computer paper, cardboard transformers and wooden ninjas. He used these skills and characters to acquire a BFA in printmaking and continues to draw battles, houses, people, and animals on paper and walls across the globe. Using unorthodox methods to build texture and story, I was particularly drawn to the symbolism in his work and the expert craft of the sculptures and printed material combined. Check it out and support some lesser known creative juggernauts in this world.


May 22, 2014

Video: Jazz Spastiks ft. Apani B Fly – "Move"

NY hip hop staple and quality female emcee, Apani B Fly, recently linked with British production team Jazz Spastiks for a great track and video called "Move". The visuals illustrate a wild adventure in a hand drawn, cut out paper world, that perfectly fits the mellow groove of the track and jazzy lyrics of Apani! Check out the Jazz Spastiks album "The Product" for equally dope production and features from some of hip hops unsung heroes.


May 21, 2014

Case Arnold X Robot Orchestra - "Still"

Clarksville, TN emcee and true schooler Case Arnold recently teamed up with German producer Robot Orchestra and the results are a chill, confessional track for the Summer months ahead. People tend to ignore Case for his style, a "bummy white dude" approach to the game, but one listen to his choice of beats and honest lyrics usually convinces any doubters. He seems like a good dude and I can rock with everything he's dropped thus far, so hopefully he keeps it up as continues to grind. Check it out and support an emcee rocking from an unlikely corner of the country.


May 20, 2014

Video: Amiri - "Heart Broken"

HiPNOTT Records emcee and Justus League affiliate, Amiri, recently released the video for the track "Heart Broken" from his "This Is Part Time" album. The video is an honest nod to relationships and the ups and downs of finding "the one". Amiri always drops some grown man subject matter, so check the lyrics close and be mindful of the old adage "love or lust" when seeking your significant other. Mellow Monday soundtrack.


May 18, 2014

Throwback: Fatlip X Spike Jonze - "What's Up, Falip?" Mini-Doc

Back in the early 2000s, former Pharcyde emcee Fatlip, dropped a solo project called "What's Up Fatlip" and teamed with now-famed film director Spike Jonze to direct a lo-fi, self-depreciating video of Fatlip at his perceived "bottom of the barrel" status at the time. In addition to the recording of the video, Spike created a mini-documentary that shows behind-the-scenes footage and how the concept for the music and video came to be. The contrast of the lo-fi video and the smarter minds behind the camera keep the subject matter interesting by shining a light on the struggles of a hip hopper who came to realize that the glitter and glam of the rap industry is not what it was cracked up to be. Pretty insightful for all the cats who are trying to emulate the current trends of the hip hop world.

May 17, 2014

Video: Rapsody - "Betty Shabazz"

One of the few female MCs that honor the craft, Jamla Records resident emcee, Rapsody, recently dropped the visuals for her cut from the album, "9th Wonder Presents: Jamla Is the Squad (Deluxe Edition)". Always bringing honest lyrics and a mellow flow to her tracks, Rapsody always sounds serious about her role and never resorts to the Nicki Minaj-esque, clown or Barbie tactics to get her point across. Culture over everything indeed!


May 16, 2014

Fine Art Friday: Matt Cusick - "Defacements" Series

I first came across the work of Matt Cusick when I saw the cover art for the "Benthic Lines" album from Dan Lyth. I liked the subtle ocean/sky combo which was enough to prompt me to look online for more of his work. I then came across his Defacement series, where he takes pages from old schoolbooks and alters them by sanding and scraping away everything except the page number, an illustration, and a few chosen words. They end up becoming these unintended poems that seem to resonate with a power stronger than the source material. Personally, I enjoy the unearthing of a hidden message or intent in the mass-produced pages of discarded books. Check it out and see how a simple concept can be executed with minimal elements.


May 15, 2014

Listen: Ladi6 - "Automatic" Album

New Zealand songstress Ladi6 and Detroit's Waajeed (of Platinum Pied Pipers, Slum Village, and Dilla association) collaborated on a spacy, futuristic, soulful album of original, hip hop-influenced RnB entitled "Automatic" and the results are damn near perfect. Chopping up elements of rock, Dilla-esque drum kits, outer space synth's, and Ladi6's voice all connect for a hypnotic and seamless collection that stands up the the "skipless" test that is rare these days in any genre, so Waajeed's production perfectly matches Ladi6's voice throughout. Showing that everything you hear on the radio is not the true standard, Ladi6 and Waajeed bang out some honest, new school RnB without resorting to Dubstep or syrupy cliches. Check it out and support some international music.


May 14, 2014

Video: UGeorge - "Blowing Up" ft. SoundSci

From the recent WorldExpo label sampler, the crew UGeorge dropped the visuals for the track "Blowing Up" featuring label mates Soundsci. Among the features is Audessey (of Mass Influence) and serves as a preview for the upcoming "The Many Faces of UGeorge" album. A bit of a throwback track with cats who are more seasoned than most of the young cats in the game, but always glad to see more humble music and "grown man" themes with hip hop from some areas of the globe. Check it out and realize that hip hop is for all ages and looks and the WorldExpo crew continues to prove this fact.


May 13, 2014

Video: Devine Carama - "The Torch Bearer"

Kentucky emcee and Double Truth alumni, Devine Carama, recently dropped a lost single from his past album "Heart of a King" sessions. Here is what he said about it, listen and enjoy.

As I was going through beats during a studio session for my upcoming album, Believing In Forever, I stumbled across an unreleased song called “The Torch Bearer” produced by Confidence. I had completely forgot about this song. This was originally recorded for my 2012 album, Heart Of A King. Confidence is definitely one of the up and coming producers in the game. I felt this previously unreleased gem would do better in the fans’ headphones than in a folder on my labtop. This track is about carrying on the right legacy to the next generation. The future is only as bright as the light that the present shines. -Devine Carama

May 12, 2014

Video: Substantial - "Neighborhood Watch" (The Other Guys Remix) ft. Acem of Gods'Illa

Mello Music's standout emcee Substantial recently dropped the remix track and video, a collaboration with The Other Guys and Acem of Gods'Illa, for the song "Neighborhood Watch" from the album "Art Is Where The Home Is". The results are a terrific blend of chilled out moods with honest lyrics from the DC area true schoolers and make me like the remix a bit more than the original. Acem holds his own with Substantial and hopefully this is a hint of more quality projects from all artists involved.


May 9, 2014

Fine Art Friday: David Molesky - "Riot Paintings" Series

Maybe it's because I listen to so much Dead Prez and Pharoahe Monch, but after seeing the latest series of paintings from the "Calm and Unrest" body of work from NYC artist David Molesky, I felt the urge to share in the destruction. Though I am not fond of his other works, the riot paintings hint at something powerful and show people at wits end, taking matters into their own hands with protestors tossing molotov cocktails at unseen targets and running within the chaos. Sadly, with constant uprisings around the world, these images could be inspired from anywhere on the globe, but something about the universal "We're not gonna take it" attitude speaks to this generation and our frustrations.


May 8, 2014

Listen: Justo The MC X Elbe Kim – "Fly Seoul" Mixtape

Brooklyn's own Justo the MC recently dropped a collabo mixtape with producer Elbe Kim and the results pay homage to the Golden Era inspiration discussed throughout and combine it with a fresh, updated approach to making classic, more mellow hip hop music for the masses. The mixtape features track after track seamlessly blending into each other and celebrating the evolving craft of both artists. Mixing samples of old and modern classics, Justo drops lots of quality verses over the soulful production and the entire project shines as something the residents of BK, and everywhere else could be proud of. Check it out and support some NYC underdogs!

May 7, 2014

Listen: The Boomjacks - "Moments in Space and Time" Album

Always down to support some fellow producers, I came across the work of the Finland-based beatmaking duo The Boomjacks latest project entitled ""Moments in Space and Time" and enjoyed the more jazzy approach to production. The pair are brothers, known as Jyri and Villejam, and previously worked with American rapper Apollo's Sun, "The Ownlife Sessions, Vol. 1" project. Describing the project as "Moods and Grooves", they were aiming to make music that serves as a soundtrack for life, anywhere on the map. Check it out and support some international cats paying homage to the craft.


May 6, 2014

Listen: People Under The Stairs - "12 Step Program" Album

The P return with their highly anticipated 9th studio album, 12 Step Program, a self produced, psychedelic, sample laden journey solidifying PUTS as a group completely comfortable in their own unique lane. Though the sound may be reminiscent of early 90s hip hop albums, the duo eschews the golden era pitfall of rapping about rap with decidedly now topics covering everything from LA gang violence and Instagram to Rob Ford while complementing each other with back and forth wordplay. As classic as any release in the P cannon, the 12SP is a high enjoyable ride over beats that feel both classic and fresh at the same time. (via PUTS)