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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

[Album] HAVOC - "Thirteen Reloaded"

Legendary Mobb Deep emcee/producer Havoc is back with his new project, "13 Reloaded". Though it may sound like some expanded edition of 2013's "13" this is brand new album featuring nothing but new material and from what I've heard so far it is most likely Hav's finest solo offering yet. The beats are hard as nails, stripped down and packing a thick, dark atmosphere that will definitely cater to long time Mobb Deep fans. Guest apperances come from Prodigy, Cormega (on the excellent "Fallen Soldiers"), Sheek Louch, and Mysonne. Entirely produced by Havoc too; overall a real nice suprise! Stream the album below via HotNewHipHop.com and get your official copy from iTunes.


M.O.P. Ft. MAINO - "Welcome 2 Brooklyn"

It's been over three years since The Mash Out Posse last released an official album, so it's great to have the duo finally returning with a brand new project again. "Street Certified" consists of only nine songs, clocks in at around 32 minutes and is officially labeled as an EP. However their latest previous album, "Sparta" (with The Snowgoons), was just as short and about half as good so I'm a bit hesitant to call this an EP, but rather a mini album or something like that. We've heard the three singles and if you dug them, you are definitely in for a treat here. This is dark, hard, and agressive music for the streets with beats that'll make neck hurt - but as is always the case with Danze and Fame, there's a lot of humor thrown into the violent lyrics. Between the stripped down, funeral marsch hip-hop of "Broad Daylight", the vintage M.O.P. sound of "187" (complete with a mix and scratches by DJ Premier), and the somber piano and guest singer of "Hustle" there's enough variation on here to never get boring or repetitive. But most of all it's a true M.O.P. record, and Billy Danze and Lil' Fame once again proves why they are one of the most potent duos hip-hop has ever seen - and the answer is a mixture of impeccable chemistry, terrific voices and flows plus very well written lyrics. In other words a return to form after the somewhat lackluster Snowgoons collaboration in "Sparta", "Street Certified" (which is out now) comes highly recommended. Only downside is that it seems to be digital only, at leat for the time being. Take a listen to the opening song "Welcome 2 Brooklyn" up top, featuring a solid verse from Maino.

M.O.P. - "STREET CERTIFIED" @ iTUNES

RICK GONZALES Ft. KOOL G RAP - "Prayer For Perspective"


You might recognize the name Rick Gonzales but probably not from your record collection, but rather from his movie credits as he's an actor who has worked on films/series such as "War Of The Worlds", "Old School" and "The Shield". Turns out he can rhyme as well and is currently signed to Statik Selektah's ShowOff Records where he is preparing his debut album "Divine Journey". The first single is real promising, with a beautifully chopped soul sampling beat courtesy of Dan Freeman and a short but rugged verse from the one and only Kool G Rap. Also peep Rick Gonzales @ Soundcloud for more music, including collaborations with Prodigy, Rapsody, G. Rocka, Joell Ortiz, Blu, Nottz, Roc Marciano, AG Da Coroner and Realm Reality.

[Album] YOUR OLD DROOG - "The LP"

The whole Your Old Droog controversy was mad fun while it lasted, as in a lot of heads being sure it was Nasty Nas pulling a stunt. Of course that was not the case, but the similarities between Droog's flow, voice, choice of words and cadence and early Nas is nothing short of uncanny. Personally I think the similarities are a little too many but the "Your Old Droog" EP that dropped some time ago is undeniable a dope listen. Now the Russian born emcee is expanding that into an 18 tracks deep full-length project, which is available for pre-order @ iTunes (November 25 is the release date). Stream the album for free via NPR.

01. "Quiet Storm Interlude"
02. "Bad to the Bone"
03. "Nutty Bars"
04. "Loosey in the Store With Pennies (Extended Version)"
05. "Good Times"
06. "Droog's Anthem"
07. "Gunsmoke Cologne"
08. "U 47"
09. "You Know What Time it Is (Extended Version)"
10. "Bye Outro"
11. "Free Turkey"
12. "Loosey in the Store With Pennies (Remix)"
13. "On The News"
14. "Boofanickoregs"
15. "The '70s"
16. "48th Street"
17. "Senseless Killin'"
18. "Bad to the Bone (Remix)"

[Video] CORMEGA - "Reflection"

One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums of the year get the visual treatment. I'm talking about "Reflection", the short but powerful acapella from Cormega's "Mega Philosophy" produced by Large Professor. Tons of knowledge being spoken in less than a minute right here. If you haven't picked up 'Mega's latest yet, stop sleeping and order your copy @ UGHH or HHV.

Monday, November 17, 2014

GHOSTFACE KILLAH Ft. Kool G Rap, AZ & Tre Williams - "The Battlefield"

Ghostface honestly pretty much never dissapoints - not only does he have talent out of this world, but he knows what his fans want to hear from him. As you should be well aware of The Masked Killer is releasing his new studio album "36 Seasons" on December 9, featuring live music by The Revelations and guests such as Kool G Rap, AZ, NEMS and Rell. The first single "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" set things off lovely, and now the second single is here - a pure hardcore jam featuring both G Rap and AZ as well as fantastic soul crooner Tre Williams. Peep "The Battlefield" above, get ready for December 9 (pre-order @ Amazon) and make sure to check out the recent Lost Tapes compilation "Still Killin' It" featuring the majority of Ghost apperances released the last couple of years. Man, this album is shaping up lovely!

[Video] JUSKWAM w. BAZOOKA JOE & PROSPEK - "Buss Nuff Shots"

DJ Bazooka Joe and Prospek more than proved their worth as highly talented producers of that real hip-hop sound with their 2013 release "The Bush League: Cold School". From that album comes the boom banging headnodder "Bust Nuff' ShotS", featuring Houston emcee Juskwan, complete with an addictive vocal loop and rock hard drums. The entire "The Bush League" album is available from The GPC Bandcamp, you can also stream the entire project below. 

PHIL Da AGONY & UGLY TONY - "Best Of The Best"

It's been quite some time since I heard some new ish from Tha Liks spitter Phil Da Agony, but I've always been a fan of his unique flow and voice patterns. Apparantly he has been working on a new EP with another rhymer called Ugly Tony which they are about to unleash on the world on December 1, via Rugged Records. The first single is called "Best Of The Best" and features a hard hitting electro sounding vibe that works well in the context of the two emcees styles. Check out the single up top and also peep the short snippet reel of "Antagonysm" below.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

[Compilation] GHOSTFACE KILLAH - "Still Killin' It"

As any serious hip-hop fanatic has noticed by now, the end of 2014 will be a period of a true Wu renaissance if things goes down as planned. Not only are we getting the first Wu-Tang Clan album ("A Better Tomorrow") since 2007:s "8 Diagrams", we've also recently heard new mixtapes from Raekwon and Inspectah Deck, with several generals working on official solo albums - including GZA, Raekwon, Method Man and of course Ghostface Killah. The latter is preparing an LP called "36 Seasons", a collection of fourteen songs of Ghost weaving stories and fierce rhymes over soulful backdrops co-produced and performed by Wu-Tang favorites The Revelations ("Wu-Tang Chamber Music", "Legendary Weapons", "The Man With The Iron Fist: Soundtrack"). The project will be released on the relaunched Tommy Boy imprint on December 9, and also includes co-production from Fizzy Womack and The 45 King as well as lyrical contributions by Kool G Rap, AZ, Tre Williams, Rell and more. Yesterday we heard a six minutes sampler, mixed by DJ 7L, and judging from that "36 Seasons" should be another GFK sure shot.

Personally Ghostface has always held a special spot for me as an artist, all the way back when I was 12 and fell in love with hip-hop and Wu-Tang in particular, Ghost quickly became one of my top 3 emcees of all time and since then he has stayed there. It's pretty much impossible to say who the greatest of all time is, but I'd still go out and say that for me the holy trinity are Nas, Rakim, and Ghostface Killah. To me all three of them are so much more than your average rapper, they are artists in the truest sense of the word. The aforementioned trio's mic presence and writing  is simply out of this world - they got a myriad of flows with an enormous knack for playing with words and rhymes, have enormous longevity, are incredible influential in the hip-hop world, put on great live shows and especially in the case of Nas and GFK they have an almost endless catalouge of brilliant albums and guest features/unreleased joints. I've done a gang of compilations of Rakim and Nas on The Lost Tapes before, and though I've done a Wu comp or two, I have never actually specialized in one for GFK. And with two albums featuring him heavily just around the corner, what better way to celebarete that fact than with a compilation showcasing his more recent guest verses and solo/non-album singles released over the last couple of years or so. Entitled "Still Killin' It", the 20 tracks collection is a 70+ minutes excursion into the mind and the world of the Masked Assassin. As usual a lot of thought has gone into the sequencing so I strongly recommend giving this a thorough front-to-back listen. At least that's what I do until December 9 is here. 

Recorded between 2011 and 2014, the compilation showcases Ghost in a myriad of settings, from hardcore sounding hip-hop joints, solo tracks, back-to-back rhyming with some of the true greats, more R&B flavored joints, Ghost over live instrumentation, and more. Producers, performers and vocalists featured on "Still Killin' It" are producers, instrumentalists and guest vocalists including Killah Priest, RZA, eLzhi, Raekwon, Danny Brown, KanYe West/Pusha T, Kool G Rap, Flume, Childish Gambino, Inspectah Deck, 7L, Mobb Deep, Havoc, Killah Priest, Inspectah Deck, Snowgoons, True Master, Shyheim, Cormega, Mathematics, and even French Soulkast. An interesting thing is that I included  the three tracks from the 7" single that Ghost recently released with musicians and producers BadBadNotGood. This single was supposed to be a prequel to a full-length collaboration between the Wu General and the jazz trio to come out on February 16 via LEX and titled "Sour Soul". Let's hope this does not get lost in the shuffle now that the The Revelations proect is coming. However, it would be too dope to have three consecutive Ghost albums with different live bands (Adrian Younge/Venice Dawn, The Revelations, BadBadNotGood). We'll just have to wait and see, but luckily Dennis Coles is a very prolific guy so I doubt there will be any lack of sick Ghost verses while we wait, so here we go with (perhaps) the first volume of Ghostface Killah's "Still Killin' It". Tune In, Turn Up and Press play!

01. DOOMStarks - "Victory Lapz"
02. Ghostface Killah & BadBadNotGood - "Six Degrees"
03. Ghostface / Raekwon / Kool G Rap - "Rivers of Blood"
04. KanYe West / Pusha T / Ghostface Killah  "New God Flow"
05. Flume / Ghostface Killah - "Space Cadet"
06. Ghostface Killah - "Savagely Attack"
07. Czarface (INS / 7L / Esoteric) / Ghostface Killah - "Savageky Attack"
08. Mobb Deep / Ghostface Killah - "Dirt: Remix"
09. SoulKast / Ghostface Killah - "Worldwide"
10. Killah Priest / Ghostface Killah / Inspectah Deck- "Devotion to the Saints"
11. Aspectz / Ghostface Killah / Cody Coyiote - "What You Get Now"
12. Snowgoons / Ghsostface Kiillah / Pusha T / Swisha T - "The Cypher"
13. True Master / Ghostface Killah / Inspectah Deck - "Strong Arm"
14. Hanz On / Ghostface Killah / Inspectah Deck - "City Lights"
15. Josh Osho / Ghostface Killah - "Redemption Days" [RZA Remix]
16. J-Love / Cormega / Ghostface Killah - "Glorified Excellence"
17. Ghostface Killah / Inspectah Deck / Sheek Louch - "Bust Shots"
18. Ghostface / Inspectah Deck / Raekwon / Method Man - "4 Horsemen"
19. Ghostface Killah & BadBadNotGood - "Gunshowers"
20. Ghostface Killah & BadBadNotGood - "Tony's Rap" [Instrumental Outro]

GHOSTFACE KILLAH - "Still Killin' It"

SHUKO - "The Same" / "Heatwave" (Ft. CL Smooth & 20Cyl / Talib Kweli)

German born hip-hop producer Shuko has done a name for himself on the US hip-hop scene, crafting beats for Heltah Skeltah, Saigon, Talib Kweli, Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz, Jedi Mind Tricks, RA The Rugged Man, Hell Razah, and many more. His booming street sounding beats never goes wrong, and his instrumental projects like his recent five track EP "The Awakening" and the "Sleepless" album.

Now Shuko is preparing a new full-length, this time a vocal album featuring a host of talented rhymesayers called "For The Luv Of It" (January '15). The first double A-side single to emerge from the vaults is the powerful "The Same" featuring CL Smooth and 20Cyl of C2C. Undoubtedly a very powerful cut, and to hear one of the true greats in the form of CL is a true blessing, and even better is that he's sounding just as good as he's always had. On the flipside Talib Kweli takes on a more laid back beat especially concocted for the Brooklyn legend - "Heatwave". Its a nice track but to me it doesn't come close to the power of the CL Smooth joint which is just plain fire. You can check both songs below, but cop the digital single @ iTunes.

BLACK SHEEP - "Propogation"

Wow, I totally missed out on this, but this is F'n great right here. I've been a big fan of Dres and Mista Lawgne since they first burst onto the scene with their immaculate '91 debut album "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", and though Lawgne has left the group, Dres is deifnitely one of the more slept on rhymeslingers the american hip-hop scene has to offer. Not all of Black Sheep's output has exactly been mindblowing, but there's plenty of hot material in that catalouge of theirs. Last year (or was it the year before) Dres album with Jairobi as evitaN went totally over heads heads, but now it seems that Dres The Black Sheep has signed a deal with Tommy Boy as they just have premiered a new single from the talented wordsmith called "Propagation". Pay attention to the lyrics on this one; as the press release says "this is not meant to get you moving, but to get you thinking". It will be interesting to see where this turns up!

ROME CEE - "Signs"

It's been a minute since we heard from Rome Cee  but  on the other hand, his last album "EarthSide" was more than enough to hold us over. Now the Boston rhymer has completed his new EP "Glimpse" which is set to be released on December 6. The EP consists of six songs, including the Tulev produced "Signs", which you can listen to and download for free now. Stay tuned for more info, and visit RomeCee.com for more info and music on this talented cat.

COMMON x MALIK YUSEF x KUMASI... - "Trouble in the Water"

The first new Common verse since his somewhat slept on latest project with No I.D., "Nobody Smiling", comes in the form of an apperance on a posse cut recorded for a compilation album called "Home". The upcoming album contains music set up  to raise awareness about the climate change and its risks, with the lead single "Trouble in the Water" and features verses from Common, Malik Yusef, Kumasi, Aaron Fresh, Choklate, and Laci Kay. Especially feeling the first 1:30 with Com' and hook. "Home" drops on December 2.

DJ ABSOLUT Ft. MOP & CHRIS RIVERS - "New York Giants II"

DJ Absolut, who previously made mixtapes for Raekwon, as well as provided beats for the likes of AZ, Black Market Militia,, LL Cool J, Papoosee and Hell Rell. For his new single, Absolut grabs to the rugged services of Chris Rivers and M.O.P. for the sequel to "New York Giants"..One of my personal favorites from Big Punisher's second and final album "Yeeeah Baby!" where the SBX rhymer and The Mash Out Pose went in hard over a Minnesota and Mahogany monster.The sequel definitely doesn't put the original to shame, even though it doesn't reach the potential of the first.

[Mixtape] OL' DIRTY BASTARD - "Birthday Freestyle Mix"


Russell Jones, better known to the entertainment and hip-hop world as Ol' Dirty Bastard, passed away from us ten years ago this year; on November 13 to be exact. Still to this day his legacy stands tall as he has influenced countless emcees to come after him, still no one has ever even came close to duplicate his wild, yet often lyrical style, not least his son YDB. As we are nearing the second Wu-Tang Clan album without ODB's influence, the good people at Str8OutDaDen has put together something ill for your phones and iPod to remember this unique, highly talented artist. Titled "ODB Birthday Freestyle Mix", this continious mix mixed by J. Good, is made up of 20 minutes of nothing but crazy ass freestyle sessions from that Old Dirty Bastard. Much thanks to Str8OutDaDen for this amazing mix. TURN IT UP!!

In related news, long-time Wu and ODB affiliate Buddha Monk (together with writer Mickey Hess) has finally released his complete biography over Russel Jones life and times, as Buddha was pretty much always around. The book is titled "The Dirty Version". So far it has been getting rave reviews from many publications, and judiging from the excerpts I've read this is a MUST READ for any ODB/Wu head. Get more info and order the book @ Amazon, and via GENIUS we can read a full excerpt of Chapter #3, called "In The Lab", documenting the humble beginnings of Wu-Tang Clan and The Brooklyn Zu. Fantastic read, peace to Jammin for the find!

BUDDHA MONK - "THE DIRTY VERSION" CHAPTER 3