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Friday, July 3, 2015

[Stream] GHOSTFACE KILLAH - "12 Reasons to Die II"

 With the help of super ill composer/producer/instrumentalist Adrian Younge, Wu-Tang Clan's most shining star Ghostface Killah delivered his best album in several years with 2012's "12 Reasons to Die". Now the duo team back together for more of the same formula - following the concept of their first meeting so closely they have choosen to call it a proper sequel. While the album isn't released to stores in another week, the New York Times have been given exclusive rights to stream the project to listeners for free so be sure to head over to the link below and press play.'

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

[Album] PETE ROCK - "Petestrumentals 2"

I've been listening to this from front-to-back no less than three times today, The Soul Brother just came through and delivered his best record in about ten years or so. Released today via Mello Music Group, this is one of the first true must-buys for me this year, every minute of it is absolutely marvelous. Following the formula of the first "PeteStrumentals" (an album that I ranked as the third best album released during the first decade of the 2000s), Pete has dug deep into his old DATs and floppy discs to unearth previously unreleased beats from the '90s, created on his trusted SP1200, and fizzling with soul, jazz, and funk influences. The music has then been remixed, touched up and rearranged by Pete for its 2015 release, a combination that gives listeners the best of two worlds. Every single track is just groovy as hell, and a welcome addition is the huge amount of small musical interludes that are as dope as the actual songs themeselves. If you're not feeling this you are probably dead already. MMG, in usual order, let you stream the entire project for free before purchasing it in your choice of CD, digital or gatefold 2xLP. Guess what my choice will be? As Dilla probably says in heaven right now, TURN IT UP!!!

[Album] VINCE STAPLES - "Summertime '06"

 Oh hell yeah, here's a banging album that I've been waiting to turn up LOUD for quite some time. Vince Staples the young, 21 years old, super talented emcee from Long Beach that not too long ago was discovered by No I.D. and signed under his ATRium/Def Jam imprint. He has released a couple of mixtapes but what really turned me on to his music was when my big homie Linkan introduced me to his 2014 tape "Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2", produced by No I.D., Dilated Peoples and Scoop DeVille. Now in 2015 he finally drops his true debut album, and once again No I.D. is a major player in the albums production a long with DJ Dahi, Brian Kidd and Clams Casino. This might not be every Lost Tapes players type of shit but this is ill party music right here and Staples can definitely flow. Stream the album for free via NPR below; strangely enough it's a double album but together it clocks in at just under an hour. After the first listen, I can't say I'm too hyped but it's pretty decent. Check it out for yourself.

Disc 1
01. "Ramona Park Legend Pt. 1" [prod. by No I.D.]
02. "Lift Me Up" [prod. by No I.D. & DJ Dahi]
03. "Norf Norf" [prod. by Clams Casino]
04. "Birds & Bees" [prod. by DJ Dahi]
05. "Loca" [prod. by No I.D.]
06. "Lemme Know" (Ft. Jhené Aniko & DJ Dahi) [prod. by No I.D., DJ Dahi & Brian Kidd]
07. "Dopeman" (Ft. Joey Fatts) [prod. by No I.D.]
08. "Jump Off The Roof" (Ft. Snoh Alegrah) [prod. by No I.D.]
09. "Senioritá" [prod. by Christian Rich]
10. "Summertime" [prod. by Clams Casino]

Disc 2
01. "Ramona Park Legend Pt. 2" [prod. by No I.D.]
02. "3230" [prod. by No I.D.]
03. "Surf" (Ft. Kilo Kish) [prod. by Clams Casino]
04. "Might Be Wrong" [prod. by No I.D.]
05. "Get Paid" (Ft. Desi Monti) [prod. by No I.D.]
06. "Street Punks" [prod. by No I.D.]
07. "Hang N Bang" [prod. by No I.D.]
08. "C.H.B." [prod. by No I.D., DJ Dahi & Brian Kidd]
09. "Like It Is" [prod. by No I.D., DJ Dahi & Brian Kidd]
10. "'06" [prod. by No I.D.]

GHOSTFACE & ADRIAN YOUNGE Ft. Vince Staples - "Get The Money"

Adrian Younge is by far one of the illest producers out there, I'm just amazed at how he and his band Venice Dawn uses all live instrumentation but he uses a sampler to program every instrument into it just like if he was sampling records. People have complained that Ghostface isn't bringing his A game on his last few albums but "Twelve Reasons to Die" was easily my favorite LP of that year. Even if Ghost isn't rapping like on "Ironman" or "Supreme Clientele", he's hardly spitting Young Thug flows and he's still got one of the illest voices in the game and keeps his flow in pocket. Today the third single from "Twelve Reasons to Die Pt. II" dropped and it's another sure shot winner, and I'm stoked they included a feature from Vince Staples, easily one of the more interesting emcees to come out as of late. The second Younge/Ghost album drops on July 10 and features 13 songs + instrumentals, pre-order @ iTunes.

Monday, June 22, 2015

[Article] Is "Mega Philosophy" CORMEGA's Best Album?

Since a documentary on the making of this beautiful album is soon to be released I would like to go back and see how well Cory McKay's "Mega Philosophy" actually holds up one year later. The short answer is that it probably even better now than it was when it first hot stores, as both the production and verbal intercourse now finally has had the chance to truly sink into us as listeners. Sure there were never no question at any time or point that this was not a very good album, though I remember hearing some "The Realness" fanatics shedding a tear over how they missed the hardcore beats and violent, drug slinging lyrics. In fact I'd go as far as to say that "Mega Philosophy" is Cormega's best album yet. If we first look at the foundation, which is the production, it's from top to bottom extremely well produced and varied enough while never sounding the least forced. After all Queens' legend Large Professor created every single beat on the album, in the studio with Cormega where they worked hard together on the sound they envisioned for the record. This can definitely be heard throughout the first to last track, and as Extra-P revealed in the extensive XXL interview shortly before the albums relase how its making was a new experience to him as no emcee he had previously worked with had been so detrimet and hands-on in adding small samples and a touch of his own flavor to the LP:s sound. The co-production credit 'Mega receives on the back cover next to Large Professor is therefore hardly a fluke or a shady label decision as is so often the case.  

"Mega Philosophy" was also released in a completely instrumental version and if you ask me this is a brilliant companion piece to the original that any fan of the album truly need to hear. It will bring you a deeper respect for not only how well crafted these ten cuts truly are, but you'll also notice that there's plenty of little vocal samples and sound effects that you'd be hard pressed to find under the vocals on the original retail release. Unlike many instrumental editions of already released albums this one is actually a project that stand on its own two legs and are a great listen on its own. Take a track like "Industy" whose chops, wild piano meodies, well arranged drums and short vocal samples from 'Mega and KRS-One will have your head nodding in seconds. After having heard the single countless times and no matter the amount of important truths Corey speaks on the song I actually prefer to zone out to this instrumental. This might also be a result of me having heard the original single countless times by now and it has never really been one of my favorites of mine compared to the rest of the LP.


But of course what really will make this a future classic is mainly Cormega's performance - he is so mature and wise beyond his years here as opposed to much of his earlier material. With that statement I must say that I've been a big fan of Cormega since I first heard him on "Affirmative Action" and later "The Realness" and "The True Meaning", so don't misinterpret the above statement. Everyone who comes from a rough background will need to come to the realization that you can't keep on living that destructive and violent lifestyle forever and is forced to grow up - and that's one major difference between this legenday emcees earlier output and this one. A key track and a personal favorite is "More" where The Professor hooks up raw boom bap drums, addictive piano keys, a beautiful breakdown of sirens and sound effects and best of all a part where the boom bap gives way to African Tribal drums to underline Mega's lyrics. Here 'Mega attacks the entire American "justice" system and the way African Americans have been and continues to be treated yesterday, today and tomorrow. The song is filled to the limit with uplifting and clever quotables - "[They] destroy our mental everyday, we more conditioned, to confirm to ignorance and ignore wisdom/ A darker pigment gets you 50 shots and a cop aquitted, while Mumia dreams of freedom in a cot in prison". And that's  just the beginnning of the first verse, I could quote the whole song but give it a spin instead, but I have to mention this clever line "We more than pant saggin' ignorants/ In fact spelling saggin' backwards is niggas/ Pick up your pants and ehance your apperance because it traps us". Almost like a sequel is the beautiful Maya Acazuna collaboration known as "Rise". With lines like "I put it it all together and realize money causes convention, resentment and moral conviction. Rappers tell you lies and glorifies the ghetto, they never speak of mother's inconceivable cries/ So the oppressive agressive of those sworn to serve and protect us, harm us/ Sean Bell the martyr was a father" there's no question Cormega is one of the illest and most important emcees of our time. Like a sister to "More", the themes and topics here are some of the most potent, truthful and important that Corey has ever spat, and just like the former has a somewhat laid back feel that make sure you don't miss a word, "Rise" too is a mellow cut centered around a beautiful guitar melody and one of Large Pro's many different trademark drums.

Now don't be fooled into thinking that there's no hardcore jams on here because there obviously are and we're gonna break  a few of them down in just a second. There's just one more of those siblings of songs I just feel I need to touch upon a little extra, which I feel together forms the albums core, and that is together with "More" and "Rise" the album closer "Valuable Lessons". Another relatively laid back jam with a sung hook by relatively unknown guest artist Jarrell Perry who does a great job. I've read a wack review saying that "Valuable Lessons" was hampered by a cheesy chorus which really undermined the songs potential. I think this is straight up BS (well HipHopDX isn't exactly known for their great reviews) - the song itself is one of the albums best and an absolutely excellent album closer where Cormega take the time to get maybe more personal than he's ever been on wax before. Although it bugs me how short the album is, which I'll be getting into soon, I coudn't think of a better way to close this LP. The tracks foundation is an irrestible mix of an accoustic guitar riff, a vintage vocal sample, accoustic background piano and that perfect drum programming that helps Large Pro's beats always knock hard as hell no matter how laid back the instrumentation is. Split into three verses, the first deal with fake friends, and how the older you get and the more problem you get yourself into you are often left on your own - something I'm sure a lot of us slightly older people here can relate to. "I risked my life for niggas who didn't write or visit, during my time in prison I realized my friendship isn't what I invested,and I'm tired of giving with no reciprocation. Thankfully times are different...". The second verse gets even more peronal as Corey airs out his dirty family laundry, including drug use, gossiping and even how his own grandmother was robbed by younger relatives, something a lot of emcees wouldn't ever dare to touch upon us. But "Mega Philosophy" from start to finish is 'Mega's journey and where he has now ended up in his life, which is why I think the three songs discussed here are the center pieces of the projet. The final verse of the album is directly dedicated to one person, McKay's ex-wife and how a great thing like love can turn to heartache and hate. If you ever had bad experiences with women in your life (and who haven't) this verse is so rewind heavy that it's just ridciolously filled with jewels. "You'd rather hate me than be mad at yourself. Now you free, we no longer trapped in lies, you never find happiness until you're happy inside".  The hook actually fits the song perfectly and the last bridge/outro really puts the dot over the i as Perry croons "Now I can finally sleep at night... I can finally sleep at night", of course meaning that our hero is on his way to overcome all of this bullshit. What a wonderful and clever way to close an album of this spiritual nature.

 
I mentioned the three songs described above as the center pieces of the album, but since I view this album as a 5/5 masterpiece that doesn't mean that the remaining eight tracks are any less dope - its just that they are other type of records than the extremely motivational and mature tracks that together form a new era in Cormega's music. "Rap Basquiat", for example, shows us how truly unbelivable the chemistry between Extra-P and 'Mega really is - the beat with it's high-powered vocal sample loop, the sampled Fender bass and boombastic drums married with the veteran spitters equally brilliant flow. I can't hear this without shaking my head at how dope his delivery has become over the years and how incredible Large's beat is. There's not many guests featured on the album, a great thing, and the few who do appear are chosen with the utmost care. Early on we are introduced to the one posse cut on the album - "M.A.R.S." featuring AZ, Styles P, and Redman. I really don't feel Redman fits in on the LP at all, but it's not much to complain about since especially AZ and Styles does a terrific job as they so often do. I also like how the album opens up with a posse cut as it reminds me of the '90s where that was pretty much a standard practice. Raekwon appears on "Honorable Mention", the first single and only to be released on physical (7" single) - most likely the hardest record on the album which explains why they went with it as the first single whereas a track like "More" might have turned off some of those "The Realness" fanatics. Rae and Mega always had a great chemistry together, going as far back as 2000 when the latter appeared on a very rare remix of The Chef's "Yae Yo" (if anyone have this please post it in the comments or e-mail me)!

Now to the final part of this article about how this album that after having marinated for almost a year has grown to be even more brilliant than when it first hit stores, likely because it was such a mature and introspective Cormega album that we might not have expected it. However, I'm all for quantity over quality but when a bunch of excellent tracks are left off a 30 minutes short record it does bug me a bit. After only roughly thirty minutes no matter how perfect the soundscapes, the lyrics, the flow and the production are, your mouth will definitely be watering for more. In my opinion they should have put a blank track of silence for 1-2 minutes and then added all of the Cormega/Large Professor songs made between "Born & Raised" and "Mega Philosophy".The album was in the works for about three years so you can count on there being lots of tracks left off the final product which in a way speaks well for the two artists integrity and how exact they knew what they wanted from the project. 

THE LOST & FOUND TRACKS FROM "MEGA PHILOSOPHY"

When asked how the album came about they both said it was beause of the insane response to "Journey" ("Born & Raised"). In that same interview they said that in honor of this they were definitely include the monster posse cut remix using roughly the same beat, but adding new verses from Cormega, Large Professor (this is another thing, I would've liked to hear a couple of verses from Extra-P on the LP), one of my all time favorites in OC and the almighty Sadat X. "Journey" was definitely a stand out on the preceding album and making a Part 2 as a posse cut was just a briliant idea. I loved how they was to pay homage to how the process started by including it on the album, but unfortunately it was scrapped and the only version that exist is the exclusive DJ Rated R mixtape premiere. Also in 2012 a single was released under Cormega's name said to be from the album called "M.A.R.S." - another posse cut produced by Large Pro and featuring Roc Marciano, Saigon, and Action Bronson that gained a lot of hype amongst underground heads at the time. In fact I would have a hard time deciding which of the two "M.A.R.S." cuts better sutied for opening the album. The one they went with is probably more in tune with the rest of the disc, but at the same time the predecessor is a HARD ASS joint, and as you know from my compilations I always figure it's a great way to kick things off with a real raw banger. The track however ended up on Large Pro's 2012 solo album "Professor @ Large", despite not even featuring so much as an adlib by That Guy With The Glasses. That same album also featured another very dope joint produced by Large Pro, with Cormega, Tragedy Khadafi (who was perhapst the one person truly missing from the album IMO) and Large. The final 2012 cut was possibly not ever intended for the album in question but it's not an impssobility either, and more than that it's an absolutely excellent cut in a way remiscent of "Fresh" from "Born & Raised" as it sees the younger Queensbridge native team up with some of his hip-hop heroes from way back in 1986. I'm talking about the Large Pro/Cormega assisted Public Enemy joint "Catch The Thrown". This is an excellent mix of the politically charged styles of CHUCK D and Corey's reflective yet street oriented gut punching attacks on the powers that be. It is not entirely impossible that this was recorded for "Philosophy". I imagine tons of music must have been recorded for the LP and perhaps Chuck D reached out to Large for a beat and he gave them this complete with the Mega verse. Also not too long ago Large Pro himself uploaded a 1:30 snippet of a song called "NGA" from the "Philosophy" sessions; see below.

 
Last but definitely not least we were treated to two remixes of the main single "Industry". The two very different versions were leaked for free to the net as promo material to boost the sales of the recently released "Mega Philosophy". The first remix entitled "The Juice Crew Remix" is an absolutely beautiful take on the original, and to be fair I'd got to say I prefer this version. The chilled out beat with it's smooth female vocals, dual accoustic piano melody and bridge set to vintage hip-hop drums really has a nice summer vibe anthem to it, which was kind of missing from the original despite the use of the same beat... and while Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, Craig G and Cormega all speaks their mind on the shady industry it isn't done in the same dark, depressing mood as on the solo version. The second installment, simply known as The Alternative Remix, is more of a sequel than a remix as it comes equipped with a completely new beat and all new verses. Since it was first made available as an exclusive free download in a rather prety damn shitty sound quality sometime in 2014, I had a hard time to truly appreciate the brilliance of this powerful, dark and brooding sequel until Large Pro included a mastered version of it on his recent "Re:Living" LP. Inspectah Deck can be very hit or miss these days but here he viciously murders the atmospheric but drum heavy remix with lines like "Nowadays everybody want to get on, they don't want to put in work, they just riding a long/ Pretty hoes in the videos styling in thongs, a few views on YouTube but who's buying the song?/ WorldStar don't give a fuck how you bodied the work, they'll desecreate your mixtape so KanYe can twerk". The same can be said about Roc Marciano, Sadat X, Lord Jamar and of course Cormega who hasn't even come close to spit a corny line on neither the entire album or the released songs from the sessions which I compiled for you below (making the album 60 minutes). In that same interview with XXL published a week before the LP:s official release date of July 22, Corey McKay reveals that he "got some remixes coming. We got one with the Juice Crew - me, Craig G, Masta Ace, and Kool G Rap. And then I got one with me, Lord Jamar, Sadat X, Rock Marciano and Inspectah Deck. Two remixes of 'Industry'" - confirming that all of these songs mentioned under this second section of this article (except for perhaps the Public Enemy/Cormega/Large Pro collabo) was recorded and in the can by the time the album came out.

CONCLUSION
With just eleven songs and a running time of 33 minutes it's not only Cormega's shortest album, it's also his most focused and to be honest his best work yet in my honest opinion. With each listen this album has grown even more on me, there are absolutely nothing that comes even close to filler, and there's a thin red line running through the project both from a lyrical and a production standpoint. In a way I could see why they woud ditch the bonus tracks and sequels mentioned above since they don't quite fit into the mold of the main album. Still as good as Large Professor's and Cormega's chemistry is here, I strongly recommened listening to it as released, with all the bonus tracks and also give the fully instrumental album at the very least one chance. I had the pleasure of seeing Large Pro and Cormega perform in Copenhagen around 2011 (what's up Rob), probably right as they were beginning to produce this album and I just hope that I will get to see them share the stage again very soon. I really don't like to give out ratings but rather let the review/article speak for itself, but this is a modern hip-hop masterpiece if I ever heard one so the rating can of course be no less than 5/5.

12. "Industry" [Juice Crew Remix] (Ft. Kool G Rap, Craig  G & Masta Ace)
13. "Journey" [Remix] (Ft. Sadat X, OC & Large Professor)
14. "Catch The Thrown" (Ft. Public Enemy & Large Professor)
15."Industry Part II" (Ft. Inspectah Deck, Rock Marciano,& Lord Jamar)
16. "Focused Up" (Ft. Large Professor & Tragedy Khadafi)
17. "M.A.R.S." (Ft. Action Bronson, Rock Marciano & Saigon)

CORMEGA - "MEGA PHILOSOPHY" [Bonus Tracks]

Sunday, June 21, 2015

[DJ Mix] SOUL SUPREME - "Straight Talk"

 Born as David Åstrom in the chilly deep northern parts of Swedish areas, and though he had a large hit here with Petters "Repa Skivan", it wasn't until he moved to the States and started shopping his demos to independent labels like Grit Records that he truly started to get noticed and signed both as a producer and a solo artist. KRS-One, who was signed to the label at the time, introduced him to Boston producer Inebriated Beats and started using them kind of like a proudction team. Soul Supreme is responsible for some of the most powerful and underrated records in The Blast Master's 2001-2002 career such as "Believe It", "Womanology", "The Only One", and "Let 'Em Have It". Having obviously pleased Knowledge Reigns Supreme, Grit Records let him record a solo album in 2004 - "The Saturday Nite Agenda". During this time his beats had gained some impact and for the album he was able to get a star studded guestlist of hip-hop royalty - AG, Party Arty, Big Daddy Kane, OC, Reks and La Da Headtoucha. As you might guess from the name the record is full of well engineered soul sampes and driven drum programming, make the LP a true gem for fans of that hardcore yet soulful US hip-hop. If you haven't heard it before do yourself a favor and find it ASAP.

After contributing several of the best beats on OC's unfinished "Starchild", Åström kind of dissapeared from the scene for a long while, instead focusing on Swedish house and alternative music under the name of The Last Days of Disco and Kocky. Since I loved so much of his earlier work I was real hyped to see him using his old hip-hop producer alias for "Straight Talk",  a DJ mix decided to a friend.

Soul Supreme AFK says: In the recent times a good friend has gone through some rough times. I'm far from home so I can't help as much as I'd want to, so I did what I can: Soulful music makes everything better so I recorded a soulful uplifting mix… Hopefully it makes him and everyone who needs it to feel better.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

[EP] THE AUDIBLE DOCTOR - "The Spring Tape"

Wow this is hard as nails and much anticipated! Super producer and Lost Tapes favorite The Audible Doctor is back with the third installment in his Seasons EP:s - the 2015 version of "The Spring Tape". Capturing the sound of a hot Spring Audible experiments with exquisite soul samples, boom bap drums that is guaranteed to keep your head nodding for its full running time. Featuring only four tracks with guests including Tragedy Khadafi, Hus Kingpin, Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Has-Lo and Davenport Grimes, this is definitely worth the 4 dollars it cost you to download a HQ version of your choice @ Audible's Bandcamp. You can of course stream the entire project in 128 kbps below, and let me tell you that this is nothing short of excellent and is an excellent follow-up to the previous volumes in the series.

Napoleon Ft. Ghostface Killah - "Game"

 Virginia spitter Napoleon, of Wu-Syndicate fame, joins up with Tony Starks The Ghostface Killah for the powerful single "Game" from his solo album "Ring Of Power" which also features cameos by Pusha T, Crooked I, Killah Priest, Jim Jones, Joe Mafia, and many more. It seems like a digital album only, you can purchase it @ iTunes.

Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Feeling Good"


Any new music from Lauryn Hill is greeted by true Soul and Hip Hop fans with huge cheers, and just like D'Angelo last year it seems we will be getting some brand new music from the Queen of Soul very soon. "Feeling Good" is a beautiful cover of the classic Nina Someone song that Lauryn does true justice. It is set to appear on an full-length LP entitled "Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone" which is the official soundtrack to the newtribute movie What Happened Miss Simone?", a documentary that has made the round at the movie festival circuit to great acclaim and is now soon available on NetFlix on June 26. Looks like a must see, no doubt! Check out the trailer below, and right under that you'll find the tracklist for the album courtesy of HuffingtonPost (Great news is that Lauryn Hill contributes no lrss than six songs)..





'
1. Lisa Simone, "Nobody's Fault but Mine (Intro)"
2. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "Feeling Good"
3. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "I've Got Life" - Ms. Lauryn Hill
4. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "Ne Me Quitte Pas" - Ms. Lauryn Hill
5. Jazmine Sullivan, "Baltimore"
6. Grace, "Love Me or Leave Me"
7. Usher, "My Baby Just Cares For Me"
8. Mary J. Blige, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
9. Gregory Porter, "Sinnerman"
10. Common & Lalah Hathaway, "YG&B"
11. Alice Smith, "I Put A Spell On You"
12. Lisa Simone, "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl"
13. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair"
14. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "Wild Is The Wind"
15. Ms. Lauryn Hill, "African Mailman"
16. Nina Simone, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"

[iTunes Bonus] CZARFACE - "Deviatian Septums" / "Sinister Remix"

Yesterday Get On Down Records released the sophomore album by Czarface, the trio made up of Wu-Tang Clan's Inspectah Deck and long-time MC/producer duo 7L & Esoteric. In 2013 they dropped their self-titled debut album in February 19, an LP that actually gained a lot of recognition as a great underground record. Personally I really tried to get into that one but beside a few cuts it sounded quite generic to me and was an overall disapointment. In other words I didn't have any hopes
 for this follow up called "Every Hero Needs A Villain" but GOD DAMN was I wrong! L7 stepped up his beat game BIG TIME on here (with the help of his protogé and partner Spada4), a perfect fit for Deck, and even Esoteric (whose lyrics sound kind of lame at times) sound deceent on this fifteen track excursion. I would strongly recommend this every time to fans of Wu, 7L & Esoteric and genrally just underground hip-hop. Today the iTunes version was released and this edition includes two bonus tracks that are just as good as anything else found on the LP. I uploaded them both to my Audiomack account for free streaming, no downloads however you can buy the album from iTunes here.


Showbiz - "No Days Off"

Who the hell saying that Showbiz of Show & A and D.I.T.C. ain't one of the illest to ever do it got sand in their ears. It seems he's working on an instrumental solo album called "The Answer" where the single "No Days Off" are lifted from. This shit really has me nodding my head in amazement, just about everything about it is perfect, from those drums, the recurring female vocals, the keyboard bass line, the accoustic piano and the sound effects. Fucking excellent! This was actually posted almost six months ago on the official D.I.T.C. channel but lows are real view so I guess a lot of people are still sleeping (and I gotta admit I didn't find it myself until just now). Diggin' in the Crates!

[Coming Soon] MILES DAVIS - "The Bootleg Series 4"

Yes I am aware that this is a site focusing on true school hip-hop at it's finest, but next to hip-hop my two favorite artists are without a doubt jazz legends Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Columbia Legacy has been milking the shit out of Miles' legacy, reissuing and remastering pretty much everything he recorded for the label and putting it out again and again. However, in 2007 they begun a genius series when they released the first installment in "The Bootleg Series", a series of beautiful box sets for the first time featuring previously unreleased Miles' concert sets spread out over 4 discs (two of the three sets so far have included a beautiful and clean DVD of a Davis Quintet performance). These are always a definite purchase for me and a great addition to the collection, even if I'm low on cash.


The first volume was a great document of 5 sets of Miles playing with his so called Second Great Quintet (Miles, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter) at George Wein's Newport Jazz Festival in 1967. Volume 2 was the first official Sony release of the so called "Lost Quintet" (Miles, Wayne Shorter, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Chick Corea) recorded in 1969 and spread over three CD:s and one DVD where the music was getting more and more free with only Miles reigning in the band for his very tight trumpet solos and themes. Volume 3 was a personal favorite of mine as it featured four CD:s of Miles after his transition into the "rock-jazz fusion"  and was recorded at Bill Graham's rock club The Fillmore East over four nights in June 1969. A heavily edited verison of these four nights had been released as "Miles @ The Fillmore" in 1970 with about 20 minutes kept from each night - and Teo Macero editing out a lot of good stuff that for the first time was heard for full here. These four discs was filled to the damn limit with agressiveness and rawness that at the time probably left a lot of jazz listeners scratching thier heads at the time Miles now had two keyboards in his band, which added a lot of coloring to the music - Keith Jarret (Organ) and Chick Corea (Rhodes), plus Steve Grossman on Soprano Sax (to be honest I have no clue how he got to tour with Miles, I never cared the least for him),

Since each  Volume has followed the chronological order I was expecting the 4th installment to be a collection of Miles concerts from his Japanese tour in 1975 with Miles, Mtume, Pete Cosey, Reggie Lucas, Sonny Fortune and Al Foster that produced the axcellent international live albums "Agharta"and "Pangaea" and countless bootleg recordings. This is my favorite Miles band, the sheer intensity and agressivity is just something most so called hard rock musicians couldn't handle. But now "The Bootleg Series Volume 4" has been anounced via Miles Davis official website at Legacy Recordings and instead of following the chronological order, this one takes it back right to the beginning for Miles and Columbia. "Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975" is a four disc CD that follows Miles Davis and his various qunitets through the years 1955 to 1975 during 8 concert sets. I guess that since Volume One did include all five sets from 1967 from Newport that year will not be featured. Some cool trivia is that Miles Davis was kind of down and out of the jazz scene by the early '50s due to heavy heroin addiction, showing up late or not at all to gigs, etc. By 1955 he had kicked the habit at his father's cabin, cold turkey, and when he was invited up as part of an all star set that also featured Thelonious Monk (piano), Zoot Sims (tenor sax), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Percy Heath (bass) and Connie Kay (drums) he performed the lead on the Monk composition "Round 'Bout Midnight" to standing ovations, definitely signing off that Miles was back with a venegance. Columbia producer George Avakian who was in the crowd that night immediatly rushed backstage and signed the trumpeter on the spot for a rather, for the time being, large sum, Miles first LP for Columbia would singal this performances importance as the album lead off with "Round About Midnight" and was even titled as such and immediatly became a bestseller. This box set will be another must buy for any serious Miles Davis collector like myself, as it follows the musical legends importance and transformation as an artist over a 20 year period. Rolling Stone got the honor to stream a preview of a 1966 performance of "Stella By Starlight" performed with the Second Great Quintet (mentioned above), which is an incredible take on the slow moving love ballad that Victor Young originally wrote. Two minutes in the band transforms it almost into unrecognizability, as Ashley Kahn tells Rolling Stone how the Quintet transforms the slow jam into a "high speed chase discarding any notion of mainting emotional consistency and reverence...". Take a listen below and pre-order the box at Amazon or iTunes which hits stores on July 17.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NUTSO & DIVIDED SOULS @ DJ PREMIER'S SHOW

Nutso & Divided Souls at DJ Premier #LFHQ show 2015

Our man, Jay Large put together a dope visual during our visit to DJ Premier's mixshow on SiriusXM Hip-Hop Nation called Live From HeadQCourterz and a quick spot of where it all started from for me...NuYorican Poets Cafe. Shout to Spank & Brent (Divided Souls) + LFHQ homie's Panch, Keeb, Kreepy Clown + my team - DJ Mike Duse + Ron Mills

Posted by Nutso on den 9 juni 2015
My homie Chris Moss and long time Lost Tapes contributor with his partners Brent Dixon and DJ Pain 1 that together form Divided Souls Ent. is really starting to make moves which makes me real proud of them. They recently produced one of the best records of the year with impeccable Queens emcee Nutso in his 7 track EP "Divided Soul". Nutso and the Divided Souls team was invited to the DJ Premier's legendary LiveFromHQ's show at Sirius XM to talk about the new record, freestyle, and just kick it. Nutso posted a brief clip of some of the highlights from the show, shot and edited by Jay Large for all y'all to enjoy. Check it out above and if you haven't heard the EP yet click the link above and get ready to bang your head while you let the lyricism sink in.

[Video] JOEY BADA$$ - "Paper Trails"

One of my favorite tracks from Joey Bada$$ exqusititely dope "B.4.Da.$$", so far one of 2015's best albums, gets the video treatment, directed by Tom Gould. The track in question is DJ Premier's contribution to the LP, "Paper Trail$", a bad ass joint where Preemo really gave Joey one of his trademark bangers that could have been something from the early 2000s. Cop "B.4.Da.$$" @ iTunes.

Estee Nack & Purpose - "Time" / "When I Get High"


Tragic Allies is a damn underrated crew, the first time I heard them was on a mixtape hosted by 4th Disciple where the group ripped up classic instrumentals from the legendary producer. Since then they have released a dope album with Tragedy Khadafi, and their producer Purpose has been making a lot of moves. Now the latter and fellow band member Estee Nack is teaming up to release the full-length "14 Forms: The Book Of Estee" on Ill Adrenaline Records. Check out the first two singles "Time" (up top with the video) and "When I Get High" below - iLL! Pre-order the album for its June 23 release date @ iTunes or grab the CD/cassette from Fat Beats or UGHH.