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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BLACK MILK Ft. BUN B - "Gold Piece"

Another highly anticipated album of 2014 is of course Black Milk's upcoming "If There's A Hell Below", coming October 28.  "Gold Piece" teams up Milk with Undergrund King Bun B on a definite boom banger. You can pre-order the album and check out the tracklist over @ Bandcamp.

SAIGON Ft. BIG DADDY KANE - "One Foot in the Door" [prod. DJ Premier]

Saigon's third installment in the "Greatest Story Never Told" is really shapening up to be an incredible album, which is very welcome after the dissapointing "Bread & Circuses". In an interview with HipHopDX, Sai revealed that he tapped DJ Premier for about four joints from the new LP, including the first single "Nunya". Now we get to hear the second record they worked on together, and this one features an added bonus in the form of a verse from the mighty Big Daddy Kane. This shit GOES - can't wait for the LP!

DJ PREMIER & ROYCE DA 5'9" are PRhyme

This really came out of nowhere but it seems that Royce Da 5'9" and DJ Premier has been working on the low on a full-length project to be unleashed on the real hip-hop heads this year. Everybody who has followed the career of Royce knows that pretty much creates a classic every time he got Premier on the boards ("Boom""Hip Hop""Something 2 Ride 2", etc.). Check out a small snippet of the new shit above and follow the duo at and

Sunday, September 14, 2014

[Comp] NOTORIOUS B.I.G. - "The Anniversary"

Not too long ago I had a period where I went back and played both of The Notorious BIG's two albums religiously, and this month now marks the 20 year anniversary of that first classic LP. At this time I also collected most of his rarer demos, freestyles and guest apperances. Unlike 2Pac, his one time ally and contemporary, Wallace left us with only a small scattering of finished recordings to pick up when he tragically left us in '97. Instead of paying respect to the man's legacy by compiling and releasing the original music he recorded in his lifetime, the vultures at Bad Boy instead have opted to remix and completely alter his unreleased music. As it stands now BIG's musical legacy consists of two excellent solo albums ("Ready to Die" and "Life After Death"), the executive producing and career launching of Junior M.A.F.I.A. with "Conspiracy" and Lil' Kim with "Hardcore". Add to that something like an additional 40 loose tracks, studio freestyles and guest apperances left for us fans to compile and share. Despite the small output very few Hip Hop artists can be considered more influential and inspirational to both his own generation and todays up and comers - and that in itself is a damn impressive feat. BIG will always be remembered as one of the true greats, a musical giant who twenty years ago made waves with the release of his debut album. It's safe to say that "Ready to Die" has stood the test of time and should have a given place in the top albums list of any true hip-hop conniseour. 

The internet is of course swarming with various tributes and articles in honor of the ocassion. For my own contribution I have put together a compilation of non-album tracks that I feel reaches a very high level of quality. As always I've tried making this compilation form a coherrent listen that focuses on a specific time or style. The goal here was to create something like a companion piece to "Ready to Die". That means that I'm limiting the inclusion of songs to material recorded between 1993 and 1995 (the time in which between "R.T.D." was recorded and final single with B-side released). Additionally, I wanted to focus on BIG's lyrical skills and writing genius, given as much space as possible to solo tracks. In the end I maybe used a little too many posse cuts and such as I originally intended to only use 10 songs, but one thing's for sure - there's no half-assed material on here. Below you'll find the tracklist, download link and a little info on each song, it's producer, origin and relevance for the compilation... TURN IT UP!!!

01. "The Wickedest: Freestyle Intro"
This exclusive freestyle makes for a perfect intro and the epitome of Biggie's style post-"Ready to Die". Recorded by DJ Mister Cee (who of course was an integral part of Big's career) as an exclusive for his "The Best Of The Notorious B.I.G.", released in 1995.

02. "Party & Bullshit"
It felt natural to kick things off with "Party & Bullshit", seeing how this hardcore party starter was both BIG's first single ever and was left off his debut album. This also marks the first time Biggie worked with Easy Mo Bee, who would become one of the most important players in crafting the Notorious sound. The song were also featured on the original soundtrack to the 1993 flick "Who's The Man?".

03. "Dead Wrong"
Another early collaboration with Easy Mo Bee who's hard hitting boom bap shit in com"bination with the dusted flow of BIG stands as a superb representation of everything great about the early '90s East Coast bap. An Eminem remix of course turned up on '99:s posthumous "Born Again", but the version for the real heads is this one, recorded during the early Uptown sessions for "R.T.D." in '93. This clear rip from a DJ Craig G tape was borrowed from NahRight's excellent BIG article.

04. "Come On Motherfuckers" (Ft. Sadat X)
"Come On" is another cut that was cleaned up and modernized by The Hitmen for "Born Again" but the original, superior version sees BIG rocking hard as hell over a dusty Lord Finesse break, complete with intense horn stabs. Sadat X and Biggie Smalls definitely makes for a very interesting combination, and this '93 joint (another recording from the Uptown sessions) is about as tough as they come yet was left to the mixtape circuit until just a few years ago. 

05. "Dreams (Just Playing)"
"Dreams" is nothing short of classic BIG as he invites listeners into his nasty dreams of all the R&B singers he'd like to fuck. And it's done with more wit and charisma than most emcees at their best moments too. Built around a crazy addictive guitar loop, "Dreams" was produced by the underrated Rashad Smith of Tumblin' Dice, this was included as a bonus track on the 2004 remaster of "Ready to Die". It's first apperance dates as far back as 1993 when DJ Doo Wop put it on his "Spring One" tape, which indicates that it might have been recorded for BIG's Uptown debut.

06. "One More Chance/Stay With Me" [Hip Hop Mix]

The smooth video version of "One More Chance" (see above) is definitely one of Biggie's most famous songs, though it bears little resemblance to the version that appeared on the album. The 12" single included two remixes of the song - the famous Faith Evans version which was about as R&B as BIG would ever get and this one labeled The Hip Hop Mix. Using the same verses as the video mix but adding a differet hook by Total, Biggie's sexual themed flows sounds perfect over the pounding drums, guitar stabs and scratches - once again produced by Rashad Smith / Tumblin' Dice. An interesting fact is that this version of the song replaces the original Bluez Brothas version on the clean version of "R.T.D.".

07. "Runnin' From The Police" (Ft. 2Pac, Stretch, EDI, Khadafi & Buju Banton)
"Runnin' From The Police" have always been one considered as of the strongest songs in both BIG's and 'Pac's respective catalouges if you ask me. There's so many quotables in here that it's not even funny, and hearing 'Pac, BIG and Stretch all on one track is truly powerful, and Easy Mo Bee did a masterful job in creating the backing track. This classic was originally recorded around 1994 in a 2Pac session for inclusion on his "Thug Life Volume 1" album, even appearing on a rare promo cassette of the project. The song was ultimately replaced by "Stay True" and it would take another year before fans got the chance to hear "Runnin'" on the compilation album "One Million Strong".

08. "Real Niggaz"
"Real Niggaz" is another huge record with a West Coast connecction, as it's common knowledge that Biggie had a lot of love for LA and the music the city produced in the early to mid-'90s. It's unbelivable this was never given more exposure because not only does Biggie sound phenomenal over these Death Row tracks like "Deep Cover", his verses here displays the same type of top notch storytelling that he would perfect on future masterpieces like "Somebody's Gotta Die". This was originally heard as a two part piece on a DJ Clue tape back in '95 before Mister Cee collected all verses for his incredible "The Best Of Notorious B.I.G." tape.

09. "Jam Session" (Ft. Heavy D & Troo Kula)
One of a couple of collaborations between Biggie and Heavy D, produced by Jesse West who really brings the funk on here with an affective heavy bass melody and slick guitar. Heavy D and BIG made a few songs together (all featured on this compilation), and there's no denying that there's a lot of chemistry to be found here. Something that not everybody knows is that the duo even had plans on developing a clothing line for men with a larger build called BIG & Heavy. "Jam Session" also features Troo Kula (at the time a member of Jesse West's group 3rd Eye) and is lifted from the otherwise forgettable compilation album "NBA Jam Session".

10. "Let's Get It On" (Ft. 2Pac, Grand Puba & Heavy D)
This somewhat forgotten posse cut features some of the greatest emcees of the '90s (Grand Puba, 2Pac, BIG, Heavy D) getting it on over a relatively smooth headnodder that packs influences from the New Jack swing era. Taken from the album of the same name by DJ Eddie F. and The Untouchables, a crew of DJ:s and producers from the Mt. Vernon area which originally mentored and included Pete Rock (who didn't have anything to do with this joint however).

11. "Watchu Want?"
"Watchu Want" was a late deletion from "Ready to Die" and is another one of the Easy Mo Bee/BIG recordings from the earlier recording sessions of the LP before Puffy was dropped from Uptown and took Wallace with him. This is a very powerful cut, with Biggie at his most hardcore and I still have a hard time deciding whether or not I would have prefered it to have been left on the LP. I have a (possibly false?) memory of reading somewhere that Biggie really wanted to keep this one but Puff insisted that the quota for rugged hardcore jams had been filled.

12. "Who's The Man?" (Ft. King Just & Todd1)
The 45 King has produced some of my all time favorite records and hearing him produce for BIG is pure bliss. Unfortunately Wallace only kicks one verse here but that's a verse that makes the tracks inclusion on this compilation an absolute definite and leaves little question to who the man in this case is (King Just comes correct though). I guess the reason this isn't remembered for the great battle record it is, is because it came out on a very forgotten album called "Back Up Off Me!", the only LP released under the names of Doctor Dre and Ed Lover.

13. "A Buncha Niggas" (Ft. Heavy D, Guru, Busta Rhymes, 3rd Eye & Rob-O)
The Heavy D & The Boys albums from the early '90s always had a ton of underground gems on them and "Blue Funk" might just be the illest. As far as posse cut goes this one has one of the more jaw dropping line-ups - Heavy D, Guru, Busta Rhymes, Rob-O from InI, 3rd Eye (Jesse West also produced this banger) and of course The Notorious B.I.G.

14. "Who Shot Ya"
"Who Shot Ya" marks the first time BIG worked with Nashiem Myrick who would come to be a major contributor to the sound of "Life After Death", making this something of a transitional record. An interesting fact is that the song originally was incepted as an interlude for Mary J. Blige's excellent '95 LP "My Life". Word is that the content was a little too violent for an R&B album and in the end the interlude verse were recorded by Keith Murray. Being label mates and old friends, Puff and BIG secured the beat and put it on as the B-side of the "Big Poppa" single, causing all kinds of controversy. You can check out the original demo version with both Murray and BIG, liberated by DJ S&S and uploaded by NahRight.


LARGE PROFESSOR - "In The Scrolls"

Extra-P doesn't take time off. After producing what is likely the best album of the year with Cormega, The Large Professor is now preparing a new solo album. "RE: Living Legend" is dropping later this year via Fat Beats / Distrolord Digital, and the first single is called "In The Scrolls" and features G-Wiz. Sickness!

MIDAZ The Beast Ft. Jamal Bufford & Dynasty - "Collapse"

MidaZ The BEAST is back with another knocking single, featuring Jamal Bufford (p.k.a. Buff1) and ill female emcee Dynasty. Produced by Numonics, this is lyrics man!

[Video] SINGAPORE KANE - "Pull It Up"

You might recognize Singapore Kane's ill voice and street style from Big Shug records like "My Boston" and the "Play It" remix, but this Boston son got a lot more going for him as an artist than doing guest spots. Riding a soul infected boom bap groove provided by Purpose of Tragic Allies, and a ragga riddim hook Singapore's first single "Pull it Up" does a fantastic job in setting up anticipation for his upcoming debut album "Waves N Shades". Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

[Album] KRS-ONE - "Never Forget"

Between Nas, Rakim and Ghostface Killah, KRS-One has been my favorite emcee for years and his catalouge is definitey no laughing matter. While some of his post 2000 albums have been hit or miss, featuring both wack discs and terrific music, I still always check for Kris' new music either way, and although maybe the majority of his ouput lately has been quite so-so there's also albums such as "Survival Skills""Kristyles" (the original version) and "Meta-Historical" are all excellent joints proving Kris is still a lyrical beast. Therefore I was quite stunned that Kris One actually released a full-length album in the summer of 2013. Physical copies "Never Forget" was sold exclusively directly by KRS-One during his US and European Tour last year, which explains the very little promotion it received. Since Kris is one of the few of my favorite artists I have yet to see in a live settng (M.O.P. being the otherr), this one flew right over my head until just a couple of weeks ago and I figure that if I missed it, I'm probably not the only one. 

Remember back some time ago when KRS released a few singles produced by long-time collaborator Mad Lion which was supposed to drop in 2012 under the title "Just Like That". That album obviously never came to fruition but considering that this new album includes some of those songs (such as "Disaster Kit") I have a feeling that much of those recordings instead ended up on this. While "Never Forget" is far from Kris finet hour, it has its fair share of dope beats, edutainmment lyrics, and 13 cuts of Knowledge Reigns Supreme. Hopefully fans will be able to purchase the project in either stores or digital soon enough, but until then KRS has only uploaded 3 songs (with a bonus track for purchasers) via Bandcamp. Luckily enough we heads are able to hear the entire album through an upload to YouTube by user Shokdreamz who copped the album at one of the show dates of last years KRS-One tour, and he was kind enough to share the album on YouTube for our listening pleasure. Much thanks and props goes out to Shokdreamz for making it possible for heads to hear this gem in full. 

"Never Forget" features typical socio-political, afrocentric and edutotational lyrical lectures by Knowledge Reigns Supreme over often strong beats provided mostly by Mad Lion, but also by KRS-One himself, Freddie Foxxx, Rick D., and Kwam√©. It follows other recent albums ("Godsville", "Meta-Historical") by the BDP pioneer in that it clocks in at just over 30 minutes and features several intermissions - making it something between an EP and an album. Mini album is the term I would like to use in these cases. Fill this out with some of the other Mad Lion produced singles from 2012 like "AzTechnical""Just Like That" and "We Must Become One" and you got a pretty damn fine album. As it stands now it's far from KRS's finest album, even in recent years, but as always with The Blastmaster it's well worth a listen or two so check it out below - and if you want to support you can purchase a four track EP from the embeded official Bandcamp page uptop.

01. "It Appears" [prod. by Essence & Rick D.]
02. "Transition #1"
03. "Nina" [prod. by KRS-One]
04. "They Are Taking Your Time" [prod. by Kwame]
05. "Disaster Kit" [prod. Mad Lion]
06. "Transition #2"
07. "Get Your Mind Right" [prod. Freddie Foxxx]
08. "Transition #3"
09. "The System Gotcha" [prod. Mad Lion]
10. "Transition #4"
11. "Never Forget" [prod. Mad Lion]
12. "Are You Looking At This?" [prod. Mad Lion]
13. "The Invaders" [prod. Mad Lion]

Thursday, September 11, 2014

DIABOLIC - "Game Time" (Ft. Sean Price & Vinnie Paz)

American artist Diabolic is preparing to release his sophomore album "Fightin Words" in just a month now. It's the Long Island emcee's second full-length album only, despite having been in the game for years, laying down guest verses fror big underground names such as Immortal Techniue ("Dance With The Devil" anyone?), Poison Pen, Awar, Vinnie Paz, Snowgoons, Sicknature, and many more. For his new allbum he has rounded up several high-profile producers and guest emcees and judging by the singles so far this should be HOT.

So far we've we've heard the DJ Premier laced opening song "Diabolic Sound", "Suffolk's Most Wanted" Ft. RA The Rugged Man and now he lets loose of anoother pure boom bap banger called "Gane Time". Beside a memorable performance by the main artist we also hear him trade bars with Sean Price and Vinnie Paz. Pump-pump-pump it up! To support, pre-order @ iTunes (which includes a bunch of bonus tracks) or the 2xLP set from Fat Beats.

SAIGON / G RAP / BLEEK / Lil' BIBBY - "Mechanical Animals"

Saigon's "The Greatest Story Never Told" was a fantastic album that I still play on a semi-regular basis. His follow-up "GSNT: Bread & Circuses" was quite the dissapointment, save for a few songs, however. Luckily his mixtape game has proved that he hasn't fallen off and is still making interesting music. In fact boom bap maestro DJ Premier will supply no less than four beats and production for Sai's upcoming third installment in the trilogy. "GSNT 3: The Troubled Times of Brian Carenard" drops on September 30 on CD and in digital format, and judging by the tracklist it looks sick. We previously heard the first single "Nunya", and now new single "Mechanical Animals" is here. The idea behind the record is getting representatives for the '80s (G Rap), '90s (Memphis Bleek), '00s (Saigon) and 2010's (Lil Bibby) come together and rock as a unit like it's nothing. I like that idea and the result is ill. Check out the tracklist below, press play and let that volume PUMP.

01. "Back to Reality" (Ft. Just Blaze)
02. "Come Alive" (Ft. Corbett)
03. "Street Gospel" (Ft. P. Jericho)
04. "Definitions from Bryan Bain"
05. "Sinner's Prayer" (Ft. Papoose & Omar Eeps)
06. "My Mama Thinks I'm Crazy" (Ft. Curbside Hustle)
07. "Mine, Mine, Mine"
08. "Let's Get Smart"
09. "One Foot in the Door" (Ft. Big Daddy Kane)
10. "Nunya"
11. "Best Mistake"
12. "Deception"
13. "Bring That"
14. "Mechanical Animals" (Ft. Kool G Rap, Memphis Bleek & Lil' Bibby)
15. "Contraband 3 (A,B,C)"
16. "Reincarnation"

Making Of ICE CUBE's "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" @ XXL

These days XXL is never a magazine I would spend money on; sure they have the occassional interesting article or reviews but the majority is spent on BS. Back in the day however, XXL had some extremely powerful articles and photoshots fot the true hip-hop heads. In one of their finest moves they gave several page spreads on the making of classic '90s allbums including "Illmatic", "Only Buit 4 Cuban Linx", "Ready to Die" and "Life After Death", "All Eyez On Me", "Capital Punishment" and of course Ice Cube's timeless solo debut "AmerikKka's Most Wanted". The latter was for me the final article I got my hands on. After I recently started revisiting this unbelivable classic a whole lot recenly, I was determined to find the XXL article - preferably with scans as XXL's own website only have a small excerpt of the article.

Together with "Death Certificate", "Amerikka's Most Wanted" is my favorite Cube album and stands as two of the finest West Coast albums of all time. And especially the 1990 debut this post is about really succeeded by juxtaposing the finest things from both the East and West sounds due to the project being overseen and produced by both The Bomb Squad and Sir Jinx. Luckily enough I was able to find scans of the entire XXL article via a Tumblr Acount a while back which truly made my day. I decided to share it with my trusted Lost Tapes readers, so I strongly suggest you press play on your CD or, cassette or LP, pump up the volume and start reading.

A huge thank you goes out The Martorialist Blog amd it's webadmin  Si Maine Price so be sure to visit his site for more gold. Until then, download all the 8 pages in good quality via! Very interesting reading which indeed comes highly recommended!

ICE CUBE / "Amerikka's Most Wanted" @ XXL

[Shelved Album] AG / GD - "Take It Back to 1999"

Readers of this blog are heavily aware that I got a real soft spot for music from the D.I.T.C. camp and a peviously unreleased full-length LP from AG and the still underrated Ghetto Dwellas, with productions from Showbiz and AG sounds almost too good to be true. Unfortunately it kind of is; but then again this LP/compilation has never been leaked in its entirety so maybe a retail version might have been a little stronger.

There's no question that AG, D-Flow and Party Arty have an amazing chemistry and are excellent at bouncing off each other since they all have so distinctive flows and writing styles. After recording was completed the album was shelved for the longest, but whether or not this was because the trio was unsatisfied with the recordings or if there was a problem at the label involved remains unknown. But it might very well be the former, as much of the production on here sound quite generic... despite the majority of the 11 songs featured here being produced by Wild Life alumnis Showbiz and Amed, at the height of the switch from DITC to Wild Life where especially Show started fucking with a new sound. AG and GD drops several dope verses but all in all it's a pretty bland lyrical contribution as well. In fact it might be better to use the best songs from this together with some other fat GD / AG joints to form a compilation.

I had in fact never heard about this album until AG posted a link to what he labeled "Return to 1999" via his Facebook and later on official website. The album definitely felt incomplete, however, as each of the 11 songs cut off at exactly two minutes and the intro mentioned Lord Finesse as a producer on the project despite not being listed in the credits. It was time to get some answers, so I contacted Amed, who of course produced at least half this project. What was the reality of this leak, was it simply a compilation of AG/GD tracks left on the cutting room floor (as some of the songs have also been released on 12" singles) or was it in fact an actual album intended for release. Amed managed to clear much of this this up - "Take it Back (Return to '99") was in fact a full-length album to be released under the name of AG / GD (remember that excellent single they put out under that name back in '99). I asked Amed when it was originally recorded since to me it sounded like late '99, early 2000, but as far as I know they didn't start rocking Wild Life Entertainment until Autumn 2001. His response was that he don't remember the exact year but that The Wild Life thing has been something they have been running with since like '89.

We talked about a lot of interesting things, and hopefully I'll soon be able to hook up a full interview with Amed on The Lost Tapes - but before our conversation ended I asked him one more question about this AG/GD project. As it only clocked in at 11 tracks and about 30 minutes, and as mentioned above the intro also shouts out Finesse as aproducer despite being nowhere to be found. I supposed there were missing tracks and suspected it might also meant to be a mixtape. Amed set the record straight saying that "there is more tracks originally recorded and some credits are wrong.... And yes it was meant to be released as an album". Despite it not being "The Dirty Version" it's well worth a few spins and a must hear for any fans of AG/GD/Amed/Show and the D.I.T.C. camp, 

The version posted below is not the 2 minute snippets versions that AG originally posted, but rather features the entirety of all the songs. This is a version that I acquired from Philaflava member Freezy Peezy who was kind enough to let me include it on The Lost Tapes so a huge thank you to Freezy! Enjoy this one while we wait for that new Show & AG album!

01. "Intro" [prod, Amed]
02. "Flip Shit" [prod. Amed]
03. "Come On" [prod. Show]
04. "God Made Dirt" [prod. Show]
05. "The Party Y'All" [prod. Amed]
06. "We R GD" [prod. Coochise]
07. "You Ain't A Killa" [prod. Amed]
08. "Get It Dusty" [prod. Show]
09. "You Don't Really Wanted" [prod. Amed]
10. "Ain't Nuttin" [prod. Amed]
11. "I Will Be There" [prod. Show]

AG / GD - "Take It Back to '99"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

[Album] DEF DEE - "Deja Vu"

Seattle producer Def Dee was added to the impressive roster of Redefinition Recordson on the strength of his remix album "33 1/3" last year. Now he's back with a more proper album entitled "Deja Vu" which is a big improvement on 2013:s remix project since it features all original songs. The dusty samples, turntable work, obscure samples and heavy rhythm section is back in full effect and even improved at that. There's a lot of intstrumentals, both in the form of interludes and full-length songs. while the vocal cuts features stellar performances by heavyweights Roc Marciano, Blu, Damu The Fudgemunk, One Be Lo, El Da Sensei & Raw Poetic and of course Dee Dee spits some ish in the microphone as well. I got a feeling this kid will go a long way as far as producing goes - and his signing to Redefinition doesn't exactly hurt matters.

I realize that this was made available a few days ago (released September 9 on wax), but as I often say - better late than never when we're dealing with music of this caliber. So if you're still sleeping, press play on the Bandcamp player below (where you can also purchase the digital version) or order the 2xLP set @ UGHH. Up top you'll find the first single and accompanying music video for the El Da Sensei accompanied "Yeah".

[Comp] SADAT X - "The 5% Cowboy"

I remember having a discussion with a certain Charles Jones  on how he considered Sadat X's "Wild Cowboys" an extremely dissapointing album. Needless to say I had no clue what he was on; to me The X-Man's 1996 debut is an extremely impressive full-length album. Coming off three excellent LP:s by Brand Nubian - "One For All""In God We Trust" and the frustratingly underrated "Everything is Everything". With his '96 solo debut Sadat got the chance to write about more personal topics like domestic problems, the feeling of being locked up, create thematic songs about the misrepresentation by the media, ghetto stories, and weed and alcohol. Another thing that set it apart from the Brand Nu group albums were found when glancing over the production credits - wereas previously Sadat almost exlusively had been heard rhyming on chunky beats by Lord Jamar and funky headnodders from Grand Puba, here he went for a plethora of sounds from some of the most talented, young beat makers of the day.

On "Wild Cowboys" Doddy X got to flex his lyrical muscles and unmistakable voice over production work by D.I.T.C. aumnis Diamond D, Buckwild, Showbiz and DJ Ogee. In adition he also scored beats from Money Bo$$'s (who collectively appears on "Game's Sober") producer Minnesota, Da Beatminerz, Pete Rock, Dante Ross, and Ali Malek. With a production line-up like this in the mid-'90s and hosted by the unique and truly great Sadat X, I for the life of me can't understand why the LP wasn't that well-received when it first dropped (3 mics in The Source; 3 stars in Rolling Stones and the same for AllMusic). I mean what the hell, this is hardly no average album, it's close to a mid-'90s classic to me and there's not a single song I would skip - and with apperances from Deda/Pete Rock ("Escape From New York"), Grand Puba, Roc Raida, and The Black Cowboys posse consisting of Shawn Black, Kool Chuck and Tec.

As is so often the case with almost any album, there are tracks that was recorded for the album but never made the final cut. In 1996 X released a rare promo 12" featuring a song called "East Coast" on the A-side, produced by Buckwild, while the B-side came strapped with vocal and instrumental versions of an original alternate version of "Wild Cowboys", produced by DJ Ogee. Both songs are included in this new Lost Tapes compilation which focus on Sadat X singles, soundtrack joints, B-sides and guest features from the era. As the project is designed as a sort of prequel to his solo debut I have choosen to focus exclusively on songs betweeen 1994 and 1996, and as a sort of jumping off point I decided to go against the non-album track rules and include Sadat's first solo song "Alladat"; the hardcore joint that Buckwild produced for Brand Nubian's "Everything is Everyhing" in 1994 (while Jamar got "Return of the Dread" as a solo jam on that album). So get ready for an hour of Derrick X that will hopefully inspire you to dust off, or even cop "Wild Cowboys" if you don't have it already. Sadat's in effect!

Last but definitely not least - A huge thank you goes out to my man Fritz who managed to hook me up with an original VLS rip of "East Coat" / " "Wild Cowboys: OG" which I've been searching for forever. On top of that, much props to everybody who originally ripped any of these tracks which I couldn't rip by mself, sometimes because I don't own the original records. Thanks guys! No matter what this sounds like a very sick prequel to "Wild Cowboys" and you can easily hear it as a stepping stone from a group member to a forefront solo artist, and the results is damn fine.
 01. Sadat X - "East Coast" (1996) [prod. Buckwild]
02. Sadat X - "Alladat" (1994) [prod. Buckwild]
03. Sadat X / Lord Jamar / Grand Puba - "The Lump Lump" (1996) [prod. Buckwild]
04. Grand Puba / Sadat X - "I Like It Remix" (1995) [prod. Buckwild]
05. OGC / Sadat X / Black Shawn - "Wild Cowboys in Bucktown" (1996) [Ogee]
06. Kurious / Sadat X / Mike Gee - "A Mansion & A Yach" (1994)
07. DJ Honda / Sadat X / Grand Puba / Wakeem - "Talk From NY" (1995)
08. Omniscience / Sadat X - "Touch It - Remix #2" (1995) [Fanatic]
09. Sadat X / Akinyele - "Loud Hangover" (1995) [prod. Funkmaster Flex]
10. R.A. The Rugged Man / Sadat X - "50,000 Heads" (1995) [Dirtman]
11. Sadat X / Grand Puba - "The Next Spot" (1996) [Dante Ross]
12. Sadat X / Fat Joe - "Stay Away From The Nasty Hoes" (1996) [Diamond D]
13. Frankie Cutlass / Redman / Sadat X / June Lover -  "You, You,  You" (1996)
14. House Of Pain / Sadat X - "Heart Full of Sorrow" (1995) [DJ Lethal]
15. Grand Puba / Sadat X - "Play It Cool" (1995) [Minnesota]
16. Lord Finesse / Sadat X / Grand Puba / Large Professor - "Actual Facts" (1995) [Jesse West]

CNN Ft. CORMEGA & NATURE - "Rap Rushmore"

Queensbridge is in the house with this one! Capone-N-Noreaga grabs perhaps the artist of the year with Cormega a long with Nature (who had some of the best guest verses on "Mega Philosophy" for their new single. "Rap Rushmore" is produced by frequent CNN collaborator Hazardis Sound who does a great job bringing the necessary hardcore vibe to this giant lyrical meeting.