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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

[DJ Mix] JIGMASTAS / DJ KENSEI - "The Grasroots Mix"

DJ Spinna is by far the most underrated producer in the game if you ask me. Sure he gets his props but not on the level of say Preemo, RZA, Extra-P, Dilla and Diamond D. For me since I first became aquainted with his works on the excellent Rawkus EP "Heavy Beats Volume One", production work for IG Hazardous, his work with emcee Kriminul as Jigmastas (dropping one low-key classic in 2001, "Infectious", and an equally impressive mini album a few years earlier called "Grass Roots"). This is straight booming hip-hop, with a dark, stripped down aesthetic that heavy as hell on the bass and rhythm aspects of each track. After "Infectious" they dropped the ocassional guest spots, soundtrack apperance or remix as well as apperances on Spinna's terrific solo albums "Sonic Smash" and "Here to There". One of the thing that's so great about DJ Spinna is that he can do a plethora of styles and do it just as dope and authentic sounding at that - whether it's deep soul/house like on "Intergalactic Soul", classic New York boom bap on the aforementioned album and underground singles (by the likes of SPoX PhD and Sputnik Brown), incredible R&B mixes,vintage Soul tracks, powerfully seamless DJ mixes, you name it, he never sounds out of his lane and he has managed to gain respect in all areas he is active in. A true musical wonderchild, and if there's one thing these days it is that hip-hop need more producers and artists like this that are not afraid to truly venture out. DJ Kensei has put together a hard knocking 45 minutes mix of nothing but JIgmasta's classics as a little teaser while we wait for the full EP. Check it out up top!

Still the Jigmasta's suff remains some of the Brooklyn producers' finest works yet, which is equally important to the equation as his distinctive voice and moral street stories is the perfect fit for the DJ's piano driven, bass heavy and eclectic sound. A couple of months ago Jigmastas' finally returned to the scene via a 12" single on Redefinition Records featuring two songs and instrumentals, ""Magnetize" / "The Resurge" (click to check out the very promising sampler). DJ Spinna are back with London based BBE Records (Barely Breaking Even) again; the label who released his "Here to There LP" and a bunch of his offcial DJ mix retail releases. This time the Jig's and BBE have hooked up for a remastered, expanded re-release of their first official full-length release "Grass Roots", for the first time available on vinyl. This is truly a classic release that showcases the duo's incredible chemistry and also shows the pair at their absolute peak so if you don't have this in your collection be sure to don't sleep. It's now called "Grassroots (The Prequel)" and has been expanded with almost twice as many songs than the original. Other songs not present on the original include most of the non-album 12" singles that lead up to their distribution deal, a couple of rare compilation songs, and some previously unreleased remixes by the highly underrated Joc Max. This is hip hop at it's finest... Don't fucing sleep and since this is a run of 500 copies only be sure as hell to cop one while they are still available! Available in CD, digital and 2xLP formats and can be copped @ BBE. You can count on me picking this one up ASAP! To refresh the memories of the true heads, considering it's been a while Jigmastas' dropped anything at this point, BBE has enlisted DJ Kensei to put together a slamming 45 minutes true DJ mix of a bunch of classics, rarities and remixes by Spinna and Krim. Check it out below and be sure to TURN IT UP!!

For a little bonus for the true heads I have uploaded the first Jigmastas' song ever released. The song appeared on a free mixtape entitled "Fat Flavor '93: Unsigned Hype" and features a DJ Spinna produced song for the duo called "Dirty Gutta Butta". A very interesting listen to say the least. Check it out and download the song as a bonus below...

AG - "B.L.O.W."

Slamming new single from Andre The Giant, produced by The Last Genius. "B.L.O.W." is the first single from AG's upcoming album "Taste Of Ambrosia" so stay tuned for more A... Full track below.

BLU x MED x MADLIB - "Knock Knock"

Some very interesting news just hit the net, concerning an album that could very well end up being one of the best of the year. The trio of Blu, Medaphor and Madlib was heard about a year ago on an EP called "Burgundy Whip" but it turns out that was just a small taste of what these group have in stores for us. The project is described as having been in gestation for some time, initiated when Blu received and recorded over a bunch of Madlib instrumentals that remained unreleased. Some time ago MED got a hold of these rough drafts, added verses of his own to them and invited a bunch of dope guest emcees to complete the set. The resulting album "Bad Neighbor" will be available on CD, digital and 2xLP on October 30 and December 1, respectively. 

The first single is something of a Madvillain reunion as the masked villain jumps on "Knock Knock". Read more and get your pre-orders on @ Rappcats. Also check out this info with MED @ Rolling Stone.

TORAE - "Saturday Night" [prod. DJ PREMIER]

 Another knocking collaboration between Torae and DJ Premier which was released by the Brooklyn emcee as a thank you to all his fans who supported his recent Kickstarter campaign. The campaign is for a new album to be called "Entitled" - you can check it out here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

THE ROOTS - "Rising Down" (Ft. STYLES P & MOS DEF) [Alt. Mix]

As any fan of this blog knows I'm very big on lost sessions, demos and alternative versions from dope artists (hence the name). I finished ?uestlove's biography "Mo' Meta Blues" yesterday so naturally I've been on a Roots kick lately. From the moment I heard them I've been a huge fan of albums like "Illadelph Halflife" and "Things Fall Apart" but lately I've come to feel like The Roots is one of those bands that really have gotten even better with time. Almost every single one of their albums shows a growth and a new direction and especially Black Thought has really evolved into one of the greatest emcees of all time if you ask me. His always been an incredibly talented lyricist with an unbelivable flow but what I really appreciate with the records post-"Tipping Point" is the emphasis on meaningful lyrics. One of my favorite The Roots joints has to be the album opener and title track to their 2008 opus "Rising Down". Not only is it a genius collaboration between Styles P, Mos Def and Black Thought, who all offer different perspectives on what we are doing to the world, the production is some of the hardest shit the band has ever laid down. Check out the original version of the song that features a different beat than what eventually ended up on the LP.


GUILTY SIMPSON - "Detroit's Son"

The ruff voiced hardcore MC known to the world as Guilty Simpson returns to the scene with another fresh project, highlighting the fact that he's one of the strongest voices out of Detroit city right now. Following his excellent debut "Ode to the Ghetto", Simpson has made his presence known in the rap game through a strategy of projects that celebrates the classic one MC/one DJ formula. This have so far included albums or EP:s with Madlib (the ridiciously underrated "OJ Simpson"; the banging mixtape "Before The Verdict"), Eric Lau ("The Mission"), Oh No ("The Simpson Tape"; "Ghettodes" remix LP) and Small Professor ("Highway Robbery"). For "Detroit's Son" the soundbed provider is Australian heavy hitter Katalyst, member of Stones Throw group The Quakers who previously collaborated with Guilty on "Fitta Happier" from the crew's self-titled LP (be sure to check that one out too). Fans of either artist's previous works will not be dissapointed by this new LP which is available now on a beautiful 2xLP set, CD and digital @ Stones Throw.

SADAT X & EL DA SENSEI - "We Must Stand"

The OG Sadat X has teamed up with El Da Sensei to form a new duo called XL. Their first single is called "We Must Stand" and is a heatrock produced by 9th Wonder. This will be followed by a full-length album called AVX Records/Empire Distribution.

DOOMSTARKS - "Lively Hood"

That's what's up - a new DOOM / Ghostface Killah collaboration to make sure we don't forget that these two legendary figures are supposed to drop an album sometime in the future. Well, we will see about that but given that there's actually been some loose tracks like this popping up every now and then suggests at least a few recording sessions have taken place. I hope they don't scrap the older material from the original sessions though as none of them deliver their finest performances on this new track "Lively Hood" - still DOOM and Ghost on a day off are more entertaining to listen to than 90% of rappers out there. The production work (probably from DOOM I am guessing) knocks hard too though...

While you're at it also check out the new Shabazz Palaces that also dropped as part of the Adult Swim 2015 singles series - "The Mystery of Lonnie The Don".

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Another really good single from Tragedy Khadafi this year. Produced and shot for Nuff Said America together with local talents Shroom (on production) and Thea Van Seijen (on vocals). I can't wait for his "Magnum Opus" which hopefully will be out soon enough.

Friday, September 11, 2015

MALIK B. - "Sporadic Measures" / "Sleep Mode" (1996)

Phew some really ill demos for y'all right here... Philly producer EDK posted this unreleased demo that he recorded with Malik B, formerly of The Roots, back in 1996 and it's got that real gritty underground vibe to it that we all love. "Produced by: EDK on the SP 1200. Recorded on 4 Track Tape in 1996.the mixes of these tracks are rough versions used for reference on the ride home after recording..." it says in the description of the video. Also in the comments section the following quote can be found - "Yes we did this 4am in my house he wanted to get away from the roots he said that they are going to r and b and we had a 4 track that was it and thats one take the beat is the sp1200".

Check out how "Sleep Mode" (above) would plant the seed for "Don't See Us" on the "Things Fall Apart" a couple of years later in the same way that the untitled bonus track at the end of that album would lay the ground for "Carbon Copy" by Rahzel some time after its recording.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

SEAN PRICE / ILLA GHEE - "Figure More"

This been out for a few days but nontheless obviously worth a drop. "Figure More" is available on Sean Price's excellent "Songs in the Key Of Price" mixtape which you can stream below and then pick up from iTunes now. The song features Illa Ghee who has revealed that he and P completed the sessions for an album to be coming soon entitled "Metal Detectors". Help out his family by donating any sum to Sean P @ Crowdrise.


Crazy Power Cypher from Tony Touch's Sirius XM show back in 2013, incredible line-up of some of the illest emcees around and now is as good time as any for a rewind. Loved the part when they start killing the "What's The Deal" beat, not to mention the "Say It" session at the end!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

[Comp] BUSTA RHYMES - "The Second Coming"

Whatever your opinion is on Busta Rhymes the man sure as hell deserves massive props for having been a forerunner in hip-hop since the early '90s to the mid 2010s. I can't think of many other hip hop artist that has managed to stay current by updating his sound with the times and manage to do it in a succesful manner. Most rappers who were succesful in the '90s when boom bap type hip hop were a big thing on radio that has tried to stray from their original formula in an attempt to sell records fails miserable. But year after year, decade after decade, Busta keeps the hits coming, gaining new fans while at the same time still giving his original fanbase something to bang their heads to. Granted, he hasn't released an album that I really liked since 2006's "Big Bang" (which overall is an underrated LP) but even "Year Of The Dragon" had some bangers. For every "I Love My Bitch" there's a "You Can't Hold The Torch"; for every "Arab Money" there's a "Wheel Of Fortune"; and while his new single "Twerk It" is one of the most horrible tracks released this year, the follow-up single "Thank You" featuring Q-Tip is absolutely excellent. So yes I am still a Busta fan, despite his many questionable releases. Oh, and for the record "Dillagence" has to be one of the best mixtapes ever released.

But this post ain't about the new Busta, this shit is taking it back to the mid-'90s, covering the time span in which the large mouthed one dropped his masterpiece debut "The Coming", and its almost equally dope follow-ups "When Disaster Strikes" and "E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event)". These three albums are straight up incredible on all fronts - theme albums about the upcoming end of the world that are expertly sequenced with Busta's powerful voice taking command over dark, hard hitting beats provided by a healthy mix of established veterans (DJ Scratch, Q-Tip, Rashad Smith, Easy Mo Bee) and the producers of the future (Jay Dee, Nottz, Swizz Beats). One thing about a Busta Rhymes album is that the guy always been so commited to the project that there will be plenty of dope joints left on the cutting room floor once the final tracklist is decided on. A good example is "Genesis" which originally had no less than seven J Dilla productions, but once the final album hit stores his contribution had been limited to two tracks (cutting "Keep It Poppin'", "We Alright", "How We Roll", etc.). 

Luckily for us many of the songs from these sessions instead appeared as B-sides, ended up on soundtracks or the ocassional white label bootleg. And this is where myself and The Lost Tapes come in of course. I've compiled, in as good sound quality as possible, all the non-album tracks, excluding remixes, from Busta's singles from '96-'98 and beefed it up with some of his more essential guest spots from that period. I could of course have included classics like "Scenario", "Come On Down", "Flava in Ya Ear" and so on but I really wanted this to play like a complimentary piece to Busta Rhymes three first solo albums when he still had that mega raw rah-rah style. As such I think I've succeded quite damn well as this represent Busta Rhymes at his very peak over those booming headknock type of beats we loved to hear him demolish. Production from Diamond D, DJ Scratch, Wyclef, Kid Capri, Erick Sermon and more. TURN IT UP!!

01. "Far Away" (Ft. Hurricane G)
02. "Coming Off"
03. "Wild Hot" (Ft. Q-Tip)
04. "Steppin' It Up" (w. A Tribe Called Quest & Redman)
05. "Live to Regret"
06. "On Your Mark: Ready, Set, Go"
07. "Rumble in the Jungle" (w. Fugees & A Tribe Called Quest)
08. "Flipmode is Da Squad" (Ft. Rampage, Lord Have Mercy & Serious)
09. "You Won't Tell, I Won't Tell" (w. Greg Nice)
10. "Do It Like Never Before"
11. "The Hit Off" (w. Kid Capri & Spliff Star)
12. "Starsky & Hutch" (w. LL Cool J)
13. "Yeah" (Ft. Def Squad)
14. "Woo Hah!!" [The Worldwide Remix] (Ft. Ol' Dirty Bastard)
15. "Funkmaster Flex Session" (Ft. Flipmode Squad)
16. "Bus-A-Bus" [The Diamond D Remix]


I've been on the hunt for this rare B-side for the longest, and finally came across it a while back. Spacek is a british group lead by singer/producer Steve Spacek that has produced several underground classics that defies genre categorizing. Some call it just electronic music, but labels like neo-soul, broken beat and trip hop has all been part of journalists describing the progressive trio. The band has been around since 1999 but it was with their release of the excellent "Curvatia" LP that they truly had found their sound. The first single from that album, "Eve" was released in 2000, and is a true gem in every sense of the word - especially if you're big on the Detroit and Philadelphia hip hop scenes.

The A-side features the excellent "Jay Dee Remix" which not only features a banging Dilla beat constructed right around the time that he was leaving behind the lush, Rhodes infected grooves of his UMMAH and Slum Village productions for something more influenced by Motown's legendary techno and house scene. It also features the debut on wax by long-time friends Frank-N-Dank, whose "48 Hours" is an absolutely incredible album no matter what version of it you get your hands on. While we're at it, in 2005 Dilla gave another real banger to Spacek which was made into "Dollar" and if you haven't heard that one yet before be sure to dig it out - pure masterpiee...  But I'm getting off track here, the joint I want to talk about today is the B-side to the "Eve" single called "Countdown"; produced by Steve Spacek and Jeff Mann. It definitely has that Dilla influenced perfection-sloppiness and soulful filteres however and what makes it really interesting is that it's a posse cut between Philly's Black Thought and Bahamadia and Detroit's Baatin and T3. Check it out below... I also threw in a 320 kbps version of the "Eve" remix (could only get the other in 192 but it works) so ENJOY now!


Saturday, September 5, 2015


The news of the tragic passing of one of hip-hop's most charismatic artist's sudden passing last month left the hip-hop community in a shock. At least a small solace to his friends and dedicated fans is that the ubelivably talented spitter was preparing tons of material before his passing. It's strange but it's like a lot of people have a feeling that their time is coming up in many instances - just look at the huge amount of music artists like 2Pac and J Dilla recorded shortly before their passing which fans to some extent still live on to this day. It almost seemed like he had a premonition, I certainly believe in stuff like that, and hitted the studio hard his final year in his life. We got the recently released 8 tracks / 30 tracks version of his EP/mixtape "Songs in the Key Of The Price". I have only heard the iTunes EP version of it yet, and while it's nothing mindblowing lyrically it's classic Price over very stripped down beats with a real back-to-basics formula. 

But that just to whet the appetitze the fans because he also got a fully recorded album with Illa Ghee called "Metal Detectors" in the can that is soon to be released - you can check out the video for the duo's  he has a full-length made in collaboration with Fizzy Womack of M.O.P. - not sure whether or not it's a one produer/one MC type of deal or if they both are going in on the mic together (either way should be very dope), and then it is his final official solo album - the official folllow up to his excellent "Mic Tyson" - that's aiming for a late 2015 release and is entitled "Imperius Rex". Add to that Guilty, Black and Price had been recording for a new Random Axe LP and super underrated producer 4th Disciple just told  a story on how he and Sean Price hit up the studio together a few days before his passing. Price was supposed to drop a guest verse for an Inspectah Deck EP 4th and him were working on, but according to Price the chemistry between the two was so incredible that they recorded three full songs and scheduled another studio sesson for August 10 - two days after his tragic passing. The three songs they did, which might be Sean's very last recordings, are however scheduled to appear o a compilation ot be available this fall so be on the watchot for that.

Of course there will be a lot of tribute shows and DJ sets in honoring the man (as well as a lot of amazing wall tribute, big shout out to the graffiti artists). First out, up top, is the DJ Premier and DJ Eclipae tribute show on the Rap Is Outta Control show. Next up is the official Duck Down podcast from Statik Selektah's Show Off Radio. The set includes words on the man and his legacy from those close to him like Rock, Dru Ha, Ruste Juxx, Tek, Torae, 9th Wonder, and of course Preem and Eclipse. You are surely missed Ruck!