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Saturday, January 24, 2015

[DVD RIP] GHOSTFACE KILLAH - "Live in NYC"


I saw Ghostface Killah perform live in Sweden back in 2008 and to this day it is one of the sickest, most energetic concerts I've attended. Backed up by his Theodore Unit mates he ripped through an unusally large chunk of his huge catalouge of classics, killing both Wu cuts as solo songs. A couple of years before I witnessed Starks mighty stage presence he released a concert from an undisclosed location in NYC on both CD, 2xLP and DVD through his own Stark Enterprises label. Recorded on October 9, 2005, the one hour set is a great watch and/or listen for any Ghostface fan - and if you're not into Ghost you're pretty damn suspect in my book. Ocassionally joined by GZA, Cappadonna, Killah Priest and his son Sun God, Ironman here works his way through classics such as "Holla", "Run", "Be This Way", "Mighty Healthy", "Criminology", "Nutmeg", "Apollo Kids", etc, etc. Many thanks goes out to BacoTV for making this available on YouTube for free streaming!

SLIMKID3 & DJ NU-MARK Ft. DIAMOND D & K-NATURAL - "King"

Check out the visuals to what's probably my favorite track off SlimKid3 and DJ Nu-Mark's short but sweet self-titled LP which dropped last year. "King" features guest verses from Diamond D and K-Natural, while the video is directed by Daniel Cordero. Order the album on vinyl, CD or Mp3 from Delicious Vinyl now.

Friday, January 23, 2015

DOMINGO Presents KRS-ONE / OMAR EPPS / SEAN P & RUSTE JUXX - A Taste of "Sessions N Lessons" LP

All of the great producers obviously have tons of incredible sessions that for one reason or never failed to make it into the public sphere. Many of these producers choose to hold on to them with white knuckles so to speak, which is unfortunate. In more recent years we have got to see some previously unknown music from legends like the D.I.T.C. brothers, Omniscence, Natural Elements, Mobb Deep and Masta Ace to name a handful. Domingo has often tried to make sure to put out previously unreleased gems to the people and we know that he's partaken in tons of sessions with some of the rap industries absolute top echelon. Good news then that on February 17 yet another compilation of this type of material is being unveiled in the form of "Sessions N Lessons". So far three singles have been released through Domingo's Soundcloud page. Up top you'll hear the previously unreleased KRS-One track "Look Into The Sky", recorded in 2001 for either "The Sneak Attack" (an album Domingo had a lot more to do with than the printed credits lets on) or "Spiritual Minded". Below you find embedded links to Omar Epps (then known as WolfPack's) 1995 jam "The Eyes Of God" and the knocking Sean Price / Ruste Juxx banger "All Time Great". The limited CD is now up for pre-order via IndieGoGo.com where it's revealed that other artists starring on the album includes Rakim, Channel Live, Kool G Rap and many more.


GHOSTFACE KILLAH / DOOM - "Ray Gun"

Ghostface Killah is not only one of the top emcees of all time but he's also undoubtedly one of the hardest working men in hip-hop. Since last month he has released his excellent solo album "36 Seasons", appeared on roughly half the tracks of Wu-Tang Clan's reunion LP, and prepared the second collaboration with Sheek Louch and a host of guest emcees from both camps under the Wu Block banner (that "Hidden Gems" album should've dropped this Tuesday but seems to have been pushed back - what's the deal?). As if that wasn't enough Tony Starks is already getting ready to drop yet another full-length project. Following his storytelling over live instrumentation projects with Adrian Younge and The Revelations, respectively, Starks now taps Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood to provide the backdrops. I'm not too familiar with the group save for some scattered tracks (including "Rivers of Blood" with Ghost, G Rap and Raekwon which they co-produced) and an interview in Bonafide, but what little I've heard sounds good and Ghost is notorious for picking ill sounds to rhyme over. "Sour Soul" is out via LEX Records on February 24, is completely produced by BBNG in collaboration with Frank Dukes, and sports guest features from Danny Brown, DOOM, eLzhi and Tree. Check out the new video for the DOOM assisted single "Ray Gun" up top.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

[Album] COALMINE RECORDS Presents "Remineded: A Collection Of New & Old"

Coalmine Records has been releasing some great music the past couple of years which the label is celebrating with the compilation "Remineded" featuring new and old, remixes and all around ill shit. A lot of heavy names on here holding down microphones and production equipment, including Kool G Rap, Large Professor, Audible Doctor, Diamond D, Heltah Skeltah, Blu, Sean Price, Divided Soul, Billy Danze, Supernatural, and many more. The only thing that I'm a bit suprised about is the fact that there is only 10 tracks on it as I seem to recall early tracklists with 20 songs on it, but I'm probably getting it mixed up. Anyway, a lot of good stuff on this one so be sure to check it out. Available for digital purchase or free streaming, while two singles have been pressed up on 7" if you're looking for physical product. Cop it via iTunes, stream it from Soundcloud or below and grab the 7" singles from Fat Beats. 

MR. GREEN & MALIK B - "We Gonna Make It"

This should be pretty damn amazing! Producer Mr. Green and former The Roots spitter has teased us with some excellent singles during the past years but now their collaborative project, "Unpredictable", is finally soon to be unleashed on the world. The album is set to drop on February 25 via Enemy Soil who has previously released albums by Jedi Mind Tricks, Army of the Pharoahs and Vinnie Paz. Along with the cover artwork the duo also took to Okayplayer to premier the video to their new single "We Gonna Make It" which you see up top. Pre-order the album @ Amazon, JediMindTricks.com or iTunes now.

01. "Dolla Bill"
02. "Metal is Out" (Ft. Benefit)
03. "Crown of Thorns" (Ft. Skrewtape)
04. "What Can I Say"
05. "We Gonna Make It" (Ft. Nate Green)
06. "Devil"
07. "Sometimes"
08. "Definition"
09. "Tyrants"
10. "Rips the Paper"
11. "Rhyme Exercise"
12. "Dark Streets" (Ft. RA The Rugged Man & Amalie Bruun)
13. "Fake Friends" [Bonus]

LARGE PRO - "Own World" (Ft. Fortune)

Another producer that pretty much never dissapoints is The Large Professor who is preparing another album this year, entitled "Re:Living". Not much has been revealed about the project as of yet, except for it to be released sometime this spring. "Own World" featuring Fortune is the second single (following "In The Scrolls") and features scratches by DJ Boogie Blind.

LEWIS PARKER & EASTKOAST - "Superior MC's" (Ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq & El Da Sensei)

Ever since I first heard Lewis Parker for the first time on Ghostface's "Fishscale" and "More Fish" albums in 2006 I've been constantly blown away by his work. For 2015 the London born Parker hooks up with NY emcee Eastkoast for a full-length project called "MK Ultra: Operation Hypnosis" available for pre-order via KingUnderground.com. The first single features Shabaam Sahdeeq and El Da Sensei and is fittingly given the title "Superior MC's". Powerful!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

[Mixtape] JAY-Z - "Before Reasonable Doubt"

I sometimes get a few upset readers in the comments section everytime I post something by or about Jay-Z, but the fact is that I hold "Reasonable Doubt" and about half of "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" in the highest regard as some of the most well crafted writing in hip-hop music of all time. Therefore I am always eager to hear other non album tracks, guest features and demos from this early peak of Jigg (who still to this day knows how to knock out a banger if you ask me). I myself put together a 16 track compilation of Hov's mid-'90s non-album joints called "The Pre-Trial" featuring his work with Original Flavor, DJ Clark Kent, Ski, Jaz-O, among other hard tunes a while back (unfortunately the link has been taken down, but I'm doing a re-up on it in the coming days, just need to get back a couple more songs that I've lost).

However, Mass Appeal very recently shared a new mixtape compilation of ten songs predating the release of "Reasonable Doubt", that I, at least for the bulk of it, never have heard before. This is an extreme treat for hip-hop heads and lyric gourmets, as this release contains a gold mine of classic, yet previously unheard, Jay-Z lyrics that calls out for extensive use of the rewind button all delivered over bass booming '90s New York bap. As you know Jay would later dumb down his content considerably, but in the early days his songs were made up of an extensive amount of lyrics with multiple meanings calling out for listeners to decipher. While a few of the songs on this tape, titled "Demo Tape - Before Reasonable Doubt" features songs in his pre-'95 hype style heard on jams like Big L's "Da Graveyard" (a style that never appealed to me tooo much), the majority of joints finds a Jay-Z whose lyrical delivery is somewhere in between the hyper and the calm mafioso persona finally heard on "R.D.". It's hard listing stand outs because this is most definitely something you can listen to from front to back many, many times if you're a fan of early Jigga Man but I was especially hyped for "Get Off My Dick",  the Clark Kent produced "Understand Me" (very dope track where Jigga takes a trip down memory lane, recounting his growing up in the streets of Marcy, interspersed with a sampled 2Pac hook), and "Broken English & Drug Sellin'" - all songs that almost sound like they could have been considered for inclusion on the classic debut in 1996. The only song that I feel to likely have been recorded after the fact is the closing song. Called "Behind The Ropes" listening to the DJ shouts it's obvious this is in fact a Sauce Money record featuring Jay. Sauce's first 12" single on Roc wasn't released until 1997 and though this is definitely earlier than "Against the Grain", it was probably recorded between "R.D." and that. It's a sick cut at any rate.

Calling this a demo tape however, does sound a bit silly considering this is definitely nothing that was compiled as a demo nor does it consist of material recorded in a few sessions as a unit. Rather this is a compilation of rare material predating the release of the album, but recorded after songs like the Jaz-O collaborations. Big Jaz is suspiciously absent from all material (perhaps he did produce some of the music though as there's no production credits, though both Ski and Clark Kent's fingerprints undoubtedly are on some of these), though early Jay-Z / Roc-A-Fella affiliate Sauce Money kicks it with Hov on no less than five songs. I always felt these two had a great chemistry and would have loved to see Sauce been the next big artist being pushed by Roc-A-Fella but it is what it is. 

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[Video] U-GOD Ft. GZA & SCOTTY WOTTY - "Heads Up"

After the failed adventure that was Soul Temple Records (RZA and Bob Power's label which signed and released dope artists and albums, but failed to ship them out for months) U-God is signing back to BabyGrande Records where he released his pretty damn sick "Dopium" LP. While currently working on his as of yet untitled fifth solo album, Babygrande is set to give his "Keynote Speaker" a more proper release. With that Uey and the label just dropped the official video for one of the LPs strongest cuts, "Heads Up" featuring GZA/Genius and Scotty Wotty. If you know you're Wu history it's a real special thing to hear the two latter on the same song. You can cop a digital copy from iTunes where you can also see the updated Babygrande cover art. Physical copies drop February 17.

[Tracklist] CANNIBAL OX - "Blade Of The Ronin"

Oh shit - this is some megatron bomb news right here for y'all. Cannibal Ox only album, 2001:s undisputed masterpiece "The Cold Vein", is finally about to get a follow-up after fans has been left satisfied by dope solo projects by Vast Aire and (especially) Vordul Mega, yet fiending for more Ox. Titled "Blade of the Ronin" the album is slated for a March 3 release via IGC Records / iHipHop Distribution. Producer Bill Cosmiq is filling in the role El-P played on the debut, that of main producer, while guest features comes from U-God, MF DOOM, eLzhi, Artifacts, and more with a total of 19 songs. This one should be real interesting so stay tuned...

01. "Cipher Unkown: Intro"
02. "Opposite of Desolate" (Ft. Double A.B.)
03. "Psalm 82"
04. "The Power Cosmiq" (Ft. Kenyattah Black)
05. "Blade: The Art of Ox" (Ft. U-God & Artifacts)
06. "Pressure of Survival: Skit"
07. "Carnivorous" (Ft. eLzhi & Bill Cosmiq)
08. "Thunder in July" (Ft. Space, Swave Sevah & Elohem Star)
09. "Water"
10. "The Horizon: Interlude"
11. "Harlem Knights"
12. "Sabertooth" (Ft. Irealz & Bill Cosmiq)
13. "Iron Rose" (Ft. MF DOOM)
14. "Solar System (Cosmos): Skit"
15. "The Fire Rises"
16. "Gotham (Ox City)"
17. "Union: Skit"
18. "Vision" (Ft. The Quantum)
19. "Salvation"

[EP] RED PILL - "Learning to Punch"

Mello Music Group signee and Ugly Heroes member Red Pill lets loose a free, digital three track EP called "Learning to Punch" that's especially effective as an introduction to the emcee for those of us not too familiar with his past work. With boom bap-esque production by Oddisee, Apollo Brown, and Duke Westlake this one is certified. Enjoy!

DJ PREMIER Presents SKYZOO & TORAE - "Bars in the Booth #7"

Like I wrote a few posts down I haven't had a chance to update the blog or even use my laptop for more than a week, so a long with some new shit I'm also gonna post some tracks and videos that's just too dope not to get a run under the spotlight. One such joint is the 7th and latest entry in DJ Premier's terrific video freestyle series "Bars in the Booth", showcasing some of the most talented rhyme slingers of today getting busy over exclusive Preemo bangers. This time it's a double feature as both of The Barrell Brothers gets busy and does a damn good job. When the series reach higher numbers a compilation of all the installments so far will be mandatory for the phone.

MF GRIMM & DRASAR MONUMENTAL - "For Those Who Want To Label Us"



The final part of MF Grimm & Drasar Monumental's absolutely mindblowing "Good Morning Vietnam" is finally here and the closing chapter (subtitled "The Phoenix Program") might very well be the hardest hitting of the entire series. I personally hold it as the best album of 2014, perhaps tied with the very different but equally brilliant Souls Of Mischief / Adrian Younge LP, as it's not only extremely brilliant in its lyrics and performance or packs head knocking beats that both manages to preserve an old school esthetic while being completely original, but it's the inseparable combination of the two. As I just finally got my copy of both the CD and LP in the mail today you know I wanted to put out another word on this one. Anyone sleeping is truly missing out, and if you didn't know Vendetta is the label for those that want to label them!

Also check out the music video for the lead single "Glaciers Of Icex" right above in case you missed it back when it first hit the net. If you're not getting the title and how it's a clever play on both hip-hop and Vietnam related themes be sure to hit up Google for your answer, because they went deep with the research on these projects. I surely hope we will get to hear more music from these two humble brothers very soon... And again if you haven't purchased copies of these gems for yourself be sure to do so, because once they are gone they probably will be gone for good. Head over to VendettaVinylVietnam.com and support the real!

[Out Now] EASY MO BEE - "And You Don't Stop"

The strangely underrated super producer Easy Mo Bee, who has produced some of hip-hop's most memorable hits, and worked with everyone from 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., The Genius, Big Punisher, Big Daddy Kane, Miles Davis, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, just to name a few, has just released a new album. Completely instrumental, "And You Don't Stop", is the second LP under Mo Bee's own name (following 2000:s "Now Or Never: Odyssey 2000)") and is another oddysey through vintage boom bap and classic hip-hop styles made up of 19 brand new cuts. To achieve the nitty gritty Mo Bee recorded the entirety of the album exclusively on three machines - the SP1200, an Akai S900 and its sister Akai S950. I haven't heard the album for myself yet but it does indeed sound very interesting  and the title track and first single seen and heard above is indeed promising. "And You Don't Stop" is available exclusively in digital format now through digital retailers via SLAMjamz Records. Hopefully a physical release will follow. Thanks to FortyGlock for the heads up on this one.

COP "AND YOU DON'T STOP" @ iTUNES