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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CANIBUS - "Seismoluminescence"

Canibus has hooked up with Wu-Elementz producer Bronze Nazareth for his new album which is entitled "Time Flys, Life Dies... Phoenix Rise" and is slated for a May 12 release. Judging by the production talents of Bronze and the guest lists which packs features from the likes of Raekwon, Pete Rock, Kurupt, Killah Priest, Craig G and more, this should be the most interesting Canibus project in a good while. Check out the first single "Seismolumniescence" below.

Monday, April 13, 2015

[Album] ALCHEMIST x OH NO - "Welcome To Los Santos"

The Grand Theft Auto series has always prouded themeselves on excellent soundtracks to accompany the gaming experience. For GTA V, which drops tomorrow for PC, they are taking it one step further as the Gangrene brothers Oh No and Alchemist has been left fully in charge to produce the original soundtrack. The game has been out on various consoles since 2013 which has allowed ALC and Oh to really soak in the atmosphere of the adventure that is "GTA V - Welcome to Los Santos". The fourteen tracks deep album features new music by Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, MC Eiht, Danny Brown, Killer Mike, AB-Soul, Curren$y, Kokane, and many more. But don't expect a straight up hip-hop album, as the two Ayahuasca loving producers draws inspiration from a wide range of different styles and sounds to create something totally unique. It's definitely a dope listen though, so don't sleep on this one! You can stream the entire album via the YouTube playlist up top and NPR or purchase the digital download from iTunes if you want to pay your dues.

PURCHASE "WELCOME TO LOS SANTOS" @ iTUNES

Sunday, April 12, 2015

[Album] DJ JAZZY JEFF x DAYNE JORDAN - "In Progress"


DJ Jazzy Jeff has a lot of classics under his belt both as a recording artist and as a superior DJ, whether he's dabbling in soul music or pure hip-hop the result is nothing but pure as evident as his two BBE albums. His latest protogé is young singer/rapper Dayne Jordan who Jeff has an evident chemistry with which I found evident the first time I heard them together on songs like "Room Test" and "All About The Art". Despite how much I liked the singles I've heard from this duo, I had totally missed out on the fact that the pair released a free nine track album around Christmas time this year called "In Progress". If you want to spend forty minutes of some real chill, jazz infused hip-hop with strong Soul overtones this is for you so whatever you do.... Don't sleep!

[Album] SAGA x MARCO POLO - "From Out The Shadows"

The homie Matt Diamond put me on to up and coming Brooklyn emcee Saga who first caught my attention with his Roc Marciano assisted single "City Streets", a truely nostalgic boom bap monster produced by Marco Polo. From there Saga has let loose of a couple of more singles that all have packked that incredible sound we all know and love, so when the full project is now available you can bet your last dollar that this is one of the illest debut albums of the year. Ten tracks deep, "From Out The Shadows", is filled with hard hitting beats, melodic basslines, fat turntable work and excellent writing and delivery by Saga. Marco Polo and Saga definitely have an amazing chemistry together and let's hope for a lot more projects from those two in the future. Press play and raise your glass!

[Instrumental EP] RAY WEST + OC - "Ray's Café"

D.I.T.C. affiliated producer Ray West's underground label Red Apples 45 keeps dropping quality records from the Bronx. Mainly releasing great music in limited editions on cassette, vinyl LP:s, 12"s and 7"s and the occassional CD, mainly focusing on underground legends like AG, OC, Ray West, Roc Marciano, and John Robinson. Last year Ray West hooked up with one of my all time favorite emcees in Omar Credle for the jazz themed "Ray's Café", a ten track offering that made my countdown of the best albums of 2014. As excellent this project is and how immensely dope the chemistry between West's production and O's lyrical exercises it's a fun thing to hear the instrumental version of the thirteen track Deluxe Edition which really makes you appreciate the superbly crafted work Raya West put into this project. Stream the project for free below and cop a digital HQ version of the album @ RedApples45 Bandcamp.


[Compilation] OUTKAST - "'KAST AWAY"


Few duos in hip-hop has pushed the boundaries of music like André Benjamin and Antwon Patton better known as Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Or as they are sometimes known - OutKast. I'm not going to get into too much of the specifics on their biography as I'm also reposting that VH1 Driven OutKast episode for anyone who might have missed it before (very good episdode too). OutKast used to always be one of my abbsolute favorite groups of all time; I love music that's not afraid to push the boundaries of the genre while still staying true to its roots and that's exactly what 'Kast did. The production, whether by Organized Noize or Earthtone III, always complimented the two almost opposite emcees fronting the group. The music was hard hitting, yet filled with classic breakbeats and live instrumentation, creating the unique sound of The Basement and with each album the duo released  their personas became more and mroe refined. And it wasn't some kind of cheap gimmick either, this is really who they were and that combined with their extreme knack for writing lyrics and hooks plus getting immortalized beats from their two production companies  resulted in some of the best hip-hop albums of all time. If you don't own the phsycial copies of their entire discography you are obviously missing out and should get those ASAP as they are all albums you can put the needle on and let rip from front-to-back. On top of that they are all albums that you will never most likely never find yourself get tired of either.

As productive the duo has been since their first 12" single in 1993 ("Player's Ball"), you would think there's a whole plethora of soundtrack joints, B-sides and unreleased material from Andre 3K and Big Boi, well, that's really not the case. They of course appeared on albums by Goodie Mobb, Witchdoctor, and their fellow Dungeon Family fam, but as far as non-album solo OutKast there is really not all that much. But what there is, is absolute fire which I'm about to prove you right about now. Being that 'Kast is one of my favorite groups it's almost strange that they haven't gotten The Lost Tapes treament before, but better late than never. So download below, crank up that volume and let's get down for some deep Dirty South funk as it should sound. Oh, and there might very well be a part 2 as this volume mostly focuses on songs released between 1995 and 1999. TURN IT UP!!!

01. "Phobia" (1995)
This Organized Noize production appeared on the original soundtrack of "Higher Learning" and is a classic OutKast joint that shows the transition period between "Southernplayallistic..." and "ATLiens". "Don't looking for trouble, It be finding me/ Try turning the other cheeck, I understand, but never mind that/ Great introduction!

02. "Da Art Of Storytellin' Part One" (Ft. Slick Rick) (1996)
Some of y'all might scratch your head asking wasn't this on "Aquemini" since I know I saw Slick Rick in the video?!. Well you're only half right. Any collaboration with Slick Rick, Andre 3K and Daddy Fat Sax is the epitome of what storytelling hip-hop at it's finest should sound like, so when this single dropped  it was a slice of hip-hop heaven. But once the album hit shores, Artista had cut out Rick's verse which makes absolutely zero logic as his verse follows the concept of the song to a T and is just as good as the 'Kast brothers. Oh well, here it is in all it's glory!

03. "Benz Or Beamer" (Soundtrack Mix) (1995)
Another classic early OutKast joint from the debut sessions, produced by Organized Noize. A3K and Big Boi is doing what they do best while Organized Noie brings out a funky little number based around turntable work, an infectious bassline and a beautiful vibraphone sample. More storytelling for the true heads. This appeared on the "New Jersey Drive" soundtrack (man who I used to love that flick growing up).

04. "High Schoolin'" (Ft. Slimm Callouhn) (1996)
A quite overlooke
d soundtrack is for the Forest Whitaker  flick "Light it Up" from 1996. Besides music by DMX, AZ & Beanie Sigel, Amil, and a bunch of R&B cats it had also had this banging 'Kast joint called "High Schoolin'" which also featured a verse by Slimm Callouhn of The Dungeon Family. Not sure about the production credits, but I believe it's an Organized Noize monster.

05. "Speed Ballin'" (1997)
Recorded for the 1997 soundtrack to the (hilariously bad) "Tomb Raider" this is definitely looking forward to "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Bagdad)" with its intense, hardcore hip-hop vibes. I can dig it! Intense!

06. "Southernplayalisticcadillacmusic Remix" (1993)
As a huge fan of Diamond D, you know I had to include this monster of a remix. That bassline and that mystic Rhodes sample gives an entire new vibe to an already classic song. Ripped from the CD-single in 320 kbps so it's sounding great. DITC in the house!

07. "Tough Guy" (w. UGK) (2000)
Produced by Earhtone III for "The Shaft" remake soundtrack in 2000, this is some pure hardcore shit that is exactly the type of ish I want to hear from the South. UGK and OutKast on the same track? That's where it's at... With backing vocals by Sleepy Brown and a whole array of live instrumentation over pounding programmed drums this is nothing short of a winner, and only giving it limited exposure by putting on a Soundtrack is almost a shame.

08. "In Due Time" (Ft. Cee-Lo) (1997)
Another transition period, as this was released in between "ATLiens" and "Aquemini" and you can hear traces of both albums on here. Cee-Lo was also more breaking away from his rapping days and entering his more soulful crooning days to great effect, on this self-produced OutKast single. This song did appear on 1997's "Soul Food" album but was also released as a single (albeit a promotional one at that). Recommended!

09. "Fuckin' Around" (2001)
While this actually did appear on a retail album, it only did so on that compilation that was released in 2001 called "The Best Of Big Boi & Andre". I doubt us real OutKast fanatics actually bought that album, seeing as how it was all material available on albums we already owned (save for three tracks). I'm not crazy about that joint "Movin' Cool" but "Fuckin' Around" and "The Whole World" really sounds like a natural progression from "Stankonia" which is why I decided to include them here.

10. "The Whole World" (2001)
This was one of 'Kast's biggest hits, and it's kind of ironic that it was never included on a retail album, makking it one of the OutKast joints I listened to the least, so there was no doubt in including this here. Enjoy y'all!

11. "Gotta Be Fine" (w. Monica) (1999)
Let's slow things down a bit for this beautiful R&B collaboration between beautiful singer Monica and them OutKast boys. Dallas Austin prooduced this hip-hop flavor jam for a Monica single on Artista back in '99- LA Reid, head over the black music department of Artista at the time, loved making these type of collavorations happens - and often to great effect as heard here.

12. "Sole Sounday" (Ft. Goodie Mob) 
A 1999 track credited to Goodie Mob that features OutKast, and produced by Mr. DJ of EarthTone III. Pretty fucking dope jam to say the least, I love the many beat and concept switches. A must hear for OutKast or Goodiie Mobb fans.

13. "Street Talkin'" (Ft. Slick Rick) (1999)
This might just be the revenge for Arista, and also shows that they never was any bad blood between Rick and OutKast. Over a beautifully designed, smooth piano and bass driven production supplied by JazzePha. In fact it's more of a tribute to OutKast as Boi and Dre barely appears on the song at all, save for a few bars from Big Boi, but it's  a fat track that's as dope as it is a practical joke on the whole "Art Of..." fiasco.

14. "Smoke Fest 1999" (w. Tash, B-Real & Phil Da Agony) (1999)
Now this is my jam right here, lifted from Tha Alkaholiks' members Tash underrated debut album "Rap Life". Legendary 'Liks producer E-Swift provides a banging LA vibe to this joint, complete with talkbox shouting the chorus, and while it's not the type of topic you might not usually hear Big Boi and especially Andre 3K speak on, you can bet he does so with  a twist. Excellent material.

15. "Watch For The Hook" (Ft. Goodie Mob & Witchdoctor)
This track has only appeared on some various mitapes and bootlegs, never been given an official release but judging by the vintage mid-'90s hip-hop sound and the good relations between the Dungeon family my guess is that this is an Organized Production from 1995-1996. And it's fucking beautiful, hardcore hip-hop at it's finest! Press play and TURN IT UP!!

16. "Throw Your Hands Up" (w. Eightball & MJG)
"Throw Your Hands Up" is to my knowledge the only collaboration between Andre 3K, Big Boi, 8-Ball & MJG and the results are simply amazing. The song is produced by Earthtone III's DJ/producer David Sheats (a.k.a. Mr. DJ) who provides a smooth beat that's perfect for the quartet to go in over. Don't sleep!

17. "Everlasting" (1997)
When I make this compilation I always figure the key to make a dope front-to-back listen is having a middle, a beginning and an end. OutKast usually closes their albums with a more laid-back, very reflectve tracks that's not afraid to drop jewels, and I think the self-produced number "Everlasting" from "Nothing to Lose" soundtrack is just the perfect closer - both from a lyrical and musical standpoint. So there you have it, I hope you have enjoy it as much as I have.... NOW REWIND!!!!

[EP] PLANET ASIA x DIRTY DIGGS - "Nautica Nagas"

Planet Asia continues releasing quality material whether it's free or retail. For his latest project, the 10 tracks deep "Nautica Nagas", he hooks up with his trusted producer DirtyDiggs who was responsible for some of the strongest joints on "Black Belt Karate". Guest apperances come from TriState, KillaKali, Godfather Pt. 3, Hus Kingpin and Rozewood so you know this one's worth a listen!

BLAK MADEEN x SHABAZZ THE DISCIPLE - "Words in Red"

If you're like me and have been listening a whole lot to that recent T.H.U.G. Angelz album, you'd probably yet another Shabazz assisted joint. Boston crew Blak Madden, who previously released the excellent EP "Militant Minds" w/ Tragedy Khadafi as well as the free LP "Divine Power Culture" which saw Blak collaborate with Cormega, Krumb Snatcha, Slaine, Timbo King, Blu, and more). Not sure where "Words in Red" will end up but it's an interesting lil' number for sure.

[Coming Soon] K-DEF - "Tape Two"

The Lost Tapes love K-DEF simple as that, the New Jersey born producer is one of the few working artists today that I pretty much cop everything from (at least when my economy allows it). I first became aquianted by this genius producer from his work with Marley Marl back in the mid-'90s, and he has laced classics for Tragedy Khadafi, Ghostface Killah, UGK, Mic Geronimo, Ol' Dirty Bastard, LL Cool J, Diddy and so many more. And that's not even mentioning his own group with Larry-O; Real Live, who released one of those truly slept-on mid-'90s masterpiece in "The Turnaround". Last year he released "Tape One" (on cassette and vinyl) via his new home Redefinition Records, featuring previously unreleased beats from 'DEF recorded between 1989 and 1993. While it wasn't one of his strongest releases, it sure made for an interesting listen. Redef is currently selling out the original cassette tape edition for as cheap as 5 USD. 

Now the mastermind behind classics such as "Funky Child", "Funkadelic Relic", "Year Of The Hip Hop", "It's Over" and "It's Getting Hot RMX" is preparing a second installment in his "Tape" Volume series, and it might be closer to completion that you'd think. K-Def posted this on his Instagram and Facebook accounts a couple of days ago but finding that specific post seems to be a hassle so take my word for it. Take a listen to Volume One below in the meantime.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

[Live Set] RAE & GHOST - Live @ Cochaellla 2015

This brings me back to the number of times I've seen Wu or their solo members life, though I have yet to catch Raekwon in concert. Mr.WorldPremiereTV posted a 15 minute HQ video of the dynamic duo's performance on Day 1 @ this years Cochaella performance. It seems they performed the entire "Cuban Linx..." album this Sunny day, looks like good show. Also props to Pyrex Visionist for putting me on to this. Enjoy and throw them W's up!

I can't find where to Embed from the DailyMotion site, but just click the link below and be sure to change your settings to view the video in 720 because both sound and video is excellent.

RAE & GHOST - "LIVE @ COCHAELLA"

STS & RJDT - "Hold It On, Here We Go"


I wasn't too familiar with Philaelphia emcee STS prior to his apperances on The Roots' last few albums, with gained him a full position in the Money Making Jam Boys free street album "10 Deep Mixtape: Now the crew whch consits  of The Rootsm members and affiiliates (Black Thought, STS, Peedi Crack, PORN, Truck North, and Dice. While the new sinle "Hold It On, Here We Go" is not an MMJB's joint; rather it's a slamming single, experfectly crafted by the one and only RJD2 and Terrace Martin himself. Martin shares a deep love for pure jazz music, often incorporating Rhodes, horns and syncopated rhythms while RJD2 isn't exactly either the most traditional hip-hop producer out there. 

While I've been a fan of RJD2 since his Def Jux days, it was mostly through his extensive works on Kendrick Lamar's outstanding sophomore major rerelease "To Pimp A Butterfly") that I really started to take an interested and I haven't looked back since. This joint, entitled "Hold It On, Here We Go" is nothing but two mintes of excellent so be sure to Pump-Pump-Pump-It-Up!"

Friday, April 10, 2015

[Video] RAKIM x RAMMSTEIN Session (?!)

This is a funny little video I stumbled across on YouTube a while ago that I think some of y'all might find interesting. The six minutes long clip was posted back in 2010 and documents the recording sessions of a collaboration between the one and only Rakim and Richard Z. Kruspe, guitarist of Rammstein. Of course the song was never released and it doesn't sound especially dope either, but the video is worth watching for a laugh and to hear some new Ra bars.

FLYING LOTUS x KENDRICK LAMAR - "Eyes Above"

A few weeks back I posted a clip of a FlyLo playing the original version of "Eyes Above" which featured another stand out performance by Kendrick Lamar. Flying Lotus took to Soundcloud to post the studio version of the song which was left as an instrumental for the "You're Dead" LP. To me these two gentlemen represents the finest musicians of the younger generation that's really pushing hip-hop forward in interesting new directions. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

SHABAZZ THE DISCIPLE x HELL RAZAH - "R.I.P. T.H.U.G. Angelz"

Back in 2008 original Sunz Of Man members and Red Hook, BK residents Shabazz The Disciple and Heaven Razah formed The T.H.U.G. Angelz. An acronym for Those Humble Under God, the duo bonded over spiritual music that exposed the tough life in the ruff neighborhoods around them without gloryfing the horrors. The powerful chemistry of this duo had already been showcased on a handful early underground bangers as part of the Sunz (including "5 Arch Angels", "Deep in the Water" and "Writin' Rhymes With A Liquid Pen"), it was first during the late 2000s that fans would be able to experience just how incredible these two sounded together. Since hearing him on "Diary Of A Madman", I've personally held Shabazz The Disciple to be one of the illest and most underrated emcees of all time. Few, if any, other emcee can conjure up such deep spiritualism within his lyrics while also coming strapped with a real raw, hardcore street edge. Add to that the fact that Shabazz is an extremely strong storyteller, as he has proven time and time again and you pretty much got an artist with the whole package. Hell Razah is a perfect compliment to 'Bazz aggressive rawness as he's more soft spoken, with a lot of knowledge built into any which verse, often presented in a reflective, almost nostalgic pretext.

In 2008 they hooked up with BabyGrande and released "Welcome 2 Red Hook Houses", an overlooked thirteen track set featuring some absolutely outstanding records such as "The Orbituary", "Audiobiography Remix" and "Welcome to Red Hook". Prior to the release of that album word on the T.H.U.G. Angelz project was that they were working exclusively with super producer Ayatollah, who suprisingly didn't have a single credit on the aforementioned CD. The chances of getting to hear the mysterious Ayatollah collaboration that the duo obviously had worked hard on seemed to die when 'Bazz and Razah had a public falling out and vowed to never work with each other again. A true shame! Luckily the story doesn't end there as Hell Razah has decided to release the entire project as a free download for the fans. Featuring 13 songs plus some additional bonus tracks, this is some pretty damn dope shit right here. Ayatollah (who I think is responsible for the vast majority of production on tracks 1-13) does a good job with the soul samples, and like true street poets The T.H.U.G. Angelz builds true Soul music by injecting their lyrics with pure emotion and pain, sprinkled with wealth, health and knowledge of Self. WINGZ UP!!

“On behalf of Hell Razah Music, Inc. & GGO Chapters across the globe we invite you to enjoy the music and continue to support & pray for our founder and President Heaven Razah as he continues in his recovery  and music endeavors.” - Queen the Prophet (Ghetto Govt Officialz 1st Lady)



ALSO COP HELL RAZAH - "EL RAZIEL" LP @ iTUNES

[Video] ODDISEE - "Counter Clockwise"

Oddisee's last few solo albums have been excellent, especially the two pack punch that was "The Beauty in All" / "Tangible Dream" - two of the best LP:s of 2013. Now the Odd emcee/producer is back with his follow-up project, entitled "The Good Fight", which boosts the smashing jazz-infused single "CounterClockwise". "The Good Fight" hit stores May 5 via Mello Music Group.