Thursday, March 31, 2011

Since 2005, Danger Mouse has been composing a spaghetti western album with composer Daniele Luppi. Jack White and Norah Jones do the main vocals on the album. Instrumentation was done mainly by musicians who played on the original Ennio Morricone scores.

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi


- Rome -

Starring Jack White - Norah Jones

Gege' Munari (Drums), Roberto Podio (Percussion), Dario Rosciglione (Bass), Luciano Ciccaglioni (Guitars), Antonello Vannucchi (Organ), Gilda Butta' (Celesta) with the
B.I.M. Orchestra and Cantori Moderni Di Alessandro Alessandroni

Visual Direction By Chris Milk

Written and Produced by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
The Alchemist-produced album is set to drop on 4/20.

Absolutely free, good music.

Lookin forward to it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is some of the most practical weed talk I've ever heard. more word about encores?

LO DOWN LORETTA BROWN from Creative Control on Vimeo.

Anybody who went down to SXSW most likely encountered a member of the Odd Future crew in some capacity.  They did a whole slew of shows and wandered around the city of Austin inbetween sets for the better part of the week.

Not only did they manage to put on some wild performances (from what I heard), but they upped their exposure exponentially.

Hodgy Beats just dropped this new Lupe-style jam, perfect for cruising with the windows down while the sun is up.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

According to a fairly recent interview with Lupe, only four of the tracks that appeared on LASERS were ones that he made himself and intended to appear on the album before the label got their dirty little hands on what became the finished product.

That means (among other things) that Lupe is sitting on a wealth of unreleased LASERS tracks.  Hopefully they'll see the light of day eventually in the form of a mixtape or b-sides release.  I wouldn't cross your fingers for that to happen anytime soon (if ever) though.

BUT, some of the tracks are available.  A couple were released by Lupe before he ever had a release date (including the Alicia Keys feature, "Love Letter to the Beat") and one was just dropped by Lupe via twitter for fans to check out what could have been.

The new leak is called "Who Are You Now" featuring B.o.B.

Check it out below, and turn down that LASERS CD in the background.


Monday, March 28, 2011

You Know the Rules - Official video from Mani Orr on Vimeo.
Try to ignore all the fucking morons on the crowd (especially those holding the mics in the introduction).

Today is a great day for St. Louis hip-hop.

First, Rockwell Knuckles dropped what has almost instantly become apparent as his greatest project yet, You're Fucking Out I'm Fucking In.  (Check it out streaming and download it HERE.)

Moments later, Tef Poe dropped this bombshell of a video featuring Rockwell alongside Theresa Payne.  (Tef and Theresa are both featured on Rocky's album as well.)  It's easy (and really inviting as an artist) to slap together a quick video of you and your crew doing a bunch of crazy shit to the soundtrack of your own songs and slapping it up on the internet for the world to see and admire.  It's an altogether different route (and more difficult and admirable) to take the time to sketch out something that is not only entertaining to watch, but actually brings something to the table that adds to the song itself.  Tef, Rocky, and Theresa (plus Tech Supreme, who produced the track and makes a cameo in the video) do just this as they take "Crazy" from the level of 'song' into the realm of 'thematic experience'.

So if you haven't been following these three artists so far, get the fuck out of your funk and pay attention.

Wake up!

Tef Poe-Crazy feat. Theresa Payne & Rockwell Knuckles from Tech Supreme on Vimeo.

(Yo, is that Nato Caliph chasing after Tef out of nowhere at the end of the video? Awesome.)

Trackstar put it better that I probably would have been able to, so I'm going to borrow his words from TSS to describe Rocky's latest effort:
Some artists do things on their own schedule, happy to let anticipation build up before releasing new material when it’s just right, and not a moment before. It’s been over a year since Choose Your Own Adventure, but You’re F*ckin Out, I’m F*ckin In is worth the wait. Rockwell’s approach to a release schedule may be unconventional, but the results are undeniable–he wrecks thirteen beats in a wide range of tempos and textures, with guest appearances from Tef Poe, Vandalyzm and Theresa Payne. There’s more on the horizon, too–expect the upcoming collaborative EP with Tef to be available before Act III.
I couldn't agree more.  I barely got through one full listen before instantly dubbing this Rocky's greatest release yet.  Somehow the man manages to get better with each subsequent album.  Whatever explosive ends this trend is heading towards is definitely something you're going to want to witness.  So quit sleeping and jump on the Bullet Train Army with You're Fucking Out I'm Fucking In.

Stream it here and download once you're convinced (shouldn't take long).

Also, check out the official video for "Silly Human" HERE.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Men With Beards are back with another wicked track. This one features NYC heavyweight T.Shirt on the vocals.

Check out the track below, and be sure to follow the group on the official Men With Beards facebook page right HERE.


Here's the short-and-sweet of the story...

Vic (from Chicago - hence the "Go") and Black Spade (from St. Louis - hence the "Louis") hooked up on this one a little while ago.  It seems Vic was a fan of Spade's for some time before he was able to come down to StL to do a live show with the man.  Afterwards, they hit it off and Spade handed over some choice beats.  Vic went at them over a span of time and brought in an array of Chicago and St. Louis guest MCs including Naledge, Tef Poe, Nato Caliph, and others.

Check it out below, mang.

Now when we gettin that light rail line between StL and Chi?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

100 Akres has dropped some excellent beat tapes in the past.  The most notable to my ears was his David Bowie project.

It looks as if his tapes have caught the ears of others as well, particularly those who don't like what they're hearing.  That forms the inspiration for this tape.

Check it out:
What up folks, you're probably wondering about that title and the anonymity. Well, I've been getting several emails asking if I've had permission from the artists to use their samples....I get a funny feeling these emails are from a certain association thats more than likely about to send me a cease and desist (or eight). Anyways, I'm sure the artist of the new beat tape will be able to spot that these samples are from his album (or maybe not). Either way, I'll keep delivering freshness to your ears regardless of outdated copyright laws.
p.s. "Durand Durand" featuring Tyler Durand coming very soon....

Reality is tough to come by in my music these days, especially hip-hop.

The safe approach is to fantasize and escape reality with talk of money and fame.  The opposite is to beef up your personal history with a few white lies to make yourself look hard and gain respect.  But the middle ground is the truth.  To find a rapper that has the guts to speak the truth and not exploit it seems to be a rare thing.

For one of those rare voices to come from a woman is an inspiration.

Check out Eternia & MoSS:

This dude's flow reminds me of NANCY, in a good way.
Or maybe Sage Francis.

And some other interesting shit about the man that you didn't know...

P. Monch's new album, WAR (We Are Renegades), is out now.

That means the man has been blazing a trail campaigning for the album.

Check out a an interview below and be sure to check out the album.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Check out Part 01 & Part 02 here.
The Family Sign drops April 12.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

88 Keys dumped a bunch of old beats from his hard drive last month and threw them up for free online.  (Check it out HERE.)

Well, it seems like it went over better than expected, so 88 is back again with Part 02 of what has now become the Beats No More Series.

This time, however, you won't be getting it for free.  BUT, you can stream it at no charge and purchase it if you like it.  Awesome.

Check it out:

Beats No More 2 by 88-Keys

This track leaked a while back without the Snoop verses.  I guess nobody went anywhere with it so he snatched it up.  I like the final version though.

It looks like Doggumentary is gonna have some heavy features on it - aside from this one, I think I read that Snoop managed to get the Gorillaz on a track as well.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Rae hits the streets of Dublin for a St. Patty's Day performance.

This is part 01 of his tour documentary, in which he does his MTV Cribs thing in the tour bus and shows you around the world.

And says you should too!

STIC.MAN ft. DIVINE-Back On My Regimen from h. imperial on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

To close down the week of depravity that is South-by-Southwest, the entire GOOD Music family (including recent-inductee Mos Def and frequent collaborator Jay-Z) arrived to show everybody a good time.

[I could have gone with the pun "arrived to show everybody a GOOD time" but I didn't.  I'm bigger than that.]

GOOD Music, for those not in the know on these sorts of things, is Kanye West's label.  The name is an acronym for Getting Out Our Dreams ...Music.

Props to RR for the pic above.  Check out more below, after the jump.

J-Toth, always looking over his shoulder.

It's a strong possibility that he's being watched.

Check out the video for his new track, "America", right here.  It's tactfully done in the style of his recent video blog posts on wikileaks and the current state of US policy and society in general.

Look for The Book of Toth to drop sometime in 2012.  Until then, stay tuned for the occasional leaked track.  You can catch up on some you may have missed (including the one featured in this video) right HERE and HERE and HERE.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Check out Part 1 of the series right HERE.
And look for The Family Sign from Atmosphere dropping soon.

I almost didn't post this because I figured I'd just wait until the mixtape was officially released (it was supposed to drop yesterday, but never did...).

However, as soon as I listened to it, I knew it had to go up.

Check it out.  And keep your ear to the ground for the Muscle Car Chronicles mixtape release date, I guess.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"And you wonder why thunder thighs might lurk?"

J-Toth is on a path of destruction!!

"There's too many of them!!!"

Produced by Kenautis Smith
Written, recorded and mastered by Jonathan Toth from Hoth at The Cooler in St. Louis, MO for

I have a feeling this is going to be a big album for Monch.

Definitely some groundbreaking lyrics on this one and everything else we've seen so far.

Check out his recent video/film for "Clap (One Day)" right HERE.

And preorder that album, son!

Jay Electronica says "Yo, hold on. Hold on."

Act II: Patents of Nobility has to be around the corner now...right?

Jay Electronica's big re-debut has been on the back burner since mid-last-year (and that's being generous).  It was supposed to drop last Christmas.  Then it was gonna drop on New Years.  Then Jay said Nas was holding it up by taking long with his verse.  Then Jay said, naw that's not it, there's just a lot of pressure (which is legit and honest, so more power to im).

Now it just has to drop.  He got signed to Roc by the man himself, Jay-Z.  He dropped some solid tracks right on the outset.  All signs point to the fact that Jay-Z is keeping Jay-E true to task, but where's the album??

Seriously, dude.  Normally I'd say it's fucked up for fans to try to legitimize their high expectations for instant gratification, but this has surpassed that.  Everybody knows that whatever gratification is received whenever we finally get Act II will have been far from instant.

Get it?  Forget it.

Anyway, here's another leaked track.  Check out Jay Elect rapping freestyle over one of Kanye's new beats.

First is the video, then the track, then the lyrics.

Dig it.

Now, check out the lyrics, courtesy of FWMJ (after the jump):

[Yo!  Click "read more"]

from the forthcoming album by MED on Stones Throw. “Classic” is produced by Karriem Riggins. Directed by The Qualities of Light (Shane Sakanoi & Rich Hama). Photos from the video shoot by Cognito-Culture Capture Champs.

Check out the on-set pics HERE.
On "106 & Dark", as Black Spade calls it.

Exile & ADaD speak truth on religion.

Alright, this video is a bit long and there are some solid thoughts throughout, so it'd be pointless to comment on every aspect of it.  I do have a few choice insights though:

First off, it is NOT true that rap fans are ill-equipped (as one girl says in this video) as compared to fans of other genres - specifically rock and country, which she mentions directly.  Economically speaking, rural areas are more impoverished than urban areas based on residential income levels.  These urban areas are also home to the foundation of country and rock fan bases.  If anybody is ill-equipped in this country, it's the kids who are poor in areas that are far-removed from resources (including the urban setting of hip-hop).  

In addition to that, the major audience of hip-hop is no longer ghetto youth.  It's middle class, white, suburban, young adults.  Album sale statistics illustrate this pretty explicitly, but you can also look at any picture of your favorite rapper in front of a crowd at a show to see who the main audience is there.  If there's anybody that's WELL equipped in this country, it's middle-to-upper class white kids.

Next, somebody made the comment that hip-hop is the only genre that is for the youth and that talks about life on the streets.  Bitch, please!  Whoever made this comment clearly has little knowledge of any genre outside of hip-hop.  Country music is barnstorming, bootlegging music.  It's original form (and the form that some - albeit few - musicians still stick to these days) is telling stories about troubled times in town, at work, or at home, as well as good times drinking, with family, or driving around in your truck with your dog and shit.  That's real life for those musicians and their fans.  Arguably, it's more real than the current trend in rap music.  You know what I'm talking about - all the bullshit about rims and hoes and slinging dope.  Most of these dudes do not even do this shit, AND even if they do, their fans don't!

The same thing that was said for country music can be said for blues.  It was an impoverished youth movement that arose as a form of expression to attempt to illustrate the troubles of the time - racial, economic, and social.  Also, rock 'n roll - which was birthed from blues - grew up quickly as an alternate means of expressing those same troubles.  Jazz is in the same boat as blues, with the main difference being that the thoughts and emotions of the artists were usually expressed instrumentally instead of verbally.  Some people would argue that it's that fact that gives it even more emotion and more credibility.  Reggae was (and still is in large part) a youth movement that arose to express the evils of abusive authority, globalization, and a lack of freedom (and sometimes spirituality) in the modern world (aka Babylon), from the perspective of impoverished Jamaican youth.

ALL of these genres are of the youth and of the streets.  Sadly, most of them (including hip-hop, but perhaps still excluding reggae still at this point) have been ripped away from their foundation and re-instituted as business models.  No matter what radio station you tune to (unless you're rocking 88.1fm in StL or other community stations, in which case you rock), you're going to hear just as many (or more) commercials as songs.  If the stations want advertising money, they need to get commercials.  If they want commercials, they need more listeners in order to entice advertisers to do their thing on their station.  If they want more listeners, they have to play music that they think people will tune in to.  If record labels want the radio stations to play THEIR music, they have to (or they think they have to) CRAFT songs/artists/albums that fit a pattern of what they think fans are most likely to blindly follow.

So, are rap fans fickle?  I don't know.  I can definitely side with Budden on many or most of the points that he makes here, but I'm not sure if it's something that's exclusive to hip-hop.  That being said, it's a wasted effort trying to make excuses for hip-hop fans like the three other people in the video repeatedly try to do.  It's (probably) not a genre-specific problem that they're actually talking about here.  What they're discussing - perhaps without realizing it - is a cultural phenomenon of commoditization.  If there's ANY disadvantage that hip-hop has here, it's that it's still a new genre.  Because of that, it didn't really have a hayday before execs realized they could cash in.  Rock 'n Roll was rolling for decades before it became capitalized.  Jazz and blues even longer.  Unfortunately for hip-hop, it was born right around the time of the beginning of major exploitation of artists and fans.  It had a few truly underground years to start to mature before it was snatched from the cradle and put on the streets to work for the man.

But there IS a counter-movement to all of this.  Check out your local scene to find true die-hard fans that stick with artists.  Granted, there are some real dicks out there at shows, but it's mostly all love.  Check out Prince Ea and the Make Smart Cool Movement.  Look into Black Spade for a truly artistic approach to the genre.  And don't forget Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe, Corey Black, Nato Caliph, Jonathan Toth from Hoth, Tucker Booth, Jonezy, T.Shirt, and countless others who are really making waves in local scenes and keeping the genre true to its task.

It's easy to find things to complain about regarding all genres, all styles, media, and everything else.  The challenge (and it's not really a difficult one to approach) is finding alternatives.  Dig out the real scene and immerse yourself in it.  Focus on the positive.  Isn't that half of what music's all about?


Monday, March 14, 2011

Granite City native Justin "Jonezy" Jones talks about his music and his record deal with JMD Records/NGrooves/Universal. Visit for more music and information.

Steddy P is back from tomorrow to tell you what happened there.
It's the flux capacitor!

released 15 March 2011
All songs mixed and engineered by Matt Sawicki at Suburban Pro Studios.
All songs written and performed by Steddy P. except where noted.
All scratched performed by DJ Mahf.
All artwork by Magic8, design and layout by Magic8 & Steddy P.

#1 by Ill Poetic
#4,10 by P.R.E for Terrible Tues Productions (LA)
#2,8,11 by Info Gates
#5 by Abstracked
#3,6,7,9 by Ben Bounce & Matt Sawicki
#13 by Matt Sawicki for Kracratraxxx
Finally, the Beasties have announced a release date of May 3rd for their highly anticipated, return-to-basics album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.

What happened to Part 1, you ask?  Don't ask that.

Since the dawn of time, and perhaps even before, there was a silent order who were tasked with a mission. They held their secret tightly. On may 3rd the HOT SAUCE COMMITTEE PART TWO will be unleashed on the general public. Hold fast ye heathens.
Nato has been steady dropping killer videos in 2011.  Definitely search the blog for the other stellar stuff he's put out and enjoy his latest REMIX video below.

EDIT: Oh, and don't forget to catch the original video (as one part of a double-feature video release) right HERE.


This is a video for the remix version of St.Louis Hip Hop artist Nato Caliph's "Physics 720 (and the Universal Laws of...)" from the "Cipher Inside" remix album on F5 Records.
Album produced by Kenautis Smith
directed by KennyK
edited by Phil Betts and KennyK
shot by Phil Betts
grip Walter Mcelroy Jr

Mikey Rocks - 1/2 of the Chicago hip-hop duo the Cool Kids - just dropped his first solo project since hooking up with his infamous partner in crime, Chuck.
The artist’s solo debut, the set features a whopping 25 tracks’ worth of original records and skits from the Windy City mainstay. 
Guest appearances throughout The Rocks Report include Like and Mibbs of Pac Div, Sir Charles, DJ Thunder, Trademark Da Skydiver and Phil Adé. Production comes courtesy of Ski Beatz, Madlib, Tyehill and more!
Check out the project for free and download it below:

Midway City is the city where wind blows.
You know?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mos re-drops a track he did with Madlib a couple years back but never released.  Reportedly, Mos & Lib have an entire collabo project together just sitting on the back burner for the time being.

Possibly Mighty Mos' first release on GOOD Music?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nuff said.

Some industry prognosticators suggest the set — if all goes well — could shift even as much as 240,000 by week’s end on Sunday, March 13. Any way you slice it, even if it comes in under 200,000, it will still beat out his previous high, when “The Cool” started at No. 15 with 143,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan at the very end of 2007.
With his 3rd album under his belt, Lupe is aiming ever further.  Despite his distaste with his dealings with Atlantic Records and his alleged disdain for the final tracklisting on the album, Lupe's LASERS album is set to debut at #1 on the Billboard charts.

In the face of this success, Lupe sat down with Tavis Smiley for a very revealing interview.  As expected, he briefly touches on his qualms with the industry; however, on a more personal note, Lupe broaches the subject of his brief suicidal thoughts, his literary interests, and the personal struggles and successes in his life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kid Cudi is not a man known for keeping a cool head.  First he punched a dude in the crowd, then he went nuts and smashed some chick's phone and tried to bust down her front door, then he chased down and tried to punch another dude from the a different crowd.

But maybe that's the point.

Give the Drummer Some drops March 15 (same day as Curren$y's Muscle Car Chronicles mixtape).


Dame Dash must be big on the muscle car theme.  First Curren$y hooks up with him and suddenly relies heavily on the Knightrider car image, then Stalley drops Lincoln Way Nights, which is strongly influenced by muscle car culture, and now Curren$y is back again with his new mixtape, Muscle Car Chronicles.

You can find that mixtape next week (March 15).

This is the intro track and it fucking rules.

What a weird ass show.

Pick up Gutter Rainbows, mang.

This video demonstrates how the behavior of each group member affects both the emotional reactions of the other individuals and the effectiveness of the group as a whole. You will see how the encouragement of direct dialogue between members of the group helps them to effectively communicate and resolve their interpersonal conflicts. The series of videos will show how a variety of therapeutic techniques change the dynamics of the group to create more synergistic creative energy.

I hope you find these videos instructive in your own psychotherapy practices.

The Family Sign drops on April 12.
Find it!
DOM KENNEDY - KENNEDY & INGLISH from The Topshelf Company on Vimeo.

Apparently Dom has a new project dropping tomorrow.
Who woulda thunk?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You heard her, fellas.  Ladies first.

Yes! I got genuinely excited by the sound of this album when it started streaming.

These dudes are really holding down the scene overseas.  This project is part mashup, part remix, part original production, part ambient sound, and more and more.

The French sound (from what I can tell from my limited time spent in southern France and my even more limited exposure to French hip-hop that makes its way to my inbox) is equal parts old-school US hip-hop and new European electro, with some other random shit sprinkled in for good measure.

Check out Serge's bio below and sample and download the album below that (or over at his Bandcamp page, HERE).  And below THAT, be sure to catch the first video from the project for the track "Ford Mustang".

Born in 1928, Serge Gainsbourg was one of the biggest stars in French music in the second half of the 20th Century.

Creator by definition, Serge was brilliantly inspired by other people’s work to enrich his own compositions especially with classical music. In his day, one could not strictly speaking of sampling but the process was similar. Serge never stopped borrowing, quoting, modifying and remixing his songs which now serve the repertoire of artists like EPMD, Busta Rhymes, Mc Solaar or De La Soul.

Saneyes added himself as well into the equation by digging in some of the treasures offered by Gainsbourg. Far from stealing, “You’re under arrest” is a sincere tribute to the pioneering genius whose music is here revisited and updated; an obvious follow-up to an unfinished work.

Lupe is gunning hard to promote his new album, LASERS, which just hit shelves today.  Check it out:

Monch is on some serious shit with this one.

Gone are the days of the watered down, three minute, slut-filled music video.  Let's wave in the dawn of the hip-hop art piece video.  We've already got Kanye dishing out constant artistic mind-fucks of videos - his "Runaway" film is the perfect example.

Now the trend is burrowing deeper underground as Pharoahe takes us on a 10-minute journey into the bowels of his latest project, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades).  He delivers serious messages of struggle, hatred, and loss, all to the beat of his alternative sound.

If the music and the visuals don't convey a (meaningful) message, then you likely won't be seeing it on the site and you damn sure won't be hearing it from my headphones.  Pharoahe Monch has always kept good on the promise to deliver real music.

Make Smart Cool.

Check it:

Tim Armstrong up in this bitch.

PS: Skinhead Rob, get a job.

This is Part 2 of the interview that was posted yesterday (check it out HERE).

A-Game represents a new generation of college-educated artists who have some serious stuff to say, but aren't afraid to chill out and talk shit from time to time.

He's a big fan of the ganja, brews, and ladies, but he's still cracking books and making grades.

Check him out on the Waitin for the DJ Live Mixtape HERE, then get his first mixtape, Hottest in Tha City, HERE.  Finally, be sure to download his latest project, The Cool is Comm, right HERE.

Preview it from DatPiff below, and catch the first single below that.

If you're from St. Louis, you've likely seen the influence of 18andCounting - possibly without noticing.  He's been at the helm of some of the biggest concerts, art shows, club nights, parties, and other shit.

He's also been dropping some solid mixes for a while now.  Every month, he releases a new genre-defying, mind-blowing DJ mix for your listening pleasure.

Be sure to catch up on these monthly bombshells HERE and keep following the dude.

You won't be disappointed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Where the eff is Act II?
Scrub's big in Europe, bigger in LA.

This vid was filmed during his recent trip to the Western Coast where he was apparently meeting with labels and having a good time.

Check it.

Blu talks about working with a major label, collaborations, producers and albums that inspire his process, his upcoming solo project, and more.

Looking forward to NoYork!, which should be dropping this summer.
"It's like Wing Stop.  You can't eat Wing Stop all year.  But if you stop like two weeks before summer time, you'll be straight.  You'll have a good Wing Stop summer."
Well, I'll say I like this song better live...but it still isn't sitting right with me.  After Lupe came out in the open and said that only 4 of the tracks on LASERS (which is about 1/3 of the entire album) were songs that he actually liked, while the rest were dictated by Atlantic Records, I find myself questioning the motive behind every track.

This one has to be a record label single track.

Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang: Final Round from SHHO on Vimeo.

Raekwon sits down to discuss another track off the album (this time it's "Butter Knives") in the final installment of this three-part interview series.

Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang drops tomorrow.

Find it.

The Family Sign drops April 12.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A lot of hip-hop artists will bust in, drop an album or maybe just a few tracks, and drop out for a while, spending their money and taking their time.  Then, if you're lucky, maybe they'll be back soon to drop some more music of the same caliber.

Thankfully, the Cool Kids are the opposite.  They've been consistently releasing excellent music for fans to enjoy since they first showed up on the scene years ago.  (The only they they ever dropped that I didn't like was that mixtape they released through LA Leakers - and that's just because I can't stand gratuitous DJ tags.  The LA Leakers fucking ruin tapes, dude.)

Anyway (rant over.), the Cool Kids are back again with another stellar video project.  Check it out:

Stalley took me inside Damon Dash’s creative space, DD172. He explains the value of being able to create merchandise, record music, and perform shows under one roof in this day and age. I got to learn a lot about Stalley as a musician but more as a man on this day and I know the world will learn the same soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tef Poe is a fucking Super Hero Killer.

Ash and Hudson got together at the end of 2009 and threw down this beast.  (You can tell it was '09 by Ashers lil kid haircut.)

Check it out:

Just when I thought Blueprint has been gearing up to release a straight old-school-hip-hop album, he goes and drops this track.  In terms of style and content, this sounds like a Cee Lo record more than a Blueprint record.  Still, his delivery is all his own and he makes the track work.

If I'm to be honest though, I'm not really feeling it.  I prefer the grit behind his past works over the high-production, singing mood of this one.

Either way, some new Blueprint is always worth the listen.

You can catch his new album, Adventures in Counter Culture, on March 31.

Blueprint - So Alive by rhymesayers

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I don't usually blog on fashion stuff, but this one is worth the mention.

Design collective Work/Play is currently working to fund a project for what looks like it could be the flyest hat you'll ever have a chance to wear (and I really don't use the word "fly"...that's how awesome this is).

It's a 5-panel hat made with the highest-possibly quality denim around (hence the relatively steep price tag).  But would you rather look cool in some swag that was crafted by the trembling hands of an abused third-world child laborer, or be confident in your swag (yep, I said it: swag), knowing that the skilled hands of a professional artisan personally stitched up this high quality accessory with love, care, and a reasonable wage?

Thought so.

Here's a little of what the Work/Play crew has to say about the project:
Hi! Thanks for stopping by & checking out our project. With your help, you can make our idea a reality. We want our designs to be as playful as we are. No designer wants their vision watered down, so our passion is to design cool stuff for the masses. Don't let celebrities dictate what's fashion & what's not, be the first amongst your peers to own a selvedge denim 5-panel hat that will be admired by all. You'll probably get random people on the street asking, "where'd you get that hat?" It will be the perfect compliment to almost every outfit. Get into that feel good moment where anticipation takes over & you truly cannot wait for the product to arrive in the mail. We at WORK/PLAY strive to make sure all of our products are of quality materials with an affordable price to match.
You can catch more of the details regarding the product, it's production, and the group behind the work and design on the official KickStarter page HERE.

Now, I know Kevin and Dani (the two brilliant minds behind W/P) personally and I'd go to the plate to vouch for them in an instant.  They're two of the coolest, nicest, and most talented folks in the city of St. Louis and abroad.  If there were ever a project that I would fund before it even drops, it would be theirs.  (Can't exactly afford a huge donation at this point in time, but I plan on making my contribution known to them here shortly.)

A handful of artists have taken this technique to heart in appealing to their fans to fund their albums.  It makes sense that the approach would extend into the other arts as well.

Check out more below and be sure to delve deeper into the project and hopefully contribute.  Also, be sure to follow Work/Play and all their movements at their official website at


Here's the skinny on what you can get if you donate...

First off, we want to give a big THANK YOU! It's the little things that makes the world go round. So for your donation, we will letterpress your name on every numbered certificate that will be distributed with each final product. In addition, your name will be listed on our blog at: for your efforts in helping turn our ideas into a reality.

Maybe you don't have quite enough for the hat but no worries. We still have something great for you! That said, for a $25 pledge you will receive a poster designed by our collective and printed entirely by way of letterpress. These posters are signed and numbered and will not be available to the public. Your name will be included with any online media for your pledge. Add $6 to the the pledge amount for shipping within the US. (Shipping to Canada add $7, International add $10 to pledge amount)

Wow, you must really want this hat, so we want to thank you for that! For a $50 pledge you are pre-ordering the W/P selvedge denim 5-panel hat. The hats will retail for $70.00. Add $8 to the the pledge amount for shipping within the US. Shipping to Canada add $10, add $15 to pledge amount for International)

LIMITED REWARD 70 of 72 remaining
Whoooa!! Big spender! For a $100 pledge you will receive the original W/P selvedge denim 5-panel hat and another limited run 5-Panel hat made from a selvedge chambray-like material. This hat is natural in color and comes in a lighter 11oz weight suitable for much warmer climates. Shipping included within the USA. (Shipping to Canada add $8, International add $11 to pledge amount)
Pharoahe held a listening session recently for his new album where he revealed the full tracklisting, the album artwork, and of course divulged some of the sounds for those elite enough to be considered worthy.

This is kind of an odd shape for an album cover.  Maybe he's going to drop it in the form of a magazine/art booklet?  Who knows.  That would be pretty wicked though.

As far as the tracklisting goes, he's got some great producers on here, mixed with a few I haven't heard before.  Good range of features too - everything from Immortal Technique to Jill Scott.

Check it out:

1. The Warning feat. Idris Elba (produced by Pharoahe Monch)
2. Calculated Amalgamation (produced by Lion Share Music Group)
3. Evolve (produced by Exile)
4. W.A.R. feat. Immortal Technique & Vernon Reid (produced by Marco Polo)
5. Clap (One Day) featuring Showtyme & DJ Boogie Blind (produced by M-Phazes)
6. Black Hand Side featuring Styles P & Phonte (produced by Mike Loe)
7. Let My People Go (produced by Fatin “10″ Horton)
8. Shine featuring Mela Machinko (produced by Diamond D)
9. Halie Selassie Karate featuring Mr. Porter (produced by Sam I Am)
10. The Hitman (produced by M-Phazes)
11. Assassins featuring Jean Grae & Royce Da 5’9 (produced by M-Phazes)
12. The Grand Illusion (Circa 1973) featuring Citizen Cope (produced by Adam Deitch & Eric Krasno)
13. Still Standing featuring Jill Scott (produced by M-Phazes)

W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) is definitely shaping up to be a solid album.  I'm excited to hear some new shit from Pharoahe.  The latest material he put out that actually had me moving was the track he did with RZA on the BlakRoc album.

Definitely check this one out when it drops on March 22.


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