Monday, January 31, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011


Gearing up for the release of his first official Remix EP, Nodzilla (aka DJ Needles) dropped another new remix the other day.  This time he tackles Andre & Big Boi with "Elevators".

Check it out below and be sure to locate Nodzilla's The Remix Jawn when it drops on February 3rd.



And be sure to check out some other remixes he's released HERE and HERE.

Peace.
-Mike-


First off, in case you were wondering, Enoch IS actually real.  I've met him.  Now that we've got that cleared up...

The Soulition DJ just dropped a new (very real) podcast to warm you up on these winter nights.  Check it out below and be sure to subscribe in iTunes or whatever other newfangled technology you kids are using these days.

Here's what Enoch himself had to say about this particular podcast:
Just bcuz I love you...now love yourself.
It's free too.

'Free like what?' you say?

Oh,well allow me to explain.
The podcast is free to subscribe to via iTunes,Yahoo and Google. E-Mixed by yours truly.

Now,carry on.
You heard the man: Carry on!


I loves me some Fela man.

In the terminology of my buddy Wayne: shit is fire.
-Mike-

Travis Barker pretty quickly became an incredibly sought-after producer in the world of underground (and now mainstream) hip-hop.  Check him out here with Clipse on a Pharrell-produced jam.

I almost didn't post this because I hate snippets and I really fucking hate DJ tags, but it had my head bobbing so I couldn't deprive you.  Plus, Eminem introduces it for some reason, so that's cool.  ALSO, I'm pretty sure that scream sample is from Bride of Frankenstein, which was my favorite movie for most of my childhood (which might be kinda fucked up now that I think about it).  Boris Karloff was my shit though, man.

Anyway, Travis' new album, Give the Drummer Some, drops March 15.  Not sure when this mixtape will be released, but my guess is sometime shortly before the album date.  Check out the song, mang...




Wicked.
-Mike-

Theophilus London is back with another throwback-style jam.  Somehow this dude still manages to surprise me.  This time he brings in Sara Quin (from the indie/folk duo Teagan and Sara) to blend with the sparkly sounding instrumental (that's the only way I can think to describe it).  Sounding like Madonna and shit over that wicked 80s beat.



The album, Lovers Holiday, is set to drop February 5th on Warner Brothers.  Digital release only.

Peace.
-Mike-

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


There's not much else I can say about this; they really nailed it. This series has had some of the greatest LP art I've witnessed in hip-hop, especially for a series that releases albums almost monthly. With only one more album to go, the Madlib Medicine Show series has really set the bar for presentation to a new level. Check out the interview with Stones Throw Records artistic director Jeff Frank below for more info (after the jump).

Also, find more info on the series at the official site HERE. and catch interview on Pitchfork's page (if you don't feel like scrolling down) HERE.

Peace.
-Mike-
_________________________

Notable album covers catch the eye, dribble it around a little, and then snap it back into place, forever skewed. They can be funny, gross, shocking, stunning, or just plain wrong. They can define artists. With Take Cover, we aim to track down the most striking new album covers taking up web space and vinyl bins and get the story behind them.



Child Rebel Soldier (Lupe, Kanye, and Pharrell) is probably the longest running of these groups, with perhaps the fewest released tracks [check out past references HERE].

Following that is All City Chess Club (Lupe, Asher Roth, Diggy, Blu, B.o.B., Wale, the Cool Kids, and way more), which Lupe has described as less of a group and more of a collective (ie. don't expect an album anytime soon) [however, you should catch the "Beaming Remix" HERE].

Finally, Japanese Cartoon is Lupe's punk rock outfit with LeMessie and some other cats (think Bad Brains with less reggae) [and download In the Jaws of the Lords of Death HERE].

Ya dig?
I caught Blueprint's set when he rolled through St. Louis last year for the Hip-Hopper's Holiday show alongside the Cool Kids, Black Spade, and a long list of others (plus a badass skateboard demo on a miniramp).

His performance was solid and he was a super nice dude afterwards - talking to people and selling his own records at the merch booth.

Since then, I've tried to keep up on his music as much as possible. (See what politicking will get you?)

His next project is Adventures in Counter Culture dropping April 5 on Rhymesayers Entertainment. His latest video is for the track "Keep Bouncing" off the album.

Shot, edited, & directed by Optical Alchemists. Check it out:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The combination of two amazing alternative hip-hop producers has proven in the past to be a force to be reckoned with.

Everybody raved with Madlib and J Dilla teamed up to form Jaylib. Now, Madlib's little brother Oh No (who, in all fairness has firmly established himself as a talent of his own) has followed his lead and formed the group Gangrene with hit-maker The Alchemist. The chemistry beyond the two is clearly amazing and their new LP, Gutter Water, is definitely one to check out.

Still, behind every great album there are a few sturdy b-sides. "Demons" is one of em. Evidence (of Dilated Peoples fame) and Fashawn tackle this killer beat in a truly wicked fashion (in every sense of the word).

Check it out below along with a download link. Also, be sure to look up Gutter Water and give it a try. I bet you'll dig it. AND, scroll down to catch the latest tour schedule for Gangrene. If you're in Europe, you may want to consider hopping a quick train and checking one of these sets out.


Tour Dates (Props to NahRight):
1.26.11 – Oslo, Norway – The Living Room
1.27.11 – St. Petersburg, Russia – Dusche
1.28.11 – Moscow, Russia – 16 Tons
1.29.11 – Krasnodar, Russia – El Nino
1.30.11 – Athens, Greece – Bios
1.31.11 – Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia
2.2.11 – Brussels, Belgium – Le Tavernier
2.3.11 – Strasbourg, France – C.A.J Molodoï
2.4.11 – Porto, Portugal – Hard Club
2.5.11 – Munster, Germany – Skaters Palace Café
2.6.11 – Amsterdam, Holland – Bitterzoet
2.8.11 – Rome Italy – Zoo Bar
2.9.11 – Paris, France – Le Rex
2.10.11 – Madrid, Spain – Heineken
2.11.11 – Barcelona, Spain – Bikini

Adios!
-Mike-
Stalley's new video is set to premier on MTV U (for those not in the know, MTV U is the college network that plays in the dining halls at major universities).

Check out the trailer for the vid here:



Calling all producers: Asher Roth is holding a little contest. He's putting out a sick acapella rhyme in hopes of finding the perfect beat to back it up. Any takers?

Whoever brings the heat will be featured on Asher's next project. Here's the details as he provides them:
Here’s an a cappella for all young, old, smart, dumb, funky, fresh producers/beat makers to get down on. We’ll be accepting submissions through the month of Feb. Last day is March 1st. Bring your “A” game and you could end up on the newest project!




So what are you waitin for? Get those little fingers flying!

Send all submissions to Pontifeous Kane right here.

I've already started.

Peace.
-Mike-

Monday, January 24, 2011


To be perfectly honest, I didn't even know this song existed before T.Shirt took a crack at it (a fact that I'm totally okay admitting).

If I had listened to Britney ten years ago I probably would have thought something like "Oh good, finally a wholesome, normal person to be a role model for young girls." Nowadays it's like "Holy shit this bitch is wild!"

Leave it to Shirt to tell her what's up.




Peace.
-Mike-

Last year, Lupe's fans took to the streets to demand Atlantic Records release Lupe's LASERS. I mean they literally hit the streets in NYC outside the Atlantic offices and held a mini-protest, and they did it completely on their own without Lupe's urging.

That's love, man.

A lot of people online leveled complaints along the lines of "find something more meaningful to protest" and other such criticisms. I 100% agree with that - any album is way less important than the countless political and social injustices running rampant in our society. However, I came to realize: who's to say these same people aren't at those other protests? Pick your battles and whatnot.

That being said, it looks like Lupe's people (or maybe just Atlantic?) have discovered the possibility of capitalizing on this zeal by organizing a mass "purchasing event" disguised as a insurrectionist celebration. Not only is Fiasco Friday II aiming to transform the rebellious energy of the first gathering into a capitalistic fuckall mega sale, but they're holding it at a Best Buy of all places! The profits won't even be going to a local record shop. I know Fat Beats could use the funds (or have they already shut down?).

But hasn't this been the most popular marketing and advertising tactic for the past few decades? Take something with a rebellious image - like hip-hop, skateboarding, punk rock, tattoos, and most recently the Green movement, among a whole slew of other subcultural movements and images - then flip it, slap it on a bunch of t-shirts, ads, and billboards, and sell that shit like crazy.

I don't know if this is something Lupe himself initiated or took part in planning, but he's certainly showing support for the event on his twitter page by retweeting promotion of the event.

With all this attention being paid to the release and support of LASERS, it better damn well be a solid album. Personally, I'm still on the fence, but leaning towards purchasing. I liked "I'm Beaming" and "Shining Down", "What You Want" was really great, but that "The Show Goes On" track with the Modest Mouse sample fell short (to be fair though, the verses are tight but the beat and hook are horrendous). I might just hold out for Food & Liquor II (check out stuff from that HERE and HERE).

Anyway, check out the press release below and let me know what you think. It's pretty obviously a marketing ploy, possibly as a response to the fear that the album won't sell now that the fervor has died down so much since a couple months ago. We'll see how it all pans out.

Peace.
-Mike-
In the fall of 2010, Lupe Fiasco fans worldwide made music history when they petitioned and protested Atlantic Records, demanding the release of Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS album. After successfully receiving a release date, over 250 fans came out to “Fiasco Friday” at the New York branch of Atlantic Records to protest and publically acknowledge the injustice done by the company. What began as a small, internet phenomenon quickly evolved into a historic event that transcended the music industry. Because of this protest supported by dedicated, intelligent, and head-strong members of this international music rebellion, the world will hear Lupe Fiasco’s LASERS album on March 8, 2011.

The success of the protest, combined with the growing amount of young people interested in this positive message, made it an easy decision to organize Fiasco Friday II. On March 8, 2011, Lupe Fiasco will release his third studio album, LASERS. On this date, Lupe Fiasco fans in the New York area will meet in Union Square and hold a “Mass Purchase Event” at the Union Square Best Buy. On March 11, 2011, four cities nationwide will hold “LASERS Release Celebrations” to recognize our enormous accomplishment. New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago will mark this historic release with celebration parties, featuring charity fundraisers for the Education Equality Project, speeches, local artist performances, and the repeated playing of LASERS. The event will bring Lupe Fiasco fans together to promote and enjoy the album.

There is a large movement forming all around the world- a group of people hungry for intelligent music. As a generation, we refuse to be slaves to commercial radio and the musical power-grab by large corporations. Music is one of the most important tools of expression and is a massive platform for the spread of ideas. A growing faction of global youth is sick and tired of substance-less music that encourages a society built on materialism, sexism, ignorance, and a false sense of rebellion without a cause. Politically and socially conscious hip-hop has been a staple in music since its creation in the 1970s. Sadly, that major portion of hip-hop has drastically declined and is barely breathing in comparison to the sex-driven rap of 2010. A substantial reason for this change is that major music corporations reward mediocre artists for putting out repetitive music instead of encouraging creativity and diversity. These greedy music tyrants demand that artists constantly put out status-quo music that suppresses originality. Few artists are bold enough to maintain a strong, intelligent, hip-hop sound. One of those artists is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, or Lupe Fiasco. This movement is a reflection of Lupe himself, and the quality music and messages he delivers to the public.

The Fiasco Friday movement represents the angry Lupe Fiasco fans who demanded the new Lasers material, the rebellious youth resistant of big corporations now controlling music, hip-hop fans who are fed up with senseless music and lack of meaning, politically active and socially relevant people, music fans looking for diversity, and average people looking for an artist to relate with. We are sick of the plague of ill-inspired lyrics with repetitive song structure and meaning that corrupts our corporation run radio stations. This is not a fringe, weak group of people- it’s an intelligent, calculated conglomerate of Atlantic’s decisions. We succeeded in protesting Atlantic, and this March we will celebrate that fact. This message, and the music of Lupe Fiasco, will not be stopped. On March 11th, we will celebrate and hear the release of the revolutionary, controversial, and protested Lupe Fiasco album, LASERS. We invite you to come celebrate with us.

Max Tannone has brought about many amazing mashup projects - most notably Jaydiohead (Jay-Z x Radiohead), Mos Dub (Mos Def x countless classic reggae and ska artists), and more recently Dub Kweli (same as Mos Dub but with Talib Kweli vocals).

Even though these projects all dropped some time ago, fans are still finding new and artistic ways to spread the music. Most recently, somebody took a track from Mos Dub called "Mr. Universe" and created an amazing video to go along with it.

Here's what Max had to say about the fan video:
One of the cool aspects of the video is it samples some footage from the original Jaydiohead video (created by Jason Cacioppo). Remix within a remix?!? Remember in Ghostbusters when they said "don't cross the streams"? Well we did, 'cuz we're crazy like that. Enjoy.
Check out the video below and chill.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Surprisingly, that question is very easy to answer now. DJ Semtex was kind enough to capture this image of Ye's half-hour spill session where he basically spells out his plans for the entire year.

Although, we'll see how accurate this timeline ends of being. Check back in a week for that "All the Lights" video [fingers crossed].

Is it just me or does it seem like Talib is going really hard promoting his new Gutter Rainbows album? Like, really fucking hard compared to the past couple. EDIT: Aha! He has been pushing this album really hard because it's his first truly "indie" album, according to his Twitter. That's awesome.

(As a quick side note, be sure to stream the album in its entirety HERE and catch the latest release HERE, plus the first video from the album HERE. Homework time, people.)

Anyway, this video has a real epic feel to it. Looks like they went with a Book of Eli theme. Weird ass ending though! [Spoiler alert:] He wakes up, realizes it was all a dream...then decides to photograph his girl? Odd.

Very lyrical track though, which is nice. I'm also digging the Jay Electronica shout out (0:58).

Dig:


First things first, if you haven't checked out Tef's new album, War Machine, get it here quick. Now that that's been settled...

Teflahn Poetix is on a spree with his latest project. He already hosted a listening party of sorts at the Gramophone. Now he's heading back there to insight further mayhem at the official album release party.

He'll be blazing a trail onstage February 11th alongside Jonezy, Rome, T-Prince, Whiteout & RT-FAQ, The Chalk Boyz, Vandalyzm, DJ Spec, & Tech Supreme. (Check out the flyer above for more details.)

[In a related event, Tef's brother Black Spade will be doing a show across the globe as part of his group's (Hawthorne Headhunters) mini-tour of Europe on the same night. Check the info here.]

But back to the subject at hand: To help spread the word about his work, Tef's also been throwing down on some big video projects. Check out the trailer of the "Mel Gibson" video below for a sneak peak.

See you at the release.
-Mike-


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Local dude going in. Check him out on the Waitin for the DJ Live Mixtape.



Talib Kweli's new album, Gutter Rainbows, can currently be streamed for free here. Still, if you wanted a new track to download, you came to the right place.

This one features Year of the Blacksmith queen Jean Grae. As an added bonus, my current favorite producer Oh No is on the beat bringing nothing less than his usual heat (check out his latest solo joint here).

To be honest, I'm digging this one WAY more than the first single from Gutter Rainbows, "I'm On One" (check out the video here). Be sure to catch the link to the album stream above, see if you like Kweli's latest content, and catch the album when it drops on the 25th if you like it.




Peace. Peace.

This is the first single from Monch's upcoming album, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades).

As usual, Pharoahe flexes his unique lyrical style. Never one to tip-toe around an issue, he raises his renegade flag high and tackles subjects like crooked cops, street enterprise, revolution, and al little history. Take that and add a 60s style soulful hook and this track makes a genuine rebel anthem.

Be sure to pick up the album when it drops. (Also, catch the video below to see Pharoahe debuting this track in London a while back.)

Peace.
-Mike-




Travis Barker is pulling in some wicked features on this album he's working on.

Long gone are the days of the Take Off Your Pants and Jacket Travis with his relatively simple pop beats under pop punk guitar riffs.

Next I want to see "Yo, Check Out My Hair" by Travis Barker ft. Coolio, Mark Hoppus, Weird Al Yankovic, & Cher.


Props to RR for the player.

Peace.
-Mike-

Friday, January 21, 2011


Oh No comes from a musical family. His older brother Madlib may have helped pave a path from him in the industry, but before that his father, Otis Jackson, was a famous singer and his uncle, Jon Faddis, was a prominent jazz musician.

His latest releases were as 1/2 of the group Gangrene (alongside The Alchemist) with one EP, The Saw Blade EP, and one full length, the Gutter Water LP. The next project about to drop with him on it is Madlib's Medicine Show No. 11, which features some cuts of the new group The Professionals (the duo of Madlib and Oh No).

However, amidst all the collaborative work with other amazing producers and MCs, Oh No still had the time to kick out work for his latest solo project, Ohnomite. There isn't much information out yet regarding this album, but it looks as if he'll stick to the tried and true formula and mix instrumentals with features, likely spanning the Stones Throw and underground hip-hop rolodex for features and collaborations.

In the meantime, check out the latest leak from the project, "Sound Off" featuring Termanology and Ea$y Money. Download it below and keep your eyes and ears open for more info on Ohnomite as it develops.




Peace.
-Mike-


Asher's new album, Spaghetti Tree, is slowly taking form as these two new tracks and the video above can attest. They're both produced by the Neptunes, as is (reportedly) most of the album.







Here's what Asher had to say about working with Pharrell and his team:
“It was pretty cool/funny to see the music genius Pharrell produce this session. Very good chemistry as far as creating music. We was down there while it was all snowy in New York. We had a blast. I think we have some really beautiful music for warm weather. He really is a genius. Working with him, it’s really fast. We wound up doing 12 records in 12 days, which is really good numbers.

It’s quick. He gets an idea and he harnesses that idea really quick. It’s cool when someone like me gets to step into the studio with him. I feel it’s probably different vibes. I feel like it’s different vibes. Even though he works with everyone from Britney to the Clipse, he can do that because he stays in his lane. He stays true to himself. He’s got a very real sound he’s harnessed with The Neptunes stuff; he’s got a real sound he’s harnessed with N*E*R*D. We wrote 12 different records. We didn’t try to write one record 12 times — we have stuff all over the map, from live drums that are going to incorporate itself well into a live show … I’m excited for you guys to hear that stuff.”


made in the old way. from my cyberspace and reds mixtape, more lyrical pad work with kano on a bed of beats put together using all the original techniques once prevalent in our world. thanks again to magic for help on the buttons that for many will bring back memories of zed bias era breakstep. set to a series of images taken on my lomography film camera. these images form the background chiaroscuro vibes of my website.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The BK MC aka the MCEO aka Talib Kweli is back with another smash album. It's called Gutter Rainbows and you can stream it for free on Kweli's MySpace page or right here!

Peace.

I love it when a good artist makes his way to a major media outlet like MTV.

Check out BluRoc phenom Stalley promoting his upcoming project, Lincoln Way Nights: Intelligent Trunk Music. Among other things, he really consistently shows his love for his home town.



Stalley is shooting for greatness On Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music) which drops 2-8-11 with Mishka. The Massillon, Ohio native gave up NBA aspirations and tells MTV’s Mixtape Daily, 'I'm more than an MC.' Follow @Stalley.

Madlib's Medicine Show series, which is back in full effect after a brief pause, just announced possibly the biggest release of the set.

Madlib Medicine Show No. 11: Low Budget Hi-Fi is a collection of seemingly random Madlib tracks, including some unreleased Jaylib (Madlib x J Dilla) material, the debut of The Professionals (Madlib x Oh No), and more.
After a brief pause in the Medicine Show series, Madlib returns with a 28-track, full-length hip-hop album of collaborations with AG, Guilty Simpson, MED, Oh No, Strong Arm Steady and others. Karriem Riggins pops in for a short Supreme Team session, Madlib & Oh No debut their group The Professionals, and we hear for the first time a Jaylib-era track from Madlib & Dilla's never-realized second album.
Apparently, the reason the Jaylib stuff hadn't dropped earlier revolves around a loss of material in a fire, which is explained briefly below:
The unofficial title of this album is Dirty Demos Selected by the Loop Digga, a reference to a fire which destroyed some of this album’s master tapes.
Check it out here, download it, and find and purchase the album.

Jaylib - Louder (Blast Your Radio Theme) by stonesthrow


Yeah!

Peace.
-Mike-
Jimmy Fallon might have the best life ever. Not only is he the host of a network talk show with all the perks, he also gets to work nightly with the Legendary Roots Crew and do wicked shit like this.

Also, Steven Tyler looks like a muppet, but he still sounds the same.

Cocaine's a helluva drug.



KRS is back again with some new shit with Showbiz. Kris is probably one of the only people in the music business who has refused to change or alter his style in any way and still retained his popularity. That's most likely due to the fact that his message hasn't changed either - he remains the teacher. Always was, always will be.

Look for this album to drop February 15th.



Peace.
-Mike-

Lauryn Hill graced the stage of the Pageant in St. Louis earlier this week. Even though she didn't make an appearance until midnight (for a show billed as 7pm), she got pretty consistently positive reviews.

I wasn't there, but from what I hear she took the live band approach, performing different versions of popular songs with mostly good results. Back before L-Boogie decided to revamp her old hits, however, Nodzilla redid "The Sweetest Thing."

According to Nod:
this version of "Sweetest Thing"
is an uptempo remix from a 12" vinyl-only promo back in 1998.
Check it out below, download, and enjoy!



Look for Nodzilla's official remix EP to drop soon.
Peace.
-Mike-

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Com Sense debuted a new track at a recent live show in Hawaii. His new album, The Believer, is reportedly dropping "very very soon".


Even though their collaborative album, Distant Relatives, dropped like 8 months ago, Nas and Jr. Gong are still going at releasing footage and material from the work. This is the first part of a video mini-doc series following their progress.

In part 1, the duo visits the Bob Marley museum in Jamaica. Check it out.



The audio for this dropped a week or two ago, but it was riddled with DJ tags from some damn radio show. I hate tags, so I didn't put it up on here. Sorry.

BUT, now you get to listen to the entire song without the bullshit from some dude trying to associate his name with the BKMC and you get a video to accompany it.

See how I take care of you??

Anyway, Talib gets back to his Brooklyn battle style on this one from his upcoming album (dropping January 25th), Gutter Rainbows. Braggadocio extraordinaire.


After dropping the latest teaser video for his latest project, LASERS, yesterday (check it out HERE), Lupe hit the web again to show fans what the cover of the album will look like.

Check it out below and catch the album when it drops March 8.

Peace.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Look for this new one from Lupe on February 1.


Friday, January 14, 2011


If you're richer than the average music collector and loves you some DOOM, I have good news for you. Fat Beats and Nature Sounds are teaming up to rerelease MF's complete Special Herbs series (aka every instrumental he ever released) as a limited vinyl collector's edition release.

The set will include ten 12" vinyl records, a poster, a download card good for downloading the whole set to jam on your off-brand iPod PLUS 10 bonus beats, and an additional 7" with two other beats (no word on what exactly those two are from).

Now you might be thinking, what's the big diff between this set and the Special Herbs 0-9 collector's set that came out a while back on CD? Well, besides being on vinyl and coming in a cool ass set, the main difference between the two is that this set includes the full instrumentals, while the CD set that dropped in 2006 only contained one minute or so long clips.

The special set drops February 1, and is available for pre-order over at Nature-Sounds.net for $85.

(Now that I just sold the shit out of that, will someone from Fat Beats or Nature Sounds kindly send me a copy of the set?? Please and thankya.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The Men With Beards is a collaborative project. Members (referred to collectively as Men With Beards) come from various parts of the United States, including St. Louis, LA, Chicago, New York City, DC, and more. You can find out more about the project HERE.

The full length Men With Beards LP is still currently in production, as is the Dark Side EP. While you sit tight for those to drop early this year, feel free to kick back and enjoy the head-pounding sounds of the "Gloomy Sunday" Glitch Remix Instrumental.

Don't get it twisted though - this remix can be categorized under electronic or techno, but the original production and the actual project is straight hip-hop. Check out a teaser of the beats from the actual album here:


This track has been floating around for some time now, but only a select few people who knew where to look have thus far been privy to it. Fortunately for everybody else, Nodzilla has been on a tear recently - releasing remix after remix every week, counting down to the release of an official Nodzilla remix EP.

Last week he dropped a remix of Little Brother's "Whatever You Say" to a well-receiving audience. You can find that one below as well.

Be on the lookout for more solid Nodzilla remixes as they leak and definitely keep your ear to the ground for Nodzilla performance dates around town. He puts on a show you don't want to miss.
The remix is here to stay. Beat-makers and producers all over the planet love taking what was and making it into something a bit different. Nodzilla shares this passion and presents the first in a string of remixed offerings leading up to an upcoming release very soon.
-GhettoBlastic





The producer/singer/rapper from Hawthorne Headhunters just dropped a new video for a solo joint he did called "Life". Proh & Mc outline the stresses of trying to hold down a steady relationship while stuck in the role of "struggling artist". Directed and filmed by Mc ADad.

Catch this song and other soulful jams on Proh Mic's free EP, Catch a Pisces.

Download it HERE.

Catch a Pisces tracklisting:
Tracklisting:
1. Pisces (InProh)
2. Dynoman!
3. Hypnotize
4. 80′s Baby
5. Street Life
6. Carribean Swang
7. Gettin’ High
8. Material Girl produced by Vitamin D
9. Life feat. Adad produced by Vitamin D
10. Where’s The D at?
11. The Real (OutProh)
All songs produced by Proh Mic for Nice 2 Beat U™ except #8 & #9 produced by Vitamin D

Peace.
-Mike-



To be perfectly honest, I only first gave Little Dragon a chance when I heard them on the Gorillaz' latest album, "Plastic Beach", on which they're featured on two complete songs. After that I (...) acquired they're Machine Dreams LP and gave it a concentrated listen.

Needless to say (otherwise I wouldn't be posting this video), the album was more than a pleasant surprise. Their unique blend of electronic and dance sounds with indie-styled vocals and a hip-hopper's attention to beats is not something to be discarded.

Machine Dreams comes with my personal recommendation, as does this somewhat creepy video below. But hey, anyone willing to put this much time into crafting and animating little puppets must be worth the listen, right? Besides, where else can you see a puppet show in which the puppets get stoned in a dark alley and hallucinate dancing around in the clouds?

-Mike-



When Jay Elect signed to Roc Nation a short while back, he dropped two amazing tracks and then appeared to call it a day for the time being. Hardcore fans know, however, that he's been sitting on an album for some time now from way before he probably ever considered the possibility an offer from Jay-Z's label.

Act II, the followup to the underground hit Act I: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a true hip-hop masterpiece in my opinion), has been on the back burner for a while. Initially Jay said it was because he was stuck waitin for a verse from Nas, then he admitted that he was dragging his feet out of fear of falling short, then he claimed to have put the "finishing touches" on the project. So where is Act II now?

According to Jay in this interview, it's been worked on (though he never says it's finished). Otherwise, he says, he been "collecting work".

Hopefully Jay-Z will be able to light a fire under Jay-E's ass the way Diddy wasn't really able to. Until then, sit tight and be grateful for what we have gotten so far. He shows no signs of stopping...he just isn't ready to run full speed yet.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


While the larger portion of popular music remains firmly stuck on glorified stupidity and cloned styles, the underground is gradually leaning ever more towards intelligent, soulful poetry. Finally, the block isn't the only reputable place to sit and write rhymes, even if that is where you started. Hopefully, the era of Dumb It Down is finally coming to a close.

Memphis lyricist Soulfully, Me is a part of the college-educated wave of young rappers making smart cool again. His latest project, Confessions of a College Kid, brings chilled out vibes that you can rock from the quad to the bus stop and beyond.

Check out a sample below and download the project over at Soulfully, Me's bandcamp page.



Memphis, Tennessee artist Soulfully, Me has recently released his highly-anticipated debut mixtape: Confessions of a College Kid. Soulfully, Me has an addicting style not known to many Southern artists. This mixtape is a journey back into the glory days of hip-hop. Infused with melodic hooks, MC driven verses, and the dream of upholding the genre of hip hop that has began to tarnish, Soulfully, Me strives to push the envelope of creativity to new plateaus of musical genius.
Peace.
-Mike-
The Capital S-T-A-Double L-E-Y just let loose some new sounds from his latest project, Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music). He's also been running around the interview circuit, preparing for the album's release.



Stalley discusses his new project Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music), taking over NYC and his aspirations of greatness. Lincoln Way Nights (Intelligent Trunk Music) drops 2-8-11 with Mishka. Video directed by Kellen Dengler. Follow @Stalley.










Look for Lincoln Way Nights on February 8, 2011.

Peace.
-Mike-

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Oddly enough, I just watched the movie Shaolin & Wu-Tang (the 1981 kung fu flick that this song and Raekwon's next album are named after - and the origin of all the dialogue and fight scene samples in the song) last week. I've been on a bit of a kung fu kick recently (no pun intended) and have been flying through the classics (pun intended that time).

Honestly though, as much as I love the Wu-Tang clan, in the old movies I have to put my money on the Shaolin - they have all the badass techniques with every weapon you could imagine (plus weapons they invent, plus hand-to-hand combat) while the Wu-Tang only ever use the Wu-Tang sword style. Those dudes are always screwed when somebody's able to knock the sword out of their hand.

Check out the new track here and keep reading below for information regarding the album. (And be sure to catch the first single from the album, "Butter Knives", HERE if you haven't already.)


Anyway, that being said, I was stoked to hear the latest from Rae's new project. Glad to hear him still going strong on his 5th album. HOWEVER, I have a quick issue with the tracks that have dropped so far. Despite Rae's insistence that he's returning to his pre-Wu roots, this production style is clearly RZA's (not just the movie sample usage, but also the loop choice and drums), but Bobby Diggs was purposefully left out of the process on this album.

After a quasi-falling out with RZA when a previously planned new Wu-Tang group album (8 Diagrams - named after another kung fu classic) fell through a few years back, Raekwon started making plans for Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang and had this to say:
"RZA doesn’t have to be on every album. I wanted to give some other producers a chance. It’s not about beef. We can stand on our own."
There's definitely nothing wrong with Chef wanting to branch out on his own without RZA, but it's obviously not about using other producers or getting a different sound. Although it's true that it's not about beef - they've been working with each other since that happening (see: BlakRoc & Travis Barker's Give the Drummer Some).

If I had to guess, after 8 Diagrams wasn't panning out to be what he expected, Rae decided it was time to re-establish his name as a solo artist. Only Built for Cuban Linx II put him firmly back on the Radar, but he probably felt that if he didn't get away from RZA now, he was never going to escape his shadow. (Even though most will agree that Wu-Tang wouldn't even exist in its current form without RZA and certainly would never have reached as high a peak on the hip-hop charts.)

Fueds aside, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is shaping out to be a solid album. Features are set to include Wu-Tang favorites Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Method Man, Raheem DeVaughn, plus Black Thought, Jim Jones, Rick Ross and Nas. Look for it March 8, 2011.
I always give RZA that support as far as saying he brought Wu-Tang to the table. It was his philosophy. He picked certain dudes to be part of this group, and he said, “This is what it’s going to be called.” Before that, I was on the block. I was living in Shaolin. So this album just shows the street side of me, challenging the great side of Wu-Tang... You’re going to get sounds that relate to Wu-Tang. You’re going to get sounds that relate to great Rae at his best shit, too.
-Raekwon
Peace.
-Mike-

According to an article in New Yorker magazine, Ye requested cover images from artist Condo that were likely to get banned. I love My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and much of Kanye's other work, but publicity stunts like this make his self-assigned "media martyrdom" seem even more forced than it already appeared.

Read the full article in The New Yorker and catch the excerpt below.
“A couple of weeks before my first visit to Condo’s studio, Kanye West, the rapper, asked him to do a painting for the cover of his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. West said that he had seen paintings by Condo, and wanted to collaborate with him. According to Condo, he also said that he was looking for “something that will be banned.”

“West came to Condo’s studio, where for several hours they listened to tapes of his music, and over the next few days Condo made eight or nine paintings. Two of them were portraits of West, one in extreme closeup, with mismatched eyes and four sets of teeth. Another showed his head, crowned and decapitated, placed sideways on a white slab, impaled by a sword. There was also a painting of a dyspeptic ballerina in a black tutu, a painting of the crown and the sword by themselves in a grassy landscape, and a lurid scene of a naked black man on a bed, straddled by a naked white female creature with fearsome features, wings, no arms, and a long, spotted tail. West chose that one.”
First spotted @ The Smoking Section.
Peace.
-Mike-
Happy Tuesday.


 

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