Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AZ is, in his own words, "the most hated, most underrated". This bit of braggadocio can actually be backed up with interesting facts. For instance, most of you know that AZ provided the only guest spot to perhaps the most critically acclaimed hip hop album ever, teaming with Nas to create the classic stoner anthem "Life's A Bitch" from Illmatic. However, a quick trip over to Labelscans.com, shows the name "AZ" never apeared anywhere on the single. Infact you have to look four names deep in the writing credits before you see "A. Cruz". This seems to be another example of Nas fearing the shine of one of his fellow emcees (see "Cormega"), but it didn't manage to create a rift, as AZ wisely enlisted Nas to provide vocals on a pair of tracks from Doe or Die, his 1995 debut album, and they continued to work together up until 2002's Grammy nominated "The Essence". Despite his connections with NY hiphop legends, including DJ Premier, AZ has achieved very little commercial success, but as we all know commercially successful music and good music are mutually exclusive.
A.W.O.L. was, in my estimation, one of the best releases of 2005. Now, just over a year later, The Format is making a bid for similar consideration. With strong guest spots (MOP & Little Brother) and production highlighting AZ's cool relaxed flow, The Format should not be overlooked. The Emile produced track "Get High" provides cheba fiends a worthy track to spark to. On "Animal", AZ spits over a very recognizable Biggie sample. DJ Premier laces the title track with the expertise that only he can. Just listen to that marimba...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

more on this later...
for now just -
press play and turn the volume up

Friday, October 27, 2006

A sample can make or break a beat. A dope noise placed deftly over a solid drum track can change a mundane beat into insane heat. Conversely, tossing in an annoying sample and can lay waste to a previously solid composition. The search for a good sample, whether complimentary or as the backbone of the beat, has led producers in many different directions. The practice of crate diggin' is well documented, but sometimes its necessary to dig deeper than the record bins. Madlib, for example, sampled the audio from a french children's movie to make "Come on Feet". Still others, such as the producing emcees Stic.Man of Dead Prez, and Cormega, have turned to the natural world for that certain something. Check out the the subtle use of the birds and crickets in these songs respectively.... and after that go cop Count Bass D's Some Music: The producer's Cut and wait for the dog bark about half way through the mix that inspired this whole post.

Dead Prez - Walk Like a Warrior ft. Krayzie Bone
(2003 RGB)
Cormega - American Beauty
(2001 The Realness)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Deacon and Kno have been making some of the most creative and moving hip-hop of this young decade. The CunninLynguists started by Will Rap for Food in 2001, an excellent debut album which showcased the impressive production skills of DJ Kno, the clever and poignant rhyming of Deacon the Villain, and also the skills of one time member Mr. SOS. SouthernUnderground showed the groups disdain for convention, as they dropped Mr. SOS from group to crew memember and proceded to created an emotional masterpiece. 3 years later, following up on a sophmore album already considered a classic by some, the group continues to progress with A Piece of Strange. Kno flexes an amazing sonic sense on this album creating a grand and glowing soundscape that refuses to be ignored, yet manages to provide an ideal backdrop for Deacon's smooth rhyming. The tracks included in this post are from APOS, but i encourage everyone to explore their full catalog.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"As I understand, Man is to cherish the Land"
This i think of this song everytime I'm struck with the stunning purity of the natural world. Whether these moments come when im hiking, as i was the case this weekend with my dad when he took this picture, on an extended trip, or in everyday life, Mr. Lif's voice of reason seems to echo in my head as I take in the beauty . On this track, also from 1999, Lif speaks about the purity of the human spirt and the evils or corupting influence of civilization. I encourage everyone to read along with the lyrics, cause "it doesnt matter what your color, creed, shape or size.... arise" is fucking dope.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Originally released in 1999 on DJ Vadim's USSR: life on the other side, before making a song like this became a sure way to make a FBI watch list, "The Terrorist" is fun and irreverent. In fact this song was so to dope it was the b-side for two singles from Vadim's album. Unfortunately my copy of "Friction"/"The Terrorist" was destroyed, along with many other records and nearly all my books in a fucking fire... Anyway, Moshun obviously displays an incredible knack for kicking that offensive spit. This is displayed is spades once again in a more classical, misogynistic way on "Beotches". This little gem comes from the Kutmasta Kurt produced 2002 release Clearing the Field.. and it is only improved upon with this curious intro.
"Go home to your man...."

Motion Man has new album out called Pablito's Way. This page has a few tracks and a couple videos... they are no where near offensive enough to be properly included in this post, but some bonus linkage of new matterial seems acceptable.
Black Sheep are back after a dozen year hiatus. Its really hard to know how to react to this release as the sound of hiphop has obviously changed immensely since 1991, when A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing was released. The intro acknowledges this fact, it is a concious effort to do so and it certainly sounds nothing like the Black Sheep of old. The new album, 8wm/Novakane, is interesting but the sheep would be hard pressed to find 4 tracks to release as singles, let alone videos, as they did for their debut. After a quick listen, Grew Up & Novakane would be two of my nominees. As for the hefty question if this album is a worthy continuation of the Black Sheep legacy, i can only reply "the choice is yours".

props to the smoking section for this promo

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Keep Your Mouth Shut
Here is some astute relationship advice from grand agent by way of Count Bass D's excellent 2004 release Some Music: The producer's Cut... This post was promted by two factors. The first being that i watched "The Departed" last night and it reminded me that relationships are for people who like elaborate lies. The movie itself was an excellent film with great performances from all the principle actors, especially Mark Wahlberg, who's constantly cursing character was a personal favorite. The second motivating element is the recent release of the Count's new project Act Your Waist Size. Hearing Dwight Spitz always motivates me to be more productive in my own musical endeavors, and hopefully by the end of this week I'll have my turntables and mpc set up at my new place of residence, and be getting busy... well enjoy, keep your mouth shut, and let me down easy.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fort Apache: the mixtape album is Camp Lo's lastest effort. "Material" is my initial favorite, as it has that classic Lo energy, and a suitingly cinematic beat. My first exposure to the lo was on Aesop Rock's Bazooka Tooth. "Limelighters" is my favorite track from the album do to the heavy, moody production and the blazing, cryptic rhymes from Sonny Chiba and Geechi Suede. Camp Lo has unique style, which utilizes slang and imagery heavily. Uptown Saturday Night, their 1997 debut, was immediatley deemed a classic and with singles like "Coolie High", "Luchini" and "Black Nostaljack" its not hard to see why. Although their 2002 album, Let's Do It Again, was widely panned for a lack of progression and flat lyrical content, the rich beats and imaginative lyricism make it a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Watch the video for "Glow", below, and see what i mean.

Tekilla Sunrise
"Bustin right back at they cabbages,
givin em flashbacks of baby carriages"
~ Kool G Rap

check it out over at

one of the greatest hiphop blogs on the web

Saturday, September 30, 2006

BUMPY motherfucking KNUCKLES

Freddie Foxxx has been rapping professionally since his 1989 debut Freddie Fox is Here. In that time establishing himself as a force in hardcore hip-hop and underground boxing (props to unkut). Many of us were introduced to Foxxx when he went on blast, murdering the the third verse of "The Militia" from Gang Starr's classic album Moment of Truth. Foxxx's epic career includes a brilliant 1992 collaboration with KRS|ONE for the final BDP album. On "Ruff Ruff" Freddie spits:

I'ma wake you up and punch you in your motherfuckin mouth,
knock your wife out - take your sons to safety,
cause they're just kids and I wanna raise em to face me
and when they get a little bigga I'ma MURK them little niggaz,
and put their fingerprints on the trigger
-- double homicide, call the vice
another rapper and his family with no life.

DAMN! Thats fucking feirce. Going back before Foxxx's beef with UMC, or his Flavor Unit days, there was a time when Foxxx used to kick battle raps with another unsigned emcee from around the way... Rakim. Recently, halftime interviewed Rakim who elaborated on this claim saying, "Foxxx wasn’t ferocious". This comment inspired Bumpy to record this lackadaisical diss track. I doubt Rakim will even bother to respond to this. I think Knucks took it to Allen Iverson and Shaq harder on "The Lah", which is a shame. Hip-Hop fans got short changed, not getting to see Freddie Foxxx attack with the energy he displays on tracks like "P.A.I.N.E.", which, by the way, is one of the illest songs i have ever seen performed live. Regardless, I await his up coming Amerikkkan Black Man LP with intrigue.

Bonus Tracks
Crazy Like A Foxxx(1993)...
Can't Break Away

Industry Shakedown(2000)...
The Mastas ft. M.O.P.
R.N.S. (Produced DJ Premier)

also check out Bumpy on NahRight

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"... you should be steppin' to the rally fat
not just with dough,
but with the knowledge you know..."

first of all i'd like to say peace to "the nation of the five percent, that
sent intelligent brothers to represent". these "intelligent brothers"
revolutionized rap, through fresh slang and a sense of social
responsibility. take the time to read the linked wikipedia acticle, you
will probably understand at least ten percent more of wu-tang's lyrics.
i also think the general philosophy of the nation of gods and earth
is very appealing... individual divinity is a great concept, if it wasnt
for the racial tilt i'd be right there with them.
anyway, this track from 1991 teams a couple elite rap crews as
brand nubian helps kmd kick off the lead single from the excellent
mr. hood album. in case you are wondering why the voice on the first
verse sounds familiar, thats zev love x who will become mf doom
in the wake of his brothers tragic death.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"niggaz fuck with other niggaz shit, but they dont fuck with mines."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"... tell em you like food fights and your dad does dope.
you only came to school to chill and watch these girls jump rope."

when it comes to bringing you the best of both worlds, beats and rhymes, nobody does it better than the p.u.t.s.. im going to give you two selections. the first is the what i believe to be the first track i ever heard from one of the best duo's in hiphop, and the second is an ill selection that reminds me off playing pac man on the atari. they also fucking bringing it live, althought double k wouldn't sell me the tuxedo rap 7 inch for 5 bucks instead of 6... whats with that?
chollo dad
take the fruit

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"i burn off your flesh like david koresh"
the songs i've posted so far have been all about the beats, so im turning to mr. lif to bring you a lyrically driven track. this is one of the first 12" singles i ever bought, and it has a special place in my record bag and heart. "farmhand", lif's third official release, was originaly put out in 1999. mr. lif characterizes it as an "attempt to remind myself to have fun making music". i can only assume it served that purpose, but it most certainly can serve as a reminder of how much fun hip-hop can be.
"... and now she wanna hang around like old kicks on telephone wire.
this thing ain't complete with out a beat from pete..."
some more undeniably solid production from the soul brother. coming this time in the form of beat made for sporty theivz. say what you will about the lyricism or hook, but on the whole this track knocks, showing what a difference a vet behind the boards can make.

Monday, September 18, 2006

my intent is for this page to become a place for me to share some thoughts and dope musical selections with the world. i intend to set up an rss feed to expedite the process of sharing these tunes. hopefully this site will also include some of the original compositions of my friends and myself. i encourge every to listen to music on here and to explore copywrite laws and do what you see as morally responsible. support good music, reward artists for creating something glorious... buy music, concert tickets and merch.

the track bellow is a collaboration between two of the great producers of the nineties, jay dee and pete rock. while j dilla may not have the name recognition of some other superproducers, he has had his hand in alot of great work over the years from q-tip's amplified to his collaboration with madlib entitled champion sound... the selection bellow is actually from pete rock's soul survior 2. the late great dilla dog comes out spitting hard on "niggas know" with style and flare. i hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

Sunday, September 17, 2006