Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Royce Da 5'9" Talking Balance in Hip Hop

Pretty interesting interview here with Royce discussing Slaughterhouse, Shady Records rumors, Young Money, etc. Below that, a taste of what Rocye brings to the table.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blueprint's In My White iPod

Actually, my iPod is black...and The Blueprint is not in there currently. Well, The Blueprint 3 is. As is Reasonable Doubt and Kingdom Come. I haven't added the others yet.

I recently got a new iPod in recognition for a major accomplishment of mine. And, while I sit here at my computer desk searching for new opportunities and vibing out to some old Zion I ("Chapter IV"), I'm thinking about what else I wanna put in there. Obviously, new shit I plan to listen to soon is in there. But, I wanna have some classics at my disposal when I have the urge for 'em too. I don't want to spend 20-30 minutes (sometimes more) digging through my CD archives to find these when I'm in the mood. Of course, that is inevitable. I'll do what I can though.

The other day I put in Reasonable Doubt (like I mentioned above), Mecca & The Soul Brother, and Midnight Marauders. I also added an old local gangsta rap favorite of mine, Mad Dog Clique from Dayton, Ohio. I envision some De La, Slick Rick, EPMD, and The Roots to probably follow soon as well.

But, what else? I know of maybe 10 people that say they check out this blog once in a while. So, now it's time to participate. Add your suggestion(s) to the comment section below. I don't have a preference on era, just great hip hop albums. Suggest anything you want. I probably have it, and this way I can make a list of stuff to pull out all at once. Or, maybe you'll suggest something obscure, and I'll have to search for it elsewhere. That'll be fun for me too.

UPDATE: After the suggestion in the first comment, Group Home's Livin Proof was just added. GIMME MORE!

UPDATE: Added some new classics - Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop, and Grand Puba - Reel To Reel. If I get time today or tomorrow I'm gonna pull out another favorite of mine from not too long ago: Cormega - The True Meaning

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's The Return of Thee God, Peace God

"So, in summation I don't know who you racin' / I'm already at the finish line with the flag wavin'"

Jay-Z has A LOT of fans. I think that eleven number one albums (this album being the latest) makes that clear enough. Only the Beatles have done any genre of music (they have nineteen - good luck catching that Jay!) He also has a lot of, well anti-fans. Of course, there are some that his music just doesn't appeal to for whatever reason. Some that don't understand how intricate his rhyme patterns and trains-of-thought really are whatever the subject matter, and why and how they are so much better than what most everyone else can offer. But, then there are some that, while still obviously falling into the latter category a vast majority of the time, just hate him because...well, just because.

They call him a sellout. They call him pop. They call him a has-been. They call him old. Meanwhile, for those paying attention, his albums are still full of relevant content and inspiration, not to mention some of the illest rhymes your favorite rapper could never think of. Who cares if the albums since The Black Album were also undeniable classics or not? Is he really expected to have nothing but classic material his entire career? How many non-classics existed between Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint? That doesn't mean they didn't have their share of great, and even classic material. They DO. At some point you have to just get out there and do your thing, experiment, and see what happens. Why should he stop making music? That, I can't figure out. Most MCs can't even boast one classic album.

It's pretty clear to me that most of the people that talk shit about the biggest name in hip hop today, do so for just that reason. Shit, I would to if he weren't so freaking talented (that right there was a reference for me and probably me alone - don't worry about it). But, he is. He's not disrespecting the culture to appeal to pop audiences. It just happens naturally. Even his more poppy songs include dope rhymes. His other ventures only serve to enhance the image and reputation of hip hop, not to degrade it. And I, for one, am proud of him. His success inspires me. I don't get mad because the material shit he talks about in his rhymes is beyond my reach (for some it maybe also because these are riches they can't pretend to have like they often do with other material items). I don't say that the amount of money he makes is disgusting because when is he supposed to stop?? Also, if he puts a good portion of his wealth (as well as his time) towards helping to better the world (which he does by all accounts), what do I care if he flosses a bit with the rest of it? Isn't he entitled to enjoy the fruits of his labor? People say they're tired of his arrogance and hearing about his riches all the time. Yet, they don't seem to be tired of hearing that from so many other MCs/rappers that talk about it even more regularly, while possessing far less than Jay. And, isn't braggadocio a staple of hip hop when you think about it? Second only to giving a DJ his props, that is literally what the hip hop MC was built on. I guess since he really does "lead the league in every statistical category" it's now a problem.

And, while some may use the easy assumption that I'm just a Jay-Z 'stan' the fact is that I am far from believing that Jay-Z can do no wrong. I've heard him do it several times. It's just that it doesn't happen often and I'm not one to pretend.

Whatever the case, the release of The Blueprint 3 marks the completion of the second trilogy in Jay-Z's illustrious career. Point blank, this album is another great effort. Another feather in the God MC's hat. With this album Jay continues his reputation for several things including maturity with his sound, and leadership with his style. Several tracks showcase his ability to switch up his flow at will and offer a different approach when necessary. Jay also has a penchant for dissing his detractors with a single clever line that needs nothing added. This, I love and can't get enough of...especially with so many nobodies talking shit these days that don't deserve to be mentioned - being mentioned would actually be their dream, and Jigga rarely indulges them to that point. BP3 does have a couple of missteps, and it suffers a bit from beating a dead horse when it comes to some topics covered. These I will cover as well as it's successes track by track. I've decided not to give it a specific rating because I just can't. The reason being is mostly because the only comparisons or points of reference to make at this point are to Jay's own albums. And, that just doesn't seem right.

Suffice to say, I think this album is great. And, it grows on me more and more each time I listen to it. It grows on me because each listen I seem to hear more than I did previously. A lot of Jay-Z material takes some time to sink in, to make perfect sense, to understand what he is really saying and how he's putting the words together. Unfortunately, people always forget that, listening to a single track one time before saying that it's wack and Jay should quit now. I encourage anyone with that opinion to take a look at the lyrics sheet closely. Read and re-read it carefully to try and understand what is being said, and HOW it is being said. It's not something that just happens. It isn't accidental. The way Jay-Z structures his rhymes is very deliberate, and with each album he continues to prove that he is the best in hip hop with an uncanny ability to take command of the English language; making it bend to his will as he tears through verse after verse.

'What We Talkin' About' - Another great opening track, the kind which Jay-Z is famous for delivering. The first verse is the one he had been spitting Acapella over the summer at several shows (the one that mentioned NOT talking about Game, which Game's simple mind took as a signal to start trying to sell himself using Jay's name...again). He then proceeds to defend himself over Kanye West and No I.D.'s hypnotic backdrop basically telling others to grow up and pay attention to reality: "People keep talkin' about Hov take 'em back / I'm doing better than before why would I do that?...the conversation's changed let's yap about that / I don't run rap no more, I run the map."

'Thank You' - If you're one of the ones who gets bothered by Hov's arrogance, you may want to skip this track. This song (another great Kanye/No I.D. collabo on the boards) finds Jay at his most cocky, possibly ever. While thanking people for worshipping his greatness, he also takes time to poke fun at all of those trying to diss him and then flopping when it comes to their own records. What's different and interesting about it this time is his drawn out metaphor of September 11th: "...not only did they brick, they put a building up as well / Then ran a plane into that building, and what that building fell / ran to the crash site with no masks and inhaled / toxins deep inside there lungs until both of them was filled / blew a cloud out like an L / into a jar then took a smell / cuz they heard that second hand smoke kills / niggas thought they was ill, found out they was...ILL / and it's like you knew exactly how I wanted you to feel."

'D.O.A.' - For all of the other tracks on this album which Kanye and No I.D. co-produce, Kanye's name is listed first. I'm not exactly sure why. But, this track is listed with No I.D. first, and I happen to actually know that he did this beat. Plus, Jay reinforces it by shouting him out in the song. From the verses attacking those that simply follow trends instead of creating something of their own, to the rugged sound using heavy drums and bass, a bluesy sax, and a rock guitar riff, it's hard not to like this song. And, for fuck's sake he's helping No I.D. to get up where he belongs after all of these years, namely among the most sought after producers in hip hop (watch, and see). Now, if you can't respect that your whole perspective is wack. You must not ever have heard of the name No I.D., a little something of perfection called The Resurrection, or his own very own Black Album, Accept Your Own and Be Yourself.

'Run This Town' - The successful usage of the rock guitar continues with Kanye and No I.D.'s second late-Summer anthem from BP3. This is another great song rounded out nicely with two of the other biggest stars from Jay's camp, Rihanna and Kanye West. Here, Jay sticks to the topic with a solid flow, though nothing too spectacular. There's a reference to the disappointing summer movie Public Enemies: "...and our girls are Blackbirds, riding with their Dillingers / I'll get more in Depp (Depth) if you boys really real enough..."; and mention of the infamous coin toss which left him paying $5 Mill to Def Jam for the rights to his last contracted album: "...I gave Doug a grip, I lost a flip for five stacks / Yeah, I'm talking 5 comma, six zeroes, dot zeroes, here Doug / back to runnin' circles round niggas now we squared up, hold up". All of this was somewhat justifiably ignored though with Kanye's impressive guest verse. No doubt, this song shows Kanye at his strongest lyrically, and while Jay didn't drop the ball, he sure handed it off for a touchdown by his protege.

'Empire State of Mind' - Produced by Shux (can't say I've ever heard of them/him) and assisted by the great Alicia Keys, not enough can be said about this song. Needless to say it's a big record in every way. Jay's at his best here, cleverly weaving through tales of his city highlighting its affect on inhabitants. A truly great record and a hometown anthem for New Yorkers (stay off the stage though). A lot of quotables here, but fuck it. Just listen.

'As Real As It Gets' - It is with this song that the album has its first real misstep. The instrumental itself is nothing special. Provided by The Inkredibles, it is boring and highly forgettable. I can't figure out why it was picked for an album with so many fresh sounds. Additionally, Young Jeezy, as usual, adds absolutely nothing of value. Jeezy's really not as bad on this track as he usually is. But, he is miscast. Someone like, say, Scarface would have been a much better choice. Here, he all but begs listeners to keep giving him a chance with the laughable line, "...and if you listen hard enough, I say some things". Do you, Jeezy? Do you, really? Something tells me if you have to actually come out and say that, it isn't true. Next, Jay steps to the mic with a verse that reiterates the topic he already covered on "Do You Wanna Ride" from Kingdom Come, how he plans to treat his friend when he gets released from prison. The second verse is far better than the first with some clever lines: "...I used to duck shots, but now I eat quail, I'll probably never see jail / each tale contains more of the truth 'cause the statute allows me to go into detail...". This isn't a track that I skip past, but it could be left off the album and wouldn't be missed.

'On To The Next One' - Finally, half-assed, overrated producer Swizz Beatz comes with something worthwhile again. I guess it takes a Jay-Z album to make that happen. This one definitely has a club sound, and Jay is once again making it known that he's way ahead of everybody else when it comes to rap and business. While telling his own story of moving forward: "I use to rock a throwback, ballin on the corner / now I rock a tailored suit looking like an owner", he showcases his pride in it without back stepping: "Yeah I got on flip-flops, white Louis boat shoes / ya'll should grow the fuck up, come here let me coach you". He also stresses the importance of abandoning trends once they become gimmicks "'s all about progression, loiterers should be arrested" and brags of his one-of-a-kind connections: "...meanwhile I had Oprah chillin' in the projects / had her out in Bedstuy chillin' on the steps / drinking quarter waters I gotta be the best / MJ at Summer Jam, Obama on the text / Ya'll should be afraid of what I'm gonna do next".

'Off That' - The first of three Timbaland tracks, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It features Drake on the hook, and Jigga at his finest. That is, lyrically. Unfortunately, concept wise, he's already covered it. Again, on Kingdom Come with the Dr. Dre produced "30 Something". So, that makes this pretty redundant. That being said, he still has no problem ripping the beat to shreds with more clever lines like the opener: "I'm so tomorrow, the Audemars are yesterday, which means you on time delay / so, even if I slow it dooowwwwnnn, my sound is fast-forward". A funny thing to note is how ahead Jay-Z is that people can't seem to even get this lyric right. I've seen several attempts, and some are pretty ridiculous in that if they are right then the line doesn't make any sense at all. But, the line is 'Audemars', as in Audemars Piguet, a brand of watch - if they are now yesterday's watch, then people just getting one now are on "time delay". Get it? Anyway, Jay continues with the second verse which may be my favorite on the album. Here he starts discussing being past racism, and then turns that black/white discussion into a play on colors for the rest of the verse: "...yeah we come so far, so I drive around town hard top, and it's off/ Ah/ in my Tribeca loft, with my high-brow art and my high yellow broad/ Ah/ and my dark skin sis and my best white mate, say what's up to Chris / Ah/ how's that for a mix? Gotta black president, got green presidents/ Blueprint's in my white ipod, black diamonds in my Jesus piece, my God/ Ah/ we ain't trippin' off that, this a Benetton ad, nigga been up off that". Classic.

"A Star is Born" - Here, Jay stops patting himself on the back long enough to give credit to some of hip hop's finest during the years he's been in the game (well, not really. Actually, he successfully gives others props while still managing to highlight himself the most - 'look at how successful I've been in the midst of all of these other stars' basically. But, that's ok. Jay gives credit where it's due, with the notable mention of Eminem; "...What Em did was silly / the white boy blossomed, after Dre endorsed 'em / his flow on "Renegade", fuckin awesome, applaud 'em". He even makes room for his next protege, J. Cole to drop a solid verse to showcase the next generation of 'stars'. Through and through, a great song.

'Venus VS. Mars' - Clever song here with a lot of good wordplay around the subject of similarities and differences between him and a woman. Very nicely done.

"Already Home" - Over another great Kanye/No I.D. track laced with uptempo strings and a soothing horn in the background, Jay defends himself yet again while Kid Cudi (the poor man's mixture of Kanye and John Legend, if you ask me) handles the hook. This song comes together nicely with all elements in place including a perfectly logical and lyrically dope rebuttal from Jay to his naysayers and copycats;
"I taught 'em bout fishscale, they want me to fish for them / They want me to catch, clean, and cook up the dish for them / All of this just for them / Or, they got a diss for him / They want me to disappear / Like it's gonna shift for them / They say that I'm in the way / They want me to sit for them / But, what they admittin' is they ain't got shit for him / ...Now, these niggas is mad, Oh, they call me a camel / But, I mastered the drought / What the fuck, I'm an animal..."

'Hate' - Possibly a throwaway track from 808's & Heartbreak, kanye team up with Jay on the vocals for an ode to being better than all of their "haters". I'm liking the structure of this song a lot. With their unorthodox flow spitting a line, and then just saying a single name as a reference point, and the stressing of the "AAAATER" in their rhyme, the two of them really made this song interesting, where it could very easily have been a dud. The song is kept at a short 2 minutes 31 seconds, and then it's on to the net one (no pun intended).

'Reminder' - "...My track record speaks for itself / I'm so instrumental...". This song is a decent one. The third verse is killer. Although this is another example of the redundancy on parts of this album.

'So Ambitious' - The lone Neptunes track on BP3 is also one of the best. While it's no "Allure", the beat knocks and Jay seems comfortable in telling of his life full of doubters with dreams of revenge through ambition. The goal is to inspire and they hit the mark with this one. Though mentioning the possibility of hitting two sisters is a little silly and immature...ambitious though.

'Young Forever' - This is a nice closer, kind of similar in tone to "Beach Chair" from Kingdom Come. Basically, this serves as a chance for Jay to reflect and talk about the life he lives and loves. Kanye's new signee, Mr. Hudson handles the chorus nicely.

The Blueprint 3 flows really nicely together as one unit. Before the release when I'd hear leaked tracks one at a time, I wasn't too sure. But, you can't get a real feel for it that way. Listening to it all the way through and allowing it to stand on its own, I feel that this is another great Jay-Z album that will stand the test of time. He's still on top of his game and he's still leading the way whether people want to admit it or not. I don't need every album to be a "classic". I just expect good music, and this delivers, as usual.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

R.I.P. Roc Raida

It's time to once again pay respect to yet another legendary contributor to hip hop music. X-Ecutioners member DJ Roc Raida. Roc Raida passed yesterday due to some kind of complications resulting from a mixed martial arts injury a little while ago. I don't know a great deal about Roc Raida. I didn't exactly follow his career or anything. But, if you are interested in DJing at all, you should know the DJ collective known as The X-Ecutioners. When I saw or heard something involving Roc Raida or the X-Ecutioners, I paid attention. When I was in the mood to listen to a DJ wild out on the turntables, this is one of the crews I would turn to. I have some of their work on CD, but the best way to experience their skill is live (I would imagine), or at least on video. I put some links below to display his insane handspeed, coordination, and showmanship. Of course, a short look on the internet should bring up a bunch more. DJs like this just don't come along everyday, and he was truly something special.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hilarious Quote For The Day

I can't resist posting this. It had me chuckling pretty hard for 5-10 minutes, so I feel I have to share a gem like this. I came across this interview with The Clipse in XXL the other day where they speak a little about their new album, Till The Casket Drops. Personally, I think they are more talented than their work lets on. But, here is what Malice had to say about The Neptunes produced track "Back by Popular Demand" featuring Cam'ron:

"That song was made with the intentions of having a New York hip-hop record with a credible New York hip-hop artist. It just so happened that Cam and us were both coming back at the same time. We were both heavy on the blogs, and it just made a perfect match."


Maybe they'll decide to team up with N.O.R.E. next time for another heater. LMAO.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Problem With XXL

I became a subscriber of XXL magazine soon after it began publishing. I bought the first few issues and liked the style and content of the mag, so I started getting it in the mail. I stuck with it for a few years, but slowly it descended into the kind of mag that XXL themselves never failed to make fun of in every issue. By the time I gave up on 'em, the writing had nosedived, the content was depleted, and all they seemed to be doing was desperately trying to keep up with the popular trends in rap music. Sure, they give a few credible MCs a short feature here and there to tell themselves that they haven't completely sold out to preteens that had no history of hip hop culture, and seemingly don't care to. But, by and large whoever was being pushed by record labels, however ridiculous would be the ones with the 4-page spread full of dumb questions and undeserving praise.

Before this past week it had been years since I picked up a copy of XXL. There was no reason to. I wasn't missing anything by not reading it, especially with all of the hip hop websites and blogs in existence offering a superior product free of charge. But, this month's issue of XXL had an interview with Jay-Z that I was interested in after reading a few excerpts online (Jay always seems to give the best interviews as long as the journalist conducting it is halfway competent). It also had a behind-the-scenes, track-by-track breakdown of Jay's 2001 classic, The Blueprint. Who wouldn't be interested in that?

Now, I enjoyed these two articles, plus a few other columns throughout. So, good for XXL on that. The mag's not all bad. But, reading some of the sheer ignorance that comes out of them just aggravates the shit out of me. Especially since their M.O. is, and has always been to constantly pat themselves on the back and diss the competition for failing to be them.

The main issue I have with the folks at XXL is that they talk about the problems with today's generation of hip hop in one breath, and willingly feed into those same problems the next. They pretend to wonder where all of the lyricism has gone. They don't seem to want to look at the product that they themselves are pushing to the masses each and every month. People don't care about lyrics anymore, huh XXL? You think it may have something to do with you reviewing some bullshit group called The New Boyz?? And giving them an "L" rating?!?!?! How about the fact that you'd rather do regular features with people like Young Jeezy or OJ Da Juiceman than MCs like Brother Ali or Tanya Morgan?? And don't give me that bullshit argument about balance because that's all it is...bullshit.

The subtitle of XXL is "Hip-Hop On a Higher Level". Yet, the actual product offering is anything but. The very best of the best hardly get any shine. Those who dominate the airwaves with their foolishness are on most every page. And, if XXL would take the time to actually look past what's being spoon fed to them on a daily basis, they would see that this year has seen a plethora of credible hip hop acts releasing important, high-quality music that is pushing the genre forward, not holding it back. But, keeping these MCs out of the limelight for fear that they won't sell as many copies is what is helping this nonsense to continue. And, the fear is also unfounded. Some of the best and most visited hip hop sites online do exactly what I am asking of a tangible publication found in stores. There is a huge audience for it.

So XXL, Pull your skirt back down. Grow a set man. Step up your own game and start talking to the adults that grew up with hip hop. We're not kids anymore and don't want to read about kiddie acts with little talent and nothing to say. There is better music out there, we want to read about it and young people need help discovering it. It's not all a history lesson either. There is plenty of great hip hop being recorded today by MCs that are new to the game. Shit, some are just as young as the fools you cover in your pages. Only they are much more talented and they actually care about this music, not just getting money and girls. Take a look around and be what hip hop needs you to be. Or, just go away.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Original Samples

There was a time when DJ/Producers kept the samples they used under wraps whenever possible. They took the time and made the effort to dig through crate after crate listening for that one perfect sound to create a new song around, and they'd be damned if someone else went and piggy-backed on their hard work and used the same sample.

I may be a little off with my history here. But, I guess shortly after hip hop artists started being sued for sampling records without permission, we began to see the original music being credited in print in the album's liner notes. It's funny to think about, but this could very well have been what helped to introduce me to various forms of music from years past. I've been listening to hip hop since around the age of five, so that is what I knew. But, after a combination of seeing the original songs credited in print, and hearing these classic songs played on the radio (the big soul and funk records anyway), I began to pay attention to where this music called hip hop actually came from. It was original, though not completely. James Brown, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, etc. As well as countless jazz musicians, especially when it comes to producers like Pete Rock, J Dilla, and DJ Premier. All of these were used as the foundation for a lot of hip hop records. So, I started picking up these albums as well, and playing them whenever I wasn't playing a hip hop record. To this day I have an ever-expanding appreciation of music that comes mostly from hip hop.

Today, a lot of hip hop albums credit the orginal artist that is sampled for a track. But, some don't. I'm not sure if this is a choice (as long as you pay the fee), or if the rule only applies if you use a certain amount of the song. In other words, if the sample is short enough then no royalty is required. I don't really know how it works - feel free to educate me if you know. I've noticed that Gangstarr CDs don't usually have the sample listed.

I'm not sure how long ago, but within the last ten years I became aware of DJ Neil Armstrong, a DJ that beautifully blends hip hop tracks with their original samples (among many other things). His albums amaze me and are EXTREMELY enjoyable. In the last few years, I have come across several DJs doing the same thing. Some with specific artists/albums like DJ Parler for his Sampology series, and some that release CDs of their crate digging exploits that are chock-full of famous samples - Dj Muro and the legendary Lord Finesse, for instance.

This week, I came across 'Originals' by DJ Premier, a collection of Funk and Soul records that the man himself had sampled for various tracks that he produced over the years. "Better Luck Next Time", "Memory Lane", "Betrayal", "Moment of Truth", "Code of the Streets", "So Ghetto", "Follow Instructions", "Friend or Foe", "A Million and One Questions", countless others. They are all here. All kinds of hip hop classics, and I could give a fuck about a radio single. This right here is what hip hop is about. Listening to this collection is a real experience. It's like taking a journey through the man's secret music collection. How nice of him to let us in to experience them as he was able to. Well, kind of anyway.

If you didn't know before, after hearing this collection, you will agree that DJ Premier is a world-class crate digger. And, if you heard a collection of what he actually did with all of these samples, you would know (if you didn't already) that Preemo is possibly the greatest hip hop producer that has ever lived. Very few are even in contention. And, it's really incredible sometimes to hear the one tiny little sample of a whole song that Premier uses to construct a track around. The sample for "Moment of Truth" is a great example. And listen to how he completely restructures the sample used for "Above The Clouds", or "Skillz". Amazing. This isn't Puffy-type sampling. This isn't jacking a whole song, and sometimes the concept too. This is using existing music to make entirely new music. And, it's a beautiful thing.

After hearing all that I've heard over the past 5-10 years of these "original sample compilations", you cannot tell me that sampling - when done right - is not an art. It takes a lot of difficult and meticulous work, and the finished product usually is a completely new song. DJ Premier is at the head of it all. Do yourself a favor, and take the time to listen to 'Originals' by DJ Premier. Also try to pick up some work by people like DJ Neil Armstrong and DJ Muro. They will give you a much-needed history lesson while you enjoy some unbelievably great music.

'Nuff respect to the Crate Diggers of the world. You are appreciated.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Aight, New Drink

Wow!!! That's all I have to really say for this post. If you don't know about Tanya Morgan, run to your local, independently owned record store, and buy Brooklynati TODAY! In my humble opinion - a humble opinion that happens to be the right one, one that you should pay the most attention to - it's currently the best album of 2009. No one has shown me something better as of yet, and that includes the leak of BP3 (which is dope in its own way too, by the way...maybe more on that later).

But, Tanya Morgan's own Donwill (as Don Cusack, an homage to actor John Cusack, inspired by the movie 'High Fidelity' in this case) together with a guy named Rob Viktum (whom I haven't heard of 'til now) have recently released an EP entitled "Aight, New Drink" - you should know what this title is a reference to. If not, wake the fuck up and dig back in the CD collection that you should have for a certain 2Pac album that was kinda popular. This is a couple of weeks old, but I just got around to giving it a listen now...and, I'm about to put it on repeat. I'm loving the vibe these guys bring. Check it out at the link below, and if that doesn't work do a search. I am almost positive that this one is free, as the site I got it from does not usually post mixtapes, EP's, etc. that are not meant to be free.

And to Tanya Morgan, you have my word that once I get this job situation figured out, Brooklynati will be the first album I cop. It is absolutely worth spending the money...and not just because 2/3 of you are from Cincinnati, Ohio.