Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blueprint - 1988

This is a Blueprint song from five or so years ago. Great song. Plus, I love the video chronicle of 1988...especially since these are some of my earliest pop culture/hip hop memories.

Be sure to download the latest Greenhouse EP if you haven't already.

Buckshot, Skyzoo, Promise, & Sean Price "I'm Better Than You" (Prod By Double-0 of Kidz In The Hall) by duckdown

Because Duck Down is so active with the social media these days, I get a lot of emails and such with new shit to check out. This is a track off of the soundtrack to NBA 2K11. So, albums have trailers, and video games have soundtracks now. Crazy.Buckshot, Skyzoo, Promise, & Sean Price "I'm Better Than You" (Prod By Double-0 of Kidz In The Hall) by duckdown

Skyzoo & Illmind - "Frisbees" Video

Here goes the first video from Skyzoo & Illmind's collab album on Duckdown Records, Live From The Tape Deck. Definitely creative and has me ready for the album to drop. They make a good duo, and Sky is a goddamn animal on the mic.

I like his stuff more and more the more I listen because there is a lot to dissect in his rhymes. He's crazy lyrical without relying on punchlines. Meaning you have to really pay attention to what he's saying and the way he's putting words together because it doesn't just come together for you at the end of each bar. I definitely need to pay attention when I'm listening to Skyzoo spit, and listen again and again to digest it all. I actually still have Salvation in my iPod.

Trailer For Black Milk's "Album Of The Year"

I'm not yet sure how I feel about trailers for albums...but here's one for Black Milk's upcoming album. Pretty bold title, huh?

"Dear Heartache..." by Outasight

New track from Outasight's new album that he just decided to share today. "Dear Heartache..." by Outasight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Villa Manifesto Pre-Thoughts

I saw this was up on the Nets somewheres yesterday. Not sure how it's gonna turn out, but I'ma take a listen. I've never been a big fan of Slum Village, and I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of people are pretending to be these days because of Dilla (whom many only discovered after his death). The Jay Dee beats were wasted on weak MCs for the most part, I think. Once Elzhi came in, the group got a much needed lyrical boost, but lost Jay Dee as a member.

I thought the Villa Manifesto EP was pretty good, so I'm thinking that the full-length may turn out to have some dope material. But, I saw that Elzhi said the label took him off a lot of the tracks (including the joint with Little Brother - Really? Phonte and Elzhi together would be crazy!!), as he is now apparently out of the group. To me, he's the only reason to listen to a Slum Village album, and without him the group doesn't have much to offer. I'm much more excited about anything El does solo (or with other artists) than him being part of this group. I think they're kinda shooting themselves in the foot here. But, we'll see how the album comes out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Dear God 2.0" X "The Fire" Videos

Damn, The Roots stay making really intreresting videos, don't they? Here are two from their newest classic, How I Got Over. Anyone have a favorite track?

(I love how there is audio to the actual video, it's not just the song. It adds a lot to the mood of the production.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Murs Interview

This is a long, but great interview with Murs covering pretty much everything.

Among other things he said, I love what came out of the question about his hair, and the props he gave to Bernie Taupin, the guy that writes Elton John's lyrics (Elton writes the music) - by the way if you never really paid attention to, or shied away from Elton John's music for whatever reason, trust me when I tell you to expand your horizons and give it a chance.

3:16 is definitely one of my favorite Hip Hop albums (and how I first got introduced to Murs), and besides the shit he does with 9th, the more I listen to Murs For President, the more I like it.

Muggs' Top 5 Hip Hop Albums

I'm posting this because DJ Muggs really caught me off guard with his top 5. Nice list.

Some Classic Hip Hop Videos

Got a busy day today, but thought I'd just throw up a few classics before I head out. I've said this before, but I really love the Internet for allowing me to look up pretty much anything I want at any time.

"Bucktown" is probably one of Smif-N-Wessun's best known songs. They're a group I listened to a lot growing up. It's actually about time I pulled out Dah Shinin' again. Don't forget they're supposed to be coming out with an album soon that's entirely produced by Pete Rock. I don't think it has a release date yet, but I'm excited.

This one from Tribe was creative when it came out and it still is today. I remember seeing this for the first time, actually. And, my brother and I taped it and watched it again and again. No other double feature videos come to mind right now, and this is definitely the first I had seen. They even stop the track and do part of "Buggin' Out" acapella. Classic Hip Hop right here.

The real version of this video took a little while to find. I'm not really sure how it all works, but some videos on YouTube are posted by some site or something called Vevo. Anyway, they fucked up this video completely by taking out all of the captions that showed up for each scene. I'm not sure why they would do that. The point of the video and what makes it great is that The Roots are making fun of all the cliches in rap videos. The captions make that clear...and hilarious. But, without them, the video just doesn't make sense and it looks stupid. "What They Do" is one of my favorite Roots songs and also one of my favorite videos of all time.

"Lost generation, fast-paced nation, world population confront their frustration, the principles of true Hip Hop have been forsaken, it's all contractual and about money makin'"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

These Are Our Heroes: Greg Nice | Rappers Talk Hip Hop Beef & Old School Hip Hop

These Are Our Heroes: Greg Nice Rappers Talk Hip Hop Beef & Old School Hip Hop

I just read this interview with Greg N-I-C-E on HHDX and had to repost it here to spread the word. Nice is a true legend in Hip Hop, and seems to know everyone! He shares some great stories from his lengthy career, including some great stuff about 2Pac before he was a star, and just before his death. Also included is some footage of him rocking the crowd at a Big Daddy Kane show in Brooklyn recently.

Don't get me wrong, Greg Nice wouldn't ever make my list (or anyone else's) for top MCs, but that is really beside the point. His style and delivery were always fun and energetic, and his contributions are not limited to punchlines. Nice brings out a certain charisma that few in Hip Hop possess, and he can move a fucking crowd. Take the time to read this article.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DOWNLOAD: Electric Purgatory Part Two by Greenhouse (Blueprint

Honestly, I just d/l about an hour ago and haven't listened to it yet. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be dope though (Part One definitely was), and it's free if you want it to be, so whatdya got to lose? Check it out. Toki Wright and Aesop Rock are featured on it. And, again, Greenhouse is a duo from Columbus, OH consisting of MCs Blueprint and Illogic. Beats are also by Blueprint.

DOWNLOAD: Electric Purgatory Part Two by Greenhouse (Blueprint

UPDATE: After two listens I can officially endorse. So, get this EP now. And if you missed the first one for some reason, click the "Part One" link above.

Top 5 Jay-Z Albums

A friend obsessed with list making sent me an email this morning that read:

"Top five jay z albums, in order. Go."

So, this is what I came up with on the spot. I'm pretty confident in this. Anyone have anything different? List your top 5 in the comments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Making Of Distant Relatives

Here's some great behind-the-scenes footage of Nas & Damian Marley recording their album, Distant Relatives. It's nice to see that they were actually in the studio together. Not enough collaborations are done this way anymore, and it's noticeable in the songs a lot of the time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just Be

Well goddamn. I ran into some great music last night that I'm enjoying this morning/afternoon. Thanks to Kevin Nottingham, who does a tremendous amount of work to gather these songs, I am enjoying another complete collection of samples used for a Hip Hop album. This one is Common's Be. Tons of great music on this one - The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Chi-Lites, Sam Cooke, Ahmad Jamal...and, of course, I'm getting put on to some new ones too. And as always, I end up appreciating Hip Hop even more when I hear where such an important part of their final production comes from. The artistry that comes out of sampling is just amazing to me.

So, after this, I'm going to have to break out the Be album again for examination. Despite the complaints I have with Common as of late, no one can deny his past classic material (including Electric Circus, in my opinion, so fuck you), and the brilliant, possibly career-defining opus that Be is.

So be like me and head over to to grab the collection of samples for Be. And, before or after, listen to Be itself again and see what you think.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This Is It

While I, and many others, continue to wait for Ski Beatz to decide to finally release his album, here goes a video of one of his classics - "Luchini" by Camp Lo. Good thing there's so much other good shit being put out to keep me busy.

4th Of July Weekend

I traveled north a bit for the weekend of the 4th, from Cincy to Cleveland to spend some time with relatives I don't see nearly enough. I loaded up the iPod with a bunch of new music I haven't gotten around to listening to yet, and some oldies, and some old oldies - I'm talking Billie Holiday and Louie Armstrong - you never know what kind of mood you'll be in.

I spent most of my time up there lounging with a beer on the deck or a boat on the lake while the kids played. Music was always playing - the kind that all generations enjoy though. So, of course I enjoyed that too. I thought I'd have more time to listen to some new stuff on the road trip portion, but the wife got a new car with Sirius/XM and wanted to check that out. The service is good, plenty of channels; few, if any commercials; and you almost always have a signal. The Eminem station, Shade45, I could take or leave depending on the specific show, probably. I wasn't overly impressed. The old school station was good for the most part. I got to hear the Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J on-wax battle in order, which is always nice - though they didn't finish it. It also seems to be missing some direction as to what they consider old school. They played the Furious Five and MC Lyte. But, they also played Ice Cube. And not NWA Ice Cube, or even Predator Ice Cube. It was "We Be Clubbin'" Ice Cube. That's pretty recent if you ask me. So, it's more of a overall hip hop hits station than it is an old school station.

I did get to listen to Von Pea's (of Tanya Morgan) new mixtape So Motivational: The Most Skullduggery of Mixtapes, which is dope, complete with a Mike Tyson's Punch Out cover. I can definitely get behind this one. Plus he has a song on it called "Cantstandya" which is a Seinfeld reference that I appreciated. I'm actually listening to Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group now. It's a few years old, and I forgot how great it is. The music is smooth and they did the interludes as references to famous skits on other hip hop abums. If you haven't heard it make sure you find a copy. Tanya Morgan is one of the best groups in hip hop right now. They make my city look good.

Other than Von Pea, I have a few more things to recommend. I'll just list them.

Sha Stimuli - Overtime: My Soul To Keep
MC Esoteric - Fly Casualties
The Roots - How I Got Over (*maybe the best of the year so far)
Packfm - I F*cking Hate Rappers
Theophilus London - I Want You (*be warned that this shit is different. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I like what he's doing. Been listening to this for a while now.)
Fashawn - Ode To Illmatic