Jay-Z & Coldplay - "What If We Cry?" X "Lucifer and Friends"

We used to use umbrellas to face the bad weather,
Now we travel first class to change the forecast.

There's no getting around it.  DJ Mick Boogie and sidekick Terry Urban are men of genius.  While their late 2008 remixtape of Adele's 19 was superb it is Viva La Hova that will forever remain the duo's magnum opus.  The 2008 mix up, which mashed-up songs from Jay-Z and Coldplay's respective discographies, still holds as my second favorite remixtape of all time, behind only Danger Mouse's legendary Grey Album.  These two tracks in particular provide us with further evidence of why the mash-up, at it's best, is a truly beautiful art form with the new instrumentals providing new meanings to the songs as a whole.

That's That Mixtape, Vol. IX

It's been nearly six months since I released my last tape.  Since that time, finals and summer internships have kept me from updating the site with any frequency.  Although I've started posting more frequently as of late, it is this tape that marks the complete reboot of the site.  In order to mark the return, I've gone back to my bread and butter with this tape, compiling a ton of classic tracks that have been in heavy rotation on my iPod/walkman for years and mixing in some newer songs from old and new faces.  The result is a mixtape that flows really well and a product that I feel is one of my best tapes yet.  I hope that you'll give it a listen (hit the jump for the tracklist/download link).  As always, I appreciate feedback regarding my music selection and recommendations on artists that the site may be missing out on.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
The Notorious N.O.A.

Champagne Champagne - "Soda & Pop Rocks"

It's surprising that more Seattle hip hop fans haven't heard of Champagne Champagne.  The trio of emcees emcees Pearl Dragon and Thomas Gray and DJ Gajamagic has quietly put out two of my top three favorite tracks released out of the Emerald City over the past ten months.  The problem is that they often don't get they're proper due as both songs came as guest artists on other emcees' albums.  The first, "Kings," came on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' critically acclaimed Vs. EP, the latter, "What You Asked For," was released on State of the Artist's Seattlecalifragilisticextrahelladopeness.

J. Cole - "The Last Stretch" x "Villematic"

It's been a minute since we checked in with young Mr. Cole, but the boy from Fayetteville, North Carolina has been putting in work, releasing a series of jaw dropping songs in the lead up to his debut album (dropping on October 26th).  These two tracks are no exception as J. Cole demolishes each instrumental, dropping one-liner after one-liner.  The first samples Dirty Money's "Angels" and sees Shawn Carter's protegĂ© celebrating the one year anniversary of his critically acclaimed mixtape, The Warm Up.  The latter samples Kanye's "Devil in a New Dress" and will be the title-track to an upcoming mixtape (an obvious allusion to Nas' classic debut that escapes no one).  Both tracks are further testament to J-Dot's skill as a rhymesayer and why many consider him to be the best new emcee around (perhaps only rivaled by Wale).  Hearing these songs makes me drool just thinking about Cole World.

Peace, Love, & J-Dot,

"The Last Stretch"

The Roots - "Doin' It Again" x "The Fire" (feat. John Legend)

While new artists Drake and B.o.B have stolen the spotlight this year from a commercial standpoint, the best album top-to-bottom, in this writer's humble opinion, has been "How I Got Over."  While the title track clearly stands out, all fourteen tracks contribute something to the project and the result is a cohesive meeting of jazz, soul, rock, and, of course, hip hop.  As always, Black Thought provides us with some of the most intelligent, intricate rhymes while ?uestlove proves once again why he's one of the best producers in the game today.  The following are two of my favorite songs off of the release, but the album as a whole is definitely worth picking up for those with the financial means to do so.  Roots fans have further reason to be excited as the group isn't done for 2010.  The group is collaborating with the legendary John Legend for WAKE UP!, an album that will be released on September 21st and can be pre-ordered here.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

Chiddy Bang - "Opposite of Adults"

From Will Smith to Beanie Sigel and TLC to The Roots, Philadelphia has always been a hip hop hotbed.  The latest act bursting onto the national scene out of the City of Brotherly love goes by the name of Chiddy Bang.  The pair of nineteen-year-olds, Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege and Noah Beresin, (aka Xaphoon Jones), first met at Philly's Drexel University and have thus far released electronic hip hop with a pop twinge (in the same vain as B.o.B).  The duo often samples popular "alternative" tracks to epic results as is best displayed by this song, which samples MGMT's "Kids."  Chiddy Bang's debut, The Preview, drops on October 11th and will certainly be a project to look out for in the near future.  If you like what you hear, I've linked the group's 2009 mixtape, The Swelly Express, which has more of the same.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

Chiddy Bang - "Opposite of Adults"
Chiddy Bang - The Swelly Express

Blue Scholars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis East Coast Tour

Seattle hip hop fans who happened to travel to the Northeast for college/employment/homelessness, this is your chance to rejoice.  Next week, the Blue Scholars and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be making tour stops in four Northeast locales.  I've linked the facebook page for the New York event (since it's the one I will likely be attending), but you can find information for all four dates here.  I've probably seen the  Blue Scholars eight times since freshman year of high school and they are consistently one of the best live acts I've seen (and rumor has it that they are close to releasing a new album).  As for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the emcee-producer duo released my favorite project of 2009, The Vs. EP, and I have heard nothing but good things about their live performance.  For the New York date, the groups will be performing with local NYC act Outasite.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

Brainstorm (Dyme Def) - "Thank You"

One of the most talented Seattle artists in the game today, producer/emcee Brainstorm drops off this cut off of The Celestine Prophecy, which theoretically drops on Friday.  Good to hear the Dyme Def rapper going in on this lyrically-laced track after the relatively subpar Sex Tape.  Can't wait to hear CP.

Peace, Love, & Dyyyyyyyyme Def,

Skee-Lo - "I Wish"

I wish I was a little bit taller,
I wish I was a baller...

Not much explanation is necessary for this song.  The title-track off of Skee-Lo's 1995 debut is simply a classic hip hop track.  I'm sorry that I've been absent lately, but I plan on posting 1-2 times/day consistently now that I'm back in school, so look forward to it and keep your eyes and ears out for That's That Mixtape, Vol. 9, coming in the next couple weeks.