Fresh Espresso - "Something New"

I was just bumping this a minute ago when I realized that I had yet to post this song individually.  I included it on the first tape a few months ago, but I haven't given one of my favorite tracks of '09 its proper shine on its own.  The song is another example of P Smoov's amazing ability as a producer and serves as further proof that, as he claims, "my tracks got more bombs than the cars in Jerusalem."  It's a very upbeat track that I can find no flaws with and is a great example of the sound off the Seattle duo's debut, Glamour., an album that continues to receive heavy rotation on my iPod.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
Naughty By Noah

Macklemore - "The Town (Sabzi Remix)"

This came as a surprise.  I was browsing the Blue Scholars website trying to find the artwork for Common Market emcee RA Scion's latest album, Victor Shade, when I came across this remix that Sabzi posted yesterday.  The Blue Scholars/Common Market producer gives us a distinctive remix of one of my favorite Seattle songs.  I've attached the song and two versions of the instrumental.  Enjoy.  

Peace, Love, & The Town,

Previous: Blue Scholars - "Paul Valery" [Music Video] X Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Stay At Home Dad"

Saukrates - "Soarin' Pt. 2" (Prod. Rich Kidd)

The man behind one of my favorite songs of 2009 just dropped this laid back track produced by fellow Toronto native Rich Kidd.  As a bonus, I've included a track of Marco Polo & Torae's Double Barrel, "Crashing Down," that Saukrates was featured on.  Easily my favorite Canuck emcee.  Enjoy.

"Soarin' Pt. 2"

Marco Polo & Torae - "Crashing Down" (feat. Saukrates & S-Roc)

Public Enemy - "He Got Game" (Feat. Stephen Stills)

In honor of March Madness (but mostly so I can post this picture of B-Roy), I figured I should drop the title track to Public Enemy's He Got Game, the soundtrack to the Spike Lee film of the same name starring Ray Allen and Denzel (probably my favorite Spike Lee joint).

Good luck to my Washington Huskies tomorrow.  It'll totally screw my bracket, but I'd love to see a UW-Cornell Elite 8 matchup.

Peace, Love, & Basketball,

Blue Scholars - "Paul Valery" [Music Video]

The visuals for the latest song from the Seattle duo.  Enjoy.

B.o.B - "Nothin' On You (Remix)" (Feat. Big Boi & Bruno Mars)

Sir Luscious Left Foot joins his fellow ATLien B.o.B on the remix of his run away hit.  Big Boi's debut solo album (if you don't count Speakerboxxx) has been delayed until May 4th, but The Adventures of Bobby Ray has been pushed forward to April 27th...should be an interesting eight days for Atlanta hip hop.

Marky - "Rasta Monsta"

Well, this came out of nowhere.  I haven't heard anything from this DMV artist before, but I definitely plan on staying tuned in after this gem.  I can't get this song out of my head.  Marky goes in over the theme from How To Make It In America, Aloe Blacc's "I Need A Dollar." I'll let him explain it in his own words:
Ok so.. I'm a huge fan of the "Entourage" Series Show on HBO just like the rest of the world lol. I caught on to the show around the 3rd Season and then went back and started at Season 1 to catch myself up.  Now comes this new show "How To Make It In America" that I think has the same feel but it's a little, or MUCH rather, more gritty and "about the grind-ish". It's already 6 Episodes in and for some reason I can't stop singing the got damn theme song by Aloe Blacc titled "I Need A Dollar". I figured, "hey, why not throw my 1, 2 on it!" lol
The song serves as the second leak off of Journey to Markyland, USA: Rest Stop 1, the first installment of a three part series of extended plays.  I've attached the first two leaks below.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

"Rasta Monsta"

"Victory Lap"

GemStones - "My Hood"

Wow.  That's all I can say.  I've listened to this politically-charged track from the Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Gemini four times in a row since downloading it and it holds up.  The Lupe collaborator brings that heat.  Shouts to ChiNow.

Spaceman - Greetings Earthlings: The Mixtape [Review]

With the Blue Scholars and Common Market leading the Seattle hip hop revival in the early part of the last decade, the stereotypical image of the 206 rapper became inseparable from backpack rap.  The current Seattle hip hop scene owes everything to Blue Scholars, but today’s Emerald City hip hop has a niche for just about everyone.  The city boasts a handful of very talented up and coming producers with a wide range of styles, with the primarily synth-based styles of P Smoov and Brainstorm to the sample-based style of producers like Ryan Lewis.  The next generation of 206 emcees includes everything from gangster rap acts (D. Black, Fatal Lucciauno), to lighthearted acts like Fresh Espresso, Helladope, and the Physics (and yes, Seattle still calls itself home to backpack rappers like the KnowMads).

Ludacris - "Splash Waterfalls"'s freaking Luda, what other reason is necessary?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Stay At Home Dad"

You buy the clothes, I take them off?

An unreleased track gem and ode to the supposedly atypical family that didn't quite make the final tracklist of Mack and Ryan Lewis' The VS. EP.  Enjoy.

Nickelus F - "Shine On" feat. XV

It's not often you hear emcees going in over a Pink Floyd, but it works here as the Richmond, VA rapper Nickelus F hooks up with Vizzy.  Not the best track out there and we've grown to expect a little higher quality from XV, but like I said, it works.

Previous: XV - "Bad News" Pt. I & II

K. Sparks - "Momma Say"

K-Dot supplies us with yet another (free) gem.  His delivery on this track maybe up there with his flow on two of his best tracks, "Hip Hop 101" and "Overtime."  It's a travesty that this talented rhymesayer was overlooked by XXL, but it just goes to show you the power that major labels hold over the magazines.  Give him a year or two, and K. Sparks is going to blow up.

Previous: K. Sparks - "Rap 101" x "Feelings"

Lil' Wayne - "Tha Mobb" X "Receipt"

Believe it or not, there was a time when I enjoyed hearing new material from Weezy F. Baby.  Back before CIII, before he became a drug-addled parody of his former self, Wayne was the internet darling that put out 2-3 songs/day.  Now, when you are that prolific of a rapper, a lot of the material that you put out is going to be on par with the stuff Vanilla Ice put out on a bad day, but every so often you're going to be right on target (the same principle applies to the infinite monkey theorem when it comes to producing a work of Shakespeare).

Wiz Khalifa - "When U Find"

Pittsburgh isn't generally known for it's hip hop scene.  While the Steel City's cross state counterpart, Philadelphia has contributed legendary acts such as the Roots, Freeway, and Jedi Mind Tricks among others, Wiz Khalifa is the first Pittsburgh native to establish himself on the national scene.

Blue Scholars - "Paul Valery"

Fresh off the presses, the Blue Scholars just released this song, which samples Owl City's #1 hit, "Fireflies," with the following message:

Common Market - "Winter Takes All"

I don't know what's taken me so long to post this track.  It's one of my favorite tracks off of the Seattle duo's 2008 sophomore album, Tobacco Road.  It's one of their slower songs, but it just works so well with Sabzi's smooth, crisp production adding so much to RA Scion's effortless flow.  The song (and the album in general) is a potent display of ephemeral quality of all things on this planet.

Scion is set to drop his second solo album under the name, Victor Shade (the alter ego of superhero Vision).  The thirteen track LP, Victor Shade, is scheduled to be released on March 27th and should be one of the better albums out of the Northwest this year.

"Winter Takes All"
"Nina Sing"

Fresh Espresso - "Big or Small (Ryan Lewis Remix)"

Recently, FE released the acapellas from their critically acclaimed 2009 album, Glamour., which has resulted in a dearth of remixes.  The best of these remixes comes courtesy of Macklemore collaborator and certified genius, Ryan Lewis, who mashed up "Big or Small" (one of the few songs I wasn't particularly enamored with on Glamour.) with "Make Me Yours" a song of his 2009 collaboration with Seattle emcee Symmetry.  The results speak for themselves.  I've included the remix as well as a link to download The Symmetry and Ryan Lewis LP (both of which I recommend downloading, if only for "Feel Right" and "Make Me Yours").  Seattle hip hop is on the rise.  Talented young producers like Brainstorm, P Smoov, and Ryan Lewis are only more proof of that.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

Fresh Espresso - "Big or Small (Ryan Lewis Remix)"

The Symmetry and Ryan Lewis LP:

Bobby Creekwater - "Exhibit B.C. (Squared)" [Video]

The Necktie Guy drops off the visuals for his track off of Back 2 The Briefcase.  Bobby Creek is that dude, and I think this version may just be better than Jay Electronica's original.

Wale - "Who Don't" feat. Fat Trel & Black Cobain

Wale made this song for Brandon Jennings (who has the potential to be the best NBA rookie named "Brandon" since a certain Trailblazer a couple years ago) after Jennings requested a song to get him pumped up during his pregame warm-up.  I like it, but I'll let you be the judge.

I'm still sore on the NBA ever since Sonicsgate, but this comes right in time for March Madness.  While I'm on the subject, who are your picks for the Final Four?  I've got Kansas, Kansas State, West Virginia, and Duke, with Duke beating Kansas 85-81 in the finals.

Peace, Love, & BBall,

Fashawn - "Samsonite Man" feat. Blu

I'm just going to put it out there and say Fashawn didn't deserve to make XXL's list of 2010 freshman emcees.  I'm in no way saying that the Golden State rhymesayer is lacking in skills or talent.  In fact, his 2009 debut, Boy Meets World was one of the better releases of last year and he is certainly possesses much more potential than some of his fellow 2010 inductees (ahem...OJ Da Juiceman), but that's just it--Fashawn's already released his debut album and is thus no longer a freshman (the same deal goes for Wiz Khalifa and Skyzoo).

Jay-Z - "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" X "Bittersweet Dirt Off Your Shoulders" w/ The Verve

Had to take a minute break from studying to post these surefire songs.  The prior is one of my favorite Jay tracks, showcasing his ability to produce lyrically potent, popular songs.  I may not like Kanye the rapper as much, but this song proves that Kanye the producer is simply untouchable.  Despite J-Hova's lyricism, it is the soulful sample of Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" that makes the song.  "Heart of the City" is one of the best tracks on one of the outstanding albums of hip hop history.  Despite being on The Blueprint (2001), it took the ad campaign for American Gangster to really make this song popular in a wider audience.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The VS. EP [Review]

I promised a review of this exceptional EP back when they released it back in December.  I apologize for the delay...unfortunately it was released during finals and it slipped to the back of my mind until I finally got a physical copy of the project earlier this week.  Hit the jump for the review:

The Notorious B.I.G. - "Miss U"

I've purposefully avoiding posting Christopher Wallace's songs on this blog.  It's not that I'm not a Biggie fan, but, as someone who has only experienced his music posthumously, my words cannot do justice to what he meant to hip hop.  Biggie is and always will be a legend.  He had the most crossover appeal of any rapper ever garnering critical acclaim from hip hop heads while still topping the charts.  Tomorrow will mark the 13th anniversary of Wallace's tragic death.  An emcee in his prime and on top of the game, it is impossible to know where his career would have led had he lived, but as such his record remains 2/2 with two classic albums.  Lately Biggie's name has been trampled on by people trying to make a quick dime off of his legacy, but he remains one of the most revered persons in hip hop lore (the only person on his level was Pac).

This song, featuring R&B group 112, was dedicated in the memory of some of Biggie's closest freinds who were violently robbed of their own lives.  It's the only song that I felt could really do justice to this day.  R.I.P.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,

Previous: Jay-Z, Biggie, & Nas - "Who's The Best?"

Atmosphere - "Angelface"

Can't let her dance up on the top floor,
Been there. Done that. Whatddya think it's locked for?

I haven't posted any Atmosphere in a while, so I figured that it was time to get back to the Minneapolis duo.  This track is a hidden gem off of the nearly perfect 2005 underground album, You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having.  Ant's sampling of Tyrone Davis' "I Wake Up Crying" sets the stage for Slug to do what he does best: rap about women.  It doesn't focus on his dysfunctional relationships in the way that "God Loves Ugly," and "Don't Ever Fucking Question That" do, but instead is a sweet, song that quietly evokes beautiful images of these (not quite whole) angels.  It's subtle lines like "sitting in the rain at some sidewalk cafe/ half of her wet cigarette in the ashtray" that describe these women as they are through their actions and brings the focus to who they are rather than how they look and leaves believing, as Slug states, that "angels exist, I've even seen some sleep."  Easily one of my favorite Atmosphere songs.

Peace, Love, & Atmosphere,

Previous: Atmosphere - "Sunshine"

That's That Mixtape, Vol. SE7EN

I've been meaning to post this for about a week or so, but midterms and papers have been piling up, which, though it's resulted in the delay, has also allowed me to refine the final playlist for about two weeks longer than the time I've spent on any other tape thus far.  The result is a mixtape that I feel is the best product that I've put out thus far.  It includes a handful of new songs by great up and coming artists, but also gives spins to some of my favorite older songs that had been gathering dust in the depths of my iPod.  The finished product mixes really well together, which is a relief after spending a tedious amount of time looking for that last song or two to blend into the album.  As much as I'd like to spend more time tooting my own horn, I'll let you get to the actual tape.  Enjoy: