The first I've heard from this Fort Lewis-native and recent UW grad, but I will certainly be paying attention in the near future. HAVi Blaze doesn't quite dominate the beat with his delivery quite yet, but the lyrics present him as a Seattle emcee with a great deal of potential. His Purple & Gold mixtape is set to drop on March 11th.
Dyme Def member Brainstorm's Celestine Prophecy is starting to look like Seattle's Detox. At the moment, Brain's that girl at the end of the bar playing hard to get. He's been teasing DD fans for the past six months, giving us enough to keep us coming back, knowing that his solo debut will be one of the best albums ever to come out of the Northwest, but keeps pushing back the anticipated release date (the latest February 15th date came and went).
This latest video is no exception and reminds me of his dope "Say You Will" cover video he put out a couple years back. I trust that Michael Celestine has reasons for the delays, not the least of which is his newborn daughter (congrats Brain!) and that he's been slowly, meticulously crafting CP to get rid of the minor imperfections. When this project comes out, it may well be an album that Townfolk talk about for years to come.
As a bonus, I've included a couple of DD tracks from their Pay Day Series that I've been meaning to post for a minute including BeanOne produced instrumental for what may well be my favorite song of all time.
Peace, Love, & YukTheWorld,
Dyme Def - "LetitBe Instrumental"
Dyme Def - "Time Flies" (prod. BeanOne)
Previous: Dyme Def - "For The World" | "Rebel 2 The Grain" | 3BadBrothaaas Mixtape
I've admittedly taken too long to come around to this Inglewood (and partially Seattle) group. That's one of the blessings of running this site. Not only do I get to share music I love with my readers, but doing so also forces me to discover artists I may otherwise not have crossed paths with.
Composed of Y-O and Thurzday, U-N-I have been making music together since soon after first meeting back in 1999. After graduating high school in 2006, the Southern Cali duo split with their previous rap collective and released their debut, Fried Chicken & Watermelon the next year. Combining smooth delivery, slick rhyme schemes, and clever wordplay with some of the best beats around, the group really started to make their mark in 2009 with the release of their critically acclaimed mixtape, A Love Supreme (see "Land of the Kings") and the commercial re-release last year (expect a full review of A Love Supreme 2.0 very soon).
"Donkey Kong" is a 16-Bit cut that I haven't been able to stop bumping over the past couple weeks. It's off the group's forthcoming Kings Keep Marching mixtape, which was supposed to be released on Tuesday. The beat is bananas (their words, not mine) and the lyrics are a great example of Y-O and Thurz's wit. When it comes to up-and-coming duos in hip hop, U-N-I is absolutely as good as they come.
"Land of the Kings"
It's good to see this 206 trio bounce back after their lackluster Seattle album from a couple years back. Bus Station isn't as consistent as the KnowMads' near-classic debut and sophomore albums. A lot of the freestyles over classic beats tend to fall flat as they (and most emcees) simply don't match or exceed the original renditions (they kill "Monster" though), but there are more than a fair share of cuts on the tape. The one track that could become a classic ode to the group's musical roots if they refine it is "Headphonez," which starts strong, but loses steam as soon as the chorus comes in. Choice tracks include the soothing "DoitFortheLove" and certified bangers, "How We Live" and "Imagine." As a whole, Bus Station continues to grow on me. If you liked So It Goes. and Saturdayzed, the tape is definitely worth the free.99 you'll pay for it. Here's hoping the KnowMads continue this upward trend in 2011. Hit the jump for the stream/dl.
Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
Not quite as good as the original, but certainly suitable. Make sure to check out the duo's nationwide tour. I believe that I'll actually have the opportunity to interview the two sometime before/after their New York show, so look for that soon after April 16th.
Even with the Sabzi production, it's not my favorite song (though it's growing on me) by the Brooklyn-based trio, but it's definitely growing on me. The music video may very be the best I've seen...ever (if you want to play the actual video game, click here). Composed of Kool A.D., Heems, and hypeman Dap (brother of comedian Hari Kondabolu, who's Comedy Central Presents special debuts tonight), Das Racist has been making moves over the past year. Joke Rap has historically not been given much credence in larger hip hop circles (I write this with all due respect to Paul's Boutique and the Beastie Boys). Today's scene isn't much more accepting. As much as I love P Smoov's production, I feel that the more traditional hip hop duo of Fresh Espresso that he forms with Rik Rude will always have more mass appeal and critical success than with Mad Rad.
Though Das Racist certainly has it's base in joke rap, Shut Up, Dude and particularilly the trio's latest effort, Sit Down, Man have begun to trancend to highly artistic, alternative hip hop. I cringe at writing "alternative," to describe music as it is quite ambiguous, but there really isn't another group that sounds anything like Das Racist at the moment. The group combines seemingly free-associative raps with intricate rhyme schemes, smooth flow, and some of the best production available from the underground (Sabzi of Blue Scholars/Common Market) and mainstream alike (Boi-1da of "Not Afraid," "Forever," "Best I Ever Had"-fame), and the legendary Quincy Jones. A particular standout track, the Boi-1da-produced "hahahaha jk?," is a mesmerizing song that puts the listener in a trance, while announcing that Das Racist has officially arrived in critically-lauded alterna-rap.
2010 was a huge year for Das Racist and this writer is excited to see where they go in 2011. Hit the jump for the artwork/tracklist/link for Sit Down, Man.
Peace, Love, & Joke Rap,
After emerging on the scene last year and crushing Kanye's beat, Michigan/Philly's Gilbere Forte' has been making moves. His latest effort, Eyes of Veritas, was released today and features guest appearances from Joell Ortiz, Emilio Rojas, and Sean Rose among others. I'm not sure that Gilbere Forte' lives up to the tape's title as the Truth--he doesn't quite dominate the beats in the same way he has in the past--but the production is supurb and lyrics are some of the best you'll hear offered by an up-and-coming rapper. Eyes of Veritas will land on many a year's end list and is more than worth the dl. Stand out tracks include "Unbreakable," "Tonight," "The Eyes," and "The Exports" You can quote me on that. Hit the jump for the tracklist/link.
Atmosphere - The Family Sign Announcement | "Minnesota Nice" (f. Prof, Felipe Cuauhtli & Gene Poole)
I've been dissapointed by the last couple releases from the Twin Cities legends. Lemons wasn't so bad, it just lacked any sort of sonic diversity, but the only track off To All My Friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy that I can stand listening to is the title track. Still, I'm a fool in love that will keep coming back time after time to one of the best underground groups in the history of the genre. So I'll be one of the first to purchase The Family Sign when it drops on April 12th. I hold out hope that the album will be a return to the Seven's Travels/You Don't Know How Much Fun We're Having-Slug that we can still see at times on tracks like "C'mon" and this posse cut from the group's recent Minnesota tour, but it seems unlikely to happen.
Sean Daley has grown up. He's no longer the dysfunctional character that he so candidly displayed on "Little Man," "Godlovesugly," and the rest of his early discography. He has a stable marriage and family. He no longer worries about having a steady vocation. You Don't Know How Much Fun We're Having sold over two hundred thousand copies, an accomplishment that eclipses most mainstream releases.
It's been far too long since we last checked in with Mr. Creekwater. Creek is one of the few true dual-threats in hip hop today, an emcee/producer who is equally dope at both aspects of music-making. "Hello World" was one of the five best songs of 2009 and The Day It All Made $ense (of which "2 Far Gone" is a superb example) ended up making my year's end list.
Enlisting the help of former XXL freshman Micky Factz and the supremely talented Kardinal Offishall, Creek's "I Hate You Too" is off his forthcoming project, The Birth of a Dictator. I'll take this song as an indication that The Birth of a Dictator will live up to the Necktie Guy's recent run of near-classic material. 2011 looks to be the year that Creekwater emerges as a major player on the mainstream level. Enjoy.
"I Hate You Too" (feat. Mickey Factz & Kardinal Offishall)
"2 Far Gone" (feat. Junior Varsity)
God, this was my jam back around my junior year of high school. This site's name is actually a throwback to this track (not sure if that's a good or bad thing). Tha Blue Carpet Treatment was probably Snoop's most complete album since his Doggy Style debut.
On another note, the above image is perhaps the most absurd thing I've ever seen.
It was a major oversight on my part not downloading this mixtape back in 2009 and I hope you won't repeat my mistake. Had I heard it back then, it would have easily slotted near the top of my favorite mixtapes of that year. The album features Pill going in over new instrumentals produced primarily by Seattle duo, Tha Bizness, as well as adding his spin to several classics such as Nas' "Got Ur Self A," the Geto Boys' "Mind Playin' Tricks On Me," OutKast's "Two Dope Boyz," and Pac's "Keep Ya Head Up."
As always, the ATLien absolutely dominates each track, bringing an intense delivery and intricate rhyme schemes unmatched by nearly any other rapper in the game today. Cuts include, "Hear Somebody Comin'," "Music," and "We Don't Even Know." The Refill provides substantial evidence for why XXL chose him along with the likes of J. Cole and Freddie Gibbs as a member of their freshman class last year. Pill is one of the most talented up-and-coming rappers and I highly reccomend downloading this mixtape as well as The Overdose, which features more original production and was one of the best tapes of 2010. Pill's debut album, The Medicine, is sure to alleviate many hip hop heads who have been sick of most post-OutKast southern hip hop. Hit the jump for the tracklist/link.
An ode to my fellow insomniacs out there...I'd write more about the remix of the lead single off the Portland/Colorado duo's 2010 album, The Required Taste, but I'm going to get back to trying to sleep. Definitely worth the download though. Enjoy.
Othello & DJ Vajra - "Active Balanced (Terry Cole Remix)" f. Mayer Hawthorne & Now On
Not so long ago, before he dropped the "$ense" and turned into the same washed-out-rapper-turned actor that he once called out Ice Cube for, Common was one of the best emcees out there. I know, I know, the appearances in Terminator, movies with Queen Latifah, and atrocious guest verses on CuDi songs aren't doing any favors for our collective memory, but his recent missteps don't erase the classic discography that Common managed to contribute for the first decade plus of his career.
Sorry that there haven't been any other posts today. I'm just getting over some major computer trauma that has fortunately sorted itself out. Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to one of the better up-and-coming groups today. Co-signed by 9th Wonder, Kooley High has gradually been garnering a fanbase over the past three years. Composed of emcees Charlie Smarts, Tab-One, and Rapsody, producers Foolery and The Sinopsis, and DJ Ill Digitz, the six members first met while studying at NC State and released their first mixtape, Raleigh's Finest, back in 2008.
Loving the latest single off of L.A.S.E.R.S. As always, Lupe kills it, but Skylar Grey (formerly known as Holly Brook) really steals the show with her voice. Few know it, but Grey was originally supposed to be featured on Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," before being replaced by Rihanna.
But anyway, Lupe's third album is finally set to drop on March 4th. From the looks of it, the release may very well be monumental.
Update: ...And it's gone. For those of you who missed out on it, I'm sure you can find it elsewhere on the interwebz. Otherwise, you can cop it on the February 8th official release date.
I realize that I haven't posted any J-Hova in a while, so I'll give you a double hitter. The first comes off Jay's sophomore release, In My Lifetime. While I didn't care for the rest of the album, this track remains one of my favorite intro tracks of all time and serves as a nice transition from where he left off on Reasonable Doubt.
The latter is the street single off Life and Times of S. Carter. While lay listeners around my age are likely familiar with the UGK-assisted hit, "Big Pimpin'" off the same album, many haven't heard this gem that I consider to be one of Jay's most lyrically intricate songs (the rugged Preemo beat doesn't hurt either). Both provide further proof of why Shawn Carter is the greatest rapper of all time. Enjoy.
I awoke this morning to a pleasant surprise in my mailbox. Evidently Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have decided to extend their tour eastward and will hit up Webster Hall in New York on April 16th along with Canadian emcee Shad. Considering I missed out on their show with the Blue Scholars back in September, I'm taking no chances and have already ordered my tickets.
Anyone who follows the site knows that I'm a huge supporter of the group, but even I still can't believe how quickly the duo has blown up. It was only last fall that they were the opening act for Geo and Sabzi, now they're headlining their own national tour. I still find it a little weird. Not that I didn't think Lewis and Macklemore were supremely talented. It's just weird when my friends out at school without any connection to the Town ask about a guy that went to my high school and grew up in the same area code (98103 all day). I still remember back in '05 bumping "White Privilege" and "I Said Hey," when Mack was still a secret known only by those Seattle fans who closely followed the local hip hop scene.
I always thought Macklemore was one of the most talented local emcees, but he completely dropped off the map for a couple years while dealing with substance abuse. He emerged a year and a half ago with new material before teaming up with RL for the jaw-dropping VS. EP.
All the props in the world to these guys. They're two of the best at what they do and deserve all the success in the world. This is a show that I will eagerly anticipate for the next couple months and I highly recommend that any and all frequent readers in the New York area make a point of attending.
Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
"Kings" (feat. Champagne Champagne)
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