Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's A Celebration

Currently 9 minutes til my birthday, and as Kanye would say "You know what this is... it's a celebration, bitches." I'll write a little more on the song tomorrow, but know it's off of Late Registration.


March 24th, 2010 could be my favorite day in a while. Yes, it is my 21st birthday. I shouldn't be the only one celebrating so I'm leaving you readers with a little bit of birthday-themed music.

A few more birthday rap tributes to other artists:

And here is that techno remix of Jeremiah's Birthday Sex on YouTube, thanks to Isabella over at Addictions and Musings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Behind the Boards Pt. 6: DJ Premier

If you were to ask me what the first thing is that comes to mind when I think of Hip Hop, without the slightest hesitation, I would say DJ Premier. If James Brown is the Godfather of Hip Hop, then Primo has to be the father. Certainly there were ambassadors before him like Marley Marl, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Kool Herc, but no one has represented the culture like Primo. To me, Hip Hop music is three things: 1) Dope Beats, 2) Cuttin' & Scratchin', and 3) MCing. DJ Premier is 2/3rds of that (beats and cuttin'), and I'm sure if he wanted to he could probably lay down a nice 16 bar verse... the man is that talented.

1) NaS- N.Y. State of Mind

Every time I listen to Illmatic, I try and figure out what my favorite song is. While it's a near impossible task, "N.Y. State of Mind" is always in the debate. Primo provides NaS with a backdrop that sounds exactly how you would imagine the Queensbridge Projects to sound, and NaS... well... let's just say, he rips it to shreds...

2) Gang Starr- Rite Where U Stand

"Rite Where U Stand" was one of my favorite songs in Hip Hop for a real long time. To this day, it's one of my most played songs on iTunes. Armed with a classic battle-rap type beat, Guru and Jadakiss went in over this track. "Just mad you'll never be as nice as I am, J to the 'muah' and I'll leave you right where you stand."

3) Gang Starr- Ex Girl to Next Girl

"Ex Girl to Next Girl" is one of the most memorable beats in Hip Hop history. But you can't give all the credit to Primo here, Guru paints the picture to complement the superior production. This is definitely a benchmark for not only New York Hip Hop, but the entire genre.

4) The Notorious B.I.G.- Ten Crack Commandments

There is no Biggie song that I play more than "Ten Crack Commandments." I have few words to describe such a timeless song. The beat is absolutely incredible, and is perfect for B.I.G.'s cadence and flow. All that's left is for Biggie to tell you his rules to the game, and he does it with a menace and certainty that truly makes you believe in what he's telling you... the mark of a great storyteller.

5) The Notorious B.I.G.- Kick In the Door

Another crazy sample flip by Primo, this time revisiting Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You." I can't really imagine any other producer sampling this song, but Primo made this into an absolute banger. Supposedly, this was a diss track aimed at Ghostface and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, but it's a great song nonetheless.

6) Gang Starr- You Know My Steez

Gang Starr has a deep catalogue, but "You Know My Steez" is one of the dopest intro songs ever. Primo chops up Joe Simon's "Drowning in the Sea of Love," and Lydia Pense's "I Love You More Than You'll Ever You" to create this classic head-nodder. Not to be outdone, Guru has some solid lines as well, including "the wackness is spreadin' like the plague," which could easily relate to mainstream music nowadays.

7) Jay-Z- D'Evils

I was conflicted upon choosing this song because "Bring It On," and "Friend Or Foe" are also great songs (both are also produced by Primo), in their own right. "D'Evils" won out though simply because the song title is amazing. Seriously... "Bring It On," and "Friend Or Foe" are classics, but "D'Evils" tops 'em. I got nothin left to say about this one, just check it out.

8) Mos Def- Mathematics

"Mathematics" is the perfect example of why Primo is the king of cuttin' and scratchin'. His ability to create hooks by cuttin' lines from old records is incredible... "the mighty mos def... it's simple mathematics, check it out!" Black On Both Sides is a fantastic album and "Mathematics" is a big reason why.

9) NaS- NaS Is Like

"NaS is Like" is probably one of my top 5 favorite NaS songs, and that's something considering the fact that Illmatic is arguably the greatest Hip Hop album ever. From time to time, I'll listen to I Am, and the only thing I wonder is how dope this album could have been if Primo had done the majority of the production. The drums on this track are typical Premier... hard, boom bap NY style.

10) Common- The 6th Sense

Common is one of my favorite MC's of all time, and "The 6th Sense" is definitely one of his illest songs. DJ Premier serves up his standard boom bap over a sample that's tailor-made for a 'conscious' MC like Com Sense.

The Mighty Mos Def

Ski Beatz' 24 Hour Karate School mixtape is easily my most anticipated mixtape of the year (with honorable mention going to Jay Electronica's Act II). For whatever reason, it's suffered some delays, and quite a few people on the internet blogs have been throwing a hissy-fit about it. Well, now we can all relax because it looks like it's coming sooner rather than later... the official CD quality version of "Taxi" has been released. The track lives up to expectations, with both Ski and Mos holdin' it down.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Name Is Pete Rock, The Chocolate Boy Wonder

Whenever I see a new song produced by a living legend such as Pete Rock, it's essentially a done deal that I'll post it on the site. Pete's last album, NY's Finest, was slept on... it was definitely one of the better releases of 2008. So here we are with the newest Pete Rock-produced gem, and it bangs. One thing that's always amazed me about producers like Pete Rock and DJ Premier is they've managed to keep up during times when other old school producers have fallen off. I'm not gonna mention any names, but sometimes the truth hurts... Anyways, check out "Turn It Up."

That's How Music's Supposed to Sound

As many of you know, Dr. Dre has teamed up with Monster to create a new line of headphones called "Beats by Dr. Dre." Pretty much every athlete/celebrity owns a pair, and the sound quality is quite impressive. Dre has also been doing work with Hewlett Packard, and together they are releasing a line of laptops called "HP Beats Audio." The official commercial was recently released, and it features the manager from the TV show, "Flight of the Conchords." He's easily my favorite part of the 30 second clip, providing a hilarious cameo...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vizzy, Vizzy, Vizzy

Although XXL's Freshmen list can be spot on for some artists, it is impossible for them to pin point all the young talent that could make a name for themselves in the industry. I just recently started getting into some of XV's mixtape material.

Hailing from Kansas, he has the same youthful rap style as many of the other artists on the list, and is working to put his state on the map of hip-hop, where it has never been before. A couple of Vizzy's songs I heard that really got me curious about him and led to me downloading his mixtape, Everybody's Nobody.

XXL Freshman Highlight: Wiz Khalifa

I don't know exactly what it is about Wiz Khalifa that attracts me to him but I love the dude. He has a unique delivery and it just seems to me like he is always having fun on the mic. He is most known for his techno-sampled radio hit, Say Yeah, as well as the single Make It Hot. You can take the time to check out this Pittsburgh native's latest mixtape Burn After Rolling. His album, Deal or No Deal, is in stores now.

Hero Freestyle : Wiz tears up this Nas track, doing justice to a song that was already ridiculous to begin with.

Wassup : I like this track because he takes us back to the basics - just going off the top with something simple to guide you.

B.A.R. : One of my favorite Wiz tracks, this song is the title track off his Burn After Rolling mixtape.

XXL Freshman Highlight: J. Cole

I haven't heard too much from Roc Nation artist J. Cole but he was featured on the BP3 track A Star is Born. Definitely a smart move for a new artist based out of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and it got him into the spotlight of hip-hop fans pretty quickly. You can also hear him get a verse in on a new Reflection Eternal track, Just Begun, that also featured Mos Def and fellow new artist Jay Electronica, in this post. You can also see Mr. Evan's feature on the artist in his Who's Next series.

Lights Please : This was the track J. Cole played for Jay-Z that got him to sign this young artist.

B.o.B ft. J. Cole - Gladiators : An amazing track with two newly established artists. Off B.o.B's most recent mixtape, May 25th.

Young Chris ft. J. Cole - Still The Hottest : Here is a showcase of two Roc Nation's artist with Young Chris sort of passing the torch to his new label mate.

XXL Freshman Highlight: Fashawn

Fashawn is definitely a talented young artist hailing from the West Coast. He has that old school rap feel to him which I never mind in a new artist. His Higher Learning Mixtape, which you can check out here, got him some internet hype and he can only go up from here.

KiD CuDi ft. Fashawn - Day N Nite Remix : For someone to go in on Day N Nite like he did, it definitely shows that this artist deserves some attention.

Sunday Morning : I don't know where this beat comes from, but I have heard it on Tiger Woods '09. Fashawn fits perfectly on this upbeat track.

XXL Freshman Highlight: Big Sean

It was rumored that XXL's Freshman Class list for 2010 was leaked back in late 2009. If you are unfamiliar, XXL magazine does a top ten list of up and coming artists at the beginning of the year that they believe will make a splash in the industry. Last years list included the likes of KiD CuDi, Asher Roth, B.o.B, and Wale.

This years freshmen ten includes "A New Breed of Hustlers." These artists, in no particular order, are J. Cole, Pill, Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa, OJ Da Juiceman, Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean, Jay Rock, Fashawn, and Donnis. I wanted to take the time to highlight a few of these artists that I have been following for a bit as well as artists on this list that I would like to get more familiar with.


First off, I wanted to start off with an artist that I feel needs to grow as an artist before he can make a lasting impression on the industry. I haven't gotten too into the G.O.O.D. artist Big Sean, but it seems like he has potential. It doesn't help to have the guiding hand of Kanye West either.

Intro : Not as much an intro as it is a track, but it gives a good introduction to this young artist.

Glenwood ft. Kanye West : There is no denying that Kanye took Sean to the house on this one, but he still holds his own on one of the first classes I heard this new artist on.

Supa Dupa Lemonade Freestyle : Big Sean really seems to be at home over this Gucci beat and has fun delivering.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keeping Up

KiD CuDi needs to release Cudder soon.

I'm pretty excited to see what the Kid has up his sleeve for his sophomore LP. With my last post, which you can see here, I shared a track called Cudderisback where he went over Vampire Weekend's track, Ottoman. It's good to see an artist still having fun with what he is doing, especially while working on another album and with the huge success of his first album. Below is a video that Cudi released to the tune of Cudderisback.

You can also see KiD CuDi putting up a verse on a new Snoop track off the re-release of his most recent album, calling it More Malice. The track is entitled That Tree and will be among five tracks from the original release of Malice in Wonderland, four other new tracks, and two remixed tracks.

EDIT: KiD CuDi and Snoop link up on another track which some say was supposed to be their collab on the upcoming sophomore album Cudder. Cudi said this was a track off the Man In The Moon demo so we will need to wait and see how everything unfolds, when his next album Cudder finally drops.

For the Streets

Since I have been slacking lately, this post is going to feature a few tough tracks from artists all over the country. From The Game to Fat Joe, there are many artists our there today that rap for their fans from hood to hood. This is that music that entertains millions world wide and I believe that needs to be appreciated.

First off is the best Fat Joe track I have heard since Hey Joe. The song Ha Ha (Slow Down) features Young Jeezy on the chorus as well as a verse of his own. Don't know where the production came from but it is definitely worth noting as well.

Another notable track is a recent freestyle from Ludacris. His world play is outrageous. The southern heavy hitter comes fierce on a track that deserves someone better spitting over than Plies.

I have another freestyle from one fourth of Slaughterhouse as well as the song the beat came from. Royce da 5'9" comes in over Lil' Wayne's Drop the World that featured Eminem, and does he thing. No argument here though that Eminem's verse tops all.

Finally I wanted to post up a track with one of my favorite rappers, The Game, and one of the greatest older rappers still in the game, Busta Rhymes. These two rappers take turns murdering the track. Originally thought this track would be off Game's upcoming R.E.D. Album, but I can't find any confirmation on that.


Not your typical posse cut by DJ Khaled, Victory is probably one of my favorite songs from the producer to date. To hear Nas flow as tight as he did back when he dropped Illmatic and the like is nothing short of impressive. That's talent. And including probably my favorite R&B singer on the hook is the final touch. John Legends way above average vocals on the chorus makes this a serious track and not just a radio or club banger.

All parties involved came to put out a track that wasn't just another song on your playlist. This track is most definitely worth the download. Off DJ Khaled's Victory, that was released March 2nd.

Guilty Pleasure

There is nothing amazing lyrical or different about the music that Audio Push is putting out. Saying that, I can't say that I don't enjoy the tracks I've been hearing. Teach Me How To Jerk was ridiculous. It had people wanted to do the reject from coast to coast. More recently I heard two very similar songs they put out, one featuring the New Boyz.

There is something about Girlz Are Like Busses that is relatable, and I feel like that's a lot of the appeal. Enjoy these three tracks that are guaranteed to send some people to the dance floor.

RIP Big Punisher

Better late than never to morn the loss of such an influential rapper. With the recent Anniversary of the passing of Big Pun, there have been a couple tracks floating around the net. I'm talking exclusive freestyles, unheard tracks, and rare gems. What I have for you today is a track that someone put together featuring Punisher along side two of today's talented rappers, Styles P and Joell Ortiz.

It's hard to say if either P or Joell hold their ground with this ridiculous Pun verse, but they definitely make the effort. The hook-less track delivers all the way through. It's amazing to think about what the industry would be like today if rappers like Joellm who have so much appretiation for what Pun did for Puerto Rican rappers, could actually be heard featured on tracks with him today. This track leaves something to be imagined.

Locked Up

I do not consider myself much of a Lil' Wayne fan. I appreciate everything he has done for the music industry by promoting sales as well as continually making music for his fans. The problem I have is that Wayne has been a talented rapper for a long time, but he is a completely different rapper now than he was a few years ago, when he released tracks like Hustla Musik. I can do without all the nonsense flows, but still appreciate a talented artist when I see one.

I heard one track off his most recent mixtape, Gone Til November, which speaks to the fact that he will be incarcerated for the next couple of months. This is the same mixtape title that T.I. had recently used when he was sent upstate. The track, entitled We Gone Get Paid, is a low key Wayne flow, but I definitely enjoyed the song.

For some reason, I have a feeling that even with his incarceration, we are going to be seeing plenty of new, unheard Wayne tracks.

Crowd Control

Mr. Evans recently threw up a new track from the underground rap group Kidz In The Hall, featuring the lyrical stylings of Naledge and the production of Double O. The group is touring to promote their upcoming album Land of Make Believe, which was released March 9th.

They are currently performing with the likes of fellow rappers Donnis, who was recently admitted to XXL's 2010 Freshman Class, Izza Kizza, and 88-Keys. Together with Kidz In The Hall, they released a track titled after their tour, Crowd Control.

I'm also hitting you guys up with another track off their album which features Chip Tha Ripper and Donnis as well. Fresh Academy may be a track all about boasting and bragging, but they make their point clear.

Slaughterhouse Showcase

For those of your that are not familiar with Slaughterhouse, they are the "rap supergroup" made up of undergroup spitters Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, and Royce da 5'9". They formed late in 2008 after they all appeared together on the Joe Budden album Halfway House, on the song Slaughterhouse.

They released their self titled album to the acclaim of many. Each member of the group feeds off each other to create an album which I can listen to practically beginning to end. They have all been releasing a lot of freestyles over tracks for mixtapes and many just for the fans.

This featured track is a freestyle over Lloyd Bank's Beamer, Benz, or Bentley. Joell had his own freestyle over it entitled Nissan, Honda Chevy, while Joey linked up with Royce on the song New York, Jersey, Philly. This "mash-up" combines Joey and Joell's verse to give us an end product that is the best of both worlds.

I Said I Would Do It

After a year of waiting, I finally found the opportunity to see B.o.B in concert, especially since we are on the heels of the release of his debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray set for release April 27th. He is currently touring with Lupe Fiasco and the two are set the play the House of Blue's in Boston the first week in April.

I can't express how excited I am. B.o.B has an energy to his rap game, like many up and coming acts, and I imagine that his live performance will more than meet my expectations. Below I am posting a track by Bobby Ray that is supposedly a track done about three years ago. I find it hard to believe a track like this couldn't have gotten him exposure a few years ago. With T Pain at the track and at the heat of his popularity, I would have believed a track like this could have gained well-deserved popularity.

The Hustla

Cassidy is the kind of rapper that will come with something real tight every once in a while and cruises under the radar in between big tracks. He puts out constant fire mostly due to his quick-tongued delivery that stems from his history of being a freestyle rapper.

He recently teamed up with the production talents of Swizz Beatz to put out this club track Henny n Bacardi. Swizz has a standard hook that keeps you moving in between verses and the energy of the production is off the charts. Cassidy comes hard, switching up the flow, and he does not disappoint.

I also decided to post a Cass song that I came across while shuffling through my library. I wanted to reliberate this track that has a similar energy. It seems like him and Cory Gunz mesh so well together because of their similar flow. The track ends amazingly with The Hustla flowing even after the beat cuts off. tEnjoy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Comedian Cam

I'm convinced that if Cam'Ron wasn't a rapper, the dude would be a comedian. Time after time he drops absolute gems of hilarity. Case in point with this new song from Cam and his partner in crime, Vado, called "Amber Lamps." Apparently the song is off of his new mixtape, Boss of All Bosses 2, which has suffered quite a few push-backs. If you don't understand the sheer genius of this song title, let me paint the picture for you. Better yet, just watch the video...

If you didn't catch it, after the dude gets socked in the mouth, he says "bring the ambulance."
However, due to his accent, in addition to his cut lip, it sounds more like "bring da amba lamps."
Of course, it was only a matter of time until Cam made a song about this...

Also, another classic Cam moment was when he went on Bill O'Reilly's show with Dame Dash.
Dame actually presents a pretty valid argument, but Cam pretty much makes a mockery out of
the whole thing. Needless to say, it's a must-see.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where I'm From, Marcy Son, Ain't Nothin' Nice

"Where I'm From" is without a doubt one of my favorite Jay-Z songs. It's gotta be the hardest beat Jay's ever rapped over, and you can feel the menace of the projects just listening to this classic. When I saw that Amen-Ra, a member of Diddy's production team, The Hitmen, made a video describing how he created "Where I'm From," I knew I had to post this. I'm a sucker for watching production "how to" videos. There are tons of them all over youtube, including ones with Black Milk, 9th Wonder, The Heatmakerz, D.R. Period, and Just Blaze, so I'll be sure to post some of those in the future.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Those Silly Kids...

Naledge and Double O, also known collectively as Kidz in the Hall, are far from one of my favorite groups, but I will say they have released some pretty solid songs over the past few years. Their 2006 album, School Was My Hustle, was definitely overlooked and is absolutely worth checking out. Their newest CD, Land of Make Believe, drops tomorrow, and hopefully they can move some units. The latest single is the Just Blaze and Colin Munroe assisted "Take Over the World." It's co-produced by Double O and Just Blaze, and Mr. Munroe takes care of the hook. The track is dope, so check it out.

REvolutions Per Minute

I don't care what anyone says, Kweli and Hi-Tek are near the top of the list when it comes to producer/MC duos in Hip Hop. Their chemistry is simply undeniable, whether you take their first album, Train of Thought, or any of the other songs they've collaborated on, the finished product is always top-notch. Now, with the album on deck for April 20th, we have the official first single and accompanying video. The song is real hot, and Hi-Tek laced this beat. Talib, as usual, comes with enough bars to satisfy any Hip Hop head.

Here's the official video for "In This World"... get ready for April 20th

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Young Spitter That Everybody in Rap Fear

And here it is, the first single off of Drake's debut album Thank Me Later, "Over." I've listened to this song quite a few times, and it's definitely growing on me even though the hook is sub-par. The beat is an absolute heater thanks to Boi-1da, and Drake brings it for the most part. Drake's verses do the job, and I'm really feelin' the song, but the hook is a bit of a letdown. I will say the one aspect I'm very pleased with is that he came with some heat... something that's got a little heavier vibe, and isn't so lighthearted like "Best I Ever Had."

Before this single was released I was definitely worried about the direction of Drake's debut album. I'm still not entirely convinced that it will be anything but a mainstream shit-sandwich of an album, however, this is more along the lines I was looking for out of the kid. There's no doubt Drake is talented, but I'd hate to see him put together an album full of radio cuts with The Dream and other pop music regulars.

There's Still No Competition

At long last, the highly anticipated follow up to Fabolous' There Is No Competition mixtape has finally dropped. Hosted by DJ Drama and his Gangsta Grillz series, Fab has unleashed There Is No Competition 2: The Funeral Service. I haven't had the opportunity to listen to this tape yet, but if it's anything like the 1st Competition, it's gonna be fire. Fab is one of the illest MC's out there. It's unfortunate that he hasn't been able to put together a full, cohesive album, but the dude has hits for days.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

We Form Like Voltron

Fresh off the press, Rae, Ghost, and Meth have hit us with the latest fire off of their Wu Massacre album. "Criminology 2.5" is a remade, properly mixed version of the leak of "Criminology 2" from late 2009. Originially, it was thought that "Criminology 2" would appear on Rae's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, but it appears that Method Man has added a third verse to the song which is now dropping on Wu Massacre. The song instantly brings back memories of the first Cuban Linx album, but with an updated feel.

"Criminology 2.5"

Also, check out the tracklist for Wu Massare, which looks beyond dope...

1) Criminology 2.5 (feat. Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Method Man)
2) Mef Vs. Chef (feat. Rhythm Roots Allstars) [prod. by Allah Mathematics]
3) Ya Moms skit (feat. Method Man & Raekwon)
4) Smooth Sailing Remix (feat. Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Solomon Childs & Streetlife) [prod. by Ty Fyffe]
5) Our Dreams (feat. Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Method Man) [prod. by RZA]
6) Gunshowers (feat. Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck & Sun God) [prod. by Digem Tracks Productions]
7) Dangerous (feat. Rhythm Roots Allstars) [prod. by Allah Mathematics]
8) Pimpin' Chipp (feat. Rhythm Roots Allstars) [prod by. E Meal]
9) How to Pay Rent skit (feat. Tracy Morgan)
10) Miranda (feat. Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & Method Man) [prod. by Allah Mathematics]
11) Youngstown Heist (feat. Trife, Sheek & Bully) [prod. by Scram Jones]
12) It's That Wu Shit (feat. Ghostface Killah & Method Man) [prod. by Scram Jones]

Wu Massacre drops March 30th... support good music and cop it