Hiero's DJ Prepares New Solo Album, Recruits Bay Legend and Up-And-Comer For Non-Album Track
Oakland native, and official DJ for the legendary Hieroglyphics Crew, DJ Toure lends his beats to Tajai from Souls of Mischief and up and coming Bay-Area rapper Nio Tha Gift, who demonstrate their contrasting but distinct, Bay Area-influenced styles and attitudes. Although the song is not featured on Toure's upcoming album, Toure's Theory, which will be dropping this Spring via Interdependent Media, the video is a taste of the Hiero energy that fans can expect throughout that project, on which Toure will bring together a mix of veteran and up-and-coming rappers, pairing them over his beats. For this particular track, Nio's nasal flow is paired with Tajai's own gravelly vocals, as the pair take turns flipping their polysyllabic rhymes atop Toure's urgent sounding production, complete with shrill horn stabs and distorted bass.
DJ Toure's album, Toure's Theory, will be available Spring 2011 via Interdependent Media.
Toure “DJ Toure” Duncan of Hieroglyphics grew up playing drums in church and at school, a passion that soon sparked an interest in production and he started Djing in the 6th grade. The local Oakland music scene contributed greatly to his main influences which spanned many musical styles, from Hip Hop to Gospel to R&B. Dj Toure's childhood also saw the formation of Hieroglyphics. He attended elementary school with Casual in the 4th grade, and A-Plus, Tajai and Opio lived close by in the neighborhood over the hill from Toure’s home. When Del officially started the Hieroglyphics crew in the late 1980s, Toure became Casual’s official DJ. As a producer of hits for Hieroglyphics crew, Toure began to make a name for himself as a producer in the Bay Area and he then started to work with independent artists including Too $hort, E-40, Father Dom, Beeda Weeda, Goapele, and many others. With his production company, 101% Music, Toure has singlehandedly acted as an incubator for new talent in the Bay. As a live act, DJ Toure has traveled the Americas, Canada and internationally to Japan as a DJ and member of Hieroglyphics and rocked stages alongside the X-Ecutioners, Mos Def, Wu-Tang, Nas, Common, Talib Kweli and countless others.
Latest Single From Roachy Balboa 2 Celebrates, Looks To The Future
Critical Praise for Roach Gigz:
"Here's to the new age of rap. And Roach Gigz. Who is awesome. - The FADER
Roachy Balboa is one of the most energetically fun rap records released this year. - Pitchfork
Selected as a member of 106 KMEL's (the biggest Bay Area hip-hop station) Freshmen Class of 2010.
It's been little over a month since Roach Gigz released his new mixtape, Roachy Balboa 2, and already in that short period of time it's received glowing reviews and positive feedback. His latest mixtape is the reprise to Roachy Balboa, which was released last May, around the same time that he was chosen as one of the ten 106 KMEL Bay Area Freshman for 2010. Roach plans to drop several new videos over the coming months, including a forthcoming video for the previously released single "Syrup Thighs," and now is giving fans a brand new single from the tape, "Rockin' & Rollin'."
In Roach Gigz fashion, "Rockin' & Rollin" is a synth driven anthem. "We getting' higher and higher/ Don't ever think we'll ever be low/ We getting' higher and higher/ Let's see how far we can go," exclaims Roach on the track's chorus. For Roach, the track is all about enjoying the days we have at hand, while still aspiring for success. "It's being able to celebrate these moments with the select few friends who have been along for the ride," remarks Roach. "Just recognizing where we're at, but at the same time knowing we haven't made it yet." Holding true to this comradery, the featured artists on the track is Roach Gigz' good friend and Mango Mob member, Marlo. "He's been working on a bunch of music," says Roach, explaining why the two worked together for this track. "I wanted to shine some light on him and what he's doing."
"Gutter Rainbows" is not the first time Talib Kweli has experimented with an unconventional means of releasing his music. In 2005 he bootlegged his own album. In 2007 he released a FREE album with Madlib called "Liberation" online, although the download vanished from the Stones Throw website a week later. Kweli is both unpredictable and mercurial when it comes to proliferating his works, signs of both his artistic temperament and eccentric genius - focus on the word "genius" though. His name is a source of unending debate among hip-hop fans who can't agree on how much of a genius he is. Some boldly state he is the best rap lyricist in history, while others retort that if he's so damn good he ought to try fitting all his words into one line for a change. Even his admirers will agree that a Kweli rap song is often like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill - the flow goes everywhere. It's not a cement cap that stops Kweli though - it's a lack of support by the music industry for anything not guaranteed to gold or platinum on shipping alone. It should come as no surprise then that "Gutter Rainbows" was conceived of as a digital-only release, although rumors of a physical CD persist. For now you can get this album from Amazon and other similar outlets. "
"Roman historians and scholars are often divided on answering this one simple question: "Was Caligula truly insane?" Unpopular Roman Emperors ALL seem to be judged as "mad" to some degree by history, and there's some sentiment that this is revisionist history at its finest. There's little question there was a power struggle between Caligula and the Roman Senate during his reign, and that many of his public works were extravagant and/or self-indulgent, but as Emperors go that's just about par for the course. Even the sexual depravity of which Caligula is so often accused as proof of his madness was not unheard of among the Roman elites. They acquired boredom in one hand as they did wealth and status in the other, and finding things to amuse/fascinate/shock themselves was always a challenge. The other side of this coin is that there are almost no accounts which do not portray Caligula as excessively cruel, unnecessarily sadistic, lustful and drunk off his own ego. As the son of a popular military leader he rose to power at the people's ovation, and at first he played the role of a populist by cutting taxes and giving bonuses to the hard working soldiers, but in the end his personal steed Incitatus fared better than the public - living in a gilded stable while ordinary Romans lived in squalor. That same public was forced to worship Caligula as a living god. "
"From Snoop Dogg to Scarface, from Game to G-Unit, there's no doubt that if you consumed a daily diet of hip-hop from across America in the last decade plus you heard at least ONE Nottz beat on a hot-ass album. He's just that ubiquitous - everybody seems to love the sound that he throws down and even your favorite rapper's favorite rapper wants to rap to his instrumentals. Then there's Asher Roth - the white bread rapper who got a leg up into the industry with the help of DJ Drama and Don Cannon, then won over frat boys everywhere with his party anthem "I Love College." Roth's trademark is a quirky sense of humor which has been compared both favorably and negatively to the only somewhat similar stylings of famous white rap artist Eminem. The reason for these two to collaborate on an EP are at least on the surface obvious. Roth certainly isn't going to turn down a chance to spit bars to a Nottz track, let alone more than a half-dozen of them. The already established Nottz doesn't really have anything to prove, but working with Asher Roth pairs his name in the limelight with a currently popular rapper, keeping the value of his name and his production skills high. Rappers shopping for someone to take them from unknown to globally known hear the Nottz tracks on a free Asher EP and say "Whatever his price, I'll pay it." Boom - Nottz stock just went up. "
"I used to work with an African-American doctor who had gone to school at a cow town in Northern California. She described watching "In Living Color" with her dorm mates, most of whom were white agriculture students. She said that it made her uncomfortable, because the show was black people making fun of black people. Her white dorm mates seemed to be laughing at the cast instead of with them. I feel the same way listening to Staten Island rapper NYOil. NYOil is music made by an African-American for an African-American audience. This mixtape offers a 22 songs that criticize the worst elements of African-American culture. It's an airing of dirty laundry that is necessary, but uncomfortable for an outsider (ie. this white reviewer) to witness. NYOil exposing and viciously calling out the worst elements and aspects of his culture, and it would be easy for an outsider to take that as criticism of the culture as a whole.
NYOil has come a long way since his name meant "New York's Original International Lover." In the process, he has transformed himself into a provocateur and critic of hip-hop in particular, and African-American culture in general. He's not afraid to call African-Americans out on the things they are doing wrong, and he is merciless to rappers that he feels are presenting a negative image of African-American culture. "
"Never judge a book by its cover. When I heard that "Black Materia" was an album centered around the famous RPG Final Fantasy VII and named after a character in the game, I wrote the album off almost immediately without even hearing a single track. I had never even heard of Random, aka Mega Ran, and I simply couldn't fathom how any emcee could turn a video game into a rap album without coming off as nerdy and immature. What's more, while I don't abstain from all video games, I have never played Final Fantasy and therefore know almost nothing about the game itself. My initial skepticism, though, was quelled after just a quick listen through of the album, which couldn't have been further from what I expected, and I soon found myself mesmerized by Random's powerful flow and impressive storytelling ability. Right off the bat, it's obvious that Random isn't afraid to bridge the gap between hip-hop and other genres, as Lost Perception, who produces every song on the CD, incorporates elements from soul, electronic, and classical music in his beats. What really makes Random unique, though, is his trademark style of sampling music from retro video games, and "Black Materia" stays with this trend."
"Another of those oh-so-unlikely musical combinations that they actually ought to be expected as part for the course took place when Sydney, AU producer Katalyst and soulful London, UK singer Steve Spacek combined to form the Space Invadas duo. The latter is arguably the better known of the two, having previously collaborated with a plethora of hip-hop artists such as Common, Mos Def and Slum Village just to name a few. If you heard a crooner you didn't recognize on a rap track but thought he sounded like a vintage soul singer from the 1970's, it may have been Spacek. As it turns out that's the very sound of R&B rock 'n soul that best defines the Space Invadas. Though their name borrows from a video game that first came out in 1978, their sound is vintage early 70's in every respect. If you blindfolded someone and played them a Motown record from the same era and then played the first four tracks from the Space Invadas EP, they'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. The titular "Done It Again" is all organs, bass and funk. If you didn't know better you'd think Katalyst had simply looped a song straight off the "Superfly" soundtrack, right down to the "wah wah" guitar sound - even more easily picked out in the accompanying instrumental. "
Stereo Boyz :: Live from the Ghettoblaster :: Stereo Boyz as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Continuing the unofficial "Winter of Detroit Hip-Hop" on RapReviews.com are the Stereo Boyz, consisting of Mixo (aka Applauze Beetz), Mic Audio (aka Perfect Hell) and Kid Boombox. The members were previously part of a collective called Rhyme Asylum but split off to release a group album on their own, though it's presumed to be an amicable split. The only people that the Stereo Boyz seem to have any beef with are inferior acts that don't take the craft of making rap music seriously. They waste no time calling out those rappers and producers on the opening track of "Live from the Ghettoblaster" and pull no punches about it, saying that the rap scene has become a "Circus Act" full of clowns. Their disdain is self-evident, what they offer as an alternative somewhat less so. Decrying other aspects of hip-hop as being the ruin of the genre is far more fashionable than backpacks and reversible sweaters. If it's not the East coast blaming the West coast, the South blaming the North, the indie rappers blaming the mainstream stars, or any vice versa or combination thereof, then it's all of the above blaming the internet."
It's time for another dope edition of Hip-Hop Shop! This week is The 'Big Game' Recovery Edition, jam packed with new tracks by PaceWon, Raekwon, MIMS and Asher Roth among others! Remember you can always send your feedback, podsafe (RIAA free) music, advertising requests and all feedback to email@example.com. Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check it out every Tuesday on RapReviews.com!
* Korbin Pheenix f/ Omega - Art of the Two-Piece * Asher Roth & Nottz - Don'tcha Wanna Be (My Neighbor) * PaceWon & Mr. Green - My Song * MIMS f/ Tommie Sox - Winter's My Summer * Raekwon - Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang * Carnage45 - Award Winner * IMAKEMADBEATS f/ Hezekiah, Keziah & Thomas Clay - What's It Gonna Be
Download: The Brainstormers Presents... "Brainstormers EP"
CAYOZ x PRAVERB x A.L LAUREATE x DJ GRAZZHOPPA x O*ZEE "FEAT. CROOKED I x SKYZOO x HELL RAZAH x MANCHILD"
The Brainstormers were conceived due to the success of its predecessors. The Wu Tang Clan, Task Force, The Arsonists, The Jurassic 5, Slum Village, and most recently Slaughterhouse paved the way for the development of this group. Each member possesses a specific skill that is brought to the forefront.
The group consists of Cayoz, A.L. Laureate, Praverb, DJ Grazzhoppa & O*Zee. The true essence of this group is on display when they collectively attack a song. The Brainstormers are poised to make a mark in an industry that is cluttered with uninspired material. This EP will serve as an introduction to the collective.
01.) By All Means (Produced By Deca One) 02.) Mind's Design (Produced By O*Zee) 03.) 4 Corner Vision (feat. Crooked I) (Produced By Teddy Roxpin) 04.) Proceed With Caution (feat. Skyzoo) (Produced By Teddy Roxpin) 05.) Righteous Soldiers (feat. Hell Razah) (Produced By Teddy Roxpin) 06.) Same Start (feat. Manchild) (of Mars ILL) (Produced By DJ Frantic)