The Golden Era meets the Now with the release of Apollo Brown and OC’s collaborative album Trophies on Mello Music Group. Apollo Brown has spent the last few years gaining respect and accolades for his production and OC is a revered veteran from the legendary DITC.
Trophies is a testament to the permanence of gritty, raw, boom-bap Hip-Hop. 16 tracks, no guests, no filler. The album has been highly anticipated by real heads world wide, so much so the album debuted at #8 on the US iTunes Hip-Hop charts. Some retailers were even shipping the physical copies early to eager fans but today is the official release date of Trophies everywhere—CD, vinyl and digital.
In celebration of the occasion, enjoy a free download of “Just Walk.” The powerful track finds Apollo Brown flipping a legendary sample into a triumphant composition with potent horn stabs. OC matches the majesty of Apollo’s beat by waxing poetically about his “alpha male ego” and comparing his street respect to that of Nuyorican poet Miguel Piñero. Calm and mature yet still rugged and live, “Just Walk” is exemplary of the kind of substance you can expect from Trophies. Enjoy the sounds, tell a friend and remember, Trophies in stores now!!!
Lega-C Releases "Get Along" To Protest Tulsa, OK Hate Crimes
Block Starz Music recording artist Lega-C, who is known for her YouTube clips "White Girl Raps Fast" and "Hate On Me", has released a new song called "Get Along" to protest the racially-charged violence that left three black people dead and two injured in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 6, 2012.
Jake England, 19, who is a Cherokee Indian, and Alvin Watts, 33, who is white, are each being held at the Tulsa Jail on three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting with intent to kill. England and Watts were arrested about 48 hours after police began discovering multiple gunshot victims in the historically-black North Side of Tulsa.
"Get Along", produced by The Deeksta, is a collaboration between Lega-C (born Danielle McLean) and local African-American rapper and youth activist Playya 1000 (born Fred Frierson), who, in addition to coaching inner-city youth basketball, goes into area schools and uses Hip-Hip to motivate at-risk students.
"My hope is that the rest of the country doesn't think that what happened is normal or to be expected in Oklahoma," says Frierson of the shootings, which have attracted media from across the country, including correspondents for the New York Times, CBS, NBC’s "Today" show and CNN.
Playya 1000 and Lega-C, who will release her Block Starz Music debut album, "Off My Medication", this Fall, are planning to shoot an official music video to "Get Along" in coming weeks.
Fly Moon Royalty has kept plenty busy since the release of their self-titled debut album earlier this year. The Seattle duo has taken to stages around the country to perform Fly Moon Royalty live, while also releasing a handful of special remixes and non-album singles, and now, singer AdraBoo and producer Action Jackson are excited to announce a brand new EP, Dimensions. The EP, serving as a thank you to Fly Moon's loyal fan base, will be offered to fans for free download, and to celebrate the EP announcement, Adra and Action are releasing the EP's debut single, "My Heart Keeps Pumping."
Action Jackson sets the tone for this song, creating a solemn, synth-infused foundation, which he accents with steady, repeating handclaps throughout. The goal for Action, sonically, was to accentuate the song's emotional message, and Adra used that vibe to discuss relationship woes. "I'm talking about that point in time following a break-up," explains Adra, noting that the song was penned with someone particular in mind. "No matter how many times you feel that feeling, it never seems to get any easier. You only get better at identifying the problem." While the song does deal with having loved and lost, the message is not all sad. "Life and love are painful sometimes," notes Adra, "but tomorrow is a new day."
Video: Mr. Brady x Tajai - "That Soul" Ft. Just Brea
It’s been nearly three months since the release of Machine Language, the latest solo effort from Tajai, one-fourth of the Souls Of Mischief and torch bearer of the Hieroglyphics crew. On that album, Tajai teamed up with fellow west coast native and producer, Mr. Brady for the track "That Soul," and now the pair have come together to shoot a video for the song.
“That Soul,” which also shows up on Brady's own album, Labor Of Love, begins with an innocent, alluring piano sample as we enter the bedroom of Tajai. “That Soul” Director, Smash Rockwell (aka Casual of Hieroglyphics) of Wetfoot Filmworks, brings viewers an introspective glimpse at one of hip-hop’s most respected vets cradling his infant daughter and looking after his chicken coop in the visual. “Since the song was self-exploratory,” explains Tajai, “I wanted the video clip to be as ‘real’ as possible, basically showing the ‘real me’ get-down as a father, homesteader and of course, MC.”
Throughout the visual, Tajai can be seen doing his early morning grooming, tending to his garden, and raising real, live chickens in his backyard. “I really enjoyed hanging in the coop with the chickens and bees,” the Souls of Mischief member elucidates. “I think the biggest challenge was to make the mundane interesting, and Smash achieved this through innovative camera angles and cuts.”
If you missed any of the new reviews this past week, including Del the Funky Homosapien & Parallel Thought's "Attractive Sin" then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!
"If I could get away with a two sentence review, this would be the first one. The other one would be "This is a brilliant album - go out and buy it when it drops on June 19th." No? That won't cut it? Well fuck it then. Let me start out by pointing out this is the lineal successor to the "Parallel Uni-Verses" album from 2009, although this time Del is not collaborating with Tame One. That's not due to any animosity or ill will that I'm aware of, but if you can attribute it to anything it's that both artists have multiple irons in the fire right now. Del could even wind up dropping a sequel to "Deltron 3030" album before this one sees an official release. The album I have now sounds done though, and there aren't even any "for promotional use only" drops on it. (Please don't ask me to rip you a copy though; it's watermarked, and I wouldn't anyway.) "Attractive Sin" is billed by the one-sheet that came with the promo as "legendary West Coast style" meets "Parallel Thought's East Coast production." That's accurate, but grossly understates the credentials of both artists involved. P Thought is fairly slept on in the industry today - he may not have the big name of Statik Selektah, Alchemist or Primo, but he's laced beats for some of the most lyrically adept cats in the game. That includes the aforementioned Tame, MF DOOM and C-Rayz Walz just to name a few. And as the producer of record for "Parallel Uni-Verses," it should already be clear what he's capable of even if you don't know his name - his beats would get 4 out of 5 mics in The Source (even back when that hailed a hip-hop classic). "
"As any North American who has ever smoked a joint or gone to high school or college knows, 420 is code for smoking pot. It's origins are hazy and unclear, not suprising since it came from a bunch of stoners. Some people claim it is for police code for marijuana posession, but it isn't. Supposedly it comes from a group of San Rafael High kids who used to meet to get stoned at 4:20pm every day, which is just as likely an explanation as any other. Whatever the origins, 4:20 PM on April 20th is basically stoner's St. Patrick Day. This past Friday afternoon marked the twentieth day of the fourth month, and tens of thousands of young people flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury to hang out on Hippie Hill, spark a bowl, and enjoy getting nicely toasted with a group of like-minded pot enthusiasts. There are many songs about getting high, and the latest "Ragga Ragga Ragga" compilation has one of the best ones. British dancehall artist Gappy Ranks celebrates the sweet leaf on "Da Herbs Deh." Producer Derrick "Wundah" Cyrus takes the concept of "less is more" to the extreme, fashioning a beat out of some snare hits interspersed with a few tom hits and handclaps. Over this skeletal framework Ranks supplies the melody with his sing/chant as he kills the beat extolling the many wonders of the herb. It's ragga stripped down to its most essential elements, with lyrics that would make any stoner proud. "
Dewey Binns X medafORACLE :: Hotel Nompton :: Bandcamp as reviewed by Matt Jost
""Make room!" Tha Alkaholiks brazenly demanded on their 1993 debut single. medafORACLE and Dewey Binns need some room as well, but as the opener of their freEP "Hotel Nompton," "Room to Rock" indicates, they will absolutely settle for a hotel room. The five tracks were recorded in a hotel in Norman, OK over just a weekend. What business did they have there, you ask? Since Norman is the home of the University of Oklahoma, there's some probability they were there to entertain the college crowd. On "Room to Rock" we catch ORACLE right after the show pushing CDs and longing for "a room with a lotta room cause I need to stretch out / and it'll be a couple of days before I check out." Meanwhile Binns is still alert enough to take precautions for life on the road. After three tracks it seems that Dewey Binns and medafORACLE have worn the 'hotel' concept out. On "Robert Downey Jr." they seek inspiration from one of Hollywood's bad boys while "Street Conscious" looks at the urban hustle and bustle through the musical lens of soul."
"When I was compiling my 2011 round-up in December I found it a lot more difficult narrowing my initial list of twenty or so albums down to the required ten that I viewed as the best releases of the past twelve months. Names were added and then crossed out and then added again before I finally settled on the ten that I felt best reflected my year in hip-hop. Some of these albums found their place due to the MC's spitting pure fire (Apathy, Random Axe) while others had a whole LP's worth of beats that knocked hard (Doppelgangaz, Mister Jason). However the first album that I scribbled down on my list made it for an entirely different reason. Entertainment. As a producer, D-Tension should need no introduction. A well-known and respected name behind the boards in the indie rap scene, Mr Perez has served up his own unique brand of heat for a seemingly endless list of underground favourites. Slug, Esoteric, Termanology, Apathy, Vinnie Paz, Thirstin Howl III, Mr Lif, Encore and Akrobatik are among the 'dope people' that have showcased their talents over D-Tension's own special brand of 'wack music'. While D has never been frightened to pick up the microphone and craft a few songs of his own, a twenty track album where guest lyricists are kept to a bare minimum is quite a difficult project to undertake and execute. "
"Multi-generational rap star E-40 released three separate albums on March 26, 2012. Depending on what versions you buy, that's anywhere from 54-60 new songs if you copped all three at once. My copies of each album have had 18 songs, so I can't speak on the bonus tracks, but to be honest I'm not sad about it. There's already over an hour's worth of music on each album without the extras, so it's not as though Earl Stevens was scrimping on the content. It's not unprecedented for E-40 to be heavyweight, but he usually spreads out the girth over weeks or months. This time he dropped the whole load in one shot, like it or not. For the most part I like it, and "Soil 3" contains some of the best material out of the entire set. It also contains the songs with the most crossover potential. "What You Smoking On" is a California super-collaboration, linking Vallejo to Long Beach as Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound get down over a very "Chronic 2001" style beat complete with crooning by Kokane. Speaking of G-Funk, you can feel the smoky sound bubbling up through the waters of the Warren G produced "What Happened to Them Days" featuring J Banks. I called E-40 "multi-generational" in the first paragraph in a none-too-subtle attempt to explain how long he's been in the rap game, but as it turns out E-40 may not be happy about being around that long. He's pining for a time when things seemed less technological and complicated."
Kool Rock Jay and the DJ Slice :: Tales From the Dope Side :: Jive Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"By 1990 Jive was a brand a rap fan could trust, the label's roster including Whodini, Kool Moe Dee, Boogie Down Productions, Schoolly D - and Too $hort. The latter comes invariably to mind when listening to Kool Rock Jay, and that's without getting treated to any 'freaky tales' whatsoever. Besides thanking the City of Oakland in the liner notes of "Tales From the Dope Side," Kool Rock Jay explicitly says that he's from "the Oakland town" and refers to Too $hort as his partner. Oakland promoter Lionel Bea (Bay Area Productions), who booked $hort's early gigs, even gets an executive producer credit. However, both the New York Times and Bay Area journalist Davey D located the duo in Fresno. There is definitely a connection to Fresno as not only the album was partially recorded there, but the two were part of electro outfit Matrix, who were signed to Fresno-based Jam City Records (which was also in some fashion involved in "Tales From the Dope Side"). Wherever they may have been originally from, Kool Rock Jay and DJ Slice sealed their partnership as early as 1986 with the single "Slice it Up" b/w "Check it Out." After the stint with Matrix they were back to a duo, putting out a second single, "It's About Time," in '88 independently before landing the deal with Jive and releasing the lead single "Notorious" the next year. "
"And here we are, almost 20 years and change later, and it's clear somebody is just as nostalgic for "In the Ghetto" as I am - and that would be acclaimed hip-hop producer J Rawls. He's on some Jazz-Hop shit these days, and I added the capitalization to emphasize what "LCP 3" is not. See, this is not hip-hop. Rakim isn't going to bust a rhyme on "Ghetto," but you wouldn't be surprised if he did. You'd think you were listening to a jazzified remix of a hip-hop classic, and in some respects that's exactly what it is - sans vocals. I'm getting ahead of myself though, so let me take you on a journey out of triple stage darkness into the light. Rawls conceived of The Liquid Crystal Project as a way to move further beyond what either hip-hop or jazz is, two arts that he very much loves and respects, which in turn have had a mostly respectful but occasionally contentious relationship with each other. Artists like the late great Keith Elam have always tried to bring them closer together, while artists like the cranky bastard Wynton Marsalis have always tried to push them further apart. LCP doesn't have to worry about declaring allegiance to either camp, because it's something outside of both. That leaves both the listener and the label searching, searching, searching for new definitions. Some might call this Neo-Soul. Some might call it Fusion Jazz. I think K-Murdock might even call it Progressive. I like the term Jazz-Hop though, because it embodies what the founding elements of the sound are, yet both adds something to jazz it doesn't normally have and changes the definition of hip-hop in a way that frees it from the construction of being Rap."
"A couple of years ago I marveled at the unapologetic sample-jacking of TeV95 on the aptly titled "Crime Loops," his middle finger to copyright law in a free download form. TeV95 is not a rebel without a cause though - he believes in the right to be artistic, but he's also producing beats worth listening to. To that end we return a couple of years later with "Delorean," finding the Brooklyn producer pairing with an up-and-coming Miami emcee. I know how that sounds, especially given that the title of the album references an era of cocaine-laden automotive excess, but Shottie is no Floridian rapper living a V.I.P. lifestyle or bragging about moving (his) weight (ungh). In fact even though Ras Kass is a rap legend and Shottie is a new jack, they share a track called "Skyrider" where he doesn't get badly sunned. I dare say his shine's bright. That's one of the only three guest features on "Delorean" - another being Itagui on "Hollywood," a song which starts out by openly mocking Rick Ross. TeV95 takes the beat on this one from Brooklyn all the way to Brixton, sporting an Afro-Carribean sound and some appropriate chatta to go with it. The range of sounds that TeV can supply his rap protege with is infinitely diverse. "Baby Baby" sounds like Biggie literally, riding a soul funk backing which could only have come from the 1970's or early 80's. "
"In 1999 Swishahouse was still bubbling deep in the underground from a national perspective but a big step towards greater recognition was made with the first proper retail release whose title already suggested a significant event taking place - "The Day Hell Broke Loose." Conceived around 1997, Swishahouse (or Swisha House) began as a platform for DJ's and MC's from Houston's Northside, modeled after the support system DJ Screw had established for the Southside in the first half of the decade. DJ's Michael Watts and Ron C released a slew of mixtapes/CDs and began to feature local rappers on them, mainly in Screw's trademark 'screwed and chopped' fashion. "The Day Hell Broke Loose" played at regular speed but featured many of the rappers that had made a name for themselves with tape appearances. A number of them originated from the Acres Home area (Big Pic, Lil' Mario, PJ, Sabwarfare, 50/50 Twin, J-Dawg) and some were still in their teens, notably the CD's forerunners Lil' Mario and Slim Thug. Production was handled by Randy 'Bigg Tyme' Jefferson, who had previously worked with another Northside crew, Trinity Garden Cartel, and Wreckshop Records producers Double D and Noke D a/k/a Platinum Soul. Guests were few and far between (South Park Mexican, C-Note, Billy Cook). The prominently featured Archie Lee had been heard alongside Lil' Keke before, but the other vocalists more or less made their official entry into the music business with "The Day Hell Broke Loose." "
"Richard Wright feels that there are too many closed-minded individuals. Or at least that's what he suggests with his debut solo album "Open Minded," a title that refers to "the willingness to accept what is new or different than what you may be used to," according to his Bandcamp page. With open-mindedness as the loose concept behind the release, I anticipated that Wright and J. Bizness, who is also signed to the Irregular Instrumentals label and handles the majority of the album's production, would stretch the boundaries of the genre and bring something offbeat and fresh to the table. My initial expectations only grew after doing some quick background research on Wright and discovering that he listed Coldplay, John Lennon, and Nirvana as some of his musical influences, along with Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Kanye West, and others. With this in mind, I was excited to see what the up-and-coming Los Angeles native had to offer in terms of musical and lyrical creativity. The album starts out on the right foot with the intro track "Open Minded," which has some West-Coast bounce to it with a deep rolling bassline, a heavy drum loop, and brassy synths. Wright's smooth, almost carefree delivery blends with the smooth feel of the track, and the good vibes continue next on "Get Away," with soft piano keys setting the mood. The album shifts 180 degrees, though, on the next song, "DuckTale $$$," with a much more aggressive beat driven by a punchy acoustic guitar pluck and a thumping bassline."
Press Release: Free Download From Hip-Pop Artist Keaira LaShae
(New York, NY) With a dash of electrifying vocals, a smidgen of gravity defying choreography and a whole lot of Superhero Swag, newcomer R&B/Pop superstar Keaira LaShae is the epitome of all-encompassing talent. Having a natural flair for music, fitness and dance, the advocate for female empowerment is gearing up to make a permanent indentation in the industry with a summer release of her self-titled EP. Recording in Rodney Jerkins’ Studios in Los Angeles, Keaira LaShae is putting the final touches on Keaira LaShae in partnership with Duane “DaRock” Ramos (The Pussycat Dolls, Nicki Minaj & LL Cool) and Sanchez Holmes (T.I, Young Jeezy) amongst others.
Songs on the EP reflecting love, female empowerment & a little bit of attitude are guaranteed to connect with audiences near and far as illustrated by “Superhero”, the first single from the EP, featuring production by The Audibles (Lupe Fiasco, Drake, Yela Wolf) and now available for free download HERE - http://download.themusebox.net/keaira_lashae/superhero.mp3 . Additionally Keaira LaShae will have 3 songs featured in the upcoming motion picture, “Unattended – The Cost of Neglect” in theaters Fall 2012.
In addition to being a songwriter and musician, Keaira LaShae is also an accomplished choreographer and fitness instructor. Singing in her Church while growing up in Tampa, Keaira LaShae entered a dance competition and beat competitors twice her age with her natural choreography talent. A leading fitness instructor for Daily Burn with P90X director Mason Bendawald, Keaira LaShae encompasses attributes of a well-rounded and incredibly talented individual ready to make her mark on the industry.
EP TRACKLISTING: 1) Superhero 2) I Got It 3) Frankie 4) Luv You 5) Love Junkie
MP3: Dopethought and Worth - "I Just Want Freedom"
Although Salt Lake City's Dopethought isn't old enough to legally buy the watered down beer his state forces upon its consumers, the 20 year old emcee has already established himself as a powerful force in Utah's growing hip hop scene. True to his name, Dopethought is never short on substance; he projects positivity and stoned swag combined with a gritty, street-art aesthetic. Whether he's holding a mic, sharpie, paint can, or blunt, Dopethought is no stranger to getting "up" in any sense of the word. Also hailing from Salt Lake is Worth - a producer who has been gaining notoriety in his region thanks to his strong work ethic and unique sound. Worth's beats combine haunting samples and dissonant chords with hard-hitting drums and a timeless style.
Dopethought and Worth have been working together since they met and became friends in 2009. Sharing similar goals and tastes, they strive to make original sounding, quality hip hop that impacts the world for the better. Their chemistry is evident on "I Just Want Freedom," the first single from their upcoming debut album, We Our Environment. Worth stretches a moody bass-synth over piano keys and drums while Dopethought gets philosophical. Please listen and share "I Just Want Freedom" and make sure to download We Our Environment for free (or purchase a limited physical copy) on May 18th, courtesy of Heaven Noise Recordings!
Regarded as one of the finest lyricists in all of Hip-Hop with a career spanning over 2 million records sold, Canibus is now prepping his newest release Rip the Jacker 2. As the first lyricist to bring the world 100 bars followed by the fanfare known as the 1,000 bars of infinity “Poet Laureate”, Canibus’ newest release Rip the Jacker 2 provides fans with the unprecedented feat of 10,000 bars featured as a Double Disc DVD bundle pack available exclusively at www.canibuscollection.com .
Included is a portion of the 10,000 bars you will find on Canibus’new track from Rip The Jacker 2 Double Disc DVD and a new video as well.
Sports metaphors have always been prevalent in rap and hip-hop from early on. Many artists grow up in environments where both music and athletics are synonymous. It’s only right for one of the brightest up-and-coming rap groups, backed by NFL star cornerback Asante Samuel, to title their newest mixtape "Overtime".
Speaking about Goons United by the New School and their upcoming release, the All-Pro cornerback remarked, "The group is stacked with young ambitious talent. They are a bunch of high energy guys who love to make good music,” he continued, "I love the new "Hockey" record, I can't wait for everyone to hear the rest of the project."