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Video: Melanie Fiona Talks About Crossing Into Rap & Reggae

Video: Melanie Fiona Talks About Crossing Into Rap & Reggae

Courtesy DJ Vlad.

The multi-talented songstress speaks about making a crossover into hip-hop and reggae, her alter-ego "Siren" and her cultural background.

PR: Do It Big Event - March 22nd - London

PR: Do It Big Event - March 22nd - London

Courtesy Black Budget.

Venue: The Cornershop Bar
Address: 123 Shoreditch Highstreet, London E1 6JE
Nearest Station; Liverpool Street / Shoreditch Highstreet
Time: 7.30pm (doors open), 8pm (First Act)
Entry: £6 guestlist ( , £8 on the door.

Originally started in 2006, Do It Big was established as a premier night to showcase great musical talent the way it should be presented….. It is now back for a special one-off showcase featuring:

King Kash [@KingKashMusic]
Founder of the Do it Big Showcase, Flavour magazine have billed the rapper/producer as one of their “Future Flavours” . Having performed extensively the major showcase circuit, with ever growing credibility amongst bloggers and Deejays alike look out for King Kash as he drops his forthcoming EP ‘Worth the Wait’

Cynikal [@CynikalMusic]
This rapper/producer has been on the cusp of blowing up for sometime and has been supported by MTV Base, Channel 4, BBC 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network, Kiss, Choice, Flava and AKA. Also touring extensively with his band The Street Orchestra

Andrea Galaxy [@AndreaGalaxy]
Described by industry tastemakers Urban Development as “One of the most gifted emerging singers in the UK”. Fresh off releasing her Star Music vol.2 (part 3 in the making!) Andrea has cultivated a unique style of experimental RnB /Soul that’s sure to win audiences over.

2Amplified [@2amplified]
The Female rap duo from the Frosted Ice crew has proven they are a force to be reckoned with. There’s a growing hype surrounding ladies Ria & Classic and since 2005 they’ve gone from strength to strength with each performance that comes there way.

Stampie Major [@StampieMajor]
Singer/Songwriter/Rapper/Producer Stampie Major is a multi talented and versatile artist. Taking influence from like Timbaland, Keri Hilson, Brandy, Lauren Hill. His dynamic style has made him a favourite amongst audiences and on the night he will be performing tracks from his soon-to-be released EP!

Nadina Azara [@NadinaAzara]
With a dangerous combination of beauty brains & talent, RnB/Pop singer Nadina has already racked up an impressive resume after gaining her Degree in 2009 she has toured Cyprus and also supported U.S acts on tour, she is currently building up her catalogue of songs with producers Xzike, RawkNait (petre andre) to release later in the year.

Angelo [@AngeloSinger]
Monir Angelo Elovali records and performs under the alias Angelo and is a Singer/Songwriter from London. He has been writing and performing music since the age of nine years old and is now putting the finishing touches in his debut Mixtape ‘Forever thinking’.

The night will be hosted by the wonderful Grace Laiker and music provided by DJ Shock (guest mixes for Kiss & 1xtra)

Video: KOTD Rap Battle - Bender vs. Sketch Menace

Video: KOTD Rap Battle - Bender vs. Sketch Menace

Uploaded by KingOfTheDot.

KOTD Presents...
DOOMSDAY Title Match

PR: Smith Radio Releases New Single "Mucho Dinero"

PR: Smith Radio Releases New Single "Mucho Dinero"

Courtesy GiGi Capone PR.

Sacramento,CA- Recording artist Smith Radio has announced the official public release of his new record “Mucho Dinero” to the world of hip hop and pop culture. “Mucho Dinero” a cleverly named track that is packed with powerful baseline punches and catchy chorus; is sure to be a winner in the clubs and with all crowds, young and old.

The New York based artist stated he created the single to give away to his rapidly growing fan base “as a token of appreciation for all the amazing support that’s been received from my fans; it’s hard for indie artists to catch a good break these days and they inspire me so I wanted to give them something special”.

The new release comes shortly after his record “6 AM in Vegas” unexpectedly started spreading like wildfire among the college radio circuit and internet radio. Fully packaged up with the new lead single “Mucho Dinero”  in hand; Smith Radio continues to stay “focused on radio rotation and interviews in anticipation of the release of his forthcoming debut solo album” states his management team. SmithRadio has not released what the name of the album yet simply stating he wants everything to be “Perfect from packaging to production” before he lets he cat out of the bag.

Video: Soul Khan & Dirtbag Dan vs. ATM & Carter Deems

Video: Soul Khan & Dirtbag Dan vs. ATM & Carter Deems

Uploaded by AMilonakis.

2X2 Tournament: Brown Bag all star Soul Khan teams up with San Jose native Dirtbag Dan to go up against southern maniacs ATM hailing from New Orleans and Carter Deems from Florida. The winner of this round advances.

PR: Yo Gotti Announces Nationwide Road to Riches Tour

PR: Yo Gotti Announces Nationwide Road to Riches Tour

Courtesy Dove @ Tygereye.

Memphis, TN -- March 19, 2012 -- In May 2012, Memphis rap mogul Yo Gotti will set off on his national Road To Riches Tour, which is already confirmed in nearly 30 cities, with more to be announced.

Yo Gotti will kick off the tour on May 3 in Atlanta, followed by a special appearance with Pitbull at the historic Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis on May 5.

Also on the tour is Zed Zilla, who is the first signee to Yo Gotti's CMG imprint. The young Memphis rapper has been consistently selling out shows since his Rent's Due mixtape dropped in October 2011, and his follow up project, Rent's Due: Late Notice hosted by DJ Drama, is slated for release prior to the tour.

In recent months, Yo Gotti's ardent fan base has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly online, with over 1.3 million followers on Facebook and nearly 400,000 on Twitter, growing rapidly. Without question, interacting with his loyal fans is foremost on Gotti's agenda.

Last week, Yo Gotti found the perfect way to bring the internet and streets together, as he ventured to SxSW 2012 in Austin, Texas to headline the 'Bout That Life show, sponsored by Dirty Glove Bastard, Live Mixtapes, 8732 Clothing and MTV2 Sucker Free. Gotti also surprised fans with several unannounced appearances, including an impromptu performance at the BET stage with Machine Gun Kelly, and another with Meek Mill at The Warner Sound stage.

On his upcoming tour, Gotti promises more personal outreach with his fans. Music lovers will be able to see him in world-renowned venues like New York's SOB's, Toad's Place in Connecticut, Key Club in Los Angeles, and House of Blues in Ohio, New Orleans and Dallas.

"For Road To Riches, we wanted to do venues in more intimate settings, more up close and personal with the fans," Yo Gotti explains. "We'll be bringing out guests throughout, so people can expect lots of surprises. I don't measure my success by the internet or by charts, I measure it by how I see people reacting in real life."

There are truly no days off with Yo Gotti, as he has spent every waking hour in the new year filming videos for songs like "Colors" and "I Got That Sack" from his acclaimed January 10 mixtape; and recording songs for his highly anticipated CM7 mixtape.

"We have a lot of big records already, some good features," says Yo Gotti. "I'm working on the mixtape and a new album at the same time. The sound is just getting bigger and bigger as far as the production and quality."

With the initial announcement of the Road To Riches Tour dates on Yo Gotti's official website, some fans have already expressed dismay at not seeing their city on the itinerary.

"I want to hit every city for the fans, of course," he assures, "but you have to start somewhere and you have to end somewhere. But who knows? We may do a second leg if circumstances allow."

For exclusive updates and announcements on the 2012 Road To Riches Tour, go to .

For more information on Yo Gotti, go to and, and follow Yo Gotti on Twitter @YoGottiKOM


5/03 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
5/05 - Memphis, TN @ Beale Street Festival
5/06 - Nashville, TN @ Limelight
5/09 - Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street
5/10 - Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox
5/11 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
5/12 - Richmond, VA @ The National
5/13 - Baltimore, MD @ Sound Stage
5/15 - Washington, DC @ U St. Music Hall
5/16 - Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
5/17 - New York, NY @ SOBs
5/19 - Providence, RI @ The Met
5/20 - Boston, MA @ Middle East
5/21 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
5/22 - Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
5/25 - Omaha, NE @ Sokol Hall
5/26 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
5/27 - Wichita, KS @ The Cotillion
5/30 - Denver, CO @ Casslemans
5/31 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
6/01 - Sparks, NV @ The Alley
6/02 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades
6/03 - Oakland, CA @ New Parrish
6/04 - Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club
6/05 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Clubhouse
6/06 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
6/08 - Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
6/10 - New Orleans, LA @ House Of Blues

For exclusive updates and announcements on the 2012 Road To Riches Tour, go to .

Video: Mayor Breaks Down Some Of His Bespoke Air Force 1's

Video: Mayor Breaks Down Some Of His Bespoke Air Force 1's

Courtesy VladTV.

"Mayor gives a break down of some of his favorite Bespoke Air Force 1 creations."

Video: Shottie - "Legendary Shit"

Video: Shottie - "Legendary Shit"

Courtesy Delorean Album.

All of a sudden this guy Shottie appears on the scene with a full length album called Delorean and a crispy new music video for his properly titled record "Legendary Shit" a hypnotic and soulfoul head nodder that reflects on his past as a juvenile. The video directed by Garcia depicts Shottie as youngster in Miami performing and rapping in the park and later as a young man breaking into his neighbors house to steal food. Not so surprisingly the house he breaks into is actually present day Shottie's. If you watch closely this video does a nice job accompanying the music produced by Brooklyn based TeV95.

The (W)rap Up - Week of March 13, 2012

If you missed any of the new reviews last week, including Immortal Technique's The Martyr, then do yourself a favor and check out this week's edition of the (W)rap Up!

[The Martyr] Immortal Technique :: The Martyr
Viper Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

"Immortal Technique is giving away "The Martyr" for free, so I have a suggestion as to what you can do with the dinero you saved downloading. The album samples dialogue directly from the movie "Network," and if you haven't seen it yet you probably should. Even though it's 35 years old now, it feels like it was just written and released yesterday. It's a brilliantly subversive satire that should in all honesty scare the hell out of you for how close it gets to the truth. Long before the 99% percent decided to protest on Wall Street, the protagonist Howard Beale was the original outcry of the disaffected who were "mad as hell and not going to take it any more." His protest was ultimately co-opted by the very corporations controlling our lives he was crying out against. Immortal Technique's artistic struggle is not unlike that portrayed by Peter Finch in this seminal film - trying to protest the culture we live in and the values of it while simultaneously being forced to use the tools of that system to put the message out. Despite the inherent danger that the system itself could corrupt his message, Tech has remained unrepentantly defiant, constantly flipping a middle finger at the U.S.A. and daring people to either love him or hate him. There is NO middle ground. His enemies would label him a communist or a Marxist, or a Che Guevara wannabe, without really having any understanding of who Che is or why he's inspired so many impoverished and disenfranchised people. I'm no expert myself, but the last time I checked the "Red Scare" was over, Joseph McCarthy had been dead for 55 years, and the 1st Amendment is still the law."

Applejaxx :: Organic :: Fadacy Music
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

"Applejaxx is the a North Carolina artists who has been making club music about Jesus for the past seven years. He has released three albums and several EPs, and has just released his latest, "Organic." As with most of his previous albums, "Organic" is a concept album, built around the idea of returning to the pure, natural, and unadulterated. Applejaxx works the organic concept for all it is worth. "Original" has a bouncing Middle Eastern beat, which Applejaxx uses to compare his flow to organic food. The metaphor is pretty tortured, but the beat is banging. "Got Jesus" uses passing up pastries for whole food while grocery shopping as a metaphor for choosing God. "BlueBerry Slangin'" has a wicked Southern rap beat, and Applejaxx raps about accepting God, with blueberry slanging representing the fruits of his faith. The more Applejaxx tries to shoehorn his raps into the organic concept, the weaker his rhymes are. It's when he ditches the idea of being organic that he delivers his best rhymes. "Runnin'" is one of the stronger tracks. It's a slower song built around a gorgeous R&B hook with Applejaxx rapping about working hard to overcome the struggles in life. He ends the album with "Live Fresh," which has a bugged-out beat and some of Applejaxx's strongest rapping. "

B. Durazzo :: Beats Vol. 1 ::
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

[Beats Vol. 1]
"Benjamin Durazzo is a 23-year-old hip-hop producer who teaches middle school kids music when he's not in front of his MPC. For those of you not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland is sort of what Brooklyn is to New York City. The cheaper rent and larger spaces has made it a haven for artists, hipsters, and anyone not working a full-time white collar job. The art scene has blown up in recent years, and Oakland is home to one of the most intense and active Occupy movements outside of New York. If you are a cool kid in the Bay Area, you most likely live in Oakland. Oakland also has a more vibrant hip-hop scene than San Francisco, mostly because more musicians can actually afford to live and record there. Too $hort, Tupac, Mac Dre and Del tha Funky Homosapien all called Oakland home at some point. This 16-track beattape from B. Durazzo is continuing Oakland's hip-hop legacy. Durazzo is a producer in the Blockhead vein of hip-hop producers. He uses samples from non-traditional sources and goes for a vibe that is mellow and melancholy instead of hyped up. It's about as far from mobb music or hyphy as you can get and still be from the same town. The backbone of all of the songs are crisp drums that sound live. "

Defari :: Focused Daily :: Tommy Boy Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **

as reviewed by Aaron Boyce

[Focused Daily]
"I decided to revisit Defari's 1999 debut LP after I came across a couple of references to it on the site but without an actual review in the archives. I remember frequently bumping this album back when it dropped as well as a few times since and wondered whether it would stand up to scrutiny thirteen years later or if nostalgia was getting the better of me. Back when this was released the Likwit Crew had one of the strongest cliques in the game. With Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit, Lootpack, King T and Defari along with the closely affiliated Dilated Peoples and Strong Arm Steady, the Likwit Crew had a whole bunch of talented MCs and dope producers. Any crew that can call on in-house production from Madlib, Evidence and E-Swift as well as rhymes from Tash, J-Ro, Xzibit and Iriscience had some serious strength in depth. The fact that many of these artists have gone on to enjoy solo success away from the Likwit umbrella speaks volumes about just how talented this particular crew were. Defari's career sadly never reached the heights of an Xzibit or an Evidence but his story is well known. Complete with a bachelor's degree from California and a master's degree from New York, Defari spent many years as a teacher of both history and geography at Inglewood High School in California before his hip-hop career took over and he swapped the classroom for the studio. "

D-N.Y.C. & Yung Steez :: Under the Radar Mixtape :: Team C.A.M.
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Under the Radar Mixtape]

"First and foremost I want to thank D-N.Y.C. & Yung Steez for taking the time to do an interview with me for last week. They were not forewarned about the possibility ahead of time - they were there to be the local act opening for the Black Cloud Tour. Despite being caught off guard they took full advantage of the opportunity and delivered with a 15 minute conversation talking about their hustle, creating music with meaning, and even making some predictions about Nebraska football. After the interview they handed me a copy of this "Under the Radar Mixtape," which includes songs they were performing live that night. Now it would be easy for a grizzled reviewer like me to snark on the cover art, but I realize that as young up-and-coming rappers they don't necessarily have the budget to drop bills on a graphic designer. I can respect that because after all the music matters more than the artwork; the beats and the rhymes take precedence over having CD bling. It's definitely a homebrew CD-R affair, but again I applaud the hustle of them actually HAVING physical product at the show. So many times a local act opening for a national tour doesn't have the confidence to promote themselves or the moxie to bring their own merch. Since Yung Steez & D-N.Y.C. did, that puts them a half-step ahead of the rest. There are two stand-out tracks on the "Under the Radar" mixtape out of six songs total. When I ripped the CD to iTunes it actually had seven tracks, but the "Intro" doesn't really get into anything that you could call a song - it's just a shoutout to who they are and their ambition to be "Climbin' Charts" that's slightly over a minute long. As a set-up for "Underdogs (How I'm Feelin')" though it'll do fine since that's one of the aforementioned stand-outs. "

Shabazz Palaces :: Black Up :: Sub Pop Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

[Black Up]"Shabazz Palaces came out of nowhere two years ago shrouded in mystery. They released two solid EPs, and generated buzz in their hometown Seattle with their live act, no small feat considering it's basically two dudes fiddling with a laptop. Finally it came out that the man behind Shabazz Palaces was Ishmael Butler, aka Butterfly from 90s jazz rap group Digable Planets. Evidently F. Scott Fitzgerald didn't know what the hell he was talking about when he said "There are no second acts in American lives." I wrote a glowing review of one of Shabazz Palaces EPs. It was an excellent album that pushed hip-hop in interesting directions. "Black Up" came out last March and improved upon the template that Butler had laid down with their EPs. The album is produced by Shabazz Palaces, and it is blunted out and claustrophobic. Everything is soaked in a warm, throbbing bass, with tinges of melodies and an undercurrent of menace throughout. It's not totally unlike the Digible Planets' second album, but takes the dark funk of "Blowout Comb" and feeds it through an electronic processor, giving it a contemporary sound. "

Soul Khan :: Wellstone EP :: Brown Bag AllStars
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
[Wellstone EP]

"R.I.P. Anthony Williams. That's the second song I've heard throw him a shoutout in as many days, but even as we inexorably march toward the third anniversary of his passing, the tributes are welcome. We do tend to immortalize the ones who affected us, and I for one hope I won't have to do the same for Soul Khan any time soon. From the first time I heard him on a Brown Bag AllStars single, his voice grabbed my attention and refused to relinquish it. I understand it's a little froggy for some, but then the late great Guru had his detractors too. And like the Gifted Unlimited, Soul Khan uses his vocals to say something "About Something," making sure every word matters. Soul Khan enjoys being the unconventional emcee vocally and lyrically, and it shows on every track of the "Wellstone EP." On "Not Like That" featuring Akie Bermiss, he openly mocks men who are too macho to perform cunniligus, and so misogynistic they have to proclaim they "love no hoe" on every song. Quoth Khan: "It's obvious though! Cause if you did, you wouldn't be callin 'em hoes." Say word. He's not above being a braggart though, as you'll hear him say he can "swim through piranhas and shake 'em off" on the churchly inspired "Khangregation." On the title track of "Wellstone" he spits "I'm takin every shot 'til the buzzer beeps/and touchin every base 'til I stub my cleats." He's a multi-sport baller, and if you count hip-hop as a sport too that means he's up to 3. "

Big K.R.I.T. :: 4evaNaDay ::
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
"Andre 3000 once famously quipped, "forever never seems that long, until you're grown." Well, for Meridian, Mississippi's own Big K.R.I.T. it seems like it's going to take forever for his major label debut album to see the light of day. It could be label politics over at Def Jam, it could be sample clearance issues. It's hard to say. I don't really know if it's bothering Big K.R.I.T. that much though, as he continues to do what he does best, gaining fans in the process of it all. Just shy of one year ago, Krizzle released "Return of 4Eva," the follow up to the critically (no pun intended) acclaimed "K.R.I.T. Wuz Here." The project did well and I even listed it in my top five releases of the year. It came in at number two, behind Killer Mike's "Pl3dge." Having the past as a reminder of what K.R.I.T. is capable of, the question becomes whether or not he can continue to display the talent that got him selected as one of XXL's Top 10 Freshmen in 2011. I'm pleased to report that Justin Scott doesn't appear to have lost a step with this project. Personal, heartfelt lyrics and soulful production have been key factors in K.R.I.T. building the following that he has amassed up to this point in his career, and this time around he's coming with much of the same. After the brief intro on "8:04AM," things kick off with "Wake Up." The track features Willie B on saxophone and hits on the oft-discussed topic by K.R.I.T. of waking up and actually making things happen...even if it's at the expense of missing a few phone calls because "being broke ain't fun" and the pity party he's thrown for himself starts to get a bit dull after awhile. "

The Hip-Hop Shop #165 - Absolutely No Theme Except Good Music

It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #165 has Absolutely No Theme Except Good Music. I tried a thematic episode last week but it didn't do the box office #'s I expected, so now I'm back to just giving you dope podsafe songs I like. Enjoy Reks, Soul Khan, Jon Notty, O.C., and more! Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check it out every Tuesday on! Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS newsfeed and follow us on Twitter so you never miss a new episode.

Download Here (right click to save)

Tracks featured this week:

* Reks - Chasin'
* Stryfe - Shells
* Jon Notty - Eighty Eight Swag
* Revalation f/ Reks - Just For the Rhymes (Symphonik Bang Remix)
* Soul Khan - Wellstone
* Apollo Brown & O.C. - Prove Me Wrong
* Raje f/ Jayo Felony - We Move

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Welcome to for the week of November 29th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we've got ten new items: Dabbla's "Year of the Monkey," an editorial on Nintendo shortages, Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #403 and L.C. Davis interview, Kano's "Made in the Manor," NxWorries' "Yes Lawd!," Jesal Padania's Slick Rick concert review, A Tribe Called Quest's "We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service" (our featured review), plus Ten A Tribe Called Quest Rap Videos, and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for November 22, 2016!

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