Little Brother Hit the Road in Support of Final Album, LeftBack
North Carolina duo Little Brother released their fourth and final LP, LeftBack, today. Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh were joined by producers Denaun Porter, Symbolic One, Jbizness, Zo!, and longtime collaborator Khrysis as well fellow Hall of Justus members Chaundon, Darien Brockington, and Trunk North.
The group has been a force to be reckoned with since their 2003 debut, The Listening, with producer 9th Wonder at the helm. That album garnered critical acclaim, received nods from hip-hop legends such as DJ Premier and Pete Rock, and landed them on tour alongside The Roots. Little Brother’s following album, The Minstrel Show earned a coveted 4.5 out of 5 stars from The Source magazine and an XL from XXL Magazine.
LeftBack finds the MCs saying goodbye after more than 7 years in the game. Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh will be hitting the road this month to give fans one last performance as they close the curtain on their time together as Little Brother.
04-24 Riverside, CA - UC Riverside 05-11 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom 05-14 Washington, DC - Black Cat 05-19 Chicago, IL - Double Door 05-26 San Diego - 4th & B 05-27 Los Angeles, CA - Key Club 05-28 San Francisco, CA - Independent
BUY Little Brother’s LeftBack [Hall Of Justus]: iTunes, eMusic, Amazon
GRAMMY NOMINATED, PLATINUM RAPPER PAUL WALL BOUNCES OUT OF THE CORNER WITH 4TH MAJOR RELEASE HEART OF A CHAMPION, JUNE 29TH
CLOSE FRIEND TRAVIS BARKER PRODUCES HALF OF ALBUM
April 20, 2010: Los Angeles, CA:
Fresh off a month-long tour with former partner-in-rhyme, Chamillionaire, Houston rapper, Paul Wall, is all set to drop his 4th major label album, Heart of a Champion, on June 29th through SwishaHouse/Asylum Records. Almost half of the tracks featured on the album are produced by long-time friend and Expensive Taste band-mate, Travis Barker. The album will also feature several songs from Expensive Taste, the group which includes Skinhead Rob (Transplants) in addition to Paul and Travis.
Houston-based production duo, Beanz N Kornbread, are credited with the majority of the tracks not produced by Travis, including lead single “I’m on Patron”, a lyrical documentary of a feeling that most of us have experienced - and greatly regretted the next day - that of simply having too much fun of the liquid variety. “I'm On Patron” is the perfect accompaniment to that 'blame it on the alcohol' kind of night and sure to be a party staple.
Feature duties for “Heart of a Champion” include a diverse list of cast members including Jim Jones, Yelawolf and Raekwon but do not ignore Paul’s Houston roots; Bun B, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Devin the Dude and Lil’ Keke each get their turn at the mic. Another Houston feature is Johnny Dang aka TV Johnny with whom Paul Wall shares a grills and jewelry business which caters to A-list celebrities and average Joes alike.
Always an advocate for the Texas music scene, Paul Wall was recently tapped as President of The Recording Academy’s Texas Chapter. In this role, he hopes to educate and enlist the help of Texas musicians from every genre, to ensure that the state is well represented in the Grammy’s voting body. The natural politician in Paul Wall makes him the perfect candidate for this role. He embodies his moniker, “The Peoples Champ.”
With two #1 album debuts, a Platinum plaque and a Grammy nomination under his belt, not to mention having some of the hottest celebs in the nation rocking his signature diamond-encrusted grills at one point or another, Paul Wall is the embodiment of the Hip Hop success story. His journey began humbly enough as a promoter for hometown indie label, SwishaHouse, and culminated with him being largely instrumental in the growth of the Houston rap movement and its rise into the national arena.
There have been a total of 7 albums since then and the journey continues with no sign of slowing down. 10 years in and Paul Wall remains in the game and in the hearts of the people. Without question, he truly has ‘The Heart of a Champion.’
We received news this morning that The Legendary Guru has joined the trailbrazers who inspired him. Although we are not currently representing him, 4Sight Media was selected as the publicity firm to handle the publicity for his last three projects: Guru 8.0 Lost & Found, Guru's Jazzmatazz/The Hip-Hop Messenger: Back To The Future and Guru's Jazzmatazz/The Timebomb: Back To The Future Mixtape.
While 7Grand and Solar are handling their publicity internally with several messages that have been released including Guru's last statement, we wanted to offer our own deepest sympathy to the fans of Guru who support the Jazzmatazz legacy around the world. We honor Guru for leaving us with music that reaches into higher places, for coloring outside the lines of hip-hop, and recognizing the musical masters who inspired him. Through Guru's eyes, there was no division between hip-hop & jazz, hip-hop and neo-soul, hip-hop and history.
Guru's Jazzmatazz endeavors with Premier enabled him to collaborate with a who's who list of legendary musical icons including Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Chaka Khan, Isaac Hayes, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis and popular cross-over favorites including Macy Gray, The Roots, Erykah Badu and Angie Stone. In recent years through a new partnership with Solar, he collaborated with reggae artist Damian Marley, Aceyalone and Zion I from the West Coast, Blue Scholars from Seattle, Mr. Lif from Boston, Yungun from London, Lord Tariq from the Bronx, Nature from Queensbridge, C. Knowledge from Digable Planets, Tony Touch, and up-and-comers from Guru's label, 7 Grand Records, K. Born & Highpower, and Young Pablo.
When asked how he has been able stay such a viable force in the music industry Guru stated matter of factly, "be honest with yourself, be original, be open to criticism and don't be afraid to reinvent and recreate yourself." We pray that his vision is upheld and the legacy of music that he created in his career is kept alive. Let's continue to celebrate our legends while they're here!
The homey Wais P The Pimp drops a gem with "How To Pimp", adding a new twist to 50's "How To Rob". Wais pimps out the o.g. version, using the same Trackmasters produced beat as the first time around, even enlisting The Mad Rapper to splash a pimped-out "how to" intro, hook & outro!! If you're diggin it, feel free to snag the banner, blurb & dl links below.
Prolific Athletic Mic League emcee Buff1 and World Famous Beat Junkie DJ Rhettmatic head overseas for the first time together to tour as Crown Royale, in promotion of their upcoming album release and in support of the debut single “We Gotcha,” due out in May via Fat Beats.
The album, also titled Crown Royale (release date TBA), is fully produced by Rhettmatic himself with Buff1 handling vocals and a slew of worthy guest appearances highlighted by a hand-selected posse cut featuring Bishop Lamont, Guilty Simpson, Ras Kass, Chino XL, One Be Lo, MED, Marv Won, Fashawn and Tre Styles of AML.
Starting May 14 in Linz, Austria, the tour stops in six countries over a two-week span, and includes fellow Athletic Mic League member 14KT showcasing his “illustrious” beats with a live solo set. The second half of the tour includes dates with veteran hip-hop stars Evidence (Dilated Peoples), LMNO (Visionaries), Kev Brown and People Under The Stairs.
May 14: Linz, Austria @ Kapu May 15: Vienna, Austria @ Roxy May 16: Prague, Czech Republic @ Lucerna Music Bar May 20: Cologne, Germany @ Subway May 21: London, UK @ Plan B May 22: Zurich, Switzerland @ Stall 6 w/ People Under The Stairs May 23: Leipzig, Germany @ Conne Island w/ People Under The Stairs May 24: Paris, France @ La Bellevoise w/ Kev Brown & LMNO May 26: Duisburg, Germany @ Hundertmeister w/ Evidence
“Crown Royale is a genius combination of Michigan and California influences in one DJ/emcee act” - AOL/Spinner
“14KT is the best producer to come out of Detroit since Black Milk and Dilla” – Kevin Nottingham
DJ Premier has posted as many details as he can reveal on his website, DJPremierBlog.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The letter/statement sent by Guru's publicist is now included below.
I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options. I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.
I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.
"The fine people at URBNET Records have been putting out compendiums of "Underground Hip-Hop" since 2002. When we last looked at one such compilation Matt Jost had this to say: "All contributions here are somewhat on the same level in terms of quality. Once you've adjusted yourself to that level, there's little to criticize, which is certainly something the compilers can be proud of. The downside of this unison is that hardly a beat, hardly a verse stand out, whether on this sampler nor in the greater scheme of things." It's not as though Matt said the album was boring or unlistenable, but he may still have damned the very thing he set out to praise. Compilations are a tough sell even in the best of times, and the economic structure is much tougher now than it was then. For "Volume 5" to succeed it needs songs that REALLY stand out - hits even before the actual CD hits stores."
"This is the second album from Orange County rapper Brawdcast, following his 2006 debut "Suburban Spokesman." He won "Best Hip Hip Artist" in the Orange County Music Awards in 2006, 2007, and 2008, which says at least something about his skills on the mic. "The Quest for Human Completion" is his second album, on UK label Psychonavigation Records. It's interesting that an obscure O.C. rapper got hooked up with an obscure Irish ambient electronica label, but there you have it. Brawdcast spits quick verses loaded with one-liners and focusing on positivity. As his debut album makes clear, he's suburban and proud, and doesn't pretend to be street. Instead, he raps about his search for spirituality and his relationship with God"
"Your guess is as good as mine as to the overarching philosophical and social theories espoused by Blinders. Outside of an obvious disdain for the hunting of elephants, or elephant/bear mutants, much of Talls' rap verses consist of abstract and esoteric phrases that are hard to decipher. "Aim Low Kid" presents a much clearer vision from the emcee as he expresses his displeasure with the current school system and parents. His perceived belief is that the current system leads to underachievement and lack of motivation in kids. "Continental Breakfast" is even more direct in its message as it is literally an ode to cereals and breakfast. While anthems dedicated to the ordinary have been successful before, Del's "If You Must" comes to mind, "Continental Breakfast" takes the concept to the extreme. "
"John Bailey a/k/a Metawon is a well regarded producer throughout the Western provinces of Canada, who along with his Work Turkey Music partners Planit and Cadilakid recently packed up their burgeoning hip-hop operation and relocated from Calgary to Vancouver. For those not familiar with Canadian provinces, an analogous comparison would be if Cash Money Records packed up and moved from New Orleans to Houston. While they're still in the same geographical region, it's a whole new scene and a whole new vibe with different artists and it's own distinctive flavor and atmosphere. The challenge for Work Turkey in general and Metawon specifically is to make the most of this move and continue to create the quality music that made them regionally successful thus far. "
Raheem :: The Vigilante :: Rap-A-Lot Records/A&M Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"Interestingly, at the time "The Vigilante" was released, Rap-A-Lot Records was on the verge of partnering with a potent major, similarly to Cold Chillin' or Def Jam in New York. The label released four albums in 1988, the other three being the Ghetto Boys' "Making Trouble," Def IV's "Nice and Hard" and Royal Flush's "Uh Oh!" The latter two, both East Coast groups, were signed because A&M Records had offered Rap-A-Lot a package deal that included four artists and the upstart label at the time apparently wasn't able to provide four Houston rap acts. Then, according to the book 'Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide,' in a curious twist of fate '17-year old Raheem got too drunk before a listening party and managed to blow the entire deal.' As annoying as that might have been back then, it seems to have motivated Rap-A-Lot to foster local artists and do business independently. "
Scarface :: The Diary :: Rap-A-Lot Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Pete T.
"If you lived through the mid-90s, chances are you know those words. Maybe it's because you were one of the million-plus Americans who bought Scarface's third album "The Diary" in the last two months alone of 1994. More likely, though, it's because you've seen Mike Judge's 1999 cult classic "Office Space," and more specifically the opening scene in which Michael Bolton, the white, nerdy, gangsta rap-loving Initech accountant, is stuck in morning traffic and rapping along to "No Tears" before promptly slamming down the car door locks at the sight of a black street vendor. "
"Soul Mafia's musical makeup is the very definition of eclectic. Their frontman is a saxophone player and guitarist turned rapper who looks like he'd be more comfortable fighting in the UFC Octagon, complete with shaved head and bicep tattoos. Their keyboard player is a classically trained pianist who is infatuated with vintage 1980's music. The drummer on the beat bangs all the way from Brooklyn but pounds the skins like a Seattle rocker, and their vocalist is a foster kid from Indianapolis. Thus you have the four man crew of GC, Prism, Lil Dee & Iam Beck, a group who are prepared to take the country by storm on "MK Ultra." "
"This past November I wrote the review of Swollen Members' "Armed to the Teeth," and while it was my first exposure to the Canadian hip-hop collective, I found "ATTT" to be an interesting listen. Shortly after the review was published, I received an email from one of our readers with a totally different opinion of the album. He called it their "most disappointing album to date" and went on say that they "just sound like everyone else now". Perhaps it's only right that I get a more expansive look at the Members' catalog of music from 1999's "Balance" through last year's aforementioned "Armed to the Teeth". This greatest hits compilation, subtitled "Ten Years of Turmoil" also comes with a bonus DVD that features all of the group's videos and some behind the scenes footage."
Tech N9ne :: The Lost Scripts of K.O.D. :: Strange Music as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez
"Given the usual creative process that goes into making the average rap album, a project like "The Lost Scripts of K.O.D." is quite rare. The average rapper records a TON of songs for any given album and chooses the ones he feels will sell best. That usually leaves them at least an album's worth of material to spread across numerous promotional mixtapes, iTunes bonus tracks, and the occasional bonus CD, soundtrack, or compilation. In fact, many times the best material is found in places other than the actual album. Tech N9ne is not your average rapper, especially not creatively. "
"Seriously. No more of this bullshit. It's terrible. Not every song is terrible. The looping of a reverb-laden clip from "Puff the Magic Dragon" on "Puff" is wellp-placed. "All I See" is a detailed and nuanced observation of urban blight, on which Sinsere comments that all he sees are "abandoned buildings and open fields," a particularly poignant glimmer of imagery. Several tracks, at least at points, appropriately toe the line between celebration and critique of the criminal lifestyle ("See where I'm from niggas grind from sun-up to sun-up/don't sleep/thinking that they might miss a come up . . . Education fading so they turn to the pyrex," from Pistol Atkins' "Where I'm From.") "
yU :: Before Taxes :: Mello Music Group as reviewed by Pete T.
"yU was already a veteran of the DMV (that's DC, Maryland, and Virginia) hip hop scene when he finally broke through last year as one-third of Diamond District with their acclaimed LP "In the Ruff," an album that blended the boom-bap sounds of classic East Coast rap with fresh production from celebrated Low Budget Collective producer Oddisee and the rhymes of rappers yU and X.O. Capitalizing off the group's success, yU returns with his solo debut "Before Taxes" in April 2010, employing the same promotion strategy as "In the Ruff," which was to circulate the album for free online to create buzz before its proper release. "
This week's Hip-Hop Shop is Episode 70 - The Virtual High. While the lyrical content of the songs may or may not be about 4:20, the song titles definitely imply an altered state of mind! Enjoy new music from Bekay, V!rtu, Soul Khan and Grand Puba among others. If you like what you hear be sure to e-mail email@example.com with feedback or to get more information about sponsoring the show. Hip-Hop Shop features podsafe music, so give a copy to your friends and tell them to check us out every week at RapReviews.com. PS: Be sure to check out our good friends mrob & The Cancer at K4D too!
* Bekay f/ M-Dot, Reef the Lost Cauze - Brain Tumors (Remix) * V!rtu - Back to the Boom * Stylah - Pass Out (Remix) * Blood Moon Uprising - 1 in the Head (Remix) * Soul Khan f/ Big Chief - Brown Bag Flavor * Grand Puba f/ Lord Jamar, Rell - I See Dead People * Moon Blazers - Let Yaself Go