Awhile back i had a friend of mine ask me, "what if an outside artist wanted to get some production from you, how do you make that happen?" It was a great question, and at the time it made me realize that i should try and facilitate the artists i occasionally get asked to work with online which as a result, lead me to incorporate a widget for buying beats on the "Services" page of Neosonicprod.com
The timing was too perfect, as I'm in the process of switching my main production HUB to Native Instrument's Maschine & retiring my beloved MPC 2000XL, which served me very well over the last decade... thus i have A LOT of unused beats that i always envisioned someone either rhyming or singing on. SO, now those beats, which were all produced on the MPC as potential Panacea joints, can hopefully become songs by anyone willing to purchase one. I am charging a flat rate of $300 per track, with each being exclusive as in once its bought = it's GONE! (*Discounts applied if more than 1 beat is bought). The homie Kev Brown has done something similar in the past by selling 2-track mixes "as is", but i am also offering the bonus of me mixing down the final recording of any beats purchased the same way i do ALL my other productions... hell, if the artist who cops the beat lives close enough or would even want to venture out to "Studio Champloo" in Maryland, i'll record them as part of the deal too!
For any interested beat-makers looking to also sell their productions, i used the above site to set-up my store. Even if you don't wanna buy, you can still listen HERE & feel free to contact me with any questions if need be...
RADIx Announce Official Single and Give Props to Defari
RADIx will be releasing their first official single off their upcoming LP (SAY YES) [All Produced by STATIK SELEKTAH] on August 10 via Abstrak Recordings. The lead single also called SAY YES, will be available on all major digital outlets. The lead single has already built a buzz with RADIx performing it at this years Sunfest in West Palm Beach, FL alongside NAS, JR GONG, WEEZER, and more. The artwork is designed by Boston clothing line PUZL. Please support this single on August 10th. Also, RADIx will be shooting a music video for the lead single with famed director Court Dunn. Please stay tuned for more news concerning RADIx.
To celebrate the release of their first official single off their upcoming LP SAY YES, RADIx are giving a track away called Focused Daily. They are paying homage to what they call "The West Coast Illmatic" Focused Daily by Defari. Please see the link to their track below.
Hey Everyone, Hope all's well on your end. It's already hot here already in Philly but it's gonna be an even hotter summer!
Our brand new album "Karma Response Unit B-Sides 2000-2010" dropped last week on iTunes! Album features: Reef the Lost Cauze, Jake Lefco, 40th Dimension, Snuff of Media 101, Side Effect, Scandal of 40th Dimension, DJ Kwestion (Jedi Mind Tricks/Skratch Makaniks), Briz, and more! Produced by Happ G and Snuff of Media 101. iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/karma-response-unit-b-sides/id371131602
We finally started a Karma Response Unit blog! It's gonna be a place for frequent updates on the label, releases, shows, etc. as well as features on other things that we like. How's that for ambiguous yet fascinating?!? Feel free to check us out & become a follower: http://karmaresponseunit.blogspot.com/
We're very excited because we're almost finished with the next batch of 4 albums to be released as part of our 'Ten in 10' campaign of 10 releases in 2010 to celebrate the labels 10th birthday. The next 4 releases are: Duck Chutney & The Double Entendre "Nobody Rides For Free", Media 101 "A Decade Of Sheist: 2000-2010", Jake Lefco "No Turning Back", and Murai "East Meets West". All will be dropping late summer/early fall. We'll have some more in depth descriptions and info on all 4 projects next week, but needless to say we're very excited about them all!
Our free song this week is "Passion Of The V" by Viro The Virus. produced by Happ G. from the album "The Sharpest Blade" (One i Di.Vision). http://www.zshare.net/audio/777326222eb98f01/ I produced 5 songs for this album with Viro and my boy Caliph-NOW. This is my favorite or 2nd favorite of my batch of 5 (along with "Repo Man"). My overall favorite song on the album is "Heartless" which I consider an instant classic! It's a heavy song, but so beautiful! Definitely worth checking out. You can find the album on iTunes right here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-sharpest-blade/id288638323
MP3: Apollo Brown - "Odds Ain't Fair" Feat. Hassaan Mackey
Apollo Brown And Hassaan Mackey Team Up To Take Listeners On A Tour Of The Streets
For the latest single from The Reset, Apollo Brown teams up with Rochester, New York's own Hassaan Mackey. What stands out the most about the latest single "Odds Ain't Fair" is its lack of pretension. Mackey doesn't waste time hyperbolizing stories to give himself any undue credibility. Instead, the song paints a vivid picture of poverty for listeners. From the very beginning Mackey exclaims, "Since you ain't never been here before, let's take a little tour." Mackey proceeds to lead a lyrical tour of the block, as he knows it. Apollo Brown's soulful instrumental adds a sense of urgency to the song while the chorus, "I'm gonna help myself, I can't help myself," compliments that urgency with desperation. "Odds Ain't Fair" is available on Apollo Brown's new album, The Reset.
Born into a bi-racial family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Apollo Brown's early influences skewed more toward the music of Journey and The Carpenters than the urban genres his peers often cite as inspiration. This is not to say that once hip-hop came into play, Apollo wasn’t all in. Just as easily as he can praise the virtues of yacht rock, the 29-year-old beatsmith can name personal heroes - Gang Starr, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Nas, and Black Moon - from the early 90s period in which, for him, beats and rhymes became life. Apollo began making his own music in 1996 using Voyetra audio software, then upgraded to Cool Edit 2000 in becoming a self-described bedroom beat-maker for roughly the next eight years. It was the mid-2000s, and the upstart producer saw no future for his work - work he had dedicated his life to - in an industry where radio was setting a formulaic pattern for mainstream music. But he eventually began to miss the creativity in his craft and began producing once again, releasing the instrumental albums Skilled Trade (2007) and Make Do (2009). He went on in 2009 to win the Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Championships and competed in the national finals. Apollo then signed as a producer with the Mello Music Group in December of 2009. His debut album, The Reset, is available now via Mello Music Group.
About Mello Music Group:
Like Lao Tzu in hip-hop, Mello Music Group provides music for the soul, from the heart of American culture, opening the realm of the intelligent hip-hop experience through melodic evocations, beats that corroborate the truth, and voices that roar above the rising void and impose order on the terrible & triumphant moments of everyday life. This is the compelling sound of Mello Music Group. Industry newcomer Michael Tolle founded MMG in 2007 and is acting Director of Operations. MMG will be releasing projects from Oddisee, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kenn Starr, Finale, Trek Life, Dudley Perkins, Sareem Poems, UPS, and YU in 2010. http://www.myspace.com/mellomusicgroup .
MP3: Frank Nitt - "L.O.V.E." (Featuring DJ Quik & J. Black)
Frank 'n Dank Emcee Taps Legendary West Coast Rapper DJ Quik For Latest Single
In a climate where many hip-hop songs take their listeners on dark journeys through street life, or playful romps through many of life's vices it's refreshing to hear an emcee brush his bravado to the side. Frank Nitt half of the celebrated duo Frank 'n Dank does just that with "L.O.V.E.". Frank tackles the subject matter with an honesty and directness that nearly betrays the feel-good subject matter the Detroit emcee typically brings to his listeners.
Nitt assembled an incredible cast to help bring his amorous creation to life. The track was produced by Terrace Martin and features both legendary West Coast rapper and producer DJ Quik and crooner J. Black. "He didn't write anything down. He just went in and killed it, " Frank said of his experience with DJ Quik in the studio. The chemistry is apparent, and Nitt knocks another one out the park for the storied Delicious Vinyl label. In fact, the combination of talent proved so potent, the track found its way to a spot on The L.A. Times coveted Pop And Hiss blog.
"You can guarantee two things in the life: that Eminem just doesn't really do traditionally "classic" albums and he's never made a half-decent club record before, never will. Now that I have sufficiently dampened your expectations, what of "Recovery," his latest album and a real throw of the dice to get him a slice of this 2010 mindshare? There is good news, and bad news - and it is down to you, reading this little review, which is which. "Recovery" is one of the strangest albums I've encountered, and it is truly dependent on the listener. One individual might completely love it, another hate it - for pretty much the same reasons. Example: there is only one Dr. Dre record out of 17 numbers. Personally, I've barely heard anything great from Dre in the last 3/4 years (non-headphone related, this is), but others bemoan his slight input. Some are disgusted that he shares songs with Pink and Rihanna. Again, for me, Pink is, as a rule, annoying but she is barely distinguishable, and I think the Rihanna collaboration "Love the Way You Lie" is very well conceived/executed (it will help this album to sell millions). Someone else may have just stopped reading this review as a result. "
"Not being a church-goer, I'm much more impressed by artists who reference their religion in their art rather than make art specifically about their religion. What Applejaxx is doing here is basically preaching, which means listening to this is like sitting through a Sunday sermon, great if you are looking for affirmation of your faith, not so great if you aren't on board with that faith in the first place. A bigger problem is that the prosthelytizing negatively impacts the rhyming. There is so much focus on the message that the music suffers."
"Army of Pharaohs is a group who is ripe for metaphors and comparisons, some more flattering than others. When I first heard the group on "Torture Papers" I came away very impressed and hyped about the lyrical barrage and intensity brought by the collective. Two albums later my views on the group have changed quite drastically. I don't find myself spinning "Torture Papers" much now, nor do I find much motivation to peep their new albums. The effect has worn off and I've become desensitized to the experience that is AOTP. They just don't hit as hard anymore, they don't appeal to me anymore, I am not impressed by their concept or execution. They are an army that does one thing and one thing only. The group hits you hard and they hit you over and over again, but there is no strategy or tact in their attacks."
"In the "everything old is new again" world of today's pop culture, parody Run-D.M.C. shirts are a dime a dozen and one appearance of a song by Sir Mix-A-Lot, Salt-N-Pepa or House of Pain in a commercial can send the concurrent MP3 rocketing to the top of the bestsellers list. I expect a similar bump for Black Sheep's "The Choice Is Yours" at any point now given the viral spread of the Kia Soul commercial on the internet. Whether or not having hamsters dress like b-boy stereotypes and rap like Dres, D-R-E-S is insulting will of course be debated, but I did enjoy the "this or that" dichotomy where "this" was a nice whip and "that" was hamsters driving toasters and cardboard boxes. Will it sell cars? Hell if I know, but since you can see the Black Sheep logo on the hamsters' iPod, I'm 100% convinced retro MP3 downloads will skyrocket. "
"Hip-Hop's roots have spread so far and wide that even in a small town like Ada, Oklahoma (population under 20K as of the last census) a young man can grow up with aspirations of hip-hop stardom. Kingdom City Records representative Dillon Chase would be more than happy to put Ada on the map the same way that Nappy Roots blew up Bowling Green, Kentucky almost a decade ago. He's certainly got the legit credentials hip-hop's thugger-than-thou hardcore aficionados demand - two parents addicted to drugs, in trouble with the law from a young age, a reckless street life that nearly took him under before turning to his love of music to make rap records. He certainly presents that wildside of Ada on his album cover, mean mugging with only a pair of dogtags hanging from his neck, suggesting he's just as likely to punch you in the grill as make you punch your fist in the air at the club."
"Cimer Amor reminds me most of Marco Polo. His rugged beats are a bit nostalgic and despite their street-readiness are marked by clean orchestration and polish. His menacing, heavy beats are technically excellent, well balanced and hard-hitting with a familiar, distinctly East Coast style that would not sound out of place in Brooklyn, Queensbridge, or Boston. His rough percussion arrangements lend each of his tracks a grimy quality in spite of the fresh instrumentals, and he shows many gifts of a seasoned pro—the expertly-balanced fuzzy guitars of "I Hate," the Beatminerz-esque pipe kicks on "Cold Cold World," and the dark swirling violins of "Only the Best" that make clear why the members of A.O.T.P. have sought his services. "
"A renaissance man on the decks and the boards, with the Japanese release "Underground Forever" DJ Spinna returns to his professional roots, '90s underground East Coast hip-hop. Presenting 24 twelve-inch cuts in a continuous mix, he offers a look back on a time many people still remember fondly. As a member of the Jigmastas and Polyrhythm Addicts, Vince Williams participated actively in the scene, and so the mix contains several of Spinna's own productions, a handful even released on his label Beyond Real Recordings. Fittingly, there's the Jigmastas' "Beyond Real" to highlight his subtle drum programming and melodic, spheric bass. Songs like "Vibrate" by The Basement Khemist and IG Off & Hazadous' "This Ain't Livin'" feature Spinna's hypnotic butta beats."
"One month after taking on the assignment to cover the latest Twin Perils release "Word Supremacy" myself, their label is back with a solo album from one half of the crew in the form of June Marx. It's actually coincidental given the Twin Perils review was a bit overdue and this album was undoubtedly being worked on in the lab that whole time, but nevertheless it's two albums in two months from Holographic Pagoda. On one hand that leaves me uniquely qualified to comment on the Marx solo being already familiar with his work, and on the other it makes me slightly concerned about what I'm in for on this disc. While his partner Lone Ninja was the less charismatic of the duo lyrically, Marx did his own damage as the album's producer, showing an inability to cut away his less interesting beats and leaving too much mediocrity to digest."
"Tech N9ne was heavily present on Kutt Calhoun's first two albums, some would say his presence was a bit much. Common complaints on "B.L.E.V.E." included the fact Kutt sounded like a Tech N9ne imitator and not his own man. "Feature Presentation" gave us an album that, for me, found the right balance. The Tech influence was there, but the album itself was a showcase of Kutt Calhoun's skills. "Raw and Unkutt" finds Calhoun further separating himself from the Tech N9ne influence with mixed results. The concept of the album is influenced by Tech N9ne's "KOD" and "Killer" as it is divided into sections. The intro lets us know Kutt Calhoun is experimenting with a new drug called "Raw and Un-Kutt" and this CD takes us on a trip through the Good, Bad, and Ugly side effects of the drug. The execution is not ideal as the Good and the Bad blend into each other, while the Ugly side is clearly the superior part of the album. The Good section gives us 7 party songs that range from the generic to the dope. "That's Kutt Calhoun" is a hard hitting party track that gets things started on the right foot."
Kendrick Lamar :: Kendrick Lamar EP :: TopDawg Ent. as reviewed by Daniel Oh
"Let's play some word association. When I say "Compton," most people will respond with: "Gangs," "NWA," "Dr. Dre." Some of the younger hip-hop fans may even throw out "The Game." Now, going by what most people think, Compton is synonymous with gangsta rap and gangsta livin'. So when I say that my first review for RapReviews covers a young Compton cat named Kendrick Lamar, your mind might wander to blunts, beyatches, sippin' 40s, poppin gats, and repping yo' set. Well, Kendrick Lamar loves the blunts, 40s and bitches, but his EP is about as gangsta as Kid Cudi's argyle sweater. It's not a bad thing, and it's really apparent that Kendrick Lamar is trying very hard to push music in his own image, absent of any pigeonhole or box that critics (like myself, with word association) try to put him in. He is definitely not a cut-and-dried, paint-by-numbers Compton rapper that recycles the same talk about peelin' caps, Kendrick Lamar is out to make his own unique footprint in the long history of Compton hip-hop. "
"While no longer a chart-topping entity, Nappy Roots continues to provide the kind of hearty Kentucky funk that made them famous, yet they've matured in the process. Over bright piano and xylophone-based production by Cloud9, the verses of the strong opener "Welcome to the Show" advocate persistence and prayer, but eventually border on self-parody as a dramatized fan tells them, "Dude, you guys are phenomenal dude. I promise, I mean, my sister loves you guys. I joined this frat because of you guys! Fuckin' awesome, man. Nappy fuckin' Roots…" This track finds the boys in top form, exuding encouraging and uplifting sentiments, yet also humorously acknowledging their recent gigs touring frat houses at southern universities. For the most part, "The Pursuit of Nappyness" is business as usual on the mic, finding the MCs extolling their lifestyle with charming flair and humility, such as on "The People," an emotional dedication to loved ones, and "All 4 You," a heartfelt thanks to listeners. "
"He's as loud as he is proud. He's Florida to the death but loves his "goons" even more, proudly bragging that he singlehandedly added the term to the hip-hop lexicon. The term predates rap usage by at least 90 years though, having become slang for a muscular (and usually dimwitted) gun for hire, backing up any criminal enterprise that pays enough for his/her services. The negative connotation is the same reason some hockey players are called goons - it's assumed they are on the ice for the purpose of beating up other players rather than their skill at passing or scoring. Plies defines his goons the same way - they're loud, they're strong, and they hit real hard. These are positive traits when you come from the world Plies does, where the strong do battle with the strong, and the more goons you have on your team the more likely you are to survive (nevermind the innocent bystanders and casualties) in battle. "
"To my wonderment and surprise though, The Roots came back. I was stunned to learn that they would be the in house band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," the new show that would debut once Conan O'Brien left his own late night talk show to take over vaunted TV program "The Tonight Show." Well we all know how that worked out for O'Brien in the end, but none of that dustup ever affected Jimmy Fallon's slot or The Roots welcome presence on talk show TV. It was a surprisingly natural fit that really shouldn't have been that surprising given that The Roots have always relied on live music and their live band to create jams, taking an idea Stetsasonic once championed to the furthest extent possible it could be taken. Given the group can freestyle songs, cover other hip-hop artists and make new shit up at the drop of a dime in concert, how hard could it be to do the same for a studio audience every night? In fact it's the most enviable of all gigs any band could ever have - guaranteed dates, a new crowd every night, a steady source of income and instead of going on tour the whole world comes to your door. The comfort and security of this environment turned out to be artistically inspiring for the legendary Roots crew, and "How I Got Over" is the result of finding their love all over again. PHILLY IS BACK BABY."
Every Sunday at 9:30 PM EST we air a live new edition of Hip-Hop Shop on BlogTalkRadio like the one you're about to hear - Episode #80 - Music to Mow the Lawn-By! That title is a bit of an inside joke for my good friend Spice who you'll be hearing from on an upcoming edition of the show, but if you do get it rest assured Compton's Most Wanted isn't in today's mix (big up to MC Eiht though). Enjoy new music from Black Sheep, Quanstar, Carnage45 and more! Send all feedback on the show to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check out the replay every Tuesday on RapReviews.com!
* Black Sheep f/ Jean Grae - Party Tonight * Quanstar - Underdog * Llamabeats & Parable - Gun in My Hand * Carnage45 f/ DJ Ruckus - On the Way * Dan-e-o f/ Promise - Believe in God * Fatal Lucciano & Jake One - Cry For Help * Random & K-Murdock f/ Ilyas - Hero Muzik
"It is officially summertime, and with that comes a bevy of new music. This month's podcast has ten great new songs, including the ABX debuts of four artists you'll definitely be hearing a lot from. As always, I encourage everybody to download the show, burn it onto a CD, and blast if from their ride, because during the summer the music must be loud and it must match the temperate, meaning its gotta be hot. Believe me when I tell you I have all that and then some for ya. Enjoy! Hit me up with feedback at AdamB@RapReviews.com." The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE so tell your friends to download ABX right here at RapReviews.com!
I may not like their sports teams, but man oh man does Philly have some fantastic emcees. One such emcee is Side Effect. Side Effect’s been building his name in Philly’s underground scene for nearly a decade. His first album, Underground Concoction, was a self-released effort that came out in 2003. He followed that in 2004 with Rocking Chair Theory, which was released on Krush Unit Inc. and featured the single “Spitacular,” the video for which earned Side Effect a few dates on that year’s Vans Warped Tour. A few more albums, and a few collaborations with Snowgoons, later, Side Effect is bringing people Cabin Fever. The Karma Response Unit Records release features production from Happ G and some of the best lyricism around. This week I caught up with Side Effect to find out more about his music, the audience he hopes it reaches, and the reasons why Philly’s underground hip-hop scene sometimes flies pretty far under the radar.