Last year I wrote a special editorial about the short lived phenomenon of Hip Hop Hold 'Em, featuring the likes of Biz Markie, Ed Lover and The Game playing poker for a syndicated audience. It seems like I'm not the only one pondering the link between playin' cards and playin' fat tracks after watching late night poker tournaments on TV. In fact after searching various combinations of phrases like hip-hop and poker, the following selection of rap songs turned up from true-to-life (card) players. One of my immediate favorites was from unsigned rapper Funky Boy, who was good enough to garner 23,000 views for his homemade video "This Is HOLDEM!"
Pretty impressive given it came out almost two years before I wrote my first "hip-hop meets poker" editorial. As good as it is though, "All In" is even better. Rapper Raw delivers a real Southern swagger with guest appearances by Alexander & Pro Hoe Zak. As of this writing, the song and accompanying video have garnered nearly 200K views.
Last but not least though is "The Poker Rap" by TheDudeMan. The dude abides? I guess he abides by playing poker in his free time. Now I'll be the first to admit this video is the jankiest out of all three, but if you ask me, the slickness of the song more than makes up for it - a nice bass boom bap with a tinkling funky piano. Poker never sounded better, and I hope you enjoy this selection of Music to Play Cards By.
This is Part 2 of "The Next 48 Hours With Master P," a 2 part web series which goes behind the scenes during the relaunch of No Limit Forever. Part 2 features Master P introducing his No Limit artist Miss Chee, T.E.C., Oak Tree and Ace High. We also spend a day with Romeo at the barber shop, the mall and the gym during his busy day.
PR: Iron Solomon "Monster" March 27th f/ Talib Kweli & More
Courtesy Duck Down.
Iron Solomon is a born and bred New York City rapper/producer who made his name in the battle circuits, stomping competition coast-to-coast and racking up millions of YouTube views along the way.
"I'm just tellin yall, you need to watch out for this dude Iron Solomon. He killed it on the battle circuit, now he's about to kill 'em with the records. I'll put my money up"
-Rob Markman, MTV News
Fresh off the heels of Redrum Radio, a Halloween inspired Mix CD released October 31st of last year, the MC is ready to release his debut album Monster on March 27th through Royal/3D. Set to appear on the record are established artists such as Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Paul Wall, and Novel, as well as the legendary DMC of Run-DMC fame and more.
According to Solomon, the album will be a "personal offering that gives listeners a window into the life and mind of a kid growing up in New York City's schizophrenic landscape. Monster touches on everything from my personal come-up and the stress of pursuing one's dreams to the struggle of young relationships, family drama and youthful arrogance-plus a healthy dose of party and bullshit."
Solomon's work ethic and talent are being recognized by powerhouse names in the music industry:
"Iron Solomon is nasty...it gets me excited in the studio, to watch [him]...I get very inspired by that..."
"Solomon has a very commanding presence about himself. I wanted him to take the beginning of my record and make it something special."
-Travis McCoy, Gym Class Heroes
Monster is produced entirely by Iron Solomon and his in-house team of producers and musicians. The album will mesh trunk-rattling 808's with hard-hitting drums, soaring strings, lush synths and soulful horns, while remaining strongly rooted in the aggressive, witty lyricism Solomon is known for.
Planet Asia helped jump-start the West Coast independent hip-hop movement, releasing a slew of popular 12-inch singles on upstarts like Stones Throw and ABB Records in the late 90s that established him as one of the leaders of a crop of talent that included the likes of Dilated Peoples, Madlib, Murs, and Jurassic 5. Now a 15-year veteran, the Cali-based MC (born in Fresno, he's spent most of his career living in Los Angeles and San Francisco) shows no signs of slowing down.
The first decade of the new millennium saw Asia briefly sign with major label Interscope, go independent again for his debut album The Grand Opening, release full-length collaborative projects with both Evidence of Dilated Peoples (The Medicine) and DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill (Pain Language), form his own label (Gold Chain Music), and work with everyone from Linkin Park to Bun B to Ghostface Killah. Now, Planet Asia is back with his first retail album in four years, the star-studded Black Belt Theatre, which hits stores everywhere via Gold Chain/Wandering Worx/Greenstreets on February 28th, 2012.
Named after a 1980s Saturday-afternoon TV show and inspired by Planet Asia's favorite films, Black Belt Theatre combines the violent precision of classic kung-fu flicks with the calculated cool of classic blaxploitation movies. "I wanted to make the album like a movie, something you would see in a theater," says Asia. "That's why it has so many features. All the guests feel like different characters in the movie." These guests include veterans like Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Paul Wall, Ras Kass, Camp Lo, and Strong Arm Steady, as well as newcomers like Fashawn, Willie The Kid, Torae, and Nio Tha Gift. "They're basically just all people I thought were dope," says Asia. "Both young cats I'm feeling and veterans I've always admired."
Unlike on his albums with Evidence and DJ Muggs, Asia also got to determine the sonic direction on Black Belt Theatre, resulting in a soul-heavy, blaxploitation-influenced sound. "It was fun because I got to reach out to guys like Oh No and Khrysis for beats, find the best tracks and put together a masterpiece," explains Asia. "It's some esoteric gangster shit…a full plate for the listener."
Tracklisting and credits for Planet Asia’s “Black Belt Theatre”:
1.) “Lost And Found” (produced by Khrysis) 2.) “Grown Folks Talkin’” f/ Talib Kweli (produced by Dirtydiggs) 3.) “Tell The World” (produced by Dirtydiggs) 4.) “All Mine” f/ Paul Wall (produced by Twiz The Beat Pro) 5.) “No Apologies” f/ Raekwon (produced by Oh No) 6.) “F*ck Rapers” f/ Fashawn & Willie The Kid (produced by Dirtydiggs) 7.) “Diamond Life” f/ Camp Lo (produced by Dirtydiggs) 8.) “Furniture” (produced by Dirtydiggs) 9.) “Mach One (produced by Dirtydiggs) 10.) “Daggers And Darts” f/ Rogue Venom & Tristate (produced by Dirtydiggs) 11.) “Bruce Lee” f/ Chace Infinite & Rasco (produced by Soulprofessa) 12.) “Golden State” (produced by Dirtydiggs) 13.) “Coons” f/ Killer Ben (produced by Dirtydiggs) 14.) “The Line Of Fire” f/ Krondon, Phil Da Agony & Picaso (produced by Brisk Oner) 15.) “Big Fish” (produced by Twiz The Beat Pro) 16.) “External Motives” f/ The Jacka & Mitchy Slick (produced by Twiz The Beat Pro) 17.) “Classical” f/ Ras Kass, Torae & Jasiri X (produced by Religion) 18.) “Stay Ready” f/ Mistah Fab, Dengee & Mo The Gift (produced by Oh No) 19.) “Whirlwind Patterns” (produced by Religion) 20.) “Dogon Outro” (produced by Dirtydiggs)
MP3: Swazy Styles f/ Rick Ross - "You Already Know"
Courtesy Future Star Music.
Miami Rap juggernaut Swazy Styles has officially released his urban smash hit titled "YOU ALREADY KNOW" featuring hip hop heavyweight Rick Ross aka Ricky Rozay. This record also feat the melodic tunes of Miami's own K-Parn and super producer CP Hollywood. Swazy Styles, who is setting the city of Miami and the rest of the southern hemisphere on fire with his blazing and electrifying club hits and his major feature by the boss himself.