Following the splash made by his debut release of The Day The Turf Stood Still - DaVinci's self-described "soundtrack for gentrification and urban renewal" – The Fillmore District's DaVinci linked up with the one and only, The Smoking Section, out in his hometown to give viewers insight into what a day in the life is like for the rising MC. Escorting viewers through the streets of this culturally and historically rich district of San Francisco, DaVinci expresses the impact that his hometown has had upon his music, and the prolific stock of inspiration that he has derived from living there. He takes a moment in the video to drop by the New Chicago Barber Shop and talk with the owner, Reggie Pettus, who is affectionately nicknamed the Mayor of Fillmore. They discuss the vibrant history of this area, from the 1950's, when the streets were perpetually flooded with the sounds of jazz and blues, to the present-day hip-hop culture. Throughout the feature piece, it quickly becomes clear that DaVinci's music is the result of his history and the history and culture of his hometown.
DaVinci's debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still, is available now both for free download and purchase via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
The Fillmore District has bred more rappers per capita than any other district in San Francisco, and although the older generations recall its rich musical history rooted in Jazz, the Fillmore today is rife with drugs, turf wars, and mass gentrification. DaVinci, a young MC raised in the Fillmore, is a prime example of the duality of this area, who at the age of 13 was homeless, hungry, and hopeful for a way out. Explains DaVinci, "My music has everything to do with my environment: from robbing, killing, pimpin' to selling and abusing drugs," he explains about his heavy content. "It's a direct reflection of what my friends and family have been through and are still going through." While his story is similar to many other young rappers’ upbringings, DaVinci was surrounded by an incredible pool of Fillmore talent and by studying with the greats, he was able to sharpen his skills and aim higher than most, cultivating his story-telling abilities beyond mere drug-and-gun-talk. Growing up in the same 10-block radius as Bay Area rap legends San Quinn and JT the Bigga Figga, DaVinci was content in merely watching the next generation follow in their footsteps, until he received overwhelming praise from his peers from a mixtape appearance, which then prompted him to pursue rap professionally. In 2006, San Quinn welcomed him onto the "Pressure Makes Diamonds Tour" with rap veterans Xzibit and Tech N9ne. Since the tour, DaVinci has kept busy appearing on numerous mixtapes and compilations, as well as preparing his official debut album, The Day The Turf Stood Still. The Day The Turf Stood Still is available now via SWTBRDS Creative Collective.
A lot of emcees feel the fact that they recorded their music gives them some sort of right to everyone’s time. Proper sees things a bit differently, saying “the process and challenge of proving I’m worth being heard is what I’m dead set and focused on.” Proper’s latest offering is the song “Mirror Mirror,” which is off of the Know You Got SOLE soundtrack, and in a continuation of my Season of Sole series of Artists Of The Week, I sat down with him to find out more about his music, the step by step process he’s taking to reach his goals, and why he feels Nike needs to put him on speed dial.
This Saturday, April 17th starting at 8pm, Toronto's "The Masterplan Show" will be celebrating its 21st Anniversary in conjunction with the closing of the T-Dot Pioneers Gallery.
Taking place at the Toronto Free Gallery @ 1277 Bloor St. West (at Lansdowne), this FREE show will feature performances by Toronto hip-hop legends Citizen Kane, Tara Chase, Theo 3, Grimace Love and Dan-e-o among many others!
Hosted by Motion and Johnbronski with music from DTS, Son Of S.O.U.L. and O-nonymous Grumps, this can't-miss party is a true celebration of Toronto hip-hop!
For the drive, for your Saturday cleaning... for whatever.. Random debuts the first of hopefully many podcasts, highlighting whatever Random, aka Mega Ran is listening to this week, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...occasionally I'll slip a new track in the mix, for some feedback, so be on the lookout. Today's playlist: http://megaran.mypodcast.com/ .
Over - Drake Curtain Call - Little Brother Get Your Race Card - Ice Cube Window Seat - Erykah Badu I'm Beamin - Lupe Fiasco Lost Direction - The J & D Experience Circuitry - A_Rival feat. Mega Ran World Without Words - Nujabes Feel the Music - Guru feat Paul Ferguson and Baybe Blessed to Breathe - Blaze Rock feat. Random, Ocean, ROK
I promise next week's will be funnier, when I figure out what I'm doing all the way.
With the release of his new single ‘Touch The Sky’ (and its accompanying music video) Kapabal reasserts his status as one of the hardest working Hip-Hop artists to emerge from New Zealand. Lyrically driven by a desire to inspire others to overcome the difficulties placed before them in life, and be themselves, with ‘Touch The Sky’ Kapabal combines his sung hook and rapid-fire rhyme style with an anthemic synthesised horn heavy southern style crunk beat produced by American Hip-Hop producer White Hot.
Working with Wainui based music video director/producer Ace Beatz of Ambulance Productions, Kapabal and his team have crafted a matching music video which captures the spirit to triumph over adversity. Focusing in bottling the essence of summertime in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, ‘Touch The Sky’s visual video treatment, lyrical song content and uplifting production serve as a timely remind of the beautiful struggle.
La Coka Nostra's Slaine Says Sam Adams Is a Threat to Hip-Hop
Slaine, of the rap super group La Coka Nostra, has voiced his concerns about the success of rapper Sam Adams and his new EP “Boston’s Boy”. Earlier this year, Sam Adams came under fire after accusations that he bought his way to the top of the iTunes hip-hop charts. Slaine has released the following statement:
“I think over the years you can see I’m not a hater, but this dude is actually a threat to the foundation of real hip hop street music," commented Slaine. "He’s never paid a due and has no respect or knowledge of the culture. If this is hip-hop's new direction we are in trouble and he is about to get backed by the biggest powers in the game. He seems like a nice kid, but on principle I gotta cut his head off. Sorry Sammy, but Boston's boy is about to get banned from Boston. There is a reason that credibility is important in hip-hop, and it was so something like this couldn't happen. Right now we're letting some rich white college kids with a scheme and a huge bankroll come in and jack the entire street culture and turn it into some bubble gum frat bullshit. Watching what this kid is saying in interviews, it is extremely clear that he has no respect for hip-hop as a culture. He is even saying he invented his own form of music! Are you tripping? Sam Adams is bad for the culture and art form. He's bad for your business, and bad for my business. Sam Adams is bad for Boston and bad for hip-hop."
La Coka Nostra is currently touring in support of their debut album, “A Brand You Can Trust”.
With winter out of the way, League510, consisting of emcees TK, Mr. Knowitall, Monty, and DJ Blacksmith, are excited to drop their latest single, "To The Beat," to get people ready for a good time this summer. Emphasizing the group's original Town Techno sound, "To The Beat" is the perfect soundtrack to your next party. The energetic synthesizer is contagiously satisfying; you'll find yourself unable to forget the beat, while the song's hook, "We're movin' and groovin' to the beat," sung by the group's close friend and fellow artist, Mara Decoudrex, matches the beat's catchiness perfectly. "After we wrote it, we immediately thought of her," says League510. "She had the perfect voice for it." When asked what the biggest challenge was making the song, they answer, "Writing it. The beat is crazy and prior to making this track we'd never rapped to anything like it." Recording the track wasn't all challenges, though. The four Bay Area natives had plenty of good times recording the dance anthem: "The most enjoyable part was when Mara was recording the hook in her 'valley girl' voice. We laughed the entire time."
The title track to their album, To The Beat, the song genuinely represents how the group feels as newly emerging artists to the scene, while capturing the unique concept that League follows throughout the course of their debut album. Explaining the relationship League510 says, "This song is the title track because it signifies League510's landing on earth and attempting to adapt and learn how to move 'to the beat' of a new world while still marching 'to the beat' of our own drum." Looks like the ultimate summer anthem has arrived a little early.
Be on the lookout for the official video for League510's "To The Beat" in the coming weeks.
Emcees TK, Mont, Mr. Knowitall and DJ Blacksmith better known as League510 are pioneers of a sound that is all their own, Town Techno. With a sound that is out of this world, League510's musical journey began in a galaxy far away from ours. After traveling the universe for years, they entered our galaxy and our planet shortly thereafter. With sights on our world, the quartet chose to land in the hills east of Oakland, CA. After hiding their ship deep in the hills they approached this new town with great curiosity and were immediately amazed by the vibrant culture that they found. Adopting the Bay Area scene as their new home, League510 wasted no time in beginning their new musical journey here in our world. Using advanced abilities, the four emcees quickly mastered the art of sound and gave birth to Town Techo, a form of music that would unite the people in heightened awareness; to show them to take action, to appreciate the fun in life, to believe in themselves and to believe in The League.
About Clear Label Records:
Founded in Oakland, CA in 1999, Clear Label Records has established itself as one of the top independent labels in the Bay Area. The company is owned and operated by Tajai Massey, renowned recording artist with the group Souls of Mischief and the crew Hieroglyphics, who brings a unique perspective to the label utilizing his experiences as a major-label recording artist turned independent label owner & successful touring musician. Clear Label is home to recording artists of many genres such as Chris Marsol, Baby Jaymes, FamSyrk, Deep Rooted, League510, and more. Through a partnership with Pushing the Beat (PTB) called ClearBeat, the label is also home to Oakland’s hottest street artists including Beeda Weeda, Shady Nate, D-Lo, Sleepy D and others. Look for full-length releases from all of these artists in the near future. For more information, please visit http://www.clearlabelrecords.com .
Little Brother Releases Latest Track From Farewell Album, LeftBack
In preparation for the release of their forthcoming album, LeftBack, the North Carolina duo Little Brother is proud to release the album's latest track, "So Cold," featuring fellow Justus League emcee and long-time collaborator Chaundon. Produced by King Karnov, the song begins with a commanding drumbeat, wobbly bass line, and warped keyboard effects, shortly joined by a soulful intro and hook. Once the distorted sounds and old school vibe are set, Big Pooh, Phonte, and the Bronx's own Chaundon command the instrumental, each taking turns over the song's three verses. The smooth feel is complimented by "So Cold's" underlying theme - Big Pooh and Phonte live the high life from their musical success but haven't changed from the fame - and a catchy hook, "We love to party/ Love to ball/ Love to floss with no shame/ We act a fool/ We rock with jewels/ Got people calling our names/ So plain to see/ I can't believe you ever thought that I'd change/ So could about 20 below." The chemistry between the emcees is apparent throughout the track, continuing a long line of quality collaborations between the three. Chaundon explains, "The definition of soul, lyricism, and timeless music. Little Brother and Chaundon are 'So Cold'." Always down to make dope joints as a team, this latest installment is no different.
Look out for the official video for "Curtain Call" and some exclusive behind the scenes footage from the shoot coming soon.
Little Brother's fourth and final album, LeftBack, will be available April 20, 2010 via Hall Of Justus.
Little Brother, the Durham, North Carolina group formed in part by Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh, released their debut album The Listening on ABB Records in 2003. They are now gearing up for the release of their fourth album, LeftBack, which will be the last of Little Brother’s illustrious career, available April 20th via Hall Of Justus. Continuing the tradition they set with the critically acclaimed third release GetBack, Big Pooh and Phonte have enlisted multiple producers for LeftBack, both from within and outside of the Justus League camp. The album features production from the likes of Khyrsis, Denaun Porter, J.Bizness and guest vocals from Torae, Truck North, Jozeemo, Chaundon, Median, and more.
Its only right i spend this month's instrumental episode of Subsoniq celebrating the music of legendary Japanese producer Nujabes, who passed away in a fatal car crash this past winter. I have said this on a number of occasions, BUT without Nujabes' music, there WOULD BE NO Subsoniq Instru-mentals... PERIOD... as he was the architect for the vibe i try and convey month in & month out! Not much else to say other than i hope that i did his memory justice with my selections. You can download the 1 hour tribute HERE! Rest in Beats Jun Seba...
3/26/10 - Berkeley, CA - The Understudies w/ Aesop of Living Legends
Digital Martyrs, Elijah The Poet & 21 Stylez, DJ MRC
+ Special Guests !!!! @ BLAKES on Telegraph / ages: 18+
$10 Presale / $13 Door
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Berkeley show, you guys got it crackin'! We had a great turnout, special guest Bicasso from Living Legends, and shouts out to Function: Drinks for being in the house with free refreshments and gear. Pictures are on The Understudies Facebook. Link at the bottom.
4/8/10 - Los Angeles, CA - @The Airliner - The Understudies w/ Ugly Duckling
4/28/10 - San Francisco, CA - @Bottom of The Hill - Citizen's B-Day Bash
featuring Live Performances by:
Venture Capitalists / The New Humans
and a special Living Legends guest.
Hosted by The Understudies ages: 18+ $10
We're going to continue to bring you tons of new projects and free music in 2010, so please do your part and support @ Understudiescrew.com We've made most of our releases 'name your price', and all the profits go directly to the artists, as we're an independent operation.
In 2010-11 Look out for lots of new projects such as: The Understudies - We Out Here! CD & iTunes (w/ alternate tracks & bonus items) The title says it all. Best sound quality, Full Artwork. We're also talking about putting out a 7" vinyl single. Details TBA
The Understudies + Digital Martyrs - (Title TBA) EP We've started working on this and its sounding funky fresh. Beats by Off-Balance from Digital Martyrs so far...
- Maintain - The Process of Progress EP This EP consists of 7 choice tracks from Maintain, recorded between projects.
Maintain & Off Balance [of Digital Martyrs]
Maintain & Fanatik EP Maintain on Vocals. The one and only Fanatik on beats.
Citizen - After The Fact EP Citizen offers up a free EP he puts the final touches on his upcoming LP. "After The Fact" EP features some original tracks and remixes, including collaborative efforts with East Coast indie rock band The Smyrk, Alexander Spit (formerly of Instant Messengers), Stone's Throw's Guilty Simpson as well as Manifest of The Understudies and Ro Knew. Citizen - Quake City Jukebox Citizen's 2nd official solo project, a full length follow up to last years "In Search of Her Soul" will be released this year. "Quake City's sessions feature signature Citizen sound, organic, gritty, bangin', boom bap mixed with smooth soulful samples, produced mostly by Citizen, with beats from Myers, Cyberclops and JD from Motion Mechanic. Expect guest appearances by Understudies crew members Cobbo, Self Advocate, Maintain & Sean E Depp, as well as Elijah The Poet, A Brother Named George and G.
Citizen, Elijah The Poet & 21 Stylez - (Title TBA) EP The Oakland trio gets together for an EP with beats by Myers, Self Advocate, DJ Fresh
Venture Caps - Checks & Balances LP - Last month The VCs debuted their new promo video for this album cut, "Wake Your Daughter Up", produced & directed by Welsed.
- Self Advocate - Abacus of Self LP The full length debut album from Self Advocate is nearing completion and is due out this year. The project is produced by Self Ad save , featuring an infusion of samples and live instrumentation. The album is set to feature Matre & Welsed. and more!
Additional projects by Myers, Manifest, Sean E Depp & Gee, Cobbo & Geebz and The Understudies are underway but too early to mention quite yet, so stay tuned! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Support Your Indie Artists. Donate for Downloads & Buy CD's. Check out these featured releases by Study Music & The Understudies crew below.
The Understudies x Statement Clothing - CC4: We Out Here!
Study Music & Statement Clothing get together to bring you the new Understudies crew offering CC4: We Out Here! It features Self Advocate, Cobbo, Citizen, Maintain, Manifest, Welsed, Sean E Depp, Myers & Poe getting busy with 12 new joints and an intro by DJ FRESH, including the 8 MC crew cut "All Here" and the Cyberclops produced banger "Underground Sound". (CD / iTunes w/alternate tracks coming 2010)
Study Music's 2nd official release in a series of Limited Edition CDs, is a collaboration with WeedTRACKER.com. Citizen's EP featuring The Understudies called "In Search Of Her Soul" is out now. Its a nod to the style of the late great jazz vocalist and pianist Nina Simone. It's about 50/50 vocal/instrumental and bangs from beginning to end!
- Features Self Advocate, Sean E Depp, Maintain, Poe, Manifest and the mysterious High Preistess. CD Available @ Amoeba SF + Berkeley & ships worldwide from Access Hip Hop.
- Entirely Produced by Citizen
- Purchase the CD for just $7.98, shipping worldwide!: BUY NOW - MP3s available through WeedTracker Music ------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Venture Capitalists (Welsed & Self Advocate) have an album out called "Rate of Exchange". "Rate of Exchange" is Study Music's first official release in a series of Limited Edition CDs. Art Direction & Design by Welsed.
- Produced by Welsed, Self Advocate & Porter
- Features Cuts by DJ Jumu, Self Ad and Welsed
- Purchase the Limited Edition CD w/ bonus 7" vinyl for just $7.98: BUY NOW - Download the MP3s NAME YOUR PRICE @ www.understudiescrew.com -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Study Music & SubLevel Epidemic have re-issued Self Advocate's Carpe Diem 7" vinyl single for all the collectors and DJ's who spin that real hip hop and support The U! Carpe Diem is produced by Self Advocate, Unruly Epidemics is produced by Kegs One and features cuts by DJ Just N Case
Carpe Diem (instrumental)
Unruly Epidemics (instrumental)
Thanks for supporting The Understudies, please tell a friend!
The Understudies on Twitter (Lots of FREE MUSIC!): The Understudies @theunderstudies Citizen on Twitter: @MrCITI DJ MRC on Twitter: @MRCisouthere Study Music on Twitter: @StudyMusic