"aboveGround Magazine - The Understudies crew is like a fine-tuned machine, having put out a barrage of 8 albums in just under 2 years of existence. Don't let their youth fool you, these guys have taken the West Coast by force, touring with the Bay Area greats: Hiero, Legends, Shapeshifters and more. Collective Compliments 3.5 Mixtape is your chance to act like you've been bumping The Understudies since day 1. Enjoy."
"Today, with a heavy heart I end 11+ years of working with anticon. In the early days of the label, anticon was a pet project of mine, a life-long dream. We fulfilled the dream of a collectively run record label and put out many great records and stood as an image of defiance against the music industry. Those memories, I will always have and be proud of. Sadly, those times are gone, and I need to live in the present as I prepare for the future."
"Last time around, Atlanta resident Dillon served up a "Southern Scramble" mixtape to feed those hungry for rap with underground grit and a little bit more heat. He was on the right track but with limited distribution not many people got to savor the flavor, but as luck would have it his skills in the kitchen got him noticed by people in higher places. Enter Domination Records - perennially hungry for dope hip-hop and looking to showcase the best chefs in the underground. Dillon didn't necessarily need a partner to help him cook, but I don't think it hurts him to find a likeminded heat seeker looking to blow up the spot with food that's hot. Enter Paten Locke. What do you get when all of these forces collide? A new cookbook called "Studies In Hunger"
AC :: 9/11 In Retrospect - AC's Memoirs :: Rare Unlimited as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"AC's "New Soul Remix" came my way due to the recommendation of a good friend, and his reinterpretation of the Yael Naim song made famous by an Apple commercial struck me as witty and hip. AC even parodied various Apple promo materials in a Steven Tapia video based on the song. When I got back to my advice giving friend he recommended another AC download for me to check out: "9/11 In Retrospect - AC's Memoirs." Even though I went ahead and grabbed the zip file right away (why not the shit was free) I had a hard time with actually unzipping it to listen. To me it swung the pendulum too far in the other direction - I had just gravitated towards AC as a lighthearted, humorous rapper and here he was rapping about one of the most somber and shocking events of my lifetime. Even though after eight years I thought I was over it, the truth is, I'll never be over it. I stood right in front of the Twin Towers back in 1999, looking up in awe at the brash and bold statement they made not only for New York City but capitalism worldwide. Never did I imagine they'd pancake into a smoldering pile two years later with thousands of innocent people buried underneath. It will haunt me my entire life. "
"Chosen Few is a group made up of rapper Cold Showda, rapper/saxophonist Charles "Chop" Cooper, and beatmaker Unjust. All three are originally from Ohio, but came to the Bay Area separately to work and make music. After going at it solo for a while, they decided to join forces as Chosen Few. "New World Symphony" is their first album. Chosen Few are on the Hieroglyphics label, home to Souls of Mischief, Del, Casual, Prince Ali, and Opio. They are the conscious end of Bay Area hip hop, in contrast to the street rap coming out of neighboring labels like Thizz. Chosen Few continue the Hieroglyphics tradition with their jazzy beats and uplifting lyrics. They bring to mind Brooklynatti rappers Tanya Morgan, who also look to early 90s hip hop for inspiration. The beats are all provided by Unjust, but he mixes it up and the album never feels monotonous or samey. He knows how to keep it funky: he does Bay funk on "Heartbeat," space funk on "King Kong," and laid-back funk on ""Can't Stand Still." Chop contributes his sax skills to create some stellar jazz rap on "Few Are Chosen," "The People," and the instrumental "The People Reprise." Unjust also experiments with different sounds, doing some uptempo dance rap on "Knock Knock," incorporating rock elements on "Elevation," and building hook around an acoustic guitar on "Ride."
Komp'l :: Tunnel Vision :: Gemstars as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim
"A sense of style and a sense of passion lives through a solid rapper. NY's Divine "Komp'l Thomas has lived and breathed hip hop ever since he was young. Komp'l was fortunate enough to catch a break in a private show at the ever-so-popular Apollo Theater and caught the attention of Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaataa. With the support of friends and family, Komp'l only grew in his career through the years while taking into consideration his love for individuality and fashion. With this in mind, Komp'l has been featured in a Japanese Magazine for his fashion sense and fresh new look. Komp'l debuts with a fourteen track mixtape and features production from Gemstars producers Marv, Bobby, and Majestic. After long hours, countless re-recording of tracks, and cooperation from the whole team, "Tunnel Vision" attempts to defy the rules of hip hop and make an impression on the music industry. With his skills and production, Komp'l ensures his music "has the power to bump in the club as well as appeal to true hip hop fans because of the wordplay.""
"It should come as no surprise that more and more artists and record labels are embracing the iPhone and iPod Touch as a new means of marketing themselves to today's generation of heads who are either covertly or overtly electronic geeks. In December we took a look at the Delicious Vinyl DJ application, and now to kick off February 2010 we're taking a look at the RJD2 Mix application to see whether or not it's something you'll want to throw down $2.99 for! RJD2 Mix is a bit obtuse at the start, as you're offered the screen pictured at the right with no explanation what you should do next. Fortunately it's a loading screen so if you simply do nothing a menu pops up with one big blue button in the middle that says Start To Mix, and well below it you are offered three other non-game options: RJD2 on Twitter, RJD2 on iTunes and More Touch Mix - the latter being a whole series of iPhone app made by Future Audio Workshop similar to this one. In the press release accompanying this game FAW says that "RJD2's iPhone remix app finally (gives) fans and tinkerers alike the chance to experience a bit of what it sounded like in RJ's studio as he worked on upcoming LP The Colossus." That's a bit daunting given RJ has to have tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in his studio - how could a $2.99 touch screen app possibly even come close to reproducing that?"
"Stones Throw makes it happen. A Strong Arm Steady album. Some would say another Strong Arm Steady album, but apparently the group regarded "Deep Hearted" more as a compilation than a proper album. Their long-intended debut "Arms & Hammers" still awaiting a release, "In Search of Stoney Jackson" it is, then. The initial idea behind Strong Arm Steady was to create a movement of MC's who wouldn't conform to industry stereotypes. Regardless of whether that notion was called for or not, or its implementation successful or not, the set-up of SAS remains the same. The core members seem to have been reduced to Phil Da Agony and Krondon, but other Strong Armers were readily available, among them Mitchy Slick, even tough he was expected to be a more active member. Think of them as a loose collective that reps the West Coast without any prefix to their brand of rap. "
Why? :: One Dark Eskimo Remixes :: anticon as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"I find myself in the odd position of reviewing an EP of remixes from an album called "Eskimo Snow" that I've not even heard. Perhaps that's for the better though as the artist in question ends up being a question with no good answer. WHY? There's no doubt Jonathan 'Yoni' Wolf is a creative and artistic individual, but his art really doesn't have any hip-hop appeal. He's not rhyming, he's not even singing rhymes a la T-Pain or Kanye West, he's just singing - singing weird folksy pop tunes that probably appeal to people who like Live, Blur or Incubus. If that's your cup of tea, fine. I'm not hating on your choices, I'm just stating (perhaps somewhat emphatically) it's not USUALLYAlopecia" was my ears. If you want to know how Why? got a second chance under the circumstances, I can honestly say I took this EP on for review for two reasons - the short length promised not to offend me (too much) and all of these tracks were specially remade by noted producer Amp Live. Now this too is slightly problematic because I was not a fan of Amp's "Gary Is a Robot" release, but his work for other artists like Zion I had been to my liking in the past." mine. Why? was marketed to me as an album from the anticon label's core, and that core was at one time hip-hop's bleeding edge. The only thing that bled when I listened to "
2010 includes an Ozomatli performance at the TED Conference, two shows at SXSW, a collaboration with the Boston Pops, three weeks in China as US Cultural Ambassadors, and headlining at the Hollywood Bowl
Celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli are set to release their new album, Fire Away, April 20th on Mercer Street Records / Downtown Records.
Fire Away is the Grammy Award-winning band's fifth studio full length, and first for the NYC based Mercer Street Records / Downtown Records. Produced by acclaimed producer Tony Berg, Fire Away features eleven new Ozo songs (full tracklisting below), including the first single "It's Only Paper", currently being serviced to radio.
Ozomatli's music -- a collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga -- has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around the city of Los Angeles.
This certainly resonated with producer Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Pete Yorn), who describes working with Ozomatli "like visiting seven continents simultaneously". Berg believes the Fire Away sessions "captured the spirit of the band's live show without being a live album," and he sensed Ozomatli stretching themselves in the studio, adding "each of the members had grown as a writer and as a musician. I think Fire Away reflects their true songwriting talents--everyone's point-of-view was captured. That is the spirit of Ozomatli. They're pan-cultural, and they somehow manage to be raucous and thoughtful at the same time."
Fire Away is arguably Ozomatli's most diverse album yet, ranging from the emotionally resplendent ballads "It's Only Time" and "Love Comes Down," the 60's Stax influenced vibe of "45", to the Spanglish of "Nadas Por Free".
"Malagasy Shock" recounts singer and guitarist Raul Pacheco's harrowing near death experience, electrocuted on stage in front of thousands of people during the band's recent State Department trip to Madagascar. Pacheco offers, "Sometimes you are shocked into realizing life must be lived with a profoundly energetic fervor." He pauses, then adds, "...and sometimes you are just actually shocked!"
Fire Away also includes "Gay Vatos In Love," one of the more controversial songs Ozomatli has ever penned. Some may raise eyebrows that a group with no gay members would address same sex unions, but the subject matter doesn't seem so contentious in the hands of a band with a longstanding mission of peace and tolerance.
Raul poses a simple question, "Do you believe that everyone deserves love? Even gay vatos? Quickly adding, "Yes, for sure. It is always a good time to challenge our own notions and boundaries of what can be. Especially in the ever present natural need and quest for love. We say, let every person have the right to choose who and how they love one another... "
2009 proved to be a busy year for Ozomatli, serving as US cultural ambassadors with a US sponsored State Department trip that included Ozomatli community outreach and performances in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. The band was also honored to play for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 32nd Annual Award Gala, held in Washington DC in September.
2010 looks to continue Ozomatli's feverish pace. In addition to taking their incendiary live show on the road in support of Fire Away, in FebruaryOzomatliwill be performing at the TED Conference and two shows in Hawaii, March brings two shows at the SXSW Festival in Austin, collaborating with the the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra for the 125th Pops Anniversary Celebration in early May, and once again serving as US Cultural Ambassadors with a State Department trip to China and Mongolia (details forthcoming).
Ozomatli "Fire Away" tracklisting 1. Are You Ready? 2. 45 3. It's Only Paper 4. Elysian Persuasion 5. Gay Vatos In Love 6. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah 7. It's Only Time 8. Nadas Por Free 9. Malagasy Shock 10. Love Comes Down 11. Caballito
Ozomatli 2010 - more dates to be announced Feb 10 - Long Beach, CA (private show) TED Conference Feb 19 - Honolulu, HI Pipeline Café Feb 20 - Maui, HI Maui Arts & Cultural Center Feb 24 - Los Angeles, CA (private) Gibson Showcase Feb 26 - Anaheim, CA House of Blues Feb 27 - Anaheim, CA House of Blues March 5 - Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre March 6 - Scottsdale, AZ Martini Ranch March 9 - Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep March 10 - Breckenridge, CO Three20South March 11 - Vail, CO Agave March 12 - Aspen, CO Belly Up March 14 - Ft. Collins, CO The Aggie March 17 - Austin, TX SXSW March 18 - Austin, TX SXSW April 17 - Houston, TX World Stage April 26 - Washington, DC 9:30 Club April 27 - Baltimore, MD Ramshead Live April 28 - Philadelphia, PA World Café Live April 30 - New York, NY Highline Ballroom May 1 - New York, NY Highline Ballroom May 2 - Burlington, VT Higher Ground May 4 - Chicago, IL House of Blues May 5 - Urbana, IL Tryon Festival May 7 - Boston, MA Boston Pops May 8 - Boston, MA Boston Pops May 14 - St. Louis MO St. Louis Symphony
Guru Offers "7.0 The Street Scriptures" For Download
The legendary MC and founder of the world famous Hip-Hop group GangStarr, Guru aka Mr. GangStarr, offers his fans and urban music enthusiastics his chart-topping first Hip-Hop solo album "Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures" (2005) for free download [limited time].
"The 'Street Scriptures' is one of my best albums too date! It is right up there with my GangStarr records, and a classic. The album was our first release on 7 Grand Records. The sound and scope of the 'Street Scriptures' is very futuristic, and innovative. I also am very proud of the single ' Hood Dreamin' and the music video. This is a great album and any real Hip-Hop head will find something on this album that they will enjoy if not the whole album. The features are outstanding. So here it is for you and yours 'Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures'. " says Guru.
Guru's critically acclaimed solo album "Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures", which marks the first release on his newly found label 7 Grand Records (2004), is hailed as a Hip-Hop classic with smash hits like "Step In The Arena 2", "Power, Money And Influence (feat. Jean Grae & Talib Kweli)", "Don Status (feat. Styles P)", and "Hood Dreamin".
Guru aka Mister "Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal" shows right from start on "Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures" that no one can hold him back as a solo artist with lyrics like, "You can meet me in the hall of fame, I am - worldwide - a legend in this game."
A bold 19-song street driven homage to New York City, "Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures" re-introduces Guru and his lyrical genius to the streets. Paving a new path alongside hit producer Solar, who entirely produced the album, Guru has crafted a new Hip-Hop classic. Complete with guest appearances by Styles P, Talib Kweli, B-Real (of Cypress Hill), Jean Grae, Jaguar Wright and others, "Version 7.0" re-affirmed not only Guru's position as one of the greatest MCs of all time, but also the return of "REAL" Hip-Hop!
1. No Time 2. False Prophets 3. Step in the Arena 2 feat. Doo Wop 4. Don Status feat. Styles P 5. Hood Dreamin 6. Cave In 7. Surviving Tha Game 8. Hall of Fame 9. Talk To Me feat. Jaguar Wright 10. Too Dark 2 See 11. Power, Money and Influence feat. Jean Grae & Talib Kweli 12. Kingpin 13. Fa Keeps 14. Real Life feat. B Real 15. Feed The Hungry 16. Talkin' Loud and Frontin' 17. Open House 18. I Gotta 19. What's My Life Like?
This feature is a momentous one. It’s the 200th Artist Of The Week here at Adam’s World. For such a milestone I wanted to get an artist who’s been down from the start. I actually managed to do one better than that - I found multiple artists who’ve been down from the start in My Brother’s Keeper. My Brother’s Keeper consists of (from L to R) Larry "Scholar" Aruwayo, Terrance "Thinker" Kelly, Dwayne "Tzo" Stewart and Levar "L-Star" McGibbon. I first met Thinker and Tzo back when I was co-hosting a radio show called In Da Mixx and they came to the studio with longtime B-Lister Conscious. That was at least five years ago, so with my Artist Of The Week feature reaching the milestone of #200, I could think of no one more appropriate to give the honor to than My Brother’s Keeper.
The groundhog showed its shadow, so it's 'bout time I showed my typing self here to bring y'all this free music for the week!
Black Bobby :: Phat Kid Tendencies
[While it's cool for rappers to drop out of college and make an album about it, this Harvard grad shows that education never takes away from hip-hop if you're meant to be in it. Check out this Phat Kid Tendencies until he's sick of talkin'!]
Tracklisting: 1. Phat Kid Tendencies Intro 2. My Story 3. Let's Ride 4. Youth Spirit 5. Thank U 6. Say What I Want to Say 7. Inteligent Shhh 8. Sharp 9. So Bougie 10. Bobby 11. Where's Your Money? 12. This Retarded! 13. Respect My Authoritah! 14. Charles Barkley 15. So Urban 16. The Friends Zone 17. A NW Joint 18. Vigra 19. My Pleasure (Raunch Culture) 20. Your Biddy Is Mine 21. Phat Kid '09 Freestyle (Bonus) 22. Rock With Obama (Bonus)
[What's going on May 25th? Beats me! It's said to be his debut album release date, but I hope it's true considering the label can change its mind just like that. That shouldn't stop you from checking out this Grand Hustle/Atlantic emcee named B.o.B!]
1. The Biz 2. Champion 3. Bet I (f/ Playboy Tre) 4. Gladiators (f/ J.Cole) 5. Out of Time 6. B is for B.o.B 7. Fuck the Money (f/ Asher Roth) 8. Monique and Me 9. The Rain 10. Uno is my Numeral 11. Suprise Me 12. Don't Feel So Good 13. Cool Side 14. 2010 15. Fool For Love (f/ Charles Hamilton) 16. BONUS: Nothin' On You (f/ Bruno Mars)
[Here's a brand new mixtape from a Cali emcee named Ghambit. Like the Xmen hero with a sorta same name, he throws his cards down while reppin where he from proudly. Check this one out!]
Tracklisting: 1. Like Superman 2. Growing 3. Alright 4. Distractions 5. Mad Mind 6. Never Hear THis 7. Don't Give a Fuck 8. Smoke With Me (Snippet) 9. Gimme Some 10 That's All 11. What's the Weather Like 12. Little White Girl 13. Rainy Days 14. Blind 15. On One 16. Filthy Cheatin Lyin 17. Devil's Watching 18. War Wounds 19. Palabras Maravillas 20. Cali Feeling
[Here's a mixtape from a famed Queens producer Ty Fyffe! 'Raw N' Uncut" coming soon!]
Tracklisting: 1. Intro 2. Get the Money - Mic Geronimo ft Royal Flush 3. Green Day - Lloyd Banks ft Havoc and Cormega 4. Euphoria - Rakim ft Styles P, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes 5. The Invitation - 50 Cent 6. I See You - Snoop Dogg 7. Dancin' - Hoodfellas 8. Puttin' Work In - EPMD ft Raekwon 9. Be Me - Lil Wayne 10. Come Out - Tony Yayo ft Nice and Prodigy 11. Southside Symphony - Frenchie, Deezy the General, Louis V and Lexx9Eleven 12. The Pyrex/Smells Like '95 - Fokis and Havoc 13. Outro
That's it for the "Groundhog Edition" edition of "Free Music Fridays." Check these out and let ya man know if they was fyah! If you have any free music you would like to share with the world, please e-mail me at email@example.com. If you're an artist with your free mixtape/album shown on this page and you want to send me a link re-up, corrections, and/or questions, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy y'all! Two fangas, one love....