"If the best hip-hop is born out of hard times and struggles, then Detroit is about to blow up. The Motor City has been getting kicked in the teeth for the past twenty years, and just when it seems like it has hit rock bottom, the bottom falls out again. Detroit suffers from the recession, foreclosures, a violent crime rate five times higher than average, and an unemployment rate of either 15% or 50%, depending on who you ask. Out of this mess comes some of the most promising hip-hop in the nation. Artists like Black Milk, Finale, and now Apollo Brown are making hip-hop that is gritty, urgent, and real. "
""Night Train," Cunning's debut album, is the kind of buoyant, nuanced record we critics at RapReviews dream of getting assigned among the many fledgling independent submissions we receive. It's by no means superlative, but of the hundreds of albums and mixtapes that come out each month, it's deserving of your time—a statement you won't hear terribly often from this disciple of Sturgeon's Law (viz. "90% of everything is crud"). Essentially a solitary labor of love, "Night Train" is entirely self-produced and features no guests, giving it an air of intimacy. Subject matter varies from clever braggadocio to humorous storytelling and rueful anecdotes about poverty. Cunning's most valuable skill is his comical, often self-deprecating honesty."
DJ Quik :: Safe + Sound :: Profile Records ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Pete T.
"Musically "Safe + Sound" is leaps and bounds above all of Quik's work that preceded it, which isn't to take anything away from either of his earlier albums in the slightest. Both "Quik Is the Name" and "Way 2 Fonky" were phenomenal musically, showcasing his deft hands on the boards as he executed a seamless West Coast funk that would help to define the genre. Still, they sound decidedly old school and pale in comparison to the musical magnificence of "Safe + Sound," if not in quality then in complexity. Light on samples and heavy on live instrumentation, "Safe + Sound" catapulted Quik from the status of a producer to that of a full-fledged composer. It is this sound—the quick, winding basslines, tinny high hats, smooth instrumental solos, soulful pipes, and Roger Troutman's talkbox—that defined him as a musician and, with varying moderations, he more or less developed for the rest of his career."
"D-Sisive has been on such a remarkable run that it can't be a coincidence any more. While it's conceivable that one individual writer might have a vested interest in a particular artist or group and thus overrate their work (something we try hard to discourage) there's no accounting for the fact that threedifferentwriters on RR felt so strongly about D-Sisive's work they gave his album 9 out of 10. For those new to the website, that's putting Derek Christoff in a very elite musical and lyrical category - right up there with the likes of Aceyalone, Gift of Gab, Nas, The Roots, Sage Francis, et cetera. So if you're asking yourself "Why haven't I heard of D-Sisive before now?" reading this review I'll give you three answers"
Heather B :: Takin Mine :: Pendulum/EMI ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"So "Takin Mine" isn't a balanced record. That's one reason to champion it, especially if 'balance' means catering to as many demands as possible. Shoving aside all expectations except those from the hardcore constituency, Heather B rips through her material like an East Coast version of Lady of Rage. Defiant from the opening line "Raise yo L's and yo middle left finger," she combines freestyle aesthetic and personal drive in a potent musical one-two punch. Just to keep things in balance, however, after "Takin Mine" you might want to listen to Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott's own acknowledgement of MTV's real-life soap opera, "Da Real World," an arguably more complex and diverse piece of music. "
"According to its renaissance man of an author, MC and software engineer, Rashenal, "Human Block" is quite an ambitious concept album. Indeed, according to the MC, this self-titled album by the Human Block project, comprised of Rashenal and producer and fellow Wild Life Crew member Jelts, is a concept album "exploring the most basic forms of human connection and how human lives are shaped around these connections." I would normally be fascinated by such sociological inquiries. The problem though, is that Rashenal is not a good rapper. "
""Forever Famicom" embraces the nostalgia for gaming's second era of home consoles, a time that blew away the simplicity of what could be done on Atari 2600 or Intellivision before it, yet still seems incredibly primitive compared to today's high-powered consoles like Sony PS3 or the X-Box 360. It's easy to argue that this is just a "throwback" retro movement, and if you like you can break out your Nintendo Power Glove and your Rob the Robot and relive the glory days, but "Forever Famicom" doesn't just cash in on a trip down memory lane like a tired VH1 TV concept. Like the Transformers toys of the same timeframe, this album is more than meets the eye - modern day hip-hop in disguise. When you play this album you discover that K-Murdock has pulled these old memorable tunes into today's hip-hop soundscape, occasionally kicking and screaming in protest, until he beat them into submission with scratches and beats that give them a totally now sound. "
"To some observers the product that remains on "Li(f)e" would be better described as spoken word poetry instead of hip-hop. I wouldn't argue with that distinction. Every great or poorly conceived rap line is a poem - and those who have studied poetry know that as long as it expresses something important to the author it need not necessarily rhyme. In that respect Francis is more like Saul Williams than Ludacris, more like Paul Beatty than Public Enemy, closer to Gil Scott-Heron than Gucci Mane. On "Li(f)e" Francis takes this one step further than he ever has before. When he sings that "London Bridge" is falling down, that's not just the hook - he freely alternates between singing and speaking his lyrics over a crunchy guitar riff that's more punk rock than rap. On "Slow Man" you could mistake Francis for Whitey Ford at times, right down to the white man blues Brian Deck gives this song. Even when he's rapping on "Worry Not," it's not the familiar hip-hop you know."
from CAPE VERDE, the forthcoming album dropping July 13 on Backwoodz Studioz. A concept album from the NYC rap duo about a day in front of the television. Featuring Vordul of Cannibal Ox, Superb, Masai Bey, Bigg Jus and more... http://backwoodzstudioz.com/
Allhiphop called the Super Chron Flight Brothers' 2007 debut Emergency Powers "daring graffitti". Okayplayer said "one of the best underground releases of the year". HipHop Connection magazine proclaimed Emergency Powers "A return to what intrigued about indie rap in the first place" and AllMusicGuide hailed it as "provocative, catchy...and an overall fantastic accomplishment".
Nu Revolution Entertainment would like to present Wordsmith in his 3rd single, "As the Art Fades Away" (Produced by Strada) from his debut album "Vintage Experience" OUT NOW on iTunes & Amazon. The video was directed by Olawale for 4 Sight Pictures, while Trey P. (Nu Revolution) crafted the treatment. Welcome back to the golden era of Hip Hop ladies and gentlemen and if you haven't copped the "Vintage Experience" album yet, wake the hell up and get it!
Every once in a while I get an album that makes me step back and say “whoa, this guy (or woman) is really good.” It happened most recently when I first heard godAWFUL’s Songs In The Key of Awful Vol. 1. A seriously talented emcee and producer, godAWFUL has all the skills and personality one could hope for in an artist and is potentially one of the few emcees who could really make a big impact coming out of Connecticut. When he’s not writing or recording, godAWFUL says he can be found in places that feature “good vibes, strong beverages and pretty women,” and while I couldn’t find a place quite like that to interview him, I did catch up with him this week to find out more about his music, why he has no problem spending time in the Penalty Box, and what he considers God awful.
[4-ize is not new in the rap scene at all. This ATL veteran been making his name known for over a decade and he's not stopping with this one. "Off the Top Rope" includes guest appearacnes by Senor Kaos, De La Soul, Ludacris, and GLC. This one'll probably be AngryMarks aprroved.]
[I know folks have been waiting on these retro duo to release an album by now. But no fear, at least they keep up with an update and this mixtape gives you the Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish that you need. Grab ya' tacklebox and go fishin'.]
[So Judah made "Amber Rose Instrumentals" this year and he decided to get different emcees from all over the world to jump on it (no Kanye). So now here the "Amber Rose Freestyles." Rap from Amber Rose not included.]
[We gave y'all the Refill months ago. And now here's the "Overdose" by Pill. Pill on his way to be one of the biggest rap star of 2010 and this is just the beginning. Listen, inject, or take with water. Be careful not to overdose though.]
That's it for the "4th of June" Edition" of "Free Music Fridays." 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....
MP3: Metermaids - "Girls and Music" Remix of Animal Collective's "My Girls"
Metermaids Prepare Indie Rock Sampling Mixtape, Enlist Help Of DJ Rob Swift
Rap's Bad News Bears are back. In anticipation of the duo's new EP - titled Rooftop Shake and produced and recorded entirely by Grammy-award winning producer 9th Wonder - Metermaids are readying the release of a brand new mixtape, HELLO. The nine-track project is hosted and mixed by hip-hop's own avant-garde DJ, DJ Rob Swift - also a contributor on Rooftop Shake, providing cuts for the EP. Known for his turntable expertise and genre mashes, Rob Swift mixes and cuts across HELLO, bringing with him a heightened level of fluidity to the project. While the collaboration is a first for Metermaids and Rob Swift, it's not just the two parties coming together that's newsworthy; it's the product of their collaboration. Featuring remixes of popular indie rock songs, the concept mixtape stands unique against its contemporaries as Metermaids treat each of the original compositions as sample material, chopping and layering the indie rock tracks into instrumental beds for their own original compositions. To celebrate the unique and exciting elements of the project, HELLO will be released in two formats: first, the mixtape will be released in it's true form with DJ Rob Swift's cuts and mixes, while a subsequent, DJ-free version will be made available for fans who want to enjoy the tracks individually.
The first single off HELLO is the mind-bending remix of "My Girls" by Animal Collective. Newly titled "Girls And Music", the Metermaids take this bubbling synth indie rock anthem and turn it on its head, giving the track a decidedly hip-hop aesthetic. With a new set of lyrics and a drum-beat laid over chops of the original synth melody, the remix easily stands on its own; while there's enough there to instantly recall the original for those familiar with song, the added elements allow the remix to be original and exciting, whether one is familiar with Animal Collective or not. In crafting their own lyrics and direction with the remix, Metermaids show off the group's lighter side with the song's message. Group member Sentence explains, "With this song, we were trying to infuse some levity into the heavy and sometimes negative aspects of life we all have to deal with."
HELLO drops June 22nd, and will be available on the band's website.
Hailing from New York City, Metermaids are Swell and Sentence, two emcees who met through the local underground hip-hop scene in 2006. After releasing their debut EP the same year, the duo toured with the likes of Brand Nubian, Atmosphere, Sage Francis, Fabulous, Lady Bug Mecca (Digable Planets), The Lox, and Camp Lo. After this extensive and impressive tour, the duo released their first full-length effort in 2008 entitled Nightlife, exemplifying their choice to create a new sound in crossover music, blending indie rock with hip-hop. The release was followed up with the EP Nightlife In Illinoise. Never resting, that EP was followed with their "Turn The Lights Out" video which quickly became an internet sensation. The follow-up, the critically acclaimed Smash Smash Bang EP earned the group immense industry support, and the interest of top hip-hop producers including 9th Wonder. The band's music is available for free at the group's official website.
Powerhouse KMEL Announces The Bay Area's 10 Freshmen
Top Urban Radio Station in California's Bay Area Lauds Up and Coming Emcees
(June 4, 2010 - Brooklyn, NY) KMEL 106.1 FM, one of the nation's premier Urban Contemporary stations serving over 1 million listeners in California's Bay Area, released their first annual list of the Bay's fastest rising hip-hop stars. The list, patterned after XXL Magazine's widely celebrated annual list of the nations best new rappers, is the brainchild of DJ Amen, one of the station's on-air talents.
The full KMEL Freshmen 10 list in no particular order is:
When asked about the criteria for choosing artists, DJ Amen commented, "We searched for artists who, despite having little to no radio play, have a strong presence and the potential to be the next big thing locally, and hopefully beyond." With growing national recognition for artists like DaVinci and international buzz for artists like Nio Tha Gift, KMEL's choices echo a growing consensus from the global hip-hop community on who will be the next generation of stars from Northern California.
KMEL has been instrumental in launching the careers of other Bay Area greats like Tupac, MC Hammer, E-40, and Too $hort. The station's Freshmen list is likely to follow in this tradition, by tipping off record executives and media outlets nationwide to Bay Area acts they should be aware of. DJ Amen will host a media mixer on June 17th at SOM in San Francisco to celebrate the list and allow the press to become more familiar with these rising stars
Bay Area based record labels Interdependent Media and SWTBRDS, who both have artists on the coveted list are pleased with KMEL's commitment to supporting local talent. Says Interdependent Media’s Ian Davis, "The Bay Area has always had a strong rap scene and it is always growing. Every so often we have a wave of new artists who come out and leave their mark. This latest batch selected by KMEL, including our artists Moe Green and TRUTHLiVE, are some of the most exciting, creative, and talented artists to hit the scene in some time.” SWTBRDS artist DaVinci adds, “To have a major radio station like KMEL support me is immensely humbling and motivating because we are as indie as it gets, we don¹t have deep pockets; we just have ears for making good music and market ourselves well.”
While the labels that represent The Freshmen see the marketing and commercial potential of inclusion on the elite list, some artists are simply proud to receive the honor. “Its a blessing. You remember listening to 106 when you were just a kid, and then to hear yourself on that same station... its unexplainable. I just appreciate people like DJ Amen, the people at KMEL, and everybody else involved for taking notice to what I got going,” exclaimed San Francisco based rapper Roach Gigz.
The Freshmen list is another benchmark for KMEL which celebrated 20 years of urban programming in 2007. The Clear Channel Communications company was instrumental in popularizing the Bay Area's "hyphy" movement in the early 2000’s, and is the longest tenured urban station in California. Fans can request their favorite Freshman by logging on to http://106kmel.com/pages/equest.html .
DJ Amen notes a sampler containing music from all the Freshmen will soon be available on the following sites:
Summertime is here and it already started on a good run for me. I performed at the pre-rally for the National Day of Action Against the SB-1070 Bill signed in Arizona. I spoke about the mobilization of the Hip Hop community against this bill and performed my single "So Special" produced by No ID. The next day I marched with over 100,000 people from across the country on a 5 mile trek to the Capitol. It was a huge success!! Also my fans started a facebook campaign to get me and female rappers on this years Rock The Bells. I am truly grateful for them here is the link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=124489484236206 So please add yourself and post me and other femcees you think should be on this tour.
Then soon after that I received a call from a promoter to perform with .....
Queen YoNasDa Opens for 50 Cent's "The Invitation" US Tour
(Phoenix, Arizona)--Female hip-hop emcee and activist, Queen YoNasDa, has been selected to open and perform for 50 Cent's "The Invitation" US tour in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona on Monday, June 7, 2010 at the Celebrity Theatre 40 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, Arizona. The show begins at 7 p.m. MST.
One of the new singles Queen YoNasDa will perform from her new album "God. Love. and Music" is titled, "So Special," an alluring song that serves as encouragement and inspiration for the hip-hop community. "So Special" featuring Nyhtee was written by Queen YoNasDa and produced by No ID who has produced tracks for major artists like Common, Kayne West and Jay-Z.
"No Nation Can Rise Higher than its Woman," is a saying that breathes truth. Queen YoNasDa epitomizes this energy as a hip-hop artist, curator, and activist. She got her start in the entertainment industry by choreographing BET's Teen Summit, Planet Groove and Soundstage then eventually moved on to open nationally for Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams Tour (Winter 2008-2009). Along the way she has performed with many other artists that include Lloyd, Ginuwine, Method Man & Redman, Jurassic 5, and Christina Aguilera. Queen YoNasDa recently completed her first national co-headlining tour with Wu Tang Clan's Raekwon alongside Capone N Noreaga "Built For Cuban Linx 2 Tour" (Nov.13-Dec 19,2009). She performed songs from her highly-respected album "God. Love. and Music." As the grand-daughter of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and daughter of Wauneta Lonewolf, Queen YoNasDa has proven to be a leader by spearheading movements like "Hip-Hop for Haiti" and leading the hip-hop community in Arizona to protest the new immigration law which she considers to be racial profiling and separates families. The Arizona protest song is a remake of Public Enemy's "By the Time I Get to Arizona" and has been featured on AllHipHop.com: http://allhiphop.com/stories/features/archive/2010/05/06/22204547.aspx /> For more information about Queen YoNasDa, visit her website at http://QueenYoNasDa.com, become a Facebook fan at http://Facebook.com/QueenYoNasDa and follow her on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/QueenYoNasDa />
Florida's Hottest Rapper Misses Event Honoring "The Dirty South"
NEW YORK, N.Y., June 3rd, 2010 - Contrary to the music industry buzz, Florida's hottest rapper Plies has announced that he will not be performing at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors airing on Monday, June 7 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. For the first time ever, VH1 is honoring a particular geographic region for its contribution to hip hop and this year's theme is "The Dirty South", celebrating the music, influence and artists of The South.
As a real southern icon in the Hip Hop world right now, Plies was a key addition to the performance line-up that was announced in March 2010. However, there is now a scheduling conflict since Plies had to push the release date of his most anticipated album from May 25th to June 8th in order to lower the album street price for his fans. As a result, Plies feels that it is important to focus on his fans and the days leading up to the release of his fourth album Goon Affiliated.
"I had to make a choice between personally meeting with my fans during my album promo tour or performing at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and the choice was easy -fans come first," explains Plies.
Ironically, not only will Florida's biggest rapper Plies not be attending or performing, but Young Jeezy, Georgia's hottest rapper right now will also not be in attendance at VH1's Hip Hop Honors specifically celebrating The South. Young Jeezy is one of the rappers featured on Plies fourth album dropping June 8th with their collaboration Look Like also featuring Fabolous.
Plies promises his fans of the South that he will make this up to them as he has recently announced that he will be headlining his first national tour being kicked off weeks after the release of Goon Affiliated. As a Florida native and lover of the south, it is certain that there will be a Florida stop along his upcoming tour. For up to date information about Plies and his Goon Affiliated tour, please visit www.PliesWorld.com or follow him on Twitter: Twitter.com/GoonAffiliated.
Suave House CEO Tony Draper has been a major trendsetter in Southern Hip Hop for over two decades, giving birth to the artist known as 8Ball & MJG, initiating the monumental Universal Cash Money deal and awakening Ice Cube's independent roots and sound – resulting in Cube scanning over 1 million units, netting him more money than he's made selling records since the inception of his music career. It's therefore only ﬁtting that Draper's latest artist and creation, Jigg, pays respect to the South with new track "STILL ON IT" just days before VH1 is poised to acknowledge Southern Hip Hop with their annual Hip Hop Honors ceremony.
Download and share Jigg’s “Still on it” from Conversation with the Heart:
Jigg ﬂows over a soulful bass line and guitar, reminiscing about the inﬂuence that southern luminaries like Uncle Luke, Goodie Mob, Outkast, Trick Daddy, UGK, Ghetto Boys, 8Ball & MJG, Field Mob, T.I, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, and more have had on his own development as an artist. Jigg's current single "WHAT I WANT" ft. Ice Cube & Lil Wayne can be heard on urban/rhythmic stations across the country and is growing in spins daily. Jigg is certainly poised to quickly become one of the brilliant hip hop artists that newcomers can look up to. "STILL ON IT" will be featured on Jigg's forthcoming album, Conversation With The Heart, due later this year.