Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
R.I.P. Chad Butler (December 29, 1973 - December 4, 2007)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Our apartment has a double buzzer system, and to my knowledge only the postman has a key to let him in the first door (and I'm pretty sure of this because my super is also kind of a dead beat and I can't see him making front door keys for even the UPS or FedEx guys, and he certainly wouldn't do so for a c-list delivery company like DHL).
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
I done ran up on your man Hova, Jay-Z. You know this was a couple years back though. He was on two-fifth (125th Street) ran up on the SUV. Your man Bleek was in the back, so I hollered at him like "What's good? I'll battle your man (Bleek) right now, and see what it is. You know, not to take your man's shine, but just to show you what I've got." [Jay responded,] "Nah, holler at the office, holler at the office." So you know, sometimes you don't know what these dudes are lookin' for, like. You don't know what they're lookin' for, so... It's crazy, it's crazy.
S.O.S. - Sketch of an Artist (2005) -
2. Bring It Back
3. Smashed In
4. Straight Sex
6. My Street
7. Let's Go
8. Who You Ride Wit
9. H Need Dow
10. Let's Roll
11. What I'm Bout
12. 5th Go Boom
14. How Many Bars Is This
15. Lock The Game
S.O.S. - Mixtape Joints -
1b. Alter Egos
4. Hunned Bars
Friday, October 12, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
NYG'z feat. Rave & Lil' Fame - Sufferin
Killa Sha feat. Tragedy Khadafi & Trife Da God - One Hand Wash The Other
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Here are the three joints I promised earlier. Again this is from Save Our Streetz aka Hunned Bars new album For the Love of Money (seen above). Please check out the full review (and free album download) over at www.ohword.com (http://www.ohword.com/blog/841/save-our-streetz-aka-hunned-bars-for-the-love-of-money)and his myspace page, if these cuts catch your interest. I'll be back to drop some more science soon.
S.O.S. - What Do I Do?
S.O.S. - Can't Come Home
S.O.S. - Reminisce
For my first piece at Ohword I wanted to shed light on an artist I met in Harlem. While the money/gun/drug talk may put off some of you indy hoppers, download the whole cd and give it a chance, (specifically check joints 6-8... which I'll upload individually in here a little later) there's a lot more substance than you might assume. I rarely (never before in the Lobby and obviously never before at Ohword) stick my neck out for another artist, but I happen to think this dood's the real deal. Capable of making a classic album if he had the right production, studio availability, and resources. So check out S.O.S. aka H.B. and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
First check out Percee P's Perseverance. Perhaps the most passed over emcee of the golden era, Percee paid his dues with multiple 12" inch deals, historic battles with Lord Finesse, DITC features, and decades of hustling his homemade tapes and cds. Finally, after a twenty-five year career he releases his debut LP, with westcoast underground super-producer Madlib. While there may be times when the listener grows tired of Percee's repetitiousness (stylistically), the album is densely packed lyrical perfection from a true rap legend, over blunted out, but soulful, production. As a whole LP it may be a little much for repeated sittings, but there's very few weak moments on it.
Then if you've been wondering what else Primo has been up to (aside from his work on Big Shug's album, and the NYG'z debut), he's got three cuts on the new Pitch Black album. And although I wasn't a huge fan of their debut either, this time around they got two cuts from Marley Marl (well one is "The Symphony"... which is kind of enough all ready), two cuts from Alchemist, and a cut from Pete Rock. If you aren't feelin' the production on this album, you're too young to be reading my blog. Go do your homework.
And finally I got a treat from the upcoming Special Teamz album, which I just got (so I won't speak on it as a whole yet). Let's just say this track is fire, and I have high hopes for what Edo, Jayshaun, and Slaine can do over production from Primo, Pete Rock, Marco Polo, etc.
Here are some of my favorite cuts off these:
Percee P - Ghetto Rhyme Stories
Special Teamz - Get Down
Pitch Black featuring Styles P (Produced by Primo) - Nice
Pitch Black - Revenge (Best Primo beat I've heard all year)
Monday, September 10, 2007
Here's Herc, the true father of this shit, back in his prime. Not exactly a lankey fellow, but...
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
They come back with another sample you've heard before (I can't place it at the moment, but I've definitely heard it before). The song still bangs, but it's a little more cluttered. Consider the climate of rap music right now in making your decision. You have to understand that although Kool G Rap is a bonafied legend, his fan base is minimal. If you made the best G Rap record ever right now it probably still wouldn't move more than 10-20,000 first week. And you'll only get that kind of push if when you leak it to the innanetz, strategically and to the right source, they love it. Everybody loves it. And the blogs start blogulating, and the press imitates the blogulating, and the 26-40 year old die hard hip hop audience download it and decide on straigh gp, they'll support. Think KRS and Marley Marl's album, that's close to your best case scenario. If it was that much iller, it could maybe sell a little better (so far the album does not sound crazy ill to me, but I've only heard like three tracks and G Rap was killing them all, and the beats weren't bad, but they weren't great either).
Neither sample is probably that big of a deal to take care of it, but you also have to think of the big picture. What type of album do you want to create? Who is your target audience and what will they support more? What's the best way to meet your bottom line?
Kool G Rap - Rising Up (First Version)
Kool G Rap - Rising Up (Second Version)
M.O.P. featuring Teflon and Jay-Z - 4 Alarm Blaze
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
EPMD put on a great show. I wish they'd cut Pharoahe or Black Star's sets a little shorter and let Erick and Parrish rock a few more classics, but I do acknowledge that most of the audience had NO CLUE who EPMD was, yet knew "Respiration" and "Desire" by heart. I feel like I'm still young enough where I shouldn't feel old at these kind of shows, but I can't help it. It was slightly disappointing that Redman didn't come out at all for EPMD's set, I can only attribute this to the fact that he must've arrived later in the day (as he did run out for "Da Rockwilder" during Wu's set). They made brief mention of their new album (no label or details) We Mean Business, which they claim will drop this year (and since Redman and Keith both held their word and dropped this year, I wouldn't be surprised if EPMD pulls it off too - probably on Koch if I had to guess). My only question is, "Can we get a new Def Squad album?"
Public Enemy can still kill it. Although Terminator and the Bomb Squad are no longer down, and they perform with Chuck's band (can't remember the name off hand) they still have the same energy they've always had. Griff is back in the fold (I don't know how long that's been the case... maybe as far back as '98... but I know there was a minute there where he wasn't down), and the militia still does their steps. I've seen some people bemoan the fact that Public Enemy does their sets with a band now and I have to say there are pros and cons to that approach for them. "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos" for instance, sounds much better with the original beat. "Bring The Noise," of which they performed the remix version (with the guitarist from Anthrax, whose name I always forget) and most of the other songs where the band interpolates the original beat, sounds as fresh as it ever did.
Flava Flav was clearly on drugs, which was fine during his usual adlibs and hype man antics, but by the time Chuck turned over the stage to him, Flav had clearly lost his mind. His performance of "911 is a Joke" was delayed for several minutes, as he brought out his children to introduce them to the crowd, and then commenced the longest "yeeeeaaaaaaaaah boooooyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee" that his lungs could allow, which Chuck thankfully cut short by starting up the band, about fifteen seconds in. Flav promptly got pissed at Chuck, told the band to stop, nd made everybody wait as he did a full thirty second long rendition of the phrase, followed by a James Brown style "Hit me." Maybe the two yells killed his breath, or maybe it was the drugs, but he certainly couldn't keep up with his own lyrics on "911." After "911," as the band was leaving the stage, he asked "Where's everybody goin? That's it?" Following his own question he said "Soundman please don't cut me off, I want to play a beat." And he proceeded to bang out a pattern on the drum set for the next five minutes or so, at which point he said something else and finally left the stage. xxlmag.com acted as though these were planned "neo-minstrel antics" (their words, not mine), but I'm fairly certain they were not planned, as the look on Chuck's face was one of utter disappointment in his old friend. Griff looked downright disgusted. All in all it definitely took something away from PE's otherwise stellar stage set.
The Roots murdered the stage as they always do, and I will say that I think Black Thought is the best live performer in hip hop. He's so smart with it, wasting no extra energy on wall-climbing or crowd surfing or other relatively pointless crowd pleasing antics he walks the stage with the swagger of an old big band front man (which is what he is). Years of performing both hip hop and non-hip hop songs at shows has made him an unfuckwitably versatile pro. He never has to yell, he never loses his breath, and he never disappoints. They dropped arguably the best set of the night, performing several joints off all their albums post Illadelph Halflife.
As great as The Roots were, I will make a point to never miss another Cypress Hill show, after seeing their set on Saturday. I have to admit I'm not a huge Cypress fan anymore. I have their first three albums, all of which are classic to near classic status, but after that I kind of lost interest. Mainly my lack of interest has to do with the fact that they said everything on their first three albums that they would say on subsequent releases, but they did it better back then. All that aside, B-Real and Sen are masters of the stage show. From the first song, to the Buddha break (with a huge blow up stage idol of Buddha with a pot leaf on his chest), to the percussionists "Hit(s) from the Bong," to their undisputed crackerishness anthem "Rock Superstar," they reigned supreme on stage and were really the only act that competed with The Roots for set of the day.
Wu's show was slightly dissapointing to me in some ways. It was great seeing all of the living members on stage together (GZA actually showed up about half way through the set I think, but they were all there... plus Cappa and Streetlife). Method Man still has more energy than any of them, and INS is definitely losing his voice. The highlight to most of the young crowd (probably because they remember the song, better than anything on 36 or Forever) was Red running out to snatch the mic from Meth just in time to do his verse on "Da Rockwilder." They really should've given Red his own set. And as dope as it was to see "Fish," and "Ice Cream" performed, I was a little dissapointed that Wu didn't do even a snippet of anything off 8 Diagrams or Cuban Linx II.
Biggest WTF moment was them performing "Duel of the Iron Mic" without GZA (I don't know why he wasn't on stage at that point, but I'm pretty sure it was Masta Killa doin' his own verse and GZA's). They did a good, if unoriginal, job with their memorialization of Dirty, having the crowd shout along to "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" similar to the way Jay-Z memorializes Big. All in all this might be the last time I get to see the remaining eight on stage together, and I was glad to get the opportunity, but it ain't the same without Dirty. And I think it was Bol over at xxlmag.com who said seeing Wu-Tang as a whole live is more like seeing Method Man featuring the Wu-Tang Clan. Meth's presence and energy is sooo much greater than the rest of the Clan at this point, that they can really play nothing more than a supporting role.
I didn't stick around for much of Rage, because I knew that's what the 30,000 plus crackers came to see, and this cracker was getting back to Harlem before the mass exodus created fourty-five minute bus lines. But what I did see was impressive and just like I expected. Anybody who has seen one of their live show DVD's knows the deal. So I stayed for a couple joints and bounced before the moshpits consumed the whole crowd in dreaded white stinkiness.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Perhaps the most humorous moments of the day took place before I even got to RTB. The line of crackers on 125th and Lexington was worth the price of admission alone (although technically I didn't have to pay anything to have seen that portion). I noticed the great white mass comin' up the block from my apartment on 120th. An amorphous mass of caucasian out of towners, holdin' the shit in their pants only due to their "strength in numbers" mindset, anxiously scuttlin' towards the special MTA event buses.
Little do they know of course that this particular section of two-fifth is most renowned not for the Apollo Theater, bootleggers, African oils, and the other ammenities of the most famous Harlem street, but for the dopeheads that congregate their each morning. One RTBer noted how smart Rock the Bells was for sending vendors out to 125th to sell water. I didn't have the heart to explain that one of the most lucrative ghetto hustles in the post-911 era is the summertime Poland Springs gig. And that today was a serious payday for some of these "vendors" who had been waiting for an event like this all year.
One "tour guide," or, as we refer to them here in the hood, dopefiend even convinced a bunch of oh-so-gullible light-skinnededs to walk with him down to the end of 125th street (0nly about four avenue blocks... longer than street blocks to you out-of-towners), up an onramp, and down the sidewalk deficient Triborough bridge to Randall's Island. A hike, which might have been worthwhile had people gone their directly from the train and bypassed the approximately thirty five minute line to the event buses, was instead taken up by several non-tri-staters who were near the front of the line to get on the bus. Well, at least they got some exercise.
Most of the Harlem residents were completely unaware of the concert and stopped frequently on their drives to and from wherever to ask the white folk, "What the hell are y'all waiting in a huge line in Harlem for?" Needless to say groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, EPMD, Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy haven't been a hot topic of conversation in US hoods for close to a decade now, and Rage Against the Machine never was. And as much as I enjoyed the subsequent show and love all the acts that performed, I realize that the most 2007 hood-relevant artist performing that day was Flava Flav, distantly followed by Talib Kweli (despite what white people think, black people do generally like and respect Kweli). If a Harlem native is going to pay 100 bones for a concert it better be Beyonce or Summer Jam (good thing I'm not a Harlem native... just a gentrifier).
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Dog fighting has been around since the days of the Holy Roman Empire, if not before that. Our country decided it was illegal, because we decided that animals have rights, which I think is a good thing in general. I don't have a problem with guys like Michael Vick and DMX being arrested for their involvement in dog fighting rings or for abusing their animals, they should be. What I take issue with is the hysteria around it, the proverbial "blame game" that inevitably leads to hip hop every single time any issue, especially one involving black people, hits Fox News. I'd be willing to guess that dog fighting takes place on a regular basis in all 50 states (well maybe they have spider monkey fights in Hawaii or something) and in most, if not all, countries around the world. Furthermore, although I have no proof of this, only an intuition based on living in both very white environments and very black environments, I'd be willing to place a rather large bet that the majority of animal fights are conducted by white people. And like Don Imus and Michael Richards, these are not the type of white people that traditionally listen to hip hop. So the recent assertion that hip hop, which is already the cause of all gun violence, racist rants, sexism, and mysogyny, is also the cause of dog fighting, came as somewhat of a shock.
The logic, similar to many of the let's blame hip hop arguments, actually has nothing to do with hip hop as a whole. It's based around the work of two individual artists and, interestingly enough, has nothing to do with their music whatsoever. The evidence? Jay-Z's unedited version of the "99 Problems" video, and the liner notes of DMX's disappointing fifth album (which somehow went platinum, I'm guessin' entirely off the sales of 15 year old white boys). Say what? The Humane Society REALLY thinks the liner notes of Grand Champ and the youtube version of "99 Problems" are causing a resurrgence in dog fighting? Are they smoking dust? Can you imagine how stupid somebody would have to be to start a dog fighting ring off the strength of a music video? Next thing you know they'll blame the reissue of Roots for the resurrgence of chicken fighting.
Anyway I'm working on a Best of '07 Mix... I'll let you know when it's done...
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Now, and this is just a thought... the famous "Knuckles" skit at the end of the album, which suggests 50's dime dropping, is notably placed on an album entitled Supreme Clientele. I'm sure I'm not the first to suggest this connection, as Rae and Ghost, were heavily involved in the on record lore of NYC crack scene (if not heavily involved in the scene itself - "I got two spots on New Lots, flooded with rocks"). So maybe 50 and Yayo have more reason to downplay Ghost's artistic achievements aside from the fact that he's not moving G-Unit numbers these days (of course, 50 convienently seems to forget that G-Unit isn't really moving G-Unit numbers these days either).
Wrap Ya Lips Around This – Agallah (8-Off's Unreleased '95 Album)
Marley Marl 85-87
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Demos & Rare (Mobb Deep, Nas, n Mef)
Survival of the Fittest Demo
Keepin' It Real
Right Back At You (Demo 1)
Right Back At You (Remix)
Right Back At You (Part 3)
It Ain't Hard To Tell (Demo, not that demo though)
Method Man Demo circa 97
Havoc - Be There
Come On Baby - Saigon
No Holding Back - AZ & Cormega
So Amazing - Termanology (Prod. by Primier)
I Get Money Freestyle - Cassidy
Gun for Gun - Killah Priest featuring Nas
Ice Water (Raekwon's group) - Hip Hop Tribute
Ice Water - Nostalgia (featuring Raekwon)
Tell Me How You Like It Ice Water (feat. Remy Ma)
They stopped playin' music at the Kingdome (a basketball tournament in Harlem for those of you who don't know) this year to appease the encroaching white comdominium owners in the neighborhood. I almost don't mind, because I've heard enough "Lip Gloss" this year anyway, but increased police presence also means nobody's burnin' anymore, which of course limits my enjoyment. Either way, there are other tournaments in Harlem. Oh, and how do people feel about 50 Cent's recent attempt to simultaneously join the 80's revival and make a song that sounds an awful lot like "I'm A Hustla?" By now I'm sure you've heard "I Get Money," but personally I wish I hadn't.
On the positive side I'm interviewing the NYG'z soon for PhilaFlava so be on the lookout for that. They're about to drop their "Street Album" on Primo's new label Year Round, and then they'll be following up with Pros & Cons, which is the first 100% Primo produced album since The Ownerz (which I have to say was unnecessarily hated upon, given that listening to it now, it sounds like a relic of the bygone era in which dope hip hop was still a somewhat viable artform).
So I spent a little time on albumbase jackin' 4 linkz this morning. Decided to type "demo" into the album category and see what showed up. Here are the results, of course I can't vouch for quality, or legitimacy of these demos, as I haven't listened to all of them yet, but enjoy if you're so inclined.
Ras Kass - Van Gogh (Unreleased Album)
A Tribe Called Quest - Lost Demos
Joe Budden - 2002 Def Jam Demo
Notorious B.I.G. - Demo Tape
O.C. - Demo Tape
PMD & Agallah - Death Before Dishonor (Demo)
Royce 5' 9" - Aftermath Demo
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Here's the direct link to the T.R.O.Y. forum (this forum is probably the best thing imaginable if you have a fetish for that old school boom-bap).
Monday, May 21, 2007
As I was putting together my last G. Rap mix, there were a few hints in the air that I might have to do a second mix. First of all, I was leaving out a lot of classic collaborations and album tracks to try and stick to my formula (not recycling shit that's been posted on the web 54,949,679,873 times). There were also cuts I left out because the quality was just too weak, and I didn't feel like they'd flow on a mix with the more recent shit. Finally upon making the mix, I got a lot of flack for leaving out certain classics (even though I explicitly try to avoid making obligatory classic mixes), but heads also put me up on gems that I either had never heard, or that I didn't have in mp3 form. And finally, I found as I should have expected, that there are a lot of young new jacks out there who are capable of appreciating Kool G. Rap's undeniable dopeness, but aren't up on the basic curriculum. The result is Kool G. Rap - Teaches The Children, and below I've provided a track by track breakdown of the curriculum.