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Saturday, September 24, 2016

[EP] MARVELOUS MAG & SHABAAM SAHDEEQ - "God's Coin"

This is a nice team-up of two vocalists right here - super skilled Shabaam Sahdeeq and talented harmonizer Marvelous Mag. Representing two different generations of artists but always brings that HEAT. Seven tracks deep, pretty much no guests artists and lots of nice turntable work by Chinch 33. Check this one out!

D-TENSION Ft. DIAMOND D & AG - "Godly"



D-Tension is an up-and-coming producer from Massachussets who's been working on his new project "The Violence Of Zen" for quite some time. The album will be entirely produced by D-Tension with the vocals coming from both esteemed legends such as Diamond D, AG and Tash as well as lesser known names. The first single is strapped with verses from D.I.T.C. alumni Diamond and AG and is a sureshot banger while the B-side features someone called Ghosts Of Jupiter. Check out and purchase music from D-Tension @ Bandcamp.

Friday, September 23, 2016

DESIGNER - "Timmy Turner" [Preemix]

Desiigner is a damn fascinating career, and you have my word in that you will never see his name associated with The Lost Tapes as I can't stand him or what he stands for. However when his so called Freshmen freesyle featuring the origin of what became known as the "Timmy Turner" single, appeared I have to admit that in some weird way it acutally stuck in my head SEVERAL times a day. Since the frst version was acapella there's been plenty of remixes (and no I haven't heard them, nor wold I want to) - but a new Preemo track, I take it. It is kind of reminiscent of the recent Kanye acapella remixhe did called "I Love Kanye" that he also did. For some reason all links to that has been destroyed, so enjoy this while it lasts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

[comp] LARGE PRO - "This Is The NEW Shit"

Ok so a few days back I made a compilation on Pete Rock's non-album tracks that he produced for other artists between 2012 and 2016 and it got some very good response. I always been very fascinated with the production aspect of Hip Hop, and as I started listening extensively to jazz, and some soul and funk and even rock, I find it even more incredible how talented these guys are with the way they flip classics and obscure joints to create something truly original and long-lasting as the original. On the flip side it has also exposed to me in a larger way how many how many relatively acclaimed producers don't really do jack shit and could barely be called musicians. But guys like Pete Rock, Large Professor, J Dilla, Diamond D, Buckwild, DJ Premier, Madlib, Drasar Monumental, Bomb Squad, Marley, RZA. Q-Tip/Ali Shaheed, ?uestlove and a dedicated host of others definitely creates magic by using records, turntables and samplers as instruments in their own rights and are without a doubt true musicians. I've had the pleasure of seeing several of these guys, including the holy "Illmatic" trio of Pete Rock, Large Pro and DJ Premier so I wanted to build a sequel to that well-received Pete Rock compilation I mentiond above. Hopefully this will be a series focusing on some of my favorite producers more recent works, all under the "This Is The NEW Shit" banner so stau tuned!

This time the focus is on Large Professor, perhaps the only producer that in my humble opinion ALWAYS comes with mega heat without being trapped in a standard formula. I wouldn't place in at number #1 perhaps, but can you think of a weak or even average Extra-P beat? All the way back from his early work as a 16-17 year old kid working with Inelligent Hoodlum (Tragedy), Kool G Rap and Rakim to the stuff on this compilation he always been extremely consistent. I mean Pete Rock had a few duds although he's definitely got way more heat than average beats, RZA used to be 5 for 5 but nowadays he's very inconsitent, unfortunately. Dilla is dead (R.I.P. brother). Madlib is too crazy and experimental to be consistant, and DJ Premier while he rarely puts out anything that isn't hot and a banger, he's been somewhat caught in a formula. But with Large Pro you don't know exactly what you gonna get, but you know it will be outstanding! The only time I can think that he falted a bit was on his album "1st Class", but a lot of that was weak rhymes so maybe those beats would have sounded a lot better with some other emcee rhyming over them. Case in point - the track he had on there that used the same beat Nas had recored "Star Wars" for for "Gods Son" but used for himself when Nas decided not to use it (of course he put it out  a few years later instead). Large Pro's version on "1st Class" didn't do anythng for me, the beat didn't grab me, rhymes didn't grab me, nothing. But when Nas grabbed it, I realized that beat was a monster.

So without further a due heres volume two of "This Is The NEW Shit", Extra-P's entry. As I said with Pete's entry the title might not be entirely accurate since it spans four years of productions and in this microwave musical society something is ony NEW for a week but fuck it i'm stuck in the old when we were happy when an artist dropped an album every 3 year or so, no mixtapes, maybe a soundtrack cut here or there and a guest feature or guest production.,Either way there's a lot of heat here and most likely a few cuts you've missed out on before. I got 16 songs here for y'all listening pleasure, almost all of them in 320 kbps bitrate and clocking in at 60 minutes. Don't forget that he also produced the abslutely marvelous full-lenght collaboration with Cormega between these years as well - as that's a full project nothing of that is included here. 'Mega is however! There's both expected and some very unexpecteed collaboratios here so all I can suggest is grab it, sit back and enjoy.... Oh and turn that shit up!


01. ll Bill - "Acid Relux"
02. Funkoars - "The Quicknening"
03. Capone-N-Noreaga - "Pizza"
04. Diamond District - "Working Weekends" [Remix]
05. Homeboy Sandman - "It's Cold" (Ft. Steve Arrington)
06. Blu - "Kiss The Sky" [Remix]
07. Illa Ghee - 90
08. Mayer Hawthorne - "Her Favorite Song" [Remix]
09. Halcut - "Last Call"
10. Meyhem Lauren - "Not Guilty"
11. J-Love - "Firenando" (Ft. AG Coroner, Prince OG, Take-It)
12. Southpaw - "Here We Go"  [Remix]
13. N.O.R.E. - "Built Pyramids"
14. Real Wolrf . "Legacy (Ft, Ill Bill & Slaine)
15. Ill Bill - "Canarsie High"
16. Jeru The Damaja - "Solar Flames"
17. Public Enemy - "Catch The Throne" (Ft. Cormega &Lare Pro)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

[Article/Review] RZA, Hollywood & Banks N Steelz

THE INTRODUCTION - How did we get at this point?
RZA and his Wu-Tang Clan brethren were one of the main reasons I feel in love with Hip Hop and also an imporant part in what made me so interested in sample based music. I've written extensively about the Wu and The RZA on these forums throughout these years, and as I made clear in my rceet artcle on "Bobby Digital: In Stereo", there's to my mind never been as talented Hip Hop producer around. He totally threw out the rule book and said "fuck it, if it sounds good to my ears it will sound good to others". Loops that didn't fully connect, sounds of rusty chain being dragged throughout entire songs, loops played backwards and accentuated by a scratch, and often extremely simple piano lines (which wss a main feature of "Return to the 36 Chambers"; ODB's debut). Even Pete Rock has gone on record saying that he was flabbergasted that he was able to make stuff like this come out as dope, but he couldn't other than recognize his genius. RZA was always a DJ and went entirelty by ear, if a number of elements might work, if it souded good once he put it together (many producers like True Master has likeed his production style and layering of samples to a house of carts - if one card/sample falls, everything is blown). There's a saying that if it's not broke, don't fix it - but few producers has moved so far from his original style so that he has alienated a large majority of his old fans.

The first big change happened in the early days of recording "Wu-Tang Forever". When visiting a music store to buy 10 000 USD worth of samplers, computer software and production tools, he had a sort of "epiphany" if you will. The store clerk, or music demonstrator or whatever, recognized RZA and being one of those obvious hip-hop haters, and even worse a disgrunled wannabee musician that couldn't work with music other than selling the materal to real musicians. Recognizing RZA he not only attacked this man whose music was praised by millions of people, he went as far as saying that The Abbot wasn't even a real musician by any stretch of the word. As RZA grew up on the Stax, Motown and classic Soul of the '70s he probably had long wanted to play an instrument and compose in the same way as masterminds like Al Green. This was the day that the seed that gradually started to change Wu-Tang's music was gradually beginning to change. Diggs started reading up and studying western music theory which of course is a truly great and important mathematical sysem, though it somewhat doesn't conform with the sound of sample based Hip-Hop. As RZA was still on his old path (putting together sounds like a DJ, by ear, at his point) I'm sure that part of his immersion in this musical theory originally gave him some amazing insights that allowed him to do some absolutely marvelous ish by conforming to two worlds. The first beat he applied his newfound knowledge on was the Wu-Tang Clan single "Triumph" and many other songs on "Wu-Tang Forever", and then "Bobby Digital (In Stereo)". The problem was that the unpredictability of a RZA sample slowly started to diminish more and more throughout the years, and that had been one of the main things that really was his niche.


To say that RZA learning and understanding western music theory and striving to learn instruments like piano and guitar single handledly destroyed RZA's legacy as the greatest hip hop producer of time is nothing short of plain bullshit. It was more weapons at his disposal but you could sometime tell he so despearetely felt he wated to be an accepted "real" musician that he forgot his origins and like him and his Wu brothers (and many others) often has said - "you can't know your future unless you know where you came from"). There's amazing RZA productins where he succesfully meshes the western musical traditions, symphonies orchestras, his knack for cinematic scoring (which has always been evident in his music since the mid-'90s) with raw rhyming. Some of the best examples of more recent songs are "Fatal" and "Thirsty" from the "Blade Trinity" soundtrack and the absolutely mindblowing "Chambers Of Fear" (see above). And he was still giving artists like Ghost ("Run", "Kunta Fly Shit", 2004), Mehtod Man (five tracks on "4:21", 2006) and Masta Killa (three tracks for "No Said Date", 2004) that vintage Wu sound. Not to mention something super gritty like the "Brutality" single for Sunz Of Man member Prodigal Sunn that was released in 2005 - or how about the more recent joints he gave Game and Talib Kweli, respectively.

I could easily make a compilation of newish RZA beats that still bangs HARD as hell to show you that he can bring that back when he wants to. But I'm not going to act like RZA is the producer he once was neither. Whenever The Abbot drops a really hot beat that make you throw on the stink face is getting rarer and rarer. For me the last RZA produced albums that I really and truly fell in love with from fron-to-back was "8 Diagrams" (yep, I said it - amazing album right there, and I'm going to write a separate article on that one soon enough ro expand my thoughts on why I think its one of the best albums of 2007) and the "Afro Samurai" soundtrack(s) (mainly the first one, though the second one was about 50/50 on the bangers scale - so combining them as I have suggested before makes for a damn fine album). "A Better Tomorrow" was not a bad album but it wasn't what we as Wu fans wanted to hear, but whereas its group predecessor had a whole lot of character, was experimental in nature and carreid a somber mood throughout this album sounded somewhat run-of-the-mill.

THE REVIEW (5/10)

And now there's this collaboration with guitarist, singer and instrumentalist Paul Banks of alternative rock band Interpul. An unexpted collaboration if I ever heard of one. I have a hard time imagine there's many people who are both Interpol and Wu-Tag fans and though I only heard the album one time, I really don't have any urge to play it again. The juxtapoisition of these two musical styles sound rather forced, yet it's its own thing and i don't think it will really satisfy either Wu fans or Interpol fans. RZA's verses sound to self-conscious as he feel the need to say something profound but ofen falling flat. Some of the beats have interesting aspects but then they are co-producitions that are musically world aparts. I kind of like the first single "Giant" and there's music that can be repated here but overall it's the most dissapointing album The Abbot has ever been apart of. Of course he's not going go back to Gravediggaz days but it's quite clear he didn't give two fucks about his oriignal fans her - instead it seems he was aiming for recognition by the white indie press and fans, which is just said consiering that this is the guy whose music that everyone from Hollywood actors, to politicanss to the junkie on the corner loved. But the music they love him for is already there and was made between 1992 and 2006 (some would say 1998 but I think it's idiotic to claim RZA hasn't doe much marvelous music since then, albeit less frequetly). 

"Anything But Words" isn't something anyone but RZA and Paul Baks themeselves would want to hear, and this is coming from someone who has always defeneded and embraced (most of) The Abbot's musical changes and challenges. Will we ever see a classic RZA produced album again ? At this point and time, it seems unlikely but he has suprised us before. These days it seems that the best RZA helmed tracks apepars on the various soundtrack he's working on. "The Man With The Iron Fist" was actually a very dope album and though he didn't really produce the majority of them, he was the de-facto leader and mastemrind behind "Chamber Music" and "Legendary Weapons" - a collection of Clan members, Killa Beez and underground New York emcees entangled in rhyming sessions on a given topic, set to the live rendition of typical hip hop beats  y The Reveleations. All very solid albums, and despite what some might ´say, there's still hope for future Wu bangers, but  remember it's not 1995 anumore.

[Throwback Review] LL's "Mr. Smith" + "No Airplay" [Dirty]

I know a lot of people disagree with me, claiming that just because LL made soft records for the ladies he was never one of the true greats. I call that massive bullshit and history revision, all the way back to the classic "Radio" - one of the first real Hip Hop classics - to "B.A.D.", "Mama Said Knock You Out", "14 Shots to the Dome" (you can read more about my thoughts on why it's a truly great album by clicking the text above) and "Mr. Smith" he damn near had a flawless discography. And he had a style of his own, no other emcee could credibly slaughter emcees like on "Mama Said...", encapsule everything Hip Hop is about on his breakthrough classics "Rock The Bells" and "I Need A Beat" and then make a super saccharine hit like "I Need Love" while mainitaining his street cred, but that's LL for you. When 1995 came around he dropped his last potent disc, though there's been loose bits and pieces as recent as 2013 ("Rocking With The G.O.A.T.", that Marley Marl freestyle over the "Mahogany" sample, etc) but he's definitely a has-been. But from 1985 to 1995 he was a force to be reckoned with and deinitely someone I bought every album from - there was the half-dud that was "Walking Out Of The Panther", that despite some really dope moments ("Fast Peg", "Jack The Ripper", "Going Back to Cali", "Nitro", "It Gets No Rougher") was a cheesy, half-assed album that felt forced and out of touch with Hip Hop in '89

Luckily for him, Marley Marl was the remix king back then and took on the LP single "Jingling Baby" for the 12" B-side which became THE version that blew up and started an amazing relationship that lasted two LP:s. But after those two albums it was time for LL to move on, thank Marley for making his comeback possible and making him a force to be reckoned with and he started recording the "Mr. Smith" album. I know some people dislike this album but to me it's the best album LL ever did as far as balancing the smooth with the hardcore and though it's a little dated now, it's the perfect album to either play when you're with your girl or just chilling by yourself. The transition from one of the raunchiest sex anthems on commercial radio in the '90s ("Doin' It") or the sweet but honest "Hey Lover" featuring Boyz II Men to super hardcore monster cuts like "I Shot Ya " (both the original solo version and the posse remix with Prodigy, Keith Murray and Foxy Brown) should be a little jarrig but somehow it all works very well a s a unified body of work. A good example is the opening cut "Hip Hop" where LL professes his love for Hip Hop over a smooth beat and does it in words and a tone that could almost be a love song but wihout ever coming off as cheesy. This is without a question the last album LL ever did that you could bump front-to-back and even have any kind of urge to do so. "Phenomenon" was one of the wackest albums by a legend ever put out, and only had one, maybe we can stretch it to two two redeeming songs out of ten. And I know a lot of people really like "G.O.A.T." and consider that LL's final solid release, but aside from the excellent opening song (labeled as the "Intro"), "Ill Bomb" (which was already released on a compilation), and the bonus track "Shut 'Em Down" the majority of the album, while it had its moments, felt very forced... 

If LL had never made another record after. "Mr. Smith" nobody could say he was and is a true Hip Hop legend, complete with the whole package as like his previous albums it doesns't feel forced in the least, It's a very well thought out, sequenced and well performed project. And though he left Marley behind, he had the assistance of Rashad Smith, Easy Mo Bee, Trackmasters, Chad Elliot and Chryskillz - all hot producers in the mid-'90s and they gave LL a really cohessive project, much thansk to it being exective produced by Poke and Tone alog with LL and Bay Chris Lighty. So once again from 1985 to 1995, LL dropped five really incredible albums that cemented his legacy in Hip Hop and though he has released more wack albums by this point he ocassionally still comes through with a firey track to remind old time fans what he is still capable of. Why he doesn't do his old fans proud is beyond me, but that's LL for you - like Canibus said, "99% of your fans wear high heels" and as the years has passed he has catered more and more to that demographic. Sadly. But if you ever doubt LL throw on "Radio", "Mama Said Knock You Out" or "Mr. Smith" and know that this was once an extraordinaire artist in full control of his musical output.


One last thing to close this throwback review with a goodie for your headphones. On all of the album versions of "Mr. Smith", both explicit and clean versions, one of the best songs on the LP ("No Airplay") is censored like crazy. Why LL and Def Jam choose to do this is beyond me considering the song is as explicit as can get and the theme is it's raunchy enough to gain no play on the radio, hence it ended up only as an album cut and as the B-side to the promo single of "The Life". Luckily that single is the only way to ge ta hold of the original uncut version and it's an amazing listen without all that jarring edits, a true LL classic. Check it out below straigt from the 12" single and Turn that MOTHERFUCKER up!

LL Cool J - "No Airplay" (Dirty, 320) [Download] 

Monday, September 5, 2016

[Throwback Doc] BLACK MOON - "Behnínd The Moon" (2013)

Here's an official documentary put out by Duck Down music in 2013 on the making of Black Moon's classic '92 debut album "Enta Da Stage", celebrating it's 25 year anniversary. I had totally missed this when it first hit the net, and as I'm sure more people than me did just that I wanted to post it since I've been banging some Black Moon recently and yesterday I was watching the amazing Masta Ace doc on "Disposable Arts". Unlike the Ace documentary this actually features footage of recording sessions and live performances from the era along with recent talking heads interviews about the impact of the album. Featuring the entire Boot Camp Clik this is 75 minutes of pure bliss for any true hip fan. You can stream the entire thing via Duck Down's official YouTube channel since last year, but if you want to support the cause grab your DVD at The Duck Down Shop. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

KILLAH PRIEST Ft. AGALLAH - "The Elders Gave Us Aura"

As much as a fan of Killah Priest that I am I sometimes feel that he drops a little too much material, instead of saving up his best shit and drop one or two projects a year and discard the rest. For me I'm pretty good with "Heavy Mental" (and the early Sunz Of Man stuff and KP singles leading up to it), "The Offering" and the amazing 2013 double disc "Psychic World Of Walter Reed". Speaking of the latter one of my favorite joints on there was the soulful monster of a jam titled "The Elders Gave Us Aura", produced by Agallah. It was a case of short but sweet, but sometimes you wonder why artist choose to have one of the best songs on the album clock in at like 1:30. Well my homie Antoine turned me on to the truth in this case, "The Elders..." was actually a full collaboration between Priest and Agallah The Don, featuring an entire verse that was omitted from the album version for some reason. So here I present the full version of Killah Priest's "The Elders Gave Us Aura" featuring Agallah. Up top you can see/hear the shortened album version... Crazy why Priest cut this song - perhaps he wanted as few guests as possible but to be perfectly honest a 41 track album wouldn't hurt from some more guest apperances despite the fact that lyrically Priest probably dropped the strongest double disc as a solo artist of all time.  Anyway, enjoy and once again a big thank you to Antoine!

[DJ Mix] K-DEF Homage by Paul Nice and DJ Toast

Veteran DJ, producer and remixer Paul Nice recently started a podcast with fellow DJ Toast. Each week they celebrate an artist they feel is somewhat underrated despite vast body of work and for Episde 84 the spotlight is on one of my all time favorite producers and beat magicians - K-DEF. From his days working with the SP1200 and digging for samples to his 2006-output onwardw where he composes from scratch using computer software and manages to create fuly arranged, compositional masterpieces that puts any producer working with simple loops to shame. 

This two hour pocast, entitled "Grown Man Rap Show", traces the New Jersey born and bred maestro through his days as Marley Marl's right hand boom bap man to Redef Records flagship man with his digital orchestra. Whether or not you're well aquainted or a nw fan of 'Def this is two hours well spent so crank that volume up and get your grown man on!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

D.I.T.C. - "It's Cold Outside" [Show & Motif Remix]


To be honest with y'all I wasn't blown away by the new D.I.T.C. album. The Crates is my favorite group in Hip Hop and I expect nothing but the best from them. So with that said the LP was still very good but compared to "Worldwide" and the likes it just didn't bring the same level of freshness to the table that I've come to expect from a crew of this caliber. OC and AG still brought it though and it was great to hear Fat Joe back in the fold again, but it didn't feel quite like the future classic I had my hopes set out for. To be fair though I only listened to the album a couple of times so far and it might very well be a grower.

One track that stood out for me on those early listens were the AG, OC and Fat Joe collaboration "It's Cold Outside" which is now getting the remix treatment courtesy of Showbiz and Motif Alumni. We all know Show is one of the most incredible beat masters around but the singles produced by newcomer Motif Alumni was truly a revelation. I really like how The Crates still give young cats (both producers and emcees) a chance at the spotlight with various D.I.T.C. projects. Titlted "The Test Session Remix" Show and Motif strips down the beat to its bare bones with thumping bass, boom bap drums and the occassional synth effect. Below you'll also find another headnodder that failed to make the final LP cut, "All Of That" - once again produced by Showbiz, this time featuring long-time associate A-Bless and the late, great Tashane. Visit DITC Ent @ Soundcloud for more exclusives and be sure to grab the pre-order of the new D.I.T.C. album from UGHH in your format of choice - 2xLP or CD.