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J*Davey :: Queen of Wonderland

New J*Davey goodness. Not much more needs to be said.

Written on November 17th, 2011. 0 Comments

R.I.P. Heavy D

All I can say is that I’m in shock. Heavy D was one of the first and few rappers with crossover success that maintained hood respect. His party jams are an indelible part of my childhood memories and part of the reason many of the hip hop generation fell in love with the music. We lost another great, but I smile at the thought that the big man upstairs welcomed him home with his classic shout, “the overweight lover’s in the hooouse!” Yes, indeed. Rest In Peace…

Here are some little known facts about the late, great emcee.

Written on November 10th, 2011. 0 Comments

A$AP Rocky :: LiveLoveA$AP Mixtape

LIVE.LOVE.ASAP Mixtape Cover

Meet A$AP Rocky. Harlem kid with a Houston sound. New York’s identity crisis lives on… Me and the fellas had a healthy debate on twitter as to the state of NY rap given AR’s unabashed “foreign” influence. Its clear that NY’s transition from the traditional gritty, lyric-centric style of the boom-bap era to the swagged-out fashion driven focus of the new youth movement has been an uneasy one. But Hov said it best, “you can’t stop it, when it’s hot, it’s hot.” And as much it pains me to say it, as impressed as I am with the kid’s wordplay, its his “and what?!” Harlem SWAG that won me over *hic-throws up in mouth* Although his style most closely resembles the LA youth movement on the surface, he goes out of his way to let you know he’s a NYC kid out the gate on his breakout record Peso, “I be that pretty muthafcuka, Harlem’s what I’m reppin!…” And for the old heads that still question his allegiance, the visuals for the record features those old NY staples we know and love – Tims, alley way dice games, street sign chin-ups and corner store crew shots, the whole 9. Standing on his own two for most of the album besides a few appearances from lesser talented A$AP bredren and the criminally slept on Schoolboy Q, LiveLoveA$AP is a great listen if you simply let it do what it dew.

Download

Live.Love.A$AP Mixtape

Written on November 7th, 2011. 0 Comments

Jill Scott :: So Gone

I can’t lie, I was extra skeptical when I saw Paul Wall‘s name on the track listing for Jilly’s latest greatest. Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more wrong. He totally bodied this song. This is definitely my favorite record on the album. Kudos to the A&R who pulled this one off.

Written on November 3rd, 2011. 0 Comments

The Stuyvesants :: The Finer Things

If you’ve seen me on the 2 train recently makin’ the mean yuck face that wasn’t me working on my Brooklyn bull stare…there’s a good chance I was listening to a beat by The Stuyvesants. The Brooklyn-based production/design duo – comprised of Allan Cole and Darien Victor Birks – just released their new instrumental LP The Finer Things and I’ll be damned if it don’t have more soul than mama’s finest pair of platform shoes. These brothas have been quietly releasing quality material for a minute. Be it collaborations with independent artists like Naturel or their debut production effort Brooklyn’s Finest. Their soul sampled sound is a welcome respite from the synthesized hip-pop sound we hear on the day to day. But don’t take my word for it, get a sample of that flava yourself. Here are a few of my faves…

via The Audacity of Color

Girl, He Ain’t Me

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Tough Love

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Yearning (For Your Love)

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Over (Now That She’s Leaving)

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Downloads

The Finer Things, Vol. 1
The Finer Things, Vol. 2

Written on November 2nd, 2011. 1 Comment

Quadrion :: Simili Life

Something to chill to. If you dig this, Quadron’s self-titled album has quite a few more goodies like this one. Go get your Spotify on.

Gotta say peace to Jazz for the heads up on this one.

Written on October 31st, 2011. 1 Comment

OnCue :: Feel Tall

OnCue

So I get these email blasts from DJ Bri-G from time to time pushing new records for radio airplay. Some are better than others and he’s pretty good about keepin’ it real when asking for support on a somewhat suspect record – not just asking for a favor but moreso to think outside of the box. That’s something to be appreciated in a game where a lot of good people are forced to compromise their musical integrity to boost that bottom line. Now, usually after pushing the record he adds some hilarious or reflective story about what’s going on in his life. The kid’s pen game is sick. But I got a blast a few months back where he took the time out to really push this particular record, Feel Tall, from an artist named OnCue. I sat on the link for a minute but eventually found the time to give it a listen and was more than pleasantly surprised.

I appreciate artists that are down to Earth and seem comfortable in their own skin. They tend to make the kinda music that I can relate to. Now OnCue, or Cuey as he calls himself, is not your typical rapper. At first glance, he’s just a scrawny white kid from CT with a chip on his shoulder. Not much of a connection there, save the scrawniness. But his music exudes the pain, struggle and triumph reminiscent of any inner city kid whose been through something in his life. From his urgent, yet patient delivery, down to his husky voice the kid’s sound just seems familiar. The video for the song only made me feel the record more. Check it out below. I think this kid has a chance to be something special.

Bonus

Because I Grind

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Written on October 25th, 2011. 0 Comments

Cocaine 80s :: Ghost Lady

Cocaine 80s - Ghost Lady EP cover

If I had to throw this record into a genre, I’d have to say its just “dope” music. That’s if you let them tell it, and well, with a name like Cocaine 80’s I’d say its a pretty apt description. The No I.D. helmed music collective recently dropped their new EP Ghost Lady, laced with moody alternative grooves, not quite emo and slightly reminiscent of the Weekend (save the rapping). For those of you allergic to guitars and in need of some bars, maybe this Common collabo will pique your interest enough to take another hit. Either way, you’d be a fool not to get yourself a taste of this ear candy. You can either tweet to pay or get your fix straight from the source here. Enjoy that high.

Tomorrow

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Not No More

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via Okayplayer

Written on October 25th, 2011. 0 Comments

Mr. October Returns

Its been a minute since I’ve heard some new D-Black material. A lotta independent emcees are all about their “bars” and although Black has lyrics for days I always thought that what sets him apart is his songwriting ability. His records are always focused and authentic with that distinct city edge. Something to be appreciated in a game dominated by hip-pop artists. His new EP Mr. October Returns is a study in the tried and true formula of dope beats and rhymes. With heat from notable producers Illmind and Khrysis and Black’s G-with-a-degree lyrical perdigree, its hard to be mad at this effort.

Written on October 24th, 2011. 0 Comments

Elle Varner :: Only Wanna Give It To You

Diva Lounge/Singersroom alumni Elle Varner comes through with what should be a hit record. Digging the old school vibe and video treatment. But most importantly, Elle can sing her azz off.

ElleVarner.com

Written on October 13th, 2011. 1 Comment

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