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HHHTime for mines,
For a lot of artists, their first venture into recording is with a crew. Whether it be because they’re insecure of their skills, they’re not all that serious about it and just get roped in, or they just like vibing with homies, many of today’s best solo artists started in a clique. Well, today features 4 cats who started in (and some who are still part of) some dope collectives, but have also found a way to establish themselves away from their peers and make their own moves.
BEST IN THE WORLD
No the title doesn’t pertain to my thoughts of this man’s skills (although I’ve heard he’s the nicest guy in hip-hop).
Bun B. The UGK representative, Texan general and Trill originator is solo again, but this time not by choice. Since Pimp C‘s tragic passing in ’07 Bun’s continued what he had originally started after Pimp C’s ’03 incarceration: keeping substance in the South and keeping UGK alive at all costs. Perhaps second to only Scarface in Southern Hip-Hop lineage, Bun has managed to earn the respect of damn near all his peers and UGK detractors rarely come up for air in fear of a good ol’ stompin.
Personally, I’ve never been the hugest Bun B fan but I’ve always had respect for what he does and what he stood for and this jam right here might be one of the best things he’s done in years. Produced by Statik Selektah, enjoy this.
Holiday Styles is one of the most underrated rappers on the planet.
Starting his career back in ’96 with fellow Yonkers natives Jadakiss and Sheek Louch as the Lox, Styles has since grown from his shiny suit debut to one of the most no-nonsensee emcees out. Known for his tremendous wordplay and straight up demeanor, he’s managed to carve out a nice place in Hip-Hop for himself despite potential overshadowing by Jadakiss’ own solo success. I guess that’s just a testament to how dope he is. One of the few pseudo-mainstream cats left pushing hardcore lyricism, I give you a couple bangers off his new Green Ghost project with DJ Green Lantern.
Not many people are effin with Joell Ortiz these days.
Although he didn’t start in a crew, since joining the all-star ensemble of Slaughterhouse, Joell has seemingly upped the anti with every verse and continues to improve every time he drops. This guy is disgusting! Truly an heir to Big Pun‘s throne, I hope he’s given the proper support to break out into the mainstream and make up for Fat Joe‘s recent disgrace of the Latino Hip-Hop community.
Off that new ish with Novel:
I rant about Von Pea lots.
He’s definitely one of the illest of the new school rappers and although he hasn’t clearly defined himself as a solo artist yet, when given the opportunity I can definitely see him blowing up bigger than Tanya Morgan ever did.
I’m caught up!
Get into it folk.
HHHTime for some akshun,
Today’s post is for people who like Rap. Period. That’s it. You like bars? You like flows? You like lyrics that make you go ooooh? Then this is for you. If you said no to any of these questions, leave now.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to post this ish yesterday exactly one minute after it was posted! Unfortunately my code-illiterate ass just couldn’t get it to embed. Thankfully, as expected, someone Youtube‘d it and we’re back in business.
Yesterday the annual shamefest known as the BET hip-hop awards took place and well, as expected, it was a useless piece of goonery crap that only helped to ensure that those who don’t like hip-hop stay hating. That being said, this award show has provided us with 1 good thing every year and it’s those damn (Rap nerd wet dreams – ‘What if…’) Cyphers. Last years dopest cypher featured Juelz Santana, Fabolous, Ace Hood (Who surprisingly rocked it even though he can’t write a song worth his life) and Jadakiss running a mean anchor. Well, I’m happy to say that this years top cypher nearly made me wet myself. And if it doesn’t make you at least kegal a couple dozen times, then you lied about one of the above questions.
No more talkin. RAP! This one’s gonna have people arguin for a while….
The other 2 cyphers (that were decent, but nowhere near the one above) can be found below:
Cypher #3 ft. Nicki Minaj, Buckshot, Crown Royyal & Joe Budden (Budden’s a problem!)
A & E
It seems like the thing to do these days for rappers in their mid-30’s is to find another rapper in their mid-30’s who roughly holds the same stature and combine to make a group. Canibus and Keith Murray. Del the Funky Homosapien and Tame One. DJ Quik and Kurupt. And even though it would seem like all of these would be dope, or at very least entertaining, only the Quik and Kurupt really popped for me (and I’m a Del fan to the core). Well we have another pairing for you and this time, it might just work out. 2 people that have influenced a LOT of your favorite rappers but rarely ever get their mention, ladies and gents, I give you A & E (a.k.a. Masta Ace and Edo G.)
**sidenote — for all you Eminem fans, if you didn’t realize that Em started as a Masta Ace clone you better go do your research. Em’s even copped to it himself.**
MASTA ACE & EDO. G – EI8HT IS ENOUGH
BLAKROC EPISODE #2 ft. Mos Def
We proceed with part 2. Mos hits the studio and the world implodes.
HIP HOP HISTORY w/ RAKIM
An interview 24/7 Hip Hop did with the Teflon Don breaking down the significance of the number 7 in his life, his falling out with Eric B., and a wild story involving Kool G. Rap getting snuffed and Eric B. riding a sheep skin.
No MPFrees? Now how could I do that to you. This one’s for the CAPtain to get his blood pumpin.
NEW MADVILLAIN B*TCHES! Courtesy the legendary J-Rocc from the World Famous Beat Junkies.
Click the Metal Face and get your tease.
HHHThis is it,
Back in 2003, I had the privilege of seeing the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff spin in London for my very first time. Probably one of the finest and most cohesive hip-hop sets that has ever been put together, he somehow linked Run DMC to Paul Wall and everything in between all in a matter of 30 minutes without a single wasted beat. Following this chaotic half hour, he then went to another floor and rocked 2 and a half hours of the best soulful house I’d ever heard. To sum it up, Jazz is a beast.
Well, he’s back with a mixtape dedicated to Late King of Pop, and I assure you, this is on some serious hardcore repeat shit. Album art and link below.
And as promised, we continue with the 48 hours episodes as well as the Blakroc recording sessions. Get live.
48 HOURS — JADAKISS (part 2 & 3)
BLAKROC – WEBISODE 1 feat. MOS DEF
More Blakroc and 48 hrs next blog. Stay tuned.
Be well World.
With the 4th quarter upon us and several projects from tons of amazing people still awaiting release, HHHT gets into a few in particular that we’re eye-spyin’ for.
TIL THE CASKET DROPS
Oh Clipse, this one better be good.
I’ve said this before on this blog, but I’ll reiterate one more time. I’m a huge Clipse fan. Really and truly I am. Like, I’ve gone on record as saying that as far as Street lyricists are concerned, they’re the closest thing we’ve had to Wu-Tang in a long long time. HOWEVER, that last Re-Up gang record was not only unfocused in terms of production and direction, but lyrically they were barely punching their way out of that proverbial wet paper bag (see ‘Fast Life’ produced by Scott Storch). And to that end…I’m scared. Nonetheless, I’ve heard 3 cuts off the album thus far and have been relatively content. Perhaps because they’ve all been Neptunes beats and that’s, at the end of the day, what I think the Clipse should sound like. Also, Mr. ‘Bison in his studio’, the legendary Rick Rubin is overseeing this album so I can only hope that means any loose ends the Star Trak boys miss, Rick’s holdin down. Anyway, here’s a new cut featuring Pharrell and the former Dipset General, Cam’ron, whaddya think?
JACK & BROOK
Jack Davey & Brook D’Leau, better known as J*Davey have been a favorite group of mine ever since I saw them perform at this little spot in Toronto some years back.
A clash of about a half dozen genres in one, they were just starting to get their buzz in the scene when the Roots, who obviously felt they were of a particular quality decided to bring them on the Beginner’s Guide… tour. Unfortunately for them, when they reached Toronto, the type of music they did matched with the venue they were performing at and the audience that was in attendance made for a vinegar/oil type of situation as these 2 were completely drowned out with Boo’s for damn near the entirety of their set. However, unlike most acts that would’ve packed it up mid-way through the shit storm, they persevered through and finished the set graciously. Score 1 for J*Davey. Then, a smart move on their part, they booked a show the next night here in a much smaller club and they absolutely demolished. They then went on to feature on the Roots next record Game Theory (which is in IMO their best record to date), the late great J Dilla’s Dilla Loves Japan EP, and release 2 EP’s to critical acclaim. Now, after being picked up by Warner, their preparing to drop their first full length (apparently) soon. In the meantime, here’s some new ish.
I’m not gonna say ANYTHING about this. Just watch the video below and digest it yourself cause I’m still convulsing.
I’ll be posting webisodes from the recording sessions on a regular from now on in. GET FAMILIAR!
This is kinda old news but for those who don’t know…Allhiphop.com and Jumpoff.TV have been doing a series called ’48 Hours’ where they follow major artists on the first 2 days of releasing a brand new album. Thus far, the people they’ve picked have been interesting and the series has been relatively entertaining. For your viewing pleasure, I thought I’d start posting these up and give you a behind the scenes look at some serious players hard at work.
We start with a Kiss…
We tha ish folk. There’s no denyin it.
HHHT all day e’yday.
Be well world.
HHHTowards the Right (Geographically, not politically),
In the last decade, the once dominant East Coast (Home of everyone from De La Soul to the Notorious B.I.G., the Juice Crew to the Wu-Tang Clan) have struggled to stay on top of the rap food chain as their necessity for cadence and concept has been dwarfed by the Souths ever infectious ‘Bounce’ and ‘Hook’ approach. And well, while living legends Jay-Z and Nas still continue to dominate whenever they appear, the notion of a new East Coast dynasty remains myth like Lebron’s Championship ring.
However, as an over obsessive rap Stan, I’ve noticed something this year that has somehow slipped under the mainstream media’s radar…THE EAST IS BACK! Now I won’t go so far as to say a new Dynasty is on the horizon because quite frankly, outside of a handful of artists, the East is still selling less than the South. But for those who just love themselves some East Coast ish, 2009’s been good to you!
Lemme break it down:
- Jadakiss pushed 100,000 his first week.
- Mos Def had in my opinion (and Diddy’s apparently), the best album of the year – PRETTY DANCER’S MY SHIT!
- Fabolous, although coming with less than stellar singles, actually had his best album yet (check Pachanga).
- Wu-Tang CAME (and left again).
- De La Soul celebrated their 20th anniversary with an incredible tour (yes I was there and yes it was the best I’ve ever seen them).
- Busta stayed relevant.
- Q-Tip released (and re-released) 2 ridiculous records!
- Drake is hotter than fresh caca outta Dumbo.
- Slaughterhouse‘s Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz continue to spit crazy bars.
- KRS-One and Buckshot proved they can still punch with the best of’em.
- Meth & Red stayed INTERNATIONAL!
- Raekwon & Ghost both released excellent albums as well as confirmed an upcoming trio record with Meth.
- And finally, Jay came back and made up for that black eye known as Kingdom Come.
Well, to add to this nice list of 2009 accomplishments, how bout a few more goodies that slid across my desktop this past week (and a few that came out during the HHHT hiatus).
HOV’ WITH ONE OF THE BEST COMMERCIALS EVER!
GHOST WITH SOME CLASSIC ISH (nsfw)
Jadakiss & Rakim – Euphoria (w/ Tags unfortunately)
AND THE ROOTS! ROOTS! ROOOOOOTS!!
I’m feelin good people. Get to my level.
Today I present to you a true Shuffle Saturday.
The Skull Gang General has never been my favorite. My favorite Dipset member? Yes. But that’s really not saying much. No one can deny that these guys have made hits and on occasion surprise the world with some cleverness and good songwriting (Santana’s Town is ill.) But their track record leaves plenty to be desired.
Anyway…Juelz just dropped the first official single for his upcoming ‘Born to Lose, Built to Win’ album and well……I’ll let you decide.
After half a decade of being shut down, it looks like the Ruff Ryders are ready to open up shop again and apparently everyone’s on board. According to a recent interview with Jadakiss and Swizz Beatz, this year promises new albums from the LOX, Drag-On, the first Double R compilation since ’03/’04 as well as a brand new opus from their general, fresh outta Arizona State, DMX. And well, although the Double R roster could stand to lose some dead weight, it’s kinda nice (It’s like everytime the WWE bring back Degeneration X or the NWO for like a week. It’s fun to reminisce.). So with that being said, Kiss gives the world their first glimpse into where everyone’s been.
Once again I’m refraining from opinion on this and I’ll let you guys pick it apart.
DMX the day he was released from prison speaking to Pastor (Murda) Mason Betha on the radio. Entertainment.
Charles, Charles, Charles. *shakes head*
A while ago on this very page, I wrote a long winded endorsement for Charles Hamilton. I spoke about how he was bringing back a nice element to the Hip-Hop community that had been missing and that he really had the potential to do something special. Shortly after that post, I stopped writing about Charles Hamilton because he started to make me look like a fool as he began to put out an insane amount of sub-par to borderline garbage music on a weekly basis. Yet, I still stood by the fact that he’s good a rapper…just misguided.
After a brief hiatus, he gave me something to write about and be proud of again when he reached out to legendary NY emcee, MC Lyte to collab on an apparent EP. Hope.
Well…he’s gone ahead and ruined that again.
I’ll let House Shoes and J-Smooth break it down for you.
Oh Charles. What you could’ve been.
It’s Saturday folk. Get creative.
Be well world.
Last week I started on the topic of cats who were over saturating blogs and the market with just a little too much low-effort face time and well, when talking about that type of dude one definitely has to reference Charles Hamilton.
Now I know months back I gave this guy my endorsement, and as an emcee, I still do. However, that being said, homie releases a lot of motionless tunes that just start and end nowhere. And I don’t care how much material you record and how much time you spend sharpening your skills…practicing in public is lame and due to this fact, I haven’t posted anything C-Ham related in quite some time…until now.
MC LYTE! Need I say more?? Word on the street is these 2 NY reps’ll be putting out an EP together, tentatively titled ‘Fluorescent’ and if that’s true…hats off to Sonic for havin some taste and respect. Now if 50 will only give Milk the cheque he deserves for ‘I Got Money’, we’ll be one step closer to goodness. Anyway, check the chunage.
Also involved with that rant last week was the almighty Wu chef, Raekwon.
Yes, I still stand by my statement, and yes, I’m not as excited as I once was about OB4CL2, but gosh darn if this doesn’t get me a little amped. 3 dudes that you just don’t wanna beef with…check the gravy.
And finally, in commemoration of the day. Some throwback footage of Dilla talkin about how Jaylib came to be. Turn it up.
Be easy world
You want the new.
I give you the new.
Un. Busta Rhymes feat. Young Jeezy and Jadakiss – Conglomerate.
Originally featured on Busta’s mixtape ‘Back On My Shit’ (the prequel to B.O.M.B. – cover art below) – not sure if this version is just a street single, or if it’ll be on the new record. Whaddya think?
Click flick for DL – I like this cover very very much.
Deux. Jadakiss – Can’t Stop Me.
Like I’ve always said, I like me some Jadakiss. However, as I’ve also always said…he picks some poo poo beats. This one is one of the better tunes that I’ve heard from his upcoming – The Last Kiss. You like?
Click flick for DL
Trois. Hollyweerd – Electricity Showroom (full mixtape)
These guys are dope. At least I think so. A mish mash of Sa-Ra, the Coup, Outkast and Big Black Lincoln….they could be big (At least ATL thinks so….).
Click Flick for DL
Since last year’s Blu & Exile – Below The Heavens, I was hooked. This L.A. gabber’s intricate lyrics and sensitive cadences reflect not only a man who actually still loves his craft but more importantly, someone who believes in positive change in our less than inspired climate.
Not sure if I like his solo stuff better than his stuff with Exile, but regardless, he’s yet to fall short (personally).
Click flick for DL
Sorry bout the 2 day hiatus folks – food was gettin ate, meetings were gettin met, and livers were punished by Santa for being on the naughty list. But we’re back and the Effect is Full.
First things first…new music.
(Disclaimer – The qualities not great and Mister Cee’s all over it, but the dope is still there.)
Next up, some more from Braggadocious Big Brother and Heartbroken Little Brother. I was contemplating whether or not to post this cause DJ Khaled is NOT the Best (as his over confident Tourette’s would have you believe) but I figured some of you may still wanna hear it anyways.
DJ Khaled – Go Hard Remix Feat. Jay-Z, Kanye West & T-Pain.
And as I proclaimed on Friday, it’s D’at time of year again (for me)…so this time, D’Angelo, during his Brown Sugar days, doin a cover of one of my favorite tunes by one of the dopest EVER EVER, Mr. Bill Withers.
D’Angelo – Use Me
GOLD IS IN 2 DAYS!
GOLD IS IN 2 DAYS!
And Finally, remembrance of an icon.
Eartha Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008)
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Be good to your fam.
Well sirs and madams,
As you digest your turkey, sleep off your egg nog and relax from that mistletoe, I have a few more goodies for your virtual stocking.
Courtesy of the boys over at illRoots, I have a very cool mixtape download by DJ Osk that combines West Coast funk with East Coast spit.
As many of you know, the Lox are dope lyricists. This has been a constant for many years and with the recent barrage of Jadakiss mixtapes and Holiday Styles (P.) guest features (SEE HUMDRUM by The Roots feat. Mos & Styles) this statement has never been more accurate. However, the fact of the matter is, their ear for beats have left many of their lyrical gems inaudible because dammit….they pick some stinkers.
So although I’m not the biggest perpetuator of Dr. Andre Young M.D., I’m a strong supporter of this concept and hope they can aim for this same quality on their official releases (I really hope Jadakiss’ new album is good. I really really do.).
Once you’ve processed your way through that….some dope.
As my colleagues and loyal readers have come to know, I’m a Native Tongues, Soulquarian and Ummah head (as many North American Asians are for some reason…go figure…I guess we identify with the plight????!! **shrugs shoulders** ). And as I’ve been on my De La rampage for the last few months I thought I might ease up for a second and start giving you another side of my O.C.D. mental.
D’Angelo. Namely…Voodoo. (Yes, the album with the video with the nakedness) But more importantly, the album heralded by musicians worldwide (Specifically session cats and jazzers) as being one of the last great examples of a strong, brave, patient, soulful, highly musical, heavy, etc. etc. etc. record that Popular American Culture has allowed through it’s filter to the Masses blah blah blah (I’ll get off my milk crate now…)
Anyways….point is that it’s good, whether you want to approach it from an academic angle or not…and since 2000, I’ve dedicated (a minimum of) 3 months of every year to this record. And well, it’s begun…again. So stay tuned for the next few weeks for some little D’Nuggets for all my D’Heads. In the meantime…like I said…some dope.
D’Angelo channeling his inner James Brown/Prince.
WATCH THE WHOLE THING!!!!
GOLD is in 5 DAYS!
Get the word out NOW!
Happy Punching Day.