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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.

BUN B – BEST IN THE WORLD

GREEN GHOST

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.

STYLES P. Feat. RAEKWON – TIME WILL TELL

STYLES P. – SHADOWS

YOWAAAA!

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:

JOELL ORTIZ & NOVEL – GHETTO PT. 1

*BONUS*

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.

VON PEA – TOSS IT OVER

I’m caught up!

Get into it folk.

Triple.
www.ppfhouse.com

HHHThree and up,

In today’s edition of Pair Up I bring you a special ‘Crew + 1’ motif as we check out some already dope duos and crews who felt the need to take their ish one step further and enlist some extra firepower.

PASS THE MIC

First off what else would you name a song that featured Masta Ace, Edo. G and the blastmaster KRS-One?

Although as of late, I’ve come to find KRS’s rhetoric to be abrasive and overtly preachy (not to mention homie contradicts himself every 3 interviews), I still got love for the man.  And well, when you get 3 vets of this caliber in a studio together, you can’t help but smile and remember why it is you got into hip-hop in the first place (although, if you got into hip-hop cause of a Diddy video from back in the day, this blog might come as a shock to you).

Anyway, sit back, enjoy and rock the eff out.

A&E Feat. KRS-ONE – PASS THE MIC

89 OF CRIME

I love Camp Lo.  No one styles like them.  No one flows like them.  And no one knows what the eff they’re saying.  Now match that with a man whose crew is also known for having some of NY’s heaviest bars and you get some good ol’ lyrical rap.  In fact, today’s post shoulda been named ‘Good Ol’ Lyrical Rap’.

Anyway, here we go with a brand new video from the Lo’s most recent release featuring the Ghost, Styles P.

PROPER AIM

When you get one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time to link with one of the most influential producers of all time, the assumption is you get greatness.  Right?  Great+Great=Greatness.  Right?  But at the end of the day, people also thought the same when Wayne Gretzky joined Brett Hull and the St. Louis Blues but we all know how that turned out (or maybe you don’t, I’m Canadian, deal with it).  Point being, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Thankfully, thus far, everything I’ve heard from the Souls of Mischief + Prince Paul union has been ill.  I gave you the MPfree last week and now I give you the video.

**BONUS**

This has nothing to do with anything aside from the fact it’s crazy ill.

The Muppets do Bohemian Rhapsody?  Yep.

It’s a good day to win.

Get it.

Triple
www.ppfhouse.com

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)

NEW LOX!

Styles P. feat. Jadakiss & Junior Reid – Invasion

Jadakiss & Rakim – Euphoria (w/ Tags unfortunately)

AND THE ROOTS!  ROOTS!  ROOOOOOTS!!

I’m feelin good people.  Get to my level.

Triple.
www.ppfhouse.com

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.

I give you….(click pic to Download)

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.).

Tracklisting.

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.
Triple.

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