Total Pageviews

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Time has come for the second installment in mine and Pattch82's Gangrene series that celebrates the recent release of the duo's  "Vodka & Ayahuasca". Following last week's Oh No tape "Disruption Productions", for this one we have picked out twenty top tracks from the amazing production discography of Alchemist. Since he first started making a name for himself with placements on classic releases by artists like Mobb Deep, DJ Muggs and Dilated Peoples, ALC quickly became one of the hottest producers out there and still holds a top spot in 2012. A long introduction to the music presented on this mix is therefore hardly neccessary. Instead we simply recommend you to grab it, sit back and enjoy the sounds of a true hip-hop chemist at work. (Side Note: I tried several times to upload to Mediafire but had to settle for 4Shared, hope that works smoothly for y'all).

01. Inspectah Deck - "The Champion"
02. Diamond D - "Y'all Need to Know"
03. Big Noyd / Prodigy - "The Grimy Way"
04. Everlast / B-Real - "Deadly Assassins"
05. Evidence - "Sleep Deprivation"
06. Rascalz - "On the Run"
07. Defari / Evidence - "Focused Daily"
08. Sheek Louch / Ghostface Killah - "Movie Niggas"
09. Cormega - "Who Can I Trust?"
10. Nas - "My Will"
11. Big Pun - "Mamma"
12. GURU / Timbo King / Killah Priest - "In Here"
13. Smut Peddlers - "Red Light"
14. Swollen Members / Ghostface Killah / Alchemist - "Weight"
15. Kool G Rap / Havoc - "American Nigthmare"
16. Roc C / Alchemist - "StarChild"
17. Mitchy Slick / Xzibit - "Makin' Your Money"
18. Fat Joe / KRS-One - "My Conscience"
19. Dilated Peoples / GURU / Havoc - "Worst Comes to Worst" [Remix]


Prodigy - "I'm From The Trap"

"I'm From the Trap" is a rumoured single from "H.N.I.C. 3" and is built around heavy Havoc production. I'm not a fan of French Montana or his part of the song which is a shame considering how dope this track is otherwise. This is the type of shit I wanna hear Hav and P rhyming as a unit on! Link borrowed from 57thAve.

Sean Born - "909 Jack: BTS Pause Mix"

DMV's Sean Born's album "Behind the Scale" is set for release via Mello Music Group on February 15. Throughout the last few years, Born has made his name known from guest apperances on several quality albums by artists like Kenn Starr, Hassaan Mackey, Apollo Brown, Kaimbr and Kev Brown. The last mentioned is also the main producer of "Behind the Scale" which is usually a sign of quality. You can pre-order it on vinyl or CD @ UGHH or in digital format via  iTunes.

To initiate us into his world, Sean Born has connected with DJ Marshall Law and host Peter Rosenberg to hook us up with "909 Jack: BTS Pause Mix". The tape is an ode to the old school pause mixes that many of todays best producers took their first musical steps with - "In true Low Budget fashion we take it back to dual tape decks. DJ Marshall Law and host Peter (PMD) Rosenberg get you familiar with Sean Born on this throwback featuring new, unreleased and random joints".

2. Invisible Hate (The Dope Jam) -feat. And Prod. By Early Reed
3. Never too late- feat. Kenny Cold - Prod. By Kev Brown
4. From my Porch -Prod By Kev Brown
5. Ready Rock (I wanna rock freestyle) feat.  Kenny Cold
6. Isaac Jones Intro - Prod By Kev Brown
7. Rappin'- Kaimbr and Kev Brown feat Sean Born (The Alexander Green Project)
8.The Trenches - Hassaan Mackey feat Sean Born (from the Daily Bread Album produced by Apollo Brown )
9. Strawberry Diesel (Fuck Blunt Wraps) Prod. By Early Reed
10. This Home feat Kenny Cold, Kaimbr and 'Toine of DTMD - Prod. By Kaimbr
11. Codeine Dreams feat. Kaimbr and Kenny Cold- Prod. By Early Reed
12. Jim Kelly Feat. 'Toine of DTMD Prod. By Early Reed
13. Go Hard - Prod by Kev Brown
14. Bullshit feat Hassaan Mackey - Prod by Kev Brown
15. The Combination - Kaimbr and Kev Brown feat Low Budget- Prod By Kev Brown (The Alexander Green Project)
16. Solid- Kaimbr and Kev Brown feat Isaac Jones- Prod By Kev Brown (The Alexander Green Project)
17. Look- Isaac Jones - Prod. By Kev Brown
18. YellowCake - Feat. Early Reed and  Kenny Cold- Prod by Early Reed
19. Isaac Jones Outro- Prod. By Kev Brown


Grand Official - "Dedicated"

Those who've been paying attention to the underground scene knows that L.A.'s Grand Official is one of the crews to be on the lookout for in 2012. Following the potent two-punch that was "L.A. L.A." / "Invincible" the five man group now lets loose of the title track from their upcoming debut album - "Dedicated". Grip Cuts' vintage style production combined with the verses from MC's AdLife and ADose with the cuts by DJ Hallucin8 makes for another sure shot single, so be sure to check it out! You can listen to more music and follow Grand Official @ ReverbNation.

Lord Jamar - ".45 Caliber"

In 2006 the incredible emcee and producer known to the world as Lord Jamar took a step back from rocking with his producer in Brand Nubian and released his solo debut, "The 5% Album". A very solid release indeed, it clearly proved that Jamar was very capable of holding down a solo career. Six years later, it's now time for his second LP, to be titled "Known Associates" which will drop on the Universal Indie Records and has been in the works for years. Previously confirmed features include Sadat X, Cappadonna, Jay Electronica, Bun B, Xzibit, M1 of dead prez, B-Real, Lil' Dap and Lord Superb. 

Today the first single from "Known Associates" has been unveiled and is called ".45 Caliber". The song is produced by someone who goes by True Culture and gets the thumbs up from me. What y'all think about this song and the forthcoming LP?


Monday, January 30, 2012

[Video] KRS-ONE in Concert

Don't miss out on this ill concert footage from a recent 2011 KRS-One tour stop, shot by Mnemonic for Top Nation Productions. I haven't had the time to watch it for myself yet but it's looking pretty good and the music is guaranteed to be slamming.  Also, when you're finished peeping the vid I even got some more new Kris for y'all!

DJ Booth is sponsoring a forthcoming for-charity project with the artist Awkword titled "World View" on the Sub-City Productions label. From this album we can now listen to "Radio 2.0"; a collaboration with KRS, Chiago's Dug Ininite (producer and friend of Common and No I.D.) and jewish rapper/activist Brimstone127 over a Vice Soultronic production. You can read more about the song and the album it's featured on here.

Diamond D - "Love"

The original "best producer on the mic" hits us with a two minute snippet of a new soulful banger simply titled "Love". I don't think I've heard any Diamond rhymes since his last album a couple of years ago when he dropped "The Huge Hefner Chronicles". I wonder what happened with that two-album deal he had with BabyGrande since we never got the follow up. One thing's clear though - this man's beats are still impeccable.

Tommy Ruffin / Rampage - "Cold Steel"

 Tommy Ruffin is an emcee from Bronx, NY that I'm not previously familiar with but whose latest single "Cold Steel" warranted my positive attention. The song features Rampage (previously of the Flipmode Squad) and is produced by S1 (Symbolyc One) of Strange Fruit Project. If you're feeling what you're hearing, look out for the rapper's upcoming mixtape "Revolution", hosted by legendary New York DJ Ron G. You can also take a listen to the Beat Butcher produced "Pressure", taken from the same project.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meyhem Lauren & Buckwild LP coming

Followers of underground hardcore New York hip-hop is definitely well familiar with Queens spitter Meyhem Lauren by now. Through his many collaborations with J-Love and his crew The Outdoorsmen as well as his ill 2xCD debut album "Self Induced Illness" he has rightfully built a strong following. It seems that Meyhem has no plans of slowing things down for 2012 as he's preparing several new projects for the year as revealed in this great interview @ HipHopGame which I suggest y'all head over and read right away.

The most interesting part of the conversation was the revelation that Meyhem has recently begun recording a full-length album with legendary beatsmith Buckwild. Between this album, OC & Apollo Brown's upcoming joint, the promised new Show & AG LP and all the Lord Finesse projects on Slice-Of-Spice Records this will likely be a fantastic year for the D.I.T.C. crew. Check out the quotes from the Meyhem interview below. Shouts to Meta4 for sharing the information.

You’re working on an album with Buckwild now. How’s that coming?
"It’s in the real early stages. It’s dope. It’s what you’d expect. It’s real hip-hop, classic New York sound with the beats and rhymes. It’s coming along well."

How did the album even come about?
"That actually came about through Dante, Dante Ross. Dante was actually managing me for a couple of months and he’s like family to me. I would come through and I would rock shows and Dante would ask me about my management situation so he was managing me and one of the first things he told me was that he was close friends with Buckwild and he thought I was dope. I grew up on Buckwild so for me to hear that was dope! I didn’t even know Buckwild knew who I was. Me and him made everything official with him managing me and Bronson. He wanted to set it up with me and Buck and just do it. That’s how it started."

Are you recording everything together or sending files back and forth?
"Well, we started. He sent me one beat through email and I wrote something crazy to that. But we’re basically doing it the old school way, going to the lab together, writing joints, really doing this together. It’s not just like he’s emailing me a bunch of beats. We’re doing it in the flesh. That’s how it’s going down."

Will we hear this in 2012?
"Early. That’s the first thing I plan on dropping, early this year. Hopefully in the next two or three months, it should be wrapped."

Are you working on a solo album?
"The Buckwild project, that kind of came out of the blue with Dante. But I was already working on an album called Every Day is Thanksgiving. I’ve been working on that for awhile and that’s gonna be crazy. I got some of J-Love’s best production ever and it’s featuring Large Pro and Ayatollah. Just Blaze got me on something for that project. Me and Just have been really cool for a long time. We’ve been building for when the time is right for him to help me out with something. Earlier I didn’t even want to bother him with something but with this project, he’s got me. He’s been a man of his word since I’ve known him so you can definitely expect a Just Blaze joint on that album. It’s gonna be really, really, really crazy. I’m not gonna go in too much on the features. It’s just gonna be me and a couple members from the fam. But that should be coming out at the end of the year. Look for the Buckwild project relatively soon and then I’m gonna try and end the year with this Every Day is Thanksgiving LP."

Friday, January 27, 2012


Since Gangrene just dropped their second full-length, "Vodka & Ayahuasca", (which I'm strongly recommending you to support) me and the homie Pattch82 decided to collaborate on a three series compilation to celebrate the ocassion. What we're gonna do is to kick things off with "Disrupted Productions" - a banging mix of Oh No outside productions. That will be followed by a similiar compilation showcasing some great Alchemist work and as the big bang final, we'll take things out with every non-album track ever released by Gangrene as a duo. We hope you'll enjoy this Gangrene week as much as we will!

Oh No is a producer and rapper from Oxnard, California who has released several dope albums (instrumental and vocal) through his current home, Stones Throw. Like his big brother Madlib, he got a very twisted, often psychadelic style and a love for the dusty, grimy and unexpected. Basically this fella can take any record you name and make something as amazing as original out of it. But despite solid work with legends like KRS-One, De La Soul, Mos Def, Kweli, AG, MED and many more he still doesn't get the amount of props he really deserves. That is however a fact I believe is about to change very soon, especially with all the Gangrene projects which seems to have landed him some highly regarded production work like the official Black Star reunion single. The compilation you're about to hear was sequenced and compiled by Pattch and includes plenty of material that should have you reaching for that rewind button and head nodding frantically. And just to be clear, we deliberately left off anything released by Stones Throw Records so there's no reason for this link to be taken down label heads!

01. KRS-One - "The Kool Herc"
02. Frank-N-Dank - "The Hustle"
03. Juggaknots feat. Slick Rick - "Vows"
04. Jose James - "Trouble" (Oh No Remix)
05. Oh No / KRS-One / Ricci Rucker - "Boogie Down OX"
06. A.G. - "Gigantic"
07. Percee P - "Throwback Rap Attack" (Oh No Remix)
08. MED - "Overdue"
09. Mos Def - "Supermagic"
10. Oh No - "Interlude"
11. Large Professor - "Radioactive" (Oh No Remix)
12. Erick Sermon & Jarren Benton - "Yeah (Bouncers)"
13. Oh No feat. Raekwon - "Terrorize"
14. Raekwon feat. Method Man - "Every Soldier In The Hood"
15. Roc C feat. Tri-State - "Maniac Murders"
16. Roc C feat. Guilty Simpson & Young Americans - "Ramsackaz"
17. De La Soul - "Reverse Your Steps"
18. Black Star - "You Already Knew"
19. Talib Kweli - "Distractions"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

LA The Darkman - "Everything"

Another pretty dope cut from LAD's new mixtape "Midwest Kush: Pyrex Edition Pt. 2" which you'll hear in full on February 25. This particular single features a rapper called S-Class Sonny and is titled "Everything". Spotted @ NahRight!


"MA DOOM" Snippets + Ace Interview

Always interesting and always underrated New York legend has had a mad interesting career. From being one of the youngest members of The veterans known as the Juice Crew that included other greats like Marley Marl, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, MC Shan, Craig G, Tragedy and more. Since then he has dropped several classic albums and banging full-length collaborations and never slacked off on the mic. As I have reported on eaerlier, his next project is a collaboration with MF DOOM titled "MA DOOM". It will feature Ace ripping previously released "Special Herbz" beats and such but it's still 100% officially co-signed by The Illest Villians.

On his recent almost one hour loung audio interview with Brooklyn Bodega Radio. During the conversation he speaks on the recent "beef" between Marley Marl and MC Shan over two decades old songs and touches on the upcoming Juice Crew reunion tour that's about to go down in Europe. What's most interesting is that Ace also previews three songs from "MA DOOM" almost in full; the music starts shortly after the 30 minutes mark. Can't wait for this one!

Gangrene - "Dream Nap" [*]

This Tuesday, the Gangrene duo of Alchemist and Oh No released their impeccable headtrip joint "Vodka & Ayahuasca"; the best album of 2012 thus far. As is quite usual these days (and rather unfair to us militant record buyers if you ask me) the iTunes version offers an extra bonus track that's just as trippy and ill as the rest of the LP. "Dream Nap" is produced by Alchemist and features quality verses from Oh No, Roc C, Evidence and Montage One. Many thanks to Gerardoletal for the upload of this one.


The Mobb Deep Fam - "Keep Gettin' That Paper"

"The Infamous Team" is a five tracks EP that was released digitally to sites like iTunes back in November. I remember checking out the tracklist and thinking it looked like a sick project, but then kinda forgot about it. A few hours ago though, Audible Doctor uploaded his featured remix of the song "Keep Getting That Paper"; a really dope cut featuring Mobb Deep, Infamous Mobb and Big Noyd. These three legendary QB acts are also the featured artists on the remaining three tracks (and original version of this song) so this extended play should definitely be well worth to listen to. Pick up "Infamous Team" @ iTunes now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BDP - "Drug Daler#" [Prince Paul's Rough Mix]

Without a doubt, "Sex & Violence" is by far KRS-One's most criminally underrated album. To me it might just be his best album ever mae, possibly tied with "Return Of The Boom Bap" and "Criminal Minded" was of course much more important impact wise but as far as the actual music goes, BDP's fifth album was a stronger effort booth lyrically and production wise. Unlike previous BP albums, KRS-One only laced the beats for a couple of songs while the rugged hardcore tracks was provied by great producers like DJ Kenny Parker, Pal Joey and even Prince Paul who contributed three songs to the project. You can read my extensive analysis of what makes the LP so fantastic in my opnion that I wrote a while back that also features a lil' EP of all "the B-sides" made around that time. .

In the recent Complex interview with Prince Paul the master engineer revealed that KRS contacted him and picked three beats for the album he was working on. Following that, he didn't hear anything from Kris until the record came out and his original tracks was on there but mixed by KRS-One and D-Square rather than having the original producer finish them. I love these three songs but i can imagine  that they would have been straight out of this world. Today Paul Huston continued his"unreleased series" on his Soundcloud page and today's featured song are Paul's original rough demo of "Drug Dealer" before the BDP crew mixed it down. It's not that different from the album version but it does have some previouslt unreleased material soi if you're a fanatic of BDP or Huston you will definitelt want ti hear this. Here's what the producer has to say abiut the making of the 91 song:

"This is one of a few songs I did for the "Sex and Violence" album. For reasons unknown I never got a chance to fully complete the production on these songs and thus poor mixes were ultimately released to the public. When I hear those songs [today] I cringe.. I do wish I could turn back the hands of time and finish these recordings . Hope you enjoy these . More to come on the unreleased Prince Paul Collection." - Prince Paul 

"Drug Dealer" [Paul's Rough Mix '91] by B.D.P.


Dallas, Texas beatsmith Gensu Dean is one of the latest signees to Mello Muisc Group, one of today's most interesting underground labels along with Duck Down, Redefinition Records and Stones Throw. Dean has previously honed his skills through placements on albums by Brand Nubian members Sadat X and Lord Jamar, Edo G, Ox The Architect and a bunch of dope remixes for a host of other legends (including the recent CL Smooth Remix Tape). Many of his productions and remixes has been mixed by DJ Chief-One for the brand new tape "Jointz" that's just been put out to get fans ready for Gensu Dean's debut album "Standard Life (Lo-Fi Finghaz)" which will drop on February 28. You can  already now pre-order it on either wax or CD and check out the tracklist - head over to UGHH to do so right away. The mixtspr is free and you can stream it through the site but to download it you need to enter your e-mail but it'd no big deal so I recommend you doing that. Well, enjoy this one!

01. DJ Chief-One - "Intro"
02. Gensu Dean Ft. Large Professor - "Forever"
03. Edo G - "Pay The Price" [Remix]
04. Melatone Ft. Thaione - "Memoirs & Melodies"
05. Mejest Fatal - "U"
06. Sadat X Ft. Grand Puba & Lord Jamar - "The Chosen Few"
07. Edo G - "Boston" [Remix]
08. Roc Marciano - "Scarface Nigga" [Remix]
09. Oxygen - "Gone Diggin'"
10. CL Smooth - "American Dream" [Remix]
11. Mejest Fatal - "Get It"
12. Lord Jamar Ft. Sadat X - "State Ya Lessons"
13. Ill Relatives Ft. David Banner - "Cold Cold World"
14. Melatone Ft. Oxygen, Nomad & Rashid Hadee - "Making History (Remix)"
15. Gensu Dean Ft. 7even Thirty - "On & On"
16. Crooked Lettaz - "Caught in the Game"


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shyheim / Cappadonna - "Wild Shorties"

Shyheim has been working on the sequel to his dope '99 album "Manchild" and now we are starting to get to hear some music from the project. Previously we've seen a few clips from recording sessions which has revealed features from Cappadonna, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Prodigal Sunn, Sean Price, Trife Diesel, Dom Pachino, Ras Kass and Solomon Childs and the beats I've heard promises a serious record. I haven't really been checking for the one-time Prodigy since after the aforementioned '99 album but I got a very good feeling about this one based on the cameos, Shy himself and the two released tracks so far. 

Above you hear "Wild Shorties" with Cappa (an official video will be released soon) and if you click here you can listen to "E&W", another album cut featuring Dom Pachino, Ras Kass, Bad Azz and Solomon Childs. "Manchild 2" coming soon on Bottom Up Records.


Although it took some serious time and several delays for The Yardfather to drop his banging official debut "Greatest Story Never Told", he always kept his name hot on the mixtape scene. As promised he releases his anticipated "Warning Shots 3: One Foot in the Grave" via DatPiff today. The tape is presented by Just Blaze who also provides a few beats next to producers including Ez ElPee, DJ Corbett, Red Spyda, Scram Jones, Green Lantern and more. I can't wait to listen to this in full!

01. "One Foot in the Grave (Intro)" (Ft. Just Blaze)
02. "BBB (Real Niggas Never Die)" [prod. by Sire]
03. "I Am 4 Real" [prod. by DJ Corbett]
04. "Hungry" [prod. by Sire]
05. "Yeah Yeah" [prod. by Shuko]
06. "Bring Me Down Pt. 3" (Ft. Joe Budden) [prod. by Just Blaze & DJ Corbett]
07. "Say Yes Again" [prod. by Quiet]
08. "Come Again 2012" [prod. by Ez ElPee]
09. "Women Are the New Dogs" [prod. by Red Spyda]
10. "Kinky" [prod. by Sire]
11. "When Did U Get Hot" [prod. by Brain]
12. "Moscato Flow"
13. "CutDaBullshit" [prod. by Green Lantern]
14. "Another Man Down" (Ft. Lil' Fame) [prod. by DJ Corbett]
15. "WFKR Talk Radio Skit"
16. "War And Chaos" [prod. by Just Blaze & Scram Jones]
17. "Where to Find Me" (Ft. Quan)
18. "Learning As We Go Along" (Ft. Rough of Good Guy Gang)
19. "Mr. Cool (That Ain't Cool)" [prod. by Scram Jones]


Monday, January 23, 2012

BURNTmd / Phil Da Agony / Madlib

Fresh rapper BURNTmd from Vermont hooks up with Strong Arm Steady's Phil The Agony for this Madlib produced track titled "GDTMIB: The PhilMadBurnt Anthem". The main emcee is preparing a Green Lantern helmed mixtape called "The Green Invasion" that will feature this song as well as a Madlib laced joint featuring Snoop Dogg. The Vermont spitter is also getting ready to drop the teaser EP "Not So Black & White EP" so be on the lookout. Rumors say BURNTmd made some cameos on the Madlib produced "In Search Of Stoney Jackson" that didn't make the final cut so the plan now is to leak these joints for free every now and then so this is definitely goo news for all fans of the Steady crew and The Beat Konducta.

BURNTmd (feat. Phil The Agony) - "GTDMIB: PhilMadBurnt Anthem"

[Double Feature] SADAT X

Last year Brand Nubian's most prolific emcee Sadat X released his extremely overlooked album "No Features". The CD was fully produced by Will Tell and while it's not one of The X-Man's finest releases it does pack some heat like the video for the single above, "Remember That", and X's always been an interesting rapper.

And as if that wasn't enough, the duo Fokis released their second single from their upcoming De La inspired project, "A Vintage State Of Mind". The song is called "Just Sayin'" and just happens to feature none other than Mr. Derek X so enjoy this double feature y'all cuz they sure both bang!


William Cooper & Kool G Rap - "American Gangsters"

Black Market Militia's William Cooper's "Beware Of The Pale Horse" was a seriously slept-on album back in 2009 that you definitely need to check out. Full of dope features, sick beats by the likes of Bronze Nazareth and BP (who laced this particular gem) and most important lyextremely well written and conscious lyrics; something that's lacking way too often in today's hip-hop and music in general. Fresh of G Rap's ill cameo on Gangrene's new LP, here KGR drops another one of his trademark sixteens that's sure to have you hit the rewind button. Support Cooper's debut by picking it up @ UGHH.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jazzy Jeff Ft. Senor Kaos - "Peter Piper" [J.M.J. Tribute]

 Celebrating what would have been the veteran DJ Jam Master Jay's 47:th birthday yesterday, Funkmaster Flex dropped his ill 30 minutes set celebrating the legend and now DJ Jazzy Jeff and Senor Kaos hook up with eachother for another tribute; their take on the classic Run DMC cut "Peter Piper" that originally appeared on Mick Boogie/Jazzy Jeff's mixtape "My Adidas (A Tribute to Run DMC) last year. Senor Kaos is holding it down on the mic while Jeff is killing it on the turntables as well as providing the beats so you can bet on this being a certified sureshot, Don't hesitate, check it and pay your tributes to one of the true pioneers.

[Album Stream] dRes - "Wild Produce"

dRes is a up-and-coming producer from Philly who's starting to make a name for himself and is not to be confused with the genius of the same name from classic hip-hop group Black Sheep. dRes is definitely responsible for some hot productions filled with distorted horns, eerie vocal samples and some smooth rhythm that's heavy on the percussion. For his first album, which is free nontheless, he enlists some microphone help from the likes of Count Bass D, Homeboy Sandman, L.E.G.A.C.Y., Median, Truck North, Guilty Simpson, Tanya Morgan, Declaime and Georgia Anne Muldrow ro name some. Even if it's not up your alley, at least give it a shot below so check it out.

dRes - Wild Produce (LP) by Diamond Media 360

Funk Flex's JAM-MASTER JAY Tribute

Jam-Master Jay is obviously one of the most important and pioneering artists and DJs to ever grace hip-hop with his presence. Besides his groundbreaking masterpieces with Run DMC, Hollis, Queens native Jason William Mizell started honing his skills on the tables at the early age of 13 and that hard work soon payed off. On albums like Run's classic "Raising Hill" he was also heavily involed with the music side of things; playing live drums, keyboards and bass, A few years later he started his own label, J.M.J. Recordings, producing banging records for Onyx, Real Roxanne, Terminaor X, Jayo Felony and a host of others.

The unique hip-hop legend was sadly shot and killed on October 30, 2002 and the music business, and especially rap music, lost one of its true pioneers. Say what you want about Funkmaster Flex these days but at least he's always been an ill DJ and he clearly hasn't forgotten his roots. Check this mix out and if you haven't peeped the great JMJ documentary "Two Turntables & A Microphone" make sure to get your hands on that one too.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Choclair - "T-Dot" (Dirty)

Choclair is a Canadian emcee who released five albums between 1999 and 2006 but since then been kinda quiet. He's worked with artists like Ol' Dirty Bastard, Rahzel, GURU, Kardinal Offishal, Kurupt, Saukrates and more but then more or less dissapeared from the scene. Now it seems that he's might aiming for a comeback as he just released a new digital single featuring the song "T-Dot", produced by DJ Bless. Pretty dope joint right here, let's see what the future has in store for Choclair.



Legendary multi-talented producer Diamond D isn't afraid to branch out of his typical genre. In fact, he can create fatastic music no matter what lane he currently rocks; Diamond's an artist that always modified the beat to the artist he's working with and not the other way around. Besides more traditional hip-hop classics, the super producer occassionally dabbles in jazz, R&B/soul and psychadelic rock .And  Joseph Kirland (or Diamond D as more of you know him) has got some serious skills on the wheels of steel too. 

As reported earlier, The D.I.T.C. member is going back to his soul roots to produce the entirity of Blake Carrington's album, under the title "The Blask Moses Project".  Carrington and Kirkland has worked together for a long time now; the former has made guest apperances on most of Diamond's solo albums  since 1997 so they has clearly developed a very serious relationship. The digital single has been released via Diamond's soundcloud and must be the intro to the record considering it's titled "The Prolouge" and clocks in at just over two minutes. I can dig it!

The Black Moses Project - "The Prolouge"

LL Cool J '89; The Bonus Cuts

The other day I picked up a vinyl copy of the one LL album I still don't had (while he still banged out good music on the regular that is) in a used records section - "Walking With A Panther". It's no "Radio", "B.A.D.", "Mama Said..." or even "14 Shots to the Dome" as it has a very strange mix of tracks on there. It goes from some of the cheesiest love ballads until '97s mediocre "Phenomenal" ("You're My Heart", "I'm That Type of Guy", "Two Different Worlds", etc.) to super dope lyrical exercises delivered over hardcore beats like "Droppin' Em", "Nitro", "Why Do You Think They Call it Dope", "It Gets No Rougher" and more.

Vinyl buyers drew the shortest straw as they were missing out on four bangers, and if these were added instead of the cheesy tracks mentioned above, "Walking With A Panther" would've been viewed in a totally different light is my guess. The CD version included two bonus tracks, an outro song called "Change Your Ways" as well as the classic Rick Rubin production from '88 that were recorded for the "Less Than Zero" soundtrack; the slamming "Going Back to Cali". The cassette copy featured both these tracks but also included the infamous Kool Moe Dee diss "Jack the Ripper", another Rubin production from the same soundtrack. Lastly the cassette also had a rare LL track called "Crime Stories" that's prety dope too. Thanks to Magnifik for riping and uploading the latter. Feel free to drop a comment, do you think LL's third LP would be better if including these four songs instead of some of the weaker ones? Enjoy!!

GRENEBERG - "Drink Up"

Alchemist and Oh No's 2010's full-length release, "Gutter Waters", was an incredibly sick and original psychadelic hip-hop record. A year later the duo released one of the best releases of 2011, an EP as Greneberg with Long Island's curently finest emcee; four songs featuring Alc and Oh No and four songs featuring the one and only Roc Marciano and except for one joint fully produced by the Gangrene crew.

On January 24, the Gangrene duo is teaming up again with Deacon Records to drop their second full-length release, "Vodka & Ayahuasca". Previously the duo have released two singles from the project ("Vodka & Ayahuasca" and "Dump Truck") and now the third single has been made available. The joint is called "Drink Up" and features an ill 16 from the the always reliable Rock Marciano. So in a way, you could say that this is a continuation of the amazing EP from 2010. Enjoy this banger and turn it the fuck up!

Friday, January 20, 2012

[Tracklist] Saigon - "Warning Shots III"

Saigon's third installment in the "Warning Shots" series drops in only four days and looking at the tracklist below I'm sure it will be pretty damn dope. I'm a little suprised there isn't more Just Blaze productions on here considering that he's presenting the tape but Ez Elpee, Red Spyda, Green Lantern and Scram Jones will most likely deliver. The songs that have leaked so far have all been dope if you ask me, you can check out the latest one called "Hungry" at the bottom of this post.

01. "One Foot in the Grave (Intro)" (Ft. Just Blaze)
02. "BBB (Real Niggas Never Die)" [prod. by Sire]
03. "I Am 4 Real" [prod. by DJ Corbett]
04. "Hungry" [prod. by Sire]
05. "Yeah Yeah" [prod. by Shuko]
06. "Bring Me Down Pt. 3" (Ft. Joe Budden) [prod. by Just Blaze & DJ Corbett]
07. "Say Yes Again" [prod. by Quiet]
08. "Come Again 2012" [prod. by Ez ElPee]
09. "Women Are the New Dogs" [prod. by Red Spyda]
10. "Kinky" [prod. by Sire]
11. "When Did U Get Hot" [prod. by Brain]
12. "Moscato Flow"
13. "CutDaBullshit" [prod. by Green Lantern]
14. "Another Man Down" (Ft. Lil' Fame) [prod. by DJ Corbett]
15. "WFKR Talk Radio Skit"
16. "War And Chaos" [prod. by Just Blaze & Scram Jones]
17. "Where to Find Me" (Ft. Quan)
18. "Learning As We Go Along" (Ft. Rough of Good Guy Gang)
19. "Mr. Cool (That Ain't Cool)" [prod. by Scram Jones]


Brainiac Beats Ft. AG, Joell Ortiz ....

Brainiac Beats a/k/a El Cerebro is a Spanish producer who's about to make a name for himself on the US scene. He has now released a free digital EP featuring six American artists, the most interesting being AG and Joell Ortiz. All tracks, cuts and engineering done by Brainiac Beats and the ill artwork you see above is created by Diego L. Rodriguez. 

01. Joell Ortiz - "Praise"
02. Nikal Fieldz / Dwayne Collins - "Come Get Some"
03. AG / Shea Davis - "Hood Famous"
04. Serious Jones - "What Goes Around" [*]
05. Pete G - "Who Are You?" [*]


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Skyzoo - "Corner Store Classic" [Revisited]

As I said before, few debuting artists of the last five years have came through with such skill and passion as BK's Skyzoo who hit the hip-hop world with a bang when he released his "Salvation" in 2009. But before that he was steadily building up a lot of hype through some great guest features and most importantly a bunch of hot mixtapes. One of the best was the critically acclaimed "Corner Store Classic" that dropped in 2007. Since I usually want full songs and can be bugged out by the DJ shouts, I love the fact that Skyzoo choosed to release a revisited version of that tape featuring 16 of the full tracks in good quality a year later. This is definitely a great tape for anyone who've missed it, full of the emcee's slick trademark flow, ill punchlines and stories weaved with clever metaphors. Production is handled by many great beatsmiths including Black Milk, M-Phazes, Needlz, Illmind and 9th Wonder. So if you have yet to hear this and liked Sky's official solo debut, make sure you check this one ut cuz you'll definitely feel it.

01. "Intro"
02. "I Shine"
03. "Braggin' Rights" [Remix]
04. "The Neccessary Evils"
05. "Never Sleep"
06. "Hold Tight" [Remix] (Ft. Black Milk)
07. "The Paper"
08. "All Over the World"
09. "Close Reach" [Remix] (Ft. Nina B.)
10. "Raw Rap '06"
11. "B.E.T. Rap City / Spit Ya Game" (Interlude)
12. "Straighten It Out" [Remix]
13. "Cop N Go" (Ft. Maino & Stimuli)
14. "Ghetto America" [HHG Remix]
15. "So Close"
16. "Outro"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pos & Dave are... FIRST SERVE

Posdnous (a.k.a. Plug Won) and Dave (a.k.a. Trugoy / Plug Two) of De La Soul has recently started the side project First Serve. I'm not sure why Maseo ain't involved but they are obviously able to hold their own as a duo as well. About a month ago they released their first mixtape which is called "The Goon Time"; a cool up-tempo mix featuring an eclectic mesh of blends and remixes topped with a few brand new cuts. First Strike's debut album is set for release in April but the first single is available already today and is entitled "Pushin' Aside, Pushin' Along". Check that out below and don't forget to stream or download "The Goon Time" from their Soundcloud.


[Video] MadGibbs - "Thuggin'"

Peep the brand new video for Madlib and Freddie Gibb's "Thuggin'", directed by Jonah Schwartz. I absolutely loved this track when I first heard it and it still goes hard. There was a rumor saying that there will be a full-length album by these two eventually which I'm sure would be nothing short of amazing if it actually happens. Keep your fingers crossed!

Bumpy Knuckles - "My Thoughts"

As we all should be aware of by now, DJ Premier and Bumpy Knuckles is gearing up to release their highly anticipated "Kolexxxion" on March 27. Preem is obviously one of the greatest producers of all time and Foxxx has long been one of my favorite emcees so to have all these songs on wax is nothing short of a blessing. Although many of the tracks have previously been played by Preemo and someone happened to rip them, these songs are still previously unreleased in that they have never been available on a proper album.

Yesterday I put together something for my iPod with thirteen of their collabo's (including half of the LP) and played that straight through during the train ride this morning. Let me tell y'all that I can already now say that "Kolexxxion" without a doubt will be Foxxx's best album since the classic "Industry Shakedown" back in '99. For those who slept, I'm bringing out the amazing opening track called "My Thoughts" which really sets the mood for the raw sound of these two boom bap royalties. What a great way to kick of an album!


Rock Mecca - "Top Of The World"

Rock Mecca is a new emcee from Queens, NY who is about to drop his debut album "Pirate Radio Star" in March of this year. "Top Of the World"´follows "New York Noise" / "Runnin' Runnin'"as the second single from the project and gives us a nice taste of what this man and his music are about. You can follow Rock Mecca and learn about his music via Bandcamp and Reverbnation.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lords Of The Underground - "Say Yeah"

Check out this crazy sick joint by Jersey's own Lords Of the Underground, produced by their original producer K-Def. I'm not sure if this is a newer track or if it is an older song from previous album sessions but either way this shit goes hard. I would love a new L.O.T.U.G. album with hot stuff like this and the collaboration with Pete Rock on "NY's Finest". Spotted @ The DopeHouse.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

[Comp] CYPRESS HILL - "Blunted On Reality"

I haven't been able to hit you up with one of those Lost Tapes compilations many of y'all often request, but here is the first one for 2012. I've been listening heavily to Cypress Hill lately as they are one of my favorite groups of all time - the original Cypress that is, with DJ Muggs behind the boards, B-Real up front and Sen Dogg doing his thing (Eric "Bobo" is a cool addition too). Especially the first four albums are classic status in my eyes and although the later LPs haven't come close to that status there's always a bunch of gems on each that makes sure the group maintains their high level. The only one I was truly dissapointed in is "Rising Up", much because (to me) it is not even a real Cypress album considering Muggs is barely involved. Hopefully they will get back on track  in time for the next round since all the joints B-Real and Muggs have appeared on together over the last five years or so have been crazy.

       For this compilation I basically wanted to put together a majority of the non album cuts by the group that I know of or have heard. At first I was thinking about making it a strictly 1991 to 1999 affair and including the "Soul Assassins" tracks but at the end of the day I figured that they got enough hot unreleased shit from '91 up to last year. Therefore this 18 tracks collection now reflects the group's musical evolvement over the years and showcases a bunch of different styles. You got the blunted darkness a´la "Temples Of Boom" ("Da-Da-Da", "Roll it Up, Light it Up..."), the funkiness of their breakthrough ("Shoot 'Em Up"), early rock collaborations in the form of the songs with Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth from the "Judgement Night" soundtrack as well as the synthesizer driven sound heard on "To Death do us Part" ("Ready to Die", "Roll it Up") and much more. I even decided to include the three DJ Muggs produced tracks from "Rising Up", simply because I consider that more of a type of side project and this way  I get to listen to these bangers in a real Cypress setting. All tracks on this sick ass "tape" are solely produced by Muggs except for "Scooby Doo" (T-Ray with Muggs on co-production), "Strike the Match", "Take My Pain" and "Pass The Dutch" (all three co-produced by DJ Khalil) and lastly the bonus track "Child of the Wild West" which is a production collaboration between DJ Muggs and Roni Size/Reprazent. So spark up a blunt, press play, lay back and enter the temples of BOOM.

01. "Roll it Up, Light it Up, Smoke it Up" [1995]
02. "Shoot 'Em Up" [1992]
03. "Champions" (Ft. PMD) [1998]
04. "U Know the Rules (Mi Vida Loca)" [2000]
05. "Roll it Up" [2004]
06. "Pass the Dutch" (Ft. Evidence & Alchemist) [2010]
07. "Strike the Match" (Ft. Tom Morello) [2010]
08. "I'm Still #1" [1997]
09. "I Love You Mary Jane" [1993]
10. "Scooby Doo" [1992]
11. "Da-Da-Da" [1995]
12. "So What'cha Want" [S.A. Remix] (Ft. Beastie Boys) [1992]
13. "Real Thing" [1993]
14. "Rags to Riches" (Ft. Barron Ricks & Chace Infinite) [1998]
15. "Can I Live" [2001]
16. "Ready to Die" [2004]
17. "Take My Pain" (Ft. Everlast) [2010]
18. "Child of the Wild West" [Murder Dem Remix] (w. Roni Size) [*]


Saigon - "I Am 4 Real"

The MC/producer duo who were responsible for one of the best albums of last year, Saigon and Just Blaze, are now preparing a new collaborative project for 2012. According to Saigon the third installment in his "Warning Shots" series (this one carries the under title "One Foot in the Grave") will be more of a street album than a mixtape which is a good sign since it should mean that it's all new beats, full songs and no DJ shouts over the music. The first single is titled "I Am 4 Real" and produced by DJ Corbett who previously did some of the bonus tracks on "The Greatest Story Never Told".

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rome Clientele Ft. Tragedy Khadafi

I have no clue who Rome Clientele are or is but this soulful joint is a winner in my book. It's always great to hear new ish from QB veteran Tragedy Khadafi, who opens the track with a sick verse. Especially since we haven't heard nearly enough of him over the last five years. The song also features apperances by rappers Alycat and T-Nast.

M.E.D. - "War & Love"

"War & Love" is the title of this sick Alchemist produced track from M.E.D.'s latest release - "Classic". Besides Alc on the boards, the song also features a guest apperance by Oh No so both Gangrene partners were involved on this one. The video is directed by Shane Sakanoi.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Funk League Ft. Large Professor

Blazing new track called "Through Good & Bad (45 Remix)" with Large Professor on the mic and French production duo The Funk League on the boards. This is the third single from the latter's upcoming album, "Funky as Usual" which hit stores on January 24. This is some classic sounding shit right here and between this, the joint with Diamond & Sadat plus additional features from AG, Gift Of Gab, Afrika Bambaataa I'm definitely pumped for this LP! Thx to Okayplayer for this one.

KRS-One / Channel Live - "Forever"

Only a couple of days ago I posted on KRS-One relasing "The BDP Album" with his brother Kenny Parker. The project is now available and can be copped in either digital format, on wax or on CD from Amazon and 682 Records, respectively. Take a listen to the single "Forever" which sees KRS bang it out with Channel Live on the mic for the first time in years. Up top is a rather new interview with the master emcee, mroe than one and a half hour so you know that's gonna be a great watch (spotted @ DJPB).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

RZA - "Shock Me" (2001)

RZA continues his weekly Wu Wednesdays series with a lost cut from circa 2001. Said to be a demo from the Bobby Digital LP, "Digital Bullet" i'm guessing this one is produced by The Abbot himself. Ill ish...


Planet Asia / Timbo King / Hell Razah

Hell Razah, Timbo King and Planet Asia joins up for this Thorotracks produced single called "Flash Backs". The song is one of many dope tracks that will appear on DJ J-Ronin's and DJ Snip's "All Elements", hosted by M.O.P. Check out J-Ronin's word on the project which drops next week.

"All Elements vol.12 is finally done, physical copies will be dropping next tuesday along with a digital download link on bandcamp. As per usual over a dozen records were done exclusively for this mixtape with M.O.P., Sha Stimuli, Cappadonna, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Hell Razah, Planet Asia, Math Hoffa, Timbo King, Serious Jones, Cortez, Illa Ghee, Ruste Juxx, Sav Killz, DNA, Hollow Da Don, Nutso and more!

For the first time i will have a digtal download link for sale before i release a free version. You can preorder the mixtape here Support All Elements and all the work we put in! Once the sales reach a decent amount i will drop a free download link." - DJ J-Ronin


Afro Blue Seeds from the SOUL

New singles by the Soul queen and the princess, or Erykah Badu and Georgia Anne-Muldrow as they are also referred to as. Both songs have a few days on the neck by now as I was supposed to post them earleir but whatever. These are both definitely worth your attention, so enjoy.

It has been revealed that Georgia Anne-Muldrow's next album will be a collaboration with Mr. Madlib which will make for some cool ass music for sure. Previously, most of the soulstress' output has been self-produced, given that she's a beast on the sampler herself, so this is a special ocassion. The album is to be titled "Seeds" and the first single is also the title track which will be released on February 14 (in what formats i'm not sure). Look for "Seeds" in stores on March 27.

Not handling production and focusing strictly on the lyrics and vocals was a very different experience for me.  It was as if I walked into someone else’s world and built a hut.  But I’m very proud of the hut we built and am excited about the release.”- Georgia Anne-Muldrow

Georgia Anne Muldrow & Madlib - "Seeds"

Pianist and producer Robert Glasper will release his new album "Black Radio" this year. For the first single he hooked up with Erykah Badu who provides this jazzy banger with her great voice and trademark vocal style. The song in question is a composition by Mongo Santamaria called "Afro Blue", a track that Coltrane played quite a bit during his last years in the physical. Check out more about Glasper and the upcoming album @ his official site and peep the joint below.

"Erykah loves flutes, so I arranged this song with flutes in it. This song was recorded during the time she was on the Rock The Bells tour. Luckily she was able to come in and do the song.”  - Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper x Erykah Badu - "Afro Blue"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Planet Asia prepares "Black Belt Theatre"

Crazy dope West Coast spitter Planet Asia is set to release his new album, "Black Belt Theatre", on February 28. The tracklist has now been revealed and as is usual with Asia's projects, the guest features and production credits looks tasty as hell with names like Raekwon, Oh No, Khrysis, Talib Kweli, Strong Arm Steady, Fashawn and more. The first single from the LP is now also available from Nature Sounds and is titled "Golden State" (right click + save as to download).

01. “Lost And Found” (prod. by Khrysis)
02. “Grown Folks Talkin’” (Ft. Talib Kweli) (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
03. “Tell The World” (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
04. “All Mine” (Ft. Paul Wall) (prod. by Twiz The Beat Pro)
05. “No Apologies” (Ft. Raekwon) (prod. by Oh No)
06. “Fuck Rapers” (Ft. Fashawn & Willie The Kid) (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
07. “Diamond Life” (Ft. Camp Lo) (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
08. “Furniture” (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
09. “Mach One (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
10. “Daggers And Darts” (Ft. Rogue Venom & Tristate) (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
11. “Bruce Lee” (Ft. Chace Infinite & Rasco) (prod. by Soulprofessa)
12. “Golden State” (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
13. “Coons” (Ft. Killer Ben) (prod. by Dirtydiggs)
14. “The Line Of Fire” (Ft. Krondon, Phil Da Agony & Picaso) (prod. by Brisk Oner)
15. “Big Fish” (prod. by Twiz The Beat Pro)
16. “External Motives” (Ft. The Jacka & Mitchy Slick) (prod. by Twiz The Beat Pro)
17. “Classical” (Ft. Ras Kass, Torae & Jasiri X) (prod. by Religion)
18.“Stay Ready” (Ft. Mistah Fab, Dengee & Mo The Gift) (prod. by Oh No)
19. “Whirlwind Patterns” (prod. by Religion)
20. “Dogon Outro” (prod. by Dirtydiggs)

Monday, January 9, 2012

KRS-One / Kenny Parker + Bumpy Knuckles / Premier

Last year we saw KRS-One and Freddie Foxxx, who originally housed shit together on "Ruff Ruff" in '92, collaborate for "Royalty Check". For 2012 they are both individually preparing new releases for the heads to enjoy. I believe KRS also has an album with Mad Lion in the works, as the tracklist below does not include any of the singles that has been released recently. Thx to Fatal Guillotine and Gim @ DJPB for the word.

"The Kolexion" is set for release on March 27 and will be available on both CD and vinyl. The entire project is produced by DJ Premier and although some previous material can be spotted on the tracklist, the majority of the songs seems to be new. Shortly before the release we'll get an EP of material that didn't make the final cut. I wonder where the Zack De La Rocha collaboration went though?

01. "My Thoughts"
02. "Shake The Room"
03. "B.A.P."
04. "eVrEEbOdEE"
05. "wEaRe aT WaR"
06. "P.A.I.N.E."
07. "The Life"
08. "FYPAU"
09. "D’Lah"
10. "More Levels"
11. "GrEaTnEsS"
12. "EyEnEvErPuTmY4cUsAwAy"
13. "Turn Up The Mic" [Remix] (Ft. Nas)
14. "The Key"
15. "OwNiT"
16. "The Gang Starr Bus"
17. "Word Iz Bond"

We haven't heard an official Boogie Down Production's release since '92s "Sex & Violence" but this year KRS-One is dropping "The BDP Album" under his own name. The LP will mark the first time Kris has worked with his brother DJ Kenny Parker for a full project so this will definitely be something to look out for. It will also be available on both CD and wax via 682 Records.

01. "Kenny Parker Intro"
02. "Tote Gunz"
03. "Forever" (Ft. Channel Live)
04. "All Day"
05. "The Solution"
06. "Cypher Remix"
07. "Introducing..."
08. "I Do This For You"
09. "Comin' In"
10. "Do It"
11. "The Hustle"
12. "Time's Up" (Ft. Jesse West)
13. "2012"
14. "What is it / Outro" (Ft. Inyang Bassey)

38 Special / Pete Rock - "Support"

38 Special is a new artist that is signed and managed by DJ Green Lantern. They are currently working on his debut album, "Benefits of Hard Work" which should be available later this year. The LP is said to feature two tracks produced by the great DJ Premier as well as the first single which is called "Support" and laced by The Chocolate Boy Wonder. Spotted @ DJ Premier Blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011 in Review - [#1] Evidence - "Cats & Dog"

We are now exactly one week in to 2012 and there's still no doubt in my mind about what the best album of last year was. In a year when seasoned vet's like G Rap, Raekwon and Pharoahe Monch, favorite producers Pete Rock and Large Pro as well as debuting artists such as Saigon and Rasheed Chapell all dropped slamming LPs, Evidence's "Cats & Dogs" came out victorious through its stick-to-the-script formula. 

Back in the hot summer months of 2011, the Dilated Peoples emcee known as Evidence unleashed his second full-length album on the world. And what an album it was! Both a very capable rapper and producer in his own right, for "Cats & Dogs", Ev took the wise choice to step down from the producer seat. It's not that he couldn't have laced sixteen dope instrumentals by himself, he has proved that capability too many times for that to be put in question, but this way he could put all his focus and energy into his vocal performances - And that extra lyrical drive shines throughout the entire set!

I always liked Ev as an emcee but I had never considered him as one of the true greats of the hip-hop game. Until this summer that is. I feel confident in saying that this is by far the LA spitter's best lyrical show-off yet, all solo works and Dilated projects counted for. His voice is clear and commanding, making it easy to snap up every line; yet, his writing is often riddled and complex, with an extended use of metaphors that makes repeated listening rewarding. The rhymer invites us into his life by sharing his thoughts and personality on diverse cuts like "The Linear Notes", "Fame" and "Well Runs Dry". On the two latter he, respectively, gives his take on success and glory and then the hardships of past days struggling with money to make it by. In this way, "Cats & Dogs" are a great introduction to Evidence for anyone new to his music as well as a way of further insight into his persona and style for those already fans. There's also plenty of concept tracks like the twisted love tale "I Don't Need Love" and the politically charged "To Be Continued" as well as classic battle rhyme styles on heavy joints like the straight-to-the-point collabo with Preemo,  "You". On the latter the L.A. rhymer spits raw shit like "One's a lonely number, two's the first loser; So how the fuck can you win? Become a drug abuser/ Slappin' these beats, I'm no snoozer; Six million ways to Die, go ahead and choose ONE".

As far as producers and guets on the LP goes you could say that it's an all-star jam at the same time as it's a family affair. Five of the fifteen songs are laced by The Alchemist who comes through in grand fashion with some of the best beats I've heard from him in years; a pretty bold statement considering his catalouge. Just check how well the paranoia inducing, speeding music he concorts for "Crash" connects with Evidence. Likewise, the gritty soundtrack Alc hooks up on the masterful opener "The Linear Notes" becomes the perfect vehicle for the rapper to bring it back to his come up and show the world he means business with one of the best verses of 2011. With the chemistry displayed on all of these collaborations, Alchemist is definitely the MVP of the producer's working on the project.

But just as Alchemist clearly was in a special zone when crafting for the album, so was every producer heard on the disc. For example, I never been big on the production duo known as Sid Roams but the three grooves they lay down here are dark, layered and absolutely perfect for Evidence. "Late For the Sky" is an especially big tune which, through the use of string-like keys, fat bass and harmonic vocals, is one of the more melodic tracks on the album. It's also one of four "posse cuts" where Ev puts his skill to the test against two other lyricists; the aforementioned one with Aesop Rock and Slug features fairly abstract verses from everybody involved. It's great that by using only a few tracks with several guests on, it gives us plenty of solo cuts with only the lead artist while also featuring many great emcees and songs that definitely stands out on a tracklist. How about the Evidence / Roc Marciano / Prodigy or Evidence / Raekwon / Ras Kass joints; both some of the sickest tracks released in 2011. Besides being great hip-hop joints, siding up with rhymesayers of this caliber also goes to show just how far Ev has come as a lyricist through the years. I also gotta give big props to Ev for keeping the DJ an essential part of his sound, something that's sadly way too often overlooked in hip-hop these days. Especially DJ Revolution, but also Babu and DJ Flash gets busy on the wheels of steel and it brings another layer to the final product and definitely helps bringing it home.

There's so much to love about this LP which, with about six months to show for it now, has tremendous replay value. With all the albums I reviewed of last year, as good as all of them still left a little room for improvement. Not so much with "Cats & Dogs"; there's no song I would have left off, no bad guest verses, no boring beats and Evidence's performance is remarkable throughout. I imagine much time was spent on overseeing the project to make sure every track fit together with the next and, in that way, giving it the  coherrent sound of one producer's work. One of the ways to achieve this is unmistakably the straight up hip-hop, stick-to-the-script formula that keeps the sound banging throughout. While this method might leave little room for experimentation, the foundation of  thumping beats, dope rhymes and masterful turntable work are a rock solid foundation for an LP that might very well be considerd a classic in a few years.