Uncategorized

My Favorite Albums of 2015

giphy
So here we are again.  I was opposed to doing this at first because honestly, only a handful of mother fuckers care and the others will just use this as a reference to post on their own page.  Regardless, I’m doing it as a journal of shit I’ve really enjoyed through the years.

I’ll keep this short and get to what this is about.  I stated via my Twitter , that for me, 2015 was a year of the beatmakers.  Being a head since the early 90’s I’ve been lucky enough to see this culture evolve.  Not always good, but the underground is definitely thriving.  And 2015 has been huge for instrumental projects.  If you follow my personal IG page, you will see that I have been pretty much stuck on them all year long.

But there have been ups and downs, great albums but also some terrible losses.  We lost two underground emcees this year.  Rest easy Pumpkinhead and Sean P.  Losing you two this year will make me never forget 2015.  Thank you again for your words and memories.

So let’s get to this.  To clarify as in previous years, this is not a top or ranking list.  This is just a gathering of shit I’ve enjoyed this year.  And just because it’s not on this list doesn’t mean it wasn’t dope.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t support it.  This simply just a fucking list.  And special thank you to one of my favorite people ever @HipHop_Essentials  for reminding me of some of these albums. You are appreciated *Tupac voice*.

 

Hashfinger – Kites
This has been an instrumental album I’ve been fangirling over all year. Pretty much obsessed with him and his work.  Support here.

Spit Gemz – Godly Features
Raw gritty NY underground.  One of my favorite emcees still to this day, he dropped this amazing project.  Support here.

Blabbermouf – BackWitDaBoomAndBlabberastikRhymes
Hailing from the Netherlands, Blabbermouf takes us back to them 90 Boom Bap days. Support here.

Brock Berrigan – Diamond in the Rough
Another Instrumental album that will be in heavy rotation this year. Even though I also really dug the his other release this year but this one stole my heart. Support here.

UGeorge – The Many Faces of UGeorge
This album took me by surprise.  Respect the vets.  UGeorge still got it.  Support here.

Tek & Figub – The Everyday Headnod
As the title describes … Peep and support here.

Dimepeace – Maybe It’s Us
Just off the cover alone makes me love this album.  But what fills your ears is just as amazing.  Support here.

The Four Owls – Natural Order
Consisting of all seasoned UK emcee/producers this album opened many eyes to overseas culture.  Support here.

Union Blak – Street English
Effiscienz dropped jewels this year this being one.  Support here.

Mr. Green – Live From the Streets
I don’t need to go into this one.  I’m sure plenty are familiar.  Still an amazing project.  Support here.

Dr. Yen Lo – Days With Dr. Yen Lo
When Ka and Preservation came together for Dr. Yen Lo greatness occurred.  I’m not picking favorites but if I had to this one would be way up there this year.  Support here.

Jazz Spastiks & Rebels to the Grain – Unkut Fresh
Early this year when JS & Rebels released Tapes I nearly lost my shit. This is definitely in regular rotation.  Support here.

Don Miguel – Waiting for Carmine
NYC producer Don Miguel brings us a solid album.  I really enjoyed this one the more I listened.  Support here.

Oldy Clap & DJ Skandal – Dust Dealers
Production by Oldy Clap & Cuts from DJ Skandal.  Amazing work.  Support here.

Dexter – Palmen & Beats
Anyone who truly knows me,knows I’m obsessed with Dexter’s work.  This album didn’t disappoint me at all. Support here.

June Marx – Love & War
Again, people who know me also know June Marx is one of my favorite emcee/producers. This one was my favorite of his releases this year.  Support here.

Ghostface Killah & Badbadnotgood – Sour Soul
I’m sure most have already peeped this so no need to get into it. Simply one ill fucking album in rotation. Support here.

Juju Rogers – From the Life of Good-For-Nothing
This album is definitely one of my favorite releases this year.  Jakarta Records has made a couple of appearances on this list.  Really looking forward to what Juju has in store in coming years.  Support here.

Res One – Delph Efficacy
I feel like I might be saying everyone could be my favorite at this point.  So I’m simply going to say I enjoyed the shit out of this album.  Support here.

Starvin B & Fel Sweetenberg – Soul Museum
When I heard that Effiscienz was bringing us this collab I almost pissed myself.  Then when I heard it I seriously fangirled. Effiscienz consistently is bringing us heat and this album didn’t disappoint. Support here.

Kognitif – Soul Food
Kognitif by ways of France bringing us a solid album.  Simply amazing.  Support here.

Pigeondust – Moon, Wisdom & Slackness
Cold Busted is constantly bringing us some of the illest beatmakers.  This album will stay in regular rotation.  Support here.

Jazz Jousters – The Vault – Best of the Jazz Jousters
An amazing compilation of instrumentals that you’ll find visiting over and over.  Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure the fuck do.  Support here.

FloFilz – Speakthru
Another Jakarta Records release that will not disappoint. Ill instrumentals along with dope features.  Support here.

Fulgeance & DJ Scientist – The Soviet Tape Vol. 1 
Heavy instrumental collab by ways of the UK.  Support here.

Peebs the Prophet – Ills of the Earth EP
With production from Phoniks and Blunt One.  This is one early 2015 album you don’t want to sleep on.  Support here.

Marcus D – The Lone Wolf EP
Amazing project from one of my favorite producers. Support here.

Paranom – 777 EP
Paranom is lyrically one of the illest emcess today.  Support here.

The Mouse Outfit – Step Steadier 
UK producer The Mouse Outfit along with dope features easily in rotation this year.  Support here.

Jakk Wonders – Sample Til Infinity
By ways of South Africa Jakk Wonders provides us with easily one of my favorite instrumental albums this year.  Support here.

Sleep Sinatra – Shamaniq
Sleep Sinatra is highly overlooked.  This is easily stays in rotation in my collection.  Support here.

Anitek – Luna
New Jersey’s Anitek is one of my favorite beatmakers.  Peep his projects and support here.

People Under the Stairs – The Gettin’ Off the Stage EP
This recent EP makes the list easily with production alone.  Definitely worth peepin’.  Support here.

Kenn Starr – Square One
This underground vet gave us this amazing album early in 2015.  Support here.

Klaus Layer – Restless Adventures
Always creating heat, Klaus Layer didn’t disappoint with this release this year. Support here.

Loopwhole Beats – Newyorkism
NY beatmaker originally brought us this vinyl only release.  Now on digital format and pre-orders for Newyorkism II releasing soon. Don’t sleep.  Support here.

Starvin B – The Foreigner 
Another release from this NYC emcee. Produced by Sauce Jacqson don’t sleep on this.  Support here.

Foul Mouth – Soul Louis
Ill heavy soul sampled instrumental album.  Support here.

Elements of Music (EOM) – Sunrain
EOM has remained one of the dopest producers.  This year he blessed us with Sunrain.  Support here.

DJ Soko – Domino Effect
Detroit DJ by ways of Brooklyn.  The more I listened the more I appreciate this overlooked member of The Left.  Support here.

Gas-Lab – Soulful & Jazzy Beats
I can’t even front.  I fucking love Argentinean producer Gas-Lab.  Just peep and fall in love yourself.  Support here.

Czarface – Every Hero Needs a Villain 
Do I even need to write about this?  Do you even need a link.  Just know it’s on the list.

Kubrick – Stig of the Dump
Ill emcee and production by Jehst this highly slept on album.  Support here.

Gensu Dean – Algorhythms 
I’m running out of shit to say, so I’m going to just say I really liked this album.  Support here.

So it’s still early.  So I may add to this as new shit is released.  I just figured I’d throw this shit up and maybe, even if it’s just a few of y’all, hopefully reach some and help heads discover and/or rediscover some of the shit I enjoyed in 2015.

Here’s to 2016.

Peace,

 

Live Elements

Advertisements

Thank you, Ruck.

Sean Price

This isn’t a piece I looked forward to writing.  I don’t know if I can really classify this as anything because with a heavy heart I am aimlessly typing away.  I didn’t want to write this at first, but honestly, I just wanted to thank Ruck for the memories. This isn’t going to bash the bandwagon fans or IG fuckery I see everyday. This isn’t calling anyone out and I don’t have any smart ass jokes.  This won’t be a bunch of facts about Ruck you can find anywhere else online.  It won’t be long winded stories.  In fact, this is just a thank you.  One heads way of thanking the legendary Sean Price.

I woke up that Saturday morning and I reached for my phone to see the glow of missed texts and calls. I squinted at the glare and was dumbfounded when I saw those words mixed within alerts from Instagram and Facebook, “P died”.  I just sat there for a moment hoping it was just some Twitter bullshit.  Some sick joke or rumor.  But when I looked, I saw Duck Down’s statement:

It is with beyond a heavy heart that Duck Down Music is sadly confirming that Sean Price passed away early this morning in his Brooklyn apartment, Saturday, August 8th, 2015. The cause of death is currently unknown, but it was reported that he died in his sleep. He’s survived by his wife, and his three children.

I’m usually not the type to get upset over someone I didn’t know passing.  Guru, Pun and Pumpkin Head hit me hard, but hearing P passed, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  I sat there in shock.  That feeling was indescribable.  Tears streamed as the memories raced through my head.  More tears came thinking of his family.  This one hit hard. I came to see quickly, I wasn’t the only one.

SeanPrice-450x675

Speaking with some older heads (30 +), this hit us differently.  This in no way bashing the younger heads nor am I saying that this didn’t effect you but you have to realize how this effected us.  Put yourselves in our place.  It’s 1996, I’m 14 years old and Nocturnal came crashing in my world. I was the weird chick with a discman in my hand and my backpack consisted of more weight from a CD book and spray cans than actual books.  Already familiar with the Boot Camp Clik but just discovering P as a strong emcee coming into his own.

HELTAH-SKELTAH

Listening to Heltah Skeltah P stood out.  I had a rotation of emcees that made me think, laugh and some like P that made me just make faces because it was that dope.  But the God P Body’s words shook my speakers.  Allowed me to lose myself in the only thing that made complete sense to me at that age, Hip Hop.  And Sean Price’s voice and words were one of those that carried me through those years. Though some of the most vital times in my life.  High School to now in my early 30’s.  P’s voice has been there.

In a time where social media calls everything underrated and classic, P was truly underrated.  From his stage presence to the way he bodied every feature, P was one of those that are once in a lifetime.

So I’ll end with this…

Sean, you’ve touched so many people with your music and humor.  Your passing was hard but you also opened the door for two of your fans to lay to rest old drama and move on.  For that I thank you as you gave me peace in that chapter of my life as you have in others. We’ll miss you P.  Rest easy and thank you for the memories. giphy

Underground Hip Hop: The Bastard Child of Instagram

FullSizeRender

0r9ifFF

Y’all see this shit? Y’all see this?! This is that old dick in the booty ass bullshit.  How does this meme get more support for underground than underground itself? But, this meme proved so much to us. Okay, are you ready to hear my two cents? Nahh B, y’all ready to hear my whole fucking pathetic no children to claim ass tax return on this issue?

Okay, I see underground pages aside from my own getting little to no love everyday. But if we post a Wu or Dilla joint, y’all come out the woodwork and piss your little Hip Hop panties.  Or if we post something funny you guys suddenly become supporters.  Why Sway? And don’t get me started on you wack ass Wu Tang hookers.

So you do realize that you’re just showing us what OG underground heads have been whispering in the basements right? That social media “heads” are full of shit.  That y’all are some carbon copy, reposting, lack of originality, biting, googling ass mother fuckers.  Truly embracing the “follower” title.  Yes, I said it.  The truth is like a dick, just open up your throat, breathe out your nose and accept your fate because you’re about to put in work.

Sorry.  I tend to get pretty passionate about this subject.  Just seeing it become trendy and a platform for people to gain attention on social media is pretty fucking irking.  Sure people might read this and be like; “Why this bitch taking this so serious? Why you mad hoe?”.  Well, because fuck your mother that’s why.  Also because I tend to get very defensive of the culture that I’m truly passionate about. This is not a trend. This is a culture I’ve lived since I was a child.  So again, fuck your mother and fuck your Ambrosia for Heads googling asses. PS – No one gives a fuck what online site you “write” for, you’re techincially a glorified cheerleader. So yeah, where was I?  Oh yeah…

So my favorite person in the world currently posted this on his page as kind of a behind the scene test on this very topic we’ve been discussing. Actually, we have both been posting little things to gauge and test if our theories were correct. @HipHop_Essentials stands out from some of the other underground pages as he posts a variety of joints from jazz to samples and his vinyl collection to underground.  His page has attracted a very eclectic mix of followers, so his page served as the perfect platform to test this theory.  Want to know what inspired this peice?  Just look at the differences in support below:

FullSizeRender (1)

(Meme vs Underground Post @HipHop_Essentials)

I even posted some on my page just for shits & giggles.

FullSizeRender (2)

(DOOM mask selfie vs Underground Classic)

And this is the shit that pisses us “pretentious” heads off.  Not that we think we’re better than anyone else.  If that was the fucking case retard, why would we spend countless unpaid hours putting others onto Hip Hop?  Using our networking and research to spead the knowledge.  If we were pretentious assholes we would keep that shit in a closed network like we did pre-internet and y’all would be circle jerking to 36 Chambers for the rest of your lives.

So I decided instead of making this about me venting, I decided to ask some of my fellow underground heads how they felt about underground on Instagram these days.

“The lack of support for Underground Hip Hop is disturbing.  How the hell are you going to claim Hip Hop when you’re not open to new or independent artist? It sucks how these 90’s pages have 10K plus followers and just post the same shit over and over. I wish more pages would give more love to the Underground but deep down we all know that will never happen.  I guess I’m cool with that because that’s what separates the real from the fake.” – @DopestHipHop (Underground Hip Hop Page)

“I think it has a lot to do with age.  I grew up in the 90’s and I usually use that as my bar, not to compare, but to use it as a gauge for the new music.  Having a 90’s Hip Hop page is like a gimmick to obtain likes and followers.  But you have to be a real head to recognize the sound, the skill & wordplay in a dope track.  There are also a lot of critics putting in their two cents but have no clue what they’re talking about.  But to each this own.  Peace to the real Hip Hop heads out there.” @The_Ill_Spot (Underground Hip Hop Page)

“I think people get comfortable with Dilla, Wu & 90’s music and they aren’t willing to stray off the course. The people who dig 90’s music are probably stuck to that music because they are holding onto so type of memories and shit.  Because Dilla & Wu-Tang are highly respected in Hip Hop, people will continue to support the trend.”  – @Kimduizm (Hip Hop Blogger)

“Name recognition is the game.  People follow trends.  People get excited about vinyl (posts) because it’s trendy.  People get excited about DOOM, Dilla, Madlib and Wu because they think it makes them more creditable in the Hip Hop community.  Nas said Hip Hop is dead so they probably believe it’s dead.” – @HipHop_Essentials (Hip Hop Page)

k84VyuY

Okay look, I’m an 80’s baby who was raised on 90’s Hip Hop so it does have a close place in my heart.  So this is by no means an attack on the 90’s pages and/or fans (but if you post movie clips you’re fucking retarded and we laugh at you). So before you get your smart ass “pretentious hip hop head” comment locked and loaded, know that I’ve heard it all annndddd I really don’t give a fuck. Sure Wu Tang is forever. Shit, they were my heroes growing up.  Shit, Tribe & Nas flooded my ears also and still rotate in my catalog.  But with all this still circulating, are people still that closed minded to underground Hip Hop? So I guess we just have to accept this and ride out this trend.  We will wait for the watering down of our culture to evaporate and we’ll still be here where we have been since we embraced mother Hip Hop… below the basement.

Peace.

Live Elements

PSA: When people say “Hip Hop is Dead/Gone/Etc.”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6542-1360639411-4

 

 

First off, fuck off.  I really fucking hate when people say this shit.  Hip Hop is “dead”, “gone”, “not the same”.  Just because Nas said it you niggas act like it was gospel.

You see I come from an era where most of the Hip Hop I listened to was underground anyways.  Yeah sure, I miss hearing the radio and the airwaves was full of quality shit.  But in the internet “information age” we are in, quality Hip Hop is everywhere.

Discussing this topic with a popular 90’s Hip Hop page on IG’.  His statement was “taking Hip Hop back”.  My response simply was, “Hip Hop never went anywhere though”.  When he then responded simply, “Left the mainstream”.

Okay, sure, we can say it left the “mainstream” but how true is that statement?  It made me think.
“Well, I like Action Bronson, and to me that’s not underground. He’s signed with Atlantic Records and was linked  to Warner Brothers.  So has it really left mainstream?”.
This is exactly why I have opted to use the term “indie Hip Hop” rather than underground too much these days.  To me underground takes me back to being a 15 year backpack head in the record store being passed a CD that my boys brother just brought back from being stationed in Indiana.

So when you say “take Hip Hop back” my response is always “was is gone?”.  When they say “Hip Hop is dead” my response is “fuck off”.  You are insulting mother Hip Hop you fucks.  Hip Hop never went anywhere, we probably can’t ever expect the airwaves to revert to it’s 1994 ways.  So suck it up.  Hip Hop does not live underground, but in me and everyone keeping this culture fresh.

Peace.

My Two Cents: School Boy Q Oxymoron

imagesCA1E0YQ4

*Yawn*

So, unless an album moves me, I don’t feel a need to do a full review on them anymore.  So I’ll start calling this posts “My Two Cents”.  Cause it’s that, my opinion.  Regardless, I was asked by a follower of what I thought about this last night.  Coincidentally, I had just put this on my IPod. 

First off, I don’t go by what artist portray themselves physically.  Just look at Effect who looks like Kevin Smith but can hold a mic with some of the dopest emcees.  But it seriously grosses me out seeing School Boy’s taco meat and man titties every so slightly accessorized by swap meet or prison style tattoos.  So I opted to just give it the old college try.

So diving into it, I can honestly say I heard worse.  But I was not moved… Maybe I’m just not gangster enough for this.  I mean, I was willing to overlook the 2Chainz feature on the track listing but come on son.  I grew up in the West where we represented hard body.  I know, I know, Hip Hop evolves blah blah… but I just felt like this was … mediocre.  Luke warm.   I feel that School Boy Q is a better feature artist than carrying his own weight in this.  This whole LP seems cookie cutter hip hopish to float across airwaves and fill the catalogs of MacBook DJ’s. 

Although, there are some tracks with some production and some verses that will probably grow on me.  I honestly don’t see why so many people are praising this joint. Again, I’m still going to give it some time, let some tracks come over in shuffle, but we’ll see how it will go.  But so far…