Indie Hip Hop

My Favorite Albums of 2014

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Yup. Try not to wet your little Hip Hop panties too much.  It’s that time of the year again.  I usually do a year in review by just posting a bunch of shit I liked from this year since making a list and weeding out albums is like picking your favorite child to me.  But I also got some requests to put it on the blog sooooo here you go my little Hip Hop heads… My present to you.

Now, lets get this one thing straight.  This is NOT, I repeat, NOT a ranking list or top anything.  All albums are listed at random.  This is simply the albums I’ve enjoyed this year.  So before you ask me “What about ____?”  Well, I didn’t care too much about it enough to put it on here. So yeah.  Lets do this shit…

Heavy Links – “Natural Disasters”
Heavy Links is a three man team coming from the UK consisting of Habitat (MC), El Tel The Dopeness (MC) & Donnie Poppa (DJ). HL came correct with their sounds on their 2014 release. Even if you don’t care for UK Hip Hop, you can still enjoy this.  Free download HERE

Mindsone & Kev Brown – “Pillars”
The reunion of these three didn’t disappoint heads this year. Legendary producer Kev Brown & dynamic emcees Tronic & KonSci gave us a solid release this year. To that salute and support HERE.

Royce Da 5’9 & DJ Premier PRhyme – “PRhyme”
I really wanted to hate this. Ask favorite person ever @HipHop_Essentials. I really wanted to talk shit about this after seeing the tracklist. But I can’t. Royce’s solid delivery has always impressed me. And now he’s on a Preemo production… pshhhhh…  It’s easy enough to find so fuck a link.

Ghostface Killah – “36 Seasons”
As one of my favorite heads @__kurrby_puckit__ would say, “Wu’s 15 lb abortion” “A Better Tomorrow” was Wu Poo Poo.  So yeah, this was a breath of fresh air. And yet again proved why I love this mother fucker so God damn much yo. I’d place a link but again, y’all ain’t retarded.

Hassann Mackey & Kev Brown – “That Grit”
I can’t say enough good things about this.  The approach of this album between these two gave that gritty east coast shit we’ve been craving.  Check it HERE

1978ers – “People of Today”
All I’ll say is… DMV represent.  Support HERE

Run the Jewels – “Run the Jewels 2”
Alright this honestly had to grow on me.  It didn’t impact me the way the first one did. But honestly after a couple of spins… I like it.  I know a lot of heads that don’t like it.  I know a lot of heads that do.  So, you decide.  I rock with it.  Support HERE

Von Pea & The Other Guys – “To: You”
Tanya Morgan’s Von Pea & DMV’s The Other Guys come together for this fucking gem. I tried not to expect much out of albums lately. But this, this was beautifully constructed. I really think the DMV has been calling my name.  Support HERE

Brous One – “Beats, Beer & BBQ”
By ways of Santiago, Chili & now residing in Germany, Brous One gives us some of the illest shit I’ve heard in a while.  Fuck you if you don’t like it.  Support HERE

Epidemic & Tantu – “The Solution EP”
If you’re not on Epidemic by now get the fuck off my blog.  Seriously. Get the fuck off of here and never return.  Because they have been over saturated by every head on IG and well deserving of it.  So here we have Epidemic with Tantu’s melodic beats.  Just take it in fuckers.  Support HERE

String Theory – “String Theory”
Sweet baby Jesus in his little crib.  This project has to be my favorite from this year.  Like undoubtedly even though I said I wouldn’t rank them if I had two seconds to answer it would probably be this one.  And even though asshole out there are calling it an Epidemic album, it is actually the genius offspring from Epidemic’s HexOne & BBZ Darney.  Support HERE

Jiggy Tone & Funk Tous – “For the Record”
University of New Hampshire graduates Jiggy Tone & Funk Tous bring us the vinyl jazzy funk that heads like myself eat for every meal.  This album surprised me.  If you wanna peep, support HERE

Intention – “A Slow Separation”
California emcee Intention has been making small rumbles below the basement.  It’s not for everyone. Can be an acquired taste.  But definitely worth peeping.  Support HERE

John Robinson & PVD – “Modern Vintage”
John Robinson teams with infamous drummer/producer PVD for this organic Hip Hop album.  Peep and support HERE

Jazz Spastiks – “The Product”
Jazz Spastiks, two Scottish underground producers Coconut Delight & Mr. Manyana bring us a solid ass album yo.  These producers provided a phenomenal foundation for these emcees.  Also check out “The Product Remixes” that almost replaced this post for this piece.  Peep & support HERE

Lone Ninja – “Wave of Carnage”
Holy fuck man… this album.  If you’re not familiar with Lone Ninja, the Brooklyn emcee and member of Twin Perils with June Marx brings us an album produced exclusively by Texas producer JBL The Titan. I’m a serious fan girl of this album, deadass… go support HERE

Locksmith – “A Thousand Cuts”
Man, I’ve seen a few heads talk shit about Locksmith but this California emcee has been making waves for sometime with his freestyle talents.  Very lyrically inclined this emotional packed album hit some scars for me.  So it’s worth peeping… Support HERE

Diamond District – “March on Washington”
Joining together since 2009, DMV artists Oddisee, yU & X.O. bring us a solid album.  A lot of heads didn’t care for this.  But for me, after a few spins Oddisee’s production was able to sink in a I got the whole flow of this album.Also the recently released “Redux” album.  So go and support Mello Music Group’s artists HERE

uMaNg & B.B.Z. Darney – “The Black Rose Certificate”
Alright lets get this straight, one of my pet peeves is when heads don’t credit the producers.  Get your fucking facts straight and say it from yo chest.  But yes, this New Jersey emcee teams up again with Swedish producer B.B.Z. Darney once again to bring us this album.  Man Ill Adrenaline is bringing straight heat to the culture … Peep & Support HERE

J-Live – “Around the Sun”
Underground vet brings us his 10th album.  I don’t even need to go into this one.  Being an avid indie head you should already know of this man and his genius… Support HERE

DJ JS 1 – “It is What it Isn’t”
Holy fucking shit.  Holy fucking shit.  This album was one if I had a ranking list would be very high up there.  Shit got me doing the Harlem Shake as I type.  I’ve been a fan of JS 1 for as long as I can remember.  This amazing DJ & graffiti artist brings us this gem with a slew of amazing emcees.  Check it and support HERE

CunninLynguists – “Strange Journey Vol 3”
I’m seriously having another “holy fucking shit” moment.  Alright, anyone who knows me, you know I’m a complete fan girl for Kno. Not it a weird put your dick in my mouth way, but in a let me just sit with your collection and see you make beats kinda way.  But anyways, I’ve been a long standing fan and supporter of all QN5 artists and CunninLynguists didn’t disappoint with this.  I still spin it daily like the fan girl I am.  But I wrote a piece on this album so I’ll just leave this here… And go and support HERE

Dag Savage – “E&J”
Exile teams with California emcee Johaz to bring us this amazing album.  Most are familiar with the Dirty Science’s Exile’s production you were probably more than satisfied with this album.  And Johaz didn’t fail. Peep & support HERE

L’Orange – “Orchid Days”
A lot of people just were put on L’Orange this year.  I like seeing a good producer getting some shine. His sampling of a past era, this is truly a piece of art.  His “After the Flowers” EP released for free this year is also a gem.  Like, light some scented candles & touch yourself, 40 Year Old Virgin style.  Go & support HERE

Klaus Layer – “For the People Like Us”
If you aren’t familiar with Klaus Layer’s work please start now.  This album is still in regular roation.  Peep & Support HERE

Halfcut – “From Dungeons to Rooftops”
I can proudly say I was able to put a lot of heads onto this back in May when this was released.  Just discovering him myself, this is the kind of shit that stresses me out.  Knowing that there are amazing artists out there that I have yet to discover.  But that is the beautiful thing about our culture.  But anyways, I have nothing but amazing things to say about this humble yet amazing emcee.  Truly below the basement underground, this emcee is worth supporting.  Go check this and previous work from this emcee HERE

Fel Sweetenburg & DJ Brans – “The Invisible Garden”
This album fully produced by DJ Brans & emcee Fel Sweetenburg with cuts by DJ Brans was a beautifully constructed album coming from the Effiscienz camp.  Well worth a listen and one of my favorites this year.  Still in regular rotation.  Check it & support HERE

Soul Pete – “Soul Raw”
Soul Pete after two years quietly released this gem with a slew of indie artist.  Check it and support HERE

Tunnel Movement  – “Overlooked”
By ways of Chicago, Kwote1 & Noah being us a very dope album.  Peep & Support HERE

Your Old Droog – “Your Old Droog”
With assholes all over claiming he sounds like Nas, fuck yourselves but first peep & support that ol’ East coast shit HERE

Ivan Ave & Mndsgn – “Low Jams”
Ivan Ave by ways of Norway & LA Beat maker Mndsgn brought us “Low Jams” this year.  My old complaint: “Why the fuck only 4 joints son?”. Peep & Support HERE

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Pinata”
Yeah, I wrote about this on here so…yeah.  Support HERE

Pete Flux & Parental – “Traveling Thought”
Emcee Pete Flux teams with producer Parental for this amazing piece of work.  I don’t feel like speaking too much on it.  I’d rather you embrace this yourselves. Support HERE

Skyzoo & Torae – “The Barrel Brothers”
I was kind of hesitant on this album at first.  You can read my piece on it on here.  So google that shit cause they aren’t that underground.  But still dope.

Sense One & ADBeats – “Natural Selection”
By ways of RI, this duo brings us that raw underground sound. Peep & Support HERE

Black Milk – “If There’s a Hell Below”
A lot of heads had mixed feelings about this album.  Personally, I dug it… so be the judge for yourself.  Support HERE

Hex One & 5th Element – “Hologramz”
I’ll wrap this bad boy up with an album that hasn’t even released yet.  Yup, I already know I’m going to love this so wait for it.

 

 

 
So there y’all go.  You might not like it.  You might have questions.  You might be like; “Well, what about ___?”.  If you have those, make your own damn list.  This is just shit that has stuck to me this year.  My present to you.  Merry Christmas fuckers.  I love y’all though.

 

Peace.

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My Two Cents: Skyzoo & Torae “Barrel Brothers”

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Okay, so I waited a little while to even cop this album.   Mainly because I heard “Blue Yankee Fitted” a while ago when looking into possibly posting it on IG and I wasn’t really impressed.  I was just like ehh whatever…  and honestly like

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Bet ya’ll yawned.  Anyways, my interest was revived when I saw two serious heads talking about it on IG.  I know they don’t like bullshit so when I saw that they were being fan boys about it, I figured I’d give it the old college try.

First, let me say that we all have our “tastes” and “preferences”.  I never really dug Skyzoo’s shit.  I don’t know why, just not my cup of tea.   But again, seeing that Torae on this project, I had a little more hope that Skyzoo would come harder.

Again, I’m not like most of these “review” sites that are going into a long winded review of the album saying the same old shit.  I give you the real.  For real for real.

So some may be asking now, ‘Well bitch?  Do you like it or not?”.   I like… I really, really like it.  This shit truly surprised me.  Not like if Rihanna came out and said she had a penis this whole time, cause I would’ve been like, “Ya, I can see that”.  But this, was expecting closet weed and actually getting  a high grade hybrid sativa dominate strain.  Moment of silence.  *Bows Head*

To some it up, Skyzoo and Torae were able to bring a dope dynamic that we don’t see with many emcess these days.  One didn’t outshine the other.  And yes, I now I have an a different outlook on Skyzoo.  A new found respect for this emcee.  Bar for bar, this album is dope. And with some of the illest production from Oh-No, Premier, and Apollo Brown, shit knocks.  I believe that Barrel Brothers found a happy medium with this new generation flavor with an old school sound.   Although, I feel like some tracks could have been left out, over all … yes.

So if you ask me, this shit is definitely vinyl worthy and will be added to my catalog.  Also will serve as a comfortable way to introduce and transition people stuck in the 90’s to indie hip hop.  Kinda like taking Shemar Moore for a spin before you Wesley Snipes it up  if you get my drift.

Now go get it.

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Quelle Chris feat Black Milk & Denmark Vessey – “Rap Coke War Game”

 

If you don’t know of Mello Music Group’s Quelle Chris, please check it.  The production of this whole album is dope.

 

Oh yeah, I have been getting a lot of questions on some of the music I feature on IG.  I decided to move the videos on here also for your viewing pleasure.  So if you like the snippet you hear on IG, you can always come here and check out the whole video.  Yeah, I know I’m too good to you guys.  🙂  You’re welcome my little pinga faces.  (Don’t know what a pinga face is?  Ask your friendly neighborhood Spanish person)

 

Peace!

Hip Hop > Instagram

Scrolling through my feed most Instagram Hip Hop pages can be summed up by this:

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I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are some really dope pages.  There are a lot of you I really like interacting with.  But some “Hip Hop” pages need to be removed.  Like removed not only off Instagram, but like out of existence.  Or we should be able to put you under Hip Hop probation until we release you.

I was inspired by two things to write a small piece on this.  One is the by my fellow Hip Hop blogger extraordinaire @KimDuizm HipHopHabitual.Com tweet recently about Wu Wednesday (we will visit this in a minute) and another fellow Hip Hop page post calling out these Hip Hop pages we are discussing.

Let’s start off discussing Wu-Wednesday.  I love the Wu.  I have loved the Wu since that faithful day when I was 12 when my brother brought me the 36 Chambers on cassette, so they hold a very special place in my heart.  But the over saturation of Wutang posts on my feed is overwhelming.  It’s the same 20 pictures that everyone already saw.  Yes, I already know, “the face someone makes when they say they don’t listen to Wu Tang”, no need to remind me.  I have participated in this day but I have already tried to give you original meme’s, samples, etc.  But I just gave up.

Speaking of originality, this is what these so called “Hip Hop” pages lack.  Educate others.  Put people onto new music.  Share your music.  Share your art.  Share your record/cd/tape collection.  Share your photography. Bring some substance to this culture I love so very fucking much. Don’t post that same Googled image we saw over 100 times already.  Bring some original shit.  You wouldn’t accept someone serving you someone’s left over steak at a restaurant, why the fuck should Hip Hop be any different?

I’ve discussed this topic with some fellow Hip Hop pages and heads out there and the same things always comes up, “But they have the most followers… why?”.  The answer can be debated, but what I come up with is that it’s SIMPLE.  Simple shit for simple niggas.  Same concept can be put to life.  Simple is safe.  It’s familiar.  So the masses are drawn to that.

I knew from go that Live Elements, will never have as many followers as some of these pages.  I post a lot of underground that people don’t know of.  It’s cool, I’d rather have substance heard and viewed by open minded people than 30K of followers that only know the same 90’s Hip Hop artists and never want to expand their mind to more.  It’s not ever about followers with me.  It’s about Hip Hop.  Even this blog, if some people read it cool, I’m good with that.

I’ve been called “pretentious” and asked “but why does it bother you?” when it comes to Hip Hop on Instagram.  My statement is as follows:

“I Live Elements, am not more Hip Hop than anyone else.  I am not more Hip Hop than the 15 year old girl that picked up a Jedi Mind Trick’s album and deleted all the Drake off her phone.  Nobody is more Hip Hop than Hip Hop.  This beautiful culture that saved my life.  But what I am is very passionate about her, mother Hip Hop.  I will work everyday of my life to give back to Hip Hop as much as it’s been given to me.  So when I see a disrepect to her, I will make sure my voice is heard.  My not be by many, but it’s heard.  Hip Hop > Instagram.  Peace.”

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