Monthly Archives: December 2011

Talkin’ Loud – Torae

Urban-Conceptz.Com interview with Brooklyn’s Torae during his recent visit to the UK.

New Joint – The Goondox (Sean Strange / PMD / Snowgoons)

The Goondox ft. Swollen Members, Jus Allah, Virtuoso, Jaysaun etc. – “Raps Of The Titans” (TheGoondox.Com / 2011)

Huge posse cut from the forthcoming album “Welcome To The Goondox” which is the debut collaboration project from NY emcee Sean Strange, golden-era legend PMD and Germany’s Snowgoons production team.

New Joint – Rozewood / Chinch 33

Rozewood ft. Chinch 33 – “Pandorum” (Digi Crates Records / 2011)

Produced by Twelvebit and taken from the album “Neon Paradise”.

New Joint – Vandal Savage & Juga-Naut

Vandal Savage & Juga-Naut – “Cobra Clutch Verses” (The Mixtape Generation / 2011)

Taken from the Nottingham emcee’s forthcoming mixtape “Marvelous Wordsmiths”.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2011 (Part Four) – K-Def / Lewis Parker / The Four Owls etc.

K-Def – “Night Shift” (Redefinition Records) – With his name already linked to a string of 90s bangers from the likes of Lords Of The Underground, Real Live and World Renown, former Marley Marl protege K-Def could easily have spent his time reliving past glories and giving “those-were-the-days” interviews. Instead, the New Jersey-based producer saw fit to unleash this stunning set of mainly instrumental cuts which drew on his golden-era heritage whilst still sounding fresh and organic. Music for the Hip-Hop soul.

DTMD – “Makin’ Dollas” (Mello Music Group) – True students of the game, on this long-player youthful Maryland duo Dunc and Toine embraced the influence of acts that provided the soundtrack to their childhoods such as A Tribe Called Quest and Slum Village. The end result was an album steeped in the warmth of melodic, bass-heavy true-school production values with a new millenium lyrical perspective.

J-Live – “S.P.T.A.” (Triple Threat Productions) – A product of NYC’s 90s independent era, veteran emcee J-Live delivered a typically accomplished set filled with creative, intelligent rhymes bolstered by quality production from the likes of Diamond D, Nicolay and Marco Polo.

Roc Marciano & Gangrene – “Greneberg” (Decon Records) – With both Marciano and Gangrene fresh off of well-received album projects, this unexpected collaboration had Hip-Hop heads stomping their Timberlands with glee and the end result definitely didn’t disappoint. Roc’s defiant five-borough flow meshed brilliantly with Oh No’s stoned verses and Alchemist’s psychedelic boom-bap.

Lewis Parker – “Dangerous Adventures” (King Underground / World Of Dusty Vinyl) – The man with the golden sound and UK master of the SP-1200 Lewis Parker teamed-up with a number of Stateside lyrical experts such as John Robinson, Sav Kills and Eastkoast for this dusty-fingered selection of sample-heavy subterranean rap.

Class Of ’93 – “Class Of ’93” (Futurewave Sound) – Hailing from Toronto, Canada, producer Astro Mega and female emcee Kzaraw dropped this back-to-basics collection of gritty conceptual tracks which found the pair displaying a true passion for their art whilst drawing on the T-Dot environment for inspiration.

Action Bronson & Statik Selektah – “Well Done” (DCide Records) – Not content with dropping his well-received “Dr. Lecter” project earlier in the year, the NY emcee teamed-up with Statik Selektah for this album that was musically more refined than his previous effort but still packed with that irrepressible Bronson charm.

The Four Owls – “Nature’s Greatest Mystery” (High Focus Music) – Perched on their branches observing the rap world from upon high, this UK collective delivered a blistering set of beats and rhymes that ranged from exagerrated chest-thumping verses to sober introspection. With all involved having a good amount of experience of the British rap scene under their belts, this project proved that birds of a feather really do flock together.

Torae – “For The Record” (Internal Affairs Entertainment) – Any emcee putting together an album containing production from legends such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Large Professor could easily find themselves taking a back seat on their own project. Thankfully, Brooklyn’s Torae has a large enough lyrical arsenal to ensure he remained the primary focus throughout this forthright collection of bangers.

Casual – “He Think He #RapGod” (FBMG) – Having already dropped “The Hierophant” album earlier in the year, the West Coast emcee released this further collection of lyrically dense tracks. With production from the likes of Domino, J Rawls and Gully Duckets, plus appearances from Del, Planet Asia and Souls Of Mischief, this set further proved Casual’s boast that he “don’t do mixtapes but (has) got albums fo’ that ass tho.”

Ryan Proctor

Part Five coming soon.

New Joint – Necro

Necro – “No Concern” (NecroProduct.Com / 2011)

Self-produced track taken from the NY emcee’s “Murder Murder Kill Kill” EP.

New Joint – The Four Owls / Jam Baxter

The Four Owls ft. Jam Baxter – “Life In The Balance” (High-Focus.Com / 2011)

Taken from the UK collective’s recent album “Nature’s Greatest Mystery”.

Making The Beat – DJ Mark The 45 King / DJ Premier

The 45 King and Premier reminisce on Heavy D, talk about internet politics and discuss their school days in this latest edition of “Making The Beat”.

Part One

Part Two

New Joint – Serius Jones

Serius Jones – “Until Forever” (GetSerius.Com / 2011)

Taken from the mixtape “Serius Bizness 2”.

Unexpected Victory Mixtape Trailer – Raekwon

Studio footage of Rae working on his new mixtape “Unexpected Victory”.

New Joint – Mighty Network

Mighty Network – “Late Nite” (WeMighty.Com / 2011)

Taken from the Southern crew’s mixtape “Solid Infrastructure”.

As We Always Do About This Time… – Mystro

Radio rip of London’s mighty Mystro dropping the world exclusive of his typically brilliant Black Einstein-produced “UK Rap Up 2011” on 1Xtra this morning with Charlie Sloth.

O.G. Style – Ice-T

Gangsta rap pioneer Ice-T on VladTV explaining what inspired him to put together a new album and the process of selecting beats from unknown producers via Twitter.

This Is What I Do – AZ

TheMontreality.Com interview with Brooklyn’s AZ.

New Joint – Consequence

Consequence – “Step Up” (ItsTheCons.Com / 2011)

Produce Section-produced track from Cons’ mixtape “Curb Certified”.

New Joint – Powda / Slaine / Termanology

Powda ft. Slaine & Termanology – “The Program” (Our Style Records / 2011)

Taken from the “Powda 2 The People” project.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2011 (Part Three) – Action Bronson / Truth By Design / Jehst etc.

Evidence – “Cats & Dogs” (Rhymesayers Entertainment) – With over a decade of credible music already under his belt as both a member of Dilated Peoples and as a solo act, West Coast wordsmith Evidence could easily have churned out a collection of standard underground bangers and still received praise from his cult fanbase. Yet the weather-obsessed emcee attacked his sophomore set like he was introducing himself to the rap world all over again, using the album as an opportunity to dig into some personal issues (not least the loss of his mother) plus go line-for-line with heavyweights such as Raekwon, Ras Kass and Roc Marciano.

Random Axe – “Random Axe” (Duck Down Records) – Obscure cover art aside, this collaboration between Brooklyn rhyme brawler Sean Price, Detroit favourite Guilty Simpson and Motown maestro Black Milk was a no-nonsense exercise in quality hardcore Hip-Hop. Price and Simpon’s chemistry as a duo was undeniable with Milk’s drum-heavy soundscapes providing the perfect sonic stomping ground for the two lyrical bullies.

Action Bronson – “Dr. Lecter” (Fine Fabric Delegates) – Having already set the blog world on fire with his boisterous food-related flows and passion for boom-bap beats, Queens, NY’s Action Bronson began the year by dropping this Tommy Mas-produced collection of raucous rap featuring various members of the Outdoorsmen clique reppin’ the Rotten Apple like ’95 never ended.

Beneficence – “Sidewalk Science” (Ill Adrenaline Records) – With quality production from Diamond D and appearances from Organized Konfusion’s Prince Po, Money Boss’s Lord Tariq and D.I.T.C. affiliates The Legion, this fourth album from long-standing New Jersey lyricist Beneficence appeared on the surface to be a mid-90s musical time capsule. Yet the East Coast emcee’s passion for wordplay and ear for choice beats gave this project an energy that prevented it from merely sounding like a walk down memory lane.

Truth By Design – “Timeless” (TBD Music) – On this extremely impressive EP, Toronto trio Mizery, DJ Lupan and DTKS stuck their flag into the rap landscape and challenged one and all to test their battle-hardened beats and rhymes. Showcasing each members undeniable skills, this release left listeners craving to hear more of the Canadian crew’s correct techniques.

Wu-Tang – “Legendary Weapons” (eOne Entertainment) – Following-up 2009’s impressive “Chamber Music” project, this Wu release once again found various Clan members teaming-up with Brooklyn-based band The Revelations to add another chamber to their legacy with a little help from some well-chosen guests. The likes of Ghostface, Inspectah Deck, Roc Marciano and Action Bronson shot lyrical darts over the dark, atmospheric instrumentation, their choice of subject matter ranging from unforgiving street tales to gritty braggadocio.

Phonte – “Charity Starts At Home” (The Foreign Exchange Music) – As self-assured and savvy as ever, Little Brother’s Phonte effortlessly blended his dual passions for rhyming and singing on this confidently executed project which found the North Carolina emcee reuniting with 9th Wonder on a number of tracks to ponder life, love and relationships.

Jehst – “The Dragon Of An Ordinary Family” (YNR Productions) – Following a brilliant online promo campaign, UK producer-on-the-mic Jehst’s latest album lived up to the hype in no uncertain terms, with the London-based artist approaching obvious subject matter such as racism and the war on terror in unobvious ways. Backed by a tight selection of beats from the likes of LG, Beat Butcha and Mr. Thing, Jehst’s sweeping poetic strokes proved once again why he has long been considered one of the greatest talents to emerge from the UK Hip-Hop scene.

Neek The Exotic & Large Professor – “Still On The Hustle” (Fat Beats) – No surprises, no frills, no gimmicks, this long-awaited full-length collabo between longtime friends Neek and Extra P delivered exactly what fans expected from it – straight-forward ego-trippin’ rhymes over dusty, boom-bap beats with both parties involved wearing their golden-era influences on their sleeves.

Tanya Morgan – “You & What Army” (TanyaMorgan.Net) – Having quietly yet confidently carved out their own niche in the world of underground Hip-Hop with a string of strong releases, this latest EP from TM found the trio cut to a duo with Ilyas leaving Donwill and Von Pea to continue the crew’s legacy. Rising to the challenge, this memorable effort assured fans that a change in line-up didn’t mean a change in quality, with Don and Von rocking entertaining, relatable rhymes over a selection of smooth, funk-fuelled beats.

Timbo King – “From Babylon To Timbuk2” (Nature Sounds) – Nearly twenty years after his debut on 1993’s “Who’s The Man?” soundtrack, Wu affiliate Timbo King finally released a solo album. With assistance from Clan allies The RZA, Killah Priest and Hell Razah, Timbo dropped lyrical science deep in social commentary, political awareness and a genuine love of Hip-Hop culture.

Ryan Proctor

Part Four coming soon.

New Joint – Hookdiggy

Hookdiggy – “Curtain Open” (Hookdiggy.Com / 2011)

Some smoothed-out Southern vibes from the Atlanta-based emcee.

New Joint – Bedlam Brethren

Bedlam Brethren – “Purgatory Article” (116 Productions / 2011)

Taken from the East Harlem duo’s forthcoming album “Black Feather Messengers”.

Making The Beat – DJ Mark The 45 King / Kid Capri

The 45 King digs in the crates with legendary deejay and mixtape pioneer Kid Capri.

Part One

Part Two