Tag Archives: Def Jam

New Joint – Jadakiss / Pusha T

Jadakiss ft. Pusha T – “Huntin Season” (@TheRealKiss / 2020)

The raspy-voiced Lox member puts the competition in his sights on this cut lifted from his new album “Ignatius”.

 

New Joint – Dave East & Styles P

Dave East & Styles P – “We Got Everything” (@DefJam / 2018)

Taken from the album “Beloved”.

New Joint – Nas / Amy Winehouse

Nas ft. Amy Winehouse – “Cherry Wine” (Def Jam / 2012)

Classy clip for one of the standout tracks from the NY icon’s well-received “Life Is Good” album.

New Joint – Nas

Nas – “Bye Baby” (Def Jam / 2012)

The Queensbridge favourite’s Guy-sampling track from his “Life Is Good” album for all you sensitive thugs out there.

As I Reminisce… – LL Cool J

A visibly emotional LL reacts to the passing of his former Def Jam label-mate MCA.

When I’m On The Mic The Suckers Run…. – RIP MCA

RIP Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys who passed away today and tragically joined the ranks of the many other Hip-Hop legends we’ve lost too soon.

The Beasties have dropped a lot of good music over the years but MCA’s rhymes on their debut album “Licensed To Ill” in particular will always hold good memories for any 80s rap fan.

Peep the 1987 footage below of MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D on “Soul Train” performing the bass-heavy “Posse In Effect” and raucous “Brass Monkey” – two of my favourite Beastie joints.

New Joint – Nas

Nas – “The Don” (Def Jam / 2012)

Redundant title aside, the production on this new Heavy D / Salaam Remi-crafted leak from Nas’s forthcoming “Life Is Good” album reminds me of a lost Nubian Crackers / East Side Hoods beat from the early-90s – which is a positive thing.

New Joint – The Roots

The Roots ft. Aaron Livingstone – “Sleep” (Def Jam / 2011)

Hot Sugar-produced track from the Philly crew’s forthcoming concept album “Undun”.

New Joint – The Roots / P.O.R.N.

The Roots ft. P.O.R.N. – “Stomp” (Def Jam / 2011)

Another short video from the Illadelph crew’s highly-anticicapted album “Undun”

New Joint – The Roots / Dice Raw

The Roots ft. Dice Raw – “Tip The Scale” (Def Jam / 2011)

Second video from the forthcoming album “Undun”.

New Joint – The Roots / Big K.R.I.T.

The Roots ft. Big K.R.I.T. – “Make My (Video 1)” (Def Jam / 2011)

The first of four short video instalments accompanying the initial single from the Illadelph crew’s forthcoming concept album “Undun”.

New Joint – The Roots / Big K.R.I.T.

The Roots ft. Big K.R.I.T. – “Make My” (Def Jam / 2011)

Taken from the Philly band’s forthcoming concept album “Undun” dropping in December.

New Joint – Nas

Nas – “Nasty” (Def Jam / 2011)

Let’s hope QB’s favourite son can maintain this level of quality for the duration of his next album.

Best Albums Of 2010 (Part Two) – Ghostface / The Left / Kashmere etc.

Ghostface Killah – “Apollo Kids” (Def Jam) – After the mixed reception to 2009’s R&B-driven “Ghostdini” project, Toney Starks, still Wu-Tang’s most consistent member, returned in full Iron Man mode on his ninth solo album. Featuring Ghost flipping his usual unique stylings over dusty, break-beat-fuelled production, “Apollo Kids” revisited the classic Clan formula without sounding tired or recycled.

The Left – “Gas Mask” (Mello Music Group) – Adding a further dimension to the traditional Detroit rap sound we’ve all come to know and love, producer Apollo Brown teamed up with lyricist Journalist 103 and DJ Soko for this well-executed lesson in intelligent, hardcore Hip-Hop. With the likes of Kool G. Rap and Guilty Simpson along for the ride, the Motown trio crafted an album that went one-step beyond the standard “rap sucks today” rhetoric and actually made you feel their passion for the music and its culture.

Nottz – “You Need This Music” (Raw Koncept) – Rooted in a love of Hip-Hop’s drum-heavy boom-bap sound but displaying a variety of musical styles, this album found Grammy-award winning producer Nottz flexing his production talent with supreme confidence, supplying soundscapes for a diverse line-up of artists (Joell Ortiz, Snoop, Bilal) that might’ve looked strange on paper but worked brilliantly on CD.

Blacastan – “Blac Sabbath” (Brick) – Raw is the only word that can be used to sum up the music of Connecticut’s Blacastan. On his official debut album, the gritty lyricist showed himself to be a true student of Hip-Hop’s golden-age without resorting to old-school cliches or predictable throwback imagery. Mixing savage battle rhymes with imaginative concepts, Blac proved that rap’s backpack underground definitely still has some sharp teeth when required.

DJ Muggs Vs Ill Bill – “Kill Devil Hills” (Fat Beats) – Following the underground success of his one-producer / one-emcee projects with Wu-Tang’s GZA and West Coast favourite Planet Asia, Cypress Hill’s Muggs teamed-up with Rotten Apple resident Ill Bill for this dark, moody and, at times, claustrophobic gem of an album. Packed with brooding beats and conspiracy-fuelled lyricism, “Kill Devil Hills” also boasted hard-hitting appearances from the likes of Sean Price and Vinnie Paz and added further weight to the argument that Muggs should be mentioned amongst Hip-Hop’s beat-making greats.

 
Kashmere – “Galaktus: Power Cosmic” (Boot) – Kashmere has always been one of the UK’s most imaginative artists and this latest project (produced by Diversion Tactics’ Jazz T and Zygote) found the ever-entertaining wordsmith combining his love of comic books, sci-fi and Hip-Hop into one inter-stellar package featuring British homegrown heroes such as Jehst and Ramson Badbonez. A cosmic blast, indeed.
Kashmere "  Galaktus: Power Cosmic"
 
Ultramagnetic Foundation – “Ultra Laboratory Stories” (Black Pegasus) – Going some way to erasing the memory of the last Ultra album, 2007’s extremely mediocre “Best Kept Secret”, this TR Love / Moe Love-helmed return to Bronx science form introduced new members of the extended Magnetic family, such as Fred Beanz, dropping rugged rhymes over boisterous beats, and also dusted off some vintage unreleased Ultra joints.
 
Prose – “Force Of Habit” (BBP) – Wearing their Gang Starr / Pete Rock & CL Smooth influences on their shared sleeve, UK duo Steady and Efeks shrugged off the pressure to conform to any current trends and crafted an album that could sit comfortably alongside other quality releases in the UK rap discography from the likes of Guttersnypes and Caveman. Jazzy, boom-bap beats and honest lyricism were the order of the day here, resulting in one of the year’s most satisfyingly solid albums.
Force of Habit LP Cover Art
 
Hell Razah – “Heaven Razah” (Nature Sounds) – A true lyricist if ever there was one, Sunz Of Man member and Wu affiliate Hell Razah gave listeners no easy options on his second solo album, packing his verses with dense imagery, obscure historical references and urgent social commentary, which meant that this wasn’t a release to be played as background music – this was some heavy mental Hip-Hop that actually made you think whilst nodding your head.
 
Strong Arm Steady – “In Search Of Stoney Jackson” (Stones Throw) – Possessing the overall vibe of an extended rap jam session in someone’s basement, this album from Left Coast trio Phil Da Agony, Krondon and Mitchy Slick benefited from some soulfully drum-heavy  Madlib production and appearances from Talib Kweli, Chace Infinite and Fashawn. Unpredictable, amusing and extremely entertaining, “In Search Of…” bumped from beginning to end with sharp rhymes and knocking beats.

Ego Trippin’ – Redman

Redman talks to VladTV.Com about letting his alter-ego loose on his latest album “Reggie”.

New Joint – The Roots

The Roots ft. John Legend – “The Fire” (Def Jam / 2010)

Taken from the album “How I Got Over”.

New Joint – The Roots

The Roots ft. John Legend – “Doin It Again” (Def Jam / 2010)

Taken from the forthcoming album “How I Got Over”.

New Joint – Method Man / Ghostface / Raekwon

Method Man, Ghostface & Raekwon – “Our Dreams” (Def Jam / 2010)

Taken from the album “Wu Massacre”.

Album Review – Def Jam 25

Various Artists

“Def Jam 25: DJ Bring That Back”

(Def Jam)

If there’s one label that fully encapsulates the highs, lows, successes and disappointments of hip-hop’s journey from underground art form to commercial money-making juggernaut, it’s Def Jam Recordings. Founded in 1984 by long-haired music visionary Rick Rubin and rap promoter Russell Simmons, the pair’s love of hip-hop, ear for new talent and savvy business sense led to Def Jam signing some of rap’s most influential artists in its earliest years, with the likes of LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Slick Rick all releasing classics that helped define the culture during the 1980s.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of arguably the most important label in modern black music history, ‘DJ Bring That Back’ trawls through the Def Jam vaults to dust off some sonic memories, whilst also highlighting more recent releases that have enabled the label to remain at the forefront of popular urban music. Highlights include LL Cool J’s boisterous 1984 debut single ‘I Need A Beat’, Slick Rick’s good-natured-yet-cautionary ghetto tale ‘Children’s Story’ and Method Man’s gothic b-boy banger ‘Bring The Pain’. Of the more contemporary material, Kanye West’s stirring ‘Jesus Walks’ recalls a time when the producer-slash-rapper was more interested in his music than throwing award show tantrums, whilst Young Jeezy’s ’Go Crazy’ stands as one of the Southern rapper’s more engaging moments.

Yet whilst ‘DJ Bring That Back’ definitely contains some of Def Jam’s most memorable output, not every artist here is done justice by the track chosen to represent their contribution to the label’s legacy. No disrespect to the larger-than-life Flavor Flav, but his solo cut ‘911 Is A Joke’ from Public Enemy’s 1990 album ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ is hardly the best example of the Long Island group’s brand of politically-charged musical terrorism. Similarly, the brilliant 3rd Bass are sold short by the inclusion of their ironic Peter Gabriel-sampling stab at commercial appeal ‘Pop Goes The Weasel’, and former label president Jay-Z must be thoroughly disappointed seeing possibly the worst track from his entire discography making the project, the throwaway Jermaine Dupri-produced ‘Money Ain’t A Thang’.

With music from the likes of Ludacris, Onyx, Nice & Smooth and DMX rounding out this two-disc set, ‘DJ Bring That Back’ stands as a fairly comprehensive, if at times uneven overview of a label that has experienced the best and the worst of the hip-hop record business over the years and is still standing tall today.

Ryan Proctor

We Gonna Make It – Jadakiss / Angie Martinez

J-to-the-mwah talks to Angie Ma about signing to Roc-A-Fella and his album being delayed until next year.