Tag Archives: Esoteric

New Joint – Blacastan & Stu Bangas / Esoteric

Blacastan & Stu Bangas ft. Esoteric – “Blac-O-Teric” (@BrickRecords96 / 2017)

More rawness from the album “The Uncanny Adventures Of Watson & Holmes”.

New Joint – Esoteric

Esoteric – “We Ain’t Feeling Ya” (@MCEsoteric / 2015)

The Boston vet hangs up his Czarface suit for a minute to collaborate with Australian producer Rondarb.

CZARFACE Album Promo – Esoteric

Boston vet Esoteric discusses the forthcoming CZARFACE album “Every Hero Needs A Villain” in this brilliant promotional video.

New Joint – Esoteric & Stu Bangas

Esoteric & Stu Bangas – “Wonder Why” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2014)

The Boston lyricist delivers some poignant self-reflection on this track from last year’s “Machete Mode” project.

 

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2013 (Part Five) – Life MC / The Doppelgangaz / K-Def etc.

Benny Diction & Able8 – “Life Moves” (Boom Bap Professionals) – UK emcee Benny Diction teamed-up with Australian producer Able8 for this quality collection of insightful rhymes and boundary-pushing beats. Able’s swirling synths, thick bass and dense drums provided an unpredictable soundscape for Diction’s unique view of the world around us.

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Wyld Bunch – “Unbreakable” (Effiscienz) – Backed by the soulful boom-bap production of France’s DJ Brans, the Brooklyn-based Bunch effectively captured the essence of golden-era East Coast Hip-Hop on this eight track EP which also featured the lyrical skills of  Masta Ace, Torae and Roc Marciano.

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Life MC – “Gift Of Life” (LifeMC.BandCamp.Com) – Having remained a staple of the UK Hip-Hop scene since his 90s debut as a member of Phi-Life Cypher, Life continued his successful musical chemistry with producer DJ Nappa, dropping another worthy addition to his solo catalogue which was packed with his usual blend of poignant social commentary and emcee bravado.

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DJ Format & Phill Most Chill – “The Foremost” (Project Blue Book) – Taking it back to the future, UK producer Format and veteran Philadelphia-based emcee Phill Most Chill delivered an uptempo blast of true-school b-boy flavour celebrating dusty breakbeats, lyrical agility and a shared love of Hip-Hop culture.

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Truth Universal – “Invent The Future” (Truth Universal Music) – At a time when many would argue that lyrical substance has been lost in Hip-Hop, New Orleans emcee Truth Universal dropped some serious edutainment on his latest project, tackling issues such as urban violence, health and poverty with insight and authority over dope beats from the likes of P.U.D.G.E., Kev Brown and Khrysis.

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Esoteric & Stu Bangas – “Machete Mode” (Man Bites Dog Records) – Not content with having already dropped a quality album in 2013 as one third of CZARFACE, Boston mic icon Esoteric joined forces with Stu Bangas to spit sharp lyrical barbs over the producer’s trademark sonic aggression on this hard-hitting project.  Well-placed guest appearances from the likes of Ill Bill, Vinnie Paz and Celph Titled kept the hardcore levels of “Machete Mode” peaking throughout.

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Qwel & Maker – “Beautiful Raw” (Galapagos4 Records) – The Chicago duo journeyed through a myriad of emotions on this multi-layered project which took the listener from the pain of struggle to the joy of success and everywhere in-between. Qwel’s passionate verses were a perfect match for Maker’s masterful musicianship, resulting in an album that will no doubt stand as an enduring body of work for years to come.

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The Doppelgangaz – “HARK” (Groggy Pack Entertainment) – NY’s Matter OV Fact and EP continued to promote the Black Cloak Lifestyle on their latest shadowy opus, mixing hypnotic, drum-heavy production with off-centre rhymes about questionable substances, personal hygiene and the finer points of the fairer sex. Like a good liquor, the ‘Gangaz once again proved themselves to be sonically dark, intoxicating and addictive.

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K-Def – “One Man Band” (Redefinition Records) – Taking inspiration from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, 24-Carat Black and DJ Premier, the gifted New Jersey producer gave a new lick of musical paint to some familiar grooves on this ambitious instrumental EP, mixing the old with the new and adding another dimension to K-Def’s already impressive skills behind the boards.

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Heavy Links – “Heavyweight” (HeavyLinks.BandCamp.Com) – UK trio Habitat, El Tel and Donnie Propa dropped another quality EP  in 2013 that was packed with speaker-busting beats and vivid wordplay, providing further proof that Heavy Links are one of the most promising crews currently making music in the British scene. Heavyweight champs, indeed.

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John Robinson & Kyo Itachi – “The Path Of Mastery” (Shinigamie Records) – Making his name in the 90s as a member of NYC’s Scienz Of Life, longstanding wordsmith John Robinson continued to prove that true talent is timeless on this collaborative album with France’s Kyo Itachi. Mixing his usual brand of lyrical positivity with Itachi’s jazz-influenced beats, Robinson proved, once again, that the creative path he’s on is the correct one.

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Ryan Proctor

Check Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2013 (Part Two) – Demigodz / Soundsci / AG Da Coroner etc.

Demigodz – “KILLmatic” (Dirty Version Records) – An all-out hardcore Hip-Hop attack on the senses, Apathy, Celph Titled, Ryu, Esoteric and the rest of the ‘Godz reigned down lyrical fire and musical brimstone on sucker emcees, lightweight producers and internet thugs the world over on their latest collective effort. “KILLmatic” was the sonic equivalent of being kicked in the face with a scuffed Timberland boot.

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Gensu Dean & Planet Asia – “Abrasions” (Mello Music Group) – West Coast veteran Asia definitely found a kindred musical spirit in Texas-raised producer Gensu Dean when the pair embarked on the recording of this full-length joint effort. Full of lyrical gymnastics, verbal food for thought and quality production, “Abrasions” was hopefully not the last time Planet Asia and Dean would be combining forces for our listening pleasure.

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Sammy Dozens – “Lucid Dream” (SonsPhonetic.BandCamp.Com) – The member of Ireland’s Sons Phonetic crew stepped out into solo territory with this impressive five-track EP. Hazy, head-nodding production enveloped Dozens’ world-weary rhymes throughout the release, with the thoughtful lyricist attempting to push through the stresses of daily life in a bid to find some peace of mind.

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Live Percenters – “The Corners Involved” (HiPNOTT Records) – It was always going to be a tough ask for Dukes Go Up, Mellow Drum Addict, I-Be4Evr and Physical Graffiti to match their brilliant 2012 album “The Giants Of Dropped Science”, but the East Coast crew rose to the challenge  with “The Corners Involved” and once again delivered the musical goods. Intelligent rhymes and poignant life observations gelled perfectly with production that remained raw at all times whilst also managing to provide a few sonic surprises along the way.

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Soundsci – “Soundsational” (Ubiquity Records) – A dope concept album of sorts built around samples from the music of vintage soul artist Mike James Kirkland, “Soundsational” found the transatlantic team of Jonny Cuba, Ollie Teeba, Oxygen, U-George and Audessey once again firing on all creative cylinders in a blaze of old-school flavour and new-school energy. Timeless beats and rhymes.

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weatherPROOF – “Dirty Naturals” (weatherPROOFMusic.Com) – New Jersey duo Remsa and Event dropped this rough diamond at the top of the year and it largely went under the radar. With a varied guest-list including Ras Kass, Louis Logic and Orifice Vulgatron of UK crew Foreign Beggars, the album effectively balanced 90s-influenced musical sensibilities with a grounded, sometimes melancholy worldview, resulting in some truly memorable moments.

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AG Da Coroner – “Crushed Grapes” (Man Bites Dog Records) – With producer ATG on-hand serving up a quality selection of grimy beats, Brooklyn’s AG Da Coroner stomped through the streets of NYC  on this EP alongside the likes of Lord Nez, Meyhem Lauren and Spit Gemz. Showcasing his gruff delivery and vivid wordplay, “Crushed Grapes” set-up Da Coroner’s forthcoming “Sip The Nectar” project as one of 2014’s most anticipated albums.

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Granville Sessions – “Forward” (GranvilleSessions.Com) – The London-based band returned with a worthy follow-up to their 2011 debut “No State”. Effortlessly meshing live musicianship with Hip-Hop attitude, “Forward” veered from deep funk workouts like “Ill Architecture” to head-nodders such as the reggae-influenced “Green”, with the collective riding the variety of musical styles with air-tight confidence.

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Epidemic – “Somethin For Tha Listeners” (Mic-Theory Records) – Teaming-up with talented West Coast producer Esco, Florida-based duo HexOne and Tek-Nition delivered a smooth, jazzy album steeped in the horns and dusty beats of the 90s that managed to avoid sounding as if the pair were reaching too hard to relive a past era. Pure and polished, “Somethin For Tha Listeners” contained gem after gem.

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Prodigy & Alchemist – “Albert Einstein” (Infamous Records) – Since his 90s heyday reppin’ the borough of QB creating murderous classics as one-half of Mobb Deep, Prodigy’s solo output has been mixed to say the least. But with long-time Mobb affiliate Alchemist behind-the-boards for this latest album, Prodigy didn’t just hit the metaphorical target, he obliterated the bullseye with non-stop automatic gun-fire. Bandana P’s threats of violence and super-thug boasts hadn’t sounded this believable or sonically appealing for a long time.

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Ryan Proctor

Check Part Three here.

New Joint – Esoteric & Stu Bangas / Celph Titled

Esoteric & Stu Bangas ft. Celph Titled – “State Of War” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2013)

The Boston emcee takes it to the arcade in this clip off the album “Machete Mode”.

New Joint – Esoteric & Stu Bangas

Esoteric & Stu Bangas – “Steel Chairs” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2013)

Taken from the album “Machete Mode”.

New Joint – Esoteric & Stu Bangas / Planetary / Reef The Lost Cauze / Blacastan

Esoteric & Stu Bangas ft. Planetary, Reef The Lost Cauze & Blacastan – “Ease Up” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2013)

Quality visuals for this rugged posse cut taken from the veteran Boston emcee’s forthcoming Stu Bangas-produced project “Machete Mode”

New Joint – Esoteric & Stu Bangas / Vinnie Paz / Celph Titled / Apathy

Esoteric & Stu Bangas ft. Vinnie Paz, Celph Titled & Apathy – “The Danger” (Man Bites Dog Records / 2013)

Rugged razor-blade rap off the Demigodz / AOTP lyricist’s forthcoming Stu Bangas-produced album “Machete Mode”.

New Joint – Demigodz

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Demigodz – “The Summer Of Sam” (DemigodzStore.Com / 2013)

Apathy, Blacastan, Esoteric, Motive, Ryu and Celph Titled rock back-to-back over dramatic Snowgoons production on this track from the collective’s forthcoming album “KILLmatic”.

New Joint – Snowgoons / Esoteric / Ill Bill / Maylay Sparks / M-Dot etc.

Snowgoons ft. Esoteric, Ill Bill, Godilla, Fredro Starr, Sicknature, Punchline, Reks, Thirstin Howl The 3rd, Planetary, Virtuoso, Maylay Sparks, Swann, Sav Killz, M-Dot & Reef The Lost Cauze – “The Legacy” (Goon MuSick / 2012)

Epic posse cut from the German production crew’s new album “Snowgoons Dynasty”.

New Joint – Outerspace / Blacastan / Esoteric

Outerspace ft. Blacastan & Esoteric – “Bodega Gospel” (Enemy Soil / 2012)

Taken from Philly duo Planetary and Crypt The Warchild’s recent album “My Brother’s Keeper”.

New Joint – King Magnetic / Esoteric / Vinnie Paz etc

King Magnetic ft. General Steele, Esoteric, Ali Armz, Godilla, Jus Allah & Vinnie Paz – “Watch Out” (KingMagnetic.Com / 2011)

Huge Astronote-produced posse cut taken from Mag’s “Watch Out” EP and also from Astro’s forthcoming project “Everything’s A Gamble Pt. 3”.

New Joint – DJ Deadeye / Slaine / Esoteric etc.

DJ Deadeye ft. Slaine, Esoteric, Krumb Snatcha & Ea$y Money – “Livin’ Lost” (ST. Records / Brick Records / 2011)

DC The Midi Alien-produced track featuring a selection of Boston rhyme talent from Deadeye’s recent album “Substance Abuse”.

Addicted To Music – DJ DeadEye

EPK for DJ DeadEye’s new Brick Records album “Substance Abuse” which features Freddie Foxxx, Reks, Termanology, Slaine, Esoteric, Cormega, Craig G etc.

Album Review – East Coast Avengers

East Coast Avengers Present: DC The Midi Alien

“Avengers Airwaves”

(Brick Records)

Back in the late-80s / early-90s politically-charged rap was the norm, with acts such as Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Paris and BDP all doing their part to spark the braincells of listeners with hard-hitting social commentary and scathing lyrical attacks on the US government’s policies of the time. With rap becoming big business throughout the 90s and into the new millenium, the more rebellious and revolutionary aspects of the music were sidelined by both artists and labels chasing champagne dreams and mainstream success, leaving a void that the likes of dead prez and Talib Kweli attempted to fill with mixed results.

Formed in 2008 and gaining immediate notoriety with their “Kill Bill O’Reilly” single, the East Coast Avengers (emcees Esoteric and trademarc, producer DC The Midi Alien) attempted a rallying cry with their debut album “Political Planet”, which was met with both critical acclaim and underground props for the trio’s attempts to inject their music with lyrical substance and kickstart intellectual debate amongst Hip-Hop heads.

Now, three years later, the Avengers return with this latest release, which features a long list of subterranean rhyme animals covering a variety of socially relevant topics over DC’s unapologetically raw production. Kicking off with the dramatic strings and tight cuts of “National Threat”, Esoteric and trademarc power through verses containing references to the Obama administation, New World Order conspiracies and the part they feel is played by global media in dumbing down the masses, their sharp darts littered with crafty wordplay and references to the political awareness of rap’s golden-age (“I’m more S1W, You’re more SWV”).

The thumping “Man Made Ways” finds La Coka Nostra affiliate Slaine, Non-Phixion’s Sabac Red and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Vinnie Paz attacking a society that encourages apathy instead of critical thinking, with each emcee painting vivid verbal depictions of a post-apocalyptic world in which economics and social structure no longer have any meaning. Bringing the listener back to the present, “Another Hundred Days In” is a tense, atmospheric track which features trademarc questioning Barack Obama’s effectiveness in bringing about the political change that was promised in pre-election speeches, juxtaposing the promises made before the votes were counted against the actions the President has taken since entering the White House.

“Disposable Heroes” criticizes the lack of support on offer to help ease soldiers returning from the Middle East back into civilian life, with featured lyricists Nabo Rawk and Apes**t rhyming from the perspective of army vets struggling to come to terms with the atrocities they’ve witnessed over moody sample-heavy production (“A soldier on the frontline, I served my four years, Came back with one arm, more fears and nightmares”). Meanwhile, the impressive posse cut “Ride For A Cause” finds Reef The Lost Cauze, Doap Nixon, Blacastan and Reks getting to grips with alleged secret societies, Illuminati rhetoric and inner-city living conditions over a hypnotic blend of ominous keys, sweeping strings and slick scratches.

Of the seventeen full-length tracks on offer here, the only real mis-steps are “Riot Gear” and “Artists In A Time Of War”, both of which suffer from bland, sub-par production that takes the sting out of the thought-provoking lyrics delivered from Termanology, Singapore Kane and Big Shug.

You may agree with the political stance of the artists featured on “Avengers Airwaves” or you might have a very different opinion on a lot of the topics raised throughout the project, but regardless, the real aim of this album is to offer food for thought and stimulate debate, and it succeeds on both counts.

The East Coast Avengers and their army of Hip-Hop affiliates definitely don’t have all the answers to the ills of the world, but they’re not afraid of asking the questions which might help us all make a little more sense out of the confusing, corrupt, recession-hit world we live in today.

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – DC The Midi Alien / Blaq Poet / Esoteric / Akir

DC The Midi Alien ft. Blaq Poet, Esoteric & Akir – “Pawns And Rooks” (Brick / 2011)

Politically-charged beats and rhymes from the new East Coast Avengers project “Avengers Airwaves”.