Tag Archives: Fat Beats Records

New Joint – Black Milk

Black Milk – “Sunday’s Best / Monday’s Worst” (Fat Beats / 2013)

Taken from the Detroit-based producer-on-the-mic’s forthcoming album “No Poison No Paradise”

New Joint – Clear Soul Forces

Clear Soul Forces – “Ain’t Playin'” (Fat Beats / 2013)

Taken from the Detroit crew’s forthcoming album “Gold PP7s”.

New Joint – Trinity

Trinity (DJ Jab, Sadat X & A.G.) ft. Janelle Collins – “Sunshine” (Fat Beats / 2013)

New visuals for this J Dilla-produced track from the NY trio’s collaborative album “20 In”.

New Joint – Ill Bill

Ill Bill – “World Premier” (Fat Beats / 2013)

The NY emcee drops a dedication to the man behind the boards on this DJ Premier-produced track from his album “The Grimy Awards”.

New Joint – Ill Bill

Ill Bill – “Exploding Octopus” ( Uncle Howie / Fat Beats / 2013)

Dramatic visuals for this self-produced concept-driven track from the Non-Phixion / La Coka Nostra member’s forthcoming album “The Grimy Awards”.

New Joint – Masta Ace / Pav Bundy

Masta Ace ft. Pav Bundy – “Home Sweet Home” (Fat Beats / M3 / 2012)

Taken from the iconic emcee’s recent MF Doom-produced project “MA_DOOM: Son Of Yvonne”.

New Joint – La Coka Nostra

La Coka Nostra – “Letter To Ouisch” (Fat Beats / 2012)

The cult leader himself Ill Bill goes solo on this short self-produced track from the recent LCN album “Masters Of The Dark Arts”.

New Joint – La Coka Nostra

La Coka Nostra – “Creed Of The Greedier” (Fat Beats / 2012)

Sicknature-produced banger from LCN’s new album “Masters Of The Dark Arts”.

The Dark Side – DJ Eclipse

La Coka Nostra manager and turntable technician DJ Eclipse speaks on the crew’s forthcoming album “Masters Of The Dark Arts”.

New Joint – Union / Elzhi / Audible Doctor

Union ft. Elzhi & Audible Doctor – “Wings” (AudibleDoctor.Com / 2012)

The Brown Bag Allstars member drops a nice official remix for this track from the French production duo’s album “Analogtronics”.

New Joint – La Coka Nostra

La Coka Nostra – “Mind Your Business” (Fat Beats / 2012)

DJ Premier laces the LCN crew with a definite banger for this track from the forthcoming album “Masters Of The Dark Arts”.

MA_DOOM Web Series #2 – Masta Ace

Masta Ace speaks on interacting with his fans in this second interview to promote his critically-acclaimed new album “MA_DOOM: Son Of Yvonne”.

New Joint – Large Professor

Large Professor – “Key To The City” (Fat Beats / 2012)

New visuals from Extra P’s album “Professor @ Large” which dropped this week.

MA_DOOM Web Series #1 – Masta Ace

Legendary emcee Masta Ace speaks on his forthcoming collabo album with MF Doom entitled “MA_DOOM: Son Of Yvonne”.

New Joint – Roc Marciano

Roc Marciano – “Emeralds” (Fat Beats / 2011)

Arch Druids-produced banger from the forthcoming “Marcberg: Reloaded” project.

New Joint – Neek The Exotic / Large Professor

Neek The Exotic & Large Professor – “Guess Who” (Fat Beats Records / 2011)

If you were a fan of the game “Guess Who?” as a young’un then you’ll definitely enjoy this new video from the Queens, NY duo’s recent album “Still On The Hustle”.

Bonus Footage: Neek, Extra P and Satchel Page performing in New Jersey at the recent Rock Steady anniversary event.

New Joint – Vast Aire

Vast Aire – “Man Of Steel” (Man Bites Dog / Fat Beats / 2011)

Mini-movie clip for this Kount Fif-produced track from the NYC emcee’s new album “OX 2010: A Street Odyssey”.

Album Review – Neek The Exotic & Large Professor

Neek The Exotic & Large Professor

“Still On The Hustle”

(Fat Beats)

In much the same way that both Nas and Akinyele were thrust into the Hip-Hop spotlight when they appeared on Main Source’s classic 1991 posse cut “Live At The Barbeque”, fellow Queens, NY emcee Neek The Exotic’s cameo on the trio’s monumental 1992 anthem “Fakin’ The Funk” had the rap world expecting to hear a lot more from the cocky young artist.

Unfortunately, an untimely prison bid would prevent Neek from capitalising off his high-profile introduction, with the childhood friend of Large Professor spending the mid-90s behind bars. Upon his release, Neek collaborated with Extra P on a handful of single releases at the end of the decade, before his underpromoted full-length effort “Exotic’s Raw” dropped early in the new millennium.

Now, nearly two decades after his official debut on wax, Neek finally gets to deliver the project he’s probably always wanted to release in the form of “Still On The Hustle”, eleven brand new tracks produced mainly by Large Pro with some assistance from D.I.T.C.’s Lord Finesse, Canadian boom-bap expert Marco Polo and Atoms Family / Vast Aire collaborator Carnage.  

Given the ever-expanding sub-genre of so-called “grown-man rap”, “Still On The Hustle” sits nicely alongside recent albums from other NYC vets such as Raekwon, Roc Marciano and Sean Price, as Neek revels in his old-school status whilst spitting rhymes heavily influenced by the Rotten Apple of his youth over traditional East Coast flavoured production.

The opening title track finds Neek reminiscing on his wildchild teenage years when he had “big chains like Run and ’em” over a subtle but hardcore Extra P beat, whilst the self-explanatory “New York” features more Queens-related memories delivered with typically brash five borough attitude and accompanied by Carnage’s swirling strings.

“Street Rebel” boasts darker production from Large Pro as Neek proclaims himself to be a “Rakim fanatic” and Brooklyn’s Joell Ortiz stops by the studio to deliver a fiery verse that sounds like it was crafted for a late-night block corner cipher underneath a broken streetlight.

“Stack That Cake” slows the album’s momentum at the halfway point due to middle-of-the-road Carnage production that lacks the urgency or thump of other tracks, but Marco Polo steers the project back in the right direction with the heavy, chopped drums of “Hip-Hop”, the first of two bangers contributed by the Toronto beat-digger.

The closing “Toast Tonite” is arguably the album’s best cut, with Neek, Large Pro and Satchel Page trading good-time rhymes over a soulful backdrop laced with a nimble piano sample and the falsetto hook of vocalist Fortune.

“Still On The Hustle” is an album with no frills and no surprises, a fact which may both repel and attract listeners in equal amounts. Put simply, this is straight-forward rhymes over straight-forward beats. Neek doesn’t get into deep concepts, complex wordplay or social commentary, but he does rhyme with the passion and commitment of an emcee who came up during rap’s golden-age when you had to earn your spot on the mic.   

Completely removed from any of today’s popular music trends, “Still On The Hustle” won’t be receiving any MTV love or commercial radio attention anytime soon, but it will definitely make your head nod.

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – Vast Aire / Kenyattah Black

Vast Aire ft. Kenyattah Black – “The Cannon Of Samus” (Man Bites Dog / Fat Beats / 2011)

Taken from the NY emcee’s forthcoming album “OX 2010: A Space Odyssey”

Album Review – Vast Aire

Vast Aire

“OX 2010: A Street Odyssey”

(Man Bites Dog / Fat Beats)

Cult status can be a strange burden to bear. Just ask NYC’s Vast Aire who, after gaining critical acclaim as one half of Def Jux duo Cannibal Ox at the turn of the millennium, has spent the last decade juggling fan expectations with a desire to explore his own creative path.

Returning with his third solo album, the Jamaica, Queens lyricist delivers another collection of unpredictable beats and rhymes that are simultaneously rooted in underground boom-bap and golden-age mic skills whilst still managing to break away from the norm.

Taking inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s similarly titled epic 1968 sci-fi movie, “OX 2010: A Space Odysssey” is a concept album of sorts with the intergalactic theme appearing to be more of a metaphor for the individual creative space Aire occupies in the Hip-Hop universe rather than an excuse to rely on gimmicks such as laser sound effects and rhymes about little green men.

The album starts in high-gear, with producer Kount Fif supplying Vast with a selection of back-to-back bangers. The previously-released single “Nomad” is a dense barrage of harsh cuts, chopped orchestration and hard drums that celebrates the NYC resident’s desire to “rhyme outside the mould” as wack emcees get “squashed like a garlic clove”.  The rolling pianos of “Almighty Jose” find Vast being joined by longtime ally Karniege to “get a little retarted like midgets with cerebral palsy”, whilst “The Man Of Steel” is a gleeful example of Aire’s typically random worldplay, as he draws on everything from blaxploitation flicks to computer game consoles in his efforts to defeat his verbal competition.

Producer Fif really outdoes himself on the brilliant “I Don’t Care” which features Wu-Tang affiliate Cappadonna. Over blaring horns and rumbling bass the pair revel in their shared old-school Rotten Apple rap attitude, with Cap proving how formidable his Shaolin sword can still be when matched with the right production.

Speaking of which, Vast Aire unfortunately falls into his own sonic black hole on a couple of cuts, with the space-age bounce of “2090” and the cluttered “Merry Go Round” not standing up well against the remainder of the album.

The Thanos-produced “Horoscope” matches 80s-style synths with leftfield love raps (“Isn’t life great? She fell for me after hearing my mixtape”) whilst “Thor’s Hammer” is an all-out lyrical invasion with Raekwon and Vast’s former rhyming partner Vordul Mega delivering cryptic lines over an effectively stark musical backdrop.

The unlikely combination of Detroit’s straight-talking Guilty Simpson and Vast Aire’s spontaneous flow actually results in one of the album’s best cuts in the form of the Ayatollah-produced “The Verdict”. I for one would definitely not be mad if the pair decided to join forces for an album or EP.

Closing the album out is the previously heard “Battle Of The Planets” which finds Vast aiming his proton rhymes at “emo thugs with pink t-shirts on” along with his former label Def Jux and fellow NY rapper Cage – a strange way to end the project considering this track was all over the internet in 2009.

Vast Aire has always been an emcee who has divided listeners – you either like him or you don’t. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed his often strange yet always entertaining verbal displays, and whilst “OX 2010” isn’t likely to change the opinion of any of his critics, at this point in his career Aire is probably past caring.

“A Space Odyssey” may not represent everyone’s ideal of the future of the funk, but it is the sound of an accomplished artist confidently blowing a few craters of his own into the surface of Planet Rock.

Ryan Proctor