Tag Archives: Gangrene

New Joint – Gangrene / Havoc / Sean Price

Gangrene ft. Havoc & Sean Price – “Sheet Music” (@MassAppealRecs / 2015)

Lifted from Oh No and the Alchemist’s new album “You Disgust Me” complete with a typically entertaining appearance from the late Sean P!

Album Review – House Shoes

House Shoes

“Let It Go”

(Tres Records)

A longstanding influence in the Detroit Hip-Hop scene, close friend of the late, great J. Dilla and a talented producer in his own right, Motown’s House Shoes is already something of a legend in his own time. From releasing hometown emcee Phat Kat’s classic “Dedication To The Suckers” single on his own indie label in the late-90s to more recently acting as tour deejay for the likes of Black Milk and Elzhi, House Shoes’ limitless passion for Detroit music and his desire to see local talent exposed has led to his name becoming synonymous with quality D-Town beats and rhymes, whether he’s playing them, tweeting about them, or making them himself.

“Let It Go”, House Shoes’ debut release for Los-Angeles-based imprint Tres, has been a long time coming, a project that both fans and no doubt the Midwest native himself have been desperate to see drop. An opportunity for House Shoes to fully showcase his production skills, draw attention to underground Detroit artists and also work with established figures from across the US, “Let It Go” sounds like the producer is doing just that, exhaling years of hard-work, struggle and determination throughout the eighteen-track set.

The main strength of this is album is that, irrespective of the long list of featured artists, as producer, it remains House Shoes’ project at all times. The main problem with many producer-led albums is that the individual behind the boards can sometimes appear overwhelmed by the diversity of styles brought to the table by their rhyming counterparts, leading to a producer bending their trademark sound to fit featured guests, which can result in nothing more than a patchy compilation rather than a cohesive body of work guided by the direction of one musical mind.

The sonic personality of House Shoes, however, is stamped all over “Let It Go” and is strong enough to constantly remain the driving force behind the project. No matter who’s on the mic, it’s House Shoes’ quality production that remains the primary focus of each track.

The instrumental “Empire / Get Down” officially begins proceedings, a melodic blend of swirling synths and knocking drums that builds into a stirring symphony of epic, bass-heavy brilliance, creating a feeling that the listener is on the verge of hearing something monumental as the remainder of the album unfolds.

After the ethereal vibes of that opening track, the Moe Dirtee-assisted “Goodfellas To Bad Boys” drags the project straight back into the streets of Detroit, with the upcoming emcee delivering gritty-but-witty gangsta rhymes over cinematic production that brings with it an atmosphere of drama and urgency. The subtle “Dirt” (featuring The Alchemist, Oh No and Roc Marciano) is built around a muffled bassline that sounds like it was recorded through a wall from the studio next door, with NY’s Marcberg dropping one of the best verses on the album, rhyming himself into a syllable-crazed frenzy with his usual mix of vividly rugged street observations and delicate wordplay.

The sparse “Crazy” features Black Milk and Guilty Simpson combining forces with House Shoes to create another certified Motor City banger, whilst the short-but-effective “Everything (Modern Family)” finds Fatt Father navigating the complexities of a broken relationship over a simple, string-laden soul loop that injects further emotion into the lyricist’s sincere rhymes.

St. Louis artist Black Spade delivers a brilliant performance on the effortlessly dope “Sunrise”, searching for success and enlightenment over hypnotic jazzy vibes and rolling drums expertly chopped by House Shoes (“Wanna be in the place where they like ‘Black Spade run it’, Like when Biggie was on The Source awards saying ‘Brooklyn we done it'”).

“Castles (The Sky Is Ours)”, the previously-released dedication to House Shoes’ friend J1, takes the album in an unexpected-but-welcome direction, a heartfelt track featuring vocalist Jimetta Rose turning the tragedy of losing loved ones into beautiful music, using memories of good times shared as inspiration to push on through life and honour those no longer with us.

It’s not overly dramatic to say that you can literally hear the heart and soul of House Shoes seeping through the beats of every track on “Let It Go”. His ability to work easily with artists as varied as the unpredictable Danny Brown and animated Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 fame without losing any of his own style and musical approach is evidence of both his vision and talent as a producer.

A definite triumph, “Let It Go” is a strong release that should finally see House Shoes being given the same well-deserved exposure he’s fought so hard to see other Detroit artists experience over the years. Salute!

Ryan Proctor

House Shoes ft. Nottz, Oh No & MED – “Last Breath” (Tres Records / 2012)

New Joint – Gangrene

Gangrene – “Walk Hard” (Decon / 2012)

Taken off the new free EP “Odditorium” from The Alchemist and Oh No.

Odditorium EP Download – Gangrene

Blunt brothers The Alchemist and Oh No continue on their psychedelic Hip-Hop journey by following up their recent album “Vodka & Ayahuasca” with this new free EP – download here.

Rarekind Records Podcast – Fidel Cutstro

Turntable technician Fidel Cutstro goes into the mix for Brighton’s Rarekind Records with a nice selection of UK and US flavour from the likes of Cappo, Timeless Truth, Gangrene and Krate Krusaders – check it out here.

New Joint – Gangrene

Gangrene – “Vodka & Ayahuasca” (Decon Records / 2012)

The Alchemist and Oh No drop some alcohol-influenced visuals for the title track from their new album which was released this week.

New Joint – Gangrene / Roc Marciano

Gangrene ft. Roc Marciano – “Drink Up” (Decon Records / 2012)

Taken from the album “Vodka & Ayahuasca” out this week.

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.

Best Albums Of 2010 (Part One) – Vinnie Paz / Eternia / The Roots etc.

Vinnie Paz – “Season Of The Assassin” (Enemy Soil) – The Jedi Mind Tricks frontman delivered his usual mix of hard-body boasts, personal confessions and Islamic references over top-notch production from the likes of DJ Muggs, Lord Finesse and Madlib – considering the huge number of producers on this project, “Season…” stood-out as one of 2010’s most cohesive and hard-hitting albums.

Eternia & MoSS – “At Last” (Fat Beats) – In a year that saw the world go Nicki Minaj crazy, those with taste knew that it was Canada’s Eternia who was really setting the standard for female emcees, or just emcees in general, regardless of gender. Balancing ferocious battle rhymes with moments of genuine soul-searching, this much-delayed collaboration with DJ Premier-protege MoSS was well worth the wait.

Roc Marciano – “Marcberg” (Fat Beats) – Capturing the essence of New York’s late-80s / early-90s golden-age, former Flipmode Squad member and one-quarter of The UN Roc Marciano delivered a self-produced album that quenched the thirst of boom-bap purists everywhere, boasting a love of unique slang and obscure food references that even Ghostface would be proud of.
Murs & 9th Wonder – “Fornever” (SMC Recordings) – Building on the brilliant chemistry displayed on their previous collaborative releases such as “Murray’s Revenge” and “Sweet Lord”, Los Angeles wordsmith Murs rhymed about everything from dating porn stars to his love for Hip-Hop over a strong selection of 9th Wonder beats with his usual wit and insight.
The Roots – “How I Got Over” (Def Jam) – Surely after the release of their ninth studio album, Illadelphia’s favourite sons The Roots can now be mentioned alongside the likes of Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr as one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups of all-time? Continuing to refine their sound and break new sonic ground, Black Thought, Questlove and crew offered intelligent and creative beats and rhymes on this latest opus.
Curren$y – “Pilot Talk II” (DD172) – Previously aligned with the likes of Master P and Lil’ Wayne, New Orlean’s Curren$y shrugged off any preconceptions such affiliations might bring on this soul-drenched album largely produced by Ski Beatz. The end result? A project that sounded something like Outkast’s “Southernplayalistic…” mixed with Camp Lo’s “Uptown Saturday Night”.
Lewis Parker & John Robinson – “International Summers” (Project Mooncircle) – With the UK’s Lewis Parker displaying his talent on the SP-1200 and former Scienz Of Life emcee John Robinson dropping thoughtful, well-crafted rhymes, this transatlantic collabo was packed with warm samples and positive vibes.
Mystro – “Digmund Freud” (Self Destruct) – Technically this latest effort from London’s Mysdiggi was marketed as an EP, but at eight tracks deep I think it’s fair to sneak this in as an album. Always charismatic on the mic and with a sharp ear for picking dope beats, the Natural Born Spitta proved once again here why he’s one of the UK’s best-loved artists.
Gangrene – “Gutter Water” (Decon) – A concept album of sorts, this joint effort from producers-on-the-mic The Alchemist and Oh No found the West Coast pair proudly celebrating their passion for dusty-fingered breaks and graphic wordplay with assistance from the likes of Raekwon, Planet Asia and Fashawn. You can almost smell the weed through the speakers!
Celph Titled & Buckwild – “Nineteen Ninety Now” (No Sleep) – There really was never any doubt in most people’s minds that this project was going to be one of 2010’s standouts. I mean, can you really go wrong with master of the outrageous punchline Celph Titled rocking over vintage unreleased beats from the crates of D.I.T.C. legend Buckwild? Short answer, no – and this album contains sixteen reasons why.
Part Two of Best Albums Of 2010 to follow soon…

All Samples Cleared – The Alchemist

RecordKingz.Com interview with The Alchemist in conjunction with ChessMoveCartel.Com.

New Joint – Gangrene

Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No) – “Take Drugs” (Decon / 2010)

Taken from the forthcoming album “Gutter Water”.

New Joint – Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No)

Gangrene – “The Sickness” (Decon / 2010)

Taken from the forthcoming album “Gutter Water”.