Tag Archives: Mikey D

New Joint – DJ E.Rex / Mikey D etc.

DJ E.Rex ft. Chris Rivers, Lega-C & Mikey D – “The Conqueror” (@ERexMuzic / 2017)

Pounding Rotten Apple rawness with a lyrical line-up that bridges Hip-Hop’s generation gap.

 

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2016 (Part Three) – Meyhem Lauren / J-Zone / Ghost etc.

Check Part One and Part Two.

Meyhem Lauren – “Piatto D’Oro” (Fools Gold Records) – Backed by production from beat kings such as Large Professor, DJ Muggs and The Alchemist, Queens, NY resident Meyhem Lauren continued to play his part in 2016 to ensure traditional rough, rugged and raw Rotten Apple rap stayed alive, with “Piatoo D’Oro” providing the perfect theme music for Timberland-and-Polo fiends across the globe.

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Si Phili – “The 11th Hour” (Phoenix Recordings) – Having already made an indelible mark on the UK Hip-Hop scene as a member of Phi Life Cypher, Luton lyricist Si Phili approached his debut solo album with both the experience of a seasoned mic vet and the hunger of a new artist with a point to prove. Featuring talented producers such as Pete Cannon, Leaf Dog and Richy Spitz, “The 11th Hour” found Phili unleashing a relentless barrage of intense wordplay, covering a variety of topics in the process.

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The Game – “1992” (Blood Money Entertainment) – Strip away the rap beefs, personal dramas and industry politics that have surrounded The Game’s career over the years and one thing remains undeniable – Jayceon Terrell Taylor can definitely rhyme. This concept-based project found the former Aftermath emcee revisiting early-90s Los Angeles via personal, descriptive verses with respectful nods to West Coast icons such as Ice-T, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Compton is still in the house!

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J-Zone – “Fish-N-Grits” (J-Zone.BandCamp.Com) – Never afraid to tell-it-how-it-is, NYC’s multi-talented J-Zone once again offered listeners the opportunity to see the world through his own unique perspective on his latest full-length release, combining sharp observational humour with funky beats and Rotten Apple attitude. Dealing with topics such as rap’s generational debate, hipsters and gentrification, “Fish-N-Grits” was the perfect sonic antidote for the non-stop b.s. pushed daily from both the underground and mainstream Hip-Hop scenes. As Zone himself says, there’s only two types of music, good and bad.

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Royce 5’9 – “Layers” (Bad Half Entertainment) – Lead by the autobiographical brilliance of the S1-produced “Tabernacle”, Detroit veteran Royce’s sixth solo album was arguably his best body of work to date. Filled with unflinching honesty, sly wit and well-honed rhyme skills, “Layers” was a fitting title for a project which gave the listener further insight into the life of the man behind the mic.

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Akil The MC – “Sound Check” (AkilTheMC.BandCamp.Com) – Jurassic 5 member Akil filled this solo album with hard-hitting motivational music delivered in his traditional true-school style, effectively balancing his back-in-the-day roots with a present-day passion for the microphone.

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Mikey D’Struction – “Day Of D’Struction” (Elements Of Hip-Hop) – Largely produced by Russia’s Ligalize, this album from Queens legend Mikey D found the veteran emcee avoiding the temptation of trying to fit in with current rap trends in order to appeal to a wider audience, choosing instead to stick to his sonic guns, delivering sharp, battle-ready rhymes over hardcore, speaker-rattling beats.

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Black Josh – “Ape Tape” (BlahRecords,BandCamp.Com) – After first listening to Josh’s “Ape Tape” EP, one word came to mind – vibes! Boasting an organic, impromptu feel, this thoroughly entertaining release featured the UK artist lacing varied production with his sharp Manchester wit, politically-incorrect sense of humour and honest inner-city observations.

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Torae – “Entitled” (Internal Affairs Entertainment) – Backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, this album from Brooklyn emcee Torae satisfied loyal fans by delivering the consistently high-standard of lyricism we’ve come to expect from the NY representative with quality production from heavy-hitters such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Nottz.

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Elzhi – “Lead Poison” (Glow 365) – After a five year hiatus and release date delays, Detroit’s Elzhi finally returned with an album that played like a sonic therapy session for the former Slum Village member, who had been battling with depression during the recording of the project. Clever, introspective and creative, “Lead Poison” showcased the results of a naturally gifted artist dealing with life’s problems through his pad and pen.

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Ruste Juxx & Kyo Itachi – “Meteorite” (Shinigamie Records) – Bolstered by the impeccable production of France’s Kyo Itachi, former Sean Price protégé Ruste Juxx went intergalactic like a Timberland-wearing Silver Surfer on this rugged gem of an album, transmitting direct from the planet of Brooklyn accompanied by Illa Noyz, Bankai Fam’s Skanks and Rock of Heltah Skeltah.

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Ghost – “Shards Of Memories” (Ghost.BandCamp.Com) – Ambitiously bridging the gap between the UK-raised, Australia-based producer’s underground Hip-Hop roots and his desire to craft something that reached beyond the traditional sound of dusty drums and head-nodding loops, “Shards Of Memories” was an impressive effort which was both polished and well-executed whilst also managing to retain a spontaneous, unpredictable edge.

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Trace Motivate – “Bored, Lonely And Possibly Intoxicated” (TraceMotivate.BandCamp.Com) – Stepping beyond the aggressive,  competition-crushing rhymes heard on releases from his group Grindhouse Project, Canada’a Trace Motivate offered personal reflection and honest life observations on this six-track concept-based release.

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Tribe Of Judah – “Organically Grown” (Gravity Academy Records) – Maryland’s Tribe Of Judah mixed political commentary and social observation with street-savvy Hip-Hop bravado on their impressive Tokyo Cigar-produced debut album.

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Rapsody – “Crown” (Jamla / Roc Nation) – Inspiring and passionate, North Carolina’s first lady of the mic Rapsody was on a mission to motivate her listeners with “Crown”, encouraging the younger generation in particular to reach for their goals via forthright rhymes delivered over soulful production from 9th Wonder, Nottz and Khrysis.

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PhybaOptikz – “Shades Of Alejandro” (PhybaOptikz.BandCamp.Com) – London’s PhybaOptikz delivered a smooth, atmospheric concept album under the guise of his alter-ego Alejandro, showcasing the UK producer-on-the-mic getting busy over an ill selection of hypnotic loops with assistance from Crate Divizion comrades Giallo Point and Vic Grimes.

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Arkatek & KelpiNINE – “Master Builder” (ArkatekMusic.BandCamp.Com) – Atlanta-based wordsmith Arkatek encouraged listeners to bring their third-eye vision into focus via well-crafted verses over drum-heavy production from KelpiNINE on this US / Ukraine collabo project.

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K Zorro & Bad Company – “Deferred Gratification” (NewGuardzOnline.BandCamp.Com) – Talented London emcee K Zorro dropped intelligent, captivating verses over atmospheric production from musical ally Bad Company on this collaborative project which was both streetwise and socially-aware.

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Sebastian Hochstein – “Name Dropping” (Illect.BandCamp.Com) – German producer Sebastian Hochstein called on the likes of Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, Sadat X and Scribbling Idiots to provide lyrical support on this impressive EP, a release which was rooted in a dusty, sample-based sound.

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Tha God Fahim & Giallo Point – “Eyes Of War” (Crate Divizion) – Atlanta’s Fahim spat righteous rawness over the brilliant, gripping production of UK music man Giallo Point on this quality Crate Divizion release.

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Part Four coming soon.

Album Review – Mikey D

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Mikey D

“Day Of D’Struction”

(Elements Of Hip Hop / Red Line Music)

Mikey D is a legend. This is something that really cannot be debated. Whilst the term is used frivolously in today’s rap world, often thrown around to describe artists who’ve done little to justify such a label, this NYC native is a legend in the truest sense of the word, with his name, history and discography all having become a part of Hip-Hop folklore over the years.

From his days in the early-80s rocking Queens park jams with the Clientele Brothers, to rhyming side-by-side with a pre-Def Jam LL Cool J, then working with girl-group Symbolic Three on their 1985 Doug E. Fresh answer record “No Show”, Mikey’s old-school roots run deep (read more in my three-part 2013 interview with the man himself here).

Subsequent years would see the Laurelton lyricist recording classic singles with the late, great producer Paul C, battling the mighty Grandmaster Melle Mel during an infamous confrontation at 1988’s New Music Seminar, and replacing Large Professor in Main Source for the recording of the group’s second album, 1994’s “F**k What You Think” (a project that was unfortunately shelved at the time).

Behind all of these achievements, however, Mikey’s career up to that point was plagued with drama both personal and industry-related, including the tragic death of Paul C and failed deals with Sleeping Bag Records and Wild Pitch. All of which led to the Rotten Apple representative making the decision to step away from the music scene to focus on both his family and well-being.

Fast-forward to present times and having spent recent years reintroducing himself to fans both old and new, Mikey D’s long-awaited “Day Of D’Struction” album is finally ready for release, showcasing the timeless talent of an individual who has carried Hip-Hop in his heart since his youth and who appears to have lost none of his passion for the microphone.

Largely produced by Russia’s Ligalize, “Day Of D’Struction” finds Mikey avoiding the temptation of trying to fit in with current rap trends to appeal to a wider audience, choosing instead to stick to his sonic guns, delivering sharp, battle-ready rhymes over hardcore, speaker-rattling beats.

On the album’s opening cut “D.O.D.”, Mikey presents himself as a seasoned vet unafraid of speaking his mind over chopped strings and punchy drums (“A grown man with opinions and I own ’em, Fake clowns running around and I don’t condone ’em…”), whilst the rousing “Street Champion” finds the NY wordsmith embracing his man-of-the-people status, reminding listeners that overnight success comes and goes, whereas genuine respect lasts a lifetime.

Mikey’s love of lyricism is clearly reflected throughout the album, not only in his own verses, but also in the line-up of guest emcees he has chosen to invite onto the project. Big Pun’s son Chris Rivers delivers quick-fire barbs on the aptly-titled “Horns Of Fury”, with R.A. The Rugged Man, Craig G and Canibus each bringing their A-game to the mic booth on the relentless posse cut “The Rhyme Heaterz”.

Another standout collabo comes in the form of the These Handz-produced “Wake Up Pt. 2”, with Brooklyn’s Mic Handz and Baltimore’s Don Streat joining Mikey to question both the credibility and artistry of studio gangstas diluting the artform of Hip-Hop.

The mellow “Without Breakin It Down” offers a brief overview of a typical Friday night for the Q-borough wordsmith, involving studio sessions, crew adventures and fat beats, whilst the dope “Living Proof” finds the artist formerly known as Playboy Mikey D stating his verbal superiority over Ligalize’s rolling, sample-driven production.

As if further evidence of Mikey D’s status in the game were needed, the voices of Grandmaster Caz, Large Professor, Chuck D, Grand Daddy I.U. and a certain James Todd Smith can be heard throughout the album, all acknowledging the talented emcee’s contributions to the culture and dedication to his craft.

A solid collection of uncompromising true-school beats and rhymes, “Day Of D’Struction” is a fitting testament to Mikey D’s tenacity, proving that, almost four decades after he first picked up a pad and a pen, this rap icon is as motivated and competitive as he’s even been.

Ryan Proctor

“Day Of D’Struction” can be ordered here.

Mikey D – “Inspiration” (@MikeyDStruction / 2016)

The Clinic (Episode 5) – Mikey D

Queens, NY legend Mikey D aka Mikey D’Struction discusses his new album “Day Of D’Struction” and working with the late, great Paul C.

New Joint – Mikey D’Struction

Mikey D’Struction – “All Alone” (@MikeyDStruction / 2016)

Lead single from the Queens, NY legend’s forthcoming album “Day Of D’Struction”.

New Joint – Mikey D’Struction

Mikey D’Struction – “Inspiration” (@MikeyDStruction / 2015)

The Queens, NY legend proves that true skills are timeless on this DJ Slice-produced track from his “Day Of D’Struction” album.

New Joint – Mellow Man Ace / Dres / Mikey D

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Mellow Man Ace ft. Dres & Mikey D – “I Live For The Funk” (@UltraSlump / 2015)

LA-meets-NY on this dope collaboration between the three microphone vets, with talented producer Cazal Organism supplying a large helping of hazy horns and greasy beats.