Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Left Coast Revival

While us North Westerners stay on our 206, 253, and 503 shit we really can’t forget about our coastal brethren down in Cali. LA has stayed in my mind largely in part to Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder collective along with the weekly that goes hand in hand with the crew, Low End Theory.

While the city that delivered some of the most timeless hip hop jams the culture has seen, in recent years it’s seen a decline in quality emcees dropping knowledge like their roots demand. As the lyricists lost their way it gave rise to the beat makers to step forward and flourish. Doing their own thing, taking cues from no one and merging more styles together than anyone should ever get away with, something new has been brewing.

Teebs is about to unleash his full length on to the public, I don’t want to spoil to much just yet nor am I truly ready to as I just sunk my brain into it once this evening. I will say this, while in the cloud and riding the bus home at midnight Ardour was the perfect sonic background. Almost celestial in nature, he shows yet another dimension to the “beat” movement we are witnessing.

While at the Airliner beats drop so hard you’d think they were sent back through time for us to get fucked up to, another LA native and long time music maker has just unleashed his debut opus. A saxophone player since his youth, Terrace Martin named his jump off after the Marvin Gaye album of the same title Here, My Dear - playing on the same theme the record is full of love talk, sentimental mood music and heartfelt verses about love and the pain it can lead too.

Martin has been a presence in the LA Hip Hop scene for ages, and with the release of Here, My Dear we are blessed with an at times self indulgent, but always forward progressing release that shows the kind of innovation we used to expect from the town and today isn’t seen from anyone making your standard hip hop stylings. He breaks out his saxophone all over the record, merges live instrumentation and beat making techniques like we haven’t heard since Dr. Dre in his prime. Love me some West coast grooves.

Those classic grooves were brought to life by passionate emcees who had voices for the ages. Ice Cube kept us all in tune with his tales of inner city violence, race relations and more - his intelligence amazed some and only fed others to come stronger, better. I just turned off Cube’s latest album. Gone is the fury to make me pay attention. And it’s not even a matter of good or bad, it just is. It sits their in your speakers and earhole, unwavering. Flat. Lifeless.

What did I put on? More of that new west coast shit! Kendrick Lamar has that anger. He makes music you feel. He spits raw, letting his voice crack. Listening to the first track off of O(verly) D(edicated) I can’t help but feel like the ghost of Cube is hanging out above the beat. This is that Amerikkka’s Most Wanted type dope.

While the world awaits for Game to drop another album - as long as he name checks these cats here, their friends and pulls beats from FlyLo’s archives I’ll check for it - and once again save the West three cats have done it three times in the span of a week for me! Stop pondering fates of dead paths tied to lost causes and open your ears to what’s around you and live around all the music you can.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Videos Galore!

Here are some ill visuals that have been flooding my eyes as of late.

I found Kuruption in a CD case while moving a few months ago. Always dug on Kurupt, don't know how this album slipped through my grasp. Too much dope music. Terrace Martin stays killin it!

If you haven't heard Album of the Year, go buy it. If you need more convincing than the above video, go read this.

I thought about not posting this as Hell Razah is not the greatest emcee, but he delivers an interesting message with this one and the video is shot nicely. #Thoughtprovokingmusic

Free is giving RSE another go for his forthcoming album Beautiful Music. Better still Jake is behind the boards for this lead off track. The Stim Pack is sitll gettin spins and they are coming with this kind of heat?! Damn!

And last but not least a song for the smokers. This jam has been out but I never blogged about it... one of my fav cuts of the year with an equally appealing video. Burn one!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Enjoy With DJ House Shoes

J. Moore, DV One, Jake One & Vitamin D along with Members Only are bringing a new monthly to Seattle, Enjoy at Sole Repair. Inviting one national guest DJ to come to town and exercise their own creative control over the sounds of the evening, it's bound to be an island for connoisseurs of good music, good people and good times.

Enjoy kicks off this Thursday with DJ House Shoes, I snagged a couple minutes yesterday to pick his brain about a few things, read up, listen to "The Makings" (hands down one of the best songs of 2010, no question) and come out Thursday to hear some good tunes and experience something new.

MO: For those not knowing, who is DJ House Shoes?
DJ House Shoes: House Shoes is a DJ, a producer, an integral part of Detroit and its hip hop scene, and the Ambassador of ALL things Detroit has to offer.

MO: What was your introduction to the Detroit scene?
My introduction to Detroit hip hop is two-fold. Hearing Esham and Kaos and Mystro in 6th and 7th grade, finding that my city had strong musical offerings within the genre, and after I came out of high school seeing that there were places that these artist gathered in the city such as Stanley's Rhythm Kitchen, Mecca, and St. Andrews Hall.

MO: I heard the name came from you rockin in home shoes, is that still a commom occurrence?
Before my brief stint at Eastern Michigan University, my moms bought me a pair of grandaddy house shoes. Black leather w red plaid on the inside. Super comfortable. Wore them for the majority of 7-8 years. Retired them in 2001.

MO: Why Flying Lotus on the flip for Do Over Vol. 1? What was the interaction between the two of you during the making of those songs? Were you tryin to have a connection without collaborating outright?
Coincidence, actually. When the fellas from the Do-Over told me of their plans to launch a label, I submitted the Curtis flip. It was the first track they wanted to release. They soon after got the FlyLo joint to back it with.

MO: When did you make 'The Makings?' Did you know you wanted to flip those vocals for awhile, was it spur of the moment?
More than a few cats had already touched that Curtis joint, but when I came across it, I decided that it needed to be done with more of an edge. A few proper chops, and a heavy drum kit courtesy of Jack Dejohnette, and I knew I had something special. Much respect to Aloe, Jamie, and Chris for a beautifully produced final product, and a great introduction for me to vinyl supporters.

MO: What's the plan for Do Over Vol. 2?
Do-Over Vol. 2 will be split between MED and Rhettmatic on one side, and Free The Robots on the other.

MO: What will be playin in your ears on the trip to Seattle?
On my way to Seattle I will be listening to Knxwledge (Klipmode), Black Milk, Bilal, Quelle, FatAlbertEinstein, Dilla to name a few. Knxwledge has occupied my ears the most on the road in the last year.

MO: Let people that are clueless know what a coney is and who has the best in Detroit?
A Coney is basically the Detroit version of the chili dog. Without question, the greatest coney in the world resides at Lafayette coney island. I personally go with the loose burger, which is seasoned ground beef on a hot dog bun with chili, cheese and mustard. Shoes don't do onions.

MO: Have you ever searched Seattle for one?
I don't do coneys outside of the D, unless recommended by someone who used to live there


I have to say thanks to J. Moore and DJ Swervewon for helping me get the connection with Shoes. Johnathan Cunningham for some background info, and of course House Shoes himself for the time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Luck One & Dekk "Beautiful Music"

Early last year a little known emcee from Portland Oregon emerged onto the blog circuit with an EP titled Beautiful Music. Produced entirely by Dekk the seven tracks found within show you who this young man is over stellar instrumentals that evolve as they play out - a trademark of any beat Luck selects.

While he is a self admitted beat freak he is also a very serious lyricist who refuses to waste even one breath. Having seen more than many of us will in a lifetime Luck One left prison after 5 years with a passion to move forward in a positive direction with his life and music. Don’t come into this project expecting tales from hood corners and Oz like memoirs, Beautiful Music is more reminiscent of that philosophy course students across the nation are sitting down in this month.

Opening with the awesomely bombastic “80s Back” celebrating the maturation of those of us who were born in the decade. Luck makes sure to shout out all the trends people have to look back on in confusion, and at the same time gets you hyped up and ready for more. The first time I saw dude live his set was opened with this cut and it provided him the opportunity to capture the crowds energy - we were locked on him for the duration of his set.

Illmaculate has made a name for himself nationally as an incredibly talented battle rapper. In Portland everyone knows his success, but it’s tempered by the fact that he is out their trying to prove himself as a well rounded emcee. Even though Luck was defeated by a 15 year old Illmaculate years ago, today they are peers and two of the more lyrically talented individuals from the 503. “Back At Long Last” and “Road To Destiny” are both more serious tracks towards the end of the EP, the former giving both emcees room to blow of frustrations and the later being the flip side of that coin as they show optimism and hope for their dreams to be reached.

Undoubtedly some have and always will hate. If you are gonna make a complaint about Luck One I would guess it relates to his vocabulary and the use of words some may not know. If that is the case for you good for Luck teaching you something and good for you for allowing what is viewed as entertainment to be more. Big words may be present in his bars but you can’t elevate anything listening to Wiz Khalifa all the time.

Content can be lost in exchange for any number of things in this biz, Luck One doesn’t compromise anything for his art. He makes music with a message that shouldn’t be forgotten. Thanks to the production by Dekk cats won’t be able to stop nodding their head to it and in the process Lucks words will flow into your mind. Whatever that opens you up to, it’s bound to be positive. How many rap albums today convey pure hope?

Download Beautiful Music here! And be watching here or any of your other favorite Hip Hop blogs for Luck's new EP True Theory Outtakes coming next week!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Droop-E ft. E-40 "I'm Loaded" (Video)

Matson hipped me to this a few days ago and I've kept going back to it. 40 Water's son Droop-E has been getting down with the rapping and production for a minute, recently he dropped BLVCK Diamond Life. Made from Sade samples the eight track project is some kicking back and vibe to music. Spark one up, fill up a cup and enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Almost Famous

Curious? I bet. Follow @almostfamous206 for deets.

Bilal "Airtight's Revenge"

So much can be said about Bilal, but all that really needs to be said is that the man sings. Blessed with quite possibly the best voice of modern times, I’ve always said the only person making soul music today is him. While he hasn’t had the best luck in this industry, he has managed to stay relevant through a decade of music biz politics to see his sophomore album finally be released.

Airtight’s Revenge was the perfect soundtrack to my Saturday morning and with the sun shining bright a track like “All Matter” with its faced pace and soaring feel thanks to an assortment of sound effects playing in the back ground bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Music that evokes feeling isn’t forgotten. Bilal sings in his own method, jumping around, harmonizing at times and other times letting his voice crack a bit. Towards the end of the song they fade his vocals, drop much of the beat and give you a cold drum break. Great.

Bilal co-produces and wrote pretty much the entire record and that continuity is evident as the record plays through its eleven tracks as if they were part of one big suite. Songs musically connect to each other and you will never not be moved by the grooves laid down here. All the drums here sound live, and that would explain the heaviness with which they hit. Sometimes subdued, sometimes not - the drums are always big and powerful, child of hip hop he still is.

For me, 1st Born Second stood out towards the end as he got heavy on the psychedelic soul side and really worked out some demons through his art. While Bilal never gets as heavy musically here we can hear the same ideas flushed out by someone who has spent the last ten years perfecting their craft. Gone are the flourishes of youthful bliss, and in their place concentrated sound designs.

Bilal conveys many moods as this record plays out. It jumps from dark and eerie to fun and danceable without a moments notice. And it never feels awkward. He orchestrates this tunes to fit his desires and as you ride with him you are taken in by the power of it all. A message is being delivered here, Bilal wants you to listen, think and consider life - it’s a blessing for you to enjoy and learn from.

Airtight’s Revenge can’t be spoken of more highly by me. You won’t be disappointed nor unconnected to the content of his words, he may sing with the best of em but he comes across through his tunes as “just a man working every day to be a better man.” We all go through struggles, the best musicians have always turned that into music for the generations. Bilal is no different.

Get to your favorite local record store and cop this!

Friday, September 24, 2010

One Time @ Bandcamp With... The Paxtons

If you are unfamiliar with The Paxtons, peep the review I ran Monday, download the project and then give this here conversation we had via email your attention. Hailing from NYC by way of Chicago and DC this energetic duo rock many sets with a live band backing them, make beats and stay spitting them ill written.

MO: Can yall introduce yourselves, who you are what you do and how long you've been at it?
Chris & Dave, we rap and produce as The Paxtons. We’ve been working at our crafts for about ten years.

MO: Is the Paxtons your first musical endeavor?
No, we didn’t actually start creating music as The Paxtons until 2008, but those older records are under lock & key

MO: Born and raised in Chicago? If so what part? If not where?
Yes, we are both born and raised in Chicago, specifically the South Shore (amongst the likes of Naledge from KITH, Rhymefest & Kanye West).

MO: What inspired the move from Chicago to NYC? What part of NYC are y'all staying in?
The Paxtons movement actually began when we were living in DC prior to the New York move. We came out to the east coast for work after college in 2006 and started down this path shortly after. We currently live in East Harlem (Manhattan).

MO: Did you guys make the original beats on The Manhattan Project?
We produced "Bang Wit Us," "Living a Movie," "Interlude," "Money Right," "Curtains" and co-produced "What We Doin" with Brenmar.

MO: For a long time there has been much talk about NY falling off, not being what it once was. In the last few years NY and many other locals have popped up on the map thanks to the internet - what's the feel like of rap in the town that birthed it?
Simply put, J. Cole has the city on fire. After that, it’s everything coming out of the DD172/Creative Control camp.

MO: Who are you guys working with? Who would you like to be working with?
TeLuv out of LA, our band Sela & Oscar Wao out of Philly, XO from Diamond District out of DC, Vandalyzm & Rockwell Knuckles from The Force collective out of St. Louis, Sulaiman, Skech185 & Tomorrow Kings out of Chicago to name a few. As indie acts go we’d love to link with Dom Kennedy or Fly Union.

MO: How often are you going back to Chicago?
We’re headed to Chicago a few times in the next few months.

MO: Is music your job right now? Y'all have day jobs?
Outside of music, we operate a media consulting firm called Gold Standard Creative. All of our art, video, and online content is in-house. Need a website?

MO: With the internet providing instant and worldwide distribution what are you guys looking for, if anything, from a label?
Primarily we are looking for physical distribution.

MO: Is the name Rec Center familiar to Chicago natives?
Not to us!

MO: Have y'all heard any modern Hip Hop from Seattle?
Blue Scholars got some heat right now.

MO: What are you guys listening to?
We listen to everything old and new. To name a few: Steely Dan, Gil Scott Heron, Janelle Monae, Christian Rich, Big Boi, The Roots, Dom Kennedy, Eminem, NERD & Rick Ross

MO: Recording new material? Tour plans?
We’re a couple of songs into the follow up to TMP which will hopefully hit the net before the year is out. Looking to hit the road October through the remainder of 2010, even Seattle if you’ll have us!

MO: How do you approach the creation of an official album vs. the creation of a "mixtape"?
As producers, we honestly start with our own beats and let those dictate the musical direction of the project. In the case of TMP, we started out with Living a Movie and Bang Wit Us but when the Beamin instrumental dropped, it literally made the project do a 180. Once those verses were laid, it opened the door for tracks like Super Stupid and Champion. Tentatively speaking, the next project will feature all original production though.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Avatar Young Blaze "Russian Revolution"

Seattle artists don’t hustle. We got some cats that work hard, rock shows, kill it and stay promoting themselves but you don’t see dudes in the lab dropping multiple projects a year. Not even tracks daily. Not to say the scene isn’t fruitful. Avatar Young Blaze has taken a page out of the book of trappers turned rappers and stayed making music at a higher volume than anyone else in his town.

With his latest project Russian Revolution hitting twitter earlier this week I’ve been sitting with it pretty much on repeat trying to get a feel for where the young man is taking us. Having listened to a couple other projects, watched the videos and talked with him in the last month I feel like I’ve started to see behind the mask.

To be honest this tape shows more depth than anything else he has done to date. Sure he still has the street shit. He rocks “BMF” and does a pretty good job with it, I’d love to hear what some national critics think of his rendition. He seems to take the same route talking in code about a bunch of shit most of us probably aren’t privy too. But his flow is rocks and you can’t deny his presence.

Elsewhere we see him do the weed song over some beautiful piano and guitar chords that certainly have you forgetting about that “Zone Out” video. “Wishing On A Dream” features Isabella Du Graf doing her thing over a beautiful beat with knocking drums, some ill strings and horns - a composition perfect for Av to talk about life of today and tomorrow.

At times in the past I have thought Avatar’s voice and flow were a bit awkward, gone is any of the clunkyness to his spit here. He is 100 percent on point throughout the tape, carrying it pretty much all by himself with only his homie Ackrite the Butcher and Eighty4 Fly making guest verse appearances. Ackrite and Avatar work really well together, we’ve already heard their chemistry and I’m anxious to hear a full project from the Butcher.

“Extraterrestrial” is another turn for Young Blaze, featuring a spacey beat with sparkling synths it sounds much more up the alley of it’s guest Eighty4 Fly. They do their thing, and I guess I’m gonna have to stop doubting Fly, he always holds his own.

The production throughout this tape is great. I don’t have an actual list of creidts but he shouts out Jake One on “The Quattroporte” and it sounds pretty trademark White Van Music with awesome drums, a hard bassline, and that crispness Seattle needs to be known for. Elsewhere Avatar selects records to suit his needs. He gets the synthed out club records, the hard gangsta shit and he even takes it back flipping the 808 for “Posse on Jackson.” It’s a bold move that no one should be mad at.

Listening to Russian Revolution you shouldn’t find much to be mad at. While Avatar projects of the past have shown us a young kid from the streets ready to spit venom at those just like he was still out on the block scoping a chain to snatch, this one shows a more mature Avatar. He is rounding himself out. And it makes for a listening experience that does not tire.

Download Russian Revolution here!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

L.E.$. "Blowin Smoke" (Video)

I was diggin on dudes tape earlier in the summer, now we got a video from the TX representer. Check it out and if you dig it I'm sure you can find the tape.

Young Montana? x BTS Radio

Highed up at 3 AM... what to do? Give y'all some mind crushing beat shit to bang your heads to and wake up your room mates with! If you don't travel to the BTS hangout regularly to be treated to the latest mix from Mr. Meza's archives you are missing out on the glorious renaissance that has overtaken hip hop production in the last decade.

I was intrigued by what I read about Young Montana?, and after giving his mix a listen I'm certain his Alpha Pup signing was a wise move and I'm certainly gonna be keeping an ear to the web for more info on it's release. He drops quite an array of tunes from "Crooklyn Dodgers" to Jimmy Edgar's latest scorcher "Hot Raw Sex" along with some SV and Dilla, Hud Mo and some names I've never seen before... perhaps unsigned, unknown friends?

Download the mix and peep the tracklist here! And if you would like to get a little more familiar with the kid going by Young Montana? from England roll over to The Tape is Not Sticky for an interview and unreleased MP3 - the track "Hot Heathrr" from the BTS set.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Avatar Young Blaze "Never Let Me Down/Dear Blogger" (Video)

Avatar gets it going for the new tape! I like seeing another side of dude. Spark up and be watching for an interview I did with the man.

Terrace Martin "Love Prelude/Thing For You" (Video)

I've been looking forward to this project since before I knew what it was! All the leaks have been fire and now that I know it's inspired by the CLASSIC Marvin Gaye album all makes sense.

I'm not incredibly familiar with Terrace Martin but we have all been listening to his music for a minute. As he begins to step in front of the mic I'm sure we are only gonna be blessed by more creative and entertaining ideas. For the above video he takes a page from the king and turns the music video back into a short film. Lots of emotions are explored here but the songs and sentiment are what bring it all home.

Watch for that Here My Dear EP coming out the 28th!

Dam-Funk - Hood Pass Intact (Video)

So much excellence in this video. Dam was my MVP of 2009 and this hood superstar synth funk opus is so fucking west coast it makes me want to start a movement to secede from the union and start the United States of the Best Side.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Paxtons "The Manhattan Project"

If you are unfamiliar with Bandcamp I suggest you investigate. Having spent the better part of this year finding album after album for free on the site, it’s been a beneficial find to say the least. Most of the artists you discover there are unsigned, young and experimenting with new marketing ideas for an industry in disarray. Today a new feature is being launched here at the MO HQ - One Time At Bandcamp... will see an album found on the site reviewed on Monday and an interview with the artist will run on Friday.

Allow me to introduce the Paxtons, the duo of Chris & Dave. They rap and produce, hail from the city of wind and call NY home today. After delivering an entirely self produced album inspired by the film Clerks titled Work they took some time off, moved and are now back with The Manhattan Project - I never heard the first tape but from the description on their site I think it might be more up my alley.

TMP is lively. Almost all the beats will get you moving. Half of it’s self produced and the other half comes from an array of sources. They select the stellar Dam Funk beat “Hood Pass” to rock over trading bars for the duration of the song demonstrating their excellent chemistry, both possessing glorious flows that they utilize to talk about traveling the country, smoking good trees, and having a good time with life.

Their ability to rock beats is the most captivating aspect to their music. Coming in on the opening cut “Ceasar” rocking loud and raw, you feel an energy and passion behind what they are doing. “Ballin” is a bouncing beat with off kilter drums and siren like sounds keeping your mind moving. But instead of wasting their breath talking like every other emcee on a track with the name such as this they kick some thought provoking content that might make you question where and why you are spending your cash.

The Paxtons try alot here. Their aim was large and in some ways they really did create an album that suits the name. The one sheet for this record claims they were aiming for the duel meaning connecting to both their move and the WWII experiments of the same name attempting to build the first atomic bomb, implying they are here to blow up the game I suppose. This record is certainly bombastic.

Content and their interplay puts them above a lot of those competing for the same things in this new music biz. When I started listening to this record I kept feeling as though it lacked something, as I played it through time and time again I picked up new tidbits on every track. A bar here, an sample flip there, the dynamic of them coming in off each other and carrying the baton like champions do. The music here isn’t your cookie cutter, mass manufactured tunes - this is music made with a mission to elevate.

<a href="">The Manhattan Project by The Paxtons</a>

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Curren$y & Trademark Da Skydiver "J.E.T.S." (Video)

Trademark The Skydiver ft. Curren$y - J.E.T.S. from Creative Control on Vimeo.

Sunday funday! I'm not mad at no more brunch shifts, won't lie. Me and Swerve ended our nights on this note. Figured it was a good way to kick off the morning too. I wonder where these cats ran off to film this? Love the Simply Lemonade Spitta.

If you don't have the jam, download the mp3 here!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


This man has been on his grind for over a decade working with a who's who of the music biz over the years yet never getting the firm footing with a label that could push him appropriately. Airtight's Revenge is stellar, perhaps 10 years late but i think it still falls in line with 1st Born Second. I'm going to have more to say, stay tuned to this space for a proper review. Right now go get the album if you haven't and enjoy this in studio performance of the Bob Marly classic "Is This Love."

Friday, September 17, 2010

L's up

Love him or hate him (shirt on or off) dude Spac3 simply kills it on a mic. On a very short list of the most energetic emcees in Seattle Spac3man is definitely mentioned in the top. Spac3man of Sportn'Life Records was one of the first emcees to really impress me when I moved back to Seattle, and he's been working steadily ever since. I cant say I was in love with this mixtape, but there are few in the town with the upside of Spac3, and with a strong label behind him I dont expect his album to be much short of amazing.

Anyway heres a video by our man Wes Goodlife for the song "Intro 40 Freestyle" (Prod. by Jus Blaze) off the Greatings Earthlings Mixtape

B Awake @ Jet Set, 6.1.10

B Awake hasn't been making the rounds as of late, but when his jam Classic Material dropped you might have caught him doing his thing. If you did you know he is a serious emcee who knows how to get the crowd rocking with him. This intro cut to his set over a monstrous Jackson 5 tune demonstrates a little of both skills.

When we broke out Classic Material earlier this year it reamined in my deck for the better part of a month. The album is hot, keep you eyes peeled for it. Full of Bean One production, and a slap or two from Jake (peep the above video for a beat straight out the White Van), it's a definitive Seattle release.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Luck-One - More

My dude Luck-One is set to drop his "True Theory Outtakes" for FREE on October 4th and this is the lead single off the project. For real tho...this is an OUTTAKE? Beat is fire. Rhymes are fire. Chorus is fire. Can't wait to hear the full length, and of course...True Theory itself.

More by Luck-One

Electronic Visuals

As I delve deeper and deeper into the abyss that is a vast assortment of electronic sub-genres I find stuff I like and stuff I dislike. Old ideas recycled and new ideas explored. One thing I love finding are visuals to these styles of music.

DAEDELUS - TIDAL WAVES UPRISING from StrangeLoop on Vimeo.

Music videos have always been an interesting medium. There have always been the artists who push the bounds with the visuals to their songs - but rarely was it an inspired separate piece of art. As the director's checks went up so to did their involvement in the artistic creation of a set of visuals ready to match a supremely dope tune.

None of these songs are my favorites of the moment but they certainly get me in the groove (this Mosca one has been, and will remain on repeat!) but what gets me is the images. With instrumental music the door is open to experiment and try things visually. The shit is fun to watch, isn't that what music videos were all about?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scribes "Roll My Way" (Video)

I've been rocking out to Scribes tunes since Sleepwalk was fresh. I've been patiently waiting for his next one to drop, the EP I scooped from dude at a show last summer just wasn't enough.

I'm guessing this is the lead single from his forthcoming follow up full length? I need some info Scribes! But anyway, Jon Jon strikes again with this dope one!

Black Milk "Album of the Year"

Damn that’s bold. How you gonna come out with an album titled Album of the Year? I haven’t listened to Black Milk for the duration of an album once. Tronic I made it through after a few tries on separate occasions and I always came back to the opening jam - talk about a beat! But I couldn't help but laugh at this new project upon learning the name. Damn was I wrong.

Milk has always fell into the wannabe Dilla category to me. I know he has history in the town proving he is more than a mere biter, but his tracks rarely struck me as too much more than dope drums and boring samples. Perhaps this is why Album of the Year strikes such a chord. Gone are the rehashed sample flips, in place are live instruments everywhere. It’s glorious.

The drums still crack, and according to Milk he would program the drums and start a track out there before bringing in the players and having everyone get down. He is credited with playing keys and a few other instruments throughout the album, my guess is he sketched much of this out on his MPC and then orchestrated it all in the lab. It feels grown up, mature. The sound he has been flirting with for the better part of a decade is finally realized here.

Lyrically Black Milk is far from your average producer who raps. Maybe it is just something in the water around the 313, talent seems innate for cats around those parts. His flow is forever liquid, riding the beats he birthed to unforeseen heights. The things I loved about “Long Story Short” are sustained for the duration of Album of the Year. He is open and honest about the year he has had, the trials he has gone through and the hurt he has experieneced. He has lived some life and he wrote us some rhymes to express his emotion. It’s honesty on wax... er in ones and zereos.

Even with some dark times behind him, Milk didn’t craft a dreary record. He opens it with one of the most celebratory tracks I’ve heard this year, between the horns and mashing drums you won’t be able to do much but jump and scream when “365” drops. Elsewhere he is gonna make you chuckle at his cleverly witty lines, verbose verbiage and overall new demeanor on the mic. I guess I’m late to the party though, perhaps this is what peoples have been diggin him for all this time and I just never heard it. I’m listening now, are you?

If you haven't seen it get over to the Detroit Metro Times where you can catch Jonathan Cunningham's feature on Black Milk - dudes chopped it up for the better part of 2 hours, you better believe there is some great insight for your brains!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

dj100proof x Sean Cee x Darwin Birthday Bash!

Darwin, Sean Cee and I all have birthdays next week and we decided to throw a little shindig. You should come kick it with us. It's free and we will be in rare form.

Djs include: Swervewon, Radjaw, Wicked (PDX), the Filejerks, Bamboo and many more!

Mash Hall "Sleeping With A Ghost" (10.4 Rog Remix)

mash hall - sleeping with a ghost (10.4 rog dodge phantom) by 104rog

Rog has been making his name known off some stellar remixes. Be on the watch for a collaborative project with him and The Good Sin. This right here is something I woke up to from the guy. Flipping the album closer "Sleeping with a Ghost" into an awesome, spaced out synth trip.
My version of the haunting coda to local group Mash Hall's They La Soul album. Many thanks to DJ Bles One for throwing me the vocals to allow me the opportunity.

This song features Janae Jones prominently, and we're all better for it!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Strong Arm Steady "Cheeba Cheeba" (Video)

Don't be forgetting about that In Search of Stoney Jackson come the end of the year, released in January it's sure to have slipped out of ear shot of just a few of y'all. You know how I do, how could I not post this up? Madlib on the beat! Guess today is video day.

Novel "We Got It Bad" (Video)

Guess I'm just on my smooth, soulful shit today. This is music for the ladies. Novel. Calligraphy. I'm pretty sure this dude raps too, watch out Drake.

Andy Allo ft. Blu "Dreamland" (Video)

The stuff you can find on the internet. It's almost like, if you upload it but no one sees it is it even out there? I guess "no one" has new meaning.

"I woke up in a rolled blunt of amazement"

Blu joining the very sexy Ms. Andy Allo for her cut "Dreamland." Great beat, great vocals, great rhymes, great tune.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Classic Material: Framework "Hello World"

Street rap, gangsta rap, call it what you will, is not a seller in Seattle. Sure their are shows with huge lineups and assorted cats claiming they keep it thorough out here but who knows what’s just talk and who might actually be active in another way of life. Telling stories about this way of life has been a part of rap since it’s inception, yet what’s remained most popular here in Seattle has been anything more conscious leaning and positive.

Positivity is great but their needs to be a balance and it’s an untruth to portray Seattle as an always happy place with no crime or suspect characters. Framework’s debut from 2005 Hello World could have been that wake up call but the street life wouldn’t let him go.

Seemingly always in and out of prison Frame has never really been introduced to the local Hip Hop community. I’ve seen his name on some flyer's for shows in the south end and have found a second album released by him - missing any Bean One production.

The pairing of one emcee with one producer is always an awesome experience. You hear cohesion that can’t be matched by any other system. Bean’s been steadily making his name off a diverse sound that is less boom bap inspired than his peers Jake One and Vitamin D but still knocks. He uses an assortment of drums, his samples are always crisp. Nothing is minimal with Bean, he makes productions of serious magnitude.

Frame tackles these tracks with ease. His flow is impeccable. It’s a reminder why listening to a dude flowing can be so enjoyable. He just does it. Perhaps it’s something he has spent hour after hour on the corners doing, maybe he is just a gifted individual. Throughout Hello World you will be met with images of life and death, violence and crime, hope and stress, prosperity and utter despair. It’s all real and it’s all from one man’s mind.

Framework captures a lot here. His verses are verbose, even when he writes a hook saying “you’ll see me in the club/you’ll see me in the whip” he will spend the duration of his 16 taking you deeper than you ever wanted to be in the mind of a criminal. Food for thought.

Despite the heavy subject matter this record will not stop playing in your head. It doesn’t get old. Bean’s beats are incredible and do not bore. Frame is a captivating individual with a story to tell, and it’s a story Seattle seems to wish it could hide.

Bean One has been nice enough to share this record free of charge on his Bandcamp page, if you have never heard this 206 classic get it now!

<a href="">HelloWorld by BeanOne</a>

Camp Lo "Luchini"

Camp Lo - Luchini (AKA This Is It) from Dundy on Vimeo.

I've never seen this before... I remember my boy David picking this up at Face The Music (RIP) in Eugene and listening to it on the drive back to the coast. We were late to it, but it was dope none the less. It's still dope.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Andre Benjamin Is...

What more can really be said about Andre Benjamin? Everyone has sung his praise the man he is one of the best and still relevant emcees and he hasn't dropped an album in four years. But every track that has come has been ridiculous.

So while his slick talking, pimp walking partner gets his much deserved shine I'm just gonna slide this little gem into the mix.

Produced by DJ Ideal (the website included in the comments is no longer active and I can't find any info on to make me think it's the same person? Someone solve this mystery!) this 42 track mixtape features a laundry list of classic Outkast jawns from their entire discography along with mixed in snippets of interviews Andre has conducted, giving you a peak into the man just a little more.

On top of the awesome mix here you also get these dope pictures produced I'm assuming for the album. By whom I once again can't confirm.

Download the mixtape and images here!

Teebs & Jackhigh "Rains"

Pretty fucking weird. Thoughts, comments on these visuals? Teebs & Jackhigh Tropics EP out now on Svetlana Industries.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mount Kimbie "Crooks & Lovers"

Getting away from Hip Hop and the town for a moment, I’ve been playing this debut full length from Mount Kimbie heavily as of late. Crooks & Lovers is a dope record that I hear influences from 2 of my favorite records of the last half decade, Bibio’s Ambivilance Avenue and Burial’s Untrue.

The duo constructs a wide range of soundscapes for you to wrap your mind around. They chop things to bits and make you nod your head to the tiniest of snippets of funky swing. “Before I Move Off” starts with a dope chopped guitar sample and sparse drums before bringing an A Capella vocal chop that adds a whole new dimension to the depth of the song. Before it is all over the guitar disappears and the vocals play with the drums brilliantly.

Elsewhere they play with a more techno feel, but what I truly dig about them is their constant ability to keep the tracks moving forward, progressing to something new. Nothing ever stays the same. Elements come into play, and fade out. Perhaps they remain in the background at a lower decibel level. New samples are triggered and new heights are reached.

The album is short, but it keeps you coming back. It can play beautifully in order, the closing track is amazing. Featuring just a repeating drum hit and some guitar plucks along with random mumbled vocals - it’s totally haunting. Overall these guys deliver a record that doesn’t get old and is much more versatile than most full lengths that are released in the genre tag of “electronic.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Freddie Gibbs "Oil Money"

Dope song. Gangsta Gibbs stays rocking it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wiz Khalifa "Damn it Feels Good To Be A Taylor"

I've been riding for Wiz for a long time and while I'm not certain signing to Atlantic was the best move he could of made, I do think it was all very strategically played by all parties involved considering Warner Bros. is the parent company.

Anyway I haven't been into the recent leaks that have come out but this captures exactly what I've always loved about the Khalifa man!

Lace Cadence x Isabella Du Graf - Moonlight (Video)

Wowzers! Big up to our homie Lace Cadence for dropping an amazing mixtape and this top notch vid to accompany it. Lace has been a good friend of Members Only for a long while, and we've always though his talent needed to be fully appreciated by the widest possible audience. This video goes a long way towards accomplishing that.

The man Jon Augustavo handles directing duties and once again delivers a video that brings the song to whole new level. This is probably my favorite joint on the mixtape, and the concept and execution here is damn near flawless. Speaking of flawless... Joining Lace is the incredibly talented Isabella du Graf, whose sultry voice is only matched by her beauty. You get a nice glimpse of both in the video and, sorry homie, she kinda steals the show!

Long story short: great video, great vocals and great visuals. Get that Launchpad Mixtape like yesterday.

The Physics @ Jet Set, 5.31.10

I was real excited to hear The Physics rock the one year anniversay of Jet Set. They were fresh of the release of the best three song EP ever, Three Piece and I had long heard their rep for destroying stages. I was never a fan of Future Talk but High Society kept them relevant in my ears.

For their short set The Physics kept the selections varied, giving us things from throughout the discography. "Ready For We" was the single from their debut and it's rolling piano keys keep your head nodding while Thig and Monk's bars will keep you thinking. The Capitol Club was cracking that night and there was no better way to celebrate one year of dope local hip hop than with one of the brightest out here rocking the mic.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bop Alloy "prePAIRED" (Free Download)

I remember hearing Substantial's QN5 record and hating it. Then while working at Seattle U last winter I met a student who goes by Marcus D. We chopped it up and he brought in a project he had done with - Substantial. Needless to say I was suspicious but I popped it in the player at work and let it ride.

Not only did I find myself nodding my head but I had a couple students come ask who it was, and Marcus D was strategically placed close enough to hear and come give her a flyer for their upcoming show.

Marcus D won the Big Tune last year for a reason and while work kept me away this year the video I've seen of his knockout round it was a pretty close call. But the beat battle is not the place for the type of beats you'll hear on the Bop Alloy tape prePAIRED. Instead we are treated to awesome jazzy tunes that will have you in the mood to kick back and relax. Substantial rides them well and doesn't bore me at all.

This collection of tracks dropped recently to help get attention for their official full length which has been repackaged as a "deluxe edition." Head over to their bandcamp to check it out, stream some of the songs from prePAIRED below - the five Marcus D instrumentals at the end are pretty impressive.

<a href="">prePAIRED (Intro) by Bop Alloy</a>

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nappy Roots "The People" (Video)

Nappy Roots - The People from AVJ Records on Vimeo.

I'm a big Nappy Roots fan. They do their own thing and it's dope. Their live show is incredibly on point, you will be entertained and partying with them all night long. At the end of the day though they are just some humble dudes from small communities. And it's their songs, such as this one, that resonate with me the most.

Get hip to Pursuit of Nappyness if you ain't!

Eighty4 Fly "The Eighty4 Fly Project"

Eighty4 Fly has a song on his new EP called “Sunset Blvd.” It features a slow beat that reminds me of Nelly’s “Dilemma” for some reason. On it he tells a story about kicking it with a chick, you can guess where. Eighty4 Fly is from Seattle but you wouldn’t know it. And it might just be the secret to coming success for another talented rapper out of the 206.

While everyone is making a big deal out of Pinder’s move to Atlanta, DJ’s and producers from the town have been leaving for greener pastures for years. But it’s not really about moving away but expanding your brand to new markets. You can have a home base in one city and connections to make other major markets feel like home. Eighty4 Fly seems to be working towards this goal.

His music is smooth, slick and refreshing. It sounds like commercial radio in some respects. Certainly seems to me like it could break the Clear Channel playlist before your favorite Champagne Champagne or Mash Hall track. His beat selection is in favor of airy knockers that float along, epitomized by “So Cool” a lead off track that features a great video courtesy of Jon Augustavo.

The EP opens with a thumper more directed at a harder audience but doesn’t push to far. “Hello Future” seems like his manifesto of sorts talking about what’s coming next (him) and he spits some braggadocios lines to make you believe he is just that bad ass. It works, his cockiness is conveyed with a dope flow over this beat that just begs to be blasted.

He closes The Eighty4 Fly Project out with a joint that features Nipsey Hussle. At first listen I didn’t dig the cut too much. I’m still a little disappointed by the beat. It’s cool but I want more bombast, within the context of the EP however it fits well and I can’t be mad at a dude making sure he has a complete package. As far as who gets who? Nipsey is a very talented rapper and technically I like his flow more, but I think Fly might have got him lyrically. Both of em are spitting bars - you’ll be playing this song for a minute.

In between there are six more cuts most of which posses synth heavy beats with serious bass knocks ready to set the club off. Eighty4 Fly spends most of the album talking about trying to scoop chicks and making money.

The Chemist cooks up half of the EP and you can’t be mad at any of his tracks. “The Flyest” might be his best, with its celebratory keys and stuttering drums it’s a cross between dirty south and Swizz Beatz style east coast club banger. This is Fly’s greatest asset, he can play to a lot of markets. His appeal is broad.

A lot of groups have tried to make a more accessible style of music in the town and few have really seen the kind of success the music implies. I have no crystal ball, but Eighty4 Fly is doing things the right way and if he keeps creating product like this he will do what he wants in his musical career.

Download the Eighty4 Fly Project here!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shabazz Palaces "Barksdale Corners"

I wasn't thinking this song was moving me but when I saw myself starting it over and over, time after time I decided there must be something going on that my mind likes. It's got this grimey synth in the background that hypnotizes you and a pulsating yet faint bass thump keeps you in a trance while Ish spits some dope lines that sometimes I get and sometimes I don't. But you gotta just keep on listening.

Thanks to I Want You Magazine for liberating this track out of the Palaceer's lab and to Andrew Matson over at the Times for keeping people hip to all things related to Seattle Hip Hop.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lace Cadence "Launchpad"

In the past Seattle has been notorious for motherfuckers who don't posse up. You look at Atlanta or all these other places where if you are from here I'm fucking with you period. That's not the case here but it's becoming the case here. You are seeing hella other artists at other artists shows, that didn’t used to happen."
-Lace Cadence. March 2, 2010

Cats are gonna hate and say people are riding for this cause it’s from the town. They are right. And it doesn’t matter. I’m not listening to anything that sounds like Launchpad right now and probably won’t be picking up anything in it’s vein after rocking the tape, but hey someone from my town makes something like this and it sounds dope? Why the hell wouldn’t I bump it.

Musically it’s pop R&B to me. I’m not hip to the genre today but it reminds me of Marques Houston, Omarion, The Dream, etc. The beats are all synths and lush keys, thumping drums and heavy bass lines. Vocally Lace occupies a space in between what’s been his method of delivery, rapping, and displaying a voice that has always been hinted at on his records but never fully flushed out.

On a track like “Moonlight” he really shows us his range and makes me believe that he can really sing. Content wise he is talking about love and relationships. A lot of different thoughts are expressed. Sex is often times the goal and I can just see the girls eating up a song like “Wet,” each and every one of them thinking they are being privately serenaded as they listen.

Lace is a hip hop head at the end of the day and he makes sure to give us them head nodding jams and I challenge even the hardest of your crew to not smile and nod his head to something here. It’s relate-able, it’s fun, it’s pop! And it was made in the Central District - watch for part two of my conversation.

The only guest on the project is Eighty4Fly and he might be the perfect rapper to be paired with Lace here. Fly is a rapper that is aiming to please a market larger than Seattle and that’s what Launchpad will hopefully do for Lace. KUBE DJ’s Hyphen and Mayor John Moore hosting and B-Mello mixing it are big endorsements that few in the town get.

Lace Cadence has recorded underground rap in Macklemore’s parents house and sat in the lab with DJ Quik. He’s made albums filled with talent that has never been heard. He’s made music his life and never looked back. Now he is on his “grown man shit” both musically and on the business front. Download the Launchpad and have some fun before summer is completely gone and everyone is dancing to these tunes inside the warm club.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kendrick Lamar "Monster (Freestyle)"

Kendrick Lamar - "Monster" from CALMATIC on Vimeo.

Waking up with an hour to post something before work means I got time to post one thing for yall in the morn. Well Lamar is a captivating dude! This had to get out. I love how he spits the verse hella aggressive but yet is smiling and laughing throughout, letting you know this black hippie is just having fun with it. KILLS the beat!
"I'm the best rapper alive tell Lil Wayne to swallow his pride"
Download his tape when it drops and grab his first project on the bandcamp!

House Shoes "Newports"

I guess you could say I've been on my D shit lately! When can you not be though, the town stays coming with some of the most consistent quality tracks all the time. House Shoes is the quintessential DJ from the town and has been doing beats on the low for awhile. All City Records has been doing a 10" vinyl series featuring an assortment of cats, you can catch this song on the 4th volume.

Now if only "The Makings" could get some visuals! Stay up world.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big Boi ft. Yelawolf - You Ain't No DJ (Video)

One of my favorite songs of the year on the Album of the Year gets a proper vid. Fuck the haters, Yelawolf is the truth.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Diezel P @ Jet Set, 5.24.10

I first heard Diezel P last year at the charity even in Portland Cold Nights War Coats which saw over 20 of the city's emcees come out and rock to a crowd that gained admittance either with a 10 dollar donation or they brought in coats to be distributed to the homeless and needy in the area. It was a great event and showed me a wide array of talent that the Bridgetown possess.

When Swerve told me he had booked Diezel P for Jet Set I was excited and he didn't disappoint that evening. This video captures his energetic presence and serious delivery and the crowd totally seems to be into it. He gave me a copy of his album that night and I never did make it through it unfortunately but this video has me on the hunt to dig it out and give it another go.

See you on Monday when we got DV One and The Mayor holding down with your resident DJs 100Proof and Swervewon!

SOTA @ High Dive Sat 9/11/10

This should be a fantastic evening of choons in Fremont. I believe the free Love Fest is going on all day long and this will be a perfect nightcap. Hope to see y'all out.

The Roots & John Legend doing Mr. Withers

This is epic! Over 11 minute in studio performance of the Bill Withers classic "I Can't Write Left Handed" from the collaborative album Wake Up! out September 21st.

From the bluesy intro of the song, to it's up beat and groovy break and all the way to the end when Quest, Kirk and company do their best to channel some psychedelic soul a la Dennis Coffey and Norman Whitfield this song is awesome! They capture the spirit and sound of a different time.

Shouts to the dopehouse for gettin a kid hip!