Every week I am pleasantly surprised with the new hip-hop music being released. It’s honestly at the point where there is so much good music coming out, that it’s next to impossible to keep up. I am closely watching as the underground slowly, but steadily emerges into the mainstream. Are people finally recognizing great lyricism over incredible production? I most definitely think so!
Check out some of my personal selections for this week and add them to your iPods, mp3′s, laptops, DJ sets, whatever…I’m sure you’ll appreciate this ‘feel good’ music.
[AUDIO] BOOG BROWN – LIFE (Prod. By Illastrate)
Ahhhh yeahhh!! Boog Brown hits us with “Life” the first track off her upcoming album, The Late Bloom. This track is produced by one of Boog’s favorite producers, Illastrate. How do I know he’s one of her faves? Well she stated so in our interview that he would be one of her choices for a supergroup! In this track, Boog addresses some of the typical cats that we encounter in this industry: the name droppers, the cats that always somehow manage to get backstage, the haters, the people that get on your f*cking nerves! Check it out and add it to your music library ASAP!
[AUDIO] FOCUS… – CLOUDS ft. J.Pinder x Rapper Big Pooh
Producer/emcee Focus… releases the second track off his upcoming Focal Point: 1172 EP, to be released August 7th. He recruited two very dope artists for this one, Rapper Big Pooh and newcomer out of Seattle, J. Pinder. The beat is incredibly good, not complicated like some of the recent production I’ve heard. And the title of the track “Clouds” is actually very fitting, as the lyrics flow effortlessly and the production is quite mesmerizing.
[VIDEO] BLING47 BREAKS DILLA EDITION: D’Angelo’s “Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine” – Waajeed
Easily one of my favorite tracks off of D’Angelo’s highly-acclaimed debut album, Brown Sugar. Waajeed shares with us a track entitled “The Colorado Trail” by Dave Grusin, that the extraordinary J. Dilla sampled to make the incredible remix to an already great track. Waajeed said when DJ Spinna first played the sample “it split my fucking wig” lol. He describes how genius Dilla was in not just looping the track, but chopping it up to fit precisely with D’Angelo’s voice and lyrics. He briefly reminisced on being able to witness two masters, D’Angelo and Dilla, working in the studio together. Shouts to Bling47 for another dope installment.
[AUDIO] RAPSODY – NonFiction ft. Raheem Devaughn and Ab-Soul (Prod. by 9th Wonder)
This beat is siiiiiiiick! Props to 9th on the production of this one. I honestly believe that when 9th finds that right artist to mesh with, his producer skills excel! This track features Raheem Devaughn with some classy vocals and TDE member Ab-Soul. Naturally, Rapsody showcases her skills and proves her lyrical genius! I’m anticipating some wonderful things from her debut LP The Idea Of Beautiful, to be released August 28, 2012 via Jamla Records.
[MIXTAPE] GUERILLA UNION x DATPIFF Present the DJ MUGGS – OFFICIAL ROCK THE BELLS 2012
To help you get prepared for this year’s Rock The Bells festival, Guerilla Union and Datpiff.com teamed up to release an official festival mixtape, curated by the legendary DJ Muggs and hosted by Supernatural. If you haven’t checked out the incredible line up for this year, I suggest you do and make plans to get to one of the 3 shows this summer. The mixtape features tracks from Murs and Fashawn, Casey Veggies, Ice Cube, Xzibit, RZA, Sean Price, DMX, Keith Murray, just to name a few. Download the mixtape HERE! Oh, and don’t forget to get your tickets!
[AUDIO] HAS-LO – Stained Glass (Prod. By Apollo Brown) x Make a Bet (Prod. by !llmind)
Mello Music Group never ceases to amaze me! I can always count on them to release mind-blowing hip-hop. This latest release is from Philly emcee Has-Lo, whose debut LP In Case I Don’t Make It, garnered some incredible street buzz. These two tracks appear on a very limited edition 7″ vinyl available on the MMG website. Side A features the Apollo Brown produced track “Stained Glass”, which showcases Has-Lo’s lyrical genius over Apollo’s signature horns. Side B features the !llmind produced track “Make A Bet”, which is equally heavy and also proves that Has-Lo has lyrical skills. Check it out and take advantage of the free download below:
[AUDIO] THE BLACK OPERA – Opera Hands (Prod. by Tall Black Guy) x Teleport (Prod. by Audible Doctor)
I regularly head over to KevinNottingham.com to find out what’s hot in the underground. I stumbled on two dope tracks by The Black Opera who recently signed to Mello Music Group (what did I tell y’all about MMG, please see above). The first track is produced by Tall Black Guy and the track on the flip side is produced by Audible Doctor. It’s only a matter of time before people start recognizing the incredible music MMG is consistently releasing.
[MIXTAPE] KANE MAYFIELD – Rhymes By Kane Thievery Corporation Edition [Zoi's Pick]
BP’s Zoi did a post on this earlier this week, but I had to add this to my weekly fresh cuts! When Kane emailed me this EP a couple of weeks ago I didn’t get a chance to listen, but when I read that it was Kane rhyming over Thievery Corporation tracks I got excited and nervous at the same time. My bro introduced me to the DJ duo Thievery Corporation, a few years back when I asked him to add some new music to my iPod. I was instantly impressed with their Brazilian infused production and socially conscious themes. I was nervous because I never imagined anyone rapping over Thievery’s production, ever. However, Kane delivered dope lyrics over their production resulting in a very cohesive, creative project. I give Kane mad props for daring to be different, being the first to rhyme on Thievery’s production and successfully executing it. Wish list: To see Thievery Corporation’s 15-member live band of musicians and vocalists in concert with Kane Mayfield opening.
[VIDEO] PHONTE – Eternally ft. Median (Prod. by 9th Wonder)
Even though Charity Starts At Home was released last fall, Phonte is making sure we recognize the masterpiece he put together. I don’t blame him, his music is timeless and needs to be continually spread worldwide. This track is actually one of more catchy ones on the album and features fellow NC emcee Median. The video is quite hilarious as Phonte and Median become the “Latter Day Saints/Jehovah’s Witnesses” of the neighborhood, trying to spread the good word of Charity Starts At Home. Check out it out here:
[EP] FREDDIE GIBBS X MADLIB – Shame
So apparently producer extraordinaire Madlib and Gary, IN emcee Freddie Gibbs, team up once again to drop another EP entitled Shame. These two artists connect so well musically that it was only right they hooked up again. You don’t normally hear an emcee with lyrics of Gibbs’ style (hardcore and ruthless) over the type of beats that Madlib produces (jazzy and soulful), so it’s always interesting to hear what they come up with. Check out their first EP “Thuggin” that was released earlier this year and look out for a joint full length album due out later this year. For now listen to the title track “Shame” featuring BJ The Chicago Kid.
[MIXTAPE] JON CONNOR – While You Were Sleeping [Erin's Pick]
Originally intended as a retail release, Flint, MI’s buzzing MC Jon Connor flipped the script and released his latest project While You Were Sleeping as a free download. With guest appearences from Bun B, GLC, Kid Ink and Mistah Fab, this is Jon Connor’s first tape that doesn’t borrow beats from well-known projects (i.e. Hov & Em) but rather offers a cohesive and original sonic landscape.