New Music :: Nickelus F. :: Faces (Mixtape) / Album

03-28-2012 § 2 Comments

I was listening in the car to an album, Yellow Gold the other day – and it reminded me how slept on the majority of *dope* underground artists still are. The internet forum allows promotion and distribution freedom, but if you never HEAR the music you wouldn’t know what you’d been missing – which is one reason I love reading end-of-the-year lists from Hip Hop blogs; rediscovering projects and artists I allowed to slip through the cracks, and new ones I just altogether missed.

I let y’all come close, only to touch the hem of my garment,
and by faith may be healed
from all of that ignorance you lost in” – from Valley of the Kings

Nickelus F. is an artist from Northern VA i’ve been following for a few years, and waiting on him to put something (anything!) on iTunes I could actually buy and support – a few months ago he dropped his “Faces” Mixtape, which showed up on iTunes rather unexpectedly more recently & is absolutely worth $9.99.

"...I'm feeling like Yeezy on these 808's, minus the heartbreak"

His recent projects, like Yellow Gold & Season Premiere HD for instance were both “mixtapes” in the sense they are free releases for promotion, but are albums in the sense they deserve to be paid for and bumped on repeat – original production, and Nickelus’ skillful lyricism on display throughout everything I’ve heard him bless since 2009’s “Go Time”.

Love what you looking at, blow kisses up to me I’ll send ’em back
You ain’t gotta tell me, shit I already know
you’re either a 1 or a 0, binary code” – from Celestrial

Here are a few recent videos, one off the new(est) project – if you enjoy the free material make sure and get the album from iTunes.

*BONUS* a collection of freestyles Nickelus released prior to the most recent album, called 7 Days can be had in colection form, some of his best individual tracks IMO like “Love Me” or “Leave It All Behind” for instance that are not on other projects.

You got racks on racks on racks
I got kids on kids on kids,
which means plates on plates on plates,
which mean something gotta give,
we need some grub around this motherfucker,
I spill my heart but get no love around this motherfucker?” – from Love Me

hydro-planing, weed ain’t gay but my hydro flaming” – from Sin

Damn the devil, and the circumstantial shit that he causes,
or am I giving him to much credit for all my flaws?
It just seems, I’m stuck in the treadmill section,
when I should be out on the track breaking / setting records” – from Leave It All Behind


Eazy E Tribute Mix (stream)

03-26-2012 § Leave a comment

"...girls on the tip, fellas too it seemed ..."

17 years have passed since the Hip Hop culture lost Eric “Eazy E” Wright (September 7th 1963 – March 26 1995), and I thought it appropriate to post just this one link today.

I’m pretty nostalgic in terms of paying homage to fallen microphone wreckers and Eazy E was a pioneer certainly, for the gangsta rap that permeated the early 90’s sound and continues today.

This is a DJ Mister Cee tribute mix, from his radio show on Hot97 – forgive the interruptions but it *IS* radio, and they are minor.

Stream Link

This is for the radio so I better chill
they won’t play it if I co get ill
but I’m like that and thats an actually fact
because the street is where my heart is at” – from “Radio”

Because I’m a gangsta having fun
Never leave the pad without packing a gun
Hitting hard as fuck, I make you ask what was it
Boy you should have known by now, Eazy duz it” – from “Eazy Duz It”

Apollo Brown & Hasaan Mackey :: Daily Bread

03-21-2012 § 2 Comments

Daily Bread

Last year, I put up my ten favorite hip hop albums of 2011 which was topped off by this album (Bandcamp). It’s truly incredible & I’m becoming more and more a fan of Apollo’s production and Mello Music Group (the real MMG) in general (see; Oddisee & Diamond District, Has-Lo etc). If you’ll give me three tracks, I’ll turn you onto this album as well. You may call this a cheat, since I’m just posting MMG’s bandcamp page – but I feel strongly about this album. You can also check out The Left which is Apollo Brown on the boards, DJ Soko & Journalist 103 rhyming – one of 2010’s best records in Gas Mask (iTunes) or (Spotify). Coming in April, Trophies (pre-order on iTunes) pairs Apollo with OC from DITC crew – should be an amazing album.

My favorite tracks are “Dollar Bill Hill” (track 4), “Megaphone” (track 12), the “Trenches remix” (Track 16) is my favorite track on the album, & “Elephants” (track 5) / “Weak Won’t Do” (track 7) / “Like A Diamond” (track 15) are super dope too. I find this entire album bumps, and it stays in rotation for me – Apollo’s sampling is key to it’s success but Hasaan Mackey adds the perfect lyrical / street balance to the dark instrumentals to take it over the top.

Refine life’s lines as my opus
self approved certified dopeness
aint like I know it because I sat down and wrote it
But I sure as hell know it aint bullshit!” – from Elephants

None of em good,
they all garbage all of em novice
should invest in vests
They’re the best as targets
this hot shit will hit em
then collide in they conscience,
for talking out the side of they conscience,
coinciding Hassaan’s sick
It’s something wrong with me I’m on shit
Beyond them old secular songs and subliminal shit
that the rest of them on” – from Weak Won’t Do

There is an amazing bonus track, called “Night Time” that MMG pulled from the album (it was put up after I had bought it, and is missing now from their bandcamp page), which you can check out free of charge at DJBooth.

Mind Made Up (OG) w/ Inspectah Deck

03-14-2012 § 2 Comments

I alluded to the fact that Inspectah Deck hadn’t made the final cut in a previous post, and I wanted to explain.

Originally, the track was to include Lady of Rage, Tha Dogg Pound, RBx, Method Man, Redman and Inspectah Deck – but when Tupac came to Death Row the final runtime was too long so Inspectah Deck despite having one of the better verses was dropped. Probably due to star power, I’m sure – but clearly Daz should’ve been replaced if he weren’t doing most the in-house production on Tupac’s ‘All Eyez On Me’ album.

I still maintain Kurupt has the best verse on this track, with lyrics like;
“I wonder, if my terrifying tactics of torturing MC’s
Shows my heart’s as cold as the tundra
Electryfing like thunder, I’m just too much
Rough and raw with that motherfuckin poisonous touch”
“You best believe, to MC’s I’m the deadliest disease
My thoughts rip ya throat and make it hard to breathe
Ya whole camp’s under seige, and I’m Jason Vorhees
In the heat of the night is when I defeat and ignite mics
My verbal snipe, your vocab on site”

Inspectah Deck had a good verse including this line;
“Wreck this rhyme, start relentless, roughest
And fuck up the party for you paying muthafuckas
Once I commence for you ladies and gents
I kick rhymes, sharper than barbwire fence”

Check out his full verse over the instrumental below

Here is an interview Deck did in 2010 on Toca Tuesday’s explaining the record;

Classic Debut Albums :: Tha Dogg Pound :: Dogg Food (1995)

03-14-2012 § 1 Comment

March 9th, Classic freshman album discussion with @nobullwarrior

March 9th, a discussion with my boy @nobullwarrior on classic freshmen debut albums (you can see the screengrab above) got me thinking; which ones were left off? My first thought was Dead Prez Lets Get Free (Spotify), but the more I thought about it most people leave this album off their lists as well; Dogg Food (Spotify).

Spotify even has the artist listed “Snoop Dogg,” but too often I feel Tha Dogg Pound gets no love when it comes to them being a part of Death Row’s upbringing into the most prolific hip hop label during the 90’s, and a blueprint for all labels since in my mind – unless you count the stars leaving, murder, jail time, bankruptcy & re-launch by a third party company of course.

The Dogg Pound’s debut was highly anticipated, and sold over two million records. There were only two singles, and no production from Dr. Dre – but Kurupt’s lyrical assault & Daz Dillinger’s G-Funk production held their own on other projects, and came together beautifully on this album.

Eminem even gave props to Kurupt’s lyricism on ‘Till I Collapse’ (Spotify)
“I got a list here’s the order of my list that it’s in
It goes Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie
Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.”
That’s pretty good company, and aside from a hodge-podge of mixed-reviewed albums, the dude brings it on most verses – outshining damn near everyone for instance, on Tupac’s ‘Mind Made Up’ (Spotify) with Redman & Method Man (& Inspectah Deck never made the cut! That’s for another post though …)

The first lyrics you hear as a listener, are Kurupt’s flame-induced introductory lines on “Dogg Pound Gangstaz;”

“Now my rhymes, are as potent as pipebombs
It takes time to concoct rhymes like mines
Like land mines, all set to explode
Microphones, all set to unload
Zone watch, that means watch the zone
I’m in the temple with a million dead MC microphones”

Wouldn’t be a Death Row release without a diss reference, Kurupt soon reminds us he “Ain’t got no love for no hoes-n-harmony…”

New York, New York ignited a sort-of East / West rivalry, prior to Tupac even signing with Suge’s label – Capone-N-Noreaga made LA, LA as a form of retaliation, and everyone’s heard Jay Z’s line on Money, Cash, Hoes “It’s like New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings.” That line prompted Mobb Deep & Jay Z’s beef records. Kurupt has two verses, and he goes in;

“Tonight’s the night for me to rip microphones into bits and pieces,
lyrical telekinesis, gets me into verbally vindictive
Violent vocabulary bobs to existence
Catch me in the pitch black path
I sit and let the sick thoughts pass through my mental
till I hear an instrumental”

Check out the basslines on Respect, or Ridin, Slippin and Slidin’ – Daz is on point and this album shows off some of his best work. Death Row would’ve ran out of releases if they had to resort waiting on Dr. Dre to finish all these albums – we may have never heard half the material released. We all know how Detox has turned out …

You can’t tell Death Row’s story without Tha Dogg Pound, and to me – this record solidifies them as more than contributors on other artist projects, and soundtracks. Maybe it’s not one of the ten best debut albums of all-time (what is our obsession as hip hop fans with top ten lists?), but in the discussion of dope debuts it certainly belongs.

Wiz Khalifa :: Taylor Allerdice (Mixtape)

03-13-2012 § 1 Comment

Wiz' new release crashed servers everywhere

Wiz Khalifa crashed sites like 2DopeBoyz & Datpiff earlier, with his new mixtape “Taylor Allerdice.”

You can grab that mixtape at the official site, here or here.

New Music :: Skewby :: We Almost There, Ups & Downs

03-12-2012 § Leave a comment

In honor of Skewby’s SXSW performance coming up, and the new music he’s dropped very recently – here go two tracks presumably off his next EP.

And if you like those tracks from the Memphis native, check out his super-dope album “More or Less” (one of my absolute favorite releases of late 2010 / early 2011) on iTunes (check out my review!) or his Bandcamp Page (Free). Skewby’s website is SomethingAboutSkewby.

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