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.
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
03-21-2012 § 2 Comments
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.
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;