2012 Third Quarter Releases

09-30-2012 § Leave a comment

Blu & Exile finally deliver their dope follow up to “Below The Heavens” (2007)

Lots of big retail releases dotted this part of the year, compared to earlier – which is nice actually because the year started very slowly for me in terms of projects I was looking forward to. I ended up listening to a lot of older releases, especially from 2011’s strong year but things are coming around in time for a good end-of-year list! I can’t vouch for every release listed here, I can honestly say I’ve been quite lazy in terms of listening to and buying new music this quarter.

Nas “Life is Good”

A great effort, minus a few tracks in the middle of the album. His 11th solo album, if you count “The Lost Tapes,” collection in 2002. I loved his previous collaboration album with Damian Marley, 2010’s “Distant Relatives.”

Blu & Exile “Give Me My Flowers …”

Blu & Exile’s follow up to their 2007 classic album “Below The Heavens,” originally released unmastered about a year ago & yanked offline, this is the re-release after it was finished. An amazing and soulful follow up, worth the wait for the high quality version.

Slaughterhouse “Welcome to our House”

Another I was real excited to buy, and I’ve loved it – some filler yes, and not the “same” Slaughterhouse but this is what fans hoped the release would be.

Skyzoo “Dreams vs Reality EP”

Additional tracks (& a free download) available here. Call it a prequel to his forthcoming album, “A Dream Deferred” which should be on my next list, with an October 2nd street date. I always pick up Skyzoo’s new albums, a dope and underappreciated artist.

DMX “Undisputed”

DMX latest album, his first since 2006 & it’s got pretty good reviews so far on iTunes.

Curren$y & Harry Fraud link up for the “Cigarette Boats EP” (free – 5 tracks). Curren$y is always good, free Curren$y is better!

Mello Music Group dropped two releases this quarter, everything they put out is alright by me. Substantial’s “Home Is Where The Art Is” & 7even Thirty’s album “Heaven’s Computer” – both available on their Bandcamp page for stream / purchase in addition to iTunes.

This Kanye West G.O.O.D. Music label joint “Cruel Summer” dropped, on iTunes or AmazonMP3, plus rumor there is a “Cruel Winter” album coming too … I was dissatisfied Common only makes one track and it features 6 other MCs.

Murs & Fashawn “This Generation” collaboration album, on iTunes or AmazonMP3 should be dope, I haven’t had a chance to check it yet.

Brother Ali “Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color”

Brother Ali’s new album was on my anticipated list and it certainly has delivered based on initial impressions! An always dope and informed MC, Brother Ali has contributed another great effort to his thought-provoking catalog and right in time for the 2012 Presidential Election.

Lupe Fiasco’s sequel album “Food & Liquor 2” on iTunes or AmazonMP3. Lupe’s last album was half amazing and half filler, the reviews look a bit better on this one but I’m still skeptical.

Now Playing :: Rittz :: Questions (Remade)

09-17-2012 § Leave a comment

In front of a sold-out, hometown crowd in Kansas City, Missouri Tech N9ne officially introduced Rittz to the welcoming fans.

Fresh off signing to Tec N9ne’s “Strange Music label, Rittz (with Tec’s blessing) redoes a classic track I first heard off Death Row’s Gang Related Soundtrack – “Questions.” This was definitely my first exposure to Tec N9ne, and a dope track amongst others as this soundtrack was very well put together despite the turmoil Death Row was in at the time. QD3 (Quincy Jones) produced the original, as well as a few other tracks on the soundtrack for 2Pac and other rappers.

Here is the original release, from Tec N9ne (also featured on his 1999 album “Calm Before the Storm”);

& Rittz new version;

Pandora Hip Hop Playlist :: 09-15-2012

09-15-2012 § Leave a comment

This week’s best tracks according to my Pandora.

Pharcyde – “She Said” off their 1995 album Labcabincalifornia

DMX – “Stop Being Greedy” from his debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot

Oddisee – “Propa” some classic DMV hip hop, fresh! This is from Oddisee’s mixtape called Foot In the Door, mixed by DJ Jazzy Jeff.

I’m on that DC shit,
Mumbo sauce, fried rice & that three piece shit
Brothers out here care about their appearance,
so they ain’t waitin’ for that pair of Airs to go on clearance

Common – “I Used to Love H.E.R.” A fucking classic Hip Hop record, from Resurrection.

Black Star – “Astronomy” is super dope, and Blackstar is always underrated. From their only album (so far!) Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.

Guru – “Revolutionist” A track I actually had never heard, always thankful for Guru showing up on Pandora. This is from his solo Baldhead Slick & Da Click album.

Mos Def – Mathematics. An upbeat and informative (as Mos usually is) track from his debut album, Black On Both Sides

Now Playing :: Blu :: What If I Was

09-09-2012 § Leave a comment

Off Blu’s 2011 Jesus album, which is a bit rough around the edges but still a dope project. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit lately, after Blu & Exile’s “Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them” LP officially dropped last week.

What if it ain’t ours? What if it ain’t true? What would we win then? What if I can’t lose? What if we can’t lose? What can we can’t do?

I love the sampled mix in the first place, and Blu comes through with this dope track that just goes on and on … the whole album is like that.

New Music :: Skyzoo :: Jansport Strings (VIDEO)

09-09-2012 § Leave a comment

One time up for Chi-Ali, cause I could be in a box if I ain’t see that screen…

The first single off Skyzoo’s upcoming album “A Dream Deferred” out October 2nd on Duck Down, gets a video. This track is produced by 9th Wonder, the album features iLLmind on production over four tracks as well – I’d love to see more 9th Wonder production like his “The Salvation” album.

You can grab Sky’s latest free mixtape (sort of, a few tracks are available here) otherwise you’d want to get the offical version on iTunes.

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