Friday, August 31, 2007

Madlib "Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4: In India" Aug. 28

When it comes to Madlib these days I am constantly of two minds. He is, without question a visionary, a musical prodigy with few peers in modern music. His style is copied by and has influenced countless other artists. He has released some of my all-time favorite albums (Quasimoto "The Unseen," Lootpack "Soundpieces Da Antidote." JayLib "Champion Sound," Madvillain "Madvillainy," Declaime "Andsoitisaid") and any number of tracks and remixes that are bright spots on the work of other artists (just click here for a full discography of the guy).

At the same time he meanders and wanders and has a general weed head's penchant for getting lost inside his own obsessions. When he works without a creative collaborator he can become tedious. His attempts at Jazz, while interesting for their very audaciousness, are not particularly good. I would call his most recent Yesterdays New Quintet album almost un-listenable. His beat albums have up to this point been mostly dull, tiresome affairs with few gems that might eventually end up on one of his crew's albums. His own lo-fi aesthetic has spawned a mutant band of poor sound quality, talentlessness within underground hip hop that has been allowed to masquerade as artistically stylized because of the cover layed down by some of his work.

All this being said, I still fucking LOVE the guy!! I wait with anticipation for each of his new releases. I gleefully insert them into my CD player and give them my full attention. Because whether I love it or hate it I know that I'm listening to a real artist in the truest sense of the word. He follows his own muse, blithely unaware of the cultural whirlpools that he leaves in his wake. His name alone could have gotten him some sorta major label production deal. He coulda been producing for 50, or Eminem, or any number of other cookie cutter mainstream artists. But this guy does his own thing. Makes his own music. Works with cats that he wants to work with. And the underground loves him for it! I love him for it!!

All this leads me to Madlib's most recent album "Beat Konducta vol. 3-4: In India." While I have usually been underwhelmed by his beat tapes with delusions-of-album-grandeur this release sees Madlib take a slightly different approach. The samples & vocal sound bites come from Indian Bollywood soundtracks. No great surprise in and of itself, Madlib used the same approach previously on "Beat Konducta vol. 1-2 movie scenes." But this time the production is a little more polished. The drums sound (dare I say) clean and compressed. The samples are intricately chopped and layered with a mathematical precision. Each instrumental pulses with what feels like a specific purpose and direction. This strikes me as Madlib with a Ritalin prescription. Maybe Oxnard went through a month long green drought? I don't know but this album is one of his most cohesive projects in quite some time.

Take a listen to a few tracks and make sure to go pick up the album from Stone's Throw as soon as it drops. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Download "Masala"
Download "Sitar Ride"
doesn't that sample sound like "King of Pain" by The Police???
Download "Club Scene"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

K-N-J SPOTLIGHT #1: Lynn Ness

Hey folks!
This is the first installment in what I'm currently calling the "Kicks-N-Jams Spotlight."
It'll feature an artist and cover some of what they're doin', or have done, and what they will be doin' in the near future. Hopefully you dig it and will get a little learned about some talented cats who haven't gotten all the attention their abilities so richly deserve. We might even talk shoes if at all possible haha!

The first artist we're gonna spotlight is California producer & crate digger extraordinaire Lynn Ness. He came to my attention via an extremely jazzy 12" that featured Yesh (of WeeBeeFoolish), Sach, & L Roneous. I was immediately impressed with the depth of this guys digging for jeweled samples and the way he layered them with extremely fat and dusty drums. I've been impatiently waiting for more ever since. It came out on New Medina Music in 2005. So click on the tracks then sit back and check out Lynn Ness.

Download "Ain't 2 Much" ft Yesh
Download "Droppin' Jew-els" ft Sach

1) when/where did you get started as a producer?
I didn't start producing on my own until around '96. But there were a number of things that led up to that, so I would actually say around '95 or so, I was really getting the bug to make beats. At that time, I was friends with a couple cats here in San Jose who were tight with the Homeliss Derelix and PB Wolf. I was kinda casually rhyming back then and got a beat from G-Luv that he pieced together real quickly when I was with him in the lab one day, and that definitely helped push me into the production arena. Just seeing it all come together like that. The process attracted me. Plus, I've always kinda been a nerd like that, so seeing the sampler and all this gear piled up with mad records everywhere just really appealed to me. Shortly after that, I ended up going to Chicago for a summer to attend art school and I became really close friends with this cat who had just transferred out from Atlanta. We both came from the same school of hip-hop and we just clicked. We would walk the streets of Chicago just freestyling, bugging out and exploring the city. I remember he told me he had a little sampler that he'd mess with from time to time, and one day I go into his dorm and he's got it hooked up and was putting together a little loop. Man, I was so geeked! From that moment, I knew when I got back to San Jose, that was what I wanted to do. Four months later, that's exactly what I did, and here we are now. Over ten years later, still digging strong and having fun with it, man.

2) You are an Adidas addict. What was your first pair of Adidas? Or your favorite pair?
I'll be honest, I really can't remember my first pair of Adidas. I was probably about a year old! All the men in my family played soccer professionally, and my father was actually sponsored by Adidas for a long time, so I would get a lot of stuff from him. Right now, my favorite pair of Adidas is my Sambas. They're my everyday beaters. I can get them dirty and scuffed up without worrying about how hard they are to replace.

3) Who were some of your early influences? the cats who made you wanna do this?
It was definitely cats like Prince Paul, Diamond D., Buckwild, Tribe, Premier, Beatnuts, No I.D., Beatminerz. Those were the main guys, for sure. And they still make me wanna do this. All the stuff they did in the early '90s that I came up on is timeless to me. And inspires me now just as much as it did back then. Throw on Dah Shinin' and I just get so amped! Or O.C.?! Man, forget about it.

4) current influences or just favorite artists of the moment?
I would say for the most part, my current influences are my past influences. I don't really stay too current with hip-hop and maybe that's going to be my downfall. I don't know. I just heard a nice track from this group called Y Society that impressed me though. Big up to my man Omar. But on the day to day basis, I get most of my influence from jazz and other stuff from the '60s and '70s. Music was just so much more personal back then. And even with hip-hop in the late '80s and early '90s. That's what I miss the most, especially with hip-hop. So I guess it's only natural that I'm influenced largely by music that was created during decades passed. And plus, being a record digger, I think it really gives you a much clearer perspective of the big picture. When you're buying all these amazing records that are 30/40 years old, you see how they've stood the test of time. Then you listen to some shit that came out last year and it's already sounding mad dated! It's bugged out.

5) any meaning behind the name?
Yeah, it means "for the people" in Arabic. Of course, not spelled like that, but that's where it comes from originally.

6) any secret artists (or not so secret) that you are working with?
Well, I'm casually working on a group project with Sach (ed. note - of The Nonce) and Mista Sinista (ibid - of The X-Men) called the Cookers. We finished two songs thus far and one of them features Aloe Blacc. That's a slow moving project though because we're all in different places, both geographically and psychologically. Needless to say we've definitely had our share of hurdles, but I really hope we can manage to get it done one day. I think it will be a beautiful listen. I'm also finishing a couple remixes for Pigeon John that will hopefully be coming out this Fall. Otherwise, just working on things for myself here and there. I'm kinda piecing together an instrumental thing that I'd like to hand out to some folks, but mostly it's just for the homies. If some interest develops, maybe it will get released on a little larger scale but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself.

7) who would you like to work with? dream collabos?

Sadat X comes to mind. Also, Ghostface, Dres.

8) a guilty pleasure?

In-N-Out burger? Gold chains maybe. Haha. Can't say I've ever acted on that one, but I've definitely done my share of fantasizing, and that makes me feel guilty enough!

9) your studio and gear setup?

Nothing too crazy. MPC60, ASR-10, Planet Phatt, a computer, turntable, records. That's about it.

10) what gear did you get started with?

Got started using an E-mu Emax sampler, along with Cubase.

11) does that gear still get used or hold a dear place in your heart or are you happy to be rid of it?

No, it definitely does. I really liked what E-mu did with the Emax I and II samplers. Their sound was very similar to the SP, but in keyboard format. And it didn't have any filtering. But it had that rawness to it. Such a heavy sound on the drums. I've actually thought about picking one up again. They're pretty inexpensive.

12) best crate digger tale?
Hmmm. A few come to mind, but I'm gonna go with the most recent. A month or so ago, I copped an original mono press of a Bill Evans' record for like $6.00 and sold it on eBay for over $200. Didn't really find shit else that day, so that was a welcomed surprise! I'm not huge on the selling side of things because I'm much more of a collector, but it is something I'm trying to do more of. Especially when it's with a really sought after title that I don't mind parting with. But I'll be honest though, I listened to that Bill Evans heavily for the two days prior to selling it and was having some serious second thoughts about it. But with all of my crate digging affinities aside, you have to remind yourself that no matter how much you love them and the music they hold, records are just things, man. And like all things in life, they're destined to come and go. I cherish them for as long as they're with me, but I try not to get too attached. Famous last words perhaps.

You can check out Lynn Ness at his myspace page.

Kanye West ft T-Pain "The Goodlife"

Kanye West has pulled out all the stops in promoting for his upcoming album. Last Sunday he made a cameo appearance on HBO's Entourage and the closing credits featured his new song "The Goodlife" featuring T-Pain. Will we see 50 cent in the opening episode of Grey's Anatomy making a play for McDreamy?? Could happen...

Download "The Goodlife"

DJ Alibi "One Day" drops Aug '07

Tres Records has released DJ Alibi's album "One Day." Consisting of eleven purely instrumental tracks and five tracks complimented by his label mate Giant Panda, Boston's Insight, Theo 3, and Alibis crew Bamboombox. Alibi is an obvious acolyte of People Under The Stair's Thes One and if you are a fan of the PUTS then this record is gonna be right up your alley. Alibi delivers well chopped samples and dusty breaks aplenty all over the album. His musical knowledge and approach bely a maturity well beyond his age (he's only 21!) and this record offers the listener a glimpse into the mind of a beat maker that is sure to be around pushing the envelope of what "that ole boom-bap" can sound like for years to come.

Go pick up the album and check out a couple tracks.

Download "Eglinton West Blues"
Download "Champion Sound"

S.K.I.P. "Autobiographicology" on Nonsense Records

On August 21st, Nonsense Records (yep, the good folks who brought us X:144 & SPS in '06) released "Autobiographicology" from Orlando, Florida emcee S.K.I.P.

The album, produced entirely by Swamburger of Sol.illaquists of Sound, offers up the same wide open and eclectic sonic experience that Sol.illaquists of Sound first introduced to the world on their Anti/Epitaph debut "As If We Existed." There is little doubt that S.K.I.P. wears his influences on his sleeve. A flow that owes a debt to Sage Francis isn't always a bad thing however. He is most interesting and (listenable) when he manages to stay out of the way of his own earnestness and instead lets the funk and soul of the tracks and his own rhythms breathe.

S.K.I.P. has also made his way into URB's next 1000 contest. You can go over there and throw some support his way by clicking right here. And go cop the album!! It is available all over the place.

Download "sky piece"
Download "limelight"

Stone's Throw Records has some weird shit


yeah. Baron Zen "At The Mall: Remixes" is a project described as, "the missing link between PIL and DFA." I don't know about that but I will say that the similarities between the '89, deadpan, nihilistic, slice-of-life, observations of Baron Zen and current band All Teeth And Knuckles is striking.

"From '88 to '92 DJ Sweet Steve was a one-man punk rock/disco army known as Baron Zen." The fact that we are even aware of this is ironic (Baron Zen never played a show, never released a record, and rejected all forms of publicity) because before making his name as a DJ and Producer and founder of Stone's Throw Records, Peanut Butter Wolf was programming drums for Baron Zen.

The remixes feature production from: PBW, J. Rocc, Blu Jemz, M-80, James Pants, Arabian Prince, Madlib, Danny Breaks, DJ Romes, & Tekblazer. It feels like a modern electro-blog-house project featuring snotty vocals from Paul Banks of Interpol. This project is so unusual because Stone's Throw (an admittedly idiosyncratic label) has, up until this point, never dipped into the new blog/electro/mash-up scene. When you think of Stone's Throw, you think of dusty breaks and jazzed out weirdness yes, hipster dance music...not so much. Yet despite this unexpected turn of events here is a CD that is equally comfortable sandwiched right in the middle of a PBW DJ set and an Iheartcomix mix.

Check out Baron Zen and go cop this record when it drops in Sept. The hipsters will love ya for it. :-)

Download "Walked In Line" Blu Jemz rmx
Download "Turned Around" Peanut Butter Wolf rmx

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Balance ST33 "Natural Resources" ???

Props to Highsnobiety for finding these new releases from New Balance.

The "Wood" model in this series features parts in hemp, the logo and the inner sole in cork. Also there is a tree graphic on the side of the sneaker. Colors stay in the white and brown tones with some dark green accents. The "Water" model comes in blue/white colors and features a graphic on the side that you cannot really see unless you look close. The mid sole fades from white to blue. We think the third one goes for the name "Metal", but that is a pure guess. They come in black premium leather, red suede and a metallic material. On the side they also feature a graphic. All three come with the Super Team 33 logo on the inner sole and the outside of the sneaker. Also, as usual, quality in terms of materials and execution on these is really good.

Nike SB X U2 sunday bloody sunday

Nike continues to tease us with their "Classic Rock" Pack. This time U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is the inspiration for what is my favorite shoe in the pack so far! And make no mistake, I am already a big fan of the "November Rain" G&R Dunk Mid. But this one with the crushed velvet on the heel and the gold outline on the swoosh is just a neckbreaker. Really sweet and nicely designed in my opinion.

pics via SneakersBR

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Size? x New Balance 577 Clerks Pack


I have gotta get these!!

These New balance sneak peaks are awesome!!

UK sneaker store Size? has just revealed their latest upcoming collaboration with New Balance. The 577 is back again in two electrifying colors. To build the hype even more, Size? has a contest goin' and a lucky winner will make off with these new sneakers. I wanna win!!!

Paulie Rhyme & Deedot release "Public Radio"

San Francisco Bay area MC Paulie Rhyme and producer Deedot have gotten together to release "Public Radio" on Browntown Wreckords. Paulie has made a name for himself in hip hop band Finless Brown while Deedot has been producing tracks out in the Bay for a minute now.

I'd been hearin' about Paulie since back in the day. He has worked with lotsa artists (oddjobs, heiruspecs, & DJ Lord Jazz to name a few), and a few months ago he blessed me with a solo EP called "The PDA," that got a little action on Hip Hop Flavors radio. Now he is hitting the world up with a more fully realized album than anything I've heard from him so far. Deedot's production smooths out some of the rough edges on Paulie's delivery and flow. The message is a mixture of both the positivity and paranoia within hip hop culture that has seemingly been there since the beginning. Paulie somehow lyrically melds equal parts Grand master Flash's "The Message," and "The Show" from Doug E. Fresh without getting lost in the dichotomy. No mean feat to pull off.

Of course if I'm gonna be really real here I gotta admit I woulda posted this up regardless because Paulie features one of my favorite emcees, Rasco, from one of my favorite West Coast groups, The Cali Agents! Tough to go wrong when Rasco blesses the track on "Block 4 Block."

Then we also get a treat from the banger "Komodo Spit" that features Khai of Lunar Heights!

Check out these two tracks and go cop the album.

Download "Block 4 Block"
Download "Komodo Spit"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday Night @ The Orpheum SOUL!

Come to the Orpheum in Tampa and dance to The Sapphires, Dobie Gray, The Contours, Mary Wells, Bob and Earl, Bob and Fred, Marvin Gaye, J.J. Barnes, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, The Olympics, TSU Tornadoes, Archie Bell and the Drells, James Brown, Etta James, Sister Sledge, Dean Courtney, Edwin Starr, The Commodores, The Jackson 5, The Bar-Kays, Soul Brothers Six, and so on...... Literally the best night of Soul! music in the southeast

Supastition EP "Leave of Absence" drops 9/18

North Carolina emcee, Supastition returns with the Khrysis -produced single, "Word Has It," from his upcoming digital EP entitled "Leave of Absence (Reform School Music)." The album is set for a September 18, release date. Production on the EP is handled by Khrysis (HOJ/Justus League), D.R. (Little Brother/The Others), Marco Polo (Masta Ace, Kool G Rap), and a few others. Guests appearances include Torae, Finale, Von Pea (Tanya Morgan), and Promise (Toronto).

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Supastition first gained national attention when his collaboration with Dutch producer, Nicolay, was selected over 5000 entries to appear on ?uestlove's Okayplayer Records album, "True Notes Vol 1." Since then, Supa has released two critically acclaimed (Scratch, XXL, The Source, URB) albums, "The Deadline" and "Chain Letters," on Soulspazm/Rawkus Records. He has appeared on tracks with KRS One, Little Brother, Cunninlynguists, Royce the 5'9, Elzhi, and many others. In a one year span, Supastition headlined 3 European tours and 1 Australian tour while performing in over 14 countries. Supa recently decided to break with Soulspazm/Rawkus and is shopping his third full length "Limelight" to labels in hopes of a mid-'08 release.

Download "Word Has It"

DeeJay Quickie Mart "Super Mart Sessions" Mix

So let me start by saying my man DJ Quickie Mart is one of the hardest workin - on his grind - do the damn thang DJs on the planet. Originally he was in New Orleans (before Katrina - and you mighta seen him in Urb magazine when they covered the effects of Katrina on the music commuity in the area) and currently he's out in L.A. causin' havoc on the one's and two's all over the place.

I reached out to him to see what was up and suffice it to say that we will be featuring some music from the group he DJ's for in the very near future right here on Kicks-n-Jams!! Cool right?!?!! But for right now I wanna drop this "Super Mart Sessions" Vol. 3 mix on ya! Check it out.

Download "Part One"
Download "Part Two"

Do you Dig That Ole Cypress Hill Sound???

DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill Fame has teamed up with Sick Jacken from Psycho Realm to release the concept album "Legend Of The Mask And The Assassin," on August 21st. They plan to deliver a story-based, thriller album with the street level elements that made Cypress Hill so popular. The tracks offer up that dark and dusty classic Muggs style production and will expose Jacken to an audience outside of the greater L.A. area. Jacken states, "A project with Muggs is going to open up doors for me as an independent artist. We have proved record sales in the L.A. market up in the 30,000's. That's with no promotion, distribution, or agents!"

Says Muggs, "We have the same music sensibility and same goals to keep the music hardcore. This is what attracted me to the music in the first place. You couldn't sound, look like, or use another artist's style. If you did you were considered wack. Now everybody is cloned from one another and we refuse to fall into that category. This is one of the most original creative albums I've ever been involved in."

The album will be released on Rebel Music/Universal Latin on August 21st. Make sure and go pick it up!

Download "The Mask And The Assassin"

check the promo video on right here

New Balance Japan Whiz x Mita P580 / New Whiz ‘Border’ collection

Mita Sneakers have teamed up with NB Japan and Japanese label Whiz for these new P580s that have just dropped to coincide with the unveiling of Whiz’s new ‘Border’ A/W collection. They feature a snake skin ‘N’ plus plenty of tartan trim, which is something of a Whiz signature.
If your Japanese is up to it check the Mita website for a round table discussion on the development of the shoe. Also check the Whiz site which has just been updated with their new range. The distinctive Whiz arm-length lightning bolts have had their day, being replaced by more mature and subtle branding. But it’s anything but drab, with vivid color still a key part of their mix.

Not particularly my style but I support New Balance even when they come out with the odd shit...

Steve Aoki x WESC Headphones

WeSC was founded by six avid skateboarders and snowboarders in 1999 and is currently established in nineteen countries.

WeSC is not merely a brand in the fashion industry, but rather a company within the skateboard culture. A company that today makes clothes, but in the future, will represent product lines in other areas. WE creates “street fashion”, a fashion with its roots in a subculture that sets its own rules and follows its own trends.

WeSC is addressing people with awareness, no matter the race, religion or financial background, that all share the values and lifestyle of the founders. WeSC delivers “life after skate”, a more developed style that also targets people outside the skateboard community, but still shares its values. Our product line includes a diversity of garments – jackets, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts and blouses, underwear, pants and accessories like bags and caps. WE is not like other fashion companies. WeSC is unpredictable and does not follow trends.

Once again WESC gets together with a well known DJ to release pro model headphones. This time they worked with DJ Steve Aoki. They are available in a variety of colors, in-sync with each seasonal collection. They are now available at Karmaloop.

Witchdoctor of Dungeon Fam returns on new CunninLynguists 12"

CunninLynguists (Deacon The Villain & Kno) have returned with a new album "Dirty Acres" and, alongside Witchdoctor and Phonte, of Little Brother fame, they have delivered a pretty dope, simmering, burner called "Yellow Lines."

I have been a geek for Witchdoctor since he released the track "Holiday" way back in '97!! He is probably the least acclaimed member of The Dungeon Family (Goodie MOB, Outkast, Killer Mike, Cool Breeze etc.) but that's always been why I dug him. I like the underdogs, what can I say?

The guitar sample is what drives this one for me. It just takes me back to that time when Dungeon Family was makin' moves. Before Andre became 3000 and stopped making albums in the same room with Big Boi. When Cee-Lo wasn't covering 80's one hit wonders and dressing like 70's pop cultural icons. When "
Southernplayalisticadillacfunkymusic" was what every head knew was the next shit that hadn't blown into the mainstream yet. When the whole crew got into a room and dropped a banger like "Watch For The Hook." When it was still "ours" and it was so so dope!! Big props to Cunninlynguists for takin' me back there for just a few moments at least!!

This is highly recommended! Go and cop it when it drops!

Download "
Yellow Lines"

Telephone Jim Jesus "Anywhere Out Of The Everything" 9/25

For Those of you who are down with the instrumental side of music allow me to introduce you to Telephone Jim Jesus and his new album "Anywhere Out Of The Everything" on Anticon.

Terms like laid back, ambient, and chill out get thrown his way on a regular basis and make no mistake, throwin' this on for a late night drive out to the beach, or after a particularly stressful day at the office/cubicle/purgatory would not be out of the realm of possibility.

But the atmospherics of a TJJ album are a little edgier than what one might normally expect from standard ambient fare. A "trip" is what you get from this record. Not a bad one mind you, but don't expect Deepak Chopra to wander through the haze and reassure your troubled psyche. Melancholy is a key element, as is a certain openness to ambiguity over certainty.

TJJ is also a member of Restiform Bodies along with The Bomarr monk and Passage, both of whom appear on this album as well. The rest of the Anticon collective wanders in and out of the proceedings both announced and unannounced. This album is not for the dance floor, neither is it a backpacker anthem. If you dig Anticon's vibe you're gonna swear by it. If you don't well...

Download "Birdstatic"

Tampa MC Dutchmassive single "Better man"

The new single from Dutchmassive "Better Man" features production from Beat Fanatic, Illmind. Illmind delivers a jazzy, mellow, sound scape for Dutch and Justus League MC, Median, along with Von Pea to wander and perambulate over.
Check out the new project "The NEXT Final Fantasy" from Dutchmassive featuring Buff1, Median, U-N-I and others as well as a star studded production line up featuring Celph Titled, Illmind and others.
More on Dutchmassive can be found at:

Download "
Better Man

Friday, August 24, 2007

Format Releases Dope Wallpapers

I saw this on and had to repost it!

"Toronto’s Format Mag just released a HUGE series of downloadable wallpapers. The great selection features over 70 high quality artist, sneaker, and general designs by some of the best urban artists around, as well as a few of the latest up-and-comers. Headliners include: Stamp Rodeo; TLFI (who you may remember from a recent SpearTalks); a bunch of UNKL x Futura; and Bijules. That’s obviously just a teensy taste of the collection, so head on over to get your desktop some fresh and free lovin’."

info via

Remix a Sage Francis Track

There is currently a remix contest for a chance to be on Sage Francis upcoming remix album. Looks like Sage is trying to get some new producers. (via The Phila Flava Forum)

Here is what Sage wrote"

"Reanimator made the beat for the original version of the song, and I believe he mentioned to me that even he’d like to take a crack at doing a remix.

Here is the acapella:


The acapella fades out before the beat tempo switches at the end of the original song, and that’s so I can avoid a lot of headaches.

Here is the original song (to give you an idea as to where the vocals should be falling on the beat):


If you can’t figure out the BPM then this project might not be for you.

All submissions must be sent to by Sept 10th. The winner and top 3 remixes will be announced on Sept 11th.

The winner will be featured on the front page of and have the option of appearing on my remix album (2008.) But mainly, this is just an excuse to get some activity going in an effort to find untapped talent.

Best of luck!

Remember Remember the 11th of September."

-Sage Francis

E Reece is "A New Breed" of artist

So I promised earlier that I'd hit you up about this cat E Reece.
His new album is called "A New Breed" and if you've been buggin' out over the new Common, and the new Talib Kweli, and Pharoahe Monche's latest album then I suggest you get onto this kid right now! Not a lotta marketing and promotion just a lotta skill, heart, & soul.

The soul music foundation is deep on this album. Most especially on the track "Everything," produced by Leggo. E Reece is based in L.A. but his roots go back to the East coast and you can feel it in his flow. Reece works soulful smoothed out tracks like "Get Into It" without letting the vibe dissolve into simple head nodding. This stuff can definitely get the ladies dancin'. And right about the time you started thinkin' that he was just another smoothed out jazz cat he hits you with bangers like "Never Mind That," and "The Get Up" (a track that makes me think of Purple Rain era Prince). In years to come this is gonna be one of those artists that everybody name checks. A West coast Spit kicker with East coast cred. Check him out now and get on the band wagon early. You won't be disappointed.

Go cop the album!

Download "Everything"

Download "The Get Up"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Decline and Fall of Hip Pop???

Time Magazine of all publications is jumping onto the "Hip Hop is dying" bandwagon. I did find the decline in sales numbers really interesting.

"According to the music trade publication Billboard, rap sales have dropped 44% since 2000 and declined from 13% of all music sales to 10%. Artists who were once the tent poles at rap labels are posting disappointing numbers. Jay-Z's return album, Kingdom Come, for instance, sold a gaudy 680,000 units in its first week, according to Billboard. But by the second week, its sales had declined some 80%. This year rap sales are down 33% so far."

"Artists who never jumped on the gangsta bandwagon point the finger at the boardroom. They accuse major labels of strip-mining the music, playing up its sensationalist aspects for easy sales. "In rock you have metal, alternative, emo, soft rock, pop-rock, you have all these different strains," says Q-Tip, front man for the defunct A Tribe Called Quest. "And there are different strains of hip-hop, but record companies aren't set up to sell these different strains. They aren't set up to do anything more."

Check out the full article HERE

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Black Milk doin his own thing and still reppin detroit

Props to Black Milk for makin' dope music, reppin' for Detroit and still doin' his own sound without jumpin' onto the bandwagon of J Dilla sound-a-likes. I originally heard of him as one half of the group BR Gunna. He released "Dirty District, Vol. 2" on Barak Records in the summer of '04. He signed to Fat Beats Records after laying beats for Pharoahe Monch, Slum Village, Proof, J. Dilla, and others. Black Milk is already one of the hottest young producers in hip hop. What folks may not know is that he is equally capable of ripping a mic, as heard on his '07 album "Popular Demand," and his "Broken Wax" EP, featuring guest appearances from Guilty Simpson, Slum Village, Phat Kat, and more. The future of Detroit hip hop starts now.

Go out and get his album and get exposed to the new Detroit sound.

Download "Three Plus Sum"

Wes Fif is the Truth!!!

"OMG TRANCE RAP IS UPON US!!!" funplusone blog

It may be true! The world may well jump onto the tip of Timbaland's new style. J.T. did it first, followed very quickly by Nelly Furtado. Now Wes Fif has jumped on with a track that I cannot get out of my head. Seriously this song is on constant repeat for me right now. Cool that he's from Orlando too. Florida represent!!

Download "Haterz"

M.I.A. releases "Kala" Aug 21st

An interview with M.I.A. is available over at Radar.
I like this new album a little bit more than "Arular." I don't exactly know why. It could be that "Arular" just prepped me for more of the same in "Kala" and now I can hear what she is tryin' ta do.
The opener "Bamboo Banga" starts off as a cover of the Modern Lovers' "Road Runner," then mutates into Punjabi robo-crunk; "20 Dollar" confuses New Order's "Blue Monday" with Pixies' "Where Is My Mind" with impressive results; and inevitable single "Jimmy" sounds like something you'd hear while waiting in line to buy falafel in outer space. Kala will probably be the only album you'll hear in 2007 on which the lone Timbaland track (closer "Come Around") is the least interesting.

Check her out and go cop the album.

download "Hit That"

Download "Boyz" The Twelves rmx

Havoc of Mobb Deep releases "The Kush" 9/18

Havoc of Mobb Deep is following Prodigy’s lead and releasing a solo debut, “The Kush,” due out in stores this fall.

“I was always ready [to drop a solo album], but the reason why it took me so long is because the timing wasn’t right,” explained Havoc.

“I was always working on Mobb Deep material and working with other artists, and I used a lot of the material I was going to use for a solo LP for
Mobb Deep records.”

“The Kush,” which is entirely produced by Havoc, is described as “dark and gutter” by the Queensbridge emcee. “I really wanted to go that direction.”

The album also keeps the guest appearances to a minimum, with brief cameos by Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and rap affiliates 40 Glocc, Un Pachino, and Nyce.

“Besides Prodigy, I did not want a bunch of big stars on it, as it would have taken away from the real objective of the LP, which is grimy and down to earth,” Havoc said.

Havoc has also followed the lead of 50 cent and taken to creating drama right around the time his album is set to drop. (funny how that happens huh?) This time Havoc addresses ATL and specifically T.I. Stating that the South and T.I. have nothing on Mobb Deep and are basically on their own dicks and they need to get off of their own dicks. In my opinion this is ridiculous, playground stupidity but it seems to have worked because it has lit up the internet lately and gotten Havoc a ton of free marketing. Either way there is no denying Havoc's talent on the mic and behind the boards and this record will satisfy any long time Mobb Deep fan.

“The Kush” hits stores on Sept. 18 via indie label Nature Sounds. So go get it!

Download "Go Head"

Download "Be There"


New Balance has stepped it up a notch utilizing tartan as its canvas, available in the dope tomato red color way or the dark forest green. Introducing a new variation on the awesome 576 model, these shoes feature a massive painted "N" replacing the original plastic logo and finished off with some nifty stitching around the toe box to break up the one piece used to construct the front of the shoe. These NBs will be available in August.


The New Balance Trail Buster model which is based of the MT580 model was first released in the 90’s. New Balance has recently reissued the urban hiking shoes with fresh new colorways. Here’s a look at the upcoming camo Trail Buster which comes in two colors (purple & green) and features a urban camo throughout the shoe. They will be coming out on September 5th at Mita Sneaker for 9,200 Yen.

via hypebeast

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Saturday Night in St. Pete w/ DJ Mega

I have it on pretty good authority that DJ Mega knows his way around a turntable and a bottle Grey Goose...

Greedy Genius X Barneys New York “Crock Star”

Greedy Genius, has been making noise in recent years with their bold colorways and eye catching designs. They have on numerous occasions worked with hi-end fashion boutique Barneys, New York on different projects. This sneaker will be the fourth sneaker they will be producing together. Made of premium croc leather, this “Crock Star” will also feature a white gel bottom and a star pattern throughout the shoe. These shoes will be exclusively available at Barneys, New York starting the first week of September.

I am constantly blown away by the Greedy Genius color ways and shoe concepts. However I can never get away from the blockiness of their silhouette. Most specifically, the toe box makes me think of a Doc marten dress shoe. Not in a good way either. I love the stars under the clear gel soles and the all over shoe concept is excellent. I just wish it was on a different style shoe.

via hypebeast

Aesop Rock "None Shall Pass" on Def Jux Aug. 28th

The Aesop Rock album "None Shall Pass" from Definitive Jux Records has arrived at last.
Some really cool CD art on this one from Jeremy Fish of Silly Pink Bunnies.

Fourteen tracks (plus one secret hidden gem) and it is an excellent album overall. "None Shall Pass" marks the return of Blockhead on production for much of the CD. EL-P and Rob Sonic also provide a track each while Aesop lays down a few burners as well.

Will this album stop war? Will it cure cancer? Will it "save" indy hip hop? (from what? I have no idea.)

I don't know!!

Is it a really strong album from an artist who has consistently grown from record to record? Well, to that question I can certainly respond with a resounding YES!

It is a less noisy affair than Bazooka Tooth. I can't help but sense some sorta similarity to MC 9ooft Jesus of all artists. Especially his early production like "The City Sleeps" off of 1991's "Welcome To My Dream." Or maybe Massive Attack's early stuff (like "protection") before Mezzanine or even "Teardrop" from that album. Either way a slightly smoother, less distorted aesthetic is without question in place on this release. It works too. Aesop's stories are introspective and evocative of a film noir sensibility that he has rarely displayed up to this point.

Cop it! Don't sleep!

download Aesop Rock's "No City"

and then check out "The City Sleeps" video from MC 900ft Jesus and tell me you don't hear a little similarity...

Look what Lazy got over the weekend

Yep, I headed over to The Skate Park of Tampa to check out one pair of shoes and chill at the skate comp they had goin' on over there. My man DJ Blenda was spinnin' and I figured it'd be a good time. I missed Blenda but Sean in the Pro Shop tempted me with kicks and so here I am with three new pairs!!! Good thing I cashed in a big 25k poker tournament this weekend...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mr. J. Medeiros "Of Gods and Girls"

Recently got a Basementalism package in the mail from my man Inka One and what do I find inside but the new releases from a member of The Procussions and a brand new album from a cat named E Reece (I'll post somethin' about him soon).

Mr. J. Medeiros of The Procussions has delivered a new album for all the heads.
"Of Gods and Girls" is a really nice solo project that both extends the range that he has shown with the Procussions and carries what they have already been doin' forward. The beats and lyrics are definitely on that kinda emotionally poignant level (most specifically in "Constance" and "Keep Pace"). "who am I if I cant be the person that I was created to be. I write a verse and relate it to me. On the subject of worth I hesitated as I painted the scene heavy laden with the pain of a dream that's unsung. I'm to blame when refraining to reach for someone. We the same on this earth from the dirt we have come. No matter where we're from we're still looking at one sun." Deep stuff but funky at the same time. Production is held down by a who's who of indy hip hop (stro of the procussions, illmind, joey beats, headnodic, & more) as well as Mr. J. Medeiros himself. While I've never been the biggest fan of The Procussions (they're good but have never brought it all together on an album in my opinion) this is definitely a step in the right direction and my favorite Procussions affiliated record to date.

The cats at Basementalism have been bringing quality hip hop to the ears for a while now. Go check them out and pick up the album while you're there.

Download "Keep Pace"

Download "Constance"

Raheem Jamal Releases "Boombox" album on Brick Records

Brick Record's latest release, "Boombox" by Raheem Jamal is what a rap album should be: One MC. One Producer. A cohesive balance between head-snapping beats and inspirational lyrics. Production on "Boombox" is delivered by fellow Boston rapper and producer Raydar Ellis (he dropped "Late Pass" on heads last year). These are (to paraphrase Stevie Wonder) songs in the key of life, love, struggle and strength.

“My record is about finding myself and achieving balance in life,” explains Jamal. “If someone can find something in themselves in my journey, that’s great.” Born and raised in Boston, Jamal has been an integral part of the city’s distinctive hip-hop scene for sometime. Jamal is also a member of Project Move, whose LP "Love Gone Wrong/Butterfly Theory" was released last year. You can even check for Jamal's other group Electric Company, who released "Life's A Struggle." “From conscious heads to street heads,” says Jamal, “Boston has an amazing hip-hop scene with so many talented artists.”

Take a sec and check out one of Boston's most talented emcees and then go cop the damn record!!

download via zshare "We Got"

download "Boombox"

Spear of the Nation Drops "Spearitalk" Sept. 11th

Hey folks! Hope everybody had a good weekend. I just got a new album from the ladies over at NatAural High in San Francisco, CA. "Spearitalk" by Lunar Height's emcee Spear of the Nation.

Continuing to build on the foundation of Oakland's hip hop trinity Lunar Heights, emcee Spear of the Nation is dropping a solo hip hop album on Sept. 11th. What does this educator, foot soldier, and rap tycoon want to talk about? Production masterminds Aristotle the Great and DJ Icewater have mapped it out. Bay Area producer Aristotle the Great aka Aries has coined the term "Boom Slap." When you hear the music you'll know what he means.

NatAural High has dropped some hot albums and 12"s in the last few years.
(Lunar Height's "Crescent Moon" Jern Eye's "Authentic Vintage" Omni's "Batterie" Bavu Blakes "Nobody Leavin" Spank Pops "Populate" and more) "Spearitalk" is right in line with all these releases as well as the sounds of other Bay area representers The Coup, Zion I, Lyrics Born, & Blackalicious.

Make sure and cop this one!

Download via zshare "Clap"

Download via zshare "Black Love"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nike SB Blazer Shogo at the skatepark of tampa

I'm heading over to The Skate Park Of Tampa today to check out the Nike SB Blazer "Shogo" aka "Lordless Warrior." The upper is canvas, suede and ostrich leather on the swoosh. I'm diggin' the stipples and texture on the swoosh and the overall interesting use of materials on this one. That together with some nice bio-hazard and bird graphics and the red stitching makes it one of the nicer SB releases of the summer.

via highsnobiety

Ubiq X Batman Fatima collabo

This is for the hardcore comic book geeks! Meaning me...

The Ubiq crew from Japan is once again up to something special. They now released the info on Zozo about their upcoming Batman x Ubiq Fatima collaboration. There are two versions - one colorful version and one black/white version. For Batman fans and sneaker fans this is definitely something special. The sneakers also come in special packaging.

The Batman x Ubiq collaboration will be released on the 31st of August.

via highsnobiety

November Rain Nike SB Mid Dunk

I've been hearing about a possible Guns N Roses dunk from Nike for a while now. Well we finally have some pics to go along with the rumors. via Colmilludo

The Dunk Mid includes a black/gray/red upper and rose detailing on the tongue and insole as well.

I don't know when this is gonna drop but you gotta assume they'll hold it 'till November. Right???

Friday, August 17, 2007

Gimme a beat!!!!

So I have a few tracks for you to check out from various artists. All just kinda beat driven instrumental coolness.

Anomaly "It's Him Again"

Link Pins "Could Be"

College "Teenage Color" (russ chimes remix)

Joey Beats "Me Talk Pretty"

Ooah "Tubstomper"

Cresh Frazy "As the Arrows Fell"

DJ Mayonnaise "Post Reformat"

Lazy "Droplets On Flowers"

Psyche Origami's DJ Dainja drops "WatchTower"

Its been too long since Dj Dainja of Psyche Origami's last mixtape "Cadence", so he's FINALLY hittin the pavement with another one.

Shining the spotlight on the best in independent hip hop, "Watchtower" covers everything from new De La Soul, to underground rulers like MF Doom and Masta Ace, even local ATL favorites like Jax and the AB's get the treatment (...shhh! There just may be a brand spankin' new unreleased Psyche O track hidden on there, fresh from the studio that you can't get anywhere else!)
So don't get left in the dark! (If you don't live in the ATL, order HERE. It's only $5!!)

Download "Wherever You Are" off of Psyche O's"The Standard"

Boz Faramone has a "BBQ" w/ Moka Only

This Jama-dian (Jamaican - Canadian) emcee Boz Faramone drops a nice, lazy, laid back single that simmers and pops like Dad's grill on july 4th. Producer Nick Knox teams up with Boz and Moka Only for this one. Boz is a member of a crew called The Nextraterrestrial’s and that all by itself makes him worth checkin' out.

Download "BBQ"

Sean Kingston "Beautiful Girls" remixes

OK, so Sean Kingston has a hit song with his very poppy "Beautiful Girls" ode to the evils of hot women. Who knows why people like the things they like...


I Got this from L-Precise:

"Beautiful Girls - Definitely one of the hottest songs this of course I had to give it that extra touch for my DJ peers who are looking for a little something extra for the club or radio show."

The L-Precise Rmx... features an EXCLUSIVE verse from Miami's very own, Pitbull. Check his blog here for details and pics.

If you're not up on Pitbull, hit him up at

I also got this Fabolous, Lil Boosie remix too. It's a kinda doo wop joint. I don't know, you tell me.

click the link below to hear them now.

Download "Beautiful Girls" L Precise rmx ft Pitbull

Download "Beautiful Girls" Fabolous & Lil Boosie rmx

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Quasimoto T-shirt

I just dropped by the Stones Throw site to check on new releases (that new Oh No album is gonna be dope and Percee P drops sept. 18th) and I saw these new Quasimoto tees.

Wow! I'm a Public Enemy fan and a Madlib fan so this shit is like Peanut Butter & Jelly or Reese's peanut butter cups for me! Two great tastes that taste great together.

get 'em at the Stone's throw site. Do this immediately!!

New Balance 670 "Red Devil"

New Balance seems to be getting back to simple clean designs lately after the spate of high concept drops in 2007 (fish, stingrays, comics etc.) Don't get me wrong, I love all those releases but there is something to be said for a simple, high quality material, shoe that really pops. The New Balance "Red Devil" is just that shoe. Black premium leathers, red suede and a patent heel all come together to deliver a sweet kick.

via Solebox

Sweet New Balance 1400's for '08

These Beautiful 1400’s are due out late January and will set you back about $150. These tier 1 styles were put together by the ST33 Team but should still be easy to find for those who are looking. All three in this series offer a mix of premium smooth and suede leather, gum soles, and a 3M highlights. Check the runner silhouette in the toes of these beauties. The purple seems to be popping up a lot lately.

via new balance blog