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Monday, October 31, 2011

GRAVEDIGGAZ - "House That Hatered Built"

Here's a sick halloween treat from Prince Paul to all the Gravediggaz heads out there. The track is called "The House That Hatred Built" and according to Paul this was actually the first track the quartet ever recorded together, back in 1992. This is nothing but raw, uncut hip-hop perfection right here! "It was the intro to our demo and it was actually recorded the day I introduced these guys to each other at my house . This track never made the album but It was one of my favorite productions. This was the track that started it all .. RIP Poetic . Enjoy!"

The house that hatred built ( Unreleased Gravediggaz demo 92 ) by DJ Prince Paul

Stream Torae's new album

With the proper permission, The DJBooth has uploaded Torae's entire new album for listening stream on their site for the next 24 hours. If you like what you hear, you can pick up the album @ your local store or favorite net store tomorrow. There's a serious list of all-star producers contributing to this project and Torae ain't no stranger to killing rhyme sessions either so make sure to give this a spin.


VIDEO: Hell Razah & RA The Rugged Man

Official video for Hell Razah and R.A. The Rugged Man's "Return Of The Renaissance", one of the many standout moments on last years brilliant "Heaven Razah" LP. It's great to see Razah back and looking healthy after all that went down with his brain surgery. I wish him all the best and continued health improvement. The video is directed by Yoni Arava and edited by Ed I. Rosenberg and R.A. The Rugged Man. If you haven't already, pick up the album @ Amazon.

Torae - "For The Record" (w. DJ Premier)

 Whooo!!! Here's another super slamming joint from Torae's new album "For The Record" which hit stores tomorrow so make sure to support that ish if this makes your head nod. As you'll surely hear, DJ Premier laces Torae on this one which is the title track of the LP which also features production from Diamond D, Pete Rock, Large Professor, 9th Wonder and more. This song was premiered by DJ Al Lindström when filling in for Tony Toca @ The Shade 45 show a couple of days ago so shouts to him. You can pre-order your copy of "For The Record" @ UGHH now!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Making of Common's "Resurrection"

Only a couple of days ago you had Dres speak on "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" and today Complex posts "The Making of Common's Resurrection". Common Sense's second album remains as one of my favorite rap albums of all time as it's such a perfect combination of clever lyricism, soul and spirituality and hypnotizing jazz breaks. In this interview we get the word on the process behind this timeless masterpiece from all the main players involved. Besides Common, there's also producers No I.D. and Twilite Tone giving their side of the story as well as Lonnie "Pops" Lynn, Peter Kang and Derek Dudley. Incredibly informative and I'm telling you that no one is fucking with Complex when it comes to interesting interviews at the moment. While you're at it, make sure to check out the original 1991 Common Sense demo tape, "UnAmerican Caravan", in case you didn't catch it the first time around.


M.O.P. - "Handle Ur Bizness" EP

While we're eagerly awaiting the release of "Sparta", let's take it back to 1998 with M.O.P.'s "Handle Ur Bizness" EP. Considering that this joint has been out-of-print for quite some time it took me a while to get my hands on it, but once I did I found it to be a worthy addition to my Mash Out collection. Eight tracks deep, Lil' Fame and Billy Danze are sporting their usual energetic and anger steaming performances without lacking the raw emotion and tight deliveries that originally made them two of my favorite rhymers. The EP was released shortly before their third album, "First Family 4 Life", came out and is sonically very much in the same vein. Primarily produced by Laze E Laze, all the material besides the Preemo remix of the title track are exclusive to this release. Featuring stand out tracks like "NBCFWM", "Cold World" and the original mix of "Handle Ur Bizness" this shit is pure fire and should not be slept on by anyone who finds pleasure in banging head to the sounds of Brownsville's Finest. TURN IT UP!!

01. "NBCFWM"
02. "Soundman"
03. "Handle Ur Bizness"
04. "Way Of The World"
05. "Shady Grady's Bar & Grill"
06. "Move Something"
07." Cold World"
08. "Handle Ur Bizness" (DJ Premier Remix)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bumpy Knuckles / DJ Premier - "BAP"

A couple of weeks ago we got "Fake", a track where Bumpy Knuckles (or Freddie Foxxx if you prefer) attacking one of the instrumentals from DJ Premier's "Beats That Collected Dust Vol. II". There's long been talks about a full collaborative album between these two, who already have a track record of about 20 released songs together, and this looks like it be the first official single from that project which is said to be titled "The Kolexion". As you might know, when it comes to getting beats from Preem, Foxxx has stated that he likes the challenge in picking tracks that's been previously rejected by other artists. This particular beat was apparantly rejected by Jay-Z for inclusion on "Blueprint 3" which speaks volume on The Jiggaman's mindstate considering how shitty 90% of that album sounded. Thanks to The DJ Premier Blog for the link.



Call O' Da Wild was a duo consisting of Harlem rappers Barron Ricks and Angelo Campanioni who were active for a short number of years in the mid-'90s. The group were closely affilliated with DJ Muggs and part of the Soul Assassins, appearing on the first S.A. album with their track "New York Undercover". They only got to release two exclusive 12" singles, in '95 and '96 respectively, as well as appearing on the soundtracks for "Bad Boys" and "Gravesend" roughly between the same time before fading into obscurity. Barron Ricks, however, released a 12" of his own in '98 including the B-Real and Chace Infinite featured "Rags to Riches" as well as the Alchemist laced "Harlem River Drive" on the flipside. Most people probably knows him best for the many cameos on Cypress Hill's "IV" from that same year, even making an apperance on the classic hit single "Tequila Sunrise". Following a few other guest roles on records by DJ Hurricane, Princess Superstar and The Baldwin Brothers (?!) he too seems to have left the rap game alone, for what reason I'm not sure.

The group of Call O' Da Wild were signed to the SONY label and worked on an album with DJ Muggs as the executive and main record producer. If you look in the booklet of the CD version of the "Unreleased & Revamped" EP, there's even an ad for the LP with the text saying "coming soon". Eventually completed sometime between 1996 and 1997 the trio handed in their material to SONY who deemed to album to hard to sell since it didn't have any possible radio singles. This seems like an incredibly idiotic idea on the labels part, considering that DJ Muggs was a huge part of it and The Hill were one of the biggest rap groups around - despite not putting out commercial joints. Reminds me of the Sylvia Rhone situation that Pete Rock faced at Elektra when he tried to pich his groups InI and Deda, but that's another story. Following this, Call O' Da Wild broke up and their album were left definitely shelved. DJ Muggs said on the group and the shelved album, "Call O' Da Wild broke up right after their album was finished for SONY, and they thought they were superstars before they record even came out... I have the album on a DAT tape in storage somewhere".
Every song the group released were compiled and uploaded by the homie Pattch82 over at the Wu Corp Forum a while ago, and with permission I'm putting it here on The Lost Tapes. Really the only thing I did was arrange the sequencing a bit differently and replaced a few tracks to versions with higher bitrate so all props goes to Pattch82, thank you man! Included are all the singles and B-sides, soundtrack joints, two unreleased tracks that were put up on MySpace a while ago plus the two tracks from Barron Ricks solo 12". If you're a fan of the DJ Muggs sound around "III - Temples Of Boom" (and who the hell ain't?), you're definitely gonna enjoy this one. So crank up the volume, sit back and let Ricks and Campanioni take you on a ride back to the '90s.

All songs produced by DJ Muggs except track 1 (Jerome Foster & Sean Matthews), track 4 (The Alchemist) and track 6 (Sean C & Knobody). A couple of the tracks are also solo songs by Barron Ricks, since they are lifted from his 1998 12" single "Rags to Riches" with the flip side "Harlem River Drive". But even official group albums often include at least one solo song from each member, so in my opinion it really don't take away anything frm the overall experience. Last but not least, shouts to the forum poster Supreemo for designing the cover/artwork you see below. Aight, 'nuff talk, dowload, press play and LET IT BANG because this shit really, really KNOCKS!

01. "Sometimes The Neighborhood"
02. "Ruffturrain"
03. "Intellectual Dons" (Ft. B-Real)
04. "Harlem River Drive"
05. "Andrew's Ave."
06. "Clouds of Smoke" (Ft. Wayne-O)
07. "Rags to Riches" (Ft. Cypress Hill & Self Scientific)
08. "Urban Wilderness"
09. "New York Undercover"
10. "Ninth Symphony" (Ft. Cypress Hill)
11. "Runnin' Wild"


Common - "Blue Sky" (The Video)

Here goes the second video, "Blue Sky", from Common's coming studio album "The Dreamer, The Believer", dropping this December. The LP will be made up of 10 tracks (possibly with a few additional bonus tracks), all produced by No I.D. and the only featured guest is Nas on "Ghetto Dreams", I'm feeling that formula, getting rid of any filler to create a front-to-back banger with one producer and one MC - the same blueprint that made "Be" so incredible. Complex Magazine got an early preview of the album and wrote out a track-by-track breakdown which you can check out here.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Immortal Technique - "The Martyr"

Take some time out your day to take a listen to Immortal Technique's brand new, free of charge mixtape that just hit the web. Considering that "The Martyr" is made up of nothing but fresh beats, exclusive verses and cameos and all full songs it plays out more like a street album than a traditional mixtape. To promote the record, Tech will be doing a US tour over the coming months, make a search for it to see the dates.

01. "Burn This"
02. "The Martyr" (Prod. by Southpaw)
03. "Angels & Demons" (Ft. dead prez) [Prod. by DJ GreenLantern]
04. "Rich Man’s World (1%)" [Prod. by Shuko]
05. "Toat to the Dead" [prod. by J Dilla]
06. "Eyes in the Sky" (Ft. Mojo of Dujeous) [Prod. by Southpaw]
07. "Goonies" (Ft. Diabolic, Swave Sevah & Gomez) [Prod. by Southpaw]
08. "Natural Beauty" (Ft. Mela Machinko) [Prod. by Slimfass]
09. "Running Nowhere (Interlude)" [Prod. by Southpaw]
10. "Mark of The Beast" (Ft. Akir & Beast 1333) [Prod. by The Molemen]
11. "Black Vikings" (Ft. StylesP, Vinnie Paz & Poison Pen) [Prod. by Southpaw]
12. "Conquerors" (Ft, Dr. John Henrik Clarke) [Prod. by Engineer]
13. "Young Lords" (Ft. Joell Ortiz, Pumpkinhead, CF & Panama Alba) [Prod. by Southpaw]
14. "Ultimas Palabras" [Prod. by Immortal Technique & Southpaw]
15. "Sign of the Times" (Ft. Cetan Wanbli, Lockjaw Nakai & Cornel West) [Prod. by Southpaw]


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dres Revisits "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"

This month marks 20 years since the New York duo called Black Sheep dropped their full-length debut "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". A true classic that unfarily has been largely overshadowed by fellow Native Tounges' releases of the same era. Dres remains as one of the most underrated emcees of all time - sick with the wordplay, strapped with mad charisma and packing a distinct voice that captivated you from the beginning to end of this gem. Just as important to the structure was of course obscure sample diggin' producer Mista Lawnge who since has faded into obscurity. In honor of the anniversary, spoke to the groups lead rapper who gave a thorough breakdown of what went into the making of the LP. In case you missed The Lost Tapes' Black Sheep compilation a while ago, peep it here!


The Nas & Preem Suite

Probably the most common request among hip-hop heads are a fresh collaboration between Mr. Nasty and Preemo. These two always bring out the beast of eachother and their track record together speaks for itself with some of the finest rap records ever created. And the legacy grows as VIBE today presents "Re:Generation", a meeting between Premier, Nas and The Berklee Symphony Orchestra for a cut specially made for the forthcoming documentary film of the same name. For more info on the flick, go to

"DJ Premier was given Classical and began his immersion into the genre with Bruce Adolphe, a former classical music professor at Juilliard. They met at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music not far from DJ Premier’s home in NY. After learning about classical music theory, the inspirations of some of the genre’s most profound composers and how traditional pieces are structured, DJ Premier went out and bought tons of classical symphonies on vinyl to mash up his own creation. We then took that mash-up and orchestrated it for sheet music. In the first step of the actual recording process, DJ Premier partnered with Stephen Webber, a professor and conductor at the Berklee College of Music. Steven taught Premier how to conduct and helped him in studio with the 58-piece Berklee Symphony Orchestra you hear on the track. Of all the takes, the one you hear is the “wild” version (which means they recorded it without the metronome in their headphones) DJ Premier conducted himself. Then DJ Premier brought that instrumental track back home to NY and Nas laid down his rhyme on top of it."

EDIT: Thanks to DJPB, we now got the full CDQ version of this one...


Ruste Juxx / R.A. The Rugged Man

I realized I forgot to post this video when it first dropped a few days ago, so here's for anyone who might've missed this dope cut. Ruste Juxx is teaming up with producer Kyo Itachi (who previously worked with Finale and LMNO amongst others) for a full album and judging by the sounds of this first single it's gonna be one to look out for. As expected R.A. The Rugged Man delivers a marvelous performance.

RUSTE JUXX - "NO PRINTS" (Ft. RA The Rugged Man)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Immortal Technique / Chuck D / Brother Ali / Killer Mike

This right here is a severely nasty line-up and as expecte there's no bullshit lyrics allowed in this cypher. It's especially great to hear the legendary Chuck D on this, you don't hear enough from him these days. The song is called "Civil War" and production is handled by Southpaw. Between this and "Toast to the Dead", Tech's new mixtape "The Martyr" is shaping up lovely. The free mix will be made available already tomorrow and you can bet on it being posted here ASAP! Link via 2DopeBoyz.

IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE - "CIVIL WAR" (Ft. Brother Ali, Chuck D & Killer Mike)

Willie The Kid / Bronze Nazareth

Following their team-up on Bronze's recent "School For The Blindman", the Wu Elementz producer serves Willie The Kid another heatrock to spit on. "The Guilt" is the first leak from W.T.K.'s forthcoming EP "The Cure 2" which besides Bronze also will feature collabos with Alchemist, LA The Darkman, Styles P, Cory Gunz, Lee Bannon and Detroit Red. The digital only release is set for Thanksgiving which is November 24.

Willie The Kid "The Guilt" (prod. by Bronze Nazareth) off The Cure 2 coming soon by clockworkmusic

STREAM: Black Milk / Danny Brown (Full LP)

Two of Detroit's hottest artists has hooked up to create their 10 track opus "Black & Brown" which will be available in stores and from iTunes on the 1st of November. But already now fans can get a preview of the album in full since Black Milk and Danny Brown has decided to upload the album in full for free streaming via Soundcloud. I haven't listened yet but it would suprise me if it turns out not to be a banger and if it's as good as I think I'll be copping the vinyl. You can pre-order from Black Milk's site, Fat Beats, Amazon or your store of choice. Enjoy!

Black Milk and Danny Brown - Black and Brown EP by BLACK MILK

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Showbiz & AG - "Suspended Animation"

Check out the second video (following "Here & Now") from Show & A's upcoming long player, "Mugshot Music". Still no date but with the promotion in place this might just get released before we hit 2012. D.I.T.C. in the building!

Mobb Deep - "Dead Man's Shoes"

Exactly one month from today, Mobb Deep will be releasing their first project since 2006's "Blood Money". Although not a full-length album, "Black Cocaine" will be a little something to hold us over til' the next one with seven tracks and guest features and production from the usual suspects like Nas, Alchemist, Sid Roams and Havoc. The opening track from the EP has already been made available and features Bounty Killer (damn, haven't heard from him in years). I can dig it... Spotted @ The Dopehouse.


M.O.D. Presents Deadly Hands

M.O.D. (Merchant Of Death) is a producer on the rise that's been sharpening his skills for the last ten years. Hailing from Cali, he has worked with lots of local and non-local underground rappers but is currently unsigned. As you'll hear in the promo sampler above he favors digging for samples in the traditional way and uses the MPC to put together his stuff on. So there goes some unsigned hype for y'all, also check out this joint with Timbo King.

Monday, October 24, 2011

M.O.P. / SNOWGOONS - "Get Yours"

Yessir!! Danze and Fame presents the first real single from "SPARTA", their forthcoming album which is fully produced by The Snowgoons. This shit goes HARD, November 22 can't come fast enough - this is an automatic buy.

M.O.P. & The Snowgoons "Get Yours" (Sparta In Stores 11.22.11) by Babygrande Records

Large Professor - "Key to the City" [Remix]

I'm still waiting for the package with this gem of a 12" to arrive but while I'm waiting I can't front on taking an early listen of the B-side remix. Large Pro's "Key to the City" is only released in a strictly limited edition so make sure to get your copy while you can, besides this Mad Scientist remix the single includes the original, acapella and instrumentals of both versions. Props to The Professor for including an exclusive track like this on the flip, I think too many artists skips the B-side (which to me is an essential part of any single) these days. Order "Key to the City" @ UGHH and thanks to for the link below.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

NO I.D. - "D.I. ON CLASSICS '92-'11"

When me and Chris were picking out joints for this project, I said to him something along the lines of ”what’s up with No I.D. making all those commercial records for people like Big Sean. That’s just wack!”. His response was that the variety in Dion Ernest Wilson’s production could just as well be seen as something positive. He meant that it shows his talent for adjusting to any given style and being able to put together a fitting track for just about any artist. It made me see No I.D.’s track record in a different light and of course Chris was right. It’s not hard to name several amazing beatmakers from back in the day that went commercial and never returned to their roots, but with No I.D. you’ll get a joint with Bow Wow or Usher followed by something as raw as “Ghetto Dreams” or “Success”. That’s one of the many strengths he has to offer and something we wanted to bring to the forefront when putting together this compilation.

Born and raised in Chicago, No I.D. was first introduced to the world outside of his hometown as one half of production team 2pc DRK, alongside Twilite Tone. Using the alias of Immenslope, Wilson laced most of the songs on fellow Chi-Town artist Common Sense’s debut album “Can I Borrow A Dollar?”, released in 1992. While both artists would improve their styles immensely the coming years, the LP showcased ‘Slope’s knack for forming neck breakers drenched in jazz and soul. This style would only evolve and be refined, and by the time of Common Sense’s second LP, “Resurrection”, No I.D. had perfected his version of the boom bap. Fifteen years after its original release, “Resurrection” still holds up as one of the definite hip-hop records of the ‘90s and is a given in any serious collectors crates. To me the MC/producer duo of No I.D. and Common is one of the greatest of all time and I believe that the forthcoming “The Dreamer, The Believer” will be further proof of just that.

Most serious hip-hop heads know about the relationship between those two though. But there are so many other gems that have been dropped along the way of the long career of No I.D that should not be forgotten about. If you’re a fan of the albums mentioned above you should most definitely also pick up No’s solo album from ’97. “Accept Your Own & Be Yourself (The Black Album)” is much in the same style as well as a testament that he’s not only a beast at flipping samples and programming bangers, he’s no slouch on the mic either. If you’re a fan of Kanye West’s and Jay-Z’s later albums you damn sure better give No I.D. his props as he’s been heavily involved in those. If you don’t mind the really mainstream stuff, check out his works with Jermaine Dupri, Janet Jackson, Usher and Big Sean just to name a few. If you want to take it outside of hip-hop, he got joints for you there too. Last year he hooked up with former The Verve singer Richard Ashcroft for an unlikely collaboration in the album “United Nations of Sound”. While most people would probably dismiss one or the other, anybody who’s even remotely into hip-hop should be able to hear more than enough to find No I.D. to be one of the illest to ever do it.

For this compilation, me and Chris Moss has aimed to put a spotlight on Wilson’s entire recording career. We have tried to kept singles from the albums mentioned in this post to a minimum since we think those are essential to own. Instead we have tried to find a balance between the obscure and the well known, the old and the new, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do. Also many thanks to JNOTA for putting together the cover for us! Make sure to check out Chris's article over @ AlLindstrom where he touches on No I.D.'s recent gig as VP of A&R at Def Jam Records.

01. "Resurrection '95" (Ft. Common)
02. "Everybody's Talkin'" (Ft. Al' Tariq)
03. "Man's World" (Ft. Beanie Sigel)
04. "Metal Lungies" (Ft. Ghostface Killah, Styles P & Sheek Louch)
05. "Smile" (Ft. G-Unit)
06. "Interlude #1"
07. "Soul By The Pound (Remix)" (Ft. Common)
08. "State to State" (Ft. No I.D., Common & Dug Infinite)
09. "Thinkin' Cap" (Ft. All Natural)
10. "Not The One" (Ft. Madd Rapper)
11. "Ready Set Go (Remix)" (Ft. Killer Mike, T.I. & Big Boi)
12. "Primetime" (Ft. Jay-Z & KanYe West)
13. "Interlude #2 (Fate or Destiny)"
14. "The Heat" (Ft. Twista & Raekwon)
15. "Let Me Show You The Way" (Ft. Toni Braxton)
16. "Tears Of Joy" (Ft. Rick Ross & Cee-Lo)
17. "Success" (Ft. Jay-Z & Nas)
18. "Interlude #3 (I Used to Love H.E.R.)"
19. "Ghetto Dreams" (Ft. Common & Nas)
20. "Outro (Yeah!)"

NO I.D. - "D.I. ON CLASSICS '92-'11"

12" Throwback: DJ Embee - "Embeetious Art"

"Embeetious Art" is a particularly ill extened play vinyl by the great DJ Embee, who, in case you don't know, is the DJ and producer for LoopTroop. The majority of the EP is made up of instrumentals designed to hold the listeners interest without the help of a vocalist. Instead the focus is on deep, heavy basslines, saxophone parts, cuts, guitar licks and such. The only exception to this rule is "Magnetism" which features a couple of verses by Promoe and, without breaking up the flow of the music, the vibe is very reminiscent of LoopTroop's "Modern Day City Symphony" which to me is the Troop's only true classic although they made alot of good music since. If you're a fan of heavily jazz-influenced hip-hop instrumentals you'll love this one, it's a bit reminiscent of Pete Rock's "PeteStrumentals" since it has that same jazzy, late night vibe with alot of bass, sax lines and scratches plus of course the fact that it's an instrumental record with an MC part on it. Besides Promoe, the guest features are instrumentalists - Jonas Filling plays sax on "Stay Up Late", John Grahn adds guitar to "Semester" and there's some really nice atmospheric background vocals provided by someone called dad & mum. The record was released on LoopTroop's own David vs. Goliath imprint in the year 2000 and has not been reissued since.This is perfect chill-out music for any given Sunday, so enjoy y'all!

A1. "On Tour"
A2. "Magnetism" (Ft. Promoe)
A3. "Another Poor Lonesome Homeboy"
B1. "Egotrippin' Pt. 4"
B2. "Stay Up Late"
B3. "Semester" (Ft. John Grahn)


Cappadonna - "Pull Your Life Together"

Cappachino is dropping his new album "The Pilgrimage" via Fat Beats on November 15 but he is also preparing a fresh mixtape titled "Earth, Wynd & Fyre". The single you hear (and see) above is the first single from that project and will not appear on "The Pilgrimage" LP. Production on "Pull Your Life Together" is handled by J. Glaze who, matter of fact, is producing the entire mixtape for Cap'. I'm not sure about a release date for this tape yet but keep your eyes open and I'll make sure to report on it as soon as I hear anything... Oh, for all the Wu heads, in case you missed out on the great one hour interview with Rae, Ghost, Cappa, Masta Killa and Allah Math at the Red Bull Music Academy this year, make sure to check it out!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reef The Lost Cauze / Snowgoons

Last year Reef The Lost Cauze hooked up with production duo Guns-N-Butter (Stu Bangas & J Scrilla) to release the slamming "Fight Music" LP. With no intention of slowing things down, for 2011 Reef has enlisted German producers Snowgoons to help him create another banging album in "Your Favorite MC". The release will be available everywhere on Tuesday, though already started shipping yesterday. The track below is lifted from the LP and features Outerspace on guest vocals, and while you're listening check out the tracklist here. Next in line for Snowgoons is, as you should know, their collaboration with M.O.P. called "Sparta" which I personally can't wait for!

Snowgoons x Reef The Lost Cauze "Timezones" feat. Outerspace (Your Favorite MC In Stores 10/25) by iHipHop Distribution

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cocaine 80's (w. No I.D. / Common) - "Six"

Cocaine 80's are a collective of Chicago musicians centered around mastermind producer No I.D. and also includes Common. Yesteray the crew released a free, 7 tracks deep EP titled "Ghost Lady" via their official blog. There's a lot of different styles presented on that, but the one track that's mainly hip-hop oriented is also the joint that features Common and as you know Com' and No I.D. are always a ill combination. Their upcoming album "The Dreamer, The Believer" has now pushed back to a December release so this is a little something to hold you over. By the way, if you're a fan of No I.D. I strongly recommend you to keep an eye on The Lost Tapes this weekend. If you want to download the C80's EP without using Twitter, head over to to grab it!

COCAINE '80's - "SiX" (Ft. COMMON & OPEN) 

SIDE EFFECTZ + CAP - "Mechanicz: The Mixtape"

Following the release of the singles "Moonshine" and "Same Shit...", Swedish's underground crew Side Effectz next step is to hook us up with a brand spanking new mixtape. Titled "Mechanicz: The Mixtape", the tape contains fourteen tracks of previously unreleased material as well as some solo joints and heavy collaborations. Production is as usual handled by Side Effectz's own Juancan and Apokalips though A. Dub, SansProfit and Daniel Beats contributes with one beat each. The mic is shared by Linkan and Cap with a few guest verses coming from Antone Mecca, S.T.I.C.S., Porno and Krizz Blizz. Check it out and feel free to leave a comment!

Side Effectz sophomore album, called "The Wood Sessions", is finally 100% completed so we can expect a release somewhere in the beginning of November. More info on how to order and such as we comes closer to the date.

01. "Chop Sticks"
02. "Glorious"
03. "Mechanicz Part II"
04. "Peace Of Mind" (Ft. S.T.I.C.S.)
05. "The Freekah"
06. "These MC's"
07. "Forgive Me" (Ft. Ceci)
08. "Understand Me" (Ft. Antone Mecca)
09. "Friday After Next"
10. "Step in the Door" (Ft. Porno)
11. "Lo-Tech Original"
12. "Un Poco Mass" (Ft. Krizz Blizz)
13. "Everything is Fine"
14. "Reflectionz"


Statik / Styles P / Saigon - "New York, NY"

Statik Selektah joins forces with Styles P, Saigon and singer Jared Evan for the latest single from Statik's upcoming "Population Control" album that's in stores on Monday. The artist and producer seems to be working extra hard this year as he also got a full-length collabo with Action Bronson, called "Well Done", coming out on November 22 so check for that. I also added the video for the title track of "Population..." which features Sean Price and Termanology ripping shit up. Enjoy, and pre-order the album @ UGHH!

Statik Selektah - New York, New York f. Styles P, Saigon, & Jared Evan-2dope by pyrexpeas

Immortal Technique - "Toast to the Dead"

Immortal Technique sends out a toast to all the fallen brothers on this great new track from an upcoming free project called "The Martyr". The music is apparantly produced by J Dilla but as big of a JD head I am, I can't recognize this beat; it's perfectly suited for the theme of the song though. Other collabos on the upcoming album will include Brother Ali, Styles P, Joell Ortiz and DJ Green Lantern who also laid down the cuts for "Toast to the Dead".


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Method Man breaks down 25 essential tracks

Another great article from Complex's "break down" series, this time it's Method Man who's in the spotlight. Besides classic solo tracks like "Bring Da Pain" and "All I Need", Meth shares stories on plenty of Wu Bangers (solo and group features) and collaborations with other artists. Most definitely worth the read, props to Complex for keeping delivering these goodies!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Focus - The "Pay Homage" EP

A while back Focus, one of the in-house producer for Aftermath, released a series of homage joints for some of his favorite producers. For these tracks he created beats using  respective elements that these legendary beatmakers and musicians are known for, and in my opinion he really pulled it off. There's definitely a "Focus vibe" to all the songs too however, so there's not a case of straight taking the styles of these guys. There was plans at one point to release an entire album worth of these type of homages but the project was scrapped and instead, Focus leaked seven of the records for free. 

Included are dedications to RZA, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Dre, Ali Shaheed/Tribe, Dat Nigga Daz & Soopafly plus Dilla and guest emcees includes Crooked I, Royce, Von Pea, Cilvaringz, Slum Village, Kurupt, Ras Kass, Kendrick Lamar and many more.This is something I've been revisiting lately and thought it was ill to have them all collected so if anyone missed out on some of these before or just want to listen to them like an EP, enjoy. Oh and save the "this shit is old" comments cuz I'm aware ... Thx to Beathearts for the image above.

01. "Homage to DJ Premier" (Ft. Royce Da 5'9", Phonte & Stat Quo)
02. "Homage to Dilla" (Ft. Slum Village, Frank Nitty & Illa J)
03. "Homage to Daz & Soopafly" (Ft. Pro-Verb, Ras Kass, Kendrick Lamar)
04. "Homage to Dr. Dre" (Ft. Crooked I, Jay Rock, Kida &  Marsha Ambrosious)
05. "Homage to RZA" (Ft. TheFEW, Cilvaringz & Blue Raspberry)
06. "Homage to Ali Shaheed Muhammad" (Ft. Von Pea, Donwill & Chaundon)
07. "Homage to Pete Rock" (Ft. Kurupt, Sha Stimuli & Rapper Big Pooh)


Talib Kweli / Outasight / M-Phazes / Big K.R.I.T.

Talib Kweli dropped his new M-Phazes produced single "Beautiful" today, complete with guest vocals from Outasight, Big K.R.I.T. and Mela Machinko. Released in collaboration with Coalmine Records, all proceedings from the digital sales will go to the American Cancer Society who works with raising awareness about the disease. You can stream the song @ HipHopNMore or purchase the single via iTunes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Roots - "Make My" (Ft. Big K.R.I.T.)

Great news that The Roots are releasing their next official studio album on December 6. I would be suprised if "undun", which is said to be a concept LP (see below), doesn't turn up to be one of the five hottest albums of the year. The first single just dropped and is called "Make My." and also features Big K.R.I.T. on guest vocals. Check out the tracklis, stream the joint and stay tuned for further news on the project...

"undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun."

01. "Sleep"
02. "Make My." (Ft. Big K.R.I.T.)
03. "One Time"
04. "Kool On"
05. "The Jump"
06. "Stomp"
07. "Lighthouse"
08. "I Remember"
09. "Tip The Scale"
10. "Redford"

The Roots "Make My" featuring Big K.R.I.T. by okayplayer

Lord Finesse - "The Art Of Diggin'" CD

As you might be aware, The Funky Man Lord Finesse recently signed a deal with Slice-Of-Spice for a number of exclusive projects. First out is"The Art Of Diggin': The Grind & The Hustle", a mix CD shock full of breaks and pieces from obscure funk, soul, jazz and "unknown" records. Anyone familiar with Finesse knows that he's a force to be reckoned with on the wheels of steel (as most recently proven on his WMFU Set), so this release should please alot of heads. Previous Lord Finesse mixtapes like "Diggin' On Blue" (with/on Blue Note Records) and "The King Of Diggin'" (with DJ Muro) have all become collector's items so the $12.99 this will cost ya is a totally reasonable price. If you order now you can also choose to pick up a package bundle including a signed copy of the CD and a rather ill T-Shirt. Head over to the site set up for this campaign and order your copy now and check out almost half an hour of "snippets" from the mix below!

The Art Of Diggin': The Grind & The Hustle (Snippet #1) by Slice-of-Spice

The Art Of Diggin': The Grind & The Hustle (Snippet #2) by Slice-of-Spice

The Art Of Diggin': The Grind & The Hustle (Snippet #3) by Slice-of-Spice

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LAST EMPEROR - "Palace Of The Pretender"

Not many rappers are ever able to see the amount of hype and praise without a debut album out as The Last Emperor did in the late '90s and early '00s. 12" singles and mixtape classics like "Secret Wars", "Echo Leader" and "Do You Remember?" clearly let the rap world know that Jamal Gray was far from the average emcee. The Philadelphia native has always shown a knack for weaving intricate stories and spitting no bullshit lyrics with more than enough charisma to capture the listener. Even Dr. Dre saw the potential and quickly signed him to Aftermath Entertainment, even having him ghostwrite a verse or two for "2001". The deal fell through while fans were stuck waiting for a proper album, only catching the occasional vinyl single on various labels including Rawkus, Hi-Rise and Final Hour.

Good things come to those that wait however, and in 2003 Last Emperor's real debut finally came out, although it's quite strange in many ways. I don't know the actual deal but the album was released in two different versions, on two different labels and with two different covers. The US market got "Music, Magic, Myth" on Red Planet Music/Raptivism while Penalty released "Palace Of The Pretender" in Europe. The music is farily the same but there are notable changes; for this post I will focus on "Palace..." since that is the superior version to me. I've heard people say that the 2003 album didn't represent Last Emp's raw skills in the same way as the earlier singles had done, but I'm inclined to disagree. All the things that made hip-hop fans across the globe take notice is on full display on this disc. There's plenty of heavy concepts and philosophical questions discussed on here, and the personal nature of the album is one of it's strongest points.

Many great rappers have fallen on weak beat selection but production supplied by Da Beatminerz, Prince Paul, Ayatollah and even house legend Armand Van Helden definitely shuts down that issue. Overall, there's no wack tracks on here, just press play and let the lyricism and soothing beats take over your mind for the coming hour. The biggest problem is that it's hopelessly out of print and I curse myself for not picking it up when I had the chance despite being a fan of The Emperor back then. I don't think I ever saw this in a used record store once since so I really hope this gets re-issued one day! Aight, enough talk, grab your download and TURN IT UP!!

01. "Tiger Trail" [prod. Ayatollah]
02. "Karma" [prod. Ayatollah]
03. "One Life" (Ft. Poetic) [prod. Set Free]
04. "Meditation" [prod. Da Beatminerz]
05. "Do You Care?" [prod. Will Veston]
06. "Shine" [prod. Armand Van Helden]
07. "The Incredible Man" [prod. The Resources]
08. "Let's Ride" [prod. Da Beatminerz]
09. "Hold On" [prod. Da Beatminerz]
10. "Single Mother" [prod. Da Beatminerz]
11. "The Great Pretender" [prod. Prince Paul]
12. "Here We Are" [prod. Da Beatminerz]
13. "The Drifter" [prod. Set Free]
14. "Clear Day" (Ft. Masta Ace & Trugoy) [prod. Prince Paul]
15. "Echo Leader" [prod. BooLuv]
16. "Secret Wars Pt. 1" [prod. Madsol-Desar]
17. "The Underground" [prod. Da Beatminerz] [Extra Bonus Track]


12" Throwback: SADAT X / AKINYELE (1995)

Funkmaster Flex used to drop some real hot shit back in the mid-'90s and the three "60 Minutes of Funk" tapes are more than enough proof of that. Featuring both popular tracks of the day, freestyles and self-produced exclusives, these tapes still stands out as a great representation of New York's hip-hop scene in the 1990's. One of the illest track off the first volume (1995) is the single "Loud Hangover" which features Sadat X and Akinyele killing a crazy raw Flex production. I love how sick these guys sound together since they both have such distinctive voices, I could seriously hear a whole album with these two. An alternative version titled "The Allstar Remix" was also released as a separate single. I included that version as well since it's a real cool and different take that I think some of y'all will appreciate. The remix features the beautiful voice of guest vocalist Yvette Michele and were remixed by R&B-producer Allstar a/k/a Allen Gordon.

01. "Loud Hangover" [Main]
02. "Loud Hangover" [Instrumental]
03. "Loud Hangover" [Allstar Remix] (Ft. Yvette Michele)


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Evidence - "Cats & Dogs" [Bonus Tracks]

Evidence's "Cats & Dogs" hit the store shelves on September 27, but even though I pre-ordered I didn't get my vinyls until yesterday. Easily worth the wait though, from it first leak til' today, I can't count how many times I've banged it out from beginning to end so the replay value is ridiciolous. There's not a skippable song on here, production is extremely solid with appeal to any Dilated Peoples fan while being a little darker than usual in nature. Evidence is one of the rare emcees who seems to get better by every year and "Cats & Dogs" is probably his finest lyrical hour yet in my opinion. Besides great music, the packaging of the album is something out of the ordinary too; included is a big Evidence poster and both vinyls are coloured in bright yellow and pink, respectively. Well worth the money, please support quality!

As is usual in this day and age, Ev's new album has also been made available as a digital deluxe edition exclusive to iTunes. This version features the same 16 songs but also includes three exclusive bonus tracks, making the album over 70 minutes in length. All of these songs are on some great hip-hop shit, and not suprisingly similiar in style to the rest of the tracks found on the LP. While they are not amongst the best material on "Cats & Dogs", they are all certainly ill and worth hearing. Therefore I think it would be a shame if peeps who bought this on wax or compact disc would miss out on these three gems. "Sleep Deprivation" is a sinister cut about battling insomnia caused by a harsh reality with yet another beat supplied by The Alchemist. The Statik Selektah produced "Good Times" is essentially the opposite of the previous one, a lighter, mellow piano driven song featuring beautifully sung female vocals with Ev giving a different flip on the popular theme of good times in life. I'm not even sure if the final track, "Same Folks", is actually included on the official iTunes release but if it's not, it definitely should be, so I added it. The song is produced by DJ Babu and features the West Coast prodigy, Fashawn - two people I always like to hear in combination with Ev. Aight, enjoy the bonus tracks in mp3 format (plus the digital booklet) for free @ The Lost Tapes.

18. "Sleep Deprivation" [*]
19. "Good Times" [*]
20. "Same Folks" (Ft. Fashawn) [*]


More info on M.O.P. / Snowgoons LP

As reported about a month ago, The Mash Out Posse has been heavy at work in the studio with the German production trio known as Snowgoons (made up of DJ Waxwork, DJ Illegal and DJ Det). In the video above, Fame and B.D. reveals that the title of the quintet's full-length together will be "Sparta", and that the date is set for November 22. Lil' Fame has been dropping a shit load of hot guest verses since "Foundation" and Danze is just Danze; in other words I have high hopes for this project. There was also the promising first taste of Snowgoons-produced M.O.P. on the compilation album that was released in conjunction with the AC3 Hip-Hop Festival. In case you haven't heard "Anybody Can Get It" yet, I brought back the download link for the song below. All in all, this is yet another extremely interesting hip-hop release of 2011, I'm amazed by the amount of dopeness we've been offered this year!


Friday, October 14, 2011

DJ PREMIER - "Early Preem ('89-'93)"

It's been a while since I blessed my readers with one of the signature The Lost Tapes compilation this blog originally was based on. Therefore, I decided to assemble some ill ish for y'all to prepare you for a great weekend and you can of course never go wrong with the embodiement of boom bap himself, Mr. DJ Premier. This time I wanted to showcase some early work from the man since there's so many slept-on gems from that period and I personally love Premier's original sound. Failures who comments that Preemo never changed up his style has obviously never heard masterpieces like the ones included here. Filled with heavy bass lines (most often sampled from stand-up bass solo's), saxes floating in and out of the soundscapes and rough, pounding drums, Preem's original sound was very jazzy in nature. He always had a harder edge to his sound than other notables who sampled similiar records at the time though, like Pete Rock and Q-Tip.

Starting off in 1989 with the classic "DJ Premier in Deep Concentration" from the original 1989 Gang Starr debut, I have tried to put together both classic tracks and harder-to-find gems to give an accurate representation of the years between '89 and 1993. That's why you'll hear the original 7" version of Lord Finesse's "Baby You Nasty" rather than the album version although the sound quality would be superior on the latter. Other ill tracks you might not have heard before include collaborations with Ice-T, Chi-Ali, Da King & I, Chi-Ali, J. Rock and a beautiful track with Swedish Neneh Cherry. As usual, all songs are in good quality, are the full songs and have no tags or DJ shouts/cuts. Apart from the first track, I deliberately did not include any Gang Starr tracks or features, this is because these have previously been collected seperately @ The Lost Tapes. One last thing......... TURN IT UP!!

01. "DJ Premier in Deep Concentration"
02. Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - "Baby, You Nasty" [7" Version]
03. J. Rock - "Drug Dealer" [BoomBox Jeep Remix]
04. Ice-T - "Lifestyles of the Rich & Infamous" [Remix]
05. Chi-Ali - "No Surrender, No Retreat"
06. Too $hort - "In the Trunk" [Glove Compartment Remix]
07. Heavy D. & The Boyz - "Yes Y'all"
08. Da King & I - "Flip Da Script" [Toot Da Horn Remix]
09. Marxman - "Drifting"
10. Da Youngsta's - "Wake 'Em Up"
11. Neneh Cherry - "I Ain't Gone Under Yet"
12. J. Rock - "The Real One"
13. Mobb Deep - "Peer Pressure"
14. Nasty Nas - "Represent '93"
15. Shyheim - "On & On" [DJ Premier Remix]
16. Red Fox - "Ya Can't Test Me Again"
17. Compton's Most Wanted - "Def Wish II" [East Coast Gang Starr Remix]
18. DJ Kool Red Alert - "Red Alert Chant"


M-Phazes + Big Noyd & Strong Arm Steady

Australian producer M-Phazes has really begun making moves and making a name for himself over the last few years with sick placements on albums by the likes of M.O.P., J-Live, Pharoahe Monch and Edo G. Now, Coalmine Records are preparing a mixtape for January release which will include various tracks from their catalouge remixed by M-Phazes while the actual tape will be hosted and mixed by DJ Rhettmatic. The first single from that project has arrived, as M takes on "All Out" by Big Noyd featuring Strong Arm Steady (Krondon and Phil The Agony). Banging shit! Spotted @ KevinNottingham, thx.

Big Noyd feat. Phil The Agony & Krondon - "All Out" (M-Phazes Remix) by Diamond Media 360

Gensu Dean / CL Smooth Remix EP

You might recognize Gensu Dean's name from ill contributions to the respective solo albums of Sadat X ("Black October") and Lord Jamar ("The 5% LP"). Even if you don't, I reccomend you to check out this 8-songs EP of remixes he's done with accapellas from CL Smooth's 2005 album "American Me". This EP is released as a promotional item to get the Dallax, TX producer/artist's name out to the people since he is the newest artist to join the Mello Music Group roster, which is always a good thing if you ask me! Dean's debut album is planned for an early 2012 release and will be called "Standard Life" but first up will be a collector's item 7" single featuring The Large Professor. Stay tuned for more info and check out the EP right now!

01. "I Can't Help It"
02. "Terrorism"
03. "Warm Outside"
04. "All We Ever Know"
05. "Unplugged"
06. "The Stroll"
07. "Smoke in the Air"
08. "Impossible"


MOBB DEEP - "Street Lights"

New Mobb Deep for y'all, produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. Leauge. I'm not sure if this will appear on the "Black Cocaine" EP which drops November 25, but I wouldn't be suprised. Pretty dope track, the classical sounding piano reminded me off vintage Havoc around "Hell On Earth" when it first started. There's a few tags on this since it's ripped from Funk Flex's show, but the sound quality is good.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Murs & Ski Beatz collaborative album, "Love & Rockets Vol. 1: The Transformation", is available now and it's a pretty damn dope listen. The new single features additional solid verses from AB-Soul and OC, who once again proves how he's not to be fucked with and never to be counted out. Other guests are Tabi Bonney, Locksmith, Dee-1 plus one song guest produced by The Embassy The Hitmaker & Royal P. Click the link above to purchase the album as you listen to the song!


Sav Killz / Lil' Fame

If you're yet unfamiliar with the Sav Killz, it's time to change that as he's pumping out dope material at a steady pace and stands as one of the most promising young NYC cats repping right now. On this joint, called "Jamel Rockwell", he hooks up with the always reliable Lil' Fame as well as Beat Butcha who provides the production. The song will be available on his soon-to-be-released "Bangers & B-Sides" which will be followed by the long awaited "Still Determined" EP. Shouts to J-Ronin!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DOM PACHINO prepares double LP

Probably my favorite Killarmy member, next to Killa Sin, Dom Pachino is preparing to release "The Last Armageddon (Alpha & Omega)" via his own Napalm Records imprint on November 15. The "Alpha" disc features his original 2002 solo debut, "Tera Iz Him" which is a banging album that has long been out of print. The "Omega" disc is all new material and will reportedly be his last release ever. I'm not sure of the reason for this, or if he will try to maintain a position within the music industry and Napalm Records but I'd say that's likely. I really hope he will deliver with the new material, being it's the last time we'll hear an album from him. Check out the tracklist below, and check out the single "Rapid Fire Snipers" with Bugsy Da God at the bottom. The mentioned song will not be featured on the actual album but is lifted from producer Falling Down's upcoming joint.

Disc 1 - ALPHA
01. "Intro: Freestyle" (Produced By: Falling Down)
02. "The Ceremony" (Produced By: Seven Wounds)
03. "Grimey Suspects" Ft. Rubbabandz (Produced By: Rebel Dainja)
04. "Bum Rush" (Produced By: Falling Down)
05. "Fear" (Produced By: Rebel Dainja)
06. "Tera Iz Him" (Produced By: LV Price)
07. "You're Something Else" (Produced By: Suki)
08. "Wannabeez" (Produced By: Rebel Dainja)
09. "Vanishing" (Produced By: Rebel Dainja)
10. "Criminal" Ft. Shyheim (Produced By: Dom Pachino)
11."The Rules" Ft. Chi-Chi (Produced By: Dom Pachino)
12. "Trust Me" (Produced By: 4th Disciple)
13."Roll With The Rush" Ft. Trife & No Smiles (Produced By: Mathematics)
14. "Illusions Freestyle" Ft. Mateo (Produced By: Aasan)
15. "Bad Radio Freestyle"
[Bonus Track] "I Declare War" (Produced By: Dom Pachino)

Disc 2 - OMEGA
01. "Terrorism" (Produced By: Falling Down)
02. "Dressed in Titanium" (Produced By: Scarcity)
03. "No Perseverance" Ft. Chapelz (Produced By: Bronze Nazareth)
04. "M-16" Ft. Chi-Chi (Produced By: 5th Seal)
05. "EZ Killingz" Ft. Killa Sin (Killarmy) & Polite (Ice Water) (Produced By: Falling Down)
06. "Fairy Talez" (Produced By: Nawledge)
07. "Crawlin'" Ft. Nutso (Produced By: 5th Seal)
08. "Auto Tune Goon" (Produced By: Falling Down)
09. "Trench And Shotty" (Produced By: Falling Down)
10. "Thugaboo" Ft. Dezert Eagle (Hillside Scramblers) & Chapelz (Produced By: Falling Down)
11. "Crime (Black Belt Cypher)" Ft. Bugotti Bomb & Chapelz (Produced By: Lord Beatjitzu)
12. "Righteous Seed" (Produced By: Jewels Polaar)
13. "S.I. Shooterz" Ft. Polite & Stumik (Ice Water) & Chapelz (Produced By: Falling Down)
14. "Stay With Me" Ft. Bugsy Da God & Chapelz (Teraban) (Produced By: Falling Down)
15. "Last Of The Best" (Produced By: 4th Disciple)


Slept-On Gems: John Robinson / MF DOOM

Every now and then, you manage to find an intriguing album from a number of years ago that you somehow overslept on. And it’s always a blessing when that happens! Such is the case for me with “Who is This Man?”, the 2008 album by an emcee named John Robinson. And that’s a pretty damn legit question because I can’t recall ever hearing about this guy before or after but the proof is in the pudding as this man clearly packs skills on the mic. His voice is quite high in vocal tone and he sounds like something between Roc Marciano and MC Paul Barman. The influence from MF DOOM is also easy to spot as he has got a knack for spitting bars heavy on the multies and displays a similar twisted sense of humor in his rhymes. The album is also full of voice skits with various (sampled) people discussing John Robinson’s character, most of the times set over sick instrumentals.
Therefore the choice of picking nothing but beats from the masked Super Villainz’s “Special Herbz” series comes off as perfect logic and works out great, with Robinson sounding natural spitting over these amazing instrumentals. Between this and Ghostface’s heavily praised “Fishscale” LP, tracks from that particular DOOM collection has been used a lot. There’s no question that DOOM was involved in this project, giving it his official stamp of approval, but I can imagine it being a little disappointing for those who were already well familiar with “Special Herbz”. Personally, that’s another release that I overslept on, which I will eventually get around too, but with so many rappers ripping these songs (Masta Ace is next in line), I am glad that’s the case for me. The only track that appears on both this and Ghost’s LP is the beat for “Indy 102” which was set to a song called “Jellyfish” on “Fishscale”. I never liked the latter and used to blame it on the beat, but Robinson’s version is a lot better and I believe the Ghost track was horribly mixed.

Production-wise, this album is vintage DOOM and extremely solid all the way through. The main influences comes from jazz and soul, most of the tracks have that smooth illness to them but topped with drums of death. Heavy bass-lines, latin percussion, acoustic guitars, sick cuts (performed by legendary DJ Rhettmatic), flutes, synths, keyboards and pianos all float in and out of the soundscapes and are put together with DOOM’s perfect sense of sloppiness. Robinson takes on the tracks with grace, as his voice and flow forms a perfect marriage with these tracks. It’s hard to imagine how he would sound over other styles of beats since this sounds so natural. There are some cool concepts on here too, besides the classic braggadocious rhymes, we gets to know who this man is through joints as different in concept and performance as “Shrink Rap”, “Invisible Man” and “The Truth” and ladies jams like the dope “There She Goes”. Robinson has no problem holding down an entire album by himself, I’ll tell you that much. There are a few guests appearing on here however, mostly DOOM affiliates that are little known outside of his various projects. We get a great verse from female rapper Stahr, a verse by someone called Invisible Handz and fitting vocals sung by Orah and Tiffany Paige on the two smoothest joints of the album. Even MF DOOM himself appears on the final (bonus) track, “Sorcerers”, and as expected this duo sounds like they potentially could form a group together; in other words, the chemistry on the mic is as visible as that between Robinson as MC and DOOM as producer.

“Who is This Man?” is a banging hip-hop album for certain, a truly great effort by a debuting rapper. John Robinson managed to take a batch of already existing instrumentals and make them sound as if they were custom made for him. It’s not a perfect LP, but there are really no weak spots, and with 13 tracks and a running time of 43 minutes, it never gets dull. I’m looking forward to hearing more stuff from this man and the word is that he also has a project out with Lewis Parker, another very dope producer so that will be interesting to say the least. You can purchase "Who is This Man?" on CD @ Amazon or UGHH although the LP seems to be out of print right now.