PR: Cormega Pays Respect to Chris Lighty in Letter
Courtesy Jackie O.
Did you ever see a karate movie where the student impatiently wants to do more then the chores the master gives him; only to later find out that the chores are key parts to the training. That's what my relationship with Chris Lighty was like. He was Steinbrenner and I was Billy Martin (he just never fired me as much). He was a leader, a true leader is measured by the success of those he leads and Chris led a multitude of artist,producers, and DJs to success. When I came home from jail I was supremely ignorant. Intelligent yes, but ignorant when it came to the music industry. I thought being a good emcee meant I would automatically be successful. I thought I was somebody because I was known and respected in the streets. Chris taught me that respect in the street means nothing in the industry and that being a MC and being a recording artist are two completely different identities. He advised me not to bring certain friends around. At the time I didn't understand or appreciate that advice, but sure enough the same people he spoke of I don't associate with anymore.
He invited me to a barbecue at his house. The invite was for Mega and one person. I came alone and was upset when I saw my peers with more than one guest. Later I realized why my invite was for Mega and one person. Most rappers aren't known street figures and I was still one foot in the industry and the other in the streets. Now I understand exactly why my invite was Mega and one person! Honestly, now that I have a house, I would do the same thing. Home is where family is and for him to even invite me to his home was a gesture of trust. He gave me a tour of his house just he and I and said in so many words this is what its about, not the streets. He had the basketball court in the back and when I got some money (years later) I got myself one similar to his. So yes I swagga jacked Chris.
My album sat on the shelf for years but Chris (and he alone) tried to put me on the "Survival Of The Illest Tour." I wanted to prove to him that I was ready and by most accounts I was. So when the tour was over and I was on a few albums, I felt I was ready but I didn't feel like I was a priority at Violator, so I told them to release me from my contract. I had to speak to another exec at Def Jam and finally I was released, free to sign elsewhere or in my case go back to the streets.
I bumped into Chris years later and he hooked me up with someone who wanted to do business with me. I respected that, but I fell out with him months later when I discovered that he was managing my then rival (a rapper you may have heard of). I felt betrayed because Chris was like a big brother to me. I said things in interviews about Violator because I was hurt. Truth be told when I later put out The Realness, it was for the fans, but it was for me to prove to Chris, that I had what it took to succeed.
About a year ago DJ J. Love called me and said my name was brought up and Chris' response was "that's the one that got away" I was happy to hear that he said something positive. Just last month we saw each other and it was like we never parted. But now we part! Chris is always going to be who I aspire to be like in the industry. He represents WINNING, LOYALTY, and CONSISTENCY and to this day I've never heard an artist say Chris jerked them. Even though Testament wasn't released by Violator, I will say this, he gave me 100 % publishing and I had nice point percentage. My first deal was the biggest at the time for a new artist. A quarter million and that was because of Chris. My first recording plaque came from Chris, first tour came from Chris, and the first true sorrow I ever felt for a music executive dying is from Chris. - Cormega
PR: Bay Area Rapper Sky Balla Brings New Perspective
Courtesy Dove @ Tygereye.
Once one of the hardest working artists in the music industry, prior to his career being put on hold due to incarceration, Bay area rapper Sky Balla and his team had created a substantial buzz and all signs pointed up.
Now, Sky Balla celebrates the Deluxe Edition release of his independent album Tha Life I Chose, currently available on iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets.
Known for his flashy, yet gritty rhymes about the hustler lifestyle, Sky built solid relationships with some of the real power players both in and outside of the studio.
Musically, Sky got his start in the heart of the Bay Area's mid '90s Mobb era under the tutelage of JT The Bigga Figga and San Quinn as a member of the group Tha Gamblaz. This included a Gold plaque for his appearance on Master P's West Coast Bad Boyz II compilation. The San Francisco native is now known for his star studded collaborations with the likes of Fabolous, Game, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones of Dipset, N.O.R.E, Cassidy, E-40, Capone, Slick Pulla of USDA, Hell Rell, 2Eleven of CTE, and many others. He also worked with the late Mac Dre and Stack Bundles.
Sky has also worked with some of the industry's top producers including Scott Storch, Hi-Tek, Shawty Red, Focus, Tone Capone, Amadeus, Ron Browz, Nick Fury, Raw Smoov, Cozmo, Nu Jerzey Devil and more.
As he branched out from his Bay Area roots and networked his way across the country, Sky Balla was closely affiliated and worked heavily with both Dipset and G-Unit. When mixtapes exploded on to the industry, Sky Balla was as active as anybody, taking cues from his New York brethren and learning the ropes while living there, he released several tapes of his own, hosting others and networking with top DJs around the world.
Sky appeared on mixtapes from or released tapes with the likes of DJ Whoo Kid, Tapemasters Inc., Sickamore, Nu Jerzey Devil, Big Mike, September 7th, J. Armz, DJ Woogie, DJ Haze, DJ Rah2K, DJ Delz, DJ Wizkid, Digital Product and many more.
With his 2008 album Tycoon Status, Sky Balla sold an impressive 5,000+ units even though he was locked up three days before its official release. This is a testament to the relentless work Sky Balla and his team were putting in and the buzz he had created throughout the industry. The lead single from the album, "Posted At Da Bar" featuring Cassidy and Willie Henn, was played on New York's Hot 97; and the second single "Mobbin' All Day" featuring E-40 and San Quinn received strong play on the Bay Area's 106 KMEL.
Sky's newest album Tha Life I Chose has been released in conjunction with Endless Hustle Entertainment through Empire Distribution, and includes feature guest appearances from Fabolous, Game, 2Eleven of Young Jeezy's CTE, Konvict Muzik artist YB The Rockstar, San Quinn, J-Diggs, Freck Billionaire, Big Rich, Dubee a.k.a. Sugawolf, Belly, Harm, Spyda D and Enoc. Production is handled by Dr. Dre protégé Focus, J-Money, Cozmo, Young Yonny, Matheo, Priceless and Trackaddict among others.
Until he is back in the studio, Sky has a few gracious words for his loyal supporters, "I want to thank everyone who played a role in keeping my music lit and my name ringing!"
Find out more about Sky Balla at Twitter.com/TheRealSkyBalla and Facebook.com/TheRealSkyBalla .
Sky Balla Tha Life I Chose Deluxe Edition Tracklist Produced By - Focus, J-Money, Cozmo, Matheo, Young Yonny, Trackaddict and more
01. Intro 02. Balla Of Ballas 03. Block Shit 04. M.O.B. Affiliated 05. I Got Money ft. Ya Boy 06. Gangsta Rapper ft. J-Diggs & Dubee A.K.A. Sugawolf 07. You Already Know 08. That's Him ft. San Quinn, Big Rich & Harm 09. Yo Ma 10. I Don't Play ft. Belly 11. I'm Not A Rapper (Remix) ft. Fabolous & Freck Billionaire 12. Keep On Talking ft. 2eleven 13. Nothin To Lose 14. 2 Step 15. H.U.S.T.L.E.R 16. Fresh 2 Death ft. Spyda D 17. Gimme The Cash 18. I Got Da Feelin 2 ft. Game 19. I Need You 20. Block Work 21. I Make Money ft. Enoc 22. A Long Way To Go (Bonus Track) 23. Either Or (Bonus Track) 24. Stuck To The Grind ft. Spyda D (Bonus Track)
This is a video teaser for my upcoming Nas tribute project, It Was Rewritten, slated to drop October 1st. The video features the first verse of "Take It In Blood". In 2 weeks I'm releasing the final leak, "White Girl Lost", before the entire tape drops next month. The video is directed by 2 Mello who is also responsible for the production of the entire project.
A lyrical power house from Bedstuy, Brooklyn, Son-Ray’s first single "Music Is My Life” featuring Skyzoo from his recently released Face Value FreEP now gets the video treatment. Son-Ray displays an amazing word play and flow, while Skyzoo does what he always does; and that’s “Get Busy.”
PR: Chippy Nonstop Joins Kreayshawn's Group Hug Tour
Courtesy Audible Treats.
Chippy Nonstop, the Oakland-based electro-trap firecracker, has been added to Kreayshawn's national Group Hug Tour. Along with openers Rye Rye and Honey Cocaine, Chippy will embark on the 28-date tour across the country, beginning November 1st in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and ending December 16th in San Diego, California.
After a co-headlining performance at Atlanta Indie Fest and recently releasing her made-in-24-hours #MONEYDANCE101 mixtape, Chippy feels primed to bring her wild, bounce-tastic energy to major cities across the US and Canada. "This is the first really big tour I've ever done, I'm really excited," says Chippy, who also has a string of Bay Area shows lined up before packing out with the Group Hug emsemble. "We're a bunch of girls in the same general age group, so it's definitely going to be a fun tour."
The undeniable pint-sized party starter makes alternative club rap music and has an unconventional style of rapping in both English and Hindi. Chippy's worked with the likes of Major Lazer, Andy Milonakis, Big Baby Ghandi, and most recently spent this summer living in NYC and performing at Mad Decent Mondays, TOP 8, Nina Sky's album release party and over a dozen unofficial sweaty and not-legit warehouse and basement parties. A renowned rule-breaking riotous sweetheart, Chippy's leading the pack for today's emerging club music scene.
You can also stream #MONEYDANCE101 at Complex here: http://www.complex.com/music/2012/07/mixtape-chippy-nonstop-moneydance101-ep .
Stay up to date on tour developments and purchase tickets, as well as exclusive ticket bundles, for the Group Hug Tour in your city here: http://gohard.kreayshawn.com/ .
Chippy Nonstop's Solo Shows: 9/7/12 Oakland, CA: Sick Sad Oakland/Chippy Nonstop's Birthday Party 9/13/12 San Francisco, CA: Future Perfect Party 9/20/12 Oakland, CA: Uptown Oakland 9/29/12 San Francisco, CA: Trap City 10/3/12 San Francisco, CA: Elbo Room
Group Hug Tour: 11/1/12 Oklahoma City, OK: Kamps 1310 Lounge 11/2/12 Dallas, TX: South Side Music Hall 11/04/12 Houston, TX: Warehouse Live Studio 11/05/12 New Orleans, LA: House of Blues 11/08/12 Tampa, FL: The Orpheum 11/09/12 Pensacola, FL: Vinyl Music Hall 11/10/12 Orlando, FL: The Social 11/11/12 Atlanta, GA: The Loft 11/13/12 Towson, MD: The Recher Theatre 11/15/12 New York, NY: Irving Plaza 11/16/12 Boston, MA: Royale Night Club 11/17/12 Philadelphia, PA: Electric Factory 11/18/12 Toronto, Canada: The Hoxton 11/29/12 Pontiac, MI: The Crofoot 11/30/12 Bloomington, IL: The Castle Theater 12/01/12 Chicago, IL: Metro 12/02/12 Minneapolis, MN: Varsity Theater 12/04/12 Lawrence, KS: The Granada 12/05/12 Boulder, CO: Fox Theatre & Café 12/07/12 Regina, Canada: The Exchange 12/08/12 Calgary, Canada: The Republik 12/09/12 Edmonton, Canada: The Starlite 12/11/12 Vancouver, Canada: The Venue 12/12/12 Seattle, WA: Neumos 12/13/12 Portland, OR: Roseland Theatre 12/14/12 Chico, CA: Senator Theatre 12/15/12 Hollywood, CA: Avalon 12/16/12 San Diego, CA: Porter's Pub
"If Dwayne Carter says he's bored with rap one doesn't have to look further than "Dedication 4" for the reasons why. He tries to play it off like this was all for lolz (JUST KIDDING WAYNIACS - DON'T STOP BUYING MY RECORDS & MERCH) and he was just kidding when he raps the lines "I'm skatin and rappin at the same damn time/I said I might retire, but y'all know I be high" on "Same Damn Tune." The problem with that is that these 15 tracks are not a joke. The Dedication series has over the years been Wayne's "thank you" to loyal fans who stuck with him through all his legal problems and industry drama - truly a dedication to the fans. Now he seems completely indifferent to them. Now let's break this down to the organic compounds. First and foremost he's rapping over Kanye West's "Mercy" beat, which is a strong contender for the most overexposed song/instrumental of 2012. Secondly the movie references he's making are really dated - Unbreakable came out 12 years ago and Sister Act came out TWENTY years ago. Arguably even the Michael Phelps reference is dated since his most historic Olympic performance was 2008 - for a swimming reference Ryan Lochte would have been more apt. Hell for the 2012 Olympics in general he'd have done better with Gabby Douglas or Jordan Burroughs. The sample here also shows off his obsession with Trukfit, his own line of skater apparel, which gets referenced in seemingly every song. "
"Antibalas are an 11-piece band from Brooklyn that have been perfecting their version of afrobeat over 14 years and five albums. The group is modeled after the late Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band. They even wrote and performed the music for Fela! the Broadway musical based on the late musician's life. Antibalas are not a mere cover band, however. They use the afrobeat template that Fela created, and add on to it other influences, including latin music, hip-hop, funk, and jazz. Their latest album is their first with New York funk label Daptone, and in many ways sees the band finding their sound and their home. The band started out on dance label Ninja Tune, and their last album was on indie label Anti-, a spinoff of punk label Epitaph. Daptone is the label closest to the band's spirit. The label is home of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, the Budos Band, and the Menahan Street Band. All of these bands make funk and soul music that hearkens back to pre-digital days, when it was musicianship, not production, that made the band. Antibalas' latest album was largely recorded live, which gives the music an energy and vitality that you usually only get with a live show. While the band's sound has not changed dramatically over their five albums, this record sees them paring back their sound and presenting an even tighter package. Their earlier records had a stronger latin funk infuence which has been largely toned down for this album."
"To put a fine point on it right from jump, "Ravipops" is one of those hip-hop albums everybody heard about that most people never bought. It deserves all the accolades and acclaim it got, as Walz was already ahead of his time when it dropped in 2003, which means hip-hop probably just caught up about 5 minutes ago. The boom for independent labels going underground gold was in the late 1990's though, and Def Jux is to hip-hop like Ring of Honor is to pro wrestling. If that doesn't make sense, it boils down to being able to sign the best in the world, then not be able to market or promote them like it. The underground fans will support it and the world will ignore it. C-Rayz Walz is CM Punk, only he didn't get discovered by WWE (Def Jam)... yet. Walz has kept hustling despite the handicaps, dropping albums like "Chorus Rhyme" and "Freestyle vs. Written" over the years, and getting a mixture of praise and indifference for each one. The buzz he had in the early 2000's is gone though, and record labels have increasingly given up on the idea of signing anybody who doesn't sound like the next Kanye West or Gucci Mane. What's a talented and underserved emcee to do in such an environment? Bandcamp. If ever a better purpose for the site has been invented than for a rapper like C-Rayz Walz to direct market to his fanbase, I can't think of it. This is not a bedroom emcee with his GarageBand app working overtime - this is a real legit spitter straight from The Bronx."
Gotham Green & Quickie Mart :: #HDv4 :: Bandcamp.com as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon
"Picking up where "Haze Diaries Volume 3" left off in 2010, the unusually third-coastal team of Gotham Green (New York) and Quickie Mart (New Orleans) have not missed a beat on #HDv4. Sounds like a whole review doesn't it? Damn, I wrote the conclusion before the intro. Well just play this movie in reverse and it will make more sense. To be honest this album is kind of backward for me too, as it came in an unsorted zip file with 19 songs in alphabetical order. Thankfully their Bandcamp page clears up the order it's supposed to go in, but since I was already listening to it in a "so-random it's sorted" order out of sync with that prescribed format, I've got a different and possibly better appreciation for this release. It starts with the highly enjoyable "All I Know" featuring Freddie Gibbs and T. Mills. Soon enough I'm hit over the head with the pothead anthem "Break it Down," and the instrumental raises goosebumps on my arsm because it re-interpolates the instrumental to Artifacts' "Cummin Thru Ya Fuckin' Block" featuring Redman, one of my favorite rap songs of all time. Appropriate that it's a weed smoking anthem too given the proclivities of the emcees I first heard on the beat almost 20 years ago. Listen to their version on Bandcamp, then listen to Tame, El and Reggie Noble below and tell me that I'm wrong. Goosebumps. "
Audio: Vinnie Paz f/ Tragedy Khadafi "7 Fires Of Prophecy"
Courtesy Matt B.
On October 22, 2012, Vinnie will release his sophomore solo album God of the Serengeti featuring production by DJ Premier, Havoc (Mobb Deep), Psycho Les (Beatnuts), Marco Polo, C-Lance and more with guest appearances by Scarface, Mobb Deep, Immortal Technique, La Coka Nostra, Army of the Pharaohs, Kool G. Rap, R.A. the Rugged Man and others. The 18-track album promises to add another chapter in the growing legacy of Vinnie Paz’s uncompromising brand of hardcore hip-hop.
Here’s a new track from Vinnie Paz’s upcoming sophomore solo-album God of the Serengeti, “7 Fires of Prophecy” f/ Tragedy Khadafi.
Always known for tackling controversial topic matter, the group’s sophomore project, Masters Of The Dark Arts, (which recently was a top 100 debut on the Billboard Charts) finds them once again in torch-bearing mode, addressing subjects that most artists shy away from as ILL BILL illustrates “as conceptually and musically dark as this album appears to be, there's also a flip side layer to it that you may not notice until you listen to it a few times. Masters Of The Dark Arts is a storm before the calm and a celebration of the good things in life that can only be achieved by walking directly into the heart of darkness and facing your inner demons head on."