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From Presents... The Finalists, Season 2

New York, NY (January 28, 2009) -, what's the word? Hope you had a great week and weekend. This newsletter comes after a few minor delays but not without the heavy, heavy news: THE RAP FINALISTS ARE DOWN TO THEIR LAST CHALLENGE AND THE PRODUCER FINALISTS HAVE BEGUN!!!

With Task #5: The Co-Sign in the books, Silent Knight was sent home. While he and his four remaining Finalists each killed their respective collabs, we had to let him go because he failed to turn in a full song. However, we extend our utmost appreciation for SK's participation in the contest and look forward to more music in the future. He had a big fan in Head of Radio & Promotions Jon Rifkind, and certainly made an impression on the rest of the staff.

That being said, Task #6: The Meeting is underway as we speak, with each Finalist here in NYC at the Records building taking meetings with our A&R staff. Stay tuned until Friday when we release Episode 8 of The Finalists and show ya'll how it all went down. Maybe we'll even be... live? Stay tuned!! For now, be sure to check out our Finalists Kyte Channel here with all the updates.

Now, don't think we forgot about the Producers Finalists, either!! We had some great submissions this first round, and with some having a bit more slap than others, we had to eliminate three people: Jalyan Powers, JBatts14k and Oneil were all sent back to the boards. Head of Operations and A&R for SRC Records Jason Kpana speaks on the decision here. Stay tuned and see how the guys handle Task #2: Software Wizard! Expect to hear/see the creation of some dope sample-free beats, exclusively for

Now, a few other quick items of note:
*** Finalists: Episode 7 – The Co-Sign

Charlie Hustle stopped through and talked about co-signs

    * Our Finalists locked in some incredible co-signs in only a week's time!
    * With extenuating circumstances prohibiting Silent Knight from submitting a track, it made a tough decision a little easier
    * Check out their collaborative efforts here

*** Producer Finalists Episode 1 - Eliminations

VP of Operations and Head of A&R Talks the Finalists

    * The Producer Finalists each came with their Best Beat for Task #1
    * Three of our Top 10 were sent home... click through to see how it went down!


Steve Rifkind Battles Jamieson In Wall Smashing Contest

Steve negotiating the terms of the wall-smash

    * It started out with $100,000 offer to anyone that could knock him out...
    * It escalated into who could break a bone first...
    * And culminated in an age-old question: Is the headbutt mightier than the fist?

*** Industry News Exclusives…

    * Lil Wayne + AT&T = Lame
    * Brand New Guest Blog: Sha Stimuli - Is It Me?
    * Industry News: Imeem Charging Money + Unlimited Downloads in France + Flickr Lawsuit


Good. Comedy. Period.

Katt Williams: Promo Cartoon - Poor Little Tink Tink

    * Check out a cartoon version of one of his sketches
    * "It's Pimpin, Pimpin" on CD is in-stores NOW!!! Be sure to check out the DVD version, too!
    * The outspoken comic is bringing his critically acclaimed brand of comedy to Warner Bros. Records

UGK's "UGK 4 Life" Slated for Spring Release

From Jive/Zomba:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            JANUARY 27, 2009


New York, NY – Bun B, one half of the legendary hip-hop duo UGK announces the release of UGK: UGK 4 Life. The sixth studio-album from the influential southern duo, Bun B and the late Pimp C, is a poignant culmination of their musical legacy. “The new UGK album '4 Life' is the final studio album from my late great brother Chad Butler aka Pimp C and myself,” Bun B (Bernard Freeman) explains. “It is my sincere hope that it's a fitting bookend to the legacy of UGK and to the life and times of Pimp C.”  UGK: UGK 4 Life will be released on Jive Records in early spring 2009.

UGK: UGK 4 Life, “is an album for the people; for all those who have been with us from the beginning to those we’ve gained along the way, family and friends, the street cats and the squares, the supporters as well as the detractors,” Bun B states.  UGK: UGK 4 Life embodies the pure essence of UGK and the late Pimp C’s signature production incorporating the down and gritty Texas sound they created over two decades ago in Port Arthur, Texas. 

According to USA Today, “Pimp C and Bun B helped lay the foundation for southern hip-hop,” and ever since their 1988 EP release, The Southern Way, they have influenced a generation of artists including Jay-Z, OutKast, and Lil Wayne. UGK has maintained a constant presence in the rap world with mixtapes, indie releases and cameos on numerous singles. They have released five studio-albums that include their first major label Jive Records release Too Hard To Swallow (1992), Super Tight (1994), the gold-certified Ridin’ Dirty (1996), Dirty Money (2001), and the critically-acclaimed UGK (Underground Kingz) (2007).  The latter release was groundbreaking for the duo: it was the first time UGK debuted #1 on three separate album charts. Additionally, UGK earned their first Grammy nomination for their collaborative hit, “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” featuring OutKast.

Delicious Vinyl - Yancey Boys - The Instrumentals

From Audible Treats:

Delicious Vinyl Feeds Dilla Freaks In Need Of Beats With Yancey Boys - The Instrumentals      01.28.2009

Illa J's Debut Album Released As Originally Recorded By Dilla; DJ King Most Provides Free Mega Mix

(January 28, 2009 - Brooklyn, NY) Mental for Dilla beats? We got you covered. Hot on the still-smokin' heels of Illa J's debut album Yancey Boys, comes...Yancey Boys - Instrumentals.

Thirteen beats created by the one and only James Yancey (aka Jay Dee aka J Dilla). Raw uncut Jay Dee goodness, heard first on Illa J's debut album Yancey Boys. These beats date from 1995-98, created during Jay Dee's tenure at Delicious Vinyl including his work on the Pharcyde's sophomore LP, Labcabincalifornia. Madly prolific, Jay Dee left these previously untouched beats behind. They were in the Delicious Vinyl vault for a whopping thirteen years before, in a case of manifest destiny, Dilla's younger brother John "Illa J" Yancey added his vocals to them to make the album Yancey Boys.

Now fans can get the raw material that Illa J worked with. From "We Here"'s kraut-tastic sizzle to the bumpadelic rumpus of "R U Listenin'.” From the dusted satin of "Sounds Like Love" to the torqued out dreamscape of "All Good,” these beats are all keepers. They’re available on your favorite format (double vinyl LP, CD, or digital download) online an in stores everywhere.

As an added bonus, San Francisco's DJ King Most ( whipped up a Mega Mix of the instrumentals: .

If you're in San Francisco, head over to 330 Ritch this Friday for a live performance.

If you're in Los Angeles, head over to Amoeba Records on February 11th to see Illa J rock a free in-store performance.

To set up interviews with Illa J or Mike Ross, the CEO of Delicious Vinyl, please contact Michelle

The Background:

When Jay Dee passed away from complications relating to lupus in February 2006, he left behind an extraordinary legacy of production work, including hits for Common, Janet Jackson, and Busta Rhymes. One mother lode of previously untouched beats dates from his time working on the Pharcyde's sophomore album, Labcabincalifornia (Delicious Vinyl, 1995). As Delicious Vinyl owner and founder Michael "Mike Floss" Ross explains: "From '95 through '98 Jay Dee was my go-to guy for hot beats and remixes. He was always making beats, always. So there was a select amount of tracks that he composed for me during that time, tracks as good as anything he'd done, only they never got used. When I finally met Illa J last year, I gave him a CD containing those unreleased beats."

In a case of pure serendipity, 21 year-old Illa J had just relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles and constructed a studio built using Jay Dee's recording equipment. He dubbed it Yancey Boys Studios in tribute to their fraternal bond. "Dilla was 12 years older than me," Illa J says. "So back in the day in Detroit I was just a little kid, sitting on the stairs in our house, watching him make those first beats for Slum Village. I always felt my brother's tracks and had an instinct for what I wanted to do over them." When Illa J set to work in early '08 recording the album, the project flowed quickly as he entered the proverbial can't miss zone. The name of the studio rightly became the title of the finished album, Yancey Boys, which is available online and in stores everywhere on Delicious Vinyl Records.


"Yancey Boys Instrumental Mega Mix" by King Most
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"Sounds Like Love" featuring Debi Nova
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The Stephen Colbert Remix Challenge



On a recent episode of “The Colbert Report” (airdate January 7), Stephen Colbert interviewed Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig, about his new book, "Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy". Lessig, a strong proponent of modifying copyright restrictions on art (including music), was there to talk about the value added to society when people are encouraged to share and remix creative material.

During the interview, Colbert, dared the audience to break the rules: "Never... ever... ever... take anything of mine and remix it! For instance, I will be very angry if anyone takes this interview right here and remixes it with some great dance beat, and it starts showing up in clubs across America."

The nerve! The folks at Indaba Music didn’t miss a beat, and within hours they threw down the gauntlet, posting the audio stems from Colbert’s interview on their site for a remix challenge. As joint copyright holder of the interview Lessig licensed the audio under a Creative Commons BY License, making free to use

The results poured in, and Colbert’s camp went bonkers! The following week “The Colbert Report” aired the remix  created by Chris Lewis, and even made a music video to go with it, featuring Stephen Colbert getting buck wild (ahem) on the dance floor.

Colbert ended the show with another challenge: to remix a chapter from his audio book to “a K-Hole groove”.

What are you waiting for?  Grab Stephen Colbert’s audio stems here, and show him what it means to rumble with the remix nation!

For more information on Indaba Music, give us a shout – and send us your remix!

Sarah Avrin        212-989-2222, x118
Megan Brandt        212-989-2222 x108
X-Clan Debuts New Material Online

From James at Kerosene Media:

For Immediate Release: Hip-Hop Legends X-Clan Streams Entire New Album Online

Hip-hop legends, X-Clan, have streamed their entire new album, “Mainstream Outlawz” online at The album was recently released through Suburban Noize Records and features guest appearances by Bun B of UGK, Medusa and Supanatural.

"X-Clan is part of the Tru-school, meaning it's either real or it's not.  In these days and times if you’re not kicking something uplifting and empowering you are doing the people an injustice," commented Brother J. "A lot of old school artists sold out for the dollar and a lot of new school artists are born into selling out as a trend.  I feel if the veteran artists set a better example Tru-school music would set the tone for all our generations.  Right now , there are only a handful of artists that produce music that is street credible and family accepted, X-Clan remains pioneers in that genre, especially in this new millennium."

X-Clan, one of the genres most powerful and influential hip-hop crews ever, returned in 2007 after nearly a decade-long hiatus with their long awaited comeback album "Return From Mecca". The SOURCE Magazine proclaimed that "Brother J shines as he nourishes with vanglorious music," while the Los Angeles Times said the album was "a rare rap 'Return' well worth the wait." The critically acclaimed album saw the group dropping their unique brand of ancestral wisdom and culture to a whole new generation of hip-hop fans on sold out tours with Public Enemy, Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley and Jurassic 5.

The foundation for "Mainstream Outlawz" was built over a year long period with X-Clan mastermind Brother J venturing into the heart of Houston, TX to re-ignite hip-hop’s flame. The move brought out bouts of intense creativity bolstered by Brother J and his collaborators love for music. X-Clan is on a quest to bring hip-hop back to the roots of the genre and are proudly waiving the hip-hop flag, while leading the revolution to revive lost art of rhyme.


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Bisc1 Releases The Strange Love Project

Bisc1 Releases The Strange Love Project, A Study of Audio and Visual Relationships      01.28.2009
20 Visual Artists and 10 Producers Reinterpret Bisc1's When Electric Night Falls; Music & Art Available as Free Download

(January 28, 2009) Brooklyn, NY- Emcee, graphic artist, and wall painter Bisc1 has joined forces with twenty visual artists and ten producers to reinterpret his 2008 offering When Electric Night Falls (Embedded Music). The result, The Strange Love Project, is a multimedia experience of beats, rhymes, and stunning visuals, and is available now for free download from Bisc1’s website (

Not just a collection of songs, The Strange Love Project is a study of the individual experiences that many can have with same music. As Bisc explained it himself, “As a writer, a designer, and a lyricist I was curious to see what others saw when the record was played.” For the remix portion of The Strange Love Project, Bisc gave ten producers the vocal tracks from WENF. The rest was up to them. Visually Bisc took a similar approach, enlisting the help of twenty artists to create pieces with the only requirement being that the artwork be square in shape. Featuring musical reinterpretations including the work of Cassettes Won’t Listen and Snafu (of Junk Science), and visual reinterpretations by renowned artists, including James T. Murray, Karla Murray, Cern, and more, TSLP invites fans along for a ride of intertwining audio and visual relationships that breathe new life into an already stellar album.

A native of Massachusetts by way of Connecticut, Bisc1 moved to NYC 10 years ago and quickly made a name for himself DJ'ing at clubs, distributing mixtapes, and in graffiti circles. Soon, Bisc1 picked up the mic and won several battle raps including the Whose Line Is It monthly at the Knitting Factory in NYC 4 consecutive months in a row. His debut release, The Basics EP (2006), gained the favorable attention of music critics and his subsequent release, The Stay Up Projectmixtape (2007) was downloaded over 5000 times. Bisc's penchant for capturing our chaotic reality with his narratives, images, and collaborations has earned him a reputation as one of the most honest and creative artists of today. Going beyond music, Bisc1 is also an accomplished graphic artist. He's done cover art, designed promotional materials and spearheaded art direction for artists such as Aesop Rock, The Perceptionists, C-Rayz-Walz, Murs, El-P, and others. His art has been featured in several magazines and art house coffee table books and in galleries, such as Danny Simmon's Rush Arts Gallery. 2008 was a big year for Bisc. He released the critically acclaimed album When Electric Night Falls, toured the US, and performed at CMJ, SXSW, Scribble Jam, and NXNE. With the release of The Strange Love Project, 2009 promises to be even bigger.

Track Listing of The Strange Love Project Remixtape

1. NightFall Remix (Prod. By Le Parasite)
2. Turbulence Remix Blend (Prod. By Scott Thorough/Cassettes Won’t Listen)
3. Remixtape Interlude 1
4. Pandemonium Remix feat. Broke MC (Prod. By Broke MC)
5. Remixtape Interlude 2
6. Unconditional Remix (Prod. By Core Rhythm)
7. Sidelines Remix (Prod. By Coole High)
8. Great Escape Remix Blend (Prod. By Esen/Omega One)
9. Remixtape Interlude 3
10. Another Day Remix (Prod. By Kils)
11. Remixtape Interlude 4
12. Strange Love Remix (Prod. By Snafu)


"Turbulence" RMX Blend by Scott Thorough and Cassettes Won't Listen
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"Nightfall" RMX by Le Parasite
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The Strange Love Project
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Sankofa Press Release on "Music With Friends 4"

Courtesy of Sankofa and Obese America.

The latest in Sankofa's franchise of free is now available to download.  Featuring production from Purify and guest raps from RhymeWise37, Music with Friends 4 finds Sankofa asking important questions like "Why do rappers hold invisible guns?" and laughing at hapless fools hitting on his wife.  Want to bust out some new slang?  Look no further than the Muggs-flavored "Birkencrocs," where a friend's footwear is mercilessly mocked.

The promotional video, featuring a snippet of the track "Birkencrocs," is located at

Jupiter Rising - Making Hip-Hop Worth Moving To

Jupiter Rising has been on the scene in some way, shape, or form, since 2006, but don’t feel too bad if you don’t instantly recognize them, founder Spencer Nezey has gone through a number of lineup changes with the group. Enter singer Jessie Payo. Suddenly Jupiter Rising’s lineup is rock solid. The California duo, he from Sacramento and she from Los Angeles, immediately saw the potential in their teaming and started recording together. The resulting sound they’ve created is a mix of pop, Hip-Hop, rock, downtempo, drum n bass and funk. In other words, it’s some really fun, danceable, music most anyone can get down to. With Jupiter Rising’s upcoming album, The Quiet Hype, which happens to be Nezey’s first with Payo, due out in March I caught up with both of them to find out more about their coming together, what makes their teaming work, and the inspiration behind their extensive genre-mixing.

Read the full interview at:

'Notorious' Writer Preps Run-D.M.C. Film

According to, Cheo Hodari Coker, screenwriter for "Notorious," the Notorious B.I.G. biopic, will be adding another Hip-Hop movie to his resume.

The writer is attached to adapt a film for legendary rap group Run-D.M.C. from Bill Adler's "Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC -- The Authorized Biography," reports

The movie will be made on DJ Classicz, the urban division of Davis Entertainment.

"It's an extraordinary rags-to-riches journey that I'm eager to bring to the screen," sauid Dallas Jackson, president of DJ Classicz. "And I'm hoping to have Run, DMC and Russell Simmons' involvement. This will be a big movie about the 1980s Hip Hop movement that took over the world."

Run-D.M.C. is known for their success of platinum albums and numerous hits such as "It's Like That," "King of Rock," and "It's Tricky." The group is also known for their praises such as Grammy nominations and, most recently, a nod for the 2009 inductee at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Coker recently signed on to write the Imagine/Universal project "Lowriders."


Charlie Murphy Says Obama's Fair Game

In this week’s edition of the New Haven Advocate I have an in-depth interview with legendary comedian/actor Charlie Murphy. In it we discuss how standup comics will treat Barack Obama, why he feels nothing should be off limits when it comes to comedy, and what people can expect from his upcoming autobiography, The Making of a Stand Up Guy, which is due out this fall.

Check out the feature at:

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