Artist: Ma$e Title: Shut the City Down Label: Bad Boy (allegedly)
Good luck trying to figure out what's up with Murda Mase a.k.a. Ma$e a.k.a. Pastor Mason Betha a.k.a I'm just gonna stop right there. Five years ago he was Welcomed Back to hip-hop on his old label Bad Boy. A few years ago he collaborated with G-Unit for a mixtape. Now heads are saying that Diddy is going to bring him into the fold again, although on this new track he namechecks his former Unit: "'Bout my Banks, go ask Lloyd, I'm everything you asked for." If you believe TMZ he's been seen meeting with Sean Combs recently, but whatever, I'm less interested in who he signed with than what idiot did the beat. For God's sake, pun definitely intended, simply looping Beethoven's 5th ad nauseum doesn't a good song make. Ma$e is all over the map on this one and I'm not sure what he's trying to get at, even saying Jay-Z tried to knock him in his "Hard Knock" days. If he's serious that's dumb, and if it's analogy that's even stupider. Ma$e needs to remember it's 2009, he's not shutting anything down these days. The only thing this knocks is double wood.
Artist: K. Real Title: Deadly Game Label: Defcon 1 Records
Our friends at Critical Marketing & Media asked us to "show the West coast love" and check out K. Real. I'm certainly not one to diss the West - after a third of my writing staff and a third of my favorite rappers all hail from the Westside. If that's not enough K. Real hails from Pomona, one of my favorite Cali turfs just because it's home to legendary rap pimp Suga Free. Sadly I'm left a little perplexed by K. Real's song. The problem with making economic references in your raps is that they unintentionally expose your songs as dated. "Do I need rehab, since America converted to jihad? Gas prices up, now G's mad." Last time I checked, a gallon of petrol costs a third less than it did a year ago to the day. The piano backdrop is nice but nothing special. Real seems to spit incomplete thoughts throughout: "America tried to kill me, here's the evidence." What evidence? He doesn't offer it - he spits the song's chorus instead. I want to give K a chance to advance, but I could do him better justice if I was sent a less dated track with a less disjointed rap.
Adam B: "Feenin for some good Hip-Hop? This week's edition of The Adam B Experience should fit the bill. (When does it not?) Jamming 15 tracks into one full, stream-able, download-able, hour long show wasn't easy, but I think you'll find it was well worth the effort. Play this at high volumes around friends, family and co-workers. They'll thank you for it in the long run. Hit me up with feedback at AdamB@RapReviews.com." The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE for listeners at RapReviews.com - no worries about downloading or sharing this show. Tell your friends to check out ABX right here at RapReviews.com!
Hip-Hop Shop Episode 43 features a fresh interview with J57, Soul Khan and Koncept from the Brown Bag AllStars, brought to you exclusively by RapReviews.com! If you would like to sponsor Hip-Hop Shop please send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information. The Hip-Hop Shop is 100% podsafe so distribute to your friends and tell them to visit RapReviews.com!
I am a firm believer that everybody needs a little funk in their lives. This is why when I first heard Swamphouse’s The Fade EP it brought both a smile to my face and movement to my feet. The eight man group from Los Angeles knows how to crank out the funk and they do it with aplomb. The Swamphouse team consists of (back row L to R) rapper Pause, piano player TunaButter, who likes to say he’s “funky like tuna, smooth like butter,” bassist Mike aka DJ Navi, trumpet player Forrest aka Forrest Trump, (front row L to R) singer Devin, trombone player Nick T, guitarist Jmfs and drummer Blewfoot. This week I caught up with the majority of the group to find out more about their music, what makes funk so special, and how a Polish beer company inadvertently helped set the stage for one of the most interesting nights of their lives.
Press release for Brown Bag AllStars' album "The Brown Tape." Don't forget you can check out our LIVE interview with J57 and Soul Khan from BBAS tonight on Hip-Hop Shop at a special start time of 8 PM EST, 7 Central.
Brown Bag AllStars – The Brown Tape
Coalmine Records is pleased to announce the digital re-release of The Brown Tape, the full-length debut project from the Brown Bag AllStars (BBAS). This elite seven man crew of hip-hop purists consist of The Audible Doctor (Emcee/Producer), J57 (Emcee/Producer), KONCEPT (Emcee), Soul Khan (Emcee), DJ E Holla, Deejay Element & DJ Goo. BBAS all met while working at FatBeats NY and inevitably joined forces and have not looked back. As dedicated students of the craft, they all contribute their own strengths in the form of beats, rhymes & turntablism to create a sound and live show that puts them in a category all their own.
The Brown Tape is a great example of the groups amazing versatility. On tracks like "Undeniable", BBAS come in swinging with a raw boom-bap sound and energy that's been missing from the current state of hip hop, while on tracks like "It's The And...", the group showcase their ability to slow it down and get into deeper subject matter. Throughout The Brown Tape, BBAS manage to keep their sense of humor in tact while simultaneously never losing track of their deep-rooted hip-hop fundamentals.
Coalmine Records C.E.O. Matt Diamond offers the following statement explaining the addition of the Brown Bag AllStars to the growing Coalmine roster: "The Brown Bag AllStars are a breath of fresh air for hip-hop right now. Everyone's been talking how that real hip-hop sound is starting to permeate it's way back into the pipeline and BBAS are very much a part of this renaissance. They are all students of the craft and do everything in-house from their music to their marketing. The fact that they can rip a live show that earned them a spot to perform in this years Brooklyn Hip-Hop festival is a testament to the direction in which they're headed."
BBAS have performed at various venues throughout NYC, sharing the stage with artists such as Pharoahe Monch, Styles P, Charli 2na, Tash, Smif N’ Wesson, Dead Prez, C-Rayz Walz, Immortal Technique, Just-Ice, Tanya Morgan, Marco Polo & Torae, among several others reputable acts. In addition to performing at this years Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival and performing extensively throughout NYC, The Brown Bag AllStars currently curate their own event at Manhattans’ Voodoo Lounge that is hosted by the legendary DJ Kool Herc.
The August 4th release of The Brown Tape is available through many of more recognized digital distributors such as Amazon, Zune, Rhapsody, Emusic, Napster and more. The iTunes version boasts two bonus remixes that are not available elsewhere. Without a doubt "The Brown Tape" can be summed up with one line: "We came to bring it to the next level with every song we sing kid!". The Brown Bag AllStars represent hip-hop at its finest hour and The Brown Tape is just an indication of what’s to come.
Please visit the following sites for more information on the Brown Bag AllStars:
Swollen Members Recruit Adult Stars To Star In X-Rated Video For New Single ‘Porn Star’
Vancouver based Swollen Members have recruited a collection of the hottest adult entertainers to appear in the group’s upcoming video for “Porn Star”. The video, which will surface in the coming months in both regular and X-Rated versions, will feature appearances by Sarah Jessie, Veronica Rayne and Brooke Haven.
"The new Swollen Members video for 'Porn Star' is a powerhouse and the concept takes the club track to a whole new level. The idea of leaving the club with a hot girl is age old, but the fantasy of leaving with a porn star is something brand new," says Prevail from Swollen Members.
"The energy of the music is brought to life through the dynamic lyrics, a catchy hook and captivating guitar riff that puts the song into overdrive. For the video Swollen has gone straight to the source and acquired some of the hottest and sexiest girls in the adult industry. The video starts shooting this weekend in a 12 million penthouse, which is the perfect backdrop for the song and video. The song also sets the tone for Swollen Members new album 'Armed To The Teeth'. The album is a high energy, up tempo release that will have old and new Swollen Members fans singing its praises and its lyrics."
“Porn Star” is the lead single from Swollen Members heavily anticipated new studio album “Armed To The Teeth”, which lands in stores October 13th, 2009 through Suburban Noize. The album proves that hip-hop doesn’t need be accompanied by stereotypical clichés and can intoxicate listeners solely on the strength of the songs.
Swollen Members have been clawing their way to the top of the hip-hop totem pole since their inception. Founded by two of the game’s best MCs, Mad Child and Prevail, along with the help of DJ Rob The Viking, the group has released an impressive back catalog of classic albums and collaborated with some of hip-hop’s biggest names, including Talib Kweli, Dilated Peoples and Everlast. Meanwhile the group has rocked stages from Los Angeles to Japan performing hundreds of shows a year in front of massive audiences with underground legends like Tech N9ne to mainstream chart toppers like Nelly Furtado and Black Eyed Peas. Swollen Members is currently streaming new tracks online at www.MySpace.com/SwollenMembers
Swollen Members is currently on a summer tour alongside labelmates Kottonmouth Kings and Big B.
SWOLLEN MEMBERS WITH KOTTONMOUTH KINGS & BIG B: Aug 05 - Fargo, ND @ Playmakers Aug 07 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ First Avenue Aug 08 - Cave in Rock, IL @ Gathering of the Juggalos Aug 09 - Flint, MI @ Machine Shop Aug 10 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues Aug 11 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue Aug 13 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre Aug 14 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre Aug 15 - Magna, UT @ The Great Salt Air
Del The Funky Homosapien and Tame One Announce Parallel Uni-Verses Album Two of Hip-Hop’s Most Respected Lyricists Together For the First Time
“We’re gonna get you, cause you’re faking and our funk’s official” -Del, “Gaining Ground”
It ain’t that competition is missing… it’s just that no one’s kicking it clever” – Tame One, “We Taking Over”
Remember the old-school Marvel Team-Up comic book which paired, say, Spider-Man with Thor, Wolverine with the Human Torch, or the Hulk and Daredevil? In the spirit of those classic collaborations, Gold Dust announces Parallel Uni-Verses, a joint effort between Hieroglyphics founder Del The Funky Homosapien and original Artifacts emcee Tame One. Produced entirely by Parallel Thought, the album’s ten tracks return to a time when inventiveness, creativity, funky beats—and, above all, lyricism—ruled hip-hop.
Oakland’s Del The Funky Homosapien is one of the creators of the alternative rap genre, a perennial fan favorite who, in addition to releasing four solo albums—including 1992’s seminal, gold-selling I Wish My Brother George Was Here--and two group albums with Hieroglyphics, was featured on the Gorillaz’ epononymous, platinum-selling debut and Dan the Automator’s sci-fi-themed concept album Deltron 3030.
Newark’s Tame One is best known as one-half of the Artifacts, a graffiti-writing hip-hop duo active in the mid- and late-90s, whose output includes the classic singles “Wrong Side of Da Tracks” and “The Ultimate.” In recent years, Tame has been a member of two underground supergroups: the Weatherman (with Cage, Camu Tao, and Aesop Rock); and the Leak Brothers (with Cage).
“I’ve known Tame for years,” Del says. “I always thought he was one of the dopest [MCs] out.” Del recalls first linking with Tame around 1993. “We both were kinda like party animals so that's kinda how I got to liking his personality. He has a good sense of humor, so that's probably the main reason I liked to be around him. We somewhat kept in touch throughout the years, back and forth, but I always would follow his career.”
“We just always remained cool,” Tame says of Del, adding, “I have ALWAYS been impressed by his wordplay and originality. Rap-wise, neither of us use words only because they rhyme; I believe we both utilize substance as opposed to nonsense.”
This project came about, Tame says, out of a need to “showcase how things used to be done, without the politics of the day, bling-bling aspirations, greed and egos corrupting the hip-hop art form.” An unselfish creative process governed the recording process, with both emcees and the Parallel Thought production team focused on using the best of today’s technology, while still keeping an old-school formula. “It was done very James Brownish, if you can dig that,” Del says. “James did everything by feel. If it felt right, then that's what it was, and Tame is very much like that.”
For Tame, the entire album is a testament to what he calls a “grassroots” hip-hop aesthetic, which stands out over other contemporary rap releases “because of the sonic quality and clarity of the samples and our vocal performances.” Asked to name his favorite tracks on the album, Del says, “man, you asking the wrong person. I don’t play favorites. I like each joint for different reasons and they all have they place. I'll let the public decide which ones they may favor, smell me?”
Parallel Uni-Verses is that rare rap album which transcends tired clichés and maintains traditional hip-hop values without seeming retro or passé. “Man, I ain't even gonna be egotistical like that and try to say that we are trying to usher in some new revival of whatever,” Del says. However, he adds, “I'm a say this: we ARE the element that is missing, not [just] because I said so. That's what's up; we didn't sell out for all the luxury and monetary gains. The original ways, we kept at and built upon those.”
Proving that true lyricism is alive and well, Parallel Uni-Verses is another feather in the cap for Del and Tame, two prolific and highly-respected artists upholding the hip-hop art form at its best—and holding their own in 2009.
Its been a minute, but it's only right i post July's edition of SUBSONiQ Instros up on the LAST day of the month (lol). Before you all go downloading it, i got 2 quick announcements regarding the show:
#1. The show will be reverting back to 1 hour because (beginning in August during the last week of each month) it will be airing on Sirius XM Satellite Radio during the final hour of the normal 3 hour Subsoniq episode! For more details on how and where to listen when it premiers, go to: www.proghiphop.com
#2. For those who have recommendations of dope beats/instrumentals i need to play on future episodes, please leave your suggestions in my C-box, OR you can even drop an mp3 of a track u wanna hear on the show in my new "Drop-box" (located right below the C-box). I'll try my best to check whatever is shared.... believe it!
SOUNDTRACK CD RELEASED SEPTEMBER 15th ON LOUD/COLUMBIA/LEGACY
SAME DATE: BIG PUN - THE LEGACY, 93-MINUTE DOCUMENTARY DVD RELEASED BY VIVENDI UNIVERSAL
Also in the film: Never-before-released track by Big Pun, “BX NI**AZ”
“Big Pun accomplished his goal by becoming the first Latino hip-hop artist to sell a million records. He was nominated for a Grammy after the release of his classic album Capital Punishment and earned respect from virtually everyone in the industry, appearing on tracks with Jennifer Lopez, Monica, Nas, Raekwon, Marc Anthony, Incubus and many more... Who knows how much more Pun would’ve accomplished and where his music would’ve taken him if it weren’t for his untimely death.” –Vlad Yudin, director ofBig Pun: The Legacy, from his liner notes to The Legacy: The Best Of Big Pun (Music From The Film)
The all-too-brief big time recording career of South Bronx Latino hip-hop superhero Big Punisher (Christopher Rios, 1971-2000) began on the mixtape scene in 1995, when he joined his friend and patron Fat Joe on a handful of freestyle joints – and came to its sudden end five years later on February 7, 2000, when Pun succumbed to a heart attack (brought on by his 300-400 pounds girth), just two months before the release of his second album in April, Yeeeah Baby.
During those five years however, no rapper reigned more supreme than Big Pun, who enjoyed the distinction of being the first Latino hip-hop artist to reach the RIAA platinum certification plateau (with his debut album, 1998’s Capital Punishment). In addition to his own releases, Pun was in constant demand and appeared on sides with (to name a few) Fat Joe (and other members of Joe’s Terror Squad Entertainment crew), the Beatnuts, Veronica, Kool G Rap, and KRS-One, and of course Jennifer Lopez, whose Epic single “Feelin’ So Good” (with Big Pun and Fat Joe) was issued the week before Pun’s death.
In loving tribute to Pun – as the 10th anniversary of his death approaches next year – filmmaker Vlad Yudin has directed a 93-minute documentary feature on his life, Big Pun: The Legacy. The Vladar Company with Czar Productions will release the DVD of the film on September 15th, distributed by Vivendi Universal (a division of the Universal Music Group, UMG) and Polychrome Pictures.
On the same day (September 15th), the soundtrack CD THE LEGACY: THE BEST OF BIG PUN (MUSIC FROM THE FILM) will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
In the DVD, first-time director Yudin (who also wrote a liner notes essay for the CD) pays homage to one of the most influential rap voices of the ’90s, with a non-stop program of never-before-seen concert footage and video that traces Pun’s rise to stardom. There are interviews with the fellow hip-hop stars who knew him best – Snoop Dogg, Jim Jones, Swizz Beats, DMX, Method Man, Raekwon, Redman, XZIBIT, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Ghostface Killah, Prodigy, Styles P., B Real, Fredro Starr, DJ Enough, Sticky Fingaz, Chuck D, Jae Millz, Big Tigger, and many others. There are also interviews with Pun’s widow Liza Rios and the estate.
In addition to a never-before-released track by Pun, “BX NI**AZ,” the DVD of The Legacy also contains a number of bonus features. These include an exclusive interview with Big Pun himself; deleted scenes (with XZIBIT, Raekwon, and Snoop Dog); outtakes (with Swizz Beats, Method Man and Red Man, Jim Jones, and Keith Murray); and a “Making of the Film” segment (featuring interviews with director Yudin, producer Ed Mejia, Jose Aguilar and cinematographer Vitaly Acosta).
“While working on the film,” Yudin writes, “I had a chance to take a journey through the life of an artist, to learn about him on a personal level and discover Pun as a human being – Christopher Rios. His undeniable talent and great music were equally matched by his character, will power, generosity towards friends and love for his family and kids. I hope that the fans will get a chance to remember their idol while watching the film and be reminded of his lyrical skills when listening to the soundtrack. All those who are not entirely familiar with his story, will get an opportunity to discover the legend – Big Pun, one of the most exceptional artists of our generation.”
THE LEGACY soundtrack follows the film’s direction and incorporates spoken word tracks along the way.
THE LEGACY: THE BEST OF BIG PUN (MUSIC FROM THE FILM) SOUNDTRACK CD RELEASED SEPTEMBER 15th ON LOUD/COLUMBIA/LEGACY