Tuesday August 14, 2018
Feature of the Week


The rocket isn't very Houstonian.

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Illa J - "Strugglin'"

Press release courtesy of Audible Treats:

Illa J - "Strugglin'"

The Song:

Illa J pulls out the funk and soul for "Strugglin'," off his freshly dropped album, Yancey Boys. Over one of Dilla's more minimal beats, Illa J raps (and shows off his singing voice a bit) about an artist trying to make it in the biz. As he says in the chorus, "I'm 'bout to take you on a ride / of a struggling artist / It ain't no easy slide / You gotta hustle the hardest." With a brother like J Dilla, Illa had a good model to look up to, but that doesn't mean it was smooth sailing trying to get his message out there. With a fierce dedication to his music and lyrical skill that he continues to hone, Illa J delivers his art on Yancey Boys, saying "Let me tell you my mission / I'm here to inspire / to bring together the earth, wind and fire."

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, available online and in stores everywhere on Delicious Vinyl Records.


* http://media.audibletreats.com/Illa_J-Strugglin.mp3 *

Illa J & Aaron LaCrate freestyle
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vHp4hzV9L0 *

"We Here"
* http://media.audibletreats.com/Illa_J-We_Here.mp3 *

Illa J MySpace:
* http://www.myspace.com/illajmusic *

Keelay & Zaire's "The Times" To Premier On mtvU 11/21

Press release courtesy of Audible Treats:

Keelay & Zaire's "The Times" To Premier On mtvU 11/21

(November 17, 2008 - Brooklyn NY) Keelay & Zaire, producers extraordinaire, will be debuting the video for their socio-politically charged single, "The Times," exclusively on mtvU this Friday. The duo takes the video back to San Francisco where they invite viewers on a tour of where “the streets define stars” to the backdrop of their signature soulful soundscape. With rhymes from San Fran inhabitants Slo Mo, Mush Mouf, soultry vocals from Nino Moschella, along with LA emcee Blu, the track is a motivational call-to-arms, and the video captures the vibrancy of the citizens and sites of the Bay Area. The video is premiering this Friday November 21st on mtvU.com, which will feature the video exclusively for 24hrs, so be sure to check it out and so be sure to check it out and help drive it up their charts. We will be servicing the video online the next day on 11/22.

Also check out the Kee & Zee podcast and feature just posted on URB.com!

* http://www.urb.com/podcasts/index.php#urb-podcast-55 *
* http://www.urb.com/promotions/next1000/profiles/1278-Keelay+and+Zaire.php *


The Background:

Keelay & Zaire are a bi-coastal team that operates with only one concrete rule; creating music with unlimited range. Complementing each other's styles with precision, Kee & Zee work as a sole production machine that spawns gritty classic hip-hop, soulful R&B, and any other medium that requires an exclusive sound from the team. With Keelay out west in San Francisco, and Zaire in the east, holding it down in Virginia, the two have almost unlimited resources from which to draw talent and inspiration. In their debut LP Ridin High, the pair's versatility takes center stage, backed up by a talented cast of emcees and singers including Phonte of Little Brother, Supastition, Blu, Cali Agents, Darien Brockington, Tash of Tha Liks, Saafir, Fortilive, The Park, Emilio Rojas, Surreal ,Slo-Mo, Mario Dones, The A.V.E., J.Fish, Jony Fraze, Whooligan, and Tiffany Paige. Keelay & Zaire's Ridin High will be released in early 2009 by MYX Music Label.


Keelay & Zaire - "The Times" featuring Blu, Fortlive and Nino Moschella
* http://media.audibletreats.com/Keelay_and_Zaire-The_Times_fet_Blu_Fortilive_Nino_Moschella.mp3 *

* http://www.myspace.com/keelayandzairepresentridinhigh *
* http://www.myspace.com/keelaycom *
* http://www.myspace.com/zaire *

Official Site:
* http://www.keeandzee.com/ *

Label Site:
* http://www.myxmusiclabel.com *

Photos of Big Boi on Law & Order, Keri Hilson & Lil Wayne

Exclusive pics of Big Boi on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU from tonight's episode and Keri Hilson's new video with Lil Wayne, 'Turnin' Me On' premiering tomorrow!!

All pictures courtesy The Chamber Group

All pictures courtesy The Chamber Group

All pictures courtesy The Chamber Group

All pictures courtesy The Chamber Group

Akon to Release New Album FREEDOM Available on slotMusic cards

From Jim Merlis and BigHassle.com:

Akon to Release New Album FREEDOM Available on slotMusic™ cards on December 2nd

SRC's Multi-platinum Artist will make His Music Available via DRM-Free MP3 Music on microSD cards

(Los Angeles, CA, -November 19, 2008)- Upfront/Konvict/SRC/Universal Motown multi-platinum selling artist, producer and entrepreneur, Akon, announced today that his third album - Freedom - will be available on "slotMusic™, a new form of DRM-free MP3 music on a microSD card beginning Tuesday, December 2nd - the same date his album will be released digitally and on CD.  The new slotMusic card will give fans a chance to enjoy Akon's album in a variety of ways and on a host of devices - from their microSD-enabled mobile phones to their computers and MP3 players.
Going beyond the original thirteen songs that are on the CD version of the album, the slotMusic Freedom card will carry a mini-documentary video on Akon's life and influences, the new video for "Right Now (Na Na Na)," and exclusive hi-res images and songs including fellow SRC artist Tami Chynn's debut single "Frozen" featuring Akon.
"When I went into the studio to put together Freedom, I focused on making more than just a collection of songs; I made an album that tells a story from the first track to the last," said Akon. "To me, slotMusic is the return of the album in all its glory, but updated for today's mobile world."
Steve Rifkind, Chairman of SRC Records and SRC Marketing, who was instrumental in establishing the slotMusic and Akon partnership stated "SRC has always offered its artists the freedom to share their music through new technology. slotMusic will allow Akon's fans to listen to his new record on their phones, MP3 players and PCs that support the microSD format," he added.

 "The release of Freedom on the slotMusic card is a chance for me to give my fans a full entertainment experience using devices they already have in hand," added Akon.
slotMusic is an innovative physical format for music with a pre-existing install base for DRM-free music. The plug-and-play slotMusic card eliminates the compatibility questions and the hassles of managing files, downloading here, transferring there by offering music in a physical format that is simple to use, works well with many different devices.
The near ubiquity of microSD slots makes slotMusic cards the ultimate format for creating a true portable music experience. SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), inventor of the microSD format, is leading the technology development and standardization behind slotMusic.
To preorder Akon's slotMusic card and for more information please visit www.slotmusic.org .
About Akon
An internationally recognized Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Akon is one of the most influential voices in music today. In addition to having two multi-platinum albums, 21 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and over 145 guest appearances with artists such as Michael Jackson and Gwen Stefani to his credit, Akon is the only artist to ever accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.
In addition to the anticipated December 2nd release of his third album Freedom, 2009 is shaping up to be the biggest year of Akon's career as the Konvict CEO is prepping releases for T-Pain, Lady Gaga, Kardinal Offishal, Flipsyde Dolla and Colby O'Donis. His fashion line, Konvict Clothing is set to launch in January with an upscale line, aptly named Aliuane, is set for release in the Fall. Finally, Konfidence Foundation, the charity Akon has personally funded for four years, has teamed up with songwriter/philanthropist Peter Buffett to launch IsThereSomethingICanDo.com, a Google of sorts for charitable foundations.  For more information, please visit: www.akononline.com .

About SRC Group

SRC (Street Records Corporation) is a division of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. UMG's businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's leading global music publishing operation.

Loud.com Round 9 Producer Winner Is J Cardim

From Loud.com:

Round 9 Producer Winner - J Cardim

New York, NY (November 12, 2008) - Well, we’re almost there! After four months of constant competition, the Loud.com Finalists 2 is only two weeks away! The tasks have been determined and we’re all looking forward to see who’s going to come out on top.

That said, we’d like to formally congratulate our Round 9 Producer Winner, J Cardim! We were ready to give it to our runner-up MRockFromScionBeats, but the monster with the crazy synths and strings was unfortunately not a U.S. citizen, and rules are rules. Big ups to Jordan105 and all the other producers who raised the bar in Round 9, though. We expect an even better showing for Round 10!

We’ve got some great content planned for the site these next few weeks, so stay tuned to read, listen and watch as we search for the next hip-hop superstar. All of us up at SRC and Loud.com appreciate your involvement and look forward to building on a successful Finalists 2 for more competitions in the future!

Before we get to some of the highlights and notes, we want to reiterate that we’ve opened up a Loud Favorites blog for all the users on the site to promote any projects, shows, collabs, placements or general career news. Click here to submit your information. Knonam recently hit us up about his inclusion as a Finalist in the Jake One Rhymesayers Remix competition! No winner has been announced yet, but congrats homie and keep that momentum rolling!

Now, a few other quick items of note:

EMCEES! Round 10 Voting IS COMPLETE!

    * A winner will be announced November 25th
    * Submissions are now closed until the next competition!
    * Someone is going to win this contest and be $100,000 richer with a sweet record deal from SRC/Universal Motown!!


PRODUCERS! Submissions for Round 10 are CLOSED!

    * Voting begins today; a Round 10 winner will be announced on December 2nd
    * Congrats to Round 9 Winner J Cardim! His blend of hard drums and aggressive melody, coupled with an obvious R&B versatility, had the judges amped up!
    * After this voting period closes, the finals begin. Set your calendars to December 2nd!!

Shaya - "Impeccable Concepts" Remix f/ Trek Life & Finale

Press release courtesy of Audible Treats:

Shaya - "Impeccable Concepts" Remix f/ Trek Life & Finale

Shaya's come a long way from his start-up years of handing out demo cassettes on the street. With his debut album, Fallen Awake, he's showing no signs of stopping. In the fresh new remix of "Impeccable Concepts" featuring Trek Life and Finale, Shaya brings the heat off the street and to our ears. In the past, he's tried to create "thinking man's music", and in this single he continues on that higher plain, describing his goals in eloquent lines like "Impeccable concepts / We move on a global conquest." This swanky strut is classic in style, but redefined in its lyricism. The funky, acoustic feel of the beat mixed with Shaya's airtight rhymes make the remix prefect for any seasonal soundtrack. Shaya's debut album, Fallen Awake, is available in stores and online everywhere on Interdependent Media.

The Background:

Prior to signing with Interdependent Media, Shaya spent nearly ten years hitting the pavement in his native Bay Area slanging handmade CD's and mixtapes at shows and on street corners. Shaya's lyricism, determination, and charismatic personality caught the attention of many industry leaders but personal obstacles often prevented him from taking his craft to the next level. He did, however, perform regularly and opened up for Bay Area luminaries such as the Hieroglyphics and the Living Legends. Shaya is currently under the mentorship of iD, the same A&R guru who introduced the world to Little Brother. Now, backed with the support of Interdependent Media, home to Canibus, K'naan, Tanya Morgan, Eyezon, J*Davey, and other artists, Shaya and iD are proud to finally release the fulfillment of the potential that others in the industry have always seen in Shaya with Fallen Awake. The album features production from Jake One (50 Cent, Freeway) and The ARE (Lords of the Underground, K-Otix). Under the manifesto of resurrecting “thinking man’s music,” Shaya considers Fallen Awake to be not only an open-palm to his listeners, but a chance to lay to rest the pains of his own life.

"Impeccable Concepts" Remix featuring Trek Life & Finale
* http://media.audibletreats.com/Shaya-Impeccable_Concepts_Remix_Feat_Trek_Life_Finale_.mp3 *

Guerilla Union/Hip Hop Official Charity Auction

From Guerilla Union:

Join Guerilla Union and Hip Hop Official in the fight against Diabetes! The Rock the Bells Charity Auction for Diabetes encompasses a unique collection of autographed memorabilia, donated by various 2008 Rock the Bells artists. All proceeds will be donated to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in honor of Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest). Contributions will also be made in memory of J Dilla, legendary Hip Hop producer and emcee, as well as Jheryl Busby, former president and chief executive of Motown Records who revived the label in the 1990’s.The Rock the Bells Charity Auction will begin on December 1, 2008 and close on December 15, 2008.

Watch the announcement video!!


To see some of the items up for bid, log on to www.hiphopofficial.com or http://www.guerillaunion.com/auction/.

J.Period Scores New Tony Hawk Nintendo Soundtrack

From Tasha Stoute and Strong Arm Media:

J.Period Produces Soundtrack for Activision New Tony Hawk Nintendo Game!

New York, NY (November 17, 2008) - Fresh off the release of his historic collaboration with Q-Tip   ("Q-Tip for President," over 40K downloads!), J.Period is making history again... this time in the video game world.  In his latest venture, J.Period becomes the first DJ/Producer to score an entire video game soundtrack! Commissioned by Activision Publishing, Inc., (Nasdaq: ATVI), J.Period's soundtrack will accompany the latest release in the Tony Hawk video game franchise - Tony Hawk's Motion, launching November 18 exclusively on the Nintendo DS™.

From Nas to The Roots to Mary J. Blige to punk rock-hip hoppers,Game Rebellion, J.Period has perfected the art of blending styles and sounds perfect for skateboarding's increasingly diverse audience.  J.Period's soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Motion combines hip hop, rock, drum'n'bass, urban soundscapes, and even skateboard sounds to create a compelling and completely original backdrop for the game's exciting new style of play.
J.Period Scores New Nintendo DS Soundtrack
"J.Period has meticulously crafted an incredible
collection of exclusive and original tracks that capture the essence of the Tony Hawk experience," said Tim Riley, vice president, music affairs at Activision, Inc. "This franchise has a long-standing tradition of offering high-energy soundtracks, but J. has taken it to a new level and delivers an adrenaline-pumping masterpiece
for Tony Hawk's Motion."

"I am thrilled to be part of the Tony Hawk's Motion project," said J.Period. "I was truly honored to be given the responsibility of crafting the entire soundtrack for game play-exclusive tracks, no samples, all original material. This is no underground mixtape. All the music was composed and recorded  exclusively for Activision for this project. I don't know any other mixtape DJ who is taking it to that level."
J.Period Scores New Nintendo DS Soundtrack
Also lending original material to J.Period's Tony Hawk score is standout rock guitarist, Yohimbe Sampson, with whom J.Period first collaborated on the Game Rebellion: Searching for Rick Rubin mixtape. Multi-talented studio musician, Jesse Blum, also appears on keys, bass and horns on over half of the game's 10-song soundtrack.

For more information and to hear samples of J.Period's Tony Hawk soundtrack, click the link below.
* http://www.jperiod.com/tonyhawk/

Ice Bears Tour to Feature Prince Po, Edreys & More

From deepthinka.com:

The Ice Bears Tour

Bay Area, CA based Browntown Wreckords in conjunction with DeepThinka Records (DTR45) and Nasty Habits Entertainment is proud to announce the Ice Bears Tour featuring Prince Po, ½ of the legendary 90s Hip Hop duo Organized Konfusion. This 27 city tour will kick off with a run through Canada on November 1st, then back to the states down the East coast, and then wrapping up in the Midwest on November 30th. West coast dates are in the works for early December with plans to head overseas in 2009.

Since his days with Organized Konfusion, Prince Po has been busy at work putting together an impressive solo catalog and starting his own label, Nasty Habits Entertainment. Po kicked off his solo career releasing of The Slickness in 2005 (Lex Records), followed by Pretty Black in 2006 (Nasty Habits Entertainment), and Saga of the Simian Samurai in 2007 (Threshold Recordings). These, in addition to a plethora of guest appearances on projects with Dangermouse, Madlib, MF Doom, and others, have kept Prince Po relevant in the age of the ringtone. Po has also mentored and worked with countless upcoming artists, giving them sound advice as well as an opportunity to work with someone with longevity in the an otherwise unstable industry. Currently he is working on his next project, Blazers of the Lost Art, entirely produced by Oh No (Stonesthrow), as well as The Ice Bearz, a project which will feature handpicked domestic and international up-and-coming artists alongside established ones.

Primary support for the tour will be provided by DTR45’s Edreys and Paulie Rhyme (Public Radio/ Zulu Nation). Both artists have been blazing up the independent circuit and college charts these past two years. Edreys has been featured on Warped Tour, in Billboard, as a Myspace artist, and his single, “I Like It” received over 328,000 views on You Tube. Paulie Rhyme has been touring the country steadily since 2006, and dropped Public Radio in late 2007, which hit #9 on the CMJ Hip Hop Charts. Edreys is currently promoting his new single and video “Get Free”; and Rhyme just release his latest 12”, Dusk till Dawn featuring Prince Po. The Canadian and East coast legs will also feature Ottawa, ON’s Atherton (Vinyl Tap), promoting his upcoming release, No Threat.


(Atherton replaces Edreys on the following dates.) 


Diddy Releases New Cologne & Kanye Speaks On His Arrest

udubnews.com is reporting the following hip-hop news items today:

* Rap mogul Diddy is laughing a new cologne titled "I Am King" to celebrate Barack Obama's presidential win. According to various reports, Diddy will make the historical moment a theme for the campaign.

* Kanye West had this to say on being arrested in London last Fridayafter leaving a nightclub: "Here's what happened. When I left the club, I was encountered by a thirsty paparazzo as usual. He felt he had more rights to my space than me, so I put my hand up to prevent him from taking my image. I didn't assault him but merely putt my hand up to cover his lens. My security yelled, 'get the camera off him.' I guess in all the commotion the camera scraped his nose. They placed me in handcuffs and drove me to the station. They spoke about how this was obviously a publicity stunt by the photographer but they still had to go though the motions. When I got back to the hotel, there were paparazzi hanging over the bridge above the hotel trying to get a shot of me getting out the police van. Even though I wasn't charged, the damage was done. Sure enough the next morning, plastered across every media outlet - 'Kanye Gets Arrested.' It didn't matter that I wasn't charged or the fact that I hadn't assaulted anyone. All that mattered was that I was arrested."

* It seems producer Scott Storch is suffering in the recession too - he's put his Palm Island waterfront home up for sale on Craigslist with an asking price of $9 million dollars.

* Last but not least as heard on Kayfabe 4 Dummies last night, Suge Knight has been charged with battery and drug possession in connection to the alleged beating of his girlfriend. Knight was hit with the felony and misdemeanor charges by a Clark County Justice Court for possession of meth and hydrocodone and one count misdemeanor battery for allegedly punching his girlfriend of three years in the head as they were returning from a strip club.

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