We've already given you our list of the best albums we've worked so far this year, and now here are our picks for the best videos we've been involved with this year. Keep them in mind as you make your end-of-year lists!
Hip-hop superstar Juelz Santana, along with Dipset Capo Jim Jones and comedian Mike Epps, is pleased to bring you, A Tribute to Bad Santa, the new Holiday album on Tuesday, November 25th. The album features 15 new Christmas bangers and hilarious new skits from Mike Epps.
40-Water's here to give y'all a little insight on the tracks from his brand spanking new album, The Ball Street Journal. In this series of webisodes, the ambassador himself pontificates on the origins of "E-40." Also featured are lessons on how exactly one achieves the bounce of a poor man's hydraulics, the importance of hustling, when and where it's proper to employ the phrase "wake it up," and also how to make one's show a "sweatbox." You smell him?
He's a rap innovator, a business-savvy tycoon and one of the music industry’s most consistent success stories. Yes, E-40 is all those things, but he's probably best known as a slang creator, a man whose distinctive gift of gab gets lifted and used in the rhymes of Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and others. Now, the man with the terrific tongue returns with his most polished product to date, the imaginatively titled The Ball Street Journal." Anything that rolls off the tongue slick and is catchy, that's where it's at," E-40 explains. "The Ball Street Journal just flew off the tongue and it's memorable. This traces everything from the beginning to now. I've been through hard times and I've been through good times. It's like a discography of how my life has been, because I touch down on a lot of different angles on the album. It covers all angles of the game." The Ball Street Journal is available online and in stores nowon Warner Brothers / Sick Wid It Records.
A compilation of hundreds of recordings (vocals, textures, instruments, etc.) stitched together to form an album (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but as a basic premise), Decomposure’s most recent work, Humidity Patient Guide on Blank Squirrel Records is the result of 40 micro-songs crammed into 50 diverse (folk, rap, noise, electronic, pop, ambient, spoken word, industrial, chants, field recording) minutes. The album is available for free download. There is an option to donate via Paypal or Credit Card if you like the album. Includes a 25 page booklet of album art.
For the FULL Story of Humidity Patient Guide, click HERE.
The album features the graphic-artist-by-day's slightly sugary blend of electronic-pop that channels a little bit of The Postal Service, but in no way mimics them, or anyone we've heard recently. Decomposure is definitely a delight, and no doubt will be making its-slash-his mark on the scene soon.
Vertical Lines A absolutely fulfills the promise of At Home and Unaffected, and then some. Not only does it deserve a spot in the list of last year's best albums, it might have made a run at the top, given the right circumstances...It's hard to explain exactly what makes Vertical Lines A such an incredible album, except to say that the combination of elements that Mueller has put in here works. When a Beatles-esque, melodic stanza gives way to an Anticon-inspired set of ludicrous speed spoken-word, which then gives way to a literal chorus of Muellers in a hypermelodic feat of multitracked a cappella, you expect it to crash and burn under its own weight, especially when the whole process happens twice over the course of the song. And yet it doesn't crash and burn. Rather, it soars, pummeling the listener with cool idea after cool idea, fitting them together with taut threads that never seem to snap...It's an album that represents unchecked ambition, one man striving to live up to his influences and the organized noise in his head. It's the type of music that constantly makes you smile as you hear what the artist was trying for alongside what he accomplished. Vertical Lines A deserves all of the accolades that could possibly be thrown at it.
Imagine Eno on steroids. Or Barry Bonds in a recording studio. This wacky yet ingenious collection from organic noise whiz-kid Caleb Mueller (aka Decomposure) is a listenable collection of engaging songs manufactured from sounds most folks would consider annoying: crackling paper, moving typewriters, static electricity, kitchen utensils, clacking wood, clanging metal, and bodily functions coupled with an occasional acoustic guitar or piano. Mueller's introspective art-rock identity (a la Beck, Bright Eyes or the Velvet Underground) emerges intact despite the continuous onslaught of poly-rhythmic mumbo-jumbo.
So, with string untied, present opened and music pouring out of the speakers, Vertical Lines A only furthers its uniqueness with a sound that defies any easy categorization, or rather any categorization at all. Decomposure, better known as Caleb Mueller, has both an emotive, expressive tenor and a high speed nigh rap delivery, backed by dense electronic soundscapes that are one part glitch to one part shoegazer. Needless to say, finding a contemporary to this sound proves difficult, though if you can imagine Anticon and The Postal Service crossing paths, you're on the right track. The tracks themselves, titled 'Hour 1' through 'Hour 11' (in order, mind you), jump around a bit themselves, from the Brian Eno gone hip-hop 'Hour 2,' to the slightly emo 'Hour 3' to the sci-fi poetry of 'Hour 4.' And there's merely one more new surprise with the changing of each track, showing the varied aspects of Mueller's musical identity, and invigorating the senses with new layers of electro-funk, distorted IDM and gentle ambient waves. It occurs to me, listening to 'Hour 5,' that Mueller is like the IDM Justin Timberlake. He's got soul and can definitely groove, but in ways that evade commercial viability and with the utmost of artistic innovation. With the unwrapping of this elaborate package, the listener truly is given a musical gift, one that rewards and surprises repeatedly and consistently. Now, getting that string to tie back around the thing is another story...best to keep this one open.
Mueller’s music is a mess of noises that are not supposed to work together but somehow make funky, mechanical sense. He’s at his best when he walks around his apartment and clangs random objects, while crooning in a spit-shined tenor. Pots, pans, books dropped on chairs, telephones, and other random objects around his apartment are clanged, recorded and then digitally stitched together into a brilliant symphony. His math crunching rhythms that skitter and nearly fall off the tracks are much akin to the tomfuckery of Venetian Snares, Akufen, and most notably Hrvatski’s abuse of his household in his sadly underrated 7", Raume.
Adam B had this to say about the sixth episode of The Adam B Experience (ABX): "I'm tired and I don't have time for any flowery prose." Well we feel you homey, and when you provide us with an hour of dope music no flowery prose is required! Dig in as he serves up the latest underground jams and remember that you can hit up Adam B at AdamB@RapReviews.com and let him know what you're diggin about the show. The Adam B Experience is 100% PODSAFE and TOTALLY FREE for listeners at RapReviews.com so no worries about downloading or sharing this show. Tell your friends to check it out at RapReviews.com!
MC Breed's Family, Management Issue Official Statement On His Death (Monday, November 24, 2008 - Chatterbox Publicity)
The family and management of MC Breed would like to release the following statement:
"We are saddened by our great loss. More than just an artist, we mourn the loss of a beloved father, son, brother and friend. We are overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of love and support during this difficult time. We are thankful and blessed to have been in his presence and want him to be remembered for his creative, caring, talented and hard-working spirit."
Statement from Breed's Management, Darryl and Lisa Morris of Vanglorious Entertainment:
"Managing Breed changed our lives for the better. He was more than an artist, he was family. He touched so many and is credited with inspiring many of the hip hop acts in music today. Words can't express how much he will be missed."
ABOUT MC BREED Eric T. Breed, known as MC Breed, born June 12, 1971, passed away on Saturday, November 22, 2008, in Flint, Michigan. Breed, a loving father, leaves behind to mourn 5 children- Kiara Monique (18), Erica Ariel (16), Alexis Cymone (14), Marco "MC" Chene (9), and Eric Jalen (1). Survivors also include his parents, Roy LeEster and Willie Breed, brothers, Pete and Kevin Breed, sister, Bridgette Breed, his soul mate Natasha Gist, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral arrangements are being made in Breed's hometown of Flint, Michigan by Lawrence E. Moon Funeral Home. No additional details are available at this time.
DJ Shadow's remix of the Flobots' hit single "Handlebars" on a 45 (7") record is NOW SHIPPING! Shadow re-creates the track to give it a bit more boom-bap, and re- structures the hook. This is a rare Dj Shadow remix, and a must have for vinyl heads!
The 45 also includes the album version, and comes in a limited gatefold vinyl 45 jacket. We have very few of these, and we probably will not be able to re-stock them, so grab one NOW while they are available:
And for those of you who have not yet picked up The 4-Track Era Vol. 3:
OPTION 1: Purchase the 4-track Era Box Bundle (includes all 3 volumes in a shrink-wrapped collection slip-case! + tees, stickers, buttons, and a bonus disc!). 10 Lucky customers who purchase the 4-track Era Box Bundle will receive a free DJ Shadow/Paul Insect signed Outsider print, a free Hard Sell Hollywood Bowl Poster, and more!
This is the one all hardcore Shadow fans have been waiting for! Following on from Volume 1: Best of the KMEL Mixes and Volume 2: Best of the Remixes and Megamixes, Volume 3 reveals, for the first time ever, eighteen of Shadow’s earliest original compositions. NOTHING ON THIS CD HAS EVER BEEN AVAILABLE, ANYWHERE, until now.
Among the highlights:
-The original “DJ Shadow’s Theme,” with multiple breaks and cuts colliding for a playful but intricate mission statement
-An alternative mixdown of “Lesson 4,”
-The follow-up to “Lesson 4,” “Lesson 5” which was intended to showcase 45s only (this is 1991 we’re talking about, folks!!)
-Several beats for early MC collaborators T-Mor and Paris
-“The Source Is Serious Business,” Shadow’s entry into a (never released) compilation commissioned by the Source Magazine of all “Unsigned Hype” column winners
Continuing the global movement of hip-hop, we give you this German press release that just showed up in my inbox with an accompanying english translation. (As such all linguistic conversion errors are theirs and not those of me or Babelfish.)
Newsletter Massiv KOZ RapPack only Rapshow on TV
Los Banditos on the move...with Kopf oder Zahl . Finally the moment has come, the first dates for the long-expected preview are set. On Friday the 5th December at 9 pm the movie runs on it's Germany-Festival preview at the 14. Filmschau Baden-Württemberg.
As there are just 145 seats at the festival, you have to rush if you want to see the movie in advance. In March 2009 Kopf oder Zahl will start with 50 cinema-copies via in all Multiplex cinemas. Also there will be a team-preview sometime next year. Other news and more festivals at www.kopfoderzahl-derfilm.de
Los Banditos on the move...
...with Germany's most provocative rapper Massiv. We shoot for Massiv his first three Singles from his album, out in 2009. For one of his videos we need your help! Do you want to be in the video, send us an application and we will get you in Massiv's movement. At the weekend of the 5th 6th or 7th December, you can spend the day with the Banditen and Massiv and you will definetely be built into the video. Also send this mail to all your friends and acquaintances The more people, the better. We show Stuttgart that Massiv also has his fans here. E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Banditos on the move ...
...with Germany's only Hip Hop TV show. Los Banditos and Yavido present with Los Banditos RapPack after the end of MTV Urban and MTV TRL the only Hip Hop show in Gremany show on Television. Always Saturdays at 7 pm and Wednesday at 8 pm we give you a whole hour of German Hip Hop. In case you can't receive Yavido and have satellite or cable, go to the following link. Here you can see all adjustments to see Los Banditos RapPack on your screen. Broadcaststation adjustments: http://www.yavido.de/frequenzen.htm Official website: http://www.rappack.de
Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one- representin' BK to the fullest. Indeed. The news of Gold Dust and Roc-Darling's upcoming documentary, Biggie Smalls: Rap Phenomenon has lit up the web lately, promising exclusive footage of the legendary rapper shot on-stage and behind the scenes on his early tours. To give fans a taste, we'll be providing a series of clips from the film, updated regularly. Hit up the link below for a one of a kind look at a hip-hop icon. Biggie Smalls: Rap Phenomenon will be out January 27th on Gold Dust.
Breaking news this afternoon and the news is not good. BlackVibes.com is reporting that Eric Breed, better known as legendary rap artist MC Breed, passed away last night of apparent kidney failure and related heart problems according to various sources. TMZ.com had reported that Breed had been taken off life support in the hospital yesterday, and the rapper had been ailing since his kidneys failed a couple months ago. Our condolences to his family, friends and many fans around the world. The pride of Flint, Michigan may have left us but for now and forever more there will still be no future in yo' frontin'.