Thursday, August 31, 2006

Brand Nubian

Grand Puba, Lord Jamar,Sadat X, Alamo "Raised in the ghetto singin songs called survival... Hava stout if you know what i'm talkin about" . The Nubians along with (Public Enemy, EPMD, Poor Righteous Teachers, & The Wu-Tang) go down as one of my top 5 hip hop groups of all time. They are "the thinking-man's rap group" stayin true to there 5% islamic beliefs. One For All was one of the first albums to get 5 mic's in the Souce (when the mag was credible). Grand Puba left the group soon after there debut, and many headz thought that would be the downfall of the group. That was untill Sadat X, Jamar, & Alamo released the track "Punks Jump Up Tp Get Beat Down" on In God We Trust. That album & Everything is Everything proved that the Nubians could make a dope album without there frontman. Puba came back in 1998 on The Return and solidified Brand Nubian's reputation as one of the greatest rap groups in history.

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One For All(1990)

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In God We Trust(1993)

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Everything is Everything (1994)

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Fire in The Hole ( 2004 )

Grand Puba... After leaving the Nubians, Grand Puba aka Grand Puba Maxwell released 1992's Reel to Reel, which featured the excellent singles "360 Degrees (What Goes Around)" and "Check It Out" (with Mary J. Blige). 2000 had some bangers also... I Like It & Little of This were classic Puba material. The solo joint's were solid, but it just wasn't the same without his nubian brothers.
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Reel To Reel (1992)

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2000 (1995)

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Understand This (2001)

Sadat X... Born Derek Murphy, X was always my favorite MC of the three. Two years after Brand Nubian's third album, Everything Is Everything, he made his solo debut with Wild Cowboys, which built on his lyrical reputation on top of tough, jazz-inflected arrangements. The album, featuring production from Diamond D. and Buckwild, was a solid solo debut. The Lump Lump, Stages And Lights, & The Wild Cowboys from Bucktown (with O.G.C.) are among my fav tracks. The State of New York vs. Derek Murphy EP was another solid release that was highly slept on. Look out for Sadat's next release Black October which comes out on October 3rd.
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Wild Cowboys (1996)

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The State of New York vs Derek Murphy (2000)

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Experience and Education (2005)

Lord Jamar was always the more militant minded of the Nubians and it shows on his debut release The 5% Album. The album is designed to enlighten the "85s" (the 85% of the population who are mentally deaf, dumb and blind). There's number crunching and Jamar talks about the sun and planets, but its an easy listen thanks to tight beats provided by a diverse line-up of producers and Jamar's uncomplicated rhymes (now whether you understand the knowledge is something else). The 5% Album's appeal is hit-or-miss. It boils down to if you understand the influence the movement had on early rap and are interested in it, your familiarity with Lord Jamar, and if you're already down with the Nation.
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The 5 Percent Album (2006)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

DJ Premier - Crooklyn Cuts

I remember buying these tapes like it was yesterday. I don't think i went anywhere in the summer of 96 without my Sony cassette walkman and these 4 tapes. That was the greatest summer of my life. The Yankees were on pace to win there first World Series in 15 years...led by a rookie shorstop named Derek Jeter. The only worries on my mind back then were how i was gonna afford the new Jordans in time for my boy Delshawns "end of summer" party in the park. These tapes were the soundtrack of my summer of 96.

This is a pure classic part of hip hop. From East Flatbush Project & DeS - Tried By 12 too Smoothe Da Hustler & Trigger Tha Gambler's - Broken Language Pt. II... Premier lays down hot track after hot track of NYC's finest hip hop. The quality on the first tape is a little off...but you forget about the faint hiss after the first couple of tracks. Brooklyn's Greg Tate starts off Tape B with a spoken word poem called "What Is Hip Hop?". It used to send chills down my spine listening to that man preach hip hop. If you listened to hip hop then or are just catching up...these gems will take you back in time when rap music was oh so simple & pure!

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DJ Premier - Crooklyn Cuts Tape A (Tracklist)
DJ Premier - Crooklyn Cuts Tape B (Tracklist)
DJ Premier - Crooklyn Cuts Tape C (Tracklist)
DJ Premier - Crooklyn Cuts Tape D (Tracklist)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

(Part 11) Slept On Hip Hop In The 90's

Here's a few albums that i missed on the 1-10 posts.......

Double XX Posse - Put Ya Boots On (1992)
Double XX Posse deserved hell of alot more attention than they ever got. Headcracker, Get Ya Props Up, School of Hard Knocks & the banger Not gonna Be able ta DOE! A str8 get hype album from the golden age of hip hop. These headz got mad play on YO MTV Raps & Rap City..but never made it to that other level for some reason.

Big Mike - Somethin' Serious (1994)
"Now they got the flashlight lookin for Big Mike" The Geto Boys forgotten soldier Big Mike came correct in the 94 with this solid debut album. Classic southern rap flavor with great lyrics & outstanding production. Havin Thangs, Playa Playa, & Smoke'em & choke'em were my jam's. This was classic south right here. On par with any of his fellow Geto Boy's solo joints.

New Jersey Drive Vol.1 (1995)
This was one of the best hood movies ever and the soundtrack was no different. Ill Al Skratch - Don't Shut Down On A Player, Redman - Where Am I?, Lords Of The Underground - Burn Rubber, Outkast - Benz Or Beamer, Keith Murray - East Left & "You can't forget New Jersey" Queen Latifah's banger - Jersey...which she produced herself.

New Jersey Drive Vol. 2 (1995)
This sountrack was so dope they could'nt fit all the heat onto one tape. Black Moon & Smif-N-Wessun - Headz Ain't Ready, Naughty By Nature - Connections, Jeru The Damaja - Invasion, O.C. & Organized Konfusion - You Won't Go Far, Mad Lion - Own Destiny. IMO one of the greatest soundtracks of all time.

Top Authority - Somethin' to Blaze To (1993)
Flint Michigans Top Authority is one of those groups that never had any promotion or videos(that i can remember)but still made major noise on the undergroung hardcore hip hop scene.This is a str8 classic gangsta album front to back. The lead MC's Shotgun & Flex have a stricking resemblance to Scarface's voice & flow. The track "Voice's" is a heart pounding track that will get anyone vex just listening to it. Level of a Gangster, Another Murder, & Pop Him are all great hood tracks that have that heavy bass & hardcore feel. "93" (Things Ain't How They Should Be)is the feel good jam of the album...the slow rap jam that comes from the heart. This album is just as good today as it was in 93...non stop G-Music!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Smif n Wessun

All headz realize... get your Hoody's & Timb's on for this Smif N Wessun ride. Brooklyn's Tek and Steele have always been one of the most slept on duo's in hip hop. They feed of each other & rap line for line , instead of verse for verse. These headz got there start on Black Moon's classic debut, Enta da Stage, in 1993. Their debut LP, Dah Shinin' was dropped in 95. Dark, neck-snapping BK hip hop at it's finest. After a legal battle with the Smith and Wesson firearm company, the duo resurfaced in 1997 as Cocoa Brovaz & released there second album "The Rude Awakening". In 2002 they recorded an album on Rawkus Records that was untitled & never released. Now in 2006, Tek & Steel are standing strong as two of the "Great 8" (The Boot Camp Clik) and working on a follow up to there 2005 release "Reloaded" which was highly acclaimed by hip hop critics.

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Dah Shinin (1995)

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The Rude Awakening (1998)

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Rawkus (Unreleased)(2002)

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Still Shinin'(2004)

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Tek - It Is What It Is (2005)

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Reloaded (2005)

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The X Files (Offical Mixtape)(2006)


- Tek Of Smif N Wessun aka Elameen Da Don "First Famlee Mix CD
- STEELE: Amerikkka's Nightmare Mix CD

Dirty Harry - Unforgivin (Download)

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*Dirty Harry - Unforgiven* (Download)
I usually don't listen to many mixtape's anymore...but there are a few DJ's that are always bringin heat on every release....Green Lantern, Pudgee P, & this cat Dirty Harry. This is a quality listen the whole way through. New releases & some off the chain remixes. A top notch mix from the mixtape legend...

1 - Unforgiven Avianne Intro
2 - Rap Figures I – Method Man, Juelz Santana, Cam’ron, Styles P, Fat Joe, Nas 3 - Juelz Santana – Gangsta One Blood (DJ Dirty Harry)
4 - T.I – I’m talking to you (Harry Mix)
5 - 50 Cent – Heartbeat (Dirty Mix)
6 - Rap Figures II – Fat Joe, Styles P, Fabolous, Game, Papoose, Prodigy and Lloyd Banks
7 - Biggie & Jane Nithrow Sexy Love (Dirty Harry Mix)
8 - Cam’ron, Hell Rell, Juelz Santana – Something New (Harry Mix)
9 - Rick Ross – Blow (D. Harry Mentality Mix)
10 - Dramills – Freestyle
11 - Jadakiss& Beanie Sigel – Best of Both Hoods (Harry Mix)
12 - Rap Figures III – Nas, Scarface, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, T.I, Juelz Santana, and 50 Cent
13 - Dramills & Styles P – To The Movement
14 - Havoc f. Lloyd Banks – Speech (Harry Scarface Mix)
15 - Rick Ross, Game – Ridin’ High Mix
16 - Young Jeezy, T.I. – I’m Straight (Dirty Harry Mix)
17 - Dr. Dre, Slim Thug, Lloyd Banks – Get You Some – (Harry Mix)
18 - Busta Rhymes – I’ll Do Anything (Harry Mix)
19 - Cam’ron & Young Jeezy– Triple up (Harry Gun & Roses Mix)
20 - Nas – Where Yall’ At – (Public Enemy Harry Mix)
21 - Jay Z & Kanye West Kanye – Number 1 (DJ Dirty Harry)
22 - Dramills & Joe Buddens – Frontin’ On Hoes (Harry Mix)
23 - Mobb Deep – Stole Something (Dirty Harry Mix)
24 - LL Cool J & Lloyd Banks – Bump This Mix
25 - Fat Joe, Lil Wayne – We Gettin’ Money (Harry Shootouts Mix)
26 - Rap Figures IV 50 Cent, Havoc, Freeway, Raekwon, Sheek Louch, Maino
27 - German Luger Ft. Big Pun – It’s Not A Game Pa
28 - Nas – Black Essence
29 - Jay Z – Back Like That (Harry Mix)
30- Dramills Outro

Sunday, August 27, 2006

*Slow Jam Sundays - Donell Jones*

Chicago's Donell Jones has been one of my favoriteSoul/R&B artists since he came onto the scene in the mid 90's. Born the son of a gospel singer Jones has the talent, emotion, love & respect for music. Not your typical singer, Donell sings in a quiet voice, has a laid back groove with smooth lyrics. You can feel his influences ( Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, & the Isley Brothers) on each of his albums. He recorded his first album in 1996,My Heart, as a singer/songwriter/producer for La Face Records. With Eward Farell they formed a partnership with La Face. He wrote songs for Usher, Maddona, Silk and others.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Part 10 - Slept On Hip Hop In The 90's(1999)

Part 10 (The Final Chapter) Slept On Hip Hop In The 90's (1999)

1999 was a down year... it seemed like it was the year for melodic hip hop to hit the mainstream. I remember spending alot of $ in 99 cause there was a release almost every week. Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Dre, Black Moon, GZA & MF Doom all released near classic albums...Here's a few I was feelin in 99 and still today!

A.G. - The Dirty Version
If you like hardcore hiphop this is somthing for ya taste true underground baby!! cool lyrics ill flava,dirty dirty. Guests include: Big Pun, Fat Joe, Gang Starr, Buckwild, KRS One, O.C., Ghetto Dwellas, Diamond, Show, Lord Finesse.

Jeru the Damaja - Heroz4Hire
99.9 Pa Cent & Billie Jean (Safe Sex)are two of my favorite Jeru tracks of all time...Jeru didn't have any of Primo's help with the beats. Although some of the beats could have used more work, Jeru's lyrical content more than makes up for it. -Brooklyn keeps on takin it!

Blackalicious - Nia
The Gift of Gab's rap skills on tracks like "Deception" and "A to G" put him in a league of his own, it's just one of those things you have to hear to believe. Nia's tight hooks and rhymes will earn itself a spot in your CD players regular rotation....a true breath of fresh air in 99.

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist - Brainfreeze
Brainfreeze is the uncut practice recording session that was to form a show as part of the Future primitive soundsession in february 1999. 1000 copies were sold by word of mouth, but due to great demand another 1000 copies were pressed up. Quite a groundbreaking effort in its own right, some of the tracks included in the mix were actually sampled by both "Shadow and Cut chemist" for thier individual works, "Pleasure webs, Music man", being one that comes to mind. This mix stands as a good reference for seeking out, obscure and some otherwise unknown "funk gems", if thats your thang.

Prince Paul - A Prince Among Thieves
Wow, what is there to say about this album? Classic front to back, classic storyline, classic music, classic. Appearances by Breezly Brewin, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Xzibit & Kool Keith ...theres no denying the greatness. Favorite tracks are Steady Slobbin', Maculas Theory, Mr. Large and You Got Shot!

Tash - Rap Life
Tash from Tha Alkoholiks tried his hand at the soloist world with success... RAPLIFE shifts from backdrops of Notorious B.I.G. to George Clinton to KC without so much as a wink, smoothly and naturally. A great funky no nonsence album. Features.... Kurupt, Raekwon, Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit, Carl Thomas, E-Swift, J-Ro, Phillip Johnson, Phil The Agony, Big Boi & Dre, B-Real.

Handsome Boy Modeling School - So... How's Your Girl?
Prince Paul and The Automator makes for an interesting combo and an interesting recording with interesting guests. There is an astounding range of reference framed here and nothing sets in one place for too long. The record moves smoothly from start to finish. One of my personal favorites of 99.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Part 9 - Slept On Hip Hop In The 90's (1998)

September 29th 1998 was supposed to go down as the greatest hip hop album release date of all time. I was in line at midnight (along with 200 others) to pick up new joints from A Tribe Called Quest(The Love Movement), Jay-Z(Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life), Outcast(Aquemini), Killarmy(Dirty Weaponry), & Brand Nubian (The Return). I can honestly say i was not too thrilled with the outcome...Tribe's album was terrible.. Brand Nubian was somewhat disapointing... Jay-Z & Outcast's were aight...but out of them all Killarmy (the one i almost didn't buy) turned out to be the gem!

M.O.P., Pete Rock, Scarface, Big Punisher & DMX all released some great albums that year also....but for me it was the year of the WU-Tang affiliates (Killah Priest, Sunz of Man, GP-WU & Killarmy).

GP-WU - Don't Go Against the Grain
I was always told different stories if GP was an official WU affiliate or not..but i do know that they are from the same neighborhood as Wu-Tang. This album is a personal favorite of mine. The beats are rugged, some actually sounded as if it came from Wu Tang's 36 Chambers. "Chamber Danger" is the banger on the album...listen to it LOUD!

Sunz of Man - The Last Shall Be First
Sunz of Man is Hell Razah, 60 Second Assassin, Prodigal Sunn, and Killah Priest with RZA on production. This album was torn apart buy hip hop critics but what do they know...The Last Shall Be First can be played from the beginning to the end without repetitiveness & is very creative. I would only recommend this to the die hard WU headz such as myself!

Killarmy - Dirty Weaponry
Password: povertyproperty
The formula stayed the same as did their first LP, though this one didn't have the same intensity on the production. They speak on real topics, they are so far away from speaking on a commercial/mainstream rap sounding topic it isnt even funny. These guys can spit, and thats that. If you like lyrics, then you'll love this album.

Devin The Dude - The Dude

This album is all about the Weed, Women, & Alcohol. Rap-A-Lot's Devon The Dude has that laid back flow & beats to back it up..he tells funny stories kinda like Akinyele did back in the day. Guests include... Scarface, DMG, Odd Squad, & Kuirshan.

Hieroglyphics - 3rd Eye Vision
Great LP featuring the entire Heiro camp (Del, Souls Of Mischief, Pep Love, Casual, etc).If you're unsure of what 3rd Eye Vision even sound consists slightly of A Tribe Called Quest music with a Jurassic 5 style harmony. Left Coast hip hop at it's finest!

Kool G Rap - Roots Of Evil
By far this is my favorite (post) DJ Polo album....G.Raps story telling is above all others on A Thugs Love Story (Chapter I, II, III). Why it didn't get the pub it deserved is strange to me. This is also the very first apperance of Papoose on the banger Home Sweet Funeral Home. Let the cd play from start to finish without skipping any tracks, its that good.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

*Part 8... Slept On Hip Hop In The 90's (1997)*

97 was the year Puffy & Master P started there commercial takover of hip hop. That is also the year I started turning the radio off...completely. Here's a few joints that really got no air or video play....but they kept my head ringin though the 97!

Killarmy - Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
A spin-off from Wu-Tang Clan with a more military mentality. One of the best produced albums of all time with RZa lending a hand. It is a mixture of genres to create a classic East Coast hip-hop feel with violins, bass and piano chords, but the five emcees blessed the instrumental that have to be repeated to fully understand the complexity of the lyrics.Guest appearances include Streetlife, Masta Killa, and the aforementioned Sunz Of Man.

Cru - Da Dirty 30
Yogi kicks rhymes with Q-Tip-style smoothness... the Mighty Ha growls and sings crazily a la Ol' Dirty Bastard... and Chadeeo fills in the rest with clever wordplay. "Just Another Case" w/ Slick Rick & "Live At The Tunnel" w/ Jadakiss, Styles P, & Sheek is the banger on the album. Also features Black Rob & Ras Kass.

Royal Flush - Ghetto Millionaire
This is some str8 harcore Queens shit right here. "Movin' On Your Weak Productions" is my fav banger on the album with that ill sample from Nasty Nas. Production from Buckwild, Da Beatminerz, Hi-Tek, L.E.S.,& Chy-Skillz... Guest appearances by Noreaga & Mic Geranimo.

No I.D. - Accept Your Own And Be Yourself
ChiTown's No I.D. did the majority of the the production for Common's first 3 albums. The beats are intoxicating. His lyrical abilities are average but work well over his soft, jazzy instrumentals.

Teflon - My Will
Password: realhiphop
A Brooklyn protege of hip-hop legend DJ Premier & MOP. The beats are street soldier beats like the type you take to military school... his metaphors and vocal patterns are astounding & MOP makes a few appearances throughout the album. Great street album!

Camp Lo - Uptown Saturday Night
I wouldn't say this is slept on..but i can't mention 97 without bring up this album...I think this joint was in my CD player for 3 months str8!! Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede make up a great duo and feed off of each other rather nicely. Let's not even talk about the production, flawless! this is one major thing that Hip-Hop is lacking big time, ORIGINALITY!
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