Kansas City gritter Etho Escobar teams up with the Tennessee titan Don Trip on a record speaking risking it all to make it.
Kansas City gritter Etho Escobar teams up with the Tennessee titan Don Trip on a record speaking risking it all to make it.
Kado Barlatier Is one of the most Influential, controversial, versatile Artist emerging out of The New England music scene. He’s able to paint pictures lyrically and now also Visibly through his
latest string of visuals. His life experiences and pain show In his music and through his aggressive, melodic sound It’s clear that this young man has what It takes to make It..He’s driven by past
experiences his daughter and his Haitian roots ; which also means he has ability to crossover due to the fact he doesn’t only rap In English. His Name “Kado” which means “Gift” In French Creole and he truly Is a gift to the Industry.
The art of storytelling is extremely close to being a lost art in the Hip Hop realm. You probably can count on one hand how many rappers past and present that mastered that part of the craft. (Slick Rick, Eminem, Black Rob, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000). It’s a part of the craft that if you can either become good at it, or master it, you will gain the respect of your peers and fans. It’s also another weapon in your arsenal. It’s a win/win situation no matter how you look at it. TyShawn Dion shows that he is pretty damn good at it with his new release “Humble Pie”. It’s a story that is well woven over a xylophone and harp heavy produced track. The great part of this record is TyShawn’s attention to detail as he talks about his final fuck up in the relationship. “And if my Mama was to tell it, oh that ghost fine, but this gonna haunt you TyShawn. Why? Because can’t a damn thing change a battered woman scorn. She was good, but now she’s gone. Might fuck your friend to this song”, he rhymes on the last bars of the song. The former DI Football star may have found another world to be great it.
Ain’t nobody payin’, and ain’t no weight to nothin’ these corny niggas are sayin’
What game are you playin’?
When niggas used to say “Yo, you heard what he said?”
But now they say “Yo I heard that, the lyrics is dead
Where’s the next one, and try not to be so verse-y
Can you start it off with controversy? Put a hook on it”
360 and you’re rockin’ for that label paper
Now your money’s gone and you can’t eat ’cause the crooks own it
Today marks the fifth anniversary of KoleXXXion, the first full-length collaborative project from legendary Gang Starr producer DJ Premier and fearless veteran hardcore emcee and longtime friend/frequent collaborator Bumpy Knuckles (formerly known as Freddie Foxxx); incidentally, today also happens to be Bumpy’s 48th birthday, while Premier celebrated his 51st last week! Both Premo and Bumpy command respect in their respective fields, and every time they join forces they make nothing but pure, unadulterated hardcore NYC hip hop heat. Plus, you should already know by now that just about any full-length project laced by Premier is virtually guaranteed to be an instant classic.
A few of the tracks on KoleXXXion were previously released (‘The Lah”, for example, was initially issued as a single in 2001), while most if not all of the remaining beats were originally intended for other artists (including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss and Immortal Technique, just to name a few) before ultimately being rejected. Fortunately, Premo saved all these discarded tracks and previously released material to create a thoroughly enjoyable and consistent compilation blessed with Bumpy’s aggressive vocal presence and lyrical delivery. The album was also preceded earlier in the month by the five-song digital-only promo EP StOoDiOtYmE, consisting of material that didn’t make the final cut of KoleXXXion.
Beloved Public Enemy hype-man Flavor Flav makes an appearance on “Shake The Room”, while Queensbridge, NYC living lyrical legend Nas contributes a guest verse on the “Turn Up The Mic” remix. My personal favorite moments on here include “OwNiT” (which has Bumpy rocking one long verse over a steadily rolling chopped piano sample before Premo closes it out by scratching up a vocal phrase from Golden Era femcee Antoinette’s 1987 hip hop classic “I Got An Attitude”), the bold and ambitious “More Levels” and the neck-snapping lead single “B.A.P. (Bumpy And Premier)” (featuring a dope sample clip of famed World War II-era broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow on the intro) and the gutter-as-fuck second single “wEaRe aT WaR” (which opens with a spoken intro from Bumpy, who addresses the longtime problem of fans stealing artists’ music for free rather than offering true support by paying for it).
In addition, the final two songs pay tribute to two deceased individuals that were important figures in the lives of both Bumpy and Premier; “The Gang Starr Bus” and “Word Iz Bond”. The former (which initially appeared on Premo’s Year Round Records compilation Get Used To Us the previous year) is dedicated to the memory of Premier’s Gang Starr musical partner, the one and only Guru, and allows the listener to be a fly on the wall as Bumpy reminisces about his days touring with the group back in the ’90s. The latter eulogizes close friend and promoter Kenneth “HeadQCourterz” Walker, who was tragically murdered in 2002; Premier would later name both his studio and his SiriusXM radio show, Live From HeadQCourterz, after his fallen friend.
At the end of the day, this is simply one of the hardest albums in recent memory and sits comfortably in my personal top five releases of 2012. If you truly love hip hop, especially the kind that gets you pumped up and makes you want to wild the fuck out, throw on KoleXXXion and let Premo and Bumpy smack the wax out of your eardrums. To quote Bumpy on the intro to “Shake The Room”: “This is stadium music right here!”
The beat is so butter, peep the slow cutter
As he utter the calm flow (“Your mother!”), don’t talk about my moms, yo
Sometimes he rhyme quick, sometimes he rhyme slow
Or vice versa, whip up a slice of nice verse pie
Hit it on the first try, Villain: the worst guy
Spot hot tracks like spot a pair of fat asses
Shots of the scotch from out of square shot glasses
And he won’t stop ’til he got the masses
And show ’em what they know not through flows of hot molasses
Do it like the robot to headspin to boogaloo
Took a few minutes to convince the average bug-a-boo
It’s ugly, like look at you, it’s a damn shame
Just remember ALL CAPS when you spell the man name….
Yesterday marked the 13th anniversary of a modern instant hip hop masterwork. Madvillainy is the first full-length collaborative effort from metal-masked, comic book-themed hip hop supervillain MF Doom and prolific, multi-talented super-producer Madlib, released on equally fruitful indie hip hop and soul-specializing label Stones Throw Records. Together as Madvillain, the duo presents one of the most innovative and original hip hop records ever made. With 22 tracks clocking in at just over 46 minutes, the short songs serve as little musical vignettes that blend together beautifully with the aid of instrumental interludes and sampled clips of TV/movie dialogue.
Madlib’s production on this joint is truly out of this world and all over the place when it comes to diversity and unpredictability, to say the least; I’d even say he’s on the same level as his late, great friend and fellow production wizard J Dilla (who passed away in 2006) in terms of creativity and sample-flipping skills, not to mention his penchant for using obscure samples from various genres to create an overall cohesive sound, almost like an orchestra. Doom’s blunted, largely stream-of-consciousness-fueled lyrical adventures are often highlighted by his dark and random sense of humor and his consistent blessing of Madlib’s beats on Madvillainy is surely one of the proudest moments of his nearly 30-year career; older heads might remember the enigmatic emcee’s humble beginnings as Zev Love X, frontman of the group KMD, a decade before reinventing himself and donning the metal mask in the late ’90s.
The lead single, “All Caps”, is one of the major highlights on Madvillainy with its infectious flute sample and signature comic book vibe (which is appropriately accompanied by an animated video stylized in a nostalgic comic fashion). Other notable moments include the hilarious “Operation Lifesaver (Mint Test)”, the jazzy “Rainbows”, the feel-good “Great Day”, the droning and offbeat (but uniquely dope) “Accordion” and additional strong album cuts “Meat Grinder”, “Curls” and closing number “Rhinestone Cowboy”. The guest features are very far and far between; Madlib’s frequent collaborator MED (also known as Medaphoar) and fellow Lootpack cohort Wildchild appear on “Raid” and “Hardcore Hustle”, respectively, while the producer/emcee’s own helium-voiced alter-ego Quasimoto pops up on “America’s Most Blunted” and “Shadows Of Tomorrow” and alternative neo-soul songstress Stacy Epps shines on the “Eye” interlude.
Madvillainy was easily my favorite album for several months following its initial release and it has since earned high praise across the board from just about every noteworthy publication and critic as well as a whole new cult-like generation of hipsters and backpackers. The project is a supreme example of two seasoned veterans displaying a remarkable chemistry in the prime of their respective careers and I think it’s safe to say that Madvillain held down the underground in 2004 while Kanye West dominated the mainstream with his equally important debut album The College Dropout that same year. In 2014, Stones Throw was kind enough to feed the tape fiend in me when they reissued Madvillainy on cassette (presumably for the album’s 10th anniversary) and I must say it’s a perfect fit for the all-but-abandoned medium. An official sequel to this joint has been rumored, teased and hinted at for several years now with no concrete evidence of it coming out anytime soon, although a limited edition remixed version of the album was released in 2008. Even if Madvillain’s second studio album never comes to fruition, Madvillainy is something special that can just as easily be remembered as a one-time, one-of-a-kind classic in its own right for many generations to come.
Hip Hop is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Boston and The New England area. You’ll probably think of a few different genres of music before Hip Hop comes up. “Words From The Wise” by Jay Dot Deep can possibly cause a paradigm shift in what’s going on right now. TEAUXNY, Sy Ari Da Kid, and Ls all chipped in on the production that has a spacey feel to it. Sy Ari plays no games straight out the gate saying “Weak niggas don’t condone power . See, when you work for yourself you choose your own hours. You put a lease on your soul nigga, we own ours”. Quentin Miller keeps up the pace rhyming “I just got off the PS4, and wrote a verse to RIP y’all boys, now pass me my controller”, and keeps going in later on saying “Whoa, life changing conversations on the phone. Whoa, your favorite rapper on the incoming call. Whoa, red button, send his ass to voicemail. Whoa, I don’t need nobody, you can’t tell?” Jay Dot Deep plays clean up man, as the beat shifts, and he made sure that he sent it out the park. He ends his verse with “Start with crawling through the trenches, can’t just talk it to existence. Gotta march, and move the distance, can’t go walk to with this instance. Get the farthest through your fitness. Hit the target through persistence. Food for thought, don’t do the dishes, it’s more for you to ingest.” This is a savage song to say the least, and it seems like Jay Dot isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Trap music has evolved whether you believe it or not. I remember in 2005 when Jeezy dropped “Thug Motivation 101: Let’s Get It”, and the sounds was pretty much organs, brass, and 808. Fast forward 12 years later (yes, the sub-genre has been around THAT long), the sound has gotten better. Producers and artist are willing to keep the framework, and make alterations to everything else. A good example of this is JerZ on his new single “Go Figure”. Over layers of pads, and vocal sound bites provided by Groove, Jerz rolls up his sleeves and gets right to work. “I’m stuck off of glue, that’s that gorilla. Smoking a j, playing old Dilla. Trained to go, like you already know nigga. But, standoffish like “yo, I don’t know niggas.” The bars keep coming in this dope record as he says “Y’all tripping. Y’all don’t see the contradictions. Want a pot of gold, but no pot to piss in. Say you’re the best, but you’re no competition. Your ears are decorations, y’all sure don’t listen.” At the end of the day, it’s a good song from an artist that people should start to keep their ears and eyes open for.
No matter what state you go to, there is always one artist that”hasn’t gotten their shine yet.” No matter what year of Hip Hop you research, there are two distinctive brackets that particular artist go in to. The first bracket it the artists that were on the cusp of doing something amazing, and everyone knew it, but was never was able to turn the corner (AZ, G Dep, Rass Kass, Field Mob). The second bracket contains artists that were flat out dope. They were better than 90 percent of the music being heard, but never got their moment in the Sun (Alley Boy, Cuban Link, Twisted Black, Bad Azz, Sick Jacken (of Psycho Realm). An artist who is gradually getting their moment in the Sun, and the chance to turn the corner is Killa Kyleon. If you’ve had an ear to the street for the Texas underground music scene, he’s been around for a minute. He’s not only been around, but has gotten on tracks with artist who have became stars and had the best verse on the song (Wiz Khalifa, Currency, Mike Jones, Paul Wall). He got in the studio with Nessacary (who is a beast in her own right) and put together a very solid project in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Don’t expect a bunch of stunting and getting to the money songs with this team. You get a few songs on that vibe (“Watching Me”, “Riding”), but it’s all business after that. “Since you niggaz bumping, I ain’t heard a better rapper yet. Still the hottest, I ain’t taking off my sweater yet. Besides the man in the mirror, I never met a threat. You a rookie, I’m a vet, verified without a check”, says a aggravated Killa Kyleon on “Intro”. Nessacary keeps up with Killa bar for bar on “Intro” saying “Opitical illusion, hoes ain’t really seeing me. Even with some Lasik, they ain’t really seeing me. Third times the charm bitch, but I don’t need your trilogy.” The duo has a pretty good chemistry throughout the album and showcases it on songs like “Talk is Cheap”, “Drugs”, and the aforementioned “Intro”. The cool thing about this project to me is that it seems as if they came into the studio and said “let’s make some dope shit”, instead of “let’s make some hits”. And, if “let’s make some dope shit” was their mind state, they succeeded.