Some producers are content to recycle their signature sound over and over again, but Grammy Award winner Focus… is dedicated to keeping his music impossible to easily label, a mission that continues with the release of his new album, Focal Point 1172. Production on all ten original tracks is provided by Focus…, with additional rhyme assistance coming from the likes of Slum Village, J. Pinder and Rapper Big Pooh. Featured on the project are highly rated singles “AUTUMN” and “Clouds.”
Iconocastic has returned to bring your ears a pre-Thanksgiving feast. Kicking things off is The Left with “How We Live” featuring Hassaan Mackey, a track complete with a steady beat featuring female vocals. IMAKEMADBEATSfollows with decidedly introspective rhymes from Butta Verses balanced by a more lighthearted cameo fromReverend TZ. Kansas native Stik Figa collaborates with producer Oddisee once again for the more mellow “From The Top“, which gives way to Rah Digga‘s in-your-face “Classic.” A group track from Focus rounds out this installment, and his “Homage To Ali Shaheed features a host of familiar faces including Von Pea, Donwill, andChaundon. We’re sure this mix will keep you full until the real Thanksgiving, but stay tuned for the next Iconocastic podcast.
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The Left – “How We Live” ft. Hassaan Mackey
IMAKEMADBEATS – “How Is Your Soul” feat. Butta Verses & Reverend TZ
Stik Figa & Oddisee – “From The Top”
Rah Digga – “Classic”
Focus – “Homage To Ali Shaheed” ft. Von Pea, Donwill and Chaundon
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Though Tanya Morgan members Von Pea and Donwill are currently taking the time to focus on their respective solo projects, this doesn’t stop their frequent collaborations. On this occasion, they are brought together byFocus… for the latest in his series of tracks paying homage to hip-hop greats. This song, specifically, is a tribute to Ali Shaheed, the much-revered A Tribe Called Questproducer and also features a verse from Chaundon of Hall of Justus, who is fresh off the release of his latest album, No Excuses, as well as his performance with the HOJ crew at theAudible Treats 2010 CMJ Showcase.
As for the origins of the track, it makes total sense that it features members of Tanya Morgan, as the group has worked with Ali Shaheed in the past. Becoming a part of the homage was simple and surprisingly quick, as Donwill explains. “Focus… does these homages, like, monthly and Von had put me on to ’em. After the RZA one dropped, I went to Twitter and said, ‘Somebody tell Focus… I want in.’ Within 2 re-Tweets he was following me and we had moved to Gmail.” Von Pea, Donwill, and Chaundon do a commendable job pulling off the A Tribe Called Quest vibe, and their contributions have led to another solid installment in Focus…’s series.