1. “Day To Day”-Blueprint vs. Funkadelic (click track title to preview or DL)
Three things have become very clear to me after bumpin’ Blueprint’s “mash-up” with Funkadelic (over and over since it’s “leak” earlier this week):
1. This little 8 song (well, it’s closer to 6 being that track one is an “intro” and “Check Mate”, even though it’s a great track, is sadly only a little over a minute long) EP may very well be one of the most well executed releases thus far in ’08. Now, this year hasn’t blessed us with half of the quality material that we were bumpin’ last year around this time, but as of late the “quality” has seemingly picked up with dope releases from the likes of The Roots, Atmosphere and believe it or not…Prodigy’s “H.N.I.C. Pt. II” is surprisingly solid as well. However, it has been the Has-Lo’s, Braille’s and Danger Zone’s of the underground that have truly held me over amidst the flood of releases that have been fairly disappointing and this latest EP release from Blueprint is very satisfying as well.
2. The combination of Funkadelic’s Rock meets Funk style meshes perfectly with Blueprint’s lyrics, delivery and unique vocal tone. I mean, I’ve always loved Blueprint and his collabos with RJD2 as one half of Soul Positon, as well as Blueprint’s solo outings, the instrumental opus “Chamber Music” and “1988″ but this sh*t was a brilliant move on Blueprint’s behalf. Score a major win for Weightless!!
3. Damn, I truly need to go back and dig up Funkadelic’s catalog, these cats were most definitely waaaay ahead of their time. Peep the ill guitar lick on “Day To Day”, and this track blossoms into a funky “free for all” even after Blueprint’s lyrical barrage ends near the 2:16 mark. Don’t miss out on this funky expedition, ‘shrooms not included.
Damn Eric!! Joe Budden? Yep, I gotta’ come clean I’ve been a closet Joe Budden fan for quite some time now, all the while anticipating his actual “major label” release. However, I guess I’ll have to settle for the latest installment in Joey’s “Mood Muzik” series. After letting this sit on my computer for the longest, I finally decided to give this one a listen and much to my surprise, it’s really a pretty decent album. “Dear Diary” is the true crowning moment for Joey on “MM3″ as he spits introspective and deeply personal lyrics regarding past relationships (or as I like to call em’ “relation-sh*ts”) over a bangin’ “Just-Blazish” track (please overlook the sped-up sample tho’) that for whatever reason reminds me of Fabolous’ “Breathe” everytime I hear it. There’s no denyin’ that Joe Budden is a gifted emcee, but he definitely could stand to up his production budget as many of the tracks that I’ve heard him spit on don’t seem to be up to par with his lyrics. Plus, we all know that Joey has had his share of bad luck with finding a home to actually put out a decent full-length LP. Still, don’t miss out on “Dear Diary” and even if your not a fan of the Stack Bundles’, Ransom’s and Joe Budden’s of the world, “Mood Muzik3″ is definitely worth your time. Hell, I even bought it, which turned out to be a huuuuge mistake as the sound quality of the CD was utterly horrible!
From SoulSpazm’s Press Kit: “Serenade For The Moment”, dropping March 24th, is the collaboration between two great up and coming artists. One a producer and the other an emcee, who got together over the course of two years to create a record just for the sake of making music. Emerging from Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, producer Analogic has set out to win over the fans of this new generation of hip-hop with his soulful and hard hitting production. Having only been making beats since 2003, Analogic has amazingly climbed the proverbial ranks of the undergrounds new generation of elite producers. Quickly making a name for himself, Analogic has worked with the likes of such renowned emcees as Talib Kweli, MastaAce, AZ, Sean Price, Wordsworth, & Phonte (of Little Brother). Reminding listeners of the “Golden Era” of Hip-Hop without sounding dated, emcee Rashid Hadee’s solo music combines soul piercing wit, hard-edged confidence and innovative beat production. As one-half of the highly regarded hip-hop group Chapter 13, the young Chicago native is here to show the world he has what it takes to standout alone in the competitive world that is underground hip-hop. Coming with 7 songs and 7 + 1 instrumental tracks, “Serenade For The Moment”: Featuring all production from up and coming producer Analogic. All rhymes by Rashid Hadee. A new collaboration with an old school approach.”
Eric Says: “Talk about a dope collabo betweent two below the radar producers! Analogic has linked up with Chi-Town’s very own Rashid Hadee for a dope 7-cut EP titled”Serenade The Moment” a solid release from two relatively unknown and extremely underrated producers. The formant for this EP finds Hadee droppin’ the rhymes over Analogic’s soulful, bass-heavy beats. Damn, I’ve really been sleeping on Hadee, whom I decided to check for after hearing his production work on Silent Knight’ newest release, “Restoration”. Needless to say, much of my listening for the past week or so has been devoted to much of Hadee’s discography, to include his work as a member of Chapter 13 as well as his phoenominal solo LP, “Dedication”. It’s safe to say that this won’t be Hadee’s only appearance on my “Most Played For The Week” as this cat is definitely a “must hear” in the near future that is not only a dope emcee but a very soulful beatsmith as well (as evidenced by “From 6 To 7″, one of a handful of excellent tracks that appeared on Hadee’s “Dedication”.
“Don’t Wanna’ Be Right” is a definite head-nodder as the crisp, crackle & pop of the record spinning fits hand in glove over the pyramiding bassline that is sure to rattle a liscence plate or two. Hadee lyrically devotes much of the track to battle rhymes with a reflective line or so thrown into the mix for good measure. “Don’t Wanna’…” is one of those “feel-good” cuts that injects just enough momentum to serve as a nice companion in the gym or whenever you need that extra little kick-in-the-ass.”
It’s been nearly 3 years since the original Scribbling Idiots duo brought you their debut collaboration. Well the wait is over. JustMe & Cas Metah are back and they’re “Unemployed”, their 2ndfull-length project together and it’s just what you enjoy from these (Scribbling) idiots: Witty battle rhymes, thought-stirring lyricism, and the sarcastic raps you love and expect over jazzy, boom-bap production. This side project also features the rest of the Scribbling Idiots crew and beats from Scribbling Idiots, Muneshine, Vintage and more. “EmoCoaster” is an up tempo little ditty, detailing “a day in the life” of an underground artist, complete with tales of not getting paid after a show, primary income from “merch” (merchandise) sales and the general pitfalls of being an independent trying to carve out a name for yourself. “Emo…” also boasts stellar production from fellow Scibbling Idiots alumnus Theory Hazit. “Are Unemployed” is yet another good “Christian” rap album that has joined the likes of Poems’ “Blooming Sounds” as a solid release that should not be missed just because it isn’t exactly “hardcore” per se.
I’ll admit it, after a dozen or so listens to 9th Wonder & Buckshot’s most recent collabo, “The Formula”, I’m highly disappointed. As I was telling Trav yesterday, 9th’s production seems to have regressed between the release of this album and “Dream Merchant 2″. Or maybe 9th has fallen victim to the same ills that led to the downfall of Das Efx, so many cats jock your style to the point were no one actually wants to hear you anymore, which in turn causes your material to come off as somewhat dated. Typically, for the most part, I love 9th’s beats and Fruity Loop production but aside from “Throwing Shade”, not much else has really grabbed me on this album. By comparison, 9th& Buck’s “Chemistry” was loaded with bangers such as “No Comparison”, “I Don’t Know Why” and “Nowadayz” (That’s What’s Up) to name a few. Hell, I actually thought that “Chemistry” was one of the better albums of 2005! But no matter how many listens I give “The Formula”, and believe me I WANT to like this album as a huge supporter of both the contributing artists, but it just doesn’t have the same “feel” as “Chemistry”. At times, the album sounds lazy, and truly lacks that real knockout punch. However, one cut that I am feelin’ is “Throwing Shade”, which features 9th’s best production on the album while Buckshot gives us his analysis about all the shady characters he’s crossed paths with. Matter of fact, the lyrical content and production on this track kinda’ evokes images of “Birdz” from “Chemistry”.
In yet what proves to be another solid outing from a member of the prestigious “Rawkus50″ campaign, Silent Knight continues to drop quality material with the release of “Restoration” his follow-up to his highly overlooked debut, “Hunger Strike”. Featuring production from…yep, here he is again…Chicagos’ Rashid Hadee, “Forgotten Boro” is an elegant, airy track that fits well with Knight’s reflective rhymes as he recollects his days as a youth growing up in Staten Island (which even includes a visit to “Wu-Wear”). Fresh off of the buzz of the Rawkus Records digital re-release of his debut, Silent Knight delivers a nice collection of rare, unreleased tracks and previously released material, remixed by some of today’s finest beat-smiths. “Restoration” boasts a line up of what many would say is some of today’s best up and coming producers. Along with Hadee, Analogic, M-phazes, E.Jones, DJ Vadim & Quincey Tones all stop by with some heat. If you did indeed miss “Hunger Strike”, be sure not to miss out on this one as Silent Knight is another cat to keep your eye open for.
Man, I don’t know who in the hell produced this but I know that Marco Polo is definitely one of the producers who did contribute beats to Live’s forthcoming LP, “Then What Happened?”. My best guess is that Marco laced Live with a banger on this one as well. The comparisons of “It Don’t Stop” and the Polo & Masta Ace classic “Nostalgia” are going to be inevitable. Both of the “breaks” on the two cuts sound nearly identical as does much of the lyrical content as Live offers up his current take on Hip Hop, much as Ace did on “Nostalgia”. So what does all the comparisons lead too, you ask? Yep, you guessed it another classic from a well-revered underground artist who never seems to get his props from the over-ground. I received a press advance of “Then What Happened?” a few weeks ago and let me just givey ou a heads up….you NEED to check this album out. Don’t be like me and overlook much of Live’s discography prior to this release as well, as Live is a well-spoken emcee who definitely has alot to offer Hip Hop’s underground demographic.
Boston emcee Dagha (who’s already appeared on what many have labeled a classic already, Edan’s “Beauty and the Beat”) drops an odd, yet innovative concept album regarding a depressing and often overlooked subject (divorce) that features production from DJ Real of Lewis Recordings. A bit of a departure from his last release, “Object In Motion”, Dagha takes on a confessional narrative (similar to Nicolay and Kay’s “Timeline”) with funky head nodding boom-bap production to back it up. This could be the years biggest sleeper so far, especially if your a married man with children. “Changed Locks” is pure comedy, as Dagha finds himself locked out of his own house, while valiantly attempting to “kick in the door”. The production and old movie samples (a la “Madvillianary” or much of Doom’s work) are more than ample accomplices for this descriptive tale that yet again involves “relation-sh*ts”. “The Divorce” is definite listening material for the “grown folk”, but the ill production makes it very attractive for any avid Hip Hop head.
I promise, this is the last time you’ll see Rashid on my “Most Played For The Week”. Hell, maybe I should have just labeled this post as “Rashid Hadee Appreciation Week”, but you gotta’ give credit where credit is due and Hadee’s’07 smash “Dedication” is definitely worth the props. For “6 to 7″ Hadee freaks the same “Laaa, Laaaa” sample that Ill Poetic used for his smash, “Cinciluminatti” (if any one knows where that sample’s origin is, please hook me up! I’ve been searchin’ for it for a minute now) over a somewhat simple, but still very effective drum track. And even though, much of Hadee’s production may sound similar to 9th’s work (or Muneshine, or Analogic, or M-Phazes for that matter) he’s still a very talented double-threat, whether it’s behind the boards or on the mic. I have absolutely now idea how in the world I overlooked “Dedication”, and if it wasn’t for his work on the Silent Knight track listed above I’d still be slumberin’. It’s safe to say that Hadee’s music made the majority of last week very enjoyable, as much of his lyrics entail day-to-day living experiences over that “hit you in the soul” production I tend to favor. Props to you Rashid Hadee!
Damn, if there is one state that goes relatively unnoticed when it come to up and coming emcees and producers it’s definitely Ohio. If proven artists such as Blueprint and Ill Poetic have anything to say about it, the “O” is definitely poised to stake their claim on Hip Hop’s landscape. For fans of Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek’s “Reflection Eternal” some of you may recall the Stat Quo like vocals of Piakhan on “Touch You”. Although I’m still not sold on “Khankrete” just yet, the Ill Poetic production “Runnin” (I’m tellin’ you, dude is the white Just Blaze) has been in the headphones for the majority of the day. Piakhan has what many emcees are lacking in Hip Hop today….a presence! Piakhan sounds more like a “seasoned vet” rather than another new jack hailing from Cincy. So you be the judge, here’s the LINK along with a brief press release compliments of Ill Poetic:
“If any of you are familiar with Piakhan, then ENJOY!!!If not, you might remember Khan’ from “Touch You” on Reflection Eternal, his “Wide Open” 12″ from late 90s/early 2000’s, his joint on the “Brown Sugar” soundtrack, etc. Don’t sleep on dude…he has one of the sickest flows I’ve ever heard in my life. I never get tired of it. This is an LP that was released primarily in Cinci’, but i’m trying to help spread the word far as i can…feel free to do the same…take this link wherever you want…it’s good for a week! HaHa!.The LP features Bootsy Collins, Maker (Glue), Animal Crackers, myself, and much,much,much more…Once again, enjoy.”