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Nuk Fam Wednesday: J. Howells Werthman – We're Making Plans (FREE LP)

by Travis on July 22, 2009

Ya know, I’ve been on a big Nuclear Family kick lately. The “Nuk Family” for those of you not inclined to know them just yet, is basically rooted by NY groups Junk Science (Baje One & Snafu) and Iller Than Theirs (Tone Tank and Kray), along with other cats such as Scott Thorough and Probe and this cat, who did a majority of the production on Iller Than Theirs debut album, J Howells Werthman.

This album is damn good, especially for a free (read guilt-free for those of you that have a conscious). If you are familiar with Junk Science or Iller Than Theirs vibe, you should be able to get down with We Are Making Plans. I strongly fans of the collective to check out the music.
- Trav

(More coming from the Nuk Fam in the very near future)

You can download “We Are Making Plans” here:

J. Howells Werthman started off with the goal of making a ‘producer’ record, where one guy makes all the beats and then gets other guys to rap on the beats. Then he remembered that he kinda hates most ‘producer’ records.

“We have a pretty extensive community of music makers and artists, guys that we’ve been doing shows with for years” says J. Howells Werthman (JHW), the 29-year-old Brooklyn native and co-founder of the Nuclear Family collective. “I wanted to make a project that featured everybody, to leave some evidence of all this talent. In the end, that became the theme of the record, and led me to the title of the thing: We Are Making Plans.”

Of the album’s 17 tracks, all (with the exception of “Clamato”) were produced, recorded and mixed by JHW. 10 of the tracks feature contributions from rap collectives Nuk Fam, The New Rap Order, and The Dugout, as well as Lu…Rreals, Javelin, and Embedded Music’s Loer Velocity. The remaining tracks are jazz-influenced instrumental interludes and moody, beautiful compositions.

The artwork for the record, masterminded by Nuk Fam’s own Tone Tank, is a reflection of the communal nature of the project. And it was quite a process. House photographer Vito Fun took individual pictures of the 18 emcees. The images were printed in life-size (fuck Kinko’s), then cut out and mounted on cardboard, then taped to wooden stakes and transported over fences and bridges to an abandoned lot on the Gowanus Canal where Vito and Tone had already painted the album’s title on a decaying brick wall. There the cut-outs were arranged and photographed for the final time, despite the day’s windy conditions and the rock-like soil that made the project of keeping the figures standing nearly impossible. The resulting cover image is a collage in real life with no need for Photoshop enhancement.

Though this is JHW’s first solo release, his production credits in the past include the lion’s share of ILLER THAN THEIRS’ self-titled debut, as well as executive production credits on JUNK SCIENCE’s “Feeding Einstein” and “Gran’dad’s Nerve Tonic” and a series of remixes for JUNK SCIENCE.


J. Howells Werthman – “We Are Making Plans”
Big Urban – “Snap To The Future” & “Love Is A Battle”
Junk Science – “Running Shoes” & “Fire Drill
Iller Than Theirs – “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” EP
Kray – “The Blackout b/w Cherry Lime Rickey”
Tone Tank – “The Black Six Sessions”, “The King of Surf Guitar Rap” & “Tone Tank For Borough President”

TONE TANK ‘The King of Surf Guitar Rap’ the video @:

TONE TANK- ‘The Black Six Sessions EP’ & ‘The King of Surf Guitar Rap’ available for free download @

Iller Than Theirs- ‘Wash,Rinse EP’ available for free download @

Big Urban: Kray & Scott Thourogh

MP3: Big Urban - “Your Mother Is A Hipster”

The Song:

In their latest single, Big Urban get back on the scene by poking fun at it. In a day and age (especially in Brooklyn) where the term “hipster” is thrown around without regard, Big Urban looks to spell out the meaning, in no uncertain terms, for those who have forgotten the origin of the label. Emcee Krayola Spectrum lays it out plainly when he states, “Your mother is a hipster / Ain’t no doubt about it / Seen her at the cool place/ She had on an outfit / She’s a cynic / Seen her at the clinic / She made a point to point out all the celebrities.” Though it may be just as in vogue to talk about hipsters as it is to make fun of them, Big Urban has a flawless approach to the topic which, therefore, makes it all the more hilarious. Producer Scott Thorough’s beat sounds like he dunked The Cool Kids in the Gowanus Canal and then sampled them, and the resulting sparse beat helps put more focus on Krayo’s confrontational lyrics. Be on the lookout for Big Urban’s debut EP It’s Not So Much The Heat, It’s The Humidity, coming soon via Embedded Records.

The Background: Big Urban is the collaboration of emcee Krayola Spectrum on the mic and producer Scott Thorough on everything else. Both native to Brooklyn, Kray and Scott are members of the Nuclear Family, a Brooklyn hip-hop collective also including Baje One, DJ Snafu, Tone Tank, Probe Cellsplitter and N.E.M.C. Kray and Tone Tank make up the group Iller Than Theirs, who released their self-titled debut album on Embedded Records in 2007 and a follow-up, Wash, Rinse EP, in 2008. Scott is also a member of The Boys & Girls Club and also does production for Baje and Snafu’s group Junk Science. Big Urban describes their music as “a failed attempt to make popular commercial rap music that failed horribly but came out sounding weird and interesting anyway.” Their debut EP It’s Not So Much The Heat, It’s The Humidity will be released via Embedded Records this summer.

“Love Is Battle” featuring StarPower
“Snap To The Future”


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