90. MAGr - You Feelin’ Us (From: Unreleased Track)
Philly has been showing and proving that they are a force to be reckoned with Has-Lo, Zilla Rocca, Small Professor, 2 Gun Cinnz, and this group, MAGr. They released the impressive No News is Good News in 2009, which contained some great tracks, but my favorite from them was the unreleased “You Feelin’ Us”, which was produced by Tha S Ence. The track has a “back to the Golden Age” type of feel to it. A bouncy, kettle drum type of drum track to it that gives it that party jam vibe. Throw in the crescendo of the horn sample and it’s an impressive track. The emcee’s, DistantStarr and Al Mighty, work well with the track, with straight up battle/party jams. A track that will keep ya head noddin’.
MAGr Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/mcsalwaysgetrespect
DistantStarr Twitter: http://twitter.com/DistantStarr
Tha Connection has long been a WYDU/Bloggerhouse favorite. They appear again this year on my top 100 list with “Dum Dum Dum”. Another old school sounding beat (the sample has been used before, Jay-Z’s “Like That”) but it’s one that I’ve always liked and works well with Hus and Smoovth. Produced by up and coming producer, Sci Fi, the bouncy beat is the fuse to light the chorus, with it’s simple “Dum Dum Dum”. A feel good jam, and one that got plenty of play.
Tha Connection Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/theconnectionteam
I don’t know much about King Magnetic, but I need to know more. “Troublemakers” with Reef The Lost Cauze, who is always on point, contains a “smack ya up side the head” drum track. Bangin’ drums are always a good way to grab my attention. The beat also posses some ill violin/string type of backing that just gives it that sinister feel to it. Both MCs go for the jugular with hardcore rhymes about stealin’ the liquor and guzzling rum. As I said, King Magnetic is kind of a new comer to me. He was recommended by Culture VI and I’ll be on the look out for more of his music in the future. This song would have been my theme song in my early twenties.
King Magnetic website: http://www.kingmagnetic.com/
King Magnetic Twitter: http://twitter.com/kingmagnetic
Reef The Lost Cauze Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/reefthelostcauze
Reef The Lost Cauze Twitter: http://twitter.com/LostCauze
Although the overall album disappointed me, Murs & Slug had a winner in “Bass For Your Trunk”. I’m not sure the Aesop Rock production thing really worked, but it did for this song. While my two 12″ speaker box has been long retired, I’m sure this packs some thump in the trunk. The hard drums and driving bass line make it a favorite of mine. Slug and Murs work well with the beat (unlike most songs found on the album). Reminds me of a CD I would have bought back in the early 90′s strictly for the driving music. Miss type of shit.
Big Pooh’s two, or three, or four albums were all kind of “ehhhh” to me this year. I’ve long been a fan of the Justus League and it’s members, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into The Delightful Bars. He did have some tracks that are classic Big Pooh though. One of those is “Hands Up”, a Khrysis banger. It features a great verse by Chaundon, who has that “style” that I’ve always dug, just too bad it doesn’t always translate into good albums/projects from him. The organ sound is dope and the energy is definitely there, but for me, Chaundon steals the show.
Rapper Big Pooh myspace: http://www.myspace.com/rapperbigpooh
Rapper Big Pooh twitter:
I’ve longed championed Kooley High as the next group to watch out of North Kakalacka. The title track from their “Kooley Is High”, is a prime example of why they could be the next class to carry the torch for the Tarheel state. Over a mellow, jazzy piano dominated beat, Rapsody, Charlie Smarts, Tab One and company deliver the goods vocally. A proper tribute to a classic track.
Kooley High myspace: http://www.myspace.com/kooleyhigh
84. Punchlyne & Fokis - Beware (From: The Appetizer) **Free Download Link via K.Nottingham
The beat is straight from a spy movie scene in which a couple is doing the Tango, “Beware” from Punchlyne & Fokis is an interesting song to say the least. As I mentioned the beat is a catchy one and unique. Not sure where the sample comes from. Punchlyne, of eMC fame has a commanding performance on the mic and drops a lot of memorable one liners that is sure to get some chuckles.
Fokis & Punchlyne myspace: http://www.myspace.com/fokispunchlyne
83. BlacASTAN – How Can You Be So Sure (From: Upcoming Project)
BlacASTAN is one of those throw back emcees. He would have been hailed as one of the great ones back in the day, now he is just obscured by the million and one bedroom rappers out there. “How Can You Be So Sure”, is a concept that has been done before, but of course Blac does it with his own flair. The beat is the perfect back drop for a death comes early type of track. The vocal sample, a whiney, wailing type of hook, fits the somber mood that the instrumental portrays.
BlacAStAN myspace: http://www.myspace.com/blacastan
The borough song is something that has been done many times over, yet when done right, it never gets old. Bekay takes a DJ Bambu beat (kind of ironic) that is reminiscent of a sunny day in in the city, with the hot dogs carts on the corners, the hustle and bustle of the city and all those other things I can only imagine. It’s a simple beat, with sparse keys and an MC Lyte sample, but it works perfectly. Bekay does a good job of painting the scene and taking the listener into his world, that captures the smell, sounds and sights. Oh yeah, did I mention that Masta Ace is on the track as well? The quintessential Brooklyn emcee drops in and adds to an already good cut.
81. Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek (Reflection Eternal) - Back Again (From: Single)
It’s good to hear Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek back together again, and oddly enough, that is the name of the song, “Back Again”. They use the same formula that worked for “The Blast” and other jams on their only release, Train of Thought. The singing hook works really well over the congas, hand claps and other tribal type of musical influences. The whole track works quite well, good to hear a comeback that doesn’t suck.
Talib Kweli Twitter: http://twitter.com/RealTalibKweli
Hi-Tek Twitter: http://twitter.com/Hitekzilla