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Any artist wondering how they can take their music to the next level should take notes from New Jersey-raised, Harlem-based emcee Kyle Rapps. Since the release of his debut EP, Re-Edutainment, Kyle’s been hard at work, releasing new videos, performing at SXSW, and more, all while putting the finishing touches on his new mixtape, On Air. The mixtape, produced entirely by Nate G, draws its samples from French electronic band Air, and continues to show off Kyle’s proclivity for pulling in high profile features, with guest slots from the likes of KRS-One, C-Rayz Walz, and Homeboy Sandman, along with Talib Kweli, who shows up on the lead single from On Air, “Universe Traveler.”

For Kyle, “Universe Traveler” is an opportunity to show and prove, and he does just that alongside one of his own musical heroes with lines like, “I’m staying on the blocks like the first grade/ I’m letting off shots, get the First Aid/ Some rappers sling coke, I prefer cake/ I’m the last one broke and the first paid.” And while some might not suspect a collection of samples from Air to compliment the two tri-state representatives, Nate G’s smooth blend of samples, backed by chunky drums, provides an opportunity for Kyle to prove that versatility is his specialty. “‘Universe Traveler’ is all about being able to rap anywhere, with anyone, to be able to rap in any situation and still be able to come off. To me, that’s the definition of a true emcee.

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In 2011, Illus brings us For Adam, a ten-track collection of songs that epitomize the very best of what HipHop has to offer as an art form and culture- positive, hardcore, passionate, meaningful lyrics and beats that penetrate the mind and soul and leave the audience feeling inspired. For Adam also features an incredible collection of talented artists ranging from legends like Freddie Foxxx and Craig G to game-changers like Homeboy Sandman and Eternia and musical sensations Paul Dateh and Erin Barra and is exclusively produced by JJ Brown.

For Adam is an extremely personal project for Illus, one which pays homage to the late Adam Walsh who was murdered in 1981 and whose father John Walsh went on to help create the long-running television program, America’s Most Wanted. The album reflects on the darkness of murder, kidnapping, child abuse, addiction, and slavery, while celebrating the strength to overcome the struggles and obstacles of life and live it to the fullest despite the odds. It is a testament to what Hip-hop stands for, the ability to rise up out of the shadows of despair and turn “nothing” into “something”; uniting people from all walks of life and inspiring peace, love, unity and having fun.

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Audio: A.Dd+ – Jumper Cables f. Tunk

by Eric on July 21, 2011

Back in March, A.Dd+ officially hit the scene with the release of When Pigs Fly, a project that quickly became the upstart Dallas duo’s much touted debut album. WPF earned critical praise from the Dallas Observer as “possibly the best hip-hop album Dallas has ever released.” A few short months later, Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy, joined by producer and unofficial third member Picnic Tyme, return to unleash a slew of new music and videos to be released in the coming weeks and months. Kicking things off is the new track “Jumper Cables,” which features fellow Dallas rapper Tunk.

Although not from When Pigs Fly, “Jumper Cables” picks up right where the duo’s debut left off, with Picnic Tyme’s slick snare rolling into a bevy of winding strings, claves, bass, and pounding drums. The hook, “Wait till I get my money right, then I’m on/ I’mma get that Caddy running right, bitch, I’m gone/ Living good, it ain’t nothing better,” builds the theme for the song, one that, despite the upbeat nature of the track, details the group’s struggles and aspirations. Fitting, considering that Paris and Slim wrote the hook in the midst of their own grind towards recognition. “We came up with the hook on our way back from a show in San Antonio,” explains Paris. “We didn’t have anywhere to stay after the show, so we got back in the car, hopped on the road at 3:00am and started heading back to Dallas. We had the instrumental on repeat and put together the hook.”

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Dennis Coffey’s music has represented the heartbeat of Detroit since the ‘60s, running a thread through the city’s soul, funk and disco classics and, later, through hip hop thanks to a clutch of seminal Coffey breaks. The Detroit connection loomed large on Coffey’s latest self-titled album with a handful of classic Motor City songs and guest appearances from local heroes Mayer Hawthorne, Mick Collins (The Dirtbombs) and more. Coffey and Strut now take the link a step further, enlisting a vibrant array of talent from the city’s rich electronic and hip hop community for a remix collection of tracks from the album. We assembled some of the most talented artists from the Detroit area, all influenced by Coffey’s work, for a collection of reinterpretations and remixes of his new tracks. Just some more top quality Motor City funk for your listening enjoyment.

“It’s an honor to be a part of a project associated with Dennis Coffey.”

-14KT

“Dennis is someone who not only was a part of some of the greatest songs ever recorded but also helped create the sound that influenced much of the hip hop music that we love so much. And he’s still creating timeless music.”

-Jamall Bufford of Athletic Mic League

DOWNLOAD

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Trek Life – Due West (Has-Lo Remix)

by Eric on July 21, 2011

Trek Life’s album “Wouldn’t Change Nothing” Is In Stores Now via Mello Music Group!!

“I’m from the city too diverse to gentrify and Hollywood dreams have eaten many alive…”

Has-Lo continues to impress on the production end, able to flip the Oddisee produced original into something darker, more sinister, and brooding to match Trek Life dropping the gritty history of Black migration to California and the Los Angeles area. Trek really shines on this track, displaying his affection towards California and the Los Angeles area, while doing the knowledge to offer listeners some insight on how it all started.

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Newness from Koncept of The Brown Bag AllStars “Feels So Good”, which also features Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and ill production from Tranzformer.

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Ascending production star Apollo Brown started making waves in 2009 after winning the Detroit Red Bull Big Tune Championship. The next year he signed to Mello Music Group and released a series of critically acclaimed albums: The Reset, Brown Study (selected by iTunes as one of

the Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2010), Gas Mask (with his group The Left, which made DJ Premier’s Top 25 list in 2010), and most recently the instrumental opus Clouds. It’s been a busy couple years. Add into the mix Hassaan Mackey of Rochester, New York, and the new group Daily Bread was formed.

The two had worked on individual tracks before, “Odds Ain’t Fair” from The Reset, and “How We Live” from Gas Mask. Both songs became top sellers off their respective albums, giving the two an indication of their chemistry. Hassaan has one of the best voices in Hip-Hop today: deep, gravelly, low-key, and swirling with emotion. While Apollo has cornered the market on grimy Detroit production along with the likes of Black Milk, Mr. Porter, and a few select others.

When asked about the lead single “Volume” Hassaan said:
“yo man, that was the first beat Apollo played when I walked
in his crib in Detroit… this was the first song I wrote to when I got there, and we knew it was the lead joint. It was dumb early in the morning, I had just gotten off the train from New York. Apollo had picked me up and I started writing it at Apollo’s crib and finished it in the studio that night, recorded it, and it was in the pocket. We knew that was the opener!”

Daily Bread will undoubtedly be compared to previous Apollo Brown releases but this one, to put it the way Hassaan says, comes “back with that grit”. The album seems to be ready made for fans of D.I.T.C., Gang Starr, Black Moon, and M.O.P., while maintaining it’s own artistic integrity. It is an album of really very rugged and raw rhymes developed and written at a time when Hassaan was going through a lot of personal issues,

dealing with loss, hardship, and basic survival, so the lyrics come across as emotive but not in any way weak – just raw. The beats are straight forward gritty dripping with soul, and bang out the speakers with the best of ‘em. Interspersed throughout the album are clips from 70′s blaxploitation films that lend a feel as though the album is from a different era entirely, like it was first made on vinyl 20 years ago, and delivered to us fresh in an era of glitchy, computerized, auto-tuned music that often lacks the punch that Daily Bread delivers.

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Check out the new Praverb the Wyse REMIX produced by IV the Polymath.  The original track was released on Praverb’s 2010 album “The Gospel is FREE 2,” & now gets made-over by multi-instrumentalist & hip hop producer [IV the Polymath].  Praverb’s powerful flow includes a unique blend of biblical & sports references as he tells his story.  IV leaves his records on the shelf for this one in favor of showcasing his keyboard skills.  Lastly, the track is mastered by Jondis (of i.deals) & the cover art provided by Luke Morgan.

Direct Download Link: 

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 (dropbox)

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