Archive for the Audio Category

C.M.J. Go ‘Hit ‘Em’

Posted in Audio, Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Terry Scott Niebeling

 

Sometimes I think things need to happen.  This needed to happen- I found a video today through a friend on Facebook, C.M.J himself, that made me act.  C.M.J is part of the local Minneapolis underground hip hop movement.  I met him a few times a few summers back, he threw me a dope CD.  This video is full of excitement, and I must admit the beat and flow leave me on the edge of my seat at the library (I am studying).  Smooth.

I must run to class (a more in depth post to come later).  This is worth a listen, don’t waste your time!  Get on it!

Make your day and this song happen.  Listen locally.

 

Jellyfish Brigade, “The Character is Me”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , , , on Thursday, November 29, 2012 by Tim Althaus

jellyfish brigade photo by Amanda Barber

I woke up knowing that today was going to be a special day for one reason in particular: it’s Jellyfish season. You definitely heard me right, the smack is back, and they’ve got a lead single from their forthcoming project The Art of Being Pulled Apart – which drops on December 6th.

I’ve been craving new material from Mr. Dix & Mr. Acciaioli since they dropped Gills and a Helmet and Sunflowers last year, and “The Character is Me” is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

Propelled by The Great Mundane’s mesmerizing melodies, Dix spits an eye opening retrospective and philosophical narrative about his life experiences in the Midwest and how they’ve shaped him into the man that he is today living in Portland:

” I think that I’ve learned the simplest things last/every situation ain’t a riddle or ink splat/As a teacher I can spot the shittiest mishaps/and know just what to say to make a miserable kid laugh/a warrior/a worrier/performing like a mourning bird chirping to the chords of a Wurlitzer”

If you know Lucas Dix, then you know he loves Andre 3000 because he’s such a versatile emcee. When I listen to “The Character is Me”, the influence of Three Stacks is ubiquitous; not only does Dix deliver vivid verses, but he boldly steps out of his comfort zone and defiantly delivers the track’s hook. In doing so, he expands his vocal dexterity as an artist – something that even Andre 3000 could definitely respect.

Pac Div feat. Blu & Kendrick Lamar – “Cross Trainers”

Posted in Audio with tags , , , , on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Dylan Isensee

Pac Div keeps it West Coast with Blu and Kendrick for this Swiff D produced track, which will be on their November 27 release “GMB.”

Brother Ali is “Mourning in America”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 by Tim Althaus

Holy heat rock Batman! Brother Ali & Jake One have dropped an atomic bomb on my ears! A while back, I posted the first single off of Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color - “Stop The Press”. I wasn’t really too keen on the beat that Jake One had cooked up for “Stop The Press”, but “Mourning in America” is a much different story; Mr. Uno builds an emphatic ensemble that allows Brother Ali to vent about his views on war and violence in America, and to be quite frank, Ali’s not afraid to speak out:

“Overseas we can mutilate and mangle /Let me give you an example what our troops are coming back to /Cold cities where the youth are getting strangled /The community in peril and our future looking narrow/Your school already failed you /The boys in blue will nail you they salute you with a barrel /The streets are a certified dead zone /Decorated with chalk lines and headstones”

Every time I hear a new song from this album, it gets better and better; my anticipation for this album is off the charts, so September 18th can’t come soon enough. I – much like many of Ali’s fans – was nervous when I heard that Ant wasn’t going to have any production credits to his name on this album, but I think that this album is going to end up far better than I could have ever anticipated.

You can pre-order the album through Fifth Element.

Album Update: Murs & Fashawn, This Generation

Posted in Album Update, Audio, Media with tags , , , , , , on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Tim Althaus

I was on Facebook today, and I randomly scrolled over the album cover because I thought it was just a track; sometimes I don’t know what I would do without Facebook because it seems like I always stumble across new music material via my news feed. I was completely oblivious to this, but apparently Murs & Fashawn are teaming up to release a full-length album produced entirely by Beatnick & K-Salaam. The project will be released on Duck Down Records, and it will hit stores on September 25th.

Whether you realize it or not, Murs is an O.G. and a legend in the West Coast Hip-Hop game; he’s collaborated with the best of them, and he gets mad respect from cats all across the nation. He even teamed up with Guerilla Union to start the Paid Dues concert series – which is a big deal in the Hip-Hop community.

Fashawn is one of the best emcees from the Left Coast, and I’ve been itching to hear a proper release from Fashawn since he dropped Boy Meets World – his classic debut album. He’s dropped a few mixtapes in the interim, but I’m glad to see that he’s dropping another official studio album. I’m hoping – even though it may be a little ambitious – that Fash will drop his Sophomore album The Ecology sometime this year; any time that Fashawn and Exile team up, it’s an instant recipe for greatness.

You can peep the album’s lead single (“Flash Gordan”) and tracklisting down below.

Skyzoo, “Jansport Strings (One Time For Chi-Ali)” (Prod. By 9th Wonder)

Posted in Album Update, Audio, Media with tags , , , , , , on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Tim Althaus

I feel like the lord is constantly answering my prayers pertaining to this album. I just put up a post the other day about Sky finishing his upcoming album A Dream Deferred, and today he dropped the lead single – “Jansport Strings”. 9th Wonder lays down a laid back beat full of jovial horns, and as expected, Skyzoo spits cryptographic rhymes about growing up with his friends in Brooklyn and “earning his Jansport Strings”.

Skyzoo provided some insight into the meaning of this track:

“The idea behind Jansport Strings is not based on it being literal, but more so in the figurative sense. As a kid in NY, the strings on your Jansport bag were a sign of power and presence. Kids would steal the strings off of each other’s bags and burn the tips to prevent getting robbed of them once they got them.”

“The song is a 3 minute auto-bio of me as a kid in Brooklyn and seeing more than my friends and I had bargained for. In essence, my Jansport strings tied it all together, seeing what we all saw and what it made us. The ending is a clip from Video Music Box, the legendary NYC video show run by DJ Ralph McDaniels. This episode in particular was the debut of Chi-Ali’s ‘Age Ain’t Nothin But A Number’. Seeing that video that day on this episode of VMB made me start rhyming. This clip was literally the moment that changed my life”.

It was also announced today that A Dream Deferred will be dropping on October 2nd via Duck Down Music and Skyzoo’s new label imprint The Faculty ; I’m so happy that it’s only a couple months away. I’ve been waiting on this album since Live From The Tape Deck dropped, and even though that was only two years ago, it seems like far more than that. If Sky’s previous work is any indication of listeners can expect, then A Dream Deferred will change the way that we interpret lyrics… again.

Kaleem & Mastermind iDV (Feat. Slug) (Prod. By DJ Sidereel), “Northern Lights”

Posted in Audio, Local Love, Media with tags , , , , on Monday, July 30, 2012 by Tim Althaus

It still seems kind of weird to see Slug on Twitter, but following him definitely has its privileges; he’s funny, and he definitely shows mad support for other artists. Earlier today, Mr. Daley posted this track, and even though I’ve never heard of these two cats (I probably would if I lived in Minneapolis), I’m feeling it a great deal. Some of you listening may recognize the piano melody on this track from Fun’s hit “We Are Young”; I absolutely love the sample flip that DJ Sidereel came up with, and I think it’s the perfect feel for these cats to bust some catchy lines over.

Those who know me are aware that I love local music, and tracks like this are the perfect example. Minneapolis is such a magnificent city that is filled with unlimited musical potential, and it’s incredible to see just how deep the city’s talent runs. This is the type of stuff that Terry was talking about in his post about compassion in Hip-Hop; I know for a fact he would love to see that Slug is reaching out a helping hand to some local up-and-comers from the 612. I look forward to hearing more material from Kaleem & Mastermind iDV.

Blu & Exile, “A Man”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , , , on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by Tim Althaus

I knew that Blu & Exile were working on new material, but damn. This track is straight up beautiful, and I know I say this a lot, but this is probably one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. “A Man” comes from the six track EP Maybe One Day (The link I included for Maybe One Day is to the Fat Beats physical copy, digital is available via iTunes); this excellent EP serves as a predecessor for Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them which will be dropping on September 4th.

As many might recall, Blu & Exile dropped the classic albumBelow The Heavens back in 2007, and by the sounds of “A Man”, they are sticking to their formula and living up to expectations. From the first few punches of Exile’s MPC, it’s obvious that this beat is going be what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Manfredi: unequivocal organ chops and beautiful soul vocals arranged in the perfect order. Exile is one of those producers that keeps evolving, and he’s quickly climbing the ladder to legendary status.

I had been hearing a lot of rumors about Blu lately, and I didn’t really know what to expect from him; I was blown away by his ability to tackle a topic as touchy as religion:

“I wonder/who do you believe in?/I know it ain’t me/I hope it ain’t a priest or who you seen on TV/I hope it ain’t you pappa partner he only raised you/and I know it ain’t your mom even though that’s who you came through/I’m askin’.. who you pray to?”

You can pre-order Give Me My Flowers While I Can Smell Them here.

Elzhi Is On That “Blue Widow”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , , on Monday, July 9, 2012 by Tim Althaus

This was certainly a splendid way to end my work day. I got a text from my buddy at work, and I only read one thing: “new Elzhi track”; my eyes lit up with joy. Elzhi is my favorite rapper, and I’m guessing he’s your favorite emcee’s favorite emcee. Every adjective that I could use to describe this man is a synonym for greatness; he’s by far one of the most consistent emcees on the planet. I’ve been listening to Elmatic religiously ever since it came out, and I knew he was in the process of working on new material, but I didn’t know we were going to get it so soon.

According to a few things that I’ve read, Elzhi will be heading out on a worldwide tour, and he will be releasing his sophomore outing this fall (tentatively titled The Weather Report?). I’m really not sure if this is going to be on the new album, but I can honestly say it’s what I’ve come to expect from El: an uptempo beat that fits his witty wordplay and fast paced delivery. I don’t know who produced it, but I’m really digging the beat.*

According to the Facebook fan page, the cut is produced by none other than Detroit Heavyweight, DJ Dez

Just an example of what you can expect to hear:

“They know about how I light em’ up and blow em’ out/like a blizzy in the Benzy/getting Lewinskied and Lohan/like Lindsay/ I cause a frenzy as long as the world spins me…around/you know I stay gunnin’ for the thrown lickin’ rounds at the crown/you dumbfound/all of these bums is thumbs down”

If you’re lucky enough to be in one of these cities listed for the tour (which I’m not, of course), I highly suggest you go.

July 12 Ottawa, ON @ Ritual
July 13 Hamilton, ON @ Casbah
July 14 Toronto, ON @ Soundclash Festival
July 16 Philly, PA @ Silk City
July 17 Boston, MA @ Middle East
July 18 Providence, RI @ Fete
July 19 New York, NY @ SOB’s
July 20 Pittsburgh, PA @ 720 Café
July 21 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s
July 24 Kalamazoo, MI @ Poppa Pete’s
July 25 Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
July 26 Chicago, IL @ Sub-T
July 27 St. Louis, MO @ Lola
July 28 Toledo, OH @ Mickey Finn’s
August 1 Phoenix, AZ @ Chaser’s
August 2 Los Angeles, CA @ Key Club
August 3 Oakland, CA @ New Parish
August 7 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
August 8 Vancouver, BC @ Republic
August 14 Warsaw, Poland @ Miasto Cypel
August 15 London, UK @ Cargo
August 17 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic @ Hip-Hop Kemp Festival
August 18 Biel, Switzerland @ Royal Arena Festival

Kanye & Pusha T Bring That “New God Flow”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Tim Althaus

Well, isn’t this interesting? As many people know, I haven’t been a huge fan of Kanye’s music in the past few years. I actually submitted an opinion editorial about him to the local newspaper a few years back, and although it didn’t get published, I still felt good about it. Don’t get me wrong, I really like College Dropout and Late Resgistration, but I really don’t like any of the material that he’s put out since Graduation. I was on Facebook yesterday, and this track popped up a few times, so I figured I would humor myself and check it out; I’m really glad that I gave it a chance.

This song is truly unbelievable, and it makes me want to see a full-length project between these two. I haven’t been too keen on Mr.West’s flow as of late, but this is the hungriest he has sounded in a while, and it takes me back to the College Dropout days:

“Hold up, I ain’t tryin’ to stunt man/but the Yeezys jumped over the Jumpman/went from the most hated to the champion god flow/I guess that’s a feelin’ only me and Lebron know”

Pusha T also has some subliminal words for person(s) remaining nameless:

“Step on they necks til’ they can’t breathe/claim they five stars but sell you dreams/they say death multiplies by threes/line them all up and let’s just see/Fuck em’ Ye/Fuck em’ Ye/ I wouldn’t piss on that ni**a with Grand Marnier/their shit is shoppin’ at Tarjay (Target)/my shit is luxury gourmet”

This is the type of track that I love to hear Kanye on, and if this is what I can come to expect for the future, then I will be definitely keeping closer tabs on his music. Don’t sleep on this one.

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