Archive for Detroit Hip-Hop

Music Discovery: Of Mice & Musicians

Posted in Music Discovery with tags , , on Monday, June 18, 2012 by Tim Althaus

We all know how much I enjoy music from the Murder Mitten, so it’s no surprise that I dig the musical offerings from Of Mice and Musicians. The seven man band from Detroit has been on their grind for a few years now, and their latest album (Bottles & Bones) is an impressive collection of rock infused Hip-Hop. If I could compare the sound of the guys to anything, it would probably be a mix between the instrumentals of Sublime and Citizen Cope mixed with the vocals of Weerd Science and Cage.

One of my favorite lines from Benjamin Miles is on “Sorry My Mom Called”, and it defines what making music should be about: “…Didn’t start it, probably won’t save it/but I appreciate it/I am proud of what we makin’/even if we don’t make it/if I can rock a show on the weekend with my friends, I’ll take it”. Another track that jumped right out at me was “Don’t Hate”; the guitar work and instrumentation is unbelievable, and Miles spits stanzas filled with passion and pain.

It’s always refreshing to hear music that you can relax to, and these guys are definitely the ticket. I know for a fact that Eric would enjoy these guys quite a bit. Detroit has always been what I consider the epicenter of Hip-Hop, and Of Mice and Musicians are carving their own lane with their style of music; that’s something that I can truly appreciate. You can jump over to Of Mice and Musicians’ Bandcamp page and grab  Bottles & Bones for free; how can you argue with a free album full of great music? I know I can’t…



Slept on Saturdays: The Left, Gas Mask

Posted in Music Reviews, Slept on Saturdays with tags , , , , , on Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Tim Althaus

When Hip-Hop fanatics talk about modern day underground classics (the last 10 years), they generally always mention a few albums: Blu & Exile, Below the Heavens; Little Brother, The Minstrel Show and Madvillain, Madvillainy. For some odd reason, I don’t hear anyone talk about The Left, Gas Mask; Journalist 103, Apollo Brown & DJ Soko crafted the perfect record with no filler and no throw-away tracks. I’ve been well aware of Apollo Brown’s skills on the boards for some time, but for unknown circumstances I managed to neglect Gas Mask when it came out back in 2010. This album has everything synonymous with a classic album: pristine production, raw lyricism and perfectly placed guest appearances. Continue reading

Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Big Tone & DJ Graffiti x Splash!-Mag

Posted in Media, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Definitely a great thing to see coverage on Detroit Hip-Hop, it’s my favorite shit out there (no offense Minneapolis), no one is bringing a sound to the Midwest (with the exception of MPLS) like Dietroit. Splash!-Mag caught up with Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Big Tone & DJ Graffiti this year at the Splash! Festival. Big Tone talks about how it’s his first time over in Europe and what that experience is like. Phat Kat talks about his new album that he is finishing up, The Katacombs, and an album called Co-Still that he is working on with Elzhi (that’s what I like to hear).

Guilty grabs the mic and mentions his album with Madlib, says that the Random Axe project is just about done, and that he is also working on his second official release. He delves into the OJ Simpson album and talks a little bit about what you can expect to hear. I had heard something near catastrophic happened on the Random Axe project, and Guilty tells us that Black Milk did indeed lose a lot of the work associated with the album. Sean Price & Guilty Simpson had to re-record their vocals for the album.

There is so much more in this interview that is great, I mean it’s 20 minutes long. Take some notes from one of the best Hip-Hop cities in the country.

Shouts to 2DopeBoyz on the look.

Slum Village Be “Actin’ Normal”

Posted in Media, Video with tags , , , , , on Thursday, August 13, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here is the latest video from Slum Village off of their upcoming album Villa Manifesto. The direction on the video was done by Dwele, and you might notice himself and Black Milk making cameos in this one. I can assure you I will be copping the new Slum Village shit when it drops. Will you?

R.I.P. Baatin

Spotted @ Hip Hop Official

R.I.P. Titus “Baatin” Glover

Posted in Music News, Video with tags , , on Sunday, August 2, 2009 by Tim Althaus


I was utterly saddened and extremely expressionless yesterday when I heard that Baatin passed away. One of my colleagues sent me a Blackberry Message asking if “I heard the dude from Slum Village passed”? I almost thought he was bullshitting me right away, but I know he wouldn’t mess around with me when it came to Detroit Hip-Hop. I immediately sent him a message asking him (not sure why) if it was Baatin. He sent me a message that confirmed my previous question. I still to this moment can’t believe it, I almost feel like the whole situation is surreal. Baatin is absolutely seminal when it comes to talking about the Detroit Hip-Hop scene. He was the co-founder of Slum Village, which is easily one of my favorite groups of all-time. I simply don’t know if the Detroit scene would be anywhere near what it is today without Baatin. Detroit as well as the world of Hip-Hop lost an embassador yesterday. My heart goes out to Baatin’s family and everybody that was close to him, you’ve lost an extraordinary human being.

There’s only one thing we can all do now:


Editor’s Note: ?uestlove actually wrote a great piece on Baatin & Slum Village which you can read here.

Black Milk Brings Detroit to the Den Haag iLoveHipHop Festival

Posted in Media, Video with tags , , , , on Thursday, July 16, 2009 by Tim Althaus

I don’t think posting about this guy is ever going to get old. Black Milk was over in Den Haag (The Netherlands) for the iLoveHipHop Festival to tear apart the stage and bring a little bit of Detroit to Europe. In the first video above there is a nice lengthy intro of some of Black’s best work (in my opinion, I love the beat to “Sound of the City”) and then he jumps right into “Long Story Short” with full force. The thing that I’m loving about this video is that Black is performing with a live band, which is something that is truly amazing to see at a Hip-Hop show. Follow me after the jump to watch the other two videos featuring “Losing Out” & “Sound The Alarm”. Continue reading

Finale Gets Some “Issues” Off His Chest

Posted in Audio, Downloads, Media with tags , , , on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by Tim Althaus

finaleAs I mentioned in an album review I did earlier this month, Finale’s album A Pipe Dream and a Promise is stupendously stellar. This track, “Issues”, is the latest leak off of Finale’s album and offers a harrowing insight into growing up in less than average circumstances. At the same time the song is also a great narrative about making the best of bad situations. The song is produced by Swiss producer Dimlite and according to the e-mail I got, Finale got the beat and wrote this track in an hour. Finale has talent that most emcees would kill for, this track is a great example of this.

Make sure you download this track, and if you haven’t go out and pick up Finale’s debut album A Pipe Dream and a Promise because it’s one hell of an impressive jump into the world of Hip-Hop.

Download: Finale, “Issues” (Produced by Dimlite)

Also Download:

Finale, “Heat” (Prod. J Dilla)

Finale, “One Man Show

Album Review: Finale, A Pipedream And A Promise 

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , on Monday, May 11, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Finale is an emcee from the city of Detroit, Michigan who magnificently marvels me when he flows over the microphone. He has afinalecover voice that’s like a cross between 50 Cent and Kanye West (if I had to say) except for he’s much mightier than the aforementioned names. If you don’t know who Finale is, you probably should get familiar. This is an outstanding opus and a great entrance into the world of Hip-Hop that should be heard by all.

People that know me well know that when it comes to albums, production (to me) is a big determining factor on how I feel. The production on this album is nothing short of incredible and sets the tone of the album. If this was an instrumental album of just beats, I can assure you that I would give it an 8 or 9 alone. I remember seeing the production list and being amazed (J Dilla, Black Milk, Nottz, Flying Lotus & Khrysis to name a few), but what really surprises me more is that the lesser known producers craft concoctions that are just as good as the rest. Continue reading

The World is Elzhi’s

Posted in Downloads, Media with tags , , , on Saturday, April 11, 2009 by Tim Althaus


This guy just keeps the hits coming one after another. Here is another clip from the track “The World Is Yours” off of his new project Ellmatic. I don’t feel as though I really need to say much more than that. This guy is probably the best emcee in the game right now. Stay tuned to Mind Inversion for news on the mixtape, you will know about it as soon as I do.

Download: Elzhi, “The World Is Yours” [Snippet]

Black Milk Brings “Mo Power” Than Anyone

Posted in Downloads, Media with tags , on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 by Tim Althaus

up-black_milk To me, Black Milk news never seems to get old. I got this track in an e-mail from Audible Treats today. This track is definitely much different than anything you will hear Black Milk do. He uses a real jazzy beat that most emcees probably wouldn’t even attempt to rhyme over. This makes for a nice challenge for Black, and he handles it quite well if I do say so. The best rhyme comes at the end of the track, “I’m a be honest/You can’t compete, can’t beat Tronic/If you ain’t hear me nigga rewind it, or just be silent”.

This is a great track that shows how truly versatile Black Milk really is. Who knows, we may see a Jazz album from him sometime in the near future, I sure as hell wouldn’t put it past him with his talent.

Download: Black Milk, “Mo Power”