Archive for Pete Rock

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth to Release Basement Demos

Posted in Music News with tags , , , on Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Tim Althaus

pcl An article that I read on HipHop DX said that Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth have some material that is left over from the All Souled Out days. The material is going to be compiled onto a five track EP, and there are only going to be 200 pressings of the EP. The EP is going to be called Basement Demos and is going to cost a quick $80, you heard it right, eighty dollars.

If you are a huge Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth fan this one is for you. The steep price in my opinion is probably worth it, I mean they are only pressing 200 copies. If you do buy this EP you are going to be getting a piece of history. Pete & C.L. will always go down as one of the greatest duos in the history of the game. Even though these demos are from the late 80’s early 90’s, I can assure you that they were far ahead of their time.

The Tracklisting:

SIDE A:
01. “The Midnight Wrecka”
02. “Cool and Calm”

SIDE B:
01. “Go C.L.
02. “Down To Move Ya Body”
03. “Go With The Flow [Alternate Mix]”

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The Soul Brother #1 Talks Influences

Posted in Media, Video with tags , , on Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Tim Althaus

peterock21 Pete Rock is the guy you look to constantly for the most consistent and great Hip-Hop you will hear. There’s no denying that Pete Rock is one of the greatest producers of all time. There is a whole lot of emcees and producers that will make the same statement. I haven’t heard much about Pete since his album NY’s Finest dropped last year, so it’s a breath of fresh air to see this video over at Crate Kings.

In this video Pete Rock talks about his major influences as far as the game was concerned when he was coming up back in the day, as well as who he looks to now as being the best in the game. Pete gives a huge shout out to J Dilla saying that if Dilla was still around he would still be the greatest to have made the beats (I feel the same way). It’s great to hear what the thoughts are from the mind of a genius, make sure you check out the video to learn some lessons from one of the greatest in Hip-Hop.

Tim’s Top 10 Albums of All-Time (At Least To This Point)

Posted in Mind Inversion Exclusive, The Learned Man's Take with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Tim's Top 10 Albums of All-Time (At Least To This Point)

I have to tell you all that this list was one of the hardest things I’ve had to get myself to do, because I knew it wasn’t going to be anywhere near easy. Even while going through this list I had to constantly change things because I felt something was missing. This list (to the best of my abilities) contains the quintessential list of albums that shaped my taste in music. To be put another way, I don’t know where I would be without these albums. I can also say that I feel that each one of these albums is timeless as well a masterpiece. So without further ado…

Top 10 Albums of All-Time (In Order from 10-1)

live-at-leedsThe Who – Live At Leeds (Deluxe Edition): Honestly I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to this album. I remember buying it in the store years ago, and it cost me just about thirty-five dollars. It may be the best money I’ve ever spent on an album. This album truly shows the pure rock fury of The Who. If you have ever had a doubt in your life as to the legitimacy of The Who, please listen to this album. The original album was released with just 35 minutes of the 120, and this album has all of it. This is one of the greatest live albums of all time, no doubt in my mind. Every single member of The Who sounds precise and musically sound. This also might be the heaviest material you will ever here from The Who. From the rapid fire boulder crashing drums of Keith Moon to the lion roaring vocals of Roger Daltrey this album is everything a live album should be and more… Continue reading

Ma Dukes & Pete Rock Are Making Sure That Jay Stay Paid

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Tim Althaus

Ma Dukes & Pete Rock Are Making Sure That Jay Stay Paid It truly looks like the one album I have been waiting on for the last two years will finally see the light of day. Pete Rock & J Dilla’s mother (Ma Dukes) will be releasing Dilla’s album of posthumas material that has never seen the light of day. The music on this album will include music from his old floppy disk and programs as well as music that Dilla made while he was in the hospital. Ma Dukes explains, “This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, [and] what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep.” She says, “This is like the missing link to Dilla’s legacy”.

The part that I really like about this is that it is going to be something like a concept album where all of the tracks are being played over the radio, and Pete Rock is the DJ. You can expect guest appearances from Black Thought, The Roots, M.O.P. & DOOM. Sounds like this album is going to be one hell of a release. Watch out for Jay Stay Paid or [J$P] (for short) dropping on Nature Sounds on June 2nd. Continue reading

Review: Cymarshall Law & Mr. Joeker, Hip-Hop in the Soul 

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on Friday, January 9, 2009 by Tim Althaus

hip-hop-in-the-soul-front I have to start this post off by saying that this is an album that I found out about way too late. If I would have listened to this album last year right away when it came out I can guarantee that it would have made my top 5 last year. The chemistry that is shown on this album is absolutely amazing, somewhat similar to a Guru/Premier (Gang Starr) or Pete Rock/C.L. Smooth. Putting these two together on an album was a god-send for the soul of Hip-Hop (no pun intended) because they really take things to a whole new level.

The first thing that I want to point out is that Mr. Joeker is a very talented producer (from Hungary), and I haven’t heard a producer that can mimic so many different styles of production. This guy can go from a DJ Premier sound into a style of his own in one track flat. To be honest the beats on this album are so hot, they may put the sun out of commission.

Cymarshall Law is an emcee that is in a league of his own, and he is from New Brunswick, New Jersey. One thing is for sure about Cymar, and that’s that this guy can rap his ass off and very well at that. Cymarshall Law is going to be a benchmark when it comes to great emcees in the future. With the mic skills that Cymar possesses, it’s only a matter of time before heads start to notice.

When I listen to an album the intro usually means a great deal to me, because in my opinion it should set the expectation for the rest of the album and the tempo as well. The intro on this album “Intro to the Soul” does just that setting the bar for the rest of the album with Cymarshall Law kicking an ill flow over a straight fire laced beat by Mr. Joeker. “The Takeoff (Getting It)” might be the highlight of the album with a beautiful backdrop full of strings, enchanting vocal samples and as usual Cymarshall’s razor blade sharp flow. Every track on this album is absolute quality, I don’t think that there was a better collaboration album last year to be honest, with guest appearances from KRS-One and Supastition it only adds to the ensuing chaos.

Please do yourself a favor and check out one of the best Hip-Hop releases of 2008, like I said I wish I would have heard this album earlier last year because it would have easily charted on my list.

9/10

Raekwon gives details about Only Built For Cuban Linx 2, Wu Tour Dates

Posted in Concert Dates, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, December 15, 2008 by Tim Althaus

the-chef

It seems as though the Chef is cooking up some classic material once again. Raekwon talked to Pitchfork about his new masterpiece, the sequel to arguably one of the greatest solo Wu albums of all time, Only Built for Cuban Linx 2. According to Raekwon, “This record is the shit, it’s been getting around in my camp. It’s another masterpiece that is ready to be released.” The Chef also said that he strayed away from all RZA production because as an artist he felt as though he wanted to move on to other things. He noted that he has some of the best producers in the game for the last 20 years on this shit. Who would he be speaking of? Dr. Dre, Marley Marl, J Dilla, Pete Rock and DJ Scratch (holy shit, what a producer list) will be heading the production side of the album and guest appearances will include Ghostface, Method Man, GZA, Busta Rhymes & Inspectah Deck.

If you go over to the original article Rae talks about how he wanted the new OBFCL  to compliment the original one coming out. he wanted to “be like seeing DeNiro do a mafia flick, do something completely different and then come back to another mafia film and be the same dude he was in The Godfather.” That’s almost exactly the way that Raekwon’s career has gone, he released two other albums since the original OBFCL and this is like him going back to the stove and cooking up classics.

It sounds like this album is already going to be one of the biggest albums to come out next year. All of you Wu heads out there get ready because this album is going to be exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Based on the last OBFCL I can assure you that chances are, you are going to be seeing plenty of Ghost on this album to.

ALSO… go check out the Wu in your city because they are on the road right now:

12-14 Chicago, IL – House of Blues
12-15 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
12-17 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
12-18 Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory
12-19 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
12-20 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
12-21 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
12-23 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
12-26 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Small’s
12-27 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
12-31 Baltimore, MD – Sonar
01-01 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
01-02 Providence, RI – Lupo’s
01-03 Worcester, MA – Palladium Nightclub
01-04 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
01-07 Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
01-08 Richmond, VA – The National
01-09 Greensboro, NC – N Club
01-10 Charleston, SC – Music Farm
01-11 Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend
01-12 Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
01-13 Columbia, SC – Level
01-14 Atlanta, GA – TBA
01-15 Jacksonville, FL – Plush
01-16 Tampa, FL – Jannus Landing

Alteezimo’s 2008 Year In Review

Posted in Year in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, December 12, 2008 by Tim Althaus

Top 10 Hip-Hop albums of 2008 (in order from 1-10)

I really want to start off this post for the people that said that there wasn’t anything that special in Hip-Hop this year… My question to you is where the hell were you when these albums dropped?

tronic3

Black Milk – Tronic: It’s been one hell of  a year for Black Milk. He produced and featured on an album with Fat Ray, He produced the great majority of Elzhi’s debut album The Preface, put out a mixtape with Bishop Lamont entitled Caltroit and put out his newest album Tronic. It’s really nice to hear a cat like Black Milk, he is putting the D back on the map and giving the city some recognition like it deserves. This guy has some of the best production around right now and may be one of the best producing emcees I’ve ever heard. The thing that makes this album different from his freshman outing Popular Demand, is that Black really elevates his rhyme skill on this album and it makes for one hell of a showing. This album also features the best front to back production you will hear all year.

the-layover-ep Evidence – The Layover EP: When you work as hard as Evidence does, you are bound to turn some heads no matter what the issue. This guy has been working his ass off the last two years, he released The Weatherman LP (one of the top 3 of last year) last year and the LAyover Mixtape as well as the LAyover EP this year. All of the aforementioned material is leading up to the release of his second studio album Cats & Dogs. EV has been putting out some of the most consistent Hip-Hop that heads have heard for a long time. Putting out two albums of straight fire material is getting him the name that he deserves. I can honestly say that out of all of the albums that are on this list, to me this album has the most replay value attached to it. 10 straight bangers for your Hip-Hop loving soul.

jake-one-white-vanJake One – White Van Music: I wasn’t really familiar with Jake One before I heard White Van Music. I didn’t really know who he was, although I had heard some of the beats that he had done in the past for artists (at the time I had no idea it was him), I hadn’t heard a good collection of his material. The thing that is great about this album is that for the first time in his career, Jake is making beats for his own album and not a project for someone else. All of the artists that are on this album (for the greater majority) fit the beat that is provided. Some of the standouts are Black Milk, Royce Da 5’9″, MF Doom, Elzhi, Brother Ali & there really are many others. This is a great example of a producer doing an album with emcees that he thinks fit the build for his beats. Jake doesn’t rap, but if he did he would have some of the sickest beats in awhile to rap over.

the-prefaceElzhi – The Preface: The funny thing about this album is that most people don’t know who Elzhi is, but when they realize who he’s affiliated with it’s a different story. Elzhi has been a member of the Detroit collective Slum Village since 2001 (when Jay Dee left), and has put out a few mixtapes in the interim but nothing more than that. The Preface is almost entirely produced by Black Milk (so you know the beats are top notch) and features some great heavyweights from the Detroit scene (Royce Da 5’9″, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Fat Ray and others). Not only does it have great production and great guest appearances, but it shows how versatile and brutal Elzhi is when he is in the booth. El uses simple words in a complex matter and the outcome is utter bewilderment. Elzhi is quickly on his way to becoming one of the best emcees of his time.

emc eMC – The Show: This album came out towards the beginning of this year, and right away I knew that it was going to hold true for the rest of the year and stay on my top 10 list. Of course, that probably could be the assumption when you have Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth and Stricklin all on one album, not to mention some of the best production in the game. These 4 emcees compliment themselves so well that it sounds like they are almost brothers. The Show follows the same structure that most Hip-Hop concept albums take (A Long Hot Summer, Disposable Arts) and to be honest it was hard for me to put it even this low, because this is one of the best concept albums I’ve ever heard.

rising-down The Roots – Rising Down: The Roots Crew has been a pivotal vessel for the Hip-Hop culture for 20 years now. Following the great (but gloomy) 2006 release Game Theory, The Roots took a step in the electronic direction that might not have been expected by a lot of their fans. The result is sheer genius. All of the beats on this album are high quality, and as usual Black Thought uses his “God emcee” skills and dishes us large slices of reality “Between the Greenhouse gases and Earth spinin’ off it’s axis/ got Mother Nature doin’ back flips/the natural disasters/it’s like 80 degrees in Alaska…”. This might be the most political album from The Roots to date, but it’s definitely another very solid outing from the Illadelph 5.

pete_rock-nys_finest_b Pete Rock – NY’s Finest: There really isn’t a whole lot I can say about Pete Rock the guy is a Hip-Hop legend. He is easily one of the top producers of all time, and is recognized as the best (he was Dilla’s mentor). I heard a lot of people criticizing this album earlier this year and honestly I think it received some pretty harsh reviews. People were talking about how Pete’s rhymes and cadences were off, I really don’t know what  the were talking about, please listen to “Till’ I Retire” (not to mention Till’ I Retire is one of the best beats this year) or “Best Kept Secret” and tell me that to my face. I may call you a complete Douche fearing that you know nothing about what you speak.

folder1Buff1 – There’s Only One: This is the third Michigan native to make this list and to be honest it really doesn’t surprise me one bit. Buff1 is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and he is currently a member of the Athletic Mic League and There’s Only One is his second album. I found out about Buff1 this year when I stumbled upon Pure which was his solo album that dropped last year. Let me tell you something, this guy is something else, he can rhyme his ass off and he’s very catchy. The production on this album is handled for the most part by 14KT who is part of the Lab Techs (a highly underrated production collective) and Black Milk ads his production for a track on the album. I also want to point out that 14Kt is one hell of a producer and he can really cook up some phat ass beats.

flying_lotus-los_angeles_b51Flying Lotus – Los Angeles: When you are being compared to the likes of J Dilla and Madlib, you have to assume that you are doing something right. Even though many would call Flying Lotus Electronica I am going to include him in Hip-Hop. Flying Lotus (Steven Ellison) is known for his hazy spaced out beats and the way in which he layers and produces his music. This is his second album and he has 3 or 4 EPs out at the current time. Fly Lo is going to be someone to watch for because frankly the music that he is making right now is already amazing. I can’t wait to see what kind of elevation this guy can take Hip-Hop and Electronica to in the next few years.

renaissance Q-Tip – The Renaissance: Chances are if you can withstand the test of time, you are going to be considered a legend and innovator by many people. Q-Tip was part of one of the most popular collectives in Hip-Hop history (A Tribe Called Quest), put out an acclaimed solo album (Amplified), had a solo project shelved… and now nine years after his first solo release comes his Sophomore album. A renaissance is defined as: a renewal of life, vigor, interest etc.; rebirth; revival. That is exactly what this album is all about as Q-Tip breathes a little bit of funk-disco groove into Hip-Hop’s soul with this record. Tip handles all of the production on the album by himself except for the track “Move” which is produced by the late great J Dilla.

Top 5 Non Hip-Hop Albums (In order from 1-5)

Most people that read this blog on a daily basis know that Hip-Hop is pretty much my heart and soul but I do love other types of music as well (just not on as big of a scale). Here is the highlights of this year.

vampire-weekend Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend: Have you ever listened to an album that was just plain ole’ fun? That is what I think of when I listen to Vampire Weekend’s debut album. Vampire Weekend is formed in New York and I feel that they are bringing a great deal of flavor to the genres of rock and indie rock with their melodic upbeat music. Ringing in at just over 34 minutes long their debut album has the quality that most 70 minute albums don’t come anywhere close to. Songs like “A-Punk“, “Oxford Comma” and “Walcott” give meaning to happiness, and songs like “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance” are so beautiful they almost make me cry. I can’t wait to hear more from these guys.

the-black-keys-attack-and-releaseThe Black Keys – Attack & Release:I found out about The Black Keys earlier this year. I had a good deal of people telling me that Attack & Release was where it’s at. To be honest I slept on this album really hard and the only conclusion I can come to after listening to these guys, they can tear shit up. The group is a duo from Akron, Ohio, that’s right just a drummer and guitar player. The Black Keys have a heavy blues sound and boy can they make some amazing music. It really can’t hurt if Dangermouse is doing all of the production on your album either. The thing that makes this album a little different from the rest of the Black Keys’ albums is that it almost parallels a Trip-Hop feel on some tracks.

tv_on_the_radio-dear_science-cover Tv On The Radio – Dear Science: TV On The Radio has been tearing up the critics’ charts for the last few years, and this year is really no different. Dear Science is truly a masterpiece that can not easily be explained. There are many different feels on this album, but each one of them seem to work so well for these guys. After releasing an album like Return to Cookie Mountain most people would imagine that it would be too hard to release an album just as good or, even harder,a  better album. “Golden Age” is the lead single on the album and it almost has more of a funk disco feel to it and then you have tracks like “Family Tree” (please note that the link is for the amazing viedo and the song is absolutely beautiful) that are very slow and sentimental.

real-emotional-trash Stephen Malkmus & Jicks – Real Emotional Trash: Stephen Malkmus was part of one of the biggest underground alternative collectives ever (Pavement). For that alone I will love every piece of music that this man makes because he is a fucking genius. He is with a new band now, and it’s a whole new bag of tricks. This is the fourth album that he has played on with them and this album is very solid. I have to say this is some of the heaviest guitar material I have heard Malkmus play on since Terror Twilight, and I also have to admit that his apparent “guitar god” ambitions are incredible. This might be some of the best guitar playing you will hear all year. If you don’t think that’s possible take a listen to “Dragonfly Pie” and be amazed.

dno183fourtetringer300Four Tet – Ringer EP: I have been in love with Keiran Hebdan’s (Four Tet) music ever since I heard Rounds for the first time. I then found out that Dilla did a remix of As Serious As Your Life, and though if Dilla thinks that this guy is good, he has to be. Ringer shows Hebdan departing from his cut and paste method of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Electronica and folk and going more towards a straight techno feel. This EP is just over thirty minutes in length and it’s definitely a treat to hear Four Tet doing something different.

Top 5 Mixtapes of the Year (In Order from 1-5)

In a year that has seen the economy at all time lows, who doesn’t like to see free mixtapes? Here are my favorite mixtapes of the year.

jay-electronica-what-the-fck-is-a-jay-electronica-front Jay Electronica – What the Fuck is a Jay Electronica?: I want to start off by saying that this guy needs to get a proper release out there because he is the future of emcees. This guy is one of the most venomous socially conscious emcees I’ve heard in a long time and he has some of the biggest talent I’ve seen. If you take a listen to “Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)” or “Renaissance Man” it will send shivers down your back when you realize how good this guy is. He utilizes samples of movie dialogue and even raps over movie scores. All of this culminates with the fact that Just Blaze is taking this guy’s back as well as Erykah Badu, he must be something special.

ellllzlhhirz5 Elzhi – Europass: To be honest, in my opinion Europass may have been a little better than The Preface and that’s not taking anything away from The Preface. Europass is a mixtape that is laced with super hot beats (by Black Milk & DJ Dez) and Elzhi on his best lyrical tip. If this was an actual album release there is a chance that it may have had album of the year honors. You don’t usually get to see an emcee shine on a mixtape like this. This mixtape also featured my favorite track of the year “Fire”.

evidence-skee-the_layover-md-front Evidence & DJ SkeeThe LAyover Mixtape: Like I’ve consistently said Evidence is a hard working dude. He put this mixtape out before his EP came out this year and it’s 20 tracks long. Some of the tracks are from the LAyover EP but the majority of them are tracks featuring other artists, remixes and tracks over mixtape beats. The track “Letyourselfgo (Remix)” features Phonte of Little Brother and is absolutely insane. Phonte absolutely tears the beat apart and Evidence spits his lazy flow to create an instant classic. EV keeps putting out classic material and to think this was just some material to hold us over…

black-milk-elec Black Milk – Elec: This is a good collection of music that featured Black Milk (production and rhyming) from his last release Popular Demand up until the release of Tronic. This has tracks from everywhere in the game: GZA, Elzhi, Bishop Lamont and many more. This mixtape shows just how diverse Black can be in his production for other artists as well. With all of the appearances on this mixtape it makes it really hard not to have in constant rotation.

complexclipsemixtape_lead Clipse – Road Till The Casket Drops: If there is one thing that I’ve learned from Terrance and Gene (Pusha T and Malice) Thornton, it’s that you can pretty much incorporate “baking pies” (cooking crack) into rhymes very easily. I mean shit, it makes me want to go into the kitchen and fuck with pots and pans every time I listen to these guys. They have some of the catchiest and funniest rhymes I’ve ever heard. Over the past two years all of their production has been incredible (Neptunes), and I can see why Pharrell signed these guys to Star Trek right away. Watch out for their new album When the Casket Drops which is coming out next year.

Top 5 Songs of 2008 (In order 1-5)

These tracks were pretty much on constant rotation throughout the year.

Fire” (Original Song) – By Elzhi (from Europass)

To Be Determined” – By Evidence (featuring Elzhi and Aloe Blacc) (From LAyover EP)

The Matrix” – By Black Milk (featuring Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price & DJ Premier) (from Tronic)

“I Know The Secret” – By Buff1 (From There’s Only One)

Motown 25” – By Elzhi (featuring Royce Da 5’9″) (from The Preface & Europass)

Album that I love this year that came out last year

Every year it seems like I end up finding out about an album that came out the previous year that I fall in love with. Here is this year’s album.

weatherman EvidenceThe Weatherman LP: Unfortunately I didn’t find out about this album until January of this year. The Weatherman LP is one of the most solid albums I’ve heard in years, and this was just the beginning for Evidence (as a solo artist) (talk about one hell of a beginning). This album has some of the most impeccable front to back production I’ve heard as well and as usual EV kicks his lazy flow over some amazing head noddin’ beats. I can honestly say that this album might be one of my favorite albums of the last 3 or 4 years. This album did not leave my heavy rotation for the entire year, and to be honest I’ve probably listened to it a good 50 times this year (not being sarcastic) and I don’t see it getting old to me anytime in the near future.*

* Side Note: I listen to the track “Chase The Clouds Away” just about every day when I wake up, I feel as though it’s the only good way to start off my day.

Rookie of the Year

All of you must understand that out of the two candidates that I was considering neither of them are technically “rookies” to the game (I’m sorry I don’t really care for Wale) but this was based on debut album.

elzhiElzhi: There really isn’t much that I can say besides what has already been stated. This guy is one hell of an emcee. Elzhi embodies what most emcees wish they could be. I am telling everyone that reads this blog that I wouldn’t be surprised if Elzhi makes everyone else’s top ten emcees list in 5 years or less. When you can take seemingly simple words and make them sound so complex and rhyme using the same scheme as well as internal rhyme, your shit is going to be crazy. Elzhi already has an entire album produced by Black Milk (who is already on top of the Hip-Hop game right now), who knows what the future holds for this flame thrower from the D. If you haven’t heard anything by Elzhi my advice to you is get either Europass or The Preface and put either one on constant repeat. After a nice session with either of these albums I think you are going to be looking at your favorite rapper much differently. Like I said before Elzhi really isn’t a rookie, but his debut album came out this year and that’s why I’m giving the honor to him. I really can’t think of anyone more deserving this year.

Producer of the Year

This award holds very true to me because I love production, I mean music wouldn’t be half of what it is without sound production right? I have to tell you this was a very tough decision for me, Dangermouse almost got the nod but someone else stole the spotlight this year as well…

canthedrummerhavesome Black Milk: What can I say positive about Black Milk? I could use pretty much any adjective you could think of that is a synonym for greatness. This guy is pumping out a signature sound that can’t be paralleled right now by anybody in the game. When you are doing your thing on the boards and getting comparisons to J Dilla, you know that you have to be doing something right. Releasing two highly critically acclaimed album is no easy task, unless you are Black Milk. On top of being one of the best producers in the game right now he is climbing his way up the latter with his elevated rhyming on Tronic. You could also make the claim that Black is one of the hardest working producers in the game right now, he released his solo debut last year, a new album this year, a collaboration with Bishop Lamont last year, a collaboration with Fat Ray this year… the list seems to go on and on. Please do yourself a favor and take a listen to Hip-Hop’s prodigal son.

Biggest Dissapointment of the Year

I know I am probably going to get crucified for this one, and you have to understand that I’m not saying this is a bad album at all it’s just nowhere near what I expected and for that reason alone it’s a huge dissapointment.

leave-it Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind: As I mentioned above I’m not saying that this is a bad album at all, but it’s nothing like what I was expecting. When I heard that Phonte and Nicolay were putting out another album I was ecstatic. Connected is one of the most refreshing albums that I have ever heard, and I might even one up my feelings on Connected and say that I like it more than any Little Brother album that was put out. Phonte and Nicolay have a rare chemistry that is seen, similar to a Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, they just mesh together perfectly. I just don’t really get into them doing more of a soul and R&B record, don’t get me wrong Te is a good singer and Nicolay’s beats are nasty as usual I just don’t see them as an R&B group.

Who Do You Want To Look For Next Year?

This is the cat you want to be looking for next year but also in the near future…

jayelectronica Jay Electronica: This guy is the future face of Hip-Hop. Erykah Badu said that she first thought that Jay was an alien the first time that she met him. Just go on the Internet and search Jay’s name and you will be able to find him spitting over numerous Dilla treats or over a movie sample or score. This guy has so much talent that I really don’t know if the world is ready for someone like Jay Electronica. He has a debut album due out sometime in the near future entitled Abracadabra: Let There Be Light that is going to change the way that people think about Hip-Hop. I have also heard wind of digital EPs with Guilty Simpson and 9th Wonder, but then again that’s all here say so I can’t get my hopes up. Jay Electronica is that cat that you don’t know about, but my god you sure as hell want to know who he is.

That’s all I have for this year. Please give me some feedback and let me know what you think. Are there categories I could put in next year? Do you disagree with what I have written? Let me know… PLEASE!

Alteez