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the devil’s dynamite

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Summertime mid-year roundup of all the fire.  Also reminiscing about the blackout of '77 a year early because fuck your round numbers.

Keep cool familio.

Summer Not Coming - SHIRT / Hall & Nash 2 - The Purist & WestSide Gunn (feat. Conway) / R.E.D. - A Tribe Called Red (feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear) / Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite On The Street) - Run The Jewels / Mystery Fish - Aesop Rock / Smoke - The Difference Machine (feat. Homeboy Sandman) / We Are Fucked - Words Hurt / Not Sure Why I Came Back - Blueprint / Breakdance for the Def - Short Fuze & Uncommon Nasa / Dimelo - Timeless Truth / Bosses - Skizz (feat. Roc Marciano & Conway) / Nas Album Done - Nas & DJ Khaled / El Dorado - Milano Constantine / Park Avenue - AG Da Coroner (feat. Action Bronson & Roc Marciano) / PayPal The Feature - Ras Kass (feat. Steele & Sean Price) / Rap Professor - Sean Price & DJ Skizz / Halftime - The Higher Up (Mark Scott x Kye Brewin) (feat. Breeze Brewin) / Surreal N*gga - Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey / Rose Water - Baje One / Smiling (Quirky Race Doc) - Open Mike Eagle & Paul White / SummerSlam 88 - WestSide Gunn, WS Pootie & Your Old Droog / Fame - Bugseed

b-bop for b-boys (take 6)

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Let my children have music! Let them hear live music. Not noise. My children! You do what you want with your own!
-Mingus

The Shimmey Roll (Shaolin Jazz Remix) - Ol' Dirty Bastard / Rare Form - Third Sight / Night of the Living Dead - Messiah Musik / Our World Is A Cave - Sidney Poitier & Fred Katz / Sloth 8 - Tenshun / Track 18 - Howard Hanger Trio / Savagelands 4 - Tenshun / Vivian at the Art Basel - Westside Gunn (feat. Your Old Droog) / NY Tap Water - SHIRT / Sickum - Quelle Chris / Chapter 5: The Cavern - Heliocentrics (feat. Melvin Van Peebles) / Son Still Shine - Elucid / Excalibur - Bones The Beat Head / Flow fiDELITY (instrumental) - Sach / Winter Nights - Jenova 7 / The Man With The Horn - Gangrene / DestiNY (instrumental) - Messiah Musik / 3 Stories - Wiki / Circus Maximus - Vordul Mega (feat. Billy Woods)




 

mad brick

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Ain't nothin' changed but the weather. Still don't nothin' move but the money. Bae it's cold outside.

Cold world. Cold hearts. Cold cash. Tell me about it. Sometimes I think I'm getting a little frosty myself.

The hawk is out. Mad brick, son.

10 Bricks - Raekwon, Cappadonna & Ghostface Killah / Money - Guilty Simpson / Bring 'Em Up Dead - Joell Ortiz & Statik Selektah / Survived Winter - B. Dolan (feat. Prolyphic, Alias & Sage Francis) / Gremlins - Danny Brown / Bloody Money (Zilla Rocca Remix) - Capone-N-Noreaga / F.U.B.U. - Armand Hammer / Snow (Uncommon Nasa Remix) - Roc Marciano (feat. Sean Price) / 2 Wrongs - Onyx / All Season - SHIRT / Alligator - Action Bronson / Cold World - P Brothers (feat. Boss Money) / Fur Coat - Mix Master Mike / Lonely & Cold - Roc Marciano / Flurry - Ratking / …down 155th in the MCM Snorkel - Shabazz Palaces / CV-1 - Cannibal Ox x 3:33 vs. Snow - Roc Marciano (feat. Sean Price) / Vein (Instrumental) - El-P / Cold Facts - Ka / Winds From The North - Oddisee / Winter In Manhattan - Deepspace5

mouths of madness

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Best of 2015, Part 2: Art Rap Underground & Outer Space Type Shit Edition

Dial In (Get Ya Own) - Black-Tokyo Musik / Iron Rose - Cannibal Ox (feat. DOOM) / Mutate - ialive (feat. Mr. Lif) / Danger - Mr. Moods / Hook Fish Sheep - C.S.X.T.C. / Vietnam Sports Coat - PremRock / Having Too Good of a Time - Uncommon Nasa (feat. Black-Tokyo Musik & Carl Kavorkian) / Chopa Sidi - Basmala / Sleep - billy woods / Steep Tech - Ratking (feat. Despot & Princess Nokia) / Galapaghost - Juan Deuce & Falside / Typecast - Cavanaugh (Open Mike Eagle & Serengeti) (feat. P.O.S., Hemlock Ernst & Busdriver) / Return of the Angst - Words Hurts (feat. Zilla Rocca) / Santeria - Kool A.D. / Arrows - Homeboy Sandman / An Encyclopedia - milo / Brooklyn Freestyle - Russ / Day 1125 - Dr. Yen Lo / Quantum Spirit of Creation - Killah Priest / No Records Sold - SHIRT

Nine Best Indie Underground Albums of the Year
Dolan came back from a long hiatus with two records that stormed the bunkers, overthrew the moneychangers' tables and generally knocked fools' fucking heads together.

billy woods :: Today I Wrote Nothing
woods has been on my year-end lists every year since I started 'em in 2009, and good to see him getting some shine on a lotta others' this time round.  His output's been prodigious lately with no let up in quality.  With most songs clocking in well shy of three minutes, there's a sense of notebook pages or short poems (the impressionistic 'Woodhull' sketch of Bed Stuy healthcare) instead of the novels of previous, but the references still dig deep.

Cornel West Theory :: Coming From The Bottom
Boasting guest-drop cosigns from Chuck D, Mumia, MOVE and others, CWT brings back the uncompromising bombastic political sound of P.E. and X-Clan with loud, gravy-thick beats.

C.S.X.T.C. :: C.S.X.T.C.
After a long hiatus, Raven from Solaris Earth Pipeline drops this solo dojo of hobo rap.

Jel :: Greenball 6
Another dope instrumental LP from the Anticon sphere. Fatter beats than you'd expect, for reals.

Killah Priest :: Planet of the Gods
My faith in the Priest is resolute and unquestionable, but since Heavy Mental he's rarely able to find the beats to rock upon which to found that church.  On this one though he brought down Godz Wrath to provide the right 70mm backdrop of flutes and chants and samples--finally befitting his epic of Mac 10s, sandals, eagles, pyramids, flying saucers, wise elders, Biblical computers, convicts, evil ancient scientists, galactic thrones and chakra points, and that's just the intro track.

PremRock :: Who Art In Nada
Rap bohemian remixes and offcuts, straight from foggy bridges, greasy spoons and dive bars.

Uncommon Nasa :: Halfway
Nasa's newest ruminates on what it means to be halfway through your life--what matters, where you come from and where you're going. You gotta admire the man's grind and how he pushes himself into new territory with every record.

Words Hurts :: ALKAST:REMIXES
Remix EP that was as good as the originals. On point heaters. Go grab that.

Honorable Mention in the Form of a Rhetorical Question Running Along the Bottom of the Album Cover
Public Enemy :: Man Plans God Laughs
Look peoples, I was born listening to P.E. and I'll die listening to P.E. I always check their new shit, and their 13th is pretty good for late-epoch-Chuck et al., even if it has a Country & Western joint for no reason I can possibly think of.

Honorable Mention for Records I Didn't Get a Chance to Listen to Yet But Are Probably Dope, Maybe That's Cheating But Too Fucking Bad
Defcee :: Damn Near Grown
Red Pill :: Day Drunk EP

the usual roughnecks

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It's your Best of 2015 Roundup, Rappitty-Rap Rapping edition. Just the bangingest bangers and the hottest heaters and the tastiest joints.


Blacka - Blackalicious / World Premier - Czarface (feat. Large Professor) / Man Plans God Laughs - Public Enemy / Razor Blade Rhyme - A-F-R-O / The History of Atlantis - B. Dolan / Fractured - Guilty Simpson (feat. Fat Ray) / Organ Donor - SHIRT / Garbanzo Beans/4 No Reason - Sean Price / Rubble Kings (Dynamite On The Street) - Run The Jewels / Paris Texas - Jel & Odd Nosdam / Yesman Shit - Apollo Brown (feat. Sean Price & REKS) / Unlimited Metro Card - Your Old Droog & Statik Selektah / Falconry - Action Bronson (feat. Meyhem Lauren & Big Body Bes) / Bodega! - Bodega Bamz & Statik Selektah / Dooo It! (Remix) - R.A. The Rugged Man / Hell's Messenger - Jedi Mind Tricks / I'll Die For This Shit - The Cornel West Theory (feat. Queen Helene of Les Nubians) / Kirk Fuckin' Douglas - The Alchemist

The Six Best Rappitty-Rapping Records of the Year*
Guilty Simpson :: Detroit's Son
Can't get enough of the D's sharpest hattori hanzo, and don't understand why this record hasn't been on anyone else's lists this year.  It's his hardest, sharpest, meanest, illest, blessedest work to date, more on point than a box of needles.  An all-around 7th place for album of the year. 

Sean Price :: Songs In The Key of Price / About 85,000 Guest Verses
My favorite actors have always been character actors--the guys who come in as weird sidekicks, creep-ass villains, but always make their mark.  This record ain't here because we lost him, it's because it's a damn fine record.  P was one of the greats and most definitely gone too soon.  He was a rapper's rapper who never turned down a guest verse but always brought his A-game to it, endlessly quotable, with more punchlines than Nintendo's unreleased Mike Tyson: Punch Factory. He got stoopid without ever being ignorant--he slips in more political lines than he gets credit for.  P! was the illest of the usual roughnecks.

Inspectah Deck, 7L and Esoteric came back to body you on this one, bringing along Meth, DOOM, GZA, Large Pro and other thugs. Just a good, solid album for all your head-nodding, mad-face-making needs.

Action Bronson :: Mr. Wonderful 
The second most notorious Albanian in the tri-state area comes through again. Like every Bronson record, it's hit and miss on the beat choices, but also solid as his massive gut when he does hit it. Dude has cemented his career, and I now can't see any haute cuisine reference like 'scrape a ravioli envelope' or 'venison au jus reduction' without thinking 'I wonder how Action Bronson would rhyme that into a deviant sexual act?'

Jedi Mind Tricks :: The Thief & The Fallen
If you were ever down with JMT, this is their comeback from Stoupe forgetting how to make beats. Just forget the last 10 or so years happened. If you like that 'Cypress Hill, but with more beheadings' sound, this one's for you.

Your Old Droog :: Kinison EP
I kinda think I'm over this dude. He's definitely nice with the rhyming of the words, mostly picks good beats, but there's something too...technical? Something missing, I don't know if it's a narrative or sense of character or charisma. I just don't know who the droogie is somehow. I mean, content-wise Redman is not exactly Virginia Woolf,** but you feel like you know the guy, he's that cat you got high with in the parking lot that one time or whatever.  With Droog I don't get that. I like the work but I'm not catching feels from it.  OK not really selling this, but the EP is solid work.


*Fuck arbitrary round numbers and fuck long lists. Like I'm really gonna go peep out all 100 records you recommended. I have five jobs for fuck's sake.
**If Redman is now inspired to do a three-CD Mr Dalloway concept album, come back and thank me.

b-bop for b-boys (take 5)

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Don't play what's there, play what's not there.
- Miles Davis

Publicity Blues - Dysposable Heroes (feat. GZA vs. Ray Charles) / Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat) (Instrumental) - Digable Planets / How Sly - DJ 2-Tone Jones (feat. Meth & Red vs. Ahmad Jamal) / Maintaining (Instrumental) - No I.D. / Miles Of Greenery - Gadget / 1,2,3, Hit It - DJ Mark The 45 King / Da Da Da Da....Da - DJ Mayonnaise Trouble Man - Juggaknots / Yikes - Scienz of Life (feat. MF Doom) Collectors Choice (Instrumental) - Autolect / Mostly Tha Voice - Gang Starr / Fakin' Jax (Dee La Kream Remix) - I.N.I & Pete Rock / Meat Grinder (Four Tet Remix) - MF Doom / Bell Tolls - Blockhead / Pot Belly (Rob Swift Cut) Lou Donaldson / Virtuosity L*Roneous / Drunk Trumpet Kid Koala / Genisis Of A Nemisis Digit Span Test / Jupiter - John Coltrane / Day 13 - Dr. Yen Lo

bad lieutenant (badges, bullets, beatings & bodies)

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Cops have been killing people, and people have been getting outraged about it, and the cops have gotten off scott free, for over 150 years.  Freddie Gray, killed by the Baltimore PD on April 19th, was the 346th person killed by a cop this year.

Some of y'all old enough to remember Eleanor Bumpurs? Amadou Diallo? Micheal Stewart? And so on. This shit ain't new. It just goes on and on.

Pigs - Homeboy Sandman / Who Protects Us From You? - Boogie Down Productions / Hands Up - Vince Staples / NYC Cops - Heems / The Headcracker - Double XX Posse / Pigs Is Over - Malcolm & Martin (feat. Bambu) / Pig Iron - billy woods / Jordan Miles - Jasiri X / Good Cop/Bad Cop - Blahzay Blahzay / Piglets - Guilty Simpson / Mr. Officer - Ka / Cop Crush - Odd Nosdam / We Living In These Dark Times - Uncommon Nasa / Made You Die - Dead Prez, Mike Flo & Mos Def / Film The Police - Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Sage Francis & B. Dolan / Fuck Officer Wahl & The SDPD #9 - Tenshun / Police Get Busy (Black Thought x Dead Kennedys) - Max Tannone / Fuck Tha Police (Live) - Rage Against The Machine

the classical

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So I went to see this Benjamin Britten opera in Berlin (because caucasity) and all I could think was: oh shit, this bit would be good to sample.  That little bit right there would be fire on a beat. Remember, hip-hop started with the breaks: looping the tightest, hardest parts of records to move the crowds. Cue the bridge. Cut the rest.  And every kind of music ever made has got those nice bits to flip.  I said all this before fam.

If you read this piece on Beethoven, dude's influence was so great that CDs were set at 75 minutes to fit the 9th Symphony.  But all that talent not only shaped all orchestra music that came after, it kinda calcified and stultified it too--an anxiety of influence classical music still hasn't broken out of.  And John Cage said: "If you listen to Beethoven, it's always the same. But if you listen to traffic, it's always different."  And sampling, flipping, looping--that's cars on the interstate kid.  By chopping it up, it's bringing something new to the table.

So some people think sampling classical is outrageous, or corny, or shitting on high culture. It's nothing new and you got your corny high school music teachers doing Tuba Tupac probably and Asian chicks fluteboxing on WorldStar.  All I care about is what they did with it: is the beat heat or not?

The real question is how is it possible the whole boom-bap '90s went by without a lotta diggin' in the Wagner crates.  He had that large-ass, giganticous sound on lock.  It is kinda funny though that most classical samples are on chest-thumping, bumpining joints, not the smooth sensitive types.  And if anything, you'd think in these sampling-lawsuit heavy days cats would be jumping for those public domain sounds. Zombie Chopin ain't finna sue you b.

Anyways get ya opera glasses ready and peep it.

Animal Rap - Jedi Mind Tricks (feat. Kool G Rap) / The DJ - DJ Revolution (feat. KRS-One) / K.I.M. - EPMD (feat. Redman) / No Joke (DJ Snyder Tchaikovsky Remix) - Apathy & Celph Titled / Habitat Of The Gasmask - La Coka Nostra (feat. Vinnie Paz) / Spaz Out - Army of the Pharoahs / War Tactics - Guru (feat. Hussein Fatal, James Gotti & New Child) / Trylogy - Kurupt / Chocolate Box - Falside / Classic - Hieroglyphics / Crystal Glass - dj BC (feat. Smif & Wessun & Talib Kweli) / General Patton - Big Boi / Regeneration - DJ Premier, Nas & The Berklee Symphony Orchestra / Change The Beat (Q-Fish Remix) - DOOM / Battle The Universe - AbcDEFiend? / Savagelands #8 - Tenshun / Pouches Of Tuna - Action Bronson (feat. Roc Marciano) / Underground Hitz - R.A. The Rugged Man / The MC - KRS-One