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Collectors Item - Music, Art and Life: November 2011
"Approach" by The Josh Maxey Trio

By JR on 3:48 PM

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"Approach" by Josh Maxey is album number 2 in a series of 6 records in 12 months. This Jazz album is deeply rooted in the fusion guitar/Hammond organ sound of the 70's, consisting of the organ trio John, Brian Charette and McClenty Hunter who draw influence from masters such as Rodney Jones and Grant Green. These grooves are mellow overall, ranging from laid back to intense moments as skills are shown on solo performances led by each creative and original composition. 

released 11 November 2011 
 Josh Maxey - Guitar 
 Brian Charette - Organ 
 McClenty Hunter - Drums

Configa feat. John Graham - "Back 2 Basics" (Official Video)

Configa takes you through on a trip through Hip Hop's birthplace for the video of "Back 2 Basics". This song and video features the words of John Graham and members of the culture who lend their own unbiased opinions on the culture today. There is a lot of truth and passion for the culture to be admired throughout this video, John Graham rips through the track by translating his opinions into rhyme form effectively. The uptempo and rugged drum break adds an energetic vibe while placing the attention on John's thoughts as he projects his general feelings about the basics of Hip Hop.

"Back 2 Basics" is featured on Configa's "Calm Before The Storm" mixtape, now available on iTunes.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - 'The Main Ingredient (2 CD Deluxe Edition w/Bonus 20 Page Booklet!)

By JR on 12:34 PM

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Traffic Entertainment presents a 2CD reissue of Pete Rock and C.L.'s classic 3rd release "The Main Ingredient, complete with a bonus 20-page booklet, rare remixes and singles from the album.Their stellar collection of b-sides and unreleased gems from 1994 including the remixes of "Searching" and "Get on The Mic" have never been compiled for an official release as one project, until now. Traffic is presenting these songs which accompanied "The Main Ingredient" in an official crisp CD format as the 2nd disc included in this special box set edition.

 Leave the bootleg vinyl pressings, mp3s and YouTube clips alone and get yourself a copy of this boxset, available here at and

Dawaun Parker - Decision (Freestyle)

Dawaun Parker shows his range in displaying skills and aggression on the mic combined with talent behind the boards as a young songwriter who is here to bring fresh ideas to Hip Hop. Listen as he blesses the mic for a freestyle to proceed his anticipated solo project "The Decision".

Tuberculocust - "Son of A Son of Shaft"

By JR on 10:57 AM

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Austin Texas progressive Rock band Tuberculocust take influence from Stax and Volt artists to bring vintage sounds of 70's wah-wah Funk on their 2011 composition "Son of A Son of Shaft. This is a great 13 minute jam session that reminds me of early Isaac Hayes and The Barkays!

Audio: Madlib Visits Jazz Trumpeter Stanton Davis' Record Collection

 Two generations of music meet to share appreciation for funky rare grooves as a young California producer meets up with an accomplished Jazz musician. Hear the fruits of a record-canvassing mission co-piloted by the loop-digger Madlib and Now-Again Records founder Egon in this interview feature by NPR. This is an audible treat for fans of obscure Jazz and Funk, plus those who seek a little more insight into Madlib's taste for records.

Read the interview "Excavating Stanton Davis' Storage Unit Funk" which includes soundclips from Stanton's record collection

Stanton Davis And The Ghetto Mysticism Band released a great Jazz/Funk album in 1977 entitled 'Brighter Days', which is now available as a reissue at The album sounds like a cross between the soulful, summer vibe of Roy Ayers and the spiritual approach of Doug Carn. Listen to album snippets from Brighter Days here

K-Def - "Nightshift" LP Now Shipping at (CD cardboard sleeve)

By JR on 10:16 AM

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K-Def continues to advance in the art of beatmaking by bringing soulful and melodic productions on his latest instrumental project "Night Shift". As a producer of Hip Hop who touches your eardrum with heavily-influenced sounds of the 70's, K-Def balances the polished approach of digital musical production with his crate digging and DJ sensibility for beats. The New Jersey native and veteran producer crafts wonderful compositions layered sound-for-sound from scratch while keeping his original essence of boom-bap MPC beatmaking style.

Night Shift features two vocal tracks, including a cover version of Escapism which replaces Pete Rock with a vocal performance from Rob O of INI instead. The rest of the album features a solid batch of elaborate and masterfully crafted instrumentals/covers, including the leaks "Supa Heath" and "From Da Brain". 

Pick up your copy of Nightshift in CD format (mini cardboard sleeve) today exclusively at

DJ Boogie Blind - "Urban Legend Series #2" Mix

By JR on 10:07 AM

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The X-Ecutioners/Ill Insanity member DJ Total Eclipse provides champion turntable skills with blends to peek your interest from track to track as he digs through the crates for his latest mix, "Urban Legend Series #2". As the presenter of the mixtape Solo For Dolo says, the "mix is FUNKY AS HELL" and should touch the inner Hip Hop fiend in you once you listen. This mix will hopefully educate you on new gems as well as remind you of heat from the NY independent underground Hip Hop scene.

 Stream and download the mix here:

Audio: Symbolyc One Interviews With The Crisman Show Podcast 11/27/11

By JR on 10:13 AM

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Fresh off a triple Soul Train award nomination for his work as a talented and in-demand producer, Symbolyc One of S.F.P. stops by The Crisman Show Podcast in Dallas to speak about his recent accomplishments, future goals and upcoming projects of music. In 2011 and beyond, S1's upcoming work includes collaborations with The Cannabanoids, a group of Dallas-area DJs, musicians, and beatmakers who create a unique live stage performance which feels like a psychedelic, Hip Hop experience. 

Check out Strange Fruit Project's A Dreamer's Journey if you haven't already and S1's respectable catalog in collaborating with emerging underground talent over the years. He is a creative mind who continues to push the boundaries for the way we hear Hip Hop music.

Download/Stream - S1 on The Crisman Show Podcast 11/27/11

Diggin Jazz: Music From Japan mix by DJ TomE

By JR on 1:17 PM

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This volume of DJ TomE's Diggin Jazz series is dedicated to the sounds of jazz music from Japan, highlighting the beautiful music of Japanese artists such as Soil & Pimp Sessions to Kyoto Jazz Massive, Quasimode and many more.

Heaven Razah - "Make You Cry" (produced by 4th Disciple)

By JR on 10:46 AM

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Heaven Razah drops a defining verse over 4th Disciple production on "Make You Cry". As the self-proclaimed Red Hook rabi and Renaissance Child, Razah brings ghetto visions combined with religious beliefs as a unique approach to Hip Hop. 4th Disciple flips a Rock sample from "Bohemian Rapsody" by Queen to craft the dark emotion of this track.

"Modaji" covered by Münster Jazz quartet The Greenwood Group

A young German quartet covers Dave Gruisin's Jazz classic, replacing the main Rhodes melody with guitar. This version has more of a Grover Washington Jr.-type sound in my opinion but is equally enjoyable in the playing and composition.

Blackstar (Kweli & Mos Def) - "Fix Up" + Trailer For Their Upcoming Documentary

By JR on 2:45 PM

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You heard it on the Cobert Report show, now here is the official audio of "Fix Up", Talib Kweli and Mos Def's 2011 return as the duo Blackstar. They both kill it lyrically in a way which reminds me of the agressive, show-off style which a lot of MCs from the Rawkus era displayed. Audio courtesy of

Grab the single now at iTunes

 Below is the trailer for the documentary on Blackstar directed by Video Rahim and starring Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Mos Def, The Beastie Boys, Dave Chappelle, The Roots, Jay-Z, De La Soul, Common Hi-Tek, Jean Grae, Pharrell, Killer Mike, Fat Lip, Damon Dash, Rosario Dawson, Pete Rock, Marc Ecko, Mad Lib Bobbito, Black Sheep, Cee-Lo, and The Dungeon Family.

DJ Grazzhoppa - "Wanted" (Produced by Blastah Beatz)

"Wanted" pairs the turntable wizardry of DJ Grazzhoppa with the rugged production of Blastah Beatz for an exciting display of Hip Hop. We could sure use more songs like this where a DJ and producer hold it down for the entire song in that lost tradition of late 80's/early 90's Hip Hop. DJ Grazzhoppa cuts phrases throughout "Wanted" with fury and precision for amazing skills on the 1's and 2's.

"Wanted" is from Grazzhoppa's forthcoming album "Intricate Moves 2". Listen to the promo snippet of the album here at soundcloud.

Beat By : Blastah Beatz 
 Scratches By : DJ Grazzhoppa 
 Mastered by : Tradd Cover 
Artwork : Jaba 
 Label : Chess Move Cartel 
 DJ Grazzhoppa :

Video: M.O.P. Sparta Album Release Party feat. Dres, Styles P & DJ Premier

The Brownsville duo M.O.P. get the party live as they are joined by a few special guests to celebrate the release of "Sparta" at Santos in New York City, November 21 2011. One of the highlights of this show footage is Bill & Fame joining Pharoahe Monch on stage for a performance of "Simon Says". Now that would've been a hot collaboration had it came out on vinyl! DJ Premier is on the 1's and 2's as M.O.P. run through their catalog of classics.

"Sparta" produced by The Snowgoons is now in stores, listen to snippets here at

Instrumental Mix: Freddie Joachim - "Patterns Vol. 2"

By JR on 4:23 PM

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Here is a collection of innovative and soulful Hip Hop-based instrumental music provided by an emerging leader of the craft, Phillipino-American producer Freddie Joachim. "Patterns" Vol. 2 features the work of producers who are all working to keep that feel-good music around in 2011 and beyond with beats which goes the extra length in creativity and originality. Listen for yourself and absorb the vibes.

 Download: Freddie Joachim - "Patterns Vol. 2", presented by Mellow Orange

14KT – F What They Say -
Ohmega Watts – At The Oasis
Interlude -
Hazel – Eyes In -
Reflection Eternal – On My Way -
Madvillain – Eye feat. Stacy Epps -
Afta-1 – (hidden beat after Believe) -
Zebrahim – Zizzle -
The Randy Watson Experience –
Philip Michael Thompson -
fLako – Butcher You -
Common – Thelonius -
Yesterday’s New Quintet – That Girl -
Koen – 289 -
Dert Floyd – Untitled 25 -
Mike Slott – Home -
Tall Black Guy – Lone and Gone -
Hazel – (hidden beat after Fantastic) -
Abjo – Kalimba Song -
Jaisu – El Dot -
Dert – San Franangeles -
DJ Day – Close Your Eyes -
People Under The Stairs – Flex Off Instrumental -
Que D – Rock Box Instrumental -
Oddisee – Get In Touch Instrumental -
9th Wonder – Untitled -
Gagle – Return of the Three Men Instrumental -
Slakah The Beatchild – Something Forever -
Freddie Joachim – Waves -
Freddie Joachim – Hours -
Freddie Joachim – Untitled feat. Carlitta Durand -
Freddie Joachim – Untitled -
Freddie Joachim – Better Days -
Freddie Joachim – Talk -
Freddie Joachim – Make Love -
Freddie Joachim – Untitled -
Freddie Joachim – Slut Sample -
Freddie Joachim – The Days Revisited

PVD & John Robinson: "Miles & Trane" (rough mix)

By JR on 9:43 AM

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John Robinson dazzles with intricate wordplay over the Jazz/Hip Hop grooves of PVD for "Miles & Trane", a dedication to Jazz greats Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The New Jersey duo of JR and PVD are a union who display a great passion for music and enthusiasm for showing raw skills, taking inspiration from their musical influences. "Miles & Coltrane" provides feel-good vibes while educating about two important figures of Jazz music history.

This song is from the forthcoming PVD & John Robinson record (due out early 2012). Written, Produced, & Recorded by PVD & John Robinson. Horn Line written by Rich Polatchek.

The Ill Relatives - "Troubled World" (produced by S1)

By JR on 9:04 AM

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The Ill Relatives present "Troubled World" as a shoulder to cry on for those who can relate to the troubled cycle of life in America's inner cities and other parts of the world. Hip Hop is the guiding light to lead people through these unfortunate circumstances and The Ill Relatives are leaders within the daily struggle. Produced by Symbolyc One of S.F.P.

Frankensteez - "Mister Jason Has A Posse..." feat. 26 MCs (10" Green Vinyl Single)

By JR on 8:59 AM

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"Mister Jason Has A Posse..." brings together 26 talented MCs for a monster posse cut which plays upon each letter of the alphabet. This is my favorite posse cut of 2011 and one of the more outstanding ones to come out in a awhile.

Listen to the full song above and check out the full list of MC features here at where the green vinyl pressing is now available.

Video: The Beatnuts - 1992 Rooftop Interview For "Reign Of The Tec"

By JR on 9:34 AM

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The super supreme team from Queens of JuJu and Psycho Les introduce their debut single "Reign Of The Tec" on a nice summer day in NYC, 1992. You can tell by their unforgiving attitude towards the media in this interview and their music that they came to take no prisoners and bum-rush the industry as one of Hip Hop's most raw, uncut groups ever. 

In case you have never seen or forgot the rawness of their first video, watch "Reign Of The Tec" here which features cameos by Sadat X and Fat Joe.

The Beatnuts original approach to Hip Hop define an era where major labels took chances on presenting new artists, and it shows in the amount of classics which are left behind for us to enjoy.

Montage One - "Find One" (produced by Jake One)

By JR on 9:16 AM

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Filed Under: ,'s 20/20 artist showcase features the reflective music of Montage One and Jake One on "Find One", a song which focuses on memories of the past to find the most ideal position in life towards the future. This song hits with soulful creativity in the vein of tracks like "Hangin' Out" by Main Source and "Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop" by Diamond. These are the thoughts of an adult who is aware of the responsibilities that lie ahead, laying his thoughts and concerns on track rather than trying to escape from them.

Download/Stream - "Find One"

"DC Joint" by Damu The Fudgemunk

By JR on 8:40 AM

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Taking from the influence of early 90's neighborhood representation of MCing, Damu lets you know where he's from on "DC Joint". Damu gets visual on this song by detailing the ruff ghetto  environment of Washington D.C. through a creative flow backed by a heavy drum groove and scratches. If his label ReDef records hadn't indicated this was made in 2011 I would have assumed it was a rare release from around '90, "D.C. Joint" carries the production qualities and a signature rhyme style that makes Hip Hop from that era sought-after by it's listeners.

Sparkplug Presents: "The Music of Melvin Sparks"

This is some funky Hammond Jazz played by young band members and proteges of the great Blue Note and Prestige Records session guitarist Melvin Sparks. On "The Music Of Melvin Sparks" Sparkplug hits the nail on the head in taking what they've learned about their teacher's soulful sound to present 8 tracks of authentic, upbeat Hammond Jazz. Lou Donladson fans will be pleased to hear the great cover versions of "Hot Dog" and "Everything I Play Gon B Funky", in addition to covers of Sparks songs. Here is what they have to say about the process of creating this album shortly after the passing of their teacher:

"Beau Sasser and Bill Carbone spent several years as the other two-thirds of Melvin Sparksí trio. At first, most nights were marked by Sparksí distinctive brand of constructive criticism, both on stage and off. But Beau and Bill listened and learned, and soon the three developed an undeniable chemistry. Sparks was always planning for the future, and he frequently played the band demos of songs he wanted to record or other tracksóeverything from Jimmy Smith to Zapp and Rogeróthat he thought would be good live. Sparkplug is Sasser and Carboneís way of paying tribute to Sparks by performing the songs that he wrote and on which he played during his 45 year career as well as imagining what else he might do if he was still here."

Jae Franklin Pays Homage To Herbie Hancock On "Butterfly"

Jae Franklin lends her vocals for a moving tribute to Herbie Hancock on "Butterfly". This cover version adds upon the mellow sounds of Hancock's 1974 original with beautiful singing as Jae's voice becomes one with the instrumentation. From Jae Franklin's "Universal Language: Prelude 1", which she describes is "a project that encourages you to travel wherever the music takes you."

Tall Black Guy Productions - "Thrill_seeker" (Thriller) Feat. Renee Dion

This combination of vocals and production is quite mind-blowing, as Tall Black Guy and Renee Dion unite to bring beauty out of dark subject matter on "Thrill_seeker", their re-invisioning of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

Mixtape: DJ Soulchild - "R&B Secrets Vol. 1"

The official R&B king of Switzerland brings quality mixing and crate selection to get you moving with R&B Secrets Vol. 1, a mixtape which compiles both popular and overlooked 90's R&B. This mix displays the Hip Hop-influenced sound of the mid-90's with soulful vocal melodies and thumping grooves.

Lewis Parker - "Great Adventures" feat. Planet Asia, EastKoast and Tah-Born

UK producer Lewis Parker aka "The Deadliest Man With an SP" is known for keeping it analog with break-beat and sample-driven bangers. "Great Adventures" is lyrical homicide as Planet Asia, EastKoast and Tah-Born flow like water over the dusty drums of Lewis Parker. This song is featured on Parker's 2011 project "Dangerous Adventures" which features an impressive lineup of MCs including John Robinson, Sav Killz, BARON, EastKoast, Killa Sha and more. Listen to the whole album here at bandcamp.

Señor Kaos feat. J-Live – "Restless" (prod. by Illastrate)

By JR on 10:12 AM

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The independent grind of a Hip Hop artist is an inspiring one, especially those who consistenly work on their craft and make things happen for themselves like Señor Kaos, J-Live and Illastrate. Through uplfiting sounds and life-driven messages, listen as the three provide their definition of what it means to stay on the grind.

Biz Markie, Heavy D & Cool V - "We Write The Songs" Live at The Apollo 1989 (Video)

The Diabolical Biz is joined by Heavy D for a performance of their duet "We Write The Songs" from Marley Marl's "In Control" LP. The two join in a performance which ignites the Apollo crown in display of breakbeat cutting, heavy jewelry and flamboyant rhymes which describes the magnificent era of Hip Hop known as the late 80's. This footage courtesy of DJ Cool V himself in memory of the late, great Heavy D.

"Parliamentary Procedures" by The Clunk

By JR on 7:33 PM

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This free download is an obscure funk song from the mid-80's Irish funk band known as The Clunk. "Parliamentary Procedure" begins with a nice drum and bass groove and ventures into an upbeat combination of jazzy Rhodes and horn solos for a sound which is reminiscent of 70's Herbie Hancock fusion. Here is a description from the bandcamp site who is hosting this song:

"Short lived funk band from Lurgan.
 P-P as they became known where inspired musically by deep funk styling of George Clinton's 'Funkadelic', 'The Gap band' and 'Prince' and lyrically by the political middle ground of the Northern Irish 'Alliance' party. They came to prominence when they recorded an election song for the Alliance party during the run up to the the 1986 local elections entitled 'Roll'in with Alderdice'. The song landed at number 37 in the local charts. In search of a larger crossover audience the band released the soft funk synth ballad 'I gotta thing for yo thing' but the song failed to chart. During the recording of their debut album BOOTYBIB in 1986 tensions amongst the band members surfaced when vocalist Neil Jones attempted to introduce the use of a Vocoder into the sessions prompting the other members to quit shortly after session. Jones was noted for taking on a number of unusual persona during the bands brief history including 'Mr Shuggles', 'creamblowsausageskin' and 'Master Frotingler'. The Group where also well known for their extravagant stage costumes and once took to the stage in massive nappies,oversized flip-flops and ornate cardboard mummer masks."

Eric Lau - "The Mission" (feat. Guilty Simpson)

By JR on 7:14 PM

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It's a Detroit/European collaboration as UK producer Eric Lau provides spaced-out funk for Guilty Simpson's definitive and powerful flow. Nod your head to this.

Focus... "High Off Music" feat. Torae, Nikki Grier & Ill Camille

It's not just the sound of Focus' music, but the passion with which he and Torae, Nikki Grier & Ill Camille do their thing over his track that makes it good to the ear and soul.

Video: De La Soul In The Studio For "You're Welcome"

By JR on 5:01 PM

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The brothers from Long Island are back at it again, this time working on their 8th official studio album release entitled "You're Welcome". Head over to De La's tumblr for a short preview which features an inside look at the studio where they are joined by producer Supa Dave West at work on music.

Sample Of The Day: Stark Reality vs. Cocaine 80's

By JR on 11:09 AM

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Chi-Town producer No I.D. borrows a loop from Stark Reality's "Comrades" to craft a mellow mood of production to match Common's visions of back in the day. In listening to the original sample it's easier to appreciate the production aspect of "Six", as the Cocaine 80's collective combine their individual talents of rhyming, singing and beats to expand upon the unique sound of Stark Reality.

Cocaine 80’s is a group consisting of No I.D, Common, James Fauntleroy, Kevin Randolph, Rob Kineiski and Steve Wyreman. 

 The sounds of Stark Reality continue to amaze me since discovering their psychedelic fuzz sound years ago. Other artists who have gone on to sample their music include Skyzoo, Madlib, J-Live and Large Professor.

Here is short excerpt about Stark Reality and their album "Now" by Wax Poetics

 "Now is an amazing anthology harnessing the fuzz-fusion of Boston quartet, Stark Reality. Fronted by vibraphonist Monty Stark, this extremely rare recording contains unique renditions of songs originally recorded by Hoagie Carmichael. Carmichael, born in 1899, penned such timeless classics as “Georgia on my Mind” and “Stardust.” Although originally recorded by Carmichael for a children’s record entitled, Havin’ a Party, it was Stark Reality who really tapped the keg of intrinsic party value tucked away in these songs. The record is heavy, psychedelic, and perfectly distorted- a Hancock meets Hendrix voyage through time and sound."

BADBADNOTGOOD Replay The Music Of MF DOOM on “Doom Medley”

The virtuoso band known as BADBADNOTGOOD take their experimental approach to Hip Hop influenced Jazz further still on "Doom Medley", a free download which features their interpolations of  MF DOOM's music. Fans of the metal-faced MC are in for an ear-opening experience as this band expands upon songs like “Supervillian Theme”, “Fazers”, “Vomitspit” and more with drum-heavy grooves and lots of improvisation.

El Da Sensei feat. Nutso & Soul Khan - "Nu World (Part II)"

By JR on 4:16 PM

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This trio of MCs remain wide-eyed and focused on the current situations in the current world in order to persevere through various obstacles of life. El Da Sensei's Nu World Remix EP drop 11/15/2011. Check out the tracklist below:

01 Nu World pt.2 f. Nutso & Soul Khan
02 Nu World (iStandard Remix) (prod. Cimer Amor)
03 Everyday In The Street (Can You Dig It Remix) (prod. Dukes Go Up)
04 Everyday In The Street f. Rah Digga & Tame One) (prod. !llmind)
05 2 The Death (M-Phazes Remix) f. Mela Machinko

Download Nu World Order II

Video: DOOM & Ghostface - Live From London 11/5/11 (9 Songs)

DOOM and Ghostface hit the stage live at London Roundhouse celebrating 10 years of Lex records i n 2011. This is a performance that is likely to go down in the history of Hip Hop greatness along with the duo's musical collaborations.

Nicolay with The Hot At Nights - "Shibuya Session EP" (Free Download)

By JR on 10:52 AM

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Absorb these futuristic sounds of Jazz by a collective of talent led by Nicolay of The Foreign Exchange. The opening track "Shibuya Station" really is an adrenaline booster with an upbeat rhythm and amazing drumming skills throughout. From their Nic and the band continue to take you on a musical journey of fine contemporary Jazz with the variety of mellow moods of each composition. Here is a description of the project by FE Music:

“+FE Music proudly presents the “Shibuya Session EP”, a collaboration between Nicolay and the Raleigh-based exploratory jazz trio The Hot At Nights, led by 8-string guitar virtuoso (and The Foreign Exchange guitarist) Chris Boerner with Matt Douglas on sax/woodwinds and Nick Baglio on drums. The EP was recorded at Sound Pure Studios in Durham NC and features new interpretations and arrangements of eight instrumental compositions from Nicolay’s 2009 album “City Lights Vol. 2: Shibuya”. ”


Shibuya Station
Rain In Ueno Park
Meiji Shrine
Inner Garden
Bullet Train

See: Heavy D & The Boyz 1987 Spin Magazine Article For "Mr. Big Stuff"

Dedicated to the memory of Heavy D, may he rest in peace and continue to inspire with the music & memories he's left us. This 1987 article of Spin Magazine features Heavy D & The Boyz in the beginning of their career, breaking some ground and gaining praise from their soul-laced single "Mr. Big Stuff". The song happens to be one of my all-time favorites from The Heavster, I still catch a vibe of fun, classic late 80's Hip Hop from his honest approach to the mic on "Mr. Mig Stuff", his style inspired many and helped make The Golden Era memorable.

Tall Black Guy - Water No Enemy 7" and Guest DJ Set on BSTRD Jazz Radio

As an addition to Tall Black Guy's 7' "Water No Enemy"/"Lost and Gone" which is available now for purchase at CrossTalk and Turntable Lab, enjoy his guest DJ set on Bastard Jazz radio. This mix features his music as well as hip-hop and instrumental head nodders from the likes of Kenny Keys, J. Slick, Innosphere, Tensi and Raj Mahal. Tall Black Guy's selections provide an insightful look into his influences as a producer which is an emerging genre of Hip Hop-influenced producers who carry the basic drumming feel we know and love, but also incorporates new innovative musical ideas into their work.

Here is a review of Tall Black Guy's 7" project:

"Brooklyn's BSTRD Boots returns with a fresh offering from up-and-coming Detroit producer Tall Black Guy. Garnering big buzz before proper release, and played plenty on both Giles Peterson and Benji B's Radio shows, "Water No Enemy" is a deft and agile chop of the Fela tune of similar name. Complete with off it's kilter swinging drums, dreamy synths, and filtered horns, this tune creates an irresistible vibe and bumps warm and lovely on vinyl. On the flip, TBG offers up "Lost And Gone" - a raw downtempo head nodder featuring hard-to-spot vibes from both D'Angelo and Stevie Wonder."

Listen to snippets and purchase "Water No Enemy" 7" here at CrossTalk and Turntable Lab.

Video: Da King & I - 1993 Rap City Freestyle

By JR on 9:17 AM

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What more can I say about these dudes other than that I love the year of 1993 for what they helped contribute to Hip Hop: slick lyricism, Jazz-laced beats, street representation and a great musical imagination. Listen as Izzy and Majesty kick some accapella rhymes live on a 1993 episode of Rap City.

Video: Häzel - A Day In The Life Promo For "The Playground"

By JR on 7:37 AM

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I'm sure we'd all like to live like Häzel is living in this video by getting up each day and immersing ourselves in our creative craft. In this short promo for his "Playgroud EP", Häzel takes you into his world where he lays down beats each day from his home studio, instrumentals which are drum-heavy and melodic as a forward-thinking sound of Hip Hop which is heavily influenced by Dilla. It's dedicated creatives like him which are here to inspire us all by finding a way around the obstacles of life to do what they love to do.

Listen to snippets of "The Playground" (Deluxe Version) by Häzel here at iTunes

Neco Redd Feat Miss Nissa and Nation of Groverton Finch - "Xanadu"

This very nice combination of soothing harmonies in R&B  vocals paired with a J-Dilla-influence on the production forms to represent Miss Nissa's visions of paradise on "Xanadu". From "The Full Disclosure" LP, released 18 October 2011. Charnissa "Miss Nissa T.C" Butts on Lead and Background vocals and Nation my divine compliment on background vocals. Download "Xanadu" for free at Necro Redd's bandcamp.

Audio: Return of DJ Jazzy Jeff at The Do Over 2012 feat. Skillz

By JR on 5:29 PM

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Enjoy the sounds of a master DJ as Philadelphia's own Jazzy Jeff takes you on a musical journey on Return of The Do Over 2012, he's got the skills to get you up out of your seat while bringing a new view to classics from his mixing ability and sequencing.

Nick Manson Pays Tribute To Jeff Lorber Fusion On "Clown Feet"

By JR on 3:33 PM

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As much as pianist/keyboardist Nick Manson loves playing straight ahead jazz, he is very much in love with the instrumental sounds of the '70s by musicians such as Tom Scott, Jazz Crusader, Victor Feldman, Jeff Lorber, George Duke, Joe Farrell and John Klemmer. "Clown Feet" is a beautiful homage "to the Lorber tunes of the late 70's when the heads were typically all doubled by a Fender Rhodes or synth with flute, soprano or tenor sax" says the two time Emmy Award winning multifaceted pianist.

"Clown Feet" is available on his 2008 full length album, "Lost, But Not Forgotten", listen to snippets of the album below at iTunes.


Holland Funk Band Tracin' Tracy Presents "Tracin' Tracy demo 2011" (Free Download)

Tracin' Tracy provide energetic grooves to keep you moving with excellence in 70's Jazz/Funk fusion revival. Their approach is based on creating a musical vibe reminiscent of "a smokey club where people were groovin' and movin' 'till the sun came up", devoid of any programming, strictly live energy and funky instrumentation. Grant Green fans will be happy to hear the band's homage to him on "Green Groove #2", a groovy Hammond/guitar-based tune which flows in the spirit of Richard Groove Holmes, Grant Green and Boogaloo Joe Jones.

released 01 August 2011
Jasper Kuper - guitar, composer
Alexander Hulshof - keys
Sander Koole - bass
Dennis Nederhof - drums
mixed an mastered by Marcel Gerardts (BestTrex Studio)

An Hour & A 1/2 Of Samples & Breaks by The Vinyl Reanimators, WKCR FM

Photography of WKCR 89.9 FM by cratesofjr

This was a memorable night of the Stretch & Bobbito show, I've never heard Stretch sound so tired and aggravated, lol. During the tail end of this episode the next radio show host was very late to the station so Stretch ended up letting a tape of a sample mix play to compensate for the extra air time. This tape turned out to be a stellar sample mix by none other than the Vinyl Reanimators DJ/production crew which consists of Sean C.,Joe Mansfield and DJ Shame. I'm pretty sure this mix came out back when VR was one a roll in the mid-90's releasing remix projects independently on vinyl.

Turn this one on and let it play, the lovely sounds of Funk, Soul and Jazz played throughout are not only ear-opening if you're a Hip Hop head, but great to zone out and relax to on a lazy day.

Video: Nice & Smooth - '93 Interview For "Jewel Of The Nile" on Yo! MTV Raps

Greg Nice & Smooth B join Fab 5 Freddy in 1993 for a casual chat about Hip Hop, life and their 3rd studio album "Jewel of The Nile". One strong memory that stands out to me about this period was when I happened to catch the filming of the video for "Old To The New" while driving in a car with my family one night underneath the bridge at 125th St. and Riverside Drive here in Harlem NY. If you remember "Old To The New" was their lead single from "Jewel Of The Nile" and arguably one of the best songs on the album. That night they were filming the outdoor shots of them accompanied by a large group of people. On this episode of Yo! MTV Raps, Greg and Smooth keep the interview lively as they exchange memories with Fab 5, who shares a common outlook on New York City and the history of Hip Hop.

Funky DL Dedicates One To His Father on "Son Of A Brown Bomber"

By JR on 11:48 AM

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Funky DL's dedication to his father on "Son of A Brown Bomber" is packed with powerful and inspirational thoughts. He is one of the fortunate to have a dedicated father throughout his upbringing and it shows in his confident ways and actions as an MC. "Son of A Brown Bomber" is off of DL's project "Black Current Jazz 2" now available for streaming at bandcamp:

The Roots - "No Alibi" (Demo Version) + "undun" Artwork & Tracklist


 Here's a treat from The Roots' "Illadelph Halflife" sessions, courtesy of YouTube user anatomyspills. This is an alternate version of "No Alibi" which has a little more "live", spontaneous feel than the album version as if they were just recording the song as a demo to be further refined into song form later. This brings back great memories of my personal favorite Roots album, something about those songs capture a nostalgia and moments of life like none other in my opinion, especially Thought's visual lyrics on "No Alibi".

 In moving forward to 2011, The Roots album entitled "undun" marks their first ever conceptual music project as a re-telling of Redford Stephens which illustrates "the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out 'on the corner.

 "At this point in our career we'd like for our work to have a unifying theme, and an experiential quality,î says "?uestlove". ìWe've been intentionally making our albums shorter in length so that they can be experienced as a continuous work. The music is band-oriented with an eye on the moody cinematic. As a DJ, I am the King of playlists, but I don't want our albums to feel like a playlist or a mixtape for that matter. We want to tell stories that work within the album format and we want the stories to be nuanced and useful to people. undun is the story of this kid who becomes criminal, but he wasn't born criminal. He's not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner like Tupac ís character Bishop in Juice.. he's actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment... At the end of the day... isn't that what we all do?"

"undun" is set for release on December 6th. Check out the tracklist for "undun" below:

 1. Sleep
 2. Make My
 3. One Time
 4. Kool On
 5. The Jump
 6. Stomp
 7. Lighthouse
 8. I Remember
 9. Tip The Scale
 10. Redford

Law - "Abiding Citizen" ft Joell Ortiz & Pooh (prod. by S1)

By JR on 10:17 AM

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Straight-up aggressive beats and rhymes for a posse cut which is brief but powerful on "Abiding Citizen" by Law ft Joell Ortiz & Rapper Big Pooh. This song has the type of energy and showmanship that will most likely yield a lot of rotation on the underground airwaves. 

This is the debut single from Law's LP "The Outbreak" which features an impressive guest lineup including Sean Price, Crooked I, Prince Po, Akil (Jurassic 5), Guilty Simpson, Frank Nitt, Killer Ben, Prince Po and Rockness from Heltah Skeltah. As if that wasn't enough, the beats on his album will be coming from DJ Khalil, S-1 and 9th Wonder.

Spoken Thought - "The Formula" (Official Video)

Spoken Thought bring a traditional and honest approach to beats, and rhymes in 2011 on "The Formula". These skilled and witty MCs disregard current trends and instead pay homage to the 90's sensibility of Hip Hop for a sound which feels free and is entertaining. Hailing from Miami FL, Spoken Thought consists of Joe Turman and Real Cypha on the mic with the sounds of multi-platinum producer, Tony Galvin. 

Their debut single, “The Formula”, serves as the precursor to their upcoming album "And So It Begins", to be released in the Winter of 2012. Enjoy this dope display of beats and rhymes above, but due to graphic violence watch their very impressive full length video here at your own risk.

Tickets: Black Star To Perform Their Debut LP at Best Buy Theatre NYC, 12/3/11

By JR on 1:01 PM

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Click here for tickets on sale, directions and more information. Mos Def and Talib Kweli reunite as the duo Blackstar for a 2 show performance, Saturday December 03, 2011 8:00 PM at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square, New York, NY. This is a classic Rawkus album you don't want to miss performed by two of the best to emerge within the New York independent  Hip Hop world!