who says nyc hip hop is dead…?

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It’s the return…of one of New York’s finest. It’s been a long time. A really long time since we last heard from Anti-Pop Consortium, the seminal art-rap trio long considered one of our fair city’s underground treasures since their formation in 1997. A slew of singles and four full-length records, most notably 2000’s Tragic Epilogue & 2002’s underground classic Arrythmia, found their way into the consciousness of discerning hip-hop and indie fans. They would find themselves being admired by the likes of Radiohead which resulted in APC being tabbed to open for them during the European leg of the Amnesiac tour in 2001. Unfortunately as the group were in their ascendancy, personal differences tore at the brittle fibers of the music and the band broke up in 2003 as their final record, the collaboration with Matthew Shipp was released. Many, including yours truly, were heart-broken as it seemed just when we had a band to help guide us through the morass that had been the current state of hip-hop in those days, they fell victim to their own inability to work through internal issues.

Welp…fast forward to 2009. Scroll back up and check out the pics. That was APC last night at their record release party for the new record Fluorescent Black released Tuesday via Big Dada. Yup. It’s true. M. Sayyid, Earl Blaize, Beans and High Priest together on stage again wowing the capacity crowd at Santo’s Party House with their blend of mind-bending beats, staccato raps and peerless interplay made mince-meat of everyone in attendance. The group was clearly revelling in their element and looked like they clearly did not want to get off the stage when their set was over.  It’s great to have them back and hip-hop is the better for it.

We need to kill the soap scum!

Anti-Pop Consortium on MySpace
Anti-Pop Consortium on Twitter

“Volcano” by Anti-Pop Consortium taken from the Big Dada release, “Fluorescent Black”

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oh my god…

The record that most hip-hop fans…make that all hip-hop fans never believed would see the light of day along with Dr. Dre’s alleged Detox may finally see the light of day. The almighty G.O.A.T, Rakim is back. The album eight years in the making The Seventh Seal is supposed to hite stores the 15th of September via his own Ra imprint. Let’s be honest here, the man needs no introduction. Originally one half of one of the most influential acts in rap history, Eric B & Rakim, the former William Griffin is the original and still undisputed microphone fiend. His stern delivery and nimble wordplay allowed him to set the bar that very few rappers could even imagine ever nearing.

The first single taken from the record will be the Kid Capri (there’s a name from way back) produced Holy Are You.  It must be said that if anyone was havng doubts and hoping that Ra was going to bring the goods after news of the comeback became official, thos fears are immediately laid to eternal rest with the first BOOM. The production is slick and immediately lets the listener know ths isn’t some grade-school Soldier Boy track, this is New York hip-hop. There’s even scractches on the track! Scratches! When was the last time you heard scratching on a rap track? Suffice it to say that I’m convinced and I’m sure you will be too. All hail Rakim.

“Holy Are You”, taken from the forthcoming Ra release, “The Seventh Seal”


kanye! the clipse! it’s kinda like a big deal!

It’s always a good day when you find out one of your favourite hip hop groups have come out of the woodwork to grace us with something new. In this case, It’s Virginia’s Clipse and their brand new single featuring the one and only Kanye West called Kinda Like A Big Deal. I must say that I’m digging it right out of the box. What becomes noticeable right away is that the production does not sounds anything resembling that would come off the mixing board of the Neptunes. This track was produced by DJ Khalil and word is that the new record entitled Till The Casket Drops has very little input from the Neptunes at all which at this point can only be a good thing. 

KLABD right off the bat has a bit more grit to it than what you would hear from previous Clipse singles. Lyrically it’s more of the same from Malice & Pusha T. You’ve got your boasts about lyrical skill, money, etc… Kanye gets a verse and adds a bit of his off kilter wordplay which is always endearing if not a bit uneventful on this track. 

Needless to say that I am pretty stoked for this record to make its appearance as the Clipse has always been of those groups that at least attempt to go against the grain in the morass that is mainstream hip-hop these days.

“Kinda Like A Big Deal”, taken from the forthcoming Columbia release, “Till The Casket Drops”

identity theft?

 

“That party last night was awfully crazy I wish we taped it

I danced my ass off and had this one girl completely naked
Drink my beer and smoke my weed but my good friends is all I need
Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat then do it again
Man, I love college”

 

So…when Eminem woke up one fine morning and turns on the tube, I wonder what his reaction was when he saw Asher Roth completely aping his rhyme style and The Slim Shady LP-era irreverence. Did he give himself a facepalm? Did he place a call to Jimmy Iovine or Dr. Dre firing off a slew of expletives with the words “copyright infringement” buried somewhere in the maelstrom of frustration? It’s these things that make you go….hmmm. What sucks for Em is pretty funny for the rest of us. I really tried to resist featuring  Asher as I figured everyone else would so what would be the point but it must be said that the song is pretty hilarious and for those of us who went away to school, you can chuckle to yourself as you think back to some fond or maybe not so fond memories of dorm life. 

I mean, you have to give a guy credit who’s able to namedrop Allen Iverson and Hakeem Olajuwon while boasting about his beer-pong proficiency.  His debut record Asleep In The Bread Aisle is out now and I’m sure it will sell among the multitudes of mallrats, thug-lites, and Eminem wannabes who finally realised they’re just not hard enough and will settle for the next best thing but right now I admit it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure. So enjoy this temporary lapse in judgment while it lasts, kids.

By the way, how funny is it that Amazon has Asher Roth and Eminem together as a bundle option? These things make me chuckle.

that’s hot…

I’m noticing a trend. Two straight Philly artists… There must be something wrong here being that I am a proud New York sports fan, it’s pretty much not allowed that I acknowledge anything out of the Illadelph. I guess today’s a good day for rule-breaking especially since thanks to the fine people at Urb, word comes that finally the first fruits of Lady Guttermouth herself, Amanda Blank, is finally upon us. If you haven’t gotten of her collabs with Spank Rock and Pase Rock then get ready. The first single Might Like You Better is making the rounds and I must say it’s pretty fun. Produced by XXXchange and chock full of sexual innuendos to make Jenna Jameson blush, this one should be a big hit to keep you all hot and bothered until the debut record I Love You finally hits 19 July via Downtown. So what do we think, heads? Kiss it or diss it? Check it out below…

 

“Might Like You Better”, taken from the forthcoming Downtown release, “I Love You”

apparently he’s a rock star…

 

Okay well a couple of months ago I introduced you to a new song by the one and only Eminem called Crack A Bottle. Thank goodness it’s not the single and was only a leak. My hope is that it gets left on the editing task never to see the light of day especially if the god-awful 50 Cent has anything to do with it. Instead we have the unveiling of the real leadoff single taken from the forthcoming Relapse record called We Made You. It seems that good ol’ Slim Shady doesn’t stray from his shtick when it comes to the first singles from his records. Just like My Name Is, The Real Slim Shady, Without Me and Just Lose It, We Made You finds Em at his most juvenile and purely brilliant poking fun at the current flavours of the week. In this case, Marshall takes potshots at Kim Kardashian, Sarah Palin, Jessica Simpson, Tony Romo, Star Trek, John Mayer, Amy Winehouse and Jennifer Aniston. The song itself isn’t bad and pretty standard at this point for Mr. Mathers but as always the video will help drive the point home in order to tide us over for the record’s release. What do we think, Suede-heads?

funkman…presented by red bull…?!

As you may or may not have figured out by now, I have a love/hate relationship with the rap realm.  There’s very little worth talking about since Outkast abdicated their throne and we’re now left with fakes, charlatans, bling merchants, LL Cool J’s desperation for continued relevance and as the Wu-Tang Clan once said, “suit and tie rap that’s cleaner than a bar of soap”. It’s a sad and sorry state of affairs right now but at least we can take solace in the knowledge that the underground rap scene has a host of amazing and vital talent bursting at the seams. If you’ve had a pulse the last few years, you know some of the names: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Immortal Technique, MF Doom, Atmosphere, Sage Francis, J-Dilla, Murs, 9th Wonder, Little Brother, EL-P and everyone at Definitive Jux…I could go on and on on. 

Another artist who deserves to be in this category is one Del Tha Funky Homosapien. If the name sounds familiar (and it should!), that would be because Del has been around since the early 90s at first writing songs for his cousin, Ice Cube’s group, Da Lench Mob to his cult classic debut record I Wish My Brother George Was Here to his breakthrough moment supplying his crafty rhymes to Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz which brings us to the here and now. On 7 April, Del is about to drop his new bomb on us, Funkman. A 13 track shot that will hopefully be heard ’round the world, Del goes on the attack to reclaim the true spirit of hip-hop…and it’s free! That’s right. The new record will be available for free at his site

Here’s a brand new track to check out in order to whet your appetite called  Get It Right Now which is exactly I hope you will do when April 7th rolls around!

“Get It Right Now!”, taken from the forthcoming release, “Funkman”

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