Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's snack time bitches...

EMS Productions own rapper/producer Kore dropped his first solo mixtape "Snack Time" yesterday. The mixtape includes features from fellow EMS crew members M-Dot, Revalation, Mayhem, Strick 9 and more. If I know anything, these dudes are gonna bring it every time.



Ellementt - The Beautiful Struggle video

The homie Ellementt shot through his new video for The Beautiful Struggle off his debut album "Verbal Graffiti...Check it out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If the Crown Fits…

“Articulate. Outspoken. Father. Husband. Emcee. Meet John Crown.”
before_I_wake_you_up_front
Ever since I ran across this little ditty over at the good Deacon’s pulpit, I’ve been dying to “Meet John Crown.” Maybe it’s the Tacoma ties…maybe it’s the pure ease of his delivery…or, maybe it’s just lines like this: “They go to the lab, smoke some weed and write a hook/but I got more to say than them, I need to write a book.” Whatever it is, one listen to this viral snippet, and I was sure I wanted to hear more.
Lucky for me – and for you – “more” just became available today. John Crown’s Before I Wake You Up is a six-song EP serving as a proper introduction to this emcee from the 253. Over a year in the making, with a break from the game in between, this offering is a glass of cold water to the face of those that keep hitting “snooze.” Of course, Crown accepts there will always be Rip Van Winkles - “Used to the sleepers/so now I ignore them snoring,” - but it won’t be from lack of effort on his part.
Every single track is filled with “rewinders,” (but don’t stop and go back in the middle of a cut, just put it on repeat and you’ll be able to hear what you missed as you find yourself listening over and over again).  With throwback storytelling skills, verbal dexterity, plus an unbridled – and apparently re-energized (see: “The Love”) – passion for the art, this “King of the Common Man” lyrically beats you into submission across a slew of big beats.
Local South-Sounders DJ Semaj, Enstrumental, TrussOne and Xplicit provide the soundtrack to this journey, and they do it very well. Here’s the thing about that: if I didn’t tell you these guys were local, you’d never know…or, maybe you would – after all, the Northwest is a veritable producer hotbed!! Plenty of brass, bass, strings and samples prove the perfect backdrop for Crown’s debut effort.
On the real, Before I Wake You Up is more than a T-Town gem – this EP should be welcomed everywhere. Everywhere they work hard (“How you ‘posed to dream when you can’t even sleep? / Wake up, wake up / Now it’s time to go to work / and you find it difficult ‘cause they don’t pay you what you worth”); everywhere they value honest, well-told life-stories; shit, everywhere they listen to music, Crown should be a topic of discussion after this one.
So go ‘head then: stop hittin’ “snooze” and meet John Crown…you’ll be glad you did. Besides, you don’t want to be the cat who’s still sleepin’ in early 2011, sayin’ “Who’s John Crown?” when Coffee and Beats hits – do you?!?  It’s rhetorical, dick.
Empty40
P.S. – Follow him on twitter. Fucking Comical. What you got against Ochocinco, John?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Love Football…

Seriously, it’s what makes the fall/winter bearable.  So many sounds from football would be great samples for a hip-hop beat – and many have tried to make it happen.  Some more successful than others, but dare I say none as filthy as this one…this right here is straight HEAT!  I mean, there aren’t many songs in sports that are as iconic as the Monday Night Football open: DUN-dun-dun-daaaaaaa!  I hear that shit and I come runnin’ like a fat kid to the dinner table.  But give it to me in a dope-ass hip-hop beat, and man…that’s having your cake and eating it too.  Listen:

See what I’m sayin’??  Someone needs to lace that beat with some lyrics to match that ridiculous beat; someone needs to hit that shit!! 

What’s that?  Oh…the girl?  Oh, sorry, didn’t notice her.  Yeah, she’s alright…but that beat!  Wooooooo!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saying Goodbye...

I wouldn't typically post someone else's work in its entirety, but I think this is certainly a special circumstance...and the content definitely deserves to be shared. 

The original article was posted here: http://www.examiner.com/hip-hop-music-in-minneapolis/the-passing-of-our-dear-friend-eyedea
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The passing of our dear friend Eyedea
October 17th, 2010 11:28 pm CT.
Micheal Larsen

Photo: Rodney Urbanski
I was standing on the second floor balcony of a friends house early this morning when I got a phone call from my brother. He told my that Mike was dead. He was crying. I was shocked. I'm still working to even comprehend that this could have happened. I can't believe that our friend is dead.

Mike was wonderful human being who made deeply beautiful music. His impact on the world continues to widen its gyre, especially at this time when so many friends and fans replay his songs in an accidentally concerted tribute to his life.

Most people knew Micheal as Eyedea. That's the stage name he'd been using since he was a teenager, a time when Micheal gained recognition for his excellence in hip-hop music and proved himself as one of the most talented, and youngest improvisational rappers in the world. Eyedea grew into a Renaissance man, performing lead vocals in a rock group, publishing his own poetry books co-written by his grandmother and playing shows as a member of various hip-hop, improvisational and acoustic bands formed in the Twin Cities. Eyedea sometimes used the moniker Oliver Hart. His mom called him Mikey. He made a lot of good music.

Micheal believed in the power of empathy and felt a deeply visceral sense of duty to contemplate the meaning of humanity, both in its suffering and in its capacity to love. He thought about the truth in awareness and wrote songs that made us aware. He applied mythology to the mystery of existence and talked about science with a spiritual tone. Mike was thoughtful, tough and innovative. He embraced uncertainty and broke the boundaries in every genre. He shattered every label. His music was smart, witty, provocative and sad. His music was beautiful. It was almost always eye opening and rarely was it anything but deep. Mike could make you think, cry, smile and laugh, and he always made you feel.

Mike's heart was big and his mind was complex. He never settled in a comfort of complacence and never abandoned a moral obligation to ponder what life was all about. Mike was dedicated friend, family member and student of the world. He told the world his personal trials, and vulnerabilities, and offered us hope in understanding our own stories as well. Mike told us a lot of jokes when we were down and lent an ear when we needed counsel.

I remember Mike showing up at my wedding, a big smile from ear to ear, wearing a shirt that said "Band T-shirt" written in permanent marker. He gave me and Alissa a warm hug and apologized for having to leave so early. He was in between shows that night. I was happy to see him and his mom, Kathy at the wedding. They were always a joy to interact with, it was never a boring conversation.

Micheal Larsen will be missed by many, many people and our sorrows will pave a difficult path. But, fortunately we have his life to celebrate. We have his stories to cherish and his music to inspire us. Micheal's music, in any form, was so immensely authentic that he left within it, an imprint of his soul. He continues to live as long as we continue to appreciate his work.


Kathy, Mike's mother, posted the following message on his Facebook page (please take a look):

"It is with great pain and sadness that I tell you my son Mikey (Eyedea) has passed away.
At this time we kindly request your respect and our privacy as we process this devastating loss.
We do, however, welcome your kind words, memories, and positive thoughts. We have created a Paypal account and are accepting donations towards the cost of his services. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by accessing this link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_sxclick&hosted_button_id=DZ3EEMCVL6BG4

On behalf of Mikey's family, close friends and fans. Thank you.

-Kathy Averill"

Mike, thank you for all of the stories, songs and poems.

We love you,
Kyle Keller
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Please do click the link above and help out with whatever you can.  One.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What can the “Brown” beat do for you?

Man…leave it to Bambu to have me feeling indignant AND hungry in one fell swoop.  Filthy, peep:

If you haven’t seen the original Das Racist video, it’s a must view.  Plus, this Sabzi beat is so nice, I have no problem postin’ it twice:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What up..what up?

Well fuck, after a miserable weekend at the Blackjack tables in sunny Las Vegas I'm back to this shit hole...well not necessarily THIS one but you get the picture. Shit, at least I'm not this guy...she's hot though I don't blame him. I want to send her pictures of my.... Anyway back to the items at hand, I got a few things I want to get out of the inbox. YAY, free gifts, next thing you know I'll be bustin open the fire hydrant so we can all play in the street!!


First up is a track from Hi Life Soundsystem that the Members Only crew sent through, Death Of The Party ...(damn, AKA BrainSlice).  Hi Life Soundsystem features Khingz (of Abyssinian Creole) and B Flat (of Godspeed). This track is dope...I told them that it reminds me of why I liked that N*E*R*D song. Check it out and...wait for it...prepare yourselves for the album to drop before the end of the year as a FREE digital release. 


Speaking of party, the dudes from MO know how to party too...check out their website for all they got goin on. Check out the flyer below:

If you don't know Grieves...

time to get hip. Dude is wicked talented. He and Budo are both dope and now backed by Rhymesayers...that is just retarded. If you don't know, do yourself a favor and go here and pick up the discography. "Irreversible" just might change your life, and "Capitol Hill Girls" will change the way you look at people!! Check out the discription below then check out the video.

"Shadow of a Giant" is a short film by Clement & Co. featuring Grieves, an artist recently signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment. Filmed entirely during the Las Vegas stop in his recent tour with Atmosphere, "Shadow of a Giant" documents Grieves as he comments on the tour, how his signing with Rhymesayers has affected him and his expectations for his future releases. This four-minute film encapsulates the artist as he comes to grips with the shift from being a respected tour musician with a cult following to a representative of what URB Magazine calls the "best label of the decade". Produced by Clement & Co. (http://www.clementco.com/) and directed by John Bollozos.


Grieves: Shadow of a Giant from Clement & Co. on Vimeo.

It's just me and...Mrs. Joooones.

Well, not really, but y'all get the picture. Damn...! Lyric Jones was featured on this joint "Be Easy" with M-Dot & Jean Maron, Chino XL, BAM, and Torae. She was the one on the hook and last verse. Now Mrs. Jones has sent through another couple tracks for us to enjoy. Peep...




M-Dot - Run For Cover Ft. Tek (of Smiff-N-Wessun), Billy Danze (of M.O.P), & Grand Agent

My dude Rev sent through the third single from the M-Dot and Jean Maron collab. This time featuring Tek, Billy Danze, and Grand Agent. Whoooooo....*Ric Flair voice*. Go cop RUN MPC on iTunes.



Oooo baby I'm a rockstar...

Damn, everybody wanna be rawkstars these days...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Decade of DECADEnse.

No. We are not talking about Motley Crue. Please take your mullet elsewhere sir.
As you probably know, we like to do things a lil’ different ‘round here (just ask our friendly neighborhood c-box cluckers!) So, when the man, the myth, the K-Murdah gave us a sneak preview of his “new” effort, we knew we had to come correct. I mean, you can’t just take something so long in the making, and give it the standard “this song is good, I like the beat” review…naw, we had to do something to reflect the creativity of DECADEnse.
In case you didn’t know, K-Murdock decided to drop one cut he’s produced from each of the last ten years, beginning in 2000. And in case you didn’t realize, that’s ten tracks, from the last ten orbits around the sun, being released on the tenth day of the tenth month of the year of our Lord 20… yep, 10. Apparently, Mr. Murdock has an obsession with the number following nine, but preceding 11. (Got a dimebag homie? I got five on it!)
So, in the spirit of the title, we decided to appreciate this compilation of K-Murdock’s art in our own way. After all, K isn’t the only one who’s had a crazy last ten years. His may have been just a little more successful, but that’s neither here nor there…no need to be a dick about it (Insert your preferred LOL, LMFAO, ROFL, etc. here). Anyway, let us reflect on the general goings-on of the last decade, while we indulge in a little DECADEnse.

1 - Zap Mama (2000)
Catch: Like Elian Gonzalez, Kyle Murdock and Panacea came out of the closet burst onto the scene at the turn of the century, but it wasn’t the Raw Poetic/K-Murdock Panacea you’re accustomed to. Seeing that the ORIGINAL Panacea (comprised of Dialekt, The Gray Kid, Deus, DJ Marshall Law and K) was responsible for “Zap Mama” had me nervous of what to expect…kinda like old people and Y2K (believe me, they were scared as fuck – I worked at a bank back then…/shudders). But, I shoulda known better, kind of like Eldrick (who just so happened to win 3 straight Majors that year…stay away from stripper pussy Teegray). K murdered this beat. Simple, sample-driven with the Zapp and Roger talk-box sound…bottom-line: ill. Love the feel of the three different MCs too; they all have a unique delivery, and punchlines for days – plus, K put ‘em on the track with RZA-like precision. Gray Kid may have tried too hard to fit his lyrics to the beat, instead of vice-versa, but it’s hard to argue with lines like: “I will end your career / like a coke habit did Dexter Manley’s / Make you less desirable than you already were / like UPN did Brandy.” And then there’s Deus: he said….wait, did he say “with lethal blows like AIDS chicks”? Rewind. Play. Listen. Yep, he said it. Wow! Is there a re-union joint in our future Mr. Murdock??
(RIP Big Pun)
2- Lingo (2001)
Benny: Ahh, 2001, what an up and down year. I graduated from college and moved to Seattle in 2001. Feelin’ almost as funky as the beat on this track, I was set to take on the world. When that first day of orientation came around, I was ready. Wouldn't you know, my first day...FIRST FUCKING DAY...September 11, 2001. You know how people talk about days they will never forget (JFK assassination, landing on the moon, etc.)? Well this would be that day for my generation. But I digress...this soulful track, featuring Wes Felton and "Radio" Raheem DeVaughn (before he added the "Radio"), sounds like something from Brown Sugar...ahh but before it's time, as Brown Sugar hadn't been released yet. Anyway, it’s smooth like Thomas Edward "Tom" Brady Jr.'s Super Bowl MVP performance. If only the lovely Aaliyah wouldn't have taken that trip to the Bahamas, maybe she could have lent her voice to this track!
3 – Love With U (2002)
BrainSlice: AIDS chicks, AIDS chicks. Hahaha…oh shit, it’s my turn. Hmmmm….OK. I guess this makes sense. Here Benny and Catch are, having a nice lil’ back-and-forth, and I come along and make everything…awkward. You know why I’m THAT asshole? The Winter Olympics came to Utah, and I didn’t give a flying f*ck. Also, Whoopi Goldberg hosted the Academy Awards, and I once again did not give a flying f*ck. While I can appreciate K-Murdock’s skills putting this track together, I just have to say this is not my thing. To illustrate this, I present a hypothetical scenario: Ready for some action, I light the candles and put on this track. In walks the wife, looking fine as hell in her lingerie. She then hears this song playing and explodes in hysterical laughter, thinking I must be joking. She knows me that well. That said, I’m sure somebody out there is getting their f*ck on to this, right now. Hopefully it’s not Ted Danson and Whoopi. Sorry fellas, I guess I’m still upset over the loss of a true legend that year. R.I.P. Jam Master Jay.
4 - Makin' Me (2003)
Catch: And the lovin’ feelin’ continues with this one. Despite the start (and “end”) of the Iraqi war (x3), the beginning of the already way-too-long political career of the Governator, and the death of Mr. Rogers, K was still letting the affection flow through the neighborhood. Sick like SARS, this beat feels much more like the K-Murdock of today: melding different strings into one free-flowing, harmonious head-nodder. Once again, Wes Felton lends his considerable talents to this track, with a laidback ode to his potential first, last and everything (RIP Barry White). For 3:42, your floating along, enjoying the perfect mix of beats and lyrics, and then BAM…it’s over - sort of like Laurence Fishburne’s big-screen career after the rest of the Matrix trilogy dropped, (way before Montana would drop…her drawers, for the entire world to see)…seriously, did anyone even watch Biker Boyz?
5 - Campaign '04 (2004)
Benny: I dig that at times this beat sounds like a superhero theme song that probably would have made Christopher Reeves fly again. If it’s lyricism you want, lyricism you will get: I couldn't tell which one's which or who's who but these dudes from the illpoets.com crew got it on lock. These dudes spit stupid steroid flows that are crazy as Ron Artest when he ran into the crowd and socked that guy. Peep:
- “Rappers is full of shit like a large intestine.”
- “Cats couldn't move weight if you was Fat Joe running track.”
- “Rain brown like a stain on a pair of white thongs.”
I mean these dudes got more punch(line)s than Jeremy Sivits.
6 – Between The Lines (2005)
BrainSlice: What happened in ‘05? This. I’m feelin’ this one right out the gate, but who the fuck is “Mista Maliq”? I ain’t no private detective, so I just called K-Murdock and asked. Turns out homeboy is from Capetown, South Africa. Listen close and you’ll hear rhymes about real shit Maliq has seen around him every day (“I sip the blood of my brothers with every Coke can”). I’m willing to bet that “real shit” in South Africa is a little more “real” than whatever your ass is dealing with in the suburbs (yes, I’m talking to you, the one with the tight pants and white-rimmed sunglasses...hang your head in shame). Maliq laid these verses down (in one take) for K-Murdock while they were both attending the much sought-after Red Bull Music Academy (which happened to be in our very own 206 that year). This was a dark time in the life of K-Murdahbeats. He developed a serious Taurine addiction while kickin’ it with the likes of Vitamin D and Jake One, and hiding from the pasty-white people of Seattle – who he must’ve thought were zombies. They were just hippies K, it’s an easy mistake…after all, patchouli does smell a lot like rotting flesh.
7 - Starlite Neosonic Remix (2006)
Catch: Some things just shouldn’t be revisited – I’m lookin’ at you Rocky Balboa – but on rare occasions, an original can even be improved. Now, that’s not the case with Big Momma’s House 2 (who knew they even made that shit!), but definitely the case with this song. I should tell you: I really liked the original “Starlite.” A lot. It was perfect for an ADD muhfucka like me: fast beat, fast rap… and just like that, I’m out. But the remix really changed the whole feel – not just the speed – and made it seem like something completely different…and I like it. K-Murdock and Raw Poetic just go together so well; I know it’s obvious (like saying Dilla (RIP) was a dope producer), but sometimes you still feel the need to say it. So I did.
8- Playing My Role (2007)
Benny: I gotta say Doc knows how to pick collabs. Northwest wordsmith Braille delivers consciousness and family rap like he was Marion Jones giving back her medals. Sounds like he's a better father and husband than Chris Benoit anyway...then again who isn't (ed’s note: or wasn’t, as the case may be). Braille feels his way up, over, and around this K-Murdock beat as if he had a white cane.
9 – The Beatdown (2008)
BrainSlice: “What we have here, is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach”. Paul Newman aka Cool Hand Luke died. That should mean something to you. Act like you know. Also, the name Random aka MegaRan should mean something to you. Act like you know. Both artists were a fan of the other before the some supreme cosmic force brought K-Murdock and Ran together. These dudes are much bigger than any one sub-genre *cough* nerd-core *cough* that would like to claim them. “The Beatdown” is a perfect blend of K’s flowing, ethereal production, and Random’s heartfelt, slice-of-life lyrics. I’m looking forward to hearing more projects from this Dynamic Duo. Oh, and by the way, this dude named Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the U.S. I think. Just listen to the track please. We can talk about health care and the onset of National Socialism later. (ed's note: stop it.)
10 – As The Wheel Turns: Remix (2009)
BrainSlice: Last year everyone was living in fear of pigs (where’s Ice-T when you need him? Oh, that’s right, he’s playing a cop on TV). ‘09 was a rough year for me personally, but this song makes it all fade away. Possibly my favorite track off DECADEnse. Do you feel that? It’s K-Murdock methodically melding the talents of Raw Poetic, Nicolay, Kay, and … wow … the amazing voice of Emilie Bogrand (who I am now in love with) into an instant classic. Just go to BANDCAMP and preview it. Then put your damn money on the table and buy the album. Click HERE.
K-Murdock, bitches
deca4web

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jeff Spec - Sneakerboxxx

Any dude that can rap about sneakers like Jeff Spec does on the track On My Feet is all right by me. Spec is a MC/producer from Vancouver, BC, Canada (eh?) and recently release his album "Speakerboxxx" and I gotta say I'm kinda diggin it. Check out the video below and hit itunes or his bandcamp to preview and purchase.



I forgot that he sent through another video for My Story also from "Sneakerboxxx". This video was shot "in a one-afternoon guerilla-style shoot" by Jenkin Au of justalilhype. Check it out as well.

Luck-One - True Theory Outtakes EP

Portland wordsmith Luck-One dropped his "True Theory Outtakes EP" a couple days ago as a prelude to his upcoming "True Theory" LP. Dude has an interesting story and a good sound. Check out his website to learn more about him and download the FreeEP below.