Archive for November, 2006

Kankick – Serious Business This


Kankick

Blood In I Eye Download
Yes, yes Suite 3 Download
Break of Dawn Download
from Serious Business This! (2006, Ramp Recordings)
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Kankick has been chopping drums with fellow Oxnard legend Madlib since Junior High, and was an original member of the Lootpack. Raised by a single mother, Kankick immersed himself in music from childhood. Pillaging his Mom’s records he developed his ear, with music ranging from Bruce Springsteen to RUN DMC. Fiercely independent, Kankick broke off from the Lootpack to form his own ‘Funk Farm’ crew, whose members included DJ Babu and God’s Gift. Honing his own unique sound over the years, Kankick’s production is still light years ahead of today’s contrived and static Hip Hop scene. With his craftsmanship still being underestimated by US record labels, this time around Kankick hooked up with UK’s Ramp Recordings to release ‘Serious Business This’, featuring contributions by Miki Valle, Blame One and Mysterious Babies.

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El-P – Everything Must Go


El-P

Everything Must Go Download
from Everything Must Go 12″ (2006, Definitive Jux)

Producer, MC, label founder, A&R maverick and underground icon, NYC-native El-P has been a major force in independent music for more than a decade. Setting off his career at age 17 with the release of the first ever Company Flow 12-inch “Juvenile Techniques”, he’s been blazing trails ever since, introducing some of the most cutting-edge and important hip-hop music of this era. As founder, producer and main MC of indie heros Company Flow, El-P quickly made a name for himself with fearlessly visionary production, profound lyricism and an uncompromising ethic. The group’s seminal 1997 debut album Funcrusher Plus, was an underground smash (100,000+ units sold), celebrated by fans and journalists worldwide, earning the “classic” status now widely accorded it, and a major factor in the rise of indie hip-hop. In the process, it put the now legendary Rawkus Records on the music map, a label El-P would soon choose to depart from, shocking nearly everyone around him. But the man had a plan…

Launching Definitive Jux in 2000, El-P finally had the vehicle to carry his vision forward. He’s spent the past 5 years building what is now the pre-eminent indie hip hop label in the business, having given rise to some of genre’s brightest lights, including Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Rjd2 and Cannibal Ox. His own debut album, the tour de force Fantastic Damage, was released in 2002 to a maelstrom of worldwide critical-acclaim, going on to become one of the year’s best-selling indie hip hop albums. Since then, El Producto has had his hands full, producing, co-producing, executive producing and A&R’ing several projects including the Def Jux debut of underground hero Cage, Mr. Lif, Murs, C-Rayz Walz, and The Perceptionists. Recently he’s remixed tracks for Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta, Charlie Parker, Blackalicious, Hot Hot Heat and Beans, traded verses with Ghostface Killah on his own soon-to-be classic remix of Prefuse 73’s “Hideyaface.” He also appeared on Handsome Boy Modeling School’s White People album, alongside Chino of the Deftones and is currently working on a remix for The Doors. The list of musicians who count themselves as El-P fans is not a short one and includes the likes of RZA, Trent Reznor, Radiohead, Gangstarr, The Beastie Boys, Elvis Costello, Chuck D., Roni Size, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Autechre, DJ Shadow, Alec Empire, Primal Scream and Cornershop. In 2004, El-P produced the lauded alt-jazz album High Water (Thirsty Ear) with free jazz lions Matthew Shipp, William Parker and Daniel Carter; scored the acclaimed feature film Bomb the System (Palm Pictures) and compiled assorted remixes, b-sides and special tracks for his own Collecting the Kid full length, giving the world a sneak peek at his much anticipated side-project, Central Services. El-P’s music regularly licensed for feature films, video games and television. He will be touring the world next year in support of his new album, due in Spring 2006.

Molemen – Killing Fields


Molemen

Life Sentence (feat. Brother Ali) Download
2 Hour Banger (feat. Saigon) Download
Redemption (feat. Mika 9) Download
from Killing Fields (2006, Molemen Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Chicago’s production triumvirate, the Molemen, return with “Killing Fields”, their follow-up to their fan favorite “Ritual of…” album. Once, again producers Panik, Memo & PNS enlist the best of the best MCs in their respective circles. Queensbridge finest Kool G Rap, Cormega Littles & Hostyle share equal time alongside fellow New Yorkers Saigon (Atlantic/HBO’s Entourage) and Grafh (Black Hand Entertainment). Del & Casual (Hieroglyphics), Murs (Living Legends) and Myka 9 (Project Blowed, Haiku De’Tat) represent for California and their legendary crews. The Midwest is held down by JUICE, Rhymefest, Brother Ali (Rhymesayers), and Vakill, adding to the varied styles represented in this Hip Hop album. The Molemen invite you to ride with them and find meaning to the album’s concept, “In the killing fields is where you die.”

Psalm One


Psalm One

Beat The Drum Download
Word To The Flies Download
from The Death of Frequent Flyer (2006, Rhymesayers)
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Psalm One never likes to sit in one place for too long. It makes her knees hurt, and beyond the physical discomfort it stifles her. Her music mirrors these sentiments, keeping her raps as ever-changing as the scenery. A Southside Chicago native, this rookie Rhymesayer has been raising eyebrows since 2002, with her self-released debut LP Bio:Chemistry. Released while Psalm was studying Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Bio:Chemistry was well received and served as a resume of sorts after graduating and returning home to Chicago later that year. After a powerful performance on the 2003 Nacrobats release Always (Birthwrite), Psalm went back to the lab with Chicago producer Overflo.

In 2004, bridging the gap between her previous work and her forthcoming album, she released Bio:Chemistry II: Esters and Essays (Birthwrite). It was a re-release of her 2002 debut, plus 5 unreleased tracks, repackaged and remastered. While staying diligent in the studio, her tour schedule began to become equally as busy performing on Warped Tour Code of the Cutz stage, the annual Scribble Jam Festival and B-Girl Be Summit in Minneapolis, as well as, sharing the stage with: 50 Cent, Slick Rick, Atmosphere, MF Doom, De La Soul, Camp Lo, Murs, Jean Grae, Royce tha 5’9, Diverse, Blueprint, Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Prince Paul, Casual of Heiroglyphics and many more. In 2005 she was named as one of URB’s Next 100 and featured “as next to blow up” in such publications as: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and The Onion which only added fuel to her ever-glowing fire.

The Death of Frequent Flyer, out this summer on Rhymesayers Entertainment, shows her talent and versatility. It’s a collection of songs, travels, and late nights, inspired by the sounds of the city from someone who has heard its voice. She successfully boasts of Chicago roots in blues and never lacks the soul of a hip hop treasure. Vocally she is skilled and smooth, yet doesn’t indulge in over used rhymes or patterns. The album features production from: Ant of Atmosphere, Overflo, Maker, Thaione Davis, Confucious, Madd Crates and features Brother Ali, Thaione Davis, Ang13, vocalist KaDi and DJ DQ(Glue). Psalm One is a true fan of music, exceptional lyricist, quirky b-girl and former saxophonist. A cross between Lauryn Hill and Devin The Dude, Psalm One is influenced by everything she encounters, this new kid on the block emits the vibes of an old pro. If you like your mom, you’ll like Psalm One.

De La Soul – Mission Impossible


De La Soul

You Got It (feat. Butta Verses) Download
The Corner Download
Freedom Train Download
from Mission Impossible (2006, Red Lion / Traffic)

De La Soul returns with 20 brand new tracks on “Impossible Mission”. Narrated by De La themselves, Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Maseo explain what “Buhloone Mindstate” they were in when they recorded each track.

De La Soul’s debut album, “3 Feet High and Rising” (1989), was an instant smash that saw the group labeled as “hippies” due to the message of peace and love. They quickly became prominent members of the Zulu Nation, along with A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, The Jungle Brothers and others. They were also members of the famed Native Tongues Posse and mentioned the group often in their music. “Me, Myself and I” became a huge hit, further cementing the group’s popularity. De La’s follow-up albums, “De La Soul Is Dead” (1991), “Buhloone Mindstate” (1993), “Stakes Is High” (1996), “AOI: Mosaic Thump” (2000), “AOI: Bionix” (2001), and “The Grind Date” (2004) were all critically-acclaimed releases.

In 2006 we get yet another installment of the De La genius with their new release, “Impossible Mission”. Standout cuts on “Impossible Mission” include “Live @ The Dugout ’87,” “Voodoo Circus,” “Friends,” and the ultra funky “You Got It.” A bonus treat includes a live performance in Tokyo, Japan. Ever since their last album, “The Grind Date”, was released, fans have been waiting for more from the trio from Amityville, Long Island. With production from the likes of Oh No (Murs, LMNO), Geology (Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Bahamadia), Supa Dave West (Phife Dawg, Reflection Eternal, Me’Shell NdegéOcello), and De La Soul themselves, this album should definitely wet their appetites.

New Book: WHERE’D YOU GET THOSE?


“An anthropological trove, blending autobiography, oral history….
and loving description of individual sneakers.” —The New Yorker

TESTIFY BOOKS is proud to announce the long-awaited paperback publication of Bobbito Garcia’s magnum sneaker opus, Where’d You Get Those? New York City’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987. Hailed as an instant classic upon its 2003 hardcover release, and selling out its 13,000 copy first printing in less than eight weeks, Vogue called WYGT? “a welcome addition to New York cultural history,” while The Post raved: “This is sneaker anthropology; you could teach a college course using it as a textbook.”

While chronicling the rise of sneakers through the lean years of the 1960s, the bulk of WYGT? examines sneakers released between the golden years of 1970-1987. Information-packed entries for each model include all of the color combinations available, nicknames for particular models, any relevant athlete endorsement, and (hilarious) running commentary from a rogue’s gallery of fanatics who weigh in on the pros and cons of each sneaker. Ancillary chapters cover all of the other angles, from stealing kicks, to customizing them, to lacing them, to accessorizing them….It’s all here. Everything you ever wanted to know about the production, distribution, and comsumption of sneakers during the seminal years of sneaker culture in New York—the city that set the stage for the worldwide dominance of today’s sneaker industry.

Interviewees in WYGT? include but are not limited to: Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland, Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond, Joe Skie, Lincoln Parker, Ray Garcia, Theodore Lake, John Merz, Mark Pearson, Jazzy Art aka SET 3, Turk Gumusdere, Ahmad Hooper, Prime Minister Pete Nice, Blake Lethem aka SCOTCH, MC Serch, Mike Drake, Jorge “Fabel” Pabon, Jorge “Kurious” Alvarez, Schott Lee Jacobs, Michael Greene aka EMZ, Steve Brock, Prof. Will Strickland, COCO 144, Fab 5 Freddy, KRS-ONE, Crazy Legs, Frosty Freeze, DOZE Green, Rakim, Seth Rosenfeld, Udi Avshalomov and so many more!

“The perfect primer….A much-needed compendium.” — Vanity Fair

“Lovingly explores the roots of retro sneakers.” — The New York Times

“The bible of sneakers.” — Complex

“Definitive.” — Slam

Bobbito Garcia is the host of ESPN 2’s popular sneaker series, “It’s the Shoes.” An accomplished DJ, he was the co-host of the beloved “Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito” radio show on New York’s WKCR, where he broke acts like Jay-Z, Big Pun, the Wu-Tang clan, and Nas, among others. He lives in Harlem, USA.

PURCHASE Where’d You Get Those? online at http://www.artbook.com

The Concious Daughters – Ear To The Street


The Concious Daughters

Shitty Situation Download
We Roll Deep Download
Somethin’ To Ride To (Fonky Expedition) Download
from Ear To The Street (1993, Guerilla Funk / Priority)
Buy at iTunes Music Store

Ear To The Street’s first single and video release, “Fonky Expedition” officially put TCD on the map, and went on to sell over 300,000 copies, yielding a cross-country tour. With three singles and three videos from that project, The Conscious Daughters had finally gained national recognition. And like Paris, the Conscious Daughters’ mentor and producer, they have a lot on their minds.

The album’s most memorable songs are also its most socio-political. “Shitty Situation” angrily describes the plight of a young single mother who gets no support from the baby’s father, while “Wife of a Gangster” paints a sobering picture of the violent world that a criminal’s wife faces on a daily basis. “We Roll Deep,” however, is most memorable of all because of its effective sampling of a Lonnie Liston Smith jazz-pop instrumental from the early 1980s. The Smith sample brings a taste of acid jazz to the CD, but make no mistake: Ear to the Street is a hardcore rap album first and foremost.