All posts by Karl Smith

Founder of The Hip Hop Foundation and long time disciple of the true school of hip hop.

BLAKFACE – “Humble Pie PT. 1”

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Sincere & Logik are duo Blakface, presenting the music video for “Humble Pie, Pt. 1”, a single from Bamboozled, their new album featuring Planet Asia, Illa J, Poetik Force & Oh. Directed by the Bishop and produced by $in, “Humble Pie, Pt. 1” is part of a two-part series. Sincere representing South Bend, Indiana and Logik hailing from West Covina, California, the duo are cousins, and each are emcees and producers in their own right. Blakface has collaborated with Planet Asia (stream “Less Talking”), Illa J (stream “Slow Down”), Guilty Simpson (stream “On The Edge”). “The meaning of Humble Pie is basically to just humble yourself,” $in says about the song. “Sometimes people forget to appreciate the little around them. Everybody needs a slice of humble pie, it’s like food for thought, something fulfilling to the soul. The inspiration was more so on Logik’s end. I created the beat and Logik made the hook. I named the beat ‘Humble Pie’ and Logik just went off of that. We just have a chemistry where he can put in words what I felt in the beat.” Bamboozled is out now on iTunes and Spotify.

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Prince Ak – Clarity

Brick City’s Prince Ak is back with a track that perfectly balances the old school elements with contemporary flavour.

If there was any justice in the world this would be a couple of million views deep by now. At least the real heads will get their moment of “clarity”.

K.GAINES – OPULENCE

Brooklyn emcee K.Gaines presents “Opulence”, the first single from Ticket To Elsewhere, his forthcoming collaboration EP with Los Angeles-based producer Maxwell Benson dropping December on Priority/Capitol Records. Ras Kass, Lyric Jones, Phaze4K, Leo Coltrane and Sebastian Marciano are set to appear on Ticket To Elsewhere, the first of five EPs K.Gaines plans to drop in 2018, each of which will be a collaboration with a producer from a different region of the US. Maxwell Benson has worked with Too Short (stream “19,999”), Rapper Big Pooh and Sadat X (stream “Sadat X Is Back”), and gives Ticket To Elsewhere its West Coast focus. Gaines’ last album was Rumspringa: The Wildman Chronicles (Spotify) and starred in the short film Kung Fu Bum (Youtube) which was showcased at several film festivals. Los Angeles visual artist Reef Kills provided Ticket To Elsewhere‘s cover art. The artwork for each EP in the series, once juxtaposed with each other, will form a more intricate visual piece with all the purpose and intention of a map which can lead you to hidden prizes around the country. “I was listening to a lot of Tribe Called Quest when I made this track,” Benson says about the new single. “I was really geeking out over their use of basslines and wanted to make my own version of that. Getting in the studio with Gaines is always an exciting venture. He has a secret method and ritual that has to happen before he lays all his vocals that only those that work with him know about.” Regarding “Opulence” Gaines says simply,”Either you are with it or not. If you don’t get it then it wasn’t meant for you. If you get it …welcome to Ticket To Elsewhere.”

‘American Gangster’ Series Prequel In Development

A prequel series to Ridley Scott’s 2007 ‘American Gangster” is currently in development stages according to Chris Brancato, the co-creator of the Netflix hit, Narco’s.

“It’s Harlem, the 1960s, a gangster named Bumpy Johnson was very close friends with Malcom X, so the show is about the collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement. It’s an opportunity to examine some of the things that are going on racially right now, but through the prism of the past.”

The series is set five years before the events of the Ridley Scott film starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Source: ‘Screen Daily

5 Rappers Who Got Better With Age

Age is just a social construct for these Hip Hop legends. – Here are 5 emcees whose lyrical skills have aged like fine wine.

ag rapper ditc

AG

Andre the Giant aka AG has been dropping jewels since the early 90s and just like the rest of the people on this list, the standard hasn’t dipped since day one. I’ve watched over time how Andre has evolved to an almost effortless style of rhyming. He possesses the kind of confident flow that can only be developed over many years of honing his craft. In addition to his solo projects, Andre has also featured on countless guest spots were the “South Bronx Animal” routinely outshines other artists on the track.  A few highlights for me from recent years are, “All Real“, “South Bronx” and “These Rappers Under The Hex”. I’ve also got to mention “Walk With Me“. That track is absolutely sublime! No question, AG is your favourite-rappers- favourite.

“You not on my level, no matter how many times I tell you – (you not)
I Never get old – (I’m hot).
I never get cold , this the story that never been told – so lucky me.
I’m the prototype, they study me.”

AG
young-masta-ace

MASTA ACE

What can we say about Ace? When it comes to rap longevity, Ace is the Masta, (pun intended). With a solid career spanning 3 decades and counting, Ace isn’t showing any negative signs of high mileage. Just compare some of his early work like “Slaughterhouse” and “Master Ace Incorporated” to later material like “Disposable Arts, A&Es and you can clearly hear the progression in lyrical mastery. Ace may have just recently reached the half century milestone, but his skills are sharper than ever. Often named as the man who birthed Eminem‘s flow, Masta Ace is a very dangerous emcee. Rappers who bring him in for guest features are almost guaranteed to be out-shined.

“Y’all dudes are similar to cinema
Trained actors like Brad and Jennifer
But yo I got a flow like Angelina
And I’m a king like Billie Jean, promoter Don and Regina
We’ve been doin this as long as y’all been alive
So little boys keep your mouth shut when the men arrive”

Masta Ace

MF DOOM

I had to add Daniel Dumile aka MF DOOM to this list for the simple fact that there probably isn’t another rapper in history whose popularity has increased year after year for the past 20 years. DOOM started out in the late 80s as Zev Love X in the group KMD, a 3 man outfit which he founded with his younger brother DJ Subroc and MC Rodan, who was later replaced by Onyx the Birthstone Kid. The group had some moderate success but disbanded soon after the death of Subroc in 1993. Zev Love X took a 4 year hiatus before re-emerging in 1997 under his new title MF DOOM (all caps). It was from that moment, when DOOM donned the iron mask that his artistic creativity skyrocketed. The rhymes he spits are just bananas (in a good way) and completely immersive to the point that you just want to keep digging out more. Doom also comes with a plethora of alter egos, Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, Metal Fingers. Then there’s the collaborative projects that merge the Doom persona with the stage names of other hip hop veterans, Madvillain, Danger Doom, MF Grimm, JJ Doom, NehruvianDoom, MA Doom, to name a few. This never ending conveyor belt of limitless reincarnations was a genius move from old metal face. I can’t see his brand wavering any time soon. Just remember to use “all caps” when you spell the mans name.

“His own way was strange but it matters not
Tuned into a frequency tone that shattered rock
Hold it down like Shatner do Spock
Rapper jocks need to put a sock their chatterbox
The block got light of IOC stock
Folks gather round, it’s no joke like “Knock, knock”

MF DDOM

SCARFACE

I’ve been a die hard Geto Boys fan since 88 when Face was still transitioning from DJ Akshun to his Scarface persona. One thing is for sure, he immediately stood out as the raw talent of the crew. Willie D brought the laugh out loud humour, Bushwick brought the horror-core element, but Face painted vivid street level stories like no other. He was the glue that brought it all together. Since then Face has forged a hip hop legacy that is unsurpassed. When kids name drop rappers like T.I. as the king of the south – or anyone else for that matter – I have to chuckle. Face is cut from the same cloth as Tupac, deep masterful storytelling that pierces your soul. I didn’t think it was possible for him to recapture the same emotionally charged lyricism shown in tracks like “I Seen a Man Die” and “Now I Feel Ya”  but his astounding appearance on the DJ Khaled project with Nas has to be heard to be believed. You will quite literally shiver and the chills will stay with you…..Trust me. His catalogue speaks for itself. As far as I am concerned Brad Jordan is the G.O.A.T. Nothing more to be said.

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“And if I cry two tears for her
That will be the most that I would give to her
She left me stranded in my nightmares
Taking pictures of my memories she right there
Twisting on the blade in my heart, deep
Always on my mind so I can’t sleep
She used to tell me she was all mine
Now the only way I see the broad is online”

Scarface

EDO G

Edo G is a rap veteran whose carrier underwent an extraordinary transformation. Starting out in the late 80s with crews like F.T.I. and Da Bulldog’s, Edo forged a lane for himself early on in the game. I first caught wind of Ed in 1993. His Roxbury 02119 album was like the soundtrack to my youth. As memorable as Edo’s early work was, I would be lying if I said it was anything extraordinary among his golden era piers. Some golden moments but nothing that would compel fans to edit their top 5 emcees lists. However, fast forward a couple of decades and it’s as if  Edo morphed in to a completely different animal. His lyrical content became more punchy and witty, and his overall rhyme style more technically interwoven and polished. The 2009 collaborative album with Masta Ace was a bar raiser and the same standard Edo displayed on that project is showing no signs of diminishing any time soon. His more recent album material is testament of that. Salute.

“Yo, honesty astonish or admonish me
Ma modesty is a prophecy on odyssey
You wanna be swear like you solemnly
My mob will cause havoc like prodigy”

Edo G

Can You Name Any More? Leave A Comment Below ⇓

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J Dilla video footage reveals Nas was to assist on Biggie’s savage 2Pac diss record

In a 2008 interview with XXL’s now defunct sister magazine, King, Nas reveals that Biggie approached him to team up on 2Pac.

“Yeah, he called me. He said, “Let’s get together”. He said that everyone was a little nervous about it, but he was calling me about getting busy.”

When pressed further about why the collaboration didn’t materialise, Nas put it down to hectic work schedule.

Getting me and Big in the same room wasn’t easy. I had just dropped my record, and my schedule was crazy. Biggie was in Miami recording Life After Death. It was just timing. We were supposed to get together and talk more, so who knows what would have happened.

Pac may be gone and Biggie is no longer around to confirm Nas’s claim but it seems the story holds some weight. It all comes down to a beat that Busta Rhymes purchased from J Dilla. The beat in question was the infamous, “The Ugliest” featuring The Notorious B.I.G, who laid down a savage verse dissing Tupac.

 

Some interesting amateur J Dilla video footage surfaced recently in which Dilla claims that Biggie wasn’t the only rapper scheduled to appear on the track. According to Dilla, Nas was also lined up to drop a verse but it never materialised.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZbIb93Hjys

 

The infamous track was supposed to be on Busta’s 1996 debut album “The Coming”, but due to Biggie’s shots at Pac, Busta removed it to avoid beef with Pac. Puffy tried to buy the beat from Busta but he didn’t want to sell it.  The track initially turned up as an unofficial leak on various mix tapes before the days of video streaming but now we have youtube.

Sources: Nas Interview / King Magazine 

 

Beneficence Reveals Heavyweight Line-up For His Seventh Album

It was back in May when Beneficence took to Instagram to announce he was working on a new project which will be entirely produced by Confidence, the Boston beatsmith who has a solid history of churning out bangers for the Ill Adrenaline label.

Beneficence recently put out an update and from the sound of it, things seem to be progressing very nicely indeed. Already 80 percent through the recording of what will be his seventh album, it looks like we are on for a late January 2018 release, but there’s still a possibility that Christmas might come early for the fans.

Confirmed guest spots so far include, Keith Murray, Masta Ace, EL Da Sensei & DJ Kaos, Ras Kass, Phantasm (of The Dwellas), Melinda Camille, Lord Tariq, Wordsworth and Truth Enola….Stay tuned.

Rage Is Back And She’s Colder Than Ever!!!

Compton vet Mc Eiht dropped his thirteenth studio album back in June. Which Way Iz West is a part collaborative album with long time Gang Starr super producer DJ Premier. The album features guest appearances from WC, B-Real, Bumpy Knuckles, Kurupt, Xzibit, Outlawz and Compton’s Most Wanted members. The WC feature was the first to get the video treatment upon release but now we have arguably the best guest spot performance so far from non other than the original Death Row N’Mate herself, The Lady Of Rage.

The lyrical murderer has never sounded so good over this Brenk Sinatra beat that’s cut up to perfection by Preemo. “Heart Cold” is a very fitting title because Rage is cold as fuck with the word flows!

AWKWORD – Heather Heyer (Fuck Trump) Feat. DJ Wayne Ski

“New York emcee AWKWORD has decided to return to the fold after 9 months with a powerful new song titled “Heather Heyer (F*** Trump),” named after the 32-year-old woman who was tragically killed while protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. It’s clear that he’s just as sharp as ever lyrically, holding no cut cards in regards to his feelings on the matter (and the powers that be, period)” – RESPECT Mag

I don’t fully subscribe to the whole anti-Trump narrative, but if bashing the Trumpster is your thing you will love this, as Awkword does it mercilessly.

Loose Logic – No Shame

Southern California emcee Loose Logic presents the music video for “No Shame”, the new single from Reflections, his forthcoming album featuring JL of B.Hood. Loose is recipient of the All Access Magazine Music Award “Best Hip-Hop Artist of The Year”, the O.C. Music Awards’ “Best Urban Artist of the Year”, and was also named a “Top 100 Unsigned Artist” by Music Connection Magazine. “No Shame” was produced by Soleternity, the beatsmith behind singles with Snoop Dogg and Tech N9ne. Loose has several full-length releases under his belt, and has collaborated with Jadakiss (“Dumb It Down”), RBX (“Turn To Dust”) and Jay Rock (“Never Sleep”). Loose has opened for and performed with Mos Def, Too Short, DMX, Pitbull, KRS-1, DJ Quik, Ying-Yang Twins, Strong Arm Steady and Evidence. He is also a founding member of rap group The Fraternity. “‘No Shame’ is about trying to find meaning in existence and a reason to not give up in different aspects of life; that meaning comes in many forms,” Loose says about his new single. Reflections drops October 6 on Passion Play Productions.