Atlanta emcee Dillon Maurer has teamed up with producer Diamond D for Black Tie Affair. A collaboration EP out now featuring Dillon on rhymes and cuts and Diamond on beats. The EP features Dillon’s longtime collaborator Paten Locke (who also works frequently with Edan) plus support from Boog Brown, Alexa Lima on piano, Terminus Horns, Ben Hameen on guitar & DJ Harrison on Rhodes.
Residing in Atlanta, Dillon recently released the Food Chain full-length with Locke, which featured Dres of Black Sheep, Homeboy Sandman, Count Bass-D, J-Live and Supa Dave West. A bona fide Hiphop legend and Grammy-Winner, Diamond D is a member of the Diggin In The Crates crew which also includes Lord Finesse, O.C., Fat Joe, Buckwild, Showbiz and A.G. and the late Big L, and has produced tracks for The Fugees, Big L, Pharoahe Monch, Busta Rhymes and Mos Def. Dillon’s solo releases include Studies In Hunger, Dillon Ain’t Playin’, and Cupid’s Revenge (Bandcamp). Diamond most recently produced Sadat X’s new album The Sum of a Man. The instrumentals are included on the limited-edition vinyl, which you can order at Bandcamp or Fat Beats.
Ice T reconnects with the UK branch of his Rhyme Syndicate posse, lending a fresh verse to DJ Supreme’s “Arctic”.
Arctic II is a heavy guitar laden remix track that also features fellow UK rhyme veteran Icepick. The video is top notch too, as Ice gets in to full Hollywood character mode.
I would love to see an Arctic part III featuring Curoc, ‘Son Of Noise’ and perhaps a verse from Narrator RBX who would add a real sinister vocal element. I think that would work really well with Supreme’s hard and frantic production style.
MarzRomain is a female rapper from Harrisburg PA. Drawing inspiration from wordsmiths such as Antonio Hardy, Kris Parker, Shawn Carter, Rakim, and Nasir Jones, Marz received the necessary tutelage from some of the best emcees to ever hold a microphone.
“As a small child I was inspired by classics like ‘Going Back To Cali’ and Ain’t No Half Steppin, which was the music my older siblings and parents listened to….’grown up music’,”
This deeper understanding and appreciation of the craft since childhood is evident throughout her music. Marz has developed a mature and unique flow that delivers. Something which is (for the most part) inherently missing from today’s hip hop!
The rapper Prodigy, who made up one half of the group Mobb Deep, has died aged 42. The hip hop star, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was on tour in Las Vegas performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.
It’s been long known that P had been suffering from life threatening sickle cell anaemia, but news like this still rocks you to your core. Another hip hop icon taken from us far too young. Rest easy Prod.
Big Boi’s latest video “Kill Jill” featuring fellow Atlanta MCs, Killer Mike and Jeezy, is an ode to Tarantino’s contemporary Samurai slasher, Kill Bill.
This is a very catchy track and even though the overall flows sound typical of what gets churned out these days, it still goes to show that even the old school vets can do “dumbed-down” shit! better than the youngsters do it.
North West London native, Lamarrie Essquire aka Da Fly Hooligan, has just dropped a blazing new track titled; P.R.E.A.M. (Pounds Rule Everything Around Me), an ode to Wu Tang’s classic C.R.E.A.M anthem, but with a Britcore twist. The production from Ecam Entertainment on this joint is tighter than a drum. It’s refreshing to know there’s still some real heads reppin the culture on the UK hip hop scene, not just the grimers. Definitely one to keep an eye on. Salute
Funkmaster Flex came under a recent shit storm for his comments regarding 2Pac and the circumstances surrounding the robbery that took place at a New York recording studio back in 1995. One of the first to publicly chastise Flex, for what many view as over opinionated and unnecessary meddling, was T.I., albeit in a calm and collected manner. However, the same couldn’t be said for Naughty by Nature’s Treach, who unleashed a strong verbal assault across (as is the case nowadays in the modern world) social media. The Flex video has gone viral so pretty much the entire world and his dog has chimed in, but for those who somehow did miss it, here it is again, complete with extensive annotations and footnotes so you can get a full overview of what went down.
07:36 Flex talks about 2Pac’s Harlem roots, probably to control the narrative and prevent the topic from potentially escalating in to an east coast west coast thing.
09:20 Gives a brief history about his early career as a radio DJ who helped put out music from groups like Digital Underground. In what could be interpreted as an attempt to show listeners his support for artists closely affiliated with 2Pac, He brings out a platinum plaque of Digital Undergrounds 1990 album Sex Packets and holds it up to the camera.
10:06 Ed Lover sends message via IG and it reads. “My boy Stretch (Live Squad) was with Pac in the studio that night. He shot himself trying to pull out his gun”. Flex responds to Ed’s comment with an emphatic smile and tells him “he’s keeping it too raw too quick”.
10:43 Proceeds to illustrate his status and long career in hip hop by proclaiming he was one of the few dj’s playing Digital Underground tracks in 1990. This statement leads him to address T.I’s criticism, basically dismissing T.I. on the grounds that he was only 10 years old at the time and so his opinion is void.
13:07 This is where Flex starts to address his original 2Pac comments that put him in all the hot water. He starts by explaining that he agrees with the age old saying that one should never speak ill on the dead or those who are no longer here to defend themselves. This was a direct response to T.I’s G-Code statement and how he felt Flex was in direct violation of it. Flex’s defence is that there is no violation because the rules don’t apply in this particular instance. He then goes on to give some rambled reasoning, proclaiming that Notorious B.I.G was also a victim.
13:37 Backtracks a little, talking about 2Pac’s contribution to hip hop and how he loved him before he joined Death Row. He makes a further reference to Pac’s New York heritage, recalling 2Pac’s 1995 track “Old School” which pays homage to all the East Coast hip hop legends.
15:00 Flex starts to explain his one major issue with 2Pac, which he describes as his “pet peeve”. He then categorically proclaims that Biggie did not set 2Pac up the day he was shot in the elevator at Quad Studios.
17:10 Flex tries to address 2Pac’s claim that Biggie was implicit in the shooting. The account Flex gives was that 2Pac had full knowledge of his attackers and the reasons behind the ambush as they were associates of his. This was also the reason why Pac was carrying a piece because he was expecting something could go down.
“Somewhere in there, after the robbery, the claim is, that the Notorious B.I.G set him up. When you say that the Notorious B.I.G set you up and you’re now an artist that now lives on the West coast…..there was a whole team of people now who was against Biggie”
18:53 He then goes on to address T.I.’s G-Code comments for the second time, say that it was in fact 2Pac who was violating the G-Code because Pac was screaming Biggie’s name from the hospital, something that in his opinion Pac shouldn’t have done, regardless of whether it’s true or not.
“Cause you a G T.I., and you know we ain’t supposed to call false names and anything that happens to us in the street…..we ain’t supposed to call no names, number one, and then you supposed to take up your issues with the people that you have an issue with…..that’s it….that’s it….you don’t scream a name. He was screaming Biggies name, 2Pac lied bro”
19:46 Flex expresses his issue with 2Pac allegedly knowing his assailants but allowing the world to believe that it was Biggie who set him up.
20:00 Flex asks for a response from Ed Lover about what went down in the studio the night 2Pac got shot. Ed would respond later in the video.
20:40 Flex addresses the criticism of waiting 20 years to speak on the situation. He kinda deflects the question by giving an account of the type of person the Notorious B.I.G was, whom he also claims in the same sentence to not know all that well.
“Let me tell you about the 20 years later….[pauses]…I’ma tell you about Big and I ain’t even know Big that well. But I’ma tell you why I’m on it 20 years later….Let me tell ya about the kind of guy Notorious B.I.G was. He would never, ever, take part in that fuckin’ buffoonery… [Flex’s tone changes and face contorts]…of someone calling the wrong names on a robbery, because he’s not going to make himself look all nuts….Notorious B.I.G was a G. He would just eat it and keep it moving”
22:25 Flex responds to someone asking him why he wasn’t vocal about the situation on the radio at the time it happened.
23:47 Flex talks about how people worship and fixate on the gangster persona side of 2Pac which he describes as very small part of who Pac actually was.
24:49 Ed Lover responds to Flex’s earlier question on what actually went down at the time of the 2Pac robbery.
“Ed Lover said without any names, dudes came to see Pac because of some other street beef he had with (we know who). Stretch who was about 6.5 was never touched, Biggie didn’t know about it at all….Pac was my friend.”
26.20 Flex starts to talk about 2Pac’s contribution to the music industry but then diverts mid sentence and asks Ed Lover another question about whether it was true that 2Pac actually shot himself during the robbery. Ed responds almost immediately.
“Reaching for his gun he accidentally shot himself, yes”
27:50 Flex then gives a long commentary about similar street robbery confrontations and how Pac reaching for his gun could have been a factor in him being shot, inferring that Pac may never have got shot at all had he not reacted.
31:30 This is the part were Flex becomes highly emotional, revealing his true feelings towards 2Pac and the tragic outcome of the legendary beef.
“People always wanna ask me why I said it 20 years later….I said when the fuckin shit was going on….and Biggie wouldn’t have fucking died if that n###a hadn’t lied. He lied, and ya’ll n###a’s worship him!!”
32:44 Flex continues his emotional tirade, re addressing T.I. and proclaiming that nobody want’s to tell the truth. His focus becomes Biggie and the insinuation that 2Pac’s status as a hip hop God gives him immunity from any criticism or analysis of the truth.
34:55 Flex regains his composure before addressing Suge Knights son, who was also very vocal in his criticism of Funkmaster. Flex initially takes a calm and non hostile approach, appreciating that Suge’s son is just looking out for his dad. He also talks about his admiration for Suge Knight and his legacy in making the west coast hip hop scene the power house it became, particularly in regard to shaping Dr. Dre’s career. But those positive words of respect and admiration are short lived, as Flex goes on to mock Suge, explaining how nobody in New York was afraid of him the way the world thinks they was.
“And I wanna say this with a straight face so there’s no fucking confusion today. I do respect your dad and what he laid down in the music business, but I wanna be so fucking clear right now. When he used to come to New York, nobody gave a fuck!”
Flex wraps up by back tracking over statements he made throughout the video, how much he loves Pac and how much he respects Suge and he’s not slandering him.
What’s your take on all this shit? Leave a comment below
From the perspective of a blogger and music lover, social media can be both a blessing and a curse. Filtering through endless noise to find the quality cuts is a bothersome task at times, but eventually the gems do reveal themselves. My recent find on Instagram was one such occasion, when I stumbled upon an interesting preview to what appeared to be an all female posse cut. As soon as I pressed play and heard the classic 90s style loop, that was befitting of an early Wu Tang joint, I knew I had to dig deeper and find out a little more about these intriguing femcees, A quick google search led me to Katana Da Don’s website, where I found the full track titled Beat Bitches – Deadly 7.
Beat Bitches; is a collective of 6 emcees, Jamaris, Katana Da Don, CASS, Honey Dinero, Flamez, Reason and one Dj by the name of Honey, The all female super group was the brainchild of Brooklyn rapper Jamaris, who recognised early on that a blending of their individual styles could produce something special.
“Basically, all the ladies in the group were solo emcees who I thought were extremely dope yet all so different, and I asked them to get together to create this all female Hip Hop group. The blending of our individual styles creates something new yet still true to the raw, gritty sounds of original Hip Hop. Part of the vision is that we are represented as these cartoonized Hip Hop characters in our artwork.” –Jamaris
So far, Deadly 7 is the only release from the project, but Jamaris tells me a full mix tape is due to drop later this year. This first release has some fine production. I love how the beat dramatically switches between verses keeping my head nodding from start to finish. The bars are flames too, and as the song is a conceptual piece, each emcee puts it down with purpose.
“The concept of the song was about each of us representing a certain plague. I was Psychotropic plague, Katana Da Don was Malaria, Cass was Pandemic, Honey Dinero was Black Death, Flamez was Spanish Flu, Reason was Pnuemonic, and DJ Honey was the Mad Scientist. Some members are not permanent but will remain in the mixtape. I’m currently looking for more emcees.” -Jamaris
If the production stays tight and the bars razor sharp as demonstrated in this initial offering, then I’m expecting great things for the mix tape release. Drop a comment below ⇓
Seems as if Lil Boat just can’t escape the critical spotlight. This time it’s Joe Budden who gives him a grilling over the creative process behind his very bizarre album cover.
“A noticeably agitated Joe Budden took Lil Yachty to task on Complex’s new talk show, Everyday Struggle, where he sat down with Yachty, DJ Akademiks and Nadeska Alexis to discuss a range of topics, including Yachty’s controversial album cover for Teenage Emotions. On the cover, Lil Boat is photographed at a movie theater with several “outcasts” surrounding him — an overweight girl, a punk rocker, two gay men, an albino, and a woman with vitiligo. When the Atlanta native explains how he can identify with feeling like an outcast, Budden clearly takes issue with it and immediately calls his claim “bullshit.”
As much as I agree with Joe, and I hate the current mumble rap direction hip hop is taking, I can’t help but feel that this kind of public interrogation will only backfire. The kids seem to like this shit and us old school heads are going to have to find another way to pass on our precious hip hop torch.
Highly respected German production outfit, Snowgoons team up with QB Legend Big Twins (Infamous Mobb) and Miami’s Hex One of Epidemic, for this dope split video feature, “It’s A Queens Thing/Tight Team“.
Big Twins features in the first half of the video against the famous QB housing projects back drop, at 42nd Street. Hex One’s performance was out in Berlin/Germany. Check out the cuts from DJ Danetic. Latest Snowgoons album Goon Bap out now.