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.”
“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.
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.
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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!
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Remember the “3 Femcees that male rappers should be afraid of” post we did a while back? Well here are 6 more and they’re all just as deadly on the mic too.
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 ⇓
DJ EFN has been leaking tracks in succession every week leading up to the release of his upcoming album Another Time and to celebrate the project’s release date today, EFN releases the album’s title track featuring INS Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P. and Bernz (of ¡MAYDAY!).
DJ EFN’s Another Time also features INS Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P., Cormega, Bun B, Jarren Benton, Black Milk, David Banner, Jon Connor, N.O.R.E., Fashawn, Troy Ave, Scarface, Stalley, Juvenile, Talib Kweli, Redman, Sean Price, Trick Daddy, Denzel Curry, Joell Ortiz, Gunplay, Royce Da 5’9” & Your Old Droog (among others) & production from DJ Premier & Buckwild.
DJ EFN f/ INS Deck, Guilty Simpson, M.O.P. & Bernz (of ¡MAYDAY!):
The new collaboration, “Bonez Bent,” from Treach of the legendary Naughty By Nature and fast-rising upstart Hus Kingpin will be featured on the upcoming debut album (2015) from Croatian producer RawLand.
Blasphemy, the collaborative album from Detroit producer Apollo Brown and West Coast legend Ras Kass, is a thought-provoking and highly personal treatise on the unspoken. No “ism” is out of bounds, no topic too untoward. Whatever you hold sacred isn’t above aggressive inquiry.
Above all, this album displays Apollo Brown & Ras Kass’ undeniable synergy. Their sacred writ is the same, their blasphemy for those who want to think as they nod to the rhythm. When Ras Kass crucifies supposed facts over Apollo’s beats, it’s clear he is the West Coast’s preeminent philosopher. When Apollo’s blaring suites soothe your soul and his sonic scripture takes you to church, it’s an ontological fact that he ranks among the best producers in the game. With Blasphemy, the duo has delivered the truth.
Today, Apollo and Ras Kass release a free download of a non-album bonus track, “Impossible Dream,” f/ Sean Price & Bleu Davinci
Rising duo Nefew (Polemikk & PA-Double) will release their sophomore album “Rise Of The Antihero” on 11-28-14. With a few projects already behind them, the group is looking forward to their biggest release to date.
The album’s main theme is conquering fear, doubt and the limitations put on us by others, a musical crusade against society’s affection with normality and obedience. It breaches sonic boundaries and crosses safety lines, leaving the comfort zone behind while embarking on a journey to an uncertain future; with the typical full-bodied Nefew sound and storytelling lyrics.
“Rise Of The Antihero“ includes guest appearances from BJ The Chicago Kid, Jared Evan, STS Gold, Jason Caesar, John Turrell and many more. Nefew handled all of the production on the project, making it a cehesive concept album with a musical golden thread. Roc Nation’s Lenny Santiago has declared, “Nefew is a breath of fresh air for modern day Hip-Hop. Songs with substance, instrumentation, great production and clever lyrics.”
Today, Nefew releases a track, “Fresh,” f/ STS Gold from “Rise Of The Antihero”.
Pre-order Rise Of The Antihero now at iTunes
Following the critically acclaimed Pillars EP with MindsOne, Kev Brown teams up again with Ill Adrenaline Records, this time collaborating with fellow Low Budget Crew member Hassaan Mackey to bless listeners with That Grit.
Both the Landover, MD based producer-on-the-mic and the Rochester, NY emcee are longtime members of the prolific artist collective and have previously worked together various times, but this mini-album marks the first time the two embark on a full project.
Most boom-bap enthusiasts should already be well acquainted with both Kev Brown and Hassaan Mackey: double threat Kev Brown already showcased his skills on microphones as well as production boards on countless releases and has been dubbed “king of basslines” by fans worldwide. In addition to his solo recordings Kev’s credits include beats for heavyweights like Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Jazzy Jeff, and Marley Marl just to name a few, as well as handling entire album production for LMNO, Kaimbr, and Raw Poetic. Hassaan Mackey released a string of albums, including a full-length LP with Apollo Brown, and appearances on releases by Oddissee, Kaimbr, The Left and L’Orange.
Recorded during a series of impromptu bus and train trips Hassaan took from Rochester to visit Kev in Washington, That Grit was created with a spontaneous approach, reflecting both Mackey’s freestyle background and Brown’s proven “random joints” formula. Entirely produced by Kev Brown and featuring his signature bassline-driven and raw but soulful sound, That Grit consists of an intro, eight full-length tracks and six instrumentals. Hassaan and Kev share mic duties on most of the songs, inviting close friends/frequent collaborators Kaimbr, Toine, yU, Kenn Starr, Eye-Q, Asheru (of Unspoken Heard) as well as the Younger Soul Brother Grap Luva along as feature guests, turning the record into a true family affair.
That Grit is now available for purchase (CD/LP/cassette/digital) via Ill Adrenaline/Low Budget Records and to celebrate, we get a ‘Low Budget’ posse cut, “Git Em,” by underground icons Kev Brown & Hassaan Mackey featuring yU (of Diamond District), Toine (of DTMD), Kaimbr and Eye-Q.
Link to Kev Brown & Hassan Mackey f/ yU, Toine, Kaimbr & Eye-Q “Git Em”: