J-Dilla's Donuts began simply enough, in summer 2005, as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release. We think we can safely say it has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist's life. This box set includes the album on seven 45s and a bonus 45 with "Signs" from the long out-of-print Donuts 'Fan Club 45' b/w DOOM & Ghostface's "Sniper Elite & Murder Goons" - two tracks over Donuts beats which were recorded in late 2005 prior to the original release of the album. These two tracks were released digitally in 2008, but have never before appeared on vinyl. Side D contains the "Donuts Outro/Intro" appearing as an interlude at the beginning of "The Diff'rence" which dates back to the first, original sequence of the album. Completed during a year in which J Dilla spent mostly in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Donuts would gain particular poignancy when, only three days after it's release, February 10, 2006, the artist passed away, losing his battle with a rare blood disease. Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some critics as either a novelty, or a minor break beat album - but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, and part like a hip-hop beat-maker at work, sounding like a producer turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the J Dilla's reputation among his peers and fans as the definitive architect of soulful hip-hop.
Oddisee makes music that rattles in your bone marrow. It’s imbued with love, honesty, and selflessness. It’s virtuosic in its musicality, direct in its language, and infinitely relatable.In a landscape overrun with abstract indulgence and shallow trend-chasers, the Prince George’s County, Maryland artist has created 'The Good Fight', a record that reminds you that it’s music before it’s hip-hop. Released on Mello Music Group, it’s for the fans and for himself. It finds the musical heavyweight balancing between craft, career, and successfully growing into the world around him.For Oddisee, 'The Good Fight' is about living fully as a musician without succumbing to the traps of hedonism, avarice, and materialism. It’s about not selling out and shilling for a paycheck, while still being aware that this is a business requiring compromise and collaboration. It’s music that yields an intangible feeling: the sacral sound of an organ whine, brass horns, or a cymbal crash. It’s not necessarily the syllables, but rather what they evoke. A song like “That’s Love” is more than a declaration; it’s a meditation on our capacity to love and the bonds binding us together. Ambition and greed war with our sense of propriety. “Contradiction’s Maze” offers a list of paradoxes we all face (“I want to tell the truth when it hurts/but when it comes to me, I want the blow softened.”) Oddisee’s production simmers in its own orchestral gumbo. You sense he’s really a jazzman in different form, inhabiting the spirit of Roy Ayers and other past greats. The Fader’s compared him to a musical MC Escher, calling hailing his “grandiose and symphonic sound” and “relevant relatable messages.” Pitchfork praised his “eclectic soulful boom-bap.” 'The Good Fight' acknowledges the stacked odds, but refuses to submit. It’s both universal and personal. The child of a Sudanese immigrant highlights the rigors of his own upbringing: his pregnant mother working the register until she was about to burst, his pops’ shuttered diner that couldn’t survive Reaganomics—the one that Oddisee drives past every time he returns home, just to remind him how quickly the world can turn bad. It’s these minor details that add into something major. It’s testament to the indelible nature of art: when you can turn what you love into something that lasts.
Just a couple weeks back the folks at Ego Trip interviewed Stones Throw's Jeff Jank about the sleeve for Doom & Madlib's Madvillainy, but here's the lesser known brother cover: Madvillainy Instrumentals. “Lesser known” largely due to the fact that we never got around to printing it for the LP sleeve until right now. The first week of 2012 Madvillainy Instrumentals with the picture sleeve makes its debut stores.
Hailed as the world’s best club DJ, J.ROCC continues to capture music enthusiasts around the globe. In 1992, Jason Jackson, internationally known as J.Rocc, launched his vision of forming a DJ crew comprised of talented musicians, by introducing to the world Southern California’s first turntable band - the Beat Junkies. A prized accomplishment enthusiastically received by worldwide audiences, J.Rocc continues to invent musical styles that display his creative expertise. Highly recognized for his funky showcases and original arrangements, J.Rocc has clearly distinguished his place in music history. Funky President Edits, Vol. 1 is the first installment of J Rocc’s 7” edit series featuring “Brothers Party” & “The Technique”, two party sureshots familiar to the discerning listener and edited with precision.
"There are few musicians – let alone beat–makers - in the world whose output in its raw form provides his listener with a full on musical experience before anything is added. Madlib is such a talent. Hip hop is his canvas, but he creates the most wondrous things with it. Before a microphone is switched on, before a rhyme even uttered, a Madlib beat stands alone as a complete thing. Since the issue of the collaborative album with rapper Freddie Gibbs - Piñata, already being hailed as contender for rap album of the year - we’ve been asked countless times to issue the beats Madlib created for the project as instrumentals. And we've conceded. Piñata put Gibbs in the spotlight, one that a growing audience is finally acknowledging that he deserves. On Piñata Beats, though, it’s Madlib, quietly spinning on the center stage. Through seventeen cuts of arcane film snippets, dusted funk and soul, psych and prog rock musical diversions, Madlib proves to live up to what Gibbs once said of him: “Madlib quite simply, is music.”"
Hot of the success of Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, producer extraordinaire Ski was on fire when he flipped Dynasty's "Adventures In The Land of Music" for Camp Lo's breakout 1996 smash single "Luchini aka This Is It". The same year saw Camp Lo opening shows for De La Soul during their Stakes is High tour. Combine that with the fact that Ish aka Butterfly from Digable Planets had cosigned for the group's reputation and would appear on of the tracks (in addition to Trugoy from De La), there became a huge buzz around their debut album Uptown Saturday Night. Fast forward a few months to January 1997 and the heavily anticipated release of Camp Lo's first record, which did not disappoint. It struck the perfect balance between club tracks and underground bangers for the mixtape crowd. Critically acclaimed and fan approved, this late 90s must-have was complimented by the incredible cover art illustrated by legendary NYC graffiti artist Dr. Revolt that paid homage to Marvin Gaye's 1976 classic I Want You. It's hard to believe in the time of Puffy's heyday, Camp Lo had developed and delivered a style of Hip Hop that was not only fresh and creative, but also straight up dope. Flipping intricate rhyme styles over some of Rap's finer beats, the fact that Camp Lo got main stream radio play and love from big time club DJ's is a testament to the essence of what Hip Hop was once about: raw talent and originality! Remastered from the original tapes and pressed on loud double vinyl. Includes 18" X 24" poster illustrated by artist Dr. Revolt.
“Rich Vreeland’s score deserves a mention all by itself – heavily John Carpenter-infuenced, the blaring atonal drones of ascending volume are so omnipresent and willfully overblowsn that it’s where the film’s two-sided ambition is most fully realized.” – THE PLAYLIST The acclaimed score to It Follows by Disasterpeace is receiving the vinyl treatment. This release, limited to 1,000 units, is pressed on colored, 180g vinyl and features original artwork by Midnight Marauder and a digital download card. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It Follows has been a highly praised film on the festival circuit. The horror/thriller tells the story of 19-year old Jay who, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, or something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her teenage friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind. Video game composer, Disasterpeace, composed the synth heavy and pulsating score. The electro, 80’s influenced score is a character itself in the film and has been praised wherever the film has been screening.
Sour Soul is the collaborative album from Toronto jazz/hip-hop band BADBADNOTGOOD and Staten Island rap champ Ghostface Killah. Inspired by 1960s and 70s music - taking inspiration from the recording techniques and production of that era, and eschewing sampling in favour of live instrumentation, BBNG with producer Frank Dukes have created a dramatic, cinematic musical staging for Ghostface's vivid storytelling. Sour Soul also features guest spots from MF DOOM, Elzhi (Slum Village/J Dilla), Danny Brown and prodigal new rapper Tree (Project Mayhem).
Fresh off of the success of 2003's Visions of Gandhi, Jedi Mind Tricks returned to the studio for their anticipated follow-up release, Legacy of Blood. Legacy of Blood features heavyweight guest appearances from GZA/Genius (Wu-Tang Clan), Sean Price, Killah Priest, among others. This album showcases the group's commercially-minded artistic maturation, without foregoing the unbridled intensity that has come to define their aggressively stylized hip-hop. Legacy of Blood is a defining statement by a group surging towards their creative peak, poised on the verge of crossover success. Babygrande Records is proud to announce that after years of being out of print, Legacy Of Blood will once again be available on wax in a digitally remastered limited orange vinyl double LP set.
New pressing on blue/white splatter vinyl ships week of 11/13. Gravitas, Talib Kweli's sixth solo album, began to take shape in May, during the weeks following the release of Kweli's fifth solo album, Prisoner of Conscious. Loaded with guests, Prisoner of Conscious was well received and reviewed, and gained Talib many new fans to add to his already large following. However, Kweli soon found himself wanting to record more personal material and really document his journey thru music. When singer Ryan Leslie, who created the platform that Kweli is using to sell Gravitas, approached him with the idea of selling direct to fan, songs that were just rough ideas began to fully form in Kweli's head. "One of my favorite things about today's hip hop is the honesty," says Kweli. Today's most popular rappers aren't always politically correct or deep, but the best are unflinchingly honest. While my story may be documented, I have never truly told my story thru music. My true fans have heard bits and pieces thru the years, but Gravitas sums up my experience until now."The new songs reflect a continued determination and drive in Talib Kweli, impressive because of the fact that Prisoner of Conscious was released less than six months ago. Considered one of the top tier lyricist of all time and name dropped in songs by everyone from Jay-Z to 2 Chainz, Talib Kweli has defied the odds and remained relevant while never compromising his art, quite a feat in today's music business. The respect he is given is evident when Raekwon from the Wu Tang Clan drops by to spit on Violations. Talib Kweli has also showcased new artists throughout his storied career, giving breaks to people like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole long before they were embraced by the mainstream. This streak continues with Brooklyn's own UnderAchievers, who pop up on the Statik Selektah produced New Leaders. The OhNo produced Art Imitates Life features classic lyricism from Kweli, Rah Digga and Black Thought from the legendary Roots, and Austin's guitar prodigy Gary Clark Jr. shows up for Demonology. All of this leads up to Gravitas' final track, Colors of You, featuring Mike Posner and produced by the late, great J Dilla of Slum Village fame.
First time on vinyl since 2010! From Philadelphia beatmaker Knxwledge has been bubbling beneath the surface in the virtual world. Making his name via Myspace, global mixes spinning around the world and with a Mary Anne Hobbs mix & plays from Benji B already under his belt he's ready to step up to the plate in 2010 with his first solo release. 15 tracks here of varying rhythmic structures, lengths and speeds which go way further than mere beats and snippets. Sloppy, on beat and off its all thrown in the beat blender. Artwork comes via Teebs (My Hollow Drum / Brainfeeder).
Mayer Hawthorne's third album, released on Republic Records. The 2LP edition comes with gold vinyl, download card, poster, and lyrics.
15 of the best Necro tracks plus 4 remixes and a brand new track. Necro has been releasing records on his own label, Psycho+Logical-Records for over 12 years and recognized as an underground hiphop legend and pioneer in hardcore hiphop inventing his own style, "Death Rap" - one of The Godfathers of the New York City underground rap scene started in the early '90's.
The album never gained the traction as the pairings full length debut, which followed the 1991 EP "All Souled Out" and yielded the biggest hit of their conjoined career, "They Reminisce Over You." But "The Main Ingredient" is nonetheless Pete and CL's most critically applauded work, a definitive symbol of the tempered consciousness and roughneck rhythm that defined the era. Pete Rock laid these backdrops in Rockland County, where he moved and built a studio after leaving Mount Vernon in 1993 (the cover shot for The Main Ingredient was taken in his Rockland lab). Though the scenery changed, his tools of choice didn't, and this is yet another testament to the Chocolate Boy Wonder's magical knack with the SP-1200 drum machine and sampler. With no Pro Tools and little input from outside of their immediate camp, Pete and CL recorded their final sixteen as a team over the course of a year between 1993 and 1994. "This definitely marks a very high place in my career," says Pete. "We were in a zone, and when you're in a zone, it's fun. It was a great time, and we put the album together with just that in mind. It was like a family thing, and music was a hobby, not a job. We kept it like we were in the basement, creating music just for the fun of it. Of course the business side reared its ugly head, and we eventually had to deal with that, but '94 was a great time. Music was more real back then.
Limited to 500 copies. Jeremiah Jae adds a second taster volume of new material on ‘Dirty Collections Vol.2’, one of his introductory batch on new label Warp Records. Jae works within a lush downtempo hip-hop template associated most prominently with Flying Lotus and the scene around LA club Brainfeeder. Judging from the first volume, the two cuts on this episode of ‘Dirty Collections’ will see Jae carrying the torch for hip-hop at its most experimental, following on from the likes of MF Doom, Quasimoto and their peers.
Perhaps no other album of the '90s musically exhibits the shift in the hip-hop ethos that occurred in 1993 better than Black Moon's classic gemstone Enta da Stage. Listen to this album and you can hear hip-hop change. Prior to this, many of hip-hop's most confrontational vibes were presented as gifts from bellicose outfits like Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and other acts whose music raged. Enta da Stage features enough of that, but it also offered, perhaps even introduced, a brooding vibe. It was a pioneer sound. The group released "Who Got the Props" in the winter of 1992, about a year before the album dropped in November of 1993. It was a song in the same vein of Onyx's "Throw Ya Gunz," a hard track, with rough rhymes and a staple-NYC hook with a chorus of rowdy b-boys shouting in unison. The album featured similar tracks, from "Make Munne" to "Son Get Wrec" to "Buck Em Down" to the opener, "Powaful Impak!" -- all time-capsule tunes that embody early-'90s NYC hip-hop. The album begins like it was meant to be a Brooklyn version of Bacdafucup. But months prior to the album's release, Black Moon's second single, "How Many MC's...," hit the streets. It was a total departure from the vibe present on "Who Got da Props." DJ Evil Dee and da Beatminerz supplied a subtly horrific track over which Buckshot premiered a more deliberate flow that bespoke controlled menace. There is a story behind this transformation. Buckshot said he, Evil Dee, and the 5Ft Accelerator recorded half of the album -- the "Who Got da Props" half -- in 1992 before he went on tour with Kool G Rap and a young Nasty Nas. During a freestyle cipher, listening to Nas and Kool G Rap led Buckshot to an epiphany that motivated him to switch up his rhyme-style, and da Beatminerz tweaked their production to complement. The "How Many MC's..." half of the album -- songs like "I Gotcha Opin," "Slave," "Shit Iz Real" -- displayed Buckshot's new motif: a raspier tone, a more intricate flow and cadence, and a serious presence that was just as threatening as the temperamental MC on the earlier songs. The rowdy crew hooks gave way to what were more like stripped down musical breaks that often featured a jazz horn sample and nothing else. The production -- which should enter into any discussion of the greatest hip-hop production efforts of all time -- was every bit as radical as what the RZA introduced this same year or the Bomb Squad cooked up in the late '80s. The elements existed before, but never had they been synthesized into a hardcore East Coast outfit with the skill and artistry of Black Moon's Enta da Stage. The release of this album was overshadowed by the landmark Wu-Tang Clan debut and the popular success of Midnight Marauders and Doggystyle. But make no mistake, this is one of the '90s most important hip-hop classics, an album that deserves its own node on the hip-hop timeline.
A lot happened to Snoop Doggy Dogg between his debut, Doggystyle, and his second album, Tha Doggfather. During those three years, he became the most notorious figure in hip-hop through a much-publicized murder trial, where he was found not guilty, and he also became a father. Musically, the most important thing to happen to Snoop was the parting of ways between his mentor Dr. Dre and his record label, Death Row. Dre's departure from Death Row meant that Snoop had to handle the production duties on Tha Doggfather himself, and the differences between the two records are immediately apparent. Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail. In essence, all of the music on Tha Doggfather reworks the funk and soul of the late '70s and early '80s, without updating it too much -- there's not that much difference between "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" and "Oops Up Side Your Head," for instance. Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating. At over 70 minutes, Tha Doggfather runs too long to not have several filler tracks, but if you ignore those cuts, the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history.
When it was announced that the Roots would be Jimmy Fallon's house band when he took over for Conan O'Brien, fans of the legendary Philadelphia crew were worried that would mean the band was over as a recording entity. Drummer ?uestlove put that talk to rest quickly after, announcing that the band was working on their 11th album,entitled How I Got Over. The album features a Joanna Newsom sample and a cameo from My Morning Jacket's Jim James on a reworking of Monster of Folk's "Dear God."
The sound of Disco rose out of Philadelphia in the ’70’s before being nurtured in New York and later rising to the top of the pops. By 1979 it made its way to India, where it was blended with sitars, tablas and huge orchestras in a wildly inventive, and often boldly surreal, fusion of purab aur pachhim (east and west). When a film producer told Bollywood composer Bappi Lahiri, “I want to have music like ‘Saturday Night Fever'”, Bombay Disco was born. Soon nearly every South Asian film, it seemed, had a disco track blaring from cinema screens. Although disco’s popularity waned in the west, it soared in the east throughout the ’80’s. Disco songs appeared in every type of film, from family dramas and historical epics to curry westerns and horror movies. Cultures Of Soul Records presents Bombay Disco, 13 selections excavated from the dusty bazaars of India by DJ Brother Cleve. The hunt even brought him to Bappi Lahiri’s home, where India’s “Disco King” regaled him with music and stories. Bombay Disco showcases the unique musical hybrid that is Bollywood filmi music. Don your leisure suit, puff a chillum, and get on the dancefloor. Shabash!