From Hempstead, Long Island, representing an area that boasts some of rap history's most iconic giants (Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy, EPMD, De La Soul), Roc Marciano will settle for nothing less than greatness. After a long history with Busta Rhymes and The Flipmode Squad in the late 90's and early 2000's, Roc found himself in limbo without a solo deal. Undaunted, Roc continued to record at his Long Island home studio which became the meeting grounds for his brain child The UN. With his solo debut on Fat Beats Records, and collaborating with some of the new producers in the game (Marco Polo, DJ Babu and The P Brothers), Roc plans to show the world his raw lyricism and production savvy. "I just remember sitting next to the radio trying to tape Marley Marl’s Rap attack" adds Roc. "It was all about Rakim, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Granddaddy I.U all of that. Back then whoever was the nicest on the mic had to get dealt with. You couldn't just be talking about anything on the mic. That was millions of blunts ago. I wanna bring a little of that feeling back." With songs like "Snow" and "Thug's Prayer" he is well on the road to doing just that. "[Marciano] stakes his claim as one of Hip- Hop's most original and exciting artists, with his pulse-pounding 90s throwback of a debut" -Hip-HopDX (Top 25 Albums of 2010)
POSSIBLY THE BEST HIP HOP ALBUM OF 2010 NOW INCLUDES NEW BONUS CUTS! From Hempstead, Long Island, representing an area that boasts some of rap history's most iconic giants (Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy, EPMD, De La Soul), Roc Marciano will settle for nothing less than greatness. After a long history with Busta Rhymes and The Flipmode Squad in the late 90's and early 2000's, Roc found himself in limbo without a solo deal. Undaunted, Roc continued to record at his Long Island home studio which became the meeting grounds for his brain child The UN. With his solo debut on Fat Beats Records, and collaborating with some of the new producers in the game (Marco Polo, DJ Babu and The P Brothers), Roc plans to show the world his raw lyricism and production savvy. "I just remember sitting next to the radio trying to tape Marley Marl’s Rap attack" adds Roc. "It was all about Rakim, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Granddaddy I.U all of that. Back then whoever was the nicest on the mic had to get dealt with. You couldn't just be talking about anything on the mic. That was millions of blunts ago. I wanna bring a little of that feeling back." With songs like "Snow" and "Thug's Prayer" he is well on the road to doing just that. "[Marciano] stakes his claim as one of Hip- Hop's most original and exciting artists, with his pulse-pounding 90s throwback of a debut" -Hip-HopDX (Top 25 Albums of 2010)
Quasimoto first came to life on Madlib's personal beat tapes in the producer's early years in Oxnard CA – private music, not meant for release, made for himself and a small circle of local smokers and their car stereos. By the time of Quasimoto's debut The Unseen, most had caught on to the fact that Madlib and Quasimoto were one in the same. The MC as artistic alter ego, like a talking dummy from surreal rap vaudeville. Quasimoto is usually the "bad character," doing and saying what the producer doesn't, with Madlib along side as a noncommittal collaborator. The Unseen (Stones Throw, 2000) was among the new decade's first sleeper hits, ranking on Spin's year end list at a time when the producer and label were unknown outside hip-hop DJ circles. After a subsequent journey through jazz production and now-legendary collaborations with MF DOOM & J Dilla, Madlib called on Quasimoto again for The Further Adventures of Lord Quas. The album played something like a smoked-out comedy/crime Blaxploitation flick, and continued to build Madlib's reputation as one of the most creative and fearlessly skewed creators in hip-hop. As for Quasimoto – usually represented by pen & ink with brick in hand – he has been many things over the years: rapper, cartoon, the poor-man's Gorillaz, a toy, bad tattoo, internet meme. To all this Lord Quas might say, yessir ... whatever. It's all about the music. Yessir Whatever collects 12-tracks made by Madlib and Quasimoto over a roughly 12-year period. A few were released on rare & out-of-print vinyl, while a few others are previously unreleased, now mixed and mastered for the first time. Take two & pass. Yessir ... whatever. Artwork by Jeff Jank. Mastered by Dave Cooley.
MF DOOM is the man in the iron mask. The most mysterious figure in hip-hop has also become one of the most popular, supplying beats and rhymes for Gorillaz, De La Soul, Madlib, Danger Mouse, and Wu-Tang Clan, and drawing praise from heavyweights like Just Blaze, Nas, and Mos Def. Since 2002, DOOM has released numerous volumes of Special Herbs, one of the longest-running instrumental series in hip-hop history. Now, the first two volumes in the acclaimed series are available on vinyl for the first time in years. With obscure loops and dusty samples galore, Special Herbs Vol. 1 & 2 is a must-have for any DOOM fan or hip-hop head. Also includes a limited-edition bonus 7”, featuring two beats from DOOM’s days as a member of 90s hip-hop trio KMD.
Mayer Hawthorne (Aquarius) and Jake One (Taurus) – they are descendants of the one- word moniker family of funk, where you will find groups such as Chic, Shalamar, Plush & Zapp. The Tuxedo collaboration began with an exchange of mixtapes back in 2006. The fruits of a long-standing kinship were three tracks that mysteriously showed up on Internet doorsteps nearly two years ago. In between personal projects, these three tracks became a full album's worth of Tuxedo. The album was mixed by original disco don dada John Morales at his home studio in South Plainfield, New Jersey. "I flew out there," Mayer says. "His wife made me spaghetti and everything."The duo is excited to release the upcoming album on Stones Throw Records, which also marks Mayer's return to the label since his debut release of A Strange Arrangement in 2009. Until then, stay classy.
An original member of New York’s new-school pioneers the Ultramagnetic MCs, Keith Thornton is best known as a solo rapper. His signature style is stream-of-consciousness lyrical flow and complex vocals, two skills that earn him a perennial nod from the underground hip-hop community. The average Kool Keith album is peppered with bizarre, disjointed, even delusional or disassociated themes, concepts, and references. Nearly all of his albums incorporate a satirical dislike for more commercialized strains of hip-hop, as well as major record label scams. After single-handedly redefining "warped" as the mind and mouth behind the Bronx-based Ultramagnetic MC's, "Kool" Keith Thornton - aka Rhythm X, aka Dr. Octagon, aka Dr. Dooom, aka Mr. Gerbik - headed for the outer reaches of the stratosphere with a variety of solo projects. A onetime psychiatric patient at Bellevue, Keith's lyrical thematics remained as free-flowing here as they ever were with the N.Y. trio, connecting up complex meters with fierce, layers-deep metaphors and veiled criticisms of those who "water down the sound that comes from the ghetto." His own debut single, "Earth People" by Dr. Octagon, was quietly released in late 1995 on the San Francisco-based Bulk Recordings, and the track spread like wildfire through the hip-hop underground, as did the subsequent Dr. Octagonecologyst full-length released the following year. Featuring internationally renowned DJ Q-Bert (of Invisibl Skratch Piklz) on turntables, as well as Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow behind the boards, Dr. Octagon's left-field fusion of sound collage, fierce turntable work, and bizarre, impressionistic rapping found audiences in the most unlikely of places, from hardcore hip-hop heads to jaded rock critics. Although a somewhat sophomoric preoccupation with body parts and scatology tended to dominate the album, Keith's complex weave of associations and shifting references is quite often amazing in its intricacy. Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will continue its Respect the Classics tribute to many of hip-hop’s finest with the vinyl reissue of Dr. Octagon's underground masterwork Dr. Octagonecologyst with a trippy 3D lenticular cover that appears to suck you right into Dr. Octagon’s crazed world.
In an age of slammin’ superhero crossovers, get ready for a Hip-Hop team-up to beat them all: Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark! With the Delicious Vinyl release of their album-length eponymous collaboration, the legendary Pharcyde MC and Jurassic 5 DJ/producer have created a soulful Hip-Hop soundtrack for the ages. Ever since his time as a founding member of The Pharcyde, Slimkid3 has stood out for his relationship raps, both warm-hearted and coolly observant. As an innovative member Jurassic 5, DJ Nu-Mark has long propelled golden era sounds into the future. "Ding ding! True school is in session!" trumpeted okayplayer.com when Tre & Nu-Mark released their freebie EP Another Day, Another Dollar in 2011. The duo knew they were onto something good, and re-upped to create new music. The new album's standout tracks include "Bouillon" featuring Del and Murs, "King" featuring Diamond D, reggae-fueled summer jam "Bom Bom Fiya" and "I Know, Didn't I" a savvy flip of Darondo's soul classic. Single releases from Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark will come on 45rpm vinyl 7-inch format. Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark will be performing together through the end of 2014.
Beat Konducta in India: Madlib productions inspired by Bollywood soundtracks and other 60s-80s productions from India.
2009’s Imaginary Falcons was its own savvy slushpile of tape-hissy drift-dub haze pop, no question, but 936 takes every facet of husband and wife duo Peaking Lights mighty diamond and shines it even further. The songwriting is killer; “All The Sun That Shines,” “Amazing & Wonderful,” “Tiger Eyes (Laid Back),” all seep into your mindstream and float there like melodic gold dust. Indra Dunis’ silky soul-jazz keys and tranced vocals have never sounded so exquisite, and Aaron Coyes busts out the best bass/drum loops and sneaky dub guitar of his musical lifetime. It is a hauntingly beautiful and intensely immersive record that merges elements of dub, psych, minimal house, disco and krautrock with a distinct pop sensibility and provides a great window into a wonderfully close, creative and prolific songwriting partnership. Recorded by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios in Iowa City and mastered in Berlin, 936 retains the cool crate-digger grit of their earlier highlights, but within a much more vivid spectrum of sound.
As one of the most-celebrated auteurs of his generation of hip hop artists, Black Milk has conditioned fans and critics to always expect the unexpected each time he releases new music. Few producers have earned the notoriety and respect he has as a musician, and when that is coupled with commanding talent as an emcee, it’s no surprise that his solo releases are met with exalted anticipation. The new full-length album “No Poison No Paradise” continues Black Milk’s trend of releasing material that maintains his signature sound while pushing it into new territory. Musically, each of Black Milk’s releases have kept one foot dipped in classical boom-bap and the other stomping with a fierce originality and willingness to expand his listeners’ sonic palate. “No Poison No Paradise” leaves behind the density and heavily- layered sounds of his 2010 release “Album of the Year” in favor of a more stripped-down approach. Some tracks showcase the raw sample-driven styles that helped make him one of Detroit’s hottest young talents nearly a decade ago. Others flex some of the sophistication and musicality that have helped to make his live show among the most-acclaimed in hip hop. Whichever direction he decides to take it, all of the trademark characteristics of Black’s music are fully apparent throughout the album: hard drums, melodic synths, and nimble flows. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of “No Poison No Paradise” is the evolution of Black Milk’s lyrical style. While he’s never been shy to get personal on the mic, Black introduces a refined ability as a storyteller on the new release, mostly told through the dreams of a character named Sonny. The album’s songs are steeped in autobiographical themes and construct rich visceral imagery of everything from the experience of growing up in a rough working-class neighborhood of Detroit to the struggles of maintaining one’s inspiration and success as an artist. Even with his lyrical progression, Black’s rap styles are unquestionably sharper and more varied than ever. “No Poison No Paradise” is another accomplished full-length solo release for Black Milk, and a return to form for one of hip hop’s most versatile talents. The album features guest appearances by Grammy-Award winners Black Thought (The Roots), Robert Glasper, and Dwele, as well as long-time collaborators Will Sessions, Mel, and Ab.
Produced entirely by MF DOOM Following the success of two collaborative releases (EMC “The Show”/2008 and Ace & Edo G “Arts & Entertainment” /2009), Masta Ace joins forces with the metal faced MF Doom for Son of Yvonne, a highly personal concept album that celebrates the life and legacy of Ace’s recently departed Mother. Like his 2004 landmark Disposable Arts, Son of Yvonne is meticulously constructed with stories, settings, and characters that resonate with flesh and bone humanity. Interstitial vignettes provide a thematic backbone to the experience, and each track complements and completes the previous to form a narrative whole: a sometimes visceral, sometimes nostalgic slice of Ace’s young life in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Entirely underscored by MF Doom’s iconic Special Herbs instrumentals, Son of Yvonne features the Juice Crew general Big Daddy Kane, new comers Pav Bundy (The Bundies), Reggie B and even MF Doom on the mic. It’s Masta Ace’s no frills flow, however, that looms largest above the dusty samples and digger loops that define Doom’s production. Ace’s photo-realistic rhymes about stick-up kids, spraycan artists and wack emcees add extra gravity to his already celebrated reputation as “truly an under-appreciated rap veteran and underground luminary” (Allmusic Guide). Like Eminem recalls in his 2008 autobiography The Way I Am, “Masta Ace had amazing storytelling skills. His thoughts were so vivid.”