Donuts began simply enough as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release, and has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist’s life. 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. Back late 2005 when Stones Throw was getting ready to release J Dilla’s Donuts, they made a casual decision to use a drawing for the cover of the 2LP vinyl release, rather than the standard cover photo of Dilla used for the other releases. But now here it is, better late than never: J Dilla’s classic album Donuts now released on vinyl with the smile on the cover. Cover & illustrations by Jeff Jank; photo of Dilla by Andrew Gura. Just a few months ago Stones Throw published a short back-story on the cover photo.
Oddisee’s newest instrumental project: “The beauty in all is about the flaws & mistakes that give life its character & worth. How even ignorance can give light to knowledge. For me, not knowing how to do something & still trying is the process of how I evolved my own production style. If everything we are is out in perfect tutorials, I might have never deviated from the teacher. This record is dedicated to imperfection & the sense of pride & accomplishment we get from our struggles. Hopefully you listen to this record & reflect on the ups & downs of life and see the beauty in all.” INCLUDES DOWNLOAD CARD FOR DIGITAL COPY OF ODDISEE'S TANGIBLE DREAM MIXTAPE
The cultural phenomenon that is the Wu-Tang cannot accurately be described without referencing one of the pillars in the Clan's discography; Chef Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx remains firmly planted as one of the defining triumphs in their artistic legacy. The oft referred "Purple Tape", has been cited and debated by many as the greatest Wu-Tang solo project to date and a remains a bullet point in any discussion involving the greatest "Cocaine Rap" or "Street Hop" albums of all time. Raekwon's narrative, plays out like a movie script from the violent, drug fueled, underbelly of New York City's criminal landscape, intricately woven over instrumentals from the legendary mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Clan, The RZA. Even the album's main feature "Tony Starks aka Ghostface Killer", referred to as such rather described as a "guest star" appearing on 12 of the albums 18 tracks. It should be noted that while the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx did produce a string of successful singles, such as "Ice Cream", "Incarcerated Scarfaces", and "Criminology", like all classic cinema, the album was intentionally engineered to be appreciated in one sitting, played from beginning to end. In continuing with it's proud tradition of honoring historically significant hip hop albums, Get On Down is honored to present Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" for the first time ever on double translucent purple vinyl housed in a high density resealable poly bag. This edition features for the first time ever on vinyl, the formerly CD only bonus track, "North Star (Jewels)". And if that wasn't enough, the entire album also features completely enhanced and painstakingly remastered audio. This is the definitive must-own vinyl edition of Raekwon's masterpiece.
The original release of the Madlib and J Dilla collaboration, created between Los Angeles and Detroit in 2002-2003.
For the first time in over five years, Elzhi’s proper solo debut The Preface is back in stock on vinyl. Produced almost entirely by Black Milk, The Preface shows why Elzhi rose up as one of the finest lyrical emcees and yet another talent to emerge from the burgeoning hip hop scene. While his next full length is still on the horizon, the Preface reminds us why Elzhi is worth the wait.
PayJay Productions, Inc. was the company James Dewitt "J Dilla" Yancey founded in 2001 to house his production company and his publishing company. But it was also a symbolic move: PayJay was a sign that the maverick producer then known as Jay Dee would see his individual goals in music industry realized, and he would get paid in the process. The Estate of James Yancey has revived PayJay as a functioning imprint, and is announcing its release of J Dilla's long lost vocal album, The Diary. The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey's four heirs – his mother, Maureen "Madukes" Yancey, his brother John "Illa J" Yancey and his two daughters, Ja'Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow. "Anthem" and "Trucks" were two of the songs J Dilla recorded in late 2001 and early 2002 as he put the finishing touches on what was supposed to be an album featuring his raps over production by the likes of Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, House Shoes, Karriem Riggins and others. These two tracks, however, were produced by Dilla himself. These tracks come straight from multi-track masters found on 2-inch tape shortly after Dilla's passing in 2006. These songs have been mixed by engineer Dave Cooley, who worked extensively with Dilla during his years in Los Angeles. Using Dilla's original demo mixes as his guide, Cooley attempted to finalize Dilla's vision for these tracks, while keeping all of the elements that Dilla had in place in his original demos present. Rounding out this 12" is Dilla's original mix of "Trucks" discovered as a two-track demo mix. We've included this mix as it features an alternate version of Dilla's vocals and a third verse not found on Dilla's final sessions for this song. The first press of this 12" features clear vinyl atop an original Jeff Jank sleeve with art by Mason London and placed in a thick, fold-over plastic sleeve. Subsequent runs will not have the clear vinyl or the fold-over plastic sleeve.
The Unseen, released in 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 of hip-hop DJ circles. Few could have known that this, Madlib's solo debut, would be just the first album in a rich catalog of music spanning from hip-hop to jazz, with wild experimentation and collaborations with MF DOOM & J Dilla. The identity of Quasimoto himself was a bit of a mystery - maybe he was Madlib, maybe he wasn't. Maybe it's none of our business. In fact, Madlib created Quasimoto as someone to rap on his beats for his own private listening while living in Oxnard and Santa Barbara in the 1990s. The Unseen was born out of Peanut Butter Wolf's convincing Madlib to release these recordings for the rest of us to hear.
In 2014, House Shoes sent a batch of B.I.G. acapellas to some of his closest friends, who just happen to be some of your favorite producers. This remix album was the result. A limited number of hand stamped white label 2XLP’s recently became available for sale to select record stores across the globe.
The first installment in the series containing a collection of 200 of the most sought after and hard to find disco/boogie breaks, drum loops and sounds. This selection of ready-to-use samples from electro-funk and post-disco records offers a pack of in-demand kicks, snares, clapping sounds, horns, vocals, guitar riffs, percussion, drums, synthesizers and slap bass loops, all digitally remastered for your beat making pleasure. The first volume contains under-discovered samples you will never find on any other break records and strictly focuses on vinyl that's hard to find at your local stores, flea markets or record shows. This comprehensive slice of 80′s club joints is a celebration of evolution from disco and funk to hip-hop and modern deejay dance music. Disco & Boogie: 200 Breaks And Drum Loops is a must-have library for producers and a guide to vivid disco/boogie collectors.
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 ninth and tenth 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. 9 & 0 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.
Fuzzface is better known as Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, a long-time Stones Throw supporter in touch with Peanut Butter Wolf since championing the Jaylib album back in 2004. 7-Stu-7 is Portishead’s engineer and in-house producer at Invada Records in the UK. Katalyst is one of the most respected producers in Australia and a partner in Invada Records. Disillusioned with much of the hip-hop around them, the like- minded producers set out to create the type of rap record they’d want to listen to. That meant gathering one of the most varied arrays of talent ever seen on a hip-hop record. Rather than just sending beats to the hottest names of the moment, the producers sought out genuine collaborators, regardless of whether they were legendary or simply stumbled upon around the world wide web. Invitations were sent out to golden era legends such as Prince Po and The Pharcyde’s Booty Brown, indie rap titans such as Dead Prez and Phat Kat, and of course some of StonesThrow’s finest: Aloe Blacc, Guilty Simpson, MED and newest signings Jonwayne and Dave Dub all make memorable contributions. There are also some lesser known talents present: band-favorite Coin Locker Kid, Lyric Jones, Estee Nack & more hold it down with their more celebrated peers. Yet for all the vocal talent, it’s often Quakers’ stellar production that takes center stage, tying together the albums 40+ tracks into a cohesive whole. Heavy beats come thick and fast, from the horn-heavy stomp of “Fitta Happier” to the devastating synthesizer abuse of “Belly of the Beast” and beyond. Quakers music first appeared in Banksy’s 2011 film Exit Through The Gift Shop and, in case you’re wondering, the name comes from ‘earthquake’. They’re here to shake the foundations.
The super group Deltron 3030 is composed of producer Dan the Automator, rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien and DJ Kid Koala and sometimes features guest artists who also take on varying futuristic pseudonyms. Originally released in 2000 on the now-defunct 75ARK record label, this Hip Hop concept album was released the same year as the Gorillaz' first 12" and is on a similar plane. Following the release of Deltron 3030, all three members participated in the Gorillaz' self-titled debut album. With Del aka Deltron Zero on vocals, Dan the Automator aka The Cantankerous Captain Aptos on production, and Kid Koala aka Skiznoid the Boy Wonder on turntables, this album takes the listener on a paranoid journey set in a dystopian year 3030 dealing with viruses, the apocalypse, an oppressive government, and a war waged against a huge company called the Corporate Bank of Time that rules the universe, all to the well-crafted and consistent musical backing of the Automator. Appearances by Damon Albarn (The Gorillaz, Blur), Prince Paul, Peanut Butter Wolf, DJ Money Mark, Paul Barman, Mark Bell (Bjork, production), Sean Lennon, and Mr. Lif compliment Del's vocal style and add the right amount of flavor to this classic period piece.
Knx, aka Knxwledge, is a beat maker raised in central New Jersey and Philadelphia, now dialing-it-in at home in Los Angeles. Anthology is the essential instrumentals curation from the forty some-odd Knx Bandcamp releases 2009-2013. At fifty three tracks, Anthology is also available as a limited collector's edition double-cassette.
Though the abstract rappers finally betrayed a few commercial ambitions for Midnight Marauders, the happy result was a smart, hooky record that may not have furthered the jazz-rap fusions of The Low End Theory, but did merge Tribe-style intelligence and reflection with some of the most inviting grooves heard on any early-'90s rap record. The productions, more funky than jazzy, were tighter overall — but the big improvement, four years after their debut, came with Q-Tip's and Phife Dawg's raps. Focused yet funky, polished but raw, the duo was practically telepathic on "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)" and "The Chase, Pt. 2," though the mammoth track here was the pop hit "Award Tour." A worldwide call-out record with a killer riff and a great pair of individual raps from the pair, it assured that Midnight Marauders would become A Tribe Called Quest's biggest seller. The album didn't feature as many topical tracks as Tribe was known for, though the group did include an excellent, sympathetic commentary on the question of that word ("Sucka Nigga," with a key phrase: "being as we use it as a term of endearment"). Most of the time, A Tribe Called Quest was indulging in impeccably produced, next-generation games of the dozens ("We Can Get Down," "Oh My God," "Lyrics to Go"), but also took the time to illustrate sensitivity and spirituality ("God Lives Through"). A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders was commercially successful, artistically adept, and lyrically inventive; the album cemented their status as alternative rap's prime sound merchants, authors of the most original style since the Bomb Squad first exploded on wax.
If the soul of hip-hop belongs to the culture, the skeleton belongs to the independent label. From Sugar Hill to Def Jam, Tommy Boy to Rawkus, Fondle Em to Def Jux, the genre''s best music has been birthed by imprints that brazenly defy the status quo, those who champion fearless artists and always prize quality over commerce. For the last eight years, Mello Music Group has lived by that ethos. If you''re reading these words, you''re inevitably well aware of its ascendance and growing legacy. But more importantly, you know the artists-those singular voices channeling the spirits of the past and spitting premonitions of the future. Boom-bap at its best: evolving and expanding the art form, capturing stories of the struggle, upholding the tradition, and keeping the crooked honest. Persona unveils the murderer''s row that is the Mello roster of 2015. Oddisee, Apollo Brown, yU, L''Orange, Red Pill, Open Mike Eagle, Rapper Big Pooh, Quelle Chris. The stars of the present teamed with timeless innovators like Phonte (Little Brother), Blockhead, Ras Kass, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Oh No, Masta Ace, and Bilal Salaam. The result is something that binds current greats with the pioneers who paved the asphalt. It''s both a historical moment and hard as hell.If most compilations are nothing more than a loosely thrown together collection of songs, Persona boasts meticulous focus. These aren''t spare tracks, they''re potent messages and poisonous darts. "Requiem" finds Phonte and Oddisee indicting American racism and Xenophobia with fury and precision. On "Homicide," yU and Nottz leave blood dripping all over the canvas. There''s "Celebrity Reduction Prayer," where Open Mike Eagle lampoons fundamentalists and religious zealots over Oddisee''s warm Stevie Wonder keyboards.But there''s ultimately no need to do the track-by-track breakdown. This is an anthology in the most traditional well-curated sense. Turn here if you want to find the best hip-hop artists of their generation in raw and unfiltered form. The bars are brimstone; the beats force your neck to swivel. Through all the discontent, rays of hope begin to emerge. If you remember the feeling you got when you first heard Soundbombing, stop searching. The slang has changed, the style remains indelible, the latest personas have emerged. The new sound is here.
Roll over, Josie and the Pussycats, and tell the Archies the news: There is a new cartoon band in town, the poppy, trippy, hip-hoppy Gorillaz. But cosmonaut vixens or pie-faced high school kids the Gorillaz are not; instead, they're an urban-chic troupe of misfits known as Murdoc, Noodle, Russel and 2D. For more on their story, go to gorillaz.com. As for the music, well, the people who actually created Gorillaz sorry to spoil the fantasy include avant-garde hip-hop producer extraordinaire Dan the Automator Dr. Octagon, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030, Blur vocalist Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto singer Miho Hatori, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, and former Talking Heads/current Tom Tom Club members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. The album is a tasty brew of the many musical stylings purveyed by its creators. The single, "Clint Eastwood," combines the Automator's toe-tappin' beats with Albarn's chipper, oh-so-British vocals "I'm feeling glad/I've got sunshine in a bag", and Del's tough-guy raps "Chicks and dudes/Who you think is really kicking tunes?". Other standouts include the aptly titled, minute-and-a-half Albarn screamfest "Punk"; Del's Grandmaster Flash-style rap "Rock the House" featuring the call-to-action "I want y'all to just get down"; the groovy indie rock of "Re-Hash," featuring Hatori's sweet backing vocals; and the ominous Pink Floyd-esque art-rock of "M1 A1," which features a sample from the horror flick Day of the Dead. Yep, this album is all over the place, but the Automator's production skills and seamless segues hold it all together. Action figures sold separately. - Barnes & Noble, Bill Crandall
From the first glimpses of Henry Laufer's work as Shlohmo, it was clear that the LA native and visual artist turned self-taught musician was onto something. With an effortless grasp on sound design, Laufer combines deceptively simple and emotive melodies, subtle bass drops and swinging slow motion drums. His early work has placed him at the forefront of a new wave of rising talent amongst West Coast producers. Inspired by the desire to write songs and create a release of full-range instrumentation and vocals all his own, Laufer promptly began home-recording Bad Vibes, his proper full-length debut album for the Friends of Friends label. Some might say the songs on Bad Vibes represent the spawn of a new "rhythm and blues" - one that swings and sways under the backbone of Henry's own take on modern electronic music. Augmented with delicate slide guitar playing, homemade synth sounds and lilting, tuneful melodies, Shlohmo's latest output is one that will take you places - specifically the un-paralleled vibes swirling through this young man's head.
Ridin' Dirty is the third studio album by dirty south legends Bun B and Pimp C – together known as UGK. It is easily considered one of the greatest southern hip hop albums ever made, but let’s drop all the labels this is just pure good rap music, for any region. It's all right there, everything that people have come to expect from Houston rap: candy-painted cars, wood-grained steering wheels, flashy jewelry, late-night odes to lean and weed, passing references to DJ Screw tapes, those warm funk synthesizers that sound like radio oldies. All of Ridin' Dirty feels iconic now— among other reasons, because so many of its lyrics have since been cribbed by everyone from Slim Thug to Jay Z. There's the laid-back badassery of ""Diamonds and Wood,"" the zoned-out celebration of ""3 in the Morning,"" the ridiculous boasting of ""Fuck My Car."" Everything here is essential. Ridin’ Dirty was produced entirely by Pimp C and features start to finish bangers such as “One Day”, “Murder”, “Hi Lif” and of course the title track “Ridin’ Dirty.” Pimp C’s makes use of perfectly chosen Soul, Funk and Gospel samples to create a perfect soundscape for he and Bun B to trade verse over. Despite there being no singles or videos released from the album, the set went on to be a pivotal moment in southern hip hop as well as UGK's best-selling and most critically acclaimed release.
When Queens natives Capone-N-Noreaga dropped their 1997 debut album The War Report Hip Hop was in the middle of a transition period. A new crop of MC’s were coming in, many of the benchmark artists of the late 80s early 90s were starting to fall off and labels focused their efforts on getting artist on mainstream radio ushered in by the “Jiggy Era”. For Capone-N-Noreaga this commercial shift was not an option, they represented what just a few years earlier their Queens brethren Mobb Deep displayed on their second coming “The Infamous” LP. To make the Queens connection even deeper, the mastermind behind The War Report was QB Legend Tragedy Khadafi who discovered and molded the duo into the flagship artists for his newly christened 25 to Life Records. In many ways Tragedy was the unofficial 3rd member of the group as he appears on more than half the album. The War Report represented a new era of street science and gritty New York beats, tracks like “Illegal Life”, “Stick You” & “T.O.N.Y” all became anthems that summer, making this one of the Greatest Debut Albums in Hip Hop History according to Complex Magazine. From the moment you hear the piano line of “Bloody Money” it sets a clear tone for this album, the War has begun. With features from Tragedy, Iman Thug, Mobb Deep and uncredited Busta Rhymes ad libs CNN’s debut is treated as almost a revolving door of like-minded MC’s determined to keep the music pure. Rounding out the production aspect, The War Report features EZ Elpee, Nasheim Myrick, Bucwild, Lord Finesse, Marley Marl and super DJ Clark Kent who all bring their unique style while all meshing together perfectly to make this debut a capsule to late 90’s Rap.
“Sounds like the early 90s,” “Vintage” & “Boom-Bap” are phrases often used nowadays in an attempt to describe modern music that is reminiscent of hip-hop's golden era, more specifically the sound of late 80's and early 90s sample based rap. Using those exact phrases to describe K-Def's Tape Two instrumental project is fitting on many levels, not only because the audio on this album fits the description, but because the tracks contained were actually made during the late 80s / early 90s by an ambitious young man from New Jersey known as Kevin Hansford aka K-Def. When you listen to these beats, please keep in mind that these pieces are sourced from an old cassette that was recently rediscovered. What you hear on this project is actually coming to you straight from the early 90s via a lost & found beat tape recorded during Def’s formative years as an artist. These days a lot of artists attempt to emulate the sound and the style pioneered by artists like Primo, Rza, Large Pro and yes even K-Def, but their intentions are usually more retro than real. Veteran hip-hop producer K-Def has been “making beats” for well over 25 years, way before the term “boom bap” was ever coined and before any rap producer opted to make instrumental albums. Back then, bulky machines like the SP1200 and MPC60 were used not because of their “gritty” sonic texture, but instead simply because those particular samplers offered new and innovative ways to manipulate sounds, making production accessible to folks who otherwise might not have access to a full band or recording studio. Those 12 & 16 bit sampling behemoths allowed guys like K-Def and Primo to combine and reprogram audio sourced from vinyl records into thundering new instrumental compositions. Thanks in part to his musical background as a DJ & Dancer, combined with a little bit of networking, K almost instantly went from dreamer to doer. The story goes something like this: in the early 90s, K-Def created a handful of beat tapes that started to circulate the NY/NJ area via his network of MCs, quickly reaching the ears of production mastermind Marley Marl. Def’s big break came when his cousin passed a tape to Marley, who immediately recognized that this particular young man from Jersey had the “skills to pay the bills” as they used to say. Marley wasted no time making the drive from NY to NJ, arriving straight at K's front door, offering him the role of in-house producer at the legendary legendary house of hits! The rest is history (check K-Def's full discography which is brimming with hidden gems and certified rap classics featuring the likes of Ghostface, Real Live, Lords of the Underground, tragedy, LL Cool J and others).
Powers That B will be a double disk CD and vinyl consisting of two separate albums, Niggas on the Moon and Jenny Death. The first album, Niggas on the Moon was released as a free digital download over the summer on Death Grips' website.
Prince designed "Purple Rain" as the project that would make him a superstar, and surprisingly, that is exactly what happened. Simultaneously more focused and ambitious than any of his previous records, "Purple Rain" finds Prince consolidating his funk and R&B roots while moving boldly into pop, rock, and heavy metal with nine superbly crafted songs. Although Prince's songwriting is at a peak, the presence of the Revolution pulls the music into sharper focus, giving it a tougher, more aggressive edge. Even with all of his new, but uncompromising, forays into pop Prince hasn't abandoned funk. Taken together, all of the stylistic experiments add up to a stunning statement of purpose that remains one of the most exciting rock & roll albums ever created.
This limited release is a black vinyl 7-inch recreation of the original 12”, featuring the single’s classic artwork on a printed 7” jacket, plus a special matte black 2nd outer sleeve, embossed with the seminal skull design. In the early 1990s, a dark force began to rise in Los Angeles, fueled by classic ‘80s New York boom-bap and equally inspired by evil-tinged rock groups from the 1970s, like Black Sabbath. Just like that era of Los Angeles itself, pre-Riots and pre-The Chronic, Cypress Hill – producer and DJ Muggs with main MC B-Real and his lyrical partner Sen Dog – brought the city’s bubbling unrest to the surface, bathed in weed smoke and exploring injustices done to the underclass by both the Police State and the Government. Technically a “Double A-Side,” Cypress Hill’s first single, from 1991, took a minute to penetrate the rap scene at large. Once it took hold, though, there was no turning back. Part of the delay may have been the aural dichotomy shown here – “The Phunky Feel One” is a ridiculously funky groover, laced with liquid flows that might not create a full-on party vibe, but certainly brought listeners to the brink of the dancefloor. The flip, which eventually became the group’s breakthrough (thanks in part to its use in the climax to the film “Juice”), was a claustrophobic exploration of the gang lifestyle and mindset that was prevalent in the LA of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. “Here is something you can’t understand,” the chorus snarled, “How I could just kill a man.” According to group members, “Phunky Feel” was their record label’s choice for the A-Side, and “Kill A Man” was the song they themselves wanted to show the world with their first shot. No matter which way you slice it, the single showed an impressive range in just two songs – a complexity which would soon be fully exposed with the group’s debut LP later that year.