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Blu is the leader of West Coast Hip Hop. Since the days of Pharcyde, Freestyle Fellowship, and Jurassic 5, there have been few wordsmiths that have grasped the attention of listeners worldwide. Introduced to NWA and Public Enemy by his father, Blu later was captivated by the likes of Black Star, The Roots, and Common, creating a unique balance that is displayed in Blu’s personality and music. Blu’s first full length LP, “Below the Heavens” pairs Blu with producer Exile on the Sound in Color imprint. His first single, “Narrow Path” has rocked stages across the world, as fans begin to feel the impact of Blu’s music. His delivery flows flawlessly, while the content reflects the joy and pain of working class youth everywhere. Since the release of “Narrow Path,” Blu has performed alongside Slum Village, X-Clan, Platinum Pied Pipers, Lyrics Born, DJ Houseshoes, and many others, while participating in 3 high-profile nationwide tours alongside musical family members: Ta’Raach, Aloe Blacc, and Exile. The buzz has fans salivating for new music. Worldwide, people are looking to put hope into the ‘next’ emcee that will give them the same feeling when they first heard Black Thought, Common, or Slum Village. Blu fulfills this need, but maintains something that is entirely new, while not recycled.
Diabolic’s back to crush your favorite rapper with his highly anticipated sophomore LP “Fightin Words”, which features guest appearances from Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, Celph Titled, Apathy, R.A. the Rugged Man and more, along with production from DJ Premier, Engineer, Junior Makhno, Snowgoons and more.
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In the early to mid nineties and at the peak of his powers as a producer, Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA crafted a distinctive soundtrack at his basement studio in Staten Island. Whether or not he knew it at the time this haunting landscape of dusty samples, sharp snares and menacing urban gloom, would soon become a pillar of hip hop history. These instrumentals, peppered in with frequent interludes of dialogue from the classic samurai flick Shogun Assassin, became the core of the GZA's 1995 sophomore LP Liquid Swords and would eventually be considered by many as each individual's finest work. Cerebral, strategic and precise with his words, GZA crystallizes a range of influences - from chess to kung-fu films to mob flicks and Eastern philosophy - into sharply delivered rhymes. Many would argue there is no greater MC to compliment the RZA's production as well as GZA did on Liquid Swords. The album featured appearances by the entire Wu-Tang Clan, and included the auspicious debut of Killah Priest on "B.I.B.L.E." Acknowledged as one of the "100 Best Rap Albums" (The Source) and "Top 100 Records of the 1990s" (Pitchfork.com). Under development for months, Get On Down has finally unveiled the latest, painstakingly crafted volume in it's Wu-Tang reissue series, one which we hope will stand as a testament to this iconic and legendary piece of Wu-Tang history. We are proud to present GZA/Genius' Liquid Swords in a two disc deluxe "Chess Box" edition. Housed in a sturdy wrapped hard board two piece box, this edition of Liquid Swords spans across 2 discs. Disc one contains the official album version while disc two contains the full RZA produced instrumentals, available for the first time ever as an official release. Both discs have been completely restored with remastered audio from the original source tapes and have truly never sounded better. As always with any deluxe Get On Down release, we have packaged this album with an array of extras, including; researched, in depth, full color liner notes with contributions from GZA himself, spanning across 20 pages, inner jackets and dust sleeves with memorable vintage artwork from the original release, and even a full wooden minature chess set, which can be played on the chess board printed and contained directly on the inner lining of the box. This is the Liquid Swords that both first time listeners and long-standing fans deserve. CHECKMATE!
Freddie Gibbs is the product of violent, drug-laden streets but unlike most rappers with similar resumes, he brings the block to the boothwithout inhibition or an exaggerated rap persona. Piñata, a 17 track collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best distillation yet of histransparent approach to making music, combining an at times stark honesty with electrifying talent as a lyricist and performer.Piñata is “a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax,” says Gibbs, who came up on the streets of Gary, Indiana, the disregarded city previouslybest known for producing Michael Jackson. Here he is joined by Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Scarface, Domo Genesis, Ab-Soul and a host of others in setting his soliloquies of the streets alongside film snippets and dusted funk, soul and prog musical tapestries. While this is the latest in a series of single-artist collaborations for Madlib, after Jaylib (J Dilla), Madvillainy (MF Doom) and the street-centric O.J. Simpsonwith Detroit’s Guilty Simpson, the pairing is unique as it is the first time for Gibbs working with just one producer.On Piñata, where Gibbs can shift from textbook lessons in robbing and drugging on trackslike “Scarface” and “Knicks,” to perhaps thealbum’s most personal song, “Broken,” a collaboration with Scarface, who, along with Tupac, DMX and 50 Cent, make up the rapper’s ownMount Rushmore of MCs (“You’re getting a hurricane of all those motherfuckers hitting you at once when you listen to Freddie Gibbs,” hesays). “Deeper,” a Gibbs favorite and the third single from the album after “Thuggin’” (2012) and “Shame,” (2013) is an ode to hip-hop inthe mold of Common’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.”; “High,” featuring Danny Brown, is self-explanatory and just what you would expect fromGibbs, Madlib and one of Detroit’s finest; while on “Real,” Gibbs addresses an old score just as Michael Corleone settled all family businesson baptism day.As a producer, Madlib, quite simply, is music, and ten years into his career—a time when other artists become comfortable—Gibbs remainsrestless, focused, with an eye on the competition and their position relative to his ascent. This is because mentally, he’s still on the cornerhustling, which would be the downfall of the average rapper. With Piñata, Gibbs confirms that he is anything but average.
Clear Soul Forces is next to carry the burning flame for the city of Detroit. Discovered, championed, and mentored by Royce da 5’9”, the four-man group rhymes like genetically enhanced street poets from the 70’s who are here to remind us what album rap sounds like. The vision of E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide combines golden era, 21st century, backpack and sub-woofer hip-hop but never sounds dated, derivative, or awkwardly avant garde. These guys are serious performers and hard workers devoted to making music that honors the legacy of Detroit’s legendary lineage. The group emerged in the aftermath of a serendipitous studio session in 2009 where the four emcees scraped together money to record individual music. Royce, who was recording his album “Street Hop” at the time, had coincidentally booked the room next door. The four soon-to-be group members jumped at the chance to kick some rhymes for the local luminary, and the rest is history. By the time the sun rose nine hours later, the four star-crossed strangers were now officially Clear Soul Forces -- and they already had a powerful first fan. After their debut mixtape “Clear Soul Radio”(2010), follow-up EP “The Departure”, an A3C Festival appearance, two SXSX showcases, induction to Red Bull Academy’s Soundstage program, the release of 2012’s “Detroit Revolutions” LP, and performances with Tanya Morgan, Just Blaze, Alchemist, Talib Kweli, and Freeway, Clear Soul Forces are ready to make good on the potential seen by Royce da 5”9”on that fateful night in Detroit. Their new full-length album, Gold PP7s, will be released this September on Fat Beats Records.
Following his collaboration with Blu on (Blu and Exile’s) Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, Exile Teams Up with Johaz. another fresh voice from Cali under the monicker DAG SAVAGE. The album features appearances by the Dirty Science Family Blu, Aloe Blacc, Fashawn, Co$$, Choosey and more. With beats produced By Exile who has been making classics for the westcoast for a minute, from Blu & Exile’s “Below the heavens” to Fashawn’s “Boy meets World.” Now for his next classic, the debut album “E & J” by Dag Savage. Exile was raised into music, something that began generations ago in his family. Through rudimentary beat machines, turntables and instruments, Aleksander Manfredi found his niche and spent years honing it. His journey took him all over southern California’s underground scene and it was at one of these shows in the early 2000’s that he first met a young, hungry MC by the name of Johaz.Cultured by experience, Johaz grew up both in East San Diego County and Tijuana, Mexico. Life was definitely not easy fora young Black boy living in Tijuana and crossing the border everyday to go to school in SD. He returned to the states full time as a teen but the wise and intelligent young man had developed a belligerent streak. Though he was too young to get into local clubs normally, Johaz infiltrated the scene as a dancer, hopping on the mic once he’d finished a routine. This inevitably led toan encounter with the Masters of the Universe crew and after proving his worth through battle and realizing he was kin with Sumach aka Gonjasufi, Johaz became an extended member of the collective. He didn’t record much with them though, aesthetically Johaz was a bit different than everyone else at the time. Johaz’s flow was a bit more deliberate, his lyrics painstakingly honest and unabashedly raw. It wasn’t until his dance crew Urban Dynamics grew into the hip-hop group Deep Rooted that Johaz began to find a home for his gravely flow.It was his Urban Dynamics brethren that brought Johaz out that fateful night when he met Exile. Johaz immediately made an impression on Ex through his ferocity on the mic and his hunger and humility as a person. He was quickly invited to the studio where he began cutting tracks with Exile and the idea of an extensive collaboration began to brew. Soon it became apparent that the chemistry was unique and the duo spent the next several years chiseling away, crafting their unique blend of hip-hop.
Ten years after its initial & highly slept-on release, Fat Beats Records & Frozen Files are proud to present the first-ever reissue of UN Or U Out, the classic debut album from The UN.Consisting of Roc Marciano, Dino Brave, Mike Raw, and Laku, the UN first emerged on Pete Rock’s 2001 Petestrumentals album, a primarily all instrumental release minus two tracks—“Nothing Lesser” and “Cake”, both featuring vocals by The UN. At the time, the group hadn’t performed live and never had major prior releases, although Roc Marciano had already made his name as a member of Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad. Pete Rock fans were at first perplexed by the vocal appearance of an unknown group. Yet Pete not only had the confidence and foresight to introduce the four MCs, he also furthered the collaboration, making it full circle by lending production on “Game of Death (G.O.D.)” , “Avenue” and “Ain’t No Thang” on UN or U Out. UN or U Out remains a timeless listen, a deeply succinct homage to New York’s bygone era of gritty boom-bap, made with tasteful nods to Queensbridge’s cold-steel aesthetic.
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.