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.
On September 4, Southern California’s Blu & Exile return to their collaborative origins with the release of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, the long-anticipated followup to the duo’s landmark debut, Below the Heavens. Featuring Fashawn, Homeboy Sandman, Johaz of Dag Savage, Black Spade of Hawthorne Headhunters, and ADAD, the new album on Fat Beats / Dirty Science is both an evolution from and complement to their first: a cohesive, kicked back collection of hip-hop buoyed by Blu’s gymnastic wordplay and Exile’s soulful, sample-driven beats. While Blu’s penchant for introspection and analysis remains intact, his perspective ebbs from the sun-soaked nostalgia of Below the Heavens to a more playful realm where raps about lost love and forgotten dreams find equal footing with those about Gondry films and delivery cheesecake. Together Blu & Exile have taken the raw materials of rap and crafted charmingly idiosyncratic, album-minded mu- sic that transcends coasts and continents alike. As with Dilla & Common, Hi-Tek & Talib Kweli, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, there’s a kindred understanding between Blu and Exile that invites instant ease and empathy. Although Exile has produced tracks for Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Akon, Aloe Blacc, Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall, and Mobb Deep, it is with Blu that his production feels most at home. Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, though undoubtedly a logical progression in both sound and scope, defies all the hype, precedents, and expectations to reaffirm the duo’s position at the forefront of LA’s burgeoning beat scene.
The classic album from Immortal Technique now available for a limited time on red vinyl. Features Akir, C-Rayz Walz, DJ Roc Raida, Diabolic, Jean Grae, Lou Cipher, Mumia Abu Jamal, Poison Pen, Pumpkinhead & Tonedeff.
The name Will Sessions was born as a producer alias of trumpeter Sam Beaubien. After sharpening his keyboard skills and learning writing and arrangement from the accomplished David Van De Pitte (who arranged for countless Motown recordings including Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On) at Wayne State University, he decided to start a band. With classmates Tim Shellaberger (bass) and Bryan Arnold (drums) along with recruits Ryan Gimpert (guitar) and Eric Kacir (Percussion), the band was complete.T h e y helped to develop a nascent monthly funk music party called Motor City Funk Night, and three years later, the party has grown into one of the sta- ples of the Detroit scene, and Will Sessions were playing in front of crowds of up to 3000 people. The success of the Funk Night parties led to significant studio work with artists like Black Milk, Mayer Hawthorne, and Slum Village, and the hip hop sessions in particular led Beaubien to concoct the idea of Will Sessions recreating his favorite sample-based music in a live setting with the full band. His vision would be realized with three smash concerts in 2009 for Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, and Phat Kat, which left hip hop fans in awe of how the band stayed faithful to the original sampled and programmed beats, while creatively elevating the songs to new heights by recreating them live. It was the particular challenge of duplicating the unique beats of J Dilla that gave Beaubien the confidence to work on the emcee Elzhi’s anticipated project Elmatic. Elmatic had been initially planned and announced in 2008 as a tribute to the historic 1994 album Illmatic by Nas, but it wasn’t until early 2011 that Elzhi and his manager Jae Barber agreed that it would be best to recreate all of the beats from scratch--and there was clearly nobody who could do it better than producer Sam Beaubien and Will Sessions. Since it’s widely considered to be the holy grail of hip hop recordings, the prospect of du- plicating the music from Illmatic was daunting. By using the original sam- ple sources of the album’s tracks as a foundation, producer Beaubien and the band members managed to recreate both the sound and the mood of the classic album with stunning precision on Elmatic, exceeding lofty expectations set by loyal fans and skeptical critics alike. With an ever-increasing body of recorded work, a skyrocketing reputation within their hometown market, and their first tastes of national and international interest, Will Sessions are primed to be among Detroit’s hottest musical exports.
Ever since he burst onto the scene in 2007 with the widely acclaimed Exile collaboration Below The Heavens, L.A. rapper Blu has been hailed as the most promising up-and-comer hip-hop has seen in years. With his cool L.A. demeanor and intricate lyrical musings, Blu blew a breath of fresh air into a stale SoCal hip-hop scene, leading hip-hop tastemakers like HipHopDX and XXL to name him one of the genre's top newcomers. After releasing further collaborations with Detroit's Ta'Raach and L.A. producer Mainframe, Blu attracted the attention of Warner Brothers, which will release his first major label album later this year. Lately, the internet has been buzzing about Her Favorite Colo(u)r, his unreleased debut EP. Initially available as a low-quality download from Blu's myspace, HFC is finally mixed and mastered, and will be in stores everywhere on April 19, 2011. With love-themed movie quotes drifting in and out and Blu's heartbreak raps sitting atop his own mellow production, HFC is the most distinct and cohesive project Blu has released to date.
Not since the days of Nasty Nas has an unsigned artist developed such a following and anticipation for a debut album, not since Pharoahe Monch has an MC taken so much pride on lyrics and not since MF DOOM has an MC been so original without trying. Enter Queens, NY MC Homeboy Sandman and his official debut album “The Good Sun”. This album is the culmination of several independently released projects and years of ripping stages all over the country alongside some of Hip Hop’s biggest names (The Roots, Souls Of Mischief, Talib Kweli). The album, his 1st on indie powerhouse High Water Music, boast some of his most personal material to date plus some of the best producers at the moment. Tracks like “The Carpenter” showcase Homeboy Sandman on full emcee mode. With his spit rapid flow Sandman shows that you can have fun while demolishing a track. “Being Haved” produced by DJ Spinna shows Sandman in story telling mode as he narrates a fun story of an everyday kid growing up. “Yeah But I Can Rhyme Though” produced by Ski Beatz is a third person narrative questioning Sandman about his career. Also along for the ride and behind the boards are Ski Beatz (Jay-Z, Camp Lo), DJ Spinna (Stevie Wonder, Eminem, Michael Jackson), Psycho Les (Beatnuts, Mos Def) and underground heroes 2 Hungry Bros plus new comers Core Rhythm and KO Beatz. On the mic, the album boasts appearances by Fresh Daily, John Robinson and Daniel Joseph. As well as receiving statewide (Hot 97, Sirius) and international radio play (BBC) Homeboy Sandman has appeared on DJ Spinna’s critically acclaimed Sonic Smash album and has been featured on MTV (http://highwaterismusic.com/2010/01/homeboy-sandman-on-mtv/), Blender Magazine, XXL (Chairman’s Choice) and The Source (Unsigned Hype) to name only a few.
FINALLY BACK IN STOCK The first official release from the legendary Detroit collective Slum Village (Baatin, T3, Jay Dee) returns with an official vinyl re-issue. While Fantastic Vol. 1 brings the now beloved raw and rugged lyricism of the 1990’s, it is the first taste of the now heralded production of Jay Dee that makes Fantastic Vol. 1 a must have on wax. What started as a local phenomenon has blossomed into a worldwide classic thanks to the signature style and rhyme of James Yancey. As Questlove said, “The success that was deserved eluded the original lineup for Slum Village...those who were 10 years tardy to the party can find their invite within the selections of this disk”. In addition to the entire album on two pieces of vinyl, the 2011 version of Fantastic Vol 1. includes a bonus 7” featuring the previously unreleased “Keep It On (Instrumental) and “Bounce Wit a N*gga”.
With years of valuable experience from working alongside some of the most influential figures in the recording industry to date, Raekwon is ready to navigate his ship with the formation of his record label, Ice Water Inc. and reemerge his urban flair to the masses with the sequel to the aforementioned blockbuster…Only Built For Cuban Linx II (The Purple Tape). This Shaolin Island legendary flamethrower, gave fans something to chow on with the 08 release of the “Vatican” Mix-tape and now he has prepared a delicious plate and his lyrical recipe has been groomed to make his presence felt nationally with the OBFCL II ‘09 release. With the smash hits “ Mean Streets“ and “ We Ain’t Going No Where“ featuring Busta Rhymes, this lyrical juggernaut has been marinating and is now ready to assume the throne and his rightful position as the flashy Don of Dons and Hip-Hop ambassador in the entertainment industry. The album features cameos from many industry heavyweights such as The Wu-tang Clan, Jadakiss Styles P, and many others. OBFCL II also features blazing tracks from the who’s who of extraordinary Hip-Hop producers such as the RZA, Eric Sermon, Dr. Dre, Scram Jones, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Allah Mathematics and J Dilla, layered with Raekwon’s melodic flows, thought provoking visual content and street orientated delivery, Only Built For Cuban Linx Part II (The Purple Tape) will produce the dish that true Hip Hop heads have been salivating for many years.
In the 4 years after Clipse dropped their sophomore classic Lord Willin’, the duo was able to build a legacy that had fans hungry for new material. After the smoke cleared and they hit the studio, the Virginia brothers recorded the confidently mature sophomore effort, Hell Hath No Fury. Best known for their unconventional radio smash “Grindin’,” Clipse are no strangers to taking risks with the boundary-pushing Neptunes, who return as trusted co-pilots for Hell Hath No Fury. As always the duo is right at home over The Neptunes crafted beats which perfectly embrace Pusha’s inventive drug-game metaphors and Malice’s soul-baring confessionals. From the bouncy lead single “Mr. Me Too” and the Slim Thug assisted “Wamp Wamp” to the oddly haunting "Keys Open Doors" to "Momma I'm Sorry", Hell Hath No Fury represents some of the duo’s best work. On the hypnotic “Keys Open Doors,” over the eerie mix of screwed-up angelic voices, chimes and congas, the brothers run circles around the competition, while the spine-tingling boom-bap of “Ride Around Shining” sets the stage for Pusha’s hilarious boasts. Whether rhyming over distorted, lo-fi guitar plucks (“Dirty Money”) or overblown 808s (“Trill”), the brothers come with colorful references and inventive word play that easily places them in a lyrical class of their own. Get On Down now proudly issues this Neptunes produced favorite on LP for the first time ever with the first run on white vinyl.
After waiting patiently behind two singles, a dope video, and a neon-blue triangle shaped vinyl, Union is ready to unleash the most musically challenging, painstakingly crafted, MC-packed album in the dawn of 2012 - Analogtronics. Featuring Talib Kweli, Elzhi, MF DOOM, Roc Marciano, Guilty Simpson, and more, Union produces space-aged bangers that mold perfectly around each guest, in addition to sprinkling in a few lush, eye-widening instrumentals. This is the full length we have all been waiting for, as bonus tracks provide over twenty songs hypnotic interstellar boop-bap. Union consists of two Parisian producers whose otherworldly approach to analog-driven, melodically abstract, sample free hip-hop inspired Fat Beats Records to extend a label invitation immediately. When a mysterious, monolithic, glossy black package arrived at FBHQ with nothing more than a cryptic note and an unlabeled CD inside, the staff wasn’t sure if Stanley Kubrick had risen from the dead to make mixtapes or if their lives were about to be transformed forever. Luckily it was the latter, and today the legendary label is poised to unleash Union’s debut album Analogtronics on an unsuspecting Earth in the dawn of 2012. Union was born when OJ, a Dilla-obsessed beat junkie with an unhealthy obsession for science fiction, met Gold, a jazzhead whose vast collection of vintage keyboards and synths left little room in his flat for trifling vanities like clothing and kitchen appliances. Though both shared a parallel vision for the music of tomorrow, they each occupied opposite corners of Paris’ electro underground when their worlds collided in 2009. OJ, upon catching a flash of Gold’s keyboard prowess at a Belleville loft party, approached the funky technician immediately in hopes of applying his melodic touch to a nearly finished beat tape. Gold loved what he heard, and thus two unique creative energies become one distinct Union.
There’s a lot to be learned from Large Professor – how to produce, how to rhyme, how to cultivate new talent, how to stay creative and consistent for decades. The passing years only increase his legendary status – as a major collaborator with Main Source, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, etc. – while re-confirming his originality with each new project. So what’s on the syllabus for the Professor’s latest class? In his own words: “taking it back to the B-boy uprock style.” His latest masterwork Professor @ Large drops June 26 on Fat Beats Records. Large’s impeccable craftsmanship shines on each of the 15 songs, many of them at upbeat park jam tempos. Whether he’s spitting hard with MOP’s Lil Fame, dropping an ill instrumental, or casting his wizened gaze out of the kaleidoscopic cover art, Large Pro is always smooth, on point and uniquely himself. In addition to Lil Fame, the album features a connoisseur’s selection of fine MCs: Busta Rhymes reminiscing in double-time on “Straight from the Golden”; Cormega and Tragedy Khaddafi bringing the streets on “Focused Up”; Mic Geronimo and Grand Daddy IU keeping cool on “Mack Don Illz”; and Cormega, Saigon, Roc Marciano and Action Bronson comprising the stunning “M.A.R.S” – easily the best posse cut of 2012. In a classy move, Large Pro gives Marco Polo the album’s only production guest spot on the title track.
Box Set Includes: 3 LPs of The Future Is Now pressed on extremely limited, jaw-dropping Triple Haze Vinyl 40" x 24" Mear One Poster of the original cover art 10" x 10" Booklet Bonus 7" featuring an unreleased Large Professor-produced song from the original The Future Is Now sessions. Fresh off their NYC Halloween reunion appearance, indie powerhouse Non Phixion drops the ultimate vinyl version of "The Future Is Now". This limited edition box set includes "The Future Is Now" album on 3 LPs, 40" x 24" Mear One poster of cover art, 10" x 10" booklet and a 7-inch record of a previously unreleased Large Professor produced song from the original "TFIN" sessions. 400 will be pressed in the jaw-dropping "Triple Haze" variant and an extremely limited 100 copies will be available in the nuclear-radiated "Glow In The Dark" variant. This triple vinyl box set is strictly limited to these 500. A double vinyl version without all the bells and whistles will be available Spring 2015.
With the official follow-up to the classic "Operation Doomsday," MF Doom has hip hop heads foaming at the mouth. Cooked up with his special herbs and spices, get ready to devour "Mmm...Food," with the help in the kitchen from Count Bass D, Mr. Fantastik, and the good folks at Rhyme Sayers Entertainment.
Recently, a mysterious album titled Jesus turned up on the popular music site Bandcamp, uploaded by an artist calling himself "b". Soon, the LP was discovered to be the latest work from enigmatic L.A. rapper Blu, and within hours, it was the talk of the blogosphere. The album was soon removed, but now it's back, this time in physical form. New World Color is proud to present the latest lo-fi masterpiece from one of hip-hop's most intriguing figures. Officially the debut for alter-ego "b", Jesus is sure to satisfy the cult-like fanbase that's been steadily growing around the artist most famously known as Blu.
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.
Experience an experiment turned masterpiece…NoYork! Los Angeles emcee Blu's oft-delayed masterpiece has been the talk of the internet for years, but has never seen a proper retail release. While Blu has turned in a number of critically acclaimed projects lately, NoYork (also known as York) is his most ambitious project to date. Applying timeless vocals over detailed, textured instrumentals, Blu seems to have placed himself at the forefront of a new genre, melding classic hip-hop lyricism with the experimentation of the L.A. beat scene. With contributions from beat icons like Flying Lotus, Exile, Shafiq Husayn of Sa Ra, Daedalus, Dibia$e, and Samiyam, the album boasts a unique sonic backdrop that sets it apart from his previous work. NoYork also features appearances from Edan, U-God (Wu-Tang Clan), Pac Div, UNI, J*Davey, Nola Darling, and more.
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. Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some as minor novelty, but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, part like a hip-hop beat maker at work, its songs starting and stopping unexpectedly, like someone turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the artist's reputation among his peers and fans as a top-rated architect of soulful hip-hop.
L.A. rapper Blu burst onto the scene in the late 00s with the widely acclaimed Exile collaboration Below The Heavens, igniting a West Coast hip hop renaissance in the process. In the years since, the enigmatic emcee has released a steady stream of critically-acclaimed projects, from the love-themed concept album Her Favorite Colo(u)r to the genre-bending NoYork. Now, Blu is back with Good To Be Home, his first ever double album. Featuring a host of West Coast hip-hop luminaries, Good To Be Home is an unapologetic celebration of Los Angeles music and culture. “This is my most defining record ever,” says Blu. A cohesive collection with two discs and no filler, Good To Be Home is an important addition to Blu's already impressive catalog. Available on double disc CD, double cassette, and 2xLP vinyl. Translucent gold vinyl limited to 1000 units and available while supplies last. Artwork designed by famed contemporary artist Joseph Martinez.
Corey Woods aka Raekwon The Chef, aka Lex Diamonds, aka Shallah, Raekwon has been a staple in the Entertainment industry since his debut in 1993 as an integral part in undeniably one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups to date, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Rae's verbal ability took center stage early in the original cult classic "Protect Ya Neck", but little did the world know as we bopped our heads in unison to the mesmerizing Wu-Tang catalog, that we were merely indulging in delicious appetizers delivered by Rae. It wasn't until 1995, when Raekwon The Chef emerged from the kitchen and invited the Hip-Hop faithful into his personal chamber and the world was privileged to partake in the perfectly sautéed full course meal cooked by the Chef himself culminating with the album that changed the game as we knew it... Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is a Hip-Hop classic that would serve as binoculars for not only how the general public would view Hip-Hop artists, but also and more importantly, how Hip-Hop artists would view themselves Raekwon has influenced many of the Hip-Hop aficionado's such as Wyclef, Outkast, The Game, Mobb Deep, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eminem, The Lox and the late great Big Pun. Never before had the game seen the flashy swagger, coupled with the Mafioso undertones that so eloquently fit, along with the use of numerous aliases by an artist, the unprecedented skits, the Staten Island slang and the verbal techniques that Raekwon The Chef so effortlessly demonstrated in the Platinum classic album that would withstand the test of time. By possessing these rare qualities and Iron Chef credentials, the Brooklyn born "Shaolin" bred MC became one of the most versatile Hip- Hop artists that the industry has ever seen and considered by many as one of the Greatest MC's Of All Time. Much like the career of one of his favorite artists, Marvin Gaye, Raekwon not only appeals to the male dominated street community but he also possesses the unique ability to attract a huge female following. The hoods all across America have been craving for it, the streets have been starving, and now the country is famished for the release of Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang. With years of valuable experience from working alongside some of the most influential figures in the recording industry to date, Raekwon is ready to navigate his ship with the formation of his record label, IceH20 records and reemerge his urban flair to the masses with the aforementioned blockbuster. This Shaolin Island legendary flamethrower, gave fans something to chow on with the `09 release of the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 ("The Purple Tape") and his lyrical recipe has been groomed to make his presence felt Worldwide. This lyrical juggernaut has been marinating and is now ready to assume the throne and his rightful position as the flashy Don of Dons and Hip-Hop ambassador in the entertainment industry. The album features cameos from many industry heavyweights such as The Wu-Tang Clan, Rick Ross, Raheem Devaughn, Jim Jones, Black Thought, and many others. Blazing tracks from the who's who of extraordinary Hip-Hop producers such as the Eric Sermon, DJ Khalil, Scram Jones, Havoc, Kenny Dope, Allah Mathematics and Alchemist, layered with Raekwon's melodic flows, thought provoking visual content and street orientated delivery. "He promised it. The fans demanded it. And, now it's finally here! Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, the long awaited concept album from Raekwon the Chef. Back with the gritty tales from the street that have made him a hip hop legend, Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang captures Raekwon at the top of his lyrical game. The album includes tracks such as: "Molasses" featuring Rick Ross, "Rich and Black feat. Nas, "Last Trip to Scotland" feat Lloyd Banks and many more. Having enjoyed unparalleled comeback success with the 2009 release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2, Raekwon is back again to give the fans exactly what he promised them. And, they won't be disappointed."