"He is unmatchable in flow, delivery, and voice. Danny Brown has all the tools to be the greatest working rapper." -PITCHFORK Atrocity Exhibition is one of the freshest and boldest-sounding rap albums in recent memory, a sonic swirl inspired by the work of Talking Heads and Joy Division that nonetheless sounds like nothing else from the past or present. Featuring contributions from producers like Evian Christ, Petite Noir (who also lends vocals to the world-weary clang of “Rolling Stone”), Black Milk, the Alchemist and frequent collaborator Paul White, the album is full of laser-beam guitars, gym-teacher whistles, creaking vocal samples, and air-raid drones. It is the most intriguing take on hallucinatory rap since the heady heights of Cold Vein or Madvillainy. Known for his wide range of collaborations, including everyone from Purity Ring, the Avalanches and Rustie to Schoolboy Q, E-40, and Ghostface Killah, Atrocity Exhibition sees a continuation of this carefully curated mix. Kelela lends her snaking vocals to the intriguingly murky “From the Ground,” Cypress Hill’s B-Real delivers “Get Hi”’s languid hook, and Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul all convene for the twinkling ominousness of album standout “Really Doe.” “When XXX came out, all of us were peers, and those were the three rappers who were the best,” Brown explains on having the star-packed trio appear on the track. “I felt like we were competitors, they made me want to step my game up. I wanted to put the hottest rappers in the game on there.” This album is a highly personal take on Brown’s ruminations on life and the changes that have occurred -and those that didn't - following the ups and downs of career success. Atrocity Exhibition makes for a thrilling third installment in the Danny Brown biopic, one not to be missed.
YES LAWD! As temping as it may be to just let that exclamation suffice as your sole introduction to NxWorries, we should go a little deeper. The men at the heart of this LP — soul styler Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge — make an exceedingly clean pair, even as they deal almost entirely in the gritty: vocals that sound lived in for a couple of lifetimes; beats that kick up dust as they bump; and an 18-track set that plays like a mixtape merging skits, songs, and snippets into a package of fluid groove and rough-cut rap ‘n’ soul gems. You may have heard these two out in the world, on their own or sprinkling some of their musical gold dust on someone else’s songs, but this is what happens when .Paak and Knx get home, lay back, light up, and let it go. If there’s a Blaxploitation vibe to Yes Lawd!, that’s just the depth of NxWorries’ funk and strut showing. If there’s gospel in the grits, that’s the history of the cooks. Each grew up with religion. It was Knxwledge’s job to tidy up the family church in Jersey as a kid, and when he was done, he got to play on the instruments. Better still, when those instruments went bad, he kept them. Similarly, he’d soon find sounds in his growing vinyl cache, and when he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 as a beat maker, his compositions ensured he’d be home at Stones Throw. His hypnotically dank 2015 LP Hud Dreems was the tip of an iceberg—75 Bandcamp collections, and counting. Paak was neck deep in those songs when Knxwledge reached out. The singer grew up in Oxnard drumming in his own family’s church. His folks got locked up when he was a teen, and while he’d eke by on odd jobs (grocer, trimmer, personal assistant), he was homeless for a spell with a newborn son. But .Paak pushed forward, building a career via imaginative albums (2016’s Malibu), and collaborations that always seem to make him the star, even when he’s just there to sing the hook. On Yes Lawd!, .Paak – who calls the album “my best work” – plays theatrically brash version of himself who sings like a ‘70s superstar and talks shit like a stone cold player. But the perfor-mance is seeded with details from his life, which has seen a fair share of struggle and hardwon triumph. Meanwhile, Knx weaves a tapestry of sampled bits and live fragments—bass, brass and violin—that smooths everything over, reminding us that despite whatever struggle it took to get here... well, you already know the name: NxWorries.
Released in 2003 as MF DOOM's star was rising into the stratosphere, Take Me to Your Leader finds the Metal Faced Supervillain going by his Monsta Island Czar alias and recording for the envelope-pushing U.K. label Big Dada. It was his second solo album: following Operation: Doomsday but before Vaudeville Villain , Mm...Food, and Madvillain. Produced entirely by DOOM himself, it's got all his signature characteristics: absurdly catchy loop-driven beats culled from a wide variety of genres, big and chunky beats, dizzying tempo changes, bizarro Godzilla dialogue samples, and gruff but clever wordplay delivered in a husky flow and liberally peppered with random pop culture references. The featured guests (Kurious, Scienz of Life, Grimm, Rodan, Trunks, Hassan Chops, Mr. Fantastik, and Gigan) are all impressive. But it's still DOOM's show, and he delivers one of the best albums in his lengthy discography. There's not a weak track here, but "Fastlane," "Next Levels," "Anti-Matter," and "Fazers" are especially fresh.
In honor of the 20th Anniversary of Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, the artist's game-changing debut album, a special 2LP collection will be released. Pressed on Metallic Gold 12" 150gram vinyl, this LP package comes with an 8-page booklet that includes rare images from the original album and single photo shoots. The booklet also includes a very special pair of revelatory new essays: 1) an appreciation of Maxwell and his music by noted R&B scholar, music/culture critic, journalist and filmmaker Nelson George; and 2) a behind-the-scenes reminiscence on the making of Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite penned by music industry veteran Mitchell Cohen, who, as Senior Vice President of A&R at Columbia Records, signed Maxwell to the label and helped shepherd the music from raw concept to full realization.
Bundle includes official 2016 reissues of Beck's seminal classics, Odelay and Sea Change, on LP and 2xLP vinyl, respectively. Odelay (LP -140 Gram Vinyl)Originally released in June of 1996, Beck's second major label album, Odelay, was his chance to prove that he was no one-hit wonder. His major label debut, Mellow Gold, had produced the hit single "Loser," but there was a sense he hadn't quite won over everyone and it was hard to tell exactly who Beck was. Was he joking? Was he serious? Was he simply some sort of beat-poet novelty act? With Odelay, he enlisted the Dust Brothers, most famous at this point for being behind the boards for the Beastie Boys' 1989 sonic-collage opus Paul's Boutique. Together they crafted a classic. Sea Change (2xLP - Gatefold + Download Card)Drawing from hip-hop, folk, psychedlia, pop, rock and experimental, Beck defined himself as a warped poet in the '90s. Always changing and evloving his moods, Sea Change is a prime example of the singer/songwriters evolution within his craft. The finest example of Beck's talents as a singer, songwriter and musician.
A limited-edition vinyl collection showcasing rare MF DOOM material, featuring the likes of Talib Kweli, J Dilla, Ghostface Killah, Sean Price, Count Bass D, Vast Aire, Masta Killa, and more. From his early days as Zev Love X to his reinvention as a masked supervillain leading the indie hip-hop revolution, lyrical savant MF DOOM has remained one of the most interesting figures in the rap universe. While most fans already worship classic albums like “Operation Doomsday”, “MM...FOOD”, and “Madvillainy”, DOOM’s output also includes a number of guest appearances, non-album singles, promo tracks, and other rarities that never made it onto an official release. Now, those tracks are finally available on “Unexpected Guests”, a limited-edition vinyl collection showcasing rare MF DOOM material. Included are collaborations with the likes of Talib Kweli, J Dilla, Ghostface Killah, Sean Price, Count Bass D, Vast Aire, Masta Killa, and more. Many of these tracks have never been available on vinyl before, making “Unexpected Guests” an essential addition to DOOM’s already impressive catalog.
Hot off collaborations with Nottz (Titans in the Flesh EP) and Madlb (Bad Neighbor LP), SoCal ambassador Blu has teamed up with the Paris-based production team Union Analogtronics (OJ & Gold) to unleash a new full length album: Cheetah in the City. Featuring Dam-Funk, Phat Kat, Frank N Dank, and more, the album signifies a stylistic sea change for Blu, best known for his dusty, soul sampling collaborations with Exile (Below the Heavens) and his own introspective opuses (Her Favorite Colour, Good to be Home, York!). Rippling with 808s and cinematic strings, Cheetah in the City is an organic evolution from the synth-soaked, futuristic sound of Analogtronics, UNION’s 2012 Fat Beats Records debut album featuring Talib Kweli, MF DOOM, Elzhi, Guilty Simpson, and more. After mutual friends put them in touch at a Parisian post-show after-party, Blu and Union began a musical exchange that spanned continents. Blu returned to LA with UNION’s best beats, and after months of exchanging lyrical ideas, the trio regrouped for marathon recording sessions in UNION’s Paris-based studio. Cloistered for weeks with nothing but drum machines, instruments, keyboards, records, and France’s best bud, Blu became obsessed with infusing his kicked back Southern California sensibilities into UNION’s penchant for pushing the possibilities of technicality into multilayered, densely packed productions. A cohesive story emerged in the songwriting: a young man, raised amongst deadbeats, killers, and hard drugs, metamorphoses into the Cheetah, a money-making predator whose quick talk and cold hustle make him the king of a city that will eventually consume him, heart and soul. We’ve never heard Blu like this.
Stranger Things is the breakout Netflix original series set in 1983 Indiana where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. A love letter to the '80s supernatural classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton. The series is now streaming on Netflix globally. Formed in 2009, the prolific Austin, TX experimental synth quartet S U R V I V E have released two full-lengths and numerous EPs / singles since their inception, including recent contributions to the soundtrack for the acclaimed indie horror film The Guest. Additionally, two of the group's members, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, recently scored the soundtrack for the first season of Stranger Things. The first season is available to stream now on Netflix.
Swet Shop Boys (SSB) have arrived with Cashmere (via Customs), the debut from Queens, New York’s Heems (Himanshu Suri) and NW London’s Riz MC (Riz Ahmed). Both are prolific artists, actors and activists in their own right, now bringing their creative experience and the riches of their working class immigrant roots together. Rounding out the trio is British producer Redinho, providing the soundtrack for songs like their first single ‘T5’, where the emcees lament the discrimination they face as they amass frequent flyer miles while traveling the world for work. Cashmere seems timely in a world where the US and UK look across the pond for different reasons: Trump and Brexit, trap and grime. From Heems' poignant debut Eat, Pray Thug, to Riz’s acclaimed mixtape Englistan, the Trans-Atlantic, Indo-Pak duo have proudly fused their worlds together here. Musically, the palette draws from a gumbo of Qawwali hand claps, hype harmonium, Bollywood string drama, spiralling sitars, Western synths, and an arsenal of drums - from 808’s to tablas and tars, dholaks and doumbeks. Production on the record from Redinho provides the heat for their melting pot. His debut solo album earned praise from Mark Ronson, Jessie Ware, and Hudson Mohawke who brought him out on tour in the last year. Heems started his career with Das Racist, and has kept busy since with his label Greedhead, a series of university lectures, and rapping from Macau to Malaysia. Riz MC's debut 'Post-9/11 Blues' was banned from UK radio, and his music since has maintained that sharp social commentary as well as his acting career which includes projects like Four Lions, Nightcrawler, and HBO’s The Night Of.
Jake One's discography reads like a who's who list of some of the greatest AND most successful artists in the history of hip hop. That's what makes him truly unique. Blurring the lines between the underground and overground. Providing sonic backdrops for such incredible emcees as De La Soul, Scarface, Freeway, MF Doom, Evidence, Casual, Elzhi, Brother Ali, and Rakim among others, but polishing that same formula and providing records for the likes of Drake, Rick Ross, T.I., 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, J Cole, Wale, Dom Kennedy, and Royce 5'9", Jake One is one of the exceptions that has worked equally with both of these sides of the industry. Exceptionally. "Prayer Hands", a collection of instrumentals created from gospel sources, includes some of those recordings amongst others that all remind you that Jake One has pretty much become the go-to producer for any major artist that wants some real hip hop shit on their album. And understandably so. His discography is one of the most reputable in the game. On October 21st, Street Corner Music and Rappers I Know are proud to present Jake One's "Prayer Hands"
Long-awaited, heavily anticipated collaboration between Los Angeles based kindred spirits, Nite-Jewel and Dam-Funk. As proclaimed by Pitchfork, the joint-effort is "lightning in a bottle", garnering their coveted "Best New Track" for the lead-single "Let Me Be Me". The initial digital-only released charted an impressive peak position of #17 in the Electronic Music charts on Billboard. With Nite-Funk's debut EP, the two beloved artists bring the best out of one another in this very special release. Originally mastered by the icon music-engineer Francois Kevorkian with additional mixing and production by Grammy Award winner Cole MGN.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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