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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.
1. Interpret Sabotage (feat. Mel)
2. Deion’s House
3. Codes and Cab Fare (feat. Black Thought)
4. Ghetto DEMF (feat. Quelle Chris)
5. Sonny Jr. (Dreams)(feat. Robert Glasper; Dwele)
6. Sunday’s Best
7. Monday’s Worst
8. Perfected On Puritan Ave.
10. Parallels (feat. Ab)
11. X Chords
12. Black Sabbath (feat. Tone Trezure)
13. Money Bags (Paradise)
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With over 8 years in and appearing on over 30 vinyl releases, Damu the Fudgemunk has built a modest following and a collectible catalog. With his latest release, Public Assembly (cover photo shot at the legendary Fat Beats record store in NYC), his label Redefinition Records decided to empower fans with a role in the selection process. Is this a greatest hits? Not quite, but a highlight reel of sorts influenced by carefully analyzed comments in Redef's social networking community, hence the LP title. Many consider, "The Greatest Hits Album" overdue, but for a man who considers "his best work has yet to be released", Public Assembly is the Fudgemunk's artist statement that brings things to date full circle. 10 full length instrumentals from various projects are consolidated into one album. Over half the featured tracks were either never released on vinyl (Hole Up and Streamline instrumentals) or released in limited quantities (Supply Intro). For newcomers, Public Assembly is the full course introduction into Damu the Fudgemunk's vast catalog. For those who have been on board over the years the record connects the dots in one sitting. Either way, with the growing expansions of Damu and Redefinition records, it's safe to assume this won't be last of their projects rallied by the people.
This 12-inch was released leading up to the full-length Further Adventures of Lord Quas. Cover by Jeff Jank showing the night view of Quasimoto's building where who-the-hell-knows-what goes on at all hours of the night.
Lord Quas, Madlib and Melvin Van Peebles on some fantastic, nightmarish planet, tripping hard. As hallucinatory a hip hop experience as you can possibly hope to experience without mushrooms. For some reason, the remix was featured first, and, as a result was the version featured on The Unseen album. So peep the original version – available only on this 12".
Lord Quas’ first solo 12” on Stones Throw Records! Features three songs also available on Quas’s The Unseen, but get ‘em here with artwork by DJ Design. Instrumentals too.