Record Label: Plug Research
“Normally I wouldn’t suggest dropping full projects as regularly as Sene does, but when they are consistently as dope as all of his releases have been, I’m all for it.” - OkayPlayer
The 2xLP includes Brooklyknight on sides A, B, C & Exit,Us on Side D.
Sene was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City. The son of a native New Yorker and a mother from Puerto Rico, Sene’s childhood never had a dull moment growing up in Sheepshead Bay (South Brooklyn). His mother would play salsa music while cleaning their one bedroom apartment and when his father was still around, he would play his electric guitar for his son and captivate him with old tapes from Woodstock. Though exposed to it from an early age, it wasn’t until his step-brother gave him Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense that the hip-hopbug bit a pre-teen Sene. Eventually he jacked that CD from his brother and started writing. He started soaking up all the classic hip-hop that sprung from NY in the late 90’s, with the Rawkus Soundbombing series being particularly influential. Ironically, it did not connect with Sene until years later that the music that was so pivotal in changing his life was being made in his own borough.
Rapping quickly became more than a hobby for Sene, but between the knucklehead lifestyle and his home life, the would-be MC did not have much of an outlet for his creativity. At 18, Sene picked up his high school diploma and the very next day he was on a plane for the West Coast. Initially the plan was to get some student loans, go to school and work. Unfortunately some of that knuckle-head business kept Sene from qualifying for certain kinds of assistance, so the plan became to work and rap. He slowly but surely started developing his lyricism and identity as an MC and began meeting like-minded people and rocking live shows. Soon after his arrival to the west coast, Sene moved to Santa Barbara where he met a friend who ran a college radio show at UCSB which led the young MC freestyling on air for weeks on the show. That same friend later interned for Sound-In-Color, which is where Sene met Blu.
After moving to the Antelope Valley, Sene got a call from Blu, offering Sene production--the roots for his debut LP were planted. Later, a hectic phone conversation led to a poor young lady being coerced into driving out to Antelope Valley and back to Slauson Avenue in the middle of the night so the two MC’s could lay the foundation for their album A Day Late & A Dollar Short. Upon nearing the album’s completion, something inside Sene clicked. He felt it was only right that he be in Brooklyn when his first full length is released. So like that, Sene hopped back on a steel bird back east. After being back home a bit, on the evening of a show at Santos Party House with Homeboy Sandman and Donwill, Sene met Pace Rivers from The Clubhouse. Pace approached Sene about working together and from there Sene began frequenting The Clubhouse. It was from his work at that locale that the project Exit, Us was born. A collection of self- produced vigniettes has made for the most powerful piece Sene has made to date. The project caught the attention of LA indie-label Plug Research and soon Sene found himself as the only MC on the acclaimed label’s roster. Sene has witnessed his writing mature and develop to a point where it can now stand on it’s own. His songs and projects now have sounds of their own, an identity of their own. No longer searching for some hot bars, Sene is now aiming to paint landscapes with words, in his own unique way, and is well on his journey. His sophomore album brooklyknight is set to hit stores on April 24th, 2012 on Plug Research.
L.A. producer, Mndsgn’s most recent project, Breatharian, gets the official re-issue treatment via the newly formed Fresh Selects label. The rising instrumentalist - best known for his work with the likes of Danny Brown, Jonwayne, Sonnymoon, Blu, Knxwledge, and more - sees his first retail release in over 4 years and has pulled out all the stops for the occasion. A diverse, conceptual beat tape that takes a varied approach into exploring the strange phenomenon known as “breatharianism” - the project made waves when it first dropped last summer and has now been professionally mixed, mastered, and pressed to vinyl for the first time. Along with it are two new bonus beats, “Hiking” and “Bweyy” (featuring co-producer, Swarvy); the album also marks Mnd’s first ever official music video - in the form of two-fer, “Hiking” / “Fif Dim.
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.
Madvillainy is a collaboration between rapper MF Doom and producer Madlib under the group name Madvillain. MF DOOM and Madlib were off the radar to many in 2003, but the announcement of a collaboration and the first track, “America's Most Blunted”, brought all the quiet fans out of the woodwork, and let to a controversial and highly acclaimed album release in early 2004 that helped expose the two artists to a large audience for the first time. While the producer and MC both did was what completely natural to them at the time, they turned the formula of popular rap at the time on its head, creating an album that is both unique and true to it's hip-hop influences.
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.