Record Label: Fat Beats Records
Packaged in a tip on "mini LP" jacket with 10x10 poster
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.
This year Room40 celebrates 15 years of editions and events. As part of the celebrations we are re-issuing a number of editions in various formats that are out of print. One of these editions brings together two of the pieces we’ve had the pleasure to publish by Tim Hecker. These two works were both created in conjunction with visits by Tim to Australia and were released in limited quantities. The 7” edition of Apondalifa basically vanished upon release. It was also originally split across a 7”. On this new edition, cut by the wondrous LUPO at Calyx, the piece is available on vinyl for the first time in its extended format. Tim remains a dear friend to us, and an inspiration! We’re glad to be revisited these astounding pieces and making them both available in this format for the first time!
Going through that process brings us K-def’s new album, The Way It Was. The title sums it up. Instead talking about dues he paid and the roots of his skill set, The Way it Was is a living demonstration for younger listeners who grew up after the 90’s and his core fans who remember the days of his Lords of the Underground, Real Live, Mic Geronimo and World Renown productions like yesterday. Though mostly instrumental, frequent collaborator Blu appears on 3 tracks. Blu was inspired to record the socially aware, “The Boys” and the lively “Strawberry Lemonade” (featuring Damu the Fudgemunk and newcomer Kunal) after hearing K-Def’s original demo cassettes. At 11 tracks, “The Way It Was” is a must have for 90’s fans. It IS exactly “what it was”. For the label, K-Def is an exception. His latest offering entitled “The Unpredictable Gemini” (1 of 2 new albums released simultaneously), is a fully instrumental opus into the mind and soul of one of hip hop’s greatest producers. The Unpredictable Gemini showcases his evolving style and genre pioneering tricks and techniques he continues to refine through the use of his unique production tools. Keeping this project very close to heart and classified from the public over the last 3 years, K meticulously produced, composed, arranged, mixed and mastered well over 100 tracks before making executive decisions on this album he wants the world to hear.
Three classic Immortal Technique albums, bundled for a limited time at almost 40% less than the combined standard price. Revolutionary Vol. 1Originally self-released in 2002, the plain-spoken politics (the title of this album is not to be taken lightly) and barebones production of Revolutionary, Vol. 1 missed MTV and Rap City entirely, surprise surprise. However, the album built enough underground buzz, helped by the more widely distributed Revolutionary, Vol. 2 the following year, that it was reissued in 2004, sounding as up-to-date as ever. Immortal Technique works the same political side of the street as Dead Prez and the Coup, but much like Chuck D, the godfather of the political rap scene, the Peruvian-born rapper never lets his ideas get in the way of his flow, and manages to express complex and reasoned opinions, only occasionally devolving into simple sloganeering. Those who found beats on Revolutionary, Vol. 2 too skeletal for their likes, however, will likely find it’s predecessor even tougher sledding; however, the homemade-sounding productions perfectly suitable for the non-corporate sentiments of Immortal Technique’s lyrics, and has a smilier rough-edged charm. Revolutionary Vol. 2The classic album from Immortal Technique now available for a limited time on black vinyl. Features Akir, C-Rayz Walz, DJ Roc Raida, Diabolic, Jean Grae, Lou Cipher, Mumia Abu Jamal, Poison Pen, Pumpkinhead & Tonedeff. The 3rd WorldImmortal Technique, the most radical revolutionary rap lyricist to hit wax, combines with Green Lantern and a gang of like-minded MCs to produce THE 3RD WORLD, a furious mixtape which is perhaps Immortal Technique’s best work to date. The title track is a compelling summary of all the Harlem rapper has proclaimed in his past verses, as he reworks Jay-Z’s “Where I’m From” into a scathing diagnosis of the state of the world in the 21st century. Tech also breaks down the power structures behind NYC gentrification on “Harlem Renaissance,” deconstructs accepted understandings of “pimp” on “Reverse Pimpology,” and examines corporate privatization on “Open Your Eyes.” Violent, angry, and unabashedly challenging, THE 3RD WORLD is everything hardcore hip-hop should be.