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Brooklyn veteran spit kicker Shabaam Sahdeeq has returned with his fifth studio album, Keepers Of The Lost Art. The relentless lyricist delivers a body of work that puts his lyrical aptitude at the forefront, while placing an emphasis on top shelf production and cuts, courtesy of Ran Reed, Lewis Parker, DJ Dister, DJ Ready Cee and DJ Skizz, to name a few.
What originally started as 40 tracks, Keepers Of The Lost Art was eventually boiled down to 20, reflecting S-Dub’s most comprehensive long play release to date. The LP details his motivation to stay in the game and fight for the culture with bars as tough as the mic in his hand. The production runs the gamut from laid back as exemplified by the nostalgic piano chords on the Lewis Parker produced “Walk with the Light,” to electrifying, as demonstrated by the DJ Skizz produced street banger “That Dope,” which boasts features from Brooklyn’s premiere panderer Wais P, and the lyrically sharp Sha Stimuli. And complain no more club deejays, Shabaam has you covered for a dance friendly cut to spin late Friday nights with the DJ Wonder produced “Fall In Line.” It’s safe to call it a comeback as his rhymes are as polished today, as they were when he made his Rawkus debut in ‘97 with “Arabian Nights” B/W “Side 2 Side.”
Artistically, the album cover reveals a scenario where Hip- Hop’s younger generation discovers the cultural keepsakes of yesteryear. From a solid gold boombox, to jewel crusted crowns, drum machines, and outboard gear, S-Dub is here to confront the generational disconnect, as spelled out on the Eric Rico featured “Grown Man Hustle” -- “Some of these young boys consider me a throwback, I birthed your style you need to give me my flow back,” spits S-Dub. When explaining the album cover, Shabaam states: “Imagine the world came to an end in an apocalypse and some kids survived in a bunker. Now when the dust settles and the smoke is gone, the kids come out the bunker and discover a treasure chest in an old music store that contains all the elements of Hip-Hop, and started having fun with it.” Whether you see it as a time capsule or the last defense of Hip-Hop’s watchmen, Keepers Of The Lost Art could be played ten years ago, today, and ten years from now with high praise.
Keepers of the Lost Art includes guest features from the likes of Tragedy Khadafi, REKS, El Gant, Wais P, Sha Stimuli, Skyzoo, F.T., Mic Handz, General DV (DV Alias Khrist), Spit Gemz, and Bekay among others, and becomes available April 22nd via digital download and CD, through Below System.
1. Keepers Of The Lost Art
2. Conceited Confidence
3. Playing Games
4. Speak Truth featuring Reks & Kamala
5. Walk With The Light
6. That Dope featuring Wais P & Sha Stimuli
7. Hardbody & Heavy featuring Half A Brick & EastKoast
9. Grown Man Hustle featuring Eric Rico
10. The Come Back Kid featuring Skyzoo & F.T.
11. Seasons Change
12. City Of Fame featuring Mic Handz
13. He Who Dares featuring Lewis Parker
14. Fall In Line
15. O.G Certified featuring Tragedy Khadafi
16. Done It All featuring Bekay
17. Relax (Remix)
18. Energon 2 featuring Spit Gemz
19. Honor Me Now (Remix)
20. U Don’t Want None featuring General DV
In listing the greatest albums in hip-hop history, one title never seems to stray from the upper echelons, no matter how many years pass: Boogie Down Productions' undisputed classic from 1986, Criminal Minded. Released amidst a battle between BDP and MC Shan that would redefine the New York rap landscape as it was then known, the album, which features the songs "South Bronx," "Criminal Minded" and "The Bridge is Over," captures the excitement, urgency and raw power that embodies hip-hop culture as we know it, with KRS-One's aggressive yet intelligent lyricism backed by Scott La Rock's hard-hitting, stripped-down beats. A true classic, Criminal Minded has been recognized by Vibe Magazine, The Source and Rolling Stone as one of the most important albums of all time.Traffic Entertainment Group and B-Boy Records are proud to present Criminal Minded, presented for the first time ever in a double-LP pressing with a new digital transfer from the original analog master tapes.The album is packaged in a gatefold "paste-on style" jacket, featuring extensive liner notes from journalist Brian Coleman and KRS-One, full color printed dust sleeves with vintage B-Boy Records graffiti artwork, full-color 24" x 36" poster and the bonus track "P is Free (Original 12" Version)."
In the wake of the release of A Tribe Called Quest's first album, 1990's stellar People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, critics who had previously ignored hip-hop sat up and took notice of Q-Tip's sophisticated and unorthodox productions, and Phife Dog's party rocking but winningly self-deprecating rhymes. But the critics often overlooked Tribe's far-reaching roots in the hip-hop underground and their larger place in the history of black music in general. The Low End Theory was in many ways a conscious attempt to redress these critical oversights; it also happens to be one of the finest hip-hop albums ever recorded. From the sinuous Art Blakey samples and myth-making rhymes of "Excursions" to the joyous free for all of the epic posse cut "Scenario", The Low End Theory is a stone masterpiece that establishes Tribe's place in hip-hop's history. They draw on everything from the crowd-hyping improvisations of their early park jams, to the complex sciences of Golden Age rhyming styles. Simply put, The Low End Theory is essential for anyone seeking to understand hip-hop.
...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is the eleventh studio album by American hip hop band The Roots. According to Black Thought, the album is conceptual like the previous one, but unlike Undun, ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin will feature several characters in his story, not just one. The Roots' lead rapper described the forthcoming album as a satirical look at violence in hip hop and American society overall.
Arguably Jay-Z's finest piece of recorded work, 2001's The Blueprint is officially where the Brooklyn-born rapper became the heavyweight champ of the hip hop game. Produced primarily by Kanye West and Just Blaze and featuring only one guest appearance by Eminem, The Blueprint became Jay-Z's fourth consecutive #1 album on the Billboard 200 charts. From radio anthems "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" and "Girls, Girls, Girls" to introspective cuts "Never Change" and "Song Cry" to diss tracks like "Takeover," the beats are consistently as extravagant as the rhymes are rich. Ten years after its original release, The Blueprint has only grown in acclaim, rightfully taking its place as a hip hop classic and one of the genre's greatest album's of all-time.