Celebrated West Coast rhyme-slayer Murs, legendary bassist and Bad Brains founder Darryl Jenifer and ego trip co-creator Sacha Jenkins SHR are THE WHITE MANDINGOS. The band’s output combines the collective musical experiences of these three men who hail from three distinct towns: Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York City. Their debut full length, The Ghetto is Trying to Kill Me, is slated for release on Fat Beats Records come June 11th, 2013. The album is broadcast from the perspective of Tyrone White—a fellow from Harlem’s Polo Grounds housing projects who fronts a rock band. White’s struggle for acceptance, success and love is explored throughout this genre- bending LP. In the end, the listener better understands Rakim’s old adage, “It ain’t where ya from, it’s where ya at.”
Jenkins’ background as a writer and satirist who has focused largely on the subject of race plays a role in how the soul of the album rings out. “I think a lot of folks will be able to relate to Tyrone and his struggles,” Jenkins says. “He feels misunderstood—by his women, his friends, his people. And that misunderstanding sometimes affects who he is and who he truly wants to be. Should he not be playing this music because he’s black? And who the hell is in the position to tell him what to do anyways?”
Bass, guitar, drums, vox, hip hop, 808s, hardcore punk, metal and dusted R&B comes together to push a debut LP that takes the strengths of the band’s members into fresh, uncharted territories. Things are coming together for the White Mandingos. And “random” is a big part of their magic.
“I randomly called Murs because a voice in my head said that he’d be great for the band—I didn’t know him,” Jenkins admits. “Got his number from a mutual friend and asked him if he wanted to be in a band with me and Darryl called The White Mandingos, and the dude said YES.” Jenkins is totally blown away by the opportunity to create with Jenifer and Murs.
“As a fan of both artists, I feel honored to be a part of such a historic project,” Jenkins adds. “Making music with these dudes is like a dream come true. Feels like I’m making music with my brothers. Feels like I’m in the Jackson 5! Minus Joe Jackson.”
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.