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2814 are one of the most innovative musical acts in recent memory. Blending breathtaking ambient soundscapes and futuristic downtempo experiments with a gorgeous sense of electronic melancholy and urban atmosphere, the ever-elusive duo’s sound is defined by their brilliant adoration for warped, hypnagogic nostalgia and the simultaneous outlook into a futuristic dystopian setting – a winning combination of loss and optimism translated through a heavily altered new age lens. Rain Temple, their third full-length album, represents a new chapter in 2814′s sound: sprawling synth drones, beautifully distant vocals, swirling percussion, and an ethereal sonic aura tie together a simply masterful record. HKE and t e l e p a t h have once again created a stunning artistic statement that exceeds expectation and goes far beyond most modern ambient music, reminding us that beyond our late night somber and eternal wonder, we all remain.
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Tupac Shakur is still the best-selling hip hop artist and a modern tragic hero. Here's the definitive (and unofficial) instrumental collection of the man who was able to bring Hip Hop to mainstream with anthems such as Temptations, So Many Tears, California Love, etc.
Limited Edition Green Vinyl with Hand Screen Printed Jacket by Hit+Run Lost Stories is a collection of 18 beats from the archives of English producer Jim Coles, best known today as Om Unit, and released by Justin “Kutmah” McNulty’s IZWID label. The album is both a portrait of the artist as a young man, and the completion of a circle, ten years in the making, that stretches from London to Los Angeles. Before he became Om Unit, Coles was working under the name 2tall. Throughout the 2000s he lived in and around London, lodging in various smoky flats where he would set up an always shifting home studio. Days were spent studying music, meditating, and learning the ropes of electronic music production while also honing sharp turntablist skills. Between 2005 and 2008, Coles made a lot of beats, part and parcel of his artistic growth. Lost Stories collects eighteen of the best, unearthed from old hard drives and Cubase sessions and never heard until now. Influence came from American labels such as Plug Research, Ghostly International, Poobah, and Stones Throw where a new generation of artists worked in a middle ground between hiphop and electronic, a place of infinite possibilities. The album shows a maturing 2tall sound while sketching out the outlines of what would become Om Unit: you can hear it all in the swing of ‘Potholes’, the confident chug of ‘Timeless World’, the hypnotic bass of ‘The Roller’, the awkward loop of ’30 mins’, the strut of ‘Night Vision’, and the uplifting vibes of ‘Over The Clouds’. Kutmah first discovered 2tall’s music after Ras G had ordered copies of his last album into Poobah Records. Years before they ever set eyes on each other, the two were connected through a mutual appreciation of their respective work. Lost Stories came together during a joint Australian tour in spring 2014. Featuring artwork by Kutmah, it captures a moment in time when experimentation mattered above all else, when possibilities felt abundant, and when a beat could be a doorway into infinity. And it also reminds us that you must remember where you came from in order to understand where you’re going.
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Eccentric soul and funk recordings from an unlikely crew of Los Angeles musical misfits – including psych-rock cult figure John Greek (Reachin’ Arcesia, Beautiful Daze) and members of the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band. They had a catchy, but inappropriate name: there is nothing forthcoming about Los Angeles’ 4th Coming, unless one counts a copious amount of releases – on rare 7” singles – that didn’t sell farther than vocalist/principal Henry “Hank” Porter’s Datsun 1200 could take him. When 4th Coming records surfaced in the '90s, they were often disregarded as novelty. And some of their records were so rare that it took until the late ‘00s for them to reemerge, after the sinking of their initial pressing runs. Assembling a complete set of 4th Coming recordings was nearly impossible, until the issue of this, the lost 4th Coming album. At its core, the 4th Coming was a songwriting duo – Porter and Jechonias “Jack” S. Williams – and a rotating cast of musicians – including members of lauded LA funk ensemble the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band - that Williams assembled at Artist Recording Studio to realize the pair’s ideas. They existed only from the latter half of 1969 until 1974; during that time they issued eight singles as 4th Coming and one as Impact! on Al Firth's Alpha imprint. And now, Strange Things, a thrilling listen, a mysterious trove of recordings made possible by an open minded and well-funded indie impresario, which document a very real and very weird Los Angeles of the past. It’s a city we’ll never know again, and one that might never again produce an ensemble like the 4th Coming. If Firth’s faith only rolled snake-eyes in terms of commercial success, in terms of documenting Los Angeles’ vibrant soul and funk underground, he rolled boxcars. This, the album Williams and Firth always hoped would bring them real success, now sees its complete release and allows us to ponder the might-have and the would-have beens – had a 4th Coming album come together in the mid-‘70s.
Released without the usual flurry of hype, Before I Self Destruct fulfills 50 Cent's contractual obligation to the Interscope label. It also doubles as a throwback album, returning the rapper to the hunger and hatred of his early mixtapes while skillfully recasting him as a wannabe upstart. That is, for the most part. The four radio-friendly bedroom numbers that conclude the album are out of place but fairly good to dime-piece beautiful, with the best being the Ne-Yo showcase "Baby by Me" ("Have a baby by me, baby/Be a millionaire"). As pleasing as these final numbers are, if you leave the room after the macho bruiser "I Got Swag" ("I'm infinitely special/Girl the Lord is gonna bless you/If you do what I tell you to do"), you'll return to a confusingly different album, one that's as glamorous but less vital. The monstrous run of tracks that leads up to this flash and polish can be summed up by 50's "This ain't Tha Carter/It's Sparta!," a witty, deceptive, and brutish line barked over a prime Dr. Dre beat during the great "Death to My Enemies." On the cut, the producer sounds like he's been digging on RZA, but the tension and dark-night feel he has created for "Psycho" is easily identifiable as Dre. Add an especially rapid 50 trading horror-show rhymes with Eminem and the G-Unit soldiers will testify that the Shady/Aftermath dream is still alive. While "So Disrespectful" is the perfect title for a song that shocks, stuns, and brings reminders of the gritty G-Unit Radio mixtape series at its best, the Rick Rock-produced "Stretch" is an even craftier balance of amoral and humorous as it references Plastic Man and Mr. Fantastic before explaining the profitable benefits of cutting cocaine. There are only three guest vocalists, and save a production credit for Havoc, the G-Unit posse is absent, and yet 50 is able to carry the album alone, sounding as inspired as he did on his Interscope debut. That album, Get Rich or Die Tryin', beats this one thanks to its proper balance and structure, but Before I Self Destruct is still a fantastic juggernaut of a 50 album if you exit early, and a very good one even if you don't.
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25th anniversary album! First pressing of 750 numbered copies on yellow vinyl. Includes 4 bonus tracks & a 4 page booklet. ex:el is the third studio album by 808 State, released in 1991. In contrast to the band's previous works, the album features heavier beats and percussion, embracing earlier flirtations with hip-hop and industrial music. The album also features the guest vocals of Bernard Sumner of Joy Division and New Order fame, who sings on ''Spanish Heart''. In addition, Bjork sings on ''Qmart'' and ''Ooops'' and is credited with co-writing the two songs, establishing a partnership with 808 State's Graham Massey that would result in his working on many of her solo projects. Add to all this two of the best techno singles from the early '90s,''In Yer Face,'' a subtly politicized anti-American slammer, and the almighty ''Cubik''; and ex:el stands out all the more strongly. A true masterpiece. ''ex:el is 808 State at play, The soundtrack to a party, with all the moments of elation, exhaustion and regret.''- Record Mirror
Two of Hip Hop's most cherished icons, Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder have come together to create what undoubtedly will go down as an instantly classic album. INDIE 500 features an All Star supporting cast, including Problem, Slug (of Atmosphere), Rapsody, Pharaoh Monch, Brother Ali, Hi-Tek, NIKO IS and more. After exploding on to the scene as one half of the legendary Black Star alongside Mos Def in 1998, Talib Kweli quickly followed up in 2000 with the album Train of Thought, his collaborative effort with producer Hi-Tek. As fans,critics and his peers unanimously agreed, Kweli was cemented as one of hip hop's top lyricists and continued to release one acclaimed album after another - garnering direct praise from Jay-Z on his song ""Moment of Clarity"" from Jay-Z's classic The Black Album. Meanwhile as the early 2000's progressed, a new trio was bursting on the scene from North Carolina known as Little Brother. Behind the boards of this trio was producer 9th Wonder, who very quickly established himself as one of hip hop's best producers. As their 2003 album The Listening reached a fever pitch, 9th Wonder's buzz became so hot he claimed a highly coveted production spot as well on Jay-Z's The Black Album. Through the years both Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder have gone on to work with a staggering list of hip hop royalty. However both of their respective works outside of the recording booth have become prominent pieces of their stories as well. 9th Wonder has established himself as Hip Hop's top educator, working as a professor at Harvard, Duke and North Carolina Central University, while Talib Kweli has become one of Hip Hop's most vocal and respected voices, who appears regularly on news outlets such as CNN and programs like HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. A collaboration between Kweli and 9th almost seemed to make perfect sense, but INDIE 500 represents even more to the artists. "I've always been a fan of collectives, like Native Tongues and the Dungeon Family," explains Kweli. "INDIE 500 is a tribute to the spirit of unity exemplified by some of great hip hop artists that influenced us." Collectives are nothing new to the two, who have both successfully run their own labels in Blacksmith, Javotti (Kweli) and Jamla (9th Wonder), helping to break a number of popular artists over the years.
With their fourth album Beats, Rhymes and Life, A Tribe Called Quest manages to be one of the few hip-hop acts to successfully age by pushing both their music and their lyrics into new directions. Stylistically, the record is closest to its immediate predecessor, Midnight Marauders, in the sense that the group's jazz-rap fusion are downplayed and the beat stays surprisingly hard throughout the album. What distinguishes Beats, Rhymes and Life from Marauders is a deeper sense not only of eclectism, but of spirituality and maturity. Shortly before the album was written and recorded, Q-Tip converted to Islam and the religion's ideals are an undercurrent in nearly every track on the album. But what really stands out is Tip's unease with the transience of the youth-oriented hip-hop scene and his own urges to settle down. Unlike most rappers, he confronts these feelings in the music, by writing lyrics and helping to create music that illustrates the contradictions of growing old with hip-hop. And by tackling the issue head-on, A Tribe Called Quest sound fresh and suggest that it is possible to sustain a career in rap as you approach a full decade of recording, after all.
Though the abstract rappers finally betrayed a few commercial ambitions for Midnight Marauders, the happy result was a smart, hooky record that may not have furthered the jazz-rap fusions of The Low End Theory, but did merge Tribe-style intelligence and reflection with some of the most inviting grooves heard on any early-'90s rap record. The productions, more funky than jazzy, were tighter overall — but the big improvement, four years after their debut, came with Q-Tip's and Phife Dawg's raps. Focused yet funky, polished but raw, the duo was practically telepathic on "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)" and "The Chase, Pt. 2," though the mammoth track here was the pop hit "Award Tour." A worldwide call-out record with a killer riff and a great pair of individual raps from the pair, it assured that Midnight Marauders would become A Tribe Called Quest's biggest seller. The album didn't feature as many topical tracks as Tribe was known for, though the group did include an excellent, sympathetic commentary on the question of that word ("Sucka Nigga," with a key phrase: "being as we use it as a term of endearment"). Most of the time, A Tribe Called Quest was indulging in impeccably produced, next-generation games of the dozens ("We Can Get Down," "Oh My God," "Lyrics to Go"), but also took the time to illustrate sensitivity and spirituality ("God Lives Through"). A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders was commercially successful, artistically adept, and lyrically inventive; the album cemented their status as alternative rap's prime sound merchants, authors of the most original style since the Bomb Squad first exploded on wax.
One year after De la Soul re-drew the map for alternative rap, fellow Native Tongues brothers A Tribe Called Quest released their debut, the quiet beginning of a revolution in non-commercial hip-hop. People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm floated a few familiar hooks, but it wasn't a sampladelic record. Rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg dropped a few clunky rhymes, but their lyrics were packed with ideas, while their flow and interplay were among the most original in hip-hop. From the beginning, Tribe focused on intelligent message tracks but rarely sounded over-serious about them. With "Pubic Enemy," they put a humorous spin on the touchy subject of venereal disease (including a special award for the most inventive use of the classic "scratchin'" sample), and moved right into a love rap, "Bonita Applebum," which alternated a sitar sample with the type of jazzy keys often heard on later Tribe tracks. " of a Fool" took to task those with violent tendencies, while "Youthful Expression" spoke wisely of the power yet growing responsibility of teenagers. Next to important message tracks with great productions, A Tribe Called Quest could also be deliciously playful (or frustratingly unserious, depending on your opinion). "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" describes a vacation gone hilariously wrong, while "Ham 'n' Eggs" may be the oddest topic for a rap track ever heard up to that point ("I don't eat no ham and eggs, cuz they're high in cholesterol"). Contrary to the message in the track titles, the opener "Push It Along" and "Rhythm (Dedicated to the Art of Moving Butts)" were fusions of atmospheric samples with tough beats, special attention being paid to a pair of later Tribe sample favorites, jazz guitar and '70s fusion synth. Restless and ceaselessly imaginative, Tribe perhaps experimented too much on their debut, but they succeeded at much of it, certainly enough to show much promise as a new decade dawned.
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Digitally remastered and expanded edition housed in jewel case with special silver foil cover to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of this release. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, hip hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest release the original album remastered from the original tapes by Grammy-Award winning engineer Bob Power with three exclusive new remixes by a few of today's biggest hip hop artists who have credited A Tribe Called Quest as a major creative influence. Featuring remastered versions of classic cuts like "Bonita Applebum", "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo", "Can I Kick It?" and more.
Over the course of five classic albums and numerous hit singles, A Tribe Called Quest became a cornerstone artist in hip-hop and across contemporary music in general. The gold-certified People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm and The Love Movement as well as the platinum-certified and groundbreaking albums The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders and Beats, Rhymes & Life, created a unique and long-standing legacy. The Anthology, ATCQ's sixth full-length release on Jive Records, features the best material from the group's five iconic albums. Included are such smash hits as "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo," "Can I Kick It," "Bonita Applebum," "Check The Rhime," "Scenario," "Award Tour," "Electric Relaxation" and many more. The Anthology also features the rare "When The Papes Comes" and Q-Tip's solo track "Vivrant Thing" as well as guest appearances from Busta Rhymes and Faith Evans.
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Hits, Rarities & Remixes is a compilation album by A Tribe Called Quest. It features two previously unreleased songs ("Mr. Incognito" and "The Night He Got Caught") as well as remixes and some of the group's more familiar songs. It also contains songs that were featured in movie soundtracks.
2016 release from the Harlem-based hip hop artist, a member of the A$AP Mob (along with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Yams). Always Strive And Prosper is the long-awaited follow-up to 2013's Trap Lord. The album features collaborations with Schoolboy Q, Future, Big Sean and others.