Run The Jewels, the super dynamic duo of El-P and Killer Mike, two of the most distinctive and celebrated names in rap, are set to release their sophomore album, Run The Jewels 2, on Mass Appeal Records. In addition to being made available as a free download, it will be released on CD, 180gram Collector’s Edition 2xLP and and across all digital platforms. The immensely anticipated album includes guests ranging from Zack de la Rocha to Travis Barker amongst others, but the duo maintains that the album is first and foremost about the creative partnership between the MCs themselves.
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.
J-Dilla's Donuts began simply enough, in summer 2005, as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release. We think we can safely say it has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist's life. This box set includes the album on seven 45s and a bonus 45 with "Signs" from the long out-of-print Donuts 'Fan Club 45' b/w DOOM & Ghostface's "Sniper Elite & Murder Goons" - two tracks over Donuts beats which were recorded in late 2005 prior to the original release of the album. These two tracks were released digitally in 2008, but have never before appeared on vinyl. Side D contains the "Donuts Outro/Intro" appearing as an interlude at the beginning of "The Diff'rence" which dates back to the first, original sequence of the album. 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. Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some critics as either a novelty, or a minor break beat album - but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, and part like a hip-hop beat-maker at work, sounding like a producer turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the J Dilla's reputation among his peers and fans as the definitive architect of soulful hip-hop.
The classic album from Immortal Technique now available for a limited time on red vinyl. Features Akir, C-Rayz Walz, DJ Roc Raida, Diabolic, Jean Grae, Lou Cipher, Mumia Abu Jamal, Poison Pen, Pumpkinhead & Tonedeff.
The name Will Sessions was born as a producer alias of trumpeter Sam Beaubien. After sharpening his keyboard skills and learning writing and arrangement from the accomplished David Van De Pitte (who arranged for countless Motown recordings including Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On) at Wayne State University, he decided to start a band. With classmates Tim Shellaberger (bass) and Bryan Arnold (drums) along with recruits Ryan Gimpert (guitar) and Eric Kacir (Percussion), the band was complete.T h e y helped to develop a nascent monthly funk music party called Motor City Funk Night, and three years later, the party has grown into one of the sta- ples of the Detroit scene, and Will Sessions were playing in front of crowds of up to 3000 people. The success of the Funk Night parties led to significant studio work with artists like Black Milk, Mayer Hawthorne, and Slum Village, and the hip hop sessions in particular led Beaubien to concoct the idea of Will Sessions recreating his favorite sample-based music in a live setting with the full band. His vision would be realized with three smash concerts in 2009 for Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, and Phat Kat, which left hip hop fans in awe of how the band stayed faithful to the original sampled and programmed beats, while creatively elevating the songs to new heights by recreating them live. It was the particular challenge of duplicating the unique beats of J Dilla that gave Beaubien the confidence to work on the emcee Elzhi’s anticipated project Elmatic. Elmatic had been initially planned and announced in 2008 as a tribute to the historic 1994 album Illmatic by Nas, but it wasn’t until early 2011 that Elzhi and his manager Jae Barber agreed that it would be best to recreate all of the beats from scratch--and there was clearly nobody who could do it better than producer Sam Beaubien and Will Sessions. Since it’s widely considered to be the holy grail of hip hop recordings, the prospect of du- plicating the music from Illmatic was daunting. By using the original sam- ple sources of the album’s tracks as a foundation, producer Beaubien and the band members managed to recreate both the sound and the mood of the classic album with stunning precision on Elmatic, exceeding lofty expectations set by loyal fans and skeptical critics alike. With an ever-increasing body of recorded work, a skyrocketing reputation within their hometown market, and their first tastes of national and international interest, Will Sessions are primed to be among Detroit’s hottest musical exports.
The world moves faster than ever these days, and even in the digital age, things can always be counted on to go in cycles. Despite all of the advances in computer recording technology, home studios, and electronic instruments, there is a flourishing interest in analog recording techniques and in recreating the mood and sound of vintage soul records. With one foot in the past but their eyes firmly set on the future, El Michels Affair are among the leaders of a resurgent funk & soul movement from New York City that's sweeping both the music community and the charts. Led by saxophonist/organist Leon Michels and producer/engineer Jeff Silverman, El Michels Affair began as a loose collaboration of session musicians (including members of top-selling acts Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, the Budos Band, and Antibalas) that looked to blend some of the vibrant quality of soundtrack records with the recording aesthetic of early reggae, and the rawness of 60's rock--they called it 'Cinematic Soul.' This delicate balance was evident on their 2005 debut album Sounding Out the City, which earned critical acclaim and acted as the inaugural full-length release for Michels and Silverman's burgeoning label Truth & Soul (also the moniker for the duo as a production team). The buzz generated from the album and a series of moderately successful 7" vinyl singles from Truth & Soul led to an invitation by Toyota's Scion division for El Michels Affair to accompany the rapper Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan for a promotional concert. As avid Wu-Tang fans, not only were the band leaders thrilled with the opportunity, but Michels found that the 'Cinematic Soul' sound was consistent with the moods of RZA's gritty soundscapes on the classic Wu-Tang releases. The concert was such as success, El Michels Affair went on to play several more concerts nationwide backing Raekwon and other members of the Clan, and the shows led to the recording of two smash 7" singles featuring instrumental reinterpretations of the Wu-Tang classic songs "C.R.E.A.M." and "Bring Da Ruckus." The singles combined to sell an extraordinary amount of over 7,000 units worldwide, and their success led to a contract in 2007 with indie hip hop powerhouse Fat Beats Records to record an entire album of Wu-Tang Clan interpolations entitled Enter the 37th Chamber. Since the contract was inked, a worldwide explosion of retro soul led by Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings has transformed the pop music landscape, and the Truth & Soul production duo have been in strong demand, recording with everyone from breakthrough Grammy-nominated artist Adele to punk rock innovator Iggy Pop. They've been commissioned for official remixes of Amy Winehouse and Dinah Washington (for the popular Verve Remixed series), and produced for Australian multi-platinum acts Jet and Gabriella Cilmi. Despite the eclectic group of clients for the Truth & Soul production company, El Michels Affair continued to build an audience within the hip hop community. A track from Sounding out the City was sampled for Ghostface Killah's 2007 track "Shakey Dog Lolita," and a horn part written and performed by Michels (for Menahan Street Band) was famously lifted for Jay-Z's smash single "Roc Boys." Truth & Soul also worked in the studio on original productions with multi-platinum producer Just Blaze (T.I.'s "Live Your Life," Jay-Z, Usher). With their increasing presence behind the scenes in the industry, El Michels Affair looks to have their status as recording artists rise significantly in 2009. With the release of their finally-completed album Enter the 37th Chamber, they can finally step out of the shadows of the retro-soul trend and establish their status as one of the most exciting and versatile bands in modern recorded music.
The contributions of the late Detroit producer James DeWitt Yancey -better known to the world as J Dilla- to the world of hip-hop can't be overstated, and nowhere is his legacy more apparent than his work as a member of Slum Village. A founding member of the trio, (Alongside rappers T3 and Baatin) Dilla provided the group's distinctly esoteric, free-wheeling sound, built around winding basslines, quirky drumbeats, subtle low-end frequencies, and classic jazz & soul samples. Against the backdrop of Dilla's rich production, T3 and Baatin's free-flowing style of rhyming would also earn wide critical praise, leading to comparisons as the successors to A Tribe Called Quest. (A label they themselves have rejected.) It's on Slum Village's 1997 studio debut, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1, that all these elements come together in the most proficient manner. An instant hit among Detroit's underground hip-hop scene, the album seemed to combine all the best elements of the reigning alternative and gangsta styles of hip-hop into one cohesive style that was a hit among critics. Fan-Tas-Tic's influence extended far beyond Detroit, as its sound heavily influenced the sounds of D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and The Roots just to name a few. (Roots drummer ?uestlove has even declared that: "Hands down this album birthed the neo-soul movement.") Ne'Astra Media Group now presents the album reissued on vinyl, for the first time in several years. Every wobbling bass note of J Dilla's production has been preserved and every freestyle line of T3 and Baatin has been re-created, to maintain the legacy of a late-90s rap classic, and the legend of one of hip-hop's greatest beatsmiths.
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Lil Ugly Mane is a rapper and producer from Richmond, Va. who also happens to be what is known as “the truth.” As the most mysterious affiliate of Spaceghostpurrp’s Raider Klan collective, he’s that dude who designs all their Master P-meets-Morbid Angel lookin’ album covers. As a producer, he makes beats so thick and creamy it makes Clams Casino’s shit sound like Drake songs. Vibe-wise, the dude just gets everything right. Think Pimp C on a Gravediggaz track. If that doesn't make your dick hard, then your dick is retarded.
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Long Beach, Cali rapper Vince Staples debuted his seven-song EP, HELL CAN WAIT late last year. The release of HELL CAN WAIT followed Vince s 3-week, 13-city Paisley Summer Tour headlining stint, which wrapped up at Hard Rock Live in Las Vegas. Vince has contributed tracks to dozens of today's hottest artists, including Earl Sweatshirt's first and second albums to Dilated Peoples' Directors Of Photography to Jhené Aiko's The Vapors (on her Sail Out debut, the biggest-selling EP in Def Jam history) and Common's latest album, Nobody's Smiling, on his single Kingdom, performed live by Common with Vince at his side on Jimmy Kimmel Live and at the 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards. As Common stated in XXL, "He's cold on the mic... This dude can really rhyme. It made me want to write." With HELL CAN WAIT, Vince turned the microscope on himself and his family for some of hip-hop s most remarkable music. Ain't nothing realer than the truth, he explains. Ain't nothing better than the truth, like I really did all that. I really seen all that. I really been around that my whole life. Vince's debut album, Summertime 06, set to drop this summer, will be no different. Vince describes Summertime 2006 as the summer that started it all. He looks back in time to tell a story of how his budding career came to be; this album will provide insight into who Vince is and why he does what he does. The countdown to Summertime 06 is on!
With the official follow-up to the classic "Operation Doomsday," MF Doom has hip hop heads foaming at the mouth. Cooked up with his special herbs and spices, get ready to devour "Mmm...Food," with the help in the kitchen from Count Bass D, Mr. Fantastik, and the good folks at Rhyme Sayers Entertainment.
All The Breaks Volume 2 is the second volume with 100 more drum break snippets. This record features an impressive collection of 100 original & sought after breakbeats, sourced and remastered from the original records, and then cut down to the essential parts.
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Recently, a mysterious album titled Jesus turned up on the popular music site Bandcamp, uploaded by an artist calling himself "b". Soon, the LP was discovered to be the latest work from enigmatic L.A. rapper Blu, and within hours, it was the talk of the blogosphere. The album was soon removed, but now it's back, this time in physical form. New World Color is proud to present the latest lo-fi masterpiece from one of hip-hop's most intriguing figures. Officially the debut for alter-ego "b", Jesus is sure to satisfy the cult-like fanbase that's been steadily growing around the artist most famously known as Blu.
L.A. rapper Blu burst onto the scene in the late 00s with the widely acclaimed Exile collaboration Below The Heavens, igniting a West Coast hip hop renaissance in the process. In the years since, the enigmatic emcee has released a steady stream of critically-acclaimed projects, from the love-themed concept album Her Favorite Colo(u)r to the genre-bending NoYork. Now, Blu is back with Good To Be Home, his first ever double album. Featuring a host of West Coast hip-hop luminaries, Good To Be Home is an unapologetic celebration of Los Angeles music and culture. “This is my most defining record ever,” says Blu. A cohesive collection with two discs and no filler, Good To Be Home is an important addition to Blu's already impressive catalog. Available on double disc CD, double cassette, and 2xLP vinyl. Translucent gold vinyl limited to 1000 units and available while supplies last. Artwork designed by famed contemporary artist Joseph Martinez.
The original release of the Madlib and J Dilla collaboration, created between Los Angeles and Detroit in 2002-2003.
When it comes to making great music, sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. Today’s 140-character absorbed music lover may not be used to the experience of sitting through an entire album, but that is about to change. The first full-length collaboration from Royce Da 5’9” and DJ Premier will be celebrated for its true Hip-Hop makeup and its overall purpose. This is one of the reasons they started making music in the first place, and this is why they formed the group PRhyme. Individually, DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9” have long been established in hip-hop culture. PRhyme is the first full-length record from the duo and is comprised of nine tracks featuring the likes of today’s most prolific artists in the industry, including Common, Jay Electronica, Killer Mike, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Mac Miller and Dwele. Sprinkled with classic hip-hop elements, the album is refreshingly contemporary, featuring the slick spitting of Royce Da 5’9 and vivid cuts and scratched hooks that have long been DJ Premier’s calling card. With the entire album composed of samples courtesy of psychedelic soul composer and producer Adrian Younge (Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah), the record stands apart, sounding like nothing else in the hip hop market today. With PRhyme, Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier raise the bar and present an unprecedented work of art, reminding listeners what hip-hop is supposed to sound like.
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2012 release from the Compton-based Hip Hop artist. Currently signed to Top Dawg, Aftermath and lnterscope. Lamar is a member of Hip Hop supergroup Black Hippy, along with fellow West Coast rappers and label mates Jay Rock. Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul. He first gained major attention after being mentioned by Dr. Dre resulting in a buzz for the, then upcoming. Release of his fourth mixtape. Early in his career, Lamar amassed a large internet following, and had already worked with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Wiz Khalifa, Game, Drake, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Talib Kweli, Lady Gaga, Kid Cudi, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G, Bun B, Tech N9ne and Lil Wayne among other popular artists.
Back in Stock!!! Here's what you've been waiting for: A battle record without "boring, redundant, looped beats;" "Only scratch sounds and phrases on both sides." Loaded with all of the standard fare, plus plenty of bits you haven't heard before, giving you more different ways to call out rival crews as the bitches and suckaz they are. Not for the weak-wristed, punk.
After handling mainly production duties on the recent Marci Beacoup, Roc Marciano returns to the mic with his trademark flair for street stories, gritty beats, and tongue-twisting allegories. Features include: Action Bronson, Willy The Kid, & Knowledge the Pirate. Beats by Madlib, Evidence, Alchemist & Roc Marciano himself.
On Black Milk’s 6th solo rap LP, If There’s A Hell Below, Black continues the narratives he started on his 2013 release No Poison No Paradise. This time, rather than speaking through the character Sonny Jr., Black paints pictures from a first person perspective of someone raised and living in one of America’s toughest cities, and the ups and downs of pursuing a career in the arts. The stories reflect how he and the people where he’s from feel or have felt - if there’s a hell below, maybe we’re already in it.
House Shoes is proud to present the first-ever physical release of Danny Brown’s Hot Soup, his debut album released in 2008 prior to the release of The Hybrid. Featuring Rapper Big Pooh and production by Quelle Chris, Nick Speed, and Danny Brown himself, Hot Soup immediately propelled Danny Brown into hip-hop’s national consciousness and solidifed him as one of Detroit’s most electrifying live performers. With his most recent Fool’s Gold album carrying Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” status, fans are hungry for a deeper look into the mind of one modern hip-hop’s most charismatic and controversial artists.
With his highly-anticipated fourth solo-LP, P.T.S.D. - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Pharoahe Monch re-emerges with a new concept project which finds the ground breaking emcee tackling PTSD; a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. Throughout the duration of the LP, Monch narrates as an independent artist weary from the war against the industry machine and through the stuggle of the black male experience in America.When Eminem recently named-dropped him (“But I still rap like I’m on my Pharaohe Monch grind) on his “Rap God” single it was for good reason, as Pharoahe Monch has been at the forefront of lyrical innovation for two decades now. Not only is he one of Hip-Hop’s preeminent lyricist, crafting intricate rhyme schemes and intelligent raps, but he is also an incisive policital and social commentator, using Hip-Hop as a platform for political engagement as his “Bullet” trilogy hauntingly speaks to audiences in the same dark personification of a bullet.
NEHRUVIANDOOM is Bishop Nehru's debut album. Produced by Metal Fingers and featuring MF DOOM vocals on several tracks, it's a compact nine track, 30 minute long player. Bishop Nehru's breakthrough mixtapes, released from the age of 15 saw him rhyming over DOOM produced instrumentals. DOOM joined the line of MCs who co-signed the young rapper including heavyweight lyricists Kendrick Lamar and Nas, who introduced him on stage during his set at SXSW as "The future of music". Still only 17, Bishop has wrapped up his debut album for Lex, a collaborative project with MF DOOM.
You’re Dead! is a shamanic pilgrimage into the psychedelic unknown of the infinite afterlife. A sonic, visual and metaphysical fusion of technological innovation and technical virtuosity that amounts to a transcendent, mind-expanding plasm that could only exist between our world and another. The enduring universe of Lotus’ supporting cast has expanded and evolved to feature in order of appearance, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lamar, Captain Murphy, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian, Thundercat, Niki Randa, alongside mind blowing original artwork by Japanese comic book artist Shintaro Kago.“The album isn’t about the end, it’s really the beginning. It’s a celebration of the next experience. It’s the transition and the confusion. It’s not ‘hey you’re dead.’ It’s ‘hey you’re dead!’”
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Fresh off the heels of his full-length No Poison No Paradise album, Black Milk continues to pull music from his vault. His new EP, Glitches In The Break, features fellow Detroit heavy-hitters Guilty Simpson and Fat Ray. Glitches In The Break will be released on blue 12” vinyl via Black’s own Computer Ugly label on Record Store Day, April 19.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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