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Imperial was both his finest work to date and his best received. The brief, breathless album showcases his near-peerless technical skill along with a newfound maturity in his songwriting. “I was going through a dark time,” Curry says now of the time that birthed Imperial. So he challenged himself to find a radical level of transparency. “The whole theme of that tape is just being honest--exposing myself before anybody else does, talking about my past, talking about where I’m heading to.”
Compiled by Sofie Fatouretchi of Boiler Room, these 24 tracks by 26 different artists mix together the best of hip-hop and Soul underground. An enticing selection of artists that should be on your radar, the album varies from ISSUE’s (Bay-area based artist and E40’s son) space age rap on “Ferrari” to slow jams like artists Ill Camille and SiR’s heartfelt plea to never giving up on the Mndsgn-produced “Almost There.” Other artists include Mndsgn, Kutmah, Stimulator Jones, DJ Harrison, Gifted & Blessed, and more.
Limited to 300 copies! Armed with his unique delivery, gruff voice, and sharp wit, U.G. is well-equipped to do just as he wishes when he hits the booth. Whether on his own or earning critical acclaim as one-half of the Cella Dwellas, the Brooklyn rapper has been a giant amongst the NYC rap underground since '94. And on Portals, his long anticipated solo debut, U.G. proves that his formula for crafting excellence has no expiration date. Portals is a 14-track journey into just what U.G. set out to accomplish—a movie-like atmosphere anchored by well complemented production (entirely from IDE) and extraordinary rapping. That much was evident on lead single, "The Mystic," which is equally eccentric in its wordplay and technical displays as U.G. flows over the creeping instrumental. Elsewhere, the BK spitter taps into his cinematic vision with joints like the harrowing "Might & Magic," and the super-grimy, "Ready for War." Interestingly enough, U.G. credits his movie-like approach with what makes his music so appealing to his fans. "That inner-kid comes out of them when they hear that stuff," he says. "We (U.G. and IDE) are both visual artists as far as our approach to sound is concerned." Beyond the concept, the rapper and producer just love Hip-Hop culture and wanted to represent it right. They may be taking a Boom bap excursion into another dimension—and likely one in a distant galaxy—on Portals, but this is pure, raw, unadulterated Hip-Hop to the bone gristle.
A Seat at the Table is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter Solange. Following the release of her second studio album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams (2008), Knowles began work on her third studio album, during which she suffered a "breakdown" due to the amount of time and emotion she was putting into the recording process. While recording the album Knowles released an EP entitled True (2012) and launched her own record label named Saint Records. Writing for the album began as early as 2008, while the albums recording sessions took part from 2013 to June 2016. The album was widely acclaimed by music critics and became Solange's first number-one album on the Billboard 200 in the United States, debuting with 46,000 copies sold (72,000 with additional album-equivalent units). The album features collaborations with Lil Wayne, Sampha, The-Dream, BJ the Chicago Kid, Q-Tip, Kelly Rowland, Kelela, David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, and Tweet among others.
Limited vinyl LP pressing features white scratch-off ink and a 25 cent piece cased in a plastic outer sleeve. Each copy will be unique, as the quarter will move around the plastic sleeve in transit creating it's own pattern. This is intentional, so any scratches that appear on the front cover when the vinyl arrives is a result of this. 2016 release. Sirens is the highly anticipated second full-length LP from Nicholas Jaar, the Chilean-born electronic music producer, mixing engineer and DJ. A prolific artist with a wide palette of talents, Jaar spent his teenage years in dance music circles in New York City, where he now resides. In 2011, he released his debut album, the critically-acclaimed Space is Only Noise. In 2012, he was contributed to BBC Radio 1's prestigious 'Essential Mix' series, winning 'Essential Mix of the Year'. Jaar is the founder of the New York based imprint Other People, releasing music and spoken word by a diverse group of artists ranging from Lydia lunch to Ezekiel Honig.
Boora & Mr. Robberhood (the latter is one of 3 members of KOVSH), out of Soviet Russia, release their first joint project, Soviet Aesthetics Vol.1.The title derived from the idea of conveying the Soviet art form on vinyl, using only soviet samples and synthesizers to present the new Russian-style, Golden Era 90’s-influenced, instrumental hip hop. The initial cover concept was slightly different to how it materialised, quite plain and simple; with the traditional Soviet white and black colour scheme and a cover photo taken by Volodya Kurashev, a Soviet sculptor at the exhibition for Eugene Vucetic. The back cover is a picture of the duo “cooking up heat” in the kitchen.
With all due respect to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Miami, the epicenter of the rap universe in 2016 just may be Chicago. With young stars ranging from Chief Keef to Chance The Rapper to Lil Bibby to Vic Mensa, the Windy City continues to push the boundaries of hip-hop music and culture. The latest artist to emerge from this hotbed of talent is Mick Jenkins, a gifted lyricist who has built a strong buzz online with a series of acclaimed mixtapes. Now, one of those collections will be available in physical format for the first time ever, with a limited-edition vinyl pressing of "The Water[s]" set to hit stores soon. Originally released online in late 2014, "The Water[s]" features appearances from fellow rising stars Joey Bada$$ and Noname Gypsy, plus production from Statik Selektah, Kirk Knight, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, DJ Dahi, and many more. XXL called the project an “indisputable success”, declaring Jenkins “a formidable opponent to some of hip-hop’s most highly regarded MCs”.
Animated sci-fi masterpiece La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a. Fantastic Planet), winner at Cannes Film Festival in 1973, is a bizarre and beautiful film. Towering blue-skinned figures, tiny humanoids in the midst of revolt, and drug-induced Tantric sex transport viewers to a truly magical setting. Composer Alain Goraguer creates an equally hypnotic score from a palette of effects-laden guitars, flutes, Fender Rhodes and strings. While the lush arrangements are reminiscent of Goraguer's collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1960s, space-age synth flourishes suggest a more psychedelic era. Moody vignettes flow together in tense, slow-paced funk rhythms and Baroque textures. It comes as no surprise that La Planète Sauvage has been cited as an influence on contemporary artists such as French duo Air and American hip-hop producers J Dilla and Madlib. Gorgeous, interplanetary soundscapes resemble the surreal meeting point between Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds and Broadcast's Future Crayon. This long out-of-print vinyl release features the original soundtrack recording and newly designed artwork. Recommended for fans of Ennio Morricone, Basil Kirchin and David Axelrod.
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Double LP including 72-page screenplay, metallic o-card (sleeve), 2 LP printed sleeves. 2013 sophomore full-length album from writer, actor, standup comedian and rapper Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino. The recording process for the album began in 2012 and continued until October 2013. Because the Internet features guest appearances from Chance The Rapper, Jhene Aiko and Azealia Banks, with production handled by Gambino himself, Christian Rich, Thundercat and Ludwig Goransson among others.
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.
Donuts began simply enough as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release, and has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist’s life. 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. Back late 2005 when Stones Throw was getting ready to release J Dilla’s Donuts, they made a casual decision to use a drawing for the cover of the 2LP vinyl release, rather than the standard cover photo of Dilla used for the other releases. But now here it is, better late than never: J Dilla’s classic album Donuts now released on vinyl with the smile on the cover. Cover & illustrations by Jeff Jank; photo of Dilla by Andrew Gura. Just a few months ago Stones Throw published a short back-story on the cover photo.
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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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