Been a fan of Latasha Alcindor for a bit, back when she was just known as L.A. She's one of those artists who is so ill that it bothers me when jokers are like "where are all the ladys who spit at?" She's it, and while she's not been dropping projects as heavy as others, she hasn't been sleeping. This surprise release, B(LA)K, has apparently been gestating since 2012, and from what she's told The TakeOvah, this is one of those projects that she felt she needed to get out there, even if it's not as 100% as she wants it to be.
"I just never thought it was good enough for the story that I’m telling. All the music that I’ve heard is so highly produced and so clean cut and perfect. I’m so influenced by people like Kendrick Lamar. People like J. Cole who are gonna give you a full project ya know? BLAK to me is incomplete, and maybe that’s on purpose. Maybe there’s a reason why it has to be incomplete, and so …I think I’ve been holding it like a baby for this long…but I think I just gotta let it be what it is."
The mentions of Kendrick and Cole make sense; B(LA)K definitely feels like a complete thought, with interludes flowing into big ideas diving into intoxicating tracks. This is definitely a grower. Press play, and keep it locked to what Latasha's got cooking.
If you're not up on the UK-based producer Paul White, you might not be paying attention. In 2016 alone, he contributed 10(!) tracks to Danny Brown's acclaimed album Atrocity Exhibition—and has been working with Danny since XXX—and dropped an album with Open Mike Eagle, Hella Personal Film Festival. If you needed more of his blunted, sample-heavy sound, he's unleashed a free beat tape, Everything You've Forgotten, which is 19 tracks of excellence sprawled out over a 29-minute journey.
You can stream the full project down below, and grab it via Bandcamp.
While MeccaGodZilla is a name we first started seeing about nine years ago, I hadn't realized the Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised producer/MC was on a two-year hiatus. Today, I got word that not only is he back, but he's got a totally new name: ADUM⁷ (which stands for A Dream Universally Manifested⁷). With that new identity, he's also released a pair of new albums, ERROARS 3.3: 起死回生 and 光: Let There Be.... Don't let the Japanese characters confuse you; ADUM⁷ has been living in Tokyo, Japan since 2010; he even founded his Manafest Vision Media imprint out there.
While these projects are rooted in hip-hop, the push to explore and experiment in sound and genre is evident. These projects feel more like future music for curious thinkers; loads of delicate melodies atop chilled soundscapes. Some shit to really throw on and explore.
You can stream both projects down below. Open your third eye and take it all in.
One of the main reasons I kept rockthedub going was for situations like this. While you can load 5011 hip-hop/music blogs into your Feedly and see the same 20 songs fly by every day, or click on the radio to consume a very small number of records, there's nothing like having your own outlet and being able to get sent material like Damien The Architect and Hadj put out in their HEY! EP. No, it isn't groundbreaking, but the internet + the power of email = me being able to put my ears on a project I'd probably hear nothing about through my regular channels.
I was super open to the first HEY! track, "How You Do That," and was amazed that something like "R A I N" was on it as well. It's refreshing to know that their sound on the full release, which features beats from 404 Loudpack, Drunken Killah, Teller Bank$, and others touches on a number of different styles. They go uplifting, more sensual, more older school while also keeping feet planted firmly in the new mentality. HEY! is the sound of an alarm, letting the world know that they are flexible when it comes to styles, and that they are HERE, right now.
Damien The Architect and Hadj's HEY! EP is available for streaming down below; I'm hearing that it'll be available to own "soon," so keep it locked.
|Image via Venomous2000|
Heads mght stay throwing shade at Jersey, but when it comes to that true school hip-hop, we have it on lock. No one exudes that more, in my opinion, than Venomous2000, who recently dropped his tenth solo album, Sounds of the Great Ones, which is produced in its entirety by Trilian, who is straight out of Serbia. That's the beauty of Venomous' style.
Seeing as I love everything about Jersey's hip-hop underground, I run into Venomous at least once a year, usually at the Jersey Fresh Jam in Trenton. I believe it was there one year where he told me he was either just coming back from or getting ready to go to Europe. He knew then, like M.O.P. and Onyx do now, that the style of hip-hop he was making (which is truer to the roots and mentality of the '90s era) got way more appreciation overseas than it does here. It'd make sense that his 10th project would be helmed by a producer who lives in a region that shares the same mentality as this Passaic, NJ representer did.
Throughout Sounds of the Great Ones, Venomous pays tribute to the lost arts of hip-hop. We're talking lyrical wizardy placed over invigorating boom bap hip-hop tracks. Comic book-loving hip-hop heads will love what Venomous did on "Marvelous (Planet-Ill)." Tracks like "Psalms 76" sound like those uplifting, intense tracks that soundtrack some of the illest graf pieces on city walls, while "Products of Environment" details the ills that go down on the streets in between those very walls. From the block to the beats to the brain, Venomous2000 and Trilian bridged the gap, for the culture.
Featured artists on Sounds of the Great Ones include The Artifacts, Inspectah Deck, Shabaam Sadeeq, Cella Dwellas, C-Rayz Walz, Reks, and loads of cuts from DJ TMB. You can cop Sounds of the Great Ones digitally via Bandcamp, or you can get this original rap music on compact disc as well. Stream the full project down below.
One has to imagine, as a producer/remixer, that the biggest compliment are tweets like these.
Oooooo I jus start going off in this uber YASSSSSSS https://t.co/HcEOuSPhSQ— kehlani (@Kehlani) January 14, 2017
R3ll has been putting on for the Jersey Club scene for years, and I know having Kehlani saying she's turning up to his rework of her hit single "CRZY" had him going insane. It's worth it; this is the perfect kind of song to chop vocals and throw loads of kicks underneath.
If you needed to get your sets right for the (long) weekend, you can download R3ll's "CRZY" remix right now. Stream the full track down below.
At the end of December, I hit you guys with Damien The Architect and Hadj's "How You Do That," which is taken from their forthcoming HEY! EP. I promise you I didn't know either of them from a can of paint, but I was feeling that jam. Still am, honestly.
With HEY! set to drop on January 13, the duo sorted out a new single from the project, "R A I N," which is just as turnt (thanks to another banger from 404 Loudpack), but instead of hitting the club, they slip into something a bit more mid-tempo, crafting a cut that's perfect for when it's time to do the grown up with bae...preferably on a rainy day. This isn't a sly bar fest; this is something to get sweaty to. Whatever you want to call it, hearing these two tracks show me how diverse these two are coming. Definitely intriguing.
You can stream "R A I N" below, and keep it locked for HEY! when it drops this Friday.
When I hear a mix and that "Champion sound" drop hits the speaker, I know it's about to be a problem. He's been releasing material officially for the last eight years, and to get ready for 2017, Champion decided to put together a batch of his original production, remix work, and bootlegs from 2010 through 2016 for the massive, and it's SO serious. We're talking bootlegs of bits like "Like a G6" (remember that one?), his remix of Four Tet's "Kool FM," a huge tune with Royal-T entitled "Mufasa" and more.
You can grab these for whatever you want to pay on Bandcamp; while that site lists 11 tunes, I promise you the .zip I grabbed had 23 tunes in it. Don't sleep.
When we hit a new year, you're no doubt going to be inundated with a number of jokers who are on that "this is going to be my year" shit, knowing full well that they are going to be doing the same damn thing they did last year. Instead of talking the talk, why not just do the damn thing? And what better way to do it than on your own? Ray Dawn might be the new school hustler's archetype, and "On My Own," with a tinge of EDM flavor, might be the new school hustler's anthem.
What better way to kick in the new year than with a brand new edition of the RTDMIX from the mysterious drum & bass phenom Jaxtella? You know, I'm still clueless as to what a Jaxtella really is; I randomly got sent a file with a tracklist and an MP3, and it was this ferocious new set. I couldn't trace the digital fingerprint or nothing; who knew that burner email accounts were that untraceable?
Similar to his debut on the RTDMIX, Jaxtella goes straight for the jugular on this one. The tracklist is thick, featuring fresh material from Black Sun Empire, Konichi, a gem from Total Science v Digital & Spirit, Need For Mirrors, and many, many more. You NEED THIS. Perfect weekend pre-game material, trust we.
You can stream this mix below, and if you're so inclined, subscribe to the podcast.