Archive for 2014

DJ Cable - 2014 AD

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Long-time RTD favorite DJ Cable sorted out a three-hour mix featuring the best of 2014 hip-hop in his eyes. I co-sign the hell out of his selection, and have a feeling that those of you still looking for a mix to turn up to will be satisfied. Full tracklist after the jump.


Juan Epstein: The 2014 Finale

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Great to see Juan Epstein go back to basics for their final podcast of 2014.

The Combat Jack Show: The Best of 2014

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Run through the Combat Jack Show's best moments of 2014.

The Combat Jack Show: The Rick Ross Episode

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"Rick talks of growing up a die hard rap fan of some our lyrical greats, his unappreciated skill as a song writer/ ghostwriter, his relationships with Jay Z and Diddy and the books he reads to keep his mind focused. Also, the some details of his #RossFit training regimen, his Wing Stop chicken empire and why he really instigated his beef with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson". Stop being a munkey and press that download button, ya underdig?"

Von Pea Breaks Down His New Album "To You," Track By Track

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Von Pea's new album To You, which is produced by The Others, is out now. He took the time out to do a track-by-track breakdown of this project. You want some dope hip-hop but are tired of mainstream bullshit? Highly recommend you picking this Von Pea album up.



Juan Epstein with Chris Rock and ?uestlove

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As per usual, Ciph and Rosenberg return for a Thanksgiving special, this time going almost two hours with Chris Rock and ?uestlove! Check out full audio below (and subscribe via iTunes!), and peep about 18 minutes of video after the jump.

"Chris Rock’s awesome new movie, Top 5, is in theaters on December 5th. To celebrate, our number 1 fan and the film’s music guru, ?uesto, brought the BK legend and hip hop aficionado by to talk about the movie, his incredible hip hop history, and just how highly he ranks Kanye in his own top five."



Redman's "Dare Iz A Darkside" Turns 20

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The Maggot Brain-inspired cover art. The ill red jewel case. Yup, Jersey's illest, Redman, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his sophomore album, Dare Iz A Darkside. And I don't care what's on Muddy Waters, this will forever be my favorite Redman album. He might've perfected the formula with Muddy Waters, but I feel like this LP was the best at mixing the weird, blunted, zany side of Redman with the rough, rugged and raw side. All of that Dr. Trevis shit, over the "cosmic slop" funk sound of Erick Sermon? The fact that Redman produced the majority of this project? Hell, even Red's interludes were hotter. I'm going to crack some beers later and blast the hell out of this, remembering how a 13-year-old khal was mesmerized by tracks like "Can't Wait." Rock, rock on.


Deal - The Villain - "Emerald Preferance"

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It's been a WHILE since I got a new one from Deal - The Villain, so it's great to have his voice back on RTD, especially since it's been five years since we dropped his EPic EP. No hook on this one, just ginsu-sharp rhymes, hypnotic beats, and a track that will stay on loop in the whip... trust!

Rap Radar - Shady XV Podcast

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YN and B.Dot hit up the Sirius XM studios to chop it up with Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg about Shady's 15 year anniversary. Reef and even Whoo Kid get in the mix; looks like Rap Radar has started a podcast as well!



(Rap Radar)

No I.D. on Juan Epstein

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This is a dope episode. Rosenberg (sans Cipha Sounds) and Quartermaine chopped it up with one of my favorite producers, No I.D.; they go in on everything from coming up in Chicago with Common to mentoring Kanye to his Executive VP position at Def Jam. Magical. Subscribe on iTunes!

Details on Praverb's Cause of Death Have Been Released

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Two months ago, we got word of the sudden death of one of our brethren, Praverb. At the time, there was no word on his having been sick or what could've taken him so suddenly. It looks like his wife Vanessa recently got the details on the situation and decided to share them with the world. It doesn't make his passing any easier, but it can be a lessen learned. Hell, my wife was talking to me yesterday about getting doctor's appointments scheduled. MAKE SURE YOU'RE HITTING THE DOCTOR, PEOPLE!! RIP Praverb.

"2 months today ... And Patrick made a way for us to start this healing process... I received the call from the medical examiner today who did his autopsy. I decided to share the with you all bc as painful as this is, it's a scary reality for us all.... Patrick suffered a massive heart attack, his heart was severely enlarged. We had no idea that this was going on. As much as I had been awaiting this confirmation... It's still breaks my heart and spirit. He can not say what caused the enlarged heart , but can only attribute to overall health and lifestyle .... I have not had a physical in almost 2 years now .... I ask this of everyone , please get an annual physical , take care of yourself, if something doesn't feel right, tell your doctor. I feel we were almost cheated that he didn't show any signs or symptoms of an upcoming heart attack, that we weren't given the usual symptoms and signs. Now that I know what took him from us , I must use this and move forward for Matthew. I will do whatever I have to do to make him proud."—Vanessa McNease

MaLLy - "Everything Else But Me"

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Taken from MaLLy's The Colors of Black.

Cam Sheely - "Last Time"

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You don't hear a lot of artists detailing the story of their progression on wax like this. Well, at least from the ATL anyways. Could just be me; I love hearing that hunger. Word is this is the first single from Don Kevo's Raised By Wolves 2 mixtape.



(Pigeons & Planes)

J-Live - "The Greatest Thing"

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Word is J-Live is working on an instrumental album? If it sounds like "The Greatest Thing," I hope it drops soon. This is perfect #hoodieseason early morning vibes.

Rell Gambino - "Demon Deux"

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Von Pea - "So East Coast"

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If you're sleeping on Von Pea, you're playing yourself. This cut is taken from his forthcoming To You project, which is produced entirely by The Other Guys that drops on November 25. Shit like this makes me proud to be touching the Atlantic, especially during this fall era. It might also be the fact that Von and I are pretty much the same age; his references are perfect for me. Peep the video below, then cop this track right mf'in now.

Donwill Has a Podcast

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I don't remember when I got addicted to podcasts; it was probably when I was working customer service gigs years back. I'd do phone work, but in between I'd push papers around, and needed something that wasn't the same 5 songs on "urban radio" to listen to. I wanted to be entertained by my interests. Over the years I've become a fan of a number of podcasts, from Juan Epstein and the Combat Jack Show to Tonedeff and PackFM's Tacos & Chocolate Milk. Earlier this year, one of their very special guests was Donwill from Tanya Morgan / Lessondary fame, and he killed it. He's funny enough that you won't get bored with what he's talking about, but also knows how to drop some knowledge that his peers could and should understand. For those that remember, Don's also been featured on a few episodes of Combat Jack's show, so news that Dondub started his own podcast—Bad With Names—isn't a surprise, but it's something I need in my life ASAP. It's said to feature "conversations by and for working creatives along with other cool stuff that is still yet to be determined, sort of like life in general."

That shit is right up my alley.

The first two episodes are available for stream and download below, but you can also subscribe via iTunes and Stitcher. Make this a part of your life... ASAP!



Stray - Since You've Been Gone

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A free mixtape of beats from Stray that dwell in his hip-hop bin? All about it.

J57 ft. Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren, Maffew Ragazino & Rasheed Chappell - "Main Event (J57 Remix)"

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If you know RTD, you know the Brown Bag AllStars. One of the BBAS cats to really shine bright has been J57, who's taken his acumen as a producer and turned into a very capable producer, working with everyone from Nitty Scott, MC to Homeboy Sandman. A few years back, J dropped "The Main Event (Remix)," a track featuring Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren, Maffew Ragazino, and Rasheed Chappell. This was before a lot of these guys really got national recognition, and features a beat that is sample-free and contains a silky bassline midway. It looks like homey went back into the studio to give the tune an entirely new feel, and will be releasing it officially on November 11. Stream the (clean) version below, and pre-order that bad boy right now.

J-Live - "I Am A Man (American Justice)"

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J-Live penned a track that resonates with many of us who are living "free" in America while still being under the constant fear and struggle of, well, walking while black. Or driving while black. Or whatever the case may be; shit is real out there. I respect him talking about the cops not even knowing the beat they are paid to walk. "We black, and yall cops."

Skepta ft. Young Lord - "It Ain't Safe"

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I feel Skepta could be next up.

Tone Liv ft Rav.P & EVIE - "Recipe Tight"

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Here's that proper Saturday night wild life material, courtesy of Tone Liv alongside Rav.P and EVIE. On a head nod-inducing track from J.L Izzo light C4 on the mic. Free download as well. Crack a tall can to this. You already.

KRK!'s Exclusive Mix for BLVCK SCVLE

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This is like the perfect middle ground between hip-hop and electronic. Artwork by Daniel Joseph.


RATKING ft. DJ Dog Dick - "Cocoa 88"

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Best track from So It Goes got an official video. I could listen to this on loop all night.

Dom O Briggs - "EBT Til B.E.T"

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This is the first single from Dom O Briggs' forthcoming Indecent Deacon EP, which is due out on December 31st.

Tonedeff - Hunter

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If you've been peeping one of the best podcasts on the Internets, Tacos & Chocolate Milk, you've no-doubt hard QN5 general Tonedeff speaking on his sophomore album, Polymer. He's been releasing it as a series of EPs, and the third EP, Hunter, was recently released. You can cop each of the three EPs (which include Glutton and Demon) digitally, but the fourth and final piece of Polymer will only be made available via the physical collector's edition of Polymer. Those will be limited, as Tone's only pressing up as man copies as are pre-ordered. Get those pre-orders in ASAP, and preview Hunter down below.

Lyle Horowitz - Magic City

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Been a minute since we've heard new material from Lyle.

Funkmaster Flex on Juan Epstein

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This was recorded live earlier this week. Listen to the full two-hour epic version down below.

John Michael ft. Black Collar Biz - "Like A Drug"

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No matter how much you think you're up on things, you can never see everything. Case in point: I thought I was up-to-speed on everything Black Collar Biz had out there, but definitely missed this month-old feature on John Michael's "Like A Drug." This is pure, hip-hop inspired R&B music with Collar dropping some fly lyrics in this feature. You all know you have those people you properly feen for, right? Cuffing season's upon us - don't get caught out there!

Willie Green - A Suite For Souled People

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These might be the only tracks I want to hear living in a post-Ferguson world. Well, it's the world we've lived in, but the nonsense is front and center. Willie Green said he felt some kind of way after Ferguson, and put together this project:

"The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri (as well as Staten Island, Beavercreek, Ohio, and Los Angeles) have lifted a veil of comfortable ignorance across this country. The murder of Michael Brown, resultant cover up and egregious treatment of protesters has shown that the perception of Black people in America has changed little since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Americans live in a country where the oppressed are dehumanized and told to be quiet and gracious about their anger; and where the oppressors are harbored by our government and rewarded by our peers. Where the media warps facts to prove agendas against citizens and digital voices rush to play devil’s advocate to conceal their own bias. These are terrifying statements and not exaggerations. I’m no revolutionary. But I am someone who wants to look his children in the eyes and say when his country showed its worst, he did something."

Elucid, billy woods, and Curly Castro do their thing on this one.

M-Dot - "Praverbs"

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M-Dot's shared a tribute to Praverb. Here's what got sent over with the track:

"One of my best friends, for over 12 yrs and the most selfless and humble person I have met passed away today, Praverb The Wyse" - M-Dot

A tribute to the emcee/blogger Praverb that we all knew and loved. He had called M-Dot the night before he passed and when M-Dot got the News yesterday, he took to the studio to vent the only way he knows how over this beat by Jerz. RIP Earl.

RIP Praverb

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It's with confusion and sadness that I report this... word from Earl "Praverb" McNease's family is that the Florida-based MC, has passed away suddenly. While there's no official cause of death, this note was posted to his personal profile from his wife, Vanessa:

"To all of Patricks friends and family , it is with great sadness I share that we have unexpectedly lost our beloved friend, husband, father, and son , Earl Patrick McNease this morning. We are still unsure of what happened that took my love from us, but appreciate all of the support shown. I'm sorry to share such news via social media, but Patrick wouldn't have had it any other way. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we grieve and uplift us as we try and pick up the pieces of our lives and raise our beautiful son Matthew. He was everything to his daddy, and so was his music.

The best way to honor my husband would be to continue to share his love of hip hop and the word of God through his websites, this was his aspiration."

I'm definitely in shock. For one, I'm pretty sure we were around the same age. Secondly, he was one of those cats that I'd been following for the past six years, trying to show love when it felt like so many would sleep on him for one reason or another. He was hip to how things worked on the 'Net, and was always ready to show love for his material being posted... but I think the biggest thing about Praverb was how selfless he was with the information he gained.

Just check out his website. While I'd fallen out of knowing how often he'd been putting out music (primarily because my day-job kept me out of the loop with a lot going on), I was always seeing the different pieces he'd write trying to help educate MCs on the come-up being shared on Twitter. He was putting together hip-hop blog directories and publicists, giving tips on how to market yourself, and so much more. Dude was really about helping instead of hindering, and I know personally that MCs were either just impressed with his skills or in debt with his knowledge. Guess he wasn't known as "P The Wyse" for nothing.

Damn. It's sad as hell to hear this info, and I know our international hip-hop community will take some time and really dig into his material. Do the knowledge on his site, then hit the jump and stroll through a playlist of his material. It also looks like donations are being taken to help cover funeral costs.

Rest in power, Praverb.

(And for those looking for a little bit of Praverb, check out Professional Hobbyist, The Gospel Is Free 2: The Rebirth, and Center of Attention. Dude had a gift.)

Run The Jewels - "Oh My Darling Don't Cry"

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Run The Jewels 2 is due out on October 27. El-P and Killer Mike went OFF on this one. #murdereverything

DJ Mister Cee & Funkmaster Flex's "Ready To Die" 20th Anniversary Tribute Mix

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This went down last night. Hit the jump for Flex, Cee, Red Alert, Method Man, and Diddy discussing Ready To Die.


Leo*Leo ft. Black Collar Biz - "Dancing Queen"

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When I was interviewing Black Collar Biz for this piece, he told me about this track. He told me that this Boston-based duo Leo*Leo was looking to collaborate with him, so he he dropped some bars on their Side One EP track "Dancing Queen." Perfect sounds, really.

Capo ft. Skrewtape - "Labor Day"

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Good seeing the homey Skrewtape at Jersey Fresh. Newest/latest. "Still ahead of dudes," indeed.

Tone Liv & DJ Priority ft. Respect Tha God & Burke The Jurke - "Tri-State"

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"Wherever tall cans is at, I'm in the building." Such is the mantra of Tone Liv, who is one of my favorite people in the NJ hip-hop scene, and life in general. He's worked hard with DJ Priority on their Clockwork album, and this is the second single (following the title track, which dropped in May). Alongside Respect Tha God and Burke The Jerk, Tone and Priority craft some darker shit. Proper single as well, with clean, dirty, and instrumental versions on deck.

The Combat Jack Show: Jeezy Episode

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Via TheCombatJackShow: "On the eve of the release of ‘Seen It All‘, his 5th studio album, Jeezy shared his growth as an artist, what the word “leadership” means to him, his experience at Ferguson, St. Louis, moving from being a street cat to a responsible role model, his relationship with Jay Z, his thoughts on Sean “Diddy” Combs and why he’s feeling so happy these days. It’s no more “Young”, it’s now Mr. Jeezy."

Black Collar Biz - "Start It (FreeStyle)"

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Black Collar Biz going ham over the classic "Rebel Without A Pause" instrumental. Murder.

Keith Murray and M.O.P. on Juan Epstein

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The latest episode of Juan Epstein featured two pillars of rough, rugged and raw hip-hop excitement: Keith Murray and M.O.P.; you can check out video of both, and then hit the SoundCloud (or iTunes) and snag the full, one-hour-and-forty-minute episode.



Versis - "Growing Pain91"

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Been a minute since I've heard new material from Versis. Dude's still got it. Something about the vocal inflections that this 22-year-old employs, but he's slick as fuck widdit. Something quick.

MarQ Spekt & Blockhead - "SumOfItsParts"

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Taken from their JustPlayWitIt LP.

Rich Quick - "Sweet Summer"

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This is taken from French DJ J Hart's East Coast Draft mixtape.

Skrewtape - "Jazz Cigarettes"

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Armand Hammer - "CRWNS"

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Taken from the new Furtive Movements EP, which is out now digitally and on limited orange vinyl.

Jersey Fresh Jam 2014: In Pictures

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I have to say, this year's Jersey Fresh Jam (the ninth annual) was the best one I've attended. As I walked towards TerraCycle with my wife, the atmosphere just felt different. The layout's the best they've had, with the food trucks and stands in one spot near the vendors, which might've been to give more writers space within the TerraCycle backyard (at least, to me, it feels like there were more writers out there). Seeing guys like the legendary SKEME tagging alongside the Jersey writers was dope by itself. There were a number of seriously dope pieces, from a great Marilyn Monroe portrait to whatever that animal is from the Ice Age films. And the music!

The music! One of the true highlights was seeing Black Collar Biz and Old Sol live once again. They dropped that "Time's Up," which is so moody and brooding—hearing that at Art All Night 2014 was one of my favorite parts of that entire event. Hustle Emcee had a dope set, as did Mr. Fickle and Venomous 2000, who shared a set and really had the hip-hop heads vibing. Hell, Venomous' last track was for the b-boys, and one guy actually started breaking on the blacktop! CORFU (Skrewtape, Rich Quick, and Biz Mighty) merked the stage, as did a number of acts I wasn't too up on (liked seeing the young boys Namebrand out there as well). Overall, the music stage was on point.

The entire day was one for the record books. You can check out my collection of BlackBerry pictures HERE; my main question is "if the ninth year was this great, how will they top it for their tenth anniversary?!" You'll have to come out next year and see.

Jersey Fresh Jam 2014 Set Times

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The Jersey Fresh Jam kicks off today at noon at the TerraCycle Complex. While you're enjoying the gorgeous aerosol masterpieces, there's a full lineup of music set to go down, featuring loads of Jersey hip-hop masters. Here's the schedule, as of right now:

12:30-12:45: Dreadpool Parker w/Liz Cisco
12:50-1:05: Born Wreckless
1:10pm-1:25: Kas&Swagga T
1:30-1:40 Uneeke Kenetic
1:40-2:00: DJ SEV ONE set
2:05-2:20: Shore-Shot
2:25-2:40: Certified Life(Alert)
2:45-3:00: Hustle Emcee
3:05pm-3:25pm: Black Collar Biz and Old Sol
3:30PM-3:50: DJ ITSJUSTAHMAD set w/ Czar Hotep(Fine Arts)
3:55-4:15pm: HafBlack
4:20pm-4:40pm: Mr. Fickle and Venomous 2000
4:45pm-5:05pm: NAMEBRAND (Rell and Sonic)
5:10pm-5:30pm: CORFU AM DOWN(Biz Mighty, Skrewtape, Rich Quick)
5:35pm-5:45pm: B Davis
5:50-6:10: lla Ghee and All Elements Fam

Close out with open mic ciphe

Jersey Fresh Jam 2014: Official Flyers

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If you've been in the Trenton area, we'll assume you've seen these. If not, check them out. And if you're simpin', you're slouchin'. Jersey Fresh Jam 2014 is THIS SATURDAY, 12 to 6. Food, music, and loads of live graf. Come out. I'll be there.

Pete Rock - James Brown Tribute Mix

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Don Speaks ft. Ne$$ & Fat Tony "Sixteen Tons"

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I know, I know—it's been hard to keep up with RTD when DAD takes up so much of my time, but this blog isn't dead. The way most people act, though, you'd think my email wasn't in use anymore. Not Donwill. He's been doing his thing in a number of different lanes, and one thing I had seen a week or so ago was that he's linked up with Dash Speaks for a special project, Don Speaks, an eight-track EP that you can pre-order, like, right now. Word is you can get it for free via Facebook for one week only, but you ain't hear that from me.

You have to love "Sixteen Tons," though. Three "indie" cats going all kinds of bananas, ham, and nuts over a meaty beat that contains a 68-year-old sample. No happy joy joy times in here, though; this is aggressive turn up, but not on some drunken dumb shit. Intelligent turn up. Look, we'll work on the title, but this bangs like a motherfucker. Preview below.

88-Keys Shared Some Beats "From Mom & Dad's Basement"

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17 free beats from 88-Keys. You'll definitely know one of these as something Mos Def used. Here's what he had to say: "So I found this beat tape I made (my guess is back in '01) in my parents' basement today out in West Hempstead, NY. I sold one beat on here to Mos Def which was used for his song... Ahhh, just do you homework. Jay-Z recorded a song to one of the other beats on here as well but I never heard it (still to this day)."