Archive for 12/01/2016 - 01/01/2017

Scott Melker Says "F$ck 2016" With His Latest Soul House Mix

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Image via Scott Melker

Like we've said numerous times, 2016 has been cruel af. Scott Melker decided to knock out another Soul House mix, but this time he wanted the mix to totally say "F$ck 2016," and similar to DJ Marky and numerous other DJs, blend tracks featuring a number of this year's lost musical heroes, including David Bowie, Prince, A Tribe Called Quest, George Michael, and others.

2016 has been a cruel motherfucker. Fuck the entire year in the eye, and hope that 2017 is much brighter. You can stream Scott's full mix down below, and download it via Brooklyn Radio.

Benzi Gave Away A Bunch of His 2016 Edits

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While I've never DJ'd a New Years Eve party, I can only imagine how insane it is trying to prepare. Sure, you want to make sure you're dropping the freshest tracks from the previous year, probably going anthem-for-anthem, but you can't spend two hours doing that, right? You need ebbs and flows, sneaky tracks thrown in the mix to keep people interested. Why not sort yourself out with a gang of edits, maybe mixing up some of the bigger rap anthems with some of the biggest tunes from the realm of EDM?

Enter Benzi, a DJ who's been on the circuit for years, and knows both genres like the back of his hand. Earlier on Twitter, he dropped a massive .zip file full of his 2016 edits, featuring insane combinations like Vic Mensa x Styles&Complete, Migos x 4B and Aazar, an Alvaro remix of Drake's "One Dance," and much, much more.

I figure that plenty of you DJs are going through your folders NOW, so grab this .zip ASAP and get right for tonight. Check out these massive edits that are included in the file.

DJ Marky Pays Tribute to the Musical Legends We Lost in 2016

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The first time I went to Los Angeles was the weekend Michael Jackson died. I went there to experience an EDC, although I really just stayed in the bass arena because guys like DJ Marky were on the bill. In that sea of massive bass, Marky did something special: he dropped, then rewound, some classic MJ records. It was small, but necessary. And with his deep crates, I'm surprised he isn't asked to do more retrospective mixes like this.

With 2016 taking the likes of David Bowie, Prince, Rod Temperton, George Michael, and others passing away this year, it made sense that someone did a mix like this. Marky says that one of his good friends asked him to do it, so he obliged. Here's his ~70 minute mix, featuring a beautiful mix of material from these classic artists. Perfect for your NYE festivities, if you're more on the "cry into a glass of whisky" sort like myself.

L'Orange Pays Tribute to "Love and Love Lost" On 'Koala'

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While L'Orange's instrumental EP Koala is a more personal tribute to "love and love lost," there's something about this seven-track opus that can be felt by many, especially in the 2016th year of someone's Lord. Hell, we lost everyone from Prince to Carrie Fisher this year; someone has either found love or been stripped of a loved one. L'Orange found a way to channel the fond memories—and the somber feels—into these timeless tracks.

You can stream the full project down below, and pick it up for whatever your heart desires over on Bandcamp.

KRNE Turns Up, Looks Back at 2016 In His New Year Mix

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I won't front; ever since DAD was put to pasture, I've felt a bit of a weight lifted from my shoulders. I don't care what anyone says; when your job is to follow the ins and outs of one particular slice of culture, it can be taxing, especially when you have to suffer through a load of wack material to find the true gems. I still do it, but it's at my leisure, and there's no real clock on me. I now get the opportunity to just enjoy shit instead of trying to find angle and figure out what the hell things fit into. One thing it also allows me to do is reflect on some of the diamonds in that rough, like KRNE.

KRNE is a Bay Area representer who became a name in the first year of DAD's existence. He's grown from strength to strength, from a SoundCloud-steady rocker to a worldwide party smasher. His sound is focused; it's far from the typical turn up you find on the dancefloor—aka it's right in my lane. So, when I saw that he dropped a 2016 New Year Mix, I was all over it. The folks over at NEST say that he drops a number of "easily recognizable bangers from Alexander Lewis, Boombox Cartel, QUIX, Y2K, and many more," but I feel more like the odd man out, WHICH IS GREAT! Teach me something with your journeys into sound. KRNE also dropped some unreleased heat from himself, too.

You know how it is around here; we need these pre-game mixes to breathe. Stream this ferocious set down below.

Mr. Mitch - "Dru (Part 2)"

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Last year, Mr. Mitch kicked off the first physical run of releases on his Gobstopper imprint with an EP of his "peace edits." That release featured "Dru," his take on Dru Hill's "How Deep Is Your Love." It looks like the master of the serene side of the grime scene had more to say, and dropped a second part to "Dru." Something tells me that a number of babies are going to be made to this track over the holiday weekend.

You can stream "Dru (Part 2)" in all of its glory down below, and download the track for free. #ByeBye2016

Skillz Looks Back at the Year That Was With His "2016 Rap Up"

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It's kind of wild when you think that it's been 20 years since Skillz dropped his From Where???album, and about 14 years since he started his Rap Up series. It's one of those things that I never think about until the very end of the year, but when it drops, I'm glad it happens (and pissed that I forget it). There's something about the way he drops jewels about everything with the intellect of a grown ass man who's seen shit and knows the score already.

Of course he sends love to Phife, gets pissed about being told to use the new chip in his card, and fears over Trump's presidency. 2017 is about to be wild, so the best way to prepare is to rewind one cold ass year so we don't repeat the fuckery. Stream Skillz's "2016 Rap Up" below. And if you wanted Rap Ups from different rappers, check out how Bekay and Uncle Murda ran down 2016.

RTDMIX007: dnr

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With New Year's Eve right around the corner, we couldn't leave any of you hanging. The RTDMIX is BACK with a banger of a mix to help you turn up for the holiday, while also giving you some things to think about.

The seventh edition is from a DJ who goes by [dnr]; I love his style, too. Almost a kindred spirit, since I know he has a healthy love and enthusiasm for the jungle sound, but dabbles everywhere from hip-hop to more subversive, beat-heavy electronic soundscapes. That's kind of the vibe of his contribution to the RTDMIX, "Urban Decay." This isn't the mix you want to drop at midnight on January 1; this is the mix for the after after party, where all of the debauchery has quieted down, but a crew of willing and able heads are waxing poetic on life heading into 2017 while trekking through some of their more intriguing beats.

Featured artists in this mix include Pusha T, Ivy Lab, Lemon D, Foreign Beggars, Hyroflifics, Infuze, and even one of my favorite Eminem songs, ever. Press play and take that ride, knowing full well that once the dust settles, things will get better. Hell, if they don't, at least we had a massive time.

You can stream this mix below, and if you're so inclined, subscribe to the podcast.

EZRAKH - "I Can't Wait"

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Image via EZRAKH

Over the years, I've seen EZRAKH grow from a doper, left-field producer of a number of Jersey cats to really letting his freak flag fly. And it doesn't get any freakier than putting your own seductive, '70s electric shine on the Nu Shooz classic "I Can't Wait." The homey Nadus sent this one over to me the other day, as EZRAKH is down with his THREAD imprint...I'd say keep your eyes and ears peeled to both in the new year.

For now, get blowed to this. You can stream below and download for the free via Bandcamp.

El Carnicero and Don Cotti Link Up to Bring You The "Sound of the Future"

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Image via Boom One Records / Art by Levi Villines

With so much lip service being paid to the idea of dancehall and reggae permeating popular culture once again, it's dope to see some heads I love really showing mans how it's done. El Carnicero, who you should know from his work with the Seclusiais / Slit Jockey camps, has linked up with Don Cotti, a UK vocalist that's worked with everyone from Skream to Skepta, to give you the "Sound of the Future."

This cut, which is part dancehall, part reggae, all bass, is something to wind your waist to while preparing for WAR. But that's far from everything; Boom One Records called on both Skyshaker and Lemi Vice & Cool Hand Lex to put their own spin on this futuristic sound. You can stream the lead single below, then head over to Bandcamp to stream (and cop) the remixes. Then put the needle on the record and go ham!

Damien The Architect and Hadj Are Trying to Figure Out "How You Do That"

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This shit right here? My type of hype. THIS is why I do this. I have no idea who Damien The Architect or Hadj are, but this cut got slid into my inbox, and I'm turnt. Booming beat with a tinge of the eerie, mixed with some syrupy smooth flows drenching a batch of real talk? "I don't give hugs, I don't shake hands, I don't have friends..." Is this low-key the new anthem?

"How You Do That" is taken This 404 Loudpack-produced banger is taken from Damien and Hadj's forthcoming HEY! EP, which is due out in January. I might need this one right now, though. Proper 2017 mantra all over this one, trust.

Rhyme Selektah Shows The World How Eastern Europe Gets Down On "Criminus"

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For some MCs on the mic, it's all about shouting out how ill their city or region is. Rhyme Selektah is no different, but instead of some American ghetto, his video for "Criminus" highlights how ill it is out in Eastern Europe. I was kind of swayed by being told he was an " English-speaking East-Slav rapper" in his email, and I won't front: I was surprised at how much I dug his rhymes. He's not the GOAT, but you can hear his pain and truth in his lines.

If you're rocking with "Criminus," know that this track and more are found on Rhyme's The Bottom: Take Off mixtape, which is available for free download right now. Check out the full "Criminus" video down below.

Ced Hughes Views 'Life In Technicolor'

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Image via Ced Hughes
When I started rockthedub 10 years ago, I didn't go about it with the intention to highlight artists like Ced Hughes, primarily because I was a novice in the way in whatever you'd call the "record industry" works. As I got into it, there was a groundswell of artists who weren't signed, but were dope as fuck, and needed outlets. Shit just fell into place, and one name who's always been around has been Ced Hughes, and while I've been a fan for over six years of his music, I feel like Life In Technicolor sounds like his most polished project, ever.

In a world where guys like Boogie and, hell, Kendrick Lamar are embracing their more "musical" sides, I feel like Ced's already there, at least in terms of being comfortable in more "live"-sounding tracks. There's a blunted on reality/acid test feel to this project, with drunken horns, cracking drums, and intoxicating loops bouncing off of Ced's vibrant vocals. Dude knows how to rap, but again, it's that comfort that this Virginia Beach-based spitter showcases on his tracks.

My only issue is that I let this one marinate too long; it's been out since early December, but I'm glad I pressed play. No word on where this can be copped/downloaded, but when I get word, I got you. Do yourself a favor in the interim and stream the FUCK out of this.

S-Type "Grad"

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Image via S-Type

Every year, I know LuckyMe sorts out their regular Advent calendar of free downloads around the holiday season, and every year I always forget to check it out from the start. Today we're five days in, but it took this ferocious new cut from S-Type to snap me into the LuckyMe season.

S-Type's done some hip-hop production before, but it's his solo instrumental work that always gets me open. Something about this one, with the 4/4 kicks and those soaring synths...feels something like an anthem (reminiscent of his 15/16 Advent submission, "NYE"). Especially that final third; oh my days!

You can download this and all of the LuckyMe Advent 16 / 17 bits (which includes material from Inkke and Sam O.B.) for free via Stream the rest of the releases down below. And if you want even more S-Type, grab his remix of Hudson Mohawke's "Robot."

Scott Melker Has Sorted Out the Perfect Post-Christmas Turn Up Mix

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You know how it goes; you spend like two days spending all of your time with your whole family. You don't have time to escape their inane questions and babble; all you truly want to do is play your new video games, catch a showing of A Christmas Story, and steal some of your people's whisky. It's rough being young around the holidays, right?

Here's what you do, though. You probably have an older cousin; you know, the one who let you smoke a lil' herb for the first time, right? Well, around 8PM, when the adults are more than likely playing spades and/or passed out on the couch from too much whisky and good food, grab your cousin and hit play on this new Scott Melker mix. It's the fifth from his "Soul House" mix series, and is certified to get your older cousin in their feelings about "the good ol' days." They will put the towel under the door, pull out a bottle or a bag of something, and bless you.

This is what the holidays are all about. Family, fun, and potent hydro/brown liquor with blood relatives. Thanks for providing the soundtrack, Scott.

The TEKLIFE Crew Gave Away A Batch of VIPs For Christmas

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Sweet Christmas, the TEKLIFE crew have dropped a batch of VIP tracks for the free. 14 bangers from the likes of Taso, Manny, Taye, DJ Chap, Paypal, Sirr Tmo, and many more. You may have heard some of these, but if not, and you DJ, your set later tonight has been made. The key is that they flipped a number of big tracks from the likes of Young M.A, Kanye West, Drake, and more. Don't sleep.

I'm a little lit, and family is definitely here, but it's dope that one of the premier footwork crews put together a grip of gems for the holidays. You can stream the full project down below, and download it via the TEKLIFE website.

It's A Christmas Fucking Miracle: Run The Jewels Released 'RTJ3' Early

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Image via Run The Jewels
I knew it. I tried to get myself to bed on Christmas Eve earlier than normal, primarily because I knew today was going to be wild with the family and all, and I saw Run The Jewels post a Portlandia-featured video on the Internets. I was passing out while scrolling through their merch and figured "oh shit, RTJ3 is probably dropping early.

I woke up to a Christmas fucking miracle.

Instead of being released on January 13 like they previously said, the full RTJ3 is available for download (via the RTJ website) and stream. Best Christmas gift ever? Stream the project in full down below.

Muffler's Given Away His New Album 'Unique Music'

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Image via Muffler
The holiday gifts just keep on keepin' on, eh? The newest latest is in the form of Muffler's eight-track album Unique Music, which reportedly hits all of the major digital retailers on January 9, 2017. You probably heard the bigger singles like "Snowflakes," "Valentine," and "Serenity," but this one also has a number of joyous exclusives. My personal favorite is "Amen Tune."

This one is available for free download; all it'll cost you is a follow on a social media outlet (seriously; just a follow on Twitter and you've got this beaut before it's out for retail). Stream the full project, and if you like it, hit this link to sort yourself out with an early Christmas gift.

KOTA The Friend Is Just Doing His Thing "The Way" He Wants

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It's been a minute since we've featured some new KOTA The Friend so it's dope to get this early Christmas gift from the Brooklynite. What's iller is that it's not like it's a Christmas-infused cut; this is more the anthem for those of you who are tired of getting shit on by your older relatives. Just let them know you're doing you the way you want.

You can stream and download this smooth Origami-produced cut down below. You can also check him out spitting this very track via the second episode of his "Lyrics To GO" series.

Pish Posh Compiles Two Years of Drum & Bass Into His DnB Vault Podcast Mix

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The man known as Pish Posh has sorted out a huge mix for the DnB Vault Podcast, looking at the last two years of his drum & bass output. He's at the top of longevity for stateside drum & bass producers, with the last year or so really being full of new material from him. They called it a second wind, it just looks like he's continuing to wreck shop like we've known he could.

You can stream the entire badass mix below, and download it here; you should also be subscribing to the DnB Vault's podcast via iTunes.

Frank Ocean Gets Chopped (Not Slopped) On 'Purple Blonde'

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If you're a fan of Frank Ocean, his 2016 release Blonde, and chopped & screwed mixtapes, Christmas has officially come early. DJ Slim K made sure to drop this chopped not slopped take on Blonde entitled  Purple Blonde, which is something you might need to pour something up to while you wrap those gifts (like I'm about to do rn).

Pigeons & Planes got a word with Slim K about the project. "It wasn't much about the actual project of Blonde," Slim K says, "but more about Frank's voice when slowed down that makes the people enjoy his music chopped up. I personally wanted to chop the album to give the fans what they've been requesting during the holiday season!"

You can download the full project via LiveMixtapes; stream it down below as well. Merry X-mas.

Dieselboy Returns With A Thunderous New 'Destroyer' Mix

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Image via Dieselboy
Two years ago, Dieselboy rocked the drum & bass world with his first Destroyer mix. Back then, he told me he was inspired by the '70s grindhouse era of film-making. For his latest epic, The Destroyer II: Extinction Event, he returns to that vibe, although the length of the set balloons from 86 minutes to almost two full hours of drum & bass, dropping something like 138 tracks that have rinsed a number of sets this year.

Kind of surprised the drum & bass media hasn't picked up on this one yet, but it's their loss. This is a great examination of the harder side of 2016's drum & bass releases, with some sneakier bits thrown in for great measure. Featured acts include Phace, Break, Current Value, Emperor, Rene LaVice, and many, many more (including an Audio remix of "Carcosa," which closed out the previous mix). Stream and download the mix, and peep the full tracklist below.

Chance The Rapper Talks 'Merry Christmas Lil Mama' With Hannibal Burress

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Who knew that Hannibal Buress had a podcast, Handsom Rambler? I sure didn't; I feel like I only saw him share a SoundCloud link to an episode the other day, but didn't realize it was a thing. Whatever the case may be, he recently had Chance The Rapper on the podcast to talk Merry Christmas Lil Mama, which is fitting considering Chance and Jeremih made the tape for Chicago and Hannibal is from Chitown as well.

During the conversation, Chance also let Hannibal know that the esteemed Noname (who dropped a tremendous project Telefone this year) gave him his greatest guest verse. "The best guest verse that I got from somebody is the Noname verse on 'Lost,'" which is taken from Chance's Acid Rap mixtape.

You can find out more about how Chance feels about Merry Christmas Lil Mama, life, and everything in between via his appearance on the Handsome Rambler down below. And be sure to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

rockthedub radio: Xmas Special 2016

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Image via New York Daily News

With the last edition of rockthedub radio dropping in time for Thanksgiving, it made sense that we drop a special edition for Christmas Day, right? While I may not be the first Black Santa Claus (at the Mall of America), I come bearing gifts.

What's wild is I love Christmas music...with a twist. You know how we do around here; it's about the original, but it's also how you flipped it. I have a fucked up sense of humor, and like being on brand but throwing curveballs. Hence why the only Home Alone reference here is to a grime beat, or that Donny Hathaway's classic "This Christmas" gets touched by RoddyRod. Or that I drop some old OFWGTKA fuck Christmas vibes in here, just because. These are a number of my favorite leftfield Christmas jams that I've been collecting, for you, in one ~52 minute package.

Other featured acts include Coldcut, St. Joe Louis, the Treacherous Three, Oh No, and more. Perfect for getting toasty due to a new bottle of hard liquor, or via the blazing of some tree. You know the routine.

Stream below, download via iTunes, and check the tracklist down bottom.

Chance The Rapper and Jeremih Dropped a Christmas Mixtape

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While I'm not necessarily sure if this is dedicated to Lil Mama, it is dope to see Chicago natives Chance The Rapper and Jeremih link up for this nine-track Christmas mixtape. You have to love that this isn't like "oh we just put Christmas in the title b/c it's Christmas"–these are some genuine Christmas af tracks. You also have to respect that they went full-on juke on the title track, which is produced by TEKLIFE members (and fellow Chicago representers) DJ Spinn and Gant-Man.

Stream the full mixtape below.

Drum & Bass By the Fire: Hospital Records Drops Their 2016 Christmas Special

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Nothing says Christmas like a proper drum & bass rinseout by the fire, amirite? London Elektricity, head honcho over at Hospital, hit the Internets with this year's Christmas special, and it's a banger. Featured in the set are both "his + the listeners’ top ten tracks of 2016," with material from Break, LSB, Polaris, and many more.

You can stream it below via Mixcloud (and YouTube!), and download it for your travels. And if you need more Hospital, make sure you're hitting up their Advent calendar for 2016!

Mixpak Celebrates the Holiday Season With Their 2016 Holiday Bundle

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Mixpak has lowkey won 2016 for the underground. Whether it's Jubilee's awesome album After Hours or the squad turning up for (and winning) the Culture Clash, they had the year on lock for the subverts out there. To celebrate the last 12 months of amazingness, they dropped off their 2016 Holiday Bundle, which features dancehall-tinged material from King Doudou, GIL, and more, including the 5TARBO1 remix of "OMVD" down below.

Getting the release is simple; just click this link. Make sure you have 'nuff Red Stripe and tree on deck, though.

Om Unit Gives the Gift of Edits This Holiday Season

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Music is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and Om Unit is in the spirit. Back in 2012, he started his limited edition "Edits" series, which turned into six tracks spread over three volumes, dropped in small quantities on vinyl. This week, as a gesture of thanks to the many out there supporting his sound, he threw all six edits up on Bandcamp for whatever you want to pay. These are all immaculate, bu there's something about that Levy Barrington edit that has had me open for a long time. Stream and download below.

That Time Kemba Rapped On-Stage With Kendrick Lamar

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Last night, Kendrick Lamar was pulling rappers on stage during his show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to get their shine on, but it wasn't until this morning that I got to see Kemba go for his acapella. You should already know how this goes; if you haven't rocked with Negus, you need to. And if you missed Kemba on Real Late recently, he killed that freestyle. Check out that full interview as well.

RTDMIX006: Son Raw

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While the RTDMIX has mostly dabbled in the electronic side of the music spectrum, I can't front like this site doesn't have a deep hip-hop foundation. No matter how my love of music grows, we always go back to the raw raps and brutal beats of the hip-hop world; that said, I love that Son Raw dropped this '90s-centric mix of tracks.

I've known the Montreal-based writer/DJ for a while, first via the iconic Passion of the Weiss, but now through his work as a DJ of the grime persuasion and his regular drops for another fine music writing institution, FACT. I hit him up about doing an RTDMIX, and while this set isn't what we initially discussed, in a world where a Cheeto-hued meme is going to be the President of the United States, we need some blunted reality in the form of a set that features classics from MF DOOM, Cage, Wu-Tang Clan, and many others. Son can explain this way better than I can, though...

"Basically, after the past few weeks of political disaster, people yelling at each other and the world generally becoming a worse place to exist in, I ended up making this mix of dark, paranoid 90s cuts - mostly from NY but with detours through Cali, Atlanta, England and France. I tried to zero in on music that captured the specific mood I'm feeling right now and hopefully ended up with something that's relevant and not too memberberries. There's also Source Direct cut for cause, why not."

You can stream this mix below, and if you're so inclined, subscribe to the podcast.

Human Movement Gives Classic Mobb Deep a Groovy House Rinse

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If anything fits the spirit of rockthedub, it's a chilled house take on Mobb Deep's classic "Shook Ones Pt. II." One of the grimiest, most memorable tracks to ever come from New York gets touched up by the Sydney-based duo known as Human Movement, who takes that memorable instrumental and flips it on an upbeat tip. Proper transition status for you club DJs out there.

Stream this remix below, and cop it for whatever you want to pay via Bandcamp.

(Stoney Roads)

Starkey Goes 8-Bar For His New Champagne Drip Remix

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When I was younger and buying CD maxi singles in the mid-to-late '90s, I used to love getting dope remixes from producers I'd never heard of. It's how I fell in love with producers like Hive and DJ WAlly, if I'm being forreal. One producer who still knows how to show up and show out when it's time for him to get his remix on is Philly's Starkey, who recently turned Champagne Drip's "Of Course I Still Love You" into a hypnotic piece of 8-bar grime. Instead of the more hyper 8-bar instrumentals that the UK grime producers churn out, Starkey's is much moodier, with loads of fuzz and end-of-the-world vibes to it. Proper bass blaster.

This remix is taken from Champagne Drip's Of Course I Still Love You EP, which is out now via Saturate Records. You can pay what you want via Bandcamp. Stream the full track below, then show the people some love. If you want something else entirely from Starkey, check out his Charting Stardust album, which dropped in November and is chock full of ambient vibes.

Trends & Boylan - "Norman Bates"

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This time last month, I was jamming to Trends' "Thunderussy," and almost two years ago I was dropping his sick set for the DAD Mix, so it's fitting that I'd fall in love with another new one from this UK-based grime producer. Linking up with the equally deadly Boylan, these two produced "Norman Bates," which is a truly spine-tingling piece of bass music. Those frightening strings should be familiar, as that ODB vocal sample should be as well.

"Norman Bates" is the sole collaborative cut from Trends and Boylan's Norman Bates EP, which also includes a solo track from each of them (one of which is Trends' "Octopus," which I've been waiting for). The full release drops on Friday, December 16 via Oil Gang. Stream "Norman Bates" (and the other two tracks) below.

Ever Wonder What Chance The Rapper Would Sound Like On Classic Kanye West Beats?

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Image via Ian Klarer

You can't front; Chicago has produced some of the dopest hip-hop artists ever. Two of them, Kanye West and Chance The Rapper, are helping re-envision what hip-hop means to the youth of today, and while they've linked up (just check out this year's "Ultralight Beam"), this new mixtape Chance The Dropout from DJ Critical Hype and DJ Clyde pulls some aural trickery, placing Chance over some dope, throwback Kanye West material.

"I love Chance as an artist and Kanye is one of the best producers of all time," Critical Hype told Pigeons & Planes. "They are both from Chicago and Chance is always talking about how big of an influence Kanye was and is. It seemed like a match made in heaven and a great way to bridge the gap of a new and older Chicago artist."

It just makes sense. You can stream the full project down below thanks to HotNewHipHop.

King Geedorah Unleashes His "Snake Charmer" Mix on Solid Steel

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If you love mixes and radio shows like I do, you need to be keeping it locked to Solid Steel. It has always been the place for the Broadest Beats, and this week—as per usual—they highlight just how important this radio / mix series truly is.

In hour one, MF Doom's King Geedorah moniker steps up to the decks. If you remember, it was Ninja Tune's Big Dada imprint that released Geedorah's dynamic Take Me to Your Leader album in 2003; that project recently got re-issued, so Geedorah dropped this rare, exclusive set on them. There are a number of unreleased tracks on here, including new Paul Barman, JJ DOOM, and even a flip of DJ Khaled's "I Got the Keys." So slick.

Don't leave just yet, though. Jon1st returns for his 2016 best-of mix; for those who remember, he did a similar one back in 2015. His set features over 60 tracks that got dropped in 2016, including personal favorites from Zed Bias, Diemantle, Sinistarr, Ivy Lab, Alix Perez, and more. With Jon1st being a true DJ's DJ, don't expect this to just be drop fi drop; he really gets things going in this set.

You can stream Geedorah's mix right here, and check out Jon1st's set down below.

PREMIERE: A Mankind Complex - "Overachieve"

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Another day, another dollar, and A Mankind Complex is here to "Overachieve." The CapCity representers cooked up a motivational anthem for heads who don't want to just get by or get ahead; this is for those out there who are looking to break all preconceived notions and goals. The go getters who are going and getting.

You can stream (and download) this track in full down below. Big up to the Cap City crew.

Cameron Murdoch ft. Shepherds & Masego - "Regular Guy"

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I got this track a few weeks back, and was truly intrigued. I can't front like this is my favorite track of the year, but I love where Cameron Murdoch is going with it. "Regular Guy" is taken from his recently-released project I Love Me Too, and the Minnesota-based MC/producer got me open.

There's something about that proto-jungle rhythm on this one, giving the rhythm a good kick in the pants without trying to double time everything. It's especially sweet because he's actually saying something; this is one of those tracks for the good guys who are outchea getting dumped on by the objects of their affection. Something that speaks to a younger me in message and sound, and definitely a jawn you should take notice of.

You can stream and download "Regular Guy" below, and if you're feeling froggy, jump on over to iTunes and grab I Love Me Too in full.

Quelle Chris - "Buddies"

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Now this is my kind of insanity. Quelle Chris first hit my ear years ago for his beats, but I've loved how he's spread his wings on the mic. On the Ayepee-produced "Buddies," Chris goes to great lengths to let you know why he fucks with himself (spoiler alert: most of you ain't shit, so he needs to ride for delf). Like he said when dropping the track, "True love starts from within. Don't just greet the world. Introduce the world to your best friend. You."

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say, but fuck it; "Buddies" is apparently from Quelle Chris' forthcoming album, which hasn't been announced but should be dropping in 2017. You can stream this beaut down below, and grab it for free via Bandcamp.

J-Live - "Eleven Nine"

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I've been a fan of J-Live's for over 15 years, but I have to keep it a buck: this new joint, "Eleven Nine," has me feeling the way I felt about his sophomore album, 2002's The Best Part. Something about J diving deep into his social commentary bag, pouring all of those feelings we've had since Trump won the election on top of the stale cereal made up of America's fuckery into some heat. Deeply poetic, all the way real, "Eleven Nine" is true food for thought.

This track is taken from At The Date Of This Writing (Vol 1), the first in a series of all self-produced cuts from J-Live. It's out via Mortier Music on December 12. "Eleven Nine" is available when you pre-order; stream this serious dose of medicine and cop the project ASAP.

Jeremy Ian Thomas - "She Waits"

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I woke up today actually feeling OK, but in the last half hour or so started feeling some type of way. It drew me to the music of Jeremy Ian Thomas, who's dropping his The Emerald Tablet project on December 9. Shouts to Rappers I Know for putting me on; these kind of soothing, serene tracks help ease the nonsense of the daily grind. Fuck the dumb, use music to numb...or something.

DJ Zinc Makes His Return to the Essential Mix

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Seven years ago, the impeccable DJ Zinc put together one of my favorite Essential Mixes ever. By that point, he was already very deep into the non-dnb world. This time around, with the basshouse/night bass scenes taking over both sides of the Atlantic, Zinc returns with a smashing Essential Mix set that premiered last night on BBC Radio 1.

As they put it, "A workout for your bassbins! The British breakbeat, house and junglist legend DJ Zinc is back on the Essential Mix with a stack of new material, alongside tunes from Chris Lorenzo, My Nu Leng, Kry Wolf, Redlight and Cadenza."

Hopefully there's word on another Zinc EP (or album!) in the near future, because his cuts in this set are huge. You can stream the full mix right here, and check out the entire tracklist so you don't miss a tune!

DJ JS-1 Spans All Genres In New 'On Track' Mix

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As you know, we don't just rock to hip-hop around here; we're fans of pieces of MANY genres, so when experienced DJs like JS-1 step up for these multi-genre mixes, you have to stand up and take note.

In describing "On Track," JS-1 says "I listen to a variety of music. This mix is a collection of several songs I listen to while on tour or sitting on airplanes, etc... I hope you enjoy it, a lot of DJ's are not doing these type of mixes."

The set is MASSIVE. Over 90 minutes of music, featuring a whopping 84 tracks(!) with artists like OutKast, Coldplay, The Beatles, Next, The Spinners, John Lennon, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, and plenty more occupying the mix. Everything from classic soul and R&B to rock to pop to hip-hop to everything in between, "On Track" is a great mix to zone out to with a room full of like-minded friends.

"On Track" is available for download via DJ JS-1's site; we've provided a stream, and you should know where to find that full tracklist.

The Dixon Brothers Get You Into the Holiday Spirit With Their "Ho! 3X" Mix

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Having trouble getting into the holiday spirit? Don't fret, the Dixon Brothers have your back. The UK-based duo is back with a perfect 11-minute holiday mixtape, featuring classics and remixes of said classics. Everything is in here, including Destiny's Child, the Jackson 5, Brenda Lee, and more, with reworks from Buck Rodgers, Nishe and Gin, Beef Wellington, and others.

As the Brothers put it, "If The Grinch, Buzz McCallister and Ebenezer Scrooge (before the ghosts) made a Christmas mix... this is what it would sound like." Make this mix a part of your life; stream it via Mixcloud, and the full tracklist is down bottom.

Watch TV One's 'Unsung' Documentary On Frankie Knuckles and the History of House Music

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Image via Dave Hoekstra

Earlier this week, TV One's Unsung series looked at the life and legacy of DJ Frankie Knuckles, who passed away two years ago. He's truly the architect of house music (hell, the name "house music" wouldn't even be a thing if it wasn't for heads in need of a way to describe what Frankie would play at Chicago's Warehouse club), but instead of just looking at his life, Unsung decided to dig a bit deeper, taking a look at the history of house music, growing from the ashes of disco hatred to a worldwide phenomenon.

Fans of electronic music owe a lot to Frankie. Take some time out to reflect on the life of a true pioneer. You can stream the documentary in full down below. If you want more on Frankie, check out the letter Barack Obama wrote after he passed, as well as a collection of Frankie's best tracks. For those who might be new to Frankie's material and house music as a genre, we've added some mixes of his (including his last-ever recorded set) down below.

Run The Jewels - "Legend Has It"

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Image via Run The Jewels

Word hit today that Run The Jewels' third album, RTJ3, is set to hit on January 13. With that, they dropped "Legend Has It," the out-and-out BANGER I've been waiting for. Just hit play and listen.

Something about when Killer Mike and El-P are able to go for broke over a monstrous beat sits well with me. Also has me feeling great about RTJ3, which also features Danny Brown, Trina, and Kamasi Washington. Full tracklist down below.