Archive for 2017

DJ Craze Murdered Respect LA

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Back in 1999, I knew of DJ Craze because he was a murderous turntablist, owning any turntable competition he brought his crates to. Somehow, he got bit by the drum & bass bug, and on his debut album Crazee Musick, he had a track—"Mogli"—that found him recreating a thumping jungle track using nothing but vinyl and his turntable. After that, he went on a dnb tear, dropping mixes, incorporating drum & bass sounds into his turntablism sets, and all-around being a G with it.

I remember the dubplate politics souring him on the genre, but he's been a fan, and recently, he took a trip to Los Angeles where he tore down Respect LA with a thunderous mix of drum & bass anthems new and old, as well as some BEATS, that got committed to tape. You can stream this gem (which features Armanni Reign on the mic) below. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Trackstar the DJ's Solid Steel Mix Features His "Rare Appetite In Rap"

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Those of you who've been rocking with us for the longest should be up on Trackstar the DJ. He's gone from an internets phenom to being named the official tour DJ for Run the Jewels, including being the DJ behind the WRTJ shows on Apple Music.

This week, he contributed one awesome hour-long mix for Solid Steel, and it's amazing. No, seriously, it's the truth, but let him tell it, he had a totally different idea for the mix.

"Originally I had other plans for a more conceptual mix," he starts, "but as I was telling The Gaslamp Killer about my ideas on our tour date in Belgium, he told me not to bother with any of them and instead do a mix displaying what he called "My Rare Appetite In Rap". I trust The Gaslamp Killer (as you should, too), so I immediately switched gears and started putting together a playlist of songs from the last half-decade or so that I love that many rap fans may have missed. It features some names you'll recognize as well as some that you may not… Hopefully you enjoy these tunes as much as I do, and maybe pick up a new favorite artist or two."

Featured artists include Killer Mike, Rockwell Knuckles, A$AP Twelvyy, Tef Poe, Vince Staples, and more. Stream and download the full mix, and check out the full tracklist down below.

Commix On Dubplate Culture and Drum & Bass' Unpredictability

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I've been a fan of the drum & bass scene for over two decades now, and no matter what new producers come along, I will always have a group of names who's released are "buy on sight" to me. You know, the producers who's tunes you always have to check for, and nine times out of 10 end up loving. Commix has been one of those names, for me, since the early 2000s.

While I don't remember the first tune I'd heard from Commix, I do remember being blown away by the then-Cambridge-based trio's "Satellite Song," as well as cuts like "Together" and "Talk to Frank." Their sound design was second-to-none (IMHO), but it was the energy that resided in their tunes that really captivated me. I was hooked, and not surprised when they became the first group to have an artist album on Goldie's legendary Metalheadz imprint, releasing their impeccable Call to Mind in 2007.

After some changes in both the group's dynamic and the different phases within the dnb scene, Commix is now just one man: George Levings. Since his return in 2016 with two Generation EPs, he's been working on the follow-up to Call to Mind, which is set to drop on Metalheadz as well. Before we get that, Dispatch Recordings snagged three Commix dubs (four if you count the digital-only exclusive "White Trash") for the sixth release in their Dispatch Dubplate series, which is out now.

We got a chance to speak with George about the tunes featured on this release, his thoughts on dubplate culture within the drum & bass scene, as well as how his sound evolved from what people loved in the early 2000s to now. He also gives us some thoughts on the direction he's heading with his next LP. Check out the full interview down below.

Here's How Maffew Ragazino Celebrated Cinco de Mayo

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While I don't really get into insane Cinco de Mayo celebrations, I normally do have a few things to drink on a Friday night. Somehow, my alcoholic intake was down to zero on a Friday that doubled as the 5th of May, but if I was sipping on some adult beverages, I would've had Maffew Ragazino's Cinco de Maffew on. It's pretty damn dope; the ground hasn't been broken 'round here, but both Maff and his boy Easalio coast over these bottom-heavy bangers. Stream the full project below.

JR & PH7 x St. Joe Lous ft. Roc Marciano - "Driven"

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Image via Below System Records
I love how these things come together. Being a fan of the production of Germany's JR & PH7 and the rhymes of cats like Jersey trio St. Joe Louis years ago is feeling like a wise musical investment now that they are returning for projects like Coral Cadavers (which St. Joe Louis member Michael Cardigan calls a "neo-noir psychological thriller about a woman’s descent into moral ambiguities against the backdrop of Los Angeles") and getting everyone from Rah Digga to Roc Marciano on their joints.

For "Driven," we get to see this woman doing some of the illest shit to herself for the loot. The production is a hazy, jazzy daydream, with Marci adding an edgy vibe to the proceedings. You can cop "Driven" today, and look out for Coral Cadavers, which is said to be dropping sometime this Spring.

Hannibal Buress and Killer Mike Spent 4/20 Recording A Podcast

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What did you do on 4/20? If you're a pot-loving pot smoker, you probably smoked pot with other like-minded pot smokers. If you're Hannibal Buress, and have your own podcast, you do the same thing alongside Killer Mike, MC supreme and 1/2 of Run The Jewels.

In their almost two-hour sit down chat, the fellas talk everything from why he and Big Boi played foxes on HBO's Animals ("I sent a note back saying, ‘Dear White Friends of Mine, never ask your fucking black friends to play a raccoon in any fourth grade play or television production’") to flight attendant fuckery. If you're high right now, you might want to just press play, laugh a lot, and, I dunno, get more high.

Ray Strife and iLL-Omega Are Doing Their Best to Do More Than Just Live

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Image via Ray Strife

That headline is a part of the first verse that Ray Strife spits on "America," the opening cut from his five-track EP with iLL-Omega, Preface: I Will Never Be Beautiful. Along with "Never Cease," Preface is part of their prep for Go For The Gusto, which is due to drop this summer.

Gotta say, with the way I can be so in my own head sometimes, it's dope to hear someone like Strife express his own inner turmoil over these bass-heavy beats. And I will also put this out there: Ray and Omega are a pretty impressive rapper/producer combo. You might need to down a six-pack before listening, then drink another while listening. By the start of your third six-pack, this could end up being the soundtrack to the rest of your day.

Stream Preface: I Will Never Be Beautiful below, and cop the full release via Bandcamp. For more information on this release, check out The Wiztard.

Kemba Gets Dark On "Greed"

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Image via John Tashiro

You have to love how the visual elements from Kemba's Negus match the songs perfectly. He could've easily made his clips feature 5011 niggas sitting with him on a couch getting blunted on some Kids shit, but he found a way to match the dark, lonely vibe that a track like "Greed" has with this video. The clip finds Kemba alone, in a dark ass room, pouring his heart out into his mouth, spitting his innermost thoughts (and fears) to Frank Drake's hypnotizing drone of a track.

It's lovely.

Kemba's wrapping up the No Ceilings Tour in California, with a show tonight (April 29) in Santa Ana before the final stop, May 2nd's gig at The Roxy in Los Angeles. Be there.

5 Releases You Need to Buy On Record Store Day 2017

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Saturday, April 22, 2017 marks the 10th annual Record Store Day, which is celebrated by hitting your local independent record store and actually buying music. It's a novel idea, but if we want these mom & pop spots to stay in business, we need to frequent their businesses, you smell me?

As I did with the Black Friday Record Store Day 2016 releases, we wanted to help you diggers out there with a quick look at some of the hip-hop-related releases out there. We have everything from a classic song being turned into a children's book to an iconic soundtrack getting a vinyl release. Check out our picks below, and for the full list, hit up the Record Store Day website.

JR & PH7 x St. Joe Louis ft. Rah Digga - "Duck Duck Goose"

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It's been a smooth five years since JR and PH7 dropped their My Favourite Demons EP with Jersey rhyme sayers St. Joe Louis and Brokn.Englsh, so it's dope to see JR, PH7, and the trio of SJL linking up for a new one, especially since the mighty Rah Digga drops a dynamic feature.

This appears to be taken from the forthcoming Coral Cadavers album; you can cop the single via Bandcamp, and stream the single while watching the video down below.

DJ Cable Turned 'More Life' Into a Proper Mixtape

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Off the rip, Drake made sure that people knew his new release More Life wasn't called an "album." Most people thought that meant it was a mixtape, while he was calling it a "playlist." It has a mixtape feel, but isn't mixed, so our UK bredren DJ Cable decided to actually mix it, turning More Life into More Mixed. Smart.

And truth be told, this is what we need until OG Ron C and The Chopstars release More Chops, their chopped not slopped take on More Life. Until then, you can stream Cable's More Mixed down below, and snag a download of it while you're at it.

'Wölfe Presents' 11 Bangers For In:flux Audio

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Growing up, I used to hate house music. If it wasn't Daft Punk or something with fat basslines and crunchiness all over, I wasn't that into it. I needed breakbeats, which spawned my love for drum & bass. As I got older, and more styles of house emerged—as well as the hypnotic sounds of UKG and grime hit my stereo—I eased up on my "no house" stance, but I still need a chunky bassline to keep me interested.

Props to labels like In:flux Audio, who pride themselves on what feels like a bass-first campaign. They also love collaborating, allowing artists to essentially guest-pick tuns from artists they are feeling for their 'Presents' series. For their latest in that project, which hits shops on March 27, 2017, they let the trio known as Wölfe step up for a lethal dose of bassline badassery.

The release is 11 tracks deep and features a number of my favorites, including Kozee, who's following up her Untitled EP with the long-awaited "So For Real." GHSTGHSTGHST is back like he left something, and Dr. Cryptic's "One Of Those" is a personal favorite from this release, which you can preview down below.

You can grab this via Juno on March 27; if you're looking for the post-SXSW, pre-Miami Music Week audio assault, In:flux Audio's got you covered.

Talking My Favorite Diss Tracks On The 700 Block Podcast

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I don't normally get invited to do much in the way of press; I believe the last time I was even interviewed was almost two years ago, after DoAndroidsDance? folded into I like talking; must be why I do so many interviews. Whatever the case may be, shouts to Flaw 700 for having me on The 700 Block Podcast to talk about my Top 10 diss tracks.

While I wouldn't call myself a dramatic person, I love the drama and competition of a good hip-hop beef, so this was fun. We also spoke on our favorite Notorious B.I.G. tracks, some of my favorite interviews while I've been at Complex, and some talk about Drake's new playlist More Life and Rick Ross' recently-released Rather You Than Me.

You can stream and download the full episode down below, and make sure you vote in the poll about Nivlac Lemaj's "Thoughts I'm Thinking," which is this week's "Dope Or Nope" track. If you like what you hear, please subscribe. And if you like the hoodie I'm wearing, you can grab something just like it.

HI$TO Wants You to #GetPSYCHD About His Forthcoming 'PSYCH'D OUT' Project

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Image via HI$TO
When it comes to my normal music selections, it's been a dope rotation of hip-hop, drum & bass, Jersey club and the infectious footwork sound, which has roots in Chicago but has turned into a legit worldwide phenomenon. One of the producers that hit my radar during the DoAndroidsDance? days, HI$TO, hit me with a new mixtape of his, #GetPSYCHED, which is a primer for his upcoming project PSYCH'D OUT, and I'm highkey floored.

If you like to hit the dancefloor and feel like you're immediately transported into the middle of the bassbin by some kind of voodoo trickery (or a dope hit of LSD), that's what HI$TO's sound is going for. It's dark, it's dynamic, and it's trippy. His #GetPSYCHD mix is a trek through that sound, featuring material from PSYCH'D OUT (which drops in April) as well as material from future releases.

Stream the full project, and check the tracklist down below.

Kozee Unleashes Long-Awaited 'Untitled' EP

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If you're not up on the Left Coast bass master known as Kozee, you better get to know. I pegged her as a woman to watch in the electronic music scene a few years back, but truth be told, she's been putting in work for well over a decade. She's recently dropped gems via Moveltraxx and Influx Audio, but today she's finally sorted out a three-track EP that I've been salivating for.

I feel like she first hit me with the dubs of these back in 2015, and I was instantly hooked by the Minnie Ripperton sample she threw in there. Her Untitled release is three different takes on this riddim. The main mix is a bit more garage-y; it's hypnotic but isn't as thunderous as the "Detroit Edit" of "Untitled," shouts to WhatupDetroit. To round things out, she laced the Detroit Edit with some vocals from Tinchy. It's a banger.

You can grab the full release via Bandcamp for whatever tf you want to pay, and if you're down in Austin for SXSW, we highly suggest you keep it locked to Kozee's Twitter and her Facebook page, as she's set to be pretty busy while she's down there (although truth be told, you need to be following her anyways). WHEEL!

Tone Liv Is Out Here 'Catching Flies With Chopsticks'

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Every time I see Tone Liv in the wild, he tells me he has a grip of material going down. I think the last time I saw him was in Trenton last summer. I don't know if he mentioned this project to me, but just based on the talent on the release alone, this one is a who's-who of fire producers. We're talking DiBia$e, DJ Priority, The Custodian of Records, A-Sharp, Divine Drummah, and Ment-Plus, as well as rhymes from Pace Won, El Da Sensei, and others.

Liv is always Liv—dope and untouchable—and you really need to rock with this. Grab it for whatever you want to via Bandcamp, and stream the full release below.

Rukus Returns On A "U.F.O."

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Feels like its been forever since I heard new material from Rukus; it's been even longer since I've posted new stuff from him. On his latest single, "U.F.O.," he's back with a more conscious vibe to his material, which is all kinds of necessary. Check out the full video for his latest banger, and keep it locked for more material from the Texas-based emcee.

Life After Death: Download These Tributes to The Notorious B.I.G.

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While it's customary that we at rockthedub pay tribute to The Notorious B.I.G.'s legacy by sharing this now-nine-year-old mix that we did, today is a bit different; today marks the 20th anniversary of his death. It's a big one, and should be recognized properly.

That said, check out some of these tribute songs, mixtapes, and more to the memory of one of the greatest to ever do it. Rest in peace, Biggie.

J-Live Is Releasing The Instrumentals To Some Of His Illest Productions

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Image via J-Live
One of my favorite things about the legend J-Live is that he's a triple threat. There are a number of rapper-producers, and DJ-producers, but it's rare that you see a rapper who is just as talented of a producer as he is a DJ; hell, have you seen him perform "Braggin' Writes" live on the decks? Phenomenal.

Live has recently released Actual Tracks Vol. 1, the first in a series of self-produced instrumentals from his previous works. We're talking from his 16-year, nine-release catalog. It's structured like a mixtape, and is a DOPE time capsule of how one of the nicest emcees ever to do it gets busy on the boards.

I think I really got into his work via his All of the Above album, which featured a cut entitled "Whatever." It's a parody of rappers building themselves up to start rhyming, but never getting to the end. Finally, 15 years later, he's dropped "Whatever Revisited." AKA the wait is over!

You can stream Actual Tracks Vol. 1, and grab the full release via Bandcamp.

KC Slater & Shy the Duke Take On The Perception of Black Women In "Black Mona Lisa" Clip

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I love the movement going on in hip-hop right now. When Black Collar Biz was really on his grind a few years ago, you saw the worlds of hip-hop and the arts scene in Trenton, NJ coming together, and last weekend, I got to see KC Slater & Shy the Duke take it to the next level.

They held a premiere for their "Black Mona Lisa" music video at Artworks Trenton, which was dope because they shot the video for the Rell Gambino-produced track at the local art gallery as well. It's dope to see them give back, considering they lit up the Art All Night - Trenton 2016 stage last summer.

The spot takes a look at how black women are perceived in America; it reminded me of that scene in The Birth of a Nation where Nat Turner essentially made his master buy the woman that would become his wife. I hated that scene, but it's a mirror of how things can be seen in real life, so it was dope to be able to have an open discussion about these kinds of things during the post-premiere discussion at Artworks.

Hopefully more local acts start bridging gaps like KC and Shy are. Word is they both have projects set to drop some time this year; if you rock with this track, grab their Adderall Rx album.

RTDMIX009: Dusty Ohms

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One of the things I love about the RTDMIX is realigning with old favorites. I remember the homey DJ Cable putting me onto Fused Forces, with whom he made a number of bangers with, including the massive "Flocka Riddim." After a while, one-half of Fused Forces struck out on his own, calling himself Dusty Ohms, and while he still worked with Cable, he also started to stretch his wings a bit.

Dusty's been putting in work ever since, leading up to the release of his Trap Door EP alongside SupaSaiyan on their new imprint Smho Wal. The nine-tracker was pressed on a limited run of white vinyl, and if you like what you hear, there are some bits still available. He also recently put out "Grip Fo's" with Saturate, and touches down monthly on Fly High Society.

Like his bio says, Dusty is a "hip-hop outlaw, straddling the no mans land of electronic music." His RTDMIX fits that description perfectly, finding the likes of Champagne Drip, Om Unit, JD. Reid, Etch, and others thrown into one lit stew of electronic-drenched hip-hop beats. Proper pre-game mix for you dames and gents out there.

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

Celebrate 'Moonlight's Oscar Wins With This Chopped & Screwed Remix of The 'Moonlight' Soundtrack

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Last night, Moonlight made history. Today? We celebrate with Purple Moonlight, aka a chopped and screwed remix of the Moonlight soundtrack, done with director Barry Jenkins' blessing.

This flip is a smart one, considering that Moonlight features a chopped and screwed version of Jidenna's "Classic Man" that's used to perfection. Sadly, there's no Prince Ali on this mixtape.

Stream Purple Moonlight below, and grab the Moonlight soundtrack for your ride.

Kemba Opens Up In "Already" Video

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The last time we saw Kemba, he was spitting a verse for Kendrick Lamar that had the entire internets wondering if he was TDE. For those who hadn't been paying attention then, they are surely paying attention now, so it makes sense that Kemba drops a video for "Already," a standout Frank Drake-produced cut from Negus. While the project as a whole is more of a new school negro spiritual, the attitude on this clip is more playful yet New York. Kemba says he linked up with Jeffrey Almonte, aka the kid who made that ultra-viral "chopped cheese" video.

Kemba will only have so much time to celebrate this, though; today, it was announced that he will be joining Boogie, Michael Christmas, and Kaydio on the first No Ceilings Tour from Pigeons & Planes. They kick things off on April 18 in DC, hitting a number of markets before the tour ends in Los Angeles in May. Check out the full schedule, as well as the complete "Already" video down below.

Hudson Mohawke Returns For His 10th "Slow Jams" Mix

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It ain't a Valentine's Day if Hudson Mohawke doesn't drop a "Slow Jams" mix. Here's his tenth. Preview it below, then download it so you have it ready for your late-night excursions with bae this evening.

MJ Cole Drops a Stunning Mix of "Not Dance Music" For Solid Steel

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While DJ mixes are some of the best ways to discover the sounds of dance music, that doesn't mean dance music DJs only want to play dance music. Case in point, UK garage legend MJ Cole. For his new Solid Steel set, he went left: "I weaved and meandered through my collection of not Dance Music," he told them, "and bound it together to form and hour of pianos, textures, voices and audio nuggets which together make my Solid Steel mix."

Featured in this set is material from Lapalux, Floating Points, Radiohead, Bonobo, and Cole himself. Stream, download, and chill out below.

Inkke Gets Dark and Moody On New Project, 'Faded With Da Kittens Vol. 1'

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I don't know about you, but I'm a bit under the weather. That paired up with some chilly February weather has me wanting to stay in a hoodie and under the covers. Dark and gloomy status. It's times like this when I want to make sure I have the proper soundtrack for my turn down, and Inkke's surprise compilation, Faded With Da Kittens Vol. 1, perfectly matches my mood.

There's something about the blunted hip-hop influence in Inkke's sounds that always matches where my mind is at. This 11-track release feels like exactly what I'll be vibing to for the rest of this winter season. This cut "Slippin'" will be on repeat for the next half hour. The best part? It's available for whatever you want to pay. Grab this 11-tracker ASAP, trust. Stream the full release down below.

Hucci Celebrates His 21st Birthday With a New Single, "Life"

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Image via Hucci
I remember initially getting intoxicated by the trap stylings of the UK-based producer known as Hucci. Part of it was that infectious drop of his, but the majority of it was just how slick and concise his sound was. I always wanted him to pop, but from what I heard/read, Hucci just couldn't work without samples.

Whatever the case may be, dude's still done for himself, taking his sound across the world. He's touched back down for his 21st birthday and decided to let loose a new banger, "Life." If you fucks with Hucci, you know the sound; moody, dark, and hypnotic. Dude's in the pocket on this one.

Stream and download Hucci's "Life" down below.

MoonDoctoR & DJ Earl - "Aah"

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The last time we got some new material from MoonDoctoR it was via DJ Earl's Open Your Eyes album, so it makes sense that the first new bit from the Freshmoon camp is a collab with Earl.
As expected, "Aah" is a hypnotic, hyperactive piece of footwork excellence that you can download for free for a limited time. Don't play yourself by letting this one fly by.

Latasha Alcindor Shocks the World (Or At Least Her Fans) With Surprise Album 'B(LA)K'

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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.

Paul White is Here With 'Everything You've Forgotten'

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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.


MeccaGodZilla Has a New Name, New Albums

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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.

Damien The Architect and Hadj Release Their 'HEY!' EP

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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.

Venomous2000 and Trilian Present 'Sounds of the Great Ones'

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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.

Kehlani - "CRZY (R3ll Remix)"

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One has to imagine, as a producer/remixer, that the biggest compliment are tweets like these.

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.

PREMIERE: Damien The Architect & Hadj - "R A I N"

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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.

Champion Gave Away Six Years Worth of Bangers

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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.

Ray Dawn - "On My Own"

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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.

RTDMIX008: Jaxtella

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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.

A-Trak Kicks Off 2017 With a New Mix, "Cut It Out!"

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There's no better way to kick off a new year than with a fire new mix, right? Enter A-Trak, who's assembled his first mix of 2017. On "Cut It Out!," Trizzy finds a way to drop 53(!) tracks that span a number of genres (featuring material from A Tribe Called Quest, Detroit Swindle, 24hrs, deadmau5, Plump DJs, and plenty more) in a 74-minute time span. His sound and production might be more EDM-focused over the last few years, but he's clearly on some "all genres" shit, at least for this particular mix.

Stream the full, amazing journey below, and if you see that new DJ Mag with his face on it, COP IT!

Jon Kwest and Sazon Libre Release 'SOULOVE' Benefit Compilation

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Image via Jon Kwest

We're officially in 2017, and a few weeks shy of a Trump presidency. It's truly dire straits, and a time where all communities need to be banding together for everyone. Days after Trump won the 2016 election, women rushed to their OBGYN and donations poured into Planned Parenthood, primarily because it's feared that the GOP is set to cut Planned Parenthood along with Obamacare. That's fucked the fuck up, and we all know it, but it takes special people like Jon Kwest and Sazon Libre to put together a compilation like SOULOVE, which is a banging benefit for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

That's right, 100% of the proceeds from SOULOVE go to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. As Kwest and company say, "This comp was made in reaction to the immediate escalation of hate crimes following the election of Trump." While there weren't many opportunities for volunteering near them, they decided to take their talents as producers and DJs and put this compilation together. Moombahton is the heartbeat of electronic music, and the Moombahsoul movement has chugged along, allowing tracks like "Sending My Love" and "Family Affair" to be rediscovered by kids turning up in the clubs.

For $10, you can own this 17-track project, featuring soulful moombah delights from the likes of Kwest, Melo & Boyfriend, Pickster, Ma-less, Moombahton legend Dave Nada, Emynd, and many, many more. It's a great trade: great beats for an even greater cause. You can stream the entire project down below, and grab it via Bandcamp. You can also go ahead and donate to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU as well. Do something...for all of us.

DJ Cable Rounds Up 2016's Best Hip-Hop With His "2016 AD" Mixtape

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Image via DJ Cable

If you love hip-hop, there seem to have been two constants when it comes to year-end reviews: Skillz and his "Rap Up" series, and DJ Cable's year-end mixtapes. The UK turntable wizard is back with "2016 AD," a new three-and-a-half hour(!) mixtape featuring over 130(!!) tracks. The biggest and brightest of 2016 rap is here, including material from Drake, Young M.A, Kanye West, YG, DJ Khaled, Rae Sremmurd, Pusha T, Future, and many, many more. He even throws in some UK flavors, among others.

If you're off from work—or had to go in today and need to soundtrack the rest of your afternoon—saddle up for this almost four-hour hip-hop extravaganza. You can stream the full mixtape below, and you can download the full tape via Cable's Facebook.

All of the Rap Mixtapes You Need: New Year's Day 2017 Edition

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While the jury's (kind of) still out on the reason why Mariah Carey fucked the fuck up during her New Year's Rockin' Eve performance last night, she definitely had to take her mind off the internets groundswell of shade thrown her way for the last 24 hours. Coincidentally, a bunch of rappers put out mixtapes, because it's a New Year. Hopefully Mariah took in some of these projects (while taking in some of California's finest herbals).

Stream and download new releases from Fabolous, Harry Fraud, Trinidad James, and plenty more down below.