Archive for 07/01/2017 - 08/01/2017

DJ Franchise Returns With A New Mix, 'Know Me Well'

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Image via DJ Franchise
DJ Franchise has been one of the better DJs I've met via the internets, especially when it comes to shared interests. Dude just gets it. I hadn't even realized he'd been taking care of himself over the last few years, sadly, until he released his latest mix, Know Me Well.

After a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus, DJ Franchise tells a self-reflective journey of infatuation, disappointment, & love again through dancing drums and piano chords.

Franchise is truly back like he never left, dropping a dope mix featuring the likes of Prince, Chance the Rapper, Kaytranada, Kanye West, and others. You need this; it's good for the feet and good for the soul.

J.Lately and Creature In The Woods Serve Up Their 'Nachos' EP

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Image via Helena Banks x Creature In The Woods

One cat we've always rocked with here is J.Lately, primarily because he's always been on some consistent shit. Instead of trying to be on some extravagant madness, Lately finds ways to engage listeners over the simple things in life, which is what the Nachos EP is all about.

Word is that J and Creature In The Woods met while playing soccer in middle school, but it took until they got separated that they finally realigned to create this beaut of a project. This is one of those projects that you can kick it with the squad to, blunt in hand, and just coast to the melodies of life to.

You can stream the full project below; it's also available for free download via SoundCloud.

NAAFI Returns With the Fourth Installment of Their 'Pirata' Series

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I promise you I don't know what a NAAFI is or that they had three Pirata compilations before this. Lowkey, this feels like something I'd download because someone like Walmer or DJ UMB at Generation Bass would tell me to.

Truth be told, I only saw this because Jubilee tweeted about having a bit on this. Her refix of DJ Laz's "Red Alert" is a banger, and fits in perfectly with the ultra-hyper, Latin-infused bass sounds of this compilation.

Don't take my word for it, though; stream the 30+ refixes below, then download the full pack over on NAAFI.

Black Collar Biz Reads From 'The Book of Job Ali'

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While he might not be as active as he was even a year or two ago, Black Collar Biz is still here. If you're friends with him on Facebook, you've no doubt seen that he's changed his username to "Job Ali." That's not just a catchy tag; he's been going through it, hence why he's been trying to figure out where he stands right now.

I ran into Collar at 1911 a few weeks ago, and was excited to hear that he'd been working on new material, as well as picking up on some projects he'd been working on previously. While he has a lot more work to give you, he unleashed this four-track EP, The Book of Job Ali, via SoundCloud on his birthday. He digs a bit into what he's got going on, while letting you know that it's far from a game.

You can stream and download the full Book of Job Ali EP down below, and if you like what you can hear, you can catch Black Collar Biz on the Levitt AMP Trenton stage on August 10th opening up for Bad Rabbits.

The Alchemist Shares Previously-Unreleased Mobb Deep Collaboration "Try My Hand"

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Out now is The Good Book, Vol. 2, a two-disc release from BAUEWYK that tasked producers The Alchemist and Budgie with one thing: make a grip of fire using religious source material. Across the project you'll hear guests like Royce Da 5'9, Action Bronson, Your Old Droog, Meyhem Lauren and others going for theirs on the mic, but on ALC's disc, you get a dope cut featuring Havoc and the late great Prodigy going for it.

P, who recently left this Earthly dwelling, dropped a dope verse, featuring some of these magical bars that need to stay as far away from your Sunday school class as possible.

She never heard talk like this, I capture your attention
My gat is a gift from God for you to listen

You can stream the full track down below, and be sure to cop the release. It's lit.



[Pigeons & Planes]

All The Perceptionists Want Are Some "Dirty Drumz"

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Back in 2005, El-P's Definitive Jux imprint released Black Dialogue, the debut album from The Perceptionists, aka a trio comprised of two of my favorite spitters (Mr. Lif and Akrobatik) and DJ Fakts One. While Fakts is no longer in the picture, Lif and Ak are back with a new release, Resolution, which is due out on July 28.

According to their release, the two of them have gone through some insane struggles in the dozen years between this album and the last; Lif survived a tour bus falling off of a 38-foot cliff, while Ak had to deal with open-heart surgery. They made it back to each other and crafted an album that works through their individual issues.

That's not what we're going through today, though; today, we just get some "Dirty Drumz." The Lif-produced track is all about bars, with the two just doing what they do best: spitting over fire beats.

You can grab "Dirty Drumz" for free via Bandcamp, and if you're smart, you'll find some other gems Resolution after the jump.


rockthedub radio 037: A New Beginning

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Did you know that rockthedub radio began 10 years ago this month? It's been a wild time exploring the world of making a "radio" show with a bunch of music, some rudimentary skills in audio software, and no real skills. It's been modest at best, but I know that those of you who rock with the kid REALLY rock with the kid.

I have some plans that I'm working on, which mean taking things to the next level, so expect more episodes of rockthedub radio to be like this: my voice(!) on the mic, more structured segments, and MORE. Just fucking MORE.

This episode was recorded about a week after 4:44 was released, so we open with the title track but touch on a number of sounds, ranging from a Prodigy tribute to a number of bass and footwork tunes from DJ Rashad, Lunice, EPROM, and more.

Shouts to anyone who's checked for the series, anyone who's sent music that ended up on the show, and anyone who still rocks witcha boy. If you're a DJ and want to send a mix that could be featured on the show, or are an artist that would like to be featured, shoot me your details: rockthedub@gmail.com.

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


The Jersey Fresh Jam 2017 Needs Your Help

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Trenton's Jersey Fresh Jam is coming up on its 12th year, and is in need of your help. The event is one of the only hip-hop festivals in the state of New Jersey, and is a hype way for multiple elements of hip-hop to converge. Hell, some of my favorite hip-hop relationships have been fostered at this event.

For 2017, the Jam needs $3,000 for paint supplies and sound equipment. They've opened up a Kickstarter to help them get it moving, and have some dope perks for people who pledge, ranging from exclusive t-shirts and a dope mix from DJ itsjusthahmad to getting your name tagged on the wall and even being able to rock a piece of your own at the event.

Check out the video below, which features JFJ organizer Leon Rainbow breaking down what the Jam needs this year, and if you are down to help keep this event going, please pledge. The sooner the better, as this Kickstarter ends on the 29th of July. For more details on the Jersey Fresh Jam, hit up jerseyfreshjam.com.

DJ Jazzy Jeff and MICK Soundtrack Your Summer '17 With 'Summertime 8'

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Image via graphatik
As they are wont to do during this time of year, DJ Jazzy Jeff and MICK link up for another sun-soaked mix of throwback jams perfect for any cookout or kickback you have going down this summer with Summertime 8.

The massive mixtape (we're talking 39 tracks) features everyone from Soul II Soul, Kenny Loggins, Beanie Sigel, Mobb Deep, Gang Starr, Bernard Wright, and many, many more. It's really that damn lit, and available to stream below (although if you want the download, grab it for free via summertime.fm).


Mousey Drops First of Three Summer '17 Mixtapes

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Image via Mousey

About a year ago, I fell in love with Mousey's mix for Beat Cinema. The California-based artist has a way of blending R&B, hip-hop, footwork, and other styles with her own sultry vocals. On that mix, she had a number of gems that she sang live to, including an impressive En Vogue x Flying Lotus mash-up of "Don't Let Go" that had me going crazy.

The other day, she announced that while she was doing a number of gems live, she's not got a lot of these gems out, so she had three mixtapes planned for this summer. Here's the first.



The tape is 10-tracks deep, and features the aforementioned "Don't Leg Go" cover, as well as Mousey flipping Jill Scott, Karol Conka, Erykah Badu, and more. What's better, she's asking for producers to remix her vocals. Word is the best will be featured on a Beat Cinema compilation that'll drop this fall. Grab those for free via Bandcamp.

RTDMIX011: itsjustahmad

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dj-itsjustahmad
Image via Jimmy Giambrone

Back in October of 2016, we put the world onto why DJ itsjustahmad is Trenton's hardest-working DJ. Today, via the RTDMIX, we'll show you.

It's actually dope to see others recognize his talents; during this year's Art All Night - Trenton, I had a few people praise his skills one the 1s and 2s, especially when it comes to digging in the crates for sample sources and throwing them up against the tracks of today. He does a bit of that here, but this set features some supreme selection. We're talking everything from Trenton-based acts like Black Collar Biz, Agudos Clef, and Hustle Emcee thrown into a set alongside Run The Jewels, Oddisee, Joey Bada$$, Evidence, and many more.

If you like what you're hearing, and want to see him throw down live, come down to Trenton for the Jersey Fresh Jam on August 12, as itsjustahmad will be one of the many DJs doing the damn thing alongside a bunch of emcees and acts.

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


Chris Read Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Gang Starr's 'Daily Operation With A Special Mixtape

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You know me and these kinds of mixes, right? Any time I can hear the original material that was used to craft some of my favorite hip-hop tracks, I go ape shit. Shouts to Chris Read (along with WhoSampled and Wax Poetics) for celebrating the 25th anniversary of Gang Starr's Daily Operation with this mixtape that features the samples that built these bangers alongside the cuts they ended up in. Perfect Fourth of July sounds, trust.


DJ Concept Pays Tribute to Prodigy In The Mix

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Surprisingly, I haven't seen many DJs going in the mix to pay tribute and homage to Prodigy, who recently passed away at the age of 42. The Mobb Deep-repping, Queens-born emcee was one of the coldest to ever put pen to paper, and inspired a generation (or two) of hip-hop lovers.

To pay tribute, DJ Concept dug into his bins and pulled out a grip of original samples from Prodigy's catalog, turning that digging into a 23-minute dusty-fingered mix for P.

“It’s my homage to Prodigy and his soundscape, which was very influential to my sound as a producer,” Concept explains. “Banging joints like ‘The Realest,’ ‘Keep It Thoro,’ ‘HNIC’... I remember thinking, ‘This is the sound I wish I could make.’”

You can stream the full mix below. Hopefully a downloadable version is available at some point, but either way, blast this LOUD and remember one of the best to do it.

KC Slater Lit Up The Art All Night - Trenton 2017 Main Stage

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Image via Instagram
I hate losing shit. I legit had like seven minutes of footage of KC Slater's awesome performance at Art All Night - Trenton back in June, and for the life of me I can't find it on my phone. I legit just had a major panic attack, and forgot that I was smart and dumped the footage to my external hard drive so I didn't lose it. Anyways, here's eight minutes of KC Slater live at Art All Night - Trenton 2017 (forgive my cellphone camera).



To celebrate his performance at Art All Night - Trenton, KC decided to release two projects: his Cry 4 The World EP and an album, Soapbox. I've covered his work as half of KC Slater & Shy The Duke, but it's dope to see him doing the damn thing on his own, especially because he's from The Town. While he isn't Black Collar Biz, he reminds me of Collar's spirit. There's a definite grown ass man vibe to it, with a homage to the hip-hop that grew us, but with an ultra-woke sensibility to the topics he speaks on.

If you like what you see in the video up above, definitely check out his new releases down below, and get ready as he's set to touch down on that Jersey Fresh Jam stage as well in August.

DJ Priority and Eloh Kush Get Into Some Serious 'Tut Talk'

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With Jersey SZN officially upon us, it's time to take a look at Tut Talk, the recently-released EP from DJ Priority and Eloh Kush. Peace to New Brunswick, peace to the real god tough talk on this one. If you're down for that new-school knowledge and wisdom told through the hip-hop scope? Tut Talk is what you need, trust. Priority on the beats is always a must, and Eloh's massacring leaflets with his ginsu sword of a pen.

For a glimpse of the release, check out DJ Priority's promo mix for the project.



And if you want to learn even more about the release, check out this short documentary on the making of the EP.

Tone Liv Rocks 'Penguin Slippers' In The Booth

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tone-liv-penguin-slippers
Image via Tone Liv

At least, I assume he does. If Tone Liv didn't name his latest album Penguin Slippers because he wore penguin slippers in the booth, why would he do it? Maybe that doesn't matter; with the 2017 edition of the Jersey Fresh Jam going down on August 12, it might be JERSEY SZN right now, and Penguin Slippers is a dope way to celebrate NJ hip-hop.

Think about it: Tone Liv, aka the Rap Mayor, has a number of Jersey's finest on this project, including Sol Zalez, DJ Absurd, DJ Priority, DJ MentPlus, and others, along with mainstays like Dibiase and Tab. It maintains the swagger that is resonant throughout most of Tone's material, from the Tall Can Anthems like "Tallcan Llama Stretch" to the deeper, more immersive nerdier side like "Millenium Falcon." You have to love how Liv and Dibiase craft a chilled ode to what happens when a fire producer hands a dope emcee a fire track. If you don't get with "The Beat," you might need to get away from me.

Dude's just a terror on the mic, and Penguin Slippers exhibits that. You can stream Penguin Slippers in full down below, and grab it for whatever you want over on Bandcamp. And if you want more from Liv, grab his last release, Catching Flies With Chopsticks.

You Can Legally Download Jay Z's '4:44' For Free. Here's How

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Jay Z's '4:44' cover
Image via Tidal/Sprint
If you're like me, you spent a good chunk of the wee hours of Friday, June 30 listening to Jay Z's new album, 4:44. Truth be told, I'd just gotten off recording this week's edition of blackrasslin and realized that it made more sense just to stay up to do a shit load of work on Hov's 13th studio album. I've listened to it so many times on repeat that I'm legit tired of hearing it, but as the days have gone by, I realize that, because of the Tidal/Sprint exclusivity on the album, a lot of people still hadn't gotten around to hearing the release. The thing is, you don't necessarily need Tidal to own the album; it's available for free FROM TIDAL, you just have to work the angles.

If you head over to 444.tidal.com, you will see that it says "Download Album," and if you scroll down, it asks for a voucher code. Just enter Sprint, your e-mail address, and complete the CAPTCHA, and boom, you can download the album (in MP3 and FLAC format), for free! (Shouts to Ketchum for the hat tip.)

Now I know, I know, "I already got this for free a minute after it dropped," because that's how it goes. And Tidal probably sorted this out to combat the rampant piracy of the release, but again, this is what happens when you ask consumers in an internet age to switch streaming services (and phone plans!) to listen to a 35 minute album. Fair play to them for allowing people to get the release. Sure, this probably means you're going to get Tidal emails in the future, but that's what burner accounts are for.

One of the album's crowning achievements is "The Story of O.J.," which also got its own video. It's important, and should be viewed outside of a Tidal paywall, so here it is.