Archive for 12/01/2017 - 01/01/2018

Skillz Drops His "2017 Rap Up"

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Does a year truly end without Skillz rapping it up? Yes, but it's still dope that he takes the time to keep this annual hip-hop tradition going. And while you might not rock with his music for the other 364 days of the year (although you should check out "I Just Wanna Dance"), you know that he always comes correct with his Rap Ups. His 2017 edition, which he spits over the Vitamin D-produced theme to Power and features DrumyWordz, is no different, regardless of what Uncle Murda thinks.

Say goodbye to 2017 the right way: via Skillz's latest Rap Up.

Pandemonium Jones Releases His Annual 'Splendid Moments' Mix for 2017

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It might just be me, but it doesn't feel like we've got a lot of impressive 2017 yearend mixes. Cable did his thing, but nothing else has really got me hype. That's why I'm excited to dig into Pandemonium Jones's Splendid Moments 2017 mix.

Splendid Moments is an annual thing he does, but in his own vibe. It's rare that many DJs will find ways to marry the sounds of Photay, Karriem Riggins, Mr. Mitch, Arca, Future, and others in one sprawling two-plus hour set. Or craft it "semi-live through a radio mixing board with no headphones."

It's been that kind of year; stream and download below.

Fracture Implores You to Turn Off That "Idiot Sound"

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Image via Facebook/Nathan Jenkins

If anyone has had a dope glow-up, it's been Fracture. He's successfully transitioned from the headier drum & bass and jungle styles, flourishing in the bassier side of the dance music scene. Whether it's footwork or straight up BEATS, he's always dropping bits that are right in the pocket.

As a treat to celebrate the end of glorious year, Fracture gave away "Idiot Sound," which wonderfully mashes hypnotic beats with classic dancehall vocals. It's a match made in heaven, and available for stream and download below.

Donae'O Closes 2017 With the FREE Release of 'Party Harder'

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If you follow the UK dance music scene, Donae'O should have some gems in your playlist(s). He's vocal'd cuts for Shy FX, Breakage, and the Foreign Beggars, but the London-based artist is bigger than featured work. He's a singer, rapper, and producer, and appears to have followed up his 2009 release Party Hard with a free 16-track project, Party Harder, that he unleashed this weekend.

For anyone looking for a proper UK funky/Afrobeat sound for their NYE festivities, look no further. Featured acts along this vibrant project include Giorgia Lio, Lioness, Anton Romero, and more. You can download Party Harder for free, and stream the entire release below.

DJ Cable's '2017 A.D.' Features 130 of the Best Tracks From 2017

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As we're closing out 2017, it's high time we have a mix that will properly showcase the good hip-hop that dropped this year, on both sides of the Atlantic. Look no further than DJ Cable, who is back with the 2017 edition of his annual hip-hop mix series. This year, he goes in for almost four hours, throwing down 130 of the biggest and best rap songs to drop during this calendar year. If you got lit to it this year, it's in the mix.

The full mix is below; just hit play and pre-game your end of 2017 festivities.

GUNDAM Dropped a Compilation Full of Grime Refixes

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I'd be lying if I said I knew what a GUNDAM was, but shouts to the plug who sent me to his Bandcamp page. If you're a fan of 8 Bar UK grime and needed refixes of bangers from Kanye West and Future, GUNDAM003 is exactly what the doctor ordered. Simple, yet effective ass refixes, with some surprises thrown in (shouts out for that refix of Zinc's "138 Trek").

These are absolute party starters, trust. Throw on that "Mask Off" rework and tell me the crowd isn't on their feet. Stream them all below, and download via Bandcamp. If you need more, GUNDAM002 dropped back in January. You're welcome.

EPROM Gave Away a 'ZIPLOC' Full of Bootlegs

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Without a doubt, my favorite mix of 2016 was EPROM's Solid Steel set. It was mostly his own material, and the best bits from it had no release date in site. The main bit was "Drone Warfare," which was finally unleashed back in November. The other? A flip of A$AP Ferg's "New Level," which is finally here via EPROM's three-track bootleg giveaway, Ziploc.

If you're not up on EPROM's style, know that he's a king at twisted noise into funk. I love loud, bass-driven music, with a hint of quirk, and EPROM's got that in spades. Featured in this .zip alongside his Ferg remix is a flip of Denzel Curry's "Threatz" and a new take on Rae Sremmurd's "By Chance."

This is necessary for your end-of-2017 festivities. Thank EPROM later. Download via Dropbox today.

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Xmas Gifts: Patrol The Skies' 'Holiday EP'

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If you stateside dnb is what you want for Christmas this year, Patrol The Skies has got you covered. DJ Seen and the crew cultivated this five-track Holiday EP to drop for the free on the most magical day of the year.

As the should, the proceedings feature Pish Posh leading things off, but the likes of Noisefloor, DJ Deffcon, Echo Brown, and Todd Buchler all get their just desserts. "This EP is full of attitude," the PTS crew says, "heavy at its core and masterfully engineered to assault dance floors with fury."

You can stream this EP in full below, and grab a .zip of .WAVs over on Dropbox. Rinse and repeat.

Xmas Gifts: This Ain't Bristol's 'VIP Selections'

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The This Ain't Bristol crew is great for churning out house music of the deep and bassy variety. For Chirstmas, they put together an 11-track pack of VIP mixes of bangers. Featured VIPers include Bot, Taiki Nulight, Marc Spence, Billy Kenny, and many others.

Now that you've gone through your gifts and (hopefully) had your fill, it's time for Christmas turn up to TRULY begin. Stream the full project down below, and download it for the price of a Spotify login.

Xmas Gifts: Kyam's 'Seventy Summers' LP

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Image via Stina Strangis
Because of the style(s) of drum & bass I normally gravitate towards, Kyam's been a name I've seen around. It's also been intriguing, because one of my favorite cousins is named Kyam (love ya, Ky!). Kyam's material has been seen everywhere, from Renegade Hardware to Subtle Audio, and earlier this month, he gave away a 10-track album, Seventy Summers.

There's no real rhyme or reason to this one, other than it containing a vibrant batch of tracks that are all within the 170BPM lane, but don't all sound the same. You have more hypnotic bangers like "Dupe" saddled up nicely with more headier breakbeat workouts like "Hole." Truly intoxicating material.

Stream the full release below, and grab it for whatever you want to pay for it via Bandcamp.

Xmas Gifts: Mister Shifter - "Blood Riddim"

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Image via Facebook/Tim Evans

Mister Shifter's someone I've been a fan of for a while. My love for his beats goes all the way back to the early days of Random Movement, of which he was a part of before dipping to do his own thing. He's dropped material everyone from Lightless to establishing his own imprint, Artikal, and for the holidays he gave away this ferocious 130BPM beast, "Blood Riddim."

He says he got a lot of support for this tune, but never got around to hooking up a proper flipside for release, so he decided to unleash it before it got "too old." It feels like something you'd have to dance to in order to not get merked in the middle of the jungle to. Turn up.

Xmas Gifts: Jam Thieves & Voltage - "LSD"

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One of my lowkey fav releases, drum & bass-wise, from 2017 was the Hackers release from Brazil's Jam Thieves. It dropped mad early in the year, but it had staying power, especially if you just want your dnb to be crunchy bass over tight drums.

Shouts to the Playaz camp for putting that out, and giving away this freebie from Jam Thieves and Voltage, "LSD." Just a little Christmas banger from DJ Hype's dnb camp. Stream and download below.

Jon1st Mixes Down His Favorite Tunes of 2017 For Solid Steel

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Like Solid Steel always does around this time, they've invited Jon1st back for his annual "best of" mix, throwing down ~60 minutes of his favorites from the year that was. He's keen with the turntablism, and we share some of the same vibes when it comes to music, so these are always a treat.

"This is the 2017 of my annual megamix series that I've been putting together since 2010," Jon1st says, "blending together some of my favorite records of the last 12 months" There's a lot going on in these mixes, traditionally, so you have to have a keen ear to catch all of the transitions and such.

Included in this mix is material from Om Unit, Sam Binga, Sinjin Hawke, Syd, Ivy Lab, Spectrasoul, Sinistarr, Mono/Poly, Zed Bias, and many, many more. Download and stream to your heart's delight.

Bill Adler Serves Up The 2017 Edition Of His 'Xmas Jollies' Series of Mixes

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If you're not up on the name Bill Adler, you need to go back and do your hip-hop history. He's the "legendary publicist" who worked with Def Jam during their late-'80s era, and has been an acclaimed music journalist for the better part of his life. He's been cultivating a yearly Christmas mix series since 1982 that he recently spoke about over on Complex, primarily to highlight this year's mix.

Being a fan of non-traditional Christmas music myself, I appreciate his dedication to finding gems in the deep sea of Christmas jams. Press play and discover some holiday cuts that you're probably not up on.

Combat Jack Passed Away

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"Combat Jack has passed away" are words I wasn't prepared to type today...or any day, really. He revealed back in October that he was dealing with colon cancer, and while it was already #FUCKCANCER, this one is hitting me differently.

See, Reggie was just that dude. I only got to meet him once, back during one of the Combat Jack Show BBQs in Brooklyn, and he was just as awesome in person as he was the number of times we spoke on the phone when I'd call into the old Combat Jack Show on PNC. He was a proper Rap Father, a dynamic podcast host, and someone who I considered a friend.

From lawyer to radio host to podcast god...Combat left his mark, and put a lot of people on in the process. I know I'm going to miss his random emails about new music and the like. Damn. The world isn't going to be the same without Reggie Ossé in it. Rest in power, Combat.

Mr. Mitch Gifts a Previously-Unreleased Remix of Sampha's "Kora Sings"

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On the low, Mr. Mitch has stayed in rotation this year. He dropped his impressive album Devout back in the spring, and finished the summer with the intoxication Devotion II mix. To close out 2017, he's dipped back into his bag for another remix that's sure to hit you right in the gut.

According to Mitch, he was commissioned to remix Sampha's "Kora Sings," which was on his debut album Process. As Mitch shared, "they were looking for something a bit darker so it didnt make the vinyl but the track only inspired beauty and light from me." I can hear that; this is definitely not dark, but it has a way of getting to the core. Really emotional, with an anthemic bounce that I won't be able to take off of repeat.

You can stream and download the full remix via SoundCloud. And if you missed it, "Dru (Part 2)," which Mitch gave away towards the end of 2016, is still available for download.

Jeremih & Chance The Rapper Gifted Us Their Latest Mixtape, 'Merry Christmas Lil Mama: Re-Wrapped'

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One of my favorite holiday-themed projects from 2016 was Jeremih and Chance The Rapper's Merry Christmas Lil Mama. No, it's not just because DJ Spinn and Gant-Man produced the title track, but that is a big part of it. Mostly, it's because it was the perfect new school black holiday anthemic piece of excellence for the Christmas season.

The good brothers must have felt the same way, because they went back into the studio and cooked up nine more tracks for this expanded mixtape, Merry Christmas Lil Mama: Re-Wrapped. Standouts on the second disc, IMHO, include cuts like "Big Kid Again."

What's weird about all of this is that they played a bunch of cuts on Power 92.3 in Chicago, and while a bunch of radio rips ended up hitting the internet, Power's DJ Pharris had the clean versions of these tracks up on his SoundCloud for a few hours before Chance revamped his SoundCloud with these. Not sure what the situation was there, aside from beating the leak, but both discs are available for streaming below. You can also download the full project via Chance's site.

Mixpack Comes Bearing Gifts In the Form Of Their 2017 Holiday Bundle

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Mixpak is back and in the holiday spirit. Since 2013, the imprint—which specializes in bringing the sounds of dancehall and dance music together in exciting ways—has dropped an annual Holiday Bundle, and their 16-track 2017 Holiday Bundle will fit perfect into your holiday turn up playlists.

Not only will you find remixes of material from Future and Sean Paul, but we're getting everything from dope Jubilee remixes to Architect reworking a classic Timberlake instrumental, as well as Florentino's remix of Jubilee's "Wine Up," which has been streaming for about four months, and was even featured in Jubilee's Holy Ship! 2018 mixtape.

Stream Florentino's impressive "Wine Up" remix down below, and grab this year's Mixpak Holiday Bundle (as well as the packs going all the way back to 2013) via Mixpak.

Hustle Emcee Takes Listeners On 'The Marvelous Pursuit of Peace'

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The homey Hustle Emcee blessed me with a link to his ItsJustAhmad-mixed project, The Marvelous Pursuit of Peace a little while ago, and I've been sitting with it. Dude is really one of the cats you need to be listening to, especially if you're from The Town and need someone who speaks your language to properly knowledge you. He's one of the most humble cats I know, and one of the more wiser heads on the mic.

We actually got a glimpse of this via the "Major Keys" freestyle Hustle dropped in 2016, but who knew it'd turn into two of Trenton's titans locking horns in this mixtape? And for those of you who might need to listen to the individual freestyles on their own, Hustle dropped them in their own separate link. You're welcome.

Donwill Released a Trio of Trap Kwanzaa Carols

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Recently, the Another Round podcast held their Kwanzaa Spectacular in Brooklyn; I saw a pic Donwill shared on IG about a lit "Jingle Bells" song that he performed during the event, and he asked if he should drop it. I didn't say "fuck yes," but I replied with the swiftness, because what the hell? I know I don't celebrate Kwanzaa, but I'm not sure if any Kwanzaa songs are in my holiday playlists.

Well, that's changed now that Dondub's three-track Trap Kwanzaa Carols EP is available for the free. Don does exactly what it says on the tin, turning joints about dashikis and homemade cake into some of the most lit Kwanzaa anthems you never heard. Oh, and yes, "Jingle Boujee" is definitely a flip of Migos' 2017 anthem.

You want this amazing Kwanzaa-themed EP? Head over to Bandcamp and grab it, ASAP!

Prince Paul Put Out a Free Album This Year and (Seemingly) No One Noticed

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I can't hate on being busy...except for when my busy work schedule means I miss dope shit. Case in point, Prince Paul's The Redux, which was apparently a whole album from one of my favorite producers that dropped back in October. Not saying no one knew about it; Mass Appeal definitely premiered a track and posted on it, but I'm shocked that the #RealHipHop contingent that is all over my Facebook timeline wasn't hyping this. Shouts out to kris ex for bringing it to my attention, though.

How many albums find a way to feature the late, great Guru, Jean Grae, De La Soul, Def Squad, MF Doom and many, many more dope artists on the same project?! Paul can, because he's just that dude. Paul told Mass Appeal that he feels this is his best work in some time, and dropped the following description about the release: "I worked pretty hard on it and the concept is simply ‘getting a second chance to get it right.’ Upon listening you will get exactly where I’m coming from! Kind of cryptic but then again my work has always been." It would appear that The Redux is Paul's second attempt at his 2003 album Politics of the Business, which will end up putting a lot of things into perspective.

The Redux is available for free via Bandcamp, although it's in four separate MP3s as opposed to a tracked-out release. It's free, and comes with the promise of some new shit in 2018, so really, enjoy that.

Small Professor Gets Freaky With 'Nasty Jawns IV'

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Quiet as kept, Small Professor's getting the love in 2017 that I figured he should've been getting years back. Not only does he have a single with the late and legendary Sean Price under his belt, but, alongside Zilla Rocca, he's 1/2 of Career Crooks, who put out one masterpiece of an album, Good Luck With That. Delving deeper into his mental, Small Pro drops Nasty Jawns IV, a collection of NSFW-sounding instrumentals that blend the boom bap with the ass clap.

It's interesting; I remember growing up as a kid and listening to Prince or other R&B acts using actual sexual moans and sounds in the music and feeling mad dirty. Something about the carnal act being so private that committing it to wax felt like the ultimate sin. I'm a grown ass man, and now I just laugh at syrupy-slick Small Pro beats incorporating all kinds of sounds that reside for $free.99 over on XNXX.

Get your grown up on via Bandcamp.

Jett I. Masstyr Reflects On His 'Wonderful' 2017 With New Instrumental LP

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Despite the fact that Donald Trump is the current President of the United States, it's not like 2017 was all bad...right? OK, maybe that's a bit of a stretch. Doesn't mean you can't rejoice in the goodness that's come from the last year of life. That feel seems to be what pushed Jett I. Masstyr to construct his latest instrumental album, Wonderful.

"This past year for me has been a year of setbacks and steps forward on every level," Jett says. "I've put out more music this year than in the last 3-4 years combined. Wonderful is how I'm feeling, despite the ups and downs...things could be worse. But since we're all here, might as well call it what it is, Wonderful."

Stream the full project below, and if you're digging it, cop it via Bandcamp. While you're at it, check out this feature Micro Chop did on Jett I. Masstyr.

Lenzman and Dan Stezo Take It Back to 'The Boombox'

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Lenzman has been on a roll with The North Quarter, especially when it comes to cooking up marvelous mixtapes. Their latest, "The Boombox," feels like an instant classic. Lenzman's a don when it comes to a particularly soulful drum & bass vibe. Add Dan Stezo on the vocal, on a day like today, when Winter Storm Benji is lightly coating part of the East Coast with snow? Puts you in some type of mood.

The mix is massive, and free; stream and download below. And if you love that artwork, you can win a hoodie with the art on it. Only thing missing is a tracklist, which you more than likely won't get. Happy hunting!

Redman Is the Rap Oscar Madison, and This Compilation Proves It

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While I know Ivan of Hip Hop Is Read is around, I know he hasn't been keeping HHIR as tidy as he could.  Hell, I go through the same shit. But it's dope to see that he returns with a BANGER of a compilation, highlighting how ill Redman has been...over the last four years. For as many jokers as there are out there sleeping on Red, it's funny to see a compilation that's 24-tracks deep showcasing all of the reasons why you shouldn't be sleeping on Doc right NOW!

The best part? Ivan got the idea from a stray comment in a Hot 97 interview. Stream the full project below.

The Planet of the Drums Crew Assemble For a Drum & Bass 'Awakening'

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While AK1200, Dieselboy, Messinian, and DJ Dara have been touring the world, preaching the drum & bass philosophy as Planet of the Drums since 2000, this new mix ('Awakening') is their first official mix...EVER. Spanning 81+ tracks (which include a number of teases), this mix clocks in at an hour and 37 minutes, and truly takes heads to another dimension. There's no time frame on track selection; you're being given teases of Remarc's "RIP" and Digital's "Deadline" alongside newer material from DC Breaks, Chase & Status, Dimension, and others. The set moves at full speed, doesn't take breaks, and is the perfect way to ride out a truly trying year.

This set is a perfect combination of the squad's collective strengths, and should be seen as a proper statement of intent from the crew. Stream and download the mix via SoundCloud, and bask in the glow of the tracklist down below.

Cymarshall Law Remixed An Ed Sheeran Track

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Wifey and I have been watching a fuckload of those FBE "React" channel episodes where the adults and teens they have on the payroll have to guess songs by a few seconds of audio. The other day, they played Ed Sheeran's "The Shape Of You," and while I couldn't figure out the name of the song, I knew I was a fan of the track...which was kind of surprising?

Almost as surprising as NJ's Cymarshall Law going for almost three moments over this slinky riddim about, what else, shorty who he's eyeing. Truth be told, if you're trying to holler at shorty, you might need to commit some of these lines to memory. She'll be impressed. Then pass her the MP3 and be like "here, this is how I feel about you." You're welcome. Stream and download below.

DJ Cable's "Work" Flips a Hip-Hop Classic

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DJ Cable's a certified favorite here at RTD for tracks like this. The UK-based DJ/producer/label head has an edge up on most, considering that he's a nimble-fingered DJ who knows how to properly slide in between the worlds of hip-hop and grime to create truly unique tunes for the heads on both sides. Riddle me this: who else would take the sample from East Flatbush Project's "Tried By 12" and turn it into this diced-up UK grime mastrerpiece? Add emcees Reece West and Grim Sickers to the mix and it's MURDAH!

Cable's not only giving away the vocal for "Work," but he's also giving you the instrumental, all for the free. What more could you truly as for?

Holly (and Company) Journey Into the Future on 'Maggie Love'

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Portugal's Holly has truly been on one. My homey Nappy put me onto his material back when we were still asking if androids could dance, and the prolific producer has netted himself everything from releases on SMOG, Firepower, Trekkie Trax, and other progressive imprints to winning A-Trak's first Goldie Awards.

For his next trick, he's aligned with SATURATE! to release his new EP, Maggie Love, featuring a number of talented producers: Starkey, Kraddy, and more. And because it's SATURATE!, it features a host of superfuture material and a stack of remixes, including an intoxicating rework from DJ Pound. The entire release (10 tracks, including remixes) feels like we're immersing ourselves in the future of sound. Dare to dive in.

You can grab the EP from SATURATE!'s Bandcamp page for free; it will only be available for a limited time for that price, so hop on this deal ASAPia.

Westside Gunn Is Coming Off The Top Rope, "Finn Balor"

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You ever been making a mix(tape) and wanted to slow the vibe down a mite, but couldn't find the track to do it? Westside Gunn's latest might be that one. Similar to how Ghostface can take a hypnotic, throwback loop and do a thug's waltz to it, Gunn comes off the top rope (similar to WWE superstar Finn Balor) on the Green Lantern-produced track. This isn't an elegant swan dive; Gunn's brutalizing the beat, stomping on top of it on some precision missile shit.

The best part? It's available for free. Enjoy that.