The Illest Rap Name Ever?

In reading this interview with Tragedy Khadafi up on XXL, I had a wild realization: while his new name is very militant and shit, he gave up on such an ill name: Intelligent Hoodlum. I mean, not only did it work with the music he put out back then (“Arrest The President” is still a beast), it just had a dope FEEL to it.

This is something that seems to be missed these days in Hip-Hop: names that both mean something and sound cool when said. Take Cannibal Ox: the name just SOUNDS ill, and blends well with what Can-O is all about: tough talk with an abstract aura around it. It seems like not too many Rap groups can think of names that ill, nor do they seem to put any effort into it: it went from calling oneself ‘Del tha Funky Homosapien’ to maintain an identity to everyone being “Young”.

In conversing with resident iC Rafi, we kicked around a few other dope additions to the “Illest Rap Name Ever” list, which included names like the Wu-Tang Clan, Special Ed, Juggaknots, and others. Oddly enough, most of these artists were either considered “mainstream” or “underground”, which then made me wonder: which new school artists are coming with hot names? Both above and below this imaginary “ground” that really just separates those who sell records and those who do a shitload of touring due to lack of records sold, the names of many newer cats are kind of wack: Mr. Lif? Saigon? Nelly? What kind of horseshit is this?!

Rafi brought up cats like Devin the Dude and Murda Mook, who definitely have some of the more interesting names I’ve heard. But for every Devin the Dude, there’s too many Shop Boyz, Kia Shines, and the like polluting Rap radio. Common used to have one of the nicest names out there (Common Sense), but got sued b/c his moniker got to be too common (go figure); “Will.I.Am” only sounds good if you are wearing "mink boots in the summertime", and given the amount of records sold, do you think “Rich Boy” is contemplating a name change? And please, do not get me started on the odd obsession with placing “Lil’” and “Young” in front of your name: it’s kind of interesting to sit back and think about how masculine many MCs try to be… all the while wearing tons of diamonds, wearing pink and calling some other dude “Daddy”, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

I ask you, the readers, what names would you add to the “Illest Rap Names Ever” list? Old or new, crew names are also acceptable.
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MF DOOM: "What up? I'm dead"

taken from the Stones Throw newsletter:

Every day for the past month we've been hit up by people wanting explanations, statements, clarifications, and declarations about MF DOOM. Is he lip synching? (No. Listen to the videos on Youtube.) Is he an impostor? (No, but he did lose some pounds.) Is he in the hospital? (No, he's in his studio ... or if not there, you can find him in the pub with the grub stain.)

Reached earlier this morning at his home in Georgia, an alive and well MF DOOM issued this statement: "What up? I'm dead."

DOOM was in Los Angeles recently and recorded a few verses at The Bomb Shelter studio, where Madvillain, Quasimoto, YNQ, and Madlib classics have been made. Among the new joints recorded was one with him and Guilty Simpson over J Dilla's "Mash" and another over Dilla's "Lightworks". "Mash's Revenge" will be released on the album "B-Ball Zombie War" on October 2. Take a listen:
So it looks like the Metal Face Terrorist is NOT dead (although this doesn't touch on a possible heart attack/hospital stay as hinted to on GRANDGOOD). And him rippin' over "Lightworks"!? I'm intrigued...
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Sheek Louch: Savoir of Abused Youth

Shouts to eskay for keeping the hood shit out in the open. It looks like this J-Hood/LOX shit is FAR from over. I posted the video of J-Hood dragging his chain last week, and now Sheek has a new interview with XXL, this time putting it out there. Hood is acting really dumb, especially if the LOX are mad willing to let him go (they know what it's like to be stuck in those situations).

This line caught my eye:

Yo, Hood, when your stepfather was touching on your body, fam, I went and ran in your house and got ’em. Me and my goons ran in and got your step-pops for you. And a list of other things, but I just want to throw that one out there to sting him a little bit. That was me. Remember, Hood? That’s big homie.

See, that's the wrong nigga you wanna try and publicly beef with. If a nigga like Sheek has THAT kind of info on you, why you really going to want to take it there? He did a good thing for you, and you shit on him and the squad? For what? Sheek also says that both 50 Cent AND Sha Money XL said they ain't signing Hood, that Hood having to see the LOX is bigger than the publicity stunt. I been said homey was a pawn. Now there's the proof. I mean, aside from guys like Funkmaster Flex and Cosmic Kev (among many other DJs) not playing your shit, the hood looks at you like a little boy - he has no juice in the hood now.

On the album front, it looks like the LOX are working with Def Jam to try and get them signed? Wild... until I heard the producers they are working with: Timbaland, Pharrell, Rockwilder, WHAT THE FUCK!?!? He also speaks on his Silverback Gorilla album, which will features cats like Avant, Styles P, Jadakiss, Fat Joe, UNK and a track called "Dipset D-Block" with Jim Jones, Hell Rell & Jadakiss. I can't wait for that one!
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Excerpt from BET's Hip-Hop vs. America

T.I., Al Sharpton, Nelly, Diane Weathers (former Essence EIC), and others speak on many different topics involving Hip-Hop and its influence in the city. Some interesting points - T.I. looks like he wants to bug out though:

Too funny.

More info on this series HERE. Shouts to E for the link, as per usual.
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Biggie Case Fucked The Fuck Up


A prison inmate who had implicated a former Los Angeles Police Department officer in the shooting death of rap star Biggie Smalls has renounced his story, tying a new knot in the tangle of intrigue that surrounds the still-unsolved killing.

Waymond Anderson, who was briefly a top-selling R&B artist and is serving a life term for murder, said in a recent deposition that he lied about LAPD involvement in the Smalls slaying as part of a "scam" concocted by two other convicts to squeeze a large monetary settlement out of the city.

Goddamnit. Why do they keep fucking the dog on this one? Will there EVER be justice in the death of Biggie Smalls? Or 2Pac for that matter?

I received my copy of the new Biggie DVD; review forthcoming.
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divShare hatin'

Hey divShare. I love your service.

And I understand if someone requested that a file be deleted. I have no problem w/ that.

But why delete non-copyrighted tracks?

Anyone who was linking to my divShare links - bare with me while I sort this out.

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Sabrina murks the Cha Cha

I'm not a fan of The Cheetah Girls or Sabrina Bryan (I leave that to my 16-year-old) - but shorty killed this routine. Taken from last night's Part 1 of the new Dancing With The Stars season.

Wow. They rode her kind of hard for her Hip-Hop moves, but she still ran it. And I am not alone in thinking that homegirl is the one to beat.

Props to E for the link.
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Lupus Online Support Group

Just got an e-mail from the Lupus Online Support Group, asking for support. Anytime I hear "lupus", I think "J Dilla". Was just working on an episode of an upcoming rock the dub radio episode, with his beats in it.

Please, support those who have this disease, and keep the memory of Dilla and others alive.
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Jay-Z "Blue Magic" (trailer)

This weekend was totally devoted to Jay-Z... well, I played the SHIT out of "Blue Magic", and realized it's one of my favorite tracks of 2007. The Pharrell singing on the hook is neither bad nor great, but it's all about Jay taking it back. You can hear a hunger there, and I love how he flips the old school style, especially on the 3rd verse (reminded me of Special Ed's "I'm The Magnificent" kind of flow). Too fucking dope.

I came home Saturday night, and wouldn't you know they did a trailer... for the single!? Word is Hype Williams is working on the official video right now, but this one is just too ill. It's got people hand-to-handing the SINGLE, as if it was real product. Love how it was done. Check it out:

Lovin' it. Get more info on Jay's American Gangster CD HERE.
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rock the dub radio: episode 005

I started crafting this show with a 40 of Olde English and thoughts of my peoples locked down. I didn't have any running theme here, just bringing dope Hip-Hop that you need to hear and shit that is kind of exclusive to me.

We start this episode off with a bang... Swizzy + UGK + T.I.? In the words of that great poet Ja Rule, "IT'S MURDAAAA!" We dip into a few more heavy hitters, then hit the ode to my niggas locked down section. Loads of new cuts on here from the likes of Talib Kweli (with Styles P), the Boot Camp Clik, DJ Envy & Red Cafe, Special Teamz, AvE (with Esso) Wordsmith, Tanya Morgan (with Che Grand) and others; there's also classic cuts from Schoolly D, Edo G, Raekwon and more! Check the tracklist:

02/UGK ft. T.I. "Hit The Block"
03/M.O.P. ft. Jay-Z "Put It In The Air"
04/Busta Rhymes & T.I. "Cannon"
05/Boot Camp Clik "Jail Song"
06/Ludacris ft. Beanie Sigel, Pimp C & C-Murder "Do Your Time"
07/Raekwon "Incarcerated Scarfaces"
08/Nas "One Love"
09/Beanie Sigel ft. Redman "One Shot Deal"
10/Prodigy "Keep It Thoro"
11/Mobb Deep "Get Dealt With"
12/The Alchemist "Mr. Pitiful 2008"
13/interlude: "Practice" - DJ Krush vs. Allen Iverson
14/Redman "Gilla House Check"
15/Chester P "Chessmonster"
16/AvE ft. Esso "The Future"
17/Keyshia Cole ft. Missy Elliot, T.I. & Young Dro "Let It Go (Remix)"
18/DJ Envy& Red Cafe ft. Jermaine Dupri & Fabolous "Dolla Dolla Bill"
19/Talib Kweli ft. Styles P "The Level"
20/Sheek Louch ft. Jadakiss "Survival In The City"
21/M.O.P. "Cold As Ice"
22/Special Teamz ft. Devin The Dude "Long Time Coming"
23/Edo G & Pete Rock ft. Diamond D & Jaysaun "Streets Is Calling"
24/Edo G & The Bulldogs "I Gotta Have It"
25/Schoolly D "P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?)"
26/Kanye West ft. Lil' Wayne "Barry Bonds"
27/Cassidy ft. Lil' Wayne & Fabolous "6 Minutes of Death"
28/Cole Cash "Goldfinger 2007"
29/Claude601 "Red Stars"
30/Wordsmith "The Example: Resignation"
31/Tanya Morgan ft. Che Grand "And You Say"
Shouts to Cole Cash & Claude601 for hitting me with beats. Any of you aspiring DJs/producers/MCs with heat, send your best-quality MP3s to And make sure you guys are throwing my feed into your iTunes or wherever you get your feeds sent, so you can get the dope every 2 weeks.

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New LOST podcast (21st Sept. 2007)


The 3-year anniversary of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 was on the 22nd of September, so Carlton and Damon celebrated by calling LOST viewers who submitted questions to Not really an informative podcast, but it's cool as hell that they did that.

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The Jena 6 Roundup

So loads of marches went down yesterday, in Jena, and other cities in the United States. Here's the rundown of some of the events/proceeding news stories, Jena 6-related of course:
  • Two guys were arreseted near Jena, LA, for hanging nooses from their car; the driver was 18 and got hit with a DUI charge, among others, and the 16-year-old passenger stated that his fam was the KKK. SMH...
  • Where was Obama during all of this? Jesse Jackson wasted no time in slandering Barack for his M.I.A. status.
  • AverageBro threw up a pretty telling editorial on the Jena 6 rallies: I do feel, as he does, that we need to scream "Free the Jena 6" after 9/20/07, but you know how things go these days... flavor of the month, et. al.
  • Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote a deep piece about how our civil rights leaders let Mychael Bell down...

Sign the petition. Donate to the cause. Do something - and keep doing it.

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Bun B reps the Jena 6

As seen on Nah Right.

Mos Def & Bun B need to collabo on a pro-Jena 6 track.
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Black Out Status

My bust, E, but that pic is so damn poignant.

Today, September 20th, 2007, there are rallies going down in Jena, La., and hopefully other spots in the US. It is asked that supports of the Jena 6 wear black on this day. I took it a step further, and threw the blog on Black Out Status. It might make my words pop (I see you, wifey!), but this is my online support. I suggest other bloggers do the same.

Speaking of E, he has a few posts in support of the Jena 6 and this day: one's a poem entitled "African American Anthem" (by King Kobra), and the 2nd is his Black Out post of today, with some great links to Jena 6-related heads.

I'm just about done with Invisible Man; this novel seems like what we need to be reading right about now.

hit the links:
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Jay-Z American Gangster LP news

I read about YN having an exclusive piece of info to drop around 8PM last night, but didn't make it to the PC until later, and forgot to peep it. Boy, was it a doozy!

Looks like Jigga Jay-Z is working on an album inspired by his viewing of the forthcoming Harlem drug flick American Gangster, a flick which bit the creative bug in Jay, making him think of days passed and putting himself back in that zone, and making this his first "concept" album to date, which is a funny idea. While he is basing his flows on the scenes in the movie, he's lived that life, but I digress...

I do wish that the film's producers had gotten behind the idea of having Hov drop this as an official "music inspired by..." album, just because with the way Jay's status is now, it would be such a big look for Hip-Hop... having one of the premiere MCs crafting tracks based on a film that's subject matter mirrors his life? You can't write better headlines than that. Would have made this a big event.

Sometime today, a Pharrell-produced track entitled "Blue Magic" is to premiere... somewhere. I'll give you guys audio when I get it, as per usual. Until then, just deal with this "Allure"/"Flashing Lights" blend that DJ Green Lantern cooked up (shouts out to Eskay, again).
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Diplo "Essential Mix" (16th September 2007)

Diplo gets bust for BBC Radio 1, continuing their "Essential Mix" series.


Rich Boy - Throw Some D's // Interscope
Nirvana - Drain You // Geffen
Baby Huey - Pop, Lock & Drop It // White label
Marc Houle - Bay of Figs (Ward 21 Mix) // M_Nus
DJ Tamiel - Bump Like This
Queen Feat. David Bowie - Under Pressure // WEA
Hollertronix - Betty // Money Studies Records
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight (Be My Baby) // CBS
Soulja Boy - Crank Dat Superman // Interscope
Bat for Lashes - What's a Girl to Do // Break
DJ Shadow - Organ Donor (Sandrinho Remix)
Diplo & Switch Feat. Beenie Man - Solta Frango
Mr. Vegas - Hot Fuk (Diplo Mix)
Enur Feat. Natasja - Calabria (2007 Mix) // Scorpio/Data
Spoon - Paper Tiger // Merge Records
Circle Children - Zulu // Strictly Rhythm
M.I.A. Feat. Akon - Boyz Remix (Hi Powered Boyz Get Down)
Boy 8 Bit - Suspense Is Killing Me // Trouble & Bass
KW Griff - Tony's Back // Money Studies
A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario (White Label Mix) // White label
Nucleus - Jam On It (Gold Rocc Mix)
Nigga Say Wut - Hey Hey Hey
BooMan - Pick ‘em Up
King Tut - Y'all Niggaz Ain’t Shit // Heavy Rock Music
KW Griff - Ain’t None Of Y’all Safe // White label
Technics - Uh
KW Griff - Respect // Quiet Records
DJ Eli - In The Jungle
2 Bad Mice - Bombscare // Moving Shadow
Armand Van Heldan - You Don’t Know Me (White Label Mix) // White label
Big City - Spanish Lesson // Spectra Records
Diplo - Work Is Never Over // Mad Decent
M.I.A - Bamboo Banger // XL Recordings
Sizzla - Bamboo Banger // Dubplate
DJ Blaqstarr - Supastarr // Mad Decent
Shai - If I Ever Fall in Love Again // Dubplate
Orbital - Halcyon // Rhino/WEA
LA Priest - Engine (Erol Alkan Remix) // Phantasy
Joakim - Drum Trax // Versatile
Chemical Brothers - Saturate // Virgin
M.A.N.D.Y. - Unknown (Tiefschwarz Mix)
TOK - Solid As A Rock // VP Records
Petter - Some Polyphony // Border Community
Rihanna - Umbrella (Vandalism Mix)
Justice - Phantom Part II (Soulwax Mix) // Ed Banger
The White Stripes - Little Cream Soda // XL Recordings
ZZT - Lower State Of Consciousness // Turbo
Kia Shine - Crispy // Chest Nut Records
Bart Simpson - Bartman (So Kripsy Mix)
Jay Dilla Feat. Guilty Simpson - Detroit To LA
Deuce Papi - Do It Again
Kanye West Feat. Young Jeezy - Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ // Def Jam
Mr. Vegas - Lean Wit It (In The Streetz)
M.I.A. Feat. Bun B & Rich Boy - Paper Planes // XL Recordings
Schoolly-D - Gucci Time // Schoolly-D Records
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Rockers to Swallow // Interscope
Jellybean - Sidewalk Talk // EMI
Belle Stars - Iko Iko // Capitol Records
Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Heartbeats // PIAS
Simian Mobile Disco - I Still Believe // Wichita Recordings
The Pack - At The Club // Zomba
South Rakkas - Hotter Then Them (Mad Decent Mix)
Hurricane Chris - A Bay Bay // J US
Mad Cobra - AA (Kenny Meez Edit) // Black Shadow
Buju Banton - Crazy Talk // Black Shadow
Beenie Man - The Crime // System Records
Lil’ Wayne Feat. Mack Maine - I Know The Future // Universal
Bugle - What The Gonna Do // Daseca
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SMH @ Jae Hood

I can see why Remy Ma got on stage with 50 Cent... she got a murder rap. And I know Jae Hood has his problems with D Block, but how you gonna go up on stage with 50? No fucking loyalty at all. The sad part about all of this? Hood prolly thinks he can now be down with the G-Unit. Nigga, you're officially a pawn to the game: 50 used you to dig at Jada, Styles and Sheek, and all you got to show for it is a video on YouTube.

Good job, bitch. You weren't worth the money spent to make that chain, dog.


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Kurious Jorge A Constipated Monkey re-release

Many of you might remember Kurious Jorge as being dude featured on "?" from MF Doom's Operation: Doomsday album. Well, it looks like his slept-on '94 LP, A Constipated Monkey, has been re-released TODAY, and his label, Amaglam, is offering the album with a special Bonus EP for FREE to the first 100 fans who buy the digital version of A Constipated Monkey.

Check out the tracklisting:

01.) Spell It Wit A J (Yes, Yes Jorge)
02.) Top Notch
03.) I’m Kurious
04.) Uptown Shit feat. The Omen & Kadi
05.) Leave Ya’ With This
06.) Fresh Out The Box
07.) Walk Like A Duck
08.) Tear Shit Up
09.) Baby Bust It feat. MF Grimm
10.) Nikole
11.) What’s The Real feat. Casual
12.) Jorge Of The Projects
13.) I’m Kurious (Pete Nice Remix) **[Re-release Bonus]**
14.) Mansion And a Yacht ft. Sadat X & Mike G **[Re-release Bonus]**

"I'm Kurious" is the joint, one of my favs from back in the day.

Now check out the Bonus EP, The Demo Out Takes (1989-1993), which helped Kurious get his deal from the rip:

15.) Jorge Of The Projects (Original Demo Version) (Produced by The SD50’s)
16.) Trueness To The Blueness (Produced by The SD50’s)
17.) Rice And Beans (Freestyle) feat. Prince Paul (Produced by Prince Paul)
18.) Fill’ Er Up (produced by Prime Minister Pete Nice of 3rd Bass)
19.) One 4 The Head feat. Kolli Weed (Produced by The SD50’s)
20.) Catch My Drift feat. Kadi (Produced by Sam Sever)
Again, the 6-track EP is only available from Amaglam's website to the first 100 heads who cop the full length download.

So WTF you waiting for? Go grab this, early!

hit the links:
Kurious on MySpace
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Boot Camp Clik / Wordsmith @ Sonar (Baltimore, MD) Sept. 20th!

Looks like my nigga Wordsmith is opening for the might Boot Camp Clik this Thursday. All you Baltimore heads lookin' for the REAL Hip-Hop should check it out.

Going down @ Sonar. If you're looking for the $15 advance tickets, send Words an e-mail.

Check out Wordsmith's MySpace page for more info.
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Vote 756

Looks like Marc Ecko bought Barry Bonds' 756 home-run ball, and wants YOU, the public, to decide what to do with it.

I won't be surprised if mad people vote for "B" (putting an asterisk on it, then sending it to Cooperstown), but really, just put it in Cooperstown untouched. If the MLB was dumb enough to think he cheated then let him break the home-run record, they should have to live with their shame.

Barry, we got your back, nigga.
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The Fishkini

Cures for cancer and AIDS are not known to the public. People are dying all the time. What are scientists working on?


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Smif-N-Wessun The Album tracklist

Smif-N-Wessun (aka Tek & Steele) are BACK, and have a new album (entitled, well, The Album) dropping on the 23rd of October. It looks like they are keeping it simple on the beats and on the features, which is a plus for those of us who remember "Sound Bwoy Buriel" and some of their other CLASSIC material. Check out the tracklisting:
1.) See The Light (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
2.) Gotta Say it f/Chuckii Star (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
3.) Trouble (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
4.) K.I.M. 200 f/Loudmouf Choir
5.) P.N.C. For Life (produced by Ken Ring & Rune Rotter)
6.) Gangsta Prayer f/Million Styles (produced by Ken Ring & Rune Rotter)
7.) Stomp Thru f/Rock and Joell Ortiz (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
8.) Who Gonna Save Us (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
9.) Still Fighting (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
10.) Yeah (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
11.) Movie (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
12.) Can’t Stop (produced by Ken Ring & Soul Theory)
13.) Can’t Feel My Face f/Loudmouf Choir (produced by Ken Ring & Tommy Tee)
14.) Still Here (produced by Ken Ring and Collen & Webb)
So aside from Rock, Joell Ortiz, and a few others, its a tight space, which I'm feeling. I remember copping Rude Awakening and loving it.

Check out the aforemention Rock & Joell Ortiz assisted "Stomp" for further proof of their re-discovered fire.

hit the links:
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Crack(s) In America

Last year, I dropped "America: The Ugly", a mixtape devoted to questioning the current admistration, musically... bringing up a host of different things that contribute to our nation being divided. While I am deeply saddened by the events that transpired 6 years ago, the onus is on the Adminstration to rectify the situations that still plague our great nation: racism, war, poverty, sexism; these problems, and many more, help give the world around us a distorted view of what goes on on our soil.

(NOTE: As I'm writing this, I get messages about disgusting acts of violence and hatred like this that make me think we are so far from where we need to be...)

Hopefully, mixtapes like this (as well as other forms of art, whether visual or the written word) can help usher in a dialogue that will open the floodgates, and help get some sense into the White House.

Divshare download/stream link:


01/intro: Jello Biafra "Miscue 9/11" b/w The Cinematic Orchestra "Durian"
02/Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings "This Land Is Your Land"
03/Kanye West ft. The Game "Crack Music"
04/The Roots "False Media"
05/DJ Shadow ft. David Banner "Seein' Thangs"
06/David Banner "So Special"
07/Nas "These Are Our Heroes"
08/Nas "Black Zombie"
09/interlude: Saul Williams "Sha-Clack-Clack" b/w Autumn & Perpetuum "Unconditional"
10/Mr. Lif "Because They Made It"
11/The Perceptionists "Medical Aid"
12/Gil-Scott Heron "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
13/J. Rawls "Bobby Seale Bound & Gagged"
14/interlude: Mumia Abu-Jamal "What Independence?" b/w Juggaknots "Namesake (instrumental)"
15/Public Enemy "Shut 'Em Down"
16/Jay Eff Kay "Paranoid 2007"
17/Cage ft. Jello Biafra "Grand Ol' Party Crash"
18/Styles P. ft. Joell Ortiz "Poor Folk"
19/Mos Def "There Is A Way"
20/Digital Mystikz ft. Spen G "Anti-War Dub"

I want to shout out Jay Eff Kay for creating America: Suicide Notes vol. 1, and to Perpetuum for giving me permission to use "Unconditional" in this mix. Big up to Jello Biafra, David Banner and Chuck D for speaking the truth.

Take a moment and reflect on the tragic events of this day in our collective memories... fight the powers that be , and stand up for what you believe in. And for those out there deep in the struggles (both here at home and away in foreign lands) - keep your head up.

PS: Start Snitching has YouTube clips of the most recent Real Time episode, with Mos Def & Cornell West on it. Interesting comments made. Fresh has an interesting post on Hip-Hop's (nonexistent) reaction the day the towers fell.

PPPS: Check out E's poem, "Gemini's Ashes"
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How "Ayo Technology" Was Born

50: "Ayo Timbo, I need some help"

Timbaland: "Hold on, I'm making a banana smoothie"

Justin Timberlake: "Yo Fiddy, sup my nigga"

50: "Anyways, Interscope doesn't like my shitty CD, I need one of them 'My Love' joints"

Timbo: "I just cooked up this beat I jacked from a Finnish wunderkid. Danja, set up the mic"

Justin: "Why you be dissin' me, nigga?"

50: "Alright, write a hook then, bitch"

Justin: "Yay!"

The result?

Shouts to the DOA crew for guiding my comedy.
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Kanye West Graduation [review]

It looks like, with every album, Kanye West is trying to add more ingredients into his stew. He went from relying solely on the "chipmunk soul" and a balance of flash and thought in his rhymes on College Dropout to sneak-attacking the game, bringing in Jon Brion, and beefing up his style of production with loads of orchestration and wild arrangements with Late Registration. It seems that he has spent Graduation chilling with A-Trak more, digging into a more electro sound, which really only mirrors what's been going on in the South, especially in the Miami, Florida area. He's also repeatedly spoken on wanting to create an album full of anthems. Has he done this? Did he alienate any fans? Was it all worth it?

Yes, no and hopefully. In terms of anthems, you only need to see throngs of high school age kids bounce when the chorus of "Stronger", his Daft Punk-jacking official single, comes on, to see how far this guy who got introduced to many by his Blueprint work has come. He has always been able to drop the "right" track, for his albums always come with loads of singles, and he does not stray from that. While "Stronger" has mass appeal, "Can't Tell Me Nothing" almost sounds like his take on some of the "get money" anthems that seem to flood the market from the Dirty. It's not just the DJ Toomp-laced instrumental, which is all brooding and depressed and proud at the same time; nor is it the Young Jeezy adlibs in the chorus. If you break down his words in the chorus, he isn't really saying anything different than what they speak about in terms of cashflow, he just attacks it from a different angle. He has the same cocksure attitude, but can come up with decent lines ("don't ever fix your lips like Collagen/to say something where you gon' end up apologin'"), showing you his wit and his attitude. "Champion" is an uplifting wake-up call for those who think they can't get it done - positive reinforcement in the form of a slick start/stop beat that hits you instantly. He also gets to showcase his introspective rhymes - we realize that he has always been a clotheshorse, even if his Pops used to tell him "if you see clothes, close ya eyelids" - more ghetto yout need to hear this track.

In terms of production, 'Ye comes hard with the synths. I read that he didn't really want to go with "Good Life", possibly because it was just too easy: how hard is it to take Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T.", beef up the drums and synthline, sprinkle in some T-Pain and boast about the finer things in life? Not hard at all, especially if you are aiming to make anthems. This is one of those summertime anthems for those who made it to the Hamptons. "Flashing Lights", aka Billy Sunday's favorite joint, had the smooth feel to it, with the bumping kicks, which cascade into a wash of key stabs. Really big sound, but the fact that he kept the tempo down on this one is a good look, making the track sound like the club it seems that Kanye found some of these "Drunk & Hot Girls" in. He's not just a synth-maven, though. "Barry Bonds", on of Kanye's "real Hip-Hop" moments, is Nottz and 'Ye cooking up something monstrous in a pretty simple beat that brings forth one of the hottest fills I've heard on a mainstream LP this year. Yes, he does drop into a synth bed, but this one is all about those hard drums (and the fact that Lil' Wayne's verse is raped by Kanye's - who would have thunk that).

This CD does contain moments that make me shake my head. For example, I do wish that "I Wonder" was shortened by 2 minutes, not so heavy on the electronics, and sans Kanye's "raps". He wasted a pretty sly piano/vocal sample with the sonics. I also can't stand listening to "Good Morning", the intro that birthed his "I'm like a fly Malcolm X, buy any jeans necessary". I mentioned "Drunk & Hot Girls" before, which is just an excuse to not have Mos Def rap on another album. I can't really see anyone other than rich, drunk frat boys getting into this joke-turned-ugly of a track. Imagine a crew of them singing this, driving their sports cars around a club. Now try to forget that image. Can't do it, right? "Homecoming" was also something that was unnecessary on my front, but his "track with Coldplay" sounds much better than Jay's.

Speaking of Jay(-Z), I can't end this review without speaking on "Big Brother". Possibly one of the most heartfelt pieces of poetry coming from the Roc camp since "Momma Loves Me", this track really gets into Kanye's psyche: his arrogance and attitude shines through, but when you look at it in the scope of him just imitating "big brother", you can see why he feels so adamant about his status: to hit Hov status, you need to be firing on all cylinders. The problem is, Kanye is not Jay. Kanye is not on Jay's level lyrically, or business-wise. Until Kanye can truly charter a ship on his own (and G.O.O.D. Music is a start), he will stay being "little brother". In hearing 'Ye lay it down in this way, you can definitely see why he seems to overcompensate on the clothes and in his boasting. He just misses the mark, it seems.

Which is the story of this album: it's almost "there", but in terms of being a classic album? Not right now, not in this era. 'Ye ditched the "Broke Phi Broke" this go 'round, but seems to have left some of the substance on the cutting room floor. People flock to 'Ye for his beats: they stay for his mind. When he masks it in too much "fresh to def" talk, it muddies our overall perception. This is one disc to party to, one to fuck to, one to keep you going during your day. Will you be passing this down to your children's children, though?

rock the dub gives Graduation a 3.5 out 5. Kanye goes for broke and brings a sonically pleasing package that screams "we did it!"... but for all that he is, the things that he's not is what holds him back from being the people's champ - but he is still the hipster's choice.

Essential Cuts: "Everything I Am", "Barry Bonds", "The Glory", "Champion", "Big Brother"

Kanye West's Graduation is available TODAY at all major retailers.

hit the links:
Official Website
MySpace page
Roc-A-Fella page
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50 Cent Curtis [review]

When most artists use their real name as the title of their albums, it' s usually a literal act: the content, more times than not, is more introspective, more personal, having a "raw" feel to it. That artist is not 50 Cent. He named his latest disc Curtis to stop Cam'rom's viral campaign, to some success. The problem is, that's his only motivation: nowhere in this CD does 50 hint at a renewed sense of self. No, we're getting treated to the same Hennessey wishes and gunplay wet dreams that we've grown tired of hearing from 50, the G-Unit and roughly 90% of mainstream Rap radio. While this CD is not the weakest thing to drop in 2007 by any means, it does show that 50 might be a victim of his own past success (which he has alluded to), which has now seemed to manifest itself in the public's boredom with his new product, as well as him being stuck in a creative rut.

The album kicks off with "My Gun", which has 50 dropping so many "I'm gonna shoot you, nigga" references it's ridiculous, but the fucked up part is, in the intro of the very next song ("Man Down") 50 sing-songs an intro about people trying to pin murders on him, but it being impossible, b/c his people murder for him. So which one is it, 50? You pullin' the trigger or the strings? To keep the murder rate rising, 50 then doubles back and pulls Akon along for the ride, with "I'll Still Kill", AKA another excuse to lyrically masturbate about gunfire; not to mention that the beat, while very dope, has that Dr. Dre-lite feel to it: very minimal, kind of sparse, but then towards the end of a measure, it drops that string/piano combo ontop of the basic beat. Why have DJ Khalil mimic Dr. Dre beat-wise, then waste Dre on the chorus to "Come And Go"? The only time he gets it right is when he spits over "Curtis 187", where he is putting his grimey-past on blast, which makes sense: when you were a notty-head yout, yes, you probably popped your guns all the time. "Fully Loaded Clip" has him saying "I ain't fresh out the hood/I'm still in the hood", but what hood is this? I know Connecticut has its grimey sections, but come on 50! For as many interviews I've read and seen 50 speak about artists being believable, how can he stay writing about his past life in the present tense? If he was to stay believable, shouldn't his rhymes be about "Fully Loaded Pens", where he's making sure he has enough Bics to sign all the endorsements, or all of the rapper contracts, as opposed to lying about bagging up coke or the modern day murking of the ever-present snitch?

50's next misstep is thinking he is a sexytime loverman. "Amusement Park" sounds like an R. Kelly b-side, no matter how well he worked the circus sounds in that beat. Who picked this to be a single!? "Ayo Technology" has 50 trying too much: he's trying to hard to keep up with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland's sound, as well as trying to master a double-time flow that works for this beat, but not for 50. Instead of trying to sound intelligent or like he cares about his lyrics, he spends a few bars "rapping", then does a slowed down sing-song, but somehow gives up and lets Justin outshine him (no matter there's a 50-less version on some Pop stations). The beat is a masterpiece - my boy Rafi wants to know what video game-sampling producer's beat did Timbaland jack to bring this to the masses. The fucking noise in there is reminiscent of a boss level in an old NES game, and the instrumental is ripe to be murked by a better-qualified MC. "Follow My Lead" has a nice bop to it, and is where 50 should stay: seductive bedroom eyes over a mid-tempo piano romp, with Robin Thicke blessing the chorus; no wonder 50 got so pissed when this leaked. 50's Mary J. Blige-assisted "All Of Me" sounds like a Love & Life cutting-room floor track, and is only saved by a decent beat (could they not come up with anything better than "got me feeling like a fiend on crack"?)... which is the saving grace for the majority of this album.

I wish I knew what the tracklist looked like before 50 went back in to retool it. He spent a few months making "I Get Money", AKA the concrete anthem of Summer 2k7, and added/took off tracks, but it sounds like he made a CD that wouldn't get laughed at standing next to his previous output. He will no doubt still sell a good grip of records, and will make Dr. Dre and Interscope some good money, but at what cost? In terms of replay value, unless you are 14 years old, white, and trying to piss off your parents, I can only count 5 tracks that should even be revisited. For every "I Get Money", we then get treated to "Straight To The Bank". And why did he keep "Peep Show" on the CD? Eminem phones in a verse AND a wack beat, and he expects this to sell? "Fire" sounds disjointed, as if he told Young Buck "I'll fix you, nigga. You talk to The Game, you do the chorus with a Pussycat Doll". As Method Man would say, "torture, mufucka", which is exactly how I felt when listening to this disc.

rock the dub gives Curtis a 2.5 out of 5. Average work from an average at best MC, who can write hooks and speak about his past exploits with the best of them. Hopefully there's an instrumental version coming, b/c those beats are the saving grace.

Essential Cuts: "Man Down", "Follow My Lead", "Curtis 187"

50 Cent's Curtis is available TODAY at all major retailers.

hit the links:
Official Website
MySpace Page
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Real Talk: SMH @ Britney

What's going on, Miss Britney? How are the kids? Good, I hope. They weren't watching mommy last night, were they? I'm kind of surprised I was...

Now, Brit, I wanted to holla at you because, you're slipping. I got no comment about you shaving your head, or slobbing down randoms in the pool, or even showing your coochie. That's you, do your thing - out of the public eye. Your shit going on in the magical gossip world is one thing. How do you remedy your situation? You knock 'em out. "Gimme More" has gotten some good press, considering, and even T-Pain said you were easy (snicker) to work with. Why do you look like you had eaten about 50 quaaludes before getting up on stage last night?

Were you tired, ma? Did you need a nap? Did you forget your steps? Was the light in your eyes? Did someone put you off? What was that God-awful arrangement there? The whole situation was muddy.

My wife saw you perform in Trenton, NJ, about 3 years ago or so. Loved your show. Where's that Brit? And what's going to happen when your LP drops in a few months - wait, is it still dropping this year? Did you just fuck up your career?

Hey Brit, did you ever hear the theory that most bad relationships are prolonged due to good sex? This is what you did: you could come with the most outlandish shit, but as long as the headgame was on point, America could give a fuck.

Shit, I wasn't even mad at your lil' tummy, or the new thickness of your legs. For many men in America, that thicker look is sexy as hell. Keep it up!

Last night, you used your teeth instead of your tongue. You complained of your jaw hurting. You then proceeded to get on top, only to get off after two pumps b/c your head hurt.

Brit, you need some help. Go get it before you flush your shit further down the toilet.
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rock the dub radio: episode 004

Growing up as a shorty in the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, one thing I always loved was hearing the original track that some of my favorite artists sampled. Whether it was a break or some odd piece of a Soul cut, Hip-Hop producers seem to find gold in the dusty creates and shelves that house music of days gone. To salute the art of crate digging, or rather to acknowledge those who came before us, I present to you: original copies. This is the first of many special shows I plan on doing (wait for the beginning of BBall season...), with a running theme.

I don't care what genre it is, if I like the Hip-Hop track, I am trying to find that original.

rock the dub radio episode 004

Download the MP3 of this 2hour show, or stream/download from divshare.

Here is the tracklist:

02/"Good Times" Theme Song
03/Ghostface Killah ft. Raekwon "Good Times"
04/The JB's "Pass The Peas"
05/Eric B. & Rakim "I Ain't No Joke"
06/Lyn Collions "Think (About It)"
07/Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock "It Takes Two"
08/Minnie Ripperton "Inside My Love"
09/A Tribe Called Quest "Lyrics To Go"
10/The Isley Brothers "Between The Sheets"
11/The Notorious B.I.G. "Big Poppa"
12/The Originals "Sunrise"
13/Scarface ft. Jay-Z & Beanie Sigel "Guess Who's Back"
14/Norman Connors "Invitation"
15/Mos Def "Brown Sugar (Fine)"
16/Thomas Dolby "She Blinded Me With Science"
17/Mobb Deep "Got It Twisted"
18/Sade "Kiss Of Life"
19/MF Doom "Doomsday"
20/MFSB "Something For Nothing"
21/Jay-Z "What More Can I Say"
22/Rick James "Super Freak"
23/Jay-Z "Kingdom Come"
24/Parliament "Flashlight"
25/40 Glocc, Ras Kass & The Alchemist "Flashlight"
26/Willie Hutch "Tell Me Why Has Our Love Gone Cold"
27/Three 6 Mafia ft. Young Buck, 8Ball & MJG "Stay Fly"
28/Earth Wind And Fire "Can't Hide Love"
29/UGK ft. Talib Kweli & Raheem DeVaughn "Real Women"
30/Giorgio Moroder "Tears"
31/DJ Shadow "Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)"
You like that, right? Some jams from the past, and the new spit from today.

As per usual, check out my podcast for this and other rock the dub radio archives. episode 001 is going to be a thing of the past, so go grab it quick!

Any DJs/producers/MCs with music they want me to check out, send your best quality MP3s to Anyone with a shoutout or a track they would like to hear on a future rock the dub radio show? Send your requests to

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Whatchu Know About Jayden?

a piece for my son:

Whatchu know about
Big eyes
Big heart
Big cries
No fear
No hate
Ready to dive
Turned off lights
Ready to smile
Loves to hug
Loves to kiss
Giggle monster
Eternal bliss
Mischevious kid
Loves to run
Loves the hip-hop
Forever having fun
1 year of craziness
Two times real sick
Stuck in tents
Thrown under lights
Little blue boy
Sleepless nights
Broken ribs
Grandparents ain’t right
Our little angel
The end result of a beautiful union
Mommy’s little man
Daddy’s great plan
Clap the hands
Stomp the feet
Kick the feet
Loves the water
Be a good boy, hug our daughters
Always laughing
Easy to smile
Our little angel
Miracle child
Blow the bubble
Loving MASH theme songs
Never do right
NEEDS to do wrong
1 year of craziness
Many more to come
Happy birthday
To our son

Happy birthday, lil' man.
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Kia Shine Due Season CD Giveaway

rock the dub has 3 copies of Kia Shine's Due Season CD to give away. Simple competition/giveaway:

Just send an e-mail with the subject "KIA SHINE CD GIVEAWAY" to Emails will be accepted until the 21st of September; the 3 winners will be picked, and you will be sorted with your CD.

Check out my review of this album.

Good luck!

Kia Shine on MySpace
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Win a date with Layla Kayleigh

Layla Kayleigh. Damn. I'm sorry but homegirl is a fox. And to support Good Luck Chuck, 1 lucky schmuck (out of 3 finalists) will be chosen to go out with her, and will a cool $1K. If you aren't up on her, you don't read Maxim or check out "The Feed" on G4 (among other things she does, such as The Best Damn Sports Show, Period ). She's got an ill voice, smokin' body, and based on her MySpace blog, she has a great personality to match.

Head on over to Maxim Radio for the details.
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Kenya asks...

"Did you buy your DJ NAPPY T-Shirts yet?"

Well, didja?

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Eddie Griffin & the "N-Word"

My nigga E said it best: "he thought he was among friends... guess not".

Eddie Griffin is the latest performer to be booted over using the dreaded N-word:

Griffin, who has appeared in movies such as "Undercover Brother" and "Date Movie" and the TV show "Malcolm & Eddie," was performing at a Black Enterprise magazine event in the Miami suburb of Doral on Friday when he was cut off after using profanities and the N-word, said Andrew Wadium, a spokesman for the publication.
Who in the FUCK did they think they were hiring, Bryant fucking Gumbel!? Eddie isn't a fuckin' Tom, that nigga goes on the stage and speaks his mind. Did they never see his previous stand-up before hiring him?

And the fucked up part is, now this nigga's got a white stain on his black suit. His name is already being dragged through the mud by James Brown-wannabe ass niggas like Al Sharpton, now cracker barrel ass Entertainment publications will be talking Undercover Brother this, My Babies Daddies that, and who really wins? NOBODY! Stopping Eddie from using the word nigga or whatever fucking cuss word is not going to win the war. Embracing these niggas and trying to educate our kids is.

Dumb ass Tom ass niggas. Go the fuck back to your wholes - I think your process is drying out.
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History of DJ KRUSH [review]

Of all of the mid-90s Mo' Wax producers, DJ KRUSH was the first I was truly into (DJ Shadow eclipsed him, but was not the first). I remember copping Meiso and being in awe at the mixture of deep, moody atmospherics and the unabashed love for Hip-Hop (lyrics by CL Smooth, Black Thought and others never hurt!) that sucked me in, and made me realize: Hip-Hop is bigger than the US, bigger than basic 16s and a hook, and it was something that was NOT going away. 12 years later, I was right on the money, and when I heard that there was a 3(!) DVD set giving you previously-unseen footage of one of my musical idols, I promptly fell out of my chair, running to relisten to his older CDs, like KRUSH or MiLight, trying to remember how I felt the first time.

Turns out I didn't need to... this DVD is all you need. A perfect addition to the collection of the true KRUSH fan, and a great primer for those who want to know what all of the fuss is about. Over the 3 DVDs, the first of many truths came clear: DJ KRUSH is a master of mixing. His DJ sets are more performance than selection, as I've only heard him drop a mix of his own tracks, but he will start to drop the echobox on his tracks, and then on top of all of that, grab a piece of wax and cut some slick sounds over top - nothing that overpowers the mood or track, just a perfect accent to the live mix. In watching DVD 1, A-Un, you get to peek at a previously-unreleased-on-DVD promo video done for Japan that seems to have been a project done FOR MiLight that encompassed KRUSH's travels up to that point. It included a lot of the "messages" from MiLight, and also showed KRUSH on tour and in the studio, working on the tracks. This lead to my second truth: "Kemuri" is such an anthem, no matter when/where he drops it, the crowd goes crazy. It's sucha hypnotic track, it's kind of wild when you realize the cut is 13 years old... but I put it on today, and it smokes a lot of the drivel that's out now!

Disc 2 is the real treat, though: Ko-no-Michi goes from Meiso to 2006, showing in depth footage of KRUSH all over the world: on tour, in the studio, on the streets, and on the rooftop. A performance on the rooftop in Tokyo is the true treat here: just KRUSH, lights and his setup, and you get front row seats to see him GO OFF! A few highlights: the scene where KRUSH and Shadow were working on "Duality", and the proceeding interview - you could tell the language barrier was there, but it wasn't: it was Hip-Hop; DJ KRUSH and ILL-BOSSTINO speaking on the making of "Candle Chant (A Tribute)" - ILL was on some other shit, really deep about their meeting, and KRUSH was kind of silent - just lighting a candle (and a boagie) and letting the track play; KRUSH in Jamaica with Sly & Robbie, grooving to the ill sounds... there's just so many awe-inspriring things caught on video that ended up in this documentary. The only thing I didn't like was that, sometimes, the footage got chopped. For example, in an interview with DJ Shadow, they were interspersing his words with footage, but his words would get clipped; it wasn't that big of a deal, but it happened a few other times. No harm, no foul, though, for the real gems of this disc are the performances, and KRUSH himself speaking on his journey. Disc 3, Clips, is just that: a 9-video compilation of DJ KRUSH's music videos. You can tell the progression: "Only The Strong Survive" has a really fuzzy quality to it, but with all of the quick cuts, you can tell something else was going on. It's good to get a lot of these videos in the States, because I think, before this DVD, I had no idea he MADE music videos!

It felt awesome to hear some of these fans, producers, DJs, MCs, singers... everyone on this set perfectly understood what KRUSH was about: his initial timidness around American rappers in NY; his samurai-like precision (and mood) when it comes to providing atmosphere and vibes into his tracks; his beautiful ear for sound; his warm heart, buried behind a darker past, that continues to come forth; and the sense of "how do we get to that next level", which always seems to underly everything he does. As Hip-Hop fans, DJ KRUSH fans, and just fans of great music, you will be silly to sleep on this DVD set when it drops. Grab it, then go through his catalogue and grab what you can find. KRUSH will go down in history as one of the premier producers and artists. And only then will his true genius be understood...

rock the dub gives History of DJ KRUSH a 4.6 out of 5 stars: classic footage, great performances, and a glimpse behind the mask show a truly unique human being and producer.

essential links:
DJ KRUSH's website
rock the dub: History of DJ Krush 3-DVD Set to be released!
Pre-order at CD Universe
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Remixng BioShock

Any of you fans of BioShock dabble in production? I want to hear you remix the original score (grab all 12 tracks via this .zip file, provided by the good people at 2K Games). There's also been 3 "modern-day" remixes done to tracks associated with the game (by Moby and Oscar the Punk), but I reckon we don't stop there. I'd run a competition, but I'm not sure what I could give as prize. Let's just call this a friendly funk-tion between friends.

I'll accept any styles: Hip-Hop, Jungle, Dubstep, Breaks, House... if you can freak it, I'd love to hear it! Maybe I'll accumulate the best into a podcast and distro it worldwide! Maybe I can get a pull of the 2K Games' crew, see what they can do!

I'll keep you posted - show me something!

Send all finished MP3s to The higher the bitrate, the better. Make sure the MP3s are tagged PROPERLY with artist name - track title - email/AIM name. Get to poppin'!
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FOTM: THUGSTEP #5 (09/2007)

Better late than never... this THUGSTEP thing doesn't just go for the rhymes. Here is Jamie Foxx (featuring Ludacris) tellin' you to get the regular sexual antics out of your mind - tonight, it's time to go buck. The dubstep is provided by Boxcutter, from his Oneric LP, and it's different: not the thumping, prodding basslines you normally here. More tech-y, but it still has a crazy vibe to it. Wait for the switch up of the beat when Luda gets on - IT'S MURDA! LOL nah but his raps definitely punch a bit harder with that crazy beat underneath... then the track goes back to the calmer mode when Jamie comes back. One for the sheets!

Jamie Foxx ft. Ludacris Vs. Boxcutter "Unpredictable (DJ Nappy Thugstep Mix)"

Need more THUGSTEP? Hit this link.

Shouts to DJ Tipz, DJ Cable, selector dub u and anyone else supporting THUGSTEP!

If you are making your own THUGSTEP tracks, send them to me:


PS: I told you it'd be up tonight, Ellen.
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