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Monty "Nothing Wrong"


Over the last year or so, I've become a huge fan of Monty's material. Dude's just got this hypnotic neuro style that has me open each and every time he drops. Dropping on December 7 is his Spatia EP on Alix Perez's 1985 Music imprint, and to celebrate its release, they gave away this intoxicating number, "Nothing Wrong." This cut is only available on the vinyl version of the release, and is very necessary.

You can stream and download this one below.

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Trenton Makes: How 'Analog Trenton' is Capturing the Sound of the City


Heading out to Bill NobesDirty Old Robot Studio on a chilly fall evening can be downright scary. While some of the brightest stars in Trenton’s local music scene head down there to contribute to Nobes’ Analog Trenton project, you get the feeling that Nobes wants it that way.

The reason for my trek to this quiet part of Jersey was to see the punk-rock outfit PISSED! record a special version of their song “Hands Up” for Analog Trenton, a project that Nobes describes as “capturing the Trenton music scene in 100% analog.” Without understanding the scope of the project, I recall seeing images of the likes of Molly Rhythm and Black Collar Biz recording at spots like Champs in Trenton (as well as a special recording session during Art All Day 2018 at Trenton Coffee House & Records featuring Skelly, Nikki Nailbomb, Josh Adair, Bern the Bastard, and more) for this compilation, which aims to feature 30+ artists from a number of genres into this compilation that’s being pressed to vinyl (with CD and digital versions also being made available). Additional acts that have recorded for the project include Roebus One, DATA_WOLF, and Wade Wilson, among others.

Analog Trenton cover created by @BayronIllustration

Analog Trenton’s Indiegogo campaign is set to end on Black Friday (aka November 23, 2018); more than half of the $12,000 needed to complete the project has been raised, but they are still looking for funding. Perks for backers include everything from pre-ordering the vinyl, CD, and digital versions of the compilation to producer credits, chances to attend recording and mixing sessions, and more.


Amidst the theremin and Moog keyboards and tape decks and massive multi-track mixers sitting in the dining room area of Nobes’ home (“a real dorm room feel,” Nobes described), Bill shared the genesis of Analog Trenton. The concept for a compilation of this size started out roughly two years ago, around Thanksgiving while Bill was on his “way to Nikki (Nailbomb)'s birthday party at Abdul's. At that party it was just all musicians just playing to celebrate Nikki's birthday, together. It wasn't about anything other than that. I was like, ‘we should probably record this, this whole thing.’ I think that might be the first night I came up with the idea.”

Like many collaborative projects in the art and music scenes in Trenton, it snowballed from there. Nobes would speak about it to one person, and they’d be interested in the idea. Slowly, it morphed into the series of recording sessions that not only went down at Champs, but Trenton Coffee House & Records as well, that is numbering over 20 acts, and is set to wrap in late December of 2018.



This isn’t a project Bill dived into on his own, though; while it’s his vision, he recruited Nikki and Griff Sullivan to act as co-producers on Analog Trenton. They both are mainstays in the Trenton music scene, and help bringing in talented individuals that truly highlights what Trenton makes. “It's extremely important that we represent as much as we can the city of Trenton and all of its diversity,” Bill explained. “It wasn't just about what we like. It's about a true snapshot of what makes Trenton music right now. We have way more than will fit in a vinyl so what we're gonna do is sit down with the tracks and figure out which ones create that best snapshot.” Don’t fret; while the vinyl release might be limited to 20 or so artists, the CD version will add more acts, while the digital version of the compilation will feature everything recorded.

For music lovers, especially fans of music recorded before the dawn of the digital age’s impact on music, the idea of recording straight to analog might not be foreign. For those who just love a good song, it might be a tad confusing. Seeing Bill—a true renaissance man who’s done everything from directing his own stage plays to managing events in the New York and Hoboken scenes—in his element, guiding PISSED! through their roughly two-hour session, it’s an amazing sight to see. Bill’s doing everything, from troubleshooting instrument levels to picking the exact moment to stop the recording (hopefully those seconds of vocal+resonating cymbal sounds stay in the final version). There’s a sense of performance to his producing, with his ever-present hand signals at the start and end of each recording. Even if he’s just speaking aloud, making sure that all systems are go before pressing record, you get the sense that Bill has a particular way of producing, a true passion for committing the sound of Trenton to analog tape.

Bill’s also learning on the job. He shared his experience recording Jersey hip-hop luminary Roebus One and his unique way of recording vocals. “He did every third verse,” Bill explained, “and then he did two tracks fill in here, fill in here, fill in here. We had five levels of fill in.”


“When [Roebus] writes,” Bill continued, “he overlaps the words. When I was listening to some of his tracks, I was like ‘how are we going to do that in analog?’ We had him doing some crazy stuff for the final fills. At one point I had him stand eight feet away from the mic and yell stuff. Then the next one I put in a ribbon which is very sensitive and have him get right next to it and whisper.”

The spirit of experimentation is alive and well in his studio, although with PISSED!, the session was much more straightforward than you’d imagine for a bunch of Capital City punks. The four-man outfit began the session working out some of the changes in this special version of “Hands Up,” and after two run-throughs of the song in full, they laid down two takes on the song (which questions the issue of police brutality) before doing individual takes of each instrumental and vocals. Bill was always willing to try something new, making sure the musicians felt comfortable with their take before moving to the next step. It was collaborative, and fun; a truly welcoming environment to record in (or just be a fly-on-the-wall of).

In the end, Bill made sure to point out that while this compilation will highlight the sound of Trenton, Analog Trenton’s mission runs deeper than that. “[The] idea started as a snapshot of Trenton music,” Bill shared, “but it's turned into a snapshot of Trenton community.” He recalls one session where the family vibe of the scene was alive, with Nikki and company working on vocals while chilli was being served to those in the session. Anyone who’s worked near the art and music communities in Trenton have had that moment, where the family vibe of the scene makes these events about more than the music. It’s people coming together and building something, or just watching out for their peers. It’s the spirit of Trenton that gets lost in the salacious headlines about the city. It’s what true Trentonians (and those who’ve been adopted into this patchwork community) see, feel, and experience on the regular.


After PISSED! completed their session and took off into the November night, Bill and I parted ways. Stepping into the cool evening air, I felt like I’d truly experienced...something. Going to see music performed live can be a life-altering experience. Dropping by Dirty Old Robot and seeing a piece of Analog Trenton be constructed right before my eyes? It puts a different spin on the concept of live music, and more importantly, what makes up the Trenton music scene. For such a historic town, committing that excellence to analog tape is fitting, and should be a part of every true Trenton music scenseter worth their weight in pork roll.

Interested in contributing to Analog Trenton? Head over to their Indiegogo campaign page TODAY!
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Supper Club "Fall Back"


While he might be everpresent on IG, it feels like it's been forever since I've gotten new material from Fresh Daily. This week, he sent over "Fall Back," a cut from his new group, Supper Club. Story is, upon moving to Cali, Fresh would link up with fellow emcee Stanley Ipkuss and producer Chris Keys on Wednesdays to get creative. A year later? We're getting the fruits of those Supper Club sessions.

The first, "Fall Back," is a chilled dose of blunted bounce, all hypnotic keys and precise lyrics. You know that sample, and you should be ready for this project. I know I am. Where the munchies at? Stream "Fall Back" below.

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Kemba ft. Smino "Exhale"


Seeing Kemba mature into the Republic Records-signee that he now is has been one of the best things about maintaining this blog. And while he might not feel pressure from niggas like me, he might not need to—judging by the Smino-featured "Exhale," which dropped not long after the news of his new deal, Kemba's on the right track.

In speaking to The FADER about the new song, Kemba said that this track "is the feeling of being pulled in every direction by the people in your life. You have your family telling you to be more like them, your girl saying be like what she wants, and the pressure you’re putting on yourself to follow your dreams. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and breathe."

That last line will hold true to everyone, everyday, but for Kemba, this next phase of his career should be the best phase. If he can't do it, no one can; he just has to breathe in, exhale, and ride the wave.

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Pugs Atomz Drops Album Number 10, 'Highly Irregular'


Pugs Atomz is an artist we've always dug. The Chitown-repper has always made sure that we were up on his new material, yet him sending a kite with his tenth(!!!) studio album in it was still surprising. But it's true; working with his longtime producer/engineer Mulatto Patriot, Pugs dropped Highly Irregular, which is not only a perfect term for his zone as an artist, but definitely signifies the dubs we rock with around here.

There's a number of sounds on here, from Windy City boom bap and more Soulection-tinged sounds to a full-fledged juke workout to close the album out (shouts to DJ Gant-Man, who is featured on the final track, "Tides"). Artists featured include GLC, Awdazcate, Maggie Vogel, and many more. It's an intriguing ride, and one we don't want to get off of anytime soon.

Stream Highly Irregular below, and download it today via Bandcamp.

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Cymarshall Law Is Outta Control


Jersey's Cymarshall Law has been raw; we've known that. It's dope to see other outlets, especially the legendary Rap Is Outta Control show on Shade45, giving him the time to shine. He recently visited with Raf Almighty, and while Raf goes for his during the first minute of this clip, CyMar goes dumb for almost two minutes. Styling, punches, he's got it all. If you aren't up on him yet, get to know him NOW. His latest album, Imperfectly Perfect, is a great place to start.

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EZRAKH's outlet.fyi mix #2 is a Whole Vibe


The week of Thanksgiving is always a weird one; you're either getting work done before the vacation time or you're on you're already back home, creeping around your childhood haunts. For those of you in need of a soundtrack to for any of those situations you'll encounter, grab EZRAKH's latest. He has a dope selection here, from a choice throwback of a DZ edit to material from Cajmere, El-B, and more, as well as a grip of fly edits.

Stream and download this set below. You're welcome.



Tracklist:

Cajmere & Dajae - Brighter Days
Black Rose - Anthem
Niniola - Maradona
Les Sins - Grind
E.S.G. - Moody (Spaced Out)
Urban Soul - Alright (Kaytronikz Movement pt. 2)
Debonair - Follow Me On Time
Suzi Analogue - Touchin' The Bottom (EZRAKH Park Dub)
George Kranz - Trommelantz
Mike Dunn - Magic Feet
DJ Mehdi - I Am Somebody ft. Chromeo (Kenny Dope Old School Mix)
ByronTheAquarius - Traveling Again
Adeva - In and Out of My Life (Herbert Harmonix ReDub)
Freezrock - Inside the Love Prototype
D.J. Sound - Paradise Drummer
Masters at Work & Liliana - Brazilian Beats (Dope Mix)
Rod Lee - Latin Groove
Nshona Muzick - Naano!
Grizzy - Look Like You (DJ Tjaey Afrobeats Remix)
ENI ft. DJ CRE-8 - Clout
Mc Federado - Passinho do Volante
Kelela - Rewind (MC Bin Laden Remix)
Daina Murel - X (TAH Remix)
EZRAKH - Facetime
El-B - El-Brand (Vocal Mix)
Yak - Mido
Philistines - Twerk That
AFROSTATT - All We Know
Cassie - All My Love (KK Edit)
DZ - What You For Love
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K. Sparks "Say Less" (Video)


While our consistency on this site has been up and down over the last 11 months, one person we really got to see push his music out there was K. Sparks. Ya mans really made sure word got out about his latest album, Note to Self, and with the album finally out, he's made sure to drop some visuals to those intoxicating tracks. For "Say Less," Sparks' video "follows three main characters. Although their journeys are different, the common theme is that they all seek to find happiness. Greatness is complicated. Choose wisely."

You can check out the "Say Less" music video below, and download Note to Self via Bandcamp.

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DJ Ends Bounces Back With '808s & Hard Breakz'


Over a month after introducing us to Kraut Juke, DJ Ends returns with one of the best-titled releases of 2018: 808s & Hard Breakz. Representing Munich, Ends is really coming into his own. Cuts like "Baile Drunk," which bring Brazilian funk to life, or the jungle'd vibes of "Wot R U Doin" aren't what I'd have expected from him even six months ago. There's some growth going on with his sources, and it's ill to see him bringing those influences to life.

You can stream 808s & Hard Breakz below, and download it over on Bandcamp.

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A-Trak Releases '90s Backpacker Rap Set


For Boiler Room's MIXTAPE series, they decided to get A-Trak to drop a guest mix, in which he took it back to the '90s for a special backpack rap set. Loads of '90s NYC hip-hop, from MF Doom and Mos Def to J-Live and CRU, among many more. Recently, Boiler Room shared the video for the set, but it was unfortunately it was only half of the set!



A-Trak, being the stand-up dude that he is, had the full audio from the set, and decided to share it via SoundCloud. Anyone rocking with this site should know what time it is with the tracklist, which is below. Perfect Sunday house cleaning (or weed smoking) material.



Tracklist:


Mos Def - Universal Magnetic (instrumental - intro)
Mos Def & Talib Kweli - Definition
The High & Mighty ft. Mike Zoot, Mos Def & El-P - B-Boy Document
Big L - Ebonics
Rasco - Unassisted
Dilated Peoples - Work The Angles
De La Soul ft. Common - The Business
Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard
Reflection Eternal - Fortified Live
Natural Resource - Bum Deal
The High & Mighty - Open Mic Night
Frankenstein - The Rain Is Gone
Street Smartz ft. OC & Pharoahe Monch - Metal Thangz
D.I.T.C. - Day One
Company Flow - Vital Nerve
Company Flow - 8 Steps To Perfection
Defari - Bionic
Gang Starr - The Planet
Show & AG - Spit
Large Professor - The Mad Scientist (Instrumental)
Kazi - A.V.E.R.A.G.E.
Ill Bill - Gangsta Rap
Mos Def - If You Can Huh You Can Hear
Da Bush Babees ft. Mos Def - The Love Song
MF Doom - Gas Drawls
Slum Village - I Don't Know
Erule - Listen Up
Arsonists - Session
Bahamadia - UKNOWHOWWEDU
Lootpack - WhenImondamic
L-Fudge ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq, Talib Kweli & Skam - What If?
Blahzay Blahzay - Danger
J-Live - Braggin Writes
D&D All-Stars - 1,2 Pass It (Remix)
Royal Flush - Worldwide
Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn
East Flatbush Project - Tried By 12
Afu-Ra - Whirlwind Thru Cities
Shadez Of Brooklyn - Change
Non Phixion - Black Helicopters
Big L - The Big Picture
Cru - Pronto
Smut Peddlers - One By One (Instrumental)
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DJ Filthy Rich Drops Tribute Mixtape, 'A Clan Called Wu - Enter The Marauders'


On November 9, 1993, two of the most important albums in my growth as a hip-hop fan (and as a man, to be fair)—Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu: 36 Chambers and A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders—hit shelves. Trying to speak on how vital they are to the world is pointless 25 years later. I usually just listen to them ad nauseum (and watching the Wu perform on GMA) and go on with my life. This year? Shit's a little different. DJ Filthy Rich cooked up A Clan Called Wu - Enter The Marauders, a fresh blendtape putting the Wu's lyrics from Enter the Wu over the classic instrumentals of Midnight.

When speaking on the tape to 2DBz, Rich said "The intent was not to improve on the originals in any way… that would be impossible, as I consider them both to be perfect bodies of work. Rather, it was about orchestrating a fun concept, and putting a totally new spin on these well-worn classics. The contrast of Wu’s gritty street raps over Tribe’s jazzy production works in a pleasantly unexpected way."

Welcome to your weekend soundtrack.




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PREMIERE: Zilla Rocca ft. Curly Castro "Name On The Buckle"


This sounds like heaven. On November 9, the Philly-based rockthedub-fav Zilla Rocca will be dropping his first completely-solo album in eight(!) years, Future Former Rapper, via POW Recordings (shouts to the squad). Because of how long we've rocked with Rocca and company, and what we've done over here for what feels like eons, we've been given the go to premiere the Starkey-produced(!), Curly Castro-featured cut from the LP, "Name On The Buckle." And it's murdaaaaaaah (word to Ja).

This Philly trifecta really lean into the "street bass" tag that Starkey and the Seclusiasis crew have been championing for years with this heavyweight, anthemic electronic beaut of a tune. Zilla and Curly are two emcees who've always understood how to slide into the pocket of these dense grooves, retaining lyrical potency while lounging in the pocket with a few fingers of fine brown liquor. Starkey does what Starkey does: channel integalactic excellence into bassbin-rumbling numbers, washing hypnotic synths atop like its nothing. It's insane to think that this is their first collab since Curly and Zilla linked up for their "Holodeck" remix years back.

You can stream the full track below, and on Spotify, and be sure to grab Future Former Rapper (which features production from Small Professor, Messiah Musik, and more) when it hits on November 9.

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Jaxtella - Rainy Dayz


With the Indian Summer finally breaking over here on the East Coast, Jaxtella returns with a massive boost of liquid drum & bass for your speakerboxes.

The Trenton-based DJ is still working through months of dnb releases, and turning them into sixty-plus minute rinseouts. This pack is from the month of August, and includes a number of Degs "sprayouts" from his impressive Hospital mixtape, as well as bits from Friction, Pola & Bryson, Danny Byrd, Villem & McLeod, Djah, and more.

For those of you looking to get your weekend off on the good food, Jax's got you covered. Stream and download this mix below, and be sure to check out that full tracklist.


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A Boogie ft Davido "Way Too Fly (Benja Styles "KING OF ROCK" Remix)"


Benja Styles always comes correct with his blends. His latest remix finds a way to take A Boogie's "Way Too Fly" and throw it over Run DMC's "King Of Rock," which sounds like it shouldn't work, but turns out to be a serious banger. Stream and download the clean version below; just make sure you have fire extinguishers on hand for the fire that'll be flying out of your speakers.


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Reckonize Real & Guilty Simpson ft. Georgia Anne Muldrow "Got Your Back"


The other day at work, heads were talking about loyalty and the lack thereof these days. Listening to this Reckonize Real & Guilty Simpson track from their forthcoming album Carved From Stone, I think back to that convo. Something about getting older and trying to be a better man, themes like being loyal and protecting your day ones get deeper. Press play on this one down below if you don't know what I'm talking about.

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DJ Ends Serves Up Some Piping Hot 'Kraut Juke'


I couldn't tell you any real facts about Germany, especially German music. I mean, Kraftwerk is German, and they are the shit, so maybe I just lied on myself. Either way, Munich's DJ Ends recently linked up with District160 to release Kraut Juke, which does exactly as it says on the tin. Ends took a number of German songs and gave them a 160 BPM jukeout. Don't ask me to identify any of the original tracks. Just press play and turn up to these.

You can download this five-track release via District160's Bandcamp, and stream it in full down below.

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Zack Fox "Square Up (Ase Manual Remix)"


If you're not up on Zack Fox, your social media timelines are hella dry. Over the last month or so, he's been killing it with his #squareupchallenge, so much so that he dropped a whole Kenny Beats-produced track. A viral moment wouldn't be authentic if it didn't get the Jersey Club treatment, so shouts out to Ase Manual for being quick to the draw with his new "Square Up" remix. Stream and download that bad boy below, via Bandcamp.

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J.Lately "Fun's Up"


The guy J.Lately's always down for some fun, and even though the fall's creeping in for most of us (weather-wise), J's latest Space Cadet-produced single "Fun's Up" is, in his words, "a reminder to cherish the good times and keep the party rolling." Learn the words now, as we imagine he'll be performing this during his next tour.

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Small Professor Returns With Some 'Free Jawns'


Longtime readers of this site should be up on Small Professor. He's worked with some of our favorite emcees—literally everyone from Zilla Rocca to Guilty Simpson—but some of our favorite releases from the producer are in his Jawns series. His latest, Free Jawns (which was premiered over on Passion of the Weiss), is a project he worked on while working on his forthcoming LP, and is proof positive that he's just as capable of making cohesive songs sans rappers than he is as giving these emcees fire instrumentals.

Seven songs, available for the low price of $4. Stream below, cop via Bandcamp.

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DJ Chap Blends All of the Genres In New Release, 'El Mundo Es Tuyo'


Feels like it's been a minute since we've heard from DJ Chap, but realistically, we rocked to Saint Elsewhere back in May. Since then, his Baile Furioso EP has been getting some love, and this week he also dropped El Mundo Es Tuyo. A "mixtape" featuring material he's made over the last year or so, Chap says the project was inspired by "r&b, jungle, ambient music and progressive rock." If you know what time it is with Chap, that still doesn't dive into the meat of this project.

What's wild is, I had just been asking about the lack of bootleg dance remixes, but then realized that they just hide in footwork releases, under different names. Not only does Chap flip Kanye West and Lil Pump's "I Love It" on this release, to this hypnotic SWV rework that I forgot I'd been sitting on for a WHILE.

Releases like these make me remember why I love when capable producers start to question what's been given to us, putting their own spin on these gems. You can stream El Mundo Es Tuyo down below, and cop it over on Bandcamp.

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Enter M-Dot's "The Empathy" Remix Contest


M-Dot's 2017 album Ego and the Enemy featured a Large Professor-produced banger, "The Empathy." While he's hard at work finishing Ego and the Enemy 2, his Own Lane Music imprint linked with Vinyl-Digital.com to sort out this "The Empathy" Remix Contest. Think you can top what the legend Extra P did to that beat? Now's your chance.



The complete instructions are on the flier below, but essentially, you need to download the acapella for "The Empathy" (which is around 91 BPM). You have from today (October 1, 2018) to 11:59pm (EST) on October 15, 2018 to finish your remix and email it to theownlanemusic@gmail.com, subject line "Remix Contest." Only one entry per producer.

First place winner gets a placement on an Own Lane Music compilation and an "Ego" bundle (which includes an autographed CD, t-shirt, poster, and stickers). Second place gets an "Ego" bundle, with third getting stickers, vinyl and the CD. Check out the official rules below; good luck!


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Here's What 2 Chainz and the Wu-Tang Clan Would Sound Like Together


Not sure if I've ever thought about 2 Chainz rapping over Wu-Tang tracks, but DJ Critical Hype did, then made a whole ass mixtape about it. Word is every member of the Wu will be down in Atlanta for A3C, so this mixtape even more sense. Stream Wu-Chainz (36 Trap Houses) below.

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Sincerely Yours "96"


Sincerely Yours is another one of those artists who has been riding with the site for a minute, and hsi RD-produced promo cut is something of a monster. He's also keeping it a buck; he acknowledges that he's slept-on, but then provides a promo cut that showcases why he SHOULDN'T be slept-on. That's quality material there.

Sincerely Yours and RD are working on a collaborative project, but for now, you can stream and download "96" via SoundCloud.

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Five Steez & Mordecai "True Original"


Following up their 2016 release, HeatRockz, Five Steez and Mordecai return for "True Original," which is a precursor of sorts to their Love N Art LP, which is slated to drop in 2019. This cut's chock full of head-bopping jazzy beats and Steez's real talk.

Stream the full cut below, and grab it via Bandcamp.

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Neak "Legacy"


Artists like Neak make me remember why I still do this. His new, self-produced single "Legacy" is one of those records that will no doubt get slept on by the crowds who flock to whatever you call "mainstream rap" these days, but it's one of those subversive cuts that speaks to people like me. Hell, he drops a line like "black dads matter" super early into this. It's tailormade for my mental.

This is a glimpse of what you'll get from Neak's forthcoming album, KWESBAAR. You can download "Legacy" right now via Bandcamp. Do that.

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Jaxtella - Indian Summer (August 2018)


As per usual, Jaxtella came through with ruckus for this month's edition of rockthedub radio. Now I know that a whole two-hour podcast full of music can be a lot, especially if you love drum & bass and just want those bits. So, we made sure you could stream and download Jaxtella's mix, which features cuts from Kid Drama, DJ Andy, The Upbeats, Urbandawn, and many, many more. Stream and download this one, and check out the full tracklist down below.



Tracklist:

Redpill - Hold It Like That
TR Tactics - Vision (Disphonia Remix)
Prolix ft. DC Breaks - Beat Down
Vowel - Pulse
Kid Drama - Dredger
Urbandawn - Roundabout
Fa11out - Necronaks
Kusp - Shook
Black Sun Empire & State of Mind - Ripsaw
The Upbeats & Rockwell - Gamma Ray
Stoner - 1984
King Of The Rollers - Running Man
Zombie Cats - Reflection
Rizzle - Memory Glitch
Benny L - Rough Edge
Chase & Status ft. Cutty Ranks - Retreat2018
TC - Test My Gangsta
DJ Andy - Keep Rolling
NC-17 ft. Replicant - City on Fire
Proxima - Localize
Mob Tactics - Crazy Hype (Annix Remix)
Dossa & Locuzzed - Cargo VIP
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K. Sparks "Midnight Drive"


By the time K. Sparks drops Note to Self, wise fans would've heard most of it. Case in point: his fourth single, "Midnight Drive," is here for your listening pleasure. "Feeling like I'm free now, and slavery was not a choice," Sparks says. And he's correct. Stream the full, Kurser-produced single below, and pre-order Note to Self before its November 6 release.

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The Cause Invites You to His 'Release Party'


The Cause is one of the many artists I remember from the Garden Variety series in Trenton many moons ago. From afar, I've seen him continue to push forward, growing as a solo act. This week, he sent over his latest, Release Party, and I'm loving how cohesive this project is, especially when you consider there's different cats producing each track. The final track, "Flower Town," also features the impeccable Valona Denise as well as the legend DoItAll from Lords of the Underground.

Stream the full project below, and download it today from Bandcamp.


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rockthedub radio (August 2018)


I don't care how late these episodes are; they stay dropping. That said, here's the latest episode of rockthedub radio, featuring our favorite cuts from August of 2018. We kick it off with a mixed bag hip-hop and electronic beats, featuring Armand Hammer, Murlo & S-Type, Silkie, Black Collar Biz, and plenty more. Jaxtella hops on for the second half, dropping a gaggle of drum & bass from the likes of Kid Drama, Vowel, Prolix, Chase & Status, and plenty more. You know the routine.

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



Tracklist:

01/Travis Scott ft. Drake - Sicko Mode
02/Black Collar Biz ft. Dame Dolla - The Get Back Is Amazing
03/Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz - Decisions
04/Armand Hammer - Hunter
05/Milo & Elucid - Milk Drunk
06/A$AP Ant ft. A$AP Rocky - Mario Cart
07/Quavo - W O R K I N M E
08/6LACK - Nonchalant
09/Kodie Shane - Sing to Her
10/Young Thug - Chanel (Ase Manual Remix)
11/Murlo & S-Type - Make Believe
12/Nuff Pedals - Hang Glide
13/Gorgon City ft. D Double E - Hear That
14/Silkie - Reevea
15/Tsuruda ft. Alix Perez - Heat Wave

talk break

Jaxtella In The Mix:

16/Redpill - Hold It Like That
17/TR Tactics - Vision (Disphonia Remix)
18/Prolix ft. DC Breaks - Beat Down
19/Vowel - Pulse
20/Kid Drama - Dredger
21/Urbandawn - Roundabout
22/Fa11out - Necronaks
23/Kusp - Shook
24/Black Sun Empire & State of Mind - Ripsaw
25/The Upbeats & Rockwell - Gamma Ray
26/Stoner - 1984
27/King Of The Rollers - Running Man
28/Zombie Cats - Reflection
29/Rizzle - Memory Glitch
30/Benny L - Rough Edge
31/Chase & Status ft. Cutty Ranks - Retreat2018
32/TC - Test My Gangsta
33/DJ Andy - Keep Rolling
34/NC-17 ft. Replicant - City on Fire
35/Proxima - Localize
36/Mob Tactics - Crazy Hype (Annix Remix)
37/Dossa & Locuzzed - Cargo VIP

one to grow: Rich Quick "Real Rugged Raw"
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The Rich Quick Memorial Show (Oct. 12, 2018)


The NJ scene is still reeling from the passing of Rich Quick, but one of the best ways to heal is to link up with your community and celebrate. That will be happening at the Voltage Lounge in Philly on Friday, October 12.

The bill features the likes of Reef the Lost Cauze, the CORFU crew, Skrewtape, and even Rich's student, HeemFuquan. There will also be a cypher with featured MCs like MiilkBone, Ren Thomas, and more. Even the homey Leon Rainbow will be doing some live painting.

Tickets are available now; $10 pre-sale, $15 at the door. There's also an Art History 101 exclusive Rich Quick shirt on sale only at the event, as well as raffles and a silent auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Rich Quick Scholarship Fund.

Rest in power, Rich.
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Accidents Happen: Silent Dust Dissects Their Latest, 'Listen to the Night'


When I sit back and think about how many artists from the drum & bass scene I've personally seen flourish, it makes me proud. One duo in particular went by the names Hobzee and Zyon Base. For a period from about 2007 to 2011 (give or take a few years), they saw their material end up on imprints like SGN:LTD, Fokuz, L Plates, Samurai Music and Inside Recordings, back when there were a litany of labels to drop tunes on. At some point, they realized that their respective sounds fit together (so much so that they needed a proper name, Silent Dust), and in 2011, they started their own imprint, none60, which not only highlighted their own work as a duo, but has featured gems from the likes of Sinistarr, Dexta, Sina., and many others.

It's been roughly seven years since they dropped their self-titled album, so it only made sense to link up with Andy (Hobzee) and Dan (Zyon Base) about their latest album, Listen to the Night, which features rockthedub alum like Zilla Rocca alongside DRS, Jon1st, SelfSays, and Illingsworth.



One of the biggest changes between when I first discovered these two and their roles as producers and label owners now is the evolution of their sound. Many might chalk that up to the overall collective shifting of definitions of what "genre" truly means, but to Dan, he says that it's more due to "having a label" itself, which he says "really changes the way you approach making music."

"Even subconsciously," Dan continued, "if you are always looking to impress someone else you will move your sound towards the accepted norms or whatever is currently in vogue. It's a lot harder to take risks and have them come off. It's just human nature when you are trying to get exposure for your music that you will create something that sounds marketable. I guess it's the alternative for us now, and that works for me, as I feel I could create tracks that 'work' with little effort these days—and that just doesn't provide much satisfaction. I try and set up situations whereby chance things happen—unexpected things in the studio—and use these to work off. It's generally the accidents or mistakes in tunes that are my favorite parts."

The idea of "happy accidents" in creativity fueling some of our favorite (and most memorable) moments is definitely not new, and has sparked innovations, like how Grand Wizard Theodore accidentally created the "scratch." When it comes to hip-hop, Silent Dust has always made sure that they included emcees in their productions. In my experience, I always figured it would've been harder to get rappers accustomed to their sounds, but Dan explained that these things came together rather easy. "I think the best hip-hop is pretty spontaneous and that's how we've approached these tracks. All the 'hip-hop' tunes on the album were pretty much completed in a couple of hours, and MCs just worked off those initial drafts."



It's also intriguing when you consider that aligning themselves with each artist came from their different dealings in the music scene. Andy says that they got their third track with MC DRS—one of which being a track on DRS' 2015 album Mid Mic Crisisthrough the late Marcus Intalex back when their first album was penciled in to be released via Soul:R. Self was an emcee they spotted on a Submorphics track and reached out independently. They credit their longstanding relationship with Philly's Zilla Rocca to Jeff Weiss. "Jeff was a fan of our first album and thought our styles would compliment each other," Andy says, and that turned into the magic they've made over the years, which has since bridged into remixing the likes of Curly Castro and Has-Lo.

They also worked with Detroit's Illingsworth, who dropped his "mostly-instrumental" album, You’re No Fun (with the Denmark Vessey-featured "DnD") on the same day as Listen to the Night.When Ill explains how he ended up on "Beat Fate" from Listen to the Night, it definitely sounds more casual than you might imagine, with SelfSays being the connection. "I think they might have contacted him about us both working on it. I don't remember if they sent a pack of beats or that specific one but, I really enjoyed the one we ended up using for the song. It's a slower beat, which presented the opportunity to potentially write a fast rhyme. It's something that I can do but, it's not my favorite way to rap so, I don't really do it super often."



This seems to be how Silent Dust approach working with emcees; " We didn't really direct them towards subject matter or style," Dan explained. "We wanted their input to stimulate and challenge us, so trying to micro-manage everything works against that idea. There wasn't a conceived concept to the songs on the album really, so the themes evolved pretty organically. The MCs we worked with are really talented guys, and we knew that before sending anything to them, so it's easy to be this relaxed about their input. It was just a pleasure to have them put some words to the music."

So, there you have it. Talented producers picking talented emcees to craft a truly forward-thinking project. It sounds simple, and if you're creative enough, it more than likely is.

_____

Silent Dust's Listen to the Night is available for streaming and purchase via the none60. You can grab Illingsworth's You're No Fun via Mello Music Group.
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Juke Bounce Werk Presents JBDUBZ Vol. 6


Outside of the Teklife crew, I think Juke Bounce Werk has a great handle on the growing juke/footwork scenes across the globe. Their sixth JBDUBZ compilation is no exception, featuring new material from DJ Earl, Hesk, Neuropunk, Kush Jones, Sonic D, Teep, and plenty others. 19 tracks in total, all available for free via Bandcamp. Get your tracks up!

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Marlowe "Vagrant"


Real talk: I didn't know that L'Orange and Solemn Brigham linked up to become Marlowe, but based on the sounds of this free single "Vagrant," I need to go back and run through their self-titled album, which dropped back in July. I won't spend time trying to let you know who these two sound like when they form as one; I just know that Solemn's styling over that thumper of an instrumental is working wonders for my fall mood. Download this single for free via Bandcamp.

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Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz ft. Royce Da 5'9" "Timberlan'd Up"


It's officially hoodie season on this side of the globe, so that also means that those Timbs get pulled back out for the daily journey. This hard-hitting new single from Apollo Brown and Joell Ortiz's Mona Lisa album, "Timberlan'd Up," feels ready for my morning attitude. Actual facts. Royce is a perfect addition to this one; two of my favs from the Slaughterhouse squad.

Stream this banger below, and cop it via Bandcamp today.

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Chuuwee & Trizz "See Today"


Chuuwee and Trizz are dropping their collaborative album, AmeriKKa's Most Blunted 3, on September 28, and to get you ready, they unleashed the chilled horn-driven "See Today." If you wanted something to set off your own smoke session, just press play. Shouts to Money Montage & Chris Rose on production.

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Jaden Smith "Ghost (R3ll Remix)"


The beauty of the remix is that it can make you give a fuck about something you'd never bother rocking with. Case in point; Jaden Smith is an enigma, but that doesn't mean I'm trying to hear him make music. That said, when Jersey's R3ll is on the boards, I'm all for it. Maybe I'll listen to the original (shouts to Christian Rich). Or probably not.

Stream this banger in full below, and download it for free today.

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Rasheed Chappell and Kenny Dope Link Back Up For 'First Brick'


There was a time when I was on my dean as a blogger. At that time, I stayed hearing new Rasheed Chappell. At some point, I got a day job that kept (keeps?) my mad busy, but he's always been one artist I'd been looking out for, so it's dope that, in my own weekly game of catch-up, I get to experience a project like First Brick, which finds Rasheed linking back up with the legend Kenny Dope, seven years after Future Before Nostalgia.

For those looking for that real hip-hop shit, Ra and Kenny have you. This isn't just boom bap for boom bap's sake; Chappell is weaving tales, dropping jewels, and all-around making me proud to have been a fan back then to hear this right now.

You can stream (and download!) the full First Brick project (which features everyone from O.C. to Lil Fame) below, via Audiomack, or stream it through the usual suspects.

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Manny + Rolow "Find Ya Wings 2020"


The TEKLIFE camp can't miss. Even their freebies are fire flames. For the footworkers out there, DJ Manny has a new one for you to sink your teeth into. In collaboration with Rolow, he dropped "Find Ya Wings 2020," which is in the pocket of luscious jazz loops and frantic bass and percussion. A true headbanger.

Full stream and download of "Find Ya Wings 2020" below.

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Mija Gave Away Her Latest EP, 'Just Enough'


About a month after dropping Mixtape_02, LA's Mija is back with a new two-track EP, Just Enough. It dropped ahead of her tour of the same name, and finds her really expanding on the worlds of house music and electronica in general. I normally hate using the term "electronica," but this EP specifically reminds me of the mid-to-late '90s dance music craze, in how free-form it could be. There are house grooves, spoken word, and more all throughout this release.

Stream a snippet below, but you can either check it out in the usual digital outlets or download it for free.

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Hesk Returns With 100% Footwork On His New EP, 'My Jeep'


For a while, I was mad concerned for Toronto, Ontario's HESK. After covering a lot of his material over on DoAndroidsDance? (RIP), he'd seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth the internet for a while. We're talking like three years of no word from this prolific producer. This past June, he returned with a bang, literally dropping 100 tracks spanning a massive amount of time, and it looks like he's far from done.

This week, he posted My Jeep, a six-track footwork EP spanning material from 2015 to 2018. It does exactly what it says on the tin, giving you 100% footwork for 100% free. Stream this thunderous release below, and download it for however much you want to pay for it over on Bandcamp.

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Ren Thomas "In The End"


Ren Thomas is one of the nicest in the Garden State doing it. Hopefully a cut like "In The End," which caps off his #RensDay series with a heavy dose of real talk, can get some of those sleeping heads to wake up.


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Jean Grae & Quelle Chris "My Contribution To This Scam" (Video)


If you're talking best albums of 2018 and not mentioning Jean Grae and Quelle Chris' Everything's Fine, your list is off. One of the best tracks from the project, "My Contribution To This Scam," gets a dope visual, animated by Crackbunny. It does a great job of playing off of the fuckery in the hip-hop game that Chris and Jean bring up. And it's also just a beautiful piece of art. Watch it in full below.


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UllNevaNo and Illien Rosewell Suit Up for 'Confidence Is Everything 3'


"Playing every day like it's game seven" is a great way to look at life, and is the mantra that runs through the first track on UllNevaNo and Illien Rosewell's third project, Confidence Is Everything 3. Feels like it's been forever since we've dropped new material from Bmore's UllNevaNo, and it's great to hear that he's still at it, churning out these tracks.

You can stream the full project below, and grab it via Bandcamp.

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Homage CVG and Waldo from Cincinnati ft. Jermiside "Power Windows"


After only becoming familiar with Homage CVG's material via his recently-released Hacienda LP, it's great to see that CVG's back with another one. CVG's next project, Used Cars, which was made in collaboration with Waldo from Cincinnati; it's a sequel to their 2017 smash Grocery Choppin'.

Kudos to them for linking with Jermiside on the lead single from Used Cars, "Power Windows". It's just as dope as you'd imagine it'd be, all light and airy and hypnotic. Run this one back multiple times.

You can stream "Power Windows" in full below, and cop it via Bandcamp today.

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