DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″. Beats destined for classic status. Thorough, witty, bars. Samples pulled from Adrian Younge’s crates full of jazz, funk, and soul. It’s a recipe for one of the most luxurious records of 2014. Hip hop in its purest natural form.
High praises? Maybe. But who’s betting against it? The video for PRhyme’s self-titled cut was directed by GOLDRUSH. That link will transport you to a land of truly dope visuals. Dropping in December, PRhyme will be on repeat deep into 2015.
Ghostface is putting the finishing touches on 36 Seasons, his concept album about a Staten Island every day hero looking to free his community from the grips of evil. Sounds like the type of shit most MC’s should avoid at all costs. Not Tony Starks. Get ready for insane wordplay over cinematic landscapes; the kind of rambling reserved for the strongest of the Shaolin.
“The Battlefield” follows the smoothed out lamenting of “Love Don’t Live Here No More”, and showcases Ghost’s legendary bars next to the likes of AZ and Kool G Rap. Straight grimy…back after 36 seasons. Old heads stand up.
Grab the pre-order bundle from Get On Down here.
DC’s Kev Brown and Rochester based Hassaan Mackey’s That Grit is truly an underground affair. Kev’s production is raw and sprinkled with some of that Pete Rock magic dust, paired with hard nosed bars from Mackey who sounds like he’s been rapping for meals for the better part of a decade. It’s the perfect soundtrack for 40 ounces and hopped turnstiles; raw and uncut hip hop for seasoned listeners.
Kev and Hassaan share MC duties throughout the record, but it never feels scattered or pieced together. With a handful of crew features, and plenty of head nodding moments, That Grit is worthy of your spins. The download also includes a few instrumentals. Stream it below, then go pay for it.
Stalley should be commended for his willingness to stay patient and grind it out. It’s been years since it was announced he was joining Rozay’s MMG crew. Since then we’ve seen a few releases from Wale, Meek, and the boss himself. Maybach Music even dropped two crew records for fans to embrace. The machine churned on.
Stalley quietly piled up a few near-legendary tapes while the rest of MMG molded and carefully packaged their brands. The irony is in the fact that Stalley himself is far left of the Maybach dial. He’s a peoples rapper in every sense of the word. From the modest lyrics to the Blue Collar Gang emblem swinging from his chain, he seems to encapsulate the vibe of the everyday struggle.
Ohio is the Stalley record that fans anticipated. From the production to the content, it’s a debut worthy of the praise. There isn’t one moment of compromise. Check how the the NWA influenced “Jackin Chevy’s” shifts to the midwest boom of “Always Into Something”, showcasing Stalley harnessing the energy and IQ of his previous work while dialing up a new focus that drives these eleven tracks. Topped off with “Navajo Rugs” featuring De La Soul, Ohio is a record that stands up and shines as one of the most unique recordings of 2014.
Readers know that I’ve been rocking with Kavyy for a minute. Over the past few years I’ve watched this young Harlem MC take strong strides towards his massive potential. #KavyyGottaEat provides a solid glimpse into the life and times of an ambitious, hungry artist who isn’t satisfied with retweets and likes. Dude wants his paper, and he’s coming into his own. Can’t stop…won’t stop.
The project is fire from end to end, with no filler. “All The Way Real” is the sound of professional stunting, complete with glimpses of Harlem flashing past while Kavyy balances boasts with all-star cadence. The album kicks off with “Ruff Ryda”, a stream of consciousness rant focused on the growing pains associated with the come up.
#KavyyGottaEat flaunts a fluid dichotomy of blue collar grind and caviar dreams that never feels contrived. It’s simply the sound of ambition coming to life. Grab the tape here and be sure to follow the kid @paperkav on Twitter, and @kavyy on Instagram. Harlem on the rise.
The fall is here and I’ve bagged the Jordan’s. Cardboard soles, insane re-seller prices, and boring retro releases pushed me in a new direction this season. Runners look nicer, feel like foot pillows, and (mostly) carry a lighter price tag. Not only are they easier on the wallet, but the collabs between designesrs and brands keep me plenty interested. Here’s a few pairs I had to track down. Check eBay or Kixify if you’re interested. Enjoy.
Adidas x Ronnie Fieg/KTIH EQT 93- Ronnie Fieg took inspiration from the first response men and women of the NYC Police Department during 9/11 to create this Adidas EQT collaboration. The gold leather on the toe box is scaled and made to represent the officers shield. The blues symbolize the uniforms, and the white mesh on the medial side reflects the kevlar vest. Overall, tremendous idea. Had to have these.
Bait x Asics Gel Lyte III- “Nippon Blues”-Los Angeles boutique Bait teamed with Asics to bring us the “Nippon Blues”, a collaboration that’s more Japanese inspired that their previous models which featured a more military camo-feel. These look fantastic, and wear well. The red wax laces are a perfect fit.
Bait x Saucony Shadow Original -Cruel World 3- “Global Warming”- This model, based around the idea of global warming, is a gorgeous shoe. The blue icy sole is an interesting touch. I won these in a raffle and picked them up immediately. A nice mix of suede and leather, and the upper is a sweater material. Maybe my favorite shoe in my collection.
Packer Shoes x Saucony -“Snow Beach”- Wu-Tang made a video for “Can It All Be So Simple” that I watched awestruck as a teenager. Bars. Polo gear everywhere. Raekwon. It was the soundtrack to my teenage years. So when I heard Packer was teaming with Saucony to make a shoe based on the Polo Snow Beach collection, the hunt was on. They’re all mine, and I lied…they’re my favorite pair.
Enjoy the change of seasons. Rock what you like.
Nas hopped on J. Dilla’s “Gobstopper” instrumental to create “The Season”, and it’s exactly what I needed tonight. It’s Nas talking shit all over the beat like it’s 2000, and why not? At “forty and some change” he’s earned the right to flex any way he feels like it. Lucky for us, nothing Nas does is remotely a half-step. Check out the track and be on the lookout for a new Nas record in 2015. It’s the season, and the ruler’s back.