9th & Murray Are Avenged!!

The sign of a great producer has always been his/her ability to evolve. When Hip hop by & large turned it's back on him, Primo produced Christina Aguilera's best work to date. When everyone & their mother started biting Timbalands style, he took hiis sound to new levels on Missy's second album. When everyone started questioning whether he had actually produced all those Death Row beats, Dre formed Aftermath & continually brought the bangers. I'm a big 9th fan but & i'm not saying that he is on any of the aforementioned's level, but (on a smaller scale) his journey so far has been the same. When he 1st came out via The Listening, every supposed underground heads wanted him for themselves so they lauded him only in their inner sanctum. But when The Minstrel Show (which in my eyes is sonically & conceptually a superior album) came out & others began to take notice, they had the cheek to question his talent. The main arguement was always that his beats all stemmed from the same drum patterns & sampling

On the other hand, While those in the know were always giving Murs his props, I was never a big fan at first. I bought living Legends Classic on the strength of the group as a whole. I bought The 9th Edition on the strength of The beatsmith. I never even got hold of any of his earlier work until these past 2 years. His was an aura that never got me stirring. Until I bought A Tribute To Lisa Bonet. I'm not sure what got my attention as lyrically it's not his best work. But once I actually took the time to listen I was hooked on the mans demeanor on the mic. Then I went back & listened to The 9th Edition again & his amorous adventures had me nodding my head both in laughter & agreement. He has an ability go take you deeper into himself & address current issues without dampening the mood of the songs.

Listening to each of the 3 projects in turn, it's easy to see the progression in both these artists. The formula across all 3 is a great one. Quality over Quantity is always the best policy. 10 tracks deep every time. Short & sweet meaning the next project is always eagerly anticipated. 9th is always expanding his pallette with each release & although the same 9th essance is there throughout, he has mastered the art of varying his ingredients. So whereas the tempo from The 9th Edition through Murray's Revenge is pretty similar, Sweet Lord varies across the 10 tracks. These 2 have a definite chemistry, one that in my view surpasses 9ths efforts with Buckshot. And the clincher.....it's freeeeeeeeeeee!!! But don't be a miser & make a donation peepz. Freeness of this quality should only be celebrated.

nofrillz Loves Japan: The Adventures Of Hip Hop In The Land Of the Rising Sun

I love Hip Hop in it's various guises but gimme Jazzy & Soulful Hip Hop all day & I'm a happy man. The great thing about music in general is discovering a wealth of talent that you previously knew nothing about. Now, I had always known that Japan was an untapped resource for good music. I've bought my fare share of Japan only albums & wondered why the hell they got all the nice bonus tracks. But it wasn't until I found out what the japanese heads themselves had to offer, that the depth & sheer greatness of the talent out there blew me away.

The richness & uplifting vibe possessed on a lot of the work that comes from there is unsurpassed on any western Hip Hop album ive heard to date. The texure that comes through on a lot of these tracks is awesome & even the samples must be procured from some obsure sources. When the few instrumental albums that I've really taken notice of all hail from Japan, the niceness of what is on offer becomes apparent.

It sometimes Irks me that the more established of Our supposed Hip Hop luminaries don't look further afield for album worthy material. Japan must be thee most untapped market for production in Hip Hop today. With the internet such as it is, it is not hard for artists from opposite sides of the globe to contact each other (The Foreign Exchange, while recording Connected). Such a seemingly endless stream of talent deserves a far bigger stage outside of Japanese shores. Radio could've had a for bigger part to play but the state that's in right now, radio is dying a death.

So, it's up to school the good people of the movement to spread the word on the wonderful bounty that is Japanese Jazzy/Soulful/Beautiful Hip Hop. I have put together a few of my favourite tracks, from a few of my favourite Japanese artists. Nomak, Dela, Nujabes, Uyama Hiroto & others provide the sounds. Some featuring Five Deez, CL smooth, Large Pro, Surreal & more. And some superb instrumental tracks. When you realise what i'm Eulogising about, you can go & find the rest for yourselves & share the vibe

Japanese Niceness Pt. 1
& Pt. 2

Stay Tuned....

...I will return like a Jedi with more reviews and freeness in the next few days peepz.

Top Quality Kashmere Jumpers.....Anyone?

One way to clarify the quality of any artist is the state of any tracks that didn't make it on to a particular album. Thay can range from a bunch of slapdash, random garbage, to polished, excellent efforts. But rarely is there an arguement for a collection of such tracks to actually be better than the original release. With raiders Of The Lost Archives, Kashmere now has that burden. This is in no way a slight on In The Hour Of Chaos (which is a very good album), at all. But such is the consistant quality of the tracks on Raiders that I have to wonder what other hidden gems are there floating around the YNR offices. Check this production list: Ghost, Zygote, Jehst, LG, DJ IQ & Jazz-T. UK peepz should now be salivating & If you don't know, get familiar. As usual Kasmere goes deep with his, painting deep & vivid portraits of life, good versus evil, the dark arts & a lot more in between. The tone for what's to come is set immediately with the opening chants of The Genesis, 'The sea turned black, the rivers turned red, the sun turned cold, the beats turned pale....'. Then the niceness begins when a chopped synth & cello sample is accompanied by a snapping snare & kick pattern. Through the Jazzy backdrop of Power Up to the ridiculously ill piano & Drums of Poison to the out there vibe of Red Monkey, the niceness continues unabaited. Then the bar is raised further still by Drunken Style. Kashmere, Severe & Baron Syn Back, braggadociously (?) ride a superbly sparse beat held together by short vocal samples & a nicely flipped hook. The level is maintained by the lovely darkness of Nightmare. Eerie strings & scarily warped b-line allow Kashmere to let his demonic/imaginitive side come to the fore, with lines like 'Running children got the vomit, devilish whipper snappers hitting grannies with the drop kick'. Right the way through to the final bonus track on the album, these so called cut away tracks don't let up. The way the samples are used on 1 of my 2 favourite track on Raiders. The Jazz, is just superb. As for the other fav, What Would Happen? Kashmere spins 1 of his otherwordly stories about a new kind of herbal remedy (if you catch my drift). I can only imagine that the subject matter of some of the tracks didn't fit the darkness of ITHOC. Adding the fact that some of these tracks are 3 years old only makes this release even better. Kashmere is arguably the most imaginitive MC we have on these (UK) shores. So when he is accomanied by great beats, as he is all the way through this album, the results are of a superior brand of niceness. Enjoy the taster peepz.

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Kashmere - Raiders Of The Lost Archives selection

2 The Easy Way (Freeness)

The man can spit, supports worthy causes & Nick Speed provides the sounds. Reason enough to grab this one I think.

Danny brown - Hot Soup

Danny Brown's Myspace

These guys have put together a superb Jazzy Hip Hop album that is one of my favs of the year upto now. Superb!

The Afeeliated - Saving The City Vol. 1

The Afeeliated's Myspace

This is top quality freeness these guys are giving away so don't be afraid to give 'em some props peepz.

Settle down with some headphones & a good book

I tend to read books in spurts. I buy them in twos. Something about one might catch my eye or the subject matter may look interesting so I buy them. And I’ll read the Hell out of the first one. But usually I’ll get about halfway through the second before the urge to recharge my Ipod kicks in & the cycle begins again. Fatgums, Randray, Ajax & Gammaray, collectively known as The Novelists , initial appeal is their attempt to blur these lines with Bookends. Fatgums & Gammaray provide all the beats considering this is their first foray behind the boards (they are originally DJs), they have pit together a varied soundscape, yet the continuity of the album is superb. Normally I find an album of this type will either ride a Jazzy or Soulful background. But these guys manage to straddle both with relative ease. Your head will definitely nod, but at a slightly different pace throughout. Take Crime In The City, a track that uses 3 different beats in about 3 minutes yet each of the 3 sounds progressively better than the last. Morning gets my vote for originality. Man goes to club, meets sexy English girl. They have sex, wake up in the morning & a ‘get to know you’ conversation takes place at the end of the song. Some of the lines in there are laugh out loud funny. So the album goes on from one entertaining head nod to another each track showing a different slant to what these guys are about. The DJ’s too get their shine on Novel Scratching, which even with the lack of an MC, is one of my favourites on the album.Even when i thought things were going to take a cheesy turn, My Only Vice Remix, doesn’t come across that way at all. In fact, the Mi Cheri Amor, sample actually works superbly in context with what came before it on the album. So to end proceedings with a slightly reggae tinged 10 man posse cut could be deemed a step too far. Yet at 5 minutes long each MC jumps in & out, thus keeping things moving along quite briskly. If this is a sign of things to come from these guys I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more. A great debut.

p e a c e

The Almighty Has Spoken

Found this over at my people San Pasquale's place. Almighty, incase you didn't know, are Bronze Nazareth, C-Rayz Walz, Killah priest, M-80, Sone One & 5 Star (why he names himself after them i have no idea). Iv'e been looking out for any available scraps by these guys. Only to find a whole mixtape & new single off of the album. The is nice & the albums gonna be real nice. links are below. Enjoy!

Original Sin Mixtape

Obey (The Statesman): 1st Single

Trailer for the album