chocolate Barz

As you may have noticed, I don't have 'thing' for big name artists on this sight. The Jay-Z's and Lil Waynes of this world get so much promo from some of my blogging brothers and sisters that little old me is never going to create and great lift or dent in these guys units sales. It wasn't even a concious decision its just the way things worked out. My usual modus operandi when I first get alerted to new music is to skip through about 10 seconds of the first few tracks. I will then add it to my ipod and my first impressions during those few seconds usually determine (sunconciously) how long it takes for me to listen to an album from start to finish. Thus to give the up and comers that little extra bit of shine for providing us with great music is what myself and Mr. Mischief (yes he does exist, eezzee chiefy!) Are all about. As such I have always given a mention and a little paragraph of props to many an album (besides the reviews) since starting out in the blog game. Sometimes I have given such a paragraph to music that deserves a lot more than that. Chris Barz has created such an album with 'Class[sickz] Out The Dark. I will make the immediately obvious comparison (obvious to me anyway) both in sound and vocal style but only becaause this is an album that in my view is easily worthy of such company. Lupe Fiasco! Although I would says Class[sickz] is a lot more Food And Liquor than The Cool with its overall sound, it is such a great piece of work that there is a case to be made for Chris Barz to be given the kind of shine that lupe was afforded with his first effort. Creativity, quirkyness, charisma, variety and a sense of fun are in abundance and allied with Chris' obvious technical ability, although the slight drawl to his flow makes for a more accessible listen. I get a sense that, in a way, Chris' is holding a little back for his next outing. Whereas someone like the Clipse for example, seem a little at pains to stray from the roots of crack references (and for the record, I do love the way they get down), Class[sickz] seems to be merely acting as an introduction into Chris' world. I am still somewhat incredulous that music of this quality is free and an immense big up must go out to Best Kept Secret who on this evidence has chosen the perfect moniker for himself. Surely somewher someone with a little pull in certain circles is listening to this and seeing just how good this guy is. I hope that he gets his radio play and the recognition that comes with it and things kick on from there. I suspect that he won't and it will be left to people such as myself to keep on spreading the word. 

p e a c e

Chris Barz - On The Radio (She Crazy) feat. Tabi Bonney

Download Class[sickz] Out The Dark

2 touch training

While he was a UK resident, Lewis Parker built up a double barrelled CV/resume that is awesome in its consistency. This has actually been written while my ipod makes its way through Mr. Parkers entire catalog with half an ear open for a weak beat or couplet here or there but (obviously) found none to speak of. I remember picking up the Masquerades And Silhouettes EP a few times before I actually purchased it. Being a bit of a green horn at the time i hadn't actually heard of Lewis before yet something was telling me to make the purchase. What I was treated to drew me into UK Hip Hop (I'm not afraid to admit) and I haven't looked back from that day to this. Now of course he hangs his hat across the pond (Ghostface and Dynas will tell you) and after the superb Mixtape: Volume One we get hit with a 1 2 combo. His own latest opus 'The Puzzle/Episode One/The Big Game' & River Nelson's 'The Rise And Fall Of....' And the connection between the two? Both are entirely produced by the man himself. The trademark dusty drums and chopped, obscure, off kilter samples are still the bedrock of what takes Lewis from good to great. For anyone that remembers the re runs of any of those old school 70's TV and cinema shows (or even when they were originally shown) listening to some of Lewis' beats will 'take you there'. Lyrically he seems to have stepped up his game since he first embarked on his american dream. As a foil, River has some abrasive words and can fire of plenty of syllables but is laid back with his delivery, so you can easily pick up what he has to say. With many of todays releases it is easy to disregard the MC's flow and contend youself with snapping your neck to the pops and whistles that are served up as beats. They key to albums such as these is as good as the beats are, they never compromise the presence of the MC. Lewis Parker and River Nelson have put together a perfect case in point.

p e a c e

Lewis Parker - Man Up! feat Dynas

River Nelson - Rise & Fall feat. Panama

undercover loving (or out of nowhere #1)



ChRis BaRz _ Class[Sickz] Out The Dark (2009)










These two snuck up on me out of nowhere. Chris Barz’ Class[sickz] Out The Dark & The Residents’ Open House are both longplayers of ridiculous quality. I’m personally peed off that these almost passed me by. I suggest the good people check these out ASAP. Peep the tasters and Enjoy!

Chris Barz – Wherever We Go feat. Jessse Boykins III

The Residents – What We’ve Got (Remix)

he doesn turn Trix, he Flips 'em

I remember once hearing a boxing critic saying "any undercard who truly deserves his chance won't stay an undercard for long". The logic may be slightly flawed but it's essence is correct. Those who put the work in are the ones most likely to reap the rewards. If you've ever been to a live UK Hip Hop showcase or club night, the chances are that the name Fliptrix was scrawled somewhere on the second or third row on the flyer. Think of an Amir Khan (or Floyd Mayweather for the US heads) saturday night undercard. Kashmere, Foreign Beggars, Jehst and Verb T are just a few of those who have taken a breather in the dj booth while Flip has been doing his thing. Said undercard status is more than likely to change once Theory Of Rhymes hits stores. Ably backed by Jehst, Kashmere, Verb T (in some cases both in the booth and behind the boards), Flip gives his take on London life and the morality that can go with it. Easily weaving between the staccato flow of Deep Set Thoughts to the atmospheric head nods of Dream Coat and Own Zone, Flip shows the versatility nesseccary for anyone wishing to get a foothold in the scene today. But don't think he doesn't take care of the business that is letting the neighsayers know how good an MC he is. A very solid debut that is sure to propel Fliptrix on to bigger things. Undercard? Not anymore!

p e a c e

Own Zone/Turn Of Phrase/Madness/My Soul: Promo mix

Ralph gets a Mohawke


OOOOOOOOOHH!!! I’ve just seen a list of the Associated Minds planned releases for 2010. Mudmowth is gonna be busy this year with 2 collabo’s and his album finally dropping this year. The first of these, should be his Tokyo EP with Ralph Rip Shit. Until the releases start to flow', peep Ralph doing his thing over Hudson Mowhawke’s Rising 5. Enjoy!

'Ralph Rip Rising' (Hud Mo Dub)

Associated Minds

what a Caruan(a)


Tom Caruana is easily becoming the hardest working beatsmith on these shores. The guy churns out these collections like an old school surrogate (sorry for the bad analogy Tom). But the qualty is such that all i can say is keep ‘em coming. This time he’s teamed uup his own Beatle led concoctions with classic Wu acapellas. Enjoy!

Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles

use the force dave

This is interesting…. and Daft Punk?

Taken over


Big tings is gwaanin’ in thed Nottingham stronghold. If this is a sign of things to come….

Hipnott Records - 2010 Takeover

Kevin Nottingham

Hipnott Records

Scottish high(lands)

scotland flag DJ Scuba Steve is continuing to represent his brethrin with volume 2 of his Scotland Stand Up series. Get up on some serious unkown gems. Volume 3 is coming soon so when you feel this one stay tuned. Enjoy!

1. Nity Gritz & Kon-Tempt - Intro
2. Werd & Deeko - Sons Of Scotland
3. Scatabrainz - What Madness
4. West Ft Pro - Com-Bust-Able Elements
5. Synical - Remind Me
6. Nity Gritz - Smile
7. Typikal - Where Am I Goin
8. Awesome Wellz - Fistin From Hellboy
9. Dark Rumors - The Sufferin
10. Shogun - The World's Greatest
11. Eastborn - Blair Witch Project
12. Chad The Lad & K9 Kev - End Of The Line
13. Cbas Ft CatchKlick - Take It Like That
14. D-Team - Money Talks
15. Hosie - Sorry I Hurt You
16. Jee4ce - The Worlds Gone Mad
17. Loki - Consistency
18. Bigg Taj - Music Is All I Have
19. Wurrd Ft Werd & Chazel - Smokin And Drinkin
20. The Being - Get The Jump Leads The Chickens Have Escaped

Scotland Stand Up Volume 2

UK Rap UP 2010

Big yaself up Mys. I reckon tjis is better than (Mad) Skillz US version. But i’m obviously biased. Filmed in my hometown (although that’s nowt to shout about [like my rhyme]).



Veeeery nice use of Drake’s Fear by young master //nolan here. The dude just will not stop upping his (mic) skillz level. For those that don’t yet know, check the albums too freeness of such quality is to be embraced. Enjoy!

J. Nolan – Leave It Be

Albums: Resilience & Chasing Cool

J’s myspace

what a Tool (in a good way)

DJ Toolz [2010] -- V.A. - The Fine of O-Nine (Best of UndaGround)

You peepz should know by now. enjoy!!!

CD 1:

101 - The ARE - Iran [Intro]
102 - Mos Def - Auditiorium (feat. Slick Rick) (prod. by Madlib)
103 - La Coka Nostra - Choose Your Side (feat. Bun B) (prod. by The Alchemist)
104 - DOOM - That's That
105 - Dynas - The Apartment (prod. by J Dilla)
106 - Cormega - Make It Clear (prod. by DJ Premier)
107 - DJ JS-1 - Ridiculous (feat. O.C. & Pharoahe Monch)
108 - Fresh Daily - Me First (feat. Tanya Morgan) (prod. by Analogic)
109 - Blame One - Wonder Why (feat. Blu & Exile)
110 - CunninLynguists - Never Come Down (The Brownie Song)
111 - Blitz The Ambassador - Something to Believe
112 - Brother Ali - Palm the Joker
113 - Felt (Slug & Murs) - Protagonists
114 - Souls Of Mischief - Postal
115 - Saigon - The Rules (prod. by Statik Selektah)
116 - Bekay - Brooklyn Bridge (feat. Masta Ace)
117 - KRS-One & Buckshot - Survival Skills (prod. by Illmind)
118 - Rasco - Classic
119 - Marco Polo & Torae - Lifetime
120 - Royce Da 5'9'' - Hood Love (feat. Bun B & Joell Ortiz) (prod. by DJ Premier)
121 - Jay Electronica - Exhibit C (prod. by Just Blaze)

CD 2:

201 - Pete Rock - A-Yo [Intro]
202 - Raekwon - House of Flying Daggers (feat. Deck, Ghost & Meth) (prod. by J Dilla)
203 - Elzhi - Deep (prod. by Black Milk)
204 - The Recordkingz - Heat (feat. Mobb Deep)
205 - Finale - The Waiting Game (feat. Invincible) (prod. by Khrysis)
206 - Concise Kilgore - Teknoir (feat. Evidence, Guilty Simpson & DJ Revolution)
207 - AB - Go At It (feat. Phat Kat, Elzhi & Bishop Lamont) (prod. by Black Milk)
208 - The Undergods (Canibus & Keith Murray) - No Brainer (prod. by Shuko)
209 - Heltah Skeltah - Midnight Madness (M-Phazes Remix)
210 - Qwel & Maker - White Elephant
211 - DJ Spinna - New York (Duck for Cover) (feat. Jigmastas)
212 - Capone-N-Noreaga - Grand Royal (prod. by DJ Premier)
213 - Kam Moye - Forever Fresh (prod. by Marco Polo)
214 - El Da Sensei & Returners - Ain't Trippin (feat. Ghettosocks & Timbuktu)
215 - J.R. & PH7 - Take It to the Streets (feat. Planet Asia & Rakaa Iriscience)
216 - Keelay & Zaire - Saturday (feat. Torae & Tiffany Paige)
217 - Cesar Comanche - Choose (prod. by 9th Wonder)
218 - Sene - WonLover (prod. by Blu)
219 - Tanya Morgan - So Damn Down
220 - Panacea - Coin Toss
221 - Fashawn - Why (prod. by Exile)
222 - Skyzoo - The Opener (Salvation)

maybe you can hire…

Ooooh i’m excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Swoop - New Love


With the unveiling of his debut album, New Love, Minneapolis-based producer and composer Mike Swoop straddles the boundaries of Tribe Called Quest styled sampling and the live instrumentation of Dosh. Primarily founded on the basis of sampling and reinterpretation, Mike Swoop commands a mixture of jazz, hip-hop, dub and funk inspired grooves.
At 14, Mike Swoop wrote to the superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools explaining why they should allow him to attend the then, 16 and up Creative Arts High School. Mike's request was accepted, and it was there where he met Recording Arts teacher and local Producer/DJ Adam Bucher, known as Booka B (Basementality), who introduced Mike to sampling and the MPC. Now, at 22, as a Last of the Record Buyers Beat Battle Veteran and Music Production graduate of McNally Smith College of Music, Mike Swoop presents his self-released debut, New Love.

Contributing to the sample-based musicianship of New Love, the album features appearances from Rhymesayers’ newest artist, Toki Wright, Mexican-American hip-hop duo Big Quarters, and Kavorkian & Allpurpose.
Join Mike Swoop to celebrate the release of New Love:
Friday, February 5TH @ Sauce Spirit & Sound Bar; Minneapolis, MN

Track List:
1. On My Mind
2. No Room
3. Fiend feat. Big Quarters
4. Seeing Dubble
5. Artisan
6. Spice Interlude
7. Let it Go feat. Toki Wright
8. Spread it Thin
9. No Go Die!
10. Gain
11. Where Do We Go? feat. Kavorkian & Allpurpose
12. Up Late
13. A Better Idea

Download “No Go Die!” @
Watch video @
Follow Mike Swoop on Twitter @

New Love Music
ATTN: Mike Swoop
2401 Garfield Ave. S #302
Minneapolis, MN 55405

those i forgot to mention

I am sure there are more than a few of my blogging brethrin who are also guilty of this when it comes to those dreaded year end lists. You gotta understand, some of us plough through hundreds of albums in a year. Surely we can be forgiven one or two cases of involuntary selective memory syndrome. Aaaanyway these are few that have recenntly come to mind that would have lengthened my original 'favourites list'

00-ryan_leslie-transition-(deluxe_edition)-2009Ryan Leslie – Transition

Ok, so Robin may be my champion, but this dude is my close second. As smooth a vocally driven head nod as I've heard in many a while. This one has been stealthily doing its thing withj my eardrums yet I forgot all about it. Sorry Ryan (not that he's gonna read this anyway).


Brother Ali - The Truth Is Here

Before US and after The Undisputed Truth, there was CD/DVD combo The Truth Is Here. It arrived at only nine tracks deep. But Bro's ridiculously high standards and some live niceness on the other disc ensured an easy purchase.

folderGhostface Killah - Ghostdini: Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City

When I first heard this was coming out I was jazzed. My first instincts on what this release was gonna be like was Ghost doing his thing over some classic soul (as evidenced on some of his previous outings). Then I saw the tracklisting and (due to the guestlist) was pretty sceptical as to what I was gonna get for my ten quid/pounds. I bought it, but it sat untouched for quite a while. It must have been about 2 months before I actually played the thing. As soon as I'd finished repeating Do Over for the unpteenth time, I knew I'd had done Toney a grave disservice (sorry Ghost).

AB & Daru_A Work In Progress

AB and Daru - A Work In Progress

Admittedly I'd never even heard of these guys before I got hold of this album. I found On Deck (an album track featuring Black Milk) while doing some random searches on Apple's pride and joy. Loved the song, copped the album and the rest, as they say.... Aaaaaaah the wonder of iTunes.


Calvin Richardson - Facts Of Life: The Soul Of Bobby Womack

Calvin is clearly in his element and at his very very best. They may all be covers, but maaaan when the songs sound this good, who gives a flying f%€# where they originated. Bobby would be proud.

00. Diamond District - In the Ruff

Diamond District - In The Ruff

How could I not have included anything involving Oddisee. X.O. and YU make up this superb trio. Anyone who doubts the validity of what they like to call 'real Hip Hop' need only listen to this album.

televisual effects


Peace to the Dot Got It crew.

words by Dot…

The Revalation Will Be Televised: Commercial Interruption
Hosted by DJ Motion & Presented by,, & Drops Today Dec. 31st!!! This is the 1st in my “The Revalation Will Be Televised” series. I wanted this tape to embody the idea that network media and social media are currently taking over our whole way of life. With that being said I decided to make a tape containing all “industry” beats or beats that had a “commercial” appeal. This was my way of showing versatility and but without sacrificing my creativity. If you listen to the songs, they all have that appeal but lyrically, I haven’t changed a thing, I’m just as raw, creative and humorous as usual just with a more “mainstream” sound on this one. And each tape in this series will have a different theme. Next mixtape “Emergency Broadcast” (coming soon) will be over all original production & for the Hip-Hop Heads!!

The Revalation Will Be Televised: Commercial Interruption

a new Day


The Last Skept ik’s latest project, Same Day, Different Day is due sometime towards the end of February. An original, yet diverse take on some of your favourites. Daniel Merriweather, Mongrel, The Game, Lowkey, The Streets and more are all given the Skeptik treatment. This taster features Loudmouth Melvin going over the ‘Top Ten List’. Skeptiks’ wide range of beats should make for a nice album.

Top Ten List (Last Skeptik Remix)

quite Frankly, it’s niceness

Funky DL _ Back To Frank [Funky DL Samples Amy Winehouse](2010)

Funky DL (as recently featured on my annual favourites list) is back with a bit of freeness for the masses. Using Amy Winehouses debut soundscape as a catalyst, DL has put together some real niceness peepz. The formula i mentioned in the annuals list is executed as superbly as ever. Enjoy!

Funky DL – Back To Frank