Thursday, May 31, 2007





Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Over my years of listening to hip-hop there have been certain moments where a particular artist or group has literally made me pay attention to what they were doing! Right out of the gate their lyrics, style and swagger were just so captivating that you had to take notice. Perfect examples of this would be artists like Snoop Dogg, Notorious B.I.G, Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, and of course the Mic Ripper himself Canibus! Even though Canibus started his career rapping in a duo called The Heralds of Extreme Medaphors (T.H.E.M) back in 1995, it wasn't until late 1996 that I actually heard him rhyme. I still remember the first time I heard Canibus rip a freestyle on a DJ Clue mixtape back in the 1996! I remained speechless as I hit the rewind button about 10 times straight trying to comprehend all of the wordplay that Canibus was spitting. His confident/complex delivery remained on point while he edutained the listeners with his street knowledge. It was difficult not to become an immediate Canibus fan after hearing one of his freestyles. The dude was just that good! Seems like after that I started seeing Canibus popping up everywhere. Outside of plenty more mixtape freestyles Canibus was featured on tracks with several hot artists of that time like The Lost Boyz, Common, Ras Kass, Heltah-Skeltah and LL Cool J. Actually, the verse that Canibus spit on that Lost Boyz "Beast From The East" track is still one of my favorite Canibus moments to this day! In 1997, Canibus definitely had the hip-hop world buzzing and fiending for an album. Ironically, Fugees member Wyclef Jean took Canibus under his wings with hopes of turning this freestyle sensation into an profit making album seller. Personally, I wasn't too happy about Wyclef working with Canibus. Not that I didn't like Wyclef as an artist, but I thought his softer-accoustic hip-hop style wouldn't really work for an artist like Canibus. Even though I had plenty of doubts, I tried to remain optimistic?

Everything was coasting along pretty good for Canibus, then all of sudden I get wind of a beef between him and LL Cool J after he dropped verses on the "4,3,2,1" track. I won't bother rehashing this old beef between the two emcees, but if you have no DJ Clue about what happened just Google it! I will say that I thought Canibus held his own with the odds against him. Soon after the beef with LL began, Canibus dropped his highly anticipated debut album "Can-I-Bus" in 1998. As a Canibus fan I was happy it finally came out, but I was a little disappointed with the end product. I selfishly wanted more of the freestyle mixtape version of Canibus, but I ended up with the watered down Wyclef version instead. To save face after his mediocre release, Canibus quickly blamed Wyclef for his misguided debut effort in the media. He promised that his next effort would be the album that Canibus fans were waiting for? Finally, in 2000 Canibus dropped his second album entitled "2000 B.C. (Before Can-I-Bus)" in hopes of redeeming himself with his fans. I personally thought that the 2000 joint was a little better than his debut, but there was still something missing? It seemed like the months of negative criticizm had gotten the best of him. The addictive and effortless Canibus rhyme flow that we had come to know and love was forcefully replaced with rhymatic words of desperation in hopes of proving himself. It was not difficult to tell that something had definitely changed about the God emcee?

Would Canibus ever make the album that would properly highlight his verbal skills and take his career to the next level? Well, it's 2007 now and with 10 albums under his belt I can confidently say that the honest answer is NO! The blame for the Canibus demise over the years has been everything from weak production to lack of promotion. Even though many true hip-hop fans hold Canibus close to their hearts when it comes to appreciating the unrivaled talent he possesses, some of us have decided to stop hoping for a resurrection. It's difficult for true fans to continue hearing the unworthy and almost embarrassing musical efforts that Canibus has released over his 10 year career. I have intentionally ignored his last 2 or 3 albums to keep my memories intact of what he once was, but curiosity got the best of me recently. I reluctantly listened to his latest release "To Whom The Beat Tolls" just to make sure nothing had changed since the last time I heard a Canibus album. Overall, it was just decent at best. Honestly, I can't fully say that I haven't become a little bitter at the whole Canibus movement over the years? So, with that being said I would suggest that you give this album a personal listen if you get the opportunity, and judge this project for yourself.

Okay, I know Canibus has had plenty of low moments throughout his career, but he's also had plenty of high moments as well. His early freestyle days were his best in my opinion, so today I have linked you to some of his best freestyle moments ever! The kind folks over at Canibus-Central have posted approximately 50 freestyle/featured moments from Canibus for your listening pleasure! After listening to these I think it will be easy to understand why he was considered one of the best that ever did it.

Checkout these links:

Listen to Canibus Legendary Freestyles

The Canibus Myspace page

LL Cool J feat. Method Man, Redman, Canibus, DMX & Master Pee - 4,3,2,1

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'll be the first person to admit that I am an ole' skool kat at heart when it comes to how I enjoy my music. Technology has provided us with so many options to obtain music these days that it's getting pretty crazy. From mp3 players to satellite radio, music is at your fingertips like never before in 2007! Yes, I have an iPOD, but I only use it when I workout in most cases. No mp3 player in my car though. To this day my main source of listening to music is burning CDs, which in 2007 is falling into the old school category? Even when I buy a CD, I still have to burn the songs I like the most on a blank CD in the order I like them. That compilation CD follows me to my car where I can give the songs a full uninterrupted listen while I travel around the city. Playing burned CDs is definitely not as retro as playing cassette tapes like my homegirl Honeysoul has in her whip, but it dayum close in some folks view? Even though CDs are all over my vehicle, I will still continue to burn CD compilations until I can't anymore. Also, if you haven't noticed by now all of my mixes are just small enough to fit on a black CD-R, and that is done on purpose. Even though I am one mix away from being the iPOD KING, I still hope some of you are actually burning these mixes on a CD for your listening pleasure??

If you haven't checked your calendar recently, Memorial Day is Monday. Rememberance is important! Here in Detroit and many other cities around America this weekend is huge when it comes to having barbeques and outside parties. I don't cook for the holiday, but I dayum sure get my eat on though! For black folks music is a big part of any gathering, so today I've uploaded a mixx that I think is pretty fitting for such an occasion. This mixx incorporates melodic grooves from now and then that should definitely make your eardrums smile. Outside of being backyard BBQ ready, this mixx is also perfect for an evening drive on a warm night with the windows down. If you're a rich biddy with a convertible, put the top down too. This kind of soul music will make the drive that much better. Give this mixx a listen and hear what you think.


01->SoundNexxtro Intro
02->Make Love Last Forever - Michael Bohannon
03->Will You Be Mine - Anita Baker
04->Family Reunion - Jill Scott
05->Family Reunion - The O'Jays
06->Back In The Day - Erykah Badu
07->Remind Me - Patrice Rushen
08->Golden Time of Day - Maze
09->For The Love of You - The Isley Brothers
10->Ladies Night - R. Kelly
11->Rhythm of Life - Kindred The Family Soul
12->Insatiable Woman - Isley Jasper Isley
13->Two of Us - Tweet
14->Look At What You Done For Me - Al Green
15->After The Dance - Marvin Gaye
16->That Girl - Stevie Wonder
17->Can't Hide Love - Earth, Wind & Fire

As far as female soul singers go, I would have to say that Erykah Badu is one of my favorites. I still remember the first time I saw her perform live on BET (when they played real music) before her first album dropped with the enormous headwrap and the inscents burning. She just had this really cool swagger that made me pay attention. Once her debut album "Baduizm" dropped I knew that Ms. Badu was far from a gimmick, but actually a breath of soulful air that made my eardrums have an eargasm! Well, I guess it wasn't that serious, but the shyt sounded real good dammit! Other than a couple of recent guest appearances with Sergio Mendez and Strange Fruit Project, we haven't heard much from Erykah lately. Rumor has it that Ms. Badu is planning to release three consecutive albums this year?? Yep, I said 3 dammit!! Now, that's what I call an overdose of the Badu-duizm! That's a very aggressive approach to releasing music, but her fans will be very grateful if it really happens. Hopefully, I will be able to ask her about it personally when she performs here in Detroit next month? If you haven't seen Erykah Badu live yet, you need 2! It's a memorable experience to say the least. Checkout this clip to get a little taste of her live show...


Also, checkout this new cut from Erykah Badu "Real Thing" produced by Madlib! I don't know if this track will be featured on her upcoming project(s), but take a listen anyway.


Only real Erykah Badu fans know about this.

Before you leave...checkout this new track "Hate On Me" from Jill Scott too!

Soul music is looking up for thee 2007 Season...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tanya Morgan - We Bad

T. Morgan flashback for the underground headz!

Monday, May 21, 2007

If you have been listening to soul/R&B music for any decent period of time, you already know that Carl Thomas is a household name. Back in the early days of his career, Carl sang hooks for just about everybody that were making any real moves in the music industry back then. His catalog is pretty extensive to say the least. He dropped his debut album "Emotional" back in 2000, which is definitely viewed as classic material by any true soul music lover. I still call him Puffy...laid down some serious production on Carl's first joint along with a few others. It wasn't until 2004 that he finally released his second album "Let's Talk About it," which I thought was decent. I will admit that the second joint seemed a little rushed and included a little more filler material than I would have liked personally. Even with that being said, it was still pretty solid overall though. It's 2007 and Carl Thomas has been missing in action since 2004, leaving his fans wondering what he's been up to lately? Rumors had surfaced that his lengthy absence had something to do with his falling out with Bad Boy Records, but in reality it was something more tragic that kept him from the music scene over these past years. His brother was tragically murdered on Halloween night back in 2004, and Carl went through an extensive grieving period because of it. He had basically lost his passion for singing, and felt that he had nothing to say in his music during that period. Through some encouraging words from friend/producer Mike City, Carl found his spark again. Carl has stated that Mike City was essential to him getting back on his feet and finding his passion for singing once again. That passion has spawned into a new album fittingly entitled "So Much Better," which drops on June 5th! Judging by the first single "Thought You Should Know" featuring Lalah Hathaway, Carl hasn't lost his touch when it comes to making hot slow jams.

Carl has left Bad Boy Records (who hasn't), but he claims that his relationship with Puffy is still in tact? He just felt that he pacified there, and there had been some creative conflicts as well. I don't know what it is about Puffy's character that keeps driving artists away from working with him? Is there anybody left worth mentioning on the Bad Boy roster in 2007? Wisen up Puff before you end up being the only artist on your label...

Checkout new tracks from Carl Thomas on his myspace page:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Where do you stand when it comes to sampling music? I know plenty of old school katz that feel the sampling phase really sucks. That's mainly because music has lost some of its originality because of it? I can agree with that to an extent, but in some cases I like hearing some of my old favorite tunes being chopped and looped with a new school twist. Since, most of the newer producers in the game today can't play any real instruments, sampling is the next best thing. Like it or not, everybody in the music game has sampled something at one time or another. The true crate diggers in the game searches for the most rare and obscure records to sample from to keep everyone guessing about the original track. There seems to be a competition amongst the major producers in the world to find the rarest sounds known to man. I am impressed with producers like Questlove, Dr. Dre & Pete Rock that have these enormous music collections full of vintage vinyl. It shows the dedication to their craft, plus the love they have for the music to invest so much into it.

Personally, I have been fascinated with the old school music from 70s and 80s for the majority of my life, so I have heard most of the obvious soul samples that are being used in hip-hop today for the most part. Some of the samples are distorted and chopped so finely that it doesn't register to my ears at first, but after a few listens I normally can figure it out. I often get asked by folks if I know what sample is being used in a particular song, so I decided to put together a post where I share some of these samples for you to enjoy. Below, I have posted some popular rap tracks and the sample that was used to make the beat. Some will be obvious at the first listen, while others may be more difficult to pick out? Take a listen to these and hear what you think.

Jay-Z - Encore uses a sample from: John Holt - I Will

Nas - The World Is Yours uses a sample from: Ahmad Jamal - I Love Music

Jay-Z - Takeover uses a sample from: The Doors - Five To One

Ghostface - Shakey Dog uses a sample from: The Dells - I Can Sing A Rainbow

Little Brother - Lovin' It uses a sample from: The Stylistics - One Night Affair

Okay, can you guess what artist(s) and song used this sample??

Booker T & The MGs - Children Don't Get Wear

Before you leave make sure you take this video journey with my man Waajeed from the Platinum Pied Pipers as he goes crate diggin at Melodies & Memories Records! Anything you need, they probably have it??

Shoutout too all my peepz at Memories & Melodies too! That is the music spot for real!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The undisputed Detroit King of Soul and R&B is definitely the smooth crooner Adwele Gardner a.k.a Dwele G! Why you ask? Because Dwele never ever releases wack tracks, plus he makes every song that he sings on better no matter how weak the artist may sound that he's singing with. I remember hearing this track Dwele did with a French rapper a couple of years ago, and even though I couldn't understand a damn word the rapper was saying Dwele made the song hot with his vocals! Not too many artists can pull that off with vocals alone. Dwele's smooth delivery is unmatched and his vocals seem effortlessly flawless everytime he touches the microphone. Dwele has provided hooks and background vocals for several worthy artists during his career, but I actually find myself wanting to hearing his portion of the record more than the lead vocals in most cases. Outside of his singing abilities, Mr. Gardner is a solid rapper as well. Most fans aren't that familiar with his rapping ability, but it's definitely true that the boy can hold his own when it comes to the lyrics too! When he used to work closely with Elzhi (Slum Village) and Lacks in the BC Crew back in the early days, Dwele G used to spit a little hardcore in his rhymes. It wasn't raunchy though, but it definitely wasn't PG rated either. He didn't really talk about drugs, guns and violence in his early raps, but he definitely went into more explicit detail about women and his relationships with them. Definitely a different side of him that most listeners have never heard before. Everytime I run into Dwele around the way, I always ask him directly when is he going to do a full rap album and he normally just laughs. He dosen't know it, but I am dead serious! I will keep pushing the issue with him until it finally happens though. I think his core fans would love to hear Dwele spit some dope rhymes...? Well, I would anyway, but until that day arrives I will continue to listen to the Dwele G of old...

For all of you true Dwele fans, this is your lucky day! I have blessed you with a mixx I call "The Adwelogy Mixx" that just happens to be full of unreleased, rare and new Dwele featured tracks. This mixx gives listeners the full Dwele experience, so make sure you check it out. Summer is right around the corner, and I am feeling pretty generous today. I decided to post this musical gift for my regular visitors, which means that it will only be available for a limited time only! Once the link for this mixx is finally dead, it will no longer be available. Also, there is NO TRACKLIST for this mixx either, so the music will have to speak for itself this time around. I don't care if burn it onto a disc for the whip, put it on your MP3 player or just play it on your computer, but do yourself a favor and get this goodness while you can.

Also, in the comments take a quick moment to leave the title of your favorite track featuring Dwele, then watch this new video.

Jahi featuring Dwele - On My Own


Monday, May 14, 2007

For those of you that may not know, Stones Throw Records is one of my favorite underground record labels in the game right now. Plenty of my favorite musical artists call Stones Throw home like Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, Oh No and M.F. Doom. Today, I wanted to shine a little light on two new albums coming from the Stones Throw camp. First up is my sista from another motha Georgia Anne Muldrow. I did post on her awhile back when she released her two projects "The Worthnothings EP" and "Olesi: Fragments of an Earth" in 2006. I will be the first to admit that Georgia is an acquired taste when it comes to her unorthodoxed style, but with a few good listens it's not hard to understand why she has such a cult like following. Her lastest project "Sagala" is no exception either. It's even more funkily-stranger than her previous works, but I still dig it! Georgia is expressing herself under an alter-ego named Pattie Blingh on the new album though. Miss Muldrow handled all of the duties this time around from writing to producing all of the tracks. Trying to classify this album in just one category is nearly impossible without doing it some injustice, so many just call it experimental. The album was released on May 8th, so if you want something to challenge your eardrums give Pattie Blingh a listen. If you like artists like Eska, Muhsinah, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and Plantlife, I think you will probably like this album. If you have never heard any of those artists I mentioned I would encourage you to do so, but I won't blame you if you keep it moving though.


The next project I want to speak on is older, but new to most because of it's long awaited release. The artists known by James Yancey a.k.a Jay Dee a.k.a J Dilla's (R.I.P) project "Jay Loves Japan" is finally being officially released on June 5th! If you are a Dilla fan, then you must add this piece of musical history to your collection as well. I am pretty biased when it comes to Jay Dee because I am a native Detroiter, plus I have been following his music career since his very early underground days. No matter how you spin it, Dilla was a definite genius when it came to making music for the masses. His ear for diverse samples and sound is pretty much unmatched in comparison, plus he could damn near play every instrument that he put his hands on. Jay Dee was the total package, and he will truly be missed. I'm just glad that Dilla has plenty of music that can be released to keep his memory alive and well. I'm quite sure Dilla can't hang with Tupac when it comes to albums released after death, but nobody can really? So, if you've never heard of this album until now, get excited and get your money ready. If you knew about this joint or have already downloaded it from some undisclosed web site last year, get your money ready too dammit! Mrs. Yancey (Dilla's mother) is still trying to pay for those expensive medical bills that Dilla left behind, so help a sister out by making the purchase. Hopefully, in the near future Stone Throw will be releasing the infamous "MCA" album that everyone keeps talking about?


Checkout the Jay Dee "Ruff Draft Chronicles" clips below...

This clip is something special that I hope you will enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Chrisette Michele: A Closer Look

Keep your eyes on this young lady! A real songstress on the rise...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

As many of the original elements of hip-hop may have been lost over the years, there is one element called "battle rapping" that seems to still be alive and well. No matter what place you hold in the hip-hop game, nobody is above getting into a rap battle! When I say NOBODY, I really mean NOBODY...producers and managers included dammit! It's sad, but very true. Even though rap battling is still going strong, a few things have changed over the years. The major one being that MOST of the folks in the battle can't or don't freestyle like the greats used to do? A message to the rappers: Just because no one has never heard your rhymes doesn't make it a freestyle. The reality is freestyling is very difficult for even the most talented emcees to pull off convincingly, so when money or reputation is on the line many won't chance it. I guess I can't blame them really, because one wack verse can be the end of a potentially lucrative career. Even one of the greatest freestylist ever to touch a microphone KRS-One revealed that he used to practice freestyling for several hours a day to develop his skills. During many of his early battles he would incorporate some of the rhymes that he had already mastered from his hours of practicing, but he was gifted enough to create rhymes in the heat of the battle as well. This is where many rap battlers seem to falter in my opinion. Too many written rhymes, and not nearly enough of the off the top of the head freestyles.

One of the true masters of the freestyle game is my dude Supernatural! His freestyle skills are freakishly insane to say the least, but he does it with such ease that it's difficult not to be amazed! Oh yeah, and for those of you that don't have a clue about how good Supernat really is, he was recently added in the World Book of Guiness Records for spitting a freestyle for over 9 hours! He must of had a whole bunch of shyt on his mind that day? If you haven't seen Supernatural in action, checkout this video clip of him doing his thing...

Personally, I am a big fan of battle rapping, but I think it has gone too comercial over the last few years? The face-to-face freestyle battle rapping of yester-year has pretty much deminished leaving only the diss records as the voice of disagreement these days. Even though I prefer the intensity of the hands on battle a great diss record can be just as potent if it is done in the right way. Honestly though, with all of this ghostwriting going on as of late I remain skeptical of the integrity factor when it comes to who actually wrote the rhymes themselves. Two of my favorite old school diss record battles were Roxanne Shante' vs. MC Sparky D and of course KRS-One vs. MC Shan! For that time period these two battles were unparalleled, but in today's hip-hop game things are a little different. Rappers seem to be releasing a new diss track every other week talking about nothing important in most cases. Most of the records are uninspired and lazy, which makes them boring to the listeners. Sometimes it reveals just how wack the artist really is, which can work against them sometimes. If you can't rap, just keep your mouth shut! Diss records are almost being used as a tool to keep certain rapper's names in the street. There are so many diss records floating around the internet these days, it is very difficult to keep track of them all. As a fan I want to believe that these artists are in a real disagreement about something major, and they are using a diss record to clarify the situation. Of course a few nasty insults about the person you got beef with is an important piece to a great diss track as well. Some fans have heartburn about emcees that make up fake statements about their favorite rapper, but I just take it as them sharing their opinions and not facts. Who gives a damn really? I just enjoy laughing at the creative punchlines and overzealous wordplay, and I don't worry about the rest of it.

One of my favorite diss records is by the rapper Common when he was going at it with Ice Cube back in the day about hip-hop being Westcoastalinized back in the 1990s! Check it out...

Common - The Bitch In Yoo

Outside of sharing that dope Common diss track above, I have also put together a little collage of some of my favorite freestyle battles posted on the internet below. Most of these are atleast a couple years old, but if you've never seen them before does that really matter? Most of these rhymes are definitely written, but they are still entertaining though....

Murda Mook vs. Serius Jones (Round One)

Murda Mook vs. Serius Jones (Round Two)

Murda Mook vs. Serius Jones (Round Three)

Snoop vs. Butter Kush

Party Arty vs. Murda Mook

Loaded Lux vs. Young Miles

Loaded Lux vs. Young Miles (The Rest...)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Time to pay homage to one of the greatest hip-hop producers of our time...Pete Rock a.k.a Peter Rockington! This post has been along time coming, but it definitely needed to be done. There aren't too many producers who's sound has actually influenced a generation like Pete Rock's has. Not only has he created some of the dopest beats that have ever invaded my ears, but his sound began a new era of beat patterns and production techniques. Pete Rock has an ear for unique sounds. He can take simple bell and horn sounds and turn them into hypnotic soundwaves that would definitely keep your head bobbing. Frankly speaking, Peter had the horn sample game on lock! Over the years many new producers have borrowed a page or two from Peter's book of production tricks. That's expected though, but don't be trying to steal my dude's steelo youngins. Get your own! My Top 5 greatest hip-hop producers list definitely includes DJ Premier, Marley Marl, Jay Dee and Dre, but Pete Rock holds the number one spot! That's not saying that he's better than the others, but his music has definitely influenced my love for hip-hop slightly more over the years. One common factor that my top five producers share is that they all were real deejays at one time or another. That means they understand the dynamics of how to put diverse records together to rock a party if need be, and their not just limited with abilities of beat making on a computer looping samples. These katz are the real deal. They definitely understand and appreciate the art form as well. Many of the new katz seem to only make beats because it can be lucrative more so than for the love of the art? That's the sad reality in 2007!

I still remember when Pete Rock and CL Smooth dropped their first EP "All Souled Out" back in 1991! I already knew of Pete Rock from his New York WBLS radio mix show endeavors with Marley Marl back in the late 1980s. When I finally put my ears on that EP, it was an mind altering experience for me. It was jazzy hip-hop bliss. I kept it in rotation for months, until there debut album "Mecca and The Soul Brother" was released in 1992. Now, that was a classic album in my book! Soon after that I started to notice Pete Rock was producing for everybody like Heavy D, AZ, Das EFX and K-Solo. Things were definitely looking up for Pete Rock & CL Smooth back then, so they released their second official album "The Main Ingredient" in 1994. Another hip-hop classic that got plenty of critical acclaim, which cemented their names in hip-hop history for years to come. Then suddenly at the peek of their success, their working relationship began to crumble? Why exactly? That was never shared publicly, but close sources stated that there were both personal and business conflicts that developed between the two artists. No matter how you spin it, that was the demise of the Pete Rock & CL Smooth movement as we knew it!

Even rolling solo Pete Rock continued to have a thriving career providing production and doing remixes for some of the hottest artists in the 1990s like Nas, Notorious BIG, Jeru The Damaja and The Lost Boyz. Pete soon formed a new hip-hop group with his younger brother Grap Luva and Rob-O called INI. They dropped their first single back in 1996 called "Fakin Jax," which was supposed to be the perfect setup for the INI album that never dropped because of excessive bootlegging. Dammit you bootleggers! It wasn't until 1998 that Pete finally released his first solo album compilation "Soul Survivor" that showcased a lot of hot artists spitting verbage over his hypnotic beats. Since, then Pete Rock has been blessing his fans with project after project of the goodness. Instrumental albums, unreleased projects, hot remixes, then he hit us with "Soul Survivor 2" in 2004. SS2 was not a classic, but it was still better than most of the hot trash that was being released during that time. The production was nice, but some of the artists provided mediocre performances to say the least. Outside providing beats for folks here and there, Pete has been working on his upcoming release "NY's Finest" that will hopefully be hitting the streets in this summer? Guest appearances include Styles P, Slum Village, MF Doom, Ghostface, Redman and Raekwon. Sounds like it could be a banger? I'm just hoping that the project sees the light of day actually. For you youngsters that were born in 1986 or later, go back and dig up some of that old Pete Rock & CL Smoothness from back in the day, and give it a listen. It just might change your hip-hop life??

You already know what's coming next, don't you? Homage can never be truly paid here at SoundNexx without a mixx to put things into true perspective dammit! Pete Rock's discography is so huge that it would take atleast 10 mixes to do it any justice. You can forget about that happening, so instead I have put together a mix of Pete Rock joints that have moved me personally over the years. Before we go there, checkout these classic Pete Rock & CL Smooth videos...


01-Pete Rock Introduction
02-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Mecca & The Soul Brother
03-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
04-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - In The House
05-Ed O.G. feat. Jaysaun - Just Call My Name
06-The U.N. - Game of Death
07-Pete Rock feat. Big Pun, N.O.R.E and Common - Verbal Murder
08-Big L feat. Stan Spit, A.G. & Miss Jones - Hold It Down
09-INI feat. Q-Tip & Large Pro - To Each His Own
10-Pete Rock feat. Little Brother - Give It To Ya
11-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - All The Places
12-Nas - The World Is Yours
13-Pete Rock & Grand Agent - This Is What They Meant
14-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Back On The Block
15-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Lots of Lovin (Remix)
16-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Act Like You Know
17-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - The Creater
18-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Next On The Menu
19-Pete Rock & CL Smooth feat. Rob O - In The Flesh


Monday, May 07, 2007

Have you ever wonder why the term "mixtape" is still so blatantly used to describe mediocre compilations? Back in the day mixtapes were just that. Actual DJs mixing and blending dope hip-hop on a cheesy cassette tape. Even though in 2007 most so-called mixtapes aren't even mixed nor are they presented on a cassette tapes anymore, several artists continue to use the term. Why? I think it's because the mixtape is a major part of the hip-hop culture, so both the artists and record execs alike feel that term connects them to the streets. Plus, before the big DJ Drama/DJ Cannon raid in ATL awhile back, folks were making good money off of selling mixtapes to the fans. Claiming to have exclusives and tight freestyles from some of the hottest artists out. The reality is these almost mixtapes were just CD compilations of unreleased tracks that probably didn't make the cut in the first place? At one point you couldn't trust the mixtape tracklisting. Technology allowed wack deejays to deceptively combine rhymes from several hot artists on the same track to make up fake songs, which they would label as "exclusives" to get folks interested. Trickery like that is one of the main reasons why I have avoid plenty of mixtapes over the years, but every now and then there is a mixtape that is worthy of talking about. The newly released "Bar Exam" mixtape by my Detroit homeboy Royce 5'9 is definitely one of them.

Royce has been on the hip-hop scene for a minute, and he has delivered several hot tracks over the years as well. The saddening thing about Royce's career is the fact that he hasn't blown up just yet? He has all of the components to be one of the great ones, but the "talent vs. opportunity" factor hasn't really worked out for him. Here in Detroit Royce is a household name, but when most fans think of the top rappers on the game, Royce's name is normally not included? That's no reflection on the man's talent, but some fickle fans may think his day may never come like so many other great rappers of our generation. Royce has never let negative opinions get him down, and you can tell he still has that confident swagger that he's known for on "The Bar Exam" mixtape. The best thing about this mixtape is Royce's rhymes. Even if you are not a Royce fan, it's hard to deny this kat can really spit that fire! There are so many quotable lines on this project that hitting the rewind button is a definite must. Premo is on the mixtape too, so you know it's official. Even though Gang Starr is no longer putting in work together, I am glad to see that Premier is still getting his grind on! There are not too many great DJs left in the game, so I applaud the ones that are still keeping it hip-hop 101!

So, if you love hip-hop or Royce, make sure you put your ears on this one for sure! For those that give a dayum, I have hidden a secret treasure somewhere in this post. For those of you that are internet gurus the prize will be easy to find, but for unfamiliars I will try to guide you to it. The answer to this hip-hop trivia question will give you the clue to find the hidden treasure.

What hip-hop duo's debut album was entitled "No More Mr. Nice Guy?" The hand will point you in the right direction....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I don't think that there is one person on this planet that hasn't thought about pairing two of their favorite people together to make the ultimate dream team? Two individuals that are great by themselves sharing the same space. For instance...I have often wondered what magic may have surfaced if the kung-fu legends Bruce Lee and Jet Li were able to make a movie together? I've even invisioned the Human Beat Box and Rahzel doing a track together. Giant Robot and Ultraman working together to stop Tokyo, Japan from being detroyed by them stankin' azz monsters! Jaylib (Madlib & Jay Dee) is definitely one of those dream teams that actually became an unforeseen reality, which was a plus for all true hip-hop lovers. When they finally released the official album "Champion Sound" in 2003 the underground was buzzing! Did it live up to the hype? Personally, I think it did! The idea of them rapping over each others beats was genius. The craziest part of the whole Jaylib movement was the fact that there were actually three versions of this project floating around internet. The first was the original version that was actually scrapped due to internet leaks. The second version was a bunch of unreleased Jaylib tracks that were basically left on the cutting room floor, but like a good criminal somebody got they're hands on those babies and leaked them onto the internet as well. Am I supposed to be mad about that? Then there was the official version, which some say was the weaker of the three versions?

In rememberance of J Dilla's passing the "Champion Sound" album is being re-issued once again on May 8, 2007! The re-issued version has included a bonus disc full of rare, instrumental, unreleased and remixed Jaylib tracks for hip-hop fans to appreciate. Now that Jay Dee a.k.a J Dilla has passed on this Jaylib collaboration will forever remain in hip-hop history, so I guess you can consider this a collector's item. If you downloaded the album the first time, make sure you buy this version. If for some odd reason you have never heard the Jaylib album, first slap yourself in the face real, real hard and then go make the purchase on May 8th! You'll be very glad you did dammit! Support good music.....

Oh yeah...make sure you click on the red links throughout this post to see some cool video footage revealing each person, place or thing!

Jaylib - Live in The London Jazz Cafe'

Musiq Soulchild - Teach Me

Thanks for keeping the shades on Musiq...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's been a long time since I've done one of these EAR TEST mixes! It's about that time again. For those of you that haven't been coming through this blog that long, the EAR TEST mixes are where I showcase more of the obscure hip-hop, soul, electronica & whatever else I like. Some may call it eccentric, while others may feel it's hot garbage? It all comes down to personal choices, just like the "he-she" that is seen in the picture on the left. After laughing my azz off, I realized that this picture and my mix have a lot in common. Let's break it down shale we? Of course we shale! Okay, since I don't know he-she's real name I will just call him/her Willamina! Lets start from the top. Notice how deliberately Willamina rocked the Charlie's Angels styled blonde wig with a full beard that would even make the rapper Freeway proud! I think Willamina is showing a since of "BALANCE" with the combination of excessive hair on the head and the face. I tried to keep some "BALANCE" in the music of this mix as well. Also, I think Willamina was definitely paying overdue homage to the Cowardly Lion from the negroe cult classic entitled "The Wiz" from 1979 as well. You gotta love that! Who said we can't have Halloween in May dammit?

Next up is the outfit. I think this is where things start to come together actually? Willamina is obviously a fan of the "VINTAGE" look. Another keyword that describes my mix. I really enjoy sharing "VINTAGE" tracks from yester-year that may have been forgotten or totally overlooked. Wow! I can appreciate how Willamina took that "11 year-old girl from the projects back in 1982" look and made it his/her own. The knobby-knees with that slight hint of ashiness just brings this look home for me. The only thing missing is a Cherry Blow Pop and a warm cup of red Kool-Aid to make this look complete. That "standing by the school hallway locker pose" Willamina's in just adds lots of flavor well, which is really the icing on the cupcake in my personal opinion!

As we all know an outfit is nothing without a fresh pair of kicks (shoes)...right? Instead of going with a red, pink or yellow trendy boot, Willamina decided to be "DARING" by wearing a silver Village People style cowgirl boot instead! I tried to be "DARING" by going against the wood grain when I chose the songs for this mix. Not too daring though because some of you just ain't ready yet. Unfortunately, I don't think that those silver pleather type cowgirl boots really compliment the ghetto girl one piece outfit actually? It clashes too dayum much, plus they have that "I've been rockin' these for awhile" look to them as well. Next time go with a more stylish boot more of a stiletto heel with a better choice in color. Prince has been rockin' stiletto heels with his nicely pressed polyestor-rayon blends for years, so take a fashion tip from the master Willa! Overall, I give Willamina's whole look 2 thumbs down! I wish I had 2 sets of hands so that I could give this mess 4 thumbs down dammit!!

Okay, even though this photo and my mix have a few things in common, there is still one major difference between the two. Willamina's whole style sucks, but this mix doesn't? Well, I hope so anyway....


01>J Dilla - Diamonds
02>Havana - Yeah
03>Jazzy Jeff feat. CL Smooth - All I Know
04>Juggaknots - Romper Room
05>Funkytown Pros - Just Another Toss Up
06>Erykah Badu - Today
07>Pharcyde - Emerald Butterfly
08>Steve Spacek - Without U (J Dilla Remix)
09>P.U.T.S - L.A. Song (Sensative Remix)
10>Fat Jon - Interlude
11>Madlib - Young Warrior (Remix)
12>DJ Spinna feat. Heavy - We Can Change This World
13>Soulive - Cash's Dream (DJ Spinna Remix)
14>A Tribe Called Quest - Go Ahead An Rain
15>Musiq Soulchild - Millionaire
16>Polyrhythm Addicts - Thoughts of You


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I was having a conversation the other day with some folks online, and some how we got on the subject of what albums are consider tabu that we may have in your personal collection. You know those albums that you hide behind your Nas and Jill Scott CDs when company comes by. Some folks may not hide them, but they dayum sure don't tell the world that they have them either. Have you ever gotten into someones car and when they turned their radio on something crazy was playing? Then they try to make you think that they don't really like that type of music or that artist, and put the blame on someone else instead of admitting the truth? The only time some folks will admit that they like something that may seem odd is when they come across someone else with the same taste. Suddenly, it's cool to be a fan? I think being shy about liking any music is childish. The reality is as your you get older your taste in music will usually grow as well. For example, you may have hated jazz back in your teens, but in your late twenties it may sound just a little bit better. Limiting yourself to just rap, soul and pop is unnecessary. There is so much music to explore that if you listen to enough of it, something that you assumed you would never like can suddenly spark your interest. There are good songs in all genres music, so indulge yourself and take some risks. That last statement does not include Polka music of course...

I thought it would be cool to do a post where you folks (YES U) could share some of your favorite albums and/or artists that no one would believe that you really like. YES, download albums count too dammit (legal & illegal)! This process is not to embarass anyone, but I hope this can be an opportunity for all of us to get up on some more great music? Leave your list in the comments box below this post. This is a chance for all of you shy, non-commenting regulars to start participating. Yes, u too Ericoco & Love Me! None of that "anonymous" stuff either people! Take a minute and make up a fake screenname like the rest of us folks. Use your intials, birthday, pet's name or prison number...I don't really care! Just use something to identify yourself. I will share some of my favorite albums that I have in my personal stash first. Don't be scared...we're all music lovin' friends round here...

Check these albums from the private stash:

Steve Miller Band - Young Hearts: Greatest Hits
KC & The Sunshine Band - The Best of KC & The Band
Grease: The Original Movie Soundtrack
The Wiz: The Original Movie Soundtrack
Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Soundtrack
Michael Franks - The Best of: A Backward Glance
John Mayer - Room For Squares
Kraftwerk - Computer Love
John Mayer - Heavier Things
Etta James - Love Songs
The Disco Years, Vol. 2: On The Beat