Archive for March, 2008

Spin Magazine's "Chicago, ILL!" Feature

| March 5, 2008 | 0 Comments

Damn, I definitely need my late pass on this one. Spin Magazine did a big feature and fashion spread on some of the “brightest stars of the Windy City” in their March 2008 issue. The feature highlights the Cool Kids, Kid Sister, Flosstradamus and Dude N Nem.

Check:

There’s a new hip-hop/dance hybrid blowing up in the windy city. With a sense of unbridled fun not seen since rap’s golden age, this new crew cherry-picks from two decades of club music, creating a gangsta-free, party-igniting sound that’s made for inciting dance-floor riots. Here, the most promising new jacks — Flosstradamus, the Cool Kids, Dude ‘N Nem, and Kid Sister — throw a kickass house party, while spotlighting spring fashion that’s as vibrant as their music.

Check out the rest at Spin.com.


Ben 1 feat. Shawnna – "I'll Never Leave My Girl"

| March 5, 2008 | 0 Comments

Um yeah, as you know, I’m not too heavy into posting R&B stuff around here (unless it’s an R.Kelly diss track), but what the hey, I figured a few of you may be interested in checking out this new track from R&B crooner, Ben 1. Shawnna is kicks a verse at the end. Enjoy.

Ben 1 – “I’ll Never Leave My Girl”

Thanks to Treasurechest over at RubyHornet/Bandit Productions

Video: Common's Smirnoff Remix Series Performance & Review

| March 5, 2008 | 0 Comments


(Video courtesy of Str8NYC.com)

Over at URB.com, Jason Newman has a rundown of last week’s Smirnoff Signature Mix Series show in NYC – a new series that unites some of Hip-Hop’s best and brightest MC’s and producers, who remix some of their classic tracks. Last week we brought you Common’s reworking of “The Light” courtesy of Just Blaze, and he performed this track live alongside such heavyweights as KRS-One and Q-Tip.

Check:

After Tip rocked a quick 20-minute set, Common stuck mainly to the uptempo tracks from his past two albums, hitting the crowd with “The People” and “Go” before showcasing his remix with Just Blaze of the Dilla-produced “The Light.”

You can read the whole piece and check out pics here.


Video: Common's Smirnoff Remix Series Performance & Review

| March 5, 2008 | 0 Comments


(Video courtesy of Str8NYC.com)

Over at URB.com, Jason Newman has a rundown of last week’s Smirnoff Signature Mix Series show in NYC – a new series that unites some of Hip-Hop’s best and brightest MC’s and producers, who remix some of their classic tracks. Last week we brought you Common’s reworking of “The Light” courtesy of Just Blaze, and he performed this track live alongside such heavyweights as KRS-One and Q-Tip.

Check:

After Tip rocked a quick 20-minute set, Common stuck mainly to the uptempo tracks from his past two albums, hitting the crowd with “The People” and “Go” before showcasing his remix with Just Blaze of the Dilla-produced “The Light.”

You can read the whole piece and check out pics here.


Album Review: Astonish – From Now Until Forever

| March 4, 2008 | 0 Comments

Astonish – From Now Until Forever (Molemen Records, 2008)

Astonish is the newest member of Chicago’s storied Molemen crew, and last week he dropped his debut album, From Now Until Forever. I saw him open up for the Wu-Tang Clan back in December and he really impressed me. Did he live up to the expectations or flat-out drop the ball?

Can U Hear Me

The breezy first single that I gushed about a few months back. Great way to kick off the album, in my opinion (You can check out the video here) In the track he welcomes us to his “EP”, but it looks like they scratched that idea, and went ahead and released 10 tracks, making it a full-length long player. Thank you.

The Interview

Congratulations Astonish, you’re the thousandth rapper to name a song “The Interview”. Are you going to Disney World? I kid, I kid.

Problems

Featuring Molemen affiliates Scheme and Decay. Solid posse cut.

Broken Dreams

Hands down my favorite track on the album. For some reason this song takes me back to ’95 or’96, and that’s a good thing. I really hope Astonish’s life isn’t filled with broken dreams and problems (see above). I find myself playing this song over and over again – you’re probably asking yourself “Boy, does AB have Broken Dreams?” As if I’d tell you!

Panik Attack

When this song began, I thought Cam’ron was going to pop up and yell “Killa”. No? I’m a fan of this beat, for sure – very “vintage” sounding. “I ain’t even got a whip, I take the bus to my shows” – (Word to the CTA!) The chorus is nice too; I know he was ready to work that whole “panic attack” angle (No Paxil)

Microphone Check

Nice to hear a Das Efx sample utilized in 2008. (Speaking of Das Efx, did anyone else ever wonder what “My knee bone’s connected to my hardy har har har” meant? What’s a hardy har har har, anyways? It still baffles me to this day.)

The track has an old school-ish boom bap feel to it, right down to the Jamaican man kicking a bunch of jibberish at the beginning and end of the track…Like they used to back in the 90’s!! Speaking of “where are they now”, whatever happened to Mad Lion?

Life Ain’t Sweet

The song where Astonish trades verses with east coast underground stalwart, Termanology. They both go hard on this track, giving it the old “I’m going to one up you on my verse” treatment. The beat is sinister.

No Patience

This track has a very “spring time” feel to it. The beat wouldn’t have been out of place on the last Brother Ali album, but instead of an angry ferocious Ali, you have a breezy, laid back Astonish riding the track nicely.

Light ‘Em Up

Astonish’s delivery on the track could draw comparisons to Lupe, Snoop or even, hell, Da Brat. Shit, Astonish kills the hook on this one.

Impossible

I heard if you’re the best, you ain’t even gotta say it/so n****, I’m the….you can fill in the blank”. Nuff said. Panik, who produced the track, killed it.

Overall, this album is an extremely cohesive and focused project. Definitely something that you could pop in and let run from front to back. One thing I can say about Astonish, in confidence, is that he has a bright future ahead of him. When I saw him open up for the Wu back in December, I had high expectations, and he more than lived up to them on From Now Until Forever. The Molemen crew have a very strong hold on the underground scene in Chicago, but this release could be the one that brings them above the surface. If you’re into the whole “true school” sound, or what some may refer to as “real hip hop” there is no way you could dislike this album. The production is especially on point – if you’re a fan of 9th Wonder, or say, Ant – then you’ll appreciate this.

Standout tracks: “Can U Hear Me”, “Broken Dreams”, “Impossible”, “No Patience”

Album Review: Astonish – From Now Until Forever

| March 4, 2008 | 0 Comments

Astonish – From Now Until Forever (Molemen Records, 2008)

Astonish is the newest member of Chicago’s storied Molemen crew, and last week he dropped his debut album, From Now Until Forever. I saw him open up for the Wu-Tang Clan back in December and he really impressed me. Did he live up to the expectations or flat-out drop the ball?

Can U Hear Me

The breezy first single that I gushed about a few months back. Great way to kick off the album, in my opinion (You can check out the video here) In the track he welcomes us to his “EP”, but it looks like they scratched that idea, and went ahead and released 10 tracks, making it a full-length long player. Thank you.

The Interview

Congratulations Astonish, you’re the thousandth rapper to name a song “The Interview”. Are you going to Disney World? I kid, I kid.

Problems

Featuring Molemen affiliates Scheme and Decay. Solid posse cut.

Broken Dreams

Hands down my favorite track on the album. For some reason this song takes me back to ’95 or’96, and that’s a good thing. I really hope Astonish’s life isn’t filled with broken dreams and problems (see above). I find myself playing this song over and over again – you’re probably asking yourself “Boy, does AB have Broken Dreams?” As if I’d tell you!

Panik Attack

When this song began, I thought Cam’ron was going to pop up and yell “Killa”. No? I’m a fan of this beat, for sure – very “vintage” sounding. “I ain’t even got a whip, I take the bus to my shows” – (Word to the CTA!) The chorus is nice too; I know he was ready to work that whole “panic attack” angle (No Paxil)

Microphone Check

Nice to hear a Das Efx sample utilized in 2008. (Speaking of Das Efx, did anyone else ever wonder what “My knee bone’s connected to my hardy har har har” meant? What’s a hardy har har har, anyways? It still baffles me to this day.)

The track has an old school-ish boom bap feel to it, right down to the Jamaican man kicking a bunch of jibberish at the beginning and end of the track…Like they used to back in the 90’s!! Speaking of “where are they now”, whatever happened to Mad Lion?

Life Ain’t Sweet

The song where Astonish trades verses with east coast underground stalwart, Termanology. They both go hard on this track, giving it the old “I’m going to one up you on my verse” treatment. The beat is sinister.

No Patience

This track has a very “spring time” feel to it. The beat wouldn’t have been out of place on the last Brother Ali album, but instead of an angry ferocious Ali, you have a breezy, laid back Astonish riding the track nicely.

Light ‘Em Up

Astonish’s delivery on the track could draw comparisons to Lupe, Snoop or even, hell, Da Brat. Shit, Astonish kills the hook on this one.

Impossible

I heard if you’re the best, you ain’t even gotta say it/so n****, I’m the….you can fill in the blank”. Nuff said. Panik, who produced the track, killed it.

Overall, this album is an extremely cohesive and focused project. Definitely something that you could pop in and let run from front to back. One thing I can say about Astonish, in confidence, is that he has a bright future ahead of him. When I saw him open up for the Wu back in December, I had high expectations, and he more than lived up to them on From Now Until Forever. The Molemen crew have a very strong hold on the underground scene in Chicago, but this release could be the one that brings them above the surface. If you’re into the whole “true school” sound, or what some may refer to as “real hip hop” there is no way you could dislike this album. The production is especially on point – if you’re a fan of 9th Wonder, or say, Ant – then you’ll appreciate this.

Standout tracks: “Can U Hear Me”, “Broken Dreams”, “Impossible”, “No Patience”

Naledge & Mickey Factz – Naledge vs. Factz

| March 3, 2008 | 0 Comments


The homie Naledge just hit me with a new joint he did with Mickey (don’t call me Hipster rap) Factz. Definitely a fresh tandem.

“Too many rappers and not enough fans/Too many players, not enough in the stands”
-Naledge

Naledge & Mickey Factz – “Naledge vs. Factz”


Naledge & Mickey Factz – Naledge vs. Factz

| March 3, 2008 | 0 Comments


The homie Naledge just hit me with a new joint he did with Mickey (don’t call me Hipster rap) Factz. Definitely a fresh tandem.

“Too many rappers and not enough fans/Too many players, not enough in the stands”
-Naledge

Naledge & Mickey Factz – “Naledge vs. Factz”


Video: Rhymefest – "Brand New" Live

| March 2, 2008 | 0 Comments

With a ridiculous Kanye stand-in.  I’ve seen ‘Fest do this routine a few times – quite hilarious.
Spotted via Eskay

Video: Rhymefest – "Brand New" Live

| March 2, 2008 | 0 Comments

With a ridiculous Kanye stand-in.  I’ve seen ‘Fest do this routine a few times – quite hilarious.
Spotted via Eskay