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Aja Riddick
18 June, 2014 12:27 pm

If you came of age in the 90’s golden era, you know that Onyx’s introductory album Bacdafucup was a hip-hop staple. Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, Sonny Seeza and Big DS (R.I.P) were angry, spastic and totally captivating on the mic. Subsequent albums became soundtracks for New York City ruffnecks and ruffneck sympathizers across the world. [cont.]

2 July, 2013 5:09 pm

If you read the description of Apollo Brown, Verbal Kent and Red Pill’s Ugly Heroes project on the Mello Music Group website, you know their definition of “an ‘ugly hero’ is the everyday blue collar individual that makes the world go ’round.” And hey, who doesn’t want to honor those guys? With gratuitous celebrity running [cont.]

12 June, 2013 3:35 am

All relatively recent missteps aside, LL Cool J is one of the most celebrated names in hip-hop, with almost three decades in the game and a dozen albums under his belt. He’s on the short list when it comes to longevity and successfully parleying rap prowess and personality into a multi-platform career. Authentic, his thirteenth [cont.]

4 March, 2013 4:41 pm

No, you didn’t download the wrong album. It is certainly dead prez you’re listening to, not FloRida. Or 2 Chainz. Or like, Weezy or something. This deluxe reissue of Information Age is classic DP content paired with some melodious curiosities. Still, the physical release would have been adequately enhanced with half of the six additional [cont.]

11 November, 2012 8:13 am

“Here’s a guy at the intersection of the corner of jazz and hip hop.” Karriem Riggins is heralded, albeit quietly, as one of the most talented musicians connected to hip-hop culture. Of the qualities present in artists with this distinction is the ability to traverse genres while fusing influences into their own creations. Riggins embodies [cont.]

3 August, 2012 7:24 pm

It’s 1:00AM and I’m thinking about the love of my life. Only problem is I’m not the love of his. Ingeniously, Frank Ocean has provided mood music for my pining. If someone decided to create a soundtrack centered on Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” line, “tell me who I have to be to get some reciprocity” it [cont.]

29 May, 2012 3:11 am

February 23, 1986: The LA Times’ Connie Johnson penned a young Janet Jackson had “truly arrived” after releasing her third studio album Control. “This is a story about control, my control,” Jackson declared on the album and title track intro. A year to date from that review a child was born, who on May 11, [cont.]

26 April, 2012 10:31 am

Lee Bannon released the seven track, eleven minute Fantastic Plastic EP in September of last year on Plug Research, and talk about a teaser! For fans, it was only right he came back this February with a full length album of the same title. At first listen, it’s hard to believe Bannon hails from The [cont.]

26 December, 2011 10:49 am

North Carolina-based emcee Median knows how to alleviate the drama. His first two projects; The Path to Relief EP and Median’s Relief appear to be named in that spirit, and The Sender is no exception. Brought to you by Jamla and +FE Music, the full length sophomore offering of this Hall of Justus comrade actualizes a [cont.]

10 November, 2011 4:00 am

Mayer Hawthorne follows up his debut, A Strange Arrangement with How Do You Do; almost 45 minutes of tunes that ensure we do very well indeed. Hawthorne shows a range on this project that gives everyone something to get down to. Not abandoning the signature throwback sound that rendered him a standout in the R&B [cont.]

26 October, 2011 7:28 pm

Cormega’s anticipated Raw Forever celebrates the ten-year anniversary of his 2001 opus The Realness – a marriage of the respected old and the refreshing new. Twenty-two tracks of familiar hits with a sprinkling of band-assisted fresh material break the two-years since Cory McKay’s last release. The two-disc album should appease Cormega supporters, but definitely leave [cont.]

26 September, 2011 2:44 pm

A few Great Lakes didn’t stop Low Budget Collective affiliate Hassaan Mackey and Mello Music Group’s Apollo Brown from connecting to bake Daily Bread. The New York MC and Michigan bred producer offered fifteen strong, emotion evoking tracks this summer; give or take a few interludes. Their integration is seamless – Brown provides a musical [cont.]

26 August, 2011 3:31 pm

This year, OFWGKTA’s dynamic duo, MellowHype, reissued their sophomore album BlackenedWhite on Mississippi’s Fat Possum Records. Remixed, re-mastered and streamlined to eleven tracks for maximum efficiency; Hodgy Beats and Left Brain are quickly perfecting a formula that speaks to the younger generation. It is chord heavy mood music laced with the spirit of rebellion, but [cont.]

1 July, 2011 5:54 pm

Four years since their last release, Smif-n-Wessun return with a suitably titled fourteen-song offering of Bucktown brilliance. Boasting exclusive production and expert turntablism from the Chocolate Boy Wonder, Monumental makes its moniker proud every step of the way. The unlikely trio prepared an audible meal that should have the hungry going back for second and [cont.]

17 May, 2011 4:44 pm

It’s pure coincidence that Kaimbr’s government name is Al Green. Still, some higher power must have known they were creating the nucleus of the 13-track, Albert Green inspired opus titled The Alexander Green Project. Anyone familiar with Kev Brown knows a canvas created entirely of his Al Green sampled beats is enough to carry even [cont.]

4 May, 2011 12:00 pm

“As a producer you always want to progress your sound and you always want to try to improve on what you’re doing already.” – Illmind, Behind the Curtain with Illmind Illmind’s latest project is just that; twenty-two tracks that push his signature sound to its limits. A nod to author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, M.D.’s [cont.]

21 March, 2011 12:39 pm

A KRS-One and Showbiz collaboration is theoretically the stuff “true school” hip hop heads’ dreams are made of. Eleven ’90′s flavored tracks; smooth but boom bap at the essence, coupled with the blastmaster’s thick, commanding original raps is a reminder that the vets are not lacking in skills. Still, KRS’s authoritative and sometimes superior vibe [cont.]

25 February, 2011 1:32 pm

The 11th edition of Madlib’s Medicine Show series boasts an initially daunting 28 tracks, but at just over an hour long; the album is an almost perfect creative blend of beats & rhymes, jazz laced instrumentals and comedic interludes. Don’t be surprised if you’re compelled to run it back in its entirety. The whole thing [cont.]

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