Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Full Album Stream)

statik
With an incredible number of collaborations, joint albums, productions for other artists and much more under his belt, one of hip-hop’s hardest working men is gearing up to release his 5th solo studio album next Tuesday (18th).

It’s been fun watching Statik’s reputation grow from a bubbling-under producer to one of hip-hop’s premiere acts behind the boards, and it appears most of the genre feel the same way; features are beyond plentiful here, with appearances from Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, Blu, Joell Ortiz, Mac Miller, Flatbush Zombies, Bun B, Prodigy, Action Bronson and many, many more in what is a fantastically-stacked lineup. Of course, there are several producers/DJs who tend to get a slew of guest spots on their albums (Khaled, Drama etc.) but given their tendency to hire predominantly mainstream or ‘pop rappers’, it’s refreshing to get Statik projects that are generally full to the brim with MCs that do the genre justice. Stream the full project over at NPR below, and be sure to support next week if you’re a fan.

Statik Selektah-Extended Play (Album Stream)

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Talib Kweli-Attack the Block (Mixtape)


Can’t complain about a little unexpected Talib Kweli, especially when its a huge 18-track project boasting some massive features.

Twitter seems to be surprised about one feature in particular, that being the Lil’ Wayne (and Mack Maine) assist, which isn’t actually that big a shock given Kweli’s very public praise for Weezy. There are much more notable features on here, including Ab-Soul, Ryan Leslie, Black Thought and Mac Miller. Of course, Talib’s hardly a slouch with a mic and I’m sure he’ll further his status as one of the better rappers around with this tape.

Talib Kweli-Attack the Block

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The Roots-Make My Video

undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun.

With the concept for The Roots’ upcoming undun album explained, this short yet rather powerful clip of what is essentially just a shootout has a more poignant context. Particularly excellent is the hint of ambiguity: it’s not totally clear which of the two shooters is Redford. The viewer’s sympathy clearly extends to the character that is killed, but the final scenes of focus on the killer suggests the expansion may instead happen on this character, and hence throwing an interesting dynamic out there prior to the album release. A gritty, dark short clip, this is certainly worth watching as an opening to what comes next from this story. The full audio is here, and be sure to grab that album on December 9th.

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Saigon-Too Long ft. Black Thought


My favourite track from Saigon’s Greatest Story Never Told, which hasn’t appeared on many of the LP leaks so may turn out as a bonus cut.

As is most of the production on the album, this one is on-point with a deep and meaningful chorus which swells neatly into each emcees’ verses. The Roots’ Black Thought (my personal revelation emcee of the past six months) provides a typically-relatable punchy verse sandwiched between Sai’s rhymes which stand toe-to-toe with the veterans’. Pre-order Saigon’s long awaited debut here.

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Money Making Jam Boys-The Prestige: Jam Boy Magic


Haven’t been this excited for a mixtape in a little while. I’ve only caught the one track (Day Job) but such was the pure hip-hop essence, I’m really confident that this will be of a great standard.

Of course, the individual components of the group help, and being led by the fantastic mic skills of Black Thought is always going to work in anyone’s favour. The list of contributors doesn’t end with the MMJB, as the project is mixed by Mick Boogie and Terry Urban, as well as featuring some production by Thought’s fellow Roots member ?uestlove, and some Jazzy Jeff scratches in for good measure. To me, it sounds like the perfect formula for a solid hip-hop mixtape. You know what to do.

Money Making Jam Boys-The Prestige: Jam Boy Magic

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Game-Purp and Patron: The Hangover Mixtape

As promised, Game and DJ Skee let loose of the tracks that didn’t make the initial cut for the recent Purp & Patron mixtape.

As with P&P, there are some very interesting features here, with Joell Ortiz and Ghostface (on the same track, no less) making for particularly eye-catching inclusions. Preview/download in the widget, tracklist below.

01. The Hangover
02. California
03. Yung Stunna (Feat. Birdman)
04. Violin
05. Sex
06. White Soft Porn (Feat. Mars)
07. Get Familiar (Feat. Timbaland)
08. Lost
09. I’m Home (Feat. Kurupt)
10. This Way (Feat. JoiStaRR)
11. 3D (Feat. David Banner)
12. Drama (Feat. Ghostface & Joell Ortiz)
13. Lovebirds
14. Philly (Mega Mix) (Young Chris Feat. Game, Eve, Black Thought, Money Malc, Fat Joe, Fred the Godson, Diggy Simmons & Jermaine Dupri)
15. Undefeated (Feat. Busta Rhymes & Marsha Ambrosius)

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Money Making Jam Boys-Day Job


Maybe not a name that’s familiar yet, but when you see who the group is comprised of, you’ll be looking to change that: de facto leader Black Thought of The Roots, accompanied by frequent Roots collaborators Dice Raw, Truck North, P.O.R.N. and STS. Talented bunch of guys, and with a mixtape on the horizon (Feb. 3rd) we’re treated to a very solid track from The Prestige: Jam Boy Magic.

The old-school, raw feel of this production will really win over the hip-hop heads, with pounding drum and bass hits tied with a mesmerising set of melodies and catchy sampled hook, making for an addictive and captivating production that is comfortably one of the best beats in recent memory. The raps certainly deliver too, and there aren’t any weak links at all in the set. Very, very strong hip-hop.

Money Making Jam Boys-Day Job

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OTU's Top 15 MCs of 2010


As the end of year lists begin to pop up everywhere, it’s only right that we enter the fray. Murray, Indi, Liam and myself have put our heads together to compile a list of the very best acts in hip-hop this year, and come up with shortlist of who we feel stood up and really did something worthwhile this year. With the differing tastes and perspectives of four writers, you’ll definitely find some good talking points amongst the commentary we’ve offered on our selections, for better or worse (hopefully better!).

Click below to see who ranked at #15 all the way up to #4. The top 3 will be released shortly afterwards. Without further ado, let the mayhem begin!

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Ghostface KIllah & Black Thought-In Tha Park


Some new Ghost to start things off today from his soon-to-be-released Apollo Kids dropping 21st December.

Characteristic, blaxploitation-inspired production featuring a very memorable Black Thought verse which totally steals the show here. Get your hands on this below.

Ghostface Killah-In Tha Park ft. Black Thought

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R&B Fridays: Episode 77


In contrast to last week’s bumper episode, this week is a little shorter. However, that’s not to suggest it’s been a quiet week for R&B, as we’ve seen the release of plenty of videos/singles, and no less than 4 full-length mixtapes from R&B Fridays favourites.

Firstly, Bei Maejor came through with Upside Down 2, Chris Brown delivered In My Zone 2, Keri Hilson released her riskiest video to date and Trey Songz’s let loose of #Lemmeholdatbeat. After that, we got an enjoyable effort from the Dirty Money album along with the visuals for their latest single, Raheem DeVaughn’s latest mixtape and steamy new video, a full stream of R. Kelly’s new album, and finally the enjoyable video for the Lloyd and 50 Cent collaboration. Click below for the rest of this week’s R&B/pop.
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BET Hip-Hop Awards Cyphers

I’d been waiting on these for a while, and I’m glad to say they don’t disappoint. The video here is the three freestyles from Eminem, Mos Def and Black Thought. It has to be said that all 3 absolutely tear this up. Click below to see the other two cyphers, which include Joe Budden, Wale, KRS-One and others.

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