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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Peter Rosenberg & Popchips Present : What's Poppin Vol. 1

Normally, I don’t go for these ‘personality hosted’ mixtapes as they just tend to be a mish-mash of readily-available tracks. However, the ever-entertaining Peter Rosenberg (one of the few prominent lovers of both hip-hop and wrestling!) has really pulled off something special here, with a 23-track project full of original material from the likes of Raekwon, Odd Future, Kendrick Lamar, Asher Roth, Childish Gambino and many more. There’s even a Macho Man Randy Savage interlude!

Needless to say, this looks like a must-have for all hip-hop fans, and alongside the glut of rap gargantuans, there are a couple of ‘middle-ground’ names on here I’ve been looking to get into, whilst I’m sure we’ll also be introduced to a few new and upcoming stars. To quote Peter, ‘With so much BS out there — sometimes it’s hard to find what’s really poppin. Well I did the work for you. Enjoy.’

Peter Rosenberg & Popchips Present : What’s Poppin Vol. 1

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Skyzoo - Take It There (Lift Off Freestyle)

Lift Off from Watch The Throne took a fair bit of flak, somewhat surprisingly to me. I mean, yes Beyonce’s just straight up irritating now, but I like the production and Yeezy on it, and it reminded me of one of the more upbeat tracks from his 808s and Heartbreak album.

Anyway, here’s a freestyle on that song by Skyzoo, and those disappointed with the lack of lyrical display on the original track on Watch The Throne  will appreciate this one far more.

Skyzoo – Take It there (Lift Off freestyle)

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Skyzoo-Written In The Drums

I’ve got two delightful pieces of hip-hop for you this evening. The first is Written In The Drums from Skyzoo’s upcoming effort The Great Debater.

As perhaps alluded to by the title, a drum-focused instrumental from Swiff D (Pac Div’s beat-maker) compliments Skyzoo’s punchy delivery. This is very listenable but my analytical skills fail me a little in pinpointing why.

The Great Debater is out June 7th.

Skyzoo-Written In The Drums

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Nina B-Picture This ft. Skyzoo

Not heard much of Nina B before, but she’s caught me by surprise with this super-dope chilled bit of hip hop. A female emcee; think more Jean Grae than Nicki Minaj. Words from the lady herself:

“A cold dark night about a year or so ago, in the studio with one of my favorite producers…
I knew what I needed when I got there, and I knew he’d know exactly how to execute that too. I approached 6th Sense with a concept, I presented the vision. He started making the beat ; right there and right then, heads nodding in approval…I started writing. My competitive nature compelled me to finish my masterpiece before he could finish his…But, he’d always beat me to the punch! Even this time.

I sat there, putting it all together. Alone. And I smiled a little when it was done, but I knew what it needed now was another perspective. I reached out to Skyzoo..that’s how “Picture This” was made. Hope you enjoy!”

Nina B-Picture This ft. Skyzoo

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John Regan-Sorry I'm Late [Album]

This is the debut solo album release from 24-year old Baltimore born emcee John Regan. It features the likes of Marsha Ambrosius, Joell Ortiz, Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli (you can grab that collab here), Needlz, Nottz, 88-Keys, PackFM, Ill Bill, Juganot, Kidz in the Hall, Jaiden and more. Certainly an eye-catching lineup for an underground artist such as Regan, and gives you an idea that the album is going to be something worth taking note of.

I’ve only managed to give it a quick listen, but it certainly does impress and comes across as an album that you’d expect from a far more established artist, which is a credit to the talent Regan clearly has. The album describes his struggles at trying to make it in the hip-hop game, whilst having to balance a family life at the same time. It’s available for purchase on iTunes/Amazon now, but before you take the plunge, you can listen to the full album for free here (My favourite track has to be the superb All I Got To Give).

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Skyzoo & !llmind-Speakers On Blast Remix ft. Lloyd Banks & Maino

For some reason, the original to this track wasn’t posted on this site. I guess it got lost in the shuffle, but a chance to put that right has opened up with the official remix. Fellow Brooklynite Maino and Lloyd Banks, a man who has had a superb 2010, feature on this, with Banks in particular having a superb verse to this very pure and yet unusual production. You can listen to it here on the site and also download it below.

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Skyzoo/Illmind - Frisbees [Video]

Posted a stream to this track a few weeks ago, but teasingly didn’t provide a download link for you to savage. This track is still sounding fresh to my ears so I’ll let it loose now, be sure to enjoy the official video to your left here too.

Skyzoo & !llmind – Frisbees

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Skyzoo/Illmind - Frisbees

“Frisbees” is the first leak off Skyzoo & ILLMIND’s album ‘Live From The Tape Deck’ in stores this October on Duck Down Music. Look out for the music video in the next few weeks.

If you’re in the New York Tri-State today see Skyzoo & ILLMIND performing this record for the first time live on stage at BB KINGS for Duck Down’s 15 Year Anniversary show.

This isn’t the sort of beat Skyzoo often spits over, but it sounds really good. You can hear it for yourselves below!

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Quick Blast: Skyzoo-It Ain’t Hard To Tell Freestyle

With Indi temporarily out of the picture, someone’s gotta take care of the ‘not quite underground but not quite mainstream’ batch of rappers. Skyzoo drops some decent bars over the Nas classic, which aren’t as good as the original (of course) but are certainly worth a listen as they’re probably better than any other attempt at this beat.

Skyzoo-It Ain’t Hard To Tell Freestyle

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Quickblast: Skyzoo

This video was made around two years ago now, so you could call this a throwback. I didn’t even know Skyzoo had brought a video out for what was my favourite track off his debut album, The Salvation. Definitely worth a watch if you’re into that raw type of Hip Hop. You can download the track below too, if you like.

Skyzoo – The Necessary Evils

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Jamieson: UK Born Rapper out of NY

Being based in the UK, we’re always looking for the best talent from our homeland here at OTU, and here goes a London-born MC that’s making moves over in New York. Liking this guy’s rapping style, and there will be inevitable comparisons with Slick Rick, although they do have quite different styles. Good to hear UK hip-hop that isn’t rooted in Grime, and has a crisp sound about it.

Plenty of potential in Jamieson, and I’m sure many of you readers will be able to connect much quicker with his sound than that of the usual UK rappers. Nice feature on this one too, with one of the underground’s favourites Skyzoo delivering a verse.

Jamieson-So You Know ft. Skyzoo

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Quick Blast: Rhymefest & Skyzoo

As the title suggests, a new track by Skyzoo and Rhymefest. This track is pretty good, I’ll let the email describe it:

Rhymefest ended up just being at the studio during Skyzoo’s session, the two hit it off very quickly with help from this K-Salaam and Beatnik track and the concept for “Crack The Code” was born. Skyzoo’s verse centers on the intricacies of Chicago, while Rhymefest raps about the nature of New York City. It’s an homage to two great homes for Hip Hop, and a pairing of two great emcees.”

Download this track, Crack The Code, by clicking here.

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Statik Selektah/Skyzoo/Torae/Rapper Pooh/Lee Wilson

Wow. Lots of featurage here (Yeah, I just made up a new word. And what?).  Last month Indi dropped some of Statik’s material from his 100 Proof (The Hangover) album (there’s loads of stuff there so check it out).

Now I’m dropping my favourite track from the LP. As usual from the talented beat-maker/scratcher, Statik pulls in some of his contacts for another feature-heavy joint. I’m a big fan of Torae and I recommend you pick up some of his stuff. We know lots about Skyzoo and Rapper Pooh (Little Brother) so you know what to expect on this track. Pure fire.

Statik Selektah (feat Skyzoo, Torae, Rapper Pooh & Lee Wilson) – Get Out

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Notorious Indi’s Best of ‘09

2009 was one hell of an interesting year. We saw the comeback of Eminem, albums by the 2 other big names of hip-hop in Jay-Z and 50 Cent, and once again we waited all year for Dr. Dre’s Detox which never came. It’s fair to say that despite this the year hasn’t been dominated by the big boys and we’ve seen a gradual change in hip hop – the gangsta rap of previous years has steadily evolved into what can be described as ‘Hip Hop Hipsters’. Kanye led the way back in 2004 and by 2009 the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Wale and Asher Roth have emerged.

Click on to find out what I considered the best and the worst to come out this year. → Continue Reading

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Skyzoo – A Brooklyn MC

Another underground rapper for your ears - Skyzoo (who has received props from the likes of Jay-Z and Nas) has been on his grind for a few years now, generating a buzz within the underground community.

Having moderate success as an independent artist, Skyzoo will be releasing his debut album The Salvation, which is set to be released on the 29th of September via Jamla Records, founded by Grammy-Award winning producer 9th Wonder.

Click below to hear a few of the tracks he’s made over the past year or so.
→ Continue Reading

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