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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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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Pete Rock and Smif-N-Wessun Speak On Dr. Dre Vs DJ Premier

In support of their latest drop Monumental (cop here) Pete Rock and Cocoa Brovaz drop by with Vlad TV for a quick interview.

Here we have the threesome discussing the somewhat problematic question (in some people’s eyes; not mine I hasten to add) of who is a better producer: Dr. Dre or DJ Premier.

I think Rock covers it perfectly by stating how it’s difficult to compare the different New York gritty yet funky samples of Premo versus Dre’s famous laid back G-Funk.

Good stuff.

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Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun ft. Styles P & Sean Price-That’s Hard


A lot of people have been sleeping on this imminent project and I have no idea why. I mean, it’s Pete Rock AND Smif-N-Wessun (Wait. Didn’t they have to change their name due to the guns manufacturer?) Regardless, here they hook up with a double dosage of SP (Love what they did with the cover) for this heavy violin effort with equally mean lyricism and textbook scratches from Rock himself. Monumental drops June 28th.

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Smif-N-Wessun / Havoc - Death Is Forever [Video]

How peculiar. I was tweeting only yesterday about Smif-N-Wessun after briefly reviewing their debut on this very site and up pops Tek with a joint and video from his upcoming 24KT mixtape.

Although Havoc features on vocals, I am unable at this time to confirm whether it’s his board work or not. However, it is a stylish East Coast effort and great to see these three vets all coming together to hold NY down and remind us that death isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for ever.

Tek (feat Havoc & General Steele) – Death Is Forever

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Sleeping With Open Eyes: Part 1

Illmatic, Enter The Wu Tang, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, The Infamous, Reasonable Doubt, Ready To Die, Mecca And The Soul Brother, Tical, Lifestyles Ov Da Poor N Dangerous, Doe Or Die, The Low End Theory.

I’m hoping these albums strike some sort of chord with you. They should do. They form part of the 1990’s best hip-hop records ever released, never mind just East Coast. I’ve read countless blogs, Amazon lists, Wikipedia articles, Last.fm pages, magazines and books where these albums feature almost predictably on everyone’s  (mine included) “best of’s”, “albums to listen before you die” and “real hip-hop” playlists and no doubt will continue to as long as hip-hop remains in existence.

My point? What about those undeniable records of genius simply overshadowed by the above? The ones which fell victim not to the quality of the music itself, but merely the timing of its release. In an industry today where even the truly beautiful flowers are unable to rise above the magnitude of towering weeds, how impossible would it have been for such a flower to rise above a 100ft tree full in blossom? Put it this way, I wouldn’t have wanted my release date on April 19th 1994.

This is part one of an assortment of underrated hip-hop records from the 1990’s, carefully handpicked and selected for you by myself. → Continue Reading

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