Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Earl Sweatshirt: on ‘Tyler, the Director’, ‘Taco the Socialite’.. More Great Stories (Uncensored w/ Rosenberg @ SXSW 2013)

June 7, 2014

This summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago features a somewhat predictable, but well-chosen lineup of popular hip-hop talent.  Among them is a young, creative and rap genius, who’s been at the top of my “must-see in-concert” wish list for over two years: Earl Sweatshirt from Odd Future.  Although Earl’s not headlining  the final day of the reputed #PitchforkFestival (duties being handled by Kendrick Lamar, who deserves many of the same compliments critics afford to Earl Sweatshirt), if the majority rock/cross-genre concert audience was to have only one “ambassador” to grassroots hip-hop music gracing the roster, I would want it to be Earl.

Not simply because of the numerous, reputed (and controversial) comparisons of Earl to a young, Illmatic-era Nas, but also because of his apparent humility and authenticity, and intelligence… qualities that are lacking among many aspiring and current stars in today’s rap game: land of the incessant #CoolandTough fuckery… Rosenberg is also well-aware of what Earl could be to the world hip-hop community 10 years from now (whether Earl gives a shit or not).  Intrigued enough for a continuation to their first interview in spring 2012, which was held almost immediately upon Earl’s return home to the surprise of OF’s massive success from a completely different reality, Rosenberg caught up with Earl in Austin during SXSW…

In the living room of Earl’s Austin, TX rental for the week- along with one of OF’s ‘elders’, Domo Genesis, offering anecdotes as he rolls up off-camera, and without consistent interruption from Tyler, Rosenberg leads an unadulterated, non-PC follow-up to his 2012 Hot 97 Interview to address peoples’ unanswered questions.. most of which lead to entertaining narratives for fans who follow Odd Future… This could be the first time I’ve laughed through a YouTube video that’s more than 10 minutes long, let alone 20.. Rosenberg manages to unearth comments from Earl on his top-5 emcees, the “garbage” some of he and Domo’s OF comrades listen to, plus impressions of Taco mingling with Hollywood’s red carpet club- all in his own brand of dry humor that works perfectly with Rosenberg’s style… Great stuff:

Vintage Video: O.D.B + Busta Rhymes’ Impromptu Public Cypher

April 26, 2014

By the looks of things, specifically Busta Rhymes’ slender build, and the Tommy Hilfiger and Helly Hansen jackets scattered about the audience, I’d say this video is about 20 years old, from 1994-95…  If so, BR unveils a verse that would become part of his famous, hit debut single “Got You All in Check” and continues to freestyle after it’s over.  The vintage nature of the shoot is also evident in the fact that Old Dirty Bastard appears in “Brooklyn Zoo” form, dropping punchlines during his heyday, before going overboard with aliases.. and crack cocaine.

The owner of the video labels it a “battle” when it’s clearly not… but it’s nonetheless rare footage of two now-legendary hip-hop icons still on the rise, entertaining the public at a time when they were hiphop’s next generation…

 

[VIDEO] Bop Alloy (Substantial, Marcus D) – Live in San Diego

April 26, 2014

I wish I had the tine to do a full write -up on this at the moment, but any fellow connoisseurs and/or bored fans looking for stimulating, next level production and progressive rhyme delivery without compromising an ounce of ‘the boom-bap’ need to listen to this record. When I first heard it, I drew immediate comparisons to CYNE, awho my friends hear me tout as “the most underrated rap group ever”. Check out the video and get the album on Bandcamp…

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2951339328/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=e99708/tracklist=false/artwork=small/

Substantial


Deep Chill Productions Presents
A Spyridon Pictures Production

‘BOP ALLOY – LIVE IN SAN DIEGO’

On April 4, 2014, Substantial & Marcus D, known together as Bop Alloy, began their West Coast Tour with CYNE in San Diego, CA at The Worldbeat Cultural Center. With over 300 dedicated fans in attendance, Bop Alloy performed tracks from their debut album ‘Substantial & Marcus D are Bop Alloy’, their new LP ‘Another Day in the Life of…’ and some of Substantal’s solo material. The show concluded with Substantial & Cise Starr of CYNE performing tracks produced by the late great Nujabes.

The event also included performances from co-headliner CYNE, and support from DJ Norm Rocwell and producers Jenova 7, Esbe, & G. Rhodes. It was truly a night to remember, which you can now relive (a portion of it) thanks to this video of Bop Alloy’s peformance produced by…

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[PRESS] The Symphony Wins 1st @ BOTB w/ !llmind, Rook & S-1

December 25, 2012

Below the video and links to the official competition set on Soundcloud is the press release I drafted to celebrate my friend, Samik’s victory at iStandard Producers’ Beast of the Beats championship competition in NYC… You can also catch plenty of The Symphony’s latest music through The #BOARDROOM Living Compilation Album.

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THE SYMPHONY on Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/#bau-symphony

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Saturday, December 1st:  a five-minute contagion of scrunch-face saturated Rebel nightclub during “Beast of the Beats VI” in NYC as Philadelphia-based producer, The Symphony, showcased an epic, 3-track set of music before a Grammy-winning panel of judges including S-1 (Kanye West’s “Power”), !llmind (50 Cent), and Rook from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League.  When the smoke cleared, The Symphony won first place out of 70 reputed beatsmiths, each of whose resume, at minimum, boasts a first or second place score in one of the many regional iStandard Producer Showcases across the United States.  Aside from generous supplements to his repertoire of production tools and personal supply of Monster Energy Drinks, he was also awarded the opportunity to spend a couple days in the studio with G.O.O.D. Music recording artist, Cyhi the Prynce, in Atlanta.

With the potential of some non-disclosed, A-list collaborations on the horizon, The Symphony anticipates the of release many bigger records in time, trying his hand not only in hip-hop but dub-step and house as well.  Never one to shy from challenging his own musical aesthetic or customs of the industry, he has also been a major contributor to The Boardroom, a “living album” project online that remodels itself in accordance with fan feedback.  Check it out to hear his latest single, “Everywhere”, alongside his Business As Usual Entertainment colleagues PT, DS and 2ew Gunn Ciz, plus plenty of other new music…

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Uptown XO (Diamond District) – “RUGGED” Video w/ Obi Say, Awthentik

December 18, 2012

Just got this in my inbox… dope as fuck.  Let’s just say it’s appropriately titled.  I miss videos like this; the style/scenery of the shoot reminds me of the old Redman “Funkorama” video, also below.

XO’s upcoming album Colour de Grey is coming soon courtesy of Mello Music Group.  In the meantime, you can cop his pre-release mixtape The Color Gray (featuring “Rugged”) for $7 on Bandcamp.  I grabbed this a couple months ago, still play it in my whip regularly.

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UptownXO

MHz – A Legacy

October 30, 2012

With all the hysteria surrounding Meek Mill’s and Kendrick Lamar’s recent, breakthrough studio albums, it’s likely more than a few good projects will be trampled in the crowds.  Rallying behind ‘mainstream’ debuts of the underground’s young champions is almost instinctual, but today bears another landmark release deserving of attention from grassroots hip-hop’s most fervent supporters… The MHz Legacy LP showcases Copywrite, Tage Future, Jakki Da Mottamouth and RJD2 working together on an album for the first time in well over a decade despite the passing of their most charismatic member, the late Tero Smith (aka Camu Tao).  While “unsung” isn’t a strong enough comparison for the buzz of this release against that of Dr. Dre’s and Rick Ross’ protégés, a cult following of fans have been waiting for another MHz full-length since before K. Dot spit for Punch, before the first Flamerz mixtape was pressed to CD.

Clockwise from top-left: Copywrite, Tage Future, Jakki, RJD2… Click to hear new album on iTunes.

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Before Tero’s untimely death presumably sealed the fate of the group, collaborations and accomplishments of its solo entities solidified their reputation as some of underground hip-hops finest- even without more than an appropriately titled Table Scraps album under their collective belt.  Early MHz vinyl singles were a cornerstone of the pioneer independent label, Fondle ‘Em Records, which laid way for Copywrite and Camu Tao to be catalysts in the rise of Definitive Jux Records as leaders of the Weathermen conglomerate with El-P, Tame One, Cage and others…

Camu Tao w/ Aesop Rock… Click for Camu’s posthumous Def Jux release, King of Hearts

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I’m certain “Kendrick Lamar is going to change the game” is a frequent comment among hip-hop circles right now.  The ambitions today’s generation of purists has for volcanic underground acts like K. Dot, Danny Brown and Slaughterhouse are tantamount to the expectations many fans had for the Weathermen 10 years ago…  In fact, imagine a more dynamic, bugged-out version of Slaughterhouse, and you’ll have MHz…  Now more than double the number of group members, and you’ll have the Weathermen.

Although I haven’t had much time to digest MHz Legacy, it’s so far the evolution I’d hope for after such a long hiatus.   For the most part, they make no failed attempts at recreating the dusty, lo-fi ambience of their original catalog; and although the Camu Tao’s psychedelic influence is absent from this project, it seems each track was produced with the question, “how would Tero want this to sound?”, in mind.  Clever wordplay, electric delivery and edgy soundscapes are still the group’s trademarks, once again amalgamating into a forward-thinking aesthetic that challenges hip-hop’s contemporary norms.

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JET LIFE (Curren$y/ Trademark/ Young Roddy) – New Single + Album Trailer

October 4, 2012

In the past few months I’ve been sleeping on a few write-ups I started, as well as posting anything at all for that matter.  While my preoccupation with helping plan a tour around the A3C Festival and studying for the LSAT are convenient excuses, a lot of the latest movements in underground hip-hop haven’t been exciting me.

I’m glad Clockwork Music dropped this off in my inbox today.  Bottom line: Curren$y is my favorite emcee out right now, partly because it’s impossible to lose interest with the frequency of new music he releases.  Fresh out is the appropriate titled “No Sleep” with Trademark Da Skydiver and Young Roddy as Jet Life- the lead single off their forthcoming Jet World Order 2 album (November 20th)…  Make sure to check out the trailer as well.

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Nico the Beast – Performance Videos

May 21, 2012

This Sunday, May 27th 2012, Nico the Beast (along with producer, Vanderslice) drops his first formal studio project in over a year, True to FormThe release date is chosen as a memorial for his deceased son, Domenic Jr., but the content itself is more of an homage to the straight bars/storytelling brand of hip-hop that begged the Beast to pick up the mic 15 years ago.

Serving as the perfect epilogue to the Vanderslice collab EP coming this weekend, Lost Sessions Volume 1 is comprised of unreleased sessions from 2007-2008 over classic boom-bap instrumentals from the likes of Group Home, Common and Raekwon… Also check the videos from this past Friday @ M Room in Philadelphia.

“Nachurally Gifted (Live)” featuring Rec Raw:

“My Piano (Live)” featuring Big OC Diesel:

iStandard Showcase @ Club Diesel, Pittsburgh

May 9, 2012

Last week I traveled from Philly back to where I grew up to meet with Nico the BeastPremise, Don (aka DJ Thrill Collins), Ciz, and J Hatch for the Pittsburgh edition of the iStandard Producer Showcase…  Club Diesel is a dope venue; despite all the spots here, there isn’t one quite like it in Philly.  The sound system was thorough, to say the least… I didn’t take much video footage; it’s strange to watch 3-5 minutes of a random producer standing on stage looking awkward.  I did, however, grab excerpts from featured producers JBG/Big C and Premise, plus two tracks from Nico the Beast’s live performance.

Nico the Beast – “Deja Vu” & Acapella:

Premise:

J.B.G. & Big C:

Cyphers Outside StreetArena.TV Battle – 4/27/12

May 9, 2012

Up until last Friday night, when I had plans with Big Oc Diesel to attend ‘a show’ he helps run, I’d never been to a Street Arena battle.  It actually wasn’t until the ride there that Big O even mentioned the word “battle”, so witnessing the epic shit-talk and riddles as these guys break each other down caught me off guard a bit… Since there are multiple cameras inside the event taping the main events, I took mine outside to get some exclusive bars from a few of the exceptionally impressive regulars (make sure to catch Bliss Creed’s verse, 2nd in the SWA video).  Unfortunately, the street lamp didn’t quite provide the lighting I was hoping for, but the rhymes are perfectly clear…

S.W.A. (Mania Mac, Bliss Creed, Madface)

Toolz:

Vizz Da Outlaw:

“The House” @ Dobbs 4/24/12 (Live Sets)

May 9, 2012

Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in Philadelphia, OnTyme Music packs the 2nd floor of ‘The Legendary Dobbs’ on South Street with a grassroots hip-hop event that provides a spotlight for rising local acts and a humble atmosphere where all types of fans come to enjoy live music and network.  There are also open mic segments that host emcees, singers, spoken word poets and more; sometimes the one-track sets leave more of an impression than the featured slots… Nate Nizzle, in particular, stood out for his punchlines and professional mic control, though I think he might have aggravated a few of the ladies in the audience…

Nate Nizzle:

Mel Alston Jr:

Jay Griffy w/ Dakota Black:

DistantStarr Listening Session 4/17/12 (New MAGr)

May 9, 2012

After my winter-long hiatus from Philadelphia and rumors from Al Mighty of new MAGr music being recorded, I dropped by producer/MC DistantStarr’s studio to hear the latest adds to his private repetoire, which can become an electro/crunk/boom-bap abyss from the volume of his regularly-added new music.  Capturing a fraction of the session on video, we find the first polished MAGr track in almost 3 years (see Part 2), plus a handful of dope instrumentals and works in progress.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Curly Castro – ‘LA Traffic’ Freestyle Video (2010)

April 26, 2012

I forgot that I had this (obviously)… Recorded in Jeff Weiss’ whip during a trip to LA for shows, Curly Castro showcases his freestyle ability over (what is for most MCs) an atypical instrumental.  Enjoy.

Heather’s Birthday Party @ Eagle Tavern – 4/13/2012

April 24, 2012

This past Friday the 13th, we made the hike up to Quakertown, PA for Heather Slagel’s birthday party, where her brother Joe booked performances from Reef the Lost Cauze, Adlib, Nightwalker, Burke the Jurke and Vas Illi.  The performances closed out with an overwhelming cypher featuring Nico the Beast, Slim DSM, Petey Green, Capo, Rich Quick and a handful of others.  The wheels were handled masterfully by DJ Thoroughbred, who played more hardcore hip-hop than I’ve heard in my last 10 trips to a show combined; dude definitely knew his crowd.

Most importantly, it was nice to see so many city-dwellers make the long ride out to ‘the sticks’ for Heather and Joe.  For as long as I’ve been involved with the local event circuit, the Slagel siblings are as much of celebrities as any MC, persistently traveling 1hr+ to endorse nearly every underground show worth seeing.  If only once every year or so, we all can return the favor- a point acknowledged by everyone that picked up the mic that night.

Burke the Jurke & Vas – “That Bullshit”

Rich Quick in the Cypher

Freestyle @ Illvibe Release Party w/ John Robinson, Dave Ghetto, Reef the Lost Cauze and Hezekiah

April 10, 2011

Some of the finest featured on Illvibe Collective’s  long-awaited debut compilation light up a session outside of Silk City during the release party this past Wednesday night.  The four veteran emcees prove why after a decade-plus in the game, they still can’t be touched.  Video credits go to Yusef Muhammad…  Also, make sure to support Illvibe’s All Together Now LP on iTunes, link below.  Big shouts to Panek, Dave, Phil, Skip and Sonny.  Congrats on the release and keep doing your thing, fellas!

Illvibe Collective All Together Now Preview: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/all-together-now/id422236505

 


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