Here’s the new single from Detroit-based crew Ugly Heroes. If you haven’t heard of the Mello Music signed group, it comprises of blue collar rappers Red Pill and Verbal Kent handling the lyrics and Apollo Brown on the beats. Apollo has done production for some of everyone (O.C., Guilty Simpson, Diamond District) and he sets the mood perfectly on this track. MC’s Red Pill and Verbal Kent lay out perfect what it’s like striving to be a working class hero. And the truth is, every good hero needs a theme song.
One of the best music discoveries I’ve made all year is coming across the work of California’s DJ Day. His latest project, Land of 1000 Chances, chronicles his life in California and especially Palm Springs and the Coachella valley. It’s a lot of minimalist production and mood setting music more than anything that’s more of a soundscape than an album. Check the latest video for his song “VQ” off the project. Desert life. Get your hands on Land of 1000 Chances right here.
And be sure to check out the set he did for Gilles Peterson earlier this year as well. Solid gold.
MED and Blu’s new EP, Burgandy, is a monster. Get your hands on it when you can. Two of Cali’s finest rhyming exclusively over Madlib beats. Here’s the first single featuring the ever lovely LA-based singer Jimetta Rose on the hook. Trust when I tell you, the next enchanting female soul sanga out of Cali to capture people’s attention is going to be Jimetta Rose.
The video work on this is, well, ‘burgundy beautiful’ and flows perfectly with the song. If only I could grip a Chevy like this…
Dark Time Sunshine doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the stellar music they’ve been making. They dropped an LP entitled ANX last summer that most mainstream fans have never heard of but was good enough to get them locked on a 60-date tour opening for Aesop Rock. In fairness, Onry Ozzborn and Zavala of Dark Time have shared friendship and music w/ Aesop for awhile admiring each others ability to create songs that are as visceral and didactic as they are emotional and tight.
Here’s the newest video from the duo for their song, “Take My Hand,” that features Aesop (natch) and the homie Swamburger from Orlando’s Solilaquists of Sound. X144 captured the video in a random green room, which isn’t that artistic upfront, but it still works. Check out a stream of DTS’ ANX below.
Seattle DJ enthusiasts should definitely pay attention to this upcoming event on 2/25 at The Foundation nightclub. The Redbull Thre3style competition is happening with six DJs playing cuts throughout the night and being judged by turntable legends DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak and Z-Trip. DJs have to play a minimum of 3 genres and rock the crowd all-night. Despite the crazy corporate sponsorship of this event, Red Bull tends to be a good platform for aspiring MCs, DJs, producers, etc to get their names out there. Get tickets here.
Seattle’s DJ Cide is in the competition this Monday as well. Check out a recent live mix he did to get into this battle.
Hirsute rapper Kool A.D. is staying busy pushing out music since his former group,
Boy Crisis Das Racist, broke up several months ago. He’s put out two mixtapes since moving back to the Bay Area and he’s named them after particular bus routes throughout the Bay. He also dropped a visually stunning new video the other day for his song, “Moneyball” that is mostly striking due to the crazy scenery and cerebral blowjob it gives anyone that watches it. The Mike Finito beat that he raps over is crazy as well. Lyrically, Kool A.D. (Victor) is still all over the fucking place. He’s internet art rap for internet art rap’s sake and while parts of it come off as inauthentic, he’s still way over most people’s heads with concepts and rhymes.
I was just on the phone yesterday with my man Shoes and he was congratulating me on the birth of my beautiful daughter a few days ago. Among sharing words about the joys of parenting a newborn (sleep cycles or lack thereof) we chatted about last Thursday night, Feb 7th, for the Dilla tribute in L.A. Naturally, Shoes was holding court and had some of the best DJs in LA who knew Dilla closely on hand to rock the turntables as they all raised one up for Dilla.
I’ve been too busy raising up my new sweetheart along with her mama to really focus on any of the Dilla tributes that happened around the world but considering that he had two daughters of his own, it seems even more fitting to keep my attention where it belongs. Still, I can’t help but throw up this video from the Mochilla family as it’s beautifully shot and captures the energy of a night very well. Shoutouts to the whole LxNxM crew for helping me through one of the craziest weeks of my life.
This play on words is so needed right now for all of the young bucks that like to throw the word “ratchet” around too much. Leave it to part-time Detroiter/part time Bay Area emcee and producer Quelle Chris to be creative enough to come out with this video.
Favorite line: “All-Star Weekend no dough–rat shit/Ya kids 25 you 24– rat shit.”
New York-based comedy rapper Heems just dropped more comedy rap with his new video for the song “Soup Boys.” The ex Das Racist member apparently wants all of us to think more about drones… and chocolate chip cookies. The video is better than the rapping but whatever. It’s good to see Heems moving forward with his music. And there’s nothing wrong with making folks think more about drones. As Heems says, “That drone cool, but I hate that drone/Chocolate chip cookie dough in a sugar cone.” Get hip.