Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
E Major - Majority Rules (Under Sound Music)
This album isn't out officially until Tuesday, but since E Major threw me an advance preview a few weeks ago, and he's doing a release party at Fletcher's on Wednesday (which is also a release party for Ab Rock's new album), I thought I'd post about it now. I never heard his first album from a few years ago when he was still called Eyekon, but The Major General Mixtape from '06 was a good little teaser for this album. I know he kinda bristles at the 'backpacker' label but this record does kinda get on a Native Tongues/Okayplayer vibe, which I definitely mean as a compliment. I don't know who did all the beats but there's some real nice head-nodders on here, and his laid back voice/flow kinda matches the sound. You might remember the songs "Nuthin' Nice" and "Know That" from the video he dropped a few months ago, those are on here, along with the teaser single "Let's Pretend" that was on the previous mixtape. But my favorites are really ones on the second half of the album like "We Got It Goin' On" and "Give It To Y'all."
E Major - "How You Wanna Carry It?" (mp3)
I've been dying to get a copy of this song since he performed it at the Sonny Brown benefit @ the Turntable Club back in January, E Major was real slick to use the hook from Miss Tony's "What's Up What's Up," I loved that. I really feel like there's so many great old hooks in Baltimore club music that more rappers around here could really use those, the same way a lot of Southern rappers take hooks from old New Orleans bounce records and Miami bass.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tha Profitt's upcoming live dates:
Apr 2 2008 8:00P
NEXT UP Dundalk, Maryland
Apr 4 2008 8:00P
The Best of what Baltimore is @ Blackhole Dundalk, Maryland
Apr 5 2008 9:00P
SouthPaw Ent. presents... (Live w/ Scola & Lito) Dundalk, Maryland
May 14 2008 8:00P
Sonar (Live w/ P & Reap) Baltimore, Maryland
May 17 2008 9:00P
Dirt Road Promotion presents... Arbutus, Maryland
Jun 21 2008 8:00P
Blackhole (Live w/ P)
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
N.E.K. - N.E.K. All Day Part 1 (One Up Entertainment/N.E.K.)
Only a few months after Bossman and Dollars released the End Of Discussion / The Overdose double mixtape, the North East Kings are back with their first group mixtape together under the N.E.K. name since Charm City's King way back in 2004. I like the whole Orange & Black Tour thing they've been doing with their live shows lately, the whole crew along with other respected local MCs coming together. This has some of the more recent Bossman tracks that have been out the last few months like "Flush 'Em" and "Far Too Long (Jena 6)", along with a lot of collabs and tracks by Dollars and Tony Manson, and guest appearances by TestMe, Kay-Star and ex-N.E.K. member Heavy Gold. Bossman has a new song on his MySpace page with Scola called "Ghetto" where they're both biting that T-Pain style with the Autotuning, but it's kinda catchy. Bossman's also been in the news lately over an incident over St. Patrick's Day weekend in Fells Point in which he's claiming police brutality, which was covered recently in the Baltimore Sun. N.E.K. All Day Part 1 is available now at The Sound Garden.
Dollars - "Mouths 2 Feed" (mp3)
This song as deep as hell, you really gotta listen to this one. He could always flow, but this is the first song I've ever heard from him where he really gets personal and heartfelt like Bossman did on his first album. I might like this and his other new solo cuts, "No Surrender" and "Grind 'Til We Shine," more than anything on The Overdose.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Heads Up Info:
DRU HILL will be selecting a 4th member from live auditions
this Thurs March 27th
held @ SUITE lounge in the Belvedere
doors open @ 8pm
Monday, March 24, 2008
Briefly, my latest stuff up on http://noise.citypaper.com: a new Baltimore club music column with with DJ Pierre, a wrap-up of my experiences judging at the Show Me What You Got battle @ Fletcher's (congrats to the winner, A-Class), and reviews of the Best Buy in-store event for Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks From The Wire with Mullyman, Ogun, Verb and G.E.M., last month's 15 Minutes of Fame open mic @ the Turntable Club with B.O.M.B., South Paw Entertainment, Rip The Ruler and others, Jonathan Richman @ the 8x10 and Perverse Osmosis, Shit The Bed and Scoundrel @ the Sidebar.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Profound - Carpe Diem (Real On Purpose Entertainment)
This week in the City Paper I reviewed the new Profound mixtape, along with the Say-Wut album I posted about the other day. I've been really wanting to hear Profound do a solo project since that Oil And Water 2, and this came out well, really just a good mixtape to cop if you wanna hear someone flow for an hour straight with no bullshit. The mixtape features collaborations with Skarr Akbar, Tony Bosco and Rockwell, and a solo cut by Ogun that's a bonus track at the end.
Profound - "Murda Dem" (mp3)
This is the track at the beginning of the CD that I quoted in the review, love this one.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Say-Wut - Crank It! (Unruly Records/Horsemen Entertainment)
This week in the City Paper I reviewed the new album by one of my favorite Baltimore club producers, Say-Wut, who I interviewed last year in my Club Beat column. I don't really have anything to say about it that I didn't cover in the review, but it's being sold at Downtown Locker Room, go check it out. The mix also features tracks by Rod Lee, K.W. Griff, King Tutt, and the Chavy Boys Of London, which is a new group name being used by Scottie B. and Sean Caesar, as explained in this interview (although it's funny to me that Scottie says King Tutt "was named producer of the year by a local publication. I don’t want name it by name," I wonder why he didn't want to mention City Paper there).
Say-Wut - "Gangsta" (mp3)
This is definitely my favorite track of his on here that I hadn't heard before, awesome synth part and marching snare drums.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
PenDragon - I Got Hits 4 Cheap: Draggy Baby Edition (Team Arson)
PenDragon's previous mixtape Revenge Of The Harm City King was one of my favorites of '06, and since then I've gotten some good thoughtful e-mails and blog comments from the dude, who also has his own dope blog at dragwroteit.blogspot.com. So I was looking forward to his new one, and I felt bad when Drag kept trying to get me a copy of it and one went to my old address and got lost and he had to send me another. It was really worth the wait, though, just because he really went outside the box and made something unique.
More than half of the mixtape is self-produced, including most of the best beats, and even when he rhymes over other beats he'll do something unique with it (like the crazy new layers added to the Fabolous "Make Me Better" beat) or go left field and rhyme over dance music (Justice and Baltimore's own Ultra Naté). And he does some pretty hilarious stuff like sampling the Cookie Monster or writing a letter to Lisa Turtle from "Saved By The Bell." And the straight up rap shit knocks, and he really knows how to put words together and put his personality across in the music. The mixtape includes the single "Imma Show U," which I posted here, oh wow, exactly a year ago. PenDragon actually put a Government Names logo on the back cover of the CD and had some really kind words for me on the shoutouts track at the end, so I might seem biased but I think this is one of the dopest local mixtapes I've heard so far this year. And you can download it for free off of datpiff.com or mixfiend.com so there's really no excuse not to cop it.
PenDragon - "Lost In Translation" (mp3)
I especially love the production on this track, dude could really make a name for himself as a producer if he didn't save all the good beats for himself.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Last week at Fletcher's, I and 3 other judges picked the winners for the first two rounds of the Show Me What You Got MC battle. And the finals, which were originally scheduled for the 11th, have been pushed back to next Tuesday the 18th, when we pick the best of the six finalists to get to open for Slick Rock and win a cash prize and all that. I plan on getting real drunk so that my judging abilities are at their absolute best.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Raf a.k.a. Mr. Marcus - The Marcus Market Mxtape
Raf a.k.a. Mr. Marcus is a member of the group Dirt Platoon, who've been together since '97, but only caught my attention a couple years ago with the track "Moving" that appeared on the C Love/DNA mixtape, and Jess Harvell's review of a few of their mixtapes in the City Paper also back in '06. And I just recently finaly got to hear more of their music, when they performed at a show at Suite that I reviewed on Noise, and I talked to them a little bit and got mixtapes by Raf and two other members of the roup as the 80'z Boyz. I really dig both of the CDs, real classic hard-hitting production style, nothing fancy. I don't know how old either of them are, but I gotta post about the other one sometime soon, too. Check out Raf on MySpace.
Raf a.k.a. Mr. Marcus f/ Dirt Platoon - "Dirt Platoon" (mp3)
This song bangs, good track to name after the group.
This Friday, Labtekwon, DJ Booman and Jimmy Jones are playing another 410 Pharoahs show at the Knitting Factory in New York. Labtekwon performed there last month and Tom Briehan wrote about it on his Village Voice blog, Status Ain't Hood. 410 Pharoahs have also just released another video from their album due out in June, for "Work It Out," and it has a similiar look to their previous video for "Fresh."
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
B.O.M.B. is officially the hardest working man in Baltimore hip hop, at least right now. It's getting to the point that I'm almost apologetic about how often I write about him on Noise because he just happens to be at every other show I go to. He's really grinding to promote that Testers EP, here are his upcoming live dates:
Mar 12 2008 10:00P
CLUB TASTE BALTIMORE, Maryland
Mar 13 2008 8:00P
THE 5 SEASONS BALTIMORE, Maryland
Mar 14 2008 6:00P
RENAISSANCE ACADEMY’S PROM FUNDRAISER baltimore, Maryland
Mar 19 2008 8:00P
PENGUINS SOUTH BALTIMORE, Maryland
Mar 20 2008 9:00P
THE SUITE @ THE BELVEDERE HOTEL BALTIMORE, Maryland
Mar 29 2008 8:00P
THE HEAVYHITTERS 2 @ THE BLACKHOLE CLUB BALTIMORE, Maryland
Apr 2 2008 9:00P
STARLIGHT SHOWCASE@ LAS VEGAS NITE CLUB ALEXANDRIA, Virginia
Apr 4 2008 9:00P
UNDISCOVERED @ THE BLACK HOLE CLUB DUNDALK, Maryland
Apr 9 2008 9:00P
THE PENGUINS BALTIMORE, Maryland
Apr 23 2008 9:00P
PENGUINS BALTIMORE, Maryland
May 14 2008 8:00P
SONARS BALTIMORE, Maryland
Monday, March 10, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Blaq Starr, Ogun and Hots - "Repitition" (mp3)
I see Ogun out at shows all the time, but this week I just ended up hearing a lot of new music from him. The Fader blog posted "Money Talk," one of the singles from the Darkroom Productions album dropping in May that posted about recently, and it's a fucking banger. Ogun himself e-mailed me this new track with Blaq Starr and Hots, which is a pretty interesting lineup, I've never heard any of these 3 guys on a song together and I don't think I would've expected it until I heard it. I like it, though, not Baltimore club at all but more in the same vibe as the slower hip hop beats on Blaq Starr's last couple mixtapes like "Swagga Back," and it's nice to hear some different kinds of rappers over his beats instead of the usual Next Level kids. And there's also several new tracks on Ogun's MySpace, including a couple I've seen him perform live lately ("It's Alright" and the "Flashing Lights" freestyle with Rockwell) and a couple that are new to me ("Best Alive" and "Ride" with XO and Rockwell). I believe Ogun has said he's doing to drop another mixtape and a new album this year, and I hope that's true, because his new material is sounding pretty damn good.
Friday, March 07, 2008
If you haven't seen the infamous YouTube footage yet of Dru Hill reuniting (and breaking up again) live on 92Q yesterday, I posted it on Idolator and it's also over on the City Paper's Noise blog. Shit is disgraceful, y'all. And how funny is it that Woody, who was just on a Baltimore club track a year ago going "dance like a freak," says he can't be in the group because he has to go do gospel and be a minister?
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
various artists - Heaven On Earth Vol. 1 (True Balance Ent.)
There's a young dude named Joe that I've gotten e-mails from now and then in the past couple years of doing this site, and he's sent me some good links that I've posted from time to time. I've seen him at a few shows lately, and a while back he gave me this CD put together by his company True Balance Ent., which appears to be a studio, a label, and a crew all at once. It looks like the studio is their main business, their MySpace page even has PayPal links for studio time, which I think is kind of creative, I've never seen that before. Some of their artists performed at the Bmore Luv Festival last year but I think I got there after they hit the stage. This mixtape is I guess kind of a sampler of the work that's been done in their studio, a lot of different kinds of artists and no one consistent sound, although there's definitely a core of MCs who show up repeatedly, including DLO, who's on almost half of the tracks, and Kaboul, Chase and KoJo, who's from Annapolis and is also affiliated with Deep Flow. There's also solo tracks by B.O.M.B. and Raheem Devaughn. Check out TBE's videos on YouTube.
DLO, Chase, Ren & KoJo - "Fresha" (mp3)
I like the way the one dude says "sheeeeeit" on the hook like Clay Davis. The beat is real cold, too. KoJo's new mixtape/DVD is good, I should write abotu that sometime soon.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Skarr Akbar - The Epidemic (DNA/Akbar Enterprize/U-Turn Ent./Round Table Music Group)
Skarr Akbar has such an insane work ethic that I can't even keep up with him. A while back he gave me a couple of his new mixtapes (this one and Suicide Sunday), but over on his MySpace page I see covers for at least 5 other mixtapes that I haven't heard yet from the past year or so (I Am Baltimore's Legend, When All Else Fails, Gifted, The Warning Shot Part 2 and the Arabz' Sick Season). I rep for Skarr on this site a lot, but I can't think of anyone around who works harder at their music than him, and only a few whose quality is on his level, the dude is just sick. The majority of Skarr's mixtapes have always been with DJ Radio, but this is the first one I've ever seen him do with DNA, I think it's cool that they're linking up. Really every mixtape DJ in Baltimore should do a CD with Skarr, he definitely has enough material to do that. This is one of the best Skarr mixtapes I've ever heard, too, really more of a 'street album' with a lot of original production, guest appearances by Ogun, Bossman, Hots, TestMe, Cheri Dennis and others. Last couple times I talked to Skarr he said he wants to put together a band and was asking me if I knew any musicians. I haven't been able to think of anyone that would fit with him, though, if someone out there has any ideas you should get at him.
Skarr Akbar - "Empty Spaces" (mp3)
I like the Queen sample on here, nice dramatic way to end the CD.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Steez asked me to be one of the judges for the next Show Me What You Got MC battle, where the prize will be to get to open for Slick Rick at the Ottobar. The 3 nights of the competition are March 4th, 5th and 11th at Fletcher's (I don't know why it doesn't say Fletcher's on the flyer but that's where it is, don't get confused and go to the Ottobar those nights). So any local artists who are tired of me judging the quality of their work in print or online, and would like to see me judge them live and in person so they can at least mean mug at me or something while I'm doing it, come on out, I think I'm supposed to be there all three nights. More details on the competition here.