Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Billy Lyve - Sleep When I'm Dead Part 1 (Wisdom Court Entertainment)
I don't think I'd ever really heard Billy Lyve before getting sent this mixtape, and it's pretty short, only 26 minutes long, but I always say that a short introduction is better than one that goes on way too long, as far as new artists go. I know he and his label do a lot of shows at Sonar (including one last year with a flyer that kind of pissed me off), but I'm not sure I've seen him perform. Anyway, this is pretty decent, although I kinda feel like he's not bringing a lot of energy or personality in his voice and delivery and that kinda hurts his music -- ironically, he's not very live. But towards the end he gets more personal and you get a better sense of who he is, and the last couple tracks are about his baby son and about I think an estranged brother or friend, and I dig that he's really putting that kind of specific real life shit into his music. You can download this at allbmorehiphop.com/billylyve.
Billy Lyve - "Anotha Day" (mp3)
Kinda cracks me up how one song is all "bring it back, that east coast rap" and then a couple tracks later the best song on the record has a Jeezy sample.
Friday, February 26, 2010
This month on the Baltimore City Paper's Noise blog, I reviewed the new DJ Class EP, Blue Lava. I was probably kinda harsh on it, but it was just so disappointing to me after how great all his other recent tracks had been.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Mullyman f/ Bossman - "Imma Be More (Remix)" (mp3)
I gotta say, even though they officially buried the hatchet a while ago (the above photo was taken in 2007) and this isn't the first time they've technically been on a track together (both were on the "Where They Do That At" remix a few months ago), it's still pretty exciting to see these guys do a proper collabo after all these years of on-again off-again beef and bullshit. This is off Mully's forthcoming album Harder Than Baltimore, and Bossman's album The Re-Up is on the way as well.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
810 - Glass Half Full (DJBooth/2dopeboyz/illRoots)
810 and The Black Sunn are two young artists that I've been praising and posting music by here in the last few months, and a recently I met them briefly and got a copy of 810's newest mixtape that I'd been meaning to check out for a minute. I liked his previous album that I'd heard, Supply And Demand, but for whatever reason this one's been hitting me a lot harder, just a really solid record from an MC who has his own unique viewpoint and a good head for internal rhymes. The Black Sunn, who of course makes a guest appearance here, seems to be the higher profile of the 2 at the moment, but really both these guys have a lot of talent, hopefully will be making a lot of noise together and individually in the future. You can download this mixtape on DJBooth.net.
810 - "Too Young" (mp3)
This is one of the shortest songs on the mixtape and doesn't really have a chorus, but it's kind of perfect as is, great beat by Mydus and really smart exploration of a theme you don't really here in rap songs very often.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Last week in the City Paper, Michael Byrne did a singles round-up of tracks by Rapdragons, Jonny Blaze, E Major and Scottie B.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Huli Shallone - "She Call" (mp3)
Here's a new club track from Huli produced by the Pornstars.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Brian Ennals - Untitled
Despite what this blog is called, it's not very often I get a chance to post about someone who actually raps under his government name. On the intro track, Brian Ennals refers to the CD as "volume 2 of this untitled mixtape series," so I guess he's even less into coming up with an album title than coming up with an MC name. He's from Severn and this record is my first time hearing him, and it's pretty good. He sings his own hooks so there's a little bit of R&B in there, but his production team Special Ops has its own unique sound so it doesn't come off like a trendy knockoff or whatever, although to be honest his singing reminds me of Ray J more than anyone else, which is not a good look. Still, not bad, definitely hear some potential here. You can download the mixtape at allbmorehiphop.com/brianennals, and this was actually the #1 most downloaded release on the site one week in November.
Brian Ennals - "Last $2" (mp3)
This stood out for me as the one track where he was really spittin', lotta funny quotables in this song.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Over on my other blog, Narrowcast, I recently posted a list of the top 30 tracks that the Philly rapper Freeway released in 2009, and one of them was "Get Wit Me" with 100 Grandman and NOE, from 100's Gangsta Grillz mixtape from last summer. Also, on Free's new album out this week, The Stimulus Package, there's a track called "Never Gonna Change" where he talks about Baltimore and namedrops 100 Grand and Mullyman, who he did a song with back in '05.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
OOH - "Brotha On The Run" (mp3)
Here's a new Dukeyman-produced solo track by OOH from Brown F.I.S.H. that you might enjoy if you checked out the last one from OOH that I posted a couple months ago. Also, Brown F.I.S.H. is playing at the Windup Space this Saturday.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Boy Blesst made this video for "Nuthin' To Sumthin'" featuring Danny Boy, off of his really great 2009 album Charmicidle, in time for Black History Month.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Street Heat - Found Nowhere! (Team Arson Music Group)
I've never posted about a Street Heat solo release here before, but I've posted a fair amount about other projects from his label, Team Arson, especially stuff by his labelmate PenDragon, who appears on here. Street Heat is mainly known as a producer, and has placed a lot of beats on records by Jim Jones and his affiliates. And probably the first thing I'd say about this record is that it's probably not what you'd expect from a guy named Street Heat who works with Dipset -- there's a lot of R&B and pop beats and singing and he really kinda thinks outside the box without doing the typical AutoTune hipster sing-song rap that so many other people are doing these days. I don't love it, but he's clearly just doing whatever the hell he wants and I respect that. You can grab this mixtape on datpiff.com.
Street Heat - "The Illest" (mp3)
This is one of the many tracks where he raps over an R&B hit, in this case Justin Timberlake's "Until The End Of Time," and it comes out better than I would've expected it to.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Over on Cocaine Blunts, Noz recently posted some cool '90s Baltimore rap oddities by 3rd World Assassins and Parafruit From The Bonedice. Any of y'all old heads care to kick some knowledge on either act?
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Jonny Blaze - "Here We Go" (mp3)
Here's a Christian-themed Baltimore club track that Jonny Blaze released as the first single from a forthcoming album. I'm trying to think, are there any other club tracks about God out there? I know DJ Class did a gospel hip hop record, and mentioned when I interviewed him that there's some of that element on his next club music album, but I can't think of any club records I've heard before that go all the way with this kind of lyrical angle, which I think is a pretty interesting mix that doesn't clash nearly as much as you might expect it to.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Mania Music Group f/ Kane Mayfield, RapMan Ron G., Dappa!!! Dan Midas and Milly July - "Stevie's Wife (Goin' In Part 2)"
Here's a track from Mania Music Group's forthcoming album Welcome To The Audience that serves as an introduction to the label's newest signing, Milly July.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Monday, February 08, 2010
Here's Ace's latest video, "Real Niggas / Dippin' Out" from the Minority Report album. The comments section here was rough on his last video I posted, "Story To Tell," but Ace keeps sending me more so I guess he can take it.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
DJ Big L - The Paradox Vol #1 (Club Kingz Records)
I've written about a couple previous mixtapes by Supa DJ Big L, this one's the latest being sold at the Club Kingz store and the Sound Garden. Not sure if the name of the CD is kind of a tribute to the Paradox or if the music on it is stuff Big L spins at the Paradox or what. Really good mix that kinda sums up Baltimore club in '09 pretty well, I was listening to it a lot when I wrote my list of top 10 club tracks of the year, so a few songs from here are on that. Good lineup of producers, big names like Rod Lee, DJ Class, Say Wut and K.W. Griff along with some lesser known ones like J Roc and Da Yo Boyz.
DJ B-Eazy - "Beazy Horns"(mp3)
DJ B-Eazy is a really good, kinda underrated producer I think, always good to hear some new music from him.
(photo by Josh Sisk)
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Friday, February 05, 2010
E Major f/ Substantial and Dre Beloved - "Play2Win" (mp3)
Here's a track from The Major Major Mixtape, which E Major and Under Sound Music are dropping in a few days. Michael Byrne has a story on E Major in the City Paper this week, and the release party is at Always Dope next Tuesday.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Here's Comp's video for the Police-sampling "Her Friends," from his excellent 2009 album The Man With The Hand, directed by Gearie "The Grench" Bowman of Sleepin Giant Media. And I hate to sound like a broken record, because it's a dope video for an alright track, but I'm still shaking my head when artists spend that kind of money on a slick video to promote a song with a sample they wouldn't possibly be able to afford to clear if the song ever became a serious hit. You need Puff Daddy money to pay Sting's publishing fee, y'all. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Baltimore needs to stop hustling backwards.
In related news, another Grench-directed video, DJ Quicksilva's "Where They Do That At," started getting played on MTV Jams last week, which is as far as I know the first time a Sleepin Giant video has gotten on national TV (and of course the video is full of Bmore cameos). So congrats to them, I knew back when I wrote an article on Sleepin Giant back in '08 that it was just a matter of time.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Roc Stalin f/ Los - "Picture This" (mp3)
I'm really digging this track from Roc Stalin's upcoming mixtape The Cook Up.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Monday, February 01, 2010
Labtekwon - Di Na Ko Degg: Soul Power (Ankh Ba Records)
Labtekwon is such a singular force in Baltimore hip hop, the scene's longest running and most prolific recording artist with absolutely no serious competition -- this is I believe his 24th release since 1993 -- in addition to being completely on his own trip artistically, that it's always hard for me to place him in the context of the other stuff I cover around here. I'm a fan, I check out every new release, but his back catalog's so dauntingly huge that I'm a long way from catching up on all of it, and since this site is about new music, he kind of ends up being just one of many rappers who puts out one or two CDs a year that I write about here, which may unintentionally diminish his history and his stature. I don't get the impression he likes me, given the way he's grilled me the couple times I've spoken to him, and called me a cornball the one time he commented on Gov't Names, which I kind of understand given his relationship to the more recent generation of Baltimore rappers that I'm known for giving coverage to. And that's alright, he may have a point, and I don't need the musicians I listen to to like me, and I'm sure a lot more wouldn't if they knew me.
I'm late to checking out this album -- didn't know where to get it until I realized recently that it's available on eMusic.com -- so I'm not totally clear on its history. But from what I understand, a 23-track Di Na Ko Degg was released in late 2008, and then in 2009 an expanded 27-track version titled Di Na Ko Degg: Soul Power was issued, similar to the way 2006's The Ghetto Dai Lai Lama V. 777 was kind of a revision of 2005's The Ghetto Dai Lai Llama: African Rhythm American Blues. In this case, though, I haven't heard both versions of Di Na Ko Degg, so I can't speak on the differences, but at 94 minutes the Soul Power version is his longest, most epic album to date, and you really get a full helping of all the variety within the Labtekwon sound, with Professor Max Mineblo, who's produced a lot of his albums, handling most of the tracks.
Labtekwon - "Reach Out For Me" (mp3)
I like these kinds of Labtekwon songs, where he's basically bragging and talking shit, but he's doing it on his terms and using his own terminology, reflecting values that 99% of all other shit talking rappers don't share (my favorite line is "hustler of karma, a freaky monster eating vegan lasagna"). Like any other rapper, he thinks he's the best, and he's closer to being right than most of them, especially since he's essentially in a category of his own.