Monday, January 30, 2006

live at Sonoma's Bar in Columbia, Maryland
Tues, Jan. 31th, 10pm


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ogun, Brown F.I.S.H., Golden Seal and Janeba Suma
live at Eden's Lounge
Monday, Jan. 30th, 10pm

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Saturday, January 28, 2006

NOE - "Hurry Up" (mp3)
Jim Jones, Mel Matrix and NOE - "New York City Boyz" (mp3)
NOE (aka Noe Money or Noe $ or Noes) is this cat that Juan Donovan from Darkroom Productions was telling me about recently, he's from Baltimore but moved to New York a while back and just signed with Diplomat Records. "New York City Boyz" is from the new Kay Slay mixtape hosted by Jim Jones, Look Both Ways Before You Cross Me. And you might not've heard of NOE before, but you might've heard his voice before, if you remember a few years ago when everyone was waiting on The Black Album, and there was this one track called ".45" that people were saying was the new Jay-Z, but it turned out to be a hoax. Well, the track was actually a Universal Records single by Thug City f/ Noes, and everyone thought NOE was Jay. And he definitely does sound like Jay, but I don't think he was trying to flaunt it or fool people like that Angelous cat, people just got confused. If you check his MySpace page, though, he does a freestyle over "Dead Presidents" and talks about the similiarity a little. I dunno, Dipset might get some flak for signing someone who sounds like Jay now that they're beefing with him, though. He's got some hot lines, though, "pure poetry, two guns, one just a little bigger than the other like Floetry," haha.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Tyree Colion and Hustle Hard Blvd
live tonight
Friday, Jan. 27th
@ 5 Seasons
830 Guilford Ave.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

Architects Recording Studio presents Street Radio 2 (Hosted by DJ Kay Slay & DJ Radio)

If you check liner notes you know that a whole lot of Baltimore artists record at Architects, and Mike McIntosh has been taking the connections he made with his studio to put together these mixtapes. A few months ago when I met Jason Torres he was telling me about the first Street Radio mix right before his City Paper article about Architects came out. A lot of the tracks are previously released tracks from other albums and mixtapes, some radio singles like "Jump Da Club Off" by Barnes of Street Official and "Hello" by D.O.G. But it's still a good selection, music from Mullyman, Ogun, Tim Trees. And since it's a Streetsweepers mix, they stick a Papoose track on there for no particular reason. It is cool to hear Kay Slay shout out a bunch of people from Baltimore, though. Also, I gotta give the Street Radio mixes credit for real thorough liner notes that credit the producers of each individual tracks and give contact info for the artists, I wish more mixtapes did that. I'm not sure where you can buy these, I think Downtown Locker Room might carry them.

Cooli Hi - "Beat It Up" (mp3)
Cooli Hi is tight with Dru Hill and Little Clayway, his voice reminds me a lot of that Ray Cash song on this. I heard this song on 92Q a while back and it kinda blew me away because Blaq Starr finally did what I always wanted someone to do, take that fast kick drum rhythm from Baltimore club music but put it under a slow Southern type hip hop beat. It's got a real cool dark sound too, not all upbeat like a lot of hip hop songs with elements of club music in them.

Bossman f/ Lil Mo - "Off The Record (Remix)" (mp3)
Pretty much the same song as the original, with Mo floating some vocals over that give the track a nice vibe without really intruding on it. Ever since Bossman said "Off The Record" is gonna be on his Virgin album I've been hoping he'd change the 2nd verse. It's one of my favorite songs by him, but all the industry shit he talks about in that verse is really dated, stuff people were talking about in '04 but are gonna barely remember by the time his album drops. He does change the wording of a couple lines to update them here, though, "I'm sick til I hurl with this Best of Both Worlds" becomes "I'm glad they put an end to this Best of Both Worlds," and "ain't no albums been hot since 50 Cent dropped" becomes "ain't no albums been hot since 50 first dropped," which is kinda funny, like Bossman is real careful to not let people think he liked The Massacre. I still think he should change the verse more, personally, like, he doesn't need to acknowledge the ancient non-beef with Jadakiss on his major label album. 1Up switches up the track a little too, dropping out the beat here and there for certain lines, it sounds hot.

Q - "Take A Walk With Me"
You can listen to this track on Q's MySpace page, produced by Clinton Sparks and his verses on this are the same rhymes he did a cappella at the Ottobar show that he really won over a lot of people with. You can watch that performance at The Music Sampler.

(photo by Jefferson Jackson Steele)

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hip Hop 101
every Monday at the 5 Seasons
This Monday, Jan. 23rd: JI-900

Mullyman f/ Mr. Wilson and Omar Little of JI-900 - "Realest To Run It" (mp3)
One of my favorite tracks off Mullymania, probably the hardest song on the album. Produced by Skarr Akbar, a lotta people got Jay-Z samples on the hook but that beat is crazy, good verses from everyone too.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Labtekwon - "King Very Vicious" (mp3)
It seems kind of ironic to me that Lab, a guy who's been rapping Baltimore longer than almost anybody and has been somewhat critical of Bmore's current careerist hip hop movement and is on a more arty/conscious tip, beat everyone else to getting 2 videos in rotation on BET Uncut, first "Uhnnn Huhnnn" and more recently "King Very Vicious," both off last year's Ghetto Dai Lai Llama album. It's a catchy song, though, and still kind of in his spacy weird style, the usual Uncut strippers and camcorders look with a quick shot of Mondawmin Mall.

B. Rich - "We All Doin' Time"
Born Rich is dropping on January 31st now, and this song has started get some radio play and I'm really feeling it. The beat sounds like a lot of Southern beats right now, but lyrically it's really serious and political, definitely a promising change from the stuff on his first album. You can hear it on his website.

Huli Shallone - "For My Shorty"
This has been getting heavy rotation on 92Q for a couple months now, I've gotten some requests for a copy but I haven't found one, anyone have it? This is like Huli's 2nd big radio hit that hasn't been on his last album, I wonder if he's got a new album or at least a mixtape coming. It's an alright song, not that different from some of the R&B flavored tracks on It's My Turn. It's one of the first rap songs with a sped up vocal sample that I've ever heard that really reminds me of Prince's weird 'Camille' voice on songs like "If I Was Your Girlfriend," that's kinda cool.

Young Leek - "Check"
This is definitely more of a serious hip hop song than "Shake It And Jiggle It," although still on kind of a trendy Southern tip with the Nextel Chirp sounds and all that, but I'm feelin' it. If he can turn out more jams like this he might be able to do something respectable with Def Jam.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bosslady presents On Da Grind, Vol. 3 (House Of Platinum Records)

Bosslady has been making serious moves in Baltimore for a while now, putting on shows like Tipsy Tuesdays and running her own label, and she says she's gonna keep doing these On Da Grind compilations until there's a hundred of them. Go and buy one of these from her for $5, it's a good deal for a lot of music.

Verb - "Get Em Verb" (mp3)
Verb is the dude from Dirty Hartz that was on 106 & Park last month and definitely one of the most talented freestylers in Baltimore. This "Get Em Girls" flow is kind of his theme song, there's some good footage of him performing it on the Tyree Colion DVD.

UnReal - "Luv Me" (mp3)
I don't know much about UnReal, but he's been really grabbing my attention lately with his tracks on this and the Hamsterdam and Street Radio mixtapes. Top Secret Productions gave him a good introspective vibe with the Elton John sample on this.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Skarr Akbar - Da Lobotomy: The General, Pt. 3 (hosted by DJ Radio)

Skarr first told me that this mixtape was out back in October but I didn't finally get it from him until Tha Plague's release party last month. Da Beautiful Mind is still on the way, and a lot of the tracks on the mixtape are things that didn't fit on the album, so there's a lot of original songs, not too heavy on just freestyles.

Skarr Akbar - "Barz & Beatz (South)" (mp3)
There's also one of these over all East coast beats, but I like this one more because Skarr doesn't spit over Southern beats real often, 7 straight minutes of switching from beat to beat. He did the first few beats, "I'm A King," etc., at Fresh Fest a couple weeks ago.

The Arabz - "Underground Awards" skit / "Alright" (mp3)
They put a short skit at the beginning of this track, but the actual song, "Alright," is fire, crazy epic buzzing wailing beat by G. Baggz and a couple different people on the verses. I think the Arabz have a mixtape or two of their own out, I need to pick one of those up.

(photo by Jefferson Jackson Steele)

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Most Anticipated Baltimore Albums/Mixtapes of 2006 (in alphabetical order)

Amadaye - Ghetto Soul
Bornking - Bornified King
Bosslady presents B-More State Of Grind
Bossman - Law & Order (Virgin version)
B. Rich - Born Rich
Comp - My Thoughts
Darkroom Productions - Hamsterdam 2: The Re-Up
Diablo - Shop Closed
DJ 5Starr - 5Starr's Way Vol. 2
D.O.G. - Champagne Dreams
Henny Black - Black Diamonds
John Boe - Before The Storm, Vol. 3
Little Clayway - Still Moving Independently
Skarr Akbar - Da Beautiful Mind
Sonny Brown - The Ginger Bread Man
Street Legal Entertainment - Fla Fla - Sparrow The Movement
Tim Trees - Wayne Jones: The Business
Unreal - Real Talk, Volume 2

Obviously there's gonna be a lot more people dropping new CDs this year, I just listed the ones I know the titles of (I was gonna list the Diablo album but I forgot the title). If anyone has solid release dates or wants me to list anything I left out, lemme know. I'm about to go on vacation, so no new posts for about a week.

1/8/06 EDIT: added some more that people posted in the comments section. Keep 'em coming, I'll add them when I get a chance.

1/15/06 EDIT: added a few more.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

In the January issue of Fader magazine, check out an article by Chris Ryan about Darkroom Productions and the Hamsterdam mixtape, and if you haven't heard the mixtape yet, you need to get that. And look at for some tracks produced by Darkroom on new mixtapes by Sqad Up and Young Hootie. Big things.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tyree Colion - The Problem And The Solution (Rare Ent./Hustle Hard Blvd.)

Tyree gave me props for my City Paper review of this when I saw him at Fresh Fest last week, I just had to give him credit for making a double CD this consistent. He just put out the Problem And The Solution DVD, thanks to Robby from Rare Ent. for getting me a copy of that. It's real hot, a lot of good performance footage and the "Bass Drop" video and everything. You can go to the Rare Ent. site to get a copy or check out some mp3's, they've got "Bass Drop" and "Out Of Town" f/ Comp, Skarr Akbar and Redz up for download.

Tyree Colion - "Pay Attention" (mp3)
I gotta applaud the beat choice, that was the best beat on the last Fat Joe album. My favorite part of the DVD is when Tyree performs this in the studio and then Comp and a bunch of other dudes freestyle over the beat.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I got this off a flyer from Downtown Locker Room:

Pick up applications at all Downtown Locker Room stores
Some staff positions are available
Portion of proceeds to benefit the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
To submit application or more info, call Devin Dockery 410-299-6373
or email

1/8/06 EDIT: Rod Lee was on Rap Attack earlier tonight and went into some detail about this and said "Everyone wanna know, if I'm signed, if I got a'll find out." They're looking for talent for Approach Records/Harm Squad Entertainment. I'm not sure what Approach Records is, only time I've heard that name is when it was on a Tyree Colion flyer I got at a show last summer.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Little Clayway - The Takeover (Clayway Records)

My review of this compilation of tracks from Clayway's old albums was in the City Paper a while back, I'm not sure if the new album Still Moving Independently is out or on the way soon. I've heard a couple good new songs from him on the radio lately, one was like this crazy flashback through Baltimore hip hop, namechecking old venues and radio stations that aren't around anymore. You can buy The Takeover and other Clayway releases from the Morphius site.

Little Clayway f/ Rod Lee - "The Best" (mp3)
"Rod Lee, the boy got juice on the Q/radio play, they gon' hate you, me too/we drop Tim Trees, Davon, Paula Campbell, Bossman, Mullyman and the Clipse/consecutive hits/Huli Shallone, Clayway up on the list." This is the one new 2005 track on the album. The last verse where Rod tells Clayway to spit old school cracks me up, especially the line "you rap? produce? I do all two" and the part where the girl says to him "you ain't ain't even Ja Rule".

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sorry for not posting the flyer before the actual show happened, somehow I didn't even know about it until the day of the show. It was real cool, though, I went down there after hanging out at Style Warz for a little while (I'm still wondering who won that, C Love?). The Latin Palace is this nice little place in the Spanish part of Upper Fells Point, like 5 blocks from my apartment, when they're not hosting hip hop shows it's all salsa dance lessons and DJs spinning reggaeton. I saw Ammo at the Mic Warz battle there a few months ago (shoulda won) and Little Clayway shot some of the "They Call Me Clayway" video there. And I gotta say, Fresh Fest 2005 was the shit, one of the best and definitely the best organized local show I've seen in a while, nothing but stars and everyone did their thing and kept it moving, no long breaks. And pretty much all people that have done tracks together and are cool with each other, no tension or bullshit. The sound system cut out a lot but it wasn't so bad, since you could still hear the music pretty well, it seemed to be just certain speakers that were having problems. I saw everyone on the bill perform except JI-900, who must've gone on before I got there. Shout out to everyone I saw there who said hi, Tyree, Skarr, Mully, Kelly Connelly, Jay Hunnie. Everyone there was real supportive of Verb from Dirty Hartz and mad that he didn't win on 106 & Park's Freestyle Friday. That dude is an amazing freestyler, not just fast as hell but comes up with seriously creative rhymes so quickly that I have no idea how his mind works, he's really just on another level from everyone else. I didn't see the episode, but if he didn't win that's their mistake. I didn't get a chance to say hi to Comp or get his new mixtape, I gotta get that later.

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