Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Rec Hoop Sacred League

The Latest Greatest, 3/29/11

Alright, it's time to reveal my true colors, because this latest edition of The Latest Greatest is on some *Baaaaayyyyyyy Shiiiiiiiiiiiittttt*!!! It would appear that the big homie Rob Rush has joined forces with Sacred Hoop's very own Luke Sick to form a group that goes under the kinda hilarious title of Rime Force Most Illin. If you've seen Rob Rush and Rec League live, you know that it's kinda hard not to be a fan, plus Luke Sick's got plenty of dope recordings under his belt. What's more, this new single is produced by the one and only Vrse Murphy with cuts by DJ Quest??? These dudes've all got criminally underrated stamped all over their foreheads, emphasis on the "criminally" cus' they're some wild sons o'bitches. Apparently, this single is from their upcoming album "The Force is Slammin" due out some time this year. Sign me up... especially if it features more Vrse Murphy production! Funky sounds for your eardrums below.

Rime Force Most Illin "On Dope":

The Clouds Part, the Sky Darkens...

The Latest Greatest, 3/29/11

Couple days late (hey, I've been workin on mixes n' things!), but wanted to share some info on Blue Sky Black Death's new instrumental album "Noir," which drops 4/26/11 on the ultra-consistant indie rap label Fake Four Inc. These guys are some real serious composers (and some serious local San Franciscan composers, no less), with a good for orchestral style beats of the epic variety. In case their "Third Party" pop record with Alexander Chen didn't click with you like it did with me, this new one is all beats beats beats, and it's sounding mighty promising. Really looking forward to hearing this as well as the free "World Wide Romance" project with Yes Alexander that's rumored to follow. Tracklisting, sample song, and first official music video below:

1. Our Hearts Of Ruin
2. Sleeping Children Are Still Flying
3. And Stars, ringed
4. To The Ends Of The Earth
5. Farewell To The Former World
6. Falling Short
7. Gold In Gold Out
8. Where Do We Go
9. In The Quiet Absence Of God
10. Where The Sun Beats
11. Starry
12. Fire For Light
13. Swords From Driftwood
14. Sky With Hand

"Sky With Hand":

"In the Quiet Absence of God" (official video):

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Existereo (aka Stereo 13) "Retrospect"

Expanding the Backpack, 3/19/11

Oh helllllll yes. New free album from Existereo? Count me IN! Those unfamiliar with this LA style fiend's work now have a chance to be properly introduced while long time fans like me will rejoice over the new material. Existereo is one of the core members of the legendary Shape Shifters crew, a highly renowned LA collective that's been raising brows since some of the first seeds of Project Blowed were planted. In my opinion, Exist (or Stereo 13 as he seems to be going by here) is one of the most talented and underrated members of the group, with a penchant for stealing the show on massive LA posse cuts and the strongest live stage presence of any of the Shifters. His discography is also a very solid body of work, too often overlooked by underground hip hop heads, with no less than three excellent full length albums under his belt. "Retrospect" seems to be a collection of unreleased tracks or tracks that Existereo has guested on on other people's albums ("Daydream" is from Deeskee's "Audiobiograffiti," "Money in the Bank" is from Factor's "13 Stories," "Valiant" is from 2Mex's Look Daggers project with Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta, etc.), but the way they stream into each other and form a complete body of work really make this album stand out as another strong entry in the Stereo 13 catalog. Most of these songs I've never heard, and they impress big time... Some stand-outs include the Barfly collaborations "You're Fucked" and "Ride Till the Wheels Fall Off," which I assume are from their unreleased Candy's .22 full length, and "Gimmicky" where Exist closes his verse with some ridiculous styling. There's ridiculous styling all over this thing though, plus crazy quality. The only misstep is "Tandem Cannons," where the rough mix of the recording mars an otherwise great reinterpretation of a Mike Gao beat from Robust's "El Foto Grande" album. Still, this thing is great great great, better than a bunch of things you have to pay for. It's offered to you by Existereo, free of charge:

Download Stereo 13 "Retrospect" Here

PS: if anyone has the production credits for this album, I would love if you could share them. Thanks!

[Edit 8/13/11 - art and download link re-upped. Check this one out for sure!]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beauty Gels With Tragedy

The Latest Greatest, 3/16/11

Even more West Coast underground illness headed in our direction in the form of Gel Roc's new album, "Beautiful Tragedy," which should be dropping some time soon on Gel's 100% independent label Abolano Records. Gel Roc has always been the strongest MC out of the EX2 collective in my eyes, to the point where I often prefer his solo material to EX2's group projects. Still, this "Beautiful Tragedy" album does look like it's going to be a group effort in the best of ways, with the regular stellar cast of LA talent listed on the above flyer. Unlike Gel's last few albums which were produced by Mascaria, this new one boasts production from Xczircles of the Escape Artists, who recently dropped a very dope double album with his Escape Artist brethren Aamir. Really curious to hear how the new production works for Gel Roc, Xczircles has definitely got beats. Feeling the new scissor motif in the way Gel Roc's name is written as well. This joint, Joe Dub's Contra Band album, and Open Mike Eagles' new album means us LA underground nerds are gonna be spoiled in the months to come. Debut song and video from Gel Roc's "Beautiful Tragedy" below:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Be a Lame, Support Iame

The Latest Greatest, 3/15/11

Hmmm, this blog seems to be covering Oldominion news an awful lot these days, but if that's who needs the promotion then so be it! This latest news bit concerns Iame's upcoming album "Lame," which is dropping (or *might* be dropping) some time in the next few months. The Oldominion/Sandpeople representative is pulling a Rass Kass on us by funding the album through Kickstarter, where fans donate a certain amount beforehand and if a monetary goal is reached then the album will come out. Much like Rass Kass, Iame offers different package deals for different amounts donated, including a kind of ridiculous one for 200 bones! I ain't gonna be donating that much, but this is a project worth funding... Iame is a pretty talented dude, and "Lame" boasts 100% production from Smoke of Oldominion, which is a promising sign. Watch the video, go download his free album "Lightfighter" if you haven't already, and consider a donation if you're feelin' it. You can donate by visiting his Kickstarter Page. Wooorrrrd.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Open Medic Eagle

The Latest Greatest, 3/14/11

The latest bleep on the LA underground hip hop radar is this brand new album from Swim Team/Thirsty Fish affiliate Open Mike Eagle, entitled "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes." Out of the solo material to emerge from Swim Team thus far, Open Mike Eagle and Sahtyre have stood out to me the most, with Open Mike dropping the ill "Unapologetic Art Rap" last year as well as the dope free follow-up EP "Art Rap After Party." Open Mike Eagle's smoothed-out borderline spoken word style and intricate pop culture lyricism definitely have an original flair to them, so here's hoping his trend of quality albums continues with this release. "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes" drops April 26th on NoCanDo's imprint Hellfyre Club. Here's an Open Mike Eagle track from a recent Hellfyre Club mixtape that may or may not end up on the full length... it doesn't grab me as much as some of his previous numbers on an initial listen, but I'd have to hear it in the context of an actual album to really be able to judge.

Open Mike Eagle-Silent Protest by Hellfyre Club

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Th3rd x Dope

The Latest Greatest, 3/13/11

Well, this sounds like a promising project. All three of these gents put out killer solo albums last year, good to see the Oldominion folks collabing on some group projects as well. I remember JFK telling me that he was dropping an album with these two for free on Christmas when I saw him live last year, but it never surfaced so I figured it was one of those pipe dream projects. Guess I was wrong! No further details aside from that banner and the fact that the three of them played together live in Seattle recently, but I'm keeping an eye out. I'm not a twitterer, but apparently you can follow them @th3rd on Twitter as well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nezbeat & iD Painting the Town Red

The Latest Greatest, 3/6/11

Pictured above is the cover of Archetype's new album "Red Wedding," which is dropping some time in the not too distant future on Dekagon Records in 2011. No details on an actual release date, tracklisting, or samples yet, but rapper iD and producer/rapper Nezbeat's last album as a duo "Bleed for Them" was a solid piece of work that got unfairly slept on by a lot of folks. These two Kansas City kids have a couple of albums under their belt as the group Archetype, as well as solo endeavors and collaborative projects with other rappers and producers (Mac Lethal and Sleeper come to mind). My guess is that this'll be worth checking for when it drops. Nezbeat's gonna offer up a free download of a dope album that he and Joe Good worked on together prior to the release of this as well, look out for it on this very blog when it drops.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cooking on Venus with Chopped Verses

The Latest Greatest, 3/5/11

The latest project from the super-productive and always interesting label Fake Four Inc. will be this new album by Canadian MC Noah23, entitled "Fry Cook on Venus." Noah is one of those rappers who got a good deal of attention and praise around the year 2000 when Anticon was in its heyday and non-derivative nerd rappers were dropping left and right. I remember his album "Quicksand" getting a good deal of positive reviews when it dropped, but I never checked for it and have yet to really dig into his material in depth. Much like fellow Canadian rapper Josh Martinez (whose output I have followed), Noah23 has released a ton of albums over the years to little to no attention. Kind of cool to see Fake Four backing this for some good distribution and promotion, hopefully it ends up being good. I had the chance to see Noah23 live last year, and the tracks he premiered from his new one sounded good, particularly the Factor-produced song "Bed Bugs." This thing drops March 29th, tracklisting with producer and two stream-able songs below:

1. What It Is (Oskar Ohlson)

2. Bright Green Laces (Zoen)

3. Murder City feat. Sole & Awol (Ceschi)

4. Beg Bugs (Factor)

5. Intangible Heart Crescendo (Madadam)

6. Fry Cook On Venus (Zoen)

7. Sea of the Infinite Wave feat. Ceschi & Myka 9 (Skyrider)

8. Can’t Stay Mad (Ceschi)

9. Nuts feat. Liz Powell from Land of Talk (Cars & Trains) guitar by Evan Gordon

10. Things To Do feat. Rickolus (Rickolus)

11. No Tomorrow (Madadam)

12. Old Dog feat. Ghettosocks (Zoen) scratches by Buddy Peace

13. Time Again (Zoen)

14. When I’m Gone feat. Gregory Pepper (Gregory Pepper)

Noah23- Bright Green Laces by Noah23