Tuesday, October 9, 2012


One of the most slept-on emcees in the Hip Hop world, Thomas Jones, better known as Rapper Big Pooh, is set deliver the next installment from his creative mind, Fat Boy Fresh Volume 2 (due November 20th).  The new single for this project is "Friends", a concept we can all relate to in this day and age.  Produced by Astronote, this song covers familiar territory, but coming from the unique perspective of Pooh.  Inside and outside of this industry, friendship is a topic that is at times touchy, yet all too real.  As the chorus states, "they don't love you, they know how to pretend/and these are the people who call themselves friends".  Nice ode to Whodini with this expectedly dope joint from one of my all-time favorites.  I champion the underdog, or in this case, the "fat boy freshest".  Visit Rapper Big Pooh at the following:  http://thefreshestfatboy.com/.  You can also follow him on Twitter:  @RapperBigPooh.  Peace to Shamz at Okayplayer for bringing this joint to light for the underground masses.


Courtesy of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is everyone's newest favorite emcee (or at least my favorite NEW lyricist in the game) Kendrick Lamar.  Backed by the hardest-working group in Hip Hop, The Roots, Kendrick Lamar blessed the Jimmy Fallon crowd with a touch of what to expect with his debut album entitled good kid, m.A.A.d. city.  Be on the lookout for the almost-guaranteed dope album when it is available on iTunes and in stores October 22nd (barring any label setbacks).  Thanks to NBC for not removing this video performance, as well as Okayplayer for being that trusted website and fam.

Monday, October 8, 2012


The first mixtape installment from one of the dopest turntablists is upon us.  The Underground Railroad (The Prequel) is the premiere offering from B-more bred DJ Awethentic, who now calls New Mexico home base.  With military precision, DJ Awethentic brings forth that Hip Hop that real heads are clamoring for, but won't get if they base their listening decisions on mainstream radio.  This is no Top-40 music collection; what you have here is underground, authentic Hip Hop music, hence the name of this reknowned vinyl spinner.  Listen and learn as he takes us on a journey into sound, a journey that is just beginning through The Underground Railroad (The Prequel)Download this dope concoction of Dilla, Common, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, The Roots, Biggie, O.C., and so many others, and be on the lookout for his next mixtape that is sure to have heads wanting more.  This is that Gray Matter ish!

   The Underground Railroad (The Prequel).mp3 by dj awethentic

Link:  http://soundcloud.com/dj-awethentic/the-underground-railroad-the


It has been a long time since I've witnessed a Malik B sighting.  Malik B, of The Roots, has been an enigma for the better part of his career.  I've wondered if, and when, we would see this talented lyricist reemerge on the Hip Hop radar.  A few appearances on recent Roots joints notwithstanding, the Philly phenom has been forging a path on the underground.  He recently linked with beatmaker Mr. Green for his Live From The Streets series.  Live From The Streets is very dope, as it melds the worlds of live instrumentation and sampling in a palatable format.  In this segment, we have Mr. Green interacting with street performer Kevin Brown (not to be confused with the DMV beat maven of the same name).  Once Mr. Green gathered enough live material, he took to his studio, utilizing his Native Instruments MASCHINE to chop the material into a dope beat for Malik B to spit over.  What you have as a finished product is a good piece of Hip Hop.  Special thanks to director Sam Lipman-Stern for bringing the authentic, raw flavor of the Illadelph streets to life in this video.  Also check out Noisey, the new music channel for VICE:  www.noisey.com

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Good to be back...better yet, GREAT to be back with Sample Sunday!  It is fitting that on this Sunday, where my beloved Ravens squeezed out a victory on a wing and prayer, and Orioles Magic is in full effect at Camden Yards against dem damn Yankees, I celebrate a joint that should be heard.  A joint that evokes a sense of spiritualism, not necessarily in content, but in sheer bravado.  The artist in question just released his critically-acclaimed album A Dream Deferred.  Please cop the physical of this dynamic album or go to iTunes:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dream-deferred-bonus-track/id556175668.  I will save the review for later, but in the meantime lets talk about a song that I think is just incredible from a lyrical aspect.  "The Definitive Prayer" is a spectacular display of lyricism, bringing forth comparisons to Hip Hop visionaries such as Rakim, Nas, Kool G. Rap, and the like.  Included on his Great Debaters mixtape, "The Definitive Prayer" is almost unmatched in this emo, trap beat, "bands to make her dance" environment that is inhabited by my Hip Hop brethren at the present moment.  Name ONE song that can touch this joint.

Produced by !llmind, with the accompanying video by NC's finest Kenneth Price, you get this visceral sense of a man that is ultra-introspective within the context of Hip Hop.  You do not get this on a regular basis within this culture of ours.  However, as soon as Skyzoo rhymes, you get the sense that something very unique and special is upon us.  The dope soundscape is from the brilliant catalogue of David Axelrod.  His 1968 gem, "Holy Thursday", is the engine that drives Skyzoo's lyrics.  If you are not familiar with David Axelrod, peep his expansive body of work.  I am sure that you will get a hint at his genius (check the dope sample for Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode").

Songs Of Innocence is the Capitol Records album that "Holy Thursday" comes from, and it is nothing short of awe-inspiring.  When I first copped this album a few years ago (on a beat-digging venture of course), I was moved by each and every psychedelic/jazz/funk/rock/soul joint included.  "Holy Thursday" stood out among the collection of songs because a very visual story arc was told with this five-plus minute song.  I guess that !llmind conjured the same imagery in his "ill mind" (pun intended), because the drums and orchestral arrangements are the key to Skyzoo delivering one of the most vivid displays of lyricism this game has seen in quite some time.  This song is very reminiscent of O.C. with "Time's Up", a classic among Hip Hop classics.  What are your opinions of Skyzoo, "The Definitive Prayer", and David Axelrod's "Holy Thursday"?  I welcome your comments and opinions, and remember that this so much more than a passing fad.  Hip Hop is a culture, so we should all treat it as such.  I'm pretty sure that Skyzoo does.
Twitter:  @Skyzoo
Facebook:  TheRealSkyzoo