12/2/18

Roc Marciano - Pimpstrumentals

For those not keeping score, Roc Marciano dropped four albums this year: Rosebudd's Revenge 2: The Bitter Dose, Behold a Dark Horse, KAOS (with DJ Muggs), and now Pimpstrumentals, his first instrumental album.

One could argue that to find a comparable run you'd have to go back to MF Doom circa 2003-2004 (another Long Islander for those who are keeping score).

Coincidentally, Pimpstrumentals is brought to you by Adult Swim, the same label that put out Doom and Danger Mouse's Danger Doom album, The Mouse and The Mask, which arguably bookended the aforementioned run.

11/16/18

Ohitika De Gallo on Everything

Ohitika aka Lil Tika aka Tika De Gallo not only makes some fun, polished, original music — he also has some of the freshest, most ridiculous visuals I've seen from any Long Island rapper in recent memory. Case in point: the IG photo and videos in this post. It's not all fun and games, though. The name Ohitika comes from the Lakota word for brave, and many of his songs tackle serious topics like mental health issues and emotional trauma. Check the videos below then stream the new album 222.

J-Hershey - Hershey Files - 02

J-Hershey showcasing the advancement. Hit him up.

11/2/18

Grandmilly & DJ Surrup - Toad

A collaboration of Zero Klique MC Grandmilly (left) and DJ Surrup (right) has been long overdue, so when Surrup and Klique creative director BigZeem started tweeting about a triple ZERO radio mix featuring the two artists, it started to sound like such a meeting of the minds might actually materialize. A few days later it did. On October 25, Grandmilly and DJ Surrup released Toad, a three-song EP featuring beats and rhymes by Milly, with scratches and mixing by Surrup under the creative direction of Zeem. A celebration of character, Toad is grimy, sticky and dissectible. Stream/support below, then head to ZeroKlique.com to cop some exlusive merch, including the long awaited Adventureland cassette.

10/17/18

MF Doom Side Dishes


MM.. Food was MF DOOM's sixth full-length project as a solo MC. However, technically, it was only the second he released as MF DOOM (the others, in order, being by King Ghidra, Viktor Vaughn, Madvillain, and Vaughn again). Regardless, MM.. Food arrived toward the tail end of what has since been recognized as one of most impressive and consistent two-year runs by any MC in hip-hop history. In fact, Take Me To Your Leader and MM.. Food are separated by only one year and five months, the former being released June 17, 2003, the latter November 16, 2004.

Not only were these and most all of the releases in between well received by critics and fans alike; they also sold extremely well — and this, despite being released by a number of different labels — thereby establishing MF DOOM as one of the hottest commodities in the "underground" hip-hop marketplace, which was then commercially facilitated at least in part if not primarily by such online retailers as Hiphopsite, UGHH and Sandbox Automatic.

Which brings us to today's "Side Dishes," 2004's MM.. Leftovers and MM.. More Food, two promo CDs released alongside MM.. Food. 

Some context here: several of the aforementioned websites, in efforts to boost sales and top competing retailers, often packaged their releases with promo CDs, given away "free" with certain (or in some cases, all) orders. Typically, these promo CDs came very flimsily packaged, with little to no casing and often no cover art or tracklist to speak of either. Many were throwaways that have been largely forgotten, but some such as the promo CDs that accompanied the online release of MM.. Food, have actually since been reissued as bootleg vinyls and cassettes. Indeed, original CD copies of MM.. More Food and Hiphopsite's MM.. Leftovers now fetch $30-$40, far more than MM.. Food itself.

While it might be tough to come across a phsyical copy of either promo release, both have survived digitally via YouTube, blogs, forums and the like, which is important because the tracklists of these mini-projects actually include a few MF DOOM remixes you won't hear anywhere else. Thus, for the DOOM completist, they are indispensable. Additionally, for any Monsta Island Czars fans out there, MM.. More Food contains three Rodan solo tracks, one of which DOOM co-produced, along with the insrumentals for all of them. (These all also appeared on the Witchcraft II 12" releasesd by Quaczar Records that same year, though this too looks to be pretty rare as it's selling for $10-$30.)

To my ears, however, the true standouts both come from MM.. Leftovers. They are: the Madlib remix of "One Beer," not to be confused with the original mix featured on Madlib's Mind Fusion Vol. 1 mix nor the drunk remix (download here) included as a one-sided 45 in Madvillainy 2: The Box; and the "Beatboxappella" of "Hoe Cakes," which features DOOM's acappella vocal track over the beatbox that appears on his original version of the song from MM Food.

The first I've chosen to highlight here for the obvious reason that it's an otherwise-unreleased Madlib remix, a concept now so remarkable it calls into question the track's authenticity. (This is conjecture, but it wouldn't have been beyond the pale for Hiphopsite to have Frankensteined the track out of a loose Madlib instrumental and the DOOM acappella.) Additionally, the track seems to foreshadow some of the darker and more electronic sounds DOOM would explore years later on Born Like This and Key to the Kuffs. On the other hand, I call readers' attention to the "Hot Cakes (Beatboxappella)" because, stripped down like this, I think it documents how, despite all the credit DOOM is given as a forerunner to today's crop of alernative rappers, at least part of him remains a golden-era schooled, b-boy oriented MC. A true original, his style can stand up to the best of any era and he has the cadences to prove it.

I encourage everyone who's not familiar with these releases to stream the tracks below, then head over to DatPiff to download MM.. Leftovers and while you're at it, download More Food courtesy of DirtDog over at the Philaflava forum.


10/10/18

Coltrane Home Declared National Treasure

A big follow-up to a post from 2016, in which we encouraged attendance at that year's Coltrane Day Music Festival: the Coltrane Home, located at 247 Candlewood Path in Dix Hills has been named a "National Treasure" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Basically, what this means is that the Friends of Coltrane group is that much closer to reaching its goals of having the home renovated and opened to the public as a space for music education and cultural enrichment. Full story here.

10/3/18

Siege Spitfire - Shook Ones Freestyle

By the time Eight Mile dropped, this beat was getting so played you really had to have some skills to rock over it. With P gone now, it's only a select few who can get theirs on this. Siege Spitfire does the honors.

10/2/18

Drownmili & Burnkas - Drown & Burn

Back in April, I posted a playlist of a handful of songs Drownmili, Burnkas and Purpdogg had done together, though it looks like a few of those songs have since been taken down or moved around, as the list has been whittled down to three tracks. At any rate, the three artists have continued to put out tunes together and recently dropped a six-song EP. If its title sounds unfeasible, the cover illustrates how it's done.

The EP is also available in iTunes if you'd prefer to download.