Ekundayo & Spittzwell - "Life or Death"

Ekundayo lives hundreds of miles from here, but like the man says, "I'm like black genes, you cannot stop the features." This one's off his latest album, the aptly titled Magnificent Brilliance, which dropped last August and is produced entirely by Spittzwell.


Busta Rhymes, Notorious B.I.G., Roc Marciano, J. Dilla - "Modern Day Gangstas"

Busta Rhymes, Roc Marciano, Knowledge the Pirate, and Rockwilder
(presumably backstage at Highline Ballroom),
December 26, 2017, via KP's Insta.
Strap in because there's some history behind this one ... or just scroll down to the track. Story goes that the original version of Busta Rhymes and Notorious B.I.G.'s "Modern Day Gangstas" aka "Dangerous MC's" aka "The Ugliest" was recorded over a J. Dilla beat in 1996 for Busta's debut, The Coming, but was shelved because Biggie went hard at Pac in his verse (like borderline self-incriminatory hard), and Bus didn't want to get mixed up in the beef.

Puffy retained the masters, because he's Puffy I guess, and then released a remix of the song over a Nottz beat on Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumous 1999 album, Born Again. This version featured Snoop Dogg and Mark Curry, whereas the original Dilla version features Busta Rhymes affiliate Labba. (Peace to The Lost Tapes for shedding light on the above back in 2014.) There's also a 12" promo release of "Dangerous MC's" on Bad Boy, featuring Mark Curry, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes (pictured here, sealed), with "Who Shot Ya" on the b-side. Discogs doesn't give a date for this release, it's not up on YouTube, and I'm not cracking the seal on my copy, so who knows when that came out or what it sounds like.

Anyway, fast-forward to late 2017. Roc Marciano Tweets this:

Shortly thereafter, DJ, producer and friend of the late J. Dilla, House Shoes implies that he has the unreleased song in question:

Sure enough, five days later, Shoes kicks off the December 13, 2017 edition of his dublab program, Magic, with a track he lists as "Biggie Dilla Busta Rhymes ft. Flipmode – Modern Day Gangsters / Dangerous M.C.’s." The full program is available to download. All I did was cut out the first song, using Audacity. Stream/download Busta Rhymes and J. Dilla's "Modern Day Gangstas" ft. Notorious B.I.G., Labba and Roc Marciano below.

(P.S. It has been suggested, due to some differences in volume between the Roc verse and the rest of the vocals, that this track was Frankensteined using several different versions of the song. Note the DJ Kay Slay drops over Roc's verse and DJ Whoo Kid drops over Big's, which support that theory, as the Dilla version without Roc appeared on Busta Rhymes and DJ Whoo Kid's Surrender mixtape. But do you really care?)


Marlo DeMore - "Solitaire"

New Marlo produced by On3trackmind fka Ra the Beat Archaeologist — one can only speculate that the "Faded Black and Gold 10" track description refers to a 10-song sequel to their hallmark 2015 EP. "One" being me "only" speculating because I haven't spoken to either of these gentlemen in about as long.


J Readi - Stakes Is High Freestyle

It's Rakim's nephew rapping over what some might argue is the best De La Soul beat of all time. What more can you ask for? Before you snidely reply, "Rakim rapping over that beat himself," click play and peep game at 1:20 in particular.

Muja Messiah - Saran Rap (prod. Roc Marciano)

You thought Roc Marciano only put out one project in 2017? Think again. On November 24, Man Bites Dog Records released Saran Rap, a six-song EP by Minneapolis MC Muja Messiah, produced entirely by Roc Marciano.

In addition to providing beat, Roc also features on the first track, "You Haven't Lived,"and appears in its video. Stream that and the EP both below, and click through Bandcamp to cop the vinyl pictured here, a limited edition of 150.

DJ Pr!nce - Blast into the Past pt. 2

DJ Prince kicked off a very productive 2017 with this old school mix, just the thing for heart-warming holiday celebration or grown-sexy New Year's gathering.