Samfl3 (Pronounced sUM-FLaa or SUN-FLer)

Listening to Nortey "Samfl3" Dowuona, one gets the feeling that the music he makes couldn't possibly have been taught or passed on, that it must be entirely and exclusively a product of the artist's own ingenuity. The beats sound more like videogame soundtracks than instrumentals somebody made to rap over, yet he insists (at least on his debut) that there's sampling involved; the vocals somehow recall both nursery rhymes and the early '00s cram-a-million-words-into-each-line style, yet they remain strangely in the pocket no matter how wild the keyboard arragnements backing them get.

Samfl3's debut album is called Notice the Cat; its followup, Window Dressing, also features cats on the cover. The biography he sent me a year ago begins: "Nortey Dowuona first started rapping after watching several tv shows and, wanting to be a voice actor, started recording his voice on his iPod Touch in 2012, then recording a Spiderman tune he remembered from the 1992 tv show. After finding the instrumental for Martians and Goblins by the Game, a song he enjoyed, he started free styling about an actual war between martians and humans, with goblins helping to defeat them." It goes on from there, explaining in detail his artistic development leading up to the release of said debut. Samfl3 grew up in Accra, Ghana, then moved to Garden City. Eight of the album's 10 songs were recorded on holiday in La, Ghana.

Dig a little deeper and you'll find All American Opera, "an electronica album influenced by hip-hop and R&B," which Samfl3 put out in 2013, with song titles including "Spiders Eating Maggots out of the Dead Breasts of Chichidodos," "A Lack of Video Games and an Abundance of Internet," "It's Not Paranoia..." and "...If They're Actually After You." It's lit. So is Notice the Cat, though it took me all of a year to finally cover it here. In the interim, Samfl3 has uploaded three more albums to Bandcamp, one of which has the amazing title, I Had No Keyboard, So I Made Raps. Like I said, this is not so much rap as an oral tradition but more rap as a purely personal expression. It's its own thing.


De La Soul Doing Awesome Things in Europe 89-90

Above, De La Soul appear on the Dutch television program Fa. Unst on the VPRO network. The group performs "The Magic Number," "Plug Tunin'" and "Me, Myself & I" then get interviewed by host Sylvia Pool and finally compete against UK rock group the Mute Drivers in a trivia face-off. Below, one year later De La Soul appear on the UK's Capital Rap Show with Tim Westwood for an interview and freestyle. This 1990 appearance is not to be confused with their freestyle with Nas on Tim Westwood's show in 1996. Their interview begins at 21:16 and their freestyle at 25:16.


Lil Tecca - "Bossanova"

Lil Tecca may have unseated Lil Nas X from atop the Billboard charts, but clearly the Lawrence rapper's biggest accomplishment to date has been inspiring a rewrite of this site's Submissions page copy, which had remained virtually untouched since 2014. Now that's a legacy.

Theravada - Clarity of Escape

New music from Theravada, mostly instrumental including axe murder anthem "cadett5," but the title cut sees him continuing to vocally undress a hologram. Hear more Theravada beats and rhymes on fellow 2000 flag-bearer Rbchmbrs' Old Man Soon.

Roc Marciano - "Tom Chambers"

Roc Marciano taps Marci Beaucoup cover artist and "Emeralds" video director Justin "Unjust" Herman to bring the action-packed Marcielago cover to life in this Speed Racer-style animation for "Tom Chambers."


Disco Vietnam - House Rabbi Vol. 5

Tonight (technically last night, December 29, 2019) was the last night of Hanukkah, tomorrow (technically today, December 30, 2019) is the last day, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than with House Rabbi Vol. 5 from Barry "Disco Vietnam" Schwartz (excecpt maybe if there were 8 volumes of this series, not 5 — then that would be a decidely more apporopriate way to celebrate). Shalom!

UptownBODEGA - Hennesis

And the award for Long Island rap's best album cover of 2019 goes to Central Islip's UptownBODEGA for Hennesis.

Blaq Kush - Lost Files from 2013-2017

One of the most readily recognizable voices in Long Island rap brings 10 tracks from 2013-2017 out of hiding.

Rome Streetz & SmooVth w/ DJ Eclipse

Came here to post a video of Rome Streetz on Live from Headqcourterz Radio with DJ Premier on the tables (August 6, 2019), but found this 10-minute video of Rome, SmooVth and Rasheed Chappell on Rap is Outta Control (September 30, 2018) instead.


Fuck a List 2019

Roc Marciano - Marcielago

Theravada - Xennis Rodman

Lisaan'dro - M.A.D.E. (My Allies Died Early)

Elucid - Every Egg I Cracked Today Was Double Yolked

Josh Alias - Growing Pains

Azomali - Guayaba

WiFiOG - Disrupt

Darc Mind - What Happened to the Art?

Christ Kenneth - The Abomination of Desolation

AM - self.