Quey B - "No Limit Tank" / "Wise Up"

Nighttime on a Huntington side street, a parked car is illuminated by white overhead lights and the bluish glow of a phone recording the vehicle's occupant pouring his heart and brain into raps.
I'm setting the scene for a trickle of tracks that landed on YouTube about six months ago, two of which appear below, all of which are dope in their own right, but really you'd do well enough to check out anything by Quey P aka Darkside Q aka Blueflame Ballers via DistroKid or ReverbNation or wherever you stream your music.


OSP - "One Last Pickle"

You can't spell gherkin without genki: a happy linguistic accident apropos of the song art below, or the kind of thought that only a truly deranged mind can conjure? While you consider that, I'll be once again winding back this King Pickle remix of Ariana Grande's "One Last Time." The appropriately titled "One Last Pickle" features Nicki Minaj elevating Wayne to KRS stature. What a pickle!

Murgolo De ArchiMago - "Psych Eval"

Typically submissions to this website include a song or a longer project possibly accompanied by a brief bio of the artist. Murgolo De ArchiMago submitted what can only be described as a screed attesting his undying love for hip-hop. No music. He asked me to hook him up with a producer. Asked for samples of his work, he followed up with a string of freestyled voice recordings made right there on spot. I put him in touch with a producer. I don't know what came of that. But here's a song he sent out of the blue the other day.


Theravada Hot 97 Freestyle

Speaking of Rosenberg, shout out to that man for allowing this to happen. Theravada recently appeared on the Real Late show on Hot 97, where he spoke about how he got into hip-hop; his recent Earl placement, "Tabula Rasa" ft. the best rap group in the world, Armand Hammer; losing his laptop; and some of his influences (Madlib, Timbaland, Nas, Tribe, Dilla). Then, as captured beginning at the 12:17 mark below, Theravada rapped live on Hot 97

Right now, as always, there are awful things happening in the world, but there are also some really great things happening, and, for me at least, this was one of them. "It's not 'Third.' It's not 'The Ravada.' Thank you."


Johnny Storm - Lunafreya

Around the 1-minute mark of "Pneuma," the penultimate song on Lunafreya, when the saxophone comes in, that's the sound of the fucking sky opening up, of the sun's heavenly rays parting clouds like Moses did the Red Sea, of all New York going quiet for a quick second as if to ask, "Oh damn, who's that?" That, my friends, is Johnny Storm, and he's about to channel some shit so slick it could've only come direct from that ethereal plane: "My weakness is kept secret, they might use it against me / So I sent it to a realm where the timing is endless / I tell the waiter add some extra truffle on that spaghetti / Yo fuck juice, all we sip is warm water with lemon let's get it." Lunafreya is Johnny Storm's third album since last October and all three have been among his best to date, but this one is truly special. Rosenburg knows.  

Centa of da Web - Beyond Human Comprehension EP

Execute command. Materialize avatar. Download itinerary. Charge phaser. Open portal. Enter portal. Traverse wormhole. Exit portal. Seal portal. Access itinerary. Pinpoint target. Port pin. Identify target. Execute target. Assess timeline. Identify contamination. Update itinerary.

Want to know what sci-fi-inspired underground hip-hop was like back in the mid-'90s? You don't have to hack autonomous computers sending shooters back in time at the behest of defunct message boards. Atoms Family's Cryptic One dug up a grip of his group Centa of da Web's Beyond Human Comprehension cassettes and CDs, and posted them on his site. You can also name your price below.

Recorded, I believe, in Da Cryptic One's parents' house, this EP sounds like decades of hip-hop's past and future folding in on themselves in a Westbury basement. Peace to Cryp, Molecule and Whichcraft for opening the portal. 


Lyrica - "Code 2113"

Political scientist Michael Parenti once said, "I could demonstrate to you that in every single bank robbery, that in every single case practically, the cost of the police was more than the actual money that the robbers took from the bank ... You see, there are people who believe that the function of the police is to fight crime, and that's not true. The function of the police is social control and protection of property."  A sample of that speech kicked off a Choking Victim song way back when, but it just as well might introduce "Code 2113," Lyrica's ode to one of the most harshly punished victimless ("shooters watching my six" notwithstanding) crimes of all.

Eternal Intellect - Da GreyWolf Series: Da Frost Giant

Also by way of the Ville, if that which is eternal can really hail from anywhere in particular other than the ether, it's the third installment in Da GreyWolf Series: Da Frost Giant, featuring an alcoholic allegory for interracial relationships, a glamor-free assessment of opiate addiction over the "Blow the Whistle" beat, and more flows than you can shake a Mjolnir-shaped stick at. Also, sometimes you just have to sing.


Rhyme Va-Lor - Holiday Boogie

You're hanging out, spinning records, soul joints mostly, shoulder moving stuff, and there's a mic just lying there. Nobody seems to notice but you. You imagine you're not DJing and subtly nod toward the mic as if to say to yourself, "Oh, you've got something? Well," and though it's been a while, it's also the holidays, and you're feeling right so you do what needs doing, a verse here and a couple more over there, just hanging out, spinning records, doing your thing.


Prince Paul Talks to Chuck D and Harry Allen about It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

I'm not much for music podcasts. Why would I listen to people talk about music when I could just listen to music instead? Possibly the only nice thing about written music criticism is that it can be read or written while listening to music, thus allowing for some semblance of an attempt at direct engagement. But I digress. What I am much for is anyone giving Prince Paul a microphone and a platform to say or do basically anything, but preferably whatever he wants to do. If that thing so happens to be talking to Chuck D and Harry Allen about Public Enemy's classic sophomore album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, all the better. And if that discussion has to be interspersed with readings from the 33 1/3 book about said album voiced by Open Mike Eagle, so be it. (OME's first season of What Had Happened Was, featuring a series of conversations with Prince Paul about his discography, is also a good music podcast as it happens.) Now if only someone would pay me to talk to Paul for 3 hours about It Takes a Nation of Suckers To Let Us In then I'll be really sold on the value of music podcasts...