Hard 2 Obtain - Singles Collection (1993-94)

Coming from Lakeview, Long Island, a small CDP located southwest of Hempstead, Hard 2 Obtain consisted of three members: MCs Taste and DL and DJ Six Seven. The trio linked up with Dante Ross's Stimulated Dummies production crew for the making of their three singles and one album, Ism and Blues, but have since had something of a falling out with Ross. (See the comments from this 10-year-old post.)

All that bad blood aside, the singles and their b-sides evince some undeniable chemistry between H2O and Stimulated Dummies. And as a result of that chemistry, we have one classic LI anthem and numerous other bangers that also deliver that distinct local flavor. Stream "L.I. Groove," "Ghetto Diamond," and "L.I. Groove" b-side "Off The Top (Straight From the 12 Block)" below, then download all three of H2O's singles via the t.r.o.y. blog. You won't want to miss the other b-sides, believe me.


Serene Envy - The Earth Is Bald

Serene Envy spits 20-something malaise the way only a talented young Long Island woman can. Her third Soundcloud set, The Earth Is Bald combines coffee house quotables with boom bap beats and a voice that defies genrefication. In introducing the project, she wrote...

"I did not experience the era of boomboxes and dance offs. The 80s, the 90s, man oh man. Life imitated art and vice versa. Classics that shaped generations and generations to come.

"This is a mixtape. Do not expect a record label presentation. This is me, uncut. I'm just a fan of the art, juggling employment against life and losing the battle."

...to which I've got to say a few things: first, having lived through the '90s and half of the '80s, let me remind yall that those decades also brought us Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer and the shiny suit era, so let's not get overly romantic about them; second, Serene's fandom, juggling act and battle are what make this project a success. We all lose life's big battle eventually, but this here is a win.


Don Cash - Working After Work EP

Don Cash gives the world a surprise Christmas gift in the form of his latest EP, Working After Work, which features production by DJ C-Rxch, DJ DNA, Marley, Complexx and JD. Hunt, as well as guest vocals by Silas, Rome Streetz, Po Lo and KHus.

If you're looking for something to do the day after Xmas, or if you're anywhere in southwestern Nassau area to begin with, Don Cash is doing a show tonight, in Oceanside at Club Heat. "Smoking diesel out a wooden pipe / She only come around for dick and good advice." Stream the new project and download the tracks individually below, or get them all in one shot from our Mediafire.

Busta Rhymes - The Return of the Dragon (The Abstract Went On Vacation)

For the quasi-followup to his 2013 Q-Tip collaboration, The Abstract & The Dragon, Busta Rhymes teamed with a hip-hop who's who including fellow Long Island natives MF Doom, Roc Marciano and even Leaders of the New School who contributed their first recording together in 19 years. Of course, Roc and Bus have worked together numerous times, as the former was for a while in Flipmode Squad. Not familiar with any earlier Busta-DOOM tracks, but from the sound of it, this one was clearly a long-time coming, as the two effortlessly trade post-Native Tongue eccentricities over a Dilla banger that feels tailor-made for the occasion. "On the strength, she wasn't lent three cent / Got her own connect for rent off the cement."


Sim-E - Hollyday Classixxx-mas / "Winter's Coat"

Sim-E aka Simeon Hinds posted this festive beat tape exactly two years ago today, writing, "Holiday Instrumental jawn done a few seasons ago, give the gift of giving & get into the xmas spirit with these flips of sum holiday classics!!"

Stream/download it below, then check out the new wintry beat he posted just a few hours ago, and enjoy a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Jewish Christmas (seeing Star Wars tomorrow), and/or Happy Festivus for the rest of us.


DJ Surrup - But U Caint Sip My Purple [Slowed + Throwed]

Zero Klique chopster DJ Surrup gives the slowed and throwed treatment to the Queen of Neo Soul's new telephonic mixtape. Long Island Rap Blog promises to continue politely bugging him until he drops the Roc Marciano tape we talked about. ;-)

CuzOh - "The Real"

Late to the party yet again, but not too late, because The Allure, the album on which this song appears, is still on the way. Until it drops, you can check out more CuzOh material over at his website. Here, CuzOh claims to "lose all control in the vocal booth," but his commanding delivery as both MC and singer says otherwise.


Numeral - "Numeral" / "Creation"

You might recognize Numeral from a past post featuring fellow West Hempstead / Divine Nine Records MC Kenny Orlando. Dude's on some 2015 Latino Sonz of Man type shit, and his mixtape, MMXV, should be dropping later this month. "Yo what the fuck, man? You fucking serious, man? It's for the cause, dog."

Sage Infinite & Grandmilly - "Hidden Language" Video

New video for "Hidden Language," off Black Market, the best album of 2015 that didn't make any other blogger's year end-list, because every other blogger is an asshole. Song produced by Shozae, video directed by Omar Jones, paper torn by Grandmilly, grand entrance by Sage Infinite, fez worn by QS.


De La Soul - Live at Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia 5/16/89

Covering De La Soul for the Philadelphia Daily News, Jonathan Takiff wrote:

"Just when you thought rap was stuck in a muddy rut, along comes a brand-new thing like De La Soul, appearing tonight at the Chestnut Cabaret.

"Spawned in the suburban, not-at-all-horrifying community of Amityville, on New York's Long Island, De La Soul brings a playful, neo-psychedelic style of sound collage, innocence and humor to rap.

"They're actually much closer in spirit to Prince than to hard-core political rappers like their "Strong Island" neighbors, Public Enemy."

Read the full article at Philly.com, stream a couple songs from De La's Chestnut Cabaret set below, and download the entire live performance here.


Hazardous - "Wu-Tang Forever Freestyle"

This track probably isn't the best introduction to Uniondale rapper Hazardous — for that, check out his Elmont Sessions mixtape — but that's OK, because in terms of bars, this is absolutely what's up.

With this freestyle, Hazardous lifts Drake's "Wu-Tang Forever" out of the realm of pop-rap and lands it smoothly in the 516th Chamber.

Look out for a new single titled "School Spirit" dropping exactly one week from today and for the upcoming album, Building Rome.


Aim & QNC - "The Reunion" / "How It All Got Started"

QNC, in case you're unfamiliar, is a duo comprised of Curt Cazal (best known as DJ/MC with J.V.C. Force) and MC Q Ball. The new album, The Habit Of A Lifetime (And How To Kick It), teams them with UK producer Aim, whose Atic Records is putting the project out on CD, LP, cassette, wav and mp3.

Two of the album's standouts are "The Reunion," which reunites Curt Cazal with J.V.C. Force MC B-Luv, and "How It All Got Started," which basically tells the story of how QNC formed.

Stream both below, and go to AticRecords.com to cop in the format of your choosing.

Reks - "Bitch Slap" ft. R.A. The Rugged Man

"I get better each year 'cause clearly I'm starving / Fans watch my career evolve like theories of Darwin / Oust your prime ministers like Bangkok / With a Bomb Squad like Hank Shock where they bang cock and slang rock / And whores drop drawers every time that Wu-Tang drop / And bitches, instead of images of Christ on they wall, they hang Pac / Title vacate hate fake faith race bait / Culture vulture lame brain Johnny came late."