The dude responsible for one of the dopest beat changes on LongIslandRap.comp Volume 4, the NAIT SIRK has dropped his official debut EP. The self-recorded, -mixed and -mastered SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY is a punch bowl of introspective fun featuring production from Jesepi Kicks, rapsody3000, Waylay Creations, Flousen, SKYE, and Benzine. It's hot non-gender-specific summer music, through good times and bad. As for the rhymes, they're all physical, diaphragmatic, sometimes mushmouthed, yet somehow, someway (!?) cogent, bile-logical if you will. "One standout, "Lying to Myself" is damn near balladry. RUNITUP!


Remy Represent - "Tranquillo" (Lyric Video)

One of Long Island rap's most elusive artists might be set to become slightly less so ... emphasis on "might be" because such is the nature of elusiveness. 

Little has been heard from Remy Represent since he first appeared on this site back in 2015, but that doesn't mean he hasn't kept busy. "I’ve been working in silence for a long time since 'Death Prone' and many things have happened since," Remy says. "But I’m finally back and ready to drop a new EP called LOST ON WHERE TO START, coming with a whole new brand relaunch, with a new clothing brand called “RA1NCL0UD."

If you fully took in "Death Prone," then you already know Remy as a multidimensional talent whose focus extends past music to video, illustration and beyond. Case in point: the lyric video for "Tranquillo." Premiering below, the animation somehow manages to keep pace with Remy's rapid-punch-combinations juxtaposing Japanese otaku and New York hip-hop, at least until he drops the word "trylophobic" to describe the aim of a retired cop, at which point the video basically says, "look it up yourself," and you do because it's that goddamn dope.

In conjunction with the above video and announcement, Remy Represent is also launching his new website, RemyRep.com, which will give you some additional insight into who this artist is and what he's been up to these past few years ... emphasis on "some" because there's more in the works. Look out for LOST ON WHERE TO START coming soon along with an interview furnished by none other than Long Island Rap Records.


Bellmore: The Unscene

Long Island Rap Records artist and longtime musician-friend Andy Koufax hipped me to this documentary about Bellmore punk bands from the '90s and '00s. It's bugged out. We used to frequent Ground Zero but were in separate orbits from the film's central characters as we went to all-ages shows, and they were 30-year-old dustheads. Highlights include the Agnostic Front and Kill Your Idols drummers talking shit.

The film appealed to me primarily because I haven't set foot in this venue since it closed, but think about it every so often. Note: the "final show" depicted here was actually not the venue's last. As director Frank Fusco mentions on his website, there was an all-ages show the following week, which, if memory serves, was headlined by sludgecore act Blood, Lots of Blood. Somebody threw something through the front window. Anyway, Fusco's site is also worth checking out as it's filled with information about Long Island-based musicians, some of whom have achieved some degree of recognition beyond the Island, some of whom have not. See Spooner Central for a '60s/'70s version of this. Hopefully you will find photos/video of an older relative that you can hang over their heads.


Uncommon Nasa - Only Child

"The grass here is super tall and there are frogs everywhere. They are very big and loud. Up close they go RIBBIT. When you put them in the can you can feel the can ribbit. I do not touch the fence because it is sharp and mom said no. Tomorrow we will take a trip to the city. There is less grass but the buildings are even bigger than the grass. You have to cross the water to go. There is a bridge we will go over to go to the city. It is very long like a long hallway but with other cars on the sides and deep water underneath. Mom said it is safe. Sometimes I get scared and run away but the car goes fast so we will be OK."

Only Child is about baby, toddler, child, and adolescent Nasas and their continuing lives inside the mind of adult Nasa. It's insular as fuck. If Written at Night was about collective consciousness, Only Child is about getting comfortable with yourself. Hard stop. For some listeners, it may be awkward hearing a grown man rap about getting to know himself. There are songs on here with subject matter that begs the question, why would you write a whole song about that? I was an only child for about eight years, so I am pretty good at occupying myself (see this entire website). It might help to think of Only Child as a very particular kind of take on a coming of age story. Baby, toddler and young child Nasa lived in Patchogue, and I take it there were many frogs there at the time, or at least enough that they populate adult Nasa's baby Nasa's perception of what Patchogue is. 

I went to Patchogue once for a book signing where they went up to the attendees and had them write on post-it notes what they wanted the author to write in their copy of the book. I wrote "Write whatever you want to write." The author did not take kindly to this, wrote "You've got a lot of nerve pal" above his signature, and then made it a point to tell me, "That was not what I wanted to write," which I took to mean he wanted to write "Go fuck yourself," because, I guess, asking a writer to write is akin to asking a comedian to tell a joke. To be fair, he was a comedian, but wouldn't it be more presumptuous to ask a writer to write something specific? What's up with book signings anyway? 

Nasa used to proclaim his music progressive hip-hop, but not so much anymore. ("I actually think I'm at peace now," he raps on "Vincent Crane.") Progressive-folk hip-hop would be a good way to describe Messiah Musik's beats on here and maybe in general; they're at the vanguard but humbly, even primitively so, shattering conventions without a multi-track maze to decipher, complex but not overly complicated. That also may be a decent way to describe Nasa's lyrics on Only Child. Endearing or offputting isn't the point; they're quirky. The universe is quarky. They make a good pair. 


The Biz Never Sleeps

As you've surely heard by now, the Diabolical One, the Inhuman Orchestra, the Clown Price of Rap, Biz Markie passed away last month at the age of 57. Listen to Biz's peers reflect on their time with him and you can't help but get a sense of the joyfulness, orginality, genuineness and larger-than-life personality for which he was so well known. One of the greatest and most compelling performers in hip-hop's history, he didn't play a character — he was a character. His routines were the stuff of house party legend and world stage phenomena. His music was fun, funky, wild, loud, noisy, hilarious and heartfelt — it could be sweet or sinister or both simultaneously. Listening to Biz's raps in 2021, thinking about his playfully crude vocal interpolations of songs from just about every other genre under the sun, one can't help but see him as a kind of walking embodiment of hip-hop itself, as if his brain formed thoughts from experience the way DJs pulled beats from breaks. In this sense, "Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz" was just as much a statement of purpose as it was a song about beat-boxing, rapping and singing, all of which he did masterfully in his own way. 

I say "walking embodiment" because my mind keeps returning to "Kung Fu" off Biz's third full-length album, the underrated I Need a Haircut (1991). In the song's third verse, he raps about journeying across Long Island to meet up with Midnight Express, a local crew that put him on as a youngster: "I was a walking son of a gun before the day I begun / I'ma tell you how it started from day one / Well me I lived in Patchogue, they lived in CI / I was ambitious and devoted til the day I die / I used to get off at Islip, take the S42 / Get off at Banana Street, go to the house of the crew / I would walk from CI to Bay Shore / Just to see if I really had the rhymes galore / I'd go to house parties here, go to house parties there / Walk to Wyandanch Day with my pants off my derriere / Like if I was David Carradine who played Kung Fu / Who would walk to China from Japan without his shoe / Humming beats, saying rhymes kept me going / From giving up or being crazy or just stop flowing / My teachers and parents said I should just stop / Just go to the Army, go to college, get a job with your pops / I can't take no more of this rendevous / And that's why I sing this song to you."

It may be one of the most Long Island rhymes ever committed to wax and not because he name drops no fewer than four local communities in his lyrics, but because he captures a kind of island-of-one/crew-as-lifeboat mentality that permeates every town, village and hamlet here. May that defiant spirit of self-determination be as much a part of Biz Markie's legacy as any of his funniest faces and biggest commercial successes. May he rest in peace.


KMD-MF DOOM Way Street Dedication Ceremony

Yesterday, July 31, 2021, the KMD-MF DOOM Way Street Dedication Ceremony was held at the corner of Hudson Street and Riverside Boulevard in Long Beach, NY. 

Below are some phone-video recordings from the event, including heartfelt remarks and recollections from KMD member Onyx the Birthstone Kid, DOOM and Subroc's sister, Thenjiwe Dumile, and their cousin, Working Families Party National Director Maurice Moe Mitchell. 

This was a truly beautiful ceremony thanks to the KMD-MF Doom Way Committee, its leader, Dr. Patrick Graham, the Get Yours Posse, the City of Long Beach, NY, all the speakers (not featured below: DOOM and Subroc's aunt, members of the committee, and several public officials including NY State Senator Todd Kaminsky), and everyone in attendance.


Blaq Kush - Ghosts of Jazz Musicians

On record, Blaq Kush spits raps of/for cyphers; that is, rhymes that are both inherently inspired by those who came prior and purposefully unlike any others. Bars pulled from a collective space tend to flip out of thin air. 

If DOOM and Sean Price are the two late, great MCs who most readily embody that tradition, Blaq Kush and his Urbvn Architects cohorts (Josh Alias and Yung K) are three living upcomers most eagerly pushing it forward. 

Ghosts of Jazz Musicians makes that case as well as if not better than anything they’ve released to date, be it individually or as a group. (Which is not to say it’s their best album; that’s a different, arguably pointless discussion.) Voices of hip-hop immemorial flow among beats and choruses. Verses build on one another then mutate like ethereal mists.

“Blaq Kush News” closes with a standalone eight that updates the Rambo franchise’s premise for post-2020/21 headlines. The beats for this and four more of the project’s eight songs are provided by kckflip, whose loops are like chalky outlines – stretched just beyond corporeal, their significance unmistakable whether or not their sources identifiable. As such, they so lend themselves to the EP’s themes they could’ve inspired its title.
Another standout, “Suit Case // War Machine” (prod. by Lim0) has Blaq Kush rapping “Cultivate cilantro, journal written off fronto / I’m gone though, the dime rolled hitting like Joe DiMaggio / Signs show your mind’s slow, vacation no Cabo / Imagining with your eyes closed, place where I find flows.” If nothing else, this is what I’m talking about. Stream/download Ghosts of Jazz Musicians below and hit Blaq Kush’s Linktree for all types of ill shit.


EPMD Freestyle on WBLS Circa 1989

If you enjoyed the Def Squad Freestyles compilation posted here in 2019, or the EPMD remixes compilation posted here in 2014, this freestyle is going to really get you going. If you're unfamiliar with those, dig in because Erick and Parish are pillars of this whole structure. Here, they perform "Get the Bozack" off Unfinished Business, but with a completely different beat that sounds like something Marley Marl or DJ Scratch could've been cooking up right there on air. Trying to find the full episode from which this was taken, I stumbled on an August 1989 recording, which also featured DMC, but I don't think that's it. At any rate, you now have three links in addition to freestyle I came here to post, so I'm going to go watch Star Trek.

Billypalmtrees - S.W.A.A.M.P.

Earlier today I was saying one of the best pleasures in life is having a dream so funny you wake up hysterically laughing. That happened to me this morning. It's super-rare, which makes it all the more appreciable, like a Billypalmtrees release. Last heard from with 2018's Delorean, Billy's back with S.W.A.A.M.P. — i.e., Society Won't Always Accept My Personality — a sentiment I feel often and six songs to bring it out in any of us. In case you were wondering, in the dream the Hardy Boyz had returned to win the WWF tagteam championship, but they were dead. Jeff Hardy was just a tombstone with an arm reaching up from the grave; Matt wasn't present. I haven't watched wrestling in years.

Chilo - "Unleash the Beast"


Anything I write here will only get in the way of the 100 bar onslaught Chilo must be referring to in the title. Get devoured by it.


Kai Fortyfive Live in Brooklyn Friday, July 9

Kai Fortyfive, the rapper/producer behind Long Island Rap Records' latest release, performs live at The Living Gallery in Brooklyn (1094 Broadway) Friday, July 9. Also in the house will be Kai's Lowcaste LXRD$ ensemble. Tickets are $8 in advance via Eventbrite or $12 at the door. Merch will be sold at the show, including the newly released SLUGSMOKE & MIRRORS cassettes. Speaking of which, these arrived from the plant looking and sounding lovely. Check them out and order yours via the Long Island Rap Records Store or Long Island Rap Bandcamp.


Cassandra the Goddess MC - "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" / "Flows"

Even NYC by way of Detroit by way of Hempstead is, for this site's purposes, Long Island hip-hop, especially when you black out right from the jump like Cassandra the Goddess MC does with the first verse on her new album, Cobra

The video for "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" and "Flows" offers a solid example of the D-Block affiliated songstress's double-entendre Cassandra style, i.e., bars of death/depth. Speaking of the latter, check this Linktree!

FlareScouts - P.O.O.R. Tapes VOL. 1

It's been five years (!) since I've seen the name FlareScouts pop up on my radar. How it did that again, I'll save for another post, but the important thing is that it got me Googling, which put their November 2020 release P.O.O.R. Tapes VOL. 1 in my sights and then ears. Whether or not you've caught their previous work, the first notes of P.O.O.R. Tapes opener "We Seen" lets on you're in for some different shit. Alternative-alternative hip-hop, like that subgenre but better dressed, the tape (un)incorporates a little of this and a little of that, as FlareScouts do, like Lakeview being in both West Hempstead and Rockville Centre but also its own place.


Brothers of the Mind - 1992-1996

There are a ton of '90s rap acts that released killer singles but never dropped an album. NYC duo Brothers of the Mind just might be the quintessential '90s rap act that never dropped an album. Consider their names. Brothers of the Mind consisted of DJ Krazy Kraz and MC Lyrical Freestyle. I rest my case. 

That being said, their music, while very much of its era, also holds up exceedingly well today and not only because '90s rap has come back into vogue. Krazy Kraz and Lyrical Freestyle were clearly skilled in their craft, which would explain why, according to Kraz, in April 1992, renowned DJ, engineer and producer Pal Joey judged them best out of 85 acts he auditioned for a deal. 

The group released two singles, both produced by Pal Joey and recorded in his Astoria studio, The Temple. However, apparently they did a lot more songs with Joey than that, as, in 2010, his Foot Stompin Records issued a compilation of 15 Brothers of Mind tracks Pal Joey produced between 1992 and 1996. In addition to showcasing the unsung talents of both Krazy Kraz and Lyrical Freestyle, the project demonstrates that Pal Joey clearly knew his way around a rap tune. It's likely Kraz also had a hand in the production, as he worked as an assistant engineer and co-producer with Joey during the time these songs were recorded (you can also hear Kraz scratching on a bunch of instrumental 12 inches Joey dropped in this period). Regardless of who did what on which beat, it seems the project was very much Pal Joey's baby since he still put it out 14 years after the fact. Eleven years since then, it's my pleasure to share it here with you.


A Mentally Ill Crack in Time

Five months have passed since we got the news that DOOM was gone, and it still doesn't sit well. I've signed the petition to have his old block renamed KMD-MF DOOM Way (or maybe just Dumile Way if Long Beach City Council hasn't the stomach for that?), and I'm digging the photos KMD member Onyx the Birthstone Kid has been posting to Instagram, but somehow none of this feels right, as if the whole story hasn't been told yet. I don't mean the story of his death — his family has every right to keep that private — but rather that of his life and its work and impact. I will say, though, that Conor Herbert's Shades of Tomorrow series for Central Sauce, which I've only now just seen, does a wonderful job illuminating the beginnings of all that by connecting various threads. 

One mystery in particular, which I'd all but completely forgotten, revolves around the fate of the fabled third KMD album. At one point, DOOM talked about a KMD album called Mental Illness or Mentally Ill, which would've dealt with the dark period in his life following the death of Subroc. Later on he teased the release of an album called Crack In Time. Was either ever completed? Were they one and the same? Maybe someday these mysteries will be solved. Maybe it's better they're not. Make of all this what you will. At any rate, here are three loose joints credited to KMD, none of which appear on Mr. Hood or Black Bastards, each as brilliant as the last.


OSP - "Blabb" / "Magic"

Rebraaaaaaand! {Shouted over backspinning record ala Jamaican selector holding the last syllable in "Rewind!"} 

The artist f.k.a. Hazestacks is now k.a. OSP a.k.a. King Pickle and doing some altogether different shit, namely manic-tempoed drum and bass, faerie flittering across aetherial samplescapes like the collective fever dream of every COVID long-hauler alive yearning for a summer of love.

And creepy clowns too.

Big Breakfast - "Hitachi Nail Gun"

"Whole neighborhood locked down, they let it rock now / When I moved to Philly it was looking like Moscow / 2020 took DOOM and took Pop out / '21 Glee Club taking your whole block out." Brecky's in a new city with a new crew and some banging new music to show for it. Coincidentally I just rewatched the Wire episode where Snoop buys the powder actuated nail gun. "Man said if you want to shoot nails, this here's the Cadillac, man. He meant Lexus but he ain't know it." But I digress. If you missed Glee Club Volume 1, head over to the Hardware Barn and get schooled.


A Selected Discography of Asia "Sepka Nitah" Jackson

The names Sepka Nitah, Asia J and Asia Jackson may be familiar to longtime fans of Hus and SmooVth aka Tha Connection, as she rapped and sang on numerous songs with them and then-frequent collaborator Marvelous Mag. A member of the Winners crew before they had the name picked out, she more than held her own with her arresting voice, deep-cutting lyrics and free-verse-informed delivery. As a testament to that, Asia raps on three songs on Tha Connection and Roc Marciano's 2012 album, Strive. When it comes to that album, those who know, know. The fact that she appeared on about as many cuts on that album as Roc did (more if you consider that two of his apperances were on remixes to the title cut) speaks volumes about the kind of talent we're dealing with here, not to mention Hus and SmooVth's by-now-well-established knack for identifying and highlighting such talent. 

Although Asia did score solo tracks on a number of Digi Crates releases, unfortunately, it doesn't look like she ever released a full album. Nevertheless, her discography remains pretty well stacked, especially when one considers that the majority of these songs came out within the same four- or five-year stretch. To help document that output, I've put together the following playlist, which includes just about every song I could find from Sepka Nitah on YouTube. (The few omissions that come to mind are remixes and maybe one or two tracks on which she just sings the hook.) Shouts to SmooVth for confirming that Sepka is from Long Island. Enjoy!


Kai Fortyfive - SLUGSMOKE & MIRRORS (LIRR03) Deluxe Edition Cassettes Now Available for Pre-Order

There are few poetic flourishes among SLUGSMOKE & MIRRORS’ breathing details of New York street life, no glitz, glamor, glory, or even grit, just survival or death. In a place where yesterday’s foreign car could be tomorrow’s only home, futures are built on regrets or not at all. With this in mind, Kai Fortyfive speaks plainly and bares souls.

SLUGSMOKE is really just a compilation of stories/memories from not only my life but the lives of my friends,” says the rapper/producer from Elmont, New York. “It was type hard to write this album because mentally I had to go back to a lot of shit I’ve been through. It’s tough to recollect on pain and trauma, but I feel like in order to deliver the album the way I needed to, I had to go back and relive those stories. All in all, this is definitely my most important work I’ve ever done and I’m glad people are in tuned for real.”

Call these criminology bars or worse, reality raps, and severely miss the point. There’s little space here for distinguishing between shadows and ghosts, let alone musical classifications. The rhymes are dope, the beats are hard, and Kai Fortyfive does them all. The only guests are family, Lowcaste LXRD$. The only style the painful truth flickering through fogs of war.

SLUGSMOKE & MIRRORS is Kai Fortyfive’s fourth release and first on cassette. This deluxe edition, limited to just 25 copies, includes the album instrumentals on the-b-side. Tapes are expected to ship in late June 2021. Preview the album below and pre-order now via the LIRR Store (no fees, $ goes direct to LIRR and Kai) or Bandcamp (cards accepted).


NugLife - "Milly Joint" ft. Grandmilly

There's an indefinable yet undeniable quality about Grandmilly's music such that when LA producer NugLife brought together a dank roster of rhymers (including Planet Asia, Rome Streetz and Chuwee among others) for an album aptly titled The Beat Dispensary 2, Milly's joint was simply called ... "Milly Joint." 

My man said, "When the water supply get low and aint no money to blow / And the constables won't respond to any crime outside your door / Controlling stock prices, covering up UFOs / The same ones genetically modifying food that I stole." 

What more can one say?

Midnite Society - "Familiar Stranger"/"Midnite Crypto"

From crypt to crypto, Midnite Society have two new(ish) videos shot by the Diggers — "Familiar Stranger" featuring Dunny Cold Facts and Petey Max and "Midnite Crypto" on which those two are joined by Y2the3rd — both produced by the maestro Shozae.


Akari - danse

Scrolling through Akari's Twitter looking for an image to include in this post, I found a Tweet where he said, "i'll never not be ecstatic about the abundance of amazing music out in the world," and I just want to say in response, fuck yes, and also that his new project, danse, is giving me the same exact feel. An "ode to the dansefloor and the grooves that it provides," danse is the deep house set the whole world needs right now and always. (By the way, the image comes from Akari's set for whoswyLee's sleeopver so check that out too.)

Hus Kingpin - The Threesome Pt. 2: The Art of Sex

Despite the title, The Threesome Pt. 2: The Art of Sex is a prequel in that if The Threesome EP was about having threesomes, Part 2 is more about being so sexy that opportunities to have threesomes present themselves in the first place. To that end, the beats set the mood. A standout, "Date Night" incorporates a film sample into both the beat and the vocals in ways I'm not sure I've ever heard before, which is to say it's as if Hus is fucking with the beat (produced by Chin Beats), the sample and the listener all at once, paying equal attention to each as one does. A foursome then?

Vinyls and hoodies are available via Wavo3000.com.  


Hardcore - We Got It All / The Power of Rhyme

Who is Hardcore? Aside from the rap act with maybe the least googleable name ever, it's hard to say, as Hardcore apparently only released two singles, neither of which lists any writing credits. The closest you'll find to one of those is on the second single (to be covered further in another post), which cites Chris Nicholson and Brian Birthwright as its producers. Brian Birthwright, aka Double B, would later become a member of Resident Alien and is referred to here in the song, "We Got It All," as the DJ. Listen close and you will also catch the name of the group's MC, Cooley High. Whether or not Cooley is Chris Nicholson is unclear. Unfortunately, the name Cooley High is not on the label of either single, and there does not appear to be any other information about him readily available. At any rate, Cooley is almost undoubtedly from around the way as he shouts out "the ville," and both of the singles involved Long Island legends. Case in point: We Got It All / The Power of Rhyme was produced and mixed by none other than Prince Paul.

Notably, this single, released in 1987 on Priority imprint NuBeat Records, actually pre-dates Plug-Tunin', making it possibly Prince Paul's first production credit apart from his work with Stetsasonic. As for the sound of that production, it's certainly more closely identifiable with Paul's work from Stet — heavy basslines, loud snares and a kind of electro feel to it — than with De La. (In fact, at the end of the single Cooley shouts out Stet along with Paul. He also name-drops Rakim for that matter.) The B-Side, "Power of the Rhyme" is similarly straightforward and true to the name Hardcore. Nevertheless, both songs bang in their own right and showcase Prince Paul as a young producer who was more than capable of making a dope record or two. As for Cooley, he sounds here no less capable as a rapper, which only adds further mystery to the question at the start of this post. 

Who is Hardcore? Tough call. But in 1987, at least according to this single, they had it all.


John Jigg$ x BP - "Slang Original"

Filmed at 7th Headquarters with private dances by mood light over bumper pool, "Slang Original" is the latest video off John Jigg$ and BP's new album, The Madness. If any of those elements appeal, stream or download this. If all of them do, politely insist on a physical release as well!


DJ Surrup - Trappin Out Tha Bandwidth VI

Like Alchemist telling Wapo he'd been living under a rock not knowing about Armand Hammer, I couldn't name one of the artists on this choptape, slowed or not. To be fair, we've all been living under our own rocks for the past 12 months, masked up, time stretched, trapped, hearing only what's on our bandwidth, what the algorithm allows.

How long has it been like this? Has it always?

Oh wait, I think that's A$AP Ferg. Yeah, that's him. How's it going!?

{Slowed down lady laugh}

Public Enemy + LL Cool J - Rebel Mama Said Knock You Out Without a Pause (Stretch Armstrong Blend)

Marley Marl deserves mention in this post's title as much as, if not more so than, LL Cool J, but when you hear that four-note vocal sample odds are your brain jumps to James in a boxing ring not Marlon in a recording studio. So it goes. This blend was mixed live on a January or February 1991 broadcast of the world-famous Stretch & Bobbito Show. After this, Stretch transitioned seamlessly into the full song, "Mama Said Knock You Out," but the blend is what grabs my attention, as it 1) is dope, 2) brings together two of the headliners of the 87 Def Jam Tour, and 3) in a roundabout kind of way, reconciles Rap Attack's infamous on-air diss of "Public Enemy No. 1" by placing Chuck and Flav's voices on beat over a Marley Marl loop. Talk about the magic of radio!

As it happens, in addition to the PE-LL dream team, this broadcast also featured songs from several other Long Island rappers, including EPMD ("I'm Mad"), Bolaji ("Massive Material"), and L.O.N.S. ("Where Do We Go From Here?"), and although I can't say for certain, we may even hear a young Zev Love X shouting out the latter group during Kurious's mic break around the 18:20 mark.


Dzoe - "Patience Freestyle" + Slowed Version

Missing the days when walking through Midtown meant making sure to not take the CD that was being handed to you as that was considered grounds for beginning a transaction.... 

Thinking I might need to adopt that same sales tactic as soon as this plague is over...

Meanwhile, if Times Square lights made music, it might sound something like this... 

Orrrrrr thhhiiisss....

Dzoe with the glow up...

That's a thing the kids are saying, right?


EPMD & Erick Sermon Instrumentals

Last month, Montreal-based writer/producer Son Raw tweeted, "Erick Sermon's 94-96 production run >>>," then brought attention specifically to his bass lines, which got me thinking, Erick Sermon's production run from 1988 onward is really underappreciated in general, which later got me thinking, I ought to make a compilation of EPMD/Erick Sermon instrumentals. 

"And I could hear, 'sorry son, good idea, but you're a little too late.'" 

Of course Erick Sermon knows how dope he is behind the boards: the man's in a class all his own! It should come as no surprise then that a compilation of 16 EPMD beats is already available on the Hit Squad Bandcamp, and another compilation of 14 Funk Lord Instrumentals is on Sermon's. Side note, while reflecting on the obvious: this site is severely lacking in EPMD, Erick Sermon and Parish Smith posts and that should change in 2021.


Pal Joey's Mid-'90s Hip-Hop Mixes

Joseph "Pal Joey" Longo's name rings loudest in halls of house, but the Central Islip raised, SUNY Farmingdale educated DJ has never been shy about his hip-hop roots. After coming up making pause tapes, he was present for the recording of many a classic as second engineer at Power Play Studios, went on to produce for the likes of Boogie Down Productions and even claims to have done demos with a young Nas. Below, four hip-hop mixes from 1993, '94, '95 and '96, all taken from Pal Joey's Mixcloud page. If you're unfamiliar, definitely check that out along with his online "diary."


Lyrica - Notes to Self

One year ago yesterday, Broadway shut down. Four days later, New York schools shut down, as did all restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos in the tri-state area. 

You'd have to be excused for missing any album that dropped at this time, even one as notable as what Lyrica dropped March 12, 2020. As it turns out, Notes to Self was not just appropriately but presciently titled, as every repsonsible adult would spend plenty of time with themselves over the next year. I wish I'd have known to recommend this album at that time, even if only to myself.

So it goes, a year late and a salary short. 

"Who is Lyrica?" All I have is her notes. Still, I'm happy I'm hearing them now and hoping you are too, whoever you are.

...Even if only myself.

DJ Muggs x Rome Streetz - Death & The Magician

Imagine Muggs' record stacks, like bookshelves in grandpa's house — plain sight occultism, totally nonchalant, no attempt at hiding anything, the rhetorical "what of it" toned accordingly. Rome Streetz gives dramatic readings from and of the texts, true to atavistic form like a third-generation Soul Assassin assassinating the souls of grandchildren. This film is based on a true story.



Sugiwon - "Syzzle"

Even when he brings Disney+ level production value and commercial appeal, Sugiwon still manages to slip in something for the astigmatic set (see: "Circle small as ever, I did this on Cedar Road / Everything I say is gold, I'm C-3PO"). This is why I do this.

AZOMALI - "Tofu With Brown Rice" Live! + Freestyle

AZOMALI burns down UGHH Blog's Mic Session then kicks a freestyle that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt he's one of the dopest poets alive. (This appears to be from an appearance on the LA Natives Podcast, whom he has also given a very insightful interview.) If you haven't been following him on Instagram, you're missing out on so many brilliant off-the-head sessions like this one.