'Before we go out/You know we gotta live phat'. Watch for my main man Al' Tariq as he rips shit on the initial tip. Dukes is one of the most heavily underrated rhyme spitters to ever exist. To share a track with Common and Fat Joe back in the mid-90's is no small feat. Other than that, just enjoy another heavy-hitter off of Honda's H I.
April 30, 2010
You can find this jawn on Pac Div's Church League Champions tape. Although I delivered quite a bit of unabashed hate towards Pacific Division's newest effort, I will admit that there are quite a few dope tracks to be found. One of my favorite jawns is Pac Div, equipped with an ill beat and some punchline rapps. What more could you want?
03 Pac Div
April 29, 2010
You can find this one on Paul Wall's The People's Champ. The most type brolic album that dukes has deep in his collection. For whatever reason, Paul doesn't command as much respect as other southern-based artists, and it's a damn shame. I guarantee you that you can put Bun, Pimp, Tip, or anyone else held sacred in the southern canon against Paul Wall, and after comparing verse-for-verse, you'll find that the white bwoi can pen an ill bar or two.
105 paul wall so many diamonds feat. t.i.
This jawn can be found on the very first volume of Jazzmatazz. The pedigree of a guy like Guru, being able to score a huge feature like Roy Ayers is well impressive. Of course, R.I.P. to the god. On Take A Look (At Yourself), Guru dishes out some honest perspectives over some ill vibraphone action by Roy A. Shit ill's something proper.
April 28, 2010
This shit finds it's derivation from G Rap's effort with DJ Whoo Kid called Dead Or Alive. To see a legend like KGR blessing the mic with a new-school talent like Joell Ortiz is something special. Particularly significant is how Joell was able to hold his own while telling tales of the drug game gone awry. If you can excuse Whoo Kid's unfortunate trademark of yelling between songs and rewinding mid-verse, then you can find a way to enjoy this jawn.
10. China White Feat. Joell Ortiz
I can't remember how I got my hands on Kooley High's Summer Sessions EP, but I gave it a listen yesterday, and shit's not half bad. Dudes got some soulful production, and the lyricism that only NC State-educated scholars can exhibit. There are quite a few lame and cutesy tracks on the Summer Sessions EP, but We Be That is some ill shit, well 1:36 and onwards anyway.
06 We Be That
April 27, 2010
This jawn comes off Kurious Jorge's '94 album called A Constipated Monkey. Columbia released Walk Like A Duck as one of the premier singles off the album back in '92, but shit still didn't get all that much hype. A Constipated Monkey is one of the most solid albums you can find, regardless of the era. All the beats are ill, and George catches wreck on damn near every track.
07 Kurious Walk Like A Duck
Although I'm not the biggest Jedi Mind head, I really appreciate the work put in by the AOTP collective. V Paz is the hardcore equivalent to Marley Marl in terms of assembling all-star groups and features. You can find Tear It Down on The Torture Papers. Shit's a well-potent jawn laden with punchlines and metaphors. There's a great line about underhand pitches too, so you know how hard this shit hits.
April 26, 2010
A large part of the reason that I'm posting this jawn, is the straight obscurity and bewildering nature that anyone would ever conduct a jazzy ode to 'the sagging of one's pants'. Dela used one of his best instrumentals to craft the riffs that adorn this poignant beat.
You can find this track on 50's debut Power Of The Dollar. Like most of Curtis' earlier material, shit's John Blaze, and features some top-notch production. I've always argue that 50 has a good ear for beats, even the hip-pop singles always have decent instrumentals attached. But, you definitely can't say that 50 spits over heat comparable to The Good Die Young anymroe.
03. The Good Die Young
April 25, 2010
02 Wit Dre Day And Everybody s Celebratin Feat. Snoop Dogg Jewell RBX
This cut comes off of an album that Kaze did with 9th Wonder in '05. Shit was called Spirit of '94: Version 9.0, type clever, ehh? On that album, came two version of Soul Dojo. There was this version (the Enemy of the State mix), and the Essence of Life mix as well.
April 24, 2010
You can find this jawn on K. Sparks' newest effort A Day In The Life. I was put on by the people at HipNott Records. I've heard about G.C.'s innovative method of production (sample-free), and I had my doubts, but dukes really produces some ill instrumentals for K Sparks' to ill over. Not to say that A Day In The Life is an immaculate project, there are a fair share of mediocre cuts, but all in all it's a dope project well worth checking out.
01 Good Morning
If you couldn't already guess, this jawn is off the 18th Letter. This track features production from Father Shaheed of The Poor Righteous Teachers, and is followed (on the album) by the classic Primo cut It's Been A Long Time.
This jawn obviously doesn't compare to the lyrical stylings of Ra and Preem, but it's still some ill shit well worth a listen.
02. The 18th Letter Always And Forever
April 23, 2010
^^Don't get it? Look a little bit closer.
You can find this jawn on Grip Grand's Brokelore. Shit's a remix of Grip Grand's 96 Tears, done by dukes named MF Shalem.
Punchline-laden and metaphorically/simile heavy, but still well worth a listen.
10 grip grand 96 tears mf shalems talk about it mix
(Live Performance with different beat)
Rasco is a premier left-coast wordsmith, whose album's often suffer from mediocre production. Back in the day, dukes used to be signed to Stones Throw, and subsequently received production from Stones Throw's finest: Peanut Butter Wolf. I read that Hip Hop Essentials is off a 12", but I personally found it on DJ Serg's Golden State Of Mind, a well dope tape I highly recommend finding.
04 Rasco Hip Hop Essentials
April 22, 2010
Curren$y is one of the very few 'fly clothing' rappers that I can genuinely cosign. Dukes has these hidden witticisms that he subtly infuses into his jawns. You can tell on tracks like Spit Vicious, where there's subtle and intricate references littered throughout. Shit makes you think that Curren$y is more than an ignoramus who smokes mad ganja. But after his recent material, it's more of an afterthought.
07 Spit Vicious
This month's poll question was deciding the illest tape of Ice Cube's discography. The overwhelming majority went with AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, and I can get with that. I first heard this album back in '02, and initially it was one of my least favorite Cube tapes. After developing what I hope to be a more refined ear, I've found that Most Wanted contains countless gems. Most importantly, compare the production and rhimes on AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted to those of other late '80's/early '90's albums, and you'll see that Cube truly sculpted a masterpiece.
If you want to look back at the results of this poll, you can find it here.
Below are a few of my favorite jawns off Most Wanted:
Rollin' Wit The Lench Mob
Once Upon A Time In The Projects
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
April 21, 2010
I'd be surprised if anyone hasn't heard this song before, but it does come off a Styles P album, so I wouldn't be surprised if lots of people didn't have this song.
Shit's well melodic and equipped with a cutesy vocal sample. But you already know that.
Styles P-Good Times
I recently revisited Me Against The World, one of 'Pac's earlier albums, and found it to be plentiful with lesser-known gems. The production is left-coast oriented, but 'Pac also gets some ill NY production via Easy Mo Bee.
If I Die 2Nite is one of two jawns to which Mo Bee provided his production (Temptations is the other). Shit's type ill and features some dope penmanship as well.
02. If I Die 2Nite
April 20, 2010
You can find this on Erick Sermon's somewhat recent release Chilltown, New York. The beat is really catchy, and both E-Dub and Redman's verses are well watered-down, though they function in the context of this jawn. 11/29 is a southern-crooner who surprisingly doesn't sound out of place, although you might draw a different initial conclusion, based on the pedigree of the artists he's sharing an instrumental with.
You can find this jawn on Ghostaface's Big Doe Rehab from '07. Although there were other noteworthy jawns on that tape, what makes Yolanda's House stand out is the storytelling aspect between Ghost and Mef. Raekwon's verse is quality, but ultimately unnecessary in the context of the whole song.
April 19, 2010
I found this jawn on Sai-Diddy's infamous Yardfather tape. If you don't know anything about dukes, know that he makes weak prison puns like their going out of style something quick. Yardfather is one of his worst. Still, when Saigon and the Alchemist combine forces, they always produce that piff, and when they offer you that audio crack, just Say Yes.
05 Say Yes
Somewhat surprisingly, there actually are quite a few gems on Dynasty Roc La Familia. This Can't Be Life features some 10 year old Kanye production, that pre-Blueprint Kanye.
I can't really say that Beanie or Scarface's verses add much to this song, this jawn would definitely be best suited with some more truthful Sean Carter bars. Still, shit's John Blaze.
This Can't Be Life
April 18, 2010
Some Capone 'n Noreaga for that Sunday realness, feel me? Bloody Money is probably my favorite track off The War Report, and EZ Elpee's instrumental is the primary reason. The beat is simplistic, but it provides the perfect backbone for Mr. What What? to lay down some type ill lines. And you already know that New York get the blood money, innit?
02 BLOODY MONEY
April 17, 2010
This jawn comes off Immortal Tech's Revolutionary Vol.1, and is probably his most well-known effort. Dukes isn't particularly revered for his ventures into storytelling, but he certainly waxes poetic on Dance With The Devil. I like when artists explore uncharted territories with unconventional samples such as the piano sample equipped on this jawn.
11 Dance With The Devil
I'll admit that I really liked Exhibit C when it came out. However, the bullshit spectacle that surrounded Jay Elec after the fact was somewhat disheartening. So, when I received Lateef Dameer's tape of Exhibit C remixes, I almost dismissed it.
Thankfully, I gave dukes a chance and he really delivered a different feel to Just Blaze's dramatic instrumental. On Magnolia, it's type chilled with the feel of an actual jawn that focuses on structure rather than the punchline style equipped by Just Blaze. Give this remix a chance, it's definitely an different listen, but I believe it has it's fair share of merits.
April 16, 2010
Apologies for the excellent quality of the above image. Shit's well-decipherable, innit?
Anyway, a few days back, I posted the 2000's version of the classic BK posse cut, and today I bring to you the '95 version as well. This Primo production, is among his best, and the guests that grace the microphone lace it with some savage imagery and nostalgia.
Crooklyn Dodgers 95 Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers
Although I somewhat doubt that this track will receive any sort of critical approval on this site, I figured it's still worth posting while people still remember the single made out of Chillin.
I remember this track came out about summer or fall '09, and it had heads seriously buzzing about the possibility that Wale could make a dope album. Of course, then he attached Lady Gaga over this ill Cool & Dre instrumental, and it became a radio single.
Still, the OG version is type ill.
Wale ft Dom P-Chillin
April 15, 2010
It's been a second since I've kept up with the Blue Scholars, but I do remember that they dropped the Oof! EP a few months back, and they were working on a new record deal. By the way, that Oof! tape is type awful, I've never heard such terrible Sabzi production, and as a subsequent byproduct Geologic's never sounded so bad on the mic either.
This jawn comes off the original version of Bayani. A bit preachy, but still plenty dope.
April 14, 2010
You know that I been sleepin' on that Diplomatic Immunity, son. When I'm in the mood for that Dip, Dip shit, I like to rock to some Juelz & Cam. I prefer Diplomatic Immunity Vol.1 for myself, but Vol.2 definitely has some bangers on it.
Dipset Anthem features some type ill production via the Heatmakerz, which features some mediocre rhimes from the two Diplomat honchos.
The Diplomats-Dipset Anthem
You can find this jawn on the excellent 9th Dream Merchant series. No bullshit, there are some true gems on those tapes. No gems greater than a tribute to the Crooklyn Dodgers classics, that is truly done in a fashion that honors the predecessors.
The line-up doesn't look that impressive, but each spitta lives up to their finest performance. Memph Bleek's rhymes are type impressive, and Jean Grae is in a class all her own.
04. Brooklyn In My Mind Crooklyn Dodgers III Feat. Mos Def Jean Grae Memphis Bleek
April 13, 2010
Although I'm not the biggest Funkdoobiest head, I'd have thought that it would have been more apparent that Muggs had produced the entirety of Funkdoobiest's Brothas Doobie. Dukes did an great job with the production, and Rock On is just one of the many examples that I could have chosen to illustrate that point.
DJ Muggs Rock On Instrumental
I'm moderately embarrassed to be posting this jawn, but we all have our guilty pleasures. I'm completely lost as to who made this album, Glue? or is it Glue Adeem Maker? and where does DJ DQ come in?
Regardless, this song comes off an album called Sunset Lodge, which is pretty terrible. Early Morning Silence was the only cut worth salvaging, and it's an interesting listen to be sure.
Early Morning Silence
April 12, 2010
This cut is off Blu's tape from a year or two back called Her Favorite Colo(u)r. If I remember right, it was a little while after Blu and Ex dropped Below The Heavens, and Blu was type stagnant with the output. So, he released that tape as a compilation to satisfy the demanding fans. His stans felt it, the casual fans weren't all that into it. Since was a quality cut that everyone could agree on though.
I only have two collector's edition Children Of The Corn tapes, and both have this same jawn, so I'm not sure if there's a difference between the two, and if there is, then I issue my condolences.
This is that type ill shit, where all five spittas provide quality verses and kill shit over a simplistic instrumental. McGruff & Bloodshed are quite underrated.
April 11, 2010
I feel bad saying it, but Long Life is just another example among countless others, of Talib Kweli wasting an excellent instrumental with his awkward flows and type mediocre rapps. And the chorus is yawn-inducing as well, but the beat is what really carries this jawn, and makes it worth hearing.
Although I've never heard the original copy of this jawn, I was quite surprised that Elzhi was able to orchestrate such an ill jawn with four/five features. It's crazy to think that a remix is one of the better songs off a dope album like The Preface.
Still some type proper illness well worth listening to.
07 Fire Rmx feat. Black Milk Guilty Simpson Fatt Father Danny Brown Fat Ray
April 10, 2010
I was surprised when I found this jawn on J-Live's semi-recently released (2008) Then What Happened. I enjoy J's lyrical barbs and diatribes, but dude's ear for beats is type formulaic. However, the instrumental for The Upgrade sounds like some new-age production that may have been handled by emcee/producer Oddisee of the DMV.
The track listing for The Upgrade lists Posdanous as one of the features. Probably a typo for De La's Posdnuos, but I haven't listened to those dudes enough to be sure.
03 The Upgrade feat. Posdanous Oddisee
I'll admit that this track is far from 'rare', but this track was only released on 12", and on a compilation of Lord Finesse b-sides/rarities/vinyl cuts. It befuddles me as to why this track didn't make The Awakening, sure it provides some solid promo, but it would have been the cornerstone of Finesse's '96 opus if it had received a proper release.
12. Check The Method
April 9, 2010
About time to spotlight some Chubb Rock, ehh? Otherwise known as the east-coast equivalent to Chali 2na, Chubb trades verses with the Blastmasta on the first cut off The Mind.
Although The Mind came out in '97 (well past Chubb's supposed prime), it's still a decent album that you can listen to intro-to-outro. Not to say there aren't a few duds, of course there are, but there are also gems like Reputation.
April 8, 2010
My apologies for the mass amount of Big Poppa material that's been circulating 'round here as of late. Everyday Struggle has slowly been becoming one of my favorites off Ready To Die. The Bluez Brothers handles the production for this cut, and did an excellent job in providing an chilled beatscape for Big to wax poetic.
I've constantly been trying to get into Cyne, but it's been a difficult process. It's hard to find instrumentals that aren't abrasive when listening to these dudes, or so I've found. Anyway, I randomly stumbled upon One Day, and I found that it's a really dope track with a smooth background instrumental. Like a Florida version of some Kno production.
April 7, 2010
Going through G Rap's back catalog and finding a single song to post is somewhat of a challenge. Not only did G Rap have a storied solo career, but his work with DJ Polo was groundbreaking for it's time. One comparison that's always stood out for me, is G Rap as an underground version of Rakim. Rakim's solo shits obviously don't hold up to KGR's, but G Rap & Polo are the below ground equivalent to Eric B & Rakim.
I only recently found out about Diablo Archer, and I have to admit that his '09 release Lift has been stuck in the tape deck for a second now. The production on Lift is type ill with countless soul samples, and Diablo proves his flow to be very versatile by flowing poetic over all the beats. Kisses In The Rain is an intro track which explains it's brevity, but it's still probably the dopest off Lift.
April 6, 2010
Like lots of Reks' earlier material(not including Grey Hairs), More Grey Hairs features some boring production that truly dulls Reks' unique roar. When dude appears on captivating instrumentals, everything that comes out of his mouth sounds golden. System is an example of when everything connects (minus the chorus).