Archive for April, 2010

26
Apr
10

Eulogy.

It’s unlikely that we will ever find out how much of Guru’s final statements were his genuine feelings or those of that shady motherfucker Solar. Undisputed, however, is that the late Keith Elam’s longtime DJ, the one-and-only Premier, has handled himself with class throughout the ordeal.

When I met Guru and Preem, several years ago, it was painfully obvious that things weren’t all peaches-and-cream. I ceased to believe it. Guru and Primo were like macaroni and cheese. Fries and a shake. Even peanut butter and jelly. They worked together to create a whole greater than the parts, and I liked to think that there must be some sort of personal bond that helped foster their magic on wax.

The truth appears to be, however, that egos couldn’t be kept in-check, and by the looks of things, irreparable damage was done. By the time Guru passed, we had long known that Gang Starr was dead. Thankfully, they stuck together to establish an indelible legacy on hip-hop music and culture. Chris Martin, characteristically taking the high road, has shared his view of that legacy with us by compiling classic Gang Starr and some Guru guestspots for a two-hour mix.

Stay classy, Preem.

Rest in peace, Guru.

DJ Premier – Guru Salute Mix

Check out DJ Premier Blog for the tracklist.

UPDATE: Elliot Wilson, founder of RapRadar, posted a well-written editorial today about the drama that surrounds Guru’s passing and the Undying Love that shaped the Gang Starr foundation. He was in the studio for Premier’s mix and has also posted footage of Pete Rock breezing through to pay his respects and Preem discussing his stealthy hospital visit for what would be the final time he saw Guru.

21
Apr
10

Back to the Trap.


Like Rick Ross, Young Jeezy has grown on me to the point where I’m always awaiting his next move. His fourth solo LP TM103 slated for later this year and is expected to feature production from an incredible cast that includes Kanye, No I.D., Just Blaze, and The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. To prepare, Mr. Jenkins is taking it back to the corner with the Trap or Die 2 mixtape next month. This track, the tape’s first leak, sounds promising.

Young Jeezy – “Greatest Trapper Alive”

Props: Lowkey

20
Apr
10

The Gifted, Prolific One.

Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal

Guru of the Gangstarr Foundation, whose real name is Keith Elam, has passed away at the age of 48 after losing his battle with cancer. While he released some quality work through his solo Jazzamataz projects, he will be best remembered for his work with DJ Premier and his buttery, effortless delivery. Baldhead Slick’s contributions to the game cannot be overstated. Another sad loss.

For more details, read this letter from his latest partner-in-rhyme Solar.

*Opens iTunes, puts on Hard To Earn, and recommends you do the same.*

Peep: Cap’s Gangstarr retrospective at High Heels and Hi-Tops.

Update 1: NYC OG Mr. Cee has released an incredible, emotional, hour-long mix of some of Guru and Gangstarr’s best material.

Update 2: Visit DJ Premier Blog’s Twitter for a sample of the outpouring of condolences from some of hip-hop’s finest.

16
Apr
10

Mix it Up.

A double dose of mixtape from a couple young guns, no Emilio Estevez. Both of these cats are garnering some serious buzz thanks to their recent work. They also happen to both be slim, tattooed, light-skinned, glasses-wearing emcees with lyrics for days. The comparisons should end there.

Wiz Khalifa has been making noise on the mixtape circuit for some time now, but with his newly acquired membership in XXL’s Freshmen class and the pending release of his contributions to Ski’s 24-Hour Karate School, Pittsburgh’s finest seems re-energized. Released early this morning, the search for this tape’s download link shot quickly up to Google’s number one search trend and has garnered the attention of publications like NY Daily News and Entertainment Weekly. As the hombre Nibot put it, Wiz makes stoner rap legit, even for non-smokers. Roll one up and enjoy.

Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice

The other offering has been floating around the interwebs for a hot minute now, but after a co-sign from The Teacher , I gave Sugar Tongue Slim’s Demand More 2 another spin. I don’t know if was stuck in my ears my first time through or if I was turned off by his pauseworthy rap alias, but this shit is niiiice (c) Fab. A-Town continues to produces more and more quality young spitters, and now we can add STS to a list that already includes the likes of Pill, Cyhi, and OJ da Juiceman.

I demand more from STS.

STS – Demand More 2

14
Apr
10

At it Again.

My anticipation for Teflon Don continues to fester, and this smoothed-out joint from Rawse is a perfect example why. Though I’m left wondering whether Ne-Yo was a good choice for hook duties, the total package is undeniable. With DJ Clark Kent on the beat and Don Cannon on the decks, this one has a vintage New York feel that not even Big Apple natives can seem to replicate these days. I’m not sure if this version is completely mastered, as Ross’ vocals don’t sound as crisp as they normally do, so be on the lookout for an updated version.

I’m looking forward to June 29 more than two months in advance because of a Rick Ross album. I never would have envisioned this when “Hustlin'” first hit radio. The Boss is truly running things.

Rick Ross – “Super High” f/ Ne-Yo

UPDATE: Ross just confirmed that a video for “Super High” is in the works with director F. Gary Gray behind the lend. He also mentioned that he has recruited Kanye and No I.D. for production on Teflon Don. Can this shit get any better?

14
Apr
10

Bowing Out.


Shit has done changed since I spoke with Phonte and Big Pooh of Little Brother back in 2005. No longer is LB a trio, with recent online disputes bringing to light some of the messy situation that led to 9th Wonder’s departure from the group a couple of years ago. Even back in ’05, I could sense that there was tension related to 9th’s absense from touring duties, but I didn’t anticipate it getting this ugly.

Now nearly a decade after their seminal debut The Listening, the duo is preparing their hip-hop swan song and second album without 9th Wonder behind the boards, Leftback, scheduled to drop April 20. Truly the end of an era. Some of the realest shit that’s ever been wrote. I hope to see more solo ventures from ‘Te and Rapper in the future. Do yourself a favor and cop Leftback next week. Until then, enjoy this preview of the album’s final track featuring the ever-underrated Khrysis on production detail and a guest appearance by Torae.

Little Brother – “24”

14
Apr
10

Blogshittin.

Big Sean’s flow is so laid back he makes Mase sound like DMX. It doesn’t always work, but it has been enough to inspire Kanye to add him to the G.O.O.D. Music Grammy Family, and more recently get him on the cover of XXL’s Freshamn Class of ’10 issue.

The lead single to his upcoming debut album Finally Famous caught my attention when I saw a clip of Sean performing it live. Today, the CDQ leaked and it doesn’t disappoint.

Big Sean – “Bullshittin'”

BONUS:
Sean also recently went in over one of my favorite beats of 2009 and more than holds his own. If you’re not an epileptic, pay special mind beginning at the 2:30 mark. Some top shelf wordplay at the very least.