We’ve been away for a large chunk of March and therefore we have unfortunately not kept you as informed as we would have liked with all the goings on in our favourite corner of the music industry.
One of our favourite artists, Homeboy Sandman, teamed up with UK production supremo Paul White to release their joint project White Sands. The project is in the last in the series of Sandman’s trio of single-producer projects following the release of Kool Herc: Fertile Crescent and All That I Hold Dear. We saw both artists live in London not too long ago (see our Instagram account) and both put on a very exciting and engaging show. Easily one of the highlights of the show was Sandman performing Men Are Mortal without missing one syllable. Impressive.
A classic album from a name that will forever be mentioned amongst the great names that helped to shape and influence hip hop music. Donuts by the late J Dilla has now been further immortalised in a new book by Jordan Ferguson due for release in April. Released as part of the 33 1/3 book series that examine in detail the making of iconic album the book joins the ranks of Beastie Boys‘ Paul’s Boutique, Nas‘ Illmatic and Public Enemy‘s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Examining both the making of Donuts as well as Dilla’s career as a whole, Ferguson interviewed everyone involved in the project as well as previous collaborators in Detroit and Los Angeles.
“Drawing from philosophy, critical theory and musicology, as well as Dilla’s own musical catalog, Jordan Ferguson shows that the contradictory, irascible and confrontational music found on Donuts is as much a result of an artist’s declining health as it is an example of what scholars call ‘late style,’ placing the album in a musical tradition that stretches back centuries.”
We’re thoroughly looking forward to the in-depth analysis that this book offers. The book will be released on Bloomsbury and you can read more from Jordan Ferguson on his own blog Poetry for Grave Diggers.
Run The Jewels, the self-titled debut album from Killer Mike and El-P was heralded as one of the releases of 2013 both by critics and fans alike; a throwback to no-nonsense rap. Initially released as a free download, as well as deluxe CD and vinyl packages, firstly via Fool’s Gold and then re-released on the UK label Big Dada. If you haven’t listened to the album then it’s definitely worth a listen especially now that the pair are now recording the “much darker and much harder” follow-up due for release this year. After you’ve given the album a listen make sure you watch the newest video from the pair, again self-titled. The same imagery as the album’s artwork is a continuing theme and is animated by RUFFMERCY.
In the past DOOM has been known for his impressive beats and complex rhyming ability as well as his collaboration projects (Madvillain, Danger Doom, JJ DOOM). The almost mythical figure of rap is now in the process of finishing off another collaboration project, Nehruvian Doom, with new kid on the block Bishop Nehru. DOOM has certainly earned his stripes and we’ve certainly enjoyed what we’ve seen from Nehru so far so it will be interesting to hear the final package. The pair sat down with XXL recently in London to explain their working partnership and how the project came to fruition. Watch the interview below and let us know what you want from the album in comments.
On the UK front, Evil Ed released his long-awaited Edstrumentals Vol. 3. If you don’t know the history Evil Ed has been one of the UK hip hop producers, that although never gained mainstream attention, has been making dope beats for as long as we can remember for all manner of UK rappers. Solid samples and drum patterns that give you whiplash from the head nodding are a feature of his production and in February he released his latest instrumental album via the Dusty Platter Bandcamp page. You can preview some of the tracks below or download the whole thing for a mere £4.99. Support it.
“Edstrumentals Vol.3 consists of 20 more heavyweight beats, finely produced by the evil one on his classic akai s950 sampler. The beats are taken from a selection of releases produced by Evil Ed between 2000 to 2013, along with a few unreleased nuggets and bonus beats thrown in for your listening pleasure.”
Hip hop pioneers Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Wizzard Theodore have come together to build a non-profit corporation with the aim of opening a ‘school of hip hop’. Named Windows of Hip Hop, the group are actively looking for premises in the central and south Bronx in New York City. The centre has been described as “part museum, part school and civic center”. You can check out further details of the project via NY Daily News.
Jonwayne – Rap Album One. The first rap album from Jonwayne, self-explanatory really. The Stones Throw artist released the album in late 2013 and then proceeded to win Album of the Year at Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards against some tough opposition. First he released the very impressive The Come Up, compressed into one video whereas on the album it is split into parts one and two. He then recently followed it up with the video for How To Be A Gemini. Watch it below and let us know what you think of the office destruction.
Rhymesayers announced a new album from their founding artists Ant and Slug better known as Atmosphere. The new album, Southsiders, will be released on 6th May 2014 and will be the group’s first since 2011’s The Family Sign. The duo have released a track from the album, Bitter, and you check out the tracklist below:
01. Camera Thief
02. Arthur’s Song
03. The World Might Not Live Through the Night
04. Star Shaped Heart
05. I Love You Like a Brother
08. Mrs. Interpret
10. Kanye West
11. We Ain’t Gonna Die Today
12. My Lady Got Two Men
14. January on Lake Street
15. Let Me Know That You Know What You Want Now
Murs released a hip hop trivia app earlier this month called Hip Hop Trivia: Starring Murs available on the iOS App Store for $0.99. Users you have the highest scores are given opportunities to win Murs merchandise and the app itself features commentary from the man himself. The app features categories including East, West, Midwest and South amongst others but unfortunately no word on an Android version yet.
Jay Electronica released two whole new songs in March. That’s like the equivalent of De La Soul releasing their whole catalogue in one go (as they did recently). Rap fans remain patiently waiting for the release of the album that has forever been in the works as they are drip-fed small nuggets of musical goodness from the New Orleans rapper as well as incredible performances such as that at Outlook Festival 2013. Firstly he dropped the powerful Better in Tune With the Infinite featuring LaTonya Givens at the request of a fan on Twitter as he explained to Mass Appeal.
Jay Electronica then followed it up with today’s release of a song with Jay Z over Drake‘s We Made It beat. Thoroughly enjoyed both and once again leaves us craving the release of Act II: Patents Of Nobility (The Turn).
And in a words of Porky Pig “That’s All Folks”. We’ve managed to compress a month of hip hop related news into one article. We hope that you’re now up-to-date and as always please like and share our posts, it really does help to spread the word.