"I told y'all on Friday that this was coming. It's been a bit, and I've gone batty trying to get this paired down perfectly, but I am happy with how this came out, overall. This is my testament to the talented artists who hit my inbox on the regular, who stay hungry and, whether it's imeem or MySpace, Facebook or CDBaby, these guys are not letting their talent go to waste. Look at this as a celebration of the dope MC, the dope producer, and the true Hip-Hop that's still alive and well...
01. Cyrano aka Cy Yung "Reel Hip-Hop": This was the first track I received for the compilation, and it was always the intro. I envisioned this comp as a one CD thing, and this was always track 1. Just has that ill intro appeal, with the way the piano was flipped, and that message, basically trying to let the mainstream know that there's more out there than what Clear Channel gives you. Representing the BPA, Cy Yung is an ill emcee that has gotten love on this site ever for a bit. I know him and J. Slikk have some ish going on in terms of a collaborative LP, as well as the Y'All Soon Gonna C-Y EP with Toronto producer Cynergy Soundz (which is where this track comes from), his Cyrano's Edict EP, the Rosie Perez project, and a bunch of other things I can't reveal as of yet... BPA is coming on like a bullet train, y'all.
02. Tech Supreme ft. Ajunel "Famous Flavor": And this track was always #2. Tech was voted Best Hip-Hop Producer by the St. Louis Riverfront Times back in 2007, and if you listen to this horn-driven banger, then peep his remix of Lil' Wayne's "Lollipop", you can hear the diversity. I know he is working on an album, and I am pretty sure this cut is on it, which should be a great primer to what he has dropping in the future. The 'Lou is much more than Nelly and Murphy Lee. I love that Delorean line - this is def. some back to the future shit, just has a cool vibe that Tech attacks perfectly.
03. R.O.E. "Can't Help Myself": This is my jam, forreal. A magnificent beat cooked up by the one like J. Slikk, who has become a fast friend, is the perfect bed for Rising Over Envy's flavorful flows. It's hard to come wack on this beat (J. Slikk is a beast on the boards), and R.O.E. has the perfect flow and poise over this track. The bass in this takes me back to the mid-to-late '90s, just that back-of-the-whip, dutch-passin' vibe. R.O.E. has an EP on deck that should be coming sooner rather than later, but for now, grab that Return of the Soulstar for more fire, and revel in how R.O.E. coasts on this beat. Another BPA representative.
04. Hustle Simmons ft. 84 & Fel Sweetenberg "The Rundown": For you Johnny-come-latelies, I interviewed Tha S Ence back in '06, and this Philly-residing producer has been working on some fire, including the forthcoming project with Dave Ghetto under their Hustle Simmons guise (their LP drops on iTunes on June 24th - I've heard snippets of the jawn, and its something serious). This cut screams boom-bap, with some wicked horns hopping on top of those cripsy drums. With the 215's 84 and NJ's Fel Sweetenberg providing the perfect compliment to Dave's bars, this track is a certified heat rock for your block.
05. Brokn.Englsh "TCBY": Had to get some more Jersey on this comp. Brokn.Englsh rep Hillside, NJ, and come with the heat (peep the video for this jawn here). This beat is infectious, with that weird ass vocal in there - ultimate rewind material (it was produced by Dert, who I can't find a valid MySpace URL/website for). And those punchlines in this one? Potent. I've been quoting a lot of the lines in my head, including this personal favorite: "I'm a killer with text like anthrax messages..."; probably not the most politically correct line, but being a writer myself, I love those cold ass lines about your craft. Watch out for these cats - Myk Dyaleks is already working on some new ish, and I imagine the others are following suit. Infinite respect to J-Dub for putting me on to these cats.
06. Genesis Elijah "Hard": Genny (AKA the Voice of the Angry Black Male) is an MC from the UK that I interviewed for the now-defunct e-zine The Flow, and I am glad to hear he is still creating fire. This track begs you to question: what can truly be considered HARD? One answer is, that BEAT, with its thick, woofer-beating bassline, and those crazy sounds overtop? Whoa. Dude has 'nuff knowledge, and now with what seems like the right people behind him, I can only hope we get to hear more from this gifted MC. You also have to respect how much the UK appreciates real Hip-Hop, even though I imagine their mainstream still has the "money cash ho's" tracks that so densely populate American Urban Radio. Props to Nina and Escape Route Music for the hookup.
07. Muja Messiah ft. Slug & Hap "O'Silly Me": This is from Muja's MPLS Massacre mixtape, which is just pure dope. Atmosphere's Slug is featured on here, and they all take to task these chicks who are on your jock when you are making it... but seem to ignore you when you're low. The other thing that killed me was the pro wrestling lines in here - sorry, been a fan since the early 80's, and any reference to Jimmy Snuka kills me. You know how it goes. Minnesota in this! Muja's LP drops on July 29th - keep it locked!
08. Nov Gannon "Epiphany": This is actually one of the latest additions to the comp, but I had to put this one on here. Just has that ill vibe I was looking for to mix up this disc. That old school sample just works so well. Nov's one of URB's Next 1000, and also represents over at Flew Humble Martians. He classifies his brand of Hip-Hop as "Hip-Hop Fusion", and while that name makes sense, its just pure Hip-Hop to me.
09. Che Grand "Swing": Dear Che - I interviewed you back in July 2006, and Everything's Good Ugly is still not out. I know, I know, by hell or highwater it will be out on your born day, but I want it now, especially with tracks sounding as dope as this club-ready cut you allowed me to drop "Swing" on this comp. Let me, and the world, know when this is coming. Tracks like this always get me, because people think underground or backpack Hip-Hop, and think "this shit won't pop in the clubs", but I guarantee if someone like DJ Khaled dropped "Swing", it'd be a wrap - panties would drop, Patron would get bought up, and Che would be on TRL, cheesin'.
10. Junclassic "The Promo": Jun is one of two Monster Island Czars on The Lighthouse Project (he goes by the AKA Gabarah when with the MIC), and he flips a breathless, hookless stream of consciousness flow on this reworking of a Jungle Brothers classic. Just a dope track that might require multiple rewinds before you really hear what he's saying. Pure unadulterated, raw Hip-Hop - dope beat and dope rhymes, no nonsense. No frills fire.
11. L.E.G.A.C.Y. ft. Sean Boog "That Me Shit": Exclusive shit. Out of all of the Hall of Justus niggas (as well as the Rawkus 50 heads that L.E.G.A.C.Y. is grouped with), Leg has been my favorite. Dude just has those wild lines that make you stop midtrack and just... think. Really captivating writer, especially when he goes introspective. This is not on that flavor, though. With Sean Boog on the hook and Khrysis on the boards providing a heavy track, Leg gets on his mixtape shit and just comes with bars bars bars. Watch out for his forthcoming Suicide Music album, as well as the S.I.N. Music Group.
12. Aych "She's Cheatin'": This is one of two Wally Clark-produced cuts on this compilation, and this one is pure comedy. The title says everything, and fans of the show Cheaters should be up on the premise of this track. Aych is coming with some fire, please believe - lyrically, dude is creating some ill tales, and he does it without compromising his steeze. You don't find that too much these days.
13. Bun B "That's Gangsta (The Amps Remix)": Wow. Not only do L.A.'s The Amps provide a serious dubby-feel to the beat in this one, but they completely axed Sean Kingston's hook (aside from the "yeah!", which sounds dope). Bun's fierce flows sound so perfect over this big beat. They've already been featured producers on mixtapes for cats like the Clipse and Ray Cash, and are working on a plethora of remixes for artists like Weezy, Rick Ross, Eightball & MJG and others, so keep your eyes peeled for these talented cats.
14. Styles P ft. Swizz Beats "Blow Ya Mind (Benja Styles Remix)": For those paying attention, I dropped this weed-soaked anthem on the 19th edition of rock the dub radio. Benja Styles throws a throwback beat underneath Styles' latest ode to the greenery, and this actually sits much better than Swizzy's original. Has that blaxploitation vibe to it, which is something I'd love to zone to if I was still chiefin'... and don't get it twisted - Benja is more than just a Hip-Hop remixer/producer - he has many styles! 15. SIN "Last Night": SIN is a dope North Carolina spitter, with an everyman-appeal and some wicked flows. He's not super flashy, just real, and when he's in the pocket, he's murder. SIN beasts on this banger of a beat, bridging the stylin' from the old school with the aggression of today, this cuts a sleeper. This is another cat I interviewed for The Flow who's kept in touch, and kept making heat, getting love stateside as well as in Germany. How does that work? Consistency... pick up his Warning Shot mixtape to get more fire like this.
16. Both Nice ft. Jelani "The Cuchifritos Groove": Those Notherground cats are working on a ton of stuff, from Jelani's forthcoming Wait, You Can Rap?!?! album to a ton of other stuff. "The Cuchifritos Groove" is some slick shit, something to lean and rock to. Bang this one LOUD in the whip, and feel the windows shake off that bass. Oh, Both Nice = 6th Sense + Wildabeast, so you already know!
17. The Homebodies ft. Cool Breeze "Cool (Remix)": The Homebodies = A-Bomb & Wes Green, and this keeps you on that slinky, groovin' vibe we're on right now. And yes, it's that Cool Breeze. Get your lighters out for this one - all of you peeps who just KNOW you're cool, here's your anthem. ATL is definitely in the house. Check out their recently-released video for "Know Me Foe", and definitely be on the lookout for these cats.
18. Tef Poe "Niggas Ain't Brolic": Tef is another St. Louis rhymer, and this just has me open. "Niggas Ain't Brolic", aside from being a hot title, is also full of punchlines, and doesn't get old. Manifest Destiny should be out at some point this year (right, Tef?), but for now, keep up with dude - he's an interesting cat.
19. 5th Flow "The Reign": Yes, these three Texas spitters are just warming up for their album, but this banger, which was on their Quarter To A Half mixtape, is more fitting as an end-cap on this chapter, with some fierce bars and a bombastic beat. Pink Slip up in this, forreal...
So that's that, for now. You can grab this as one complete .rar, or hit up the mirrors over at mediafire. Shouts to beatplexity and openeyesconnect for the hosting. Shouts to all of the heads who allowed me to include their music on this compilation. Big ups to all of the heads I converse with on the regular, those who give honest critiques and insight into how I might want to do things. Props to all of my fellow bloggers for filling in the gaps on my musical journey. Much love to my wife, who always has a supportive ear. And one love goes out to Hip-Hop.