I hit you guys with Disc 1 two weeks ago, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from heads who are in tune to the sound. I look at this compilation as kind of two sides of the same coin. Where Disc 1 was a bit more harder, mixtape-feel to it, Disc 2 has a lot of the same themes underlying: social issues, love, and a host of introspective moods, wrapped around slick production and capped off with some dope instrumentals. Ah, just read on...
01. Freddie Joachim ft. Lauren Santiago & Jacewon "Hear It From You": Yes, I know, this isn't technically Hip-Hop, but ease off. This is my Hip-Hop Soul joint for the summer. Joachim has beats, Lauren has a sultry voice and Jacewon ties the whole story of yearning with a sick verse... and an extra endpiece. Reminds me of that Pete Rock shit, with a hint of that Neo Soul in it. This is on Joachim's In With Time, which is available... in Japan.
02. Big Quarters ft. Alicia Steele "August": This is from Big Quarters' Lake City Browns album. I dropped the video from this a few months back, and it still has that perfect chilled Sunday afternoon vibe. It's also the perfect compliment to "Hear It From You". Minneapolis, what?!?!?
03. Black ELement "Human": Black EL is on a roll right now, and if you've been hip to the internets, you should have seen this one around. I heard this a bit ago, and had to have it for this project. I love the switch-up in the beat when the chorus comes in, and he throws some witty lines and sows some deeper seeds (check that 2nd verse). A Major Minority is coming...
04. Amanda Diva "Supa-Woman": I was so mad - I couldn't lock down any other tracks from strong female MC's. I got my hands on this one early, and loved that bassline. Amanda has always been an artist I have loved, ever since I saw her spoken word, through her MTV2 stint. She is a chick that many heads would love to wife up - just the total package. One would hope you guys are keepin' into her DivaSpeakTV webisodes, as well as her blog over at Okayplayer. Props to Saptosa for the hook-up.
05. Fanu "So Sleeps The City": One thing I did get, however, were some dope instrumental jams. This is the first of the trifecta. Fanu is one of the artists on this comp who is not necessarily known for his Hip-Hop production - he is more of a Drum & Bass/Jungle/Downtempo soundboy. I sent out a load of e-mails on a whim, and was granted permission to use this track. Has that nice feel of a city like New York, like 1:30AM on a Friday, where the rest of the world is dead but this town is alive and kicking, and you're driving in a taxi, taking it all in. Heavy track.
06. Elucid "Step Careful": I leaked this cut earlier this month (again, I had this track pegged for a minute), and to be honest, I wish I had more from dude. Elucid is an emcee that went from a cat I'd converse with briefly to someone who I've been trying to get shit done with for a minute now. We'll see how that goes... regardless, this Waxwerks11701-produced, harpsichord-driven revival music anthem is from E's forthcoming Save Yourself album. Be on the lookout for that.
07. Muja Messiah "True Lies": Muja has been making crazy noise on this site for the better part of 2008, and for good reason - so much so, that this is the 2nd track of his on this comp! This is one of those wild, conspiracy theory heavy tracks that plays a great bookend to the previous track, spit over a mid-tempo banger. His album (Thee Adventures of A B-Boy D-Boy) is dropping on Black Corners on July 29th as well!
08. Wu-Tang Clan "C.R.E.A.M. (Zyon Base Mix)": Zyon Base is a producer who I only knew about from his Drum & Bass productions, so imagine my surprise when he hits me one Saturday with this ill remix of a classic Wu-Tang favorite. It's actually got a sound of something that could have been a B-side to the "C.R.E.A.M." single, which is always dope. I guess I have that old-Soul sound in me. Props to Hobzee for letting me know ZB did Hip-Hop.
09. Wordsmith "The Soulless Saint": Wordsmith is another artist who has gotten 'nuff play on this blog. The one thing I didn't know about dude was that he could weave stories like this, but "The Soulless Saint" is one to grow on. As a leader and a guy striving to make moves, you have to respect dude's hustle. Check out The Mid-Year Review mixtape Words did with Denox & HipHopDX recently.
10. Cave Precise "GOD": This was an early addition to this project, as well. Cave is a talented producer of both straight-up Hip-Hop and some more twisted, genre-bending flavors. This has that pimped-out flex to it, but the organs and the overall feel had me open from jump. The beat CD this came on has some fire on it - MCs looking for beats, take note.
11. Praverb "Urban Legends": Teddy Roxpin went in on this beat. If I was an emcee, I'd want an album of tracks like this. Praverb is such a dope MC, though, it's good to hear him rip this one up. His first verse has been a quottable for me, just for the things he touches on (MF Doom, Cloverfield, etc.), but then tries to get you cats to think about things (like what "Crank Dat" is promoting). Talk about edutainment! I also recently reviewed his Center Of Attention album, which you heads need to check out.
12. Radius "South Shore (Baahumgbug!)": Fire production from Chicago. Instrumental Hip-Hop albums were my lifeblood back in '95, '96, so it's good to hear cats in the '08 still keeping fresh ideas up. If you need a good album to road trip to, or some different flavors for your iPods in general, Neighborhood Suicide is the way to go. I might have a special version of this coming...
13. Burt Fox & El Juba "The Jungle": This might be one of my favorite cuts on this entire compilation. That nasty Electro drive is slowed down, with Juba going buck on some revolutionary but gangsta steeze. Really big track, something you put on in the whip late at night and coast to, doing whatever you do, middle finger to the law. Props to Burt and the entire RiotControl fam. Hopefully he finishes more of his tracks!
14. Joulz Il "Imagine That": Joulz is an MC out of Dallas that I've been trying to put you guys onto for the longest. He is looking for a deal, and deserves one. Not too many cats from out that way are known for being lyrical, and dude actually sounds like a dude from out East, but regardless, he is a gifted MC (with a gifted producer, Entity Starr) who is making captivating music. Real uplifting, symphonic-feel to this joint, and his lyrics are so dense, and actually go from point A to B by song's end. This should be the anthem to all artists who are looking to get the big nickel...
15. Monsta X "Mind Of A Monsta": How about this is produced by MF Grimm? Some more Monster Island Czars shit, with X just going for broke over this eerie, bass-heavy beat. Just some straight, "what's going on in my mind" shit, with some boomin' beats that you might not regularly rock to. Jun hit me with this - good looks fam!
16. Wafeek ft. Azeem "I'mma Learn You": Wafeek's an MC that Trackstar put me onto, and for good reason. I wanted to put out a gang of freestyles over these beat tapes I compiled, and Wafeek hit me with this, over the Dome Cracker Remix of Das EFX's "Microphone Master", and another over a Gravediggaz jam. He flows so effortlessly on this one, and touches on a bunch of topics. Definitely expect to be hearing more from this talented cat.
17. Dyane P & Lex "Confused": I went to high school with Lex, and recently touched base with him via internets, and was surprised by the wealth of cuts he sent me. He actually said going over these has him picking up the pen again, which I feel like is my doing, so hopefully he has more work to put out. I remember him putting me onto the Freestyle Fellowship cats, and bugging over The Slim Shady LP, and hearing his packed lines always kills me. That real Cali open mic flow, which I can always appreciate. And that Ill Oytreb beat ain't nothing to sneeze at, either! 18. Big Jus "Resilient": Another Wally Clark-produced joint - actually, the first Wally Clark track I heard, and it still has me open. That ill super-hero vibe in the string sample, with some understated boom-bap on it. Big Jus goes hard on the beat, doing it justice. I'd like to hear some other cats get a crack at this beat.
19. Altered St8s "Last Call": This is some real-life talk for you guys who work during the week and need to hit the bar for a cold on. Really encapsulates what some cats go through, just some real life shit. Shouts to Lyfestile for this one, he's a monster on this. And this was also the joint that I always wanted to end on, not just for the title but the whole vibe, from the melancholy piano to that Common scratch in the hook. Fitting end to this disc, and the project as a whole.
I appreciate everyone who submitted a track, conversed with me about this project (aka listen to me gripe), anyone who shot a suggestion, Tech Supreme for the dope covers, my close friends and family for the encouragement, all of the artists out there making it happen - anyone on these two discs is a problem! Your work/encouragement/inspiration/words mean so much to me, and are what keeps blogs like this going.
This is for Hip-Hop.
This is not the final piece to this puzzle... nor is this the last Lighthouse Project. Stay tuned!