Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Music Download: Scribbling Idiots - Everything Was Perfect feat. Ilyas

This is a really dope and smooth track fron international Hiphop collective Scribbling Idiots. "Everything Was Perfect" was produced by Defizit and features Ilyas, who was formerly in Tanya Morgan. Be on the lookout for Scribbiling Idiots next LP dropping later this year. Click below to stream and download the track!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

U Don't Know Just Blaze

To say Just Blaze is one of my all time favorite producers would be doing him an injustice due to the kind of influence he's had in my hip hop sensibilities. Before deciding to become a blogger, there was a brief moment in time in which I wanted to become a producer. His work on "Song Cry" was the turning point in my decision to start my work in obtaining a MPC beat machine. When I found out Just was a video game head like me, I thought he might have been the dopest dude at Rocafella on the low. That was basically me in high school: the guy who played RPGs at home but had the cool jocks on the football team as friends and associates.

I have written raps before (which may explain why writing is a big part of what I do), but for about two years time, I wanted to be behind the boards. I was using the Reason software when many of my peers were dabbling with Fruity Loops. I even took a a few courses at the local city college because the school offered an A.A. degree in the Audio Production program. I bought Scratch magazines (remember those?) in which those became my bible as I studied the techniques of all my favorite producers and tried to incorporate their styles into my music. Thankfully for the blogosphere community, that ended very quickly and I realized I was a much better writer than beatsman.

When I got home last night and found that Just released two unheard beats for the fans to hear, my excitement grew, as with any thing he does becomes a moment in time for me. "Moleskin Conclusion" was supposedly the ending to Jay Electronica's "Dear Moleskine", which is a top Just Blaze beat for me personally. "Miracle" was originally asked by Jay Z to be held onto for him and Jeezy, but since then has been passed on by Chris Brown, Rick Ross, and J. Cole.  These two instrumentals are now available for rappers to take their talents and do something with them.

Although both beats seem a little antiqued, I appreciate the release of these two tracks because it inspired me to reminisce on Just's career. With the assistance Kanye West and B!nk, he provided the canvas for Jay Z to paint his classic Blueprint and gave Rocafella the sound in which defined the early 2000s hip hop. Kanye obviously became a house hold name since the release, but it goes without saying that Just Blaze has made as big of a mark in hip hop as Kanye did. He's provided plenty of artists some of their greatest tracks. Taking on the role of executive producer, he was responsible for albums such as Memphis Bleek's M.A.D.E. and the highly underrated Philadelphia Freeway. And if you ask me, no one producer works better with Jay Z than Just Blaze.

So, thank you to Justin Smith for your contributions to hip hop. The dream of becoming a producer didn't pan out for me, but the influence is still the same. 

The work he's done is extensive and legendary, so I would suggest doing research because I know I'm leaving out some. Saying this, here are a few of my favorite Just Blaze tracks:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Music Download: DJ Craze - 20 Years of RAM Mix

The legendary DJ Craze just dropped the super dope 20 Years of RAM mix, which is in reference to his time spent with RAM Records. It's an hour long mix which spans over 56 drum and bass tracks with tons of ill scratching. Get it now and bump that!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Music Download: Planet Asia x DirtyDiggs - 2010 A.D. EP + Tiger Stripes Music Video

A couple of weeks ago, veteran Fresno, CA MC, Planet Asia and producer DirtyDiggs dropped the 2010 A.D. EP, which features 4 tracks. Stream and download for free below.

They will be following up with the Nautica Nagas EP very soon. Check the music video for the lead single, "Tiger Stripes," featuring Purple Kloud.

Gear: Bloodbath Vermilion Anorak Windshell Jacket

This is some pretty fresh outerwear from Bloodbath Project. The Vermilion Anorak Windshell jacket
is a lightweight windbreaker that conveniently folds up into a traveling pouch. It features a talon on the back, which is described as a symbol seeking to exploit or oppress others. 

Upon deeper inspection the claw is pointing upwards, visually echoing defeat, and furthermore, death. The jacket is available for $58 here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Music Video: Pawz One - What You Make It

Peep the brand new music video from my boy Pawz One for the joint "What You Make It," which is featured on his current album, Face The Facts. It was produced by Default and the video was directed and produced by Matt Posada of Filmblock Productions. Be on the lookout for Pawz' soon to be released EP, More Than Words.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Music Download: Courteous L - AmeriKKKa

Here is some new music from Courteous L, flexing his political pen over instrumental courtesy of The Alchemist. Follow @CourteousL on Twitter for more music. I can say that it wouldn't be a bad decision for you to do so and he's an artist to keep on your radar.

Here is a bonus song from Courteous and Alchemist.

Music Download: Jus Smith - 2/18

To celebrate his birthday, @thaG5 and @ThisIsVarEZ dropped a celebratory track for the occasion. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Day Flow: Hot People, Hot Music, Hotter Food at The Bazaar by José Andrés

You're drawn in as you approach the sleek, beautiful hostesses calling to you like sirens as you walk to the thumping music. It's dark, mysterious, and sexy. You're surrounded by all the beautiful people and heavy hitters in town. If you close your eyes, you would swear you were in an exclusive lounge where you need to know someone who knows someone to get you in. In actuality, you're in The Bazaar by José Andrés, the James Beard Award Winning Spanish chef known for bringing the "small plates" concept of dining to the U.S.

The food is phenomenal, whimsical, powerful. The guiding hand of Ferran Adrià in the career of José Andrés is undeniable; and there are some inspired gastronomical feats on the menu. Chef de Cuisine Holly Jivin's execution is flawless, as is the staff. The open kitchen on the side they call Rojo dances a silent, orderly waltz and the passion of the staff is reflected in each delectable, surprising bite.

The stars of the show, for me, came in the form of these standouts, and must-trys on the menu:
  •  Not Your Everyday Caprese: cherry tomatoes, spheres of liquid mozzarella that burst as you bite in to them, and a pesto that I would fill a pool and swim in if I could. 
  •  Tortilla DE Patatas "New Way": an enticing potato foam with egg and caramelized onions, served in a small jar with a wooden spoon that begs for you to drink it out of the jar. 
  •  Spanish Jamon Charcuterie plating consisting of Serrano, Iberico, and Iberico de Bellota - The Bazaar is one of a handful of restaurants in the US that legally sell Iberico and Iberico de Bellota;  Pan de Cristal with Tomate spread; Olives Ferran Adrià all by talented culinary up-and-comer Travis Dixon (I am told as of press time he is now on the caprese station)
  • Californian Cone: a spicy tuna tartare with avocado in a wonton cone. 
  • Philly Cheese Steak: air bread filled with fiscalini cheddar and topped with wagyu beef
  • Foie Gras Cotton Candy: the triumphant return of Foie to the LA dining scene in the form of sweet with a hint of fleur de sel clouds of spun fairy floss wrapped around the buttery pâté.
  • Smoke on the Water: blackberries, atomized scotch, and Islay whiskey smoke that is strong but goes down easy.
  • Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey's dessert room: of which I wanted to take everything home but settled for some beautifully crafted bon bons, velvety passion fruit chocolate mousse, and the Pan Con Chocolate - a ribbon of heavenly chocolate flan garnished with a caramelized baguette slice and brioche ice cream rolled in chocolate wafer that I am still dreaming about.
The food and service is exceptional, and the price reflects it. It's a great place to take a date you want to impress, or if you just want to

The Bazaar by José Andrés, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 
(310) 247-0400,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Music Download: S.P.Y - BRSTL Hardcore EP

This is one dope mix of 4 dnb tracks from S.P.Y. of Bristol. BRSTL Hardcore was dropped via NEST.  Click below to stream and dowload it while you can!

Music Download: Faimkills - All My Friends Are Illuminati feat. Pterodactyl Jones

This is a pretty nice joint from Faimkills with the assistance of Noa James and Curtiss King, aka Pterodactyl Jones. "All My Friends Are Illuminati" was produced by OhGoshLeotus. The artwork for the track was done by Tigerbears. It can be streamed and downloaded for free below.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Music Video: Flying Lotus - Coronus, The Terminator 

Check this ill video for the super soulful "Coronus, The Terminator" from Flying Lotus. This is the latest single off his 2014 critically acclaimed album, You're Dead. The video was directed by Young Replicant.

Fly Lo stated on his Google Plus page:

“For me, Coronus is one of the most important moments on You're Dead! and holds ideas I'm planning to explore in my future work. I’m happy that the visual encapsulates the meaning of the record and this ambition”

Music Download: David May - It'd Never Be Enough feat. Fashawn

About a month ago my boy David May dropped the Fashawn assisted single, It'd Never Be Enough. I love a good tag team track, and this is just that. It was produced by Gunnah and can be streamed and downloaded for free below.

Late Registration To The Grammys

As much as we may not want to admit it, there may not be a singular person who can move the music industry needle more than Kanye West in this current age. His antics are always the topic of not only the hip hop circles but popular culture as well. He again stirred controversy it the Grammy Awards last night. When Beck received the award for Album Of The Year for "Morning Phase", it seemed as though Kanye would again bum rush the stage to express his feelings (as we all know what his thoughts were about Taylor Swift back in 2009). Going half way to the stage before taking his seat back with the audience, we thought that it was a good hearted troll attempt by Kanye, as Beck began to give out his thank you's and what not to everyone involved in his project.

But as in anything involving Kanye, nothing can ever be just mild mannered. In E!'s backstage interview after the ceremony, it was then found out that Kanye wasn't joking and went out to voice his opinion of Beck winning Album Of The Year:

“I don’t even know what [Beck] said. I just know that, the Grammys, if they want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We aren’t going to play with them no more. ‘Flawless.’ Beyoncé’s video. And Beck needs to respect artistry, he should have given his award to Beyoncé. At this point, we tired of it. What happens is, when you keep on diminishing art, and not respecting the craft, and smacking people in the face after they deliver monumental feats of music, you’re disrespectful to inspiration. We, as musicians, have to inspire people who go to work every day, and they listen to that Beyoncé album, and they feel like it takes them to a different place. And then they do this promotional event, and they’ll run the music over somebody’s speech, the artist, because they want commercial advertising. We aren’t playing with them anymore. And by the way, I got my wife, my daughter, and I got my clothing line, so I’m not going to do nothing that would put my daughter at risk, but I am here to fight for creativity. That’s why I didn’t say anything tonight, but you all knew what it meant when ‘Ye stepped on that stage.”

I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm an active fan of Beck and state "Morning Phase" was fantastic. I didn't even know he released a comeback album until the Grammys. That being said, an artist who can play 14 instruments and arrange the bulk of his or her album will get no disparage from me at all. Honestly speaking, Kanye shouldn't have discredited what Beck has accomplished in order to prop up his friend's album. 

Ultimately, what this all boils down to is if we as fans should really care if a member of our community is recognized at award shows such as the Grammys. Throughout its history, the Grammys haven't given Hip Hop its proper recognition. Will Smith was rap's first artist to garner a Grammy in 1989 and he along with others boycotted the ceremony because the networks would not televise the rap categories. 10 years later, Jay-Z also demonstrated his displeasure of hip hop acceptance from the Grammy minds by boycotting the show for them not nominating DMX for a single rap award. Granted, Beyonce isn't hip hop in the least, but I think this was what Kanye was trying to convey. He instead placed Beck within his verbal target crosshair and will probably be issuing an apology statement in the upcoming days. It shouldn't take a pout session to see that Hip Hop and R&B should at the least be respected by its peers in other genres rather than being labeled as just "urban music". (Which I detest btw but realize the label exists)

So when Ye's says "they need to stop playing with us", I do understand the sentiment, even though it came at the expense of another artist. This should serve as a reminder that it is nice for a deserving artist to be praised for the hard work being put into a project but if the fans enjoy the 60+ minutes of music, thats all that matters.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Music Video: C Plus - Sorbet

Here are the visuals for Plus' newest song, shot by Farid Xan on the rooftops of New York City. Also, check out his bandcamp page for all his latest music and to hear his projects in case you are not familiar with him yet. Production by @iamTROX

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