Monday, December 28, 2009

Idasa Tariq - Say Cheese EP (2010)

Brand new music from the Steel City Yorker, Idasa Tariq. This EP is features six new songs written, performed, and produced by Idasa. The second half previews six new soulful instrumentals that he produced.

Born in New York, now living in Pittsburgh, Idasa represents both cities well. As a regular on the hip-hop scene, he has been able to make great contributions to the resurgence of hip-hop in the city of Pittsburgh.

Check this EP out and watch for more music from Idasa Tariq in the first quarter of 2010!

01. On Top of the Mountain

02. Concrete Properties

03. Never Pays to Be the Good Guy
04. Breakin' the Cycle
05. Cosmo Chillin'
06. Blacksmith Application
07. Hummin' (Instrumental)
08. This Is What (Instrumental)
09. Soul Intro 1 (Intstrumental)
10. What Ya Say? (Instrumental)
11. Brief Intermission (Instrumental)
12. Dead Homies (Instrumental)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Mel-Man - The Mel-Man Delivers (1991)

Mel was recognized as a Pittsburgh hip-hop legend long before making his imprint on the game by co-producing with Dr. Dre from the mid-90s to early 2000s. Older heads acknowledge his involvement in the Hardcore Crew. Mel remained behind the scenes throughout much of his career. However, that didn't stop him from influencing two of the most influential producers in the history of hip-hop, Dr. Dre and RZA.

Mel-Man - The Melman Delivers (1991)
01. Intro-My 9 is to Load
02. The Hoe Shop

03. The Baby Ain't Mine
04. This is for Your Kicker
05. The Mel Man

06. MelFUNKtion

07. I Wanna Do Ya
08. Hard to Say Good Bye
09. Outro

Mel-Man - Knock 'Em Off (CD Single) (1993)
01. Knock 'Em Off
02. Wreck Shop

03. Fag Force
04. Knock 'Em Off (Instrumental)

Mel-Man - Rare Tracks and Radio Spots (199x)
01. Aftermath Session Snippet
02. The Crew Got Paid
03. WPTS Exclusive

04. WRCT Nightshift (Spring 1994)

Stilltown Vol. 1

Brand new music from the hip-hop producers and emcees of Pittsburgh, PA.

Artwork by James Acklin @

01. Jack Wilson - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Prod. by SPAED)

02. Reverrb - Here You Go, Kiddo (Prod. by 2 Deep Productions)
03. Shindiggaz - GI Joe (Prod. by DJ Thermos)
04. Divine Seven - Str8 From the Heart
05. Jon Quest - Emcee University (Prod. by Shade Cobain)
06. B-FreeDaMisfit - In the Sunshine

07. Ayatollah Jaxx - Nothing Like You Ever Heard (Prod. by Chim Beats)
08. Apex - Get Ready (Prod. by Ulliversal)
09. Living Proofe - Be (Prod. by Nice Rec)
10. Idasa Tariq - Blacksmith Application (Prod. by Idasa Tariq)
11. Billy Pilgrim & Reverrb - Regardless

12. Lone Catalysts feat. Mood - Beware
13. Jev the Ghost - Open the Door (Prod. by Vills)
14. Internal Korruption - Get Out (Prod. by Internal Korruption)
15. Davu - Get Loose (Prod. by Shade Cobain)

16. Gene Stovall & Armstead Brown - Remote Control (Prod. by Armstead Brown)
17. Good Company - Might Not Make It (Prod. by Fundamental)
18. Divine Seven - Reachin' (Prod. by Shade Cobain)
19. Shindiggaz - Ninja Turtles (Prod. by DJ Thermos)
20. Jack Wilson feat. Billy Pilgrim & Deric Norgren - Meets His Speaker
21. Jasiri X - Silent Night

Apex - Struggle City out now!!
Jack Wilson - Take the Fire From My Hand out now!!
Jasiri X - American History X out now!!
Living Proofe - Wake Up World out now!!
Divine Seven & Ayatollah Jaxx as Black Connection out now!!
Divine Seven - Introspect the LP coming soon!!
Ayatollah Jaxx - Hello, Hip-Hop coming soon!!
Idasa Tariq - Smiling Face 1.2 coming soon!!
Lone Catalysts - Back to School/Square Binizz coming soon!!

Link in comments.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Almighty - God Willing (1998)

Almighty is 2Gz, Slim Kapone, Uncle Buck, and Nina Ross

Straight out of Pittsburgh, PA, this is Almighty's album God Willing. The majority of the album was produced by Sekou Coleman, with additional production from Mista Yuck and DJ Prizm.

01. Da Koroner
02. P.G.H. (2Gz solo)

03. My Family
04. Steel Curtain
05. Anywayz

06. Let Em Fly
07. Feel Me (Slim Kapone solo)

08. Games
09. Squab
10. Turn It Out
11. Smok 'Em All
12. Day of Judgement

13. P.G.H. Roll Call



DJ Demonic - Demonica EP (1995)

Another one out of my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. This EP by DJ Demonic was released in '95 and includes four dope cuts.

01. Snakes in My Hood
02. Demonica
03. Last Nite

04. About to Kill Somebody

Family Orientated - On the Rocks (2000)

Family Orientated are from Pittsburgh, PA, more specifically McKees Rocks. The album is titled On the Rocks, and I believe it was their 1st.

01. Intro
02. Where My Niggaz At
03. Shinin'
04. It's All Love

05. Jakes
06. Beautiful
07. Straight Wylin'
08. We Dem Burgh Catz
09. Why We Livin' Like Dis
10. Doggin' U
11. Stand Up
12. Live By, Die By
13. The Meal
14. Starting Lineup
15. Scared
16. Hold It Down
17. Ring Around the Hood
18. Eye 4 An Eye
19. Outro

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Black Connection (2009)

As the Black Connection, Ayatollah Jaxx and Divine Seven take a different route than most. Only 35 minutes in length, the album strays from the unnecessary filler and proves that quality defeats quantity.

Jaxx and Sev are veterans, and leaders of the new school in Pittsburgh hip-hop. Getting your attention from the first word he spits, Jaxx is a lyrical hurricane that will surely have you rewinding the track. Sev brings a uniquely smooth, laid back delivery, along with catchy head-nodding hooks. Their complimentary styles create an ideal combination that is responsible for the refreshing sound heard on this album.

While the album explores the deepest essence of hip-hop in Pittsburgh, it can be appreciated by fans of the music worldwide. Unlike many albums released today, Black Connection maintains replay value. In addition to Jaxx and Sev, a collection of producers have invested their art to the project.

The album has soulful production from local favorite BusCrates, as well as contributions from Shade Cobain, J-Pad, TPM, Tone Beatz, and PMC/CJams. Normally, an album may struggle to vibe so perfectly with numerous producers, but that struggle is not heard here.

On "Happiness," a precisely chopped James Brown sample asks, "you know what happiness is?" Divine Seven replies, "It's a movement, man." This sums up Black Connection well. The album is uplifting and geared toward the progressive mindstate. It's up to the consumers to decide if this is a movement they will be part of.

01. Love <3 (Intro)(Prod. by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble)
02. Black Gold (Prod. by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble)
03. Regality (Prod. by BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble)
04. Wordplay (Prod. by J-Pad the Juggernaut)
05. Al Silla Al Sawdaa...
06. Happiness (Prod. by Shade Cobain/BusCrates 16-Bit Ensemble)

07. Live Together (Prod. by TPM)
08. City Lights (Prod. by Tone Beatz)
09. Laureate Sketch (Prod. by PMC/CJams)

10. Pitch Black (Prod. by PMC/CJams)

Friday, October 23, 2009

10/22/09 - Radio Show

October 22, 2009 Radio Show


The Nonce - On the Air
Sleestackz - Crystal Clear (Morning Blunt Mix)
Adagio - Boy & Girl Tale
Atmosphere - Complications
Blaque Sperm - Jizm
B-Self - Eye Listen
Madlib - Wide World of...
Shabaam Sahdeeq - Arabian Nights
Heltah Skeltah - Letha Brainz Blo
Jeru the Damaja - Ain't the Devil Happy
Young Zee - Toxic Waste
MF Grimm - Tick, Tick
Poops - The Shit
Godfather Don - Sleep
Killa Sin and Inspectah Deck - Tony Touch Freestyle
Mobb Deep - Still Shinin
50 Cent, Nas, & The Bravehearts - Who U Rep With
Monsta Island Czars - Under Pressure
Killarmy - Bastard Swordsman
Chino XL & Ras Kass- Riiiot!
Tragedy Khadafi & Imam Thug - Illuminati
Vakill - Flows You Can't Imagine
The U.N. - Golden Grail
Nas - Deja Vu
E. Money Bags, Nas, & Horse - I Want It
Lake & Nas - One Never Knows
Blackmajik - Rotten Apple
Natural Elements - 69 Caddy
Ruggedness Maddrama - Me & My Squad

Part 1

Part 2


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Classic Material - Roc Raida Tribute with DJ Rob Swift, DJ Z-Trip, and more

As I said in the previous post, it went down on October 17, 2009 at the Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh, PA. Classic Material and the Time Bomb Crew organized one of the best shows I've seen, a GrandMaster Roc Raida tribute/fundraiser. DJ Rob Swift was the main act, DJ Z-Trip made a special appearance, local DJ's Selecta, Hank D, and SMI all took turns on the wheels of steel, Time Bomb Crew was in the place, MC BZE performed, Knowledge Build Allah of Classic 1824 hosted the event and kept the crowd live throughout the night, breakers from Oh My and more entertained the crowd prior to Rob's performance, the Shadow Lounge was filled to capacity. A good amount of money was earned for Raida's family. R.I.P. Roc Raida

Monday, October 19, 2009

10/15/09 - Radio Show

Recorded live on 10-15-2009

Part 1:
Candy Store - Local Scarface
Lastrawze - Sneak Peak
Slum Brothers - Stop Fronting
Dark Skinned Assassin - Lock Shit Down
Ring - One Game
Alps Cru - Nocturnal Illusions
Gas Chamber - Illusiv
Finsta Bundy - Feel the High
People in the Red Balloon - Nomad
Rubberoom - Synapse Gap
Immortal Griffen -
Epicentral - Compare & Contrast
Kid A & BusCrates - Movin Slow
Ill Biskits - God Bless Your Life
Smoked Out Productions - Styles
Jam da Original Troopa - Soul Search'n (Remix)
Superscientifiku ft. Kashal-Tee - Flip Fast
Dynospectrum - Winter Mood
Part 2:
WindNBreeze - Nuthin Really Happens (Piano Mix)
Saukrates - Father Time
Last Emperor - Gotta Have Love
Senswif - Maintain
Rick da Bro - Sins
Juggaknots - I'm Gonna Kill You
Ruggedness Maddrama - Checkin Down the Menu
Kukoo-da-Bag-a-Bonez - Big Queens
N.Y. Confidential - Backstabbed
Camoflauge Large - Cocbacda 9
Now Born Clik - X-Fyles
Jemini the Gifted One - Scars & Pain
N.O.T.S. Click - I Pack Steel
Bee Why - G.A.T.S.
Hollow Point - Clickz Like Gunz
Blackstract - 40 Gz and a 9
Kaotic Style & Shazam - Stick Up


Part 1

Part 2

10-17-09 - Radio Show - Roc Raida Tribute / Rob Swift Interview

On October 17, DJ Rob Swift came to Pittsburgh for Classic Material's Grand Master DJ Roc Raida tribute/fundraiser. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen. DJ Selecta, DJ SMI, and DJ Hank D held down the 1's and 2's for most of the night prior to Rob performing. The local break-dancers did their thing for nearly two hours, getting the quickly-growing crowd hype!! BZE also came through and blessed the mic, while Knowledge Build Allah hosted the event. Another special guest also made an appearance, DJ Z-Trip, who was performing at the Andy Warhol Museum earlier in that night. Needless to say, magic happened. Videos from the event are coming soon.

A week prior to the event, I did a tribute to Roc Raida on my radio show. DJ Rob Swift gave me an incredible interview over the phone during the show. I have separated the two and posted them below.

Roc Raida Tribute Show:

Rob Swift Interview:

Thanks to everyone that came out to the Shadow Lounge for the GM DJ Roc Raida tribute/fundraiser!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Nickel - Trendsettin' 2000 (1999)

The Nickel was an eight member group out of Pittsburgh, PA consisting of EZO, Pauly Poundstone, Joey Doe, Nikke' 5 Fingaz, G-Laz, Vashiti the Renegade, SD da Bad Seed, and Maze the Musical Professor. From what I remember, the group was well-publicized. The album is more cof a rap feel than hip-hop, similar to the Skeem Circle album I posted earlier. Not sure where at or what the group is doing today.

The Nickel - Trendsettin' 2000

01. Intro
02. Coffee
03. Million
04. So Many Scars
05. How We Do
06. No Love
07. Collect Call
08. Ride On
09. Money

10. Shoot da Breeze
11. Groove 2000
12. Obstacles
13. Can't Stop
14. Sticky Green
15. Outro
16. Bonus Track

Link in comments.

Dunny - Real Shit Demo (2004)

Dope demo. Don't have any info other than that he is from Pittsburgh.

Dunny - Real Shit Demo
01. I'm in It for the Family

02. The Truth Hurts
03. Prayer to be Forgiven
04. How I Feel 8-7-04
05. My Life Story

Link in comments.

Skeem Circle - Survival Tactics (1999)

Staying with the trend of Pittsburgh hip-hop, I bring to you the trio Skeem Circle. The group is formed by Legend, Boogimann, and Pakman. Legend serves as both an MC and producer for a majority of the joints, while the rest of the production is handled by Scoops or Bach. DJ E adds somes scratches throughout the album as well. The album provides a good mix of group and solo tracks.

01. Intro
02. Who's Up (Legend, Boogimann, Pakman)
03. Absolute (Pakman)
04. Picture Dis (Boogimann)

05. Marvelous (Legend, Jaymie)
06. Ruff Rhymes Raw (Pakman, Legend, Boogimann)

07. Catch Reck (Pakman)
08. 4 Minutes (Legend)
09. Who da Man Is (Boogimann)

10. Illy Shit (Boogimann, Pakman, Legend)
11. Pakman Did It (Pakman)
12. Verbal Punishment (Boogimann, Nate)

13. Show No Mercy (Legend)

Link in comments.

Misfits in the Attic - Enter At Your Own Risk (1994)

Misfits in the Attic are group out of Pittsburgh, PA that consists of two female MC's, Ms. Chievious and Ms. Cellaneous, and producer Suga-Free.

Misfits in the Attic - Enter At Your Own Risk

01. Intro
02. When We Come
03. Black Steel Funk
04. The Godfather
05. No Competition
06. Knockin' At the Attic Do' (feat. The Dawn, TOJ-1200, Mel-Man, B.U.D., Reg, Royal E, & Lil Shock

07. Gittin' Buzy
08. I Come 2 Git Down
09. Kick It Anyway
10. Drunk Felicia
11. Summer Vacation
12. Duckin' Bullets
13. I Ain't Cha Hoe
14. The Dispute
15. Blind Love
16. Back It Up
17. Do Do Do Do Do Do
18. Discrimination
19. Misfitism
20. Cool-Aide

Link in comments.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Choked Out - Stressin' (1997)

Don't have much info for this, aside from that they're from Pittsburgh. Album is dope from beginning to end.

01. Intro
02. Watchin Me
03. Steel City Bluez
04. Grabahold

05. Something For the People
06. Stressin'
07. Live From the Basment

08. Choke Together
09. The Root of All Evil

10. Fo' Real
11. Good, Bad, Ugly
12. OBG
13. 4 Evanite
14. Last Man Standing
15. Outro

Link in comments.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lone Catalysts - Hip-Hop (2001)

A monumental local classic, this album globalized Pittsburgh hip-hop.

Producer J. Rawls of Columbus, OH teamed up with Pittsburgh MC J. Sands in the mid-90's, needless to say the duo has never looked back.

"At the time, we thought that there weren't many cats, at least in our area, trying to do it the way we were trying to do it. It's that raw hip-hop."
-J. Rawls

True indeed. In 1998, they premiered their combined talents with a bomb 12" single, "Paper Chase." The 12", which included four tracks, was the first of many that the Lone Catalysts would release in the years leading to their highly anticipated album, Hip-Hop.

Released on B.U.K.A. Entertainment, the album was distributed throughout the Europe, Japan, and the U.S. With appearances from Talib Kweli, Rubix, and a few lesser known MC's, as well as support from then underground super-label Rawkus Records, the album earned rave reviews.

With the success of this album, the local hip-hop scene breathed new life. The smooth, progressive boom-bap production of J. Rawls and laid-back lyrical annihilation performed by J. Sands led a new breed of hip-hop in the city of Pittsburgh.

01. Intro
02. Q & A
03. Hip-Hop
04. A Few Words From B.U.K.A.
05. 3 Years Ago
06. Ill Technique
07. ...More Words From B.U.K.A.
08. The Pro's
09. It's Working
10. The Place to Be
11. If Hip-Hop Was a Crime
12. Settle the Score
13. Ayanna Monet
14. Due Process
15. X-Tinction
16. Politix
17. Nkiru Bookstore
18. Lone Catalysts
19. Part of the Game
20. Thin As Paper
21. Paper Chase

More from the Lone Catalysts coming soon...

Deezil Money - Thorough Endeavor (1998)

Released in 1998, Deezil Money's album Thorough Endeavor was one of my first experiences listening to Pittsburgh hip-hop. "Soldier of Fortune" is still one of my favorite Pittsburgh cuts ever.

01. Black Ice

02. Intro (Now or Never)
03. My Word
04. Been So Long
05. Jus da King & Money
06. Soldier of Fortune

07. What da Deal?
08. All My Eyes Can See

09. Generations
10. One in a Million
11. Run It!
12. Use' to Be
13. So Close

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shadez of Brooklyn - When the Sun Goes Down (Compilation)

After many requests, here is a compilation I made featuring most, if not all, of the work done by the Shadez of Brooklyn. The crew that consists of Chocolate Tye, Tee Black, Rev. Al, and Rambo gained some recognition in the mid 90's through Evil Dee's radio show. The group was closely affiliated with Da Beatminerz and much of their work features production from them.

The groups first 12", "Change" was released in 1996. The others, "Calm Unda Pressure" and "How It's Done" came out in 1998. They were all released on Pandemonium Wreckords and are all relatively hard to find for a decent price. Other tracks on this compilation came from mixtapes or other artists' releases. The "Tony Touch Freestyle" comes from Tony's legendary 55 MC Cypher II Tape, while "Everyday Life" was released on Evil Dee's One mixtape series.

You won't find a more complete mix of S.O.B.'z material anywhere else.

Shadez of Brooklyn - When the Sun Goes Down
01. Change
02. When It Rains It Pours (Survival Warz)
03. Calm Unda Pressure
04. Diamond Mine
05. How It's Done
06. Paradise
07. Wanted Men
08. Hell Yeah, Oh Yeah
09. Drama
10. Tony Touch Freestyle
11. One Life
12. NY
13. Everyday Life
14. War & Position
15. Return of the Mack (Da Beatminerz Remix)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Smoked Out Productions aka Missin' Linx - Puzzle Pieces (Compilation)

Continuing on, I finally bring to you the compilation of Smoked Out Productions (later known as Missin' Linx), which includes Black Attack, Problemz, and features Al' Tariq. This compilation was made to highlight the careers of Black and Problemz. A majority of the tracks on Puzzle Pieces were released between 1995 and 2000.

Black Attack (aka Sean Black) and Problemz were closely affiliated with The Beatnuts and DJ Honda. In 1995, "Neva B4," which was an alternate version of the 12" release "Styles," appeared on Echo Unltd. Underground Airplay Volume IV. This alternate version was a solo track performed by Problemz. Problemz also earned a spot on the Lyricist Lounge compilation with his insightful track "Society." In 1997, Black Attack's "My Crown" appeared on Rawkus Records' Soundbombing compilation. Black's "Verbal Attack" made its way on to DJ Babu's World Famous Beat Junkies Vol. 1 later that year.

The third member of the crew, Al' Tariq, was the most recognized of the members based on his 1996 solo release, God Connections. The album featured Black and Problemz on numerous tracks, as well as heavy production from The Beatnuts and No I.D.

Missing from Puzzle Pieces is the Missin' Linx crew's six-track EP, Exhibit A. Released in 2000, the album was laced with production from Necro, The Alchemist, and V.I.C., along with a feature from Freddie Foxxx on "Family Ties." Although shamefully short in length, the EP has remained a smooth listen from start to finish and is available at most online music stores.

In 2007, Al' Tariq, Problemz, and Psycho Les joined together as Big City to release The City Never Sleeps on Nature Sounds. To preview the album you can check their MySpace here:

Like the title of their 1998 single, Black Attack has been M.I.A. over the past year or two. However, Problemz has continued to work harder than ever, and with the helping hand of DJ Honda, he recently released his debut LP, All Killa No Filla. The album is available on iTunes and has already been receiving rave reviews.

Check out Problemz and cop his new album All Killa No Filla here:

S.O.P. aka Missin' Linx - Puzzle Pieces

01. Styles
02. Phases
03. My Crown
04. Sametime
05. Kill the Noize
06. Back Up Kid (That's What You Get)
07. Correct Technique
08. Fuk Dat
09. Blaze It Up
10. Aw Yeah
11. Holdin' It Down
12. Verbal Attack
13. Say What
14. Can't Be Stop
15. Rep Da R.I.
16. 5 Seconds
17. Around the Clock
18. Bok Bok
19. Who U Be

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Troubleneck Brothers - Released (Compilation)

So I got a lot of good feedback from the Saukrates compilation, therefore I plan on continuing to up similar compilations.

Today I bring you The Troubleneck Brothers. The TNB crew were one of the first to develop that raw street hip-hop sound that we all love to hear. In 1992 they released their first and only LP, Fuck All Ya'll. Their first single, Troubleneck Wreck / Gusto, was released in 1993 on StepSun Music. This 12" showcased a completely different version of the track "Troubleneck Wreck" from the one included on their LP. A year later the crew released the Back to the Hip-Hop / Pure 12" which included multiple mixes of the title track "Back to the Hip-Hop." Also in 1994, the crew pushed their Release Me EP, which was a four-track mix released on vinyl and cassette. A year later, after the crew parted ways with StepSun Music, they released the Maintain 12" under the alias 36Zero on 862 Records. This would be the group's final release, and although they only had a short run, there is no doubt that they put their imprint on the underground scene.

The compilation I bring to you, Released, includes all of the material that the TNB released during this run. A bonus disc was added with different mixes, edits, instrumentals, and acappellas. The group's material is relatively hard to find so don't miss out on any opportunity to purchase any hard copies you come accross.

Troubleneck Brothers - Released

01. Troubleneck Wreck
02. Open Up the Gates
03. Suck My Dick
04. Fuck All Ya'll
05. Hoods Up Caps Down
06. Poets at War
07. Rockin In Harmony
08. Represent (Trouble Version)
09. Troubleneck Wreck (12" Version)
10. Gusto
11. Back to the Hip-Hop
12. Pure
13. Release Me
14. 85 Live
15. But I'm a Lax
16. 862
17. Maintain
18. Lyrical Jasun
19. Irocs


01. Live From Troubleneck Projects
02. Represent (Villain Version)
03. Back to the Hip-Hop (Tony T. Green Remix)
04. Back to the Hip-Hop (Classic Mix)
05. Back to the Hip-Hop (Old School Mix)
06. Back to the Hip-Hop (Album Radio Edit)
07. Back to the Hip-Hop (Instrumental)
08. Back to the Hip-Hop (Acappella)
09. Pure (Instrumental)
10. Pure (Acappella)
11. Maintain (Instrumental)
12. Outro

Comments are appreciated, Smoked Out Productions/Missin' Linx (Black Attack & Problemz) and Gauge the Mental Murderah compilations coming soon!! Feel free to make requests and I'll see what I can do.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saukrates - Caught Up In Canada (12" Compilation)

For those that are familiar with Saukrates, you know what it is. Those that don't, you have been missing out on one of the illest MC's of the '90s. Coming out of Toronto, Canada, Saukrates never really had the push needed for mainstream success, but on the underground scene he was steadily releasing hit after hit since '94. Many of these singles are nearly impossible to find in these days and times, but his 1996 release, Brick House EP, is still available at record shops online. He also released The Underground Tapes Pt. 1 & 2 in 1999, which included some random unreleased material.

With that being said, I gathered all of his releases prior to those on The Underground Tapes and compiled them into one incredible album that showcases Saukrates in what I believe to be his prime. No instrumentals, acapellas, or edits (unless they are the only version available) are included in this mix. All of the remixes included in the mix are official remixes, many of which were released as b-sides to the original track. Check below for the tracklist, leave comments, and support the artist!

Check out new material from Saukrates here:

Caught Up In Canada
01. Still Caught Up
02. Skillz ta Thrill
03. Father Time
04. Hate Runs Deep
05. Get Touched
06. Kalifornia
07. Play Dis
08. Rollin'
09. P's and Q's
10. Action
11. Still Caught Up (Remix)
12. Father Time (Remix)
13. Hate Runs Deep (Remix)
14. Play Dis (Remix)
15. Rollin' (Remix)
16. Action (Remix)
17. Keep It Movin' (Remix)

If the tracks show up out of order, then arrange them by track number.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Armstead Brown - Fieldwork

J. Armstead Brown's debut album, Fieldwork, from 2007. Brown handles the majority of the production and spits on one track, it features many of Pittsburgh's finest MC's as well as some dope New York veterans (Subcon, The Dugout). Brown, along with host/MC Thelonious Stretch, producer/sound designer Shade Cobain, and DJ Huggy, are the creators of Rhyme Calisthenics. Rhyme Cal is a highly regarded MC Competition that showcases and develops local MC's. For those in the Pittsburgh area, you can see Armstead Brown and Shade Cobain as part of the live band, Hambone Jenkins, as well as many of Pittsburgh's other great artists at the Shadow Lounge every Tuesday for the Human Nature Open Mic, hosted by Yah Lioness.

1. One Hitter Quitter feat. The Dugout
2. Fire
3. Fieldwork feat. Subconscious
4. Boroughs feat. Thelonius Stretch
5. The Pushback feat. Staff Ace
6. Get Over feat. Mercury, Cavalier, Thelonius Stretch, Gene Jive (vocals), Sean Jones (trumpet), DJ Huggy (bass), & Daru Jones (drums)
7. Get Down feat. SMI, Thelonius Stretch, BZE, & Krukud
8. Oh! feat. Thelonius Stretch, Big Snook, & Gene Jive
9. Interlude (prod. by Kai Roberts)
10. Free Love feat. Mercury & Starpower
11. Party Lo feat. Big Snook
12. The Buzz
13. Something Wicked feat. Yah Lioness
14. Need I Say More? feat. Prophecy
15. Hardcore Headz feat. DJ Supa C of Formula 412
16. Kangaroos (produced and performed by Shade Cobain)
17. Revolution feat. Thelonius Stretch & Gene Jive (prod. by Shade Cobain)

Check him out here:
Listen to the album and cop it here:

Strict Flow - Without Further Ado

Strict Flow's debut album, Without Further Ado, released in 2003. Strict Flow consists of MC's Masai Turner and Sied. Masai is now down with Formula 412, whose album I will post soon, and Sied now goes by Pittsburgh Slim. Production is by Chad and E. Dan. The duo now owns ID Labs, which is one of the premier recording studios in Pittsburgh. E. Dan is also one of the illest producers around the way, both him and Chad played a major part in the jump-off of Wiz Khalifa. Back in the late '90s-early 2000s Strict Flow were regarded as the dopest crew in the Burgh, their first single People On Lock/Radio is still one of my favorite 12s I own. The album is relatively easy to find cheap on Amazon, eBay, or Discogs.

1. Ur Not Ready
2. Move!
3. 4-1-Too Much
4. Genuine Article feat. J-Sands
5. Watch Out
6. Deja Vu (This Song About Some Girl) feat. Nikki Jean
7. As Good as It Gets Feat. Invincible
8. Who Else?
9. Russian Roulette
10. PA's Finest, Pt. 1 feat. Chops
11. Don't Stop feat. SMI
12. Outflow
13. Authentic (Bonus Track)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Maestro Fresh-Wes

I remember in '98, when I was 11 or 12 years old, I went up to Toronto for vacation during some festival where I was exposed to Maestro Fresh-Wes. At this point I had minimal knowledge of hip-hop music, let alone any knowledge of the legendary Maestro Fresh-Wes.

So I went in to one of the hip-hop shops up there and asked who "the man" was in Canada. I was given the new Maestro album, which at that time was Built to Last. "Stick to Your Vision" was my shit. I remember
listening to that track like 20 times straight after I copped the album.

The next summer I went up there again, in dire need of some new Maestro...nothing. I left T.Dot that year with Choclair's Ice Cold. A dope album indeed, but I was still curious about some new Maestro material.

In spring of '01 I made it back up to the city. At this point I was 14, eager to find out what the new hype was, and assuming that Maestro was out of the picture. Not so fast, going through the store I came across Maestro's album Ever Since. Needless to say, the album stayed in my CD player for the entire trip.

Today, I chose to share some of his more obscure releases.

The Black Tie Affair (1991)

Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!! (1994)
1 I'm Drinkin' Milk Now
2 Check My Vernacular
3 Pray To Da East (ft. Percee P)
4 Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn
5 Mic Mechanism
6 Makin' Records
7 Fine Tune Da Mic (ft. Showbiz)
8 Brown Sugar
9 How Many Styles
10 Dat's My Nigga!!
11 Higher Level
12 Bring It On (Showbiz Remix)
13 Make It For The Ruff
14 Dat's My Nigga!! (Instrumental)

Death Ministry b/w Pushin' Wiggz Back (1996)

You can get Built to Last (1998) and Ever Since (2000) on Amazon for less than $2 now, so buy them! It's worth it, I promise.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Emanon (Aloe Blacc & Exile)

Emanon (no namE) consists of emcee/producer Aloe Blacc and producer/emcee Eksile (now Exile). The west coast duo's first release, Imaginary Friends, was originally released in 1996 and distributed independently. According to discogs, it was a dual-tape set, with the first being a mix of Exile's blends and instrumentals (sadly I don't have this, if anyone does feel free to post it because I'd really like to hear it).

After releasing a few 12" singles, the group released their Acid Nine EP in 1999. Shortly after came their Dawn's Second Coming album/mix, which like their first release, came with both an Emanon tape and an Exile mix tape.

With numerous 12" singles and a few mix albums now under their belt, Emanon would be exposed to the underground in the new millenium. Ill Boogie Records, home of other hip-hop artists like Mykill Myers, Styles of Beyond, DemiGodz, and more, signed the group and released their first EP, Anon & On, in 2002.

Aloe Blacc released a self-titled solo EP in 2003. Not that it needed to be proven at this point, but the EP showed that Blacc was capable of doing an album on his own.

However, it would not be long before the duo got back in the studio. Now signed to the Shaman Work label, the group returned in 2004 with their 12" single, "Count You Blessings" b/w "The Reasons." This 12" became the lead single for their 2005 release, The Waiting Room. Album reviews credited both artists' respective skills and their undeniably dope chemistry that complemented one another.

In 2006, both artists would invade the industry as solo artists. Stones Throw Records promoted Aloe Blacc with numerous 12" singles that would lead up to his album, Shine Through. While Blacc had continued to grow as an emcee, this album displayed his growth as a producer. Blacc produced the entire album aside from two tracks done by fellow Stones Throwers, Madlib and Oh No. The multi-talented artist did not disappoint.

Shortly after, Exile completed his album, Dirty Science, released on Sound In Color in 2006. With some of his best production to date, the album featured collaborations with Slum Village, Kardinal Offishall, Oh No, and more. Dirty Science also introduced West Coast emcee Blu. Exile's sample-heavy production paved a perfect path for Blu's laid-back, real-life, intelligent flows. The chemistry between the two artists led to arguably the best hip-hop album of the decade, Below the Heavens: In Hell Happy With Your New Imaginary Friend...

I was actually lucky enough to see Blu & Exile together at the Shadow Lounge (aka the place to be in the 'Burgh, fuck what ya heard). One of the illest shows I've ever seen! The power went out shortly after the opening acts were done (Word.), Exile had just came in and began setting up his hardware. Some people left, but at very least 50 real heads stayed and chilled outside. After it seemed like the power as gonna be out for a while, they set-up an amp outside that was running off a car battery (Word.). So Exile started pumping some beats through his car into the amp while Blu spit mic-less outside the lounge. And as if shit couldn't get any more real, Blu called out for the beat-boxers and Gene Jive, Knowledge Build, and I think one other dude started beatboxing while Blu spit (Word.). Yo, the shit was so fucking hype. About 15 minutes into it the power came back on in the lounge and everybody rolled back inside. The whole thing took me back, I wanted it to stay outside on the real!

Emanon - Imaginary Friends
1. Assume Not
2. Emanon (ft. Dru)
3. Whats N A Name (Prod. by Cheapshot)
4. Everylittlething
5. Interlude
6. Deadly Venom
7. The Circle
8. Hideout (ft. Acapella)
9. AmeriKKKan Dreams
10. Interlude
11. Dream Sequence
12. Situations (ft. Takbir, Prod. by Cheapshot)
13. Me vs $ (Prod. by Cheapshot)
14. Cheating

Matter of fact, if anyone knows where I can get the Acid Nine EP or Dawn's Second Coming, your help would be appreciated. I've never heard em so I'll take em in any form. I'll even buy the tapes if I have to.