Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sun Risers - Real Off The Block - 1995

EP - 1995 - Sound Records Inc. 

In the mid 90's, the indie Hip-Hop scene from the East coast was very prolific and was overflowed by many groups who came out from nowhere and released their 12" (their only one for most of them) on small indie labels. It was hard to compete with NYC but Philly had one of the best indie hip-hop scene at that time as well as Boston, Chicago or Baltimore. 

In 1995, a Philly based group called Sun Risers was formed, comprised of Tha Maker OBV, Lord Raashid and Grand Slicer Kool Tee. Lord Raa and Grand were from Southwest Philly, OBV was from South Philly.
OBV : "Grand and I were former DJs then started making beats together and Raa started writing rhymes. I dabbled lyrically a little when one day Raa and I came up with the name Sun Risers and that's how the group came together.

The three members were totally unknown and dropped an excellent EP made of pure underground ingredients, which became a real classic nowadays. The Wax is composed of 6 tracks produced by Rick Young, Sulaiman (who also worked on Digable Planets 2nd album "Blowout Comb") and Vincent Moore :

A1 - Real Off The Block (Remix)
A2 - Real Off The Block (Full Mix)
A3 - Street Song
B1 - Life In The City (Remix)
B2 - Life In The City (Full Mix)
B3 - Represent

A Tape release also exists and both were dropped on Rick Young's label named Sound Records Inc.
OBV : "Rick Young was an outstanding producer who helped us to book shows, radio appearances and gave us studio time."

After "Real Off The Block", no more news from them...

OBV : "Well we were all together for a while when we added 2 more emcees to the group. After that it became degrees of separation... money conflicts, no rehearsals, times just got bad so after the second release that was it.... "  
Yes you read it correctly !!!!  He's talking about a second release for sure. With the 2 new members, Roc DaMonsta and DJ E DoDat, they released an underground EP called "Up against the U.S" around 1997-1998 ... but I've never seen it anywhere and good luck to find it ! 

Mad Props to OBV a.k.a Unklecuzin'

Album Review : Busta Rhymes - The Coming - 1996

LP - 1996 - Elektra  

From The Source - May 1996 - Scan courtesy of Frederic Thecle 

Documentary : 20YrsLtr : Doe or Die (Full AZ Documentary)

"AZ; alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, Raekwon and more, recount the golden era of hip-hop with AZ's classic album "Doe or Die" as the focal point, 20 years after its release. Plus, a look into the making of "Doe or Die II". Narrated by Rakim." - BetNetworks

Friday, April 27, 2018

DSA a.k.a Dark Skinned Assassin !

Back in 1995 when a Staten Island based emcee with a deep potential, known under the name of Dark Skinned Assassin dropped his first 12-Inches "Lock Shit Down" on 4 Doe Loe Records, a record label managed by himself and Steve Dunn. 
The 12" was produced by RNS, DJ ILL and Vic Flowers and was composed of three tracks "Lock Shit Down / The Horror / Gotta Get The Creme". The first time I've heard these songs was on a mixtape I bought in London in '95, from one of these record stores based in Soho. No doubt I bought the wax after that...

12" - 1995 - 4 Doe Loe Records 

DSA : "I was born in Harlem, things got crazy for my mom and us so we moved to S.E. Wash.,DC, afterwards, to N.C. , but I moved back to NYC, to live with my dad, on Staten Island, until we had a few altercations with one another. I started hustling and carrying, making street moves, soon after a couple close comrades brought me to Stapleton Houses where I met RNS and RZA.
   My mentality back in the days was seek out, destroy, conquer.  So one night somebody was having a house party on Staten Island and a few of the favored, neighborhood well known Emcees were there, then out of no where one of  my comrades informed me that some dude was baiting me to get the microphone after Brown Hornet, (guess they wanted to compare my skills to the rest), so I spit over a break beat, "shut shit down", dropped the mic and started to walk away, all of a sudden the whole party went silent for a couple of seconds, then started trippin’!! Screams, cheers and whistles followed, (somebody even let go a few shots), shit was epic. I returned to Stapleton few days after, RNS expressed an interest in recording with me. I was charged ! Heard about RNS as a producer, so the energy was mutual. As we were recording, that same day RZA and a couple dudes walked in the lab, (at the time RNS studio was setup at the apartment in the Pees), RZA listened, then commented, replying, "sound dope, the god got his own style". GP and Wu-Tang was definitely inspirational, and genuine when we interacted. Living the lifestyle, gangsta rap was easy, but there was much more going on in my mind, so I traveled through out NYC to unleash the inner tension. DJ ILL had a studio in Queens at the time, I was living in Brooklyn. I was going from BK, to SI, to Queens to Manhattan to record, then to the Bronx to hustle and part time job back in Manhattan. DJ ILL was putting in crazy hours. He had a group of his on called X-tra Pleza, plus the yg’s (ENY) Pressure and L Murda, (Uncle Murda to most), Mic Handz, Zodiac and Zig Zag, a few others and myself. We all would collab with each other, then we’d record individual songs. The studio in Queens was a family vibe. I walked in and heard the track to "Lock Shit Down" and instantly wanted to spit to it ! ILL said "let me hear what you wrote"... Kicked the verse then we recorded the whole song that day. Soon after met Victor Flowers, (he produced "The Horror" and "Gotta Get the Creme"), and we naturally clicked artistically."

In 1996, he featured on the song "G.P Connection" released by Pop The Brown Hornet. The track is on the B-side of the classic 12" "Black on Black Crime" released by the GP Wu member on Smoke Records.

He dropped at the end of the same year his new 12" single "Unholy / Uncontrollable" produced by RNS and released on Black Dog Entertainment. This Record Label was comprised of Steve Dunn, his brother Walter and DSA. 

12" - 1996 - Black Dog Ent.  

"Unholy" is the main single of the record. A video of the song exists but was never released and the song wasn't as successful as "Lock Shit Down" but it was played many times by Stretch & Bobbito that year. By the way, DSA was invited on WKCR with Gauge the Mental Murderah on October 17, 1996 for the promo of his 12". Here are their freestyles and interviews.

Then he disappeared due to law problems without dropping an album...

DSA: "I was blessed to be alive and given a chance to release some music, do minimal promoting, meet and network with a few people, while being on trial for a couple of felonies, 1 charge was dropped based on a technicality, the other was dismissed in trial, after my attorneys filed a Clayton motion, but the Manhattan D.A. was not pleased so filed a motion of appeal and I was convicted in appellate court. Leaving behind 5 potential major deals on the table, family and friends, my freedom, my lady and 1year old son, whom I loved very much. Thus, no album after EP... I was angry at myself and the world because I felt I let down everyone who was riding with me. I fucked up. Re-entering society after my prison bid, I decided, primarily, the music industry wasn’t as important as being there for the child that never got to know his dad, secondly the shift in quality and politics had began to pollute the rawness of the artform so I stayed out of the grind and moved my new family out of state, (still and all, once and artist always an artist). A year or two later, found myself traveling 700 miles just to record in New York when requested to do so."

A strange EP was released circa '96 with three unreleased tracks produced by RNS : "Life of a Shorty" feat No Smiles aka Tommy Whispers, "Untitled Raw Shit" and "Smoke In Ya Face", but this is an unofficial release...

DSA : "I don’t know who released the 'Down Low Wreckege E.P.', I was incarcerated at that time..."

EP - 1996 - Not On Label 

Mad Props to Michael "Fuji" Love 

Video : Parallax - The Saga Continues - 2018

New single video "The Saga Continues" dropped by Parallax and produced by Wickstarr & Parallax. Video directed by Aboveground. LP coming soon ...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Album Review : Fat Joe ‎- Jealous One's Envy - 1995

LP - 1995 - Relativity 

From The Source - November 1995 - Scan courtesy of Frederic Thecle 

The Legion - 1980 Something / Heard We Quit 7" - 2018

7" - 2018 - Ill Adrenaline Records   

A1 - 1980 Something
B1 - Heard We quit feat Droopy Dog

"The Legion (Molecules, Chucky Smash & Cee-Low) is back with some more Bronx rawness for your ears! Following the success of their "Lost Tapes" album from 2014, the re-release of the underground classic "Theme + Echo = Krill" LP, plus the Molecules & Showbiz "A Bronx Tale" EP from last year, the D.I.T.C. affiliates continue to keep the buzz going surrounding their upcoming full-length album entitled "Three The Bronx Way". "1980 Something" and "Heard We Quit" are two certified bangers recorded at the infamous D.I.T.C. Studios." Ill Adrenaline Records

Available on Black Vinyl and Opaque Red Vinyl (100 copies only) .

Orders :
- Black Vinyl : FatBeats / HHV / Juno
- Opaque Red Vinyl : HHV

Video : Jamil Honesty - 24 - 2018

"Jamil Honesty, Emcee/producer born in Staten Island Ny later moved to Baltimore Md as a teen inspired by his fellow natives The Wu-tang Clan he started his quest as an emcee in the early 90s . Working with other producers also gave him the inspiration become a producer forming his own production company Macabeats Entertainment LLC he has worked with platinum artists like Doitall from lotug and Styles p of the Lox" - Bandcamp

Cuts by Dj Grazzhoppa and Production by JR Swiftz.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dead Poetz Society - Klockuz / Lick a Shot - 1996

In 1996, a dope 12" was released by a NYC group called the Dead Poetz Society. This group started in the mid 90s and was originally composed of 7Storm8 a.k.a Storm, GrymmTahborn Ba-MikBeef Mizer and Las Revinu (universal spelt backwards). They were all from Crown Heights except Las revinu who was from Sunset Park. 7Storm8 the founder member of the group was born in Barbados and raised in Bedstuy but moved to Crown Heights where he met the rest of the group. In the late 1995 two other members were introduced to the group. Drama Lord from Harlem and Red Devil from East New York were the last two pieces of the puzzle. 

The 12" came out on Dreamstate Entertainment / Challys Records, both labels managed by Storm, Suave and Face.  
On the first side of the wax, you can listen to the tracks "Klockuz" featuring 7storm8, Grymm, Tahborn Ba-Mik and "Lick a Shot" featuring Beef Mizer, Drama Lord, Las Revinu and Red Devil,  both tracks produced by 7Storm8. 

"Lick a shot" was well received by the indie hip-hop scene when it came out and the single ended up on many mixtapes like the Crooklyn Cuts Volume III mixed by the legendary Dj Premier. 
For your personal knowledge, "Lick a Shot" contains a sample of "Sensuality (Part 1 & 2)" from the Isley Brothers's album "The Heat Is On" released in 1975.
On the flip side "Lick a Shot" is available in its remix version, a version produced by Slomo the Ghetto Jedi for Demo Ya Dome Productions.

Mad Props to  Joel M Jones Sr. and Kevin Starks

Nujericans - A La Mala - 2018

Brand new project dropped by Sol Zalez & Joey Dynomite a.k.a Nujericans. The album is composed of 15 tracks produced by Joey Dynomite, AURC, A $harp, Sol Zalez, Tab, Kic, Solo for Dolo, DJ BrownBum, Shawn Luv, Saheeb BadHealth and featuring artists like The Artifacts, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Nalm Myerz and Twilight. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Nonce - 1990 2xLP - 2018

2xLP - 2018 - Family Groove RecordsFatbeats  

"The discovery and release of The Nonce ‘1990’ is an important milestone recorded during the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. Recognized as innovators of the LA Hip-Hop Underground, The Nonce was formed by two seventeen year olds; Nouka Basetype aka Sach and the late Yusef “Afloat” Mohammed. As The Nonce, the duo was part of the Project Blowed collective.

Just after High School graduation in 1990, the young duo was given the chance to go into a professional studio. Their dreams of a record deal were soon dashed after the production company raised objections to their artistic choices. Unwilling to meet the demands, The Nonce walked away from the project, leaving behind the Masters of the very tracks that make up The Nonce ‘1990’.

Daniel Borine, of the independent Family Groove label, discovered the lost material for this album in 2017. Borine rescued the Master tapes from the studio where they were first recorded and subsequently misplaced, (but not forgotten), since 1990. Sach had assumed the tapes were destroyed or thrown in the dumpster bin.

These 14 rare tracks by The Nonce, predate their critically acclaimed 1993 single, Mix Tapes and the classic World Ultimate from 1995. Borine returned the found tapes to Sach with the idea to mix multitracks from the 2” tape master tapes and issue the album. The goal was to preserve the original sound from the era in which it was created. For that, they turned to producer and recording engineer, Kamal Humphrey, of Flying Carpet Studios in Redondo Beach. Humphrey mixed the tracks on the SSL console that had belonged to legendary 1980’s Producer, Maurice Starr and to Atlanta’s LaFace label of Outkast, TLC and Usher fame before reaching Humphrey’s Flying Carpet Studios.
What was once thought to be lost forever is now preserved for generations." - Fatbeats

The Nonce 1990 available for Pre-Orders on LP, Cassette Tape and CD .

Release Date : April 27th 2018

Lewis Parker - When It Rains It Pours EP - 2018

A1 - When It Rains It Pours ft. Verbz (vocal) 
A2 - When It Rains It Pours (instrumental) 
A3 - When It Rains It Pours (beat underscore) 
A4 - When It Rains It Pours (drums only) 
A5 - When It Rains It Pours (acapella)
B1 - Real Life Real Drama (vocal) 
B2 - Real Life Real Drama (instrumental) 
B3 - Time To Excel Remix (vocal) 
B4 - Time To Excel Remix (instrumental)

"It's been a while since we've heard any new material from Lewis. He's been busy in the studio working on his upcoming full length. “When It Rains It Pours” EP is a warm up EP and marks his 20th release with KU. 

Lewis’s sound is hard to compare to another but It wouldn’t be out of place to mention Lewis’s name in the same sentence as producers like DJ Premier, Pete Rock & The Beatminerz. He is forever pushing his sonics to the next level and creating his own sound, taking heavy influence from the “Golden Era” but putting his own musical stamp on it. Over the years he’s become a very sophisticated engineer and has an impressive studio full of old analog equipment, SP-1200’s (of course), bass guitars and more. As usual this entire record has been mixed and mastered by Lewis himself. 

The cover takes it’s influence from classic jazz LP’s (Blue Note etc) and makes use of some great photos taken by Elliot Baxter on a recent shoot at Lewis’s London studio and around the city. The sleeve itself is designed by Bee Graphics." - KingUnderground Records

Available on clear blue vinyl (150 copies) and traditional black vinyl.
Release Date : May 25th 2018


Video : RAWZ - Seeds In The Dirt - 2018

"Rawz first release of 2018 sees him team up with Inner Peace Records label mate and resident Producer/DJ Palmer Eldritch.  'Seeds In The Dirt' features a hypnotic melody and undeniably head bouncing bass line, brought together by Rawz charismatic and intelligent flow."  - Inner Peace Records

Contact : Rawz  

Random Flyers :

Scan courtesy of El Saving Squirrel

Scan courtesy of phizyx

B Flatt - Back To Basics 2xLP - 2018

2xLP - 2018 - Back2DaSource Records 

The album "Back To Basics" released by the Bay Area artist named B-Flatt in 1996 will be out this summer for the first time on vinyl with the help of the dope Belgium Record Label 'Back2DaSource Records'.
More info coming soon ... stay tuned Fellas !

Common - Charms Alarm (Unreleased Version) / U.A.C. Free Style

7" - 2018 - Black Pegasus Music

"Let's take it back 25 years ago on Chicago's south east side on 87th street where you have up and coming M.C. Common Sense recording his debut album with future hip hop music production legends Twilight Tone and No I.D.

'Can I Borrow A Dollar' the debut album heralded a new hardcore jazz sound with non orthodox lyrical imagery and officially putting Chicago on the rap music map! But just like most albums some songs make the final cut while others disappear into obscurity never to be heard.
Luckily Marc Davis, child hood friend of Common Sense now known as Common preserved one of the only recordings of the original Charms Alarm and the U.A.C. Free Style.

Now for the first time these holy Grail songs are debuting on Black Pegasus Records on a super limited edition colored 7inch and part of the newly formed Seven Sense Series.  The new series will be unreleased demos from Common and his original music family and spear headed by Marc Davis and original U.A.C. member David "Moe" Grant." - Black Pegasus Music


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Nomadic - The Journey - 2018

CD - 2018 - Missing Children 

New project released by the young Miami based emcee Nomadic on CD formatfeaturing artists like Akeem, Self The Bluest Eye, Afta, Stephanie Soul and productions done by ONE.44, Chief Rock, Shepard, 8Cee, Neckclippa, Veks, and BBZ Darney.

500 copies only. 

Shipping Date : May 10th 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Slomo - Ghetto Jedi - 1996

12" - 1996 - Demo Ya Dome 

 Slomo a.k.a the Ghetto Jedi released his first and only 12" project on his own Production Studio called 'Demo Ya Dome' in 1996.
This underground emcee is originally from Brownsville Brooklyn and he started rapping during the late 80s and early 90s with people from The Lyricist Lounge and mostly the underground hip hop scene at that time. This wax is composed of four tracks : "Ghetto Jedi", "Hip Hop Can't Stop", "I Represent Remix Pt. 1" and "I Represent Remix Pt. 2", all produced by the Brooklyn based producers 7Storm8 (member of the group Dead Poetz Society), and IshmaelThey all met at a dope underground spot in SoHo Manhattan called 'AKAs' where some of the biggest up-and-coming rappers and MCs used to go to perform at.
The vinyl is not really hard to find and is definitely something you should have in your records collection.

Props to Scott Randolph. Vinyl rip courtesy of 90's Hip-Hop Blog