Tuesday, 12 November 2013

New Madlib produced Roc Marciano

Roc Marciano has been a dope emcee for sometime now dropping dope vereses over some nice beats especially the Pete Rock one.  Well now he has managed to snag a dope Madlib beat for his upcoming mixtape The Pimpire Strikes back.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Long Live Southbank

As a teenager I spent many days skating at the Southbank; making friends, learning tricks, injuring myself and taking part in the wider community that skateboarding introduced me to.
My hope was that when my son was old enough he too would be able to do this. Unfortunately the short sighted owners of the Southbank plane to tear it up and replace it with commercial units and relocate the skating area to the under Hungerford bridge 120 metres further down the Thame. However what they continually fail to understand is that the Southbank is an organic evolution created by skaters that has been used for over 40 years. Please support the Long Live Southbank campaign.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

RIP Lou Reed

RIP to Lou Reed the man that influenced almost 50 years of Rock Music.  "One chord is fine," he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. "Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

DJ Harry Love's Homework volume 1: Birthday Beats

My man DJ Harry Love has been producing classic Hip-Hop joints for a number of years now featuring some of the UK's finest lyricists; Verb T, Ransom Badbonez and Jehst to name a few.  He has just released a new compilation via Bandcamp called Homeworkwork Volume 1:Birthday Beats.  It os ten tracks long and can be bought from Bandcamp for as little as £3 although listening to it will surely prompt you to make a more generous donation.  Its a dope little project with some interesting beats and rhymes.  Hopefully the first in a series of compilations from one of London's finest.  Pick that shit up y'all.

Monday, 21 October 2013

R.A. The Rugged Man ft. Brother Ali & Masta Ace - The Dangerous 3

This is latest video from R.A. the Rugged Man's dope album Legends never Die.  This is a nice joint with a piano loop and guest verses from Brother Ali and Masta Ace.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Madlib is the Rock Konducta

The first joint from Madlib's Rock Konducta LP due to drop in December.  The track is called Black Widows and the album will be released on Stones Throw as per usual.
Madlib will also be appearing across Europe in October and November

  • Oct 19: Madlib on Boilerroom.tv
  • Oct 29: Madlib in Budapest @ Traf√≥ House of Contemporary Arts
  • Oct 31: Madlib in Brussels @ Europalia Festival
  • Nov 2: Madlib in Manchester @ Warehouse Project
  • Nov 11: Madlib in Glasgow @ SWG3 Warehouse
Always worth seeing Madlib live if you can so I would recommend catching a show.  Unfortunately no London show.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Kool G Rap & Necro AKA The Godfathers - "Heart Attack" Official Video

After a long delay the Kool G Rap and Necro album, Once upon a Crime is almost ready to drop. This is the first video from what promises to be one of the best underground albums of the year.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Royce, Premier and Marc Hannibal Forever

Back in the 1997 when Eminem was first introduced to Royce da 5'9 Slim Shady decided this was a lyricist with who he could make some serious Hip-Hop and he was right.  He went onto work with Eminem on The Slim Shady LP but what most hardcore hip hop fans were waiting for was Royce to step to the mic on his own.  We heard him on the Grand Theft Auto III soundtrack on the track "I'm the King" which was produced by The Alchemist and it was a dope track.  A nice beat which allowed Royce to show off his skills.  However its impact was small when you compare it to his next single "Boom".  This 12" was released in 2000 and was destined to be a big club banger.  DJ Premier produced it and he did a superb job.  The track starts off with a clock ticking and then jumps into a fantastic strings sample before being joined by some signature Premier drums.  Royce kills it lyrically just check out this first verse
I'm the verbal-spit Smith Wesson
I unload with sick spit the quick wick could split a split-second
Bomb with a lit wick expression
You here a tick tick then you testin..
My saliva and spit can split thread into fiber and bits
So trust me, I'm as live as it gets
Everybody claimin they the best and head the throne
Since B.I.G is gone, if you ask me, they +Dead Wrong+
My flow is hotter than the flash from the click
When the hammer slaps the bullet on the ass from the clip
You wind up in a room full of my dawgs
I'll have you feeling like a fire hydrant in a room full of dogs
So come, come now, get pissed on, shitted on
Tough talk turns to, "Can't we all just get along"
You get blazed when the mic's off, shot when it's on
You probably ducked when they laid the gun shot in your song
My gun strrr-utters when it speaks to you
Utter shit to repeat to you
Nothing the clip, then give a speech to you
Me and Premier, we kind of the same in ways
We both speak with our hands in dangerous ways
Rap now is a circus of clowns
A whole lot of lip from cliques I'd probably rap circles around
I'm the next best to reach a peak formerly known

as the best keep secret, I guess that I just leaked it

Royce was hungry on this track eager to earn the hype he was receiving at the time and Premier provided him with the perfect beat to do so.  The beat itself is made up of four main samples (not including the drums); The Kay Gees "Anthology", Marc Hannibal's "Forever is a long time", The Lady ofRage' "Afro Puffs" and Gangstarr's own "You know my steez".  The last two were used for the vocal samples that Premier chops up throughout the track.  

The clock ticking sample at the beginning comes from a track by the Kay Gee's called "Anthology".  If you don't know the Kay Gees were the protege's of Kool and the Gang and featured Kevin Bell, younger brother to Kool & the Gang's Robert "Kool" Bell and Ronald Bell.  The track "Anthology" was from their 1974 album "Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan" which was released on Gang Records.  
However the main sample on "Boom" comes from a track by Marc Hannibal called "Forever".  Marc Hannibal, was an actor, singer and sportsman who sadly passed away in 2011.  Marc had a varied career which included playing and touring with theHarlem Globetrotters, he had appearances in a number of television series including Dragnet 1967Marcus Welby, M.D.Columbo, a number of Adam 12 episodes and in Mission ImpossibleMcCloudKojak.  He produced and starred in the Las Vegas variety show On the Strip. He also appeared in long feature films most notably in Airport and starred as a gladiator superhero in 1975 in the Italian cult film Superuomini, superdonne, superbotte (English title Three Fantastic Supermen).  

He sang throughout the 1960s and early 1970s in various venues. He recorded two albums: the first, self-titled Marc Hannibal for Philips label, the second entitled Night Times for First American independent label.  The sample Premier used was taken from his self titled debut album (with a lovely cover) and was called "Forever is a long time".  The tracks starts off with the lovely strings sample Premier used for Boom before going into a somewhat strange tale of his love of someone substantially younger than him.  Marc's voice is decent enough and the track would sit comfortably in the Easy Listening genre.  It is thoroughly cheesy but there is something I find quite endearing about the song and can't help but like it.  Check out the link below for "Boom" and the Samples behind it.  I have also included the original version which is slightly different, and RJD2 blend version and the 9th Wonder remix of it too.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cypress Hill have their Hand on the Pump with Gene and Junior Walker

I first heard of Cypress Hill when I saw the video for Phuncky Feel One on MTV Raps back in August 1991.  At the time you could only get MTV on Sky or Cable in the UK and although my family did not have it I would carry my video recorder the three miles to a friends house every week to record videos off MTV.  Up until that point I had never seen a Hip Hop video unless by some chance it had made it onto BBC's Top of the Pops or ITV's The Chart Show but these outlets were only for the mainstream Hip Hop acts or occasionally De La Soul or even PE.  When I saw the video for Phuncky Feel One I was struck by how diffeent and fresh this sound was.  the video was weird as hell but it really caught my attention.  I never managed to get the 12" but I certainly got the subsequent 12"s from that album.  The first of which was Hand on the Pump.
Hand on the Pump is a song that immediately grabs your attention by using a vocal sample chopped expertly by DJ Muggs before an off kilter guitar sample comes.  A nice bass line and drum break underline the track and as it progresses a short guitar riff comes in during the verses.  A perfect example of early DJ Muggs production from what in my opinion is their best album.  B Real's nasal voice drops a dope first verse.  The chorus is a joint affair with B-Real dropping the first part and Sen Dog coming in for the second part in his usual out of breath style.  Sen Dog drops the second verse although not sounding as out of breath as he usually does before B-Real comes in again for the final 16 bars.  A great all round track that can ignite a Golden Era Hip Hop crowd quickly.

The track itself is made up of three samples; Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl", Junior Walker and the All Star's "Shotgun" and  BDP's "Poetry".  Gene Chandler is a Grammy Hall of Fame inductee, a National Association of Television and Radio Announcers producer of the year award winner and a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer award winner.  He is also one of the few artists to have top 40 hit records during the Doo Wop, Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Disco eras.  He also worked with Curtis Mayfield and at one time was signed to Mayfield' Curtom label.  He self produced songs whilst on Curtom and appeared on recordings with Mayfield and also the Impressions.  He famously wore a monocle, cape, top hot and crowned himself the Duke of Earl.  The track used for Cypress Hill's Hand on the Pump was his second 7" and was released in 1962 shortly after adopted the Duke of Earl person.  It is also the title of the track which sold over a million copies and stayed at the top of the billboard chart for three weeks.  

The second sample that makes up Hand on the Pump is by Junior Walker and the All Stars.  The song is called "Shotgun" and is straight up funk.  The track was released in 1965 and was written and composed by Walker with production by Berry Gordy.  At the time the group were signed to Motown and included the Funk Brother's James Jamerson on bass and Benny Benjamin on drums.  It reached number 4 on the Billboard chart and number 1 on the R&B chart.  Its an amazingly funky song with a lovely sax, tight drums and a funky guitar riff throughout.  

The BDP Sample was taken from the classic "Poetry" which was featured on their 1987 classic "Criminal Minded".  The drums here appear to be the main part of the track that Muggs chose to recycle. 
It is easy to tell what Muggs used from Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" the striking sample at the start and the chorus.  For the rest of the track he chose samples from Junior Walker's "Shotgun", in particular the off key guitar riff and from BDP's "Poetry" he grabbed the drums.  These elements combined with the unmistakably individual voice of B-Real and Sen Dog make this a fantastic track.   The track was so popular that they even made a sequel on their sophomore album "Black Sunday" called "Hand on the Glock".  A good track and very similar to the original only minus the Gene Chandler sample.
Grab ":Handon on the Pump", the instrumental and samples by following this link as well as "Hand on the Glock"

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Method Man - Tical: The Alter Ego Remixes

One of the problems that comes with have an extensive iTunes collection is that you sometimes overlook or even forget you have entire albums and projects.  This collection of remixes is one such forgotten gem.  Back when Method Man first stepped out from under the Wu Tang Clan's shadow and dropped his solo effort he was very much in demand and all sorts of people were remixing his work.  Some of these were only released in Japan, were B sides on Wu Tang 12"s or on some obscure soundtrack.  This here collections collects up a lot but not all of the obscure tracks that were around at the time.
  1. I'll Be There For You (Razor Sharp Mix) (Feat. Mary J. Blige) is the first track on this compilation.  Originally this was the on the All I need remix 12" that dropped in 1994.  The 12" also featured the Puff Daddy remix and the Soul inside remix.  This however was in my opinion the strongest of the remixes featuring a nice saxophone loop and some crisp snares.
  2. Method Man Home-grown remix was originally on the B-Side of the Wu Tang Clan's self pressed first single Protect Ya Neck back in late 1993.  Its rough unpolished early version of the smash hit Method Man which was actually their second single.  The lyrics are slightly slightly altered and the piano just a bit more off key than the album version.  A nice take on a classic track.
  3. Judgement Day (Tricky Remix) was released in 1998 on the Judgement Day remixes 12" along with the Roni Size remix also on this compilation.  This is remixed by the English, Bristol born and bred musician / producer Tricky.  Known for his dark and layered style he brings a dark electric style to this remix with lovely percussion.  Its a fast beat and it suites Meth's style perfectly.
  4. Bring The Pain (Chemical Mix) (Feat. Booster) is brought to us by the legendary dance duo The Chemical Brothers.  They take the first single from Meth's solo debut and put a nice guitar sample and a faster drum break into it to create this remix.  This was on the double A Side 12" of Release Yo Delf Prodigy remix which also featured the Puff daddy All I need remix on the B Side.
  5. Judgement Day (Super Jupiter Remix) is the fifth track on this compilation and was originally on the Judgement Day remixes 12"  This is moving to close to house music and maybe even techno, I'm not familiar with either to really tell.  A fast paced beat which is quite repetitive, not my type of track at all.
  6. Judgement Day (Roni Size Remix) is another case completely.  A good seven minute Jungle/Drum N Bass epic as you would expect from the master Jungle producer that gave us Its a Jazz thing. Roni Size by this time had sampled Meth and a number of other Hip Hop emcees in his music for years and to finally be doing it officially gave the genre and the producer a stamp of approval it deserve.  Although not as fast as some of the Drum n Bass at that time it would clearly need to have the pitch sped up to fit into a Kool FM or Telepathy club night.
  7. Break Ups 2 Make Ups (DJ Krush Remix) (Feat. D'Angelo) is the seventh track on this compilation.  Before this compilation the only place I had herd it before was on a collection of DJ Krush remixes but I think it was also on a promo of the original that was only available in the Far East.  The original was a mellow joint but this here version is just lovely and features a nice organ sample that works so well.
  8. I'll Be There For You (Puff Daddy Mix) was one of the other tracks on the All I need remix 12" track and to be honest its not bad even though its Puffy.  the main reason its not that bad is because its very similar to the Rza Remix.
  9. Release Yo' Delf (Prodigy Mix Instrumental) starts off with a piano and some horns and goes onto create a noisy multi layered joint that is surprisingly nice for a Prodigy track.  However this is just the instrumental.
  10. Bring The Pain (Chemical Mix Instrumental) just like number four but without the lyrics.  So if you liked that you'll like this.
  11. Judgement Day (Roni Size Dub Remix) is pretty much like track number 6 but with more bass and echo basically.  I prefer it to the other version a lot more but then I always like my Drum N Bass with a lot of bass.  What it doesn't have is as much lyrics as the other version.  However the heavy bassline makes this more of a proper Drum N Bass track, which works.
  12. Release Yo' Delf (Prodigy Mix) is the same as track number 9 but with the lyrics or at least some of them.  Its not bad I'd prefer the original Release Yo Delf though.  The Lyrics do sound slightly out of sync with the beat at times.
  13. Break Ups 2 Make Ups (DJ Krush Remix Instrumental) if you liked the beat used for track number 7 then this is 4:48 of that.  It is a lovely beat with a nice organ sample and it just works well.  A nice mellow instrumental for ya.
  14. How High (Remix) (Feat. Redman) is produced by Erick Sermon and is a nice mellow expedition from the green eyed bandit.  This was on the B Side of the original How High 12" back in 1995.  It would have been better to include the How High Berry Clear Sprite remix which was only available as a clear vinyl promo from Sprite (see picture below). I have however included a copy of it in the download below with all the other tracks listed above.
    Get your dose of rare Ticallion Stallion remixes here.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Elvis Costello And The Roots – Wise Up Ghost Review

Although this does not strictly fit into the MO for my blog.  This is an important piece of music from two important artists.
 It is a rare thing when two things you love from two different worlds come together, it does not happen often and can lead to great anticipation.  Anticipation was what I felt when I first heard that Elvis Costello was going to be working on an album with Philadelphia’s The Roots crew.  Anticipation for what could be an amazing album from two acts who have the capability to produce incredible music but there is also the chance that this album could lead to something best forgotten.
Although as surprised as I was when I first heard of this collaboration it immediately made sense; Elvis certainly has a soulful sound within him and we know The Roots are no strangers to Rock and Roll (remember the Seed 2.0 from 2002 for example).  The album is released on September the 17th on the legendary Jazz label Blue Note.  The album is 12 tracks long with 3 bonus tracks floating out in the ether somewhere (not reviewed in this review).  Questlove and Elvis produced the album with help from longtime Roots producer Steven Mandel.  In early 2013 Questlove, told Billboard that the Roots’ gig as the house band for ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ had given them the opportunity to back up Costello a number of times. He described the relationship as “love at first sight.  From there they went on to spend a year recording the album mainly at the Feliz Habitat Studios in the dead of night and in plain sight at Costello’s
Hookery Crookery Studios.  Questlove went on to say ”We had 13 or 14 songs, but then we said, ‘Ooh! Wait a minute! Let’s replace four of these songs with four better songs! And now we have the tightest 12-14 song collection out of about 20 songs that we made.”  Whereas Elvis stuck to his usual mysterious description style when describing the album ”the shortest distance between here and there” and containing “both rhythm and what is read.”
The Roots have spent decades working out how to apply a Hip-Hop principle to a live band sound to which Elvis applies both his unique vocal style.  At times laying a soft serenade reminiscent of his classic ballad “She” and at other times bringing forth the strong vocal style seen on “Oliver’s Army”.  The sound overall brings forth memories of Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield and other Philadelphia Soul Funk legends.  The subject matter sits firmly in the scary section covering topics ranging from the abuse of power to the betrayal and the manipulation of desire.
The album kicks off with the Hip-Hop infused Funk joint “Walk us Uptown”.  it starts off with some electric sounds before a nice crisp snare comes onboard and then Elvis steps to the mic.  He sings with an impassioned voice as a nice bass joins the snare and later a sax comes onboard to complete the early 70′s funk checklist. Its an up tempo track where Elvis touches on social uprisings and oppression.  A strong start to the album.  If the first track woke you up then the second one, “Sugar won’t work” is a more peaceful relaxing track very reminiscent of the old Philadelphia Soul sound; a nice strings crescendo to begin with soon joined by drums and a lovely bass riff.  Then Elvis comes in telling us to “Lighten’ up and shake the crowd”.  His voice is soft, his accent coming through more.  A mid tempo song with depth and soul.
The third track is “Refused to be saved” a straight Philly funk track with a 70s cop show guitar riff alongside a lovely Hammond organ.  Elvis is using his rough voice and it works so well alongside the music to create an atmosphere of car chases and a young Gene Hackman beating up a drug dealer.  ”Wake me up” is the album’s fourth track which has a nice marching drum beat with that sweet Hammond organ again and a sultry saxophone.  There is also a nice guitar riff in the back to accompany Elvis’ vocals which find him asking there must be something better than this.  A well suited combination of music and lyrics combining to make a darker but enjoyable track.
“Tripwire” is the album’s fifth track and features a subdued opening made up of what sounds like a bell being rung underwater.  The other tracks were the soundtrack to the middle of the night, whilst the clubs and parties are still going strong “Tripwire” is the soundtrack to the  early hours as they sky turns from black to grey as the sun rises.  The beat is mellow and Elvis’ lyrics have depth and tell us that “Just because you don’t speak the language doesn’t mean that you can’t understand”.  At times his voice falters but it only adds to the atmosphere of the early hours created by the song.  His lyrics lead us to believe that someone is waiting for that knock on the door in the early morning with anxiety and trepidation.  Elvis performed a live acoustic version of this at the recent Apple product launch but it was performed as a much harder version and not as laid back as this but its this one I prefer.  At halfway point through the album we are given “Stick Out Your Tongue”.  The track starts off with a lovely drum beat and a seventies guitar riff before Elvis comes sounding like he is singing over an old telephone.  The beat is slower than some of the previous joints on the album but the funky guitar riffs and the organ stabs in the background keep it interesting.
“Come the Meantimes” starts of with Elvis asking “what are you going to say to me when you be betraying me?” over an upbeat snare drum and some nice strings.  The appears to be the first joint on the album to feature backing vocals and they add a nice extra level to the song along with a bell making sporadic appearances (DJ Premier would be proud).  Its a strong upbeat track that wears its Hip-Hop heritage on its sleeve and is better off for doing so.  The next track is “(She Might Be A) Grenade” which is a variation of “She’s Pulling Out The Pin” from Elvis’ earlier The Delivery Man album.  Its a slower paced track with orchestral strings and a strong drum break as the centrepiece.  elvis’ vocals are on point getting the message across of being at the mercy of this woman about to explode.
“Cinco Minutos Con Vos” is the album’s ninth track and start with a nice laid back drum break and some lovely horns.  Then we have more 70′s esque guitar riffs before Elvis comes in with a set of ltyics describing a somewhat stalking like scenario.  Towards the end of the track he is joined by La Marisoul, lead singer of Los Angeles band La Santa Cecilia who has a lovely voice.  This is followed up by the upbeat “Viceroy’s Row” which features a light hearted set of horns over a nice Hi Hat and drums.  Although the subject matter is in tune with the rest of the album it seems somewhat happier because of the summery feeling horns,  another good track.
The eleventh track is the title track and also the longest on the album coming in at over six minutes.  Its also the most cinematic of the all the tracks ons the album with orchestral strings, double bass and backing vocals providing a sound scape for Elvis’ dark lyrics.  As the song progresses a the strings become the dominating instrument of the track.  lyrically theres not a great deal going on but it doesn’t matter what is there suits the track perfectly.  A strong title track. The album end on”If I Could Believe” a wistful piano based track lamenting his lack of belief and what lead him to that feeling.  Elvis owns this track completely, this is all about his voice and lyrics.  With lines likes “If I could believe you were heaven sent” and “If I could believe two wrongs make a right” he conveys a feeling of sadness and loss.  the piano and drums give it an almost ballad like feel.  at around 50 seconds from the end of the track we are treated to a final slice of lovely strings.
I completely enjoyed this album far more than I hoped I would.  This could have easily been Elvis does Hip-Hop or another Roots crew Rock / Alternative outing.  It isn’t either of those things its is a strong soul and funk album with dark and honest lyrics.  It creates images in your mind of 70s revolution and dark crime thrillers likes the French Connection.  Last year The Roots made an album with Betty Wright that was tragically underrated but a great listen and completely crafted  to her style this is another example of this.  The collaboration is uniquely Elvis Costello but at the same this also has more of The Roots Hip-Hop heritage running through it.  I would have lovely a verse from Black Thought but perhaps that would not have fitted with the rest of the album.  A very strong album, worth checking out for fans of both groups but also for people who love that 70s Philadelphia soul and funk sound.  As Questlove said ”It’s a moody, brooding affair, cathartic rhythms and dissonant lullabies. I went stark and dark on the music, Elvis went HAM on some ole Ezra Pound shit.”

Monday, 9 September 2013

Kool G Rap and Necro to drop The Godfathers LP

One of my favourite underground NY producers from the late nineties/early noughties has joined forces the undisputed QB Legend Kool G Rap to drop an album later this year.  The album will be entirely produced by Necro and is set to drop on November the 19th.   Kool G Rap's raw street stories will work perfectly over Necro's grimy beats. Be sure to keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates and catch the album when it drops.
The Godfathers Facebook page.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Gangstarr's You Know My Steez Break Down

The year was 1997 and the Hip-Hop community had not heard from Gangstarr since their 1994 album "Hard to Earn".  An underground classic that had given us "Code of the Streets", "Mass appeal", "Suckas Need Bodyguards" and "Now You're Mine" amongst other underground classics.  The Hip-Hop landscape had changed considerably between 1994 and 1997; the independent scene had grown, there was a new breed of conscious Hip-Hop emcees, bankable acts were losing their direction and producers were now more important than ever.  It was rare to see one producer craft an entire album for one act instead acts were cherry picking beats from the best producer's beat tapes in the hope of recreating another "Illmatic".  However more often than not it lead to disjointed albums that did not flow.  Jumping from one producer to another.  So many albums at that time featured a Premier joint, a Pete Rock joint, a West Coast joint, a Mobb Deep joint, maybe a Large Pro joint, something from an indie producer and a joint with a sung hook for that all important radio play.
Into this Arena (no pun intended) steps G.U.R.U. and DJ Premier with a masterfully complete album produced and arranged by the duo.  Twenty tracks with no interludes and little filler.  Yes there were guests but they were impressive and never took the spotlight away from the duo but added to the album; Inspekta Deck, Scarface, M.O.P., Freddie Foxxx, K-Ci and JoJo amongst others.  The first track from this album was an instant banger "You Know My Steez".  A bass heavy track with a Method Man vocal sample alongside a nice guitar loop.  G.U.R.U. came hard with the lyrics, dropping gems in every line proving he was still hungry and a force to be reckoned with.  For example the whole first verse is lesson in how to make braggadocio rap sound fresh and intelligent
"Who's the suspicious character strapped with the sounds profound
Similar to rounds spit by Derringers
You're in the Terrordome like my man Chuck D said
It's time to dethrone you clones, and all you knuckleheads
Cause MC's have used up extended warranties
While real MC's and DJ's are a minority
But right about now, I use my authority
Cause I'm like the Wizard and you look lost like Dorothy
The horror be when I return for my real people
Words that split wigs hittin like some double Desert Eagles
Sportin caps pulled low, and baggy slacks
Subtractin all the rappers who lack, over Premier's tracks
Severe facts have brought this rap game to near collapse
So as I have in the past, I whup ass
Droppin lyrics that be hotter than sex and candlewax
And one-dimensional MC's can't handle that
While the world's revolvin, on it's axis
I come with mad love and plus the illest warlike tactics
The wilderness is filled with this; so many people
searching for false lift, I'm here with the skills you've missed
The rejected stone is now the cornerstone
Sort of like the master builder when I make my way home
You know my steez..."
Some people think that he was taking shots Jeru with the line "Subtractin all the rappers who lack, over Premier's tracks" and that this was the spark that started off the beef that lead to Jeru dropping out of the Gangstarr Foundation.  Although some people say the Gangstarr Jeru beef grew out of Premier giving the "Ten Crack Commandments" beat to Biggie as Jeru had originally had that beat for a Hot97 promo.  Whatever the reason for the split the bottom line is that Jeru made his best music with Premier and I know if they did hook up again I would buy that joint.

The track itself was an interesting combination of samples and a dope hook.  The bass line and drum break of course taken from the classic Ol' Skool joint "Flash It To the Beat" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five which was originally released in 1979 on the Bozo Meko label.  This was a recording of a live performance hence the distorted sound of the bass.  An Ol' Skool classic no doubt which even featured Afrika Bambaataa, Afrika Islam, Jazzy Jay - Fusion Beats Vol. 2 on the B Side.   Premier loops the bass and adds a high hat and a slightly crisper snare to give us the foundation for "You Know my Steez".
The guitar loop that we hear across the whole track is taken from a song by R&B musician Joe Simon.  The name of the song is "Drowning in the Sea of Love" which sold 1.5 million copies in 1972 and for which he received his second gold disk.  The single made it to number 11 in the US pop charts and number 3 in the R&B charts.  It was released on Spring records which was distributed by Polydor.  The track itself was written and produced by the legendary (some people throw that phrase around but these guys really are legends) Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  The track was a dark ode to one man's love of a woman.  The guitar sample is at the start of the song and carries on throughout even though at times it is over shadowed by the orchestral strings and horns. The track itself is a beautifully dark song with a number of points within that are sample worthy.  Premier loops the guitar sample perfectly alongside the bass line chopping it up slightly to create the overall sounds.
The Method Man sample comes from "4th Chamber" taken from the Gza album "Liquid Swords" which anyone reading this blog should know all about.  If not go and get a copy and listen to it for the next week.

There was of course a remix for "You Know my Steez" like most big Hip-Hop tracks at the time.  This remix featured a slightly chopped up version of the original's beat and some additional lyricist from the Left Coast' The Lady of Rage and Kurupt.  Again the guests add to the song and G.U.R.U. once again drops and incredible verse that certainly challenges the guests to come correct and they do.  Rage sounds good and at this point we had not heard anything serious from her since the classic "Afro Puffs" years before.  Kurupt had always been one of my favourites from the Death Throw G Funk team and on this joint he shows us why he is held in such high regard.

Check the Link below for the breaks, instrumentals and tracks.

Monday, 26 August 2013

DJ MK - Summer Grooves the perfect late summer mix

London's finest DJ MK comes with a mellow summer mix for all those heads out there enjoying the Bank Holiday sunshine.  Featuring ; Roy Ayers, Cameo, MGSB, Hi-Tension, Junior and Slave amongst others.  A sweet blend of Soul, Funk, Disco and breaks.  Follow the link to download this classic mix.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fat Joe with Action Bronson and DJ Premier

Fat Joe is back with a new album, the third in his Darkside series.  The first tack off this is the DJ Premier produced joint, Your Honour.  It features Action Bronson and its pretty dope.  Check the link below.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

King of the Beats - Looking for the Perfect Beat 2013 Trailer.

King of the Beats - Looking for the Perfect Beat 2013 Trailer. from pritt on Vimeo.
This is a small preview trailer for the film 'King of the Beats - Looking For The Perfect Beat', Produced by Tibba Media a film by Pritt Kalsi, Jazzy Jay and JFK Aman.  The documentary looks great and I for one cant wait to see it.
Based on the concept and Idea created by Pritt Kalsi, along side his team Pritt, Steven Ellington and Andy Higgs set of to NYC to shoot this film over a 3 week period. Some of the pioneers of sample culture take on the challenge. The film gives a insight into lives and minds of some the most significant producers who contributed to the Golden Era and Beyond.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Tony Touch returns with Touch & D-Stroy produced by Premier

Mixtape Legend Tony Touch returns with his new Album The Piecemaker 3: Return of the 50 MCs.  The album features Busta Rhymes, M.O.P, Sean Price, Black Thought, The LOX, Raekwon, Ghostface, Twista, Bun B, KRS-One, Fat Joe, Redman, N.O.R.E, and Eminen amongst others. Below is a link to the first track from the album produced by DJ Premier and featuring D-Stroy.  

Monday, 5 August 2013

El-P and Killer Mike - Run The Jewels album review

Following the success of Killer Mike's El-P produced album "R.A.P. Music" the duo decided to produce a full length album together.  This time with both emcees rhyming over El-P's sonic creations.  Obviously this is a very good turn of events but what takes this from being a good thing to a superb thing is the fact that they have decided to give the album away free.  If you go to their website and give them your email address they will email you a link to download the whole album (lyrics and liner notes too!).
 The album is being released on Fools Gold Records and if you want to buy a physical copy there are a number of packages including CDs, vinyl and various merchandise.  El-P and Killer Mike are currently touring the album across the US and will hopefully take the show to Europe in the near future.  The album is ten tracks long with no interludes (good news) and only features three guests; Big Boi, Until The Ribbon Breaks and Prince Paul (reviving his Chest Rockwell character from the Handsome Boy Modelling School albums).  The album is entirely produced by El-P with Little Shalimar co producing some of the tracks and it was produced at Sneaky Studios and the Snake Pit.
The album starts of with the the title track "Run the Jewels", which has an overpowering bass line and a double time drum track.   El-P is spitting fire and Mike is doing the same, dropping lines like "Cowering like cowards cowering on concrete showers in Riker's Island"and "Under your bed I'm here growling, same time under the blanket you're cowering", a whole lot of cowering going on it appears.  The beat is grade A El-P joint, creating an instant head nodder with dope synths towards the end of the track.  The second track is "Banana Clipper" featuring Outkast's Big Boi.  If you had have told me in the mid-nineties when Company Flow were at the front of the NY indie scene that El-P was going to be producing tracks with OutKast's Big Boi I would have been very skeptical indeed.  However this track works for a number of reason;  the beat is of course a sick collage of drums and electronic sounds, the emcees bounce of each other like they have been a group for years and each emcee represents with dope verses.  The beat works well with the emcees to produce a dope track.
"36* Chain" is the third track on the album and is a somewhat slower affair although still keeping the double time drums.  Each emcee drops a long verse followed by a short verse each before the fade out.  The beat itself has some nice crisps snares, deep bass and sounds that appear to have been sampled from an 80s video game.

"DDFH "is the forth track on the album and features a bouncy bass line with tight snare drums and ominous synth stabs and strange strings popping up from time to time.  The title of the track is an acronym for Do Dope Fuck Hope and the subject matter is varied; Mike seems to focus on police brutality whereas El-Producto seems to be talking about a drug induced haze.  Although both emcees' subject matter is serious the track has a somewhat lighter feel to it probably because of the call and response chorus format.  At half way through the album the duo gives us "Sea Legs"a track that sounds like it could have been a B-Side from the Funcrusher Plus era.  The electric strings and the flattened drums combined with the cymbals takes you back to the late nineties NY indie scene.  The hook is interesting with El-P and Mike telling us "Trying Not to walk crooked while this anchors dropped, but I been out on them choppy waves and its hard to say where this land begins and this water stop, I got sea legs".  "Job Well Done" takes us into the second half of the album and features Until The Ribbon Breaks on the hook.  The track starts of with Mike spitting "Killer Mike and El-P, fuck boys know the combination ain't healthy" before delving into why these guys are not a healthy option whilst Until The Ribbon Breaks provides a haunting hook between verses.  The beat is another electric soundscape over a heavy bass line and double time drums with some nice scratching towards the end.
The seventh track on the album is "No come down" another track detailing the roller coaster ride of being high over a sick beat.  Its a slower tempo track than the previous joints but has a layered sound with cymbals, synth stabs and a nice 808.  On any other album this would be a stand out track but on here it feels slightly weaker than the rest because of their strength.  The eighth track and first leak from the album is "Get it".  A strong albeit slower track than others on the album but the almost marching tempo joint grabs your attention.  The duo are on point with their rhymes and the change in beat for bridge works well create a track morphs into a different beats as it it progresses.  One of the highlights of the album which makes it easy to understand why it was the first leak.  The penultimate track on the album, "Twin Hype Back" features Prince Paul utilising his Chest Rockwell persona.  The beat is interesting and features numerous different instruments changing tempo and style throughout.  Chest Rockwell drops obscene ad libs over the bridge whilst the beat switches from cowbells to hi hats.  A dope track highlighting El-P's production skills as well as the lyricism of the duo.  El-P starts his first verse off with one of my favorite lines from the whole album "Me and Mike'll go Twin Hype and do a dance on your windpipes, put your fuckin' Jazz hands back in your pants or get them shits sliced" that made me smile but perhaps thats an indication of my sick mind.
The album finishes off with "A Christmas Fucking Miracle" which has an ominous beat made up of haunting electric sounds and stark imagery from El-P and Killer Mike.  A slower jam that halfway through appears to fade out only to be resurrected when Killer Mike steps to the mic.  Both emcees delve into their past whilst passing commentary on the present.  There is a nice electric guitar solo sample following Mike's verse before the track finally fades out.  To summarise this is another strong example of El-P's production and the incredible chemistry he shares with Killer Mike on the mic.  I think this album is a shining example of how Hip Hop is capable of taking two diverse artists from different streams of the genre and bringing them together to a produce strong, intelligent and enjoyable Hip Hop.  If you are a fan of El-P's past productions you will of course enjoy this album but also if you are a fan of Dirty South and Atlanta Hip Hop in particular this will be an enjoyable continuation down the path Killer Mike set us on with last year's R.A.P. Music.  To those Hip Hop head who stay firmly in your mainstream bubble I would say before you buy the new Jay-Z, Kanye or Lil' Wayne step out of your comfort zone and try this album.  Theres a very good chance you will enjoy it.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

New Jeru the Damaja with Large Pro

Jeru the Damaja is back with anew Large pro produced joint from his upcoming EP "The Hammer".  Its a nice joint that is a Traditional East Coast Large Pro track with a more mellow sounding Jeru dropping knowledge on it.  The EP this will be featured on does not yet have a release date but will feature the Beatnuts and PF Cuttin when it does drop.  Check the link for the track.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

R.A. The Rugged Man Interview

R.A. The Rugged Man is a Hip Hop artist from Long Island NY.  He has worked with MC's such as The Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Jedi Mind Tricks, Tech N9ne, Hopsin, Talib Kweli, Masta Ace, Kool G Rap, Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim, Killah Priest, and producersTrackmasters, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, Buckwild, Alchemist, and Ayatollah. He was featured on all three of Rawkus’s Soundbombing albums, as well as the platinum-selling WWF Aggression album, performing the theme song for Chris Jericho. The Notorious B.I.G. was once quoted as saying, "I thought I was the illest," when referring to R.A.
In 2004 he released the album Die, "Rugged Man, Die" on Brooklyn based label Nature Sounds. The October 2006 issue of The Source featured R.A.'s verse on "Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story" as its "Hip-Hop Quotable" of the month and HipHopDX named it as the "Verse of the Year".   AllHipHop.com states that "This record will be remembered most for R.A.'s robotic flow recounting his own father's story of war while absolutely murdering the beat." Rolling Stone Magazine recently compared R.A.'s rap flow to that of a blue-eyed Biggie Smalls. In addition to his hip hop career, R.A. wrote a monthly movie column for Mass Appeal Magazine, was a contributor to The Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists (St. Martin's Press) and Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism (HarperCollins), and has written numerous articles for other magazines including Vibe, King, Complex, Rides, XXL and The Source.
A horror film fan, Thorburn has written three screenplays with cult film director Frank Henenlotter and is writer-producer of a new Henenlotter film, Bad Biology. The film has an original score by Josh Glazer (J. Glaze) with additional production by Prince Paul, and cameos by Playboy model Jelena Jensen and Penthouse Pet Krista Ayne. R.A. is working on his directorial debut, a film based on his family, God Take, God Give.
R.A.'s latest album Legends Never Die was released on April 30, 2013. Guest appearances include Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Tech N9ne, Talib Kweli, Hopsin, and Krizz Kaliko. His first single of the album was 'The Peoples Champ'. The second single was "Learn Truth' Feat. Talib Kweli.
This interview was conducted in late April just prior to the release of "Legends never Die"

Scott Ronan: On your new album who have a good line up of established underground producers and some newer lesser known producers.  Can you tell me the process you follow when choosing which producers you would like to work with?

R.A. The Rugged Man: I don't know if Buckwild is an "underground" producer. He's a HipHop producer, he makes HipHop music. The guy has been on albums that have sold 5 times platinum like Biggie and Puffy albums and then he's produced cult classic albums like Nineteen Ninety now for Celph Titled. Ayatolah produced Ms. Fat Booty and a ton of HipHop classics, these are HipHop producers not underground. The only thing that makes them "underground" is that they fuck with the artists they want to work with not just the heavily promoted hype job artists. Mr. Green is one of the best in the game, mainstream or underground.  I just fuck with whoever the fuck got dope shit.

SR:What do you look for in a beat ? and do you write your lyrics before you get the beat or to the beat ?

R.A.:Certain rhymes I write on a brian ride or a flight or sitting in a restaurant and then I later beef the flow up to the rhyme to the rhythm of the beat I hop on. Other rhymes I write I get the beat and fall in love with the beat and just write tone of rhymes to the beat and lay down the best rhyme out of the batch I write.  I don't look for anything in particular in a beat, it just gotta move me. I usually lean more towards the fun HipHop-Ya-Dont-Stop type beats, the classic golden era sound.. but I could rock to any era and any beat.

SR:On the album you have chosen strong established artists as guests, can you give me some insight into how some of these collaborations came about ?  and what helped you choose which artists to work with?

R.A.:I had strong relationships with most the artists already Tech N9ne, Paz, Sadat X, Masta Ace, Eamon, Talib Kweli. I had never worked with Talib but I was directing videos for him and when I thought of the concept to Learn Truth I thought it was time for us to finally do a joint together, it was perfect for the both of us. The only artists I didnt have a strong history with was Brother Ali and Hopsin. I was cool with Hopsin through Dame at Funk volume and we kicked it a couple times but we dont know each other very well. I like the kid, he's a good guy. And Brother Ali, I picked him, I dont know why, I just felt like a track with Masta Ace and Brother Ali and myself would be three different worlds of HipHop, Rhymesayers meets the Legendary Juice Crew and hop on a joint with the Crustified Dibbs I thought that shit just felt perfect. So I am tight with Slug from Atmosphere and reached out to him and asked him to put me in touch with Brother Ali. Ali got right back to me and said it would be an honor to hop on a track with Legends like us. He's a humble dude and a really gifted Mc so I'm blessed to have these talented artists coming out and fucking with me. Oh, fuck I forgot Krizz Kaliko, he murdered the Holla-Loo-Yuh joint too. Shout out to KK.

SR:Its been a long time since Die Rugged Man die (which I have on vinyl BTW) and I think the underground scene has certainly suffered from your absence, can you tell me was your sabbatical a conscious decision? and if so what was your thinking behind it? 

R.A.:I was putting in a lot of work in those years. I probably have done close to 700 shows if not more in those years, traveling and performing. I am an MC, rocking a stage is first. And Between Collabs and random solo songs I have dropped since Die Rugged Man, I have probably did over 50 songs that came out or more.  Also Legendary Classics was in 2009 as well which had I think 9 previously never released tracks. I also self manage, self promote, direct videos, write articles for many magazines, produce movies, I got a lot of shit on my plate so for me to take a big chunk out of my life with limited budget to record 18 songs for a new album it takes a lot. Last year I only did 40 shows because I stayed home a lot working on getting Legends NEver Die finished. When you're an indie artists being on the road is how you make your money so when you stop touring to focus on the recording aspect  and making sure that comes out perfect it takes a lot away from surviving and paying your bills. It's a double edged sword.

SR:Having worked with some legends of the game, If you were able to make an album with any producer you wanted and any guests you wanted who would be on it and why?

R.A.:Legends Never Die is that album. I did everything I wanted to so on it. The next album I hope to have Rakim on it, he was supposed to be on this one except we missed the deadline and didnt get that joint done on time. I wouldn't mind fucking with Redman on something either. Or maybe Elzhi. There's too many dope MC's out there. So many i would want to work with on projects wether it's my next album or just some street shit that we hit the people with.

SR:Having worked with Biggie before all shiny suits and soft RnB tinged hip hop tracks can you tell me what he was like to work with on an underground classic?

R.A.:Big was a regular guy like you and me. It was no difference working with Biggie than Killah Priest or Talib Kweli or Akinyelle.  I looked at Biggie like another friend of mine who could rap real good, never knew he would become one of the most iconic figures in HipHop history. i just thought he was a cool cat with a dope rhyme style. He was just a kid when he passed away man. I think like twenty fucking three or four. I mean think about that, man. Crazy.

SR:As a major Boxing fan can you give me your view on the game at present and who you rate, pound for pound?

R.A.:The game is alive and breathing and packing out stadiums all over the world. Boxing is great right now. The heavyweights are weak but the rest of the game is great. 2013 has had weekend after weekend of great fights. As far as pound for pound, I guess talent wise and opposition right now Andre Ward is up there, he's one of the top guys but he doesn't get too much PR because he's a God loving Christian who doesn't trash talk and actually seems like a good human being. The Media doesn't really want God or Good people in the public eye, they want buffoonery. I dont know if he's pound for pound but I also enjoy watching Abner Mares too. There's a lot of fighters. I also want to see Golovkin fight a few more time. He's got explosive power and people are really hyped on him right now. We'll see what he got in his next few fights.

SR:Another boxing question, with Manny Steward, Angelo Dundee and Eddie Futch passing recently, Who do you think is the best trainer in the game?

R.A.:I don't know if he's the best in the game but a guy like Robert Garcia has a nice little stable of fighters and comes from a family of fighters and works hard to get his fighters where they need to be. Plus he was a good tough fighter in his day. I want to see what he continues to do as a trainer.

Thanks for the interview and I will be reviewing the album soon.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Common and Cocaine 80s - Congratulations

A No I.D. produced mellow joint featuring Common and some new dude called Cocaine 80s.  The joint is dope with a mellow Hammond organ sounding sample from the Chicago producer.  Common drops a nice narrative verse covering the wedding of a close friend passing social commentary as he goes.  Common has become adept that a rhymes like this and this is a perfect example of the type of mature lyrics that differentiate him from today's "hot stars".

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rest in Peace to GURU

Three years since the passing of GURU (Keith Elam).  Rest in Peace to him. Alongside Premier they made up the most consistant Hip Hop group ever and the best Hip Hop dou to ever release music.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Adrian Younge presents Twelve Reasons to Die starring Ghostface Killah album review

Twelve Reasons to Die is the tenth studio album from founding Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. It is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name, it is based around Ghostface Killah's alter ego, Tony Starks as he reads the comic and writes songs to it.  The story is set in 1960s Italy, in which Starks fights against a crime organization, falls in love with the kingpin’s daughter, and seeks revenge when he is murdered. The album is entirely produced and composed by Adrian Younge, and executive produced by the RZA. The album was released on April 16, 2013 by the RZA's Soul Temple record label. It is a relatively short album made up of 12 tracks and coming in at just under forty minutes. Ghostface has been my favourite Wu member since he dropped his first solo album prior to that he was really just another background voice on the multitude of Wu albums. With Ironman I really started to take notice of Ghost but Supreme Clientelle I became a major Ghostface fan and this has continued ever since even including the off beat soul poetry album Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City. Therefore I not only get excited for a new Ghostface album but there is also an expectation from me (and many other Wu fans too I expect) that this is going to be another strong album. Some members of the Wu have failed to produce strong albums without the Rza's direction and production however Ghost is not one of these and he has shown he can produce a strong track despite who produces it. Adrian Younge, the producer behind this project has in the past produced film scores with a distinct hip-hop influence on his music. He has produced scores for a number of projects, most notably his soundtrack for the recent film Black Dynamite.

The album has a distinct sound that harks back to the soundtracks of late 60's Hammer horror films and weird 70's Kung Fu flicks.  This is a good thing.  The album begins with the "Beware the Stare".  This song starts off with a somewhat haunting yet somewhat soulful intro before jumping into a mid tempo track with a heavy bass-line, crisps snares and dusty piano chords.  However this is not a regular track and after the first verse we return to the soulful singing from the intro before stepping into another beat and melody for the next verse; a similar beat but this time with a more ominous piano loop accompanied by a double bass sample hanging around in the background.  The singing returns again after the second verse but the beat has picked up a harpsichord sample this time that works really well especially when the singing comes in again for the ending of the track.  Ghost sounds relaxed and confident like only he can and although he may not be a story teller of Gza's calibre his rhymes are on point on this joint.  "Rise of the Black Suits" is the second track off the album and it is a slower track than the first but again features nice drums and this time a simple but effective organ loop.  When Ghost comes in with his lyrics he is joined by a nice simple piano sample but his lyrical skills are more evident on this track although the subject matter falls into the Ghetto Kingpin category than Ghost does so well including his trademarked slang.
The third track of the album is " I declare war" and features Masat Killa.  The beat is of a marching tempo and features a nice orchestral sample that would not seem out of place on a spaghetti western soundtrack conjuring up images of a Sergio Leone epic.  Its nice to hear Mastat Killa again and the beat changes for his verse using something that sounds like a pipe organ sample.  As the song comes to an end The Rza adds a short vocal epilogue. The next track up is "Blood on the Cobblestones" and features U-God and Inspectah Deck.  Its a fast beat with snappy drums and and some nice horns alongside some subtle strings.  All three emcees represent superbly dropping exciting fast veres that remind us that few can match the chemistry of the Wu when they come hard.  Cappadonna joins Ghost for the fifth track of the album, "Center of Attention" which starts off with rain falling and a vocal sample before dropping into a mellow ode to a lost lady.  This track reminds me of the Ghost classic "Camay" from his first solo album, Ironman.  This track however has the lyrics played out between Ghost and Cappadonna as a conversation between friends ; one trying to convince the other of the value of their lady whilst the other tries to tell him she is no good.    It works well, the beat is pleasant enough and the interplay between Ghost and Cappadonna has always worked well.

Half way through the album and Ghost gives us another ghetto talke over a more mellow beat with someone called William Hart providing a nice vocal sample for the chorus on "Enemies All Around Me".  The beat, like some of the others on this album changes throughout the song, introducing new samples as it moves along.  A nice joint which fits in well on this album.  The seventh track on here is "An Unexpected Call [The Set Up]"  and features Inspectah Deck.  Its a good track with a nice harp sample over a upbeat drum track with Ghost and Deck each dropping a verse.  The track is good and would make a nice album track however its too short, coming in at only two and a half minutes.  The subject matter is again Ghetto warfare  ut they do it so well that its not boring but interesting.  The eigth track of the album is "The Rise of the Ghostface Killah" which was also the first promotional single released to the radio from this album.  Its a Ghost solo joint and he is on point evening taking the opportunity to pay tribute to ODB utilising the "Ghostface Killlahhhh" chant from "Da Mystery of the Da Chessboxin".  The beat is faster than the majority of the album up to this point and features a nice bass guitar sample and crisp snare drums.
"Revenge is Sweet" if the ninth track of the album and features Masta Killa & Killa Sin (of Killarmy of course).  The song starts off with some off key singing which I am not particularly fond of but it is somewhat short lived in comparison to the rest of the track although it does return fo the chorus.  Ghost represents first with a nice verse and MAsta Killa and Killa sin drop the second and third verses respectively.  the beat varies from verse to verse never changing too much but enough to differentiate the verses.  "Murder Spree" featuring U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck & Killa Sinis the album's tenth track.  Although this track has more emcees on it than any other on the album it only comes in at two minutes fifty one seconds.  This means of course that each emcee drops a very short verse over a fast paced beat.  A shame really as all of the emcees on here have enough skills to represent nicely but in the limited bars they have it is difficult to really get a feel for their lyrical depth before the next emcee comes along.
The albums penultimate track is "The Sure Shot, Pt. One & Two" which is another track featuring an evolving beat which starts off as a sparse fast paced beat for Ghost's first rapid fire verse.  Then for the second part of the track te beat slows down somewhat with some really nice drums and an electric guitar riff.  Ghost also slows down his rhymes to match the beat.  A strong track, which as the title suggest is really two songs both pretty strong in their own right.  the album's last track is an instrumenatl joint showing off Adrian's production skills.   It starts off with another monologue from The Rza and then a nice piano loop comes in.  Flutes and electric guitars join the piano in this cinematic ending to the album.  It builds to a crescendo of horns and strange noises although never really taking off into a full Hip-Hop instrumental but more of a piece of atmospheric music from a strange 70s film.
This is a very strong but short album.  All emcees represent nicely giving their fans exactly what they would expect; hard rhymes and stark Ghetto stales.  Adrian Younge's production is enjoyable and unique although he clearly has been influenced by The Rza, Havoc,  Ennio Moricone and probably the men behind some 70's horro films and Cop shows.  The tracks are often too short leaving you wanting another verse at least.  The project as a whole could be beefed up to make it longer however there is a deluxe version of the album but that only includes instrumental versions of the whole album.  I would like to give this album a higher rating that the four out of five i have given it but its length is simply too short.  It only leaves me wanting for "Supreme Clientele Presents... Blue & Cream: The Wally Era" the next project from Ghostface.  However this album is enjoyable and original in its concept and should fit nicely into any Wu Tang fan's collection.  Ghostface does not disspoint and Adrian Younge has sparked my interest in his production style which means I will check out anything else he drops.