Archive for the 'Features' Category

Diggin’ In The Crates: Twelve Jewelz (Volume 2)

Friday, March 6th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

We’re still diggin’, y’all. Yes, this is another edition of the new NahRight column Twelve Jewelz, focusing in on gems from rap’s yesteryear. This week, we’ve got a dozen joints by everyone from Gang Starr to Biggie to State Property. Just a reminder and a heads up for those who missed Volume One—Twelve Jewelz was created to take a break from the daily onslaught of new music to revisit some rarities from the ’90s and early 2000s. This is not an attempt to overly-impress you with shit you’ve never heard, but rather highlight some past favorites for you to bump (that you may or may not be up on). Hope you enjoy the selection. Let’s dig.

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Interview: Krayzie Bone Says a Final bone thugs-n-harmony Album is on the Horizon, Recalls Three 6 Mafia Beef

Friday, February 27th, 2015

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Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

The final hurrah. The last leg. The 70th star in Mario 64. That’s what Krayzie Bone is on right now when it comes to music. The Cleveland native and bone thugs-n-harmony member is in his last chapter as a solo artist. You see, Krayzie is over two decades deep in the rap game and has decided that his forthcoming individual effort, Chasing The Devil would be his last go around in the studio.

Slated for a March 1 release, Krazie Bone’s latest melodic look into his life is perhaps the perfect tool to bring things full circle in his career. Chasing The Devil is a project that has been in the making for years. Its reflective and self-cleansing nature is the perfect tonic for a career that began battling demons. After all, B.O.N.E. was on quite the horrocore tip early on, often alluding to the other side of reality.

“I would say it has the usual dark, eerie B.O.N.E. feel to it but it’s a lot of storytelling,” Krayzie says describing Chasing The Devil. “The majority of the album is telling the story of what I’ve seen, being a part of the business, things that I’ve experienced myself and what other people have gone through. It’s kind of like a movie. It all comes together from the beginning to the end.” This isn’t the real end for Krayzie though. It may be the 70th star but remember; you have to collect 120 in order to officially beat the mid-90s Nintendo classic. Television and music management are what’s next for Krazie Bone and he’s already a few years ahead. Continue reading this post…

Next Up: Raven Sorvino

Friday, February 27th, 2015

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From Roxanne Shanté and Queen Latifah to today’s crop women have always been a part of hip-hop culture. Some of current day hip-hop’s women receiving the most notable attention often yield more controversy than memorable music. Take Iggy Azalea for example. Or Nicki Minaj. Or even Azealia Banks. Many rap critics find themselves asking, “Where are all the other female emcees?” Well, there are plenty, if you spend any amount of time looking.

Rapsody is dope. Nitty Scott, MC is beginning to build her empire. And then on the west coast, there’s Raven Sorvino. The Leimert Park resident and Richmond, Texas native has been making a name for herself in the rap game as of late but she’s way more than a dope spitter. The 25-year-old’s unique style and whit is just as eye opening as her knack for ear-catching lyrics. Continue reading this post…

Heavy Rotation with Fashawn

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Fashawn has been one of the dopest MCs on the underground circuit for years now. And thanks to a strong co-sign by Nas and a deal with Mass Appeal Records, Fresno’s finest is in position to take his already blossoming career to another level. His new album, The Ecology (available on iTunes now go get that), puts his full range of rapping and songwriting talents exquisitely on display over perfect production by Exile, The Alchemist, DJ Khalil, Beewirks, and more (Esco makes a guest appearance on “Something to Believe In” and he executive produced the LP as well). Yup, Fashawn’s more than living up to his potential, and all the praise he’s getting right now is well-deserved, for sure.

Since we’ve been rocking with Fashawn at NahRight for a minute now (we still knock The Antidote on the reg), we figured we were overdue to tap him for our Heavy Rotation series and find out what he’s been listening to lately—so that’s what we did. And for those already on the wave, it should come to you as no surprise that his taste is impeccable. Check out five songs that Fashawn has in Heavy Rotation below.

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Diggin’ In The Crates: Twelve Jewelz (Volume 1)

Friday, February 20th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The way we discover music has changed a lot over the years. I used to spend nuff time back in the day hitting all my local spots in Westchester, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, searching for the dopest new rap joints and also older gems I wasn’t up on yet. Sadly, those spots don’t even exist anymore. But on the bright side, all the fire is now right at my fingertips, thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web.

Yes, I miss the experience of shopping for records and CDs and mixtapes, but as a married father of three whose down time is limited to the late night hours after my family is asleep, I’ve grown to truly appreciate a nice home-based, digital digging session. And yes, I still have my own bountiful collection of CDs and records I keep stashed at the crib to pull out and sift through as needed.

In my new column here at NahRight, which I’ll bill as a slight spin-off of our Mixtape Memories features, I will be presenting you with a series of random yet carefully selected mixtape classics, freestyles, demos, white label rarities, B-sides, blends, remixes, and more, all spanning the ‘90s and early 2000s. These are joints that I either have in my own physical collection or that I’ve found or re-discovered online (thank you Internets). Disclaimer—this is not my attempt to impress you with the most obscure rap tracks and artists ever, but rather an opportunity to take a break from the constant new music we post here at NahRight and revisit some worthy piff from the past. Let’s dig, shall we?

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Right or Nah? with Your Old Droog

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

We’re still less than a year into Coney Island MC Your Old Droog’s ascent to rap stardom, and dude continues to make more waves. His latest project, the Kinison EP which debuted last week on Rolling Stone’s website, features yet another outstanding overdose of beast-mode bars, this time atop a rock-inspired, sample-based soundscape concocted by his prolific production trio—El RTNC, DJ Skizz, and Marco Polo. And next week, he’s heading out on the PRhyme Tour with Royce da 5’9’’ & DJ Premier (and Boldy James), a well-deserved slot after a more-than-buzzworthy 2014. If you haven’t been paying attention to Droog, it’s about time you started.

Since we’re still in the process of getting to know what Droog is all about both on and off the mic, we hit him up to participate in our first ever Right or Nah? feature, where we learn what what our favorite hip-hoppers do and don’t fux with through a short sequence of cultural inquiries. If they’re a fan, then the response should be RIGHT. If not, NAH. Get it? Okay, let’s set this new series off with Brooklyn’s own Your Old Droog, and find out a little more about the man behind the rhymes.

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Next Up: Al-Doe

Friday, January 30th, 2015

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Al-Doe is the epitome of New York but not the “New York rapper.” The 29-year-old Bronx native’s early roots in the entertainment biz came far from the hallways of Big Apple project houses and high school lunch tables. Instead, his story began through a visual medium.

You see Al is Puerto Rican. It’s something that has been both a help and a hinder for him. He got a lot of his initial exposure as an actor during his childhood. Being featured in both soap operas and primetime TV programming, Al-Doe got a taste of the big time before he was even a teenager. It wouldn’t be until much later that he would even pick up a mic and rap.

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In The Lab with Jahlil Beats

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

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Words by Eric Diep
Photos by Lauren Gesswein

Jahlil Beats stops our interview midway to take a phone call from Busta Rhymes, who is supposed to come through to his studio session at Stadiumred in Harlem. Although he’s in Atlanta for the weekend and cannot make it tonight, Busta is already plotting a full week with Jahlil when he returns to NYC. His “1001 hard drives” are in the city, and he has offered to buy hotel rooms for their entourages. For Jahlil, it’s nothing but a two-hour drive from Pennsylvania to New York, so he’s more than accommodating to book time with the seasoned veteran. “Busta’s crazy, man,” he says after hanging up the phone. “But that’s my dude though.”

Jahlil Beats prefers going to Stadiumred over other NYC studios because of the all-encompassing environment of Harlem. Once the home of jazz legend Ornette Coleman, the 125th and Park location has grown into a premier destination for hip-hop artists to venture uptown. On the walls are dozens of album plaques from the likes of Jay Z and Fabolous—a sign that timeless records have been created here. In 2010, the harmonic space expanded to include a “B” room specially made for superproducer Just Blaze, which he uses often.

In the large “A” room, the 26-year-old producer and his team are getting ready to shoot scenes for a documentary he’s putting together. In this particular shot, Jahlil will preview new tracks he has made with Meek Mill, before getting into an unfinished beat that he has been tinkering with. Dressed in an all-black everything look (with a hat similar to the late Jam Master Jay’s), and red adidas Superstars, his work uniform seems more in-tune with Harlem’s fashion-forward MC A$AP Rocky. But right now, he’s just zoned in on adding big layers to this track before heading out for the night.

Back in the studio’s lounge area, we sat and spoke about his process in the studio, why Swizz Beatz is his favorite producer, his relationship with Meek Mill, Bobby Shmurda’s incarceration, his upcoming projects, and more. This is how Jahlil Beats does his thing in the lab.

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Next Up: Astro

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

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New artists and styles come and go with each passing year. That new wave you thought was poppin’ just six months ago has already been replaced by a new sound (or something rehashed). Producers have become the hit-makers and rarely does an act or group claim the attention of hip-hop’s audience for very long. It’s the reality of the music business these days and in the age of the Internet rapper there’s so much to pay attention to.

It ain’t like it used to be. And at least one rapper kind of wishes it was. Actually, we know thousands of rappers and fans who wish hip-hop would go back to the good ol’ days but we typically think of those people as old. Well, here’s a twist. What if one of those people was born after hip-hop’s Golden Age? That’s Astro.

The 18-year-old Brooklyn native wasn’t even alive before some of his favorite albums were released but that isn’t stopping him from finding what he likes. That same Internet that has clouded the airwaves of hip-hop is simultaneously responsible for educating younger fans who thirst for that old fashioned quality. It’s evident in his music too. Dissatisfied with what was available to him during the time he became a rapper, Astro went back in time and found something he loved.

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In The Lab with A$AP Ferg

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

FERG-MAINPhoto by Lauren Gesswein

Words by Eric Diep

A$AP Ferg has proven himself with anthemic singles like “Shabba” and “Work” that he’s more than just an understudy to A$AP Rocky. After establishing himself as hip-hop’s hood pope on 2013’s Trap Lord, he has gone to great lengths to continuously grow as an artist, experimenting with new forms of expression and delivering arguably his best music yet. The Harlem native’s been able to pull off songs with YG, Ariana Grande and SBTRKT—all from vastly different genres—that show he is building up a refined musical palette. Much like Rocky, Ferg is able to branch outside his comfort zone and hit the ground running.

Ferg’s new direction is displayed on Ferg Forever. Backed by a selection of well-placed producers like Crystal Caines, Stelios Phili, Clams Casino, Big K.R.I.T. and more, Ferg toys with flows and styles on the mixtape that represent his varied influences. It represents a young rapper trusting his gut feeling and trying something different, while preparing us for a unique aesthetic on his sophomore album.

For Nah Right’s latest studio sit-down, we traveled to Polo Grounds in the Bronx to speak with Fergenstein. Learn about things like Ferg’s recording process for Ferg Forever, his studio rules, his favorite artist to work with and why you shouldn’t box him in as an artist. This is how the Trap Lord puts in work in the lab.

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