Archive for the 'Features' Category

Loop Library with El RTNC

Friday, July 17th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Last April when I first heard Your Old Droog’s “Nutty Bars,” my initial reaction was, “Yo, who is this dude? He’s nice!” My second reaction, which came almost simultaneously, was, “Yo, who did this beat? Shit is sick!” Turns out the man responsible for lacing Droog up with the ill sounds for not only “Nutty Bars” but his entire debut EP was El RTNC (above left). And quiet as kept, he’s also been producing heat for a host of other popular New York MCs for a minute now (Action Bronson, De La Soul, Mos Def, Homeboy Sandman, Timeless Truth, etc.)

As El RTNC continues to prove he’s one of the dopest sample-based producers in the Big Apple right now through not only his beats for Droog (cop The Nicest EP out now and check out “Have a Nice Day”) but also with his recent slew of instrumental releases, we thought it would be appropriate to feature him for our latest Loop Library. So we reached out to give him a chance to showcase his eclectic ear and keen sampling skills (note—he makes all his beats start to finish in Pro Tools) as well as share some personal stories and perspectives. Read and listen below as RTNC walks us through five choice samples—and yes, expect the unexpected.

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In The Lab with Papoose

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

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Words by Eric Diep
Images by Lauren Gesswein

DJ Premier’s new producer home is in the deep depths of Kaufman Astoria Studios, a historic lot in Queens, New York, where they filmed classics like Goodfellas and Carlito’s Way. Inside the basement of one of the stage buildings, it’s decorated with movie posters worthy of display: Men in Black 3 and The Accidental Husband are just a few wall ornaments that complement movie paraphernalia in the hallways. Navigating through requires careful directions from security on the grounds, but once you reach Preemo’s studio it’s everything you would imagine. The space is adorned with plaques from iconic projects by Gang Starr, Big L and The Notorious B.I.G. Other plaques from Death Row Records and Roc-A-Fella Records are also on display to show the longevity of his career that’s still very active to this day.

While Brooklyn vets like Jay Z, Fabolous and Talib Kweli get a lot of respect for their contributions to the culture, there’s a fighting spirit within Papoose that many don’t give him credit for. The 37-year-old MC gets more press for what he says publicly about younger MCs (Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar) and rap at large than his music, but that’s because what he says isn’t too far from the truth. Shamele Mackie has been a student of the game ever since he picked up a mic and impressed everyone with his wordplay on “Alphabetical Slaughter.” As his career progressed through the years, he cared less about what people think and focused more on delivering music to supporters who’ve been there since his start. You Can’t Stop Destiny, his follow-up to The Nacirema Dream, sums up his whole mantra: No matter who brings you down, you can’t stop what’s aligned in the stars. For him, it’s being the top MC of the world.

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Diggin’ In The Crates: Twelve Jewelz (Volume 6)

Friday, July 10th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The gems continue this week as we return with Volume 6 of our Twelve Jewelz series. This time around we’ve got a dozen more B-Sides, remixes, unreleased cuts, bonus bangers, and mixtape rarities from the ’90s and early 2000s for you to feast your ears on. Take a break from the new shit and enjoy another trip down memory lane below. And after you stream/read, make sure to click that download link at the bottom of the post to add these Twelve Jewelz to your collection!

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Video Vault: 5 Classic D.I.T.C. Music Videos From 1995

Friday, June 26th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The more time I spend revisiting ‘90s gems for our Twelve Jewelz series, the more I find myself diving as deep as I can into the Diggin’ In The Crates crew catalog. To me, D.I.T.C. is the essence of New York street hip-hop, complete with gritty, boom bap, neck-breaking beats and sample-based jazz/soul sounds, and that witty, no-bullshit Big Apple talk. They’re a special rap collective that deserves to be celebrated more than they normally are, for sure. So as we continue our look back at one of rap’s most monumental years, we invite you take a break from the new shit and enjoy our latest Video Vault featuring 5 Classic D.I.T.C. Music Videos From 1995. Hit the jump to read/watch.

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Editorial: 10 Loosies You May Have Slept On In 2015 (So Far)

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

It’s only June, and it’s safe to say this year has already bodied ‘14 musically. There’s dope shit out across the board album-wise, and in addition, there’s been a decent dose of non-LP freshness floating around, too. So as we say hello to summer, here’s 10 Loosies You May Have Slept On In 2015 (So Far). It’s our way of recapping a few favorites (songs not freestyles) that weren’t featured on an album or released as an official single during the first half of the year—just in case you missed or forgot about any of them. Enjoy the catch-up.

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Next Up + Video Premiere: Salomon Faye

Monday, June 1st, 2015

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Salomon Faye is a hodgepodge of every New York borough and it’s no surprise why. Growing up in Harlem, living in Brooklyn and bouncing around each of the Big Apple’s sectors the 22-year-old emcee is wise beyond his years and has learned a whole lot just from living in his neighborhood.

Born in Paris to a Senegalese father Faye has a more diverse background than most New Yorkers who venture to clutch a mic. He moved to New York at a young age and hasn’t left the area. It’s there where his music career was born before he ever decided to put his thoughts to wax. The rich cultures of New York City and its surrounding areas constantly provide inspiration for The iLLuzion emcee and it’s obvious when you listen to his music.

“Harlem gives me a particular perspective of the city. [It shapes] my taste in music, soulful music, my taste in apparel, women. I really love [it]. Black is beautiful. Even growing up in Harlem and being an artist I ventured out of Harlem to cover the whole realm of New York. I spend a lot of time in Brooklyn as well. I’m real familiar with the underground scene over there, the nightlife scene, the hip-hop scene over there. But currently my focus is in Harlem.”

Recently releasing his latest EP, Stimulation to noticeable acclaim, Salomon has finally given the world a solid body of work while expressing who he is and what he wants to become. It has also warranted attention from other creatives in the hip-hop world without a major platform, something Faye finds encouraging.

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In The Lab with Large Professor

Monday, June 1st, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

It’s 2015, and the legendary Large Professor is still out here teaching cats how to make dope hip-hop music. Forget the fact that he’s the guy responsible for so many classics—that’s not a crutch holding up his career. Even with all the accolades, Large Pro is devoted now more than ever to taking rap to new heights and moving the culture forward. He’s a purist, a leader, a thinker, an innovator, and with a quarter-century’s worth of history in the game, he still has the passion of a fresh-faced teen touching a beat machine for the first time.

With his new LP Re:Living due out June 9th (pre-order on iTunes or cop the deluxe bundle at Fat Beats), we linked up with Extra P to get some extra info on the making of the album for our In The Lab series. As you’ll discover, The Mad Scientist still keeps the music at the core of everything he does. And he’s also tapped into his spirituality, which is something that played a major role during the creation of Re:Living. Find out all about his digging, beat-making, and writing process—plus much, much more—below.

Class is in session.

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Diggin’ In The Crates: Twelve Jewelz (Volume 5)

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Yeah boooyyyy. We’re back with a brand new Twelve Jewelz, our NahRight series dedicated to gems from rap’s yesteryear. For Volume 5, we’ve collected yet another batch of remixes, rarities, B-Sides, mixtape exclusives, and unreleased bangers from the ’90s and early 2000s, featuring everyone from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to Showbiz & A.G. to Mobb Deep. I went digging for some old demos as well this go-round and actually found some good stuff I had never heard before.

Take a breather from the onslaught of new music and read/stream below. And as always, we’ve included a download link to the entire dozen at the bottom.

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Exclusive: Gangsta Boo Announces “Candy, Diamonds & Pills” Album, Reflects on Three 6 Mafia’s Legacy

Friday, May 29th, 2015

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Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

When it comes to brash, unfiltered and wild personalities in hip-hop, Gangsta Boo is damn near the top of the list. From her on again, off again relationship with Three 6 Mafia and its later formed affiliate group Da Mafia 6ix, Boo–like many other veteran emcees–faces an identity crisis. She knows her beginnings and heart remain with the group she left in 2000 but also wants to be known as a separate entity, not unlike Three 6 co-founder Juicy J.

Recently speaking with NahRight around the time of the 20th anniversary of where it all started for the Memphis native–Three 6 Mafia’s debut album, Mystic Stylez–Gangsta Boo talked about her own legacy but wanted to dish out some details on what she’s been working on herself. While she’s revealed the title and sparse details about her forthcoming project, Candy, Diamonds & Pills via social media, little is known beyond that. Boo says her next musical release will take her out of exclusively doing hip-hop and into a creative realm she never thought she’d be in. Continue reading this post…

Memory Lane: A Digital Museum of Three 6 Mafia’s Mystic Stylez

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

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Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

The legacy of Three 6 Mafia is almost as mysterious as their music. Originally forming in the early 1990s, DJ Paul and Lord Infamous–then known as the duo Da Serial Killaz–spent their early years reading about the diabolical mind. Paul literally hung portraits of serial killers on the wall in his bedroom and studied their dark motives to get inspiration for what he would eventually put on wax. Years later, Paul and his half brother would release music of their own with Portrait Of A Serial Killa in 1992.

Memphis’ hip-hop scene at the time wasn’t really noteworthy outside of the surrounding states. Early Gangsta Pat tapes provided some structure on how to record what would eventually blossom into the M-Town sound. From 1992 to 1994 prospective Memphis cliques jockeyed for the city’s attention. The unheralded nature of Memphis’ rap output only fueled the fire for those from the area to support their own. If you had songs that got play in the clubs or more importantly, bumped in the whip on Sunday’s at the Crystal Palace skating ring, you were on and there was profit to be had. Mixtapes at the time could sell upwards of 100,000 copies with little overhead. Very few artists had music videos out, radio play, or even a recording budget.

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