RZA | Murs | Bizarre Ride/Delicious Vinyl | Chuck D | House Shoes | Bootsy Collins
Jonathan Emile & Kendrick Lamar | MIDI Mafia | Honey Cocaine | Rick Allen (Def Leppard)
Jonezen & Gucci Mane | Substance Abuse & Tash of Tha Liks | Planet Asia| Cab Cabernet
Les Claypool of Primus | Victor Wooten | Stanley Clarke | DJ Nu-Mark | Strong Arm Steady
Rockie Fresh | Exile | Thurz | Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) | Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses)
Toy Art Gallery | R&R Gallery | Rapper Big Pooh & Phife Dawg | 9th Wonder | Fashawn
Verdine White (Earth Wind & Fire) | Super Mart Produce | Kill Paris | Sixo | Roc Marciano
Miz MAF & Freeway | DJ Rhettmatic | Phonte | Quickie Mart | Gypsyphonic Disko
Kurupt & Boldy James | Oh No & Guilty Simpson | Phil The Agony | Shabaam Sahdeeq
China Mac & Jadakiss | Mr. Complex | Radioinactive | Sick Jacken | John Robinson
Myka Nyne | S.O.U.L. Purpose | Ricky B | Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)
Hasan Salaam & Immortal Technique | Rheteric Ramirez | IamOmni | Yamin Semali | DJ Babu
V. Nova & Smif-N-Wessun | Bamboo Bros | Voice | Boycott Blues | Harn Solo | Pavy
Gotham Green, Kool G Rap & Nature | Lodeck & Omega One | Montage One | Signif
J. Rawls & Masta Ace | Maimouna Youssef | Menacin Johnson | J. Ivy | Self Scientific
Super Chron Flight Bros | Hieroglyphics | Black Silver, Ras Kass, Rakaa | Clan Destined
Paranoid Castle | Digi Crates | Jose Pasillas (Incubus) | Sonny Seeza (Onyx)
|Born in Holland, raised in Kansas City M.O., and currently living in Burlington V.T., producer Es-K (Essential Knowledge) presents “Serenity”, the new single from his debut solo album Serenity, also featuring MC Dialect, C-Rayz Walz, Charmingly Ghetto, DJ Grazzhoppa, Central Parks, Chel Strong, K. Sparks, Fish Grease, M-Dot, S.Dub, Chromadadata, and Mike Gerbino. Es-K is the man behind the Spontaneous Grooves download series, where Es-K creates instrumentals from scratch in one sitting (click here to listen to Spontaneous Grooves #18). Serenity is set to be the next release from Cold Busted, the eclectic label headed by Derrick Daisey, formerly known as DJ Vitamin D. Cold Busted also operates an online station, Cold Busted Radio. Es-K describes his new album as “a project about love, loss and life; dedicated to my best friend who passed away in 2010. The title track features two of my favorite artists who have both had a significant influence on my music. Their contribution sets the tone for this album as every feature to follow, though diverse, only strengthens its universal message.” Serenity drops June 17. Click here to listen to a preview of the album.|
Bay Area, California rapper and Distant Relatives member Vocab Slick presents the music video for “Somethin’ Slick”, the Brycon-produced new single from his Somethin’ Slick EP. The “Somethin’ Slick” single features a guest appearance from fellow Bay Area artist Kye The Guy. The music video – created to appear to be an 8-bit video game – was put together by Unjust of Hiero Imperium from scratch using a combination of Photoshop and after-effects. Besides Brycon, the EP features production from Hg Beats, Yoyo Ox and Bobby Ozuna as well as guest appearances from Joe Mousepad and Slick’s partner in Distant Relatives, the late Maynee, who passed away during the making of Somethin’ Slick, as did Slick’s mother and uncle. “The project came about after a conversation I had with Maynee,” says Slick. “We were talking about how we have been really humble with our approach to music thus far, and we came to the conclusion that it’s okay to be cocky, without being an a**hole. So I began making these songs with a real braggadocious and confident approach and it felt good.” Explaining his creative process for this video, Unjust says “I would downsize the imagery, then change the color mode to indexed color, then re-enlarge it. Once in after effects, I would apply a combination of filters including mosaic and contrast as well as others to give the footage a pixelated grainy look. I also overlayed a blended layer of digital noise i created just to further the effect of being glitchy and arcadey. But the most time consuming was re-creating the actual gameplay of a few of my favorite games – T&C surf, Zaxxon, and Ninja Gaiden. I made high resolution screenshots of the gameplay, recording me actually playing these games. Then I masked the main character of the games out frame by frame using the cloning tool, and tweening. After the main character was masked out, I overlayed Vocab’s character over, again frame by frame.” Regarding the loss of Maynee, Slick says “I feel it’s my duty and privilege to continue the work we both started. I’ve turned the pain inwards and focused that on working harder then ever before.” Somethin’ Slick is out now on iTunes.
Boston rapper TJ Hickey presents the M9Arnold-directed music video for “Stay The Night”, the new single from TJ’s forthcoming EP Happy Hour. “Stay The Night” features a guest verse from West Virginia rapper Huey Mack and is produced by Louis Bell, the man behind records for Tyga, Mike Stud, Slaine, Cody Simpson and more. TJ has opened up for Huey Mack, Mike Stud, Kyle Bent, Cam Meekins, Shwayze and more. “Me and Louis Bell had a 12 hour studio session and made it from scratch,” TJ says of the song. “We wanted to create something fun and uptempo and I told him I had always been a Shwayze fan and wanted to create a sound like that. I wrote the song in about 30 mins. It was a very natural song.” Happy Hour is set to include Kyle Bent and Jdep as well as production from Jon Kilmer, Producerboyz, Vinay and Diamondstyle Productions.
Columbus, Ohio-bred jazz-hop producer, teacher, DJ, emcee, and Polar Entertainment head J. Rawls presents “Bills”, from his forthcoming album The Legacy. Featuring a guest verse from Brooklyn rap veteran Masta Ace and produced by Bombeardo, “Bills” is the newest leak from The Legacy, set to feature Illa J, Oddisee, Wordsworth, Nottz Raw, Blueprint, JG the Juggernaut, P Blackk, Jean P, Driskill, Ms Sara D, Rashad, John Robinson, Ceezar, Lea Anderson and Keisha Soleil as well as production from Kev Brown, RASHAD, The Mighty DR, Rob Riley, Lakim and DJ O Sharp. “Bills” comes hot on the heels of the leak of “The Rest Of My Life” featuring Illa J (listen on KevinNottingham.com). The Legacy will be the final solo album from Rawls, the producer behind tracks for rap luminaries from Mos Def & Talib Kweli to the Beastie Boys, and to commemorate his transition he produces only one track on the album. “I had the opportunity to work with Ace years ago and when the chance came to work with him again I jumped at it,” says Rawls. “Ace is one of the dopest lyricists I know. We both have the task of running labels and making sure the bills get paid. The song came together like clockwork.” The Legacy drops June 10. Click here to watch the official trailer for The Legacy.
Bred between Grand Rapids MI and Tampa FL, rapper and GMD$ label head Eazy Money presents the Nelson Lima-directed music video for “Goin Goin Gone”, the Real Trax-produced new single featuring Luniz member Yukmouth. “Gone” will appear on Eazy Money’s forthcoming EP Time Is Money, also set to feature Bizarre of D-12, YMCMB member Cory Gunz, Bo Deal of BSM, Swizzz of Funk Volume, Juney Knotzz & Dre Banks. Committing to music after a three-year prison stint, Eazy Money has since been interviewed on Vlad TV (watch here), has released the I Can Do It Better mixtape (listen on LiveMixtapes), has worked with Grammy-nominated producer Baby Paul and secured ditribution through SMG Global/Bungalo/Universal. Eazy Money has opened for 2 Chainz, Too Short, 2 Live Crew, Lil Flip, Big Boi and B.O.B., and is working on a collaboration EP with Jackie Chain. Three videos have already been released from Time Is Money: “Untouchable” featuring Bizarre of D-12, Juney Knotzz and Dre Banks (watch), “Can’t Do It Like Me” featuring Bo Deal (watch), and “My Groove” (watch). “I shot Yukmouth the song and he sent it back within 24 hours with his verse,” says Eazy Money about the song. “The inspiration of the song is just simply moving to Cali recently and being able to work with a multi platinum west coast legend. The meaning of the song is basically I’m fresh in the game and I’m hitting home runs right now.” Regarding the song Yukmouth says “we outta here baby. Catch us before we blow up because when the stock go up, the price go up, we ain’t f**king with you no more.” Pre-order the Time Is Money EP on Amazon here.
Toronto-bred Juno/Much Music award-nominated rapper/actor FAMOUS presents the ILLvibe-edited music video for “Next Year”, the new single from FAMOUS’ new album Center Stage, out now with features from Julian Wheeler, David Delisca and Madilyn Bailey as well as Francesca & Lisa Michelle. The video is composed of repurposed clips of FAMOUS performing MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This” at his 13th birthday party at LaLa Land in Montreal. “One of the cool things about the place was that you can choose what song you wanted to perform and then choose from a selection of costumes and instruments,” says FAMOUS. “Once chosen, you go on set and they record you. Then they do some post effects on the video and send you home with a copy.” The track is produced by fellow Toronto native Thrizzo, whose catalog was recently featured on Diplo’s radio show. “Thrizzo sent me the beat and the beat felt like a slap in the face. Like WAKE UP. Get back on that fly shit! I chose to use that old footage seeing how it was the first video I ever recorded, this was the first single off my first album and it took me back to that time when I was just having fun doing what I loved!” FAMOUS has collaborated with Wale (listen to “My Eyes Red”), Grammy-winning producer Boi-1da (listen to “Typical Girl”), has clocked over 1 million Youtube views, and has shared stages with Nas, The Clipse and Method Man. The Center Stage World Tour started May 6 with confirmed dates in Singapore and Taiwan.
California rapper/producer Locksmith presents his personal story of child abuse in the Young Gunz-directed music video for “Hardest Song Ever”. Produced by Locksmith and Mike Blankenship, “Hardest Song Ever” features Leah Tysse and is the first single from Locksmith’s album A Thousand Cuts, which includes guest spots from R.A. The Rugged Man, Jarell Perry, Rebecca Nobel, Fallon, Anesha and Olamide Faison, and production by Nova K., Braden Blair and Rsonist. A member of group The Frontline, Locksmith first gained notoriety through MTV’s MC Freestyle Championship, has toured with Joe Budden, Murs, R.A. the Rugged Man, and Jedi Mind Tricks, and has collaborated with legendary producers 9th Wonder (“Stand It”) and Ski Beatz (“Lock”). Lock has been featured on MTV, BET, Sirius XM’s Shade 45, Hot 97’s “Who’s Next?” concert series and all major hip hop blogs. Regarding “Hardest Song Ever” Locksmith says “If my personal story can help any other person that is suffering, then I have truly accomplished something special.” A Thousand Cuts is out now.
Richmond, VA rapper Dr. Millionaire presents the Hunter Pharis Johnson-directed music video for “Bando Man”, his Conrizzle-produced new single from his forthcoming album My First Million, set to feature Chaz French, Nike Nando, Chance Fischer and Eddie Vanz as well as production from Hovey Benjamin, Mr. Ivory Snow, Gray Matter Beats, Ej Bollman and Baby Nate. “I was inspired by how the beat is cold, industrial, cutting,” says Johnson about the video. “The imagery is all based upon what you’re saying and run through a filter in my head. The gracefulness of hazardous material labels and warnings is proven by it’s universal use and primitive legibility. I tried to make the word play match up with those ideals by using simple graphics that are bold and instantly recognizable.”
Los Angeles-based deejay Catherine Ouellette (formerly known as DJ SynCity) presents her official remix of Rico Love’s “They Don’t Know”, featuring Pitbull and Ludacris. Born in Montreal, by the way of New York, she has headlined around the world and entertains for clients such as Calvin Klein, Chaka Khan, EA Sports, Tiger Woods, Adidas, People Magazine, Sean “Diddy” Combs, BMW, Maxim Magazine, Michael Jordan, Vogue Magazine, Justin Timberlake, Givenchy, Elle Magazine, 20th Century Fox, Eddie Murphy and more. She has been featured on TMZ (read), Vibe (read), AllHipHop (read), Shanghaiist (read) and was featured in Ozone’s “Sexiest Female DJs” (read). She is former A&R/executive producer of Metta World Peace’s imprint AMG. Her face has been seen on MTV and BET, she has earned four nominations for the Justo’s Mixtape Awards and is the first deejay ever to tour with both NASCAR and the U.S. Army. “The remix came about in between times while I was DJ’ing spot dates for Rico Love,” says Catherine about her remix, which comes hot on the heels of an alternate remix featuring T.I., Ludacris, Trey Songz, Tiara Thomas and Emjay (listen). “I watched a live performance video of Miley Cyrus twerking and believe it or not, got inspired. I wanted to create a dance remix, got into studio mode, and went over all these ideas with Chad Dexter, whom collaborated with me; I knew this had to be bass-heavy with an infectious melody. From there, Rico Love digged it. We worked on various alterations and edits. I was fortunate enough of him being already an established songwriter-producer himself, and having solid relationships with mega-stars. He then added Pitbull on our remix and the Ludacris verse from the original remix.” In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Rico said “Pit and I have been friends for years and it was dope knowing that he loved the song and wanted to be a part of it. I have to thank DJ SynCity for making such a dope track as well.” Catherine’s debut album is due this year. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto rapper and Northstarr label head D.O. (short for ‘Defy the Odds’) presents “Capture The Moonlight”, his new single featuring Joell Ortiz and Saukrates. “Moonlight” will be featured on Down Home, D.O.’s forthcoming album produced entirely by JUNO award-winning producer Classified and also featuring Chad Hatcher, Maestro Fresh Wes, Mic Boyd, Spesh K, J-Bru and Jake Boyd. D.O. is the 2003 Guinness World Record holder for longest freestyle rap (video), a regular public speaker with his own school tour program Stay Driven, a Toronto Independent Music Award nominee (for his 2007 album Northstarr), a #1 CMJ artist and regularly performs internationally, most recently performing as one half of the duo Art Of Fresh alongside Snoop Dogg and ASAP Rocky at Croatia’s Fresh Island Fest, Europe’s biggest beach festival. “It was an honour having Saukrates on the track because he’s someone that I grew up listening to and is legendary especially in Canada,” says D.O. about the track. “The funny thing is, the beat’s name was ‘Slaughter’ – as in ‘Slaughterhouse’ – as Classified had those guys in mind when he made the beat. So when I saw Joell was touring Canada, we were able to connect and make it work. ‘Capture The moonlight’ describes what it’s like being an artist. You’re usually making music late at night and trying to get that spark, get that light and capture that sound and feeling. I think that’s what we were able to do on this track.” Down Home drops April 22.
Washington D.C.-bred, California-based rapper/producer Fong-Sai-U presents the Gimante Nichols-directed video for “Bad Guy”, the self-produced first single from his forthcoming album Ballads Of A Massacre. An underground hip-hop veteran, Fong has collaborated with Black Thought (click to stream “I Own This Microphone”) who was an early mentor to Fong and took him on tour with The Roots. Fong also produced a song for Guru of Gang Starr on his solo album Bald Head Slick under his given name Divine (click to stream “O.G. Talk”). In 2011 Soulspazm Records released Fong’s album A Soldier’s Story (click for info) which featured Raheem DeVaughn and Res. “When I wrote ‘Bad Guy’ I was saying I’ll do what I have to do to survive without changing who I am,” says Fong. “I’m from Washington D.C. so I want y’all to see the lyrical side, not just the street side. The whole world got kilos if you let some of these rappers tell it. These corporations are money to me, not a car or chain.” Ballads Of A Massacre is set for a late spring release.
Wane Enterprises CEO and New York artist Bruse Wane presents “Return Of The Spitters (RMX)”, the new single from his album The Dark Knight Album.. The Day The Earth Stood Still. Produced by Al Walton Jr., “Spitters” features guest verses from Keith Murray as well as Fam-Illy, an artist on his Wane Enterprises roster. A native of the Bronxdale Houses Projects in the Soundview section of the Bronx, Bruse founded Wane Enterprises in 2001, hosting events featuring Styles P, Papoose, N.O.R.E, Buckshot, Remy Ma and Keith Murray, who Bruse chose to bless the remix of the original version of “Return Of The Spitters”, which can be heard on The Dark Knight Album. “I began contemplating a remix with a legend on it. Whoever I used I did not want to go too far back or too current, so Keith Murray was the perfect fit. Keith was one of those artist that lyric ally raised the bar in Hip-Hop when he came out. I kicked it with him on the phone, and shot him over the track. Within a day he sent me back some heat for it, and the rest is history. I wanted the song to pay homage to NYC street life and the fact that New York is the home of lyricism. This song is just me embracing that.”