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)
White Plains, New York emcee Megaciph (“Mental Energies Gather And Circulate In Positive Harmony”) presents the self-directed music video for “#AllDreamsAnyway”, the Official Stichel-produced single from Megaciph’s third album CIVILiAM (Bandcamp), which captures the stories and emotions from his time in the US Marine Corps. A devoted peace activist, he has partnered with Veterans For Peace to donate 100% of the album sales from CIVILiAM to VFP’s anti-war mission. In 2014 he was invited to the VFP annual convention in North Carolina as a performer. In April 2015 Megaciph performed at the Peace and Planet Nuclear non-proliferation convention in NYC. “‘All Dreams Anyway’ comes from the reality that far too many young men of color are faced with, and me having lived that reality,” Megaciph says. “I was a knucklehead doing knucklehead things for too many years of my life. A lot of it was anger left over from the Marine Corps, and from the pain and daily struggle of being Black in this racist society. The American dream is broken and we celebrate it everyday, so this is a cynical portrayal of that celebration with the internal struggle made visual for the audience.”
Queens, NY emcee J. ManifestO presents “Move”, my new single featuring Scienze, set to feature on J Manifesto’s upcoming EP Live From The Infinite. “So Live” is produced by Mighty Joe Young, and follows up his previous LFTI single “So Live” (listen). J released his Living Vicariously Through Memories album in 2013 (listen) and Okayplayer premiered his “Monologue” video in 2014 (watch). J says “Move” is about “low key getting curved by shorties whilst on the hunt with your homies.”
New Jersey MC, activist, philanthropist, fitness studio owner and adult entertainer Hasan Salaam presents the Alex Ghassan-directed music video for “Mile High Club”, produced by Smoke DZA/Fashawn producer Remot. Available in both censored and uncensored versions, the video shines a light into Hasan’s “double life” of music and porn. Along with his business partner Jet Setting Jasmine, Hasan – better known in the porn industry as King Noire – travels the country staging fantasy flight parties, sex education workshops and fetish training. A female friend in the porn business persuaded an 18-year-old Hasan to do his first porn movie because she “didn’t want any random d*** in [her] face. I made $500 for two hours of ‘work’.” Hasan later partnered with Jet Setting Jasmine to open their company, Jet Setting Jasmine/Royal Fetish Films, which Hasan says was “created to cater to women, and promotes that women should be able to enjoy their sexuality and adult entertainment just as much as any man. No one should not be shamed, or ashamed, because of their inherit instinct for intimacy and sexual satisfaction.” Hasan speaks at shelters to abused women, helping them reintroduce sensuality back in their lives with the purpose of ” assisting them to reclaim what someone looked to steal from them.” His activism work is also well documented. Hasan has toured Palestine, holding hiphop workshops with local youth. All profits from his 2012 EP Music Is My Weapon (listen) were used towards his “It Takes A Village” project which funded a school, clean water well, and medical clinic in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. A community organizer, he works with troubled youth, and helps run a monthly food and clothing drive in Jersey City, N.J. Hasan has taught “The Socio-Political Importance of Black Music in American Society”, a self-created lecture, at universities across the country. “Mile High Club” is the newest visual from Life In Black & White, Hasan’s Viper Records full-length out now on Immortal Technique’s Viper imprint (watch the music video for “Jericho” featuring Immortal Technique. Videos have also been released for “Father’s Day” (watch), “OGJM” (watch) and “Like Silence” (watch).
Netherlands-based rapper/producer Cptn Kirk presents the Mike Michaelides-directed music video for “Needs”, the new single from T.R.I.P. (Trippin Responsibly In Pluto), his forthcoming EP produced entirely by Boi-Lee. Born on the Greek Island of Crete, Cptn Kirk was performing and battling regularly around Greece by the age of 16, creating the Monster Footprints collective. In 2011 he moved to Amsterdam and clicked up with Netherlands crew Elite Fleet. “The title of the song says it all,” Cptn Kirk says about the new single. “In this world we all just wanna get whatever we want, but it makes us forget what we actually need. Being broke trying to make it, I wrote this track just to let people know and remind myself you should prioritize what you really need so you can get what you want. When you have a goal, chase it and never back down until you achieve what is needed so you can get what you really want.” T.R.I.P. drops on April 20.
Camden, New Jersey rapper/producer Ricky Rude presents the visual for “Grew Up Too Fast”, his new single produced jointly by producer Point1 and Ricky himself. “Grew Up Too Fast” also features guest appearances from Philadelphia rappers Dark Lo and AR-Ab. Ricky’s last EP featured Scarface (watch the music video for “So Immature”) and Trina (watch the music video for “Stripper Ass Model Face”). “Grew Up Too Fast” is the first street single from Ricky’s upcoming EP Reckless Recluse due out later this year.
“I trained my brain not to complain and taught my heart that there’s no such thing as pain. I grew up too fast” -Ricky Rude
France producers Eskazed and Nobody are Strawdogz, presenting the music video for “Music Was The Case”, out now on Holistique Music. The song features guest appearances from Chicago emcee Dope Chic (watch the music video for her “Supreme Bounce” single) and Washington DC emcee Yaway (watch the “Supadope” video). The video was directed by Clara Leac, whose “Running Wild” short was nominated to the Palm Spring Short Film Festival in 2013. Originally from Brittany, Strawdogz moved to Paris, where they met Dope Chic and Yaway, who currently also live there. Dope Chic describes her lyrics on the song as “a story about my struggle as an artist from Chiraq moving out to LA, and how it took me around the world to France for success. When I heard the church bells on the track I instantly heard the meaning of the song come into mind.” Strawdogz’ last release was the dub-influenced “Todo Es Presente” (stream on Soundcloud).
Miami-based rapper/producer Lex One presents “They Know”, his new single featuring Lucian White. Produced by Chevere, “They Know” was chosen to be on rotation on Shade45 after the callers unanimously voted it in, and Lex was interviewed by Sway on-air (listen). Lex featured on Sidney Samson’s “Riverside” single, which went platinum in the UK (Youtube). Lex’s blog getthatpaperson.com is now independent label GTPS, which recently released his album Gold Plaque featuring PR$FIT, Hellz Poet, Lyve Kaos, Mega, Mike Beatz, Lazee, Mr Burns, Simian Frenz and Miss (read Miami New Times’ interview with Lex).
San Diego-based, Gardena, California-bred rapper Kahlee presents the Eyekon Photography-directed music video for “For My People”, featuring Uptown Swuite & Odessa Kane, with cuts by DJ Wise. The remix comes courtesy of Digital Martyrs, who produce the entirety of ReBlessed, Kahlee’s album which remixes his previous release Blessed (listen) which featured Sabac Red of Non-Phixion, Uptown Swuite, CookBook (LA Symphony), Awdbawl and I.Sheik (Revolution of the Mind). 2 Dope Boyz recently premiered the drop of Kahlee’s free EP Loogie (listen). Kahlee’s last music video was for the remix of “Baring My Soul” (watch). Kahlee’s other releases include Man Of Many Hats, The Seed and Here I Am. Kahlee’s performed alongside Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Murs, Dilated Peoples and Immortal Technique. His music has appeared on The Wake Up Show, DJ Premier’s Live From Headqcourterz show, 2DopeBoyz, Okayplayer and DJBooth. He’s also had songs placed on the Showtime series All Access – Mayweather V. Maidana 2, and the Michael Clark movie The Challenger. Kahlee’s music is slated to feature in the forthcoming Days Of Wrath film starring Wilmer Valderrama and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Kahlee is a curator for hiphop blog PlatformCollection.com, where he co-hosts the podcast/mixshow Proof Of Life Radio. “‘For My People’ is like a reminder to look at ourselves and our history,” Kahlee says. “A lot of times people are so caught up in judging others for being different, they don’t realize they’re exactly the same. Even in this day and age too many people are offended by change. It’s time to kill the ego and move forward.”
New Jersey rapper Mazzi & S.O.U.L. (Sense Of Understanding Life’s) Purpose presents “Heart Of A Lion”, his new single featuring UK vocalist Eva Lazarus. “Lion” is the first single from his forthcoming album The Building, the followup to Digital Diggin’ 3Minus1, his previous EP where he rhymed over beats composed of samples all found online. Previous releases include “Weight” featuring Nore, Smoke DZA and Harry Fraud (listen) and his album _The Inspection which was hosted by Statik Selektah and featured Jadakiss, Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, Homeboy Sandman and Breezly Brewin (listen). Mazzi has shared stages with Eminem, Big Pun, G-Unit, Ghostface, M.O.P., Slick Rick, Erykah Badu and many more. A portion of proceeds from all S.O.U.L. Purpose albums go to charity, and Mazzi regularly travels to Palestine and Israel for humanitarian work, bringing medical supplies and conducting workshops, talent shows and live performances for youth in refugee camps.
Jacksonville, Florida emcee/producer duo Dillon & Paten Locke presents “Bourbon”, their new single featuring Von Pea of Tanya Morgan and Malkovich. “Bourbon” appears on Food Chain, their new album out now also featuring Dres of Black Sheep, Homeboy Sandman, Boog Brown, Count Bass-D, J-Live, Supa Dave West, Alexa Lima, Phill Most Chill, Willie Evans Jr. and Tone Tank. Food Chain is the followup to Dillon & Paten’s debut album Studies In Hunger (Bandcamp). Residing in Atlanta, Dillon’s solo releases include Dillon Ain’t Playin’ and Southern Scramble Dos (Bandcamp). Paten also collaborates extensively with Rockville, Maryland emcee Edan. As one half of Tanya Morgan, Von Pea has collaborated with Blu and Nitty Scott (Bandcamp), and Malkovich’s last release was the PreBoarding mixtape mixed by DJ Spinna (Bandcamp). Food Chain is available now in CD/cassette/digital fullplatefam.com and will be hitting stores with vinyl via Fat Beats Distribution this spring.
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Atlanta-based emcee Bambu de Asiatic presents the DJ Pocket-directed music video for “The Good Life”, his new Croup-produced single featuring Yamin Semali, Supastition and Simms Serenade. “The Good Life” appears on Family Matters, Bambu’s new album out now also featuring Cappuccino Meeks and Jon Doe, BLKMjkjr, Ugeorge the Emcee, Sum, DT of The Difference Machine, DJ Pocket, DJ Fudge, Binkis Recs, and Audessey of Sound Sci, as well as Ben Hameen, his crewmate in Collective Efforts, which released four albums in the US and two in Japan (stream “I Get Down” featuring Diamond D, Nicolay and STS9). Bambu’s debut was 2011’s Inspiration EP (stream on Bandcamp here and watch the music video here). Bambu says his new album features “some of the most talented emcees, DJs, and producers that I have befriended over the last 20 years on the Atlanta underground Hip Hop scene. I put this project together because I wanted to shine a light on how many dope artists are connected to this local scene. I wasn’t able to get everyone that I wanted to work with on this album, but the artists that I did collaborate with represented fully!”
Grand Rapids, Michigan rapper/producer/visual artist Tekh Togo presents BlackWater, his new album featuring Mick Jenkins, Nitty Scott MC and Dougy Lo Hot as well as production from Mistro, Nixon and Seventh of AGO. One music video from the project has been released, for “Dressed To Kill” (watch). Tekh describes “Blackwater” as “dark elegance, plush griminess, fly abstract rhyming about the ill side and the real side of life and times today.”