Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eminem: "Not Afraid"

Lead single from Eminem's upcoming (skit free!) album Recovery. Judging an Eminem song is always hard for me because him half-assing it lyrically is usually better than 75% of the rappers out today; he gets held to a much higher standard than most. I will say that at least he's not doing that stupid accent and this is better than anything from his previous album. The sung chorus is iffy though, Em's not much of a harmonizer.

A.R.M.: "Resist"

A.R.M. just launched their new website, so they decided to let loose a freebie that will not be featured on their upcoming Two Africans and a Jew, Vol. 1 EP (which can be pre-ordered at the website). Clap for 'em.

A.R.M.: "Resist"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lupe Fiasco "I"m Beaming" (Music Video)

Toki Wright: "By The Time I Get To Arizona Redux"

Toki Wright wanted to express his thoughts and feelings regarding the incredibly backwards Arizona immigration bill that was recently passed into law. Below is his story regarding the creation of the track. My admiration goes out to Toki for not worrying about the backlash accompanied with voicing your opinion on such a controversial topic. A lot of times it's worth it. This law is biased, unjust, and puts to much subjective digression in the hands of individual actors in the legal system. I encourage anyone who reads this to research the topic and follow Toki's link at the bottom of his message. Thanks, and thanks to where I found most of this.
Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday at approximately 1:30pm I was having a conversation with my
community organizer/poet friend Emmanuel Ortiz about the Senate Bill
1070 (SB 1070) that recently was signed into law in the state of
Arizona. The bill says that “all immigrants must carry documentation
verifying their immigration status. It also stipulates that police
officers have the authority to ask to see the information from any
individual that is deemed “suspicious” or when there is “reasonable
suspicion” that the person may not be legally in the country.” This
new bill signed into law in a nutshell legalizes racial profiling. If
you “look like an immigrant” you can get hauled off to jail.

Emmanuel says, “somebody needs to redo By The Time I Get To Arizona”
by Public Enemy. Arizona is that same state the didn’t want to
recognize Martin Luther King Day when Chuck D originally wrote the
song. For years I wanted to write a “By The Time I Get To Minnesota”
version but never got around to it. I started doing more research on
the new bill and was outraged. By 2:30 I contacted BK-One to locate
the instrumental that he used elements of in Brother Ali’s old set.
BK was on the road and said that I would have to piece it together
from the original Mandrill and Jackson 5 songs. Not having any luck
finding quality versions of either I went in a did some Frankenstein
cut and paste work to the original PE version.
By 4PM I was done piecing together the beat. By 7pm I rewrote the
song with updated information. I wanted to follow Chuck D’s exact
cadence so I had to go back in line by line. By 8pm I was listening
to a rough vocal. By 10:00pm I was in the studio with Reggie Reg.
The process included going in and listening to Chuck, trying to match
his scheme, and recording my version. Wash, rinse, repeat. By
midnight the vocals were recorded. By 3am we added all the bells and
whistles and here is the finished product.

All day I’ve been saying “hell…I’m going to get in trouble for this
one.” But you know what? The truth needs to be told. Biting your
tongue only makes you hungry and your mouth hurt. Hope you enjoy it.
Pass it along.

In Solidarity,
Toki Wright

Franz Diego: "I Wanna Rock Freestyle"

Franz was a little late to the party, but still did his thing over Snoop Dogg's infectious instrumental. He also informed me that we should be expecting a new mixtape in around a month. Word up, Franz!

Krukid: "U.G. Chillin"

Krukid goes in over some Wale/Gaga. Remember that A.R.M. is coming out with Two Africans and a Jew, Vol. 1 May 11, and they'll be performing at Soundset 2010 on May 30.

Krukid: "U.G. Chillin"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Quarters: "Hold Me Down" (Prod. Mux Mool)

The group responsible for making one of my favorite albums of 2009 is back with a free download of "Hold Me Down," off one of their older Big Quarters Direct releases. To subscribe to the series and get five new songs every month for $5, hit up Big Quarters' website. Lastly, Big Quarters' third album, Party Like A Young Commie (an explanation of that title would be terrific, guys), is scheduled for a Fall 2010 release date.

Big Quarters: "Hold Me Down" (Prod. Mux Mool)

Trama: "Marvin Hagler" (Music Video)

Since Trama's UnaTrama mixtape release party is tomorrow at Fifth Element, he decided to share a throwback treat with us. This is a video for one of the singles of his first album, Menage-A-Tram. It was uploaded back in June of 2006, but until today has been viewed only 25 times. As Tram so eloquently states, "When we shot this video Youtube and Myspace weren't really poppin... everyone was just trying to get their video on BET UNCUT." So here it is for you now.

Remember to hit Fifth Element tomorrow from 6-8pm for a free copy of UnaTrama.

Orikal Uno: "Lonesome Road"

More new material from Saint Paul's own Orikal Uno. This one was produced by Chris Goodwin and was premiered two days ago on KYMN Radio. Congrats to Orikal on the local exposure.

Orikal Uno: "Lonesome Road"

Just Wulf: "Who Am I"

While I'm introducing new artists to Midwest Broadcast, why not put a Twin Cities youngster on board? Just Wulf is an upperclassmen at Central Senior High School who has been rapping since 7th grade. He recently put out his debut album, Peace By Piece. The entire project was produced by Prime Cut Beats, and features guest spots from Big Quarters, Mike Dreams, Mac Spillz and a few others. Here's a introductory track to get you accustomed to Just Wulf's sound. Look for more from him in the future.

Just Wulf: "Who Am I"

Danami: "Pressure" + 'Success Is Intentional' Mixtape

Danami is a new emcee who hails from Detroit. I haven't posted any of his solo material, but he's been on Midwest Broadcast before. I promoted one of his concerts with Toki Wright and Sims back in February, and he was just featured on Mally's new single. Honestly though, it's about time he gets some shine on his own. Below is Danami's dope single "Pressue," as well as his latest mixtape. Check it out.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Prof: "Broadcasting ft. P.O.S." (Video)

If this video doesn't make you want to see Prof or P.O.S. live, I don't know what will.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Toki Wright: "Say Something Freestyle"

It would be hard to body this beat as hard as Lupe did back in 2009, but Toki approached the track in his own unique way and definitely held it down. Props to Toki for always pleasently surprising us with these free treats, definitely a sing of things to come from the talented Rhymesayers/Soultools emcee.

Kanser: "Positive Punchlines ft. Alicia Steele" (Music Video)

Off of Kanser's Two For One album featuring Alicia Steele. Directed by Chris Cloud.

Trama: "Party 'N Bullshit"

A few days ago I posted "I'm A Big Fuckin' Deal," off Trama's upcoming UnaTrama mixtape. He was supposed to release this on 4/20, but in respect of legendary Gang Starr emcee Guru's tragic passing, he held off for a day. This time, Trama gave the Biggie classic his own interpretation. Remember that UnaTrama will be available for free at Fifth Element on April 27 from 6-8pm.

Krukid: "Soundset Theme Song" (Video)

Krukid put together an unofficial Soundset theme song, which I just spotted at the official Soundset blog. Speaking of which, City Pages just named Soundset the best Twin Cities music festival. Anyway, you should all know that Krukid is no slouch lyrically, so this playful track is chock full of clever punchlines. While Krukid is just one-third of the mighty A.R.M., his rhyming partner M.anifest makes an appearance in a bonus video below to hype up their debut EP, Two Africans and a Jew.

Abstract Pack: "Attraction"

A while ago I posted "Skills ft. Big Jess" and "That's Life," but after a bit of a delay Abstract Pack is back with their new single "Attraction." Keep in mind that their album Ear-Responsible is scheduled for a June 1 release date.

Abstract Pack: "Attraction"

Brother Ali: "The Preacher" (Fresh Air Tour Video)

I'm a bit late on this (like two months late) but I haven't seen it on any other blogs. This is the video that played while Brother Ail was performing "The Preacher" during his Fresh Air Tour. Shot by Minneapolis' own SIX-TON Productions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mally: "Better Days ft. Danami"

New heat from Mally, produced by Marcus Banks of Miami. This track isn't going to be featured on any upcoming project so make sure to pick it up now. It should just serve as a teaser for his upcoming album The Quality of Mind.

Update: Mally just sent me a Twitter message informing me that the previous download link was the wrong version of "Better Days." This new link should be correct.

Mally: "Better Days ft. Danami"

Maria Isa: "Lowrider Mami's (Caddy, Lincoln, Chevys)"

Here's a fresh new track from Minneapolis' versatile artist Maria Isa. This will be featured on the upcoming mixtape Sotarico Presents... Sip It! Jon Jon alerted me that Miss Isa will be performing on May 5 at Dessa's upcoming 3-day Cadence Hip-Hop Series at the Guthrie.

Maria Isa: "Lowrider Mami's (Caddy, Lincoln, Chevys)"

Greenhouse: "Cold Out Here" (Music Video)

For the second time today, here is the follow-up to a music video's previously posted trailer, as Greenhouse finally put out the video for "Cold Out Here," off the group's very good Electric Purgatory, Pt. 1.

Trama: "I'm A Big Fuckin' Deal" + New Album Announcement

Trama hit me up a few days ago with this new, and Jon Jon already beat me to the punch, but here's a new track off Trama's last mixtape ever, UnaTrama. The tape is available exclusively at Fifth Element for free.99 on April 27 from 6-8pm.

Trama: "I'm A Big Fuckin' Deal"

On top of that, on May 5 Trama will be releasing his final album, Viet-Tram. Why these are his final projects ever have yet to be determined, but Tram states he will be happy to answer those questions if you visit him at Fifth Element on April 27.

Trey Lane: "Far Away" (Music Video)

Two weeks ago I posted the preview of this music video. Trey Lane just hit me with the finished version. It's a polished, well executed on video, and proves these things can be accomplished on an indie budget. Nicely done. Trey Lane will be performing at Fifth Element in Minneapolis on Friday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brother Ali & Fashawn: "Breakin' Dawn Boys" (Video)

B.o.B.: "Past My Shades ft. Lupe Fiasco"

Nah Right says this might not be the final version, but it's worth posting for the Lupe verse alone. The Adventures of Bobby Ray will be out April 27.

B.o.B.: "Past My Shades ft. Lupe Fiasco"

P.O.S. at Coachella Record Store Day (Video) + "Never Better" (LIve at Triple Rock 4/13/10)

P.O.S. gave a brief interview at the Zia Records pop-up store on Record Store Day while at Coachella. City Pages blog Gimme Noise posted some reviews of his show, where he debuted his full band to a large-scale audience. Their first official concerts together, though, were in a series of 3 warm-up shows in the Twin Cities. Empty's Tapes was able to get some audio of them performing "Never Better," which I posted below.

Soundset 2010 Slow and Low Custom Car Show

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kristoff Krane: "Miracle?" (Music Video)

Off Krane's previous album, This Will Work For Now. Head over to Kristoff Krane's Bandcamp site to check out other new songs he's working on. He will be releasing two new projects this Spring, the Hunting For Father LP and the Picking Flowers Next To Roadkill LP.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soundset 2010 B-Boy/DJ Tent (Video)

Come to the Soundset 2010 B-Boy/DJ tent to watch me breaking it down on May 30. Ha! Buy your tickets for Soundset here.

Mike Dreams: "Getting Ours" + "Hip Hope Anthem" (Live at Vices To Verses)

Add-2: "Goin' In"

I haven't posted anything from Add-2 for a bit, but as usual the Chicago rapper is holding it down and continuing to release new music at a rapid pace. This track comes off of YNotMyDream's upcoming mixtape, 1, and was produced by Marcus Banks.

Orikal Uno: "Stage Life ft. JL Magee"

New track from Saint Paul rapper and Graff Roots Media member Orikal Uno. Featuring JL Magee of The Watchmen.

Orikal Uno: "Stage Life ft. JL Magee"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Event Announcement: From Vices To Verses (April 9-11 at the University of Minnesota)

This weekend the University of Minnesota will be hosting the three-day conference, From Vices To Verses: A New Era of Hip-Hop and Action. The event should be fantastic, with intellectual seminars on feminism in hip-hop and using the genre as a tool of social action, as well as a Saturday night concert featuring Dead Prez, Toki Wright, Guante, Maria Isa, and more. Hip-hop is a transcendent cultural resource with untapped potential for social influence. I wish I could attend and partake in the conference, and am excited to hear how everything turns out. Please do attend if you're in the Twin Cities over the weekend and have some free time. Check out the following press release, and make sure to visit the Vices To Verses website:
From April 9 to April 11, the University of Minnesota will be hosting “From Vices to Verses” a conference featuring workshops, performances, discussions and educational events centered on how hip hop pedagogy, activism and culture can educate, empower and transform communities.

Organized by Voices Merging at the U of MN, along with University and community partners, the conference will focus on three central themes:

· April 9: “I Used to Love H.E.R.: Bring Back the Love,” exploring hip hop feminism and women’s roles—past, present and future—in the culture. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente.
· April 10: “Remixing Borders, Transcending Boundaries,” focusing on using hip hop as a tool to create unity and move beyond generational, national and cultural boundaries. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and author Bakari Kitwana.
· April 11: “Us,” focusing on hip hop’s power to heal and transform individuals and communities through organizing, activism and youth engagement. Keynote speaker: educator and multidisciplinary artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Other presenters include filmmaker Rachel Ramist, Chaka Mkali of the Hope Community Center, Sage Morgan Hubbard of Northwestern University, Ruth Nicole Brown of the University of Illinois, poet and activist Tish Jones, rapper/poet/writer Kyle “Guante” Myhre, photographer B-Fresh and many more.

On Saturday, April 10, noted Twin Cities performers Toki Wright, Maria Isa, PosNoSys, Ill Chemistry, the Tru Ruts crew and others will take over the Cabooze for a special concert.

P.O.S.: "Goodbye" + "Let It Rattle" (Videos)

After viewing some of Dessa's set on YouTube, I stumbled upon footage of P.O.S. rocking Madison's High Noon Saloon. Now I'm even more bitter I had to miss it. Another time, I suppose.

Dessa: "The Chaconne" + "Mineshaft" (Videos)

Dessa performed with P.O.S. at Madison's High Noon Saloon a few weeks back. You would have heard about it firsthand from me, but a very close friend of mine was in town for one night only, so I unfortunately had to miss the concert that night. Thankfully some footage popped up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wide Eyes: "Choke and Die" (Music Video)

Here's the new music video for the ever so delicately titled Wide Eyes track. Off their keg party-funded backpacker anthem of an album, Hands Tied. Directed by Chief of Midwest Underground.

Rhymefest: "Letter ft. John Mayer" (Music Video)

Fest's new track that doesn't technically feature John Mayer, fresh off the heels of his Dangerous: 5-18 mixtape.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Toki Wright: "Just Begun Freestyle"

Toki just hit me with this freestyle over the Reflection Eternal instrumental. As expected, he goes in. Toki will be touring throughout the country all summer long to promote his debut RSE/Soultools LP A Different Mirror, as well as his BlackMale EP.

Sims: "Here I Stand" (Prod. Lazerbeak) + Doomtree Daytrotter Session

Sims and Lazerbeak are working on a collaborative album, which jumps to the top of my list of anticipated albums. If this teaser track, "Here I Stand," is any indication, it should be an amazing release. Check it out below.

Furthermore, a few members of Doomtree were able to drop in on the Daytrotter folks and perform some of their solo tracks live in the studio. Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, and Mike Mictlan were all able to lay a few cuts down, and I highly recommend you check them out.

Muja Messiah: "Bobby's Angels"

I somewhat sarcastically quipped about not hearing anything from Muja a while back, and naturally Jon Jon at Sound Verite caught notice. As expected, he promptly hit me with some new material from one of MPLS' finest, but I have been a little delayed in posting it. This track appeared on Peter Parker's recent Grind Season Go Getters, Vol. 1 mixtape which was hosted by J. Cole and featured several artists including A.R.M., Sims, and Prof.

Muja Messiah: "Bobby's Angels"Peter Parker Presents: Grind Season Go Getters, Vol. 1 (Mixtape)

Lipset: "Everything"

Lipset, who's grinding just about as hard as anyone in the Twin Cities right now, just put out a new single, "Everything." Check it out below.

Lipset: "Everything"

Trey Lane: "Far Away" (Music Video Preview)

Off Trey Lane's All Things Considered, which is out now. Trey Lane is also having an in-store performance at Fifth Element on April 23 in support of the album. The digital flyer can be viewed below.

Mike Dreams: "How To Make It In America"

Mike Dreams just sent me a new track from an upcoming compilation mixtape he's featured on. The track is titled "How To Make It In America." It's based off the HBO series of the same name. On another note, big congratulations to Mike on getting a spot on the Soundset 2010 lineup! This is a big step forward in his career.

Mike Dreams: "How To Make It In America" (Prod. DJ Shynin)

Rhymefest: Dangerous: 5-18 (Mixtape)

Nah Right presented Rhymefest's latest mixtape, a prelude to his often-delayed yet still anticipated sophomore LP El Che, out on May 18 (same day as LCD Soundsystem, which I'm even more geeked for, ha!). Mixed by DJ RTC.

Rhymefest: Dangerous 5-18 (Mixtape)

Felt: "Glory Burning" (Music Video)

Sometimes a video helps you fully realize the artistic vision in a song, or completely reshape your understanding of what a song is all about. This is what Felt's new(ish) video for "Glory Burning" did for me. Nice work.

Also from Rhymesayers: Felt are releasing Felt 3: A Tribute To Rosie Perez instrumentals and acapellas to support youth writing. All proceeds will be donated to 826 National, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with creative and expository writing skills, and also helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Download the instrumental/acapella version of the album via iTunes.

Soundset 2010 Lineup Announced

I know this happened a while ago, but I wasn't not going to post it. Buy tickets here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

J. Dante & Man Mantis: "Whole New World"

Man Mantis of Madison's Dumate crew and J. Dante of First Wave are teaming up for a collaborative EP, due out in April. Here is the first single from that project.

Greg Grease: 'Illuminous Free' Producer of the Month (Video + Song)

Greg Grease was the latest Twin Cities producer to get down with Illuminous 3 for their "Illuminous Free" series. Get to know the man! And make sure to check out his Tribute to the Lakes EP if you haven't yet.

Illuminous 3: "The Madness" (Prod. Greg Grease)

Brother Ali & Fashawn: "Breakin' Dawn Boys" (Prod. BK-One & Brother Ali)

I'm incredibly late on this one since I was gone for Spring Break, but Ali, Fashawn, and BK-One collaborated for a theme song for their upcoming tour. Similar to how Ali threw down for their last anthem with Toki Wright and Evidence, this track to be excellent as well. I'd expect nothing less from the artists responsible for 3 of hip-hop's best albums of 2009. Peace to Pwelbs.

Mr. Physix (of Dirty Disco Kidz): 2 New Remixes

Mr. Physix of Madison's popular DJ crew Dirty Disco Kidz just released a couple new remixes of his, available below.

Spank Rock: "Bootay (Mr. Physix Remix)"

Paper Tiger: "Ice Cube" 20 Minute Mix

While on the topic, Paper Tiger also made his latest 20-minute mix an Ice Cube compilation, since the west coast legend was headlining Paid Dues.

Paper Tiger: "Ice Cube" 20 Minute Mix

Doomtree: Paid Dues 2010 (Video)

The entire Doomtree crew performed in Cali at the Paid Dues festival yesterday. While this video was meant to be a promo for that event, I have been out of town for a week with little to no technology to stay updated on things. I must say, though, it's still pretty cool.