Monday, February 28, 2011

Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Mos Def: 30 Minute Freestyle (Live at Blue Note, NYC)

Lupe Fiasco recently performed a series of 4 shows at New York City's Blue Note with the Robert Glasper Experiment. It's All The Way Live was in the building for that show, and was able to witness and record a full 30-minute cypher session when Lupe brought out special guests Kanye West and Mos Def. Here's what they had to say:
The trio freestyled, spit new verses, classic verses and then Mos did fantastic renditions of Umi Says and Black Radio, all backed by the incredible Robert Glasper Experiment. It was truly epic and the intimate venue made the performance even more special.
Sound like it was a great time. Check out the audio below, via It's All The Way Live. You can also stream it at their website.

Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Mos Def: 30 Minute Freestyle (Live at Blue Note, NYC)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Atmosphere: "Puppets" (Live in Rochester, MN)

Atmosphere performing their cut from Lemons in Rochester for the recently completed Welcome To MN tour. I was at the show and it was terrific. This video will provide a good taste of how Atmosphere's live show has evolved, for those who haven't seen them recently. The live band allows for more improvisation and subtlety in their shows now, which makes the experience even more enjoyable and memorable.

Mac Lethal: "Feel It In The Air" (Video)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Big Jess: "Incredible ft. Jellyfish"

Big Jess of Unknown Prophets is planning all sorts of musical treats for us in 2011. First, he is getting set to release his 4th solo album, the double disc project Self Therapy/Good Clean Fun 3 in the spring of 2011. This first single "Incredible" features Jellyfish and is off of the Good Clean Fun 3 side.

Also keep in mind that Unknown Prophets are working on their long-awaited followup to World Premier, World Premier 2.

Big Jess: "Incredible ft. Jellyfish"

Illuminous 3: "We Happy" (Prod. Julian Fairbanks of Audio Perm)

This is the thirteenth installment of Illuminous 3's 'Illuminous Free' program. Have they really been doing this for a year now? Regardless, the group is now going to dedicate the next few 'Illuminous Free' sessions to highlight the young local production collective Audio Perm. The first member of that group to be featured is Julian Fairbanks. Check his interview with the group above, and download "We Happy" below.

Illuminous 3: "We Happy" (Prod. Julian Fairbanks)

Toki Wright on MPR (Audio)

Toki Wright was recently invited to Minnesota Public Radio to partake in a discussion about the new book The Anthology of Rap a collection of rap lyrics over the history of the genre. Toki, along with Adam Bradley (author of the Anthology of Rap) and Mark Anthony Neal (Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke University), discuss the power and the poetry of rap music, across its relatively short history.

Big Zach: "Disco Balls on Venus" (Prod. Big Jess)

Big Zach of Kanser is preping his second solo album, New Crayons, for a March 21 release date. The album was produced entirely by Big Jess of Unknown Prophets, so you know it's bound to be another fine local release from these two stalwart artists. Here is the first single, "Disco Balls On Venus."

Big Zach: "Disco Balls on Venus" (Prod. Big Jess)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Cool Kids: "Bundle Up"

The Cool Kids are back, and finally ready to release their debut full-length LP When Fish Ride Bicycles. The Kids recently signed a deal with Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound. Despite the unconventional nature of that decision, it seems like the label will actually be a good deal for the group in the long term. Green Label Sounds is forgoing many of the normal revenue sharing fees that goes to music labels, leaving more money directly in The Cool Kids' pockets. When Fish Ride Bicycles should be out in the Spring. Here's the first single, "Bundle Up."

The Cool Kids: "Bundle Up"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Slug Speaks on the Welcome To MN Tour (Video)

Mike The Martyr: "Not Me" Pts 1 & 2 + Mixtape Announcement

Local rappers Mike The Martyr and Aquafresh will be putting out a mixtape in the near future, titled In Search Of The Wondrous Punch. While we wait for that, here are a couple other songs from Mike The Martyr.

Mike The Martyr: "Not Me, Pt. 1"Mike The Martyr: "Not Me, Pt. 2"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Atmosphere: "Just For Show"

Atmosphere debuted their lead single off The Family Sign last night on The Current. Now, the radio station is streaming it on their website for one week only. The Family Sign will be in stores on April 12.

Update: Added the official Rhymesayers stream via Soundcloud, so it should hopefully still be up once The Current takes their down.

Lupe Fiasco: "All Black Everything"

New Lupe Fiasco, this one will be off of the upcoming Lasers, available everywhere March 8. Stream only, but preorder the album of iTunes.

Auddio Dragdon (Chilam Balam + Mr. Gene Poole): "Storms"

Fifth Element recently hit us with an exclusive preview of new local group Audio Dragons. The group is composed of Chilam Balam of the Los Nativos crew, and Mr. Gene Poole of Dynospectrum. The video above, via FifthelementTV, give us an introduction to the group. You can also download one of their new songs, "Storms," below. Lastly, both artists will be special guests on Atmosphere's Welcome To MN tour, taking place this week, and they'll be previewing some new music from the Audio Dragons project while on that tour.

Auddio Draggon: "Storms"

I.B.E.: "Beggin ft. Alissa Paris" (Music Video)

Last year I.B.E. put out I​-​Dill Picture, a quick-hitter mixtape featuring the Minneapolis rapper kicking bars over some J Dilla production. Up above is a video for the song "Beggin", while the mixtape and mp3 of the song can be downloaded below.

Lipset: "Frustrated"

Here is the next song available from the gradual re-release of Lipset's debut LP, Level Heads. This is the fourth track on the album, "Frustrated."

Lipset: "Frustrated"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sims: "Hey You" (Video)

Sims stopped by The Current studios to promote his new album Bad Time Zoo, which you should purchase if you don't own it yet. Video up above, and you can stream the entire session down below.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kanye West: "All Of The Lights" (Music Video)

Right on time, Kanye surprises us with the official music video to his epic posse thumper "All Of The Lights." Leave it to Ye to put the video out with only about 1 hour or advance notice. Hype Williams directed the video, and it features Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Kanye standing on a cop car, and of course, many many bright flashing lights. Kanye did it once more, but then again, are you really all that surprised anymore?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mike 2600: 'Man, You Been Doin' All This Dope Producing' (Dre Day 2011 Mix)

Frank 151 just posted the official mix for Dre Day 2011, done by Mike 2600. Download or stream it below, and make sure to stop by the Triple Rock on Saturday night to catch Heiruspecs headlining the celebration. The night will also feature DJ sets by Plain Ole Bill and Mike 2600, as well as a rap video mix set done by DJ Grocery of St. Louis. You can purchase tickets at the Triple Rock, retailers around the Twin Cities, or online.

Mike 2600: 'Man, You Been Doin' All This Dope Producing' (Dre Day 2011 Mix)

Lupe Fiasco: "H.A.M. Freestyle"

Lupe had a radio interview with Tim Westwood recently, and also kicked a freestyle over the recent Jay-Z/Kanye single "H.A.M." Lupe really tears this instrumental a new one, especially considering that he's actually freestyling on the beat. Hopefully Lu finds time to get in the studio to record an official freestyle, or something of that nature. Props to the LupEND Blog.

Lupe Fiasco: "H.A.M. Freestyle"

Katy Perry: "E.T. ft. Kanye West"

The man who was responsible for my favorite album of 2010 lended a guest verse to a track from one of my least favorite artists. Though that statement is mostly speculative, I've never heard any of Katy Perry's music besides her singles. In fact, I probably never would have known this even happened were it not for the good folks at Minneapolis Fucking Rocks. Thanks, guys, I think.

Katy Perry: "E.T. ft. Kanye West"

Sims: "Bad Time Zoo" + "Burn It Down" (Videos)

Sims' new album Bad Time Zoo is now available at your local record store, online, and via iTunes. The album is produced entirely by Lazerbeak and is fantastic, start to finish. Anyway, here are two very cool videos featuring Sims. Up above, Sims stars in the latest episode of MPLS.TV's City of Music video series. Below, MPLS.TV, again, was able to get some footage of Sims performing at Fifth Element to celebrate the release of his album. But remember, his official album release party is this Saturday, 2/19/11, at The Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis.

F. Stokes: "Jo Jo Dancer" (Music Video)

Guante & Big Cats!: 2/12/11 Concert at The Fine Line Music Cafe

Last Saturday, Guante & Big Cats! performed in downtown Minneapolis at The Fine Line Music Cafe. Empty, of Empty's Tapes, was there to record the show. Huge props to him.

"Big shout to Empty - if you recordin' it then I'm immortal 'cause a torrent is my origin" -Guante

Guante & Big Cats!: 2/12/11 Concert at The Fine Line Music Cafe

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mike Swoop: "Up Late" (Music Video)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you don't have Mike Swoop's debut LP A New Love, you need to get your hands on it soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fifth Element Presents Shirts and Songs Collection (Video)

Fifth Element is beginning a cool new partnership with Big Quarters pairing exclusive T-shirts with digital downloads of new songs.

The first joint to be released it I Self Devine's "Money Fucking Money", produced by Medium Zach and featuring guest verses from St. Paul Slim and Brandon Allday. It's been excellent to hear more from I Self lately. The T-shirt being paired exclusively with this track is the limited edition "Chips & Cheddar" screenprinted American Apparel T-shirt, designed by Alex Smith (Turnstyle Clothing, MNNice). Shout out to the big homie Alex.

Jordan Looney: Valentine's Day Survival Kit

Jordan Looney put out a Valentine's Day Survival Kit, and I was so caught up in all the pomp and circumstance that I neglected to notice. Now that I'm back trolling the Interweb, I might as well post it up a day late, because it's got two new tracks, "Fish In The Sea" and "3 Ways".

Jordan Looney: Valentine's Day Survival Kit

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Black Milk in the Studio (Video)

Black Milk and his band in the studio, presumably preparing for his upcoming US tour. No dates in Minneapolis though, which I'm bitter about. Tip of the hat to 2DopeBoyz.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Atmosphere: 'The Family Sign' Album Art + Tracklist

Rhymesayers just released the artwork and tracklist for The Family Sign, due out on April 12. Also, Atmosphere has joined Twitter. Color me excited. Here's what they had to say:
Atmosphere returns with their 7th official studio album and the newest addition to their unparalleled body of work. The Family Sign comes from a place well refined and firmly planted, from a universal perspective. It's about being okay with losing friends and strengthening your bonds with others, celebrating the person who's been the most positive in your life, your kids, your homies, leaving the people you need to behind, and bringing the ones you love with you. It's about your family, your time and the time you have with them. It's about living and dying. It's the truth about family, that it comes from loyalty as much as biology. It's about breaking down your perceptions of family and really appreciating the people who've made you who you are and continue doing so.

The Family Sign is Atmosphere's most personal and intimate album yet; it involves and engages the listener like never before. Slug's signature voice weaves in and out of Ant's ASR-born production, Nate Collis' bluesy guitar riffs and the sound of Erick Anderson's unmistakable keys giving The Family Sign a fresh, unique edge without sacrificing Atmosphere's signature sound. Join the Family April 12th, 2011.

1) My Key
2) The Last to Say
3) Became
4) Just For Show
5) She's Enough
6) Bad Bad Daddy
7) Millenium Dodo
8) Who I'll Never Be
9) I Don't Need Brighter Days
10) Ain't Nobody
11) Your Name Here
12) If You Can Save Me Now
13) Something So
14) My Notes

Trakhouse: "Trakhouse ft. Emazin, Talib Kweli, I Self Divine, and Toki Wright"

I'm not familiar with Trakhouse, but it seems to be some sort of new production/rap collective out of Minneapolis. Regardless, Toki Wright just sent this track through my way, and it's got quite an impressive guestlist. "Trakhouse" features Emazin, Talib Kweli, I Self Devine, and Toki. It's a nice track, Kweli and I Self, in particular, body their verses. Check it out below.

In related news, Toki will be embarking on a tour of the Midwest and West Coast with Scarub of Living Legends in April. But in the meantime, you can catch him at The Varsity in Minneapolis on February 25.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Heiruspecs: Dre Day 2011 Teaser (Video)

I know Sims is unfortunately throwing his album release party the same night, but you can catch me at the Triple Rock celebrating Dre Day with Heiruspecs on Saturday, February 19.

The Adventures of Blueprint, Episode 3 (Video)

Blueprint touches on the beat for "Keep Bouncing." Remember to pre-order Adventures In Counter-Culture.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lipset: "Murderous Cypher"

Lipset continues to gradually re-release his Level Heads LP, on a track-by-track basis. Gotta pay close attention to get each song. This time it's the third song on the album, "Murderous Cypher."

Lipset: "Murderous Cypher"

Roma Di Luna: "Lonely Hearts (Brandon Allday Remix)"

Brandon Allday of Big Quarters recently was given the opportunity to remix "Lonely Hearts" by the fantastic local band Roma Di Luna. The band gave him multitrack stems of the original recording to do what he wanted with, but Allday only used the vocals from the song, creating the rest of the beat on his MPC.

LP: "Let's Go"

LP is a new local rapper from Minneapolis who has a mixtape out, titled On My Way Up. The mixtape is available right now at his ReverbNation website. Below is a track off that project, the single "Let's Go."

LP: "Let's Go"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Slug & Dan Monick: 'Seven Years With Atmosphere & Rhymesayers' Book Signing (Video)

Umbrella Music Group: "I Don't Mind" (Music Video)

Here's a dope new Twin Cities collective for you to check out: Umbrella Music Group. UMG is composed of I Self Devine (!!!), as well as Solution and Cleva of Long Doe Records. This breezy track features the local emcees rapping over some soul samples and choppy drums. The song is featured on the group's first official release, the not so cleverly titled Umbrella Music Group The Album, which is available right now on iTunes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eyedea: Freestyles

Friends and family of Eyedea recently posted a collection of live freestyles by the tragically deceased rapper. It's a well-produced 4-track collection that showcases the brilliance and talent that Eyedea demonstrated so consistently at his shows. The songs are available on Eyedea's Bandcamp page, and can be downloaded on a pay-what-you-want format.

Paper Tiger: "Prince" 20 Minute Mix

Paper Tiger's 20-minute mixes are always fun, but this theme is particularly exciting. The Doomtree producer took some music from The Purple One and made a mix out of it for your enjoyment.

Paper Tiger: "Prince" 20 Minute Mix

Sole: "I Walk Alone" (Graham O'Brien Remix)

Minneapolis musician Graham O'Brien, known for his work as the drummer for No Bird Sing, was recently given an opportunity by Sole of Anticon Records fame to remix his song "I Walk Alone." This is what he came up with. If you haven't heard O'Brien's solo LP Live Drums, make sure to check that out as well.

Sole: "I Walk Alone" (Graham O'Brien Remix)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Atmosphere Announce New Album 'The Family Sign'

This morning Pitchfork Media reported that indie rap powerhouse and local darlings Atmosphere will be releasing their new album, The Family Sign, on April 12. No official word from Rhymesayers yet, but I'm sure an announcement is soon to come. The album will be the follow up to 2008's spectacular When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold. It will also be the band's first full-length since officially announcing their expanded lineup, with keyboardist Erick Anderson and guitarist Nate Collins. In 2009, the band released a double-EP, To All My Friends... Blood Makes The Blade Holy.

Toki Wright: "Mo Fiya" (Mike Swoop Remix)

Mike Swoop got Toki's approval to remix his A Different Mirror cut. It definitely gets my approval too.

Mike Swoop also recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of his debut album, A New Love. If you don't have it by now, you need to go pick it up!

Toki Wright: "Mo Fiya" (Mike Swoop Remix)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Illuminous 3: "Midtown Living" (Music Video)

Here is the debut video for Illuminous 3's "Midtown Living" off their late 2009 Thrift Stores & L's EP. Amazing that it came out over a year ago.

Mally & Ernest Rhodes at Cheapo Uptown (Video)

Mally and rhyme partner Ernest Rhodes kick a few bars on New Year's Eve at the Cheapo Records in Uptown.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unboxing Sims' 'Bad Time Zoo' (Video)

Here is a look at what you'll receive if you order the physical copy of Sims' upcoming album Bad Time Zoo, set to be released on February 15 via Doomtree. The regular edition comes with the album and a nifty custom box cutter that you can use to make nifty origami animals from the album art. The deluxe edition comes with all of the above, plus — deep breath — a signed copy of Bad Time Zoo, signed poster, two exclusive extra songs, the password to a live, streaming webcast with Sims and friends, a chance to win a mask worn in the "Burn It Down" music video, and an exclusive Bad Time Zoo t-shirt.

J Dilla: Still Shining Documentary (Trailer)

Danami: "Settin' In" (Music Video)

Big shout out to Danami for putting out a very quality video with a cameo from rap friend Mally. Looking forward to see what Danami has got coming up next. This song is off his mixtape Success Is International.

L.E.P. Bogus Boys: "Countin My Money feat. The Cool Kids" (Music Video)

Props Nah Right.

Sims: 'Bad Time Zoo' Album Release Party (Video)

I'm very excited for this album to be released. Should be one of 2011's local highlights. But here's the real issue, Sims' Bad Time Zoo, album release party is on Saturday, February 19 at The Fine Line Music Cafe. Guess what else is also that day? Dre Day 2011, with a headlining performance by Heiruspecs, at the Triple Rock. This is extremely unfortunate planning. What's a local hip-hop fan to do?

In related Sims news, he is streaming another new song off his album, "Radio Opaque", at his AbsolutePunk profile. Check it out.