Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Elzhi: "Verbal Intercourse, Pt. 2"

Elzhi's long-delayed mixtape Elmatic is rumored to finally be coming out sometime in 2011. I'll believe (and be very excited) it when I see it. However, this is a promising start. "Verbal Intercourse, Pt. 2" is a bonus track from the project. Assist from 2DopeBoyz.

Elzhi: "Verbal Intercourse, Pt. 2"

Atmosphere: Family Therapy, Pt. 4 (Video)

Pre-Order The Family Sign: Fifth Element -- iTunes Deluxe -- Amazon

Guante: Conscious Is Not Enough 2011 (Mixtape)

Guante put out his original Conscious Is Not Enough mixtape in 2008, I believe. Now, the tape has been rerecorded, remixed, and presented with cool new artwork and a fancy Bandcamp link! My, how the times have changed.

All jokes aside, giving a listen to Conscious Is Not Enough 2011 is worth your time and effort. Guante is a rapper of the semi-rare breed whose artistic ambition matches or even occasionally exceeds his talent. He raps with a purpose, consistently delivering political and social messages but without sounding heavy-handed or preachy. His songs are thoughtful, effective, and still enjoyable. An artist who dedicates as much time and energy as he surely does to his craft deserves a listen in return. You'll probably enjoy the mixtape, and who knows? You might even learn a thing or two. Stream the tape below, or hit the link to download it. Shout out to Tru Ruts.

Lastly, keep in mind that the release of this mixtape coincides with the launch of Guante's MN Activist project. Please visit his website and see what it's all about.

No Bird Sing: "Afterlife Insurance"

"Afterlife Insurance" is the lead single off of No Bird Sing's upcoming sophomore LP, Theft of the Commons. I'm sure more details regarding that release will be soon to follow. For now, just enjoy the track by streaming it below.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wide Eyes: "Stand ft. Mally"

"Stand" is the first single from Wide Eyes' upcoming EP, Follow Through. Mally was recruited for a guest verse, and was also recently selected to perform at Soundset 2011.

Mo Greene: "H.A.M. (Remix) ft. Jordan Looney"

Chicago rappers Mo Greene and Jordan Looney recently hit the studio to put down a remix to Jay and Ye's single. Jordan Looney's final installment of his Nerd-Hop series should be coming down to pipeline soon.

Mo Greene: "H.A.M. (Remix) ft. Jordan Looney"

Danny Brown: "Guitar Solo" (Music Video)

If you haven't yet checked out Danny Brown's LP The Hybrid, which was released last year, go ahead and do that now. The Detroit rapper is frequently overlooked in favor of more popular Detroit rappers, but has recently been generating the underground buzz he deserves.

Dessa: A MN Original Special (Video)

Here is the MN Original special featuring Dessa that recently aired on TPT. Hit up the MN Original site if you want to view some exclusive extra footage.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Soundset 2011 Lineup

Another year, another amazing Soundset lineup. The 2011 festival will once again be held at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN. This year's lineup is solid. In my opinion, it features the best non-Rhymesayers headliners has recruited yet: Big Boi and De La Soul. Should be an amazing day. Atmosphere closing the day out with an album's worth of new material to perform should be the icing on the cake. Here is the official press release from Rhymesayers:
Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents bring you the fourth annual Soundset Festival: the official Midwest kick-off of the summer with nine hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine).
In 2010, Rhymesayers and Rose Presents produced the third year of Soundset to an outdoor festival setting at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN with over 18,000 people in attendance, including: two stages with over 40 artists performing, B-Boy battles, MC battle, live DJs, live artists painting, skateboard demos and a custom car show.
Soundset 2011 is expected to be even bigger this year! After their sold out 'To All My Friends' and 'Welcome to Minnesota' tours Atmosphere returns this year to the Soundset mainstage in support of their upcoming April 12th album release The Family Sign. On the heels of his highly successful and critically acclaimed release Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Big Boi, one half of superstar combo Outkast, brings his legendary live show and catalog to the Twin Cities for one of the best hip hop sets you'll see all year. Slaughterhouse, including the full lineup of Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Royce da 5’9” & Crooked I perform together in Minnesota for the first time in 2 years! Referred to as “one of independent Rap’s strongest voices” by HipHopDX, Brother Ali will once again deliver his raw emotion on the main stage. Fly Society founder and Jet Life CEO Curren$y makes his Soundset debut. Soundset veteran Blueprint takes the stage in support of his upcoming April 5th release Adventures in Counter-Culture! Named one of XXL Magazine's “2011 Freshmen”, Mac Miller makes his Minnesota debut performance at Soundset. Doomtree returns with the entire crew for their first mainstage performance. In support of his upcoming Rhymesayers debut release Cat & Dogs, Evidence teams up with Rakaa-Iriscience, hot off his new release Crown of Thorns and DJ Babu to bring you a special combined set showcasing their solo efforts while giving fans some Dilated classics as well. And this year we're proud to announce a first ever De La Soul Soundset performance. Whether young or old this iconic hip hop group’s performance will be a favorite of the year!
With options of two stages delivering over 40 artists performing nine hours of diverse music, an expanded B-Boy/B-Girl DJ tent which includes the newly added Red Bull EmSee Battle, live painting exhibit, skate demo area, Soundset custom car show and a special Last of the Record Buyers production showcase, Soundset 2011 is guaranteed to provide fun for the whole family!

Tickets are on sale Friday, April 1, 2011 at 11:00AM local time to the general public through and Fifth Element. General admission tickets are $38 ($3 facility fee and parking are included in ticket price), 18+ VIP options are also available for $90! VIP Includes:

- Limited Edition swag bag
- Soundset Festival shirt
- Exclusive VIP parking
- Separate VIP entrance to the festival grounds
- Access to a special exclusive VIP area near the main stage bleacher style seating viewing the main stage
- Shaded tent chill area
- Meet and greets with artists
- Separate restroom
- VIP bar with adult beverages, the only location on site that will serve liquor
- A special limited edition festival laminate and more

T.Q.D.: "The Tunnel" (Prod. Ecid)

I've been sitting on this for too long since Egypto Knuckles sent it through last week, but here is a new release from The Quiet Dude. "The Tunnel" is to be a taste of things to come, preparing listeners for his upcoming projects — a new EP and LP, to be specific — throughout the rest of the year.

T.Q.D.: "The Tunnel" (Prod. Ecid)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lipset: "Misled ft. Alissa Paris"

Let's continue the Level Heads LP re-release project, shall we? Here is track 6 from the album, "Misled." The homie Mike had some words to share about the track, too:
"Misled" is a song that was never meant to be, but has come to be the favorite song on the Level Heads LP to many. The beat was masterfully crafted by Lokes in such a way that it jumps from key to key, has different breakdowns in tempo, and purposefully misleads the listener to keep you engaged. Lyrically, it's about breaking molds, tip-toeing the boundaries that we all conform to and challenge in order to stay fresh, hip, relevant and ahead of the game. Download your free copy of "Misled" now!
Lipset: "Misled ft. Alissa Paris"

In case you missed the previous tracks from the Level Heads LP:
1) Outro (Credits Roll)
2) Distortion
3) Murderous Cypher
4) Frustrated
5) New Era Kids ft. Duenday

MIke Dreams: "The Break's Over"

More new material from Mike Dreams. It's the first song to be put out through his new "Spring Cleaning" release series, where he'll be putting out monthly singles, freestyles, videos, and more.

Fifth Element Presents Network & Parlay, 3/24/11

Tomorrow evening at Fifth Element, there will be their monthly Network & Parlay event. Here's what's in stock:
1)Mally: Maximizing SXSW as an Indie Artist! Mally made the trip to SXSW 2011 and was able to make many connections, get on a showcase, pass out some music, and open some doors to future opportunities. He’ll share those experiences with you so that you can properly prepare for 2012!

2)Siddiq (Rhymesayers CEO): Will speak about the state of record labels and what labels, including Rhymesayers, are looking for in artists in todays market!

3)Randy Hawkins (First Ave & Rhymesayers Sound Tech): Proper Soundchecks! This is one that many local artists need to be in attendance for. As a pre-cursor, soundcheck doesn’t mean “stage practice”. There are particular things to listen for and certain techniques to getting most from your sound tech for the best sounding show possible.

4)Kevin Beacham: Maximizing Retail! Advice on how to get the most out of having your music in a retail store. Including ways to help your CD stand out from the 1000 other releases out there.

5)Dave Wilson: Videographer Profile. Dave is the man behind Atmosphere’s latest
video from “The Family Sign”, “Just For Show”. As well as videos for Prof, A.G., etc…

6)Jam Party Remixed Computer Game Presentation (Game features St. Paul Slim, DJ Snuggles, Heiruspecs, Dessa, and more!!)

Atmosphere: Family Therapy, Pt. 3 (Video)

From Rhymesayers:
Atmosphere agreed to be part of Dr. Ralph Borka's Family & Group Therapy Video Series. Dr. Ralph Borka has worked with individuals, couples, families, groups and businesses for more than 25 years. His video series demonstrates a psychotherapy approach using cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Below is the third episode - Dr. Borka continues to work with Atmosphere to address their feelings regarding collaboration and working together. Tensions can arise during these sessions when a member of the group voices criticism of another member, as you will see in this video segment between Sean and Nate.
Preorder The Family Sign from Fifth Element!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Classified: "Maybe It's Just Me ft. Brother Ali"

Classified, a rapper from Nova Scotia, released his album Handshakes and Middle Fingers today. He recruited Brother Ali for a track of the album, which you can purchase via iTunes.

Good to see Brother Ali reappearing on records. He'll also be featured on the upcoming Record Store Day Rhymesayers 12", over a Jake One-produced track. The two have been recording together, so hopefully we'll see a project from the duo soon. Furthermore, Ali confirmed on Twitter that he's writing tracks for his next album. It's unclear whether he's referring to a Jake One collaboration, or another LP with Ant, but it's exciting news regardless.

Classified: "Maybe It's Just Me ft. Brother Ali"

The Adventures of Blueprint, Episode 4 (Video)

This time it's about alcohol! Preorder Adventures in Counter-Culture via Fifth Element.

Dessa: "Sadie Hawkins" (Video)

Earlier this month I shared some video of Dessa performing a new track, "The Man I Knew" for Twin Cities Public Television. Now, TPT's MN Original program is debuting a new video of Dessa performing the Doomtree cut "Sadie Hawkins" at the Cedar. Tune in to TPT this Sunday March 27 at 10pm to watch the full broadcast of "Dessa: A Minnesota Original Music Special." Props to MN Original and Gimme Noise.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mike Dreams: "Swim Good (Remix)" + "Alleyway Kisses (Strawberry Swing Remix)"

Mike Dreams has been inspired by Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All's resident R&B crooner Frank Ocean's latest album, to the extent that he remixed a couple of his tracks. Check them both out below.

Mike Dreams: "Swim Good (Remix)"

Big Jess: "Not About Ya'll" + Album Release Party

Here's another new track from Big Jess' upcoming double album, Self Therapy/Good Clean Fun 3. The albums will be available for free tomorrow, via the Unknown Prophets website. They feature guest appearances from MaD SoN, Braille, Musab, Muja Messiah, Mally, and more. Keep in mind that Big Jess and Big Zach of Kanser are throwing a concert together to celebrate the release of Jess' double album and Zach's New Crayons album. That will be on Thursday, March 24.

Kanye West & Jay-Z: "H.A.M." + "Monster" (SXSW Performance)

I promise I'll be posting other things soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kanye West: "Runaway" (SXSW Performance)

Kanye and Pusha perform their MBDTF lament, complete with an extended autotune freakout from Kanye. Minus the guy whose off-pitch singing and sporadic interjections are quite annoying, this is sweet.

Once again, I cannot wait for Coachella.

Kanye West: "Gorgeous" (SXSW Performance)

Say what you want about Kanye and Vevo taking over SXSW, a historically indie festival, but this sounded amazing. He performed in an abandoned power plant or something. Mos Def was the surprise opener. Kanye performed with a full marching band during "All Of The Lights." He brought out John Legend, Kid Cudi, Pusha T, and Jay-Z.

I cannot wait for Coachella.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kanye West: "All Of The Lights (Remix) ft. Lil' Wayne, Big Sean, & Drake"

The original "All of the Lights" already featured about 10 of the biggest names in music, and then Kanye had to go and recruit Lil' Wayne, Big Sean, and Drake for the remix. And the track is rumored be unfinished, as Kanye himself amongst others have yet to contribute additional verses. Whew. Props to Nah Right.

Does anyone today do the "remix" better than Kanye though? Being the perfectionist that he is, I'm sure it took hours for Kanye to make all the changes to the beat that he did. His remixes are more than just the original track with some extra guest verses tacked on. He literally re-mixes the entire track from scratch. As if the original "All of the Lights" wasn't crazy enough. Bravo.

Kanye West: "All Of The Lights (Remix) ft. Lil' Wayne, Big Sean, & Drake"

illuminous 3: "Wag Out" (Prod. Taylor Madrigal of Audio Perm)

Illuminous 3 gets together with another member of Audio Perm to continue their Illuminous Free monthly series. This time it was Taylor Madrigal's turn to give Ill 3 a beat they could "Wag Out" to.

illuminous 3: "Wag Out" (Prod. Taylor Madrigal of Audio Perm)

Sir Michael Rocks: The Rocks Report (Mixtape)

The artist formerly known as Mikey Rocks, of Cool Kids fame, just released a solo mixtape via It's a long project — 25 songs — and guests include Like and Mibbs of Pac Div, Phil Adé and more. Production comes courtesy of Ski Beatz, Madlib, and others, so I'm sure you'll find a few keepers if you're willing to listen to the entire mixtape.

Sir Michael Rocks: The Rocks Report (Mixtape)

Big Jess: "Self Therapy"

Here's another track to Big Jess' upcoming double disc project Self Therapy/Good Clean Fun 3. This one is the title track to Self Therapy. A cool tidbit is that Jess did the scratches with the Flare Scratch app on his iPhone. I'm young and it makes me feel older writing that sentence. Pretty soon producers will be composing entire songs on their cell phones.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Kristoff Krane: "Inside Out" (Music Video)

Big Sean: "Hometown" (Video)

I can never decide if I think Big Sean is worth a damn or not. Sometimes he can be pretty great ("Don't Look Down"), but he's put out some worthless material too ("What U Doin?"). Minus recycling the Kat Stacks line from "See Me Now," I think this song is pretty good; hopefully he can keep it together for his debut album, Finally Famous.

Prof: Welcome To MN Tour Recap (Video)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Atmosphere: "She's Enough" + Family Therapy

Above is the first promotional video for Atmosphere's upcoming album The Family Sign, where they attend a little "family therapy."

Visit the SPIN Magazine website, where they got the exclusive premiere for the album's second single "She's Enough." Or stream it below. This one is my favorite so far, as Slug raps about one of his favorite topics, women, over a fuzzy, guitar-heavy beat.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sims: "One Dimensional Man" (Video)

Here's another video for a song off Sims' fabulous Bad Time Zoo, which is available now. Apparently he shot a ton of videos, so hopefully we've got more coming soon.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Atmosphere: "Just For Show" (Music Video)

Atmosphere's The Family Sign will be in stores on April 22.

Soulcrate Music: Daytrotter Session

Soulcrate Music recently stopped by the Daytrotter studios to record a 4-song session. Check it out below.

Mike Frey: "Connect ft. Alicia Steele" (Music Video)

Mike Frey recruited local songstress Alicia Steele for the second single off his album Burnt Out. The video features Minneapolis artist Mickey Lluebbey creating a piece of art for Mike and Alicia. Burnt Out will be available tomorrow for free at Mike Frey's website.

In related news, Mike Frey also produced a song for Boston rapper Reks. The song will be featured on his upcoming album, which is neat because this means Mike Frey's production will be alongside beats by Pete Rock, DJ Premier, The Alchemist, Hi-Tek, and more. The song he produced, "This Is Me," can be streamed on YouTube.

Lupe Fiasco: "Dumb It Down" + "I Gotcha" (Live)

Lupe recently performed at Blue Note with the Robert Glasper Experiment. You may remember the post I wrote about the Lupe/Kanye/Mos Def freestyle session at that show. Well now here are two videos from that show, courtesy of It's All The Way Live, who also has audio of the whole show, if you're interested.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Local supergroup GAYNGS lent songs from their 2010 soft-rock LP to the members of Doomtree for a little remixing. Oh, pardon me, I meant "regrinding." The GAYNGS AFFILIYATED showcase will be at First Ave on Sunday night.

Doomtree: AFFILIYATED Regrind EP
Sunday, March 6

•Mainroom: GAYNGS, Doomtree, Solid Gold, Megafaun, Leisure Birds, Alpha Consumer, Plain Ole Bill, & DJ Jonathan Ackerman
•7th St Entry: Slapping Purses, Har Mar Superstar, Marijuana Deathsquads, Spyder Baybie Raw Dawg, Moonstone, Albert, Radical Cemetery, and more
•Record Room: Doomtree solo sets and more

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blueprint: "So Alive" (Music Video)

Fresh off the announcement of the So Alive EP, here is the official music video to Blueprint's latest song.

The Cool Kids: "Free Throws" (Music Video)

A different, pseudo music video came out for this song over a year ago, when the Merry Christmas mixtape came out. Here is the official version.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Brother Ali: Double Time Freestyle (Live)

Brother Ali is one of the best live rappers around, so it's not terribly surprising when you catch some awestruck fans at one of his shows. But apparently he can amaze even himself, as he recently did in Chicago with this up tempo freestyle. Props Ruby Hornet for capturing and sharing the moment with us.

Blueprint: "So Alive" + EP

Blueprint just released another song from his upcoming album, Adventures in Counbter-Culture. "So Alive" is an electro-pop single with a vintage feel because of the drums and vocal samples. Printmatic also does more singing on this track than I can ever recall. Stream the song below.

"So Alive" has also been remixed by a handful of artists. The remixes are available at a handful of sites:
"So Alive" Remix by Budo
"So Alive" Remix by X:144
"So Alive" Remix by Innerpartysystem

Or, you can grab the entire package at once, which contains the original single and all remixes. The So Alive EP can be purchased via iTunes, Amazon, or on vinyl from Fifth Element. As always, props to Rhymesayers Entertainment.

Dessa: "The Man I Knew" (Video)

Twin Cities Public Television was able to get footage of Dessa performing a new song, "The Man I Knew." Below is also a trailer for a feature on the local artist, to be aired tomorrow on Fox 9.

Mally: "7 Days" (Prod. The Sundance Kid)

Here's another track from Mally and The Sundance Kid. They've been releasing these monthly songs for a while now, hopefully the duo leaks some information regarding the drop of an official EP or LP. Here's what Mally had to say about "7 Days":
7 Days is a musical tale of when a boy sees a girl and is instantly hooked so much so, that he willingly learns everything about her. The infatuation this boy has (as many might) becomes so strong that they can explain what the girl does from the time she goes to work all the way down to how she chews her food on a Tuesday. In this case, the chase just might be better than the catch... Or is it?
Mally: "7 Days" (Prod. The Sundance Kid)