Friday, August 31, 2012

Big Jess Presents: Honorable Mention, Volume 1

If you've been following Big Jess on Twitter over the past several months, you should be aware by now that he's been actively working on a compilation project featuring tons of local artists. The concept seemed simple enough. Jess produces a bunch of original beats, and gets his friends to hop on and do their thing. I'm not sure if there's much more to it than that, but looking at the roster on the album, I'm excited to give it a few spins. For those of you who are still curious, I included the tracklist after the jump. You can download and stream Honorable Mention, Volume 1 over at

Big Jess Presents: Honorable Mention, Volume 1

Listen to Audio Perm Perform on Radio K

Audio Perm recently crammed in to the studio at Radio K and performed a few songs live on air. Stream the session at Radio K's website, or download it below. You can also hit the jump for video of Fresh Squeeze performing "Yo."

DOWNLOAD - Audio Perm, live on Radio K

1. Attention Deficit Disorder (Ft. Art School Girls)
2. Pepper Shaker (Ft. Chantz Erolin & 80H20)
3. Skin & Bones (Ft. Bobby Raps, Yakub, & Big Dylan)
4. YO! (Ft. Fresh Squeeze)

Brother Ali: "Mourning in America" (Music Video)

The sort of self-titled single to Brother Ali's upcoming album now has a video, which powerfully accompanies the song's appraisal of America as a country whose entire existence is based around violence and the way that's reflected in our current culture. Read Brother Ali's eloquent description below:
This is the title track to my new album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. The first half of the album highlights and critiques the dire situation in which we live. The second half outlines the tremendous opportunity we have to re-imagine and reform our society. This song is an observation and a critique of our culture of death and murder. From actual war zones around the world to our own inner cities where this summer's death rates rival war zones. I also address our national hypocrisy regarding violence. We have a zero tolerance policy of violence committed against us, but we're a lot more lenient and patient when it comes to the violence we commit. "A life is a life and a killer is a killer".
Below, you can also listen to Ali's recent performance and interview at the Minnesota State Fair. The session with The Current goes far beyond the lighthearted typical fair performances we're used to, and covers many of the topics you can expect to be featured on his upcoming album: racism, violence, economic inequality, and more.

Toki Wright: "Hell On Earth"

"Hell on Earth" is a free verse Toki recorded over the instrumental to the Mobb Deep single of the same name. Toki is currently working on Channels, the follow-up to 2009's A Different Mirror.

Knox: "LOVE"

Knox is making a Re-Classic series right now, taking some of his favorite instrumentals and recreating the songs in his vision. His latest version is "LOVE," which deserves at least two listens: once for the technique, and then again for the content.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Watch/Listen to P.O.S Perform at the Minnesota State Fair

Just yesterday P.O.S performed at the Current's booth at the MN State Fair in support of his upcoming album We Don't Even Live Here. P.O.S was briefly interviewed by Mary Lucia and spoke about the meaning of the album, his song writing process, the differences between writing solo and for Doomtree, and more. He also performed four songs, including his latest trunk rattler/party starter/face melter "Bumper." I was there to witness it all. It was fun. Watch video of the "Bumper" performance above, and stream the entire session below.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Shameless," ft. Slug, MaLLy, Mike the Martyr and Haphduzn (Prod. Dimitry Killstorm)

Check the Blog just premiered "Shameless," the first track from Flood Watch, an upcoming compilation album put together by That Dude Reeg and Tek. The track features Slug, MaLLy, Mike the Martyr and Haphduzn trading verses over some Dimitry Killstorm production. I don't know if the four Minneapolis rappers were together when composing their verses, but you can feel the spirit of competition in this track. Everyone knew they had to bring their best work, and they all definitely showed up for this track. Listen to it below.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Greg Grease: "Basement Soul" (Music Video)

Bobby Raps and Alejandro P produced this new song from Greg Grease, off his Cornbread's Coming. Greg's album Cornbread, Pearl & G, will be out this fall.

Greg Grease: "Basement Soul"

PREVIOUSLY - Greg Grease: "Rip Well"

Brother Ali: "4th King"

Brother Ali's musical relationship with Jake One has proved to be an exciting one ever since they dropped "The Truth." But with their full-length Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color coming soon, that partnership is proving to be beneficial in unexpected ways. Jake One recently got the most high-profile beat placement of his career in "Three Kings," the Rick Ross song featuring Dr. Dre and Jay-Z. Jake had announced that he wouldn't leak the instrumental, as to avoid avoid the inevitable deluge of shitty freestyles that always happens when a trendy industry beat comes out. However, Ali heard the song and realized he already had Jake One's beat from their previous sessions together. Naturally, Ali had to make the song his own, and eclipsed the generic and lifeless verses delivered by Rozay and Dre. Listen to "4th King" below.

Brother Ali: "4th King"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

P.O.S: "Bumper"

This morning delivered one of the best possible surprises with the official lead single to P.O.S's upcoming album, We Don't Even Live Here, due on October 23. I'm pretty sure I've seen "Bumper" played live once or twice — I've definitely heard the brilliant "They on some nonsense, we on some nonstop" hook before — but getting to dissect the studio version is exciting as it hints at what we can expect from the album, which you can read about further on in this post.

Brother Ali: "Mourning in America" (Prod. Jake One)

Brother Ali's new album Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color is due on Sept. 12 (pushed back from it's original August date). Here is "Mourning in America," the raging sort-of title track to the album, which can be pre-ordered now.

Greg Grease: "Rip Well"

Greg Grease's "Rip Well" is a song 3 years in the making. The Mic Titan-produced track is inspired by unwarranted acts of violence in large American cities like Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Atlanta, but gained deeper significance due to the recent passing of Greg's friend and musical collaborator Abdulle Elmi. The song builds from Greg starting his rhymes over little more than guitar and 808 kicks to a full-flegged emotional yet paranoid dedication. Greg stated, “I wanted it to be sad but not weepy, angry not aggressive...I really feel like it has its own energy that isn't Greg Grease, I'm just a feature on it”. This intention comes through and makes the track a tribute in the finest form: a statement that resonates powerfully and emotionally without Grease having to preach from a soapbox.

DOWNLOAD - Greg Grease: "Rip Well"

Sean Anonymous: "Hot to Death" (Music Video)

Here is the second music video from Sean Anonymous' Anonymo EP, which can be purchased on iTunes now. The video was directed by Dave Wilson and show in Austin, TX during SXSW 2012.

Prof: "New Kid" ft. Yelawolf

Prof's Kaiser Von Powerhorn 3 is coming out on September 25 and the first single from that project is here, "New Kid," which features a high profile guest in Yelawolf.

Paper Tiger: "The Fortunate Wayfarer" (Music Video)

Paper Tiger just released his Summer EP, an aptly titled collection of breezy beats perfect for enjoying outdoors in these waning days of heat and sunshine. Here is the video for one track off that EP, "The Fortunate Wayfarer," which documents the delightful seaside adventures of a boombox and reminds me of this fan-made video for LCD Soundsystem's "Home." It also makes me want to go to the No Kings Arcade.

Stream the Summer EP after the jump or download it from iTunes.

Franz Diego: "Turnt Up"

The monthly Turnt Up parties at Honey just celebrated their 2-year anniversary (which was documented by Greg Grease via the above video) and Franz Diego released a song to celebrate that milestone.

Franz Diego: "Turnt Up"

BONUS! Here is Noam the Drummer's August 2012 Turnt Up mix:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MasterMind: DenMark Vesey: ICFS, Vol. 1 (Mixtape)

After the excellent single "Hood Dreamin" helping to build anticipation, MasterMind's debut solo mixtape DenMark Vesey: ICFS, Vol. 1 is finally here. This should be a good one. Production from Reggie Reg, and the entire project was mixed by Booka B of the Wants Vs. Needs crew. Hit the jump to stream and download the mixtape.

Maria Isa: "Revolutionary Bums (Illegal Characters)"

This new song from Maria Isa is an early preview from her next album Valley of the Dolls.

M.anifest: "Way Too Gold (Enfa Me Ho)"

Since I just posted the new video for Kanye's "Cold," I might as well share M.anifest's take on that track. He got a hold of the instrumental and came up with "Way Too Gold (Enfa me Ho)." Spotted at Jon Jon's excellent Sound Verite blog.

M.anifest: "Way Too Gold (Enfa Me Ho)"

DJ Khaled: "I Wish You Would" + "Cold" ft. Kanye West & Rick Ross (Music Video)

Here is the simple yet visually striking Hype Williams-directed double video for two DJ Khaled tracks. First is "I Wish You Would" with Ricky Rozay and Kanye, second is the Kanye West boastathon/Kardashian love confession "Cold" (formerly known as "Way Too Cold" formerly known as "Threaflu").

Muja Messiah: "Escape 2 Isla Verde" (Prod. Nicademus)

"Escape 2 Isla Verde" is Muja Messiah's recap of his 10-day trip to Puerto Rico with Villa Rosa and Malamanya as part of the Latina Ritual Project. Muja's got a new album in the works called Caviar.

Prof: "Peep Show" (Music Video)

"Peep Show" is Prof's fourth music video off of the King Gampo album, and it's as equally original as the previous three.

Mike Dreams: Millenial (Free Album)

Fresh off a release party at the 7th St. Entry last weekend, Mike Dreams' new album Millenial is now here for free coutesy of DJBooth. Hit the link below to stream or download the project.

Mike Dreams: Millenial (Free Album)

Sound of the City, Vol. 12 (Mixtape)

The folks at 4seen Magazine have been putting out these monthly Sound of the City mixtapes for a year now. Coming from someone who writes a blog — and does so horribly inconsistently — this is a respectable feat. The latest tape features the late Fly Henderson, Mike Dreams, K.Raydio, Bobby Raps, Tek, Big Dylan, MaLLy, Mike the Martyr, I Self Divine, and more. Hit the jump to stream it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Watch Astronautalis Perform "The River, The Woods" for MN Original

Astronautalis recently performed the opening track to This is Our Science for Twin Cities Public Television's MN Original series.

Ill Poetic: "Autonomy"

Ill Poetic has been fairly inactive on the music front in recent years, so it's nice to see him return with such a quality song — and hopefully a new album in the future. "Autonomy" is a fitting "comeback" track. It features Ill Poetic rapping in a choppy and occasionally conversational flow about his penchant for taking his time to release new material. It's clear that this isn't a half-cooked concept sent out to generate blog fodder. I'm excited to see what he's got next in line.

Background Noise Crew: Everybody Does This, Vol. 2

Here is the new album from Background Noise Crew, Everbody Does This, Vol. 2. The album features contributions from the entire crew and is notable for the addition of the group's two new rappers, JL Magee & Legend Has It. The crew kept production in-house from the album, with Egypto Knuckles and Phingaz responsible for every beat. Stream it below.

Culture Cry Wolf: "Second Wind" ft. Sims (Music Video)

Here's another video from Culture Cry Wolf's Día De Los Muertos album. The video was directed by Adam Dunn.