Archive for November, 2010

Hot on the heels of “From The Top,” the Oddisee/Stik Figa collaborative single off the recently released Helpless Dreamer compilation album, Mello Music Group has announced the titular track “Helpless Dreamer” as the latest single to show off their talented roster. This time with Apollo Brown, whose own group album from The Left is enjoying high acclaim, on production, affiliate emcees Roc Marciano, X.O. (of Diamond District) and Tranqill offer up verses to compliment the dramatic, horn-heavy beat.

The song acts as the confluence of gifted artists working together for the sake of working together. “That lineup is beautiful, why not collab with them?” Apollo explains of the partnership. He even goes so far as to call Roc Marciano’s Marcberg one of his “favorite albums of the year.” As far as the song’s inspiration, the title of the song says it all. “Sometimes, we want something for ourselves that might be unattainable today,” says the Detroit producer. “But if we work hard and dream hard, we’ll be able to get it tomorrow.” Judging from his contributions on this and his other tracks from Helpless Dreamer, Apollo Brown’s tomorrow is approaching fast.

The Mello Music Group compilation, Helpless Dreamer, is available now.

Listen to “Helpless Dreamer” (the song) here:
http://media.audibletreats.com/MMG-Helpless_Dreamer_Ft_Roc_Marciano_X.O._Tranquill_Prod_Apollo_Brown.mp3

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Detroit's Finest

How We Live,” featuring Rochester rhymer Hassaan Mackey, is the latest single from Gas Mask, the already highly lauded debut album from Detroit hip-hop trio The Left, comprised of producer Apollo Brown, rapper Journalist103, and DJ Soko. The song is heavily influenced by The Left’s and also Hassaan Mackey’s surroundings. “I wanted us to make something that hit home,” says Apollo Brown. “Not just the city where we live, but every inner city where people are being affected by these same issues.”

Hassaan Mackey kicks things off with a depiction of his own environment Rochester, a city of New York often disregarded. “I’m a product of my environment/ Weed smoke and silencers/ Victims run from gunshots where projects sit,” rhymes Mackey, with stark, vivid imagery over top Apollo Brown’s soulful, wailing beat, before following with, “Reminiscing the view of skeletal frames/ Memories of life hang from what little remains.” Offering his own take on the ills of inner city life, giving listeners a glimpse into one of the most notoriously rough cities of the 2000’s, Journalist 103 takes to the chorus rapping, “Where we live at, kids they die from bullets that fly/ Where the code is eye for an eye, go ‘head and try.”

The Left’s Gas Mask is currently available via Mello Music Group. Apollo Brown and Hassaan Mackey will also be releasing their own album together in 2011, titled Daily Bread.

Download The Left’s “How We Live” here

As we near the end of 2010 most will be recounting the highs and lows of the past 12 months. Mello Music Group, however, is focused on what the New Year has in store, releasing a musical appetizer, the compilation album Helpless Dreamer, showcasing the label’s supreme and far reaching talent, while giving a preview of offerings for 2011. Features from Diamond District, Kenn Starr, Roc Marciano, Fresh Daily, Invincible, Buff1, XO, Magestik Legend, Tranqill, Stik Figa, Toine, and Finale are included on the 13-track compilation album, with production from Oddisee, Apollo Brown, Has Lo, Black Milk, SlimKat 78, and Just Wright.

The first single to drop, “From The Top,” sees Topeka, Kansas, native Stik Figa detail his hometown and state capital city, affectionately referred to in the song title as ‘Top’. For Oddisee, who co-produced the track with Dunc from DTMD, working with Stik allowed him to continue his own efforts of geographic diversification while affording him the opportunity to work with an ultra-talented emcee. “In the tradition of Diamond District, Trek Life, and Tranqill, Stik Figa is the next project in my attempt to push regional Hip Hop,” says the DC native. “‘From The Top’ really gives you a glimpse into a part of the country most of us are blind too. The song, itself, shows me Topeka, Kansas through the eyes of Stik Figa.”

The Mello Music Group compilation, Helpless Dreamer, is available now while Oddisee & Stik Figa’s From The Top EP will be available November 30, 2010.

Listen to Stik Figa and Oddisee’s “From The Top” Here (right click, save as)

Also check out Has-Lo’s “FuxWiDat” also featured on Helpless Dreamer

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West Coast emcee Trek Life is treating his fans to the instrumentals from his latest LP Everything Changed Nothing, a project produced entirely by the acclaimed and stylistically diverse producer Oddisee.

Everything Changed Nothing offers fans a wide range of tracks to create their own remixes and mash-ups or just to throw on the play list and vibe out. From smooth and pensive vinyl samples to gritty electronic swing, Oddisee consistently shows off his spanning range and production skills throughout. “Producing Trek’s album allowed me to explore the sounds of another city,” says Oddisee of the album’s musical diversity. “I really got a chance to show my versatility.” Tracks like “Wow” show off Oddisee’s soulful side, while minimal electronic tracks like “Still Never Rains” show off his ability to create gritty tracks with similar ease.

The Everything Changed Nothing instrumentals are available for free through bandcamp here:
http://mellomusicgroup.bandcamp.com/album/everything-changed-nothing-instrumentals

This E.P. is a teaser for the Sene & J57 album dropping in 2011 presented by Okayplayer.

Download Here:

http://usershare.net/o0x3e774a6s3

The long awaited album from Brown Bag’s finest is Finally here. “Soul Like Khan” is now available for free download. I’ve been a fan of his for a minute, especially his Grind Time battles. This album will surely NOT disappoint Khan’s fans. I highly suggest you to check this out. Regardless of “free” or a”purchase” album, Soul Khan and his band of  brothers from The Brown Bag Allstars put their blood, sweat and tears into each release. Plus, with J 57 on the production tip, you know it’s going to be classick. Enjoy and spread the word. http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?gnxhyxeztpgox24

re-kon

Coming off the success of their debut album Gas Mask, Detroit trio The Left, made up of producer Apollo Brown, rapper Journalist 103, and DJ Soko, are treating fans with the release of a brand new EP — for free. Gas Leaks is comprised of unreleased material from Gas Mask, and while Gas Leaks was initially intended for release prior to the album, the group explains, “we wanted to bring a shock value for this album since it is was highly anticipated and Gas Leaks just puts more value and credibility to ‘Gas Mask‘”.
Gas Leaks kicks off with the drum- and horn-heavy “Scared” as Journalist 103 kicks things off with, “You will now bear witness to the Left-ist movement/ So if you know like I know, step aside for the improvement.” Apollo Brown continues to show off his own abilities, fusing soulful samples while DJ Soko compliments Apollo’s work behind the boards with seamless cuts on the tracks “One Day” and “My Green,” a track that starts off with sweet sounding melodies before quickly taking a turn to the gritty. So enjoy the Leaks, but don’t forget – you’ll need to grab your Mask for the best results.

Download Gas Leaks here: http://mellomusicgroup.bandcamp.com/album/gas-leaks-ep

Producer IMAKEMADBEATS is at it once again. On the new track, “How Is Your Soul,” from the forthcoming dual-EP concept album Daylight/Nightlight, the beat-maker enlists rapper Butta Verses to lend his emcee-skills. The EP, which is the first music the producer has released since 2009’s The Transcontinental, his collaborative project with Roc C, is in preparation for his self-titled debut on Doxside Music Group, set for release in early 2011. Though the nature of the collaborations may differ, still present is IMAKEMADBEATS’ scientific approach to music, with every detail and nuance carefully thought out and in its rightful place.

Though the song features a relatively lighthearted cameo from TzariZM as “Reverend TZ,” the subject matter is decidedly more introspective. “We wanted to just let them know how we felt about ourselves,” IMAKEMADBEATS explains. Lines like “I’m gonna search for the truth ’till I find what I’m lookin’ for / Everything I’ve found so far just make me look more,” over an organ-heavy beat and the words of the aforementioned “Reverend,” carry a message without preaching an agenda. “How Is Your Soul” is about asking questions and the result is a startlingly personal first look into IMAKEMADBEATS’ newest project.

Listen to “How Is Your Soul” feat. Butta Verses & Reverend TZ here:
http://media.audibletreats.com/IMAKEMADBEATS-How_Is_Your_Soul_Ft_Reverend_TZ.mp3

Though Tanya Morgan members Von Pea and are currently taking the time to focus on their respective solo projects, this doesn’t stop their frequent collaborations. On this occasion, they are brought together by Focus… for the latest in his series of tracks paying homage to hip-hop greats. This song, specifically, is a tribute to Ali Shaheed, the much-revered A Tribe Called Quest producer and also features a verse from Chaundon of Hall of Justus, who is fresh off the release of his latest album, No Excuses, as well as his performance with the HOJ crew at the Audible Treats 2010 CMJ Showcase.

As for the origins of the track, it makes total sense that it features members of Tanya Morgan, as the group has worked with Ali Shaheed in the past. Becoming a part of the homage was simple and surprisingly quick, as Donwill explains. “Focus… does these homages, like, monthly and Von had put me on to ’em. After the RZA one dropped, I went to Twitter and said, ‘Somebody tell Focus… I want in.’ Within 2 re-Tweets he was following me and we had moved to Gmail.” Von Pea, Donwill, and Chaundon do a commendable job pulling off the A Tribe Called Quest vibe, and their contributions have led to another solid installment in Focus…’s series.

Listen to “Homage To Ali Shaheed” here:
http://media.audibletreats.com/Focus-Homage_To_Ali_Shaheed_Ft_Von_Pea_Donwill_And_Chaundon.mp3