Archive for April, 2011

Steaming hot jazz, chopped full of hip-hop, soul, funk, afro-beat, and electro-influenced beats. That’s what Dinner At The Thompson’s has cooking on the stove-top, and the France-American duo comprised of singer Lucille Tee and producer/multi-instrumentalist Fablive know its getting tough for fans to fight off the hunger pains as the May 17th release date approaches for their sophomore album, Off The Grid. So, as they continue to prep the main course, DATT is dropping off a nice little appetizer for fans with “Rice N’ Beans,” the latest single from the album featuring Detroit emcee Guilty Simpson.

The track was “inspired by a desire to bring an afro-beat influence into a rap beat,” says Lucille. “The lyrics are a sort of modern tale between a man and a woman, and they speak about what each can expect and give to each other. ‘Rice N’ Beans’ is a metaphor for the essential – the nutrients, the basic needs in a relationship.” Trumpet and saxophone players Ernesto Sanchez and Sam McStuff, both jazzmen heavily influenced by afro-beat, are perfect added ingredients to Fablive’s low-down, dirty, and funky vibe, while Guilty Simpson’s gruff vocals fill out the track, complementing Lucille’s sultry sassiness. “I’m giving you all that class, you asking me more for much,” she sings. “I’m giving you Rice ‘N’ Beans/ Your honey, your loving, and all those things.”

Dinner At The Thompson’s Off The Grid will be released May 17th on Earth At Work Records via FB Distribution.

Download Dinner At The Thompson’s “Rice N’ Beans” ft. Guilty Simpson here.

  Moe Green has hit the grind like few others in 2011, working on his full length LP, To Who It May Concern, which will be released later this year, while continuing to place the finishing touches on his latest effort, Lionheart EP, which will be released this May for free download and is being sponsored by OnSMASH and As Moe continues to put the final touches on the EP in the last few weeks before release, the Vallejo, California representer is excited to release a brand new single, in addition to some special artwork for the track. The new single, “Masterpiece,” could be considered a minimal piece, the instrumentation consists of only drums, bass, keyboards, and a wailing guitar, but the sound remains big amidst Moe’s inspired vocals. “My heart beats for the mic needs me/ and when I get up in this game I hope she might keep me,” raps Moe, even dropping a reference to Levar Burton’s character from the 1970’s mini-series, Roots. For Moe, the song is a show and prove moment, and a testament to both the strength of his lyrics and his quality of his songwriting abilities. “Every song I make, I’m trying to make is a masterpiece,” says Moe matter-of-factly. “I love music, but the game can chew you up and spit you out, so it’s important to make timeless music” Download HERE

The wait is over. Mr. Nick’s album is finally here on BBE records. And with Marc Mac  on the beats, you can’t really go wrong . This project has been in the works for quite sometime now and what i like best is, there isn’t a lot of features. T.R.A.C. holds his own with his one of a kind rhyme style and voice. No need to clutter up the songs.  But by no means, do not sleep on Baron from Red Clay, “he spit hot fiyah like Dylon.” This album is something I’m going to play for my son when he asks me “Daddy, what is hip hop?” So cop the album and find out for yourself or you can be a herb and download a song by that annoying d-bag on that  t-mobile commercial.

Cop it here:

and on iTunes “The Network”

Unfortunate but true, absentee fathers have been a point of reference for countless hip-hop songs over the years. For Clear Label Records rapper Esinchill, though, who is celebrating the release of his sophomore album, Vigilante, an album that features the likes of Mistah F.A.B., Casual, Dave Hollister, and more, the focus is somewhat different. With his latest single, the Jake One-produced “Daddy Was A Sailorman,” the Oakland emcee is instead shedding light on the other side of the story; the father who has put aside his own goals to focus on parenthood.

“Daddy Was A Sailorman” is a conceptual song that tells the story of a son and father who meet during a dream and begin to discuss the different life choices the father made and how those choices impacted their lives. “The inspiration for the song comes from me always admiring my dad and his willingness to put his own dreams and aspirations to the side and be accountable to the family he chose to start,” says Esinchill, who also notes Edo G & The Bulldog’s “Be A Father To Your Son” as an influence for his own song. Speaking to his father, 17 years old in the song, he talks about how “these Marshall, Texas walls are closing in” and instead of pursuing his passions or school, he joins the Navy. Accompanied by Jake One’s mellow production and a soulful hook sung by Esinchill’s father himself, he portrays a man confronted with a variety conflicts, including the decision to have kids. “It’s one of many truths that you’ll find on Vigilante,” says Esinchill, “and they should be explored and discussed.”

He has won over the hearts of many with his music video “I Could.” He left the public begging for more by releasing several singles since. Now the long awaited debut album from YONAS has finally arrived, and to celebrate the release of The Proven Theory, out today on City Of Dreams, the Bronx, NY spitter is excited to release the remix for “Nobody Else,” which features fellow up-and-comer Phil Adé.

Last week saw the release of the album version of this song, a track that, in YONAS’ own words, speaks on having an “appreciation for the women of the world, and more so, the important role they play when upholding our culture,” and with the remix, the two emcees continue to build on this foundation. “I’ve gotta give a shout to the homie Phil Adé for hopping on this record and further addressing his through and emotions regarding his relationship with his mother,” says YONAS. “It’s a deep verse, and I knew when I’d put out the original that he’d be a good fit for the remix.” The song was orchestrated due in part to the efforts of DJ Z over at, who brought the two emcee’s together and was produced, along with all of The Proven Theory, by frequent collaborator Sean Divine.

Download YONAS’ “Nobody Else RMX” featuring Phil Adé here:

YONAS – Nobody Else RMX Ft Phil Ade

Download original here:

“Nobody else”

Cop the album here, The Proven Theory:

Singer/songwriter Baby Jaymes has released his new single, “Heart & Soul” via Clear Label Records, but it is hard to classify exactly what kind of song it is. In fact, his part-soul, part-R&B, part-hip-hop, part-mystery sound has led him to create an entirely new genre for himself: Ghetto Retro. The Oakland-based musician boasts a similarly expansive resume; in addition to having R&B legend Raphael Saadiq and funk luminary George Clinton as mentors and co-collaborators, he has also had songs featured in major motion pictures, such as Malibu’s Most Wanted, My Baby’s Daddy, and Any Given Sunday. Sometimes referred to as “The Black Beck,” in reference to the genre-pushing rocker, Baby Jaymes’ critically-acclaimed first album, The Baby Jaymes Record, has confirmed his status as a musical chameleon, as well as an artist to watch for.

And now, Baby Jaymes’ new single, “Heart & Soul,” is a declaration of who he is and his musical intentions. He addresses how his sound is different because he’s not in it for the hustle, singing “Why you always doing you, do what everybody do, if you’re really trying to get it?/ instead of trying to dumb me down, doing what they’re doing now, here’s something you won’t forget.” The track incorporates the staples of what you’d imagine Ghetto Retro to be like: DJ Touré, of Hieroglyphics fame, adds scratches that roll along with the Motown-like beat, complete with trumpets and harmony vocals, and Baby Jaymes’ smooth and passionate voice is reminiscent of throwback greats like Stevie Wonder while still sounding fresh and new. People will inevitably still try to categorize Baby Jaymes with “Heart & Soul,” but in the end, he just wants you to stop and enjoy the music.

Stream “Heart & Soul” here:

Download the instrumental for free here

Many unsigned artists build their discography and confidence for years, while waiting to get discovered. But for emcee’s Wimpy, J-Roc, E-Fav, and producer/emcee Ilajade their chance came while recording at the same facility as Detroit rap legend Royce Da 5’9, who convinced them to form Clear Soul Forces. In 2010, CSF released their debut mixtape, Clear Soul Radio, which showcased a mixture of industry beats and original productions. By balancing boastful and introspective rhymes with both energetic and subdued instrumentals, the group garnered a diverse group of followers and become a fixture on college and Internet radio stations around the state, which lead to winning a Battle of the Bands contest and performing at Atlanta’s A3C Festival in 2010. The group’s latest EP, Departure, is reflective of their career taking off. With high-octane rhymes and backdrops, they show their skills and flawlessly execute conceptual songs while pointing out that dedication and teamwork is the group’s core value.

Download “We Got You Open” HERE

Download The Departure EP and more music from Clear Soul Forces here:

You may not be familiar with Esinchill (pronounced Essential), but you should be. A chance meeting with Digital Underground front man Shock G gave the West Coast rapper his start, and he took full advantage, releasing his debut LP, Everything To Lose, shortly after, followed by a handful of writing stints with the likes of Dave Hollister, Lenny Williams, and more. Now, Esinchill is prepping his new album, Vigilante, featuring Mistah F.A.B., Casual, Dave Hollister, and production from Jake One, to be released April 19th via Clear Label Records. And with the release date fast approaching, Esinchill is excited to release a brand new single, “Soul Of The City,” featuring long-time collaborator and legendary singer Dave Hollister.

While the phrase “Soul Of The City,” rarely shows up in the new single, its origins hold strong meaning; it’s become a nickname of sorts for Esinchill, which describes his embodiment of the spirit of the common man – he gives them voice. And with a song that tackles everyday, blue collar struggle and the fight to push through that struggle, the title is given power. As Dave Hollister sings, “I made life worth more than living/ I earned everything, nothing given/ I am the definition of driven/ Look at me,” Esinchill weaves his own story atop the slick piano and bouncing bass of the beat, juxtaposing struggle and success. “This is when you lose hope, that’s when your will fanes/ Here come the hunger pains, it’s a younger game/ And the cats that had your back phone numbers change/ and your relationship with your girl is under strain,” raps Esinchill, before finishing, “Let the whimps complain/ You want to entertain/ You have to fight ’till you sacrifice for every inch of gain/ Man listen, I am ambition.”

Download “Soul Of The City” featuring Dave Hollister here:

Prince Aries is a sought after DJ, party promoter, graphic designer, and also the host and co-founder of the Bay Area’s first and only hip-hop TV program Distortion 2 Static – we’re also told he sleeps from time to time, although we’re not so sure we believe that one – and on May 3rd Aries will be releasing a brand new mixtape, Clean Ass Whip. And now, Aries has enlisted Los Angeles emcee Bambu for “And We Mobb In That…” Produced by REL of Drums and Ammo, The track is one of two originals, along with DaVinci’s “Clean Ass Whip,” fans can expect from the project. “I wanted to have a few original tracks for this mixtape,” explains Aries, “so I asked REL for some beats. When I heard this one, I knew it would be a perfect fit.”

Indeed. The track flows effortlessly, with REL’s laid-back drums, nostalgic samples, and celestial keys giving listeners a front seat perspective into exactly what West Coast cruising music, and Clean Ass Whip, is all about. And for Aries, featuring Bambu, an emcee from the city that once birthed the single “Let Me Ride” and is clearly no stranger to car culture or the role that music plays within that culture, was a natural fit. “Bambu captures the feel of the mixtape perfectly,” says Aries. “He paints a picture of a sunny day in LA. It’s a perfect addition to the mixtape.”.

Prince Aries’ Clean Ass Whip mixtape will be released for free download via SWTBRDS on May 3rd.

Download “And We Mobb In That…” for free here:

Drums & Ammo has been playing the background for a minute. True, the SWTBRDS producer collective, comprised of 6Fingers, Al Jieh, Ammbush, and REL, has spent time in studios with a range of established and rising artists that would turn a young producer’s eyes green. But still, if you haven’t yet heard the name, D&A won’t be mad; until now they’ve been too busy working with your favorite artists – a list that includes every one from Raphael Saadiq to Keak Da Sneak, Del The Funky Homosapien to DaVinci, Moe Green, Messy Marv, Bambu, and more – to be concerned with the recognition.

But now, after a light roll-out – to this point D&A released only the “Speak Up” video, produced by and featuring Ammbush – Drums & Ammo are excited to release their new instrumental album, Vol. 1. The project is a collection of work from all four of the producers, a mix of both brand new instrumentals and those that have ended up on retail released. Forthcoming, Drums & Ammo will be releasing additional videos from the project, each serving to show off the diverse stylings of a group whose mix of live instrumentation, samples, and heavy drums and percussion has led to a sound that effortlessly pulls from their Bay Area home base while reaching beyond sounds normally heard within the regions confines. “We’re really about maintaining our identity out here. This is West Coast music, but the sound is global,” remarks Al Jieh. “It’s diverse, but it all comes together through a common influence – Bay Area music.”

Download Drums & Ammo’s new album, Vol.1, for free: