DOWNLOAD: S.H.I.T. Show #9
HARTFORD, Connecticut. – +INTLCL Media is pleased to announce that Hartford, CT. recording artist BLACASTAN has inked a recording deal with the independent hip hop powerhouse BRICK RECORDS. BLACASTAN is the first artist in years to emerge from the cess pool known as Hartford to sign a record deal.
BRICK RECORDS, the legendary independent hip hop record label is the same that once helped launch the careers of 7L & Esoteric, Statik Selektah, MF DOOM, Mr. Lif, Reks, Insight, Termanology, and others saw the potential in BLACASTAN and heard the whispers from the hip hop underground. Many people have hailed BLACASTAN as the savior of real hip hop in an era of hipster controlled blog rappers.
BLACASTAN’S debut album, entitled: BLAC SABBATH is slated for a FALL 2009 Release. The album features production from a virtually unknown producer COLOMBEYOND, who crafted 75% of the album using nothing but vinyl records and an SP-1200, as well as MR. GREEN, DJ DOOM, BLUE SKY BLACK DEATH, and STATIK SELEKTAH. The album will be distributed by TRAFFIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP.
In addition, BLACASTAN announced that his classic 2006 mixtape, ME AGAINST THE RADIO, has been remastered and will soon see a re-release and available for a free internet download later this summer.
Here’s a taste of Blacastan, a track called “War Stories” written just after his mother’s funeral and only a few weeks after his release from C.R.C.I. – Taken from the 2006 classic “ME AGAINST THE RADIO” mix cd.
DOWNLOAD: Blacastan – War Stories (2006)
Easily one of the nicest guys in hip hop. Jeru was polite, poetic, and overall a gentleman. Not only did he rock the capacity plus GoodLife that night, but he also personally called a distraught Sleezy Trees in the morning to not only thank me for the hospitality from the night before, but to also offer a second chance to sign a vinyl record his new boss had given me to get signed. I drove to the airport, and sure enough, he was there waiting to sign it before his flight to NYC took off.
We have a few photos from an unofficial camera that was present (shouts to Crec The Herbal Specialist). A Fresh Produce for the history books! Thanks Jeru!
As I’ve mentioned before, Trees recently gave the JTTS staff instructions to avoid posting YouTube clips that everybody else is propping anyway. If I recall correctly, the only exceptions were if Milkbone or Traci Lords emerged from retirement.
But considering the brutal Eminem debates that have flowered on this divine rap blog, I determined that this here freestyle is a necessary announcement. It will inspire two breeds of comment: one that will sound something like, “This is how Shady should rhyme;” and another that will resemble, “I told you fools that Em could still boogie.”
Whatever side of the how-good-or-shitty-is-Relapse? continuum you sit on, this vid is a must-check. I’m not sure why these profound skills were outsourced overseas with Tim Westwood (instead of on the S.H.I.T. Show, or something American like that), but it’s a slice of new history regardless. Don’t befriend the cousin of death…
Sometimes those of us who play the sidelines in this rap game get to put a stamp on history. For example – when Rock says “What the fuck is up with your man?” on the Rugged Intellect album, I’m pretty sure he’s talking about me, since I was piss drunk in the studio and trying to battle him.
Well – such notoriety has also fallen upon JumpTheTurnStyle founder Sleezy Trees, who, according to Sean Price (check the excerpt from Duck Down press release below – Trees is the guy referred to as the “driver”), is responsible (along with my homeboy Dan Green) for introducing him to Guilty Simpson‘s music while Ruck was on tour with Special Teamz in the UGHH van a few years ago.
So hats off to the Sleezy one – inventor of styles, father of fifteen, and inspiration for Random Axe – the unstoppable trio of Guilty, Sean P., and Black Milk, who are reportedly wrapping up their debut right now. From what I understand that Canadia trip was already pretty memorable; now it’s motherfucking immortalized.
Sean Price: “I was on tour with Special Teams and my man Dan Green asked me would I do a song with Guilty Simpson, so I said yeah. Then I asked everybody in the van who’s Guilty and the driver (big up ughh.com for the van usage) said he’s fuckin dope and played me every song Guilty made that was out . I was like fuck a song. Let’s do a full LP. Guilty and I actually found Black Milk sleeping on a corner beatboxing his beats cause he had no equipment, so we brought him in, gave him a sandwich, some soup and an orange fanta. And a beat machine and he wound up doing the whole lp….I joke I joke I kid I kid!!!”
Bottom line, I wanted to do an entire LP because I need to do different things. And this is just the first project of me going outside my solo reach. I have an album with Ill Bill coming soon and another collab LP with…….. stay tuned……………
p.s. thanks Dru Ha…the watch is beautiful.”
I know – I know – I know; I won’t shut up about this disc. Well – this will be it for a minute, I promise. If you’re completely unfamiliar, then check this recent post with some audio/video, then go in for my review below…
EXCERPT: Blessed with the finest qualities of Kool G Rap and Xzibit, Torae rocks with iron lungs and steel muscles; his massive physique makes every hook, jab, and uppercut bang that much harder.
Some of you from around New England might know about music scribe David Thorpe, who writes a column called The Big Hurt for the Phoenix. But I need to put the rest of you on, too, since he busts some of the most hilarious hip-hop news on these here interwebs.
I’ve been reading this dude since college, when wrote a column called Your Band Sucks for SomethingAwful.com. Back then I remember him calling Jack Johnson a “deer caught in the headlights of mediocrity.” Thorpe was a genius then, and he still is now. This week he takes on such serious issues as Chris Brown’s nude photo denial and Eminem’s stupidity. Check an excerpt below…
T.I. is about to begin his jail sentence; meanwhile, DMX is getting released. Thanks for the world’s shittiest consolation prize, American justice system!
So taken was I with the NME headline “EMINEM ‘felt like Bugs Bunny’ in drugs rehab” that I was tempted to leave it uninvestigated, the better to delight in the lack of context, but my curiosity got the better of me. The good news is, that’s pretty much all there is to it. “I was like Bugs Bunny in rehab, Bugs Bunny walking in the room,” Eminem told a BBC interviewer. I’m guessing he meant that his fame made him appear comically out of place in the situation. Or maybe he was just thrilled to be in prime position to say “What’s up?” to a doc.
Finally – a topic that none of you fuckers can speak a word to me about. I’m happy to say that I’m one of the few civilians to so far hear the upcoming La Coka Nostra disc, A Brand You Can Trust, which heads have been waiting years for, and which finally drops this summer. Since I opted not to take a promo copy – the thought being that I would not want to face Slaine, Ill Bill, Everlast, Big Left, Danny Boy, and DJ Lethal if shit accidentally leaked – the best I can do for now is offer a few notes from my listening session a couple weeks ago. Buckle up bitches…
1 – Everlast opens the album with this ringer: “The Pope’s a pedophile with a drug habit.”
2 – Though this is a more or less in-your-grill rap disc as expected, LCN hardly follows traditional verse-after-verse formulas. Due to that – plus the thick cymbal rides, monster guitar chops, and Everlast involvement – expect serious crossover appeal.
3 – The track with Snoop Dogg on the hook, “Bang Bang,” is not only catchier than herpes; it’s also the closest thing to a club banger that I’ll ever like. Slaine comes through with a dope line: “I’m an enemy – you want a friend go and buy a dog.”
4 – DJ Lethal handled the bulk of the beats. Beautifully!!!
5 – The Lethal-produced track with Sick Jacken – “Brujerai” (which means “Witchcraft” in Spanish) – is unrelenting audible energy. House of Pain fans should jizz over this one. Jack also returns later on “Soldier Stories” to murder a verse.
6 – Ill Bill produced the sleeper hit “Cousin of Death” – a slow burning banger with the rock radio potential of “What it’s Like.”
7 – The Alchemist beat on the Bun B track, “Choose Your Side,” is on some crazy snake charmer shit. Brace yourself for one of the tightest Everlast verses ever.
8 – I was pretty wasted by the time I heard it, but I’m pretty sure there’s a bank robbery anthem with Cynic (of Psycho realm) on which Slaine dedicates his verse to Charlestown and Bill threatens to beat someone to death with furniture.
9 – “Nuclear Medicine Men” features Q-Unique and Immortal Technique. ‘Nuff said.
10 – Most importantly – LCN will lace the whole damn thing on Rock the Bells this summer.
I wrote this article a few years ago for Boston’s Weekly Dig after going on a wild listening party / bus ride for Jesus Price Superstar with Sean P and the Duck Down crew. It’s one of my favorite articles ever, but unfortunately it’s no longer available on line. Until now – this one’s for the archives…
In the eighth grade, I got a back seat blowjob on my class trip to Philadelphia. Years later, on a Greyhound ride to New York, I convinced a cool orthodox Jew sitting next to me to sniff Special K.
Until the listening party for Sean Price’s new album, those were the two best times I’ve ever had on a bus.
Before most rappers drop new releases, their publicists host preview parties. The events are usually held at clubs, lofts or studios, where critics are given multiple drinks, and sometimes smoke and grub, while they listen to the album. If we’re lucky, the artist will surface, and maybe even reluctantly offer some generic quotes (i.e. – “Hip-hop needs this album right now, knawmsayin’”) before disappearing behind velvet ropes to spit champagne with his entourage.
Duck Down Records President Dru Ha wanted something different for Price, whose standout 2004 disc, Monkey Barz, catapulted Brooklyn’s Boot Camp Clik back to the forefront of indie hip-hop. Unveiling Jesus Price Supastar on a party bus, he figured, would be appropriate. I agreed, so as soon as I got departure details, I arranged my trip to New York.
Not to be all “I was way into Ricky Martin before Menudo,” but I’ve for years believed Price to be one of hip-hop’s great antagonists. As one-half of Heltah Skeltah, his weeded scumbaggery expertly juxtaposed his partner Rock’s schoolyard rasp; as a reemerging solo artist, he’s reestablished himself as one of rap’s few remaining jokesters. And like a 40oz. Olde English, he’s gotten nastier with age.
The day begins like most hip-hop assignments: I’m on time, and Price is late; even though I came from Boston, and he’s coming from Brooklyn. This is how it should be; if Price shows early, or if he comes wearing anything besides a pitted out white t-shirt and yesterday’s jeans, then lines like, “I put my dick in her ass and my hand in her purse” wouldn’t be as effective.
After a short wait, Price enters the bus, and about 20 geeky rap reporters (including me) reach out and throw pounds. He seems genuinely excited to share his new tracks, which is a good thing since this is as Gilligan as listening parties get. A Duck Down associate slides Supastar in the stereo, and the driver rolls down Broadway.
Seconds after takeoff, Dru shuts the dome lights, hits the strobes and fires up the smoke machine. Price stands up and strikes a Saturday Night Fever pose, and before I get the chance, another writer beats me to the obvious joke: “It’s Sean Travolta!” Actually, I say it first, but since he’s in the back of the bus near Price, and I’m up front like a big fucking loser, I get Costanza’d.
It takes seven minutes and 24 second for the first blunt to get lit. I’m not the only one hoping for a clambake; the dude across from me asks if there’s a one blunt limit, and Price replies, “I’m sayin’ – roll that shit up.” By track three, communal spliffs are being passed, and we’re pulling over to get beer.
“I don’t need weed and alcohol to write, I just like to have weed and alcohol when I write,” Price tells one reporter. Naturally, the same goes for listening to his music.
Supastar is undeniable from the jump, though it takes track three, “P-Body,” to prove that Monkey Barz was no fluke. Over 9th Wonder orchestration, Price spits, “You’re supposed to tell the truth in the booth and lie to the cops, but instead you tell the truth to the cops and lie in the booth.” I’m hoping that we don’t get pulled over and forced to side with one of those categories.
This really is a listening party. After two hours of cruising with the speakers on red, I’m rhyming along to the strung out “King Kong.” Price is mouthing lyrics too, and between the trees and his notorious halitosis, a third sensory dimension has been added to the experience. Actually, speaking metaphysically, the coach dynamic strikes even deeper than sights, sounds and smells.
“This is to show you all how we eat,” Price tells me. “We eat off that road game man. I’m still the brokest rapper you know. If someone else wants to be the brokest rapper you know – if they want that title – then I’m not even gonna get mad though. Trust me – I done did that. But I had a successful year.”
Another writer leans in, passes Price a spliff, and asks how Boot Camp plans to further ride the buzz from its recent re-up. Specifically, he says, “Are you guys going to do anything different this time around now that you have a lot of new fans out there?”
Without missing a toke, Price looks at him, then looks at me, then exhales: “Just take a look around. We got a bus.”
I’m incredibly interested in how readers respond to this one. For me, it’s essentially a no-brainer; growing up in New York, Joe was without-a-doubt the first cat to do a lot of things: first Latin dude to blow up; first MC (who I can think of) to maintain underground ties (D.I.T.C.) while finessing commercial destinies (with Terror Squad); and a bunch of others.
While the main gripe that I might expect people to conjure about Joe making this list is that his skills are not resounding, I would argue that he registers high enough in other categories to qualify. Joe’s East Coast gangsta gruff was way ahead of its time when he dropped “Flow Joe,” and he’s shined on dozens of verses (I’m especially a big fan of a lot of cuts on Don Cartagena – that was my era for real).
Most importantly, I believe, is that Joe cultivated the career of Big Pun, and spit his lung up every time he came to hang with his not-so-little protégé. “Twinz Deep Cover ’98” isn’t just a classic rap song – it’s also proof that the best of the West simply can’t hang next to a pair of Bronx bombers.
Finally – Joe is damn near the best model for longevity in all the game. Whether it was deliberate or not, he never blew to such an extreme that he risked falling off, and he never slipped into rap obscurity for too long. Bottom line: Joe has consistently put out solid joints that both bumped and sold. And most importantly, he never let some punk ass beef get the best of him. Pimp hats off to da original gangsta.
So I just submitted my upcoming Cage interview for the next YRB magazine. And, as is always the case with Cage, some of the material was just too good to save until the issue drops. Here are a few nuggets:
On the new album: “I was staying at [former Hatebreed guitarist] Sean Martin’s studio on the floor with no idea about what I was trying to do. One day I would be on the set of Transformers 2, and Shia was asking to make my next video; the next day I was trying to create the album of my career from an air mattress. I was a mess.”
On the Depart from Me cover art: “Those are the demons in my life; I guess they represent the women in my life tearing me apart. [Master artist] Alex Pardee and I talked about my ideas, and once I saw the little demons I wanted to put them in everything. It’s definitely the most grotesque and visually explicit image that we could come up with.”
On his weight: “At first when people would say, “You look so great now,” it would be a tough one to swallow because they’re basically saying that I didn’t used to look good. That’s what girls mean when they come up to me like, “Oh – you’re hot now.” It’s fine though, because I was just a slob making songs about my sexual exploits, and that’s all I wanted. But while I meant it when I said that on the record, I wouldn’t say it now. Don’t get me wrong – I did this to attract women, and I’ve never had this many girlfriends and girls coming to shows.
As a favor to our loyal readers, I’m going to extend this one critical piece of Memorial Day weekend advice: don’t see Terminator Salvation.
Most of you probably saw this shit coming a mile away. I did, yet I failed to heed the warning signs–no Arnold; no James Cameron; a PG-13 rating and ample screen time for Common–that should have tipped me off. Christian Bale occasionally slips into his Batman growl as he and his trusty Sony Vaio (still working post-apocalypse…chea right) take down Skynet, which, you know, still exists despite everything that happened in the first two movies (Sorry Terminator 3; I’m politely going to pretend you never actually happened, sort of like Gucci Mane).
But it’s not necessarily the filmmakers’ fault. The movie is competently directed and put together, with lots of good looking FX. The problem occurred the moment the producers decided to make another sequel to a franchise that didn’t need one, to slap on a new number or subtitle to the brand name and flip it for a profit. Most sequels tend to suck because they are so unnecessary. They spend most of the time trying to bend the story and characters into justifying the need for another chapter, a game that’s almost certain to fail. So if that formula hardly ever works for movies, why would you try it on an album?