Thursday, December 13, 2012

Be Thankful

A couple folks asked me about this edit when I played it last night.

Generally, you can't go wrong with anything from DJ Day, so take a little time and check out his stuff on Soundcloud...his blog site is pretty great too.

Looks like the homie has a new album dropping in the new year too!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2k12 gift guide
Garment Renaissance

Strictly Wu Wear for the New Year. Nah, but really, just some new items I picked up to cover my physical for 2013.

The gear is dope...and the music is just about timeless. Consider supporting these folks if you're looking for a gift for that special someone/DJ/music head/fashion nut this holiday season.

Truth and Soul Records
Shirt - Music

The "Shaolin Jazz" project
Shirt - Music (FREE dl or stream)

Stones Throw Records
Shirt - Music

And, for those of you saying to yourself:
"damn yo, Mike is so generous with these great ideas, I only wish I could pay him back with something awesome for his everyday life.."

See here...Santa kinda fronted on me last time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

'95 Live

I picked up this Elektra/East West "iLLSTYLE LIVE" showcase record from a friend recently (S/O to DJ Eurok at Upset the Setup.)

My initial reaction upon playing it was "who A&R’ed at Elektra back in the day?" Seriously, what an amazing roster they had. It's crazy to think how many of these artists' (most?) albums went unreleased.

My reason for writing today is to introduce you to one of the artists featured on this 1995 Live album: Omniscence is his name (I'll take his word on the spelling.) He's from North Carolina, has/d a ridiculous punch-line battle rap-type flow, and just has some serious ENERGY on the mic. It’s possible this got some burn back then on college radio or mixtapes and the like, but this is the first I’ve heard it.

In terms of the audio below, here's what we've got:

Omniscence on the mic
+ Big Kap on hypeman duties
+ a bangin’ beat provided by DJ Rheji Burrell
+ a freestyle over a classic Biggie beat (to get you warmed up)
+ Pete Rock on the decks?
= some barely released classic mid-90’s unforgettable hip-hop shit.

Omniscence - Amazin (Live)
Shout out to Dante Ross, all the artists on this compilation, TROY blog and The Lost Tapes blog.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Air Raid

5 years ago, Alpha Pup Records released Glitch Mob member edIT's second album, "Certified Air Raid Material." Around that time, I had the opportunity to chat with both edIT and Ooah (also of the Glitch Mob) about their recent releases, inspirations, and the Live performances that they'd become known for.

Some things have changed in the past 5 years, but these guys are still doing their thing...and well, I might add.

Here is the full edIT + Ooah interview, as it aired back in 2007. Big shout to Alpha Pup Records, and of course edIT and Ooah for the time.

edIT + Ooah on Pitch Control - October 28, 2007/XM Buy: edIT - "Certified Air Raid Material"
Buy: Ooah - "Hacksaw / Tubstomper"

Stay in the loop with The Glitch Mob at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Something You Got

I have a small collection of cassette tapes that I've held onto over the years...mostly stuff that I've never come across on record, or mixtapes and the like which were never released in any other format. I appreciate tapes, not just because they are a cheap way to experience music I don't otherwise have, but because there's no easy way to skip over the music and move on to the next track. You actually had to listen to the music on a tape...the limitations of the medium acted as a sort of quality control measure, or at least that's my theory.

I remember getting my hands on a couple of these tapes, "The Staple Sessions," back around 2001 when I worked with the FADER magazine/Cornerstone Promotion. Jeff Staple and Staple Design did a bunch of work for the magazine then, and so I landed these tapes from hanging around the offices.

Anyway, I was recently listening back to DJ Chillout (aka Harry Chronic) "The Sessions: Volume One" and heard a number of songs that I want to track down. And in most cases, I've been able to figure out the Artist/Title of these songs, but there's one tune in particular that I can't pinpoint who it is...

If you have any thoughts on who the artist might be, please throw some ideas up in the Comments section. I can't seem to get this out of my head...

Something You Got (reggae version)

(and for those interested, here is Side one of the tape in its entirety)
DJ Chillout (aka Harry Chronic) "The Sessions: Volume One" side one

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Original mix

I bought a bunch of tunes from Beatport the other week. If you have not already experienced Beatport's online record store, I definitely recommend you check them out. Not only do they have ~2-minute audio samples of the songs for sale, but you can also store tracks in your "Hold Bin" for further review or to purchase at a later time. (hint: check out their 'DJ Charts' too.)

Anyways, I found some real dope records on this recent Beatport visit and wanted to share a few of them with you...

Waifs & Strays - "Yeah Yeah (Original mix)"

Finnebassen - "Touching Me (Original mix)"

Jacques Greene - "Dakou" (digital exclusive)

S/O to Beatport, Eats Everything, my dude Nacey, Machinedrum, Om Unit and everyone else whose put me on to some of these sounds. Appreciate it..

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Count All the Votes: greatest Benzino song of all time?

I'm sure many of you recall the over-abundance of Made Men advertisements in The Source back when, or are perhaps otherwise familiar with Ray Benzino through his involvement with 80s/90s Boston hip-hop group The Almighty RSO??….or maybe through that whole stabbing situation with Paul Pierce back in 2000???

Ok, well, if you are familiar, you probably have some preconceived notion of his music… and if you're not already familiar…shoot, honestly, I don't know what to tell you if you are not at least somewhat aware of this dude…

In my experience, from the stuff I've listened to, Benzino never really made too m(any) records worth remembering…and so, in a possibly regrettable assertion, I'm crowning this song his GOAT (with much thanks to the canvas provided by Ray's production crew, Hangmen 3.)

Benzino - Bang Ta Dis

S/O to Motown for putting this out back in 2001...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Can't Forget New Jersey

Heavy D was a talented dude. Without necessarily knowing everything he had a hand in, I was/am fairly familiar with a bunch of his work, moreso through Uptown Records than anything else. Still, somehow it's this cameo in Nick Gomez/Spike Lee's "New Jersey Drive" that seems to come to mind more than anything when I think of him. Heavy was a gifted musician, but he also was a strong actor, as you can see here.

While we're talking about it, the soundtrack for "New Jersey Drive" is real nice too. Tommy Boy released it in 2 volumes, and there's some truly classic records on there, including BIG & Total's "Can't You See," Outkast's "Benz or Beamer," and a few others.

This one below from Latifah really speaks to me, though. As someone who has spent some time in Jersey over the years, albeit not in Newark, I love this record..and I love that Biz Markie sample too!!!

Queen Latifah - Jersey

And here's a couple other favorite odds & ends from Heavy D's catalog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Game Over

The other month I had the pleasure of DJing over at Little Miss Whiskey's with Blake9 of tenured DC hip-hop group Nine:Fifteen. I hadn't been in touch with Blake since like 2003 or so when I was doing college radio, so it was cool to re-connect with a familiar face, especially someone with similar taste in music. And while I remember some of Nine:Fifteen's earlier material, I wasn't prepared for what I heard when Blake put me up on some of their new stuff…honestly, this new isht here?!?!!! My goodness!!

These cats have come a long ways...and this song below is one of the sickest records I've heard in quite some time. Add to that a dooope video from director Hilton Carter, and you got something special (50 Cent voice.)

Sure, hip-hop has changed over the years, but that thing that ties it all together is alive and well in 2012 thanks to cats like Blake and emcee Bisquite PowerPoppin (or Comel, as he was previously known.)

As the youngsters might say, #swag.

To download "Bachelorette Party" and for more on Nine:Fifteen, visit

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kendrick Lamar

Photobucket I'm sure there are other albums from new(er) hip-hoppers nowadays equally as deserving of praise and recommendation, but I've listened to a lot of music in my time, and I know when I hear something cohesive and promising enough to warrant telling my friends to go buy it (or at least give it a listen.) This is one of those occasions, and this is one of those artists.

So, if you consider your tastes aligned with mine in some way, take out your wallet (or type & click) and let Kendrick Lamar take you on a journey through Comptown California.

This is some classic west coast biz for 2011, or 2012 (yeah, grant me a late pass on this one please)…the type of record that will still sound good 10 years from now.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DC Hip-Hop

I had the pleasure of DJing a happy hour for Words Beats & Life recently, as the opening event for the organization's Wu Tang-themed "Philanthrobeat" fundraiser. It didn't pop off like crazy or anything, but there were some good people in the house. And I know they were treated to some good music on all accounts. Part of the theme of the happy hour was to showcase some local blogs, to support the independent voices in the greater DC community that are supporting dope music from our area and beyond. So, part of my set included music from some of my favorite DC hip-hop artists, and I figured I'd share some of them with you here. Check it out..
The Package - Look Out Below
Tabi Bonney - Duhh Diamond District - In the Ruff, Streets Wont Let Me Chill
Asheru - BMIG Kev Brown - Work in Progress XO - Hands Up K-Beta - Inglorious Beta (Intro) Y Society - Never Off (On & On)
And last but not least, I want to shine a light on this song here curated specifically for Words Beats & Life's "Bumrush The Boards" annual Hip-Hop Chess tournament by my man DJ RBI...shout out to RBI, DJ 2-Tone Jones everyone at WBL and all the artists involved..

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Nu Shooz

Not sure the back story on how Nu Shooz became a hit record, or even a big record amongst the hip-hop crowd...but considering how addictive this song is, I'm not really sweating it too much. When my friend DJ Shame first put me onto this single back in the mid-90's, I had no idea what it was, but just picked it up on the strength of his recommendation...and I'm glad I did, because to this day, it's still something I play from time to time. "I Can't Wait" was first released around 1984, so I don't know that too many younger folks are familiar with it...but it's something that I figure anyone can relate to, so I think it's worth showcasing here.

I'm not going to post the original or one of the remixes that most DJs play, but instead I wanted to share this unplugged/acoustic version below. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do..
Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait (unplugged)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm comin out of the boooooth

For those of you that don't get the Adam Sandler/Tollbooth Willy reference there, check this out.

(BTW, Worcester/central MA is where I'm from..used to dig this album a lot back in the day.)

Anyway, Thursday I'm back at St Ex for my monthly jam "Like This 'n Like That."

And tomorrow (Wednesday) I'm kicking off an every-other-Wednesday happy hour at Blackbyrd (14th and U streets.)