March 31, 2009

Clash Speaks To The Enigmatic (MF) DOOM...

The man has many faces, many monikers through which he channels a singular vision of hip-hop that’s been allowed to expand in the margins without coercion from corporate suits and label politics.

But here, now, today, he is simply DOOM.

Daniel Dumile’s widest-known alter ego has dropped his ‘MF’ prefix for album three, ‘BORN LIKE THIS’ (the name is taken from a Charles Bukowski poem), but the British-born and New York-based rapper’s ear for the absurd in anyone else’s hands, his love of experimentation and sculpting designs anew, remains absolutely apparent. Five years may have passed since his last solo offering, ‘MM..Food’ (an anagram of his name, FYI), but DOOM hasn’t been lazing about, resting on his laurels.

In the same year as ‘MM..Food’, 2004, he released the ‘Madvillainy’ album, a collaborative effort with acclaimed producer Madlib (a follow-up is in the works); 19 months later, ‘The Mouse And The Mask’ emerged, showcasing DOOM’s vocals alongside beats and pieces from white-hot studio wiz Danger Mouse. So, while DOOM as a solo artist has been off the scene, his rhymes have found their place in the public’s ear – both collaborations took Dumile to a new level of recognition.

And it’s this raised profile that ensures Clash gets 30 minutes phone time with the man himself. It’s late here but early there, and DOOM’s just getting started… Read interview here..

XXL: Bun B Vs. Mike Jones, I Know Rap People [Texas Edition] [Explict Language] sat Bun B and Mike Jones down for a friendly game of trivia questions on all things Houston Hip-Hop. The funny and entertaining guessing game shows the often unseen comedic side of Bun B and the reserved approach of Mike Jones reppin' Ice Age all day.

Visit Bun B and Mike Jones on MySpace: Bun B / Mike Jones
Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @

March 30, 2009

Artist Of The Week - Taxi Doll

Remember back in the 90’s when pop/rock groups were experimenting with electronica? Some of the music they created was really extraordinary. I felt that same vibe again recently when I gave a listen to Taxi Doll’s just released full length LP, Hear and Now. Taxi Doll is made up of (pictured from L to R) guitarist Matt Emmer, bassist Brian Hendrix, keyboardist/producer Gregg Allen, lead singer Dhana and drummer Jason Graham, and while the men of the band are from LA, their leading lady is from Europe, which has led Taxi Doll to create a style of music that gives pop/rock a much needed kick in the pants. Some of the band’s work has been featured on a number of high profile TV shows, including CSI New York and The Hills, and this week I caught up with both Dhana and Jason to find out what those placements have done for them, how each member of the band stands out on their own, and what kind of stories they have from their time spent in taxis. That's right, it's time for some Taxicab Confessions from Taxi Doll. Click here...

March 25, 2009

DT - "Auto2ne Master"

Had to snatch this up from The Good Look blog and spread the word about this pretty dope song from DT of Clan Destined, that VJC family.

Download - Auto2une Master

March 24, 2009

Cam'ron takes a three-point stance on Harlem, hoops, and hip-hop. by Jack Neudorf

Many ex-high school athletes will dust off the yearbooks from time to time and revel in the nostalgia of the "glory days." If basketball was a major part of your formative years, you might feel inclined to think about your hardwood (or blacktop) memories every once in a while too. It's nice to know that it's no different for hip-hop moguls (cue the gossip magazines: "Stars—They're just like us!). Except, for Cam'ron, "glory days" is more of an ongoing thing. His life consists of making hit records, owning a liquor brand, directing and starring in movies and, generally just untucking the lyrical hotness in some capacity or another. While getting ready to drop his latest album, Crime Pays (May 5th), Cam took some time to touch base with The Mag about his Harlem upbrining, his love of hoops, and hip-hop. Read more...

March 23, 2009

Artist Of The Week - Mr. Beatz

Mr. Beatz has always been inspired by the greats. Whether it was the lyrical skills of Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and Kool G Rap, the DJing prowess of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Red Alert, or the production mastery of DJ Premier, Pete Rock and The Bomb Squad, he recognized the best of the best and wanted to do something to rank right up there with them. Now a proficient emcee, DJ and producer, Mr. Beatz says the most important thing people should know about his work is the initial reason it all began. “I always have to mention that I'm a fan first,” he explains, “because that always keeps my love strong for the culture and all of its elements and characteristics.” After a short hiatus from making music Mr. Beatz returned to the booth and the boards a little over two years ago and this week I caught up with the New York native, whose latest video can be seen on Video Music Box, to find out what he’s been up to. Click here...

March 16, 2009

Big Daddy Kane

15 Minutes - Hasan Salaam

Title: 15 Minutes / Artist: Hasan Salaam / Year: 2009 / Directed by Mark Carranceja / Written by Hasan Salaam / Assistant Director: Justin Denmark / Cinematography: Mark Carranceja / Starring: Lloyd Porter, Ameena Dove, Mike Volozin, Hasan Salaam, Bad Sportt, Rugged N Raw and others / Music Produced by Craig Rip / / /

Artist Of The Week - Top $ Raz

Growing up in Far Rockaway, Queens, Top $ Raz knew how to rap before he even attended his first day of school. “My brother used to blast Hip-Hop music all day long,” he remembers, “and if I didn’t learn the words to Biggie I would be exiled out the room.” A pretty rough sentence for a kid who was only six at the time, but it was that influence that not only led him to Hip-Hop, but to some very specific types of Hip-Hop. Top $ Raz explains, “my brother made sure I valued and understood the essence of the music and never let me get into the cookie cutter stuff.” While in second grade, when he was just learning how to write, Top $ Raz penned his first rhyme and he hasn’t looked back since. This week I caught up with him to find out more about the depth and diversity of his work, where he gets his incredible stage presence, and the inspiration behind his video for “King.” Click Here...

March 9, 2009

Artist Of The Week - Farbeon

The NYC Hip-Hop trio 3rd Party has already produced two Adam’s World Artists of the Week (Hired Gun and Rabbi Darkside), and this week the third member of the trio, Farbeon, is ready for his close-up. Born in El Paso, Texas, Farbeon’s musical journey started at a very young age as a singer in his church’s choir. He jokes that “little old ladies” were his first groupies. Farbeon would go on to study poetry at Georgetown University during Allen Iverson’s reign there and in 2000 he linked up with the Blow Up Co-Op in Phoenix, Arizona. After moving to NYC in 2002, Farbeon quickly found Rabbi Darkside and Hired Gun and the trio formed 3rd Party. This week I caught up with Farbeon to discuss his many projects, from all things music related, to his work with Alzheimer’s patients, to his development of his own Master’s program at NYU. One thing is for sure, Farbeon is far from being your average artist. Click Here...

March 6, 2009

J Dilla Beat. Illa J Hook. Your Verse.

In 2008, Illa J teamed up with the historic Delicious Vinyl record label to release the highly acclaimed Yancey Boys, an album featuring beats by his brother the legendary producer J Dilla. Now, to celebrate the recent release of Yancey Boys Instrumentals, Illa J is giving aspiring rappers an opportunity to shine on two of the album tracks. Illa J,, Delicious Vinyl, and Audible Treats have joined forces and are proud to bring you the Illa J Remix Contest. After downloading the hook-included instrumentals of "R U Listening" and "Showtime" (found at the links below), contestants will have two weeks to rap their best verses based around the concept of Illa J’s hooks and submit their versions of the songs to be judged by Illa J and Delicious Vinyl.

Two winners, one for each song, will be chosen. Delicious Vinyl will officially release both winning submissions as digital singles for free download. Each winner will also each receive one unique 16 bar verse recorded personally by Illa J for inclusion on whichever personal project(s) they choose. So... Got the skills to hang with the Yancey Boys? To enter the contest, or for further information about the contest, including download links for the two hook-included instrumentals, rules, deadlines, and prizes:

Download Links:
R U Listening (Instrumental) 
Showtime (Instrumental)  

The Background:
When Jay Dee passed away from complications relating to lupus in February 2006, he left behind an extraordinary legacy of production work, including hits for Common, Janet Jackson, and Busta Rhymes. One mother lode of previously untouched beats dates from his time working on the Pharcyde's sophomore album, Labcabincalifornia (Delicious Vinyl, 1995). As Delicious Vinyl owner and founder Michael "Mike Floss" Ross explains: "From '95 through '98 Jay Dee was my go-to guy for hot beats and remixes. He was always making beats, always. So there was a select amount of tracks that he composed for me during that time, tracks as good as anything he'd done, only they never got used. When I finally met Illa J last year, I gave him a CD containing those unreleased beats."

In a case of pure serendipity, 21 year-old Illa J had just relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles and constructed a studio built using Jay Dee's recording equipment. He dubbed it Yancey Boys Studios in tribute to their fraternal bond. "Dilla was 12 years older than me," Illa J says. "So back in the day in Detroit I was just a little kid, sitting on the stairs in our house, watching him make those first beats for Slum Village. I always felt my brother's tracks and had an instinct for what I wanted to do over them." When Illa J set to work in early '08 recording the album, the project flowed quickly as he entered the proverbial can't miss zone. The name of the studio rightly became the title of the finished album, Yancey Boys, which is available online and in stores everywhere on Delicious Vinyl Records.

March 5, 2009

Bisc1 - "Strange Love" by Video Graf Productions

Here's the video for Bisc1's "Strange Love " from his recent Strange Love Project, produced by legendary Video Graf Productions. The video was shot, produced and directed by Carl Weston, famed producer of graffiti videos for the last 20 years.

Part art installation, part remix, The Strange Love Project is free for fans to download at his website:

In early 2009, Bisc1, emcee, graphic designer, and graffiti artist, released The Strange Love Project, the reinterpretation of his 2008 album When Electric Night Falls by 10 producers and 20 visual artists. Taking it one step further, Bisc1 now brings you The Strange Love Project's first video, "Strange Love." To shoot the video, Bisc1 joined forces with Carl Weston, the legendary, original producer of graffiti videos since the late 1980's, and graffiti documentarian through his production company Video Graf Productions. Weston, whose cult-classic videos were an original inspiration on Bisc's own graffiti, does masterful work directing and producing this video for the "The Strange Love," bringing Bisc's words to life with stunning nighttime visuals and shots of Bisc1 getting busy. Protected by the darkness of abandoned streets and alleyways of lower Manhattan, Bisc and Carl bring to life the look and feel of a graffiti addiction.

March 2, 2009

Señor Kaos - Girls Rock Too REMIX

Atlanta Hip Hop mainstay Señor Kaos presents: Girls Rock Too REMIX Video to celebrate Woman's History Month (March 2009).

The song is produced by Illastrate. The video is directed by Jeaniusmedia.

Artist Of The Week - Via Tania

With breathy vocals, poetic lyrics and a slowed down, and oftentimes smoothed out, pace, the unique mix of downtempo and pop that is the music of Via Tania was an unexpected surprise for me. I honestly had no idea what I was in store for when I put on her latest album, Moon Sweet Moon, but by the time it was over I was in a totally different head space; chilled out, relaxed and at ease. Intrigued, I wanted to know more about Via Tania and her work. This week I caught up with her to make that happen and we discussed her background, what it was like touring with the likes of The Breeders and Bikini Kill in her teenage years, and where music ranks among her numerous artistic passions. Click Here...

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