Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guru of Gang Starr in a Coma

This weekend Guru (born Keith Elam) of legendary Hip Hop duo Gang Starr reportedly fell into a coma after complications following a cardiac arrest. According to these news came from his sister Tricia Elam, and also reported that DJ Premier called into Satelite XM radio station "Hip Hop Nation" to confirm that his former Gang Starr partner indeed suffered a heart attack.

“Guru IS in a coma and will go under surgery tomorrow afternoon."

Gang Starr is one of my all time favorite Hip Hop groups and so I hope Guru pulls through. They were very influential in the New York Hip Hop scene during the early '90s and gained a loyal following both in artists and fans. This news is especially disheartening following recent rumors that Gang Starr would be reuniting (they went on hiatus sometime in 2005.) recently interviewed Premier and asked him about a possibility of a Gang Starr reunion:

"I see and read these articles where he's like, 'I'm Gang Starr' so I'm like, all right," he explained. "So whenever you ready, you tell me when you're ready and I'll start tomorrow, but it's up to Guru."

My prayers go out to Guru and his family & friends, stay tuned to Idol Threat for any further developments and news. *Update via DJ Premier’s Twitter on 3/1/10 around 8am NY Time: “Guru is getting ready for surgery, pray for the best!”

Guru's Myspace Page

Gang Starr Myspace Page

Guru 8.0: Lost & Found at

*special thanks to DJSP for the heads up

Friday, February 26, 2010

DOOM 2/25/10 Toronto Show Re-cap

So it would seem REMG Entertainment did their best to stay on point with their DOOM concert. They announced on their Twitter that “Doom is in the country! Canada customs confirmed identity!” at around 9:30 Toronto time and that DOOM’s set would start at 10pm. The show cost almost $50 and had one opener (D-Sisive) and apparently DOOM didn’t come on stage until sometime after midnight which was more than 2 hours after his scheduled set time. This means the crowd was left waiting with probably nothing more than a DJ for 3 hours after the opener’s set finished.

The set actually started with a DOOMposter performing before the real DOOM came in to "save" the crowd after a couple of minutes (I remember reading somewhere that he also did this at a previous show a couple of years back as a nod to the imposter rumors.) He then performed a 20 minute set and came back for about 2 short encores (which leads me to believe that it was also the original plan for the Chicago show had it not been so late and had the crowd not been so hostile.) I’m hearing that there was actually some banter and a few fuck-ups on the lyrics (they even had technical difficulties) so it would seem that the real DOOM actually performed without lip-synching. All in all it was around a 3 hour wait for a 30-40 minute set. This is probably the closest thing to closure that I can find for people upset with the Chicago MosDOOM concert.

All this does is prove that SOMEBODY lip-synched in Chicago and that we got an even worse show than Toronto did. Personally I would’ve rather had the real DOOM stumble through his classics than an imposter lip-synching a perfectly prepared live track. If this is performance art or an ongoing publicity stunt I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. I’m done with this. I’ma keep it moving and I’m sticking to headphones with this from now on.

Here's a more detailed account of the concert but strangely no mention of the fake DOOM that everyone said started the show:

Review of the Show from

(*I’ll keep updating with picts or videos of this night as they pop-up but I won’t be making another post about this)

Rhymefest, JUICE, Mikkey Halsted & Twone Gabz Group - Updates (Videos)

So 3/4 of Chicago's new supergroup (sans Rhymefest) got together for Part 7 of Serius Jones' “Got Bars” series at Chicago's Soundscape Studio. Mikkey Halsted and Twone Gabz spit some dope rhymes that proves that the group will definitely be a problem when the album drops, and JUICE closes the session with a 2 minute freestyle. I wasn't going to post this since it's been everywhere already but JUICE's freestyle was so serious that I just had to share it with you readers. The crazy thing is that it was obviously completely off the dome yet he sounded as if he was reading the lyrics offscreen.

This isn't new to old JUICE fans but this will hopefully show all the youngsters out there that Chicago is home to a freestyle LEGEND. The man is one of the few people that can spit his freestyles in the exact style as his writtens without any mistakes or filler words. No disrespect to anyone else but JUICE is also one of the few dope freestylers that actually makes music I would listen to - battle rappers rarely make listenable songs and that's what makes JUICE one of the greatest.

“Take this to New York/I don't care what you thought/Muslim mother fucker making other Muslims chew pork”

They still haven't come up with a group name so I would like to make my official submission here on Idol Threat: WMD. Weapons of Mass Destruction. They could come up with different acronyms like “We Make Dough” or some shit but since MD also stands for medical degree they could be the “Weapon Doctors” or wMDs. They could play off the theme by dressin as doctors while holdin different weapons (I vote for all the TMNT weapons.) I got so many ideas for logos and such I'd even offer my design services free of charge if they'd have it. Or they can name themselves “ChicagoRillas” after the Rhymefest song. Either way they need to name their project soon so I don't have to keep writing out all their names as a group or refer to them as the “un-named Chicago Hip Hop supergroup.”

Here's some studio footage to prove that these guys are serious and that they've started recording already:

And here's a video about the making of the track from DJ J iLLa's upcoming mixtape “Revenge of the Backpacks Vol. 2: Welcome To Chicago” that brought these 4 together as a group:

Rhymefest+Juice+Mikkey Halsted+Twone Gabz+Jay Illa from Brandon "N2ition" Riley on Vimeo.

You can also download the aforementioned track below and be on the lookout for the Revenge of the Backpacks Vol. 2 coming in March:

DJ Jay iLLa feat. Mikkey Halsted, Rhymefest, Twone Gabz & Juice - Revenge

*videos via

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MosDOOM Shows Cancelled! Mos Def PISSED!

“Hello, this is Ticketmaster Customer Service with an important alert for your upcoming event: Doom Featuring Mos Def, scheduled at Nokia Theatre Times Square on Friday, February 26, 2010, with the doors opening at 8:00PM, has been cancelled…Please note, the $5.40 per order processing fee, any ticketFast, or UPS delivery charges and in-store pick up charges are non-refundable.”

That’s the email that went out to people who bought tickets for tomorrow’s MosDOOM concert in New York. I have also found out that Mos Def is no longer part of tonight’s concert in Toronto and REMG Entertainment stated that those wanting a refund because of Mos Def’s cancellation can obtain them at their point of purchase. The following statement was also released on

“NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond our control the Doom featuring Mos Def show scheduled for Thursday February 25, 2010 at the Kool Haus will no longer feature include Mos Def. All other details regarding this show are unchanged.

REMG Entertainment takes the integrity of our concerts and the trust placed in our company by our loyal patron base very seriously. As such we feel it necessary to address the ongoing rumours and concerns about the true identity of the performer on stage during recent past Doom performances. We are taking every precaution necessary to ensure that the performer on stage is in fact DOOM (Daniel Dumile). The artist has agreed to produce proper identification to us prior to performing to confirm his identity. We will not allow a substitute to perform in his place.

We encourage fans to follow us on for regular updates on the show. Doom says “The Supervillain is still coming to Toronto and he is going to tear the place down.”

I was going to wait until I got more information from my source to reveal this but these cancellations forced me to post early. A very reliable source of mine is good friends with one of Mos Def’s peoples (the source asked to remain anonymous and I won’t say who it is in Mos Def’s camp.) They hung out with them at their hotel penthouse and apparently they said that Mos Def was PISSED after the Chicago concert. My source said it was obvious that Mos had no clue DOOM was going to be a no-show until “he” got on stage. These cancellations seem to confirm these rumors and it’s good to know Mos Def decided to silently make a statement by choosing not to be part of this “tour.” What’s sad is that it was obvious Mos Def was looking forward to working with Mr. Metal Face, given his recent video accolades of DOOM (see below) and his gold mask homage at the Chicago show. It will be interesting to find out how DOOM will be received tonight and if he even actually shows up. I truly hope that REMG Entertainment comes up with some answers and I wish them luck with their concert tonight.

So it seems that Mos had no part of this mess and will have no part of this any longer, and if the “villain” continues on this path it won’t just be his fans who get alienated. Whether it truly is an imposter or if he’s just offering short, shoddy lip-synched shows he won’t be able to do it much longer. Future fans, artists and promoters just may follow everyone’s example and the Chicago MosDOOM concert may mark the beginning of the end of this villain’s tyranny for now.

Click here to download DOOM - Gazillion Ear (Madvillainz Remix)

Mos Def’s The Ecstatic only $5 at Amazon until the end of Feb!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mary Jane VS Jack Daniels

Here’s a little something a friend of mine put me up on. Back in the day I used to have debates with people who criticized marijuana but drank alcohol. I would argue that just because it’s illegal it doesn’t mean it’s worse than alcohol, in fact quite the opposite. I always hear of people dying of alcohol poisoning and drunk drivers but never any deaths from “high drivers” (shit whenever I was high I used to sit my happy ass down and know for sure I couldn’t drive, but you always seem to think you can drive no matter how much liquor is in you…) I no longer “partake” in the Sweet Leaf - not for moral issues but because I didn’t want to get fat from the munchies and I never did anything other than play video games while I was high - but I’m not opposed to it’s use or legalization.

Below is a graph comparing the dangers of popular drugs including marijuana and alcohol. It is followed by definitions of each of the dangers charted. You can find this chart and 10 other reasons why alcohol is worse than marijuana at this page. One interesting factoid I found out is that there has been no recorded instance of lung cancer being found in non-tobacco smokers, yet alcohol has been known to cause cancers and cirrhosis of the liver.

Dependence: How difficult it is for the user to quit, the relapse rate, the percentage of people who eventually become dependent, the rating users give their own need for the substance and the degree to which the substance will be used in the face of evidence that it causes harm.

Withdrawal: Presence and severity of characteristic withdrawal symptoms.

Tolerance: How much of the substance is needed to satisfy increasing cravings for it, and the level of stable need that is eventually reached.

Reinforcement: A measure of the substance’s ability, in human and animal tests, to get users to take it again and again, and in preference to other substances.

Intoxication: Though not usually counted as a measure of addiction in itself, the level of intoxication is associated with addiction and increases the personal and social damage a substance may do.

I also remember reading in college how "yellow journalism" was used to make hemp illegal because of it being a cheaper alternative for many things, and thus marijuana was made illegal by association. Below are just some of the many uses for hemp:

Hemp uses (from

-Hempseed oil comprises nearly a third of the seeds' weight; making it a viable source for cooking oil, lighting and bio-fuel.

-The stalk provides an incredibly strong, durable and rot resistant fiber that's been used in the shipping industry for centuries. As hemp can grow over ten feet tall, the long fibers are perfect for rope.

-The short fibers of the stalk can be used in textiles as a replacement or blender fiber for cotton.

-The core of the stalk can be used to make paper and organic plastics.

-The woody core, known as hurds, can be mixed with lime, sand, plaster and cement to create a very strong concrete or building bricks.

-The core fiber can also be utilized in producing a fiberboard that is twice as strong as wood-based fiberboard.

-Given its fast growth, hemp may also be useful in carbon sequestration - taking carbon out of the air and putting it back into the earth.

-Hemp is a great insulation material that can be applied in the wall cavities and roof spaces of houses as a replacement for fiberglass.

-The flowers and leaves are used to make medicines for treating many ailments such as glaucoma and cancer sufferers can be prescribed it to ease pain.

Fuel uses (from

-Hemp is Earth's number-one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months.

-Biomass can be converted to methane, methanol, or gasoline at a cost comparable to petroleum, and hemp is much better for the environment. Pyrolysis (charcoalizing), or biochemical composting are two methods of turning hemp into fuel.

-Farming 6% of the continental U.S. acreage with biomass crops would provide all of America's energy needs.

-Hemp can produce 10 times more methanol than corn.

-Hemp fuel burns clean. Petroleum causes acid rain due to sulfur pollution.

-The use of hemp fuel does not contribute to global warming.


Now this is a real treat. Ras Kass is a West Coast lyricist that's been making noise since 1994 and his debut album “Soul on Ice” is a Hip Hop classic. The closest he's come to fame outside of the “backpackers” underground is his work with Dr. Dre & Xzibit and his infamous beef with The Game, but unfortunately a fucked up music industry and some stints in jail prevented him from reaching his star status. He's trying to change this with a new campaign called “Save the Ras Kass” which is a smart new piece of promotion playing off the metaphor of dope lyricists as endangered species. Ras is really going hard with these new forms of promotion and marketing so hopefully it will pay off.

One thing he's done to help kick off this promotion is put together a collection of his songs for free download. “Endangered Lyricist” is a comp of Ras Kass cuts spanning 1996-2009 and provides the best intro to the man you'll ever get. Every track on here is a gem and most artists that have enough material to have “best of” albums like this doesn't just give them away. Not only is this free, but it even includes tracks from his unreleased albums “Goldyn Child” & “Van Gogh.” The fact that “Nature of the Threat” is on here should be enough for you to NEED to download this.

Nature of the Threat

And as a bonus I'm also including Ras' mixtape “The Quarterly” for all you late passers. He released a track every week until he ended up giving away this full album in the 3rd quarter of last year. This particular download includes the option to donate money with the download to help support the artist, but there is also the option to download it for free.

Ras Kass is that rare breed of lyricist that not only has skills, but the intelligence to combine it with creative and informative subject matter. He talks about conspiracy theories, drops history lessons and even has conversations with God in this compilation. We need more MCs like Ras so download, spread the word and support the cause. SAVE THE RAS KASS!

Download Ras Kass – The Endangered Lyricist

Download/Donate for Ras Kass – The Quarterly

*This just in - Ras Kass just announced that he’s releasing an album called A.D.I.D.A.S. (All Day I Dream About Spittin.) It’s a unique venture he’s marketing through who describes themselves as a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers etc. Basically you can put any project you’d like to raise money for on this site and donaters receive different “rewards” as incentives according to the dollar amount they donate. Your credit card info is kept through Amazon, so it’s basically treated as an order for those worried about security, the only difference is you do NOT get charged unless the goal amount is reached. Pretty ingenious huh?

Ras used the money he received from those who chose to pay for his Quarterly release to fund studio time to record the album. He was going to release a download and decided to use Kickstarter to try and raise funds for a physical CD/Vinyl release as well. He’s already reached his goal (in 5 days no less) but you can still donate and receive crazy stuff from a simple download/cd package for $15 to a $1,200 package that includes hand written lyric sheets to Nature of the Threat, signed cd/vinyl and a gaggle of other goodies.

Donate at to pre order Ras Kass-A.D.I.D.A.S.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hayaino Daisuki - Invincible Gate Mind of the Infernal Fire Hell, or Did You Mean Hawaii Daisuki?

Today Hayaino Daisuki’s new EP “The Invincible Gate Mind of the Infernal Fire Hell, or Did You Mean Hawaii Daisuki?” gets released on Hydra Head records. The album will be the band’s second release since their inception in 2006, both of which combined barely lasts 30 minutes. This matches lead singer Jon Chang’s output of late (his other grind band Gridlink which he started around the same time as Hayaino Daisuki has only one 12 minute release to date) yet fans still rabidly and patiently wait for every project he releases, and for good reason. The former lead singer of grind legends Discordance Axis concentrates on quality (and brevity) over quantity (and length) and has yet to disappoint.

The band features guitarist Takafumi Matsubara of the Japanese band Mortalized (who also plays with Jon in Gridlink) and they play a unique hybrid of melodic thrash/speed metal at grindcore speeds. Combined with Jon Chang’s trademark rapid shrieks the infectious result is so much fun to listen to it almost feels like a guilty pleasure. When I first heard their debut “Headbanger's Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire” I played it for almost 2 hours straight, and it only lasts 14 minutes. As you can tell by the tongue in cheek titles and female models used for photos they don’t take themselves too seriously, but they do just the opposite with their music, and you should do the same. Links to order the album and download their single “Ghosts of Purgatory” can be found below. And as if there isn’t enough reasons to pick this up already, the CD booklet includes an original comic illustrated by Stan Sakai creator of Usagi Yojimbo!

Download “Ghosts of Purgatory” at Brooklynvegan

Download MP3 album at Amazon for under $4

Order now at Hydra Head Records


*Gridlink will be playing at Maryland Deathfest 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Digby Pearson of Earache leaks Burzum's album Belus

Now this is interesting. I just read on the Invisible Oranges Blog that Earache Records founder/head Digby Pearson posted a link to a leak of Burzum’s new album “Belus” on his Twitter page this past Friday. For the uninformed Earache records has been home to many grind/death legends including Napalm Death and Bolt Thrower and has been publicly condemned by many for his supposed shady business practices and all around douchebaggery. Burzum (aka Varg Vikernes) is an admitted racist and convicted arsonist and murderer and was a member of the pioneering black metal band Mayhem. Varg Vikernes went to jail for murdering Mayhem co-founder Euronymous. In this post on the Ask Earache blog Digby recounts his first meeting with Varg.

When I checked again today it seems that this post was wisely removed from Digby’s Twitter page. This debacle raises some interesting questions on morality and its extremes and the dangers of sharing too much on Twitter and other social media networks (check out this Allhiphop article on how Twitter can end your career.) On one hand you can’t deny that accusations of Digby being a jerk & horrible business partner are nothing compared to Varg’s sins, but does that justify a prominent label head posting a link to download an album not on his label? He could have voiced his opinion without posting a link to the album, and it isn’t his place to “punish” Varg. As bad a person as Varg Vikernes is he’s paid his debt to society in his country’s eyes, and instead of merely speaking against this man Digby inadvertently advocated illegal filesharing as well. Not too smart for someone who makes a living selling music.

I remember reading Napalm Death singer Barney Greenway’s accounts of Digby Pearson’s bad business practices in the book “Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore” and it’s been widely known that he isn’t alone in his view of the Earache label head. My official stance is I condemn both men’s above-mentioned actions, but I’d like to know what ya’ll think. Does the severity of Burzum's crimes and racist views justify the actions of Digby Pearson? What about your views of filesharing in general? I would think that even the people that illegally download music can see that it's inherently wrong. Feel free to discuss and comment, and check out these links to more people that hate Digby:

The Haunted singer condemns Earache then recounts his accusations

Elitist Records head slams Earache

Bolt Thrower Condemns Earache Reissue

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shrinebuilder - Shrinebuilder (Review)


Neurot Recordings

Shrinebuilder is a doom/sludge fan’s dream come true. They are a metal supergroup that consists of Scott Kelly of Neurosis on guitar and vocals, Dale Crover of the Melvins on drums, Al Cisneros of Sleep & Om on bass, and the legendary doom demi-god Scott "Wino" Weinrich on guitar and vocals. Scott Weinrich has been a doom/stoner metal staple, having been in such luminary bands as Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand and The Obsessed. He’s practically the missing link (or missing riff if you’d rather) between Sabbath and modern doom metal. Alone these tectonic titans are formidable in their own right, but combined together they have the potential to send tremors that can shake the metal world to its very core.

You often hear of groups being greater than the sum of its parts but for now Shrinebuilder remains simply the sum of its parts. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, on paper alone the “sum of its parts” still stands to make one hell of an album; it just isn’t quite the metal masterpiece that fans may have been hoping for. The record pretty much sounds like what you would expect the result would be when you combine these artists into one band. The general feel of the album seems to be stuck somewhere in the middle stylistically between the two guitarists - not quite as thunderous and heavy as the earth stomping sounds of Neurosis, yet not quite as spaced out as the bluesy, psychedelic rock of Scott Weinrich’s current band (simply called “Wino.”) Although they don’t stand out, Wino’s stoner wail and Kelly’s gruff bellows don’t quite fit together seamlessly either. It isn’t enough to sound jarring and the individual parts still sound extraordinary, but it still has a slight piecemeal feel to it vocally.

The album doesn’t sound quite as fragmented as you would think however. Al’s bass playing doesn’t merely act as a backdrop and combined with the two other guitarists they provide this album with an abundance of riffs that will resonate in your skull for days. Dale Crover’s drumming is pretty straightforward but he does venture into slight tribal rhythms that provide familiar ground for Scott Kelly, and both he and Wino sound right at home behind this rhythm section. I read an interview where the band describes the recording process as very natural and instinctive, and you can definitely hear the chemistry and comfortablility in these tracks. The members fit together in their respective roles without any friction or ego and they indeed sound very natural together. Where the record really starts sounding interesting is during the instrumental parts where they start venturing into layers of psychedelia and ambience. These sections are actually quite abundant and really showcase how well these artists interact. They’re lush enough to warrant an instrumental version of the album that wouldn’t sound too bare from lack of vocals.

Even though the individual members have been making music for decades they are still a new band and this album definitely shows a band that is enthusiastic and talented, but have yet to find their combined identity. You can start to hear that identity creeping forward in parts of the album, and even the vocals start to blend together nicely when the rest of the band layers their voices and Scott Kelly uses the rough croon heard on his solo endeavors instead of the growls found on his Neurosis releases. The pedigree of the group alone is enough to make this worth several headphone replays so it’s not like you’ll be disappointed in picking this up. Although this is fairly short for a doom album (just over 39 minutes) that fact simply leaves you wanting more instead of feeling cheated. They didn’t quite make a masterpiece with their debut, but from the sounds of things it isn’t that far off, and if they manage to find that convergence with their next album they might just turn everyone else into the Shrinebuilers instead.

Website: Neurot Artist Page
Stream & download it at iTunes for only $6.49!
Or Buy it at your local record store and support: Record Store Day Store Finder

Friday, February 19, 2010

J Dilla aka Jay Dee 1974 - 2006

The drums. That's the first thing I think about when I hear the name “J Dilla.” That thick snare, the familiar, funky shuffle of his hi hats. Everyone loved his drums, even Kanye West was jealous of them. The other thing I think about is my birthday. Jay Dee not only died a couple days after my birthday in 2006, he was born the day before I was as well. It's a tragedy to die so young and so close to the day of your birth, a tragedy that's magnified by the loss of what this man's genius could have birthed if he had lived. He toured Europe in 2005 performing from a wheelchair. His instrumental magnum opus “Donuts” which was released on the birthday before his death, was an album he finished in his hospital bed. This man showed tremendous strength in the face of death all in the name of music.

Me and a friend heard of J Dilla's death while hanging out for my birthday. We spent the rest of the day searching Chicago for a copy of the Donuts cd and talking about life. From then on we decided to celebrate my birthday every year by celebrating Dilla's music as well. Just came back from this year's J Dilla celebration and thought there was no better time to do this post. So here you are, two mixes done by J Rocc and DJ Rhettmatic. I'll let the music speak for itself.

Download Thank You Jay Dee Act 4 Here

DJ Rhettmatic WHATUPDOE J Dilla Mini Megamix

Link to the J Dilla Foundation

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big L 1974 - 1999

Big L was an MC from Harlem murdered before his time, and he would have surely blown up and given us more classics had he lived. He was killed this month in 1999 before his second album “The Big Picture” was released. For those that don’t know Big L was one of the dopest lyricists to ever spit and has had ties with nearly everyone in New York. The self-proclaimed “Flamboyant MC” has recorded tracks with Gang Starr, Jay-Z, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane and once had a group called Children of the Corn which included Killa Cam (who would later help form The Diplomats) and Murder Ma$e (yes the preacher/Bad Boy guy.) L was better known as a member of the legendary Hip Hop Collective D.I.T.C. (Diggin' in the Crates) which included Showbiz & A.G., Diamond D, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe, O.C. and Buckwild. He is widely regarded to be one of the best MCs of all time.

I remember L most from his ’98 Freestyle and his song “Ebonics” where he broke down slang terminology. Big L was famous for his punchlines, and every song had an abundance of them. A lot of rappers owe their style to him and he’s almost always slept on when talking about the greats. I didn’t have this blog last year so I couldn’t commemorate the 10th anniversary of his passing, but at least we can celebrate the 11th year with this dope tribute mix from DJ Premier. I’ll leave you with some Big L lines and links to the mix after the jump. Rest in Piece Big L.

“Before I buck lead, and make a lot of blood shed/ Turn your Tux red, I'm far from broke, got enough bread/ And mad hoes, ask Beavis I get nuttin Butt-head”

“The crown is still mine cause I drop ill rhymes/A lot of rappers talk that murder shit and couldn't kill time/ One two, one two, crews I run through/ Fuck karate Big L practice Gun Fu”

DJ Premier Big L Tribute

Big L Tribute Part 2

Big L Tribute Part 3

*links via the Jugrnaut blog

J-Live - Chocolate Covered Samples Vol. 1

This should serve as a lesson to those that sleep on these posts, free music don't come easy you know! (Well legally anyways.) I periodically check to see if all my links are still working and discovered that J-Live replaced his "Do the Knowledge/Late Pass" mixtape with the Valentines one he just put out. Same link, new mixtape so for all those looking to backtrack and cop the first one you're out of luck. This mix is a collection of Soul/R&B songs that were the sample sources for some very familiar tracks - see if you can guess which ones while listening to this (or you might be too distracted for that if you catch my drift...ya namean? smell what I'm cooking? pick up what I'm layin down?...I'm talkin about fuckin.) Cop this mix NOW before its gone too, and don’t sleep on these free music posts cheapskates! (*Update #2, the mixes aren't gone but they're now $3. Told you not to sleep.)

Here’s what J had to say about his mix:

"It's self explanatory, but here goes. This mix was inspired by growing up on mixtapes like DJ Doo Wop's "Cool Outs", and learning about the original music behind my favorite hip hop bangers. Put the two concepts together and you have a work of mellow romantic mood music made up of sampled love songs. Enjoy responsibly!"

Download Chocolate Covered Samples Vol. 1 Here

*Okay, so the first mix isn't gone - you can choose which mix to download from the sidebar. I fixed the link to this mix and the old one so they go directly to the designated albums. Not gonna change the text description though, you can read it and have a good laugh at my expense.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More MosDoom Madness (Updates & Video)

So members of the Facebook group for the MosDoom show got the following email in their inbox the other night from promoter Pat Grumley of Cold Grums:

“There are rumors floating around that this past Saturday's DOOM show was performed by a person who was not DOOM. The promoters of the show: React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater understand the rumors and are NOT ignoring the issue.

At the current time, React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater DO NOT have any proof that the person who performed was not Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. Doom. The show was legally contracted and paid for in full. The show was officially listed on Doom's website. React, Cold Grums and Silver Wrapper are all independent promoters who pour their lives into our shows.

Circumstances beyond the promoter's and venue's control prevented the artists from arriving on time, and the promoters elected to keep the venue open late so that the show could go on.

React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater are conducting an investigation with the Talent Agency, Management and Legal representatives for Doom. Because the show was legally contracted and paid for in full, any breach of contract could result in serious legal action. Doom's representatives are also preparing a statement.

Regardless of any of opinions, compelling proof of the matter is needed to take legal action on it. Until the investigation reaches conclusion, and proof is in hand, the promoters will not issue any refunds. At the current time, it is a rumor. This issue is being treated with the utmost respect and consideration.

React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater will release a statement clarifying the results in the near future.”

This "compelling proof" thing got me thinking, and I recall seeing DVD performances of DOOM on the reissue of MM..Food? that I bought years back (don't ask me for the video I already tried to find the dvd but failed.) I distinctly remember DOOM not only rapping live, but also looking close to the same size as the man who performed on stage at the Congress Theater this past Saturday. Then I remembered that there was also a short interview of DOOM on Canadian TV that was put on the Stonesthrow 101 CD/DVD that came out in 2004 (it's a dope intro to the label if you don't have it.) The video also had short clips of Madlib and DOOM performing and lo and behold, he was NOT lip synching!

There's been various rumors on the reasons for DOOM's antics, including that it is him and that he always lip synchs at his shows or that he's been too alchoholic/out of shape/sick to perform his lyrics live, and there was even some rumors that DOOM was hospitalized at some point adding more fuel to the fire (this was later refuted by DOOM via Stonesthrow.) These videos proves that DOOM has performed live before without lip synching, and the following video shows that he's been performing live at least up to 2005:

I've also read somewhere that he even sent an imposter to a magazine photo shoot and was called out by the magazine. So no matter what rumors are floating around the facts we can count on are:

A) DOOM has rapped his lyrics live before

B) It has been proven that he has sent out imposters before

C) If it is still him performing something happened to him in 2006/2007 that forces him to have to resort to lip synching

If there isn't any extenuating circumstances that prevents him from rapping live and he still shows up and lip synchs that's another kind of crazy I can't explain. All in all I'm getting kind of tired of the whole situation and I'm not even that mad anymore. I'm not saying he was right, if he did send an imposter it was wrong and if it was him lip synching that's fucked up too, but I'm personally not angry enough to want my money back or to stop listening to his music. I think the deejays, Qwel, Mike Relm and even Mos Def's short set warranted my $30, and no matter what kind of person DOOM is you can't deny the dopeness of the music. I probably wouldn't have liked Miles Davis personally but I'll be damned if I'm never gonna listen to “On the Corner” or “Bitches Brew” again.

You all have every right to be angry if you'd like, but for those that read these posts and still go to his shows expecting him to be rapping don't say you haven't been warned. I'll still be posting any updates I come across, which hopefully includes the statement Harry Knuckles is supposed to receive from DOOM's camp, but I ain't mad anymore. The will call line and shitty sound system is actually the only thing that really pissed me off, Congress better book John Coltrane back from the dead playing Black Sabbath songs if they want me back there again. If you need me I'll be listening to my Madvillainy vinyl chillin in my plastic Gladiator mask.

Oh and for those who don't believe he lip synchs this video's for you (check 1:20 and 2:08 specifically)

Also, the homie ILLSEED from the Rumors section on posted my summaries of the MosDoom fiasco. You can check out the posts here:

MF Doom Back To Old Tricks?


Bellows - Live at AS220, 11/19/08

This band from Providence, RI consists of a tuba, saxophone & drums and describes their music as “breath metal.” I know what you’re thinking right off the bat and no they do not sound like The Flying Luttenbachers. This is not jazz and even at their fastest they come nowhere near the speed of Weasel Walter’s spastic blastbeats, but it still sounds interesting nonetheless. I love the tone of the tuba and the fact that it replaces the bass, this is probably the closest thing to acoustic metal you will hear (not counting folk/Viking metal.) These five live tracks switch from nice ambient passages to raw, sinister bass tones and dissonant squeals. It definitely has the “feel” of metal and if they can capture all the low end and grit heard on these live songs then their studio cd is going to sound amazing!

Live at AS220 in Providence, 11/19/08


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Apparently the whole situation with DOOM has once again sparked mad controversy everywhere, and on the Galapagos 4 forum specifically (Galapagos is home to one of the opening acts, Qwel & Maker) there was a lot of heated posts. So much so the promoter decided to chime in himself, he seemed genuinely apologetic and has a previously successful track record that shouldn’t be tarnished by this one event.

In my opinion DOOM is the one responsible for anyone feeling “robbed” by the performance and Clubtix and/or The Congress theater is responsible for the horrible organization for the Will Call line that left some people waiting for 2 hours in the cold when they had already paid for their ticket. Here’s what the promoter “Harry Knuckles” had to say about what went down that night:

"...But the sad matter of fact is right now, is even now we can't prove that wasn't Daniel Dumile. Here's how shit went down that night. it was an all-in deal so they booked all their own flights and hotel and ground trans. Doom sent his dj to do soundcheck, just line checks, so it's understandable and common that the prima-donna (sp?) headliners don't bother to check themselves. Like Mos, he was maaaad late to his set times and from what I hear from the agent, he is just super secretive and anti-social. So we're thinking "ok, Mos is here, and this is just part of Doom's mystique" Then, Doom's crew pulls up 15 people deep. Everybody comes out of the car except for Doom. Again, according to the agent, this is typical Doom.

Then just as his set is supposed to start, dood jumps out of the car, runs in behind his huge hypeman, grabs a mic and runs on stage. At no point did we have time to fingerprint him or draw blood for inspection. And IMO, seriously, the dood looked like him, like Zev Love X. yes it was pretty obvious that the guy was lip-syncing, but we can't say that it wasn't Dumile. If Dumile lip-syncs because he is too fat, alcoholic and out of breath to spit his own verse, I guess that's what it has come to now

....soooooo right now we are working on somehow attaining some kind of proof that it wasn't Daniel Dumile, because for all we know as of right now, it was...and he just sux at performing. We're working with investigators and lawyers to attain all and any evidence so that if need be we can show people it was really him, and he's just a fucko, or if we find proof that it wasn't him, we can bring legal action against him and be able to make it right with those who attended. But as of right now, until we can find proof otherwise, all we know is that it was Doom and he's a shitbag.

Doom's camp claims it was really him and promised us a statement by the end of the day."

Links to the Galapagos Forum and more sites referencing the Chicago concert:

Galapagos 4 Forum

Ruby Hornet Article

Fake Shore Drive Blog

Video of “Accordian” on Stonesthrow

Strong Arm Steady - In Search of Stoney Jackson (Review)

So Madlib is really starting to make me feel like he can do no wrong. The volume and consistency of his solo and side project releases alone are reason enough, but after making the classic Madvillainy and solid bangers with Talib Kweli and the late J Dilla, I’m starting to think that he is THE go-to guy when it comes to producing albums. More proof of this can be found with Strong Arm Steady’s latest release “In Search of Stoney Jackson” which happens to be completely produced by Madlib.

Strong Arm Steady formed as a loose California collective that eventually shrunk down to a group of four that included famous Alkaholiks/Dr. Dre affiliate Xzibit. Xzibit left the group in 2006 leaving Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agony and Krondon as the remaining members. According to Stones Throw “In Search of Stoney Jackson” is basically a Hip Hop jam session between ‘Lib and SAS. Apparently the album came about thanks to Madlib’s fellow label mate J Rocc who sent Strong Arm Steady over 200 Madlib beats to work with. I always thought that the SAS featured track on the Talib Kweli/Madlib collabo “Liberation” was one of the album’s strongest cuts and this new album shows the obvious chemistry these two entities have.

Best of Times feat. Phonte

The album starts off with the single “Best of Times” featuring Phonte, which may be the reason why the beat has a Little Brother feel to it. It’s a solid single, but the mellow beat and Phonte's singing may throw off fans used to Strong Arm Steady’s more raw style. And although the rest of the album isn’t that much grittier the song still doesn’t serve as a good introduction to the overall feel of this record. Albums usually work best when they aren’t riddled with an abundance of guest appearances that takes focus away from the main artists, yet In Search of Stoney Jackson works because of the fact that they have a multitude of guest MCs. The guests tend to pick up the slack whenever Strong Arm Steady lags behind or wears out their welcome, and some of the guests even fit better over Madlib’s production than the SAS members do-one guest in particular being Planet Asia who appears on 4 of the 13 non-instrumental tracks. I’ve always loved Planet Asia’s flow but felt he’s been stuck with lackluster production for the most part (a problem that many dope MCs face.) Planet Asia’s got just the right amount of grit and rhythm to fit perfectly on Madlib beats, he’s definitely an artist that would benefit greatly from a Madlib produced album.

While the soulful and funky production may sometimes sound slightly out of place underneath SAS, the album excels in its creative subject matter. The single brings our nations recent economic woes to light through the different perspectives of SAS and Phonte, spitting insightful lyrics like “It make me think about the loot I shell out / If times get tight, will the shows still sell out / Po’ folk need help, they call it welfare / But rich folk need it then ya’ll call it a bailout” while songs like “Chitlins and Pepsi” talks about healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices: “Try a diet like Russell Simmons / Datin Vegetarian Vegan Women / Drinking water with lemons.” The stellar production is all strung together by scattered instrumentals and interludes, some of which are so good you almost wish they were fleshed out to make full tracks. The record really starts gaining momentum with the Talib featured “Get Started” which would have made a much better single than “Best of Times.” It also makes a good starting point for the last half of the album (or Side B for those that remembers cassettes.) The rest of the songs really start bringing more of the boom bap sound you would expect from the meeting of these underground giants.

Albums are more cohesive and flow better with one producer behind the beats (Raekwon's sequel to Only Built for Cuban Linx being a recent exception) and this album is a perfect example of this. The production is solid though SAS may falter somewhat compared to the stellar guest stars, which remains this albums strength and curse, but they make up for it with refreshing topics and an obvious enthusiasm. It’s collaborations from respected artists like these that succeed in creating hype by making this an event rather than using gimmicks, and it’s consistency throughout makes it worthy of all the expectation.

Buy it Here: Stonesthrow Records
Or Buy it at your local record store & support local business: Record Store Day Store Finder

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MOS DEFinitely notDOOM (Show Review)

Tonight was the night the much anticipated and much advertised "MOSDOOM" co-headlining tour would jump off in Chicago at Congress Theater. I tried to stay optimistic. Even when the show originally got rescheduled I still tried to "keep hope alive." Rumors of DOOM (formerly known as MF DOOM/Daniel Dumile/Zev Love X) sending imposters to perform in his place has been circulating since 2007, but this was different. This was "MOSDOOM." Surely Mos Def wouldn't let a rapper he admired pull this stunt during a tour with both their names and reputations attached to it? Even while the show dragged on and the deejays obviously stalled I still believed that DOOM would show and rock the mic.

(supposed "DOOM" at Chicago's Pitchfork Festival)

Chicago's BBU (Bin Laden Blowin Up) opened up with an energetic juke-styled performance after djs warmed up the restless crowd, but left the stage to boos from the crowd which grew increasingly hostile (partly due to the fact that almost everyone had to wait in an insanely long line outside in the cold for almost an hour before entry.) Underground stalwart Qwel of Galapagos/Typical Cats fame performed a solid set after stalling for his own dj by spitting acapellas that often ventured into tongue twisting. He jokingly and repeatedly asked the crowd to not boo him, but was still greeted with half-hearted "boos." Mike Relm was the surprise highlight of the night combining his turntablism with live sampling and "video deejaying" (although Peanut Butter Wolf still has the best video dj set I've ever seen.) Most of the crowd kept commenting on how his set kept dragging but I'm pretty sure he was asked to play longer to stall for the headliners. Even DOOM's fellow label-mate Psalm One made a surprise visit to perform one song (or perhaps a favor was called in to kill some more time?)

After an agonizing wait Mos finally graced the stage close to midnight (at this point some people have been at the Congress Theater since 7pm.) Mos Def performed a fairly short set consisting mostly of songs from his new album "The Estatic." He performed 2 old songs at most, and he also rapped a handful of DOOM's best songs while rocking a gold DOOM mask. This did not seem like a good sign but Mos himself assured us that DOOM was definitely in the house while he tried to calm the crowd, who periodically kept throwing beers and water bottles at the frequently empty stage.

Finally "DOOM" came on stage. Now before I bash him I'd like to say that DOOM has
created some of the best Hip Hop albums in recent years and is one of my favorite lyricists. He
was the also main reason I came to the show (having already seen Mos Def four times before) and so I was hoping it was truly him.

It wasn't. If it was him then he still seemed like he lipsynched to 90% of the songs he "performed" during his pitifully short set that barely lasted 20 minutes and did not address the crowd even once. People left early claiming it was not DOOM and rumor was that most of the front row attendees said that the imposter did not look like DOOM at all. Yes he's a villain yadda fucking yadda but any reasoning you put behind this does not justify wasting people's money. Yes it's all about the music, but if I wanted to hear a recorded set I would've listened to his albums at home while I stared at the plastic Gladiator mask I bought years ago. People see live shows to HEAR PEOPLE LIVE, which is a point that's especially more important if your voice is the only live instrument.

Stones Throw Records (another one of DOOM's many label collaborators) issued a statement when these rumors were first spreading but it was quickly taken down:

"Every day for the past month we’ve been hit up by people wanting explanations, statements, clarifications, and declarations about MF DOOM. Is he lip synching? (No. Listen to the videos on Youtube.) Is he an impostor? (No, but he did lose some pounds.)"

Then last year DOOM responded to the controversy in a Rolling Stone interview with the following statement:

“Everything that we do is villain style,” he explained. “Everybody has the right to get it or not get it. Once I throw it out, it’s there for interpretation. It might’ve seemed like it didn’t go well, but how do we know that wasn’t just pre-orchestrated so that we’re talking about it now? I tell you one thing: People are asking more now for live shows and I’m charging more, so it must’ve worked somewhere.”

I'm pissed but I can't say I didn't see the signs myself and I'll admit that this doesn't change my opinion of his future/past albums but no matter what way you spin this it was not a good look. Congratulations, you've succeeded. You're the villain.

More "DOOMPOSTER" links:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Black Sabbath-Black Sabbath

I started writing this post yesterday but it all got erased and I don't feel like trying to remember it all so ya'll get a shorter post (lucky you!)

Forty years ago on on Friday the 13th Black Sabbath released their eponymous debut album. It's considered by most to be the first Heavy Metal album, and no matter what arguments are made for other albums birthing Metal Sabbath has by far been the most influential. Practically all of Metal and it's subgenres can be traced back to Sabbath, and out of all the albums considered to be the first Metal album none can hold up as well to modern metal as Black Sabbath's self-titled does. It boasts one of the scariest (if not THE scariest) first tracks of all time and it was especially frightening to me when I first heard it since it reminded me of some personal experiences.

Enough has been said about this albums importance so no need for me to go on, you guys want free shit right? Cosmo Baker and company started "The Rub" deejay collective in NY in 2003 and has been runnin shit ever since. The "Sabbath in the Park" celebration has been going on for years and here I have a live mix of Sabbath Songs from Sabbath in the Park 3 done by said deejays. Enjoy today and celebrate the Sabbath:

*Link removed at the request of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
(since Cosmo thanked me for the post I'm going to assume this was at the request of Black Sabbath's label.)

The Rub Website

Cosmo Baker’s Website

Black Sabbath Website (SABBATH!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snookie, Lady Gaga, Judas Priest & Kumas

Okay so everyone knows that my favorite burger joint is Kumas Corner in Chicago. Well, ALOT of people's favorite burger joint is Kumas but that's besides the point. In case you've been livin in Chicago AND under a rock, Kumas serves gourmet ingredient burgers all named after Metal bands. I've tried at least 70% of their burgers. I would've tried them all by now but I'm trying to have each one at least once and the monthly specials keep interrupting my flow. So I haven't tried the "Judas Priest" yet, but apparently Lady Gaga has.

I guess she "Tweeted" that she was at Kumas and "Twitted" this pic of her waiting for her burger on her Twitter early January. At least she has good taste in food. Judas Priest got wind of this too, they even told Snookie of Jersey Shore fame how they heard that Lady Gaga ate a Judas Priest burger in Chicago during the Grammy Awards Red carpet interviews. This is all too fucking surreal for me. For once I really don't think I have anything else to say. See for yourself.

(originally spotted at the deciblog)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Sorry guys, it's been awhile since my last update, but I'm workin on some reviews and plus it's my birthday so I figured I could take a short break from this blog that nobody reads. And I'm celebrating in true IT fashion- sittin here relaxin in my brand new bath robe, new Crooks & Castles hat I bought myself listenin to the Corrupted - Nadie vinyl I bought as well.

I also enjoyed Marvel's animated adaptation of the "Planet Hulk" storyline and Ong Bak 2. Well, I can't actually say I enjoyed Ong Bak 2, it was actually pretty shitty. That's a hard thing for me to say about movies with great martial arts/action scenes but even that couldn't save this confusing ass plot and melodramatic directing. There wasn’t enough exposition or character development and way too many fucking flashbacks. It also ended rather abruptly and seemed far too short, which is a pretty impressive feat since I normally want movies this bad to be short. At least Planet Hulk was good, although I didn't think the character designs were that interesting, I wish Bruce Timm & company did Marvel movies - must be an exclusivity clause from their work with DC or something.

Oh shit I should stop, I'm rambling and I still managed to fit two small reviews in what should've been a simple update. I promise I will post something real soon, I don't want my reader upset (nope, that wasn't a typo.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Definitive Jux Records Goes on Hiatus

This news has been making the rounds so I figured I’d post it as well (need a breather so I can write more reviews anyways.) Rumors of the demise of Definitive Jux records has been spreading lately and so artist/owner El-P has decided to release an official statement on the future of Def Jux. To me Def Jux was the culmination of the Lyricist Lounge/Rawkus Records era and arguably the number one label choice for backpackers everywhere. I’m sure most of the major artists will have no problems finding new homes (Mr. Lif and Vast Aire has already left prior to these news) but it’s still disheartening news for fans and the remaining roster. Here’s what El had to say:

"This year, a decade after starting DEF JUX and after overseeing the releases of some incredible albums including the forthcoming release of my dear late and great friend Camu Tao's brilliant "KING OF HEARTS" LP, I'm stepping away from my duties as artistic director for the label to concentrate on what I love most: being a producer and an artist full time..."

read the rest

Monday, February 01, 2010

Rhymefest, JUICE, Mikkey Halsted & Twone Gabz form Hip Hop Supergroup

I'm gonna kick myself for the rest of my life for not being able to make it to the "Every Drop Counts" Haiti benefit last night. It might be the biggest "L" I've taken thus far because not only was it an amazing charitable event, but it was the night Rhymefest announced that him, JUICE, Mikkey Halsted & Twone Gabz are forming a group. Four of Chicago's legendary lyricists performed over the instrumental to LL Cool J's classic posse cut "4,3,2,1" during Rhymefest's set and announced that they will be releasing an album sometime this Summer. This is hot on the heels of JUICE and Rhymefest squashing their long-standing beef.

(Photo By Virgil Solis)

I don't know about ya'll but this is HUGE news to me, the pedigree here is phenomenal, JUICE is a legendary battle rapper most famous for beating Eminem and Lil' Wayne himself has name-checked
Mikkey Halsted as an influence. Rhymefest is arguably the most famous of the bunch & helped pen Kanye's hit "Jesus Walks" and Twone Gabz is a beast on the mic too. In this "post-Slaughterhouse" world this group has a chance of making it big if they stick together. And if they stick together they also have more of a chance of makin me pissed off at myself for missing it's genesis. Bittersweet dopeness. Check out the video here (Hard to judge since I wasn't there myself but the crowd sounded awful quiet for such a huge event, hopefully that's just the video)

(flick & vid taken from Ruby Hornet)

Anatomy of Habit Live @The Empty Bottle

Been taking it kind of slow lately but will definitely pick up in speed soon, for now I just wanted to update real quick to let everyone know of a free show coming up. Anatomy of Habit is somewhat of a supergroup made up of former and current members of various Chicago bands including drummer Dylan Posa of Cheer-Accident and Greg Ratajczak the guitarist from the death/grind duo Plague Bringer. The band doesn’t sound like what you’d expect from the combination of all these different genres, and in the grander scheme of the underground they actually sound quite accessible (especially considering that Mark Solotroff from the noise group Bloodyminded is the lead singer.)

According to the band Anatomy of Habit formed in October 2008, following the dissolution of Animal Law. I first saw them at what I believe was their 1st or 2nd show at a previous free Empty Bottle Monday night. I actually went to see noise experimentalists The Human Quena Orchestra (who are very nice guys by the way) and had no idea who any of the other acts were. I was happily surprised when AoH performed, and without trying to be too hyperbolic I almost could not believe what I was hearing. I think the closest point of comparison I can think of is the Swans, but drawing comparisons to iconic bands aren’t usually a good idea and they are also way more than a mere Swans clone

They performed 2 songs for a little over 20 minutes and I was instantly hooked. Anatomy of Habit became the band that I always talked about when the subject of local bands came up, and I can’t recommend them enough. Mark and Greg have both said that they’re aiming for a debut release sometime in Spring, but in the meantime they’re playing tons of shows (and keep checking for more free Monday shows at Empty Bottle, they’re all usually pretty good.) Here’s footage from one of their performances (taken from but like most videos it doesn’t really do them justice so I suggest you come experience them for yourselves Monday 2/15, 9:30 at The Empty Bottle (FREE.99!): Anatomy Of Habit

The Empty Bottle
1035 North Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-3600