Tag: Coalmine Records

New Audio: Acclaimed Emcee Koncept Releases a Reflective Banger

Born Keith Michael Whitehead, Koncept is an acclaimed Queens-born emcee, who has led a remarkable life: while working at Fat Beats Records, he co-founded The Brown Bag AllStars with co-founders Soul Khan, Cold Codeine, J57 and The Audible Doctor in 2007. The collective have some rather humble origins — initially, Koncept, Soul Khan and Cold Codeine were writing verses and freestyling over beats made by J57 and The Audible Doctor at Jesse Shatkin’s studio. The collective’s 2009 debut mixtape The Brown Tape was released through Coalmine Records while the members of the act were working at Fat Beats — and they followed that up with an attention-grabbing appearance at that year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. 

Building on a growing profile, the members of The Brown Bag All Stars released two EPs in 2010 — The Traveller and The Down Under Remixes. Adding to a busy year, Koncept released his debut EP Playing Life. 2011 saw the release of the first of their annual end-of-year A Year In Review compilations and Brown Bag Season Vol. 1, which featured guest spots from DJ Brace and Marco Polo. While the collective was beginning to receive a larger profile, Koncept’s 2012 full-length debut Awaken, which featured guest appearances from Soul Khan, JOVM mainstay Homeboy Sandman, Royce da 5’9″ and Sene with production from J57 and Marco Polo established the Queens-born emcee as a solo artist in his own right; in fact, as a result of the attention from his debut, Koncept received an endorsement by Red Bull that financed his 2015 critically acclaimed J57-produced The Fuel EP. After the release of The Fuel, Koncept went to Seoul, South Korea for a two-week tour sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft and Jameson — and those performances developing into more shows and bookings, and eventually a partnership with Sony Music Asia, who released his sophomore effort 14 Hours Ahead, an effort that thematically centered around envisioning your future and dreams, growing and believing in yourself every step of the way, and manifesting them into reality. So far, adding to a growing profile, the Queens-born emcee has also collaborated with the likes of Rick Ross, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, Macklemore, Wiz Khalifa, The Roots, Joey Bada$$, Green Day, A$AP Mob, Ghostface Killah and Joell Ortiz. 

Koncept’s third full-length album is slated for release next summer but in the meantime, he has released a one-off single, the Ray Hill-produced “Countdown.” Centered around an eerie production consisting of chiming synths and stuttering and boom bap beats, the track finds the Queens-born emcee, effortlessly changing his flow and cadences multiple times throughout while employing some mischievous wordplay and rhyme schemes; but the song finds him being both reflective and introspective, and while recalling many of his missteps and those who counted him out, he expresses a desire to keep moving forward towards the bigger and better things he’s just beginning to see right now. The song serves as a reminder that achieving your dreams requires you to sacrifice, bust your ass and believe in yourself even when things aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. And perhaps more important, there’s no such thing as overnight success. 

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Several years in the making, the highly-anticipated and long-awaited collaborative album from the late and beloved Brooklyn-based emcee Sean Price and acclaimed Philadelphia-based producer Small Professor86 Witness is slated for a February 8, 2019 release through Coalmine Records and Duck Down Records. The album’s latest single “John Gotti” is centered by a moody and noir-ish  RZA-like production featuring tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, twinkling and arpeggiated keys that’s roomy enough for an All-Star squad of ringers that includes AG Da Coroner, JOVM mainstay Guilty Simpson and Your Old Droog and Sean Price to spit rhymes full of wildly inventive wordplay, complex rhyme schemes, amazing pop cultural references that include 80s movies, old-school cartoons, childhood games — and murderous intent. Simply put — this is some pure street shit without silly shtick or gimmicks.

 

DJ Devastate was a Helsingborg, Sweden-born producer, turntablist, and DJ, who collaborated with an impressive array of artists including El Da Sensei, Max I Million, DJ Create, Wildchild and MED, Chuck D and others with material being released Stateside on Coalmine Records and in his native Sweden through Counterweight Records. Earlier this year, the up-and-coming Swedish-born DJ, turntablist, and producer suddenly and tragically died at the age of 35.

Celebrating his life and his work, Coalmine Records and Counterweight Records teamed up to release a two LP compilation of some of each label’s favorite tracks In Recollection: A Dual Label Anthology. The Counterweight Records side has eight tracks including the Create & Devastate produced “I Rap Black” by Chuck D., Bishop Lamont and Mykill Miers; the Devastate-produced “Riddim Up On Em” and Baby Blak’s “Moves 2 Make;” and his remix of Chapee and Max I Million’s “Feel It.” The Coalmine side has five tracks, including the Devastate-produced “Show Stoppa” by El Da Sensei; the Max I Million remix of C.L. Smooth and Skyzoo’s “Perfect Timing,” which features Devastate’s turntablism; J57′s remix of “Show Stoppa;” Create & Devastate’s “Most Confident;” and the compilation’s latest single, the fifth on the Coalmine side, the posthumously released “Crime After Crime,” which features Illa Ghee spitting gritty and menacing bars over a Devastate beat centered around chopped up Biggie samples of “Suicidal Thoughts” and “Sky’s the Limit” bolstered by thumping 808s and Devastate’s scratching.

Sometimes compilations are typically sad affairs — especially in light of the tragic, too soon death of an up-and-coming artist, this particular track and the compilation is a reminder of the Swedish DJ, turnbalist and producer’s immense talent and what the hip-hop world will sorely miss.