Tag: real hip hop

Jamel Ireif (born Elgin Turner) is a East New York, Brooklyn-born emcee, best known to hip-hop heads and Wu-Tang Clan fans as Masta Killa. And although he was the last member to join the original lineup and was initially considered as one of the lesser-known and unheralded members of the Wu — he was only featured on one track of their seminal debut effort, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — over the years, he has developed a reputation as being one of the more prolific members of the group, contributing quite a bit on Clan group albums and solo projects since the mid 1990s.  Interestingly enough, Masta Killa is also the last original member to go solo but he’s managed to release three critically applauded albums — 2004’s No Said Date, 2006’s Made in Brooklyn and 2012’s Selling My Soul.

Masta Killa’s highly-anticipated fourth full-length album Loyalty Is Royalty is slated for release this fall, and the album finds the acclaimed emcee teaming up with a virtual who’s who of dope emcees and producers, as the album’s fist single “Therapy” featured guest spots from Method Man and RedmanLoyalty Is Royalty‘s second and latest single “OGs Told Me” finds Masta Killa teaming up with Ram Squad’s MC Boy Backs and Harlem-based Wu-Tang associate Moe Roc as they rhyme about showing love to the older heads, who took them under their wings, gave them advice, love and support over a soulful and nostalgic-tinged Dame Grease production featuring a looped sample of staccato key bursts paired with tweeter and woofer rocking beats. The track is a certified banger, but with a truly adult perspective, as it suggests an obvious truth that many of us don’t want to face — time is rushing before us, and suddenly you’ll find yourself being one of those old heads, taking some young cat under your wing. Along with that, it also suggest that you can’t forget about the older cats, who are still rocking mics and live shows, and perhaps some of these younger guys should learn something from them.

You can catch Masta Killa giving fans a preview of his forthcoming album’s material Saturday night, as he’s playing City Winery.  For information and tickets: http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/tickets/masta-killa-album-release-of-wu-tang-clan-7-15.html 



New Video: The Affecting and Empathetic, New Video for Koncept and J57’s “The Fuel” feat. Akie Bermiss

J57, Koncept and their sadly unheralded (and extremely prolific) crew of collaborators, Brown Bag All-Stars have mainstays on this site as I’ve written about J57, Koncept and several other members of crew throughout the years. And if you’ve been […]

Innocent? is a New York-based emcee, who first received attention across the blogosphere with the release of the Love It or Hate It double album. The New York-based emcee teamed up with Brooklyn-based Stan Da Man on Love It’s follow-up, Whip Appeal, which T.H.E.M. Recordings released last month.

The EP’s latest single “Old Souls” is a bonus track off Love It and it features Innocent? and the legendary Sadat X rhyming about how things were done back in the day and how today, it’s a much more phony, superficial and distrustful hip-hop industry and scene for artists — and even fans. And they manage to do so over a sample consisting of boom-bap beats and a looped, bluesy guitar that gives the song an old school, stomping, shuffling swagger. It’s yet another example of real hip-hop — of talented emcees spitting fire over dope beats.

Long Island-born, Brooklyn-based DJ/producer/emcee J57 is probably best known among hip-hop heads as a member of the Brown Bag All-Stars, one of the more prolific and underrated crews in contemporary hip-hop. And over the last couple of years in particular, J57 has received attention and critical praise for a production style that channels the sound of hip-hop’s golden age — i.e., big, boom bap beats, heavy synth-based orchestration paired with ridiculously tight, catchy hooks. As a result of being mentored by the legendary DJ Premier, the Brooklyn-based producer, DJ and emcee has assisted Premier on production work with the likes of NasEd Sheeran and Sam Smith. And naturally, those contributions have directly led to collaborations with Joey Bada$$Action BronsonMethod ManRaekwonMack WildsThe Roots and others; in fact, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months, you’d likely remember that J57 produced “The Purple Tape” off Method Man’s recently released The Meth Lab.

Also, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years you’d also be familiar with local emcee Koncept, who like the aforementioned J57 is a member of Brown Bag All-Stars. Over the past few years, there have been few emcees who have been as productive, prolific and consistent as Koncept, who has released a number of impressive singles and albums. Of course because of their connection in Brown Bag All-Stars, it shouldn’t be surprising that J57 and Koncept have been frequent collaborators, including for Koncept’s forthcoming EP The Fuel, slated for a November 20 release.

EP title track “The Fuel” featuring guest vocals by Akie Bermiss features Koncept dexterously rhyming about having the desire and determination to succeed in even the most difficult of situations, including desperate, hand-to-mouth poverty, working soul-crushing jobs with you dignity and sense of self intact. And he does so over a soulful production that features soaring organ chords, Akie Bermiss’s earnest vocals, and boom-bap drums. It’s conscious and thoughtful hip-hop based around deeply personal experiences and hard-fought wisdom — and it clearly draws from hip-hop’s glory days, when a song like “The Fuel” would dominate even mainstream radio. But no worry, real hip-hop featuring emcees actually saying something important over dope production is still alive and well; sadly, we all have to make more of a concerted effort to find it and support it.

2015 has been a busy year for Detroit‘s Guilty Simpson as Stones Throw Records released his latest full-length effort Detroit’s Son earlier this year, and he’s released a couple of incredible, non-album singles featuring collaborations with a number of internationally-based producers. Simpson’s latest single “Greatness” is a collaboration with London-based producer Stone Tone, and it’s comprised of Simpson’s gruff baritone rhyming about being determined to succeed in the face of all odds, haters, duplicitous snakes and others over a production featuring a looped, twisting and turning piano sample, soaring synths and strings, which give the song an inspirational feel, while being bolstered by boom-bap drums. Simply put, the track is real hip-hop and not that bullshit you’d hear on your conglomerate mainstream hip-hop radio station, as the song features an incredibly talented emcee actually saying something relevant and meaningful over dope beats. Certainly, after playing the song you should feel as though you could (and should) go out and there and achieve your own dreams — right this very second.

Brooklyn-based emcee Shabaam Sahdeeq has had a lengthy 20 year career in hip-hop — and considering that hip-hop has long been a fickle genre, lasting more than a decade is a rather impressive feat. Of course after two decades, some people would think that an artist would start to slow down; however, Shadeeq has been hungrier than ever, as he proves on “Get It,” the first single off his Modern Artillery EP, slated for an October 13 release through Dutch/Swedish label, Elite Fleet Records. You can also purchase the EP on cassette when it’s available for Cassette Store Day on October 17.

“Get It,” produced by Dutch producer Big Ape features Sahdeeq spits some fiery verses full of braggadocio and pertinent advice for future artists while priming folks for what to expect on this EP and future projects — pure hip-hop comprised of emcees spitting bars and lyrics over dope beats. Speaking of production, Big Ape’s production consists of bright, brassy bells paired with a chopped up guitar sample backed by tweeter and wooter rattling, boom-bap beats and some incredible scratching throughout. The track channels hip-hop’s golden age, complete with a street banging grittiness.

Live Concert Footage: The Source360 Festival at BRIC Brand Nubian “360 (What Goes Around)” Live

Over the weekend, I was busily covering The Source360 Festival in Downtown Brooklyn. Created by Northstar Group and The Source founder L. Londell McMillan, the festival emphasizes and focuses on positivity as the festival’s mission is “to […]