Entries in hip hop (14)


Mr. Lif, The Polish Ambassador, Ayla Nereo 'Terra Bella'


Mr. Lif is a gifted music maker. He is a skilled mc, at a level that is comparable to absolutely no one. We're not here to say who is the best MC, but Mr. Lif is talented far beyond many who usually make up that particular conversation.

That being said, hearing him collaborate on an entire album with Ayla Nereo - who has an absolutely stunning voice and a beautifully soulful presence on the record, and The Polish Ambassador, whose brilliant production makes this the instant classic that it is. We kid you not, 'Terra Bella' is absolutely spectacular.

The first three tracks vary so much from each other, but are so perfectly sequenced - and it continues for the rest of the album. There are nothing but fun, smart tracks on here that are so funky you won't be able to sit still.

Seriously, on every track - Mr. Lif is ON FIRE. Ayla Nereo is FLAWLESS. The Polish Ambassador is PERFECT. Zumbi from Zion I is on there, and his verse is absolutely out of this world. Chali 2na too! And yep, same thing - one of the best.

We can't let this record go under the radar. Click play. Listen to it, actually. And then put it on at a party. And then put it on while your studying or drawing or walking your dog or driving to Wyoming. Then tell some of your friends how great it is.

Tell them all! Go tell them about 'Terra Bella'!

They will thank you later.


Mix Master Mike 'Magma Chamber'

 Mix Master Mike has been a hero of hours for a long time now. Early in high school, a little bit before the internet was how we all got music, an old pal got his hands on a cd copy of Anti Theft Device. This changed music for us. Turntable music was hard to come across at the time in London, Ontario, and if you got your hands on a X-Ecutioners record or a Beat Junkies mixtape you were a king.

Mike Schwartz aka The Serial Wax Killer aka Mix Master Mike has done a lot in his days. He's become so many light years ahead of modern djing that he's become synonymous with loud, insane, razor sharp sound manipulation. If it's Mike, it's going to be insane. And he's anything but lost a step since way back in 1998 in the Anti Theft Device era. He still mixes outrageously quickly, his track selections are always so on point, and his cuts are way crazier and more unorthodox than probably anyone ever.

Magma Chamber was a welcome bit of news for us, and really, it should be for everyone. Because once again, Mix Master Mike can show everyone how it's done. And what's coming next. He seamlessly, but loudly and brashly mixes gigantic beats of all sorts on this album. To name a few of the many subgenres would not do the collection justice, so let us just say, few djs can do what Mix Master Mike has done here. Scratch that, no one can.

There are absolutely zero dull moments on this album, it reminds us if Girl Talk was a reigning DMC Champion. But with way more bangers.


10 Things We Loved About Rapper Big Pooh & Nottz 'Home Sweet Home'


1. They Both Rap.

Nottz is definitely a hands on producer, but for some reason he is not as known for being a razor sharp lyricist. Well, we are all in luck because he joins Rapper on a whole bunch of tracks on this dope new record.

2. The Intro.

It's funny that they even call it an intro, because it's doper than most peoples' singles.

3. They Run The Gamut.

There are loud ass bangers, laid back jazzy tracks and everything in between. Nottz is a master of samping and keeps everything so crisp you won't even believe your ears.

4. The Cover Art.

I mean, come on. How amazing is that!?

5. The Features.

There are only a few, and they are up and comers, and they are incredible. They don't overdo the fact that these two hip hop gems have a lot of awesome friends. They let their own heart and soul do the talking and bring along some of the well deserving next generation for the ride.

6. The Instrumentals.

Nottz goes heavy with beautiful keys, heavy and authentic basslines, blasting horns, and so much more. They could easily tour this record with a live band. That would be so awesome.

7. The Drums.

On top of all the other great elements Nottz brings in, there's one thing he ALWAYS gets right, and that's the drums. The backbone. The foundation. The breaks. This man knows what he's doing.

8. Big Pooh On The Mic.

We would be remissed to not bring up the exceptional verses, flows and lyrics of the heavyweight MC, Rapper Big Pooh. He is right at home over Nottz's magnificent production and manages to ride each beat with the ease of a seasoned veteran. Coming from superteam Little Brother and now doing his own thing for a while now, Rapper Big Pooh sets this record on fire.

9. It's Gonna Last.

We're almost done listening to it, and we're just gonna press play and go again from the beginning. What could be better?

10. The Feel.

The most important part. The songs all sound amazing. That may sound like we are oversimplifying but that is what matters most. These are real, authentic, creative moments straight from the artists' souls. They love what they do. They are amazing at it. They put it all on the line so we can hear it, relate to it, love it, learn from it, party to it. We are so lucky that this record got made.



Chest Rockwell presents N.O.V.A.

 A personal favorite of ours, Nova Rockafeller has a superhuman ability for this music. She puts her heart and soul into making smart, hilarious, engaging hip hop and works with some of the best in the business. We were elated the other day when we noticed this new release had been dropped, because of course, if it's Nova, it's fire.

The first tune has a magnetizing piano filled beat with an incredible analog bassline, not to mention a guest verse from one of the dopest out there, Nocando. Nova holds her own and then some. This woman cannot make anything we've heard before. She's never boring. She's never someone else. She's Nova Rockafeller. And she's dope as fuck.

The production on this release is top notch, uptempo goodness that has us jamming start to finish. Listening to Nova is to listen to someone who LOVES hip hop and HAS to make it for herself. As opposed to someone who figures it's a viable career option. She does this her way. She has made her own sound. It's loud and sarcastic and smart and dope as hell.

Ultimately, we think this release is a homerun. If you love Nova already, as we do, you'll love this too. If you don't, get ready to. Seriously. Dope.


Oddisee 'The Good Fight'



Sure this one came out in May, but we will never stop telling people about it, never stop playing it loud, and we will most certainly never stop being incredibly inspired by the power and truth in Oddisee's words. Coming from Maryland and out on the Mello Music Group, Oddisee and his newest record 'The Good Fight' are nothing short of attention demanding, from start to finish.


'The Good Fight' starts out so beautifully with 'That's Love', you'll like you're in one of those movie scenes where you inexplicably get up and run, and just keep running for no reason other than it was what your soul felt you needed. And everything was better.

And the album continues on this way, with so much soul in the instrumentation and production, believe us when we say if there were no lyrics on this record it would still be one of the best things we heard this year. But the lyrics and the verses, where do we even begin? From the first line Oddisee drops on 'That's Love' to the last on 'Worse Before Better', you will learn and experience so much. You will be offered a powerful and honest outlook from one of music's brightest stars.


The album is full of exceptional beats, filled with groovin' horns and laid back organs over crisp percussion. On top of that you get soulful hooks and honest and inviting raps. What could ever be better than this? One of the hardest working and most super focused rap creators is clearly making some of the best music of his career.

Put this on your headphones on your walk home after a hard day. If you're exploring a new city, this should be your soundtrack. If you're making a spicy vegetarian dinner for the girl or boy you like, play this. If all you want to do is kick back and enhance your mind with smart, soulful, beautiful music, you've found what you're looking for.

Support 'The Good Fight' here!