Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Would You Rather Relapse or Blackout?

Today I spotted the official track lists for two upcoming LP's from some of my generation's top-notch MCs.

One, I'm extremely excited for - Method Man & Redman's sophomore collab Blackout 2. But the other, I really think is going to underperform - Eminem's return from irrelevance Relapse.

Follow my logic real quick - multiple tracks have leaked thus far from each album, so it's only right we compare head-to-head them, right? Let's check out the scoreboard:

"Crack A Bottle" vs "Ayo"

Well, "Crack A Bottle" is the catchy-yet-corny lead single that everyone expects Em puts out every album but "Ayo" is a certified banger despite a redundant chorus. It's a close call because it's the first we've heard from each party in a minute, so chalk one up for Em 'cause the song really isn't THAT bad.

"We Made You" vs. "City Lights (ft. UGK)"

This is a lackluster track from Jamal and Silas, but it does have a fire verse from Bun at the end and a thumping beat. Doesn't matter though, 'cause I can't listen to more than 30 seconds of "We Made You" without wishing I didn't have any ear drums. Score one for Red & Meth.

"3 AM" vs. "Mrs. International"

I remember being dumb excited for "3 AM" after Em's first two singles didn't wow me as much as anticipated. Man, was I disappointed. Though his lyrics are ill, he's still doing that ridiculous voice inflection we heard on Encore and the hook is kinda annoying. Meth & Red, however, deliver. A jazzy instrumental lays the groundwork for the duo's laid-back vocals, praising the likes of fine greens and even finer women.

That's another one for Red & Meth, who are crowned victorious.

You get the picture, that's my logic. Not to mention, a new Red & Meth track leaked today called "Dangerous MCs" right as Aftermath announces Eminem's next two singles drop soon - "Old Times Sake" with Dr. Dre on May 5th and "Beautiful" on the 12th.

Both albums drop May 19th, so the internets got about 2 weeks before they pop up. Get ready for a serious showdown.

Thanks to 2DB and OG Hip Hop for the covers + track lists, Enjoy!

PS Check out the CBox --->

Eminem - Relapse

01) Dr. West (Skit) 01:29
02) 3am 05:20
03) My Mom 05:20
04) Insane 03:01
05) Bagpipes From Baghdad 04:43
06) Hello 04:08
07) Tonya (Skit) 00:43
08) Same Song & Dance 04:08
09) We Made You 04:30
10) Medicine Ball 03:57
11) Paul (Skit) 00:19
12) Stay Wide Awake 05:20
13) Old Time’s Sake f. Dr. Dre 04:35
14) Must Be The Ganja 04:03
15) Mr. Mathers 00:42
16) Deja Vu 04:43
17) Beautiful 06:32
18) Crack A Bottle f. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent 04:58
19) Steve Berman (Skit) 01:29
20) Underground/Ken Kaniff 06:19

Method Man & Redman - Blackout 2

01) BO2 (Intro)
02 I’m Dope Nigga
03 A-Yo f. Saukrates
04 Dangerous MCs
05 Errbody Scream f. Keith Murray
06 Hey Zulu
07 City Lights f. UGK
08 Father’s Day
09 Mrs. International (Skit)
10 Mrs. International f. Erick Sermon
11 How Bout Dat f. Ready Roc & Streetlife
12 Dis Iz 4 All My Smokers
13 Lock Down (Skit) f. DJ Kay Slay
14 Four Minutes to Lock Down f. Raekwon & Ghostface
15 Neva Heard Dis B4
16 I Know Sumptin f. Poo Bear
17 A Lil Bit f. Melanie Rutherford

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rock The Bells Dates & Ticket Info

Tickets on sale this Saturday, May 2nd. I don't know price info but last year it was $75 for Jones Beach NYC.

From the press release:

Guerilla Union, the promoter for the ROCK THE BELLS 2009 FESTIVAL SERIES has unveiled the dates and venues of North America’s only major touring hip-hop festival. In addition, Busta Rhymes, The GZA and The Knux will join the previously announced stellar line-up of performers featuring headliners Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, The Roots, Big Boi, Common and more. (Check out the full release here)


Chicago - Saturday June 27th - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Detroit- Sunday June 28th - DTE Energy Music Theatre

Toronto- Sunday July 5th - Molson Amphitheatre

Washington DC - Sunday July 12th - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Boston- Saturday July 18th - Comcast Center

New York -Sunday July 19th - Jones Beach Amphitheatre

Vancouver- Saturday August 1st - Deer Lake Park

Denver- Thursday August 6th - Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Los Angeles - Saturday August 8th - San Manuel Amphitheatre

San Francisco- Sunday August 9th - Shoreline Amphitheatre

... Plus more to be announced soon. Thanks to Ashley for the heads up !!

Complete The (Sample) Set

[click the cover]

It's Monday morning, I know, I hate it too. But at least we've got some good music to get us by.

I'm starting to get the hang of e-digging for hip-hop samples, so I had to help my good homie Ivan find the missing piece to the sample set for Jadakiss' Kiss Of Death.

The particular sample is from a little known soul-rock band called Aalon, led by guitarist/singer Aalon Butler, from the band's lone album Cream City. Scott Storch flipped "Lone Princess" for "Time's Up," one of the best beats on the album in my humble opinion.

I'm very happy I could help a fellow blogger and music-lover with the difficult endeavor of finishing up a sample set, I hope all the Jadakiss fans out there have fun with this one.

If you ever need help finding a sample or individual song, get at me and I'll try my best to hunt it down.

Let's get the week started right, Enjoy!

Click Here for HHIR's Jadakiss Kiss of Death Samples

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Song For The Moment: All I Need

If you've seen what's hot in the Tweets, you'd know that I've dedicated this sun-filled Saturday to updating my iPod with my digital collection of none other than one of the G.O.A.T.'s.. Shawn Corey Carter.

Fueled by intense discussion between myself, Ivan, Dart, Legend and Niccolus this week revolving around the ranking of Jay's albums, I decided to go through each album to find the best of the best. And "All I Need," tucked neatly into the classic that is 2001's Blueprint, is one of them.

Lyrics compliments of OHHLA.. Hope everyone has a great weekend, Enjoy!

Link in the CBox --->

Jay-Z - All I Need

Fuck it...
I guess I got my swagger back
Mama that said I killed her man
Well I guess I got the dagger back
It's the Roc bastards we are BACK!
In the heezy
Jiggaman, B. Sieg to M-Easy (what up fam?)
Oskino and Sparks and Freeweezy (holla!)
Mickey, Mallory, Chris and Neef, hey!
All I need is the love of my crew
The whole industry can hate me I thugged my way through
And all...I...need is a chick to hold a jimmy like
Meth and Mary, like, Marvin and Tammi, unnnh...
Now understands we can't be stopped
From blowin' Swisher Sweets outta candy drops
Like we underground kings, ridin' dirty
A nigga been focused since I said hi to 30 (what up?)
Young niggas ya'll can't hurt me
Better watch and observe me
And learn how to earn better, I burn cheddar
I set fire to your empire
I blow smoke in your face, burn rubber off the rim tires
Yes I-ah...Jay I-ah...
Double G-A livewire nigga holla back

All I need...
Rocawear... (check)
Nike Airs... (check)
Mean bucket... (uh huh)
Armadale in the club couple o' duckets (yeah)
Couple chicks by my side, let's ride
All I need...
That new coupe (got that)
A doo-rag and a pocket full o' loot (got those)
A sunny day some chicks that wanna play
And I'll be on my way

All I need in this world o' sin
Is me and my girlfriend! (ha ha)
I got a little two-two I call 'er Peggy Sue
When I'm off in the club she fit right in my shoe (wooo!)
Gotta switch her to my waist, just in case (uh huh)
A clown wan' flip gotta reach for my bitch
Wanna act out a movie I could give you a clip (buk!)
But no adlibbin' nigga stick to the script
Now all...I...need is a high-priced lawyer
Cuz it's foul ways nowadays everybody saw you
And they comin' to court too, I thought you knew
Can't even steal on a nigga muhfuckas'll sue
In this time and age, cuz real muhfuckas'll do
When I'm surrounded by squeal muhfuckas like you
But real niggas don't fret cuz the number one crew?
R to the O to the C comin' true


The cream too long, my team too strong
Bleek is too hot, Beans is gone
Ya'll niggas in the crosshair, the beams is on (see ya'll)
Ya'll whole block deserted, ya'll fiends are gone (bye bye!)
The whole Roc is jumpin', we reached our zenith
Got fiends throwin' up on themself like Willy Beaman (*giggle*)
Any given Sunday gunplay's optional
However niggas want it like Soul II Soul (however do you waaaaant it)
Whoever got hops get blocked go to the hole
Dikembe Mutumbo of this rap shit
Plus the jab is sick, and its Zab quick
Left hand'll lean 'em like a little past six
Now run along wit'cha little ass hits
Read my rap sheet nigga, THREE CLASSICS
Shut ya bumba' got A-Rod numbers
All you muddaskunks get buried in the trunk
When I blast the pump, I leave you relaxed
In the hospital lookin' at M*A*S*H for months
Then I dumps dough on the D.A. desk
And I flee scotch free and pee pee on the steps...
We've got no respect
No law or governin' why you fuckin' wit' him?
Matta'fact, why you fuckin' wit' them?
All ya'll need is the R-O-C baby

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fine Friday: Hottest Chick In The Game


Here's Bey at the NYC screening of Obsessed, a movie I would likely never consider seeing unless she was in it. Shawn Carter, you are one lucky summabitch.

Other than that, I've got some things in the pipeline that I'll be sharing with my loyal readers over the next week or so. Stay tuned to find out what!

Hope everyone has a great Friday and thanks to Concrete Loop for the heads up, Enjoy!
Edit: Found this link to Complex Mag's choices for Beyonce's hottest pics, what a way to start the weekend!

Random Hits:

Links in the CBox --->
Kanye West ft. Malik Yusef, Common & John Legend - Magic Man

Skyzoo - ft. Talib Kweli & Reks When I Rhyme prod. Statik Selektah

Swizz Beatz - Ice Cream

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Song For The Moment

Formulating my first guest blog appearance (you'll see what I mean soon), I was shuffling through my OutKast collection when inspiration struck.

I'm going to try my best to make a regular segment called "Song For The Moment" to hit you with some random tracks from the collection, complete with lyrics. Okay, so I've been doing this lately without a title, but I wanted to make it official!

You may have heard these particular songs or they may be new to you, but either way I hope you can appreciate my choices as quality music.

For the first installment, why not one of the best duos to ever rock the mic? Here's an excellent cut off Andre and Big Boi's '98 album Aquemini, a classic example of their mind-boggling conceptualizations.

Hope you can dig this new "Song For The Moment" ish I'm on, Enjoy!

Link in the CBox --->

OutKast - Da Art of Storytellin' 2
Baby did you hear that, Yea baby I heard it too
Look out the window, Golly the sky is electric blue
Momma Earth is dyin and cryin because of you
Rainin cats and jackles, all shackles disintegrate to residue
Silly mortals haven't a clue
As to what the fuck is goin on
I'm on the telephone,
Dialin the Dungeon
"Hello?" This Dre, bring the MP and the SP
Meet me at the center of the Earth and travel carefully
Baby grab the baby cause baby it ain't much time
Momma Earth is tossin and turnin and that's our sign
Omega aggin IFO's are landin in Decatur
Hope I'm not over your head, but if so you will catch on later
Play the track, guess she could not take it anymo'
Rapin her heavenly body like a hoe, coochie so'
From saggin constantly fuckin her, never lovin her
Never showin appreciation
Bustin nuts in her face when they done
The sky is fallin, nobody ballin, they done gave back they guns
For some tickets to the playoffs, but the Hornets they won
Aggin we slum, kept all the guns, I gotta protect my family
I drove the biggest thing at the house
'Cause I knew they'd try to ram me,
But I'm stabbing
Makin a path on express-ways, the best way I know how
Up in the sky, East West, no clouds
Him comin now, fuck that money now, I ask my honey how
She feeling and is Jordan okay, Yeah yeah she's chillin
We should be in the Dungeon shortly
Ain't nobody on they porch see
Approachin the final exit
I'm thinkin I see four horsies but I don't though
Aggin you won't know, until it's on ya
I put that on my dope boys from A-Town to California
All the weed smell like ammonia
But at the Dungeon I know they smokin
Writin the raps and doin the beats to make this last recording
Fuck abortion, I got in the booth to run the final portion
The beat was very dirty and the vocals had distor-tion

All's well, nothing's well

We Made It

Just got some brand new leakage from Keelay & Zaire in the inbox.

This one's called "We Made It" featuring Mario Dones and JonyFraze on the scratches, video coming soon.

Thanks to Keelay himself for the link, the LP Ridin' High (HFTB-approved) is in stores and digital retailers now. Go cop that on iTunes now, Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's My Time

Link in the CBox --->

Fabolous ft. Jeremih - It's My Time prod. The Runners (off Loso's Way)

Guess what time it is, My, my, my time

You could check your iPhone, better say it’s i-Time

I don’t even need a watch, I don’t even see ya clocks

Soon as I walk in, it feel like “me o’clock”

Yea, me o’clock, every time I checks

Aggins don’t measure up and try to blame the Pyrex

I’ma do it bigger than a 5X

Can’t drive with a L, so I don’t drive Lex

Game’s so bickery, so full of trickery

Nursery rhyming, hickory dickory

Blowin’ that sour, the hood call it “piffery”

Biggie, Puffy, Busta, victory

Go hard today

Can’t worry ‘bout the past ‘cause that was yesterday

And I'ma put it on the line

'Cause it's my time

Shady Samples

Since the cover for Eminem's upcoming Relapse leaked today, it seems like perfect timing for the expert e-digger Ivan to compile the samples to not one, not two, not three.. but FOUR of Slim Shady's albums.

In this four-in-one digital box set, you'll find the originals used for "Bad Meets Evil" (funk-ified jazz of Dave Grusin) and "Guilty Conscious" (eerie piano of film composer Robert Stein) among others.

You'll recognize the loops used throughout Em's catalog, such as on "Sing For The Moment" (C'mon, easy one !!) and "My Name Is" (much tougher, just listen).

I've got to give 100% credit to Hurricane I and his people at HHIR for the work here, spreading great music throughout the blogosphere.

Here's to hoping (read: praying) Em's new disc is dope, Enjoy!

Hip Hop Is Read Presents - The Eminem Samples (4-in-1)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kinda Like A Big Deal?

After seeing the lineup of Clipse featuring Kanye and DJ Khalil on the boards for the lead single off the Virginia duo's third LP Till The Casket Drops, I was crazy excited.

It's been a long time coming for Malice & Pusha T's well-constructed, clever rhymes and Ye's fly-guy style to collab.

My first impression? It doesn't quite have the fireworks nor pack the punch that I expected.. BUT it's a real dope listen regardless. It's more accessible (read: radio-friendly) than "Mr. Me Too" but not as innovative as "Grindin'."

Find out for yourself if this collab is actually a big deal right there in the CBox--->

Artwork designed by KAWS and audio courtesy of the good homie LowKey, Enjoy!

Clipse ft. Kanye West - Kinda Like A Big Deal prod. DJ Khalil

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Memory Lane: Moments in HFTB History

[definitely the longest HFTB post, ever]

..Back in '07 when I started this here blog in college, I had no idea what I was doing. I was writing for my college's entertainment magazine (Inside Beat fo' life !!), DJing, studying and partying my ass off. I had little sense of the future, all I knew is that I always wanted a place to put my thoughts into writing and share some cool stuff with everyone on the internet.

Funny thing, now that I've started my career in finance and investing, I still gravitate toward writing and written expression. I don't know all the technical aspects of running a blog (I'm still an HTML novice after 2 years), but what I do know is that people ALWAYS need to hear good music. I'm honored to be one source that you come to for that fix.

So, here I am at my 400th post. I know it doesn't seem like much, but this is huge for me. I've interacted with some real cool folks through this blog and learned so much from this experience. I'm grateful for everyone that leaves comments or hits me up on Twitter.

I feel like this moment calls for a celebration. Being that I'm also feeling quite nostalgic, I think it's time to reminisce a bit.

I've dug deep into the HFTB vaults to bring my readers some of my personal favorite posts, starting from when I came up with my mission statement all the way up to me defending why I'm not excited for Eminem's new album.

Here's to many more years of servicing the blogosphere.

Memory Lane: Moments in HFTB History

November 20, 2007 - New Blog Title & Mission

This is, for all intents and purposes, the moment that I found my direction. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

Quotable: "I think it's my duty to bring you constant updates, when I can, of some dope music and interesting news surrounding music culture."

December 6, 2007 - Matisyahu & The Wailers Pics + Grammy Nominations

My sister and I hit up a great concert in the City so I snapped some shots. Also, I was shocked that TI vs TIP got nominated for best rap album, that damn frisbee.

Quotable: "My personal picks would be, respectively: "I Wanna Love You," "Can't Tell Me Nothing," then Graduation.. and someone please tell me why T.I. is even nominated with his cold-garbage album.. SMH."

January 2, 2008 - 2007 Hit-Lists Part I - Best Albums -

This was the first installment of my year-end lists, including Best Albums, Most Disappointing Albums, Essential Non Hip-Hop Albums, Best & Worst Mixtapes and my yearly playlists.

Quotable: "Graduation is the ideal finale for West’s educational trilogy, boasting finely-tuned production and crossover appeal while maintaining his hip-hop edge. Grabbing eight Grammy nominations and including arguably the most-recognizable global anthem in “Stronger,” ‘Ye’s third solo release is the most consistent and fulfilling in his catalog."

January 16 & 18, 2008 - Fresh New Look & Predictions for '08 -

Using my novice Photoshop skills, I spruced up the site's design. Using my psychic powers, I correctly predicted Wale would get a record deal but incorrectly predicted that Big Boi & Andre 3000 would release, well, anything. (Though in my defense, "Art of Storytellin' 4" was epic)

Quotable: "Has anyone else noticed the self-proclaimed "best rapper alive" hasn't released an actual CD since '05? Wayne's overexposure in the media, mix-tape circuit and gossip circles is borderline sickening to the point where he should be dubbed the "guest rapper alive" instead. But, between all the nonsense, the boy from 'Nawlins does put out enough quality product to keep real heads interested."

January 28, 2007 - Interview With Nicolay

The title says it all, this was my first published interview. Nicolay is still good peoples, check out Nicolay Music for more.

Quotable: "Hio-hop was a natural outlet for me to created tracks that are a complete musical story even without the lyrics. I have always used instruments to be able to take the track somewhere else rather than be defined and limited by the sample." - Nicolay.

February 4, 2007 - Giants Win, Like I Said

Ha! G-Men win the Super Bowl. I think I even left a nasty comment on Dart's blog during my drunken stupor.

Quotable: Actions spoke louder than words here. Mainly, I was drinking while the Giantswere winning.

June 29, 2008 - One Hundred & Counting

My 100th post, posted some tracks including Nas & Busta's "Fried Chicken."

Quotable: "I'm loving blogging as a side hobby - shout outs to all the music/film/entertainment/culture bloggers that keep the information flowing nonstop, day-in and day-out."

August 4, 2008 - The Experience of a Lifetime

My recap of Rock The Bells NYC '08, where Red & Meth killed it, Nas brought out Jigga and Tribe brought out Busta.. Epic.

Quotable: "Every expectation I had of the New York stop of the Rock the Bells tour was met and exceeded, from the countless special guests to the crowd's energy to the venue itself."

August 27 & September - Lyrics II Go Part I & Part II

I break down my selections for the most lyrical hip-hop songs in history, by some respected names like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Big Pun, OutKast, & Wu-Tang.

Quotable: "Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace was arguably the best lyricist to ever hop on a mic. With a combo of street narrative, fierce battle raps and existential poetics, Biggie was a natural."

October 29, 2008 - Words Can't Describe

Another concert recap, this was Power 105.1's annual show. I didn't say much 'cause honestly, I was too gone off gin and tonic that I don't remember much.. Blame in on the alcohol!

Quotable: "Sorry for the lack of pictures but you'll just have to visualize what 15,000 strong felt like cheering on D-Block, Ne-Yo (with guests Plies and Fabolous!), Weezy and finally Jay-Z (with special guest Beyonce!)."

November 5, 2008 - Congrats & We Made History

If you don't know, shame on you.. Featured one of my favorite tracks of '08, Jay-Z's "History."

Quotable: "To our 44th President, it was a great race. We are witnessing history people, pay attention - I'll be telling my grand-kids about this one. Best of luck to the new Commander in Chief."

November 11, 2008 - You're Welcome & Think You Got It Bad?

Posted a couple blogs that day.. The first is the leak for Kanye & KiD CuDi's "Welcome 2 Heartbreak" and the second is a collection of hilarious lists like the "10 Worst Parking Tickets" and "10 Most Stupid Taxes Ever."

Quotable: "Drug buyers did not need to provide identification to pay the tax and it was illegal for revenue employees to report them. In just 18 months, Tennessee has collected nearly $2.7 million in revenue – although it is thought this came mainly from drug users who were arrested and found not to have paid the tax." - Regarding a 2005 Tennessee state law requiring people to pay taxes on illegal drugs.

November 26, 2008 - My Last Post...

My first angry rant in reaction to DMCA taking down one of my posts, which reminds me that I need to invest in my own domain name.

Quotable: "These authorities need to learn that profits from album and single sales are dying and the industry is developing a new business model to gain revenue from other aspects of music like touring, merchandise, sponsorship, etc."

December 15, 2008 - If This Is Hip-Hop, Then I'm Miles Davis

I had this idea to find the most ridiculous hip-hop gear I could, then do my usual running commentary.

Quotable: "Yes, Barack is in fact the one-and-only H.N.I.C... and what better way to venerate the President-elect than Photoshopping his face to create a Quasimoto-esque hunchbacked "gangsta" on a bootleg tee? I bet those darn insurgents are shakin' in their boots now."

December 19, 2008 - Twitter Time

My Twitter debut.

Quotable: "Twitter is like the hip-hop Facebook."

December 24, 2008 - Really Feelin' The Spirit

Put together a lil' Christmas mix for the people.

Quotable: "I tried to appeal to different tastes with this mix - I hope it enhances your holiday experience."

December 31, 2008 - Ten Favorite Albums of 2008 Plus More & 15 Favorite Mixtapes

You know the deal.

Quotable: "[Nas] addressed politics, the industry, the media, Obama, and still had time to holla to the streets [on Untitled]. From the amped-up revival anthem of "Hero," the venemous attack on U.S. media of "Sly Fox," and the uplifting tone of "Black President," Nasir did his damn thing to resuscitate the very music that he deemed lifeless just years ago."

January 8, 2009 - Rap Critics Poll 2008 Results

Good looks to Rizoh for letting me know about the '08 Rap Critics Poll, here I posted the results.

Quotable: "I was buggin 'cause I knew I should've included Black Milk's but I hadn't listened to the whole thing when I submitted my picks. Notice that I included Black's album at numero cuatro on my HFTB favorites, which I compiled after my submissions to the poll."

January 13, 2009 - 15 Hip-Hop Artists to Shine in' 09

Listed some artists that I thought would have a break-out year, let's see if I'm right.

Quotable: "Drizzy is arguably the most beastly newcomer as far as lyrical content and delivery is concerned. And did I mention dude can sing, like, real well?"

January 15, 2009 - The Biggest Day Of The Year

In light of his biopic Notorious, I declared January 15 "Biggie Day" and posted a boatload of his illest material.

Quotable: "Hardcore. Raw. Ground-breaking. Revolutionary. Real. All these words have been used to describe Big's debut solo LP Ready to Die, but only one word can fully describe all that is the 1993 album: Classic."

January 22, 2009 - Blogger Roll Call

Updated my Blog Roll to show some love.

Quotable: "I hope that every time you log on you read something intriguing, listen to some good music, check some fly gear and kicks, and just have a damn good time.. 'cause I know I do!"

January 30, 2009 - Blow Ya Mind! A Super Woman & Dom Corleone Exclusive

Teamed up with the homie Shenda for this "uplifting" mix.

Quotable: ".. When we say "high," we mean getting high on whatever it is you do. Green, booze, working out, reading, or life itself, I hope you're able to get high and just feel good."

February 5, 2009 - My First Interview

Chopped it up with B-Double about how I fell in love with hip-hop and why I started my blog. Talk about excited !!

Quotable: "Q: How did you first discover hip-hop? A: It was '97, I was probably 11. At recess, one of my boys back in the day played "Gangsta's Paradise," "10 Crack Commandments" and some Wu-Tang cuts for me on a portable tape player and I've been hooked ever since."

February 6, 2009 - Happy B-Day Bob Marley

Had to celebrate my favorite musician's born day properly, by posting his best 5 albums.

Quotable: "One good thing about music. When it hits, you feel no pain."

March 6, 2009 - 5 Reasons Not To Be Excited for Relapse

I've been an Eminem fan since his Slim Shady LP, so I had to voice my opinion on his new style. Just.. Read.

Quotable: "Think about the singles that actually caused people to organize protests against him. Protesting against a rapper? You won't see that today because Em does not, and will not, have the same effect on people. He's lost his allure, for good."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Favorite Song

You see, I remember when a we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown,
Observing the hypocrites as they would
Mingle with the good people we meet

Good friends we have
Oh, good friends we've lost
Along the way
In this great future, you can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I say

No, woman, no cry
No, woman, no cry

You see, I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown,
And then Georgie would make the fire light
As it was, logwood burnin' through the night

Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
And I mean it, of which I'll share with you
My feet is my only carriage
So I've got to push on through
but while I'm gone,

Everything's gonna be all right
Everything's gonna be all right
Everything's gonna be all right, yah
Everything's gonna be all right
Everything's gonna be all right
Everything's gonna be all right
Everything's gonna be all right, yah
Everything's gonna be all right

Can I Kick It? Chuck Taylor x Pink Floyd

Ain't nothing like some Chucks. Throw in inspiration from forward-thinking, psychadelic Brit rockers Pink Floyd, and you've got these freshies - The Converse All Star Hi Pink Floyd Animals.

The inspiration is Animals, the Floyd concept based off George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. Haven't read that book OR heard the LP in a while, I should revisit them .. Perhaps if my power ever goes out again.

According to


Crafted in a unique white/black/grey tonal scheme, the shoe features album artwork and a unique pig graphic. The band’s name rides form bottom along the heel. The Converse All Star Hi Pink Floyd Animals is available at select accounts worldwide.

*Cues "Dogs" and waits for one of my loyal readers to scoop 'em for me*

Mixtape of the Day


Random Hits:

Links in the Cbox --->

Busta Rhymes & Drake - Best I Ever Had

Chali 2na - Lock Shit Down f. Talib Kweli

Chrisette Michele ft. Ne-Yo - What You Do

Illogic ft. Aesop Rock, Slug & Zero Star - Diabolical Fun Remix

Double Barrel Banner

You might remember Torae from my Favorite 15 Mixtapes of '08 list, and now he's back in '09 working on a new project Double Barrel with producer Marco Polo, dropping the first week of June on underground imprint Duck Down Records.

Just got the new banner in the inbox (thanks Tor!) so I threw it up on the right hand side. Listen to the new single "But Wait" below and support real music, Enjoy!


Torae & Marco Polo - But Wait

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lazy Bloggin': Heavy Rotation

[can you believe that's really a product - a laptop pillow]

..Here's what I'm rockin' to tonight, gettin' my lazy blog on..

Links in the Cbox --->

Asher Roth - Asleep in the Bread Aisle (Clean Advance)

Track List:

01. Lark On My Go Cart [Prod. By Oren Yoel & David Appleton]
02. Blunt Cruisin' [Prod. by Oren Yoel]
03. I Love College [Prod. by Mike Carren & Ben Allen]
04. La Di Da [Prod. by Don Cannon]
05. Fallen [Prod. By Novel]
06. Be By Myself (Feat. Cee-Lo) [Prod. by Oren Yoel]
07. She Don’t Want A Man (Ft. Estelle) [Prod. By Oren Yoel]
08. Sour Patch Kids [Prod. By Oren Yoel]
09. As I Em (Ft. Chester French) [Prod. By Oren Yoel & David Appleton]
10. Bad Day (Ft. Jazze Pha) [Prod. By Oren Yoel & David Appleton]
11. Lions Roar (Ft. Busta Rhymes) [Prod. By Oren Yoel)
12. His Dream (Ft. Miguel) [Prod. By Oren Yoel]
13. Nothing You Can’t Do [Prod. By Nottz)

DJ Premier - Rare Play Vol. 2

01 DJ Premier - Rare Play Volume 2 Intro
02 Ol Dirty - Pop Shots
03 Smiley The Ghetto Child - Wake Up Call
04 Marxmen - Bloody Murdah
05 Pitch Black feat. Styles P. - Nice
06 Smooth B - Game Over
07 Gang Starr - Battle
08 Just-Ice feat. Big Daddy Kane - The Immortal
09 Rah Digga - Lesson Of Today
10 Kool G. Rap - First Nigga (Remix)
11 Big Shug - Crush
12 Bumpy Knuckles - P.A.I.N.E.
13 Paula Perry - Extra, Extra
14 Xzibit - What A Mess
15 MC Lyte - Wonder Years
16 Gang Starr - Tha Squeeze
17 Royce Da 59 - My Friend
18 Edo-G - Sayin Something

Random Hits:

Aim ft. Q-Ball & Curt Cazal - Force

Chrisette Michele - Notebook

Drake Ft. Lloyd - A Night Off

Keelay & Zaire ft. Slo Mo - Growin' Up

Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos - Superstar (Acoustic)

Swizz Beatz -I'm Cool

Blog & Happiness

Thanks to the wonderful Miss Jodie for always keeping me up on the latest birthdays. Today is lengendary soul/gospel singer Al Green's 63rd, and to celebrate I'll hook up a nice Smooth Sax Tribute to the Reverend's music and his rendition of "Unchained Melody."

Gotta get back to work for this conference call, Enjoy!


A Smooth Sax Tribute To Al Green

Friday, April 10, 2009

Do You Like Fishsticks?

So if you haven't seen already, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone ethered Kanye West and his ego in their latest episode "Fishsticks" that aired Wednesday.

Basically, Jimmy comes up with about fishsticks using a play on words ("Do you like fish-dicks? Then you're a gay fish!") that Cartman tries to steal the shine for and Kanye West is the only person that doesn't "get" the joke. Hilariousness ensues as the writers parallel Cartman's inflated ego with Yeezy's public image of being self-indulged.

The most surprising part to me was actually not the episode - as a fan since day one, I expect this type of hilariously crude humor from Parker & Stone - but rather Yeezy's reaction that he posted on his blog yesterday:







Not only that, but Yeezy posted the above clip as proof that he's just brushing this one off because they got him good.

I've always told people that he doesn't JUST make music about how good he thinks he is. On his more reflective, self-examining type tracks before ("Family Business," "All Falls Down," etc), we get to see the other side of 'Ye - the one that isn't so confident or sure about himself. And this response is just another example of how the media's poster boy for egotism is actually not a complete douchebag.

The point is, it's a step in the right direction that 'Ye is able to laugh at this.

Need more laughs? South Park Studios released the full, unedited version of "Gay Fish" for our enjoyment this morning. Now if only 'Ye would spit something over this beat, that would definitely make my year.

Thanks to Dre for the download link, Enjoy!

Link in the Cbox --->

South Park - Gay Fish (Full Unedited Version)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pro-Black Music: Rhymefest The Manual

[contender for longest HFTB rant, just warning ya]

As a melanin-deficient hip-hop connoisseur (had to Google that spelling), I always find it interesting to listen to pro-black music or whatever you choose to call it - black rappers illustrating the struggles inherent in growing up black in America.

Maybe it's I enjoy hearing about people of other ethnicities overcoming life struggles, even if I can't directly relate. Maybe I just love me a true inspirational story, which is part of what attracted me to rap in the first place. It's probably a combination of both.

Still, it's difficult sometimes 'cause of the ways black rappers depic the caucasian persuasian. I don't get really offended by the common terms for white folks used in rap, but it's tough to hear the words sometimes because they group all whites into a common condescending, power-hungry group of inhumane beings.

Perhaps it's a good thing for me to feel ostracized and lonesome just like whites have done for centuries to others, as I gain empathy for and understanding of others' experiences.

Anyways, the inspiration for this post was Chi-town rep Rhymefest's newest digital mixtape The Manual executively produced by Scram Jones. It's got some seriously real rap on it, some songs of the type I'm describing. In fact, the two songs that I like the most ("Pulls Me Back" & "Exodus 5.1") revolve around the collective black experience. I like it simply because it's just real, straight up.

I know I'll never live life as another color, but I appreciate anyone who shares their story of success rising above the racism and prejudices that have held our country down for too long.

Enough ranting, here's The Manual and the lyrics to "Exodus 5.1," one of many gems on this one.

Thanks to the good homie Rizoh for the heads up and Kevin for the link, Enjoy!


Rhymefest - The Manual

Track List:

01. Who is Che? [Intro]
02. Coolness [prod. by Scram Jones]
03. Native Tongue Medley Pt 1 [prod. by Scram Jones]
04. Native Tongue Medley Pt 2 [prod. by Scram Jones]
05. Native Tongue Medley Pt 3 [prod. by Scram Jones]
06. Deal’s A Deal (ft CL Smooth & Haffa) [prod. by Blick & Scram Jones]
07. Rhymefest vs Big Daddy Kane [prod. by Scram Jones]
08. Think About It! (ft Sadat X) [prod. by Scram Jones]
09. Tender Thug (ft Mike Payne) [prod. by Animal House]
10. SuperSonic (Chucky Cheese) [prod. by Scram Jones]
11. Wup Your Ass (Nice Peter) [prod. by Nice Peter]
12. Pulls Me Back [prod. by Matrax]
13. Party 4 Free (ft Gregg Nice) [prod. by Scram Jones]
14. Overpaid Lover [prod. by Scram Jones]
15. Exodus 5.1 [prod. by Animal House]
16. Goin In ( ft Queen Latifah) [prod. by Dub Sonata]
17. Memory Lane (ft. Doo Wop, Scram Jones & Nature) [prod. by Scram Jones]
18. Rhyme Slow, Rhyme Quick (ft Scram Jones) [prod. by Scram Jones]
19. Prove Myself (ft Haffa) [prod. by Scram Jones]
20. RNQ (Rhymefest) [prod. by DJ Premier]

Lyrics to "Exodus 5.1"

What’s the closest you ever been to death?

You ever let your soul levitate over your body and watch you rest?

Or put a gun to your head so you could play roulette?

Or took a whole bottle of pills ‘til you felt no stress?

What’s the closest you ever been to life?

You ever got a felony charge, looked up, the whole jury is white?

Or see a child born on crack cry through the night?

The only only bottle that he want is a pipe

Maaan what’s the closest you’ve ever been to bein rich?

Aspen skiing trips

This the Mafia, how many chicks you want? Three, six?

Bottles floatin’ round the club, the club gets seasick

We feelin’ like the pharaohs of Egypt

We feelin’ like men, feelin’ like kin

Feelin’ like the Hurricane Katrina shoulda never, ever happened again

Feelin’ like I’m traveling home..

(Let’s all turn to Exodus, 5-1)

What’s the closest you’ve ever been to your family?

Your Pops locked up, your Mom beat you so now you live with your Granny

The streets are closer to ya than your Uncle or Auntie

Fuck school, it’s time for Plan B

You know what that is..

Holdin’ the heat, lettin’ it squirt, puttin’ in work

Tryin’ to find a Heaven on Earth

I pray to God and the Devil at church

I’ma worship whoever help me first

What you know about trust?

You ever got locked up and had the prosecutor say ‘you’re in luck?

Tell us who gave you the dough, who gave you the pistol?

Who told you to shoot it? Think smart and your sentence is cut

Yeaaa that’s the same shit that set Fred Hampton up

And that’s the reason that them crackers got the clamps on us

Sell dope lil’ aggin, rap dance for us

I saw the cops beat a shorty when his hands were cuffed

What you know about honor?

What you know about fear?

What you know about the power of the subconscious mind?

And that’s why I’m here

I’m a mountain man

You can’t move me, calm or cool me

I keep the tool right where the jewels be

And keep my money right where the jewels be

I keep the pen next to the loose leaf

With the Qur’an next to the uzi

Look, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to revenge?

Dog, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to your friends?

Aggin, what’s the closest you been to being broke, gettin' evicted again?

Shawty, what’s the closest you’ve ever been to sin?

Man, what’s the closest you’ve been to havin’ a chain flooded with ice?

This is Vegas, so bet your life

And if, and if..

You never been through none of this in your life

What’s the closest you’ve ever been to Christ?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

iPod Classics: Randomization

Since my month-old iPod is corrupt and deleted all my songs, I created this iPod playlist on iTunes. Here's my strategy - Rock with the random feature on iTunes and add the good ish that comes up. Then, I'll be able to stock my new iPod with some heat.

So, here we have a brand new sub-segment at HFTB where I hit my faithful readership with some random gems from my collection. We'll start with Rick Ross' new jam "Maybach Music Part II" and let iTunes decide the rest..


Links in the CBox (Coming Soon) --->

Rick Ross ft. Kanye West, Lil' Wayne & T-Pain - Maybach Music II

Bob Marley - Wake Up And Live [No iPod list is complete without Bob]

Capone-N-Noreaga - Y'all Don't Wanna

Common - 6th Sense [Lemme tell you know much I feel this song, I've got the vinyl. Some heavy needle burn on that one.]

I just wanna innovate and stimulate minds
Travel the world and penetrate the times

Dilated Peoples - Back Again

Eric B. & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em

Notorious B.I.G. ft. Method Man - The What

Saigon - True Story

The Supremes - Stop In The Name of Love [Oh you know it's on and poppin']

Wyclef Jean - Anything Can Happen

Xecutioners ft. DJ Premier - Premier's Xecution

Rockin' The Bells

Not as good as last years Rock The Bells NYC line-up with A Tribe Called Quest headlining, Nas, Meth & Red, De La, and the rest but I'm still amped for it.

Excited to see K'naan, Slaughterhouse, Evidence and Alchemist, and the House of Pain reunion.

Stay tuned for more information as it leaks.

Via ML

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Listen To Me: "We Made You" Edition

I know most of my internet-savvy readership has heard Eminem's newly leaked single "We Made You" featuring Dr. Dre on the boards. You might have even seen the video where Em continues in his usual antics, parodying Dustin Hoffman in Rainman, Bret Michaels, Amy Winehouse, Sarah Palin and more.

I've got to be honest, the song doesn't do it for me. I'm happy that Marshall is finally putting out music after his multi-year hiatus, but I'm not excited by this particular track. The video is decent, kinda funny but it's predictable. I started listening to Em to hear what type of crazy ish he'd say and now his style is formulaic.

In fact, there's so much other audio leakage on the internets that I'd rather listen to. These tracks have what I like to call "replay value" - it's pretty self-explanatory so I'll spare y'all the talk.

If Em or any of his peoples are reading this - which I'm sure they are (LOL) - I'd like to see more effort, emotion and passion next time around, please.

Let's get things started.. The Top 10 new releases I'd rather be listening to than "We Made You"

1. Asher Roth ft. Cee-Lo - Be By Myself

Sure it's got a crazy organ loop and the incessent "Ohhh" in the background, but Asher is hungry on "Be By Myself." He puts in the type of effort that I can respect, even if I don't like everything he says. That's something we haven't seen from Em since his Slim Shady persona. Combine Asher's linguistics with Cee-Lo's one-of-a-kind vocal touch and you've got yourselves a winner.

I'm too young to be locked down
Not now, need a new car

Drive around with the top down

New broad with her bra and her top down

Chillin' in the backseat, screamin' out loud

2. KiD CuDi ft. Kanye West & Common - Poker Face (Lady Gaga Sample)

Traditionists will beef with this song, but they have to realize that hip-hop is changing so the best MCs are able to transition to the newer era. I read someone Twitter-hating Common's verse, most likely the "Blame It" reference, but I actually dug his verse the most. Plus, Yeezy is on it and this is probably the only Lady Gaga song you'll hear me play.. & actually enjoy.

3. Any song featuring Blu

I've said it before, I'll say it again - Blu is the illest freshman from the West right now. especially on new songs like "LoveLine(s),DedicatedToLastFe’vrier" over Exile's "Love Line" or with Flying Lotus on the remix to "GNG BNG." As Gotty from TSS describes him, he's a "lyricists lyricist" - I couldn't have said it better myself.

4. Incubus - Black Heart Intertia

Your eyes haven't failed you.. I said Incubus, cot dammit! Ever since I heard "Aqueous Transmission" and "Drive," I knew this was the type of rock music I could listen to. Their new song off upcoming album Monuments & Melodies will be a hit, and I'm down with it.

5. Joell Ortiz ft. Novel - Stand Up

Okay this ones not that new, it's off Joell's Free Agent tape, but who cares. "Stand Up" reminds me of Maino's recent banger "All The Above," except with a Fakon hook courtesy of Novel. Just like Maino, Joell Ortiz has street cred with the proper delivery right now but needs some radio-crossover appeal. "Stand Up" is a step in the right direction.

Rounding out the Top 10:

5. Jackson 5 - ABC Remix prod. K-Salaam & Beatnick

6. Beyoncé ft. Kanye West - ''Ego''

7. Scratch (formally of The Roots) ft. Musiq Soulchild - Tonite

8. Slaughterhouse - Wack MCs [Okay, not exactly that new but the mixtape just came out]

9. Melanie Fiona ft. Talib Kweli - Give It To Me Right (Remix)

10. Elzhi - The Genesis (Snippet) [off his Nas-inspired LP Elmatic]

All links in the CBox, per usual --->