If you are a hip-hop fan, you know that February is J Dilla Month. So in honor of the late and great producer, I offer to you the 15th Anniversary Edition of The Shining LP (Japanese Import). This is one of many posthumous albums that was released after the Detroit producer’s death on Feb. 10, 2006.
The original album, released on August 22, 2006, boasts guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Common, D’Angelo, Black Thought, MED, Guilty Simpson and fellow producer Madlib.
Two of my favorite tracks on the project is "E=MC2" featuring Common and "So Far to Go" Featurng Common and D’Angelo. I could play those two songs forever.
J Dilla will be sorely missed. But his music will last forever. Take a listen below and enjoy.
During my editorial stint at the hip-hop website TheBoombox.com, I compiled a top 20 list of the Greatest Jazz Rap Albums of the 1990s. It’s not a thorough list by any means (I only had 20 slots to fill), so I missed a few albums. But I have most of the celebrated jazz/hop-hop albums of that era.
One of the many artists featured on the list was a little unknown band called Justice System. They were an eclectic live band out of New York who made a name for themselves by performing energetic live shows throughout NYC. The group was eventually signed to MCA Records and released their debut album Rooftop Soundcheck in 1994.
The project was a great collection of jazz and rap-infused sounds that celebrated hip-hop culture. The LP was a toast to New York with standout tracks like “Trouble on My Mind" (with its hat-tip to Public Enemy's Chuck D) and “Santana,” which paid homage to legendary guitarist Carlos Santana.
Twenty-four years after the release of their debut album, Justice System is back with a new track called “Bronxian Bauxite.” Produced by Jason Famous Beats, the song is a salute to the birthplace of hip-hop (Bronx, New York) and the five elements from the culture.
Listen to Justice System's "Bronxian Bauxite"
There's plenty of old-school phrasings and deft rapping from the two MCs who are spitting lyrics over a melodic piano groove and a classic boom-bap beat. Lyrics consists of reflective rhymes like this:
"Seminole headstrap my rap is inspired by the "Big Payback" and Uptown brainiacs / They were sonic archeologists, non-apologists, obvious ominous in the invisible metropolis / Minding for gold with no handhold / Records untold, they were buying by the billfold / And when a new break was found...it was like, get down-get down."
You can cop/stream Justice System's "Bronxian Bauxite" at all digital stores including at Spotify and Apple Music.
If you are unfamiliar with the Justice System's 1994 album Rooftop Soundcheck, I added two of my favorite songs from the project for your listening pleasure. Hit the flip below.
Snoop Dogg’s new album, Coolaid, formally drops on Friday (July 1) but he’s been releasing several tracks from the LP to get fans interested in the project. The hip-hop vet’s newest loosie is “My Carz,” a track produced by the late and great J Dilla.
The electro hip-hop-infused production is not entirely new. The late studio maestro used the beat on “Trucks,” which currently appears on the just-released The Diary album. Also, the song samples Gary Numan’s classic 1979 track, “Cars.”
As for the lyrics, the Doggfather is simply boasting about his fleet of whips and chicks he likes to rotate on the daily. "My carz, they hot / My paint is wet / My bitches, they bad / And that's probably why you're mad," he rudimentarily spits.
"My Carz" is not the best Snoop Dogg performance, but it's good to hear the hip-hop vet rap over a Dilla beat despite it being a very dated J Dilla beat.
You can cop Snoop Dogg's Coolaid album via iTunes. Peep the track below.
Listen to Snoop Dogg's Song "My Carz" Produced by J Dilla
The rap game is out of control. For Ludacris, the industry is like a crap game -- you win some and you lose some. On his new single, “Charge It to the Rap Game,” the Atlanta rhymer details some of the outlandish shit that has happened to him during his 15-year career.
"Everyone out for money / Executives out for blood / If you don't keep the music current then labels will pull the plug, get it?" he raps. "Hard to admit when shit don't go the way you planned / While everybody is on Instagram just frontin' like life is grand."
Producer !llmind provides the fluttering computer beat and hand claps that will make your head nod. Overall, this is a dope song.
"Charge It to the Rap Game" will appear on Ludacris' upcoming album Ludaversal, which hits stores on March 31.
Hip-hop has always been synonymous with jazz but I don't have to tell you that -- just listen to any Gang Starr album.
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Maurice Brown (aka Mobetta) is merging those two worlds together on his upcoming album, Maurice Vs. Mobetta. The LP finds the musician balancing his love for jazz with his hip-hop alter ego, Mobetta.
The set's first single is 'Back at the Ranch' featuring Jean Grae.
The Olise Forel-directed video features Brown blowing his trumpet while Jean Greasy spits some tough-talking rhymes. Throughout the clip you'll see Brown in his fine threads (representing his jazz side) and then in street gear as Mobetta (representing his hip-hop side) hanging out with Grae.
Brown's album, Maurice Vs. Mobetta, will arrive in stores later this year. The collection boasts features from Talib Kweli, Prodigy and Consequence.