FREE MP3 DL: “An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space”

If you read the title and know what Pepperland refers to, then you know it most likely has to do with The Beatles, and it does. Now you look at the graphic and are saying “but wait, I see Ol’ Dirty Bastard here. What’s going on?” In this case, it’s a remix project where Beatles samples were used to create new instrumentals for hip-hop songs. Look at all of the people who are on it, it’s insane. Here’s the track listing:
Part 1
Hello Hello – Edan
Mr Mustard – Big Daddy Kane
Second To None – Rakim
Taxman – The Notorius B.I.G.
Gentle Thief – Nas
Where I’m From – Large Professor
Country Grammar – Talib Kweli & Bun B
Parlay – J-Live
Twist – Salt-N-Pepper
Birthday Dedication – Busta Rhymes
Open Mic Session pt. 1 – Masta Ace, Percee P, Lord Finesse, Frankie Cutlass, Easy Mo Bee & KRS-One
Number Nine – YZ
Self Titled – Heltah Skeltah
Bang Bang – MOP
Pepper – Kool G Rap
Bring Your Friends – Public Enemy
Interlude / Bridge – MC Shan
Last Forever – Artifacts
For The Children – Freddie Foxxx
Ringo’s Big Beat Theme – Spoonie Gee
Hold Poppa’s Large Hand – Ultramagnetic MC’s
Open Mic Session pt. 2 – Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane & Rakim
The End – Run DMC & Afrika Bambaataa
Circles – Wu-Tang Clan
Brooklyn Walrus – Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Buckshot , Masta Ace & Special Ed
Part 2
Secrets – Slick Rick
Beneath The Diamond Sky – The Genius/GZA
Within Tomorrow – Busta Rhymes
The Beginning – Sunz Of Man
Gentle Drama – The RZA & Rugged Monk
Becausizm – KRS-One & Channel Live
Mary Jane – Tha Alkaholiks
Bong Water – Viktor Vaughn
Hold On
Love In Summertime – Ghostface Killah & Beyonce
And I Lover Her Crazy – Jay-Z & Beyonce
Ruffneck Soldier – MC Lyte
Hey! – Beastie Boys
Get Back To The City – Large Professor
Hard To Leave Home – Nas
The Flyest – AZ
And Who? – Heiroglyphics
Lonely Thoughts – The Notorious B.I.G.
Can You Dig It? – Gravediggaz
How To Smile – 2Pac & Scarface
A Day In New York – AZ, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah

Stream it in full above or if you just want to download it and carry it with you on your travels, head to

FREE DL: Amerigo Gazaway’s “The Big Payback Volume 3: J​.​B. & The Soul Mates”
Amerigo Gazaway has a way of getting the flavor out of the deepness of music, and he has done it once again by turning James Brown’s music inside out and creating The Big Payback Volume 3: J​.​B. & The Soul Mates, merging JB with Fela Kuti, Jeru The Damaja, Bob Marley, Busta Rhymes, Biggie Smalls Mobb Deep, Michael Jackson, and others. This one is a freebie, so stream and listen, then get to downloading.

VIDEO: Amplify Dot featuring Busta Rhymes’ “I’m Good”

You have allowed the new song by Amplify Dot to simmer in your noggin, now you’ll get a chance to see how it excites your visuals. It’s for the song “I’m Good”, and while Busta Rhymes doesn’t appear in the video, his verse is a big part of the song. Dot is carrying the sound system on her bike, how you like her now?

AUDIO: Amplify Dot featuring Busta Rhymes’ “I’m Good”

 photo AmplifyDotIG_cover_zps492e8af3.jpg
British as fuck, and proud, Amplify Dot is back with a very hot track, and she brings in Busta Rhymes into the lair. Reason? She’s good, and they both express themselves in “I’m Good”. Bank on this one.

REVIEW: Large Professor’s “Professor @ Large”

Photobucket From now until the end of the world (five more months), there will always be the debate of what makes up “real hip-hop”. Forget that. The new album by Large Professor is just “that damn good hip-hop”. Professor @ Large (Fat Beats), to me at least, represents quality hip-hop as I like to hear it. Some will say “as it should be done”, but the music has always been diverse, moving in as many direction as it wants without anyone knowing. However, if you have admired Large Professor’s lyrics, rapping, and production style, this will definitely be of interest to you as it feels like this vibe has never stopped being an inspiration. Of an era, forever, never an error.

While the album does have a wide range of special guests, forget that. What I like about this is that Large Professor doesn’t write in one style. He doesn’t rhyme one way. He gets into his own grooves and shows the listener how to decorate the surroundings, because you’re in his home, where he is at his most comfortable. What you’ll hear are samples that aren’t afraid to make itself known, pulled from a wide range of semi-unknown sources. It’s music of a thrill seeker and a risk-taker, back when that was in abundance. There’s a wealth of rock samples in this, and the sample heads will go “oh damn, he made that song rock even harder than it originally was” or “holy crap, what in the hell was that?” Those who do the reserach will find all the source material on their own time, but it’s creating brand new music out of the obscure and forgotten, making it funky and extending its life like the deep music fan he is.

As for those cameos? Busta Rhymes, Cormega, Tragedy Khadafi, Action Bronson, Mic Geronimo, Grand Daddy IU, Roc Marciano… you want more names? Forget it, listen to the album yourself, find album info elsewhere. All of the guests come to Large Professor to honor one of hip-hop’s best, and what I like about Professor @ Large too is that while all of them are there to show and prove, it’s not an ego fest. The verse by Busta Rhymes is arguably one of his best in years. and there will be many who will say “how come Bussa Bus don’t keep on rapping like he did here?”

@ Large is what the Professor is, and as for being in charge? Everyone has a place and time, but then there’s those who create without a sense of time. Timeless? Era-less, never an error, forever.

DUST IT OFF: Leaders Of The New School “A Future Without A Past…” 20 years later


  • Rap music was moving at a pace in 1991 that was a lot faster than anything that had happened in the 1980’s. It wasn’t just about good music and party vibes, it was about power moves and stability in every sense of the world. If some rappers found themselves unable to be a part of the musical changes of the early 1990’s, they were often left behind, immediately becoming of the old school. There was nothing wrong with that, but it also meant your shelf life expired.
  • An old school mentality exists because of the new school that comes in, clean behind the ears and eager to get started and create history, to do the old school one better, or at least to make an attempt to do something other than what the established norm did. While one part of hip-hop was embracing the forbidden warmth of hardcore rap, there was another side that people preferred, one that was arguably more positive. It was still feel-good hip-hop, and the Native Tongue collective were the focus of what felt like a movement, but were nothing more than a community of friends, rappers, and producers who wanted to add their own level of creativity to the mix. De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Jungle Brothers were the groups that united in the Native Tongue, but because of the attitudes they presented in their music and public personas, Leaders Of The New School were often linked with that good vibe feeling.
  • The first time I heard and saw the video for “Case Of The PTA”, and that Alice Cooper school bell ring in, I was hooked. The song was uptempo, their lyrical approach was in your face, and they came off as a bunch of guys who would welcome you in to the fun they were having. Dinco D, Busta Rhymes, and Charlie Brown each offered a verse and one was able to pick and choose who was a personal favorite. For some reason I liked Dinco D, I always felt his flow was nice and always did some lyrics that I could get into. Charlie Brown was kooky but always a good listen. I liked Busta Rhymes as well, but really didn’t appreciate him until LONS came out with “What’s Next” for their follow-up album. I can listen to A Future Without A Past today and hear a Busta who was more than ready to take on anyone, both newcomers and stalwarts, but back then I felt they sounded like an incredible unit that could not be messed with. The album was designed to be heard in thirds: Homeroom, Lunchroom, and Afterschool, a concept that the group came up with as they were in the studio putting the songs together. The attention “Case Of The PTA” gave the group would make Elektra release two more singles by the group, “Sobb Story” and “The International Zone Coasters”, each of which gave A Future Without A Past attention, leading to decent sales for the record.
  • To my ears, the energy on the album was great, with rhymes that seemed youthful and eager, supported by productions that at times felt like they were battling with the words, but in a good way. I wasn’t the only one who sensed this:

    Jesse Dangerously (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
    Ah, Leaders Of The New School… the Lil B of their day.

    James Browne (Bellevue, Washington)
    For me “Sobb Story” stood out on the album because a.) I’m a sucker for story raps period. b.) Eric Sadler (I believe) killed it on production. and C.) The song was basically about not having a whip, and the freedom and prestige that (not) having one (can) bring. That’s something most of us can relate to. Plus the rhymes themselves are hilarious! My favorite is Dinco D’s because just like in his rhyme, I knew a kid who had a nice whip and never had money for gas and always had cats he really didn’t know with him in the car.

    Samfry Cephus Jenkinson and Channing Smith (Seattle, Washington)
    SCJ: I might have to go back and listen…… was one of those albums that I was “supposed” to like, but I was underwhelmed….I only liked “Feminine Fatt”…and the single.
    CS: I don’t remember the album being that great. I will have to listen to it again as well. There were a lot of classic albums that came out in 1991.
    SCJ: and that LONS album was not one of them.

    Spain Rodriguez (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
    Released on July 2, 1991, Leaders of the New School’s “Future Without a Past” was a vibrant, colorful, unique and creative blast of original hip-hop for me. It dropped the summer before my senior year of high school and I immediately put it into my NY-heavy listening rotation next to Tribe, De La, 3rd Bass, Gangstarr, Brand Nubian, KMD & Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. The 4 cats from Uniondale embodied a more tree-lined, green grass view of hip-hop (check out the “Sobb Story” video). It felt suburban to me compared with the more concrete and city streets feel of some other contemporaries. I was immediately hooked by the supremely dusted-out piano jazziness of the 1st single “Case of the P.T.A.” (they just don’t make beats like that anymore). Dinco, Bust and Charlie Brown were almost cartoonish in many ways, from the gear to the flows, L.O.N.S. were sonic technicolor. Production-wise the LP was mix of 2 of my fav production crews – the Bomb Squad (represented by Eric ‘Vietnam” Sadler) and the crate dug breaks and jazz samples of the SD50’s. The album had and almost retro-future feel in my ears, the way the MC’s flowed harkened back to the days of the Cold Crush & the Fantastic Five and bobbed and weaved over adventurous tracks (check out “Sound Of The Zeekers @#^**?!”…damn) . Another standout track and one of my faves, “Sobb Story” had an almost ragtime feel in the chorus along with the breezy springtime beat and it went along perfectly with my own car-less dilemma at that time The Leaders had major personality on the mic; a young Busta Rhymes sounded like no MC before him, Charlie Brown (to this day still one of my favorite MC’s) had such an ill flow with the “oohs” and “aaahs” and Dinco D. kept it subdued and mellow. The overall tag-team feel of the voices reminded me of an afterschool freestyle session, except the Leaders were much more creative and intricate with the lyrics and cadences. Listening the album takes me back to simpler times, both in my life and in hip-hop music. The early 90’s was the pinnacle for hip-hop IMO. Creatively speaking, it was the absolute apex of the art form. And personally the music was just a lot more “fun”. “A Future Without A Past” is a definite sonic time capsule of an early 90’s teen right before the rigors of “real life” appear on the horizon. The East Coast stomp lives on.

  • I like what Spain Rodriguez said, in that it felt like a time capsure of the early 90’s. I was 20 at the time of the release of A Future Without A Past, and I too felt like it was the perfect album “right before the rigors of “real life”. I was still wondering what I’d be doing for a living, going to punk shows and writing my zine. Rap music kept me going in a place that didn’t have a place for someone like me, so the LONS united vibe, that musketeer “one for all and all for one” attitude, seemed to be one to believe in. That is, if only the group themselves believed in what they were spreading in their messages.

  • It is known that there was tension amongst the members of Leaders Of The New School, some of which was exposed in television interviews the group had before and after the release of their second album, T.I.M.E.. That tension lead to the downfall and demise of the group, which caught a lot of people by surprise. As with rock, fans were hoping to believe in the theory that every artist should reach their third album in order to find a level of success. With Leaders Of The New School, they not only didn’t create a third album, but due to the tension they were having with one another and those around them, one person close to the recording process feels they should have never released an album as a group in the first place. Perhaps the title A Future Without A Past seems prophetic in retrospect.
  • A few things may surprise fans about songs on the album. While Busta Rhymes was credited as producer of “Sound Of The Zeekers @#?**?!”, it may have been Backspin who had a major hand in the production, although Busta was said to be proficient on the drums. As for Backspin, the group insisted on having him work on the album for them, despite a suggestion to work with other producers. While Cut Monitor Milo was given a credit for producing “Case Of The PTA”, it was actually Stimulated DummiesJohn Gamble who was said to have come up with the track (Milo did supply the Ramsey Lewis record that was one of the song’s core samples. While Milo was the group’s “Cut Monitor” (DJ), it was Charlie Brown who did most of the cuts throughout the album. While “International Zone Coaster” was celebrated and (according to Wikipedia) became a #1 rap hit for the group, the song can be viewed as a metaphor for the turmoil going on and the eventual demise of the group. The song would go through a lot of different mixes and remixes before they came up with the final mix. LONS did record one or two more songs during the sessions that didn’t make the album, one of them being a personal favorite, “Shining Star” (later released on the MCA soundtrack for the film Strictly Business. The beat that starts out “Shining Star” can also be heard in “Sobb Story”.)

    While the group started out as one with a fun vibe and one with infinite potential, the internal struggles seemed doom everything for the start. Despite Busta Rhymes going out of his way to maintain some level of unity and cohesiveness within the group, it became obvious to him that this was a formula that could not work. In fact, according to an interview Busta did for Vlad TV (see video below), the group had already split up when Dante Ross approached the group after seeing all of them at the Payday club. Busta already had his solo career planned, and the other members of LONS (or at least Charlie Brown) were more than ready to work without him. Busta reveals that when he said he was already out of the group, Ross told him that if he was truly not with LONS, as he saw them at the club that night, he was no longer interested in signing them. In many ways Busta went above and beyond expectations to keep the group together, perhaps as a means to try to salvage whatever could be saved, if possible.

    As they were doing prep work for the second album, the staff at Elektra did not like what they were hearing. Some were saying that the second album should have never seen the light of day, even going so far as to say that Milo should have never rapped on the album. One might say that should’ve been the moment Busta Rhymes’s solo career started, but the second album made it out anyway with “What’s Next” being the initial focus on an album that was beyond blurred. T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind’s Eye), received mixed reviews upon release, and quickly lost momentum among fans. The group fell apart, and Busta was eventually signed as a solo artist. For a brief moment it seemed Busta was popping up in everyone else’s songs and videos, and as the video below indicates, he was more comfortable with A Tribe Called Quest than he was with LONS. Once he had control of his talents as a rapper and what he wanted to do to build his brand name, he never stopped. See the man running in the laundromat in A Tribe Called Quest’s “1nce Again”? Consider that running away from a bad situation and towards a better future without that past.

  • While the group still has a loyal following for their two-album output, LONS became a small footnote in hip-hop history. As someone who always liked A Future Without A Past, it does change the way I listen to one of my favorite albums, but with a renewed awareness of what went down, I now hear a group that was considered to have infinite potential, only for things to dissolve before that potential could be logically realized.