AUDIO: Sean Price, Billy Danze & Maffew Ragazino featuring DJ Babu’s “Land of the Crooks”

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Sean Price is hitting us with another finely crafted song, this one done by M-Phazes. It’s called “Land of The Crooks”, which means the hoodlums on Price’s team include Billy Danze, Maffew Ragazino, and that guy know as DJ Babuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…

This will be released on a forthcoming Coalmine Records compilation in January 2014 called Unearthed.

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SOME STUFFS: DJ Babu & Rakaa head to Europe in July for tour

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You may know DJ Babu and Rakaa as 2/3 of Dilated People, but that exact 2/3 will be going to Europe for a small handful of shows next month, performing as Expansion Team Soundsystem. It’s a chance for the both of them to, as Rakaa states, to do business “outside of the lines”, a party vibe, hip-hop style. This is where the Expansion Team Soundsystem will be traveling.

July 11… Paris, France (Nouveau Casino)
July 12… London, England (East Village – The Doctor’s Orders)
July 13… Frauenfeld, Switzerland (Openair Frauenfeld Festival)
July 14… Amsterdam, Netherlands (Bitterzoet) {DNA Amsterdam / Los Angeles opening after party}

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SOME STUFFS: Dilated Peoples ready to attack Europe

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Good news and bad news. First the good: Dilated Peoples will be heading to Europe for a month long tour beginning in Romania. Here’s a group who have been incredible from the start, and while they have managed to individually do things under their own right, people still respect the fact that they can continue to rock this as a group. Expect to hear group gems, solo joints, and more. Maybe Babu will do a dance or two, I don’t know, but find out:

Feb 02 – Bucharest, Romania @ The Silver Church
Feb 03 – Thessaloniki, Greece @ Principal Club Theatre
Feb 04 – Athens, Greece @ Fuzz Club
Feb 06 – Vienna, Austria @ ((szene))
Feb 07 – Cologne, Germany @ Underground
Feb 10 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Melkweg
Feb 11 – Munster, Germany @ Skaters Palace
Feb 12 – Paris,France @ Le Bataclan
Feb 13 – Gent, Belgium @ Vooruit
Feb 15 – Berlin, Germany @ Lido
Feb 17 – Laax, Switzerland @ Riders Palace
Feb 18 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo
Feb 19 – Nantes, France @ Hip Opsession (FESTIVAL)
Feb 20 – Porto, Portugal @ Hard Club
Feb 21 – Lisbon, Portugal @ The Lounge
Feb 23 – Madrid, Spain @ Rockitchen
Feb 24 – Barcelona, Spain @ Bikini
Feb 25 – Bilbao, Spain @ Bilborock
Feb 27 – London, UK @ 02 Academy Islington
Feb 28 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Strand
Feb 29 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Sticky Fingers
Mar 01 – Bern, Switzerland @ Dachstock

The bad news. The group are not going on tour in support of an album, usually the traditional way of doing things. That doesn’t mean the group are not going to pull out some future gems. Oh no.

Which allows me to revive “good news”: the group are assembling their mentals towards a brand new Dilated album to be released later this year. Since it is being assembled, no release dates or anything like that just yet. But when “yet”, you’ll know.

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VIDEO: Rakaa featuring Aloe Blacc’s “Crown Of Thorns”


It’s a song that sounds holier than thou, and maybe that’s because those sounds mean something to you. Listen to the lyrics and they’ll mean something too, if not more. This is Rakaa with “Crown Of Thorns”, bringing in Aloe Blacc. The video was directed by Jason Goldwatch, and while you’ll see a number of clips of special guests in the video, it also seems like a subtle tribute to Apple and Steve Jobs, perhaps unintentionally offering respect to someone whose creativity and intelligence allowed many artists and musicians to share their creativity and intelligence with the world.

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REVIEW: Creed Chamelon’s “The Vanishing Act” (mixtape)

Photobucket There’s a word that Creed Chameleon says on this album, one of many, that I can use to describe his music: heart. Some will say that a lot of today’s hip-hop has a lot of heart, but I will tell you: it doesn’t. Give me something with heart and soul, and what you’re doing is giving everyone a part of your time and effort, but your talent. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, or whatever: give me that in multiples and you will be able to pull it off.

I’ve been a fan of Creed Chameleon for awhile and I will admit, a part of it has to do with him being from Hawai’i. I don’t want anyone to think “oh, local pride, he’s going to gloat over this guy, let me go elsewhere”, that’s not the case here. There’s a part of that local pride, whether you’re from there, living there, or had to move. Creed now resides in Arizona but that does not and will not change my views on his music. Of course the reader is probably saying “you already went through two paragraphs in this review without mentioning a damn thing about the music, except that it has heart. You need to tell me why” and if you made it this far, then here you go.

The Vanishing Act may or may not be Creed’s sly way of saying he pulled one in his move from Hawai’i to Arizona, or maybe it has to do with his approach to the music, or maybe it has nothing to do with anything. It’s an assumption. But what I do not assume is what I hear here and what I’ve heard from him over the years. Creed is someone who applies a level of knowledge and skill into his music, never going beyond his capabilities nor does he try to add a bit of “extra” for the sake of doing so. He could, but what he does is him, this is his style. What I like is his storytelling, I could use a word like “poet” but anyone who writes and rhymes well doesn’t have to be a poet, even though he’s poetic. He reveals a bit of vulnerability in “Unforgiven”, driven with a Metallica song that pushes the point even further, but he shows that he’s not a machine but very much human, with the same kind of emotions that isn’t above hip-hop.

There are so many highlights on this mixtape, and let me say this before I continue. When one mentions that it’s a “mixtape”, it technically means it’s not a proper album even though the material here is just as good as a proper album. Consider this a sampling of what Creed can do and does, but instead of creating a mess of songs under a one project umbrella, it’s simply a collection of songs that feel and sound good. His work with producer/MC Osna are a highlight, including the Kanye West chipmunk funk of “So Far”, “In Life’s Summary”, and the smoothed out “Special Smile”, where Creed speaks about making music without limits, even though the means of obtaining music was not as free (figuratively and literally) as it might be today. When he brings on Mic Phenom from Seattle and the incredible Tassho Pearce into the scene, you are hearing some of the best hip-hop this year, as they take it on like superfriends and just deliver.

It’s hard to say which are the best songs, because the whole thing is just sharp, with little that I could call filler. The main man Trek Life rips shit up with Creed in “9 To 5”, as they share their opinions about putting their time in to make things work, as DJ Packo delivers some fierce scratches. This could easily be a hit song if it was pushed this way. Need another reason to hear this? DJ Babu handles the production in “Sarah”, and it’ll be a track that’ll make you stop in your tracks, lift up your hand, and celebrate.

Before I wrote this review, I had made a post on Twitter on how I felt two songs on The Vanishing Point reminded me of the chemistry shared between Method Man and Redman. I made this comparison to the two songs on the album where Creed brings in Prie. I’m a huge fan of Prie, and while both have unique styles on their own, together they come off like a team who are united. After I made the post and it was RT’d, someone was irked and felt that all comparisons were a bit foolish. Now, even when I said that my comparison does not suggest that Creed and Prie sounded anything like Meth or Redman, the reply I had was more or less “eh, same thing”. My thought was “aah, but my comparison was a lure towards you to respond, didn’t it?” That’s what my suggestion is about. There is something about a 2-man team in hip-hop that works, or a 3-man, 4-man, an egoless team that focuses on the word “teamwork”. Yes, you’re going to throw in your all to make you sound good, but for the same of team work, you’re going to make it work, and that’s what these two do in “The World Is Cold” and “Still In Love”, and I’m thinking yes: less ego, more of an emphasis on making damn good music.

On top of that, some fine production from Bad News, Guidebook, and Maineframe, and Osna’s work on this continues to impress. If Creed and Osna ever work together on a full project, even a 5-song EP, it could be ridiculous. My point in saying this is that regardless of who he works with, Creed shows he has heart not only in how he writes and how he performs, but how he brings that on with who he works with to help him make these songs. You want some hot quotes from lines or verses, nah, go listen to it yourself. It’s free, but allow his music to be a lure towards you wanting to hear more. Make an effort, and Creed will too, although he does this by default because it’s from the heart.

(The Vanishing Act can be downloaded for free by heading to 2DopeBoyz.com.)

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REVIEW: DJ Babu’s “Beat Tape Vol. 2”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Beat Tape Vol. 2 (Nature Sounds) is a new beat tape of solid instrumentals, consider it like a resume tape so possible clients can say “oh shit, falakaians, I want to work with the bungbungbalangoan DJ so he can wreck damage on the ping pong”, you know what I mean? The DJ I speak of is the tuktuluk man known as DJ Babu, and this thing has 39 tracks of potential hits, anyone can manipulate this shit talit and make it work malerk, from sped up samples going through echo chambers, fantastic horn strokes, and solid funk that comes from someone who is an expert in this. C’mon, you never heard of Babu? Fool.

While people will go out of their way to take these songs and rhyme over them, I hope the truly gifted will contact him in order to make new tracks. Babu has spread the wealth, now make it mutual.

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SOME STUFFS: DJ Babu brings out new installment of “The Beat Tape”

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When he’s not busy watching professional boxing matches, DJ Babu is tearing it up on the 1’s and 2’s, and yet he was able to take some time to put together a brand new album. This one is The Beat Tape Vol. 2 (Nature Sounds), an all-instrumental album, and it will be released on February 23, 2010, already a day packed with new music releases (i.e. Sade, Toro Y Moi). Here’s a preview of the album with the song “Lil’ Juanito” (Free Mp3 Download, 2.14mb).