VIDEO: Apollo Brown & Ras Kass’ “Humble Pi”

At the top of the month, I presented you a song from a forthcoming collaborative album by Apollo Brown and Ras Kass called Blasphemy (Mello Music Group), coming out on Mp3 and CD October 28th, while the vinyl pressing will surface on November 11th (you may pre-order your copy (on red, white & blue vinyl) by heading here, or go there to have the LP in standard black (180g).) The two men and the label decided to reveal another track, complimented with a video. Check out “Humble Pi” and see where these two will take you.

AUDIO: Apollo Brown & Ras Kass featuring Pharoahe Monch & Rakaa Iriscience’s “H20”

Look at the names and you are bound to be impressed:
Apollo Brown
Ras Kass
Pharoahe Monch
Rakaa Iriscience

That’s the cool chief Rakaa right here. The song is called “H20”, and will appear on the forthcoming Apollo Brown & Ras Kass album on Mello Music Group called Blasphemy so you know if the song here is this good, the album has to be exceptional, which will be released on MP3 and CD on October 28th. For the vinyl pressing, , which will be out on November 11th, you may pre-order your copy (on red, white & blue vinyl) by heading here, or go there to have the LP in standard black (180g).

VIDEO: Apollo Brown featuring Quelle Chris, Ras Kass, yU, Has-Lo & Cavalier’s “Cellophane Cypher”

As a candy bar once said, two great things can definitely taste great together, but what happens if it pertains to rappers and it’s a combination of three rappers? How about four? Now let’s make it five, could you handle it? You have to, as Apollo Brown has given a “Cellophane Cypher”, where he wheels up Ras Kass, yU, Cavalier, Quelle Chris, and Has-Lo for an intense song for all senses.

AUDIO: Pawz One’s “Face The Facts”

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Face The Facts is the latest album from rapper Pawz One, which you can stream right now via Bandcamp. Masta Ace, Ras Kass, Rakaa, and 2Mex are just some of the people helping out Pawz on this one, 17 tracks plus a remix of “The Luv”. I’m not sure who the guy is next to Bruce Lee and above Jam Master Jay, it looks a bit like Carlos Santana but (as of this writing) he is not dead yet. Nonetheless, snag this album when you can.

SOME STUFFS: Golden era hip-hop show at the Roxy in L.A. tonight

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Tonight in Los Angeles at around 8pm, things will be pumping at the Roxy with a very cool show being put together by Adam XII’s AFEX. Some of the people scheduled to perform tonight include Cypress Hill’s B-Real. Divine Styler, Justin Warfield, King Tee, Large Professor of Main Source, Ras Kass, Beat Junkies’ Mr. Choc, Volume 10 (yes, THAT Volume 10, AMG, and many more. It happens at The Roxy Theatre (9009 West Sunset Blvd.). Tickets can be pre-ordered by clicking the link at The show is 21 and over, no exceptions. Make sure to read all of the information before ordering a ticket, so you’re not stuck outside listening to wall reverb.

VIDEO: Shottie featuring Ras Kass’ “Skyrider”

Don’t know what it is: the approach of the percussion in the track, the laid back vibe of the song, the fact that Shottie and Ras Kass are hanging around planes, I don’t know but this works for me. They both show why they are some of the best rappers out there, and they unite for “Skyriver”, taken from Shottie’s Delorean album (my review of which can be read by clicking here.)

REVIEW: Oh No’s “Ohnomite”

Photobucket For some people, when they listen to the tracks on the 21-track album Ohnomite (Five Day Weekend/Brick), they might want to call it this type of hip-hop or that type of hip-hop, balancing on the thin line between opinions of the greatest and the elitist. I’ll tell you what I think: this is hip-hop. Period.

Being “of the hip-hop spirit” runs in the family, and when you hear this, you’ll understand. Ohnomite may be celebrated for a few things: the amount of different MC’s and producer collaborators that help out Oh No on this, although the one thing that is constant is his own production, for he is in control of this entire album. His rhymes go anywhere and everywhere, crazy and abstract when it can be but distinct and direct when it matters, everything carefully written/choreographed like a surprise football play.

Musically, this shows the strength, power, and influence of underground hip-hop, which for me has always been major and at times better than what is pushed as mainstream music, thus the spirit Oh No has. This is why Frank Nitt (of Frank-N-Dank), MF DOOM, Phife, The Alchemist, Chino XL, Med ,Guilty Simpson, Sticky Fingaz, Phil The Agony, Rapper Big Pooh, and Erick Sermon among others are all on here: there’s a vibe here that is unspoken but is heard in each of these tracks: go for what you know, go for broke, and don’t give a fuck.

Being the younger brother of Madlib, being spontaneous and making music that sounds like a trippy collage of anything and everything (i.e. random scatterbrain funkiness) seems to be part of the family DNA. Yet you enter Ohnomite not to follow a distinct storyline or concept, but being confident in the mission about to take place and putting face in Oh No, knowing that you will be in one piece at its conclusion. Once again, this is not a specific type or style of hip-hop. For me, this is hip-hop. You’re welcome.

REVIEW: Various Artists’ “URBNET – Underground Hip-Hop Volume 07”

Photobucket At the moment the mainstream used hip-hop music for its selfish benefit, it was when one half of the music stunted its own growth. The other half went to college, decided to experiment, try new substances, smell new smells, explore culinary delights, and went out of its way to show that entering new school meant truly opening the new book of knowledge. URBNET‘s brand new compilation, Underground Hip-Hop Vol. 07 is a perfect example of the energies of MC, DJ’s, and producers who may have the energy of youth but are ready to take on the mic as adults to show and prove.

The artists here are not the sole example of what underground hip-hop is about, but merely a slice of some of the best that is out there today. There’s incredible work here from D-Sisive, Moka Only, Declaim, Rel!g!on (whose “Classical Musical” is an optimistic view of how this music will one day be discussed in high regard in 2000 years, with Ras Kass, Torae, and Planet Asia offering their testimonies), Emay, Noah23 & Krem, Animal Nation, and many more.

If there’s one stand-out verse, it has to be that found in Pigeon Hole‘s “Loop Tape”, which will definitely bring back memories for those who will listen to this album and understand exactly what they’re trying to do:

“I grew on the classics, The Chronic‘s, Illmatic‘s
36 Chambers, even Ill & Al Skratch shit
back when we used to laugh how ugly Craig Mack is
when Del still did acid and Hiero was massive
Southernplayalistic Outkast Cadillac shit
Something for my Walkman, I could sing along and rap with
Doggystyle was a favorite
Even though mom and dad probably just hated me for playing it
Sayin’ shit like “G’z up, ho’s down”
And biyaach, we would watch Rap City soul out
Don’t front, don’t front, you know I gotcha opin
I would read The Source for all the verses they were quotin’
When Stakes were High and 5 mics with no lie
Scarface had the diary and Bushwick had no eye
Shimmy Shimmy Ya, Shimmy yeah, shimmy yay
Used to love H.E.R., still do, just in a different way

Get this.

SOME STUFFS / RECORD CRACK: Ras Kass receives full support from Kickstarter project

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Almost a month ago, Ras Kass put up his project via Kickstarter, leading some hip-hop fans to question the need for any artist, specifically a respected MC, to put up something like this. However, I felt that what Ras Kass did was take his project to the fans, didn’t make a big request for a large amount to raise funds to produce the album, and he posted it. (One particular article looked at Public Enemy doing the same thing on another website, where they were only able to raise just under 30 percent of the goal they were seeking.)

As you can see below, he surpassed his goal with (as I write this) 35 days to go. Statistics on Kickstarter show that he has 115 people backing him on his project, donating $6,557 towards the A.D.I.D.A.S. (All Day I Dream About Spittin’) album, either on CD or vinyl. Two individuals donated at the 1200 dollar price range.

His intention was to reach a goal of $3,800, so the fact that he met and surpassed this goal with about a month before the deadline shows that people are willing to show support for an artist and project if it’s worth their time and money. Since the period to donate is still open, you can make a donation if you wish.

SOME STUFFS/RECORD CRACK: Ras Kass uses Kickstarter for new album

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A few months ago I posted a news item about Mindy Raf wanting to create a record under her comedic persona, Leibya Rogers through a website called Kickstarter. As a fan of comedy and comedy albums, I showed my support by making a donation and Raf/Rogers succeeded in getting enough people to make donations for the project. Kickstarter has a number of great projects where people can ask for help to complete it, from short films to full length documentaries, books to comics, and more. Now there’s a new project created by a respected hip-hop MC.

Ras Kass gained a bit of attention when he was signed to Priority Records in the mid-90’s, leading to the great albums Soul On Ice and Reassassination. Issues with Priority moved him to leave the label, and he has kept underground and somewhat low-key ever since, with fans following his works along the way. He hasn’t been quiet either. Ras released the album Quarterly via in November, and now he’s trying something new.

Ras is using Kickstarter as a way to release the album to fans who want it, and he does this by asking for donations. The goal is to raise $3800 by mid-April, and various donations come with different package deals, consider it like making an advance order. One amount leads to you getting the CD of the final album, another can lead to you getting the vinyl version and the CD, a different one will bring you the CD, vinyl, plus a T-shirt. The largest amount that can be donated is $1000, where you’ll get a lot of goodies with that, including a “special producer” credit on the album, a shout out in one of the songs on the album, and a phone call from the man, plus a free ticket to any concert of his.

Some may think “WTF, this sounds fishy” but Ras Kass is not the first artist to do this. A lot of artists, including Monday Michiru, have often created similar projects where you become an “executive producer of sorts, so that if you support them and want the music, you make a donation towards it. When it’s done, you get a copy of it, plain and simple. With this Ras Kass/Kickstarter, you make a donation which sits in escrow with You will not be charged until the last day of the donation period, and only if he has received the donation amount requested. If the amount isn’t reached, you do not get charged, simple as that.

With luck, the attention towards the Ras Kass/Kickstarter project will lead to him working with others MC’s and producers to keep him working and recording in the 10’s.