"Just Begun"-Reflection Eternal feat. Mos Def and Jay Electronica

From the upcoming Reflection Eternal album. Cool to see J. Cole eating this track, Mos Def spitting flames and Jay Electronica getting some shine. 

Iron Man II Trailer

Not too sold on Whiplash as a main villain, but this will be a blockbuster. More sarcastic quips from Tony Starks and the first appearance of War Machine.

"Legal Money"-Styles P (Video)/Broken Safety

New video from The Ghost as he prepares "The Green Ghost" project for a release on February 2nd, 2010

While you're at it, DL this superb Styles P mixtape. I've been bumping "Broken Safety" steadily. Pinerooooo

"Pyrex Vision"-Raekwon (Video) (NSFW)

Ahhh yes...another video for one of the best songs off of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. Good to see The Chef making moves and getting critical acclaim. Shoutouts to Onsmash.

My Favorite Hip Hop Releases of 2009

In retrospect, 2009 was a stellar year for hip hop. Newcomers burst onto the scene and established themselves as the new generation and veterans gave us solid releases. I spent the majority of my night listening to some music I got into my Ipod this year and here’s my top 10. This is all opinion but the first three are sureshot. The others are in no particular order. Without further ado:


The TOP album of the year goes to Only Built For Cuban Linx II. They say you cannot rush greatness and in this case that proved extremely true. This album was 14 years in the making and featured production from Dr. Dre, J. Dilla, RZA, Marley Marl and Alchemist. It had three of the year’s most RIDICULOUS instrumentals: “Surgical Gloves”, a straight SINISTER Alchemist creation; “House of Flying Daggers”, a militant, driving, metallic sonic backdrop from J. Dilla; and “10 Bricks”, another hypnotic J. Dilla creation with a guitar plucked yet thumping instrumental. The album was released to great critical acclaim and recently gained the #7 spot on Time Magazine’s Top 10 albums of 2009. If you haven’t copped this album, please be sure to do so. You wont be disappointed.


The second favorite release of 2009 goes to J. Cole’s The Warm Up. I first heard about Cole when I was interning at Def Jam. My man Vic put me onto the kid and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made to listen to a new artist. I liked The Come Up, his previous mixtape and really looked forward to this release. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times and he’s been cool and humble. He also got my respect; at his release part for The Warm Up, he stood outside with members of his team and handed out promotional copies of the mixtape and chatted with attendees. That’s the type of hunger you rarely see from a lotta artists. He’s on Roc Nation and with his verses on “Star Is Born” and “Beautiful Bliss” (he TOTALLY blacked out on this shit) , he’s made himself stand out amongst the newer class of MCs. This kid is a problem; I think what separates him from a lotta artists is his obvious hunger and also that he’s relatable. Definitely will look forward to any new releases from him. Download here.


The Blueprint III marks the third best release this year. Little known fact: part of the reason that I took the internship at Def Jam was to do anything to contribute to this album as S.C is my favorite all time rapper. Copying, filing, WHATEVER. Literally. Stan status . Fuck it. Dude ends up going to Atlantic to wrap up his “last” album and drops this on September 8th. Honestly, it took a few spins to grow on me; NO I.D., Timbo and Ye produced the majority of the album, but it coulda used some more audio heat from Just Blaze. I also wasn’t too big a fan of some of the features (Rihanna on “Run This Town”, Drake on “Off That”) , but I must say that Cudi’s appearance on “Already Home” wasn’t as bad as I expected. It’s strategically different from Hov’s previous releases and he knows it, blatantly telling us “niggas want my old shit, buy my old albums”. With the exception of the gratingly annoying “On To The Next One” and the clichéd “Reminder” (where Jay reminds us for the 1,000,000th time why he’s that good), I’ve grown to like the album. Sidenote: For the record, the best “cocky” Jay-z incarnation came on Volume III. In any case, “Empire State of Mind” has proven to be the undisputed NY anthem and “Venus vs. Mars” is a clever take on the male/female dynamic. THE standout track to me that captures Jay is “So Ambitious”. Pharell and Jay gave us a BANGER. Shawn’s more like the elder statesman of hip hop right now, so I can appreciate the mature direction the album took.


So Far Gone made Drake a superstar without any major label backing. It’s a strategic release with more of an R&B undertone than a hip hop one that worked extremely well for the Toronto representative. It spawned two of the biggest hits this year in the Trey Songz assisted “Successful” and “Best I Ever Had” with “Unstoppable” featuring Lil’ Wayne and SantoGold running a close third. This kid can flat out spit as demonstrated on Comeback Season and Room for Improvement, but with Drake displaying his singing talent, SFG really showedanother dimension to his artistry. Drake holds his own with Lil’ Wayne on “Ignant Shit”, spitting lines like “But I never get attracted to fans, cuz an eager beaver could be the collapse of a dam/Always knew that I could figure, how to get these label heads to offer him good figures and me doing the shows getting everyone nervous, cuz them hipsters gon’ have to get along with them hood niggas”. The kid has a distinct ability to pick instrumentals that just bring out the strengths in his delivery. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just like his instrumentals compliment his lyrics VERY well. Aside, from this, Drake’s been killing damn near every feature/"loose song" he’s been on (see: “Every Girl”, “More Milli”, etc). I am worried about overexposure, but I think when it's all said and done, Drake will give us a quality album.


      The Thornton Brothers provide us with Till The Casket Drops, the last "major" release of 2009. This Columbia Records sponsored album gave them a chance to work with the likes of Rick Rubin; the Neptunes, DJ Khalil and Sean C and LV provided the audio heroin for us. My favorite tracks are "Popular Demand" featuring Cam'ron (this shit KNOCKS), "Freedom" and "Life Change". The album seems to give us a look into the "renewed" Clipse. It seems they got away from the "Nightmares" of Hell Hath No Fury and have a new lease on life, especially on "Life Change" which provides a somewhat triuphant end to the album. Malice sees the light: “Money, hoes and clothes is Malice’s past tense/All sins forgiven, all you do is ask Him”. I really think “Eyes on Me” featuring Keri Hilson has crossover radio potential and could be heavy in the clubs. “Doorman” is gonna have to grow on me, but it’s good to see that they finally were able to put out a solid album with all of the label BS that has affected their career.

6    6.The LeftoverUnmixedtape was more of a compilation of old Elzhi tracks featuring featured and unreleased works. The production ranged from Black Milk to Jake One to Moss and provided a great sonic backdrop for Elz to paint his vivd pictures on. The tape literally dropped last week so you can get it here.


Deeper Than Rap was an interesting album. Despite the conflict with Fif. Despite the pictures and denials. Despite the baby mama smuttery. Ross put together a surprisingly cohesive album. If anything, the man’s imagination deserves a lot of credit. “Mafia Music” has to be one of the most assertive tracks released this year with "Magnificent" being a certified problem as well. My main gripe with this album was that "Cigar Music" was left off of it as well as the misplaced tracks featuring The Dream and Ne-yo respectively. All in all, I liked this album. Cant ever forget about "Maybach Music II" either.


8.  The Boss of All Bosses mixtape. Good release from Killa Cam. Featured Harlem new jack Vado and DJ Drama. After the atrocity that was Crime Pays, the streets wanted something even slightly resembling vintage Killa. We got it with this release. Check it out.

8   9.

      I think a lot. I liked to be entertained but can appreciate music that can make me think. Manifest Destiny did just that for me. I admittedly don’t go to church anymore and this release made me question some of the decisions I’ve made regarding religion, even if it were for a brief moment of time. It’s definitely not a “gospel rap” record (at all), but it addressed the innate human need to connect to a Higher Power quite well. I will say that Poe is a very “aggressive” artist and you’ll see why when you listen to “Bask in My Glory”. Overall, if you’d like your thoughts provoked check this out.


      The Network was a solid release from Young Chris. After peeping The Newprint and a couple of other mixtape releases from the Philly native, I was geeked to get my hand on this. Chris is arguably the second best from State Property (or whatever’s left of it) and this mixtape served as something to hold us over till “Now or Never” comes out (not that I’m holding my breath). “Last Two”? Silly. DL here.