Posts Tagged ‘Phonte

29
Jan
10

Album Review: Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson

Strong Arm Steady - In Search of Stoney Jackson

Strong Arm Steady – In Search of Stoney Jackson [MP3 Download]

Stones Throw Records | Blacksmith Records

By Mookie

Back when Death Row Records dominated the West Coast rap game, a loose collective of Cali-based emcees including frontman Xzibit, formed Strong Arm Steady and built a considerable buzz on the underground circuit with a number of popular mixtapes. Since then, X-to-the-Z along with a handful of other members left the group, making Strong Arm Steady a trio composed of Mitchy Slick, Phil Da Agony, and Krondon.

In Search of Stoney Jackson is the group’s second studio album, and the first to be released on Talib Kweli‘s label, Blacksmith Records Stones Throw Records. With exclusive production from the legendary Madlib and features from the likes of Phonte (of Little Brother), Evidence, and Planet Asia among others, on paper, this project couldn’t look much better.

The actual result proved to be less than amazing. While Madlib holds up his end on the production, masterfully crafting a number of impressive, sample-heavy beats, Strong Arm Steady disappoints lyrically on the majority of the album. Phil Da Agony sounds awkward as he fumbles through most of his verses, almost as if he was rhyming off the top of his head the whole time. And while Krondon‘s efforts are quality at different times throughout the album, it’s not enough to single-handedly support the group when Phil didn’t bring his A-game and Mitchy Slick is borderline absent, only appearing on two of the album’s 18 tracks.

 But don’t write Stoney Jackson off just yet, guest appearances save this album’s replay value. Phonte comes through on the opener Best Of Times with the smoothest of hooks and Talib Kweli drops a dope verse on the Roxanne Shante-sampling Get Started. Unfortunately, some guest spots hurt more than they help. Like the cluttered True Champs that unsuccessfully squeezes in verses from 5 different rappers.

 As I mentioned before, Madlib really makes sure there’s not a negative comment to say about the production on this album. Songs like “Pressure,” my personal favorite, make it impossible for you not to bob your head to the bass-infested beat. The same ensues on the mean-mug worthy “Ambassadors”, while he flaunts a more laid-back style on “Chittlins & Pepsi”.

 If your a big fan of Strong Arm Steady, In Search of Stoney Jackson might be a disappointment as it clearly sits on the shoulders of good guest features and exceptional production, but if your just looking for some quality underground West Coast rap, pick this one up – it’s worth a spin.

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28
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2004-5)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

Let’s keep it movin’, shall we?

Click the covers or names to bolster my Amazon affiliate account buy your copy at Amazon. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2004

1. Kanye West – College Dropout

2. Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib) – Madvillainy

3. The Roots – The Tipping Point

4. Murs & 9th Wonder – 3:16: The Ninth Edition

5. Masta Ace – A Long, Hot Summer

6. De La Soul – The Grind Date

7. Foreign Exchange (Nicolay & Phonte) – Connected

8. T.I. – Urban Legend

9. Cam’ron – Purple Haze

10. Nas – Street’s Disciple

Honorable Mentions: Royce Da 5’9” – Death Is Certain, Twista – Kamikaze

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2005

1. Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter II

2. Common – BE

3. Kanye West – Late Registration

4. The Game – The Documentary

5. Sean Price – Monkey Barz

6. Young Jeezy – Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101

7. Juelz Santana – What The Game’s Been Missing!

8. Notorious B.I.G. – Duets

9. Danger Doom – The Mouse & The Mask

10. Quasimoto – The Further Adventures of Lord Quas

Honorable MentionsBeanie Sigel – The B. Coming, Black Market Militia – Black Market MilitiaEdan – Beauty and the Beat

We’re half-way through the decade, stick with me ’til the end! Next up, ’06-7..

19
Oct
09

Events This Week: CMJ Showcases

 

CMJ

Here’s a rundown of some dope CMJ showcases this week, check out the full schedule here. Be sure and cop some tickets, support the artists.

I’ll be in the building for two maybe three of the events listed here. Hit me if you wanna link up, Enjoy!

Today

The Warm Up

2DB x illRoots present The Warm Up Hip-Hop Showcase
Santos Party House

Tuesday

Clipse

Clipse
Hiro Ballroom
Presented by MySpace Music, Socialight & Digiwaxx

Southpaw
 
Southpaw
8:00 – DJ Souljah
9:00 – Jasmine Solano
9:30 – Stalley
10:00 – Mr. Move
10:20 – Trouble Andrew
11:00 – Wiz Kalifa
11:40 – Puba
12:10 – U-God
 
Wednesday

Better Recognize

B.B.King’s Blues Bar & Grill
Better Recognize
Presented by OnSmash & NahRight
Raekwon
Styles P
OJ Da Juiceman
Wacka Flocka
Kidz in the Hall
Curren$y
Donnis
Pill
Emilio Rojas
Stalley
DJ Green Lantern

BB

Drom
Presented by Brooklyn Bodega:
Hosted by Wes Jackson
6:00 – DJ Parler
7:00 – Those Chosen
7:20 – Kimberly Nichole
7:35 – Jesse Boykins III
7:55 – Diamond District
8:15 – Big Sean
8:35 – Pac Div
9:00 – DJ Parler
11:30 – Miz Metro
12:30 – Terry Poison
 
Thurs

 

Roc Raida RIP
 
B.B.King’s Blues Bar & Grill
Adiar Cor Presents A Celebration for Roc Raida
11:00
DJ Craze
DJ A-Trak
Rahzel & DJ JS 1
X-Ecutioners
Styles P & DJ Green Lantern
Sadat X
D.I.T.C.
Busta Rhymes

SOBs

S.O.B.’s
Presented By Elitaste & Nue Agency
7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Shawn Chrystopher
Freddie Gibbs
Pill
Brandon Hines
Camp Lo
2am Club
Theophilus London
Mike Posner & Big Sean
DJ Jesse Marco
Hosted by Jabari

Audible Treats CMJ

Southpaw
Presented by Audible Treats
9:00 – Jern Eye
9:30- Illa J (J Dilla’s brother) & Frank Nitt
10:00 – Finale
10:30 – Oddisee
11:00 – Kam Moye aka Supastition
11:30 – Trinity (A.G., Sadat X, DJ Jab)
11:55 – Tanya Morgan
12:30 – Souls Of Mischief
DJ Keelay
 
Friday

FE
 
B.B.King’s Blues Bar & Grill
11:30
The Foreign Exchange (Phonte & Nicolay) w/ YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Carlitta Durand, Zo! & The Els
 
Saturday

DD
 
Gramercy Theater
Presented by Duck Down Records
8:00 – Da Beatminerz (DJ Evil Dee & Mister Walt)
9:00 – Team Facelift
9:20 – Skyzoo
9:45 – Marco Polo & Torae
10:10 – Blue Scholars
10:45 – Kidz In The Hall
11:20 – Rustee Juxx/Smif N Wessun/Sean Price/Heltah Skeltah/Buckshot as Boot Camp Clik

28
Sep
09

Street Hop Sampler

Royce

Here’s something to start the week off proper.

Check out the snippets for one of my most highly-anticipated 4th quarter albums, Royce Da 5’9’s Street Hop.

I wish Primo produced more of this, but the track list looks dope regardless especially that Phonte feature and the Bun B & Joell Ortiz collab. I’m also interested to hear those productions by Mr. Porter and Green Lantern.

Shouts to DJ Premier Blog for the link & list, hopefully this will hold you over until it leaks drops on October 20th. Enjoy!

Download: Royce Da 5’9″ – Street Hop Album Sampler

Track List:

1. Gun Harmonizing (Feat. Crooked I) (Produced by Emile)
2. Count For Nothing (Produced by Streetrunner)
3. Soldier (Feat. Kid Vishis)
4. Something 2 Ride (Feat. Phonte)
5. Dinner Time (Feat. Busta Rhymes)
6. Far Away
7. The Warriors (Feat. Slaughterhouse) (Produced by Streetrunner)
8. …A Brief Intermission (Skit)
9. New Money (Produced by Streetrunner)
10. Shake This (Produced by DJ Premier)
11. Gangsta (Feat. Trick Trick)
12. Mine In Thiz (Produced by Mr. Porter)
13. Street Hop 2010 (Produced by Six July)
14. Thing For Your Girlfriend (Hoe Jack) (Feat. Kay Young)
15. On The Run
16. Murder
17. Bad Boy (Feat. Jungle Rock Jr.) (Produced by DJ Green Lantern)
18. Part Of Me (Produced by Carlos Broady)
19. Love From The Hood (Feat. Bun B & Joell Ortiz) (Produced by DJ Premier)

05
Sep
09

Here I Am (Full Lyrics)

BK-One

Here’s a fresh collab for your Saturday afternoon. Brother Ali’s DJ BK-One is hopping behind the boards for his upcoming LP Radio do Canibal, and “Here I Am” is the first leak off the project featuring Phonte, Brother Ali & The Grouch.

If this is any indication of the album, I’m dumb excited for it! Here’s the release:

Better known as Brother Ali’s DJ, BK-One takes his years of experience as a DJ and puts on his producer hat joining forces with up and coming Twin Cities beatsmith Benzilla to craft a Brazilian musical bed for some of Hip Hop’s most engaging MC’s. Rádio Do Canibal features appearances by Scarface, Slug (Atmosphere), Black Thought (The Roots), Brother Ali, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Murs (Living Legends), Phonte (Little Brother), Haiku D’ Etat (Aceyalone, Myka 9 & Abstract Rude), Blueprint, P.O.S. (Doomtree), The Grouch (Living Legends), I Self Devine, Toki Wright, Aby Wolf and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

This one’s got a fresh summer BBQ feel with a groovin’ bassline and sparkling chimes. I hooked up the download link and typed up the full lyrics below.

Shouts to the homie BMUSE at Always Hustle for the heads up, Enjoy!

BK-One ft. Phonte, Brother Ali & The Grouch – Here I Am

Lyrics:

Phonte

Back in the day, they used to say I was a man-child
Moms looked at me, was like “Oh you a man now?”
Taught me to walk like a warrior, eyes up, shoulders back
Lookin’ like a aggin ’bout to stand trial
Made me exactly who I am now
It made me one of the livest aggins walkin’ and realest aggins spittin’ hands down
Taught me to stand down
And always man up
‘Cause then I’d never give in to a hand-out
One man army slash rhymer martyr
Don’t need a little guac, I need the whole avacado
That bullshit they play ain’t got nothin’ to do with ‘Te
That’s Maury Povich rap, homie I am not the father
And I am not to bother
With those who don’t do the real
I be on that Sugar Hill, no business with a Carter
My purpose is to separate the classic from the fodder
‘Te bring it, and make you sing it like the alma mater
Let’s go!

Chorus:

Like the way I move, like the way I groove out on the floor
Like the way I walk, like the way, yeah it’s all yours
Make the fellas rock, make the ladies sing, girl that’s my jam
Except nothin’ less ’cause if you want the best, then here I am

Brother Ali

Yeah baby, here I’m is
They say Ali bout his, he’ll never be outdid
Fuck bein’ half great, I got to be five-fifths
Everybody clap your hands to the beatbox kids
I believe in this shit
Could never be opposite
If I didn’t, I would not and try to eat off of this
They talkin’ bout the greatest MC’s ever lived
Tryina’ give ’em good reason to put me on that list

Shit, you ain’t in this discussion
You simply interruptin’
I’m as good as gone, y’all ain’t good for nothin’
My stomach grumblin’, isn’t it?
Man we eatin’, y’all are just bitin’, that’s inconsiderate
Quit your nibblin’, nobody’s feelin’ it
You beatin’ a dead horse, that’s not killin’ it
We livin’ this, y’all are visitin’
Get a grip, it’s never too late for you to fix your shit
It ain’t set in stone ’til you dead and gone
Don’t want ’em sayin’ stud walked tough but could’ve flown
So when the sun rise, the shine get on his grind
He could look down and smile and see that I’m on mine
.. Phonte, out, yeah!

Chorus

The Grouch

Have you ever seen a dreamer lock his dreams up?
Sabatoged himself like his thoughts don’t mean enough?

Well I ain’t tryina’ be that, you got me cleaned up
Can mix the yellow with the blue and get the green stuff
Ain’t no time to be scared and sad
What I gots much rarer and that
I do care but in fact
I don’t care what you think
Though I been there before, I now know more
I more know me
I’m livin’ to my full capacity

Tryina’ spill a little game and soak a splash or three
Focus past the obvious, ask of me
More than ya average, half a G
‘Cause I could hear the birds chirpin’ and feel the words workin’
Whether curb surfin’ or smokin’ herb surfin’
Today you’ll catch a wave
Let your guard and be free or that’s a slave
.. And this is true!

Chorus

30
Aug
09

11 Ultimate Hip-Hop Trios

New Wu

With the dream-team of Ghostface, Raekwon & Method Man forming like Voltron possibly even before ’09 kicks the bucket, heads everywhere should be drooling over the possibility of an album from the Wu-based trio.

Similarly, the three-headed monster Random Axe comprised of Black Milk, Sean Price & Guilty Simpson leaking “Monster Babies” off their upcoming collab album this year was monumental.

These combos really are dreams come true. So I got to thinking, what other combinations of MCs would hip-hop heads like to hear? Here are my choices for 11 of the ultimate hip-hop trios:

Jay-Z, Nas & Eminem

Jay-Z, Nas & Eminem

Group Name: Greatest of Our Time

Rakim, Kool G Rap & KRS-One

Rakim, Kool G Rap & KRS-One

Group Name: Veteran’s Day

Kanye West, Talib Kweli & Pharaohe Monch

Kanye West, Talib Kweli & Pharaohe Monch

Group Name: Guerilla Monsoon

Scarface, Bun B & Slim Thug

Scarface, Bun B & Slim Thug

Group Name: Anti-Confederacy

Q-Tip, Black Thought & Common

Q-Tip, Black Thought & Common

Group Name: Rewind Power

Snoop Dogg, B-Real & Redman

Snoop Dogg, B-Real & Redman

Group Name: Smoke Break

Posdnuous, Phife Dawg & A-Plus

Posdnuos, Phife Dawg & A-Plus

Group Name: Under Rated

T.I., Ludacris & Big Boi

T.I., Ludacris & Big Boi

Group Name: Bottom’s Up

Black Milk, Royce Da 5'9 & Elzhi

Black Milk, Royce Da 5’9 & Elzhi

Group Name: Motor City

Brother Ali, Jay Electronica & Blu

Brother Ali, Jay Electronica & Blu

Group Name: Add Verbs

Wale, Lupe Fiasco & Phonte

Wale, Lupe Fiasco & Phonte

Group Name: Fresh Breath

 

What about you? Who would be your choices for hip-hop trios?

18
Aug
09

True Love

Apathy

I remember back in high school being a big fan of Apathy’s work, especially the devious remix of the White Stripes’ hit “Seven Nation Army” with Emilio Lopez. A lil’ while after that I fell off following his work with the DemiGodz but hopped back on [II] when he joined Army of the Pharaohs. Dude is a beast with the lyricism and often times hilarious although completely offensive. For those unfamiliar, picture an indie version of Eminem mixed with Noreaga’s recklessness.

Here’s a new cut called “True Love” from the ultra light skinded Connecticut rapper’s upcoming LP “Wanna Snuggle” featuring none other than Phontigallo. Props to Matt from MAC Media, Enjoy!

Apathy ft. Phonte – True Love





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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