On June 20, 2017 the music world lost one of Hip Hop’s finest, but also underrated lyricists in Albert Johnson aka Prodigy of the duo Mobb Deep. As part of Mobb Deep, Prodigy and his partner Havoc would bless us with nine studio albums, and as a solo artist, Prodigy would add on another seven albums and official mixtapes to bless us with. Succumbing to complications from Sickle Cell Anemia (an at times debilitating condition of which he had battled his entire life) Prodigy not only gave us a massive catalog of music, but also provided even more ill story-telling in his 2011 memoir “My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy.” P was one of a very small number of emcees from the nineties that transitioned into the new millennium without being dismissed by the masses as being passed over in changing times. Honestly, his storytelling grew more deep and descriptive in his later years (not to mention, his ability to tell crime rhymes for more than 25 years shows a pretty extreme level of creativity). So with respect to respect to our fallen Titan of Golden Era Hip Hop and beyond, enjoy a few videos that more properly illustrate just why we loved and will always love the one called Prodigy...
While the rest of the music world swirls around the back & forth between Drake & Pusha t, Hip Hop Heads like myself eagerly await the Black Thought solo offering we've been waiting for since the 90's. As the front-man for The Legendary Roots Crew, Tariq Trotter aka Black Thought has been murdering the mic since 1993's "Organix" Album, and blessed so many other projects with hot cameo appearances; but FINALLY we get that solo piece that we've been waiting for. While disappointed that "Streams Of Thought Vol. 1" is only an EP, the fact that this opus is produced entirely by North Carolina's Finest 9TH Wonder definitely makes up for this just being a short form offering (hopefully we'll get Volume 2 before the end of the year).
Universally loved by Hip Heads of The Golden Era, Black Thought was more recently introduced to today's Hip Hop Scene when he dropped that 10+ minute freestyle massacre on Hot 97. Video of his freestyle session went so viral that White Supremacists got alarmed thinking that #BlackThought was some type of movement. Well, for many of us HE IS! So for those still unaware of this lyrical genius, here are a few videos you can use to bring you up to speed...
This isn't the first time that we've featured the brother Royal Illness, but with the work ethic this cat displays, why wouldn't we? A while back we posted this review of his Album "Soundtrack To The War Vol. 2." The album got a lot of positive feedback; so it was a no brainer to show some love when he shot out the link for this new banger featuring additional vocals from Vegas Posada & Kentucky Hip Hop Legend/Wu-Tang Affiliate Father Jah.! "BloodLetters" has an ill Mid to Late 1990's feel to it, with a hot piano loop driving the track-Oh, and the well placed Shirley Murdock "As We Lay" snippet definitely took me to my Hip Hop Happy Place. The video follows the same vibe, blending Allah's Five Percent Universal Flags and snippets from "J.D.'s Revenge" with an ill color scheme and vibe as the backdrop to showcase these brothers spit like true emcees should. Not enough know; but there's a lot of talent putting in work in from The Commonwealth State!!! For more music and merch from Royal Illness, just go to http://royalillness.bandcamp.com/
About a week ago, one of my Facebook friends polled several music lovers as to their Top 10 songs from Jay-Dee aka J Dilla, aka James Dewitt Yancey. Intrigued by the answers of others, I really found myself going down a wonderful lane of memories-as I contemplated my answer. How do you really limit one's decade+ of classic material to just a Top Ten? Better yet, how do you choose which ones will be on the list-as opposed to left off the list of greats. So much quality-in so little time. Still I felt compelled to showcase a few of my personal faves in post. For those who are already fans, here's a little something to help you through the day. For those not quite as familiar with Dilla's production talent, here's a little sample of why we still talk about about him six years after his passing. R.I.P J Dilla.
Oh and here's my complete Top 10 List (Not In Any Particular Order). "Thelonius" - Common / "She Said" - Pharcyde / "Climax" - Slum Village / "For Moms" - ATCQ / "It's Like That" (Welcome to Detroit) - Jay Dee / "Featuring Fat Cat" (Welcome to Detroit) - Jay Dee / "Little Brother" - Black Star / "Stakes Is High" - De La Soul / "History" - Mos & Kweli / "So Far To Go" - Common & D'Angelo / "Fall In Love" - Slum Village / "Drop" - Pharcyde / "10 Bricks" - Raekwon feat Ghostface & Cappadonna