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The Week of Dilla

James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee…

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the death of J Dilla. Earlier this week also marked the anniversary of his birth, so I am going to hit y’all with some classics, as well as tribute material in this post.

If you are unfamiliar with Dilla’s movement, you might be surprised to find out that he was the production behind such hip hop artists like Common, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Erykah Badu. He also was a member of Slum Village, and had a successful solo career.

After his death in 2006, Dilla has remained a cult legend. His production is still being used, and has been featured on albums by Q-Tip(The Renaissance), Mos Def(The Ecstatic), and Raekwon(OB4CL2). He has been honored and awarded several times, and it’s hard to think that we have heard the last from Jay Dee.

In celebrating his life this week, several artists have recorded tributes, etc. First up is Rhettmatic’s “WHATUPDOE 09” (The J Dilla MiniMegaMix). It’s a quick mix of Dilla’s classics. Download it for FREE here…

Next up is a tribute album from NAMELESS, where he uses the same samples that Dilla used, but crafted them in his own way. Check it out and download it for FREE here…

This one is pretty f-ing dope. It came out earlier this year, but it’s a live recording of a jazz trio playing Dilla’s acclaimed album, Donuts, from the beginning to the end. The story of the performance is really cool. Check it out:

The crowd at The Local 269, a shabby New York City bar on 269 Houston Street, could not have been less interested. The bartender scribbled on his notebook, two older men talked to a woman half their age, and a gaggle of NYU students crowded a booth by the stage. Midterms were distant enough that they could drink on a Sunday. When an ear-splitting free jazz session finally died down, three NYU students put down their drinks took the stage.

“I thought Dilla was just a rapper,” asked a friend of mine who was there by mere coincidence. I began to reply, but the opening riff from “Workinonit” drowned out my voice. Maybe it’s a good thing more hip-hop kids weren’t in the house — one of them would have replied to that statement with the business end of a broken bottle.

The Detroit hip-hop producer passed away on February 10, 2006, but his influence is inescapable in 2010. The fanatical zeal of the Dilla fanbase has resulted in an outpouring of tributes, but few like this.

Stray Phrases is a jazz trio consisting of Storm Siegel on drums, Dave Mainella on piano, and Evan Crane on bass. On Sunday October 17, 2010, they covered J Dilla’s classic instrumental album Donuts from beginning to end. Metal Lungies is proud to bring you a recording of the whole set.

So make sure you download this joint for FREE here…

The West Coast’s heralded rookie is next with his tribute to Dilla in song form. He puts a few bars down on Dilla’s classic instrumental, Closer. Download it for FREE here…

Wanna know which former NBA start used to manage Dilla? How about which hip hop beef was almost dramatically altered because of Jay Dee’s production? Get ready for Chairman Mao’s 10 Facts about J Dilla You Might Not Know. It’s really a fascinating read, and you can check it out here…

Up next is NC Hip Hop cousin, Ignite Mindz & his tribute to Dilla he released this week. He raps over “Won’t Do” off of the Shining, and he puts it down for the whole state. Check it out and download it for FREE here…

Lastly is the J Dilla documentary, Still Shining, that was released this week. This documentary was recorded shortly after Jay Dee’s death, and speaks on his life and legacy, among other topics. It’s 40 minutes, so roll yourself up a cigarillo, grab a deuce, and sit back be entertained…


Illpo – Classic (Free Download)

Shoutouts to the Greensboro-based homies, Illpo. They have just released their anticipated project, Classic, and are giving it away for free! I have had the opportunity of rocking a couple events with these cats, and their live show is crazy. I definitely support their movement. Here is some more info about the new project:

North Carolina duo ILLPO. has just released their highly anticipated new album “Classic”. “Classic” features production from Moodswing Production’s Ovadose, JJ The Genius (of The Boondocks fame) & up & coming Carolina production teams Maximus Music, The Clergy & 2ManArmy. The title track “Classic” has garnered daily spins on the Carolina airwaves & the video was a constant charter on Video Mix TV. ILLPO’s mixture of hard hitting hip hop & club appeal has made them a fan favorite in the local music scene. Everybody that listens to their music becomes a new fan. Visit ILLPO’s official site at http://illponow.com

So make sure you download this “Classic” for FREE here…


King Mez – Champions (Free Download)

Carolina’s prodigal son is at it again, & this time he has teamed up with some heavy hitters for his “re-introduction” into the scene. Here goes some words about it:

This song marks the beginning of King Mez’s new project, of which the name is to be released at a later date. The project is to be sponsored by Stussy, Dj Booth, Herfection, Fisdj.foto, Eleven Heavens, and Workshop. This work of art is Mez’s way of reintroducing himself to the hip hop scene after a slight hiatus. After Getting approval from Apple Juice Kid and Ski Beatz Champions” is ready for the public ear. The project that this song spearhead’s will be released February the 27th, the same day as King Mez’s first cable television Appearance, His MTV2 Sucker Freestyle.

If you don’t download this joint, you are psychotic. & mark your calendar, cuz I will be performing with Mez, Rapsody, and others on Poe Mack’s Shoestring Budget Tour in Chapel Hill next month. In the meantime, make you download the gem for FREE here…


Focus – The Avant Garde Project: Special Edition (Free Download)

Shoutouts to super-producer Focus, on the re-release of his acclaimed project, Avant Garde. Among others, it features NC’s most heralded hip hop son, Phonte. Here is some more info about it:

On Jan 31, 2011 renowned Pop, R&B and Hip-Hop producer will make his first foray into the entertainment industry as an artist with the re-release of his debut solo LP The Avant Garde Project via his own independent imprint, aFam Entertainment. The re-release, which features all original production and vocals by Focus… is bound to not only take many by surprise, but also challenge the norms of today’s contemporary music.

Born Bernard Edwards, Jr., Focus… stands out among his peers as one of Hip-Hop and R&B’s few complete musicians. As a songwriter and producer, his portfolio includes songs by 112, Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, Christina Aguilera, Dr. Dre, Marsha Ambrosius, Mary Mary, ‘NSync, Pink, and Slaughterhouse. His latest creation, The Avant Garde Project not only harkens the evolution of today’s popular music, but it also represents the full scope of Focus…’ talent, artistry and passion for music.

The seeds for The Avant Garde Project were born long ago, during Focus…’ days as a budding producer in Los Angeles. During that period of his career, he would often take breaks from his work to experiment with sounds and styles that varied widely from the music he was becoming known for.  In 2009, while revisiting the results of those experiments, Focus… decided to release this project as a complete departure from what most would expect.

The result is a collection of songs that evoke a level of emotional connection that has become rare in today’s popular music. And that connection is by no means accidental. Focus…’ songwriting success comes from his ability to tap into his own experiences to marry lyrics to the emotions of the tracks he creates. Having crafted The Avant Garde Project , Focus… is able to deliver each note with a sincerity that draws the listener in, allowing you to live the pain of unselfish love on “Recession,” featuring Phonte (of the groups Little Brother and Foreign Exchange); the frustration of an unnecessary argument on “At All;” or the desperation to break from love gone wrong on “Br@keFr3e!” Focus…’ creative arrangements, instrumental intricacies and sonic experimentation allows the music itself to stand strongly alongside the artistry, with neither outshining the other.

 


Reks – 25th Hour (Music Video/Download)

Wow. That’s all I could muster up when I finally heard this joint a couple nights ago. I had seen Reks name floating around for awhile, but I hadn’t taken time out to actually listen to his music. So when the homie Juan, of JMProductions, pulled it up, I was floored. Not only does this song epitomize the sound that most hip hop aficionados long for, but it was produced by the legend, DJ Premier himself. So make sure you check out the video & even download the song for FREE here…


N’DangR Species – Now-n-Lata Vicstape (Free Download)

Shoutouts to the homies, Luse Kanz & Maf Maddix, on the release of their long-awaited project, Now-n-Lata Vicstape. Luse is a long time collaborator with StretchKnockS  and appeared on the Investment (Better Than One) & the Self Portrait (Low Low). A little while back, he started working with Maf Maddix, and everything I heard from them was extremely creative and polished. Here is more info on the duo:

A hip-hop collaboration project formed in the Fall of ’08, N’DangR Species is based out of North Carolina. Members, Luse Kanz and Maf Maddix, bring something new to the hip-hop scene, a balance between the high energy of the mainstream and the deep introspection of the underground. Like the balance maintained amongst the chaos, dark balances light in their complex lyrics and unprecedented beats. The concept for the group comes from their belief that the true spirit of hip-hop is in danger of extinction and that, much like a delicate ecosystem needs protection, so does real hip-hop

Definitely look for some shows and more collaborations in the future with these two. Until then, Make sure you download the project for FREE here…


Nickelus F + Ohbliv – Yellow Gold Mixtape (Free Download)

Make sure you download this new gem from VA representer, Nickelus F. If you are unfamiliar with his work, he has collaborated in the past with King Mez, has a show coming up next month with Poe Mack, and was rumored to ghostwrite for Drizzy Drake Rodgers. His new project was produced by Ohbliv and is full of dope tracks. Make sure you download it for FREE here…


Haji P – Poor Sport (Free Download)

I am showing love to some of my west coast brethren today. First up is Haji P., an NC transplant who is now doing big thangs out in Cali. I originally met Haji in Wilmington at some of Louis T’s events. Dude has crazy charisma on stage, and his music is much the same: Lots of fun & energy. Haji also looked out for H2OKZ & I last spring by letting us jump on his album release in Port City. It was a dope event, one of my favorite joints I have ever done in the 910.

Poor Sport is an unreleased gem, from his Neighborhood Kid sessions, that slipped through the cracks. Now it’s available for FREE download, so make sure you check it out & show love to Haji P


Act Proof – The Talented Tenth (Free Download)

Shoutout to the homies, Act Proof, for the release of their new project. I got the chance to meet these cats a few times, most notably at L.E.G.A.C.Y’s bday party a couple years back.  The Talented Tenth features two different parts: A MLK side, and a Malcom X said. Guest appearances come from Tyler Woods, Halo, Rapsody, Remo, Kendrick Lamar, Skewby, Laws & more. Production from the Soul Council. So make sure you download it for FREE here…


Poe Mack feat. Kaze – Real Ones Exposed (Free Download)

Super shoutouts to Poe Mack for his upcoming release, Move Mountains, sponsored by KevinNottingham.com. This is the first leak off the mixtape, “Real Ones Exposed,” &  it features NC star, Kaze. The official release date is 1.18.2011, and the release party is on the 22nd in Raleigh. Make sure you check back for the release of the project & more info about the release party. Until then, make sure you download the his new joint for FREE here…


Drique London – Red Chucks (Free Download)

Shoutouts to Drique London. 2011 is looking like it’s going to be a very special year for the up & coming emcee. With that being said, here is the first leak off his upcoming album, The Manual. Here is some info, straight from the man himself:

I got the song from a past relationship, i felt like she wasn’t in my best interest cant really recall the day that it was over, all i can remember is me wearing red chucks,… nothing else but red chucks funny huh… so i created this song talking strictly to the guys that is or was going through the same ordeal as me, keep it moving….

So here it is, “Red Chucks” produced by Majestic, off the album ‘The Manual” coming in the  spring. Download it for FREE here…


Blaze The Sky – “That’s Right” (Music Video)

Shoutout to the homie Kent Willard for putting together another dope video for the NC Hip Hop scene. This one features SkyBlew & Azon Blaze’s new side project, Blaze the Sky, and their jam, “That’s Right.” I’m really digging the visuals with this one. So make sure you check the video, and also download their mixtape for FREE here


Kida – 1990-2010(20 Years & Runnin’) feat. DJ Stones

Big ups to aFam Entertainment & their star performer, Kida, for steadily bangin out the hits in anticipation for his debut, The Redshirt Freshman. This new joint features Kida rapping over some of the most important instrumentals in Hip Hop history, from the past to present. This is definitely a gem, so download it for FREE here…


Mic Savvy & Cryptic – My Life (Free Download)

Giant Ups to the homie Mic Savvy. If you don’t know Savvy and his antics, then you don’t know NC Hip Hop. This cat is a pioneer of a movement that a lot of newjacks try to emulate & fail. If you need distribution and are DOPE, then holla at this man. If you are lucky enough to be in the Goomah family tree, you share a bloodline with Method Man, Brooklyn Zu, Peedi Peedi, Kaze, MindsOne & more.

By the listen of this joint, his upcoming project with UK emcee, Cryptic, is going to be a certified banger. It drops in March, so stay close, cuz I will be sure to post links when it does. Until then: Make sure you download “My Life” for FREE here…


Big Hop + X3M – Everything Is Impossible (Free Download)

2010 marked the release of the long awaited collaboration EP between Serbian producer, X3M, and yours truly. The project was recorded from 2008-9, but finally got mixed and mastered late this year.

The project came out and was acclaimed by the critics and bloggers across the globe. We received lots of downloads, views on our video, and were posted on over 30 blogs. Overall the project was a success and opened a lot of doors for both X3M & I. Everything Is Impossible featured songs such as “I Changed My Life,” “What It Is,” & “I Don’t Make Sense.” This project was also full of dope guest appearances including, MindsOne, Diablo Archer, & L.E.G.A.C.Y. Make sure you download it for FREE here…


Big Hop & Kotix – Super High (Free Mixtape)

The second joint I released in April of last uear was Super High, a mixtape I created with Greensboro legend, Don Kotix. It’s not too hard to tell what the theme of this project was…

Super High garnered a lot of attention online, with over 1000 downloads. I guess it makes sense after the revitalization of “Weed Rap” we saw last year with the likes of Wiz, Currensy, Smoke Dza & others. Our project featured a few new joints, a couple remixes of old joints, & more. HIGHlights include Earth2TheSeed, All Types, Roll The Haze Remix, The Apple Song Remix, among others. Production credits include D. Allen, DJ Pedo, StretchKnockS, etc. Guest appearances feature KONSci of MindsOne, L.E.G.A.C.Y., H2OKZ, Mic Savvy, & more. So be sure to download this joint and toast to it while you listen. You can download it for FREE here…


Big Hop & H2OKZ – Local Celebrity Status (Free Mixtape)

Today, I am highlighting the joints I released in 2010. First off is the collaborated mixtape with Greenville, NC H2OKZ (Pronounced Hooks).

April was a big month for me in 2010. I released 2 mixtapes and did a string of shows to promote the releases. LCS was a fun mixtape to put together with such favorites like, “It’s On,” “That’s My Sh*t,” “LCS,” “Party Life,” & more. The theme of the project was having fun and doing what you love. Guest appearances from Trigga, Mic L!VE, and Lady J. Production from StretchKnockS, Carolina Beats, L’O, Ill-It Beatz and more. Download this joint for FREE here


Azon Blaze – Kaleidoscope (Free Mixtape)

Shoutout to Azon Blaze for repping NC hard in December. First it was the collaboration mixtape with SkyBlew, now he drops his solo offering, Kaleidoscope. With features from NC Hip Hop staples like Cesar Comanche, Hiromenbipp, Sarah Kaboom and more, this joint is filled with talent. Make sure you download it for FREE here


Professa – For Mii (Free Download)

Shout out to Professa. He is a 252 representer who has been moving up the ranks of NC producers. With his new EP, he gives you a handful of Dilla-esque beats to rock out to. My favorite joint is Heavenly Moon Cutter. The sample on that track is crazy. Plus he remixes one of my favorite Jay-Z songs up here, Allure. Make sure you download this project for FREE here


“Blowed Away” feat. Ed E. Ruger (Free Download)

Check out this new banger from Tennessee artist Smurf Durrt featuring Knoc & NC’s own Ed E. Ruger. This joint has been nominated as “Banger of the Year” at the Knocdown Awards. Make sure you download it for FREE here


Al Gator – Who Am I? Prod by Don Cannon (Free Download)

The homie Glam hit me up about this new Al Gator’s “Who Am I” joint produced by Don Cannon. The track appeared on the a.Fam artist’s Hostile Takeover mixtape which dropped earlier this year. Get ready for Gator’s new project Un-Reasonable Doubt 2 in the near future. Until then, download this banger for FREE here


Wudos Band (Free Download)

If you aren’t familiar with Wu Tang, you have been frozen in a block of ice for the last 20 years. If you don’t know the Budos Band, then you are an un-hip. The Budos Band comes from the legendary record label, Daptone Records, and are a 10 piece instrumental, Afro-Soul group from NYC. They have been sampled by the Game and Black Eyed Peas.

Make sure you download this highly conceptual project for FREE here


Carlitta Durand – Nostalgic Nights (Free Ep)

Shutout to Miss Durand on the release of her new EP, Nostalgic Nights. It’s a collection of Soul & R&B that will undoubtedly create the mood, if you know what I mean.

So support NC Hip Hop & R&B and make sure you download this project for FREE here


Kida – Alliance feat. Chaundon, Sha Stimuli, Rapper Big Pooh, & Joe Scudda

Make sure you check out this banger right here. Focus & Kida came thru with yet another dope ass track, and this time they brought Sha Stimuli & HOJ with them. If you aren’t vibing with this joint, then something is wrong with ya eardrums. What is especially special about this jawn is I was there to see & hear it get recorded. So make sure you download this joint for FREE here