Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Young H Radio Best of 2008 Part 1 of 4

Music​al Selec​tions​:​

Danny​!​ - Intro​
Donwi​ll - The Champ​
X.O. - Intro​
Torae​ - Somet​hin To See
N.​E.​R.​D - Anti-​Matte​r
J-​Live - Simme​r Down
Young​ Dro - Tropi​cal
P Broth​ers feat.​ Res Conne​cted - Shoot​ Em Down
Eryka​h Badu - Telep​hone
Wale - The Openi​ng Title​ Seque​nce
Von Pea - Hell Yea
Lil Wayne​ feat.​ Robin​ Thick​e - Tie My Hands​
Che Grand​ - Girls​ Talk
Black​ Milk feat Royce​ Da 5'9 - Losin​g Out
Kidz In The Hall feat.​ Phont​e - Paper​ Trail​
T.I. - I'm Illy
Count​ Bass D - Dont Run Out On Me
Q-​Tip feat.​ Norah​ Jones​ - Life Is Bette​r

Topic​ Of Discu​ssion​:​ Perso​nal recap​ of Winte​r 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Young H Radio Week 38 Episode 2

Tune In Here

Musical Selections:

D'angelo - Greatdayndamornin
Vicious - Nika
MF Grimm - Life and Death
Danny! - Charm
After 7 - Heat Of The Moment
Pete Rock feat.
Raekwon, Prodigy and Ghostface - The Game
Da Youngstas - Crews Pop
Murs & 9th Wonder - Push
Hi-Five - I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)
Real Live - The Gimmicks
Royal Flush - Family Problems
Oddisee feat.
YU - iHate Rap
Redman feat.
Oh No - Lay You Out
Styles P - Not To Be F*cked With
Basement Khemists - Correct Technique
Skyzoo - So Close
Ray Goodman & Brown - Special Lady

Topic Of Discussion: The importance of celebrating Kwanzaa's principles

younghradio@gmail.com to be added to the show's weekly mailing list

Go to the main page for past episodes

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Young H Radio Week 38 Episode 1

Listen Here

Musical Selections:

De La Soul - Watch Out
UGK - One Day
Shyheim - On And On
8thW1 - Death Of A Slacker/The End To Begin
Slum Village feat. Frank N Dank - Get Ya Paper
Enchantment - Gloria
J-Live - All Of The Above
Maroon 5 - Sunday Morning (?uestlove remix)
Funkmaster Flex & The Ghetto Celebs - Nuttin But Flavor
Median - Give A Little Bit
Murs - 316 (Young H Edit)
Trunks - Devastator
Skillz - Imagine
Hot Boyz - Shoot 1st
Common Sense - The Bitch In Yoo
Slick Rick - Trapped By Me
Fat Joe's In Town
Musiq Soulchild -loveofmylife

Download and listen to other episodes here

Friday, December 05, 2008

Young H Radio Week 37 Episode 2

Musical Selections:
Quasimoto - Seasons Change
Johnny Kemp - Just Got Paid
Little Brother - So Fabulous
Digable Planets - May 4th Movement
De La Soul - Wonce Again Long Island
Keith Washington - Kissing You
Run DMC feat. Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Down With The King
Euricka - Diva Life (snippet)
Pointer Sisters - He's So Shy
T.I. feat. PSC - Limelight
8thW1 - Song Of Random Thoughts
Alkaholiks - Make Room
Torae - Wun, Tu, Thr3
Tony Terry - With You
Common Sense - Hungry

Topic Of Discussion: Gille Da Kid vs. Dirty Rik

Older episodes can be found here

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Common – Universal Mind Control - @@@

As an established rapper’s career goes through many transformations over the years, they may find themselves balancing the personal need for creative expression with the task of pleasing an audience’s previously set standards and expectations. Common’s loyal longtime followers have watched him go from a young regional upstart to a hungry battle rapper while growing into the personification of a spiritual B-boy and a hope for conscious mainstream Hip-Hop heroism in an industry where artists with little substance reign supreme. Common’s eighth album Universal Mind Control finds him at a crossroads as a household name mindful of both a legacy to uphold and new paths he wishes to explore.

Always bent on reinvention so as to avoid complacency and not become stagnant, Common’s latest experimental phase finds his music taking a more simplistic and fun natured approach, as he utilizes the help of The Neptunes and (Outkast producer) Earthtone III’s Mr. DJ. He never neglects to pay homage to our culture’s earlier days, as the lead single and album’s title track lends itself to reminders of Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation functions, while the rest of the album takes listeners on a more progressive minded journey without ever presenting a heavy handed agenda. Common’s latest recorded incarnation is partly that of a free spirited partying sex symbol, with the bouncy and playful “Punch Drunk Love”, the fashion shown runway sound of “Sex For Sugar” and the easygoing “Make My Day” all steering this project down more of a carnal road than any of his previous efforts. Eclectic in nature, other songs range in variety from “Announcement” which could work as a party starter in a club setting to the uplifting “Changes” dealing with our world’s ever expanding scope, the alternative “What A World” which is interchangeable with work crafted under Chad and Pharrell's N.E.R.D banner and the hypnotically electro-tinged “Everywhere”.

Common is to be respected for staying true to himself no matter the twists and turns he may take, as listeners strap in for a new sonic ride with each of his albums. However, Universal Mind Control is sure to result in a great lack of understanding between the artist's vision for what he would like his work to represent and the desires of diehard supporters demanding he stick to his prior foundation of making the “official” Hip-Hop that they’ve come to revere. This album is a risky jaunt straying from convention, thus it will be responded to with great debate as some will appreciate an effort breaking existent boundaries and others are likely to cry foul play, considering this new direction from an old favorite to be quite questionable.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Young H Radio Week 37 Episode 1

Listen Here

Musical Selections:

Count Bass D - Internationally Known
Camp Lo - Bubblin' (Anita Demo)
Mobb Deep - Temperature's Rising
Reach - Can Can
Babyface - It's No Crime
Wyclef - Bubblegoose
Clipse - So Fly (Now We've Had Her)
Denroy Morgan - I'll Do Anything For You
Guilty Simpson - I Must Love You
Cormega - Glory Days
MF Doom - Get 'Er Done
Common - Gladiator
Rakim - Show Me Love
Blu - Piece
Glenn Jones - Here I Go Again
Bush Babees - Remember We (Salaam Remi Remix)

Topic Of Discussion: Unrealistically high standards in the dating game.

Older Episodes Here

Monday, December 01, 2008

Granted the topic material doesnt extend much further than "We have a new album coming next year, we know how to rap about drug dealing, we have a new clothing line called Play Cloths and we're realer than the rest of you rappers."

But they do it well.

Download Road To Till The Casket Drops

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Young H Radio Week 36 Episode 1

cohosted by my good friend Ms. Pele

Listen Here

Musical Selections:
MC Breed feat. 2Pac - Gotta Get Mine
Reef The Lost Cauze - Big Deal
Force MDs - Love Is A House
Capone & Noreaga feat. Tragedy Khadafi - Stick You
Total feat. Puff Daddy - Kissin You Remix
Surface - Happy
Ced Hughes - Polite Rap Song
Raekwon feat. Fat Joe & Ghostface - Clientele Kidd Remix
Mobb Deep feat. Big Noyd & Rakim - Hoodlum
Jamie Lidell - What's The Use
B.O.B - Little Rascal
Dilla - Stop
State Property - Want Me Back
P Brothers feat. Boss Money - New Religion
Charles Hamilton - Lemme Know

Monday, November 24, 2008

The P Brothers have brought back the east coast.

Take NYC underground veterans, producers hailing from the UK and the grittiest elements of street classics like Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, The Cold Vein and The War Report. The result is The Gas, one of this year's most under the radar efforts.

Highlights Include:
Late Night
Got It On Me
Digital B- Boy

Friday, November 21, 2008

Young H Radio Episode 35 - Tribute To The Roots


Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Von Pea

Take 1/3 of Tanya Morgan, leave him with free time and the instrumentals to a cult classic and you have
The Further Adventures Of Von Pea.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Large Pro - Main Source - @@@@ 1/2

In an age where today’s audience and run of the mill record labels are looking for the next catchy sensation, many previously established veterans continue producing material reflecting an undying love for an era where authenticity reigned supreme. For nearly two decades now, Large Professor has made it his mission to carry New York’s spirit through Hip-Hop’s various dominant pop phases such as jiggy and crunk to name a few. Despite industry setbacks Large Pro has kept his name present with guest appearances and production credits spanning both the underground and major releases. His latest album Main Source finds inspiration coming from his career’s original essence as Large Pro is continually determined to keep his legend alive.

The album finds Large Pro refusing to compromise his sound as he has always strayed far from convention and taken care to uphold his own set musical standards. He shows no care or desire for a presence on today’s radio as he employs his tried but true method of boom-bap aggression on "Hot: Sizzling, Scorching, Torching, Blazing", and stays in tune with the plight of the everyman as "Maica Living" details the rat race of the daily grind. Artistic purity has been a long running theme in Large’s work and he continues rolling with the “If it aint broke…” mentality as "Hardcore Hip Hop" and "Classic Emergency" both unleash fury in response to the culture’s present state of endangerment. While fully intent on staying rooted in the sounds of old with "Pump Ya Fist" and the funky "In The Ghetto", he also shows he can come up to speed with today’s scene on "Frantic Barz".

With Main Source Large Pro manages to prove that long standing pillars can remain relevant as he succeeds where other legends have failed to make marks of substance in this day and age. While the album’s only drawback is the lack of structured hooks, that doesn’t nearly take away from his concise understanding of the everyday Hip-Hop traditionalist’s need for music that serves of a reminder of when quality was far easier to come by.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Asher Roth – The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1 - @@@

Purists generally decry the sad state of affairs where Hip-Hop seems to be the only musical genre leaving behind its relatively elder statesmen and failing to uphold established veterans. Meanwhile, casual fans find necessity in the figurative separation of chaff from wheat as corporate interests pander to the teenybopper video countdown era and the industry continues churning out new beacons of hope like clockwork. Asher Roth is the latest melanin deficient chap with a buzz and hopes of furthering former Loud Records chieftain Steve Rifkind’s reputation of having a wise and watchful eye for talent. The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1 hosted by Don Cannon & DJ Drama serves as Roth’s formal introduction to the world.

If the most genuine stories traditionally come as a product of a rapper’s experiences within his environment, Asher Roth’s authenticity can’t possibly be called into question. However, he is an anomaly of sorts as the life he knows best is a world far separated from whatever made Vanilla Ice presumably too cool for school, Eminem’s angst originating from the gutters of Detroit, and the New York street based stylings of 3rd Bass. Asher hails from the suburbs of Philadelphia, mainly fashioning himself the happy go lucky type who doesn’t take himself serious with this collection of remakes and verses over already popular instrumentals. While he employs a decent flow and can put his words together well, he doesn’t say really much of anything turning Jay-Z ‘s celebration of prosperity into a suburban jamboree on “Roth Boys”. Roth is no different from most rappers in coming off as his own biggest fan on “Cannon” where his vocals can be likened to Eminem the way Shyne sparked certain reminders of Biggie, but he’s hardly clever or engaging rather than zany and content to wearing his race on his sleeve. “The Lounge” is his most impressive effort, where he differentiates between his image and that of most rappers, but this project’s main theme is juvenile banter like the potty mouthed “Rub On Your T*tties” and “Gimme Your Box”.

With The Greenhouse Effect Vol. 1, Asher Roth proves that alternatives to the norm don’t necessarily fall within the upper tier of quality music, as he demonstrates a serious incapability when it comes to making songs of substance. While he may make his mark throughout the burbs and potentially with the hipster crowd, time will only tell what shall become of an enigmatic white boy without street cred and the Interscope/Aftermath machine behind him.

Friday, August 01, 2008

If you didn't know, I also host a weekly podcast.

You get to hear me talk (I think I'm funny and insightful) and play music (I have good tastes, I promise)

Here's this week's show and here's the page where you can get older episodes

But no one really cares.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Skillz – The Million Dollar Backpack - @@@

With each passing year our culture thrives off of a need for fresh faces bringing novelty to the game and in 2008 for every act like Common who has maintained relevance since the early-mid 90’s, you can find four Black Moons struggling to hold on. [Formerly Mad] Skillz finds himself in just this position having had bad luck battling the corporate machine, as he’s faced obstacles like his debut From Where??? hitting stores the same day as seminal releases All Eyez On Me and The Score, and cutting deals with Rawkus Records & Timbaland that went nowhere just to name a few setbacks. After questionable career moves like entertaining a serious rap battle with Shaquille O’Neal and relegating himself to a role combining those of Peter Jennings and Dick Clark with his annual "Rap Up" series, Skillz has finally shifted his focus back to recording albums. His official sophomore release The Million Dollar Backpack is an artistic vision of caking up while simultaneously staying rooted in making music of substance.

Employing braggadocio is understandable as a process nearly as involuntary as blinking for a MC, and while anyone rapping should believe their shit bears no odor, Skillz comes off as cocksure to a fault. On the album’s opener “Where I Been” he opts to strut with “swag” rather than honestly detail the 11 year gap between his albums, while “Sick” is unoriginally reminiscent of Canibus’ antiquated “I been nice since…” raps and “Don’t Act Like You Don’t Know” featuring Freeway is a blatant bite of the guest star’s classic “What We Do”. Other low points include the uninspiring “So Far So Good”, his attempt at reaching women and clubs with “He Don’t Own Me”, and the bizarre “Crazy World” which would be better suited on a Broadway stage than a rap album. Infrequent celebratory moments come courtesy of stirring production from ?uestlove & James Poyser on “Hold Tight”, Bink’s “I’m Gon’ Make It” and “My Phone” which is still a PG rated rehashing of Biggie’s “Dreams”.

While some may give Skillz a pass for sounding “authentic” and having his heart in the right place, The Million Dollar Backpack finds him running Hip-Hop’s omnipresent risk of falling victim to one’s own hype. His essence is comprised of stale battle raps and a self-assured confidence that he assumedly believes will capture the hearts of the masses, ultimately finding him uninteresting with little new to say.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Spotlight on Shawn Jackson

I dont know much other than he's from the West coast and his album First Of All... has ample heat on it. He kind of reminds me of MCs from Detroit and his beats knock.

Fix Ya Face
Gold Medal Kids
Go There With You

Shawn Jackson on Myspace

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nas - Untitled - @@@ 1/2

As Hip-Hop’s culture is rife with the theme of party and bullshit, art reflecting and responding to troubling times [a la Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On] is a rarity. While Nas is to be lauded as the primary MC taking a public stance on current events through major label music, he has run the risk of being considered an ambulance chaser of sorts with 2006’s Hip-Hop Is Dead campaign and the sudden rallying cry around the impact of the word nigger [to be assumed in lieu of the recent Don Imus/Michael Richards debacles]. His latest album now Untitled finds his sights set on the grand task of carrying four centuries worth of racial injustice on his back.

Coming as no surprise to his harshest of critics, Nas means well but he doesn’t quite execute in fully fleshing out his concept. The highlights include the promising "You Cant Stop Us Now" which leads off the album as a brief history of black life throughout the ages detailing everything from colonialism to the modern day persecution of Michael Vick, "Sly Fox" taking Rupert Murdoch's conglomerate to task, and Toomp (producer of Kanye West's "Big Brother", Jay-Z's "Say Hello", and T.I.'s "What You Know About That") delivering one of his standard cinematic centerpieces with "N.I.G.G.E.R. (The Slave And The Master)". Unfortunately the moments of focus are far and few in between as the album seems semi-autobiographical with songs like "Breathe" talking about how far he's come in his career, “Make The World Go Around” sounding like an "Esco" era Nastradamus outtake and the overproduced [by Polow Da Don] self-celebratory “Hero”, not to mention “Louis Farrakhan” where Nas overstates his importance drawing a parallel between himself and the Muslim figurehead. Other questionably odd moments include "Fried Chicken", personifying soul food while espousing its virtues and recognizing its dangers, "We Are Not Alone" tying revolution to UFOs, and "Black President" capitalizing on Obama winning the Democratic seat while questioning the candidate's dedication to the black community.

Untitled may placate diehard Nas fans who pray for the return of a Queenbridge soldier barely out of puberty, but those who aren’t so easily impressed may spot figurative chinks in the album’s armor. Nas has always been able to map out exciting ideas while taking a thinking man’s approach to his craft, but if he is to continue creating pieces based around themes perhaps more emphasis should be placed into his final output than the buzz built around it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Danny! - And I Love H.E.R. - @@@@ 1/2

While most acts leave their career’s fate in the hands of others, (producers they’ll work with, management, label reps, etc.) the idea of a completely self-contained solo act within Hip-Hop has primarily gone unexplored. For the past few years South Carolina’s Danny! has impressively juggled the creative process of making music with business logistics on his own, going everywhere from The Grammys to receiving major press on the strength of sheer work ethic and drive. While legend has it D Swain was ready to quit Hip-Hop after 2006’s critically acclaimed Charm, the album scored him a EP deal with underground powerhouse Definitive Jux, and after returning to form with last year’s Danny Is Dead he is back with his fourth full-length LP, the conceptual piece And I Love H.E.R.

Danny is to be heralded for shirking all convention and sticking to his figurative guns, making the music that sounds good to him in hopes that traditionalists latch on. And I Love H.E.R. doubles as the soundtrack to what could be considered a boy meets girl a love story and the tale of an artist’s ups and downs trying to etch a path in an industry plagued by fickle fans, questionable politics, and media driven by popular style over actual substance. Danny’s work remains a bastion of creativity as he manages to convey the full range of human feeling from frustration on the album’s intro (Snippet) to going lighthearted on “The Groove” (Snippet) and expressing self-determination on the thematic “Never Change” (Snippet). While always mindful of maintaining a strong lyrical acumen, Danny covers all bases of Hip-Hop artistry from an advanced flow on “At What Price” (Snippet) to boom-bap on “Yoko Ono” (Snippet) and the introspective “Misery” (Snippet), clearly demonstrating he has mastered the aesthetics of our culture.

In a climate where the most successful artists cash in on the radio’s trends and casual listeners follow in tow, Danny’s brave endeavors find him footing the road less traveled. He has grown to be a symbol of quality work that comes from talent, passion and dedication to one’s craft, as And I Love H.E.R. is sure to resonate strongly with the everyday person using a discerning ear that has honed an affinity for Hip-Hop of the highest caliber.

Purchase And I Love H.E.R.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Critically Acclaimed Albums I'm Just Now Hearing Part 4

Souls Of Mischief - 93 'Til Infinity

In retrospect this album is really dated on the tip of production and rhymes. I'm not exactly willing to place it in the perspective of a time capsule either because Midnight Marauders and 36 Chambers dropped this year and still sound fresh. Maybe I'm biased against the West, the title track is forever golden though.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Critically Acclaimed Albums I'm Just Now Hearing Part 3

Royal Flush - Ghetto Millionaire

I really have no excuse for never hearing this album, and I'm actually embarrassed now that I have. When it came out I was stuck between Bad Boy/Jay-Z/Capone & Noreaga/Camp Lo/Wu-Tang/Mobb Deep and it slipped under my radar. I was up on "Movin’ On Your Weak Productions", "Iced Out Medallions" and "Worldwide" when they were getting big spin in New York, but that was the extent of my interest. I'm guessing he hails from somewhere around Queensbridge as he speaks the dunn language and sounds like descendant a cousin of Capone.

The album has slight missteps like "Cant Help It" which is doubly cheesy between the jacking the Force MDs "Love Is A House" for the beat and the Michael Jackson interpolation of the song's title on the hook, but there are timeless gems from the likes of Sha Money XL, Hi-Tek, and EZ Elpee.

Critically Acclaimed Albums I'm Just Now Hearing Part 2

Deltron 3030

West coast veteran Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, producer extraordinaire Dan The Automator and DJ Kid Koala teamed forces for this concept album of sorts, placing Del 1022 years from today.

Heard all about it, slept hard thinking it was too weird for me but it turned about to be pretty damn good.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Critically Acclaimed Albums I'm Just Now Hearing Part 1

Playa - Cheers 2 U

I never would have checked for this, until a colleague of mine brought it back up. One of those albums everyone was crazy about, Timbaland did a bulk if not all of the production (the minimal flaw being it reminded me of what he did with Aaliyah and Ginuwine), at first I settled on it being cool music if you just had female company but songs like "Top Of The World", and "One Man Woman" made me decide to keep this for future listens.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Craig G & Marley Marl - Operation Take Back Hip-Hop (Review)

Longevity and respect are key attributes for anyone aspiring to cement a legendary place in Hip-Hop’s annals. While trends continue to come and go as the culture has become driven more by image than music, there have only been a select few (Masta Ace, Ghostface, arguably Redman etc.) who started in the “golden” era and wound up maintaining artistic relevancy throughout the years. Two decades after making an indelible mark in the game and scoring numerous accolades, Juice Crew veterans Craig G & Marley Marl have set out to drop science once more with the quite self-explanatory Operation Take Back Hip-Hop.

Craig G is to be commended as a Hip-Hop vigilante of sorts with a creative execution that extends further than strictly making music about rapping, addressing various scourges that have plagued the music industry (record labels, the internet, the radio) on “Quality Work” and impressively painting a picture of cultural armageddon with “The Day The Music Died”. Song concepts are a strong suit of this project, as Craig runs down how far he’s come from petty street crime on the autobiographical lead single “Made The Change”, serves a heartfelt love letter to music and the creative process of making it with “Just What I Need” and joins forces with Cormega to launch salvos against the ubiquity of studio thugs on “War Going On”. Good intentions aside, the album heavily falters due to Marley Marl’s stale and uninspired production, with “All Seasons” sounding like a Dr. Dre knockoff and the utter abomination of “Rock Dis”, serving a blow to the legacies of the albums main attractions as well as that of the Blastmaster KRS-One.

Craig G’s heart is in the right place as Operation Take Back Hip-Hop finds him nearly desperate in attempts of fleshing out his personal definition of authenticity. Unfortunately, most of this album’s tracks simply aren’t strong enough for him to carry forth a piece that hits on all cylinders. Long time followers will likely question both Craig’s ear for beats in this day and age and how much longer he will truly matter in the ongoing fight to keep quality music prevalent.

Rating: @@@

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Cool Kids - The Bake Sale EP (Review)

Art has begun to imitate the lifestyle of those pushing creativity’s envelope as hip (hop) culture continues thriving on all things fresh and new. The term hipster has come to be derided by detractors who place a negative connotation on the word as well as those in the life who take offense to its usage, as the prescribed faction finds no fault in believing they’re simply cooler than thou. With a group name that could double as ironic or one that takes itself too serious, The Cool Kids are at the forefront of this burgeoning albeit questionable movement. After a slew of critical acclaim and media exposure, The Bake Sale EP is the group’s latest offering in lieu of their present major spotlight.

As with most of today’s retro-sounding acts, The Cool Kids can justifiably be labeled as promoting style over substance, employing a fun yet minimalist approach not unlike that of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, or Kriss Kross in their heyday. Keeping in mind that braggadocio and self-confidence are surely nothing new in rap culture, the flaunting of fashionable footwear over strange sounding bass & percussion on “One Two” isn’t readily accessible for those outside of the insular hipster demographic. While supporters of the group cheer on the novelty of paying respect to the old school (the Rick Rubin homage “88”, and the Miami bass influenced “Basement Party” ) as well as their simultaneous focus on carving a new niche (“A Little Bit Cooler”), the group never seems to stray from a facade where they’re the life of the party whose aesthetics we should all aspire towards.

Compared to the many that perpetrate and build careers around fake imagery, The Cool Kids can’t be vilified for staying true to themselves. But all the same, Mikey Rocks and Chuck Inglish must suffer reproach for stylistically presenting a package that likely won’t resonate with anyone who doesn’t obsess over being a part of “the in crowd”. The Bake Sale EP would serve as a fine parody of self-deluded hipsters, but as actual product it should fail to move everyday Hip-Hop consumers who find themselves unconcerned with trendy hoopla.

Rating : @@ 1/2

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Decay - The Unlikely Villain mixtape

I'm tired, but since it's been a while since I've contributed anything to this place here goes.

MF Doom is my second favorite rapper of all time after Jay-Z.
Operation: Doomsday is my second favorite album of all time after Midnight Marauders.

Decay from the Uncut Raw crew (slap yourself if you slept on last year's First Toke) has put out this tribute mixtape flipping classic Doom tracks and fan favorites, in preparation for his forthcoming album The Unlikely Hero.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Young H Radio - Episode 2


Shoutout to the 3 people who still care.

This life shit has been kicking my ass but I hope to be back into the swing of things with more real writing soon.

In any case, a new radio show will be done this Friday

Friday, March 21, 2008

Announcement : Knock of The Week has been formally replaced by

Young H Radio

Every Friday you'll hear me playing what I want to play and saying what I want to say.

This weeks music included Che Grand, Danny!, Wale, Jean Grae, UMCs, Cormega and more

(If I wasnt so lazy I would have painted the dude's face brown in the picture above)

You can still catch me every Sunday from 1-3 on radiovolta.org as a part of The Formula and check this blog for regular writing updates. This is just me not holding back a thing, talking almost reckless and playing everything I like, hope you enjoy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Knock Of The Week - Edition 11

Cru - Nuthin' But from Da Dirty 30 produced by Yogi

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Official PMP (Worldwide) mixtape

PMP Worldwide is a networking company serving the purpose of connecting industry professionals to up and coming producers cooking up heat. This mixtape serves the dual purpose of a spotlight for instrumentals from sound providers on the come up, and a tutorial on the inner workings of the business with interludes from established veterans like 88 Keys and Hi-Tek. Highlights include Countdown by DJ RAD, Samp Banger by The Kickdrums, and Yesterdayz by Aeon.

Monday, March 10, 2008

XM Radio/Subsoniq Dilla Day - Live Band Tribute

This past February 21st in our nation's capital, local artists and this band named The Players paid an incredible tribute to Jay Dee.

Download Here

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Well, we've found the gay rapper

I'm not really cool with the whole Wendy Williams witch hunt thing, but dude is out and about with his on Myspace

Shotout to Brainchild on the lookout.

I'll be just fine so long as a scandal doesnt surface involving MF Doom and child pornography.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 10

Jeru The Damaja - The Bullshit from Wrath of The Math, produced by DJ Premier

(this applies to my life right now like you wouldn't believe)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Stop Sleeping Alert: School Of Beats

This is what I live for - aspirational spitting and crazy beats. If you're a fan of innovation that gives you that feel good reminder of the past, this is what you need to be checking for.

All I know is School Of Beats reps Washington DC and a few other parts of the country and they're definitely keeping it fresh for the underdogs. I plan to know more soon though as I'll definitely keep myself in the know with what they're doing.

Download their 3 projects
Lesson I : Orientation
Lesson II : Validation
Lesson III : The Progress Report

EDIT TO ADD: I bumped Lesson I today, and they've grown considerably since. I ride hardest for II & III, and I dont want any of my faithful readers questioning my ear.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Big Sean is a future superstar to look out for

Big Sean, (not to be confused with an older version of Little Shawn from the early 90’s) is repping Detroit and signed to G.O.O.D Music. You already know Kanye has a good ear for talent, but that’s if *your* ear is in fact good.

Vocally he kind of reminds me of Median, but he raps about aspirations of women, getting money, and being fresh & successful. He has flow, lyrics, wit, everything you should love in a rapper. Plus his beats are pretty fresh.

Remember where you heard it first © DJ Clue (I’m not really first, but he isn’t getting the coverage I feel he deserves and that’s the purpose this blog serves. Didn’t mean for that to rhyme.)

9 songs from his mixtape Finally Famous
The Weekly Knock - Edition 9

M.O.P featuring Lord Have Mercy - Home Sweet Home off of Warriorz, produced by Nottz

(it's hard to believe this album is going to be 8 years old in October)
This speaks for itself

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Black Milk is keeping Hip-Hop beautiful

For those of you who can afford to buy albums, if you trust my ear buy this!

Black is probably running away with the title for 2008 between this album, his forthcoming sophomore solo and the collab album with Guilty Simpson & Sean Price all set for this year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jay-Z & Fela Kuti - Nigerian Gangster

Put out by Mike Love, a Chicago radio personality. I dont agree with dude's politics, but heat is heat nonetheless. I didn't know he was a producer, this could be a "Dr. Dre" kind of deal (what's the last song you think he really produced)

Download here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 8

Da Bush Babees - We Run Things (It's Like Dat) off of their debut Ambushed produced by Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Saturday, February 16, 2008

To Whom It May Concern - It's Gilyard*

I'm not fashion conscious like that, but I know this label that Pharrell and Lupe have name dropped due to my former brief stint within the music industry.

Spun off from this site (plenty of leaks in the Through The Sieve section if you're into that sort of thing) and when my mans and them asked how to say it a few months ago.

*Unless there's a whole nother streetwear label that sounds the same that I've yet to hear of, but I'm pretty sure this is it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 7

Pete Rock f/ Raekwon, Prodigy, and Ghostface Killa - Tha Game
from Soul Survivor produced by the Soul Brother # 1, Chocolate Boy Wonder

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's a miracle I didn't become a rapper

I've always sat on the sidelines as a fan/commentator but all of the following are true:

- My dad told me a story about hanging with a crew as a teenager. One dude in the crew had a younger brother that used to tag along with them, said younger brother became Rakim.

- My aunts and uncles (on my mother's side) went to school with EPMD as kids, my grandmother calls (Parrish) "Smith" a bum to this day.

- One of my uncles was tight with Craig Mack and proud as hell when he got on.

(if you havent gathered so much yet, my people are based out of Long Island)

- My parents met in college and somehow know Olu Dara (aka Nas' father). Summer 1998 me and my mom ran into him on 125th street. I told him I was about to go to FAMU, he said "You gonna have a lot of fun, but you gotta be in them books too" - I should have listened

- It's been told to me that at age 3 my dad took me to a Hip-Hop/jazz celebration and I knew who Fab 5 Freddy was.

- Me and my mom were in the "911 Is A Joke" video. You can see me for 5 seconds if you look close. I got paid $25 and thought I was rich.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm starting up an anti-syrup movement

The other day I was listening to "Purple Rain" off of Beanie Sigel's The B Coming and realized I had to speak up on this issue.

Promethazine and codeine aka sizzurp/syrup/lean/purp/purple lotion or whatever you want to call it is the latest plague affecting Hip-Hop's culture. The syrup phenomenon was an underground thing until Memphis demigods Three 6 Mafia put out an anthem touting its supposed virtues. Rap legend Pimp C had a memorable guest appearance on that record and unfortunately the topic itself may have recently played a part in his untimely passing. One of my personal highlights from the recent Underground Kingz double album was "The Game Belong To Me" with a witty hook naming a hustler's goods by the public icons most associated with them - "I got Bobby by the pound/Whitney by the key/DJ Screw by the gallon..." (I'm waiting on someone to say "I'm selling that Amy Winehouse", it's gonna happen any minute now.)

If you've been living in a cave or all you play is D.I.T.C records, DJ Screw was a pioneer of Houston's scene and one of the first big names to die from this drink. I'm not 100% positive but I think the music on Screw's mixtapes was slowed down (if you're uncertain as to what I'm talking about, think back to the end of Kanye's "Drive Slow") to give listeners the feel of how songs sound when one is high off of the potion.

I don't have the first problem with what rappers do with their personal time outside of the booth. Slang cracks, pimp hoes, do all the recreational drugs you want, my issue comes when it starts to seep into the music. No one really believes Malice & Pusha T (or Jeezy for that matter) have any strips locked down, those are just creative roles being acted out. But on some level rappers need to realize that they have more influence than they might think, and some of what they're advocating is sending our people to early graves. Please believe if Jay-Z can make a man (who didnt already have sense enough) put on a dress shirt, that same man is probably also impressionable enough so as to try anything else that a "cool" rapper celebrates, including syrup.

You cant blame Hip-Hop for black on black violence or the disrespect of women, those ills of society are as American as apple pie and the Yankees winning the World Series. But I'd put good money behind the notion that things like this video

have added to the fallacy that (to borrow from Dave Chappelle playing Diddy) syrup is what's hot in the streets. You can argue Dipset was irresponsible to put out a liquor by the name of Sizzurp, but to my knowledge it was just purple in color with the original contents not involved, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to sell anything close to the actual stuff in stores. Rumor has it this is also the drug of choice for the omnipresent Lil' Wayne, which gives cause to bars like "Damn right I kiss my daddy" and other nonsense he's prone to get over on people spitting nowadays.

By the time summer rolls around I'm gonna need a "Self-Destruction/We're All In The Same Gang" type record to come out in memoriam of Pimp C and everyone's verse (Devin, Scarface, Lil' Flip, Slim Thug, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Bun B etc.) needs to be about putting down the styrofoam cup.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I was there, and you should have been too

look at all of the Hip-Hop icons that were there. I wish I knew what Apani looked like so I could have thanked her for "Let Me Watch" (off of Viktor Vaughn)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Underground Hip-Hop has become pretty gay

A popular misconception when it comes to Young H is just because he doesn't listen to the radio, that he's a backpacker or super underground.

To clarify:
Young H loves good beats
Young H loves good lyrics
Young H has a pretty good ear for both, no matter if your label's Def last name is Jam or Jux.

Young H also loves women and frequents venues where you cant get in wearing a t-shirt and Timberlands (not that I'm opposed to that dress style, but there's a time and place for everything)

Lately I've been going out trying to support my local Hip-Hop community, and a lot of its inhabitants are lowlifes who want to stand around "keeping it real" and would probably become homosexual if that kind of thing were more widely accepted in this society.

Here's where I don't fit in:

- I don't drink beer (I'll have a little liquor here and there, but most of these spots dont even have a decent bar.)

- I don't like to celebrate Hip-Hop with random dudes I don't know and probably never would kick it with

- I don't smoke cigarettes or weed

- While I don't make it my point to get a number every time I step out to go somewhere, memorable eye candy is always a good thing and these scenes are severely lacking.

If the scene in your city is anything like mine, you'll be sure to find:

- MCs performing only to impress a small crowd, with no buzz outside of that local insulated community

- A 5:1 ratio of men to women, and just about every woman came with a dude who's on stage rapping that night. Not to mention the cutest girl in the room is a 7 at best.

- Songs about weed, how hard life is, and real hip-hop over murky beats.

- Ciphers in the corner where everyone is standing around huddled up and getting open off of rhymes that are off beat.

- The one dude outside at the end of the night politicking about the realities of real life, smoking a cigarette with one foot back against the wall. His man is acting like he's saying some deep shit too.

If Hip-Hop is something you do as a hobby because you love it, cool.

If it's a dream of yours, you should be chasing it harder than your weekly open mic. Artists like The Roots, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Common had sense enough to put on their businessman hats and go for theirs, actually proving good music can gain an audience.

Yes the radio is corny, but at least radio artists are making (corny) songs about women.

These underground cats need to listen to Babyface and learn something about romance, get haircuts and clean up their whole style. I love Hip-Hop with all of my being, but I'm not so engulfed that I've lost sense of what a grown man should be.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 6

Noreaga - Mathematics (Esta Loca) off of N.O.R.E (an album that was great for its time, but hasn't aged well at all) produced by (DJ) Clue & Duro

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 5

Xzibit - Handle Your Business off of 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz

Produced by DJ Pen One, co-produced by Thayod Ausar

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Return of Bandana P

Having come of age in New York's mid-90's era, you can bet good money I was into some vintage Mobb Deep. Memories include my man having The Infamous on CD the day after it hit stores (In 9th grade back then, that meant you had money) and begging him to let me borrow it so that I could dub it on tape, which was met with 15 seconds of skepticism and a "You better have it back tomorrow, with no scratches!"

Fast forward through the rest of that decade and the Mobb (along with the rest of their Loud labelmates) pretty much had the hard street flavor on lock, while Def Jam and Bad Boy battled for jiggy supremacy and Rawkus became the Mecca for disgruntled white boys. Then came a little known rapper with a little known Casio keyboard produced ditty named "Money, Cash, Hoes", with a little known line about New York being soft due to Calvin Broadus being the precursor to Osama Bin Laden. I remember listening to Funkmaster Flex the night the Dogg Pound video was being filmed, as he laughed about guns going off between rival crews and told everyone to chill. Prodigy's involvement in the East/West feud circa Capone & Noreaga's "L.A., L.A." remix found him spouting off in The Source, taking high offense to the little known rapper's proclamation that Death Row had turned the Rotten Apple to "shook ones".

As fate would have it, time told the tale of beef festering to the point that a little known event took place at Hot 97's Summer Jam 2001, something about a photo of someone in ballerina gear, maybe you've heard the story at this point. As if that wasn't bad enough a little known dis track called "The Takeover" came out (it's a rare gem, but worth finding if you can hunt it down), which rendered Prodigy nearly obsolete in the grand scheme of things. I say he was rendered obsolete not because of verse 1, 2 and 4's particularly scathing boasts of money that stacked higher than P's stature or jabs referring to dunn as Twinkle Toes, but because history will forever associate the song with the third verse that wasnt even about him.

An awkward chain of events followed where Prodigy made empty threats on the life of his little known adversary, and the past few years his catalogue has ranged from good (Amerikaz Nightmare/Free Agents/H.N.I.C) to in between (Return of the Mac) and awful (Infamy/Blood Money), amidst all types of controversy like gun charges and violent confrontations with other rappers, not to mention a self-leaked NC-17 tape of him and his wife. Just when I abandoned most of my hope, Prodigy has channeled the spirit of the great Ray Benzino and come back on a f*cking horse. The recent video for "ABC" featured P back on his grimy tip over a villainous Alchemist beat, and the other 3 new songs that have surfaced online (all linked below) have upped my anticipation of his next release, the sequel to H.N.I.C. I've recently developed a deeper appreciation for not only how cold he spits, but how he puts his phrases together.

Download Prodigy's 4 newest songs

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Edition 4

De La Soul - Watch Out off of AOI: Bionix produced by Supa Dave West

Torae: Daily Conversation - @@@@ 1/4

Hip-Hop's golden age of the late '80's to mid 90's is often smiled upon and remembered as a time when New York had the dominant foothold and supreme cultural reign. While most of today's MCs (and fans) are complaining about the Southern takeover or (even worse) changing up to accomodate the radio's adaptation to the country's nether regions, a select few have taken it upon themselves to make a change and rep the east coast's essence. Coney Island's Torae saw his buzz go through the roof as he teamed up with Skyzoo for one of recent history's best 12 inches "Get It Done" b/w "Click" both produced by the ever so legendary DJ Premier. With the famished masses hoping for Tor to establish himself as a leader of today's new school, (no offense to Cut Monitor Milo, Charlie Brown or Dinco if they read this, but it's been a wrap for yall) his long awaited debut Daily Conversation has hit the streets for consumption.

Torae displays signs of being one of New York's next great MCs as he carries the complete package of flow, lyrics, confidence and topical material. The lead single "Callin My Name" is anthemic for all seriously aspiring MCs, detailing Tor's endless determination towards making himself known, while "Get It Goin" would fit perfectly if a whole genre arose from the Jay-Z coined term "black superhero music". One of his main strengths lies in versatility as he manages to sound at home on anything he's given to spit over, from Khrysis' homage to west coast bounce on "Somethin To See" to newcomer Eric G's channeling of M.O.P's energy on "Think About It" and "Switch" where he has fun flipping a variety of flows.

Overall, Torae is heavily gifted and making an indelible impression at a time when the east seemed headed down the path of obscurity. The only flaw to be found on the album is the overage of guest appearances, the majority of whom he outshines. Daily Conversation is a thorough introduction for Tor, with a return to great production accompanied by MCing that can lead to a restoration of prominence for the Rotten Apple.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Weekly Knock - Editions 1, 2 and 3

In hopes of keeping folks checking this blog, my plan was to drop a song that represented the term "knock" to me every Friday of this year. If I stay dedicated to this goal, I will have put up 52 songs by the end of 2008. I'm a bit behind so here goes Weeks 1, 2, and 3

Week 1: Slum Village - We Be Dem (Freestyle) - From Fantastic Vol. 1, produced by Jay Dee (you gotta love lines like "Hoes is givin me blows cause I'm a sexy man" from Baatin)

Week 2: Fat Joe - Part Deux - Off of Joe's sophomore effort Jealous One's Envy, produced by Domingo

Week 3: Lords Of The Underground - No Pain Off of LOTUG's sophomore effort Keepers of The Funk, produced by K-Def

There you have it The Weekly Knock Editions 1-3, see yall approximately next Friday if I can manage it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The number one rapper Young H doesnt care about in 2008

drumroll please...

This guy

My distaste runs so deep that I cant bring myself to type his rap non de plume. But you know him, he's made a career riding the coattails of respectable acts and making annual recap songs (this year's was particularly grating). I take this music shit too serious to continue giving him a pass when he once had such potential. I understand needing to keep your name hot in between albums, but he came out over a decade ago and has only had two albums to his name. You cant be serious, dude is written off with me unless he drops an undisputed classic this year and the chances of that are slim.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dear Haters: Hurricane Chris is nice

This is reminiscent of Lil Wayne before he oversaturated himself and drugs had him thinking it was okay to say anything in the booth. I'm almost interested in hearing this dude's album now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Top 10 rappers Young H doesnt care about in 2008 Part 2

Continuing where we left off

5) Lauryn Hill

What is there to really say here? No one should care about Lauryn anymore. She was one of the best MCs in the world when The Miseducation dropped, but that was a decade ago. She ripped the hell out of the two songs where she rapped on the Unplugged album, but that was 7 or 8 years ago. People are holding onto hopes that she’ll come back and be as strong as she once was, it’s good to dream but she has more kids than solo albums at this point. I’m not a Byron Crawford asshole type blogger, so I say the following in all seriousness: let’s pray for her good health instead of having selfish demands for new material that could put a stain on what was once a great career. Ms. Hill lost her passion for making music, I've accepted that and you should as well. Kanye wishing her heart was still in rhyming and song dedications from Talib Kweli are good and dandy, but let's let sleeping dogs lie here.

4)Wyclef Jean

The Carnival was that shit, I even bought the album that came after that in good faith and I wasn't disappointed. I dont remember how the song sounded from a few years ago where he was riding around in a cab with Queen Latifah in the video but I think it was heat. That much said, it’s a wrap for dude at this point. He comes off as a confused Haitian who needs to be reminded he isn’t Jamaican (the T.I. “You Know What It Is” record), and one day watching VH1 Soul I saw he had a new song with Lil’ Wayne. I wasn’t shocked because that’s today’s industry standard if you need to appear relevant, but I think it was over a Wu-Tang beat (I’m not double checking youtube for that trash). He’s made his money and I guess he’s content having fun doing records with Shakira at this point, but that doesn't exactly fly with your man Young H.

3) Fat Joe

For the record I never heard his debut album with “Flow Joe”, but Jealous One’s Envy and Don Cartagena got heavy rotation from me when they dropped. I understand having to carry your crew after Pun’s passing, but jumping in pools with a blue chinchilla and lipstick on your cheek is decidedly not what’s hot in the streets. Ever since becoming a household name, he’s been another one on the long list of rappers who cant decide if they rep the streets or women, while Jay-Z was the only one versatile enough to wear both hats and maintain credibility. The past few years he’s been in a beef with 50, had “Lean Back” which was the biggest song the year it was out but that Terror Squad album still flopped, linked up with DJ Khaled (further indicative of how he’s stranded New York) and just become this cocky Latino who’s “hot” every few seasons, but Hot is the prefix behind radio stations who play bullshit. Joey Crack gets props for longevity but the second half of his career to date has been basura, papi.

2) Cassidy

I guess he has “the streets” locked down but that means absolutely nothing to me, because he doesn’t spit fire like some people give him credit for. He’s always been corny to me since “Hotel”, I guess “I’m a Hustler” was a club banger but he wasn’t saying much on it. "Drink & My 2 Step" would have become catchy if I allowed myself to hear it more than thrice. He had the nerve to fix his face and say Jay-Z needed to worry about their albums dropping on the same day this past November. I have homeboys who were impressed by bars like “Last dude tried to body Cass wound up with a body cast/I chop more bricks than a karate class”, yes those are actual bars he spit. STOP TELLING ME ABOUT THAT FREEWAY BATTLE, I'M NOT IMPRESSED. Swizzy worked heavily with The Lox and DMX, he knows what good street MCs are but I guess he’s invested in Cassidy to cash in with the 106 & Park audience.

The next entry will feature the esteemed title holder for the # 1 rapper Young H doesn't care about in 2008.